French Style Moroccan Tagine (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Grain Free/Organic/Vegan/Vegetarian/Healthy)

Moroccan Vege Tagine

I have just started growing Lima (or Butter Beans) in my garden last year, so this was an exciting recipe to come up with!

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NOTE: When I create a recipe, I am very careful what I put into it. I do not use ingredients for fun, I use them for good health! If you want to know what nutritional and medicinal benefits are in my recipes, a profile of ingredients is listed at the end:


I sadly forgot to take a photo of the Lima Beans soaking, but first off, put:
1 cup of organic dried Lima Beans in 3 cups of filtered water, and soak for 2-3 days. Rinse off and change water once every day, and cover with something breathable, like Muslin. This will soften them for cooking and also makes them easier to digest.

Other Main Ingredients:

Halve 20 organic Cherry Tomatoes or cube 5-6 larger organic Tomatoes
Slice up 1 organic Red Onion and 1 organic Brown Onion

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Halve 15 organic Black Olives (stoned/pitted)
Chop 1 small organic Green Capsicum
Finely chop 2 organic Green Chillies
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Flavouring Ingredients:

2-3 Tbsps. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves finely chopped organic Garlic
25g (or a 1″ piece) of fresh organic crushed Ginger or finely chopped root
2 tsps. organic Coriander Seeds
2 tsps. fresh or dried organic Thyme
1 Tsp. organic Coconut Sugar or Rapadura/Jaggery
pinch of organic Saffron Threads, soaked in a little water
juice of 1 organic lemon – freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp. each of organic Himilayan Pink Salt & organic Ground Szechuan Pepper
Handful of fresh picked organic Chervil – some chopped and some left for garnish

Method:
Put Olive Oil into Tagine and warm up until hot. Cook off onion in the oil once hot, until caramelized. While doing this, put Lima Beans into fresh filtered water in a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20-30mins then drain and add to the caramelized onions. (Make sure the beans are soft to the bite, but not mushy and falling apart.)
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Add Chillies, Capsicum, Ginger, Coriander Seeds and Sugar, stir well and cook for around 5 mins. Then add in Saffon with its soaking water. Add the Tomatoes, Olives, Dried Thyme and Lemon Juice and cover with Tagine lid, and cook for 20-30 mins.

Check Lima Beans, and carry on cooking if they are not done. Once they are tender enough to eat, add the Garlic, Salt & Pepper, also the chopped Chervil and serve in bowls. Add a small stalk of Chervil on top if you wish – as a finishing garnish.

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Main Ingredients – Nutritional breakdown:

LIMA (or BUTTER) BEANS
– protein
– calcium
– magnesium
– manganese
– molybdenum (detoxifies the body from sulphites)
– zinc
– copper
– selenuim
– phosphorous
– potassium
– iron
– folate
– choline (essential for brain function)
– omega’s 3 & 6
– Vit’s B1, B2, B3, B5 & B6, K
– cholesterol lowering
– blood sugar levelling
– anti-oxidant
– high in fibre (helps with heart health)

TOMATOES
– rich in lycopene (has anti-cancer properties)
– alpha-lipoic acid
– lutein
– choline
– biotin
– molybdenum
– potassium
– iron
– folic acid
– beta-carotene
– Vitamins A, C & K
– reduces cholesterol

CHILLI & CAPSICUM
– manganese
– magnesium
– molybdenum
– folate
– zinc
– copper
– phosphorous
– potassium
– selenium
– carotenoids
– cysteine (amino acid)
– capsaicin (good for pain)
– other phyto chemicals thought to reduce cancer cell growth
– Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E & K
– anti-inflammatory
– antioxidant
– antibacterial
– fibre

ONION
– chromium
– quercetin (helps with preventing cancer)
– potassium
– iron
– folic acid
– Vitamins A, B6, C & E
– sulphur compounds, when raw
– fibre

GARLIC
– selenium
– manganese
– calcium
– copper
– potassium
– phosphorus
– iron
– Vitamins B1, B6 & C
– fibre
– immune booster
– reduces blood pressure

GINGER
– calcium
– magnesium
– manganese
– phosphorous
– potassium
– zinc
– folate
– Iron
– Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C & E
– antioxidant
– anti-inflammatory
– helps immunity

LEMONS/LIMES (FLESH, JUICE or RIND)
– folate
– Vit C
– limonins (powerful anti-carcinogens that can prevent cancer cells spreading)
– anti-oxidant
– antibiotic (limes are esp. helpful against cholera)
– anti-inflammatory (great for rheumatoid arthritis)

ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (& Olives)
– copper
– calcium
– iron
– potassium
– manganese
– zinc
– omega’s 3 & 6
– Vits A & E
– anti-inflammatory
– antioxidant
– carotenoids (helps against heart disease)
– oleuropein (helps with cholesterol)
– fibre

CORIANDER (SEEDS or GROUND)
Iron, Folate, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Calcium, Copper
Contains Vit A, B1, B2 & B3
Antiseptic, Antioxidant
Linalool – Essential oil
Helps protect against bowel cancer
Carminative
Digestive aid – great for stomach pains
Cholesterol lowering
Easy to grow and readily available in NZ: http://www.kingsseeds.co.nz/shop/Herbs/Alpha+Search+for+Herbs/Coriander+Slowbolt-6215.html

THYME
– iron, manganese and copper
– Vitamins A & C
– antioxidant, antibacterial, antiseptic
– fibre

PARSLEY (Curled) or ITALIAN PARSLEY (also CHERVI or FRENCH PARSLEY)
– folic acid
– calcium
– iron
– carotene
– copper
– manganese
– Vitamins A, C & K
– reduces blood pressure
– anti-inflammatory
– the essential oils are cancer preventatives
– fibre
(**note: those with existing kidney or gall stones should restrict intake from parsley family)

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.

