Day Lilies and The Language of Flowers

In The Victoria Era The Language of Flowers was used to subtly tell people what was on your mind. Lilies represented “Majesty” which makes perfect sense to me when I am admiring my day lilies that return each year with prolific blossoms and bountiful beauty.

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Day lilies are also edible. I had the life changing experience in my early 20s to work with two wise herbalists in an herb shop in Branford, Connecticut called Bittersweet Farm Herb Gardens. These women taught me about herb lore and craft and how to properly dry herbs for use in potpourri. I learned how to grow and care for all types of herbs and edible flowers and how to make both edible and fragrant products from the herbs we grew in our traditional English herb garden. Day lilies were part of this education.

Day lilies have many edible parts including the buds, flowers, tubers and stalks. I am most fond of the flowers as they are only available for one day and then they drop away. The flowers are mostly used for their bright color and they can thicken soups and sauces in the same way okra does. The stalks remind me of wheat grass and they are high in vitamin C and fiber. The buds which are plentiful on many varieties are delicious when prepared in a simple butter saute or if you’d like a healthier version try toasted sesame oil. The butter allows for more of the natural flavor to come through so for this plant I break my own zero to very little dairy rule and go for butter. And last but certainly not least are the tubers. In New England we have an abundance of wild growing Tiger Lilies. Freshly dug the tubers are very tasty when added to butter for a simple saute. The whiter tubers are sweetest and remind me of early sweet potatoes.

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I caution everyone to approach eating wild plants and flowers with care. For some there may be allergic reactions to introducing unfamiliar foods. Try a little and see how it goes before digging up the whole bank of day lilies you find in your backyard.

For more information on edible plants try one of the following reference books:

The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America by Francois Couplan

Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide by Thomas Sam Elias

AND because I grew up in Northern California

The Encyclopedia of Useful and Edible Plants of California by Charlotte Bringle Clark.

Good eating and please remember to stop and kiss a lily they only show their pretty faces for one day!

 

Cold breakfast recipes for kids

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We have very busy lives and for those of us with children it can be challenging to get everyone out of the house in the morning with a good breakfast. I have come across some delightful cold breakfast recipes that most children will eat!This one was posted on http://www.mrbreakfast.com and came from newjerseygal.

Banana Burritos – best to use all organic foods whenever possible
1 medium banana
1 flour tortilla – you can find rice tortillas for children with gluten sensitivity/allergies
2 tablespoons nut butter – I make my own almond butter which is the favorite at my house
1 teaspoon mixture of pure maple sugar and cinnamon
1 tablespoon raisins
1 teaspoon chopped nuts

Spread the nut butter all over the tortilla. Place the banana on one edge of the tortilla. Sprinkle the maple sugar/cinnamon mixture and chopped nuts over tortilla and roll up. Some of you may also want to top this off with some tofu whip or whipped cream! Trust me they will love making these and eating them….AND they could grow up to be as silly as my children did (see photo of Patrick’s graduation party above)

Fun with Food

Fun with Food

I love cooking with kids.

Cooking with children is a ton of fun! They are curious and adventurous so they are more likely to try new foods. It really isn’t difficult to introduce them to healthier food especially if they help to prepare the recipes. I’m going to offer a variation on Rice Krispy Treats that comes from The Kushi Institute kitchens.

Rice Krispy Treats

3 cups toasted brown rice cereal (Barbaras or Erewhan)
1 cup brown rice syrup
½ cup almonds, peanut butter or Tahini
1 tsp sweet miso

Variations:
½ cup golden raisins
Roll balls in chopped toasted nuts

1) Combined rice syrup, nut butter and sweet miso in small pot. Heat on low flame until well blended.
2) Pour over rice cereal and mix well.
3) Roll into 1” bals or press firmly into 8” x 8” glass dish. Let sit until cool.

The balls are very sticky so it is wise to drop spoonfuls of mixture onto parchment paper and allow to cool a bit before trying to roll into balls.

Give this recipe a try and make it with your children it will be a blast!

Pittsfield Farmers Market

Come see me July 20th

Come see me July 20th

I’m sharing a simple and delicious recipe for you. This one was the favorite during my demonstration at the Pittsfield Farmers Market in June.

