Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In Memorium

I thought I would pay homage to some of my favorite foods from when I didn't give a crap about what I ate. Let me clarify something, my mother certainly never approved of most of these things, they were mostly things I bought while I was attending Chico State. However, due to either knowledge or one too many tummy upsets I have removed them from diet completely.

Ah hem, without further ado. Here is a list of stuff I used to enjoy and now no longer consume.

1. El Monterrey Bean & Cheese Burritos. Wow! I used to love those things. Slap some extra cheese on those puppies and you're talking! I think the cooking process took less than five minutes. I pass by them in the store and sometimes I almost consider buying them...almost.

2. Foster Farms Corn Dogs. I don't miss these. They have always been gross, but when you use lots of mustard you almost can't taste the factory farm meat, almost.

3. Yoplait Yogurt. Aw yes. I loved these in high school! Those by gone days when I didn't think about high fructose corn syrup, or thickeners, or other stuff that is probably in there. It has been so long since I had one I don't even know. What I do know is when you can buy a dairy product for about 20 cents there is a problem.

4. E.L. Fudge Cookies. Honestly, if someone came up to me and said "do you want an E.L. Fudge cookie?" I would probably say yes. Still, I think my desire to eat them stemmed more us call them 'mood enhancers' than actually wanting to eat the cookies. They were tasty little buggers though!

5. McDonald's Chicken Sandwich. This was a guilty pleasure even then. It took me longer to give up this piece of deep-fried factory-farmed goodness but now I don't even know why I liked these things...they are pretty gross.

6. Morning Star Farms Products. I'm going to be completely honest, this one was hard. As a kid I used to eat these things all the time and I continued that into my adulthood. And then I started learning about GMO's and all that. Plus Morning Star was bought out by Kellog's not so long ago and from that point on it was goodbye natural product integrity and hello round-up ready soy. Sigh. I oh so loved the chik nuggets too!

7. Reese's Puffs Cereal. I can still remember the commercial from my childhood. "It's Reese's for breakfast!" Bless my mother, she never let this crap in her house, but once I had my own house to put crap in she couldn't stop me! This cereal is actually considered the most unhealthy cereal on the market. That comes from researchers at Oxford University, not from me.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

I don't know about you but I love hard boiled eggs. I tend to just cook the living snot out of them though to make sure they are fully cooked. Well, I have a recipe for perfect eggs! This recipe claims to leave the yolks moist and delicious.

I tend to stay away from hard boiling eggs. I love them, but the thing is I have always had issues with boiling them ever since I switched to the pastured brown eggs I get at the farmer's market. I always think they are hard to peel, they fall apart, etc, etc. Plus, I didn't want to waste my carton of not so cheap eggs!

Now I haven't tried this yet, but I am going too this week. Go here to access the recipe. Remember! If you are buying eggs from the farmer's market you usually need to wait a few days to boil them. Fresh eggs don't boil well. Ask your farmer! Leave comments and let me know how they turn out!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What up? Where are my recipes!

Okay okay, I know I have neglected my responsibility to bring you delicious and cost effective recipes. I'm sorry, I get way to caught up in being self righteous and I forget about my other talents. So, here ya go!

Do you have a child(ren)? Have those creatures of yours ever cut teeth? Well, let me tell you, mine sure is! Lately it has been hard to get her to eat, or do much of anything other than whimper in pain, because of the agony caused my some pesky molars. Introducing my homemade (healthy!) pops! All you need is a blender, some spinach (a fistful, or more if you want!), blueberries (about half a cup) and bananas (I use one whole one), orange juice (a splash!), and some plain Greek yogurt (half a cup).

Basically, I take all that stuff I just mentioned. Put it in a blender. Ta-da! A smoothie like substance. Place the smoothie like substance into Popsicle molds and freeze. Before you know it you have a healthy and very cold snack for your kid, or for yourself!

