Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Soaking grains

I haven't done a lot of research into this subject myself, so am only offering you a peek into something I'd like to know more about myself. My friend Kristi has done more backgrounding on this -- the premise is that some people believe soaking grains before cooking/eating makes them more digestible, and releases more nutrients for our bodies to access. I haven't tried it yet, but see what you think.

Here's a link with more info.

There's plenty more out there, I imagine -- just Google around.

Sorry for short post today. New puppy in the house!

Happy day!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today's post brought to you by kale

I usually don't even open the ads in my inbox, but I love this exercise-apparel vendor, lululemon, so I did open one, and found a cool blog about kale. It's worth a read!

What's up with kale

And -- you knew it was coming -- a recipe! My friend Amber is the best recipe-sender I know, and she shared this one with me last week. I made it last night. Amber's husband Jeff and my family agree -- this is one of the best salads EVER.

Eat up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sam says

Sam wrote to say that she wasn't trying to prod me to action -- just making sure she hadn't missed something. But in her writing, she shared some good stuff.

Her personal seed order this year, she says, is all heirloom seeds. The Tricities Voluntary Simplicity group she steers is doing a discussion course right now called "Hungry for Change." This week's chapter is on healthy eating.

I'll let Sam's email do the rest of the talking:

"One of the readings is about how the nutritional content of today's veggies isn't as high as it was 50 years ago b/c of the intensive planting and conventional farming practices that have developed since then. So, even though we realize that with heirloom varieties we may not get quite as much food, what we do get should be chock full of goodness. I hope you'll encourage your readers to try at least one heirloom vegetable this summer in their plots. My new favorite is a lima bean that's like none other! It's called Hopi Orange Lima and the beans are not only gorgeous, but are meaty and really delicious when cooked w/just a bit of salt, although I'm sure they'd take to any seasonings you might like. Anyway, here's a picture of the seeds. Drought and bug resistant too, since they're from the southwest. They are however, a long season crop (5 months!) as many dried beans are, so gardeners might want to consider planting them in early May if this warm winter continues."

Thank you, Sam!

Hopi day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Signs of life return

Sam emailed me last week to ask if I was still blogging here, and in doing so maybe roused me to a tad of action. As we start to see signs of spring, maybe you'll start to see signs of blogs, too! I do think, though, that if this blog is to prosper, it will take a village. So, if you happen to be reading here, and in your goings-on come across a recipe or a quote or an idea that you think would be well shared here, please -- please -- comment it to me or otherwise send it my way!

In the meantime, prepare yourself for mostly sporadic recipes. I haven't been in the garden mind lately, but it's time to start getting myself there, isn't it?!

I'll start easy today, as there are three to get ready and out the door (not to mention myself). I make muffins once a week to feed to the flock here at my house, and to freeze if there are leftovers. My go-to is some variation of banana, since we so often have ripening ones. Last week I did a Moosewood base with the addition of a generous scoop of peanut butter. I also halved the oil and subbed in applesauce. I usually add either some flax seed meal or some chia seeds.


Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home's Muffin Madness

  -- Basic Wet Ingredients --
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 - 1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  -- Basic Dry Ingredients --
2 cup unbleached flour (I use whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Choose one of the following combos to add to basic ingredients (the above is NOT a plain muffin recipe, but the base for the following)
Apple muffins: Add 2 cups of grated apple and 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel to wet ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to dry ingredients.
Banana muffins: Add 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana to wet ingredients and 1 cup chopped nuts and/or 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to batter.
Blueberry - lemon muffins: Add 1 1/2 cups of blueberries and 1 tablespoon of grated lemon peel to wet ingredients.
Zucchini muffins: Add 2 cups of grated zucchini to wet ingredients and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom to the dry ingredients. Fold in 1/2 cup of raisins or currants and 3/4 cup of chopped nuts to batter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine wet ingredients, combine dry ingredients. Add two mixtures together and take care not to overmix. Spoon batter into oiled standard muffins tins and bake for 20-25 minutes (10-15 minutes for mini muffins...that will be eaten by the monsters!) Insert knife into center to check for done-ness.