Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yummy Way to Get Your DHA!

Balsamic Flax Oil
-from Vive Le Vegan by Dreena Burton

1/4 c.balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic cut into four slices

1/2 c. flax oil
Place vinegar and garlic in a small bowl or container (I used a small Ball canning jar.) Allow to sit for 15 minutes or more depending on how garlicky you like things. Remove the garlic before adding the oil. Combine oil and vinegar. Refrigerate until ready to use. Keep refrigerated.
Drizzle over anything the fits your fancy!

Delicious! I hope to try this with hemp seed oil next time.
I just discovered that Dreena has a blog: eat, drink & be vegan

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Blustery Day

The weather on the East Coast is horrendous! Flooding abounds, puddles are pools, and the wind seems to want to rip our home to shreds! A perfect day for soup, storage, slacking, and surfing the web!

Around 2:00 this afternoon, I threw together this recipe from BHG, courtesy of  FatFreeVegan:

Spiced Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Recipe By     :Better Homes and Gardens
Serving Size  : 5     

A very simple but satisfying soup--actually more like a stew.  Put it in your crockpot in the morning, and come home to a wonderful meal!

If you can't find garam masala, you can make your own from this easy recipe.

  1                cup  dried lentils
  2 1/2           cups  butternut squash cubes -- (3/4-inch)
     1/2           cup  chopped onion
     1/2           cup  chopped carrot
     1/2           cup  chopped celery
  2                     garlic cloves -- minced
  1           teaspoon  garam masala
  4               cups  low sodium vegetable broth

1. Rinse and drain lentils. In a 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker place lentils, squash, onion, carrot and celery. Sprinkle garlic and garam masala over vegetables. Pour broth over all.

2. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high heat setting for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. [Adjust seasoning.] Ladle into bowls.

  "BHG Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes"
  "7 cups"
Start to Finish Time:

I modified the recipe a bit by increasing the squash to 4 cups, and almost doubling the rest of the ingredients. Ten minutes before serving, I added 1 cup of Israeli cous-cous (my new obsession). Delicious! 

I've got the nesting bug early in this pregnancy, I think! I'm 8 weeks along and already feel the urges to organize, primp, de-clutter, and clean. Today I moved a three-compartment bench from the floor of my kitchen to a large (useless) cubby hole that is built in the wall. I don't know why I didn't do this before! The compartments, which usually hold baskets, are perfect for my cookbooks. The bench itself created a wonderful shelf space for pots and pans that I don't use often. And now the cubby hole is functional--my favorite kind of space! I will say, though, that J was upset with me for moving something "heavy" above my head. I'm just angry at how out of shape I am. I definitely pulled a butt-muscle!

Pics to follow.

The final to-do (but not must-do) for today was to research registry options. My mother told me to "make sure" I register so that family member can alleviate some items on our list of baby necessities. My problem is this: there is no one company which sells everything I prefer. We're definitely going to cloth-diaper, so there are specific cost-effective sites for that. We want eco-friendly materials for baby items, such as sustainable wood for the crib, no VOC's in the laquer on the highchair, and BPA free plastics, if plastic is necessary. So, there are sites for these types of items. Finally, we can't neglect the fact that our kid will need a decent car seat, a playpen, a carrier, and safety gates. These items can be found reasonably-priced on yet another site!

After looking at pricey eco-friendly sites like this and this, I've decided to create a cloth diaper registry at a site TBD, a general-needs registry with Babies-R-Us (They have eco-friendly products! I'm proud of them for offering so many!), and an everything-else registry with Wishpot.

Now I just have to decide what's needed! (And I think I've got a little bit of time... :) )

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall Flavors

Oh, how I love the fall. It's been getting cooler here, then warm, then cool, but I refuse to let those warm days erase the fact that it is October! In protest of warmth, I wore a (light) turtleneck to work on Thursday and decided to break out my cranberry sauce recipe tonight.

So, in honor of autumn, my kick-off-the-season meal:

Baked Acorn Squash
I found some relatively small acorn squashes at the market last week, which are the perfect size for just two eaters. Baked the squash halves in a 1/4" water bath for.........however long it took me to make the rest of the meal. Thirty minutes, maybe?

Israeli Cous-Cous Stuffing 
I made this recipe up on the fly. It would work with a number of different fruits/flavors.

1 onion, diced
1 apple, diced (I left the skin on because I'm lazy)
1 large handful of dried apricots, chopped
3/4 c. slivered almonds
1 3/4 c. Israeli cous cous
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup orange juice
2 tsp. Garam Masala, or to taste
Hot curry paste to taste

1. Saute onions and apples in olive oil until they begin to soften.
2. Add apricots and garam masala, salt and pepper
3. Add water and OJ and bring to a boil.
4. Pour in cous cous. Lower heat and cover. Allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes.
5. Stir in almonds and curry paste (if using).

Place a pat of Earth Balance, salt, and pepper inside each squash half. Spoon stuffing into cooked squashes.

Cranberry Sauce

3/4 c. water
1/2 c. orange juice
3/4 c. sugar
12 oz. bag of cranberries
1 cinnamon stick

1. Bring water, oj, and sugar to a boil.
2. Add cranberries and cinnamon stick.Return to boil.
3. Lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until thickened.
4. Pour into a bowl, allow to cool to room temperature. Chill in refrigerator.

Hooray for Fall!

About the title

I have loved this poem since I first read it.  It captures so clearly the historically-female ties that bind. I like to interpret the poem further, and use it as a reminder that the smallest tasks, the "daily," are what comprise life--of what we (men and women of all creeds) truly live for.


These shriveled seeds we plant,
corn kernel, dried bean,
poke into loosened soil,
cover over with measured fingertips

These T-shirts we fold into
perfect white squares

These tortillas we slice and fry to crisp strips
This rich egg scrambled in a gray clay bowl

This bed whose covers I straighten
smoothing edges till blue quilt fits brown blanket
and nothing hangs out

This envelope I address
so the name balances like a cloud
in the center of sky

This page I type and retype
This table I dust till the scarred wood shines
This bundle of clothes I wash and hang and wash again
like flags we share, a country so close
no one needs to name it

The days are nouns:  touch them
The hands are churches that worship the world

 ~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~