Cookbook Giveaway!!!

As I’m trying to get rid of some of my clutter, I realized that I have many cookbooks that I don’t use.  I just rarely ever use a recipe.  I thought perhaps some of you might get better use of these wonderful books.

Please look over the list of what I have, and let me know if you are interested in any of them.

Gluten Free Cookbooks

Other Cookbooks
All of these cookbooks have been used, some more than others, but I have taken very good care of them.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
The First to ask for a certain Cookbook, Gets It!!
I may have more to add, so stay tuned!

Potato and Mushroom Hash

Potato and Mushroom Hash

Lately I’ve been getting a bit tired of the strict fructose elimination diet.  However, last night’s dinner was pretty good, so I thought I’d share it.

I looked in the refrigerator to see what I could find.  A few Baby Portobellos, a shallot, half a russet potato, a small red potato, some fresh basil…now that sounds pretty good.  Here’s the recipe that followed.

Potato and Mushroom Hash

  • 1 medium potato (or two small) – cut into small cubes
  • about 5-6 Baby Portobello mushrooms – cut into small cubes  (I’ve read that some people with fructose problems don’t digest mushrooms very well.  I found that I can eat baby bellas, but the white button type of mushroom bothers me.)
  • about 2 tablespoons of shallots chopped  (Sue Sheppard says that Leeks are FODMAPS friendly, so I suggest substituting leeks for shallots, but use more.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (if using dried, I’d only use about 2-3 teaspoons, and add to recipe when you first put on the potatoes.)
  • olive oil spray
  1. Spray pan with olive oil, heat on medium.
  2. Add shallots and cook until almost transparent. (I think some people with fructose absorption problems can’t have shallots, but in small quantities I don’t seem to have a problem.  Also, it’s on my approved list from my nutritionist.)  If you can’t have shallots, I’d add big pieces of onion, cook them with the hash, then take them out before eating.)
  3. Add potatoes, cook until potatoes are brown on one side – flip
  4. add mushrooms and basil, turn heat down to low.
  5. cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and mushrooms are brown.

Makes 4 small servings.

This was very tasty with our meal, and it was great warmed up the next morning with an egg for breakfast.  The fresh basil, from my herb garden, really made this dish.  However, you can use dried basil if you don’t have fresh.  I would add the dried basil sooner so the oils will come out and more flavor is released.

To make this a meal we added grilled hamburgers (made from local ground beef and seasoned with just a little salt and pepper), and grilled yellow squash (sprayed with olive oil and seasoned with dried basil).

What S.O.L.E. (Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical) ingredients did I use today?  Everything was Sustainable, Organic, and Ethical.  The beef and basil were Local.  (not including the salt and pepper)

Today, I’m going to try to make Banana Bread.  I haven’t had any fruit in almost 3 weeks, most list say that a little bit of ripe bananas are safe.  Wish me luck.

Grilled Ginger Pork Chops with Summer Squash

Grilled Ginger Pork Chops with Summer Squash and Rice

I wasn’t able to think about dinner until we were hungry and needed food fast.  So I came up with this very easy and fast recipe.  It’s also friendly for people with Gluten Intolerance, and Fructose Intolerance.

Grilled Ginger Pork Chops with Summer Squash

Ingredients for Grilled Ginger Pork Chops

  • Boneless or Sirloin Cut Pork Chops – use the amount you need.
  • Ginger – about 1/4 teaspoon per chop - minced and shredded - (I used a micro grater.)
  • Toasted Sesame Seed Oil – enough to lightly coat chops
  • Soy Sauce – enough to just sprinkle over chops

Ingredients for the Grilled Summer Squash

  • Summer Squash – Yellow and Zucchini – amount you need, I had one of each.
  • Spray Olive Oil – I use the Kitchen Spritzer from Pampered Chef, no more canned spray oils.
  • Italian Seasoning

Instructions for

  1. Brush Chops with Toasted Sesame Seed Oil.
  2. Cover with Ginger. (The Ginger really made this dish, so be sure to use enough to lightly cover one side.)
  3. Sprinkle with Soy Sauce.
  4. I would recommend getting the grill hot, then put the chops on to get those nice grill marks.  Then turn it down to medium, or put them on indirect heat.  Cook for about 10 minutes on each side, however, cook time will depend on the thickness of your chops.

