Goodbye spoon and hello squeezy garlic! Of course, now I use some much more than before…that’s some sneaky smart package design!
This morning we got up and I decided to make breakfast for us, but I’d just been reading an article about how bad sugar is for our bodies and also why whole grains can make us fat so when my son wanted cinnamon toast for breakfast I said no and we opted for omelets instead.
I made what turned out to be the most amazing sautéed spinach and greens mixture for the omelet.
Pretty simple, it was organic butter with sea salt, 50/50 mix of organic greens and organic minced garlic.
I went super light on the cheddar cheese and made the omelet with minimally processed turkey slices and organic rice milk.
We all went crazy for it! I’d only made 1/2 the container of greens the first round, but we all wanted seconds of the spinach so I made more!
Only recently we switched to organic butter and organic regular milk – again food budget is tight which is why I don’t get to go 100% organic and I have to pick and choose where to spend the extra money if there is an obvious difference.
Well, besides being a completely different color, organic butter is also tastier and cooks better than the regular old butter I’ve been using. With organic milk I noticed that it keeps longer in the fridge without any strange smell or taste. Organic milk has a “milk” taste, even in the low-fat variety. The regular non-organic milk starts having no taste and looking like white water in the low-fat and no fat varieties.
We also tried organic safflower oil and organic coconut milk (SoDelicious Vanilla) this week which were both excellent!
I was in Super Target shopping for groceries here in Minnesota and I came across some Driscoll’s organic raspberries that looked extremely tasty so I picked them up. As I walked down the aisle I came across the regular non-organic Driscoll’s raspberries which were $1 cheaper. With the container of organic in my hand, I leaned in to look closer at the regular since they were the same brand and I was so shocked I whipped out the phone camera and took a picture of them side-by-side. The regular (non-organic) raspberries were a pale red in comparison with a whitish powder coating, they were ripe and not rotten or anything, and if I wouldn’t have had the organic in my hand I wouldn’t have thought anyhting of it- but the difference in color and quality was so noticable it was like the other weren’t really like real raspberries at all.
Of course, once I took the picture, I kid you not, the produce man followed me around like I was a spy or something! Eventually, I’ll figure out how to get this mysterious phone picture off my phone and post it here for you to see!
Driscoll’s organic raspberries are USDA certified organic and the same company also offers non-organic raspberries. If they truly cared about why organic food is important and not just making more money of the designation “organic” how can they live with that?
Dear “Feeling sick on Lecithin”…
I got your note today in response to my blog post on soy lecithin being added to tea (where it clearly doesn’t need to be and doesn’t belong in my opinion), and it is also showing up in more and more products, including some organic products now.
Not being a medical doctor, I can’t say why you are feeling sick whenever you eat products that contain soy lecithin, but if you check into the links I included in my previous blog post you’ll notice that there is a complicated fermenting process used to create a powdered form of soy called “soy lecithin” from the unusable parts of the soy plant. Of course, this process often uses CHEMICALS to create the soy lecithin.
It may be that you are allergic to soy, or you might be sensitive to the chemicals used in the fermenting process. Either way, this stuff is everywhere right now in our food supply, especially because soy is cheap and subsidized heavily by the U.S. government. In a quick search, I noted several websites that link peanut allergy to soy allergy, so I’d check into that too!
I’m not sure that it will always have to be legally disclosed on the food label when they use it “to clean the equipment” (since it technically isn’t part of the food), as manufacturers claim to use it as a non-stick, no caking or no separating agent when mixing products in large batches.
According to researchers from the United Soybean Board, soy lecithin, “is extracted from soybean oil and is generally used as a natural emulsifier or stabilizer in various food applications (http://www.soyconnection.com/soyfoods/pdf/Soy-Lecithin-Fact-Sheet.pdf, p. 1).
Image from: http://www.ambujagroup.com/soya%20lecithin.asp
Here are some articles about soy allergy:
If you’re looking for a more academic research article click here to learn more:
The Mayo clinic recommends that you also look for hidden sources of soy in products. Here is a list of ingredients that may actually contain soy:
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
The product label also may simply say, “contains soy”.
