March On Monsanto – Make A Difference!

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As most of you are aware, I blog about my family’s adventure in the world of clean living. I am a huge supporter of a healthy, environmentally conscious lifestyle.  

I am also an activist. Though I am forced to miss out on in person events such as this due to family obligations, I do what I can from home and online. I believe in the March Against Monsanto. This company is wholly evil, and is not only poisoning us with their genetically modified food, but they are bleeding farmers dry as well as killing off our bee population. Countries such as Russia, Germany, and Greece have all banned Monsanto’s food from being sold. You can view a complete list of countries who have banned Monsanto’s food from being sold at: http://politicalvelcraft.org/2013/03/23/monsanto-has-been-removed-and-banned-by-austria-bulgaria-germany-greece-hungary-ireland-japan-luxembourg-madeira-new-zealand-peru-south-australia-russia-france-and-switzerland/

I encourage you all, my readers, to protest this awful company by avoiding GMO foods. A list of companies who use Monsanto’s horrible GMOs are in the picture below. Let us fight for change by boycotting these companies to tell them that we will not be poisoned any longer! As Martin Luther King, Jr, once said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

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Clean Eating, In Laws, and Avocados

We just hosted my mother-in-law and brother-in-law at our place this weekend. Rest assured, she is NOT the mother-in-law from hell, and my brother-in-law and I get along very well.

However, they were a bit skeptical about clean eating.

So, I did what any good, resourceful foodie would do – I cooked. Not just any old meat and potatoes, but my mom’s original chicken devan recipe. Vegetarian fed chicken, organic frozen broccoli, smothered in a Vermont sharp cheddar cheese and white wine sauce. 

Yeah, I know, you’re salivating just HEARING about it. Good thing I don’t have pictures…yet 😉

Anyway, they loved it, and couldn’t believe that it was a clean meal. I mean hey, I love food, and what I make is gonna have flavor. To halfway quote my late grandmother, freaking mangia!

Also, my daughter is CRAZY about avocados. We went to breakfast today and I ordered an omelette with avocado. I decided to cut up one of the slices and give it to my little Serenity (along with my cheesecake pancake. I couldn’t help it, it may be crap but it’s DELICIOUS crap, and I didn’t use my cheat day yet;) ). She pushed the pancake out of the way after tasting both and went straight for the avocado. Man am I a proud mama today! She has also recently become mobile in the form of actual crawling. Not that half-crawl, half-doing-the-worm thing she WAS doing, and I can barely keep up. I think between good, clean food and her copious amounts of energy, I’m gonna have my hands quite full. 

Recipe for the delicious chicken devan will be up soon folks!

Until next time, Jill

 

“Ewwwww! Mom, what is THAT?”

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My son, Gavin, is the most lovable, helpful, – and forthright kid I know. He speaks his mind without any type of filter. Sometimes, it’s really really funny, and others, it’s, well, irritating.

Now that we are clean eaters, he will often ask me what’s for dinner, what’s in dinner, etc. He wants to know every little detail. On the nights that he doesn’t ask, he will simply walk out of his room right as I am plating our food as if he has “foodar” (food radar). He will take one look at his plate and find SOMETHING that doesn’t look “quite right” to him. Last night, we had stuffed tricolor peppers with marinara, colby jack slices on top (because I didn’t have any mozzarella and I didn’t feel like going to the store), and an organic superfood pilaf I bought at my favorite store, Trader Joes, on the side. The pilaf contained organic quinoa, kale, red bell pepper, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Though it was actually quite good, he took one look at it, wrinkled his nose, and goes:

“Mom, that looks like someone barfed all over my plate.”

Of course I smirked, because it was a bit funny. But in order to keep our principles, I sent him to his room for complaining about dinner YET AGAIN. Some may not agree with the method, but he comes out ten minutes later much more gracious and ready to eat his food. Nine times out of ten, he will try a new item and actually like it.

Point is, I am dealing with an extremely picky eater, and I am trying to find ways to open his mind about food. I’ve done the usual “hide vegetables in casseroles and things” method and he ALWAYS seems to find and pick out what he doesn’t like. The only fruit and vegetables he will eat are carrots, broccoli, pineapples, and apples. I know this isn’t bad, but I would like him to try more. I even try things (like mushrooms) that I don’t particularly like to see if he will eat them. Doesn’t work. I have to say I am proud of his stubborn will, because that will make him much less prone to peer pressure, but to raise that kid can be difficult at times, especially when it comes to food.

From all of this, I have finally learned that he and food will always have tension, kind of like North Korea and the U.S. (although I don’t think he will threaten nukes on quinoa). 

Dreaded Mushrooms, We Meet Again…And I Still Don’t Like You!

As my readers know, I wrote a post some time ago about my extreme dislike of mushrooms and how I would “conquer those vile fungus.” Well, needless to say, they are still vile to me. I look at a mushroom and I want to shrivel up and die. Ok, not really. But I wish the mushroom would.

It just so happens that my first real experience in the kitchen involved mushrooms. When I was seven years old, my mother had me sauté her mushrooms while she finished up the rest of dinner (I think we had steak that night). I remember the smell, how it was so appealing yet I just couldn’t bring myself to eat a mushroom. Some have told me that they are an “acquired” taste, like beer or fine wine. Well I love beer and fine wine (white wine, not red!) but I don’t think I will ever acquire a taste for something that feels like I’m eating a snail every time I chew. Gross. But at least I can say I tried!

I can say, though, that I have still come up with some awesome kitchen creations despite my lack of all things fungal in nature in my food. The other night I whipped up a nice Caprese pasta using whole wheat fusili, diced organic tomatoes on the vine, organic basil, shredded Parmesan, shredded mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Even my husband, who rarely eats a meal with meat, said it was “rather tasty” (that’s high praise from him when it comes to vegetarian meals, kind of like a Vulcan telling a human that they’ve “done well).

So I suppose I don’t need mushrooms to eat clean. But I will never stop trying new things or revisiting old foods that never got a true chance with me. Next stop: Brussels sprouts!

Until next time, here’s a bad mushroom haiku for your entertainment:

Mushrooms
I eat you and my face is bitter
My insides shrivel
Then I throw up
In a toilet, if I’m near one.

To Boldly Go…Where No Mushroom Has Gone Before

A derivative collage from two other files - ca...

A derivative collage from two other files – captain Jean-Luc Picard in his quarter on the USS Enterprise-D (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This image shows a few dried mushrooms.

This image shows a few dried mushrooms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Since I am now a clean eater, I have decided to take the advice of one of my heroes – Captain Jean Luc Picard (as portrayed by the amazing Sir Patrick Stewart) of Star Trek – The Next Generation, and his predecessors before him – I would “boldly go” into it. That means, giving foods I have never previously liked another try. You see, now that I have cut out processed food from mine and my family’s diet, our choices have seemed somewhat limited, so in order to be more creative and feel more fulfillied, we need new ingredients to throw into the mix.

My first adventure will be with mushrooms. Oh, how I despise mushrooms, almost as much as I despise Swiss cheese. The thought of eating a fungus, something I can most likely find between my husband’s toes (sorry honey!) makes me want to vomit the delicious dinner I just had! But I have to try. I am determined to like it. I’m determined to swallow that fungus and conquer it’s awful texture. Without vomiting. Without lurching. Without a bitter beer face. I WILL DO THIS!!!

 

If I retry mushrooms, the rest of my family will too. There may be some vomiting on their part, so no promises on their determination not to vomit. BUT! I will not. I will perservere! I will conquer my internal oppressors of mushrooms! I will bring them the battle of the century! Ok, maybe I’ll just shove a few in my mouth and try not to choke on my own vomit, but hey, it’s a start, right? XD

Jillian Johnson, out!

Cheese Makes The World Go Round

Cheddar cheese from Bravo Farms, Traver, Calif...

Cheddar cheese from Bravo Farms, Traver, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Being a clean eater doesn’t mean that I’m a “vegan” – it simply means that I only consume foods that are free of chemicals, preservatives, synthetic dyes and synthetic flavors. That being said, I could probably live without dairy if it wasn’t for my absolute favorite food enhancer (and food altogether) – CHEESE. I LOVE CHEESE. I could eat cheese all day, every day, with every meal. I wouldn’t poop for a very long time, but I probably wouldn’t care. I could eat cheese with anything – including fruit. When I was a kid, I remember sharing plates of white Vermont sharp cheddar cheese and jalapenos with my mom as a snack. It was quick, easy, and the jalapenos cleared my sinuses better than any over the counter medicine I have ever taken lol! Cheese is something that I feel like I will literally die without if I weren’t allowed to consume it. I love pretty much all cheese, except one – the evil, sinister “cheese” they call Swiss.

 

I’m sure Swiss people are some of the most awesome people in the world – but their cheese sucks. It tastes like a mixture of smelly armpit, feet, and cardboard. The fact that it has holes doesn’t sit right with me either. Whoever actually invented Swiss cheese must have thought that their dirty socks were pretty tasty. I mean, do people really like eating their own dirty socks? Is that what all the fuss behind Swiss cheese is about? Seriously, to call it “cheese” puts shame to the very good name of cheese. Fuck “Swiss cheese”.

 

On a side note, cheese is used in A LOT of popular recipes. My favorite cheeses have to be parmesan, mozzarella, (I’m Italian, it comes with the heritage I suppose, since even ancient Romans had special parts of their kitchen just for making cheese – called a careale [pronounced car-a-al-e]), medium cheddar, and havarti. All of which are good on grilled cheese sandwiches – another favorite. As a topping, you can use it on virtually anything – chips, tacos, burritos, salads, burgers – and as a filler in stuffed meat recipes, sandwiches, appetizers-the list goes on and on! To me, cheese makes the world go round, and is something that most popular cultures today have in common. Even though the U.S. is the top producer of cheese in the world, I tried some of the sharpest, and most delicious cheddar I’ve ever had when I was 16, on my summer vacation in Dublin, Ireland, with my father. It was absolutely divine – and no cheese here compares. Thankfully our local commissary sells some imported cheese from Dublin, because I would hate to never eat it again. Did you know that cheese is actually over 4,000 years old? Remains of cheese were found in Egyptian tombs, dating about 4,000 years in the past. They obviously had very good taste!

Cheese is a favorite among my family as well. It’s a good snack for kids when you want to give them something healthy. My son Gavin is a very picky eater, but he loves cheese. Organic cheese sticks are his favorite snack aside from apples and carrots. If I don’t give him cheese at least once a day, the day doesn’t seem right to him. For me, it’s a favorite with spicy food or an anytime snack, and my daughter loves macaroni and cheese so far. I’m so thankful we can continue to enjoy cheese!

 

Cheese facts came from: http://www.10-facts-about.com/Cheese/id/44