Bulghar Pilaf. Garlic Kale & Chick Peas. Cottage Cheese & Fresh Pineapple
It's funny. Now when Monday rolls around the question on my son's mind is WHAT is for dinner THIS week?? He didn't try the kale dish or the cottage cheese, but he liked the bulghar. He is still not very daring in his food choices but he's doing much better. He informed me today that he's quitting pop. We'll see how long that lasts, but I did tell him that was a really great decision. Hopefully he'll stick with it!
Kale is my new favorite food discovery. Greens are a very good source of nutrients, especially if they are not boiled to death. I especially like to saute lots of garlic in olive oil and add the kale to wilt it. I don't overcook it. I like it with a bit of a 'bite'. As for the bulghar, it's one of my favorite grains. Bulghar is wheat, and comes in fine, medium, and coarse ground. I prefer the medium ground bulghar. It cooks up light and fluffy, but has a wonderful nuttiness to it. Adding sauteed mushrooms, onions, carrots, and celery makes for a really delicious pilaf. I like to add just a dash of soy sauce.

Oh yes, the above picture is served on my new 'smaller' dinner plate mentioned in the previous post. It really does look like an ample amount doesn't it? It's surprising how much less I put on the plate because it was smaller! The real test is in resisting second helpings! I did resist, and would say I had plenty to eat.
Just one more small step toward better health.



Baby carrots are sprayed with chlorine to keep them fresh longer. That's why they turn white in your refrigerator! Better choice is fresh carrots and if possible, organic.

I'm reading another 'foodie' book. Michael Pollan is one of my favorite authors. His books are all very informative and easy to read, and filled with a wealth of food statistics and useable information. The current one I'm reading is titled Food Rules. Rules that are a good guide to follow when making healthy food choices.

Today I'm reading Rule # 52- Buy smaller plates and glasses.

Our kitchen dish set has a pretty standard plate somewhere in the 12 inch range. Researchers that simply switching from a 12-inch plate to a 10-in plate caused people to reduce their consumption by 22 %! That's incredible. I've been doing my best to eat one serving and skip seconds. This is just one more way to achieve change.

I have some green depression glass dinner plates that are probably 8-10 inches, and I'm going to start using those until I can go out and purchase new dinner plates. This seems like an easy step to lowering your intake, don't you think?

Fun Times

I haven't been able to write the past few days because we had the little granddaughters here. I forget how much energy it takes to be around little ones, but it's also a lot of fun.

Growing up, my mom always made 'bunny cakes' at Easter time with all of us kids, and then later with the grandkids. It was something we looked forward to because she never made this particular cake any other time of the year. The actual cake part was sometimes chocolate, other times white cake or just some other fun flavor. What made these cakes so delicious was the frosting. She made "7-minute frosting" ,which is like eating the most delicious, whipped cloud of goodness you can imagine! It's not overly sweet, and is fun to frost a cake with becuase it makes little peaks that make the bunny cake look all 'furry'.

Next week when we have our Easter family get together I'm going to use this recipe to frost our Easter cupcakes, which is another family tradition. After frosting the cupcakes, I'll sprinkle green coconut on top of them, add a few little jelly beans and then bend a pipe cleaner and insert it to make it look like a little Easter basket.

I think as frosting goes, this may actually be much better for you, since there is no fat in it at all, so I decided it might actually be alright to share it here on my 'thoughtful eating' blog.

Recipe for 7-Minute Frosting

2 egg whites

1 1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

6 Tbsp. cold water

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together except vanilla. Place in the top of a double boiler. Do not let boiling water touch the mixing bowl. Mix with mixer for 7 minutes over heat until stiff peaks form. Remove from heat and add in vanilla.

I used a large stainless steel bread mixing bowl for the frosting placed over a stock pot of water. As the mixture cooks and is mixed it grows in volume so you need room for it to expand.



Meatless Monday: Asparagus & Mushroom Bread Pudding

I'm not feeling well today so I'm just taking time to post the picture. This recipe was a success!



