YAT, R.5: Eggs and Greens

Hope that you’re able to get some exercise at home, friends. When I wake up feeling sad or depressed, both inevitable in the midst of this pandemic, I try to do ten burpees. If you feel ridiculous, fall down or laugh at yourself, you’ve done it right! People are getting sick, but we still deserve to thrive and be healthy. Give yourself permission to shed whatever you can.

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That brings us to our next yummy-at-home recipe. This one’s Hal’s, the egg master at our house. It’s quick and easy and super delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cook and prep time about 15-20 minutes. Add one or two eggs per adult. Substitute egg-whites for a low-cholesterol alternative or scrabbled tofu for a vegan option.

Saute garlic with thinly sliced poblano, red or yellow peppers for 3-5 minutes. Wash and strip your greens. We used dinosaur kale but collards or curly kale will also be fine. Add to peppers and garlic and cook until tender about 3 minutes. Start the toast.

Take your eggs or egg substitute and add Colby or cheddar cheese. We also added hot-smoked salmon to the eggs. Warm the pan and add your scrambled egg mix to the protein. Stir constantly until eggs are firm and cheese melts. Serve hot with all your favorite fixings.

Yummy at Home (YAT), Clam Chowder Soup-Up, R.4

Staying at home seems to be working against the virulent Coronavirus, so we need to keep up the good work. I’m still making magic in the kitchen, sharing my favorites with all my friends. If you want to share a recipe, send it through Karma Compass submissions. This recipe is for my friends with a stocked pantry of canned items. By personalizing these items, you add love and stretch the provisions so you don’t have to go out too much. The best way to make art of this meal is to think of the canned soup as your soup base, and simply augment it with fresh or frozen goodies.

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I started with two cans of Progesso Clam Chowder as a base; add additional cans of soup, stock or water (for a lighter soup use one cup) for extra people. Add salad shrimp or diced prawns or one can of salmon or crab meat. Drop in red-chili flakes, garlic powder and black pepper. Simmer in a pan on low heat. (Do not scald the soup!)

Chop one head of broccoli into small pieces and florets and season to taste. Place into a separate pan for steaming. Steam covered broccoli on high for 3 minutes. You can also add any on the following fresh, frozen or canned ingredients: peas, carrots, potatoes, corn and/or green beans. Cook potatoes until tender. Add cooked vegetable to the soup, or canned items directly. Stir frequently on low heat until it’s hot.

Serve with warm bread or rolls and a green salad. It’s totally yummy and only takes about 15-20 minutes to make it yummy at home.

Be safe, my friends.

 

Yummy at Home, Recipe 3: Wasabi-Ginger Fish with Mashed Potatoes

Another day of battling the shared grief we all feel over the loss of our regular lives and routines. Even though this is the most important event of several generations since our last World War, the newest Coronavirus manifestation as COVID19 is testing us all. Yet, I’m committed to making this time magical for my family as we navigate these unknown paths. Please feel free to share your recipes or ask for more details. We’re in this together!

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Bring two potatoes per person to a boil in lightly salted water for 20-35 minutes. (You can also use boxed mashed potatoes!) Leave the skins on and/or substitute sweet potatoes or yams for all or some of the mashed and for diabetic-friendly alternative. When you can stick a fork in easily, they’re ready for a mash! Mash them using a little salt and pepper, water/sour cream/butter or vegan spread.

While the potatoes cook, prepare your veggies. We used sliced asparagus, but you can also use, broccoli, green beans or canned veggies. Set aside.

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Peel and slice a nub of ginger and garlic clove. Throw those in a skillet with sesame oil. heat the ginger and garlic with hot-pepper flakes and black pepper. Add the fish or chicken or tofu with a teaspoon of wasabi paste and cover on high for 3 minutes. Stir or flip the fish and add veggies to the pan. Pour about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce for each portion of protein. Cover for 3 minutes, then stir until the desired tenderness. (Give extra time for chicken to cook thoroughly!)

Plate the mashed potatoes and top with fish and veggies and sauce. Serve family style!

 

Yummy at Home, Recipe 2: Red Quinoa with Salmon and Spinach

Many of us have extra time at home and a full house. That means move people to feed.  This fun, beautiful recipe takes about 40-60 minutes to prepare, with the quinoa being the most intensive.

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Quinoa needs oil, broth or bullion, white wine or white wine vinegar and minced garlic. Saute the quinoa on high with the garlic until they are shiny and hot. add one cup of broth and a quarter cup of wine to get steam. Cover and turn it down to simmer, stirring occasionally while you get the other items going. In about 20 minutes, add another cup of water until it evaporates.

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Slice Poblano peppers (These have been gorgeous and abundant at my market; add whatever peppers you have), fresh garlic and dried basil. Add to a hot pan with a little oil for about 10 minutes or desired tenderness. Add salted and peppered fish fillet (Salmon or trout) directly to the same hot pan and cover for 3 minutes on each side. Add an handful of spinach to the second side for texture and color.

