4 Food Rules: the Only Ones I Need

Eating healthfully, mindfully, and sustainably isn’t easy, but I’ve found that a few easy-to-remember mantras can really help my motivation.

  1. Stop eating when you are 75% full.
  2. If it comes from a plant, eat it. If it’s made in a plant, don’t.
  3. If a food can go bad, it’s good for you.┬áIf it can’t go bad, then, well…you’ve got to use your judgement. Refer to rule #2 (we like to eat our own home-preserved foods–beers, salsas, jams, pickles and charcuterie–to supplement our diet in the winter, but we avoid shelf-stable commercial food).
  4. Moderation and balance in all things!

Credit where credit is due: I owe #1 and #2 to two fabulous food books: The Okinawa Program and Michael Pollan’s Food Rules.

Homemade Yogurt

In keeping with my New Year’s resolution to reduce our reliance on packaged consumer foods, I’ve been doing yogurt at home. Yogurt is super easy to make–and very rewarding. The process is pretty straightforward: you put a quart of milk (whole works best) into a good heavy pan. Then slowly bring the milk up to 180F, stirring to prevent a skin from forming.

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When the milk is hot enough, turn off the burner and let it cool to 115F–again, stirring periodically to prevent a skin from forming. Then stir 1/2 cup of high-quality plain yogurt (I like Stonyfield Farm to start, but once you make yogurt at home you can use the previous batch to culture the next one, kind of like sourdough starter) into the milk and cover. The only challenging part is keeping the milk at 115F for 6-8 hours so that the yogurt cultures can do their work. My solution is to keep a few inches of water simmering in a big stock pot and place the other pot on top of it. I usually make yogurt before I go to bed and let it culture overnight.

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The finished product is great for recipes (tzatziki, anyone?) or for snacking, topped with honey and a few fresh berries.

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Corn Tortillas From Scratch!

In an attempt to cut down on the number of consumer-packaged food products I buy, I recently tried my hand at making corn tortillas from scratch. The results were amazing! See below (click on images to enlarge).