I love local, seasonal, and wholesome food. I also love to share my cooking experiences with people.
So stop by, relax, and take a moment to smell the baking bread.

March 5, 2011

Wheat Grass!

After my wonderful buckwheat crop, I started using my trays for what i originally bought them for, growing wheat grass! I followed the Sprout People's instructions and sprouted my wheat berries in a jar, then planted them in my tray with organic potting soil and a little bit of my compost, watered them every day, put them out in the sun, and watched them grow! It was honestly really easy. Completely organic, and very inexpensive! I got a little manual wheat grass juicer online which is a big hunk of metal, but gets the job done, and really isn't that difficult to clean. (You have to take every single piece apart, but that's typical with juicers, so I wouldn't consider it too much work.)

I juiced some of my crop for the first time today and got what was probably an ounce of juice. I washed it down with some fresh apple juice because I didn't really enjoy the minty/grassy taste, and although I don't think I'll ever like it, I think I could grow to not dislike it.

Wheatgrass juice is a good food source of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and an overall health tonic. It's awesome stuff, and it's even better when you've grown it yourself.

Living greens to green juice within minutes!

Adzuki Red Pepper Bean Dip

Amidst the stresses of keeping up my grades and deciding what college I am going to next year, I am somehow finding time to make various odds and ends to keep me going through the week. Cafeteria food is obviously not an option, so even when I'm really busy, I still need to find time to cook a bit. I don't mind this at all, however. I love to cook, and it definately relaxes me. I love nothing more than being in the kitchen, combining new flavors and ingredients, and seeing what I get.

I'm always needing quick little servings of dips to bring in containers and eat with veggies or crackers. I have been making a lot of nut based dips, but despite the fact that I soak them and ferment them a little bit they still feel too heavy for me sometimes. And I've also been craving more cooked, comfort foods lately, so that's what I've been making.

I have a pretty large amount of beans in bulk sitting at the bottom of my pantry that are rarely used, so I decided to pull a couple out and soak them for the day and make a dip from scratch. Hummus would have been easy, but I like very garlicky hummus and I don't like bringing garlicky things to school because they are always recieved by my peers with wrinkled noses and skeptical comments. So I was going for a dip that was well seasoned but not stinky. It turned out to have an indian food undertone, due to the spices I happened to choose. It's not very strong and could be a bit more salty, but I'm really not a salt person, so add more if you'd prefer. If you do happen to have a nut cheese on hand, such as a tangy cashew-sunflower seed-red pepper cheese, it would go wonderfully as a layered dip for veggies or crackers, or slathered on some bread with green for a nice sandwich.

The choice of beans really doesn't matter. You could use whatever you wanted, the adzuki and white beans are just the ones that interested me.

Adzuki Bean Dip

3/4 cup dried adzuki beans
3/4 cup dried white beans
1 slightly heaping tsp dulse flakes*
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tbls olive oil
1 red pepper
1 tbls tahini
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/3 tsp smoked paprika
dash of ground mustard seed
dash of black pepper

*Dulse is a seaweed, and you can buy it whole or in flake form. The flakes are nice because they require no soaking- you can sprinkle them on salads or add them into recipes as is.
1) Soak the beans for eight hours, or over night.
2) Drain the beans and cook them in water for 45minutes-1hour, or when they are soft. When you cook them, add the dulse and half of the tumeric, for digestion.
3) Slice the red pepper into strips and broil it for about 20 minutes (I did this in the toaster oven). You can broil it for longer, but I decided to stop here because I wasn't going for the totally cooked kind that you find in a jar.
4) Put all of the beans in a food processor and mix. Add the olive oil and tahini and mix some more. Add the red pepper, mix. If your processor has a hard time processing the red pepper as mine did, just take half of the beans and pepper mixture out and process the smaller batch, then slowly add more and more and continue processing. Add the rest of the spices, mix, taste, add some more, mix, taste, and enjoy!

It doesn't look like the prettiest thing, but it tastes good!

Also, if you are interested in the tangy cashew-sunflower seed-red pepper cheese, I don't have measurements, because it was the result of a dressing for kale chips that I did not have enough kale for, and a lot of it was adding and adding until I got something I liked. But here is the rough layout:

Sunflower seed cheese

1/2 cup cashews
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 red pepper
smoked paprika
chili powder
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 probiotic capsule

1) Soak the cashews and sunflower seeds overnight.
2) Blend them in the food processor, then add the pepper, lemon juice, nut yeast and spices, and blend some more.
3) Open the probiotic capsule and try not to spill it all over yourself in the process.
4) Pour in the contents and mix everything really well.
5) Put it on a cheese cloth on top of a small bowl, like the herbed cashew cheese, and put it in the dehydrator at 110 degrees overnight (or just let it sit out in a warm spot). Turn off the dehydrator the next morning and forget to take it out until that night, and you will have yourself some tangy fermented cheese!