What is your favorite sugar substitute?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lego my legume

“Aaaaaah...the lentil. The humble, earthy, slightly frumpy, a bit dowdy, no-I'm-not-looking-for-a-date-I'm-staying-home-and-washing-my-Birkenstocks lentil. And brown, so very broooooowwwwwwn is the lentil. But! With a little love, a few spices, and a bit of simmering the humble lentil becomes something entirely different.” – beanplate blog

I LOVE THE LENTIL. I don’t know what it is about this simple little….thing. I mean, what is it, a bean, a grain, a veggie….what? http://www.pea-lentil.com/consumer.htm.
Well, don’t worry Michael, you’re safe, the lentil is only a cousin of the bean family, kind of like sitting down with the Andersons. You know your related, you can trace the line back but the resemblance is a bit vague
Though they are a distant cousin, eating the lentil feels like coming home! Lentils are just great! They’re like a missionary trying to fill his service hours; versatile, inexpensive, helpful, and they get the job done!

This recipe is for Lentil Sloppy Joe’s. Now, before you gawk at it, give it a try. You may like it, and the nutritional benefits are fantastic! In one cup of dry lentils (which is way more than I can eat....) there are 230 calories, 1 g of fat and 18 g of protein! http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4338/2. gram for gram that’s more protein v. fat than a beef steak! So try enjoying this old favorite with a healthy twist.
1 cup lentils
2 cup water
1 minced onion
1 minced green pepper
season salt
1 t agave
chili powder
dry minced garlic (the kind in the spice section)
celery seeds
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 1/4 cups water

(or just add a can of Manwich)

1) simmer lentils till tender, but not mushy.
2) sautee onion, green pepper till soft, add dry ingredients.

3) add lentils and tomato paste.

Serve on whole wheat buns. Makes excellent leftovers and freezes very well!!!I make a bunch and freeze it to pull out for a quick meal.
Makes: 8 Servings, Preparation time: 10 min, Cooking time: 65 min (vegweb: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=29868.0)

for more fun then a lentil should supply check this out!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Did you ever read a food label and think, “monosodiohydogluton…….what the heck is that?” So have I ! And I’m going to find out! If you read a label and can’t pronounce something (or even if you can pronounce it but don’t know what it is) let me know and I’ll do some sleuthing. It's about time we know what were eating!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Post the Pesto!

The other night I had some basil to use up so I googled basil and ran with it. This is what I got

put in a blender:

soaked nuts (most people use pine nuts but Matthew is alergic so I use soaked almonds)
1 clove of garlic
salt pepper

begin to blend
slowly add in olive oil

blend till smooth

I marinated some shrimp in this and then put it over angel hair pasta.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweet Baby Mush

Or Sweet Mike Hyde Mush (Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!)

Until recently my family has done its fair share of sugar consumption. We like sugar in all its forms- pretty much anything that ends in "ose." I've known for a long time that we needed to cut back on our excessive sugar intake (in all forms) and to be sure that the sugar we do consume is... well, just plain old natural sugar.

I started looking for substitutes a couple years ago and after a few recommendations tried stevia. For those who haven't tried stevia, it's like sin. Nothin' but good times till the guilt kicks in. It's sweet at first with a horrible bitter aftertaste... it doesn't help that it costs as much per ounce as sterling silver. Then came the sucralose (Splenda). This is as close to sugar as you're gonna get; tastes great, low calorie, low glycemic index... but upon using it I started getting terrible stomach aches and weird head pains. Quit the sucralose, side effects gone. Hmm. So after pretty much giving up on substitutes I decided that being careful about HFCS intake would have to suffice. Just recently I've taken up the search again.

