Discovering New Vegetables and New Flavors

When I get in the mood to cook…. (or prepare food as in this case….) I love trying new things or re-making a recipe that was a ‘new’ discovery the first time I made it!

Last week I was in the grocery store and saw some Jicama (pronounced hee-kah-mah).  I decided to pick some up.  The first time I had ever tasted Jicama was a couple of years ago when I decided to try a recipe out of my Clean Eating magazine that used Jicama.  It sounded good, so I decided to be brave and try it.  Jicama is delicious!  It has a sweet crunch to it.  I know it’s popular in Mexican dishes like soups, stir fry and salads.  The magazine info called it the “Mexican Potato” that looks like a flattened beet with the texture of a water chestnut.

Spicy Jicama Salad. See how colorful?l

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is the Spicy Jicama Salad that I made a few years ago.  Since I had the Jicama staring me in the face today sitting on my counter…. I pulled out the magazine and happened to have almost all of the ingredients I needed to make it so I gave it a whirl… with a few adjustments of course!  As you can see as you read the ingredients… if you are into Raw eating… this is a great recipe for that!  It’s bright colorful salad and would be a great side dish anytime but particularly in the summer.

I will list my adjustments and changes out to the side.

Spicy Jicama Salad — from Clean Eating Magazine Vol. 2 Issue 3 — May/June 2009

1 Jicama, peeled and julienned

1 Carrot, peeled, and julienned

1/2 red bell pepper, julienned    (I used a whole pepper)

1/2 green bell pepper, julienned  (didn’t have a green pepper so I used a yellow one…. again a whole pepper)

1/2 cucumber, seeded and julienned  (since I used an English cucumber… I didn’t seed it)

1/2 cup red onion, chopped    ( I didn’t have a red onion, so I chopped 1/2 of a sweet white onion….but I also added some chopped red cabbage for the color)

1 naval orange, peeled and chopped

Juice of 1 lime  (no limes around so I used 3 Tb lime concentrate)

Pinch of cayenne powder  (a little goes a long way here, be careful unless you like it hot!)

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped    (my fresh cilantro was gone, so I used the dried kind… not the best choice, but it works in a pinch)


Combine jicama, carrot, red and green peppers, cucumber, onion and orange in a medium bowl.  Toss in lime juice, cayenne, salt and pepper and cilantro.  Let sit for 20 t0 30 minutes, covered in the fridge before serving.  Unlike most salads that get soggy sitting in the dressing for longer periods,  jicama stays crunchy.  The salad will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrients per 1/2 cup serving:  Calories: 70, Total Fat: Og, Sat. Fat: Og, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 2g, Sodium, 55mg, Cholesterol: Omg

This really is a delicious and different salad.   I am a huge fan of Clean Eating Magazine.  I would recommend it to all you foodies out there that are looking for healthier alternatives and recipes.  You can even subscribe to a digital version now.  In some ways I wish I had that….but other ways I love my ‘in hand’ mags!

I just need to figure out a way to organize all the recipe indexes into one spot so I don’t have to look through all my issues when I’m trying to find either a recipe I’ve tried and liked or looking for some new ideas!  I’d love some advice on that!  The only thing I can figure to do right now is to ‘copy’ the index page from each issue and put them in a binder.  I would think that would save me some time.  I’m sure if I was ambitious enough I could make my own digital index by hand typing in all the indexes…. but that would take hours!

It was really fun today to have enough of the ingredients on hand to just be able to make this salad on a whim!  I guess it goes to show that trying to eat healthy most of the time can pay off when you have lots of fresh fruits and veggies around!  Now I just need to get brave and try making up my own recipes!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


Green Smoothies — Give it a Try!

Since some of you may not be aware of my 30 Day Challenge tab at the top of this blog…. or even be aware that I was updating my readers with those challenges….. I decided today to link you to the update I posted yesterday on Day 30 of my Drink Only Green Smoothies challenge.

I think many of you will be interested in what I have to say.  If you want more information than the link I’m giving you, just hover over the 30 Day challenge tab, then the Drink Only Green Smoothies tab.  It will show you the date of each update that I gave the acronym of D.O.G.S. to.  Here is the link to the Day 30 post I wrote yesterday.

I’m so grateful that we gave this challenge a ‘whirl’.  Though we didn’t complete it entirely as planned…. it still made an impact on us.  (When I say ‘we’…. I mean my husband and I).  It’s taught me to be more aware of what I am eating and wanting to eat more healthy choices on a consistent basis.

I’m so grateful for the internets ability to link me to information on healthy eating and recipes to do so.  You’ll find in the link above of yesterdays post that I posted links within that post to a few other websites to give you more information as well as the giving the Basic Green Smoothie recipe we use.

If you are interested at all in making a change for the better for your health…. I would suggest incorporating Green Smoothies into your diet.  It’s a perfect way to start making a difference.

If you want additional information for another way of making a huge impact on your health…. follow this link on a post I made back in August for info on something that could potentially change your life or the life of someone you love.

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Facing the Facts

This is not going to be easy.  Not at all.

As a family, we don’t really think she is ready for this move…. but try as hard as we could to talk the Director of the Assisted Living center into letting her stay if we promised more family visits, etc, to see if that would perk up her attitude…. she pretty much said “No… I’m sorry.  I just can’t have her treating my Aids that way.”  So…. now we have reached a cross roads that brings us to a very difficult decision.

My Mom has been living in an Assisted Living Center since she had her stoke 5 years ago.  She made the adjustment fine in the beginning.  Though she was very reluctant to do it…. she knew that none of us were in a position to give her the 24/7 care she needed…. particularly that first little while after her stroke.  But she adjusted well.  Like my sister said last night as we were talking…. it’s because she had someone else to take care of.  Meaning…. that she felt a big concern for many of the friends she made in her first Assisted Living center.  She wanted to make sure they got down to dinner and such and would go ‘pick them up’ on her way.  She was like a little Mother Hen to many of them.  Most of those people have passed on now.

