Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Farm Food: Week IV

Thanks to Dancing Roots Farm for our half-share CSA pickup week four:

twelve ounces salad mix
two fennel bulbs/fronds
three large beets
bunch of scallions
head of cabbage
pound of green beans
two pounds fingerling potatoes
one summer squash
six cornflowers

Sadly, I did not store the salad mix appropriately. I had a few meals from it, then it went limp and eventually crispy. I should have shared some with our neighbors or stored it in a plastic bag. Oopsie.

I love beets. I tried some raw thin slices on greens but ended up with some thunder down under. So the rest were roasted. Did I mention that I love beets?

Fennel is new for us. I decided to caramelize one bulb by slicing it very thin. It looked sort of like fried onions. I used coconut oil rather than butter, but I wish I'd gone with the butter. Next time...

The scallions were sliced and placed in the freezer. The green beans were steamed here and there and eaten within a couple of days. A few potatoes were a side dish, some were a potato salad and the rest are awaiting their torture. The summer squash was chopped and added to a stovetop "lasagne" meal that I made up. It wasn't pretty, but it tasted good. The cornflowers were pretty but flavorless. I suppose the same could be said about many pretty things...

Lastly, I grill-roasted half the cabbage to eat with cod. Next time I'll hide some minced garlic in it's ruffles and add a squeeze of lemon, drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of sea salt. We ate the other half of the cabbage in some fish tacos. Cabbage and fish, it's what's for dinner.

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Review of T25: Part Two

It all began before I even knew that it had begun. It began when I invited positivity into my personal Facebook feed by 'liking' Michelle is Living Well. I know, I know...that sounds kind of cheesy. But it's completely true. Here's how it went...

Sunset watching.
Last Labor Day weekend we were invited, along with another family, to a friend's family vacation home in Sunriver, Oregon. We had never met the third family. Can you hear the ominous music and shrill screaming?

Since I am me, I had some nervousness and anxiety about hanging out all weekend with people I didn't know. Would they be nice? Would their kids be brats? Would my kid be a brat? Would I be the fattest one there? Would I get sweaty-nervous?

Would I be the fattest one there? What a horrible thing to wonder.

Just a few minutes after we met them I sighed an enormous breath of relief all the while thinking "Ahhh! They are normal!!" Judgy? Yeah, I be judgin'. It turns out this third family is amazing and friendly with delightful children. I'm so thankful that we met them.

Deer watching.
Chicken watching.
Homesteader watching.
People watching.
After a great holiday weekend, I decided to be a supportive new friend and 'like' Michelle's Facebook page. Other than sharing healthy recipes and fitness information, I wasn't sure what the page was all about. I soon learned that Michelle's goal is to share and spread positivity and encouragement. I assure you it is 100% authentic - it's not just a schtick to garner more 'likes.' And, it was exactly the motivation I needed.

Me? I was active and on my feet most of the day, but it wasn't enough. I felt tired all the time. I felt...old. If I felt this terrible at age 37, how would I feel at 47 or 57? It took a few months for everything to sink in, and this was my conclusion:

I like a sweaty workout. 
I like a challenging workout. 
I like to be outside. 
Exercise clears my head. 
Exercise is as important to my mental health as it is to my physical well-being. 
I like running.

Well, there. That narrows it down. I took a good look at my typical day and admitted to myself that the only realistic time I had to go running (by myself with the dog) was pre-dawn. Honestly, I was still reeling from three very bad years of sleep (thanks to having a baby/kid who wasn't a natural sleeper), and the idea of interrupting some of my early-morning sound sleep wasn't my favorite. Neither was the idea of running in the dark and most likely the rain, too. Ultimately it was the dark and rain that deterred me from running outside. So I proposed that we get a used treadmill for the basement. I felt bad that it wouldn't be fun for the dog, but I needed to do something.

Nate wasn't thrilled with the idea. He thought a gym membership would be better. Ahem. I hate the gym. Doesn't he know that? "Just make a commitment to a time and type of workout," he said believing that it was a helpful, supportive comment. Isn't that what I just did by analyzing my day and narrowing down my options to a treadmill?

Another week went by of no exercise and me feeling discouraged. Then I remembered Michelle, who is a mother of two, works full time and commits herself to exercise and being a Beachbody coach. I was a stay-at-home mother of one who didn't seem to have time to even brush my hair. I asked for help from Michelle, and I got it.

I didn't know anything about the workouts, because I was hung up on the name 'Beachbody.' I didn't want a beach body, I just wanted to lose a few pounds. Who is this Shaun T person and why should I care? Beachbody?! That's just for people who want a quick fix to get skinny and wear bikini's. Besides, do workout videos even get results?

Yes. Yes, they do. And it is in NO way a quick fix. It's months of a lot of hard work.

*See My Review of T25: Part One for my results. Part Three (coming soon) will cover my experience with the program itself.

** Also, this is not a sponsored post...I'm just sharing my experience.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Farm Food: Week III

Let's see what we got in the third pick-up for our half share:

head of butterhead lettuce
half pound of sugar snap peas
head of broccoli
pound of beet greens
seven carrots
six garlic whistles
six sprigs of marjoram

The lettuce, maybe obviously, became salad. The peas and carrots have been quick-grab snacks. The garlic and marjoram have been tossed into everything from pizza to pan fried chicken. A few of the beet greens were wilted to top off a fried egg and veggie burger. The rest of the beet greens and broccoli went into the tofu dish below, along with a tasty ginger citrus dressing.

Ginger citrus dressed tofu with brown rice, veggies and chopped cashews.

*We bought a half-share at Dancing Roots Farm, a CSA, this summer! Check out Week II.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Farm Food: Week II

We bought a half-share at Dancing Roots Farm, a CSA, this summer! We missed the first pick up because we were on the east coast visiting family. Luckily, my sister-in-law was able to go get and use up the food we missed. Here's what was in our second pick up:

half pound of spinach
head of lettuce
pound of snap peas
head of broccoli
ten leaves of chard
pound of new potatoes
bunch of parsley
ten garlic whistles

I took a picture of everything (it was a lot of food), but it's not a pretty picture. I'll do better next time. The potatoes became potato salad to complement grilled sausages, and I made pesto with some of the garlic and spinach, along with some nuts and basil I already had on hand. I could have just eaten a bowl of pesto and been happy.

We were invited to a solstice party so I made one of my favorite recipes to take along. It used up all the chard, the rest of the spinach, some garlic and some parsley. I loosely followed this recipe for A Galette of Winter Greens. I say loosely because I've made it many times and have adjusted things along the way. I use a stickier dough so that it's not quite as crumbly, and I no longer measure the filling ingredients instead preferring to eye-it. The result is always a little different but always delicious. Honestly, this most recent making could have used a bit more salt. I was experimenting with the rosemary sea salt I got for my birthday and was worried about over salting. I under salted instead. Whoopsie.