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Lentil Curry Soup

Last year my husband and I were on a raw food kick. We bought a great book called, “The Raw Food Detox Diet” by Natalia Rose - that is where I got this recipe. My husband and I have begun a slow journey of becoming healthier people. We are trying to regain ground for ourselves at the same time as we teach our children the many benefits of eating healthy. One of the main points in this book, “The Raw Food Detox Diet,” is that we need to eat in such a way that our meals will exit our bodies in a timely manner. But equally important, we want our food to give our bodies the maximum amount of nutrients possible. One of the ways we can do this is by not eating starchy foods and meats together as they take much longer to digest when eaten together. This recipe is a great, “quick exit meal,” not raw, but definitely a great source of nutrition and it tastes great. I will be sharing more thoughts about this book in later entries, so look forward to hearing more from me on the subject of the .

 

Click to continue reading Lentil Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe


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Caesar Salad Wrap

This is a great one for when it’s hot and all you can think about it staying away from the hot oven, and yet you still have to feed your family. The best way to prepare this recipe is to cook the ahead of time before it gets hot!

CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD WRAP


Makes 4 Wraps
Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts, cubed and grilled or fried
  • 2 Heads Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Johnny’s Caesar Dressing
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Dash of pepper
  • 4 flour tortillas, whole wheat, spinach, plain, mulitgrain, you choose!

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken however you desire and set aside to cool.
  2. Toss together chopped lettuce, dressing, pepper, and cheese. Add chicken to the lettuce mixture and stir lightly.
  3. Warm tortillas and serve up the wraps at the table as the warmth from the tortilla will cause the lettuce to wilt if left to sit. Enjoy!

For some variety you can mix things up a bit. The other night we made the wraps with spinach and blue cheese dressing. Be creative, you can put any kind of in a wrap to add a little excitement to your salad! Try BBQ sauce on your chicken without dressing on the salad just use extra BBQ sauce. Hey McDonald’s is doing it, but I’m sure it’s much better homemade!


Seasoned Fried Potatoes

In many homes the is a staple food. In our home, while they would not necessarily be considered a staple, they are definitely enjoyed every now and again, as a side dish or even as a main dish. I like to serve them fried, as a main dish, along with a salad and/or corn on the cob or another steamed vegetable. They are very simple and easy to prepare. You can easily adjust this recipe based on how many people you are serving and whether you will be using it as a side dish or as a main dish. My recipe will serve 4 adults as a main dish. You can use any kind of potato, sweet potato or yams (you will need to cook sweet potatoes/yams longer as they are a much harder vegetable).

 

Seasoned Fried Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5-6 medium sized potatoes
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Johnny’s Seasoning to taste
  • Fresh herbs to taste (you could use many different kinds of herbs, oregano, rosemary, I’ve tried thyme and that was very yummy. Be creative!)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash and peel potatoes, or leave the peel on if you wish. Poke with a knife or fork several times (this can be a great stress reliever but just be careful!)
  2. Partially cook in the microwave. I usually put them in for 3-5 minutes, turn and flip a couple times checking for doneness. You want the potatoes to be partially cooked, not too hard and yet still firm so they don’t fall apart.
  3. Oil your pan, cut potatoes into small cubes and add to pan. Toss in your herbs and spices and cook until they are nicely browned. Serve potatoes by themselves or drizzle a healthy serving of ketchup all over them. Enjoy!

Local FoodIn my searching for lemons the other day I came across something that I thought was really interesting. The Eat Local Challenge, is a 30-day challenge to eat from your local foodsheds as well as preserving September’s harvest for the winter months. There is nothing better than eating fresh produce that was grown and picked this week at the farm down the road, except maybe growing it yourself! Another aspect of The Eat Local Challenge is to get the message out about the farmers in your area. You can help advertise locally by blogging about what you’ve enjoyed and you can add photos you’ve taken to the flickr Eat Local Pool.

My family and I love to visit our local Farmer’s Market on Saturday to drool over all the delicious fruits, vegetables, freshly baked breads, and wonderful cheeses, as well as all the beautifully handcrafted pieces! Then we usually sit down to enjoy a crepe or two while the kids dance to the country music. It’s a lot of fun, hopefully we will make it this coming weekend and will post some photos! There is something great about community. I think what I love the most about the local markets is that you can shake the hand who planted the veggies you are going to take home to prepare a delicious meal for your family. So this is just a reminder, go and support your local farmers this September, shake their hand and tell them how much you appreciate all their hard work, because without them most of us would go hungry!


