MALIBU, California

MALIBU, California

Sunday, September 23, 2012

TGGD Celebrating the wonders of Vegetarian Food & Changing Seasons

 Change of Seasons &  A Plan of Action:
In these more "advanced" countries of the west we seem to  have "lost our way" from the "Good old days" where each season was celebrated either with a festival or gathering of different crops and produce.
Global farming and "under glass" growing has replaced seasonal crops, in many countries and along with that, the ability of the body to get the seasonal plant based proteins and fiber it desperately needs.

In Europe nettles begin to grow at the beginning of Spring  the time that human beings need to eat, there and then, at their peak of  freshness  and immaturity for their vital minerals. Few people even bother to collect nettles now, (dried ones are really not the answer) the same goes for first of Spring  dandelions, a great diuretic for the kidneys.

So let's change a few things and at the start of every new Season, be conscious about what you are putting into your body and if possible do a 24 hour detox/fast/juice help rid your body of excesses over the past 3 months.
Increase the amount of fresh green vegetables, cut down on dairy, caffeine,red meats, alcohol and any animal fats.
Make a note to drink an extra 3 x10fl ozs spring or filtered water every helps if you do it longer but if you can remind yourself to do it at the beginning  of each new season you will see the results, more energy, better skin tone, less anger and anxiety.

The following will help support the body and keep your inner workings calm as you transition into ANY new season:

Raw sauerkraut &/or a non-dairy pro-biotic
Flax seed oil  1 tsp in a salad every other day for a week or more
Pumpkin seeds (1 tbsp pumpkin seeds in a salad every week works wonders)
or 1 tbsp. black sesame seeds

Especially as we enter into the cooler months, eat more fresh fruit and vegetables washed well and raw, to increase Vit C intake..juice more.
Eat far more parsley as it has more Vit C than citrus, plus chlorophyll ,& calcium.
Try and eat the raw fruits/fruit juices at breakfast time as they are digested better when  they are the only thing in the stomach.

To support the liver during this cleansing more:
Broccoli, sprouted nuts,( washed well and soaked overnight, especially raw, shelled almonds) Brussels sprouts, RAW flaxseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cabbage, turnip, and beets ( all of which are coming in season).
..................... The Menu chosen for the first Monday of Fall is:

Fresh tomato soup with basil

"Old fashioned" lentil soup with carrots and celery

SPICY Black bean and fresh sweetcorn chowder

Sweet potato and maple soup


Roasted root vegetables ( parsnip, carrots, red potatoes, onions) with poppy seed crepes and pico de galdo

Whole grain pasta with a vegetable ragout ( green beans, mushrooms,and zucchini)

A SPICY "Nacho" salad with red kidney beans, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, olives, crumbled cheese, Broccoli Rabe, toasted sweetcorn actually served on Toastadas ( fried corn tortillas)

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe and Kale with flax seeds and own dried raisins


Whole wheat oatmeal  raisin -walnut cookies

Another few tips:

Texture plays a big part in  the enjoyment of food, when you are enjoying your next meal take a few moments and close your eyes as you chew..think about textures that you are enjoying then try and re-create when you make the dish at home.

A lot of Mexican and South American recipes, call for Fresh Cheese this is a crumbled cheese and the best way to produce it at home is to freeze a block of your fav. cheese or whatever is at hand, defrost overnight in the fridge, the next day when you come to use it, it will ONLY  crumble,you  will not be able to grate it as the ice crystals have broken the cheese down but it does give the same texture as authentic Mexican-South American dishes ( this is way better than using feta cheese which tends to be salty and fresh cheese is not)..and freezing does not alter the taste.

When making crepes, add various things to the batter eg. today I added cornmeal to the crepe batter and fresh chopped parsley, along with the poppy seeds.
Cornmeal adds a good texture to crepes and almost another "south of the border" feel..also saves having to buy masa (ground corn) flour or even fresh masa blocks.

Adding  fresh herbs to crepes also adds a depth of flavor.

I also prefer Pico d'Galdo  to most salsa's as it is almost like a cross between and salad and a chutney..just chop tomatoes, bell peppers, scallions, cilantro, *(you can add raw chili for heat), and any salad items you have spare..I used some "Persian" Cucumbers ..small pickle sized that do not need peeling, you can also add chopped red radish or daikon, or Jicama..season with sea salt, ground pepper and lime or lemon juice and chill ( if making the day before only add the salt and citrus juice on the day of serving or it will make the cilantro turn black).

Serve with is fabulous and very fresh tasting.other herbs that work are mint or parsley.

