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Monday, November 5, 2012

More Harvest

Well I did get a little planting in this fall, actually my husband did.  He planted greens and garlic!  YAY!  But this post is about harvesting and not planting.  I have really been interested in local plants this year, along with some of my favorites that I purchase.  And last week it was dandelion root and this past weekend poke root.  Yes poke can be dangerous if not taken appropriately.  It can also be beneficial with boosting immunity and hormonal issues (just to name a couple of uses).  Here is a nice link to a great article about Poke.

This is poke root, above, isn't it amazing!  So big and strong, it really takes a lot of work to get it out of the ground, as my husband can attest.  He was such a huge help in harvesting this poke root.  It was one particular poke plant that called to me this year, it was growing right in the middle of our raspberry patch.  Jackson asked me about it, and although we have quite a bit of poke around, I felt like this one needed to stay put.  So we left it in the raspberries all summer long.  It grew tall and strong.  And finally it has succumbed to the fall cold, and gathered all its life energy back to the root.  Which means harvest time for us!  And the root was just so large, and gave so much wonderful goodness for tincture and oil.  You can probably see in the picture that we did not get all the root out of the ground, so we will see what sprouts in spring.

And here is another root, dandelion root.  We don't seem to have a lot of dandelion in our yard.  Lots of relatives of dandelion, but only a bit of actual dandelion.  I found a couple of small patches, nice to eat the greens in spring, and harvest the root in fall. Great for the liver.  Here is an article about dandelion by Susun Weed.  

Here is a youtube video about poke root:

Enjoy the green goodness around you!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baby Chicks Are Growing UP!

Remember those baby chicks I posted about back in May.  Well they are growing up fast.  Still no eggs but I expect eggs any time now.  We have moved them from a heated place inside, to a heated place outside and now onto pasture using the electric mesh fencing to keep out dogs, coyotes and such.  They are loving being on pasture.  You can also see in the picture that we are using the chicken tractor we made.  Our next project is to make a perching area.  I want to make an "awning" of sorts, out of corrugated plastic, that can be raised up for shelter from the sun and rain, but also lowered for ease of moving the chicken tractor around.  Have a nice perching area under that awning.  I think they would enjoy that, and happy chicks help make healthy chicks!

Still cute!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Yellow Dock

What a wonderful yellow dock harvest yesterday.  Jackson helped me dig up this "well rooted" plant, all the leaves were dead and the stalks with the seeds nice and brown, perfect time, and a perfect day for it as well.  The air is nice and crisp in the mornings and evenings and during the day it warms up nicely.  Not too hot to be outside, so it is nice to be out enjoying the gardens again.  I harvested a bowl of root yesterday and then washed and chopped them up for a quart jar of yellow dock vinegar and a pint jar of yellow dock tincture.  Now to let them sit for a while.

Here is a picture of the washed root:

And her it is all chopped and added to jars.  You can see the vinegar on the left and the tincture on the right.

Here is a great youtube video on making yellow dock vinegar:

And click here for some information about the medicinal uses of yellow dock.  If you google yellow dock you can find a lot of information on yellow dock.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

OK yes, Mexican Lasagna, for lack of a better title.  This is a recipe I made up years ago after seeing a similar recipe in a cook book. I now see similar recipes all over the Internet.  We have adapted it to our needs and it is a quick delicious meal.  My youngest son is not a huge fan, he does not like much cheese, but the other three of us love it.

2 cups of cooked beans (I use either kidney or black beans but pintos would work well too)
1 package of non meat crumbles
1 jar of organic (we use home made) salsa
1 can enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (or just cheddar)
Corn tortillas (about 12-15 of the small ones)

Oil a 5 quart slow cooker (or you can also put this in a casserole dish and cook at 350 for about 30-45 minutes once it is all put together), I do this as it makes clean up easier, sometimes there is a little stuck on cheese, but if you oil your slow cooker first it cleans up so easy.  Layer tortillas (if you do not like corn tortillas it works just as well with flour) like you would an Italian lasagna, they may over lap some, that is totally fine.  Then sprinkle on about 1/3 of the beans, and 1/3 of the crumbles (if you want to you could substitute cooked ground beef or even shredded cooked chicken).  Sprinkle on 1/3 of the salsa and 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.  Now top with 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat the layering process 2 more times (tortillas, beans, crumbles, salsa, enchilada sauce, and cheese on top).  Cook on low for about 2 hours until the cheese is melted.

