Sunday, July 26, 2009

So, What Can We Eat?



I promised some ideas for healthy eating choices, long ago. My summer 'to do' list is very long, as I'm playing catch-up from being in Houston, Austin and New Orleans last summer. My blog has suffered. Being a single gal with two houses keeps me inundated, but I have been successful in creating a couple of raised bed gardens to supply fresh greens and other veggies. It's nice to have my own organic vegetable section, especially when Whole Foods or New Seasons markets are 40 min. away. I plan to put in a 4"deep path of crushed rock, with heavy black road fabric underneath, and framed by buried landscape timbers and 2x6" treated wood. I'll sprinkle the crushed rock with other varied rock, with a final sprinkle of Montana Rainbow rock on top. I hope the crows don't come and steal the colorful rock, like they have when I put it in the bird bath for decoration. Not only will this border hopefully keep moles away from tunneling under my garden (I put 1/2" hardware cloth stapled beneath each raised bed to keep the varmints OUT of my gardens) but the absorbed sun will cause heat to be given off which should extend the growing hours and season of my garden, somewhat. I saw a garden wall made of stone in a magazine once, that extended the growing season and hastened the growth of nearby garden plants, with longer periods of heat.

I found it exhilarating to finally get my artsy pea trellis fastened, and strung with green garden twine, until, despite my faint memory of this coming fact, the twine stretched. I asked a young man at an area Hardware store what kind of twine they had that wouldn't stretch, and he led me to to the green twine he said was requested by another woman for her peas. The first rain or watering, and the nicely strung tight twine was loosely swaying in the breeze. The peas are still climbing, but I felt like I was 12 years old again. Hadn't I used this stuff before to tie up tomatoes, before I switched to a green kind of non-sticky tape that seemed less cutting and rough? Hmm. That's okay. Life is a school, and we have to laugh at ourselves, and just pick ourselves up, after big or little mistakes. Even though I love the neat pattern of twine, and the homey look, I believe I'll try wire next year. I tend to be fussy like an artist at the finished product. A neighbor came over just after I strung part of the trellis, and marveled that it "looked like a picture".

So, where then are the recipes? Well, not so fast. I planted spinach in half a row, spinach mustard in the other half since I had never grown this, (they were up first, and are really healthy and easy to grow) and split red chard and kale in another row. A row shared with yellow and greenbeans, and my peas make up my first garden, with some lemon cukes to climb up the slatted trellis you see there. This remnant of a 'pot drying rack' (no, not mine) was something I found and saved from a previous country home of mine.To finish them, (one is for the yellow crookneck squash in the second raised bed) I want to seal them with some kind of oil. I've thought about linseed or tung oil, or spraying them with a clear acrylic spray before the cukes and squash start climbing, and want to find the most natural solution. The beds themselves are redwood from an old water tower from Boring, Oregon a friend shared with me. They are sealed with linseed oil and fastened with angle iron in the corners, with the hardware cloth underneath. You have to watch that the linseed oil has no additives, as some of them are cancer-causing. I lined them both with road fabric, to help them last a bit longer, but I'm not sure that is a good idea, either. I saw a video about AZO dyes, and how they were outlawed in the 50's, but that with the manufacturing process, they still get in our products. They are in the hair dyes, and Dr. Hulda Clark was researching to develop some natural dyes so women stop harming themselves. Just the heavy metals like aluminum are unhealthy in hair dye. Aluminum goes into the brain cells within 20 seconds of coming in contact with our permeable skin.

Okay, enough educating. Be sure to research this for yourself, as it's important to know. Ignorance is usually not really bliss. Dr. Clark said who would have known that the white caps on teeth would have black AZO dyes in them, from a polluted manufacturing process. She also said in the middle of cancerous tumors, they find Azo dyes, which seems to deserve some attention. I am unsure if the road fabric has these dyes. Finding raised bed materials that are organic and non-toxic is a challenge. I don't like the 'treated' wood, nor the chemically treated landscape timbers, or a lot of lime from cement blocks, etc. Stacked rocks, or open raised beds might work, but not with my mole and deer issues. Here, rock is expensive to buy.

What do we do with greens? GREEN SMOOTHIES, SOUPS, OMELETS, IN BEANS AND LENTILS, STEAMED 2-3 MIN. AND EATEN WITH A LITTLE BUTTER, RICE, RED WINE, OR OTHER VINEGAR OR LIME OR LEMON JUICE and salt and pepper. I recently baked a quiche, with onion, garlic, cheese and a little leftover ham on the bottom with a bunch of 1" chopped washed greens in a baked pie shell (shell not necessary). Pour on top: 4 eggs beaten, w/ 2 c. of milk or half and half added. (Recipe called for 3 cups, but that would have been toooooo much.) Oil the pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40-50 min if in a glass pie plate, or 400 degrees if not. You can add mushrooms, olives, diced red, yellow, green or orange bell pepper. Serve w/ sour cream dollop and garnish with olives, cilantro, etc.

