Monday, April 26, 2010

New Food Link

I've added a new link to the right-hand food link list:  Meatless Monday.  It's a non-profit initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  The idea is to go meatless for one day a week for health and environmental reasons.  We generally go meatless at least one day each week just by the way we eat in general, but I like the theme.  I'll work at sharing some additional meatless meals, starting today.
Today's Meatless Monday meal:  Cincinnati Chili with Lentils

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day 2010!

Last year I posted a list of ways to celebrate Earth Day.  Rather than list them all again, here's a link to them.  In addition, I thought I'd share a letter the Bishops of the United Methodist Church have written.
God's Renewed Creation:  A Call to Hope and Action
We're also looking forward to seeing Disney Earth's new movie - Oceans! (I just hope we can make the time for it while it's still in theaters.)
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fresh Produce

This year we finally bought a "share" in a local farm.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), some local, family-run farms sell shares of their crops.  You buy your share seasonally and each week you receive your share of the yield.  I was fortunate to find one that lets us choose what goes into our share - I'm not sure we're ready for the "mystery veggie of the week" yet!  The farm we subscribe to also offers eggs and meat, so we have a wide selection to choose from.  Today we were very excited to pick up our first share!  We selected a dozen eggs, green romaine lettuce, green buttercrunch lettuce, lettuce mix, green garlic, spinach, and a pound of mild country breakfast sausage.  Yum!  Needless to say, we had an excellent salad with our dinner tonight.
Our pick-up location is host to many CSAs (it's a healthy-living program provided by my husband's employer) and many of them offered products beyond their CSA shares, farmers market style.  I was hoping this would be the case, but since this is our first season with them, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Anyway, the fresh strawberries, that were sweet enough to smell a couple feet away, proved too tempting.  So we walked away with two quarts in addition to our share.  Now, to just find the space in the fridge!  I think I'll solve part of the problem by melting some chocolate chips to dip the strawberries into!  Oh, Happy Spring!
To find a farmers market and/or CSA near you, go to Local Harvest (link is to the right under "Food Links").

Monday, April 19, 2010


In Sunday School we are doing a five-week series using Adam Hamilton's Book/DVD titled "Enough:  Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity".  Over the past few years, I have been somewhat "studying" the topic and I greatly enjoyed Pastor Adam's sermon series on the topic when he first presented it.  I thought I'd share some of the books I've read, some articles suggested by one of the women in our class, and some other resources.  I welcome other suggestions as well.  Despite my reading, I am by no means an expert at this (as my house can attest), just a work-in-progress.
Enough:  Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity by Adam Hamilton
Breath:  Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent
Living More with Less by Doris Janzen Longacre
Living Simply with Children by Marie Sherlock
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
'Tis a Gift to be Simple by Barbara DeGrote-Sorenson and David Allen Sorenson
Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin
The Simple Living Network (link added to "Other Links" list)
Enough is Enough by Walter Brueggemann
The Litugy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity by Walter Brueggemann
From Anxiety and Greed to Milk and Honey by Walter Brueggemann
It's the Economy, Stupid by Dr. Sam Wells
Simplicity, Generosity, and Joy by Adam Hamilton (sermon series)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mixed Berry Smoothie

I have a new favorite smoothie recipe. This one was inspired by my wonderful husband as well as Alton Brown. I recently saw the "Live and Let Diet" episode of Good Eats. Alton's point is to eat a healthy diet, as opposed to participating in the latest diet craze. Typical of Alton, he weighs his ingredients. So, I have weighed my ingredients here. I say that this was also inspired by my husband. He loves blueberries. I don't. As a result, he tends to point out how he is loading up on "antioxidant goodness" and I am not. However, with the berry mix, I get the berries (also with antioxidants in addition to fiber-filled seeds) that I like with blueberries hidden in the mix. These are so popular in our house right now that I am making them for breakfast three times a week - and I hear about it if I skip a day! I made these for my mom and Aunt Carole this week and they asked for the recipe - so here it is. We also discussed the nutritional information, which I have now calculated (out of curiosity). I must point out that as much as I talk about nutrition and antioxidants and such, if it doesn't taste good, it's off the menu. I just try to keep things good, healthy, and as natural as possible.

Mixed Berry Smoothie

2 oz fresh baby spinach (secret ingredient - shh!, esp. if it's hard to get greens into your family, the color is hidden by the purple of the fruit)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 banana
4 oz mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries - I use Trader Joe's frozen mixed berries or the large bag of mixed berries at Sam's Club)
4 oz plain low-fat yogurt
4 oz Trader Joe's Blackberry Crush

Layer the ingredients into large cup, immersion blender container, or blender in the order listed and blend until smooth. I usually prepare the cups the night before and then blend for breakfast in the morning. It's a great way to start the day.

Nutritional Information (approx 16 oz):
Calories - 240
Protein - 6g
Saturated Fat - 4%
Sugars - 37g
Fiber - 36%

Tonight we discussed adding wheat germ. I've done this with my smoothies before. It adds a great nutritional punch and is invisible, just like the spinach. If you do add a serving (2 tbsp) of wheat germ, you'll be adding 50 calories, 4g protein, 1g sugar, and 6% fiber.

For those of you watching your sugar, here's a comparison: a 6 oz serving of Yoplait yogurt has 27g and no fiber. Also, I'm a big fan of making things from scratch. This way you know exactly what is in your food.

On that note, I'll close with a recommendation of Michael Pollan's latest book: Food Rules. It's a short, easy read and can help guide you in eating a healthy diet.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter Sunday and are able to celebrate with friends and/or family! God bless!