Greens, Scallions, Herbs & Beans

Spring at Raleigh City Farm means — out of the greenhouse & into the plots. Seen here kale & lettuces.
  • 2 T EVOO (Italian has the most nutrients.)
  • 8 scallions/green onions Separate the white & green parts as the white parts taste entirely different than the green & we’ll cook the white parts and have the green parts as a garnish. Chop.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • Sea salt, black pepper, turmeric
  • 1/4 C. stock of your choice or water
  • 2 C pressure-cooked garbanzo beans/chick peas Choose Eden Organic if using canned. Pressure cooking eases digestion by inactivating lectins. Add a couple strips of astragalus root for immunity. Remove the astragalus before serving.
  • 6 C fresh greens, roughly chopped. Or add whole(beautiful as a nest)& include a knife to serve.
  • Herbs of your choice and as much as you like. The Raleigh City Farm harvest this week includes rosemary, oregano & thyme. My recommendation is rosemary by itself or a mix of two thirds oregano to 1/3 thyme. Taste the herbs raw to make sure you like them. The taste will change when cooked; while oregano will mellow, thyme and rosemary will intensify. Thyme can be very dominant so add sparingly. You can always “herb/spice it up!” later. Rosemary is an amazing herb — improves brain function.Centenarians in Italy pinch a bit & eat it every day. Look for my future post about rosemary(s). Oregano, I can’t say enough, except eat it every day, raw in salads, on sandwiches, etc. Check out my prior post here about all the benefits of: OREGANO!
  • Acid splash of some sort — Lemon juice or Champagne vinegar
  • Crunchy something — pumpkin or sunflower seeds, fried onions (yum!) even crumbled chips or crackers
  • Optional: A bit iof feta & a few kalamata olives for interest.

Heat the EVOO in a skillet. Add the garlic & scallion white parts. Sauté just until clear. Add +/-1/2 t salt, 2 dashes of freshly ground black pepper & a dash (or 2) of turmeric. Add the stock, herbs & garbanzos and cook until the beans are heated through, stirring constantly. NOTE: If you are using leaf lettuces, spinach or baby greens, just place them raw on the plate as the beans will wilt them. OR Add the greens & cook just until wilted. If you’d like a greens’ nest, for ease later, cook the greens separately on one side of the beans’ skillet.

Taste the beans & greens and add more herbs & salt/pepper as desired.

If you cooked the greens whole, pull them from the skillet and form a “nest” for your beans. If you chopped the greens, just add the bean/green mixture to a serving dish. If using raw greens, place them on a plate & top with the hot beans. Squeeze a bit if acid over. Sprinkle with the green onions & crunchy stuff. Add olives & feta if you like.

Divine & Delicious Dining, Ya’ll!

See ya at the FARM! Don’t forget to get your April 24 Bearthday Celebration tickets by April 19!

Summer Basil Pasta

This simple recipe is an all time favorite.
  • 5 ORGANIC plum or other tomatoes, chopped (about 1 pound) (Peel & seed first for easier digestion.)
  • 1/4 C ORGANIC basil chiffonade
  • 1 T ITALIAN extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T ITALIAN red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves ORGANIC garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 t Iodized sea salt
  • 8 ounces ITALIAN farfalle/bowtie pasta, cooked (Cook until almost al dente. The bow’s center will be a bit firm and seem undone, but it will soften in the marinade.)

Mix all ingredients & refrigerate for at least an hour. DELIZIOSA INSALATA!

Ginger-Scented Pecans

I have to give these away immediately TO MY FAVORITE FRIENDS because I will eat them all!
This is Martha Stewart’s recipe with more pecans & ginger.
  • 7 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons (or more) ground dry ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Heat oven to 325°F. Place the nuts on a parchment-lined full sheet pan (26×18) & roast for 12 minutes; stirring & turning the pan after 6 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Line a second full sheet pan with parchment paper & set aside. Just before the nuts are done, in a large skillet heat the honey, oil & water. Immediately add the hot pecans to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated (3-5 minutes). Add the dry ingredients & coat all the pecans. Pour the nuts onto the second sheet pan to cool.

