Category Archives: Vegetarian

Should you consider an Organic Produce

Should You Consider an Organic Produce Delivery?

By | Kitchen & Real Food How-to's, Vegetarian | One Comment

Are you an investigator like me?

Sometimes I drive myself nuts. I get so busy looking into this and that and then I NEVER do anything about it. I’m trying to get better about this as I found that it just stresses me out and nothing changes.

I’m like that with fruits and vegetables.

Let me explain….

For a long time, I saw advertisements for local and non-local produce deliveries. The first time I looked, the place I wanted didn’t deliver to my address. So I kept looking.

Eventually, I heard from a friend or two (isn’t that the best kind of advertisement?) that they liked Doorganics. I had been using another great organic produce delivery that I was happy with, but I as I looked into Doorganics I found that they really aim to source as local as possible. I liked that.

And weirdly, I like that they use these cool green boxes. They deliver your goods in it and then the next week on delivery day you leave the green bin out and they leave your filled one.

I absolutely LOVE the fact that awesome fruits and veggies come right to my door every week (you can choose every other week, too).

I love that I can set my “likes” and “dislikes” so they don’t put them in my box AND that we can substitute out 4 items each time if we’d like. (For example: All summer I subbed out tomatoes EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I was so sick of looking at tomatoes due to my own spazzy tomato plants.)

tomatoes

So, should you consider an organic fruit and veggie delivery?

Here are a few reasons why you might want to:

1. You are busy.

Who isn’t? My goal is to go to the store almost never. I HATE going to the grocery store. It’s much more enjoyable to pick out my fruit/veggie menu from the comfort of my couch. In fact, I hardly have to pick them out. I get the list on Thursday, I look through it and sub out anything that I don’t need/want and VOILA! Produce shopping is DONE for the next week.

They even have OTHER products you can add to your box if you’d like…I’ve added organic, fair trade coffee quite often.

2. You value organic produce.

More and more folks are learning the benefits of eating organic. Not only will you be avoiding pesticides and toxins, but you’ll be supporting local organic farmers, too. I love that. And shopping for organic produce in local grocery stores can be difficult, lacking in variety and expensive.

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3. You want to feed your family more fruits and veggies.

Again, who doesn’t want to do this? One thing having Doorganics delivery has done for me is to figure out creative ways to use the veggies. If you aren’t creative, don’t worry! They send a recipe in your bin each week and they have recipes on their site.

And you know what? Eating more fruits and veggies is linked with being happier. It also boosts your immune system and delivers antioxidants.

4. You want to save money.

This might sound silly, especially because the convenience of organic fruits and veggies delivered to your door has a cost. But hear me out…

Staying OUT of the grocery store saves me money. It prevents impulse-buying. Honestly, the more I can plan my meals and shopping, the better. It’s another reason I love being a part of a buyers club.

All of these reasons are why I love getting my veggies through Doorganics. If you’d like to give them a try HERE and you’ll get $5 off of your first box.

IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE of the West Michigan area, try Doortodoororganics.com instead and see if they deliver to you!

 

Here are 2 other convenient ways to get more fruits/veggies into your bodies:

1. Concentrated fruits and veggies in a convenient capsule or chewable (kids 4 and over eat free with a purchasing adult). Contact me via email (melissa@realfoodeater.com) for details or to order and sponsor a child. All others can order at my Juice Plus Website.

2. Grow your own with an aeroponic Vertical Tower Garden System.

 

 

 

Homemade Sauerkraut (using 1 head of

Quick Sauerkraut with a Head of Cabbage

By | Kitchen & Real Food How-to's, Vegetarian | No Comments

Have you ever made homemade sauerkraut?

Even if you think you don’t like it, please promise me you’ll give the homemade type a chance. It’s SO much better. Not only is the texture and flavor better, but it’s PACKED with beneficial bacteria (aka probiotics) to help your gut.

Personally, I like the flavor, color and texture of RED cabbage the best.

Plus, making sauerkraut is actually really, really easy. At the least, you just need cabbage, salt and some jars.

