There are many different buzz words that explain this phenomenon: flexitarian, semi-vegetarian, and week day vegetarian; where you only eat meat on the week-ends. But anyway you want to say it, you are cutting back on the meat you eat. Some do it for health reasons, animal rights, the environment or all of the above!

Removing high fructose corn syrup and preservatives from our table.
This is my on-line recipe book with my adventures into finding healthy food for my family to eat....
Trying to cook more from scratch with less prepared foods.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chilly with a chance of Chili

This morning it was cool... Right now in the afternoon it is only 56 degrees.And to think that this week-end it was in the 90's.... Welcome to Northeastern Ohio if you don't like the weather wait it will change in a day or two.  So I am so in the mood for chili.... I did get some apples earlier in the week and make apple crisp.  ( I love cooking in the fall!!)

Vegetarian Chili

1 can of red beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can of pinto beans
1/2 cup of TVP
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 8 ounce can tomato paste
1 envelope of chili seasonings

Make the TVP by adding 1/2 cup to 1/2 of a cup of boiling water let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse beans to remove salt.  I really can't cook beans from dry beans. I've tried and I always burn them! Throw everything into the crock pot. Cook for 8 to 10 hours or 4 hours on high.  I add water to the whole tomato and  tomato paste cans to rinse them out plus get that last little bit of tomato goodness... I don't really measure it I just add it to the crock-pot. 

I use McCormick mild seasoning cause that is what they like.  I have tried my own seasonings and the family don't like it... oh well.... Just like the fact they love extra beans so I tried different types of beans together in the chili and they liked that idea.. Win some; lose some!!

Oh plus hot sauce for Tech and G-Pa will not think this is hot enough!


Monday, September 27, 2010


I love that guy that does the don't eat this eat that. Because he puts it in terms everyone can understand. So when I saw this slide show about Cooking  Secrets I had to check it out. Ok some things I knew but somethings I didn't know...

Drain your  pasta about 1 minute early it will finish cooking when you are adding the sauce...  Must remember that one......  we eat a lot of pasta here...

Plus add some of the pasta cooking water to the sauce, the starch helps the sauce stick to the pasta.. making it creamer and flavorful.   Have to try that.... add only as needed.... 

Ok I did fly by the meat eating tips....

Buy your vegetables on Wednesday.   I have to say I work at a grocery store and guess what? We do get a delivery  on more then just Wednesday.  Of course I work for Sam's and we cater to the business owner but really you should ask about deliveries... I know many people don't have the time to go shopping during the week....  But then I also heard that the European way was to shop more than once a week or every two weeks.  .. Because how good is it if buy fresh fruits and vegetables and don't use them for a week?  (Yes Many vegetables can be stored for a week or longer. )
But again I do work at a grocery store I can do that.... I also have a chest freezer that I get extra vegetables and berries that I freeze when the price is great!!

Zap that citrus in the microwave for 15 seconds to get the most juice. I have been rolling mine on the counter!! 

Blend butter with olive oil to keep from the butter from burning easily. 

Keep out of the refrigerator. tomatoes, peaches, potatoes, onions, bread, garlic, and coffee
Crap I read somewhere that coffee stays better longer in the refrigerator... 

Making your own vinaigrette is easy!  3 part oil to 1 part vinegar. Add salt and pepper or herbs..

Too much salt add a splash of vinegar. Oh if I only knew that years ago..... 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fast food and Moods

Watching the news tonight I hear that there was some researchers that found fast food makes people cranky and depressed. They had a senior medical adviser presenting the story.........
Our brains need nutrients and when they  don't get it, we get cranky.  Oh yea you don't have to tell  a mom about that.  You can overhear a mom saying Oh someones hungry!  to a cranky little one. (that or is it nap time??)  That's what wrong with the society today, we need to eat healthier.  

But there is research  from the University of Toronto study shows that people became impatient simply considering fast food. I really have a problem with the label fast food for yes it is fast food but not all of it is bad for you, you can get some healthy choices at fast food places. Plus you can make some food fast in the microwave and if it is fresh;  it's not bad for you either.  I used to work at a fast food place and yes people can get very impatient...... that and lose all sense of time.  If they have wait in line for 3 minutes it turns into 20 minutes when they scream at you for 5 because they had to stand in line... Can I take your order now please??............

Also they found if they shown a logo or a menu from a fancy restaurant, people used better manners. Wow just the logo or menu.  When they saw the logo of fast food places they became impatient

Maybe that is the answer to our school crisis.  With Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution; Mrs. Q blog Fed up with Lunch, and Farm to School Network all working on making it the norm to have fresh foods at our schools.  Need more proof... I found this site. A School in Wisconsin changed it food program and found it's  violence, drug problems, drop outs and expulsions changed to 0... Zero... and this is the school for behavior problems, they even had a cop there.  They had a problem with hand guns inside the school and all this from fresh healthy food.  That is  Central Alternative High School

We also know that many food colorings and syntactic sugar  are being blamed for behavioral problems like ADD and hyperactivity.

Why is this even being questioned. That our student need healthier food... that there is a connection to food and learning........... So why is the government talking about cutting the food stamp program and dragging their feet on the  Child Nutrition Women, Infants, and Children Reauthorization Act (CNRA).  

Many eastern countries use fresh food in the lunch program and even teach our children about the food they are having for lunch.  I has so shocked when I watched Food Revolution and saw that most of the kids didn't know what vegetable was what.. Time to go back in time and start cooking food for the students and giving them the best advantage to  secede.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Second Chance Potatoes

Yesterday we had our cook out seeing how Miss Animal Rights and I had to work. We had some baked potatoes that has left over from the cook out.  Tonight we planned on twice baked potatoes.  But Miss Animal Rights has problems with splitting the potato to refill. SO I planned on cooking. Our potatoes were very round but kinda flat. Not the potatoes you see at the restaurants. That's ok I like my farmer markets potatoes and sweet corn.   So we cut them in half. Then we added a little milk, a little butter  and cheese.

4 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon of season salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.

Cut potatoes in half.  Spoon out the inner part of the potato place in bowl. Make a hollow "bowl" center.  After you have done all the potatoes add the rest of the ingredients.  If too dry you can add more milk if needed.. Mix together. Spoon the mix into the potato "bowls".  You can add extra cheese to the top if wanted.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until the cheese is browned.

Very yummy easy meal that you can use something that is considered  a left over....