Friday, April 30, 2010

Seabreeze Organic Farm

We took the 5 year old's class, teachers and some parents to the organic farm where we get our CSA bag from. It was a brilliant day - there will soon be photos.
We toured the farm, then had a brilliant lunch of salad with edible flowers, pizza, sweet potatoes, quinoa cakes, fruit and cake. 
For the tour I put together a scavenger hunt booklet:
It featured all of the farm's amazing sights, sounds and smells. They looked for:
Vertical Farm Planters & Drip Irrigation
Purple Beans
Peach Trees
Edible flowers
Chickens and Eggs
Blaise (Icelandic horse)
Elsa (Nubian Goat)
Straw bale house
Worm pile

Here's a link to the photos of the farm:

and a recipe for those Quinoa Cakes (they are gluten free folks!)
2 cups quinoa, 4 cups broth or stock, 1 c either shredded parmesan or other cheese, 2 cups finely chopped vegetables of any kind, 2 cups sauteed greens, 4 to 6 eggs, 2 T olive or coconut oil.
Cook quinoa in boiling broth for 2 min.  Reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  While that is cooking, saute greens until wilted in 2 T of olive or coconut oil.  Beat eggs in separate bowl.  When quinoa is cooked, place in a large mixing bowl.  Add cheese, chopped vegetables, wilted greens, and eggs. Mix thoroughly.  Add seasonings to taste.  Heat frypan to med/high heat.  Place large spoonfuls into the pan and shape into patties.  Cook for 5 minutes or until firm enough to flip.  Turn and cook 5 minutes or until done.  Don't make cakes too large.
Talley uses carrot tops, beet tops, tat soi, bok choi, etc for greens.

you should try to arrange a tour for the CSA you belong to - and if you don't belong to one - find one here:

Monday, April 26, 2010


Real Tacos are so yummy. I love this version of tacos at home. We use fish or shrimp very often - sometimes I just use veggies! An sometimes tofu is okay if you are wanting meatless.

Shopping list:
1 garlic bulb
coarse salt
black pepper
Chile powder (mild)
light brown sugar
little bit of espresso powder (they sell this in tiny bags in the store - already ground espresso coffee)
1 1/2 lb skirt steak
package of 6 inch corn tortillas (about 3 per person)
1 -2 ripe avocado (depends how much you like avocado)
Fresh cilantro
Sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Small head purple cabbage
1 lime per person
some fresh or jarred salsa - medium - red and green
aluminum foil

Start to finish - this whole recipe takes an  hour
Take your steak out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to cooking
Steak will take 30 minutes to marinate:
1. Marinate your steak
Mush your garlic:
take two cloves and mush them with the flat side of a good chefs knife. Get rid of the peel.
sprinkle with 2 tablespoons salt and mush again with your knife - mush again and again - then scrape off into a bowl.
Put this in the bowl with garlic:
2 tablespoons mild chile powder
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons smoked or sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder or very finely ground coffee beans

Rub mixture all over skirt steak, and place in a large freezer bag to marinate for 30 minutes. seal the bag tight and beat it on the counter a few times. Leave out on the counter - do not place in the fridge. if you are not cooking straight away you can put in the fridge - however - you will need to take it out 25 minutes prior to cooking to bring to room temperature to get a true medium rare when cooking.

2. Chop up those veggies! (set your oven on 350)
thinly slice radishes (about 1 cup)
thinly slice cabbage (about 1 cup)
cut up the avocado - if you don't know how to do this go here:
chop about 1/2 cup Fresh cilantro
grate about 1 cup Sharp cheddar cheese
put about 1/2 cup Sour cream in a little bowl
wash and quarter your limes
some fresh or jarred salsa - medium - red and green
place all of these back in the fridge until you are ready to serve

3. Put those tortillas in the oven (should be 350 by now)
Wrap tortillas aluminum foil; while grilling steak, bake tortillas until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Cook your steak
Get out a plate large enough to hold your steak
Get some foil large enough to cover your steak
set aside
Heat your grill (high) or a large pan (high) - large enough to put the whole steak (I use my griddle)
put a little olive oil on pan - grill should be okay if it is clean
Take out your steak and cook 3 minutes each side
Put on plate
cover with foil for 5 minutes

4. Set it up
Take out the veggies, cheese and salsa - put on table
Take out the tortillas - put on table (with something underneath to take the heat)
Slice the steak VERY thinly on a cutting board
Transfer to a plate - put on table (with something underneath to take the heat)
Everybody should only need the tortillas to eat but I use forks because we spill quite a bit out!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

$100.00 grocery bag 04/15/2010

Greetings. Just got more results for the boys and a different rotation diet suggestion – some conflicts – like green pepper – 5 year old never eats these so I was shocked at the reaction but then the other test had no reaction for him but a reaction for the two year old. So anyways (eye-roll). I'll do my very best to give my kids a healthy vitamin rich diet that has about as many variations as possible.

This new menu could last you two weeks – it does for us, considering we eat leftovers for lunch and snacks. I'm not going to include prices – I'm including recipes instead – since the people I know who are using this don't live near me.

