Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bountiful Baskets Jan. 28, 2012

In Winter, when the garden is growing slowly, I like to take advantage of Bountiful Baskets, a co-op here in the Western states. Your contribution for a conventional basket (5-6 fruit items and 5-6 vegetables items) is only $15.

I ordered both a conventional basket (not strictly organic) and an Asian pack from Bountiful Baskets this week. I was very pleased with the offerings. My refrigerator is pretty well overflowing with vegetables, which is always nice. I'll be making stirfry for dinner tomorrow night!

Pictured below, the Asian pack included an eggplant, 2 yellow onions, celery, bok choy, napa cabbage, green onions, basil, garlic, ginger (small piece next to the onion), fresh water chestnuts and peas. The quality was very good.

Asian Pack $8.50
 The conventional basket had lots of braeburn apples, tangerines, a clam shell of blueberries, green beans, bell peppers (green and red), cabbage, asparagus, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, green beans and a bag of red potatoes. The tomatoes have a bit of ripening ahead of them, but they should be ready to use later this week.
 Conventional Basket $15

Monday, January 23, 2012

Recipe: Hummus, Tomato, Spinach and Sprouts Sandwich

Today for lunch I looked in the refrigerator to see what I could create. It was slim pickings let me tell you! Husband and I were in California all week, and we just stopped by the little market in town on the way home for a few things. However, I still had some sunflower greens left (they keep for a week or two after picking if you put them dry into an airtight container in the refrigerator). I had just picked up the tomatoes and the Sara Lee Thin Style Buns (honey wheat) at the market. So, I spread some hummus onto the bun...

I used the Athenos Roasted Garlic Hummus that I had on hand.

Here is a picture of the sunflower greens that I grew a couple of weeks ago.

From there, it was just assembling all of the ingredients.

It was really very delicious. I put some spinach on (see it peeking out under the sliced tomatoes?).

For under 200 calories, this is a very delicious sandwich, full of flavor and nutrition.  Here's the recipe (copy and paste it to a word document, and then print it out):

Hummus, Tomato, Spinach and Sprouts Sandwich

Sara Lee Thin Style Buns  100 calories

2 TBSP Hummus, 50 calories

Sunflower sprouts, Spinach, Sliced tomatoes, 25 calories if that

Open bun. Spread 1 TBSP of hummus on each side of bun. Place spinach, sprouts and sliced tomato on either side of bun. Carefully put tomato side on top of sprout side to form the sandwich. Enjoy!

Try it and let me know how much you enjoyed it!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Potato Pancakes from Instant Potatoes

One of most popular blog posts I've shared has been the one back in 2008 where I made potato pancakes using instant potatoes. I thought I'd share it again since I'm on the road and not cooking today.

Check out my original post here.  Instant potatoes are a great food storage item. I have a couple of cases of potato flakes in my food storage. They are easy to reconstitute. The type I have call for milk and butter, but they taste as close to fresh mashed potatoes as I've ever had.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oven Baked Ono with Spinach, Blueberry, Kiwi Salad

I've been fixing fish for most of our evening meals. I decided to bake some Ono and served it with a fantastic spinach salad. Here is the recipe:

Spinach, Blueberry Kiwi Salad

2-3 c. baby spinach, washed and torn
6 oz. blueberries
1-2 kiwi, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 c. walnuts
Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing, to taste

Plate the spinach. Add the blueberries, kiwi and walnuts. Squeeze the dressing as desired onto the salad. Serves 2-3.

Here is the dressing. I bought it at Whole Foods. It is oil free, and mostly fruit concentrates. Very light but perfect for this salad.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing or Dip Recipe

I've been trying out a few homemade salad dressing and dip recipes over the past week. I want a nice variety of recipes so that I can make my dressings, and have more control over the ingredients that go into them. Also, I want to keep the calories low. There is nothing more wasteful when you blow your calorie allotment on salad dressing. Do you agree?  I found this recipe over at Kitchen Of Health. 

This is a nice tasting dressing. I made some yesterday and took it to a book club. Everyone liked it. I served it with sliced cucumbers and carrot stips. I love it with the carrot strips!

Creamy Avocado Dressing

2 avocadoes, peeled and pitted
Juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime
1 tsp. lime zest
1 peeled cucumber
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder
dash of sea salt

Blend all ingredients together in a food processer or blender until smooth, adjusting water to get desired consistency. Refrigerate unused portions. Yield 3 cups.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Best Granola Recipe

I've had this recipe for granola for years. I've seen people make it on YouTube since I've had the recipe, but I'm not sure where I got the recipe. I think it has probably been around for years. It is the best recipe I've tried for granola!

First, I had a picture of some of the ingredients that you'll need; unsweetened coconut, ribbon coconut, chopped raw almonds (I sprouted mine), wheat germ, raw sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are pictured below.

