Posts tagged quick dishes
We still have blueberries in abundance and I’m making blueberry everything. Today I wanted something fast and cooling, so I made up a smoothie. I tried a new ingredient today with great success – fennel. I had a bronze fennel blow over in a recent storm, so had gone out and brought in the huge stem. I cut off all the leaf portions, which were substantial, a stored it in the fridge for use over the next several days.
I “accidentally” pulled the fennel bag out thinking it was something else and decided to give it a try. I was surprised by the combination of flavors and how well they blend, but also, by how strong the fennel leaf is.
Please remember my proportions are always guesstimates. Here’s my new combination:
Blueberry Fennel Smoothie
- 1.5 cups almond milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 large chard leaf
- 10 medium lettuce leaves
- 3 or 4 bronze fennel leaves (or regular fennel)
- 2 cups blueberries (or more if you like)
Place all ingredients in Vitamix (or blender) and puree. Drink immediately!
Hope you enjoy this unusual taste combination.
What’s your favorite smoothie?
Blueberries are a rather maligned fruit. Until recent years you couldn’t even buy them in a supermarket. All you could find were products with blueberries in them. That all changed when blueberries were found to be a “superfood.” Who would have thought that the lowly blueberry would be near the top of the heap in antioxidants. They’re also high in vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc, and iron.
Not only that, there have been studies that show that blueberries may protect the brain from aging diseases like Alzheimers. One study actually showed improvement in cognitive tests with just two weeks of high doses of blueberry juice. Now that’s a prescription I could follow.
North Carolina, where I live, is one of the biggest producers of blueberries in the nation. We have the perfect highly acidic soil and climate they seem to like. One of the first perma-crops we planted on our property were blueberries and this year they are really coming into their own. We have blueberries the size of quarters and an abundance of them.
Right now we’re just eating them fresh with a little maple yogurt; occasionally pairing them with strawberries. However, fresh blueberries are delicious in muffins and other quick breads, and we’ve made an amazing blueberry syrup by simply combining fresh berries and sweetener (Sucanat for us). It isn’t as thick as if you cook it, but it retains all those amazing nutrients and antioxidants.
One important thing to note is that organic blueberries have even higher amounts of nutrients. Domestic non-organic blueberries are listed as number 10 on the the dirty dozen list, so keeping them organic keeps you away from as many as 50 pesticides and give you even more of those desirable antioxidants!
Check to see if you can successfully grow blueberries in your area and plant a hedge of blueberries. They are attractive plants and will feed you better than a hedge of hollies will any day!
I was looking through all my old posts and was shocked that I had never shared one of my favorite salads! So, here’s the recipe for a delicious, quick salad. This is especially great during the summer when your lettuce has bolted.
Servings: 2-? (the more you cut up the more you feed)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Snow Peas
- Cumin seeds
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive oil
- Celtic Salt (Opt)
Directions: Chop up some of each vegetable and put in a serving bowl. Sprinkle cumin seeds, balsamic vinegar and Celtic salt over it. Drizzle a little olive oil on and toss lightly.
Can be served as is or put a rounded heap on a beautiful single lettuce leaf.
You can use other veggies as substitutes. These are my favorites though. You can toss in some fresh basil or other Italian herbs you enjoy for a little different taste.
Living in the mid-Atlantic states our winter weather is very variable. If we have winds from the south, like today, it is warm enough to walk around without a coat. However, tomorrow’s high may only be in the 30s or 40s if the wind is out of the north. On days when we have a surprise cold snap a wonderful steaming bowl of soup is on the menu. Here’s a hearty soup recipe that will cook up in approximately 30 minutes from scratch. I’ve used it for years now and we love it every time.
Please note all the amounts are approximate, because I just throw this soup together. You don’t really need to measure anything except the lentils.
Red Lentil Soup
- Fill 3qt pot ¾ of the way full with water
- 1-3 tsp salt (depending on your tastes)
- 1 cup of several of your favorite soup veggies: frozen lima beans, frozen or fresh peas, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, potatoes, even leftover veggies work great
- Italian herb blend (start with 1 tsp on each of the herbs, then adjust to taste)
- Dried basil
- 1 cup red lentils (must be red to cook fast)
Put pot on to boil, add salt, vegetables, and herbs. Bring to boil and boil for about 5 minutes. Then add the lentils and cook for another 10-15 minutes until lentils and veggies are cooked to your liking.
You can have tamari, pepper, ghee, or yogurt for people to add according to their liking. I particularly like it with a little extra freshly ground pepper, a dab of ghee, and a couple good sized scoops of yogurt in it, which gives it a nice tang.
Serve with homemade pumpernickel rolls (which I let the bread maker knead) with vegetarian or vegan sharp cheddar melted over it and you’ve got a healthy, nourishing, comfort lunch. We had it today and it was awesome!
- Plain yogurt or sour cream
Wash and place strawberries in a bowl. Put yogurt in a bowl. Put Sucanat, or other whole sugar in another bowl.
To eat pick up a strawberry, dip in yogurt then in sweetener. Munch to your hearts content!
Yogurt with Strawberries and Blueberries
- Plain yogurt
- Cinnamon or Chinese 5 Spice (opt)
- Vanilla extract (opt)
You can make this up a bowl at a time or mix all the ingredients in a larger bowl and serve it.
Wash, trim any bad spots and trim tops off strawberries. Wash and remove any stems from blueberries. Place both in a bowl. Add enough yogurt to coat them well. Stir in sweetener to your liking. Then sprinkle a scant ¼ tsp of either of the spices, for single serving, or 1 tsp for a large bowl. Again, just ¼ tsp of vanilla extract for a single serving, 1 tsp for a large bowl. Enjoy the slight tanginess of the yogurt with the sweetness of the fruit, mingled with the exotic flavor of the spices and extract.