Archives for: May 2008
I had some ground lamb on hand, when I found this recipe and remembered the keema from a nearby Indian recipe. My sons ate some, even the peas and veggies, and liked it. It was a bit spicy for my 2 year old, but he didn't complain. It was pretty easy, I simplified the recipe a bit as I have a nice curry powder that includes all the spices from the original version. I had a late start on dinner, after a day of gardening and cleaning, so simple was good.
Adapted from COOKS.COM
1 tbsp. macadamia nut oil (was peanut)
3/4 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 lb. ground lamb
1 c. tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp. lime juice (I only had lemon, it worked ok)
3/4 tsp. agave nectar (was 1 tsp. sugar)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional, I added mine at the table)
1 c. peas, fresh or frozen
2 c. cooked rice (basmati)
Saute onion in the oil. Add spices and lamb. When meat is browned, add tomatoes, lime juice, agave and red pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add peas and serve over rice. Serves 4.
I've had some misery with this virus/headcold. I've tried Alkalol before, in my neti pot, as a nasal rinse. Last time I didn't order it in time, and by the time I used it my sinuses were well past the virus and sinus infection stages, just very sensitive and painful. It didn't work so well at that point. I felt like I'd snorted curry powder! This time around though, I started using it much earlier on, while all I had was a virus.
For those not familiar with a neti pot or Sinucleanse, you pour a warm saline solution into one nostril, and it goes through the nasal passages/sinuses and out the other nostril. (You breath through your mouth.) After a couple tries, it's pretty easy, and that's coming from somebody who dislikes swimming or water in my nose. Alkalol is an alkaline saline solution that helps loosen mucus and clean your sinuses.
I also used only about 1/4 of the neti full of alkalol, with the rest just the usual saline mixture. I only pour it through for about the count of 3, then take a break to blow out my nose, then repeat, otherwise it really starts to make my eyes water.
It really helped this time, and I'm glad I had some on hand. I tried the decongestant and antihistimine nasal sprays that my dr. suggested, but they left a lasting irritation in my nose that almost defeated the purpose. (They can only be used for a couple days at a time anyway). The neti and alkalol had the same desired effect, with no side-effects.
I knew I needed to use my neti a few days ago when there was really a lot of dust and pollen in the air. I wish I'd followed through with that at the time, as I think all that dust didn't help me fight this virus.
My oldest son has been sick this last week, and I haven't been taking care of myself. The result of that is a head cold for myself, and a refrigerator full of good food I neglected to cook yet...until today.
For breakfast I found a bag of jerusalem artichokes that was crying out to be eaten. I scrubbed them, trimmed off the eyes and cut surfaces, dunked them in lemon water, and sliced them thin with the food processor (they break apart too easily to cut thin by hand, but the food processor did well). I have to confess that this recipe was inspired in part by eating avoids/toxins at PF Chang's in the form of Dali Chicken...which is a bit too spicy for me, but I was intrigued by it, with its thin sliced potatoes that aren't cooked to the soggy stage. So, I tossed the sliced sunchokes (2 or 3 kiwi sized chokes) into warmed olive oil in a frying pan. After a while, when they started to cook through a tiny bit, I added chopped onions, and cooked until it all started to soften. Then I added sliced mushrooms, let them absorb some oil, and added eggs, which I scrambled in with it all. Add red pepper flakes to taste. Once the eggs are almost past slimey stage, add some baby spinach, and cook until spinach is soft. You could add just about any veggie, I used what I had on hand.
Lunch Turkey Noodle soup:
I had set aside the remaining sunchokes, onions and mushrooms, so I used them with lunch. I also had found some yam pasta in the refrigerator section of an asian market. I didn't know what to expect of it, but I had to try it, so I drained and rinsed it, added it to a saucepan with some olive oil, then sprinkled on some ume plum vinegar (one of my favorite new seasonings). Then I added some cubed turkey tenderloin, and let it brown a bit, then added the veggies and some turkey broth. I let it all simmer until I was sure the turkey was done. You can add red pepper flakes to this as well. It cried out for sliced green onions on top, but I didn't have any, fresh parsley would also probably be good. You could use celery instead of sunchokes, and any compliant broth, etc. The yam noodles remind me of the rice sticks in Hawaiian Chicken Long Rice. They don't get as big and soggy, but they're pretty clear. I'll definitely get more of those. My 2 year old likes them too. They also come with seaweed in the noodles, but for my first try, I went for plain.
I like this soup! I guess it's overkill to have a potato and a noodle in the same dish, but they aren't real potatoes or real noodles, both could be considered a vegetable, so I think it works. It would be easier to eat with smaller pieces of jerusalem artichokes.
P.S. if you haven't eaten much inulin or jerusalem artichokes before, you may not want to eat it twice in the first day as it can cause gas initially.
Today I picked up my first bulk shipment from Azure Standard. They deliver by freight truck to most of the western US, and UPS many of their items nationwide. The prices are good, and the delivery fee is quite small, compared to shipping by UPS, which I've done a couple times.
