Current News

Winter Blues Farmers’ Market 2013

Typically when you think “farmers’ market” you think summertime. But that doesn’t stop West Virginia;  This afternoon was the “Winter Blues Farmers’ Market” from 3-8pm at the Waterfront Place Hotel near downtown Morgantown. Its scheduled the same week as the WV Small Farms Conference.

After graduate seminar today, Erin and I went over to the market to check out what it had to offer. With over 40 vendors, there was definitely something for everyone: preserves, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, baked goods, cheese, canned salsa and spreads, spices, and even non-edibles such as hand-spun wool, wooden items, and candles.

There were also tickets available for $1 each, and stations where you could get a warm dinner served to you. I exchanged 2 tickets for a handmade mini pizza, made from whole wheat flour. Delicious! I also picked up some ground lamb, romaine lettuce, and a couple of baked goods.

Check out some photos of the event below. And don’t miss out on the next farmer’s market event in Morgantown– Saturday, April 6th will be a traditional farmer’s market held in the downtown marketplace from 11am-2pm.

At the entrance of the Winter Market

At the entrance of the Winter Market

This is where I picked up my romaine lettuce for $1

This is where I picked up my romaine lettuce for $1

Made in West Virginia

Made in West Virginia



Jams, Jellies, and Butters

More greens!

More greens!

Potatoes and apples

Potatoes and apples

Get your frozen lamb here, folks

Get your frozen lamb here, folks

A lamb heart

A lamb heart

Salsas and spices

Salsas and spices

Handmade sausage pizza for $2

Handmade sausage pizza for $2

Fantastic apple danish made from West Virginia apples

Fantastic apple danish made from West Virginia apples


Overview of the winter market, held in the Waterfront Place Hotel. Over 40 vendors from around the state of West Virginia were there.

Overview of the winter market, held in the Waterfront Place Hotel. Over 40 vendors from around the state of West Virginia were there.

Great live music was playing, too! Some type of West Virginia bluegrass/folk music.

Great live music was playing, too! Some type of West Virginia bluegrass/folk music.

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7 Healthy Superbowl Snack Ideas

According to the USA Today, Superbowl Sunday is right behind Thanksgiving day in “most calories consumed in 1 day”.  Yikes! To keep Superbowl Sunday from becoming Supercalorie Sunday (and Supersick Monday), I thought I’d scour the internet to find a few recipes that would make a great healthy addition to any Superbowl party spread.

1. Healthy Jalapeno Poppers (or this one too)

  • Each stuffed pepper only has 43 calories and 1 gram of fat.  And with ingredients such as garlic, parmesan cheese, and any other spices you want to add, you’re not sacrificing any flavor.


2. Crockpot Buffalo Chicken

  • This recipe is spicy & low in fat, and can be served on sandwich buns, whole wheat tortillas, or even with crackers.
  1. You’ll need: 3# bag of frozen chicken breasts, 1 bottle of Frank’s Wings Buffalo Sauce, & 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix
  2. Put frozen chicken, sauce, and ranch dip mix in crock pot
  3. Cook on low at least 6-7 hours
  4. Using 2 forks, shred chicken and return to crock pot
  5. Cook on low an additional hour

Buffalo Chicken

3. Lentil Sloppy Joes

  • Another recipe found on a fellow WordPress user’s site, and I immediately repinned it and can’t wait to try to make it myself.  Sounds packed with flavor, and just 1/2 cup of lentils provide 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein!

lentil sloppy joes

4. Strawberry Mango Salsa

  • Well, first off, the photo looks delicious. Secondly, since most food you’ll find at a Superbowl party is going to be meat-chips-dip type food, I think adding a fruit salsa to the mix would be a welcome addition for those that are looking for something a bit lighter and fresher in taste…and it probably will go fast!  Serve it alone or with pita chips.

strawberry mango salsa

5. Spinach Dip with Veggies in Baguettes

  • Not just your typical veggie tray! This display is a fun way to serve veggies at any party. And no party is complete without at least 1 vegetable tray/dish.


6. “Healthified” Greek Layer Dip

  • This dip is similar to the traditional Mexican 7-layer dip, but instead of all the guacamole, sour cream, and shredded cheese, you’ve got ingredients such as fat-free Greek yogurt, hummus, cucumber, kalamata olives, green onions, and feta cheese which mesh together to create a Greek masterpiece worthy of any pita bread or pita chip in sight.

Greek layer dip

7. “Oklahoma Caviar” Bean Salad

  • Throw together tomatoes, jalapeno, fresh cilantro, green onions, garlic, green chilis, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, black beans, Garbanzo beans, and Italian dressing to create this fresh-tasting, delicious, high-fiber “caviar” to be served with chips.

Any other recipes you’d include on this list? And let me know if you try any of these recipes, in the comments below. Have a great Superbowl Sunday!

