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Beans, Beans.

Garden update.   Each year I try and plant something different.  Last year I planted a half dozen different carrot varieties.   Thus I had carrot soup filling the freezer.  The year before it was Garden Huckleberries.   (One year of those was enough.)  And one year I planted grain substitutes; flax, amaranth, timothy, sorghum, millet, etc.  And while I like to try new tomatoes each year they just are unusual enough.

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This year the garden theme is dried beans.   More specifically climbing dried beans.  Other years I have planted Pink Lady, Red Lady, and Christmas Lima Beans.  But this year, in addition to those three, I have also planted:

Good Mother Stallard

Hidatsa Shield Figure

Brockton Horticulture

Speckled Cranberry

True Red Cranberry

and

Sunset Runner Beans

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And while they are all growing very well, the Pink Lady and Red Lady are still the hummingbirds favorites.

I selected these particular climbing beans because of the beans size.  Bigger is easier to shuck come fall.  Some also can be eaten as green beans, but I intend to use them solely for dried bean  production.

Harvest time will tell if I chose well or not.  More pictures then.

Wonder Tortilla!

Here is a recipe from one of my readers (Wenchypoo) that I thought should be shared.  Give it a try and post your results.

 

*Whew*
I finally did it–turned your Wonder Bun idea into a Wonder Tortilla!
Here’s the recipe (done in a 1000W microwave with Corelle dinner plate)
Makes 1 taco or fajita-sized tortilla (still working on the big boy):

1T. chia meal
1T. flax meal
2 T. almond meal
2 t. tapioca starch
1 T. olive oil (do not use coconut oil or lard)
1 egg white (no yolk–the bottom of the tortilla becomes messy)
1T. water
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cocoa powder (optional–for color only)
A total of 1 t. of spices/herbs of choice

    ~~Big “T” means tablespoon, and little “t” means teaspoon~~

    Combine flours and powders in a cereal bowl.  Stir to combine, then set aside.  In a separate small bowl, add egg white, olive oil, and water, and mix with mixer until egg white is bubbly, but not to the foam stage–we don’t want meringue here!

    Add egg white mixture to the flour mixture, and stir well to combine, making sure to get the unmixed batter off spoon and into bowl.

    ~~Greasing plate NOT necessary, since there’s oil in the recipe~~

    Pour batter into center of microwave-safe salad or dinner-sized plate, and tip the plate around until batter comes to within 1″ of rim (the batter will creep back to the center of the plate–don’t worry).  Microwave on high for 60 seconds, then remove plate to cooling rack to finish cooking.  After about a minute or two, gently remove the tortilla by using a butter knife to slowly peel up the edges all around the plate, then sliding the knife gently under the tortilla slowly toward the center.  When tortilla is completely free of plate, remove it and return it to the cooling rack bottom-side up to finish completely cooling.

    This tortilla is flexible enough to fold and roll, and also freezes well–if making a stack of them, let cool completely, then place in a zippy bag or other freezer-safe container with paper between the layers (parchment or wax) so they don’t freeze together.

    To defrost, remove from freezer and place on a plate, microwaving one at a time on high for 30 seconds.  These regain flexibility upon defrosting.

    Now you can have a personal taco, fajita, or enchilada that’s low-carb, gluten-free, and Paleo (add cheese for Primal).

from Wenchypoo.

This years crop of carrots has been the best yet.  With most of the vegetable garden put to bed for the winter,  I dug up half of my carrot crop. carrots2

Trimmed the tops and gave them a fast hose cleaning.

A couple of months ago I tested out a few carrot soup recipes.  And today I set out to turn a pile of carrots into carrot soup to put into my freezer.

The three recipes I made are: Curried Carrot Soup, courtesy of Rachael Ray, Roasted Carrot Soup, from Donna Hay magazine, and Moroccan Carrot Soup,  from A Sweet Spoonful.  For the most part I follow recipes, but I make small changes as I go based on my ingredients on hand and my personal likes.  The recipes are only a guide line.

 

The smells coming from my kitchen today where fantastic.  From the sweet smell of freshly dug carrots to roasting onions, to fennel sautéing in olive oil.   And then there is the smell of curry.

 

roasted2I start with Roasted Carrot Soup as it needs to roast in the oven for at least 30 minutes.   You roast the carrots, an onion and garlic lightly coated in olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin.  

 

 

 

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After about 45 minutes in a 350 oven the carrots are roasted and tender. 

 

 

 

 

 

roasted6This is combined with vegetable stock and chicken stock in a large pot and pureed with an immersion blender.   Add a cup of sour cream and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.   Salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

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After cooling, I package for the freezer in 2 and 2 1/2 cup containers for use later.

 

 

 

 

 

The next recipe is the Curried Carrot Soupcurreyed2

This is similar to the first recipe except the carrots, and onions are sautéed and simmered in broth instead of roasted.

 

 

 

 

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This recipe has the most spices going on.  I cut down a bit on the amount of curry and switched the cayenne pepper to chipotle pepper.

 

 

 

 

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Again the soup is processed with an immersion blender and simmered again with the addition of sour cream.

 

 

 

 

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While this may look like the roasted carrot soup, one taste and you will not mix them up.  This is spicy, this is hot.  This soup has kick to it.   Because not everyone likes as much heat as I do, next time I’ll cut the pepper amount in half.

 

 

And now on to the Moroccan Carrot Soup.  

 

moroccan1This soup has more complex flavorings with the addition of sweet potatoes, and an apple added to the carrots.   And a dash  of lemon juice at the end.

 

 

 

 

moroccan3

 

But we start by sautéing fennel seeds in olive oil, then add the carrots, apple, sweet potato and sauté them as well for a few minutes.

 

 

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Then like the others, vegetable and chicken stock is added and the soup is simmered until all vegetables are tender.

 

 

 

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Remove the bay leaf and puree with my stick blender until smooth.  Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. 

Cool and package for freezer.

 

 

So now I have enough carrot soup in the freezer to get through to next carrot season.carrotsall

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