• For those with wings fly to your dreams

    Keeping Warm with your 5 a day

    Yea, that's right the 5-a-day initiative is still going strong!

    I'll admit, there've been some days, where I didn't get all 5 cups of fruits and veggies I
    needed. Those days were awful, I'd get sluggish, start craving more junk, my attention span went out the window. Basically mental and physical health took a nose-dive.  Just more proof that eating fruits and veggies is a good thing to do.

    It's easy to eat smoothies, salads, veggies and hummus when it's warm out, even on our cool NorCal nights. But when winter comes through that gets tough. We've been going through a recent cold spell here in the Bay and I know it's been very cold back East as winter sets in.  Still I've been finding ways to keep the 5-a-day up.

    Soups are great and simple way to get in some vegetables. As I write this I'm enjoying an ode to Obasaan: miso ginger broth with rice noodles, kale, eggplant, and atsu-age(deep-fried tofu...surprisingly not as unhealthy as you would think at 110 cals and 9g a protein per serving). Getting 1.5 cups of veggies and warmed up at the same time!

    A new soup I discovered this month is Fennel Greens soup. I've made it twice this month and it's the 10th. The first time I made it was basically to recipe. The second time I made it vegan, no butter, and almond milk it came out actually better than with the half n half. The whole batch has about 2lbs of vegetables in it and it's about 6-10 servings. So 1-2 cups of veggies.

    Source Chow.com
    As much as I love soups, living in a 350 sq ft apartment with electric heat (read: I never ever turn on the heat even during frost warnings. Thank-you Mama for the electric blanket!) it's not the most efficient use of gas. Roasting veggies is a great way to get in some veggies and warm up your place. Some of my favourite roasting combinations:

    • sweet potatoes and parsnips, oriental 5 spice, cayenne powder, sesame oil
    • eggplant, red peppers, garlic, with sea salt, pepper, and olive oil
    • butternut squash, apples, walnuts, with white pepper, cinnamon, touch of brown sugar
    • cauliflower with salsa verde 

    Bonus: You can use leftovers to easily make a soup. Toss em in the food processor. Then add to a pot with stock/broth/, maybe some cream. Break out the immersion blender for a super smooth.   (My mother gave me my immersion blender too. Ironic, even as an adult Mama’s still helping me stay warm ^_^)

    Please remember if you're using a gas or propane stove to keep your place ventilated. Check to make sure your hood ventilates to outside/unconditoned space, you'd be surprised how many ventilate right back into the kitchen. If you don't have an oven hood, open the window while you're cooking. It helps prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, remember there is no safe level of CO and even at low amounts without proper ventilation over time can cause problems such as dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and fainting.

    *steps off of energy audit soapbox*

    Aren't you glad you read an engineers' blog? Even with the window open your place should stay plenty warm and you can close it after you finish cooking.



    About me

    I'm a 20-something Southern girl living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've been working in the wild and wacky world of non-profit green construction in one way or the other for over 3 years. I'm also the owner of Oakland's own Engineered Cupcake.