Garden recipes!

from Michelle Jorgenson (more this week)–congrats to her for being so creative and resourceful with her spectacular garden (which will be featured on the GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover TV show, which we are almost done filming):

I love summer eating, because I try and use as much from the garden as I can.   You can tell your readers that if they don’t have a garden, try talking to their neighbors who do.   Often crops get out of control and gardeners throw away produce before they can get to it.   I just found a neighbor that has a HUGE patch of spinach and leaf lettuce.   It’s farther along than mine, and they weren’t using hardly any of it.   I asked if I can keep it picked so it won’t go to seed as quickly.   So I go pick it every third day or so, and it covers us for green smoothie ingredients.

So here’s some of the stand out  harvest recipes so far:

Salvadoran Radish Salsa

1 bunch radishes – any kind

3 tomatoes

1 small onion

1 bunch cilantro

1/4 t salt

juice from 1 lime

Chop all vegetable and mix.

Can also add the following for a hearty meal:

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 carrot, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 C jicama, chopped

1 cucumber, chopped

1 T rice vinegar

1 more lime juiced

Salt to taste

(I just planted a second crop of radishes just so I can make this!   Made up the second version and took to a family reunion – only thing on the table that was gone by the end of the meal!)

I was determined not to throw away anything, so I figure out this recipe from the radish leaves!

 

Radish Leaf Pesto and Noodles

2 large handfuls radish leaves (from 2 bunches radishes), stems removed

1/4 C Parmesan cheese

1/4 C Almonds or pine nuts

1 clove garlic, cut in four

2 T olive oil, or more to get consistency you like

salt and pepper to taste

1 package whole wheat pasta (penne or rigatoni is best)

Put all ingredients in a high powered blender and process in short pulses.   You will have to scrape down the sides to get it all mixed in.   Add more oil is it’s too thick.

Boil a package of whole wheat pasta.    Cook it  2 minutes less than the package says.   Drain noodles but keep some of the cooking water.   Put noodles back into pan over medium heat, and add pesto.   Stir to coat noodles.   If too dry, add some cooking water.   Cook until pasta is done- 1-2 more minutes.   (Your noodles will taste so much better this way!)

Also can put radishes into any salad or stir-fry.   You’ll be surprised at how mild they taste cooked.

Are you gardening yet?

I hope those of you doing 12 Steps are ready to look at Chapter 5, to plant an organic garden and use everything in it!

Today Jenni told me about this cool online tool, very easy to use, where you can map out your garden just by dragging and dropping the crops you want in each square.

We are planting spinach, kale, chard, and some other fun stuff this weekend. Sometimes it doesn’t work out because it freezes hard here in Utah, right after the seeds sprout, but I’m anxious to get some greens going, so I’m going for it. Especially with the supply problem in Texas, Mexico, etc., I am reminded of the importance of self-reliance!

I love my compost pile: CAUGHT ON VIDEO

I like gardening, but I love composting. It’s a no-brainer. It’s one of those “life is an eternal round” things. Maybe I’m weird and the Depression-era mentality lasted three generations, in me. But I love “waste not, want not” and I hate the throw-away generation and attitude. Turn your food into food for your food. Does anybody love plant garbage like I do?

Check it out here:

It’s a Beet Monster

I’m not even sure what to say about this, that came out of my garden today. Technically it’s a beet. I’m not sure the photos let you appreciate just how big it is, about 12 in. tall. It looks like a replica of a human heart—blood color, to be sure, but also with the aorta and ventricles and stuff.

So here it is: I cut the skin off, and chopped it into chunks. Then baggies in the freezer. It’s now 32 days’ worth of Hot Pink smoothie that I’ve been obsessed with, for breakfast, for about 8 years now (beets, carrots, frozen strawbs, coconut liquid—see Ch. 10 of 12 Steps, YUM).

Hello from 13,000 feet up in the Andes: Part 2

Our 11-day trip to Peru will soon be over, and it’s officially the only long trip I have ever taken where I wished I could stay. Emma and I have fallen madly in love with 34 little brown children. We just went to church with them, where some of the girls were wearing Emma and Libby’s old dresses, which delighted Em. I have seen my daughter learn and grow in a profound way (her Spanish has  improved in a quantum way because she’s so motivated to express herself to the orphans). Today we visit babies in a hospital in Cusco and give them the donations we brought.  Babies go home wrapped in newspapers there, because the families are so poor.

One thing I won’t miss: the kids all call me Shakira, and I have had to respond to demands to ¡CANTA! and ¡BAILA! oh, I don’t know, 200 times? After singing Hips Don’t Lie and Underneath Your Clothes a few times, and doing Shakira’s hip-shakin’ thing, I decided that Ritchie Valens’ La Bamba would be more appropriate to sing. The kids vastly prefer my dancing to my singing. The adults called me Barbie (including random strangers when I went running every morning, ” ¡Hola Barbie!”). Apparently the only two people the orphans and even most of the adults have been exposed to, who have long blonde hair, are Shakira and Barbie? At first the kids would take my long hair and drape it over their heads to pretend it was their hair, and they’d surreptitiously pull out a strand of my hair to keep. Then after a while they got bold and would beg me to cut off a lock of my hair. (That’s where I draw the line.)

On New Year’s Eve we had a huge party for the kids at the orphanage, with live music, crafts, fireworks like I have never seen before, and a traditional feast the expedition volunteers paid for. The younger ones could barely prop their eyes open at the end of the night but, when asked to go to bed, pleaded, ” ¡Por favor, no!”

