Friday, May 20, 2011

Remember Mollie Katzen and Moosewood Cookbook?

Mollie is famous in the world of Vegetarians.
Check out her Website and her simple to follow recipes. She has incorporated animal proteins in a few recipes as well.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Vegan Red Stuffed Peppers

Summer produce will be around the corner and this is a really tasty version of an old standby; Stuffed Peppers.  Growing up my mom always made stuffed peppers. She made them with Green peppers, rice and ground beef.  My updated version uses red peppers, as they are sweeter and less apt to repeat on you, brown rice with it's added vitamins and fiber, and no meat or cheese.  My secret ingredient is Grape Leaves. They add a wonderful tangy flavor that makes one forget there is no meat or cheese.
I hope you enjoy.
Happy Mothers Day to all the women of our past, present, and future.

Stuffed Red Peppers


- 2 cups brown short grain rice, cook in 5 cups of water until mostly done
- 2 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 4 cups zucchini, 1 inch cubes
- 2 lbs red skinned potatoes, 1/2  inch cubes
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 quart vegetable stock (VS)
- 1/2 bunch mint ,fresh, chopped
- 1/2 bunch dill, fresh , chopped
- 1/2 jar grape leaves, drained
- salt, as desired
- white pepper ground, as needed, about 1 T or to taste
- 10 whole red peppers, cut in half,remove seeds
- red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp
- tomato diced,canned, undrained
- 1/2  bunch parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar, champagne or apple cider


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook Brown Rice. 2 cups of uncooked rice.

Cook celery for 4min in a stainless skillet with 2-4 T of Vegetable Stock (VS). Set aside.

Steam potatoes for 4 min.  Set aside.

Saute onion  for 4 mins in 2-4 T of VS. Set Aside.

Saute Garlic for 2 mins  in  2 T of VS.Set aside

Saute Zuchinni for 4 min.   4-6 T of VS. Set aside.

Combine the above in a large bowl.

Now add the Olive oil,mint,dill, parsley,salt, pepper, red pepper, diced plum tomatoes and vinegar.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

Line baking dish with the grape leaves and pour a layer of the canned diced tomatoes in the bottom.

Stuff peppers with filling.

Place stuffed  pepper halves in pan and cover each with a grape leaf.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Bake for 1 hour.

Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

 They can be frozen before or after they are baked.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I caught my first swarm!

A swarm in May is worth a load of hay
A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon
A swarm in July — let them fly

There were 3 clusters of bees in this bush making up the swarm. The largest is in the background of this photo on the left.

"Swarming is the natural means of reproduction of honey bee colonies. A new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees, a process called swarming. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees. Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a two- or three-week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the producing season." from Wikipedia
I will remember today for a long time. Seeing a swarm and getting it to go into a hive box was an amazing accomplishment. I grabbed by bee gloves and bee vail first. I brought my camera too. I carried a hive box with some frames in it and placed under the swarm.

Then I shook the swarm and they dropped into the box, but thousands of bees were flying around. I did this again with another box.

 I left for a while and when I came back all the bees had moved into one of the boxes, the box with the queen, I assume because the bees follow her by scent (pheremones). In the evening when all the bees were settled I moved them back to my bee yard. I will check them in the morning.
It's the morning after catching my first swarm. Today Huck and I went to see if the bees liked their new home. (Huck does not come anywhere near the bee yard, he was stung once. He is a quick learner)
They like it! It has plenty of room for a growing family and they love the neighbors (the Honeybees of Colts Neck). It's done deal. Closing took place this morning.
I took this video showing how I checked the hive box to see if the swarm was still there.

After removing the outer cover, I could see and hear the swarm through the inner cover!!!! See them? I feel like a new mother!

I will watch the weather and feed them only if it is really cold or extremely rainy. Bees can't fly in the rain (watch the Bee Movie).  In a couple of weeks I'll check inside the hive to see if the queen laying brood and the workers are building up honey stores.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Here a Chick, there a Chick, everywhere a Chickpea Soup

Sunday evening is a good time to soak a pot a beans for cooking the next day. Last night a put up a pot of organic chickpeas for the soup I'm making today.
Trying out the NY sunday Times recipe for Chickpea Soup;

NY Times Chickpea soup

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Health Coaching Website is live. Take a peek.