This weekend we're making pasta. My family is coming here for Easter dinner and I decided that I wanted to serve a pasta meal with homemade pasta. Next weekend we'll have the grandkids here so there will be no time to make fresh pasta then, so we'll have to do it this weekend.

Many years ago, my mom and her sister Vivian had a noodle making business. They supplied noodles to several restaurants in town, as well as angel food cakes made with the egg whites. The noodles were made with egg yolks and flour only...no water...no whites! They were golden, delicious-ness!! They had a thriving business for a long time. That was before all the food regulations that limit what you can make and sell from your home.

Noodle making days started with the purchase of eggs from a local chicken farmer. They would buy a crate of eggs, which I think, is 12 'flats' of eggs each containing 2 1/2 dozen...you do the math. That's a lot of eggs to crack and seperate one at a time. There would be gallons of egg whites with which to make cakes when they were done. Then the work of combining yolks and flour which they did entirely by hand, kneading in the flour until the dough was quite heavy. It was hard work! I know, because years later, Richard and I did the same thing for a while. We never had trouble selling the noodles, in fact, we could hardly produce enough! We even looked into buying a commercial mixer to make it easier, but at the same time, the regulations for food production was changing and it would have required us to have a home inspection.

If you've never looked into that it's quite dauting. You must have screens on every windown, no animals in the house, certain type of kitchen appliances, and the list goes on and on. Basically, they don't want a lot of little mom and pop businesses out there that they have to send inspectors to. So, at that point, we quit making the noodles and selling them.

But, this weekend, we are going to make them for our own use. I have a Kitchen Aide stand mixer and I'll use that to mix the dough, which makes it so much easier. Then we'll roll the dough out with our handy, dandy, pasta machine! Next, you have to lay the noodles out to dry before bagging them up. Obviously, I've let out numerous steps in the process, but you get the picture. I'm planning on making some fresh ravioli also.

Yesterday, as we were planning our weekely menu, I said that we have enough food in the house at any moment to survive for a month without making any additional purchases other than maybe milk, eggs, and flour to make bread with. Richard said why not do that this week? Instead of your big shopping list, let's just cook from what we have on hand! So, we made our menu accordingly. Now, Cole, the 18 yr old that lives here was listening to this conversation and was not liking what he heard! What about pop? Snacks?

I told him instead of buying pop this week we would make ice tea, which he was okay with. Snacks, that's another thing. He seems to have a bottemless pit most of the time. As long as I have ramen noodles and mac n cheese on hand he said he can survive. So, that will be on the shopping list! So what's on our menu?

SLOW COOKER ENCHILDAS:I have corn tortillas in the fridge, dried beans I'll have to cook, and chopped hot peppers and corn in the freezer. I'll make enchilada sauce from scratch, and we have shredded cheddar cheese in the fridge which we purchase in bulk from GFS at $1.00 a pound, and freeze in single use freezer bags.

KUNG PAO CHICKEN: We buy chicken breast when it's on sale and I freeze individual breasts so I have that in the freezer to use along with frozen pea pods from the garden. I'll serve it over Mexicana Bulghar which is also in the pantry.

CHICKEN SOUP WITH CORN MEAL DUMPLINGS: Again, chicken in the freezer, along with carrots, celery, and onions which I always have on hand. The dumplings are a new recipe I want to try and have the ingredients in the pantry. I might add some of my canned pickled beets.

TOMATO BASIL SOUP AND GRILLED CHEESE: Canned tomato juice from our garden with frozen basil cubes in the freezer...also from the garden, and there are always cheese slices in the fridge for the teenager. I'll have to make homemade bread for the sandwiches, but I'll be making it for our toast anyway. We'll have pickled green beans on the side..also canned from last year's garden.

HOMEMADE PIZZA: Cheese in the freezer, chopped peppers in the freezer, canned marinara sauce in the pantry from the garden. One exception here is that Cole said he would NOT eat the pizza if there wasn't any pepperoni on it so we are going to buy that. I think I'm also going to buy mushrooms because we all like them so much. If I have a can of black olives on the shelf I'll add those and I forgot to mention that we'll spread the crusts with our homemade pesto that is in the freezer! Delicious!!

