Wednesday, June 28, 2006

6.28.06 Midweek Munchies and canning

HAPPY FAMILIES ARE NOT GROWN ON TREES,
THEY ARE GROWN AROUND THE DINNER TABLE.

This saying comes from an ad by Simply Organic spices, I liked it and now it comes from me. :)

I'm curious to know whether anyone was surprised by what they found out about their communities and the toxics emitted around them. Our comunity ranked within the top 30 of the cleanest with two problems about 15 miles from us. If you want a link to check go to SCORECARD.ORG. I noticed the ADM corn industry with four places in Iowa are big toxin problems.

And now - no more "problem" discussion, now on to solution discussion...back to more good ole' vegan down home food (or as "down home" as Iowa can get). Oh and the kitten, possible names: biscuit(thanks to Vicki's suggestion - Matthew likes it), frisky (Melissa suggestion), and mellow.... Dave says mellow, then maybe he can live up to his name.

This week's food purchases:
* Newman's Own MANGO medium salsa (not spicy at all, sweet!)
* Free sample from coop order p/u: Envirokidz Organic Gorilla Munch Cereal, looks like little balls of kix cereal.
* Jerusalem 100% organic whole wheat pita's... great list of ingredients, see it pictured to the left. I have stuffed some of Dreena's red pepper spread and roasted cauliflour into a pita.
* More Zesty Italian sausage from Yves, Dave really likes these on the grill.

GARDEN HARVEST:
Kale (probably the last of it)
Cauliflour and Broccoli
sweet peas in the pod for shelling
Brussel Sprouts (my second favorite)
Zucchini
Using the last of the frozen ROMA tomatoes
I've been up until 2-3 in the morning blanching and freezing broccoli cauliflower and kale. I really enjoy
ANDREA CHESMAN's book: SUMMER IN A JAR.
It is good for small batch canning. I adore the pickled cauliflour, which is what is shown in the picture. I have canned 4 quarts of these. I use a steam canner, which I find so much easier to use than a water bath. I am going to enter one jar of the cauliflower into the canning section at the county fair in July.

AWESOME WEBSITE ABOUT CANNING

I took out the last of the frozen roma tomatoes form last year (just froze them and stored in gallon freezer bags). I used 3 and 1/2 gallons to make a wonderful thick and chunky spaghetti sauce. I cook down the peel and all, let it reduce and blend with my kitchenaid hand held blender. I like it with mushrooms, but Matthew doesn't so I'll grill the mushrooms separately to add to my dish. I used a recipe from Bryanna's Nonna Italian cookbook, there are a variety of sauce recipes there.... the one I used is wine free and she says it was her husbands favorite. My husband agrees. Matthew made garlic toasted crostini to go with the spaghetti last night.

This is a picture of BROWN TVP strips that I buy from Country life natural foods. I like to use them as a beef sub in stirfries, which I have been doing this week as I deal with the fresh broocoli harvest. Well, stirfries and fresh broccoli salad. Other ways I like broccoli are with potatoes in a cheesy flavored soup, but it's to hot for soup right now.

Here's how I cook brown TVP strips, this recipe came from a side bar in one of Bryanna's cookbooks. Combine all together and cook 30 minutes or to desired tenderness. Cool and store in 2 cups containers, drain before using.
6 cups chunks
12 C water
3/4 C (6 oz) tomato paste
1/4 C nutritional yeast
3/4 Cups soy sauce
I then freeze them in batches that I can quick take out and thaw to use for stirfries, soup, and sometimes even BBQ sandwiches. The ingredient in this product is soy flour and natural caramel color. Check out the side bar link to Country Life Natural Foods for more info. I think they are very reasonably priced.

MEAL PLAN: I haven't got this far yet. I do know that I have a holiday weekend coming up and that we will be out and and about. Saturday we will be going to a small town fourth of July celebration. I used to sell granola at this celebration, although I enjoyed it and did well I'm glad this year that I will get to wander and enjoy the events. Tuesday I need to figure out what to take to a potluck.

I'D LOVE TO HEAR IDEAS ABOUT WHAT ANYONE ELSE TAKES TO POTLUCKS!

For more information about Midweek Munchies contact Harmonia.

17 comments:

Anderson, Cherie said...

I've never roasted cauliflower; that looks delicious! I haven't had luck with whole-wheat (or white, for that matter) store-bought pitas. They're so dry and unflavorful. I like making my own or eating them at restaurants.

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Great canning link! I haven't canned in so long--I don't have the space for it in our current kitchen, but I used to do it all the time. We have a thingy that's supposed to be a "turkey fryer" but I used it as an outdoor canner so I didn't have to steam up the kitchen. I miss all that homemade jam and salsa.

Tanya Kristine said...

i have a potluck every month. i've taken hummus, "chicken" wings (from veganlunchcast - the guy who mysteriously disappeared), sundried tomato balsamic vinegar rice salad (mmmm...), and next time i'm bringing dreena's chocolate cookies to amaze my friends!

Vicki said...

awesome post, dori. i checked the scorecard...very interesting - thanks for the link. love the canning! i have high hopes of doing some canning like my mom used to do ~ maybe next year. pot luck: how about Dreena's molasses baked beans, or her quinoa spring salad ~ both from vive.

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Dori - thanks for the scorecard website. I don't really know what to think after reading it. We didn't rate good for toxics or air which seemed contradictary from what I've heard (the stats are from 1999). Luckily, the problem spots are also at least 15 miles from us, but still!

