Happy Sunday, folks, and I hope that you all had a nice weekend. To those of you who have been celebrating Passover, a very happy Passover.
The month of April has been whizzing by, and I can’t help feeling that I’m just trying to keep up with things. I’ll be taking one summer class in May-early July, and then I’m hoping that I’ll have some time to focus on my business and on diving into recipe testing for the new cookbook in earnest!
For now, it’s one week and one assignment and one hurried meal at a time. But there’s always time to appreciate some weekend reading.
This verdant, vegan spring soup couldn’t be prettier or easier to make. It’s hardly even a recipe, per se–just a simple formula for turning fresh peas, greens, fennel, and garlic into something truly special.
Traci’s gorgeous shaved asparagus arugula quinoa salad is another perfect way to celebrate spring, and the lemon dijon poppyseed dressing sounds like a winner to me! I can’t wait to try it.
More soup–this time a thick, creamy vegan carrot bisque that’s infused with garam masala. Bright, flavorful, and easy to prepare.
Erin’s spicy tofu enchiladas look over-the-top delicious, and as far as enchiladas go, they’re really easy to make. I’m positive that Steven and I will be enjoying these for a Sunday supper soon.
I love the flavor of caramel, and caramel flavored desserts always catch my eye. Sylvie’s coconut caramel pecan bars are a delicious, wholesome way to get your caramel fix on, and I think they look delicious.
1. To begin, I was really impressed with this Eating Well expose of the politics and forces that shaped this year’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. I’m also glad that the article tackles so directly the failure of the guidelines to include sustainability.
2. It’s commonly known that ICU stays can result in long-lasting trauma for patients, the result of intubation, being tethered to machines, lack of mobility, medication, and the fear and distrust that often emerges about one’s caretakers. ICU delirium, as the combination of confusion, PTSD, and impaired cognitive ability is sometimes known, is distressingly common, especially since more and more individuals are experiencing ICU visits in old age, when such delirium is more likely.
A new opinion piece in Aeon addresses this phenomenon and stresses the importance of human connection–embodied in attentive, individualized care from nurses and physicians–in helping to lessen its effects.
3. Since news came out that trace amounts of arsenic have been found in rice and rice cereals, there’s been a lot of concern about the safety of rice in our food supply. Veteran science journalism Deborah Blum addresses the issue head-on in this new article, which features ten commonly asked questions.
I agree with Blum’s conclusion, which is that there’s no reason to panic; so far, the amounts detected are generally trace amounts that will cycle out of the body so long as one takes care to eat a variety of whole grains (and variety is always important–we don’t want to be overly reliant on a single grain source because different whole grains offer different minerals and vitamins). But I also agree with her note that more research and stronger FDA regulation are called for.
4. In this powerful essay, science journalist Alison Motluk describes her daughter’s experience with PANDAS, an autoimmune condition that can affect children who have been exposed to streptoccocal infections. PANDAS manifests primarily with psychiatric symptoms such as OCD, anxiety, tics, personality changes, restrictive eating, and paranoia, so it’s often incredibly difficult to recognize.
The article describes Motluk’s harrowing search for a diagnosis and her subsequent search for a course of action. I’d imagine that any parent whose child has been afflicted by an obscure or complex illness will find much to empathize with in this story.
5. Finally, a super uplifting and beautiful profile of Sloth Institute Costa Rica, a small nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases orphaned sloths into the wild. I learned so much about this fascinating animal species while reading it, and the images are incredible.
OK, that’s it for today! Between now and mid-May, I’ll be taking a break from Menu Plan Monday posts so that I can focus on work and studies, but I expect to be back in a more regular posting (and planning!) schedule by summertime. On Tuesday, I’ll be sharing a quick, easy anytime lunch or dinner recipe. I wish you a lovely, restful Sunday.
“Young at Heart” is a ballad that most of us have heard at least a few times; it’s ubiquitous enough to appear in movies pretty often. It happens to have been one of my grandmother’s favorite songs, and the tune she always put me to sleep with when I stayed with her. I don’t know whether she picked this song as my lullaby because she loved Frank Sinatra, or because she thought I’d like it, or simply because it was on her mind…
Hello friends. As you can see, the Thanksgiving recipe roundup I promised for yesterday didn’t come to pass. I got hit like a ton of bricks with a nasty stomach flu on Thursday night, and I’m still in rough shape, though things have taken a turn (I hope) for the better this morning. So, no blogging for me yesterday. I’m going to do a nice little Thanksgiving recipe roundup on Monday in lieu of my regular menu plan Monday post, though, so it’s still…
I was at a kirtan at my home yoga studio last night, and while I always love being there, it was different this time, because the close friend and teacher whom I usually go with has moved to another city. A couple mantras in, it felt lovely but not the same without him. I texted him a photo, telling him I was thinking of him and missed him. It’s hard for anything to dampen my spirits during Kirtan, and soon enough I was…
Happy Sunday, everyone. In spite of the arrival of April on Friday, it’s suddenly very cold and windy here, which makes me glad that I had the instinct to whip up a big pot of soup this weekend. I’ve spent this early morning doing some reading for my Food, Nutrition, and Behavior class; we’ve transitioned in our coursework from what might be called more biological studies (appetite, cravings, nutrient acquisition) to a more anthropological focus. Right now we’re reading Sydney Mintz’s fascinating book, Sweetness and…
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Wait, when did you announce you were doing another cookbook?! How did I miss this? Congrats!
Just wanted to say that I enjoy your weekend reading posts so much. I have no idea how you do all that you do – but the recipes, the weekend reading and all the hard work you put into your posts are much appreciated. Thank you.
Maureen, I can’t tell you how much this comment means to me. I love doing the weekend reading posts, and I love writing this blog. Thank you for your kind words!
There was a series on Animal Planet about a sloth rescue organization in Costa Rica a couple years back. Absolutely fascinating.
Always love the weekend reading posts 🙂
but i just realised i first found your blog after a link from a friend of yours and ex-blogger (Leslie) about how your raw recipes helped her get through the religious food rules of passover back in 2011!!! which means i’ve been loving your work for five years! time flies! it’s been wonderful following your journey and even crossing paths – seeing as I’m having a moment of appreciating the flow of time – it was wonderful, one year ago, to finally meet you in person.
sending so much love <3
Thanks for sharing, as always. The Aeon piece is interesting – as a resident physician in critical care, it’s something I see daily. It’s a complex problem, but one of which the critical care community is increasingly becoming aware and taking measures to address. I actually just this morning read an interesting study on earplugs in the ICU and how they may help reduce delirium. Certainly the solution won’t be simple, but we’re taking steps in the right direction. Thanks!
This news about arsenic having been found in rice left me pondering about two – quite paradoxical – things. On the one hand, to what extent should we stop trusting the smallest we thing we buy to eat to not have, for example, arsenic?
On the other hand, to what levels will media outlets keep writing about findings like these with the angle to scare people, and to which degree of easiness will we get nervous about everything we read?
That’s why sharing the article with Deborah Blum is important. Thanks for that!