Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Friday, January 29, 2010

This Week's Installment of The Art of Bargain Shopping & Health Eating

It's another week and another trip to WinCo for this week's installment of the art of bargain shopping and healthy eating on a budget! This week's total was $39.53 and for this I got:

1 bunch bananas
7 kiwi
1 head green cabbage
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch green onions
2 bunches of celery
2lb bag of carrots
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch kale
1 bunch of beets
3 jewel yams
2 onions
1lb quinoa
.73lbs dry black beans (about 2 cups)
1 bag frozen berries
2 boxes unsweetened soymilk
orange juice
2 packages of tofu
1 jar all natural peanut butter
4 odwalla snack bars
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1 package saffron rice mix
5 green tea bags

From these ingredients I made these meals:

Fruit Smoothies
Steel Cut Oatmeal with Fruit & Nuts
Black Bean Soup with Kale Ribbons & Quinoa
Curry Roasted Yams
Tofu with Peanut Sauce over Brown Rice
Spinach & Beet Salad
Asian Cabbage Slaw
Saffron Rice with Beans

Snacks: odwalla bars plus I had leftover from last week: apples, tangerines, and dried apricots

Not too shabby for a week's worth of healthy meals & snacks for under $40!!! Since I started this weekly feature 3 weeks ago it's been great food for thought for me about how to really stretch my dollar on my super tight budget. And I hope you've found some inspiration as well. Sending you lots of love & light.

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Black Bean Soup with Kale Ribbons

Hello everyone & thanks for reading! I appreciate your support. Black bean soup recipes are a dime a dozen in vegetarian cookbooks, right? Well, what I love about this black bean soup recipe is it's economical for the budget conscious shopper, it's packed with nutrients & fiber, and it tastes divinely delicious. You get a lot of meals out of one batch. It's simple whole foods at it's best. Plus, I put it in the crockpot in the morning and when I come home it smells so delicious in my apartment! Mmm yummy! Pre-soak your dried beans over night or you can do it in the morning for evening cooking. As long as they can soak for a good 8 hours. Always get rid of the soaking water. This cuts down on the sugars in dried beans that cause you so much gas. And who wouldn't enjoy less gas? Ha! :) I like to use my crockpot, but you could easily adapt this recipe to the stove top and cut the cooking time down to about 1 hour over medium heat simmer. I've added some cooked quinoa to the soup to give it a little more texture. You could easily substitute another grain of your choice such as barley, millet, brown rice, or couscous. This week I am serving this soup with a side of curry roasted yams. It would also be delicious with corn tortillas, cornbread, or a salad. I use this recipe to take lunch to work for 5 days and I freeze the remaining soup for another time.

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Black Bean Soup with Kale Ribbons
6-7 servings

2 cups dried black beans (presoaked)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled & diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 tbsp each--dried cumin, oregano & sage
1/2 tsp each--cayenne pepper & black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 carrots, cleaned & diced
2 celery stalks, cleaned & diced
2 bay leaves
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
1 bunch kale, sliced into thin ribbons
1 bunch cilantro, washed & chopped
Optional: sour cream or plain yogurt

1.) Place pre-soaked black beans in the crockpot and turn on heat to high. Set aside.
2.) Place olive oil in a skillet and warm over medium heat.
3.) Add the onions and saute for 8 minutes until starting to turn translucent.
4.) Add the garlic & the cumin, oregano, sage, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt. Continue to saute for about 5 minutes more until the spices are fragrant. Turn off heat and remove the pan.
Add the onion spice mixture to the crockpot.
5.) Add the tomatoes, carrots, celery and bay leaves to the crockpot. Add enough water to cover the beans and vegetables. In my crockpot it's about 4 cups. Put the lid on and let cook for approximately 8 hours. I like the texture of this soup to be very creamy. So I either run it through the food processor or use my immersion blender once it's cooled slightly.
6.) Add the cooked quinoa and stir. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
7.) Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and cover. Let saute for about 5 minutes until the kale is slightly wilted but still bright green.
8.) Top each bowl of soup with kale ribbons and a pinch of fresh cilantro.
9.) Top with optional sour cream or yogurt.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free

Hello friends!

I hope you know about Bob's Red Mill because they have awesome products. They distribute nationwide, however, they are a local company just outside of Portland in Milwaukie Oregon. Check out this link to their entire gluten free line. You will also find recipes on their site. My new favorite product of theirs is Gluten Free Might Tasty Hot Cereal. It has great flavor & texture! And, it really beats plain ole cream of rice cereal. I'm excited to try out their gluten free baking mixes. They have quite a few. Let me know your feedback if you've tried any of them.

