Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Yummy, nutritious oatmeal in a bowl....

This recipe is easy-peasy. I make it nearly every day for breakfast. You will use regular (not quick cook) oats- I like organic. Pour the desired amount into a bowl. Add water until the oatmeal is saturated but not in a pool of water. Quick cook in the micro for a minute and a half OR follow directions on the oatmeal box.

Upon pulling out your bowl of steamy oats, add EITHER a tablespoon of raw organic honey OR brown sugar (your choice). Then top with healthy delicious add ons. The picture above was my breakfast this morning and included:

-unsweetened, raw coconut meat (you can buy this in a package in a health food store or crack your own coconut, which takes a little more time :) )

Other add ons I love are :

-crushed raw pumpkin seeds
-raw sunflower seeds
-apples cut up into small chunks
-cut up figs

I always add a *milk* of some sort. The creme de la creme of course is cream, but I'm watching my cholesterol (oatmeal is good for that, by the way!) so I use 2% milk instead. Other delicious options include coconut milk (yum!) or almond milk.

Now, for the health benefits!

Seven amazing benefits of oatmeal can be found HERE. 

Health benefits of raw honey are HERE. 

almonds, pecans and walnuts: 

These have protein, are high in healthy fats which can help lower cholesterol, and contain fiber and very important minerals like potassium, which regulates blood pressure. 

pumpkin seeds: 

coconut: (hang on to your hats because this list is a doozy!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Holy Pine Nuts! This salad is tasty AND good for you!

Is it any wonder that those who eat the Mediterranean diet are healthier? The food of that culture is rich in vitamins and low in fat. Here's a delicious salad that takes no time at all to make, and which is chock full of all the great cold vegetables that make healthy bodies.

Pine Nut Cucumber Tomato Salad:

-Two large cucumbers, washed (skin on- of course you will fresh pick these from your garden if possible!), cut into bite-sized pieces
-Three large tomatoes, ripe and red and washed, cut into bite-sized pieces
-a large handful of washed and cut baby spinach
-a large handful of fresh grated mozzarella cheese
-cooked pasta (your choice of style)
-balsamic vinegar and olive oil
-Italian seasoning (oregano, basil or mixed)
-clove of garlic, minced (garlic salt may be substituted, in which case, omit the salt below)
-green onions, chopped into tiny pieces (onion salt may be substituted, in which case omit salt below)
-1 and 3/4 oz. to 3 oz pine nuts

Toss and season to taste.
Sprinkle with fresh cut organic parsley.

Now, for the happy news-
Your salad is not only easy to make and delicious, but it is healthy too! I'm sure you already know the nutrition benefits of eating spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley. Did you know that balsamic vinegar has health benefits too? And look at the benefits you reap from pine nuts:

-Pine nuts contain an appetite suppressant, are high in iron, promote cardiovascular health and contain lutein, an antioxidant that is crucial to the prevention of eye diseases. The antioxidants in the pine nuts help remove free radicals from the body so they slow down the aging process. What's more, pine nuts are a quick energy booster, as they contain protein and magnesium.

Enjoy with your taste buds and enjoy knowing that you are feeding your body well!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lebanese Lamb or Beef Supreme with Mint and Yogurt

Here is a delicious recipe (Laban Ummu)  I learned from my husband's Lebanese sito (grandma). I bet that even if you have never had Lebanese food before, you will love this! It is tangy and hearty and has just the right amount of garlic and onion, and the mint is refreshing. Middle Eastern recipes often call for lamb but lamb is both expensive and some people who are not used to it find the taste to be quite strong. Feel free to substitute beef, which, in my opinion, is equally delicious. When I made this yesterday I used an inexpensive breakfast round steak, which I tenderized with the meat cleaver before cutting into bite sized pieces. Let me know how you like this!

You will need three separate cooking containers- one large frying pan, one large pot, one small frying pan for sautéing, in addition to the container you cook your rice in.


2- 3 lbs lamb or beef (round steak, breakfast steak or similar), tenderized if necessary and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large container (quart) of plain yogurt (I use Stonyfield organic)

Handful of mint leaves, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped. (If you buy these in the store, look in the organic herb section)*

1 clove of garlic, minced or garlic salt

2 large onions or 4 small, cut up rather small, but not diced

2 eggs

1/4 c butter

salt to taste

Place meat which has been cut into bite-sized pieces into the large frying pan with the cut-up onions. Add water until it barely covers the top of them. Cook thoroughly.

In the large pot, empty the yogurt container along with two eggs. Whisk thoroughly and cook under low heat until bubbly.

In the small frying pan, place the garlic, butter, chopped mint leaves and salt.  Saute.

Pour the sautéed mix and yogurt mix over the meat and cook about 10 more minutes until bubbly. Serve over hot, buttered rice.  I like to serve this with a simple fresh, organic vegetable like the green beans here.  It's a nice flavor contrast. Another good side dish is a fresh green salad with iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, mint, tomatoes and a dressing of oil and lemon juice with salt and pepper.