Instructions for Grilled Summer Squash

  1. Cut Squash – I prefer to cut them long ways, so they don’t fall in the grill.
  2. Spray with Olive Oil (or you could just brush them with olive oil if you want.)
  3. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning.
  4. Place on grill with Pork Chops.  These will not take as long as the chops, you may want to put them on when you turn the chops, or perhaps a couple of minutes before hand.  I usually don’t turn the squash.

I added a little rice on the side.  I made a big pot of rice the day before and we just warm it up for other dished during the week.  That makes things so much easier and faster!

We were very pleased with these chops.  I’m so thrilled that I’ve shown my husband that Pork Chops don’t have to be fried, or tough, so he really likes them now.  This really expands our meal plans.

How did I do with S.O.L.E. ingredients.  The Pork Chops were Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethically raised.  The Squash were Organic, but I’m not sure about the rest.  The rice was organic, and sustainable.

Do you have a favorite Pork recipe?

This post is part of Fresh Bites Friday on Real Food Whole Health.

Orange and Soy Pork Tenderloin

I bought a pork tenderloin from the co-op the other day and I had no idea what to do with it.  So I looked at the ingredients I had on hand and this is what I came up with:

 

Orange and Soy Pork Tenderloin (slow cooker version)

Orange and Soy Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 Pork Tenderloin about 1lb (mine came from a local source that was pasture raised.)
  • 1 Orange (I used the juice, some zest, and more.)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Gluten Free Soy Sauce (I used San-J’s low sodium GF Tamari)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced (just cut one clove in half to rub on pork, then mince with the others)
  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup or Honey

Rub the pork with a clove of garlic.  Place in Slow Cooker.  In a bowl mix the juice from the orange, zest from orange, soy sauce, wine, more garlic and maple syrup or honey.  Pour over pork.  I also cut up parts of the orange and put it all over the pork.  (If you happen to have Orange Marmalade on hand, preferably home-made, I think you could use that instead of the orange and sweetener.)

Cook in Slow Cooker for about 2-3 hours on low (it only took mine about 2.5 hours to cook).  I had a very small pork tenderloin, if you have a larger loin you need to adjust cooking time and ingredients.

You could also cook this in the oven.  I think it would be better if you marinated the loin if you cook it in the oven.  If cooking in the oven

place in a 9×13 pan and bake uncovered in a 375 to 400 oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until pork reaches about 155°.

** Please note:  If you marinate the loin at least 3 hours or over night, the flavors will infuse and can cut the amount of ingredients in half.

How did I do with SOLE ingredients?  Well, OK.  The pork is from a Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical source.  The orange is organic, but I’m not sure about the rest.  (I know it’s not local.)  The garlic is organic, but I don’t know about the rest, it should be sustainable, and ethical, but I don’t know if it’s local.  I’m just not sure about the rest.

A Birthday Breakfast! Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese Scramble, with Hash Browns.

Birthday Breakfast for Hubby.

Today is my husband’s birthday, so I decided to make him a special breakfast.  Actually, we make something similar on most Sundays, but usually he helps.  : )

Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese Scramble

  • 2 patties pork sausage (local pasture raised if you can find it.)
  • A Huge Handful of Spinach – washed and cut or torn into smaller pieces. (local and organic if you can find it)
  • About 1/4 – 1/3 cup of Cheese shredded.  (you can use the cheese of your choice, I used raw cheddar)
  • 4 – 5 large eggs (from pasture raised chickens if you can find them)

Break up the sausage into small pieces and cook on a griddle pan or a large frying pan, on med – med high.

When the sausage is almost done, put the spinach on the pan and cook until wilted, turn to low.

Beat the eggs, and add to the pan.   This is the hard part for my husband.  I just let the eggs set a little on one side, separate them into 4 sections and flip, then turn the burner off.  Add the cheese, fold the eggs over on each other and cut through with the spatula.  Try not to dry the eggs out too much.  By turning the heat off before adding the cheese and not letting the cheese actually touch the pan, you keep it all nice and gooey, instead of incorporating it in the eggs and losing the texture.  (that’s what happens with hubby’s eggs, but he tries.)

Hash Browns

  • 1 potato
  • butter (our butter came from Maple View Farms in Hillsborough, NC)
  • olive oil
  • 3 green onions chopped with part of the green parts

Shred potato.  (I used the food processor, but you could use a hand shredder.)

