Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sham-free No-poo

A little more than a month ago I was reading on "How To Hair Girl" about this new movement of people going shampoo free. The chemicals in the modern shampoos are scary, and the idea is that the chemicals strip our hair and scalp of their natural oils. This leaves us stuck in a cycle of having to shampoo because it can't moderate itself. I've been moving this way for a couple of years anyways. I stopped dying my hair when I got pregnant and my hair gets very dry so I've been shampooing only every three days. So I decided to try it.
 Now, this does not mean that you don't care for it. No hairstyle products at all! Every three or four days I've rinsed my hair with about a tbsp of baking soda disolved in warm water followed by diluted apple cider vinegar.
 The first two week were a little rough. Right around my hairline got a little stringy and greasy so I did a lot of brushing to distribute the oils through to my dry ends and I wore it up most of the time.
 But it's been over a month now and it's seemed to have evened out!^^ It's been wavey and easy to handle. After I do the rinses it's very shiney and thick. It hasnt gotten really hot yet so I'm curious to see how it goes when I'm sweating but I've read quite a few comments that rinsing it with hot water every day helps keep everything balanced. And I think I'll try some natural dry shampoo just to add some nice fragrance for special times.
 So, that's the story so far. I'll keep you posted. Please, tell me, would you do it? Have you done it? What's your hair like before and after?

Our Probably-Not-Really-Mexican-But-Neither-Are-We Meal (Refried beans done right)

Sunday's are busy at our house. We all shower, eat breakfast, dress up, pack lunch and leave by 9. Go to meeting, eat lunch at the Kingdom Hall, go in service til about 2, and when we get home we have to at least try to tidy the chaos that we made while getting ready to leave. So Sunday dinner's are easy. I do use canned beans on Sundays but you could certainly use dry beans that have been boiled ahead of time.
These beans are so flavorful you might never go back. They are more effort than opening the cans and scraping it into a saucepan, but after you've done it once you can fly by the seat of your pants and make them according to your mood that night. We ate the Summer Corn Salad with our burritos tonight.

Personally Refried Beans

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 onion chopped finely
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each cumin
pinch of cloves
chili flakes to taste (optional)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter

In a heavy skillet saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil until almost translucent. Add spices and stir quickly, keeping things moving so that they don't burn.

Add can of tomatoes with juice. Simmer until thick.

Add beans and mix well. Add water until there is still a layer of beans above the water line. Simmer, mashing occasionally with a wooden spoon or potato masher until it's as thick/smooth as you want.
When you take it off the heat stir in the butter. Do not skip this step. It brings it all together and keeps it form getting pasty and dried out. And it's butter. Don't skip butter.

No finished product picture for this one, because let's face it, refired beans aren't pretty. But please let me know how you use yours and how you like it! Cass

Summer Corn Salad

I'm a little ahead of the yearly schedule on the salad. This is a perfect dish for those couple of weeks in summer when you have more tomatoes and cucumbers than you know what to do with and the corn is still at it's yummiest. I made this last year when uncle john and aunt shiela came over and it was requested three other times before the summer was over.

Summer Corn Salad

1 cup of corn kernals
1 cucumber peeled and chopped into bite size pieces (size according to your taste. I like to be able to fit a few pieces of different things on my fork.)
1 tomato also chopped, same size as cucumber
1 avocado, ditto ^^
1 lime
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt and pepper
red wine vinegar

Mix the vegetables and cilantro together. Squeeze lime and taste and salt/pepper it to taste. Add vinegar if it needs some brightening.
Other possibilities:

Add a can of black beans to make it a hefty main dish next to nachos
Lose the corn and cilantro, add shaved fennel and basil instead

photo taken by spencer gerken