Monday, January 31, 2011

Dehydrating Disaster!

The bananas and apples I dehydrated turned out so good that I thought beets, beans and carrots would be terrific. My dehydrator has no temperature setting so you just plug it in and check the good periodically. The house smelled absolutely terrific so I thought I would take a peek. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. I blanched those darn beets and carrots which was more work than I wanted to do and when I looked into the dehydrator half of the carrots were shriveled up so small you would never have guessed they were carrot chips.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Saving dough!

I don't know if the price of bread has gone crazy everywhere but here in Kanab $5 a loaf is about average. We rarely buy bread but now that Addy is eating cheese sandwiches we are buying it more and more. A friend gave me her bread maker and dehydrator so I made some bread the other night. It was good but not absolutely amazing... which is PERFECT. If it was absolutely amazing I would have eaten the whole loaf with real butter and after a month or so I would be writing a blog on my attempts to lose weight! Step one would be throw out the bread maker~

I have been wanting a dehydrator to dehydrate vegetables. I figured Addy and I could eat some with a little bit of sea salt. Yum. I can tell you for sure never to dehydrate celery. It is a no no. My friend dehydrated celery. It took her two hours to cut up all of her celery and the pieces that didn't fall through the grate were disgusting. I will suffer through eating things if they are good for me (just ask my husband) but these were awful. Really.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Starten and Garten ;)

For years I have been wanting to start a garden. I would often think back to childhood memories of my grandfathers garden in Connecticut. Of course as a child I wasn't interested in the vegetables as much as the snakes, frogs and newts I would find among the plants. As an adult I love the vegetables as much as the critters. I would always talk myself out of starting a garden. It always came down to money. I couldn't see spending huge amounts of money on the proper dirt, the plants and the fencing needed to make a go of it. If I am being perfectly honest I didn't want to read any books on gardening or figure out what "zone" I was in. Whatever that means. It finally hit me that all of these years I have been waiting for a GARDNER! Ah yes. Not gonna happen.

Two weeks ago I bought seeds. Oregano, basil, parsley, endive, catnip, thyme and rosemary. I planed the rosemary (because I heard it is really hardy) and catnip in pots and set them inside. My daughter, Addy, was very excited to help and every day we checked to see if there were any sprouts. A week later we had sprouts! You would think we won the lottery. I was ecstatic and my husband was proud (and probably a little surprised). Addy was happy but didn't know what all of the fuss was about. That inspired me to plant the rest of the seeds and I even planted a dead rosemary plant I had had in the summer in the backyard. Hey I figured lets see what happens. The scratch I threw in the backyard for the chickens actually sprouted (with absolutely no help from me!) and grew a few corn stalks.

Is Seitan Satan?

I finally built up the courage to make seitan. Seitan is commonly known as "fake" meat or meat of wheat. When I order it at restaurants it is delicious and has the same consistency as meat. I bought Wheat Gluten Flour mixed it with veggie broth, soy sauce and olive oil then crushed in some garlic. It was kind of a rubbery looking mess but the next step was to boil it. I boiled and simmered it and eventually cut it into "cutlets". It was easier to make than I thought and it was REALLY good. My husband even ate it in a stir fry. The problem was I liked it so much that I ate it four days in a row. I ended up with a headache and slight stomach ache the following day. I started wondering about wheat gluten and thinking about gluten intolerance. Oh great I thought I am wanting to cut down on eating meat because of the inhumane treatment, low quality of meat and factory farming and my perfect alternative is making me sick. Panic, depression, irritation prevailed. Then I realized that when I ate it once a week I was fine. Once again I was reminded MODERATION!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Elusive Leek

This week I was finally going to make Leek Potato soup. I figured my husband MIGHT eat it because it had potato's in it and it would be a good way to introduce a new vegetable (leeks) into our diets. I reviewed the recipe one more time and realized I didn't know how much of the leek was edible. So I Googled how to prepare a leek. As the photos loaded I realized I did not have a leek. What the hell did I buy? This takes not knowing what you are eating (think hot dogs) to a whole new level. I started Googling images of leeks, leek family, onion family, you get the idea. I had bought fennel. FENNEL! This road to being green was going to be a long road!

Sage What?

This is a blog about the trials and tribulations of a mom trying to make healthy choices for her family, her environment and the beings that live in it! It sounds easy, but it is much harder than you'd think. First off discovering that EVERY food that you don't grow yourself is most likely laden with chemicals and if you didn't raise it yourself it has been treated horribly. Luckily it seems to me there is a movement to support the local farmers (the few that are left) and like many I am willing to pay top dollar for a quality cut of meat from a cow that was able to meander through acres of grasslands. I have been battling with my food choices for years. I am not trying to shock anyone into being a vegan, Birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, environmental activist (although it wouldn't be a bad thing). I am just sharing the ups and downs of trying to sift through the information of where our food actually comes from and get back to a simpler healthier time.

In fact, the first thing on my road to being more green is my attempt to grow my own herbs (which a decade ago would have been a no brainer for most but for me it is a bit daunting!).