Sometimes we think we know everything about foods; however, there is never an end to educating ourselves regarding what we eat.

Our featured cook today, Linda Hill, has accomplished a system for eating good food that is tasty and through it all, many have lost weight doing so.

Linda came to our area as a young college student from Roy, Utah. She met her husband, Val Hill, from Lyman, and has lived in the Lyman area ever since. They just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Linda works as the librarian at Madison Junior High School and Val has his own cabinet and countertop business, (Val Hill Construction, Inc.,). They have five grown daughters, Karen, Kayla, Alyssa, Lydia and Kate, and 14 grandchildren.

Inasmuch as Linda loves to cook and takes an interest in foods, she developed a class for teachers who could earn credit and enhance their lives regarding foods and nutrition. It is called Massive Action Towards Health. The class is designed to help those who struggle making peace with food. It is a plan to get healthy and feel well. Students will commit to four “Bright Line” boundaries—no sugar, no flour, 3 meals each day and controlled portions for five weeks. Students who follow this plan will likely lose one to three pounds per week; Linda’s class of 24, lost collectively, 166 pounds, in the month-long class.

Linda’s class also loved the food they learned to eat and felt better physically through this, making new habits with food. They kept a food journal and planned out their food choices before eating. They were also required to read the book, “Bright Line Eating”, by Susan Peirce Thompson, which was a great outline for the class. Guidelines for the class were to eat three meals a day. Breakfast: 1 protein, 1 breakfast grain, 1 fruit; Lunch: 1 protein, 6 ounces of vegetables, 1 fruit and 1 fat; Dinner: 1 protein, 6 ounces of vegetables, 8 ounces of salad and 1 fat. And no snacking! Following these guidelines, the class felt they were more alert mentally, had a more clear brain and slept better. One teacher has lost 70 pounds since August by following the book, “Bright Line Eating”.

Linda was not always in the work force and was a homemaker until her last child started school. She then decided to go back to school and develop a career which was a dream to become a librarian. After a few other jobs in education, she is now in her comfort zone as MJHS librarian. This is her 19th year of working in the field of education.

Linda has always loved to cook and at a young age was taught by her mom, Iona Hall. She learned many skills from 4-H. She is a scratch cook and enjoys all categories pertaining to food from meals to baking and entertaining. She and Val grow a large garden and she preserves the produce; either freezing, bottling or storing for later use. She has taught all of her girls to cook.

Linda and Val enjoy many of the same hobbies. They like to camp and trail bike. They built their own home. They enjoy, with friends, dancing monthly in Roberts with Kortny Albertson and his live band. There is a community pot luck dinner before the dance, with a variety of tasty foods from great cooks.

Linda’s personal hobbies include reading, biking with friends and being in a book club. She loves her work at the library and the special students and adults at the school. She loves connecting students with good books, supporting teachers and planning programs.

Val has always enjoyed being involved in the scouting program and is totally involved and loves his wood work. When the girls were still at home, they were involved in their lives and activities which included 4-H clubs in animals, cooking, photography and other fun summer programs.

Next January, 2020, Linda will be teaching another class in the food category. We thank her for sharing with us today and are happy to know that education in food and what is the best for us to eat is available to our teachers. Linda also heads up special career classes during the 30 minute flex class during the day which involves people from our community. The goal is to help students be prepared for the many STEM related careers. She is always looking for volunteers for this so if you have an interesting job you want to share with these junior high school students, call Linda Hill at MJH-208-359-3310.

We thank Linda for some of her special recipes and thank her for the expertise she teaches to students and adults. Thank you Linda!

Homemade Yogurt

(Linda Hill)

I like making full fat yogurt with low or no sugar. It’s easy and inexpensive. I usually make at least two quarts at a time.

Pour whole milk into a pot and cook on medium-high until it reaches 180 degrees. Add a little sugar if you like, ¼ cup or less for two quarts of milk. Add vanilla or other flavoring. (I like maple). Cool to 120 degrees, then add one cup yogurt with live cultures. Stir well and pour into quart jars. Screw on lid and submerge in hot water (around 120 degrees) in an insulated thermal container that will hold the heat, overnight for 8-12 hours. Longer times result in a slightly more tangy yogurt, much like Greek yogurt. Watch your temperatures closely. Yum!

Instant Pot Meatballs on Spaghetti Squash

(Linda Hill)

2 pounds hamburger

3 eggs

¾ cup ground oatmeal or other binder

Onion, garlic and other Italian spices you prefer

½ cup Marinara sauce

Mix and form balls and place in your Instant Pot. Add Marinara or spaghetti sauce over your meatballs.

Marinara Sauce:

1 quart tomato juice; home canned is fine

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

Onion, garlic and other Italian spices you prefer

Pour over meatballs and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. (Or bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, split, face side down on parchment paper or foil lined cookie sheet. Serve meatballs over spaghetti squash in place of noodles.

Note: I didn’t know how easy it is to make your own Marinara sauce.

Oatmeal German Pancakes

(Linda Hill)

This recipe is flour-free. I also make this with oatmeal.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In the blender add:

6 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup oatmeal

Pinch of salt

Place 3 tablespoons melted butter in an oven-safe 12-inch skillet or 9x13 glass dish. Pour pancakes on top of hot butter and bake for 15 minutes or until brown and cooked through. Serve with homemade yogurt and fresh fruit. It is especially delicious with blueberries.

Roasted Turmeric Tahini Roasted Cauliflower

(Linda Hill)

Think you don’t like cauliflower? Try it roasted with the creaminess of tahini and the warmth of turmeric and you’ll be whistling a different tune. This is also incredible nutritious and anti-inflammatory.

1 large head cauliflower, base steam removed and chopped into florets

1 tablespoon tahini paste, optional

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric

½ teaspoon sea salt (or 1 teaspoon, depending on your taste)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, combine cauliflower, tahini, olive oil, turmeric and sea salt. Toss to coat evenly. Place cauliflower evenly in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown and florets can be easily pierced with a fork.

Parmesan Tilapia

(Linda Hill)

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup butter, softened

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon celery salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon paprika

2 to 3 pounds tilapia filets (about 8-12 filets)

Old Bay seasoning

Preheat oven broiler. Line jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Mix together Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add basil, pepper, onion powder, celery salt, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and paprika. Arrange fillets (red side up) in a single layer on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip filets over and broil for another two minutes. Remove the filets from oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for two more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over-cook the fish.

Banana Chia Pudding

(Linda Hill)

This is not your conventional, thick, dairy-filled pudding, nope. This one uses no sweeteners, just pure banana goodness, thickened with beneficial chia seeds. Chia seeds are high in Omega 3’s.

1 cup water

4 tablespoons Chia seeds

2 ripe bananas

1 cup full-fat coconut milk (1 can)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Combine the Chia seeds and water in a pint jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to get all the Chia seeds mixed in with the water and to break up any lumps. Set aside for 30 minutes, shaking occasionally to break up any lumps. In a bowl or a food processor or in a blender, combine bananas and coconut milk and pulse until smooth. Pour banana mixture into a quart-sized bowl (make sure to use a silicone spatula to scrape out everything) and mix in the cinnamon, salt and Chia gel. Store refrigerated and serve cold.

Rainbow Salad

(Linda Hill)

Eat the rainbow green salad daily. Fills you up and helps you feel well.

Variety of lettuce and greens such as spinach and kale

Darker greens are loaded with vitamins.

Rainbow veggies: peppers, radishes, cucumbers, sprouts, carrots, beets, tomatoes and jicama.

Eat at least 8 ounces of salad each day.

Add 2 tablespoons low sugar dressing for your fat.