Posts Tagged With: quinoa


On Thursday, we set out to bicycle Davis, notably a bicycle friendly town with well-marked  lanes that can take you through a loop around town of about 35 miles. In high traffic areas, people are ultra considerate of bicyclers. They must have had bike riders on their city council.

Virginia and I were riding pretty sophisticated bikes, while Theo, weighing about 60 pounds has a small one-gear hard pumping  pedal bike.   Our first stop was a school playground for a rest.

The kids at this school have an organic garden. Besides standard fare, they had planted  and were learning about swiss chard, amaranth, quinoa, artichokes, herbs and sunflowers.

The bike trail runs by every school in Davis so kids can bike to school instead of bus, and many do. We saw walkers, riders, and  kids on the bike paths on their way to summer fun.

Virginia joked  that the freeway overpass at Chilies Road is the only hill in Davis.

Our goal was brunch at a favorite Davis restaurant, famous for their crepes and wraps, and fresh pastries. The kids enjoyed rich hot chocolate while waiting for their food. Theo had blueberry pancakes and sausage, but Owen  had a strawberry chocolate crepe that was the equivalent of a candy bar for his meal.

This was our turn around point at 6 miles. Davis has bike racks all over town and it is necessary to lock up bikes.  We could have taken a different way back to our starting point but the kids voted to return the way we came. We had passed at least four parks with playground equipment and they wanted a shot at one of them.

Within five minutes, Virginia’s tire went flat.

The same tire went flat a second time after another five minutes. It was obvious the tire needed to be changed.

Theo rested in a nearby tree.

Owen gave mom an assist and learned how the job is done. Done quickly, actually. Modern bikes are well-engineered for repairs on the road. Since Virginia has thousands of miles on her bike, she knows the necessity of on the spot tire changes.

And, their playground of choice has one of those (now banned by most schools and parks in California) a self-propelled merry-go-round.  They’ve been in parks and schools since I was a kid. It’s sometimes difficult to understand the over protective mind-set of decision makers. It probably has to do with avoiding law suits. (I promise not to rant.)

Later, at karate classes, the boys did some sparring.

Defensive skills are only part of the process. They learn values;  courage, attitude, perseverance, politeness, respect and consideration of others.

The littlest kids are a hoot to watch. Pure joy.


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I’m doing some deep cleaning and found some old magazine recipes. I like to eat vegetarian meals as much as I can until I really crave meat. A pecan loaf with brown rice, veggies and eggs  appealed to me and I gave it a try. It was very bland. I realized immediately that we cook with so much less salt and more spices now than ever before. I had cut the salt, but when I added hot sauce and more sage, onion and garlic on the plate, it came alive.  Its a high potassium dish and was very satisfying.
Then I thought I’d try bean patties. I boiled red beans the day before with a ham bone, meaning it isn’t exactly meat free, but certainly cuts down the animal kill thing by using meat sparingly for flavoring.
The recipe called for something called Savorex, that I couldn’t identify. (I resist having to buy things at a health food store.) By the time I read the recipe a couple of times, which consisted of onions sautéed in oil, 2 cups of bean puree, an egg, tomato juice and then flour to thicken it all with sage being the main seasoning. I realized its simply easier and more convenient to saute the onions, mix them with the mashed and seasoned beans without going the extra step and frying them into patties.  Seasoned meaning a no salt,  sage, black pepper, cummin, garlic, and Rotel.  (The Rotel has enough salt.) Then I topped the beans with raw sliced carrots and celery and surrounded it with spring lettuces sprinkled sparingly with lemon chili olive oil.

Delicious and healthful. Again high potassium. I’m avoiding fatty cheddar cheese that always goes so well with beans.
There is one more recipe in this magazine for stew using gluten. I learned how to extract gluten from flour in the hippy seventies and don’t want to go there. If they had gluten at my local grocer, I’d buy it. So, I’ll substitute cous cous or quinoa. My daughter always accuses me of substituting when I cook so the recipe never resembles what I start out to make. She is right. I’m ever substituting, but my main thought on vegetarian cooking is that it can be great stuff, its healthy to eat less meat and I practically vomit when I read how animals destined for food are treated. My favorite vegetarian restaurant is the Sonora Community Hospital Cafeteria. They always have wonderful vegetarian meals but no cook book. If I had their recipes, I’d never go back to meat.
It is still my ambition, and Jim’s, to avoid beef, and pork, all together, and my ambition to eat more vegetarian meals. If you have great vegetarian recipes, share them with me.

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