Saturday, February 16, 2013

You Had To Be There

I wrote an awesome post last night.  Complete with amazing pictures, great commentary that every reader was hanging on to each word like it was the best.  It got a ton of page views and I was a cooking superstar.  Then I woke up (guess you just had to be there;) woke up this morning and realized the day had left with no post.  So, I figured a Saturday morning post would be great, then I slept in and was lazy.  Then I went on an adventure and now, my escapades have brought me back to you.

I got inspired mid week to warn about the nutritional deficiencies and sugar over abundance of juice.  Sometimes, I think people are out to get me with juice.  I see a mom handing a baby a bottle full of juice and I'm convinced it's a conspiracy (then I see moms handing kids bottles of Mountain Dew and I realize the world is just done for.)  But yesterday... oh yesterday....

I saw a mom buying her kid some sugar cereal yesterday in the grocery store.   Adorable little kid, normal guy, probably goes to daycare "Monday thru Friday"  7am to 6pm.  Mom probably picks him up, makes him a little dinner and puts him to bed only to start over the next morning at 4:30 a.m.  He'll get his little sugar cereal and be happy as a clam.   No problem right?  Kids are entitled to a little sugar.  What am I a sugar Nazi?  Who died and made me Queen Kill-All-The-Fun?

Well.  It's not that.  It's that somehow we here in this little country I live in of the USA, we've all been fooled into thinking eating carcinogens is totally cool.   Have you ever heard of BHT?  TBHQ?   Do you know what they are?  Would you eat them if you didn't know what they were?  Some people don't care.  That's fine, if you really don't care, maybe you should but I'm not going to argue.   I'm going to post some of the studies regarding these additives that are in KIDS' cereals.   Would you let your kids drink gasoline?  Do you know BHT is compound made from petroleum products (taken from phenol, taken from petroleum,) added to cereals and is a KNOWN carcinogen.  As in, no one is arguing that it causes cancer (except the EPA, and the government.)   And... we feed it in mass quantities to kids and put a label on the outside that says "natural" or "now less sugar" and expect parents to be cool about it.

Check out this info and these studies and make that call for yourself.  Are you a working parent (that would be all of us)?  Do you think your kids are getting the best foods from your hard earned money?  Look at the labels, don't fall for this parent trap.

As for the EPA... you know, that wonderful government institution which is supposed to protect consumers and the population from dangerous chemicals... they are certainly doing something about this right?  Nope.  Check it out.  They believe it safe.  Regardless what studies show, or what findings are.

In fact, THIS is the statement they have for BPA (the plastics residue that causes hormonal imbalances, infertility and possible birth defects,) which was ONLY addressed after so many parents started making a fuss over it.  They might "INITIATE" something, or perhaps "CONSIDER INITIATING" something else, but at this time... quote from website: "EPA does not intend to initiate regulatory action."

I'll get back to the recipes, don't worry have some really good ones coming up!  I could have put one today, but I really think it may have been inappropriate while people are feeling sick to their stomachs over chemicals in food.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mid Week Miracle

I think to some degree it's a miracle that I'm posting mid week.  However, this is going to be short and to the point.   I'm kind of addicted to clean eating.  That doesn't mean, every once in a while, I can resist whipping up a disaster cake (hey, the design was good!) or splurging on a real sugar ice cream.   Yesterday, though was the local "natural living" store's sale and as usual it was packed in there.  I went in for two things and waited in line about 20 minutes to pay.  As I was waiting, I noticed a lot of things around me.  We care about our health and what we're eating, but does the radar shut off when we're in a so-called "health food store?"   Why all of a sudden is everything there good for us?   I find creams or lotions all the time with wheat in them, shampoos with preservatives and supplements with no overdose warnings.  Worse yet, the woman in front of me was buying a ton of extremely expensive organic 'power' juice.  It was a blend of a couple super foods but here's my beef with that:  you are not getting any nutrients from a fruit that has been juiced (unless you do this at home, blender style - whole fruit.)

I wanted to stop her and beg her to save her money.  She was heavy and more mature and I'm sure had been told that juice was good for her.  And perhaps it's good for her.  I want to encourage people to pick up your packages and read the carbohydrates and sugars in a food or item you're looking to buy, especially at the health food stores.  If you are cutting out excessive sugars, carbohydrates break down into sugars.  Nuts, sweet potatoes, and whole fruits and veggies are the best way to get carbohydrates.  Consuming juices, crackers, bread products and pastas do not hold much (if any) nutrition.   Even corn, which I do use quite a bit since going GF, is full of sugar.  GMO corn is even worse.  Many people battling with celiac are also starting to show corn sensitivities.  Check out this study.   The thing most don't realize, is that there are theories that autoimmune disorders can be caused, triggered or aggravated by the pesticides and herbicides used in vast quantities of these products.  And you would ask, "Well then why am I not reacting to other things grown with pesticides?"  Wheat is used in VAST amounts in our foods and processed foods.   Think about going GF for the first time.  Remember all the things you found that had wheat in them?   Do you find strawberries in so many of those things as well?   This does not mean people don't have strawberry sensitivities, but it is much less than wheat.

