9.30.2012

Farmer's Market Finds and Pins

I hope everyone had a good weekend!  I spent mine mostly relaxing around the house with Kevin.  We recently started watching the first season of Revenge on Netflix.  In short, we are addicted and are trying to watch the whole season through this week so we can watch the new season that we are recording tonight.

On Saturday morning I went to the Liberty Lake Farmer's Market with my friends Stephanie and Beth.  We were able to get to the market a bit earlier this week and found the selection a lot more plentiful.  Here is a breakdown of what I got:
  • 2 bunches of parsnips- $2
  • 1 lb purple potatoes- $1.50
  • 10 red prunes- $1
  • bunch of green and swiss chard- $1
Can you tell from this week and last week's Farmer's Market trip that I seem to be attracted to purple produce?  I'm excited for what recipe I'll think up to use the purple potatoes.  I asked the man selling them if they are purple on the inside too.  He said that they were, but they don't bleed color at all like a beet might.  I'll be fun to cut one of these puppies open!  Also, I was so happy to find parsnips!  I had never tried it before last fall, but I loved this recipe for Roasted Apples and Parsnips, Mmmmm!

Since I've been being a bit lazy this weekend, I've been on my Pinterest just a bit... ok, that's a bit of an understatement, but here are a few of my favorite pins from the week:

Step-by-step to roast and puree a pumpkin from Oh She Glows
From what I can tell, this will work for most fall and winter squashes,
such as butternut, ambernut, and acorn squashes.

Peanut Butter Granola from SHAPE.com
I tried out this recipe with brown rice syrup instead of honey and it turned out great.
At 5 minutes of baking I turned the oven off and allowed the granola to cool with the oven,
making the moisture from the granola to dry out.  Crunchy, peanut buttery, and delicious!

These sweet little tea cups and plates remind me of this summer when I had a fancy tea with my mom, a family friend, and my bridesmaids a few weeks before the wedding.  It's things like this that make me so happy to be a girl :)

I cannot tell you how true this is for Kevin and I.  We have such childish potty humor sometimes.

Fruit Slide from SOSK Designs
Isn't this awesome?!  I want this in my future kitchen so badly!  I'm not quite sure how that banana is sitting there, but the idea that my apples and oranges get to go for a slide before I eat them is just so fun.  It would be a great visual as to how much fruit you've eaten since you last went grocery shopping.
Four sleeping baby otters... I have never seen anything as cute!  I got to do a lot of cat-napping this weekend, which I think I will now call otter-napping.... that is, sleeping like otters, not stealing otters... hehe!

If you'd like to follow me on Pinterest find me at this link: http://pinterest.com/amysnutritarian/

9.27.2012

Blogiversary: Black Eyed Pea Fritters

I have a pretty fun recipe to bring you guys today!  I can't tell you how many times I've tried unsuccessfully to make bean burgers or fritters, only to have them fall apart in the skillet.  I finally found the secret: you need to BAKE the bean burgers/fritters!!!  This recipe came about because I had some extra black eyed peas I had made earlier in the week that I was wanting to use up.  In researching recipes for black eyed peas I came to find that, in the Southern US, black eyed peas are considered a lucky food to eat on new years.... that got me to thinking about how today is my one year blogging anniversary!.... My Blogiversary, so to say.

I took some time today to reflect on a few old posts I have written.  Here are a few of my favorites over the past year... (the titles of each are links if you'd like to check out the recipes)









Ah, now that I've gone through my nostalgic series of recipes, on to a new one!



Ingredients:

  • Fritters:
    • 2 very full cups cooked black eyed peas
    • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
    • 1 cup cooked quinoa
    • 2 bunches fresh basil, minced
    • 1 tsp dried rosemary
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • salt and pepper to taste

  • Cream Topping
    • 1 cup mashed potatoes
    • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 bunch fresh basil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 stalks green onion, sliced, to sprinkle on top
Directions:
  1. Prepare the beans and quinoa ahead of time.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Place all fritter ingredients except for the quinoa in a large food processor.  Pulse several times, scraping the sides as needed, until it forms a mixture that is processed but still very chunky.
  4. In a large bowl mix together the cooked quinoa and the processed bean mixture.
  5. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick baking spray.
  6. Using your hands, squish and mix the fritter mixture lightly, then form into 1-2 inch patties.
  7. Place them evenly spaced out on the baking sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Take them out of the oven and flip each fritter.  Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from pan and top with preferred topping (I used a creamy potato mixture, ingredients above well processed in a small processor).




Amy's Notes:
The fritters are ready to be flipped/removed from the oven when the side/sides have a slight brown crisp to them.  For my fritters, I decided to top them with a creamy mashed potato mixture, but feel free to top them however you like.  An olive tapenade would probably be yummy!  These fritters can work as great appetizer/party finger foods.  Also feel free to play with the spice mixture used.  I bet these would be great with a spicy cajun mixture!  Another way to use these fritters is to have them in sandwiches or pita pockets like you might falafels.  I think that's what I'll be doing with my leftovers of this recipe.  However you try it, I hope you enjoy!

