Friday, May 14, 2010

Grocery Bag - reworked

This post was republished to the whole food review at 6:41:35 AM 5/14/2010
Grocery Bag - reworked
I have been busy, so, I'm changing $100 grocery bag. And not the "oh I have so many things to do" busy – the OMG I'm waking up in the middle of the night and working kind of busy. I'm not dilly dallying writing blogs and researching, obviously not, since I haven't posted in a while…I'm working a LOT, and I do like my job to a certain extent, but it is really cramping my style when it comes to taking care of the garden. It will now be 10 recipes I use on a weekly basis – my kids eat them and love them – so may yours. If they don't, please – don't give up – try it 5 times at least….

Here are the things that are also on my radar – i.e. the list of stuff I think about all day long:

  • The men in my life – aged 2, 5 and 41
  • How in the heck I'm going to educate my 5 year old next year when he's 6 with absolutely no public school choices and not enough money or time to send him to the private schools I like since A. they are stupid expensive and B. it takes an hour to get there and an hour back.
  • The state of California spends 94k per prisoner every year and only 7k per student?
  • Laundry
  • My very unkempt house
  • Better do some work!
  • Why do people believe everything they read or watch on youTube – if somebody says something in an article it isn't a fact folks – it's an opinion. And when they are misconstruing the facts it is a lie.
  • Why do people follow Sally Fallon Morell like a cult? And at the same time you have die hard RAW foodists who follow David Wolfe in the same way? And how come many of the people who subscribe to the Nourishing Traditions way of life are – well – overweight – although they have convinced themselves they are healthy?
  • Why don't the people that make "food" products that have no real nutritional value get arrested or sued?
  • What would happen if soda was as expensive as alcohol?
  • Why does the California legislature think it is okay to cut from Education meanwhile they have tons of public works new construction going on for libraries when we have the Internet?
  • How can I make my neighborhood safe for my children? How do I get the gangs out? And to that point – how come so many Californians accept gangs as part of the culture?
  • What would really happen if we sent the entirety of illegal workers home? I mean – are we all ready to pay our farm workers 12-15 bucks an hour? And are we ready for the shock at the supermarket?
  • I live in California – why in the world do I need produce from any other country or state at my store? Why can't people accept eating with Seasons is better for us? This includes not making chickens produce eggs artificially (did you know that egg producers use artificial light to keep chickens laying during the winter months?). And to that point – it isn't so hard to do free range chickens, disease, deformities and battles would be lessened, you'd just have to provide many a nesting site and have somebody collect the eggs. Sell the chickens when production goes down.
  • Do we really need processed foods?
  • Why aren't their affordable health plans that are more for people who need preventative care?
  • How can I afford to put another storey on my house – and solar panels for both hot water and power? Do I like this house? How can I convince husband to change it?
  • Should I start a food not lawns business or should I just start participating in one on the weekends? Wait –not possible…
  • Why do these dudes get put on the radio to talk about environmental issues? They sound like Spicoli from Fast Times – not credible!
  • How fast can we transition from petrol to solar?
  • How fast can California realize they MUST have a public transport option, crack down on cars that are horrendous for the environment, and make it more bike friendly? For all of this sunshine you'd think people would use more human power?
I'm glad you asked brain! This week's grocery bag is a dedication to alternate proteins and sizeable portion control – something that we Americans tend to dismiss. We eat a lot. We eat a lot of meat. No, meat isn't all that bad but we take it for granted. In the poorer nations of the world diets consist mostly of grain. But I'm not talking about your Wonderbread here, or your honey wheat off the shelf. 
So what "grains" does that leave us with? PLENTY! Rice, quinoa, teff, amaranth, corn, and more plus some other flours made from buckwheat, potato, tapioca, sorghum, "garfava" and even more….
The general idea of this week's menu is to minimize animal protein, but not eliminate it, create some kid friendly meals, and experiment with some grains.
So here are the 10 recipes for this week (I wish I had more photos – but I keep forgetting to take them!):
applesauce with raisins, dairy free /egg free rice pudding, soaked baked oatmeal, rhubarb crisp, eggs with soldiers (for the egg eaters)
Mains: rice squares with tahini and adzuki bean, veggie tacos, buckwheat stuffed squash, fish sukiyaki with rice noodle
Dessert: Teff Pudding
Apple Sauce with Raisins
½ cup water
½ cup apple or pear juice
2 large apples – peeled, cored and diced
¼ cup raisins, chopped dried figs, chopped prunes, apricots or other dried fruit
1 tsp cinnamon
1 heaping tablespoon of kuzu (you can use some cornstarch) dissolved in ¼ cup cold water
Put apples, raisins, water, juice and cinnamon in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Open lid, stir in the kuzu water mix and stir until slightly thickened. Turn off heat. I let this sit in the pot for about 10 minutes then put in bowls for the kinds and let it sit a little longer until it has cooled a bit.