Heat olive oil and butter in frying pan, over med. high heat.  (how much depends on how big your pan is and how big your potato is.  You don’t want it to stick, and you want the butter to give the potato a good flavor)

Add green onions, and cook until tender.

Reduce heat to low.  Add Potato.

Cook until golden on one side.  Flip.  (this is the part where I haven’t figured out how to do this right.  When I flip the potatoes, there isn’t any oil/butter left in the pan, so they stick A LOT.  I need to work on this.)

Cook until tender.

(these taste good, but I have to work on getting the sticking part fixed.  Should I try to add oil when I flip them, that would be pretty hard, or I was thinking perhaps I should toss the potatoes with oil/melted butter before I add them to the pan.  I think I’ll try this next time.)

S.O.L.E. foods used today:  I’m happy to say that everything we ate this morning was Sustainable, Organic, and Ethical.    Also everything except the cheese and potato was Local!  We’re very lucky that it’s very easy to find local pasture eggs in this area, all year.  We’re also lucky to have a wonderful farmer’s market where all the farmer’s really care.  I don’t have to worry that any of them used pesticides, or treat their animals unethically.  We also have a great co-op that we can get ethical local meat, and 2 grocery stores that care about working with local farmers.

I realize we are very lucky to be in this area, where we are able to get at least some fresh vegetables all year long.  We’re also extremely lucky we can visit the farmers who produce this wonderful food, and see how they grow their produce, and how they treat the animals.  (we hope to have a little garden of our own this year. *crossing fingers that I’ll be healthy enough to work it.*)

I want you to know that if you don’t live in an area like I do, just do what you can.

This post is linked to Tuesday Twister, and Fresh Bites Friday.

This menu fits the Dark Days Challenge.

My first taste of Sunchokes (otherwise known as Jerusalem Artichokes)

The sunchoke is in the sunflower family and is cultivated for its tuber.

photo courtesy of growiteatit.blogspot

The plant can grow to nearly 10 feet tall!

It is a perennial so it will last at least 2 years.

I’ve read on other blogs where people have grown these and they say that they can take over a space, and the root system is voracious.  I don’t know how true this is though.

Now my experience in cooking the tubers.

washed sunchokes

I washed the sunchokes very well and then sliced then thinly.

Some recipes suggested peeling then, and I tried peeling a couple but it would have taken all day to peel the whole pound.  Those things are just too knobby.

Sunchokes have a lot of inulin.  Read more about inulin here on Wikipedia, it’s very interesting.  It is good for blood sugar, won’t raise your triglycerides, and is considered a prebiotic, however, it can give you gas.  To reduce the amount of gas it causes make sure and cook the sunchokes well.  If you eat them raw, they will give you horrible gas.

sunchokes first added to the pan

Here are the sunchokes after I added them to the pan.

The pan is hot and has a mixture of olive oil and butter in it.

After adding the sunchokes to the heated pan I turned the heat down and covered the pan and let them cook for a while.

sunchokes sautéed in olive oil and butter

This is what the sunchokes looked like after they were finished cooking.

I decided to do a couple of different things with these.

This night I just added a little garlic and onion seasoning to the mixture.

The next serving I put some Parmesan cheese on top and melted it in the toaster oven, it was delicious.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of that one.

On Friday I had several cerebral spinal cord leaks patched and have been recovering since then.  So on Saturday my husband made a delicious breakfast for me.

I only wish he had gotten a photo.  He took the sunchokes that I cooked earlier and added some green onions and cooked them up like hash browns.  Add that to local eggs cooked with local Hoop cheese, and local sage sausage.  It was a delicious breakfast made with SOLE ingredients.

I found that sunchokes are a little sweet, and have a bit of a nutty flavor.  I read where some people compare then to water chestnuts, but I didn’t think they tasted anything like them.  Perhaps if you don’t cook them well the texture may be like them, but then you have the toots.  The first serving I had from this batch wasn’t cooked as well as it should have been, they were still a bit crunchy, as we like most of our vegetables; but boy did I have the toots that night.  : )  After that I made sure the next servings were well cooked and the gas was much less apparent.

Over all, I enjoyed my first experiences with sunchokes.  And I think Stuart did too.  However, at $4.00 a pound they were a little pricey.  I think I’ll wait to have them again when I can find them less expensive.

