Beyond Black & White http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:08:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Food to Get ‘That Glow’ Spriralized Zucchini with Veggies and Pine Nuts http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/food-get-glow-spriralized-zucchini-veggies-pine-nuts/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/food-get-glow-spriralized-zucchini-veggies-pine-nuts/#comments Thu, 15 Sep 2016 17:10:14 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=41136 One of the most rewarding parts of growing my own food is being able to enjoy the bounty from garden to kitchen immediately. The benefit is obvious–you get fresh, nutritious produce immediately so there’s less loss of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. People are always complementing me on how my skin glows, but it’s not just […]

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One of the most rewarding parts of growing my own food is being able to enjoy the bounty from garden to kitchen immediately. The benefit is obvious–you get fresh, nutritious produce immediately so there’s less loss of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

People are always complementing me on how my skin glows, but it’s not just topical creams and potions and make up trickery. It’s what goes inside that counts the most.

I try to make the majority of food that I consume daily to be mostly comprised of raw or minimally processed fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Not only do these vegetables hydrate my skin, the vitamins and antioxidants these delectable items contain leave their mark on my health, hair, and skin.

The meal you see before you, spiralized zucchini, with onions, Bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, topped with basil and pinenuts was a happy accident. My husband’s coworker, who also has an organic garden, Had a bounty of zucchini and was giving them away. I had tons of sweet peppers, basil, and tomatoes to spare, So I thought that gently sautéing this mixture would make for a delightfully filling, low calorie lunch.

Definitely try this at home!

Food to Get ‘That Glow’ Spriralized Zucchini with Veggies and Pine Nuts

Food to Get ‘That Glow’ Spriralized Zucchini with Veggies and Pine Nuts

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt (to taste)
  • One medium to large crook necked yellow zucchini squash (regular green squash works just as well too); spiralized
  • half a medium onion, sliced
  • small sweet pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • about 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • handful of basil leaves
  • handful of pine nuts, toasted

Instructions

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat to about 350 degrees
  2. Add the chopped garlic and saute until lightly browned and fragrant
  3. Add the onions and sweet pepper and saute until onions and peppers go slightly limp
  4. Add the spiraled zucchini and stir fry for about two minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a pasta bowl. Top with basil leaves and pine nuts, add sea salt to taste.
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This is the tool I use to spiral my zucchini…

 

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It’s Zucchini Season! Time to Break Out the Spirilizer (Plus Best-Dang-Darned Tomato Sauce Recipe Ever!!) http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/its-zucchini-season-time-to-break-out-the-spirilizer-plus-best-dang-darned-tomato-sauce-recipe-ever/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/its-zucchini-season-time-to-break-out-the-spirilizer-plus-best-dang-darned-tomato-sauce-recipe-ever/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 18:50:12 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=37584 I have about four zucchini plants growing in the garden this year, and three out of four are my beloved, Rhonde De Nice, delicate, globular specimens that you won’t find in the grocery store because they are very easily bruised, but are perfect for home gardening. The shape of them are also perfect for making […]

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I have about four zucchini plants growing in the garden this year, and three out of four are my beloved, Rhonde De Nice, delicate, globular specimens that you won’t find in the grocery store because they are very easily bruised, but are perfect for home gardening. The shape of them are also perfect for making “pasta” on my Spiralizer.

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It’s not too late to grab some seeds and plant for a fall harvest if you act quickly. Three take three months to mature. Here’s the one I have. I haven’t seen them sold anywhere offline, which is a shame.

If you’d like to try the recipe for the tomato sauce I reference, you’ll need all this…

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Best Dang Darned Tomato Sauce!

Best Dang Darned Tomato Sauce!

Ingredients

  • One large pot
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1tbsp dried basil
  • one basil leaf
  • 1 12oz can tomato paste
  • 6-7 roma tomatoes, seeded, skinned and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup red wine, like pinot noir or cabernet
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • sugar or stevia

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil on medium high. Add the garlic, onions, and sweet peppers until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the zucchini and eggplant and cook for an additional minute or two.
  3. Add the tomatoes, paste, wine, water, and balsamic vinegar and get the liquids and bring them to a simmer.
  4. Add the oregano, basil and bay leaf and stir. Cook for about 10 minutes, and then taste your sauce. Add salt, red pepper flakes and a little sugar or stevia to your taste.
  5. Cook all ingredients for additional 20 minutes or so on a steady, low simmer. You can either eat immediately or let the sauce sit for a day in the refrigerator so that the ingredients have a chance to meld together. I like to add fully cooked sweet Italian sausage for a complete meal, if I'm not using my spiralized zucchini.
  6. Enjoy!
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Gluten-Free Squash Blossoms…a MUST Try if You’ll Garden With Me! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/gluten-free-squash-blossoms-a-must-try-if-youll-garden-with-me/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/gluten-free-squash-blossoms-a-must-try-if-youll-garden-with-me/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:56:06 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=36549 Last December, amongst wrapping presents and essentially going broke, I planted a few seeds in anticipation of the upcoming spring. One plant I was really excited about was my Ronde De Nice, a light green, globular zucchini that works amazing in my paleo zucchini bread. And here it is, March, and my little seed has […]

