Sauerkraut – Delight your gut bugs!

YUMMY sauerkraut is so easy to make. Besides just scooping it out and eating it, I add it to my salads, as a garnish for soups, and as an extra in my wraps. All you need is cabbage, sea salt, a crock or a glass jar, something to weight the cabbage under the brine and a cloth to cover it. I like about 1 part red cabbage to 3 parts green because it is just so brilliantly pink when it’s done. My KRAUT GURU’s book WILD FERMENTATION (Sandor Ellix Katz) is the best bedtime read. Next up, I’m trying – MISO and Summer Half Sour Pickles.

The other book that keeps me up nights digesting it (LOL) is THE GOOD GUT by          Justin & Erica Sonnenburg, PhDs.

LEEKS VINAIGRETTE NESTS

FullSizeRender-3Photo – Merci, Kathy Thompson!

ORGANIC INGREDIENTS, PLEASE.
Serves 12

LEEKS
2 large 1.5″ diameter leeks
Cut off roots and trim leaves leaving 3″ of dark green.
Halve them lengthwise and wash thoroughly.
Cut into ribbons about 1/2″ wide.
Leeks are banked with earth as they grow to create the
delicate white root ends. You can plant the trimmed root and it will grow a new leek. Save the tops for a soup or a stir fry.

You can prepare the vinaigrette as the leeks cook.

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil.
Add 1/2 t. sea salt.
Add leeks and simmer for 15 minutes until they are just translucent and tender. You’ll need to tend these as they cook. If you overcook they will be mush. If you overcook them then save them for something other than Leeks Vinaigrette. Maybe a leek puree topped with tiny carrots.

Have a bowl of ice and water ready to chill the leeks once they are done. Drain the tender leeks reserving the liquid to drink now or later. It’s delicious hot and cold! Place the drained leeks into the ice water and let chill thoroughly. Drain but leave them moist as the water helps to dilute the vinaigrette a bit.

VINAIGRETTE
Vinegary things’ sourness is influenced by the vinegar type and is a personal preference so before you add the leeks to the vinaigrette, taste it.

In a bowl large enough to hold the leeks, mix together:
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. champagne or white wine vinegar
1/4 t. garlic salt or a tiny clove of fresh garlic and a dash of salt
1 dash of freshly ground or FRESH white pepper (or more to your taste – it’s powerful if it’s fresh)

OPTIONAL
1/2 t. Dijon mustard – I do not add as I think it masks the delicate leek flavor.

Add the drained leeks and toss gently. Place in a GLASS or CERAMIC covered dish and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to 8 hours. No metals or plastics please as they influence the flavors. A Ball jar with an enamel lid works too.

QUAIL EGGS
Place eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 1 T vinegar. Bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 45 seconds then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. These are tricky to keep a gooey yellow so you might just let them cool to room temperature and be happy with whatever the yolk decides to do. The shells are so beautiful – so I just clip off the top of the egg and set it into the nest.

THE FUN PART – ASSEMBLY

Select lovely little dishes. I like square dark dishes for the contrast. <$2 at World Market. In each dish swirl a nest of leeks, top with a clipped quail egg, a few capers, a bit of sunflower seeds for crunch.

I think they’d be delightful in petit cupcake liners and then placed in one of those ceramic egg cartons. I will try to get a photo of that next time!

Let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour before serving.

