The Wonders of Fresh Turmeric

The Wonders of Fresh Turmeric

It’s amazing to be in a place surrounded by people who love food, and love sharing. I received the wonderful gift of fresh turmeric a few days ago, and I think I am addicted. Not only does it have a pleasantly mild, yet complex taste, it’s a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. I used it in two different dishes, both prepared in under thirty minutes.

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Turmeric Quinoa
w/ Steamed Spinach and Beets

1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
4 c. spinach
1 c. sliced beets
1 T. grated fresh turmeric
1 T. fresh lemon juice
pinch sea salt

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is soft. Mix with turmeric and lemon juice.
Meanwhile, steam the beets (or eat them raw, mine needed a steam as they were a bit old). Depending on how you slice ’em, it takes about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the spinach to give it a light steam.
Mix it all together and enjoy.

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Beet, Yam & Chickpea Curry

2 T. coconut oil
1 T. diced fresh turmeric
1 T. diced fresh ginger
1 T. diced fresh garlic
1 tsp. coriander seed
1/2 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. chili flakes
1 small yellow onion
1 medium yam
1 medium beet
1/2 c. stewed tomatoes
3/4 c. coconut milk

First make your curry paste. Melt 1 T. of coconut oil, and add the turmeric – chili flakes. Cook until fragrant, then blend until smooth.
Melt the remaining coconut oil, and cook the onion (diced) until translucent. Dice the yam and beet, and add those in with the onion. Have your heat on medium-low, and a cover on the pan to get some steaming action going. Add in your curry paste and mix it in well. Then add the tomatoes and coconut milk, and cook until your vegetables are soft.
Serve over greens (I used mustard greens) or lentils, rice, dal, etc.

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A Few Good Reads

I’m surrounded by food and I love it. Growing it, cooking it, eating it, talking about it, thinking about it – everything. Maybe some of you are interested in reading about it, but don’t know where to start. So here are some links to posts from blogs I keep up with that have been on my mind lately.

Conscious shopping – at your local farmer’s market! or at your local co-op!

Seasonal eating – spring is in the air!

Get yourself educated about food issues, and let me know what you learn!

And hey, it’s the first day of Spring! Get outside and do some foraging to get in touch with food in your local environment! Without even trying, I found some yellow dock root the other day and enjoyed it in a delicious and nutritious broth. Happy hunting!

Or Three or Four…

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Steamed Chard with Ginger-Sesame Sauce

The various uses of all those greens continues. We’re eating as many as we can while they’re still around! And because leafy greens are so freakin’ good for you!! Iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamins K, C, E, some B, and even some phytonutrients like beta-carotene. In other words, they’re helping to build strong muscles and bones, provide energy and dietary fiber, support the immune system, and promote a healthy heart. Add in some ginger for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and digestive health effects, and you just can’t go wrong.

If you’re still feeling like greens are gross or not interested in cooking them, how about a smoothie?

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Green Smoothie

Fill your blender with spinach, kale, or another hearty green.
Fill 1/3 of the way with yogurt (I like almond/coconut)
Fill 1/3 with orange juice.
Blend.
Add in a banana, or an apple, or both.
Add a few shakes of nutmeg or cinnamon.
Maybe a dollop of peanut butter. Or some fresh ginger. I’d pick one.
And some magic seeds: chia, hemp, flax.
Blend again, adding juice to your desired consistency.

It might sound crazy, but you’ll have no idea there is spinach in it!!!

Find a greenhouse near you and eat more greens! You could have an amazing source of nutrients year round!!

A Green Meal. Or Two.

Dhamma Green Salad

Dhamma Green Salad

As promised, I’ve got the names for the multitudes of greens flourishing in our high tunnel over the winter. The Dhamma Green salad features quite a few of them:  Green Frills and Ruby Streaks Mustard Greens, Purple and Green Mizuna, Red Rain, Red Vein Sorrel, Out-red-gous Lettuce, and Wrinkled, Crinkled, Crumpled Cress. Dhamma salad is served with shredded, raw beets and carrots, cooked chickpeas (not from a can people, day-before preparation is essential – soak’m overnight, drain & rinse’m, fill’m up again, boil’m, simmer’m until they’re soft and buttery). Dressing is optional, but a little oil and Balsamic never hurt anyone.

Farm Crew amidst beds of kale and spinach

Farm Crew amidst beds of baby kale and spinach

We harvested the kale and spinach for a local restaurant, 18 Bay (though of course I ate my fair share while I was harvesting…). They also took some bolting Mizuna stalks, to be served atop a fish entree they were preparing that evening. Talk about farm to table service – from the ground to the plate in just a few hours! Next week we’ll harvest the bolted arugula for them, and they’ll press those little flowers into pasta. Can’t wait until we get to cook & dine with the owners…

Henbit Deadnettle, a "weed"

Henbit Deadnettle, a “weed.” 18 Bay didn’t want these, but we sure did. Part of the mint family, beautiful & delicious!

