Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

How To Help Your Meat Eaters Enjoy World Vegetarian Day October 1st!

Dear Folks,

If there is one truism in the world it is that folks who love their meat, think vegetarian or vegan food is for rabbits.

I am an omnivore in the true sense of the term as I like vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheese, and meat.  I eat fats and salt.  But I also LOVE the diversity which comes with a broader approach to making food look and taste good.

While a meat lover may 'think' only a plate with steak, potatoes and tomatoes is the only thing in the world worth eating, I think some of these recipes can help them enjoy some other foods - even if they treat them as side dishes - and give them a genuine taste of something else.

Careful shopping for vegetarian friendly meals can also be an economic helper too.  Meat can be very expensive - where a little attention to combining foods gives you not only better nutrition but more food for your money.

Below are links to prior post recipes, but one of my favorite uses for oatmeal (besides breakfast).

Salad with Edamame

Avocado Bean Dip

Chili Beans

Here is a side dish for any meal -- warming and satisfying.

This would go nicely with the Chili Beans.

1 cup regular oatmeal (not instant or quick cook)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie spice kind, just plain)
14 oz can of vegetable broth
1/8 teaspoon smoked salt (or sea salt)
8 large basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
Optional: other nuts such as pecans.
Stir pumpkin into broth in sauce pan, add salt and oatmeal and  bring to boil.  Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes stirring  regularly.  Add nuts. Rinse and sliver basil leaves and fold into  oatmeal just before serving.  (Left Over Tip: form into patties and fry  gently in a bit of olive oil, about 1 minute each side (just until  warmed all the way through and slightly crusted on both sides.)

Optional: For a sweet version: Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1/2  cup raisins or dried cranberries, and omit (or leave in as you prefer)  basil leaves, and use only plain (non-flavored) salt.

A vegan/vegetarian friendly Thanksgiving recipe


-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Plant Flowers in Your Garden and Save the Bees!

Dear Folks,

In a world, and at a time in history, when trying to make a difference with small acts seems futile it is important to remember that every great event or invention started with a small idea or step.

Please watch this video, pass it on to your friends and family with a simple request:

Plant flowers at your home, work or school, even if just in a pot, do not use any pesticides and YOU will help save the bees.  In doing so, you will also help ensure the food you want to find at the grocery store or farmers market will always be available.

Marla Spivak in her TedX talk.

Save the bees. 

For those of you who are, or you know someone who is, afraid of bees, keep this in mind.  Working bees are not interested in you, they are interested in the flowers.

-- Move slowly around them
-- Wear light colored clothing when working in the garden
-- Save heavy pruning for days when the bees are not as active (cold, overcast, or early evening)
-- Don't swat at them - ever!
-- If you are stung get inside a building or vehicle - do NOT jump in the pool.

 I have a bee story, which I have written about before.

Briefly - one sunny morning at my old house I was working in the front yard near one of the citrus trees.  Bending over I was weeding or harvesting or both.  The hum of the bees working is a regular companion for me and it is such a common sound I pay no attention to it, simply being mindful if  I am near bees working the flowers.  I stood up under the citrus tree and found myself inside a swarm!

Swarming bees are impressive to say the least - there can be 20,000 plus bees in a single swarm.  But over the years Deane had taught me much of what he learned as a beekeeper and one of the most important is that swarming bees are 1) filled with honey, and 2) not interested in people, they are looking for a home.

I stood very still trying to determine my options and paths away.  I was an equal distance from my car and the front door.  I had many elderly neighbors in this particular area so I chose to go towards the car because I wanted to see if I needed to warn anyone.  As I moved slowly towards the car the bees initially flowed with me but I just kept moving slowly away and they drifted back towards the tree where the queen was resting.

It might have been more difficult if the queen had landed on me, because I would have had to find a way to get her onto a stick and moved to the tree.  But I was saved that effort.

I was not stung, my neighbors were not in danger as the swarm moved off a little later on, and it was an experience that reinforced much of what I learned from Deane and practiced daily in the garden.

One additional point is that bees apparently do not like our exhaled breath, so if you are confronted by bees on you or around you, keep calm -- and do not exhale through your mouth - keep-it-closed!

Thank you to Nancy K. for sending me this video to share.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady