Food Choices: Select What You Eat With Health In Mind

SHIRLEY'S KITCHEN

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What a beautiful day!

Let's start the year with a healthy approach toward your body, mind and spirit. Most of us take some kind of vitamins to help us stay healthy mostly in pill form, some are so big they look like horse pills to me and are not easy to swallow. The solution? Use the liquid form -- it can be taken alone with a meal or mixed with juice. I found Liquid Vitamin B-Complex by Nature's Answer. B vitamins support energy production, alleviate effects of aging, diabetes, PMS, nutritional anemia, relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, nerve system problems and more.

Juicing is a great supplement for a healthy diet, alternate fruits and veggies: apples, berries, carrots, cucumbers, spinach, beets, zucchini, peeled oranges, grapefruit, etc., put into a glass along with all the liquid vitamins and minerals and drink up for a healthy approach to your body!

For a healthy mind and spirit, be different -- be yourself, the creative, hopeful, funny optimistic you who keeps alive an inner spirit of positive open-minded, curious enthusiasm for living. Spend time with people who are truly alive and share your adventure because spending 10 minutes with the wrong person can ruin an entire day. Do not lose your inner youth, balance Work and Play. A friend once said: "Never put off loving life. Every day that you put off embracing it, enjoying it, and having fun with it is a day that is gone."

Let's all begin our day by looking in the mirror and smiling -- not just a little smile, but a great big wonderful youthful smile; one that will make our eyes sparkle with life and light, let's bring out the child within us, let's play.

Since we are now off to a great start and it's cold outside, let's warm up with a bowl of cream of broccoli soup, served with a wonderful, easy zucchini and olive bread.

Be Happy,

Shirley

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes. Total cooking time: 25 minutes. Serves 4-6

1-1/2 pounds broccoli

2-1/2 cups chicken stock

pinch of nutmeg

1 cup cream

Cut the broccoli stems and florets into chunks. Place in a large pan with 1 cup of the stock, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir occasionally.

Transfer half the mixture to a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add a little of the remaining stock and blend to a puree. Return to soup pan.

Transfer the remaining broccoli mixture and stock to the food processor and process until finely chopped. Return all the pureed soup to the pan, add the nutmeg and cream and stir over moderate heat until heated through, but do not allow the soup to boil. Before serving, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serving suggestion: Try this with the zucchini and olive bread.

Variation: Use vegetable stock for a vegetarian meal.

Zucchini and Olive Bread

Prep time: 10 minutes. Total cooking time: 40 minutes. Serves 6-8

1 cup finely grated zucchini

2 cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon caster sugar

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons chopped chives

12 pitted black olives, sliced

2 eggs

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400. Generously grease one 8-by-4-inch loaf tin.

Squeeze as much moisture from the zucchini as possible and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the Cheddar, chives and olives. Beat the eggs and add the milk, oil and the zucchini and combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the zucchini mixture. Stir for 30 seconds or until well-combined.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Hint: The best olives to use are Spanish, as Kalamata olives taste a little bitter when cooked.

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