Rice Pudding
1 cup ricemilk
1/2 cup apple juice
2 cups leftover brown rice
3 Tblsp raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan. Heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking, until thick and creamy. Stir in vanilla and serve warm.

Soaked Baked Oatmeal (start this the night before)
1 egg
1 1/2 cup oats, old fashioned
4 T maple syrup
1/2 cup milk (rice milk works too)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

(you can also add 1 chopped apple and some pecans or walnuts – or top with toasted pumpkin seeds)


The night before you want to serve this - combine all liquid ingredients. Combine all dry ingredients. Fold together until combined.
Put into a greased (I use coconut oil) 8 inch square baking pan.
Place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Rhubarb Crisp
2 pounds rhubarb, sliced crosswise 3/4 inch thick
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup tapioca flour + ½ cup superfine rice flour + pinch of salt + ½ tsp baking powder - blended
(or ¾ cup of a gluten free flour mix)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the rhubarb, maple syrup, and 1/4 cup flour blend; set aside for at least 20 minutes.
Cut the butter, ½ remaining flour blend, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon together until pea sized. Sprinkle over rhubarb.
Bake until rhubarb is tender and topping is golden, 35 to 45 minutes.

Eggs with Soldiers
4 extra large, free-range eggs (you can bake these in greased ramekins with a touch of cream, or even add some chopped spinach with the cream – just make sure the egg is still soft.)
4 pieces of gluten free bread 
Place the eggs in a small saucepan. Add just enough cold water to cover them.
Place the saucepan on a high heat and bring the boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, time the eggs for desired doneness -- 1 minute 20 seconds for a runny yolk or 3 minutes for a firmer yolk.
Meanwhile toast the bread. Cut the toast into strips. You can crack the soft boiled egg into a little bowl or if you have egg dishes you can set them in, tap with a knife around the top and lift off!

Rice Squares with tahini and adzuki bean

8 toasted nori sheets
2 cups leftover rice
1 T umboshi plum paste or 2 umboshi plums, pitted and mashed (I LOVE umboshi – you might not – try a little at a time – 1tsp may be enough)
2 T tahini
½ cup cooked adzuki beans (I use canned – Eden has no BPA cans)
Cup of cool water 
(you can also add thinly sliced scallion or shiso leaf to this)
Mix the rice, plum, tahini and adzuki beans together
Cut the nori into 4 squares
Place 4 tablespoons of rice mix into center of one square
Flatten it a bit and fold over the sides, then cover the exposed rice with another piece
Use the water to seal up the nori by dipping your fingers in the water and dabbing the nori
They should be little round nori circles

Veggie tacos – My kids like burgers and fries, of course our version has no bun, but we find ourselves at Islands here in CA every once in a while. I get the veggie tacos every time.
you can make your own corn tortillas or buy them – if you make your own – buy masa harina (I like the blanco) – add enough cold water to make pliable dough. Use tortilla press, rolling pin or your hands to make little round tortillas, cook 'em up on the stove or on the grill (if you do it on the grill, oil the grill a bit and make sure the tortillas will stick together – they need to be thin but sturdy.
Veggies for cooking:
2 T olive oil
½ t cumin
¼ cup veggie stock
Finely chopped onion
1 large garlic clove minced
1 diced zucchini
1 diced yellow squash
1 ear fresh corn
1 can black beans – rinsed
Cooking the veggies: put the oil, onion and garlic in a skillet or wok, sauté until fragrant, add the other veggies and sauté until just browning, add beans, stock and cumin and heat until the liquid is almost absorbed
Put in a dish with a spoon. 
Veggies for dressing – put these on the table in little dishes:
Tomato – diced
Avocado – sliced thinly
Raddish – sliced super thin
Cabbage – sliced thinly
Cheese – grated RAW cheddar
Lime –cut into 4s
You can use come sour cream, salsa, spicy pickles or whatever else you like to dress your tacos with.
Place warm tortillas in a warmer or wrap in a towel like I do and serve.