I hope that this helps you and helps others who are not realizing that the ingredients on products they’ve been using for years may have changed now that soy is flooding the food market and is so cheap to add to everything.
What is semi-organic?
Every once in awhile I tag a post or label a recipe “semi-organic”, thinking this would be obvious to people what that means, but I guess it isn’t always obvious since I got this question this week from a reader of this blog!
For me, “semi-organic” simply means that not all of the ingredients in a product I’m reviewing are identified as organic or that not all of the ingredients in the recipe I actually made at home and wrote about were organic. Since I’m trying to incorporate organic items in my cooking, but I’m also on budget most of my day to day cooking is a mixture of organic and non-organic items.
I think that this is a more realistic picture of the average person trying to incorporate more organic items in their health & beauty products and in their cooking than having 100% organic cooking or 100% organic products for cooking, but I’m open to hearing other views and experiences so feel free to comment or just send me an e-mail.
What is organic pesticide?
I did notice something interesting/misleading on “organic” food packaging recently, a package was marked organic, but with an asterisk saying they use short term, non-lasting pesticides. Hmmm, what does that mean?
Want to know more?
Here is an article from the University of Colorado Extension about chemicals allowed in “organic gardening”: http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/4DMG/VegFruit/organic.htm
Check out this interesting article out of Canada that talks about U.S. organic farms using “organic pesticides” with naturally occurring oils and sulfur accounting for most of it. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/print-friendly/43683
Crockpot Organic Black-eyed Peas and Ham (Stew)
At my house the tradition is to make black eyed peas and ham as a stew in the crockpot and eat them on New Year’s Day for good luck in the new year. Actually, this is the same tradition I grew up with so my mom also makes black eyed peas and ham for the new year! Last year I ended up at three different stores looking for black eyed peas at the last minute because I thought I had some, but didn’t and I ended up with a few dusty cans in the end.
I remember one year I made it extra spicy since my best friend and roommate at the time liked his food a bit spicy, I added a bunch of cayenne pepper right at the end…and about killed us as our mouth caught fire since it floated on top and stuck to the roof of our mouth! Then there was the next year when I “experimented” by adding a little cinnamon…yeah, don’t so that! It had the worst after taste ever and most of that batch went down the disposal (after the obligatory good luck dish, of course!)
In Florida, so many people make some version of black eyed peas and Ham for New Years that they stock up with big displays and extra cans of black eyed peas at the checkout in the store, not so in Minnesota! Here, the little supply that is usually there is quickly dissipated by those Southern(ish) transplants like me. (I’m from Florida, but I think of Florida as its own entity rather than really “southern”.)
This year is the first year I’m making my recipe organic! I’ve got organic canned black eyed peas, but you can use dried if you’re less lazy than I’m feeling at the moment. I have organic canned tomatoes, organic minced garlic, sea salt, pepper (Do they make organic pepper? I should check it out next time I hit the natural food store- I know the regular grocery here doesn’t carry that!), regular pre-cooked ham (sadly I don’t have organic since this ham was given to me). That’s all the ingredients…I think…I’m making it in the crockpot in the morning tomorrow and leaving it to cook all day until dinner so I’ll update if I forgot anything!
If you’d ever seen me cook you’d know I don’t really use recipes and I just know how to do it and go by what tastes good and looks “right”…
- 1 Ham (pre-cooked, bone in, can cut into large chunks to make it fit the crock pot you have)
- 1 large can organic tomatoes, diced (stewed, whatever you have on hand)
- 1 organic yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 small cans black eyed peas (or one pre-soaked bag of dried black eyed peas)
- Approximately 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon organic minced garlic
- salt/pepper to taste
Put all ingredients into crockpot on high for 4 hours (min). Add additional water and stir as needed.
Hope you like it!
P.S. Here’s the pic, of course it doesn’t convey at all how tasty this was!