Archives

Category Archive for: ‘Vegetables’
Spicy red onion spread

This is a modification of a recipe I saw on the web.  I think you’ll love it.  You can use the onion jam on roasted or grilled meats, hamburgers, over Mexican food or just spread on bread. You can also find the recipe under condiments in the recipe tab section of the blog.- jughandle

 

Spicy red onion spread

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red onions, peeled and sliced into slivers

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 chipotle chiles in adobo, diced

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat the oil in a large skillet on med heat.  Add the onions and garlic, and while sauteing for 10 minutes stir occasionally or until softened.

Cover, and cook for 20 more minutes, stirring once. Uncover and add the chipotle chiles, balsamic vinegar and cayenne. Stirring often, cook until the vinegar is reduced and onions are softened and a dark, red brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Yield: about 1/2 pint

Note: You can add more chipotle chiles if you want it to be hotter.

 

Tomato jam recipe | Homesick Texan

This sounded so good I just had to copy this post for my readers.  I’m trying this today. – jughandle

 

“One of my favorite guilty pleasures when I was in preschool was ketchup on biscuits. I’m not sure how I got into the habit of doing this, but a bit of that old, strange love lingers on today when I eat barbecue: I won’t put sauce on the meat but I’ll dip those soft, spongy slices of white bread in a bucket of a tomato-based sauce if given the chance.

I realize this isn’t the most sophisticated thing to eat, heck, some of y’all might even say it’s downright gross. Well, fortunately, a reader asked me if I had a recipe for tomato jam. Now, I’d never eaten tomato jam but I’d certainly heard of it. I even have a T-shirt from the Tomato Jam café in Asheville, North Carolina that my mom sent to me. (I haven’t been to Asheville but I hear it’s the Austin of North Carolina, which means it’s probably a very cool place.) So when this reader asked me for a recipe, I told her I’d get right on it.

First, I checked my old recipe files to see if any of my grandmas and great-grandmas had directions on how proper tomato jam was done. They didn’t. So before I came up with one, I asked the reader what exactly tomato jam was supposed to taste like. She said it was a wonderful mix of sweet and savory; she ate it on her biscuits while her grandpa spread it on his rye toast.

A sweet and savory tomato spread that isn’t ketchup? I was curious. I started thinking about how I would make my jam, and decided I’d do my usual citrus, sugar and spice blend as I do with my apricot jam.

A little research led me to Mark Bittman’s recipe in the New York Times where he had the same idea. I followed his approach with a few modifications and, I must admit, this tomato jam was curious. It looked like a cross between strawberry jam and ketchup. Which seemed odd. But once it cooled a bit and I could really taste it, I was hooked.

Tomato jam is indeed sweet, spicy and savory and, because I’m Texan, I also make it a little bit fiery. It’s like a more sophisticated ketchup, though it could certainly pose as a fruit spread as well. (Though I’m not sure if tomato jam is quite ready to be paired with peanut butter.)

Spreading it on my biscuit, I was a kid again dipping my biscuits into ketchup. But this time it was not only socially acceptable but a heck of a lot more sophisticated and delicious as well. I’m now a fan of tomato jam and I think it’s splendid on burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs and, of course, biscuits as well. And if you try it, perhaps you’ll find it splendid, too.

Do you eat tomato jam? What do you like to do with it?

Tomato jam (adapted from the New York Times)

1 pound Roma tomatoes, chopped and cored

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons lime zest

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 or 2 dried chiles de arbol, crumbled

Pinch of chipotle powder

Method:

Combine all the ingredients in a pan, bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring often until tomatoes have dissolved and jam is thick and glossy, about 45 minutes. Pack jam into a sterilized container. Keeps in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Yield: 1 pint

Note: Variations on this could be made by adding chopped jalapeños, chopped cooked bacon or I’ve even heard of people stirring in a bit of bourbon. And if you thinking this is close to chipotle ketchup, it is, though that has a few different spices and vinegar to give it that familiar tang.”

via Tomato jam recipe | Homesick Texan.

How to Roast Vegetables

Roasting vegetables is a great way to bring out the natural sweetness  and flavor of our garden vegetables, especially the root vegetables.

 

The best way to achieve tender, creamy and flavorful
roasted veggies is to preheat your oven to 450 deg F.
and lightly coat the veggies with a fat of some kind.
Put the coated veggies in a roasting pan that will allow
the heat to circulate around them as they cook.  Put the pan in the oven
covered for 20 minutes, then remove the cover for 20 minutes more and you are done.

Fat

The fat you use can be oil, bacon grease, butter or any combination.  For a healthier dish try to use the very smallest amout of oil that you can.  I cut my vegetables into 1/2 or 3/4″ chunks and put them in a large bowl.  I warm  a tablespoon of bacon fat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to thin the oil and aid in better coverage.  Pour the oil over the veggies in the bowl and toss with your hands until well coated.  Spread out on in the pan and season with herbs, salt and pepper.