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Obama’s 3000+ Calorie Inaugural Luncheon

For those guests attending the 57th Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies today, January 21st, 2013, I might recommend skipping breakfast…and dinner. Why? Because the inaugural luncheon’s 3 courses add up to a whopping 3027 calories (and that doesn’t include the wine).  Most adults’ calorie needs are closer to 2000 calories, so a 3027 calorie lunch definitely provides more than enough calories for the entire day.

I am all for indulging yourself on certain special days such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, etc… and I suppose the 57th Presidential Inauguration falls into the “special event” category, so I’ll give a little leeway to those attending the luncheon. Heck, if I was invited, I’d try a little bit of everything.  It sounds pretty good, especially the hickory grilled bison in the second course. Yum!

You can find the menu items and even the recipes at the links below, if you feel like re-creating the luncheon for your family and friends.  Just be aware the calorie counts are a little crazy!!



Per Serving: Calories 783, Fat 45.7g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 247 mg, Sodium 1819 mg, Carbohydrates 55g, Dietary Fiber 7.5g, Sugar 14g, Protein 29g

Per Serving: Calories 1184, Fat 34.6g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 177mg, Sodium 7445mg, Carbohydrates, 149g, Dietary Fiber 16.7, Sugar 97.2g, Protein 51g

Per Serving: Calories 1060, Fat 64.4g, Saturated Fat 39g, Cholesterol 331mg, Sodium 488mg, Carbohydrates, 108.5g, Dietary Fiber 1.7g, Sugar 75g, Protein 14g


Calories 3027, Fat 145 g, Saturated Fat 71g, Sodium 9752 mg, Total Carbs 312.5g, Sugar 186.2g, Fiber 25.9g, Protein 94g

All this means that the lunch has around 43% calories from fat (21% calories from saturated fat!!), 41% from carbohydrates, and 12% from protein. Healthy recommendations are closer to 45-60% from carbohydrates, under 30% from fat, and 15-20% from protein. Additionally, the sodium content of the luncheon is close to 406% of recommended daily sodium intake! At least the lunch has fiber – 25.9g is within the healthy range for adults (around 25-35 g/day).

It is surprising that the first lady, Michelle Obama, through all her childhood obesity prevention and her Let’s Move campaign, didn’t take the inaugural luncheon as an opportunity to promote healthy eating.  “It was definitely a missed opportunity for nutrition education, for example, to offer lightened-up recipe alternatives (even if just on the website),” says Rachel Berman, RD, CSR, CDN who compiled the nutrition data for this year’s inaugural luncheon.  Fighting childhood obesity is an important and noble cause, but lets not forget that as adults we have the responsibility to be good examples for kids, and that includes choosing to eat healthy.  Especially when there is such media attention surrounding this national event.

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Test Tube Meat…yay or nay?


Is your new years’ resolution to earn a million dollars? If so, PETA may have the answer for you. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” has offered a $1 million dollar reward for the first laboratory to produce “in vitro” chicken meat made from chicken cells. How does this work? It is very similar to how we grow an organ for human transplantation. Stem cells from an adult animal are placed into a 3-D supportive scaffolding structure in a medium which would allow the cells to grow and reproduce. When fully developed, these cells will have grown into a product that mimics animal flesh that can be cooked and eaten.

PETA states that the chicken meat product must have the same taste and texture of “real” chicken, and will be judged via a taste test from meat-eaters and non-meat eaters alike. The million dollar prize also comes with the stipulation that the meat product will be produced in large enough quantities to be sold in at least 10 US states at a competitive price.

Why would an organization like PETA support the research for test-tube meat? According to PETA president Ingrid Newkirk, it all comes down to reducing animal suffering. “Americans eat 1 million chickens an hour. [In vitro meat] is both practical and pragmatic. We can’t afford to look at this from a purist’s standpoint. We need to reduce animal suffering now.”

Not only would large-scale production of in-vitro meat decrease animal suffering, it would also benefit the environment. There would be less greenhouse gas emissions caused by livestock digestion (especially in cattle). Less freshwater would be wasted from meat processing. In addition, since in-vitro meat could be produced in an urban area closest to the greatest consumer demands, transportation costs and environmental impact would be reduced. And all that corn, soy, and feed that chicken consume? These crops could be used for human consumption either here in America or overseas to help fight hunger in third world countries.

I think test-tube/cultured/in-vitro chicken is a great idea with many possible benefits. First, it has the possibility of being cheaper for consumers than buying traditional chicken. Secondly (and most exciting of all), when we are creating our own chicken meat, we could modify it to be more nutritious. Says Nicholas Genovese, PhD, researcher at the U of Missouri’s division of animal sciences, “In vitro, culture methods may be optimized to improve ratios of poly-unsaturated fats to saturated fats, thereby generating a healthier dietary protein source.” Also, “by engineering tissues on plant or fungus-based scaffolds, cultured meat technology opens the possibility to produce a meat produce rich in dietary fiber.”