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

This Week's Installment of The Art of Bargain Shopping & Eating Healthy!

Hi friends!

I hope you are doing well as you are reading this. I am wishing you much health & happiness. Last week I began posting about the art of bargain shopping and healthy eating. I have decided to continue this post as a weekly feature. I feel like my real life example demonstrates that even on a tight tight budget you can eat healthy delicious seasonal food. This week I spent a total of $43.52 at WincCo Foods, which is slightly more than the week before. But, several of these items will last me for 2 weeks and several more meals. For my $43.52 I got:

1 bunch mustard greens
1 bunch cilantro
1lb bag baby carrots
1 turnip
1 head of garlic
2 bunches of celery
7 apples
3lb bag of tangerines
2 onions
1 bunch of bananas
7 kiwi
1 bag frozen peaches
1 bag frozen blackberries
1 bag frozen blueberries
2 boxes of unsweetened soymilk
Orange Juice
Corn Tortillas
Queso Fresca (Mexican Cheese)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1.20lbs black eyed peas (about 3 cups)
2.35lbs steel cut oats (about 4 cups)
.62lbs cashews (about 2 cups)
.23lbs of raw almonds (about 2 cups)
.5lbs dry hummus dip mix
.13lbs dried basil (about 1 cup)
.31lbls dried unsweetened shredded coconut (about 2 cups)
.54lbs dried apricots (about 2 cups)
.80lbs yogurt covered raisins (my treat for the week!)
10 green tea bags

The meals I made from these items:

Fruit Smoothies
Steel Cut Oatmeal with fruit & nuts
Creole Spiced Black Eyed Peas with Root Vegetables & Mustard Greens
Gluten Free Buttermilk Cornbread
Tortilla Soup with Queso Fresca
Hummus with Carrots & Celery Sticks
Snacks: Apples, Tangerines, Dried Apricots & Yogurt Covered Raisins

So readers I made healthy homemade meals from seasonal whole foods that lasted me for one week on just $43.52. You can do it too! Please share your stories of budget shopping & healthy eating because I'd love to hear them.

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Creole Spiced Black Eyed Peas with Root Vegetables & Mustard Greens

Hi friends!

Happy Weekend to you! Let's get right down to it. I love black-eyed peas. They are tasty, super nutritious, and economical. I bought 1 pound, roughly 2 cups, out of the bulk bin and it cost me .82 cents! Very nice for our budget conscious shopper. I like black-eyed peas in soup, in a yummy mango salad and in this stew-type recipe with lots of veggies. I love both the sweet and spicy flavors of this dish. The mustard greens add a nice tangy bite. I serve this dish over cornbread with the juices dripping all through the cornbread. You could also serve it over brown rice or quinoa. You could substitute collards, chard or kale for the mustards. Oh and don't forget the Sweet Tea! Enjoy!

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Post Script: What's interesting is I wrote this blog post on 1/21/10 and then 5 days later in the Jan 26th 2010 Oregonian Food Day there was an article about adding greens to bean dishes. I think they stole my idea! Clearly I'm ahead of the foodie trends! Ha-Ha! Check out their article on greens in bean dishes and their article on cooking with dried beans.

Creole Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Root Vegetables & Mustard Greens
Makes 5-6 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
4 carrots, cleaned & sliced
4 stalks celery, cleaned & sliced
1 turnip, peeled & diced
1 parsnip, peeled & sliced
1 yam, peeled & diced
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried mustard
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry black eyed peas
1 tsp prepared Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
salt & pepper
1 bunch mustard greens, washed, stemmed & chopped

1. In a stock pot heat the olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the onion and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes
3. Add the basil, thyme & dry mustard. Stir well. Cook for another minute until the spices are fragrant.
4. Add the black eyed peas and bay leaves to the pot. Add enough water to cover the mixture. About 3 cups. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to medium and let simmer.
5. Simmer for about 45-60 minutes. You want the beans to be fully cooked, but still firm and not mushy. Most of the water should be absorbed.
6. Turn off heat. Add the honey and the prepared mustard. Stir until mixed. Add salt & pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings and add more basil & thyme if needed.
7. Add the mustard greens to the pot and stir until combined. Remove pot from the heat. You want the mustard greens to be slightly wilted but still bright green and slightly crunchy.
8. Serve over cornbread or brown rice. Both absorb the juices of this dish and are a great compliment!

