Friday, 30 Apr 2021

While working on a recipe recently I needed lima beans and was having a hard time finding them. I looked at 3 different stores and finally decided that I was going to have to make a substitution. I settled on fava beans. I don’t think I had ever had fava beans before but I ended up loving them. They are plump and nutty tasting. I was so taken with them that I started looking for other recipes to make with them. I came across Ful Medames, a traditional Egyptian dish and thought it looked good since many of the ingredients were nearly identical to one of my favorite dressings. For Ful Medames you mash the beans into a spread but I didn’t want to mash the beans  so I added a few additional veggies and made a bean salad. Fava-licious.

I could talk about how I like this recipe because of the nice balance of flavors with the bite of arugula, the sweet oranges combined with the creamy millet. Or I could talk about how eating this makes me smile to think I’m eating bird seed and how I’ve become a Euell Gibbons of sorts (for those of you too young to know who I’m talking about he was a naturalist that appeared in Grape Nuts commercials in the 70′s eating anything from pine trees to cat tails). But really, it’s much simpler than that. I like it because it just tastes good. If you are looking for something new that’s clean and refreshing and has a delicious variety of flavors give it a try yourself. Who knows what you might find yourself eating next?

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner and that means the official start of summer. Grilling, picnics, reunions and festivals will fill the days ahead and so will all the delicious foods that are found there. Burgers, potato salad, baked beans, corn and sweet juicy watermelon are some of my favorite summertime foods but it’s always good to add a little change to the menu. Baked BBQ Lentils make a fun switch up to the usual baked beans. You can make them the classic way or dress them up with some colorful additions like red peppers and corn. Whichever way you go they will be delicious.

Yup, I’m still on a pea kick!  I just can’t get enough of them right now.  This time I bought a bunch of snow peas at the grocery store and decided to whip up this fresh and crisp asian inspired salad.  I had this salad as a main dish but it would work great as a side too.  It was quick to throw together and so refreshing after a day out in the sun.  Perfect for summer!!!

Black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice is so dramatic looking. It showcases other colors so well that when I found the most beautiful apricots in the market the other day I immediately thought of putting the two together. I could be happy with just those two things, a pool of black rice with a little apricot half nestled on top but I can’t settle for that, can I? No, I want something exotic and bursting with flavor but not so exotic that it’s difficult to make. This dish is just that, easy but so different and flavorful it will wow your tastebuds with the first bite. This dressing is great with chicken too so if you are a meat eater you can add some cooked chicken to make this dish a meal.

I love handbags.  Some women like shoes – I like handbags.  I have enough handbags that I could probably open a store and easily have enough inventory for a year.  I also collect stamps and little wooden boxes – weird, I know.  Apparently I collect cauliflower too.  Last week I opened my vegetable drawers and found I had 3 heads of cauliflower – that’s A LOT of cauliflower.  I used a bunch in my salads, shredded a whole head and made Crispy Fried Rice and even steamed a bunch for dinner one night.  Even after all that I still had a good amount of cauliflower left.  I Googled around for some recipes and got inspired after seeing a few for cauliflower couscous.  I love the way it turned out – perfect for summertime!  Enjoy.

I hope all you father’s out there had a great Father’s Day this past weekend. I had been reminiscing this past week of previous Father’s Days remembering how after church on Sunday we would all gather at my mom and dad’s house to cook out. Along with whatever was being cooked on the grill there were always fresh vegetables just picked out of my dad’s garden and strawberry shortcake made with his homegrown strawberries. What great memories!

I bet most everyone has had potato pancakes or at least heard of them and they are delicious, but now that I’ve tried Root Vegetables Pancakes regular potatoes have taken the back seat to these colorful and tasty little cakes. I’ll be the first one to say that beets have been, at best, on my ‘tolerated’ list of vegetables. They have certainly never been a star attraction. Lately though I’ve been using them in some different ways and found that they are delicious when prepared well. In this recipe beets are combined with carrots, onions and spices and held together by garbanzo flour which also adds a rich flavor as well as protein. Perfect as a side dish or as a meal paired with a fresh green salad.

We all have those days where everything just goes wrong or we don’t feel well or it’s just Monday and going back to bed sounds like heaven.  Days like that call for soup – but not just any soup – Miso Ramen Soup!  One bowl and your worries will be gone.  This stuff is powerful.  It’s amazing how good you feel after just one bowl!  Maybe it’s the fact that miso is bursting with health benefits.  Not only does it contain healthy doses of vitamin E, vitamin B12 and protein but it also has been shown to reduce the risk of breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer.  Miso has a very alkalizing effect on the body and strengthens the immune system to combat infection. Its high antioxidant activity gives it anti-aging properties as well.  It’s the new ‘chicken soup’ for the soul!

Castroville California is known as the artichoke capitol of the world. Did you know Marilyn Monroe was once crowned the Artichoke Queen in 1947? What does this bit of trivia have to do with this recipe? Nothing really but some good to know trivia about artichokes would be that the artichoke is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich vegetable that is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of folate and magnesium. Artichokes also are a natural source of antioxidants.