Give It a Try!

Photo by Comprock

Photo by Comprock

Changing my eating habits has been positive for me in more than one way. Not only have I dropped two pant sizes without trying, but I have tried so many new foods that I’m finding to be amazing!

Growing up, my mom fed me fruits and vegetables.  Our veggies usually consisted of canned corn, canned green beans, canned carrots, and potatoes.  We did eat more fresh fruit, typically apples, bananas, and sometimes peaches.  We didn’t eat much variety, and what we did eat, usually came from a can.

In just the past two months, I have eaten more fruits and vegetables than I have eaten in probably the past 10 years.  I have also tried so many new things, or foods that I had never had fresh.  This is my list of things you should try if you have never had them or just try to eat more of!

  1. Beets – I did eat beets as a child.  My mother took us to Morrison’s (now Piccadilly) on a weekly basis after swimming lessons as a child.  The man there said I was the only child that ever asked for beets.  This was my only experience with beets… out of a can.  We recently had lunch from one of the food trucks here in Anchorage.  Their only vegetarian option was beet sliders.  I knew I liked beets as a child, but it had been so long.  I gave them a shot.  Fresh beets are So. Much. Better!  Since trying the sliders, I have made roasted beet tacos and roasted beets with quinoa.  Give beets a shot!
  2. Butternut Squash – I had never had butternut squash until about a month ago.  We were at Alaska Bagel and they had butternut squash soup.  I had a taste of Tony’s and it was delicious.  Since then I have been in love with butternut squash.  I made soup, which was good, then I used the leftover soup to make butternut squash mac n’ cheese.  Be creative! (I also tried spaghetti squash the other night at a restaurant.  Give that a try too!)
  3. Pears – The only pears I had ever eaten as a child were the canned pears they served in the cafeteria at lunch.  I had no concept of what a fresh pear would taste like.  I am in love with fresh organic pears.  They are now a regular on my grocery list.  They are the perfect snack.
  4. Quinoa – I had never even heard of quinoa until my cousin Ellen came back from wilderness camp.  It was one of the few things they ate and she said she would never eat it again.  Since then, I have gathered a ton of recipes for quinoa.  It is so good for you and is a great substitute for rice.  Give it a try if you haven’t already.
  5. Lentils – Lentils are completely new to me.  They are a legumes and they are super tasty.  I made lentil soup for dinner last night.  Ava likes to eat them raw, only soaked (I tried one like this, it is gross).  They have a slightly peppery flavor.  Yummy!

I am still learning on this new food adventure.  I am trying new things every day.  What are some new foods you have tried recently?

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How do you read your blogs?

When I worked, I regularly read 50+ blogs a day.  It was really easy to do since I could have them feed into Outlook at my office.  When a new post would come in, I could just click on over to read it.

Now that I’m home, I find it difficult to keep up with all of my blogs (a first world problem, I know).  I do have Outlook set up on my computer, but I usually read my email on my phone and rarely even open Outlook.

So my question is, how do you read your blogs?  Do you subscribe via email?  Do you use some sort of feed service?  Fill me in!

Food Waste Friday 2/22

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

This week we lost a handful of organic spinach and a half a bag of mixed greens.

The organic spinach was left over from Tony making juice. I have been trying to use it up by incorporating it into recipes like baked eggs. I wasn’t able to finish it all before it got slimy.

The lettuce I got on clearance because it was nearing its sell by date. I can usually finish a bag or container before it goes bad, but this one didn’t make it. It was only $.75, so not a huge budget killer. I just need to try harder next time.

mouse in cup

Photo by twoshortplanks

We had a mouse in the kitchen yesterday morning. I didn’t actually see it, but Tony says it’s there. I guess we will break out a trap. Poor little mouse just wanted to get warm. I will take Alaska’s occasional mouse in the house over Florida’s monster spiders and cockroaches any day.

How did you do this week?

Made in the USA: Check Your Cup!

Made in the USAGo ahead, I will wait!  Check the bottom of your Starbucks paper cup, it’s made in the USA!  Actually, it might be best to drink your coffee before you check, otherwise you might end up with a hot lap.

It didn’t even occur to me to check things like this, you know, these little things we consume regularly but we are not actually conciously buying.  We buy the coffee, but we don’t think about buying the cup too.

I discovered this little tidbit of information the other day while cleaning snow off the bottom of my cup after taking pictures of my new coffee cup cozies that are now available in my shop.  So enjoy your cup of Starbucks a little bit more knowing that your neighbor made that cup.  And while you’re at it, pick up a new cozy for that cup!

Pink & Aqua Coffee Cup CozyHeart Coffee Cup Cozy

 

 

 

 

 

Food Waste Friday 2/8 & 2/15

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

I am reporting for both this week and last week.  Last week we only lost these green beans.  I was pretty upset about these since I bought them and completely forgot about them.  Ava loves sautéed green beans, so they normal don’t go to waste.  I put them in the bottom drawer and forgot about them.  I can’t even remember how long they were in there.  Once I noticed they were there I thought I would incorporate them into a pot of soup, but once I got them out of the bag I realized that they were too far gone.  As you can see, some of them had mold on them.  Bummer.

