Healthy Eating Isn't As Hard As It Might Seem - Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Baking Blog at - 331825

Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Baking

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. 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.
Aug. 22, 2014 10:11 pm
I, too, buy food directly from the farmer. I am happy to see little critters in my produce because that tells me it is not doused in toxic chemicals. Shucking corn and finding fat little green worms on my counter just confirms that I am buying from the right growers. Critters in my broccoli and cauliflower are ok in my kitchen too!
Aug. 23, 2014 9:07 am
Thanks Judy for a nice reminder that eating healthy isn't a fad or bad thing. I enjoyed reading your blog. A lady in a town close to mine had her artichokes literally explode when she rinsed them with water and baking soda. It was found that they were covered in pesticides that reacted to the water/ baking soda. I'd prefer fat green worms any day. Thanks for sharing.
Aug. 23, 2014 12:24 pm
Ohhh ewwww worms! I hope you got them all! Something I have learned from cooking healthier (and with that, buying more expensive fresh foods) is that you can make your meals stretch much further than you think. I don't cook big batches much anymore...just whatever we're going to eat that night. No more throwing away leftovers or wasting food. Good for you for eating healthier! Living in Iowa gives me access to a lot more farm-fresh produce (we have tons of roadside stands) but as a trade off fresh seafood is near impossible to get this far inland. I loved your blog...keep writing!
Aug. 23, 2014 5:59 pm
I totally agree with you about not enjoying eating out in restaurants after starting to eat healthier at home. Not only am I concerned about the quality of the food, the menu choices, and the prices, I wonder about the people who are preparing my food. I wonder if they are clean and (this may seem really odd) but what their attitude is. I don't expect them to be "cooking with love" but I want my food prepared by someone who cares. Unfortunately if I express these ideas to friends who suggest going out to eat (which is entertainment mainly) I get some strange looks.
Aug. 24, 2014 11:15 am
Judy, I've found a critter or two in fresh veggies, and it's hard to overcome the "yuck" factor! I try not to think about it too much, because the flavor of fresh, organic veggies is so superior. Perhaps if enough people complain loudly and frequently, the food industry will get the message. Agree with Abbey, buy only what you will use today or the next day. I'm dangerous at a farmers' market without a plan and a list!
Aug. 26, 2014 7:09 pm
I grew up with my parents and grandparents growing most of our food and we raised chickens and cows. I got away from it for a few years but am back the last 20 or so years growing what I csn, buying from local farmers and have a grass fed beef coming for the freezer later this week. I want to encourwge you to keep eating healthy. After one year of only changing to eating grass fed rather thsn supermarket beef my cholesterol went down 40 points. I mention that because I feel that eating more healthy and natural foods is cheaper in the long run! Also when I eat out I often get headaches from the MSG many restaurants add to their food.
Aug. 28, 2014 12:46 am
I am so glad that some people are becoming more educated on what they eat. There are so many people that are not aware of the danger of eating GMO food, including meats and so many products that contain GMO. Fortunately, people are becoming more aware of what is in our food. If we all buy foods more wisely, in time, the GMO foods and unhealthy foods offered in the supermarkets will become more healthy. We really need to demand the healthier foods that we could buy a little over 20 years ago.
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About Me
I breed large parrots, like to write, raise most of our veggies, completed my AS degree at 65, enjoy cooking specialty dishes and baking bread. I have done extensive study of cooking and eating healthy. A few years ago, I started researching healthy eating for my parrots, and it has since changed focus to the diet of my family. At this point, I make all of our bread using fresh milled flour that I make. We eat primarily pastures fed meats and eggs, and I make many of our condiments. We also avoid GMO foods and ingredients as much as possible. Since my 93 year old mother has moved in with us, we have eliminated the 10 medications she was on, and her physical and mental condition has improved considerably. I totally believe that we are what we eat. What is really best for us is a constant learning experience.
My favorite things to cook
I get bored with cooking daily meals, but enjoy making specialty and new dishes. I also enjoy baking breads from scratch using freshly ground flour made from various grains that I buy in bulk.
My cooking triumphs
One of my cooking triumphs was baking whole grain breads that are light, tasty, and healthy.
My cooking tragedies
My latest cooking tragedy was recovered with some effort. I made the Navy Bean and Ham soup that I posted and after the cooking time, much of the liquid had evaporated. I was tired when it finished and put it into containers and froze it as it was. The next day we had it for dinner and it was way too thick. As much as I didn't feel like it, I thawed 8 containers of the soup, added more broth, and repackaged it for freezing. It was really a pain, but I'm glad I did it. The finished soup was so much better.
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