5 Healthy Foods I Love: Part 7

by Andie Mitchell on August 24, 2011


read part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1. Black Rice or Forbidden Rice

These little grains are new to me. I found them on the hot bar at Whole Foods last week, and being someone who doesn’t think anything will ever be the new black, will ever be as good meets great, I had to scoop some into a to-go box and make my way home.

The rice is chewy, like sticky little beads, with a nutty sweetness. The grains are black when dry and then puff into a deep purple when cooked. They’re absolutely lovable beside any plate companion, and I hear they’re outrageously good for you and me. Lots of iron, lots of stuff that makes your insides glow. green_pea-3

2. Sweet Green Peas

My mother and I love peas. We also love cupcakes and frosting and things coated in or spun from sugar. We’re sweet seekers. Peas, therefore, are the perfect vegetable. They hold a natural sweetness, they’re green- our favorite color in any shade, and they pop and mash between your teeth. Adding peas as a side to dinner makes any meal’s flavor more complex and satisfying.

I always have a bag of frozen peas in my freezer to make Pappardelle with Ricotta and Mint or Curried Cauliflower with Sweet Peas. They’re also helpful when I burn the living hell out of my arms and fingers in the oven.


3. Kale

Kale, when she’s raw and undressed, is chewy- a bit too fibrous and thick to enjoy in the same way you might like lettuce or baby spinach. But if you rub her with salt and olive oil and then let her sit alone for awhile, she softens. This method of lightly “cooking” her is called “massaging” kale. The salt breaks down the toughness of her fiber, makes her tender.

I picked up my first bunch of kale when I was told kale was a superfood. I fell in love. I massaged her with vinaigrettes for cool salads; I sauteed her in garlic and olive oil; and then, thankfully, I began roasting her as chips. Tear a whole bunch of kale leaves into small pieces, each about 2 square inches in size, toss them with 1 tablespoon olive oil, lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees until the leaves begin to blacken. These “chips” should be stable enough to pick up, one by one, and they’ll shatter between your teeth like thin Lay’s potato chips. Salt them heavily and call me when your done.4936171396_3f6a42d7a6_o

4. Berries in Blue, Straw, Rasp, and Black

I’ll be sad when berries leave this season. I’ll miss the way they burst and sweeten. My friend Karlyn and I were out to dinner recently and we capped off the last course with a hot peach and blueberry crisp topped with a big scoop of Madagascar vanilla ice cream. The blues turned into a thick, rich, indigo syrup and swirled pink with melting vanilla. I said a silent prayer, promising I’d be good if I could hibernate from now until next summer when the blueberries come out again. salmon-13

5. Salmon

Salmon is quite possibly my favorite fish. It’s more flavorful, more rich and fatty than most. Something about the color, the way it flakes and then sort of melts and oils my tongue- it’s ultra satisfying. I find salmon buttery, and really, when is that not a lovable adjective for any old thing?

I’d  estimate I eat salmon once a week. I love it smoked, grilled, poached, baked in a foil pouch, and raw in sushi.

What 5 foods are you loving right now?

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Jameson August 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm

So agree with you about peas. I always have a bag of frozen peas around and they always seem to make a meal out of whatever I happen to have lying around.


Amanda June August 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm

1. Broccoli. Oh dear — honestly, I have never been a big fan. As a kid the only way I’d take it was smothered in Velveeta and even then I didn’t love it. Your post on how to roast it? Game-changer. If it were cheaper I’d eat 10 heads a day (because, let’s face it, moderation never was my strong suit).

2. Breakfast cereal. I know it’s no superfood, but I’m about to move to a country where it’s harder to get ahold of (at least in the varieties we have here), and that makes me want to pretty much eat it for every meal. I just love it. Last week I consumed a box of Special K fruit & yogurt in a little over 24 hours. Again with the moderation.