SO, there is our menu for the week using what we have on hand. My grocery list consists of milk, eggs, butter, salt, flour, pepperoni, mac n cheese, ramen noodles, mustard, mushrooms and possibly lettuce. After spending almost $100 the last three weeks in a row it will be a nice break!

I guess our Meatless Monday will be the enchiladas. I would also make the pizza meatless except for the protests of my son! Oh, yes, I guess the tomato soup and grilled cheese is also a meatless meal, and the two chicken meals, while they feature meat, I'll use it sparingly, featuring the vegetables instead. I will make my pizza crusts using whole wheat and cut back the cheese amount in the enchilada casserole to make them healthier. Veggies, veggies, veggies...as many as I can fit it wherever I can!

My garden seeds are growing and planting season will soon be upon us. I was thinking the other day that we need to use up our canned and frozen garden items because before long it will all cycle again and I'll want to can fresh veggies. I like to use up what I can year to year, but I did so much canning last year, that I may be able to cut back what I can this year to use up last years bounty. That will mean I'll have more to give away, which is always fun to do. People love getting fresh produce.

I'll post pictures of the noodle making after the work is done.




If every U.S. citizen ate just 1 meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats & produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 billion barrels every week. Small changes in buying habits can make a big difference.

I'm re-reading (for the ? time) Animal Vegetable Miracle. The previous statistic is from that book. I've mentioned before how much I love this book. It's all about one family's adventure eating only local and seasonal food for a year, except for a few exceptions such as olive oil and spices.

Most people who turn their noses up to the idea of vegetarian meals do so out of a misconception that it is a bland and uninteresting diet, so I want to share some of the numerous meatless recipes I have here in the hope that you will give them a try. There is a movement complete with website called Meatless Monday. There a many really great and creative recipes at the website.

Tonight, the guys here wanted burgers on the grill since it was such a warm, sunny day. For the most part, I don't eat red meat. If I do, I usually cut back the amounts in a recipe by half. In many countries red meat is used as an ingredient to compliment the dishes flavor, not as the main ingredient. Cutting back really doesn't effect the taste of a dish as much as most people think! Lasagna and chili are two good examples! I had half of an eggplant in the fridge so I had grilled eggplant medallions for dinner and some cheese grits. I didn't miss that burger at all!

I grew up in a typical Midwestern, small town family. Well, maybe not that typical, but our diet consisted of a lot of chicken, pot roast, and meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy and corn, peas, or green beans. We lived in a small town, and our house just happened to be one of only a few houses in the town that had a barn. It was a small barn and my dad parked the car in it and stored all kinds of junk and gardening implements. There was a little 'outhouse' room, and a small room with it's own outdoor entrance which my siblings and I got to use as a playhouse. I sewed curtains for the windows and we had old furniture in it. It was a fun place for great adventures.

In the barn, my dad built a corral in whichhe raised a hog a year for several years. He would have it butchered and we would have that meat in our freezer. I'm sure you couldn't do that anymore! It smelled awful and that pig only had a small pen to live and grow in. My dad would drag us kids out on Saturday mornings after the farmers harvested corn in the fall, and we'd go to those fields and 'glean' the corn left in the fields by the corn pickers and take it home to feed the hog. Let me tell you, I was so embarrassed, humiliated, and just plain mad that we had to do that! I didn't like raising the hog in the first place!

We also had pet rabbits, and yes, they were typical rabbits and they did multiply. My dad would butcher these rabbits for food. I don't really remember eating them, except for this one time! We had one particularly tame rabbit. It was all white, and would stay in the yard and hop around and play with us kids. We loved that rabbit! One day as we were eating dinner, we asked our mom what we were eating and my dad said "your pet rabbit!!". Can you imagine!!! Oh my gosh..we were so upset and if I remember correctly we were crying.

