Friday, January 9, 2009

Black Eyed Peas

I know this comes a little late, but rumor (or legend or perhaps superstition) has it that eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day will bring you good luck all year. Additionally, it's a great way to use the left over ham from Christmas dinner. It's healthy, cheap, delicious and freezes well.

In a large stock pot, saute

1 large diced onion
1 diced green bell pepper
1 or 2 diced anaheim pepper
1 or 2 cups diced ham
a few cloves of minced garlic (it goes without saying that any form of garlic may be used here)

(You can omit the peppers and ham to save on cost and it will still taste pretty good)

Meanwhile, sort and rinse a lb of black eyed peas.

Once mixture is browned, add one giant can of crushed tomatoes (if whole or diced tomatoes are cheaper, "crush" yourself in blender) rinsed black eyed peas and enough water to fill to roughly 6 inches deep. Bring to boil. Stir in about a tsp of ham base (this can also be omitted due to budget constraints but it definitely improves the flavor). Turn to low and simmer until peas are done (1-2 hours; I really can't remember!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Curried Lentil Soup

I found this recipe in Good Housekeeping Dec 2008 as an idea for a gift. It's cheap, healthy, super easy, uses your food storage AND you can layer all the ingredients in a jar for holiday distribution should you desire. My family didn't love it but they definitely liked it (2 yr old had seconds). As far as cooking with lentils goes, this is an EXCELLENT recipe.

1 lb lentils (recipe calls for half and half red and green; any lentil works and I successfully used half split peas)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp curry powder
3 Tbsp minced dried onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c dried apples cut into 1/2 in. chunks
1 Tbsp dried parsley

Add all ingredients to 7 c water in a 3 qt pot and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes 8 cups.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Laundering the Infamous "Blowout"

This post is in honor of my friend Wendi who is finally expecting her first little monkey and will soon be acquainted with the wonders of explosive fecal matter. One of the top reasons I swear by cloth diapers is that they PREVENT blowouts. It is my experience (but then I have gassy babies) that I'm going to be dealing with poop one way or the other. I can scrub it out of their clothes or toss it into the washing machine (in the case of BABIES at any rate). Unfortunately, because of extensive traveling, I am VERY experienced with taking care of blowout aftermath (darn disposables).

Wet poopy area of clothing with cold water.
Rub a BAR OF SOAP on the poopy area.
(Any BAR of soap should do although I recommend a cheap one since your using it to rub poop.)
Scrub soap into cloth fibers.
(Just grip the clothing on either side of the poop and scrub it against itself.)
Rinse with cold water while scrubbing until the water runs clearish.
Repeat rub and scrub but do not rinse again.
Let soapy clothing soak in cold water for at least 1/2 hour (or up to several days if stain is stubborn).
Launder as you usually do.

If you cannot (or don't want to) scrub clothes immediately, let them dry (this is critical; tying them up in a bag will cause mold and mold DOES NOT come out). Then you can either go on a poop cleaning spree or wait until you have enough clothes to do a load. If doing a load, scrub all blowout clothing and toss in washing machine to soak, then wash.

BAR SOAP and SOAKING are absolutely key. I once tried stain remover and washed immediately. The poop stayed and I wasn't ever able to get that stain out (and I'm usually pretty good at stains).

Also, drying clothes sets in stains so always check previously poopy clothes BEFORE putting them in the dryer or hang dry.

Apologies for 2008...

Aside from my good pal Cindy Hale (aka momtothree), 2008 has not seen an entry. In my defense, my husband was deployed to Okinawa for the first six months of the year, during which I was pregnant and taking care of a 2 1/2 year old and one year old. He came home to find me on bed rest, then I had a baby, then he went to Yuma, AZ and well, we're all back home and post-partum so I'm making a genuine effort to get things going again.