3. Strawberries. In my muffins, salads, and by their lonesome. So versatile. So cheap right now. (Are you getting the feeling I’m on a budget?) What’s not to love?

4. Iced coffee. I don’t know if this counts as a food. But I put it in my mouth. Several times a day. And wouldn’t have it any other way til autumn.

5. Whole wheat English muffins. Again with the versatility! Bun for my salmon burger. Companion for my peanut butter. Crust for my pizza*. Perhaps I should write an ode to this faithful friend (see below for one of the starring lines).

*don’t make fun, I cook for one.


Gitte August 25, 2011 at 12:55 am

My favorites are:

1. Roasted broccoli! Never thought I’d be in love with broccoli, but I am after I copied your post the other day.

2. Salmon! I love salmon – steamed, poched, fried, roasted, smoked, cured you name it. Your poched salmon with pesto and spreaded feta took me straight to heaven and back again :)

3. Gooseberries! love those small hairy berries, the sweetness and crunchyness and all the loving childhood memories they bring.

4. Asparagus! The green ones raw in salads or grilled and dripped with lemon as side dish to my salmon. The fat tasty white ones steamed and served with fish eggs or leek & capers vinagrette. Pure Summer.

5. Chantarelles! Tasty luxury on a plate :) The whole preparation with brushing them gently, then fry them them in a mix of ekstra virgin olive oil and butter and serve them on homemade pasta or chicken breast makes this extra special.



Katie G August 25, 2011 at 5:12 am

I’ve actually never tried white asparagus. Does it taste very different from the green?


Patricia August 25, 2011 at 3:23 am

Yes on the black rice. We have it over here in a sweet coconut syrup along with slices of ripe mango. Yum!
Yes to peas, who patiently abided my childhood disdain, knowing that once I grew up I wouldn’t be able to resist their goodness.
Yes to berries which are an outrageously expensive luxury over here, even canned or frozen. Summer in Toronto gave us lots but not near enough to keep us happy.
I’m really enjoying spinach. It grows on those short stems so humbly low to the ground and gives you all the green it’s got in it’s leaves.


Claire @ Live and Love to Eat August 25, 2011 at 4:26 am

That rice sounds amazing! I haven’t been too impressed with kale yet – but the bunches my supermarket stocks are usually pretty sad-looking.


Julie @SavvyEats August 25, 2011 at 4:34 am

Berries, berries and more berries. Stocking up the chest freezer to get me through winter right now…it isn’t quite the same, but it will help!


Katie G August 25, 2011 at 5:11 am

I love and adore salmon…My top 5 right now is:

1. Avacadoes
2. Tuna
3. Brown Rice
4. Blueberries
5. Roasted Broccoli (your post got me back into it! Yum!)


Heather (Heather's Dish) August 25, 2011 at 5:17 am

i love all of those too…although i have never tried black rice before. methinks that change is coming later today :)


Rachel August 25, 2011 at 5:34 am

1. Salmon~ I’ll eat it any way but overcooked and dry!
2. Berries~ All flavors, in my cereal, yogurt, muffins, or hand!
3. Greek Yogurt~Thick and luxorious, in a smoothie, parfait, homemade dip, or a fab oil substitute in brownies!
4. Dark Chocolate~ Really, does this even need an explanation?
5. Avacado~ The hardest part about my love for avacado is sticking to the “serving size”. I slice them on my turkey sandwich, lay thin slices alongside my eggs, chop and add them to tacos or salads…ahhh.


Emily August 25, 2011 at 5:37 am

I’m going to miss the berries, too.
I’m loving fresh corn, dark chocolate, okra (!!!!), shrimp and chick peas.
Random? Yes. Delicious? That’s a yes, too.


mariah August 25, 2011 at 6:24 am

Oh berries, definitely berries. And sweet corn. And broccoli. And peppers of any variety. And chicken. I am a firm believer that chicken can fill any craving. Except for a berry craving, of course.


