Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Posts tagged ‘rice’

Sloooow food.

We’ve been warned of the dangers of fast food till we’re bored with it. Judging by how full the parking lots are, it  hasn’t made a dent in people’s eating habits. I’ve recently become even more enamored with slow food. Really slow food. I’ve been making bread using only sourdough starter, and still making my yogurt.

This isn’t going to be a “how-to” post, rather a yes, you can. I realize we are all busy and tired, but these are foods that don’t take a lot of time. Or rather, they do, but not from you. For example, it takes less than a few minutes to feed your starter:

potato sour dough starter

potato starter


This starter is made from a few table spoons of instant potatoes, sugar and water. It can survive in your fridge or freezer almost indefinitely. You just feed it and it does its own thing.


You use it to make sour dough bread. I’ve been using the recipe it came with (from a friend), and one from the internet, and you don’t have to use yeast. It does take a looong time, but you just put it in a bowl and ignore it. You can start it the night before and it’ll be ready for the second rise when you get up in the morning. I started my last one on a weekday and didn’t have time for it for days, so I put it in the fridge till I was ready for it. sour dough

It did fine.

yogurt being cultured in little glass jars


The yogurt is the same thing. I saved some of the last batch I had made in the freezer. I take a little over a liter of milk, microwave it for 11 minutes till it bubbles, then let it cool to 115/120 degrees. Add some of the frozen yogurt, stir and pour into jars. Put them in my yogurt maker and walk away. This time it took longer. It was yogurt in the morning, but I wanted it thicker, so I went to work and popped them in the fridge when I got home. I drained them after dinner and I was done.


I also recently read that you don’t have to soak beans before cooking. I tried that, and it’s true. I put them inbeans simmering in the crockpot after dinner, and they were well cooked the next morning. Since beans are such a good food, cooking up a big batch and having them on hand to add to a variety of other foods is a great thing.

Fast Food

Now, in telling you all this, don’t think I hate fast food. I can use my microwave and frying pan to get dinner on the table in 20 minutes. I cook fish straight from the freezer and nuke broccoli and potatoes. Any way you can get tasty healthy food instead of garbage is ok in my book. But if you want fast food all week, take a few minutes here and there to add slow food. Cook a batch of rice while you are eating dinner for the next day. Always through roasted vegetables in with your chicken, make your stove work harder. I don’t think anything’s easier than roasting a whole butternut while my chickens cooking, then I de-bone the chicken and scoop the squash at the same time. Could be then, could be two days later. Make your fridge, freezer, microwave and oven really work for you.

Basic Eating- Beans and Rice

I am not a foodie, and never claimed to be. However, I have been told that my ability to throw stuff together is not universal, and several people have asked me what I eat. I thought I would give you my basic “go to” dish, beans, rice and whatever.

First, either soak and cook dried beans according to directions, or get out a can of beans, any kind, including baked, although they have a lot of sugar. I don’t use canned often, and if I do, I don’t rinse, since I like a lot of sauce in my food. Rinse and drain if you are worried about your salt intake. If you want to use lentils instead, cook them with the rice. Second,cook 1-2 cups of rice, according to directions. I have  a rice cooker, and never bother to measure any more. If you are using dried vegetables, or ones you want to have cooked, add them to the rice. Once these two ingredients are cooked, add any kind of tomato product; canned, fresh, dried. In a pinch I’ve used tomato soup or ketchup. Add vegetables, in any form. I like fresh onions and green pepper for the crunch. You can go southwest by adding cayenne pepper, chili powder, taco seasoning, or salsa. You can go asian by adding fish or oyster sauce, curry powder, soy sauce or whatever. This time I made rice and lentils with chili paste, dried tomatoes, dried red pepper, dried celery, and tomato soup. I’m going to add canned salmon and frozen broccoli to some of it. Or maybe all of it. You can add hamburger, tuna, chicken, whatever. You don’t need to add the meat, unless you are concerned about your protein intake.

Beans and rice can be the base for just about anything you’d like to add. I can’t think of too many things that don’t go well. Eggs are tasty in it too. Use your imagination, or use up your leftovers. You can cook up a big batch of beans and rice on the weekend, add different things to it each day and have lunch for the whole week. Don’t be afraid, if you think it’s really weird, take a half cup of the beans and rice out, add the odd ingredient and taste. If you like all the individual ingredients, you’ll probably like them together. When people complain about the cost or effort in healthy eating, I through this at them. You can’t get much cheaper than beans and rice, and since you can add any leftovers to it, you aren’t wasting any food.

Hodgepodge Thursday

Today I have several topics, from the class warfare of fitness to arsenic in rice, and my own personal fight to be fit.

people exercisingThe 1%

In the realm of fitness, I am seeing a larger gap than the economic gap that has everyone in such a tizzy. The people in the gym work hard to outdo each other for levels of fitness and “cleaness” of eating, while the much of the world languishes in ill health. It seems that there is a dichotomy of those who try their utmost and those who don’t do much of anything, with a very small “middle class” of those who are moderately fit. Is it that once you head down the fitness path, you want to keep going? Is there some sort of all or nothing mentality at work? Then I heard about this study showing that, unless we change our ways, we will become heavier and heavier as time goes on. Two obese peopleWhat is it? Why is it? I think it is simply the abundance of tasty food. Ask most people “Would you like oatmeal for breakfast, or a doughnut?” Unless they are attuned to the effect on their bodies of that choice, they will pick the doughnut. There are so many obstacles to overcome- treats brought into work, meals eaten in restaurants, the lack of everyday exercise, portion creep. All of it adds up. To get it off requires diligence and commitment. So unless something drastic happens, the same gap that has occurred economically will continue to grow between thick and thin.

bowl of rice

Arsenic in Rice

Rice is one of my favorite foods. I checked out the reports on Arsenic in rice, wondering if it  was as serious as it sounded. Apparently it is. Both inorganic and organic arsenic have been found in rice. Why rice? Apparently it needs silica to grow, and arsenic is chemically similar enough that the rice absorbs that instead.

What Have I been telling you?scroll showing the law of unintended consequences Let me quote from Consumer Reports: “When the rice initially planted in some of those former cotton fields produced little grain due to that pesticide residue, farmers solved that problem by breeding a type of rice specifically designed to produce high yields on arsenic-contaminated soil, according to Andrew Meharg, a professor of biogeochemistry at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.”

Wh-wh-what!?!?!? Do I need to say more? What did they think would happen if they got something to grow in arsenic?

Here is my answer:

my jars of picklesGrow your own, can your own, freeze your own. Granted, we can’t do that with everything, I’m not going to put rice paddies in my back yard. I will limit my rice consumption, and rinse it thoroughly before cooking. I do try my best to know where my food is coming from and how it is grown. What about you? Any thoughts on how to not bump yourself off before it’s time?

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