The last 2 weeks in the garden:

The last two weeks in the garden have certainly been better than the month previous for harvesting, but the gardens still have not been producing as much as we hoped:IMG_7413


We have however, managed to harvest the following:
– 2 bunches of Broccoli Sprouts (purple & green)
– Brussel Sprouts Heads off the last of the plants
– plus Brussel Sprouts off the first plants
– bunches of Pak Choi (starting to go to seed)
– bunches of Tat Soi (going to seed and terribly frost damaged)
– some regrown heads of Misome
– Regrown baby heads of the previously cut Savoy Cabbages
– bunches of mixed Kale leaves
– Kohl Rabi leaves
– Celery stalks and leaves for soups
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So, lots of purples and greens, but not much of anything else! I have still not been brave enough to dig up the Giant Orange & Belgium White Carrots or the Bartowich Parsley, as they seem to still be growing well, albeit very slowly. Maybe next time?!

The gardens themselves have picked up quite a bit in the last couple of weeks, as we have been having freezing (literally) cold nights of -0C and then warm sunny daytime temperatures of around 15C-20C with one day even reaching 25C here. I just left the frost covers on the plants as there was no rain or wind, so they have acted like little mini-green houses and the plants have now grown rather well.:)
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I have been managing to figure out when to put the frost cloth out on other nights when it is cloudy or has been raining or windy during the day, and only once did I miss doing it, but that was the most severe frost of them all, and that was all it took to kill the last of the Cauliflowers and kill off the Globe Artichokes I had been nursing since last autumn. It was also the final death knell for the last of the Misome too. But the new ones are coming along well, they are nearly ready to be pricked out into bigger pots and then placed into a freshly prepared spring bed in the garden. I will have to start all over again with the Globe Artichokes tho, and that pains me greatly.

However, even the Daffodils and Jonquils think that spring is on the way, and the other bulbs are pushing their way towards the light, more every day. All the old Strawberries are sprouting new leaves and trailing off new plants. The Lemon Tree has been a good producer this year, and still has more to come yet, so all is not lost. The early summer crop of Broad Beans are looking great, they are nearly all up and out of the soil and enjoying growing heavenward. I’ll post photos of them next time.
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Once again, where ever you are and what ever you grow, do it well and enjoy yourself. Feel the sun and wind on your face and blowing your hair, and relish the feel of the soil on your fingertips. The earth is a gift, use it and its bounty wisely. 🙂

Peace and love, Suz

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.

Suz’s “take” on Dal Makhani (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Organic/Vegan/Vegetarian/Healthy/Wholefoods)

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I LOVE Indian food, and have played around with various Dal Makhani recipes before coming up with one that both my husband and I really, really love. I am happy to share it with you, as it is great for warning winter filling food. 🙂

NOTE: When I create a recipe, I am very careful what I put into it. I do not use ingredients for fun, I use them for good health! If you want to know what nutritional and medicinal benefits are in my recipes, the profile of ingredients is listed at the end:


WINTER WARMING DAL MAKHANI:

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Firstly, soak 1 cup Urid Dal and 1 cup Red Kidney Beans in filtered water for 2 days, changing the water and rinsing daily (this improves the body’s ability to digest the nutrients)… you can either soak them together or separately. After the 2 days, put the Red Kidney Beans (and the Urid Dal if you combined them), into a pot or slow cooker with 4 cups filtered boiling water and make sure the beans boil for at least 15 mins; this is because Red Kidney Beans can be very toxic to humans if not boiled. After the Beans (or Bean & Dal mix) have boiled, drain the water off and set pot or slow cooker aside to add the rest of the ingredients in to:

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OTHER INGREDIENTS –
2 Tbsps organic Coconut Oil
3 cups filtered water
400g chopped organic Tomatoes
1 large finely chopped organic Onion
between 1 tsp & 1 Tbsp of finely chopped organic Chilli (or dried Chilli flakes)
1 Tbsp of finely chopped fresh organic Ginger root
4-6 cloves of finely chopped fresh organic Garlic
2 Tbsps organic Blackstrap Molasses
200ml organic Coconut Cream (optional)
Sea Salt to season at end of cooking

ADDITIONAL SEASONING –
1 tsp organic Garam Masala
1 tsp organic Cumin Seeds
1 tsp organic ground Tumeric
2 organic Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp organic Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp organic Ground Mace
1/2 tsp organic Ground Cardamom
1/2 tsp organic Ground Cinnamon

METHOD –
Add the Coconut Oil, chopped Tomatoes and Onions to the Bean & Dal mix and mix in the Filtered Water, then return to heat. Bring back up to a simmer, then add all the rest of the ingredients except the Garlic, Salt and Coconut Cream.

