ARF/5-A-Day #1

by Cate on January 4, 2006

Welcome to the first ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday at Sweetnicks! Glad you could make it. If you are new to my site, Tuesdays will now feature those cooks who are getting ARFs (Antioxidant Rich Foods), fruits or vegetables in their diet today. Heck, other days are great too… but we’re celebrating it on Tuesdays. Gotta start small!

Slightly different than my Weekend Dog Blogging round-up, this is going to be a links-only round-up, with one picture (a nod of the week, if you will) being posted. Be sure to check out all the participating blogs below – they’re a great bunch and today, we’re covering deliciously healthy foods from each end of the spectrum.

Beating everyone (even me!) to the punch, Alysha from The Savory Notebook checked in first, making Pork Chops with Cranberry, Port and Rosemary Sauce; Garlicky Sauteed Spinach and Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Potatoes. Not too shabby, one of the Top 20 ARFs and two veggies to boot. Way to go!

Kalyn from Kalyn’s Kitchen joins us with a recipe for Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Hoisin that sounds delicious. I’ve actually never made anything with Bok Choy, but after her picture and review, this might be just the inspiration I need!

Chef Michele from Chef Michele’s Adventures cooks up quite a treat with Red Beans and Rice Jamaican Style, taking care of several ARFs and veggies with that, in addition to the blueberries she starts every day with. Alright, Michele!

The Chocolate Lady pops in from NY with her take on a vegetable I have yet to tackle, let alone see in our local grocery store, Purple Kohlrabi – gorgeous picture!

One of my absolutely favorite vegetables makes an appearance from The Urban Agrarian with her Stuffed Artichokes. And in the “I’m totally jealous now!” category, she even grows them – wow! My Mom, Sister and I all love artichokes … the men in the family, not so much. The picture looks so good, she gets the ARF/5-a-Day Picture of the Week nod too.

Ruth from Once Upon a Feast ups the ante with her contribution, making Pasta with Italian Sausage, Mixed Beans, and Spinach in a Porcini Tomato Sauce AND finishing off her meal with Zucchini Bread with Cranberries & Pecans. She’s got her ARFs (three!), fruits AND vegetables covered up the wazoo! Kudos for you, Ruth – great job!

Lucky for me, Cookie Crumbs’ lunch fit our ARF/5-A-Day challenge perfectly, otherwise we’d have to drag her to the event kicking and screaming. Hope to see her again … joiner or not. ;)

A new blogger (give her a nice welcome, guys!), Cyndi from Cyndi Cooks managed to include many veggies and ARFs in this wonderful dip recipe – sounds delish!

Although she didn’t make it to participate in this round, I’ll bet Alanna from A Veggie Venture will be all ready for next Tuesday, especially given her extensive research — too, too funny! I got a great chuckle out of this! And Alanna, if you ended up going for the veggie pizza, that counts!

And now for how we did at Sweetnicks. The Husband worked late, so it was just me and Nicholas, and once he saw what I was making for dinner, he quickly put in a request for macaroni and cheese. So, needless to say, HE didn’t do so well with the ARF/5-A-Day Challenge, BUT, before his mac and cheese, he had yogurt with both strawberries AND blueberries, managing two ARFs without even knowing what hit him. As for me… I had bought flounder to make for dinner last night, but since we went out, it didn’t get used, so I knew I had to do something with that tonight. I made Herb Baked Flounder, a Cooking Light recipe that I modified a bit. It’s ready in a grand total of 15 minutes, start to finish. A healthy recipe, but doesn’t qualify for today. BUT, I served it over a bed of spinach (veggie #1), and shared the yogurt with strawberries and blueberries with Nicholas (2 ARFs for me!). Lunch also had a vegetable (broccoli!). And lastly, after dinner, I made a batch of Eggnog Rum Raisin Muffins to bring into work tomorrow, and added dried sweet cherries into the recipe as well (ARF #3!). I snuck a muffin as soon as it cooled off enough, and it was delicious. Very cornbready in taste, but a little bit of moistness from the rum-soaked raisins and cherries. So, not too shabby for my first ARF/5-A-Day. I think everyone did a fantastic job, and hope to see you all (and more of you!) participating again next Tuesday!

For those interested in learning more about the benefits of ARFs and why it’s so important, you might want to read this article, coincidentally just published today. And as for fruits and veggies, well, you don’t need any article to tell you how important THEY are.

Tune in tomorrow for The Husband Cooks Wednesday and find out which fellow food blogger I guest posted for. Until then…

P.S. Today is National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, so make sure you have some (remember, sweet cherries are an ARF too!). Growing up, my sister and I used to LOVE them and Mom would give each a box for Christmas. I haven’t had one in ages … seems like today is the perfect excuse to go get some. ;)

P.P.S. The Earthquake Cake I made last night for The Neighbor to take to the office today was reportedly a hit. When she went back to grab me a piece so I could taste it, one of her co-workers was eating the crumbs. The recipe comes from one of Paula Deen’s cookbooks, and with Paula’s standard stick of butter, pound of confectioners sugar and block of cream cheese … well, no surprise that it was a hit. Guess we’re going to have to make that one again … :)

P.P.S.S. Just got wind of this late-breaking story in the food-blogging world and thought, at the very least, other food-bloggers, who didn’t already know about it, would be interested. There’s a discussion about it on eGullet too. The original encounter was posted on DC Foodies website here. All I can say is … ridiculous! Sounds like the chef likes the reputation she’s earned and she certainly gives the Soup Nazi a run for his money.

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup coconut
1 box German Chocolate cake mix
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 lb. box (16 oz) powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened

At bottom of greased 9×13 inch pan, spread chopped pecans, and then the coconut. Mix the cake mix per package directions and pour over nuts and coconut. Blend softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and softened butter and dab onto batter. Bake 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Cake cracks right down the middle like an earthquake and tastes great.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Cyndi January 4, 2006 at 3:49 am

Okay, so I missed the deadline. I forgot you were in New Jersey! I’ll have to do something about this 3-hour time difference. I just got home. Cool recipes! This will be fun.


Cate January 4, 2006 at 4:05 am

No worries – got you in. :)


cookiecrumb January 4, 2006 at 4:46 am

Good work, girlie.


Kalyn January 4, 2006 at 5:26 am

Nice job as usual. You are amazing.


Cyndi January 4, 2006 at 5:28 am

Thanks!!!! I’ll get my stuff in earlier next time.


Ruth January 4, 2006 at 2:14 pm

What a great round up!!! So many delicious options.

Thanks for thinking up this great idea. I’ve put it in my calendar for every week!!!


Punky January 4, 2006 at 5:05 pm

Great round up. I may have to get in on this action next week. Fun weekly event. Happy New Year.


Sam January 4, 2006 at 5:41 pm

sweetnicks: I thought you might find this article from today’s SF chroonicle interesting.


Cate January 5, 2006 at 4:01 am

Sam – thanks for the heads up on the article. Hee hee, I scooped the SF! ;) Sent the author an e-mail…

Punky – bring it!

Ruth – looking forward to seeing what you come up with next week. It’ll be hard to beat your entry this week though. ;)

Cyndi – no problem.

Thanks Cookie and Kalyn – I think this is going to be a fun one!


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