Look around at your home, office, lunch, clothes? What is the life-cycle of a material you use every day? We research and choose materials and items mindfully so we know where they come from, how they were made, how it affects our health, the environment, animals, plants, and people everywhere. Ask lots of questions when coordinating with your designs. This is very good when building or remodeling a house. It’s very difficult to find information on many things. The goal is to live in harmony with nature. This essentially would be outside. The home is soothing when closest to nature, and the same goes for food. We try to simplify the overwhelming magnitude of this goal by breaking things down into small choices and tasks. We’ve been transitioning away from anything that is unknown, unnatural, unnecessary, and growing as much as we can for food, making our own towel bars (in shop later this year), and other things for living a peaceful life. We designed and built our home to suit us, reduce static, dust, cost, and stress. It’s been a challenge when grouped with life’s uncertainties, but the decision to do it is strong and guides us forward to good health and awareness. Customize your food and belongings specifically to you and how you live and move. “Surround yourself with what you love and what is good for all.” ~Amor Milagre (For more information on topics like this, check back for our upcoming book!)
Deconstructed Italian Pizza
A cross between a pizza, ratatouille, and a fresh salad, this week’s culinary dabbling is pure heaven for baby, parents, and friends. The soft flatbread in the sauce reminds me of the most airy gnocchi, which is a hard thing to achieve when making gnocchi let alone for a different food. The other veggies can stand deliciously on their own without the bread for gluten-free diets. Sadly, no leftovers, but we’ll make it again soon. This dish, to me, is easier to eat and more satisfying than regular pizza. It’s healthier for sure, but the tastes and textures vary and therefore lend happiness upon dining.
Non-GMO, organic, local, vegan ingredients:
In a large skillet, heat 4-5 tbsp of tomato sauce (see below), add 2 cloves sliced garlic and some freshly ground pepper. Let it soften on low. Add sliced: cremini mushrooms, eggplant, tomato, zucchini, and squash. Stir to coat in the oil and garlic. Add in flatbread (cut into squares) and stir to coat. Toast the bread with the vegetables lightly for a little crispness. Add in 1/2 C tomato puree or our scrumptious tomato sauce. Cook for a few more minutes, then plate and enjoy! (Leave unsalted for babies.)
Garlic Flat Breadsticks with Tomato Dipping Sauce
Non-GMO, organic, local, vegan ingredients:
In a large skillet, add sliced garlic and a few tbsp water. Cook on low very briefly until soft. Add in cut flatbread (long strips) and cook until lightly toasted and crisp. Serve warm. Dip into warmed tomato puree or our tomato sauce over a flatbread. Limit portions to very small for older babies and children. Serve with vegetables as the main course. (Leave unsalted for babies. Our flatbread recipe coming soon!)
(The counter used here is from a temporary kitchen.)
Lentil Pizza & Soup
Lentils are a great source of: molybdenum, folate, dietary fiber, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron, protein, vitamin B1, pantothenic acid, zinc, potassium and vitamin B6.
Non-GMO, organic, local, vegan ingredients:
Lentils: Soak overnight in a large bowl of water. Cook in the morning in a large sauce pot on medium low. Lentils are faster to soften so check after 10-15 minutes to see how they’re doing. Use in many ways during the week. (This is one of our rotating occasional foods.)
Soup: Add lentils to the weekly vegetable soup. This very brilliant green soup is made of: Swiss chard, garlic, onion, leek, salt & pepper, cauliflower, asparagus. Nan bread with mustard makes the best spoon, and babies learn how to “dip.”
Pizza: Spread some tomato puree or our tomato sauce over a flatbread. Top with some cooked lentils, cut up asparagus, freshly ground pepper, tomato and cook in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the sauce sets. Sprinkle over some nutritional yeast (which is high in B12 and good, especially for vegans.)
(Sorry, the pizza was eaten before I had a chance to snap a pic. Whole family approved of this one.)
Our flatbread recipe coming soon!
Housekeeping Tip: When a messy skillet is still warm, rinse off and clean for an easier time. Earth friendly, cleanable/reusable/washable dishwashing products save you money, time, and are made of natural, sustainable materials that work, look, and feel great. (Local organic food stores carry them in the cleaning isle.)
In the Garden: Tomato plant seedlings have just sprouted. I designed a natural (fallen-branch) trellis for them to grow on. More on this part of the garden in the coming months. In the meantime, baby loves spraying “the babies” and helping them grow.
Designer’s Tip: If you’re thinking of stone countertops, try to find remnants so they don’t go to waste. Quartz companies who use post-consumer waste and recycle the water used and use storm water to make it is the better stone option. Choose a timeless, classic colour and pattern so if you move, the new residents don’t rip it out and waste it. It was interesting to go see these quartz stone patterns, but stone countertops are not sustainable. Removing stone from the ground merely for decoration is wrong. (It’s an ancient practice.) The production of them is not water or energy-efficient. They are very expensive. Feels strange to cut out spaces for sinks or waste any piece of stone that was taken out of the earth. Save the sink cut outs to use somewhere else: roll out dough on an oval on the counter, as a small tabletop, or in the garden. The slabs are like artwork or jewelry for the kitchen, which is an interesting idea, (I love painting artwork for my kitchen and for my customers), but to erase a stone section disturbs the balance of ages of maturing earth. It’s also cold to the senses, which does not add to the warmth of cooking with love. You can’t put the stone back into the mountain side if you get tired of it or have extra pieces.
Wood is warm, calming, and renewable, but we have to be careful about where it’s taken from, how often, who and what is effected, how it is treated, how the land is replanted, and then how we coat it and use it after it is installed. Research lumber that comes from sustainably managed forests. The entire life cycle is important to know before taking action by the way of purchasing lumber and products. A counter is essentially a table, floor, or space to prepare food, so keep it simple and ethical.
We designed our counter to be space and use efficient. A common misconception is that you need a big kitchen lined in counters, but really, you’d like properly designed storage for what you use daily to reduce clutter, dust, bad flow & a stuck feeling, accidents, and visual static. Just enough space to prepare meals comfortably. Arms can only reach so far at once. A space that is too big is uncomfortable and a lot to clean. Design the space to use for however many people you have using it all at once. Play act while you design: chopping carrots, doing dishes, eating meals. Leave us comments on sustainable home building and design that you’ve researched. We always love to learn about old and new ways of living sustainably.
The standards and go-to materials need questioning. What alternatives can be thought of and used instead of materials that subtract from the world’s health? Most businesses produce a massive amount of waste, most of which already depleted natural resources. What can each of us do to creatively reuse ‘waste’ or unwanted materials?
Music of the Moment: My Blue Heaven (A baby favourite!), Gene Austin. I love The Smashing Pumpkins version too, but hard to find album recording on youtube to share with you, only loud live ones. Sweet song, always gets a baby dancing and singing. It’s one of the songs I sang while pregnant and added it to a little song lyric book I made for baby. Babies remember the music and when they’re born, watch for their recognition of the music and lyrics. Change the names in the song for your family’s custom & meaningful verse. Amor Milagre will be selling Parent-Baby-Child books this year to help organize things like this!
Also always loved this video for Tonight Tonight, inspired by the amazing original film by Georges Méliès, Le Voyage dans la Lune / A trip to the Moon. I have all the available films by him. So lovely and excites me to work on our upcoming films soon! Tackling some big projects now, but many new Amor Milagre products will be revealed this year. Please stay tuned. ~Amor