The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

Look! My herbs are sprouting! March 14, 2010

Filed under: Cool sites,Food — Alden @ 4:39 pm
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I bought some organic basil, oregano, rosemary, and parsley seeds from Seeds of Change a few weeks back, and I’m happy to say it looks like they are doing great!

I can’t wait to have a ready source of fresh herbs for my cooking. The payback should be great. Each packet was about $3.50, and I’m going to get a continuous source of organic, aromatic deliciousness.

This is also just in time, because the Washington Post reported Sunday that bottled herbs have been linked to salmonella outbreaks.


Planning and cooking overwhelming? Try this. February 24, 2010

Filed under: Cool sites,experiment,Food,Tips — Alden @ 10:22 pm
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So the Week of Eating in was going great (I’ll post photos!) until today. I got home last night and made pancakes, and when I woke up this morning, I realized I didn’t have any leftovers left. I didn’t even have stuff for a salad or sandwich! I also didn’t have time. So today I ate from the cafeteria. Boo.

Well, cooking all your meals takes planning! In that spirit, I’ll post this great website I found via Grist: offers a complete menu, shopping list and detailed game plan—from the time you walk in the door after work—each day for that night’s dinner (big fan of last week’s mushroom penne). I think its tool list is marvelous—from bare essentials to well-equipped—so you can make sure you have the necessary pots, pans, knives, bells, and whistles. If you don’t, no need to go out and buy tons of new stuff. Ask a friend about borrowing an item like a hand blender that you may not use often enough to own one yourself (I did this for the butternut squash soup—thanks, neighbor!). Or scour your local second-hand store for some cool, vintage-y measuring cups to cut cost and new materials.

I have yet to try it, but believe me, I plan to!


A week of eating in: The preparation February 20, 2010

Filed under: experiment,Food — Alden @ 5:03 am
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I’ve signed up for HuffPo’s Week of Eating In: the challenge to not buy any of your food out for one week. It’s based around the release of the book The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway. She ate in for a whole year, no restaurants or fast food or anything! Poor thing, her boyfriend left her over it. But anyway, I’m only doing it for a week, so I’m not worried about Scott disappearing.

It’s a tall order. I would like to think myself fairly progressive in the cook-your-own-food and f***-frozen movement. I look around me and I see a roommate (as much as I love her) who tried and failed to boil eggs, coworkers who buy lunch every single day, and even a mother who says she’s never ever made stock. I’ve made stock. It sucked, but at least I made it.

But making all of my meals for a week? Whew. That’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. That means no frozen meals, no cold cereal, and no cookies. That means no buying lunch from the cafeteria at work, no going out to dinner, no stopping at Whole Foods for a box from the hot bar. That means WORK. It takes planning and creativity and the energy to cook at 8 at night when I get home from work and I’m wondering whether 2 more hours of sleep or doing this challenge is more important. (Perhaps I’m jumping ahead of myself, but trust me – that moment will come.)

So I’m trying to get ahead of the game. I’m not going out tonight anyway because I’m still recovering from my cold, so I’m going to take this opportunity to do a little preparation.

I read this guide from EcoSalon on farmers market shopping, because tomorrow I will go there with a mission. I won’t just be wandering around like I usually do and cooing at the handmade muffins and maple candy. I will need food, ingredients, essentials, and I will need to know wtf is going on around me.

My first step? Figure out what I have. I was actually pretty surprised. My side of the shelf compared to Vicki’s looks dejected. But my various forays into cooking have left me with a lot random stuff. Just a sample:

Polenta, cocoa, shortening, vanilla, lots of salt, cranberry honey, breadcrumbs, a wide variety of spices including mustard powerd, tartar, wasabi, and cajun seasoning, Stevia sweetener packets, (none of them  used), red wine vinegar, Aunt Jemima pancake mix, sesame oil and soy sauce, light brown and regular sugar, about 5 pounds of flour, (maybe I should try baking bread this week) and frozen green beans.

Bizarre, right? That’s not even the half of it. I wrote everything down with estimates of amounts. My next step: come up with recipes to use this randomness. I’ll keep you posted!