Monday, August 31, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

The fried cabbage and onion was a big hit last week. I thought cabbage was horrible, but man was I wrong!

I am going to try pate again this week. Probably with some store bought chips, just to encourage it to be a little more positive. I really want us to eat liver more. Maybe making it into a melt, with cheese over top.  Or, if I'm feeling really creative, I might try shredding cheese and making chips out of them, and then serving the pate as a dip. 

Drew's sister is taking the kids on Wednesday.  Drew and I are going into the city to the Union Square Farmer's Market.  I hope to get some more ideas for composting and bread making.  And, hopefully, I'll finally get some lard.  I've been out for about a month.  You don't know how much you appreciate something until it's gone.  And lard is definitely one of those things. Some day I'll find some pig fat and render my own.  But I have yet to find a source for that.    

Breakfast: I have all the ingredients on hand, and so can choose when we wake up, depending on our schedule and desire.
Fried/scrambled eggs with bacon and yogurt
Egg sandwiches (toasted sourdough bread, mayo, eggs, sliced pickles, fried onions, cheese)
Eggs and hash browns,
Sourdough pancakes ,
french toast casserole,
sourdough waffles (2nd waffle recipe is my favorite),
breakfast cookies with raw egg yolk smoothies or kefir vanilla milkshake,
Granola .

Lunch, served with kombucha for all:
Monday: Greasy Chicken and Rice
Tuesday: Liver Pate and Sourdough Toast
Wednesday: Eat out in NYC
Thursday: Shredded  Beef and Mushrooms over Fried Cabbage
Friday: Fish Cakes and Fries
Saturday: Chicken Waldorf Salad
Sunday: Fried Rice and Sausage

Supper: Generally leftovers, popcorn and smoothie, PB& honey sandwiches or veggies and PB, or any of the breakfast options.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yummy Nourishing Nutella Recipe

I found a recipe for homemade Nutella yesterday. Drew loves the stuff.  I'm personally not a big fan.  But it sounded yummy.  And I have been meaning to start experiment with my own nut butters.  So I thought this would be a good start.

Just out of curiousity, I googled Nutella ingredients.  Check out what wikipedia has to say about it:

"According to the product label, the main ingredients of Nutella are sugar and modified vegetable oil, followed by hazelnut, cocoa and skimmed milk, which together comprise at most 28% of the ingredients."

Wow! Sugar is the first ingredient listed. That means there is more sugar then nuts-by pound!

I found a container of hazelnuts at Whole Foods today, so I picked it up.  And we had the rest of the ingredients already.  The recipe came from a blog entitled 'A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa'.  Considering I grew up in Iowa, I thought it was proper I give the recipe a try. :)    I actually followed her recipe exactly and it turned out delicious!  So I just cut and pasted it right into here:

  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 3 tbs real maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
      1.  Roast hazelnuts in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
      2.  Remove the skins by rubbing them with your hands.
      3.  Blend the hazelnuts in a food processor or blender until they form into a thick butter.
      4.  Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth
      5.  Put into a jar and refrigerate.

Unfortunately, it was hard on my blender, or my tamper rather.  Somehow it got sucked into the container and ruined. Little pieces of plastic ended up in it.  We smoothed it all on a cutting board to get them out, and then enjoyed our hard-earned nutella.  :)  I ordered a new tamper from Vita-Mix. $19 with shipping.  That makes for some rather expensive Nutella.  But hopefully, I've learned my lesson.

The boys enjoying the fruits of their labor.  Notice Drew in the back. :)

Tomorrow I told the kids we've make sourdough sandwiches with peanut butter and nutella for our picnic.  Yum!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Granola Recipe

It seems every time I post a recipe on here, I can't seem to get it right after that.  So... I shouldn't post this. But, I love having it all in one place, instead of going here and there to find what I'm looking for.  It's based loosely on this recipe.

