11/23/16

If You're Questioning the Election Results, We Need an Audit. Or Even if You're Not...



Graphic from "Want to Know if the Election was Hacked? Look at the Ballots" by J. Alex Halderman published on November 22, 2016.  Caption: "The pink counties predominately use optical scan paper ballots, which can be examined to confirm that the computer voting machines produced an accurate count. Blue counties use paperless voting systems, which require forensic analysis."

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For the second time in sixteen years, the winner of the popular vote in the election will not be inaugurated as president. (Something that happened only three other times in the history of our country--with the other instances all happening in the 19th century.)

Suggestions swirl around the internet.  Write the electoral college to reverse the results!  Maybe Trump didn't even win the electoral college vote!  Call the Justice Department!  Petition the Secretaries of State! 

Among what seems to me to be a spinning of wheels,  this IS interesting

Ron Rivest and Philip Stark explained in USA Today  on November 18 how the presidential vote could be audited before December 13, when the States have to file their results with the Electoral College.
We know that the national results could be tipped by manipulating the vote count in a relatively small number of jurisdictions — a few dozen spread across a few key states. We know that the vast majority of local elections officials have limited resources to detect or defend against cyberattacks. And while pre-election polls have large uncertainties, they were consistently off. And various aspects of the preliminary results, such as a high rate of undervotes for president, have aroused suspicion.
Auditing .5% of the ballots would do the trick

Rivest (Institute Professor at MIT and a member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Technical Guidelines Development Committee) and Stark (associate dean of mathematical and physical sciences at the University of California, Berkeley and a one-time appointee to the board of advisers of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission)  say a “risk-limiting” audit--in which a random sample of just 1 percent of the paper ballots cast  is examined--“could give 95% confidence that the results are correct in every state. And it might not even require 1% of the ballots. An audit would first
check the results in the states Trump won. If auditing confirms those results, there’s no need to audit in the states Clinton carried: Trump really won. That means auditing about 700,000 ballots in the 29 states Trump won, about 0.5% of the ballots cast in this election.


On November 18, Rivest and Stark linked to a Verified Voting  petition at Change.Org addressed to the Secretaries of State of Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, asking for an audit. Author Justin Krebs has a petition at Moveon.Org addressed to Clinton, Trump, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Secretaries of State in Michigan , Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

Ditch the phone campaign to the Justice Department


Relying on the good will of the Secretaries of State seems a stretch.   Although less of a stretch than calling the Justice Department to demand an audit.  Even if, according to Gabriel Sherman, National Affairs Editor for New York Magazine,  
...some Clinton allies are intent on pushing the issue. This afternoon, Huma Abedin’s sister Heba encouraged her Facebook followers to lobby the Justice Department to audit the 2016 vote.
(Well, actually, his link goes to a Daily Beast writer who posted a screenshot of Heba Abedin's facebook page.  You or I can't even see the facebook posts, even if you follow her and her twitter page no longer exists.)

As Washington Post reporter Matt Zapotosky noted  spokesman David Jacobs has issued a statement:
The Justice Department does not tally the number of callers to determine whether federal action is warranted...Investigatory decisions are based solely on the facts and evidence as they relate to the federal statutes the department enforces.
Ignore New York Magazine's anonymous "scoop" on voting machine fraud

Other media writers, including by CNN's political producer Dan Merica, linked to Gabriel Sherman, not for his coverage of the campaign to phone the Justice Department, but for his "scoop" from a "source briefed on the [conference] call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias.  The source says a  group including voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, told Podesta and Elias that they had found evidence that in
Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on this statistical analysis, Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes; she lost Wisconsin by 27,000....complicating matters, a senior Clinton adviser said, is that the White House, focused on a smooth transfer of power, does not want Clinton to challenge the election result.
Does New York Magazine have the rigorous sourcing requirements depicted in All The President's Men of how the Washington Post covered the Watergate scandal? Sherman, in particular, has been criticized by the The New York Times's Janet Maslin as setting "a record for blind items and the untrustworthiness they engender" in his bio of Roger Ailes. Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri did not respond to Sherman's request for comment. Neither did Bonifaz or Halderman.  The latter also failed to respond to requests for comment yesterday evening from CNN's Merica.

Alex Halderman, the subject of the scoop, says Sherman got it wrong

In his own post on post on Medium, Halderman writes that Sherman,
includes somebody else’s description of my views, incorrectly describes the reasons manually checking ballots is an essential security safeguard (and includes some incorrect numbers, to boot).
Let me set the record straight about what I and other leading election security experts have actually been saying to the campaign and everyone else who’s willing to listen....Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not. I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other. The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts...
Support Jill Stein's recount as the most practical short-term action

State laws call for recounts at a candidate’s request as long as he or she can pay for it. Green Party candidate Jill Stein announced a fundraising campaign on her website to ask for a recount in Wisconsin by the Friday deadline. She is also raising funds for a recount in Pennsylvania by November 28 and Michigan by November 30.

According to Ballotpedia, Wisconsin machines have a paper trail. Michigan uses paper ballots. Pennsylvania (as is the case in Virginia) has no statewide paper trail. A pattern, if found, would have to hold true for all three states in order for the electoral college vote to favor Clinton.

We must do a lot more before 2018

Current post-election verification is inadequate, Halderman explains:
After the election, human beings can examine the paper to make sure the results from the voting machines accurately determined who won. Just as you want the brakes in your car to keep working even if the car’s computer goes haywire, accurate vote counts must remain available even if the machines are malfunctioning or attacked. In both cases, common sense tells us we need some kind of physical backup system. I and other election security experts have been advocating for paper ballots for years, and today, about 70% of American voters live in jurisdictions that keep a paper record of every vote.

There’s just one problem, and it might come as a surprise even to many security experts: no state is planning to actually check the paper in a way that would reliably detect that the computer-based outcome was wrong. About half the states have no laws that require a manual examination of paper ballots, and most other states perform only superficial spot checks. If nobody looks at the paper, it might as well not be there.
And superficial spot checks are not enough, as Black Box Voting points out.

