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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Home Cooking

There is nothing like home cooked meals. My parents have been staying with me for the past two weeks to help me transition into life at home with the new baby. What a relief! My mom has made every lunch and dinner since they got here, and she has gone out of her way to make some of my favorites. I think one of the reasons home cooked meals are so good is that they are made with love!

First, my parents came to Florida bearing gifts of fresh cheese curds and string cheese from Wisconsin. You can order fresh cheddar curds directly from Springside Cheese store. Since they won’t be quite as fresh once they are shipped to you as when you personally go to the factory, take a few out and put them on a plate and microwave for 20 seconds to get them soft and warm. You will be in cheese heaven! They also brought my favorite chocolate treats from Beerntsen’s chocolate shop, the mint meltaways and the fairy food. Tasty!

Back to the home cooking…do you have certain dishes that only your Mom or Dad can make just right? One of my husband’s favorites from my parents are brats on the grill. After you grill them, you bring them in and put them in a slow cooker full of beer and grilled onions. The flavors meld with the brats and they tell me they are out of this world. I have been pesco-vegetarian for over 15 years so I haven’t had a brat in a long time. I will take their word for it.

One of my favorites is shish kebob. My mom has a great marinade recipe (see below). They get zucchini, mushrooms, red, yellow, and green peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes don’t absorb marinade so we don’t soak those but they do skewer and grill them. They also get steak, shrimp, and chicken and cut them all up into large chunks. The veggies and each meat go into separate bags of marinade in the morning and sit all day soaking. Skewer everything and grill! Baste the marinade on while it is grilling and the flavor is excellent. One tip from Mom is to skewer each food on separate skewers and don’t try to make them look pretty with steak and veggies alternating on one skewer. Steak takes a lot longer to cook than mushrooms. Skewer them all separately for more even cooking.

Shish Kebob Marinade
1 cup wine
1/3 cup oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 onion, grated
1 clove garlic, chopped
10 peppercorns, cracked
2 bay leaves
2 tsp whole rosemary leaves
¾ tsp curry powder
1 ½ tsp salt

Enjoy your family recipes, or try this shish kebob from our family! With all the veggies involved and lean protein it is actually a healthy meal. We always make some wild rice to go along with it.

Photo courtesy of jaysspace
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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