Beeturia – the thricening

Yesterday spudart asked where the third beeturia post was. There wasn't one. There wasn't one planned.

Here it is.

Last night I cooked up the three beets I received last Thursday. I ate two and left the third for my roommate.

Last night's dinner was a salad with the following layers (starting at the bottom layer):

  • 1 sliced beet
  • Steamed beet greens and steamed kohlrabi greens (I do not like kohlrabi greens, I need to stop trying to eat these)
  • 1 tomato
  • Mozzarella
  • 1 sliced beet
  • Parmesan cheese, bacon bits, and pistachios

I took a picture (before the cheese/bacon/pistachios went on) because I thought it looked pretty:
Beet salad

By the time I was at the bottom of the bowl, the mozzarella that was left had been dyed a vibrant purple.

It was good.
The effect of two beets seems to be identical to the three I ate before.


Beeturia – part deux

As a follow up to yesterday's post –
apparently it takes about two days for me to fully process that amount of beets.

Just in case I'm risking some sort of "beet withdrawal" or something, tonight I'm frying up a pan of summer squash, garlic, basil, parsley, scallions and BEET GREENS.

Beets. Go figure.

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What is "Western"?

Subway's napkins are currently emphasizing the "healthiness" of their breakfasts as compared to McDonald's Egg McMuffin and BK's Egg & Cheese Croissan'wich.

The breakfasts listed on the napkin are the:
Egg & Cheese
Steak & Cheese
Western & Cheese
Black Forest Ham & Cheese

3 of the 4 are a "meat/protein and cheese"… the term "Western" is incredibly vague. Is it a vegetarian offering? Is it spicy? Without looking it up, I have no idea.

Is there a standard "western"? Am I supposed to know and remember it?

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Cream Cheese

Are there any foods that can't be made better by adding cream cheese?

Here are a few random foods that just came to mind, all of which would be better by adding some cream cheese:

  • Tacos
  • Spaghetti
  • Peanut Butter Sandwich
  • Turkey Sandwich
  • Any soup
  • Pizza
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Everything else I can thing of!

I think I've just discovered the ultimate secret ingredient!

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Sustainable Gardening

Does anyone want to help me fund a crazy idea for a small-medium scale hydro/aeroponic greenhouse? The goal would be to grow the greatest amount of food in a given space, using energy and space saving designs. The greenhouse would be sectioned off into separate climate-controlled units, allowing a wide variety of plants to be grown under optimal conditions.

By using hydroponics and aeroponics, the need for soil is eliminated. This would allow plants to be spaced next to each other both vertically and horizontally, which would enable "3D" utilization of space, rather than the "2D" of traditional "in the ground" farms. A vertical farming system would also allow for plants to be moved more easily, and spaced more closely (like movable compact shelving in a library.)

The lighting system would be a hybrid system using both sunlight, and LEDs in light frequencies chosen specifically for optimum plant growth. By using both natural light and artificial light, the amount of light that plants get each day can be completely controlled, removing the limitations of clouds and even night.

As a bit of an afterthought – a section of the greenhouse could be used to grow algae. When the algae is ready to be harvested it could be sold off to supplement companies (depending on the type of algae being grown), used to create bio-diesel (to help power the lighting and climate control systems), and be used for other foodstuffs (algae can be made into flour.)

Just an idea.


Deceptive Labeling On My Doritos

As of last night, I am now boycotting all Frito-Lay products.

When it comes to buying food, snacks particularly, I'm pretty lazy. I'll buy what appears to have the best balance between taste, health, and ease of preparation.. and when looking for something to snack on, chips are a no-brainer. I do my best to avoid trans fat/partially hydrogenated oils, so seeing a prominently displayed "0 Grams Trans Fat" badge on the bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, well, I figured I didn't even need to check the back of the bag.

Imagine my surprise when I open the bag and glance down the ingredients list to see "partially hydrogenated soybean oil"… which is a trans fat. Seems Frito-Lay is taking advantage of the labeling loophole that allows anything less than .5 grams per serving to be listed as 0 grams.

To make matters worse, they stated in a press release dated September 24, 2002 that they would be eliminating trans fat from their products:

PLANO, TX (September 24, 2002) – Frito-Lay announced today that it is taking major steps in its commitment to offering a wide variety of better-for-you snacks by eliminating trans fats from America's favorite salty snacks – Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos – while still offering great taste. Along with the trans fat elimination, Frito-Lay will also introduce Lay's Reduced Fat chips and Cheetos Reduced Fat snacks in the coming months.

"We're taking several steps that will change the way America snacks," said Al Bru, President and Chief Executive Officer of Frito-Lay North America. "Early next year, Frito-Lay is eliminating trans fat oils from our big brands including Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos. And the great news is that there is no compromise in taste. We will also introduce Lay's Reduced Fat chips and Cheetos Reduced Fat snacks in the coming months that offer our consumers better tasting, better-for-you snacks."

It's now 2008, and if I were to eat 24 chips (2 servings), it's possible that I would have just consumed .9 grams of poison. That's not zero, Frito-Lay.. that's more than not zero. Shame.

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Planet, I Save You!

Last weekend, when I was in Chicago, we visited Whole Foods Market.. and I was greeted by another reason to move to Chicago. I mean, that's the way a grocery store should be – a great selection, fair prices, friendly people, healthy stuff, and – most importantly – prepared food, healthy prepared food, sold by the pound. Nom. If I lived within walking distance of such a creature, or had one near a bus/train stop I'd be set.

Did I mention "buffet style" food sold by the pound?

At the checkout I grabbed one of those recycled plastic tote bags for $0.99. It's a decent sized bag, probably 2-3 times larger than the ones that the grocery store in town sells for $1, plus it has a huge Whole Foods logo on it. 🙂 My new coat has a pocket that fits my magic new planet-saving bag nicely once it's folded up, so I've pretty much got it on me at all times.

So far I figure I've saved 5-6 plastic bags already. Not much, but it's a start.

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