Northwood Nutrition BLOG
Hi! My name is Korrin and I'm a Dietitian and self proclaimed foodie.
I love to cook all kinds of food. I love to work with all kinds of people.
On my blog, I strive to share positive, inspiring stories & nutrition information. In addition to some real life events mixed in. Welcome!
Sorry about the radio silence last week! Things were busy and I didn't make time to sit down and write. However, I did have a chance to cook up one of my favorite dishes which I have decided to share today! It is a bit unconventional, but it is one of my go-to family meals when I only have 15-20 minutes to make something that is nourishing and satisfying, but easily delivers complex flavors that I crave.
Before we moved, there was a killer Indian restaurant just down the street. We ate there at least once a month and my daughter loved their Lentil daal when she was younger. The naan bread was always soft and fluffy with lots of garlic and rosemary. In the bowls of basmati rice, I often came across whole cardamom seeds still in tact. My husband and I craved the flavors and aromas at the end of a long work week.
Now, we live about 20 minutes away from any chain restaurant, much less an authentic Indian restaurant. Naturally, I had to create something in the kitchen to satisfy our old family tradition. This dish is unconventional in the sense that I use frozen shrimp for the protein source for the simple reason that it is a staple in our freezer and quick cooking. I also load up the curry with lots of kale and often serve this over fluffy millet. I don't think it qualifies as traditional Indian food, but it is close enough for us. :)
Questions: Do you have a favorite Indian dish? Have you tried any of the jarred curry varieties, if so which is your favorite? How do you think your family would respond to this dish?
It's Friday! And the weather forecast calls for highs around 50 degrees here in Spokane for what seems like the first time in over four months? Spring may be finally settling in. I'm excited to experience my first spring in Spokane and learn all about creating a family garden here. Hooray!
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I started some seeds this week with my daughter. I didn't want to get starts going too early because I am limited on space and presently, I don't have the greatest set up, but I had the gardening itch and felt the need to do something in the soil. So while my son was napping, I took my daughter out to the sad looking greenhouse that we have on our property and rummaged through all of the left over supplies from the previous owners. We found plenty of plastic containers to use for the starts and some flats and we got to work!
After moving to Spokane, we had to restart our compost piles and for that reason we didn't have the greatest potting medium. But I recommend reading this MSU extension article for some great tips on creating the best soil for starting seeds. Once we have some nice worm compost from our worm bins, I will be adding that to the top layer of the starts to provide some additional organic matter and nutrients.
To help me plan out which seeds to start, I used this guide from Old Farmers Almanac. You can enter your location and click change to see a guide for entire year that details when to plant seeds, whether to plant them indoors or outside and also when to harvest. According to my location in Mead, Washington leeks, eggplant, and onions are great choices to get going in early March. I'm not a huge fan of eggplant, but I love to use leeks in soups/stews and as a more mild replacement for onion. I also wanted to jump start other nightshade varieties and growing culinary herbs and herbs for the chickens
To start, we have leeks, yellow pear tomatoes, sweet banana peppers, jalapeños, thai chili peppers and roma tomatoes as well as some parsley, cilantro and oregano. I found some old heirloom seeds in the green house for some of those varieties so who knows if they are viable. But I thought since I am getting started early that I would give it a try and if they don't sprout then I can always choose another variety. In the past I have usually purchased starts for my garden and on the west side of the state the winters are so mild that I would let some of the plants self sow for the next season. I have a feeling that isn't going to work in Spokane with the harsh winters and colder temps. Also, I think it's really important for families to have seeds and learn how to grow and save seeds for the following year. I find that this skill provides me with a sense of security. In the summer and fall, I don't rely on a grocery store to provide fresh produce and once we have a suitable greenhouse (cough husband cough) then our growing season will be even longer. :)
Now, the flats are living on my kitchen counter where I can keep a close eye out for any sprouts. My daughter loves to use a spray bottle to help me water and we have a large, clear plastic bag left over from postal deliveries that I have fitted over the top as a pseudo greenhouse to encourage the seeds to sprout. We will be starting some more herb and possibly lettuce seeds this weekend. Below is a picture of miners lettuce seeds in a left over herb jar with a little package of desiccant that I repurposed. This is my favorite way to store seeds because it keeps them nice and dry and then I can easily store it in the freezer to ensure viability.
