The Mighty Microgreen

I first heard of microgreens from my sister when she was battling cancer a few years ago. Microgreens are up to 40x more nutritiously dense than the mature versions of the plants. So if you want to add a powerful nutrient dense punch to your food, go with the small but mighty mircogreen!

My sis and brother-in-law taught me all I know about microgreens and since I’ve had several friends to inquire about how to grow them, I thought I’d attempt to jot it all down here to get you started. It can be a little pricey in the beginning but once you have your trays and seeds, it is super economical.

Here’s what we do!

First get your organic soil. Organic can be a little tricky to find but keep looking. I got this at Home Depot this year I think.

Then get your trays out. When I started, I only had the ones with the holes. You will need that so the roots won’t get water logged. When I began, I just kept the trays on my kitchen table over a waterproof tablecloth. I’d wipe up the excess water daily. Now I have a set without holes that I stack and it keeps things a lot tidier. Be careful though. If you get your trays from different companies, even though they may be the same dimensions, they may not stack perfectly. Mine get crooked a little but we make it work.

Put about an 1-2 inches of soil in and press it down gently.

Now you are ready to sprinkle the seeds in. I use about 1 1/2 TBSP of organic seeds and I just sprinkle them freehand.

I’ve seen other micro growers use a shaker jar. You just want to make sure you sprinkle them evenly. After that, press the seeds down gently.

Next you need to water the seeds gently. My sis and brother-in-law gave me this sprayer and all I’ve ever had in it is filtered Berkey water!

Now you are ready to cover them. I use some old cardboard and some brown paper bags. You’ll need to water them 2 times a day and keep them covered for about 3 days. My kale seeds require a longer germination but the radish, cabbage, and broccoli all do great with only 3 dark days. ON the 4th day you can take the covers off. Keep watering 2 times a day for about 3-4 more days and keep them in a sunny place. Our kitchen doesn’t get a lot of sun so we added some old AeroGarden lights. You can see a little of the lights below. They are blue.

Here’s what they look like after about 3 days in darkness. See that kale on the lower left. They always lag behind for me. But the radish at the top right grow so well and they are my very favorite!

Here they are with the radish ready for harvest. I let the broccoli go for about 2 more days and the cabbage another 3 days. I still haven’t harvested this kale batch!

When it is time to harvest, just gently gather a few greens in your hand and use kitchen scissors to snip off. I store them in these containers and use paper towels to line the container with. They will last in the fridge for about a week or so.

I love microgreens in my daily salad and you can really add them to just about any dish you can imagine. I love them on avocado toast and hummus tortillas!

My biggest piece of advice is to be generous with the water. The very fist time I tried to grow them, when they started to germinate, my hubby said there was mold on our seeds and told me I was putting too much water. It turned out it was not mold. It just looks that way when the seed first start to germinate. You’ll see little hairy stuff all over your seeds. Don’t be stingy with the water. When I water mine I always pray over them for a successful harvest and I often sing this song. 🙂 Just like juicing, microgreens helped me through my own cancer trek and each time I eat them, I feel like a health rock star!

Be sure to click the highlighted words to follow the links! Happy growing!

Love, Jesus, juice, and health always!

Melissa

Living Kitchen Love

Yesterday I went on an 8 mile run with my good friend Connie and then after that I did an hour long Camp Gladiator endurance workout.  I did take a short nap and then my daughter Andie and I took all 3 dogs to the vet at Petco.  Since we have 3 dogs, this low cost vaccination clinic really makes a lot of sense for us.  Some years we have had to wait in a long line but this year, we got there 30 minutes early and walked right up to the check-in assistants.  We filled out our paperwork and were ready to see the vet in minutes flat.  The whole process took only 1 hour and now Fred, Lucky, and Lily are all good to go for another year.

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During the run earlier that morning, Connie told me about a new restaurant that has just opened up in downtown Raleigh.  When she started talking about it I realized it must be the same restaurant that I saw on Facebook.  The No Meat Athlete group in Raleigh was having a social run and dinner at someplace new.   Then Ron came home from Kung Fu and said Sifu Mo had told him about this new place that was 100% plant based and organic.

