Saturday, May 21, 2011

Salad Mission

Healthy Salads
Got exciting recipes for delicious and healthy salads? Share them here, for I'm on a mission. With your help, just maybe I can work on eating light and healthy this summer. Once upon a time my dear dad told me, "Honey, you'll be like me and have to watch your weight all your life." Dad is now 86 and still works out at the YMCA, eats just enough and looks healthy and fit.

My mission? My daughter is getting married at the end of July, and I want to trim up a little, get rid of a few extra pounds. Since summer is near, I am planning to eat more salads like I usually do because of summer heat. Too much meat makes one lethargic and miserably stuffed in the heat of summer. I love salads, all kinds of salads. I make them with different vegetables mixed with greens, mixed with fruit, beans, tuna, chicken, and whatever sounds good. It is common for me to be asked by my friends to bring a salad to special functions. I invite you to add to my salad variations. New ideas for salads will make this mission easier to do.

My mission includes healthy eating including salads, fruit, vegetables, some meat, and occasional healthy breads and desserts when I feel like I just have to have them. This mission includes one more thing - exercise. Walking is my choice. In fact, I hear the birds as I write and will go walking after I end this blog post.
This morning's breakfast at 5:30 was hours ago. It was scrambled egg and Velveeta cheese burritos, two for hubby and one for me...and fresh squeezed orange juice and fresh from an acre of orange trees yesterday. Delicious! There's nothing like sweet fresh orange juice. Squeezing the oranges this morning reminded me of my mother-in-law who passed away four years ago May 23rd. She told me once about her experiences working in the orange groves when she moved to California. She would work hard all day and go home with the black smut on her face from the smudge pots. My morning's orange work was easy with my little manual juicer which works great, much easier than the old smudge pots.

I'll look forward to seeing your recipes for salads mixed with fruit, vegetables and occasionally meat or beans for my summer mission.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vegan Cabbage Soup

Vegan Cabbage Soup

1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 tsp. curry
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 yellow summer squash, diced
5 carrots, sliced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes

Place all ingredients in crockpot, cover with water, and cook on high for about two hours. Turn to low and cook all day.
What I like about this recipe is how easy and healthy it is. The chicken bouillon cube and curry add a rich taste. This recipe is similar to the cabbage soup diet. The key to the cabbage diet, however, is eat plenty of green vegetables and the cabbage soup. You may add or leave out some of the spices or vegetables to suit your taste. Shredded cooked chicken breast would also make this soup very tasty if you get tired of just vegetables. As summer nears, however, heavy meat makes me feel quite sluggish and overly full. This cabbage soup is filling, and the chicken flavor satisfies the craving for more than just vegetables.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What to Plant with Tomatoes

Think of the many choices you have in companion planting as you plant your garden. Most people who garden at least plant one or two tomato plants.  You don't have to be a pro at gardening to plant tomatoes. Last year I had tomatoes growing where I didn't even place a tomato plant or seed. When my husband and I purchased our cottage cabin three years ago, it was surrounded by trees and cacti. 

The previous owner who had died had been a landscaper and left behind notes that he kept on landscaping jobs. One of my goals is to research those notes and share them on my blog. It's apparent that the guy could grow successfully anything he wanted to. It was obvious he loved to grow gardens, too. My first garden on the place was in an area he had fenced off specifically for vegetable and melon garden. Who knows? Maybe our tomato plant grew from a seed he had planted years ago. I do know that there is a drain from the kitchen sink that goes into the area where that tomato plant grew. So guess what! I've planted tomato plants there again this spring along with basil. I may add a couple more herbs in with the tiny kitchen garden. My strawberry pot sits nearby, and the strawberry plants I planted in the pot seem to be making it so far. I'm crossing my fingers as I have never planted strawberries before in a strawberry pot. 
What works well planted with tomatoes? Some of my favorite vegetable tomato allies are basil, carrots, cucumbers, chives, head lettuce, marigold, nasturtium, onion. Did you know that you can actually eat nasturtium flowers
The scent of flowers can deter animals, too. Lavender is one of my favorite scented plants. Two or three times I noticed my cat smelling them this past weekend before she went nearby and lay in a cool spot. She loves the lavender and my poppies. Obviously, they don't deter cats. However, they are supposed to deter rabbits. Plant lots of flowers around your garden, and use chicken wire around the plants and mesh wire on top. That should help keep the rabbits away and crows, too. Have you ever noticed how obnoxious crows can be? And they're huge. I've watched them carry bags of food trash across a gas station parking lot. I don't know which is worse for a garden, rabbits or crows. The flowers and wire should help, though. Companion planting assisted by the protection of scented flowers and wire will increase your chances of a successful garden.
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