Friday, February 28, 2014

30 Winter Crock Pot Recipes to Try Now

crock pot

Ah, the crock pot. I for one am happy that it’s back in vogue—and just made for cold weather. Slow cookers are perfect for making soups, stews, beans, and for tenderizing less expensive cuts of meat. Check out this round-up of 30 crock pot recipes just perfect for any cold-weather day:

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna from Eating Well that’s perfect for any weeknight.Lumberjackie Soup (vegan) from Shape was born over a campfire—which means it must be good.Overnight Oatmeal from Alton Brown makes waking up on a chilly morning a little easier.So Easy Coq au Vin from Better Homes and Gardens might make a French person scoff, but it’s all good with me!Crock Pot Chai Tea Latte from for a crowd.South American Slow Cooker Pot Roast from Shape just sounds amazing, right?Cheesy Noodle Casserole (vegetarian) from Better Homes and Gardens has tofu and  veggies to make a cheesy casserole healthy!Pumpkin Spice Lattes from 20 Something Cupcakes is just as tasty as the original, but healthier!Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew (vegetarian) from the kitchn to warm you up.Slow Cooker Pinto Beans from Paula Deen, because if anyone knows how to do up a pot of beans right, I’d bet it’s Paula.Chipotle Black Beans and Quinoa (vegetarian) from Tasty Yummies with some tortillas? Forgetaboutit.Crock Pot Saag Paneer (vegetarian) from Healthy Girls Kitchen sounds almost as easy as take-out!Vegan Crock Pot Tortilla Soup from But Yes I Do Eat Potatoes to warm you up.Mahogany Chicken Legs from Karen’s Kitchen Stories are as pretty as they are tasty.Greek Chicken & Vegetable Ragout from Eating Well makes an amazing weeknight meal.Vegan Vanilla Rice Pudding from InHabitat is an amazing end to a weeknight meal.Vegan Refried Beans from andVegan Crock Pot Spanish Rice from What Vegan Kids Eat.Slow-Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas (vegetarian) from the kitchn.Crock Pot Risotto with Gourmet Mushrooms from Kitchen Scoop on its own or with a main course.Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork from The Splendid Table sounds, well, splendid. Tailgating anyone?Chai Spiced Pear Applesauce from Oh My Veggies for lunch boxes.Chex Mix from Unsophisticook for parties.Healthier Butter Chicken from Half Baked Harvest for any dang day of the week!Bourbon Maple Baked Beans from Averie Cooks because everything’s better with bourbon. And they’d go great withSlow Cooker Chicken from Organic Authority.Chickpea Crockpot Pie with Biscuit Topping from Peas and Thank You and yes to biscuit toppings.Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce from the kitchn for that Italian mama feel.Crockpot Apple + Pear Compote from Everyday Maven for a sophisticated end to a meal.Healthy Apple Crisp from The Realistic Nutritionist for something a little more down home.Cinnamon Rolls from Penny Pincher Jenny for Christmas morning?

And don’t discount these 21+ summer crock pot recipes—they work great now, too!

Related Articles on Organic Authority:

Slow Cooker Sweet Vidalia Onion Jam Recipe
Take It Slow: 5 Classic Crock Pot Recipes Worth The Wait
Warm Up With a Seasonal Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Photo Credit: Global Reactions

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Saying Goodbye

In less than a week I will leave Guido Almada—my home for these past 2 years—but today feels like any other day. I woke up to the birds calling—kiskadees and caciques and thrushes—and a calm eastern breeze that I soaked in over a cup of Brazilian coffee. My mangy campo
mutt Lobo is sitting at my side, waiting patiently for breakfast, and I am as content as one could ever hope to be. The realities of transition from a Peace Corps life deep in the Paraguayan countryside to a life in the states are the farthest thing from my mind. Tranquillopa, as Paraguayans always say; that quiet mantra and the lifestyle it signifies are among the things I will miss most about this place. That, and all these beautiful people who have taken me under their wings and made me family. Mario carves the main dish at his despedida, or farewell party. The traditional Paraguayan dish akague yvygu'u is a cow’s head slowly roasted for half a day over buried coals.
The end of Peace Corps service is always a difficult time. Volunteers are confronted with the pragmatic difficulties of upending their lives and, in many ways, starting over from scratch. At the same time, there is the existential challenge of evaluating one’s service, the successes and the failures, and coming to terms with what has been a trying and significant experience. What has it all meant? Have I made enough of a difference? What will the work I have done here look like in 10 years? 20 years? More? How will this community remember me? Have I given enough of myself to this cause? How can I take the things I have learned and use them to make great social change in the future?
This introspection is not easy, but it’s necessary. I have found that it really helps to make lists of all the projects, big and little, that I have done while I was here. As always, visiting with my neighbors and friends is a great way to feel good about my service. Regardless of the development work I have done, I have made a lot of great, genuine friendships and built some very meaningful relationships in my time here. To a certain extent, that might just be the greatest thing a volunteer could hope for. Still, the profound self-critique and doubt continues. There is still so much need, so many issues that need to be addressed, so much more work to be done.
One of Mario’s projects during his Peace Corps service was to provide technical assistance in the construction of anaerobic biodigesters as a sustainable energy source. Here, Mario poses with a Paraguayan family that benefitted from that project.
Emotionally, I feel all right. Really, none of this leaving nonsense seems real at all. Occasionally and unexpectedly, however, I will feel the heavy welling-up of an ocean in my chest and know that I am about to break down into tears. So far, I have done well enough to suppress that and keep my cool, but I know that sooner or later, my levees will not be able to hold back the tide and I will go from proud Peace Corps volunteer to blubbering little child in an instant. I just hope nobody is around for that. Saying goodbye to neighbors and friends has been heartbreaking, but I think that living alone and becoming almost entirely self-sufficient for these 2 years has made me a greater master of my fickle emotions. Peace Corps service can be unforgiving at times; by necessity, one is forced to persevere, and for me that has meant the careful management of otherwise intense and unproductive emotional crises.
If everything that returned Peace Corps volunteers have told me is correct, the next few months will be the hardest of them all, harder still than the past 27 months in Paraguay. My hope is to capture as much of my thoughts and reflections in writing so that I can better understand and appreciate all that has happened and all I have learned from Paraguay and its beautiful people. Hopefully this transition, difficult as it will undoubtedly be, will represent not the end of my service in Peace Corps but instead an important step in a lifetime of service to communities and people around the world, in Paraguay and beyond.  —Mario Machado