Gluten-Free Cornbread

Dear Friends,

I have been experimenting with gluten-free baking. I've successfully used Trader Joe's brand Gluten-Free Pancake & Waffle Mix in several incarnations including a lovely cornbread. But, this week I wanted to try some gluten-free cornbread from scratch. I had on hand brown rice flour from Bob's Red Mill. I'm still experimenting and yet to find a perfectly fluffy yumm-o recipe. Of the 2 recipes the one with the Trader Joe's pancake mix was lighter and less dense. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for a light & fluffy gluten free cornbread recipe. I'd be happy to test it out and report back the results.

Tonight I wanted cornbread as a base for my creole spiced black eyed peas with root veggies & mustard greens. Cornbread is the perfect match for this recipe as it soaks up all the juices and is a great compliment to the black eyed peas.

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Experiment #1
Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins

1/2 package of Trader Joe's brand Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix
1 cup cornmeal
2 eggs
1/4 oil
1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin pan with oil or butter
2. In a large bowl combine the pancake & waffle mix and the cornmeal. Stir well until completely combined.
3. In a 2nd bowl beat the eggs. Add the oil and water and stir well until combined.
4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until mixed together. Do not over mix.
5. Pour into muffin pan, about 1/4 cup batter to each muffin.
6. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
7. Eat warm smothered in honey or butter or just ole plain...

Experiment #2
Buttermilk Cornbread Gluten-Free

1 1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 unsweetened plain soymilk or water

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a round or square 10" pan.
2. Sift the dry ingredients together and mix well in a large bowl.
3. In a 2nd bowl combine the wet ingredients and beat until well mixed.
4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
5. Pour into pan and bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Art of Bargain Shopping & Cooking Healthy on a Tight Budget

Winco Foods 24 hours of savings! Winco saves my life right now. Seriously people. It would be easy to write a blog espousing the joys of whole foods cooking with lots of fresh seasonal organic produce specialty spices, gourmet artisan cheeses, and $30/bottle extra virgin olive oil. However, this is not my reality. Right now I am really really broke. So faced with this dilemma, many would say it is impossible to eat a healthy whole foods diet. I am reminded this is how Miss Jolie Ann's Kitchen Garden Blog began 2 years ago. It all began when I was on food stamps and my journey as a foodie & vegetarian attempting to continue eating a healthy whole foods diet. So, here I am again. I work full-time, however, in this recession I am underemployed and struggling.

And I can prove it is possible to eat simply on a tight budget and also have it be delicious, nutritious, healthy & filling. This is where Winco Foods comes in. Winco is full of deals. You have to bypass the 10 for $1 ramen, Mac-n-Cheese, koolaid, soda pop, and potato chips on the way. Their bulk bins are full of very inexpensive whole foods. Their produce may not be organic but it's a good deal for bargain shoppers.

Normally my weekly grocery budget is about $80. That is about $30 on fresh organic produce from either the Farmer's Market or Limbo. Then about $50 at Trader Joe's on other stuff. For the next couple of months I have to cut my weekly food budget in half. I'll probably also have to supplement from the local food bank.

On last night's trip to Winco Foods I spent a total of $32.37 for everything I needed this week and this is what I got:

2 lb bag of carrots
5 braeburn apples
2 yellow onions
2 heads of broccoli
7 bananas
7 kiwis
5lb bag of potatoes
1 head of lettuce
1 bag frozen blueberries
.10lbs bulk organic short grain brown rice
1.25lb bulk brown lentils
.09oz bulk nutritional yeast
10 green tea bags
2 boxes of organic unsweetened soymilk
2 cans of vegetarian refried beans
18 pack corn tortillas
1 package tofu
1 package cheddar cheese
1 dozen eggs
1 loaf bread

1 bottle of shampoo
4 cans wet cat food
2.5lbs bulk dry cat food
1 bag cat litter

I will add this to some items I have at home: olive oil, spices, steel cut oats, tangerines, soy/whey protein powder, almonds, raisins, cornmeal, brown rice flour, miso.

