Category Archives: Healthy food

Sustaina-Bowl

With the super bowl right around the corner, we’re all going crazy about who the better team will be – saints or colts?! Or we’re just excited for commercials and high calorie snack food. Staying green around this time of the year may be the last thing you want to worry about while planning your party, but its easier than you may think!

First, we have put together a collaboration of some of the best sustainable and local recipes we could find. A great way to be sustainable for your super bowl party is to “think veggies”. Of course we don’t mean you can only eat veggie trays and crackers. The super bowl deserves some heavy, cheesy snacks – Hey it only comes around once a year! Planet Green has some yummy, filling, veggie recipes for this super bowl like, Baked Potato Skins, Mini Calzones, and Upscale Nachos (these are not your average every day nachos!) Check out those recipes here: http://tinyurl.com/yc5z69u Mother Nature Network also has some delicious sustainable recipes including hearty Vegetarian Chili and flavorful Hummus: http://tinyurl.com/ykshg9m If you just can’t have your super bowl party with out the meat, check out this delicious sounding recipe for Chicken Kebabs with a Yogurt Cilantro Sauce: http://tinyurl.com/ybby86b Use all organic chicken for a perfect party meal. Hungry yet?

Also, keep in mind, “local, local, local”! Make sure you know what veggies are in season in your area and try to use those as main ingredients. Some good veggies this season in Texas include, broccoli, greens, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes! Mmm sweet potato fries with ranch dressing dip – perfect for your party! Use our favorite site for finding your state’s in-season vegetables: http://tinyurl.com/ylkagau If you live in Houston, shop for your fresh vegetables at the Highland Village Farmers Market http:/hvfm.com/

Now, what kind of serving dishes are you using? If you answered styrofoam or plastic, get off our page! – Just kidding, but really…don’t use those! Opt for something more sustainable, like biodegradable or paper plates. These can be torn up and thrown right into your compost, if you have one. If you don’t have a compost, paper plates are still better than styrofoam for numerous reasons such as, styrofoam’s hazardous effects on our health and its inability to biodegrade quickly (see our previous post all about this dangerous plastic). At OMPP we use all biodegradable materials – even down to our cups. Check out http://www.greenhome.com/ where you can order large numbers of sustainable party plates and drink ware for some pretty good prices.

Lastly, anytime you’re throwing a party, consider local and/or organic beer and liquor. One of our favorite local Texas beers is Saint Arnold: Learn more about them and their brewery http://www.saintarnold.com/ We found this blog: http://tinyurl.com/8grvj3 with a great guide of a few organic liquors.

As planning any party can be stressful, we hope our tips can help you to plan the perfect super bowl party this year. Your friends will be GREEN with envy (…sorry, had to)! Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, safe, sustaina-bowl 2010!


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Filed under biodegradable, Fresh, Fresh food, Go Green, Go Local, Green, Healthy food, houston, Houston Food, Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies, organic, sustainable

OMPP Hosts National Pie Day!

WHO BETTER TO HOST PIE DAY?: This public celebration of pie will be hosted by Oh My! Pocket Pies in coalition with House of Pies, Katz Coffee, Dacapo’s Pastry Café, Gallery M Squared, Little Miss Cupcake, and more.

WHAT IN TARNATION IS IT?: This family-friendly celebration serves to honor the great American pie, and has scheduled entertainment for all ages! A pie and coffee pairing will showcase samples of Katz various coffees and Oh my! Pocket Pies dessert pies; three hungry contestants will compete for prizes in the House of Pies pie eating contest beginning at 1 pm; local vibraphonist, Harry Sheppard, will perform classic pieces on his magical xylophone; kids can compete for prizes in a pie drawing contest (parents, pick up an entry sheet at Gallery M Squared prior to the event or on event day!); Little Miss Cupcake will be on-site offering special pie-flavored cupcakes made just for National Pie Day!

WHEN IT’S GOING DOWN: Saturday, January 23, 2010
12 to 2 p.m.

WHERE’S THE PIE?: 335 West 19th Street, in the Historic Houston Heights shopping district

CONTACT US: For more information, or to get involved in Pie Day, please contact Joanna at info@ohmypocketpies.com or (281) 902-9820.

ALL FOR PIE AND PIE FOR ALL!: Admission for National Pie Day is free and open to all ages. OMPP will be open, serving a full lunch menu during the event. Little Miss Cupcake will also be selling traditional flavored cupcakes to all!

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Filed under biodegradable, Fresh, Fresh food, Go Green, Go Local, Green, Healthy food, houston, Houston Food, Independent, Local, local houston, Mobile Food Truck, oh my pocket pies, sustainable

Process This!

Today, pre-packaged foods have almost completely taken over the average American diet. It’s so easy to grab that frozen package, boxed rice mix, and snack foods, but those foods can be dangerous to our health. According to Reader’s Digest about “Ninety percent of Americans’ household food budget is spent on processed foods, the majority of which are filled with additives and stripped of nutrients.”

Most processed foods are packed with sugars, salts, artificial flavors, factory fats, colorings, chemicals that alter texture, and preservatives. As if those dangerous ingredients added to the food weren’t bad enough for our health, “processed foods are often stripped of nutrients designed by nature to protect your heart, such as soluble fiber, antioxidants, and “good” fats.”

Reader’s Digest gives a list of four of the most harmful ingredients in processed foods: 1) Trans fats: Trans fats are in bakery muffins and crackers, microwave popcorn and fast-food French fries, even the stick margarine you think is a “heart-healthy” alternative to saturated-fat-laden butter. In fact, research has found that trans fat is twice as dangerous for your heart as saturated fat, and cause an estimated 30,000 to 100,000 premature heart disease deaths each year. This is because they boost your levels of bad cholesterol and decrease your good cholesterol. Many products use deceiving marketing, such as “Zero Grams Saturated Fat!” But remember to look deeper for those trans fats. This is where “partially hydrogenated oil” comes in. The more that is printed in the ingredients, the worse the food is for your heart.

2) Refined Grains: Refined grains include products such as white bread, rolls, sugary low-fiber cereal, white rice, or white pasta. Choosing these foods over whole grain foods can actually increase your chance of heart disease by 30%. “At least seven major studies show that women and men who eat more whole grains (including dark bread, whole-grain breakfast cereals, popcorn, cooked oatmeal, brown rice, bran, and other grains like bulgur or kasha) have 20 to 30 percent less heart disease.” Again, don’t let deceiving marketing practices fool you with words like “7 whole grains” or “made with wheat flour”. Read the ingredients: The first ingredient should be whole wheat or another whole grain, such as oats. The fiber content should be at least 3 grams per serving.

3) Salt: Three-quarters of the sodium in our diets is hidden in processed foods. This includes canned vegetables and soups, condiments like soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, fast-food burgers, and cured or preserved meats like bacon, ham, and deli turkey. Don’t get the wrong impression: Sodium is necessary in a healthy diet for regulating blood pressure, maintaining the body’s fluid balance, transmitting nerve impulses, making muscles contract, and keeping your senses working properly. Too much salt is the problem. With too much salt in your diet, your body retains water to dilute the sodium, raising blood volume, forcing your heart to work harder, constricting veins and arteries, thus raising blood pressure. For an average person, the sodium limit should be 1,500 milligrams per day, about the amount in three-fourths of a teaspoon of salt. Watch out for words like “reduced sodium” that may still contain high amounts of sodium.

4) High Fructose Corn Syrup: “Today, we consume nearly 63 pounds of it per person per year in drinks and sweets, as well as in other products.” High fructose corn syrup is in so many products because it is cheap, mixes easily with other ingredients, and is sweeter to the taste than natural sugar. Research shows that high fructose corn syrup messes with human metabolism, causing overeating, leading to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It also appears to force the liver to pump more heart-threatening triglycerides into the bloodstream. This stuff is everywhere, and nasty! So read your labels and stay as far away as possible!

Today, it seems we have many precautions in the grocery store. Make sure you are up to date with health and nutrition information, and read your labels before you buy. Some processed foods are better than others, but we recommend steering clear of most pre-packaged foods that boast easy preparation. When you know where your food came from, you will taste the difference, and your body will thank you!

For more information on processed foods visit Reader’s Digest’s article: http://tinyurl.com/56zqkdv

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Pie Season

With the Holiday season approaching, how can you stay organic without breaking the bank? What we like to call Pie Season, can be an expensive time for groceries. Your family wants to eat, and you want to feed them good, fresh, organic food.

A good go-to rule for buying organic is to focus mostly on the dairy, meat, and eggs in your groceries. Livestock are often fed pesticide-ridden, genetically modified corn feed, shot with extra hormones and antibiotics; all of which end up in our supermarket meat, dairy, and eggs. These elements cannot be removed from the products, whereas most of the pesticide residue found on produce can be washed away. Therefore, do not worry as much about all organic produce — focus on the meat of the issue!

When buying produce, however, you can take into consideration a few things about those non-organic veggies. Produce that takes a long time to grow, will be higher in pesticide content. The more sugar a fruit or veggie has, the more pesticides are used to ward off insects. The Environmental Workers Union gives us a list of some produce with higher pesticide levels (you might want to opt organic for these “dirty dozen”): Apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes (imported), nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and strawberries.

What else can you do to cut organic corners? 1) Print coupons: http://www.stonyfield.com/ and http://www.organicvalley.coop/ provide coupons and special offers for their products. 2) Portion control: Remember that the recommended portion size for meat is 3 ounces. Balance that with some veggies and whole grains for a full meal. 3) Try alternative proteins: Add other sources of protein to your diet such as beans, or tofu. You do not have to eat meat every day to get in your protein. 4) Generic organic: Most supermarkets have generic organic brands such as Safeway’s O Organics line, H-E-B’s Central Market Organic selections. 5) Bulk shop: Buy all of your non-perishables in bulk. Things like rice, canned soup and vegetables, dried fruits and nuts are all much cheaper in bulk. Organic brown rice in bulk is 99 cents per pound.

Find more tips and information at http://www.prevention.com/budgetorganic/

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GO LOCAL! Wait, what does that mean?

These days, we are hearing more and more talk about “going local” – But what does it really mean? One of the most understandable ways to explain going, or buying, local is to take a look at our produce. According to localharvest.org , “most produce in the US is picked 4 to 7 days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped for an average of 1500 miles before being sold.” That means, those big ripe, red, ripened-on-the-vine tomatoes you just bought, were cut off the plant far before they were ready!

Not only is taste affected by the distances fruits and veggies travel, but trucking and shipping to bring us our produce takes a toll on the environment. The shipping burns huge amounts of gas, and releases global warming pollution that also affects our health. We buy hybrid cars and cut down on our own driving, but when it comes to food, it is easy to forget that it has traveled farther than us to get to the grocery store!  

So you want to go local? Where to begin: Produce is the easiest place to start. Growing your own fruits and veggies can be fun, delicious, and not to mention beneficial to the environment! Sustainable Table offers tips and links to starting your own at home garden http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/growyourown/

But, if you don’t have much faith in your wilted green thumb for your only produce source, local farmers markets are a great place to go for tasty veggies, and to support local farms. The Local Harvest website provides an easy search for finding farmers markets near you http://www.localharvest.org/  With a search made that easy, now what’s your excuse?

Lastly, another resource that makes buying locally grown produce easy as Pocket-Pie is the Natural Resources Defense Council website http://www.nrdc.org/health/foodmiles/?gclid=CISLo7uPxZQCFQQrFQodpkZgFw  Here you can enter your location and time of year, and they will tell you what produce can be grown in your area. This way, you can shop at your local grocery store with a mindful of local produce knowledge. You know those strawberries in December aren’t from Texas – and you don’t want ’em!

Now, with all this help…how could you not go local?? And remember, the easiest way for all you Houstonians to go local – Stop by Oh My Pocket Pies where we serve only the freshest food made from all local ingredients!
See our Webpage to learn more: http://www.ohmypocketpies.com
Follow us on Twitter for specials, updates, and interesting information: http://twitter.com/OhMyPocketPies

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