I remember asking my dad if her remembered that when he was in his later years and he was so apologetic and felt so bad that he had done that! He couldn't believe he had but I assured him that he had. I didn't dream it up!

Several years we raised our own chickens, but we educated our kids about it. They didn't get to see them as pets, even though those day old chicks are adorable. We didn't name them or get attached to them. They were food from day one. We even butchered our own once so they could see what is involved in that. Needless to say, I now have one vegetarian child!

Here is another really good vegetarian recipe I you might like to try. It's seasonal, too. You should be able to buy fresh, local asparagus soon. I can't wait for that first 'picking' of asparagus..it's always so delicious!!

Asparagus and Mushroom Bread Pudding

3 c. milk

1 c.chopped green onions

Heat onions in milk and take off heat to steep.

1 loaf stale or toasted bread, broken into crouton sized pieces

Pour milk over crumbs and allow to soak.

1 pound asparagus in 1/2 in pieces

Simmer in boloing water until bright green.

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet and and add:

1 pound mushrooms sliced

S&P to taste

Cook until mushrooms are tender

4 eggs

1/3 c. chopped parsley

3 Tbsp. oregano

3 c. grated Swiss cheese

Break eggs and beat until smooth, add herbs and S&P

Add bread crumbs with milk, asparagus, mushrooms and 2/3 of cheese.

Mix thoroughly and pout into a greased 8x12 (or 9x13) baking dish.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.



The title of my blog is THOUGHTFUL EATING and today I just have some thoughts to share.

First, I have to tell you how excited I am! Our little seeds have become plants! I'm always amazed that these tiny, delicate seedlings turn into hearty, healthy plants that give us pounds of good food! From one little tomato seed we will get many pounds of fruit which will then be used as dried tomatoes, canned whole and as juice, and made into salsas and marinara sauce as well as eaten fresh! It's so much fun to watch the process!!

I recently saw results on a study conducted by researchers at the University of Buffalo, set up to find out how prices influence our choices in the supermarket. They recruited a group of moms to shop for groceries in a simulated supermarket, giving each one the same amount of money. The researchers maniuplated the prices in different ways. When they discounted items like fresh fruits and vegetables, they noticed that the moms used the extra money they saved buying these items on junk foods.

There was a lot more to this study than what I mentioned here, and I'm sure you could search the NPR archives and find the entire study if you are interested. Just this weekend, as I did my grocery shopping, I purchased two organic apples, 1 organic eggplant, bananas, fresh mushrooms, cilantro, 2 avocados, organic kale, and 1 red onion. These were ingredients I planned to use in my weekly menu. If I had more in my grocery budget, I would have purchased a few more apples and maybe more greens. None of the items were on sale.

According to this study, if the items HAD been on sale, with the money I had saved I might have used it to purchase junk food. I guess I do not fit into the 'norm' because I not only would not purchase the junk food, I would have purchased MORE of the produce.

This study brings so many thoughts to my mind about food pricing as well as governement subsidies. Even though I am a proponant of buying and eating in season, as you can see from my latest produce purchases, I am buying foods that are not in season or available locally, which drives the cost of our foods up. If we purchased foods that were locally grown or seasonal, the prices would come down and more people would be able to buy them. There is a lot of science behind a fresh apple purchased in March! These apples were cultivated to be handled by machines so they ship well and arrive in good condition, at the expense of flavor and nutrients.
If you have picked an apple straight from a tree and taken a bite, you know that there is really no comparison to the apples I bought a few days ago. This is a topic that requires more space to discuss than this blog has.

I'm mentioning this to stimulate us to think about our purchases. I did want to buy a red pepper for a recipe, but when the little sticker on it said "product of Chile" I put it back. I'm just not willing to pay for it to be shipped that far. I don't think that's responsible. Last fall, after the last of our fresh tomatoes were picked from the garden, I decided that for the first time, I would not purchase a fresh tomato out of season. There is absolutely no comparison in taste. For the most part, out of season tomatoes taste like cardboard. We do eat a lot of salads and normally have tomatoes on them. While our tomatoes were fresh, I sliced them thinly, salt and peppered them, then dried them in the oven. Once dried, I placed them in freezer bags to use through the winter. The wonderful sweetness of a fresh tomato is greatly amplified by drying, and none of that taste is lost by freezing! I almost prefer dried to fresh!

