Posted on

quick & easy pickled jalapenos recipe

pickled jalapenos

It’s summertime and my garden is in full swing! The pepper plants are growing like crazy. Although, I love adding jalapenos to just about every dish I make (the spicier the better!), I really needed a recipe to make use of a large number of jalapenos at one time. Last summer, fellow Instagrammers suggested making pickled jalapenos with my surplus peppers. After enjoying delicious pickled jalapenos all summer long last year, I was so excited for my abundance of jalapenos this year. Last summer, I used a simple recipe from Allrecipes which was a great foundation for my current pickled jalapeno recipe. I’ve made them a little differently ever time until I finally found the perfect variation of ingredients for optimal flavor. AND, a super plus, this recipe is very nearly waste free!

Finally, for more useful Tiny Yellow Bungalow recipes and DIY projects, head over here!

Quick & Easy Pickled Jalapenos

This recipe makes two 8oz mason jars full of pickled jalapenos.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • One cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar (If you prefer a milder and sweet pickle, add another 1 1/2 tablespoon of sugar)
  • One tablespoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 10 large jalapenos, sliced into rings
  • 2 8oz mason jars

Directions

Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and minced garlic in a saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil.

Pack jalapeno pepper rings into mason jars and cover with hot vinegar mixture. Then, let mixture cool for 10 minutes.

Cover with mason jar lids and refrigerate until needed.

pickled jalapenos

Posted on

go vegan for the environment

Go Vegan

Go Vegan for the Environment

Transitioning to a vegan diet is definitely a tough decision to make, but it has a lot of advantages that are worth considering. Choosing to eat a plant based diet can make your body healthier, your waistline smaller, your pocket fuller and the earth safer.

People who have made the switch to a meatless diet are not only benefiting personally, they are also taking part in saving the planet. I am well aware of the very real repercussions of climate change. But for those of you who are new to the concept, infrared radiation from the sun normally bounces off the Earth and exits the atmosphere. However, the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere prevents them from going out thereby trapping in the heat they bring. Experts refer to it as the greenhouse effect which is the main contributor to climate change.

A lot of factors supply the increased and rapid accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere. For this reason, experts are calling on the public to make an effort to reduce these gases.

How Going Vegan Helps Reduce Greenhouse Gases

The burning of fossil fuel to produce electricity and heat remains the leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Nonetheless, animal agriculture is still a very significant contributor to pollutant emissions. And just as importantly, it’s a factor that we can easily influence by reducing meat consumption.

Meat production contributes to the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in two ways: deforestation and emissions of pollutant gases from animal manure.

Deforestation

The increasing demand for meat urges livestock owners to expand their pasture land and additional land for growing feed crops. Trees play an important role in converting carbon dioxide in the air into oxygen through photosynthesis. A lesser number of trees through deforestation means a lesser number of natural carbon dioxide converters. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, or UNFAO, livestock agriculture is responsible for 9 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.

Animal Manure

Manure from ruminant livestock, such as cattle, emits methane. It is a type of greenhouse gas which is 20 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Ruminant animals have a unique digestive system compared to other animals which may be the reason why their manure releases methane.  Findings of the UNFAO showed that livestock agriculture is responsible for 37 percent methane emissions.

Furthermore, the same records from the UNFAO showed that raising cattle creates a bigger problem than raising other livestock, such as poultry and pigs. This is mainly because beef production requires more land, water, and fertilizer than producing poultry meat and pork.

Choosing Plants Over Meat

UNFAO also pointed out that eating plant foods can help lower greenhouse gas emissions. For example, producing a pound of vegetables creates roughly about three to five times lower gas emissions than producing a pound of meat. The explanation behind this is simple. It is more efficient to grow crops and eat them directly than to grow crops, feed it to animals to make them grow, and then eat them.

Greenhouse gas emissions from meat production may not be as problematic as emissions from fuel combustion used to generate electricity and heat. However, taking part in such a great cause should not be underestimated. Choosing to help save the environment by going meatless is a win-win, because it also makes your body healthier!

