Monday, April 30, 2007

Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup

Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 leeks, bulb only, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans vegetable broth
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, cannellini beans, bay leaves and cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and stir in the couscous. Cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Friday, April 27, 2007

How's that diaper pail smelling latley?

Green mama that I am I use cloth diapers... any of you w/ kids knows how that odor changes as the kids start to eat solid foods. WOW! I couldn't believe the difference between breast milk poops and solid food poops - maybe I would have waited well past the recommended 6 months to start solids had I known!

I used a dry pail for my diapers in the beginning and I noticed a foul odor not too long after they started eating solids. This odor wasn't just the poop... it was the diaper. When the kids would have a wet diaper the diaper would STINK really bad... not just like pee, and they were causing bad rashes on both kids. I couldn't figure it out. I stripped and stripped and stripped the diapers again and that odor just HUNG ON! I was getting really frustrated because I really didn't want to give up on the cloth diapers, but I also didn't want the kids to STINK and have horrendous diaper rash (which cloth is not supposed to cause)!

While I was staying at my mom's for the month of March she was talking to me more about Shaklee and shared a list of uses for Basic H2. On that list was the recommendation to use a wet pail with 1 teaspoon of Basic G and 1/4 teaspoon of Basic H2 to cut down on odor. I thought what the heck, I'll give it a shot... and it not only eliminated (not just cut down... ELIMINATED) the diaper pail odor it solved my smelly / rashy diaper problem.

I had already been keeping the pail in the bathroom and away from babies so I don't have to worry about curious kids knocking the pail over and drowning themselves. So word of CAUTION: if you are going to try this please please please move your diaper pail to a safe location where kids won't have access to it. Having it in the bathroom makes it easier to dump the poop in the toilet anyway!

And just for fun here is the list of uses for the best cleaner in the world: Basic H2

100% Organic Non-Toxic
Biodegradable Non-Irritating
Not a Soap Non-Magnetic
Not a Detergent Non-Volatile



General Cleaning: Use ½ teaspoon to quart of warm water. It cleans kitchen doors, woodwork, walls, ceilings, etc.

Appliances and Bathroom Fixtures: Use ¼ teaspoon to pint of water. It leaves refrigerators odor-free and sanitary. Great for bathroom tile!

Windows, Mirrors, All Glass: Use 1 – 2 drops in 4oz spray bottle. Wipe dry with paper towel. Do not use a lot of Basic-H or glass will smear.

Dishes: Use ½ teaspoon in the dishpan. Fill dirty pans with water, add ½ teaspoon Basic-H2 and let stand to loosen stuck particles.

Automatic Dishwashers: Use Shaklee Dishwasher Concentrate.

Floors: Use 1 tablespoon to a gallon of cold water, wring mop and wipe up dirt. Leaves floor shining. To remove wax use Basic-I.

Dusting: Squeeze sponge out of solution of ¼ teaspoon to pint of water. With almost dry sponge, wipe of dust, fingerprints, candy spots, etc. Or use spray bottle and clean cloth. Everything disappears from furniture, leaving wax finish beautifully bright and non-magnetic, making it unnecessary to dust as often.

Fruits and Vegetables: Use ¼ teaspoon to pint of water. Wash and rinse. It removes residues of poisonous sprays and grime of handling in transportation. Also removes grit from leafy vegetables.

Woolens, Silks, Nylons, All Fin Fabrics: Use ½ teaspoon to basin of water. For spots, apply a drop or two directly on the spot and press in with thumb. Immerse garment in cold water solution of 1 teaspoon per gallon of water, let stand a few minutes, then rinse by squeezing water through and laying out to dry.

Spot Remover: Apply Basic-H2 directly on spotted area. Use a toothbrush or finger to rub Basic-H2 into area. Wipe off with damp cloth or rinse in basin of water (Coffee, lipstick, ink, grass, etc).

Frying Vats: Use ½ cup to 3 gallons of water. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. It dissipates stubborn crusts without damage to vats.

Concrete and Mortar Mix: Use ½ oz. to a gallon of water. Makes cement and mortar spread easier and smoother, set harder.

Knives: Use a few drops on cutting stone for sharpening knives. Keep moist and add as needed. Doesn’t clog stone, which is very important in sharpening tools. Stone rinses free of residue.

Phonograph Records: Use same solution as for glass. Clean with soft, dry cloth. It leaves no residual magnetism.

Wallpaper: Excellent in removing wallpaper.

Aquariums: Use 1 teaspoon per quart of water. Clean coral, rocks, entire aquarium with Basic-H2 solution. Rinse thoroughly.

