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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Black Lentil Salad with Chard

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1 cup black lentils cooked according to directions then left to cool
6 strips veggie bacon cut into 1/4" pieces
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1-2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small onion finely chopped
5 stalks Swiss chard, bottom 1/3 of stem discarded. Cut into 1" strips
2 tablespoon veggie stock
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Add veggie bacon, onions, garlic to pan and cook on low until onions are translucent. I used the recipe found on here on VegWeb for Vegan Bacon at I've also used storebought veggie bacon strips.

Add chard and veggie stock to pan. Cover and allow chard to steam for a couple minutes. Uncover and cook on low a couple more minutes.

Add vinegar, mustard, onion mixture to lentils. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in herbs and bell at last minute.

Refrigerate for at least an hour to cool and distribute the flavors.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reusable ORGANIC Cotton Produce / Bulk Bags Available

I've started making bulk bags, as promised. (And reusable tea bags soon to come). 

Pictured are the medium sized bags.

Now you can REALLY stop using plastic bags! These are breathable, and will also protect your veggies as they travel home from the market with you.
They are made from a tight weave Organic Cotton, and have a drawstring closure with a small glass bead to help close, and keep closed....

I've pre-washed the bags with soap nuts, and rinsed in a white vinegar and water solution, so they are clean but you don't get any nasty detergent residue or fragrances on your foods. They have also been dried, so you can wash them over and over without shrinkage.

All seams have been double-stitched.

Please contact us if you are interested.
SIZES & PRICING:Large: 12" x 15"
2 for $12.50
1 for $7

Medium: 9" x 12"
2 for $7.50
1 for $4.50
Small: 5" x 7" - Good for herbs and teas
3 for $6
1 for $2.50

Or get a set of 2 large, 2 medium, and 3 small for $25.00 (save another $1)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hey, look what we can do....

I must say...I am extraordinarily excited about my recent discovery!!!

Preface: We've lived in our apartment for about 4 years now...we are on the bottom floor of a two story building, and tucked away into a little corner that doesn't get much light (in or out)....which is FABULOUS in the Whittier summers. We stay so nice and cool even when its blistering out.

But the lack of direct light has always prevented us from growing anything, no veggies, no herbs, not even any common plants one might expect to find on a patio. I have given up on trying to grow anything. We do, however, have avocados delight if you can figure a way to get at the avocados that hang three stories over our patio.

Yesterday morning I spent a good part of the morning cleaning our patio, when I noticed, quite surprised, 'hey, there is some sunlight hitting the top of the fence.'

Several hours after that I noticed 'hey, there is still light at the top of the fence'

Several hours after that I noticed 'hot damn! there's still light hitting the fence!'

What happened is this: About 5 months ago, the property owner had that giant avocado tree pruned for the first time in many many years.......letting in the light (it only took me 5 months to notice how wonderful this would be)

So for the first time in four years I've got me a tiny little garden a'brewin......

Today I started a few seeds, organic basil, oregano, and some jalapenos.

Happy days. We'll see what happens.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What is "Slow Food"?

Good, Clean and Fair: the Manifesto of Quality According to Slow

The food production and consumption systems most common today are harmful to the earth, to its ecosystems and to the peoples that inhabit it.

Taste, biodiversity, the health of humans and animals, well-being and nature are coming under continuous attack. This jeopardizes the very urge to eat and produce food as gastronomes and exercise the right to pleasure without harming the existence of others or the environmental equilibria of the planet we live on.

If, as the farmer poet Wendell Berry says, "eating is an agricultural act," it follows that producing food must be considered a "gastronomic act."

The consumer orients the market and production with his or her choices and, growing aware of these processes, he or she assumes a new role. Consumption becomes part of the productive act and the consumer thus becomes a co-producer.

The producer plays a key role in this process, working to achieve quality, making his or her experience available and welcoming the knowledge and knowhow of others.

The effort must be a common one and must be made in the same aware, shared and interdisciplinary spirit as the science of gastronomy.

Each of us is called upon to practice and disseminate a new, more precise and, at the same time, broader concept of food quality based on three basic, interconnected prerequisites. Quality food must be:

1. Good. A food’s flavor and aroma, recognizable to educated, well-trained senses, is the fruit of the competence of the producer and of choice of raw materials and production methods, which should in no way alter its naturalness;

2. Clean. The environment has to be respected and sustainable practices of farming, animal husbandry, processing, marketing and consumption should be taken into serious consideration. Every stage in the agro-industrial production chain, consumption included, should protect ecosystems and biodiversity, safeguarding the health of the consumer and the producer;

3. Fair. Social justice should be pursued through the creation of conditions of labor respectful of man and his rights and capable of generating adequate rewards; through the pursuit of balanced global economies; through the practice of sympathy and solidarity; through respect for cultural diversities and traditions;

Good, Clean and Fair quality is a pledge for a better future.

