Archive | the foodie RSS feed for this section

{saturdays in the garden – volume one}

25 Mar

do you love gardening as much as i do?!

i recently discovered that gardening is one of my most favourite things ever!

last summer, i participated in a community garden when i still lived in denver. unfortunately, i wasn’t able to blog about it due to crazy scheduling conflicts and lack of good computer/internet access. thankfully, that has all changed as of late.

this year, i am fortunate to again have found a community garden to participate in… and it’s right up the street from my house! my plot this year is only half the size of the one i had last year, but i am still super thankful and i can still grow a ton of food in this 4 x 8 plot. last year, i didn’t exactly know what i was doing, and i kind of over-planted. a lot of my neighbours jokingly called my plot the “cucumber farm” because i literally had to give away about half my harvest due to having such an abundance! {which was obviously a good thing, overall!}

this year, i am planting similar items, just not as much of it. i am eager to share the pictures and the experience as i go along, so i will be posting about it on saturdays.

and without further ado, here are some fotos from the journey thus far. i hope you enjoy… and please do leave comments if you wish, as i love to discuss gardening just about as much as i enjoy discussing and sharing fotography.


here’s what i’m planting this year…

last year, i made lots of pickles and tomato sauce with my harvest. this year, i’m planting romanesco, which i’ve never grown but as you may know, i’m in love with!

our community has an herb garden, and the mint is already coming up, and {of course} taking over!

there is also a blueberry patch, which i’m so excited about!

lots of little critters make this garden their home, as well…

we also keep bees, which makes me sooooo happy!

getting the garden ready for the season…

laying fresh compost, clay, and manure…

pulling weeds and admiring the kale…

that’s my plot! Continue reading

{st. paddy’s day dinner!}

17 Mar

i tried my hand at making my own corned beef and cabbage dinner for saint patrick’s day this year. i chose to just kept it simple with some pickling spices and brown sugar for my brine. i purchased the {grass-fed} brisket at the farmers market; it was close to 6 pounds.

perfect for plenty of leftovers.

there are so many methods and recipes out there, and after tons of research, i decided to do a simple 3-day brine {it was all the time i had anyway} and boil the meat on the stovetop, which is apparently how a traditional new england dinner is prepared.

i brought my brine to a simmer for about a half hour, then let it cool and refrigerated it for a couple of hours, until it was nice and chilled.

when ready, i poured the mixture into a brining bag with the brisket and immediately stuck it in the fridge to begin soaking up the flavour. i wish i would’ve prepared for more time, but as it was, i brined this for just under 72-hours.

to cook, i emptied the brine, rinsed off the meat, and stuck in a huge stock pot of water {enough to cover plus 1 inch} to simmer for about 30 minutes. then i drained, refilled the pot with water and brought to a simmer again, cooking for about 3 hours until tender. i added in my potatoes and carrots about an hour before finishing, and then tossed in some cabbage near the end.

stpaddysday-8

it came out pretty yummy, overall. i served it with some irish soda bread… that i did NOT make, since i’m a lousy baker. my family seemed to really enjoy this method. i liked it because it was simple and i only had to use the one stock pot. it got me thinking about the history of the dish and how “back in the day” most families probably only owned one stock pot, anyway. so it makes sense that they would cook everything as simple as possible.

i will say, i think a longer brining process would’ve added more flavour, but i as i said, i only had a little under 3 days. the meat was still nice and tender and moist, but in my opinion, it could’ve had more of the “corned beef” flavour. i also chose not to add in the preservatives that make it create that pink colour.

overall i was very pleased with this st. patrick’s day meal. it was fun to make, and next year i’ll experiment with more time.

i hope you all had a nice day.

slainte!

{pan-seared wild-caught salmon}

13 Feb

]salmonsalmon-2

i love salmon! and although it’s not in season just yet, i try to eat it at least twice a month, but ideally i would like to get back to consuming it once a week or more. it’s full of omega 3 fatty acids and healthy lean protein. this particular wild-caught salmon filet was hand-delivered to me by an alaskan fisherman! 🙂

my favourite way to prepare salmon is to pan-sear it. don’t be intimidated, it’s a very easy method.

i simply sprinkle my salmon filet{s} with a little S&P and squeeze a little lemon juice over it, as well.

then, start with a medium-high heat skillet coated with a little olive oil, and place salmon filet in skin-side up. cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip over and finish with skin-side down, another 4-5 minutes. cooking it this way usually allows for the filet to come up easily off the skin when serving. i like to serve mine over a bed of greens or a simple couscous recipe.

bon appetite! 

