Saturday, May 10, 2014

T.J.'s garden produces great talk

Thomas Jefferson gardened in his retirement days, experimenting with unusual plants of the day, including okra, eggplant and tomatoes. He loved to read from the pavilion at his gardens at Monticello and study his plantings and collect the seeds.
Peter Hatch, who directed the gardens and grounds shared this info in a delightful talk at McFaddin-Ward House. I also give high marks to the foods of the reception that followed. Ever hear of a Rosemary angel?
Hatch said Jefferson considered meat a condiment and preferred the vegetables he cultivated, with some good wine, too. Jefferson grew so many lettuce varieties that it was always in season for him. Hatch said Jefferson is credited with, through folklore or fakelore, “inventing” many trends. With all those images he showed of luscious green lettuce foliage, I wonder if Jefferson invented P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps.

My new yogurt recipe
“The Idot’s Guides” has relesed “The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” an easy way to fall in love with healthy food. Watermelon salad, lamb and chicken dishes and light and filling fare makes you feel better. These dishes are easy, colorful and flavorful.
I’m just halfway through the giant tub of Greek Yogurt I made from simply boiling a gallon of whole milk and mixing it with purchased yogurt as a starter. I’ll save some of this batch to make more. It’s so good with berries I just picked and honey. Denise “DedeMed” Hazime’s book includes several recipes to make with this yogurt, including a cake. I made this sauce and spread it on a tortilla with chicken. Amazing.

Tzatziki Sauce
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
3 medium Persian cucumbers, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 half teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 half cup water
In a large bowl, combine Greek yogurt, Persian cucumbers, lemion juice, garlic, salt, mint and water and stir for about 15 seconds.
Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Superfood Snacks
Not only would I know how to naturally make chia seeds coat raw pepitas flavored with garlic and rosemary, I wouldn’t have even thought of it. New organic Superfood+ Seeds and Nuts from Navitas Naturals comes on four new mixes:
Maca Maple Cashews, Chia Rosemary Pepitas, Goji Basil Cashews and Goldenberry Ginger Almonds, combine best-selling Navitas Naturals superfoods with healthy, raw, organic seeds and nuts. I tried the Pepitas and Maca Maple Cashews and found them subtly flavored – remember that “raw” makes them softer than we’re used to – and that just a few made me feel full and energized. That’s not what a lot of us have come to expect in a snack. Most of the handy options are full of salt and sugar and things we can’t pronounce. If Navitas Naturals brings it to you and you can’t pronounce it, it’s because it’s a berry or something from across the globe that you haven’t discovered yet, not because it’s a chemical. Consider this description:

These sweet maple superfood cashews are a delicious blend of raw cashews, the butterscotch-like flavor of maca and sweet maple syrup. Maca is a root from the Andes Mountains of Peru that is a complex, nutrient-dense whole food source of vitamins, amino acids, plant sterols, essential minerals and essential fatty acids. Maca has been traditionally used as a stress-fighting adaptogen, and to increase stamina, boost libido and combat fatigue. 

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