So, here is the recipe I've used twice and we love it.  The amounts are approximate, as I can't seem to measure properly, or at least, not add some extra of something last minute. If I could, I am guessing I would be a much better cook.  But, this recipe is pretty forgiving.  You can use more nuts and coconut, or dried fruit and no oats, or less nuts and more oats, etc.  I am going for a cereal with less grains, as I am working towards that end overall.

It is so nice to have a meal on hand at all times.  It's not cheap, but it's not real expensive compared to most 'real food meals'.  I decided it cost about $3 for the kids and I to eat it as a meal-including milk.  And Drew has taken it to work a few times and enjoyed it.  I do store it in the freezer, just to make sure the nuts stay fresh and don't go rancid. Esp since I find it easy to make a double batch and keep it around awhile.  It may not be necessary, I just feel better doing it.

Nourishing Granola Recipe

5 Cups Crispy Nuts  (I used peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds)
3 Cups Oatmeal (I am going to leave this out next time)
1/2 Cup freshly ground wheat or spelt berries
2 Cups coconut (grated, shredded, whatever you have-just make sure it's not sweetened or treated) 
1 or 2 Cups of dried fruit-optional (we just add raisins when we eat it, as we don't care for the raisins baked)

1 Cup of any combination of Coconut Oil,  Butter or Olive Oil  (I do 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 of CO)
1/2 Cup of Rapadura, sucanat or brown sugar

1/2 honey or maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbls cinnamon
2 tsp Vanilla

1.  Prepare nuts if you don't have them already crispied

2.  Put oats and flour in a bowl, add enough water, mixed with some whey or buttermilk, to whet thoroughly (about 2 cups) and let sit for 12-24 hours to break down the phyates and enzyme inhibitors.  

3.  We prefer our nuts crushed, so I put them all in my food processor, a few cups at a time, and process until they are quite small.  

4.  Add the nuts, coconut and dried fruit to the soaked oats and flour and mix well.  I use my hands.   

 5.  Combine the oil/butter, rapadura, honey/maple syrup, cinnamon and salt in a pan and melt on low heat.  Combine well.

6.  Pour cinnamon mixture over nut mixture and stir well.  Again, I use my hands-it's pretty messy.

7.  Cook at 350 for a couple of hours until dry-be sure to stir often.  Or, you can dry it on dehydrator trays for a day until it's dried out.  I've done both.  The more you stir, it, the smaller pieces it will be.  The less you stir, the more large crunchy pieces it will be.  We love both.  

There you have it.  A yummy, nourishing meal that you can make once a month.  And it stores so well, it's a 'real foodies' dream!  

Add a cup of raw milk and it's nirvana. 

Favorite Links Friday

1. This is a great, thoughtful post on why we take the time to prepare 'real' food.
"Food is essential because it is of the utmost “importance” if we want to live. Food is one of those few
real essentials in life, because we will quite literally die without it. Yet, for all of that, it’s rather neglected and looked down upon at times!
Looking at other cultures, especially in the past, I find that food is given special importance, and that it’s celebrated. Each harvest is a celebration because it means one more year of survival. There is joy in working for food (whether harvesting or cooking) because of a great gratefulness that there will be enough.

I want to capture some of that joy and gratefulness to bring to my table. Sure, I get tired of cooking as it can seem so unending! And we eat simple, frugal food a lot. But even simple, frugal food is worth being grateful for."
2. Here is a list of 50 enzyme rich foods, if you're looking to add them to your diet.  And this is a great article on why eating enzyme-rich food is important.  She breaks it down in very simple, understandable terms (the only way I understand things).

3.  Check out this video about the lack of correlation between heart disease and cholesterol.  We have been told for so long, that consuming cholesterol is what causes heart disease. But there is so little evidence to prove that. The vast majority of evidence proves that the body makes cholesterol to fight off diseases already present in the body. What we think is the cause, is actually the symptom.

