Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tomatoes....stuck in the window


I began my gardening adventure excited and ready to completely throw myself into the project....and I did.   My tomatoes took off like nothing I have ever grown before.  Now though, we seem to be stuck in a rain...snow...wind...rain...snow pattern here in the NW.  My tomatoes are still in the quart mason jars and are about a foot high in my kitchen window sills.  Still the best looking thing I have ever been able to grow with this brown thumb of mine.  So all of this is bringing me to my point...or question I guess.  What do I do now with these tomatoes?  I cannot put them outside in this weather and I don't want to lose the one and only thriving crop that I have ever had.  My husband worked so hard building my raised bed that I have to save these tomatoes to put into the awesome garden.  For now I am leaving them in the window.  Please feel free to give me your input on this matter if you have an opinion or advice.  Help me save my tomatoes!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baked Falafel with Lemon Tahini Sauce


Photo by:  Andrea Mitchell

Since I love great food and search for recipes that meet the anti-inflammatory guidelines I have for my diet, checking out cooking blogs is a fabulous way to find new dishes.  I ran across this Falafel recipe and it is a perfect example of the delicious life I live while eating right.  

Garlic is the anti-inflammatory star of this recipe followed by the chili powder.  Almost every ingredient in this recipe is anti-inflammatory which makes it a must in my menu.  Tomatoes are a nightshade veggie so if you find that they cause you inflammation, leave them out.  The recipe will still be amazing!  I used whole wheat pitas in this recipe for the extra fiber, but there is very little difference in the inflammation factor between white pitas or wheat pitas so enjoy which ever one you prefer. 

Falafel
(Serves 2)
Recipe from Can You Stay for Dinner?

15oz can chickpeas
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Lemon Tahini Sauce

2 tablespoons tahini paste
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Remaining Ingredients:

½ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 pita breads (5” diameter)
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped green leaf lettuce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine all falafel ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Scoop the bean mixture into a bowl and shape into 8 equal sized patties. Place on a greased baking sheet, brush each with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.

Whisk the tahini, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl.

Divide the hot falafel among the two warmed pita breads and top with chopped lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced red onion, crumbled feta, and the lemon-tahini sauce.

Nutrition info for 1 serving (1/2 of entire recipe):

Calories: 538, Fat: 18.7g, Cholesterol: 33.4mg, Carb: 73.1g, Fiber: 10.4g, Sugars: 0.1g, Protein: 21.2g





Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gardening is exercise


The past few days were sunny and gorgeous.  The temperature got up to around 50 plus degrees so I headed outside and stayed there for most of Friday and Saturday.  My husband is talented and has been busy making me a 4' X 10' raised garden so that I can plant my veggies (they are still alive and doing well in the windowsill).  This is the first of three.


He finished the project yesterday so I went to the local nursery and purchased garden soil. I shoveled two pickup loads of soil. Out of that I was able to fill the raised garden and also make a pea patch.   I have some space behind my lilac bushes up against the south wall of our house that will be perfect this year to grow peas. They are so pretty as they grow and partnered with the lilac bushes, I am hoping it will be beautiful.   I used a couple of cherry landscaping beams to border off the pea patch and separate the peas from the lilacs.



After pulling weeds, raking bark out of the way, shoveling two loads of soil from the pickup bed into the garden and pea patch, planting the peas, and watering them I am worn out. Now maybe I am stretching it a bit, but I feel that I got an awesome workout and enjoyed every second of it.  Plus we have made something beautiful and useful in our yard.