Recipes, Events, Discoveries to Keep Us Safe, Beautiful and Healthy
Glowing, radiant health is the new black. Our Green Table is serving it up, for the whole body! Healthy recipes and tips, the latest on eco-friendly food and "skin food"products and a head's up on ingredient safety are all woven into family-centered stories and discoveries. Bring informed, aware and empowered looks good on everyone!
On the DAY before Halloween, my True Ghoul gave to me... a preview of our house so spoo-ooky...
Christian and Reshma are a big help and many hands do make terror-ibly light work. They have added their twisted twists to our decorations and we are almost set...just have the lighting and the "music" to do.
I am thrilled with our new addition this year...a body! Is it stuffed? Is it real?? Who knows...super fun. It will be splayed out on our roof under the watchful eye of a really creepy ghost. Look closely...
Here is some more of our fun...
Looks pretty Casper the Friendly during daylight...just wait until dark!
We also are keeping our energy up by munching on this beautiful, blood-colored dip...I'll give you the recipe Monday.
And here is a look at our Bone Fragment Apple Tart ...
On the 3rd day before Halloween, my True Ghoul gave to me....some help with all this ghoul-ish reverie...
As I mentioned yesterday, our home is Halloween Central. Truly done up. So much fun! This year, two precious ghouls are flying in on their broomsticks to help. Christian and DIL Reshma are coming in from Gotham City tonight! They will be able to help set up the cemetery, webs, ghosts and gore. Yay! We have a couple of fun new "accessories" this year and both Christian and Resh are really creative. Can't wait to see their "twist"...Beware!
When the kids were little and we lived in Mexico, I really got hooked on Halloween fun. There the big day is the day after, El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) and you can imagine the coloful markets bursting with sugar coffins, skulls, creepy pinatas, bread shaped into boney loaves...the whole works. Well, like they say, when in Rome, er, Mexico, "Do like..." and I did and have been possessed ever since.
In addition to the decorations, costumes, sound and light effects, I also have a traditional Halloween dinner that I served the kids before heading out to trick or treat and yes, we will be having it this year and yes, it is deliciously plant-based. Here is our menu: Witches Brew Stew, Scaredy Cat Punch (maybe my prize-winning extra Bloody-Thirsty Marys while we are in "make-up") and Bone Fragment AppleTart with Blood Orange Glaze. Sometimes dessert is Snow Ghost Pie and once in a Harvest Moon, I also make Batwing Crackers.
I saw this recipe on Martha Stewart's website for a wicked looking punch and may try it, too...looks bloody darn good and you know how I love sunsets!
Halloween Sunset Cocktail (Martha Stewart)
3 ounces tangerine juice 1 1/2 ounces white rum 3/4 ounce grenadine Ice cubes
Combine juice and rum in a tall glass filled with ice. Top with grenadine. Serves 1.
This cocktail is beautifully two-toned when first poured; afterwards, the ingredients start to mix together into an intense orange color. Orange you glad it's Halloween??
On the 4th day before Halloween, my True Ghoul gave to me...two Beauty Bites to keep us ghouls a-healthy...
Beauty Bite Number 1 I dearly love "party toes"...nail polished toes...for about 4-5 months out of the year. My favorite polish used to be "Wicked"...a dark, mysterious, luxurious, elegant color. Is it the deepest shade of red or deepest shade of brown??? Who knows. I just love it.
Then, I discovered blue polish and it set me free.
When I first had blue put on, a lovely shade called "Sag Harbour", I was a little underwhelmed. "Umm...excuse me. How much is it for a polish change?" Then, it transformed me and I loved it, all ten toes worth, all summer long. But, it is fall and I had to have one polish round of my beloved "Wicked" before I stuff my tootsies in boots all winter...that is until I read the toxicity scoop this polish. Drat. Toxic stuff. What's a girl to do?
Head to Zoya. They have lovely polishes...stay on forever and are pretty and healthy for polishes. Such a combo. They are available at Whole Foods and on line at www.zoya.comandare free from formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate and camphor. My "Wicked" replacement is "Nina". I just may have to go for round two before I pull the boots on. Lovely stuff.
Gotta admit, I have been stressing a little about my Halloween make-up. The devilish stuff never seems to stay in place. And, I have made several inquiries on the right make-up to use.
Then, when I was doing the first post today on feet, it hit me. L-E-A-D. Here's what I found...
There is a report out on lead in children's face paints and a caution to avoid it.
Geez. We are down to the wire here...what are we witches, ghouls and goblins to do? Go au naturelle? No way. Here at our Halloween Central, we have make-up and hair scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday. The bats in the belfry are counting down the minutes...