Now, since our oldest child was born we've given each of our kids baby cereal for breakfast. The recipe is simple- dump some baby cereal in a cup with straw, add milk and sugar, and warm it up. The kids love it and I love that they're done with breakfast in under two minutes without any cleanup. OK, so about that sugar. Each time I've taken a hand full of brown sugar and thrown it in the cup I've felt one of two things: either, this is pretty bad, or, my kids are so gonna love me for this! When I tried putting stevia in my second daughter's mush one morning, she tried a sip and said, "Pleh-ah! What's wrong with my mush, Daddy?" Subs were out. Sarah and I are hyper-sensitive about honey spores and infant botulism, so what was I to do? Was there no way to provide sweet nourishing gruel for my children... without the guilt?

Agave Mush
Baby cereal- our kids like oatmeal and mixed best
Milk- everybody likes theirs with a different consistency
Agave Nectar- to taste

Our baby likes it hot or cold. He'll walk away from hot leaving 4 oz. He'll hang on to the chilled version until he's really sure he's done- must be like a cactus milkshake or something.

Friday, February 5, 2010

New England Rat Patootie....mmmmm....

In the world of clam chowder there are two different kinds. One that is made with a tomato base, which is called a Manhattan chowder, and one that is cream based which is a New England chowder but why the chowder lecture when we're talking about Ratatouille? come to think of it, What IS ratatouille? In many European countries a similar dish to ratatouille developed which characteristically used garden veggies as the main ingredients.(http://ratatouille.weebly.com/history.html or, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratatouille)
now, why the culinary geography lesson?

Well, ratatouille is french, clam chowder is from the eastern united states,neither place have I been, so I don't claim to be any kind of an expert on this recipe. So eat and enjoy knowing that you're a world traveler at your kitchen table.

All the veggies you have on hand
whatever (just no tomatoes....that's for another recipe)
left over brown rice

1/2 brick of cream cheese
1/2 brick of Gorgonzola cheese (this is our favorite but try your favorite cheese)

grate veggies into the rice cooker. crumble or cut up cheese in small cubes and let everything cook and melt together. it should be done in about 30 minutes or when the rice cooker stops. stir once or twice during the process so the cheese doesn't stick to the bottom. It should be creamy like mac and cheese.

serve with some cracker or french bread! mmmm, now that's comfort food at its best!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Can't Resist The Cous Cous!

Cous Cous is a very nutritional mix of grains (see here for all you ever wanted, and didn't want to know about cous cous http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/food/entries/display.php/topic_id/3/id/58/)
It is also very easy to prepare! As many of you know, Matthew and I are living in a studio with only a rice cooker to cook in so our recipes will all be with instructions on how to cook them using a rice cooker! This means that their usually one dish meals and only take 45 minutes!

1 c cous cous (this is really affordable in bulk at your local health food store)
1 1/2 c boiling water
your favorite seasoning (Mrs. dash, spike etc.)
thinly sliced veggies (carrots, squash, celery, broccoli)
2 chicken breasts or fillets of fish

Boil the water in the rice cooker. Place the veggies and meat in the steamer basket over the water and steam till all are cooked. When all are cooked, add the cous cous and your favorite seasoning to the boiling water, stir once and then let sit till all the water is absorbed. To plate put down the cous cous, then the veggies, then the meat. This is one of our favorite and it cooks up in less than 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homemade Hummus

1 can of garbanzo beans (try them mike! you may like these!)
1 tb lemon juice
2 tb Italian dressing

puree in a blender till its a smooth, thick consistency. Save the liquid from the beans to add to the blender if needed. This is amazing with pita chips or crackers and can be used as a healthy alternative to mayo.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Swedish Muesli

This is a great recipe to spice up breakfast in the morning. You can get most of these items in the bulk section of the health food store which makes it really affordable!
2 Lb organic oats
1/4 LB shaved coconut
1/4 LB craisins
1/4 Lb Dates
1/4 Lb flax seeds
1/4 LB wheat bran
1/4 Lb wheat germ
1/4 lb bran flakes
1/4 lb nuts
1/4 LB dried fruit
1/4 of the kitchen sink

Mix everything together in a big Ziploc bag adding whatever your family likes or is on sale at the store. Cover with Kefir or an organic drinkable yogurt with live cultures.