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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

Frankensteer

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.