Just another day……green peas spread

Yes today it’s just like another day, taking care of the children. trying to make some new food. Listening to music and dance with my babies.
See how the children destroy the room, and how they enjoy themselves. The weather is rainy (we saw also today thunder and an ice storm) and I have the feeling the summer isn’t coming anymore. So I need some freshness, to fresh up my mind. I saw somewhere the combination of green peas and mint, also I saw somewhere that there’s excisting a green peas spread for on bread, ok time to experiment and I must say…… YES……… this is the result! (With some help of the dinner from the allerhande (a magazine from a supermarket with recipes and so on) what I was making, they use the combination of saffron and yoghurt).

ingredients
1 1/2 cup green peas from the freezer, (not icy anymore)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (maybe you can try lime instead?)
salt/pepper to taste
pinch of saffron (5 min soaked in 1 teaspoon hot water, not boiled water)
1/8 cup of fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon of soy yoghurt
1 teaspoon of sunflower oil
red onion (cut in little pieces) to sprinkle on top of the spread (optional)

kitchentools
a food processor with s-blade

How to prepare…
First begin to soak the saffron, the water will get a yellow color. Now it is easier to mix with the other ingredients.
So get all the other ingredients and put them in the food processor together with saffron. Mix well till it has a nice thickness of a spread, is it to watery? put in some more green more green peas.
Nice for on bread, it is fresh and something totally different! The onion on top makes the bread totally complete

Enjoy

Ramsons, wild garlic, bear leek…..

walking through the park close to my house and what do I see, ramsons (Allium ursinum)) flowers, yes I have here  ramsons. It’ is in the Netherlands a protected plant, so you are not allowed to pick it, but I couldn’t resist, I only took a few leaves and a flower top. Just to taste. And yes it smells like garlic, very strong..Yammie.
So here some more information about the plant who grows in the wild…
A nice saying in Dutch:  ‘eet in maart prei en daslook in april, dan ben je heel het jaar doktervrij” translate in English:  ‘Eat a leek in may and ramsons in April, keeps the doctor a year away!’

How to grow
Yes it grows here in the park(/forest) in shadow sides, mostly on loam soil with some calcic in the lower ground, you can also put it in your own garden and it will come every year again and again (if you don’t eat all the bulbs).
It can wear eggs of the fox tapeworm if you get it from the nature (dogs and cats can wear it also), the chance to get it is very small here in the Netherlands ! (just like low hanging blackberries in the forest and other low growing plants)

nice solution
Grow at your own garden! They like loose, humus rich soil. Or look in the nearest forest if you find fields of it!
When you buy it you get the bulbs (what you can eat also).  or buy it as a plant and let them take over the garden. Did you know the ants (some other animals also) are responsible for spread the seeds of this plant? because the black seeds (in June you can see) wear ant bread (they take this to their community)

when to eat?
You can eat the leaves and the flowers/seeds.
The leaves you can eat before and after they get flowers, before they say they have more taste. And also I saw someone writing down after they get flowers the leaves are poisoning, but I must say I ate I didn’t get sick and it was only one persons who said it.
The flowers are beautiful on dinners and their taste is more garlic then the leaves, great discovering. Nice to know it has a garlic taste but you won’t smell like garlic! Don’t eat too much because too much can be a poison to your body.

Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins: Vitamin C, B1, B2 and A
Minerals: sulfur, potassium, manganese and iron

phytotherapy
Ramsons is great for high cholesterols, high blood pressure, artery stenosis, disturbed intestinal flora, chronically skin diseases, flatulence, diarrhea/constipation, indigestion, intestinal parasites, flu, roundworms, cold, sinusitis, bronchitis, emphysema and infectious disease. It also cleans the arteries*

*genezen met kruiden

Yvi-fox becomes 1…..and a coco-banana-mintha smoothie

A year goes so fast, my youngest son Yvi-fox becomes 1. Making pies in the evening and some nice breads for tomorrow when the party will start.
No sugar, a new raw pie and some leftovers from the coconuts I broke, (precisely the coconut juice of the young coconut). I was surprised the meat is so nices and the juice even more
Last I drunk a coconut/banana juice from dr martins, wow I was amazed how delicious, but the price for the juice was too expensive but now I have the leftovers and I tried to make it may own and yes it worked out, yammie I want more.