I even cooked up a recipe of tacos made of greens. It was delicious!

Here's a customized recipe from the following web page for the tacos:

"Greens Tacos

This recipe is one of my favorite breakfast recipes, but of course it would work at any time of day. Please note the amounts given are approximate, I don't measure anything when I make these. You could use more or less of any one of these ingredients. Serves 2-3

3/4 pounds greens, cleaned well and sliced into approximate 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons cooking oil
2 chopped garlic cloves, or another alium family, whatever you have on hand (onion, green onion, green garlic, leek.....)
Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
2 Tablespoons cream cheese
4-6 small corn tortillas or 2-3 larger flour ones

Heat the oil and add the garlic, having the greens ready to go, and cook garlic for about 30 seconds. Then add greens and cook until bright green and wilted, add red pepper (and salt and black pepper if you like). Take off heat and stir in cream cheese. Heat tortillas, divide filling among them. Eat and enjoy."

***I found the combo of red pepper flakes with cayenne and the cream cheese was really tasty. I steamed the greens after sauteing for 2-3 min. by putting a lid on top temporarily, and used the corn tortillas. What a simple, great recipe. Thanks

Now, for all the folks that want to go vegetarian: Make sure you take a good B Complex, and use a good soy protein to prevent deficiencies. Everyone on this site should know which company I choose. Click the upper right picture of my sweet little Granddaughter to order. The B comp[ex is from a plant source-and the soy protein is the best on the market, from the #1 Natural Nutrition Company in the US.

A friend asked me if it's true men can grow 'breasts' from consuming soy protein. Soy is a phytoestrogen, as are yams, and several other plant sources. The weak estrogen bonds to cell receptor sites and prevents the more dominant natural form from bonding, creating a safety net against prostate and breast cancer. You can consume too much ice cream, or just about any food. The Japanese RDA for protein is almost twice as much as ours, and even though they smoke as much, they are reported to have less heart disease, prostate cancers,etc. They consume a lot of soy. They know you have to cook it lightly to remove the anti-thyroid substance, and they also eat fermented soy.
It is recommended to have 1-2 servings of soy a day, for a protein without the saturated fat and low fiber of dairy and meat. 28 grams would be 2 servings of Shaklee soy protein. It comes in Plain to use in cooking or stir into water, etc, or Vanilla or Cocoa. Personally I would be more concerned about consuming inorganic or irradiated dairy, w/ the growth hormones and antibiotics added.

There is so much to comment on, I could write a novel. Questions welcome.
I'm considering a change in this blog format, as my Mac laptop shows the blog in a long, narrow strip which requires a lot of scrolling. I'd like to find a more vision-friendly format.

Sometime this week, I'm going to try putting Vicks paper towel or rag pieces stuffed into the mole runs. I'm also putting either bird netting or nylon netting over my newly planted cherry trees the deer seem so enamored with. I had 4 in the yard yesterday. They love to nibble on the blueberry bushes. I parked the car in front of those.

Just a comment on soil: I found some aged manure, but it had sat for 2 years, and was so dry, like silica, that instead of just planting in it, I learned the hard way I needed to mix it in. The water doesn't want to easily soak in. A Shaklee friend who cleaned houses for 25 years, 5 years with toxic products, and then 20 years with green Shaklee products, saved a dried office tree and several plants in a commercial account by putting 2-3 drops of Basic H into the plant water. Basic H makes water wetter, and is made of coconut and corn surfactants. She uses it for bathing her cats or dogs with fleas, putting a few drops around their neck, and sudsing it in after they are wet. After a rinse, the fleas float on the water, dead. It kills the eggs, also. It takes the oils and waxes off the bug's body, and drowns them.

I'm going to share a salsa and guacamole recipe on my other blog:
Rice and beans combined, are another good source of protein. Served with a salad, cornbread, fresh fruit, or other combos it's an easy, light summer meal. I read where an avocado had as much usable protein as a small steak.You can also make cilantro and other greens' pestos for noodles, and various dishes. See Heidi's site at for pesto recipes and ideas.
Happy Summer Eating. More to come...

Post Labels: food ideas, healthy food, protein, vegetarian eating, gardening, raised beds, moles, deer, greens, spinach mustard, spinach, chard, kale, pea trellis, guacamole, salsa, Dr. Hulda Clark, Azo dyes,

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