Tips for Transitioning to a Vegan Diet

  • Slow changes are good changes

Your gut needs time to adjust to the changes in your diet. Don’t expect to go from a meat eater to a plant eater in just one day. A slow transition is a good transition. Diets focused on plant foods are usually higher in dietary fiber which can have unpleasant effects on your digestion. This is especially true if your meat eating gut is not used to it. Start by going meatless one meal a day the first two weeks then gradually pick up the pace as you go. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water to aid digestion.

  • Consume a variety of plant foods.

One of the pitfalls of switching to a vegan diet is not eating the right foods that meet your body’s nutrition needs. You are not going to bring positive changes to your health if this is the case. Protein, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin B12 are key nutrients you should be sure to focus on. These nutrients generally found in meat are slightly harder to come by in plant based foods.

What are your favorite vegan recipes? Have you tried eating more meatless meals to help the environment and improve your health?? 

Posted on

green tomato chutney recipe

Green Tomato Chutney Recipe

This week I decided to put my garden to bed for the winter. The bounty has been plentiful, but it’s time to let the soil rest and start making plans for next year! While cleaning out the beds, I had heaps of green tomatoes leftover. I asked for recommendations from my Instagram fam for green tomato recipes and there were so many great ideas! Be sure to head over to my Instagram post to see all of the great green tomato recs. However, I finally decided to make chutney. Today was my first time ever making chutney, and I used a recipe recommended by my friend Nicole from the Food in Jars blog. Her recipe was a great foundation for my chutney, but the recipe I’ve listed below is a creation all my own. I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients at the house listed in the recipe so I made it with what I had available. This recipe is very nearly waste free, minus the dark brown sugar which we don’t have available in bulk here in Athens.

Here’s how I made my tasty jar of chutney that I don’t think will last through the week!

Green Tomato Chutney Recipe

My recipe makes one 12oz mason jar’s worth of chutney

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped

6 smallish green tomatoes, chopped (about 4 cups)

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup white vinegar

2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. salt

Directions

Chop your onion and tomatoes and toss into a pot. Add sugar, vinegar, ginger, and red pepper flakes.

 

Mix well and bring to boil. Then reduce heat to low and cook for an hour to an hour and a half. Stir it regularly so you don’t scorch the bottom. You’ll continue to cook the ingredients down until they have thickened. (Think, is this spreadable on a cracker? If so, you’re done!) After it’s cooked down, add the salt.

You can now fill a mason jar with your deliciously sweet and spicy chutney, or like me, you can just start digging in right out of the pot because it is just so tasty. I don’t think my jar of chutney is going to last more than a week!

 

I’ve still got some green tomatoes leftover, and I think my next experiment will be fried green tomatoes!! What is your favorite green tomato recipe??

 

 

Posted on

go vegan: compassion and kindness towards animals!

vegan

Last night, I had the pleasure of hearing the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur, speak at the UGA campus. Being a plant based diet follower myself, it was inspired to hear encouragement and wisdom from one of the well known leaders in animal right’s activism.

If you haven’t heard of Farm Sanctuary before definitely check out their website! They are a non-profit organization that takes in and cares for abused and sickly animals from factory farms. The founders of Farm Sanctuary researched and documented the standards of industrialized farming over the years. They realized that what goes on in factory farms is honestly bordering on criminal. A lot of the animals at their sanctuary are animals that have been thrown onto the “dead pile” while still alive. Fortunately, the people of Farm Sanctuary rescued them and now the animals live long happy lives at the Farm Sanctuary. Often, we turn a blind eye towards the meat production industry. We humans are mostly compassionate people, and we probably wouldn’t support the industry if we knew more about industrialized farming practices. Gene Baur mentioned five principles that his organization supports:

Living & Eating in Alignment with Your Values 

Meaning that you know it’s unjust to throw male baby chicks into a grinder alive, because they are not economically valuable… so you don’t support it.

