Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Hey, everybody! I'm so sorry I haven't posted in a long time - you'd think that because I'm not in school, I have time, but I haven't been using it to post. I was browsing on YouTube and a video caught my eye. It was posted by Chipotle. Chipotle is a fast Mexican restaurant, but it does fast-food in a sustainable way. By this, I mean that all the food at Chipotle is all-natural. Some of their produce is organic, and most is locally grown. All of the meat is, at the minimum, raised with no antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. They prefer to feed their customers animals that also are raised without confinement and are fed the diet that nature wants them to consume, but depending on the location of the restaurant, the animals at the restaurant are different (i.e. the cows in all California stores may be grass fed, but the ones in Oregon aren't grass fed because Oregon doesn't have grass-fed cows available for Chipotle's use. Remember that this example is hypothetical). Chipotle is one of my favorite fast lunch stops, and I feel good about supporting their business. Here's the link to the video they posted on YouTube - it's entitled "Back to the Start," and it depicts exactly how the food system got out of whack. It's like a 3 minute, animated version of Food, Inc.

Stay healthy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mental Chew

Hey, everybody! I have super exciting news - I was featured in a post on the website Mental Chew! Check out my interview and seasonal recipe right here:

Not only did Val and I have a Q&A for her website, but we had one for mine as well. Here are some of the things we talked about.

Q: What is your favorite dish you've ever cooked? Why?
A: This is tricky. I think my Chicken Tikka Masala is my favorite because we had it at a friend's house for dinner and I went home the next day and tried to rework the recipe. When we finally got it, we were so excited and now it is one of our special treat meals.
Q: hat are some tricks you've found save money when buying organics?
A: I wrote a post about meal planning and cutting costs, not quality and the main ideas were to not skimp on meat, dairy and produce. Stay away from foods in boxes and cans. Shop sales and talk to your grocer about buying in bulk.
Q: Any tips on how to keep kids and adults alike enthused by eating healthy?
A: Plant a garden and eat from it! If you can't, participate in a CSA. Plan meals produce first. Watch cooking shows, read food blogs and leaf through friends' cookbooks. Make recipes your own and make sure everyone participates in the cooking of the meal.
Q: What motivated you to start a cooking blog?
A: When I found out I was pregnant with my son in 2006, my whole view on what I was eating completely shifted. It is a tremendous responsibility to think that every item that passes through your lips effects someone else directly. In addition, just before my pregnancy, I traveled to Costa Rica and to Peru where I gained a tremendous respect for the effect our food can have on our global environment.
So, I began to read and watch documentaries about where our food comes from and how it is being treated.

Thus began our journey to start our own garden. My husband was sucked into my vortex of research and seed purchasing and now he even claims to enjoy it. Love.

Along the way we have become a family of four. I am no longer a middle school math and science teacher. I am a mom. I am a mom who is striving to do the best for my kids and this blog is a record of my gardening journey with them. For them.
You can read more about this on her blog:
Thank you so much, Val! Follow her on Twitter (@MentalChew)! Remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow this blog, follow me on Twitter and email me if you want to share anything with me! Thanks so much, and I couldn't have done this without you!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Superfood Soup

Hey, everybody! I am so sorry that it's been a month since my last post. Homework and rehearsals have taken over my life, and if I weren't sick at home, you probably wouldn't be reading this! I've stayed home from school for the past two days. I have a brutal cough, sore throat and a bit of a stuffy nose, but still have energy to cook and do other things.

My family got a large box of organic, mostly local produce in the mail from Full Circle Farms. A surprise array of vegetables and fruits show up at your door. My mom and I figured that the box would provide me perfect opportunities to think on my feet and create a recipe with whatever I'm given. The box contained red chard, which is a nutrient-dense superfood. I figured that by putting a ton of vegetables into a soup, I'd create the perfect immune system booster. I've attached my recipe and a picture.

Superfood Soup
Serves 6 - 8

This soup will definitely help you recover from any kind of common virus. The nutrient-dense chard and spinach, vitamin-C-packed bell pepper, lycopine in tomatoes, and comforting ginger all contribute to the name "superfood," and superfoods they are.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
A 1-inch long piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 tsp orange zest
The juice of ½ of a lemon
1 large tomato, diced
3 celery stalks, diced (include the leaves if possible)
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 bunch of red chard, coarsely chopped (discard thick stems)
4 loosely packed cups of baby spinach
A couple handfuls of pine nuts, as a garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste

1.      Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and pepper. Sauté until onions turn translucent. Add garlic, ginger, orange zest, lemon juice, tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, and salt. Sauté for 3 – 5 minutes, or until bell pepper and celery have softened a bit. Add broth and season once more if needed. Cover and bring to a simmer.

2.      Once simmering, add chard. Cover again and cook for 9 minutes. Then, add spinach. Cook until barely wilted. Adjust seasonings if needed.

3.      Serve each bowl topped with pine nuts.
Thanks to everyone that is supporting me! Remember to follow my blog, follow me on Twitter, subscribe to me on YouTube, and email me if you have any suggestions, questions, or things you'd like to share with me that involve cuisine. Thanks!