Farmers Markets are on the rise and you can find them in most town and cities. I would encourage you to suppor them and learn to use the vegetables and fruits in new ways. Don't ever think that you don't have a voice. Our dollar bills are our voice and one person's choices do make a difference! In the same way that recycling your bottles, cans, plastic, and paper makes a difference, so do you buying habits and choices!

One of my favorite books of all times is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. She writes about her family's experience of eating only seasonal, local food for a year. It's really a great story and has changed how I think about food purchases. But, this is yet another story for another day. You can find the book at your local library.


New Recipe--Thumbs UP!

We try to eat fish at least once a week, preferrably more. I'm always looking for new recipes to try and saw this recently and decided to try it tonight for dinner. I first asked the 'guys' in the house if they would be willing to try fish tostadas with pineapple salsa. After a bit of thinking they both said they would! We all enjoyed them and my husband even said "this will be a repeat recipe"!! It's a healthy, flavorful meal.

Fish Tostadas


1 can of pineapple rings drained and cut into small pieces

2 avocadoes, diced

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 small jalapeno seeded and diced

Mix together and set aside to combine flavors.

Bean layer:

In a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil saute 4-6 garlic cloves sliced thin. Do not brown.

Add one bunch of kale, chopped, and saute to wilt. Cook for 5 minutes. Add 2-4 cups of white beans, drained, and 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes and let set.

Tostada Shells

Fry corn tortillas in a small amount of oil until crispy and drain on paper towels.

Be sure your oil is hot when you put the tortillas in the pan or they will absorb too much oil.


I used talapia fish fillets but you can use what is on sale or your favorite. I'm all about being frugal!

Bake the fillets in the oven at 375 for approximately 15 minutes. This will depend on the size and thickness of your fish. You want them to crisp up a bit but not dry out, so watch them carefully.

I drizzled a bit of olive oil on them and put salt and pepper on both sides.

While the fish cooks you can fry your tortillas.

This is an EASY recipe. It takes a bit of time but anyone can do this! Layer the shells with beans, then fish pieces, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream.

***If you try this, I'd love to hear what you think!!!


I have a few cookbooks that I simply could not do without. Two of them I have had since we were married in 1974. First is More With Less Cookbook and the other is the Uncle John's Original Bread Book. The covers are gone on both of these. They have been well used and well loved. Uncle John's has every bread recipe you would ever need including quick breads, raised breads, and specialty breads. Each one I've used has turned out successful and disappears quickly!

The More With Less Cookbook is a compilation of recipes from around the world by Mennonite and Brethren in Christ cooks. The book is filled with wonderful stories, quotes, and prayers that speak to the beauty of simple food and a simple way of life.

I have two more cookbooks that I find invaluable. The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian by Jeff Smith is the best Italian cookbook I've found. I use the fresh pasta recipe from this book exclusively. It is a never fail recipe.
The last cookbook is actually my all-time favorite for many reasons and my newest discovery. Simply In Season is one cookbook I think everyone should have! It's published by the Mennonite Central Committee...the same as More With Less. The difference in this book is that the pages are color coded, seperating the recipes into seasons. If you are wanting to eat seasonally, this is the book for you! It uses down-to-earth ingredients and it a no nonsense guide to good home cooking using foods that are in season.

Like the More With Less cookbook, this book is filled with fun and intersting stories and quotes that make reading it very entertaining! One reviewer says-"An essential kitchen companion for all of us who love to get our food from our own backyard, local CSA or farmers market-and always need new ideas. This is a book I will turn to over and over again. They've put the reipces in the most organized, easy-to-use cookbook I've seen."

That review alone would make me want to go out and buy this book!!

Following are 4 recipes. One from each of these cookbooks. I hope you find something you might like to try!

