Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

Make you Fink on Friday

abeefWhile I’m not a vegetarian and certainly not a vegan, there are some things that I like that qualify… not many, but some.

Found today a dish that I’d like.

Quinoa fried rice stuffed tomatoes (Dairy Free)

This Dairy free recipe contains Ripe juicy tomatoes are hollowed out and filled with quinoa stir fried veggies. Quinoa is sautéed with stir fried veggies and sauces; Stuffing can be personalised as per the taste.

Health Benefits:

Tomatoes act as an excellent source of the strong antioxidant, vitamin C, potassium and choline content in the tomatoes all support heart health.

Fried rice using quinoa instead of rice as its high in protein and fantastic wheat-free alternative. Quinoa is a tiny grain that cooks up like rice and has nutty flavour and light, fluffy, texture similar to couscous.

This makes a fantastic vegetarian main course as it is stuffed with quinoa.

Source for what you need and what you do and how you do it: Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen

Change the World Wednesday – 16th Jul

Remember my green tomatoes from a couple of weeks ago?

Well, a couple of them actually turned red, small but ripe.

TomatoEnd

Ripening before the plant died off

And this was their fate…

A blurry pizza

A blurry pizza

Yes, they were sacrificed in the name of football (soccer) during the World Cup.

A couple of weeks ago, three actually, I harvested my chilies. Here is the bush again this week.

Chilies4

Ready to harvest again

I also have fresh ginger to pull when I need it.

This is one lot of ginger, there is another

This is one lot of ginger, there is another

And my guava are guavering…

Bunches of guava, soon for the plucking

Bunches of guava, soon for the plucking

I have so many guava, that I have been giving them to the neighbourhood kids, which prompted one of them to comment, “Você não é tal velho caduco),” (You’re not such a grumpy old man at all). Made me grin.

The produce shop has closed permanently, sadly 😦 It is becoming a neighbourhood pizza place…

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On with this week’s CTWW,

Plastic Bags!

Those evil things.

This week, ban plastic bags. Carry a reusable bag, use a box, or simply carry items loose. Say NO to plastic bags and don’t allow them into your home.

 

OR … If your home is plastic bag free, please refuse to buy anything which is packaged in plastic (I know … it’s truly a challenge … but I have confidence in you).

 

OR … Look around your home for plastic items and then, research non-plastic alternatives. If you are ready to replace the item, please do. If not, make plans to do so when the time comes.

 

I don’t qualify for parts 2 & 3.

But I do try to minimise my plastic bags. I try to take reusable bags, but don’t always find myself in a position to do so, my visits to the supermarket are often spontaneous, a decision made while out.

At the moment, one of my supermarkets is out of the paper option, and the girl at the checkout was packing my stuff. Sometimes she would put just two or three items in a bag, I complained bitterly, unpacking and repacking more items to reduce the number of bags.

smplastic

My haul of bags from the supermarket

This girl had no idea. I might have been talking Portuguese (actually I was) and she still couldn’t grasp the idea that I wanted less plastic bags. The concept was totally beyond her. I reduced the number of bags by more than half had I let her do it alone.

I complained to the owner. We have spoken on many occasions, mostly complaints; Brazilians don’t complain, I do. I told him of my experience, and suggested that his staff training was lacking when it came to environmental issues. He agreed, and said he would look into it, and I know he will, he’s not Brazilian, but rather Portuguese and sees management from a European point of view.

So while I suffer plastic bags, I don’t do it lightly.

In this case, I hope that I have raised some awareness.

All those bags will be reused. Mainly as rubbish bin liners; buy plastic trash can liners, that I’d never do, our rubbish collections are not designed for trash cans. Also they are used for my recyclable items on Tuesday’s recycle collection. If I have a surplus, I give them to the botequim for take-aways, so he doesn’t have to buy plastic bags for customers to lug away their bottles.

Oh, and the people who use them to take away their beer, they’ll use them as trashcan liners. Triple and double use is better than single use.

Here in Brazil the lack of education, especially in environmental issues is almost non-existent, although small changes are being made in schools now, but it will be a generation before we see any real improvement.

Public utilities like rubbish collection need to change their ways before these horrid things become unnecessary. Park maintenance rakes up the leaves and mown grass and packs it kerbside in huge plastic bags for collection, the dice are loaded against us.

Meanwhile, here there is no escape from the ubiquitous plastic bag.

So while I fail at the CTWW this week, I do take remedial action.

Update:

Plastic bag use rises for fourth year

 

Monday Moaning

Do we want these?

They’ve been developed, they’re being shipped to England.

Are they safe?

They won’t enter my house.

For me a tomato is RED, any other colour is NOT a tomato!

These are tomatoes

These are tomatoes

Genetically-modified purple tomatoes heading for shops

The new tomatoes could improve the nutritional value of everyday foods

The prospect of genetically modified purple tomatoes reaching the shelves has come a step closer.

Their dark pigment is intended to give tomatoes the same potential health benefits as fruit such as blueberries.

Developed in Britain, large-scale production is now under way in Canada with the first 1,200 litres of purple tomato juice ready for shipping.