*Here's the package I bought of organic mint. If you're going to use a lot of mint and live where you can grow it, do that! I also buy organic garlic cloves.

*Check out this food blog: with Elena
*You may also like to peruse this site for links to many food blogs:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Grab a cup of coffee-

Welcome to your comfy kitchen!

I love my family, just like you do. We both want what's best for them, right? . We want to nourish them at home so that they can be their best possible selves and go out and reach their goals in the world. We want them to be happy and healthy and loved.  Let's consider the things that contribute toward filling not just your family's tummy but also its heart. In this inaugural post, I'd like to share the article below, which originally appeared in 2009. I think it sets the tone for what we'll be doing here- I hope you'll ask yourself why you cook, why you like to cook, and what importance making a meal has on your family's life.  Questions? Send them my way. Comments? Ditto. Thanks for popping in! Let's talk food!


Why Women Cook

Sito was my late grandmother-in-law. No matter when my husband and I stopped by (or even, sorry to say, dropped in without calling), Sito would provide a feast for us. She spent almost every day cooking and filling her freezer with nourishing delicious meals and treats, betting on the chance that someone would stop by, if not this afternoon, then the next. When you’d spill your troubles to Sito, she’s say affectionately, “Awww, Dino, go get yourself a plate.” And she’d motion to the stove where a banquet that would feed an army sat hot and ready.

For generations, cooking food has been more than just about feeding one’s body. It has been and still is a way to nourish a soul, a relationship, and to provide companionship and sustenance in a world that is sometimes cold. A hearty meal with family and friends, complete with hot bread and smooth, creamy butter, sometimes topped off with a bit of wine and finished with a cup of steaming coffee, is the way women nurture those they love, and put material form to their feelings. If they don’t know what to do for someone, they cook. They cook after births of babies of their friends. They cook for funeral dinners. They cook at Christmastime elaborate fixings, not only to celebrate the holiday of Christ’s birth with decorated cookies and home-made candy, turkey with orange sauce and cheesy potatoes… but to put tangible life into their devotion for their families and express their love in a way they otherwise can’t. When there’s nothing left to say and one doesn’t know what to do, or trouble comes along, one can cook, and things somehow seem a little brighter. In lovingly preparing food, a woman hopes and feels she has made a difference.

Women will hover over a family member about to bite into a concoction that took all afternoon to create. She studies every eyebrow, every cock of the head, in anticipation, hoping to see pleasure on her loved one’s face. Seeing that will have made the effort worthwhile, and when she puts her floury, dusty apron away she will be satisfied.

We live in the heart of Amish country. I’ve been blessed to have some Amish ladies occasionally help me with my cleaning. Once, I heard the ladies speak of Cousin Nettie’s wedding. Everyone in the community, young and old, pitched in to make food for the special day. The cooking began several days in advance, and was truly a social event in itself for the members of the women-folk. When the Amish women want to shower their blessings on someone, they start at the stove.

While interviewing World War II veterans some years ago one thing that impressed me was the fondness with which each man spoke about his first meal home after the war. I imagine those wives and mothers of men, now long gone, standing at the stove, praying and preparing. What else could they do?

Yesterday,  my husband and I spent the afternoon in the kitchen together, making sveha (Lebanese meat pies), stuffed grape leaves, lentils with onions and rice,  and Arabic bread (recipes that Sito shared with us before she died). It took us awhile to get in the groove of working together. Apparently, I was folding the dough of the sveha wrong, and he was very definitely hogging the lemon juice. But once we found a rhythm, it was a very enjoyable endeavor. As the meat sizzled, cooking inside the oven, I felt pride in what my husband and I were creating — a meal yes, but more than that, a token of love for our family. You see, what precipitated the entire afternoon of cooking was the knowledge that it was the last day that our college-aged sons would be home before going back to school. We wanted to prepare a meal for them that they would love… that they would miss… that they would seek and so return. And so, like generations of women before, and cultures of women around the world even today, my husband and I set up shop in the kitchen and started pounding dough.

Today, the boys will return to the university, with a carload of their things, new clothes from Christmas, some grocery items. Also in the back seat will be some Tupperware containers of Lebanese food and some miniature apple pies, the fruit of yesterday’s labor.

Today, I wrestle with my feelings for my boys. I love them intensely. I want to see them follow their dreams and succeed.  I wish they were little again and living here. I am proud of them. I am happy. I am sad. I wish I could shield them from life’s sorrows. I can’t solve all their problems. I want them to know I’m here for them. For these reasons and a million more, I prepared food for them. And in doing so I connected with not only my boys, my husband, and my family, but with millions of women around the world alive today, and some who have passed on. We cooked and we cook simply because… we love.

-Theresa Thomas

Sito and her husband George, who died at age 26 from tuberculosis.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Welcome to Your Comfy Kitchen!

This blog is coming soon!

Please check back or email me at TheresaThomasEverydayCatholic {at} gmail {dot} com if you would like to know when we are up and running! God bless you~