Category Archives: Full-Vegetarian

Excludes all animal proteins

Cooking with Kids

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Today felt like the best day ever!  The boys (11 and 9) rode their bikes with me as I trail ran, and they mountain biked.  Immediately there after we hit up a roadside produce stand run by a local couple that has been farming 4 miles from my house for years.  Not only did I get excellent quality produce for practically nothing (I tipped too), I also got great advice for my own garden.  Then I took the boys to the lake and taught them how to  canoe.  We saw so many amazing things, like a Blue Heron gliding just above the water 20 feet in front of our canoe then landing just of shore and feasting.  All of these things were amazing, but the best part of the day was cooking with my kids.

When we got home Cooper shucked the corn, Will cut the green beans, and I grated the carrots and zucchini.  The boys had talked with the growers today, and knew the food had been picked that morning.  The boys handled it, and prepared it themselves.  Then Cooper came in and made his first loaf of home-made bread entirely by himself.  They had a hand in preparing food from it’s raw natural state to what we ate for dinner.  HOW COOL IS THAT!  They learned quite a bit in the process.  There’s measuring, chemistry, cause and effect, bonding, among many many other lessons.  Bonding, I haven’t found a better way yet.  Of course they are still young.

Carrot-Zucchini Burgers ready to be cooked up!

The best part is that when you are done, you get to eat it!  They were so proud of themselves.  They couldn’t wait to watch their Dad eat it.  Perhaps, in the future, they’ll be more compassionate towards me when they don’t absolutely love what I’ve worked to make for them.

Nearly finished. The green beans and corn are there some where!

I only spent 6 dollars on the produce I bought today, and I didn’t even use it all!  I just can hardly put into words the amazing feeling of watching your kids comprehend FOOD, watching them comprehend where food comes from, how food is cooked, that food in boxes is different from food in the ground.  Food preparation, and meal sharing has long been a central part of cultural identity.  I feel like we all gained a sense of family culture today, more so than ever before.  It felt really important, I don’t know why but it did.   Also, it was amazing to watch their little chests puff out with pride when their Dad took his first bite!  Now I can’t wait for my own produce to ripen!!!  That’s going to be ultra splenderific!

Our “trash” from this meal.

OH I ALMOST FORGOT!  RECIPE:

Carrot Zucchini Burgers

5 medium carrots (2 cups): grated

1 medium Zucchini (1.5-2 cups): grated

1 cup corn meal

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 c plain yogurt or sour cream

1 egg

2 10ish garlic cloves minced, OR 2-3 tbsp (sounds like a lot you can do this to taste.  I LOVE GARLIC.  I’d say at least 6 cloves/2tbsp)

dash of oregano, and basil or any other spices you chose

Mix it all together (hands work best)

Form into patties

Cook in a thin layer of olive oil until brown.

$2.00 for two, and filling!

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Black Bean Soup.  I ❤ it!  My soldier gives this recipe a 10 out of 10 and it is EASY!!!

This recipe will feed two, but is incredibly easy to double.  Note, I am not a spicy food person, you can easily add some red pepper ( a dash or two) if you want your soup to have a little pep.

1 can black beans (.89)

2-3 green onions chopped (.25)

Chicken stalk, enough to barely cover beans (.50)

(grand total $1.64)

  1. Drain about half the liquid off the beans.  Saving a little will make your soup thicker.
  2. I put the black beans in a sauce pan and then add the chicken stalk, I add enough to cause beans to rise.  Sorta like put milk in cereal.  If I had to guess I’d say it’s about 1/4 a cup?
  3. Then I add the scallions and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Once it boils I simmer it for about 20 min.
  5. add a dollop of sour cream and VIOLA!  you’re a chef.  Okay, not really, but you can pretend.
  6. Serve
  7. You can add an apple, some carrots, Snack people, or a biscuit as a side (.25-.75).  Today we are having some of my homemade bread with butter and jam as our side.

Homemade Bread

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Here is my first “cheap” recipe to share on KeepingGreen.  One of the secrets to keeping your cash is to bake and cook your own food!  Where better to start than with Homemade Bread.  This fall I will post an incredibly easy Pumpkin Butter recipe to serve with this bread, mmmmm yummy.

Homemade bread makes you seem like a domestic goddess. This recipe is easy, cheap, and filling. I love to use it with sloppy joes, as a side with honey, or just as a CHEAP snack for the boys at my house. Here is what you need…

1 gallon baggie
1 package of yeast
3 cups of flour
1 cup of warm water
3 tablespoons each of the following: dry milk, sugar, oil (you choose, vegetable is what the original recipe calls for, but olive oil is healthier)

DIRECTIONS: (This step takes about 5 minutes)

STEP ONE:
Add the following to the Baggie
1 cup of flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of drymilk
the package of yeast
Mix dry ingredients by kneading the baggie

STEP TWO: (2 minutes tops)
Add the following to the baggie
1 cup of warm water
3 tablespoons oil (I add the oil to the warm water so that all the liquids are warm, you don’t have to do this.)
Knead the bag so that dry ingredients become saturated

STEP THREE (takes about 5 minutes)
Add the final 2 cups of flour
KNEAD WITHIN THE BAGGIE, until dough stops sticking to the baggie, and becomes one mass, then “dump” it on a lightly floured surface

STEP FOUR (takes 3-5 minutes)
use a roller (or your hands) to flatten dough into, approximately, a 5in X 11in “rectangle”. This is to get rid of bubbles in the dough.
now starting a narrow end, roll up and the fold the ends upwards.
Again, if the first “roll” isn’t tight enough you will have a hole in the center of your baked loaf. So tuck tightly!
Grease pan, and put loaf in the pan

STEP 5 (takes 10-40 minutes)
PRE-HEAT OVEN @ 350
COVER AND LET IT RISE DOUBLE!
If it’s warm out 60* or more, I top the the loaf pan with foil and set it on my patio table, or deck railing
If it’s cold I sent it on my stove top (while it pre-heats), or in front of my bathroom vent. (I do this so I can close the door and keep my dog from eating the dough)

The best part of this step is you don’t really have to do anything. The warmer the environment the faster it will rise.

STEP 6 (25-35 minutes)
Bake until golden brown on top. It should sound hollow if you thump the bottom of the loaf. If you are feeling like an over achiever you can brush the top with some butter. I RARELY do this, and it tastes wonderful anyway. The butter is really just to make it look shiny and photo shoot ready.

STEP 7, MY FAVORITE

Serve it up, tell everyone how hard it was to bake, and pretend that you are Betty Crocker incarnate, heck wear an apron for added flare!  If you weren’t keeping track that is 17 minutes to prepare…  34-60 minutes to “cook” depending on the time it takes for the bread to rise.

*CHEAP TRICK
While the bread is rising, rinse out the baggie and dry it. When the bread is ready to be stored use the baggie!