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Simple Fare for Man and Beast

January 28, 2012

Lee and I have both found that variety is crucial.

Color matters.

Texture is vital.

I can only do new and strange part of the time. I crave what my brain and belly define as “southern cooking.” I have found I can sometimes trick both.

I love to watch Paula Dean. I don’t dare cook like that, but I love that kind of food! I use to say that there was no food that couldn’t be made to taste better by being topped with butter, cheese, bacon or chocolate. I still watch Paula and she still inspires me to cook and to eat. The other night, I wanted such a southern meal.

I cooked a big bag of turnip greens, the kind you find in the produce department already washed, cut and bagged.

I also cooked a bag of frozen speckled butter beans.

While they simmered, I sliced a sweet potato and a medium-sized turnip.

I placed them on a cookie sheet with salt and pepper and a slight misting of canola oil (if you don’t have an oil mister- they are wonderful!)

I let them roast in a 400 oven for about 30 minutes.

I sliced the saved stems of broccoli, the part I use to throw away and added this to the cookie sheet during the last 5 minutes of roasting, again with the salt, pepper and hint of oil.

These tulips sat on the counter.

This is the trimmings from the vegetables.

Notice how nicely the colors match? No planning, just bonus beauty.

This is our fancy fare, served on our finest paper plates.

The turnip greens lacked the bacon or ham I might have cooked them with before. So did the butter beans. The sweet potato wasn’t drowned in butter. The turnip, well it wouldn’t have been there before unless I had cut it up and cooked it with the greens. This version of a southern feast had no measurable added fat and only 219 calories.

A whole cup of cooked turnip greens only has 20 calories! I can eat turnip greens all day!

A half cup of butter beans has 100 calories and a half sweet potato only 52. The whole turnip has only 36 and the brocoli a mere 10.

Of course this isn’t about counting calories, though losing weight is a nice bonus. This one meal has 14g of fiber and more vitamins than one can count. I use an Ap called “MyFinessPal” on my phone. It lets me keep track of what we eat and counts the calories, fat, protein and fiber, and gives us the percentages of “daily requirements” of a few vitamins. By eating this one simple meal, I had far exceeded the “daily requirements” of both vitamin A and vitamin C. In fact, half a sweet potato alone provides 437% of the USDA requirements of vitamin A! That seemed crazy to me at first. It seemed every meal of real food meant we had far exceeded those guidelines. Perhaps those “daily requirements” aren’t based on real food or real nutrition.

I tried cooking for our animal children as well. Our daughter came over and we baked dog treats. It was our third attempt. This time was easier than ever.

Pumpkin, Pea and Sweet Potato Dog Biscuits

1 large baked sweet potato

1 bag frozen peas

2 cans pumpkin

2 eggs

about 6 cups whole wheat flour, just enough to make the mush of the vegetables dough.

We rolled them out, baked them for about 15 minutes and presto! Pumpkin/Pea and Sweet Potato Dog Cookies! A lot of dog cookies!

Of course with no preservatives, they don’t keep long, so I freeze them in a freezer bag and pull out a handful every few days. They agree with Sam’s sensitive tummy, too. 

Now, if I figure out how to make Paula’s Lemon Cake…





3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynn Kelly permalink
    January 29, 2012 8:32 pm

    So good to see you back again! Glad you are well. You do know dogs are carnivorous? tee hee I had to say that after seeing a vet video the other day that cats are OBLIGATE carnivores and dogs are OPTIONAL carnivores. I didn’t know that. And have always had cats and dogs. But, hey, if your doggie likes them and they work, I’m not complaining or criticizing. I just like to hear myself type! tee hee Plus my animals have always been happy with Science Diet or such.

    Your menus and cooking look quite familiar actually. I’m still see-sawing back and forth between vegan, vegetarian (doesn’t work well for weight loss and heart disease I think), and a carnivore. I don’t eat much meat at all, detest fish, so perhaps nature is doing it for me a bit. But not loosing weight and still diabetic, so have some tweaking to do! I miss the cheese. I miss the ice cream. I miss the cookies. I miss the sugar, fat, salt. But suspect that if I died, others would miss ME so I try to stay on track. Whine, whine!

    I do enjoy many aspects of vegan cooking and have made some lovely soups, salads, casserole types. Just got new book Everyday Recipies by Happy Herbivore. Looks very promising………and easy. I need help. ha

    Have a great week Allison and Lee, and as I said, Welcome BACK. (cute pup)


  2. January 30, 2012 4:36 pm

    Hi Lynn, It’s glad to be back. Making the dog cookies has more to do with me wanting to bake, I think, than worrying about natural dog treats. It’d be much easier to hand them a chunk of carrot if that were the case. Interesting about the obligate and optional carvivores…I wonder what we humans really are!I was trying to remember the other day about some class I took years ago, maybe a science class in college or high school or even grammer school…it’s a very vague memory. Anyway, in this class, we were learning aobut teeth and how biologists or archeologists could tell whether the found teeth of an animal (or dinosaur) were plant or meat eaters. If I remember correctly (????ha!) the teacher told us that based on our teeth, humans should be plant eaters, not meat eaters. On one hand, it seems that lesson took an aweful long time to be applied, but on the other hand, it’s amazing I remember it at all. Did you see “The Chew,” today? The whole show was on cheese! I’m hoping the blog will help me stay on track! We can inspire each other.You and yours have a great week, too!


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