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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gluten Free Vegetarian Meals On A Budget

For eating gluten-free on a budget, there are nothing like potatoes! A bag of potatoes can go a long way and there are a million ways to make them! The easiest is to scrub one, poke two holes in the skin and microwave for 4 minutes. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on it, add a tablespoon of water and some sea salt. Any cooked vegetable is a good topping.

Beans are very inexpensive. Black beans are easy to digest. Beans go very well with rice. To save money, buy a pressure cooker and make beans from a bag according to the directions on the bag. This is a great source of protein, and very inexpensive. If you cook them right, they will digest easily.

Mash up a cup or two of the cooked beans up with a 1/8 cup lemon/lime, several cloves of crushed garlic, 1/4 cup of sesame paste and sea salt for a great pate. Drizzle with olive oil and paprika before serving. (This is usually called hummus if you make it with chick peas.)

Now that its summer, try going to a Farmer's Market in your area and get just about anything there. The cost is often lower because you are cutting out the grocer. The seller's often have great suggestions and recipes for cooking their produce. Buying locally is also good for the environment, and you get to meet the people who grew your food!

Get an air popcorn popper. Popcorn is very cheap and you can buy it in bulk, organic, and have it for snacks. Some celiacs can't eat fibery stuff, so be careful that this is something your system can handle.

Sprout mixes are very inexpensive. Making sprouts is easy and cheap!

One of the most inexpensive and versatile vegetables is red or green cabbage. Cabbage keeps a long time in the refrigerator, and is a great flavor enhancer. Sliced thin and mixed with shredded carrots and your favorite salad dressing it makes a nice summer cole slaw. Add a few leaves of cabbage chopped up into any soup or stew for a much fuller flavor. It seems to make everything more savory and more satisfying. Just don't overcook it or it can turn to mush.

Try getting any fruit, or berries in season and making smoothies with them, just put them in a blender with some ice and some rice milk, and add some honey or real maple syrup for sweetness.

Don't forget that nuts, seeds and nut butters are good sources of protein! Make sure they are very fresh. Nuts can go rancid easily.

We have a bowl of cherries on the table right now, next to a bowl of cashews. I slice a sweet red pepper crosswise (the slices look like a flower) and put on a plate with some black olives. It is the best junk food!

Sauteed mushrooms have a savory taste that makes anything have a meaty flavor.

Inexpensive Vegetable Stew

Take all your current vegetables (include an onion or a leek, and a stalk of celery with tops, and a leaf or two of cabbage for flavor) and some potatoes and saute them a little in some olive oil, or roast them in the oven.
Cut everything up into chunks before beginning, sautee the harder vegetables first or roast them longer.
Start a 1/2 large pot of boiling water.
Add a can of black beans.
Add the vegetablesand some fresh garlic.
Throw in a handful of carrot tops, a few beet tops, some kale or other greens at the last minute.
Add some Sea Salt, pepper.
Cook until everything is done about 15 minutes.
Serve in a bowl with a little gluten-free mayonnaise on top for a garnish.

Don't forget that most Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Indian foods are mainly gluten-free. Mexican is gluten-free if you get the corn tortillas instead of the flour. You have to call ahead, or call the manufacturer to be certain that there are no additives that contain gluten, however.

Really cheap shopping list:
A bag of black beans.
A bag of popcorn.
A sack of potatoes.
A head of red cabbage.
A clump of carrots with tops on.
A bunch of celery.
A head of garlic.
A container of lemon juice.
Iodized Sea Salt.
A can of mixed nuts.
Some honey or real maple syrup.
Extra Virgin olive oil.
The freshest fruit in season.
Any favorite vegetable.

Contemplating Vegetarianism

"It is told that Buddha, going out to look on life,
was greatly daunted by death.
"They all eat one another!" he cried,
and called it evil.

This process I examined, changed the verb, said,
"They all feed one another,"
and called it good."

~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Contemplating Cats

“Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man.”

~ Paul Gray

“Your cat will never threaten your popularity by barking at three in the morning. He won't attack the mailman or eat the drapes, although he may climb the drapes to see how the room looks from the ceiling.”

~ Helen Powers

“I have noticed that what cats most appreciate in a human being is not the ability to produce food, which they take for granted - but his or her entertainment value.”

~ Geoffrey Household

In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.

“When your cat rubs the side of its face along your leg, it's affectionately marking you with its scent, identifying you as its private property, saying, in effect, 'You belong to me'.”

~ Susan McDonough

“The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an ax-murderer.”

~ Paula Poundstone

“Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it.”