4.  I shop at Whole Foods every month.  And I greatly appreciate their quality and price.  But, it is my goal, ultimately, to buy the vast majority of my food right from the producer, and, grow as much as possible myself.  But, that, is a long ways off.  I think, if catastrophe hit and we were forced to do so, I could manage.  But, as that is not the case, I will continue on my slow journey toward that end.  In the meantime, I am grateful to have a Whole Foods so close (4 actually).  This article (I have no idea who the guy is who wrote it, or what else he believes, but I do agree with his thoughts in this particular article) is a great overview as to why I do not like Whole Foods and hope to avoid them in the future.  I do believe that if all the mega grocery stores in America today were able to switch to the 'green' practices of Whole Foods, we would be a lot better off.  But, still far from where we need to be on the sustainability scale. 

5.  Kelly the Kitchen Kop posted about her experience with her 4 year old and his shots.  It's a good read and she has some other links for more information as well.

6.  This was just posted, and I want to make sure I can access it again if I need it.  I am looking into the option of painting our apartment . I don't want to spend much money (not only because we don't have it), because who knows how long we will be here.  But, it's so yucky in here, and I'm determined to surround us with beauty. And I think that a simple coat of paint will go a long ways towards that end.  This post is about paints that you can use that have little or no VOCS, that you can inhale, for even years after applying it.  She has some links on there also.  I am going to price the Harmony line at Sherwinn Williams.  I'd rather go with small and local, but I'm guessing it'll be a lot cheaper at giant Sherwinn Williams and I'd rather paint this place cheaply then not paint it at all.  

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

I'm going to try my new sushi mat this week. I'm very excited about the possibilities. Everyone freaks out when I tell them I'm going to make sushi, as they think 'raw fish'. But since I have not found a source of raw fish that I feel comfortable consuming, I'll stick with other forms of protein for now. I will probably do scrambled egg, cucumber and avocado this week.

I am also excited to try the popcorn chicken and cabbage meal this week. I hope we like them both!

I am going to try a banana coconut muffin recipe tomorrow also. I'd love to add a 'bakery treat' once or twice a week, but made with coconut flour, since I can't seem to get the soaked grain recipes for sweets.

I have all the ingredients on hand, and so can choose when we wake up, depending on our schedule and desire.
Fried/scrambled eggs with bacon and yogurt
Egg sandwiches (toasted sourdough bread, mayo, eggs, sliced pickles, fried onions, cheese)
Eggs and hash browns,
Sourdough pancakes ,
french toast casserole,
sourdough waffles (2nd waffle recipe is my favorite),
breakfast cookies with raw egg yolk smoothies or kefir vanilla milkshake,
Granola .

Lunch, served with kombucha for all:
Monday: Popcorn Chicken and Fries
Tuesday: Fish and Salsa
Wednesday: Fried Cabbage and Sausage
Thursday: Tuna Sushi
Friday: Pepperoni Pizza
Saturday: Brisket and Roast Veggies
Sunday:Brisket Salad

Supper: Generally leftovers, popcorn and smoothie, PB& honey sandwiches or veggies and PB, or any of the breakfast options.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Favorite Links Friday

Here are some of my favorite links from the week. Enjoy!

1. This article talks about whether some supplements are needed while on the Nourishing Traditions diet. I really don't consider Cod Liver Oil a supplement. It's more of a 'real food' in my opinion. And the same for coconut oil. My friend takes maca for her adrenals/thyroid issue, and even that is simply ground up maca. So even with the supplements she suggests, I would consider that a real food diet.

2. This is a great article on the benefits of coconut milk. And she even has a link to an NBC video about it's health benefits. I love seeing all of this in the main stream. It makes me feel less crazy. :)

3. My usual favorite carnivals: Real Food Wednesday, Food Roots Thursday and Fight Back Friday.

4. I'm inspired yet again. I am trying to do compost outside, but it's smelly, yucky and really just not working! So, I had looked into worm composting. But it's one more thing to try to figure out. This post encouraged me to look into it yet again. Maybe next week I'll order my red wigglers...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

I'm excited to have a few new breakfast items (which we often use for last minute lunches/suppers as well).

