Where in the World is Green Me? At the Fish Market?

Good question.

I have not been writing of late, because I do not have a complete or final answer to share; however, I thought I would shed light on a bit of what I have been up to for the last 30 days.

I have officially joined the ranks of the gluten free gals in this world. This means that my kitchen know-how has gone swiftly out with the compost. Or the trash. Depending on if you are a half cup full or empty type of person. Personally, I see the world through rose colored glasses, so I think my baking knowledge went out with compost.

I had a few weeks of inedible compost bound baking disasters. Ill rank those with the stinky stage of compost. You know the kind of compost that is ripe for maggot growth and your dad secretly tosses the muffins you sent without mentioning a word.

Next I decide to go with pre-made mixes. Bobs, Pamelas, and a few lesser known brands entered my mixing bowl and out came some decent grubs. I mean grub. The hummus is rich and my confidence is building and so I have thus entered the next stage. Combining my own flours and playing with recipes the way I like to do things.

So far this week my gluten free baking and cooking has been coming up roses. On Monday I made a delicious vegan and gluten free lasagna. Mr. Green Mes only complaint was what he claimed to be a prodigious amount of zucchini. I love zucchini, so I told him tough chicken poop (it is great for the compost after all).

On Wednesday I whipped up a divine meal of butternut squash sauce over baked pasta (Tinkyada) and gluten free meatballs. If Mr. Green Me was the fighting sorta guy, he would have fought me for the leftovers. Thankfully, he is a pacifist and so my own good conscience convinced me into sharing two of the remaining six meat balls. (I further shared the remaining four meatballs with Little Green Me).

Two successful gluten free main courses resulted in a bit of courage and so yesterday I dove into my first from scratch and from instinct (meaning I did not follow a pre-tested recipe) experiment with gluten free bread. I made sort of a rustic bread boule and I am quite pleased. Not enough to share the recipe, but enough to be encouraged!

And lastly, because last night my Dad teasingly asked if I would be bringing any cookies tonight, I decided to surprise him with some Cowboy Cookies made gluten free from the new cookbook Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie-Jar. The first batch is out of the oven and they are very GOOD!

My current challenge and the primary flaw with yesterdays bread baking experience is that I bought a case of OrgraN Gluten Substitute. The Gluten Substitute does do an excellent job of adding a better texture and structure to gluten free baked goods, but so far it has a fatal flaw. To be blunt, it gives my bake goods the slightest hint that they might have spent the day in a fish market. In other words, the flavor, as I swallow, hints of a fish market. Not baked or broiled or teriyaki fish, but DEAD fish.

So far Ive adjusted to eating this deliciously textured gluten free bread by muting the dead fish taste with real fish turning it into tuna salad sandwich. On most days, however, I just like to eat plain bread with a little earth balance, jam or nut butter and dead fish is just not a flavor that I find to complement jam or butter. In the Cowboy Cookie recipe I mostly masked the flavor by tripling the vanilla and adding a teaspoon of almond extract, but I can still taste the tiniest hint of dead fish (well see what my dad has to say).

Anyone ever baked with Orgran Gluten Substitute and have a solution to this dilemma?

Is your home healthy and green?

While we’re on the topic of eating and living green and healthy, have you considered the others things that you’re putting into your body?  What about the actual air you breathe?  Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it is actually clean!

Recently I was totally shocked when we were cleaning our home and my husband removed the air filter from our furnace and saw how dirty it was.  There were literally bugs and dust blocking it entirely.  We then grabbed a flashlight and looked into our vents and saw how that dust was everywhere!

There’s a very good blog post about this here:

Top 5 Air Duct Issues & How To Fix Them

To summarize the top 5 duct issues they are:

  1. Leaky vents, which can raise the cost of heating and cooling your home because of lost air in the ducts.
  2. Dirty ducts, which can irritate allergies and spread smells throughout the house.
  3. Restricted air flow, which can actually cause your furnace blower to burn out as well as cost you more money because the air flow of hot or cold air is not getting throughout your house efficiently.
  4. Inefficiency, like mentioned above this will cost you and not allow your home to be at the proper temperature.
  5. Poor Design.  This is also like inefficiency.  With a poorly designed duct system with unnecessary bends and corners can further reduce the efficiency of your HVAC.

So this spring think about eating clean and being healthy in your home by getting your air ducts cleaned.