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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County
Bean Basics
March 10, 2010
Bon Apetite! Cowgirl Up! and Beans!
Tuscan Bean Soup
Suki's Blog: Buy Local Be Local
This Week
Aux Tois Pommes Open House
Beans, The Magical Fruit!
Click to view our Business Directory
  Bon Apetite! Cowgirl Up! and Beans!

(Icons/Graphics) CowgirlUp_Boot.jpgHowdy,

A European born friend usually begins every meal with "Bon appetite".  I grew up holding hands with "For this and all thy bounties, our father we thank thee, be with our loved ones, Amen" and a hand squeeze.   We both delight in the west  --its breathtaking beauty, its history, its "open" culture-- so one day I said "Cowboy up!"  He replied "Cowgirl up!" and so we have a new tradition for the beginning of the meal. 

On the topic of meals, I've been adding more bean recipes to my repertoire.  A friend is an organic bean farmer (you can find his beans in the bulk section of New Leaf stores).  A colorful assortment of beans in glass jars on open shelves warms my kitchen. 

(Site Photos) CowboysBeans.jpgI've been experimenting with bean recipes.  I'll share my current favorite with you.  The first time I served it, except for "Mmmmmm", the silence at the dinner table was astounding until someone said, "Is there more?" This particular recipe came from my brother Dave who's quite a gourmet, a fan of Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, and recent traveler to the Tuscan area of Italy.  To round out beans information, our nutritionist friend Jennifer Brewer shares an entertaining and informative article on beans, including a recipe (scroll way down).

For all of us who really care about the correlation between health and the food our children eat, there's a great, and free, talk on Saturday at the west side New Leaf by Dr. Holly German, N.D.  That's all of us, right?

Have you taken years of foreign language in high school or college and still cannot converse easily in a second, or third language? Perhaps you have enough skill to ask questions or make an appropriate greeting, but blanche when the response is so fast you only catch a few words? Or you can understand your grandparents but are very rusty when it comes to conversing. Is your teen struggling in Spanish, French, German class? Have you always wanted to learn to speak Japanese? Chinese? Would you like your children to become bilingual?

To the rescue! There's a new language school in town that makes it easy and fun. Aux Tois Pommes offers classes in 9 languages: French • Spanish • Italian • Japanese • German • Russian • Arabic • Mandarin • Portuguese.

Cowgirl up!

Parmalee

  Tuscan Bean Soup

In a hurry? ... use canned beans. Want the real thing? ... start with dry beans.  All quantities are flexible!(Site Photos) WhiteBeanSoup.jpg

3-4 cans cannellini beans or 2+ cups dry beans
2 boxes organic chicken broth or your own stock
1/3 lb pancetta (ask your butcher to slice it thin)
Yellow onions
Garlic to taste
Leeks (optional)

Red pepper flakes to taste
Olive oil
Rainbow chard
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Grilled bread

 

Prepare the beans: soak overnight, rinse well, boil for 10 minutes, simmer until done, pour liquid into soup pot. OR Rinse the canned beans.

Saute beans in a little olive oil. Transfer to soup pot. Add the stock. Remove leaves from chard and chop into pieces the size of a spoon.  Chop very small and saute the onions,  leeks, chard stems and garlic.  Add to pot.  Slice the pancetta into small pieces and sauté. Add to pot.  Simmer 12-15 minutes. To thicken the soup just before serving, shake up water and corn starch, add to soup and stir. Serve. You could add grated parmesan cheese for another layer of flavor. Grilled bread always goes very well with soups and rubbing a clove of Garlic on the bread as it just comes out of the oven toasted on both sides lightly kicks the flavor notch even more. Add in some Chianti and you're right there in Tuscany!

  Suki's Blog: Buy Local Be Local

(Site Photos) SukiRedHead_138.jpgIt is no secret that my local health foods store has, to put it mildly, somewhat high prices. I have also noted that our local pharmacy, owned by the pharmacist and staffed, along with others, by his wife, can't offer me the same discounts as my health insurance company's online pharmacy. When I tell people that I shop at our local farmer's market, they often point out that I pay higher prices there than at Safeway.
Heddi Craft at the Educational Resource Center

Yet, silly me, I keep shopping at these places.

I have decided to invest some of our income in our community, and I feel it's a worthwhile investment. When we moved here, we had a small office supply store a mile away. At their going out of business sale, I spoke to the owner and he told me that the store had never made money. Our local residents, apparently, preferred driving to Staples for the discounts. Now, I have to say that I love Staples and do shop there sometimes, but I try just as often to make myself go to a local store and pay that slightly higher price so that they'll stick around. It used to be I had to drive or walk a mile to get a specialized envelope or the right kind of paper. Now I have to drive into Capitola to Palace (preferably) or stop at Staples because it's convenient and I'm in a hurry.

I remember our lost office supply store when I consider driving elsewhere to buy something that our local natural foods store sells. I'd love it if they could afford to charge slightly lower prices, but that will never happen if they can't afford to stay in business.

I just heard that we got a new ...  Read more >>>>>

  This Week

Event CalendarBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.