Sad how long I've been writing about  problems with electronic voting machines

Following the 2000 election, billions were spent on new voting machines. My first post about the problems was in 2005.  Halderman has suggestions for how to fix the mess:
States still using paperless voting machines should replace them with optical scan systems, and all states should update their audit and recount procedures. There are fast and inexpensive ways to verify (or correct) computer voting results using a risk-limiting audit, a statistical method that involves manually inspecting randomly selected paper ballots. Officials need to begin preparing soon to make sure all of these improvements are ready before the next big election.

11/21/16

Root Veggie Salad with Red Grapefuit and Cilantro

Photo by Romulo Yanes for Martha Stewart.com.  Yanes was staff photographer for the late great Gourmet Magazine.

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Sally tells me that Glade Road Growing's farm share this week will include parsnips and other root veggies.  Parsnips, which are a native of Eurasia, are closely related to carrots and parsley.  They are  delicious roasted, steamed, sauted or raw.  They make a nice addition to stews.

While there won't be the pound and a half of parsnips called for in the original recipe, you can use the other root veggies in the share such as turnips and carrots. I've substituted cilantro for parsley, lime juice for vinegar, maple syrup for honey  and added some green onions. 

This salad would be nice served on a bed of arugula or other greens.  If you want to make this a main dish, you could add two cups of cooked white or black beans.  For meat eaters, this salad would be a great side for roasted chicken, duck, turkey or pork.  It would also be great accompaniment for tuna or salmon.


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Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 red grapefruits, peel and pith removed (I love the Texas Rio Reds when they're available.)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds peeled parsnips, carrots and peeled turnips (unless you are using salad turnips which   can be unpeeled)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup of finely chopped green onions

1.  Working over a large bowl, cut out grapefruit segments, setting the membranes aside.  Squeeze 1/4 cup juice from membranes and discard the membranes. Whisk in oil, lime juice, honey or syrup, salt and pepper into the grapefruit juice and add to bowl.

2.  With a vegetable peeler, shave the root vegetables  on the diagonal into strips. Add to bowl and toss, along with cilantro and green onions and toss.



11/14/16

Smashed Swedes with Ginger-Roasted Pears

Photo by Con Poulos for Bon Appetite.

Sally tells me that the farm share for this week from Glade Road Growing will include rutabagas (or what I know as swedes), a brassica that results from crossing turnips and cabbages.

Since I'm not sure how of the quantity of swedes in the farm share, I've made this recipe proportional.  If you don't have two pounds of swedes you can mix them with cubed winter squash.  In fact, you can do that anyway, if you prefer something a bit sweeter.  This recipe works with apples, when pears are no longer available in season.

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Serves 4 for two pounds of swedes.

Ingredients:

Swedes (rutabagas) peeled, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 firm Anjou or Bosc pear for each pound of swedes, cored, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 firm Anjou on Bosc pear, cored and sliced for garnish
1 tablespoon of butter for each pound of Swedes + 1 tablespoon to grease the pan of pears
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (optional, can substitute a sprinkling of ground nutmeg and 1 /2 teaspoon of cardamon)
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions:


1.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a large, rimmed cookie sheet with butter.
2.  Combine oil, lemon juice, ginger, and maple syrup in large bowl. Add pears; toss to coat. Spread on prepared sheet. Roast until tender, turning pears every 10 minutes, about 35 minutes total.
3.  While pears are cooking, cook the swedes in pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain swedes and return to same pot. Mash to coarse puree. Stir over medium heat until excess moisture evaporates, 5 minutes. Stir in thyme or nutmeg/cardamon and butter.
4.  Mix in the cubed pears and any juices from baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
5.  Serve in small bowls, garnished with sliced pears.  You can top it all off with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, if you like.

11/7/16

Black Radish Chips

Photo by Karis (no last name), who has a vegetarian food blog.

The share from Glade Road Growing for election day (or Friday, if you pick your veggies up at the farm) includes black Spanish radishes.

Radishes are annuals in the Brassica family.  This variety is also known as Gros Noir d’Hiver, Noir Gros de Paris and the Black Mooli. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and said to help fight off infection and promote healthy digestive and liver functions.  

Sharp in flavor raw (similar to horseradish), you can cut them into match sticks or grate them and add them to salads or yogurt.  You can pickle them or you can slice them thin to serve with dips. To tone down the heat of radishes, peel, slice, salt and rinse with water prior to using. 

They gain some sweetness when roasted or sautéd and braised.   They can be served as a side dish or added to soups, stir-fries and stews.  The greens are also edible and can be prepared in recipes calling for kale or turnip greens.

After experimenting a bit, I decided my favorite way to eat them is as chips.  Here is my recipe for crisp chips.  Clotilde Dusoulier notes in her recipe that if you slice them thicker, you'll get a softer version.

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Ingredients:
Black radishes
1 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

For a curried chip, you can substitute the following for the vinegar:
3/4  teaspoon of ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon of paprika.

If you don't like vinegar chips or curry chips, just use olive oil and salt.

Instructions:
1.  Cut off the greens and reserve for another use.  Scrub the radishes and slice as thin as possible.  In a large bowl, toss the slices with a olive oil and sea salt.  For flavored chips add either the balsamic vinegar or the curry spices (or make two batches so you can have both.)

2.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

3.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil).  Placed the radish slices on a cooling rack on top of the baking dish.

4.  Bake for 10 to
15 minutes, until the chips are crinkled around the edges.  Be careful not to burn them.
5.  After the cooking is finished, the radishes will continue to crisp as they cool.

6. Eat!  If you have so much self-control that you have some left over, you can store the completely cooled chips in a dry airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.




10/31/16

Moroccan Stew with Butternut Squash, Red Potatoes and Brined Green Olives



Photo by Deb Perelman of The Smitten Kitchen

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This week's farm share from Glade Road Growing includes butternut squash, so I thought I'd do another Moroccan stew.  The original recipe calls for preserved lemons, which, if bought prepared  are pricey.  Making them takes three weeks or four weeks, if you want to use this recipe or this one. Since Perelman says they're an acquired taste which she hasn't yet acquired,  I substituted lemon juice.

I also used a combination of lentils and chickpeas, rather than only chickpeas. While couscous is traditional,  it's a pasta.  I prefer to use quinoa, which is gluten free and higher in protein.