So here are the ingredients for 2 royal glasses
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups of young coconut juice (1 or 2 coconuts)
1 medium banana
a handful of mint leaves
(nice with a handful of rapini also)

Kitchentools
a blender
2 glasses

So lets start….
So easy just put all the ingredients into the blender and mix until smooth.
Take it out poor in some nice glasses and decorate with some twig of mint and a slice of banana.
Nice to drink it cool.
You think it is too much banana or too thick poor in some more coconut juice!
Maybe next time I try to put in some red pepper, for the spiciness 😉

enjoy

pineapple…

Exotic. With a nice headdress! It’s the pineapple. Very strong in taste.
I do not eat it much, but sometimes I like to make pineapple sticks of it and snack it away!
But what can I tell more about the pineapple and what did my search tells me?

How to grow?
I must say we don’t have the climate in the Netherlands to grow pineapples outside.They grow in south-east Asia , Hawaii, the Filipinas and in glass houses. The pine apple is a fruit from little berries who grows together.
But what did I just read, this is a nice experiment to do at your house, the top of the pineapple you always throw away, not now anymore!
Cut of the top with less flesh, this can rotten away, make a pot with soil and 30 percent sand, mix this well.
Dry the top of the pineapple, when it’s dry put it in the pot, cover the pot with a plastic bag, so you have a little glass house. Make sure it gets light and warmth, and put it in your house!
Now be patience they say, it can take a long time before something happened (months) and check once in a while if the plant is not rotten away or full of fungi!. Beware the plant can become huge so you also must have space for this plant in your house. The fruit will grow after one year! I am going to try this

nice solution.
Just buy it in the shop or go to a warm country where they can grow! Better to buy an organic pineapple, because on the pineapple plants they say the workers aren’t protected against the incentives of the pine apple, they sprays with poison and the circumstances are very terrible for the human who are working on the plants.

When to eat?
You can eat the pineapple, when you can poor out the middle leaves very easy, when you smell the pineapple very well.
And when it has tough and resilient flesh

Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins: beta-carotene and vitamin E
Minerals: Potassium, magnesium, phosphor, iron, copper, manganese, zinc and iodine.

TCM=Traditional Chinese Medicine
neutral thermal nature, sweet sour flavor, removes summer heat, the bromelin increase the digestive ability and destroys worms. Is thirst-quenching, diuretic, treats sunstroke, indigestion, anorexia, diarrhea and edema. Pineapples must be ripe!*

*healing with whole foods by Paul Pitchford

mixed day…and ratatouille with minty bulgur

It has been a long time ago,  I went to a demonstration the last one was against nuclear power, this Saturday we had a busy program. We went to the ‘green day’ here in the area where I live, great to trade plants and cuttings. Yes we have more strawberry plants, some stevia plants, a Suisse mixture (someone went to Suisse and got some plants out of the ground) and new contacts!
After, we went for demonstrating on the dam square, a demonstration against big mega corrals, free the animals and let them live their life on a normal way.
In the end of the midday we had a party in a nice place in the Haarlemmerliede, a place nearby Amsterdam. Wow what a great location, great music, fun people, good talks and nice dinners/drinks.
Our day was complete the children where very sleepy and tired when we came home in the night. Love this days, only some more sun was welcome!
This is really a mixed day of everything, so a ratatouille dinner will fit perfect, it is a French dinner with mixed vegetables, long preparing time but it has a nice taste. My boyfriend wanted more herbs, but I liked it the way it is, so just taste what you like..
And the bulgur is just my variation/imagination on this dish

The ingredients
for the ratatouille
one egg plant cut in 4 lengthwise en further slice in big half moons
one zucchini cut in 2 lengthwise and then in big slices
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 red onion cut in pieces who aren’t too little
500 gram of tomatoes (I used half cherry tomatoes and half normal tomatoes) Cut in big pieces
120 gram of peeled tomatoes from a can (with some juice)
1 teaspoon of fresh lavender leaves
2 twigs of fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon of dried thyme (I didn’t had fresh one)
11/2 teaspoon of dried sage leaves
some olive oil

