Posts Tagged ‘unprocessed food’

  • That my daughter met a new friend at the Farmer’s Market.  At four years of age they were, of course, instant best friends.
  • My husband is putting the baby to sleep more often.
  • Said baby isn’t hesitant to let us know her wants or not wants as the case may be.
  • Smiling faces upon waking since I am a grouch immediately upon waking.
  • Blossoms in the garden.
  • The excitement when an eagle is spotted on the property.
  • The young deer meeting up in front of our house and keeping away from the garden.
  • Finding a use for all the stinging nettles, a little late in season but I’m going to try cooking.  Apparently these area  powerhouse of nutrients and by golly I plan on making the most of this prolific weed as it’s growing more successfully than anything in my garden right now.
  • Bread baking tomorrow.
  • Canning next week when my mom visits for the week.  She was worried we wouldn’t have much to do – little does she know…!



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We live in the back of a ten acre lot.  It's uphill all the way back from the mailbox and I hear about it from my 4 year old the WHOLE way...

We live in the back of a ten acre lot. It’s uphill all the way back from the mailbox and I hear about it from my 4 year old the WHOLE way…

It looks like we're gardening on the edge but there's just a steep hill beyond the fence.

It looks like we’re gardening on the edge but there’s just a steep hill beyond the fence.



Today's project.

Today’s project.

My newest addiction.  Roasted Cauliflower.  Jon prefers Broccoli and there's some green beans thrown in for kicks but for me - it's about the cauliflower.

My newest addiction. Roasted Cauliflower. Jon prefers Broccoli and there’s some green beans thrown in for kicks but for me – it’s about the cauliflower.

100% whole wheat.  The reason why I'll never give up carbs.

100% whole wheat. The reason why I’ll never give up carbs.

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  • My “instant garden“.
  • Moonlight instead of streetlights.
  • That my daughter recognizes the sound of a woodpecking bird.
  • One crazy day of snow that was nearly gone within 24 hours.
  • Eating home cooked pinto beans instead of from a can – so much better and better for you (and your wallet).
  • That I do believe I’ve perfected my bread recipe.  Now, to refine the method…
  • That my daughter is OK with wearing mismatched socks.  I’m considering starting all over with only ONE color of socks for her.
  • Story time at the library.

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We have one of those Vitamix blenders which we’ve been “borrowing” for the last  four years from my in-laws.  The Vitamix is great but pricey – we’re still trying to decide if we should make the investment.

It’s great and I use it a LOT.  Most recently for just your basic smoothie.  Sofia is going through a veggie ban again so I’ve been giving her all sorts of vegetable goodness in smoothie form because I get so very tired of the eat-your-vegetables argument…

I totally get not liking vegetables as a kid, it wasn’t fun but I can only hope that at some point she’ll grow to enjoy veggies as much as I do now that I’m older and wiser.  I’m not sure when I started enjoying and actually seeking out new and more vegetables – expanding my palette beyond cheese sauce covered steamed cauliflower and creamed corn.  Now I crave vegetables and something’s not quite right if there’s a meal where they’re not a key player in some way shape or form.

The bad thing about smoothies (when I make them) in the Vitamix is that there is serious residue on the sides that I hate to see go to waste when I rinse out the pitcher.  Only after FOUR years and a second child has it occurred to me to spatula out the residue into an ice cube container and feed it to the baby.  It’s also great to add as “ice” cubes to the soy milk I forgot to refrigerate (we buy ours in bulk from Costco).  Room temperature soy milk is kind of gross.

Not pretty but there's powerful goodness in there.

Not pretty but there’s powerful goodness in there.


From a couple different smoothies. Basic contents: blueberries, spinach or kale, orange, splash of soy milk, apple, cucumber

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I few months ago I sent my cellphone through the wash.

It didn’t survive despite being encased in a waterproof (though not resistant) case.

Now, I’ve gone and “misplaced” it again.  Like on a whole different level than the usual:  losing it in plain sight, in a basket of laundry, between the driver’s seat and the emergency brake, between the driver’s seat and the front door, the passenger seat and the front door, my purse/the abyss…

You get the idea.

I’ve been taking most of my blog pictures with my camera – so handy, so convenient – and had big blog posting plans for the those pictures.  Because writing about a new recipe without pictures doesn’t really have the same impact and a few accompanying shots does.

But here goes:


Lisa over at It She’s Losing It sent me a link to a recipe she posted that looked simple and yummy.  Curry has always been mysteriously exotic to me – really intimating actually.  While intrigued I have been at the same time put off by the pungentness (Spellcheck says this isn’t a word but I’ll bet you totally know what I’m talking about!) of this spice family.  Admittedly, the entire time I was preparing this dish I kept saying to myself, “Sofia is so not going to eat this.”

Sure enough she said it was too spicy for her four year old palette but honestly, I was surprised that she even tried so I still consider it a win.

As per usual I didn’t have all the listed ingredients but I do believe I followed the method stated!

Caribbean Red bean, Spinach and Potato Curry

Here’s what I changed:

  1. No potatoes but I had some leftover rice.
  2. I added cauliflower and was very happy I did.
  3. I didn’t have red beans exclusively, rather a trio mix which was just fine.
  4. I added about half again as much water but this recipe is forgiving plus, I like things saucy!
  5. I added a handful of raisins and here’s why:  I thought the flavor was a little harsh with the curry powder I had on hand and the raisins really added that little something that smoothed out the flavor.  I was going to add an chopped up apple but the raisins were easier.
  6. Used white vinegar for the lemon.
  7. No hot chile knowing my 4 year old would be put off by the spice to begin with adding a chile would so  not go over well with her.

