Sunday, December 30, 2007

Daily Menu for Sunday, December 30

Daily Menu

Shredded wheat
2 c. Milk
2 Clementines (YUMMM!)

Black bean soup
2 T shredded cheese (1.5 Pts)
1 oz. dried persimmons (.5 Pts)

Ham (from TLC Ranch)
Baked potato with 2 t. olive oi, fat free yogurt, and onions
Baked squash (from Full Belly Farm)
Broccoli and 1 t. lemon olive oil (broccoli from Full Belly Farm, oil from St. Helena Olive Oil Company)

1 slice Vital Vittles Persimmon bread with butter (4 Pts)
1 c. Milk

WPA (Weekly Points Allowance) points used today: 6
WPA points available: 31
Activity points today: 2 (1 mile Walk Away the Pounds)
Activity points this week: 2

Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies, 5-9 servings a day - yes
2. Whole grains - yes (Shredded wheat, kamut, barley)
3. Milk, 3 servings a day - yes
4. Healthy oil, 3 teaspoons a day - yes
5. Protein - yes
6. Limit sugar and alcohol
7. Water - 8+ cups
8. (Prenatal) Multivitamin - yes

Saturday, December 29, 2007


School is over, the holidays have passed, and it's time for me to get back on track with both my locavore and Core resolutions. I haven't done as poorly as I expected over the holidays, but I certainly haven't been as on track as I need to be. So here is my New Year's resolution for this and every year: I'm going to eat the 8 healthy guidelines every day. I'm going to support local agriculture by buying as much of my food locally grown as possible. And I'm going to blog regularly to keep me accountable!

I have even more important reasons than weight loss to be healthy these days: I'm pregnant! If all goes well, I'm expecting a new addition to our family this summer. My doctor has approved my Core eating plan while I'm pregnant with just two adjustments. I need 3 teaspoons of healthy oil and 3 servings of lowfat, not fat free, dairy per day. Core is such a sensible and healthy guide for eating that my doctor felt it was perfectly safe to continue, and I can lose weight while pregnant so long as everything progresses normally. I cannot continue to Weight Watchers meetings while pregnant (they don't allow it), so it will be me and your comments of encouragement to keep me on track.

Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies - 5-9
2. Whole grains
3. Milk - 3 servings a day
4. Healthy oil - 3 teaspoons a day
5. Protein
6. Limit sugar and alcohol
7. Water - 8+ cups
8. (Prenatal) Multivitamin

If you're pregnant, please consult your doctor before considering any weight loss program.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The storm before the storm

This week is really, really busy with school winding down, a visiting 3 year old through Sunday, family drama, and Christmas preparations, and I am hopeful that once things get back to normal (ha!) I'll have more time for posting. Finals are next week, and after that I assure myself that I'll have a chance to breathe and eat more than a peanut-butter sandwich on the go (not Core, of course!)

The other night, I made a pork stew with sweet potatoes and leftover buckskin beans. It was okay but not fantastic so I won't share the recipe. Tonight we're having pasta with marinara sauce, orange slices, and hard boiled eggs - in no way a particularly exciting meal, but one that is fast, easy, and kid friendly for my nephew. We'll return to regularly scheduled blog fun in a few weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Buckskin Bean Burrito with Chard, and a daily menu

Tonight's dinner is deeeelish! I made Buckskin bean burritos with chard. Not Core, but very healthy and a good way to get some greens into Jax. It would be good over brown rice or wheatberries instead of in a burrito, sans cheese or bacon, to make it Core.

Buckskin Bean Burritos with Chard
serves 8

For the Beans:
2 c. buckskin beans, soaked, rinsed and picked over (black beans would be a good substitute if buckskin beans aren't available)
2 slices of bacon, or 2 t. healthy oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 T oregano
2 t cumin
4 c. water

Fry the bacon over medium heat in your pressure cooker. Once it is crisp, remove and reserve. Pour out all but about a teaspoon of the fat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and bell pepper, and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the spices. Add water and cook at high pressure for 22-25 minutes or until the beans are tender. You can puree some if you like or leave them whole. (There will be lots of extra beans. You can scale back or have leftovers, your call.)

For the Burritos:
1 head chard, sliced into bite sized pieces
1 c. shredded cheese
1 c. salsa
8 whole wheat tortillas

While the beans are cooking, saute the chard until wilted but not done. Crumble the bacon and add it to the chard. Warm the tortillas in the microwave and fill each with a scoop of the beans, a scoop of chard, a bit of cheese and salsa, and wrap up seam side down in a greased 8"x8" pan. Top with more salsa and cheese and bake for 15 or so minutes so the cheese can melt.


Daily Menu

Baked oatmeal

2 c. milk
Turkey, veggies, and rice

Orange slices

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Baked Oatmeal recipe

I made a pan of baked oatmeal yesterday and what a great treat it was to wake up to this morning! I've been in an oatmeal mood lately and this was a nice twist on my standard bowl.

Baked Oatmeal
Serves 12

4 c. oatmeal (rolled oats, steel cut, or the hot cereal mix from my grain CSA)
1 c. fat free yogurt
1 c. water
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. apple, peeled and shredded
1 c. frozen berries, thawed
2 t. vanilla
1 t. each cinnamon and ginger
1 c. milk
4 eggs
1/4 c. canola oil (or other healthy oil)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 c. flax meal (optional)
sweetener (optional, to taste - I didn't use any and it was very subtly sweet from the applesauce. Next time I'll add a little honey.)

Soak the oats in the yogurt and water for at least half an hour. They can soak overnight. Combine all the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir in the oats and their soaking liquid. Pour mixture into a 9"x13" baking pan sprayed with non-stick spray (I use a Misto sprayer with canola oil in it). Bake at 350 degrees F for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

It comes out with the texture of a medium-dense cake, but is Core (except the flax, which does not even add 1 point per serving.) It's tasty, filling, and very healthy, with a full serving of whole grains and healthy oil per serving.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Daily Menu and the Farm Bill

Michael Pollan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" changed my life, really making me look at where my food comes from for the first time. If you haven't read it and are at all interested in food, I highly recommend it.

After reading it last year, I decided not to eat industrial meat, and have been industrial meat free for almost a year. The book put local eating into the spotlight for me, and because of that, my family eats fresher, more whole, tastier, more environmentally friendly foods, and we're all healthier for it. It would be easier for more people to make the eat local plunge if local, seasonal, sustainably and humanely raised meats and dairy and vegetables were available to everyone in the grocery store at prices comparable to conventionally grown, but with current farm subsidies, it is cheaper for big businesses to raise feedlot animals that destroy the environment, cheaper to produce high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats, cheaper to pump into our supermarkets all the things that make us unhealthy than it is to raise real, honest to goodness food.

Pollan recently wrote a piece about the farm bill in the NY Times that is worth reading.

Americans have begun to ask why the farm bill is subsidizing high-fructose corn
syrup and hydrogenated oils at a time when rates of diabetes and obesity among
children are soaring, or why the farm bill is underwriting factory farming (with
subsidized grain) when feedlot wastes are polluting the countryside and, all too
often, the meat supply. For the first time, the public health community has
raised its voice in support of overturning farm policies that subsidize
precisely the wrong kind of calories (added fat and added sugar), helping to
make Twinkies cheaper than carrots and Coca-Cola competitive with water. Also
for the first time, the international development community has weighed in on
the debate, arguing that subsidized American exports are hobbling cotton farmers
in Nigeria and corn farmers in Mexico.

Daily Menu

2 egg omelet with 1 piece bacon (1 Point), bok choy, and red bell pepper

Curried lentils with brown rice
steamed broccoli and cauliflower
2 c. milk

Bean and barley soup (beans from Phipps in Pescadero, barley from grain CSA, veggies from Full Belly Farm)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Applesauce Oatmeal

Here is a satisfying way to start the day! It is hearty, warming on chilly mornings, and keeps me full all morning long. With milk, fruit, healthy oil, and whole grain, this breakfast has everything you need and it tastes great, too.

Applesauce Oatmeal
(serves 2 hungry grown ups and 1 hungry toddler!)

1 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 cup water
1/2 t. each cinnamon and ground ginger
1/4 t. nutmeg
raisins (optional)
3 t. flaxseed oil (optional)

In a big, microwave safe bowl, mix together all the ingredients except for the oil. Microwave, covered, for 2 1/2 minutes, then stir. Microwave, covered, another 2 1/2 minutes and stir again. You may need another minute or two, depending on your microwave. Divide into servings and top each serving with flaxseed oil and more milk if you want it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Turkey, sweet potato, and apple hash with greens

Dinner last night was a delightful use-up dish for leftover turkey. The sweetness of the sweet potato and apple matched nicely with the savory turkey, and deglazing the pan with white wine added an extra subtle yumminess to it. I served it with sauteed Swiss chard for a delicious Core meal. It also made for tasty leftovers.

Turkey, sweet potato, and apple hash

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium apple, washed, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup fat free yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 cups diced, cooked, skinless turkey (or chicken)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add apple and cook until everything is just tender, but not mushy, 2-4 minutes. Drain.