How do you go about freezing your broccoli and cauliflower. Do you blanch it first?

-Crystal

Urban Vegan said...

we're going food shopping tonite--I love hearing what other vegans buy.

Happy 4th!

Luna said...

Hi again!I saw the picture of your kitten...how sweet!i have two cats too, their names are Bukra and Jamila ("tomorrow" and "beauty" in arabic).

I've been looking for some info about homeschooling in Italy, i found out that it is legal and even provided in the Italian Constitution, but i don't think it is really so widespred...

you know, there's the myth of working (as much as you can) as the aspect of primary importance in life;italians "imported" taht vision,wich leads to women not wanting to have children or waiting until it's too late...(as from my experience a woman choosing to stay at home with her children isn't considered in the right way, she isn't "modern"...strange evolution of years and years of women's rights struggles!!!)i think this is why "homeschooling" isn't common in italy, since nobody has the time (or the children hihihi)!!!a relative of mine is having a baby next month, and she is still working, planning to go back to work in a couple of months, and has already booked the nursery!!
:o) i'm kind of negative about this point, since i have a "simpler" view of life ;o)

to be honest:fast-food and junk food became a fashion in italy too ...damn "american dream" ;o) (i'm joking)
ciao dori wish you a lovely evening

Dori said...

Hi Cherie, I agree with you about the dry pitas. The cheap kangaroo brand from the grocery store is bad, can't open them without tearing. This jerusalem brand isn't bad at all. I have made pitas once, they are fun to watch in the oven!

Amy, a turkey fryer as a canner... that's interesting! My sis-in-law uses the oven and does them dry. I didn'e feel safe about that.

Great suggestions tanya kristine, thanks. I have been thinking strongly about starting my own veggie support group.

Vicki - I have been thinking about that quinoa salad... looks fabuolous! I also think it would be a great salad just to have in the frig to munch during the holiday break.

Crystal - Yes, I do blanch both cauliflour and broccoli. Then I freeze in small ziplock packages, but "suck" the air out while sealing (I don't have one of those fancy food savers, but my "fish lips" method seems to work okay).

Hi urban vegan - I like to "peek" into other vegan grocery carts also.

Hi Luna - I agree "pro-moms" are hard to find here. I'm on your side, slow food and home grown kids.

Carrie™ said...

I left a big long comment and blooger messed up again! I'll see if I can remember most of what I typed.
First, thank you Dori for visiting my blog. It's always nice to have comments.
I was intrigued by the scorecard, but alas, it's only good for the USA. I don't think where I live would score very well. It's a great place to live - very nice, clean and safe. But when I look out my window, across Lake Ontario, I can see giant clouds of smoke that are spewed out from the steel plants in Hamilton. I'm sure a lot of it blows over here.
My mom used to can anything and everything. Now that the kids are all grown and moved, she doesn't really bother. My favorite EVER was her pickled beets. I've done them and followed her recipe, but it's never as good as Mom's. I don't have the space right now, so I rely on the generousity of others.

Melody said...

Dori, I am so disturbed... I clicked that link and my county is the in the top 20% of the most polluted and the top 10% of the worst air quality.. omg.. I feel sick just thinking about it. You know, I was diagnosed with Lupus a year after moving here. We are always having air quality alerts.. and I live in "utopia".. the most expensive freaken town in New Hampshire, right near the beach. I know the air quality is from all the pollutants in the midwest being trapped in the ozone over the ocean.. uugghh.. I can't believe I'm raising kids here.. no wonder my son has allergy eyes..

Your pickled cauliflower looks great... I want that pita sandwich.. roasted cauliflower is the bomb!

KleoPatra said...

Great stuff, Dori. I had checked the scorecard out about San Diego yesterday... not TOO bad, all things considered.

Love the canning link. My mom used to do that back when my family lived in Illinois... I love pickling foods and love the flavour of pickled anything, pretty much. I am big on roasting and grilling vegetables, too. All these ways of preparation change the taste and usually the texture of veggies but it's only for the better, in my opinion!

Love the cat! MEOWZA!

Thanks for another wonderful post...

Catherine said...

I take tabouli (with chickpeas) to potlucks often -- it fills me up if there isn't much else there for me to eat, and everyone else loves it, too!

Catherine said...

ack! I just read on Kai's blog that you may be coming to the Cities sometime soon! If you need restaurant recommendations, let me know -- I can do some searching for you if you're interested!

(I'm so excited because I love Minneapolis a bunch. Silly like that.)

Jennifer C. said...

I checked the Scorecard link and my county ranked among the dirtiest/worst 20% of all counties in the U.S. in terms of air releases. It's funny because they (the politicians and media) try to sell this area as being one of the most liveable areas in the country(King County, WA), but really the whole county is on the verge of becoming a Superfund site.

I need to take a look at that canning book and website. Two years ago I canned some plums, but haven't done any more canning since then. This year our trees look like they are going to produce a huge amount of fruit, so I will need to find a way to preserve it.

funwithyourfood said...

I've never canned anything before. I've seen my grandma do it tho. That looks cool and brings back memories :)

Teddy

t. said...

Canning! I wish I knew more and that I had a more professional kitchen at hand!
Potlocks for me are kind of down times: usually people are skeptical abut vegan food and I usually end up bringing in a vegan dessert which is well disguised as such. whic also means I STARVE the entire meal since there is nothing I can eat...

Guitar Master said...

I wish I could blog as good as you, but what I can do is give you a nice Guitar Lesson!