To the rest of you fellow slackers-
Rebecca is in the middle of remodeling a fixer upper and must be brimming with tips.
Cindy cans food, makes incredible sets of matching nursery bedding and who knows what else these days.
Krista sews clothes for her girls from her own patterns.
Feel free to post your secrets! (Or questions in the case of Krista who keeps lists...)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wheat Pasta

K I have a suggestion for the blog that would be cool. After you cook the dinner take a picture. I'm having trouble trying to picture some of these meals but they sound really cool. I've started using wheat noodles a lot lately, but I'm not super fond of them if they taste too wheaty. To me it tastes like cardboard. I made spaghetti with wheat spaghetti noodles and then mixed the sauce in and put mozzerella cheese over it and baked it until the cheese melted all over. It was so yummy! I had my brother over and he totally couldn't even tell that it had whole wheat noodles in it. The next week though I made a casserole with some wheat egg noodles and canned clams and diced tomatoes and it was totally overwhelming on the wheat. It probably didn't help that I used crushed up wheat chex as the topping lol. Does anyone know other good ways to hide the heavy wheat taste? My kids and I totally are getting to where we can't tolerate white flour anymore because of digestive problems and the more fiber we can get the better. I have to say it's definately helping us to eat much more healthy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another Saturated Fat Article
Saturated Fat
Stop Blaming Saturated Fat
The research is clear: Carbohydrates, not fats, are the foe in America's battle against heart disease and obesity
By: Adam Campbell & Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D.

The recent news that the Atkins low-carb diet works well and improves health has some people scratching their heads.

--We typically eat more than a dozen kinds of saturated fat. Some have zero effect on cholesterol. Some raise bad (LDL) cholesterol, but all of them raise good (HDL) cholesterol to a greater extent. That’s a net gain in heart health.

--The nation's top health organizations have for decades called saturated fat one of the main culprits for diet-related diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Problem is, this blame stems from research that is now seen as incomplete. For instance, a famous 1953 study took data from six countries, overlooking 16 countries whose numbers provide contradictory evidence. (Like France, for instance, or native cultures in Africa and Canada where high amounts of fat and saturated fat are eaten but heart disease is practically unknown.)

--Since the 1970s, American men have decreased their saturated fat intake by 14 percent and increased their carbohydrate intake by 23 percent--yet rates of obesity and heart disease are increasing. You might say that carbohydrates make people fat, which leads to heart disease. Or that more carbohydrates you eat, the greater your risk for a heart attack.

--But these simple numbers only suggest a cause. To prove something, you need a controlled experiment. There have been many such clinical trials, and not one has shown has shown that cutting back on saturated fat reduces heart disease risk.

--When you look at the effect of saturated fat on health, you must also look at the intake of carbohydrates. Many studies have shown that if you replace carbs with fat, your triglycerides levels go down and your good cholesterol goes up. And your bad (LDL) cholesterol particles get bigger, which means they're less harmful.

--Here's a paradox for you: A high saturated fat intake decreases blood levels of saturated fat. How can this be? Here's how: The saturated fat in your blood comes from both the food you eat and from your liver, which produces saturated fat. The more carbs you eat, the higher your insulin levels climb, which signals your liver to produce saturated fat. If you go on a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop, and so does production of saturated fat.

--A bonus: with low insulin levels, your body can burn more fat for energy, decreasing your sat-fat levels even more.
2007 RODALE INC. ALL rights reserved

Sunday, December 2, 2007

3 Sister Casserole

I haven't quite figured out this blog thing so I don't know if this is in the right spot, but it's about beans...
We've tried this recipe and the family likes it, I love it. My husband does love it when someone adds meat to it. It makes more than you think it will so use a HUGE skillet and enjoy!
3 Sisters Casserole
1.5 tsp cumin seed
2tbsp olive oil
2 lg onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots
1 jalapeno pepper
28oz of canned tomatoes (don't drain)
1.5 c corn
3 zucchini
8oz penne, cooked
16oz cooked kidney beans
4oz cheddar, shredded

heat cumin until aromatic
add oil, onion, garlic until onion is soft
add carrots, jalapeno and tomatoes - boil
reduce to simmer (15min)
add corn and zucchini (5 min)
add beans+pasta, cover with cheese and bake until melted.
**I like the veggies a bit softer so I add the zucchini in at the beginning and I ignore the cooking times. In the spirit of water conservation and reduced dish loads I don't bake it; instead I add the cheese to the top and serve from the skillet.