Six-Layer Dish
From More With Less Cookbook

Serves 4
Layer in order in 2 qt. greased casserole. Season each layer with S&P
2 medium potatoes, sliced
2medium carrots, sliced
1/2 c. uncooked rice
2 small onions, sliced
1 lb. ground beef
1 qt. canned tomatoes
Sprinkle over: 1 Tbs. brown sugar
Bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
Options: For a vegetarian option, leave out ground beef and add a can of drained kidney beans
I cut back the ground beef amount by half
Use brown OR white rice...your choice

Ginger Dressing
For Spring Greens Salad
From Simply In Season Cookcook

6 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Dijon musttard
2-3 clovers garlic minced
2-3 inches ginger root, peeled and minced
S&P to taste
Combine in jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake well.
Especially good with greens, green onions, raisin, nuts, and chopped spring apples

Gorgonzola Sauce
2 1/2 cups - a rich sauce to serve on your favorite pasta
From the Frugal Gourmet cookbook
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
1/2 pound Gorgonzola, crumbled
Heat butter in saucepan. Add flour and cook together to form a roux. Do not brown! Add the milk and whisk together until smooth. Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly until thick. Add Gorgonzola and stir to incorporate but still a bit lumpy.

Backyard Onion Pot Brot(cassserole bread)
From Uncle John's Bread cookbook
(I mix this recipe in my Kitchen Aide stand mixer with paddle-
you can use a large bowl and mix by hand mixer)
2 pkg. dry yeast (I use quick rise) dissolved in 2 c. warm water
Mix in:
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. melted butter, or oil (I use olive oil)
1 diced onion( or1 pkg. dry onion soup)
6 c. flour
You can mix the ingredients with a hand mixer gradually adding in flour
When thoroughly mixed, cover bowl with towel and let rise until doubled. The dough will be
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 2 quart casserole. Beat batter for 30 seconds, then spoon into casserole. Bake for 1 hour, until "bread-brown".

You really must try this recipe. I've made it a zillion times! It's so delicious with soups or a salad. Use your favorite onion. I have a stoneware bowl that I cook it in. If you have stoneware, use it! It gives a nice crunchy, brown crust!


Blog Intro

My mom on the left and her sister, canning together in the basement, circa 1950's

After years of yo-yo dieting, I have found that being a thoughtful eater is a better choice. Being conscious of the food choices I make, and how they relate to the world around me seems to be a better approach to healthy eating practices. I've been researching and reading a lot about being a conscious eater in an effort to not only make better food choices, but also to take better care of the earth and it's resources.
I grew up in a family that loved to eat and cook. A lot of my eating habits were not good ones and being overweight has been the result of that. It would be easy to just throw up my hands and say "too little, too late" but I know that every day is a gift and how I choose to live it is my chioce. Taking small steps can have BIG results and that is what I'm holding one to.
Let me tell you a bit about my food history. I grew up with grandparents and parents that were avid gardeners. My paternal grandpa grew the most amazing watermelons you can imagine. It was always exciting when we went to visit them in the summertime, when the melons were ripe on the vine, because he took pleasure in walking to the garden and 'plugging' the melons for us! He'd take a knife out of his pants, and cut a plug from the melon for us to taste. When we found one that we particularly liked, he'd pick it and we'd take it to our grandma to cut up and eat.
My maternal grandma lived in town, but she had a small garden plot where she grew, among other things, ground cherries. Now, if you have never heard of or eaten a ground cherry you don't know what you are missing. These little berries were then made into the best pie in the world. This same grandma made huge molasses, sugar, and date pinwheel cookies. She was always cooking.
I grew up in a small town but there was always a big garden. My mother canned hundreds of quarts of fruits and vegetables from our own garden every year. Her sauerkraut was amazing. She and her sister had a noodle making business for several years and later my husband and I took it over for them, selling the noodles to a local restaurant. She would make homemade angel food cakes with the egg whites that were like eating a sweet cloud. They were so light and fluffly and they never had trouble selling the cakes. They were in high demand. My dad loved working in the garden and planted many varieties of vegetables and took pride in having the first fresh picked tomato in the neighborhood. For many years my mom's siblings and all their kids-my cousins-got together the day after Thanksgiving for a day of candy making. The candy was then divided up between the families and used as gifts through the holiday.
When I met my husband, food was still a big part of our life. He was a vegetarian. I grew up in a Mennonite home that ate a lot of chicken, meat loaf, pot roast, and fried bologna. It was a strange mix for sure! So, I had to learn to cook in a much different way than I had in the past. I learned to adapt some of my cooking to vegetarian style. I found that it did take some effort, but the tastes were just as wonderful and varied. We ate a vegetarian diet for the first 6 years of our marraige, then gradually changed, first eating only tuna, then adding other meats over time.
We've been married for 36 years and in the last year we have begun to have more meatless meals than meals with meat. We aren't vegetarians, but we do eat vegetarian at least 4 days a week. My husband still likes the occasional hamburger, and I can't imagine a life without chicken. I love chicken. But, in the pursuit of better health we have chosen to make some changes that will not only effect our physical bodies, but also effect the world we live in. Much is said these days about being 'green'.
Eating consciously is not only to benefit the body, but to benefit the earth's resources.I think you'll find this blog fun, interesting, and educational and if you would, take time to leave me a comment!