Engage in a Mindful Connection with Animals

I love what Mr. Baur said about animals in the United States. It’s strange that cats and dogs are pet specific, but we consider cows and chickens as food. However, when visiting the Farm Sanctuary you can see that cows, chicken, pigs, and sheep are all animals that want to be loved just as your pet would. Their pigs love belly rubs, and the chickens will come when you call their names.

Engage in a Mindful Connection with Your Food

It’s important to slow down and really enjoy what’s on our plate. We should enjoy the time spent preparing meals together and sharing meals with friends and family.

Eat Plants for your Health

This has always been the main reason I support a plant based diet – for my own health. Seven of the top ten causes of death are directly linked to diet. Furthermore, in the U.S. we could save nearly 70% of healthcare costs if we all switched to a more plant based, vegan diet.

Eat Plants for the Health of the Earth

It’s great to switch to more environmentally conscious alternatives. However, the best thing you could do for the earth would be to switch to a vegan diet. Livestock produces 40% more greenhouse gasses than global transportation. So going vegan could be more effective than driving a hybrid car. Furthermore, nearly half of the water used in the U.S. goes to the raising of animals for food. Switching your diet is the most sustainable solution!

Advocate compassion and kindness by going vegan even if just one day a week!! And visit FarmSanctuary’s website to support an excellent cause 🙂

vegan

And don’t worry my zero wasters, I kindly returned the literature after reading.  Along with going vegan, reducing waste is another great kindness to our planet 🙂

Posted on

plant based nutrition

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” – Thomas Edison 

plant based nutrition

 This week I finished the plant based nutrition certificate program with eCornell. I am so thankful for everything I’ve learned from not only the coursework and instructors but also through my hardworking peers. It is exciting to be part of a movement towards health. In addition, I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned with you guys.

Plant based nutrition has interested me for the past few years. However, what I find frustrating is that the rest of the citizens in the United States seems pretty lost when it comes to understanding nutrition. Moreover, we get our basic knowledge of nutrition from public policy which provides us with tools like the Food Pyramid, which is now called My Plate.

However, what we don’t know is that the information we have is often tainted by industry influences, meaning the food, drug, dietary supplement, and medical practice industry. That is to say, these industries want you to buy their products (they have no concern for your health) so they fund research that supports their products which eventually becomes understood as general knowledge for the public. This little bit of information shocked me. The promotion of overall health is not the goal for these industries?? No. That is to say, Nutrition isn’t a profitable concept. Rather than teach our citizens proper nutrition, we spend billions of dollars each year on bypass surgeries, supplements, and cholesterol medications which don’t solve any health problems. We are treating symptoms of chronic diseases… not actual diseases.

Seven out of the ten leading causes of death in the United States are related to diet. This is huge.

1. Heart Disease *                                                                           * = linked to diet

2. Cancer *                                                                                    (I want to credit this information to my

3. Lower Respiratory Stroke *                                                  eCornell Plant Based Nutrition Course)

4. Stroke *

5. Accident

6. Alzheimer’s Disease *

7. Diabetes *

8. Influenza & Pneumonia

9. Nephritis Syndromes *

10. Suicide

It’s so sad that many of the most common health issues in the U.S. are easily preventable by proper nutrition. In addition, what upsets me more is many people have no knowledge of this information.

I realize this information is unpleasant. The good news is that changing to a whole foods plant based diet can really improve your health and help prevent chronic disease. I definitely encourage you to do some research on nutrition and health yourself. One of the most important things learned in my nutrition class was to be very critical of any information you hear. In other words, follow the information to the source and analyze to decide what you believe is right.

If you have any questions about plant based nutrition or would like advice in transitioning to a more healthful diet, please don’t hesitate to ask! In conclusion, I am really excited about sharing my passion for healthy wholistic eating and would love to hear your stories 🙂