Category Archives: Recipes

Coffee, Anyone?

Coffee is so confusing these days one does not know what to order. Even more important, it is often debatable what coffee is value for money, overpriced, over processed, non-sustainable, and on and on. Here is a simple guide to what you are getting for your $$$ and options for you to make your own informed selection.

 

  1. Drip: Used in most coffee machines. Use about 2 tablespoons for 10 ounces of water. Many different brands to select from and personal preference is the guideline.
  2. Cold brew: This is new and a matter of personal taste. You soak ground coffee for up to 24 hours in cold water. Use about 10-12 ounces of beans to 6 cups of water. This is very mild and I think it tastes watery!
  3. Single Origin:Many people swear by this as it is traceable sometimes even to a single farm but mostly to a country so one can balance the “fair trade”option
  4. Instant:This speaks for itself and has had a bad reputation, but there are brands of instant coffee that I think are very good and there has been huge improvement in instants. I like the dark black Folger’s.
  5. French Press: In a cylinder, pour water over coffee (your grind preference) and let it set again to your strength preference. Pour out gradually after you depress the handle.

there are other exotic ways to buy/make/enjoy coffee, but if you notice, I have used the word preference many times in this article. Coffee is purely a matter of personal taste. ENJOY!

Winter Recipes

Tune in over the next couple of weeks for some fabulous vegetarian and pescaterian recipes. It is cold here and we need to “gather” and eat some warm, yummy, healthy things. Also get the inside info on canned winter warmers. Soups, chili, and all sorts of canned/heat it up items are not so bad for you as you might think.

I have a lot to share and I hope YOU do to. Go to the comment section to add thoughts, recipes, etc!!

More on Toast

No, not more verbiage on actual toast, but more good stuff to put n top of your otherwise ordinary toast. Try this:

Pear Cottage Cheese Toast 

 

Use any type of bread you like. We have been obsessed recently with Dick’s Killer Bread. Very high in fiber and protein and low in calories. It is coarse and very filling. Spread toast with any cottage cheese that suits your pallet. We use Lo Fat and usually just whatever is on sale. Thinly (Very thinly) slice a not quite totally ripe pear and layer on to the toast. Drizzle with a bit of honey and sprinkle with anything crunchy. We like a bit of granola or chopped walnuts.

We have talked about avocado toast and a couple of others. What do YOU like on toast? Please do share any suggestions or new ideas.

Comments on Grocery Savings Article $$

Oh, Boy did I get called out on my saving tips at the grocery store. ! Yes, I did not mention the two most important grocery store $$ savings ever!!!

  1. Always shop from a list. Make out the list standing in front of your fridge/deep freeze and in front of your pantry. Do a visual inventory as you write down needs.
  2. Shop from your planned food usage during the week or whatever time span you use to shop. If you shop weekly think about kids lunches and your lunches. Think about a bag of small apples or HALO oranges. I hate to say it, but you might also think about one of those huge bags of chips to break up onto little plastic bags. I know chips are not good nourishment, but at least this way you can pick a baked chip with low salt or a high fiber tortilla type chip.  Think about dinners and plan at least one dinner out with leftovers for lunch the next day. You know what your family likes so shop to that. Experiment around if you think you can!

My kids used to eat the same thing pretty much and that was cereal or oatmeal with fruit for Breakfast, a packed lunch with a sandwich and a fruit, and a yogurt or pudding cup (home made) for dessert. Today, my grandson can take things to be put in the microwave, and also he has special ice pack containers that let him take things that might otherwise not keep cool. This made shopping for those two meals pretty easy for me, but your kids might like more of a variety.

I used to cut pb&j sandwiches into cute shapes with a cookie cutter until my daughter made me stop doing it. Hmmm.

Five Ways To Save Big $$$ At The Grocery Store!

I love to grocery shop and often do it just for a field trip to look for information for an article. I am a pescatarian and my husband eats anything and everything so I shop widely at several different stores and Farmer’s Markets. Here are a few really good tips to shop well and economically.

 

  1. Always check out the newspapers for grocery store ads and shop those specials but only as they fit in to your meal plans. Do not buy something just because it is on sale or go into a store to buy a special and come out with a ton of other overpriced stuff!
  2. Go to the back of the store and check out the clearances. If items are not too near the due date and they fit in to your food plans for the week, load up. Also check out “day olds” in the bakery.
  3. Don’t buy already chopped up things unless you really need to time wise . things that are cut up go off much more quickly than whole products. Particularly things like chopped salads go off very quickly compared to head lettuce and whole packages of carrots and celery. Bagged broccoli and celery and cauliflower are also much more costly than buying unwrapped . Don’t buy too much fresh in bulk. You always think you will eat it all, but seldom do.
  4. Buy store brands and stock up when they go on sale. Buy things that last a while or that you can freeze when they are a store brand special and you will really save big. Personally I recommend the Walmart “Great Value” brand. Just compare some time when you are out shopping. Store brands are generally placed near name brands and sometimes the price difference is quite shocking.
  5. Shop in bulk whenever you can. Check out what you use a lot, a particular cereal brain or type for example, and buy a bunch when it is on sale. Watch due dates, but in general this is a good $$$ saver. I buy pasta this way and canned goods too!

I know a coupon shopper who saves tons and loves to do it almost as a hobby. I don’t seem to be able to make that work, but obviously millions do. Try it?

Groceries expenses can be kept in line with very little trouble if you follow these tips. If you have others, please share n the comment page.

