Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowpocalypse Wow

Here in the Northeast, we've had a bit of a blizzard. News reporters are calling it "Snowmageddon" and "Snowpocalypse", but it's just your run of the mill snowstorm. We've seen them before and we'll see them again.

The roads were a mess and rather dangerous, so I wasn't about to go anywhere. I made a big pot of tea, grabbed a blanket in order to entice a kitty to lay on my legs and settled onto the sofa with Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals.

It was nice to be able to eat all of my meals for the day at home, which is rare. I had oatmeal loaded with fruit and seeds for breakfast along with a chocolate cherry smoothie, and a grilled rice cheese sandwich with split pea soup for lunch. For dinner I made marinated baked portobello mushrooms and eggplant, black eyed peas with red bell peppers and shallots, and broccoli and cauliflower with red onion. I marinaded the mushrooms and eggplant with balsamic vinegar, wheat-free tamari, grapeseed oil and dried herbs. Since I was home, I was able to start the marinade early and let the veggies soak it up for a few hours before I baked them in the oven, which really made them flavorful. The variety of veggies in this meal ensured that it was packed with lots of nutrients!

Broccoli and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables, which have a unique chemical composition that give them powerful anti-cancer properties. Cruciferous veggies are named for their flowers which have four equally spaced petals in the shape of a cross. The word comes from the Latin word ‘crucifer’ which means ‘cross-bearer". Other members of the cruciferous family are kale, cabbage, collard greens, bok choy, brussels sprouts and turnips. Cruciferous vegetables are twice as powerful as other veggies. In population studies, a 20% increase in plant food intake generally corresponds to a 20% decrease in cancer rates, but a 20% increase in cruciferous vegetable intake corresponds to a 40% decrease in cancer rates.

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