fennel

I Hate Going on a Diet

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I hate going on a diet.

The thing is, I like food. I like to eat. It's not even that I have a sweet tooth and consume too many doughnuts or that I drink soda (haven't had one for decades).

I just like regular food. 

And unfortunately, last year I ate a lot more of it than usual. Stress eating. It was a difficult year.

I gained TEN pounds.

That's a lot.

My children tell me I am not allowed to use the word "fat" because of "shaming."

So I suppose plump and chubby are off limits too.

I am supposed to say that I don't like how I look.

OK.

I don't like how I look.

Unfortunately my son-in-law Greg said he read an article that said women who go on diets and lose weight tend to re-gain the weight plus more.

OY!

Just in time -- comes THIS: The JoyofKosher 28 Day Challenge.

This is a four week diet plan of the most scrumptious non-diet sounding, most gorgeous food you ever saw in a weight loss plan. 

Check out the photos. The first for Grilled Fennel with toasty, crunchy quinoa seeds. The second for an avocado and egg-filled portobello mushroom cap that is so easy I am going to make it when my cousins come to sleep over in a few weeks.

This is not your ordinary "diet food."

It's good food, coming to you via two good friends of mine: Jamie Geller, cookbook author and founder, JoyofKosher, and Tamar Genger, a registered dietitian and professor of nutrition.

Have a look, even if you aren't on a diet. Even if you aren't kosher.

Here's what it is: When you sign up you get the menu plan for 28 days, plus a shopping list, plus 75 recipes with vegetarian and gluten-free substitutes (in a downloadable pdf file), plus nutritional info, plus tips, plus a Facebook page where you can discuss food stuff with other people on the challenge, plus --- go ahead and click the link and you'll see it all. For $28.

It's not a crazy diet. Just a simple plan, great, healthy, delicious food, easy, doable recipes with lovely photos and so much more. 

Inspiring.

Sounds like a plan. I'm determined to like the way I look.

GRILLED FENNEL AND TOASTED QUINOA (from JoyofKosher 28 Day Challenge)

Servings 6

Fennel is high in potassium and loaded with other nutrients that have been found to improve bone health.

Ingredients:

2 fennel bulbs, sliced

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1⁄4 cup fresh herbs like basil, parsley, and thyme and some fennel fronds

Zest and juice of 1 lemon 1⁄4 cup raw quinoa

1. Trim fennel bulbs by removing stalks and fronds (set aside fronds to mix with herbs).

2. Cut off any hard inedible outer layers.
3. With your fennel bulb upright, cut 1⁄4-inch slices vertically.
4. Brush each side using 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Place slices on a medium hot grill, turning until you get a nice char on each side and fennel is tender to the touch. Alternatively, place on a baking pan and broil until charred.

6. Whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, herbs, and lemon juice and zest, adding salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle all over fennel.

7. Meanwhile, toast quinoa: Rinse well, drain, and pour into a medium sauté pan. Stir grains over medium-high heat. Watch as quinoa dries out and begins to brown and even pop—that’s how you know it is ready. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

8. Sprinkle toasted quinoa over fennel and serve warm or at room temperature. Nutritional Information / Per Serving

110 calories, 7g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 67mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein 

 

 

Fennel Slaw

I love autumn. The vibrant colors, the crisp cool air, the pumpkins replacing the watermelons in the bins at my local supermarket. I don’t even mind the skeletons, super-size packs of candy and other Hallowe’en paraphernalia they put on the shelves before Labor Day. 
 I should stop here to say I am a bit dismayed by the Christmas stuff. I realize this is just a way for stores to do business, but come on! It’s still September! 
 But I digress. I love autumn. Including the food, now focusing on dishes to keep us warm and cozy. 
 But before I get into cool-season cooking mode I have to get my last fill of summer barbecue and side dishes. 
 Like Cole Slaw, which I realize is an all-year round dish, but we never eat it except in summer, when I make all sorts of slaws, like this one made with fennel. If you also want to get in that last bit of summer eating, try it: 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  
 Fennel Slaw 

 1 large fennel bulb 
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill 
 2 tablespoons olive oil 
 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
 salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

 Trim the fennel, remove the hard core and slice the bulb into thin slices. Place the fennel in a large bowl. Add the dill, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Best served at room temperature. Makes 4 servings

I love autumn. The vibrant colors, the crisp cool air, the pumpkins replacing the watermelons in the bins at my local supermarket. I don’t even mind the skeletons, super-size packs of candy and other Hallowe’en paraphernalia they put on the shelves before Labor Day.

I should stop here to say I am a bit dismayed by the Christmas stuff. I realize this is just a way for stores to do business, but come on! It’s still September!

But I digress. I love autumn. Including the food, now focusing on dishes to keep us warm and cozy.

But before I get into cool-season cooking mode I have to get my last fill of summer barbecue and side dishes.

Like Cole Slaw, which I realize is an all-year round dish, but we never eat it except in summer, when I make all sorts of slaws, like this one made with fennel. If you also want to get in that last bit of summer eating, try it:

Fennel Slaw

1 large fennel bulb

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the fennel, remove the hard core and slice the bulb into thin slices. Place the fennel in a large bowl. Add the dill, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Best served at room temperature. Makes 4 servings

Fennel Slaw

When you want cole slaw but don’t have cabbage and you don’t want to go shopping what do you do? 
 That was my dilemma yesterday. 
 So I made cole slaw without cabbage. Of course, then it isn’t really cole slaw, which actually means “cabbage salad” (koolsla in Dutch). 
 Without the cabbage, it’s just slaw. I’ve made it with celery, snow peas, daikon, zucchini and kohlrabi. 
 Yesterday I looked in the refrigerator bin and found a bulb of fennel, so that’s what I used. This is a wonderful salad that goes with just about anything you might be grilling over the weekend — fish, meat, poultry or vegetables. 
 Fennel Slaw 
 2 bulbs fennel 
 2 large carrots 
 1/3 cup mayonnaise 
 2-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
 1 tablespoon honey 
 2 teaspoons thyme leaves 
 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel 
 freshly ground black pepper to taste 
 Remove and discard the stems, fronds and fibrous fennel core. Shred the fennel and place in a bowl. Shred the carrots and add to the fennel. In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, honey, thyme leaves and lemon peel and whisk to blend ingredients thoroughly. Pour over the vegetables and toss. Sprinkle with pepper to taste. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes 4-6 servings

When you want cole slaw but don’t have cabbage and you don’t want to go shopping what do you do?

That was my dilemma yesterday.

So I made cole slaw without cabbage. Of course, then it isn’t really cole slaw, which actually means “cabbage salad” (koolsla in Dutch).

Without the cabbage, it’s just slaw. I’ve made it with celery, snow peas, daikon, zucchini and kohlrabi.

Yesterday I looked in the refrigerator bin and found a bulb of fennel, so that’s what I used. This is a wonderful salad that goes with just about anything you might be grilling over the weekend — fish, meat, poultry or vegetables.

Fennel Slaw

2 bulbs fennel

2 large carrots

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Remove and discard the stems, fronds and fibrous fennel core. Shred the fennel and place in a bowl. Shred the carrots and add to the fennel. In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, honey, thyme leaves and lemon peel and whisk to blend ingredients thoroughly. Pour over the vegetables and toss. Sprinkle with pepper to taste. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes 4-6 servings