FIRST, you’ll want to weigh your cabbage – AFTER you take off the first couple layers of leaves AND the core. (If you need a great, inexpensive kitchen scale that weighs in ounces, pounds and kilograms AND that you can “zero out” to weigh things in a bowl, etc., I highly recommend this one that is shown in my picture):

cabbage on scale

Next, shred the cabbage in a Food Processor or chop finely with chef’s knife.

Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl and add 4 Tablespoons of salt for every 2lbs of cabbage. This one above weighed just over 6lbs, so I tripled that.

Sprinkle salt over cabbage and start kneading/squeezing cabbage with your clean, bare hands.

photo 1

Within a couple minutes, the water should be dripping out of the cabbage every time you squeeze it. Keep it up for a couple minutes until it’s pretty juicy.

Next, pack into clean mason jars – I have found several small ones work better than one large one. You’ll want to use the wide-mouth jars if possible so that you can use a smaller cup to press the sauerkraut down. The goal is to cover the top of the sauerkraut with the juice.

photo 3

Then, put lid on and store in a dark, cool place. I chose a kitchen cupboard. AND learn from my previous mistake by putting something under the sauerkraut….I had one erupt as it fermented and it makes a MESS. I simply used a pie plate this time around:

photo 2

(this is only using 1/2 the head of cabbage)

 

Just check the kraut every day or two, taste it with a clean fork to see if it’s at the texture you prefer – if not, squish it back down with a small cup again to get liquid covering the top layer.

Once it’s the right taste/texture, simply place in the refrigerator for long-term storage. The refrigeration will stop the fermentation process and you’ll have FRESH, tasty, probiotic-rich sauerkraut!

If you want to learn more about fermenting, I highly recommend this beautiful book full of colorful pictures and easy-to-follow directions (probably BECAUSE he has so many pictures):

  rp_Real-Food-Fermentation-Book3-238x300.jpg

 

What have you fermented at home?

(and yes, BEER counts!)

Sauteed Swiss Chard

By | Side Dishes, Vegetarian | No Comments

This might look sort of disgusting, but trust me. It’s REALLY yummy.

I had some Red Chard from my Door-to-Door Organics Box that gets delivered to my house weekly. (Check them out and see if they deliver to your area.)

Not only does getting these veggies/fruit delivered to my door weekly save me money (no extra trips to grocery store for bananas or carrots, only to come back $100 later), but it forces us to eat more produce and to find creative ways to use it up! It was one of those nights….

Tonight, here’s what I did:  (sorry for the loose instructions/ingredients, but most of the time that’s how I roll cook!)

Washed and chopped the chard, including stems.

Chopped up about 1/4 cup onions.

Chopped 4 garlic cloves (you can never have too much garlic, in my opinion).

Then I heated some olive oil along with a big spoonful of bacon fat (YUM!) in a large frying pan. I then sauteed the onions and stems of chard for about 5-6 minutes, adding in the garlic for about 1-2 minutes after that. *Note: to make vegetarian, omit the bacon fat. Normally I would have sauteed in chicken broth rather than olive oil, but I was out. It was still really good.

Next I added the chard. At the end, I drained some of the juice out and then sprinkled it all with some lemon juice, salt and pepper and the secret ingredient…..Feta Cheese. Well, actually I used crumbled gorgonzola cheese as that’s all I had on-hand.

Oh. My. Deliciousness.

Try it – you’ll like it, I promise!!!

 

Tell me – How do you cook your Chard?

Simple Egg Salad

By | Kid-Friendly Ideas, Vegetarian | No Comments

finished egg salad Eggs are an awesome source of protein.

Not all of my family members like egg salad sandwiches, but for the ones that do, this recipe has been a hit!

It’s super easy to make and is perfect for picnics, easy school lunches or a protein-packed lunch for busy days.

Here’s my hard-boiled egg method: I get the water boiling, add the eggs and set the timer for about 8 1/2 minutes, continuing to boil them during that time. Then I drain the hot water, add cold water directly to pan and peel each individual egg under running cold water for quick and easy peeling!