I also roasted the potatoes and butternut squash to deepen the flavor.  If you want to cut out this step, you can add them at the beginning of the boiling time. 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2  cup  dried chickpeas, cooked
2/3 cup raw quinoa, cooked
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided in half
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups of  tomatoes, diced (canned is fine, if they are out of season)
3 cups water
1 pound butternut squash, cut in half, strings and seeds removed
3/4 pound small red potatoes, cut in half
1 1/2 cups green lentils, rinsed well
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup brined olives, pitted. (Green Cerignolas are nice.  If you prefer, substitute Kalamatas.)
1/3 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cups of sliced almonds, toasted


Instructions:


1.  To cook chickpeas,  in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, cover with an 3 cups of water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand over night or for at least one hour. Rinse a second time, add three cups of water and bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat until soft, about 1 hour.

2.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees, F. Coat the  squash and potatoes in one tablespoon of the olive oil and roast, cut side down  on a cookie sheet in preheated oven until soft, about 30 minutes.  Cook until you can handle and then dice.

3.  To make the stew, heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat and saute onions and garlic few minutes until the onions are softened.  Stir in cumin, cinnamon,  sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and turmeric.  Cook a few minutes until spices are fragrant. Add cooked chickpeas, tomatoes, water and lentils.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat.

4.  To cook quinoa, bring 2  cup of water to a boil.  Add the 2/3 cup of  raw quinoa and return
to boil.  Take off stove and rinse well.  Add back in a scant 2 cups of water and return to stove and    bring to a boil.  Turn down to low.  Cover.  Cook 15 minutes.  Turn off heat.

5.  Add roasted squash and tomatoes to the stew mixture and cook for an addition 5 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked. Stir in lemon and olives.

6.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork and divide among six bowls.  Ladle the stew on top, garnished with cilantro, almonds and with greek yogurt, if desired.

This would be good served with steamed or braised greens, such as kale, tatsoi or spinach.

10/24/16

Curried Kabocha Squash Soup



Photo by Willow Arlen of Will Cook for Friends.

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This week's farm share from Glade Road Growing includes a sunshine kabocha squash. Rob Johnston developed this variety over the span of nearly twenty years of hand pollination and released it to the commercial market in 2004. In the 1970’s Johnston started by crossing two orange kabochas, the red kuri and golden nugget.  Later in the 1980’s Johnston crossed the most desirable offspring of this work with a green kabocha known as home delight, which was known to have a desirable sweet and dry flesh.

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Serves 4

This soup  will keep for about a week in the fridge, or can be frozen.

Ingredients:

1 kabocha squash (about 2 lbs)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp    cardamon
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
 1/8 tsp.  mustard
 1/8 tsp.   red pepper flakes
2 cups water
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
sea salt, to taste
fresh cilantro, for garnish
wedges of lime, for serving
Greek yogurt for garnish (or coconut milk for vegan version)

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Remove the stem, and cut the squash into wedges. Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides, and discard them. Place the wedges cut-side up onto a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1  tablespoon of olive or coconut oil, and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Roast the squash for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and let rest until it is cool enough to handle, then scoop the meat away from the flesh.

3.  In a large pot or dutch oven, saute the onion with 1 tablespoon of oil for 5-7 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and a pinch of salt, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant.

4.  In a blender, combine water with coconut and blend until smooth.  Add squash and spiced onions and puree until smooth. You may need to do this in batches. Return to the pot and add additional liquid as needed to reach the desired consistency.

5.  Serve with fresh cilantro, drizzle of yogurt or coconut milk and and wedges of lime.





10/17/16

Spaghetti Squash Ramen


Photo from Anarchist Kitchen.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash, halved and de-seeded
2 carrots, cut in half lengthwise and cut into sticks
1/2  # mushrooms, sliced
2 cups arugula (or kale, chard  or spinach) chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled and finely chopped
4 tablespoons of miso, thinned with water
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tablespoon of demerara sugar
1 fresh lime lime
sea salt to taste
4 tablespoons of toasted sesame seed oil
8 cups of water
4 hard-boiled chicken or duck eggs, peeled and halved

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 C.  Cut squash in half and remove seeds.  Place face down in baking dish with some water and bake for for 40 minutes.

2.  In a skillet, add about 1 tbs sesame seed oil. Sautee half the mushrooms with the carrots and half the grated ginger and garlic. When carrots look soft take everything out of the skillet and set on a plate.

3.  In the same skillet, add the greens and remaining garlic and saute them. They will wilt quickly. Once done add them to the cooked veggie plate.

4.  To make broth, bring water to boil in the skillet with the rest of mushrooms and ginger, oil,  pepper flakes and sugar.  Let broth cool until it's warm, stir in the miso and the lime juice.

5. Take spaghetti squash from oven and use fork to remove insides in strands. Divide the squash among four bowls, add broth, and place veggies on top and garnish with onion greens, cilantro and hard boiled eggs.

10/10/16

Fennel-Apple-Winter Squash Tart


Photo
by McKel Hill for her blog
Nutrition Stripped



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This week's farm share is slated to include fennel and I thought I'd do a recipe for a tart to celebrate.  With it being apple and winter squash season, why not combine all three? My recipe uses delicata squash and an onion, while butternut squash is pictured.  You could even use sweet potatoes instead.


This tart features a gluten and soy free vegan crust. If you'd prefer a conventional butter crust, see my recipe here.  I also have a recipe for a crust that includes corn meal and cheese here.  You can make the rice and the quinoa flours called for in this recipe by chilling the grains and then running them through a blender.

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Serves 6 - 8

Crust:

½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup quinoa flour
¼ cup cornstarch
8 tablespoons coconut oil, chilled
6 tablespoons ice water
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Filling:

1 delicata squash, unpeeled and halved, (or 1 half large butternut, peeled and quartered), seeds and strings removed and then sliced thin. 
1 large Granny Smith apple, quartered, cored and sliced thin
1 fennel bulb, end trimmed, sliced thinly (reserve the greens and stems for another purpose)
1 large onion, peeled, end trimmed, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried sage or 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves chopped
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, whole leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  To make the crust, combine all the rice and quinoa flours and corn starch in a large mixing bowl.  Start making small balls or chunks of the chilled coconut oil that you'll be working this into the flour and gradually adding in the ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time. At this point, the dough will look very crumbly. Work your hands into the dough bringing it together- use a pastry scraper to help get the dough off the the sides of the bowl. Spread the dough out in a well-greased cast iron skillet, making sure that the dough comes all the way up to the top of the sides so that you will have the option to fold it over..  Chill for 5-10 minutes in the refrigerator.  If you don't have a large skillet, you can roll the dough out on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet instead.