Pan

 

A roasting pan works nicely but a cookie sheet is good too.  There really is no right or wrong here, pile the veggies up no more than two layers thick, if possible, to allow for even cooking, but you can also turn or stir the veggies half way through the cooking too.

 

Cover

 

 

A roasting pan usually has a cover, but if you use a cookie sheet, try covering with aluminum foil.

 

 

MultiTasking

My favorite way to roast veggies is while I’m also roasting a chicken.  Use the big chunks of vegetables as a rack on the bottom of your pan to hold the chicken up.  The juices of the chicken add to the flavor of the vegetables and you have a one dish meal.

 

 

 

We will add many recipes for roasting in the near future. Until then try roasting a few veggies and let me know what you think.  – Farm On you Fat Farmers – Jughandle

Pesticides in our Food

This post is a follow up to my poorly researched story on buying organically grown foods.  I’d like to point out and clarify a few things.  First I’d like to introduce you to the dirty dozen and the clean 15.  The 12 foods with the most and the 15 with the least pesticide residue according to www.whfoods.org.  Here is the complete story:

Q – Can I effectively wash off pesticides from my conventionally grown fruits and vegetables?

If pesticides are present on the surfaces of your fruits and vegetables, you can definitely remove a substantial amount of those surface pesticides through careful washing and light scrubbing. However, you cannot remove all of them nor can you remove pesticides that have been incorporated into the fruits and vegetables while they were growing.

From field to field and from year to year, the amount of pesticides used on different fruit and vegetable crops can vary greatly. However, some environmental organizations, like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) headquartered in Washington, D.C., have sampled large groups of fruits and vegetables to determine which non-organic foods most consistently contain pesticide residues (and how many different residues they contain). To see more details about the EWG pesticide measurement process, you can visit the EWG website at: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary The worst offenders in the group have sometimes been tagged with the name, “Dirty Dozen.” They named another group the “Clean 15” which are the ones that were found to have the least amount of pesticide residues. Following are the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” as found in their 2011 report.

Ranking The “Dirty Dozen”
1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines-imported
7. Grapes-imported
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries-domestic
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/collard greens
Ranking The “Clean 15”
1. Onion
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe-domestic
10. Kiwifruit
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

Source: Environmental Working Group (2011). Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Available online at:http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

On its website, the EWG reminds all of us that when it comes to fruits and vegetables, it would be most important for us to purchase organic when we are dealing with the “Dirty Dozen” because these fruits and vegetables had the most problem with pesticide residues. However, on our World’s Healthiest Foods website we go one step further and encourage you to purchase organically grown produce whenever possible. If organic options are not available, you’re likely to lower your exposure to potentially harmful pesticides if you select from the “Clean 15” versus “Dirty Dozen” end of the EWG spectrum of fruits and vegetables. But remember that all non-organically grown foods can differ dramatically in their pesticide residues and that your best bet is to choose from organically grown foods that cannot by law be treated with the vast majority of synthetic pesticides.

Jughandle says,  That is all I’m posting on this subject today.  This will be an on going study for the Fat Farm.  But I and the Farm are now completely converted and true believers of buying organic when ever possible.  I’m not surprised I’ve had cancer twice, with this information.

Sun-Drying Zucchini the Sicilian Way | Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Sun-Drying Zucchini the Sicilian Way | Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.

Serves 4 as a main course, or 6 as a side dish.

Prep Time: 36 hours

Cook Time: 5 minutes

  • 4 zucchini
  • Salt
  • Skewers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or espellette pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

 

  1. Slice zucchini into disks about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle salt on a large cookie sheet or two, then lay the zucchini on them. Sprinkle more salt on top. Leave at room temperature for no more than an hour — the longer you go, the saltier the zucchini will be. If you plan on preserving these in jars, go the full hour.
  2. Pat dry with a towel and skewer. Hang the zucchini in a hot dry place for 24-48 hours, depending on the temperature. You want them to be dry, but not hard. Think soft dried apricots…
  3. Once dried like this, they can be stored in jars, covered in olive oil, for months in the fridge.
  4. When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the zucchini rounds and toss to coat with oil. Turn the heat down to medium-high and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. In the final minute, add the cayenne and toss to combine, then do the same with the mint. Turn off the heat.
  6. Squeeze the lemon juice on the zucchini when you are ready to serve.
Recipe – Chopped Vegetable Salad

I stole this recipe directly from David Lebovitz’s blog.  Please visit his site for great insight to living and eating in France.

