Beyond Black & White » Farmer’s Market Fresh http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:12:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Could You Be a Vegetarian Until Dinnertime? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/vegetarian-dinnertime/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/vegetarian-dinnertime/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 16:54:37 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32336 On day I walked into FedEx Kinkos one day to send out a package, and while I was waiting, I saw a book that caught my eye, Eat Vegan Before Six. I thought it was interesting–being a “flexetarian”–eating no meat until dinner time is something I’ve been doing consistently for nearly a year since I started […]

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On day I walked into FedEx Kinkos one day to send out a package, and while I was waiting, I saw a book that caught my eye, Eat Vegan Before Six. I thought it was interesting–being a “flexetarian”–eating no meat until dinner time is something I’ve been doing consistently for nearly a year since I started growing my own food. 10580670_10203041916223072_2623140691426107611_o

Armenian Cucumbers and grapes taste delicious. The cucumbers give a somewhat salty taste and  the grapes give a balancing sweetness. I’m growing these in the garden this season.

The inspiration for this book is based on the author, Mark Bittman, a cookbook writer and food policy expert:

Six years ago, an overweight, pre-diabetic Mark Bittman faced a medical directive: adopt a vegan diet or go on medication. He was no fan of a lifelong regimen of pills, but as a food writer he lived—and worked—to eat. So neither choice was appealing.

His solution was a deal with himself. He would become a “flexitarian.” He adopted a diet heavy in vegetables, fruits, and grains by following a healthy vegan diet (no meat, dairy, or processed foods) all day. After 6:00 p.m. he’d eat however he wanted, though mostly in moderation. Beyond that, his plan involved no gimmicks, scales, calorie counting, or point systems. And there were no so-called forbidden foods—he ate mostly home-cooked meals that were as varied and satisfying as they were delicious, but he dealt with the realities of the office and travel and life on the run as best he could.

He called this plan Vegan Before 6:00 (VB6 for short), and the results were swift and impressive. Best of all, they proved to be lasting and sustainable over the long haul. Bittman lost 35 pounds and saw all of his blood numbers move in the right direction.

Using extensive scientific evidence to support his plan, the acclaimed cookbook author and food policy columnist shows why his VB6 approach succeeds when so many other regimens not only fail, but can actually lead to unwanted weight gain.

He then provides all the necessary tools for making the switch to a flexitarian diet: lists for stocking the pantry, strategies for eating away from home in a variety of situations, pointers for making cooking on a daily basis both convenient and enjoyable, and a complete 28-day eating plan showing VB6 in action. Finally, Bittman provides more than 60 recipes for vegan breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, as well as non-vegan dinners that embrace the spirit of a vegetable- and grain-forward diet.

If you’re one of the millions who have thought of trying a vegan diet but fear it’s too monotonous or unfamiliar, or simply don’t want to give up the foods you love to eat, VB6 will introduce a new, flexible, and quite simply better way of eating you can really live with . . . for life.

I think my method leans more toward vegetarian than vegan, because I occasionally eggs and cheese before six. I also don’t eat “whatever I want” after six, but stick to a mainly paleo menu offering. The following is not a stock photo. I just picked this yesterday morning. Notice all the colors? This ensemble is packed with antioxidants–cancer fighting, skin and hair loving, energy sustaining goodness. IMG_9866
  So could you do it…be a vegan/vegetarian for most of the day and get your meat, cheese, and eggs on at the end of the day?

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Quick! Help Me Create Some Meals with the Massive Harvest! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/quick-help-create-meals-massive-harvest/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/quick-help-create-meals-massive-harvest/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:04:40 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32005 Whew. Got back from the Tenth Annual BlogHer conference in San Jose feeling a bit nervous. I mean, I called everyday to say hello to the hubby and kids, and remind Clo Clo to water the plants. A lot. Because the heat was well into the 90′s, and since I’m growing in containers and raised […]

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Whew. Got back from the Tenth Annual BlogHer conference in San Jose feeling a bit nervous. I mean, I called everyday to say hello to the hubby and kids, and remind Clo Clo to water the plants. A lot. Because the heat was well into the 90′s, and since I’m growing in containers and raised beds, the water demands are a little higher than the stuff I have growing in the ground.

First off, three days away from my favorite place in the world had reaped (ha ha) amazing results. It’s starting to look like Jurassic Park out there. Seriously, the aggressiveness of my pumpkins is a little reminiscent of that book, The Ruins. I saw a colony of aphids that have been my bane of my existence since spring, and the powdery mildew on my melons are making an appearance. Time for the heavy duty organic pesticides.

But hey! Three days away and I came home to this…

Harvest

 

You’re looking at cucumbers, tomatoes, white and purple eggplant, and sweet peppers. There’s so much here (a few pounds) that I need to figure out something creative to do with all of it. Note that I’ll probably be pickling and canning the  cucumbers, so don’t spend too much time on those. Everything else needs a recipe. But I’ve got some restrictions. Nothing with bread, rice, or potatoes, please! I can and do eat cheese. I don’t care if the caveman didn’t eat it so it’s not palo–I’m not giving up cheese.