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Presentation for this can be very beautiful. Put a generous bed of spinach in a platter. Top with warm quinoa. Add diced or halved cherry tomatoes and cubed feta cheese mixed with olive oil and olives if you like. Put the mixture on top of the quinoa. Lastly, Place the hot salmon and peppers on the pile. Serve hot and fresh!

Alternative ingredients:

  1. Rice (Quinoa)
  2. Green salad or steamed broccoli (spinach)
  3. Canned tuna, salmon or sardines
  4. Vegan: Roasted Beets (fish)
  5. Cucumber (tomatoes)

 

 

There’s Still Time for Broccoli!

 

 

Hello, all you fresh-vegetable lovers. This message is for you. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s definitely not too late to grow your own greens. This includes collards, kale and broccoli, known as the Brassica—the mustard family. In fact it might be an excellent time to start them, since when it cools down around here, these veggies thrive and the white moths that obliterate them during the summer months seem to disappear altogether.

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To start, get yourself some organic seeds at a plant shop or supermarket. I recommend you start the sprouts on a sunny windowsill and transplant them outside once you have a true leaf or two. You can put them in the ground or in a planter box with some organic fertilizer and organic chicken or steer manure. Don’t worry about the foggy weather; these guys love it. You’ll be eating fresh broccoli in about six-to-eight weeks. You could be ready to serve them by Thanksgiving. Imagine that!

 

I almost forgot: Brassica includes delicious homegrown cauliflower. It’s the best when it goes straight from garden to table. Come to think of it, it’s the only way I really like cauliflower. It’s gotta be fresh.

 

Let me know how it goes, please.

Stonebridge Potatoes: A Recipe for Friends

 

 

As per request, here’s the recipe for the potatoes in my recent post. They were scrumptious, so you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Modify at will. We do.

 

Ingredients:

3-5 Pounds of fresh, clean potatoes, cut into cubes (skin on)

1-2 Medium carrots, cubed (optional)

1-2 Medium-sized onions or 5-6 shallots to taste, sliced (optional)

1-3 Medium-sized green or red peppers, sliced (almost any variety)

Sea or Kosher Salt

Coarse Black pepper

Fresh parsley (optional)

Olive Oil

 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. On a large backing sheet, generously drizzle olive oil to lightly coat the pan. Place potato cubes on the baking sheet with a flat surface touching the bottom. This will give the potatoes a crispy edge that enhances the dish. Add carrots, too, if you like roasted carrots, which are rather yummy. Add whole, peeled garlic cloves on top. Sprinkle to taste with coarse black pepper and salt. Bake for 35-50 minutes without stirring, or until you can easily stick a fork into a potato.

 

On the stovetop: In a skillet, caramelize sliced onions and peppers in olive oil. Set aside until the potatoes are done.

 

Add a small amount of cooked onion and pepper mixture to the bottom of the bowl and top with potatoes. Add the remaining mixture on top and stir minimally. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, and serve!

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The Sweet Success of Grapes Grown in a Pot!

 

 

Everything I learned about grapes, I learned during my visit to Stonebridge Farm in Colorado, where the viticulture is a force of empowerment and a return to the grow-your-own values of self-reliance and sustainability. Even though I know a bit more than I did when I first put my grapevine in pot, I just mostly like eating out of my garden, so I’m also game to learn all I can about how things work. Before I knew what I didn’t know, I put the grapevine on the front walk. The benefits of this are that I can see it as I come and go and give it attention and water as needed. Plus, it gets full sun for most of the day, while still enjoying the relative shelter of the house, which protects it from wind and inclement weather. What a rush it’s been to see the vine reach up toward the sky like an Olympic champion with her arm held up in triumph. This is the kind crazy wonderfulness that I want to live with every day.

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Our new grapevine is productive and healthy. She grows quickly, but the shape is wrong at least in my mind. (By the way, most producing plants are female to me, just as all cats are female and all dogs males. That’s just how it is for me. Isn’t it the same for everyone?) I’m thinking about how to prune and train her. We have time to work on these things next year once she’s in the ground.

 

I found out from Farmer John that because we don’t add hormones, something that is often done to enlarge commercial grapes, they have a thin, delicate skin, which breaks open with the slightest pressure, releasing their sticky-sweet syrup for a finger-licking delight. They’re simply delicious, but there’s no way they’d make it to market. We had only one cluster to sample this year, but the future seems promising. Our plan is to plant the vine in a sunny spot this fall and let the monsoon do its work.

 

So, the plan is, ahem, rain this fall. (Hope someone out there is listening.)

 

Grapes are just another of the pleasures of urban farming. Soon I’ll be able to add them to the menu when Hal asks, “What’s for dinner?” I can always say, “There are plenty of greens and grapes in the back.” Today there’s mostly a lot of curly and dinosaur kale and collards, but that’s food. The new lettuce is in, and it’s tender and delicious. Next year we might have grapes to go with our blackberries and the new bed of strawberries we put down. Really, you don’t know what you’ll get until you try.

 

Here’s a little peek at grapes growing at Stonebridge Farm in Colorado:

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