Friday, August 27, 2010

Quick Organic Stuffed Baked Potatoes--Luscious for Lunch

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(c) Carrie Boyko
Stuffed Baked Potato
Makes a Luscious Lunch
It's not uncommon for me to get a letter from a reader looking for recipes, but this latest one asked for lunch ideas. Why had I not thought of that unique problem before? When we're away from home, we're often surrounded by restaurants and fast food joints. How are we to eat healthy, much less organic?

Here's a quick idea that you can pull off with the office microwave. It's one of my favorite quick lunch at home solutions, but works well away too. You can pack the ingredients (some of which may be leftovers, so you're saving more money too) in a small cooler or lunch box and prepare this quickly at work.

Organic Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:
  • 1 med. Organic potato, leftover baked or raw
  • 1/2 cup cooked, leftover organic broccoli (or other veggies of your choice)
  • 1 whole organic green onion, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoon organic butter, sliced into thin slivers (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 slices of organic sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions:
  1. If your potato is raw, wash, pierce each end, and bake for 5 minutes in the microwave, adding one minute at a time until tender.
  2. Slice potato in half lengthwise, lay open, and use a fork to score the insides.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Layer the slivers of butter over the potato.
  5. Add broccoli and green onions.
  6. Cover with slices of cheddar.
  7. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, depending on whether your potato is already hot. Check for temp and add an additional minute if needed.
  8. Enjoy!
Don't forget to eat the skin, as it is highly nutritious and adds extra fiber to your diet. Happy lunching.

Did you know: Potatoes are one of the vegetables known to absorb and hold more toxins, making it extra important that you choose organic for this vegetable. 

The more you know, 
the more you eat organic.
© copyright Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved
© copyright Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

Thursday, August 19, 2010

All Natural Éclair Cake: Decadent and Delightful

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(c) Carrie Boyko
All Natural Eclair Cake:
Decadent and Delightful
"Mom, grab a pen and write this down", my son said hurriedly, as I answered the phone. Thinking there was some emergency, my heart began to pound. 

"What's wrong", I asked.

"Nothing. I just have the most amazing recipe that I just got from Mawmaw, my friend's grandmother. I want  you to make it when I come home. It's awesome!" I giggled, in spite of myself, realizing that my son had inherited my sweet tooth. Turns out Mawmaw's recipe is spot on. I've converted it to nearly 100% organic with great success, and I believe you will be thanking me till the cows come home.....Is that the saying? I'm not really sure what it means, but here's the recipe:

Mawmaw's Eclair Cake, All Natural Style

Ingredients:
  • 1 box organic Graham Crackers
  • 2 packages organic vanilla pudding, prepared and cooled in large bowl (place plastic on pudding to discourage a film)
  • 1 10 oz. container Truwhip all natural whipped topping
  • 1 box organic chocolate frosting mix, prepared
Instructions:
  1. Line the bottom of a 9 X 12 pan with graham crackers.
  2. Mix the pudding and Truwhip together completely.
  3. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the top of the graham crackers and spread evenly.
  4. Layer the top with another lining of graham crackers.
  5. Cover this with the remaining pudding mixture.
  6. Place a final layer of graham crackers on top.
  7. Microwave the prepared frosting for 1 minute on high.
  8. Stir and pour evenly over the top.
  9. Cover securely and refrigerate overnight before serving. 
  10. Cut into squares and serve with spoon or fork.
(c) Carrie Boyko

Serves 12. Don't dally; it will be gone in a flash. This stuff is to die for. I'll take a bow now, but no credit. It's Mawmaw's recipe. Thank her!
© copyright Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

Friday, August 6, 2010

Greening Up Your Summer Cookout isn't Just About Paper Products

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Colorful Tablecloth Adds 
Atmosphere to Your Cookout
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal was brought to my attention by a reader. While there was nothing new in the article except attitude, you might find this topic of interest. Playing up the natural options, this article made frequent mention of the lack of color, yet solved this problem themselves with their photo layouts. Go figure!

When using sugar cane or corn starch-based cutlery, plates and cups, adding color to this otherwise bland tableware is as easy as tossing a colorful, reusable table cloth on the table and serving some colorful foods.

Grilled veggies, including red, yellow and orange peppers with broccoli, cauliflower and yellow squash make a wonderful grilled dish.

 Another way to add color is the entertainer's old standard--flowers. Cut an assortment from your yard and arrange them in a vase or pitcher of water.Viola'! 

The final point made by WSJ was that the goal of a cookout is to have fun. Keep that in mind and don't worry so much about every detail. Just keep the food healthy and you're good to go. How many of your guests will really care if you use white, corn starch-based paper plates instead of bright red plastic?

One interesting parallel, found among a number of the companies interviewed about their greener products for WSJ's article, is that the companies' anticipated sales were lower than actual revenue. Several companies found products, that they believed to have small niches, to be more widely accepted and revered as Eco-chic. To my ears, that's great news--a trend in the right direction.

The cost of organic meats was barely touched on, and therefore merits some mention here. While I, like the retired farmer in the article, purchase some organic or grass fed beef from the likes of Whole Foods, there are cheaper sources. Whole fryers, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and ground beef are among the many organic meats I am able to purchase from my local Costco at a significant savings over smaller markets. 

Do I consider the cost of the petroleum used for transporting these products? Sure. We all have to weigh the benefits of eating local versus saving dollars. In my home, our solution is one that many consumers are choosing today; we eat less meat. More meatless meals and smaller portions help keep our budget in line with our comfort zone. When it comes to your own comfort zone and budget, it's your call. Make it carefully.

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