Northeast Times

 Articles by Angela Shelf Medearis

From grandmother, with love

My favorite kinds of cookbooks are ones that have been inspired by family recipes. I enjoy reading the stories about the family member who prepared the dishes in the cookbook and trying the recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next. “Nahima’s Hands: Unique Mediterranean Cuisine” by Andrea Cassell is a loving tribute to her grandmother (Nahima) and her flavorful, Mediterranean recipes.


It’s always time for stew

The seed for the creation of Earth Day was planted when Rachel Carson’s bestseller “Silent Spring” was published in 1962. It made the need to protect the environment and public health part of the national conversation. Earth Day and the birth of the modern environmental movement were based on an idea from Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson. The devastating environmental damage of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969 had a profound impact on him. He wanted to start a national political movement to protect the earth from the ravages of air and water pollution.


A tasty way to add potassium

Staying strong as we age obviously requires keeping physically active, especially focusing on strengthening our muscles. And as always, staying strong also means eating well to sustain and build muscle tissue. In this case, that means getting enough potassium.


Celebrate cranberries all year

If you’re planning a festive meal, don’t forget to celebrate with cranberries. Cranberries often are associated with the holidays, but their nutritious tastiness is worth having anytime. Like many fruits, cranberries are high in fiber and vitamin C and low in calories and fat. A fresh cup of these tangy berries has 5 grams of fiber and 24 percent of the vitamin C the average person needs in a day, but just 51 calories. Use fresh, frozen or unsweetened dried berries for the best nutritive value.


Easy, tasty spinach quiche

Many consumers are confused about the nutritional quality of organics versus conventionally grown foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently weighed in on the importance of organic food for children, setting off a firestorm.


Enjoy a traditional Irish dish

Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional Irish dish, and a favorite meal on St. Patrick’s Day. While the flavor combinations are delicious, some may want to cut back on the fat and calories. By using my tips for preparing the brisket, and my recipe for Slow Cooked Brisket and Cabbage, you can have all the flavors of this Irish dish with far less calories.


A vegetarian dish kids love

Getting children to eat a healthy dinner often takes a little extra planning. You might try combining healthy ingredients in interesting ways. 


Chicken pie warms up winter

Chicken pie has become one of my favorite comfort-food recipes. Savory pies date back to the Medieval era. Originally, the sole purpose of the    double crust was to protect the ingredients from the metallic flavor of the pot. The crust wasn’t designed to be eaten and was discarded after the filling was cooked.


Dried fruit and oat cookies

While the bounty of summer fruits has ended, dried fruits offer a healthy alternative and are a good choice when fresh fruits aren’t available. Dried fruits are devoid of the water content that is so characteristic of fruits. Fruits are dried by drawing out the water content, either by sun-drying or using specialized machines. Once in their dried phase, the fruits can be stored for a longer period of time and continue to provide basic nutrients. Some of the most common dried fruits are apricots, raisins, plums, dates, prunes, cranberries, blueberries and figs.


A tasty, budget-friendly meal

When searching for the perfect     present for a new mother, the gift of your time is always appreciated. Preparing a meal for the family, presenting it in a pretty casserole dish that she can keep, and including the recipe with the casserole makes a great gift and keepsake for the new mother.