Posted on November 21st, 2011 1 comment
time for root vegetables
We have moved into full on root vegetable season and so it is time to pull out this favorite recipe of mine. They are a frequent item on my personal chef service menus. Today it is carrot patties but any root vegetable that you can grate works beautifully. I have made them with celery root,turnips, parsnips, as well as a mix of several different vegetables including winter squashes. These are really a version of latkes which traditionally are made with potatoes. Today they have an Asian kind of flair. You can season them however you like – like Italian ? blend in some rosemary, oregano, and maybe even some parmesan cheese. Mexican ? use squash and add in some cumin and chili. Top with guacamole.
Root vegetables in general are a powerhouse of good nutrition. They are high in B vitamins. Since they grow IN the ground, they contain lots of minerals ( as well as energetics of the earth element). They are very high in fiber. This time of year, they are abundant and fairly inexpensive.
Carrots contain lots of anti oxidants, beta carotene, and Vitamin C. In the spring we enjoy eating the tiny new carrots ( the REAL baby carrots, not the designer ones in the bags in the store) and this time of year, go ahead and eat the big ones. They are perfect for this recipe.
This is one of those recipes that constantly evolves. I have blended information from several recipes over the years, combined with experience and what my current tastes and nutritional needs are. I love that about cooking. I look at recipes as guides, as a partially filled in canvas. Feel free to add your tastes to this one.
1 c. grated carrots ( or any combination of root vegetables or squash that you like)
2 T. coconut flour
2 T. dried seaweed ( I use either wakame or dulse)
1 tsp. or more of fresh grated ginger
pepper to taste
2 fresh eggs, from pasture raised chickens
1 T. melted butter or coconut oil, as well as more for frying ( a few tablespoons)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let it sit for a few minutes while frying pan/griddle heats. Coat the pan with enough oil so patties don’t stick. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto hot pan. You decide if you want them small ( if you are having this as a side dish) or larger ( for a main course). Cook a few minutes on each side.
I have served them with a simple sauce of tahini and miso ( about 3 parts tahini to 1 part miso, mix in 2 parts water) and have also enjoyed eating them plain. I think they make a fabulous breakfast!
* The photographer in me feels compelled to apologize. The carrots were indeed a deep beautiful orange color. I have yet to master the art of using my phone camera for inside pictures. This process today has definitely inspired me to replace my non working ( non phone) camera.
Posted on August 10th, 2011 No comments
My farmers’ market bags this week
First, my camera seems to be out of commission so I have scoured the archives instead of taking pictures at the market today.
I have been out of town the last few weeks and eating other peoples’ cooking. Add to that the fact that summer produce is at its peak, I got a bit carried away today at the Farmers’ Market. I had two very full and heavy bags! My refrigerator is full and now I have to be on top of things so that none of it goes to waste. I thought I would go through my purchases with you and my plans for them.
I am hungry for fruit this week. I bought strawberries which honestly will probably just be eaten as is. I am surprised I didn’t eat all of them already! Windmill Farms of Live Oak has the best berries I have ever eaten! Yum.
I bought plums, a new to me variety called Yummy Giants and yes, they are. They are for a cooking trade with a friend and will become hand pies.
I bought lacinato kale, basil, cilantro, and cucumbers from Route 1 Farms. I ate some of the kale tonight with green beans also gotten at the market from Mell-o-dee Ranch, from whom I also got some eggs, corn, and blackberries. The eggs are going into some homemade mayonnaise amongst some other things. Basil and Cilantro will become pesto, which I have written about here. Cucumbers are being combined with lemons from my tree to become soda. ( a future blog post there) The corn is being pickled tomorrow, based on a variety of recipes I found on the internet. ( also, a future blog post, provided I get my camera working!) Blackberries will be blended with some kefir tomorrow morning for a smoothie.
I treated myself to some raw cream from Claravale Dairy. I am lactose intolerant but occasionally I put raw cream in my coffee substitute drink in the morning and it doesn’t seem to affect me in the same mucus-y way that pasteurized dairy does. We are so lucky here in this part of California to have this dairy . Almost daily, I read on the internet stories of raw milk dairies being raided, shut down by the FDA. Please educate yourself on this subject and support your small local dairies.
I came home with a nice sized newly “processed” pasture raised chicken and a small bag of chicken feet from Fogline Farms in Soquel, Ca. I will roast the chicken and have enough for probably 4 meals. I am likely to eat the legs and thighs as is. I will make some chicken and fig salad from the breast. Then, the carcass and some of the feet will be turned into delicious chicken bone broth. That, in turn, will go in the freezer for future use.
I also got carrots and radishes which will go into salad and just for munching. Thanks, Blue Heron Farm.
A bottle of Mint Cooler from Creative Cultures rounded out my purchases. After momentarily forgetting where my car was parked and having to carry those heavy bags a few more blocks than planned, it gave me a boost for sure!
Please use the comment section to share what you have gotten recently at your farmers’ market.
Posted on June 26th, 2011 3 comments
Goodness from the food processor
I have been experimenting a lot lately with pesto. I have long loved the Italian classic sauce . It is quite yummy on noodles, potatoes, vegetables, and meat. I am not very tolerant of dairy so didn’t indulge in pesto too often. Last year a friend suggested that I try making it with miso instead of the parmesan cheese. Why not ? It has that good salty umami flavor plus it provides some probiotic fermented goodness. That led me to experiment with making other changes.
What are the basic ingredients of pesto? Let’s take them one by one and make a list of substitutes/variations.
green herb – Classic pesto is made with basil. This is a summer herb, so what can we do the rest of the year ? Here in Central coastal California, we have farmers’ markets year round so I just go and see what is available. In the fall and winter you can use arugula, parsley, spinach. In the spring comes dandelion greens, sorrel, fava greens. Summer herbs are cilantro, basil, as well as many of those other herbs continue to be available. Try some nasturtium leaves ( just a few as the taste is pretty strong, but good for you). See what else you can find that you might like. Watercress ? try it.
garlic – For a party once which had a tropical theme, I made a Hawaiian style “pesto” with ginger instead of garlic. ( The other ingredients were cilantro, macadamia nuts, olive oil, and a bit of sesame oil). I usually stick with the garlic, but experiment!
nuts- Classic ingredient is pine nuts. Lately, they are ridiculously expensive so thinking of options is good. Walnuts are so good for you, high in the good omega oils so mostly now I use those. Try other nuts for interesting flavors.
oil – Again, the classic choice is olive oil. Other oils such as hemp and flax oils can be added for more nutrition.
cheese – Now I always sub miso for the cheese. I like the dark aged kind the best but you might like the milder flavor. If you also are intolerant of dairy, please do not use soy cheeses. They are so over processed and really have no nutritional value and in fact all that processed soy may be harmful.
I don’t measure things in this recipe really. I just add things until they look or taste right. Trust your instincts.
Pesto with room for improvisation
1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight and drained
2 bunches of herbs ( my latest was a bunch of basil – I stripped the leaves off and didn’t use the big stems, and cilantro)
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 big Tablespoon of miso
1/2 – 1 cup of oil ( mostly olive plus a few Tablespoons of hemp and flax oil)
First, process the nuts in the food processor. Add the other ingredients ( you may need to add one bunch of greens at a time, process it so there is room for the next bunch, depending on how big the bowl of your processor is). Add a few Tablespoons of water if you feel it needs thinning. Taste and decide if it needs more oil, maybe some pepper or some other herb. Not salty enough ? add some more miso.
This recipe is really just a framework and is the perfect opportunity for experimenting and improvising. Please use the comment area and let me know how you like your pesto.