3.  To make the filling,  combine in the sliced squash, apples, onions and fennel in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil and seasoning and gently toss.  Arrange in layers until the entire crust is full. When the crust is warm enough to work, gently fold the edges on top of the sliced filling. Drizzle entire tart with additional olive oil and sea salt.

4.  Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees F or until crust is golden brown.

5.  If you'd like you can serve each slice with a dollop of  Greek yogurt, a crumble of goat or feta cheese, soy sour cream or McKel Hill suggests cashew spread ( I prefer Molly Patrick's recipe because it avoids the brewer's yeast, but you may want to spice it up with fresh garlic and Dijon mustard.)  In addition, or instead, you can also used a few of the fennel fronds torn apart for a garnish.

10/3/16

Spicy Carrot Soup

Photo by Karsten Moran for the New York Times.


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Hail got Glade Road Growing's chard this week (sigh), but there will still be carrots and onions in the farm share.  With the cold weather, I though soup would be good.  (And when the warm weather returns, this one is also good chilled.  If you would like this to be heartier, for a main course, you can add two cups of cooked white beans or garbanzos. 

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Serves 4


Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,  coconut oil, or ghee
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon turmeric
½ ground coriander
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 pounds young carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 cups of water
1 cup of dried white beans or garbanzo beans, cooked (optional)
1 bunch or hakurei turnips or one small daikon radish, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 2 cups) (if using turnips, reserve the greens for another use)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Cilantro or basil leaves, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Lime wedges, for serving
Greek yogurt or tofu sour cream for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1.  If you are adding beans to make this a main dish,
the night or at least two hours before, in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, cover 1 cup of beans with 2 cups water, and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand over night or for at least one hour. Rinse a second time.  Add two cups of water and bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat until soft, about 1 hour with 2 bay leaves.



2.  In a heavy-bottomed, lidded  soup pot, over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil.  When it is hot enough that a drop of water turns to steam, add onions saute, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander and cayenne and cook for one minute more, or just until fragrant. Season with salt.

3.  Add carrots and water. Raise the heat and bring to a brisk simmer, then put on the lid and turn heat to low. Cook until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from stove and let cool slightly.
If you would like this to be a main dish, add two cups of cooked beans.  Purée in a blender in batches, then return to soup pot.  Thin with water as  necessary, as the soup should not be too thick. Set aside.

4.  While soup is cooking, steam the turnips or daikon until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and keep warm.

5.  Reheat the soup over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of  oil in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute, or until spices are fragrant and beginning to pop. Pour the entire contents of the pan into the soup and stir to combine. Taste for salt and adjust.

6.  Divide daikon pieces among four bowls and ladle over a cup or so of soup. Garnish with cilantro or basil leaves, if using, and give each bowl a squeeze of lime.   Add a dollop of yogurt or tofu sour cream, if you desire.  

9/29/16

Poem: Lucy Lee Shirley's Skirt



ad more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article103423762.html#storylink=cpy

Back then, if they saw us trying to read or write they would take our hands, take our eyes, if they saw us keep doing it, take our lives, and here I was being awarded one of the top literary awards in the country, having come from that land...That’s our spirit – you can kill us, some of us will die and some of us will take the stories of our grandparents to the next generation. I am the living embodiment of that.   

      ~  Nikky Finney on the dedication of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, talking about one of the artifacts, a videotape of her acceptance speech for the National Book Award.

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Six days after police shoot Keith Lamont Scott claiming he posed a threat,
Zianna Oliphant testifies before her hometown City Council:
It’s a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed, and we 
can’t even see them anymore. It’s a shame
that we have to go to their graveyard and bury them.

Scott's wife has released a video she took
as she yelled at police:
He has no gun.

His sister tells reporters,
He sits in the shade, reads his book
and waits on his kid to get off the bus
He didn’t have no gun, 

he wasn’t messing with nobody.

In the museum on the Mall, hangs that little skirt  
someone carefully sewed
using a whip stitch and natural thread:
fabric linen/cotton blend
patterned with small flowers:
red, purple, tan and blue.
Style typical of the day,
trimmed with a pleated self-fabric ruffle,
piped in blue, gathered into a yellow waistband.

Worn often, Lucy's skirt shows its age
in stains and holes and worn patches
and later alterations.
Her granddaughter Cornelia 
has shared it with us.
A Polaroid shows
how once it had a long-sleeved
matching peplum top.

The curator says:
people's ability to continue to love 
is something that I can never quite get over.

Picture Lucy, seven or eight or nine
at dusk on a summer Sunday forty miles south in Loudon County
a century and a half earlier
whirling at the edge of a dirt track
fringed in wild asters.

Zianna, the same age, now, crying at a Charlotte podium.


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9/26/16

Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Bake

Photo by Dara Michalski (aka the Cookin' Canuck).
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Sally asked me to come up with a recipe for spaghetti squash for this week's farm share from Glade Road Growing.  Italian or greek is pretty obvious and I'd already done one for Pad Thai, so I thought I'd come up with something with Mexican flavors.  Unlike Michalski, I make my sauce and beans from scratch and use feta cheese (as we do on Masa Mondays at the farm), rather than Monterrey Jack.  She uses two small squash and I substituted one large one cut in fourths.

*


Serves 4

Ingredients

Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons whole wheat flour (or corn starch, if you would like this to be gluten free)
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
4 teaspoons oregano
4 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 sprig epazote (optional, if you can't find it)
3/4 cups water or stock
1 cup tomato paste or 4 fresh tomatoes roasted and pureed
1/3 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup dried black beans, cooked, rinsed and drained
1 large spaghetti squash
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup corn kernels, fresh cut off cob or frozen and defrosted
⅔ c feta cheese crumbled (or vegan feta substitute, see below)  If you eat neither dairy, nor soy,
     substitute 2/3 cups of chopped pitted kalamata olives)

3 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Ingredients for vegan feta substitute:
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried basil
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lb firm tofu, crumbled

If you want to try an almond-based feta substitute (which requires more work, see this recipe.


