Saturday, November 24, 2012

Today in Our Garden | Harvested Garlic Chive and Chia seeds! #GardenCuizine

Today in Our Fall Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
October 7, 2012
Garden Clean Up! 
With the arrival of freezing temperatures here on the East coast, we need to finish getting the garden cleaned up. I wasn't at all surprised to see our Swiss Chard "still" growing!! That is one care-free veggie to grow. We never did get to plant more greens, so there really was not much else to see today in the garden besides oregano, garlic, strawberry leaves and a few stray peppers amidst dead plants and seeds everywhere.  

Overwintering Cannas and Dahlia tubers
As usual, we cut down our dying canna and dahlia stalks. We even put out a heated water bowl for backyard wildlife. Some cannas planted near the house foundation will come back next year. The majority, out in the garden, are too exposed and usually rot if they don't get dug up. Soon we will dig them up and overwinter the clumps, plus dahlia tubers, in Peat Moss in plastic bags stored in the basement. We have found through trial and error that this method works best for us. 

Harvest Seeds Now
If you like to grow plants, it's not too late to look around for annual seeds that you would like to plant in the spring. Annuals can be started inside under grow lights beginning around March. We don't start CHIA inside because it is so hardy and self sows prolifically throughout the garden! We plan on using the nutritious seeds harvested today in recipes.  

Today's seed harvest included:
  • Garlic Chives, Allium tuberosum (shown in photo)
  • Lady in Red Salvia
  • Yvonne's Salvia
  • Tarahumara CHIA, Salvia tiliifolia
Happy and Healthy Gardening!
Related Links
Check Out Chia - Super Seed Nutrition by Diana Wind, RD 
The Story of Yvonne's Salvia

Friday, November 23, 2012

Next time you make Stuffing, Spice it up! 'n keep it ♥Heart Healthy! #GardenCuizine #gardenchat

"Good Stuff"
Stuffing with Hot Peppers 
from the Garden!

Our mouths were tingling this Thanksgiving from the aromatic, heart-healthy, stuffing made with
Capsicum chinense 'Yellow Mushroom' hot peppers from our garden! 

"What's in the stuffing?" was the question asked from someone who used to get heartburn from high fat, high calorie stuffing in the past. Nothing fancy, just a simple classic stuffing with a few added hot peppers. Hot peppers are easy and fun to grow. Try growing some in your garden

Okay, so I tossed in a persimmon too! This was our year for experimenting with persimmons in the kitchen. The mild, sweet flavor of persimmon gets lost when combined with anything spicy, I've noticed. But, persimmons add nutrients and dietary fiber.

Heart Healthy Stuffing
No need to add Salt
Think about the main ingredient - bread. Read the bread label. Bread contributes plenty of sodium. 

Low Fat
With plenty of protein from your main entree, their really is no need for added protein in the stuffing, let alone the added saturated fat and calories that meats like bacon or sausage contribute. So at Thanksgiving at our house - you won't find added high fat sausage in stuffing anymore. Gone are the Andouille sausage stuffing days. But, guess what? This was "Good Stuff!" It pleased even the most picky eaters and those seeking pronounced flavor in stuffing. 

Does your stuffing recipe call for using a whole stick (or two!!) of butter or dotting the casserole with butter? Do your arteries a favor, just use a small amount of olive oil when cooking the veggies. Trust me, this stuffing has plenty of flavor and your family will NOT miss the saturated fat and dietary cholesterol from the butter.

GardenCuizine Freestyle Recipe: meaning, no need to measure out ingredients. I'll note what I used, but exact measurements are not necessary. Recipe for 8x8 baking dish. 

1/2 loaf Challah and/or whole grain bread cubes (or enough to fill up your baking dish)
2/3 cup chopped Celery

Hot Peppers* any kind (we used 2 Yellow mushroom peppers)
2/3 cup chopped Onion
2/3 cup chopped Carrots
1 teaspoon dried Thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground Sage*
1 teaspoon dried Marjoram*
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed Rosemary* 
2 Tablespoons chopped Parsley
1 3/4 cups plus 12 ounces Turkey stock (or vegetable stock if you want to keep the recipe vegetarian) Note: if you're roasting a Turkey make a small pot of stock with the giblets, water and chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, parsley stems and black peppercorns. Turkey stock can be used for gravy too!
3 Eggs
1/8 teaspoon ground Nutmeg 
Persimmon (optional) - we used American native Diospyros virginiana
1 to 2 Tablespoons Olive oil

