Almanack Contributor MB Mitcham

MB Mitcham

MB (Marybeth) holds graduate and doctoral degrees in public health nutrition and public health education. Her work for Cornell University Extension allows her to provide nutrition and healthy living education to members of the Warren County community. When not working, this ADK 46-R can be found climbing all over the mountains of the Northeastern United States, munching on eggplant bacon, or doing zoomies with her shollie, Sig.


Saturday, July 2, 2022

Make It: Gazpacho Andaluz

You might have realized by now that I dearly love tomatoes. And soup. So, combining tomatoes AND soup makes me very happy! There are few things as magical as using fresh produce in
summertime dishes, so why not consider using your garden’s (or farmers’ market) ripe bounty to make this simple and refreshing soup? I have sometimes substituted infused vinegar from Lake
George Olive Oil for the white vinegar for a slightly different, decadent twist (hello, amazing balsamic vinegar!) You can also top your soup with sliced hard-boiled eggs, slivers of prosciutto, or (my son’s favorite), bacon crumbles from Oscar’s Smokehouse. Regardless of whether you consume this soup plain or topped with goodies, I hope you will enjoy this version of gazpacho.

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Saturday, June 11, 2022

MAKE IT: Black Bean Soup

I love black beans, and am always delighted to find new ways to prepare them. Although I have had black bean soup before, I never had black bean soup quite as delicious as the soup I enjoyed at the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, Florida (a huge recommendation to visit the Columbia if you ever find yourself in Tampa!) Despite a stomach already full from tapas, after the first spoonful of this amazing soup, I then proceeded to very quickly devour the rest. From a nutritional standpoint, this soup is low in fat, rich in fiber and protein, and a fantastic source of iron, magnesium, thiamin, folate, and riboflavin. Despite being good for you, it is also delicious and filling. Enjoy! (Serves 4)

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Saturday, June 4, 2022

MAKE IT: Southwestern Squash and Corn Soup

I love summer squash, and eat as much of it as I can during the months when it is growing abundantly. Although I usually eat it roasted, in ratatouille, or cooked with other vegetables in foil packets over a fire, I had never before combined it with potatoes and corn in a soup. However, when I saw an instant pot variation of this recipe from Brand New Vegan, I knew that I had to try it. I am so glad that I did! This soup is easy to make, inexpensive, and filling. Delicious by itself, it is incredible when topped with the red pepper maple relish. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can also carefully puree the soup in small batches in your blender. Enjoy!

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Saturday, May 7, 2022

MAKE IT: Blueberry Freezer Jam

I love blueberries, and will often pick gallons of them at local orchards every summer, eating some straight away, and freezing the rest so that I can later make yummy treats, like this recipe for blueberry freezer jam. Although this jam is not shelf-stable (i.e., should be stored in the freezer), it is incredibly easy to make and does make a delicious jam. I love adding the jam to my oatmeal, using it as a topping on sorbet or ice cream, or slathered on a slice of freshly baked bread. Enjoy!

Ingredients
 5 Cups of Fresh/Frozen Blueberries
 2 Cups of Sugar
 6 Tablespoons Ball Freezer Jam Instant Pectin
 3 – 12oz Freezer-safe canning jars

Directions
1. Wash berries, then place them in a shallow pan. Using a potato masher, crush berries.
2. Add the mashed berries to a saucepan, and add sugar. Mix well, and bring to a boil,
cooking at full boil for around a minute.
3. Remove jam from heat and stir in the pectin, mixing well.
4. After jam has cooled a bit, scoop the jam into small freezer-safe jars. Top with lids after
30 minutes, and then place in freezer.

Use within one year. Enjoy!

*Recipe adapted from The Frugal Navy Wife


Saturday, April 16, 2022

MAKE IT: Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake in a Mug

cinnamon roll mug cake

If you are craving something sweet and do not want to wait, this cinnamon roll coffee cake in a mug is for you! I use an 18-ounce mug to make these and will often use whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose flour. If you do not want the cream cheese frosting, feel free to drizzle maple syrup, add berries, or even ice cream on top. Enjoy!

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Saturday, March 26, 2022

MAKE IT: Fish Chowder

Fish chowder is a wonderful way to use up the panfish in your freezer. This simple recipe is easy to make and cooks up quickly. Pair with some crusty bread and a salad for a full meal. Enjoy!
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
 1 small onion, chopped
 1 stalk celery, chopped
 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
 3 cups low-sodium stock (fish, chicken stock, or vegetable)
 1/2 cup chopped carrots or sweet corn kernels
 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
 1 tsp. Old Bay-type seasoning
 Salt and pepper to taste
 1-pound boneless, skinless panfish fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks
 1 cup milk (I used 2%)

Directions:
1. Sauté onion and celery in oil until tender. Add potatoes, fish stock, carrots or corn,
parsley, lemon juice, and seasonings. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30
minutes.
2. Add fish and simmer for around 5 minutes, or until fish flakes with a fork.  Add milk, and
heat gently (do not bring to boil).
3. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information: (calculated with vegetable stock and carrots): Serving size: 1/4th recipe |
Servings per recipe: 4 | Calories: 324, total fat: 22.5 g, saturated fat: 9 g, cholesterol: 0 mg,
sodium: 44 mg, carbohydrates: 53 g, fiber: 4.7 g, sugar: 6.5 g, protein: 20.2 g

