Sunday, December 7, 2014

Onion Souffle Cheese Dip

Really like this dip!  It is an indulgence, so we'll only have it once or twice a year.  I saute the chopped onions first to carmelize them but you dont have to.  To vary this mixture: replace cream cheese with any soft goat or sheep cheese, instead of a pecorino, use any hard grating cheese.  Add a blue cheese.  Bake the whole mixture in individual ramekins and serve room temp or warmed, not hot.  Serve with crackers or thin sliced toasted bread.

3-4 onions chopped
24 oz cream cheese
2 cup pecorino
1/2 cup mayo


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Spelt Tortillas


I love avocado and sprouts in a sandwich - that goes way back... invented in California, I believe...so good!!!

 Spelt Tortillas



Ingredients:
2 ¾ c. spelt flour
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 TBS. coconut oil
¾ c. hot water + more, as needed

Mix everything together to form a dough ball and let it proof for one hour.  roll to preferred size paper thin and fry in cast iron skillet for 30 seconds on each side - do not overcook.
We had a cucumber bonanza harvest this year.  Use them to make pickles - bread % butter pickles - and made t he Greek tzatziki, and use in sandwiches like the one above, in addition to salads.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sunchokes

These can be trouble to gardener - they multiply - as a tuber - they come back each year  - so they should be planted in spots they are not going to be used for something else.  They flower like a small sunflower.

Sunchokes are good to eat - tasting like a potato and an artichoke.  I prefer them sauteed or as chips - pureed - used in soups - roasted whole - any way you like a potato.  Leave the skin on when grown in organic soils for greater nutrients.

"Jerusalem artichokes are about 80% water, 15% protein, 1% fat, 60% inulin, 4% fiber and 5% ash, 0.099% phosphorus, 0.023%, 3.4 mg iron with traces of aluminum, chlorine, iodine, magnesium, potassium, sulphur, zinc, vitamins B and C." ... from eattheweeds.com

Inulin
Inulin is a root starch and is a non-digestible soluble fiber; it works as a pre-biotic, working in the large intestines as a useful “food” for the healthy gut bacteria.  It is used in the production of fructose - better tolerated by people with diabetes.  Colder regions produce a tuber lower in inulin than tropical regions.

Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of hair health promoting nutrients such as iron, copper and vitamin C
Jerusalem artichokes provide even more potassium than bananas. 
Jerusalem artichokes are packed with B vitamins, particularly thiamine, or B1

Source: http://healwithfood.org/health-benefits/jerusalem-artichokes.php#ixzz3GJOq4PcQ

Thursday, October 2, 2014

cloves

the nutrition value of cloves is impressive - use a pepper or coffee grinder to add these fresh to jams, cereals, baked goods, winter squash and sweet potatoes, apples... whenever you can!

excellent source of manganese, a very good source of vitamin K and dietary fiber, and a good source of iron, magnesium, and calcium. plus a variety of flavonoids, including kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to clove's anti-inflammatory (and antioxidant) properties.

Tomatoes Year in Review

a mix of Pantano Romanesco and Pineapple - heirloom varieties that do well here in the North.
these are ready for roasting, blending, straining, and freezing.
Pineapple grew really large.
Once frozen I will slip them out of these containers. heat seal them in plastic so they maintain a block shape, and compact them nicely into the freezer.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Brazil Nuts: a wonderful and functional food

Brazil nuts are high in selenium

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/brazil-nuts.html

- the highest natural source. anti-oxidant enzyme, glutathione-peroxidase... helps to prevent coronary artery disease, liver cirrhosis, and cancers.
- contain B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and folates. 
- they contain very good levels of other minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Copper helps prevent anemia and bone weakness (osteoporosis). Manganese is an all-important co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme,superoxide dismutase.
vitamin-E; contain about 7.87 mg per 100 g (about 52% of RDA). Vitamin-E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. It is required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin.
 - excellent source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like palmitoleic acid (16:1) and oleic acid (18:1) that helps to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increases HDL or "good cholesterol" in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
-n.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

THE SOUP

Lets TALK SOUP!!!!

I remember a zucchini soup that involved onions, a little butter for body, and zucchini - blanched or sauteed - then put into a blender for some fantastic and quick/ easy soup.  Who needs veggie, chicken or beef stock - you can just blend up whatever is to become THE SOUP!

