Ch-ch-ch-changes!

In an effort to streamline not only my blogs and pages to manage but also my life, The Homegrown Hippie blog will shut down soon. The Homegrown Hippie Facebook page was always more active than the blog anyway. I’ve begun the process of combining everything and the process will be complete in the next few weeks. If you’re on the Face-Twitter-Gram like/follow the following:

Facebook: Gatlianne and DiscoverPath

 

The Gatlianne page is my writing/author page and Discover Path is where I will now post all Homegrown Hippie recipes. The plus is that the Discover Path page is also the home of The BlueRoof Path and BlueRoof Yoga. Added bonuses!

 

Twitter: @Gatlianne and @BlueRoofPath

 

Instagram: Gatlianne

 

Love & Light,
M

Making the Switch to Healthy Eating on a budget, with kids!

A friend on The Homegrown Hippie Facebook Page  recently posted with questions for switching to a more healthful lifestyle for herself, her partner and her young sons. I loved her questions and they gave me an insight into where I want to go with the Homegrown page and blog in the coming months. More and more people are moving toward healthful living but it can be expensive and time consuming! So here are some answers about how to make the transition easily without breaking the bank…and without temper tantrums from family members who don’t want to eat tofu!

I eat healthfully on a budget. I also rarely get vested in big meals or anything that requires lots of dirty dishes or standing in the kitchen for long periods of time! I like simple, efficient, and cost effective!  I’m posting my response to her in this blog because it’s a lot of info and I think more people can benefit from it!

How can we eat healthier on a tighter budget?

I keep it simple – I don’t make big elaborate meals. This is a good time of year for eating cleaner too because it’s warm and our bodies naturally gravitate toward fresh foods. Salads, smoothies, wraps and quesadillas are my go-tos because you can mix and match so much and can incorporate so many different foods in them and they’re also quick.  Planning meals helps with budgeting but also don’t buy more than you will need unless you can freeze it. There’s not much worse than a refrigerator full of fresh foods that have wilted or rotted! Look for what produce is on sale and plan your meals around those items that week.

How can we accomplish this without giving up at least SOME of the things we really enjoy (hello bacon!)?

I still eat bacon! Bacon has always been my vegetarian/vegan downfall! I have it generally once a week…I’d probably eat it more if someone else would cook it for me…and at their house so my house doesn’t smell like it for days! I eat it in moderation. And I hippie it up too – bacon, avocado, spinach sandwiches on wheat are awesome! Don’t deprive yourself. Instead, eat the good stuff. If you’re going to have ice cream – make it your favorite,  have a serving, and savor it. Also, save the recipes that call for odd ingredients for when you have time and make sure any new ingredient will be one that you actually need. Some recipes call for shallots which can be more expensive than onion. Using onion is fine!

How can I prepare our new foods on a time constraint?

For me this goes back to keeping it simple. Along the way I’ve figured out how to make soups, sandwiches, quesadillas, wraps, smoothies and juices out of whatever I have in the house. I’m not afraid to match up odd food pairings and hope it turns out ok! Save the big deal meals for when you actually have time for big deal meals. Another aspect is preparing things in advance. For instance, when I want a Quinoa Fruit Salad I make extra quinoa so that I can use it for other things during the week. I then only make one pot of quinoa and it’ll keep in the fridge. It can then be used later with taco mix for tacos or taco salad, can be used to make veggie burgers, used instead of oatmeal as a breakfast (great with fresh fruit and a little almond milk and honey), added to soup to make it more hearty.  Another option would be grilled or stir fried veggies, have them with one meal, make extra and carry that over. I use all sorts of grilled veggies in quesadillas.  Veggie hash is the same way. If you’re making dried beans – make a pot for the week. Black beans can be added to soups, into veggie side dishes, in quesadillas (can you tell quesadillas are one of my faves?), salads, etc. You can even use different kinds of beans to make hummus and use it as a dip and as a sandwich spread. My personal favorite is white bean hummus – great on sandwiches. Also, if you have a day a month to spend on prep – you can chop veggies and put them in the freezer. This is great for onions and peppers and such!

How can I best prepare him AND my son for the changes–as they will clearly be radical.

Decide where you will start and start out slow. Baby steps are key! Anyone I’ve ever helped transition to a more healthful lifestyle or eating plan I’ve encouraged to take baby steps. If you decide food is the first place you’ll start then finish the foods you have an begin incorporating healthier versions as you go shopping for replacements. Pick one meal a day when you and all family members will eat a completely natural, non-processed meal. Stick with that one meal a day and get in the habit. This helps the make the transition more smooth. This also helps out your body because when you begin to remove processed foods and replace them with natural, whole foods your body begins a detox process. Going cold turkey or doing something like a juice fast can put your body into a sort of shock state and can actually hinder your process physically but causes undue stress on your system.

