April 15, 2012

"Tired of Buying Ketchup" Ketchup

So, I got tired of buying expensive ketchup and knew that I could make my own with a little effort and less money.  Here it is:

1 24oz. jar of organic tomato puree
1 T onion flakes
3T cider vinegar
3T sorghum or agave
1 t celery seed
1/2 t salt
1/8 t ground cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t allspice

Mix and let rest for 1 hour before using.  Enjoy!

March 7, 2012

Split Pea Soup

This one uses fresh herbs and made a particularly good soup!

2 C split peas
4 large carrots, chopped
1 lb. mushrooms sliced
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 large sprigs thyme
1 T parsley
6-8 leaves sage
salt to taste

Add 10-12 cups of water.  Heat and serve.  I make this one in my pressure cooker.

March 4, 2012

Newspaper Peat Pots

For my summer garden, I have been sprouting seedlings.  However, I get frustrated every year with small peat pots because the margin of error to keep things alive is very small and not forgiving.  Plus, I don't want to pay for something I knew I could do myself.  Hence, the newspaper peat pot!  I am posting this for my reference as much as anyone else.

1/2 sheet of newspaper, cut in half

Fold the cut newspaper sheet in half.  The folded side will be the top of the pot.  Wrap the newspaper around a small glass or a vitamin bottle.  Use a small piece masking tape to secure it.  Tuck the bottom end in and smash it flat with your glass.  Voila!  Now fill it with dirt.  This will make a pot about 4" high and maybe 3" across.

This was inspired by a YouTube video that in my opinion uses WAY too much newspaper, but the concept is the same.  I'm betting mine will hold up through seedlings and hopefully be ready to fall apart on planting.  We'll see!  Pictures to come...

February 28, 2012

Star Anise Black Beans

I was introduced to this dish by one of my Chinese neighbors.  Very simple and delicious.  Goes great as a side dish with a Som Tam salad.  Som Tam traditionally uses thinly sliced green papaya.  A great way to use up the other half of that green papaya!

1/2 green papaya, medium-sized
4 C black beans, cooked
3-4 points of star anise (about one-half of a star)
1 C water
Salt to taste

Peel papaya and cut into cubes.  Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Then reduce to low heat for 15 minutes.  Serve hot.

This dish also works well cooking at low heat for hours at a time.  Very flexible dish.  Enjoy!

January 15, 2012

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Want a healthy version of alfredo sauce?  This recipe will really surprise you.  You would never know it had cauliflower.

1 head cauliflower
1 box silken tofu (any kind)
1 T miso
1 T nutritional yeast
1 t salt
1 T onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1 C soy milk (or water)

Chop and then steam the cauliflower until soft.  Put cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  For a thicker sauce, use less soy milk.  For a thinner sauce, use more.  Then, pour over pasta.  Usually, the hot cauliflower keeps the sauce at a good serving temperature.