For the bulgur
1/2 cup of roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of roasted pumpkinseeds
4 persons of bulgur (280 gram)
1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
juice of a 1/2 lemon
water to cook the bulgur in 2,5 times more then the weight of the bulgur

The kitchentools
a good frying pan for all the vegetables, with a lid
a wooden spoon
a cooking pan
a frying pan to roast the seeds
a knife
a cutting board
Some plates
a cup for measuring

How to prepare….
Cut the onion and garlic (and also the other vegetables, and prepare the herbs), and get the frying pan. Poor in some oil, bring the oil to a heat and bake the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Ready to put in the other vegetables (tomatoes, zucchini, egg plant, the ‘can’ of peeled tomatoes and the herbs) put the fire on the lowest heat and simmer with lid on top for 1 hour, so the herbs and vegetables can get their taste

In the meanwhile you can prepare the bulgur (this will take like 20 minutes, so you can time it together with the ratatouille, so it is finished at the same time). Cut the mint leaves and set aside. Roast the seeds in the frying pan without oil. Don’t walk away because when the pan is heating it can goes quickly with roasting the seeds and if you are to late it will burn and taste disgusting.
Time for prepare the bulgur (wash the bulgur till the water isn’t muddy anymore), get the cooking pan and fill with some water, bring the (740 ml of water) water to a boil and poor in the 280 gram of dried bulgur. Cook for 7 minutes and after set aside for 10 minutes.
When the bulgur has a little cooled down, get the seeds, lemon juice and mint leaves, mix this ingredients well with the bulgur! This part is ready.

And probably the ratatouille is also ready, taste and throw in some Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste. Or maybe you want more herbs, that’s your choice ;). Make the plates beautiful and impress your guests
Bon appetite/eet smakelijk

salt…..is it really bad?

Salt, this is a issue in the Netherlands and probably in the whole world. We eat too much salt and especially too much wrong salt, the salt what doesn’t contain any minerals anymore what is processed till it’s just a taste-maker and not a nutrition.
But they told me that if you buy, like himalayan, celtic seasalt they are full of minerals. And your body needs salt and the minerals, it’s the balance between water and salt.
Also when you solve salt in water (called sole, more info) it will be very good for your health.
Anyway here I write down the different salts I know and there specialities.

Refined salt/table-salt (you buy in the supermarket) but not recommend to use, because all the valuable minerals are lost! It’s white and the structure is like sand, very tiny pieces

Himalayan salt: Pink colour, it contains 84 minerals they say! For me the taste is sweet salt, it’s still salt but different taste. You can buy this in little pieces or big rocks

-Controlling the water levels within the body, regulating them for proper functioning
-Promoting stable pH balance in the cells, including the brain.
-Encouraging excellent blood sugar health
-Aiding in reducing the common signs of ageing
-Promoting cellular hydroelectric energy creation
-Promoting the increased absorption capacities of food elements within the intestinal tract
-Aiding vascular health
-Supporting healthy respiratory function
-Lowering incidence of sinus problems, and promoting over-all sinus health
-Reducing muscle cramps
-Increasing bone strength
-Naturally promoting healthy sleep patterns
-Creating a healthy libido
-In combination with water, it is necessary for blood pressure regulation
-Prevents cellulite, when compared to table salt
-Reduces chances of developing rheumatism, arthritis and gout, when compared to common chemically-treated salt
-Reduces chances of developing kidney and gall bladder stones when compared to common chemically-treated salt*

Celtic sea salt: Is in the packaging still wet, so not worth for a salt grinder. The colour is grey. The taste is more like salt than Himalayan.
So what are the specialities about Celtic sea salt

-This salt contains the least sodium as
it contains: 84%:  (NaCl) sodium Chloride
14%: Sulphur, magnesium, calcium, potassium
1,99%:  Carbon, bromine, silicon, nitrogen, ammonium, fluorine, phosphorus, iodine, boron, lithium
-In Bath it gives you rest and relieves for eczema. psoriasis and fungi.
-To use as a toothpaste (just a couple of grains) they say you will get whiter teeth, stronger gums and the tongue gets cleaner!
-good for the water/salt balance in the body
– Shaping of bones and teeth

kala namak: I have the powder form, this is pink of colour and the smell is like egg. It has sulphurous taste. You can use it to give your food an egg-taste!