I met the most gorgeous 4 y.o. boy, Marco, who has cerebral palsy, and I held him and danced with the others for a couple of hours to give his mother a rest. His mother Kynet had apparently been told what I do in the U.S. and asked me, shyly: Will you help me with nutrition, for Marco? She was the cook at the orphanage until carrying Marco on her back tied with a shawl (all the women here do that) became too much for her.

Yesterday I had a meeting with her, with my friend Van translating, as my Spanish is adequate but I don’t have the sophisticated vocabulary for everything I wanted to say.

Kynet is very poor and has no education, but she is one of the most motivated, intelligent, loving mothers I have ever met. She talked about how Marco’s father (her common-law husband) said, “I will never smile again until my son is well.”

Kynet juices carrots and beets for her tiny boy, who is the size my children were at 15 months. She then adds the pulp to rice–brilliant!–rather than throwing it away. She didn’t know that brown rice is much more nutritious than white rice, and the grama of the orphanage, Eunice, told her where to buy it. We discussed high calorie and high nutrition foods such as avocado and banana to feed Marco more of. I taught her how to sprout seeds and raw nuts, and I emphasized the importance of raw foods. Kynet uses a cheap blender, because Marco cannot masticate food so she blends most of it. I am going to talk to BlendTec: between us we will get a Total Blender to Kynet. I told her she is a wonderful mother, smart and attentive, the mother God chose very specifically for Marco.

Marco has winces with pain when he eats anything slightly cold or hot because of impacted teeth needing extraction. The anaesthesia used by locals could put Marco in a coma, so a pediatric oral surgeon is needed, and one does not exist in the entire state of Cusco. My friend Van and I talked for a minute about how to get such a doctor to fly to Lima, and pay for Kynet and Marco to go to Lima. Kynet looked us both in the eyes, back and forth, and whispered in Spanish,

“I plead with you.”

The love of a mother. It is profound. It made tears well up in my eyes, in Van’s, and in Kynet’s, and I have the same reaction writing this. As difficult as life will be for Marco, a severely handicapped boy in a third world country, whose father makes $200/month, his eyes shine from all the love he’s given daily. The 34 children of the Sunflower Orphanage break my heart even more.

I have had much to reflect on during many hours of physical labor at the orphanage.   We planted a vegetable garden, ploughed and planted a wheat field, painted dorms, hauled rocks, built a swing set, built an outdoor sink. And played with the children, read to them, did arts and crafts with them, loved them up. If only you could love and touch and physically give enough to a child in a week to shore up a lifetime. It takes $30K and 2 years to get a child out of a Peruvian orphanage, only if you’re lucky.

Primary among my reflections has been how significant parents are. I cannot really describe for you the effect on me–and more importantly, on my daughter–of spending an intensive week serving and loving children who have no mothers, no fathers. The children are fascinated by parents and grandparents and grilled me endlessly about mine: How old are they? Where do they live? Do you live with them?

I will post a photo of my meeting with Kynet, Van, and Marco when I get home. Give your children, if you’re blessed to have them, an extra hug from the GSG readers who are here. All the children of the world deserve parents.

raw food: here’s what’s in my dehydrator right now

You know I love my dehydrator, especially this time of year when I’ve got so much stuff coming out of the garden that I don’t want to go to waste. Right now I have all 9 trays full in my dehydrator with two recipes contributed by readers. (I love y’all! Thanks for your ideas and support of each other!)

Tonya’s cheesy kale chips are filling four trays and they are INCREDIBLE, hard to believe how much nutrition you’re getting just snacking. I just took them out and ate a bunch of them while I wrote this. Just press one side of your leaves of kale in the “sauce.” Doubling the recipe will fill your 9 trays.

Here’s my recommendation on the site, if you don’t have a dehydrator yet and want more info (plus one of my recipes for flax crackers): http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/robyn-recommendations/dehydrators/

Tara C. gives this tip for using those baseball-bat sized zucchinis in the garden and I’ve got 4 trays of zucchini moons almost dry–just tried one, and I like them. Super easy

! Silly Dilly Zucchini Moons

Slice zucchini in half length-wise.

Scoop out inner core of seeds.

Turn over and slice thinly (about 3/8-inch thick).

Spread on dehydrator trays and sprinkle with dill. Dehydrate until crispy.

Enjoy plain or with a yummy, dilly dip.

Now that I’ve removed the kale chips, I’m going to use up the big boxful of cherry tomatoes my son hauled in yesterday, with this idea also from Tara C.:

Cheery Cherry Pizza Snacks

(My kids say these taste like mini-pizzas.)

Slice cherry tomatoes in half, toss with pizza seasoning (I get it from Azure Standard) and dry till crisp. Enjoy!

(Tara would like suggestions to improve on this idea.)

Here’s Tara’s last idea, which I’ll try next:

Gingered Zucchini Bites

Slice zucchini as above. Before dehydrating, soak for 30-60 minutes in pineapple juice mixed with 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, 1/2 cup agave, and a dash of cinnamon. Dry in dehydrator until crispy. These look lovely in your pantry stored in Mason jars with a little raffia tied on top–pretty enough to give away!

This morning at 5:30 a.m., I made some pesto from the basil, spinach, and tomatoes in my garden. See your Jump-Start collection on the site for that recipe–whole-grain pasta with pesto is one of my kids’ favorites. Then I made a variation on that, some zucchini pesto with barely steamed zucchini, basil, kelp, cayenne, walnuts, sea salt, olive oil, mustard seed, and Bragg’s. I put these two types of pesto in pint jars, labelled them, and froze them. I think I’ll share a pint with a few friends this weekend.