Let Them Eat…Salad?

Interestingly, I just found out through Wikipedia that the quote that inspired this title is NOT believed to have been uttered by Marie Antoinette, who was thought to be so out of touch with the commoners that she stated “Let them eat cake!”…You never know what you might learn when a title comes to you…

Getting back to veggies, my oldest son is eating salad! I think he ate salad five times in the past week…you have to understand this is an achievement on the scale of my dog learning and using five French words in a week!  I am thankful (because I think this is helping) that I have learned to make a better salad in past months, using Romaine hearts like these:

How did this come about you might wonder? We went to a meeting and luncheon last Sunday for his high school cross country team (he started high school this week). The coaches and captains touched on the goals for the year which included maintaining healthy habits during the season. They went further to state the goals were: Eating healthy, avoiding drinking of soda the entire season, and getting 8 hours of sleep per night. Wow…is this great stuff or what for someone just entering high school? That night I offered a plate of salad and he said “yes” and “I already had salad today at lunch”. (I could not see him eating because the team sat together). Salad twice in one day…I’m still in awe. Amazing what a bit of motivation and peer pressure can accomplish.

Vegetarian cooking tidbits and discoveries for the week:

  • We had some good spinach and cheese burritos which I doctored up by adding about a cup of cooked plain quinoa before rolling them up. It was very filling and easy. I may be adding quinoa in all my enchilada/burrito recipes, which seem to be a favorite theme lately.
  • I found out that cooked quinoa can stay in the refrigerator a week after cooking. I usually throw out out my leftover quinoa after 3 days or so. Yep, I took a microbiology class at one point and I’m a little paranoid…
  • Here is our quick dinner tonight…made a run to Trader Joe’s yesterday and picked up more Pakoras (picture below). I guess you could call them little dumplings filled with potato, onion, chick pea flour, sweet potato, spinach, cilantro and so on…According to the label they are pretty high in sodium (950 mg for 4 Pakoras) but otherwise I think they are decent: 3 g fiber, 4 g protein, and even 8% of daily iron! I should disclose that they are fairly spicy-it’s an Indian/Pakistani food. They are marked vegan also.

So, let us eat Pakoras with a healthy salad tonight…And I wouldn’t mind getting 8 hours of sleep…

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Larry is my friend

What vegetable or fruits are you enjoying at this time of the year? I have been seeing lots of enticing recipes using zucchini. I plan to make this one for sure. And of course old-fashioned zucchini bread similar to this. But the funny thing is my fruit/vegetable delivery has not included ANY! And  my wonderful next door neighbors who urge me to pick from their garden every year at this time don’t seem to be growing any either. But here is where Larry comes in to save the day…I am really really loving cucumbers this year. Is it a good idea to eat a whole one in one sitting? I’m not really sure. But I have been doing this often, and also using them in every salad.  So yes, Larry is my friend, because I love cucumbers and he makes me smile! We won’t get into the fact I am “eating” my friend in a sense…after all eating plants is kind of the point of this blog and theoretically is a good thing. No need to get technical…

LarrytheCucumber2                                    

Larry is this cucumber character from the animated series Veggie Tales. My kids had a CD of some of their songs way back when and his voice was just memorable and frankly I thought they were hilarious. In small doses. Very small doses…Luckily, my boys enjoyed “Arthur” music more (remember the PBS series?) and for the most part it was more tolerable in the car.

Here are some other things I (or we) have been eating, mainly from my produce bin…

  • Corn on the cob-boiled briefly. I learned that cooking it 3-5 minutes (bring corn to boil from cold) works well and tastes fresher.
  • Broccoli-steamed in metal steamer basket-this week’s was the best broccoli yet–perfect!
  • Small Yukon gold and red potatoes-with Rustic Potato recipe I linked to before
  • Snap peas-shared with coworkers for a snack at work
  • Baby spinach-salad and plan to make a recipe for spinach and cheese enchiladas

I also have a beautiful head of cabbage from my neighbors-debating between slaw and soup. Now, what (to do) about Bob??

 Bob the tomato

Yes, goofy movie reference. Guess I am giddy from a long week at work.

Have a good weekend!

A few tidbits

We do have a winner of the giveaway, Debbie M. I will get it to you this upcoming week. I hope you enjoy the creativity and healthfulness of the cookbook!

A damper has been put on my summer with a sinus infection and bronchitis. Wow…I found out you can’t fake your way through and just assume your body will just kick every cold easily. I have barely had the energy to open the fridge. I just have a few tidbits for  you this week.

1. Radishes. My order for this week had a 16 oz bag. I have not had the energy for figuring them out (as far as a creative recipe-if one exists?). I had one sliced on a salad, but it was only mediocre to my taste buds. However I am sure they are good quality radishes–they had an awesome fuchsia color. They will be a gift to my dad as soon as I see him. I remember my mom always had me cut one to put on his salad as we grew up, but I think he was the only one in the family who ate them!

2. Pluots-did you know of these “hybrids” of plum and apricot? They are good, but I am not sure I see much difference from a plum. Very pretty color…Easy way to add another serving of fruit each day.

