Category Archives: GREEN LIVING – you’re green

09/05/13 CSA SHARE: What we got & what I took away

Oh gosh! it was a good day! I got there first, and the share box was free for grabs (the sign says: put one in, take one out, and that is what I have always done)

What we got and what I traded for:
Green Beans- .5 lb bag
Butternut Squash- 1 pc
Zucchini- 2 pcs
Parsley- 1 bun                           traded for a squash
Lettuce Mix- .5 lb bag            traded for tomatoes
Long Green Peppers- 2 pcs  traded for green beans
Tomatoes- 4 lb. bag

So, I came away with a bunch of tomatoes, two small butternut squashes, and a lb of green beans all for fermenting.
I will probably make something with the  zucchini and and the fermented salsa from the tomatoes I got last week.  I might well make a small zucchini ferment, as well.
The green beans are destined for a ferment.

When I get to the ferments, I will post the recipes. What else I do, I’ll let you know.

NYC RAW FOOD EXPO

POST #945
It’s that time of year again – the NYC Yoga & Raw Food Expo is coming around.  This time it has moved to the Pennsylvania Hotel (7th Ave btw 32nd & 33rd Sts) I’m imagining that it is in the “ballroom” (that is where the New Age Expos used to be held, before they moved to the New Yorker)

The Raw Food Expo usually has some interesting things to see, hear, and do.  I remember that, at my first one, I was hungry, so I found a booth that was selling raw crackers. I had never seen raw crackers before! I was so in awe! They had an Excalibur dehydrator there, and I made up my mind to get one for myself ASAP … and that is how I came to have my Excalibur 11 years ago.

WOW! WHAT’S THAT SMELL? Joys of fermentation

POST #934
I just started my two sauerkraut batches last night, but when I came home tonight, there was a funny smell … heck! I know I cleaned the kitchen last night, and I know I threw out the trash this morning…… 

When I checked the sauerkraut, I found where the smell was coming from!  Aha! That kimchi juice is working its magic!  (Will the sauerkraut made with the kimchi juice have a kimchi essence to it? I’ll know on Tuesday night, when I open it.

The happy note is that both jars are working hard – the bowls they are sitting in were almost full of expelled water!  That is always the first and best sign that things are going according to plan (I am suddenly curious as to whether this is the sauerkraut juice people speak of.. If you know, please tell me)

NATURAL DEODORANT

POST #798
I know this is not food, but, almost every time I get involved with raw vegans, the topics of cosmetics and personal hygiene/body care come up (It could be because I wear make-up, and won’t stop! Yes, I was a hippie back in the real hippie time, and I got started with natural  and raw vegan food and lifestyle back then. Nevertheless, in several areas, particularly makeup, I have reverted to my GRITS — Girl Raised in the South– upbringing, and I am just not going to stop wearing makeup and I don’t care what anybody says! End of Rant.) Because my skin is very delicate (I am a Southern Belle, after all), I have always looked for more natural skin care/personal hygiene products.    In this wonderful modern world, in this big city I live in, there is LUSH, a company out of England, which makes natural, mostly organic, mostly vegan skincare, personal hygiene, and bath products.  Their deodorant, TEO, is truly fabulous (keeps me smelling pleasant, even in the middle or at the end of Hot Yoga).  It is a powder that comes in a cake — You need a container, and you need to break it up, then use a brush to apply it.  It costs about $8.00– but I don’t expect to run out of it for at least a year– (possibly more if you have to buy it on-line)

The hippie/natural girl/poor girl in me still likes to know that I can make my own deodorant out of things that are already in my kitchen (okay, I don’t normally have baking soda or arrowroot powder, but I could arrange for that to happen).  This deodorant is really great, and I can keep it in the refrigerator, so it will last for months, and keep me smelling pleasant.

From a recipe at:  http://realfoodmyway.blogspot.com/2009/03/coconut-oil-killed-my-stink.html

WHAT WE GOT & WHAT I AM DOING WITH IT

Here’s the breakdown from Thursday’s share

Kohlrabi – 1 pc    actually we got several pieces
Fennel – 1 pce       I traded for a big kohlrabi
Carrots – 1 bun     the carrots were kind of small. I put them through the juicer
Cilantro – 1 bun    a big bunch
Escarole – 1 hd      this was a large head
Scallions – 1 bun    traded for more cilantro
Arugula – 1 bag       we got choggia beets
Green Romaine Lettuce – 1 hd    traded for more beets
Green Boston Lettuce – 1 hd

I put the carrots through the juicer and got a small juice glass of carrot juice. I froze the pulp for use in something later.