 

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Cucumber Season Means Home Made Pickles! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/cucumber-season-means-home-made-pickles/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/cucumber-season-means-home-made-pickles/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 01:18:48 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=30943 I like cucumbers as much as the next person, but too much of anything is just…to much. I’m very, VERY new to the world of canning and preserves, and I’m a little paranoid about the whole sealing process. Don’t want to accidentally kill anyone by creating a virtual petri dish of flesh-eating bacteria. That’s why […]

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I like cucumbers as much as the next person, but too much of anything is just…to much. I’m very, VERY new to the world of canning and preserves, and I’m a little paranoid about the whole sealing process. Don’t want to accidentally kill anyone by creating a virtual petri dish of flesh-eating bacteria.

That’s why I’m starting slow with things that are prepared and stored in the refrigerator. Since I have two different cucumbers, carrots and dill growing in the garden, I thought I’d give it a go this weekend.

Pickling is an ancient preserving method, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible for me to muss it up. What makes for a good dill pickle is crispness, a zing from vinegar, and some added spices like dill, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, salt and garlic. You can save money on the front end and pick up some pickling spices from a well-stocked store. It also turns out that pickles aren’t void of nutrition–it’s a good source of Vitamin K, and unfortunately a good source of sodium. Regardless of the vitamins, those with high blood pressure should opt for low-sodium varieties. Pickles also have an appetite suppressing effect, at least for me.

First I harvested, cleaned, and cut my cucumbers and two carrots.

 

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Then I prepared my jar in a pot of boiling water to kill any pesky germs and started my brine in a sauce pan. I packed the pickles and carrots in tight and then poured in the brine.

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Then, time to add the brine and seasonings, then cover with the top until the contents reach room temperature.

 

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I sort of merged this recipe with one that I found in a book called Food in Jars, which is geared toward small-batch preserves. I used mostly white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, and I’m glad I did. The original calls for all apple cider vinegar, which lends an unwanted sweetness to the pickles, and I HATE sweet pickles. You can find the recipe here.

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Just As Good as Hair Vitamins: Why You Should Be (Growing) and Eating Cabbage http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/just-good-hair-vitamins-growing-eating-cabbage/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/just-good-hair-vitamins-growing-eating-cabbage/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 06:21:30 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=30891 I planted cabbage for the first time in the late fall, unsure what those little dark-brown seeds would actually amount to anything. I usually skip cabbage in the grocery store, and I was thinking that maybe if I grew it at home I’d be more likely to eat it. That turned out to be kinda […]

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I planted cabbage for the first time in the late fall, unsure what those little dark-brown seeds would actually amount to anything. I usually skip cabbage in the grocery store, and I was thinking that maybe if I grew it at home I’d be more likely to eat it.

That turned out to be kinda true, but kinda not. The cabbage grew into a beautiful ornament, like a flower made out of leaves, and I just couldn’t bring myself to harvest such a pretty plant, despite The Hubster’s insistence that it was time. I finally gave in when I noticed that one savoy cabbage (savoy is just a fancy way to saying crinkly leaves) had begun to flower. Once a plant flowers and goes to seed, it’s less delicious. I knew I was about to run out of time. So here’s the first harvested savoy cabbage from my “beauty” garden:

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Until today, I just snipped of the out leaves as I needed them to make a fruit smoothie, so it was fun actually planning an actual meal that I wasn’t going to drink with it.

Here’s what we made–a sirloin stir fry with cabbage, carrots, and peanut sauce.

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I don’t usually eat peanuts as it’s not part of the paleo nutrition plan, but I figured a little deviation won’t hurt. By the way, it was soooo good and there were no leftovers. You can find the recipe here. I adjusted the recipe a bit by adding a teaspoon of salt and cooked with peanut oil.

Because I research every vegetable I’m growing, I was delighted that cabbage has some amazing benefits:

  • High fiber content combined with low calories keeps you feeling full longer, so it’s good for weight management.
  • It’s also high in sulfur, which helps manage acne and contributes to hair and nail growth.
  • It’s an amazing detoxifier
  • It helps control blood sugar and help to prevent some cancers and a recent study indicates that it can inhibit breast cancer cells.

Grow Organic Start to Finish!

Eating organic is essential consuming cabbage, but the residual pesticide chemicals enter into the plant system, and since you’re eating the leaves, you’d also be eating that junk.

Cabbage is so easy to grow, even in a pot. Just make sure it’s on the large side…10 gallons just to safe. The larger pots are on the expensive side, so you can cut costs growing in a Smart Pot. With these, you can use it and fold it away until you’re ready to use it again.

And finally, just say “No to GMO” (genetically modified frankenfood) and pick put a pack of cabbage seeds from a reputable source of organic, heirloom seeds. Here’s one to consider. This is a little on the pricey side, but I like that the proceeds go to the State Farmers Market Association.