{farmers market turmeric root}

6 Jan

 

turmeric-2turmeric

have you ever seen turmeric root like this before?

i was fascinated when i spotted this at my local farmer’s market. when i go to visit, there is one stand in particular that i like to frequent. the lady who owns it is so sweet and always has a ton of good information on her products and she is always willing to answer my and all of my questions. it seems that the prices for produce at farmers’ markets are sometimes half the price of grocery stores or health food markets, which is just another reason why i love to support the farmers!!!

a few other reasons i choose to put my money into farmers markets are as follows : accessibility, freshness, availability, integrity, seasonality, friendliness, knowledge, willingness, and as i mentioned, affordability.

i had never seen turmeric root in this form, and i couldn’t wait to pick some up to take fotos of. sometimes i’ve seen parts of it broken off into larger and smaller pieces, but not in a huge chunk like this. i have been wanting to incorporate turmeric into my diet more frequently, particularly because i have been experiencing some pain in my elbow lately. and as you may know, turmeric is known for having anti-inflammatory properties. i am hoping that by consuming turmeric regularly, the pain in my elbow will substantially subside.

i thought it would be fun to share these fotos of turmeric, since it is so intriguing to look at! check out all the ‘knobs’ and ‘nodules’ and the funny/fascinating shapes it takes on and how it forms that way. i love all root vegetables, and when i find something in its natural state, i get even more excited about it. did you catch that cool post about ginger-root? i just love going to the farmer’s market and i one day hope to have a nice big garden in my backyard, as to grow lots of wonderful food. i basically want to be a farmer.

one of the things i’ve been doing with turmeric lately is making tea, which i am just loving! have you ever tried turmeric tea? i have been wanting to try it for so long now, but as with anything “new,” i tend to get intimidated until i actually just go for it! and i’m so glad i finally did! i made some tea with this beautiful chunk of turmeric, and i loved it so much that i wanted to share the recipe.

you can usually find fresh turmeric at health food stores. or if you have access to one, check at your local farmers market, as well. some of my research has discovered that you can also use the ground spice to make turmeric tea, however i prefer the fresh stuff. it’s definitely more time-consuming, but for me, it’s so worth it. plus, i just love the creative process. having said that, to be even more economical, you could make it with a mix of fresh and dried root.


super simple health-boosting turmeric tea :

turmerictea Continue reading

{farmers market ginger root}

12 Dec

gingerroot

 

i love finding produce in its most natural state – like this cool ginger root with the actual root still attached. the shape looks like some kind of animal or something, no?! i found it at the farmer’s market {of course} and i bought it mostly because it looked cool, but also because i just like to keep ginger around to nibble on. a lot of times i’ll make it into a tea with some lemon or just shave off a little bit and eat it after meals to accompany the digestion process.

ginger nutritional fun facts : 

ginger is great for stomach ailments such as nausea or diarrhea and can be great for helping keep motion sickness at bay. boiled as a tea, it has tremendous healing properties for common cold symptoms. ginger is also {surprisingly} high in b-vitamins. furthermore, ginger has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, making it a fantastic support for healthy joints. 

 

{what real strawberries look like}

6 Dec

something i need to write about is how i spent my summer vacation… even though it’s long passed now.


one of the things that took up the majority of my free time this summer was participating in a community garden. it was basically one of the best things i’ve ever done for myself. growing your own food is truly one of the most rewarding things one can do! i would constantly remark, “all i did was put a seed in the ground – and this happened!” because i was constantly blown away at how cool nature is! my cucumber plants literally took over and my neighbours were calling it “the cucumber farm” 😉

the reason i bring this up is because i inherited a small strawberry plant in my summer garden plot. many of my neighbours had strawberry plants and i was fortunate to have one reseed itself in my plot. i didn’t get a lot of strawberries from it, but the few i did harvest looked like these strawberries. they were more cone-shaped than heart-shaped. and i’m telling you – the flavour in these things is just out of this world! SO sweet and SO juicy and SO delicious! better than any store-bought strawberry i’ve ever had!

do you ever compare conventional produce to farmer’s market produce?! the differences kind of blow my mind! the last time i was at the grocery store looking at apples, they were bigger than a softball! that’s just not normal. or fruit so waxy i could use it as a candle?! yikes.

for me, i like things to be as close to their natural state as possible. food, soil, water, me, and everything in between.

and that got me thinking about these strawberries i picked up at the farmer’s market last week. i was looking at them and decided to snap a couple fotos because i was thinking to myself, “i bet there are lots of people out there who don’t even know what REAL strawberries look like.” 

farmersstrawberriesfarmersstrawberries-2

these strawberries were SO full of flavour, too! something else that lacks in conventional produce. maybe it’s got something to do with mass producing them and lack of nutrient-rich soil.

anyway, i love that i can still find strawberries this time of year – as north carolina has a year-round farmer’s market and excellent long growing season. i hope to find some more when i go back this week!

{baby pineapple!}

30 Nov

check out this cute tiny little pineapple i dropped a whopping five bucks on! haha

babypineapplebabypineapple-4

i have to say, i think i’ve decided that pineapple might be my favourite fruit.

babypineapple-5babypineapple-6

this one was so adorably cute, i just had to have it!

babypineapple-10babypineapple-11

i obviously ate the whole thing in one sitting 🙂


pineapple nutrition fun facts :

pineapples are totally loaded with vitamin c – tons of it! they are also high in manganese and fiber. furthermore, they help support a healthy digestive track. pineapples are, somewhat surprisingly, a good source of b-vitamins, as well. and don’t throw out that core! – it’s full of fiber and can be tossed into your blender to make an awesome smoothie!

%d bloggers like this: