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Tag Archives: The Granola Escapades
It’s been a while since I’ve posted about our whole “going organic” adventure. It’s been going very well, we’ve phased out most of the non organic things in our pantry, replacing them with more wholesome items which have ingredients that I can pronounce and understand.
I’ve been playing with a lot of really delicious recipes. Bill bought me two WONDERFUL organic cook books for Christmas and I plan on reading them as soon as I get a second to myself. The above left is an AMAZING boc-choy stir fry I made. I’ll have to share the recipe soon.
We’ve still been getting organic shares from The Rawfully Organic Co-Op here in Houston and I have a back log of photos to share. So much bounty of deliciousness!! The local organic strawberries have been my favorite (oh the joys of living in a place where the average winter temp is around 65 degrees), they’re usually gone by the time we get our share back to the house.
Infused water is my new obsession as I try to increase my intake by about 1000%. I’ve been drinking water with cucumber or pineapple in it for years but lately I’ve really gotten creative with the combinations. That’s the beauty of infused water, you can pretty much add anything to it and get a slight boost of flavor (and vitamins) that make your water just a little more…flavorful. Most recently, organic orange slices and mint from my garden is a favorite.
I’ve also been playing with “hiding” veggies in our foods. Bill isn’t a huge fan of most cooked vegetables so it’s been a challenge for me cook them in a way that he’ll eat them. The “way” being that he doesn’t know he’s eating them. I recently made some AMAZING turkey burgers with shaved carrots and zucchini, it was a recipe that had had been mulling around in my head for a while and it turned out awesome. And bonus, he loved them! I’ll be sharing it soon.
We’ve also discovered locally (Houston) made Kickin’ Kombucha, which we love. Kombucha is basically fermented tea with yeasts and all kinds of other cool living things that make it fizzy and delightful (for a really fancy description visit Kickin’ Kombucha’s FAQ page) . It’s good for you and delish, which means we’re for it! I recently (like today) found this great blog called Deliciously Organic, and Karrie posted a very cool recipe to make your own Kombucha. I can’t wait to try it.
On a side note both the Deliciously Organic blog and The Rawfully Organic Co-Op use the same font for their logo (both in orange too). I noticed it right away. Yes, I am a big fat design nerd. Don’t judge me.
We’ve been organic for over a month now, so far its been positive. I’ve never seen Bill so excited about produce as when we pick up our share from The Rawfully Organic Co-op. He practically danced around the parking lot gleefully singing, “I love organic organic produce” yesterday when we went to pick up our third share. I always wash the fruit/vegs right when we get home and lay them out on towels to dry over night. This morning I saw both a red pear and orange gone. I love that he loves fruit.
Like I said, this experience has been positive so far…except for last night at about 3:00am. Bill and I met my dad for dinner after we picked up our share yesterday at this great little hole in the wall Mexican food place. It’s very clearly not organic, much less healthy. We shared Queso Flamiado (spanish for a big bowl of melted cheese chock full of greasy meat), which was delicious. Then we shared a GIANT plate of beef, chicken, and shrimp fajitas with loads of guac and this place serves them with fried potatoes. All food I haven’t really eaten in over a month. Delish too, but about an hour after I felt like there was a boulder in my gullet.
Fast forward to 3am when I am awoken by a lump in my throat. A giant vomity lump. I am very passionately against vomiting so I got up, went to the bathroom and just sat there trying to push the feeling down. I went back to bed, tossing and turning, trying to find a position that would make me feel like NOT vomiting all over the place.
I finally fell back asleep.
This morning as I process the happenings of last night I am amazed at how quickly my body has changed and has started to reject unhealthy foods. We haven’t eaten a lot of meat lately either, mostly due to the high price of organic meat. So I don’t know if it was the grease, or the cheese, or the insane amount of meat I ate but something did me in.
I’ve raised my little white flag of defeat. Body, I surrender. I promise not to do that again.
My good friend Bethia suggested I make a soup with the kale I received in my first organic co-op share. I searched for some recipes and found one online that I liked but like any recipe I always have to change something, or in this case a lot of things. So here is what I ended up with…
1 Package Italian Sausage, cut up links or loose sausage
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Teaspoons Paprika
1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 Cup White Wine
2 Plumb Tomatoes, Chopped
5 Cups Chicken Broth
1 Bunch Kale, Ribs Removed and Chopped (about 8 cups)
1 Can Cannellini (or white) beans, rinsed
3 Yellow Potatoes, Cubed
5 Carrots, Cut Up
1/2 Celery Stalk, Chopped
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Flour
1. Heat oil in soup pot, add cut up sausage links (or loose sausage) and cook. Transfer to a plate and leave juices in the pot.
