From Iceland with love

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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

PLASTIC MATTERS?

Okay so this is “save my plastic week.” It also is Christmas Gift wrapping week. It is so interesting because on one side of my personality I want less and on the other side I really want PAPER — the French pink glitter wrap and the one with the poodles and…. More news to come concerning the fight between my wants and my needs. Meanwhile, a few easy old habits I reinstated — THIS WEEK – I take my own drink container with me – that can be one for both hot and cold (Target has some lovely colors on an end cap of these.) or two. (One of mine is an outmoded plastic one and one is a ceramic Starbucks cup.) I am taking my own FORK, SPOON and KNIFE or SPORK. If I forget my fabric shopping bags, I carry my items out to the car in the cart and transfer them into a bag there. Pretty soon I WILL stop forgetting.

I have a real entitlement bug in my personality that says,”You deserve it fast, now and easy.” I think it is the same bug that just encouraged me to eat the ENTIRE chocolate mousse (that was in a plastic cup with a plastic lid). And so, I am meditating and taking an extra hike around the block. I love that stuff too – the healthy stuff.

In my own personal melt down of my plastic addiction I hope to inspire you to be a little inconvenienced to better preserve the world for the amazing bright-eyed children. For the creatures who are humbled into fenced animal preserves and pastures and contaminated seas by our extreme greed for more. They show up trusting that we invited them to enjoy a world that is healthy and safe. The tiniest thought before you toss might save a breath of air or even a life.

My entitled personality is thinking, ” Oh pooh. It makes no difference!” My good heart, the angel one, replies, “Let’s just see. One piece of plastic at a time.”

Oregano – Power in a Pinch

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What is an OXIDANT? I did a little research and tried to simplify this. An oxidant is an agent that removes an electron from another molecule causing it to become unstable. With an electron missing, the unstable molecule can become a free radical. Free radicals are kind of like they sound: FREE – floating and wanting to attach and RADICAL like wild wicked unstable molecules. They can cause damage by attaching to healthy molecules (like your DNA). We are surrounded by oxidants. Our air, our processed water, our food, the containers for our foods, even our own stress, etc. etc. etc. Cut an apple and watch it oxidize (turn brown) before your eyes. Rust is a type of oxidation. ANTIOXIDANTS donate the missing electron creating a stable, healthy molecule. Oregano is loaded with nature’s antioxidants, as are many herbs and spices.

In HOW NOT TO DIE by Michael Greger, M.D. writes …whole-wheat pasta with marinara sauce has about 80 units of antioxidant power. Add a handful of steamed broccoli and it goes up to 150. Then add a single teaspoon of dried oregano or 3 teaspoons of fresh oregano and you double your meal’s power up to 300 units.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is loaded with Vitamin K; two teaspoons of the dry herb give you 14% of the RDA. K is important for blood health, bone strength, And health of cells that line veins and arteries. K helps improve insulin resistance helping prevent type 2 diabetes according to Medical News Today. It also has healthy amounts of Vitamin E, manganese, iron, calcium and fiber.

Andrew Weil writes, “The health benefits of oregano include its antibacterial and antioxidant properties: oregano has been used orally to treat respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal disorders, urinary tract infections, headaches and cardiovascular concerns. One study found that components of oregano may have protective effects against the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), perhaps due to their high content of polyphenols.

The volatile oils from this herb have also been used to treat allergies and sinusitis, earaches, cold and flu, and intestinal parasites. Topically, oil of oregano has been used as an antibacterial to treat fungal infections, dandruff, acne, and mouth concerns like canker sores, toothaches and gingivitis. It can also be used to repel and treat insect bites and stings, as well as for steam inhalation therapy.

AND IMPORTANT — Pregnant women should not take supplements of oregano due to its potential to raise the risk of spontaneous abortion.”  Dr. Weil – Oregano

GROW it! It is so easy to grow in a hot sunny place. It spreads into a beautiful green blanket so be sure to give it lots of room or limit the root area. Pick it in spring before it blooms. In the morning right after the dew has dried, it will have the most pungent flavor. It dries well just rubber-banded in a little bunch and hung in a dry space. You can cover it with a paper circle, like a hat, if you want to avoid dust. Mince it with EVOO and freeze it in clumps. Never be without oregano – your own organic, local variety!

AFTER WRITING ALL OF THIS ABOUT OREGANO I GOT HUNGRY FOR ANTIOXIDANTS…

OREGANO INFUSED Fennel with Chickpeas & Onions

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  • 2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 c diced fennel
  • 1/2 medium onion cut into crescents
  • 1/2 c cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 t minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 t minced fresh thyme
  • 5 t minced fresh oregano
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/4 c water
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the herbs and chickpeas and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the water and simmer until it has evaporated and the mixture slightly caramelizes. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with a teaspoon of ghee, if you like.

I had a delicious lunch! Hope you did too.

Belynda

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Life!

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This morning I was greeted with this card and this book.  Well, and a lick from Lucy, our lover dog. The card is filled with laughter – little bits of Matti’s and my life together these days. Her original illustrations color it and on the back are the words to “Summertime.”  (Last week she asked me my favorite song.) BUT, here’s the big surprise, she has learned to play the song on her Baby Taylor guitar that she just began playing three weeks ago! And so we sing together this morning. And we sing together again. Like we will sing every day of our lives. Thank you God for blessing me with motherhood. (3 daughters 3 grandchildren) This Life.

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Now about THIS book! Take one tiny step to experience the life of a yogi. The last line of the opening is “…build community around mindful living.” Being gentle with our selves and our world. Remembering each other in kindness and laughter and well, song. Happy Mother’s Day!

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!