The pigment, known as anthocyanin, is an antioxidant which studies on animals show could help fight cancer.

Scientists say the new tomatoes could improve the nutritional value of everything from ketchup to pizza topping.

The tomatoes were developed at the John Innes Centre in Norwich where Prof Cathie Martin hopes the first delivery of large quantities of juice will allow researchers to investigate its potential.

“With these purple tomatoes you can get the same compounds that are present in blueberries and cranberries that give them their health benefits – but you can apply them to foods that people actually eat in significant amounts and are reasonably affordable,” she said.

The tomatoes are part of a new generation of GM plants designed to appeal to consumers – the first types were aimed specifically at farmers as new tools in agriculture.

The purple pigment is the result of the transfer of a gene from a snapdragon plant – the modification triggers a process within the tomato plant allowing the anthocyanin to develop.

Although the invention is British, Prof Martin says European Union restrictions on GM encouraged her to look abroad to develop the technology.

Read more

Read more

 

 

Change the World Wednesday – 6th Nov

digitallateRunning late again, it has not been a good day. Read Well, Bugger Me! to find out why.

Nothing really to add to last week’s post, and not much has happened since then.

Although this week is not a beefless week, I had a wonderful pork leg chop the size of a dinner plate for a BBQ lunch at home, BBQed the potatoes in their jackets as well.

Let’s get on with this week’s CTWW.

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This week invite someone to join you in a green activity. Need some ideas? Invite a friend to go for a walk … and perhaps pick up litter as you go. Ask a family member to help you plan and cook a meatless meal. Swap clothes, tools, books, etc., with a neighbor. Start a “green club” with your friends and meet occasionally to share green tips and ideas. Host an Eco-friendly cleaning party at a friend’s home. Do laundry together … or join forces to rake up leaves. Be creative and have fun. The idea, here, is to share an experience so that a green activity which you care about will become important to someone else as well.

 

OR …

If sharing an activity isn’t really your thing, then please share your passion by writing a post about a favorite green activity.

I don’t really have friends whom I could invite for this type of activity, although when my kids are over for a BBQ, I do get them to help keep the area that we use in the park tidy, and see that we don’t leave any rubbish. They know full well, my views on litter, and do help. We tend to leave the area tidier than when we arrived.

So, I am going to affirm my passion for gardening and preserving produce; that would have to be my favourite green and healthy activity, albeit in modest proportions now that I don’t have a garden as such, just many buckets and paint tins with plants.

My best year was the first in this house. I had passion fruit growing up the side of my neighbour’s house.

Passion17

With beautiful big fruit.

Passion15

And lovely flowers.

florT0005

I also had tomatoes.

toms001

Things like chili peppers and cayenne peppers get bottled in olive oil and I now have a pot with a healthy growth of parsley, which gets used often in the kitchen. Then there are my two goiaba (guava) trees, the acerola and pineapple.

My ‘garden’ isn’t big enough to grow beetroot, onions nor cabbage, but I buy them when they are cheap and pickle them as well.

So, yes, gardening and preserves would have to be my favourite green activity.

Change the World Wednesday – 25th Sept

Hailstones big enough to damage cars and destroy house roofs

Hailstones big enough to damage cars and destroy the roofs of houses

Well, here we are, cold weather, and Small’s autumn advice from last week almost seems relevant.

The south of Brazil has been hit with terrible weather, even a tornado, and we are experiencing the tail end of the cold front here in Rio de Janeiro.

Yesterday, I cut down my hopeful tomato plant, the aphids were preventing the flowers from fruiting.

Sunday, I used my newly acquired spade (yes, I finally bought one) to turn over the compost heap.

For those of you who are vege/vegan minded I have just posted a recipe and story about aubergine/eggplants on Things that Fizz and Stuff.

Last week I promised a photo of my chilies.

You don't need a big garden, just an old tin by the kitchen door

You don’t need a big garden, just an old tin by the kitchen door

There’s a lot more now, that photo was taken last week.

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On with CTWW for this week.

This week head into the kitchen and give your refrigerator a little TLC (tender loving care):

Did it already. I must have had my crystal ball out.

I defrosted the fridge Sunday night Monday morning. Woke up to a flooded kitchen and a confused kitten; as I squeegeed the water out the door, Cloro couldn’t understand why his polystyrene cat food tray was floating across the kitchen; it was really one of those “wish I had the camera ready” moments.

But the fridge is clean and the door seal good, didn’t do the coils though, that will need to be done.

So, I’m on a winner.

See you all next week.

Change the World Wednesday – 18th Sept

Just two tomatoes left and unfortunately the new bush that is flowering is not producing fruit, maybe because of a small infestation of aphids.

He's a little bigger now

He’s a little bigger now

When I mentioned Cloro’s dirt box being emptied on the compost heap LivingSimplyFree expressed concern about cat poop having a parasite. It’s true, cat poop does have a parasite, “Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common parasites to infect humans, with some studies suggesting that up to a third of the entire human population may be infected with it. The usual transmission vector is through exposure to cat feces, and while for the most part T. gondii is pretty much symptom-free, there seems to be growing evidence that it may be implicated in certain diseases and disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.” – Our complicated relationship with cats on Some Animals are Crackers.

