Soup’s on!

What a snowstorm yesterday!  It was a day of shoveling at my house … it started at 7:30am and didn’t end until 5pm.  After all that snow, it was time to think about dinner.  Soup sounded perfect.  I had cooked up a turkey breast the day before so there was plenty of meat in the refrigerator plus I had a box of chicken bone broth on the shelf and vegetables in the refrigerator.  All I needed was my pressure cooker and some seasonings and dinner would be ready in about 20 minutes.  I know so many people who are afraid to use a pressure cooker, but I just love mine.  It is the only way I make soup.  Something that might take 30-40 minutes cooked in a regular pot, only takes 10-15 minutes in my pressure cooker.  And it’s not just about time, but about flavor.  A pressure cooker locks in all of the steam and therefore all of the flavor.  I rarely follow a recipe when I make soup.  Basically I use whatever vegetables I have on hand, broth if I have it, water if not, and then some spices.  It’s hard for me to duplicate a recipe, but I never mind.  I like the variety.  Here is what came out of my pressure cooker yesterday:

Pesto Turkey Vegetable Soup

6 medium carrots

6 stalks celery

2 small zucchini

1/2 head of cabbage (small to medium)

1 box chicken bone broth

2 cups chopped turkey or chicken meat

1/4 cup pesto

2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or pressure cooker over medium high heat.  Wash and chop the carrots and celery into bite sized pieces and add to the pot.  Sauté for about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile core and chop the cabbage into bite sized pieces.  Add to the pot and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Add the bone broth and bring to a boil.  Add the zucchini.  If you are using a pressure cooker, allow the soup to come to pressure and then lower the heat.  Cook for 7 minutes. (If you are cooking the soup in a regular pot, lower the soup to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft.)  Bring down the pressure and check to make sure the vegetables are soft.  Add the chopped turkey or chicken meat and the pesto.  Simmer for an additional 3 minutes to warm the meat.  Serve and Enjoy!

 

 

Little Things

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I think it is important to find the little things in

everyday life that make you happy.

~ Paula Cole

Well, it has been awhile since I shared anything about my garden but today these little carrots made me so happy I just had to share them!  I think that I have been trying to grow carrots now for about the past 5 years. The greens on top of the ground always look beautiful but I assume that my clay-like soil has usually prevented them from growing any bigger than the size of a baby carrot.  So you can only imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to see these beauties when I pulled them from the ground.  Now, I know, you are looking at them and going, really, they are still so small.  Well, you would be right but compared to my previous years, these are monsters. No matter – they made me smile anyway!  And really, I think that this is why I have a garden: to be surprised and to smile at whatever happens to grow!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

There is nothing pleasanter than spading when the ground is soft and damp.

~ John Steinbeck

lower gardenI will have to agree that there is something so satisfying to me to be able to put my hands into the dirt.  This is the photo that I sent out awhile ago in the beginning of spring.  This was my garden before I got it planted.  Even though there is still a small section of my garden that is filled with weeds and yet unplanted, I wanted to share with you what I have growing.

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In this row I have peas towards the back with some kale and arugula growing in front of them.  There are some onions left over from last year and some lettuce.  Under the ladder there are two winter squash plants of unknown variety.  It is a wait and see what grows!

middleIn this middle row I have zucchini and yellow squash towards the fence and the some pole beans next to them.  I have lots of basil so that I can make pesto for the freezer.  There are tomatoes, peppers and more lettuce towards the front.

topIn the top row I have lots of herbs and then below  I have potatoes, string beans and more onions that I just planted.

This is my spring garden because once the end of June comes and the sun starts dipping down, the trees start to shade this garden and it gets very little sun.  I hope that I will have some things to eat out of here soon!

On the side of my house where I keep thinking there is more sun, I have my other garden.If I am truly honest with myself, there is not much more sun on this side of the house.  I live in a beautiful spot, but those big trees are just getting in my way!

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Lots and lots of greens in this part of my garden – kale, collards, tatsoi, spinach, endive, escarole and cress.  Yummy!  We have already been eating out of this side.

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More peas on this side along with beets, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, radishes and chard.  Radishes are amazing!  They grow so quickly.  We have already eaten many of those.  There are some strawberries in the back but I transplanted them so they are still trying to find their roots.

blueberries

Hard to tell in this photo, but these are blueberry plants that I just bought this year and they are loaded!  I hope they make it!

Thanks for taking the tour of my garden!  I will keep you posted as I harvest my goodies!  Happy gardening!

Kitchen Experiments – Mung Bean Pasta

Mung Bean Fettucine….have you tried it yet?  Anita found it at Earthlight Natural Foods here in Stroudsburg and thought it would be perfect for our new Alcat food plan.  Gluten-free and made with mung beans and water!

.mung bean

They have more protein than carbohydrate per serving and the texture is great! I decided to use them today to make a quick lunch for my friend and I.  It was carrot day, as well as tahini and almond butter.  So, I sauteed some carrots and made a tahini-almond sauce and ….

pasta

Viola!  Lunch!  If you haven’t tried this pasta – I highly recommend that you give them a try.  They are delicious and hold up well with a light or heavy sauce and are great as left overs. Enjoy!