Monday, February 28, 2011

Two Cool Things!

Two cool things happened tonight.

We started a bucket to feed our compost pile!

We bought some seeds to start for our garden!

Menu Plan!

Finally!  I have made a menu plan!  I really love to have a menu plan, but it has been over a year since I actually had one!  That third baby really threw things off here in the Good household.  :-P

Some people plan every meal, and every side dish to go with it.  My idea of a 'menu plan' is to pick out dinner, and hope everything else falls into place!  Usually we have oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, and leftovers or sandwiches for lunch. I have picked out eleven dinners that I will make over the course of the next two weeks.  Then, the night before or sometime in the afternoon, I will pick what I want to have for dinner.  As I make things off the list, I will check them off.  I like this method, because it is flexible, but I still can go to the store knowing what I need to buy to provide dinner for the next two weeks.  I don't have to scrounge around and hope that I have everything in the cabinets, send Chris to the store on the way home from work, or use unusual substitutions (which can be good, or it can be very bad-- ask me how I know!) to make the dish I plan to have for dinner.

My Menu Plan
  1. Zucchini Spaghetti with Spaghetti Sauce
  2. Coconut Cucumber Soup* with roasted carrots and creamy spinach soup
  3. Asian Anise Soup* with potato wedges
  4. Split Pea Soup* with salad
  5. Asparagus Pesto Fettuccine*
  6. Beans and Rice with salad
  7. Lentil Burgers with carrot sticks
  8. Raw Falafel* with guacamole, raw veggies and maybe hummus
  9. Chicken, potato wedges, creamy spinach soup
  10. Beef Roast, broccoli, quinoa
  11. Cauliflower curry**, Creamy Potato and Spinach curry**
I also have some extras that I am planning to make-- snacks/desserts/breakfasts
  1. Sesame Rice crackers (recipe coming sometime this week, maybe!)
  2. Avocado Muffins*
  3. Cashew Butter
  4. Nutty Gelato*
  5. Sourdough starter (with rye flour)
  6. Raw Granola (haven't settled on a recipe yet)
*From Breaking Free: Truths for Healthy Living by Jill Samter
**From Easy Indian Cookbook by Manju Malhi

I haven't tried the recipes from Jill's book yet, but I will let you know how they are!  Be sure we will be having Banana Pudding for breakfast this week, too!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What I ate today

So, I have some ideas about what to write this week, including working out a menu plan, writing about my food journey/ how I got to where I am today, and what we are planting in our garden this year!

But right now, it is too late to think about such things.  So, I will write to you what I ate today. :-)

Breakfast: Soaked Blueberry Muffins, orange slices, decaf tea
Lunch: Leftover salad, pickled cabbage, leftover creamed spinach, leftover chili
Snack: half a grapefruit, about 20 almonds
Dinner: Lamb chop, brown rice, green beans, coconut milk gravy, bread and butter, raw applesauce

What did you eat today?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Confession: Sugar Binge

I have been on a sugar binge this week. 

It's even been more than a sugar binge, but a white flour, coffee binge also.

It started with Ellie's first birthday, and having three different kinds of dessert.  What's a girl to do but eat a piece of each?  And then nibble (okay, more like, scarf down as much as possible...) the delicious buttercream icing that my sister lovingly used to decorate the cake she made. And have a cup of coffee to go with them.

Then, of course there were leftovers of the cakes, which my husband, in his great strength of will, declined to eat with me... WHAT CHOICE DID I HAVE?  I had to eat them! 

  • Monday we went to Whole Foods (I had never been!) on a family field trip and we got white bread from the bakery.  Mmmm...
  • Tuesday I had friends over for a birthday party. More coffee, and muffins (at least they were whole wheat and low sugar, but they might have had leftover chocolate avocado icing on them...) Then in the evening, I had some delicious white-sugar-white-flour-white-chocolate-chip cookies at Wegman's.
  • Today was especially bad.  I had a huge piece of cake in the afternoon.  Cookie cake.  So. Good. And after dinner, I made myself a cup of Starbucks and had another piece of cookie cake with the kids. And just now I had a bowl of cinnamon crunch cereal with coconut milk.
Like any good sugar-flour-coffee binge, this one MUST to come to an end.  Praying for the strength of will to end it... tomorrow! :-)

ps. i haven't given up coffee altogether, but I have been drinking WAY more than usual!