My own observation to this is that I have been around cats since I shared a cot with one as a baby; they have been ever present throughout my life. I have no doubt that I have been exposed to the parasite and I am neither schizophrenic nor do I suffer from depression, despite having used their dirt in compost heaps all my life.

My chilli peppers are turning red. Hopefully I’ll have a photo next week. It’s raining at the moment and I’m not going to get wet.

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This week’s CTWW.

Today is National Ceiling Fan Day. I didn’t know that ceiling fans had their own day. I just found out that Rhinos have their own day too, that will be a Nature Ramble for next Sunday. I made an observation on my blog yesterday about Rhino Day, if you want a giggle pop on over for a read.

This week we are joining my friends at Fanimation in celebrating the the first ever National Ceiling Fan Day (NCFD). Did you know that the average central cooling unit draws anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 watts of energy? Compare that to the 6-30 watts used by a ceiling fan and we quickly see why ceiling fans are energy efficient. So, for at least one full day this week, power off your air conditioners and rely on ceiling fans and/or portable fans to keep cool.

 

OR …

If you don’t use/have an air conditioning unit, please offer tips for staying cool in Eco-friendly ways.

 

OR …

If it’s cold in your area, please turn off your heating system and find alternate ways to keep warm (put on more clothing, use blankets, reverse the direction of your fan, adjust curtains, etc.).

Well, as I don’t have air-conditioning, I fall into the second part of the challenge.

My fan/s (I have two, but one is broken at the moment) are only on when necessary. As the year progresses that will be more often because we are in Spring (this weekend) and heading for a hot, hot summer with temps well over the 40°C (104°F for our cousins who have not been decimalised) begining in November. We have already had our first 38°C day last Saturday, that’s 100°F; signs of times to come.

One of the ways I use to combat the heat on oppressive nights is to have a cold shower before bed and lie on the bed sopping wet under the fan allowing the principles of refrigeration to do their bit. For fifteen minutes it’s better than any air conditioner before you are totally dry. If I am still awake, I repeat the process.

During the day I take a backyard shower under the hose. The water comes directly from underground and is quite chilled. I stand in a large basin for this, the water collected is then used on the plants.

So, my penny’s worth, for what it’s worth.

 

 

Change the World Wednesday – 11th Sep

The last of the crop

Well, my tomatoes did great.

A photo of the last day’s crop. There’s still a few stragglers that will come o next week; but the hiss & roar is over. Five weeks tomatoes grown from a squished tomato on the compost heap.

I have two more plants, yet to do their thing, one is flowering now.

The secret, just squish a rotten tomato over a quiet corner of the compost heap; you can wash your hands after, it won’t hurt you to get your hands mucky for a few minutes.

Update: I was outside a few minutes ago and found that the original plant is not finished yet, it’s covered in new flowers this morning.

My compost heap is benefiting from Cloro’s presence. I don’t buy ‘kitty litter’, waste of money. I use dirt or sand and empty the contents on the compost heap. Once the worms have done their bit, I just spade it over to mix the contents.

My health and beer consumption have returned. Still taking things slowly but no more Dizzy Lizzy. Still, it has given me a ‘wake up’ call. My sugar level was up a bit, so I am working on that.

Veges and vegansDon’t look, just read!

Picanha, a Brazilian cut from the sirloin

Picanha, a Brazilian cut from the sirloin

And, here’s a message for all. My cholesterol level is just great, why?

Because I don’t use margarine, I don’t use cooking oil, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. I try to avoid ready-made products that have these.

I use butter (salted) and lard for frying and making pastry and I eat the fat on pork, bacon and beef that so many are frightened of.

My main complaint at a BBQ restaurant. “Com gordura!” (with the fat) as the waiter slices the meat and tries dutifully to avoid the fat that most people unnecessarily avoid.

Half a cabbage in jars

Half a red cabbage in jars

My latest effort, pickled red cabbage.

The last lot of pickled cabbage went at the BBQ, so I made some more, this time with red cabbage.

I love pickled cabbage (and beetroot) on the side with most meals.

It’s so easy to make: shred the cabbage, leave overnight mixed with rock salt, wash, bottle with a few black peppercorns and a few whole cloves, screw on lid and refrigerate. Ready to use in three days.

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This week’s CTWW is one that I won’t be participating in, other than by saying I don’t.

This week, green your hair removal routine. If you can, simply don’t shave … that’s the most Eco-friendly option. If furry body parts aren’t your thing, consider body sugaring or use environmentally safe shaving equipment and non-toxic shaving lotion. Avoid disposable razors and lotions in canisters. Joanne’s recommended reading, which includes several tips, can be found HERE. For a discussion on razors, check out my post entitled The “Best” Shave.

No hair, no shave

No hair, no shave

This photo will explain:

As you can see, I have no need for razors, disposable or otherwise, the last thing I am interested in a ‘hair removal’, Mother Nature has already taken care of that.

I don’t use shampoos, body lotions, shaving cream or any other product apart from plain soap and water.

When it comes to products of this nature my bathroom has got to be amongst the most spartan on the planet.

Great challenge, and one that is not often thought about.

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