Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chilli Lemon Tofu, Collard Greens and Brown Rice

 1.  Get the brown rice cooking.

2.  Make the marinade.  Get it mixed up and soaking on the tofu.  Soak for 20 minutes or so.

3.  Cut up the collards, by cutting off the rib.  Then stacking the leaf part of 2 - 3 collards at a time, rolling them up like a sleeping bag, and then start slicing thin rounds off the end.  Cut up the onions too.

4.  Place the tofu and marinade in a skillet, and start cooking on medium temperature.  Stir very gently, but often enough to keep no part of the pan drying out before another part of the pan.  Cook until there is no moisture left and it is just starting to stick.  Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner.  Set aside.

5.  While the tofu is cooking, get the collards into a large kettle.  They will cook down quite a bit.  You need 4 - 5 times as much volume of fresh greens as you will need cooked greens in the end.  Add the onion, lime juice and salt.  Cover with a lid, and cook until the greens are cooked down in size and the onions are transparent.

6.  Spoon out a layer of cooked brown rice onto a platter.  Spread the collard greens around on top of the rice.  Lay out the tofu as the top layer.


My recipe: Lemon Chili Marinade 
1/3 cup Bragg's liquid aminos or Tamari
Juice of one lemon
2 tsp SiRacha sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
black pepper, optional

Kettle full of collard greens, ribs removed, rolled and cut thinly
One onion diced
Juice of one lime
1/2 tsp salt
water to cover the bottom of you kettle 1/2 centemeter deep

Monday, September 24, 2012

Prune Conserve

Hi Friends,

I don't know if I have any regular readers or not.  If I do, I would love to know you are there.  I know a lot of people pop in for recipes, and I wonder if you ever come back again.  If you are there, please do leave comments as you get a chance.

I thought I'd let you know what I made today.  Last year our favorite homemade jam was made out of prunes.  All the other jams we made were ok, but the Prune Conserve stood out above all the rest in many ways.  By the way, prunes are really a fresh fruit.  They are not just dried plums.  One common variety is Italian Prunes. They are purple/blue in color, and split easily in half, like an apricot.  Their flavor is sweet with a touch of lemon juice complexity, with no bitter.  There happened to be one of these trees on the property when we moved into this house, which made me really happy, because there were Italian prunes where I grew up also.  I think you could also make this recipe with some sweet plums too.

The original recipe had 6 cups of sugar!  So of course, I had to start tweaking.  Last year we figured out this recipe really does not need much sugar, and its thickness is not based on sugar or pectin either.  I also decreased the amount of orange peel in the recipe, because frankly, it is not one of my favorite flavors.

Another tip for the recipe is that if you have a food processor, use it.  If you don't, it will take you a bit more time for chopping ingredients, but that doesn't matter, if you aren't making mega batches.  Another tip is that it is ok to make multiple batches, as long as they will fit into your largest kettle.

Prune Conserve

2 1/2 quarts chopped, pitted prunes or plums (about 4 pounds)*
2 cups raisins
1 3/4 cups chopped orange pulp*
1/3 cup thinly sliced orange peel*
1 1/2 cups sugar (you might try xylital or stevia)
2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans or other nuts*

* Use the S-blade of your food processor on these, if you have one.  Pulse them until they are as small as you wish.  The nuts and orange peel can be pulsed fine.

Combine the prunes, raisins, orange pulp, orange peel and sugar in a large pot.  Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Cook rapidly almost to jellying point, about 15 - 20 minutes.  As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.  Add nuts the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Pour hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Adjust caps.  Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath.  Yield:  about 5 pints.

Thanks to William at Heavenly Light Photography for the photos.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chili Salsa (As Mild as you Wish)

Here is the recipe for salsa that I made last year, and I am going to make again this year.

Chili Salsa
Yield 7 - 9 pints

10 cups peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
4 cups chopped onions
1 cup lemon juice
6 cups seeded chopped chiles (use a variety of hot to mild peppers and some in between to desired heat level.)
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Combine ingredients in a large saucepan.  Heat to boil and simmer 10 minutes.  Ladle salsa into hot pint jars.  Leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch head space.  Wipe rims.   Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner.  15 minutes 0 - 1,000 feet altitude, 20 minutes 1000 - 6000 feet altitude, 25 minutes above 6000 feet.

Low Sugar Homemade Ketchup from Garden Tomatoes

Here is my long awaited ketchup recipe. It is for those who don't want to overdue sugar in their food, and yet want a nice tasting sauce for potatoes. If you like it sweeter, feel free to add more of the sweetener of your choice, at your own risk. In my opinion, and the opinion of a few other people, it tastes a lot like a store brand in the refrigerator that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup, it is just a whole lot less sweet, though still tasty.

So grab some tomatoes and boil them down into sauce. (By the way, I blend whole tomatoes, skin and all for the base for my sauce. I put it in casserole dishes in the oven, at 350 degrees, and it seems to thicken faster there then on the stove top. But when I run out of oven space, I put blended tomatoes in a big pot on the stove, and boil it down. Once it is thick, I put it back into the blender until ketchup smooth.
Barbara's Ketchup

For every 4 cups of very thick, smooth, boiled down tomato sauce, add:

1 1/3 cups of lemon juice
1/2 cup honey or other sweetener of choice
1 Tablespoon oregano, dried
1 Tablespoon basil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Pour in jars and can like tomato sauce.