Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Recommendation: Organic Manifesto

Just wanted to post a new book recommendation.  Have finally been finding time to read it while feeding Andrew.  Mike read it and really got a lot out of it - kept telling me to read it and he plans to read it again.
Anyway - for anyone who has ever thought twice about the benefits, cost of, justification for, importance of, or questionable practices of organic food, READ THIS BOOK.

Although truthfully, it's kinda like Food,Inc.... makes you never really want to eat again.
And for me, it makes me want to run away and move to Italy ;-)

Organic Manifesto by Maria Rodale - buy it now!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Recipes for Foodie Followers!

I've come to find out that many who still look at this blog come here for recipe ideas.  I can now proudly say that at just 6 weeks post partum, I COOKED!!! Two times this weekend.  Mike is supposed to cook on the weekends but I found some recipes I wanted to try in a couple magazines and I just couldn't help it.  They were so yummy I have to share.

Let me first show off our garden gifts - we are officially in tomato heaven.  And we also just found out that we have probably had the most success in our whole neighborhood (based on our few gardeners that surround us). That's gotta make Mike feel good.  It's been a rough year with our extreme lack of sun - so the fact that ours are actually turning red (or whatever other fun color they are supposed to turn) is a near miracle!!!

And that's not even all of them!!!

So for recipe #1

Eggplant Sandwiches
Slice eggplant into 4 (we substituted zucchini since that's what we had - equally yum)
Rub both sides of each slice with olive oil and dust with salt/pepper
Layer slices of tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil between two slices of eggplant
Grill for about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your desire (and cheese is slightly melted)

Recipe #2

Grilled Peaches
I always thought grilling fruit was weird but I think they are actually on to something. Now I'm going to go back and find the recipes I passed up on other grilled fruit and see how they are. This one was to die for. 

Slice peaches in half (however many you want to eat!)  I used regular peaches but you can use white, yellow, and even nectarines.
Simmer the following:
3 T Butter
1/3 Cup Honey
1/4 t Vanilla
Brush the sauce onto the top of the peach (I poured it on it and in the pit hole and let it sit for an hour before grilling - that definitely added some magic!)
Grill cut-side down for about 4 minutes
Put a dollop of vanilla ice cream (we used greek yogurt and it was delish) and pour the rest of the sauce on top of each peach. 
Go to heaven.

Recipe #3

Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Plum Relish
Make a marinade of the following:
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t ginger

(sounds iffy but is so perfect with the salmon you won't regret it!)
Dice one cucumber and one plum
Add 1 T Rice Vinegar
Toss and let sit until salmon is done
Let salmon soak in marinade for as long as you can before grilling, then grill to your liking.  Top the salmon with the relish and serve.

Recipe #4

Smokey Ratatouille
Use the following vegetables but use as many as appropriate for your number of guests.
Yellow Squash 
Red Bell Pepper
Yellow Onion
(I also added Okra for fun)

Slice the vegetables and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
 Grill all veggies (except tomato and bell pepper) for 3 minutes on each side to char/get grill marks.  Then put on top rack of grill to finish cooking till soft.
Grill whole tomato and whole pepper 3-4 minutes to char, then bring in and remove skins.
Slice all veggies to smaller bite-size chunks.
Toss in the following sauce and serve immediately (warm):
2 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t thyme (fresh is best)
15 leaves of basil chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe #5
Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate-Chip Cookies

1/3 unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 plus 2 T whole wheat flour (I use pastry)
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 t vanilla
3/4 cup unrefined brown sugar (such as rapadura)
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350.  
Combine oats, choc chips, and coconut.  Separately, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat oil, vanilla, and sugar on low speed. Add egg and beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture just until smooth.  Stir in oat mixture just until combined.
Use slightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 11-14 minutes - rotate pan 1/2 way through,