Calling All Chicken Experts

Help me out with these chickens please.  It probably doesn’t matter what they are  . . just so they aren’t meat birds.  Please excuse the photo quality.  The bigger chickens have a red light on them and it makes the color really bad.

It’s probably impossible to tell their breed since you can’t see their true colors but look at their wings.  They have typical chicken wings.  They’re kinda yellowy/orange.  I really don’t think they’re Cornish meat hens.

But, this is the weird one.  Look at its wing.  This is the one that’s yellowy/white in front.  Can  you see those little short wings?  What does that mean?

And, just so you can see the new babies . .

They’re doing good.  They’re a whole lot friendlier than the first batch.  Don’t ask me how I’m going to mix the two batches without problems but we’ll figure it out.  Their wings have a little bit of dark brown or blackish feathers.  They’re not going to be the same breed as was Ruby but at least they’re nicer than the others.

Using Up The Fruits & Veggies

You’re wondering what we do with all those fruits and veggies, aren’t you?  A month or so ago, a blogger friend mentioned the film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  We watched it and then we watched another couple of similar films and we both looked at each other and said “We have to change the way we eat!”

I am not recommending that anyone do what we’re doing . . I’m just telling  you what we’re doing.  At the time we first watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, we were already on Weight Watchers and we were doing good.  I love their recipes!  They’re mostly quick, one pot type meals.  You know how we love to eat and we enjoyed every recipe I’ve made.

We bought a juicer.  We’ve been having juice for breakfast and lunch and it’s amazingly filling.  We use a combination of any of these things:  lettuce, spinach, cucumber, zucchini, celery, ginger, strawberries, grapes, apples, pears, peaches, blueberries, mango, pineapple — just about anything we have goes into the juicer.  If you’ve ever done any juicing, you know how quickly you go through fruits and veggies in the juicer.  The cows are getting the pulp til the chickens are old enough to get it.

For dinner, we are now having a small meal.  We’re not hungry at all.  Vince is having coffee in the morning and I have one Dr. Pepper some time during the day on most days.  Wednesday night, after we picked up the food from the co-op, we had a little baked potato (each of us had one), we each had an artichoke and we had a salad with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes and blueberries and we used vinegar and olive oil for dressing.

Probably the item in the veggie box that would cause folks the most trouble would be the collard greens.  As you might imagine, I love those.  They’re good for you, they’re easy to grow in the south and they can be canned.  They will definitely be planted in my fall garden.  Here’s how I cooked mine:

Collard Greens with Black Eyed Peas (What could be more southern?)

2 bunches collard greens, washed and torn into pieces (maybe 3″ x 3″)
2 – 3 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1 can chicken broth
2 cans black eyed peas (I use half a pound of dried and cook them in the pressure cooker)
Tabasco
Salt, Pepper
Panko or bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned Panko because I had it in the pantry)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Saute the carrots, onions, celery and bell pepper in the oil.
  3. Add the torn collard greens and stir til wilted.
  4. Stir in the chicken broth, turn the heat down, cover and simmer til greens are tender.  Add water if needed.  You want to end up with barely any liquid in the pot so don’t add too much water.
  5. Stir in the black eyed peas, Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Once the mixture is heated thoroughly, pour into a greased baking dish.
  7. In a small bowl, combine Panko and grated cheese.
  8. Sprinkle cheese mixture on top of greens/peas mixture.
  9. Bake at 350º for about 25 minutes or until bread crumbs are getting brown.

That is really good and it’s fairly low fat.  There’s even a version on Weight Watchers that doesn’t have the celery, onion and bell pepper but those things make it better.

This morning I used those two big old bell peppers and made 4 stuffed peppers out of them.

That yummy looking cabbage . . corned beef, cabbage and Irish Soda Bread tomorrow.

We’re doing good!  We’re both losing weight, though as expected, Vince is losing more quickly than I am.  We both have energy and the evening meals, no matter how light or small, really taste good, when you’ve had nothing but juice all day.

We sometimes splurge on a weekend meal but we pick up right where we left off on Monday morning.