Good, Clean and Fair quality is an act of civilization and a tool to improve the food system as it is today: everyone can contribute to Good, Clean and Fair quality through their choices and individual behavior.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vegan Cheezy Tortilla Soup

Still cool enough outside to be able to enjoy a bowl of soup for dinner. Put this together one night in a pinch and it was a hit! Hearty, delicious, and super easy.

Ingredients (use vegan versions):
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/2 yellow chili, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes - roughly chopped, and liquid
3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon veggie bouillon (we used Better-Than-Bouillon)
1-2 teaspoon tahini
2 teaspoons miso
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 can pinto beans, and liquid
1/2 bag frozen spinach
2 small potatoes cubed
1 carrot, 1/4" diagonal slices
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons cornmeal
Bragg Aminos to taste

Saute onion until translucent, add garlic, chili, and bell pepper.Saute until tender. Add cumin and oregano. Cook several more minutes.Boil water, add bouillon, nutritional yeast, Tahini, miso, tomatoes and tomato liquid, beans and bean liquid, spinach, potatoes, carrot, and cornmeal. Cover and simmer until potatoes & carrots are tender. Add cilantro. Add Braggs to taste.Serve with crumbled tortilla chips on top, and hot sauce on the side.

Serves: 6-ish
Preparation time: 30- 40 minutes

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Order for April 14th, 2008. Loose Leaf Teas

We'll be placing an order this Monday (April 14th) for Tea. We have chosen a selection of all loose-leaf teas: two green tea blends, herbal Valerian Root, herbal Yerba Mate, and herbal Rooibos (or Rooibush) tea....pronounced "roy-boss".

Our Green-Tea purchase this time around will be from a Global Co-Op focused on promoting fair-trade and healthy relationships. So, while their tea is not locally produced, it is organic and and equitably traded. This organization places a healthy emphasis on education about fairly traded products and their mutual benefits to consumer and farmer.

David and I have purchased from them in the past, but this time around we made a donation and have become members of their cooperative organization which, in turn, helps them maintain a positive effect in the marketplace, and helps us by lowering our costs slightly - which we can then pass onto our members.

All products they purchase, come directly from cooperatives of low-income and small farmers or through nonprofit alternative channels. Some products are limited by the amount of each co-op's annual harvest. David has found himself particularly in love with the Green Moroccan Mint, and wanted to be sure I told everyone that it came highly recommended.

Our herbal teas will all be purchased from another supplier, they offer all Fair Trade Certified and Organically grown teas.

Our Feature tea offering this time around is Rooibos. It is an herbal tea (decaffeinated)originating in South Africa, where it is commonly prepared with milk and sugar; elsewhere it is usually prepared without. The flavor of rooibos tea is often described as being sweet (without sugar added) and slightly nutty. The brew is a reddish brown color, explaining why rooibos is sometimes referred to as "red tea". One of the most interesting things I learned about this tea is its ability to settle upset stomachs.

To Prepare Rooibos: Rooibos tea should be steeped or brewed for a minimum of 5 minutes to release the flavor and the valuable antioxidants and minerals. Experts suggest that brewing Rooibos for 10 minutes or longer will increase the antioxidant content of the tea by 30%, longer brewing can also enhance the flavor. After this, the tea can be used immediately or stored. It can be reheated or cooled without any effect, as the tea is very low in tannins and will thus not turn bitter as normal coffee and tea would. One Teaspoon of Rooibos tea is enough for one cup of tea.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Order for Friday April 11th

We'll be placing an order this Friday for whole bean coffee.This coffee comes from a micro roaster located in California. In addition to offering all organic and fairly traded coffees, this California based Micro-Roaster was recognized by Roast Magazine as one of the top micro-roasters in the country in 2006, and as a runner-up in their Roaster Of The Year competition.Their coffees are artfully roasted 22 pounds at a time, six days a weeks. Fresh coffee is their goal, and they place a production date on every bag so our customers know when their coffee was roasted.

If you've never had a cup of coffee brewed from freshly roasted beans, you don't know what you are missing.

They are a licensed member of TransFair USA, selling fair trade coffees since 1999, and a member of the Alliance For Coffee Excellence, purchasing Cup Of Excellence coffees since 2005.

They believe in long-term, stable partnerships with their farmers, in that this type of relationship is best able to foster positive benefits for the farmer, roaster, and consumer alike.

While they do not offer 100% fair trade certified coffees, their explanation is simple, respectable, and dignified: "Striking a balance is important, while every certification has merits, they all have drawbacks and limitations. Fair Trade certification is limited to farmers who choose to join cooperatives. After meeting scores of small farmers who, for one reason or another, elected to remain outside the cooperative system we felt it was important to engage them in relationships as they work to develop their market.We're very serious about the equality and transparency of our coffee purchases."

OH! And all coffees are 100% Organic!