Continue to simmer for another 30-40 mins (or until the Kidney Beans are soft), then stir in the Coconut Cream (optional), the Sea Salt and the chopped Garlic.

Stir well and while still warm, serve in a bowl with some Flat Bread on the side. Enjoy!

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MAIN INGREDIENTS – Nutritional Breakdown:

KIDNEY BEANS (or “haricots rouges” – red beans – in French)
protein, both soluble & insoluble
– complex carbohydrates, help with stablizing blood sugar levels
– calcium
– copper
– phosphorus
– manganese
– magnesium
– potassium
– iron
– folate
– flavonoids, particularly in proanthocyanidins
– omega’s 3 & 6
– Vit’s C
– antioxidant
– fibre

URID DAL (White Lentil or Black Gram)
– protein
– healthy carbohydrates
– calcium
– magnesium
– potassium
– iron
– folic acid
– Vit’s B
– anti-inflammatory
– anti-aging
– improves digestion
– increases male sex drive & helps lactating mothers
– good for heart health
– fibre
*caution: contains high amounts of oxalic acid, to be avoided by those with kidney stones

TOMATOES
– rich in lycopene (has anti-cancer properties)
– alpha-lipoic acid
– lutein
– choline
– biotin
– molybdenum
– potassium
– iron
– folic acid
– beta-carotene
– Vitamins A, C & K
– reduces cholesterol

ONION
– chromium
– quercetin (helps with preventing cancer)
– potassium
– iron
– folic acid
– Vitamins A, B6, C & E
– sulphur compounds, when raw
– fibre

GARLIC
– selenium
– manganese
– calcium
– copper
– potassium
– phosphorus
– iron
– Vitamins B1, B6 & C
– fibre
– immune booster
– reduces blood pressure

GINGER
– calcium
– magnesium
– manganese
– phosphorous
– potassium
– zinc
– folate
– Iron
– Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C & E
– antioxidant
– anti-inflammatory
– helps immunity

HOT PEPPER/CHILLI
– manganese
– magnesium
– molybdenum
– folate
– zinc
– copper
– phosphorous
– potassium
– selenium
– carotenoids
– cysteine (amino acid)
– capsaicin (good for pain)
– other phyto chemicals thought to reduce cancer cell growth
– Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E & K
– anti-inflammatory
– antioxidant
– antibacterial
– fibre

ORGANIC UNSULPHURED BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES
– calcium
– copper
– iron
– magnesium
– manganese
– potassium
– selenium

ORGANIC COLD-PRESSED COCONUT OIL
lauric acid (helps kill harmful pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi)
– triglycerides (medium chain fatty acids – helps with diabetes, heart, Crohn’s, IBS, Alzheimers, thyroid, & immunity)

COCONUT (including MILK or CREAM)
– iron
– selenium
– calcium
– magnesium
– phosphorus
– Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, C & E
– lauric acid (a potent antiviral & antibacterial)
– fibre

Cinnamon
Contains Calcium, Manganese and Fibre
Anti-microbial
Anti-inflammatory
Improves circulation – warming
Controls blood sugar levels very well
High in antioxidants (contains glutathione)
Stimulates digestion & appetite
Sooths indigestion and relieves nausea
Relieves flatulence and diarrhoea
Blood thinning properties
Note: It is highly unlikely that Cinnamon would grow well in NZ unless in a heated glasshouse, as it needs a MINIMUM indoors temperature of 16C.

Garam Masala
(Many different mixes are available, which generally include herbs that do the following):
Increases absorption of vitamins, minerals and proteins
Soothes stomach and increases digestion
Relieves bloating, heart-burn
Great for detox
Also helps with weight loss
Improves immunity and helps fight disease
Some effectiveness as pain killer
Reduces blood-sugar levels
One Garam Masala recipe is:
1/4 cup coriander seeds
2 Tablespoons cumin seeds
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cardamom pods
Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg
To Make: Dry roast all ingredients (except nutmeg), crush the spices in Mortar & Pestle. Finally, grate nutmeg and mix in well. Store in an airtight container.

Cloves
Contains Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese, Vit K and fibre
Active ingredient – eugenol
Antimicrobial
Antibacterial
Anti-inflammatory, great for treating joint pain
Mild anaesthetic, relieves toothache and dental pain
Prevents toxicity from pollutants in the environment
Eases coughs and expels phlegm
Settles upset stomachs
Used to treat digestive tract cancers
Improves digestion and relieves flatulence
Note: It is highly unlikely that Cloves would grow well in NZ, as they need constant high temps and humidity all year round.