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Last December, amongst wrapping presents and essentially going broke, I planted a few seeds in anticipation of the upcoming spring. One plant I was really excited about was my Ronde De Nice, a light green, globular zucchini that works amazing in my paleo zucchini bread. And here it is, March, and my little seed has grown enough to flower…

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One thing new gardeners should know is that squashes and pumpkins have a female and male flower. The male flowers usually come first, sometimes weeks before you get a female flower (the male and female flower must be present simultaneously and pollinated in order for fruit to be produced). Some experts say it’s to attract pollinating insects for when the plant is mature enough to produce fruit. But in the meantime, you have all these gorgeous flowers that boom in the morning, and close off and wither pretty quickly as the day progresses. Seems like such a waste…

Imagine my delight when one of my favorite wineries offered an appetizer I’d never heard of–battered and fried squash blossoms!  Turns out these pretty yellow flowers are completely edible, so you can enjoy these tasty treats while you’re waiting for the real fruits to take hold! I figured I could try this at home.

I tried my luck this morning when I discovered about four male blossoms. There was some brie in the refrigerator, so rolled about half a teaspoon into a ball and inserted them into each blossom…

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I then mixed up a batter of finely ground almond meal, one egg, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of garlic powder and put into into a hot skillet of vegetable oil and fried each side until golden brown…

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You need to watch constantly, because the batter will brown quickly in the hot oil.

Now you’re ready to enjoy! You can either eat them as-is or dip them into an aoili like I did.

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This is such a classy and easy appetizer, or a light-faire lunch option. I don’t use wheat flour for dietary reasons, but if this isn’t a concern for you, you can easily substitute for the almond flour. Brie is a great carrier for herbs, so you might even try chopping up some herbs like thyme and oregano to mix into the ball of brie that you use for an even deeper flavor delight.

Yay, spring!!!

Deep Fried Squash Blossoms

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Chef Bob: Individual Beef Wellingtons http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/individual-beef-wellingtons/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/individual-beef-wellingtons/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:01:03 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=16464   INDIVIDUAL BEEF WELLINGTONS An elegant yet effortless entrée, classic beef Wellington features individual portions of quickly seared beef tenderloin topped with rich mushroom duxelles and enclosed in puff-pastry dough.  There are few dishes more elegant than Beef Wellington. It looks like a million dollars and tastes like heaven. It’s also surprisingly easy to make, […]

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INDIVIDUAL BEEF WELLINGTONS

An elegant yet effortless entrée, classic beef Wellington features individual portions of quickly seared beef tenderloin topped with rich mushroom duxelles and enclosed in puff-pastry dough.  There are few dishes more elegant than Beef Wellington. It looks like a million dollars and tastes like heaven. It’s also surprisingly easy to make, albeit time-consuming, but can easily be completely prepped a day in advance and then slid into the oven for 30 minutes to bake before serving.

 

Eight (4 or 5 oz.) filet Mignon

1 1/3 tsp. salt

1/4 plus a pinch of pepper

2/3 cup chopped onion

2/3 cup chopped carrots

2/3 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

3 tbsp. brandy,

1 cup red wine

3/4 tsp. fines herbs

1 1/3 tbsp. butter

Mushroom filling, recipe below

Pastry, recipe below

3 egg yolks

3 tsp. water

2 2/3 cup beef broth

1 1/3 tbsp. tomato paste

2 2/3 tbsp. cornstarch

1/3 cup Madeira or other sweet wine or burgundy for a bolder flavor

Diced fresh mushrooms

Carrot curls

Celery fans

Fresh parsley sprigs

 

You may please feel free to use frozen puff pastry instead of making it from scratch.

Please note an additional 1 cup of red wine after brandy listing.

 

Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper, and place in a shallow dish. Sauté onion carrots and celery in oil until tender. Add red wine, brandy and herbs. Pour mixture over filets; cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight. Drain steaks, reserving marinade. Saute fillets in butter in a skillet just until lightly browned on both sides. Place filets in pan; cover and freeze 10 minutes. Remove from freezer, and refrigerate 2 hours. Prepare mushroom filling; chill at least 2 hours.

Combine egg yolks and water; brush edges of pastry with egg mixture to seal. Fold pastry over, and pinch together. (Trim excess pastry is necessary). Put the Wellingtons, seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture; repeat after 1 minute. Roll pastry-trimming cut into decorative shapes and arrange on top of Wellingtons, if desired. Brush with remaining egg mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Combine reserved marinade, reserved mushroom juice, beef broth, and tomato paste in a saucepan; simmer 1 hour. Dissolve cornstarch in Madeira; stir into broth mixture and cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Garnish with mushrooms, carrots, parsley, celery fans.

