1. Take pictures of the plates of food you want to remember as if they were for a menu. They kind of are. As long as you can recognize what it is, viewing picture files in its own folder is a great way to decide what you want for dinner, mixing and matching side dishes you’ve tried. Plus you learn to “plate.” If you haven’t made your plate attractive before for a camera, you will be surprised what it does for the experience of eating.
  2. Have a recipe bin that includes the day-to-day. If you forget the ratio of water to rice and how long to cook it, make a “recipe” for rice. Why not? Sushi rice (American grown) is 1.5 cups water per 1 cup rice in a glass bowl with a lid, microwaved for 10 minutes stirring once. Some rice needs more water. If the water is gone after 5 minutes add more and write down on the bag and/or in a file how much water it took.
  3. Many dark green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus and brussel sprouts that you don’t want to get limp, yellow and vitaminless are great microwaved. Line them in a single layer with 4 tbsp water sprinkled over the top of them in a microwave-safe dish, cover and microwave for 3 minutes. Add time as you need it.
  4. Make your own sauces and countless other prepared foods. Spy at the store to copy ingredients. Take for example a steak sauce you will really miss. Write down the top ingredients in order until you reach obviously irrelevant fillers down below or anything that you don’t use at home. Write “sugar” for all the corn syrups and things ending in –ose like dextrose. When you prepare, add the top ingredient on the label and plan on it being half of the total sauce. Maybe. Add a lesser amount of the second. How much is your guess. You can look at several recipes online to see if they match what you wrote down because if they do it helps with quantities. Skip and substitute as necessary. You might some ideas on "Cooking for Engineers" in the substitution list- one of the first articles. But be sure and write down the measurements of ingredients you use every time you are experimenting as you go. You never know until you taste it when you did it right so keep writing and adjusting. Then copy it for your recipe box (or bucket with index cards and scraps of paper in our case). What is amazing is how close you get on your first try and how much better yours will be when you’ve got it perfect than the store’s, not to mention cheaper.
  5. Try using Google Conversions and Google Calculator. If you type “1 cup in tbsp” in the search bar, you’ll get the answer. Start with what you have and then say “in <unit you want>” 3 quarts in cups, 3 cups in quarts, 2 liters in gallons. It also works with time, days, lengths, currency, temperature… you name it. If you’re trying to double batches etc., use the Calculator that also just works in the search bar. If you type 1+5, you’ll see 6 along with a link for more ways to use it. I did my most insane physics class multi-step calculations in Google by mastering the art of parentheses and copying and pasting answers into new equations. It is very handy for any level of math, and doubles as a nerd toy. Tell the nerd in your life.
Ok. That was a mish-mash. Thank goodness for categories and titles. Write us with your tips and recipes! You will see them here.

-Mary

p.s. If you see a useful tip or a yummy recipe on this page please help our site by crediting GMOFreePortland.com. :) Thank you
 


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    Why recipes & tips?

    Disorientation is what we felt when we suddenly felt compelled to shop, cook and dine differently. It happens at that point you know too much to eat GMO’s. It’s probably like being an exchange student. You know a lot of the language perhaps, but there’s layers of knowledge to gain by speaking it all the time.

    Since you’re not a native speaker, you may find out after several years that a word you’ve always used isn’t quite the right one. Plus, sometimes you really need a word and you don’t know what it is- you can’t wait so you put together some phrase that pretty much means the same thing. Every day it gets easier, and by necessity you learn quickly.

    What makes it harder is our assumptions and preconceptions- even half-truths (at best) we’ve been sold. I assumed citric acid came from citrus. I assumed natural flavors would not contain GMO’s. I assumed cage-free meant chickens lived outside of cages. I assumed things like GMO fish and meat and dairy from cloned cows would be labeled and I’d know when they were on the shelves. I thought genes worked the way I learned more than a decade ago and safety tests conducted by scientists proved GMO’s were safe. The reason we have to discuss and link to all the stuff coming from regulatory agencies and scientists is that by not knowing we accidentally ate GMO’s.

    We have only our perspective to write from, and challenges we hear about others facing. By going non-GMO, you are eliminating many prepared foods or switching brands to be non-GMO or organic. When we knew too much to eat any ever again once we spotted them, we suddenly had problems eating because we had some knowledge gaps, it cost too much, we couldn’t find food, and it was taking a lot more time. For some of you, time or money added will keep you from doing it- and you might shut the door on the truth because you think you are helpless until you have more time or money. That isn’t true. It may not all be on the website yet but since we do it, we will write about it and you could always call us (email us so we know what number is yours first and pick up) and we’ll bend over backwards to give you whatever you need to make it work. We’ll go shopping with you or answer your call, text message or email in real time if you have a question at a store or restaurant or whatever you need. Until we have a lot of this up as we think of it, we’ll use a blog so the newest is easily found and you can use key words (“categories”) below. Later we’ll change this page from a random tips and recipes blog to an organized guide page.

    You will see that we didn’t know the basics, so basics are often going to be here- like our fastest best way to cook rice. Anything we know how to do or that folks suggest we pass on will be here and some will be new because they are recipes we made up. Some things only apply to going no-GMO so they might be new too. And some people live on fast food and prepared dishes and will be lost in a kitchen (we know people like that) or think they have to buy Organics because it would be awful to make non-GMO food themselves. Its not- its delightful, easy and cheap. You feel better and eat better food and food becomes an experience that brings very good feelings. I’m not a cook. I throw things together and I’m becoming good at that- so much that some of what I do might now be called cooking. Anything that is really cooking will have come from you all and we’ll post it here too so we help other cooks too. Thank you for reading.

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