Friday, December 14, 2012
If I need ground beef, I break up the meat balls, but generally I just use them as is, warming them in the sauce de jour. I like to make zucchini noodles to serve with them when the sauce is Italian. I won’t lie and say that strips of squash taste just like pasta, but that doesn’t make them bad, just different.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Another strategy that helps in the avoidance of fast foods is making your own convenience foods. When I was younger and in the thrall of grains, that meant things like Bisquick and Make-your-own-mix but now it means meatballs and crudités.
Colored bell peppers and jicama do satisfy the urge for something sweet. The trick is to have them ready to eat. I try to peel and slice jicama when I bring it home. Green and ripe bells get sliced too, so does carrot and cucumber. Not all of them but just enough to have a tempting variety. Homemade dressing and dips make them more satisfying.
While our young mother is cooking dinner, she can be thawing the meat for the next day. Or after everyone eats putting tomorrow’s dinner in a slow cooker without thawing, either cooking it overnight for reheating the next day or refrigerating everything until the morning and letting it cook while she’s away.
I’m a big fan of pork and tomatillo sauce cooked in the slow cooker. The pork turns out fork tender, I like to add media crema to the sauce, Husband doesn’t tolerate dairy so I just do it to my portion before serving.
There is a lot of information online about cooking once a month and freezing the meals. It would be easy to adapt the information and recipes to a grain free lifestyle.
I think the trick to making is to make it as easy as possible, to look for potential problems and avoid them. When we went grain free, I either gave away or tossed everything that we were no longer eating. But, and this is a big but, I don’t beat myself up if I eat the occasional slice of pie or fret if I am out. I’m not allergic in the conventional sense to grains and sugar, I do feel hung over and achy the next day.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Best use of a can of shortening ever! Fat burning machine if I ever saw one. I know I shared this before but for some reason, it makes me smile every time. I’ve always been big on preparedness and until recently used to keep quite a pantry.
Every day, google alerts brings to my attention stories etc. with the key words paleo and high fat + low carb. I seldom keep the emails, (mostly because I am rather disorganized about such things). The bulk of the information is the same stuff over and over again, occasionally there are some gems, which I bookmark.
Recently, on a forum, there was a rather long post from a pregnant mother, frustrated with trying to work, keep house and feed everyone in a new manner. I wish that I had bookmarked that link because I find that it’s been weighing on my mind.
The majority of her issues seemed to because she was overwhelmed by everything. She mentioned forgetting to take something out of the freezer to thaw as a chronic problem. Been there, years ago before microwaves, as a single mother with three kids. My solution was two fold. Feed everyone salad immediately, even if it was just carrot sticks. I have a secret love affair with '’bag o’ lettuce” and those silly mini-carrots. This accomplishes two things, gives you time and gets them to eat greens and veggies. Let’s face it, getting ourselves to eat salad is not often easy in this day and age but hunger is the best sauce. I am also a big fan of crudités, great way to eat veggies and get the edge off.
As for the frozen meat problem, my answer, in the stone ages,was stir fry. You can slice meat extremely thin when it’s semi-frozen. Paper thin meat slices cook up very quickly. These days I am more likely to serve cauliflower rice than fried rice or noodles but it’s an almost instant dish too.
I am also a big fan of the slow and pressure cookers because they are both time savers.
Tomorrow, more ways to eat fast with out fast foods on part two of being prepared.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
In Tips for Writers, Dave Barry ponders the phrase “part of a complete breakfast”
Dear Mister Language Person: I am curious about the expression, "Part of this complete breakfast." The way it comes up is, my 5-year-old will be watching TV cartoon shows in the morning, and they'll show a commercial for a children's compressed breakfast compound such as "Froot Loops" or "Lucky Charms, " and they always show it sitting on a table next to a some actual food such as eggs, and the announcer always says: "Part of this complete breakfast." Don't they really mean, "Adjacent to this complete breakfast, " or "On the same table as this complete breakfast"? And couldn't they make essentially the same claim if, instead of Froot Loops, they put a can of shaving cream there, or a dead bat?
Looking back on how I fed my family, I feel like I was fooled into not feeding them as well as I could have, by phrases just like that . I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means. I don’t really think that big business conspired with the FDA to make us fat. I do however don’t believe that big business has our best interests in mind, their loyalty is to the bottom line. It’s our job to be informed consumers.
Reading labels is something that I've always done. I don't know why it took me such a long time to read the labels on Ramen noodles and Capri Sun juice drinks. I felt virtuous giving my kids the juice drinks instead of soda. Until the words 10% real juice caught my eye. What about the other 90%? I felt betrayed and frankly a bit dumb. But Ramen noodles, they had been invented as a cheap source of food, surely they were good for you. I cried when I read that they tasted so good because of the fat and salt. It was common knowledge that fat was not good for you, and I wasn't going to give my kids something with so much fat and salt.
When my girls were little they hated sandwiches, so I would make them ham roll ups. Ham and cheese slices rolled up together. I’d cut up carrots and other veggies or throw in a small bag of chips, dessert was fruit or a couple of cookies. When Lunchables came out. I bought a few, but soon realized that I could make them cheaper myself. So the kids got crackers with little rounds of ham and cheese. Turns out they would have been better off with the ham roll ups.
Unlike the Ramen noodles and Capri Sun juice drinks, reading the label didn't give me a clue that crackers weren't nutritious. When I put Goldfish in their lunches instead of chips and homemade cookies instead of Jello, I was doing them wrong.
Unlike most other kids, at least they still ate vegetables and fruit. When Mijo was in elementary school he asked me to stop putting fruit in his lunches. Puzzled, I asked him why? He liked fruit, why didn't he want to eat it anymore? He explained that he was getting lots of fruit. The school had a table where kids were encouraged to put the foods they didn't want instead of throwing it away. He said there was always lots of apples, oranges and stuff like that. He didn't like seeing all that food go to waste. However, he said that he never saw any cookies on that table so it would be okay, if I still sent those.
My oldest daughter, La Primera, hated breakfast food, she would rather have soup or the left overs from the previous night’s dinner than cereal. Wanting to be a good mom, I started to buy frozen waffles in order to entice her to eat a “healthy breakfast”. I think her skin started to break out around that time but I didn’t make the connection with simple carbs.
My kids have homes of their own now, their meals are outside my control. If I could use the wayback machine and change what I fed them I would. Soup for breakfast, great! No sandwiches? brilliant! We could compromise on the cookies.
Friday, October 26, 2012
You all know about my giving up grains and the great results that I’ve achieved. I have written 36 posts about diet and health. While that isn’t even 1% of my total content, it is one of my top non-Mexico themes. However, I haven’t wanted to start preaching about it and drive you away. I have been fooling around with writing a book regarding my personal journey towards health and fitness. I use the the phrase fooling around because while I have written an outline and some of the chapters, I haven’t buckled down and written the book.
Examining my motives, I realized that I just really want to get the word out. Like most people who discover a good thing, I feel the need to share it. So rather than writing a book, I am converting my cooking blog into a blog about Being Grain Free in the land of the Tortilla. I’m excited about the idea. Later, I may still write that book.