Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We moved North

This blog has been quiet of late. We had the opportunity to move to the Portland, OR area, and jumped all over it. Living near Houston, TX was difficult with our food, and my seasonal allergies. Houston has fantastic food, but it's all gluten, corn, and soy based. Houston has beautiful people, but they are known for big hair, and lots of make up. Which requires corn, and gluten based products. Hubs wasn't able to grocery shop because of the allergens in the stores. Being outside was difficult most of the year because of my seasonal allergies. While we found one restaurant we could both eat in without getting sick it was 30+ miles from our home.

Portland, OR is known for their preference for local-seasonal eating. It is one of the top food allergy friendly places in the US. The people are down to earth and less frequently drenched in perfumes, hairsprays, body powders and make-up - triggers for those of us with gluten or corn in-tolerances.

We are delighted to be here. Currently we are in an apartment, where I wasted no time setting up a porch garden to continue to grow seasonal produce. Our search for a few acres has begun and we hope to purchase a place that will allow us to keep chickens and bees in addition to a large garden. Eventually we'd like to add a cow or 2 goats for dairy.

Hub's new company is much more educated on food allergies. His immediate supervisor has Celiac Disease and understands the need for safe foods, and preventing cross contamination.

There are dozens of allergy friendly bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores within 15 miles of our apartment. It has been wonderful. Even though I still make the bulk of our food from scratch, it sure is nice to go for fish and chips at Hawthorne Fish House occasionally. We can have breakfast at
Old Wives' Tales where they are happy to accommodate all of our allergies. We have tried two other places so far as well. Both fantastic.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Oh my goodness I'm so excited about this. I read a blog ( and the author is hosting a "Waste Not Want Not Wednesday" blog share. I often rant about despising the idea of throwing out food. I'm excited to read other bloggers methods of avoiding of the trash can.

Some of my favorite ways to prevent throwing away food:

Meal planning: We plan meals for at least one week in advance. When life is really busy, I usually plan a month or more in advance. I try to plan just enough food for those present at the meal. As a back up plan I typically schedule a "leftovers" dinner a couple of times a month.

Glass container storage: I can see the leftovers in the fridge when I open the door. No mystery packages of food in foil or dark storage containers.

Leftover "remake" meals: Hubs really does not prefer most leftovers, so I always keep baking potatoes on hand. Just about any kind of left-over can go on spuds and it "feels" like a new meal. Whole chicken carcasses are made into chicken stock. Left-over chicken is chicken fried rice, white chicken chili (rather than cooking chicken breasts or thighs I just throw in the already cooked, chopped chicken with the beans and other cooked items), BBQ chicken on top of a potato, and so on. Rice and Quinoa also make a great base for leftovers to "top" and make a new meal out of yesterday's dinner.

Freezing leftover meals: I love to have a "freezer meal" on hand. Since we have multiple allergies we don't have many fast food or pre-made options. When there is enough leftover for a second meal, I freeze it in an oven safe dish. On a day when I know cooking will be a hassle, I put the frozen meal in the fridge to thaw then right into the oven to re-heat.