From DavidLebovitz.com

 

 

 

 

 

Chopped Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Garlic Dressing
Two servings
I guess I’m more French than I thought because I’m not a fan of very hard vegetables raw, like broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans. So if I use them, I blanch or steam the vegetables lightly, to make them a bit more palatable.
For the dressing:

2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (60ml) olive or grape seed oil, or another favorite oil

For the salad:

6 cups (700g) mixed chopped vegetables and other additions, such as:

-Crumbled bacon
-Diced avocado
-Cubed grilled chicken
-Batons of baked tofu
-Crumbled feta, goat, or blue cheese
-Shredded romaine, radicchio, or gem lettuce
-Sliced or quartered radishes
-Grated or julienne-cut carrots
-Shredded red cabbage
-Minced parsley or chives
_Lightly steamed or blanched broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, or asparagus
-Diced hard-cooked eggs
-Pumpkin seeds
-Quartered cherry tomatoes
1. In a large salad bowl, mix together the garlic, lemon juice, salt, and mustard with a fork

2. Add the olive oil and stir with the fork until the dressing is well mixed. (I don’t emulsify the dressing as I feel it gets too heavy and thick.)

3. Add the salad ingredients and toss well.

How to eat more produce

Interestingly our veggies are color coded.  Yes, we can chose our nutrition by the color of the vegetables we eat.  According to a so called recent government study 69% of us don’t eat enough green, 78% not enough red, 86% white, 88% purple/blue, and 79% of us don’t eat enough yellow/orange fruit and vegetables.  Believe it or not even the difference between eating green bell peppers exclusively and avoiding yellow, orange, purple and red bells, makes a difference in the health benefits.  We need a full spectrum of colors.

According to Women’sHealth here are a few examples:

Green:
Artichokes- March to June
Asparagus- February to June
Avocados- year round
Broccoli- October to April
Green Beans- May to October
Kiwis- year round
Romaine Lettuce- year round
Yellow:
Pears- August to March
Pineapples- March to July
Orange:
Peaches- May to October
Oranges
Carrots
Red:
Bell Peppers- year round
Strawberries- April to September
Tomatoes- June to September
Watermelons- June to August
Blue and Purple:
Blueberries- May to October
Grapes- May to October
Eggplant
Prunes
White:
Cauliflower- Summer
Onions
Potatoes
Jicama

For a list of many, many more go to Disabled World
Also in the same article by Darrell Miller January 12, 2008

The nutrients found in the above fruits and vegetables have a significant impact on our health.
Quercetin, which is found in apples, onions and other citrus fruits, not only prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation, but also helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Ellagic acid, which is mainly found in raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts, has been proven in many clinical studies to act as an antioxidant and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract. This nutrient also has been proven to have an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, because it decreases their ATP production.
The best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene, is converted into vitamin A upon entering the liver. Although being known for its positive effects on eyesight, it has also been proven to decrease cholesterol levels in the liver.
Clinical studies have proven that lycopene, mainly found in tomatoes, may decrease the risk of prostate cancer, as well as protect against heart disease. Lutein, which is found in blueberries and members of the squash family, is important for healthy eyes. However, it does support your heart too, helping to prevent against coronary artery disease.
Along with the above stated nutrients, there are even more nutrients found in fruits and vegetables that provide a great deal of support to our body. Almost everyone has heard of vitamin C, which keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. This nutrient is scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits, but commonly associated with oranges and other citrus fruits. Potassium, which is the nutrient most Americans are deficient in, does great things for our hearts, and lowers blood pressure.
Another good food component many people don’t get enough of if fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Flavonoids, which include anthocyanins, flavones, isoflavones, proantocyanidins, quercetin and more, are found almost everywhere. They are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and vegetables and help to stop the growth of tumor cells and potent antioxidants. They also can reduce inflammation.
Beta-glucan, found in mushrooms, stabilizes and balances the body’s immune system by supporting white blood cells. EGCG is found in tea and has been shown to reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer. It boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation, which defends our body against sickness and disease.
Bioflavonoids, which are found in citrus fruits, are considered a companion to vitamin C because they extend the value of it in the body. These nutrients have the capabilities to lower cholesterol levels and support joint collagen in arthritis cases.
The number one excuse for not eating the required five servings of fruits and vegetables each day is they are too expensive. However, as compared to the amount of money spent on prepackaged, processed, and fast foods, most fruits and vegetables (with the exception of those that are not in season) are not all that expensive.
Because frozen fruits and vegetables retain the majority of their nutritional value, they can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season.
Someone who is not able to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day can also drink fruit and vegetable drinks in their place. Although this shouldn’t become a habit, fruit and vegetable drink mixes can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling.
The need for fruits and vegetables in our diet is growing rapidly with the type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol, hypertension that result from the “Typical American Diet” of fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.



Read more: http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/fruits-vegetables.shtml#ixzz1QaD9RLvr