When they are room temperature, eat them all. HAHAHA. Store in an airtight container. Thank you Martha for this recipe, one of my favorites.

Oysters Rockefeller

I love OYSTERS. I eat them at least once a week. My test recipe for this classic is delicious & easy.

OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER

  • 36 clean oyster shells &
  • 2 pints of fresh east coast (USA) oysters, drained OR 36 fresh oysters, popped open
  • 3 tablespoons organic butter (+ 1 tablespoon for topping)
  • 1 medium clove of organic garlic, pressed or teeny minced
  • 1/3 cup minced organic shallots
  • 1/4 cup minced organic shiitake mushrooms
  • 12 ounces chopped, frozen or fresh, organic spinach (For fresh, blanch & set aside.)
  • 1/2 cup organic cream
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup grated Italian Parmigiano Reggiano (+ 3 tablespoons for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon +/- Pernod Absinthe (A very gentle anise flavor, barely detectable is desired.)
  • 1 tablespoon +/- organic lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground organic black pepper
  • Topping: 1 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons Parmigiano
  • Sea salt – maybe

About 2 hours before you want to serve your Oysters Rockefeller, prepare the spinach mixture. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan. Add shallots & garlic & cook 3 minutes until just they are clear. Add the mushrooms & cook 3 minutes. Add the spinach & cook until the moisture evaporates. Cool to room temperature. Add cream, 1/3 cup Parmigiano, 1 teaspoon Pernod, 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 t black pepper. Mix until just combined. TASTE! Adjust seasoning to your preference.

I love sea salt but I found this recipe didn’t need it, but that depends a lot on your cheese’s saltiness.

Refrigerate for 2 hours. This helps the mixture to mound well on the oysters.

Prepare the topping by melting the butter, adding the bread crumbs and cooking just until bread crumbs turn golden. Remember they’ll continue to crisp on the oysters. Stir in the Parmigiano.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the drained oysters on paper towels. Then place 1, 2 or 3 oysters in each of the shells. Arrange on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. If using fresh oysters, gently pour off any liquid, & arrange them on a baking sheet.

Top the oysters with about 1 tablespoon of the spinach mixture. Sprinkle generously with the bread crumb topping.

Slice some lemons & BE READY!

Bake for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them because the size of the oysters will effect the cooking time. When they are bubbly and just golden brown, they’re done.

FEAST!

Saffron Cauliflower Pilaf

The Healthy Mind Cookbook by Rebecca Katz, inspired this delicious dish.

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, softened in 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup minced carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (iodized, preferred)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups of riced cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon chicken or no-chicken bullion (I like Better than Bullion Organic.)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 t lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • walnuts or nuts of your choice

This is truly one of my FAVORITE dishes.

In a skillet large enough to hold all of the ingredients, heat the ghee or oil. Add the onion, carrot, fennel, celery, garlic, salt & pepper. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower & sauté 3 minutes. Stir the bullion into the 1/4 cup water & add to the vegetables, along with the saffron, lemon zest & lemon peel. Cook 2 minutes; the cauliflower should be crisp. Avoid overcooking because it will be mushy. (Most things continue to cook for a bit even after they are removed from heat.) Stir in the parsley.

With the addition of a few nuts, you’ll have complete meal. It’s a great side dish & a perfect base for a breakfast egg. ENJOY!

Poultry Bone Broth & Food Safety

This year’s turkey was a 12 pound, free-range, organic bird from Trader Joe’s that cooked perfectly. After our table feast, I immediately prepare the turkey for the refrigerator & the carcass for bone broth.