Nelly Rodriguez August 25, 2011 at 6:28 am

I am loving raw almond butter, bananas, Dr. Drip Coffee (check them out!), bean soups and mexican wedding cookies!


donna August 25, 2011 at 6:33 am

1. Lemons
2. Avacados
3. Cous Cous
4. Sweet Potatoes
5. Salmon (the only fish I will eat.)


Vicki August 25, 2011 at 7:04 am

Current obsessions:

1. Sliced strawberries mixed with granola and homemade peanut butter for breakfast. For dessert. For lunch. Sometimes rolled in a flour tortilla.

2. Peas as well, specifically dumped in chicken broth with a touch of heavy cream and mint, and blended into soup.

3. Roasted red peppers with a blob of pesto.

4. Biscoff cookies spread with Nutella and topped with chopped hazelnuts.

5. Sweet potatoes mashed with bacon crumbles and green chiles.



Carole August 25, 2011 at 7:29 am

Haven’t tried black rice yet, but I’m with you on all the others. Also loving:

1. roasted asparagus
2. sweet potatoes
3. avocados
4. Jalapeño Smokehouse almonds from Blue Diamond
5. one perfect square of Hershey’s Extra Dark Chocolate with cranberry, blueberry and almond pieces


Rachel @ The Avid Appetite August 25, 2011 at 7:59 am

Some foods I’m loving are scrambled eggs, peaches and the always healthy whipped cream!


Sanjeeta kk August 25, 2011 at 7:59 am

Garlic and Goji berries top my list of healthy foods. And Love your list too!


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh August 25, 2011 at 8:33 am

I’ve never heard of black rice but when it’s time to go on the Whole Foods bulk chia seed run, I know what else I’m getting!

Hmm, 5 foods I’m looking right now are zucchini, red peppers, chipotle hummus, cantaloupe and Striped Pangasius (aka-”white ruffy”)


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh August 25, 2011 at 8:33 am

That would be LOVING right now. *shaking head*


Megan (Braise The Roof) August 25, 2011 at 8:44 am

I really do miss summer fruit when it goes out of season. I just can’t pay $8 for a pint of strawberries that taste like bitter water in the winter! Have you played around with different varieties of kale? I always used to buy the curly kind, but I tried the lacinato variety recently and it makes for a much more chip-like chip!


The Teenage Taste August 25, 2011 at 8:50 am

Fresh berries are one of my favorite things about Summer.


Liz August 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

1. Peas. There are always at least two bags in my freezer. I put them in everything.
2. Corn tortillas. I grew up gluten-free in Texas; I basically lived off of these. Now that I live in New York, I buy a big bag every week, just so I can have my Tex-Mex fix.
3. Avocados. I’ll put them on anything, but my favorite way to enjoy them is to slice them very thinly, then squeeze a lemon over the top and salt to death.
4. Radishes. My grandmother always had them on her vegetable trays when I was little, and I thought they were gross. Oh, how times have changed.
5. Marshmallows. Two of them sitting on a gluten-free cinnamon graham cracker sheet, warm and brown from the broiler.


Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 25, 2011 at 11:05 am

Let’s see. I am loving…

Coffee (don’t know if this counts but I am ALWAYS loving this)


Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic August 25, 2011 at 11:32 am

Haven’t tried black rice yet, I’m intrigued! My five faves right now: oatmeal with dark chocolate almond butter and dark chocolate almond milk (that does count as 1 or 3?), grapefruit, tomatoes, individual brie cheese from Trader Joe’s, and chocolate, always chocolate :)


jackie August 25, 2011 at 11:52 am

1. Sunflower Seed Butter- a really delicious, unique nut butter I’m into lately
2. Oats- raw doused in almond milk or greek yogurt, or cooked up with banana and nutmeg
3. Fig preserves- homemade or store bought
4. a big pot of spicy pinto beans from scratch
5. Frozen raspberry/banana/kale smoothies (not a single food but a combo I enjoy a few times a week.)
6. Avocado mashed onto whole wheat english muffins with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt/pepper


