Enchilada Time!

On December 5, 2011, in Miscellaneous, by scott

For some strange reason, one of the few things that my wife says she can not cook but I can is enchiladas… or at least my version of them anyway.  She says she has trouble with the tortillas cracking, but then again I haven’t seen her try recently.

In a brief blog post, here is what we do:

For starters, we browned two pounds of venison this evening. Chicken, beef, or pulled pork also work quite well. While the meat was cooking, we add spices to taste. In our case, it’s cumin, cinnamon, garlic, salt, and onion.

When the meat is browned, I set up the assembly line. From the far end is the meat, followed by a pot of boiling water with a screen splatter guard, a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray, and a mixture of red enchilada sauce and 98% fat free cream of chicken soup (4:1 cans).

Place the tortilla on the strainer and steam until the tortilla can be rolled without cracking or breaking.

From that point it is into the baking dish. We scoop meat and sauce into an open tortilla then roll them.

When the pan is full of rolled and stuffed tortillas, it’s time for the unhealthy goodness!  We top the enchiladas with sauce and cheese.  At this point, it’s into a 400 degree oven until they reach our desired level of doneness (about 20 minutes.)

Then, it’s time to eat! Eat as is, or top with sour cream, black olives, onions, green peppers, or whatever you desire.

 

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The Cost of Health (and Food)

On February 17, 2010, in Miscellaneous, by scott

What can you get for five dollars. How about food? What type and how much?

If one were to go the fast food route: 5 hamburgers, an “extra value meal,” 5 tacos, a Hot and Ready pizza, or a bunch of other less than healthy options.

If one were to go to a supermarket: 10 boxes of macaroni and cheese, a package of hot dogs, 2 frozen pizzas, or how about 50 packages of ramen (ok, I MIGHT be exaggerating here)

How about healthy options?  Same routes as previously stated.

Fast Food: 1 salad (most cost slightly more than 5 dollars,) 1, maybe 2 grilled checken sandwiches, or a couple of yogur parfaits.

The Supermarket: 2/3 of a package of chicken breasts, a decent serving of vegetables, or maybe a bag of potatoes.

About $5.00 Worth of Veggies

What I am getting at here is that in order to eat healthily, one has to spend an exponentially larger amount of money to get the same amount of food. To feed a family of four, you could buy a package of macaroni and cheese, a package of hot dogs, and a two liter of a sugary soda for around 5 bucks.  You could also purchase a package of chicken breasts, some broccoli, and a package of couscous or a bag of potatoes for 3 to 4 times that amount.  Something seems fundamentally wrong to me with this equation.

I posted this same question on Facebook and some great discussion ensued. This is more of a rant and a continuation of that discussion.

Like in this NPR article, it has been said several times. In this country, there is a direct correlation between income and obesity. What is the overall cost in this situation.

If someone cannot afford to feed themselves or their families healthy foods, the results could be obesity, vitamin deficiencies, and other health problems now and later in life. When health problems develop, such as diabedes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, someone has to pay money to treat them. Who pays. Will it be the family that couldn’t afford to pay for the healthy options in the first place? Will it be the government? Will insurance companies? Will it be the tax payers?

In my opinion, by having certain foods subsidized by the government, we are setting ourselves up to have those people who couldn’t afford healthy options in the first place pay in the end. Not monetarily, but through poor health.  I don’t wish ill health on anyone!

Why is it we are able to purchase highly processed, sugary, and unhealthy foods at such a discount when buying a simple an apple, grown locally, could cost as much or more than a meal at a fast food restaurant. What would happen if the subsidies suddenly went away? Would all food suddenly skyrocket in price? These are questions to which I have no answer, only theories.

Why should we need to pay MORE for a loaf of bread in which the flour is processed LESS than a loaf of overly process, high fructose corn syrup added, preserve filled white bread? Why do vegetables, even frozen, cost more than a can of a processed pasta like product (even with meat in the can)? Even worse, some companies take their unhealthy product, make it a “diet” version, and charge MORE for a less un-healthy option.

Our family is blessed with the ability to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store while needing only a few options in the aisles that are mostly filled with highly processed foods. Canned veggies, pastas (which are processed), and breads are generally all we get that aren’t located in the perimeter areas. Our grocery bill is significantly higher than if we were to shop for less healthy options, but we believe that by eating right now, we won’t have all of the health issues down the road.

We are also blessed in that we have venison to supplement our meat consumption in the winter. Other options I’ve heard quite a bit are gardening and growing your own produce. (I have a friend and coworker who also has a blog about her adventures in gardening)

Buying fresh, buying local, buying raw, whole, or the least processed foods are what we strive for. The cost of health? High now and less later, or less now and high later?

I’m not an expert. I’m not certified. I’m just a paying consumer frustrated with the cost of what I view is trying to be healthy.



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Chili Day

On January 29, 2010, in Miscellaneous, by scott

Healthy, hearty, delicious, sweet, spicy, hot, mild, white, red, no bean, no meat… all adjectives use to describe chili.Chili seems to be a food everyone makes. No two recipes are the same. No two chilies taste the same, but they are all delicious.

I’ve been on a bit of a blogging kick this week, so I figured why not chronicle our little chili day recipe.

Neither Crystal nor I had an actual recipe to make the delicious batch of goodness when we got married. Through trial and error, we have finally constructed a list of ingredients that we thoroughly enjoy.

The first thing we do is cut a ton of fresh peppers and onions.

Peppers

The Vegetable Medley

We then cut up some lean meat. Our meat of choice is venison. Here are some butterflied back-straps. Tasty, lean, and a great source of low fat, low cholesterol protein (that melts in your mouth).

The meat

The Meaty Goodness

Now, for the not so fresh part… the wet stuff. Beans and tomatos in various forms as well as some beef stock. Occasionally we will add some red wine.

The Wet Stuff

We place everything in the crock pot, stir, and WAIT.

The Goodness

It should be ready to eat in five to six hours, but it honestly tastes best if you can go low and slow for the night and the following day.

Our recipe isn’t the best there is. We wouldn’t ever claim it to be. Just a delicious mix of ingredients that we love and call our Chili.

Bon Apetite! (This waiting isn’t always fun… but the whole house smells delicious!)

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