1. I made some granola last week and we really liked it-I changed the recipe some and will post my version once I've perfected it-I want to make it mostly grainless like this one. It's so nice to have an easy meal always available! And we all love it.

2. We have come to love egg sandwiches for a special treat now and then. I toast the sourdough bread, put mayo and sliced pickles on it (not homemade lacto-fermented, but someday...), and then I fry up some onions, bacon and eggs, and put them on the toast. We all love it!

3. Hash browns with the eggs. Another favorite, and it's so easy. I peel and shred 2 potatoes. I soak them in cold water for 15 minutes, I've read it's supposed to get the starch out, but I don't know if that is good or bad. I'll need to do more research there. I squeeze them out as much as I can and then fry them in the leftover bacon grease and butter from the friend egg. We all love them. There is so much you can do with it. You can add raw eggs and fry them as patties, or add all kinds of veggies, or salsas or sauces. I love versatile recipes!.

Options: eggs, bacon, egg sandwiches, hash browns, yogurt, sourdough pancakes , french toast casserole, sourdough waffles (2nd waffle recipe), breakfast cookies and raw egg yolk smoothies, granola .

Lunch, served with kombucha for all:
Monday: Fish Cakes and potato fries
Tuesday: Chicken Garden Salad
Wednesday: Not your Average Liver and Onions
Thursday: Hot Dogs and sprouted wheat berry 'mac & cheese'
Friday: CPK's Thai Pizza
Saturday: Curry Chicken and Rice
Sunday: Roast and Veggies

Supper: Generally leftovers, popcorn and smoothie, PB& honey sandwiches or veggies and PB, or any of the breakfast options.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Favorite Links

1. This is a great 'clip' from a longer interview with Joel Salatin.

He's my hero! :) Here is the longer article. It's definitely worth reading. The guy is a true genius.

I particularly liked his answer to the question: Is your meat organic? What are your thoughts on certification?

Joel: We don't participate in any government program. We are beyond organic. Organic is a non-comprehensive term--it does not define many variables. Goodness, you can grow certified organic carrots using seed that you produced yourself, bought from a seed saver, or acquired from the other side of the planet. The soil can be fertilized with on-farm generated compost and manure or bags and jugs of concoctions created in industrial factories. You can prepare the soil by double digging, tractor tilling, or carpet mulching like permaculture. You can weed those carrots with plastic mulch, by hand, propane flamers. You can pick those tomatoes yourself, with family labor, or non-community labor. And this is nowhere near the variables just in raising carrots. And in livestock the allowable variables are even more than with plants. Most organic eggs in this country are raised in factory houses. Ditto meat birds.

I first realized the fallacy of organic certification in around 1990 when I realized our pastured chickens could be certified organic if we purchased certified feed from 1,000 miles away but since we didn't have any local organic grain growers, buying my grain locally eliminated the certification chances. In my opinion, patronizing my neighbor so he doesn't get discouraged and sell to a strip mall is certainly as environmentally sensible as bathing my grains in transport diesel fuel and exporting my dollars outside the neighborhood just so I could claim organic purity.

2. My usual favorite carnivals:
Real Food Wednesdays,
Food Roots Thursday,
Fight Back Fridays.

3. This was a thought provoking post on sharing salvation from a good friend.
I loved this comment '“…waiting to be won to the heart of Jesus …” Salvation from sin, yes, but also a sacred romance, a love undying, a haven of peace and belonging. Jesus Christ offers much more than residence in Heaven." I have found that to be true in my own life. God doesn't just want us to 'talk the talk'. He wants to be our passion, he wants to romance us and for us to love him like a passionate lover back. How many Christians can truly say that about their relationship with God? For more on this subject, check out any of John Elderedge's books.

4. Forbes magazine had an article discussing the '10 healthiest foods' and raw milk was one of them! I love that it's catching on in the mainstream. I read about it here first.