Thoughtful Eating 101

It's not about deprivation or rules, but about being sensible.

I will be listing a lot of recipes and practical ways to look at eating in a more balanced, sensible way. I guess you could call it "common sense eating". These are the areas that I plan to blog about and hopefully you'll find something useful for your own life!

Eat Fewer Animal Products
Eat Beans
Eat All the Plants You Can Manage
Whole Grains Instead Of Refined Carbs
Embrace Olive Oil
Sustainable Farming
Eating Locally & Seasonally

I haven't quite decided which area I'll tackle first, but at least you know what to expect! The easiest, and surest way to improve your health is for you to adjust your eating habits. Not dieting, but returning to a saner way of eating. Changing our focus to a more traditional way of eating. A shift in the 'style' of eating. I'm not really sure if I think any one of these topics is more important than another, so I'll just decide which one tickles my fancy at the moment and start there!

Eating Whole Grains

Minestrone Soup with whole grain croutons, homemade applesauce, whole wheat muffin
See below for recipe
Parts of the grain that are removed to make white flour and white rice are what you actually want to be eating. There are nutrients in whole grains not found in white carbs. Instead of eating white flour, eat whole grains -
Corn meal
Whole Grain Breads

Here in Ohio we won't be harvesting spring produce for a couple of months yet. The spring crop of asparagus will be one of the earliest vegetables along with any early peas or lettuce that get planted. I have my garden seeds starting in little paper pots on my counter top and can't wait to plant them in the ground.
This time of the year there is such a longing for that first harvest of fresh produce. But, guess what?! I have fresh beets in my fridge that we harvested last fall from our garden. They will be part of our Easter dinner, and we are still eating winter squash that we've stored in the basement.
I have eaten, cooked, and used all of the above mentioned grains and have some really great recipes to share with you. Tonight I've made a vegetable minestrone soup with white beans and we'll have whole wheat muffins with it. These muffins are so delicious and moist and sweet enough that you don't need butter or jam. Of course, my husband usually adds both but you really don't need the extra calories to enjoy them!
Here is a tip about rice. We use mostly brown rice and sometimes we have leftovers. I used to just throw it out because it tends to be dry the next day. Now I put any leftover rice in a freezer bag, toss it in the freezer and when I make a soup, like tonight, I pull out a bag and add it to the soup. Tonight I'm adding a small serving of leftover, frozen black beans and rice to the soup. I like being frugal!!
Whole Wheat Muffins
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. oil
1 c. sour milk
Mix all ingredients and place in muffin tin. Bake at 350 for about 15 min. or until slightly brown and a toothpick stuck into the muffins comes out clean. Makes 12
** I cut back on the brown sugar and use canola oil. If you can't have dairy products, use water instead of the milk.