Cumin
High in Iron, also has Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Selenium & Zinc Has Vits A, C & E, plus B Complex vitamins
Immune boosting
Anti-Fungal
Antioxidant, great for liver detoxing
Improves digestion
Cancer fighting capabilities
Can also help with insomnia
Excellent source of fibre
Available from Kings Seeds –
http://www.kingsseeds.co.nz/shop/Herbs/Alpha+Search+for+Herbs/Cumin-6218.html

Turmeric
Active ingredient – curcumin
Powerful antioxidant properties
Anti-inflammatory, excellent for arthritis
Use topically or in poultices to relieve bruises, cuts etc.
Used for Alzheimer’s and heart disease
Studies show benefits for fighting cancer
Helpful for menstrual disorders
Can be beneficial for diabetes
Rhizomes available from Subtropicals – http://www.subtropical.co.nz/catalogue2.html

CARDAMOM
Contains Iron, Calcium, Sulphur, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese and magnesium
Has Vit C and some B vitamins
Analgesic properties
Antiseptic
Antioxidant
Antispasmodic, great for digestive disorders
Cancer prevention, esp. hormone cancers (breast, ovarian, uterine/endometrial & prostate)
Diuretic, also helps with discomfort of kidney and gall stones
Helps fight bad breath, tooth/gum decay and diseases
Soothes sore throat and may relieve voice hoarseness
Expectorant qualities
Available from Subtropicals – but carries a warning, “for Temperature Controlled Hothouses only” –  http://www.subtropical.co.nz/catalogue2.html

GROUND CORIANDER
Iron, Folate, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Calcium, Copper
Contains Vit A, B1, B2 & B3
Antiseptic
Antioxidant,
Linalool – Essential oil
Helps protect against bowel cancer
Carminative
Digestive aid – great for stomach pains
Cholesterol lowering
Readily available and easily grown in NZ: http://www.kingsseeds.co.nz/shop/Herbs/Alpha+Search+for+Herbs/Coriander+Slowbolt-6215.html

MACE (Ground)
Vit’s A, B2 & C, iron, carotenes, calcium, copper, magnesium and manganese
anti-fungal, anti-depressant and also an aphrodisiac
digestive & carminative – used for calming the digestive and nervous systems
contains eugenol – relieves toothache & helps with both rheumatic/muscle pains
(Mace is the outer core of the Nutmeg and can be used interchangeable with this)

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.

The last month of disasters in the garden…

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If you follow my blog, you will recall that the last time I posted, I said I would attempt to get another update done in a week, but that it was snowing outside right at that time, so I was not quite sure. Well…. after it snowed, and snowed, and snowed and it stayed around on the ground for 12 days, there was not much of a garden left to blog about! We then had a few days of ok weather, then the frosts hit and everything froze again, including the ground. So apologies for not blogging in the last month, but it has been diabolical weather and there has also been not much harvesting to speak of either. I was so happy that I had been able to store up so many vegetables earlier in the season and from summer/autumn pickings, as that got us through – mostly.

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Above, are scenes from around our property in the biggest snow dump we have had in years. Below, is what the garden looked like… there was nothing I could do, I could only hope and pray that the plants survived. Most did, but it has taken them another month to recover from their immersion in freezing cold snow, which eventually turned to ice and it was this, that did most of the damage. Quite a few plants rotted and I had to dig them in or throw them away, but the hardiest ones are slowing coming back to life. 🙂
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After nearly 2 weeks, the snow is still on the ground in the gardens. But, we had a wonderful visit from a Kereru (Native NZ Wood Pigeon), who started feeding on the winterberries in the trees – see below:
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So much for a harvest! Although inbetween the snow storms and the freezing frosts, I did manage to pick a little of the few plants that survived – although most of them looked pretty battle scarred!

HARVESTED OVER THE LAST MONTH:
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– Spring Onions
– Tat Soi & Misome F1 (Kings Seeds)
– Brussel Sprouts heads
– Leeks
– Kohl Rabi
– Celery
– Sprouting Broccoli
– Jerusalem Artichokes

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The gardens have at last started to recover from their freezing snow and ice beating; you can see the frost/cold damage in some of the photos – it nearly broke my heart 😦
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After yet another week, the plants are looking even better again now, although you can still see some residual damage. It does seems like I might be able to save some of the plants long-term afterall! I did find just the other day that the last of the Cauliflowers had rotted and the Misome F1 and Tat Soi got totally wrecked in the frost, but mostly everything else has survived, and I have now planted more Misome F1 and Tat Soi, to replace those that were lost. I might try picking the Carrots soon:
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I have done a couple of experiments lately that I want to share with you. As Coriander does like the cold (but not the frost) and it hates heat, and I love to use it in a lot of my cooking, I have planted some out in pots and put it on the back porch. It is doing well!
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I have also cut off Elderberry Tree twigs and put them in a jar of water. I did this just as they were budding up and look what they have grown into now! They are getting well leaved and rooted, and will be ready to plant out come spring. I’m so happy with them!
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Once again, where-ever you are and whatever you are growing, or if you are just looking for inspiration to start a garden, I wish you every blessing in your endeavours.

Peace & Love, Suz

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.

The last 2 weeks in and out of the garden (and off the property!)

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What a winter we are having here… we did not even have 3 months between frosts this season, and now we are into our 6th severe frost/permafrost. In the middle of it all, we lost the water to our property due to a leak in the main line from the street, and after we had dug that up to repair it, a huge frost hit and the ground and everything in it and on it froze for a whole week. It appears a previous owner had planted a tree over the water line and it had broken and bent the pipe. It was not much fun for us at all!