*or 1 tsp poultry seasoning 

Putting it all together
  • Butter your baking dish. 
  • Chop up your veggies and saute them in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until fragrant and somewhat tender. *The key to this recipe is to add just enough hot pepper to please both those who like spicy and those who don't like their food too spicy. Sprinkle sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram over the veggies while cooking. Ladle in a few scoops (about 12 ounces) of turkey broth. Simmer until carrots are tender and turn off heat and let cool. 
  • Meanwhile, cube the bread - no need to let it go stale or dry it out. In a large bowl toss the bread cubes with chopped parsley.
  • Add in the sauteed vegetables; stir gently to combine and scoop into baking dish.
  • In another bowl whisk 1 3/4 cups cooled stock with the eggs; add nutmeg (you can add a chopped, ripe persimmon - optional). Pour the liquid egg mixture over the seasoned bread cubes. It should be good and moist almost like a bread pudding. Add more broth as needed. You should see the liquid, but it should not cover the top layer of bread cubes.
  • Bake at 350°F covered until set (about 30 minutes), remove cover to brown top layer (another 15 minutes or so). 
Buon Appetito!
Photos and blog post Copyright (C) Wind. All rights reserved. Revised 11/26/2021

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Antioxidant-rich Cranberry-Persimmon Jelly Recipe #GardenCuizine #Thanksgiving @OceanSprayInc

Homemade Whole Berry 
Cranberry-Persimmon Jelly
Vitamin C, Antioxidant-rich, Dietary Fiber

1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® fresh (or frozen) Cranberries
1 Japanese Persimmon (Diospyros kaki 'Hachiya')
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
zest of 1/2 an orange

Putting it all together 
  • Wash and rinse cranberries in a colander. Pull out any stems or rotten berries. 
  • Wash, remove stem and chop persimmon (leave the skin on - that's where most of the dietary fiber is!) 
  • Place berries and chopped persimmon in a pot
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until berries get soft and start bursting open (about 15 minutes or so). Sometimes I help the process along and squish some of the cranberries along the side of the pot with a spoon. 
  • Due to the addition of chopped persimmons, I decided to use an immersion blender to puree some of the mixture (right in the pot) so it would not be too lumpy with fruits. This is optional.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly before pouring into a special serving dish. We like to use a crystal dish on holidays. Just be careful the jelly isn't too hot so you don't crack your dish! 
  • Let your cranberry-persimmon jelly cool on the counter and then move to the fridge to thoroughly chill and set. Cranberry jelly can be made a day in advance for convenience or you can make it the same day - it sets up pretty fast.
Happy Thanksgiving! 
Related Links
Have You Tasted A Persimmon? by Diana Wind, RD
Giving Thanks for Nature's Harvest 
Photos, Recipe and Blog Post Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved.

Thanksgiving be sensitive to family/friends who have had or planning #weightlosssurgery #wls

Weight Loss Surgery
and Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather, visit and eat a feast. What happens when you can't eat that feast anymore? Bariatric patients who have had weight loss surgery can NOT consume a single, big meal with excessive portion sizes. I repeat, they can NOT and should NOT attempt to overeat during any social celebration or gathering.

Overeating can be dangerous and work against important nutrition and health weight management goals for those who have had, or plan to get, weight loss surgery.
There are 3 main types of weight loss surgeries that are happening across the country today:

1) Laparoscopic Gastric Banding (LapBand) surgery
2) Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve) surgery
3) Roux en Y Gastric Bypass

In all of the above surgeries the stomach is greatly reduced in size to minimize the amount of food that can be consumed during one meal. Individuals who have had surgery should never feel compelled or encouraged to eat more than they can mindfully eat. 

You should also be aware that people who have had, or are planning, weight loss surgery have been instructed by their dietitians and surgeons not to drink during meals. What does this mean for you? Do you comment at the dining table when you see them reach for a beverage during dinner? Of course not. I know I sure wouldn't want to hear it. It probably would be wise to keep your comments to yourself, but be considerate and avoid offering a beverage during mealtime.

Don't push sweets. People who have had gastric bypass can get physically ill with nausea, the shakes/sweats, vomiting or diarrhea (dumping syndrome) by eating concentrated sweets like cranberry jelly, pumpkin pie, ice cream or cakes.

If you have family or friends who have had surgery or are planning surgery, do them a favor and ignore the topic of what they are, or are not, eating and simply enjoy their company during the holiday.  

And, if you're reading this and you have had surgery or are planning it, please do the best you can to stay focused on your goals during Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season. Plan on having an enjoyable and blessed holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Related Links
Giving Thanks for Nature's Harvest by Diana Wind, RD
Surviving Thanksgiving after Weight Loss Surgery

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Oregano in Our Garden before #Sandy #GardenCuizine

Looking for a drought tolerant, aromatic, easy-to-grow perennial herb? Add care-free Oregano (Origanum vulgare) to your kitchen garden. To intensify the flavor, oregano can be air dried and stored in kitchen spice jars. We pick fresh oregano right up until the first hard freeze and always have some dried on hand too.  

Oregano prefers full sun and is hardy to USDA zones 5a to 9b. Ours doesn't get full sun all day and grows fine though. Oregano adds unique flavor to pizza, pasta sauce, chili, beans, breads and whole grain foods. Oregano's flavor when added to herb and spice blends is a welcomed addition for seasoning vegetables, meats, chicken and all sorts of entrees and side dishes.

Plan your Kitchen Garden today
Photo Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved.