Archive for June, 2009

Exceeding My Expectations


June 27th, 2009

tomato bush
I think it’s safe to say at this point that my GARDEN is exceeding my expectations. Being that it’s my first one, I would have been happy to get ANY growth whatsoever. But yesterday, my boyfriend sent me this insane picture of the monstrosities that our tomato plants have become (Did I mention that I am out of town? I left him in charge of the garden for five weeks. I’m MISSING EVERYTHING.)

sunny side
This is that same area a month ago. AMAZING!

aquacones
I’m wondering if these aquacones have contributed to the growth spurt. It HAS been hot and sunny. But apparently, we’ve outgrown all the plants in our community garden. My boyfriend had to rip holes in the netting to make room.

lettuce side
This is the other side of the garden. The shady side…where we are growing many varieties of lettuce. I am so spoiled now. I can never go back. GOURMET SALADS for FREE.

happy plants
They just look so happy. And they taste that way too.

salad mix
It would cost a fortune to buy this many heads of lettuce every couple days.

marigolds
This garden has been blowing my mind. I’ve been thinking crazy thoughts. Things that I would have never EVER considered. Things like…moving out of the city?!

kale
This is going to be the year of the KALE CHIP. I have at least fifteen kale plants going right now!

chard
I think the chard has been the most persnickety of the greens. There is some kind of pest that is making the leaves get this fungus-like illness. We’ve been mostly spraying with cayenne and picking yucky leaves. And that seems to be working alright.

stone arch
I am a little sad I’m missing this. I miss Minneapolis and going to the garden with my boyfriend. If I weren’t having so much fun, I’d be really homesick. But I’m actually finding Seattle to be really friendly to my dietary issues. More updates soon…

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Herbalism 101


June 23rd, 2009

milk thistle
Admittedly, the medicinal qualities of plants and herbs are something that I am woefully uninformed about. But you’ve got to start somewhere, right? This is a milk thistle flower from my GARDEN. I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet, but I know that they are helpful for those who have issues with their livers (i.e. ME).

steviaWe also have this lovely stevia plant. Apparently, all I need to do to make my own stevia is harvest the leaves, dry them, and grind them into a powder. Considering how expensive stevia is, this sounds like a great idea. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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mind
I also have several varieties of mint which are overgrowing their SQUARE.

mintnibic
I have to tell you that they make a MEAN MINT CACAO NIB ice cream.

goji
I also have some goji seedlings that are doing quite well. Three years from now, they will bear some righteous superfood fruits.

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First Harvest


June 18th, 2009

aerial shot
Time for a GARDEN UPDATE. This is an aerial shot of our garden plot. We actually just inherited a second smaller plot, but I don’t have pictures of that yet.

garden back
Being that this is our first garden, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be worth the investment. I would have just been happy if anything came up. But so far, I can say that the output has definitely exceeded my expectations. I think we will save a lot of money on groceries this season. We trying to keep a tally. So we’ll see where we are at the end of the season.

greens
We have a really lovely variety of greens right now. Here you can see the arugula, kale, a little chard, some romaine-like mystery lettuce, and some of the mixed microgreens we have going.

harvesting
Here’s me pulling our first harvest.

first harvest
It’s a nice mix of greens. The chard is so much puffier than it is in the store.

first salad
This was our first garden salad with some blackberries and dried fennel. WOW. Gourmet greens and they are so fresh.

We got some other things popping up too. But I’ll save that for another post…

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Asparagus Porcini Ravioli


June 15th, 2009

ravs
We’ve been on a ravioli kick lately. These are from RAW FOOD REAL WORLD. Asparagus porcini raviolis with coconut wrappers in a lemon cream sauce and topped with a balsamic fig puree.

asp mush
Here are the asparagus and mushrooms marinating in the dehydrator.

puree
The coconut meat is cut into squares and drenched in a lemon cream sauce (that is also really fabulous with blueberries). They’re drizzled with the balsamic fig puree before adding the asparagus and mushrooms. Then, the layers are repeated.

almond garnish
Finally, some finely chopped almonds are added as a garnish. My boyfriend is gaga over these. I think I prefer the CHOCOLATE ONES. And he prefers these. But they are both great.