Banana Pudding for Breakfast

My children are obsessed with having oatmeal for breakfast.  Everyday they wake up and ask, "Are we having blueberry oatmeal today? Or peach?"

Oiy.  I am tired of oatmeal!  So, I have been trying to dress it up a bit recently.  Also, in my endeavor to go more raw, I wanted to try oatmeal raw.  Plus, in my musings with soaking grains, I wanted to try soaking my oatmeal. And then eating it raw. But at the same time, making it taste delicious.  I came up with Banana Pudding for breakfast!

Now, some of you are saying "Ew!  Why would you eat oatmeal raw?!" And the rest of you (who made it past the raw oatmeal) are thinking, "What is soaking grains??!!"

Cooking food kills the enzymes in the food that are good for you and help you digest it. So, eating raw food helps with digestion and with most foods, is more healthy.

Soaking grains helps to unlock some of the other enzymes/properties of the grain that make it more easily digested and more nutritious.  (Ever feel bloated after eating some really delicious, processed white bread?) Soaking the grains before eating them, or even cooking with them can help stop that feeling... I don't know a whole lot about the whole process, but Katie from Kitchen Stewardship has done a great deal of in-depth scientific research on the subject.  You can read all about it here.

All that to say, here is my newest recipe:

Banana Pudding Breakfast

2 Cups Oats
1 cup water
2 TBS yogurt (Or 1 TBS apple cider vinegar, if you want to do the vegan thing)
2 bananas
Milk, of any sort or water or juice would work, too!
spinach (Optional!)
Toppings: Walnuts, almonds, raisins, craisins, coconut, etc.

Mix 2 cups of oats, one cup water and 2 TBS yogurt in a bowl the night before you want to eat this for breakfast. Leave it on the counter until the morning.  In the morning, blend the bananas, spinach and the milk or juice in the blender until just smooth.  Try not to make it too thin.  Add the oats and pulse until desired smoothness. Pour into bowl and add desired toppings.

This recipe is SOO good!  The bananas are so sweet that you don't even need any other sweetener.  You can even hide good-for-you things in the pudding like spinach that will be willingly gobbled down with everything else.  My kids LOVE this!  Like I said, they go nuts for oatmeal, and love having toppings!  It's almost like having a sundae for breakfast.  (almost.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Eggplant Chips!!

As I mentioned in the video about the broccoli salad, we have been trying to incorporate a lot more raw food into our diet lately.  When I post the whole story of how I got to where I am today on my eating journey, I will go into more detail.  :-) Let's just leave it at we have been reading, researching, and learning A LOT about raw food this year. One place we love to look for information is YouTube.  We have been watching TheRawFoodWorld TV show.... Well, we came across this recipe for eggplant chips that we just had to try!  

Neither Chris nor I like eggplant in its traditional, fried-'til-it's-greasy or baked-and-mushy state.  So this seemed like a real possibility for us as an alternative, and better yet, it's raw.  I based my recipe on the one seen on TheRawFoodWorld, but I made some changes due to our likes/dislikes/what we had on hand.  Feel free to do the same! 

Eggplant Chips with Sunflower Basil Spread
2 eggplants, sliced and cut to the size chips you want (I halved my slices)
a generous dose of kosher salt
1-2 cloves garlic
olive oil

Sunflower Basil Spread:
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 TBS (or 2) sesame seeds
1-2 TBS apricot seeds
1 cup(ish) basil (fresh is best, but I used frozen from our garden)
1 cup(ish) spinach (again, fresh is best but I used frozen loose leaves)
1/2 head of garlic (yes, it was 5-6 cloves!!!)
almost 1 tsp. salt
juice of 1 lime
1 cup hot water

First, slice eggplants and put in a colander with a generous dose of kosher salt to 'sweat' the eggplant. (Put it in the sink so all the liquid drains.) Next, move eggplant to a bowl, press the 1 or 2 cloves of garlic into the bowl and toss with olive oil to coat.  Let marinate for an hour or so.  Make the spread: Put in blender.  Blend until smooth. This takes awhile. Finally, arrange eggplant on the dehydrator trays and put desired amount of spread on each slice.  The thicker the spread, the longer it will take to dehydrate.  Dehydrate at 115* for 10-14 hours, or until they have reached desired crispiness. 