I really, really liked the cauliflower in this dish and would definitely throw in more spinach next time maybe tofu instead of the beans…

And there will be a next time – this recipe is quick and easy AND tasty!

Thank you Lisa!

I know, it’s not the same with out pictures, right?

The right answer would be to make it again and take more pictures.  Seeing as we just moved I’ll admit I haven’t found my beloved camera yet amongst the boxes nor was I eager to unpack it since there is still a lot of construction dust about.  Likely it was in this dish as well now that I think about it…

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In the process of becoming unprocessed I’ve come up against a bit more resistance than I thought I would.  Mostly from my husband.  With the three year old it’s simply a matter of telling her No and offering her something else enthusiastically to sway her.  I’m talking about treats/dessert in particular.  As a self proclaimed choc-aholic I’ve come to appreciate the term ‘die-hard’ when it comes to converting him.  So, I’ve slowed things down a bit and have taken more baby steps than leaps and bounds with the process and have treaded very lightly when it comes to chocolate treats!

I made these brownies the other day but it called for a pan size I didn’t have so I guess-stimated and was ok with the results.  I own a baking bracket the lines the edge of the pan – I use it specifically for brownies but you can use it for sheet cakes too.  I first used the bracket in pastry school – you can find them at restaurant supply stores.  It just makes the edges way cleaner and there’s less waste when cutting which I think is important given the amount of butter and chocolate involved – those more expensive ingredients.  Because there are so few ingredients in brownies there’s not much to make less processed.  I swapped out the AP flour with Whole Wheat Pastry flour in equal parts with no problems.  It’s also my opinion that because of the simplicity of the ingredients list trying for a lower fat/fat free alternative will result is something so different from a true brownie that it’s just not right to even call it tha,t rather, one should simply stick to a trusted original recipe and eat in moderation.  I put mine in the freezer after cutting them which slows my husband down a tad.  I did manage to eat a couple before they were all gone and I have to say these brownies are(were?!) damn good and I rarely swear when it comes to food – that’s how good they are.  The original recipe is the Barefoot Contessa’s Outrageous Brownies.  I find it laughable that she sells these in a boxed version.  Brownies are about the simplest baked good you could make!

Here’s the original recipe.  The changes I made were cutting it back to about 3/4 measurements (give or take) to fit a half sheet pan AND the 1:1 swap between AP flour and WW pastry flour.  Otherwise follow the recipe word for word and you won’t be disappointed.  Oh, and I cut mine into about 2 inch square serving sizes.  They’re super rich so you’ll be more than satisfied with this size.  They also turned out a little on the thin side for my liking but that’s just my aesthetic taste.  I would definitely include the walnuts, it helps mellow the richness a bit.

Outrageous Brownies

Oh, PS:  I forgot that instead of the semi-sweet chips mixed in at the end I chopped the equivalent weight in bittersweet chocolate.  I think that’s what took the brownie to the next level.  Chopping chocolate isn’t one of my favorite things to do but I’ve never been disappointed with the results.  Try it!

This was my second attempt with photographing the brownies.  I had plated two more earlier, then Jon came home and promptly ate them!

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Oh my but it feels good to be typing again.  A small window of feeling semi awake, baby sleeping, toddler off with her dad doing errands.  It’s the trifecta that gives me a few moments of peace and me time.

After, doing dishes, washing baby stuff, general tidying, etc – then it’s me time.

While my world has been small (literally) and revolving around this little, less than seven pound person, giving as much TLC to my toddler/new big sister while she adjusts to a whole new level of sharing my mind has been filling with words that want to be typed out before they are lost in a sleep deprived fog that comes from late night feedings and early morning toddler awakenings.

On staying on track to becoming unprocessed.

I can see where the title Convenience Foods came from.  I have a newborn, and a precocious toddler and a husband who is great at making pancakes but not much else (he talents lie elsewhere in the household – see this blog).  Lately, getting veggies into my toddler has consisted of plunking down an bag of organic baby carrots at lunch and dinner.

Not very creative but it seems to be working.

I tried to make a salad, and was successfu,l but I find my patience growing short as my toddler eats one spinach leaf at a time where as pre-newborn, it wouldn’t have mattered so much.  Now days I’ve revived the Vitamix and have reverted back to smoothies – super quick, easy and we’re getting in more veggies and fruit this way.

I’ve got big bags of organic, kale and spinach, frozen organic berries and various organic apples, pears, etc.  Some fruit, a massive handful of greens and I fill the rest of the pitcher with water (because I’m breastfeeding and I know the rest of the family could use the extra fluids).  I’m thinking that the smoothie will be my saving grace in the fruit/veggie dept.

And I’ve gotta say, I’m so irritated, annoyed, offended.  It just makes me so mad but, objectively speaking, is pretty smart that the food industry takes advantage of people like me.  I’m tired, I’m hungry (now) and I’ve got a family to feed(also now).  Oh, those devious, dastardly food industry folks.  So sneaky, so conniving.  I tip my hat to you while at the same time do  my best to resist you in my sleep-deprived-just trying to survive these first six weeks of newborn-ness.

Enter, processed foods, convenience foods, and other bad things for your body that are hard to say no to when you’re really vulnerable.  I’ll admit I have one frozen pizza lurking in my freezer and some frozen black bean patties.  Honestly, if it wasn’t for my little sister cooking up a storm of heat/cook and serve meals I’m not sure what state my diet would be in right now.

And that’s the truth.

But, I shall continue to resist, work my Vitamix and pull food from the freezer.

We’ll see who comes out on top Food Industry, oh, yes, we shall see.

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