I usually take one end of this dish and use goat cheese instead of the Mexican cheese blend, so that my end has no cow cheese in it, just for me.  But you could do that with the whole dish, the goat cheese ads a really nice tangy flavor.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Split Pea Soup

Very simple and basic recipe, although this is vegan, so no meat in here, I know that it is traditional to use some form of a pig in pea soup but not this one.

3-4 cups split peas, rinsed
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 quart water
2 carrots diced
1 onion diced
2 celery spears diced
2 potatoes peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped parsley, I used flat and curly leaf parsley
S&P to taste, I used about 1 tsp of each

Add everything to the slow cooker and cook on high for 10-12 hours.  Then I used my immersion blender to blend it all up and served with some fresh homemade bread.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thai Peanut Tofu

This dish has got to be one of my favorite dishes, Dallen's as well.  It is just so delicious and peanutty without being "sweet".

-Extra Firm Tofu
-2 TBSP peanut oil
-1 tsp sesame oil
-1 chopped onion
-1 chopped carrot
-1 clove minced garlic
-2-3 inches grated ginger
-1 zucchini chopped
-1/4 cup vegetable broth

-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup coconut milk
-2 tsp tamari
-1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- pinch Cayenne

-Sesame seeds

Pre press your tofu to get rid of any excess moisture, then cube into about 1/2 to 1 inch cubes.  Heat the peanut oil and sesame oil in a skillet on med/high heat.  Add tofu and stir fry for about 5 minutes, stirring, until it is browned.  Remove the tofu and set this in a bowl to the side.  Now add your onion, carrot, garlic, ginger, and vegetable broth to the skillet.  Turn the heat down to lo or med/lo, cover, and just simmer for about 4-5 minutes.  Next add the zucchini to the pan and simmer a few more minutes, covered, until the zucchini is softer but still a little bit crisp, I don't like mushy zucchini.  Remember to keep checking the vegetables and adding a bit more broth if you need it.  You don't want the pan to cook dry.

While this is cooking, in a small bowl add the peanut butter, coconut milk, tamari, pepper and Cayenne and whisk it all together.  When your vegetables are done, add the tofu back to the skillet, and mix in your peanut butter mixture.  Just let it sit on the hot stove for a minute, while you are mixing it all so that everything can heat up.  Sprinkle on a few sesame seeds and it is DONE.

I served this with sticky rice but any rice will do, whatever your family likes best.  You could also serve this over rice noodles.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Just watched the documentary Frankensteer.  This documentary is a few years old, but the information is current and it is very informative.  Frankensteer wraps a lot of information into 44 minutes, in a way that everyone will be able to understand.  It covers growth hormones, low level antibiotic use, feeding meat to cows, mad cow disease, feed lots, feeding corn to cows, organic beef, and beef processing.  I will say that at about minute 25 they start to review the process of feeding ground up beef parts to cows and show the unused portions of beef being ground up.  This turned my stomach a little, just for those who are a little squeemish.  I would highly recommend this documentary to anyone who eats, or cooks with store bought, non organic, non grass fed beef.

If you have a netflix membership you can find this as a "watch it now" selection.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Potato Salad

I adapted this recipe from the Marinated Red Potato Salad that is on page 126 of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking.  It was delicious and I did try the oil replacer recipe in the book for this recipe.  The recipe in the book makes a lot but this particular recipe only called for 3 TBSP, so next time I would probably cut the recipe in 1/2 for the replacer.  My husband is trying to cut back on the fat in his diet so thought I would give it a try.  I did like it, the replacer acts as sort of a binding agent.  It gives more texture to the broth and vinegar in the recipe so that those don't just pool at the bottom of the bowl, but actually stay mixed in the salad.

Oil Replacer Recipe:
Whisk together 2 cups water, 2 TBSP corn starch (I used tapioca starch), 3/4 tsp xanthan gum.  While whisking heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes until it thickens.  Let it cool and you are ready to use it.

Potato Salad Recipe:
6 medium potatoes diced into about 1 inch pieces
2 celery spears chopped
1 small onion minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, for this I used flat leaf parsley
2 tsp dried dill, or 2  TBSP chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 TBSP oil replacer
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
S&P to taste

Cook the potatoes until knife tender, drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and cool.