2. Transfer 1 cup of the mixture to a large bowl; mash. Stir in yogurt and lemon juice. Add the remaining unmashed mixture and stir gently to mix. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet (not non-stick) over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5-10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add turkey, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the reserved sweet potato mixture to the skillet; stir to mix. Press on the hash with a wide metal spatula; cook until the bottom is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Cut the hash into several rough sections; flip and cook until the undersides are browned, about 3 minutes longer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Meatless Monday, November 26

Good morning! This was a leftovers weekend and we'll be happy to eat something other than turkey today. The turkey was great, though, and made for excellent leftovers. Good thing, because there are three more in the freezer just like it, and each one will likely feed us for a week!!

Today's daily menu

Hot cereal mix with applesauce and sliced apples, milk - with Windborne Grain hot cereal mix, home made applesauce, and Organic Valley milk from Modesto

Egg salad made with yogurt
Beets (finishing off leftovers!)

Cranberry beans and greens (chard and spinach) over barley - using Full Belly Farm beans and greens, Windborne Grain barley

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Locavore Thanksgiving, the recap

My first Thanksgiving dinner was a smashing success! The food was delicious, and all hot on the table at once. With 7 dishes, that's not an easy feat! I didn't have any meltdowns, even in the last minute hectic get-it-on-the-table rush. Everyone raved about the meal and seemed interested in hearing where everything came from, which made for fun dinner conversation.

I loved the turkey method from The New Best Cookbook - it was juicy, cooked through but not overcooked, well seasoned, and the skin was nicely crisp. The drippings made the most amazing gravy. Deeelicious. I ran out of butter before we got to the apple crisp (yes, a whole pound of butter was used in the meal before dessert!!) so we had baked cinnamon apples (without crisp) and ice cream. Still delicious. After dinner, we all played with play dough and sang kid songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Old MacDonald - weird, I know, but there were two toddlers to keep entertained, and we all had a good time. I am so fortunate to have a warm home, plenty to eat, and a loving family who will happily sing Row, Row, Row your boat in rounds.

I hope your Thanksgiving was full of good food, friends, family, and fun, and that you've had the opportunity to reflect on the things that you're grateful for in your life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Locavore Thanksgiving, Part 1

I'm hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year, and my menu is almost entirely local. I know you've been waiting with bated breath to see what I'll be cooking (haha), so here's the menu:

Turkey with pan gravy (turkey from Harmony Farms in La Crescenta, 350 miles away)
Quince-strawberry-rhubarb jelly with pomegranate (no local cranberries, so this is our sweet-tart substitute, and it's tasty!)

Bread dressing with bacon, apples, sage, and caramelized onion (Bread from Campbell bakery, bacon from TLC ranch, apples, sage, and onion from the Palo Alto farmer's market)

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Garlic and potatoes from Palo Alto farmer's market, cream from Strauss Dairy)

Blackberry-ginger balsamic glazed beets (Beets from Palo Alto farmer's market, balsamic from Hare Hollow)

Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Orange and Honey (Sweet potatoes from Palo Alto farmer's market, orange from a neighborhood tree, honey from Meeks Honey in Soquel, and smoked paprika from Happy Quail Farm in East Palo Alto)

Roast Lemon and Pepper Brussels Sprouts with Old World Portuguese cheese (Brussels Sprouts from Cabrillo Farm in Half Moon Bay, lemon from a neighborhood tree, and cheese from Spring Hill Cheese in Petaluma)

Apple crumble with vanilla ice cream (Fuji apples from San Jose farmer's market in Japantown, flour from Full Belly Farm, butter from Clover Stornetta, honey from Meeks Honey, ice cream from Strauss Dairy)

Our turkey is from 350 miles away, farther than my standard 250 radius for local food, but hormone free, free range, and purchased fresh from our local natural foods store, Country Sun. Everything else (except spices and sugar) are from within 200 miles of our home, and purchased from the farmer's market or the farmer.

So far, the pomegranate jelly, bread dressing, and beets are done; the turkey is brining, stock for the gravy is simmering on the stove and I'm about to peel potatoes to make up the mashed potatoes. I'm trying to do as much ahead as possible so I'm not stressed out and stuck in the kitchen all day tomorrow. The house smells fantastic - celery and sage are the quintessential Thanksgiving smells and they're strong, strong, strong in here!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A full freezer makes a locavore happy!

I picked up the pork yesterday (thanks, Jen!) and am ridiculously happy about the nitrate-free bacon, ham, chops, ribs, and sausage in the freezer. We ordered from TLC Ranch and picked up the butchered, smoked meats at Los Gatos Meats. This place smells SO GOOD - my mouth watered just waiting in line! We got smoked ham and bacon, and next time I think we'll have them make more sausages like keilbasa, chorizo, and Italian links - we didn't get any links this time.

I made a delicious meal with the first 1 lb. pork sausage last night. It makes enough to serve 10-12 hungry people, so you could cut the recipe in half and still serve an average hungry family with just half a pound of meat.

Pasta with sausage and greens

1 t. canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 lb. pork sausage
3 bunches of greens (I used kale, swiss chard, and turnip greens, but any sturdy greens would work)
1/2 t. fennel seeds
1 t. basil
1 t. thyme
2 t. oregano
about 1/4 t. red pepper flakes, more to taste
1 quart crushed tomatoes
(NO salt needed)
1 lb. noodles like rigatoni or fusilli

Cook noodles according to package directions, pulling out at just before al dente.

Saute the onion and garlic in oil. Once translucent, add the pork sausage and spices, breaking up into small pieces as it browns. Once it is all browned, add greens in batches, stirring as they wilt. Add tomatoes and stir thoroughly to combine. Add not-quite-al dente pasta. Simmer for 5 minutes for the flavors to combine. Enjoy!


This week's CSA box includes the following:

Strawberry Daikon
Karinata Kale (purple and pretty!)

I'll be using the cauliflower and pomegranates in my Thanksgiving dinner. Since cranberries aren't grown locally, we'll be having a jelly made from quince, rhubarb, and strawberry with pomegranate juice mixed in. It is sufficiently tart and sweet for the cranberry lover in my house - Mr. M - and has that gorgeous red color that one expects to accompany their turkey. It does not, however, come from a can in jellied form, so there aren't any of the "can lines" that Mr. M likes so much. Maybe he can have "can lines" next year, haha.

At the farmer's market yesterday, I also bought sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts on the stalk (pretty!), the biggest bunch of celery I've ever seen, eggs, Old World Portuguese cheese (as a Parmesan substitute), a few apples, more of the Hare Hollow Blackberry-ginger balsamic, and the Scarborough Faire herbs - parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Today, I'm getting beets, Yukon Gold potatoes, sugar pumpkins, and onions at the Mountain View market. All that's left will be to pick up the turkey, already on order, and butter and cream.

This is the first year that I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner and my menu is set, my fridge is full, and I spent much of the day cleaning my kitchen yesterday. Today, we're cleaning the dining room and livingroom to accomodate our guests (we'll have a full house with 10 diners, ourselves included.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Move over beef, the pork is on its way!

Awhile back, we ordered 1/6 of a grassfed pig from TLC Ranch, and it will be ready on Saturday! I'm ridiculously excited about having tasty organic, pastured pork stocked up in the freezer. I've bought several pieces of TLC Ranch pork at the farmer's market over the summer and it has been delicious every time. I also ordered 3 extra pastured, hormone free turkeys, as they're half the price of my organic chicken source, so we'll have beef, pork, and turkey at the ready for months to come. I still have some chicken from the last big stock up, too. Yes, the freezer will be full and we'll eat well!

As a preview to our Thanksgiving menu, I'll tell you that pork will make an appearance. I'm making a bacon, apple, sage, and caramelized onion dressing from The New Best Cookbook. This is the first Thanksgiving that I'm cooking, and the menu has been planned out for weeks. It is not Core (sorry to disappoint) but it will be a locavore meal, with everything sourced within 250 miles. Most everything is within 100, but my grains (and thus bread for dressing, rye rolls, and pie dough) are closer to 250.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Refrigerator Chowder - YUM!

Tonight's dinner was a use-what's-in-the-fridge chowder, a repeat of last week's well-liked chowder with salmon instead of clams. It's so good, in fact, that I'm going to pass along the recipe. It has worked both with canned clams and canned salmon, and I'll be trying it again with canned crab as I work my way through the canned pantry goods, and I anticipate it being equally delicious. This is not a creamy chowder, but is thickened by pureeing some of the soup before serving, making it not only low fat and hearty but CORE as well. If you want it to be creamier, you can reduce the stock to 3 1/2 c. and add 1/2 c. milk or cream or half and half when you add the uncooked corn. It is adapted from a chowder recipe in Lorna Sass's cookbook, "Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure."