Pescatarian Life!

Yes, Pescatarian Life is easier than veggie or vegan. The addition is fish and shellfish. Just look at some of the fabulous stuff WE can eat!!

                                                          FRUITS

Apples, bananas, blue berries, cantaloupe, all varieties of oranges, pears, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, all melons, peaches, grapefruit, persimmons, kiwi, lemons, raisins, pineapple, and many others I have forgotten!

                                                          Vegetables

Artichoke, broccoli, Kale, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, carrots, celery, spinach, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes ,lima beans, cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms, and many others have forgotten

                                                               Dairy

Milk-all types: soy, almond, Fairlife, Lactose free, etc., Cheeses and the variety is delicious and virtually endless, any and all types of ice creams and sorbets, cottage cheese with any and all of the additives (I like pineapple), my mainstay, yogurt and I use any and all types including soy yogurt, cream cheese, particularly on a bagel, and many others I have forgotten!

                                                              Fish and Shellfish

I could go on and on here, but I will mention my favorites: salmon prepared any and all ways including salad, patties, croquettes, and so on. Same for tuna. All fish is good. All shellfish is good too, but calamari is the highest in cholesterol remember.

So, in conclusion, remember with so much stuff out there to eat, who wants a candy bar??  Another mainstay for me is oatmeal by the way. I also eat quite a lot of Frosted Min-iWheats. If you read the label, it has most of your daily requirements when you add a half of a banana, a few blueberries, and some Fairlife milk. PS-Don’t forget to add a bit of protein powder to your smoothie!!

                                                           Eat Well-Eat Healthy!

 

Get Out The Grill!!

Yes, even here in the hills the weather is getting warm enough to grill. I will start soon with some yummy recipes for grilled everything so stay tuned.

Also, please do feel free to submit some of your own grilling ideas. I just did some veggies on a cedar plank that I bought originally for salmon and boy Mmmm good.

Let’s get creative with some great summer ideas.

Almost Too Easy Veggies

Take a 12 oz. bag of Green Giant Broccoli and Cauliflower Medley and cut off a corner. Put in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper taste, and 2 tablespoons of water or broth. Microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds and pour into a bowl.

Yes, that is all. I use this mix for salads because I do not particularly like raw veggies in salads. I also eat them out of hand. Best of all, put in a microwave safe bowl and add a bit of grated cheese and cook until cheese is melted.

Store in the fridge in a plastic covered dish or a sealed plastic bag. This veggie mix, or any other combination from a 12 oz bag, keeps in the fridge for several days, but believe me, you will have eaten it well before then.

Book Discoveries!!

     

I have not started Spring Cleaning quite yet as there is still snow on the ground here, but I have started to go through my huge hoard of old books. I save old cookbooks like some people save coins in a coin jar and periodically I go through and either inventory or purge.

Often I find some oldies but goodies that I like to review and share. today I found:

  1. The Hungry Girl Diet-One of many written by Lisa Lillien and the best of all of her titles.
  2. The 28 Day Hearty Dash Diet-Good recipes with lots of pictures and detail.
  3. The McDougal Program-Very radical but it actually works if you can take the discipline.
  4. The Trim The Fat Diet with Alpine Lace dairy products-Not recommended-it uses reduced fat everything and calls itself a healthy diet. Yes, fewer calories and fat, but not so tasty and a bit out of date nutrition wise.
  5. Fit and Trim at 40!-This is a paper back put out by Prevention Magazine and I think only available on line but really good. Very simple and easy to follow. I almost always like things from PREVENTION magazine.

Dig through some of your old books and see what you can find.

Sprouts From Brussels

A vegetable that has recently come into it’s own is Brussels Sprouts. Yes, that is correct BTW-it is not Brussel Sprouts, it is actually Brussels Sprouts. If you do not get them just at soft ripeness, they can be bitter. If you really really do not like them, trying to make them taste different is hardly worth the trouble. So, if you think you might like to give Sprouts another try or if you have not had them for a while, they are a good cold weather veggie to try for something a bit different. They have tons of nutrients and a couple of trace minerals too!  Try this method then add to it or not, as you like. I am just putting ingredients so add or subtract depending on how many servings you are making. Figure four sprouts cut in half per person.

 

   Very Easy Brussels Sprouts

 

Sprouts cut in half                                                               rice vinegar

Olive oil                                                                                  brown sugar

a bit of grated ginger or powdered ginger-I like McCormick         water

a little garlic salt

soy sauce-I use the low salt

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For four servings I cut eight sprouts in half and saute in just a bit of olive oil. Use real olive oil, not a spray. You need it for the flavor. Add a pinch of the ginger, and garlic. Shake in soy sauce until it bubbles and makes some liquid in the pan. Add about two tablespoons of rice vinegar, one heaping tablespoon of brown sugar, and just a bit of water-about 1/4 of a cup. Saute until   bubbling then add the sprouts and cook until medium soft.

You could add some chicken breasts to this or some beef strips or even tofu if you put in a bit more liquid. Remember tofu soaks up liquid. I serve this over rice or really just by itself if you don’t add a protein. Sprinkle with some chopped peanuts or snipped green onion tops for a presentation.

Watch the liquid and feel free to add more or less depending on how you like it or how you intend to serve this dish. It is very little trouble and made from on hand ingredients. If you do not use much liquid, it will caramelize and if you use more it will do well over rice to soak up flavor. Mmmmmmm!