~ Winifred Carriere

“Cat people are different, to the extent that they generally are not conformists. How could they be, with a cat running their lives?”

~ Louis Camuti

"Cats never strike a pose that isn't photogenic."

~ Lillian Jackson Braun

"Cats, no less liquid than their shadows, offer no angles to the wind. They slip, diminished, neat, through loopholes less than themselves."

~ A. S. J. Tessimond

"The cat does not offer services.
The cat offers itself.
Of course he wants care and shelter.
You don't buy love for nothing.
Like all pure creatures, cats are practical."

~ William S. Burroughs

“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.”

~ Garrison Keillor

"The only mystery about the cat is why it ever decided to become a domestic animal."

~ Sir Compton MacKenzie

"No tame animal has lost less of its native dignity or maintained more if its ancient reserve. The domestic cat might rebel tomorrow."

~ William Conway

"Confront a child, a puppy, and a kitten with sudden danger; the child will turn instinctively for assistance, the puppy will grovel in abject submission, the kitten will brace its tiny body for a frantic resistance."

~ Saki

"Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so;
it is the sickening grammar that they use."

~Mark Twain

"Every contented cat is an "it"."

~ Helen Powers, on the virtue of neutering

"Cat: A pygmy lion who loves mice, hates dogs, and patronizes human beings."

~ Oliver Herford

"God made the cat in order that man might have the pleasure of caressing the lion."

~ Fernand Mery

"I saw the most beautiful cat today. It was sitting by the side of the road, its two front feet neatly and graciously together.
Then it gravely swished around its tail to completely encircle itself.
It was so fit and beautifully neat, that gesture, and so self-satisfied, so complacent."

~ Ann Morrow Lindbergher

Posted in memorium to my friend Cheryl's Mother's cat, who leapt upward to the great low-hanging branch in the sky yesterday, and sits amongst all the great cat beings, with the ultimate cat template of the cat spirit, whom I humbly call upon to usher this cherished cat safely to its home amongst the everlasting spirit of all things and beings. She is greatly missed and will be remembered fondly always for her unconditional love and companionship with Cheryl and her Mother.

I am only one.

"I am only one, but still I am one.
and just because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."

~ Edward Everett

Posted with regards to my friend Patrick...


"The birds are molting.
If only man could molt also - his mind once a year its errors,
his heart once a year its useless passions."

~James Allen

What Have I Become?

"What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want."

~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

To Live Well, Enjoy Today; Take Nothing For Granted

"Every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour."

~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Change or Die

"A good question is never answered.
It is not a bolt to be tightened into place,
but a seed to be planted,
and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea."

~ John Ciardi

You change your life by changing your heart.

"Growth is the only evidence of life."

~ John Henry Newman, Apologia pro vita sua, 1864

“The great thing is, if one can,
to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one's "own" or "real" life.
The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life.”

~ C.S. Lewis

"Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so,
almost everyone gets busy on the proof."

~John Kenneth Galbraith

"The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions."

~Ellen Glasgow

"He who rejects change is the architect of decay.
The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery."

~Harold Wilson

"He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator."

~ Francis Bacon, "On Innovation," Essays, 1597

“People underestimate their capacity for change.
There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.
A leader's job is to help people have vision of their potential.”

~ John Porter

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy;
for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves;
we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

~ Anatole France

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.

"Continuity gives us roots;
change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights."

~ Pauline R. Kezer

“Change starts when someone sees the next step.”

On Judgement

"No two men ever judged alike of the same thing,
and it is impossible to find two opinions exactly similar,
not only in different men but in the same men at different times."

~Michel Montaigne

Do People Ever Change?

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,
the courage to change the one I can,
and the wisdom to know it's me."

~ Author Unknown

“Consider how hard it is to change yourself
and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.”

~ Unknown


“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not;
and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.”

~ Kahlil Gibran

On Faith

"Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"We do not need to proselytise either by our speech or by our writing.
We can only do so really with our lives.
Let our lives be open books for all to study."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"The weak can never forgive.
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"There are people in the world so hungry,
that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse then starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

Inspiration for Difficult Times -- How to turn war into peace.

"I do all the evil I can before I learn to shun it?
Is it not enough to know the evil to shun it?
If not, we should be sincere enough to admit that we love evil too well to give it up."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"Man's nature is not essentially evil.
Brute nature has been know to yield to the influence of love.
You must never despair of human nature."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"Morality which depends upon the helplessness of a man or woman has not much to recommend it.
Morality is rooted in the purity of our hearts."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary;
the evil it does is permanent."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"Peace is its own reward."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"I know, to banish anger altogether from one's breast is a difficult task.
It cannot be achieved through pure personal effort.
It can be done only by God's grace."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.
It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"Power is of two kinds.
One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love.
Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"Non-violence requires a double faith, faith in God and also faith in man."