Here are some Photos for your pleasure:

tomatoes, celery,  zucchini, carrots and parsnips

Kale left...Broccoli Rabe right

Broccoli Rabe

Scallions aka green onions

Blanched Kale

own grown "white " eggplants..heirloom variety egg shaped as in name

Sweet potato soup top and Tomato-basil lower..both finished with coconut cream

Old fashioned lentil with parsley

Close-up of the sweet potato with maple syrup and coconut cream

Close-up old fashioned lentil with parsley

Close-up of the tomato with basil and coconut cream

Black bean and corn chowder side view

Pico d'Galdo veggies

Spicy kidney bean and corn mix for the tostadas

The packed nacho-toastada mix

Poppy seed and parsley crepes for the roasted vegetables with pico d'galdo

Friday, September 21, 2012

Great Balls of Summer..recipe

Ok we are now heavily into tomato production and have loads of inexpensive really great tomatoes in the is a quick way to make a great dinner/supper everyone will enjoy

Great Balls of Summer

allow 4  ripe tomatoes per person ( salad size) or 1 1/2 cups small cherry
sea salt
ground black pepper
grape seed oil
torn basil leaves ( or fresh oregano)

red wine vinegar to drizzle

any kind of cheese (optional) but great with "Buffalo" Mozzarella


pre heat oven to 400f
 Arrange top shelf just one rung down

Mark a small slit, with a knife in bottom ( away from the stalk end)  of each tomato
Place, stalk end down in an ovenproof dish.
Lightly drizzle with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper.
Place in very hot oven for 8-10 minutes until skins blister, remove from oven and sprinkle with red wine vinegar and torn basil leaves

Serve on room temp plates ( if using cheese place cooked tomatoes on top of cheese), adding roasting juices.
When eating the tomatoes will burst and allow their sweet warm juices to flow from the "almost" roasted tomatoes.

Serve with a green salad and crusty Rustic Breads..fabulous easy late summer-early Fall meal.

Space shuttle Endeavour flying over Los Angeles on last flight to Science Museum

Photographs taken from my street in west LA

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Greek potato and spinach pies and pasta e fagiole..PHOTOS AND TALES

OK! Today we are off for a trip around the Med..heading South east from  Genoa for Athens, where we can enjoy dinner while wading in the warm Aegean Sea and watch the sun setting.....
I was in Italy when the banks were having problems with minting enough small currency so a lot of stores gave you your change in candy, which infuriated the captain of one of the yachts, as it messed up my petty cash!
I made the Greek Island trip often in the 1970's, watching the sun as a big red orb, slowly making her way to the underworld, as the yacht slowly and carefully entered the massive Corinth ( where Pegasus  was born) Canal..slowly winding our way to the Ancient Port of Piraeus, Athens.

I never remember any bad weather in Athens, just intense heat..but the friendly people and great food, made every feel day great, and I hardly noticed the 18 hours a day I was working!  The peace and quiet of the many islands, whose island homes glistened bright, eye-glaring white against a true blue azure sea.
The sounds of pelicans on fishing boats, the sight of octopus drying on racks in the early morning sun, or a fisherman battering one against rocks to tenderize it! ( sounds crazy but they were already dead and it does work); the shouts of delight of neighbors chatting on the sides of the street markets.
The smaller Greek islands, off the tourist routes were and are spectacular, in natural grandeur and plain old peace and quiet...on one of these islands we managed to cause a bit of a  stir, as the elderly owner of the yacht decided to go and try out his new aqua scooter ( a device that supposedly pulled you through the water with ease so you didin't have to waste your energy actually swimming) it DID come with instructions but they were in French and he couldn't be bothered to ask his wife for help...all was going well until he somehow put the machine into reverse and it got caught on his swimming shots and ripped them off..great panic none of the other passengers could stop laughing, and the crew did their best to keep their faces straight..happy sailing tales, there are many more...

The menu for today

Great Portobello mushrooms topped with a 2 cheese, basil peso to be baked at the client's home

Pasta e fagioli ..tomato based soup with red kidney beans and whole wheat pasta shells, this one is spicy and I have added chili, mustard greens, own grown peppers

Spicy tapanade salad...ripe tomatoes with chili peppers, capers, black olives, red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing, fresh basil,  toasted bread..assembled at client's home

Greek Style Spinach and Potato pies...I am making these from puff pastry as opposed to filo, as they transport easier, also adding lemon zest to the potatoes, cream cheese,garlic,  yogurt (lebne) cheese, nutmeg to the wilted field spinach, onions and carrots. This is served with roasted tomatoes and pine nuts ( pine nuts are also found in Greece).
To be easy to eat I am also making the pies strudel one of my clients has a young son..
Honestly these are fabulous "pies"  rich, yet fresh tasting.

Greek "Pies" before baking

red onion, capers, black olives for tapenade salad

Fresh own grown basil and tomatoes for tapenade

the tapenade to be dressed with red wine and olive oil at client's home

toasted foccacia bread for the tapenade

"Just" roasted tomatoes with pine nuts and basil side dish for the Greek "Pies"

own grown and dried tomatoes for base of roasted pesto mushrooms

red cabbage and broccoli slaw..side dish for the mushrooms

pesto with toasted pine nuts, cheese, own grown basil, garlic and extra virgin olive oil

The mushrooms to be baked at client's home

The cooked "pies"

these 3..field spinach wilted down to be added to potato mix tomorrow

Potato, cream cheese, lebne and lemon zest mix for the "pies"

Soups pasta e fagioli..pasta on top so it doesn't soak up all the soup

these 2 spicy pasta e fagioli

Monday, September 17, 2012

Simply Delicious Part 2 more photographs

Whole wheat "Belgium " waffles..butter, eggs, sour cream

Night flowering cactus in my garden

these 2 own grown and dried tomatoes in olive oil for packing

own grown orange bell pepper and small habanero..very very hot spice

the yogurt and brandy sauce for baking the crepes, I added mushrooms, parsley and grated nutmeg

Fresh fruit & jicama salad ( below I added own frozen raspberries..they keep their shape better than using room temperature raspberries)