Salmon Chowder with corn, celery, leeks, and potatoes
Serves 8

2 t. canola oil
2 c. leeks, cut into 1/4 inch half moons, or 2 c. onions, diced
4 large celery ribs, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 c. vegetable or fish stock
1 lb. thin-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 c. fresh or frozen (defrosted) corn kernals, divided (fresh is best, and you can cook the shucked cobs with the soup for added sweetness and flavor)
14 oz. can of wild-caught salmon, or 2 small cans of clams in their juice, or whatever seafood you have on hand, or no seafood at all for a vegetarian chowder
1 T dried dill
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t. dried thyme

In the pressure cooker over medium-high heat, saute the leek/onion, celery, carrot, and red bell pepper in the canola oil until softened, stirring frequently. Add the stock, potatoes, 1 cup of corn, corn cobs (if using), thyme, and seafood (if using). Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure. Cook for 4 minutes on high pressure. Use quick release to reduce pressure and remove the lid away from you.

Remove the corn cobs. With a slotted spoon, transfer about 2 cups of the cooked veggies to a food processor and puree them together with 2 cups of the uncooked corn kernals. Do not overprocess. Stir the puree back into the soup with the remaining cup of uncooked corn. Add dill, salt, and pepper, and simmer until the just-added corn is tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A whole lot more than a hill of beans!

Today, my mother in law, Jax, and I drove out to the coast for beans and quality family time. I haven't been to Phipps Country Store since my birthday in July, and we'd eaten through our supply of lovely heirloom, organic beans so it was about time to make another trip. I picked up quite a variety of lovely beans with such fun names like Buckskin, Desert Pebble, Cranberry, Adzuki, and Gigantes. And who but fellow foodies would appreciate rows of beans in their recycled glass homes? (The glass jars were a Freecycle find - four boxes full of large mason jars, perfect for storing grains and beans, free to me and kept out of the landfill. Hooray for Freecycle!)

I also cleared out their bin of organic yellow popcorn, since Mr.M has been making popcorn on the stove most nights for a snack. I'd never made popcorn outside of the microwave, which is a sad confession, and it is so much tastier from the stove! With fewer unpopped kernels and no fake chemical butter flavoring, it's a better value all around. He makes it with 2 teaspoons of Canola or Olive oil and we split a batch, so each serving has one of the healthy oils we need for the day.
We had lunch at Duarte's Tavern, a family owned business since 1894 and James Beard "American Classic" award winner. I had locally caught sole and a Mexican cabbage salad made with cabbage grown on site. The Mexican cabbage salad was the highlight of my meal, with a tangy lime and cilantro dressing, jalapeno, and olive oil. My mother in law had their famous artichoke soup, and Jax had a fit, upset about being restrained in a high chair and not allowed to eat his crayons, followed by a quarter of Grandma's soup, half a tuna fish sandwich and most of my broccoli, a piece of crusty sourdough bread, a few bites of my mashed potatoes, a pat of butter that I couldn't pry away from him, and a fork-full of the cabbage salad! I think it's more food than he's eaten in the past week, combined, and he'd had an orange and raisins to snack on in the car and half a cucumber that he snitched in Phipps (we paid for the cucumber, of course.)
We picked up a jar of the Quince-Rhubarb jelly at Duarte's, and Strawberry-Rhubarb jelly at Phipps. Since cranberries aren't grown locally, I'm putting sweet-tart jellies and pomegranate seeds on the table to quell the sweet-tart-with-turkey needs of my cranberry loving diners at Thanksgiving. As cranberries are one of the few foods that I just don't like, it's not too much of a sacrifice for me. I'll be sure to report back if the jellies and pomegranates don't pass the turkey test!
Mr.M and I spent Sunday at the Green Festival in San Francisco, and I had lunch at Cafe Gratitude's booth. Their menu is organic, raw, and vegan, and the meals have names like, "I am Honored," "I am Fabulous," and "I am Passionate." Ordering there was fun, and while I was skeptical that raw and vegan would be bland and boring, I was pleasantly surprised to find my meal flavorful, filling, and fun to eat! (I had "I am Honored," a nacho-esque meal of carrot-flax chips, fresh salsa and guacamole, and a salad that had grains and sunflower seeds.)
Our grain CSA shares should be ready this week, and I'm looking forward to trying teff for the first time. We'll also be getting more pancake mix, rye flour, and wheat flour, so I need to do more baking. Does anyone have a good rye bread or whole wheat bread recipe that doesn't call for all purpose flour?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Daily Menu for November 5

I got home late yesterday and didn't make dinner, eating leftovers instead. Tonight I'm making the clam-corn chowder, and I'm going to try using evaporated milk instead of heavy cream. Hopefully that will be good! One less thing to buy!

Today's menu includes:
eggs, applesauce, milk

1/2 slice pizza, apple

clam-corn chowder

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Daily menu for Sunday, November 4

It's day four of November's pantry challenge, and I haven't purchased any food until today. I haven't eaten out, and have been pretty consistently on plan (besides the blintzes at yesterday's pot luck.)

Our CSA box this week includes the following veggies:

Red Daikon
Kabocha Squash
Tokyo Turnips

From the newsletter this week:

The food grown at Full Belly Farm has not been irradiated, fumigated, chlorinated or pasteurized. It does not contain genetically modified organisms, hormones or antibiotics. Nor have we implanted it with tracking devices. For these reasons, the food safety technicians may tell you that it is not 'safe.' On this we have a difference of opinion: Full Belly strives to deliver nutritious, tasty food in its pure state and we have 100% confidence in its high quality and integrity.

Hooray for Full Belly Farm, giving us food in its natural state!

I'm excited about pomegranates! Do you have any favorite ways of using them?

We're having corn and clam chowder for dinner, using up two cans of clams from the pantry and several ears of corn that are sadly shrivelling in my fridge from last week. I'm also adding celery, leeks, and new potatoes from the fridge and pantry. The recipe calls for1/2 c. heavy cream for 6 servings, which is definitely not Core, so I'll be counting the small amount per serving (2 Points per serving of heavy cream). I'll be buying milk, a tiny container of heavy cream, and clam juice to complete the recipe, and eggs for the week, for a low, low weekly food expense of under $20. There are advantages to eating out of the pantry!

We're purchasing 1/3 of a local, pastured pig later this month and I'm so excited about the flavorful, humanely raised pork that will soon fill my freezer! TLC Ranch, where the pig is from, has been at the farmer's market over the summer and I've bought small hams from them. Not all pork cuts are Core, of course, just like the beef that we've been working our way through, and some pieces will have to be counted. It's worth it! Some of the sausage will be used in my Thanksgiving stuffing - I'm making an apple, sausage, sage, and caramelized onion stuffing with home made bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Daily Menu
Cereal with soy milk

Lentil-barley soup with kale and tomatoes (yummy leftovers!!)

Clam-corn chowder in the pressure cooker (not local clams, dairy from Clover Stornetta, local produce from Full Belly Farm)

Friday, November 2, 2007

November's Pantry Challenge, and a daily menu for November 2

Our pantry and freezer are stuffed with food and I still spend my regular $90 or so a week adding to the stock. For the month of November, I'm limiting myself to $30 a week for fresh food like dairy, eggs, and fresh fruits, and am going to try to use up some of the extra stuff cluttering up my cabinets. My menu plan includes quite a few non-local products that have sat idly by while we ate local or ate out. Cans of coconut milk, clams, and pineapple, frozen edamame, and lots of frozen fish will make an appearance in this month's menu plan. (Thanksgiving is not included in my $30 a week, and will be a Locavore holiday. I'll post more about my plans in the coming weeks.)

I posted about the big box of tomatoes and the 5 or so pounds leftover, looking for suggestions. Thanks to those of you who e-mailed me suggestions! I'm dicing and freezing the remaining tomatoes for soups and chili over the winter.

Daily Menu
Applesauce oatmeal, milk

Sweet and sour lentils, carrot sticks

Mexican style wheatberry-cranberry bean salad

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

20 Pounds of Tomatoes

My mother in law (MIL) gave us a box of tomatoes that she bought at the end of the farmer's market for a song. 20 pounds is a LOT of tomatoes!! I've got three stacks of tomato slices in the food dehydrator, and made a huge pot of tomato sauce that simmered all day with tons of veggies - onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and zucchini. I made polenta lasagna for dinner, packaged 8 individual pasta meals for MIL, served some to Jax for lunch (he dunked his grilled cheese into it), and put 4 quarts into freezer bags in the freezer. I still have about 5 pounds of tomatoes left, and I'm out of creative juices. I don't want to can them and Mr.M won't eat raw tomatoes. Do you know any tasty tomato recipes that will freeze well?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Daily Menu for Saturday, October 27

I was on track yesterday. I was on track today. It's a start! I do need to be more gentle and forgiving of myself when I'm struggling, and more encouraging of myself for having on plan days.

Daily Menu

Nonfat latte

Lunch: (not CORE, but out to eat, what looked like the best option on the menu)
BIG salad with a scoop of Tuna salad (est. 6 Points for mayo in salad)
Roll with butter (3 Points)

Sweet and sour Lentils
1 c. milk

WPA (Weekly Points Allowance) points used today: 9
WPA points available: 28
Activity points today: 2 (Walk Away the Pounds)
Activity points this week: 2

Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies - 5+
2. Whole grains - none today
3. Milk - yes
4. Healthy oil - 2
5. Protein - yes
6. Limit sugar and alcohol - yes
7. Water - 8+
8. Multivitamin - yes

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tomorrow's daily menu: getting back on track

I'm going through an emotionally tumultuous time, in addition to being very busy outside of the house, and I've fallen back to my old standby of food to comfort me. I knew I did poorly last week and skipped a meeting, and this morning I weighed myself. I'm up again, no big surprise. I am not making any more excuses. I am not skipping any more meetings. I am not letting myself regain all the weight I've lost. I just have to push myself to do what I know how to do and let the rest work itself out.

I'm posting tomorrow's daily menu. And then Saturday's. And then Sunday's. I'm just doing it. I can't keep putting it off and hoping that I'll wake up in the mood to be on plan. I can't eat my way out of emotional discomfort.

Daily menu
Crock pot oatmeal with peaches (oatmeal from Windborne Farm, peaches frozen from Frog's Leap Winery)
2 c. milk (Organic Valley in Modesto)

Lentil-rice soup with kale and leeks (kale and leeks from the Full Belly box)
Sliced tomato salad with olive oil and vinegar

Egg curry (eggs from Glaum)
Carrots and green beans (from Full Belly)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Busy wreaks havoc on the best laid plans

This has been a very busy week, and I have not kept up with my plan. I know that without following it, I will not be successful. I know that by eating out instead of cooking, I'm wasting money, wasting Points, and wasting good vegetables that sit uneaten in the fridge. But still, after being busy all day, it's HARD to get up the energy to prepare a healthy meal. Sadly, I'm finding it difficult to even reheat my frozen meals and add a fresh veggie on the side. I'm slipping and I am not sure how to pull myself out of it. It's like the diet-honeymoon mentality has ended and my motivation slacks, but I'm only 20% to my goal and can't give up now!

I'm embarassed to even post my menus these days, since they're not menus, just the junk I've picked up in the school cafeteria, or fish sticks with the kids I baby sit. Not Locavore, not Core, not healthy, and not what I want. I don't feel as healthy, I'm sluggish, and I'm grumpy.

What do I do? What is the best way of sticking to plan when you're busy and tired?

The first thing I need to do is eat breakfast at home. I am so much better at staying on plan when I've eaten healthy food to start the day.

And I have to exercise! I feel so much better when I exercise, and I lose so much more consistently. I'm going to do my exercise video first thing in the morning.

I'm done eating for the evening, but start over tomorrow morning. I know I can do this - I've done it for months - I just have to DO it!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Daily Menu for October 15

I've been off track for the past few weeks, and as a result I've gained 2.8 lb. I need to nip this in the bud and get right back on track, because I'm not willing to let myself regain the weight I've worked so hard to lose. There is a sign in one of my classrooms that reads:

The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want in the moment.

It has resonated with me and I'm thinking about it again in relation to my weight loss efforts. Why do I let what I want in the moment defeat my long term goals? It's too easy to think, just this once... Just this once I'll have a cookie (or 5). Just this once I'll get French fries from the drive through on the way home. Just this once I'll skip exercising. The trouble is, just this once leads to more and more, and before I know it, I'm completely off track with French fries wrappers piling up in the car, feeling sick to my stomach and guilty to boot. Not worth it.

So I'm back to posting my weekly menu and daily menu, which has been a great tool for me to date. I've used my Weekly Points Allowance already on a pointy dinner out last night (not the best move!), so this will be a strict Core week. The only extra points will be activity points. This is also a busy week with school, babysitting, and other obligations, so I'll have to be really on my game to pack lunches and stay on track.

Weekly Menu:
Monday - Snapper Veracruz, brown rice, green salad
Tuesday - Chili, polenta corn cakes with fresh corn, carrots
Wednesday - Curried eggs, brown rice, kale
Thursday - Chicken cacciatore, barley, acorn squash
Friday - Lentil taco salad, green beans
Saturday - Home made egg drop soup and pot stickers (Points)

Daily Menu

2 eggs from Glaum

Snapper Veracruz with locally caught snapper
Brown rice from Lundberg
Green salad with lettuce and tomatoes from Full Belly Farm and olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Hare Hollow

Leftover quinoa picadillo
2 c. milk

WPA (Weekly Points Allowance) points used today: 0
WPA points available: 0
Activity points today: 2 (Walk Away the Pounds)
Activity points this week: 2

Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies - 5+
2. Whole grains - brown rice, quinoa
3. Milk - yes
4. Healthy oil - 2
5. Protein - yes
6. Limit sugar and alcohol - yes
7. Water - 8+
8. Multivitamin - yes

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Reasons to love the farmer's market, in addition to great produce

I'm reminded again this morning why I love the farmer's market. Not only is there a dazzling array of tasty, fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce, fish, tofu, sausage, nuts, oils and vinegars, cheeses, and breads, but today, vegan butternut squash tamales (yummy!), an accordian player, a small band, a man making animals out of rubber bands, and a Draft Gore stand with a petition to draft Al Gore to run for president. I discovered that cornmeal can be purchased from Full Belly Farm and ginger will be sold next year from the woman who grows all the yummy Asian produce. Yep, it's enough to make a gal like me weak in the knees. The Palo Alto farmer's market runs through early December, and then I'll have to find new Saturday morning entertainment.

This morning, I picked up a pound of snapper for tomorrow night's dinner, Snapper Veracruz; smoked cheddar cheese, dried cranberry beans, Glaum eggs (certified humane), a couple of yellow bell peppers, cilantro and green onions, and 10 pounds of "Sweet September" peaches to freeze for pancakes, smoothies, and oatmeal this winter. I also bought one heirloom Red Delicious apple, which was indeed delicious and resembled the glossy, mealy store-bought variety in name only. I spent about $45. So far this month, I think I'm up to about $90, including milk (Organic Valley from California) and soy milk purchased at Costco last week.

The CSA box this week includes:

Green beans
Red Russian Kale
Acorn squash

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Applesauce in Colorado

My Aunt Janet and Uncle Cole have sent me photos of their home grown applesauce endeavor for the Colorado edition of the blog. The first photos are of their tree and garden this spring, covered with apple blossoms. So pretty!

Next comes harvest, and they had quite the bounty in red delicious apples! They picked 3 five gallon buckets of apples from their tree.

Here is Cole with some of the freshly picked pears, berries, and apples. Finally comes the applesauce and apple butter. Cole described the process:

"We just cored & de-wormed the apples, cooked the heck out of them (with a little water), ran them through a ricer to remove the skins, and canned them. The apple butter was similar, but cooked longer & with lots of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice...)

It's a good use for organically grown apples. You can cut the bugs out of the ones that go into the applesauce and, at the same time, sort out wormless apples to snack on whole."

They now have 15 quarts of applesauce and pear-applesauce, and enjoyed apple-blackberry cobbler, pear-blackberry pie, apple brown Betty, and blackberry frozen yogurt with their homegrown fruit as well. Janet says that all the cobblers made low-no fat, with minimal sweeterns and diet friendly! She's a Weight Watcher, too.

The love for local foods apparently runs in the family! Janet and Cole are conscious eaters, and Janet's daughter and son-in-law, Panaena and Joe, are local eaters, too. They had a locally sourced cocktail hour at their wedding reception last summer. Janet just sent me a link to our cousin Jim's new website: Their goal is to:

increase the production and consumption of wholesome foods grown and sold
locally. We are developing a web-based exploratory learning environment where
folks can have fun while deepening their appreciation of the social and economic
impacts of "Buy Fresh, Buy Local."

Monday, October 8, 2007

Farm Fun at the Hoe's Down

Jax, Mr.M, Mr.M's mom, my friend B, and I spent Saturday at Full Belly Farm's 20th Annual Hoes Down, locavore heaven! We had a great time! Jax and Mr.M spent most of the day climbing through the straw fort, with occasional breaks to pet the goats and climb on tractors. The childrens' area also had quite a few workshops and activities for bigger kids, like making acorn bread, painting gourds, making clay creatures or corn husk dolls, story time in the tipi, ice cream churning, felt making, an obstacle course called "Peas and Chaos," and pumpkin carving. Next year, perhaps Jax will appreciate more than the straw fort, but he had a great time just climbing!

Meanwhile, I went to a few of the workshops with my friend B., including sheep sheering, a tour of the farm led by farmer Andrew Brait, and "What's Your Beef?" with Jim and Mary Rickert of Prather Ranch explaining what it means to be grassfed, natural, and organic when it comes to beef. The tour was especially interesting to me, learning about where the food in my CSA box comes from each week and talking to one of the men who puts it there. Here's a picture of the brand new broccoli, which we'll be enjoying later this winter.

