Your pathway to healthy food, ethics, beer, and how these things can (and should!) come together in daily life.

Friday, January 29, 2010

First Post!

So I'm doing THIS instead of doing homework today.... Much more fun!!

Since I don't have any specific topic or recipe to share today, I'll use this time to shamelessly promote my Do It Green! U of M club and share some pictures of food and kitties. This week at Do It Green, we talked about campaigns for teaching dorm residents about what they can do to reduce their environmental impact. My expertise is in sustainable food, but the dorms already have a great sustainable food program through UDS (university dining services). Check out their program here

So we are going to focus on other topics, such as recycling, transportation, and water and energy conservation. I'll post pictures of these parts of the campaign later.

Lately, I've been trying to eat according to Michael Pollan's suggestions (Author of Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food), which includes following his food rules: Eat food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants. I've been successful thus far, and I thought I'd share some photos and recipes of things I've made.

First, here's a recipe from Do It Green! Minnesota, who partnered with Chef Heather Hartman from Spoonriver, which is a sustainable and mostly vegetarian restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. Do It Green partnered with local chefs last year to develop recipes to help average people lower their carbon "food-print". Pretty clever, huh?

Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Bisque with Cider Syrup

Butternut Apple Bisque with Cider Syrup
and Puffed Wild Rice Chef Heather Hartman, SpoonRiver
serves 8
4 c. apple cider, divided

2 c. wild rice
6 c. water

2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2 in. cubes
3 c. water or stock
2½ c. thinly sliced leeks
4 Tbl. butter
²⁄³ tsp. salt
1 c. whole milk
3 apples, peeled and diced

Bring 2½ cups cider to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook until reduced to ½ cup (about 20 minutes). Cool, place in small jar, cover and chill.

In a large sauce pan, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add 2 cups wild rice, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Boil wild rice for 50-60 minutes or until rice puffs open. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the 1½ c. cider, squash, water or stock, and apples. Cook covered for 20 minutes or until squash is soft. Stir in the milk and the salt. Cool slightly and blend in a blender until smooth. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Pour back into large sauce pan and bring back to a simmer. Add wild rice. Drizzle 1 Tbl. of cider syrup on top. Serve hot.

This soup has an absolutely gorgeous color... This is before we stirred in the rice. I'd suggest halving this recipe, just because you end up with A LOT of soup.

Also, with all of the squash seeds we removed, we made roasted seeds!

Allright, I have time to show off one more recipe I've made lately...

Bread machine calzones with artichokes, red peppers, and sun dried tomato alfredo.

So I have a tendency to cheat sometimes, and here is an example. I used the bread machine to make my dough, and I used a jar of sauce instead of making my own (oops!)

Calzone recipe is from Allrecipes, the rest is my own.


  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Fillin' (for two calzones)
Artichokes (canned is fine), about 1 cup
Red Onion, diced, about 1/2 cup
One red pepper, diced
one clove of garlic, minced
LOTS of feta cheese, crumbled
olive oil
... and feel free to add any other ingredients, mushrooms, olives, parmesan cheese, asparagus... whatever you have on hand!

Sautee red onion and garlic, and add rest of veggies. Sautee until cooked to a little before done. Remember, they'll get a little more cooking in the oven.


  1. To Make Dough: Place water, yeast, sugar, flour, and salt in the pan of the bread machine, in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle. After cycle is completed, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Split dough in half and shape into two rectangles using a rolling pin. Transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet, and spoon sun dried tomato alfredo sauce lengthwise down the center of the dough, followed by sauteed veggies and feta cheese. Make diagonal cuts 1 1/2 inches apart down each long side of the dough rectangle, cutting to within 1/2 inch of the filling (Don't get too close or the sauce will spill out!) . Criss-cross cut strips of dough over the filling and seal edges with water. Brush top of calzone with melted butter.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

Gorgeous, huh?
Mine was the one on the right... Derrick made the other one.

I win.

Here are a few other pics of things I've made, and I plan to make again!
Cauliflower, potato, and cherry tomato casserole with a smoked cheddar cheese sauce

Home Made English Muffins
A Happy Man!

Eggplant Parmesan for me and Chicken Parmesan for Derrick!

Vegetable Dumpling Soup (Potato, celery, carrots, onion)
And Last, but of course not least, here's my kitty posing next to a packet of catnip seeds. She looks just like the cat on the package! I'm such a nerd.
Until next time,

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