As we had no water on the property, we had to move out to a friends. We lost a lot of plants, as we could not water the frost off, and the wind was coming up in the day-time, so I was unable to lay frost cloth out and have it stay there. One day it as so cold and frozen that the peg box (which had filled with water in the rains previously), turned into a block of solid ice in the backyard and I had to smash it with an axe to get the pegs out so I could hang the clothes! So our gardens are not so great, but at least we are back home again. My apologies for not doing a post for so long, but it has been horrible and hectic all in one! :/


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But, despite the terrible weather and freezing conditions, we did manage to still harvest something:

2x Snowball Turnips
1x large bowl of Pak Choi
1x large bowl of Mustard Greens
1x large bowl of mixed Kale
2x frost damaged/hail damaged Tat Soi plants
3x frost burned and half ruined Cauliflowers
2x bags of Brussel Sprouts heads – that I trimmed off to make the sprouts grow bigger IMG_7094 IMG_7096
The beautiful looking Cauliflowers before our water pipe burst and the big freeze turned everything to ice (below): IMG_7127 IMG_7125
The Cauliflowers after the frost got to them (below) – they were frozen solid for days and so got really badly frost burned, as I had no water to defrost them with :(. But I picked them anyway, and chopped the worst burned brown bits off and cut the florets up and made Cauliflower Chickpea Satay for dinner with them, and it was still yummy! 🙂 IMG_7121IMG_7122
The frost damaged Tat Soi we picked (below left), but we still managed to salvage some of it to eat – not like the Misome (below right) – which was too far gone, although I hope it might yet manage to grow back again: IMG_7152IMG_7148
After doing so well even in the initial cold, the Blue Shelling Peas (below), have well and truly died now 😦 IMG_7147
But, the rest of the garden is not doing too badly, as some of the plants are still frost hardy – especially the Kale: IMG_7140IMG_7142IMG_7135 IMG_7141 IMG_7143 IMG_7136 IMG_7129 IMG_7130 IMG_7131 IMG_7128
I hope to be back again next week with better news and a more profitable harvest, but as it is currently snowing outside after freezing again last night, I am not so sure!


Anyway, wherever you are and whatever you are growing, I wish you peace and productive ground with a fantastic harvest. X Suz

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.


This last week or so in the garden:

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More massive frosts and unscheduled freezes, plus fierce winds too – so not much of the garden left now 😦


Even the frost-hardy plants are struggling to cope this year, sadly. Even before the official start of winter, we had been having severe frosts for months and hoar frosts like this one (below)  – where everything freezes solid:IMG_6884 IMG_6883 IMG_6893 IMG_6892 IMG_6890IMG_6889IMG_6891   IMG_6888 IMG_6887 IMG_6886 IMG_6885

The storm mangled and frost burned Blue Shelling Peas (below) – so sad after they were cropping really good:
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Usually in the morning when it frosts, I spray water on the frozen plants with the hose sprinkler, but this time (above) I had to do it continuously for 2 hours as the water kept on freezing straight back into ice! 😦 It was so exhausting.

But through it all, some things did manage to survive under the frost covers and here they are:
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SO, WHAT WE DID MANAGE TO HARVEST A BIT AFTER ALL, AND THIS IS LISTED BELOW:
6x stalks Celery – albeit a bit frost damaged
The last hail and frost damaged fully grownTat Soi – as it was going to seed, removed the whole plant
Half a bowl full of Sprouting Broccoli – Rudolph Winter Purple, Winter Green and Romanesco
Half a bowl of mixed Kale – Blue Ridge, Pink Stem, Cavolo Nero, Vates Blue Squire, Red Monarch & Red Russian
2 large handfuls of mixed Mustard – Komatsuna, Coloured Frills, Deep Purple, Giant Red, Purple Wave & Streaks
2 large handfuls of Pak Choi – leaves only; I usually allow the plant to keep growing and produce more
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…. and 2 solitary baby “Mini Me” Lemons 🙂

Elsewhere in the garden tho, the winter crops are still attempting to grow, frosts, ice, hail, snow or not!! Thankfully!

Brussel Sprouts and Winter Cauliflower doing pretty good so far – these are the biggest out of my 20+ plants…

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The next rounds of Brussel Sprouts,  Kohl Rabi, Kale, Broccoli, Pak Choi, Cauliflower, Cabbage & Collards are also coming along rather nicely too:
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A few more plants that managed to survive the frosts and freezing fold – Carrots, Radishes & Bartowich Parsley:
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I put frost “hats” on the herbs and baby trees at the doorstep; they are working really, really well – i’m impressed!
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The Sprouting Broccoli plants and Celery (below) – before I picked them!
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More Cabbages, Leeks, Kohl Rabi, Cauliflower and Broccoli (below) coming along:
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The Winter Salads & Mesclun Mixes (below) are doing really, really well, we are picking and eating every week:
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And last but not least, my one baby Pine Tree that has survived so far! 🙂
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For now, have happy gardening wherever you are and whatever you are growing. Peace, from Suz

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.

