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What if ….real food came from a vending machine?

5 Mar

Imagine being in a food court in Chicago.  You are surrounded by the typical unhealthy food options and then you see a funny looking vending machine with reclaimed wood paneling and plants on top.  You walk closer and see that is a really a self-service kiosk for a company called Farmer’s Fridge.  

How about it, would you buy a meal at this kiosk?

I haven’t had a chance to try it out personally but it is a hit on yelp!

Ponder the possibilities of our consumer actions leading to good results for your body, your family, your community, and our world. That is what we will do right here once a week. ♥ We’ll explore
  • choices made in the home
  • choices made in our places of worship, schools, and other institutions
  • our everyday career, dining, and shopping choices

Send us ideas and comment on suggestions.

 

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What if ….bloggers decided to join together and promote healthy snacks?

26 Feb

Have you noticed that there are many bloggers who are avoiding processed food for snacking?  These bloggers are already influencing the people who read their blogs and the people that live and work in their life.  Many bloggers I read have chosen to go the real food route because of health or allergies.

Photo of inspiration for healthy snacksWith each of us influencing our little world, the economy and the demand for products is changing. Instead of hitting the aisle in the convenience stores we are checking Pinterest on our smart phone for inspiration and making sure we have some healthy items stashed away in the car, backpack or pantry.  It hasn’t made a huge difference yet.  However food companies are feeling cumulative effects of changes to snacking. What could we do if we bloggers worked together?  Maybe a bunch of bloggers could do a day of the healthy snack?

If you like that idea, write a post about it or send a suggestion.  If you have a post on healthy snacking, post it below in the comments so I can pin it to my board.  In the meantime, here is a the recipe I fixed today that was inspired by the one in the picture.  I adapted it and preparing it got me thinking about this post. 

Spicy Crunchy Chickpeas

makes a small batch for one or two snack-ers

1 cup cooked chickpeas  (can use can or cook your own)

1 tablespoon oil  (I used avocado oil on half and Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the other half)

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cuminchickpeaingredients

pinch cayenne

salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse cooked chickpeas and dry by rolling in a towel.  If the skins come off,  you can discard them.  Combine spices and oil and add chickpeas.  Toss to coat evenly and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake till crispy for about 25 to 35 minutes.  Serve immediately or pack in a dry storage container for later.   There are some recipes that suggest cinnamon.  I will try those next time.

Ponder the possibilities of our consumer actions leading to good results for your body, your family, your community, and our world. That is what we will do right here once a week. ♥ We’ll explore
  • choices made in the home
  • choices made in our places of worship, schools, and other institutions
  • our everyday career, dining, and shopping choices

Send us ideas and comment on suggestions.

 

Cool Caribbean Salad Made with Lentils

24 Feb

by Deanne

Photo of Cool Caribbean SaladA few weeks ago Steve’s mom, Mary Jane shared an e-cookbook that she has been using from The Northern Pulse Growers Association

Photo of Steve and Mom

She discovered that pulses, which are peas, lentils, and chickpeas, are good sources of beneficial soluble fiber and proteins.  Since she is on a gluten-free diet she comes up with some good ideas.

According to the book:

Peas, lentils and chickpeas are among the most ancient crops in the world. Peas have been discovered in caves in Thailand dating back more than 11,000 years and lentils have been found in Egyptian tombs.

I am excited to cook my way through this book.  Here is the first recipe I selected.  It was so good, I felt like snorkeling after eating the salad.

Cool Caribbean Salad

 Makes 2-3 servings

1⁄2 cup dry lentils, rinsed (I used green lentils)

1 1⁄2 cups water

1 cup diced fresh pineapple (I used canned pineapple)

1⁄2 cup finely chopped cilantro or to taste

1⁄2 cup finely chopped red onion

Dressing

 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp peanut oil  (I used olive oil)

1⁄2 tsp grated lime zest

1 clove garlic,minced

1⁄4 tsp salt or to taste

  1. Combine lentils and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  2.  In a small bowl combine dressing ingredients; in a serving bowl, combine cooked lentils with pineapple, cilantro and red onion.
  3.  Stir in the dressing. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

CoolCaribbeanIngred

 

What if ….more commercials showed people cooking?

19 Feb

I love it when I see commercials showing people cooking with real food.  It would be great if it were as common as the commercials that show people opening a box.  I don’t know about you but for years I was convinced I was too busy and too tired to cook.  So I bought a lot of convenience and processed foods.

Ponder the possibilities of our consumer actions leading to good results for your body, your family, your community, and our world. That is what we will do right here once a week. ♥ We’ll explore
  • choices made in the home
  • choices made in our places of worship, schools, and other institutions
  • our everyday career, dining, and shopping choices

Send us ideas and comment on suggestions.

