Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nutritional yeast and truffle popcorn

A couple weeks ago I sort of unthinkingly threw together a few things I had never combined on popcorn before and I was totally hooked. I have been eating it more than is probably reasonable. Very nearly every day. Oh well, popcorn is practically a vegetable, isn't it?

I put a little melted butter, a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast, garlic powder, smoked sea salt and a teeny bit of truffle oil on my popcorn. Sometimes I saute a little minced garlic in the butter instead of the garlic powder. Either way, I can't stop eating it. If you become similarly addicted, I recommend adding some crushed kale chips-that's practically a meal. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Squirrel life: foraging acorns for dinner

I didn't know you could eat acorns until I read it in The Urban Homestead. They are edible but they need to be processed because they contain too much tannin to be eaten otherwise. They can make you quite sick in their unprocessed state, but they are so bitter from the tannins that you aren't likely to eat enough to be a problem.

Once I knew they were food, I was sort of floored looking around at all the acorns sitting around, crunching underfoot, going to waste. My environment seemed more productive, more fertile, more useful. I started to forage through the city for acorns when I was looking for apples and blackberries. I thought I would share the preparation method with you; I will post some recipes using the acorns in the next couple weeks. This a nice fall activity especially if you can rope in a few friends to help you work; have an acorn shucking bee.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gleaned panzanella

M and D pick berries
Last weekend I went foraging around the city with a few friends. It's amazing how much food is hanging around if you look for it. We gathered acorns, apples and blackberries growing wild at the beach and the last of the raspberries and tomatoes from a friend's garden. Everywhere we went there was that perfect, dappled, fall sort of light that is so pretty you can't quite believe it's real.

S with blackberries
I got a lot of tomatoes from my friend's garden-big chunky, variegated, red-brown and rust coloured-and quite a lot of tiny, pea sized cherry tomatoes from my best tomato plant from the summer. I wanted to make them the center of a salad. 

Everything else in the recipe is just a suggestion. Panzanella is one of the many brilliant Italian ways of making frugal home economics delicious. They do brillant things with stale bread and you should never throw out bread just because it has gone stale. Panzanella is an improvisation, a showcase of leftovers, of whatever vegetables are around and bits of cheese and maybe a crumble of pancetta or nuts. 


1 stale baguette or crusty loaf
as many good tomatoes as you can get your hands on
1 cup shelled edamame or peas, boiled in salted water until tender
2 cups arugula
1/2 english cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup crumbed feta
1 large bunch parsley
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
lemon juice
red wine vinegar

Roughly tear bread and toss with tomatoes, cucumber, edamame, arugula and feta. Drizzle oil and lemon and vinegar over to coat. Finely chop parsley and garlic into a paste and toss that into everything. The bread should be soft and slightly mush into everything and soak up the salad dressing. If the bread is still  a bit hard, add a little more dressing let it sit for a minute to soak it all up. Add salt and pepper to taste.