It may not look great - but the taste is!  Fresh picked swiss chard  - cut the stalk and compost that -  lightly cooked in a little bit of water, added some butter melted in the water, and put all into a blender with fresh picked garlic for a very delectable, unrefined green soup - better than any spinach soup I ever tasted!  I left some chunky texture.  You can vary any soup with herbs, spices, and additional items for crunch or add beans blended or not - and add cream or coconut milk for even further variations.  The key is fresh and naturally grown veggies and garlic, chives, shallots or onions.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wild Mustard Greens

One of the best wild edibles is mustard greens - I have to thank a friend eating green in the Hudson Valley for his great referral of these greens - so I am passing it on to you so more people are aware of this wonderful wild edible.  Wild greens are more nutritious than cultivated.  There are many types in the brassica family - the ones I like the best are 1/ garlic mustard














this forms a white flower - this is one of the first wild greens to emerge in the SPRING!

and 2/ the larged leaf mustard forming a "broccoli rabe" type head
these are prolific NOW! - we are picking them along with GARLIC SCAPES - and saute with olive oil for that garlic leafy green combo - add beans - chickpeas or cannelloni beans - for a fantastic and nutritious meal...

Learn more from this video.  Once I start posting videos -  I'll show you how to cook these Italian style as opposed to the boiling American style as Steve is doing here.  Cute and informative videos from eat the weeds.com

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Path to Wellness"

Nutrient Density: Fruits & Veggies

Not surprising - cabbage, chard, beet greens, chicory, parsley, collards, Romaine, endive - all are highly nutritious veggies.  I always wonder - would the findings vary from field to field and growing methods?

One of the misnomers of nutrition labels is it represents the individual products - rather they are standards of a unit measurement of raw materials that go into the product.  There is no regard to where and how it's grown and harvested.  A lab test of the particular item may result in a different nutrition panel.

One thing that is known for sure - a diet rich in dark leafy greens and cruciferous veggies is a healthy one!  To learn more about this list of nutrient dense foods - go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm
Item
Density
Watercress
100.00
Chinese cabbage
91.99
Chard
89.27
Beet green
87.08
Spinach
86.43
Chicory
73.36
Leaf lettuce
70.73
Parsley
65.59
Romaine lettuce
63.48
Collard green
62.49
Turnip green
62.12
Mustard green
61.39
Endive
60.44
Chive
54.80
Kale
49.07
Dandelion green
46.34
Red pepper
41.26
Arugula
37.65
Broccoli
34.89
Pumpkin
33.82
Brussels sprout
32.23
a Calculated as the mean of percent daily values (DVs) (based on a 2,000 kcal/d diet) for 17 nutrients (potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K) as provided by 100 g of food, expressed per 100 kcal of food. Scores above 100 were capped at 100 (indicating that the food provides, on average, 100% DV of the qualifying nutrients per 100 kcal).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Baking with Fruit & Veggies

Banana Carrot Cupcakes
I left out the yogurt - although baking with yogurt or sour cream is great to moisten the cake -  I used a whole very ripened banana - and with fruit and veggies in a recipe, tthe result is moist anyway.

  • 1½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup mashed banana/...one well ripened banana
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt/ ...omit if you like
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup shredded carrots

Friday, June 6, 2014

Oysters

One of my favorite foods is clams or oysters cold "on the half shell" with a spicy sauce and lots of lemon!

Recently, I got the moment to eat out - a rate event for us - we dined at The Horned Dorset Inn in Leonardsville, NY.  
The Horned Dorset Inn

I ate one dozen fresh oysters - I should have taken a photo beforehand - temptation got the better of me - the restaurant presents everything with such taste - on the plate and the palate!


"Oysters are a good source of essential minerals including phosphorus, calcium, potassium and zinc. High in  vitamin B-12 and protein. 
to learn more about Blue Point Oysters, visit:
www.blueislandoyster.com

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Living Long & Healthy Lives

With all the struggles, trials, and tribulations we each go through in the span of our lives - here are some  clues to health and longevity - the following are excerpts from an article published by CNN.COM:


...he took up running to overcome his grief after the death of his wife and a son. He ran his first marathon at age 89. The key to life: "Laughter and happiness," he says. "That's your remedy for everything."


...Her advice for a long life? Avoid smoking, drinking and vege
tables. She was also an optimist: "Every year brings something new. I've always been content with what I have."