*Recipe adapted from The Wild Harvest Table


Saturday, March 12, 2022

MAKE IT: Traditional Irish Scones

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a recipe for traditional Irish Scones called Frances’ Scones. Several years ago, I was able to go with my daughter, at the time, one of the Wild Irish Acres Dancers, on a trip to Ireland. During that magical trip, we visited the Rathbaun Farm, a working sheep farm in County Galway. After watching the farm’s border collie round up the sheep, we went inside the farm’s thatched cottage for some freshly baked scones, prepared by Frances, and topped with farm-fresh whipped cream and preserves. Every time that I make Frances’ scones, the scent of them baking brings me back to the farm in Ireland.

*If you do not have self-rising flour, you can create your own with 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt per cup of flour. For this recipe, you would add 2.5 Tablespoons of baking powder and 1 ¼ teaspoons of salt to the 5 cups of flour, and mix thoroughly before following the remaining steps.

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Saturday, March 5, 2022

MAKE IT: Trout with Thyme and Lime

thyme fishFish can offer our bodies some amazing benefits including omega-3 fatty acids and a large
amount of protein. This is a great way to fulfill your protein needs without overloading your
system with saturated fats and additives.

This recipe allows for a bright flavor while providing a
zesty taste in the mix. This dish is also lower in calories but with the high content of healthy fats,
you are sure to be left feeling very full!

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Saturday, February 12, 2022

MAKE IT: Cajun cauliflower

cajun cauliflower

Here is a recipe for cajun cauliflower, from Eastern Michigan University dietetic intern, Kristina (it is really good – my son, who detests cauliflower, actually not only tried it but liked it).

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Saturday, January 22, 2022

MAKE IT: Elderberry Syrup

elderberry syrupElderberry syrup has become a popular option for many people who are seeking natural approaches to health. Elderberries are rich in antioxidants, which may help to support a healthy immune system. Although this recipe calls for dried elderberries, you can use fresh or frozen if you can find them. Also, the alcohol is optional (it helps with making the syrup shelf-stable), so feel free to leave it out. Be Well! » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 8, 2022

MAKE IT: Latkes

latkesLatkes are not just a holiday food! A dish that is part of the Hanukkah celebration, this traditional recipe for latkes makes latkes that are crispy and fried to perfection. My kiddos love to eat these year-round. For a vegan version, use flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed/3 Tablespoons water. Mix flax and water and let sit for at least 10 minutes, or until congealed). Although latkes are usually fried (as they are in this recipe), I have also baked the vegan version with decent results (they have turned out best in convection ovens). Enjoy!

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Saturday, December 11, 2021

MAKE IT: Easy cheesy pizza rolls

pizza rolls

Pizza has always been a staple in my household. When my children were younger, we would make pizza from scratch at least once each week. This version of easy cheesy pizza rolls, is a twist on the traditional pizza recipe, creating yummy hand-holdable rolls that are easy to dunk in additional marinara sauce. Feel free to customize these rolls to your preferences. I follow a vegan diet, so do not use any dairy products in mine (and I dearly love putting pineapple as one of my filling ingredients). My kiddos love ground venison, chopped steamed broccoli, or roasted chicken. Since this recipe is extremely quick and easy to make, you can make and cook several at one time. Enjoy!

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Saturday, November 20, 2021

MAKE IT: Cocoa and Coconut Macaroons

macaroons

Are you looking for some sweet and easy treats that are also refined sugar and allergen-free? These cocoa and coconut macaroons are dairy, nut, and gluten-free. They come together quickly, satisfy a sweet craving, and are kid-friendly! I sometimes roll mine in a little extra shredded coconut, or sprinkle some shaved dark cocoa on them. Enjoy!

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Saturday, November 6, 2021

MAKE IT: 3-Ingredient Black Bean Burgers

black bean burgersEveryone enjoys a good burger, especially in Upstate NY. Here is a fun way to make this dish plant based to accommodate all diets. This recipe is easy and quick to make for all occasions. Not only does this dish provide the same, if not more protein, it offers many other benefits such as fiber and antioxidants. “So these burgers can help improve my health?” Yes! Beans are a natural source that provides many nutrients that meat can’t. They are low in cholesterol and sodium – both of which can be high in meats. Additionally, meats can be full of saturated fats while black beans can of er the body omega-3 fatty acids, AKA heart healthy fats!. So, if you are looking to improve your health without giving up a fan favorite, give this recipe a shot! 

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

MAKE IT: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin cookies

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies — especially during the cold-weather months! With that, since it is fall, we might as well add some pumpkin! Pumpkin offers nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folate and iron, which all help to strengthen the immune system. So, while you’re enjoying your dessert, you can also be fighting of common viruses that thrive during fall and winter! Additionally, the pumpkin makes these cookies moist without having to add excess butter or oil. This recipe is quick and fun to make as well as easy to follow and mix up with your own favorite treats! You can make these cookies your own by adding foods like nuts to your chocolate chip total or replacing the chocolate chips completely with a substitute.

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