Saturday, April 13, 2013
We welcomed our new baby boy last week! Recovery is going smoothly and the other kids seem to be transitioning well. I haven't been in the kitchen much for the last month or so - but V has been cooking up a storm. As I get the energy, I'll post some of his more notable successes.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Acure Shampoo and Conditioner! I could not be more excited about these. I've tried a bunch of all-natural hair care options and these are by far the best that I've found. The shampoo actually foams, the conditioner actually conditions, and they're actually non-toxic. Also, they smell good.
I even put the ingredients into the skin deep database and they passed with flying colors. The shampoo is a 1 and the conditioner is a 2! I couldn't believe it. My local Whole Foods carries them for $8 each - so that's pretty much awesome. I've already stocked up.
For styling, I have low-maintenance curly hair so I use Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel (for wavy to curly hair) and once in a while, I'll use Giovanni mousse (skin deep profile here - except that it also contains fragrance). And that's literally it for my hair.
Other natural options of note that I've tried:
Beautiful Curls - shampoo and conditioner worked really well for the first week but then my hair started feeling dirty/greasy and wouldn't get clean. (I do still love their curl gel though.)
Terraessentials - eww. Mud in my hair. No foam. No clean feeling. It was terrible.
Dr. Mercola brand - this one was vicarious from my sister but no foam and didn't feel clean.
USANA - I got the shampoo and conditioner and they foamed and totally worked. I thought it was too good to be true and sure enough, I did a skin deep profile on them and they were like 7-8 for toxicity! They even had 'fragrance' as an ingredient. Lame, lame, lame. And I paid like $45 for that stuff.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
This is what I use for washing dishes - SAL SUDS by Dr Bronner. It's super natural and still acts like dishsoap. I used to have it in a pump bottle at my sink but my new kitchen came equipped with a built-in pump - so now I just have to refill.
It doesn't solve the dishwasher detergent dilemma though. I experimented with a soap nut version a while ago but kind of gave up on finding something ultra natural after that. Now I just use Method. I get the packets because they're easier to put in quickly and shut the door fast when you've got an interested toddler on your heels. And it's a small pkg that doesn't take up much room in my upper cupboards. It's hard to imagine the day that I can use my lower cupboards for anything breakable or toxic again...
Thursday, February 7, 2013
These actually didn't turn out to be awesome - but I love the idea! I got the recipe out of the Well-Fed Paleo cookbook (free sample here). I think the recipe would have worked if I'd followed it better but I was multitasking and my crockpot ran dry. Basically, you cube the jicama and then put it in your crockpot for 24 hours with water. Then drain and saute on the stove with onion, oil, salt and pepper, and whatever else you'd put in homefries.
They look surprisingly like the potato version and have a decent texture. I imagine they'd be heaven to someone who hasn't eaten potatoes in a really long time. But currently, that's not me. I will say, I love the cookbook it comes from. It's very practical and the section at the beginning talks about setting up your paleo kitchen and how to streamline processes - it was really useful information for me. I haven't actually made many recipes out of it but I have changed my weekly methods based on the book - for the better.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
This was my awesome and quick lunch today. I don't know why it hasn't occurred to me before, but I can make 'pasta salad' with beans instead of pasta. The kids preferred their beans plain with red pepper on the side. I added olive oil and salt to their straight-from-the-can white beans. To mine, I also added red pepper, cucumber, green onion, avocado, salami, and aged provolone. I put a teensy bit of balsamic vinegar over the top but it honestly would have been better with fresh lemon juice instead. The cracker is a croccantini from costco. I actually ended up spreading avocado on it to eat. Delicious!
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Contrary to how the other posts look this month, we've actually been strict about our diets again since New Years. V is taking a work weight-loss competition seriously (weighing food and keeping spreadsheets), and I've cut out sugar and bread. I'm not actually cutting carbs, since I'm pregnant, but bread is just a gateway drug for me. We're doing big breakfasts with eggs, fresh juice, sometimes nitrate free bacon or sausage, sometimes oatmeal or sourdough waffles. Lunches are meat with veggies and dinners are smoothies (green or yogurt) with something (cottage cheese, crackers, muffins, modified cookies) or lentil soup (Greek, dhal, or mujaddara). And we're going thru a ton of produce.
I've been making big food orders from Azure Standard to keep costs down (mostly on juicing and meats). We have a local coop I joined and a new Whole Foods in town to fill in the gaps. And my Dad regularly drops off wild trout within hours of it swimming in the lake - there are some serious perks to our recent move :)
I know this is super late and all, but I just have to post our Thanksgiving meal for my records. This year we went with turkey (last year's lobster is here). We actually had a family outing to the farm and got to see the turkeys getting rounded up. It was very cool. My 18 month old even started saying 'gobble, gobble'. Anyway, we actually scored two local, pastured turkeys - one for a trial run and one for the real deal. V did a salt brine and roasted them in the oven.
The rest of the meal was divided up between my siblings and parents. We had 23 people to feed so everyone brought something. V made the pastured turkey and two cranberry chutneys (spicy and sweet), my dad make a smoked turkey in his kamado, I did the Bunny stuffing (with bacon), yams (recipe from my sil), beets, and mint and honey carrots. My brothers' families did the potatoes, gravy, pudding fruit salad, rolls, and pies. The pies deserve their own post but I didn't make them and didn't get any pictures. For the record, they were fabulous - we had like 8 flavors. Then my sister and mom did about a million dishes.
The turkey relish tray made it's appearance for dinner with crackers and leftover turkey with rolls (the real meal was served during the lunch hour). I was worried I'd need more options available for dinner with all of the kids but they were too busy playing to stop long for food.
And we had several meals of turkey sandwiches for leftovers. Dressed up with V's cranberry relish, goat cheese, farmer's market sourdough, and spinach, I didn't get sick of leftovers for a long time.