Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mexican Night

The other day, I was craving Mexican. We often go out for it, even though we haven't found a truly decent Mexican restuarant around here. But I have so many vegetables to cook, I can't justify going out. (The CSA has increased the quantity of veggies we get every week and frankly, we can't keep up. I've got loads of cooked veggies stored in the freezer, and more keep coming).

So I did a true frig and pantry clean-out to come up with the recipe below. If you keep canned chilies and jalapenos on hand, along with plenty of spices, you can make some good, spicy food.

Turkey Burritos

From my frig:
1 leek
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch spring onions
2 fennel bulbs
1 bunch spinach
A few sliced jalapeno peppers

From my freezer:
About 2 cups cooked turkey leftover from Thanksgiving (really! It was in a bit of gravy, but so what?)

From my pantry:
2 cans green chiles
1 can diced tomatoes
Chili powder

The method:
I diced up all the veggies (except the spinach) and sauteed them over medium heat until sweated. I added the spices, heavy on the cumin and chili powder, but generous with everything. I cooked this for about a minute, stirring constantly. I added the jalapenos, chilies, tomatoes (I drained them a bit, first), and the turkey. Then I washed and cut the spinach, mixing it in.

After stirring it well, I covered with a lid and let simmer for about 20 minutes, adjusting the seasoning to taste. It made a moist, meaty filling.

I served it wrapped in flour tortillas, with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, and a sliced avocado, and margaritas.

The mozzarella might sound strange. I would have used cheddar, but remember, I'm cleaning out my fridge. I used what I had, and it all tasted great!

You could do this with any mixture of items: don't be afraid to use whatever vegetables you have available. Any leftover meat will work - pork, chicken, beef. There are a variety of chili peppers out there, and they all lend a distinctive flavor to your meals.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Last night's dinner was a treat:

Potato and Green Garlic Tart with Goat Cheese and Mozzarella. I added the chard 'cause you know I have to serve green vegetables.

It was really, really good. Here's the recipe:

1 recipe pizza dough
1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes
2 stalks green garlic
3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
1 bunch chard or other leafy green
thyme, salt, and pepper

Slice the potatoes 1/8" thick and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in 400 oven until tender, but not brown.

Sautee the sliced garlic and greens in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Place a pizza stone in the oven and heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza paddle.

Roll out the pizza dough and place on the paddle. Crimp the edges and brush with olive oil. Spread grated mozzarella over the dough, then layer the potatoes and greens over the cheese. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over the everything, then sprinkle with thyme.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until crust is brown.

This will be a favorite!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The White House Garden

This just has me doing cartwheels:

Roger Doiron
phone: (207) 883-5341
cell: (207) 807-6364

100,000 Applaud Announcement of a New White House Food Garden
Environment, Nation’s Food System and People's Health Stand to Benefit

(Scarborough, Maine) –100,000 people signed a petition asking the Obamas to replant a Victory Garden at the White House, and recent news reports indicate that they are about to reap what they sowed.

For advocates of sustainable and healthy foods, this harvest of good news was as welcome as the summer’s first red-ripe tomato. “I’m thrilled for the Obama family and for all who will be inspired by their example to grow gardens of their own this year,” said Roger Doiron, founder of the nonprofit Kitchen Gardeners International and leader of the successful petition campaign, “Eat the View.”

Launched in February 2008, Eat the View proposed that the Obamas replant a White House Victory Garden while planting a few extra rows for the hungry. The campaign used viral videos and social networking technologies like Facebook to grow a large support base, attract international media attention and help inspire a larger grassroots effort. In January, 2009, Eat the View won the “On Day One” contest sponsored by the United Nations Foundation, beating out 4,000 other entries and resulting in thousands of messages being sent to the White House in support of its proposal.

Over the course of the past month, the Eat the View campaign has touted the economic benefits of home gardens as part of its pitch to White House staff members. As proof, Doiron and his wife spent nine months weighing and recording each vegetable they pulled from their 1,600-square-foot garden outside Portland, Maine. After counting the final winter leaves of salad, they found that they had saved about $2,150 by growing produce for their family of five instead of buying it. “If you consider that there are millions of American families who could be making similar, home-grown savings, those are no small potatoes,” Doiron said.

Although the White House garden campaign is now winding down, Doiron says the Eat the View campaign is just getting warmed up. “Now that the Obamas are on board, we’re going to be reaching out to other people and identifying other high-profile pieces of land that could be transformed into edible landscapes. Sprawling lawns around governors’ residences, schoolyards, vacant urban lots: those are all views that should be eaten.”

History of Harvest at the White House
While the Obamas’ garden and the online technologies that campaigned for it might be new, the idea of an edible landscape at the White House is not. Throughout its history, the White House has been home to food gardens of different shapes and sizes and even to a lawn-mowing herd of sheep in 1918. The appeal of the White House garden project, Doiron asserts, is that it serves as a bridge between the country’s past and its future. “The last time food was grown on the White House lawn was in 1943, when the country was at war, the economy was struggling and people were looking to the First Family for leadership. It made sense before and it makes sense again as we try to live within our own means and those of the planet.”

Additional info:

Eat the View campaign website:

History the White House as an edible landscape from 1800 to the present:

Eat the View artwork:

Testimonials on behalf of the Eat the View campaign from noted national and international figures:

Eat the View campaign videos:

Bio and photos of Roger Doiron:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Writing When I'm Not Cooking

I'm listing it everywhere. My novel is a quarterfinalist in the Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. See the details on my writer's blog: ABNA Quarterfinalist!

And if you are so inclined, PLEASE follow the link to Amazon and leave a review for my novel's excerpt. I need reviews to actually win the contest!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ending Hunger

Here's a successful way to end hunger on a local scale:

We aren't doing anything close to this in the Bay Area, yet. We have lots of Farmers Markets, a few co-ops, and a couple of urban gardens that supply the poor. We have lots of farms around here. But the poor have inadequate access to transporation, so we need to bring the food to them.

We could do it.