Weekend Links

As our third week comes to a close, we the editors of Simple Living Media are incredibly encouraged by your response to our network. Thank you for your comments, emails and participation.

If you enjoy Simple Bites, and our sister blogs, but aren’t sure how you’ll be able to keep up, we have a simple solution created just for you.

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Spotlight Ingredient: Leeks

By far the most underestimated of all winter vegetables is the leek. They usually get lost in the respectable, yet predictable Vichyssoise, but this cousin of the onion is capable of so much more.

From Humble Beginnings to Show Stoppers

Once dubbed “Poor-man’s Asparagus”, the leek needs only some slow braising or gentle grilling to bring out its sweet yet complex flavor. The leek should not be considered merely an add-in, because it can stand up very well on its own in a variety of side dishes. [Read more…]

A Guidemap for Finding Real Salt

All photos by Shannon
We cook with salt every day and if you’re not cooking with it, then someone else is adding salt in your food for you. Maybe the wrong kind.

Most of the discussions surrounding salt are negative. We often hear about lowering our intake levels, but then aren’t we missing the deeper question: “what salt should we be eating?” In fact, there are quite a few professionals who argue for the health benefits of the right kind of salt.

In attempting to eat a real food diet, it makes sense to find the healthiest form of this everyday ingredient.

So what is a healthy salt? [Read more…]

Head of the Class: Eco-Friendly Lunch Containers for a Smarter Planet

I know that Simple Bites readers will be interested in Mariah’s post on Simple Kids yesterday. Even if you don’t have children of your own, you can take advantage of these excellent eco-friendly lunch container ideas anytime you need to pack your own lunch. Mariah also give tips on what to pack!

From her post:

We decided to shed our plastic baggies and set out to investigate eco-friendly lunch containers. As a family, we learned a lot along the way and feel great about the choices we made for both the planet and our bodies. [Read more…]

How to Make the Best Muffins Ever

“A bad muffin is as memorable as a good muffin is unforgettable.” Br. Peter Reinhart

The true sign of a good muffin is that it elicits a reaction.

It can be a sigh, a pause, or maybe a closer inspection followed by a question or comment–usually made with a full mouth. Every time I serve these Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins, still warm from the oven, I watch out of the corner of my eye for the reaction.

No matter how chatty a group of girlfriends get over their coffees, one bite into these muffins and the conversation slows to a crawl; for the moment, attention is diverted from boy talk and baby names to a perfectly moist, flavorful muffin.

Occasionally, I’ll get a “I usually hate muffins, but…”

And oh, I have been there. I don’t think I ate a decent muffin for the first twenty years of my life, and I had resigned myself to a reality where muffins were dry, tasteless (or overly sweet), and no match for a good scone or sticky bun.

The summer I was twenty, I worked a job in a kitchen where muffin-making was mandatory, and I faced a challenge: the dry muffin. Many hockey pucks, exploding volcanoes, and moon craters later, I had a few recipes worked out that actually brightened up my mornings.

Here are a few things I learned along the way… [Read more…]