Diapers: Use ¼ teaspoon of Basic-H2 and 1 teaspoon of Basic-G to pail of water. It eliminates odors in the washroom when diapers must stand.

Fish Odors: Use ½ tablespoon per quart of water. Basic-H2 cleaning solutions work wonders around boats, docks and other “fishy” places.

Boat Algae: Use ½ tablespoon to gallon of water.

Spray Snow or Poster Paint on Windows: Remove it with ¼ teaspoon to quart of warm water.


Protecting Hands: Apply at full strength to hands for lasting protection as an industrial skin guard. It is great as invisible gloves before painting.

Cleaning Hands: Put a few drops in palm. Rub thoroughly over both hands and add a little water. Continue with usual washing action. Add a touch more water as needed and rinse. Removes tobacco stains, onion and garlic odors. Variation – mix ¼ Basic-H2 and ½ water in a 4 oz squeeze bottle.

Gum: Use full strength to remove gum from skin or carpeting.

Painting and Dyeing: Apply full strength to hands before painting or dyeing. Paint or dye will wash off easily. Be careful not to get Basic-H2 in eyes.

Shoe Cleaner: Use 1 drops on a wet cloth. It will not remove wax. Shine with dry cloth.


Washing: Use ½ tablespoon to gallon of water. Wash small area at a time, and hose off. Wiping dry is not necessary. Wipe windshield, windows and chrome with paper towels after rinsing. Bugs and road grime float away.

Engines: Use ½ oz to one gallon water to clean engine. It will not affect paint, gaskets or insulating material. Best results can be achieved when the engine is hot for fastest drying of the ignition system.

Battery Terminals: Use ¼ teaspoon to pint of water. Spray on battery terminals, let soak for 2 minutes and clean with wire brush. Use full strength Basic-h on battery terminals to avoid corrosion or galvanic action.

Automobile Radiator: Use ½ tablespoon to radiator full of water or anti-freeze. This prevents rust.


Air Filters: Use ¼ teaspoon to quart of warm water. Air filters are cleaned with excellent results, leaving them free of dirt, oil, or chemical residue.

Rose Bushes: Use ½ teaspoon to gallon of water. Spraying rose bushes will protect them from red spider and other diseases, and also fertilize them.

House Plants: Use a few drops in water. Water plants and they will flourish. Use to wipe down leaves also.

Green Lawns: Use 1 tablespoon to “ortho-type” bottle applicator full of water. This should let 2 gallons of water through applicator to spray on lawn like liquid fertilizer.

Outside Windows: Use ½ teaspoon to “ortho-type” bottle applicator full of water. This should let 2 gallons of water through applicator to spray on windows and screens.

Humidifiers: Use 1 or 2 drops in water to help prevent rust and scum.

Water Soluble Gum Tape: Use 2 to 3 drops in a 16 oz spray bottle, or tape dispenser with water tank.

Ironing: A few drops in steam iron will keep the jets and interior clean.

Plumbing: Will keep pipes open and clean when used regularly. It emulsifies grease and can eliminate cleaning of grease traps.


Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Fill toilet tank dispenser with Basic-H2. Place in toilet tank. It will automatically release a measured amount of Basic-H2 when you flush, to keep toilet bowl clean for months.

Basic-G: Can also be used in toilet tank dispenser full strength or diluted. Basic-G cleans with biodegradable agents while it disinfects and is even veridical when used as directed. Basic-G will deodorize bathroom areas, garbage cans and other areas where bacterial growth can cause unpleasant odors. Basic-G is concentrated for economy.


Basic-H2 is the most economical cleaner you can buy. One quart makes 192 gallons of cleaning solution by following directions.

Do Not Use More Than Recommended. A little goes a long way! Save $$!

Basic-H2 contains no acids, no alkalis, no kerosene or solvent, and has no offensive or detergent odor.

Basic-H2 has s pH factor of 6.5, right in the range of human skin.

Basic-H2 makes water many times wetter.

Basic-H2 is a fantastically versatile cleaner. The successor is soap!

Basic-H2 does not hinder bacterial action of septic tanks or cesspools.

DO NOT put fingers or foreign matter into Basic-H2 container. Large amounts of bacteria can cause degrading action and weaken your cleaner.

If a heavy-duty cleaner is required, use Basic-I.

In extremely stubborn areas of grease or stains, use Shaklee At-Ease scouring cleaner.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shaklee, the first company in the world to be Climate Neutral(TM) certified

Shaklee is the first company in the WORLD to become Climate Neutral certified thus making a net zero impact on the environment. Shaklee is now buying 100 percent green energy or renewable power to meet its purchased electricity needs.

