Health and Lifestyle - Dressing Up Your Zucchini

Health and lifestyle ... it can mean many things ... like dressing up your zucchini.  When your plants begin to produce massive amounts of veggies sometimes you run out of ways to prepare them.  You begin to search for ways to dress them up in a new dish ... and on the other hand sometimes you just "dress" them up and put them back in the garden!

After this guy came back in from guard duty in the garden I chopped him up with some eggplant, onions, yellow pepper, tomatoes and made an awesome ratatouille .... see recipe below:


  • 1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggplants... about 2 pounds, I took about half the peel off chop into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 gigantic zucchini about 2 pounds, cut into 1" cubes
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 yellow bell peppers, cleaned, cut into 3/4" cubes
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, diced 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese


In a large saute pan with lid heat oil over medium heat. Cook onions and peppers, stirring occasionally, until soft and glassy.
Add garlic; cook until fragrant
Add tomatoes and thyme ... cook until they begin to break down
Stir in eggplant and zucchini; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to medium/low and let simmer partially covered until veggies begin to soften ... 15-20 minutes
Remove from heat
Stir in half the basil and reserve the rest for garnish.
Sprinkle Parm cheese on top

Actually this can be eaten hot or room temp.  We had some leftover that I served with dinner and just had it at room temperature and I think it was even better!

Now, that our healthy lifestyle is evolving ... we do eat meat ... just not a lot of it ... and only when we crave it.  Certainly not everyday and in the summer heat with all of our fresh veggies from the garden it only makes sense to harvest, wipe the dirt off and eat!


  • Did you know that a cup of plain zucchini has more potassium than a banana ... or that they’re more than 95% water? 
  • One zucchini is a 'zucchina.'
  • The largest zucchini weighed 65 pounds and was 7 feet 10 inches long.
  • There are 37 people in the U.S. listed on with the last name 'Zucchini' and an additional 47 with the last name 'Zucchino'

(Mark Morton, 'Gastronomica', Fall 2010)

Enjoy life.  Here's to your health and lifestyle!

Be sure to stop by for the latest information on health in Austria!

Health and Lifestyle - Strawberry Fields ... Forever!

Health and lifestyle ... what could be better for your health than deliciously ripe strawberries?  The strawberry season is drawing to a close in Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) so we decided if we were going to hit the "U-Pick" fields and get the freshest berries, today would be the day.

We "googled" the closest field to the house and out we went at 7:30am to the farm.  It was already in the low 80's ...
"Erdbeer-Land" means Strawberrry Country ... YIPPEEEE!!!!

Only a couple other people out picking in the fields ... the berries are mostly gone, but the ones we find (over 10 pounds worth) are the sweetest fruit imaginable.  My husband ate almost as much as he picked!

It was like going on a treasure hunt ... move a few leaves and find a few berries ...

By the time we finished up we had two of the baskets filled to the brim and it was after 9:30am!

Healthy eating has a lot to do with eating seasonally ... when it is local and ripe, then the time to eat it is now.  From the vine to my mouth .. maybe 30 seconds.  I am sure that 99.9% of all the nutrients are still active.

The "Scoop" on Strawberries:

One cup of whole strawberries contains 0.96 grams of protein, 46 calories and 2.9 grams of dietary fiber.
  • Potassium - 220 mg 
  • Phosphorus - 35 mg 
  • Magnesium - 19 mg 
  • Calcium - 23 mg 
  • Sodium - 1 mg 
  • Iron - 0.59 mg 
  • Selenium 0.6 mcg 
  • Manganese - 0.556 mg 
  • Copper - 0.069 mg 
  • Zinc - 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin A - 17 IU 
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine) - 0.035 mg 
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - 0.032 mg 
  • Niacin - 0.556 mg 
  • Folate - 35 mcg 
  • Pantothenic Acid - 0.18 mg 
  • Vitamin B6 - 0.068 mg 
  • Vitamin C - 84.7 mg 
  • Vitamin E - 0.42 mg 
  • Vitamin K - 3.2 mcg 
  • Contains some other vitamins & minerals in small amounts

Begin by taking baby steps toward eating healthy and soon you will find that you have a healthy lifestyle.  

So what did YOU have for breakfast this morning?

Here's to your new health and lifestyle!

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Health and Lifestyle - Cooling Down in St. Corona

Health and lifestyle ... what to do to lead that healthy lifestyle that you crave?  Sometimes you have to sit back and take the time to smell the roses ...

It has been HOT here in Austria ... close to 100 degrees for the last 4 days.  So what better way to cool down than to visit an old friend up in the mountains at his home in St. Corona?  We hopped into the car and drove up for dinner and a relaxing evening ... enjoying the view from the balcony.  A picture postcard view of the valley below.

The temperature dropped a good 10 degrees at 3000 feet .. what a pleasant relief!  Then our friend uncorked  a delicious red wine from one of the local heurigens (Austrian wine house)

Then on to a light dinner ... a Greek salad ... eating healthy is a key to living longer!