Islands Veggie Tacos

Buckwheat stuffed squash
4-6 large yellow squash or zucchini

Olive oil

Salt & pepper 
1 ½ cups toasted buckwheat groats – if you need to toast them swirl them around on a pan for 5 minutes – don't burn them.
3 cups vegetable broth or stock

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion – diced fine
1 celery stalk – diced fine
Finely chopped chard or kale
Finely chopped mushroom (button, crimini or shiitake)
4 T Herbs from your garden (parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary)
Preheat oven to 350. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the insides to make boats, toss in olive oil, make sure the oil goes everywhere. Sprinkle with S&P, roast in the oven until top of squash is slightly brown – 20 minutes (no mushy squash please)
When the squash is cooking make the buckwheat:
Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat but keep covered.
While the buckwheat is resting cook the onion and celery until just cooked (I like mine to still have crunch) add the mushroom then the green (kale or chard) and the herbs – toss together until the greens wilt.
Toss in the buckwheat.

Everything should be ready now. Take the squash out, fill the boats with the buckwheat mixture, put back in the oven for about 15 minutes – let the buckwheat get a brown on top. When done carefully lift off pan and serve. You can use rice or quinoa for this too

Fish sukiyaki with rice noodle – serves 4

I love sukiyaki – I used to eat it all of the time in Australia – funny I don't think I actually had it in Japan. You can make it all in one pot and serve but if you have a tabletop gas stove it is fun to do it on the table –or with the butane stove you can tote this stuff out for a picnic and amaze your friends with a cooked meal right there!
I like to use these really huge cooking chop sticks to put everything in – then your diners pull out what they want – or if serving children you must serve them. If you are chop stick averse – use regular utensils. This is kinda soupy so serve in a shallow dish or bowl.
I like to have some rice handy – so make up about ½ - 1 cup of rice per guest. Before hand.
If you are doing this the traditional way you'll arrange all of the raw ingredients on a plate in beautiful fashion, and as the host, you'll cook it all up in a specific order. If you are doing it for your family – just cook it yourself all at once
First – make your broth and sauces:
You'll need a fish stock – you can buy this or you can make it with bones and fish heads, celery, carrot, onion – I suggest the latter. You need 4 cups of this.
Then the fish:
4 shrimp
4 scallops
4 slices or rings of calamari
4 pieces of lobster
1 piece of firm fish cut into 4 (I like a 1lb piece for 4 people)
½ cup Daikon, ½ slices (can be added to broth at the beginning)
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup red bell peppers, 1" square pieces
½ cup Carrot, thin slices
1 cup Napa or Chinese Cabbage, ½ inch slices
½ cup Coriander Leaves
½ cup Green Onions, 2" pieces
4 Baby corn
1 cup Broccoli flowerettes
1 cup - Enoki mushrooms or shiitakes 
(you can also use 4 chunks of Tofu if you eat soy)
2-3 ounces Rice Vermicelli Noodle
Get some of these sauces for dipping (you can make your own too – but aren't you tired of that already?)
Sweet Chili
Green Seafood sauce
Sukiyaki Sauce (you can make this with tamari if you can't find gluten free)
Put them in little dishes in front of your guests of family – my kids love "dip dip" 
Put it all together:
Put enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan – sauté the onion, cook the veggies, then the seafood, let the guests serve themselves or place in bowls and serve.

Teff Pudding
1C water
1C apple or pear juice
1/2 C teff grain
3 T raw cocoa powder
2 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
In a small pot, bring water, juice and teff grain to a boil, then cover and simmer over very low heat for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Let cool to room temperature.
In a blender or food processor, blend cooked teff and cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Add additional water if it's too thick. You can pour into a mould or little individual dishes and chill – it is very hearty.

I've already posted the Quinoa Cakes recipe on my last entry – you should try them – they are fantastic!




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