Poultry Bone Broth

  • Roasted Turkey (or other poultry) carcass broken into pieces with a meat cleaver to release minerals from the bones. Include the herbs and vegetables you roasted with the turkey & any extra gravy.
  • 2 large carrots, cleaned but unpeeled, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 5 large stalks of green celery cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
  • 1 leek, green and white chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 6 whole alspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 springs thyme
  • 5 large springs parsley
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon iodized sea salt
  • Filtered water

Place bones in a large stock pot. Add water to about 4 inches above the bones. Add all remaining ingredients. Check water level to be sure it’s at least 2 inches above the ingredients. Over high heat, bring to a boil quickly, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to a barely visible simmer. This take a bit of checking to get the temperature exact. It is IMPORTANT to check and be sure it is always simmering to insure this food’s safety.

Simmer, uncovered, 24 hours. Yep 24 hours. While I am awake, I stir the broth occasionally & check to insure I have a teeny bubble simmer & that the water level is still about 2 inches above the ingredients. So by the time I go to sleep I am sure the cooking temperature is accurate. Broth making for smaller birds works well in a crock pot or an instant pot.

MY SERVSAFE FOOD PROCTOR SAFETY NOTE: Poultry broths should be kept HOT (=/+165°F) or COLD (=/- 39°F/Refrigerator Temperature) for optimum safety. So preparing properly for freezing or refrigeration is critically important.

After 24 hours, I bring the broth back to a rolling boil for about 2 minutes. Then I remove the pot from the heat & immediately cool.

Although the official “safety timeline” is cool soup from 140°F to 70°F in 2 hours & from 70°F to 40°F in no more than 4 hours, I work fast after my broth is ready to store by straining out the ingredients & spreading them out in a large baking pan & setting them aside to cool for my https://compostnow.org bin & treats for Lucy, my dog. (I’ll sort carrots & meat bits for Lucy or if the bones are totally soft, I’ll Blendtec the whole mess once it cools for her to enjoy as “Lucy Goo.” I take the same care in freezing Lucy’s Goo as I do for the bone broth.)

I use one of three methods to cool the broth. 1) Preferred — I pour the remaining hot broth into stainless steel bowls & set these into larger stainless steel bowls filled with ice & water. I stir these until the broth has cooled to about 65°F (room temperature or cooler). This takes about 30 minutes. 2) or I spread the soup into a very large shallow pan to cool. 3) or I add ice directly to the broth to cool or use an ice wand (on Amazon) to stir the broth cool. Or some combination of the above.

Then I divide the soup into straight sided ball jars, leaving 1″ of head room. I freeze or refrigerate the jars of broth without lids as the condensation in a closed container may also encourage bacteria*. I label the lids with “Turkey (or whatever) Broth” & the date & close the jars as soon as they are 40°F or frozen.

NEVER place hot broth in the fridge or freezer as it will raise the temperature of the appliance; the broth will cool from the outside edges to the center, causing opportunity for bacteria to grow in the warm center. AND the warm broth will raise the temperature of the refrigerator or freezer causing potential for bacterial growth in your other foods.

*When you receive take out food that is hot – immediately remove the lid as condensation may reach the perfect temperature encourage bacterial growth. Also, be sure to cool that food, using the above guidelines for broth, before putting it in the fridge.

All foods require careful temperature control. One that surprised me — RICE is very often a culprit for bacterial growth.

The process for bone broth is WORTH the steps. Enjoy!

Funghi Marinati

A Great Appetizer & Healthy Snack – MARINATED MUSHROOMS

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Juice of 2 lemons (4 tablespoons)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large garlic cloves (crushed and peeled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 pound button mushrooms (small or cut to same bite size)

In an enamel or stainless saucepan, combine ingredients except mushrooms & bring to a boil. Cover & simmer 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms & simmer 5 minutes, stirring gently.

Let the mushrooms cool in the marinade. Serve at room temperature. Store in a Ball jar, or other glass container, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Delicious snack! You can also add them to other dishes for texture & zing.

Healthy Herbes de Provence

C’est bon et bon pour vous.
  • 1 T Fennel Seed 
  • 2 T Summer Savory
  • 2 T Thyme
  • 2 T Basil
  • 2 T Marjoram
  • 2 T Parsley
  • 1 T Oregano
  • 2 T Rosemary
  • 5-6 Bay Leaves (or 1 t ground Bay Leaf)
  • 2 T Lavender Flowers
  • 1 T Tarragon*
  • 6 Black Peppercorns
  • YOU CAN USE ALL FRESH or MIX FRESH & DRY HERBS IN THIS BLEND AND FREEZE. Allow 3 times the dry amount for fresh and of course you’ll have to grind your dry herbs, mince your fresh ones & blend. Storage info follows.

