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Kale Crisps

kale

this very long summer … with all the rain and intervening sunshine… has grown a lush garden…

kale

 

and the abundance of hearty growing kale is turned into a healthy snack …

the leaves are torn into manageable mouth-sized pieces while the thick stalks can be saved for another meal. Wash and dry the kale and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil . Sprinkle with sea salt  and toss until evenly dressed .

Place on an baking sheet.  Bake In a  preheated oven of 200 F for 30 to 40 minutes and gently turn leaves over if needed once  …

 

They are ready to eat ….I lost track of time (now was I busy in the workshop?) … so the batch above were crisp, crisp kale, but definitely tasty….. well so that is all.hope you enjoy making and eating them  ….let me know!

reprinted from original post by prettydreamer  from “whither will i wander”

 

prettdreamer Hello, I am Pamela (aka Prettydreamer).   I am mama to a lovely prettydreamer  of my own.  I am still in love toys,  storybooks and fairy tales of all kind.  In love with trees, rocks, maps and unknown places. And love stumbling upon ideas turned upside-down, folk hands  and honest traditions that run deep. and all the other friendly playful things that function or are simply made to bring joy ….

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Best Stuffed Peppers

Please enjoy another cool recipe by NK Teammember Dria Peterson who lives and cooks in a vegetarian village in Israel!
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One day I found a small book of Jewish Indian cooking. The book wasn’t written very well, and trying to figure out what the author meant was a challenge. One of the recipes was for stuffed vegetables. I have been making this recipe for years now, on every special occasion and sometimes every week with no special reason. My daughters and husband love them (In fact I made them for him on our third date).
Over the years I have changed the original recipe completely and made it Quick, easy and flop-proof!
At one period of time, my second daughter was home with me, without her elder sister, every Wednesday. She was about 2.5 and interested in cooking. Making these stuffed Peppers became our weekly activity. I used to call her “My Sou Chef”. She now makes the stuffed peppers all on her own. I only need to supply the stuffing mix 🙂

And now I share it with you, after measuring what I do, so I can write it down properly. I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do.

What you need to make this recipe:

Large Pan (I use either a deep saucepan or stock pot and stack the peppers in two layers, or use a wide shallow pan called a Sauteuse – like in the photos).

  • 8-12 bell peppers (The number depends on the size of the pan you will use and the size of the peppers you have). You can measure how many peppers fit into the pan before cutting them.
  • 2 cups of brown rice (I use round rice)
  • 3 large tomatoes or 6 small tomatoes
  • Big bunch of herbs and greens (I use whatever I have in the garden – Celery, Parsley, Coriander, Chard, Green Onions, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Leaves from a cabbage or grape vine, to cover the bottom of the pan and prevent the peppers from burning. My daughters love eating the cabbage leaves from the bottom of the pan.

*other possibilities are to substitute some of the rice with lentils or mung beans, or add chopped almonds)*

Preparation:
Cook the rice with 4 cups of water. First bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Cook for about 30 minutes. Cooking the rice before hand is not the usual way to make stuffed vegetables, but this way you will not have “uncooked rice problems”, cooking is about half the time, saves energy and create an edible leftover stuffing.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the stuffing and get the peppers ready for stuffing:

Wash peppers, cut tops off and take the seeds out.

* These two steps can be made in advance*

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan. Spread it all over with a brush.

Cover the bottom of the pan with leaves.

Put the greens, tomatoes and garlic in the food processor and chop. Pour into a large mixing bowl, big enough to mix in the rice later.

If you are using raisins chop them a little with a knife or pulse them gently in the food processor. The purpose is not to leave the raisins whole so they won’t swell up. Place the raisins in the mixing bowl.

When the rice is cooked, add it to the chopped greens mixture. Add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice and the salt.

Mix well.

Now, Taste the stuffing. It should be delicious. If not, add more olive oil, lemon, salt or tomatoes till the stuffing is tasty.
Now it’s stuffing time! Fill the peppers up to the top (no need to leave space as in uncooked rice stuffing) and cover with the pepper lid.

Place the peppers in the pan, so they stand closely together and don’t fall over. Squeeze in another pepper if you have to.

The kids (or grownups) can eat the leftover stuffing.

Pour 3 cups of water into the pan. The water should only create a 1 inch puddle on the bottom of the pan.

Bring the water in the pan to a boil (you can hear when it’s boiling). Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 40 min – 1 hour. Listen to the pan to hear the liquid bubbling so you know there is enough water in the pan, otherwise the peppers might burn. Usually at the end of cooking there is more liquid in the pan than what you first poured in.

The peppers are yummy when hot but also when cold and even after a few days in the refrigerator. You can reheat them in the same pan with their liquid still in the pan. When we eat them cold we usually cut the pepper and pour some olive oil over it and add a squeeze lemon. A soft cheese like a sour Labaneh or yogurt also goes well with the stuffed peppers.

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Wild Greens Leaf Patties: A Recipe from Israel

Today I bring to you this a lovely recipe from Israel. It was sent to me by NaturalKids Team member Dria Peterson. I hope you are as excited as I was when I looked at this neat recipe for the first time. Just looking at the photos makes me want to visit the beautiful country where Dria resides…

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Green Leaf Patties (by Dria Peterson)

Have you ever thought to give the weeds around you a second look? Fact is that many of the plants that are considered a nuisance are actually edible.

