Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Everything is mixed in a food processor then chilled for an hour before forming into patties. then fry in olive oil and serve in pita with tahini, tomatoes, olives, lettuce...whatever you like.
VERY easy to make and tastes really good. We had so much left over, we ate falafel all week--just fried a few up for lunch each day. I'd love to post the recipe here, but I can't because its copyrighted. So--go get Nourishing Traditions! It's only $17 and I love it.
First step: melt a stick of butter. A whole stick.
Here are the chicken livers, washed, dried and ready to saute.
A pan full of sauteing onions, butter, bacon and chicken livers.
Add in the white wine, parsley and rosemary...
Happy boyfriend :)
Micael puts on my Halloween glasses while he cuts onions. (It doesn't work--he still cries)
Isn't he handsome?
Friday, November 06, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
So, for now, until I figure out better cold lunches, late lunches prevail! Today I'm eating pinto beans (soaked and slow-cooked last Sunday) with brown rice (soaked and cooked on Monday) with organic sour cream and salsa. I also added a pinch of gray salt. I am in love with this salt. I'd heard about this salt many times, and even bought it once for someone who lived out of the area and couldn't get to a grocery store that had it. But I'd never bought it myself. Until I read about the benefits of the mineral content of this salt. This salt is collected from the Northern coast of France. The water is allowed to evaporate and the salt crystals that remain are gathered. It is big and chunky, and like I said, gray. It's delicious. I've seen it used on the top of caramels and chocolate chip cookies to add a different dimension to sweets. I love using it on top of buttered bread so I can really taste its flavor and texture. We keep it in a little dish near the stove top so we can pinch it into our food easily--I love feeling the texture between my fingers.
The salt is $5 or $6 a pound--more then conventional salt, for sure, but worth it. And a little bit should last a long time. Another word on salt...Even if you don't get gray salt, do get natural sea salt (About $2/lb). Sea salt has minerals that your body needs to be healthy. Normal table salt is heavily processed and bleached--toxic for your body and has none of the good trace minerals. And it doesn't taste as good.
Look at those colors! I've been buying fingerling potatoes from the Ballard farmer's market for the last few weeks. The first attempt to bake them was a failure (cooked too long and smoked up the kitchen!) but try two was more successful. I'd recommend cutting them open, even thought they're small, because that will let in the olive oil, garlic and spice flavor into the flesh of the potato. So, cut them in half or thirds, shake with olive oil, fresh rosemary (you can find this growing in your neighborhood, most likely, if you live in Seattle) salt, pepper and garlic. Then bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or so--keep an eye on them and decide when they're cooked enough for you.
It's important to get organic potatoes because conventional potatoes are grown in soil that is enriched with synthetic fertilizers, meaning that the soil has very few nutrients in it. A potato grown in organic soil will absorb the minerals and nutrients of the soil into its skin and flesh and then into your body when you eat them. Also, conventional potatoes typically have been sprayed with a sprout inhibitor to give them longer shelf-life. I still have to do more research to find out what this spray consists of, but typically, modern preservation methods are toxic and nutrient-depleting.
Fingerling potatoes at the farmer's market are $3/lb. (or $5 for 2 lbs).
Saturday, October 31, 2009
It's a half-sunny, half-grey, blustery Saturday afternoon. The last day of October. Well, yes, Halloween. Micael is out riding (his trials bike) and I'm staying in to get some homework done. I guess you can tell by now the homework-doing is not so successful. I'll get to it, I promise.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
This is Nancy's organic, whole milk yogurt with raw honey (honey hasn't been filtered or heated and still has bee pollen and honeycomb in it) with more bee pollen added on top. I also added some turmeric--I found this spice in the bulk section of PCC (natural foods store). Turmeric is a standard spice in curry and is good for strengthening the immune system, depleting cancer cells and reducing inflammation. It also adds an exotic taste to the yogurt. Don't go overboard--1/4 teaspoon will do. As for the honey and bee pollen, get the best quality you can. Bee pollen should be kept in glass and frozen to maintain freshness--try to buy from a bee farmer. The honey I bought through a buyer's club, which is basically a lot of people getting together and buying in bulk directly from the farmer. Check out the Weston Price Foundation web site to find a local chapter that does this, or else look in the ads at a local natural grocery. (If you're in Seattle, I can get you linked in to the buying club here!)
Strozzapreti--choke the priest. But not literally. It's a type of pasta. Written about in loving detail in the Encyclopedia of Pasta, by Oretta Zanini de Vita (what a name). I saw this recipe in the Dining section of the New York Times--which comes out every Wednesday, I get giddy on Wednesdays--and decided to make a go of it.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Organic Chicken Liver Pate
500 grams organic chicken livers (you can use duck liver for a richer taste)
1 onion diced
3 slices of bacon
1 clove of garlic
200 gram organic butter
100 ml of white wine (optional)
Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon, or parsley (optional)
Heat 100 gram butter in pan; add onion garlic and sauté for 1 minute add bacon and livers sauté till opaque. Add herbs if selected. Add white wine and reduce to just a moist consistency. Let cool.
Transfer to blender, add remaining butter and blend till smooth. Transfer to glass container and refrigerate. Additional melted butter can be drizzled over the top to preserve color and help to keep the pate from forming a skin on top.Thanks to Jo Rushton of 6 Wisdoms
While searching the internet several weeks ago for tips on how to make raw butter, I came across a blog that actually ended up giving me a recipe for chicken liver pate. Since my cookbible (Nourishing Traditions) advocates for eating organ meats, I figured what the hell, lets try it out.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
So I just recently made my first beans from scratch. I told a fellow teaching assistant this, and she laughed at me. Maybe it is funny. I've only ever bought beans in a can.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Here's a great recipe idea. We did this for dinner Wednesday night and it turned out so well, we did it again Friday. Nothing special, it's the quality of the ingredients that makes it so good.
