Skagit River Ranch online order, meaning that, when I checked by twice to pick them up from the Bellevue Buyers Club location, there was no delivery for me. Eek! No farm-fresh eggs! No pastured beef or happy pork! No chicken! Not till February, unless I want to brave the U District Market some Saturday.
As if Sugar-Free January weren't crappy enough. Sighing grievously, I stopped by QFC to pick up some organic beef. I even briefly considered buying the ground buffalo because I knew that at least was grass-fed. Who knew what organic corn and nastiness went into the "organic beef"? But buffalo taco salad gave me pause, so I went with the mystery meat. It was fine. Not Skagit, but fine. I drained the fat, which I never bother to do with George and Eiko's product.
With only two pounds of ground pork between me and de facto vegetarianism, it looks like I'll be visiting one of the Puget Sound's year-round farmers markets. How I wish and wish there were a year-rounder on the Eastside, since Seattle parking drives me bananas. (I was born and raised in the suburbs. So sue me.) U District is held on Saturdays, and Ballard, Fremont, and West Seattle duke it out on Sundays. Care to join me?
And as a P.S., check this link to the nutritional superiority of pastured milk over conventional. If in doubt, Organic Valley is both pastured and Northwest local!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The only comfort, for the next two weeks, is that I'm not having any chocolate milk. Harvard Nutrition reports that “people are getting 50 percent of their calories from carbs, and 80 percent of those calories are from refined starch and sugar." With our children eating school lunches (and probably reaching for the chocolate milk), they are "getting the full brunt of that diet." As a result, children and teenagers are at higher risk for developing heart disease and diabetes. In our house, I didn't force the kids to participate in Sugar-Free January, but I did reduce them to one sugary sweet per day, and that includes non-sweets which are primarily refined flour. What can I say? We're all waiting for February 1.
If it isn't the sugar making your kids hyper, you may want to check out other food additives. Health.com lists several food dyes and one food preservative as possible exacerbators of ADHD:
- Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue). Found in many "kids'" cereals, Yoplait yogurts, and some Frito-Lay chip products!
- Blue #2 (Indigotine). More "kids'" cereals, cake mixes, candies.
- Red #40 (Allura Red). According to the article, this is the most widely used food dye in the U.S. Found in everything from Jell-O to Lunchables, sodas to M&Ms.
- Yellow #5 (Tartrazine). The second most common food dye, and one that HAS been linked to hyperactivity by studies. (See Robyn O'Brian's THE UNHEALTHY TRUTH). Think of all that yellow food. Kraft Mac & Cheese, I'm looking at you.
- Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow). You mean Cheetos and Fanta Orange Soda don't occur that color in nature???
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
For the rest of us, we have commute-hour snow to look forward to, followed by days of rain. But we're not jealous! No, dang it. We're cozy. I bet Lori isn't cozy. (Excuse me, while I briefly indulge in some tears and drumming my fists on the floor. Okay--all better.) And I may be cold and growing moss in my scalp, but at least I can bake some tasty treat to comfort myself--oh, no--hang on--I forgot I'm still only to Day 11 of Sugar-Free January.
Well, while I'm feeling sorry for myself, I might as well dish out the other bit of bad news, courtesy of The Telegraph: our friends across the pond report that spending 4+ hours of screen time per day, including computer monitors, video games, and television, more than doubles your chances of suffering "major cardiac problems." Not only that, but exercise doesn't help! I have a couple questions about this study. (1) How on earth did they find a control group? A group that didn't spend 4+ hours/day in front of some kind of screen? You'd have to unearth some unusual combinations--lumberjacks who are also bookworms, or construction workers who happen to be blind. And, (2) if exercise doesn't help, and we don't want to give up our job or evening entertainment, what is the take-away? I guess it's, If you're going to be spending all that time in front of a screen, at least multi-task and draw up your will while you're at it.
Well, let us eat and drink and send email and watch TV, for tomorrow we die. And since it's cold outside, how about a recipe for Chili? It's mild, family-friendly, so feel free to ramp up.
Chili (adapted from Cooking Light) Makes lots of servings but cooks 1.5 hours!
1/2 lb. Skagit River Ranch Sweet Italian Sausage
1 lb. Skagit River Ranch or Samish Bay ground beef
1 large chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
4-8 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 T prepared garlic)
Remove sausage casings and brown above ingredients.
2 T chili powder
2 T brown sugar
1 T cumin
3 T tomato paste
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t ground pepper
1/4 t salt
Add above seasonings to meat mixture. Cook one minute. Then stir in:
1-1/4 c leftover wine
2 28 ozs cans diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney or black beans
Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer about an hour. Stir once in a while. Then uncover and cook another 30 minutes. Serve with toppings!
I'd make some cornbread and spinach salad to go with it, if I could only tear myself away from the TV...
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
|Sneaky Little Buggers|
Best Moment So Far: I'll keep you posted.
Worst Moment So Far: discovering the two dozen M&M cookies my mother-in-law sent home with us in the freezer. Why didn't I rummage through the thing on December 31?
For all you dieting readers out there, I found this good tidbit: Science Digest claims that we can reduce our food consumption by just imagining we're eating the food. I don't know about this one. Supposedly, their studies found that "people who repeatedly [imagine] the consumption of a morsel of food -- such as an M&M or cube of cheese -- subsequently [consume] less of that food than did people who imagined consuming the food a few times or performed a different but similarly engaging task." A different but similarly engaging task like slobbering over an issue of Bon Appetit? Or foraging in the freezer and licking the outside of Ziplocs full of M&M cookies? Clarification, please.
One sugar-free appetite-killer that might also bring you relief from arthritis is the home remedy of Gin-Soaked Raisins. I never heard of these things until some women brought it up at church today. Results seem to be mixed, but everyone agrees that if you use cheap gin, the raisins burn all the way down, and the discomfort is enough to distract you from your arthritis, at the very least.
And lastly, you may think I've forgotten my Amish cooking foray, but I haven't. I admit I got burned by "Mrs. Gottshall's Streusel-Filled Coffee Cake" on Christmas morning, which might better have been titled "Mrs. Gottshall's Tough-as-a-Brick Coffee Cake From Which You Will End Up Picking Out Only the Streusel," but the Turkey Bone Soup was tasty, if standard, and the Coleslaw I downright delicious. We think of coleslaw as a summer salad, but it makes a great winter vegetable side, since it calls for easily-available cabbage and carrots. This version also uses cream instead of mayo. Try my variation, which combines Coleslaw I and Coleslaw II!
Christina's Coleslaw 1.5
1 cabbage, sliced thin
4 carrots, sliced fine
2 stalks celery, sliced fine
2 T sugar
1/2 c cream
2 T vinegar
1/2 t salt
Combine dressing ingredients. Pour over vegetables. Toss. Chill through and serve. (Serves at least six.)