Beef Stew made with local beef and lots of veggies

Beef Stew made with local beef and many vegetables.

So Sunday we made a trip to Weaver Street market, our local co-op.  We were lucky enough to find sustainable local stew beef on sale for $6.99 per pound.  So I put a bunch of the veggies we bought at the Farmer’s Market and this wonderful meat in the slow cooker and made a Beef Stew.  I discovered a little bit about Beef Stew along the way…here’s the recipe I used, and what I learned…

First I learned to never ask my husband if he wants Beef Stew unless I really want it (luckily I did), because his answer will be: “I’ll never say NO to Beef Stew!”

Beef Stew

  • 1 pound of Beef Stew (I used a little less than one pound)
  • 1 medium to large size potato
  • 1 bunch of radishes (there were 7 small radishes in my bunch) *I know this seems like an odd thing to put in a stew but I’m not overly fond of raw radishes because they are so hot, and I read on another blog that someone was thinking of putting them in a stew so I tried.  They taste a lot like a potato or a baby turnip after being cooked. This is another thing I learned.
  • 1 bunch of celery – (I’d used a little from this bunch, and you really don’t need as much as I put in, but it was getting a little limp so I wanted to use it.)
  • about 5 medium carrots
  • 1 medium to large onion   to make fructose friendly use the green parts of green onions
  • 4 cups Beef Stock (preferably home-made)
  • *optional – 1/4 cup red wine (I read many Beef Stew recipes and most included Red Wine.  I learned I do not like wine in my Beef Stew.  It was OK, but it didn’t add anything.)
  • a tablespoon or so of Worcestershire Sauce.  (or Gluten-Free Tamari Sauce)  *I have not found a Worcestershire sauce that does not have onion*
  • 2 tablespoons of Arrowroot powder mixed in a little water (this will thicken the broth, I used Arrowroot powder to keep this gluten-free.  You could also use any gluten-free flour mixture.  I also find that potato flour works well in soups.)

Wash your veggies.  Peel the carrots, and the outer layer off the onion.  Trim the ends off the radishes, the celery, and any bad places on the potato.  You can peel the potato if you wish, I didn’t.

Chop all the veggies into big chunks.

Make sure all the stew meat is approximately the same size, so it will cook at the same rate.

Add everything in the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8-9 hours.  (amount of liquid and time may have to be adjusted depending on the size of your slow cooker.  I used a 3.5 quart oval cooker.  I’m sure this would also work for a 4 quart cooker.  You would need more liquid for a 6 quart cooker, and I’m not sure about the time, but I’m pretty sure it’d still take about 8 hours.)

You really don’t have to add as many veggies as I did.  But I had them, and some were starting to wilt so I really wanted to make sure and use them.  Some people are real purist about Beef Stew and say all you really need is Beef and Potatoes.  I may have to try that sometime, but I really like that this is a one dish meal.  All your veggies and everything are included in one pot.

The S.O.L.E. (Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical) ingredients I used.

  • Beef Stew Meat - Sustainable, Local, and Ethical (I’m not sure if it’s organic but I think so.)
  • radishes (S.O.L.E.)
  • carrots (S.O.L.E.)
  • onion was organic but not local
  • celery was organic but not local

I’m sorry I can’t figure out the cost per serving because the radishes and carrots came from a box of veggies we bought and weren’t purchased separately.

If I were officially participating in (not so) Urban Hennery’s  Dark Days Challenge (to create a meal a week during the week from Dec. 1- April 15 from S.O.L.E. ingredients) this would be week 8 I think.  However, counting back on all the recipes I’ve made with S.O.L.E. ingredients since the challenge started, this is my 12th recipe.  : )

I will continue to try to make as many of my recipes with as many S.O.L.E. ingredients as possible.  This is a challenge this time of year, especially since I didn’t have a garden this past year and I’m depending totally on the Farmer’s Market and stores that carry some local ingredients.  But that’s why they call it a challenge right?


Beef Stew (Gluten-Free, With A Lot Of Vegetables)

A SOLE dinner of: Petite Sirloin, Italian Broccoli Greens with Turnips and Carrots.

Petite Sirloin with Garlic Italian Greens, and Buttered Baby Turnips and Carrots.

Lately, I’ve been having a craving of for Beef.  A nice juicy steak.  Stuart offered to take me out, but then we wouldn’t be able to insure the beef was local and ethically raised.

