Sunday, May 10, 2015

When you have too many veggies...

If you have fresh veggies, you can't just let them sit around, hoping they cook themselves. You need to do something with them or you'll have to dump them. The first instinct is to saute' them in olive oil, chopped garlic and red pepper flakes until soft and aromatic.  You can eat them all, or pop them in the freezer and reheat on a week night when you have nothing else in the fridge.

Or, you could steam them and serve them with a sauce.
Make your own, or use your favorite jar from that specialty store.

Here are two of my favorites. I add grain like Bulgar or orzo, plop in a bowl, add the sauce on top, and there is a quick weeknight dinner. For protein, you could add nuts, or slivers of cheese, or the leftover chicken you meant to use.

Lemon and Olive oil sauce (topping  for fish, vegetables, even pasta)
Place everything in a blender:
Juice and zest of two lemons
2 Tablespoons of good olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 bunch of Italian parsley, chopped fine

Any leftover can be refrigerated for a few days.

Asian sauce (over rice, or any grains and vegetables)

2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1 T. sesame oil
1 T minced ginger
1T minced garlic
1 T lime juice
Mix in a Mason jar. Write the ingredients on the lid and you can reproduce this sauce in a flash.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Everything that is growing commercially today, that is growing for consumption, has been genetically modified. What? Yes. Hundreds of years ago, smart people began to cross pollinate wild varieties of fruit and vegetables. They wanted the taste of a ripe, sweet strawberry, for example, but also a hardiness of skin and constitution that would allow that wild thing to last the trek across the land, from its natural place, to the vending stall.

Busy hands and brains mixed and matched, and tested away for years and years before the right strawberry was finally produced in those laboratories, and later reached everyone's table, across deserts, mountains, and oceans.

In winter, here in the Pacific Northwest, as well as anywhere else on this continent and others, we can appreciate oranges and avocados and grapes from South America, and never bat an eyelash. Modifying food to taste better and be able to cross oceans did not happen accidentally.

We should be making many choices when we eat and for different reasons. First of all, we should ask ourselves if we are eating food that is closest to its natural state, just grown, and not packaged in easy to eat packages like those cut up carrot sticks we hand our children on their way to school.  If food is grown locally, no extra fuel was used to arrive at the local farmers' market. If it is in season,  food is fresher, adapted to local weather and soil condition and each community can be sustainable if the locals consume locally. If it still has roots and seeds and dirt around, you can be assured nobody messed with it or added sugar or a special wash to make it look bright and pretty for your eyes.

Anyone who has lived in California knows a backyard or two with wild oranges, bitter and full of pits, hardly edible by today's expectations. Many experiments were conducted at UC Riverside to come up with the best variety of juicy, sweet oranges and lemons. Let's enjoy them, and encourage our budding scientists to continue to do good science to give us tasty and healthy fruit and produce for our growing population on this ever-changing planet.