Then we had to move her about 3 years ago.  She was needing more care and the facility she was in was forcing her out of her beautiful 2 room apartment.  She would need to move to another section of the building that was ‘licensed’ to give her the level of care she was needing.  Unfortunately, those rooms were very small!  She would have had to get rid of most of her furniture (which was one of the reasons she adapted to Assisted living in the first place, because her own stuff was around her).

Consequently, we checked out other facilities and found one that had a lovely room … not quite as big as the one she was in…. but much bigger than the cracker box we would have had to move her in at the first place.  Plus, they gave the level of care she needed.  We felt very blessed to find another place we were able to make a ‘home’ for her.

Now…. she is starting to show signs of getting dementia and seems to be treating the girls that work at her facility unkindly, so they say.  If only it was as easy as telling her to quit being mean….  then perhaps we could keep her there.  She is very demanding and wants things done her way.  She insists the girls stay with her longer than they should be, which cuts into time they need to be spending with other residents.  It’s a hard situation to be facing.

I hate to see my Mom like this.  When we were faced with the first decision to put her into Assisted Living….. she not only adapted well but had a great attitude about it.  She knew she could either be miserable or choose to make the best of it.  She chose to make the best of it and was a pretty pleasant resident to deal with.  This ornery attitude she seems to be getting, is very hard for everyone to handle.  If only she could ‘choose’ to be happy again…  Then again…. the recent fall she experienced would be enough to make anyone ornery!

I can see it’s time for me to do a little studying up on how to deal with dementia.  It’s so hard to see someone turn into someone they are not!  Her older sister had major problems with dementia before she passed.  We are just praying that she doesn’t get that bad.  Hopefully it’s just being a little forgetful.

My sister has been a Saint through all of this.  She’s been through more than any of us siblings have any idea about since she’s been in charge of Mom’s care!

Though I’m very saddened at the thought of having to move Mom again….. I’m so grateful for the time she’s had at both facilities!  They have been so good to her.  It’s just hard to face the facts that this is happening.  I’m a believer that everything is put in our path for a reason….. I just need to learn the lesson I’m suppose to from this…… but that doesn’t make it any easier!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Little Old People Make Me Happy!

Oh boy….. what fun it is to talk to the little old men at my Mom’s Assisted Living place!  I was cracking up.

I took my Mom down to eat her lunch in the dining room this afternoon.  I got her all settled and was just watching some of the other residents as they came in.  It was interesting to see their faces and how they were feeling.  Some of them seemed cheerful…. others not so much.  The one cute lady at the table next to my Mom was helping to scoot the chairs in of the ladies that sit with her.  It was great.  I asked her if she needed my help to push her own chair in and she said… “No!  Oh…. not with my butt!”  I couldn’t help but giggle!  Just as a side note…. I’m pretty sure this was the same  little lady I ran into in the laundry last week that was confused about her own laundry and was trying to do my Mom’s laundry.  She’s as healthy as a horse…. but not so cognizant any more!  Cute and funny though!

Then I was standing there by my Mom helping her decide what to order for lunch and one of the little old men at the table next to hers pointed at me and motioned for me to come over there.  He said…. “I just got through shaving my face and I want you to feel what a good job I did!”  Again…. another giggle!  What a cutie.  He sits at a table with all men so a conversation began about shaving…. or not.  Another little man told me how he went to get his hair cut the other day (mind you… there isn’t much there to cut!) and the girl charged him $12 just to buzz his head!  Then he proceeded to tell me how he used to work for ZCMI in the clothing department and he had to be dressed up all the time.  He used to go get his hair cut in ZCMI for a lot less than that!  The first man told him that he was going to open up a barbershop of his own since he could shave himself so well, he would do it for the others.  “No way am I letting you shave me!” the other man said.  Of course, another man at the table with a full beard was just shaking his head.  It was pretty entertaining to watch.  Made my day.

It amazes me how much these people can be affected by their attitudes.  My Mom’s attitude is usually fairly cheerful…. but since she took a fall the other day…. she’s had on her ‘ornery pants’!  Being in pain can’t be fun, that’s for sure.  Perhaps that’s why I took such a delight in watching some of the other patrons being cheerful.

It’s a shame that more people can’t see the joy and fun that these people can be and give.  I don’t know how much each of these residents see their families… but I hope it is often.  They all have so much to teach us if we will only just watch and learn and listen.

I’m grateful that I have been available the last couple of days to come help my Mom.  Ornery pants and all….  I’m grateful to be able to visit with some of the other residents too.  I’m glad Mom is in such a wonderful place that gives her good care and is full of other cheerful residents.

I’ve always loved ‘old people’.  When my husband and I got married we lived in an area we considered to be the “Newlyweds or the Nearly Deads”.  There wasn’t much between our age group and the ‘older’ people in the neighborhood, so I became endeared to those older folks.  I truly loved them and was a little sad when we moved away.  (Ironically…. those ‘old’ folks were about the age of my husband and I right now!!  It’s all Perception!!)  Now those same people that I loved so much are dying off and in Assisted Living centers like my Mom.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… I’ve always loved older people and consider it a blessing to learn at their feet.  Maybe part of that comes from not having Grandparents as I grew up.  My Grandparents all passed by the time I was 9 years old, so I didn’t have anyone to turn to for wisdom and counsel as a young adult.  Regardless of what makes me feel that way…..  I know there is much to be learned from Little Old People!  So ‘turn up your Bell Tones’ and listen in!

I am Grateful!  How are You?