How do you like to celebrate Blank-"aversaries" (a.k.a. one year achievements) in your life?

9.25.2012

Purple Kale Curry

Grr!  I'm mad at myself for not sticking to the blog schedule!  Things come up, and well, you know how it is...  For today, I will be showing you guys what I got on a trip to the local farmer's market with a good girlfriend of mine, and how I used some of the ingredients in a curry I made in bulk to have for my lunches this week.

 At the Farmer's Market I picked up...

  • 3 purple bell peppers- $1
  • 1 bunch blue kale- $1
  • 2 large zucchini- $1
  • Ambernut squash- $4
  • Basil


 My parent's neighbor asked me to water her plants while she was away for the weekend and asked that I take any tomatoes that were ripe so they didn't go to waste.  From that I got several large tomatoes and dozens of small, sweet orange tomatoes.  They are so flavorful!

I was inspired by the purple bell peppers and blue kale to make something unique for my weekday lunches.  Here is what I came up with:

Purple Kale Curry


Ingredients:

  • Curry paste:
    • 1 Tbsp curry powder
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp saffron or tumeric
    • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/4 tso ground red pepper (cayenne pepper)
    • 1 Tbsp brown rice syrup (or honey)
    • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • Curry:
    • 2 medium onions, sliced
    • 3 small bell peppers, diced (any color, I used purple)
    • 4 cups kale, chopped (I used blue kale)
    • 1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
    • 1 can Coconut milk
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • low sodium soy sauce, to taste


Blue Kale (I think it looks more purple)

Purple Bell Peppers
 Directions:

  1. Combine curry paste ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large frying pan or dutch oven water saute the onions and peppers until tender but crisp.
  3. Pour in the can of coconut milk, and measure in one can of water into the saucepan.
  4. Bring the saucepan to a simmer, and add in curry paste.  Stir until well mixed in.
  5. Maintain at a simmer and add the kale and basil.
  6. Turn off heat and stir in kale and basil until the kale has lightly wilted.
  7. Add red pepper flakes and soy sauce to get desired taste.
  8. Serve over brown rice.
Amy's Notes:
In the picture above I serve the curry on top of brown rice with black eyed peas.  You can of course serve it over any type of grain and with or without any beans you desire.  In this recipe feel free to use any type of bell pepper you have on hand.  Also, use any type of dark green in place of the blue kale, such as collard greens, curly kale, dinosaur kale, or spinach.  Enjoy!

What unique things have you found at your local farmer's market?




9.22.2012

Katie's Creamy Potato Leek Soup


Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!  I've been busy with cooking, cleaning, and hanging out with friends.  Friday night a few of us went to the Spokane Oktoberfest to try out a few beers from over 20 different breweries.  It was a great time out with friends being beer connoisseurs.
Everyday Vegan Girl
For Healthy Vegan Friday I will be featuring the soup I had for dinners and I featured in this week's What I Ate Wednesday.  My sister-in-law Katie sent me this recipe after she had described it to me as "Amazing!"  I found it to be a great recipe to use up some of the vegetables I had left from the veggie trays at our reception (the carrots and celery).  It is so simple, yet delicious.  Hope you give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks, roughly chopped
  • 6 medium potatoes (or equivalent red potatoes), diced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, sliced
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Some suggested spice combinations:
    • 1/2 tsp thyme and 1/2 tsp marjoram
    • 1 tsp rosemary
    • 1/2 tsp basil and 1/2 thyme
Directions:
  1. Chop the leeks, carrot, and celery, and water saute in a dutch oven or large pot for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add your selected spices to the vegetables while they are sauteing.
  3. In the meantime, scrub potatoes and chop into 1 inch chunks (peeling optional).
  4. Add potatoes, water, and salt to pot.  
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  7. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a creamy consistency.
  8. Stir in milk to thin and give a creamier taste (optional).
Amy's Notes:
This a fairly versatile soup in how you decide to make it.  I used red potatoes and left the skin on, but you could easily use russet potatoes and choose to leave the skins on or off.  Also, if you don't happen to have leeks on hand, you might be able to use an onion or three in replacement.  The spices in this recipe are also very versatile.  Whatever your spice/dried herb preference, give it a try with this soup.  From the pictures you can tell that the soup in the pot is not as light in color as the soup in my bowl.  This is because I added a bit of almond milk once I served the soup.  This worked well for Kevin and I because he preferred to add his regular milk while I added my non-dairy milk.  This little trick also is great for saving room in your fridge with the leftovers.  If you don't add the milk until you are going to eat the leftovers, it will allow you to store thicker soup in smaller containers to save room in the fridge.
What is your favorite versatile recipe or your favorite recipe to use up vegetables in your fridge?

9.19.2012

What I ate Wednesday and Tex-Mex Slaw

Alright, this is my first time doing "What I ate Wednesday", so bare with me.  The pictures below are of what I basically had during the week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  If you'd like the recipes to these dishes, stay tuned, they are coming very soon in future posts!