Just in the nick of time, here are some DIY recipes from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics for safe face paints. Now...go stir 'em up in your cauldron and have fun! Some of these sound good enough to eat.
Face Paint and Halloween Makeup
To avoid heavy metals and other potentially harmful unknown ingredients in traditional Halloween face paint, try making your own using food-based ingredients. Remember, foods can cause allergies in some kids: always test your concoctions on a small patch of skin and read up on natural food colorings before sending your little ghouls out for a night of painted fun. And don’t forget that some foods can stain skin and clothes.
1. Face Paint Made with Natural Food Coloring
Natural food coloring is available at health food stores and typically derived from foods and spices. We recommend reading up about natural food colorings and potential allergies first. Do not substitute conventional food coloring, which may contain synthetic chemical ingredients.
Ingredients: 1. Base of safe, unscented lotion (search Skin Deep for safe options) OR pure cocoa butter (available at health food stores) OR safe, fluoride-free toothpaste (search Skin Deep; avoid mint flavors, as they can make skin tingly) 2. Natural food coloring (see note above)
Mix a few drops of natural food coloring into the base ingredient of your choice. Test on a small patch of skin before applying to face or body.
2. Face Paint Made with Food
Make sure young children understand they can’t eat these paints unless you make them without the base. Test a small patch of skin first to make sure your child isn’t allergic to the food you’re using.
Ingredients: 1. Base of safe, unscented lotion (search Skin Deep for safe options) OR pure cocoa butter (available at health food stores) OR safe, fluoride-free toothpaste (search Skin Deep; avoid mint flavors, as they can make skin tingly) 2. Turmeric, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, beets, avocado, spirulina, cocoa, chocolate sauce, squid ink or other colorful foods, juices, herbs and spices
Yellow: Add 1/4 tsp. and a large pinch of stale turmeric to base. Pink: Using a sieve, mash the juice from 3 fresh or thawed frozen raspberries, blackberries or beets directly into the base. Or, use a deeply colored berry juice or puree. Mint green: With a fork, mash 1/4 of a small avocado until creamy. Mix this into your base. Emerald green: Add small amount spirulina or bright green chlorophyll to base. Purple: Using a sieve, mash the juice from several fresh or frozen blueberries into the base. Or, use blueberry juice. Brown: Add cocoa powder or chocolate sauce to base. Black: Use a small amount of squid ink in base for true black. White: Mix powdered sugar and water.
On the 5th day before Halloween, my True Ghoul gave to me...some treats to give besides cannnn-dy.
I mentioned our local food bank yesterday and here is a thought. While giving candy at Halloween is a tradition as entrenched as ghosts in the attic, why not start another one or two?
We have hundreds of precious kiddos come to our spooky door...some with a lot of help from a brave adult, other dragging a scared silly adult along with them. Once they work their way past the sticky, insect-infested webs, the cemetery ghouls and a really creepy clown to get to the witch with the dish, many seem to be ravenous and it always makes me wonder if the candy I give out is a "meal". I shudder to think...yes, for some, it is.
Here are a couple of things I will be doing and adding in as traditions. First, a little too late for this year, I found a site that has a fabulous cauldron full of healthier-than-most candies. I plan to order other holiday's sweet goodies from them and to order my Halloween candy from them next year. Here is the site http://www.naturalcandystore.com/. They have all kinds of green, organic, gluten-free and fair-traded candies, delivered in the bat of a newt's eye.
(However, it is not to late for those of you in New York to head to Orient to load up at The Candyman. They have been making fresh, homemade candies there on site for over 30 years. If you go, please buy me a bag of Dark Chocolate Chunks!)
Second, for this year, to offset some of the sugar I will be passing out (along with eyeball erasers) I am going to take some nutrient dense foods like various dried beans, nut butters, canned low sodium tomatoes, brown rice, raisins and dried apricots, boxed nut milk to my local food pantry.
Maybe you could do the same?
Check with your local pantry about donating nut products and perishable items. Some pantries, like one of my favorites in New York, also take fresh foods, such as apples, oranges, and root veggies.
What's that song? Trick or Treat, Trick or Treat, Give me something good to eat? Let's do it. And so, in light of your support to treat as you trick, this The Red White and Food is for you!!!
I want to give another The Red, White and Food shout out to my sister-in-law, Robin, for organizing a soup sale last weekend with all the proceeds going to needy families. Way to go girl!! xoxoxox
On the 6th day before Halloween, my True Ghoul gave to me...a yummy Meatless Monday recipe.