 Okay, so here are my findings on the eggplant chips.  We did not like the first batch very much...  the skin was very tough to chew and the eggplant got rubbery due to the marinating in olive oil.  The spread was yummy, and the boys ate the chips, after we removed the skin.  Chris said he still had not found a way he likes to eat eggplant.  We decided these needed some further testing. 

The next day, I made some more.  I skinned the eggplant with a peeler before slicing it.  Then I salted half of it for an hour before putting in the dehydrator, and the other half I just put into the dehydrator right away.  I put spread on on most of the slices but left a few plain just to try them.  I also sliced some zucchini and added the slices to each of the groups. 

Chris still did not like them. The boys ate them-- Sam more willingly than Ben.  I liked them.  The eggplant did not get as crispy as I was hoping.  I wanted a chip, but what I really got was a dried out slice of eggplant. The spread, however, was really good, and I want to make it again and put it on something else!  (I just haven't figured out what, yet!)

So, all in all, the eggplant 'chip' experiment was a good... experiment.  I will probably make them again at some point, but not often. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dinner FAIL

So, tonight, as I was preparing dinner, I just wasn't feeling it. Do you ever have those days?

I was trying something relatively new, including cooking a grain that I had never cooked before. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do, I was executing it as planned, .... but it just didn't feel right.

I got it on the table, served everyone up... Took a bite... Yuck. I did not like it.  It actually kind of made my stomach churn.  Ugh, I thought. Terrible. How could I have made something so gross?  What was I thinking?  What are we going to eat when no one else likes this?  Why am I even trying to eat this way!?? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I sat there, silently eating my bowl of food... not really looking at anyone, feeling so discouraged, ready to throw in the towel on the whole eating veggies thing and just make a huge vat of lasagna.

As dinner came to an end, Chris got up to get coffee, and I followed him into the kitchen to cry on his shoulder and wallow in my failure. "It wasn't as bad as you think," he said.  When he sent me to the bathroom to clean myself up after all the 'boo-hoo-ing' I had just completed, I walked into the dining room.

I looked around.  Everyone's bowls were empty. Chris didn't really think it was so bad.  The boys ate theirs.  No complaining, no groaning,... just empty bowls.

Chris even made me raw brownies for dessert.  Maybe I should cry on his shoulder more often.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Out to Eat!

Our family almost never goes out to eat. Ever. There just aren't many restaurants that we feel are worthy of spending our money on. And those restaurants aren't cheap. So usually, we just eat at home.

But this weekend, we were visiting my parents... And we were up for a splurge. One of our favorite restaurants is near my parent's house, so Sunday for lunch we went out! For... Pizza!

Comet Ping Pong is a great place to get fresh homemade pizza and other treats. They make their dough and cheese in house, can their homemade sauce in the summer from fresh tomatoes, use a wood oven for baking, and fresh, local, organic ingredients. And, there are ping pong tables available for your playing pleasure!!
We got wood roasted cauliflower, a pizza with olives, spinach, fontina cheese, and sauce, and a pizza with ground  beef, black beans, red pepper salsa, creme  freshe, and jalepenos.

Next time you're in the DC area, check out Comet Ping Pong, and you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Millet/corn pizza crust

For dinner I am making pizza with millet/corn pizza crust. It is a little watery due to the corn flour. I will have to update on the results!

Okay, so here are the updated results:

I used a recipe for millet flatbreads that I found.  Except, I didn't have enough millet flour... so I used corn flour instead. Well, that wasn't a great idea.  The millet reacts COMPLETELY differently in the recipe than the corn.  So, if you try this recipe, make sure you have MILLET.

