Life is Like Rhubarb and Strawberry

The combo of strawberry and rhubarb always makes me think of my Mom. Her strawberry-rhubarb pie would grace the table each spring as surely as tulips would burst from the ground. When I was a child, I turned my nose up at it for being so tart. By the time I grew up and learned to actually like it, it had become to me like a painting that’s hung on the same wall in the same place for twenty years–I didn’t pay it much attention.

I first made this crostata four years ago as my own spin on mom’s traditional pie. A year and a half later, in the dead of winter, mom had a massive stroke. There were no pies on the table that spring, and there never will be by her hand again. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t kicking myself just a little now, wishing I’d appreciated her version more while it lasted.

But those if-only’s only sour the present moment, which is quite sweet when I choose to see it as such. Whereas in the past, Mother’s Day meant a card and a gift exchanged across the country, now Mom–and Dad–live right here in Healdsburg. For the second year in a row, we get to celebrate with three generations of mothers and daughters in my family, and I can finally ask mom for her recipe … while serving her my Strawberry-Rhubarb Crostata.

At the risk of sounding a whole lot like Forrest Gump, life is like rhubarb and strawberry. A little bit sour, a little bit sweet, each one intensifying the properties of the other. There’s balance there, and both need to be tasted in order to embrace the full pleasure of the whole.

From my family to yours … happy Mother’s Day.

3/3/11 Nourishing News Roundup

Our weekly roundup of  links to tasty headlines we think you’ll want to read…

A Tasty Case for Kale

Need more inspiration to incorporate greens in your diet? Lia shows you how on Good Cookin’ with Bruce Aidells on the LiveWell Network. Watch this, and I’ll bet you’ll want to make her Braised Kale and Feta Tartines for supper tonight!

Be Good to Yourself

What’s one of the best steps you can take to for your health? Be kind to yourself, according to this New York Times Well blog post. Researchers say people who are “self-compassionate” tend to eat better than those who are hard on themselves.

School Farm Stand

We love this idea by the Parent Teacher Student Association at Golden Avenue Elementary School in Lemon Grove, Calif.: A weekly mini farmers’ market selling produce grown by local farmers. As Chris Huard reports on the Lemon Grove Patch, the program was launched in December to foster healthy eating habits in the community. It’s just one of two school-based farmers’ markets in the state.

To learn about another unique school program, check out Cheryl’s story about a Northern California mom who organized a garden at her kids’ school to supply a local food bank with fresh produce.

Revamp Your Relationship with Food!

We’re very excited about the relaunch of My Nourish Mentor, Lia’s 12-week, online coaching program for those who want hands-on strategies to foster a healthy relationship with food. Check out this video to learn more about how this life-changing program works.

1/20/11 Nourishing News Roundup

Wal-Mart’s Healthy Food Pledge

This week, the retail giant unveiled a five-year healthy food initiative. Programs include eliminating trans-fats from all packaged foods sold in its stores; reducing added sugars by 10% and sodium by 25%; making healthy foods more affordable and easier to identify; and building new stores in food deserts. That’s big news–so big that first lady Michelle Obama was on hand at the press conference. Groceries now account for more than half of Wal-Mart’s annual sales, or a whopping $258.2 billion, so whether you love Wal-Mart or hate it, wherever it goes, others are sure to follow. If Wal-Mart demands that a manufacturer reformulate a product in order to keep it on the store’s shelves, believe me, it’ll happen.

Lia’s Nourishing Story

Lia is one of the most energetic people I know, so you can bet I was shocked to learn she has fibromyalgia, a condition marked by fatigue and chronic pain. Learn how a nourishing diet transformed her life and helped her thrive.

Fish Tales

The Marine Stewardship Council may be based in London, but it’s the best-known and largest certifier of sustainable seafood in the world, and chances are you see its familiar blue logo on seafood sold at Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and other retailers. The UK’s Guardian newspaper details concerns by Greenpeace and other organizations that the MSC’s certification program is more about brand-building than saving the fish. And Greenpeace isn’t alone its concerns. Here in the States, the Pew Charitable Trusts also questions the MSC’s standards.

In other seafood sustainability news, Scientific American reports on a new aquaculture operation that farms salmon on enclosed freshwater tanks. The Monterey Bay Aquarium approves, giving the fish a place on its new SeafoodWatch Super Green List.

Eat Fish, Stay Smart

Researchers find a fish- and vegetable-rich traditional Mediterranean diet may help keep your mind sharp in your golden years. That’s great news, but will it put more pressure on the world’s stressed fish stocks? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Whole Grain Confusion

A new survey by General Mills finds most Americans think they’re eating enough whole grains, yet only 5% of us actually consume the recommended three servings a day. Why? Most people are still confused about what constitutes a whole grain. For a refresher, check out Lia’s primer, “Know Your White From Your Wheat.”

Check Us Out in Natural Health!

NOURISH Evolution makes a splash–and covers the gamut of dietary philosophies–in the November 2010 issue of Natural Health magazine. Pick up an issue to check out Lia’s recipes for Pancetta and Sage-Basted Heritage Turkey, Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Gravy and Shallot-Mustard Rubbed Crown Roast of Pork, which accompany “The Conscious Carnivore” story.

I weigh in on vegan diets in “Vegging Out,” and conclude that, yes, an animal-free diet can be a smart–and tasty–choice. And try out hearty, warming fare like Mediterranean Chickpea Stew with Greens, Red Lentil Dal and Quinoa with Braised Collards, Mushrooms and “Sausage” to add to your Meatless Monday rotation.

VIDEO: Dicing a Bell Pepper

Watch this KTVC cooking video, in which NOURISH Evolution founder Lia Huber demonstrates how to dice a bell pepper. It’s a simple cooking tip that will help you save time in the kitchen.

NOURISH Evolution Kitchen Tips: Dicing a Bell Pepper from Lia Huber on Vimeo.

VIDEO: How to Cut Corn Kernels Off the Cob

Fresh corn is one of summer’s most delicious treats. Watch this cooking video in which NOURISH Evolution founder Lia Huber shares a smart cooking for how to cut corn kernels off the cob — safely!

NOURISH Evolution Kitchen Tips: Cutting Corn from Lia Huber on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Using a Citrus Squeezer

Next time you need to juice a lime or lemon, try this cooking tip: Use a citrus squeezer. In this cooking video, NOURISH Evolution founder Lia Huber demonstrates how to use this simple kitchen tool.

NOURISH Evolution Kitchen Tips: Easy Lime Squeezing from Lia Huber on Vimeo.

VIDEO: How to Cut a Mango

Many people aren’t sure how to cut a mango. Watch this cooking video, in which NOURISH Evolution founder Lia Huber demonstrates a fun, easy way to slice or dice this tropical fruit.

NOURISH Evolution Kitchen Tips: Dicing a Mango from Lia Huber on Vimeo.

VIDEO: How to Cut an Onion

Prepping onions is one of the most basic kitchen skills and doing it right will save time on busy nights. In this cooking video, Lia  demonstrates how to cut an onion in no time.

NOURISH Evolution Kitchen Tips: Dicing an Onion from Lia Huber on Vimeo.