Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pollan on NPR

While I waited in the car the other evening for Jason to get a new cell phone and the kids fell asleep in their carseats, I was able to listen to NPR's Fresh Air radio program and they had a fascinating interview with Micheal Pollan, the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, as well as In Defense of Food. Pollan recently wrote an Open Letter to the Next President on how to improve this countries food policies.

A few fun facts I thought worth sharing:

1. Wild Alaskan Salmon from Alaska (duh) is actually shipped all the way to China to be filleted and packaged, and then sent back to the states for us consumers. Yum!

2. The same is done for chicken raised in the US.

3. Big farms are actually paid to NOT grow food, and to only grow corn and soy beans to be processed into corn syrup and hydrogenated soybean oil.

4. The "bio-fuel" ethanol, which I naively thought to be a green idea is actually takes petroleum to grow and process (almost gallon for gallon). It's does not help us to get away from our dependence on oil.

5. My favorite, personally, is that enourmous feeding farms, where chicken and pigs are grown for meat, are posing major problems to our health. The first problem is that these vast cities of animals living so closely together need to be fed antibiotics to stay healthy or else they'd all be wiped out by disease. These antibiotics are the same that treat humans, thus, super germs are becoming immune to these, and then we eat the chicken with these same antibiotics, causing the same problems for ourselves. But that's not all. You know how cities have to treat their sewage? Well these feeding mills don't. Gross.

So, I think I'm going to start buying everything from Azure Standard now.

If you get a chance, listen to the show. It also has a link to the Open Letter which has so many great ideas, that could really improve the health and prosperity for this country's people.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - 2

I planned all of our dinners this Saturday before I went shopping, so I thought I would finish up the rest of our meals today. My friend Jamie wanted to know if I REALLY made all those meals and if I felt super duper about them all. YES and NO.

Last week's potato leek soup kind of bombed. I got lazy and didn't think I needed to peel any more potatoes, but I was wrong. The soup ended up being really watery. It was still flavorfu thanks to the delicious homemade crockpot chicken broth, and the bits of bacon helped a lot, but still. Watery. Eh.

And then, though they weren't on the plan, I decided to try out some no bake cookies, but they had to be lenten and also have no peanut butter (I suspect that James has a peanut allergy) and the only other nut butter I had was sunflower seed butter. While I didn't think they were completely awful, they did have a distinct sunflower seed taste which did not meld all that well with chocolate. Jason and Hannah said they were gross, while James just spit his out. I think otherwise it would have been a great recipe. Really.

So here is this week's plan (I was kind of bummed this morning when I didn't have a plan for breakfast):

D: Roast beef, baked potatoes, green salad

B: Blueberry muffins and yogurt
L: Turkey and cheese sandwiches
D: Tacos (with l/o beef), with avacado, tomato, cheese fixings, and rice & beans

B: Oatmeal with applesauce and cinnamon
L: L/O veggie tortilla soup from Friday
D: Potluck dish to share

L: Egg Salad Sandwiches
D: Chinese fried rice with salmon (canned salmon stirred into the rice)

B: Cinnamon Toast and Coconut Milk Hot Cocoa
L: Avacado Sandwiches
D: Rice and Bean Burritos

Since Mondays and Tuesdays seem to be my biggest cooking days, I have the hardest time keeping house. The sink fills up extra fast (no thanks to a broken dish washer) and I just can't seem to get to other areas of the house that need attention. Not to mention the mountains of laundry. Any ideas for me? As I become more and more of a do-it-yourself type, I'm losing lots of time! HELP!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Butterfly in the Wind

It makes no difference if your wings are upside down!

A familiar view of mine, only now improved with a swiftly swelling belly!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I've been doing menu plans for a while now, and they are really great, especially come Thursday, when I'm most always tired and out of inspiration.

B - egg and cheese sandwiches
L - tomato soup with leftover cheese tortelini
D - Roasted chicken, acorn squash, and cheddar potatoes, for dessert - zucchini muffins

B - acorn squash pancakes
L - egg salad sandwiches
D - Potato leek soup (with chicken broth made from roasted chicken) with bacon crumbles, pumpernickle bread

B - maple oatmeal with raisins
L - pb & j, fruit
D - Potluck at church - prepare a veggie dish (whatever looks good at Costco)

B - yogurt and zucchini muffins
L - leftover soup
D - Chef's salad with bacon, hard boiled eggs, l/o chicken, cheese, veggies, etc., bread.

B - cinnamon toast, berry spinach smoothies
L - bean burritos
D - lenten tortilla soup (with Better Than Bouillan No Chicken Base) with beans, sqaush, corn, spinach, potatos, and tortilla chips.

Weekends - leftovers and some take-out!

Just by sticking to my menu, we have saved about $50 a week on groceries, and we waste much less food. If there is a lot of something left I freeze it and enjoy it another day.

Happy Monday to you all!