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From bleh to yeah!

One of the best ways to make something delicious from plants adorning your yard is to sneak them into a recipe that you already love. One of my favorites is spring rolls with an asian dressing made from fresh lime juice. I start with grilled chicken that I marinate using this recipe:

1C Expeller Pressed Canola Oil
1/2C Rice Wine Vinegar
Juice of 4 Limes
1 – 8 – 1/4 C Toasted Sesame Oil
1/4C Water
1 tsp – 1 tbsp Tamarind
1 tsp Ginger (or Ginger Paste from Aldi)
2 tbsp Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Sesame Seed Oil
3 Tbsp Ground Coconut / Coconut milk / Coconut Creme
2 tbsp Organic Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
Sweetener (This time I used 2 tbsp coconut sugar.)
4 – 6 Capers, mashed with fork
Lemon Grass (This time I used a small amount of Lemon Zest)
Cilantro (or Coriander)
1 tsp Chili oil or crushed red chili pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp Galangal (Not really necessary.)
A few Peppermint Leaves

The dressing was done without oil today, because I’m trying to shed some of my winter keep-me-warm blubber. Here is what I came up with:

Dressing
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (brown rice?)
2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
3 – 4 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon chile oil
1 – 2 garlic clove, minced
A sweetener–I used the light Agave. (combo of stevia and date syrup if fine)
Water or neutral oil

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Shitake and Greens Soup

The day before yesterday I noticed two mushrooms on my Shiitake log, something I purchased a few years ago. Shiitake is used for boosting the immune system, lowering blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and as an anti-aging agent. I just had to make something with these, and pronto! But I wanted whatever it was to be pretty uncomplicated.

Having just spotted some chickweed growing under my Hablitzia Tamnoids, it was obvious that I should combine these with the mushrooms and some things on my shelf into a soup:

Olive Oil

1 cup brown rice and quinoa mixture, from Aldi

2 Shiitake Mushrooms

1 Onion

4 cloves garlic

1 “box” chicken stock

1 can chick peas

A big handful of Good King Henry, Hablitzia Tamnoids, Virginia Waterleaf, and Chickweed, washed.

Wilt onion in oil, add garlic and sizzle. Add mushrooms, and cook down, about 5 minutes. Add stock, chick peas, and cooked brown rice and quinoa mixture. Bring to boil then simmer 5 minutes or so. Add greens and wilt.

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Virginia Waterleaf Dishes

It’s the 24th of May and the Virginia Waterleaf has made its way to a lot of different areas on my half-acre. I wanted to test out a few ways of using it, and ended up with three successes!

Virginia Waterleaf Pesto

  • Bunch of Waterleaf, leaves and smaller stems. 
  • Garlic
  • Lemon Juice
  • Walnut Oil
  • Parm Cheese

Mix together in a food processor, toss with cooked pasta, then eat!

Virginia Waterleaf Dressing

  • 1/2 cup of firmly packed Waterleaf, leaves and smaller stems, washed, dried, and chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup roughly copped chives
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Umeboshi plum paste

Mix together in a blender, and use on rice, beans, or cooked veggies!

Virginia Waterleaf
Soup

  • Olive Oil
  • Bunch of Waterleaf, leaves and stems, finely chopped. 
  • 2 – 3 cloves Garlic
  • Small tin of anchovies, salted, in oil
  • Vegetarian stock

On low heat, cook the anchovies and garlic in oil until the anchovies have started to break down.  Add the stock and chopped Waterleaf, and cook until the stems are soft.

Blend in batches.  

Note after my VW cooking day:  this soup is awesome mixed with some red curry paste, a tiny bit of fish sauce or shrimp paste, and some coconut milk.  You wouldn’t have to blend it.  A try for another time…

Enjoy!