Archive | February, 2012

Iron [Wo]Man

24 Feb

I donated blood several weeks ago after a two year hiatus. But my low iron levels just barely made the cut. Though the nurse strongly discouraged me from returning in the near future (and she must have meant it too, considering I have a rare blood type, O negative!), I fully intend to return soon, and with restored iron levels. How? By eating iron-rich foods, of course. A quick google search yielded some foods I can happily stomach: red meat, dried fruit, green, leafy vegetables. But it also yielded some “only if I am forced to give blood because I am the last O negative donor on the Earth and all other iron-rich foods have been wiped out will I eat this” options: chicken giblets, mollusks, lentils, liver…nothing that screams, or even whispers, “delectable.”

Well, thank goodness for the palatable items on the list! For the time being, I’m exploring the green, leafy vegetable subcategory, starting with the Popeye classic: spinach. That’s right – I ate spinach every single day last week! And it was delicious, really, in the context of my low calorie version of warm spinach salad. See for yourself:

WARM SPINACH SALAD (Makes 3 Servings)


– 6 cups raw spinach

– Egg whites from 4 hardboiled eggs, sliced

– 1/2 red onion, sliced

– 9 white mushrooms, sliced

– 2 pieces turkey bacon, cooked in microwave and crumbled.

Toss the salad ingredients together.


– 1/4 cup sugar

– 2 Tbs. vegetable oil

– 2 Tbs. water

– 2 Tbs. ketchup

– 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

– 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Combine salad dressing ingredients. Warm in microwave and stir vigorously before serving.

CALORIES (per serving of salad + 3 Tbs. dressing): 200

On a more serious note: every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. That’s enough to make me regret my blood-donating hiatus, and to encourage any borderline anemics out there to join me in boosting our iron levels!! Have a better way to do so than my recipe? Tweak it!

My Funny Valentine

12 Feb

I’m breaking my own rules, which isn’t nearly as fun as breaking someone else’s. This isn’t a food tweak or recipe that could be tweaked. But, it does involve food – chocolate, to be specific.

I’ve actually never met someone who likes Valentine’s Day, because, let’s face it, who likes to be told when to show their affection? But then again, who didn’t like receiving Valentine’s Day candy from everyone in their grade school class? If you can remember back that far, that’s the Valentine’s Day spirit I’m encapsulating here, not the flowers and chocolate and awkward-yet-intended-to-be-romantic dinner one.

My mom received a “free gift” subscription to Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Magazine and gifted it to me – I’m not sure what that says about me or her perception of me, but that’s beside the point! While leafing through the February issue, an adorable idea caught my eye. If you go to the following website:, BHG offers printable Valentine’s Day labels that are to be put with a particular piece of candy or food item. For example, a label that says “We’re Just Mint to Be” can be stuck on a peppermint patty.

Well, of course I was determined to think up some of my own clever (or at least corny) puns to go with candy items BHG had not covered. I spent the majority of a dull midweek meeting brainstorming plays on words. The results? I made Valentine’s cards to go with two of my puns (pictured below): “You Have a Be-‘Twix’-ing Personality”, to be paired with a Twix bar, and “[Coco]-Nuts for You!” to be paired with an Almond Joy (or Mounds) bar.

If you can endure anymore of these, that dumb meeting had my creative juices moving at a pretty fast clip: “You ‘Malt’ My Heart” to be paired with Whoppers, “You Make My Heart ‘Skittle’ a Beat” to go, obviously, with Skittles, and “Brains for a Beauty” to go with Smarties, although that one could be considered offensive (in fact, I’m offended by my own words!)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Considering there are a multitude of candy types out there, I’m sure you can come up with an original candy-pun! If so, post it!