Friday, February 26, 2010

Cancellation of giveaway and farewell

Well, Hippie and I sure appreciate the few of you who read our entries in Table Tuesday and Food Journey Friday. However, if we're being honest, there are very few of you! :)

In emailing with sweet Natalie, we have both decided that the contest (see two previous entries) will be called off, and we will say farewell to our fun series. There just aren't enough consistent readers to warrant the time and effort it takes to establish a very successful blog or series. We apologize to those of you who were interested in the giveaway. In the blogs I will soon recommend, there are always great giveaways going on!

Part of what has motivated my stepping back is that I'm not a great or very successful blogger. I don't say that to be falsely humble, so don't say sweet things like "oh yes you are", etc. I love writing. I'm sure I could develop further if the Lord wanted me to at this stage. But at this point, there simply are far more well-written, well-thought-out, and consistent blogs out there. Check out Passionate Homemaking, for instance. Or Naturally Knocked Up. Or Simple Mom. Or Keeper of the Home. Catching my drift here? :) These ladies work really hard to bless us through their thoughts, research, giveaways, exhortations, and challenges. And I just can't bring myself to take the time to emulate them right now in the writing realm.

The other part of my motivation for stepping back from this and other media (such as my current limitation of facebook) is Ephesians 5:15-16, which says,

15Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

I was studying this verse recently as we have been making our way through Ephesians. I wondered, is facebook a wise use of time? Is blogging wise for me? I'm not saying these things are bad, evil, useless. They can all be used for His kingdom (and I believe all the blogs I have mentioned ARE being used for His kingdom). However, I'm unconvinced of my own effectiveness in this realm.

My brother-in-law gave my hubby a funny "demotivational poster" for Christmas. It reads: BLOGGING. Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few.

HA! It ironically sits on the desk from which I am currently blogging. I don't believe all blogs are fruitless. The ones I've mentioned are of great encouragement to me- I reference them frequently. However, I have wondered as of late how truly effective this blog is. Most of what I want to say is already being said quite well on these other blogs. Again, this is not to fish for compliments. I'm just being honest!

So allow me to thank you readers who did join us for the Food Journey. I pray that you will be able to continue on your own food journey successfully, and that Hippie and I may be of encouragement to you. Feel free to email us if you so desire! But for now, we will say good-bye to this fun series.

This is not goodbye to blogging forever. I just need to figure out the most fruitful use of my time for the Lord's glory. Well, really, it's His time. I just want to seek to honor Him fully and walk wisely.

Blessings in Christ,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why are we doing a giveaway?

It's simple. We get a little weirded out by hearing ourselves talk all the time about healthy food. We love to teach and share all of our knowledge about a healthy lifestyle, but we can never learn enough from others. We need to keep learning from others.

That's just one reason we'd really like to get your favorite wholesome recipes. Who knows what exciting things we'll learn about ingredients, or what you may share that will inspire us!

Please see the blog entry before for detailed rules of entry.

We can't promise you fame and fortune for sending in the prize-winning recipe, but we can promise you a little taste of heaven (if you've never had a Hawaiian pineapple, you're in for a treat...if you're our winner!) and a food-lifestyle changing book by an incredible research-oriented writer.

So please enter our fun little contest. Just send your favorite wholesome, unprocessed, super duper recipe to: and in just over a week, we'll pick the top three for testing!

Peace, love and produce --- Hippie

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Start your own Food Journey... and WIN! :)

Greetings on this fine Friday!

We are so excited to announce the blog's very first giveaway. In order to promote this blog and healthy eating, we want to give you a little bit of incentive. So without further ado, here goes:

What you can win:

  • A fresh Hawaiian pineapple, shipped directly from our happy Hawaiian Hippie!
  • A copy of the helpful book, In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan

How you win it:

1. Submit a great recipe to The recipe stipulations are as follows.
  • Must be original to you or your family- no Food Network :)
  • Must use whole, unprocessed ingredients.
  • Must be affordable to make.
  • Must be DELICIOUS.
  • One recipe per person.

2. Share the competition with all of your friends. One of the top three winners will be chosen according to the comments on this Food Journey Friday entry! You are eligible for up to five entries:
  • one freebie (just leave a comment)
  • one facebook announcement (announce the contest on facebook and leave a comment here telling us you did so)
  • one twitter announcement (tweet about the contest and leave a comment here telling us you did so)
  • one email (email some friends and leave a comment here)
  • and one blog announcement (blog about us on your own blog and leave a comment here)
So here's how it'll all go down:

-Recipe submissions will be accepted at until February 19th at 11:00 PM Central Time.