 

MUSHROOM FILLING:

2 2/3 lb. fresh mushrooms, finely chopped

1/3 cup minced green onion

3 tbsp. butter

1/3 cup Madeira or other dry sweet wine

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Place mushrooms in a clean towel or cheesecloth and squeeze until barely moist, reserving juice. Saute mushrooms and onion in butter; cook over medium heat until all liquid is evaporated. Add salt and pepper. Prepare pastry; chill 2 hours.

 

PASTRY:

4 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp. salt

1 cup chilled butter and 2 tbsp. cubed

1/3 cup shortening, chilled

1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl; cut in chilled butter and shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle ice water evenly over surface; stir with a fork until all dry ingredients are mixed. Shape dough into a ball. Roll pastry into an 18 inch square on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth; cut into 8 (9 x 6 inch) rectangles. Spread each pastry rectangle with 1/3 cup mushroom filling; top with a filet.

Serving Suggestion

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Quick! Help Me Create Some Meals with the Massive Harvest! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/quick-help-create-meals-massive-harvest/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/quick-help-create-meals-massive-harvest/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:04:40 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32005 Whew. Got back from the Tenth Annual BlogHer conference in San Jose feeling a bit nervous. I mean, I called everyday to say hello to the hubby and kids, and remind Clo Clo to water the plants. A lot. Because the heat was well into the 90’s, and since I’m growing in containers and raised […]

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Whew. Got back from the Tenth Annual BlogHer conference in San Jose feeling a bit nervous. I mean, I called everyday to say hello to the hubby and kids, and remind Clo Clo to water the plants. A lot. Because the heat was well into the 90’s, and since I’m growing in containers and raised beds, the water demands are a little higher than the stuff I have growing in the ground.

First off, three days away from my favorite place in the world had reaped (ha ha) amazing results. It’s starting to look like Jurassic Park out there. Seriously, the aggressiveness of my pumpkins is a little reminiscent of that book, The Ruins. I saw a colony of aphids that have been my bane of my existence since spring, and the powdery mildew on my melons are making an appearance. Time for the heavy duty organic pesticides.

But hey! Three days away and I came home to this…

Harvest

 

You’re looking at cucumbers, tomatoes, white and purple eggplant, and sweet peppers. There’s so much here (a few pounds) that I need to figure out something creative to do with all of it. Note that I’ll probably be pickling and canning the  cucumbers, so don’t spend too much time on those. Everything else needs a recipe. But I’ve got some restrictions. Nothing with bread, rice, or potatoes, please! I can and do eat cheese. I don’t care if the caveman didn’t eat it so it’s not palo–I’m not giving up cheese.

 

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Cucumber Season Means Home Made Pickles! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/cucumber-season-means-home-made-pickles/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/cucumber-season-means-home-made-pickles/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 01:18:48 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=30943 I like cucumbers as much as the next person, but too much of anything is just…to much. I’m very, VERY new to the world of canning and preserves, and I’m a little paranoid about the whole sealing process. Don’t want to accidentally kill anyone by creating a virtual petri dish of flesh-eating bacteria. That’s why […]

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I like cucumbers as much as the next person, but too much of anything is just…to much. I’m very, VERY new to the world of canning and preserves, and I’m a little paranoid about the whole sealing process. Don’t want to accidentally kill anyone by creating a virtual petri dish of flesh-eating bacteria.

That’s why I’m starting slow with things that are prepared and stored in the refrigerator. Since I have two different cucumbers, carrots and dill growing in the garden, I thought I’d give it a go this weekend.

Pickling is an ancient preserving method, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible for me to muss it up. What makes for a good dill pickle is crispness, a zing from vinegar, and some added spices like dill, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, salt and garlic. You can save money on the front end and pick up some pickling spices from a well-stocked store. It also turns out that pickles aren’t void of nutrition–it’s a good source of Vitamin K, and unfortunately a good source of sodium. Regardless of the vitamins, those with high blood pressure should opt for low-sodium varieties. Pickles also have an appetite suppressing effect, at least for me.

First I harvested, cleaned, and cut my cucumbers and two carrots.

 

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Then I prepared my jar in a pot of boiling water to kill any pesky germs and started my brine in a sauce pan. I packed the pickles and carrots in tight and then poured in the brine.

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Then, time to add the brine and seasonings, then cover with the top until the contents reach room temperature.

 

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I sort of merged this recipe with one that I found in a book called Food in Jars, which is geared toward small-batch preserves. I used mostly white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, and I’m glad I did. The original calls for all apple cider vinegar, which lends an unwanted sweetness to the pickles, and I HATE sweet pickles. You can find the recipe here.

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