A quote I really liked from the article:
Truth be told, what you eat probably matters less than how much processing it's undergone. Real food--whole food with minimal processing--contains a virtual pharmacy of nutrients, phytochemicals, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and healthful fats, and can easily keep you alive and thriving into your 10th decade.

5. Food Renegade got a hold of a book that is over 100 years old, and she posted some thoughts on it. It's a great read, and shows how our food supply has gotten to where it is today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast: Options: eggs, bacon, kefir smoothies, yogurt, sourdough pancakes , french toast casserole, sourdough waffles (2nd waffle recipe), breakfast cookies and raw egg yolk smoothies.

Lunch, served with kombucha for all:
Monday: Rice Patties
Tuesday: Roast Chicken and Veggie
Wednesday: Kedgeree (similar to this recipe, but from an old Fannie Farmer Cookbook I found, and I'm using canned salmon)
Thursday: Fish Cakes and potato fries
Friday: Pepperoni Pizza
Saturday: Ham Sandwiches
Sunday: Roast and Veggies

Supper: Generally leftovers, popcorn and smoothie, PB& honey sandwiches or veggies and PB.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A non-food related 'vote'

I meant to mention my mother-in-law's shop in my post on voting with your wallet. But it deserves a whole post by itself. :)

While I confess I am more into what I put in my body then what I put on it, when it comes to helping out the 'little guys', even things like buying second hand clothing and furniture is a vote for America's future.

The service at her small women's clothing boutique mirrors the service from my local raw milk farmers. Her customers love her. She hired a woman who loves people and fashion as much as she does, and between the two of them, I think they know nearly every returning customer's name and story (and size and stye). They are amazing at what they do! And the customer's feel special as soon as they walk in the store.

One day not long ago, a few customers came in raving about how wonderful Second Glance was, compared to some other newer consignment shops in the area (Second Glance has been around for almost 7 years). My Mother in law had been worried about the 'competition' from the new stores. But apparently, they didn't hold a candle to hers. She asked them what they liked so much about Second Glance. Their answer 'you'.

Customer service is hard to come by in a big store. Yet another reason to shop at the small businesses.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Favorite Links

I'd like to start doing this once a week, to keep track of, and to share, some of my favorite links regarding nourishment. We'll see if I actually do. :)

1. This is a neat post about meal planning and specifically how much a family spends on their monthly food budget. Is it more expensive to get 'organic' foods and cook things from scratch, or to buy the pre-packaged things from the grocery store? The long-term cost of health care certainly has to be weighed in to the equation, although that is somewhat arbitrary and hard to discern. Definitely personal preferences and beliefs come in to play. The comments are fascinating and definitely worth reading. It's fun because they are from families all over the world, telling what they eat, where they get it from, and how much they spend.

Ideally, I think I should spend about $400 a month. We tend to spend more like $500 though. I do most of the grocery shopping at once. It breaks down to approximately:

$150 meat and fish
$60 eggs
$60 raw milk
$30 grain (wheat berries, flour, oats, rice)
$20 butter
$80 fresh veggies and cheese
$20 frozen fruit and veggies
$50 sweeteners-honey, maple syrup and sugar
$30 extras-chocolate chips, ketchup, pickles, olive oil, celtic sea salt, etc.

I'd like to cut down on the meat and sweetners mostly. The rest it would be nice if it was cheaper, but I don't see that happening until we start growing our own.

2. Here is another fabulous post from a blog I always enjoy reading. It's entitled '10 Ways to Improve Your Digestion'.

3. There are some 'blog carnivals' that I really enjoy following: 'Real Food Wednesday', Food Roots on Thursday, and Fight Back Fridays.

4. I really want to see the movie 'Fresh'. I'll probably wait until it comes out on video, as I do not see Drew going with me, and sitting through a movie alone is probably impossible for me. Check out this review, esp Michael Pollen's comments.

