Thursday, July 14, 2016

Party Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a very nutritious grain that originated in area surrounding Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia in South America. It was cultivated by the pre-Colombian civilizations of the Andean region over many centuries. It became a highly cultivated grain because of its high balance and essential amino acids and proteins. Of course, the Andean native people of these regions didn't have this type of information, but certainly they knew how satisfied and energized they felt after eating it. 
I made this salad for our uncle's 80th birthday party and it was a big hit, mostly because of its flavor - Bragg's Liquid Aminos was the little secret, made from soy protein and often used as a soy sauce alternative.  

Quinoa can be cooked in large quantities to feed a lot of people! The recipe is for 5 cups of quinoa, but make it to your needs. 


 I used uncooked vegetables, cucumber, orange pepper, red pepper and some fresh tomatoes chopped into small cubes. The fresh herbs I used were Italian parsley and green onions. 





I also added several baked zucchini cooked on a cookie tray in the oven at 400 degree oven, till slightly browned. Make sure to douse the zucchini pieces with olive oil or butter. 

When you mix all the ingredients be generous with the Braggs, I used a 2/3 cup for 5 cups of uncooked quinoa, but you can gauge it by tasting as you go. Also, when mixing salad, add more olive oil, dash of lemon juice, sea salt, dried oregano, and dried garlic powder. Salad will need only a slight sprinkle of salt since Braggs is very flavorful.

Have a wonderful meal with this nutritious grain and be well! 
~Tarabud 






Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bacon Mac & Cheese



Happy Holidaze! 
I thought perhaps you foodies might enjoy Bacon Mac & Cheese. A little midnight snack for my husband and I, but you might need this dish for a special occasion.


Ingredients

2 cups of shell pasta 
1/2 cup of organic whipped cream 
1/3 cup organic cream
5 slices of Applegate organic bacon 
1 cup of 3 cheese mix - Asiago, Romano, Parmesan 
2 stalks of green onion
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground onion
1 teaspoon of ground garlic

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
First, cook pasta and drain. 
Second, in a medium size bowl, mix the creams and the cheese, and add seasoning till fully mixed together. Put the bowl to the side till needed. 
Third, cook bacon in your iron skillet. 
Fourth, place bacon strips to drain on a paper towel and pour out excess fat out. 
Cut cooked bacon into small bite size pieces. 
Fifth, in same skillet, place the cooked pasta shells and pour the cream mix on top, no need to stir the pasta. 
Sixth, sprinkle bacon pieces, and a pinch more of the parmesan on top. 
Seventh, place iron skillet in middle rack of oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Finally, sprinkle the finely chopped green onion.

Serve hot! 
Serves 4 very hungry individuals. 
Being a meal in itself, you will not disappoint! 



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Low Carbohydrate Cheesy Crackers!

 

Hello lovely people, 
So many things have improved for our house since my last post in April, of 2014!



We have turned our focus on urban farming, just as I had imagined, but to the detriment of my Foodie blog. In the meantime, I have learned lots about raising chickens from chicks, building a chicken coop (with my husband's help), and building vegetable raised bed in our backyard. It has been a very productive spring to spring cycle! 

In the meantime, the severity of the California drought has been brought to our collective attentions and is slowly affecting our behaviors. Case in point, saving the warm-up shower water, and using the boiled vegetable water to water our plants and fruit tree. We are even planning on landscaping our front yard grass for a California native plant yard. That is a whole other project yet to begin.
Also along the same lines, how much California drought is affecting our eating habits, knowing beef and almonds take up so much water to produce. Please see this informative article by Leslie Ziegler: https://medium.com/@lesliejz/don-t-stop-showering-california-lay-off-the-burgers-and-nuts-and-pick-up-some-crickets-eb63bddf0277 Not to mention how new health information affects our overall body health awareness. Which brings me back to the recipe of today, Low Carbohydrate Cheesy Crackers. We are trying to be more conscious about our carbohydrate intake, and thanks to a close friend who shared this delicious cracker recipe, I can share with everyone.

I know the Ketogenic diet (high fat, low carbohydrate diet) is all the craze, but I am far from being in the extreme practice of this. Eating smaller quantities of all foods, in a balanced way is much healthier than anything I have found, but these crackers can be a wonderful addition to a balanced dietary regiment. Fortunately, I found these crackers delicious with anything from olive tampenade or guacamole dip, to an olive and fig dip I just found at my local store! Amazing discovery. These delicious healthy crackers will be loved by your entire family. 

