What has changed over the past two months?
- I changed to going food shopping about twice a week.
- I now buy 3 or 4 bunches of either curly or lacinato (aka dino) kale at a time, and I don’t batch cook greens anymore. They cook so fast, about 6-8 minutes or less, and they taste much better when served right after cooking. I prep them, strip and cut them, at the beginning of meal prep, but cook them at the end of prep time, simmered in a small amount of water.
- I tried making a week’s menu, but it drove me nuts to try to think about it. So I’m back to making sure I have beans, greens, potatoes and rice, and other staple vegetables and fruits on my staple list for the number of days for which I’m shopping. I always performed better on multiple choice questions in school, and I think the same principle is active here. When I’m looking in the pantry and fridge to see what I have and what needs to be eaten, I get ideas, or I go google the ingredients (like potatoes and mushrooms) for possible general idea recipes (has anyone cooked these together before?)
- I do still batch cook rice, 1/2 bag of Lundberg California grown organic, at a time.
- I still make batches of no-oil no-nut granola as needed, using real maple syrup for sweetener.
- I still make Medjool date paste routinely, making more when I’m almost out. It sweetens my oatmeal and blueberries, and Ed will use it sometimes for jam.
- I make mushroom gravy occasionally. I don’t batch it anymore, just make 2 cups at a time, sometimes without the mushrooms, still very good (thanks, Tamari!)
- Still buying that good Shiloh Farms 100% whole wheat pita bread. It’s my go-to comfort food, toasted one-half pita at a time, with a cup of very diluted black, well, brown, coffee. I was advised to delete grains from my diet to see if maybe that would lower my total cholesterol some more (it was 202, 227), but that threw me over the line between do-able and Oh-hell-no. I made it for 3 days, but I was literally bummed out. I knew I would not be able to sustain no grains.
- I use canned beans, organic and BPA-free cans.
- New thing: Yonanas. It makes a banana based frozen dessert every bit as good as ice cream, containing only whole fruit pureed in a special way with their machine. I recommend getting the elite model with the more powerful and less noisy motor if you can possibly afford it. Batch it and freeze it in 2 cup glass bowls with reusable plastic lids. Freeze ripe bananas in ziplock bags (re-use them) and combine with any frozen fruit. We have been using strawberries, but a friend recently recommended cherries.
- I’m trying to have a kitchen as plastic-free as possible. https://www.shopetee.com has non-plastic wrap that I’m trying out. I reviewed their dish soap, which is a bar soap with biodegradable wrapping, as follows:
“Different technique for a different product—I love it!
I used to fill a dishpan with hot to warm water and squirt liquid dish soap into it while it was filling. After some trial and error and thought, I tried putting a smaller amount (about 2 cups) of hot water in a small metal enameled dishpan, rubbing the wet dishcloth on the bar of soap, and then cleaning the item (I rinse all items of food residue before washing) with the dishcloth. Surprisingly, soap bubbles appeared all over the item. Even more surprisingly, the soap rinsed off so fast and disappeared after one pass with water. The glass bowls and plates were very clean, squeaky clean. This process forces me to rinse a meal’s dishes right after the meal. I can then wait to wash if I want to, as food residue will be gone and not pasted to the item. Dishes are neatly stacked by the sink. Washing up is fast, so fast that I usually feel like drying and putting away right then. Very neat! We buy 50 cotton terry cloth bar towels at a time from Costco, and use them for napkins as well as drying towels, and throw them in the laundry with clothes, which I do every other day. I order brown folded paper towels from Webstaurant.com for use with really yucky cleanup, a case lasts > a year.”