1.  To cook the black beans, the night before, bring 1 cup of beans to a boil in 3 cups of cold water and simmer for five minutes.  Rinse.  Bring back to boil and soak overnight. The next morning rinse well and drain. Cover with colder water plus an inch and start to simmer. (Add water as necessary to keep the beans barely covered).

2.  If you are making the vegan feta subsitute, place everything but the tofu in the bowl and whisk together. Add the tofu, stir, and let sit for at least an hour.  You will need 2/3 of a cup for this recipe and can store the rest for another use in a lidded glass jar in the fridge.

3.  To make the sauce,  heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add flour or corn starch, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add spices and cook for 30 seconds. Add water or stock, tomato paste and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Add salt and adjust the seasonings, as desired.  If you'd like, you can scale up this recipe and use 1 3/4 cups of the sauce and freeze the remainder for another use.

4.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Using a large, sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Scrape out the seeds. Place the squash cut edge down in a  baking dish and roast in oven for about 20 minutes, or until soft.  Before handling, let the squash stand for 10 minutes. Using a fork, twist out strands of the spaghetti squash flesh and place in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature. Save the shells of the squash for stuffing later.

5.  Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 

5.  Stir in the spaghetti squash strands, black beans, corn and enchilada sauce, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.  If you eat neither milk nor soy, instead of feta or substitute, stir in the chopped kalamata olives.  Scoop the spaghetti squash mixture into the spaghetti squash shells and top with cheese or vegan feta substitute, if using.

6.  If you are using the tofu vegan feta substitute skip this step, as it will not melt.  If you have made the almond vegan substitute or are using feta cheese, proceed as follows.  Turn oven to broil.  Place the stuffed spaghetti squash onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. 

7.  Sprinkle stuffed squash with cilantro.  Cut the halves in half again crosswise, so that you have 4 pieces, plate and serve.

9/19/16

Farm Fried Rice



Photo
by Julia Mueller of her  vegetable fried rice from her blog, The Roasted Root.

When Sally and JP told me that  farm share from  Glade Road Growing  this week was slated to include baby bok choy, carrots, sweet peppers, lettuce mix and garlic this week, I suggested that I come up with a recipe for fried rice (which will use everything except the lettuce.)  Mueller's  recipe, which she developed for the spring features broccoli, spinach and green onions and is a side dish, but her photograph was so beautiful and her blog so in line with the kinds of recipes I develop that I decided to feature it here.  Like hers, my fried rice is mostly veggies with some rice, rather than the reverse proportions that you will find in your typical Chinese restaurant.  Mine is more yellow, as I use turmeric and olive oil to flavor the rice.

*

Serves 4


Ingredients
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 baby bok chok, sliced thin on the slant
2 cups shredded carrot
1  piece fresh ginger, finely chopped to make 1 to 2 tablespoons
8 cloves garlic, smashed peeled and finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 onion, chopped (or green onion, if you make this in the spring)
2 cups green peas (fresh if you make this in the spring, frozen this time of year)

8  duck or large chicken eggs, well beaten (you can substitute 1 cup of cooked chicken for 4 of the eggs, if you prefer.)

4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4  tablespoons miso, thinned with an equal amount of water
Chopped roasted peanuts

Instructions

1. To cook the rice, in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, combine the rice and water and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add teaspoon sea salt, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil  and ground turmeric and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave for 40 minutes until water is absorbed.

2. While rice is cooking, saute the vegetables. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet, wok, or saucepan and heat to medium-high. Add the bok choy, bell pepper and onions and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water, cover, and continue cooking until the bok choy  is bright green and the peppers and onions have begun softening, about 3 to 5 minutes.

3.  Add the shredded carrot, ginger, garlic and pepper flakes. Continue cooking until garlic and ginger are very fragrant, about 3 minutes.

4.  Transfer the cooked rice to the skillet with the veggies and add the peas.  Stir everything together well and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the rice mixture to sit.

5.  Scramble the the eggs in a separate skillet and add to the fried rice.  Turn off the heat and stir in the miso, toasted sesame oil and peanuts. 

9/12/16

Baingan Bharta AKA Northern Indian Eggplant Curry

Photo by Sabra Krock for the New York Times.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1/2 tsp gound cumin 
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves smashed, peeled, finely chopped
1 green chili finely chopped, seeds removed (optional--for extra heat)
1 tomato, diced
2 cups cooked garbanzo or chicken (optional)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of cilantro or basil, finely chopped
 
Directions:


1.  Prick the eggplant with a thin-blade knife. Grill over very high heat, turning as necessary until the skin is blackened and the eggplant collapses. Or broil, or roast on a heated cast-iron pan or in a counter-top convection oven at 450 degrees F.  It will take about 20 minutes.

2.  When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel (this will be easy) and trim away the hard stem. Chop or mash in a bowl, with lime juice.

3.  Toast spices in a dry skillet and set to the side.

4.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger  (and green chili, if you'd like) and cook for another minute. Add the tomato, toasted spices and salt. Cook until the tomato is soft, 5 minutes or so.

5.  If you would like for this to be a main dish, you can add two cups cooked garbanzo beans or  chopped cooked chicken. 

6. Stir in the eggplant purée and cook, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and cilantro and turn off the heat. Serve hot with warm chapati bread or pita, or over cooked rice quinoa. 

9/4/16

Kale and (Of Course Avocado) Guacamole

Photo by Ian McSpadden for Fifty Shades of Kale by Drew Ramsey, M.D. and Jennifer Iserloh.

*

Sally, JP and Jody will be on vacation, but Sally tells me that the  Glade Road Growing farm share for September 6 will include kale, sweet peppers, eggplant, head lettuce, basil, tomatoes and garlic. 

Inspired by Dr. Ramsey's suggestion, I decided to add kale to my guacamole recipe.  While I usually used cilantro, I decided to try basil, since that's what available.  (His recipe calls for red onions and jalapeños, while mine uses garlic, sweet peppers and cumin. I also use fewer avocados and add cooked beans to increase the protein and fiber and cut the fat.)

Ingredients:

2 cups kale leaves
2 Hass ripe avocados, cut in half, pits removed
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1/2 cup of cooked white beans
3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup sweet red pepper,  stem and core removed and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic  smashed, root end cut off, peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin


1.  Steam the kale over boiling water for a couple of minutes.  Rinse in a cold water bath, to maintain the bright green color, drain and chop finely.

