Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sausage, Tomato, Bean Delight

It's hard to believe that one month ago it was warmer than it is today. As a result, I've been preparing more hot dinners than I normally would this time of year.

This one ended up really hearty and soothing on a cold, wet day. And it has sausage in it. What's not to love about that?

1/2 pound ground breakfast sausage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 (150z) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
1/2 cup veggie or chicken stock
a heaping hand full of fresh cooking greens (kale and collards work well)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whole grain (optional)--I cooked about a cup of quinoa

  1. In a large skillet brown sausage and drain fat.
  2. Return sausage to skillet and add onion and garlic. Cook about 3 minutes, then add thyme. Saute another minute.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to break down and become "saucy". 
  4. Add stock, beans, and greens. Turn heat to medium high until beans are warm and greens are bright green (about 5-7 minutes).
  5. Serve over grain (optional), add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chick Pea Spring Salad

Let me start by saying I have already made this recipe twice--in one week. I foresee this one becoming a regular in our spring and summer rotation. I'm not sure whether it's the avocado (healthy, yummy fat) or the Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil (another great fat source) or the fresh cilantro and salad greens (I love our Farmer's Market!), but whatever it is, it's a total party in my mouth. And with spring in full swing, I'm ready for a party to celebrate the change in seasons!

1/4 cup Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil (email here to order)
2 T rice vinegar
1-2 t honey
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 generous t coriander
1/4 generous t cumin
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes (optional or to taste--be careful, a little goes a long way!)
2 (15 oz) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, shredded or chopped
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
juice of 1 lime
handful of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
salad greens, handful chopped and additional for serving


  1. Make dressing by combining first 7 ingredients (through red pepper) in a jar with tight fitting lid and shake it up baby! Set aside.
  2. Combine beans, onion, carrot, avocado, lime, cilantro, and chopped salad greens (I like to add some greens to the actual salad, because my son doesn't "like" lettuce--although he's eaten it straight from the fields and said, "Yum!") in a large bowl.
  3. Give the dressing one last shake (it's ok if it separates) and pour over bean salad. Toss to coat.
  4. Serve over salad greens and enjoy the taste of spring!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Curry Ginger Chick Peas & Mushrooms with Tumeric Rice

I'm experimenting with a new Wildtree product in my kitchen. It's the Curried Garlic Blend, and it's pretty fantastic. I've added it in place of curry to a couple of different things, but this recipe, I have to admit, is pretty outstanding.
It helps to have fresh produce from the market to add to the experiment, too. So here's what I made up:

2 cups water
2 generous teaspoons ground tumeric
1 generous teaspoon sea salt
1 cup brown rice
a little high heat cooking oil (I used Grapeseed oil)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 teaspoons Wildtree Curried Garlic Blend or curry powder
a couple of hand fulls of colored peppers (I used red and yellow)
shiitake (or other) mushrooms
1 can chick peas, drained
some chopped up cooking greens (collards, kale, chard, etc.)
2 generous teaspoons freshly grated ginger
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Place water in pot with tight fitting lid and bring to a boil. Add salt and tumeric. Add rice, stir it around, return to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 45 minutes.
  2. Place oil in skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and reduce heat to medium-low. FYI: I like to let the onion and garlic cook while chopping the remaining veggies. It makes the onions sweet.
  3. When onions are really soft, add the curry seasoning and mix well.
  4. Add peppers and mix to coat. Let cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add mushrooms, mix, let cook 5 minutes or so to soften.
  6. Add chick peas and greens. Cover and let chick peas warm and greens get greener about 4 minutes.
  7. Check rice (timer should have gone off by now!). Does it need more cooking time or a little water added?
  8. Add grated ginger and mix one last time.
  9. Serve chick peas over rice.
  10. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Green Eggs and Ham

This week marks the 107th birthday of Dr. Seuss. Oh, the places this author has taken us! From Mr. Brown Can Moo to The Cat in the Hat to One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish to that mean old Grinch, Dr. Seuss is a classic in most children's book collections.

My son had the joy of making green eggs and ham at his school Seuss birthday celebration. It was a whole new, wonderful experience for him (and his classmates) to add color to food.

It got me thinking, though. We actually eat green eggs at our house--a lot. Almost every time I scramble up eggs, I throw in whatever greens are lurking in my fridge. If we have boiled eggs, I usually put them on a bed of salad greens. When an egg fritatta goes into the oven, you can bet there are greens of some sort in it. So the idea of green eggs at our house is not new, it's just a little different from Dr. Seuss'.

I appreciate the effort of Dr. Seuss to introduce a new and different looking food to kids (of all ages) in a fun way. And it's a nice reminder that as a Mom, like Sam I am, I have to be persistent in offering good, green foods to my child. After all, he just might offer an enthusiastic, "Yes, I like them--thank you, Ma'am!"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mango in March?

Yes, this blog is generally designed to deal with food that is in season right now, but I have found a plethora of mangoes in my kitchen this week (at no cost to me) and really consider that to be "in season," especially since they were a gift. And we don't waste food at our house.

So, I cut up 2 of these lovely Indian fruits and mixed them with a single avocado (again--"in season" at our house, since it was given to me) and a little sea salt for a delicious, sweet treat.

I found this great video of a father teaching how to cut a mango that's fun and informative: