Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Easy Being Green!

If, for you, being "green" is another word for being frugal,
you can become a budget-saving steward
with just a little inspiration.

Martha Stewart

Recycled Chip Bags

Simply trim, wash with hot soapy water, and dry.
Et Viola!  You have wrapping paper!
(I'm sure Martha had her crew iron these.)

Martha Stewart

Gift-Box Fillers

Shred your old wrapping paper instead of buying a bag of shredded paper.  Use pine boughs to nestle your gift and offer fragrance.  Use candies, nuts, potpourri, tea bags, corks, or cocoa mix packets.

Martha Stewart

Recycled Paper Wrapping

Re-use wallpaper, restaurant menus, maps, shopping bags, old music sheets, old sewing patterns, etc

Martha Stewart

Magazine Bows

Trim matching colored pages to 3/4 inch widths.
Three at 11 inches, three at 10 inches, two at 9 inches,
One at 3 1/2 inches.

Happy Wrapping, friends!

Learning How To Eat More Veggies: Winter

Aurora Borealis in MN

Lets face it, we don't generally like winter produce.  The list above looks like a sad bunch as a tasty side for our suppers tonight.   We rather prefer fresh lettuce, crunchy broccoli, and bright sweet peas.  Up here in the North, where the ground has become too cold to offer us any more bounty, and will soon freeze-over completely, were looking at another long, bleak winter of frozen grocers peas and canned tomato sauce.

There is another option. 
Take a fresh look around you next time you're walking through the produce section.  You will see sweet potatoes, colorful winter squash, and so many different types of cabbage. 

I know, you don't like squash, and you don't like sweet potatoes,
and you're not a fan of cabbage. 
Its the same in my house. 

Forgive me for what I'm about to say, but its time to grow up.  We've spent a lifetime eating what we like and neglecting what we think is yucky, and look where its gotten us. 
Chubby, tired, and battling a host of health issues.

There's good reason why cabbage is so often
eaten as a weight loss food.
1 cup contains only 19 calories.  It offers plenty of vitamins C & K,
and has cancer-preventive properties.
This is a nutritious and economical vegetable that we should learn to love.

Emeril Lagasse's Favorite Cabbage recipe looks like a good bet.
It's rated 5 stars and is as easy as ... slaw!

Stuffed Cabbage is a bit putzy, but as an all-time favorite combination,
 your family will thank you!

If you haven't tried Creamed Cabbage,
you're missin' somethin'.  Give this a try, you might be surprised
with this creamy comfort side dish.

A super spokes-veg for vitamins A & C, a good source for minerals, too.
There are only 30 - 60 calories in 1/2 cup serving.
Mommies, winter squash offers a good source of folic acid,
good for growing baby.
They're rich in carotenes, helping to fight cancers, heart disease,
and type 2 diabetes.

Roasted Corn Pudding in Acorn Squash gives us all of our favorites
in an edible, nutritous bowl.  Cheese, butter, corn,
and scallions, what better way to introduce winter squash to the fam?

1 small acorn squash, seeded & cleaned
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup milk
1 egg + 2 egg whites
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/4 tsp anise seed, pulverized
1/2 cup chopped scallions
pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup grated Cheddar

Preheat oven to 375°F, place rack in center.
Rub squash flesh with butter.
Be sure it sits flat on baking sheet, trim the bottom even, if needed.
Cover with foil and bake 40 min until tender.

In a bowl, combine milk, eggs, corn, anise seed,
half the scallions, nutmeg and salt.
Fill squash 3/4 full.
Return to oven, bake 30 - 50 minutes.
Check that the pudding has set, toothpick comes out clean.

Sprinkle the cheese on top, brown under the broiler.
Garnish with remaining scallions.

is a healthy, spicy Mexican-inspired soup with loads of flavor,
and great with crusty bread.

dry white wine, shallots, and scallions.  A pleasing combination.

The Culinary Institute of America shares
Peppery Beef Stew with Butternut Squash, a hearty meal with robust flavors.

Jacques Pepin shares his recipe for Gratin of Butternut Squash.
This creamy dish serves 6.

1 large butternut squash
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Peel, seed, and slice squash 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place squash slice in large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil.
Boil on high heat 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, drain.
Arrange pieces in gratin dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pour on the cream, cover with cheese.
Bake 30 minutes.

Brown under broiler before serving, 4 - 5 min.

There are only 103 calories in 1 whole sweet potato.
That's about the same as 1/2 cup of brown rice.
That same veg packs-in 14% of your daily fiber, 37% vitamin C,
and 438% vitamin A!
It also throws in some calcium and iron, for good measure.

They help to stabilize and lower your blood sugar,
and, without the skins,
they still fall into the medium glycemic zone,
which is lower than whole-wheat bread.

The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission shares many recipes
for us to try, from appetizers to main dishes to sweets.

Try Jalapeno Sweet Potato Chowder for an
easy spicy and creamy soup.

Roasted Sweet Potato Poblano Salad is a fresh twist.  Very delicious,
simple, and a world apart from being smothered in marshmallows.

Sweet Potato Cabbage Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing,
goodness!  How bad could this be?
Chicken, bleu cheese, toasted pecans, and red wine vinegar
make a glorious and flavorful dish for the whole family.

1 medium sweet potato
1 small head red cabbage
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced & toasted
8 slices bacon
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. roast chicken
1/2 cup toasted pecans
Hot Bacon Dressing (recipe below)
4 oz bleu cheese
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Sprinkle sweet potato with salt & pepper; wrap in foil.
Roast 375ยบ F 45 minutes, or until tender but not soft.  Cool.

Slice cabbage thinly, removing core.
Place into a bowl & toss with vinegar and garlic;
season with salt & pepper.

Cook bacon crispy.  Cut to 1-in. pieces.  Keep warm.

Slice cooled sweet potato into rounds;
saute with butter and honey until glazed; set aside.

Heat oil in large pan; add cabbage, toss 30 seconds.
Add shredded chicken and bacon pieces, sweet potato rounds,
and pecans; toss 1 minute.

Add 1/4 cup bacon dressing; toss.
Serve immediately with bleau cheese & parsley.

Hot Bacon Dressing

Cook 1 slice bacon until crisp; remove & set aside.
Add 2 Tbsp diced celery & 2 Tbsp minced onion,
cook tender 2 minutes.

Add 3 Tbsp each red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar,
brown sugar, and 1 tsp whole grain mustard.
Salt & pepper to taste.
Simmer 10 min.  Remove from heat.

Slowly stir-in 1 cup olive oil to emulsify.
Crumble and add bacon.

What are your favorite vegetable recipes?

About Me

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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!