June 15, 2013 By Kate
Grocery Store Corn Tortillas vs. Homemade Corn Tortillas
Grocery Store Tortilla Ingredients: Corn (Ground corn treated with Calcium hydroxide and Water), Water, Sodium propionate, Propionic acid, Sodium hydroxide, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Gum blend, Sorbic acid, Fumaric acid, Dextrose.
May contain FD&C Yellow #5, Yellow #6 and Red #40.
While the use of preservatives in food has been OK’ed by the FDA, there are a few that are bothersome. Sodium Hydroxide is the chemical name for lye while calcium hydroxide is the chemical name for slake lime. Dextrose is added sugar, there is some evidence that Methylparaben mimics estrogen and can cause endocrine disruption, and artificial colorings have been linked to hyperactivity in children and cancer in lab rats. Also, these preservatives are generally tested in isolation (one at a time) over a relatively short period of time, a few weeks to a few months. What happens with repeated long-term consumption combined with several other preservatives is anyone’s guess.
Furthermore, another area to consider is the environmental safety of using these preservatives en masse. Calcium hydroxide (slake lime), propionic acid, sodium hydroxide (lye) and sodium hydroxide are all highly caustic materials that can cause chemical burns and are actually poisonous in large quantities.
Homemade Tortilla Ingredients: Maseca Flour, salt, water
1. Combine maseca, salt and water per instructions on the back of the flour bag.
2. Get two pieces of saran wrap (or a plastic bag) and a pie plate, a book, or really anything flat and with some weight to it.
3. Put a small ball of masa flour in between the two pieces of saran wrap and squish it into a tortilla.
4. Put the tortilla in a frying pan with some olive oil and cook for a few minutes on each side until it starts to brown.
Enjoy delicious, warm, home-made corn tortillas.
June 14, 2013 By Kate
June 05, 2013 (6:05pm)
My Milkshake Brings All the (Vegan) Boys to the Yard
Ok, so maybe just this one vegan boy named Zach, but hey, I’ll teach you and I
won’t even charge! So I’ve been following this vegan diet recently, and I must say, I
have a few love hate feelings with the “no dairy” part. I notice that I have more
energy, less stomach problems and clearer skin when I am not eating dairy.
Obviously these are all good things that I appreciate from my new diet. But the
problem is that I am missing my one great edible love, a food I could eat every day at
every meal and never grow sick of. And that, my friends, is ice cream.
Maybe it’s the South Florida childhood that wants nothing more than a cold,
creamy ice cream cone on a humid, hot day spent swimming and running around in
the sun. And honestly, I can’t think of a food that has a more satisfying texture;
sweet, refreshing, melts in your mouth. I love ice cream in all forms, but I must say
my particular favorite is the milkshake. And so I was elated to discover, via a happy
accident of trying to create a paleo protein shake that didn’t taste like garbage (yes,
I’ve tried it all as far as diets go), that I discovered this recipe. Completely dairyfree, no added sugar, and tastes just like a milkshake with two of my favorite flavors,
peanut butter and bananas as well!
Here’s what you need:
-Almond or soy milk (I like to use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- A banana
- A blender
Put about 5 ice cubes in a blender. Then put the banana in a blender. I find the riper
the banana the better. Then put peanut butter in the blender; I like peanut butter
a lot so I probably put like 4 tablespoons in. Then put in almond milk so that the
bananas, ice cubes and peanut butter are almost covered but not completely. Hit
The thing I love about this recipe is that you can personalize to your tastes. Usually
I blend, taste a spoonful, see what it’s missing in my mind to taste more like a
milkshake, then go from there. For instance, if it’s too runny or not cold enough, I
add more ice cubes. Kind of bland? Maybe a little more peanut butter. Feel free
to get creative; try chocolate soy milk, add some spices, almond butter instead of
peanut butter. It’s mainly the combination of creamy peanut butter with almond
milk and ice cubes that give it the ice cream flavor/texture. Hopefully it will help all
you ice cream loving vegans out there feel like you don’t have to miss your favorite
food any longer!
June 05, 2013 (6:00pm)
Vegitas- The truth about vegetables
So I think if you asked anyone in America what they needed to do to be
healthier, they would say, “eat more fruits and vegetables.” Not rocket science right?
But as many of you produce department cruisers have found, this is much easier
said than done, especially when it comes to the veggies.
Sure, there are some vegetables that taste good raw. Carrots, celery,
tomatoes and lettuce if you’re going to make a sandwich (though I think tomatoes
are a fruit…) ummm, did I say carrots already? I guess cucumbers taste OK…
Despite celebrities like Alicia Silverstone toting the values of a raw diet and all those
cleanses that require a $150 juicer to make, the reality is that for a lot of vegetables,
if you’re going to eat them raw you might as well go ahead and eat a handful of
grass. What in the world am I supposed to do with this bag of Brussels sprouts?
And what potential taste-good mysteries are concealed inside that acorn squash?
But fortunately, for many vegetables, there is one secret weapon, an easy
culinary code to bring out the taste they were born to have, elevating them from
easier to chew cardboard into healthy taste bud bliss. And all you need is a cookie
sheet, and oven, olive oil and some salt.
Step 1: preheat your oven to somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 degrees.
I usually go with 425, but I think anywhere between 400-450 will do the trick.
Step 2: Prepare your veggies. Wash them, and then cut them up. For
broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and any sort of potato, go with bite sized pieces. For
asparagus, break off the bottom (fatter) end. For bigger squash, you can either cut
them in half and lay them face up on the cookie sheet, or remove the rind and cube
them. For Brussels sprouts, cut off the end, cut in half and lay face down.
Step 3: place on cookie sheet and coat with a thin layer of olive oil and some
salt. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to rub that olive oil in.
Step 4: Put it in the oven. It’s done when you can easily put a fork into the
veggie and it’s soft (for smaller things, like broccoli and squash cubes, this can take
between 12-15 minutes). If you want crispy veggies, leave it in until you see it start
Step 5: Let it cool down so it doesn’t burn your mouth, and then enjoy
vegetables like you’ve never seen them before!