Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I'm Turning into My Mom. Only With Less Wheat Germ

If you read the prior post, you know that we are trying to incorporate more of a whole foods and plant-based diet approach to our life.  No, we aren't going all full vegetarian or strict vegan or anything.  Which is good, because since writing that, we've still had some form of meat on the table pretty much every.single.night, BUT AT LEAST THERE ARE LOTS OF VEGETABLES on the plates too, right?  And when I say "meat", I mean our own, homegrown, organic pork and beef, raised by us and our family at home, so it's not all processed, store bought stuff.  And I can't not cook it, because 1) that'd be wasteful, and 2) we love meat.

This might be harder than I thought...but any improvement is a step in the right direction.  I will say there's probably no way stroganoff or meatloaf are coming off the menu.  Just sayin'.

Plus, we have this amazing garden, so it's not like it's a stretch to eat tons of fresh, organic produce as often as we can, (sometimes by the wheelbarrow load)...I just need some more creative ways to make vegetables more of a "main dish" rather than a side dish (no offense, Martha, but I'm branching out).

After a point, you just GIVE UP on the weeds...

The other side of the walkway, mid-August
I did actually order the Forks Over Knives cookbook, which should be here tomorrow, but we went to Barnes and Noble the other night in a blizzard because--BOOKS you guys! OMG, booooookkkks!  (My e-reader is awesome, but--I love real books.)  So of course I bought two history books ("The Plantagenets" and "Queens Consorts"--my favorite history-geek topics), and an absolutely visually stunning hardback cookbook called "Vegeterranean" (Italian vegetarian cooking), which is amazing and lovely to look through; I can't wait to cook from it.  And I love that it doesn't require a bunch of hard-to-find ingredients that I will never buy, let alone eat.

The best thing  I found, though, is "Back to Eden".  This is super cool, because just the other day, after writing a whole memory of my childhood where my mom spent a year trying really hard to make us be vegetarians (which didn't work), I remembered that she always had this book called "Back to Eden".  And then...there it was, right there on the shelf at Barnes and Noble.  Of course I grabbed it.  Reading it feels like coming home.  No wonder we never went to a doctor...
My birthday, with my dad, my aunt, mom, and my uncle, mid-70s.  Not sure why there are two cakes?  Or what is hanging from the ceiling...

I may have frowned a lot at her food choices for us as kids (all those lunches of home-made whole wheat sandwiches, cookies full of nuts, and garbanzo beans in the meatloaf), but the older I get, the more I believe:  Moms really do know best.  Especially now that I'm a mom.  (Right, kids??      Kids?)


  1. Hi Stef -
    I never heard of garbanzo beans until I met your mother, but my mom also had Back to Eden and Adele Davis books and snuck wheat germ into everything! I used to drink OJ with brewers yeast.
    As late as high school, I remember coming home from school and smelling the wonderful aroma of baking in the kitchen -- Oh boy! peanut butter cookies, my favorite! After taking one bite -- "Blech! what's wrong with these cookies?" Mom would reply, "Oh, I used whole wheat flour, cut the sugar in half and added wheat germ. I didn't know you would notice the difference."
    Mom was never a hippie, but went back and forth my whole childhood between austere and normal diets. But, just like you, I've turned into my mother to a certain extent, but want to make sure my kids don't wish they were in a different family!

    1. Omg Ruth, I remember cookies like that. And--orange juice with brewer's yeast?! ew. Remember Remie's mom making us take cod liver oil? Like: "What?? I'm just here to curl my hair!" LOL! I used to wish, just once, we could have lunches like the "city kids", but now I'm so glad we didn't. Miss you!

  2. I'm so jealous of your garden! I went semi-vegan this year, not by choice, but because of a stupid allergy. So I mostly eat green things and nuts, and my family suffers unless we are eating out, then I suffer and salivate over their cheeseburgers or steaks. I seriously need to learn how to cook these healthy things as a main dish.

    1. Hi Steph-- ahh that's hard. I feel the same way when I make a big juicy t-bone dinner and then I'm all..."Nah, it's OK. I'm loving this SPINACH SALAD.' I'll just enjoy the smellllll...

      I did make a really amazing dish from the Vegeterranean book last night that was sort of an Asian twist on sauted veggies, then tossed with couscous (I KNOW - processed wheat...).

      My problem is finding veg dishes that make you feel like you are full, rather than the steak and bread kind of "full", so I find myself wandering around at midnight, looking for nuts or something, to give my stomach something to do besides grumble.

  3. Those were the days, right, Stef? My 5-year-old actually likes cod liver oil because I've been giving it to her since she was a baby. And I actually loved OJ with brewers yeast for the same reason. But I wanted white bread instead of "Roman Meal" bread. Then when I was 8 we went off to a far away place where everything was fertilized with manure, so we were pretty healthy there. I came back to the US years later and my fond memories of brewers yeast met with reality - ugh! No surprise we all ended up in BF. I suppose the kids eating white bread were the ones who had grown up there instead of seeking the place out.

    1. Ohhh that Roman Meal! Yeah...we all definitely sought it out as a place to live that way (rather than the "city kids" who grew up there)! lol

  4. I wish I could garden. I SUCK at at. Yours is so gorgeous

    My older son and I attempted a vegetable garden. We put hours and hours of work in it and it produced exactly ONE absolutely HUGE zucchini . Weird.

    1. Thanks Michelle! I love my garden so much :) ONE zucchini? Hmm (*rubbing chin*). That is weird...

      I'm planting some of our early seeds under lights tomorrow and can't wait! I am so SICK of the cold. Got the garden layout and rotation planned over the weekend, and made changes to what we're planting, etc. I love love love it. I will love it even more this year, once we finish the fence so I don't have to worry about DEER also loving it. Especially if I'm *cough* not eating meat *cough* any more.

      Toooomorrow! ToMORRow! I LOVE YA TOMORROW ("Annie" music came to mind, sorry)