3. Chai tea latte-Easy to make at home with this concentrate. Oregon Chai is my favorite-their sugar free variety is excellent too. I like mine best with plain almond milk or plain soy milk, but any milk will do. You can mix up a drink of any size, just add equal amounts of your milk and the concentrate. On a hot day, I throw in a few ice cubes and have it cooled. For some reason I like to heat it up first though instead of just using cold milk+cold concentrate.

I hope you enjoy your week…I saw this quote by Mary Oliver again today: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”      I love this quote and hope to regain the energy to live life with zest very soon!  Have you read any of Mary Oliver’s poetry? I hope to soon…

 

Fast recipes to use summer veggies and cookbook giveaway

I have two quick ideas/recipes for you this week. Each one was put together as I rushed to make dinner…so what’s new, right?

First, I needed to use my organic green peppers from my delivery. It was late and I could not find my recipe (which I know I wrote on a card once!) for stuffed green peppers from my dear friend Sherrey. I didn’t want to call her, 4 states away, and put her one the spot either. I was also working fast because right before dinner I had wiped out running on a trail in the park and my knees were scraped and hurting. Just keeping it real…this kind of general klutziness and busy life are why I am always writing about making dinner quickly!!

Vegetarian Stuffed Green Peppers

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

4 green peppers, cleaned out. I keep the tops (cut a circle at the top as if carving a pumpkin), then clear out seeds and white ridges as much as you can

crushed tomatoes, about 16 oz (I suggest having an extra can in case you think the rice is too dry)

Morningstar Farms vegetarian sausage patties 4 or a bit more if you want to boost protein, cooked according to package directions

2 tsp minced garlic

3/4 cup rice- cooked

black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. After cleaning out the peppers, place them in large saucepan in 2-3 inches of boiling water, cook 4-5 minutes covered as boiling lightly (I turned heat down to medium low)

3. In a bowl, mix cooked rice, garlic, chopped and cooked sausage patties. Add crushed tomatoes conservatively and slowly so that the rice mixture is not overly runny, but is definitely moist. Add black pepper, salt if needed (mine were plenty salty without extra salt), and other spices if needed-i.e. crushed red pepper.

4. Spoon the mixture into the peppers, and loosely place the “top” on, with room for steam to escape.

5. Place on baking sheet or baking pan with sides and cover loosely with lid or foil. I sprayed my pan just in case they might stick.

6. Cook at 350 for 25-30 minutes on middle oven rack. I took mine out at 20 because it was late, but they could have been just a little warmer in the middle.

Note: The boys didn’t want these, which I was prepared for. I also forgot to take a picture. Like I said, keeping it real. No robot is writing this blog…as I wrote that I was thinking of those silly codes you have to fill in to do things online like order tickets…bizarre things like “ugofenwl 1119727″…half the time I can’t even make out what they are and I am human! Do we really have issues with machines/programs ordering tickets to a baseball game? Geez.

My other recipe (which I did not create) is Rustic Potatoes from a blog I read regularly. I remembered it from a post she did a while ago. You should be able to see the recipe by clicking on the link in the previous sentence. I followed it nearly exactly with my small organic local Yukon Gold potatoes. I didn’t use herbs, but used butter, salt, and freshly ground pepper. When I ate leftovers today for lunch, I added broccoli from frozen. I also added shredded sharp cheddar, Greek yogurt (which tastes like sour cream but is nonfat and high in protein), and lots of fresh ground pepper. The pepper makes all the difference. I am sure this will be great with red potatoes also, which came in my delivery today…

Rustic potatoes with broccoli and cheese (adapted to use leftovers from above recipe)

What a yummy filling lunch!

As always, please let me know if you have any trouble following my recipes. These are really the first time I’ve tried to create or write out recipes for others. I’m sure I can improve!

I am pleased to have a copy of Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love by Sarah Matheny for one winner, to be chosen at random. I did purchase it myself (not given to me as a promotional tool). My purpose for doing this is to share a book that has meant a lot to me and to encourage you to sign up to get the blog by email (I promise only one email per week, maybe 2 if I get really excited).

To enter, just leave a comment after this post–look for the “leave a reply” box at the bottom–keep in mind, if you are reading this post from an email in your inbox–because you are awesome and already signed up–you need to click on the link (title of post at top) to get the ability to comment-basically you have to be reading it on the web/not in your email). Please leave a comment letting me know you either 1. Already receive the blog posts by email or 2. Have signed up to receive the blog by email. (To sign up, look for a box to enter your email, it should say “follow this blog” or I have also seen on some browsers you need to check off a box to “follow” as you leave a comment). I will select someone at random by next Tuesday August 7th. The deadline to enter is Monday night at midnight. Leaving a comment should be easy (I hope!); there should not be any requirement to set up an account with WordPress. Let me know if you have trouble. When I first started reading blogs I had some issues figuring this all out. I think the blog can look different in different browsers or on a tablet vs. full computer.

Hope you have a good week! Furthermore, if you happen to have a great radish recipe, I have one pound of them coming Tuesday and I don’t have the first idea of what to do with them. One pound sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?