The “secret” ingredients are SUGAR (just a teaspoon) and turmeric. I’ve been reading a lot about the incredible spice that turmeric is. You can read more about it here: “600 Reasons Turmeric May Be the World’s Most Important Herb”.

 

Ingredients

6 hard-boiled eggs

1-2 Tbsp finely chopped white/yellow onion

1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon homemade or organic mayonnaise

1/2 Tbsp mustard

1/2 tsp dried dill

1/4 tsp paprika

1 tsp organic cane sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric  *optional, just added for it’s super-healing benefits!

 

 Directions:

1. Hard-boil your eggs.

2. Place peeled eggs in bowl and use fork and knife to slice into small pieces.

3. Add other ingredients and mix well.

4. Taste, adjust ingredients as needed – then spoon onto bread.

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which, when clicked, can earn a small commission for me. Thanks in advance as this helps me be able to continue with the blog and offer free info!

Zesty Roasted Potatoes

By | Side Dishes, Vegetarian | One Comment

Zesty Roasted Potatoes - edited

These potatoes are a yummy and relatively easy to make. My kids DEVOUR them. They go well as a side dish with any meat or fish. In fact, we had them most recently with Salmon Melts (recipe coming soon).

This was inspired by the Rosemary Mustard Roasted Potatoes in the Cooking New American cookbook <—- one of my favorites, although I have a lot of them.

Am I the only one that has a cookbook-hoarding problem?

Either way, you can use really any type of potato (red, yellow, etc) for this recipe. Experiment with other flavors and seasonings, too. I like to cook them until they are nicely crispy on the outside, but you can vary based on your preference.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Zesty Roasted Potatoes

2 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut into small chunks

1/3 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves

1/4 cup dijon mustard

lemon pepper seasoning

salt

 

potatoes 1. Wash and cut potatoes into chunks. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In large bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic cloves and dijon mustard.

3. Add potatoes to mixture and toss until coated evenly.

4. Line baking pan with parchment paper (or put directly on pan) and spread potatoes evenly.

5. Sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper seasoning and salt to taste.

6. Roast in oven for 40-50 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes or so, until browned evenly and desired crispiness is achieved. Serve warm. (My kids like to dip theirs in ketchup).

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which, when clicked, can result in a commission for me.

finished-kale-1

Too Much Kale? Dehydrate it!

By | Gardening & Sustainable Living, Kitchen & Real Food How-to's, Vegetarian | No Comments

I have to admit that this is an experiment. So, I might need your help to give it a try as well and together we’ll see if this works….

First off, we all know that kale is good for us, right?

It’s often considered a “Super Food” because of it’s nutrition value. It has huge cancer-prevention properties and is known to lower cholesterol. It’s high in Vitamin A, C and K as well as phytonutrients.

It’s also very easy to grow.

Which is where I find myself…..I’ve got TOO MUCH KALE.

We often make kale chips and I’ve also blanched some and put it in the freezer to add to soups during the winter months. But, I thought I’d try something new and dehydrate it.

Instructions

First, I washed the kale and removed it from the tough stems and placed on my dehydrator. (I have THIS ONE, which works just great. But someday, I’d really, really like THIS cadillac of dehydrators).

on dehydrator

 

After it dehydrated (it only took about 1.5 hrs), this is what it looked like. (The next couple trays, I figured out I could overlap and layer a bit more). Be sure to dehydrate it until it’s nice and dry and crumbly.

 

dried kale

I then put it in my mini food processor (or you could use a big one) to grind it as fine as possible (see main picture above).

My plan is to sprinkle it into spaghetti/lasagna sauce or smoothies for some added nutrition.

Any other ideas of what I could add it to?

(please make suggestions in the comments section below!)

 

 

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-kale

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/drew-ramsey-md/health-benefits-kale_b_3529768.html

 

This post contains affiliate links, which when clicked, could results in my earning a small commission to keep things running smoothly around here. Thanks!

 

This was shared at: Fight Back Friday