Friday, May 21, 2010

Stinky Mac and Cheese

This post is part of Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade.

Recently, my youngest sister discovered that her nursing daughter has a gluten intolerance. This immediately changed her entire diet.

Side note: Isn't it funny how we can do things for our children without thinking twice, but if it comes to doing the same thing for just ourselves it becomes an overwhelming and tedious process. Just an observation...

Anyway, because of her dietary changes, as well as those of another friend who has Hashimoto's- a hypothyroid issue which often includes gluten sensitivity- I have been experimenting with gluten free recipes, in order to pass on some yumminess to them.

This one is made with rice noodles, which I attempted to make today. I haven't tried the noodles yet, but I made them with rice flour, salt and water and used a dehydrator to dry them faster. I'll let you know later how they worked.

This dish is LOADED with the good kind of fats and is fast and easy too.

Stinky Mac and Cheese

1 bag rice noodles- or one batch of homemade (?)
1 cup "stinky" cheese, crumbled (I use raw blue cheese. Gorgonzola would be great too)
1 cup raw cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup raw milk
1/2 lb pastured bacon, cooked and crumbled
Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
veggie (optional), I've used peas, green beans and chopped spinach on different occasions

1. Cook noodles according to instructions, drain and then dump back into saucepan.
2. Add cheeses, milk, bacon and salt and pepper. Mix until sauce takes on a nice creamy consistency.
3. Add the veggie at the very end, stir enough to warm the peas (I use frozen), or wilt the spinach and then serve.

This has gotten a 4/4 kid rating each time I've made it and is also a bowl licker. (I try to only do that at home with no company though!)

Try it next time you need a quick meal that covers all the bases.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ponderings about the Great Gardener

Today, as I was tenderly tending to my fresh garden, I had some interesting thoughts about the wonderful metaphor of gardening.

Everyday, I go out to look at my seedlings. I want to check their progress, see if they need water, see if they are going to survive the sudden drop in temperature, see how well they are growing. I talk to them, I touch them, I check the soil around them. Sometimes I go out many times during the day, even though I know what I see might be the same.

I am never disappointed in them if they are not thriving. I know that they are exactly where I placed them. I fix what I can and then let them do what they were made to do. If they wilt, I am not angry with them. I am sad, but not angry.

In my garden, I have some weeds. There are really two kinds of weeds that invade the planted areas. One is a Mexican Primrose that is prolific in the spring and likes to grow beautiful pink flowers. The roots are fairly straight down and they are easily removed from the areas they don't belong.

The other kind is not so nice. I have both mint and grass that think they can take over places they aren't welcome. Both of these weeds have a complex root system that sends out shoots to spread. If I see grass growing, I know that pulling it will be something that disrupts the soil for several inches, and sometimes even a few feet! The mint is easier to pull up, but the same thing happens. By the time I see those delicious smelling leaves, I know that the roots run under the soil for at least a couple feet and pulling them could potentially destroy those tender new plants that are just becoming established.

Again though, I am never angry that my lovely planted seeds are in the path of these annoying and destructive weeds. In fact, when contemplating what to get rid of, I always take them into consideration. If pulling a weed is going to cause my plants to be uprooted or greatly disturbed, I will leave the roots in place and just clip the symptoms of the "disease". When my plants are established and can handle a little upheaval I will revisit the problem and attack it with careful alacrity.

My job as gardener is to tend the garden. To do everything in my power to empower my plants to do what they are designed to do: to grow, to produce fruit, to feed my family. I take great joy in the successes of my plants. I know that if they are given the opportunity to grow to their potential they will be beautiful and full of fruit. If they struggle, I am there to help them along, tenderly. If they die, or are choked off before I can get rid of the weeds, I am those darn weeds! And sad that they never got the chance to shine, to be what they were "born" to be...

Hmmm....I think that the Great Gardener does an even better job than me...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

If you give a mom a messy kitchen...

Warning: what you are about to read contains some not so secret information about my particular dysfunctions. If you would prefer to continue to see me as the perfect mom and wife, I suggest that you stop reading now and come back when I have a good recipe to share...ahem...
photo credit

If you give a mom a messy kitchen, she will ask you for a sponge to go with it.

Once she starts cleaning she will ask for a computer to distract her from the task she doesn't like.

When the show that she watches is over, (probably back episodes of LOST), she will have to do a search to find blogs about some LOST theories.

Once she has read all the blogs she will want to look at some other blogs about food.
When she is reading about food she will think about the yogurt that needs to be made and will remember that her kids need to eat lunch and will have to stop everything to make something.

While she is cooking she will realize that her kitchen is very messy...
and she might just go hide in her room...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another breakfast idea

Isn't it funny that I can go weeks without writing, and then the next best yummy something comes along and it draws my fingers to the computer.
This week, I created a yummy smoothie for a friend who went off wheat. I was looking for more creative ideas for her to have for snacks, or just a pick-me-up when she came home from work. This morning, I made myself one for breakfast and I am LOVING it! How can you go wrong with fruit, protein and coconut!

So here we go:

Chocolate Banana Smoothie
1 banana (yes, I know, not exactly in season or local...)
1 scoop, (about 1 Tbsp), raw cocao powder
1 tsp maple syrup or honey
2 Tbsp coconut cream
1 raw pastured egg, (I wouldn't risk supermarket eggs here)
1 cup raw milk

Blend in the blender until smooth and enjoy!

This serves one person. This morning I doubled it and also fed my four kids...

I imagine you could substitute something like coconut milk if you really can't do dairy, but I haven't tried it. I also encourage you to try the raw before you write off milk altogether. As long as you know your farmer and your sources, raw milk is one of the healthiest way to get loads of proteins and nutrients.

So there you go, more of what happens in my house...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Real Cereal

I know I haven't been on in a long time, and that may happen again after this, (so much for blogging twice a week!), but after the breakfast we just had, I had to throw it out there.

A little over a year ago I stopped feeding my kids cereal. Really, we stopped buying anything that had any measure of processing and cereal was at the top of the list. Well, this instantly complicated life just a bit since now I would have to get up with my little early birds and make breakfast. I found a pretty good soaked homemade granola recipe a few months ago and made it a couple times. I just didn't love it like I loved my old tried and true unsoaked granola! So, we were back to square one.

Don't get me wrong. The breakfasts we have been having since then have been fun and so yummy! How fun to be able to have breakfast cookies or sprouted scones or just fried eggs with bacon every day! But once in a while, a little cereal would be nice...

Over Christmas I soaked and then dried some oats in my wonderful dehydrator. They were soaked in water and a little buttermilk (about 2 tsp per cup) for about 24-48 hours and kept at about 85 degrees. After drying them I had these nice crispy oats. I stuck them in a bag and left them alone until today, not quite sure what I was going to do with them...

(I imagine if you don't have a dehydrator you could dry the oats in the oven at low low temps, under 150 degrees. In case you don't know, the soaking is to break down and minimize the harmful effects of the phytic acids that prohibit absorption of certain vital nutrients.)

This morning, I decided it was high time for some easy granola. So here is what I did:

4 cups of soaked and dried oats
1/2 cup dried apples
1/2 cup dried pears
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup soaked, dried and finely chopped walnuts
2-4 tbsp maple syrup

Mixed all together in a big bowl and served with cold raw milk.

The great thing about this recipe is that not only is it fabulous, (and I am pretty picky when it comes to flavor!), but it can be infinitely modified to add whatever dried fruit and soaked nuts are in the house. I almost added flax seeds but didn't want to take the time to grind them. Next time maybe.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday.