Top 5 Nutrition Noshes and Weekly Wisdom

Nutrition Nosh One. Wisdom. 

Funny Quote About Gardening

Who out there loves to garden?  What about gardening do you love?  I have recently been testing out my green thumb and have kind of caught on to the thrill. My reasoning for gardening might be a little non-conventional, hence my weekly wisdom quote, but I am enjoying the process. There is just something amazing about planting a teeny tiny seed and a beautiful and bountiful plant is the result. The colors, the structure, the flowers, the food and the life a plant takes on, is stunning to me (so is the fact I could actually keep something alive). All funnies set aside, the most fun thing about gardening is ANYONE can do it, ANYWHERE. One little pot, some dirt, a seed, sun and water can grow something providing you nutrition, blooms a colorful flower, feeds bees and butterflies or just adds beauty to your patio. But it will not exist without you. 

This summer, I challenge you to grow a plant, anywhere and any type you choose. Test out your green thumb by getting dirty and wearing a pair of cute pants. If I can do it, anyone can. 

Nutrition Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation. 

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast

My conversation today is with Registered Dietitian Lisa Nolting.

My conversation today is with a new friend of mine and I absolutely enjoy talking with her every time I see her. We met through the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and I found Lisa’s passion for food service and management to be inspiring, since it is something I have always been a little scared of. In our conversation, Lisa takes me through some her of her bravest moments as a new dietitian and what brings her joy in being a dietitian in a K-12 school system and in her current job with Iowa State University. At Iowa State she has a wide variety of responsibilities, including helping students with food allergies navigate the college dining halls and meeting their nutritional needs. And this is just the beginning...

Nutrition Nosh Three. Week in Review.

This summer, I am holding true to what I told you above in my weekly wisdom. I planted this summer with a couple of different projects. My first being a community garden at my work. The picture below is when we started the garden. How cute are all the little plants?

Newly Planted Garden

And here is the garden to date!  Proud I am! It has gone bonkers and it has been great seeing it all come together!  The community garden is open to any customers of my store, the Fleur Drive Hy-Vee. I want everyone to take what they would like to eat something delicious at home this summer. I, with the help of my co-worker Michelle, planted all different kinds of lettuce, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, cabbage (my background for my weekly wisdom quote), broccoli, cauliflower, a variety of herbs, kohlrabi, tomatoes, carrots, beats, radishes, onions, peppers, bok choy, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. 

Garden Photo Mid Summer

I had to share my favorite veggie, the pretty-in-pink radish. I tried to pick them early because the spicier the better and were these babies spicy!  Radishes are so satisfying to plant because they grow very quickly from seed. 

Garden Radishes

Variety of Garden Greens

My mom came to town for other planting events for the weekend and we scheduled a little dinner date with friends on their new deck, so I thought I would harvest some greens from the garden. My friend Jason grilled steaks and we had a fresh garden steak salad with blue cheese and cocktails. My friend Lindsey was crushing on my salad creation. She almost got some. 

It looks so good I want to eat it!

It was a great Saturday night with friends and great food. There is nothing like fresh vegetables from a garden. These veggies are what summer tastes like. We did get home a little later and I knew we had a big day ahead on Sunday. Because....

Repotting Large Plants

This was happening. The re-potting of the two VERY large plants in my living room. I have had these plants since I moved in 9 years ago and they were starting to bust out of their pots. I was in denial they needed to be replanted because I knew it was going to be quite the task. The plants have been in our family for a long time. The Bird of Paradise (on the left) actually came back with us as a little baby bird when we moved back to Iowa from Hawaii. The Ponytail Palm (on the right) was a gift to my Dad when he started his new job in Iowa after we moved. We are talking 35+ years. I was gifted them from my parents and have managed to keep them alive this whole time but it was time to give them a comfier space to live in. 

Large pot for plant

If you recall my blog post from a little over a month ago, I had lovely surprises of pots in my garage when I got home from a trip. It was now time to put them into action. Mom was so gracious to come and help me. First, I know nothing about repotting plants and secondly, have I said before these plants are ginormous?

Repotting large plant

The Ponytail Palm was the one I knew would be the most challenging because the base of the tree pretty much was touching the outside rim of the pot. First, Mom started with trying to loosen up the small amount of soil that was left on the sides of the pot. Yep, it didn't work. 

Repotting large plant

Then we tried to roll it, turning it on its side to shake it out. Yep, that didn't work. It was now hammer time and we busted the bad boy free. This was all taking place in my living room, mind you. Lil g was a tad bit confused but enjoyed the flying objects to go after during the process. The roots were crazy large and Mom gave them a haircut. Off with the old, so the new can grow!

Ponytail Palm and Bird of Paradise

Look at these happy plants!  It took us the whole day, my mom vacuumed for a few hours after wards, we were dirty and tired, decided to shower and then both passed out on the couch. It was a success, but only thanks to my Mom for being patient with my minimal gardening/planting patience. 

I ended the week with a great segment on KCCI morning news on my new favorite summer fruit, Dewlicious Melons or Golden Honey Dew. They are from Arizona and harvested by Martori Farms. I don't know about you, but I never know which melon is good when I am in the grocery store. Watermelons, Cantaloupe and Honey Dew all look the same from the outside. With Dewlicious Melons, they are picked by hand by the farmers when they are perfect, giving you a sweet, velvety flesh. The rich golden color of the melon indicates it is ripe. I like mine soft and juicy, so I keep my melon on the counter top until I am ready to eat it. If you like a crisper melon, refrigerate it. It will keep in the refrigerator for 6-10 days to enjoy it. 

Nutrition Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week.

Of course I would have a garden/plant inspired playlist this week. Music makes my muscles grow and my plants grow. Click here for my Green Thumb playlist

ITunes Workout Playlist

Nutrition Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

Sweet and Savory Summer Melon Skewers

Since I have discovered how sweet and yummy the Dewlicious Melon is, I have tried it in a few recipes. Hy-Vee also has this great recipe for a summer BBQ or party. It is great as a lunch or snack. The saltiness of the prosciutto pairs perfectly with the succulent sweetness of the melon. I topped it off with basil from the community garden. I think this recipe will "grow" on you!

Sweet and Savory Melon Skewers
Serves: 6

All you need:
½ medium Dewlicious golden honeydew melon (about 1 lb)
6 thin slices prosciutto or ham, sliced in quarters (about 1½ oz)
12 small fresh mozzarella balls (about 4 oz)
6 leaves fresh basil (about 2 tbsp), chiffonade
2 tbsp balsamic reduction
¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

All you do:
Cut melon in half.  Using a melon baller, form 24 melon balls.  Thread a melon ball, a slice of prosciutto, a mozzarella ball, another slice of prosciutto and another melon ball on a mini skewer.  Repeat with remaining skewers and place on a platter. 

Top with basil.  Drizzle with balsamic reduction and sprinkle with black pepper.

Nutrition (per serving):  130 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 340 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 9 g protein, 15% Daily Value (DV) for calcium, 20% DV for vitamin C.

Recipe courtesy of www.hy-vee.com

Vegetables and fruit

And the other thing I love right now is sweet text messages from my mom. I didn't even tell her to purchase a Dewlicious Melon but she did!  I also love being "her dietitian."