Add to a bowl the potatoes, celery, onion, parsley and dill.  In a small bowl whisk together the vegetable broth, vinegar, oil replacer and yeast.  Add the liquid to the potato salad and stir.  Add S&P to your taste.

Monday, May 21, 2012

More Chicks!

OK the day after our bees arrived, our baby chicks arrive.  I do enjoy going to pick them up at the post office, it is the larger sorting place in Hickory, and when we enter the door we can see all the chicks everyone else has ordered and this time, a special treat, a package of bees someone had ordered.  The chicks are always excited to see us ;-)

These are for eggs, and this time around I bought Rhode Island Reds and Rock Whites.  These are two breeds I have had in the past and are really great, dependable egg layers.  The ones I have now are great egg layers when the conditions are perfect, LOL.  If there is a slight dip in temperature they quit for about a week, then start laying again. These chicks also came from McMurray Hatchery.

Of course it does take some time before they are old enough to even lay eggs, so for now they are under a heat lamp, staying warm and growing.  Just cute little puff balls.  By next spring they will be taking the place of my current layers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Pumpkin Waffles

OK this is another delicious recipe, I say that about a lot of recipes ;-).  Very rich and flavorful!  I didn't use any syrup on these waffles. The recipe comes from this web site, but I cut it in 1/2 and adapted it to be dairy free as well as gluten free and they were wonderful!  Everyone in the family enjoyed them.

1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup almond milk
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Earth Balance

Just preheat your waffle iron and cook like you would any other waffle.  Just pumpkin goodness!


I can't remember if I posted here or not that we wanted to get some bees.  A friend is doing a project for her sustainability degree, on bees.  And I have always been interested in bee keeping, just a little too afraid to jump in.  So I decided to learn along with her and take the leap.

I might have posted pictures of us building our bee boxes and frames.  And this past weekend Jackson, dh, and I picked up a nuc of bees.  This is really cool as a nuc is just a hive in miniature.  Just the nucleus hive.  So while we were putting the nuc frames into our own boxes we really got to see everything.  Jackson identified the queen.  Not sure I would have been able to pick her out as there were just so many bees.  We could see larvae, capped brood, capped honey.  They were so busy it was just incredible.  I thought I would be more nervous about it.  We bought a bee hood and gloves, but other than that I wore a hoodie to cover my arms, and long pants.  But the bees were so busy doing what they do, and we were so busy doing what we do that I wasn't nervous.  I was prepared to be stung.  I mean when you have that many bees and you are moving them....I just thought it was obvious that I would be stung.  But not one sting, Jackson either, neither one of us had one sting.

It was really fascinating.  I keep wanting to go check them out but am doing my best to leave them alone so they can get working.  We have so many flowers and trees in bloom right now, and it won't be long before our gardens will be in bloom.  So I hope they have enough resources to pull from to make it through the winter.  For right now I go part way down the pasture and just look at them from a distance.  My friend suggested binoculars, so I think when it stops raining, I will do just that.

Here are some pictures from that day:

And one more thing, a plug from the place where we got our bees, 7 Stands Bee Farm.  The web site is a little sparse, but this father son team is very nice, and full of knowledge.  We had the pleasure of meeting the father, Jim.  And he was so nice and had lots of tips for us getting started.  Said to call him any time if we had any questions or problems and he was happy to help.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fruit and Nut Bars

These are similar to a commercial brand.  I was tired of paying $1 a bar, on sale, for Lara Bars, so I decided to make my own.  I mean the bars only have a few ingredients so I figured "how hard can it be".  And it was so easy, PLUS my boys are loving them.  The ones in the picture are apricot but you can use ANY dried fruit~really.  I also substitute the apricot with dried tart cherries, and dried apple.  My boys love the tart cherry bars the best.

-1 cup raw organic almonds
-1 cup dried apricots
-1 cup dried dates
-2 TBSP coconut spread

I do want to say that the coconut spread I just ran across and Amazing Savings is just that, organic coconut (oil, pulp and all) pureed.  That is the only ingredient organic coconut.  And we are really enjoying the flavor it adds to the bars.  If you don't have the coconut I would probably use a little less almond or add more of the dried dates.

Just add all ingredients to a food processor and let it run on high for a couple of minutes.  Line a pan, I use a small rectangular pan, with parchment paper.  Put the mixture from the food processor into the lined pan and press.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  You can then lift the paper right out of the pan and cut the cooled mixture into bars or squares.