Enjoy your week, eat whole foods, skip the juice and come back on Friday because I've been cooking up some things in the kitchen this week!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sunny Friday

Welcome to Friday!!  This is a beautiful, clear, sunny, bright, happy and awesome day!  It's been filled with some great things already.  First, I want to really address something I found on my website last week.
Last week, the amount of readers from Russia were double my readers from the States and Canada combined.  I'm super excited, thank you and all my readers who come here to read some seriously lengthy and inconsistent posts and hopefully enjoy some good recipes!  I really enjoy the internet's reach across oceans.  I had a friend living in Russia, teaching English for a while.  I have a Polish friend, Canadian friend, Bosnian friend, Costa Rican, Italian, Australian, Japanese, Chinese, English (UK!) Brazilian  and many many more!!   One of my friends, we call her a Guammy Bear - she's from Guam!  I'm not sure that's completely politically correct, but she rocks and it's all great fun.  I grew up in a small town where not a lot of come and go existed.  People lived their whole lives in that town, their kids lived there and then grandkids.  There was almost zero exposure to other cultures and customs.  The States are a very mobile people.  We do tend to move and when I was 13 we moved to an even SMALLER and close knit, non mobile town.  I couldn't wait to get out.  I never had money to travel, and when I first connected to the internet in 1998, and created a hotmail account, I used to beg my friends to email me after I moved away from home.  The internet has done horrible and wonderful things since then.  There are entire thesis' written about how the internet has corrupted cultures and destroyed traditions.  It's brought evil into homes and completely changed life as we know it.  For every negative though, you'll find a positive.   Information flows freely now, people can meet other people and learn about other cultures, schools are online - saving me personally - hundreds of dollars in gas, communication involves more than just a voice (Facetime/Skype) and the world can connect in one big abyss of collective knowledge.   Remind anyone else of the Borg?  No?  OK, let me beat back the inner nerd trying to surface.   Thank you, dad, for making sure I grew up a Star Wars AND Star Trek fan.  Nothing like being placed in the middle of a large, volatile, bloody, nerd vs. geek battleground.

So, I realize I "missed" last Friday.  I was exhausted and I'm sure you're thinking, "Really?  How hard is it to just post a recipe?"  Well, I like to test some of my recipes a few times to make sure they are working right and last week, the recipe I had, is the one I'm posting today.  I've made it quite a few times now, and  I'm COMPLETELY addicted and I hope you'll absolutely love it too!  There are some variations which will enhance or destroy the flavor you're looking for.  Choose wisely (Oh, Indiana Jones... how I miss you!)  If you don't like eggs or are like me, have really developed an aversion to them due to eating them for so long, give this a try!  It's very different and flavorful and it's not just "an egg."

Sunny Side Tacos
2 eggs
2 white or yellow corn tortillas (organic, non gmo preferably)
1 ounce of butter
2-4 ounces of your choice cheese (monterey jack, mozzarella, yorkshire, goat)
1 clove of garlic minced (if desired)
1 tSp of chopped onion (if desired)
1 ounce of fresh spinach (if desired)
sour cream (if desired)
cooked crumbled Italian sausage (if desired)
chopped cooked mushrooms (if desired)

Base Recipe! (use this to get started, add things as you go!)

Fry 2 tortillas in a buttered pan or griddle over medium heat until lightly browned - about 3 minutes a side.  When they are done, remove from pan, place on a plate and fold  in half.   In the buttered pan, over medium heat fry two eggs over easy or sunny side up until cooked about 2-4 minutes depending on how "slimy" you want your eggs.  (My kids HATE slimy eggs, so I cook them until all the white is set, but the yolk is still liquid... this is a nerve wracking process.  A little TOO long and it's all over, a little too short and it's all icky.)
When the eggs are cooked how you like them (yolks should still be runny,) remove from the pan and place one in each tortilla.  Butter the pan a little more, brown your garlic and onion in the pan about 5 minutes and throw in your spinach.  Twirl in the pan for about a minute or until the spinach has "wilted" but is not cooked through.  Place on top of the egg.

Now.  Get creative.  Add cheese, sausage, mushrooms, sour cream, tomatoes or NOTHING at this point.  Basically, try this recipe basic first, and then from there add one or two things.   Don't over do it, or you'll lose some of the foundation.   The first one I did had egg, white cheese, salsa and sour cream.  It was killer.  The next one I tried was egg, sausage, and spinach.   The most recent one I made was egg, yorkshire cheese with cranberries and spinach (pictured.)  It was brutally good.  Just remember your base:  tortilla, egg - then pick 2 "toppings" and go from there.  Below I've matched a few combinations to try, that are delicious.

Monterey Jack and sausage
spinach and Yorkshire with cranberries
salsa, white cheese and sour cream
sausage and mushrooms
Mozzarella and spinach
Sriracha and sour cream! (this one is out of my league but I KNOW some of you out there who are hot sauce fans will LOVE it!)

This makes a great dinner as well as breakfast.  So if you come home at the end of a long day and all you can think is, "I need something NOT complicated but delicious and healthy!"  Well, this is it!  Simple, healthy, delicious, and customizable!  You can't get a food better than that.  Enjoy!