Monthly Archives: December 2012

Documentaries

My surgery went well on Monday, but the recovery has been a little rough.  I had my tonsils removed so my food options are very limited.  I’ve been eating soups, applesauce, and eggs.  So instead of focusing on vegetarian recipes I thought I’d share some good food related documentaries on Netflix.

King Corn:  It is a documentary that follows two guys that decide to grow an acre of corn in Iowa and try to follow the “life” of their corn.  They look at what goes into the farming (GMO & fertilizers) and then the likely outcomes of corn.  They look at corn as feed for animals and the dangers of it for the animals and to humans eating the meat.  They also look at the politics that led our country to over produce corn and the resulting use of corn in nearly every food item we consume.

Farmageddon: This documentary focuses on the health benefits of raw milk and organic foods produced locally and usually purchased in co-ops and farmers markets. The problem is the USDA regulations and state and local government attacks on local farmers that hurt local farmers and the consumers from getting the healthy products they desire.  The irony is that the government doesn’t care if you feed your children fast food every day, but makes it impossible in some states to have raw milk for personal consumption.  The facts about organic food were educational, but the most interesting part of the documentary was the lengths the government goes to prevent the trade of natural, healthy food.

Genetic Roulette: Now this one may or may not be on Netflix.  I watched it online during a free promo about a month or two ago.  So if it isn’t on Netflix it should be available free somewhere online from time-to-time.  It focused on the health risks of Genetically Modified food.  This documentary is really what made me want to focus on what I’m putting into my body.

I’ll continue to add to this list this next week since it doesn’t look like I will be leaving my couch anytime soon.

 

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Busy, Busy, Busy

So this blog will be off to a slow start because this week is finals week.  So the majority of what I am eating is based on eating up the food I have in my fridge and pantry because I am coming up on a 4 week winter break.  So there isn’t really that many meals worthy of sharing because they are basic salads or snacks foods.  Plus, I don’t have the time this week to really update this blog.  

Also, I am having a tonsillectomy on Monday so what I am able to eat will be limited for a week or two.  So bear with me on updating this blog here in December.  When I am on break I plan to update with meals and snacks that I have made over the past week (beer battered asparagus with a special sauce, spinach and feta omelette, greek salads).  I am also going to try to find some good vegetarian documentaries on Netflix to share.  

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Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

So it is Monday night and I am getting a late start to dinner because I had an exam at 6pm which required my attention today.  This recipe had two different variations for using a slow-cooker or stove-top.  Since I don’t want to wait 5 more hours to eat I opted for the stove-top version.  It was pretty easy most of the time consumed was cutting the vegetables and stirring the roux (I had never heard of such terminology until tonight since I am still a pretty amateur cook).

I made some adjustments to the recipe that I found.  I looked into replacements for chicken broth and read about vegetable stock.  It can be home-made or store bought.  If you go the store bought route be sure to look at the ingredients list because some had hydrogenated oils and other un-healthy ingredients.  I also read to add butter to recipes using vegetable stock in place of chicken/beef broth/stock because it is missing the animal fats. I also replaced half of the flour the recipe called with whole wheat, non-gmo flour.  I would have replaced all of it but I wasn’t sure how strong of a flavor the whole wheat would have and I had white flour to use up too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • small amount of olive oil
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes with juice (I used canned)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup butter with the vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup butter for the roux
  • 1/2 cup flour, I did 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 enriched white
  • 1 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups half and half, warmed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Add celery, carrots, and onions.  Saute 5 minutes.  Add bay leaf, oregano, basil, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and 1/4 cup butter.  Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
  2. While the soup simmers, prepare a roux.  Melt 1/2 cup of butter over low heat, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes.  Slowly stir in 1 cup of hot soup in to the roux.  Keep stirring until you add 4 cups of soup into the mixture.  Add back into the soup pot.
  3. Simmer, stirring constantly until soup begins to thicken.  Add parmesan cheese and keep stirring.  Stir warmed half and half, salt, and pepper into the soup.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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this is the non-GMO flour I used, I will post some information on GMO in a later post
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the final product with some garlic toast

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Greek Pasta Salad

So the past month I have been on a greek salad kick.  I typically have random food items that I’ll crave and eat several times a week for about a month so this isn’t uncommon.  So when I stumbled upon a recipe for a greek pasta salad on pinterest I thought I’d give it a try.  I loosely followed the proportions (and didn’t document them) so that it would fit more to my tastes.  So the ingredients are:

  • whole wheat pasta (I used about a cup)
  • feta cheese
  • sliced/diced cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • kalamata olives (I buy pre-sliced)
  • greek salad dressing
  • dash of oregano
  • dash of pepper

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It is best to let it sit for several hours so the flavors can blend.  So it turned out pretty good I think, but I still prefer the salad over the pasta salad.  This would make a good dish to bring to a potluck since it different than traditional pasta salads.

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