I put them into a covered dish and leave them in the refrigerator.  They rarely last more than a day.  I want to experiment with different nuts, but my boys want the almonds so I haven't had time.  I also think shredded coconut or sesame seeds would be tasty.  

Starting the 2012 Harvest

OK so my asparagus was the beginning of my spring harvest.  But these come in second.  I have been really working this year to take advantage of what we have already growing on our piece of property.  Rather than always buying my herbs elsewhere.  I want to be more self sufficient.  So the blackberries are thriving, I starting picking blackberry leaf to dry.  Will probably harvest blackberry leaf at least 2 or 3 more times this year.  We have so much of it that I really don't have to worry about harvesting too much, but I am aware of how much I am harvesting from any one plant as I DO want blackberries later on in the season, YUM!  I am simply drying it on a screen elevated just a bit off my dining room table so the air can circulate.  Blackberry leaf is high in Vit C so a great immune system booster.  Also it is good for the digestive system.  
I also harvested some red clover yesterday.  The red clover is just starting to bloom, so I will go out again in a couple of days to harvest again.  But it is so beautiful.  Again I am just air drying on a screen in my dining room.  Red clover is great for pre and menopausal symptoms, also has a lot of anti cancer properties.

Google either of these plants and learn for yourself what they are good for!  You will be amazed at what is growing in your own backyard!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Herb Garden

It has been slow going this year.  The weather has been so erratic, one day it is 80 degrees and the next it is 30.    But things are progressing, the upper garden is all planted.  The chicks have had their fill from the lower garden and that is all tilled and ready.  We hope to plant the sorghum and watermelons in the lower garden this coming weekend.

My herb garden has had some nice organic compost added to it and worked into the soil.  My husband helped me lay out the stones and it is ready for planting.  I am hoping to get that done this week.  I am really enjoying the layout and think it will be a nice addition to my back yard.  My goal is to NOT mow the back yard, have it all bushes, shrubs, herbs and beauty!  But until then here is a current picture:

And my lucky find, in the soil.  I will have to find a special place for this.  I mean it has to mean I have chosen exactly the right spot for my herbs!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Barefoot Gardening

OK have I mentioned how much I love to garden barefoot?  I bet I have, and I bet it was just about 12 months ago.  It is just such a wonderful feeling, after being in shoes all winter, to go out in the soft, freshly tilled, sun-warmed earth and get your toes dirty!  It feels like walking on pillows.  Gotta love that feeling.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chickweed-Onion Bread

I have chickweed everywhere in my yard!  Just so much of it right now, and I don't want it to die before I have a chance to eat some.  So I made chickweed onion bread.  DELICIOUS!  I did have a piece, even though I paid for it later (because of the gluten), it smelled too good to pass up.  The boys all loved it as well and Phil said I should make lots more.

Chickweed is just so good for you, so many vitamins and minerals, with a mild taste, somewhat like spinach.  Dried it can be used for so many things and as a poultice as well, great for skin conditions, and rashes.  Good to drink a chickweed tea when you have a cold.  You can google chickweed and just see what it is great for.  I use chickweed oil for poison ivy to control the itching.  Anyway back to my bread.

I found a recipe for chickweed in an onion bread, but the bread recipe had milk in it and was not "my" bread recipe so I just used my own bread recipe and added the chickweed and onion.

2 cups chopped chickweed
1 onion diced up very small (my boys don't like to chomp on onion, they like the flavor but prefer to not know         it is there...LOL)
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP Honey
1 TBSP yeast
4-1/2 to 5 cups flour

In a saute pan add 1 TBSP olive oil a fry the onions just 2 minutes.  Next add 1/4 cup water, the chickweed and turn your heat back to med, cover, and let your onion and chickweed steam for another 3-4 minutes.  Set this aside to cool.  While the chickweed and onion are cooling add to a bowl (I use my kitchen aid mixer for this) 1 1/2 cups warm water, 2 TBSP Olive Oil, yeast, honey, salt and let it sit for just about 30 seconds, you will see the yeast start to bubble.  Now add in your onion and chickweed as well as your flour, start with adding about 4 cups of flour, then slowly add more as you need it.  You will know you have enough when the dough pulls away from the bowl.  With my kitchen aid mixer I let it beat for a minute or two.  If you are doing this by hand you will knead the dough for about 5 minutes on a floured bread board.  This will make two loaves if you are using loaf pans.  So divide your dough, form into your loaf pan.  Let it rise in a nice warm place, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  I did not use loaf pans but instead formed it into a nice round loaf and let it rise on a cookie sheet.  This I baked at 350 degrees and it takes 35-40 minutes to cook.

