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Italian Green Bean Salad

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Brain Gunk

As a youngster, I attended a Catholic grade school. In those days we gathered for morning Mass every day. When I was in second grade I was allowed to receive Communion, but that meant I had to fast for three hours in advance. So no breakfast at home for me before I hopped on the bus. Instead I took my breakfast to school with me.

Just like other children take their lunch to school, I had my little paper bag with my breakfast in it. But unlike other children, I was the lucky child of a mother who put extra time and attention into my breakfast. Most kids took one of those little boxes of cereal out of their bag for breakfast. They munched on Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms. I ate a poached egg.

Remember those little tins that pot pies came in? My mom saved them. She’d make me a poached egg and a wedge of buttered toast. She’d put both inside the little tin and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. It might be an hour or more before Mass was over and I could eat my breakfast but amazingly it was still warm. I loved it.

I was consistently one of the smartest kids in the class. I have my parents to thank for wonderful genes, but I also have my mom to thank for feeding me brain food.

A poached egg is two percent carbs, 63 percent fat and 35 percent protein. Your brain runs on fat. She was feeding me fat and protein that would keep me full and focused until lunch in the school cafeteria. Your brain does not run on Fruit Loops. Fruit Loops just gunk up your brain in the long run.

Now, let’s fast forward to adulthood and look at this connection of brain function as it relates to weight gain...

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Italian Green Bean Salad

This is a fun, colorful side dish to a plain piece of meat. This goes together so fast! You can even make it in the morning and finish assembly just before dinner.

Servings: Serves 4



2 cups of green beans
6 small tomatoes or 12 cherry tomatoes
15-ounce can of hearts of palm (rinse thoroughly) I use the pieces. Or you can cut up the longer ones.
1/2 cup of very thinly sliced red onion
1 cup of celery pieces
baby spinach
3 Tbl of dressing. Use Italian or an Italian vinaigrette


Put a medium pot of water on to boil. Put in your cut up green beans. Heat them in the water. When it begins to boil, take them out after one minute and immediately run them under cool water until they are cold. This will stop them cooking an you want them to remain crisp.

In a large bowl add the cool beans all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the spinach. The spinach goes in at the last minute.

Now toss thoroughly. You want your salad to remain in the bowl and let the flavors mix for an hour. Read the paper, watch the news...whatever. Or you can make this in the morning and let it sit in the refrigerator.

Grate on sea salt and pepper to taste. Now toss in a bunch of baby spinach. How much you put in of this unlimited green is up to you. Toss again and serve.

A nice, cool side dish.




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