As I was reading the text version of NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan, I was struck by both Mrs. Obama’s concern for the issue of Childhood Obesity and a by a certain photo that was included in the article.
Like our First Lady, I am also an advocate of the issue: I currently have a 20 month old grandson who I am trying to feed conscientiously; but with his father 24 years ago, I thought mistakenly that I had done the same.
My son became an obese child, and I was perplexed.
Certainly my choices back in the 80’s were ill-advised, yet today our society is far more aware and educated about weight and obesity, so if I listen to the experts and learn carefully to people such as Michelle Obama, I may have more success with my grandson. Our First Lady is quite a woman in her own right, as it should be.
Please let me offer some of the information I gleaned from the article:
Like many First Ladies, Michelle Obama chose a mission: working to fight childhood obesity. It’s an epidemic that affects up to one-third of all children in the U.S. It’s also a personal issue for the First Lady. A number of years ago, her pediatrician asked her to rethink her daughters’ diets.
In February 2010, she launched Let’s Move!, an initiative to address childhood obesity, encourage healthier lifestyles, and push for better-quality food in schools and neighborhoods. And she cultivates the White House vegetable garden, which provides fresh produce for formal lunches, State Dinners and Obama family meals. Critics complain Obama’s anti-obesity campaign represents the long reach of an overbearing government; supporters applaud her for focusing attention on the issue.
NPR’s Neal Conan talks with First Lady Michelle Obama about ways to get children to eat healthier, and her new book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.
A few recipes follow as well, and this particular Spinach Pie has me hungry right now!:
Recipe: Chef Cris Comerford’s Spinach Pie
Serves 6 to 8
Fresh spinach takes a starring role in this satisfying, savory pie. Perfect for a busy family, it can be made in advance and served hot, cold, or at room temperature. Try it for lunch, brunch, or dinner, served with a light green salad and fruit for dessert. I like to put a dollop of Greek yogurt on my portion for extra tartness.
You can use whole or 2% milk instead of half-and-half if you prefer.
— Chef Cris
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound fresh spinach, well washed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
8 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Add the spinach, a little at a time, and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and half-and-half. Add the lemon zest and thyme. Add the spinach, the feta cheese, and half the Swiss cheese and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Another scrumptious one to savor:
Recipe: Chef Sam Kass’ Corn Soup With Summer Vegetables
Serves 4 to 6
This versatile soup is the essence of summer. Dairy free and nearly fat free, it showcases the pure, sweet taste of summer corn and can be served hot or at room temperature. A garnish of summer vegetables, grilled and cut into bite-size pieces, makes this soup your own unique creation. Try zucchini or summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, or mushrooms, alone or in combination.
If you leave out the corn kernels and don’t thin the soup with the corn stock, this becomes a luxurious sauce for seafood like halibut, tilapia, or shrimp.
— Chef Sam
4 to 6 ears of
4 to 6 ears of fresh corn, shucked and silk removed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
Grilled vegetables of your choice: zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms
1. Cut the corn off the cobs and set aside.
2. Place the cobs in a large pot and just barely cover with water. Bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the stock has a rich corn flavor. Strain the stock and set aside.
3. Reserve 3/4 cup of the corn kernels and place the remaining corn in a blender. Blend, starting on low speed and increasing the speed as the corn purees. You can add a little of the corn stock to get the corn started. Blend on high for 45 seconds to a minute.
4. Pour the pureed corn into a medium saucepan through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the bits of skin. Add the thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. You do not want the soup to boil. As the soup heats, the natural starch will begin to thicken the soup. Once the soup has thickened, add the lemon juice and the reserved corn stock little by little until the soup reaches the desired thickness. You should have 4 to 6 cups of soup. Add salt to taste.
5. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat; add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil begins to smoke, add the reserved corn kernels and do not stir until the corn has a nice brown color. Stir the corn and then remove it from the heat. Add the seared corn and any other grilled vegetable of your choice on top of the soup and serve.
But, gutter-bound mind that I seem to wallow in, I just had to focus on the vegetable she so gleefully holds! Her enthusiasm is obvious and inspiring. I am afraid I can’t help but wonder about our President and his non-political ‘qualities’….
I admit it, I am iintrigued by the carrot., I am!
I do believe I should go straight to hell for such thoughts.
Heaven Help Me!
Thanks for your time, attention, and, hopefully, understanding!!!
- Childhood Obesity: The Elephant in the Room (abnormalfacies.wordpress.com)
- Kate Gosselin wants to collaborate with Michelle Obama to promote fitness (examiner.com)
- 10 reasons why Michelle Obama is a great mom (thegrio.com)
- Watch: Michelle Obama’s ‘Late Show’ Laughs (abcnews.go.com)
- Ripped from the Runway: Michelle Obama Rocks Boy. by Band of Outsiders (The First Lady is All About Fresh Food and Fresh Style!) (styleblazer.com)
- Disney, Michelle Obama team up to fight childhood obesity (abclocal.go.com)
- Disney Dumping Junk Food Ads (newser.com)
- Ad Agency For First Lady’s Anti-Obesity Campaign Promotes Junk Drink (huffingtonpost.com)
- How to Fight Childhood Obesity (goldenrule.com)