Saturday, March 24, 2012

Family Time

City Share will be taking a break for some family time. My father is very ill, and we are out in AZ to spend time with him. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Making Liquid Gold (aka Delicious, Clear Chicken Stock)

We have been trying to incorporate more and more chicken stock into our diet, but it can be hard to keep up our supply. I came across a post by Jenny over at Nourished Kitchen in which she talked about her method for perpetual bone broth. She actually cooks the same set of bones for a week in her slow cooker removing broth each day and adding more water. She is able to get a half gallon of broth from one set of bones from a roasted chicken. That was amazing to me! We only have a small slow cooker and it seems to cook pretty hot even on the low setting, so I didn't think we could get a week out of it, but decided to try a couple of days.

Our slow cooker is so small that I couldn't fit the chicken carcass in at first (it was frozen). I put it on the stove for a few hours and then transferred it to the slow cooker. I cooked the first batch for 24 hours, removed most of the broth and  then added more water. I cooked the second batch another 24 hours. After the second batch, the bones easily crumbled when I pinched them, so I decided to call it quits. I was pleased that we were able to double our normal supply of chicken broth from one set of bones.

Another tip from Jenny that I thought was genius- straining the broth through a reusable coffee filter to create clear broth.  I first poured the broth through a colander to remove the large pieces of bones and cartilage. Then I used our travel drip coffee maker and a circle of cotton fabric (our reusable coffee filter) to filter out the fine particles. The results were a beautiful, clear chicken stock. By using the portable drip coffee maker, I was able to filter it right into glass jars to freeze.

How do you make chicken stock or bone broth? What tips do you have to pass along?

This post is part of Pennywise Platter Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Alphabe-Thursday, and Simple Lives Thursday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Indian Style Kale

We spent last weekend in New York City. We moved from New York City to Boston in December, and have been feeling homesick. It was amazing how we just fell right back into our old neighborhood. It almost felt like we had never left. This was a much needed break from other things going on, plus a trip to celebrate our upcoming wedding anniversary and my birthday at the end of the month.

Now, back at our new home we are continuing our efforts to eat lots of greens. We are trying to get at least one big serving of greens at dinner each night, but this can quickly become boring . So I have been keeping an eye out for different way to prepare collard greens, kale, chard and spinach. I was pleased to find a recipe for Kale Saag over at Not Eating Out in New York. It looked like a great new way to make kale. We simplified her recipe just a little bit because we are all about easy these days. It has great flavor. Kale can be tough and chewy, but this recipe blends it into a smooth texture. (I was toying with the idea of calling it Kale Mush for Grown-Ups, but decided that might not be a hit.) This recipe is vegan, but it would be good made with some chicken stock added instead of the cooking water, or some cream at the end.

Indian Style Kale inspired by Not Eating Out in NY
2 large bunches of kale, chopped with the stems removed
3 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 t dry ginger
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne
1/4 t mustard

Simmer kale for 20 minutes. While the kale is simmering, heat oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions are softened and add the spices. Cook for 2 minutes and then turn off the heat. Drain the kale and reserve 2 cups of cooking water. Place the greens in the food processor with 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth adding more water if necessary. Add the blended kale into the pot with the onions and spices. Bring everything to a boil. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gluten-free Meatloaf

Gluten-free Meatloaf with Roasted Cauliflower and Sauteed Spinach

We try to have ground beef once a week because it is an affordable way to incorporate some grass-fed beef into our diet. I have a couple of recipes in regular rotation that are always good - burgers with mushroom sauce and meatloaf. When I have looked up recipes for gluten-free meatloaf most of the recipes seem to use gluten-free breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs. That seems like cheating to me. I guess what I really want is a grain-free meatloaf, and they can be hard to find. Here is our solution- just meat, vegetables, spices and an egg. It works whether you are low-carb, Paleo, Primal or most other special diets (just not vegetarian ;).

What is your favorite ground beef recipe? We are always looking for new inspiration.

Combine the meat, vegetables, spices and egg.

Shape the mixture into a loaf and top with the sauce. I like to use as few pans as possible
so I roasted the cauliflower on the same sheet pan.