-The top three recipes will be chosen. ONE will be chosen at random, depending on your entries on THIS contest announcement ( Food Journey Friday on February 5th). The other two will be selected by Natalie and Sarah.

-The top three recipes will be tested and reviewed!

-The winner will be announced on March 9th and will receive:
  • a fresh Hawaiian Pineapple, straight from the source.
  • the book, In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan

Happy eating and recipe concocting!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blessings on your grub

What bad manners I have, setting my table all of these Tuesdays without even talking about blessings first!

I work in a farmer's market. I love the atmosphere. There is much I could disclose about it, nutritionally or environmentally; but for now I'd like to say that the market I worked in today is run by a few very friendly men who bring someone in each morning to say a prayer, and give a blessing on all the workers and food that is about to be sold. The minister said a few words, and they inspired me.

I was reminded of what a blessing and a gift our food is.* Without food, without sustenance, we would cease to exist. Every seed-bearing fruit, every fish of the sea, fowl of the air, and beast of the earth is a part of our Divine food chain. When we abuse it, the result is that we often find ourselves, as an entire species, having that chain disturbed and sometimes having those gifts taken away from us.

When God sent manna to come from the sky into the desert to feed His people, He instructed them very specifically to take only and exactly what they needed for the day and no more.** Were those words and that story recorded historically, or do you think they were recorded in hopes that future generations would be reminded of consuming only what we need to sustain ourselves?

Do we do that? Do we take and consume only what we need?

In a society and generation of people that seems to have a vast addiction to surplus, it's hard to remind ourselves to use only what we need, to not abuse the natural balance. Gluttony is a sin, but do we think of it that way? Do we think of over-indulgence as pleasure? Just how much spirituality has been lost from our eating habits over generations? Even our food suppliers over-stock because it "looks better" than being understocked, but (and I have seen for myself now) so much of that excess goes to waste. I have a hard time believing that God is happy about that, when so many of His children are starving and it is our duty to do unto our brethren as we'd do unto Him. Would we let our own God starve for the benefit of ourselves? (Matthew 25:34-35, 40).

*Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be your food." Genesis 1: 28-30

**Then the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. Exodus 16:4

**So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3

Table Tuesday Swap :)

Our sweet and happy hippie was a bit tied up today. I thought I would share my latest kitchen creation... Homemade Ketchup.

Has it ever frustrated you that ketchup has high fructose corn syrup, and yet it tastes so incredibly good? I mean, ya can't eat chicken nuggets without it. Well, I decided to make my own.

I used the recipe from the Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook, and it is just that! Healthy, tasty, different, and perfect for our meatloaf last night. It is thick and spicy, and so satisfying. I don't know if I'll go back to the old! My husband even liked it!

I dare you. Give it a try.

Spicy Ketchup

2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 Cup cooked carrot puree
2 T agave syrup (or other sweetener, this was my change instead of brown sugar)
.5 Cup water
4 T apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t dry mustard
.5 t salt
.5 t ground allspice
.5 t chili powder

Stir all ingredients together in large saucepan and bring to boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced by about half, 15-20 minutes. Cool and serve. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze in serving size snack bags for up to three months.

Your chicken nuggets will be so happy you tried it.

Happy and healthy eating to glorify God,

Friday, January 29, 2010

My amazing Turkey Soup adventure!!! :)

I enjoyed and was challenged by Hippie's post this week. I don't have any hard and fast "food rules" in my house... yet. I think one really strong place to start is 1 Corinthians 10:31:

"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

Wow. Think with me for a moment. Let's say that the average American lives to be 78. And from the time we're 3, let's just say we eat roughly 3 meals a day (though we all know it is usually much more than that!). By my very rough calculations (and not counting our baby sustenance): 76 years * 365 days per year * 3 meals per day = roughly 85,410 opportunities to glorify God through eating. As His child, what great joy do I have than to seize each and every opportunity to bring Him glory!

But I digress. Sort of. The point is this: I pray that this will be a year when I really start praying, focusing, and bringing God glory through the countless meals I prepare and consume. What about you?

Sorry for the long post today, but I had a triumph in the kitchen today which I just had to share. A homemade turkey soup, very low in oxalates, and perfect for a snowy/sleety day here in Memphis. And a triumph for me mainly because I didn't use a recipe! So it's all my own. It makes me smile.

Smiling with my pot of soup, the snowy scene behind me!