So I must admit, I've been very intimidated by the 1/2 pints of cream staring at me from the back of the refrigerator. Their purpose is to become raw butter, but I'm not exactly sure how that happens. This is primarily because the recipe that I have (from Nourishing Traditions) says to first leave the cream out at room temperature for about 8 hours to sour. Sour, really? I don't remember ever hearing that that was a good thing. Reading this nutrition/recipe book has made me realize that there are a lot of things I don't know about food, and they generally seem to know what they're talking about, so I'm going to trust them. Sour I will.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So Emily did come over last night and we did make something with rice. We decided on spicy stuffed cabbage, which consists of ground beef (grass-fed), brown rice, onions, raisins, pine nuts, dill, cumin, cinnamon, and clovers stuffed into cabbage leaves, doused in beef stock and baked for an hour. Doesn't sound too difficult.
I started soaking the rice at 11am to get in the requisite 7 hour soak. Check. Then ran some errands and ended at the grocery store. I spent nearly half an hour in the bulk spice section alone! Cardamom pods, arrowroot, dried thyme, cumin seeds, ground cumin...it was fascinating. I made three circles around the store paying such close attention to the cookbook in my arms that I kept bumping into old people with carts. I finally had it all. Well, all except the fresh dill--I figured I could harvest that from the alley down the street.
I make it home, Emily shows up at 6:30 with ingredients for a roast squash, roast beet, goat cheese and hazelnut salad, and after harvesting the dill, we get started around 7. First mistake-starting around 7. We start chopping and prepping and boiling and roasting, get the rice on the stove and then I realize that after the rice finishes and the cabbage leaves get stuffed, they still need to bake for an hour. Crap. Ok. No problem. The rice will be finished at 8:05, we stuff the cabbage and bake and eat a bit after 9. We finish getting the beet and squash salad ready and steam some sweet corn on the cob (from the Ballard Market!) while we wait for the rice. 8:05. I open the lid to the pot and see brown rice--good--sitting beneath an inch of water--bad. Again, crap. Out comes the rice cooker (which the cookbook makes no mention of, so I tried to avoid it) and get the rice going in that--it'll take another 45 minutes. We eat the salad and corn, start a movie and wait. Rice finally finishes, we brown the beef, rice, onions and spices, awkwardly stuff the cabbage leaves, (more like making cabbage sandwiches) pour on the beef stock and start baking.
After all that, when they finish baking, we still have to pour off the stock and reduce it on the stovetop in order to use it as a sauce for the stuffed cabbage. That takes 15 minutes. But then, we dish up the cabbage sandwiches, pour on the sauce and, voila! Dinner is served. At 10:45.
All things considered, it did taste very good. And as I was reflecting on whether it was actually worth the nearly 4 hour preparation, Micael reminded me that yes, it was. That sometimes, not always, but special sometimes, part of eating is the time you share with people as you're preparing to eat. It may take all day. In fact, if it does, that might just be what makes the meal so good.
Monday, September 28, 2009
So, I called the butcher at PCC and ordered some bones from grass-fed cows ($2.57/lb) and they should be coming in sometime this week. This is so I can make bone broth. Uses: great for cooking instead of oil because it's full of flavor, make soups or stews, or drink it as-is to warm up. It's great for boosting the immune system and an inexpensive way to get protein. I'm planning to use it when I make stuffed peppers next week (with brown rice, ground beef, pine nuts and spices...), and then will keep the extra broth in the freezer.
Also bought salt-rubbed and smoked bacon for BLTs tomorrow lunch. For dinner, Emily is coming over and we're experimenting, but I'm guessing rice could be involved. So, we'll need to soak the brown rice 7 hours in advance to neutralize the phytic acid (present in whole grains--it inhibits nutrient absorption). That's where the lemons come in. Grains can be soaked with either whey, buttermilk or yoghurt along with warm water in order to make their nutrients accessible. For brown rice, lemon can be used instead.
And...I bought a hand mixer today. Raw butter will be mixed tomorrow.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I got green beans, purple carrots, yellow cherry tomatoes and sweet corn from the Skagit Valley, red peppers and zebra striped tomatoes from Carnation, pastured eggs from Sedro Woolley, raw honey from I don't remember where, raw goat cheese from Estrella farms and last but not least, mmmmm, raw jersey milk and raw cream from Vashon Island. I'm especially excited about the raw cream because I have been on a relentless search for...raw butter.
Even getting the cream of the crop (no pun intended) from our local co-op, PCC, which runs $3.99 a half pound, it's all pasteurized. This has become a trend, expectation, even law, in the US now--pasteurization. To kill germs and keep us healthy. Unfortunately, it kills most of the nutrients in our milk and dairy products as well. Trying to find raw dairy from pastured (grass-fed) animals is difficult. And expensive. So, the milk runs $8 for a half gallon and the cream $5 for a half pint. Spendy, I know. Here is why I buy it: 1. It tastes so much better than pasteurized milk. 2. Raw dairy has the vitamins we need for healthy immune systems (beat the swine flu!) better brain function, healthier skin and hair and just more happiness (no I really mean this--you eat better food, your body does not get depressed!).
So, I am off to go buy a hand mixer so that I can beat my raw cream into really, really good raw butter. I hear it's easy. However, things are much easier once you've learned how to do them and no longer have to figure it out from a book. So, once I've actually beat the cream into butter and expelled all the buttermilk and then eat it and realize I've been successful, then I will claim victory.