Healthy Eating isn't as Hard as it Might Seem
Aug. 21, 2014 1:25 am
Updated: Aug. 28, 2014 12:46 am
As I had mentioned in my last blog entry, healthy eating on a regular basis takes some effort. It is so tempting sometimes, and once in a while I relent, to go out for dinner just to have a night off from cooking. My husband loves take-out pizza and often
suggests that we get out for dinner. I have to admit, the break is tempting, but when we do go out all I can think about is the GMO meat we are eating, and how much of the food has been processed with preservatives and GOD knows what else. Somehow this takes
away from the enjoyment of a meal I didn't have to cook.
A few years ago, we use to go out often for the Friday fish fry that many restaurants offer. My husband always got fried fish and I always got broiled. Since then, I have been making fish at home, and a year or so ago, we again went out for the fish fry after
we had gotten used to homemade fish. Neither of us could finish the meal!. My husband thought the fried fish was too greasy, and the baked fish that I got was dry and chewy. The point here is that once you learn to cook healthy meals, meals out aren't as enjoyable
as they used to be. You really can "spoil" yourself and your family on good food. Allrecipes.com is a wonderful source for recipes.
It's true that buying organic foods and range fed meats is more expensive, but there are ways to save money and do it more economically. There are also ways to solve the problem of making fast, healthy meals when time doesn't permit making a full course meal.
The answer here is buying in bulk, buying when foods are in season, and cooking meals that are enough for more than one meal. For all of these, having a large chest or upright freezer is very helpful. We have 4 chest freezers and one upright. No, you don't
really need so many freezers. I buy grain in bulk and keep them in the freezers to keep them fresher.
If you live in a rural area, access to farm raises vegetables is easier, but many farmer have farm stands in suburban areas. Shop around because prices from one vendor to another can vary a lot. When you find a vendor with reasonable prices, question how the
vegetables are raised and what kind of seeds they use. Other than corn and possibly zucchini squash, most vegetables are not GMO at this point. When vegetables are raised organically, insecticides are not used on them. if insecticides are used they need to
be washed really well to get all of the insecticide off of them. The only downside of buying organic vegetables from a farmer is that you may find extra protein in them.
My husband recently bought a lot of broccoli and cauliflower from a farmer that grows organic. I washed all of it, cut it and started blanching them for freezing. After I had blanched a couple of pots full, I noticed green worms that were very alive in the
next batch to be blanched. To tell you the truth, I freaked out. What if I already cooked some in the batches that were done? I dumped all of the blanched veggies back into a sink of cold water, and inspected each and every floret. So did you know that green
worms turn white when they are cooked?? I do hope that I found them all. At any rate, I found out from some internet research that worms in broccoli and cauliflower will com out of the vegetables if they are soaked in a sink of cold water with 1/4 cup of salt
and a couple of tablespoons of vinegar. All of the vegetables that I had left got this soak. Some did come out, and I hope I got them all out. Even though these veggies are healthier, I don't think I want the extra protein. I can tell you that I will inspect
each piece before I eat it.
For what it's worth, all of this did prove that the veggies we bought were organically grown. We bought enough that we won't have to buy broccoli or cauliflower at the store all winter and into the next summer. Buying in bulk, we saved money over buying frozen
from the store, and they were fresh when they were frozen. When you buy "fresh" from the store, you don't know how long they have been stored before sale. The longer they are stored, the more nutrients they lose. They may look fresh, but they really aren't.
Other veggies that we get in bulk are green beans and beets. I blanch the green beans cut French style and whole. I just like the French cut, and the whole are used as is for dinners and for use in pot roasts and stews. The whole beans can also be partially
thawed and cut later for other recipes such as the Italian Green Beans that I have posted on this site.
If you have the space, you can also grow some of your own veggies, that can be blanched and frozen for later. We have a garden that we grow tomatoes. green peppers, kale, Swiss chard, spinach carrots, and sometimes green beans. Tomatoes and green peppers don't
even have to be blanched before freezing. The tomatoes, I core and freeze whole. The skin is easily remove by running the under warm water. They are used later in stew and in place of canned tomatoes in recipes. Green peppers are cored, and the seeds are cleaned
out, and are used later in recipes requiring chopped green pepper.
This blog is getting pretty long, and I don't want to bore you. So I will continue in my next blog on how to make fast food meals that aren't fast food.