Do you garden? In this case I mean do you grow vegetables? I have had a garden at our current house since we moved in, so for 7 1/2 years now, and there is much that needs improving and many things that frustrate me but there are also so many things I find interesting.
Every year my co-op in Stillwater, MN has a month of selling plants on their patio and I always get something but often I buy things when they go on sale. Sometimes this means buying unlabeled plants but if they are on sale or free I really don’t mind. I love the guessing game I get to play as they grow and transform from little green leaves in to…….well into whatever they morph in to.
This year I bought some green leafed plants and put them in what is now my sad excuse for a garden (thanks to flooding rains at inopportune times). I lined them up and waited and watched. At first I thought they were some kind of kale and Brussel Sprouts. As summer warmed up and they grew things were changing. The “Brussel sprouts” weren’t developing a stalk the kale seemed to be forming small globular growths at the base. What do I have? Cabbage and Kohlrabi. How cool is that? I just love the idea of growing something and being surprised by what I get.
When you know you aren’t 20 anymore
I have to admit I haven’t much to report this week. I have had no breakthroughs nor setbacks, so that is good and bad when you are writing a blog on health. The highlight of my week was to have our house filled with the mischievous laughter and/or suddenly unhappy tears of children this week. I most assuredly ran more than I have in several months as I kept up with my whirling dervish of a grandson, Odin (my two-year old godking). Odin willingly holds my hand but in return I am asked to run with him and jump and climb and “carry me”.
I rocked and cajoled my 6 month old godking, Arthur, as he let his mom and I know of his disgruntlement over the teething project going on in his oral cavity. He has some sleepless nights and some sleepy days but he always, always has an appetite that is quickly satiated with copious amounts of breast milk. He goes to the breast fussing and demanding and comes away smiling and happy. It is a magical transformation.
My godkings are as different as chalk and cheese, yet I see Odin’s dimples and lips when I look at Arthur, so I would know they are related even if they hadn’t both been IVF babies who were harvested at the same time from the same place. Arthur is built like a weight lifter with lovely chubby thighs, broad hands and feet. Odin has always been lean and trim with big eyes you can swim in and a smile that melts your heart. They are a miracle to me and when I get to spend an entire week with them I feel nothing but blessed even if I do feel like I am 59 and not the 20 I think I am.
On cooking and other things
With company around and another person who likes to cook we got to make some interesting dishes this week. My daughter (to whom these godkings belong) finds dicing and chopping relaxing. I like to make things that are simply tasty. By that I mean simple but taste good, so we found things we each could contribute to a meal and while one cooked the other one kept her eye on the babies.
Thursday night we had rather divergent ideas and while the two things we made didn’t go together very well separately they were both really tasty, healthy dishes. I wanted to try a pasta free lasagna, she wanted to try a vegetable ceviche. I won’t print the recipe for vegetable ceviche because it is online and can be found here. The vegetables are piquant and are the perfect accompaniment to a grilled steak or roasted chicken breast. I just had it with a slice of cheese quesadilla (rice flour tortilla of course) and it compliments that wonderfully. We both felt it needed salt and being me I thought it needed lots of salt but the recipe calls for nothing of the sort, so if you try it taste it and add what you think it needs.
The “lasagna” probably should be served with a vinaigrette dressed salad of mixed greens and nothing more. I can’t find a link online for the lasagna and I found it in an e-book by Kim Smith and Dave Smith. The title of their book is Low Carb and Gluten Free Comfort Foods.
Easy Low Carb Lasagna
- 30 ounces of ricotta cheese
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 TBLS olive oil
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- Salt to taste
- Mozzarella cheese grated to taste
- Parmesan cheese grated to taste
- In a large bowl, mix together ricotta and egg
- In a skillet, over medium-high heat, warm the oil
- Add onion, salt, and garlic and sauté until tender.
- Add ground beef and brown.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- Add tomato sauce.
- Heat oven to 350°
- In a 10×13 baking dish, add half of the meat mixture.
- Top with cheese mixture.
- Add remaining meat mixture.
- Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake until cheese on top turns brown in places (about 45 minutes)
Optional additions (aka my alternatives):
Instead of tomato sauce I made a “sauce’ out of reconstituted dehydrated tomatoes. These are from last year’s garden and they keep in quart jars in the pantry. When I want to use them I boil them in water for several minutes and drain but not completely. I let them cool and then dump them in a processor with some of the liquid. To this I added fresh garlic and fresh basil and a bit of oregano, salt and pepper (you could add turmeric and no one would ever know).
Whiz this mixture until well mixed and Voila! you have a pasta sauce or pizza sauce or in this case sauce for lasagna.
For the mozzarella and parmesan I used a mixture of cheese from Trader Joe’s called Quattro Formaggio (not grass-fed cheese but they do at least guarantee the cows are not treated with rBST). It is a blend of parmesan, asiago, fontina and mild provolone cheeses that is already shredded and ready to use. I probably used 8 ounces of cheese but you can add it to your taste and family preference.
I used 2 pounds of grass-fed ground beef. The dish slices just like lasagna and everyone liked it even though it was missing the pasta.
Aside from a recipe and an update on my week I thought I should share a Krisinsight healthy tip. I like to write (as you well know) and I use my computer many times during the day. I was sharing my SU’s office for awhile but soon moved my computer back to the kitchen, aka my office. I have chairs in the kitchen but instead of using a chair I now stand at my computer. If I need a change of position I can pretend to sit and hold that position as long as I can handle it.
It feels good to stand and I don’t feel like such a couch potato when using my computer. Yes, it does clutter my kitchen counter a bit but those who are invited into my home are not here to critique my house, they are here to see me and they know my computer is an integral part of my life.
On that healthy note I will close but not before sharing this uplifting series of photos I found on Facebook yesterday, click here and you may cry but they will be tears of happiness and you will also smile. We all need a reason to smile and should do it often.