Lauren August 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

1. freshly ground peanut butter. I’m usually a strictly almond butter gal, but Whole Foods has been out of my almonds, so I went for peanuts, and I’m. in. love.
I think they taste better if you grind them yourself, even if that only means pressing a button…I mean, you could totally allow it to overflow, so there’s the watching. :)
2. #1 on bananas. I’m obsessed. Post workout potassium and protein.
3. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk…the better wash my first two with!
4. Eggplant. My family has a huge garden, and the eggplants went crazy this year. We’ve made a really delicious eggplant ragout (we basically just toss in whatever veggies we have) and serve it over a little quinoa.
5. Nature’s Path Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise cereal. Holy mother of god. Obsessed. It reminds me of being a kid, and while it has more sugar than I’d ordinarily like, it makes my face happy!


Kristina August 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I LOVE forbidden rice! People thought I was crazy for making it…it kind of stains the pan purple temporarily…but I loooove it. And it looks pretty :)

1) Plums… or any stone fruit really. They’re all calling my name right now.
2) Homemade yogurt (we got a yogurt maker for our wedding in July and we’ve been using it CONSTANTLY)
3) Summer Squash, preferably roasted with fresh herbs or curry.
4) Not healthy at all, but macaroons from the patisserie near my house :)
5) Avocado on EVERYTHING


Lisa August 26, 2011 at 5:08 am

coffee (it’s a food right?)
goat cheese with dill and garlic in it


Carissa August 26, 2011 at 6:59 am

Kale. Thank you for sharing kale with anyone out there who has never had it. Everything about that vegetable is beautiful, from taste to touch to beauty.


Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns to Cook August 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Great post. I have a bag of black rice in the pantry. Can’t wait to try it!

My super foods:
1. Watermelon- This is my favorite post-workout treat. Also a good sub in for dessert!
2. Avocado- Avocado sandwiches are my go-to summer meal. Toasted wheat bread + avocado + fresh tomatoes + spinach
3. Whole Wheat Spaghetti- I love tossing noodles with butter, fresh veggies and herbs.
4. Spinach- A spinach salad is a side dish to every meal in our house.
5. Fat Free Greek Yogurt- How could something so good for you taste so rich?! I love using it as a sub for sour cream in chili, spicy peanut stew and on tacos. Yum!


Mrose August 30, 2011 at 7:57 am

1. Thanks to you 5 Healthy Foods lists that I’m now in love with roasted broccoli! I hoard during the weekend and cook them almost everyday :-)
2. Salmon is always a winner – steamed, baked, grilled
3. Brown rice
4. Oatmeal for breakfast, for me and my kids
5. Fish fillet – whether stir-fried with veggies, or with black bean sauce and tofu, or with yummy cheese sauce.


SallyBR August 30, 2011 at 9:04 am

1. Salmon (eat it at least once a week too)

2. Anything miso (addicted, no intention of quitting the habit)

3. Yogurt. Plain, no sugar. Even no fat is ok, although I prefer low fat. Eat probably a gallon every couple of days…

4. Green tea. A daily routine, although I’m presently on a fennel tea kick.

5. Soba noodles.


Elina (Healthy and Sane) August 30, 2011 at 11:27 am

I really love all the 5 you mentioned. Right now I’m also obsessed to no end with white peaches and sweet corn from the farmers market.Obsessed.
PS – I’m hosting a pretty awesome giveaway today. Check it out if you’re interested :)


Beth September 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I lover berries and feel like it is the end of a pre-teen summer crush when they go out of season.


Cass September 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I loved your idea of kale chips, so I bought some today and tried it out. However, I checked on them after 6 minutes in the oven at 400°, and they were already overcooked. My oven is underpowered if anything, so I was left a bit confused. Perhaps I used too much oil?


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