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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Negative Rice

      A clever reversal of typical beans and rice using black rice and white beans.  When cooking dark wile rices, I usually boil the rice in low sodium organic veggie broth.  Rinse and toss in the beans, throw in some veggies or wilted greens, and you're good to go.  Talk about an easy dinner, and it's always a hit.

      For a finishing touch, I hit it with just a pinch of truffle salt.

      As always, let me know if you try it! This one is super kid friendly.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Stuffed Peppers

Orange bell peppers cut into jack-o-lanterns, stuffed with quinoa, kale, and just a little parmesan cheese and tomato sauce.   Peppers and kale from the Farmer's Market. Pictured on a bed of sauteed zucchini, japanese eggplant, and peppers also from the Farmer's Market.
Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Chop up the kale and steam it until soft but not mushy. Mix the quinoa and kale with just enough tomato sauce and parmesan cheese to moisten the mixture. Fill the peppers and bake at 350 until the peppers just start to soften. Enjoy a delicious, fun, and very healthy Halloween dinner! As always, let me know if you try it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Focaccia Pizza

Start with some fresh focaccia, either made from scratch or from a bakery.  We cheated this time and used bakery style.  Turn the bread upside down and "hallow out" the middle to form a crust.  Coat with organic tomato paste as sauce.  Add veggies of your choice; we used green and red peppers, oregano, and basil - all from the garden, and mushrooms and onions. Top with humane cheese (like Stonyfield farms or Cabbot) or a veggie cheese, and bake at 350 until it looks the way you want it.  Delicious, quick, and easy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Eggplant Tagine

      Tried a new Moroccan inspired recipe tonight, and it was a hit.  Eggplant, zucchini, and squash salted for 20 minutes, rinsed, and broiled for 20 minutes.  Onion, garlic, and mushrooms sauteed together and seasoned with cardamon, cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric a pot with tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced new potatoes (skin on), and chickpeas.  Throw in the eggplant, zucchini, and squash and enjoy!

      As always, please let me know if you try it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mexican Cabbage and Individual Apple Crisps

Tonight, we had mexican cabbage, a recipe from Happy Herbivore, using up a bunch of the leftover green and purple cabbage in a simple, delicious, vegan recipe packed with nutrients.

And since everyone ate all they were served, we got to have individual Apple Crisps for dessert.  These are really easy to make, just core some organic apples, but leave the bottom in so it's like a cup.  Coat the inside with cinnamon. At the same time, soak 1/2 cup of steel cut oats (I use the 5 minute kind) in water for 10 minutes or so and preheat the oven to 350.

Mix together the oats, drained, with1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup brown sugar or a substitute, and 1/3 cup butter substitute.  The mixture will be rough and crumbly.

Fill the apples with the mixture and bake for 35 minutes or until the apples are soft and the crisp is crisp.

These are excellent with Stonyfield Farms humane vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mama's Cold Remedy Soup

     Most - I think all - kid's cold remedies and expectorants have been  taken off the market. So when Flintstone came down with a cold I can only imagine he picked up from the Dr's office the other day, I found myself searching for a way to give him some relief.

     For pretty much everyone I know, the go to at home remedy for a cold  (besides a hot toddy - can't give Flintstone one of those!) Is chicken soup. WELL, we don't have any humane local chicken handy this week, and really the negative health effects of eating meat outweigh any minor positives in the
"remedy," so I started from scratch.

     This is a very flexible recipe. There are a few "essential"n ingredients, ones I'm labelling as such because they have healing or helping properties, and the rest is up to you!

     Onion - Essential - I always dice the onion first in any recipe and  let it sit for at least five minutes. This maximizes the nutritional benefits of the food since it gives time for the chemicals to mingle and  create super healthy compounds. For my purposes, I just chop the onion in first and throw it in the bottom of the pot (not over heat). I'm not into  dirtying a whole bunch of dishes to hole all the ingredients - one pot, one
knife, one cutting board, and the countertop compost container.

     Garlic - essential - I put a lot of garlic in this recipe. Garlic is  known for it's cold fighting properties, and, as such this is a very garlicy soup. Fresh is best, and the same chop (or crush) first and let sit health
rules apply. Use as much garlic as you can stand (or have!).

     Chili pepper - essential - This soup should be somewhat spicy. The  chili pepper is an excellent decongestant and improves circulation, which is very important when you're sick. We happened to have an unbelievable Crop of chilis in the garden this year, so I used fresh, but I also threw in  some red pepper flakes and chili powder for good measure.  I also added a generous sprinkling of regular ground pepper, but I put that in just about everything.