If I were officially doing the Dark Days Challenge this would be my 5th entry.

Yesterday we went to Weaver Street Market, a local co-op and picked up a couple of nice Petite Sirloins from a local family owned farm, for about $6 for the two.  On Saturday, we picked up a box of veggies filled with Italian Broccoli Greens, Carrots, Radishes, and Spinach, for $12.  (I had some baby turnips left over from out last box.)

I decided to broil the steaks inside since it’s so cold outside, with the steak I decided that sautéed Garlic Italian Broccoli Greens would go nicely, and I would simply cook some turnips and a carrot in a little butter and olive oil with a few spices.

Broiled Petite Sirloin with garlic and butter

  • 2 small steaks about 4-6 oz each – pierce each with a fork
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
  • a few slivers of butter
  • Gluten-Free Worcestershire sauce – just sprinkle some over the steaks
  • Liquid Smoke – just sprinkle some over the steaks

I sprinkle the steaks with the Worcestershire sauce, Liquid Smoke and garlic for 30 mins or so before cooking.

After turning the steaks add the butter.

Depending on how well done you want your steak will depend on how long you cook your steak.

I found a great post that gives wonderful pointers on how to cook your steak to the proper doneness. Check out this article: How to tell when your steak is done.

I have previously posted recipes similar to the recipes for the Garlic Italian Broccoli Greens, and the Buttered Turnips and Carrots, but here are the step by step pictures my husband took of me cooking last night.

Preparing the Baby Turnips and Carrots, peel carrot and clean turnips and slice both thinly.

Cook Baby Turnips and Carrots in a little Olive oil and Butter with a sprinkle of Garlic and Herb Seasoning. (I didn't measure, but for the small amount I had, I probably used about 1/2 a teaspoon.) Cook over medium heat until slightly browned on one side, turn and cook until tender.

Close up of Baby Turnips and Carrots.

Wash Italian Broccoli Greens.

Cut up greens. Notice how my pointing finger is in line with the blade of the knife, this way you use the your whole knife when you are cutting, not just your hand and wrist.

If you stack your greens leaves you can chop them all at one time. Notice the bowl in the upper right background, I place everything that needs to go in my composter in this bowl as I'm preparing my veggies. This makes it much easier, and less messy.

All chopped up and ready to go in the pot. I will deglaze the pot I cooked the turnips and carrots in with a little Mirin and Rice Vinegar, then I will add the greens and the garlic at the same time to avoid scorching the garlic.

Sorry we didn’t get a picture of cooking the greens.  After you braise the pan that the Baby Turnips and Carrots came out of with Mirin and Rice Vinegar (or you could simply use a little wine and a touch of sweetener of your choice),  add the greens and garlic (about 2-3 teaspoons chopped).  Mix the greens thoroughly until they are covered with the liquid and garlic and the greens are wilted.   (After this push the greens to the side, turn the burner off, and add the Baby Turnips and Carrots back to the pot and cover for a little while to heat them back up.)

Steaks ready to go under the broiler. Covered with Worcestershire sauce, Liquid Smoke, and Chopped Garlic. (I actually only put one steak in at first, because Stuart likes his medium and I like mine rare, so I put mine in when I turn his over.)

Add butter when you turn the steaks over. (You can add some extra garlic at this time too if you like)

I’m afraid I can’t really break down the cost of this meal.  I could try, but it would be pretty hard to figure out how much the veggies cost when we bought a whole box for $12, and some of them were from last weeks box.

The only ingredients that I used that were not local were my spices, the olive oil, and the butter.  The olive oil and the butter are organic.  All of the rest of the ingredients I used this week were from Local Farms.  All were organic and sustainable, and all were ethically raised.  I really enjoyed bringing this meal together and I think both my husband and I enjoyed eating it.