Here is a rough idea of my what I did and why. Skip it if you want-- At the bottom I will post a more concise recipe.

I cooked 1.5 cups of white rice in a large pot using chicken broth and water, according to package directions. White rice is not optimal, so if you do not have to consider oxalates, use brown! In the future I will most likely opt for barley which is one of the only whole grains that is also low in oxalates.

Meanwhile I chopped whichever aromatic veggies I wanted to use/happened to have. I used parsnips, onions, and carrots. The onion I basically diced, the carrots were baby carrots I just cut in half lengthwise, and the parsnips I cut in in little rings. If you don't already know, Parsnips look like fat white carrots. I chose them for a few reasons: 1) I had them leftover from another recipe. 2) They resemble carrots in shape and texture but add a different flavor. 3) As celery is not permitted on a low-oxalate diet, parsnips added a nice different flavor that is lacking without the celery.

While the rice was still cooking, I melted some butter with olive oil in a pan and started the veggies just to soften them a bit and give them flavor. I added about 2 cloves of minced garlic and a bit of salt and pepper. When the rice was almost done cooking, I added the veggies and filled the pot with more chicken broth. I had to use store-bough broth this time but definitely intend to use homemade as much as possible in the future.

For seasoning I added: rosemary, 1 bay leaf, some pepper, and I think that was it! No salt was really necessary as the broth and other stuff was already salted.

Finally, I added the package of turkey that I had frozen from the Thanksgiving leftovers. It was still pretty frozen in a block, but I just turned up the soup and let it defrost in the broth. I let it simmer while we played outside in the snow (!!!) and it was ready when we came in from the cold!

AHHH! What joy this little child brings us! And Daddy was home for a snow day, per his boss's suggestion. We enjoyed the snow.

Okay, back to the recipe. Things I love about this recipe:
1. I made it up.
2. I didn't have to buy anything extra: this was literally all leftover stuff or pantry staples.
3. It was delicious and perfect for snowy weather.
4. It was perfectly low in oxalates.

Things I would alter about this recipe:
1. Homemade broth instead of store bought.
2. Barley instead of white rice.
3. Organic items as available/affordable.

I have to say that I felt very nourished after this meal, and very accomplished for throwing it all together. The nice thing is that it is so simple, not at all overwhelming, and so incredibly satisfying!

So here is a more concise recipe (what I can come up with from what I did):

1-2 lbs of leftover turkey or chicken
1.5 cups rice, barley, or other grain cooked with broth and chicken
Carrots, baby, cut in half lengthwise
Parsnips, chopped
1 Onion, diced
1 Tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Chicken or turkey broth, enough to fill your biggest pot
Rosemary to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Bay leaf

Cook the rice or grain according to package directions using broth and water. Use your soup pot to save dishes! Meanwhile, prepare veggies (wash and cut). Saute veggies in frying pan with butter and olive oil on medium-high for a couple of minutes while the rice finishes up. When rice is cooked, add all the veggies directly to your soup pot. Add your meat and enough broth to fill up the pot. Sprinkle some rosemary (about a teaspoon of dried?), add bay leaf, and pepper to taste. Cook on medium-high until veggies are soft, then turn on low to simmer until you are ready to eat it!

Lastly, ENJOY!!!! And may it all be for the Lord's Great Glory!

Warm blessings,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If there were ten

So, I was thinking about what to write this week. It's been tough. I love to write---probably too much---and decided I needed to work on being more concise. I was inspired by this somewhat humorous post on a website for Hawaiian locals (that, ok ok ok, has nothing at all to do with healthy living), and thought...if I had ten commandments for healthy living, what would they be?

So, here are ten commandments for living healthily that I believe in, in no particular order. What ten things do you think your lifestyle and health could benefit from? Write it here, let us know!

1. Your body is a gift from God. Treat it as such. Do not take it for granted.
2. Your are expected to present your body to others in a holy and righteous manner. This means being as healthy as you are able to be; it is not limited to modest and attractive dress.
3. Exercise is essential to our health.
4. The media is a false messenger; do not believe its lies about your body.
5. What God has given us to nourish our bodies cannot be held inferior to the inventions of man.
6. A healthy lifestyle is contagious, share it with others.
7. The greatest satisfaction is never a result of the easiest method.
8. Eat and live in moderation.
9. Respect where your food came from, from Whom it was given, and the journey it underwent before making it to your plate.
10. Relish the satisfaction that comes from doing what is right for the body you were given.

Sarah, are you developing any new rules in your home? If so, what are they, and how is your food journey progressing?