2.   Scoop out the flesh out of the avocado and place in a large bowl, along with the cooked white beans and immediately coat in lime juice to keep the avocado from browning.   Add salt and mash with the back of a wooden spoon until it is still a bit chunky.it chunky.

3.  Stir in kale, tomatoes, red peppers, garlic, cumin and   basil.  Cover and store in the refrigerator up to 10 hours.

4.  Serve with whole grain tortilla chips, toasted whole wheat pita wedges, or toasted soft corn tortillas.

8/29/16

Savory Leek Crêpes

Photo from  the site Good To Know (no photographer credited)

Sally tells me that this week's farm share from Glade Road Growing will include leeks, so I thought I would come up with a recipe for crêpes.  On weeks when you don't have leeks this  recipe would be good with either spinach or broccoli.

*

Serves  6

Crêpe Batter:

1 cup white whole wheat, sprouted whole wheat or unbleached white flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling:

1 ir 2 leeks, washed, root end removed, drained and chopped
1 1/4 cups milk
1Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Teaspoons wholegrain mustard
2/3 cup shredded Gruyère or extra sharp Cheddar cheese
Sea salt and ground nutmeg to taste

If you want a heartier recipe.  You can also add 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped or one cup of cooked white or black beans, slightly mashed, to the filling.

*


1.  To make the crêpe batter, combine all the batter ingredients in a blender  and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crêpes will be less likely to tear during cooking.  (If you want to make the batter ahead of time, you can store it for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.)  If you don't have a blender, you can whisk together the eggs, milk and butter in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, make a well in the flour and sprinkle on the salt.  Fill the well with the liquid mixture and then whisk together until fairly smooth and refrigerate.

2.   To cook the crêpes, heat a lightly oiled cast iron skillet on medium  until a bead of water evaporates.  Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan.  Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.  Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay he crêpes out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone.  This will make about 18 crêpes.  (After they have cooled you can stack the crêpes and store in seal-able plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. If you are using frozen crepes, you will need to thaw them on a rack before gently peeling them apart.

3.   To make the filling, first melt the butter in the bottom of a saucepan and saute the leeks for 2 minutes, cover and cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a plate.

4.  Mix flour with a bit of milk to make a paste.  Add remaining milk to the saucepan and bring to a rolling simmer.   Gradually stir in butter and the flour paste until it thickens. Turn down to warm and stir in the cheese to melt.  Stir in  mustard, cooked leeks, salt and nutmeg, and, if desired, chicken or beans.

5.  Divide the filling among the cooked crepes,, putting a bit in the center and then folding in half and then half again, as shown in  photograph.

6.  Serve warm.  This would be good with a salad, made from this week's baby escarole, with chopped tomatoes and sweet peppers.


8/22/16

Heirloom Tomato and Onion Pie


Photo from Emily Hilliard's pie blog, Nothing in the House.


When I was at Glade Road Growing on Friday picking up my farm share, JP suggested an onion pie recipe this week,  I had just seen a recipe for tomato pie thanks to my friend writer and artist Angelyn DeBord of Appalshop, who got it from WV State Folklorist Emily Hilliard, who, in turn, adapted it from that wonderful Eastern Kentucky (Corbin) native Ronni Lundy's cookbook, Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken.  So in answer to JP's request, I've added more onions to Ronni's recipe and made some other changes.

Lundy believes that tomato pie is derived from that southern restaurant favorite stewed tomatoes. Many other recipes for tomato pie include mayonnaise, but I prefer otherwise, as does Hilliard.   My pie crust adds  cornmeal and grated Parmesan cheese. I also prefer my tomatoes and onions sliced, rather than chopped, since they are so pretty.

*

Serves  6

Crust:
3/4 cup white whole wheat  or sprouted wheat flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 T cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces or you can substitute extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup yogurt + 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon water or milk)


Filling:
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red or white onion, sliced thin
3 cups fresh tomatoes, sliced and left to dry a bit on the counter for a half-hour
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 or five fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon sea salt


1. To make the crust, whisk together in a medium bowl, the flour, corn meal and salt, then use your fingers to work in the butter or olive oil.  Pour buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir until well blended but still damp. Roll into a ball, cover and refrigerate, which will allow the fat to form layers that make for a flakier crust.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the Tablespoon of butter into a large skillet. Add onions and cook until softened.

3.  Drain the juice from the tomatoes and add milk to the juice. Add a bit of the liquid mixture to the cornstarch and stir to make a smooth paste.  Whisk the sugar, cornstarch paste, and spices into the remaining liquid mixture until well blended.  Pour into the skillet with the onions and turn heat to medium.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

4.  Layer the tomato slices on top of the onions and liquid mixture.

4.  Turn the pie crust dough out onto a floured board and roll into a circle the size of your skillet.  Cut into strips about an inch wide for the lattice top.  Lay the strips of dough over the top of the filling,  weaving to make a lattice, if desired.

4. Place skillet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the dough is golden-brown.





8/15/16

Grilled Eggplant and Fennel


Photo from Gibbet Hill Farm

Sally tells me that tomorrow's farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include fennel, eggplant, sweet pepper, garlic, beets and tomatoes.  Continuing with the hot weather recipes, here's one for grilled eggplant and fennel.




*

Serves 4


1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 fennel bulb, stalks and fronds away and reserve for another use, with core trimmed until there is
      just enough to hold the fennel together, cut into quarters.   Slice one of the more tender stalks on a       slant and chop up a few fronds for garnish in this recipe.
2 tomatoes, cut into eights

Dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 dash paprika
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

*

1.  Prep vegetables.

2.  Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl.  Add eggplant and fennel and toss until covered.

3.  Grill eggplant and fennel on medium grill 5 - 8 minutes per side.  Fennel should retain some crispness.  Eggplant should be tender.  If you don't have a grill, you can roast the veggies in the oven on a parchment paper covered baking sheet at 450 degrees F.  It will probably take 10 minutes on each side.

4.  Drizzle with some more balsamic vinegar and serve warm on separate plates, garnished with tomato wedges and a few fennel fronds. If you would like for this to be a meal, rather than a side, you can combine with 2 cups of cooked beans or or 2 cups of cooked chicken or 1/4 pound of  feta cheese and 4 tablespoons of pine nuts, walnuts or peanuts.