Questions for comment: Have you started any seeds? What varieties are you most excited about? Are there any seeds that you have saved year after year? If you have grown food in Spokane before, what is a type of produce that you find to be particularly challenging to grow? What was your experience growing food as a kid?
Perhaps you've heard the news? March is National Nutrition month and today, March 8th, is all about celebrating Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are the food and nutrition experts. I discovered I wanted to pursue this field almost ten years ago, right after I met my husband. It has not been an easy road to get where I am today as far as earning the RDN credentials. At best, about half of those that graduate with a degree in nutrition are matched to a required internship. It is incredibly competitive and stressful. However, I have been so very thankful for the process because it has prepared me to feel comfortable and confident in the healthcare world.
The steps to become a RDN include:
1. Acquire a degree in nutrition - bachelors at minimum and often times dietitians have masters or doctorate degrees.
2. Complete a dietetic internship - very competitive admissions process, incredibly time consuming and often times expensive.
3. Pass a national board exam.
4. Document continuing education hours to maintain the credential.
There are many different programs that train nutritionists, some better than others, but they aren't nearly as complete and rigorous as the training required for RDNs. If you know a dietitian and have the inclination, send them a quick email or note to let them know you appreciate them and the work they do. We love feedback and it means so much when we feel like we make a difference.
Just for fun, I have included a video of a project that I contributed to for Swedish hospital during my internship at Bastyr University. While it isn't my best work, I can honestly say that I was still learning at this point in my career and I could have used some more practice in front of the camera. :-D Oh well, it will just be one of those things that lives on the internet forever associated to me. Friendly teasing comments are totally welcome. :)
Until next time, eat well!
Korrin Fotheringham, MS, RDN, CD
As promised in my post yesterday, I am back today to share my thoughts in regards to cultural foods and the eating disorder field and to share a recipe with you for sourdough pancakes. You may be wondering how in the world the two are related? Read on, my friend. :)
New evidence is emerging as to the cause of eating disorders. Many researchers have documented the link between societal pressure to be thin and the rise of eating disorders as well as a clear genetic predisposition. It is also thought that eating disorders are more prevalent particularly in women of Westernized societies because the pressure to be thin is so pervasive. However, more studies are emerging that show that eating disorders are becoming more common in non-industrialized nations and the gender gap is closing. Perhaps this is due to greater awareness or better diagnostic techniques, but who really knows.
What I find fascinating and have always been curious about is the correlation between large factory farming and the rise in eating disorders. Our culture as a whole has moved away from small family farms to adopt large monoculture productions where people are almost entirely disconnected from their food supply. Granted, so many problems have been on the rise as the global food network has shifted to this model and we know correlation doesn't support causation. Having that said, a part of me just can't shake the idea that if people were exposed to growing, harvesting and preparing food then perhaps it would be easier to have a solid foundation to develop a positive relationship with food.
Take a moment to think about the food culture 50 or even 100 years ago. Ask your parents or grandparents what meals were like in their home growing up. Perhaps they ate together as a family at the dinner table most nights during the week. Maybe they harvested corn at the end of the growing season and the entire family spent time shucking, boiling and processing together. Did you grandmother have a garden or particular seed variety that she loved that grew the most perfect tomatoes? These are all aspects of our past food culture that have mostly been lost. I wonder what the prevalence of eating disorders was in that time? (For more facts if you're curious, you can visit this website.)
When I was growing up, I believe I was exposed to a greater food culture than the average person my age, which may be why I am a dietitian. My mother was, and still is, a great cook. I enjoyed food when I was a kid simply because family dishes were delicious. My parents had curious taste buds and my best friend was Malaysian therefore I was exposed to different kinds of foods that I loved. In my family now, I do my best to pass on these traits to my kids as we build our own food culture. Which brings me to sourdough.
When I met my husband, one of the first things I remember was my mother-in-law talking about her sour dough starter. If I was going to 'stick around' then she was going to give me a jar. Admittedly, I didn't do a very good job of keeping it around the first few years my husband and I were married (sorry!). But now, I get it. This starter was used to make sour dough pancakes every Sunday in her family and has survived for a long, long time. Now I carry on this tradition in our family and I use it to make pancakes and bread.