So here's the weekly menu – you can substitute the seafood for chicken and tofu for meats if you are vegetarian – or if you eat eggs – use eggs as your main on pasta or poached on a salad. We are avoiding plain eggs for three months and eating eggs in things like bread only once a week.

Breakfastgoat yogurt with fruit (strawberry, apple)orange upside down cakebrown rice pudding with honeyoatcakes, Fruit with sun buttercranberry sconesbuckwheat crepes with pecan maple syrup and bananablueberry muffins
Lunchchopped ham and turkey, avocado, gluten free pretzelsBLT saladpear, spinach salad with cranberries and light vinaigrettebean saladwalnut butter, shredded apple and strawberry sandwicheslentil soupleftovers
DinnerGarlic shrimp pasta - olivesNicoise saladPizza - mushroom, garlic, squash, onionlamb burgers with cucumber relish and potato saladnabe veggies, brown ricepork kebabs, spinach saladSteaks, sautéed mushrooms and onion with mashed pumpkin
sweet potato pie          lemon apricot kanten

You can buy or make your own yogurt – if you want some raw goat milk find it here:

A good non-mix bread recipe for French bread which would be great for this week:

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ⅓ cup each soy, quinoa and chickpea (garbanzo bean) flours
  • ¾ cup each tapioca and potato starch flours
  • ⅔ cup dry milk powder
  • 3½ tsps xanthan gum
  • 1½ tsps sugar
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 4 egg whites or 3 Egg Beaters
  • 1 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix all ingredients together.

3. Put into a bread pan or French bread mold and bake 50 minutes

Orange upside-down cake:

  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (or 1 T. non-hydrogenated shortening)
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 lb seedless orange pieces pith removed
  • 6-8 pecan halves (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup butter (or non-hydrogenated shortening)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten free cake mix (no sugar – if there is sugar in your mix – do NOT use the 1 cup sugar!!!)
  • 2 Large Eggs (or equivalent egg replacer)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup milk (or rice milk)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Generously grease sides of 8″ cake pan with butter (or shortening).

In medium size glass bowl, melt 1 T. butter in microwave. Pour into bottom of 8" cake pan. In glass bowl, combine water, light brown sugar, vanilla, and brandy. Stir until combined and set aside.

Place oranges in bottom of cake pan on top of butter. Place a pecan half in open spaces. Pour brown sugar mixture over oranges and set aside.

In mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and continue whipping until mixture is well combined and a pale yellow color. At low speed, slowly add the baking mix. Next, slowly pour the milk (or rice milk) into the mixing bowl. Continue to mix while adding the vanilla until well blended.

Pour the batter over oranges. Carefully smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Cool cake for at least 10 minutes. Invert onto cake plate or platter and let it cool


  • Make 2 cups of rice to serve with this
  • Kale, collards, cabbage, leeks, or any other greens
  • Daikon, carrot, or other root veggies (no beets)
  • 1 strip of kombu
  • Spring or filtered water

Get out a clay pot or an enameled cast iron

Slice up your veggies in bite sized pieces

Put 2 inches of water in the pot

Add the kombu

Bring to a boil

Add the sliced veggies starting with the harder veggies first that require the longest cooking time

End with the veggies that take a few seconds to blanche

Always keep 2 inches of water in the pot

Serve ½ cup of rice in each bowl and put the veggies next to it

You can garnish with the broth, a little ginger, a little wheat free tamari or chopped chives or scallions

Brown Rice pudding


  • 3/4 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk (milk substitute okay)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon butter

  1. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed.
  2. Stir in 1 3/4 cups of the milk, maple syrup, bring to a boil, and let simmer over medium heat until thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and butter. Cook stirring over low heat for another 5 minutes. Pour into a casserole dish, or serving bowls, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. This can be served cold also.
Lemon apricot kanten - Keith Michell

  • 4 cups no sugar added apple juice
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 cup sliced dried apricots
  • Juice of 1 lemon and rind grated
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of agar agar lakes
Head the apple juice and add raisins, apricots, and lemon rind, simmer for ½ hour add salt

Sprinkle in agar flakes and lemon juice, stir, bring to boil. Turn off heat

Pour into individual dishes or a nice mold. Leave 45 minutes in a cool place to set.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I was in the car listening to NPR and some people came on talking about their wonderful coupon site. This woman was touting her website – you pay her to become a member and you may save $100-$300 a month – on WHAT? Seriously? Rice a Roni? Cokes? Doritos? Then the man from the organization that counts who uses coupons said that use was way up. He also said that the Sunday Paper had the best coupons. Hmm – I haven't seen a Sunday Paper in over 10 years. What am I going to do with it?

The first thought that went through my mind was – I don't use coupons. But this may be interesting.

Then callers started in with things like – oh if I don't save 50%off my grocery bill then I'm devastated. Really? What the heck are you buying? Because honestly, I never see coupons for much of the food I buy. For some reason my brain has started shutting down when it comes to processed, packaged, marketed foods. Even the organic supposedly "green" ones.