–          As you become accustomed to eating one healthy meal a day, choose another meal of the day to add. This can also include all the snacks. Keep adding until you are eating each meal and all snacks from a healthy, natural array of foods.

Another idea for your son, especially since it’s warming up, is getting a popsicle mold and making lovely hippie goodness treats for him! Check out 100 Days of Real Food. She has kids and comes up with the greatest lunches for them! Of course, this might work for your fella too!

How can I find GOOD protein supplements, other than chicken, that we won’t gag over?

I am not a meat lover…real meat anyway. I like bacon because it tastes like bacon. Chicken tastes like a chicken! Therefore, if I eat chicken it has to have been prepared so that it doesn’t actually taste like chicken. Same with beef. I like small bacon cheeseburgers sometimes – because they taste like bacon, cheese and ketchup – not cow! My take is go as natural as possible. Yes, you can buy commercial vegetarian/vegan meat substitutes – but they’re still processed and full of chemicals and non-natural ingredients. I buy sandwich meat but I strive to buy the unprocessed stuff. Here it’s usually more expensive. Not sure about there. Also remember that the protein doesn’t have to be the main focus of the meal, allow it to be more a side and fill up your place with fruits, veggies, and grains. Have your plate be: ½ veggies and fruits, ¼ protein/meat, ¼ whole grain

Options:

Cheese – in moderation of course

Beans – the possibilities are endless and they can be used in so many ways.  I make Lime Bean, Black Bean or Lentil burgers. They can be turned into hummus. They can be smushed and used in a quesadilla! Add them to your salads. Eat them with your fingers as a snack even!

Quinoa – this African grain is a favorite of mine. It’s great, for one. Nuttier than rice but still mild. And it’s so very versatile! I make quinoa lettuce wraps, quinoa tacos with black beans, quinoa with coconut and blueberries for breakfast, quinoa in quesadillas with spinach. It also doesn’t take long to cook. Real rice takes at least 45 minutes. Quinoa cooks in about 15…20 tops.

Other whole grains – whole grains have protein! But on that token, so do vegetables! Have some meatless meals!

Fish – I don’t cook a lot of fish (or meat either other than bacon) but when I do it’s generally flounder and occasionally salmon. Flounder dusted with cornmeal and spices and lightly pan seared is fabulous with roasted veggies

Nuts & Seeds –  Again versatile. They can be a snack or added to salads. I even add raw nuts to my smoothies (a cheap blender won’t chop them fine enough though and by cheap I mean a $20 blender)

Nut butters – Oh how I love natural nut butters. Sunfower butter, almond butter, cashew butter, and even peanut butter. Nut butters can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, or wraps. One of my favorite breakfasts is a wheat wrap with sunflower butter, chopped strawberries, shredded fresh (I use fresh frozen, thawed) coconut, milled flax seeds, and cinnamon – roll it up and eat! Sometimes I add a bit of cream cheese if I’m feeling froggy.

As far as tofu, tempe, seitan go – I occasionally get a hankering for tofu and I used it in my veggie lasagna but it’s rare I eat it. Generally if I buy tempe or seitan…I end up wasting it because I didn’t want to go to the trouble of cooking it. So – I don’t buy it. It’s also processed and my goal is to weed that stuff out.

Granted all this is easier once you get some recipes and see how to use things in various ways. And when you figure out what folks like, what works, what doesn’t.  As you well know with families there’s much trial and error. I LOVE carrot juice…the fella…yeah, not so much!  I’ll be posting more this spring and summer and I’ll keep your questions in mind. Thank you for asking them because I believe there are more people out there who are in similar situations looking for quick, inexpensive, yet tasty and healthful food options! So, I’m going forward with that in mind! Check out the recipe section here on the blog as well as the Hippie Eats, Homegrown Juices, and Homegrown Smoothies albums on the Facebook page for recipes and ideas!

 

*Addendum:

Brown Rice or Quinoa Bowls are also a tasty way to create fabulous meals! I follow a general template and then change the ingredients to create variety. Look for some recipes on the FB page!

Template: Brown Rice or Quinoa, “Seasoners”, Veggies, Beans

What are Seasoners? Onions, garlic, celery, carrots, mushrooms, herbs, spices, etc.

Hiatus Update

I’ve been a bit on hiatus – a lot of life has been going on. I really haven’t been cooking or juicing. Smoothies have been my best friend, however. So to update you all – I’m still here. The facebook page gets updated often and I’m writing weekly articles regarding healthful eating on DoYouYoga.com. I hope to settle in some as fall comes along and get more wonderful recipes posted!