I just recently over Christmas break watched the film documentary Food, Inc which has made me more aware of where my meat (especially chicken) comes from. The film covers the food industry in America today, at one point highlighting the shocking and very real process of how our chickens make it from the farm to our plate. After watching that film, I personally think that in-vitro chicken could be a safe and healthy alternative to traditional chicken meat.

Source: Food & Nutrition magazine, Jan/Feb 2013 issue “Exploring the Global ‘Cultured Meat’ Effort

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Eggs-cellent Eggs!

January is a popular time for people to be setting new and healthy eating habits for the new year. It is also National Egg Month, so what better time than now to make an effort to include more eggs into your diet!

3 Reasons Eggs are Excellent:


1. Nutritious

One large egg contains just 70 calories and 6.2 g of complete protein, which means it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids needed by the human body. Eggs are also is a good source of vitamin D, which supports strong bones. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the nutrients found in one large egg:

  • 70 calories
  • 5 g of fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 1.0 g polyunsaturated fat, 2.0 g monounsaturated fat)
  • 185 mg cholesterol
  • 70 mg sodium
  • 70 mg potassium
  • 6.2 g protein
  • 6% Vitamin A
  • 8% Vitamin B-12
  • 4% Vitamin B-6
  • 10% Vitamin D
  • 2% Calcium
  • 6% Folate
  • 4% Iron
  • 10% Phosphorus
  • 10% Riboflavin
  • 4% Zinc

2. Cheap

As a broke college student, I can appreciate the fact that eating healthy can be very inexpensive. Eggs are a great way to get the protein in my diet that I need, without breaking my wallet.  A dozen eggs can be found most grocery stores for around $2, which makes each egg cost around 17 cents each– not bad! Definitely cheaper than a bag of chips or a package of cookies.

3. Versatile

Eggs can be scrambled, over-easy, poached, sunny-side up, or fried. You can put them in breakfast burritos, throw a sliced hard-boiled egg on a salad or sandwich,  make a quiche, egg salad sandwich, or deviled egg appetizer. And who doesn’t love a good omelet or frittata? Make eggs your friend for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

5 Facts About Eggs:

1. Recommendations for Egg Storage:

  • Eggs can be safely stored in the fridge for 2-4 weeks and in the freezer for up to 1 year.
  • Raw yolks/whites can be stored in the fridge for 2-4 days and in the freezer (at 0 degrees F) for 1 year.
  • Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the fridge for 1 week, but are not recommended to be frozen.
  • Liquid eggs or egg substitutes can be stored in the fridge for 10 days if unopened, 3 days if opened, and stored in the freezer for up to 1 year if unopened.

2.  Casseroles and dishes containing eggs should be cooked to an internal temperature fo 160 degrees F as measured by a food thermometer

3. Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield on them must supply the “pack date” which is the date the eggs were washed, graded, and packed in a carton.  The date is a 3-digit number based on the Julian dates. This means that January 1st is denoated as 001 and December 31st is 365.

4. Eggs are not federally required to have an expiration or “sell-by” date on them, however some states require it.  Eggs should be safe to use for 3-5 weeks after purchase, even if it passes the printed expiration date.

5. Recommendations regarding eggs. One egg contains 185 mg of cholesterol, and the recommendation for those with normal LDL cholesterol levels is to consume <300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day.  People who have high LDL cholesterol levels or are taking cholesterol-lowering medications should aim for <200 mg of dietary cholesterol per day. It is not necessary to avoid eggs in order to eat heart-healthy.  An egg a day can fit into the average person’s healthy diet, as long as they aren’t filling the rest of their diet with other cholesterol-laden foods such as pork, steak, shrimp, butter, and other animal products.  If you don’t want to give up your egg-a-day routine for breakfast, make an effort to include plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains in your lunch and dinner.  On the other hand, if you don’t want to give up your pork-chop-a-day routine for dinner, then maybe cutting back to just a few eggs a week might be a smart idea. It’s all about balance. Use your daily 300-mg of dietary cholesterol budget with care.

6. Egg substitutes are a great way to add some more volume to your omelets, without going overboard on your eggs. If you’re trying to eat heart-healthy, try using 1 whole egg and 2 servings of egg whites/egg substitutes in your omelet instead of 3 whole eggs.  Liquid egg whites and Egg Beaters (made from egg whites, with added flavor and yellow color to resemble liquid whole eggs) can be found at any grocery store and have 25 calories per 3 tablespoons, 75 mg of sodium, 0 mg of cholesterol, and 5 g of protein.

Interested in more information? has dozens of recipes as well as fun facts about eggs.   University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Extension has great information about how to cook your eggs thoroughly and safely so you can avoid the risk of salmonella (including everybody’s favorite, “no eating raw cookie dough made with eggs!”).

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