Mohandas Gandhi

"Non-violence, which is the quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"Let us all be brave enough to die the death of a martyr, but let no one lust for martyrdom."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"When restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

Against Hesitation

"If you stare at it long enough
the mountain becomes unclimbable.

Tally it up. How much time have you spent
waiting for the soup to cool?
Icicles hang from January gutters
only as long as they can.
Fingers pause above piano keys for the chord
that will not form.

Slam them down
I say. Make music of what you can."

~ Charles Rafferty, from "Against Hesitation"

This Is The Shadow

"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see."

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

On What to Do

"You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks,
jump over the hurdles
and break through the brick walls
that are always going to be placed in front of you.
If you don't have that kind of feeling for what it is you are doing,
you'll stop at the first giant hurdle."

~ George Lucas – Star Wars Film Writer, Director and Producer

Where is the Truth?

“Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas.”

~ Shoseki

“If you cannot find truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

~ Dogen

Voluntary Poverty and Interdependence

"The importance of detachment from things,
the importance of poverty,
is that we are supposed to be free from things that we might prefer to people.

Wherever things have become more important than people, we are in trouble.
That is the crux of the whole matter."

~ Thomas Merton

Ideoforms Note

And wherever things have become more important than the other living things which we share this Earth with, and with the Earth itself, which sustains our lives.

It isn't the materiality of the Earth that is important as such (in terms of ownership of parts of it) -- it is our inextricable connection to it and that we are its trusted stewards. It is the water in which we swim like fish, we don't know we utterly depend on it until we are flopping gasping on dry land.

And so, we must protect the earth and in so doing we are protecting all the others on the earth.

Instead of competing with them for parts of it, we must protect it in spite of our personal interests which, in the end is our personal interest.

The material world is like a baby that two women brought to the wise man to settle a dispute. Both claimed the child as their own. The wise man, after deliberation, said to have his helpers to cut the child in half and give half to each woman. The real mother gave up the child to save its life.

If we tear this world apart, fighting for it, we might end up with a dead world.

In addition,

When our standing in this world, our ego's position, becomes more important than the principles and people we are standing up for, then the position, whether it is attained or not, will mean nothing. The ego cannot judge what is important. It is impossible for it to both exist as a separate identity from all others, and also truly understand the meaning of, and maintain its position amongst those others.

The Impact of the Courage of the Bystander

“Courage, her mother had once told her, was not simply the fact that you weren’t scared of anything…
it was being scared and doing whatever it was anyway.
Courage was dealing with your fears and not letting them rule you.”

~ Missy Good

“Courage is a special kind of knowledge:
the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared
and how not to fear what ought not to be feared.”

~ David Ben-Gurion

“Courage is not the absence of fear,
but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”

~ Ambrose Redmoon

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

"A man can do only what a man can do.
But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day."

~ Albert Schweitzer

"Bystanders that do nothing or laugh when a classmate is bullied actually reinforce bullying behavior. Parents and teachers can help children to understand that standing by and doing nothing actually empowers a bully. It gives him or her permission to continue harassing their victim.

Bullies love an audience and humiliating a victim in the presence of others gives them more enjoyment. Tacit approval by being silent encourages inappropriate behavior. The research shows that if one person speaks out to say that isn’t fair after a bullying act and then another, the bully is less likely to continue.

Other research studies show that children who simply watch and do nothing to interrupt the event can become upset during the bullying event. One study that examined 2,000 English students age twelve to sixteen reported more feelings of depression, anxiety, hostility and inferiority than either the bullies or the victims themselves. This may relate to feelings of helplessness and guilt that happen during vicarious witnessing of aggression. And guilt at not taking a stand against wrong doing.

There is strength and safety in numbers! Bystanders can stand together to defuse the situation if they are taught this social skill of speaking up against unfair behavior. Teachers and parents can teach this skill directly. Speak with your children about how several children can band together and say “Stop it!” to offset abuse and defuse the situation.

Someone has to be the first to speak out and call bullying for what it is. It often feels risky for children to speak up in social situations that are unclear. It takes courage. Help your children understand that one form of courage is doing that which you fear. Open up the discussion by reading some of these quotes and asking them to comment on them."

