Friday, March 31, 2006

It's So Easy Eating Greenz

I got some interesting greens at the farmer's market.

The name escapes me, something like "broccoli spirella" comes to mind but I tried looking that up online and can't find reference. Mystery greens! If anyone has a guess (or knows) please comment.

Anyway, these greens were really delicious. I discarded the stems (too twiggy) and sautéed the spiral leaves in olive oil with onions, garlic and a little salt.

Wow! Really yum. And it doesn't taste anything like broccoli... maybe there's no connection. It is not like rapini, it's completely different. I would say more like the texture and tase of the resulting baby that would be born if kale got busy with collard.

I will buy more, even if I have to run around asking for it as "that green squiggly stuff."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Now I Might Have to Like Wal*Mart?

Wal*Mart goes organic. Holy crap. And MSC certified seafood, too? Somebody wake me up...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Thin Mints: Delicious Discs of Death

Those are Thin Mints, straight out of the freezer, hazed by a little condensation. Yum.

One thing about buying Girl Scout cookies is that you feel like you're doing something good AND you get a tasty treat out of the process. That's why this type of fundraising has worked for so many years. Anyway, I was SOOO stoked when my local Girl Scout returned late last week with my Thin Mints!

I popped 2 or 3 in my mouth (ok, 7 or 8...) and happened to glance at the package. Cute GS's doing some rock climbing or rapelling, and the side of the box says "You'd be surprised what a Girl Scout Cookie® can build: Strong Values, Strong Minds, Strong Bodies, Strong Spirit, Strong Friendships, Strong Skills, Strong Leadership, Strong Community."

Ok, I'll buy that. Well, I already did, right? But then I switched around to the other side of the box and took a gander at the nutritional info. Wha?! No! These suckers have 4g of saturated fat and 1 g of trans fat! PER FOUR COOKIES PEOPLE. That means I just ate 8 friggin grams of sat fat and 2 of trans fat. Great. So much for Strong Arteries.

This really pissed me off, I have to say. And while I was, admitedly, still enjoying the aftertaste of the chocomint flavor I love so much, I sat down to scribble an email to Girl Scouts of America:

Hello Girl Scouts. I supported your program this year by buying a box of Thin Mints, a longtime favorite. I am dismayed to see that they contain not only a relatively large amount of saturated fats, but also TRANS FATS! I think it is disingenuous for the Girl Scouts (of all people) to be selling a product that is proven bad for people. Many baked-goods companies have taken steps to reduce saturated fats and remove trans fats from their products. I hope you will do the same, or this is my last time buying. Thanks for your time.

I don't expect I will ever hear back. But you know you'll read about it right here if I do!

On a positive tip, the amazing Heidi at 101 Cookbooks has devised a recipe for healthi(er) Thin Mints. Good on ya, Heidi!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

In a Gotta da Beeta, Baby

Mmm! Dinner was a most tastetastical Roasted Veggies atop Fusilli wid Garlic Butterbean Wine Sauce. That's a mouthful, no? It features the last organic ingredient from my delivery box: beets.

Beets are sweet and delicious and are high in folate and potassium. The tops contain lots of calcium and iron. The best thing about beets, though, is they make your pee pink and your poo red! (So don't forget you ate beets for dinner or you might get a real scare the next day.)

I cut up beets and carrots. Also a red onion. Coated lightly in oil and herbs, roasted for 1 hour at 400 degrees. See all the veggies so happy in their roasting pan?

The sauce for the pasta was 10 cloves of garlic, 1 1/2 cups vege soup stock, 1 cup white wine, black pepper and Aromat (flavored salt). I reduced it way down and added a can of butter beans, including about 1/4 of the juice. Reduced some more until thicker. Added a pat of butter right at the end. Served over whole wheat fusilli.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Rhussel Up a Lhassi

I was inspired by my foodbloggy friend Arjuna who made a mango lhassi as a side for a fritatta she made recently. I wrote, asking how to make a mango lhassi, as I have always loved these at Indian restaurants.

Little did I know a lhassi was so easy... mango purée, plain yogurt and Arjuna informed me that I could also put in cardamom. Of course! That's the magical flavour - all of a sudden it's obvious why I love a mango lhassi so much.

I LOVE cardamom, and any chance to use it is glee! The best chocolate bar I ever tasted was chocolate with a cardamom infusion. If anyone knows where I might find another one of these I will make you 1,000 golden lhassis.

Aren't these lovely cardamom pods? (Ok, maybe slightly dried out, but still good...