Bon Appétit

From Iceland with love

img_9350
Enjoy this Risallamande recipe. It has a lovely story.
Substitute coconut cream and any kind of nut milk if you like.
Hiking with REI in December the young guide, Pokey, was away from his family for the first time over Christmas. When I asked him what he missed it was Risallamande. (Rice with Almonds and Cherry Sauce). The chef at the Inn (www.hotelborealis.is) where we stayed lovingly made it for him on Christmas night. His family usually has a huge portion for Christmas Eve dinner and then has the rest for dessert on Christmas.
Well, I have been eating it every day since I got back home. That’s like three weeks or so. I know, I have to stop at some point! Anyhow, it is delicious. Here’s my adaptation and a website for more fun reading…http://nordicfoodliving.com/risalamande-danish-rice-dessert/
Risallamande
Recipe for Homemade Risalamande - Danish Rice Dessert for Christmas
Prepare Rice Pudding, Cherry Sauce, Almonds and Whipped Cream
Rice Pudding
1 c  Organic short grain rice (Arborio)
4 c WHOLE Organic milk
1/8 t sea salt +/-
5 T Organic sugar
1 T Organic butter
1 vanilla bean
1 t vanilla (I use Penzey’s double strength)
Place rice, salt, sugar, and scrapings from vanilla bean and the bean in a saucepan. Add 2 cups of the milk and bring to a low simmer. DO NOT BOIL fully or the milk will scald. The trick here is to stir every 3 minutes or so to be sure it’s not sticking to the bottom. Add the additional milk as the rice absorbs the first liquids. Cook for about 35 minutes, Remove vanilla bean hull. Add butter and vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly over the top of the pudding and let cool to room temperature. The plastic wrap keeps a “skin” from forming on the top. (You can put in a shallow container to do this if you wish to cool faster.) This can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated.
Cherry Sauce
2 c frozen Bing/Sweet cherries – I like Whole Foods brand – Organic or what you can find
4 T filtered water in 2 equal portions
2 T Organic butter
1/8 t sea salt +/-
2 T sugar
2 t cornstarch
1/4 t almond extract
While you stir the rice pudding, make the sauce. In small saucepan, place all ingredients (2 T of the water) except cornstarch and extract. Bring to simmer. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 T water. Add to saucepan and stir to thicken and cook through. remove from heat; add almond extract. Serve barely warm over pudding.
Almonds
1 c +/- Organic almonds
Place almonds in ceramic bowl; cover with boiling water. Let sit 1 minute., Pour off water and recover with boiling water. Let sit 1 minute. Run cool water over and pop off the almond skins. (You can buy blanched almonds if you like.) Coarsely chop the almonds and set aside.
Whipped Cream
2 c Organic Whipping cream
2 T confectioners Sugar – I skip this added sugar but you might want to add according to the rice pudding sweetness and your own taste preference.
Whip cream until firm peaks form.
Assembly
Fold whipped cream into cool rice pudding.
I literally take the rice pudding in my hands and break it into smaller chunks so the whipped cream stays fluffier as you fold it in.
Traditionally the almonds are stirred into the pudding and one whole almond is included. Whomever gets the whole almond wins…you know that Christmas/King Cake/3 Kings Cake/Hide It tradition.
I like to place the pudding in a dish, top with cherry sauce and then add almonds on top according to my guests’ preference for nuts or not.
So pretty! It’s lovely in tiny little single Asian spoons or crystal shot glasses.
It will be a new holiday tradition – and well maybe a weekly tradition — at our home!
Enjoy!
Oh and Iceland is SOOOO worth a visit. Iceland Air offers free stopovers on the way to Europe.
Gleðileg jól

3-Day Fresh: Bean Bliss

See my blog about how to cook beans. Cook your beans. You’ll have 3 cups of beans. With a slotted spoon scoop the beans from the broth. Reserve broth! You now have beans for three different meals.

Great Northern Bean & Potato Salad    (Great as a wrap filling, too)

  • 1.5 c cooked beans
  • 1/2 c cubed cooked potatoes
  • 1 T diced red pepper
  • 1/4 c diced yellow pepper
  • 1/2 c barely steamed broccoli pieces
  • 2 T minced leek
  • 1/2 c diced purple cabbage
  • 2 T diced celery
  • 2 T minced parsley
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T Braggs vinegar
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 t maple syrup
  • 1 t herbes de provence
  • 1 t curry powder

Mix dressing ingredients above and toss with beans, veggies and parsley. Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Garnish with beets.