Now, a few tips. Frozen blueberries work great! I like the Trader Joe's Wild Boreal berries. They are grown without the use of pesticides in Quebec, Canada. Fresh organic blueberries are not cheap! I buy them, yes, but I consider them one of my splurge items  and don't just throw them willy-nilly into a blender with a bunch of other crap. Therefore, when I am making pops I opt for the frozen kind.

Bananas! The organic ones cost ten cents more per pound, just bite the bullet. When it comes to spinach I have to hand it to Trader Joe's again! A bag of organic baby spinach is only $1.99! Killer!

For yogurt, go with what you like. I prefer Chobani. I get it at Winco. Super cheap in there! You can spend like $2 more on the stuff at Safeway.

As far as the orange juice I just splash a little bit, my blender works better when there is a little liquid in there.

So yeah, they are yummy, cold, and filled with nutrition! You don't have to use blueberries and bananas! You can use strawberries, blackberries, beets, or even melon. Experiment! My nephew didn't even know there were greens in there. Anytime you can get kids to eat their greens I would call that a win!

Here is my baby enjoying the heck out of a pop! I let her be naked and just go to town on those suckers outside.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Why Organic?

This is something that I get asked a lot. Why buy organic? Why go through the extra steps and extra money to purchase and prepare organic food? I can tell you honestly that, if I didn't care about organic or making home cooked real food meals, then I could save myself a lot of time and money. Time that could be spent with my daughter and money that could be spent on...I don't know...maybe taking a freaking vacation every once in a while! The thing is though, I take the time, effort, and money to, not only purchase high quality/organic foods, but to cook them. When I say cook, I mean it. I very rarely open cans or packages. I do. Just not very often. This isn't something that I did overnight, but slowly, especially since my daughter has started on solids, I have really made a commitment to making sure she gets the best nutrition I can possibly give her.

What is organic?
Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used. (The USDA website)

Nutritionally there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that organic is better. However, pesticides used on conventional produce end up in our bodies when we eat it. The government allows "safe levels" of these pesticides to be used. I don't buy it. I just don't think that "safe levels" of poisons should be allowed in our food supply. These chemicals can also build up in the body over time and cause health issues as well be passed from a pregnant mother to her fetus. ( According to the National Academy of Science even low level exposure to pesticides may result in behavioral and neurological problems. (

So basically, I don't want my kid to eat pesticides. That is pretty obvious. However, the amount of pesticides on a piece of produce by the time it reaches the grocery store is pretty small compared to the amount that is on it in the field. Which brings me to my next point. Organic is better for the planet! You know that thing we all live on? Mitt Romney joked about President Obama's remarks from 2008 about "healing the planet" but if we don't have a planet then nothing really matters anyway. Agriculture is a huge polluter! So after watering all those strawberry fields the chemicals run off into our water supply. Lovely. ( Also, someone has to pick those strawberries. I wonder how many chemicals those folk are being exposed to? Of course, not many people think about this because most people who harvest produce are immigrants. Organic is better for the planet and better for farm workers!

Organic is also better for farmers! Most conventional products produced by big huge food corporations do one thing: line the pockets of shareholders while farm workers and consumers pay the price in health costs and damage to the planet. Take my advice (hey - that is why you are reading this thing anyways!) head to your local farmer's market! Buy locally produced organic produce from real farmers in your area! Farmer's market is one of my go to's for fresh, local, cheap, organic stuff! Help these people out! Give em' some sugar, they are your neighbors! And yes, that was an Outkast reference. Shake it like a Polaroid picture!

So there is my two cents, whether you asked for it or not. Now, just so you don't get confused. I don't buy everything 100% organic 100% of the time. I purchase non-organic brands that I trust to be high quality. However, when it comes to the majority of produce, I do buy organic. I choose organic whenever I can whether I am at the farmer's market or at Safeway. I don't just do it for myself or my daughter either, it is because I believe in providing the best future possible for everyone. That is all. Whoa, soapbox moment!