After such a busy day when I finally settled down it was almost 6:00pm and I was very tired.  I had a smoothie after the workout and before the vet I had a veggie burger and now I was getting quite hungry.  I started to think about what I could come up with for dinner and then it hit me.  Let’s go out!  Ron was sitting right beside me and I looked to him and asked him if he wanted to try the new place that Sifu had told him about.  I told him Connie’s recommendations and within seconds he said, “Let’s Go!”

Living Kitchen is on the corner of Fayetteville Street and Lenoir.  I loved it from the moment we stepped inside.

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The space is very modern and open.   We were greeted quickly and were seated in minutes.

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Connie had recommended the ginger-ale so I had to get it.  Ron was happy with a great IPA.

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That brewery is in Charlotte and what we were finding out was that this is the 2nd Living Kitchen Restaurant with the original one having been in business in Charlotte since 2010.

I loved the ginger-ale.  You could taste the fresh ginger but it wasn’t so strong that it knocked you down.

Our appetizer was the sushi.  Oh man!  Yummo!

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It was just sweet potatoes and veggies but the nori it was wrapped in gave it the fish taste.  The dipping sauce was amazing.

Next came our entrée’s.  I got the Living Burrito and Ron got the Pad Thai

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Ron is online right now researching spiralizers.  He loved it so much he just has to try and recreate it.

That is beet salad for my side and you know I adore beets.  Wowzer!  So yummy.  My sauce for the burrito was their signature hot sauce.  To.die.for.

I saved half of my burrito and half of the beet salad and brought that home so I could try a dessert.

Here’s my selection!  The Lemon-Berry Cheesecake!  I don’t know how they do it but the cashews, coconut, and berries somehow come together and you’d swear you are eating real cheesecake.  Out of this world delicious.

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Living Kitchen serves cold pressed juices and before we left, Ron got these 2 beauties for today and tomorrow.

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I was so excited to find another plant based dining option in Raleigh.  You know I love Remedy Diner and Fiction Kitchen but Living Kitchen is way healthier.

If you’ve been interested in plant based eating, give LK a try.  You will love it!

 

Eating to Live

It’s been well over a year and a half ago that I first read Eat to Live, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  Even so, I find myself returning to his philosophy again and again.  I really like everything about Eat to Live.  And now that the new year is just around the corner, it was quite natural for me to think of  trying to drop a few pounds.  Thinking of dieting and then thinking of Eat to Live made me decide to take the plunge.

I’m vegan again.

However….

When I think of my friend Robin and her beautiful hens and all her wonderful eggs I really love omelets.

When I think of my sister Rosa and her husband William and their awesome salmon salads, I am perfectly ok with having salmon once and a while.

When I think of my dad and brothers and deer meat, I’m all about some venison chili.

When I think of my brother in law, Willis’ fish fries, I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.

You see, I’m fine with occasionally consuming animals.  The problem I run in to in my daily life is that if I’m walking around labeling myself a carnivore, it won’t be long before my car might veer into Cookout for a cheeseburger and milkshake.  It won’t be long before I’ll grab a Filet-o-Fish at McDonalds when one of my daughter’s ask me to stop by for them.  Heck, I might even get a Cajun Fillet Biscuit at Bo Jangles after work one night.

Even if I label myself a vegetarian, I’ll start to grab the Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer before you know it.

Vegan is the only label that keeps me safe.  If I say I’m vegan, I keep on the straight and narrow a lot better.  Does that make sense at all?  I hope so because I really am at a loss as to how to explain my food philosophy.  Embarrassed smile

Ok so now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let me get on to my first day of the 6 week Rapid Weight Loss Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live plan.

Ron and I stocked up at Whole Foods last night.  Here’s a shot of some of our loot.

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This morning I had 1/2 cup of some awesome granola.  I put some frozen blueberries and almond milk in it.  I also had a small banana and half a cup of black coffee.

For lunch, it was a gorgeous salad.  Much prettier than this picture shows.

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I used a raspberry balsamic vinegar as a dressing and it was perfect.

I also had a bowl of a GBombs soup that Ron made last night.

GBombs stands for Greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds.  This is the backbone of how to eat according to Dr. Fuhrman.