Other workshops offered were a tour of a straw bale house (we arrived too late for that one,) blacksmithing (Mr.M caught that while I was learning about beef), cow milking, composting, a native plant walk, olives and olive oil, organic strawberries, fruit trees, chickens and eggs, bees, grapes, farm insects and diseases, and farm equipment. Old fashioned games like sack races, apple bobbing, a watermelon eating contest, and a manure pitch-off were held. Live music could be enjoyed at either of two stages, and a large group was learning to square dance as we were getting ready to leave. The Herb Yurt offered a variety of activities learning about herbs, and a wagon ride led by draft horses continually circled the farm for those wanting a bit of a break from all the activity. The California Indian Culture and Arts area offered demonstrations of basket weaving and how to make pine nut bracelets.

Additionally, a farmer's market was set up in the center square so we could enjoy the many seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with stands offering Prather Ranch organic hamburgers, chicken dinners with Rosie organic chickens, Drakes bay oysters, grilled veggies, baked goods, organic ice cream and popsicles. Our burgers were excellent, as was the grilled sweet corn and vanilla ice cream. It was not a Core meal, but it was worth it! WERC (Whole Earth Reusable Cooperative) provided reusable plates and flatware for all of the food, and composting was readily available for anything left uneaten. For an event this large (5,000 people were estimated to attend) you can just imagine how much garbage was kept from the landfill by reusing, recycling, and composting.

I had a chance to meet Jessica Prentice, author of Full Moon Feast, the local foods wheel, and one of the Locavore founders. Of course, I gushed that finding the locavore movement changed my life - I'm happier, healthier, and lighter since starting the journey.

One could spend the entire day and not see everything. Had we stayed overnight, we could have spent Sunday river rafting trip, learned about biodiesel, or taken a more extensive tour of walking tour of the farm. Next year we're camping overnight so we can enjoy more of the festivities!

A reporter from Woodland's Daily Democrat heard me compliment Andrew Brait, the Full Belly Farmer who led our tour, and interviewed me for the paper. You can read her story about the Hoes Down here.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Grains are Here!

I picked up my first Grain CSA shipment last weekend, and it included:

2 bags of pancake mix
1 bag of rye flour
1 bag of hot cereal
1 bag of hard red wheat
1 bag of whole barley
3 dried red corn on the cobs
1 spray of wheat

Each bag weighs about two pounds, some more, some less. The newsletter tells me that the whole corn can be used as posole, added into soups, breads, or whole with butter. I'll be looking through the whole grains cookbook for posole recipes!

The pancake mix has this to say for itself:

Rafael's Pancake Mix
You can use this pancake mix for waffles, pancakes, muffins, cakes, or any non-yeast kind of quickbread in place of all-purpose flour or pastry wheat. Rafael shucked all the corn for this and the San Francisco Waldorf's 4th grade class picked all the corn. This is Rafael's special blend of many rare grains, including: Oaxacan green dent corn, teff, flax seed, orange popping amaranth, len wheat, ry, Ethiopian hulless barley, and hulless oats!

I made up a batch of peach pancakes this afternoon, and the mix is made delightfully fluffy, light pancakes with a more complex flavor than standard white flour mix. I froze them flat between layers of wax paper for quick breakfasts; they'll be easy to reheat in the toaster. Everything but the spices and baking powder is locally grown, with pancake mix from the CSA and peaches frozen after our August trip to Frog's Leap.

Peach Pancakes
3 c. pancake mix or all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. ginger
1/8 t. nutmeg
2 eggs
2 T honey, melted to liquid consistency, or 2 T sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
1 T canola oil
2 c. fat free milk
2 peaches, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
(optional, 1/4 c. chopped pecans)

Sift together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, then beat in honey, oil, and milk. Stir liquid mixture into dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Gently fold peaches into batter.

Preheat griddle, then spray with non-stick spray (I use Canola oil in a Misto sprayer.) Ladle about 1/8 c. onto the griddle to make 4 inch pancakes. Cook until bubbles are just set, then flip to cook the other side. Serve immediately or freeze flat between layers of wax paper. Serves 8, 3 pancakes per serving.

Pancakes are not CORE because flour is not CORE. Each serving is 4 Points.

Dinner tonight is leftover lentil-rice soup with kale. I made a big batch last night. This had just 10 minutes of hands on time and made the whole house smell yummy. You might want a dash of Tabasco sauce for the heat-seeking eater, but it's really warm and hearty, full of fiber and protein, and lots of healthy veggies.
Lentil-Rice Soup with Kale
8 servings
1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 cup brown rice
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 t. thyme
1 t. oregano
1/4 t. pepper
1 bunch kale, chopped into bite sized pieces
Saute onion, garlic, carrot, and celery in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add lentils and brown rice and stir together for a few minutes. Add stock and spices. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer for 45 minutes. Add kale and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

This blog at 3000 hits!

This blog has had almost exactly 3000 hits since I started it in early June. It has had visitors from around the nation and the globe, including readers in Mexico, Canada, England, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Italy, India, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand! When I started the blog, I didn't expect it to have much appeal outside of fellow Weight Watchers and a few local eaters, but it seems that there is wider interest in the ideas of eating locally and losing weight.

You guys are finding me from Google searches as varied as "cupcakes" and "bean soup" to "fire trucks" and "Peninsula walks". However you got here, and wherever you're visiting from, I'm so glad you've stopped by. Hopefully you're finding something useful and interesting here. I'm excited to hear from you, too, so continue to post comments or e-mail me. The encouraging words have meant a great deal to me, and more than once I've gone back to read them instead of eating when I really wanted an ice cream sundae!

Thanks for reading and for coming back! Keeping the blog has kept me accountable, and that's been awesome for my continuing weight loss.

(Want to see where fellow readers are coming from? Interested in how many people have visited today? You can click the "sitemeter" button on under archives and check it out. The world map is especially interesting.)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dinner was DEEElish

...but sadly didn't photograph well. I made beans and rice with the fresh cranberry beans from Full Belly Farm and brown rice from Lundberg Farm. To go with the beans and rice, I made a puree of roasted eggplant, onion, and acorn squash, all from Full Belly, and garlic from Gilroy. Those fantastic fresh Brussels sprouts from Green Oaks Creek Farm were a side dish, pan roasted with garlic, Hare Hollow olive oil, and a spritz of lemon from a neighbor's tree. Yum! A tomato-basil salad (both from Full Belly) rounded out the meal for a colorful, completely local, 100% Core Meatless Monday dinner. Jax is having a bit of watermelon for dessert, the last of the farmer's market watermelon from his birthday last weekend.

Here's the menu plan for the rest of the week:
Tuesday - Eggplant tamale pie (with leftover eggplant puree, tomatoes, and spices, and fresh corn in the tamale part), carrots
Wednesday - Chicken cacciatore (from the freezer) with wheat berries, zucchini
Thursday - Tofu stirfry with bok choy, bulgur
Friday - Grilled steak, mashed potatoes, kale

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Farmer's Market Finds

I was excited to be back at the farmer's market this morning after three weeks away for classes. I spent $20 today for peanuts from C. Farm in Sanger, fresh cranberry beans from Full Belly Farm (aren't those gorgeous?), Brussels sprouts on a stalk from Green Oaks Creek Farm, Red Flame Grapes, and corn on the cob. We're going to eat well this week!
I'll probably spend an extra $15 on milk and eggs, but this will be a low-spend grocery week overall. My budget for September is up to $347.24, well under my budget of $520 (based on the USDA Thrifty Food Plan in August.) I've been including my mother in law in my monthly budget, but she is not eating here as frequently as expected and I'm bringing my budget back down to include just me, Mr.M, and 2 year old Jax, $421.85 per month. I expect October to be well under this amount.
Today's CSA box includes:
Red Russian Kale
Gypsy or Flamingo Peppers
Surprise Melon
Daily Menu
Breakfast at the Farmer's Market
20 oz. Watermelon juice (6 Points - OUCH!)
Corn tortilla (1 Point)
2 T. queso fresco (3 Points)
beans, cabbage, salsa
2 c. milk
Quinoa picadillo in acorn squash boats
Corn on the cob, 1 t. olive oil
WPA (Weekly Points Allowance) points used today: 10
WPA points available: 29
Activity points today: 4 (Walk Away the Pounds 3 miles video)
Activity points this week: 4
Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies - 5+
2. Whole grains - quinoa
3. Milk - yes
4. Healthy oil - 2
5. Protein - yes
6. Limit sugar and alcohol - yes
7. Water - 8+
8. Multivitamin - yes

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hear me on Stanford Radio!

Last month, I was interviewed by Bonnie Swift of Stanford Radio for a piece she was writing on farmer's markets, and here it is! You can hear me a few times throughout the interview, but I'll let you try to figure out which is me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chickpeas: They're What's For Dinner

Tonight was a use-up-the-veggies night. I had a head of cauliflower, an eggplant, several tomatoes, and a ton of carrots that were all about to give up the ghost, so I cooked them in the pressure cooker with chickpeas, onions, garlic, and curry in veggie broth, adding whole wheat couscous in the last five minutes to thicken it up. Sprinkled with lime juice and cilantro, it was a yummy, hearty dinner that the whole family enjoyed. I served the stew with slices of melon and cucumber. Yum!