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This week was much better.   The only food waste I have to report was completely accidental.  Tony made a quesadilla the other night as a midnight snack and used half of an avocado.  Well, he forgot to put the other half in the refrigerator.  By the time I found it the next morning it was a brown mushy mess.  Boo.  It’s very rare that an avocado goes to waste in our house.  They are one of Ava’s favorites and a staple in my diet.

How did you do this week?

Alaska’s Water Park

Last week Tony and I took Ava to the water park here in Anchorage, H2Oasis.  Don’t worry, it’s indoors.  It was nice going from 20 degrees and snow outside to about 75 degrees and swimming pools inside.

The water park has “Toddler Session” weekdays from 11-2 for children 5 and under.  The best part is that it’s only $6 during these sessions and adults are free!  Woo hoo, that’s a first!

She had a blast!  They have a pirate ship play area that has 6 slides.  I wasn’t sure if she was going to like the slides because she gets nervous about the slide at the park, but she loved it.  I think she felt more secure going down the slide with me.

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Although the building and pools are heated, it was very different from swimming in Florida.  It was definitely fun and we will be back.  Here’s Ava and her too big swimsuit.  I’m a big dummy and only packed each of us one swimsuit when we moved.  How many swimsuits do you really need in Alaska?  I regret giving away all of my bikinis.

Oh darn.  I guess that means Ava and I both need new swimsuits before we go to Florida this summer.  Yes!  We will be visiting Florida in June!

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Have you ever been to an indoor water park?

Randomness for Your Enjoyment

Ever since we went to the Alaska Zoo, Tony has done nothing but talk about getting a Lynx as a pet. Yes, you can have them as pets. I’m still not convinced that it’s a great idea. Maybe we will just get a dog instead.

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I saw this guys license plate the other day. I was slightly irritated that I actually knew what it meant. Do you know what COD MW3 means?

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And here we have the most beautiful rainbow ever! The picture is awful and doesn’t do it justice. This is the first rainbow I have ever seen that actually had every color visible. It was over the health food store. Coincidence, I think not!

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Have you ever seen a rainbow with all the colors visible? Did you figure out what COD MW3 means?

Afternoon at the Beach

Okay, not exactly the beach.

Ava and I went to the park yesterday afternoon.  They don’t plow the parking lot at this park because the baseball fields are not open during the winter.  There is a nice playground and lots of open space.  Although, the playground is lacking a baby swing.

Ava and I took advantage of the wide open space of the unplowed parking lot.  I quickly realized that playing in the snow is much like playing in the sand at the beach, only cold… and I don’t recommend wearing a bikini.  I may not know much about playing in the snow, but I do know how to build a great sandcastle.  We build a snow fort.  Ava is watching a man walk his dog in the distance.

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It was actually a relatively warm day at 34 degrees.

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We need to find some sand toys.  I might have to bring some back from Florida this summer if I can’t find any here.  Who know, Target already has their swimsuits out.  Maybe we will get sand toys too!

Save 5% When Using Your Target REDcard

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Ava enjoys a snack of fresh snowballs.

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We were finally able to build a snowman.  He’s a very small snowman.  I need to see if anyone offers a “Playing in the Snow 101” class, I could use a few lessons.

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The Most Amazing Salad Dressing EVER!

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I am constantly pinning new food ideas.  Since my major diet change over a month ago, I have been searching high and low for great vegetarian and vegan recipes.

Over the past month, I have made a few batches of soup, most of which were horrible.  All things on Pinterest are not amazing.  That being said, I did find something amazing.  I think I have found the most amazing salad dressing ever.

Feast your eyes on this!  Zesty Avocado Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing.

Photo courtesy of SkinnyTaste.com

Photo courtesy of skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, leave them in if you want it spicy
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium hass avocado
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallion
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

I made a few changes based on what I had on hand.  I only had pickled jalapeno, so I tossed in 4 slices.  I didn’t have a scallion so I just left it out and I substituted lemon for the lime.  I also used my homemade taco seasoning instead of cumin, for something extra.  You toss it all in the blender and let it go.  It took less than two minutes to make.  It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  And the best part is that it doesn’t contain a bunch of preservatives, sugar, or mayo!

I made a taco salad for dinner and it was awesome.  This recipe is definitely going to become a staple around our house.

Have you found any amazing recipes on Pinterest?

Food Waste Friday 2/1

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

This week was horrible, for food waste that is.  I tossed half of a cucumber, a small piece of red onion, and a container of sprouts.  I had just cut the cucumber 3 or 4 days before.  I’m not really sure what happened.  The onion was in the fridge for a while and was way beyond saving.  I bought the package of sprouts knowing I would never be able to finish it all.  I don’t eat that many.  I was able to use up all the cilantro I had in the fridge, which was awesome.  No waste there!

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Next time I want sprouts, I’m just going to sprout my own.  This will cut down on the waste drastically.  They are easy enough to grow.

My goal next week is to eat up a lot of what we have in the fridge and pantry.  Any money left over from our grocery budget can go into savings.  Woohoo!

How was your week?