M/Gatlianne

The Homegrown Hippie

Crustless Tomato “Pie”

A few weeks ago my dear cousin Gail sent me a recipe for tomato pie. Now, it sounded scrumptious – except for the processed, while-flour crust and addition of mayonnaise on top before baking. I pondered how to not use the mayonnaise and considered giving it a go with sour cream. But when it came time to cook the thing I had Homegrown Smotherin’ Cornbread in the oven to make Squash Dressing and just really didn’t have it in me to make a whole wheat crust! So, I improvised and I’m so glad I did! The crustless, mayonnaise-less version was the perfect side to go along with the squash dressing and lemon thyme buttered asparagus!

The Ingredients:

Sliced Ripe Tomatoes

Salt & Pepper

Fresh Basil & Oregano, chopped

Balsamic Vinegar

Shredded Cheese

The Directions:

  1. Layer in casserole dish:
  2. Tomato slices
  3. Salt & Pepper
  4. Sprinkling of herbs
  5. Splash or two of vinegar
  6. Cheese
  7. Repeat until all tomato slices are layered, ending with a layer of cheese
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and tomatoes and heated

The Photos:

Vegan Version – No Cheese

Not So Vegan Version

Lemon Thyme Buttered Asparagus that accompanied the meal

The Meal: Squash Dressing, Tomatoes, Asparagus

Original Tomato Pie Recipe from Southern Plate

Homegrown Squash Dressing

Oh the memories I have of making dressing for Thanksgiving & Christmas. Standing at my grandmother’s table with a bowlful of savory and aromatic ingredients in front of me. I’ve made many a pan of dressing and let me tell you there are four distinct rules to making southern dressing:

1. You must use a giant dishpan (or at the very least a giant bowl)

2. There is no recipe

3. You must not measure ingredients

4. You must mix it in part with your hands

I made my grandmother’s & mother’s dressing for years but as I’ve gotten older and more in tune with my body and health I found that the traditional dressing didn’t appeal to me as much. My mother began making squash dressing for family visits which would seem a more healthful alternative but unfortunately the addition of squash was about the only healthful factor. You see typical squash dressing or squash casserole recipes call for cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, heavy portions of cheese, milk, butter, and often even packaged stuffing mix. Though I love my mother for attempting to create something healthier to appease her weird, hippie daughter – even to the point of using cream of mushroom instead of chicken when I didn’t want to eat meat – you can see that the ingredients aren’t really healthy.

Recently a subscriber to the Homegrown Hippie Facebook Page asked for recipes for squash as she had an abundance. Squash dressing immediately came to mind and I rambled off a recipe for her. It was a few weeks before I gave in to the craving that had plagued me since responding to her question. I’m from Alabama – it’s hot! I had no desire to heat up the kitchen making corn bread and then baking the dressing but eventually the craving won!  As I read back over the recipe I’d given her I realize something – the three rules of making dressing! Rule #2 There Is No Recipe!

Ah yes of course! Now it all came together! I had visions of being back in my grandmother’s kitchen with my hands in a big pan of dressing up to my elbows! Making dressing is an art form – not a recipe! How do you know how much of everything to use? Well, this is where (1) intuitive cooking come in and (2) how big a pan of dressing you’ve decided to make. Basically, you gotta feel your way – it’s like making a sandwich. I can’t tell you how much mayo to use or how much lettuce. It depends entirely on how much of each you like and how big a sandwich you’re making. I can tell you that these directions make a 9×13 size pan of dressing.

So, I set forth to create Homegrown Squash Dressing and let me say – after tasting it, I’m not certain I will ever make regular dressing again unless either begged or flogged! Therefore, pursuant to the aforementioned rules here is how I made healthful, hippie squash dressing.

The Ingredients:

1 Pan of Homegrown Smotherin’ Cornbread

Cooked Yellow Squash & Onions

Onion

Bell pepper

Garlic

Jalapeno pepper

Fresh Sage

Fresh Parsley

Dried Sage

Salt

Pepper

Vegetable Broth

The Directions:

  1. Chop a couple large or few small yellow squash and half a white onion. Boil in salted water until tender. Drain.
  2. Cook cornbread and allow to cool to touch, place in a bowl and crumble – with your hands!
  3. Place raw onions, bell pepper, jalapeno & garlic in food processor and process until desired consistency.
  4. Cut/Chop the fresh sage & parsley with kitchen shears
  5. Dump the chopped veggies & herbs in the giant bowl of crumbled cornbread.
  6. Add some dried sage, salt, and pepper to taste
  7. Fold in drained, cooked squash & onions
  8. Begin adding veggie broth to desired consistency. You want the mixture to have form but not be runny, gummy, or solid. The consistency of it going in the oven won’t be that different from how it comes out. So make sure it goes in like you want to eat it coming out.
  9. Place in oven for 20 -30 minutes until the top is golden, it’s heated through and not wet to the touch.