I’ve made a couple of different versions of raw ravioli, using the large kohlrabi.  I cut it in half and sliced it with my thin slicer (looks like a vegetable peeler, but it’s very wide).  I put my cashew-kale pate and cilantro in the raviolis, and I also made the “chicken pate” recipe from Ani Phyo’s first book and put it in the wraps with some cilantro.

I used the escarole in some wraps with the cashew-kale pate, onion, tomato, cilantro, and lentil sprouts.   I also made a soup with lentil sprouts by dehydrating chopped up  escarole leaves to tender, then adding garlic, olive oil, a little sea salt (!) and black pepper, cilantro, and some red pepper flakes, and dehydrating for a few hours until it was warm.

Well, the lettuce has gone into salads, duh. I also threw some of it, along with some escarole, and an apple, into the blender for a smoothie.  Yuck.  I drank it anyway.  It’s good for me, right?

The beets, you ask?  My beet salad (beets into the food processor along with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, onions, and garlic – with some cilantro!).  I also made a “slaw” with some kohlrabi, beets, apple cider vinegar, onions, extra virgin olive oil, garlic,  and – yes! cilantro! — I put the kohlrabi in the food processor first, and ground it to almost apple sauce consistency, removed it, then put the beets and everything else in, then tossed all in a bowl — the idea was to have white color, but the beets in colored the kohlrabi anyway

My room-mate and I are tentatively back on a two-day meal share plan, so I am planning some fancy kohlrabi raviolo (not sure what will go in them yet), with a sauce of some sort – likely sun-dried tomatoes with something;  a lettuce, escarole, seaweed salad with lentil or sunflower sprouts and a vinaigrette of some sort. I might make the escarole soup again, as well – I liked it, and I will have enough time on Wednesday to do all of the dehydrating.

I’m glad to be back to a one day a week meal share because it gives me a chance to use up stuff I won’t eat all of by myself (I mean, I have been eating all of my share because I have no money to buy other food, but it sure would be nice to have a helping hand, and my room-mate loves salads.)

Of course, we do expect the appearance of sauerkraut somewhere in all of this.  I still have 1/2 qt jalapeno sauerkraut.  I’ll be making more sauerkraut by week end.

MY FIRST JAPANESE RECIPE: Japanese-ish Raw Vegan “Chicken Balls”

I’ve made a Japanese recipe!  I mean, Tomoko, my room-mate, says it tastes right.

I had been trying to make a “chicken ball” with the taste of Tomoko’s chicken balls… I’d smelled them, and tried to imagine how they tasted, and how I could make something that tasted the way they smelled.  Finally, Tomoko told me what things she had put in the chicken balls….

I had made a failed cashew pate (too gooey) with garlic and onion, and I added shiso leaves and ginger, and formed blobs/croquettes on a teflex sheet in the dehydrator, and dehydrated for about 18 hours.

The result came out hard/crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Tomoko says it tastes good.  Pushed, she says it tastes like Japanese food.  (this is my goal – to make a Japanese recipe that tastes like Japanese food to Japanese people.)

CSAs STARTING UP AGAIN: It’s that time of the year

New York City’s CSAs are beginning to stir again… starting to plan out the distribution season, and what else they will be doing, as well as starting up their membership drives. Most CSAs are rather small, so memberships go fast.

If you are interested in joining a CSA in your part of the City, check out the JustFood site — this is an organization which helps organize CSAs in New York City.  They have a list of all of the CSAs in the City, which you can browse to find one convenient to you.

If you are the type who always has a Plan B, then you might want to  select one or two (or even three) CSAs which would be convenient for you, check out their websites, contact them to ask when they will be opening the membership to new members, and ask if you can be put on a waiting list.  Then go with the first one that comes through, or, conversely, roll the dice and hope that you will get into the bestest one. (I was on a waiting list for one when I got the opportunity to join Astoria CSA.  The first one did not accept my application until after I had already paid for Astoria)

2009 FOOD TRENDS: SAD?

Food trend watchers are predicting that, in 2009, people will be focusing more on back-to-basics, going for comfort foods, cooking from scratch, and nostalgic foods like those Mamma and Grandmamma made, as they rein in food spending.

Interestingly, although food trend watchers predict a decrease in organic food buying, they foresee, at the same time, that the focus on nutrition and natural health choices will increase. Do you see a dichotomy here?

Free food’ is seen as becoming more popular, with foraging [let’s all go find vegetables in Central Park– do they still have those foraging tours?], and freeganism (that practice of “dumpster-diving”, foraging for discarded, but still edible foods that have been thrown away) increasing in popularity.