Shaklee will purchase its green or renewable power from San Francisco-based 3 Phases Energy, a renewable energy supplier. Renewable power is derived from a sustainable source such as wind, solar, or geothermal energy.

You can link to the entire story HERE.

I am so happy to know that I am contributing my small part to this company by "Shaklee-izing" my home. I now use their cleaning products (GET CLEAN), their skin care (ENFUSELLE), their make up (MINERELLES) and am now looking into the NUTRITION products.

The Green Girls will start offering their products under their own site soon.... stay tuned!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Portobello and Red Pepper Quesadillas

Portobello-and-Red Pepper ‘Quesadillas’

This Candle Café specialty will wow anyone who tries it.

For the Bean Purée:
1 cup white, black, or pinto beans (or use canned)
1 1-inch piece kombu (seaweed found in Asian markets or health food stores) (I use canned so no sea weed)
1 minced garlic clove, or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili or chipotle powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

For the Filling:
2 large portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 12-inch flour tortillas
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2/3 cup grated soy cheese (you can obviously use REAL Cheese - I substitute the cheese for Avocado)

• First, prepare the bean purée. Pick over and rinse the beans and put them in a bowl with the piece of kombu, add enough water to cover by about 2 inches, and set aside to soak for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
• Drain the beans, reserving the kombu, and transfer them both to a soup pot. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the beans, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside, reserving about a cup of cooking liquid.
• Transfer the beans to a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, chili powder, sea salt, lime juice, cilantro, and a bit of the cooking liquid and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. The purée can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
• Preheat the oven to 350°F.Prepare the quesadilla filling: Toss the mushrooms and pepper in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside.
• Assemble the quesadillas and bake until warmed through, about 15 minutes, turning once. Or, for a crisper result, broil or grill the quesadillas for about 5 minutes per side. Cut into quarters and serve at once.

Makes 4 servings

From The Candle Café Cookbook
by Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza with Barbara Scott-Goodman
Get more vegetarian recipes from

Earth Day in review!!!

I'm not sure about your part of the world, but here in Midwest America we had FABULOUS Earth Day weather. The family spent a GOOD part of the day outside... to include an evening on a blanket plopped down in our front yard. The neighbors were out and we all got to spend some good time together after mostly not seeing each other over the winter.

We're all charged up by Earth Day... ready to do all of the things that Oprah recommended in her show:

From changing to energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs) to buying Shaklee's Get Clean Home Health Kit

but my question to everyone is... will this be akin to new years resolutions? As soon as the mass media stops talking about it on every channel of the tv and radio will you forget and go back to your non-green ways?

Our hope here at Green Girl's Guide is that you will check back often for your daily dose of what to do next! For your reminders and inspiration to continue on w/ your resolutions of yesterday!

We've got one planet it's up to us to keep it green!

We are thinking and working on ways that we can better support your need to be GREEN so please give us any ideas and feedback about what you need to keep you motivated. Is it product you are looking for? If so, what products would you like easy access too? Is it information? Give us some hints and we'll do our best!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Shaklee featured on Oprah

Today's Oprah called Go Green featured many different things you can do to help save your plant earth.

Oprah featured Shaklee Get Clean cleaning products and in response Shaklee is waiving the membership fee of $19.95 - You can chose to become a member to get member pricing - the cost is $19.95, but this is being waived. Now is a great time to sign up and GET CLEAN... check out this link to get your products TODAY!

Let me know if you need any help.

Earth Day 2007

Founded 37 years ago, Earth Day was the start of the modern environmental movement. Spurred by deteriorating environmental conditions, Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, proposed the first nationwide environmental protest "to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda. " "It was a gamble," he recalls, "but it worked." (Read more on the history of Earth Day HERE from Earth Day Network)

Today, with the threat of Global Warming, celebrating our earth is even more important. I have been watching the Planet Earth series on the Discovery Channel and if I didn't already think the beauty and diversity of our planet was worth fighting for and saving, I certainly do now. I highly recommend this show. The photography and video is absolutely stunning, and offers us a glimpse into worlds rarely seen.