To mix, you can use a suribachi (I love this Japanese grinding bowl bowl with a rough unglazed center that I learned about from Alice Waters.); mortar and pestle; or an electric spice grinder. (I have a Cuisinart SG10 which holds all of this mix.) You can also use ANY BOWL and a wooden spoon.

When mixing spices grind the largest ones first…ie. peppercorns and bay leaves. When these are relatively small, add the all the remaining herbs & blend to your preference, coarse to very fine. Try to have consistent particle sizes of all the herbs so you have true blend of flavors for your recipe.

Store AIRTIGHT in a dark/tinted GLASS container for up to 6 months. Beyond that your flavors and nutrients will dim. You can freeze your blend (IN FREEZER PROOF AIR TIGHT GLASS NOT METAL OR PLASTIC) and maybe get 12 months. (PLASTIC is toxic next to any food! It is NOT airtight. I love Ball straight-sided freezer safe jars! Here’s Dr. Weil’s view about SILICONE which might be an option…https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/cooking-cookware/cooking-with-silicone/

I have also mixed my blend with olive oil, plopped teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined tray, frozen and popped out into my BALL jars and returned to freezer. Pre-measured with an extra boost of EVOO. 12 months maximum storage but I use within 6 months.

MAGIC HEALTH

This is just a teeny bit about the health gifts.

As a nutritional chef, I have learned that this blend is loaded with LIFE — phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. Remember more is not necessarily better. Taste your foods as you cook to see what is your spice preference.

  • Fennel – Carminative (antiflatulent), galactagogue (increases breast milk supply), expectorant/antitussive (relieves chronic cough), anti-colic, stomachic (aids digestion), anti-inflammatory (supports overall wellness). I LOVE FENNEL!
  • Savory – Anti-oxidant (see oregano blog https://chamberslife.com/?s=oregano for information about antioxidants), anti-septic, anti-fungal, expectorant, stomachic, aphrodisiac, thirst quencher.
  • Thyme – Antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, anti fungal, expectorant, anti-candida, vermifuge (expels parasites), carminative, antitussive, antispasmodic, diaphoretic (skin redness increasing blood flow for musculoskeletal/arthritis/rheumatism pain relief).
  • Basil – Antidepressant, detoxicant, headache relief, lung support, digestive.
  • Marjoram – See Oregano.
  • Parsley – Diuretic, blood purifier, digestive, galactagogue, emmenagogue (menstrual flow stimulant), carminative, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant.
  • Oregano – https://chamberslife.com/?s=oregano
  • Rosemary – Nervine (calms nerves), antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, diaphoretic, analgesic (pain relief), antispasmodic (muscle spasm relief), antioxidant, carminative, liver tonic, astringent, circulatory support. I LOVE ROSEMARY! Here’s a little side note about the magic of Rosemary. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/world/what-in-the-world/rosemary-and-time-does-this-italian-hamlet-have-a-recipe-for-long-life.html
  • Bay Leaf – Anti-carcinogen, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, calmative, antiflatulent, sedative, sodium replacement for taste. DO NOT EAT WHOLE BAY LEAVES AS THEY MAY CAUSE CHOKING/GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS!
  • Lavender Flowers – Antibacterial, digestive, cholagogue (promotes bile flow), carminative, nervine (Lavender is amazing, helping with sleep, depression, fatigue, anxiety, etc.), insect repellent. Suggested lavender varieties include Provence, Melissa, Royal Velvet, Buena Vista and English.
  • Tarragon – Digestive, antiflatulent, cholagogue, nervine, appetite stimulant, metabolism booster. *Tarragon has very distinctive flavor can overpower other herbs, so you may want to start with less to see if your taste buds agree. If your tongue feels a little numb when you eat Tarragon, I am told that’s part of it’s magic.
  • Black Peppercorns – Digestive, enhances bioavailability, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, improves cognition, expectorant, antitussive. EAT ON EVERYTHING!