Curried Chickpea Stew

1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 head cauliflower, cored and chopped into florets
1 1/2 c. dry chickpeas, soaked overnight
2 t. cumin
1 t. garam masala
1 t. turmuric
1/2 t. cardamom
1/2 t. red pepper flakes (more to taste)
4 c. vegetable stock
2 tomatoes, diced
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 c. uncooked whole wheat couscous
cilantro and lime wedges to garnish

In the pressure cooker over medium-high heat, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil. Add carrots, cauliflower, chickpeas, spices, and stock. Stir well to combine. Add tomatoes and eggplant on top but do not stir in. Cook under pressure for 20 minutes, quick pressure release. Using a potato masher, mush the tomatoes and eggplant into the sauce and break up carrots and cauliflower. Add couscous, recover, and let sit off heat for five minutes. Serve spritzed with lime juice and topped with cilantro.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Project Birthday Party was a rousing success!

Jax (left) and his cousin "driving" the fire engine.

If you have young children, consider the fire station as a birthday party location! We had 7 kids under 3 and their assorted grown-ups and everyone had a great time. The fire men talked to the kids briefly about not playing with fire, then one showed the kids how he could get into his uniform quickly and how to crawl on the floor in a fire. He told the kids that if there was a fire, he would come in dressed like this to help them get out, and they should go with him. The kids could touch his uniform, and he kept saying, "See, it's me outside of the uniform, and still me inside the uniform!" Some of the kids were hesitant to touch him with the mask and helmet on. They let the kids try on the uniform, too - so cute!

Then, they got to help the firemen use the hose and spray water. After that, they could climb on the fire truck, ring the bell, and "steer". There is a restored 1935 fire truck in the station and the kids were allowed to climb all over it. They each got a "junior fire captain" sticker and hat. Even the shy kids got in on the action, climbing on the truck and ringing the bell.

We had snacks and cupcakes in the station. We had about 2 hours of little kid heaven, playing on the trucks and playing with the firemen (who were amazing with the kids and grown ups), and we left before anyone hit melt down stage. All in all, a perfect toddler birthday. It would be equally fun for pre-schoolers and school aged kids, with more age appropriate educational information.

The snacks were all a big hit, too. I made 5 plates of finger sandwiches and a big bowl of melon, and all but one plate of sandwiches and a few pieces of melon were eaten. (The veggie platter was left at home, and it's just as well - there was plenty of food.) I ran out of steam when it came to cupcakes and succumbed to the Safeway bakery department. Bad locavore! I tried three local bakeries, all of which were closed Sundays, before resorting to the grocery store and their brightly-colored cupcake-cake - cupcakes all iced together to look like a cake. The kids all loved them, but I found them way too sweet. The leftover cupcakes went back to the dorm with a college student cousin, as someone else had dropped a dozen cupcakes off at the firehouse that morning and they did not want any extras!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Preparing to Party

Jax turns two tomorrow (when people say "they grow up so fast," they really mean it! It feels like he was just born!) He's been all about the fire trucks these days, calling them "Woo-woo chucks!" and playing with his wooden woo-woo chuck almost exclusively for weeks. To celebrate his birthday we're heading over to our friendly neighborhood fire station for a tour with half a dozen of his toddler buddies and their assorted adults, and I can't wait to see Jax's face when he sees the fire truck up close! They'll even pull out the fire truck so we can have snacks and cupcakes in the station.

What kind of snacks and cupcakes will be enjoyed at our little guy's party, you ask? It is a menu of tried-and-true toddler favorites in our house: finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off, carrots and celery with hummus, and melon, with chocolate-zucchini cupcakes for dessert.

Finger sandwiches that Jax has known and loved
Chicken and apples with yochee-cream cheese on raisin bread - Soul Food Farm chicken, apples from my CSA box
Carrot, raisin, and sunflower seeds with yochee-cream cheese on raisin bread
Low-fat Egg salad on rye - Soul Food Farms eggs
Smoked salmon and caper spread on rye
Cucumber and cream cheese on wheat - cucumbers from the farmer's market
Peanut butter and jelly on wheat (it is a 2 year old's birthday party, after all!) - Peach jelly from a neighbor, who canned it with peaches from her own tree

Carrot and celery sticks with hummus - hummus made from Phipps Country Store chickpeas
Melon Trio - watermelon, cantaloupe, and a mysterious yellow melon from my CSA box
Chocolate-zucchini cupcakes - I've never made this recipe before. If it comes out well, I'll post the recipe.

The entire menu is home made and organic. Just about everything in the finger sandwiches is local, with a few small exceptions like sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and cream cheese. (With all the local dairies, I'm surprised that local cream cheese isn't available!)

The cupcake ingredients are not local, other than the zucchini from a neighbor's garden and eggs from Soul Food Farm. I'm making an extra dozen cupcakes for the fire fighters; they deserve chocolatey goodness with a little healthy zucchini mixed in!

Yochee-cream cheese is a half and half mix of strained plain fat free yogurt (the yochee) and low fat cream cheese. It makes a nice low-fat substitute for mayonnaise, with the creamy texture and mild tartness of mayo but significantly lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol. I'm using the yochee-cream cheese in the egg salad, but also add about a tablespoon of real Canola mayo to a round out the flavor. The Canola mayo, made by Spectrum, has such a strong mayo flavor that a little goes a long way.

Here is one of Jax's favorite sandwiches. It's not CORE, but is very healthy, full of fiber, and is very tasty. My mom made a similar carrot-raisin combo with cream cheese when I was young, and that's another yummy combination.

Carrot, raisin, and sunflower seeds with yochee-cream cheese on raisin bread

1 c. shredded carrots - mine are from Earthbound Organics
1/3 c. raisins - mine are California Thompsons from Sigona's farmer's market
1/4 c. sunflower seeds - mine are organic from the bulk bin at Country Sun
1 t cinnamon
1 T honey
1/2 c. yochee (about 1 c. yogurt, strained overnight through a coffee filter) - mine is Wallaby
1/2 c. lowfat cream cheese - mine is not local, bought at Country Sun
raisin bread - I'm using Alvarado St. Bakery bread

Mix together everything but the bread. Spread a thin layer on the raisin bread, cut off the crusts, and enjoy. If you're not a picky toddler, you can leave the crusts on. :) This is also tasty with pineapple tidbits, but that's WAY outside local, so we're skipping those this go around!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Goal Accomplished!

I weighed in today, since I'm in an all day class tomorrow, and I was thrilled with my results: I lost 2.6 lb. this week, bringing me down to 32.4 lb. I reached my goal of 31 lb. by September 23, and hit my 10%. I'm jump-up-and-down excited and motivated to keep working at it!

My next goal is 50 lb. gone by Thanksgiving, and if I continue at my current pace I'll make that goal, too.


Between school, babysitting, and family obligations, I have not been fantastic about keeping up the daily menus, and that has been such a wonderful tool for me to stay on plan, so I'm committing to post the daily menu for the next week. This week I was on plan, packed my lunches and ate my yummy freezer dinners, and just neglected to write it down.

On Wednesday, I made Beef Provencal (pictured above) in the pressure cooker from the Lorna Sass cookbook "Pressured Cook." The roast was marinated overnight in red wine with onions, carrots, thyme, and anchovies (it doesn't taste fishy at all.) It came out so, so tender and made delicious leftovers. Next time, I'll roast the potatoes for more flavorful brown bits, but overall it was a great dinner, and done from start to finish in under an hour. Have I mentioned how I love my pressure cooker?


I went to the Grocery Outlet in Redwood City this week and spent $40. I bought 6 loaves of Alvarado Street Bakery bread at $1.50 each!! I've been spending upward of $4 a loaf for it, so I bought a bunch and socked it away in the freezer. For Jax's birthday on Sunday, I'm making a variety of finger sandwiches, a veggie tray, and cupcakes, so a loaf or two of the bread will go for party food.

I also bought organic crackers and organic chocolate soy milk for Jax, canned Muir Glen tomatoes (grown locally, industrial organic), and a block of locally grown organic Monterey Jack cheese.

If you take a trip to the Grocery Outlet, you'll find the organic packaged food on the shelves above the freezer section. They also have frozen organics - Amy's dinners and pizzas, frozen veggies, and occasionally meat substitutes like Morningstar - at great prices. You just have to watch the expiration dates.

My September food total is up to $312.24.


