Open Tortilla, toppings left to right: salsa, chopped onion, jalapeno, and tomato, breaded cod, shredded cabbage, and El Tapatio hot sauce.
3 person version below has leftovers. Add 1/2 pound cod and this feeds 5.

1 fillet of cod, 1 lb, $3.99
2 eggs $ 0.60
2 cup bread crumbs (crumble crackers) $2
½ of a $2 cabbage
2 roma tomatoes $0.42
1/3 of a $ 0.60 onion
6 of a 10 ct. package of $5 large tortillas
1 jalepeno $0.09
1 lime $ 0.25
½ cup of a $3.49 pint of salsa
small amount of hot sauce

Total if you have none of this on hand $ 18.22 (Please redo the math subtracting what you already have and see what it actually costs you!)
Leftovers: ½ cabbage, 2/3 onion, 4 large tortillas and ~pint of salsa...
But with $2 more (1/2 lb more) of cod, this would have fed 5 adults for ~$20!


Cut fish fillet(s) into 1” strips.
Separate and keep 2 egg yolks & beat lightly in bowl
Spread bread crumbs on pan
Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on medium heat in large nonstick skillet.
Dip fillets in yolks, wiping away excess with fingers for a thin coat
Roll fillets in bread crumbs
Cook on medium heat until fish turns opaque white (15-20 minutes?)
Coat each tortilla, both sides, with water and shake excess away.
Stack tortillas on a plate, put another upside down over them and microwave 2 minutes- its is ok if they are bigger than the plate.
Slice cabbage thinly for shreds.
Dice tomato, onion and jalapeno. Cut up a lime and get out salsa & hot sauce
Note: If you want them all hot at once since it takes time to prepare each one, assemble all and place in a baking dish or two- and heat at 350 for 5 minutes.
Fish before and after 15-20 minutes over medium heat in 1 tbsp olive oil
This is the final soft taco- it was never plated. It was immediately eaten- stopping to take pictures was bad enough. But a little salsa, maybe a sour cream and guacamole mixture drizzled zig-zag across on a bed of cabbage with a lime slice? The best laid plans.

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Sometimes, it really isn’t about individual recipes. Instead, the focus is on the whole meal. Even then however, preparation can be quick and easy, with minimal clean up afterwards. Total cooking time is under an hour, while the actual prep time is just a few minutes.

We will start with the chicken. Organic, free-range chicken is the one meat that we can consistently find in a number of stores in the Portland area.  Fred Meyer, Safeway and New Seasons all carry organic chicken, either whole or in parts. We prefer to purchase a whole fryer and separate it. One fryer provides enough meat for three meals for Mary and I. Typically, we spend under $15 for a 4.5-5 pound bird at $2.99 per pound. We got good instructions on cutting up the chicken on cooking for engineers.

I removeed the thighs and drumsticks, leaving them whole. I then placed the thighs in a glass baking dish. I drizzled olive oil over the thighs and coated both sides with freshly ground exotic pepper (black, white, green & red peppercorns), kosher salt and oregano. I placed the dish in the oven and baked it at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, turning the thighs over after 25 minutes.

While the chicken was baking, it was time to make the salad. The salad shown here is organic butter lettuce. Wash and shred the lettuce, then top with Field Day’s Organic Lemon Tahini dressing.

The rice is also easy. In a microwave-safe glass container, add one cup of rice and 1½ cups of water and stir. To make clean up easy, simply put a paper towel under the dish before you start cooking. Any rice that spills out will land on the paper towel, instead of the bottom of the microwave. When the chicken has ten minutes left to bake, place the rice in the microwave and cook for five minutes. Stir and cook for another five minutes. Top with fresh organic butter.

Place the chicken, rice and salad on a plate and serve. After dinner, the glass dishes can be quickly rinsed out with soap and water. No need for heavy scrubbing if you start cleaning while the dishes are still slightly warm.