5. This post on Kellegg's new add campaign made my stomach churn. I am convinced raisin bran is awful for you, but to pretend Fruit Loops is nourishing for a growing child? Another example of a big business out of control.

I sure am glad God is ultimately in control!

Happy weekend.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Voting with your Wallet

** I posted this on Fight Back Fridays **

Well, it's been almost a year since we started getting our milk from Farmer Julie and Farmer Rick at Freedom Hill Farms. And I continue to be beyond impressed and delighted by them, and their milk. We started out getting it from an Amish farmer, and it was fantastic quality milk, and delivered 2 miles away. But, it was also $8 a gallon, and I really wished for my children to see the source of their food as much as possible. Enter Freedom Hill Farm. I had prayed for a few months for God to provide a cheaper source of raw milk that I could pick up, and he did! $4 a gallon and the kids get to feed, pet and comb the cows while they are being milked. It's truly amazing! The couple who owns and operates the farm are Christians. They have prayer requests and Bible verses hanging on their barn walls. They always start out the milking session with prayer, and ask any of the guests to join them if they like. They give tours of their farm to anyone or any group interested. Julie is incredible. She is so good with the kids, and they, of course, love her back. Do you ever feel like you found a 'jewel'. These guys are definitely jewels.

I read a lot in the 'real food' circles, about our ability to vote with our wallet. And it makes sense, esp in today's economy and society. More then ever, we need to topple these giant businesses, for whom bottom line is the only real factor, and get back to the small ma and pop operations of yesteryear. It sounds too whimsical to be possible. But I really am starting to believe that it can happen.

Today I witnessed both extremes and it was eye opening for me.

First off, we drove an hour to the farm for our milk and eggs. There were people coming in and out, getting milk and talking and even feeding and walking the baby cows. It was hustle and bustle, but relaxed and fun. As Rick was pouring the milk into my plastic buckets, he said 'Jules (that's what he calls his wife-did I mention how cute they are?), look how creamy this milk is, this is great milk!'. The man has been a dairy farmer for I think about 20 years, and he still knows and is impressed by the quality of the milk. So I asked him what the difference was, and his response was 'the grass, the green amazing pasture grass', or something along those lines. I was so proud, impressed and grateful to know that I was going to take that stuff home and nourish my family with it. It was a precious substances that the farmer himself was proud of. Their barn has enough stalls to milk 22 cows. They decided when they went certified raw, that they wanted to keep it small. So when babies are born, they are sold to other dairy farms, or rotated into their herd. Each animal has a name. They are happy animals, if you can call a cow happy. They come up to you and nuzzle you. The kids love it when they nibble on their fingers.

After reading about the confined feeding operations (hysterical videos on a subject that is not so funny), I greatly appreciate those things. A small business, thriving in this 'bad economy', while bringing health to families and it's surrounding environment, and leaving little, if any, carbon footprint. It's a win-win situation!

On our way home, we stopped at Pathmark-a large supermarket chain store. It's huge, and honestly, up until about a year and a half ago, I did most of my grocery shopping there.

But, wow, what a difference from the farm we had just visited! First off, I've read in numerous places, that the food on our plates travel approximately 1500 miles to get there! That store represents a lot of miles traveled!

I once bought a package of orange extract that was produced right here in NJ, but was shipped from Ohio. But, it gets worse. The oranges had to be shipped, probably from Florida, to the plant in NJ to be combined with the alcohol to make the extract. And then shipped off to the distribution center in Ohio. Yikes! That's well over 1500 miles-all for a little bottle of extract.

And if you look at the labels on our produce, it's either from California, as they have the longest growing periods, or from a different country altogether. So it's hurting the little farmers in 3rd world countries who aren't being given fair prices for the food they grow, it's using up 10 times as much energy to ship, as it will give to the person consuming the food stuff, and it's being grow on soil that is depleted of any nutrients, and therefore pumped with synthetic nutrients to make it grow. Nobody wins!