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Chocolate Ravioli with Pinot Noir Sauce


June 14th, 2009

ravs
This recipe is the bomb. It’s from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. The raviolis are stuffed with broccoli rabe and pine nut cheese in a chocolate coconut wrapper.

cocoa wrapper
Here’s the wrappers right before being dehydrated.

sauceThe sauce is a reduction of pomegranate juice and pinot noir. OMG! It is so good. The flavor is really complex and very unusual. But amazing. This would be a great dish to serve someone who is being introduced to raw food. Talk about not what you would expect.  This is about as far away from carrot sticks and caulifower as you can get.

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zest
The garnish is actually zest from blood oranges that has been dehydrated and ground into a fine powder. This stuff is amazing. And beautiful!

choc rav
Mmm! We made a couple batches of these. We actually had enough wrappers and pinot noir sauce for two batches of filling. So I would recommend doubling the recipe for the filling. Trust me. You’ll have no problem finishing it off.

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Mango Magic


June 13th, 2009

mango wrappers
I finally got around to trying the mango wrappers from EVERYDAY RAW. They’re kind of like a thai style romaine wrap with a secret weapon.

mango wrapper
They have these mango wrappers. Kind of like a fruit rollup. But with cilantro. They really add a lovely flavor accent. This is a really great dish for summer.

mango magic
We also tried the mango guacamole EVERYDAY RAW. It’s so good! We made it three days in a row.

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Raspberry Vanilla Almond Granola


June 12th, 2009

granola
We finally broke our long smoothie streak and made some granola. This recipe was from EVERYDAY RAW and it’s a good one! I was actually surprised by the volume of granola it produced. I think we filled up three quart jars.

mix
The mix barely fit into this giant bowl. I can’t remember the volume of this bowl, but it’s the largest one you can get. You can kind of see the book in the background if that gives you an idea.

Still, despite the massive volume, it went fast. I think it only lasted a week or so. We’re planning on making more today…

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Quinoa Tabouli


June 6th, 2009

Quinoa tabouli
This is the quinoa tabouli from EVERYDAY RAW. It was incredibly yummy, but I don’t know that I would ever eat it again.

tabouli
It uses sprouted quinoa instead of bulgur wheat. All I can say is that a person would need to have a stronger digestive system than I to process raw sprouted quinoa. Granted, I have IBS. So I’m probably not the best candidate for this recipe anyway. Definitely not. Unless you appreciate everything grinding to a screeching halt. And then having an awkward conversation with your boyfriend about…well never mind. You get the idea.

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Addicted to Macaroons


June 4th, 2009

macaroon shelf
Life is good. My boyfriend keeps making double batches of MACAROONS from EVERYDAY RAW!

va almond
We have vanilla almond flavor.

chocolate
And the much loved chocolate ginger flavor.

flakescipsshreds

cocotubs We are up to our ears in coconut, literally! My boyfriend went crazy and ordered three different kinds of dried coconut from TROPICAL TRADITIONS. One for every occasion. And they are SO GOOD for macaroons. We use the shredded coconut in the recipe mostly. With a few flakes. And then a little dab of flakes on top. The chips are excellent too. We don’t use them in the macaroons. But they are a lovely garnish for soups. Among other things.

Gotta run. We just inherited another GARDEN BED in our community garden. Much to do. Update soon…

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Spring Vegetable Tagine


June 1st, 2009

spring veg tagine
Another recipe from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW featuring fava beans and a cumin flatbread.

fava
This is the first time I’ve had fava beans. I like them. Though I’m not sure that the texture came out just right. Because I was suppose to soak them in the veggie broth longer. (Actually, my boyfriend did that part :) )

closeup
The cumin flatbread was AMAZING, but not at all like bread. Bread you can eat incessantly and never feel quite satisfied. The flatbread is really filling. I had a strange experience with it. It’s possibly the best raw bread I’ve had so far. But once I got my fill, I absolutely couldn’t eat it anymore. And I haven’t been able to eat it since. Not sure why. Strange phenomenon.

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