  • 1/2- 1 c cubed beets  Sauté in 1 T each water and olive oil; add 1/2 t herbes de provence and 1 t balsamic vinegar. Cook until all liquids evaporate and beets caramelize a bit. Serve on the side or as garnish. Beets can overpower the other flavors if mixed in.

Bean Green Soup

  • 4 c water or vegetable stock or add vegetable bullion to the water
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 c mixed cruciferous greens
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley
  • 2 t minced fresh rosemary
  • 4 medium potatoes cubed.
  • 1 c cooked great northern beans
  • 2 T ghee
  • lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: 1/2 c yogurt mixed with 2t Maple syrup and 2T water

Place water or both in saucepan and add all ingredients. Cook for about twenty minutes. Puree with an immersion blender and swirl with yogurt.

Bean Stock Pot

Bean broth from cooking great northern beans – should be about 3 to 4 cups.

Vegetables of your choice, I like celery, carrots, onions, leeks, cabbage, zucchini, potatoes, a clove of garlic.  Fresh greens (kale, spinach, collards) to add right before serving along with the remaining beans – about 1/2 cup beans.

Herbs of your choice – parsley, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf & sea salt and black pepper.

Serve with crunchy pumpkin seeds and or a touch of Parmesan.

Voilà Bean Bliss!

 

 

 

 

Beans – Perfectly Cooked

Perfect Pulses JPG“Mom, how do you cook beans?” She’d chuckle and tell me three different ways. I NEVER could get my beans to turn out like Mom’s. Since she died a few years ago I crave beans the way she made them. (I also long to eat them sitting across from her at her southern Carolina home.) So I began to experiment.

In my opinion, the perfect bean holds its shape on the outside but is tender on the inside. Oh, the occasional one might split but mostly they look like before they are cooked – only fatter. For me, beans must be soaked in a weak saline solution for eight hours. The rest is easy. A gentle simmer with seasonings of your choice.

Then the real fun begins as beans make great sandwich spreads, dips, side dishes, soups, fake potatoes, salads, sauces, bean loafs, bean breads, entire meals. Try cold white beans with olive oil, lemon juice and fresh parsley. The saline soak helps with the fartability and so does a bit of basil. Check out the next THREE-DAY FRESH! for more tasty pulse ideas.

 

3 Day Fresh: Spring Confetti

IMG_7309Celebrate with my 3-Day Fresh recipe that’s nourishing and versatile. Start with it as a salad or a salsa on its own. Maybe as a base for your favorite grilled fish or a decoration for a few shrimp. Then the next day add a squirt of lemon juice and make it a main course by serving over your favorite grains or greens. The third day, it’s soup. Sauté the balance in a saucepan. Add vege or chicken broth and lots of fresh vegetables from your fridge. Serve with a grate of your favorite cheese or a float of sliced almonds or pumpkin seeds. After 3 days it will still be safe to eat but the nutrient content fades, so I recommend EAT IT ALL WITHIN 3 DAYS. Hey – you could even stir fry a bit for your omelette or puree it and have it as a sandwich spread or dip. Oh and how about as a topping for spaghetti squash. HAVE FUN!

ORGANIC everything if you can — This is enough for 4 servings, so triple if you want to do  3-Day Fresh for four people and have a main course, a salad, a soup.

  • 1/2 c frozen roasted corn thawed
  • 12 fresh asparagus spears, reserve tips, cut spears into 1/4″ slices Steam the slices for 2 minutes then add tips and steam for 1 minute.
  • 2 T minced purple onion12 kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 c diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 c minced celery
  • 1 large clove of garlic mashed and minced very finely
  • 1/2 c cooked baby lima beans
  • 1/2 t Greek Seasoning (You can make your own or buy one but read the ingredients and make sure it’s wholesome.)
  • 1/2 t dry oregano or 1 t fresh
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c EVO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 T red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients. Serve at room temperature or warmed as a salad or salsa. Serve warmed a bit over baby spinach leaves or a pilaf as a main course. You might want to brighten it a bit with a touch of lemon juice. Be sure to add some crunch for the soup version. Enjoy!

Love, Belynda