I know I already posted a picture of that glorious weekend moon, but here it is again. It is so much fun jumping over it!! This weekend I had some great leaps forward on a couple of projects I am working on and I met some new people who share an interest in really getting to work on their body burden, from the skin in. And I am reading The Help which had some words in reviews which are very appropriate for today's thoughts, "small but steady triumphs" and "dreams for the future are limitless".
One of the projects I am working on involves the Arkansas Foodbanks Network that serves numerous agencies and hunger relief groups. I became dismayed watching a news report that many of the food pantries felt less full and able to help because they were short on meat. In other words, they felt less empowered to help feed people. Oh, goodness! You do not need meat to have a full pantry or a fully delicious and nutritious meal. Actually, quite the opposite. The project I am working with them on addresses this "fork on" and I will share more about it later.
For today, Meatless Monday, I challenge you to think of meatless meals as a cup half full of adventure and new tastes, not half empty. You are not missing out on a thing by serving meatless meals on Monday or every day for that matter. When I teach my classes, I am going to start talking about the Four Cornerstones of a dish and believe me, plant-powered vegetarian meals wrap themselves deliciously around every corner! And that is not to even mention the health benefits. From those, your cup will "runneth over"!
It is damp and post-tornado-y here and so I am sharing another one of Stuart's recipe, another wonderful soup. You "met" him in Friday's post. He makes his own corn broth which I do not and so I am going to make a substitution for the home cook.
Stuart's Corn Chowder
4 ears of corn, kernels removed (He uses fresh. Thawed frozen would be OK, too.)
½ a white onion, or one shallot, diced
¾ pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 carrots diced
A couple of pinches of Aleppo Pepper flakes
1 c milk of choice, as needed
Cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
Cooking oil or butter
Sauté the onion in a soup pot until translucent. Add the potatoes, carrots and Aleppo pepper and sauté for another few minutes. Pour in just enough corn broth to barely cover the veggies. Place the lid on the pot and cook until veggies are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in one cup of corn kernels. Partially puree in a blender or with an immersion blender. Pour puree back into soup and add the remaining corn kernels. Add milk to reach the desired consistency. If using cheese, stir it in off of the heat, or pass as a garnish.
* Stuart's homemade broth has 1 teaspoon each of dried dill, sage and thyme. You may want to add these herbs in or experiment with fresh, using the 3 parts fresh to 1 part dried.
Want to see one of your favorite local good food growers, makers, purveyors or chefs listed on Our Green Table? Got any scoops about Good Food? Good Living? Goods we can dish out on our table? You know how I love to hit the streets, and so...send me a tip, email@example.com Just remember...
And...here is more! It's NOT just a "Girl Thing"!!
Our Green Table is my story about...
*Finding peace amidst chaos *Switching to a plant-based diet *Cooking delicious food *Living in "The Sandwich" * Traveling between AR and NY...lots! caring for family *Meeting sweet people *Sharing my discoveries *Keeping it healthy and fun
My wish for Our Green Table is...
From omnivore to vegan and everyone in between, OGTwill become our story of curiosity, compassion and changes that make a difference.
Here is the not set-in-stone path the stories will take:
Mondays: Recipe Day (Meatless Monday ideas) Wednesdays: "Skin" Food and/or "Soul" Food Day Fridays: Recipe Day (Weekend Fun)
Need help with the food you eat? The skin you are in? Want to share your thoughts? Send me a "peace" of mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am on an "adventure in life", a journey to a more peaceful way of eating and living to protect my health, my sanity and the world I live in. I am up for learning all sorts of new things and sharing them. I thought, like a good binding does for the stories in a book, I would anchor my food stories and fun discoveries to a spot in my home that roots me and, I believe, roots for me.
I have a green table that sits in the middle of my kitchen. No telling how old it is. It has been in many other homes, I suspect, before mine. The legs are sturdy and graceful, but the “toes” are stubbed and worn. There is part of the table that forms a brace joining the legs. It is a great perch for baskets and dogs’ paws. The surface of the table unfolds like a puzzle and goes from small to large with a wiggle of a couple of pieces of wood hidden underneath the main tabletop.
I love the color, or colors of green, that pop through. Starting with emerald through to lime, there are many shades until, in small patches, the bare wood softly peeks out. The colors of green remind me to choose well. I love this table, the food that goes on it, the chairs, elbows and paws that pull up and rest there. It is the heart of my kitchen and is the centerpiece for not only our food, but for our stories.
While nourishing the body and soul, the recipes in the stories here also nourish the environment and support the local food community.
Here are the Golden-Green Rules of Our Green Table:
1. Buy food with thought 2. Cook it simply, with care 3. Use less wheat and no meat 4. Create wholesome sweets 5. Buy local foods, real foods 6. Serve just enough 7. Use what is left 8. Keep it fun