This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday

Kale Pesto with Grilled Chicken and GF Penne Pesto

We’ve been finding lot’s of Kale at the Farmer’s Market and I really like it sautéed with garlic, but I wanted to try something different.  So I thought, if you can make Pesto out of Basil, why not Kale?   I looked on-line, and evidently I’m way behind the times because I found people have been making pesto out of Kale for quite some time.  (blew my image of being a visionary right out of the water, oh well.)  Most of the recipes were pretty much the same. This one was inspired by Home Grown.org.  I was inspired by Cornelia’s photos and decided to try to do a step by step with my own photos.  (let me know how you like it.)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium bunch Kale (I used lacinato, it was just so pretty, and the great thing about Kale is that it is so healthy, and it is so plentiful this time of year.)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (my walnuts were halves, I let the food processor chop them up. You can use other nuts if you want, or if you have a nut sensitivity or can’t tolerate with fructose intolerance, you can try leaving them out.)
  • 2 cloves garlic (to make fructose friendly infuse garlic in oil and remove garlic pieces)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil (the recipes I read said 1/2 but I don’t think I  used that much.  I have a spout on my bottle and I poured it in while the processor was going until it sounded smoother.  It didn’t seem like it was 1/2 cup worth.)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (you could use a Reggiano blend if you wanted, but I didn’t have it.  I started to use the Hickory Grove I bought locally last week, but it was just so stinky and I really didn’t think we would like it.  If you can’t eat dairy you could add a dairy alternative cheese, or leave it out, I tasted the pesto without the cheese and it was very good.)
  • most of the recipes also called for salt and pepper, but I don’t add salt to anything (the cheese has enough salt for me, and you can taste salt much more if you salt it after you cook.  Black pepper doesn’t sit well with my stomach so I don’t use it, but you are welcome to if you like.  We thought it was great without either.)

One Medium Bunch of Kale Washed

Remove Stems (and discard) cut Kale into Medium size pieces

Blanch Kale by placing in rapidly boiling water and returning it back to a boil then....

Blanch Kale by placing in rapidly boiling water and returning it back to a boil then....

quickly cook Kale to stop cooking by running cold water over it in a colander or give it an ice bath.

Roast Walnuts in a little olive oil over medium heat. (this step is not absolutely necessary, but my nuts were a little old, and this step really brings out the flavor of the nuts.)

Peel Garlic (the easiest way is to place on a cutting board and smash the clove with a knife, the skin will just pop off), then put garlic in the food processor, with nuts.

Pulse Walnuts and Garlic in Food Processor with steel bottom mount blade.

Add Kale and process until almost smooth, add olive oil while food processor is running until the mixture is creamy smooth.

Add Cheese and process until as smooth and creamy as you like, if you like it smoother add a little more oil at a time.

Kale Pesto with Grilled Chicken and Penne Pasta

Here’s how I finished the meal:

I had another pot under my colander to save the water I cooked my Kale in so I could cook my pasta in it.  That way I wasn’t wasting any water, and the water was already a little hot so it didn’t take long to boil.  I found a neat way to cook pasta that saves energy and seems to work every time.  Bring the water to a rapid boil, add the pasta and stir, return the water to a boil and cover the pot, then turn off the burner.  Cook the pasta to the time instructed.  (For gluten-free pasta I always check my pasta before the recommended time the manufacturer says, I start checking at about half the time.  I do not like mushy pasta.  You will get used to how much time you need for the pasta you use.)

I used a Gluten-Free Penne Pasta (my favorite is Tinkyada).  I covered the pasta with the Kale Pesto and arranged it on the plate.  I cooked some local chicken breast on the George Forman that I sprayed with olive oil, I seasoned the chicken with just a few Italian spices.   I put a serving of chicken on top of the pasta and put a dollop of pesto on top of it.  The final touch, I added just a little extra Parmesan cheese to the dish.

You could serve a salad before this if you would like.  But I had a huge amount of vegetables for lunch, and I usually snack on veggies and hummus as a snack in the evening.

Any other suggestions for vegetables to serve with this?

(all the recipes I read said to blanch the Kale before using, but next time I’m going to give it a try without doing that just to see how it turns out.  Yes, I’m a little lazy, and if I can cut down on a step, I’m all for it.  I’m also going to try this with the other greens I’ve been finding at the Farmer’s Market with greens that have leaves that aren’t as tough, I know I won’t have to blanch those, and I’m curious to see what they’ll taste like.  Can you imagine Chinese greens made into pesto?  hummm.  Maybe I am a visionary after all.)

Oh, I forgot to give a rundown of the cost of this meal.  (You will be very surprised.)