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DIY Holiday Gifts

Image courtesy of Mary Oswald By guest blogger Robyn Jasko, cofounder of Grow Indie There’s just something really special about making your own gifts. Instead of being limited by what’s on the shelf, fighting the holiday crowds, and forking over …

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Friday, February 14, 2014

The 10-Million-Dollar Bra

by guest blogger Renee James, essayist and blogger In case you need to know exactly what the market will bear when it comes to lingerie, the answer is $2.5 million. You read that correctly. Last year, Victoria’s Secret unveiled a …

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Honoring Our Heritage

by guest blogger “Coach” Mark Smallwood, Rodale Institute executive director There is much to be learned from our ancestors. Our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents had deep roots in agriculture. Modern organic farming is based on the philosophy that we must …

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Italy: Green Terrace Roof Garden

Warm and green, this lovely detailed design is a Mediterranean garden in miniature combined with specific plants that solve problems in this small but highly valued terrace. It demonstrates a fresh gardenesque style for spare modern architecture that is all too often landscaped with rigid forms and surfaces. This space also features a dozen great ideas for adding warmth and contrast to cold hard surfaces. The sun drenched breakfast table is essential after dark when wall sconce lighting and natural flame lanterns augmented with invisible up-lights nestled in the planting provide gentle ambient illumination throughout these carefully crafted spaces.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Controversial French Study on GMOs and Glyphosate Retracted by Publication

Seralini study

A popular French study published in 2012 that tied genetically modified seeds and the herbicide glyphosate to an increased risk of cancer has been retracted by the journal that originally published it.

According to the New York Times, the editor of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology told the paper’s main author that “the study’s results, while not incorrect or fraudulent, were ‘inconclusive, and therefore do not reach the threshold of publication’.”

Widely known as the “Séralini study,” after lead author Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini, the research conducted by a team at the University of Caen in France, was controversial from the date it was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. It was criticized as being “sensationalistic,” reports the Times, and even “fraudulent” by members of the scientific community, some of whom are “allied with the biotechnology industry.”

A. Wallace Hayes, the editor in chief of the journal, wrote in his letter to Dr. Séralini that “unequivocally” he had found “no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data.” But he cited that there was still “legitimate cause for concern.” Issues surrounded the number of rats used in the study, and the fact that the type of rats that were used are particularly prone to developing cancer, which could not rule out “normal variability” as the cause for the development of tumors.

Two hundred rats divided into ten groups (of ten males and ten females) were followed for two years. Some groups received a diet laced with heavy amounts of glyphosate, the herbicide sold as Monsanto’s Roundup. The groups of rats that received the glyphosate (whether in food or water or both), were more likely to develop cancerous tumors and die earlier than those rats who did not receive the chemical and the genetically modified corn.

The study had become one of the stronger arguments in the anti-GMO / pro-GMO labeling movement. GMWatch, which posted the letter on its website, called the journal’s actions “illicit, unscientific and unethical.” Even though the data may have been inconclusive, “it was not sufficient grounds for a retraction.” The group states: “It violates the guidelines for retractions in scientific publishing set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)… of which FCT [Food and Chemical Toxicology] is a member.”

Dr. Séralini stands by his research, “We maintain our conclusions,” he told Food Navigator, suggesting that regulatory science resembles “a prostitute with industry.”

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Related on Organic Authority

Scientists Find Dangerous ‘Hidden’ Ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide

European Union Releases Data on Controversial Monsanto GMO Corn Strain

‘No End in Sight’: Monsanto Gives Up Efforts in Europe

Image: GMWatch

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