Monday, April 11, 2011

The Art of Growing Art

I saw this article on how to make living art in the latest Sunset~Garden Anywhere magazine. It is titled "The art of growing art." I love succulents and when I saw this I knew instantly I want to try to make a piece of living art. Well, actually I fell in love with a several ideas of living art, but this is the first one I want to try and create as a masterpiece. My vision is to create a tall one and place it near my front porch and hang it under the eave on two chains. I think it will look stunning, especially with a landscaping spot light on it at night. I would be afraid to let it just lean against the house, as it might just walk away.

I watched the how to video as well and it looks rather simple and self explanatory. Now to locate the supplies to make it. I will put an ad on Craigslist to see if anyone wants to donate any succulents, as they multiply like rabbits. This will help cut down on the cost, cheap or free is always a very good deal. I am excited to plant a living picture.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are one of the most powerful, functional, and nutritious superfoods in the world! The chia seed is an excellent source of fiber, packed with antioxidants, full of protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the richest known plant source of Omega-3. Everyone from children to senior citizens can benefit from the wonderful nutritional qualities of chia seeds.

Adding just 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet will give you approximately 7 grams of Fiber, 4 grams of Protein, 205 milligrams of Calcium, and a whopping 5 grams of Omega-3!

  • More Omega-3 than Atlantic Salmon

  • More Antioxidants than fresh blueberries

  • More Fiber than bran flakes

  • More Calcium than 2% milk

  • More Protein, Fiber & Calcium than flax seed

Top 5 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds

1. Chia Seeds Are Nutritious On top of the fact that chia seeds have more omega-3 than anyother natural source, they are loaded with antioxidants, calcium,protein, fiber, and many other vitamins & minerals.

2. Chia Seeds Are Energizing Not only do chia seeds give you a boost of energy that lasts,they also provide stamina and endurance. A single tablespoon could sustain Aztec warriors for an entire day.

3. Chia Seeds Reduce Cravings Because chia seeds absorb so much water and have high soluble fiber levels, they help release natural, unrefined carbohydrate energy slowly into the bloodstream.

4. Chia Seeds Are Easily Digestible Unlike flax seed, chia seeds do not have to be ground up before you ingest them. The human body can easily digest chia seeds, and with about 7 grams of fiber per serving, they actually help.

5. Chia Seeds Are Convenient & Versatile You can eat chia seeds straight from the bag, mix them with your favorite drink, add them to your cereal or salad, bake with them and just about anything else.

You can add them to smoothies, yogurt, bake with them, grind them into flour and can be used a thickener etc.... Chia Seeds can be used in many ways and are heart healthy.


I found a quick bread recipe that calls for no oil and is moistened by Chia Seeds. I tweaked the recipe and eliminated the White Flour and substituted Garbonzo Flour instead. It is a dense bread and I enjoyed the texture and flavor, of course a light spread of butter or honey butter on each slice tastes even better. My kids gobbled slices of it up for breakfast today too.

You are probably scratching your head... What the heck are chia seeds??? My next post will help educate you on the benefits of Chia Seeds. You can get them at a natural/nutrition store, Whole Foods Market, Market of Choice, Capella's or even On-line. They come in a bag or in bulk.


2 T Chia Seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup of water; set aside for 10 min.

1/2 c All Purpose Flour (or substitute Garbonzo Flour)

1-1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder 1/2 tsp Salt

1 Egg

1-1/2 tsp of Lemon Juice

3/4 cup of Brown Sugar

1/4 cup of Honey

3 mashed Bananas

1 T of melted Butter

1 T Vanilla

1/2 cup of Walnuts, chopped

*optional 1/2 cup of Nestle Mini Morsel

  1. Mix the Chia Seeds and water and let sit while you get the rest of the ingredients ready or until they've started to gel.

  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder and salt).

  3. In separate bowl, beat egg with lemon juice, brown sugar and honey. Add the mashed bananas, chia seeds, vanilla and melted butter.

  4. Add wet mix to flour mix until combined.

  5. Fold in nuts and/or mini chocolate chips.

  6. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

(Makes one standard loaf or four mini loaves)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


He is back!!! Jamie Oliver's FOOD REVOLUTION takes on the City of Los Angeles. It airs on ABC, Tuesday April 12th. I am super excited to see and learn more about wholesome food vs. the processed, sugary and unhealthy garbage that is being served to our children in schools and in fast food restaurants. The last Food Revolution show inspired me to open my pantry and freezer and start eliminating processed foods and donate them to a local food pantry and also ditch some in my own garbage can as well.

We plan on having our teenage son watch the new FOOD REVOLUTION and find out what changes he is willing to make. He also complains that at his middle school when he used to get his school lunch that the fruits and vegetables were wiped out and they didn't offer any to the students that were at the middle or the end of the lunch line. There wasn't enough fresh produce served to accommodate the kids. He'd come home from school hungry.

So... out of curiosity, what do you think about your children's' school lunch program?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Springtime Farmer's Market

It is that time of year again at least in Lane County, Oregon. It is Springtime and open season at Lane County Farmer's Market. I was so excited to meander around the Farmer's Market and check out every booth to see what was in season. I found lots of organic salad greens, braising greens, root vegetables, herbs, squash, hazelnuts, colorful plants, vegetable starts, organic meat and poultry and farm fresh eggs.

I also came across a booth that sold locally grown wheat, lentils, beans, wheat berries, teff and more. The Mill is called Camas Country Mill and is owned by The Hunton Family in Alvadore Oregon, near Fern Ridge Resevoir. We got to talking and I shared with them that I had just made my Wheat berry Waldorf Salad. Both Tom and Sue were inspired and want me to send my recipe to them so that they can try it and possibly share the recipe with others.

After scouring the market I selected fresh local baby spinach, salad greens, chives, bok choy, mild radishes, red leaf lettuce and collard broccolini. I also purchased some of Camas Country's stone ground hard red wheat flour, garbanzo bean flour and an Ethiopian grain called brown Teff grain. I am looking forward to making some fresh homemade rustic bread.

I was also looking for Golden (yellow) Beets, but had no such luck. (I want to remake the Roasted Beet, Apple and Fennel Salad that I had at Adam's Sustainable Table on our food crawl). I did talk to one of the vendors that was selling plants and veggie starts and asked if she had the starts to Golden Beets. No such luck either, but she told me to check out Down to Earth or Market of Choice as she delivers to them too.

So I headed on over to Down to Earth and they had two six pack containers. So I will grow my own Golden Beets. I also picked up five blueberry bushes too, to plant in the backyard. The kids will love picking blueberries for their cereal every morning.

Oh... the bounties of Spring and the anticipation of Summer that is not so far off. Looking forward to my trips to the Farmer's Market.