8/8/16

Heirloom Tomatoes with Arugula, Onion and Basil


Photo from Christine at Fresh Local and Best.

*

Sally tells me this week's share from Glade Road Growing  will include eggplant,  a sweet pepper, a red onion, tomatoes, arugula and basil.  Add some zucchini and you have the makings for ratatouille. Or, if you want, you can grill the eggplant and pepper outside and serve it with this salad.

If you like, this would be good topped with crumbled feta cheese and pitted kalamata olives.  To make it a main course, you could add 2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans (cooking directions) and 4 hard-boiled eggs quartered.


Serves 4


Ingredients

1-2 pounds of heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced crosswise into disks
4 cups fresh arugula, loosely packed
1/2 onion, finely chopped
8 or more fresh basil leaves,  chiffonade-cut (stacked, rolled and sliced thin into ribbons)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1.  In a large bowl, add the arugula and drizzle with olive oil, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.  Toss gently to coat the leaves.

2.  Plate the arugula.   Top with tomatoes and basil.  Season with pepper.

8/1/16

Raw Beet Slaw


Photograph from Crissy Cavanaugh's recipe collection at her blog.

*


When I went by Glade Road Growing last Friday to pick up my share, Sally suggested I continue the no-cook option with a beet slaw this week.  I took my inspiration from the above photograph.

Serves 4

2 raw beets, peeled and shredded
2 carrots, grated
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 green onion, root end removed and chopped
½ cup pecans
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup raw shredded coconut
1 TB orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon cumin
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1.  Combine the green onions, oil, horseradish, lime juice, orange juice, cumin and pecans  together in a large bowl.

2.  Fold in the beets, carrots, apples and cilantro.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Chill for at least an hour or overnight.  


For a bonus, take a look at Freya Bellin's recipe for raw beet tartare I found at Mark Bittman's site. I think it would be really good with goat cheese on pitas!

7/25/16

Stuffed Fresh Tomatoes


Photo from Richmond-based food writer Tim Vidra's recipe for Aftertaste.

*


The tomatoes are in!  While they've been on sale at Glade Road Growing's farm stands for weeks, they've finally arrived in sufficient quantities for the vegetable share, along with basil, garlic, summer squash, onion and a pepper (plus a beets or kohlrabi, which I'm not including in this recipe, as I featured them last week.

If it were cooler, this might sound like the perfect time for ratatouille.  But, arrgh, it was in the nineties this weekend and will still be high eighties now that the heat wave is "over."  Who feels like cooking?  I don't.  Last week, in her newsletter, Sally suggested grilling or using a crock pot in the evening to keep the house cooler, but I thought, why not something raw?

If the tomatoes in your bag are the large heirloom slicers, as shown above, great.  If not, no problem.  I'm not sure how many tomatoes you'll be getting, so, if there are fewer, enjoy what you get and use any extra stuffing in pitas or tossed with cooked pasta and/or beans that have been chilled.  The original recipe called for cukes and dill (and no squash, sweet pepper, onion, garlic and basil) so I made some changes.

*

3-4  tomatoes, topped and cored with a paring knife
1 summer squash, stem and end cut off and diced
1/4  sweet pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced 
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped, divided into two portions
2 teaspoons onions, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, peeled, smashed and diced finely
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1.  Sprinkle the inside of each tomato with salt. This will pull the juices from the tomato and into the well.

2.  To make the dressing, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, whisking to combine.

3. Dice the tomato top/core and add to the prepped squash, sweet pepper, crumbled feta and half of the  basil. Pour the dressing over the diced ingredients and stir to combine.

4.  Scoop the salad into the cored tomatoes and garnish with remaining basil. 





7/18/16

Roasted Veggie, Chickpea and Collard Salad with Tahini Dressing

Photo accompanied Rachel Schwartzman's recipe at  Lillian Zhao's site, Further Food.


The July 19 farm share from Glade Road Growing will include potatoes, onion, kohlrabi, beets and collards.  Here's a roasted salad inspired by Rachel Scwartzman's recipe (she had sweet potatoes, beets and collards to work with.)

*

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Salad:
1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 bay leaves
potatoes, washed and cut into quarters or eights, depending on size
beets, washed and quartered
kohlrabi, washed and cut into eights
1 onion, washed, peeled and cut into eights
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
collard greens, washed and  coarsely chopped

Dressing:
1/3 cup sesame raw sesame seeds
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water

1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon of orange  juice concentrate
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoon of cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon miso paste

Instructions:

1.  The night before, cook 1 cup dry chickpeas,  in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, cover with 2 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and 2 bay leaves and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand over night or for at least one hour. Rinse a second time two cups of water and bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat until soft, about 1 hour.

2..  Prep  potatoes, beets, onion and kohlrabi.  Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat.  Roast in 425 degree F oven for 15 minutes. 

3.  While the vegetables are roasting, chop collards.   Remove vegetables from oven, and when cool enough, peel beets and kohlrabi, discarding peel.  Toss in chopped collards and return to oven to finish roasting, 10 minutes more.

4.  While the vegetables cook, to make dressing,  toast sesame seeds in a hot, lightly oiled cast iron skillet, until they just begin to pop.  Reserving 1 TB for garnish, combine the remaining roasted seeds with  water, garlic, orange juice, cumin and cilantro in blender and process until smooth.

 3.  Toss vegetables and chickpeas in dressing and refrigerate.  Serve chilled garnished with roasted sesame seeds and cilantro. (In the winter, you may want to serve this as a hot dish.)



*

As a bonus, here's Emily Horton's recipe for a raw (or lightly blanched) collard salad with potatoes and chickpeas  (photo by Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post.)





7/11/16

Fennel and Lemon Salad


Photo from Bistrot Cenisio 10, Milan, Italy

1 fennel bulb, sliced thin (use a mandoline, if you have one).
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped; can also chop 1/2 cups of fennel fronds, if they are included with the bulb and reserve the rest for another use.

Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, and cilantro (and fennel fronds, if available) in a salad bowl until blended. Add the sliced fennel and toss until coated. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you'd like you can also include 1 cup of fresh blueberries and top some shaved goat cheese or crumbled feta.

7/5/16

Creamy Coleslaw


Photograph by Samantha Fromm Haddow from her food blog, Carpe Cibus (Seize the Food.)