Luscious greensRosh Hashanah started on Friday night this year, so make-ahead dishes are essential to the cook’s sanity. The previously posted beet salad keeps for days, and so does today’s Moroccan Beet Green Salad, though the flavoring strengthens a bit after 3 days or so (not that strong flavor bothers me!)  Beets still attached to their greens seem fresher, and the greens are a powerhouse of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, and calcium, plus fiber.  Properly cooked and seasoned, greens are swooningly delicious, yet even a huge serving is low calorie.  In order to provide those huge servings, I usually buy extra spinach (this year buy in a bunch, not a bag, or buy a bunch of Swiss chard instead) and mix both greens together.  This salad’s lemony spiciness complements the holiday’s rich meat and chicken main dishes.

 

Click to continue reading Moroccan Beet Green Salad Recipe


Fresh from the earthI fell in love with Judaism one bite at a time—a rugelach here, a matzoh ball there, a crispy serving of potato kugel with the brisket.     

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is so sensibly sited when the year is really brand new, as the children return to school and the brisker days encourage resolution and effort.  To make the new year sweet, we are also encouraged to serve foods like apples dipped in honey.  For my family, no holiday dinner would be complete without Fresh Beet Salad.  This wonderful dish adds glowing color, firm texture, and tart sweetness.  It’s fast, easy, keeps for days, and will convert virtually all beet haters instantly to this inexpensive, filling and vitamin and mineral-packed vegetable.  What’s more, the greens attached to those beets are nutritious and yummy, too—more on that in my next post.

Click to continue reading Fresh Beet Salad Recipe


Root CellarOur pioneer grandmothers also stored root vegetables (potatoes, beets, carrots, and turnips)  in aptly named root cellars. These were usually dirt-floored rooms dug into the ground with a door on top. Vegetables were stored in baskets, laid out on shelving, or buried in sand to keep them from drying out.  Most basements and many garages today however are heated, making storing root vegetables there no different than storing them in your kitchens. 

Click to continue reading Storing Garden Abundance: Root Veggies, Garlic, and Tomatoes


Canning JarsIn years past, almost every woman in America canned or dried garden produce. Some of us still do today. With the advent of bigger and better freezers, more people have opted to freeze fruits and vegetables. You can still get great information about canning and freezing from your County Extension office in your city or town. Or, you can go to the library and find books about canning safety and recipes to use with a pressure cooker or water-bath canner.

Most fruits and vegetables can be blanched briefly in hot water and then put into freezer bags. Label each bag with the contents and the date it was frozen. Freezer bags can be stacked easily or put into cartons in the freezer.

Herbs can also be frozen. Wash them well, pack in small quantities, and freeze them as flat as you can.  You can usually break off a bit as you need it. Frozen herbs are best used in foods that will be cooked.


Here on Food Squeeze, we will feature interesting food-related videos from time to time. This one is from the Cooking with Aphrodisiacs series, and takes a look at asparagus. Aside from the not-so-subtle forced overtones in regard to the shape of asparagus, the video does provide a bit of knowledge. For example, long ago, you could find asparagus stalks that grew 12 feet out of the ground, and has been grown as a medicinal herb for over 2,000 years. Check out the video above, and let us know what you think.


wine bottlesMost people think of salads as being appetizers or palate cleansers. A simple green salad dressed in oil and vinegar is just that. But summer salads can be your entire meal or half of it if paired with a sandwich or soup. Serving a wine with them can enhance your dining experience.

But which wine? The trick here is to consider the weight of the salad, its ingredients, and the acidity of the salad dressing. If you have a salad with meats or grilled vegetables, serve something heartier like a Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir. If your salad has arugula, escarole, or other peppery greens, use a Petite Syrah or Zinfandel.

If you have added cheese, pair the wine as you would a fruit. For example, if you have a blue cheese or Roquefort, you would normally serve it with pears or other sweet, mild fruits. Pair it with a sweeter wine like a Riesling or Gewurztraminer. A smoked cheese in a salad can handle a strong red wine.

If berries or other sweet fruit are in your salad, a Pinot Noir is excellent. Subtle fruits like apple, melon, pear, or mango can be paired with a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc, or a Riesling.

To avoid the acid in your salad dressing from competing with the acid in your wine, try using fruit juice (orange or lemon) or a sweet balsamic vinegar instead of regular vinegar.

But most of all, have fun and experiment with different wine choices with your summer salads. Buy a couple of different types of wine. If something doesn’t quite jive, try the other one. Keep experimenting.


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