Everything in Southern Virginia is GREEN!
My drive home today was just gorgeous. I hate that I can’t take photos while I drive, so I pulled over on a mountain for the ‘scenic view’ shot! [Look past the brown bushes up front!]
We wrapped up the conference with two awesome presentations. I took the Food Track (as opposed to the Clinical Track) since it applies to my career a lot more. These were two of the most interesting conference presentations I have sat through!
The first presentation was by a VT economics professor and was titled “What Is The Full Cost of a Meal At Home? Implications for Nutrition Quality and Policy.” The talk was really interesting – he took into account both the COST of food (dried beans) but also the TIME it would take to make said food from scratch. So when dietitians say “but beans are so cheap!” you have to account for the prep time, and most Americans are short on that. Culinary education also plays a role. He reported that in a collection of data on low-income single households, the average amount of time spent on food preparation – from grocery shopping to dish washing – was 4.41 hours. Do the math – that’s not much in 7 days. It made me wonder what the minimum amount of time.
The second talk was by an assistant professor of food science at VT and her title was “Food Safety Considerations for the 21st Century.” Professor Boyer shared that greens are actually a huge percentage of foodborne illnesses (about the same as beef + dairy combined) and that the majority of outbreaks come from foodservice – not home use. I asked if we should be using any of those special fruit + veggie sprays, and this happened to be her thesis topic! She said water is just as good as any, but that it won’t get rid of pathogens, which hide in the pores of produce. Scary! She also said there is no need to re-wash triple washed greens – that you might introduce more contaminants from your kitchen while washing, so just use them from the bag!
Lastly, I listened to some research (briefly!) presented by some dietetics student friends! Robin and Austin say hello, as does Anna! Lauren, I’m sorry I never found you!
Back at the casa, Matt and I made a simple spring dinner: frittata!! We used to make them ALL THE TIME but somehow always forget. But one of our bakery patrons brought us a dozen eggs from her farm, so we put them to good use.
We cooked 2 big handfuls of spinach in some olive oil until it was wilted. Then we added 6 eggs, beaten, with a tsp of butter and chunks of smoked gouda on top, plus salt and pepper. Then we switched to low heat for about 5 minutes to let the bottom cook and then it went in a 350* oven to bake for 8-10 minutes, until the center was set!
The smoked gouda is from a big hunk leftover from the bakery’s Stout and Gouda bread, which ran its course in March and is off the menu for April, so we have cheese to use up!
On the side – green beans cooked in a dash of Worcestershire sauce plus Dijon mustard and a little butter. The frittata (and gouda!) was so good that I couldn’t go back and forth between these. I had to eat all the beans and then focus my whole palate on the delicious frittata!
Have a great evening!