Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Lentils are small, disc shaped legumes. (It is funny because "legume" in French means vegetable).They grow on bushy plants, in pods containing one or two lentil seeds. They come in many color: red-orange, yellow, green and black.
They are believed to have originated in central Asia. Ancient Egyptians often included lentils in the treasures packed inside tombs.
Lentils have been listed as a superfood for a number of reasons: 

  • 26% protein, lacking only a few of the amino acids that would make them a complete protein food
  • low in fat and high in “good carbs”
  • a great source of iron, providing increased energy
  • full of cholesterol lowering soluble fiber
  • known for helping to stabilize blood sugar
  • high in dietary fiber.
Lentils are also high in vitamins and minerals, including:

  • folate
  • vitamin B1
  • manganese
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • copper
  • potassium
Because of their long shelf life, the fact that they are inexpensive, lentils are an economical and convenient addition to your pantry.

Here is how my mom used to cook them:
In a pan, saute 1 medium sliced onion in 2 tsp of cooking oil. Dice 3 slices of bacon, and add it to the pan with 2 tablespoons of moutarde de Dijon. Wait for the bacon to get a little crispy. Then add a cup of any kind of lentils, 2 carrots sliced in about one inch piece. Carrots cook quicker than lentils so make sure they are cut big. Adjust salt and pepper. Add a bay leave.
You also can add a diced leek. Cover the lentils with at least 2 cups of water or chicken broth. Check regularly that there is enough liquid so it doesn't burn at the bottom. The cooking time may vary from 20 to 30 minutes. You can add some curry if you like.

Look online for more recipes.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Open Market

Next Saturday, I want to go to the market at the Tony Burger Center.
Have you been on a weekend morning to an open market around Austin yet? It is a great opportunity to buy local products, and a good way to support our farmers. Not only can you find fresh local produce, you can also listen to great music. Some artisans have a booth so there is something for everybody. And the kids will enjoy the "petting zoo".
There is a list of all their vendors on the website below, something is going on almost every weekend! Check it out!

Saturdays 9am - 1pm
Republic Square Park, 4th and Guadalupe

Really nice recipes on this website.

Saturdays 9am - 1pm
3200 Jones Road at the Toney Burger Center

Tuesdays 3pm - 7pm
MLK & Miriam Avenue

Wednesday 3pm - 7pm 
46th and Lamar at Triangle Park

"Trader Joe's" opened its doors back in September on Bee Caves Road, close to Loop 1. 
And have you visited "Wheatsville" on South Lamar? It is a brand new store by Hancock Fabrics. Very nice and clean look, lots of great organic products are available. I wish the prices would be more "friendly budget" though but I understand. 

I like Sprout, just across on South Lamar, as they have sometimes great organic vegetables or fruits on sale. I got some organic pink ladies this summer for 99 cents a pound. 

I enjoy the cooler weather and I made a lentil soup yesterday. So good!
In my next post, I will share with you the health benefits of this legume and suggest different ways to prepare them. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

About stress

I hope all of you had a great Halloween. With Halloween comes a lot of candy! 
Oh well, Halloween without candy wouldn't be Halloween, right? Just try your best to not eat all of it! 
What about taking the leftovers to a nursing home? Pick some colorful to decorate your gingerbread house or donate them to the troops. 

So now that Halloween is already behind us, that means Thanksgiving is around the corner, then Christmas! And you may have some birthdays in between. I personally have 3, my children, 20 and 21 of December, and my grandson the 11 of November. I'm already feeling the stress!

Talking about stress, what is it really? Is it something each of us create? Can we have control over it?
I found this definition online:
 "Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress. Some stresses get you going and they are good for you - without any stress at all many say our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless. However, when the stresses undermine both our mental and physical health they are bad."

A different article described it like this:
 "We generally use the word "stress" when we feel that everything seems to have become too much - we are overloaded and wonder whether we really can cope with the pressures placed upon us."
(Yep! that's it!)
The effects of stress can be emotional, psychological, and physical. Signs of stress are different in everyone, with some people expressing more physical signs, like fatigue or high blood pressure, and others expressing more emotion or psychological signs, like irritability or depression.

Let's stay on top if it during these coming Holidays! Maybe you will find some ways to relief your stress by doing one of these activities below. Or even better, tell us what you do to manage your stress.

Breathe deeply
Be present - Slow down 
Tune in to your body
Be grateful
Stay positive
Eat well