I’ll be back at the Market on July 20th with new, simple recipes that you can sample while browsing the market!

Sweet Corn Millet Croquettes

 3 ¼ cups boiling water

1 cup millet, washed and soaked overnight

2 cups sweet corn

1 small onion diced small

1 grated carrot

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp umeboshi vinegar, or to taste

½ tsp shoyu or tamari sauce

½ cup scallions or parsley

Olive oil

1)      Heat small amount of oil in a heavy skillet medium high heat

2)      Add the millet and sauté 2 minutes stirring constantly

3)      Add onions and sauté another 2-3 minutes stirring constantly

4)      Add garlic, carrots and continue sauté 2-3 minutes adding corn to combine all ingredients

5)      Add boiling water to millet mixture and turn down to low, cook for about 30 minutes checking often to see millet is not sticking to bottom of skillet. Add more water if needed

6)      Once cooked add parsley or scallions and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool so you can handle millet mixture.

7)      Place half the mixture in a food processor and blend until paste then add back into remaining millet.

8)      Form the mixture into 6 equal sized croquettes

9)      Heat oil in skillet and add croquettes, cook 5 minutes on each side.

10)  Remove from pan and set in warm oven

Chive Mayonnaise

 1 cup veganaise

1 small bunch chives snipped small

1 tsp lemon juice or ½ tsp umeboshi vinegar

1 Tblsp olive oil

Pinch sea salt

Mix together ingredients and use to top millet croquettes.

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Remember to stop by my booth and pick up some new recipes to add to your favorite whole foods recipe box.

Enjoy this fantastic summer weather!

Boo-Ya… Black Bean Burgers and Thanks-Giving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Well it’s that time of the year again when we are thinking about feasting with family and friends. I just love this time of Thanksgiving. We have a wonderful opportunity to take a moment with those we love dearly to reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. For some of us it is a large task as we may have faced life challenges that were not only beyond our control but beyond our capacity to endure. The Art of Thanksgiving is for us to dig deep into our hearts and find something that brought us joy…inspired us in some way and will remain tucked neatly in our soul for eternity. I am thankful for the family and friends I have been blessed with!

So this week has just flown by and today my darling Hannah arrives from California. Furniture has been rearranged and the menu for our family Thanksgiving is in the works. This year will bring some changes at our Thanksgiving table but many of the favorites from years past. After all Thanksgiving has a tradition attached to it so we come together with the expectation of seeing and experiencing those dishes. We are very blessed to be able to come together to share our meal. I am ever aware of my blessings and grateful always! Along with food changes there will be some family members absent at the table and they will be sorely missed. To mom and brother, John feast on up there in heaven and be with us as you are able.

One of the dishes I plan to add to our feast is my new favorite Boo-Ya Black Bean Burgers! They are simply delightful with a bit of secret sauce (recipe will appear in the secret sauces post at a later date) on top oh my.

So simple to make here is my recipe but you can make adjustments to taste.

1 ½ cup organic black turtle beans – washed and soaked overnight

1 cup cooked organic millet and corn – see millet post for directions

¼ cup organic whole wheat pastry flour

1 organic sweet onion finely chopped

2 large organic carrots finely chopped

2 stalks organic celery finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped fresh organic parsley

Organic Olive oil

  • Cook beans with 2inch piece of soaked kombu in just enough water to cover for approximately 45 minutes or until soft. Check the beans as they cook and add water if needed to prevent sticking on bottom of pot.
  • Cook millet and corn as directed (see previous post)
  • Chop carrots, celery and onions and sauté in 1 tblsp. olive oil until soft.
  • Mash cooked beans with potato masher until about half the beans are mashed. I like to leave some beans for texture and appearance.
  • Add the millet, vegetables and mix well.
  • Sprinkle the pastry flour over mixture and blend in thoroughly.
  • Form bean paste into patties and cook on medium heat in enough olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Turn burgers after approximately 5 minutes (or when brown but not burned).

I use my spatula to continuously shape the bean paste into patties. The millet and flour are nice binding agents and add flavor. Keep patties warm in oven until all are cooked. Top with pumpkin seed sauce or tofu cream…yummy!

Kira and I hope you all have a most joyous Thanksgiving. Be well!