Here is the recipe. All you need to do is measure out your ingredients, mix it all together, and pop it in the oven. Easy, relatively healthy and delicious. What's not to like about that?! Not much :)

Best Granola

6 c. rolled oats
1/2  to 1 c. wheat germ
1 c. unsweetened coconut
1 c. nuts (I love sprouted, dehydrated chopped almonds)
1/2 c. ribbon coconut
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/2c. canola oil
1 c. honey (you can use agave if you prefer)
1 c. raisins (or other dried fruit)
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
2 TBSP vanilla

Mix grains, nuts, seeds and coconut together thoroughly. Pour oil and honey over mixture and stir well. Spread on 2 lightly oiled cookie sheets (or one large roasting pan). Bake at 300* for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Stir occasionally while baking. When the mixture is golden brown, take out and mix in the raisins and any other dried fruit., vanilla and almond extract. Put back into the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Try not to eat it all once you take it out of the oven!

Above is a picture of all of the ingredients, except the oil and honey mixed together. And, below, once it is in the roasting pan to bake.

If you like a crunchy granola, then spread it out onto 2 cookie sheets.

Above, crunchy granola after baking. Below, served with Greek yogurt and banana slices.

 A close up.....

In a mason jar to use later!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Garden Report Jan. 5, 2012

If you are trying to get more vegetables into your diet, the best way is to grow your own. Not only will they be fresh with better nutrient values, but they just taste better. Fresh vegetables are better in any recipe. You can grow most vegetables in pots if you don't have space for a large garden. Gardening is also a great hobby!

 Garden gnome from my friend, Char watches over my vegetables!

I've always enjoyed gardening. I remember as a 5 year old, visiting our neighbor in Escondido, California who had a wonderful garden. He allowed my siblings and I to pick cherry tomatoes off of his plants, and we'd pop them in our mouths. Delicious! Perhaps that is when I caught the gardening bug!?
I have a year round container garden. Here is how the plants are looking as of today:

These are beets. I have two pots of beets and they are doing very well. I might clip some of the greens for our stir fry tonight. I am so tempted to pull up a plant and see if I have any actual beets.

Swiss chard. I love this stuff. Great for smoothies and in stir fry. I will definitely be clipping some of this for tonight's dinner.

Peas. I have 2 pots of peas. Since the garden is covered in plastic, I think that these took a bit of a hit. Too hot under there. I took the plastic off for the day. Temps are in the 60's daytime and low 30's nighttime. Fortunately, they are making a come back.

Here are the sunflower greens I'm growing in the kitchen. I love sunflower greens. Awesome taste and so nutritious! They are delicious on salads, sandwiches and scrambled eggs.

This is a picture of the black oil sunflower seeds I get from Sprout People

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Red Curry Salmon Chowder

I found this recipe in one of those freebie magazines that you get at the health food store. The name of the magazine is Delicious Living.  This soup certainly was delicious! This is one of the best recipes I have tried out in a while.

Red Curry Salmon Chowder

Serves 4 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes

1 TBSP coconut oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 TBSP Thai red curry paste
1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red Fresno pepper, sliced
1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
1-2 cups low sodium vegetable or fish stock
2 tsp low-sodium fish sauce
2 tsp honey
1 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into large chunks
2 small heads (1/2 pound each) bok choy, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 c. cilantro leaves and thin, tender stems
2 large limes, cut into wedges

Heat the coconut oil in a medium-large saucepan; cook onion and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes, until just softened.

Stir in curry paste, ginger, garlic and Fresno pepper; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, and honey; bring to a boil and add salmon and bok choy. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 3-6 minutes (depending on salmon thickness), until bok choy is tender.

Divide  among four bowls, sprinkle with basil and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges on the side.

377 cal, 29g fat (6 sat), 5 gm protein, 23 gm carb, 4 gm fiber and 211 mg sodium

How it all went down:

The recipe called for a pound of skinless salmon fillet, but I couldn't find any wild salmon at the stores yesterday, and I went to FIVE stores (ugh) to find it. No basil in any of those same stores. So we didn't have that as a garnish for the soup. As far as the salmon was concerned, I purchased canned wild salmon, and it was a good substitution. My son suggested for the next time I make it, that I add more salmon! OK, yes, this is my son that has always eaten fish and has loved it since he was little. But, a little more salmon isn't a bad idea if you are using canned. I'd use two cans of salmon in the future.

I also couldn't find a Fresno pepper, which is hotter than a jalepeno. None of the stores had fresh jalepenos either. All bought out. It was New Year's Eve after all. I should have planned ahead.
So, instead, I just used the red bell pepper that was in my refrigerator. It made for a milder soup. Fortunately, I had everything else on hand. The key to preparing any recipe is that it is OK to make a substitution here and there! Regardless, we will definitely make this again.