Oh, real food.  How I love you!  It seems like I’ve been on this real food journey forever but it was really only about five years ago that I first read Nourishing Traditions, which changed my diet, my viewpoint and my life from then on.  I’ve since read dozens of other books, cookbooks, and scientific literature, immersed myself in blogs, watched documentaries, listened to seminars, experimented on myself with recipes and foods, and even begun my journey to become a holistic health coach. One of the big ideas from Nourishing Traditions that has stuck with me is the health benefits of lacto-fermented foods.   When I first started blogging I even made a fermented food a day, for a whole week once!  But unfortunately, realized that some of them didn’t quite [... To read more, click here ...]

Apr 162012
 

Our first batch of asparagus from the garden this year. Asparagus is one of my absolute favorite vegetables and I look forward every year to spring, when we get to enjoy them fresh out of the garden once again! My favorite way to eat them is simply, often roasted or steamed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Growing up, I always dipped them in mayonnaise (which I don’t hesitate to admit, I still enjoy!) but now that I’m older I tend to like to try new ways to enjoy them. This year, I discovered Mollie Katzen’s book The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without, and immediately fell in love.  I’m constantly on the look out for new ways to cook vegetables and this cookbook is a stunner and [... To read more, click here ...]

 April 16, 2012  Posted by Heartland Renaissance Spring, Vegetables, Salads and Sides Comments Off
 

Love at First Sight I picked up Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season on a whim at the library recently.  It looked like my kind of book.  Along with Dorie Greenspan and Georgeanne Brennan, Patricia Wells is one of my favorite modern  French cookbook authors. I either own, or habitually borrow from the library my favorite books of theirs over and over and re-read them like I re-read my favorite novels; every few years or so I have to revisit them for renewed inspiration. So I brought it home and began to browse through it after the kids were in bed.  Within a few minutes I had to set the book down and rummage through the junk drawer. I was in search of my stash of [... To read more, click here ...]

May 042011
 

Another one of our new favorite juices. I call it Spicy V-12 Juice. I’ve always been a fan of V-8 juice, but, you know, they’re trademarked. And my recipe calls for 12 ingredients plus makes your body feel like a luxury sports car . . . enriching your cells with plenty of garlic and sweet and hot peppers that not only add vitamins but also internal “heat,” carrots for beta carotene and beets for encouraging de-toxification and lowering blood pressure.

Super healthy, yes, but it also tastes amazing!

Mar 042011
 

So it’s been my plan for the last few months to make roasted vegetable stock this spring to fill up our pantries for Lent and meatless Friday meals. One of my favorite books for simple, Lenten meals, Twelve Months of Monastery Soups, uses vegetable stock often for added flavor and now that I know how to can stock, I thought, why not?

Until I opened my pantry and saw row after row and jar after jar of turkey and poultry stock, produced over the last few months, just looking at me. Pregnancy fatigue was getting me down and it just seemed like too much to have to consider making and storing more stock, sanitizing jars, buying another box of lids, and hauling out the canner from the basement. Don’t get me wrong, for meat-based stocks, the canning process is fantastic, my new favorite thing, and I use it all the time. But for vegetables? Sigh, I was getting tired just thinking about it.

And then I remembered those lovely little jars of bouillon I used to buy and keep stocked in my fridge before I realized they were all full of MSG. It was so simple to just heat up some water in our electric kettle, add a spoonful or two of bouillon and voila! Instant soup, or flavor to any dish, from jambalaya to minestrone to risotto.

So I decided to make some. Bouillon that is. One extra ingredient on the list, five minutes of chopping and two minutes of processing and I was done. With a full quart of bouillon in my fridge, just waiting for our next meatless meal. . .

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