3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
2 ribs of celery, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 t salt
1 t thyme
1 t pepper flakes
1/2 t oregano
1 egg
1/4 c mustard (we like spicy brown)
1/4 c ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the garlic, onion, carrot and celery in a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped (but stop before it becomes puree).* Add the vegetable mixture to a large mixing bowl along with the beef, spices and egg. Combine thoroughly with your hands. In a separate bowl, combine the mustard and ketchup. Shape into a loaf shape on a baking sheet. Slather the meatloaf with the sauce (there will be some leftover).** Bake for 1 hour. Let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy.

*The meatloaf holds together pretty well. It is key to put the veggies through the food processor. When I have chopped them by hand, it has made the texture too course and the meatloaf falls apart when I slice it.

**I'm someone who likes a lot of sauce, so I make enough to coat the meatloaf and have some extra at the table. If you only want enough to coat the meatloaf, 2 T of mustard and ketchup should be enough.

This post is part of Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Works for Me Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, and Real Food Wednesdays.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chicken with Mushrooms and Zucchini

We are going to be visiting New York City this weekend. It's our first visit since we moved. All of the plans just fell into place last night, so now we can let ourselves get excited. We have been having ongoing car problems with our 1985 diesel Mercedes (it seems to have air in the system and doesn't like to start). We didn't want to get stuck somewhere along the way, so we decided to rent a car. Now that we have transportation and a place to stay, it's time to start figuring out what and where we want to eat.

When you visit a former home town, where do you like to eat? Is there a place that just calls out to you that you must visit each time you are there?

Last night we enjoyed some chicken with mushroom and zucchini and a side of kale. The dish is very flexible-it would taste nice with some Italian seasonings and tomatoes, herbes de Provence would work well, but we went with some soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic.

Chicken with Mushroom and Zucchini serves 2
1 T butter
10 oz of mushrooms, sliced
2 medium zucchini, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
1 chicken breast. sliced

Melt the butter over medium heat, and add the mushrooms. Cook until browned and remove from pan. Add the zucchini and cook until tender, and then set aside. Add the sesame oil and chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Add the garlic, zucchini and mushrooms back into the pan. Sprinkle with soy sauce and cook for a couple of minutes for the flavors to combine and to ensure the chicken is cooked through.

This post is part of Traditional Tuesdays, Tuesday Glam Party,  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Hearth and Soul  Blog Hop

Monday, March 5, 2012

Greek Dinner of Lamb Chops and Artichoke Rice Pilaf

We have been avoiding grains and sugar for a while now, but we fell off the wagon this weekend. My husband made dinner last night and it was worthy of our break. Marinated lamb shoulder chops with an artichoke, lemon rice pilaf and sauteed spinach with garlic. It was a great flavor palate with a bold mix of lemon and garlic. My husband doesn't do anything halfway, so when he makes sauteed spinach he adds eight cloves of garlic. Check below for his big flavors for the lamb and rice.

This week we will be picking ourselves up, brushing ourselves off and getting back on track. As part of this, we picked up enough greens to have some each day.

Menu Plan
Monday - Chicken breasts with butternut squash and kale
Tuesday - Meatloaf and spinach
Wednesday- Chicken with kale and cauliflower
Thursday- London Broil with spinach and broccoli
Friday - Out of town

Lamb Shoulder Chops serves 4
1 1/2 lb lamb shoulder chops
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C olive oil
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T oregano
1 T Dijon mustard
8 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 lemon, juiced
pepper and salt

Combine all of the ingredients and place in a plastic bag. Let marinate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chops and garlic from the marinade. Place the chops in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Brown for 3 minutes per side. Add the garlic, and bake for 10 minutes.

Artichoke, Lemon Rice Pilaf 
2 T butter
1 T oil
1/4 C almonds
1 C brown rice
1 C chicken stock
1 C water
1/2 C artichoke hearts (we used marinated hearts from a jar)
1/2 lemon, juiced

Place 1 T of butter and 1 T oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and rice. Cook for a couple of minutes to brown. Add the the stock, water, butter and artichoke hearts and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. Let sit covered for 10 minutes and then fluff with a fork.