And, this is the meals I will have for this week:

Fruit smoothies
Fried Spiced Tofu with home fries & steamed broccoli
Egg salad sandwiches
Lentil Vegetable Soup with brown rice
Bean & Cheese Quesadillas with Salad
Gluten Free Cornmeal Muffins
Steel cut oats with fruit & nuts

All those meals plus food & litter for my cats...NOT BAD FOR $32.37!!! So, in summary friends on a limited budget your only choices are not eating fast food, and over-processed high sodium low nutrition packaged foods. With a little creativity and willingness to persevere you too can eat healthy on a TIGHT budget!

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Warm Cabbage Kale & Quinoa Salad

Hello friends!

Tonight's recipe experiment was inspired by my friend Peggy. A few months ago she was raving about the Tassajara Warm Red Cabbage Salad she made from the 101 cookbooks recipe blog. I was inspired to do so and bought the ingredients including golden raisins. To be honest, I never got around to making the recipe. The bag of golden raisins remains unopened in my refrigerator. Let's back track to Peggy for a moment. Peggy is a fellow foodie, gardener, and plant geek. A social justice advocate who's committed her life to helping others, she is also a talented photographer and eloquent writer. Peggy would never toot her own horn and I'm sure will be mortified I'm writing this but I am inspired by what she has done for our community. Please check out her recent article featured in "Cooking Up A Story."

Tonight I am inspired to cook something with red cabbage, because it's what I have on hand. And my budget is so tight I'm doing a lot of cooking of what I have on hand at the moment. Suffice to say I created this entire recipe out of what I had in my cabinets and refrigerator. It's modified from the Tassajara Warm Red Cabbage Salad in that I omitted the 2 cheeses to make it vegan and I added quinoa to boost the protein and make it a more substantial main course salad. Some people love to follow recipes, me I relish in changing, adapting, and re-creating them!

I absolutely love the combination of sweet, savory, bitter, and salty in this dish. It's textures, colors and flavors are beautifully complex. It is completely loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Every single ingredient (with the exception of salt, pepper, vinegar & oil) is listed on the world's healthiest foods website. I love that website by the way--so check it out! I think this one takes the prize for healthy & delicious improvisational recipes. Enjoy! And, Peggy, thanks for putting the bug in my ear about warm cabbage salads!

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Warm Cabbage Kale & Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 yellow onion, peeled & diced
olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds, slivered or sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 head red cabbage, washed, cored & shredded
1 bunch thin young carrots, washed & shredded
1 bunch "lacinato" kale, washed, stemmed & shredded

1. Place 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a covered saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling turn the heat down to a medium simmer. Cook covered for 15 minutes until the liquid is gone and the quinoa grains are light & fluffy.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, warm 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown.
3. When quinoa is cooked place it in a large mixing bowl and add the cooked onions. Stir and set aside.
4. In the warm skillet pan add another splash of olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the sunflower seeds and almonds. Cook over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes until they are toasted. Add the balsamic vinegar and the raisins. Let cook approximately 2 more minutes until the raisins are warm and the vinegar has reduced. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat and add the nut-raisin mixture to the quinoa-onion mixture in the large mixing bowl. Set aside.
5. In the warm skillet pan add another splash of olive oil and continue to warm over medium heat. Add the cabbage and stir. Cover and cook approximately 5 minutes. You only want the cabbage to be slightly soft and wilted. Do not overcook. Add cooked cabbage to the mixing bowl.
6. In the warm skillet pan and another splash of olive oil and continue to warm over medium heat. Add the carrots and stir. Cover and cook approximately 5 minutes. You only want the carrots to slightly soften. Do no overcook. Add the cooked carrots to the mixing bowl.
7. In the warm skillet pan and another splash of olive oil and continue to warm over medium heat. Add the kale. Cover and cook approximately 3 minutes. You only want the kale to slightly wilt. It should still be bright green and slightly crunchy. Do not overcook. Add the cooked kale to the mixing bowl.
8. Now all the ingredients are complete in the mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Taste for flavor and add salt & pepper, olive oil or balsamic as needed. Serve warm.

Some Favorite Soup Recipes

Good Morning Friends!

In this post I've included links to some of my favorite soup recipes I've posted in previous years. I live off soup during the Winter. I especially enjoy easy main course soups I can cook in my crockpot, which incidentally makes my house smell so yummy! Enjoy trying some of these soup recipes and please give me your feedback. And, thank you for all your support and comments last night. I appreciate your readership & enjoy hearing from you :)

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Lentil Soup for the Crockpot
Creamy Cabbage Soup
Chipotle Split Pea with Barley Soup for the Crockpot
Creamy Potato Leek with Fresh Herbs Soup
Spanish Spiced Yam & Garbanzo Bean Soup
Swiss Cheese & Onion Soup with Homemade Croutons

Friday, January 8, 2010

Some Favorite Winter Recipes

Hi everyone!

