Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Re-Cre8 Profile: TerraCycle Inc.

TerraCycle Inc. is a really cool concept for a business. The co-founders Tom Szaky and Jon Beyer, begun with the idea for a profitable yet eco-friendly and socially responsible business. Their first product turned food waste into plant food sold in re-used soda bottles. Now, they have a suite of products available at major retailers, such as Target.

The company actually pays you to send them your trash (specific trash) and uses that as the raw material for their products. You could get a cork board from waste corks, a Capri-Sun pencil case, or many others - you get the idea.

So, check it out...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm taking the Food Waste Reduction Challenge

Food Waste Reduction Challenge - February 2009

This is a challenge hosted by Crunchy Chicken. As I go along, I'll blog about some of the things I come up with to reduce food waste in my home.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cre8: Wholesome Multigrain Bread

In pursuit of the perfect multigrain bread...

About a year ago, my husband and I made the decision that we would make all our own bread for the family. This was one part frugality, 1 part eating healthier, and 1 part that we like to make stuff. So, we pulled our bread maker out of storage, brushed off the dust, searched for recipes online, and got started. We make a whole wheat sandwich bread for the kids as well as a multigrain bread for ourselves, our kids like to call it the “grown up bread”.

I honestly had a lot of trouble finding a good whole wheat multigrain bread. Here was my criteria for the perfect bread:
  • 100% whole wheat flour along with other whole grains for the health benefit.
  • A little bit on the sweeter side.
  • Dense and filling, but not a brick.
  • Moist, not dry.
  • Containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids for the Good Cholesterol Benefits.
These were my main concerns. We started with a base recipe I found at bigoven.com and then we tweaked it and tweaked it until we just recently got it JUST RIGHT for our tastes. So, here it goes:

  • 13 oz Warm Water
  • 2 Tbsp Yeast Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Nonfat Dried Milk
  • 2 ¾ Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • ¼ Cup Gluten
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Cornmeal
  • 3 Tbsp Toasted Wheat Germ
  • 1/3 Cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/3 Cup Rolled Oats (Toasted)
  • 1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds

We use a bread machine to make the dough, but we cook it in the oven. We’ve also made it totally in the bread machine.
  • Proof the yeast in all the water according to your brand’s instructions.
  • Combine ingredients in the order they are listed.
  • Either use your bread machine dough setting or knead by hand accordingly.
  • Let the dough rise ~ 1 hr.
  • Knock the dough down, form into a loaf, and place in a 9-in. loaf pan.
  • Let rise for another hour.
  • Bake at 325* for ~30 min. Remove from loaf pan. If sides and bottom are still moist, return to oven for 10-15 min.
  • Slice and enjoy.
To me, this bread is a meal in and of itself! Since it is so moist, I often eat a slice of it with some homemade yogurt for lunch. I also love it toasted with butter on it. The bread keeps very well for homemade bread and stays nice and moist.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Re-Cre8 Pancakes: Fruit & Cake Rolls

My family just loves pancakes. Who doesn’t? I like them too because they are so easy and fun and you can make them a little healthier just by adding in a few other ingredients (more on that another time). I always like to make a few extra pancakes because they make such great leftovers and they are very portable. Just throw them in the fridge overnight and pack them in a lunchbox the next day. But, I’m not willing to pack along syrup or honey. This is just too messy for a portable meal.

So, the other day as I was packing up an on-the-go dinner for gymnastics, I thought I could re-create these leftover pancakes into something very fun. Fruit and Cake rolls. These rolls taste a lot like Fruit Newtons, if you’ve had them (“they’re not cookies, they are fruit and cake” as the commercial goes…).

This couldn’t be easier. Here’s what you will need:

  • Leftover pancakes

  • Leftover pancakes

  • Fruit preserves or jam of your choice

  • A knife

  • A cutting board

  • A portable container

Here’s what you do

  1. Spread the fruit preserves on one side of the pancake.

  2. Gently roll up the pancake.

  3. Slice it up into bite size rolls and place into the container.

  4. Now enjoy!

Maybe these are not a whole meal, but a great snack or “side dish” or dessert. These can easily go into school lunches, or be taken along on picnics. And, unlike little Fruit Newton snack packs – there is no plastic involved (if you ignore my plastic transportation container, but that could just as easily be a pyrex) and nothing to go into the landfill.