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Ron took some kale, sprouted beans, onions, mushrooms, cashews, and goodness knows what else and created a delicious masterpiece.  He can’t tell me exactly what he did but I’m sure his recipe was similar to  this recipe.

I also had some grapes at lunch.  I was a little full but I ate them because even though fruits and veggies are unlimited, you are not supposed to eat between meals.

To be honest, I was pretty hungry when I got home from work.  I’ve learned a trick though and what I did was drink a cup of hot green tea.  I didn’t sweeten it with anything and I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy it.  Thankfully, it was delicious and just what I needed to get me through until dinner.

Dinner was another huge salad but we also had some roasted zucchini and carrots.  Ron and I dined on those while this awesome soup simmered.

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After it simmered for 15 minutes, Ron took out 2/3 of the veggies and put them in the Vitamix with 1 cup of raw cashews.

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Here’s the finished product.

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It’s crazy how creamy and delicious it was and not a drop of milk was used.

Ron had 2 huge bowls but those salads fill me up so much I only had one.

A little while later I whirled up some frozen mangos and bananas with some unsweetened almond milk for this scrumptious sorbet.

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I guess it looks a little like mashed potatoes however, I promise you, it was cold and sweet and just the right ending to my first day Eating to Live.

I’m excited to see how it goes for the next six weeks.

I’m also very excited that my friend Robin has invited me to do a 100 day running challenge beginning on January 1.  I’ve seen a lot of people doing this sort of thing and I’ve always been intrigued.  I guess I better rest up tomorrow and get ready to Run Run Run!

Happy Eating Friends!

Happy Running!

Eggstra Eggstra!

Good Evening Friends!

If you’ve read my blog for very long you know I go back and forth All.The.Time between vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian.  I watch a movie (Vegecated) one time and find a blog (Yum Universe) and I am vegan.  Then a couple of weeks go by and I open up to the idea of eggs again.  Before long, I’m eating fish.

Yep.  That’s me.  I should just face the facts.  Yes, I want to be healthy and yes I don’t want to harm animals.  But I am open to a diet of more than plants.

My good friend, Robin, has chickens and she’s always talking about them on Facebook.  The other day I asked her if she ever wanted to sell any of her eggs.  She wouldn’t sell them but she did invite me over and gave me a dozen.  She’s adding me to her egg loving friend rotation and she said she would start giving me more of her eggstras.  I’m so excited.  Thank you so much Robin!

Meet Robin and Henny Penny.

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While I was visiting, Henny, came right over and sorta hopped at Robin’s feet.  Robin told me Henny wanted to be picked up.  Once Robin had her in her arms, Henny was so happy.

Here’s a shot of all three of Robin’s hens.

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One of the black ones is named  Wynonna but I forgot the name of the other one.  They were so pretty.

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Robin did have 4 hens at one time but sadly, something got one of them.  She thinks it might have been a fox or a coyote.

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Robin told me that the smallest flock size recommended was three and since she lost that one hen she has been open to getting more.

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I didn’t get a picture of them but inside Robin’s house she had 3 new little baby chicks.  They were only one week old.  Once they get a little bigger and get all their feathers, Robin’s flock will grow to 6!

Here’s a shot of their coop.

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The hens love to get in their coop every night.  Robin locks them in to keep them safe. Then in the morning, she lets them out and all throughout the day they have the full run of the completely fenced in huge backyard.

Then hens eat a special grain that is in that red and white feeder.  She also gives them some chicken scratch (looks like bird seed) and even a special treat each morning.  The hens love blueberries and often wait at the back door in the mornings to get some.

Here’s where they lay their eggs.

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It was cool to learn that all 3 of the hens lay them in the same nest and take turns doing so.  Each hen usually lays 1 egg each day.  Robin usually has 3 eggs a day but soon she will have 6 eggs per day.

I also learned that fresh eggs can stay out on the counter for up to 2 weeks.

Here’s the dozen she gave me.

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Robin was sad that all of these eggs were brown.  The hen that she lost often laid greenish and bluish eggs.

I hope that one of the new little chickies will lay colorful eggs for her.

I can’t wait to have scrambled eggs for breakfast in the morning.  Smile

I’d love to get some hens but with these 3 musketeers, I’m not sure now is the time in our life to try it.

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Goodnight Friends!