Think about it – instead of paying good money for organic greens, or laboring hard to grow them in your garden, you can just go outside and pick healthy iron rich greens for free! Now isn’t that a great gift from nature!!

Around where I live (in the hills of Galilee in Israel) spring is out in all its luscious leaves. In many an Olive grove you can see women bent over foraging and collecting wild green leaves to make cooked salads, stuffed pastries and other yummy food. Traditionally, these were special dishes available for only a short time a year, before summer sets in and dries everything up. Nowadays many people pick extra greens and freeze them for year round use.

The recipe I bring you here is traditionally made with the green leaves of a plant called Hubeza (Latin: Malva) which is a type of Mallow. In spring time my daughters love to go out and collect Hubeza leaves and help me make this seasonal delicacy.

But don’t worry; these patties can be made with any kind of greens, wild gathered greens or cultivated greens such as Spinch, Chards, Etc. You can use one type of greens or mix a few kinds together

Of course, I don’t know which wild plants are edible where you live. Around my house I can find wild Spinach, Stinging Nettles, wild lettuce, wild garlic, wild mustard, and types of alfalfa, Wild Chicory, Thistles, Dandelions and many more plants. I am familiar with the poisonous plants around where I live and know which ones to avoid (They are not many, by the way). If you are unsure, you can always take a small bite and see how the plant feels in your mouth. If it stings your tongue or the back of your throat don’t eat it (this test is not a good way to determine if mushrooms are edible or not!).

I took a look in some of my books to see what edible plants you might look for in North America and UK: Chickweed, Cleavers, Clovers, Dandelion, Dock, Goosefoot (Lambs quarters) and Nettles.

There are many books about “Edible Wild Plants” out there, if you wish to study the subject thoroughly before popping anything into your mouth.

After this long introduction, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

• A huge bag of leaves. It’s kind of difficult to give an amount. I would say that you will need leaves that consume a space of at least 6 liters or one and a half gallons. This amount will produce enough patties for a family of five. Remember that after steaming, the leaves shrink down to a fifth of the volume they were when fresh.

• 3-4 eggs

• 1-2 cups of bread crumbs – I use whole wheat herb bread from my mother’s bakery. I simply chop it up in the food processor till I have crumbs.

• 1/2 teaspoon of black or white pepper

• 1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin (optional).

Preparation:


Wash the leaves.

Decide which greens you want to steam. Leaves that are thick and coarse are better steamed first to get them a little softer. You can mix steamed and raw greens, too.

Place the greens to be steamed in a large pan with 2 cups of water. Cover the lid and cook for 10 minutes.

In the meanwhile, chop the bread in the food processor.

When the leaves have wilted and softened, pour them into a colander, and strain. Squash them with a wooden spoon to get most of the water out.

Pour the lump of cooked greens onto a cutting board, and chop coarsely 6-7 times.

If you are using raw greens, chop them to bite size pieces.

Put the chopped leaves with the bread crumbs, eggs, pepper and cumin in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

Warm 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. (You can use a different kind of oil if you prefer). The flame needn’t be too high, not to burn the oil. Form palm sized patties with your hands and place in the skillet.

Note: if you do not want to fry, you can bake the patties in the oven – make the patties and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Brush with oil. Bake for about 20 minutes in medium heat and flip over for another 5 minutes.

In this photo you can see a mixture of cooked and raw greens. Patties that are made only of cooked greens will look a little different.

Fry the patties a few minutes, and flip over when the patty is getting golden brown.

Serve with a few drops of lemon on each patty. Bon appetite!

I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit to Dria’s kitchen and country as much as I did! Please, visit her beautiful Etsyshop here. I am sure you’ll find her store just a lovely as her cooking.

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A Soup to Warm the Tummy!


Finally winter has arrived in Colorado. I was afraid it would never happen. While the rest of the nation appears to have been buried in the white stuff – we have had all but two inches of snow in our town. Our family loves to eat soup when the cold hits. Nothing beats a nice bowl of soup when you come in from a day of playing in the snow. So I sure am glad that the time has come to make one of our favorite soups. Not only is it tasty and nutritious, it also has a pretty color from the red lentils. It looks super served in pretty white bowl! Unfortunately I didn’t snap a picture last time I made it. I promise you will love this great vegetarian dish that does not take very many ingredients and is easy to make!

You need:

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 big onion diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
¼ teaspoon of salt or more to taste
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
6 -8 cups of low salt chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup of red lentils
2 carrots, peeled and diced
lemon or lime juice
fresh cilantro

1. Put olive oil in a large pot to coat the bottom of the pot. Preserve the rest of the olive oil for drizzling over the soup later. Heat the olive oil in the pot until it is very hot. Add the diced onions and the garlic. Saute until golden and soft, for about 4 minutes.

2. Add tomato paste and spices to the pot and stir in with the onion and garlic. Saute for another 2 minutes.

3. Add the stock, lentils, and dices carrots. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat. Then cover the pot and simmer over medium low heat until the lentils and carrots have softened. This takes about 30 minutes. Add more salt and pepper if need be.

4. Puree about half of the soup with an immersion or regular blender. You don’t want to puree all of it unless you like your soup very smooth. We prefer more of chunky type of soup.

5. Right before serving the soup pour in the lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle some cilantro on top.

6. Serve with crusty bread.