...worked out at daily a local track. Healthy most of her life, she said exercise and an optimistic attitude helped. 
 attributed his long life to light eating, not smoking and work in the sunshine. After his postal career, he worked on a farm. ..."I am always looking up towards the sky; that is how I am."

...She said she ate more than two pounds of chocolate a week and only quit smoking at age 120, not for health reasons, but because she could not see well enough to light her cigarettes. She credited her longevity to port wine, her sense of humor and a diet rich in olive oil. 

...The secret to her long life, she said, was being cheerful. "I've always been a happy person, a giggling person, a wide-mouthed person." She also kept fit -- dancing the electric slide until age 103.

...She kept in shape throughout much of her life. At 102, she said she did leg squats to keep healthy. 
He credited cold showers with his longevity.






Dr. Ronald D. Adelman, who works with many of these old-old people as the medical director of Cornell's Wright Center on Aging, said that the study is an important tool to understand a population that's often overlooked.
"When it comes to the elderly there are really three groups we look at," explained Adelman. "Those who are considered old, who are 65 to 74 years of age; the older, between ages 75 to 84; and the old-old, which are those people over the age of 85.
"But when you look at centenarians, that really is an expanding group, and the important thing is to get their advance directives, to make sure these people express how they want to be treated in their later years, so they can live a better quality of life and be more comfortable. Where do they want to live, how do they want to live and what's best for them?"
Because of advances made in medical technology, and the fact many people entering their golden years are more health-conscious than ever before, Adelman says it's time society takes the elderly, including centenarians, seriously because this older age group will continue to grow and need care.
"To be honest, 65 is no longer old," noted Adelman. "Ten thousand Americans are turning 65 every day. There are 77 million baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964. They are more educated, they have the best health literacy than prior generations, they exercise, they eat right and they are living longer, healthier lives.
"We need to be able to provide them the best care and services possible, as they age into their 80s, 90s and beyond."

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Italian Lettuce

I am a big fan of crisp dark lettuce types - this one is called catalogna - I believe it is in the chicory family - as is dandelion and escarole.  Here is photo of the lettuce - called


This lettuce is called Radichetta Barba Dei Frati
Progress is being made on Field One - seeking lots of greens and lettuce for great summer salads!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chia Seed Drink

I ordered chia seeds in bulk to save money on the expensive price per pound.  I lowered the price per pound from $10 to $6 on Amazon (back when they had free shipping.)

The parts I use is Black Cherry organic juice, Pelligrino water sparkling, chia seeds 2 tbls. Combine these altogether in a bottle and store in the refrigerator for drinks in the morning, anytime you need a refreshment.

The chia seeds are reported to be high in Omega 3s, potassium, fiber, and provide energy- recommended serving = 2 tablespoons per day.  The main vitamins are: A, B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), C (ascorbic acid), E, choline, and Folate (folic acid).     "Chia also contains vitamins B3, B5, B6, B15, B17, D, K, inositol and PABA.   The main Minerals are Boron, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, strontium, sulfur, and zinc. It also has amylose and plenty of electrolytes. And they also contain 18 of the 22 amino acids, including all nine essential amino acids."
Read more at http://www.vegkitchen.com/nutrition/chia-seeds-frequently-asked-questions/#Jc292XAHokxeeE9A.99

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Field Crop Update: May 20th


Planting
Cucumbers, Savoy Cabbage


Harvest
we harvested the following baby greens - very early - the dandelion have only blossomed now - the lilacs are just beginning to bloom!  I am not a fan of baby greens or lettuces - I like my greens hardy.  Tender greens are for pansies... But - it's been a long winter - I need an organic green fix.  My favorite way to eat cooked greens is with sauteed chickpeas/ garbanzo beans, olive oil, red chile or cheyanne pepper, and olives & garlic, if available.  I also scattered tumeric on top.

Field 1:

wild - dandelion
wild - spinach /lambsquarters
wild - garlic mustard
herb - cilantro
herb - mint
lettuce - arugula
lettuce - black seeded simpson
garlic greens
Dragon Mix - a mix of Asian greens such as mustards and kale

Notes:
Suffered some cucumber plant losses - frost 19th and 20th of May - hopefully the last.  Took a Risk - 80% survived the frost!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

EASTER - FOOD FOR THOUGHT


Easter, in the Italian American Tradition, includes Lamb - young Sheep between 3-4 months old - as part of dinner.  Meat is roasted expertly by my Aunt.  However, as a vegetarian, I have not eaten lamb in over 25 years.  I remember when I ate meat - my Aunt cooked it really really well!  Everyone else in the family looks forward to it.  We all look forward to any meal by my Aunt - she is an excellent cook!