Broccoli and Mushroom Pasta with Buckwheat (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Vegan/Vegetarian/Organic/Healthy)

Some of my best creations are ones when I have a bunch of ingredients fresh picked from the garden that need using, and I have to make something to fit around them. They usually end up being our favourite meals! This was one of those dishes 🙂

PASTA: BROCCOLI, MUSHROOM & BUCKWHEAT (Main serves 2 or 4 sides) –
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When I create a recipe, I am very careful what I put into it. I do not use ingredients for fun, I use them for good health! If you want to know what nutritional and medicinal benefits are in my recipes, the profile of ingredients is listed at the end:

NOTE: This recipe is specifically formulated to be useful for cancer protection/treatment and heart health.


Firstly, you will need all the ingredients:
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INGREDIENTS:
2 cups of chopped organic Sprouting or Romanesco Broccoli (or other Brassica’s)
1-2 cups small organic Cherry Tomatoes (cut any larger ones in half)
7-8 med/lge Field Mushrooms – broken into pieces (chop & save the stalks for making stock)
1x 250g box or packet gluten-free spiral Pasta (we use Ceres brand Quinoa pasta)
1/2 cup organic Buckwheat
1/2 jar or approx. 100gms organic Tomato Paste (we use Zito brand)
2 Tbsps Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp. organic Chilli Flakes
1 tsp. Seaweed Flakes
4 organic Garlic Cloves – finely chopped
2 tsps. fresh picked organic Oregano – chopped finely (or 4 tsps. dried herb)
1/4 cup organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp. Szechuan Pepper – ground
Pink Himilayan Rock Salt – to taste
8x cups total of Boiling Filtered Water (for cooking Pasta/Buckwheat & making Stock)

METHOD:
First up, put chopped mushroom scraps and stalks into a heat-proof glass or stainless steel bowl, and cover with 1 cup of boiling Filtered Water, leave until later. See below…
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Second, put Pasta on to cook. Put Pasta in a pot with 6 Cups Boiling Filtered Water, 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil and Salt to taste. Cook as per instructions on packet. When cooked, pour into a colander (see below), pour 1 Tbsp. more Olive Oil over it and gently mix in to prevent sticking.
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While Pasta is cooking, dry roast Buckwheat in a pan – without oils or water (below), until it is golden brown. This increases the flavour and reduces the cooking time.

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When Buckwheat is golden brown and dry roasted, add 1 cup of water to it, then put the cut up Broccoli (including leaves) on top of the Buckwheat and boiling water. See below…
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Cover Broccoli and Buckwheat for around 5mins until it starts going soft, then set aside.

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While Buckwheat is cooking, put Mushroom pieces into another pan with half the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Seaweed Flakes (above), add Tomatoes and fry until Mushrooms are soft and golden coloured. See below…
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Next, add the Nutritional Yeast Flakes and the Chilli Flakes to the Mushroom and Tomatoes, (see below) and stir thoroughly. Add a little more Olive Oil if needed, but save some for later.
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Finally, add the other ingredients (Tomato Paste, Szechuan Pepper, Oregano – everything except the Garlic), then put everything together in the same pan with the Mushrooms and Tomatoes, to finish cooking (add the Stock & Mushroom Stalks, Pasta, Broccoli & Buckwheat), and carefully mix through. See below…
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Just before serving, check the taste, add Salt as required, and put chopped Garlic Cloves in. Serve in bowls and enjoy. 🙂

Main Ingredients – Nutritional breakdown:

BROCCOLI (or other similar Brassica’s)
– a cruciferous vegetable – research shows benefits of these to help fight & prevent cancer
– chromium
– phosphorus
– manganese
– choline
– potassium
– magnesium
– omega 3
– copper
– zinc
– calcium
– selenium
– iron
– folate
– protein
– cholesterol-lowering properties
– glucosinolates (helps prevent stomach ulcers)
– Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K
– anti-inflammatory
-antioxidant
– fibre

MUSHROOMS
– selenium
– potassium
– phosphorous
– copper
– iron
– folate
– choline (helps with sleep, muscles, memory, cells & nerves; also reduces inflammation)
– beta-glucans (helps with diabetes, cholesterol & obesity; also boosts immunity)
– Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 & D
– antioxidant
– immunity building
– fibre

TOMATOES (& Tomato Puree)
– rich in lycopene (has anti-cancer properties)
– alpha-lipoic acid
– lutein
– choline
– biotin
– molybdenum
– potassium
– iron
– folic acid
– beta-carotene
– Vitamins A, C & K
– reduces cholesterol

BUCKWHEAT GROATS (despite its name, this “pseudo-grain” is gluten free!)
– protein
– manganese
– magnesium
– copper
– folate
– phosphorus
– choline
– flavonoids (particularly rutin) – lowers cholesterol levels & protects heart
– plant lignans (incl. enterolactone) – help fight hormone cancers & heart disease
– helps the body process and utilize Vit C
– studies show enzymes lower blood glucose & insulin significantly
– antioxidant effect
– not just fibre, but insoluble fibre – which helps prevent gallstones

QUINOA & RICE PASTA (other Pasta will not have the same level of nutrition)
– protein
– calcium
– phosphorus
– potassium
– magnesium
– manganese
– selenium
– iron
– Vits B Group (1, 3, 6) & E
– fibre

NUTRITIONAL YEAST (NOT Brewers Yeast!)
– protein
– magnesium
– manganese
– folate
– zinc
– Vitamins B group inc. B12
– fibre