Arugula Flower

Arugula Flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chard went into a delicious, warming soup – perfect for the blizzard that came seemingly out of nowhere. Here’s my recipe:

Lentil & Chard Soup

Lentil & Chard Soup

1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 medium carrots, chopped
1-2 medium parsnips, chopped
6-8 cups vegetable broth
2 cups stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups red lentils
lots of heaping handfuls of chard
salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, cayenne
lemon juice

Saute the onion in a bit of oil until translucent. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the carrots and parsnips and cook until almost tender, adding a bit of broth to prevent vegetables sticking to the pan & collect any caramelization that may be happening.
Add the rest of the broth and the tomatoes, and bring to a boil.
Add the lentils, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer. Don’t panic when the lentils start breaking down – it’s their nature.
5-10 minutes before you want to serve, add the chard (baby or chopped leaves) and let it cook down a bit in the hot broth.
Season with salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, cayenne and some fresh lemon juice.

PS: Apologies for the terrible formatting of this blog. I’m still trying to work out the kinks. Suggestions appreciated! You’re talking to someone with no coding or web design experience, but plenty of general computer experience and a willingness to learn.

A Farmer’s Way to Start the Day

A Farmer's Way to Start the Day

Granola! I’ll be the first to admit I’m addicted to this stuff. But come on! It’s got everything you need to start the day right – protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals – and it’s delicious! And the sky is the limit for variations on this stuff – from different grains and nuts and seeds to spices and sweeteners and toppings, not to mention the granola bar and endless varieties that go along with it.

Without further ado, here is my “recipe”

8 c. rolled oats
1 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. sesame seeds
1 1/2 c. almonds
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut
1 T. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
pinch salt

3/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. agave syrup
1/2 c. nut butter

Mix the dry ingredients. Melt the wet ingredients in the microwave or over the stove, and add onto the dry ingredients, mixing until everything is coated.
Spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet (or two or three), and bake in a 300 degree oven for about an hour, turning every 15 minutes.

Substitutions/Variations

Grains: Buckwheat Groats, Quinoa Flakes, Puffed Rice
Nuts: Walnuts, Cashews, Pecans, Macadamia, Brazil, Hazelnut
Seeds: Pumpkin, Chia, Hemp, Flax
Oil: Canola, Nut Oils
Sweetener: Honey, Maple Syrup

After cooling, store your granola in an airtight container, and eat any meal of the day. I like mine with almond milk, an apple or banana, and some dried (or rehydrated) fruit. So tasty! And its lowering my cholesterol (almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds) and glycemic index (sunflower seeds), providing vitamin E and B (almonds, sunflower seeds), calcium (sesame seeds), and giving me protein for a hard day’s work, what else could you need??

Granola provides energy to plant 2,200 onion seeds in a day!

Granola provides energy to plant 2,200 onion seeds in a day!

Pontiac yellow onions here. Also seeded: Red Bull, Red Baron and Barletta. Alliums to come: leeks, shallots & scallions.

Pontiac yellow onions here. Also seeded: Red Bull, Red Baron and Barletta. Alliums to come: leeks, shallots & scallions.

 

The First Meal

Chickpeas & Chard in Tomato Sauce, Seven-Green Salad, Almond-Arugula Pesto and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Chickpeas & Chard in Tomato Sauce, Seven-Green Salad, Almond-Arugula Pesto and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

The Sylvester Manor crew made our first meal together, and it set some pretty high standards. After a day of wondering where I was going to get my fresh vegetable fix – I found it in our high tunnel. Greens upon greens! A dozen different varieties! This is every girl’s dream, right??

I should have written down all their names, but in my excitement, I didn’t. I’ll be more diligent in the future.

The star of our dinner was the Seven-Green Salad. Two different mustard greens, sorrel, red leaf lettuce, tatsoi, chicory and cilantro. I saved the spinach for a delicious lunchtime smoothie. The arugula went into an Almond-Arugula Pesto. The salad dressing was made in the same blender as the pesto with some olive oil, balsamic, salt & pepper.

We also had some chickpeas and chard in tomato sauce leftover from last year’s Manor crew. And we had to try their Roasted Red Pepper dip as well.  And what dinner would be complete without a few beets? These had been sitting in a makeshift root cellar, so they were a little dry, but we finished them up anyway.

Salad Greens

Salad Greens

Bowl of Greens

Bowl of Greens

Arugula-Almond Pesto

Arugula-Almond Pesto

Chioggia, Golden & Red Beets

Chioggia, Golden & Red Beets

A Brief History of Sandwiches

A Brief History of Sandwiches

Spinach, Tomato, Avocado, Roasted Chicken & Paprika Mayo on Ciabatta

So…I love sandwiches. I thought I’d post some pictures of sandwiches I made to tantalize your taste buds a bit. However, these were also all made before my focus on local, seasonal, nutritious food really started – so it’s a bit of tomfoolery on my part. I will start taking photos of my new cooking style as soon as we get our kitchen in order here at the Manor.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos, and also enjoy this great article on the art of sandwich making.

Chicken, Avocado, Tomato & Pesto on Whole Wheat

Chicken, Avocado, Tomato & Pesto on Whole Wheat

Turkey, Roasted Red Pepper, Avocado & Havarti on Foccacia

Turkey, Roasted Red Pepper, Avocado & Havarti on Foccacia

BBQ Chicken & Coleslaw on Toast

BBQ Chicken & Coleslaw on Toast

Pimento Cheese & Pickle on Toast

Pimento Cheese & Pickle on Toast

Dill Egg Salad on Toast

Dill Egg Salad on Toast

Turkey Meatball Sub

Turkey Meatball Sub