Why I Am Posting These Recipes
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Last night I wanted to make a roasted beet salad for dinner, but a roasted beet salad is just a side dish. I needed something else for the "main dish." I wanted something vegetarian. I did not want beans. I did not want pasta. I kept going back to those Asian flavored millet cakes that I last posted, but I did not think the Asian flavoring would go well with the beet salad. I thought mediterranean flavors would go better. So I decided to adjust the recipe I developed for the Asian millet cakes so that it would go better with the beets. There are lots of mediterranean flavors, but kalamata olives and capers say "Mediterranean!" to me. And I had a luscious home-grown tomato on my counter, which would go marvelously with the olives and capers. I used the idea of cooking carrots and onions in the water with the millet to impart a slightly sweet flavor, as it had worked well with the Asian millet cakes. I did not have feta cheese but I bet that would go well with these. If you have some in your refrigerator, try adding a little to the mixture if you are adventurous enough (I cannot vouch that it will work, since I did not try it, though I definitely will try it another time). Or you could just try sprinkling a little on top so that if it turns out not to be good you haven't spoiled the whole batch. I am pretty sure the flavors will go well together, though.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I try to use as many local ingredients as possible. Kale is a vegetable that you can probably find at your local farmers' market, if you don't grow it yourself. I even included kale in my garden this year, which speaks to the ease of growing it. Increasing the proportion of plants to meat in your diet will help sustain our planet, as plants require fewer resources to grow than animals do. As the human population increases, and as a greater number of people globally become more affluent and eat more meat as a result of their new affluence, our food resources will become more strained. By reducing your own meat consumption, you can set an example for the rest of the world to help sustain our planet.
This dish includes a small quantity of chicken, relying on vegetables included in the meal to fill people up. I find that cutting boneless chicken into bite-sized chunks and combining it with vegetables enables me to reduce the amount of chicken I cook for people. When I serve whole pieces of chicken, I allow a piece per person, otherwise I think people would not feel they were getting an adequate amount of meat. Using chunks of chicken hides from people the actual quantity being served, so it allows the cook to reduce the amount of meat in a way that does not make people feel cheated. While I have pretty much eliminated meat from my diet, through a gradual process, I still cook meat for other members of my family who do not want to take such extreme measures. Last night, I created this dish and served it with roasted delicata squash slices, tossed with a lemon tahini dressing (I got the recipe from epicurious.com), and a Spanish rice dish. I served myself only the kale from this dish, while other members of my family ate the chicken cooked with the kale. It was a filling, wholesome and delicious meal.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best. I love fresh green beans, best when eaten within a day or two of picking. This is the time of year to enjoy them! I was raised eating green beans with melted butter, salt and pepper. Delicious, but not so good for your arteries. Others have served me green beans with sesame oil, which is nice, but a little bland. I wanted to develop a simple way to prepare green beans that was heart-healthy and delicious. And not much more complicated than smearing them with butter. This is a real winning recipe, in my opinion. My 12 year old nephew couldn't stop eating them--he even picked them out of the pan with his fingers after we had finished eating dinner! The highest compliment, and makes cleanup easier! I think the secret is in the ume plum vinegar, which gives the dish a bit of oomph.