I'm in the Kitchen

Welcome to Madre's Kitchen! I am so glad you visited my blog about cooking and all things healthy. I am a cook, not a chef. One of my hearts desires is to hit the road when disaster strikes and feed people a home cooked meal. First, however, I need a portable kitchen! Home cooked relief can bring healing on many levels. Since my breast cancer, food awareness has helped me to discover and apply a more healthy lifestyle for myself. It has taught me to promote better healing and health through treatments. I will be sharing that information here too. Thank you for visiting and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Celery Based Salad

This salad complimented our pork tenders and Portabella Mushrooms we grilled on the Green Egg.  We also had roasted potatoes.  I pretty much made this up with ingredients I had. It actually turned out great and would have tasted even better with roasted pine nuts. Next time. In the summer a nice compliment would be strawberries or watermelon. Look forward to it. Here is how to create this deliciously fresh tasting salad.
Wash, string and cut celery into rather large pieces. I like to use the inner pieces of the stalk to get the lighter colored stalks. I turn the stalk over where the V shape is pointing down toward the cutting board. Cut in downward angle motion starting at bottom working your way up the stalk.
Wash and cut circles no need to core, two apples cold. Leaving the star centers in tact. It's ok to eat the seeds. They're actually good or you. Cut other slices(not the star centered ones) in two. Cut up grape tomatoes and seeded red peppers. Add walnuts preferably whole. And pine nuts, preferably roasted. Sprinkle sparingly, Balsamic Vineger on top, toss and add Murrey River mineral salt. If you have your own mix or my lovely mix of Herbs de Provence sprinkle them too. Really tasty and really lite. Fresh.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Salt Pork, Collard Greens and Onion

There is something to be said for the flavor salt pork brings to a dish.

Cutting off little pieces and placing in an iron skillet really brings out the best flavor of the fat and meat.  Let it cook all the way.

Then add your onion and Himalayan pink mineral salt.  Let that meld together sweating out the flavors of both pork and onion.

First take out thick stem from middle of greens.  Then chiffonade the collard greens into strips. Once onions are starting to caramelize place greens on top and just let them sit there a few minutes  to steam.

 Then mix well with onion mixture.  Serve and eat.....Delicious.  You can eat the pork or you can discard it. Depending on your taste and diet allowances.  A wonderful way to eat this winter green.  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Very Very Last of the Leftovers: Lentil Ham Soup

You know how you buy that bag of Lentils, Black and Navy beans raw thinking you will soak them overnight and make a delicious soup.  Then the bag ends us getting lost in the pantry til Christmas where it resurfaces just in time for leftovers.
This really is about cleaning out the pantry and fridge using every possible thing in the soup.  We were blessed with a Honey Baked Ham this year so after we devoured the ham at New Years for a party, then with sandwiches after that to save the bone for "The Soup".
I followed the directions of the beans on the package and began the process.  I put the ham bone with leftover meat in the boiling water once I got to that step to add flavor and yes "fat".
Then I decided to put as much in it as I could.  I put all organic onion, zucchini, herbs, salt, pepper, fresh spinach, and carrot peels sliced thin and chopped cabbage.  It doesn't sound like a lot but it was a three step process so the savoring became inevitable.
The soup as it bubbled and spewed into a velvety thickness that rivaled stew the flavors began to gel together and form a very hearty and tasty delightfully filling soup.  I literally have eaten now for four meals.  Paired with my cornbread recipe from Friday, November 12, 2010 you have a salty sweet thang going on!
1package lentil beans rinsed and soaked, drained and boiled
1Honey Baked Ham bone with meat
2 onion
2 big bunches of spinach
2 zucchini
1/2 cabbage head chopped
4 large carrots peeled slices into flat thin slices.
Then cut remainder of carrot and put into soup
Use Murry River Finishing Salt from Aussie and the Savory Spice Shop in Austin.
Let Ham bone cook at least 1 hour in lentil water then remove and let cool while adding other vegetables and let cook.  Other vegetables can be added whatever you like
Then pick meat off bone and discard bone
Let soup cook another 30 minutes or so.  Better the next day and the next....great to freeze too.
Looks especially nice in my Paula Deen Stock Pot....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sometimes Bottom of the Barrel is Better: More Leftovers

Do you see the Love, God in this photograph?

Sometimes the bottom of the barrel is the best bowl.  This evening after my treatment of chemo I heated up my chicken vegetable soup, made from leftover meats, and cleaned out veggie drawer I made this weekend.
It was delicious.
All the flavors and the spices had some time to permeate and infuse into a rouge of texture and spark.  I carefully supped its delight knowing the nourishment it brings with every bite.  Thank you to Paula Deen's Cookware and beautiful turquoise enamel stockpot my heating it to the perfect temperature without scorching is always a good thing.  
Today was a great day.
I was able to really focus on the next task at hand and God sent me lots of encouragement today with phone calls, cards, letters, Facebook messages, Twitters, and texts.  A challenge sometimes to stay focused with a condition like chemo brain, but knowing that this soup would bring vitality to my brain with its steeped ingredients of velvety herbs, spices, flavors and yes, omega 3 fats.  All good for me.
And good for you too!
A combination of water and Central Market Organic Chicken broth based along with grilled chicken white and dark meat bone in boiled to perfection.  As I chopped and chopped adding veggies, roots and spices.  I really can not mess this up.
And neither can you!  I added things in, hardest to softest, making sure I was not left with a pot full of mush cause it will mush on you if you over cook.  I added parsnip so no need for potatoes.  I even added Hemp Hearts from the Rocky Mountain Grain Products for energy and fiber.
I hope you enjoy your leftovers as much as I am.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Nutty Way for Healthy Leftovers

This is a great way to make a one dish meal with leftovers and a few additives.  Not your every day variety additives, more along the lines of pecans and apples.
Last night we had sautéed brussel sprouts, sweet potato with onion, ground cloves and other spices
I sautee'd onion again and added the sweet potato mix and chopped leftover Honey Baked Ham, grilled Shiitake mushroom, leftover long grain brown rice.

Then I let about 1/2 cup pecans roast in pan pushing sweet potato mix to one side of pan. Mixed.  Then took fresh spinach about 6 bunches rinsed and put the full leaves into mix

Then it just sounded really good to take two small red delicious apples cored and sliced in O's and mixed.

I added more ground cloves and Savory Spice Shop's Brown Sugar & Spice Honey Ham Rub into the mix.
I am usually making up what sounds like it would taste good in my mouth.  It is almost as if I can taste it in my mouth as I am cooking it before I actually taste it.
A nutty way of doing it perhaps but it shed leftovers in a whole new light.