Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Move over Oz, there's a new man in town

The Princess is back!  I told you on my last post that I would be gone for a few days because I was running the Disney Princess half marathon.  What a blast!  19,000 runners, 95% of them female.  That's a whole lotta estrogen flooding the Magic Kingdom.  Like everything Disney does, the race was impeccably well-run and very entertaining.  I would definitely do it again, and if you ever get the chance, you should as well!

On Saturday, we did the 5k Fun Run.  Maybe I had a little too much fun?!?

Here I am with the Fairy Godmother.  Isn't she just the sweetest thing you've ever seen? 

Here I am after the finish of the half-marathon with 2 random girls I met along the way.  Obviously, they are way adorable, dressed as Rapunzel and Rapunzel's evil kidnapping mother.  (Yes, that is a hairbrush she ran with!)

And here I am with my running partner.  Isn't she adorable in her Cinderella tutu? 

You're probably thinking, "Heids McGhee, were you the only runner there not dressed up?"  Pretty much.  Well, not really...but there were more runners dressed up than runners who weren't.  This may come as a shock, but I do take my running pretty seriously.  Weird, huh?  Who would have thought that Heids McGhee has a mean competitive streak?!?!

Since I was away all weekend without kids, I had time to do some reading.  I am reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan.  All I can say is.....move over Oz, there's a new man in town.  Oh. My.  I love Michael Pollan and he is totally my new boyfriend.  If you haven't read The Omnivore's Dilemma, you need to.  Right now.  If you have read it, you're probably wondering how someone like me hasn't read it yet.  I have actually been a Pollan fan for a while, but for some reason, have never read this particular book.  I know I can't do any justice in summarizing it for you, but basically the book is about how we as a human species have interrupted the natural food chain by introducing industrial farming to the planet.  Now, because of industrial farming, we are consuming nutrient deficient animals and plants, while damaging the soil and environment.  We rely on fossil fuels for energy, rather than the free source of energy.....the sun!  The book also touches on the topic of food processing and how it began as a means of preserving food (salting, drying, curing, canning, freezing) to what it is now....a mentality that we can improve on nature.

Like I said, you should read this book.  It will totally change the way you look at the food you eat and who you buy it from.  I was most shocked to learn about organic industrial farming and the abuse of labels such as free-range, organic, and grass-fed.  My take-away message is to buy local before buying organic.  And when Mr. McGhee suggested this morning that we take a trip to Wisconsin to drive by the farms that we get our eggs, milk, and cheese from I totally swooned.  And, now he is on board with planting a garden so large that we can call it a small farm.  Yeah Mr. McGhee!!!!  And yeah Michael Pollan!!! 

Today I have my oldest mini home from school.  He had no voice this morning, but shockingly enough, he found his voice about 10 minutes after I had dropped the two younger minis off at school.  So we spent our morning buying bread, grinding our own peanut butter, and shopping for local produce.  Once we got home, my oldest mini decided he was going to make his own applesauce.  He found a recipe that he based his own recipe on. 

JustJack's applesauce
  • 6 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • a little over 1/2 of a 1/4 cup of agave (so about 1/8 of a cup)
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1.  Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
2.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
3.  Smash.

Oh. My. Delish.  It was really good!  (oh, and if you're wondering about the turkey leg shirt....that's the sort of gift a kid with a meat-aversion gets from a mother with a twisted sense of humor)

Since I had a kid home with me, I decided to try a recipe for cauliflower popcorn that I have been seeing all over pinterest lately.  I decided to follow a recipe from my friend Astrid, mainly because she is a total superwoman.

Cauliflower popcorn (AKA roasted cauliflower, but cauliflower popcorn sounds so much more fun!)

  • one head of cauliflower, chopped into flourets
  • few tbsp olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • few tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • salt
1.  Preheat oven to 400.
2.  Drizzle oil over cauliflower and stir to coat.
3.  Spread cauliflower out on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
4.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and a little bit of salt.
5.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until starts to brown.

Homerun!  These are so good!  We ate the whole batch, so now I have to head back to the store to get more cauliflower (and apples...since we ate all the applesauce too!)  Both of these are easy recipes, perfect after-school snacks or as a side-dish to any meal.

For dinner tonight, we are having vegetable goulash.  I invented this recipe last week, when I called it vegetable soup.  Today I chopped up all the veggies I could find and threw them in some vegetable broth to simmer all day.  More veggies = heartier soup = vegetable goulash

Vegetable Goulash
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 of a small can of tomato paste or a full can of vegetable puree
  • 1.5-2 cups pasta
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 5 stalks celery hearts
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 small zucchini and/or yellow squash
  • 1 cup cauliflour
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • basil
  • pepper
  • garlic salt

1. Combine vegetable stock and tomato puree. Bring to a rolling boil.
2. Add pasta and diced tomatoes. Cook until pasta is mostly cooked.
3. Add all vegetables and let cook 10 minutes at close-to boiling. Turn down heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.
4. Add garlic salt, pepper, and basil to taste.
5. Let simmer as long as possible.

Serve topped with pesto.
  • one bunch of basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2-4 cloves minced garlic
1. Throw all ingredients in food processor and blend.

I will serve it with honey wheat bread from Great Harvest and if I get real ambitious, a smoothie of milk, frozen strawberries, frozen banana, and plain greek yogurt.