Rah, Rah, Raw!

We can all use more veggies and fruit! And especially raw ones!

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Cultured Salsa Verde

1 small red onion, chopped
6 large or 8 small tomatillos
2 small or 1 large poblano peppers
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup packed chopped cilantro
1 packet nondairy culture starter powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove husks from tomatillos and put chopped onion, whole tomatillos, and whole peppers on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan. Bake 15 minutes.

Remove stems from peppers and seed if desired. Put baked ingredients in a blender or food processor and add lime juice and salt. Pulse a few times to blend (but leave chunky). Allow to cool to room temperature, then stir in culture starter and cilantro.

Put salsa in a mason jar, leaving an inch between the top of the salsa and the top of the jar. Liquid should cover the vegetables.

Put lid on jar and leave at room temperature to culture for 2 days. Then refrigerate. Use within one month.



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Goosegrass Smoothie

You don't find goosegrass. It finds you.      -Green Deane, eattheweeds.comIngredients
1-1/2 cup goosegrass
1 mango
1 small banana
1 cup black grapes
1-1/2 cup water

Blend in high speed blender.

After seeing the author of “Foraged Flavor” at the Kansas City Library, I’m more conscious of what I am pulling out of my landscaping! I hadn’t seen this wild plant in the book, but I found it at http://www.eattheweeds.com. Apparently geese love it, hence the name. But not everyone does! It sticks to hands and clothing, so it is also called Gripgrass, Catchweed, Stickywilly, and Everlasting Friendship. Some other common names are Cleavers, Clivers, Bedstraw, Barweed, Hedgeheriff, Hayriffe, Eriffe, Hayruff, Scratweed, Mutton Chops, Robin-run-in-the-Grass, Loveman, Tongue Bleed, and Goosebill. None of the names sound very appetizing, but it makes a pretty good smoothie! You can wad it up in a ball (it even sticks to itself). I estimated I used a cup and a half, packed together.

You can find more interesting facts about goosegrass at http://www.eattheweeds.com/galium-aparine-goosegrass-on-the-loose-2/.

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Bok Choy Salad

1 large head bok choy
3 small apples
2 carrots
2 shallots
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup red apple balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown mustard
1/2 cup raisins

Wash bok choy well and slice thinly using food processor (I set mine on 1, the thinnest slice). Cut the biggest slices into pieces. Core apples and slice a little thicker, then chop. Peel and grate carrots. Peel and slice shallots very thin. Put vegetables in large bowl with half the raisins (1/4 cup). Blend remaining ingredients in high-speed blender, pour over vegetables and toss well. Delicious!

I look forward to reading two books that are coming out in the next few days:
Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal
Here’s a blurb about it from food politics blogger Marion Nestle: “In Pandora’s Lunchbox, Melanie Warner has produced an engaging account of how today’s “food processing industrial complex” replaced real foods with the inventions of food science. Her history of how this happened and who benefits from these inventions should be enough to inspire everyone to get back into the kitchen and start cooking.”
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
About this one Nestle says, “Salt Sugar Fat is a breathtaking feat of reporting. Michael Moss was able to get executives of the world’s largest food companies to admit that they have only one job—to maximize sales and profits—and to reveal how they deliberately entice customers by stuffing their products with salt, sugar, and fat. Anyone reading this truly important book will understand why food corporations cannot be trusted to value health over profits and why all of us need to recognize and resist food marketing every time we grocery shop or vote.”

I hope my library will soon have both books!

Nestle herself is the author of a book my local library doesn’t have, Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition, and Health, Revised and Expanded Edition (California Studies in Food and Culture).

They do have a couple of other books that I have put on hold. Two are by Michael Pollan: In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.
The other is a 2006 book by Nestle: What to Eat.

Maybe these will keep me busy until the library gets the new ones!

(And FYI, any Amazon credits that accrue to me because you click one of these links and make a purchase will be used to buy books on this theme for the Leavenworth High School library.)

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Crockpot Corn Stew

Serves 5-7.  Total cook time: 8 hours.

1 cup dry kidney beans
1 cup dry navy beans
5 cups water
2 carrots
2 small eggplants
3 small red onions
2 small red bell peppers
2 cloves garlic
5 small purple potatoes
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest
1 tablespoon dulse
2 teaspoons herbes de provence
2 cups corn, cut from cob (approximately 2 ears)
spinach and arugula

The night before, cover beans with water and let soak overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse beans and put in crockpot. Add water. Cook on low 4 hours. Peel and chop carrots. Cut potatoes and eggplant into cubes. Slice onions thinly and chop peppers. Chop garlic. Add vegetables to beans after beans have cooked 4 hours. Cook on low 2 more hours, then add seasonings and corn. Cook one hour on low, then turn down to warm for the last hour.

To serve, put 2 cups mixed greens in each bowl with 1/2 avocado (sliced) and cover with stew.

If I had to be out all day, I would put everything in the crockpot on low in the morning, but I like it better with the veggies less well done, so this was a weekend meal for us (with lots of leftovers for lunches this week).

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Veggie Salad That Needs a Good Name

Duane liked this well enough to suggest I make more to take to the Pfander reunion potluck. This served 2 of us. We had our first ripe Galia melon (a cross between honeydew and canteloupe) for dessert. It was delicious!

6 baby pattypan squashes, cut into small wedges (substitute a yellow summer squash if these aren’t available at the farmer’s market anymore)
1/2 large organic cucumber, sliced and slices cut into fourths
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 very small red onion (maybe 1/8 cup?), cut in thin slices
4 leaves of chives (10 inches long each), snipped into 1/8 to 1/4-inch long pieces
Penzey’s Greek seasoning to taste