With the new year, I have decided a few things.
1. Less meat, more veggies in our diet.
2. Cook at home and stop dining out so much.
3. No more Facebook.
4. Plant a bigger garden
So far, I’ve been doing all four, which is pretty amazing for me. Of course, we’re only 9 days into the year.
To help me along, I bought some cookbooks for inspiration, because most of my cookbooks are the typical, everyday Southern American diet which consists of 5 major food groups:
3. Cream cheese
5. Cream-of-whatever soup
Last week, my new cookbooks arrived. First up is, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. I haven’t made very many recipes out of it yet, but it is like a ‘Joy of Cooking’ for vegetarians. I did made some aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and served it with an avocado club sandwich and it was PHENOMENAL. I could have downed about 4 of them. I actually got to use my mortar and pestle that has been slowly developing a nice dust layer on my shelf. I had to look up a video on how to use the thing as I was completely clueless. Luckily, all the garlic DID remain in the little bowl without flying out everywhere.
Next up is Weelicious by Catherine McCord. This cookbook is geared toward families with young children. We have been using this cookbook several times a day already. While I think some of the recipes do need slight tweaking, so far, the majority of them have been hits with the kids. Last night I made the Graham Crackers, and we totally scarfed ’em. Fortunately, they made a huge batch when you roll them out to 1/8″ (and NOT the 1/4″ recommended), so there are plenty left. I like Weelicious because it is mostly low sugar recipes or uses alternative sweeteners like agave nectar and honey. You can get many of the recipes for free right on her website, too. I made the Beet and White Bean hummus a few days back. I have never eaten a beet in my life and I have to say I was very surprised. I figured it would taste like dirt (that’s my own weird thought on beets), but fresh beets are very sweet and have a consistency of a carrot. Not to mention that they are my absolute favorite color: fuschia. Be forewarned, though, because they will turn everything fuschia that they touch. Anyway, it makes this radical hot pink hummus. When Jason came home, I whipped out this neon dip with some baby carrots, celery sticks, and bell pepper sticks, and he looked at it like it had a dead rat in the center of the bowl. Especially after I told him it contained beets.
Poor Jason. His Granny made him eat canned beets as he grew up and she was a Clean Plate enforcer. So, Jason HATED beets. Or so he thought until he tried my dip! Actually, it just tastes like a good bean dip and nothing more.
In addition to adding more veggies to our diet, I also bought some different grains and rice varieties. I made a wild rice soup that was just out of this world. When I served it at dinner, my youngest daughter ran upstairs, grabbed her diary, and made an entry, as you can see above. She then brought it back down to be sure that I saw it. In addition to “I hate soop, Mom” you can clearly see the arrow breaking her little heart and ripping it in two. Because that’s exactly what I was trying to do by making a good, healthy meal, you see. As I was slaving in the kitchen for a few hours to prepare this soup, I was thinking to myself, “Now what could I prepare to make my child absolutely want to vomit?” Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, neither child would come within 10 feet of the soup so Jason and I got to eat it all. Oh well. We can’t win ’em all.
Anyway, I can’t say that I miss Facebook. I have broken up with Facebook and moved on to Pinterest, which I find much more inspirational and I also do not check it constantly like I did with FB. Although some pins are just nauseating (gold staples, anyone?), you can at least search what you like and the comments aren’t irritating.
As far as the garden goes, we planted our onions about 4 days ago. I’m glad we did, because this week has brought flooding rains that will be great for getting them established, providing that a river doesn’t decided to run through the front yard and carry my baby onions to the bottom of the hill. I tried a few new varieties this year, including Texas Legend, Super Star, and Red Candy Apple. We also planted our old favorite, 1015s. Plus THIS YEAR I planted the things in good, deep compost which I did not do last year, and ended up with the saddest, sorriest lot of onions I ever planted. Now is the time to start some cole crops, and I’m also getting my taters ready to plant by letting them develop some nice eyes before planting them. I am also going to try some new things in the garden including bok choy, turnips, and winter squashes.