A few months ago, I bought a pressure cooker. I didn’t think it was a big deal, and I hadn’t planned on blogging about it. I just thought that I would eat legumes more often if cooking them took minutes instead of hours. (I don’t eat canned beans because all food cans are lined with plastic, which can leach either BPA or some other mystery alternative that could be even worse. )
Anyway, I’ve been pressure cooking up a storm every weekend… making big pots of beans to eat during the week or to store in the freezer for later. And I’ve also used the pressure cooker for other things like potatoes and even kale.
I assumed I was the last one to the party… that everyone else in the world already knew that pressure cookers are magic. That was until I received an email from a reader named Deborah, who seemed to have read my mind!… Read the rest
My friend Katie from Kitchen Stewardship just released a new e-Book this year, The Everything Beans Book, and she’s giving readers of this blog a 20% discount through 4/15 (coupon code 20BEANSBK). I’m excited about Katie’s latest book because learning how to prepare and cook dried beans is crucial when you’re trying to live a plastic-free life. Why? Because dried beans are a great source of protein we can purchase plastic-free from bulk bins using our own bags and containers.
Canned beans, on the other hand, are problematic because most metal cans are lined with plastic which contains BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical. And for me, even the new BPA-free cans are suspect because we really don’t know if the new linings are any safer than the old ones. Chemical companies don’t reveal their “trade secrets” and consumers are left in the dark.
But preparing dried beans is so hard, right? Wrong. While… Read the rest
When I talk about buying in bulk, I’m not talking about huge containers of dried oregano from Costco or massive bags of chips. I am talking about this…
Rows of bins containing pasta, beans, grains, flour, sugar, chips, dried fruit, cereal, and sometimes tofu, peanut butter, olive oil, and personal care products like shampoo or soap, from which you can fill up your own reusable bags and containers, eliminating packaging waste. Last Week, Chicago blogger Jeanne from Life Less Plastic wrote about being envious of San Francisco Bay Area stores that provide so many of these bulk options.
But even here in the Bay Area, we could use more bulk options. Just this week, I wrote to a co-president at Whole Foods asking that they expand their bulk section to match some of the other bulk food stores in the region. (I asked, of course, for my own selfish reasons. Whole Foods is closer to me than Berkeley Bowl, the king of bulk in the East Bay.)
And then I got … Read the rest
Once upon a time, there was a young guy, let’s call him “R,” who was courting a beautiful lass we’ll call “B.” She invited him to her house for dinner and cooked him frozen broccoli smothered in Cheez Whiz. It was love at first bite. They got married and had 5 kids, the oldest of whom believed for many years that veggies came from the freezer and that everything tastes better with cheese. She’s learning that veggies come from the ground and that she won’t die without cheese. But it’s a process and she’s still taking baby steps in the slow food department.
Why did I start with that story? Because a few weeks ago, The Biscuit Queen, who is also blogging about her quest to live plastic-free, asked to see a list of everything I eat for a week because she’s having trouble finding the types of plastic-free bulk foods that I have access to here in the Bay Area. And my first thought was, “Oh,… Read the rest
I’ve mentioned Rainbow Grocery in quite a few posts, and now I’m going to explain it, so those folks who are not lucky enough to live in the SF Bay Area will know what I’m talking about. Rainbow Grocery makes me wish I still lived in San Francisco. There’s a certain familiar smell and feel that I can only describe as “crunchy” that takes me back to the early 90’s when I’d first moved to San Francisco from Maryland and everything was new and wonderful. And even though Rainbow is no longer in its former location in the Mission District, it still has the same dreadlock-sporting, tattoo-wearing, shaved head, tie-dyed, just rolled out of bed looking staff and customers that make me feel so at home. (Even though I don’t actually look like any of them anymore.)
See the “staff” are all owners of this co-op grocery store, as well as workers. So it’s like it kind of is their home, sort of.… Read the rest