GARLIC
– selenium
– manganese
– calcium
– copper
– potassium
– phosphorus
– iron
– Vitamins B1, B6 & C
– fibre
– immune booster
– reduces blood pressure

SEAWEED (amount of nutrition will alter depending on type – but all are very beneficial)
– protein
– calcium
– iron
– iodine
– sodium
– phosphorous
– magnesium
– Vitamins A, B1, C & E
– fibre

OREGANO
– magnesium
– calcium
– potassium
– iron
– folate
– Vitamins A, B6, C, E & K
– antioxidant
– anti-inflammatory
– anti-microbial & anti-fungal (may even help kill MRSA, listeria & some other pathogens)
– fibre

HOT PEPPER/CHILLI
– manganese
– magnesium
– molybdenum
– folate
– zinc
– copper
– phosphorous
– potassium
– selenium
– carotenoids
– cysteine (amino acid)
– capsaicin (good for pain)
– other phyto chemicals thought to reduce cancer cell growth
– Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E & K
– anti-inflammatory
– antioxidant
– antibacterial
– fibre

OLIVES (& Olive Oil)
– copper
– calcium
– iron
– potassium
– manganese
– zinc
– omega’s 3 & 6
– Vits A & E
– anti-inflammatory
– antioxidant
– carotenoids (helps against heart disease)
– oleuropein (helps with cholesterol)
– fibre

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.

This Week In The Garden – snow, storms and more…

More disasters in the garden this week, this is turning out to be not a very good season at all:
– snow, hail, ice, storms, broken plants, blown over vegetables, hail damaged greens 😦


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But thankfully some things did survive, and we did get a bit of a harvest:
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This is what our garden provided this week  –

2x Tat Soi
2 handfuls of Pak Choi
3x Celery Stalks
1 HUGE piled up bowl of mixed Kale
2 bunches of Sprouting Broccoli & Cauliflower
1 bunch Collards
1 large bowl of Misome (Asian Greens)
2 handfuls of Blue Shelling Peas
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So all was not lost, but it was still pretty devastating. I hope that wherever you are, you had a better weather week than us! The greens seem to be loving the cooler weather at least, and they are growing very well, as you can see from what we have managed to pick (above). Meanwhile, the winter salad greens are coming along nicely too:
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Elsewhere around the gardens, things are ticking along nicely. I have nearly managed to remove all the dead and dying summer and autumn plants (some of which got caught out in unseasonably early frosts) and I have been very busy getting all the new winter vegies planted in their place. Now I just have to remember to feed them well too!


Unfortunately for some strange reason the rest of my photos won’t load, so when I get that figured out, I will update the post! Wherever you are and whatever weather you are having, I hope that your gardens are doing well :). Suz

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.

Making “Capers” from Nasturtium’s: (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten Free/Organic/Healthy)

“Poor Man’s Capers” – pickled Nasturtium Pods:

Nasturtiums are great in the garden for a myriad of reasons. Firstly, they attract aphids and other insects away from your vegetables, and secondly, their unripe seed pods can be used to make really yummy “poor man’s Capers” (recipe below); thirdly, their flowers are both yummy and colourful in salads, and fourthly their leaves also add a nice peppery taste to salads and are very nutritious; fifthly, they attract bees and feed them and sixth, they look beautiful! So, plant Nasturtiums around your property and gain all the benefits. 🙂

NOTE: We do not generally grow them IN the actual gardens as they attract the aphids, so instead we plant them around the vege gardens to draw the aphids away from the food plants. However, they are a brilliant plant to put in Asparagus beds to keep the weeds away while your Asparagus plants get established.

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When your Nasturtiums have finished flowering
, they will leave behind lovely firm green pods like this (below):
Nasturtium Seed
Pick off the hard green pods and wash them to make sure there are no insects or dirt attached; then place them in a small bowl with water and sea salt, for up to 2 days (see below). Change the salted water each day.

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Boil up a mix of:
– apple cider vinegar and water (I use between a 1:4 and 1:5 ratio of vinegar to purified water, dependant on how strong the Cider Vinegar is that I am using)
– with 1/2 tsp. each of salt and sugar
(you will want about a half cup of liquid total, per half cup of pods)
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Pour the boiling brine over the pods and pickle as usual, in a hot sterilized jar.
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Seal and store on the shelf and in the fridge once opened. Use as you would capers.

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.

This week in the garden – is all about storing your produce for Winter:

It is one thing to grow a great harvest, it is yet another to ensure that your harvest lasts you over the winter months.

I will do a few blogs about different types of storage, this one is “dry storage” or using a cool room/cellar etc:

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Leave your Pumpkins/Squash etc., on the vine until the stalks start to look a little dried out, then pick. It is even better if you can wait until the vine dies. And what is the best of all, is leaving your Pumpkins/Squash on the vines until they get a frost, which will harden their skins off, so that you will get the longest possible store time from out of them. After picking, finish drying them in a warm dry place, like in front of the fire or in the sun, but only if the hottest part of summer is over (or they may become sunburned).

Pumpkins can be tricky to store. They really do not like to be sat flat on shelves. The pressure of their weight can cause soft spots to form which are prone to rot. They are best nestled in beds of soft straw or in something like pillows, or you can sit them in scrunched up newspaper in shaped baskets (as I have done above – see above).