2 Cups millet flour
2 Cups hot water
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBS cilantro, chopped (optional)

Boil the water, and add the millet.  Simmer for two minutes. Stir the millet flour with the hot water and add salt.  Let it sit for 10 minutes.  It should form a firm dough.  Mix in cilantro.  Roll out on pizza stone or cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with corn flour (or millet flour). I have been flouring the sheet, putting the dough on, put on some plastic wrap and spread it out evenly.  I also started using a jelly roll pan instead of my pizza pans, but they would work too.  Bake at 400* for about 20 minutes.  Add your favorite toppings and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

 Here are the toppings I used:  Zucchini, onions, broccoli, eggplant, ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, homemade pizza sauce (So easy!  Will post my recipe some other day!), parsley, and leftover spread from my eggplant chips

Okay, so the "final product picture" is really ugly-- the crust as I made it stuck to the pizza pans really badly, and by the time we got it on the plate, it was more like pizza heap than slices. I added some sprouts to mine! Overall, everyone really enjoyed this experiment, despite the crust being a failure.  I will definitely be trying this again--with all millet next time! 

***Updated April 29, 2011 to include more accurate directions.  :-)

Monday, February 7, 2011


I love leftover night!  I barely have to cook, my kitchen stays relatively in tact, less dishes to do.  Tonight we had some leftover lamb and pea curry with rice.  There wasn't enough to serve as the whole meal, but I whipped up some simple sweet potato soup to complement.  It was fast, easy and best yet, popular!

Last week I made the Lamb and Peas Curry with Rice for dinner.... I roasted acorn squash and stuffed them with the curry.  MMM.  The rich flavors of the lamb and peas went so well with the sweetness of the acorn squash.  This is the only way I've found that Chris actually likes acorn squash. The boys go crazy over this dish.  Both of them had a half of a squash stuffed with about a 1/2 cup of curry! At 2 and 4, I have no idea what I am going to do with them when they grow bigger!  They eat so much already!

The sweet potato soup was really simple and easy.  I sauteed one small onion in olive oil.  Then I added three peeled and diced sweet potatoes (I used white, but yams work great too!) I covered the potatoes with water (Chicken stock would have really added extra flavor!). When the potatoes were done, I used my immersion blender to make a nice smooth soup.  I added some nutmeg(1/8 tsp), paprika(1/4 tsp), ginger(1/8 tsp), salt(1/2 tsp, or to taste) and pepper(to taste). Finally, I stirred in about a 1/4 cup of coconut milk and garnished with fresh chopped parsley. It was so easy, and it only took about 30 minutes start to finish. 

Alright, I have rambled enough.  I still have some recipes to share with you soon! 
  • Eggplant Crackers
  • Sesame Crackers (Gluten Free!)
  • Orange Pecan Bread

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Have YOU Ever Tried Raw Asparagus?

A quick salad I threw together for dinner tonight.

Broccoli Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
1-2 cups broccoli, chopped
20-25 asparagus stalks, chopped to 1" pieces
1 small zucchini, sliced and quartered
1/4 onion, diced
1/8 cup (2 TBS) chopped parsley
1/4 cup sprouts

1/4 cup lemon juice (of one whole lemon)
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
salt and pepper to taste

Toss first six ingredients.  Wisk together the vinaigrette.  Toss with vegetables.  Delicious. 

PS.  I think he WAS complaining.  :-P

Friday, February 4, 2011

Birthday Brownies

Yesterday it was my birthday, and my lovely husband decided to make some birthday brownies!  These are not just any ordinary brownies, but ones made entirely of raw food!

We have recently been experimenting with raw recipes, and this one was SO GOOD.  They even have icing.  The best part-- they are good for you!  Anyway, I will let these brownies speak for themselves.

Chris found the recipe at and here is the post for the brownies.

(We substituted one banana for one of the avocados, because we only had one avocado.  WHEN I make the recipe again, I will try two avocados, because the banana flavor was good, but a bit overpowering.)

I can't wait to share more recipes and fun discoveries!  I already have a list in my head of some things to share.  I'll also have to get you up to date on our food journey from the past five years!



Hello, world.  :-)