Three things I love about Meghan’s sprouting video

January 21, 2009

My friend Meghan, a fashionista-turned-nutritionista, has been posting lots of How-To videos on her blog, Making Love in the Kitchen. Most of them I just like to watch, rather than actually attempt myself (I’m thinking specifically of the sauerkraut demo that requires 10 minutes of massaging cabbage and the chicken soup that involves raw bones and scum). But her most recent video, called Sprout, Sprout, Let It All Out, is very cool. You can watch it here:

There are three things about this video that I love:

  1. The costume changes. On most cooking shows, if the host makes something that requires a few hours to sit or cool or whatever, she will have conveniently made a previous batch ahead of time to pull out of the fridge (and will usually say something like, “… I have one ready, here,” and suddenly presto! It’s done and there’s no actual waiting required. But Meghan has clearly produced this sprouting demo over the span of three or four days, and we get lots of variation in her wardrobe and hairstyles to prove it. Actually, I think there’s a direct correlation between the growth of her sprouts and the curliness of her hair.
  2. The I’ve Been Re-Used sticker on her kitchen soap dispenser (which I designed, and which you can order online over here. Stick them on anything you refill at the bulk store and let the world know you’re not consuming more plastic).
  3. The Sprouting! It actually does seem very easy and it’s probably the most nutritious, eco-friendly thing a Canadian girl can make in the comfort of her own home during this heinous winter.

Do you guys make your own sprouts, too? Any favourite beans or seeds?

You can’t beet local eating (Day 345)…

February 8, 2008


OK folks, next up in the “You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me” series is local eating. And I mean really local — not just restricted to North America, as I’ve previously pledged, and not just from within Canada; all my meals will be limited to what’s being grown in Ontario.

What does this mean? I’ll tell you what it means: Apples, rhubarb, onions, leeks, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, potatoes, sprouts, butternut squash and beets (apparently “without tops”, though I’m not quite sure what that means). Oh, and seeing as I’m a total mycophobe, there won’t actually be any mushrooms on my plate.

This is what Foodland Ontario says is in season during the month of February, so that’s pretty much what I’ll be buying (exceptions will have to be made for protein, as well as tea and coffee — sorry, but if I don’t have caffeine, I get destructively cranky). The online guide is actually pretty handy, and if you click on the menu items to the left of the screen, you can learn more about all the seasonal produce — there’s even a colouring book section, featuring what appears to be the Foodland Ontario mascot, named Aggie (short for… agriculture, maybe?).

Anyway, I’m going to do my best with this one, but I’m also pretty naive and forgetful when it comes to food, so if I end up eating someone’s homemade bread but it actually had some baking soda from… well, wherever baking soda is from… then I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

Still, I think I’ll have to find some innovative ways to prepare cabbage, and if anyone has any breakfast recipes for beets, feel free to pass those on!

Barring the bars (Day 284)…

December 9, 2007

lara bar

I’ve never been a big fan of PowerBars, or really any food that comes in bar form. Clif bars are OK for long bike trips, as are certain flavours of Lära bars (banana cookie and cinnamon roll in particular), and for breakfast on the go, the Nature Valley granola bars are pretty decent.

But that’s just it — these bars encourage eating on the go, which isn’t good for anyone’s digestive system. Plus it means shoving something in your mouth while doing something else, and that’s no way to appreciate a meal. On top of this, there are all the preservatives required to keep these things on the shelf for months or even years at a time, as well as the unrecyclable foil packaging they come wrapped in (and the cardboard box that contains the whole bunch).

It’s not just the bars that are a problem, either — there are individually wrapped cookies, individually wrapped crackers, individually wrapped brownies, cake wedges, sandwiches, veggies and dip, patties and more, all of which can easily be made at home and transported, if necessary, in reusable containers. So from now on, I’m not going to buy anything that’s sold in a single-serving portion, unless it comes without packaging.

