It’s a North American phenomena contributing to our collective obesity issue: we gain a pound on average, every winter, mostly over the holidays. Summer eating can be simple, fresh, healthy fare that will help you lose that pound and prevent the dreaded 10 per decade. But here is the qualifier…you have to factor in for the beer/wine/martinis on the deck. That’s what will keep you in the red. Alcohol calories cannot be used as fuel; they can only be converted by the liver and stored as fat—and we all know how hard it is to burn fat. How many calories are in your favorite drink? And can you work it off? Check here.
Fennel bulb is a slightly licorice tasting crisp vegetable to add to a platter for dip or to work into cooked meals. It’s loaded with inflammation-fighting anathole and other phytonutrients that are well worth adding. Fennel is excellent pan fried or grilled and added to pastas and soups—but for a really versatile and tasty treat, try this simple soup that can be served hot or cold.
There is one tool that no kitchen should be without: a hand blender or puree wand. It is invaluable in saving time (and dirty dishes) when making soup. It is also a great smoothie and sauce maker. The better ones have stronger motors and detachable blender attachment so you can throw it in the dishwasher. Think carefully about the ones with other attachments like a whisk for whipping and a mini chopper. These babies cost more and can save loads of time but, if the price of admission is keeping you out of the game, a $25 unit will do the trick for many years.