Resource Directory

 

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School Corner

 

 

3/13 SC Montessori Open House for Preschool-K

3/13 Educational Resource Center, How Reading Happens

Classes at

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Preschool Enrichment
(ages 4-5):

* Story Stretchers Book Club: ABCs and 123s
* Story Stretchers Book Club: Seasons
* Story Stretchers Book Club: Caldecott Honor Books
* Young Scientists: Magnets and Electricity

 

After School Enrichment
(ages 6-12):

* Trash Can Math
* Artist Trading Cards
* Camouflage to Claws: Animal Survival
* Magnet Madness

 

Homeschool Enrichment
(ages 5-12):

* Minimus Latin
* Camouflage to Claws: Animal Survival
* The Art of Math
* Artist Trading Cards

224 C Walnut Ave, Santa Cruz
818-8178
Weds-Sat, 11am-4pm
EdCenterSantaCruz.com

Holistic Health
for Kids

with Holly German, Naturopathic Doctor

 


Discover how to provide your kids with ingredients for optimal health and wellness.

 

In this class you will look at the following factors and remedies: environmental toxicity factors, food allergies, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, detoxification and chelation, food as medicine, herbal treatments, and homeopathic remedies.


Saturday, March 13

10am - 11:30am, FREE

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1101 Fair Ave
Santa Cruz

To register visit
www.newleaf.com
or call
466-9060 x 126

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Spring Activities

in the Parks!

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Butch Cassidy, a young corgi, foiled a robber last week! Let's hear it for the dogs, man's best friends.

 Aux Tois Pommes Open House

Around The World in Nine Languages
3/13 2pm - 5pm, Ages: 2-18 Free

(Business Logos) AuxToisPommes.jpgCome join us for an afternoon of fun and educational activities in nine languages. See how our method works and how easily you, your family and friends can learn a second language. You will have a chance to learn origami, play Chinese Bingo, listen to our Arabic teacher play the Oud, make Ojo de Dios and learn how to count in German. And if you visit all stations you might get to taste some delicacies from some of the ten represented countries.

Aux Tois Pommes, 765 Cedar St., suite 103, Santa Cruz (831) 421-0898 Santa Cruz

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  Beans, The Magical Fruit!

Jennifer Brewer, Nourishing Nutrition

(Site Photos) Beans4.jpgOnce thought of as just something that makes you toot, we now know that beans are SO good for you, experts recommend getting 1 to 3 cups per week. Why? One of the most important reasons is that beans are a powerful protein, meaning you get protein with lots of other good stuff like fiber, antioxidants and complex carbohydrates.

Here are three specific reasons you should add more beans to your diet:

1. Beans Have A LOT of Fiber.

Unlike most other sources of protein, beans contain fiber. Experts recommend getting 25-35 grams of fiber per day to help prevent chronic disease and help you lose weight, but the average American eats only about 15 grams. One half cup of cooked beans provides about 6 grams of fiber which can really help you meet your dietary requirements. Also, the fiber in beans helps them to digest slowly, keeping you satisfied longer by eating less. In a recent study, bean eaters weighed, on average, 7 pounds less and had slimmer waists than their bean-avoiding counterparts -- yet they consumed 199 calories more per day. And don't even get me started on the, um, cleansing effects that fiber has on the colon.

2. Beans Have Antioxidants Galore.

Another reason beans are a powerful protein is that they are high in antioxidants, a class of phytochemicals that neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable compounds that cause cellular damage and one of the primary factors causing aging. In a U.S. Department of Agriculture study, researchers measured the antioxidant capacities of more than 100 common foods. Three types of beans made the top four: small red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans. And three others -- black beans, navy beans, and black-eyed peas -- achieved top-40 status. Beans are a serious superfood.

3. Beans Are Really Inexpensive.

I am sure you have been reading about ways to save money on food in this economy. While some of the ideas are good (like cooking at home more!), I have also noticed that some people have begun to sacrifice the quality of their diet, like not buying as much produce in lieu of more processed foods.

Well, the good news is that you don't have to compromise with beans. This powerful protein is also super-inexpensive. Last I checked, dry black beans cost $1.60 a pound. A pound of dry beans makes about 6 cups of cooked beans, which means a 1/2 cup serving costs just 13 cents. All of those antioxidants for just 13 cents? Just try to beat that with any other food. Don't have time to make beans from scratch? Even the good canned beans are only $2.19 a can, or just 73 cents a serving.

So, I know what you might be thinking: sounds great, but what about all the gas? (Yes, I CAN read your mind!) There are two things you can do to help: First, gradually ease into eating beans so your body can get used to processing them (ie, don't start by eating 2 cups of vegetable chili if you haven't been eating a lot of beans). Start by adding a tablespoon or two of beans to your salad and gradually build up to eating a 1/2 cup. Also, cooking beans with Kombu, a sea vegetable, add minerals to soften them, making beans more digestible (a nice way of saying less gas!). EDEN canned beans are cooked with Kombu so I think they are a great brand of canned beans to use.

Did I also mention that beans taste great? Try this great recipe featuring black beans (my favorite!). It is a great snack that you can whip up to have in your fridge to enjoy for snacks. Enjoy!

Black Bean Hummus

This high protein, high fiber spread is delish and super easy to make. Enjoy it with vegetables for a healthy snack or wrapped in tortillas for lunch.

1 clove garlic, minced
1 15-oz cans black beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 Tablespoon tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, using reserved bean liquid to thin.

Until Next Time, Eat Well, Be Well and LOVE Every Bite!
~Jennifer

For more healthful recipes featuring beans and other powerful foods, be sure to check out Jennifer's Jennifer'swebsite.

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