breads and melon
Saturday Afternoon’s Food Groups

This morning I got an email notification that I’d earned the “Just Peachy” badge in the the online/mobile food-tracking application, Lose It. Yes!! You earn this badge once you track two weeks’ worth of meals in which at least half of your plate was filled with fruits and vegetables.

Leave it to an adorable little peach-person illustration to motivate me to up the produce intake of the house. You would think that being a food nut, making an effort to eat more locally-produced food, the fact that it’s now summer, reading about the possible danger in calcium supplements, and the growing evidence that the too-clean, too-refined food that we eat may be hurting us were enough to make it happen, but no. It was a badge: a game, plus a little OCD behavior (in tracking food) were what it took.

June 24's Big Rainbow
June 24’s Big Rainbow

Also on assist: at least six different kinds of horrible-tasting protein powders, plus our new tendency to reach for the vegan cookbooks when we do our biweekly menu planning session. When you take meat and dairy out of the equation, something has to take up the protein and calorie slack, and it’s not just more russets and bread. With such imaginative chefs and talented cookbook writers as Bryant Terry and Isa Chandra Moskowitz, you will taste the rainbow. That Cooking Light magazine suddenly has started publishing flavorful recipes is also a great help to my badge- and nutrient-seeking efforts.

Here’s how the plate ended up half-full of veggie goodness, for most of last week. Keep in mind that each dish offered at least one lunch of leftovers.

We plan menus every two or three weeks, though it’s rare that we end up cooking the planned meals for several days in a row, due to busy weeknight schedules. Somehow, I found several consecutive available evenings, last week.

What was on the other side of the plate? The picture at top shows evidence of the balance on one day (Saturday): jalapeno corn bread from the St. Paul Farmer’s Market, and some mini cupcakes (triple-chocolate, a lovely, lightly crunchy cornmeal number) and salted-caramel macarons from Marshall Avenue.

white radish
a wee hot one

Also on the other side of the plate, and I don’t regret a single bite of it: Sunday’s brunch of coffee and Flappers (yeasted pancakes) at Colossal Café. Steve loved the biscuits and bison-spiked gravy, on his plate.

Soon, our own garden will be helping out. The radish at left was delicious, and more are coming!

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