If you must sit them on shelves, turn the over every week or so, to reduce the pressure on the same spot all the time. Pumpkins and other curcubits like Squash and Marrow’s, require drying and storing in a warmish dry place – never on concrete or damp ground… (also do not store in a cold room or fridge).
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Drying freshly picked Pumpkins and Butternut on a slatted shelf unit in the house in front of the wood fire (above). Once they are properly dried and “cured”, I then transfer them to the laundry at the back of the house, which is kind of like our food cellar room!

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See above – a couple of “soft” spots on one of the pumpkins that has been stored flat on a shelf. We will be cutting up and using this one first, and trying to not store any more of our pumpkins in this manner if possible.


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The best way to dry/cure Onions and Garlic for storage is to lie them on paper (above) in the sun – but once again only if the hottest part of summer is already over (or they will get sunburned), otherwise put them in a warm shed or under cover somewhere and turn them over daily. When the skins have all turned papery like and the leaves have shriveled up, they are dry or cured. Then they can be hung up to store. If there is no sun, put them on paper by your fire or in a warm part of your house until dry. NOTE: do not clean or rub the skins off your Onions and Garlic if you want to store them, as this will reduce their life.

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Garlic and Onions are best stored hanging by their stalks/leaves, (as above). The other way of doing this is putting them in net stockings and hanging the stocking from the roof. Garlic and Onions do not like being stored flat either, as they cannot breathe and they are prone to rot. Hanging them this way means you can cut them down to use.

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If you do need to store Onions or Garlic by not hanging them up for some reason, the best way is nestled in paper in the bottom of a soft cardboard box (see above). Just make sure they are properly dried and “cured” first.



If you are storing potatoes, you need to leave them in the ground until the plants die right down. Do not water in the last couple of weeks, as this will prevent the skins from drying and “curing” for storage over winter. The plants will go brown, wilt off and start to fall over, this is when you can start to carefully dig up your potato crop for storing.

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To dry potatoes, dig them from the garden, gently brush any dirt off them with some soft fabric and put them straight onto paper to dry. (above) Do not wash them, or wipe them, and be careful of damaging them with fingernails – I always handle ours with gloves on now, after the first damage disaster. And do not put them in the sun – in fact put them out of the light completely, or they will go green. Potatoes need to be “cured” for a couple of weeks before being put into airy basket storage. If they are not being stored in a dark place, cover the baskets with something like folded up paper bags or even newspapers.

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Storing and checking Potatoes: Potatoes are best stored in woven baskets so they can breathe. Store ONLY Potatoes that are hard to the touch, unblemished and undamaged. Otherwise, they can be prone to rot.

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Every couple of weeks, empty out all your potatoes of the basket into another container (carefully), and put them back into the woven basket one by two, checking for firmness and signs of potential rot. Only re-store the Potatoes that are still firm. Anything slightly soft, going wrinkly, looking “sad” or going off, put aside to use up immediately. Also take out any that are starting to sprout, as this sprouting uses up all the flesh of the Potato, which is a waste. In case you did not know, all bought Potatoes (other than Organic ones and “New” Potatoes, are sprayed with a hormone spray called Dormatone, which stops them from sprouting by interrupting the hormone released by the Potatoes. This is one other reason why it is better to grow your own, as who wants to be eating hormones?! :/

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Once all the Potatoes are back in the woven basket again, place paper over the top of them.

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Put your Potato basket back on your shelf to store, and re-check again in another couple of weeks. Potatoes like to be stored in a cool, shaded place. Do not keep them completely in the dark, or they will start to sprout! They are fine in a “cool” room, but not in a fridge. Never store Potatoes on a concrete floor, always on a wooden shelf. Ours are stored in woven baskets on wooden shelves in our laundry, which sits between cold and warm, so it is good for both Curcubits (Pumpkin family) and also Potatoes and other vegetables. It is probably around about 10C in there. NOTE: because your Potatoes are being stored in their natural form, you WILL get sprouting occur in springtime, but then you can either set some of these aside to grow your new crops from, or just pull the sprouts off and eat the Potatoes. We always have enough to plant and eat, until we get our new crops come thru.

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Potatoes are great in any woven basket (to keep aerated), just place paper over the top to store.

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Treat Maori Potatoes (NZ Natives), in the same way as Irish Potatoes. They do not store as well, so use before your Irish Potatoes, but they do store for a few months. Just keep checking them and using as they go soft, or before.

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Again with Yams, these are the same as Potatoes. Store them in woven baskets to let the air flow, to help prevent them going rotten. Cover with cardboard or paper and store on a wooden shelf. Keep checking them weekly and use up any that are going soft or looking like they may be going to start going off. Store Yams in a cool place.


To store Beetroot, use something like a bucket a cool, dark place – uncovered, and use before they go soft. They will not last as long as some of the other vegetables, but you should be able to get a couple of months out of them.

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When you are finished checking all your vegetables, you will probably have some over to use for dinner that night and maybe for the next night too! This time, I had a few Beetroot, Irish Potatoes and Maori Potatoes to use up.

Happy storing and eating! Suz

© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.