I wanted to do something really special for her - so I sought to acquire the lamb for this Easter.  Afterall, I live in dairy country, and raising animals for slaughter is common throughout the land.  The first two farmers offered lamb meat butchered and sold at farmers markets. slaughtered. packaged and frozen by USDA certified houses.   I placed an order - but later realized these animals were not the "lamb" stage my Aunt preferred for Easter.

Upon a referral from a friend, I procured a lamb under 4 months.

The farmers raised lamb for sale in Brooklyn, NY- nearly 200 - for just this holiday.  Sheep, like goats, are bred in the fall and birth in Jan or Feb.  They had 2 lambs unsold for not meeting the 40lb requirement.  A $100 price tag - the lamb was slaughtered ($30) and readied for Easter dinner.

I have many conflicts with slaughtering animals.  One is that they are living breathing animals - mammals - like us.  Nowadays, people cherish their dogs & cats.  These same people may fail to realize that cattle - sheep, goats, cows - are every bit as feeling and loving creatures.   Meat/ animal consumption in modern society is on a scale never before imagined!  People dine on meat for every meal without giving a thought to the creature on their plate.  Population growth is in the trillions.  The multiple of that by number of animals consumed - is trillions of animals each year.  


On our farm, we provide an ideal forever home for rescued hound dogs.  We rescued wild horses - 2 mustangs - and keep all our horses for their lifespan.  We would never think of trading or selling one of them as the herd becomes a family.  They call for each other when just one of them moves out of eyeshot.  We care for barn cats that have come from all over the countryside - goats - for dairy - but could not bring ourselves to kill the kids.  Cattle are required to give birth for the production of milk.  Now we have 22 goats - up from 5 originally.     

Dairy and egg industries have so much slaughter as part of production that few people realize what is involved.  Most hens are given one year of production before sent to slaughterhouses.  Most cows are given 4-5 years of milking and all of their offspring - male are killed - and females move into the production cycle.  With so much killing involved in seemingly live animal operations - the consumption of these foods feeds into the slaughter system.  

I have not eaten meat for  over 25 years.  The reason - I can't reconcile taking a life for food.  The choices outside of meat are too plentiful, and they include dairy & seafood.  I am not vegan.  But I care very much where and how my dairy, eggs and seafood are procured.  I tried dairy on the farm.  I consume too little for it to be worthwhile and feed all the animals.  The increase from 5 animals to 22 animals happened in the span of 2010-2013. Only three years of dairying and that is how many animals were produced!  Shocking even to me.  Multiply all the milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, sour cream,  cottage cheese, cream cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products seen on the shelves in every dairy case across the U.S. and you can only begin to imagine the number of animals slaughtered each year for that production to take place.

How about all the eggs and chicken pieces on the supermarket shelves? How many birds are slaughtered each year?

We have a great movement which calls producers out for the way animals are raised and held in production.  Are the cages big enough for them to turn around?  Are the animals grass fed - enjoying outdoor grazing the little time they are given on earth?  How are they slaughtered?  Is the commute to the slaughterhouse stressful?  Is the lineup for slaughter humane?  Part of the movement has to become lowering consumption of these animals.

Since I wanted to do something special for my Aunt.  My life philosophy had to be put on hold.  Knowing the animals to be slaughtered were out on grass, well cared for, and even well slaughtered, is very important and little consolation for the act of killing animals.

Our farrier said to me - " God does not care what you put in your mouth - all he cares about is what comes out" ie.  what are your words - are they hurtful or evil?



I am spiritual and believe his point about what we say being important.  The less hurtful we are in life the better.  But for that that includes the slaughter of animals - as far as I am concerned - it is hurtful. 

I see the pain and feeling in invertebrate, fish, and poultry or fowl, birds.  Mammals feel and love even more!

I've cared for animals my whole life - they really are all caring and feeling creatures.  They have family and friendly interactions - within the herd and with humans.  Having seen the internal organs of dead animals -  their organs - including the heart - looks and acts like ours.  I am happy with my food choices and I do not judge others for what they choose to consume.  I consider my procurement of the "Easter lamb"  both a loving/ and unloving act.