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We like to live the motto of "healthy meets delicious". We enjoy cooking healthy, living great, and sharing the adventures we have along the way.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not

“Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!”
~Tommy Smothers

So we have been traveling and doing stuff constantly this summer, and it has been amazing. While it has been great, things around the house seem to go downhill. Lawns need to be mowed, weeds need to be pulled, dust is piling up, and our fridge starts to look grim. There is rotting vegetables, old leftovers, and always some mystery item hanging around. This is the one thing that I absolutely despise, wasting food. I always have the biggest cringe in my stomach whenever I have to throw something away. This thought got me researching on how many other people do the same thing, if not waste more. I found a site that seems respectable and lined up with many other sites I read, called guygoesgreen. Guygoesgreen claims that an average household of four throws away $590/year in food, as well as Americans throw away 25% of the food we prepare. To read more about these statistics and more, check it out. If this isn’t motivation, I am not sure what is. This has got me thinking about alternatives to food that may not be on its best moment.

Produce seems to be what goes the fastest, for me it is fruit. Although, fruit seems to be any easy thing to transform, known as baking. I currently have frozen mango puree, where I cook mangoes with cinnamon and rum, pureed and strained, then freeze. My grandma makes amazing banana bread by sticking an entire blacken banana in the freezer, and when ready to use, let thaw and squeeze out the ripened mush. Although it doesn’t seem super appetizing, it comes out with the most amazing banana flavor. Also, whenever I see berries about to turn, I freeze them in a bag and use them for smoothies in the morning. You can also make delicious bakery products, delicious muffins, pastries, breads and cookies. The more difficult things to try to find solutions for are the vegetable side of things.

One thing I do with vegetables is to store them properly. Spinach and lettuce often need to be taken out of plastic bags, pulled apart, and stored in a paper bag. This is also a good way to store herbs as well. When you have items in large quantity or looking like they are going to turn, the best thing to do is to plan. For example, currently I am getting an abundance of tomatoes from all my friends’ gardens. A person can only consume so many tomatoes fresh before they go bad, hence the wasting problem. Today I have a solution planned for these tomatoes, including marinara sauce, salsa, and making some vegetable chili. Chili is one of these amazing things where you can throw a lot of over ripe vegetables in a pot, and create an amazing meal.

I once knew this hippie guy who had a solution to the whole waste not, want not; he kept a giant pot in the back of his car and filled it up with items he came across. He would pick peaches off of a tree, find a half a loaf of bread then some one would give him some carrots; in they would go all mixing in a giant pot. It would always end up differently, and at the end of the week he would go to a friends house and cook up his pot of goodies. Although I respected his live off the land and not waste food style of life, it is not exactly my style of eating. I guess people always find their own solutions!

Hope this helps keep your fridge clean, let me know what methods you have!

Banana Pear Muffins

1 cups all-purpose flour
½ c whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas (mashed)
2 pears (peeled and mashed)
½ c honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/8 t cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, pears, honey, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. Sprinkle oats on top of muffins.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Delicious Salsa

1 red onion, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
¼ c olive oil
6 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 c of hot peppers, chopped
½ c tomato sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 c water
pint canning jars with lids and rings

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil.
2. Add the onions, tomatoes, and garlic, let simmer for 8-10 minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, and place on low. Simmer until thick, about 1-2 hours.
3. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the salsa into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.

Seal the jars or have around to enjoy!

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