  • The Organic Kale was a bit expensive $2.79 for the bunch
  • Organic Olive Oil – $.14
  • Organic Walnuts –  $1.04
  • Local Natural Chicken – $0  Yes. $0 I had a coupon from Earth Fare for a free pound of local chicken.
  • Organic Parmesan Cheese – $.90
  • GF Penne Pasta $2.00  (I had a coupon)
  • unsure about the cost of the small amount of seasoning I used on the chicken

Total = $6.87 for 4 servings with 4 ounces of chicken each.  About $1.72 per serving, for a mostly organic and partially local meal.   Even if we had paid about $5 for the chicken it would have come to less that $3 per serving. Not bad at all, and this was really good, plus there was extra pesto left over that I could put on a couple of  pizzas.

That’s still less that going out!  : )

This post is shared with Simple Lives on Sustainable Eats.

Acorn Squash with Apple Pear and Wild Rice Pilaf

This time of year there isn’t much at the Farmer’s Market but there was a lovely Acorn Squash.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, after looking around the kitchen at what else I had in stock, this is what I came up with:

Acorn Squash with  Apple Pear

  • 1 Acorn Squash cut in 4 circles with seeds removed.
  • 1 Apple Pear (also known as a Chinese Pear – I saw an organic one in the grocery store and I’ve always wanted to try one, so…but you could easily use a large apple here)
  • 2 large tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • spray olive oil

Spray slow cooker with Olive Oil, place the squash and Apple-Pear (or apple) in your slow cooker, sprinkle with Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg.

(I found an Acorn Squash recipe in the Make It Fast Cook It Slow Cookbook (she just cut her’s in quarters but I wanted that pretty scalloped look, and she didn’t use an apple plus she added butter, but I was just looking at her recipe to get an idea of the time.) she said to cook these on low for 3 hours or high for 2 hours.  Well it took more like 4-5 hours on low for these to get done on low.  Next time, I will cook it on high.

Wild Rice Pilaf

  • 1 Cup Lundberg Wild Rice Blend (this stuff is so good)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 – 1/2  cup pecans (depending on how much you like pecans, I like them a lot, Stuart, not so much.  So I put in a little, and add more to mine.)

Put all ingredients in a 2 quart slow cooker for 1.5 – 2 hours.  I know it takes about 2 hours in the 3.5 quart slow cooker, but we did make it in the smaller cooker this time, unfortunately, I’m not positive how long it was in there because Stuart was in charge of that part.  : )

(Just keep an eye on it the first time you make rice in your cooker.  When all the water is absorbed it’s done.  But don’t take the lid off of  it too often, you don’t want to let all the steam out, that will make the rice cook unevenly.)

I placed a piece of Acorn Squash on a plate, put the Wild Rice Pilaf in the Center, and cut up some of the apple and added it to the rice mixture.  (I wanted to try an apple-pear because I’m really not all that crazy about pears and thought that this might be better, but the texture is still closer to a pear.  So cutting it up smaller and adding it to the rice was great.)

I thought this was pretty tasty.  Especially the rice.

Here’s the breakdown of the cost of the meal:

  • The Acorn Squash cost $1 at the Durham Farmer’s Market.  (It was local and organic.)
  • The Pecans were $4.27 for about 2 cups.  I used 1/4 cup.  ($1.07)
  • The Lundberg Wild Rice Blend Cost $3.99, but we had a $1 off coupon so it cost $2.99.  The package is one pound.  I used about half of it.  ($1.50)
  • I’m not sure how much we paid for the dried cranberries but I looked it up on-line and found an average cost of about $3.00 for 10 oz.  I used about 4 oz  ($1.20)
  • It’s nearly impossible to figure out how much I spent on the spices and olive oil spray (I do save money on the spray though because I use a reusable atomizer and simply refill it with olive oil.)

So not including the spices the total cost of the meal was $4.77.  So even if we make this just 2 servings this is a great deal.  However, this could be a side dish for 4 people and would be just over $1. 19 each.

As I mentioned before, the Acorn Squash was organic and local.  I looked and looked for local Pecans, and I couldn’t find any.  This is odd, because North Carolina grows pecans.  : (  Of course, the dried cranberries were not local, but they were organic.  The Lundberg Rice is from a Family farm, but it’s not local, and I don’t think it’s organic, but I must say it is good, and it always seems to cook up just perfect.  Plus, it says Gluten-Free right on the label.

This Post is being shared at  Dr. Laura’s Tasty Tuesday and  gnowfglins.com Tuesday Twister.  GNOWFGLINS stands for “God’s natural, organic, whole foods, grown locally and in season”.