Crunchy and tangy, this refreshing salad really hit the spot.  Made with:
  • Chopped pitted green olives
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Light green peppers
  • Sun ripened tomatoes
  • Red Radish
  • Feta cheese
Dressed with:
  • Olive oil
  • Equal parts Apple cider vinegar & water
  • 1T. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
 Of course, there was  crusty rye bread ... YUM! 

So, my friends, living a healthy lifestyle should be something that you work at everyday, but it shouldn't be hard work, but enjoyable.

Here's to Health and Lifestyle!


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Health and Lifestyle - UFO has Landed in the Garden!

Health and Lifestyle is what living is all about.  I wrote about my garden in my last post, but I failed to mention the UFO that landed!

Let me start at the beginning ... I live in Austria where they speak (and write) in German ... I am an American who speaks and reads in English and while I am learning the "mother" language of Austria, I do have some challenges.  I thought I had planted red cabbage ... the seed package I read (or so I thought) said red cabbage, but as the days went by I simply could not conceive how this growing plant would turn out to be a head of red cabbage.  I even "googled" pictures of growing cabbage ...

A few more day passed and as I searched on the internet I found it!  Yes, my friends, it is indeed red,  not a cabbage, but a Red Kohlrabi.  Well, until very recently I didn't know about Kohlrabi at all, let alone red ones!

I learned more.  It seems that Kohlrabi (sometimes called a German turnip) is not so popular int he US, but it is everywhere in Austria.  They steam it, make stews, eat it raw in salads and they even BBQ it!  It tastes kind of like a fresh broccoli stem ... juicy and crunchy.

Here is the nutritional "scoop" on Kohlrabi

  • Low in calories, only 19 for a half cup raw, sliced
  • High in dietary fiber, 2.5 grams for one-half cup
  • Potassium content peaks at 245 grams for one-half cup
  • Vitamin content for that same one-half cup includes 25 I.U. vitamin A, 43.4 mg. vitamin C, 11.3 mcg folic acid, and 16.8 mg. calcium

Well, today was harvest day for this particular "bad" boy!  My husband peeled it and then shredded it like a slaw then and I whipped up a tasty dressing for it ... YUM ... crunchy and refreshing!

Here is my recipe for my "Sweet Basil Dressing":

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • A couple of twists with your pepper mill
  • 1/2 cup garden fresh basil
  • 1 T. honey (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Handful of sunflower seeds

Toss everything into a high speed blender and pulse until smooth and creamy.  This dressing tastes even better the second day .. if you have any leftover!

It is all about how you choose to live your life ... and right now life is very good.

Here's to health and lifestyle!

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Health and Lifestyle ... Watch My Garden Grow!

Health and lifestyle for me means eating great food.  After doing my due diligence I realized that many of the "fresh" veggies that I bought in my local supermarket came complete with a passport ... by that I mean it has traveled long distances ... many times it has crossed borders coming to me.  So, if you figure out the timeline here ... someone picks it, it is processed, shipped many miles to the wholesaler then sent on to the grocery store you are probably talking about a minimum of 1 week.  How many of those terrific nutrients are still alive in those "fresh" fruits and veggies? This reason we decided to grow our own.

We are located just a little south of Vienna in Austria and this will be are first time growing veggies in a cold climate ...  to start off we potted our seeds the end of March and kept them in the boiler room in the basement ... good thing too, because we actually had a light snow on Easter!

The decision was made to go with raised beds for a couple of reasons.  Easier to keep the critters out and easier for us old folks to weed!

They have a saying in Austria that basically means you shouldn't plant before the first of May, but we took a chance and got a few things into the beds the end of April.

This really being our first time "farming" we didn't realize how large everything would get ... tomato plants shooting up, broccoli bushing out and the zucchini's, well if you have gardened before you are probably laughing right now!

This is mid June ....

Well, what can I say?  We have added a small greenhouse and 2 more raised beds ... did I mention we have pumpkins and sunflowers planted in the front yard, also?

It seems that we are addicted to our garden and the delicious food that it produces.  We have been eating and juicing our "greens" two times a day and we just planted more lettuce ... the reason for the last raised bed!  The fresh herbs are totally awesome ... we use a lot of parsley, basil, chives, dill and cilantro and it seems the more I cut it the faster it grows!

Wow, I never realized how special it is to go outside to clip lettuce, gather some basil, cut a tomato and then walk into the kitchen to prepare an awesome salad!  From the dirt to the plate in 10 minutes ... how cool is that?

Changing old habits can be challenging.  It takes courage to take that first step.

Here's to your Health and Lifestyle!

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Health and Lifestyle ... A New Beginning!

Health and lifestyle is something that we all desire ... good health and a fulfilling lifestyle, that is!

As we grow older, I guess this is something that becomes more important to us.  We begin to see friends and family members suffer from all kinds of ailments and no matter how much money they may have in the bank, if something hurts ...

The internet is a great resource for learning all the right things to do to improve or maintain our health ... and with good health you can have the lifestyle that you dream about.  This has nothing to do with money, but the lifestyle that is between your ears.  Enjoying life with good friends, healthy food and a positive attitude will inspire you to live to be 125!

OK, I am ready to explore that new beginning, turn that corner and live each day like it may be my last.

Here's to health and lifestyle!

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