Image courtesy of this site

Down to the core (Day 241)…

October 27, 2007

apple core

This one goes out to Patsy Telpner, who remembered my new Simple Saturday feature and thought up a great idea for it: Whenever you eat an apple, eat the core too (just not the seeds, what with the cyanide in them and all). This is a rule that I’ll also be applying to pears, and as many fruits and veggies as possible — I’m going to eat the stems of my broccoli and asparagus (my sister and I actually like to trade stems-for-tops with these ones), as well as the skins of my potatoes, the stringy bits of celery, the innards of cucumbers and zucchinis and the seeds in my squash.

Of course, I might have to leave some food scraps for my worms — what else are they for, anyway?

Image courtesy of this website

The 10-second rule (Day 236)…

October 22, 2007


OK, so you may not want to bend down and start slurping a spilled can of stale Miller off a dirty parquet floor, but in most cases the 10-second rule should apply, at least if you’re a greenie like me.

It basically stipulates that, if food is dropped on the ground, it’s still safe to eat for a certain period of time, as bacteria requires a few seconds to actually take hold. But of course, as Wikipedia points out, “In some variations, the person picking up the food arbitrarily extends the time limit based on the actual amount of time required to retrieve the food.”

And, it’s pretty much an urban legend anyway. Whatever bacteria is there will either be on the food or not, and will either make you sick, or not. Chances are, however, the germs that land on a sandwich when it’s sitting on the floor will probably be much the same as the ones that sneak onto it while it’s being made on the kitchen counter.

Either way, as my floors are kept pretty clean, I’m going to stick to the 10-second rule so as not to waste food. The only exception will be liquids — I don’t mind a bit of dust in some spilled coffee, but cat hair? Not cool.

Photo courtesy of mhoran on Flickr

Supplements, schmupplements (Day 231)…

October 17, 2007

blessed thistle

How fun is that subject heading? In fact, if you can say that out loud, without stumbling, I’ll send you a complimentary tote bag!*

Anyway, as you might have guessed, today’s post deals with supplements, but also vitamins, digestive enzymes, detox kits and various other powders and potions — all of which I’m doing away with. While many nutritionists will insist that, in our modern, GMO-ridden times, we simply can’t be healthy enough without incorporating these into our diets, I just can’t cope with all the plastic packaging.

The few times my tummy has caused me trouble, it’s usually been related to stress or something I’ve eaten, or maybe even not eaten. Sometimes, I have no idea why it suddenly hurts, or decides to look like it’s six months pregnant, or makes scary gurgling noises. Either way, after trying a few detoxes and more than a few bottles of Ayurvedic this-and-that and herbal whatnot, I’ve decided that most of it’s a waste.

I’m sure there are plenty of supplements that are justifiable and that do in fact make people feel better, but as long as I’m eating a balanced organic diet and not showing signs of scurvy or anemia, I think both my body, my wallet and the earth will be fine without them.

*Complimentary tote bag not included

Nothing lingers on tea-soaked fingers (Day 224)…

October 10, 2007

tea leaves

When it comes to finding ideas for this blog, Green is Sexy is truly the gift that keeps on giving — and it’s wrapped in a reusable hemp bag, with a 100% post-consumer recycled card that has seeds embedded into it.

So yet again, I swallowed my pride, moseyed over there and snooped around in their filing cabinets until I found something good. Then, when they were busy refilling their Nalgene bottles with carbon-filtered tap water, I stole one of their ideas, submitted by Rebecca Boudin.

She says whenever she has a cup of green tea (which she buys loose and in bulk, natch), she saves the used leaves in a sealed container; then, whenever her fingers get all stinky and smelly from chopping garlic or onions, she’ll simply dip them into the tea leaves and presto — they’re clean and odour-free! No need for fancy hand soaps or sanitizers.

Because I often brew green tea at home, I’m going to make a point of doing this myself, which means I’ll be using less of my Method hand wash. Then, when the tea leaves get dry or start to smell weird themselves, I can just toss them into the compost bin. Hoorah!

Photo courtesy of this website