From: "The Anti-Bullying Stand against People who Enjoy Hurting Others: Ideas for Teachers and Parents" by Lynne Namka, Ed. D. © 2010

“Teach your child not to become a bully assistant!”

On Certainty

”Don’t be so damned quick to judge.
The less we know about someone, the easier we find it to make a snap decision, to condemn or sneer or believe the worst.
The closer you get, the more you know about the person or the situation in question, the harder it gets to be sure of your opinion, so remember that and try to cut people a little slack.
Like Emilio says, ‘Everything we thought we understood—that was what we were most wrong about.’
So the moral of the story is to be suspicious of your own certainty.
Doubt is good.”

~ Mary Doria Russell, "Sparrow" and "Children of God"

On Discernment

"There is a criterion by which you can judge whether the thoughts you are thinking and the things you are doing are right for you.
The criterion is: Have they brought you inner peace?
If they have not, there is something wrong with them—so keep seeking!
If what you do has brought you inner peace, stay with what you believe is right."

~ Peace Pilgrim

Attitude Is/Isn't Everything

“It is our own mental attitude which makes the world what it is for us.
Our thought make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly.
The whole world is in our own minds.
Learn to see things in the proper light.
First, believe in this world – that there is meaning behind everything.
Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful.
If you see something evil, think that you are not understanding it in the right light. Throw the burden on yourselves!”

~ Swami Vivekananda

So if attitude makes the world we see, is it (literally) Everything, then?

And if attidue is not Everything, then is it nothing?

My answer:

The attitude comes first.
If we create our reality, (along with our creator, who created us) then, attitude creates
from "no-thing" into some-thing(s).

It is the something that is nothing because it comes from nothing.

So don't look to the material world for how to create -- that comes as an inspiration from within, from the source of who we are, which is the creative force of which we are a part, and thus we create, sometimes knowingly and most times, not.

“What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it’s all about?”

~ Seen on a T-shirt


“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”

~ Thomas A. Kempis

“You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.”

~ Martha Graham

“No one is perfect; that’s why pencils have erasers.”

~ Anon.

So if you are perfectionistic, then, does that mean you aren't perfect?!?

Easy Quick, Poached Egg Recipe

Poached Egg Recipe

Easy! Quick! Healthy!

Take one can of peas or carrots and put it into a saucepan with the canning water, or you can use frozen or fresh veggies and just enough water to cover.

Heat on medium low heat until just steaming, not boiling. No longer. (Don't overcook your veggies!)

Add a slice of Canadian (round) bacon. Push it into the veggies just a bit, but keep it level with the surface of the water.

Crack an egg gently onto the center of the Canadian bacon.

Cover and cook (simmer) for 3 to 4 minutes longer, not boiling. The center of the egg should still be soft.

Strain liquid off using the lid, and slide everything onto a bowl or plate.

Salt, pepper to taste. I put a dash of oil on it. Grapeseed, olive, or flax oil.

You may say; "Why poach if you are going to add oil anyway?"

This way you can control exactly how much oil you want to use without risking anything sticking to the pan or risking cooking with toxic non-stick surfaces.

The veggies hold up the slice of Canadian bacon, which holds the egg so it doesn't spread all over the water before it is cooked.

If you make it without the bacon, toss the whole, un-cracked egg into the hot water for ten seconds, then crack it gently just over the surface of the water/veggies. You can also use a large Chinese strainer spoon to get the stuff out of the hot water.

I use organic ingredients locally produced if I can. I have noticed that hens allowed to have a free range (no cages) to eat local minerals, (grit) and insects have the best-tasting eggs with bright orange, flavorful yolks.

Recently I made this with fresh, thinly sliced collard greens. I added a dash of fresh lemon juice to the greens and served the egg on top of the greens. Yum!

Also works with dandelion greens, and spinach. The egg is like a dressing on top of the greens.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eating With The Seasons

It is interesting to eat like our great-grandparents did; with the seasons. Generally, most foods were eaten in season, and not transported long distances. The portion of the harvest that wasn't eaten right away was canned or dried.