*

The July 5 share from Glade Road Growing will include cabbage, kohlrabi, carrots, bunch onions, kale and golden beets.  Here's my recipe for cole slaw. The cabbages this week are green.  This also looks lovely with red cabbage.  Some folks like their coleslaw with vinegar.  My mother always made hers with lemon juice and I follow her example, substituting lime juice on occasion.

*

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 cups of cabbage, cored and shredded
2 cups of carrots shredded
2 cups of Granny Smith apples shredded
1/2 cup of green onions, chopped
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup of mayonnaise or 1/2 cup of yogurt plus 1 1/2 tsp. corn starch
juice from 1/2 lemon or lime
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1.  In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, apples, green onions and cilantro with mayonnaise and juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  If you are using the yogurt, to keep it from separating first mix the corn starch with an equal amount of yogurt and then stir into the rest of the yogurt.

2.  Cover and chill for at least a half an hour to meld flavors.

3.  Serve cold.





6/27/16

Aloo Ghobi Chana Masala (Curry with Potatoes, Cauliflower and Chickpeas)

Photo from Cook's Illustrated

*

The expected vegetables in the Glade Road Growing farm share for the week of June 28 will include cauliflower and potatoes.  Here's a recipe for one of my favorite Indian curries.

Serves 4




Ingredients:
1 cup dry chickpeas
1 cup raw basmati brown rice
1 onion. peeled and chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, mashed, peeled and chopped finely
1 T fresh ginger, chopped finely
1 pound of  tomatoes chopped or cherry tomatoes halved or 1 can diced tomatoes
4 T of tomato paste
1 pound of potatoes chopped
1 cauliflower, separated into florets
1/2  pound of green peas (frozen will work)
1/2 tsp gound cumin 
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, reserving 4 for garnish
1/2 cup of plain yogurt

*

1.  To cook 1 cup dry chickpeas,  in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, cover with 2 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand over night or for at least one hour. Rinse a second time two cups of swater and bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat until soft, about 1 hour.

2.  In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, combine 1 cup basmati brown rice , 2 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave for 40 minutes until water is absorbed. 

3.  While rice is cooking, prep the veggies as described above.  Steam the cauliflower and potatoes separately for 5  minutes until slightly soft.  If you are using raw peas, rather than frozen, you can steam them also.

4.  Measure out the spices (except for the salt,  black pepper and basil leaves) and toast in a dry cast iron skillet and set to the side.
5.   Heat 1 TB extra virgin olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Sautee garlic and ginger until soft. Add to the bottom of a lidded heavy-bottomed pot.  Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, cauliflower, potatoes,  spices, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir in the cooked chickpeas.  When the pot has returned to a boil, reduce heat and simmer,  covered,  for about 15 minutes. Add cooked or frozen peas and warm through.  Remove the curry from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves.

7.  Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork. Divide among four bowls and top with curry and a garnish each bowl with a dollop of  plain yogurt and  a basil leaf.

6/24/16

Come On Dems, (and R's) Let's Have a Smart Gun Bill

In the wake of the latest gun violence in Orlando, Democrats in House of Representatives--led by civil rights icon John Lewis--seemed to be rising up on their collective haunches as they staged a protest to demand gun control legislation.  The R's called the protest a "stunt" and "anti-democratic," blocked a vote and turned off the cameras (so that C-SPAN couldn't air its coverage.) The feisty  D's started broadcasting via cell phone. 
It turned out "NoBillNoBreak" was an empty threat when the R's adjourned in the middle of the night.  Lewis tweeted:
We got in trouble. We got in the way. Good trouble. Necessary Trouble. By sitting-in, we were really standing up.
A friend with a long history of civic engagement had "just called John Lewis' DC office to thank him for his acts of bravery and determination."  I went in search of media coverage on the content of  the Democrats' legislation.  I came up only with a June 22 post by Gawker's editor-in-chief Alex Parene, "The Democrats Are Boldly Fighting for a Bad, Stupid Bill.  Despite any reservations you may have with colloquial title and the site's  click-bait and copyright violaiton habits and its focus on celebrities, I'd encourage you to  read the piece.

Parene writes,
The no-fly list is a civil rights disaster by every conceivable standard. It is secret, it disproportionately affects Arab-Americans, it is error-prone, there is...no effective recourse for people placed on the list, and it constantly and relentlessly expands. As of 2014, the government had a master watchlist of 680,000 people, forty percent of whom had “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” This is both an absurdly large number of people to arbitrarily target in gun control legislation, and far, far too few to have any meaningful effect on actual gun ownership, let alone gun violence.
To Parene's links to the ACLU,  I would add its critique of proposed gun legislation here and I've asked the organization, via twitter, for an update on the statistics on the watchlist. 

Also, watch Jon Oliver's brilliant video on gun control and the influence of the NRA.  (You'll need to watch it on YouTube, if it's disabled here.  It's at the head of the episode (S03E06).  The segment labelled NRA there is truncated.)  As he says, the NRA doesn't have very many members and its opinions are not popular, but they are persistent.  "If you want serious changes, you have to show up every f*cking day."





Parene his piece like this:
Since the San Bernardino shootings (or even before), an easy, cynical predication has been that the only form of gun control with a realistic shot of being enacted in the near future would be measures that would ban only Muslims from purchasing guns. As is too often the case, Democrats seem determined to prove cynics right.
Lewis tweeted:
This  is not over. We have more work to do. Keep the faith and keep your eyes on the the prize.
I'd ask Lewis to go after a better prize. Why channel rage about Orlando towards the No-Fly List?

*

If you want to call, Congressman Lewis's number is: (404) 659-0116. His direct email is johnlewis@mail.house.gov.  You can also write his chief of staff, Michael E. Collins: michael.collins@mail.house.gov.

Call your own members of Congress (you can find their contact info via thepeoplegov.org

At while you're at it, call Paul Ryan (paul.ryan@mail.house.gov, 202-225-3031) and Mitch McConnell (senator@mcconnell.senate.gov, 202-224-2541), too. Ryan's Chief of Staff since last year, is revolving door lobbyist David Hoppe: dave.hoppe@mail.house.gov.  McConnell's is Brian T. McGuire: brian_mcguire@mcconnell.senate.gov