Currently: June 5

Chicken Nuggets and Elmo:

I’m still here! I posted this today on my other blog, Chicken Nuggets and Elmo. I’m short on time of late but not on my desire to stay connected. I hope to be posting on my CSA shares when they start next week and on my garden as it grows. Good night =)

Originally posted on chicken nuggets and elmo:

— I started to write this post twice before but didn’t have time to finish it. Yes, seriously, it’s been like 2.5 months since I’ve written anything here or on Clean. Green. Eat. Repeat. Oh well.

— My husband has been working Saturday thru Wednesday for the last 8 weeks or so… so weekends have been busy busy busy… and we’ve started to not nap regularly on the weekends… which kind of sucks. I miss my naps.

Not such a regular occurrence anymore. Sad face.

Not such a regular occurrence anymore. Sad face.

— The Jersey Shore is coming back from Hurricane Sandy … we’ve taken a few trips down to Jenkensen’s in Point Pleasant and to Seven President’s park in Long Branch. I can’t wait to take a “beach day” with my girlfriends this summer…

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— The garden is in! This year I ordered non-GMO seeds online (I’ve been such a freak about GMOs in the…

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“Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”: a movie review and why I bought a juicer

A health-nutty friend of mine posted a link to this movie on Facebook. It was free to watch on hulu (and I think it still is at the time I write this). The title piqued my interest and I watched the first few minutes right then and resolved to watch the rest later that day.

I wound up staying up until 1:30 that morning to finish watching it.

And I don’t stay up to watch nuthin’.

It’s the story of how one man, Joe Cross, decided to do a 60-day juice fast in the hopes it would help him cure a skin condition (chronic urticaria), lose weight, and jump-start a more healthy lifestyle. He traveled across the U.S.A. and talked to people about their health and what it means to be healthy, and he tried to get people interested in juicing. One of the people he met was Phil Staples, a morbidly obese truck driver who suffered from the same skin condition. Joe offered to help Phil with juicing and lose the weight and get his life back… and he does.

It was very impactful and inspirational… so much so, I bought a juicer this past weekend, and I made the “Mean Green Juice” featured in the movie.

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I have reported previously that I am afraid of green smoothies… and I was a little afraid of the green juice… but it was better than I thought it would be. You can find the recipe here.

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Ingredients for the “Mean Green” juice

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Now I’ve resolved myself to doing at least a 3 or 5 day juice fast, and Joe (the guy in the movie), has a great site set up to help you choose the right juicer and guide you through a fast.

I really felt inspired by this movie… and now I am going to make some carrot juice with apple and ginger… =)

Vegetables… when are they in season?

Vegetables… when are they in season?

I still have to write a quick CSA post about my share last week, but I found this great chart on Facebook via Chasing Delicious and I just had to share it. As a graphic designer I’m drawn to good informational graphics in general… but as a human who tries to eat more veggies I’m drawn to good information! Enjoy.

I’m joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program

I’m joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program

I read Simple Mom on a somewhat regular basis. Recently I was browsing through the menu of her most popular posts, and I saw this: 11 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget.

I already do some of these things, but #7, ” Invest in a Community Supported Agriculture program,” caught my eye.

If you’ve read some of my recent posts, you know that I am a first-time gardener and I am totally excited about it. This year I planted my first “real” garden and I am growing tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley (all from seeds), peppers, watermelon and basil (all from plants). Last night I literally rushed home after work to see how big my baby cucumbers have gotten (about 1.5-2 inches long right now)!

I can’t always make it to area farmer’s markets. So this got me wondering what kinds of CSAs are in my area.

I found out there’s one a town away. I’m signing up this afternoon. I’ll be missing the first few weeks, but they are prorating the cost for me.

This is what last week’s share consistent of:

1 head romaine lettuce, 1 head Napa cabbage, 1 bunch leeks, CHOICE: broccoli raab, tatsoi or mizuna, 1 bunch salad turnips, CHOICE: spinach or swiss chard, 1 lb fava beans, CHOICE: cilantro or dill

I have no idea what tatsoi or mizuna are but I’m stoked! (Insert pause here for Google search….typing…..searching…. OHHHHHHH.)

There is a volunteering requirement involved… I’m looking into that. If I won’t be able to volunteer my time because of child care conflicts or work there is also a “work buy-out” option.

Stay tuned.

NPR reports on “Pink Slime” … and Beautifully Green Broccoli Sformato

NPR reports on “Pink Slime” … and Beautifully Green Broccoli Sformato

It wasn’t my intention to just post links when I started this blog, but I was so happy to hear this story on NPR last week as I drove in to work — not because I’m thrilled to hear more about what’s really in our food supply, but because with more mainstream media reports there will be more awareness and (hopefully) more outrage about what’s really in the meat carnivores consume.

I was also happy to sign the anti-BPA petition Robyn O’Brien linked to in her story, “8 Ways You Can Avoid Chemicals In A Can.”

In other news, I made the time this past weekend to make something new: Beautiful Broccoli Sformato. I don’t know why I was so drawn to this recipe… though the photo on foodbuzz looked fricken amazing!!

Finally took out those ramekins I got at my bridal shower. I KNEW THEY WOULD COME IN HANDY SOME DAY!!!

I did make a few slight adjustments… mostly because I had cooked the broccoli before I started to read the recipe! So instead of cooking it vegetable broth, I just blanched it and drained it.