Now, what can you do?

JOIN A CSA: The first thing I would do is sign up for a CSA membership. Community Supported Agriculture organizations provide weekly deliveries of fresh organic vegetables directly from a local farm. The cost of a 6 month CSA membership (usually from June through October or November) works out cheaper than what you would be paying for organic vegetables in a market. Since I joined the CSA 2 years ago, I have had more than enough vegetables and fruit (sometimes I have to dehydrate what I cannot get to), and, with the winter extension (25 lbs. every 3 weeks, December through March for @ $140), I have been able, most weeks, to avoid a trip to the supermarket entirely. Yes, sometimes, I do supplement, if I want an avocado, or some oranges, or if I need dates, raisins, or nuts.

INVEST IN A DEHYDRATOR: My dehydrator is the best investment I have ever made (okay, I love my Champion juicer and my VitaMix). I can dehydrate leftovers (leftover sauces can be dehydrated then powdered to make instant sauces for later), and make snacks, patties, fruit leathers, chips, and crackers. I can take advantage of seasonal prices and snap up vegetables I love, and dehydrate them for use throughout the year (I get 40 lbs of tomatoes in the late summer from my CSA, and dehydrate most of them to have “sundried” tomatoes and tomato powder for sauces and seasoning throughout the winter. You don’t have to be rich to have a dehydrator – you just have to want one. I live on a limited budget in a tiny apartment –- I saved for several months to be able to by my $250 Excalibur 5-tray model with a timer and a temperature control, and I keep the dehydrator on a microwave cart in the hallway near the kitchen. I recommend getting an Excalibur simply because you are going to be using your dehydrator a lot, and Excalibur, with its front-loading trays, is much easier to use than the cheaper stacking kinds of dehydrators)

SHOP AT FARMERS’ MARKETS: Often, the farmer’s markets can offer vegetables and fruit at cheaper prices than regular markets can (Do you homework: know the prices at your local markets so that, when you venture into the farmer’s market, you know whether you are getting a bargain or not.

BUY SEASONAL VEGETABLES AND FRUIT: Seasonal vegetables and fruit are normally cheaper in season than when they are not in season and must be transported from far away places where they are in season. You can also buy large quantities of vegetables and fruit when they are in season and dehydrate them to be able to enjoy them later.

Of course, you could also consider joining a freegan group and going out dumpster-diving late at night with like-minded people.

PLASTICS – NO GO! Bisphenol health danger

FOOD STORAGE
My room-mate has been researching the effects of bisphenol in rats. The results are not pretty (I don’t mean the part about where she “sacrifices” – read BEHEADS the rats). Bisphenol apparently affects estrogen in ways we don’t want to think about. (Go to your own research – I’ve seen reports in National Geographic and at various sites on-line, in addition to the reports that I have edited for the room-mate.)

What do to? Well, see, bisphenol apparently comes out of plastic things. You know, your water bottle, your baggies and zip-loc bags, etc. and so forth (read plastic that touches your lips or your food and/or beverages).

I have just learned that you can easily identify such bisphenol-producing plastics as PVC and polystyrene by looking at the recycle symbol. PVC has a #3 inside the recycle symbol on the container, and polystyrene has a #6 inside the symbol.

Aside from the health factor, plastic goes into the trash but it just simply does not decompose (at least, not in much less than 1,000 years).

If you do microwave (okay, I am not looking, you’re doing what you do), it turns out that enlightened doctors are saying that it is not good to nuke food in plastic containers because it can cause the bisphenol and other chemicals to leach out into the food. Go with glass or ceramic-ware instead.

Are you interested in conspiracy theory?  Interestingly, today’s New York Post reports that (despite what researchers like my very own room-mate have found)  the government has decided that bisphenol is not a great danger to people.

LIGHT GREEN!!! (or Green Lite? or Green Light?)

If you’re raw, you’re supposed to be GREEN, right?

I just can’t get over this GREEN site, Ideal Bite . Only in New York could this happen!  Green Lite? (you go ahead and play with the combinations)

Seriously, I’ve just been fooling around on this site, looking at what there is, and there is a whole lot — the tips are ab-fab! (Do check out the Sex & Romance tips – yes, they are green!)

This site is definitely one to visit, and benefit from, regardless of how green you want to be, and regardless of where you are physically located (it’s out of New York, but just about everything will apply to anyone anywhere)

Aha! You went directly to the Sex & Romance tips! I thought you might.