As many of you know, I am a student of the Institute for Integrated Nutrition in NYC. I am having an amazing year studying to be a Health Coach!
 This is my new website! Take a peek and see what kinds of Healthy tips and services I will be offering once I graduate!

Click on this link:
Becky's Whole World Health

I've just discovered the Fabulous Beekman Boys

I never heard of the Fabulous Beekman Boys before  I received an email from Williams Sonoma promoting their Heirloom Vegetable Gardening program this past weekend.  Of course I ran over to WS to buy my vegetable seeds and logged onto their Website:

The Fabulous Beekman Boys

Oh, they have a show on Green Planet too!

I'm loving them.  They are 2 city guys who buy a farm near our upstate (wanna be a farm ) in Schoharie County, NY.  I love that they have the same dream Tom and I have of creating a sustainable farming lifestyle.
Can't wait to see what they come up with.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Whats Cooking

Trying to make some dishes ahead of time so I can get back to my  Health Coach studying and dreaded year end paper work.
I like to cook in the morning, so this morning I started a pot of Vegetable Stock to use for the week. Today I will be making  Curried Roasted Butternut/Sweet potato soup with some of the stock, and some Baked (Fried) Breaded Eggplant.
Did you notice that Eggplant is hard to come by this winter? It's because of the crop failures in Mexico. I make Eggplant for my husband Tom because it is one of those foods he can't live without.  I prefer to eat Eggplant only at the end of the summer when it is in season on the East coast.


Today I'm mixing up a large batch of Sofrito. 
Sofrito is a seasoning staple in Spanish foods.

 Made of : Onions, Garlic, Green frying peppers, Red Bell peppers,Tomatoes, and Cilantro. Make a large batch and freeze in small freezer bags or 1/2 pint mason jars, just be sure to fill the mason jar only half full to allow for expansion in the freezer. If not then the jar will crack!

In my house, sofrito makes its way into everything from yellow rice, black bean soup, sauce for spaghetti and meatballs to braised chicken and sautéed shrimp. Not only that, it freezes beautifully, so in about In 10 minutes you can make enough sofrito to flavor a dozen dishes. I’m telling you, this stuff is great.  Add sofrito to some of your own favorite dishes that could use a little boost. You will change the way you cook. I guarantee it.

2 medium Spanish onions, cut into large chunks

3 to 4 Italian frying peppers or cubanelle peppers 

16 to 20 cloves garlic, peeled

2 large bunches cilantro, washed
3 to 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks

1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large chunks

Makes about 4 cups
Chop the onion and Italian Green peppers in the work bowl of a food processor until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients one at a time and process until smooth. The sofrito will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes beautifully.

Tonight I made Puerto Rican Style Brown Rice and Black Beans. with some of my Sofrito. Yummy!!!!!!
Black beans are believed to be healthier than Blueberries! Great recipe for keeping your blood sugar levels from spiking too.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cuisinart Placement

Your Cuisinart is an indispensible workhorse in the kitchen. Keep it out on the counter, next to the sink for easy access and cleanup. Rachael is making my favorite macaroni and cheese recipe and using her new food processor for the first time. She's grating cheddar cheese here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Twas the days after Christmas

Went shopping in Red Bank today, I admit
And what to my wandering eyes did appear
Not a miniature sleigh, nor eight tiny reindeer
It was Bruce* and wife Patti* and happy they were
He carried a red sack that looked filled with loot
As they turned without looking and stepped off the curb
They crossed right in front of me, without even a word
Bruce nodded my way and this I must say
Twas a picture that will forever remain etched in my brain.
*Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Everything but the kitchen sink.

 Why is it most people don’t know how to use a sink. I mean what is a sink? Why does it have a stopper? Why do we have double sinks when we can’t even figure out how a single sink works?  Do you rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? Do you let the water run down the drain while rinsing? Do you know how many gallons of water are used each time you rinse? Do you have a well that could run dry or better yet, do you pay for water? Well the best reason to use the sink is to conserve our most valuable natural resource, water. How to use a sink: Put the stopper in, fill it with warm water, add some dish soap, one or two pumps will do it. If your rinsing the dishes for the dishwasher, dunk them, swish them around to remove the food particles then load into your dishwasher. If you are hand washing dishes, soap them all up and then rinse all at once. 
How do you wash your dishes?