Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Recipes to try

Don't worry, I'll still have plenty of recipes to try and share. They may no longer be a carnivore's delight, but your mama always told you to eat your vegetables right?

Here are a few recipes I have in line to try out next week: Sweet potato and carrot cakes

Silly Sweet Potato Pecan Pizza

Easy Spiral Hummus wraps

Creamy avocado carbonara

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mini me

There is no denying it. Kristjan is a mini Chris. Chris's mom is visiting and found some pictures of Chris when he was Kristjan's age at Grandpa's. Look at the resemblance! Even the hair is the same. Just Chris's hair was a little darker. Other than that, they look so much alike.
This picture with grandpa really amazed me. It looks like Kristjan in the photograph.
Here is another one. I get this look sometimes. From both of them.

These photos are such treasures. So very cute how characteristics and traits continue to emerge through the years. It keeps the previous family members always alive and remembered in everyone that follows.

I've been down this road before

I've been down this road before. I made it to the crossroads. I stood there, knew which direction I wanted to go, which direction I knew in my gut I should go but always turned back. I always turned back out of fear. Fear and a little laziness perhaps. Making the change would take work, and I would have to explain myself. Defend my direction. What the hell am I talking about you ask?

I've ranted and blogged on here several times about factory farming and the horrific treatment of animals in our food chain, America's addiction to sugar, fat and salt, the evils of processed foods and the ties between our government, health insurance and mega food corporations. The drug companies are tied to the food industry. Cheap food is actually costing us more. We are all becoming sick from the food and the drug companies are cashing in. There's always a pill to ease your symptoms. What about getting to the root of the problem and fixing it?

I don't want to be part of the "grid" anymore. I watched Food, Inc. again. A movie I wish everyone would watch. We kill over 10 billion animals a year for our meat consumption and I won't even go in depth in regards to the inhumane treatment they go through. Yes, billions. We're mainly growing soy, cotton and corn in this country. Everything we eat started with corn. From the food the cows at the factory farm eat (did you know cows were meant to eat grass?) to the high fructose corn syrup in the sodas and bread. We are all walking corn stalks. Genetically modified corn stalks.

I have many reasons, so many that I just don't want to detail them and risk losing your interest in what I have to say. Just watch Food, Inc. to start with. Then watch "Super Size Me", "Fast Food Nation", read books, listen to podcasts, and look up articles from Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omniovre's Dilema, In defense of Food), Marion Nestle (What to Eat), Kelly D. Brownell, M.D. (Yale, Rudd Center for Food Policy& Obesity), Colleen Patrick-Coudreau (Vegan activist, writer and cookbook author) and Jamie Oliver (my hero).

I know I'll probably receive a little grief for this. I've finally decided after all of these years of looking at the right direction, just to go that way. I'm going veg.

Gosh, I feel like I'm coming out of the closet here. Sheesh!

This is not all for the animals sake. By dismissing meat I lower my cancer risk, reduce my chance of heart disease, lower my cholesterol, reduce my risk of diabetes, live longer and keep a lower body weight. Those to me are brilliant reasons. There is proven evidence that a meatless diet rich in dense vegetables and whole grains can reverse heart disease (read 'The Spectrum" by Dean Ornish, M.D.).

Please don't approach me with the "you need meat for protein" argument. It won't work. We don't need animal products for protein. Where do cows get their protein? From the grass. Protein can be found in beans, legumes, nuts, grains, soy, quinoa, lentils and vegetables. Yes, vegetables contain protein. "They" don't want you to know that really. Otherwise we wouldn't be buying gallons upon gallons of milk and packages upon packages of ground beef and chicken.

I admit I have three things I can't let go of yet. My friend Kimberly's eggs from her spoiled chickens and a couple of cheeses we love where the cows involved are treated with respect and fed only grasses. At this moment I don't seem to have a problem getting goat cheese from; let's say, a small farm where the goats are treated respectfully and the process is done organically. I haven't decided yet fully on all aspects of cheese and eggs.

Don't worry...I won't force my decision on anyone else. The kids are free to make their own decision. If they want to great! If not, that's fine too. Doesn't mean I won't teach them all of their options as they grow. Chris is on board. He's happy to stay away from the meats. Besides, he can always grab a carnivorous lunch out if he wants and I promise not to slap him if he orders salmon at a restaurant.

Now that I got that out...I hope you all can be happy for me.

I found a couple of photos in my photo box that I thought I would share. Me and my beloved Smoky Mountains. I miss them so very much. It's been way too long...hope to be able to see you again soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Curry time!

It has been a challenge on those week nights that I don't have anything already prepared to get dinner done on a timely manner. Since I have been going to jazzercise as often as I can, I don't get home until just after 7pm some evenings. That means, dinner for the adults is delayed. Some nights it's egg wraps, a quick tossed salad or even peanut butter & jelly. The other night I had cereal with almond milk and raisins for dinner. Chris is happy with anything rolled up into a whole wheat wrap. That's easy and I surprise him sometimes with the craziest combos.

Chris is good about getting the kids squared away. They eat from the moment they walk in the door until they go to bed it seems. Lately, Kristjan has been like a little piglet. He must be going through a growing phase because he's never satisfied. Dude needs to grow! Eating and growing is good. He's still fitting into 24 month shorts. ;o) Even though I got home after seven last night, I had to make a quality meal with plenty of veg and protein. I didn't want another bowl of cereal.

I made a quick curry powder by toasting coriander and fennel seeds then pulsed in the grinder with cayenne, cinnamon and turmeric. In my stock pot I added some oil and Smart Balance, the curry powder and a chopped onion. When the onion was translucent I added the kale until wilted. I then added some broth, water, tofu and red lentils. Towards the end I added a head of cauliflower chopped and a can of coconut milk. Simmered until the cauliflower was tender.

Turned out very good. I was only missing some Jasmine rice. It made a huge pot so I'll just cook up some rice tonight and have that with the leftover soup. I'll call this soup Curry-Coconut soup with kale, tofu, red lentils and cauliflower.

It's almost pesto time!

It's warming up!
The flowers are blooming.

The seeds are sprouting. Here are my baby basil plants.
Mom and dad gave me a piece of their mint to grow and I must have forgotten I planted squash seeds in the pot when I planted the mint. Both are doing well.
In a few weeks she will be sporting a nice tan. At least the weather has been very nice lately. Pool is almost ready for swimming. Just a few degrees more to go.