The chickweed was about 4 cups before I chopped it.  All chopped up it was about 2 cups.  Here is what it looks like:

And I use this site for identifying plants, you can use it to identify chickweed in your own yard:  Eat the Weeds.  I just noticed on his site he also has a recipe for chickweed bread that is almost like mine, except he makes a smaller loaf.  So use his recipe if you are looking for just one loaf.  Chickweed must be a popular bread addition, who knew!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Herb Garden

So this year a new addition to our mini farm is an herb garden.  My hope is to fill it with medicinal and culinary herbs.  Right now it is just a thought in my head and a tilled up piece of back yard.  I would really like to have a back yard that does not need any mowing.  Right now we don't use the back yard.  There were a couple of shrubs in the middle of the space, planted by the previous owners.  So those were the first to go, one was replanted in a better spot and the other will be mulched and reused in another form ;-)

This area is near the house so it will be easy to weed and take care of.  It is beside my little patio area, I think you can see some of the edge of the patio in the picture.  I have a chair there, and really enjoy just sitting and knitting...having a cuppa chai and looking out over the mountainous backdrop.  So I think the addition of the herb garden will be a pleasing sight.  It is a pretty large circle, about 1/3 of it gets total sun and the other 2/3 gets partial sun.  I want to add some berry bushes to the sides, but that is a project for another day.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Apple Crisp

This is a gluten free, dairy free version.

8 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 TBSP tapioca starch

1/2 cup Gluten Free Oats
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup earth balance

maple syrup

in a large bowl add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and tapioca starch and gently stir.  Add the apple mixture to a large baking dish.  (if you are using a 9X13 pan you may want to double the topping recipe).  Next, in another bowl, combine GF oats, rice flour, potato flour, brown sugar and melted earth balance.  Mix until well combined.  Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture.  Lastly (optional) drizzle just a little maple syrup on top.  Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Collard Wraps

During our trip to San Antonio, we had the experience of eating at Green, a vegetarian restaurant.  YES, in the middle of cattle country ;-).  The food was so fresh and delicious we ate there three times while we were on vacation.  One dish I had was a collard wrap, and since our vacation I have been making my own collard wraps.  Here is MY recipe:

3 large collard leaves
shredded cabbage
shredded carrot
cashew spread
miso dressing
dried cranberries

(really any vegetable you would want in a wrap would work, I think sprouts would be nice!)

1.  Lay out two collard leaves, vertical,  side by side, with the tops away from you and the sides overlapping.

2.  Horizontally at the top of the collards lay our your toppings.  I start with the cashew spread, then layer on my cabbage and carrot, top with a little miso dressing and dried cranberries.  

3.  Lay the last collard leaf, horizontally over your toppings, this helps to hold everything together.

4.  Roll your wrap down, starting at the top and folding in the sides just a little, just like you would for a tortilla wrap.


Cashew spread:
2 cups raw cashews
2 TBSP lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground back pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 water

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and process until it is a nice spreadable consistency, you may need a little more or less water depending on how thick you like it.  

Miso dressing:
I made this with the specific idea of the wraps in mind, but once I tasted it I am using it for everything now, delicious!

The recipe comes from the Vegan Yum Yum book I purchased not long ago, I did make some adaptations, here is my recipe:

1 heaping TBSP miso (pick your favorite)
1 tsp mustard (again your choice, all I had on hand was yellow mustard but a nice dark spicy mustard would be great)
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
pepper to taste, I used about 1/2 tsp
peanut oil

Add all, except the peanut oil, to a cup or jar.  I used my immersion blender (but you could use a whisk) to blend while I added peanut oil, use a good quality, organic oil.  You could use other oil, but I liked the taste of the peanut oil.  I probably added about 1/4 cup of oil, but just blend and slowly add the oil at the same time until it is the consistency you like.  

Monday, March 26, 2012


We have asparagus popping up all over right now.  I love asparagus and one reason I love spring so much.  It just reminds me of all the goodness that is to follow.  It is one of the first crops to pop up with all its deliciousness.

We planted another 50 roots this year as well, and I can see them peeking up through the mulch, so thin, but I think by next year they will be a good size to eat!