My husband gave me a bigger grocery budget this month, to stock up on a few things. With 3 out of 4 of us requiring special GF diets, we don't want to be left at the mercy of others or the government if there were a shortage or natural disaster. They don't often distribute gluten free MREs We hadn't beefed up our storage for almost 10 years.
The other benefit of ordering in bulk is the prices. My boy's favorite GF bread was about half the price per loaf that the HFS charges. So, if you know what you like and what you'll eat, buying in bulk is a great option. Just make sure you like it first, as you don't want a case of something you don't end up liking.
Amazon.com also has some good bulk deals, and you can often get free shipping.
Now I just need to make sure I use (rotate) it, especially the brown rice that has the shortest shelf life. I also got large bags of whole quinoa, teff and millet. More baking lies in my future! My husband tried steamed quinoa at Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco, and he liked it, so hopefully the boys will like it too.
On Mother's Day I noticed that some of the seeds I planted are starting to sprout! That was a nice way to start the day. I try to just relax on Mother's day and make it fun for my kids. My five year old is old enough to understand it and gave me quite a few little surprises throughout the day. My husband helped our 2 year old to make me a card at church nursery. It was a good day. My biggest and best present was a long nap...just what I always want!
Now my spring garden bed is filled in, and I'm finishing the second bed. I had to dig into the ground a bit for it, to get it level, but it's all put in place now, minus the soil. I'm waiting for a windless day to mix and add the Mel's mix. Today I planted most of the Jerusalem Artichokes on the hill, and saved a few for a couple squares in the second garden bed. I also made it to Ikea to buy some cheap terra cotta pots so I can line up my tomatoes along the slope next to the tall back fence. My heirloom tomato starts are still alive and slowly growing, so maybe they'll do well, I also have some more guaranteed hybrid types to put in, just in case.
I tried some turnip greens from the grocery store today for the first time. I figured I ought to try them if I'm going to be growing them. I like them quite well. They're similar to collards, and more exciting than spinach. They'd be great as a wrap for something like cabbage rolls or Dolma. (I think cabbage and grape leaves are both black dots for gatherers).
I even found some Seven Top turnip seeds at a local nursery, that are solely for producing turnip greens, so that was a nice surprise. I couldn't find them online at the places I was ordering other seeds, so I thought I'd have to compromise and get regular turnip seeds. They'd make ok greens, but I'm only interested in the greens so I'm happy to find some just for greens.
I didn't actually need to order as many seeds online as I did. I've found the variety of seeds in the local nurseries to be quite adequate, and it's easier to tell that it will grow well in my area. Even the grocery store down the street had seeds for Bright Lights Swiss Chard, which saved me a trip back to the nursery after I changed my mind and decided I wanted them afterall. Next year, I'll probably have enough seeds saved from this year (both from the packets I bought and some I'll collect from the plants). I'm keeping them all in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator, so they'll keep well. I had been keeping them in my garage, but the older ones still germinated well.
Of course I threw my plan out the window once my garden was ready to plant in I filled in the square on the edge that I should have reserved for the watermelon, but I'll adapt. I may move the strawberries to a different square tomorrow. Of course the spinach in the next square over may be ready to harvest before it's time to plant the watermelon. We've had such a late spring, that it may work out that way. It snowed a little last week, but we're only 2 weeks away from the last average frost date!
I decided to pick up some swiss chard seeds, as they're one of only a few plants that can be planted and harvested all year long. I need a few plants like that to fill the squares as the seasons progress.
I'm starting to wonder why I'm doing two boxes. I've only finished one of them so far. Leveling the ground, mixing the "soil", filling, and putting on the grid was more work than I realized! It's very nice once it's complete, but I'm resting on that for a few days as the other box is mainly for summer crops anyway, and I haven't planted in all of the first box yet.
I also made quite a bit extra of Mel's mix, and I've only mixed the first box worth. I think the peat moss expanded quite a bit. I put some of it in the tomato pots for the back fence, and some of it back in a bag. I'll use less peat moss for the next box. Mixing the soil is a big job for one person, but I didn't have the patience to wait for helpers, as I wanted to get the spring stuff planted before it's too late. On the next box, I'll wait for helpers!
I'm looking forward to being able to harvest food as needed, rather than having to buy a whole bunch of green onions at the store, when I only need 1 or 2.
My husband watched the kids for a while yesterday so I could get out of the house. It was great. I went to pick up the supplies for my square foot gardens. I found all the lumber and hardware for the actual boxes, and some of the Mel's mix. I'll need to pick up a few more things today, but I'll have my boxes put together soon. The boards are cut and pre-drilled, just a matter of assembling them.
This should be fun!
I'm a little late for strawberries, so I'm only doing 2 squares this year, less room taken up if they fail. Spinach may be late too, but I'll try one square in the spring, and the rest in the fall. No corn. There may even be room for a few more flowers.