Sunday, July 31, 2011

Costa Rica: Parte 2

When I left for Costa Rica I expected that I wouldn't have a ton of food options as a vegetarian. I left fully expecting to be eating rice Linkand beans for three meals a day for 28 days. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this turned out not to be the case. Don't get me wrong, I did eat a fair share of rice and beans but I was also lucky enough to stumble upon a few vegetarian restaurants. My favorite was the Veggie House. I ate there twice and ordered the same thing both times, it was that good. Both times I had the wrap. It came with your choice of garbanzo or soy patty. I chose the garbanzo. Hummus was spread on the tortilla and then filled with numerous veggies including lettuce, carrots, beets, tomatoes, and avocados. On the side they served fresh, homemade salsa and chips. I know this doesn't sound super exciting, but it was incredibly delicious.

I've been making a similar wrap since I've been back. I spread a liberal amount of hummus (usually roasted garlic hummus) on a whole wheat tortilla. Then I add spinach, thinly sliced onion, grated carrots, and grated beets. I then add a good sized handful of chickpeas. A few times I've also made baked falafel to replace the straight up chickpeas. It's a healthy, satisfying lunch. I make it the night before and grab it on my way out the door to work. And it's perfect at room temperature.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bears Eat Beets

Finally! I was finally able to stretch a recipe into an Office reference. So what about beets? Well, as mentioned previously I really love beets. In fact, after this post I have two more recipes coming that involve beets. But this recipe is all about beet juice. My mom has an awesome juicer so whenever I visit home I request some fresh juice with breakfast, at least once. Well this time my mom made the BEST JUICE EVER. I say this with absolutely no hesitation. This juice was so good I think both bears and Dwight Schrute would approve.

Mom's Awesome Juice:
  • 2-3 beets, scrubbed
  • 5-6 carrots, scrubbed
  • 3 granny smith apples, washed
  • 1 lemon, peeled
Place fruits and veggies in the juicer. Make juice. Enjoy! I believe this made us about 3 cups of juice, perfect for mother daughter sharing. I've actually been craving this juice since my mom made it for me. I need to get myself a juicer...

Also for breakfast that morning was my mom's amazing frittata with red bell pepper, broccoli, potato, onion, and garlic topped with provolone and parmesan cheese. And a nice side of fresh ciabatta. One of the many, many reasons I love visiting home.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

As a college student with a minimum wage part-time job I am always looking for ways to save money. And as a person who cares deeply about the planet I am always looking for ways to change my routine in order to help the environment. Well when I discovered homemade laundry detergent I definitely killed two birds with one stone.

Homemade laundry detergent is very simple and inexpensive to make. All you need is borax, washing soda (not baking soda), and mild bar soap. Borax and washing soda can both be found in the laundry aisle of your grocery store. I decided to go with a powdered form because it's quick to make as there is no cooking involved. I found the recipe here, recipe #4.

Powdered Laundry Detergent:
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 2 cups finely grated mild bar soap
Mix all of the ingredients well and store in an air tight container (I use a cleaned out ice cream container). Use two tablespoons per load. That's it!

I've found that this detergent cleans my laundry just as effectively as store bought detergent. The only thing different, which doesn't bother me but did take some getting used to, is that the clothes don't really smell "fresh" when they come out of the washer. Because the soap is unscented, no scent is imparted to your clothes. But don't worry, they're definitely clean! Do any of you have money saving, green household tips?