Friday, February 11

Soup season!

My kids get sooooo sick of soup in the winter.  But it's so easy for me.  And it's an easy way to use the vegetables that I have on hand.  Last night I made Black Bean Soup and lately there has been Potato Leek (which is so ridiculously easy!) and Beef Vegetable and Chicken Noodle and Chicken and Brown Rice.  And of course chili...chili with beef and beans and vegetarian chili and lentil chili.  Chili is much better than soup because it comes with toppings like shredded cheese and sour cream.

This winter from our CSA we have gotten so many beets I can't believe it.  We didn't get many during the regular season and I was a little bummed.  Now they are making up for it, I tell ya!  And some of these beets are huge and gorgeous!  And because they are a cold storage vegetable, even if they get a little soft in the fridge they are still just fine.  I'm thinking of doing some refrigerator beet pickles with some of them.  I did some last fall from this recipe but didn't like how they turned out so "clove-y".

I have a batch of bread rising right now.  I've been using my high altitude book a lot the past few weeks and have been so happy with the results.  When I milled the flour for this bread, the flour smelled a little grassy. I hope the bread doesn't turn out like that or my chicken will have a fabulous snack later!

Tuesday, September 21

Crock Pot Ratatouille

At this time of year, we have had zucchini in so many ways.  And the squash and the eggplant are still coming in strong.  I have a favorite easy way to use up this bounty that can easily be adjusted to taste and whatever veggies are on hand.  The first night we had this over pasta with some browned Italian sausage.  I eat it a lot for lunch with a little feta on top.  And I've used it as a pizza sauce and toppings.  Last weekend I put some on an open faced roll and melted a little cheese on top.  YUM!  I love this ratatouille!

Crock Pot Ratatouille

Layer in a crock pot
1 large onion, sliced
1 large eggplant, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 yellow squash, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 bell peppers, cut into bite sized pieces
8-16 ounces tomato sauce

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Thursday, July 8

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

I've been using the same basic zucchini bread recipe for years, but I keep making little adjustments to it based on how I'm changing the way I cook.  I used to be all about canola or vegetable oil and now you won't find any of that in my house.  I've gotten lazy and tend to just have whole wheat pastry flour on hand now.  Or I should say whole wheat pastry berries that I mill into flour.  I even used to buy whole wheat flour before I learned how quickly it starts to lose it's nutritional value after it's been milled (at home or in a commercial mill).

And lately I've been making my same bread recipe into muffins for easier eating on the run.  I bake them at 375 for 20 minutes and they are perfect!

Here's my updated recipe.

Noelle's Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

Cream together:
3 eggs
1/2 c melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 c turbinado
1/2 c sucanat
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 c shredded zucchini

3 c wheat pastry flour
1/4 c ground flax meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Mix until just combined. Pour into 2 prepared 8 inch x 4 inch loaf pans and bake at 325 for 50 minutes.  For 24 muffins, bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Monday, July 5

connected with our food

Last night was one of those awesome food moments around here.

We went to our neighbors' front yard to pick some sour cherries from their tree.  Then we pitted those cherries and got them warming and thickening for a cobbler.  I made the cobbler topping and put it in the oven.  While it was baking I mixed up some vanilla ice cream.

Within an hour, we were eating warm cherry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

Those cherries went from tree to tummy in a matter of hours....YUM!

Saturday, July 3

other blogs

Life is just as full as always around here.  Even though I haven't been blogging around here much, I have been blogging elsewhere.

Our CSA has a great blog and I will have my first post there soon.
I've also had the opportunity to blog about CSA life in a larger arena.  It's an online community for farmers, mostly large scale farms and I am a unique voice in that community.  You can find my posts here.

In between all of that, we've picked a big flat of strawberries and made jam and preserves.  I've also canned some blueberry preserves when I found a great deal at the grocery store.  And soon the zucchini baking will commence!

Saturday, June 26

My head is spinning and I need to vent

You know that saying, ignorance is bliss?  Sometimes that’s how I feel about our food system in the US.  Maybe I should stop reading things like Michael Pollan.  Or looking at food labels in the grocery store.  Maybe I should just put my head down and eat according to that stupid food pyramid.

How have we as Americans become so disconnected from our food that we think the government should tell us how to eat?  Seriously, people!  We resist government interventions in every other arena of our lives, but we allow the FDA to tell how much and what kinds of foods to eat?

They say it will make us healthier if we follow that pyramid.  Then why are more people fatter every day?  Obesity is now an epidemic, along with diseases like type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

And at what point did we begin to think that some company should cook for us or prepare our food?  I understand the idea of convenience foods.  Yes, my kids have had their share of boxed macaroni and cheese.  But why would we serve that boxed food alongside a grocery store chicken nugget?  Have you looked at the ingredients?  It’s not chicken, bread crumbs and egg wash, I can tell you that much.  But that’s all it needs to be so what is all that other stuff in there?

Who is going to fix this system?  And does anyone else even care that it’s broken?

Wednesday, March 10

Eat your greens!

Do you eat your greens?  Do you want to but not sure how?  We have been trying to have greens this fall and winter about once a week.  We have done southern style braised greens a couple of times.  But one of my absolute favorite recipes for greens is greens with carrots, feta and brown rice.

It is full of flavor with the greens and carrots, nutty brown rice and salty cheese.  I made it this week with cojita cheese, a Mexican cheese that is a cross between feta and Parmesan.  And I don't buy the frozen brown rice.  Instead I make my brown rice in the oven.