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Cranberry Oatmeal


Here is a quick and easy breakfast idea. Make up some instant oatmeal. Just pour boiling water over the oats, stir and let sit for a minute or two. (I recommend the Organic Quick Cooking Rolled Oats from Bob’s Red Mill). Add a little bit of Aunt Patty's Organic Agave syrup and dried cranberries!

The egg is free-range organic from New Season’s. This was fried over-easy in olive oil, topped with a fresh-ground pepper blend (black, white, green & red peppercorns).  Sometimes we add some fresh dill or freshly grated organic Parmesan. Total cooking time for both of these items should be under ten minutes. A great start for the day!

(Added: To Ernie, from Mary.... your addition of organic cranberries is brilliant. mmm! If y'all haven't had that before you won't believe how yummy.)

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Last summer, Dad shared some of his garden space with us. That garden contributed to this yummy meal we made last fall. The burger is Pacific Village 100% grass-fed beef from New Seasons. The bun is an organic onion bagel with organic tomato and lettuce from the garden. The organic tortilla chips are from Kettle Chips, made in Salem. The highlight of this meal though, is our Chipotle Potato Salad to the left. The Chipotle peppers also came from Dad’s garden. We’ve taken this to many potlucks and shared this recipe. This was the recipe that we began our recipe box with (a.k.a. the bin with scraps in it.)

Chipotle Potato Salad with all organic ingredients:

5 medium-large organic potatoes (approximately 3 lbs. Red, yellow, brown or mixed varieties)
1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise (purple jar)
3 hard-boiled eggs, diced (optional, omit for vegan recipes)
3 tbsp. agave syrup
2 tbsp. organic yellow mustard (or 1 tbsp. mustard powder)
2 finely minced chipotle peppers
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt & Pepper (optional, season to taste gradually at last step)

Scrub potatoes, leaving the skin on. Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until potatoes are covered by an inch of water. Heat the water to boiling. Boil potatoes for 25 minutes. Drain and refill the pot with cold water. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

While waiting for the potatoes to cool, chop up the eggs, onion, garlic and *peppers. When the potatoes have cooled sufficiently to touch, dice them up into ½ to ¾ inch cubes. Put diced potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir. Add additional honey, mustard, Vegenaise, parsley, cumin, or **salt to taste. If time permits, place the finished potato salad in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the oil from the peppers to seep into the potatoes, giving it a little extra kick!

Makes approximately 8 servings. If you are taking this to a potluck, put out a warning sign to alert people that it is spicy! We actually make a list of all ingredients so that people with diet restrictions can choose accordingly.

*Here is a tip to save your fingers from burning. Use a hand-held electric coffee grinder to chop up the peppers. Shake it up and down to force the lightweight flakes through the blade. If you wipe out the grinder carefully, you can use it for coffee, chilies, anise, rosemary, cumin or blends. You can pick up a used grinder at Value Village, which benefits the Arc.

**This is a low sodium recipe, with about 85 mg sodium per serving from the Vegenaise.

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Rising Moon Organics’ Margherita Pizza topped with New Season’s Spicy-hot Italian sausage (one link per pizza, cut into 12 pieces and grilled before adding to pizza), lemon-cucumber squash and zucchini.  Dipping sauce made with equal parts tomato paste and water, plus tsp. garlic powder, tsp. salt, 1 ½ tsp. onion powder and Tbsp. Italian Seasoning, heated.

Displayed in front of plate: eggplant, fresh figs, avocado and lemon.

We got the squash, eggplant and figs from Zenger Farm just for going to the 4 pm guided tour that happens during open house Fridays. You can go to Zenger too- its on SE Foster right on the bus line. No kidding. We’re writing the August Featurette about Zenger right now in the “New!” tab.

Price $5 for Pizza base at New Seasons, $0 for squash, $1.16 for sausage link (NS) + can of organic tomato paste (half price if Costco for 12) or $1.29 max at Freddy's. Everything else we had. $7.45 total

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  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.


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

    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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