Daily Menu

Non-fat latte - not local, bought at Printer's Cafe in Palo Alto, an independent coffee shop

Chickpeas with eggplant-tahini sauce and spinach (1 Point) - Chickpeas from Phipps Country Store, eggplant from Full Belly Farm, local, organic spinach, tahini is organic but not local
Cantaloupe - Full Belly Farm

Leftover pot roast - Chileno beef, with Frog's Leap wine and Full Belly Farm onions
New potatoes - Full Belly Farm
Carrots sauteed in olive oil- Earthbound Organics carrots (local, organic, but industrial - I usually try to stick with small farms), Hare Hollow olive oil

WPA (Weekly Points Allowance) points used today: 1
WPA points available: 35
Activity points today: 2 (Walk Away the Pounds video)
Activity points this week: 2

Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies - 5+
2. Whole grains - None today
3. Milk - yes
4. Healthy oil - 2
5. Protein - yes
6. Limit sugar and alcohol - yes
7. Water - 8+
8. Multivitamin - yes


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Monday, September 17, 2007

For the Freezer: Almost DONE! Daily Menu for September 17

I now have 16 meals in the freezer, and will be making the pot roast in the crockpot tomorrow. I'm so pleased with myself for getting it all done, but am even more impressed by the rockin' pressure cooker! I prepped the next meal while the last one was in the cooker, so it was easy to make a number of meals in short time. I finished 4 meals (2-4 meals of each, making 12 dinners) in about 3 hours. The crockpot kicked out another, and I had only one stove top meal on the list. Once I finish the pot roast and make it into shephard's pie, I'll have put about 6 hours into 16 dinners, almost entirely local and all organic. And, even better, on nights when I'm too busy to cook, we can eat a healthy, quick, home made meal. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday!

Another Meatless Monday is upon us, and here's today's menu:

2 c. Clover milk
apple from a neighbor's tree

Chickpeas with eggplant-tahini sauce, bulgur, and spinach (1 Point) - Chickpeas from Phipps Country Store, eggplant from Full Belly Farm, spinach from Salinas, tahini and bulgur organic, not local

Black bean and rice burgers - beans from Phipps, rice from Lundberg
Zucchini from Full Belly Farm
Green salad with basil-olive oil vinaigrette - lettuce and basil from Full Belly, olive oil from Hare Hollow

WPA (Weekly Points Allowance) points used today: 1
WPA points available: 35
Activity points today: 2 (Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile video)
Activity points this week: 2

Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies - 5+
2. Whole grains - bulgur,
3. Milk - yes
4. Healthy oil - 1
5. Protein - yes
6. Limit sugar and alcohol - yes
7. Water - 8+
8. Multivitamin - yes

Sunday, September 16, 2007

For the Freezer: In Progress!

I'm taking a break from cooking and cooking to tell you how it's going! So far, I have completed and packaged the sweet and sour lentils, un-stuffed cabbage, chicken cacciatore, and beef picadillo with quinoa. Meatball chili with pumpkin is in the crock pot right now. This evening, I'll finish the mushroom-barley soup, and will prep the stuff to go in the pot roast and chickpeas, which I'll cook in the morning. The shephard's pie will be the pot roast and gravy with extra veggies and a mashed potato topping, and I can make the mashed potatoes while the pot roast is finishing up in the crockpot tomorrow evening.

Right now, there are 8 meals packaged in the fridge. When I finish, there will be between 16-20 meals ready for me to defrost and enjoy when I don't feel like cooking. There will be no excuses for eating junk!

We went to Costco, Country Sun, and the California Street (Palo Alto) farmer's market this morning to get everything I need to cook more than a dozen dinners. I spent just under $80 and got eggs, milk, bread, spices, a jar of smoked ketchup made in Calistoga, and lots and lots of yummy local, organic veggies. I also spent about $40 last week for milk, eggs, salad fixings, and crackers. My total for the month is up to $272.24.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A loss is a loss

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting today and was surprised to be down .2 lb. (29.8 lb. total.) I certainly expected a gain with the out of control eating earlier in the week, and am ready to be back on track to reach the goal of 31 lb. by next Sunday. That last 1.2 lb. to goal is certainly doable this week.

My measurements show a loss of 43.25 inches since June, with over 10 inches gone in the past month and 8.5 inches off my waist since I started! Wow!

I have been 16 weeks on program, a milestone for me. I've never gotten this far, either with length of time or with amount lost! At the meeting, I received a little charm to go on the 10% keychain, which I hope to receive next week (31 lb. is my first 10%.) I'm really proud of myself for sticking to it this long. Even with an off week every now and then, I'm on a consistent downward trend.

The topic this week was exercise, and that has to be a priority for me to lose like I want. Plus, I'd hate to get to my goal and have lots of extra saggy skin, and while age and genetics play a big role in that, exercise and water are supposed to be helpful in avoiding the extra skin. This week, I plan on walking 2 miles a day for 5 days this week, and I'll do The Firm twice.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Meatball Chili with Pumpkin recipe

Meatball chili with pumpkin
This is really tasty and creamy with a bit of back-heat from the chipotle. The pumpkin is a mild flavor and you wouldn't necessarily be able to identify it if you didn't know it was there. You could substitute canned beans and eliminate the beef broth, or maybe reduce it to 1 cup.

about 1/2 lb. small meatballs, whatever recipe you like
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 chopped red bell peppers
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 c. dry black beans, soaked overnight
4 cups beef broth
3-5 diced medium tomatoes and their juices
1 lb. roasted pumpkin or canned pumpkin (just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
4-6 oz. diced Green Chiles
1 cup whole kernel corn
1-2 chipotles in adobo, diced fine (this is spicy but has a wonderful smoky flavor. We're wussy and use 1 chipotle and 1 t. adobo, but if you like it spicier, add more.)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3-4 sprigs fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
(I added a few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg.)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Put the vegetable mixture into the crockpot and add all the other ingredients. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 hours.

For the Freezer: Getting prepared

I did Once a Month Cooking ages ago when I was working full time, doing a monster cooking day and then just reheating meals throughout the month. It was handy, but the recipes I was using were certainly not healthy. I'm preparing to do a big batch cooking session on Sunday and Monday with Core recipes and local ingredients, a tasty and healthy way of having a home cooked meal even when I'm too tired to cook.

All of these meals will be prepared with locally grown, organic ingredients and will all fit the Eat Local Challenge that I've been so lax about following this past week! I think this will make up for my lack of cooking this week, haha.

Here's the menu:

Meatball chili with pumpkin (Crockpot) pumpkin adds a subtle sweet creaminess and plenty of fiber and vegetal goodness, but no strong pumpkin flavor
Pot roast (Crockpot)
Beef picadillo (Pressure Cooker)
Mushroom, and barley soup (PC)
Chicken cacciatore (PC)
Unstuffed cabbage with meatballs in sweet and sour tomato sauce (PC)
Chickpeas with eggplant-tahini sauce (PC)
Sweet and sour lentils with 5 spice rice
Shephard's pie

To get ready today, I'm cleaning the kitchen and going to the Grocery Outlet and Country Sun today. Mr.M will get the CSA box tomorrow while I'm at school and I'll visit the farmer's market on Sunday morning for any other fresh ingredients on the list.

On Sunday, I'll prepare a big batch of meatballs, mushroom barley soup in the pressure cooker, beans for the chili in the pressure cooker, chop veggies, and put the pot roast in the crockpot overnight.

On Monday, the crockpot will make the meatball chili, and I'll spend the day rotating meals in and out of the pressure cooker. Once it's all done, I'm sure I'll be exhausted, but I'll have two or three packages of each meal in the freezer and can relax about my school night meals for the next month or more.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I've been really off track this week. I haven't packed lunch for my days at school and babysitting, and have bought junk at the school cafeteria and eaten the kid food I prepare for the boys. I've eaten too much junk food, and it's a slippery slope: when I eat junk, I want more junk. When I eat healthy, whole foods, the cravings all but disappear. And I haven't exercised. At 29.6 lb. gone toward my goal of 31 lb. next week, I feel like I'm sabotaging my own efforts. It's been a lot of work to get so close, and I really WANT to reach the goal, so why am I letting dusty packaged cookies get in the way?

I am back on track this morning but still feeling gross from my week of junk. I'm planning a big cooking day on Monday to make a bunch of meals to freeze so I don't have to cook on busy nights, and then will have lunch to pack from leftovers. Hopefully that will help me to stay on track when everything feels hectic.

Daily Menu

Shredded wheat and milk

leftover bean soup, apple

big batch of grilled veggies with olive oil, brown rice

Monday, September 10, 2007

Three Bean Soup with Potatoes

It's been a busy weekend! I'm taking all day classes on Saturdays in September, so Mr.M picked up out CSA box this week and I didn't make it to any farmer's markets. This will be it for the week!

Included in this week's box:
Sweet peppers



For Meatless Monday, we're having Three Bean Soup with Potatoes. I made it early in the day to give it more time to simmer, but it would be easy to make in about an hour without a whole lot of hands on time, and makes a huge pot that will freeze well and be super tasty reheated.

I'm using Red Calypso, Black, and Cannelini beans from Phipps Country Store, and am due for another trip out as I'm down to just one little bag of beans! The veggies all came from Full Belly Farm, except for the jalapeno growing in my front yard and cilantro from C. Farm.

Three Bean Soup with Potatoes
1 c. dry, picked over Red Calypso Beans (can be substituted for any medium-sized firm bean, like pintos)
1 c. dry, picked over Black Beans
1 c. dry, picked over Cannelini Beans
8 c. vegetable broth
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 T. canola oil (to keep beans from foaming)

In the pressure cooker, cook on high for 25 minutes. Let pressure come down naturally. Drain beans, reserving broth for another use. You could also soak the beans overnight and use a stove top method to cook them.

