Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Maple Hickory Baked Beans

Baked beans have always been one of my faaaavorite foods. So, you've got beans (which are always awesome by themselves) but *then* you smother them in molasses and brown sugar!! What can be wrong with that picture? The answer is nothing. And I really don't think there's anything more warm and hearty than sitting down with a big bowl of baked beans on a cold, snowy winter day (which we've been having plenty of up here in the northeast as of late...). To substitute the whole ham/bacon shoulder part of the baked beans in this veggie/ vegan friendly version, I used hickory liquid smoke (find it in the sauce/ vinegar/ oil seciton of the grocery store) and to kick it up another notch I decided to use maple as well. This recipe is ultimately phenomenal.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dandelion Green and Sage Pesto

So lets do a low-down on dandelions. While some may think of them as that pesky weed that's ruining their otherwise prisitne lawns, they are really one of nature's little gems. There's a reason they grow everywhere, because they're screaming out "eat me, eat me!!" A beautiful little flower, yes, but dandelions also produce quite the array of medicinal and delicious edibles parts. Actually, you can eat every single part of the dandelion plant; flowers, leaves, stems, roots and all. All parts are delicious and super healthy. The flowers are great tossed into salads, the roots are great made into teas or even pickled, but what we're concerned with here is the leaf, or greens as some call it. You can do a ton of stuff with the greens, and with a fresh, yet slightly bitter and astringent taste they add great depth to salads, stir fries, soups, or pretty much anywhere that you'd use something, spinach or arugula. One of my favorite things to do with them, however, is to make a pesto! What a great medicinal combination of medicinal ingredients...raw garlic, olive oil, sage, dandelion greens. Perfect for detoxing and cleansing the body. I put this pesto on pretty much everything, but a few of my favorites were on roasted carrots and sweet potatoes (sage goes phenomenally with root veggies), on sandwiches (especially breakfast sandwiches!) and on rice or pasta. Try this one out, it is truly delicious. (PS your local grocer should carry dandelion greens in their produce section, some don't but I've generally had good luck finding them...or alternatively wait till we thaw out of this cold snowy winter and go pick them yourself!)