I've compiled some of my favorite Winter recipes for you! Click on these links to save you having to search through all the archives for some great seasonal recipes to kick off 2010. Though, I wouldn't mind if you poked around through the archives and spent some time savoring my blog! Enjoy!

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Winter Squash & Greens Tostadas

Greens & Beans Crostini

Creamy Potato Leek Soup with Fresh Herbs

Kick-Ass Winter Squash Spice Bread

Spicy Toasted Pecans

Orange Pecan Skillet Millet

Spinach-Rice Casserole

Golden Potato Gratin

Roasted Root Vegetables with Fresh Herbs

Creamy Tomato Bisque with Quinoa

This is one of my favorite soups to warm up in the Fall or Winter. In the Fall you can use fresh tomatoes from your garden. During the Winter use tomatoes you've canned or buy some diced canned tomatoes. I like the Muir Glen and Trader Joe's brands. This soup is so creamy, yet it is vegan! Adding delicious quinoa boosts the protein and adds to the creamy texture. I guarantee you will be happy with this filling and decadent tasting soup. Plus it is very simple and quick to make. Enjoy!

Miss Jolie Ann

Creamy Tomato Bisque with Quinoa Recipe
4-6 servings depending on your appetite

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled & diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 28 oz cans chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp honey
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
salt & pepper
1 cup cooked quinoa

1. In a stock pot over medium heat saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent and beginning to brown. Approximately 10 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, basil & oregano. Continue to saute for about 3 more minutes until garlic begins to soften and the spices become fragrant.
3. Add the tomatoes and their juice to the pot. Add the honey and just enough water to cover the tomatoes. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn the heat down to a medium simmer. Let simmer covered for about 20 minutes.
4. Add the soymilk and let simmer for a few minutes until thoroughly heated. Taste and add salt and pepper, as much as desired.
5. Turn off heat and add the cooked quinoa. Stir until the quinoa is well combined into the soup.
6. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if they are in season or growing on your kitchen window sill. Devour! :)

Happy New Year!

Hello friends!
Here we are in 2010 and much has changed for me since my last posting. It was a Fall full of abundant harvest from my garden, freezing & preserving, visiting with friends, Apple Tasting Event at Portland, whew! This Christmas I went to San Francisco to visit my family. After a decade of living in Oregon I was amazed to see the difference in horticulture and agriculture. Front yards were full of lemon trees, jade plants, geraniums, and palm trees. The farmer's market was full of delicious produce as if it wasn't mid winter! When I left Portland it had been 12-20 degrees. When I got to San Francisco it was sunny and 60 degrees! Wow! The image I've posted is me in Portland during the small snow storm we had on 12/29/09.

In December I moved from my home of 3 years and my beautiful bountiful garden you've seen featured on this blog. I've downsized into a small apartment with a tiny kitchen and no yard of my own. In this recession we do what we have to do to get by. This means big transitions in my personal lifestyle as well as my blog posting. Maybe now that I'm not busy in my own garden every day I can post recipes to the blog more often. Which is my goal in 2010 to start the new year fresh and really focus on keeping the blog updated. I just watched "Julia & Julie" and got inspired!!

This Fall I also experienced severe asthma which would not respond to herbs, inhalers or steroids. So I decided to experiment with my diet to investigate food allergies potential effect on my asthma symptoms. I eliminated wheat, then all gluten, dairy and sugar from my diet for several months. I then gradually reintroduced it. My health definitely improved. It was difficult to maintain this diet while I was moving and celebrating the holiday season away from home. Beginning this month I am once again aiming for very limited gluten, dairy & sugar in my vegetarian diet. I am excited to share with you recipes and tips I've learned the past 6 months.

It is the season of nesting in our homes, soup simmering on the stove, bread baking, curled up with a good book under a blanket by a fireplace. Please browse through the recipe archives for some great Winter recipes. Go to the search window and enter in "soup" or "casserole" or "baking" for great ideas from previous years. This is also the season for gardens to browse seed catalogs, dream and begin planning for Spring.

Thank you for your continued support and interest. May 2010 bring you many blessings!

In Love, Light & Health,
Miss Jolie Ann