In Ayurvedic medicine it is a cooling spice, laxative and digestive aid. It relieves intestinal gas and heartburn. It is also used to threat hysteria, and to make toothpaste (together with other minerals)***

I am going to test more so if I tried new kind of salt I will write it down! Now I know where to go to, to the salt chamber in Amsterdam 🙂

*globalhealing
**levendenatuur
***wikipedia

cassava,tapioca, manioc root or yuca

Really a strange thick brown ‘ugly’ root , you see it a lot in stores where they sell Asian, Surinam or other exotic food. I am not so familiar with it but I like to test what yo can do with the root. So I already made a cocos-cassava cake really a nice snack/cake!
Did you know there were 2 kinds of manioc roots (manioc, cassava and yuca are all the same root just different names for the same!)
There exist a sweet and a bitter one, the sweet you can eat raw (but is not recommended) the bitter one you can’t eat raw. They are free of gluten
The bitter one has a high level of (cyanogenic glucosides) cyanide who can make you really sick, so to get rid of the cyanide cook the root very well, fermentation or soak for 24 hours.  The sweet one has a very thick peel, so you can recognize if you have the right one and otherwise ask it in the shop.

How to grow
You cannot grow this in your garden, not when you are living in the Netherlands, it grows in subtropical climates on very poor soil land. It can live without much water they can become very huge

nice solution
You can buy them in special supermarkets where they have exotic product (a toko, Surinam shop and so on) They are not so expensive so give it a try. They say it also good against arteriosclerosis, the leaves are good to fight rheumatism

When it’s ready to eat
You must soak, ferment or cook the bitter cassava because of the ‘poison’  what is inside. The sweet one is less poisoned but still it’s better to cook, not to eat it raw.(Cassava roots and leaves should not be consumed raw because they contain two cyanogenic glucosides,linamarin and lotaustralin. These are decomposed by linamarase, a naturally-occurring enzyme in cassava, liberating hydrogen cyanide (HCN). Cassava varieties are often categorized as either sweet or bitter, signifying the absence or presence of toxic levels of cyanogenic glucosides, respectively. )*

vitamins and minerals
I see everywhere standing that you can compare this root to a potato. But still there are differences. They don’t contain much vitamins and minerals.
vitamins: a lot of vitamin C, and a little of B1,B2,B3 B6 and B11
Minerals:not so much of potassium, magnesium, phosphor, iron and sink

TCM= Traditional Chinese Medicine
I cannot find anything about this root unfortunately, if I find something I will write this down..

* source: wikipedia/internet

…prepare a potato

Potato… in the Netherlands we know what to do with a potato, mash it, cook, bake, fry it. Very famous is the painting of Vincent van Gogh the potato-eaters
So I will show you some ways to prepare a potato, you still think a potato is boring? Read this…ooh just a warning when you fry or bake potatoes be aware you do not bake them until they are brown, they must be golden yellow otherwise it can contain acrylamide what isn’t very healthy…..

Cook a potato…(floury, a little floury potato)
It depends on which potato how long the must cook, but the average potato must boil in water for 10 minutes. You can see if they are ready, to look if you can pink the potato with the fork and it is soft.
Ready for eating with some salt it is a very easy to put on your plate with some vegetables and a vegan burger

Making fries…(waxy potatoes)
Great to do is making fries, you just cut the potato in little sticks, like fries. Get a saucepan and fill this with oil for frying. When the oil is like 180 degrees Celsius (I always do the water-drip trick, when you put a drip in the oil and it starts to sizzle, it’s at the right temperature, put be careful water and oil are dangerous)
Put in the fries for minutes, get them out and put them on a paper-towel so the oil will get into the paper-towel.
Now time for the second round, this frying makes the potato, looks and taste like a real potato. Fry them for minutes

Mash a potato…. (floury, a little floury potato)
This I like very much, cook the potato like you will do normally (10 minutes) look if the are soft by pink the potato with a fork. When they are soft, drain out the water ( the water rest over from the potato is not recommended to use again) Put in a little of fake-milk or water not too much.
Get a masher and mash till the potatoes look like a puree, is it too dry? poor in some milk, but do it little by little…..also nice when you put in some herbs.