This post is part of Menu Plan MondayMonday Mania, Homemaker Monday, Made by you Monday and Delicious Recipes.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Getting your Greens

Are you trying to eat more vegetables? That's something that we are always working on. I realized that we have lots of recipes for greens that we have enjoyed through our various CSA (community supported agriculture) shares, and it was time to compile them. So we pulled together our favorite greens recipes in one spot: Getting Your Greens.

What is your favorite way to get your greens?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Baby Talk: Feeding Babies (part 2)

This is a new series called Baby Talk to share our experiences with Baby Girl. I know this could get us into some dicey territory because babies and child rearing bring up all sorts of hot button issues. But this non-confrontational mama is not trying to start an argument, just share our experiences and observations. Please join us for a discussion of alternatives.

Baby Girl the day she turned one month old

Feeding Babies (part 1)

Do you have a baby at home? If yes, congratulations! Were you able to breastfeed your baby for a few days? a few weeks? a few months? Congratulations! No matter how long you were able to breastfeed, your baby reaped some great rewards.

I had heard while I was pregnant that breastfeeding can be tough. I didn't listen to these gentle warnings. I thought it would be easy for me.  I guess I was pretty full of myself  because I felt like I was doing everything "right" and it would pay off. I walked for at least 40 minutes per day, I took prenatal yoga once per week, I ate well, and had natural child birth. That confidence came back to bite me. I had the hardest time breastfeeding! When I was struggling, I looked on the internet to find accounts of people with similar experiences and I couldn't find one. So I thought I would share my experiences with you. If you are having trouble breastfeeding, you are not alone. If you decided to give it up, I understand. No judgement.

When pregnant women tell me that they are nervous about labor, I jump right in to give them a pep talk. I tell them that I had 34 hours of labor, and delivered a 9.5 pound baby without any drugs. They can do it! It hurts, but the pain is manageable. I highly endorse staying active, taking a birthing class and prenatal yoga class. If you stay calm, work on breathing, and doing your pain coping techniques - you can do it!

If a pregnant woman tells me that she is nervous about breastfeeding (this is much more rare), I hem and haw and try to decide what to say. Usually I land on something like - it was really hard for me, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

Baby Girl had a strong personality from the start. When she was only 12 hours old, I could look ahead and see the battles we would have when she became a teenager. She woke up starving, screaming and upset, but she wouldn't open her mouth wide enough to latch on and she locked her arms to keep her distance from me. By the time I got home from the hospital, both of my nipples were infected and I dreaded each time I had to feed her. When she was four days old, we called in an expert. Freda Rosenfeld is famous in Brooklyn. (I discovered later that she had even been written up in the NY Times.) I told Freda that she was really strong willed and described all of our issues.  Freda didn't like the term strong willed, but she did admit that Baby Girl was stubborn. Freda said that she was one of the most stubborn babies she had ever seen, but reassured me that "stubborn people get things done." (that phrase has become a joke in our family) I was both reassured and disappointed by this. I was glad that it wasn't my imagination, but I was hoping Freda would be able to instantly make things better.

There was no quick fix (like so many things in life). My body took its mission of making food for Baby Girl very seriously - it seemed to think it needed to produce milk for a whole village. My nipples took a long time to heal, I developed mastitis, had blocked ducts, and was engorged from over milk production.  Luckily through  it all Baby Girl was healthy and growing like a weed.

The biggest problem of all for me was that it hurt each time she latched on. Really hurt! I had to do the breathing exercises I used in labor to help me work through the pain! I think it was partly due to the engorgement and partly due to me being very sensitive. I read that it would get better somewhere between 3 and 12 weeks. My pain and engorgement started to subside after 13 weeks. Right when things started getting better thrush set in (read about our saga with thrush here). By six months it was finally easy and problem free. Am I glad I stuck with it? Yes. I think it is best for her health. But it was hard! For me it was worse than 34 hours of labor.

What about you? Did you breastfeed your baby? How did it go? Did your baby latch right on? Was it smooth sailing right from the start? or was it worse than labor for you too?

This post is part of Fight Back FridayMonday Mania., Gratituesday, and Real Food Wednesday.
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