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Archive for March, 2007

Pun’kin

Pumpkin bread is a never-fail for me – it’s one of those things that I can eat whenever I need a little comfort – something about all those warm spices.  I’ve been tweaking a pumpkin break recipe for a while to make it a little healthier.  Typically, these sweet breads are packed with sugar and fat, and not that I’m against those things (my wise mother always said “A day without butter is a day without sunshine”, and I have to agree), it’s just that I tend to enjoy this bread often, and so I feel better about it knowing it’s just a little healthier.  I’m not sure that I’m completely done tweaking, but it’s pretty freaking good as it is.

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1/2 can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (you can also use canola – I used grapeseed because Dr. Weil says it’s good for me.  I’m sure you could substitute applesauce for the oil in this recipe too, I just tend to eat any applesauce I have before it makes it into any other dish)

2 eggs

1 – 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat if you like a fluffier, less dense bread)

1 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar

 3/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

Spices: 3/4 tsp. nutmeg, 3/4 tsp allspice, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, some pumpkin pie spice if you’ve got it

Additions: I had some crystallized ginger and dried cranberries (about 1/2 cup of each) which I chopped and threw in – it would also be great with nuts, any dried fruit, or chocolate chips if you want to up the sweet factor.

Combine the wets (pumpkin, eggs, oil, sugar), then add the drys – easy peasy!  I baked these in a set of four Silpat mini-loaf pans – I find it easier to limit myself that way.  I keep one on the counter for immediate consumption, then throw the other three in the freezer to take out one wonderful morning at a time.  I’m sure this amount would fit pretty easily in a standard loaf pan as well. 

Bake at 300º for 50-60 minutes, depending on your oven.  Let them rest in the pan for a couple of minutes, then pull out to cool, or to immediately shove in your mouth.  Mmm, tastes like Christmas…

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Heh – forgive the title.  This was my first attempt at cooking tempeh – I don’t eat a lot of meat, but need to keep my protein up, so I’m trying to break out of the tofu rut and experiment!  I started out with a funky grainy block of soy, and ended up with a pretty yummy meal.  We had plenty of bok choy from our farm share to use, so I developed this dish…

mise en place

Rice, pasta, any grain – I used the new Trader Joe’s Mixed Grain blend, with orzo, mini garbanzo beans (!) and quinoa

about 2 cloves garlic – again, I used the bizarre one-clove heads they sell at TJs, and used about 1/2 of that

fresh ginger and turmeric

1 package tempeh, diced to bite-sized pieces

about 3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1 large head bok choy, or other leafy green

pepper to taste, cilantro to sprinkle

I had mixed luck when trying the TJ’s grain blend on the stove the other day, so I tried it in the rice cooker this time and it turned out great – a nice basic compliment to the salty dish.  Heat some olive oil in a large skillet or wok and saute the garlic until golden.  Grate the ginger and turmeric (added bonus: yellow fingers!) and add to the pan.  Once you start to smell the flavors, add the tempeh and tamari and saute until the tempeh is browned nicely.  Add the bok choy stems and cook until almost tender, then add the leaves and cover.  In about 2 minutes, you’ll have a steamy mixture – it’s at this point that I started to hear “Man, that smells good” from the living room. 

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I seasoned this with a little pepper and fresh cilantro from the garden, and spooned it out on top of a big bowl of grains and had a really good one-dish meal – I realize that I’m setting up a bit of a pattern… grain, protein, greens – I’ll have to break out of that this weekend and try something different.  These are often my favorite go-to dinners, though – easy, healthy and delicious.  A little of this stuff went a long way because the tempeh is such a dense addition, so we had leftovers for days!  Well, since Chris just had dental work, I had leftovers for days, and he had soup and juice for days. 

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Rice and Eggs

I thought this recipe sounded pretty strange, at its face, but it’s become a staple in our household.  Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone:

1 cup rice

Onion, garlic, assorted greens – any veggies you have around

1 or 2 eggs

about 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

salt and pepper

First, cook rice – either on the stove, or the cheater way that I prefer – in the rice cooker.  While the rice is cooking, saute the onion and garlic with whatever fresh veggies you have on hand.  For me, we had just picked some of our chard and tiny baby beets with their greens from the garden, and we had some extra dandelion greens from our farm share (www.bewiseranch.com).  When the rice is done cooking, quickly stir in 1 or 2 raw eggs – you need to stir quickly so the egg doesn’t cook, but it only coats the rice.  Combine the rice with the veggies, sprinkle with walnuts, and enjoy.  This dish tastes so hearty, healthy, and strangely enough, buttery!  It’s the easiest dish I make – enjoy.

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Hello!

Welcome to Eating the Garden!  I just know that there are tons of like-minded people out there who share my love for cooking, eating, gardening and community, so this is my extended hand.  I live in Ocean Beach, a community in San Diego, CA, and have just begun developing my rental space into a thriving vegetable garden with the help of my wonderful boyfriend.   Our teeny tiny kitchen in our teeny tiny cottage is just big enough for me to cook and for Chris to do dishes – perfection.  This blog will be a place for me to talk about yummy recipes, to vent about tomato hornworms, and to share anything else that catches my eye.  Come back and visit – I promise to update as much as I can.

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