Monday, July 13, 2009

Healthy Homemade Eating.

Your idea of healthy and mine might be very different, as both Em and I are omnivores and tend to include meat/fish/fowl in some form or another in our diet once/day. I also tend to include some type of carbohydrate (starch) with suppers as well as a vegetable and/or fruit. We don't diet and are both within the suggested weight range for our height and age. Neither do we suffer from diabetes or anything else which requires medication (and we want to keep it that way).

I didn't really learn to cook until maybe the past 5-7 years when I started watching cooking shows on the Food Network. I'd for many, many years, however been a student of healthy foods, so I knew what we should be eating but didn't know how to make meals around it. Rachel Ray was fond of saying, "We eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouth." Nutritionists suggest that we eat colorful foods for their high carotenoid content.

Some days I don't use a recipe at all, but you can bet I start out with the Cajun Trinity, which really should be called the Cajun Quad because it always includes garlic (and LOTS OF IT). While I grow onions and garlic, I don't grow enough of them to support the massive quantities we use. I'm still using up onions and garlic I overbought for wedding reception cooking. I don't grow celery, so buy organic celery at Kroger and keep it wrapped tightly in aluminum foil in the fridge to extend the shelf life.

So, onion, celery, garlic, bell pepper maybe fried in a little olive oil or butter to which anything else gets added is a staple around here. Here's a chicken dish with garden tomatoes, yellow squash from the garden, sweet peas and corn from Kroger's frozen section. I don't grow peas (It's just not cool enough long enough) or corn (The insects would walk away with it before it ripened).


Here's scallops and shrimp added to the trinity with tomatoes, summer squash and turnip greens from the garden. We like our food spicey, so I'd likely add white pepper, cayenne pepper, or cajun seasoning to any one-dish meal made on the stovetop in addition to cumin and turmeric.

Switching away from one-dish meals, I look for different ways to cook whatever is plentiful from the garden. We have plenty of turnips, yellow squash and tomatoes right now, so I'm pushing those into the menu. A good way to find out how Em would like something cooked is to ask him how his mom cooked it and then fix it any other way but that one. Here's something Em thought was GREAT. I cleaned the kale along with the greens from the turnips I pulled, so the dish probably had a little of both. I think Em's favorite part was the chipotle BBQ sauce I used on the meatloaf, which was EXTRA spicey.


Em doesn't feel as though he can tackle fresh vegetable dishes, so sometimes on his day to cook he makes the entree and I make the side. Here's some roasted turnips, potatoes, and carrots to go along with his baked chicken thighs.


Breakfast for supper is always a good idea and we had that canteloupe just waiting to be eaten. Eggs with tomatoes, garden greens, onion with hashed browns & frozen meatballs:


Em had to help me get the grain mill together for last night's pizza, but he got it done and I ground an entire bag of hard white wheat. I like the mild taste of the white wheat a little better than red, but I can't find the wheat berries locally so must mail order it.


Finally all the waiting, rising, shaping was done and it was time to include all the vegetables I'd chopped. Fortunately, Em hadn't watched. "I hope you like it." "Can't imagine why I wouldn't like it unless you put something like squash in it." Heh. Photobucket

For vegetarian pizza, I could have stopped here, but Em likes spicey sausage and pepperoni, too. It was SO high it seemed like it must be deep-dish or something.


A little hard to gauge the cooking time for it, but eventually it got done to our liking.

This is my submission for The Green Moms Carnival, hosted by Alline at Ecovillage Musings.


Diane said...

Oh, you're killing me here! It all looks so good. And the links sent me off on a food porn surfathon during bedtime, involving much drooling.

#2 and #3 are really into cooking right now and learning healthy choices to make along the way. They're becoming very good at it and I'm learning new things right along with them.

It sounds like your garden is doing well this year. Mine is crap so I'll live through yours.

Oldnovice said...

I'm slowly but surely losing the garden to the heat and insects. Made a garden salad last night to go with ribeyes and slim pickins from even the swiss chard which is getting burnt from the intense heat. Used kale and turnip greens (that I'd already cleaned & refrigerated) mixed with tomatoes. It's a little more bitter than average salad fare, but the heat makes everything bitter and a little salad dressing takes the bitterness away.

I'm going to start the fall garden seed-starting this week and ask No. 1 to care for them while we do a little vacationing. Won't be expecting much from the existing garden while we're gone. LOW temperatures (middle of the night stuff) here is now mid 80s.

Glad to hear the boys are into cooking. As much as I enjoy cooking these days, I'm REALLY happy that Em wants to cook, too.
Summer season ends at the Racetrack end of this month.