Monday, December 29, 2014

Golden Clam Chowder!

All Natural and Dairy Free!

I don't eat breakfast food, and I usually start a pot of soup in the crockpot in the evening.  Last night I failed to do so.  This lovely dish is the result of my scrounging around in the kitchen this morning looking for something to eat . . .

I started with leftover turmeric rice* and roasted veggies.  Roasting veggies concentrates their flavor, you will sometimes come across soup recipes that instruct you to roast the veggies before asembling the soup for just this reason.  My leftovers were delicata squash (from last summers garden), whole garlic cloves, and parsnips--but you can use whatever you have on hand.  I had roasted them in a glass baking pan, with sunflower oil and some water.  Into the water I put 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, and I sprinkled the veggies with Italian seasoning, natural salt, and fresh ground pepper and baked at 350 partially covered.  The parsnips came out a fabulous golden color!

 The only other things I added were  clams, some water, onion, and dried dulse leaves.  You can leave the sea weed out if you don't have it or like it, but it adds flavor, minerals, and color.

I use a brand of chopped clams that contains no chemicals or yeast extract, all my other ingredients are absolutely organic!  I mixed the rice, clams, veggies, and 1/2 a chopped onion into a sauce pan and added just enough water to giver it a chowder like consistency. Next I tore about 1/4 cup of dried dulse leaves into small pieces, stirred it all together, and cooked just until the onions were translucent but still flavorfull.

OMG!!!  So good. 

*  For the turmeric rice,  I use 3/4 cup long grain brown rice and 1/4 cup wild rice, 3/4 teaspoon turmeric (you might want to start with 1/4 teaspoon or even just a pinch), and a heaping teaspoon of hijiki--which is a sea veggie.  You can skip either the hiiki or the wild rice (or both) if you like, and if you want a creamer chowder, use short grain rice instead.   Cook as you would for any other batch of rice.  This recipe can be doubled or tripled!

If you have any questions or want more details, if you want to share tips or recipes, jump right in on the comments section.

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Turmeric is a fabulous natural anti-inflammatory!  I use lots in my food.  It is a bit of an acquired taste, however.  If you find it tastes odd, just start with a pinch and slowly work your way up.

Clams are very high in natural B-12.  B-12 is very good for the nerves, for brain function, and for mood stabilization, among other things.  If you are not otherwise opposed to shell fish for any reason, a serving of either clams or oysters once a week is a great source of B-12.  They also contains some Omega 3, minerals, and they are fairly low in mercury.  However, they are high enough in mercury that you probably don't want to eat them more than once a week.  Our bodies are designed to processes a certain amount of mercury without it poisoning us.  The trick is to keep our consumption below the threshold of  toxicity while still getting all the nutrients we need.

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Hey, I seem to be posting here sort of regularly . . .  maybe I will be back again next week!

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Chanterelle Secrets

First, pork chops in chanterelle sauce . . .  but you will find other secrets tucked in the text . . .

I don't even cook or eat like this anymore.  (Photos are from 2003!)  Red meat, mammals, are rarely on my plate.  And when they are, its either buffalo or wild game, and usually just a taste.   However, I do love me some chanterelles!  One must be very careful when gathering wild mushrooms.  There may be a mycological society near you.  Joining and attending forays, as well as purchasing some good books is the best way to learn.





Personally, I find chanterelles benefit from slow moist cooking in a slightly acidic medium.  These photos were taken way back in 2003 when I was still living on the rez, so I don't actually remember the recipe. However, I suspect the liquid is a combination of home canned tomato juice and home canned broth.  Scallions are in evidence, which are likely catawissa onions, an indigenous top setting onion that produces incredibly flavorful scallions during the winter in mild season areas.  It is very hare, however . . .

I also like dried chanterelles, I can eat them like candy!  We used to have racks around the wood stove for drying.  Another fabulous way to use them is smoked.  If you have a smoke house designed to take racks at the top, try slicing your chanterelles 1/4 inch thick or less, and smoking them for about 12 hours.  I prefer punky alder wood that has been rotted by turkey tail mushroom, with the addition of dried black berry stalks and leaves.  (Now I am giving away my secrets!)  If the mushrooms are not crisp dried by then, bring them in finish off their drying in the house.  While still crisp and warm, place in clean dry canning or other jars with air tight lids.  When you want to add some smoke flavor to a sauce of any kind, use a small mortar and pestle to powder your smoked chanterelles.  You just need a tad--they pack a powerful punch; 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon will do for most any recipe.




There's the finished dish, and really, it makes me cringe.  LOL . . . not just the pork chops, but that dead looking white rice. (Their commods, the BIA's plan to finish off the job the army had begun.) On the other hand, that broccoli is something I used to grow that I really liked.  It was billed as white sprouting broccoli, and you can see that it wasn't entirely white.  It was productive, perennial, and much tastier than it looks.  The seeds were from Bountiful Gardens, but they don't seem to carry that variety anymore. 

Just in case you are wondering what caused me to start digging through old photos.  It's, well complicated.  I, we really, I am not the only one, are using tons of photos from Wikimedia Commons for Boycott for Peace's blog and memes.  Reciprocation, I was taught, is the highest moral law.  So I am reciprocating by sharing photos.  Most of them are for their photo challenge themes, which is a competition of sorts.  And I decided, when the rules for the challenges allow older photos to used, to dig back and see what I might share.

I don't have the best camera round, nor do I expect to get the best shots in any category.  I am not playing to win.  Sharing, however, makes the world a better place for all of us.  And that may be one of the best kept secrets on the planet.  It is a secret that we all should be shouting loud and clear.  Or better yet, just put it into practice!    There is something that you have, that you likely have more than what you need of.  And if you are creative, you can find a way to share it that not only enriches the recipient, but that is also enriching for you.

Meanwhile, some of those photos fit the theme of 'Real Food,' and 'Secrets,'  and at least in the case of the first to posts, they have some small connection to the garden (fennel and catawissa onions), so I am sharing with you all as well. 

That's all for now . . .  but if you have questions, tips, or recipes, please feel free to leave them in comments.  I seem to have started to post here sort of on a regular basis.  I don't know if that will continue, we shall see! 

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