Back to Pathmark... the people working at the store had no desire to be there, no enthusiasm and frankly, not a lot of knowledge when it came to the goods that were being sold there. Which is totally understandable of course. They have no idea where any of it came from, no connection to the people or land that made it possible and therefore, no pride in it whatsoever.

Contast that to Farmer Rick who was just admiring his great milk not 2 hours earlier, and it's eye opening!

There is no real accountability for the big producers of food. And no matter how many rules the government puts in place, they will never be able to hold them truly accountable. That is the nature of the game.

But, find yourself some farmers who know what they are doing. Who are connected to the land and truly care about their work, and all of that changes. The joy returns. The pride of a job well done is there. And the difference it can and would make on the economy and even social structure of America, is, I believe, huge!

If we were to stop consuming meat and dairy productes from confined feeding lots, and Genetically modified produce and grains from chemical-laden soils, I truly believe many of the modern health issues would correct themselves.

Eating a diet rich in saturated fats from grass fed animals (including eggs, meat, cheese, milk, fats such as lard, tallow and suet, etc.), and produce and grains from sustainably kept farms would make Americans healthy from the inside out, and take away the need for a national healthcare system.

It would also take money away from the big businesses, taking their 'votes' out of the government and allowing them to finally do some unbiased research and law making. They could get busy figuring out how to set up laws to safely allow all states to sell raw milk to interested consumers, and stop spending billions subsidizing corn that just sits or is used to make nasty things like high fructose corn syrup.

It would also hold each farmer accountable for the quality of his food. Food bourne illnesses like e-coli in meat, spinach and peanut butter would be so much easier to trace. And each farmer would work hard at making sure he does not lose his business due to carelessness. None of the large companies affected by the recent e-coli outbrakes have broke a sweat over their laziness!

And it would connect people to their source of food again. My precious niece would not believe her mother when she said that milk comes from cows. 'no mom, milk comes from the grocery store shelf!'. Isn't that how most children think? How would they know the source of their food if they never see it? Luckily, shortly after that conversation, we were able to take her with us to the farm and prove to her that milk really does come from a cow. :)

Of course, I don't believe that is the answer to all the world's problems. There are many, and sin is ultimately to blame.

But I'm happy knowing I'm 'casting my vote' for the little guys when I buy local. And I hope to shop less and less at stores like Pathmark and Wal-Mart.

Just for the record, I spent $120 at the farm and $20 at Pathmark. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Our garden is growing like crazy, so most lunches, we have been having a freshly cut salad along with our meal. It's so fun! :)

I also bought some water and milk kefir grains last week and hope to get them this week. I'm excited to get milk kefir back into our weekly diet. and I'm also excited to start experimenting with the water kefir grains. They don't add much as far as vitamins or protein, but they are full of enzymens and are supposed to be yummy. So I hope to add that to our lunch ritual, to change up the kombucha now and then.

We also got 2 books from the library 'The Great Salad Book' with some really yummy looking salsas, and '400 Best-Ever Soups' with hot and cold soups. I really want to learn to make salsas, soups and sauces, as a way to change up our diet. They can be made with mostly local, seasonal, inexpensive and nourishing foods. So this week I am trying a few salsa recipes and a cold soup recipe from the books. Granted, avocado and mango are NOT local, but they are so yummy and quite inexpensive at our local produce store.

Options: eggs, bacon, kefir smoothies, yogurt, sourdough pancakes , french toast casserole, sourdough waffles (2nd waffle recipe), breakfast cookies and raw egg yolk smoothies.

Lunch, served with kombucha for all:
Monday: Sausage Stuffed Peppers
Tuesday: Tuna Melts with mango salsa
Wednesday: Avocado and Lime Soup with Green Chili Salsa (from here), fresh bread
Thursday: Fish and Chips
Friday: Southwest Pizza
Saturday: Cobb Salad (with our own lettuce)
Sunday: Toast with Sun dried tomoato Salsa, and steak

Supper: Generally leftovers, popcorn and smoothie, PB& honey sandwiches or veggies and PB.