Earth Day gives us a chance to celebrate this wondrous place we live and there are many different things we can do. Many cities have Earth Day celebrations, HERE is a link to a calendar containing events in different cities across the US. Defenders of Wildlife challenges you to "take the pledge" to take a young person out in nature. Check them out HERE. The Green Guide is a great resource for Earth Day ideas, you can find Ten Tips for Earth Day: Preserving Biodiversity HERE. They are also a great resource for all things green - you can get a subscription for as low as $12 per year (if you choose the online version), or $15 per year if you choose the paper version (made of recycled paper and printed with soy ink). Click The Green Guide if you are interested. Other simple things you can do are plant some seeds. Get some cute pots and have your kids help you. Also, be conscious of your footprint on the earth. If you haven't already done so, replace a lightbulb, make sure your tires are properly inflated (or better yet take public transportation!), visit your local farmers market and buy some scrumptious locally-grown produce. Have an Earth Day potluck - invite friends over and make it a local theme. Whatever you do, enjoy the day and really remember what Earth Day stands for and celebrate the bounty of nature.

Happy Earth Day my green friends! I will be thinking of you as I celebrate my Earth Day on the beautiful Oregon Coast.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

gDiapers and Earth day

Gdiapers is offering a 15% discount on their diaper inserts in honor of Earth Day ... you can check it out by clicking below:

30 reasons to become a vegatarian

I found this video at - it focuses more on animal cruelty/rights than it does on health and the environment, but it has a powerful message. I am WARNING YOU... this has some very graphic footage... if you are queasy or faint of heart you shouldn't watch it, but if you don't watch it b/c you don't want to see animals slaughtered and you eat meat... you might want to think about that and at least visit

Watch more videos at

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

recycle then compost

I was over at my friend Marie's and had a "DUH" moment. I walked by her crock pot and saw a bunch of frozen veggie scraps and a chicken carcass cooking away. I asked her what it was and she said that whenever they make a salad or any dish w/ veggie scraps instead of throwing them out they put them in the freezer then when they have a chicken carcass they put it all in the crock pot to make stock! Wow... DUH! How easy! I could make veggie stock instead of buying it from the store and having to throw away the container... and all from SCRAPS that I would either throw away or compost!

After you use the scraps you can compost them (veggie stuff only, unless you have a GREEN CONE... then you can toss that bird in there too!).

Thanks for the GREAT idea Marie!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Green Home items

Here are some things you can do around the house to "green up" the place.

1. Switch from your plastic food storage containers to glass (as the plastic wears out of course - don't just throw perfectly good Tupperware in the garbage - creating unneeded waste - b/c you want to replace it.) Here are some resources for glass food storage containers: Crate and Barrel,, Kitchen Etc., and Wisementrading.

BECAUSE: Not only does glass not leach harmful toxins into your food it is made with out the use of petroleum and can be recycled easily into more glass again and again and again.

2. Use cast iron (the original non-stick) instead of non-stick coated pots and pans. You can get cast iron pots and pans at any good retailer. Check out Williams Sonoma or Crate and Barrel. And for those of us that are a bit more thrifty - JC Penney also carries some really nice looking cast iron. The good news is that when cast iron is cared for properly it lasts forever. My mom has plenty of cast iron that is much older than I!

BECAUSE: The use of non stick coated pots and pans has not yet been proven to cause problems for humans, but the development and application of these coatings does create perfluoroocrtanoic acid which has been shown to cause developmental problems in lab animals. Cooking in cast iron can increase the amount of iron in a food by around 80% - good news for all of us veggies out there. Plus it cooks things very evenly and can go from stove top to oven.

3. Purchase some reusable bags. Karen and I have used the following bags and REALLY like them: Envirosax, good size w/ nice handles that fit over your shoulder. They come in awesome prints (b/c you want to look good carrying your bags) and roll up nice and small. And the lady that developed them is SUPER COOL. Chico Bags, almost exactly the size of a shopping bag, hold about 20lbs, come in fun colors, stuff (I'm better at stuffing than folding) into an attached little bag for easy storage and have a hook to hook them on about anything. Cafe Press, you can get one w/ your Green Girl splashed all over it! This one is large w/ long handles that will go over your shoulder as well. It doesn't fold up as small, but it says GREEN GIRL on it! Come on! :)

BECAUSE: Decrease the amount of bags hitting the land fill by using yours over and over again!

4. Switch to non-toxic dish washing detergents such as Shaklee or Seventh Generation.

BECAUSE: Conventional detergents pollute the water supply with chlorine and phosphates.

5. As your incandescent bulbs burn out replace them with compact fluorescents - CFLs.

BECAUSE: They last longer - about 10x longer - and will cost about $30 less over the life of the bulb. Yeah, less energy therefore less money leaving your pocket! One CFL can save 450 pounds of emissions from a power plant over its lifetime.

6. Use recycled toilet paper!

BECAUSE: According to the Natural Resource Defense Council we are destroying valuable habitat to make our disposable paper products - "But if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of 70-sheet virgin-fiber paper towels with 100 percent recycled towels, 544,000 trees could be saved."

