As I mentioned in my post earlier today, I need to increase my protein intake. Normally, my preference on from-scratch red sauce for pasta is a chunky garden-style sauce, with lots of fresh veggies and tomatoes I put up from the previous year’s garden… and absolutely NO added sugar (a high quality sweet balsamic vinegar does the job quite nicely). The ingredients and amounts always vary and I never really measure anything. Well, tonight I’m adding some meat to the mix *and* I carefully measured everything, except the herbs. Hopefully this beautiful gravy will have my muscles nice and happy and ready to take on the chicken kicks tomorrow at MMA!
Yummy gravy in the making…
My seedlings are in that stage where I’m just waiting for them to get big enough to begin hardening off. The only news on that front is that about half of my mouse melons, aka Mexican Sour Gherkins, sprouted yesterday- this is my first year growing them, and I am very excited about that! I was surprised that it only took about 4 days for them to begin poking up through the soil! My seedlings are all in that stage that requires an abundance of patience, as I watch and wait for them to get big enough to begin hardening off. I have a circulating fan that will be set up to blow on them later today, and I’ll probably begin re-potting and thinning the tomatoes tomorrow. So anyway, that’s the ‘State of the Garden’ report.
Since I don’t have any garden tips today, I figured that this would be a good time to share one method of stretching the food budget. There is a lot of food waste in this country, and I often shake my head at the price of convenience. I try very hard to use up everything I can, and waste as little as possible. As well as being earth-friendly, it’s usually good for the body and less expensive than making ‘convenience’ purchases, too. I’m not going to go all preachy about that stuff, though. I’ll simply say that there was a time when boxed or canned broths were not available, and people needed to make them from scratch. With all of the food allergies and sensitivities people are beginning to recognize, it’s become a necessity for some of us, but it’s surprisingly easy to do, and is a great way to give your recipes an extra punch of both flavor and nutrition, and bonus- it’s pretty much free!
Another squash recipe! It’s gluten-free, it’s vegan, and it uses up a lot of squash! Oh, and it’s pretty darn tasty, too! This soup recipe works great with either just zucchini or a mix of zucchini and crook neck or straight neck yellow summer squash… I’m sure it would work well with patty pan squash, too, but I haven’t tried that yet. It’s also excellent if you add a couple of cloves of minced or chopped garlic in with the onions, but since Mom can’t have garlic, my standard recipe doesn’t include that. Oh, and it fits in with my ‘waste not, want not’ philosophy- you know those giant zucchini that seem to appear overnight, with the giant seeds and tough, spongy flesh? They are perfect for the broth base!
Two giant squash from my garden, with playing cards and veggie peeler for scale
The creation of a birthday cake: a glimpse into my mind…
(The cake is vegan. The frosting is not)
Hello there! This is going to just be a quick recipe post, as it’s a very busy week for me.
Have you ever looked at the list of ingredients on the sauces, marinades & dressings that you can buy at the grocery store? I have, and… ugh, all those chemicals! I don’t like eating stuff that I can’t pronounce! Some of the sauces that we buy are so easy to make and so much less expensive than buying them that it really doesn’t make sense to me to buy them!
Teriyaki sauce is one example of this. The stuff I use for mine is all regular pantry staples, and I think it just tastes better than the store bought stuff. So, without further ado, here is the super easy recipe:
1/2 c orange juice
1/2 c gluten-free tamari sauce (you can use soy sauce, if that’s what you prefer)
1/4 c honey
1 tablespoon each fresh ginger and fresh garlic, minced or grated (if using powdered, I’d guess a scant teaspoon of each should do it)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (or olive oil)
optional: a tablespoon or 2 of sliced scallion and/or dried minced onion
put everything in a bowl, mix it up, cover and refrigerate. Let it sit for a half hour or so, then give it a taste and adjust the flavors to suit your preference. Use as you would use the store bought stuff.
See, now isn’t that easy?