Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Raw Stuffed Peppers

 Raw stuffed peppers

I made these just last week, and I have to say that, although my boyfriend and I originally wrinkled our brows at the recipe, these tasted very, very good.  I also learned that the recipes in the book I chose to use mostly only serve one person.  (Well, that or we're not used to the portions recommended yet.)  Next time, I will double the recipe.

The recipe is very simple.  In fact, I'm finding that most raw recipes are pretty simple.  The base is sunflower seeds, celery, herbs and spices, and flax meal (I didn't have any, so I just used flax seeds and ground them the best I could with a mortar and pestle.)  Oh--and lime juice.  We don't have a food processor yet, so I blended the filling in a blender.  The idea was not to liquefy it, but to make it "lumpy", like a regular stuffed pepper stuffing would be.

When using any nuts or seeds as a base in a raw recipe, they must be soaked (how long depends on the nut or seed used.  The sunflower seeds soaked for about eight hours) first, so that they are soft enough to process.  Pulling the ingredients together and chopping them (pre-processing) and preparing them can be time consuming, but actually putting the dish together took less than half an hour.

This particular filling was very reminiscent of tuna salad, of all things, so if I ever decide I want a vegan version of that, I have a good place to start!  (Not likely, as tuna was not my favorite, even back when I was eating meat.)

This process was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and the result tasted much better.  I used to think that "eating raw" just meant fruits/veggies, but now I get it. Maybe it's because I'm easily bored or because I consider myself a foodie, but I get raw "cuisine" now.  Fun!   

Monday, October 13, 2014

Brick Dust: Raw Foods, Garden Update, House Stuff

Radishes of garden past

 Our raw foods journey continues.  This week, I will be trying out my very first raw recipe:  Stuffed peppers!  Admittedly, raw "cuisine" will take some getting used to, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.  At the very least, I'm looking forward to trying something new.  Nothing I've seen so far looks difficult--just different.  A lot of raw recipes call for the use of a blender or food processor, and for raw "pasta", a spiral cutter is recommended.  (Alternatively, you can shred the pasta veggies, which is the route we will go.)  I can already see that I will be making modifications to most of the recipes I try, but that's why I enjoy cooking so much:  For the opportunity to be creative.

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"New" bathroom
Our "new" bathroom is mostly finished and is fully functional!  It has been for at least a week now.  I realize that I have promised true "after" pictures, but not supplied them.  I will get those up over the next few days.  I have been distracted with other things lately.  
The result is very nice!  The bathtub/shower seems larger, and the colors of the tile we chose work very well with the rest of the bathroom.  We are using different strategies to keep the bathroom dry after use, and so far, they seem to be working.  For one thing, we got rid of our heavy, cloth shower curtain and now use only the liner.  We felt that the cloth curtain was actually holding moisture in.  We also do not use the shower bar to dry laundry as much.  A few pieces here and there, sure, but we no longer hang a whole, small load.  When we do use it for drying, we keep the fan on.  We have a laundry rack and are making heavier use of that. That's what it's for, after all!
The only thing left to do is to sand and repaint a couple of patches on the ceiling.  Not a big deal.  It's just nice to have my bathroom back!
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Tomatoes and collards

 
Our garden has been an absolute haven for greens this year!  The collards and kale have exploded!  We've been giving the stuff away, we have so much.  The tomatoes, however, were both late and sparse.  The ones we've gotten have tasted very good, but not as good as past crops.  As I've said before, I blame the strange weather patterns we've had this year.  It could also be our soil or the placement of our plants, because I've had other people say that their tomatoes have done well. 
We've used the same bed two or three seasons in a row, and I think that may be part of the issue.  I try to emphasize crop rotation with my BF, even in our tiny yard, but he's the one who makes the garden schema each year.  If we had a bigger yard, I've even insist on leaving one bed fallow each season, but I only have so much say.

We did not have peppers of any kind this year.  He started them indoors, as always, but they just did not thrive once we put them outside.  Due to space constraints, we grow our peppers in pots.  I'm not sure what he's going to do next year about peppers.  Our parsley and cilantro have done well, and the sage, as always, dominates.  Nothing fazes that plant!

The carrots and beets have done OK, too, but they are taking their time.  The kohlrabi is finally really coming in, too.  Unfortunately, we are not saving as much off our grocery bill as I would like, but again--everything seems to have been coming in more slowly this year.  I have a feeling that our late Fall/Winter will be a different story, though!

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I am attempting to refinance the Little Stone House!  So far, so good, but there is one outstanding document, and my property management company is not cooperating.  My loan processor is trying to help facilitate the process, but if they don't come through for me, I will lose out on the chance to close on this loan!  I'm hoping it won't come to that!  I'll keep you all posted.
This refi would save me about $280/month, which would really help, considering my current financial situation!

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I don't have any links of interest this time.  I don't have a lot of time to surf the 'net these days. You are always welcome to browse my Links List--to the right of my blog.  When I come across something interesting, I'll be sure to share it!