My parents, swept along by the trends of the times, were a little bit hippy themselves when I was a small child. There was wheat germ in the fridge, home farming and canning manuals on the bookshelves, we shopped at the first PCC in Kirkland, and we went to a lot of outdoor events. However, I would like it to be known that all of us were very clean and I must say we smelled great.
I remember stumbling upon my mom's copy of Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe when I was in high school. One of my teachers (Mr. Bryan Reinhardt) had been talking a lot about food choices and how they affect our planet and even the corporate structure of America. I was intrigued, and surprised when my mom said I could have this amazing book.
I still have it, and its message about getting off the top of the food chain is still an important one, if not more important as our planet becomes more populated by the minute.
The reason I dug it out was when I started wondering if the food I'm feeding Natalie is good enough. Is she getting enough protein? Carbs? Minerals? And I had no more glimpsed the cover than I remembered complete proteins, the vegetarian's BFF. Rice and beans it is!
I poured myself a glass of carrot juice, dressed Natalie in some tie dye (hand me down from friends in Eugene), and decided it was just going to be a hippy kind of day at Ellie Bluebell's House.
After my trip down memory lane with DFASP, I turned to Super Baby Food to see if there were any baby-specific notes on this combo. Only the gassiness beans can cause, so to avoid frightening diaper situations, I opted to use dried split green peas, which is technically a legume but slightly better in the gas department. AND they don't have to be soaked overnight (lentils also share this virtue). So brown rice and peas it is!
Viva la bulk foods section!
I wasn't looking forward to cooking both these things up separately, in two pots, ugh. I mean, I've got stuff to do! And I hate washing pots. Also I only have one that's big enough currently, so there's that.
And then.... I found a paragraph in SBF describing how to cook them together all at once. Sweet! Now we're talking. Truly helpful info for a busy mama. Here's how you do it.
One cup of dry split peas needs to cook with three cups of water. A half cup of brown rice needs to cook with one cup of water. Sooooo (and this took my tired brain a minute, I will confess) I put four cups of water on to boil, and readied a cup of split peas and a half cup of brown rice.
(I have had that Brita pitcher since freshman year of college! And they say we live in a throwaway society)
I had no idea how much this was going to yield, and I hoped my pot was big enough.
In the fridge was some organic celery, red pepper, and a bit of onion, so I thought I'd chop those guys up to the mix, too. About a half cup of celery, half cup of pepper, and a quarter cup of onion (again, we have to think of the little ones' tummies).
Once the water was boiling, I added the peas and rice. Looking good so far.
Super Baby Food says to turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. It doesn't say covered or uncovered, so I went with covered because of the rice and so I could turn it way down and conserve energy (see? I told you I'm part hippy).
This is what it looked like about 30 minutes later. Time to add in our colorful veggies, an Ellie Bluebell Smells bay leaf, and keep cooking.
15 minutes later it was looking promising, and our prescribed cooking time from the recipe was up. I took out the bay leaf, added about a 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and a tablespoon of Dr Bragg's Liquid Aminos. These taste a little like soy sauce and are helpful if you aren't eating much meat. We are getting seriously hippified now!
I cooked it about ten minutes longer, since I wanted it to get a little mushy. Natalie likes mushy.
Mission accomplished! I ate some for lunch along with her, and it was really tasty. Definitely not much to look at, but neither are some hippies.
(This freezes great! I used my silicone Beaba portion tray as well as filled up some empty baby food jars for the freezer. An ice cube tray or silicone muffin pan work well, too)