Sunday, April 27, 2014

Chipotle Refried Beans

Oh Kerri, I agree with your entire entry from yesterday.  Paleo is so en vogue now. Blogs may be on their way out too. I technically follow a few blogs, but I don't read them-ever.  I pretty much read them only when I find a link to something interesting off pinterest.  And I too do not need another cookbook. In a way cooking is such a chore and I get tired of it.  But I don't get more tired of cooking than I do of eating crappy food. So I resort to the internet to find new recipes and my books just sit on the shelf. If there is a book I want, I get it from the library. Try it out. If, after a trial, it's worth buying, I force myself to sell or donate a book I already have to make room for the new one. That keeps my accumulation down.

I too find it difficult to keep up with writing a blog. I've got so much going on raising a family that when I have the time to sit down, there's other stuff to do than writing a blog. What's it all for? I don't create new recipes, just share ones I've found, I don't have any followers. Even with my attempts to get people I know interested in my blog, you are the only one who reads it.

I think Paleo is a fad, like Atkins was about 10 years ago. But  I don't know if it's avoiding dairy that makes people healthier, maybe just reducing dairy intake is enough (everything in moderation, right?-unless you are sick).  I think what makes people healthier is a DRAMATIC reduction in SUGAR and a DRAMATIC increase in VEGETABLE intake. I decided to go vegan because I wanted my diet to center around vegetables, not meat. My kids were still very young and I wanted them to start out life not fearing veggies.  I still haven't lost the last 5 lbs of pregnancy weight, but I feel healthier everyday, and that's good enough for me.

I recently was grocery shopping. I rarely pay attention to what others are doing in the store, other than staying out of their way while I navigate the aisles. All this time I thought that Americans had to be listening to all the nutritional advice from the last 20 years about reducing sugars, eating more veggies, reducing processed foods and sodium, etc.... But I was disheartened on two separate occasions at the store. I just happened to look up and see a lady with a cart-full of chips, soda, and processed food.  Then I looked my cart- it's full of produce and whole foods. Ingredients. The same thing happened a few days later. I felt let down. Because - how could this be happening? How could people not be listening all the sensible advice out there? They are hurting their bodies everyday by consuming junk. Don't they know this?

Now maybe she doesn't normally buy that stuff-maybe she was preparing for a party. Who knows. Maybe she has a dual income household and adding cooking as a chore is just too much. I fully understand that. I stay at home and there are days when I'm just too tired or uninspired to cook a meal. My hat is off to working moms who juggle full time jobs and a household at the same time. I don't know how they do it and I'm not sure I could.

But then I think to myself, this is why I blog, not for everyone else, but to record my thoughts and ideas favorite recipes or activities. I can reference the blog entry if I want to find something interesting to make. I'll read comments from my friends, whose judgement I can trust and decide if perhaps it's something I want to try. And perhaps someone will see my entry, like it and word will get out.

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Tostada with Chipolte Refried Beans
from Eat & Run
By Scott Jurek

Another winning recipe from my new hero Scott Jurek. I've never made my own refrained beans before. It was quite easy. I'd totally do it again.  I made it a tostada by adding jarred salsa, black beans and the tomatillo guacamole from this post and they were good, quick and easy to throw together. 

I know some don't prefer the planning involved to soak beans overnight then to cook and strain them. For me it's no big deal. Pretty hands off and I get a huge pay out in the end. Plus, a bag of dried beans is really cheap. 

Get the book Eat & Run by Scott Jurek and look this recipe up. I think it's worth it. I'd just add more chipotle peppers to kick up the heat. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I do not need another cookbook...

I do not need another cookbook, I do not need another cookbook...

Let's be real, I think blogs are out.  I think blogs are only there to write that viral post that gets hit on your Facebook page.  I think Facebook and Twitter are where its at.  However, I am still half heartedly following a few blogs.  Honestly, usually I only follow them on Friday afternoons at work when I am killing him if that tells you anything.  I never read Oh She Glows regularly, but give credit that she is an excellent vegan cook.  She just came out with another cookbook and I REEEAALLLLYYYY want it.  (and sprouted kitchen as well), but I don't NEED it.  