With the abundance of food that is now available year round from all over the world, some of us have forgotten what is in season in our area. Here's a list of what is seasonal for the Milwaukee area:

Apples, August through October

Asparagus, May through August

Basil, August and September

Beets, June through October

Bitter melon, August through October

Blueberries, July into August

Broccoli, June through October

Brussels sprouts, August through mid-November

Cabbage, June into November

Cantaloupes, August and September

Carrots, June through October (local harvest available from storage through winter)

Cauliflower, August through November

Celery, August through October

Chard, July through September

Corn, mid-June through mid-August

Cucumbers, July through mid-October

Eggplant, July through mid-October

Garlic, August through November

Grapes, September

Green beans, July through September

Green onions, June through September

Greens (various), June through October

Herbs, July through October

Leeks, August through October

Lettuce (various), June through September

Melons, August and September

Mint, April through October

Onions, August through October (local harvest available from storage year-round)

Parsnips, April and May and again in October through November (local harvest available from storage through winter)

Pea greens, June and July

Peas, July through August

Peppers (sweet), July through September

Potatoes, July through October (local harvest available from storage year-round)

Pumpkins, October

RadishesRadishes, May through October

Raspberries, June into August

Rhubarb, May through June

Rutabagas, October through November (available from storage into spring)

Shelling Beans, September through October (local harvest available dried year-round)

Spinach, May through October

Summer Squash, July through October

Strawberries, June and July

Tomatoes, July through early October

Turnips, August through November (local harvest available from storage through February

Watermelons, August through September

Wild Rice, local harvest available from storage year-round

Winter Squash, August through October (local harvest available from storage through February)

Zucchini, July through October

Zucchini Blossoms, June through August

There is a great visual representation of seasonal produce at this website (look toward the bottom of the home page):

Seasonal Availability of Wisconsin Produce

I encourage everyone to locate a list like this one for their area.

Eating Well -- Local Food Challenge

I eat locally! I purchase locally!

I recently took this challenge, to eat locally for one month following these guidelines:

Guidelines for Eating Well

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic. This is one of the most readily available alternatives in the market and making this choice protects the environment and your body from harsh chemicals and hormones.

If not ORGANIC, then Family farm. When faced with Kraft or Cabot cheeses, Cabot, a dairy co-op in Vermont, is the better choice. Supporting family farms helps to keep food processing decisions out of the hands of corporate conglomeration.

If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business. Basics like coffee and bread make buying local difficult. Try a local coffee shop or bakery to keep your food dollar close to home.

If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Terroir, which means 'taste of the Earth'. Purchase foods famous for the region they are grown in and support the agriculture that produces your favorite non-local foods such as Brie cheese from Brie, France or parmesan cheese from Parma, Italy.

Hit the farmers' market before the supermarket. Plan your meal around local ingredients you find at the market.

Branch out. Maybe your usual food repertoire could use some fresh ideas. The farmers' market provides a perfect chance to try a new ingredient when it's in season, and lets you talk to its grower to find out the best way to prepare your new food. Flirt with your food producer!

Feed the freezer. Can't cook every night? Worried about your fresh produce going bad? It's easy. Make lasagna with local tomatoes or a soup packed with fresh veggies and freeze it! You can also make personal size meals for a brown bag lunch.

Go out! Many area restaurants emphasize local foods in their dishes. Ask around, you might be surprised how many options you find that serve up local flavor.


My Report:

I loved this challenge! It inspired me to try new foods, and use more variety, paradoxically, since the limitations of eating seasonally require more resourcefulness than the usual rotation of a dozen favorite meals that we were doing before. I have been cooking from scratch more, and I like the way it feels to serve my family home-cooked foods that are also home-grown.

Having a small urban garden helps, too. I went to the Farmer's market on a regular schedule and got favorite recipes and suggestions right from the farmers themselves.

This year my goal is to visit farms we buy from and try picking our own fruits and vegetables.

I am doubling the size of my small garden and growing more herbs this summer.

I want to plant everything that tends to be costly in the store: raspberries, blueberries, shallots, garlic, fresh herbs and flowers for cutting.

I am also inadvertently growing a good share of dandelions, which we have actually been eating and taste good as long as you are sure not to spray your lawn with chemicals. Our house rabbit, Webster, loves them. This is a good incentive to get out and dig them up weekly.

Recipe for cooking Dandelions:
Wash the leaves, slice them thinly and saute in some organic olive oil or grapeseed oil, sprinkle with some fresh organic lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.
Sautee with a diced clove of fresh garlic or shallots, optional.

My Motto:
If you are going to obsess about food, why not obsess about how it is made, where it is grown, and the quality of it? You can actually loose weight when you know more about where your food comes from and what it takes to get it into your mouth...

I want to use this moment to celebrate an exceptional local food producer who is also changing the community he serves and his efforts are now being nationally recognized:

Growing Power Urban Farm, Founder: Will Allen

Growing Power's produce can be found at Outpost Natural Foods, where I shop.