      Carrots and Celery - flavor essential - this iss just the sort of soup that calls for the flavors of carrots and celery.  I recommend organic celery because it is one of the "dirty dozen" typically the highest pesticide produce, and is pretty easy to find organic.  I used our last carrot (organic, of course) then had to resort to using the organic shredded carrot MacGyver keeps on hand for sandwiches.  Whatever works.

      Salt - essential - This is probably the only time you'll hear me recommend adding salt to anything.  I feel that the US American diet is already over inundated with sodium, and, as such I rarely cook with it.  But here (depending on how much sodium is in your broth - we buy the lowest sodium organic brand our store carries), salt is necessary for taste and to sooth a coughing throat.  You can use whatever kind of salt you prefer - sea salt, kosher, whatever.  But if  you're pregnant, I recommend using iodized salt.  Pregnant women often don't get enough iodine (a necessary nutrient) because it is generally left out of prenatal vitamins.

      Shitake Mushrooms - Essential - you CAN leave these out if you really really want to, or you can substitute other mushrooms, but I don't recommend it.  Shitake mushrooms are PACKED with disease fighting properties and vital nutrients.  They add a lot to this soup.

      Herbs - in this soup, fresh is always best.  Normally, I don't feel too guilty about using dried herbs if that's all we have on hand, but I think this soup benefits a lot from the oils in fresh herbs.  I used rosemary and oregano from our garden and a lot of tried Thyme since thyme is not one of the half dozen or so herbs we grow and Thyme has great antiseptic properties and tastes great in this soup.

      Veggie Broth - Essential - I ALWAYS have at least one box of it in the pantry.  I use it all the time.  We buy organic because it's easy to find and generally doesn't cost any more than regular veggie broth.  Seriously, veggie broth is awesome.  You should start using it to replace all animal broths immediately.
      From there, you add whatever other veggies you happen to have on hand.  Since I made this Saturday morning before we went to the Farmer's Market, we were out of almost everything.  I used broccoli,  peas, corn, and a few new potatoes (skin on!).  Just chop up the veggies (onion and plentiful garlic first) and throw them into the pot as you go.  Pour in the veggie broth, add the herbs, salt, and pepper, and simmer until you reach desired flavor/texture.  Throw in some whole wheat noodles for a kid pleasing touch.

      What foods to you serve when you or someone in your care is sick?  What are your comfort foods and home remedy recipes?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Farmer's Market Ravioli

Tonight we had caprese ravioli we get from a guy at the Farmer's Market. I sauteed up zucchini and squash, also from the Farmer's Market, with a small onion in a little bit of grapeseed oil with some oregano and bam.  MacGyver made a delicious vegan sauce from almond milk and a bunch of basil and sweet red peppers from our garden. He roughly blended it all then boiled it down with a little sherry.  Delicious!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

Flintstone doesn't understand Saturdays. He gets up between 6:30 and 7:30 no matter what day it is.  While it makes me groan a little to get up at such a "decent" hour on a Saturday, it does give me a nice block of time to get some stuff done.

This Saturday, Flintstone woke me up with sloppy baby kisses and giggles (I had brought him into bes to try to weasel an extra hour of sleep out of him). We got up and cuddles and played for a while. Soon he was doing his own thing, and I had some time to tidy up the kitchen.

Then I absolutely destroyed it again making pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin french toast. I am ALL ABOUT Fall themed foods.

The recipe is really simple. I just took my Nan (my mom's mom, may she rest in peace)'s. Pancake recipe and added in pumpkin and spices:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsps baking powder
2 tblspns sugar - Fair Trade!
1 humanely obtained egg (back yard chickens!)
Humane milk - almond milk works great or Organic Valley (not Horizon Organics - they are not humane)
Ground flax seeds - optional; just some added nutrition
1/2 a can (or more) of pumpkin - or use fresh!

1. Put all the ingredients except the milk together in a bowl, with spices adjusted to your taste preferences.
2. Mix together, adding milk until you reach the desired batter consistency.
3. Fry up, just like regular pancakes.
4. Enjoy a warm taste of Fall!

Pumpkin French Toast
Bread - I used some leftover buns - this is a great way to use up add pieces of bread.
3 Humanely obtained medium eggs
1/2 can of pumpkin

1. Mix the eggs, spices to taste, and pumpkin in a wide bowl. The batter will be thicker than typical french toast batter; that's a good thing!
2. Dip (or soak, per your preference) your bread.
3. Fry up as usual.
4. Enjoy another perfect Fall breakfast!

Flintstone loved these*, and I'm ok with him eating them (without syrup!) because they're whole wheat and pumpkin is full of vitamins and minerals. 

If you like these, you should also check out my famous Pink (beet) Pancakes! Flintstone (and Punky and MacGyver) loves those, too!

* And I got some great pictures, but of course the upload failed.  Erg.  Maybe later.