Pin It

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Seed Order

Every year, by January, the Seed Saver catalog arrives. Both of us become starry-eyed with visions of tomato plants, melon patches, and fresh herbs. We pour over the catalog over and over, until the pages become worn and crinkled. Then, February arrives and we finally get to officially make the real order. This year, we plan on adding a few raised gardens, including one solely for tea herbs. Given that we knew our garden space would increase, it was hard to limit our order (and our idealistic and unrealistic visions of a perfectly huge garden), but we eventually managed. Below is what we ordered. We will use these in conjunction with seeds that we  had left over from last year and a few fresh herb plants from West Star Farms.

Calypso Beans
Hidatsa Shield Beans
Speckled Cranberry Beans
Detroit Dark Red Beets
Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries
Scarlet Nantes Carrots
Golden Bantam Corn
Tom Thumb Popcorn Corn
Stowell's Evergreen Corn
Parade Cucumber
Early Fortune Cucumber
Lacinato Kale
Charantais Melon
Eden's Gem Melon 
Noir des Carmes Melon 
Ailsa Craig Onion
Fish Pepper
King of the North Pepper
Gold Medal Tomato
Cherry Roma Tomato  
Bee Balm
St. John's Wort
Chelsea Watermelon

And for potatoes...
All Blue Potato
French Fingerling Potato
Rose Finn Apple Potato

In just a few weeks, our house will turn into a blooming crowded "greenhouse." Florescent lights will be hanging from every free space of ceiling, tables and dressers will be full of trays of seeds, and chairs and other large objects will be set up around the trays to protect them from our kitty predators. And then, soon thereafter, gardening season will officially be here. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Coleslaw with a Spicy Twist!

At this time of the year, it can be hard to create in-season, veggie-loaded dishes. It's always a pleasure to discover some new tantalizing recipe involving winter produce as the season ends and spring begins. Last night, wanting to make something with the cabbage I still had left over from my CSA box, I found a recipe for a red cabbage slaw in From Asparagus to Zucchini that kicks things up a few notches (to quote Emeril!). I modified the recipe a bit, and the slaw turned out wonderfully. Here's my version:

Red Cabbage Slaw
1 head red cabbage
1 pound carrots
1 bunch cilantro
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. ancho chili powder
3/4 cup canola mayo (or to taste) ...not included in the original recipe, but added a nice creamy flavor

Quarter and core the red cabbage. Slice cabbage and carrots by hand or in a food processor. Chop cilantro. Toss all ingredients. Let stand one hour; rinse the slaw if so desired. Ours was really salty before the rinse, so we rinsed ours. Serve as a side dish or as a garnish (yummy with fish tacos!).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wheat Berry Cereal: Affordable and Healthy!

A few weeks ago, when we made our Garlic and Kale soup, we discovered the wheat berry. Little did we know what a powerful little food we had found. Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels. When ground, flour is created, but as a whole grain, you can use wheat berries as a cold or hot cereal, in salads (as a base or as a garnish), and in soups. Because the grain is whole, and therefore, no nutrients have been stripped away, there are a  number of nutritional benefits. Wheat berries are rich in iron, protein, fiber, Vitamin E, and magnesium.

Additionally, wheat berries are so inexpensive! We buy them in bulk once a month and use them every other week for our daily breakfast.

Prepared Wheat Berries
1. Soak wheat berries 4-8 hours (or overnight) with a two-inch covering of water. We soak three cups on Saturday evening which lasts for an entire week's worth of breakfasts.
2.  Drain and rinse the wheat berries. Put into a pot and cover with fresh water, with about an inch covering.
3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Finish cooking for 45-60 minutes until wheat berries are tender and a bit chewy.

Wheat Berry Breakfast
1/2 cup cooked cold wheat berries
1/2 cup kefir or yogurt
dash of cinnamon
1 tsp. brown sugar or maple syrup
(optional) 1 Tbs. flax-seed oil

Combine all ingredients. Add desired fruit. In the winter time, we like to add applesauce or strawberries from the freezer. In summer, well the possibilities are endless!

Nutritional Information is based on the recipe WITHOUT flax-seed oil.

Nutrition Facts
Wheat Berry Breakfast
Serving Size: 1 meal
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat1.5g
      Saturated Fat0.8g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber8.1g
Vitamin A 5%Vitamin C 3%
Calcium    19%Iron 11%