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Sweet and Paleo-Friendly Honey Roasted Carrots http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/sweet-paleo-friendly-honey-roasted-carrots/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/sweet-paleo-friendly-honey-roasted-carrots/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 05:31:25 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=30365   Yesterday on my way to visit my Mother for Mom’s Day, I noticed something strange about my feet when I reached down to slather lotion on my ankles. The bottom of my feet are turning orange. This happens occasionally when you consume too much Vitamin A, because it isn’t water soluble. It will just […]

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Yesterday on my way to visit my Mother for Mom’s Day, I noticed something strange about my feet when I reached down to slather lotion on my ankles. The bottom of my feet are turning orange. This happens occasionally when you consume too much Vitamin A, because it isn’t water soluble. It will just linger in your body and literally tint your skin orange until it dissipates.

Did I get you all excited about eating carrots yet? Yes; the soles of my feet are orange, put my night vision is laser sharp and my complexion looks fabulous.

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If you’re growing your garden (as you should) and you’ve got carrots in the ground, try this easy-yet-tasty side dish that tastes almost like dessert. For a little extra flair, I added olive oil infused with blood oranges, but  you need not get that fancy. Regular olive oil will do just fine. This recipe is consistent with my paleo way of eating, which has me in the best shape of my life.

 

Sweet and Paleo-Friendly Honey Roasted Carrots

Sweet and Paleo-Friendly Honey Roasted Carrots

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs carrots
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • sea salt
  • flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 375
  2. Peel carrots and cut in half lengthwise
  3. Coat carrots with olive oil and arrange them in a small baking dish
  4. Sprinkle salt to taste (I use just a pinch)
  5. Drizzle honey over the carrots
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes and turn occasionally to be sure the oil and honey are distributed well on each carrot
  7. Garnish with flat leaf parsley
http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/sweet-paleo-friendly-honey-roasted-carrots/

 

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One of the Easiest (and Healthiest) Vegetables to Grow in a ‘Beauty Garden’ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/one-easiest-healthiest-vegetable-grow-beauty-garden/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/one-easiest-healthiest-vegetable-grow-beauty-garden/#comments Sun, 04 May 2014 06:26:27 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=30153 I realize that not everyone is like me when it comes to gardening. While I’m out in the patio with my coffee first thing in the morning to pollinate my zucchinis, I realize that sort of zealousness is not shared by all. It should be, but that’s a matter for another blog post. While you […]

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I realize that not everyone is like me when it comes to gardening. While I’m out in the patio with my coffee first thing in the morning to pollinate my zucchinis, I realize that sort of zealousness is not shared by all. It should be, but that’s a matter for another blog post.

While you might not be a green thumb–maybe yours is yellow–you can still grow some of your food at home. One of the easiest things to grow are baby salad greens. These babies are packed with nutrients and will grow just about anywhere there’s at least four hours of sun. In summer, tender greens will even appreciate a little shade from the harsh afternoon heat. What’s more, you growing your own salad greens ensures they’ll be free of potentially harmful pesticides and provides maximum nutrition–you’ll not find a fresher salad green than the ones you pluck from your pot and plop on your plate. They’re also easy to grow and fast to mature…you’ll have the best salad of your life in just a month.

How Salad Greens Make You Beautiful

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Everything you see here comes from my ‘beauty garden’

Salad greens provide bulk without the calories. It’s got fiber and only 9 calories per cup. Throw in the multi-coloring and you have some antioxidant action going on. “If you frequently eat green salads, you’ll likely have higher blood levels of a host of powerful antioxidants (vitamin C and E, folic acid, lycopene, and alpha- and beta-carotene,) especially if your salad includes some raw vegetables. Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals,” says . Greens also help keep your skin clear and luminous.

How to Grow

Growing mixed greens is so easy caveman could do it. In fact, he probably did. They grow as easy in the ground as in a pot, and if you’ve got a sunny winder or an AeroGarden–a hydroponic vegetable cultivating system that uses no soil at all–you can grow them inside. Regardless of which you choose, it’s really important to me that I buy organic, non-GMO (genetically modified) seeds, and a few I use and recommend are Seeds of Change and Botanical Interest.

Salad green seeds are tiny with shallow roots so you don’t need a deep pot to plant them and they only go down 1/8 of an inch. You might, however, get the widest pot you can so you’ll have plenty to harvest. The greens are what gardeners call, “cut and come” again. Snipping them actually encourages them to grow more. Just snip what you need and leave the rest for next time. Since not living on two acres (not even close) I utilize every bit of space I have in my pots and raised beds. For under $40 I bought a Smart Pot Big Bad Bed, which is basically fabric shaped in a circle. Just fill in the bag with potting soil and ta-da…you have a raised bed and you didn’t even need wood, hammers or nails. I’m growing greens along the rim of my planter of zucchinis. eggplant, and cucumbers.

 

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Make good use of all your space by planting lettuce alongside bigger plants

 

Add your favorite things

Baby salad greens are good alone with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but don’t be shy about building your salad with all the fruits and veggies you like. Add some chicken and you’ve go a complete meal.

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