And I kind of eyeballed the amount of onions…I don’t usually measure out 2 oz of anything. But I followed the rest of it pretty much to a T… except I did NOT taste the filling before cooking to see if it needed salt and pepper. (Who tastes anything with raw egg in it?? Not me, especially not after I had read about this woman.)

grease the inside of the ramekins with a little butter and sprinkle the breadcrumbs inside, covering the entire interior

First mix: broccoli, broth, onion and 2 ounces of ricotta cheese

Whisking the eggs and béchamel sauce together

Eggs + béchamel sauce are blended with the initial broccoli mixture... and then the 1/4 cup of reserved broccoli buds are gently blended in for texture

Pour finished mixture into prepped ramekins... which are in a glass baking dish... then pour 1 inch of boiling water into the glass dish

The finished product

Anywho. These turned out awesome. The only thing I would do is 1. add a little more ricotta and 2. add a little more salt and pepper before the final mix. I probably added about an eighth of a teaspoon of each seasoning; it definitely needs more. I just sprinkled a little salt on top of mine. It was a delicate flavor…very tasty.

Fighting complacency and ignorance

Fighting complacency and ignorance

I don’t know if it’s the time change this week and I’m tired… or what… but I have just not felt like doing anything in the kitchen lately. I’ve stuck with the vegetarian thing, but my husband is out of town working and this week it’s just me and the baby, so our food is about the quick and easy. I bought some (gasp) frozen food from Trader Joe’s for me. Organic stuff… but frozen, processed food nonetheless! I want to make Cauliflower Crust Pizza. I do, really. I just don’t have the time, or the energy. (I know, sorry, wah.) When I feel like this it’s when I usually fall back into my old/bad eating patterns… but because I made the commitment to stop eating meat for Lent, I’ve been holding steady on that.

Doesn't this look AMAZING??

Staying aware: Found these links on Facebook this week. I love Jamie Oliver! Thank you Robyn O’Brien. I’m glad Dr. Oz is also helping to spread the word.

The latest, including a sprained ankle and no meat

The latest, including a sprained ankle and no meat

So much has gone on in the last few weeks, but briefly:

Food Activism: I’ve always wondered why so many kids have food allergies today… but now I am starting to understand why. Yesterday I posted a video about Robyn O’Brien. She is a “food activist” committed to cleaning up our food supply. This whole issue frightens and enrages me! To think that the public’s health is less important than the bottom line for many of the companies that make the foods that we regularly buy and eat every day… I’m just disgusted. So when a friend forwarded this link for a petition I just had to sign it. It’s from an organization called “Just Label It!”. Their goal: make labeling of genetically engineered foods the law. Right now it isn’t, so you and I have no idea if the food we buy has been GE or contains GM ingredients. (Here’s 10 reasons to avoid GMOs, aka, genetically modified organisms.)

In looking for some more information on Just Label It! I also stumbled upon this blog: Food, Facts and Fads. The blogger is a scientist who covers a range of food-related topics, including the safety of our food supply. Pretty interesting!

2-22 Workout: When I walked in for my workout, my trainer gave me a challenge. The long and short of it: she had just won a bet by performing a rigorous workout in 10 minutes. I was only able to do a fraction of the workout in about 45 minutes… and I could barely do some of the exercises. I’m not good at push ups, especially ones on that half ball thingy. I think my trainer is in way better shape than me.

Sprained Ankle: Um, yeah. I didn’t sprain my ankle during a workout…I did it the next day, as I was leaving the house for work in the morning with my daughter in my arms.  That’s another story in itself, but you can read it about it here if you like. I finally made an appointment to see my orthopedist tomorrow. It’s been hurting for the last 12 hours or so… I’m hoping it’s just the wet weather we’re having today that’s causing it … and not something worse!

This is what it looked like Sunday, Feb. 26.

Food update: No Meat and No Sugar: Since I’ve started eating a vegetarian diet for Lent, I don’t miss meat at all. I think some of the Robyn O’Brien stuff I’ve read in the last two days is sort of helping with that. But I’m kind of enjoying finding healthy no-meat recipes and meal ideas. And while I have been eating natural sugars for the most part (found in fruits, etc.), a few not-so-natural sugars have found their way into my mouth. I had some ranch dressing at a restaurant yesterday… so I’m sure there was some in there. And after I ordered my Iced Soy Vanilla Latte at Starbucks I realized that there was sugar in the vanilla, DUH. But I have to tell you… I have just been craving dessert. So I found this recipe and I am going to make it tonight: Peanut Butter No-Bake Cheesecake. It looks amazing and I am hoping it will satisfy my hankering for… something. Just another note… while at my local health food store today I picked up one of these: a California Suncake in Chocolate Orange. A yummy vegan treat… and it DID satisfy my something craving.

Smoothies Galore: I have been making smoothies pretty regularly since I did my 3-day detox. This morning’s contained:

  • 1 scoop NST protein powder (chocolate) (This is Bally’s Health Club’s brand. It’s whey-based.)
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 8-10 cherries, frozen
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries (appox.)
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds

so YUM

Lentil Soup: I used this SoupAddict recipe to help me put together a vegetarian version with what I had in the house. What I did have was more carrots, no celery, no mushrooms… and tomato paste instead of sauce (with 4 cups of vegetable broth and 3 cups of water), no fish sauce and no potatoes. It was still good, still filling… and delicious with a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.