Ingredients:

½ cup of coconut flour
½ cup of flax seed meal
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (dry crumbled)
½ teaspoons of salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
½ teaspoon of granulated garlic
½ teaspoon of granulated onion
½ teaspoon of thyme
1- 1 1/2 cup of water
Optional:
1/4  Chia seeds can be added if you want a more high protein cracker. 
2 tablespoons of olive oil. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients well.

Next, add water slowly, until you have a dough like consistency that is holding everything together, but not too moist!
Make sure that dough is not breaking up because need to spread on a baking pan.

Cover a baking pan with olive oil. 




Place the ball of dough in the middle of pan, using a wax paper, cover the top of ball and press down on it to spread it evenly into the pan. I found just rolling hand over the waxed paper to spread worked very well. It is the hardest part and takes the longest time, but be patient and thoughtful as these crackers are more of a labor of love.

Make lines with pizza cutter or knife. Also, using a brush, you can spread some olive oil on top of dough before putting in oven.


















Bake for 45 min.

Check the baking tray, maybe even rotate the baking tray. My new oven does not heat evenly as my old one. Leave another 20  minutes in oven. 
After the last 20 minutes turn off heat and leave in oven another hour or less. 

The crackers should be dehydrated by then, and with a spatula you can remove from baking tray. You will then have 1 inch size squares to eat. Some of the edges of tray will not be square of course, and these will be your rustic pieces also quite edible! 

Happy baking and be well! 
Tarabud 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Lamb Stew





Happy Easter!  
Happy Fertility and Abundance of Nature to all my Pagan friends! 
This pic shows 1.5 pounds of lamb
casserol before going into oven

Whatever way you celebrate, I am sure you had some amazing food. 


Here is my version of slow cooked stewed lamb. For this recipe I used two casserolles to accommodate the quantity of lamb, but you can half the recipe if you have less people to feed. This recipe fed 7 people comfortably. 
I used Niman Ranch lamb meat which turned out quite delicious.
The vegetables used were all organic and local!


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Ingredients

3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder cut into cubes 
4 russet potatoes cubed
10 multicolored carrots cubed.
6 pearl onions cut in half 
2 parsnips chopped into cubes
4 garlics chopped in quarters
2 cups of water to cover vegetables and meat.
2 cups of beef broth to cover vegetables and meat
A handful of fresh parsley chopped 
A handful of  fresh oregano chopped 
2 teaspoons of pepper. 
2 teaspoons of sea salt. 
2 dashes of cumin 
2 dashes of dried sage
2 tablespoons of flour 
2 tablespoons of sugar 

First, prepare your vegetables on the cutting board and have them ready to add to the lamb. At medium heat, sauté lamb in casserole with the salt, pepper, sugar and flour for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. You must keep turning lamb pieces over, so they cook evenly. Turn off heat. Next, take out the extra liquefied fat from the pan with a large spoon. Next, add all herbs, cut vegetables, and seasoning on top of braised lamb cubes. Finally add liquid water and beef broth to mostly cover lamb and vegetables. The liquid does not need to cover them completely. Lower oven to 325 degress and  cover casserole with lid and place in middle of oven for 1.5 hours.
When ready, the meat and vegetables should be tender and easy to cut into.
Serve with sauerkraut, or slow simmered cranberries, or cocconut date rolls. 

Enjoy with family and friends! 
Love, Tarabud


Monday, February 24, 2014

Joyful Living In Ecological Awareness

Hello Foodie Cooks, Farmers, Urban Homesteaders, and Followers, 

It's 2014, and I am coming up on the four year anniversary of Foodie Out Of The Closet Blog. I clearly started this endeavor in February 2010 with my Foodie Manifesto, and it has been a fun adventure of videos, audio podcasts, meeting new people (farmers and makers) in the community who are passionate about sustainability and the future of our planet.

I hope you don’t mind I quote myself.
After finishing my graduate degree at John F. Kennedy University in psychology, and practicing for a few years in the community, I fell into an emotional slump. I was reading and watching many films about the demise of our planet, and was seriously passing through Eco-Anxiety. The most productive phase of this Anxiety Disorder is when you become an active spearhead to bring awareness to the community. I quit my job and began doing my Foodie Out Of The Closet blog, incorporating all my love for cooking, food, farming, and planet awareness. I set out one morning to interview the local vendors at my farmers market, in Oakland.


This time of reflection has brought me right back to focus on the new home my husband and I have begun to invest our energy into. It has been such a long time coming, that we are able to live our lives as we imagine it, gardening where we grow as much organic food as we eat, raising chickens, collecting our own rain water (California drought permitting), solar powering our home, among others things such as living minimally and as gently as possible on this precious planet. This home has not only been a great blessing that we have actively manifested, but also a lot of work! My husband just finished installing wood floors, which was no easy job, for one person. Of course, I provided the lemonade, the meals, and the supportive remarks! Next project will be to remove the two satellite dishes on the roof from previous owners, installing rain gutters, followed by building a fence to give us more privacy in our back yard, and immediately following that, building a chicken coop! 

