Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicken Nuggets

If you have ever eaten chicken nuggets (or fed them to your kids) from a popular food chain, you need to read this article. Would you want to knowingly ingest a petroleum-based preservative and an anti-foaming agent that is also used in Silly Puddy??

On the bright side, Livestrong posted their foods of the week here. I am excited because there is an all natural olive oil spray listed! Yay! They also note the power in eating apricots and pistachios- yum!

There is a showing of Fresh, The Movie in Baltimore tomorrow night, I wish I could go! I hope that it comes out on video or comes closer to home so I can watch and gain some insight into how we can make a difference/change right here in our community.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fish Sticks

So, in my quest to cut out processed foods, I had one holdout- fish sticks. They were the one processed food I had kept buying even when I knew I should stop. I was fully afraid of making these for my family. Thankfully, they turned out great! I used panko for the coating, although I would prefer whole wheat panko but have been unable to find it yet (please let me know if you ever see it for sale!). I also wanted to avoid frying of any kind, even though when I would make fried shrimp or onion rings, there was as little oil as possible used. I am going to try the "flash fry" method used for the fish with my shrimp and onion rings to help cut out even more fat/calories. I used haddock this time. Sonnewald's had a piece in the frozen section of wild caught haddock that was just the right amount for 4 people and it defrosted in less than a day in the fridge. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste. I am also estimating the amounts as I didn't measure...I'm a dumper :)

1 large filet of tilapia or haddock
1 c whole wheat flour
3 egg whites
1-2 c panko (preferably whole wheat) or whole wheat bread crumbs
approx 1/2 T Old Bay
approx 1/2 T parsley
approx 1/4 T each onion/garlic powder
cooking spray (I used Pam Olive Oil but would like to get my own spritzer for olive oil)

Cover baking sheet with foil and place wire cooling rack on sheet (make sure it is oven-proof!). Cut fish into chunks (I didn't go too small this time just to make sure they didn't fall apart). Put flour and egg whites in their own bowls. Combine panko and seasonings in bowl. Lightly dip fish in flour, then egg whites, then panko mixture and place on rack. Spray generously with cooking spray, turn over carefully and spray again. Place in 450 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes until browning at the edges. Enjoy!


So, you may wonder where you can go to find high quality, nutrient-dense foods. If you want real all natural chicken, you can order them from Sensenig's Meats and they will cut them for you in the traditional 8 piece chicken style. They have whole, frozen ones available anytime. Also, just today I saw a booth at the Markets at Shrewsbury that also has all natural chickens. I did not buy any of those since I have 2 on order from Sensenig's, but there was another booth with all natural beef and pork. I bought a small sampling of a variety of products to try. Sensenig's does have all natural beef but you have to buy large quantities. I'm waiting for a call back to find out if they will allow me to purchase smaller amounts.

What are the keys to look for? If you are unsure about any meat, ask if the animals are corn fed. You DO NOT want to purchase ANY beef from corn fed cattle. You want to look for "grass fed" as well as no hormones, no antibiotics and free range. You also want to look for "non genetically modified."

Markets at Shrewsbury  
What to buy organic? Cheat Sheet- Use this to help you decide which foods to buy organic. In order to save money, not all foods have to be organic but try to purchase locally if at all possible.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Did you know that almost all foods that you buy "store baked" at a bakery, are really only heated up there? Almost all foods come in frozen and are simply defrosted and baked a few minutes to finish them and then decorated. When I found this out, I was very frustrated. We tended to buy store baked bagels instead of prepackaged ones to save on preservatives, etc. but were still getting them since they were initially frozen and shipped. So, this was my first attempt at making homemade bagels. The whole process did take about 2 hours, but they are delicious! The recipe made 14 bagels although next time I will do better with size uniformity. I would also like to cut out the brown sugar, but I'll have to investigate some other recipes to see what I can substitute, or perhaps leave it out altogether. I also want to look into making the dough in my bread machine to save a little manpower and time. When I toasted my bagel, it took a lot longer than normal, and I think that is due to how fresh it was. I think come tomorrow morning they won't need quite as much time in the toaster.

1 pkg dry active yeast
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 c warm water

1 tsp brown sugar
2 T olive oil
2 T flax seed (ground)
1 tsp salt
1 T soy lecithin (you can get bulk at
2 c lukewarm milk (I used fat free)
5 c whole wheat flour (I used a white whole wheat- be sure it does not say "enriched")

8 c water
2 tsp brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 T water
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or topping of choice

Grease 2 baking sheets (I used Pam Olive Oil). Dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in warm water and let set in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Add brown sugar, olive oil, flax, salt, and soy lecithin to yeast mixture. Gradually add flour and milk (alternating) to make a stiff dough. Knead well, place in greased bowl. Cover with a warm, damp, towel and place in a warm place for about 20 minutes, or until doubled in size. Flour hand and punch down. Divide into equal pieces (total number will depend on how big you like your bagels). Roll each piece into a disk. Poke finger through the middle and reshape to make bagel shape. Place on greased pan and cover with plastic wrap for about 10 minutes.

Heat water and brown sugar on high. Beat egg and water. Place 2-3 bagels in boiling water at a time for one minute on each side. Remove and place on cooling rack to drain. When one batch is done, place back on baking sheet and brush top with egg wash. Sprinkle on toppings if desired. Bake approximately 20 minutes at 375 degrees, turning over about halfway through baking. Place on cooling rack.


So, I've decided to join the blogging world. I tried starting one a few years ago about my classroom, but it never really came to fruition. Why did I decide to start again? Because our lives depend on it. For many years I have had a nagging feeling that the foods we were eating were not healthy for us. Why did the ingredient lists on so many products have more items that I could not pronounce or know the origin? Why were more and more people having hormonal balance issues, reproductive cancers, diabetes, obesity, etc.? There was a stretch of about 2 years in which I ate almost all organic, local, and homemade foods. I felt great. I was in the best shape of my life. I want to get back to that, as well as help forge the way for change in this country. My goal for this blog is to provide assistance and information. I hope to educate with links, recipes, and local stores and farms at which quality foods can be purchased. Join me on this journey as I start from scratch! Also, if you have not yet watched the Food Inc movie, please do so. It will change the way you think about every bite that goes in your body. Let it be the impetus for change in your life, as it was for me.

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