7. Change all of your household cleansers from conventional cleaners to either natural "around the house" cleaners (see below) or to a non-toxic environmental variety like Shaklee (have I beat that horse enough yet? Can't help it ... it's what I use and I believe in their products.) Some natural cleaners you could use around the house include vinegar, baking soda and good old fashioned elbow grease.

BECAUSE: Conventional cleaners contain many harmful chemicals that are not only introduced to our water system, but are released into the air in YOUR HOME while you use them.

8. Install a rain barrel to collect run off water. Here are some options: The Rain Saver: Quite a pretty option as rain barrels are concerned. Clean Air Gardening: This site has ALL KINDS of barrels.

BECAUSE: m The more water you can conserve from rain water the less fresh water you use on your lawn and the less water that has to be processed in a water treatment plant!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Prius vs. Hummer?

There have been a lot of articles recently about the "dust to dust" cost to society over the full lifetime of a car or truck with particular emphasis on the Prius, a hybrid which gets excellent gas mileage vs. the Hummer, a large to medium size SUV which gets horrible gas mileage. Most of these articles claim that the Prius actually costs our society more than the Hummer: $3.25 per mile driven over 100k miles vs. $1.95 per mile driven over 300k miles. Yesterday I read an article in the Oregonian titled "Smug Alert" where the author also talked about the nickel in the Prius' battery. Apparently the nickel is mined in Sudbury, Ontario, which is an environmental wasteland - NASA even chose that site to test drive lunar buggies because it is the one spot on earth that is most like the moon. He also talks about the distance the nickel has to travel (start to finish more than 10k miles) and tries to factor the "global emissions" caused by this travel.

I will say first of all, that while I do not own a hybrid vehicle, I love them and am a big fan. This smearing (in my opinion) prompted me to do a little research of my own. First I looked into the mining in Sudbury. Apparently the place was an evironmental wasteland LONG before Toyota started buying 1,000 tons a year. They have actually done a bit of clean up and planted some trees in the area to try and revitalize the landscape. While I don't blame Toyota for the devastation, I do think it would be a great move on Toyota's part to help with the clean-up and environmental restoration of the area. It would say a lot about Toyota's true commitment to the environment.

Second, the mileage numbers that the author used: 100k for a Prius and 300k for a Hummer? I just don't believe it. For one thing, Toyota consistently makes cars that are reliable and long lasting. For another thing, since the Pruis is a hybrid, some of the time the engine is not actually running. So while the mileage might say 100k, the engine will actually have far less usage. So far there have been Prius' that have hit the 250k mark, which is not surprising for a Toyota vehicle or a hybrid, in my opinion. However 300k miles on a Hummer would greatly surprise me. I have a hard time believing the mileage discrepancy between the two vehicles would be that large.
Another concern that people have with hybrids is the the battery, and what is going to happen to all those batteries once their life span is over. While I can't speak for other car manufacturers, Toyota's battery has an 8-10 year warranty. Toyota offers a $200 credit to return the battery, when they then dismantle it and recylce all the parts.

All in all, I believe that Pruis and other hybrid vehicles are the way to go. Also a great option are cars with traditional engines that achieve excellent gas mileage. Honda now makes a civic hybrid that runs on natural gas and is the cleanest burning car on the road. (too bad it's only available in CA and NY right now) Diesel engine cars are also a great option with biodiesel becoming more available, unfortunately there are few diesel cars to choose from in the US. Hopefully that will change as the demand for alternative-fuel vehicles grows.

You can check out the full Dust to Dust report by CNW Research HERE.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

This Moment on Earth - the Kerry's

John and Teresa Kerry were featured on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (click HERE to view the video) promoting the environment and their book This Moment on Earth about REGULAR folks impacted by toxicity in our environment and what we as REGULAR folks can do to help fix it.

According to the Kerry's we have 10 years to make this right before we have a major catastrophe. John Kerry is saying that the US needs to take a stand and be the leader and research to do better by the environment. It's expensive, but it's only going to get more and more expensive as we wait. It makes me think about visits to the dentist where I'm told I need a crown... it's expensive, but not as expensive as waiting until I have an absess and need both a root canal and a crown... hmmm.

Watching some of the highlights from the book - namely the info about Rick Dove and his experience while he was fishing (watch the video) has solidified my decision to go Vegetarian. Yes, I've decided to go that way. :) I've already been eating that way for a bit and I even feel better. Now I have to decide whether or not to take my family (well, my kids I can't make my husband change the way he eats) with me.

I plan to check the book out when it hits my local library and will share more about it then.