Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category


The foul weather has driven me indoors. I was reading Dr. Mark Hyman’s Ultra Metabolism (again) and noticed he seemed to be big on amaranth. I only knew it was a tiny grain and was sure I didn’t like it (without ever tasting it).

Okay, so I buy a very modest quantity to give it a try. I soaked it for about 24 hours (overnight will do) first. To my utter surprise it was delicious. The only condiment I used was a tablespoon of tahini. (You can sweeten with molasses and maple syrup without overwhelming the nutty taste.)

I use a really cool website to track the nutritional value of foods — aptly named Nutrition Data. You can just look up foods or create recipes. You can create diet plans and track total daily nutrition. Best of all, it’s free!

Here’s the analysis of my amaranth porridge (with tahini).

Yep, that’s 9 grams of protein (even without the tahini). That’s more protein (and lower glycemic load) than any other breakfast cereal out there.

And look at the vitamin and minerals:

Woo hoo! Again, if it didn’t taste good … none of this would matter. Here’s my recipe for 2-3 servings:

Suzanne’s Amaranth Porridge

1/2 cup amaranth
1 1/2 cups water
1/8 tsp. salt

Soak 1/2 cup Amaranth over night (or longer). Drain. Cover with 1 1/2 cup water and 1/8 tsp salt. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer slowly for 20 minutes. Stir every 5-8 minutes. Lower heat as needed.

It tends to stick to the bottom of the pan. (I add a dash of olive oil to mitigate pan stickiness.) Stir to break up any clotting or pan bottom sticking. Cover when done (water is absorbed) and remove from heat. Makes 2-3 servings.

Condiment options: tahini, molasses, maple syrup, roasted almonds, coconut, etc.

It has a nutty, rib-sticking taste that doesn’t really beg for sugar. With my Oolong tea I’ve had my caffeine and cereal in healthy portions. 🙂


Read Full Post »

Wild Harvest

As winter ebbs the forest floor is coming alive! Stinging Nettles are one of the first to burst forth with tender new shoots.

Nettles are a power food –  with high levels of minerals — especially calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, silica, iodine, silicon, and tannin. They’re a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene and B-complex vitamins. (phew!) Nettles also have high levels of easily absorbable amino acids. They’re 10% protein — more than any other vegetable.

So there! Are you convinced now? And they’re all over the place. My hiking friend Laura and I head out for a sheltered spot out near the Columbia Springs fish hatchery. We came armed with rubber gloves and clippers.

It was stoop labor to be sure. But it was pleasant in the sunny afternoon, chatting as we picked. Indian plum, Salmonberry were blooming and Thimbleberry was leafing out — earlier than usual in this El Nino winter.

Here’s a Trillium blooming among Miners lettuce.

I washed the Nettles twice and steamed up a large skillet full. I just plunked the still rinsed-wet Nettles into a skillet of olive oil and garlic and covered. They steam down to a fraction of their original volume. They have a mild taste, so season generously. Use in recipes as you would spinach. It freezes well.

Read Full Post »

Wonder Bread

On my last visit to Ojai to visit by brother and family, I learned about “no-knead artisan bread”. I love to knead bread so at first I wasn’t too keen on the idea. But after watching the process — and tasting the bread (!) — I was hooked.

Bread(blog) The book is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  It is amazingly simple and amazingly delicious. I just mix everything up in a large Tupperwear bin, let it sit for 2 hours (minimum — and sometimes longer) and then make a loaf and/or refrigerate for future loaves. The wet dough lasts up to 2 weeks in the frig. You’ll most likely use it up long before then.

It can be used for pizza dough too. I was shocked to discover it made the best tasting pizza dough!

Basic recipe:

  • 3 cups tepid water
  • 1 1/2 T Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 T yeast
  • 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour

This video says it best:

PS — the book’s worth buying for lots of  variations to the basic recipe. You can make everything from sticky buns to baguettes. My sister-in-law, Vickie vouches for the rye bread.

Read Full Post »