Maybe we will have asparagus soup for supper tonight!

Tomato Basil Cream Pasta

This is a recipe that also comes from the Vegan Yum Yum book.  It was a quick, easy recipe on a day when I had no time to think about supper.  Served this with a nice salad.  Everyone here loved it and I will definitely be making it again.  The cashews really add the "creamy" ness that I used to get with another pasta dish I made years ago, with no dairy.  Everyone here thought there was cheese in it, the texture and color pureed cashews really gives it that "grated Parmesan" look and feel.

I did not use the ripe tomatoes, or tomato paste, instead I used a nice organic jarred spaghetti sauce.
This recipe is on page 217 of the book.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Well, Jackson and I decided to start another venture this year, to add to our little farm....bees.  I know it isn't easy, have heard that from several different people, but we are going to give it a whirl.  We are trying to live a more sustainable, self sufficient life and this is just another avenue.  A friend of mine is actually studying bees as part of her college program of study, so we are sort of doing it together.

Yesterday we went to the Miller Bee Supply place in North Wilkesboro.  The people there were so nice, I was pleasantly surprised as they all gave me a funny look as I walked in, LOL.  Maybe that was all in my imagination.  We met a few beekeepers there, and looked, talked, and BOUGHT!  Decided to build our own boxes and frames, which actually was very easy and didn't take long at all.  Glad we made that choice.

I still have a lot to learn, but I think this will be a fun journey.

Monday, March 12, 2012


This is a simple basic biscuit recipe.  I want it on my blog so I don't have to hunt down a recipe every time my boys want biscuits.  So here it is:

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup cold butter
1 cup milk

Add dry ingredients to a glass bowl. Then add the butter and with two knives or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients.  Now add your milk it might take a little less than a cup, might take a little more.  But you want it to be thick, not runny.  DO NOT over mix your dough, mix in the milk until it is just mixed, no more.  Flour your counter top and press the dough until it is about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.  With a biscuit cutter cut biscuits and put them into an oiled, over safe pan.  Dot the top of the biscuits with butter.  Cook 425 degrees for 13-17 minutes, tops with be just a little browned.  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Carrot and Onion Frittata

My breakfast frittata this morning!

1 dozen eggs
2 carrots chopped
1 large onion chopped
tomato sauce
1-1/2 cups shredded Manchego cheese
2 TBSP grated Pecorino Romano cheese
S&P to taste
Your favorite salsa

Add the chopped onion and carrot plus the tomato sauce to a pan.  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Keep an eye on this so there is no burning.  I used the tomato sauce instead of any Olive Oil for this recipe and just kept a good eye on it while it was cooking.  The liquid evaporated a little and my onion and carrots were nice and tender.  It also gave my frittata a great tomato flavor.  Add the cooked veggies to a bowl along with a dozen beaten eggs, both cheeses and a little S&P.  Mix together and pour into an oiled pie plate.  Cook at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until the top is a little brown.  Slice and top with salsa, this salsa happens to be my husbands salsa he made last summer and canned. Delicious!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Shepherdess' Pie

OK this is another recipe the family really likes out of the Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, Shepherdess' Pie, pg 207.

I didn't follow the recipe exactly, here are my alterations so I remember for next time.

I used about 6 med sized potatoes, boiled them and prepared them as I normally would for mashed potatoes (mash with a little earth balance, little plain almond milk, little vegetable broth and S&P to taste).

For the veggie mixture I left out the turnips, just thought that might be a strong flavor that might overwhelm everything else. I also left out the mushrooms because I didn't have any.  I did use 2 celery spears, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 1/2 cups green beans I had canned from last summer's garden.

I cooked the carrot, onion, and celery in about 1/2 cup vegetable broth for about 5 minutes, then added the corn, peas, and green beans.  I covered this and let it simmer for about 5 minutes (I added about 1/4 cup more vegetable broth so the pan would not run dry).

After this I added the garlic, basil, thyme, sage, red wine, tomato paste, tamari and parsley to the veggies.  I dissolved about 1 TBSP tapioca starch in the red wine before I added it to the veggies.  And at this time I also added the crumbled tempeh.  Stirred it all up and let it thicken.

For the measurements and to see what the original recipe called for please get the book!