SOURCES & REFERENCES, ETC.

www.katolenyardley.com The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies by Katolen Yardley

www.thymeherbal.com Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen by Brittany Wood Nickerson

Dr. William Li https://drwilliamli.com author — Eat to Beat Disease

Rebecca Katz – AMAZING RECIPES! She so gets the flavor thing — MAKE — www.rebeccakatz.com/recipe-box/triple-triple-brittle

And last but not least — I love this podcast because Dr. Gundry has a plethora of health professionals as guests whether he agrees with their views or not. So if you are a sponge for health info this is your go to… …https://drgundry.com/the-dr-gundry-podcast/

Kimchi Yumi

Ancient, created thousands of years ago in Korea, kimchi is the perfect gut flora food. Fun to make, it’s really delicious, even if it does smell a bit farty as it cures.

Market List: Napa Cabbage, Daikon, Bok Choy, Carrots, (Pea pods, snow peas, peas, seaweeds, – choose your own added vegetables.) Ginger, Garlic, Onions (green/yellow/white), Leeks, and/or shallots, red hot peppers (fresh dried or in a sauce just be sure no preservatives). Preservative free Fish Sauce (Naum Plum) if  you like. Have FUN!

IMG_2435
Be sure all utensils are are clean. CLEAN means washed, rinsed, then rinsed again with boiling water. PREPARE VEGES: NAPA CABBAGE chopped 12 cups  BOK CHOY chopped 3 cups CARROTS 1 cup sliced DAIKON RADISH cubed 4 cups SEA SALT 8 tablespoons FILTERED WATER 8 cups  Place the vegetables in a large clean ceramic or glass container (never metal or plastic). Dissolve the sea salt in the water to make the brine and pour over the vegetables. Add a plate weighted with a jar of water to keep the vegetables submerged. Cover with a clean cloth  Let cure at least 8 hours, up to 12 hours. Drain the brine and reserve.

IMG_2442
Prepare the spices: GINGER 3 to 5 Tablespoons, grated. ONIONS 1 large WHITE or YELLOW one cut in crescents or chunks; add maybe 5 GREEN onions, diced if you like. LEEK green and white parts sliced in thin rounds, about a cup. GARLIC 5 to 8 large cloves minced. HOT RED CHILIS: 1 ONE 1  Hey – I make my own kimchi because I am not a fiery spice girl. Add what you like but remember, you can’t “de-fire” it.  Taste the veggies and insure they aren’t too salty. If they are too salty, just dilute the brine LATER. Add the alliums and spice mix to the vegetables and blend well with clean hands. You can transfer the entire mixture to a clean (boiled clean) crock at this point or leave in the ceramic bowl. If the vegetables were too salty dilute the brine. Remember, the salt is what helps to safely cure the kimchi so don’t desalinize them. Add brine until your kimchi is fully submerged with about an inch of liquid over it.
IMG_2437
Add a clean plate that covers the vegetables and weight it with a clean large bottle of water. Cover completely with a clean cloth. (Notice the “clean” repeated.) Place in a dust free area for it to nap and ferment. Check daily and press under the brine. Is there yucky stuff? White mold? Just remove it. Other weird stuff, don’t risk eating it. My kimchi ferments for 7 days at 70°F. Then I pack it into clean (sterilized) Ball jars and press it firmly down to insure covered with brine. Seal with clean Ball enamel lined lids. Don’t use metal utensils to scoop your kimchi out of its jar – only wood, ceramic (like Asian soup spoons) or silicone ones. I  drink the leftover brine – no kidding. Kimchi will continue to ferment in the refrigerator, just more slowly. Heat destroys the healthy bacteria, so add Kimchi to maximum 115°F broths. Delicious in miso and you get 2 gut goodies! Always refer to the real expert —Wild Fermentation 

 

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