Friday, September 14, 2012

Up the like factor for veggies

I've worked really hard to only offer my daughter fresh, organic, nutritious food, really pushing the fruits and veggies, avoiding artificial colors and sweeteners and MSG and added salt and sugar.  Whew.  And you know what?  It's been easier than you may think.

And the pay off is very rewarding.  She is a great eater, eating most anything I offer.  She willingly accepts a wide variety of vegetables, and will eat any fruit (although bananas are her least favorite).  There have, however, been a few veggies she tends to avoid.  Like green beans.  Then, I discovered my secret weapon.

Garlic powder.

That's right.  One day, as she was shunning her green beans, not wanting to put any salt or salty seasoning on them, I looked through my spice cabinet, wondering what may dress them up a little.  I ran across the garlic powder and decided to give it a try.

And you know what?  After sprinkling a little on, she dove right in, and proceeded to eat them all right up.  Wow.  I was thrilled.

So, I decided to always have some with me, that way when we're out at a restaurant and I'm trying to find something healthy for her, I can always order steamed veggies, sprinkle this one, and voila - hopefully she'll have a healthy meal!

All you need is a small, empty plastic spice shaker.  Like the ones McCormick puts nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice or turmeric in, the little ones. Once you empty one of these (or something like it), add some garlic powder and throw it in your diaper bag.

I decided to use this as a way to introduce other spices too, as I'd like to broaden her palate.  I started this time by mixing in a little coriander, a relatively neutral, bland spice.  I figured if that goes over, I can graduate to something a little stronger, like cumin.

I hope this helps with your picky eater, if you have one!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Words for Wednesday

"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."

~ Darwin - The Origin of Species

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Meatless Monday - Crockpot Squash Casserole

A great summer dish, especially if you are growing squash, and because of the crockpot, so easy!

Crockpot Squash Casserole

2 lb yellow squash, sliced

2 lb zucchini, sliced

1 large onion, diced

2 cups shredded cheddar

2 cups breadcrumbs

8 ounces sour cream

2 eggs, beaten

1.5 teaspoons garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup shredded parmesan

Boil water in a large pot, and cook first 3 ingredients for 10 minutes - drain in colander, gently pressing against sides with spoon.  Add rest of ingredients (except Parmesan) and mix well.  Transfer to greased crockpot, sprinkle parmesan over top, cover and cook on low 2.5 - 3 hours, until center is set and edges are golden brown.  Uncover and cook 30 more minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Makes 10-12 servings.

From Southern Living November 2010

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The 11th Hour Documentary - Review

I watched this and really liked it.  I found it very informative.  Read here to learn more about it.

11th Hour

Here are the points I found memorable:

Nature provides services for free that technology can't replace - pollination, removing CO2, adding O2.

Costanza estimates it would cost $37 trillion to do what nature is doing for free - add up all the economies of the world, and you get $18 trillion.

For every truckload of lasting material produced, 32 truckloads of waste are produced (Ray Anderson).

The result of $500 billion in advertising?  Kids can ID 1000 corporate logos, but less than 10 plants and animals native to the environment they live in.

According to Betsy Taylor, the average American shops five times/week, spends the day working to make money to shop.  Everything is getting bigger (houses, cars, our waistlines), while we are getting less of what matters = time.

Wade Davis - Americans spend more money maintaining their lawns than India collects in their federal tax budget.  Americans have incredible wealth.

In America consumer goods are a cultural symbol.

We define who we are by material things.

We get our knowledge from the media, not the Earth.  We are out of touch with the very source of our survival.  We are disconnected from the Earth.

We are psychologically dumb.  We drown in TV, music, cell phones, etc.,and don't "feel" nature or the beauty in the world.

50,000-55,000 species/year are going extinct because of humans.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Click for a cause (or two!)

I am starting a new series of posts - Cause Friday.

On Fridays I'll highlight a particular cause that I feel strongly about (and I have many!).

Today I want to bring your attention to two extremely easy ways you can make a big difference - simply by the click of your mouse.

The first is part of the GreaterGood network:

"Welcome to the GreaterGood Network of websites, a family of online activism sites that harness the power of the Internet to help people, animals, and causes in need."

By clicking on any of the following sites, you can access all the rest, but here are the options.  It would take less than 2 minutes of your day (and btw, there are 1440 minutes in a day) and you could do so much good.

The Hunger Site  click here

The Breast Cancer Site click here

The Animal Rescue Site click here

The Veterans Site click here

The Autism Site click here

The Child Health Site click here

The Literacy Site click here

The Rainforest Site click here

And if you're like me, you need a daily reminder.  From each site, you can sign up for one!

Daily Click Reminder

You only need to sign up for one, however, because you can access any cause from any of the others.

And they have awesome gifts that you can buy, to help each cause, and links to other petitions and ways you can help!

The second is Care2.

They also have a Click-to-Donate site.  Same exact premise, and you can also subscribe to get daily reminders.  So, each day, I get 2 reminder emails, one from each cause, directly to my inbox, and I take about 4 minutes to help a grand total of 19 causes (one being a daily action that varies, well, each day).  Wow.  Can't beat that.

Have a particular cause you care about?  From their site, you can even start your own petition.  How cool is that?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Words for Wednesday

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

~ Mohandas Gandhi

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Meatless Monday - Vegetable Fried Rice

Super easy and a great way to use up veggies if you need to!

Vegetable Fried Rice

12 ounces of miscellaneous veggies (if you have some about to go bad), diced and steamed OR 12 oz bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables, microwaved for 2 minutes

2 eggs


3 green onions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup rice (I only use brown rice), cooked according to package

2 tablespoons each soy sauce and rice vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped peanuts or cashews (optional)

Scramble the eggs, put aside.  Heat oil in same skillet, add onions, garlic and veggies, stir fry for 3 minutes.  Add cooked rice, soy sauce and vinegar, heat through.  Fold in eggs.  If prefer, top with nuts.

Taken from Parenting magazine, February 2012.