Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Winter Root - Cold Weather Soup

Winter Root Soup
I have had my eye on this recipe from Sally Fallon's cookbook "Nourishing Traditions" and have wanted to make it for quite some time. Guess what?  Carrisa beat me to it. She phoned this morning to tell me how delicious it is.  Carrisa took soup to Charlotte, who is convalescing from surgery, and Charlotte likes it too.


3 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 turnips, peeled and sliced
1 rutabaga, peeled and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
4 T. butter
1 1/2 qt. chicken stock
several sprigs of thyme tied together
4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch nutmeg
sea salt to taste
sour cream or creme fraiche

Melt butter in large pot and add onions, leeks, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, and parsnips.  Cover and cook gently about 1/2 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally.  Add stock, bring to a boil and skim.  Add garlic, thyme, and cayenne.  Simmer, covered, for about 1/2 hour until veggies are soft.

Remove thyme and puree soup.  Season to taste.  If soup is too thick, thin it with water.  Serve with a spoonful of cultured cream.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whole Foods Diet - Before and After

Before - May 2010

After - January 2011

I am an advocate of the Weston A. Price Foundation and its dietary guidelines.  I put the diet to the test this summer.  My daughter Carrisa, who wanted to learn how to prepare healthier food, came to stay with me during her break from college.  We had a glorious summer together.  It was like being in a cooking school every day.  We hiked together early in the morning.  We gardened and grew our own organic vegetables, we shopped at local farmer's markets, and we cooked THE MOST AMAZING FOOD.  We made it a point to never deprive ourselves, in the dietary sense of the word, and made delicious, nutrient-dense food our daily fare.

Kudos To Carrisa

I have to give credit to Carrisa.  No matter how wonderful the WAPF dietary guidelines are, no matter how much cooking Mom was willing to do, it would not have made a difference if Carrisa had not been 100% committed to making a change.

Carrisa is back in school now and she has been amazingly consistent in choosing the highest quality nutrient-dense food that she can find. Carrisa does not compromise.  Even while she maintains a busy work and school schedule she still manages to find time to prepare her own meals. She is an inspiration to me and I believe that the good results that she has experienced speak for themselves.

You can check out the dietary guidelines for the Weston A. Price Foundation in my September 3, 2010 post.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Brett's Squash Soup

Brett's Favorite Squash Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, diced
3 parsnips, diced
1 small onion, sliced
6 c. chicken stock
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 t. coriander
2 T. rice vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Saute vegetables in oil for 5 minutes.  Add stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes.  Add seasonings and vinegar and when sufficiently cool puree in small batches.

This soup is a winter favorite in our family.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Edible Flowers

Calendula begins to bloom in our garden in late winter.


Some of my favorite edible flowers are anise hyssop, arugula, basil, borage, calendula, chive blossoms, dandelion, dill, johnny-jump-up, lavender, mint, nasturtium, pansy, pea, rose, rosemary, and thyme blossoms.  These flowers add beauty and flavor to spring and summer salads.

I grow all of these flowers in grow boxes and pots.  Some of the herbs are known as perennials and they become permanent garden residents.  Some of the flowers are called annuals - but they are often so hardy that they will  re-seed themselves.  When an annual plant re-seeds itself -  it is an indication that the plant particularly thrives in the location you have planted it.

I seldom plant my garden in neat and tidy rows.  So it is a joy for me to see plants re-seed themselves and return again.  They often spread themselves out and mingle together luxuriously creating beautiful and surprising tapestries of color.  I like surprises and I find these mixed beds much more pleasing than a contrived and organized garden bed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quinoa With Dried Cranberries

Quinoa Salad With Dried Cranberries

1 c. quinoa, rinsed well
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
2 thinly sliced green onions
1/2 c. minced parsley
1/3c. dried cranberries
1/3 c. toasted pumpkin seeds
1 t. sea salt

Bring 2 c. water to boil in a saucepan.  Add rinsed quinoa and 1 t. sea salt.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the quinoa is done.  Set aside to cool slightly.

While the quinoa cooks whisk together lemon juice and olive oil in a shallow bowl.  Add onion, parsley, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds.  When quinoa is sufficiently cool fold it into the mixture and stir to blend.  Adjust salt and add pepper if desired.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Carrisa's Beef Stew

Beef Stew


1 chuck roast, cut into 1 - 2 inch cubes
3 spoonfuls of arrowroot powder
4 - 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 c. beef stock
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
dash of oregano
2 bay leaves
1 6-oz can of tomato paste
2 carrots, cut into chunks
6 golden Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 bunch parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Put arrowroot with a dash of salt and pepper in a zip-lock bag.  Add cubed beef and shake until the beef is thoroughly coated.

In an enameled cast-iron pot cook bacon pieces over a medium low flame until cooked.  Set aside on a paper towel to drain.  Add a slice of butter to the pan drippings and turn up the heat up to medium.  Brown the beef and set aside on a plate.

Add 1/2 c. beef stock and deglaze the pan.  Add the browned beef, bacon, remaining beef stock, onion, garlic, tomato paste, oregano and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the meat is tender or about 1 hour.  Add carrot and potato and simmer for an additional 1/2 hour - hour.

While the vegetables are cooking saute the mushrooms in a saucepan in butter until tender. 

When the stew is ready stir in the sauteed mushrooms and minced parsley.  Add salt and pepper to taste.