Add the delicious veggie mixture to a casserole dish, top with the mashed potatoes and cooked in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Asian Style Vegetables and Rice Noodles

This recipe was made up by my husband Jackson, and son Phillip.  Last Wednesday I was just so tired, Tuesday was a long busy day and Wednesday I just had no energy left.  So when supper time came I made a couple of easy suggestions that were quickly thrown out.  Phillip wanted something "Asian" with a teriyaki feel to it.  Phil did some looking on line and both went into the kitchen and this is what they came up with:

2 celery spears chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 onion diced
1 cup edamame
1 heard broccoli chopped, including the stalks
1 square of tempeh crumbled
1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup tamari sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP honey
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dry mustard
4 garlic cloves crushed

Rice Noodles cooked by package directions

Add celery, carrot, onion to a sauce pan with the vegetable broth, cover, and simmer for just 2-3 minutes.  Add the broccoli, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes more.  You still want some crunch to the veggies.  Next add edamame, tempeh, tamari sauce, sesame oil, honey, ground ginger, mustard and garlic.  Cover and let that all heat up (only takes a minute or two).

Serve the vegetable mixture over your rice noodles.  Delicious!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creamy Veggie Pasta

OK I used to make a version of this years ago, but that one contained milk, sour cream, and gluten full pasta.  So I stopped making it.  This version is much healthier with more veggies.

~1 TBSP Olive Oil
~1 onion diced
~2 celery ribs chopped
~2 carrots diced
~2 cups green beans (these were green beans I had canned from last year's garden)
~1 package Quorn Chicken-Not chunks or you could easily use 2 chicken breasts cooked and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
~1/2 bag Tinkiada gluten free pasta (that is the brand I like the BEST) cooked.
~2-1/2 cups plain almond milk
~4-6 ounces of goat cheese crumbled
~1 TBSP tapioca starch

Add olive oil, onion, celery, and carrot to a pan on med-high heat.  Stir for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.  Add Quorn Chicken-Not chunks and 2 cups almond milk.  Let this heat until the Chicken-Not chunks are thawed and hot.  Now add your green beans and goat cheese to the mixture and bring this up to just a boil, stir so the goat cheese is all melted in there.  Next, in a small bowl, stir your tapioca starch and 1/2 cup almond milk.  Add the starch/almond milk mixture to the pan, along with the cooked pasta.  Bring the pan back to a boil and it will thicken.  S+P to taste.

Everyone in my family loved this.  I didn't have any veggie broth on hand but I think next time I make this dish I will add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to the pan when I add the 2 cups almond milk.  I just think it will give it a little more dimension.

I am also enjoying blogging my recipes.  And so are the boys.  It is so easy and fun to look through my recipe index, check out everything we have eaten and make our weekly meal plan.  So much easier to have the picture to go with the dish.  When my boys say "mom I want to make that dish we had, you know...that had the green beans in it...."  We can go to the blog and look at the pictures.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Turnip Cabbage Soup and Cabbage Rolls

This soup was made from things I had on hand and from my garden.  I do still have a few things hanging on in the garden.  :-)  It was delicious, not a spicy soup, but a warm comfort soup.

-1 turnip chopped
-1/2 a head of cabbage chopped
-1 onion diced
-2 celery ribs diced
-2 carrots shredded
-2 TBSP pesto
-3 cups cooked Garbanzo beans
-3 potatoes diced
-4 cups vegetable broth
S&P to taste

Add turnip, cabbage, onion, celery, carrot and vegetable broth to a stock pot.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat back and let it simmer, covered, about 30 min, until the turnip and cabbage are knife tender (they take the longest to cook).  Next add the pesto, garbanzo beans, potatoes and let that simmer, covered, another 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are knife tender.  Add S&P and it is ready to eat!  

I served the soup with stuffed cabbage leaves.  This is from a book I just bought, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking.  I am really enjoying this book.  Have read through many Gluten-Free cook books but with so many meat recipes, I might find 1 or 2 recipes to try.  And I have also looked through a few plant based diet books, which are great, and pretty much stay away from gluten as well.  But those books tend to have really simple recipes.  Don't get me wrong, those are good in a pinch, but with only 4 ingredients I can imagine how it is going to taste, and quite frankly, so many of those recipes are bland.  But this book is full of easy, and not so easy recipes.  So many flavors and textures, I can't wait to try more recipes.  

OK so the Cabbage Rolls are on page 196 of that book!  A reminder to myself of where to find it when I want to cook it again.