Tag Archives: fresh

I am not a tree-hugger.

Recycling is about as close as I get to being “natural.”  Nothing about me is environmentally sound.  I love aerosol hairspray.  I consider cosmetics to be a necessity.  Even with 4 kids, I used disposable diapers with every single one of them.  But this one thing about me kind of makes me feel like a tree-hugger.

Here's a picture of our "Bountiful Basket" from last week. We get our produce fresh every week for only $15! It's probably the best $ I've spent on something in a long time.

I’ve put my family on a whole foods eating program.  This might not be a big deal to some people, but for my family of 6, cooking everything from scratch used to make me want to crawl in bed and not get up.  I thought it would be way too much work.  Cost way too much money.  But that was before I tried it.

Like my husband, I grew up on Hamburger Helper, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and canned fruits and vegetables.  We were from an era where easiest and cheapest was best.  I’ve come to find out, that’s not exactly true. Cooking and eating whole foods is so much easier and cost-effective than I ever thought it would be.

Here’s my basic plan:  I look at every single label on a food item.  If I don’t recognize an ingredient, I don’t buy it.  After doing this for about 3 months, it’s pretty unbelievable how many unnatural things I was putting into my body.

Some of you may think this seems like a lot of work, and for the first month or two, it was.  But now that I’m familiar with what ingredients mean (preservatives are the biggest offender) and how to cook whole, it’s actually pretty simple.  I’ve even cut my grocery bill by about 1/4 each week.

Even my kids and husband are getting on board and recognizing what is the best for their bodies.  I drug them away from sugared cereals in June kicking and screaming.  But now they’re happy, healthy, and feel great.  If my 10-year-old son can do this, believe me, anyone can!

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Summer cookin’!

Even though here in the Seattle area we’ve only had about 2 1/2 weeks of summer, I am aware that the end is drawing near.  School shopping is in full force.  Fresh canned goods are being stock piled in pantries.  Even days are beginning to feel a bit shorter.  But in the midst of autumn on the horizon,  I feel the need to keep summer close to me for a bit longer.  The following recipe is by far one of my favorites for summer and something that I make a few times each season.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Caprese Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound of pasta (any small shape works fine)
  • 5 cups diced beefsteak tomatoes, (2 pounds)
  • 2 cups diced fresh mozzarella, (3/4 pound)
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions; drain.
  2. In a large bowl, toss warm pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella, onion, olive oil, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled with some nice ciabatta bread.