2. Add onion to the pot and cook until the onion is just a tad soft. Add garlic, paprika, crushed red pepper, and cook stirring occasionally.
3. Add wine and tomatoes, turn to high, and stir to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add broth, carrots, celery, and potatoes and bring to a boil.
4. Mix flour and milk vigorously in a separate container (shaking them in a jar works great), add to pot, it thickens the soup a bit. Add kale and stir until it wilts. Reduce heat to a happy simmer and cook stirring occasionally until the kale, carrots, celery and potatoes are tender.
5. Stir in beans and cooked sausage (and any juices that have settled in your plate). Simmer until the beans and sausage are heated through.
Bill even liked it and he is a self proclaimed soup hater! This makes a lot of soup so feel free to put them in containers and freeze. (I have a serving hidden in the back of the freezer for eating on a random cold blustery afternoon.)
Anyone have any other kale recipes?
Can you have a blog series with a sub series? Well it’s happening. This is What’s In The Box, a sub series of The Granola Escapades (or TGE for short). We’ll share with you what was in our last share from Rawfully Organic Co-Op with lots of pretty pictures and some ideas for what we plan on doing with the random items in our share.
This is also the place where I’ll go…
“Kale, what the heck do I do with kale?”
And you can go, “Hey Chris, try this great kale recipe!”
And then I will and I will send you a virtual high five (or maybe a virtual hug, it depends).
So What’s In Box #1…
Dreamy isn’t it?
The week we got: romaine lettuce, broccoli, celery, pineapple, watermelon, carrots, bananas, KALE, green beans, a variety of apples, juicing oranges (I can not tell you how delicious these are), a variety of pears, avocado, cucumber, a lot of zucchini (which Bill does not like so I’ll have to hide it in something), green onion, green bell pepper, lemons, basil, cherry tomatoes (they taste like candy, SO good), and a cantaloupe.
I think I explained in the first The Granola Escapades post that my deal with Bill was that if we did this organic/co-op thing, he had to eat everything, even the veggies he didn’t like. And let me tell you he’s a tad bit picky. But to my surprise he agreed. So that zucchini over there on the left, yeah, he’ll be eating it!
Now is where I ask…what the heck do I do with kale? I think I’ve had it in soup…once. And I’m pretty sure they use it to decorate around salad bars. And that’s about all I know.
So, do you have any great kale recipes?
We’re beginning an experiment of lifestyle.
During one of our Saturday morning breakfasts, Bill said, “Soooo I’ve been thinking…” which always means that he’s really been pondering something, “we’ve seen lots of friends who have had complications during their pregnancies and since we’re going to have kids soon, I’ve been trying to figure out why.”
My interest was perked.
“I think a big factor is our food, preservatives, hormones, all that stuff, its got to be messing around with our bodies. I’d like to go all organic with our food.”
Insert my shock. My family owns a chain of health food stores in upstate NY; health food, organic, vegetarian, homeopathic remedies, carbon footprints, recycling, going green…all that was engrained in me from childhood, you know before it was cool. Bill grew up in a “typical American” household with white bread sandwiches and ravioli that came out of a can. For him to say this was…shocking.
So after many more discussions and research and chatting with family members we’ve made the decision to go all organic. We won’t be those crazy people that refuse to eat anything else, we’ll still go out to eat, we’re not going to impose our decision on our friends. But since the majority of our meals are eaten at home we’re making the conscience commitment to make better choices and be aware of what exactly we are putting in our bodies.
Here’s Our Game Plan:
1. Remove all processed, non-organic foods from our home. We’re not made of money so we’re doing this in phases as we can afford to replace things. And don’t worry, we’ll be donating all these items to food banks and a few charities (more on that later).
2. Buy organic produce and meats (and pretty much everything else) as economically as possible (we’ve found some great produce co-ops and farms in our area that we’ll be sharing in the next few weeks).
3. Eat healthier by making better choices. We’ll be making better choices when we go out and at home. I’ll be sharing some new recipes along the way as well.
4. Exercise. Period. Bill and I operate on somewhat different schedules so we’ll each need to make up an exercise schedule that works for our schedule, goals, and likes and dislikes (I like to run, Bill does not).
5. Record our experiences. We’ll be divulging everything here on the blog. Bill will be writing too (yay). We want to share with you the resources we find, knowledge we’ve gained, and what we’re going through both physically and mentally, all what we’re calling “The Granola Escapades”.
So that’s that. We’d love to hear from anyone who’s already doing this. Are you all organic? What have you learned?