The Photos:

Giant Bowl of Cornbread (Sadly, I do not own a dishpan!)

Chopped Veggies, Herbs, & Spices Added

Veggies, Herbs & Spices Mixed In

Squash & Onions Added

Squash & Onions Mixed In

Ready to go in the oven!

Homegrown Smotherin’ Cornbread

This is a more savory cornbread due to the addition of vegetable broth and water as the liquid components instead of a traditional milk base. It’s called Smotherin’ Cornbread because of the savory nature. It’s perfect for smotherin’ with beans, greens, or vegetable soups. It’s also the cornbread I use to make Homegrown Squash Dressing.

The Ingredients:

2 C. Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 egg (or flax egg)

1 C. vegetable broth

3/4 C. water

The Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Coat a large cast iron skillet with coconut oil
  3. Place in oven to heat
  4. Mix dry ingredients
  5. Add egg, broth, and water
  6. Mix thoroughly
  7. Using a pot holder (Logic I know- but still…) remove hot skillet from oven
  8. Pour batter into skillet and return to oven (yes, with the pot holder *Note: Batter will be thick – smooth it out before putting in oven*
  9. Bake 25-35 minutes until brown

Ready to go in the oven!

Baked Oatmeal

I typically add things to the basic recipe like spices (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice), chopped nuts/seeds, chopped fruit. I also like to drizzle it with honey or agave!

One Serving:

3/4 C Oats
2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
(or 1 Tbsp regular sugar & 1 Tbsp brown sugar if you’re making it not so hippie)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/4 C Almond, Coconut, or Oat Milk
1/8 C. Coconut Oil
1 Egg
(or flax “eggs” for vegan 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp water = 1 egg; whisk, soak 2-3 minutes; use as egg substitute)

Mix, Pour into oven proof pan, Bake 350 about 10-15 min or til set

Two Servings:

1-1/2 C Oats
1/2 C Coconut Sugar
(or 1/4 C regular sugar & 1/4 C brown sugar if you’re making it not so hippie)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 C Almond, Coconut, or Oat Milk
1/2 C. Coconut Oil
1 Egg
(or flax “eggs” for vegan 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp water = 1 egg; whisk, soak 2-3 minutes; use as egg substitute)

Mix, Pour into oven proof pan, Bake 350 about 15-20 min or til set

Four Servings:

3 C Oats
1 C Coconut Sugar
(or 1/2 C regular sugar & 1/2 C brown sugar if you’re making it not so hippie)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 C Almond, Coconut, or Oat Milk
1/2 C. Coconut Oil
2 Eggs
(or flax “eggs” for vegan 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp water = 1 egg; whisk, soak 2-3 minutes; use as egg substitute)

Mix, Pour into oven proof pan, Bake 350 about 20 min or til set

Eating Healthy While Feeling Puny

Today I don’t feel well. I woke feeling slow, sluggish, stuffy – my eyes were even swollen. As the day has progressed I’ve gone downhill. Perhaps it’s allergies, perhaps it’s tiredness, perhaps it’s a bug – perhaps it’s all three. But the “symptom” isn’t the issue. When there is an illness, or dis-ease, or our body is acting out of sorts – then it is a sign. It’s the body’s way of telling us something, of telling us to nurture and heal. So tonight I will be nurturing myself, healing, doing good things for myself, resting and eating nourishing foods. In my case, I had a big weekend full of foods I don’t normally eat and lacking in rest – which bled over into the week. I haven’t had much sleep. Tonight – I rest and take care of my body. In other words, I listen to what it’s telling me.

For lunch my “sickling self” wanted comfort food. I contemplated going out and getting something but as the pickin’s are right slim in the area where I work my options would have been fast food and that wasn’t an options I was OK with. I could have gone up to the little mom and pop restaurant and gotten a baked potato or mac and cheese but I asked which was more important – the quick fix of comfort food of the withstanding nourishment of healthy foods?

I chose my health. I made a salad and while eating it saw my boss  making a ham sandwich – I suddenly greatly wanted a cheese sandwich. I don’t eat a lot of cheese and it’s the only dairy I eat unless I have a bit of ranch dressing or Greek yogurt in a smoothie. So, I decided that my “comfort food” would be a cheese sandwich. Well, the hippie in me took over and that plain cheese sandwich turned into a spinach, avocado & cheese sandwich!

I was able to have the comfort I craved while still being healthful! Healthy is doable even when you’re feeling puny!