This brings me to raising our baby heritage breed chicks, and the losses that become little thorns of change in our lifestyle. Raising your hens is a bit of double edged sword. For one thing, we are being more sustainable because we are not driving to the farmers market which thankfully lowers our carbon foot print, we are recycling wasted food from our own kitchen, they are wondrous fertilizers and bugs eaters, lovely pets, and moreover we are more self-sustaining; but at the same time, there will be this loss of community in not visiting with our local farmer Mr. Ledesma at the farmers market and talking about his farm and the growing seasons, most of all buying his delicious eggs. It’s a tricky balancing act, and obviously the positives outweigh the losses, but let’s not ever imagine that we can do urban farming completely isolated.
Top to bottom:
Myrtle - Black Australorp
Pepper - Plymouth  Rock
Mrs. Rhodes - Rhode Island Red
Goldie - Cochin Bantam. 
Our business is now directed to a local homesteaders shop called Pollinate Farm and Garden  in Oakland, California, for baby heritage chicks, organic baby chicken feed, wood shavings, grit, and other necessities of raising chickens at home. We are certainly engaged in the community, like never before, as I will be sharing our back yard chicken eggs with friends and strangers in the community. For example, with the Home Depot salesman who cut wire fencing for me without charge as he found out I was raising baby chickens in an incubator, only if I brought him back some fresh eggs in a few months. We will also be supporting local establishments like Economy Lumber that has great recycled wood pieces for our future chicken coop. We do our best to remain as local as possible. 

I used to want to travel endlessly (which I did), but now I just want to stay home, cook, garden, raise a little gaggle of hens, and write poetry and novellas. How things change in wonderful ways as we age?!  Being at home more, has allowed my imagination to run wild and come up with my newest historical fictional novellas, set in Colombia (Author's Page & available locally at Laurel Book Store). These are the benefits of living a settled life more in-line with my values, things perculate and one can become more focused or more invested in the future too, because I still believe that one family’s choice makes a difference when they add up to multitude of families making more informed decisions toward the future. This year, I look forward to more posts that reflect urban homesteading lifestyle, local gourmet food makers features, farmers interviews, even some wine makers, and perhaps more quiche recipes! May the spirit of joyful ecological awareness be with you and your family! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Wooden Spoons Interview


Listen to the interview with owner Julie Gordon of www.WoodenSpoons-SF.com, making delicious gourmet appetizers for your family and gatherings!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Turkey & Vegetable Soup

What to do with all those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers? Here is the perfect warming soup for all your cold nights.
Inspired by my mother, who remembers her mother making delicious soups in South America just like this one.

Here is the list of ingredients:

2 cups of shredded turkey meat already cooked
4 cups of chicken broth
4 cups of water
1 cup of carrots finely diced
1 cup of potatoes (without skin) cut in cubes
1 cup celery finely chopped
1 cup shiitake mushrooms finely diced
1 cup of peas
1/2 cup of onion
1 cup of wild rice(uncooked)
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup of cilantro finely diced
Salt & Black pepper to taste

Pre-soak the wild rice in a bowl with a cup of water while you prepare the ingredients. Using a large cooking pot, first add the 4 cups of chicken broth, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery garlic cooking on medium high heat. Turn heat down to medium low and add wild rice, peas, and mushrooms. Stir the contents of cooking pot. Add 3 more cups of water and salt and pepper, bring to another quick boil, and immediately lower heat to a  simmer with lid half off for 15-20 minutes.

Serve in bowls and add a bit of cilantro. I like to serve this soup with a sides of garlic bread.

This recipe serves 4 comfortable.

Happy Leftovers!



Soup on the stove.



Friday, November 15, 2013

Blue Chair Fruit Co. Interview

























Listen to Tarabud interview of Rachel Saunders, owner of Blue Chair Fruit Company. 

All about jams and marmalades made from organic and local vendors in the Bay Area. 

 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ledesma Family Farm Interview





Hear the interview of Noel from Ledesma Family Farm, selling fresh organic produce and eggs at the Grand Lake Farmers Market in Oakland, California. 






Sunday, September 22, 2013

Williamson Farm Interview

Williamson Farm Hass Avocados
Hear Tarabud interview Lauren, representing Williamson Farm growing avocados out of Tamecula, CA. Interview at Grand Lake Farmers Market, in Oakland, CA, 9/21/13.