What is Steff-stainability?

Living sustainably, my way. It's thinking about what you are putting into your body and how it affects you. But it's also indulging in a brownie cheesecake every now and then. It's making your body look the way you want it to and being proud of it. But it's not spending half of the day working out. It's about making small changes in your life to benefit the great earth on which we live. But it's also running your A/C in the summer and driving your car. It's about setting goals and living up to them. It's trying to make the world a better place. And as I am ever-learning and ever-changing, so is this definition.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Veggie Sandwiches

In an effort to save money, the hubs and I have started trying to eat more vegetarian meals. We love vegetables but we don't always know the best recipes for a meal that is fully vegetarian. This recipe is a variation of a veggie sandwich recipe I saw on allrecipes.com. I made my own flatbread with a recipe I usually use for pizza dough, but it always comes out so good that I just want to eat the crust! The flatbread/pizza dough recipe is great because it's quick. There's no rise time; you just mix the ingredients and bake it!

Flatbread/Pizza Dough

3 cups flour
1 package yeast
1 tsp salt
1 TBL sugar
Dried thyme and basil (optional)
1 cup warm water (~110 degrees F)
2 TBL vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt sugar, thyme, and basil. Add the water and vegetable oil and stir to combine. When it starts to seem like there isn't enough liquid for it to fully combine, start using your hands to knead the dough. On a floured surface (I just use my pizza stone), roll out the dough and transfer to the baking sheet if you haven't already done so. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

While the flatbread is baking, you can get the vegetables ready. You can basically use whatever you like; we used zucchini, yellow squash, 1/2 red onion, and mushrooms. I also think that peppers or tomatoes would taste delicious. We chopped the zucchini and squash width-wise and the red onion so that it became strips, and put them on the grill (definitely use a grill platter so they don't fall!). Brush them with olive oil so they don't char and cook them for about 15 minutes. We sauteed the mushrooms in some olive oil with salt and pepper.

When everything is done, you can put it all together. Cheese is also a good idea here; we have some fantastic sage cheddar that we got from the farmers market, so we used that as well.
This recipe is delicious and I really hope you give it a try! Please enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blogger Fail and Driving Cars

Yes, I know. I fail at keeping my blog updated. I had a good excuse for part of the time I've been away - 4 of my closest friends came to visit for a week for another wives reunion! I had a blast chatting with the girls and showing them around beautiful southern California, and the time I spent with my girlfriends (and the time our 2 Japan girls spent trying to get on a flight to see us!) reminded me how true friends make sacrifices for each other and when they get together, it's like no time has passed.

Anyway, that's no excuse for the fact that I've been gone for 3 weeks. I've just been lazy. But here I am, back at the computer, and ready to talk to you about my husband's favorite subject - cars!

So, let's say for your 18th birthday, your parents buy you a brand spankin' new car. It's perfect. It has everything you want, it's customized completely for you, and it has the capability to have an extremely long lifespan. Here's the catch: this is the only car you will drive for the rest of your life.

So would you get the oil changed regularly? Be sure to take it to the mechanic at every tune-up mileage? Pay for preventative maintenance and at the slightest sign of a problem make sure it is solved? Drive it safely and carefully? It IS the only car you'll ever have, after all.

Most people would have answered yes to all these questions. "Of course I would take care of a car I'd drive for the rest of my life," they say. "It's not like I can replace it."

What else might you have that you'll only have one of for the rest of your life?

What about your body? Unless you have some crazy superpower, your body is the only one you'll have for your whole life. Yet, people don't take preventative care of their body, and if something is wrong, they don't fix it. It's not like you can trade it out or sell it to replace it with a new one when it gets old and stops working.

So take care of your body! Pay attention to what you are putting in it, and what you are putting it through. We have evolved/were created to eat certain foods, foods that are absent in many people's diets. It's like your car is designed for 92 octane fuel but you put in 87 because it's cheaper.

Diet and exercise are two of the most important steps in preventative care for your body. If you would pay a little extra to keep your car in good shape, why wouldn't you do the same for your body?