New Blog Series: Nutrient Spotlight on Folate (Folic Acid)

Eat Well From the Author Nutrient Spotlight

This is the start of a new series on the HGN Blog: Nutrient Spotlight.

From major vitamins and minerals, to types of fiber and tiny phytochemicals, each Nutrient Spotlight will explore the what, why, where, and how of a different important dietary player. I also plan to share a few recipes rich in that particular ingredient, to send you off with some culinary inspiration.

For National Birth Defects Prevention Month (January) and Folic Acid Awareness Week (8-14 January 2017), the first Nutrient Spotlight is on FOLATE.

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From the Author

Though likely few notice, quails are remarkably prevalent among the pantheon of creatures in classical art and myth. The layers of many eggs from up to three broods during one breeding season, quails are aptly portrayed in the hands of Diana, the Roman goddess of fertility, as symbols of abundance and security. Other representations include courage (fighting birds of Russian czars), lust (given their frenzied, occasionally polygamous, courtships), and fear (“to cower, or quail, in fright”). Native Americans believe to dream of hunting quail foretells a happy surprise, and it is said that hearing a quail’s call within two weeks of giving birth means a correct choice of baby name. 

The only quail native to the east coast is the Northern Bobwhite. These tubby, pear-shaped birds prefer a fleet footrace over winged flight 9 times out of 10, strolling or sprinting in familial coveys between the cover of low shrubs and grasses. The bobwhite’s eponymous call, “bob-bob-WHITE“, rises a full octave from beginning to end. Their pitchy whistle is, to me, among the east coast’s, and our backyard’s, loveliest harbingers of autumn. Because bobwhites typically return to the same nesting area year after year, and come September, I patiently wait.

This year, silence. For the last half-century, numbers of Northern bobwhite have been on a sharp decline, largely owing to habitat loss. Of human origin or not, it is the single greatest threat to all birds, as we already witnessed with our ospreys following the hurricanes, and to most wildlife in general. But as it goes, “The ‘environment’ is not, and never has been, a neutral, fixed backdrop; it is in fact alive, changing all the time in response to innumerable contingencies.” — words from my book du jour that are true, but nonetheless provide little comfort for the losses.

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Winter Salad with Yellow Beet, Blood Orange, Fennel and Chèvre

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

After what seems like months of celebrations and travelling, we crave meals that are both hearty and light. Menus formed around fresh winter produce are vibrant and healthful, and keep us from feeling sluggish.

I’ve written about non-traditional salads in several previous posts, so I won’t go on too long about my appreciation of seasonal ingredients before sharing the recipe, but this stunner has everything to make any wintry day brighter.

Beet blood orange fennel salad Continue reading


From the Author

We spent the last week and a half of December travelling, dividing our time between family and friends throughout the Midwest. Our brief visit home for the holidays was like one long iteration of a morning coffee that becomes an afternoon outing that becomes a meal around the table that becomes an evening of conversation, games and glasses of beer and wine and cocoa that none of us wants to end. 

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Kitchen Scraps to Homemade Stock

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Happy 2017!

At the start of every new year, I make it a goal to refresh the kitchen. Refrigerator, freezer, pantry — no drawer or door is left unopened. It’s cathartic to give everything a good cleaning, all the while taking inventory of what needs to be replaced or replenished.

Always at the top of my list, though I make it many times throughout the year, is a big pot of rich homemade stock. Not only is this liquid gold cheaper and better tasting that store-bought, it feeds into another of my goals, to reduce food waste.

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