I must admit – the "coupons" my favorite salon offers to tempt me, but honestly folks, I can't afford to do that right now anyways. I have mentioned them before, in more flush times, and used their coupons for an express facial with a 90 minute massage. Heck, yeah – you know – this is their way of surviving our economic mess. If they aren't around when we come out of a recession will I cry? No. Will I find another salon that made it? Probably. Maybe I'll give it up altogether and use the at home salon techniques my Body and Soul Martha Stewart magazine has taught me – I have plenty of yogurt and honey – supposedly that's a great facial.

For other DIY SPA things go here:

Coupons are different than a "special" – which is what I find myself buying. Every once in a while there's a 2 for 1 deal on the organic sugar I like, or the store is trying to turn over some inventory on something I like to buy as a pantry staple – like organic, corn syrup free ketchup (although I should be making this myself and will this year) and they'll have a deal, but in general, there's no coupons for apples, carrots, or organic meats.

It has come to my attention that this world thinks coupons are a good thing. Maybe they are when it is 50% off a kid's pair of shoes, or 2 for 1 dinner out at a new restaurant you've been wanting to try, or even diapers – but when it comes to food, cleaning products, pet food and all of those other things you can get at the grocery store it is a scam. My dad used to be one of those guys that made sure the end-cap display looked good – about 40 years ago – and he told me – avoid the middle of the store – shop on the outside, that's where the fresh stuff is, the middle has long shelf life = fillers, preservatives, low nutrition. And all of this coming from the guy who worked for Frito Lay?!

Let me allay your pet food come back right now – unless it is a coupon for the brand you use – it is just a marketing scam to get you to try something different. Most dogs actually need to have a vet visit and get a good recommendation for dog food. Dogs are actually quite sensitive and should eat a balanced diet.

In general, coupons are a way of making it seem okay to buy something you do not need.

There are some great "green" coupon sites:

But do I honestly need any of that stuff – the answer is NO.

And I bet – if you ask yourself – can I give up 1 pre-packaged food a week and replace it with something fresh? Can I treat packaged items as the treats they are? Or even eliminate them completely?

Can I reach for a fruit or veggie instead of a bag of chips? Yes, you can, and so can your kids. Did you know that your kids may turn their noses up a few times, but eventually they'll get hungry enough to eat something healthy? They will not starve to death if you have a stronger will than theirs. Just offer them a banana, carrots with almond butter, apples with tahini and raisins – you'll be surprised.

Farmers Market shopping can solve a bunch of the coupon battles, you'll stay out of the temptation of the grocery store and have local, seasonal produce (and in some cases, eggs, and meat) to choose from.

I'll leave today with a couple of recipes:

Tuna Nicoise

Serves 4

1/2 white onion, thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 jars (7 ounces each) best-quality tuna packed in olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, for serving

2 heads Bibb lettuce, pulled in layers of cups

1 1/2 cups nicoise olives, pitted

8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and thinly sliced


Put onions, 1/4 cup oil, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; season with pepper. Toss to combine. Let stand 10 minutes.

Add tuna and its oil to onion mixture. Add lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Gently toss to combine.

Top with olives, eggs, and tuna mixture, dividing evenly. Drizzle each with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Serve on lettuce cups with lemon wedges.

Warm Hummus
Adapted from Develi, Istanbul
Time: 50 minutes

4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Coarse salt
2 15 1/2-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
3 tablespoons tahini
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon kirmizi biber or Aleppo pepper (see note)
Flatbread for serving.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With food processor running, drop garlic, cumin seeds and large pinch salt through feed tube, and process until minced. Add chickpeas, 2 tablespoons hot water, tahini, oil and lemon juice, and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to shallow casserole, preferably earthenware.

2. Heat butter in small skillet. Add pine nuts and kirmizi biber, stirring briefly, and pour over chickpea mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, and serve hummus warm with wedges of flatbread.

Yield: 4 appetizer servings.

Note: Kirmizi biber, which is Turkish red pepper, and Aleppo pepper are sold at Kalustyan's, 123 Lexington Avenue (28th Street), and at Adriana's Caravan in Grand Central Market, Grand Central Terminal. A mixture of equal portions sweet paprika and cayenne pepper rubbed with a few drops of olive oil can be substituted.

Gluten Free Flatbread

This recipe comes via from Arvinder Malhotra.

150 ml tepid milk

275g (10 oz.) rice flour

60 grams tapioca flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

2 teaspoons caster sugar

2 teaspoons dried active yeast

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

150 ml plain/natural yogurt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

In a bowl mix tepid milk with 1 teaspoon sugar and the yeast, then sit bowl in warm place for 4-5 minutes.

Sift the flours, Xanthan gum, salt, baking powder into a bowl or food mixer. Add remaining sugar, oil, yogurt, egg and mix until smooth.

Preheat oven to the highest setting. Make dough into 6 equal sized balls. Roll out balls into a tear shape that is ¼ inch thick (use rice flour if necessary to prevent sticking).

Preheat a heavy baking tray in oven. Remove tray and put the naan on it. Return to the oven for 5 mins, or until the naan puffs up and turns light brown. Place tray under the broiler 30 seconds to 1 minute for extra browning.