Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ringing in the summer solstice with the last of the spring peas

Lemon peas and mushrooms

Summer has finally arrived, and it's a sultry, steamy day here.  We're celebrating the change in seasons by feasting on the last of the spring peas.  We've enjoyed sitting on the porch while we shelled peas for dinner.  Now summer weather will soon be bringing tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and all the other heat loving crops.  While we wait, we savor the last of the peas...

This simple recipe can be made with freshly shelled or frozen peas

Lemon Peas and Mushrooms

serves 3-4

4 cups fresh or frozen peas
1 cup slice mushrooms
1/4 cup onion, chopped (I used spring onions)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon
1/4 cup water
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a lidded saute pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, mushroom, and garlic until the the onion is translucent.  Add in the peas, squeeze the juice from the lemon half over everything and grate in a little of the zest of the lemon.  Add the water and cover the pan with a lid.  Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  Check to see if the peas are done.  Simmer a few minutes longer if needed until peas are as soft as you like them.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer reading list

 Flowers in a neighbor's garden

During the lazy days of summer, when it's too hot to do much outside or if you are going on vacation and want to have something interesting to read, you might enjoy one of these:

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Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life (Thich Nhat Hanh, Lilian Cheung)
An exploration into cultivating mindfulness in eating and everyday life.  

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Turning Your Mind into an Ally (Sakyong Mipham and Pema Chodron)
I was introduced to this book during a class, and find it is a helpful resource if you are interested in exploring the basics of meditation,  Stories and simple guidelines are used to help you create a personal practice.


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Recommended by a friend, I'm looking forward to reading this account of a family's adventures of abandoning the commercial food pipeline for a year and living a rural life while growing their their own food or sourcing it from their own neighborhood.

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Thunder in Her Body (C. B. Stanton)
If you want pure entertainment for a sultry summer day, this book is just the thing. A change from her usual non-fiction offerings, a long-time family friend has published her first novel.   Set in New Mexico, this book is a perfect romantic escape for mature readers. 

So pour yourself a tall glass of refreshing iced carrot ginger lemonade or whip up a decadent vegan malted frostie to sip while you sit back and enjoy a good book.

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New blooms in my garden

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's time to make the donuts and a new cookbook to explore

Dreaming of Donut Holes

I've been exploring a new cookbook - if you can call it that as there's no cooking required.  It's a book of raw food recipes called Ani's Raw Food Kitchen.  With the summer garden chores kicking into full gear, sometimes there isn't much time or need to do much cooking of freshly harvested vine-ripened produce.  While we're waiting for the summer crops to grow, my son and I experimented with our version of Ani's Dreaming About Donut Holes using the ingredients we had on hand.  Although they look like conventional donut holes, they are tasty, vitamin, mineral and fiber packed treats that you won't feel guilty about having for a snack.  They take about 15 minutes to prepare in a food processor.  

Dreaming About Donut Holes

makes 15-18

1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cups  unsulphered dried mango (original recipe called for dried pineapple)
1 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates
1/4 cup plus additional 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut 

In a food processor, process the almonds until they become finely chopped into a coarse meal.  

Add all the the rest of the ingredients (except 1/4 cup of the coconut) to the bowl along with the almonds.  Process until everything is finely chopped and beginning to clump together. 

Form the dough into balls about the size of donut holes.  Roll each in the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded coconut to coat.

These can be eaten right away, but I like the texture better once they've been chilled and firm up a bit.  They will keep over a week in the refrigerator - although I doubt they will last that long.  

Tower of tasty treats

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Sunflower blooming in the garden