But it's the little inside seeds you want...

Crush and inhale the scent of the gods. I often drop 3 or 4 pods into my tea in the morning. Now you know my secret.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Po' Man's Paella

So check it. It was late, I was tired, hungry, and I wanted something hot to eat. There was not much in the house by way of food, so I started rooting around. About 20 minutes later this was dinner:

That's right, foodtastical friends. A tasty meal that's somewhere above white trash and somewhere below authentic. And I did it faster and less annoyingly than Rachael What's Her Name.

Into large pan:
leftover brown & wild rice cooked earlier in the week and frozen in a baggie
frozen peas
frozen artichoke hearts (Trader Joe's)
can of clam sauce (Trader Joe's)
can of fire-roasted tomatoes
teaspoon of Vegeta soup base
turmeric for yellowness (I had no saffron on hand)

Into frying pan:
Tofurkey Italian sausages, cut into long discs and fried golden brown

cook it all up.

I am telling you, it was really damn good for being made almost entirely from stuff that came out of the freezer or cans! Partner in Crime said, "Wow! How'd you make gumbo so quick?!" I said, standing akimbo, "It is not gumbo, it is paella". He said, "Whatever. Can we eat it now or are you going to take pictures of it all night?"

We put some habanero hot sauce on top and it was tasty.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bodacious FriTaTa of the Organic Variety

I know, I know... Fritattas are usually the bastard of the kitchen - what chefs tend to make when there are leftover odds and ends around and cash flow is low. But I assure you, this is no garbage-disposal variety 'TaTa, this is a Bodacious Organic one!

It features this fresh, delicious Red Chard from my box of organics...

Mmm! Chopity chop...

I started with a gigantic amount of carmelized onions on the bottom of the pan for a carmelly "crust". Then poured in a mixture of 6 'ganic, free-range eggies, a can of organic fire-roasted tomatoes, plenty of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and various herbs and spices.

Then I laid (a LOT of) steamed chard all over and pressed it down solid. (Because I happen to like dense, flat 'TaTas. You might prefer puffy 'TaTas, this is your perogative.) Broiled with some more parm on top for finishing.

I served it with 'ganic quinoa with Cuban-style black beans and a side of 'ganic grape tomatoes with tarragon. Some chipotle salsa was nice on the side as well.

Okay, I am very happy with my organic delivery box and will likely do it again. Also, I am getting tired of hearing myself write the word "organic" so from now on, just assume all or most fruits and veggies on this site are such. I don't plan to get weird about it.

Ta ta!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar™ Night Organic Celery & Cauli Soup with Fresh Tarragon

Straight from the organic delivery box into the pot and then down the gullet! This soup was delicious hot and even better the next day served cold.

I'd like to bring it to your attention that I concocted (heh heh I said coc!) the soup to be the exact same color as my Blogger background. Yes, it is because I am such a dedicated blogger and I know you foodreaders will appreciate my dedication to style and form. I love yous for that.

ADDITIONALLY this soup matches the color of 90% of dresses worn to the Academy Awards. You see, this is v. important in an Oscar-day posting! Coordination at all costs.

So basically...

1 head celery
1 head cauliflower
3 onions
3 scallions
1 TBSP butter
fresh tarragon
fresh ground black pepper
freshly-grated nutmeg
sea salt
unsweetened soy milk
a bit of sweetened almond milk
cayenne to taste
dash of vinegar

cayenne or paprika & creme fraiche, sour cream or soy yogurt for garnish if desired

Today I ate one of the organic mangoes from the delivery box - oooooh! It was magically delicious. Mangoes (good ones) are perhaps one of the best tasting things on the planet. I am not religious, but a good mango gets me thinking about thanking someone for that taste. Can I get a witness, people?

Partner in Crime states that the 'ganic pears and apples are also tasty. The little grape tomatoes are not as sweet as the organic mixed yellow/red ones we get from trader Joes, but not bad. But Organic Express' test is not done yet!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Organic Deliverance

Yay! It's here!

This guy thought I was nutters for snapping a photo of him in delivery mode.

And here it is, the moment we've all been waiting for.

Ahhh! A box of organic delight!

I have to say, the produce is beautiful. The Swiss chard is perfect, the beets and tops are perfect, the fruit looks wonderful.

Is this enough stuff to warrant $29? Well, I didn't have to shop for it, and it's a great selection. I will have to do the math. Stay tuned for taste tests and cooking adventures.