July 30, 2010

Fresh Cherry Pie Filling

Get your fresh cherries while they are in season and inexpensive! You can fill a delicious summer tart with this filling or you can can it. It is a satisfying treat to be able to open a jar of homemade cherry pie filling in the middle of winter. I canned 6 jars last year and used them all. I would chop up a few apples then open one of my canned cherry pie fillings and pour it over the apples and top the fruit with a crumb topping. This makes for a delicious comfort food on cold fall and winter evenings.

(Labels: If you like these adorable labels here is were I printed them for free: www.hp.com When you get to the hp web site you'll want to type the following into their search engine: vintage handcrafted product labels. I cut them out and used extra sturdy double stick tape to attach them to my jars.)

The following recipe fills one 1/2 quart jar (or one pie worth of filling).

2 cups fresh pitted cherries
1/2 cup water
1/4-1/2 cup raw cane sugar (my cherries were very sweet I used just 1/4 cup sugar)
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a saucepan, cook cherries in water for 10 minutes. Mix together the sugar and cornstarch; add to cherries. Cook cherry mixture until thickened. Cool slightly before using to fill pie shell. If you are canning the filling you'll want to fill your sterile canning jars with the hot pie filling. Tightly seal your jars and place in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Remove from bath and cool completely. Enjoy!
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July 9, 2010

Lentil Dal Patties

These are suppose to be eating like a burger on a bun, but I think they turn out much too soft to eat on a bun. It was satisfying eating it just like the picture shows. These patties are full of flavor!

1/2 cup dried red lentils
1 cup organic chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 carrot, grated
1/2 a yellow or red pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup rolled oats

In a small saucepan, cook lentils in broth until tender (bring lentils to a boil, turn down to low, cover and simmer about 15 minutes). Saute onion and garlic in oil until they begin to soften; add spices and cook one minute. Add lime juice, tomato paste, coconut milk and cooked lentils. Simmer until thickened. In a medium bowl, combine the lentil mixture, carrot and pepper. Add oats 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture is firm enough to shape into patties. Shape into patties. I then floured each side of the patties in a unbleached all-purpose flour. This gave it a nice crunchy outside. Pan fry the patties in a little bit of olive oil; topping them with cheese for the last couple minutes of cooking so the cheese can melt (cheese is optional). Again, the patties ended up being crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside so they are wonderful eating topped with fresh vegetables. Enjoy!
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July 7, 2010

Garlic Sauteed Greens

I harvested our first crop of collard greens this afternoon! Collard greens are great thrown in soups, but on a hot summer day they are delightful sauteed up with a bit of olive oil and garlic.

4 cups chopped raw greens
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

Garnish (optional):
1/2 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon tamari (soy sauce)

For collard greens (or any greens with tough stems), cut the leaves away from the stem before washing. Wash greens carefully. An easy way is to fill your sink with cold water and submerge the greens. If the water has a lot of sediment, drain the sink and repeat. Chop greens into thin strips. I like to roll each collard leaf up like a cigar and then make 1 inch slices. When it unrolls you have a perfect strip. Heat oil in a skillet. Add garlic and saute a minute or so. Add greens and keep them moving in the skillet. Turn frequently so that all the greens reach the heat. When all the greens have turned bright green and begun to wilt, remove from heat. Make sure the are cooked well so that they aren't bitter, but not too much (you want them to have a little crunch left). Sprinkle with vinegar and tamari over the top (after removing from heat). Toss gently and serve. Enjoy!
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July 5, 2010

Fruit Juice Gelatin

A refreshing snack!

Complements: www.thenourishinggourmet.com (I did change it a bit)

4 cups of 100% juice (apricot nectar or papaya juice mix are especially good and organic if possible)
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons gelatin
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups fresh berries (I used blueberries and Rainier cherries)

Put the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Leave for 5 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, heat about two cups of the juice and the honey on the stove and bring to a boil. Place the gelatin/water mixture in a medium size bowl and add the hot water, stirring for one minute and the gelatin is thoroughly dissolved. Then add the rest of the juice. In 8 ramekins or a small casserole dish, place your berries and pour over the gelatin juice mixture. Place in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours to set. When cool, you can cover with plastic wrap. Enjoy!
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July 2, 2010

Roasted Garbanzo Benas

These make a terrific snack! Garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) are high in fiber, protein, iron and folate (just to name a few benefits)!

complements: www.marthastewart.com

19 ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of your favorite dried herb or spice (optional)

Drain, rinse, and pat dry the garbanzo beans. Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs/spices. Arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and cook at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Be sure to stir them every 15 minutes.  I tend to take them out just before they are done, they continue baking a bit as they are cooling.  You don't want to over cook them, otherwise they get really crunchy.  I like them crunchy on the outside, but still a bit soft on the inside.   Serve at room temperature. Chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
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