1 onion, diced
2 sweet peppers, diced (I used one red, one orange)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and membranes removed, diced fine
1 T. olive oil
Cooked beans
3-4 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 T. chili powder
3-4 c. tomatoes, diced with juices
2 or more cups reserved broth, depending on how soupy you want it
4 large potatoes, diced
2 c. corn, fresh or frozen
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion, peppers, garlic, and jalapeno in olive oil. When onions are translucent, add beans, cilantro, chili powder, tomatoes, potatoes, and broth. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add corn and salt and pepper and simmer 10 minutes more.

This makes a huge pot of soup. If you want it thicker, you could puree half of the soup in batches. Very tasty!


I weighed in on Friday and was down .4 lb., not bad considering the extravagent (for me) meal on Wednesday night. My total is now 29.6. My goal is 31 lb. by September 23, and I should be able to reach it!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Anniversary at Flea Street Cafe

Hello, Eat Local Challengers! My blog was featured on the Eat Local Challenge website yesterday, and I'm excited to have some new visitors reading along! Please comment if anything strikes you (I love comments!), and do come back again.


Three years ago yesterday, Mr.M and I were married, and to celebrate our anniversary, we went to the Flea Street Cafe for dinner. What a great restaurant! With a focus on local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients, it's the perfect choice for an Eat Local Challenger. And with delicious food and friendly service, it would be a great choice for a nice dinner whether you care about the source of your food or not.

From the top of their menu:

For twenty five years, Jesse Cool and the staff of Flea St. Cafe have been committed to using local, organic and seasonal ingredients. Our seafood is chosen with consideration of over-fishing and endangered species. We cook with meat that is raised naturally and humanely, without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. Our free-range chicken is from Marin Sun Farms in Petaluma. We buy all of our produce and dairy products from local farms and dairies. We are committed to a healthier, more sustainable environment involving all aspects of the food we prepare for you. We honor and respect the hard-working, caring individuals who grow and produce these foods. Their efforts in the field, on ranches or on the fishing boats are transformed in our kitchen. We partner, hand-in-hand to create beautiful, delicious and nurturing food.

For an appetizer, we shared the Crab & Smoked Trout Cake with caper tartar sauce and watercress salad. We dug in before I took a picture, but believe me that it was gorgeous in addition to the wonderfully smoky fish, tart, salty caper, creamy sauce and peppery green flavors. We were also served a dish of seasonal flavors - cucumbers and an eggplant spread that even Mr.M, an eggplant avoider, enjoyed.

We shared two entrees. The first was Coleman Pasture Raised Lamb Two Ways, braised ribletts, grilled loin chop, fig chutney, and saffron wheatberries. Juicy and beautifully seasoned, the lamb chop was just perfect, and a fig and red onion sauce complimented it perfectly. The ribletts were also really tasty, but the chop won out in flavor for me.

Our second entree was Coleman Organic Slow Braised Short Ribs, red wine beet au jus, green beans with blue cheese, heirloom tomato salad, and potato salad. The meat was crisp on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside, rich and juicy, and paired beautifully with the tomatoes and green beans.

We shared a trio of chocolates with a truffle, cake, and mousse. I was already full and just tried a small taste of each. All were delicious, but the truffle was my favorite. I'll try the meyer lemon semi froddo next time. After the rich meal, a tart and fresh dessert would have been a better finish.

All in all, we had a wonderful meal and will definitely return to Flea Street Cafe.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Daily menu for September 4

I left early this morning to make it to the gym before school and forgot to pack breakfast, a foolish mistake on both the weight loss and local eating front. The school cafeteria offers no local options and very little that could be considered healthy, let alone CORE. I had 2 c. milk before leaving home and an apple in my lunch, and bought a small package of almonds to tide me over until my packed lunch. This actually kept me quite satisfied all morning and the almonds were from California, so while they're not especially local, and I do have to count them, it was a better option than Fruit Loops or pancakes.

I also had an oatmeal raisin cookie in the afternoon.

I spent 45 minutes at the gym, with 15 minutes on the exercise bike and 30 minutes of weight training. I feel really good about the weights.

2 c. milk from Clover
apple from a neighbor's tree
1 oz. almonds (4 Points)

Leftover bulgur salad with tomatoes and 1/2 oz. feta and chicken(1.5 Points)

Mushroom - wheatberry pilaf with wheatberries from Full Belly Farm
Mustard carrots

Oatmeal raisin cookie (4 Points)

WPA (Weekly Points Allowance) points used today: 9.5
WPA points available: 23.5
Activity points today: 5 (exercise bike and weight training)
Activity points this week: 14

Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies - 5+
2. Whole grains - bulgur, wheatberries
3. Milk - yes
4. Healthy oil - 1
5. Protein - yes
6. Limit sugar and alcohol - yes
7. Water - 8+
8. Multivitamin - yes

Monday, September 3, 2007

Not-So-Meatless Monday: Daily Menu for Labor Day, September 3

Mondays are usually meatless, but we had hamburgers on the grill for a Labor Day barbecue. We'll have a Meatless Tuesday this week instead.

Kamut Puffs cereal (not local)
2 c. milk from Clover

Tex Mex burger with Cajun Mayo
Hamburger from Chileno Valley Ranch, onion, garlic, tomato, and lettuce from Full Belly Farm, whole wheat hamburger bun from a local bakery (not local ingredients, local company), 2/3 oz. cheese from Spring Hill Cheese, canola oil mayonaisse from Spectrum (not local ingredients, local company) (3 Points for the bun, 2 Points for the cheese, 1 Point for 1 t. mayo)
corn on the cob from Full Belly Farm
watermelon from Full Belly Farm
leftover bulgur - grilled veggie salad
grilled peaches and pears from Full Belly Farm

leftover tomato salad from the other night
apple from a neighbor's tree

WPA (Weekly Points Allowance) points used today: 6
WPA points available: 28
Activity points today: 3 (30 minute Walk Away the Pounds video)
Activity points this week: 9

Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies - 5+
2. Whole grains - bulgur
3. Milk - yes
4. Healthy oil - 1
5. Protein - beef
6. Limit sugar and alcohol - yes
7. Water - 8+
8. Multivitamin - yes

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Daily Menu for September 2

I spent the afternoon yesterday disassembling the 7 chickens I bought from Soul Food Farm. I broke them down into thighs and drumsticks, wings, and boneless skinless chicken breasts, then vacuum sealed them into meal sized portions.

I separated the carcasses from the heads and feet and made stock with the carcasses. There was enough stock for tonight's soup (with two extra batches of soup socked away in the freezer) and an extra quart of stock, plus meat off the bones for the soup and another meal. Tomorrow I'll be making more stock from the heads and feet. Last time, I did them together and was really grossed out picking the meat from the bones and coming upon the beaks and toenails, so I kept them separate this time and will just discard them once the stock is done. That should make another two quarts of stock for later use, always nice to have on hand.

My freezer now houses enough chicken, trimmed and labelled, for about 15 meals, plus 2 cups of cooked meat, two quarts of soup and a quart of stock. Since the chicken is somehow heartier than conventional chickens, a little goes a long way in flavoring a dish and I just don't need as much to feel satisfied. We had roast chicken at my mom's house the other night (and it was so good!), one of the Soul Food Farms chickens, and between four adults and a toddler only ate less than half of the chicken. Our same family of four would frequently eat the whole conventional chicken in one sitting.


I bought milk, limes, avocados, corn tortillas, and hamburger buns at Sigona's Farmer's Market for $17.24, bringing September's total up to $152.24. Milk is more expensive at Sigona's than at Country Sun, but I didn't want to make a second stop.


I slept in (YAY!) and so I didn't have breakfast.

Barley and grilled veggie salad (leftovers from dinner)
olive oil and vinegar dressing from Hare Hollow
1 oz. Feta cheese from Spring Hill Cheese (3 Points)
leftover tomato salad
1 c. milk

Tortilla soup (3 Points for tortilla)
Includes chicken and chicken stock from Soul Food Farm, onions, garlic, and tomatoes from Full Belly Farm, cilantro and green onion from C. Farm, jalapeno from my front yard, olive oil from Hare Hollow, and tortillas and avocado from Sigona's Farmer's Market
carrots (local, left over from last week)
watermelon from Full Belly Farm

WPA (Weekly Points Allowance) points used today: 6
WPA points available: 31
Activity points today: 3 (30 minute Walk Away the Pounds video)
Activity points this week: 6

Daily 8 - the 8 Healthy Guidelines
1. Fruits and veggies - 5+
2. Whole grains - bulgur
3. Milk - yes
4. Healthy oil - yes
5. Protein - chicken
6. Limit sugar and alcohol - yes
7. Water - 8+
8. Multivitamin - yes

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Plate of Summer

Tonight's dinner was grilled eggplant stacks with goat cheese and balsamic reduction, a tomato-basil salad with cucumber and red onion, lemon-scented bulgur, and corn on the cob. So yummy!