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2022 Nov

A Treat for You

Peggy shares ideas for the holidays and welcomes TFP’s new food writer!

Recently Peter decided to be a vegetarian and gave up meat and fish. He wants to live to 100. It’s a big turn-around, especially when it comes to meal planning. Clearly, it doesn’t make sense for me to cook one piece of meat, so I’m following a mostly vegetarian diet, too.

I have to say I feel better already—but I have to admit there are moments when I crave meat (like right now). Peter doesn’t mind grilling a few pieces of chicken for me on occasion. So I get my fill and then happily go back to meatless meals.

Even if your kids are keen on meat, there are ways to encourage healthier eating habits. The key is make meat take on a more supporting role on the plate. If your kids love salad, serve a plate of salad with a few slices of chicken or some fresh tuna.

My family has always loved casseroles, especially when temps start dropping and we’re hungry for comfort food. One trick I learned is to add extra veggies to casseroles. Usually there are so many ingredients—think lasagna—that extra mushrooms or spinach added to the mix will usually go undetected.

With the holidays looming, it’s the ideal time to take stock of our eating habits and pledge once again to eat better. Sit down with your family and talk about healthy foods they like. Most kids love broccoli in a cheese sauce, and there are plenty of healthy recipes on the Internet to choose from.

Peter and I are big fans of beets—weird, I know. But they are so good, almost like candy! Skip the flavorless canned beets and buy fresh ones. Scrub and remove the ends, bring to a boil and simmer until a knife pierces the beets easily (usually about an hour), cool, and peel. My favorite way is to cut them in bite-sized pieces, add a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of Balsamic vinegar, and chill in the fridge until dinner time. Then I scatter minced fresh herbs on top and season with salt and pepper. Every time I serve fresh beets to naysayers, they can’t believe how delicious they are. Try it!

Speaking of food, we have a real treat for you! My friend and former Staff Epicure at The Virginian-Pilot, Lorraine Eaton, is the new food writer for Tidewater Family Plus. She and I first met while working on our MFAs in creative nonfiction at ODU, and I’ve long admired her writing. Now she’ll be sharing her Food Finds in a monthly column, and we are thrilled to welcome her. Turn to p. 28 for her review of Mellow Mushroom.

But don’t miss all the other great content we have for you this month. There’s so much going on this time of year! Make sure you check our 2022 Holiday Fun Guide and November calendar for exciting events and performances you can enjoy with your family. After all, the experiences you share with your loved ones, especially during the holidays, are what we remember most.

Thanks for reading Tidewater Family Plus and Happy Thanksgiving!

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and publisher of Tidewater Family Plus magazine. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

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