Making duchesses…(floury, a little floury potato)
Boil the potatoes till they are soft ( I think circa 15 minutes of boiling). When they are ready put away the cooking water, mash the potatoes. You just make puree of the potatoes, make it not to wet and not to dry, you must put the mixture in the piping bag and you will  make nice shaped potato heap on the baking sheet. And let them bake in the oven for 20 minutes on circa 200 degrees Celsius. Also great with some carrots or herbs inside

puffed potato….(floury, a little floury potato, waxy potato)
Perfect for a barbecue, get some aluminium foil, make it a little greasy with some oil and roll in the potato (if you have an organic one you don’t have to peel them only wash), piece by piece. They must look like a present. You can lay them on the coals of the bbq when there is no fire any more. Wait for a time and check sometimes if they are soft by doing the pink thing 😉
When you want to puff them in the oven that’s also a opportunity!
you do the same as above, get some aluminium foil, make it a little greasy, roll in the potato (maybe easier when the potatoes have the same size, they will be ready at the same time) And put them in the oven on 200-220 degrees Celsius and bake for approximately one hour. This is also nice mixed with some herbs

baked potato….(a little floury potato, waxy potato)
Again cook them first (if you want slices, slice the  potato first, not to thin but something like 0,5 centimetres thick), till they are ‘little’ soft, but not too soft (so cook them for 7 minutes) They must no be raw any more but must not be breakable. When the potatoes are too soft they will fall apart, and if you like to have a scrambles potato, this is ok.
But if you want nice slices, you don’t want them to break.
So get the cooked potatoes very careful out of the water. Get a frying pan and add some oil, heat the oil and add the potatoes till the bottom of the frying pan is covered, first bake one side and then toss them around in the frying pan

Making crisp…(waxy potatoes)
It never works by me, but maybe you can work it out. The recipe I have from the internet.
Get some potatoes, wash them and dry them by using a kitchen paper. Get a cheese slicer or a peeler and slice the potato in very thin slices.
Get a griddle and put on the slices, but they aren’t allowed to overlap each other.
Use a brush and oil them a little and on top you sprinkle them with some salt or paprika powder.
Now they are ready too put in the oven for 15-20 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius in the middle of the oven. Maybe you can look when the time is halfway and turn them on the other side.

Use potato as a soup thickner….
The potato on his own has not a special taste, so when you want to make soup more thick you can use a potato or two (it depends how much litre of soup you made).Cook them together with the soup and puree the potato! For a more creamy, thick soup

It’s easy, maybe you know already but I hope you learn something from this post and let the potato being a star of the plate

no memory…..and easy garlic breads to remember

Last I saw a documentary about a men (called Henry Molaison) without a memory, they cut away a part of the brain when he was at the age of 27. He couldn’t tell what he ate in the morning or what he just did, he always saw things for the first time! Very interesting how the brain works, it is not my speciality. But nice to learn new things!
His brains are now in research, he died at the age of 82, they cut the brains in very thin layers and put them between glass. For me really a miracle, the science of body and brain.
So enough about science, let’s talk about food…The garlic bread to remember, nice as a side-dish for the soup. Easy to make……

Ingredients for the garlic bread (2 persons)
A French baguette
8 cloves of garlic cut in 1mm or tinier pieces
oil like 1/2 cup (if it’s used, poor some oil extra)
some dashes of Himalayan salt and 4 seasons pepper
3 teaspoons of dried thyme or you like rosemary more?
fresh chopped  chive for garnish

Kitchentools
an oven
a oven dish for dipping the bread in

Let’s get started!
Cut the baguette in slices (like 1 cm)
In the oven dish you mix the oil and the garlic/thyme/salt/ pepper together. Get the slices of bread and one by one you dip them in the oil (both sides). You will have a slices with oil, garlic and herbs on it.

Every slice you put on the griddle, the griddle has on top some baking paper!
Put the oven at 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 10 minutes.
When you open the door the bread must smell like garlic and it must look golden brown.
A child can do the laundry we say in the Netherlands!

Eet smakelijk/bon appetit