 

Homity Pie: Inspired by the Land Girls of WWII

18 Feb

by Deanne

Last weekend Francine reported in from her life in England. Here she tells about stopping at Raspberry Tea Room in Llanyrafon Manor in Wales.

We ran in between a rain shower and saw lots of yummy things in the pastry case. The lady behind the counter said Homity Pie is a favorite of locals. She told us it’s a recipe from the war…the girls who farmed here used to make it with potatoes, spinach and cheese. And it’s made with veg from the kitchen garden.

When she got home she did a bit of research and found that the farming girls are called Land Girls and they were part of the WLA or Women’s Land Army.

Photo of WLA posterFrancine also mentioned the BBC show Land Girls.  I have been watching it on Netflix. If you like Downton Abbey, perhaps you will enjoy this show set during WWII.

After searching around a bit I settled on a recipe that also had apples in it.  Here is the original recipe I used.  I made some adjustments including making sure I used Picket Fence Creamery cream.  The whole idea with this dish is making do with what a person has available locally.  Sounds kind of like being a FarmerChef.

homitypie

Homity Pie (makes 2 five inch pies)

1/2 small onion

1/2 leek

1/2 apple

1 tablespoon oilPhoto of Homity Pie ingredients

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pinch black pepper

2 slices Swiss cheese (original recipe called for cheddar cheese)

2 tablespoons cream

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon parsley

2 eggs

  1. Dice and sauté the onions and leeks over a gentle heat in the vegetable oil, until they’re soft. Add  diced apple pieces and mix in.
  2. Cut slices of swiss cheese into small pieces.
  3. Add the garlic, followed by the potatoes, parsley and thyme, the eggs, half the cheese and cream.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and combine the mixture well together.
  5. Fill the pies and cover them with the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour until the top is golden

Easy Shortbread Crust

(adapted from this recipe)

1 cup flour

1/4 cup water

4 tablespoons butter-cut into small pieces

salt to taste

Mix together and press into greased pie or tart pans. Place in refrigerator while preparing the pie filling.

HPOven

What if….an edible landscape was as common as a lawn?

12 Feb

Imagine what would happen if it became the norm for people to take out their lawn and plant an edible landscape?  This video shares the story of a family who changed their normal yard in Southern California to an urban farm that produces fruits and vegetables, attracted beneficial creatures, and ultimately created healthy soil.

Ponder the possibilities of our consumer actions leading to good results for your body, your family, your community, and our world. That is what we will do right here once a week. ♥ We’ll explore
  • choices made in the home
  • choices made in our places of worship, schools, and other institutions
  • our everyday career, dining, and shopping choices

Send us ideas and comment on suggestions.

 

New World Cafe: Des Moines, IA

11 Feb
by Deanne

New World Cafe: Des Moines, IA

On the edge of funky East Village in downtown Des Moines, you will find this shining example of the good food movement. It is a small cafe open for lunch, some evenings, and since the first of the year, they are now open for brunch on Saturdays. The cafe is closed on Sundays.  

Review: (Real Local Cooking’s criteria)
Localness: 4

New World Cafe’s mission, stated on the first page of their website, is to support local organic farms. They have an all vegan menu and compost all food scraps.  Photo of Green Burger Windows at New World Cafe

Flavour: 5

Back in November, Luke had been visiting from California and we ate here. He ordered a burger and really liked it. On the first visit I ordered the Mexican Bowl. This time, I had this beautiful Green Burger. All the food choices were made with great ingredients, fresh and served fast.

Pleasant Surprise: Yes

I was to surprised to discover the clarity of the mission for this restaurant. They have at least one option a day for people to pay what they can afford. Another interesting factor in their concept is they use volunteers to cover shifts and preparation times. As a former restaurant owner, I have found that running a small independent restaurant, especially one that has a bit of an educational mission, is incredibly hard work.  The rewards are the stories people share about the food and what it means to them.  I am impressed with their goal to educate people about why eating vegan is a smart choice in many ways.

Comfort+Coziness = The C factor: 4

The service was efficient and friendly. When my food arrived it was presented with pride; a beautifully crafted work of culinary art. The cafe is located in an older attractive building that has nice windows. I savored the warmth of the sun on a cold winter day.

Overall Rating: 13.5+

Brunch on a lazy Saturday morning is brewing on an upcoming weekend. Many people I have met since moving to town have an affinity for this place and I can see the appeal. Who won’t want to eat at a place where they really, really care about the food they serve?

Photo of Education Table

New World Café on Urbanspoon