The one year anniversary of the deadly 1/9 debris flow in Montecito was not only a chance to remember those who lost their lives, and were injured. It helped focus new attention on the issue of preparedness. In the wake of the Thomas Fire, and Montecito debris flow, a non-profit agency which normally focuses on feeding the hungry in Santa Barbara County is making available disaster preparedness food kits.
A line of families and parents crowded the sidewalks along Pine and El Camino streets Thursday night, waiting for their turn to be called into the Veterans’ Memorial Community Center in northern Santa Maria. Read more here.
Here is a recap of one of our first Food as Medicine lessons!
This recipe comes from Vibeke Weiland, the chair of our board and also a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner practicing at Santa Barbara Wellness for Life in Santa Barbara. This is a simple recipe that she and her kids love! With it’s simple ingredients and little-assembly-required technique, it’s the perfect way to add kid-friendly cruciferous veggies to any meal!
• A bunch (or bag) of arugula
• As many crumbled walnuts as you like (can be toasted or not)
• As many halved cherry or grape tomatoes as you like
• As much shaved Romano cheese as you like
• Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Salt & pepper
1. Throw everything except lemon juice, EVOO and S&P into a salad
2. Dressing is 50/50 lemon juice and EVOO, plus as much salt & pepper
as you like. I throw them in a small jar and shake, then pour over
salad just before tossing & serving.
Inspired by Arnoldi’s Arugula Salad.
Many traditional holiday snacks can be unhealthy, expensive, and difficult. Sugar cookies? Popcorn? Those carbs will leave you hungry. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Kale has an enormous number of health benefits, and it can also be turned into a healthy snack you’ll love to share with family during the holidays. Also, at approx. $2.99 a bag, kale is a cheap and healthy alternative to potato chips.
Sea Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips
Serves 1 compulsive snacker or 2 “normal” people.
• 1 bunch kale
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt (more/less to taste)
1. Preheat oven to 135ºF (Dehydrate), or the lowest temperature it will
go. Can also use a dehydrator if you have one.
2. Wash and dry kale leaves. Strip the green kale leaves from the thick
3. Save the ribs for something else
4. Cut or tear the kale leaves into your desired size of chips, knowing
that they will shrink a bit while baking.
5. Combine the vinegar, oil and salt in a large bowl. Add the kale
leaves, then use your hands to toss and massage the kale for 1-2
minutes until it is soft and slightly darker.
6. Spread out the kale in a single layer on a dehydrator rack or two.
Dehydrate for 2 hours (if oven temp is higher than 135ºF you will
need to shorten this), or until the kale is crispy and no longer soft.
Remove and serve immediately, or store in a sealed container for up
to 1 week.
Back to Crucifers!
We just can’t get enough of them. They’re so important for a healthy diet, AND extremely tasty and versatile. Check back for a new recipe each week!
Irina’s Sweet & Sticky Brussels Sprouts
• 2 pounds cleaned Brussels sprouts, cut in half
• Olive oil or avocado oil
• salt to taste
• 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction
• 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
• 1/2 cup shaved toasted almonds (optional)
• 2 tablespoons honey
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Toss the halved Brussels sprouts with enough olive oil to lightly coat
and spread into a single layer on a baking sheet.
3. Bake at for 30 minutes, or until sprouts are a bit crunchy on the
outside and soft on the inside.
4. Once cooked, let the sprouts cool for 5-10 minutes. While still warm,
add balsamic reduction, salt, dates, lemon juice (if using), almonds (if
using) and honey. Mix until well combined.
5. Serve warm.
Irina Skoeries, www.catalystcuisine.com.
I was talking to my dad about some barriers that are faced when it comes to eating healthy. We have access to an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes all packed with health-promoting nutrients and yet we opt for microwaveable meals and packaged foods. Making our own food is the best way to control the ingredients and know exactly what we are eating, but sometimes our busy schedules have a bigger say in what we are able to eat in a time-crunch. As much as I love looking at the food-bloggers post of colorful bowls of food and perfectly placed produce on the plate, I personally don’t have time to throw together extravagant meals. As someone working 40+ hours a week between 2 jobs, taking classes and finding as much time as I can to ride my bike, I am all for convenience without sacrificing my health, so here’s a few tips that I have picked up to make sure that I don’t have to spend a ton of time making food and have more time to do the things that I want to do.
1. Simplify your meals.
Eating healthy doesn’t need to mean outrageous salads with 25 ingredients and some fancy dressing. One of my go-to meals is a burrito bowl: the base of rice or quinoa, some greens like kale or spinach and then some legume like lentils or beans usually topped with avocado, nutritional yeast and salsa or hot sauce. That alone will cover most of your nutrient needs and is packed with fiber and a mix of carbs, fat and protein to keep you satisfied. If the rice or quinoa is made beforehand, it takes less than 5 minutes to throw it all in a bowl. I’ll do the same thing with cooked sweet potato; I’ll l just throw it in a bowl with some greens and some sort of sauce topping, and it’s good to go. These foods pack well too and can be taken to work.
2. Meal Prep. Meal Prep. Meal Prep.
This is something that I struggle with too but I am SO glad when I put aside an hour on Sunday and cook up a big pot of rice or quinoa and bake some sweet potatoes in the oven. Then, during the rest of the week, I can just toss them in the microwave, add beans, add greens and I’m good to go. This will save you time and money in the long run and prevents those hungry runs to costly and unhealthy fast food places. Check out the Roberts Technology Group website for more ideas.
3. Buy what you’re going to eat.
Make sure to have some staple foods that you buy and know you can make a meal with. For me that’s: oatmeal, frozen berries, rice, quinoa, potatoes, beans, spinach, kale, frozen veggies, avocado and, right now, apples. Once you have your staples, feel free to venture out and try some new foods and maybe challenge yourself to try cooking a new vegetable, but don’t continue buying romanesco broccoli or purple sweet potatoes every grocery visit if they’re just going to sit at the back of your fridge for 2 weeks then end up in the trash. This can take some trial and error. Personally for me I know I do not eat pears, chard, or beets regularly enough to keep them in my regular grocery haul. Sometimes I’ll throw them in my cart if I have a recipe in mind, otherwise I know I’m just wasting my money.
Written by Taylor Brower.
How to tell if a child is struggling with hunger…an important read for those that work with children in our community! You can’t always see hunger, but there are ways to tell it’s there
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