Thursday, May 26, 2011

Veggie Sandwich: Simpler than you think


As a former college athlete and active person in general, I never thought it made much of a difference what I put in my body since I was always burning so many calories every day.  As a skinnier kid, playing basketball at a high level, I was also pushed by my trainers to eat large quantities without much focus on where the food was coming from, if it was available I should eat it.  Once Matt and I began our time on the farm and researching food more thoroughly, I realized the more I learned about the agricultural state of the US, the less I wanted to eat here (i.e. industrial farming practices involving intense chemical spraying, close quartered livestock factory farms using heavy doses of unnecessary hormones and antibiotics, etc.), but while that seems like a strongly negative statement, the grass can be greener on this side of the fence too.  What does this mean?  It means I finally realize what my dad's been trying to ingrain in my head since I was a little kid...

"always be aware" (add Venezuelan accent).  Being aware means don't take things for granted because there are no guarantees, therefore, it's important to think, research and ask questions before acting.  There is a lot of stuff that is out of our control, food is coming from all over the world into our markets and sometimes we won't get it right, but the best we can do is create the strongest probability of success.  How do we do that?  We take what we know and what we can know by doing a little homework on where our food is coming from and what markets we choose to eat from and we make the decision that helps us feel most comfortable.  If all goes to shit, at least you know you did everything you could.  With all this new knowledge I've been changing the way I choose to buy and eat food.

As with all new endeavors, at first it can seem intimidating, but the key is the small steps.  When choosing to change, I think it's more valuable to go slow at first and ease into the transition.  With that being said, I've been eating a lot less meat and after putting together this masterpiece of a sandwich, I figured I'd share a quick and easy version that takes less time to put together than it does to toast the bread.

Slice up a few mushrooms and sauté them covered in a pan with a little bit of olive oil.  This part always seems more time consuming than it actually is, there is not much cleanup and mushrooms cook fast so don't be intimidated.         

Slice a few fresh carrots, radishes and turnips.  After a few minutes, when the mushrooms are slightly brown and tender, remove them from the flame.  Spread hummus on the toast and layer one side with some diversified farm fresh salad mix with mustard greens, lettuce, watercress and anything else you can find.  If you are in the city, there are tons of farm markets and stands open all hours of the day like this one we touched on earlier in the week:  Woori Farm Stand.  

A pita chip or twelve to test the hummus of course.

On the other side, strategically layer the mushrooms, turnips, carrots and radishes.  Yes you can eat the roots too, don't believe the hype.

Delicious, filling and nutrient rich.  For me the less meat I eat, the more energized I feel after a meal.  Now this is also a quantity issue because you can be vegetarian, vegan or anything else, but eating too much will always leave you feeling tired and weighed down.  Balancing the food you eat with the amount you eat can give you the freedom you need throughout the day.


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