Breakfast: Green Smoothie... a big serving
Yep, I love me my green smoothies in the morning!  I've never been too big of breakfast person to begin with.  I really like oatmeal, but I find that it is a bit heavy to eat in the morning and just sits at the pit of my stomach for half the day.  Back in college I used to drink coffee just about every morning (kicked that habit thank god), so having a drink in the morning like a green smoothie is a great replacement and helps me to get my greens in!


Lunch: Tex-Mex Slaw (Recipe Below)
This slaw has been the perfect recipe to take for lunch lately.  Because the greens are cabbage, I can eat it cold straight out of the fridge, or I can add a bit of water and microwave it until the cabbage has wilted a little.  Depending on my mood I get to choose from cold lunch or hot lunch!  Oh, and the spiciness of it just hits the spot.

Dinner: Potato Leek Soup (recipe coming in a future post)
This soup has been my new recent favorite.  I am always a huge fan of creamed soup, and this one is no exception.  I got this recipe to try from my sister-in-law who was raving about it over our regular daily online chats, so I knew I had to give it a try.  She was not joking when she said it was "amazing". It makes me want fall to get here even sooner so I feel like it's soup-making weather more often.


Lately I have not been very good at eating salads.  This has been mostly because I like to save the darker greens I buy for green smoothies, but also because I don't currently have very many ingredients to make homemade healthy dressings yet.  So, I came up with this recipe that I could make ahead and use fairly basic ingredients with.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 c black beans (or 2 cans)
  • 1/2 c black olives, sliced
  • 1 c frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1/2 pepper, chopped (any kind: bell, poblano, etc.)
  • 2 stalks green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c fire roasted tomatoes (I used a Tex-Mex version)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • sprinkle of ground red pepper 
Directions:
  1. Prepare all ingredients and combine all ingredients except for the cabbage, cumin, ground red pepper, diced tomatoes, and rice vinegar in a large bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix together the diced tomatoes, cumin, ground red pepper, and rice vinegar. 
  3. Pour the dressing mixture over the slaw contents.
  4. Once the dressing mixture has been thoroughly mixed in, begin to add the sliced cabbage until you have reached a good cabbage to "goodie" ratio.
  5. Serve chilled with your favorite hot sauce as a salad or serve in tacos.
  6. Another serving option is to water saute the slaw and serve hot over rice or in tacos.

Amy's notes:  
I think next time I make this slaw I would want to add some diced avocado and possibly some lime juice to the recipe, Mmmmm!

What salad dressings do you like to make out of ingredients you keep regularly in your kitchen?

9.18.2012

Dr. Fuhrman on the Dr. Oz Show and Medicine

Thanks for the positive feedback on the new blog design!  I like the white and brightness of it; I feel it gives me a better sense of clarity (hopefully my readers feel the same way).  I would also like to say welcome to any new readers!  Whether you are coming from Google or from the link I left in my comment on the Dr. Oz show Tuesday featuring Dr. Fuhrman and his life changing nutrition ideology, I hope any information or recipes you find on my blog is helpful to encourage you to make any changes that will help you to greater health!

Today I would like to discuss the topics presented on the Dr. Oz show today.  In my opinion, the topics that were presented this time that Dr. Fuhrman was on were much more to the point of the Nutritarian lifestyle: that your food determines your health by preventing western disease, while also allowing you to lose weight.  (On Dr. F's last appearance on the show, I felt that he was overly rushed and that the people selected from the audience were not good examples of people willing to make changes for their long-term health.)  Here are some good quotes from this episode that made some great points:

"Use food as your medicine"- Dr. Oz

"Let's say you brought your car to the mechanic because the dashboard was flashing: OIL OIL OIL!  When you took it in there, the mechanic cut the wire to the dashboard so you couldn't see the oil light flashing.  So, you continue to drive the car with no oil.  Well, medications give people a false sense that they are taking care of themselves.  [Over time]... they need more medications and more medications.  What I'm saying here is that medications function like permission slips to enable people to continue their diet styles which are causing the disease to inevitably advance."-Dr. Fuhrman

"Now we know that you don't have to have heart disease,  you don't have high blood pressure, you don't have to have diabetes, and we can win the war on cancer.  Food is the secret here."-Dr. Fuhrman

I know that I think often about the topics presented, but to those hearing it for the first time, I hope that it gives you hope and motivation.  Other topics discussed included the concept of Dr. F's flipped food pyramid, pictured below.  I think the pyramid makes a whole lot of sense.  I mean, why wouldn't you want to put the most amounts of the most nutritious foods on the bottom?
Another great visual for new-comers to have, in my opinion, is the picture representing nutrient density.  AKA, the amount of nutrients (micronutrients and phytonutrients) per calorie of food.  Also think of the volumes of food per calorie entering into your digestive system.

Did you see the Dr. Oz episode?  
What were your thoughts?