I did make a recipe from her site.  On of the grad students in my lab has had some issues.  I think she would tell you that I was helping her, but truth be told, SHE was helping ME.  Don't you hate when that happens?  Well, during lent she gave up dairy and gluten, but I wanted to give her a treat.  I made her these almond butter bars and they were very well received.

Another plus, they were SO easy to make, but did work better when you kept them cold.  I want to make them again!!  But probably shouldn't.  YUM.

As an aside, I just want to put this out there.  I know paleo and going gluten free is in, and I can see how it is beneficial, but honestly, I think most of these people are happier and healthier because they gave up DAIRY.  I wish they understood that!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Running Apps & Tomatillo Guacamole

Running Apps

What Running App do you use?   The two I know the best are Nike+ and Map my Run.

I prefer Map my Run for 2 reasons:

1) I can literally map out my course online before I head out.  This is just a sensible thing to do in my opinion. And I always tell my husband my route before I leave.  On my longer runs he and kids come out and set up refueling stops along my runs.  This is my favorite part of my runs and really keeps me motivated.  We don't pay for the upgraded live tracking feature but we don't need it. They can use the route I've set up on using either the app or website to predict where I'll be at a certain point (they know my pace time).

2) It doesn't drain my battery. This is actually my biggest problem with Nike+ which needs the phone on in order to run. I have run for around 2 1/2 hrs before my battery would die using Map my Run and that was on my old 3G phone.

Map my Run is also linked to, which is cool because I can log my food and sync it with my workouts.   It does have the social networking component to it, which I do not use. I don't need it, nor do I appreciate social networking, so I locked down my privacy and just use it for myself.

It would really like it if I could convince my brother to join me on Map my Run, but he is a Nike+ fan.  Oh well.

Which app do you use?

Tomatillo Guacamole
The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
Oxmoor House, 2000

I found this my old Cooking Light cookbook.  It has slightly different tang to it than standard guacamole, probably because of the tomatillos. But we like it. And unlike traditional guacamole it keeps well in the fridge for several days without turning brown.

1 11 oz can tomatillos
1 medium avocado
1 C chopped onion
2 T lime juice
1/8 t salt
1 1/2 t seeded, minced serrano pepper
2 t chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 t black pepper

Place avocado and tomatillos in a food processor and process until smooth.

Spoon mixture into a medium bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.  Cover and chill 1 hour.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lego Mania & Almond Quinoa Muffins

Big Boy is becoming quite the builder of Legos.  All three of mine love them.

We like them too, its a quiet creative toy. Not cheap though. So when they started asking for some of the more expensive sets we had to get creative.

Queue the chore chart.

I don't like to call them chores though. The term 'chore' to me means a thankless job.

I like to say that by doing jobs around the house they are 'contributing to the family'.  Which implies more of a team effort and belongingness.

So my oldest boy wanted the Museum Break-in: A $70 lego toy. My daughter likes the Lego Friends - her wish list item was a little cheaper - only $30 I think.   I wasn't just going to run out and buy it. They had to earn them.

My son had a lot of work to do to earn that toy. I was worried he'd run out of gas and lose interest, so I had to devise a program where he could earn the toy he wanted so badly, but still contribute to the family.  AND - it had to be something that I could keep up with.

So, we had to fake it a little, but it worked. They each got a point for every job they did to contribute the family. Each point was worth $1 (generous I know, but I wanted them to be successful their first time so they wouldn't get discouraged and quit).  I wrote their point goal on their chart. Then they were off. I had to do a fair amount of reminding them of the reward at the end "points accumulation", but overall they did a fairly good job of helping out around the house.

Then it came time to pay up. They love going to the lego store, but its too far away. It pretty much kills the whole day to go to there.  So I have been trying to find a good day to go when, on the Target mobile I found their Legos on sale!!!!  CHA-CHING!

Like 25% off!  That's unheard of!  So ordered them and told the kids.  They have been waiting so patiently. Checking the front porch for any deliveries.  Then, as luck would have it, UPS delivered them a day earlier than expected!

They were so excited.

I'm letting them keep their extra points to apply toward another purchase sometime in the foreseeable future.


Almond Quinoa Muffins

Oh, these were quite yummy.  Easy to make. They kept well in the fridge, but they didn't last too long.   I like that they contain quinoa.  My eldest has always been a picky eater and trying to get protein in that child is a challenge.  But she likes these so we will be having more of them.