Dal With Rice - Inexpensive, Easy and Uses What's On Hand

QuickImage Tags: Food & Health Economy Vegetarian Vegan

I haven't posted a recipe in a long time. It's time I put something in to help get us through the pandemic. I hope you enjoy it.

With the pandemic circulating, we go to the grocery store far less frequently than we used to. That means we have to be sure to use up all the fresh groceries in the house before the next grocery trip. Plus, with far less money coming into the household, it's important to use groceries most frugally. Being this frugal with both food and money has forced us to find ways to use what we have more efficiently.

This is a very economical dish. Use whatever ingredients you have on hand, it will still work. Use any whole grains in your pantry - green lentils, Beluga lentils, brown rice, long grain rice, bulgur, groats, barley or polenta (corn meal poridge). It makes a great lunch the next day so make plenty.

Every time I make this, it is a little different, depending on what I have on hand at the moment.

Last night I served it with sauteed red pepper, asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Then I sprinkled it with parsley that is attempting to bolt, though it would be more authentic with cilantro, which I do not have in the garden yet. Mint might work, give it a try.

I used plain basmati rice with a handful of frozen peas stirred in. You don't need to use the accompanying rice recipe, that can be a stand-alone. As a matter of fact, I prefer the rice plain or with a simple addition like peas, raisins or a cinnamon stick. Basmati rice has plenty of aroma and flavour on its own.

Dal With Plain Pilau (Vegetarian Epicure Book 2 by Anna Thomas)

Dal Serves 4 to 6

1 cup red lentils

2 cup water

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger

1/4 tsp turmeric

4 pods cardamom, can use ground

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 1/2 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp red pepper, crushed & dried

2 tsp cumin, ground or whole

2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, optional. Parsley is a good substitute.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add all the spices except fresh herbs, sautee and add the lentils, salt and water.

Bring to a boil and lower the heat; simmer until soft.

Add more water if needed.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice if you have it.


Plain Pilau Serves 6 - 8

4 tbsp butter

2 cups basmati or long grain white rice Whatever kid of rice you have is good.

1/4 tsp cinnamon

8 pods cardamom, crushed

3/4 cup almonds, slivered & blanched

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup peas

4 cup hot water

1 1/2 tsp salt

Melt the butter in a large pan and fry the rice until it just starts to colour. Add the cinnamon and crushed cardamom seeds. Stir and continue frying for 1 or 2 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir briefly. Bring the water to a boil, then lower heat, cover the casserole tightly and let the rice steam for 20 minutes. All the water should be absorbed and the rice just tender but not mushy.


Farm Market in Port Hawkesbury Kicks Off Today!

Tags: Locavore Economy Local Business Eat Local

I hope you have the opportunity to visit the Port Hawkesbury Community Market in the Civic Centre. Today is the first day and 14 vendors are expected to be selling their goods from 2-6.

The Community Market will be held the second Thursday of the month beginning today and running until Oct.

There will be lots to choose from including fresh produce such as greens, asparagus, rhubarb, herbs (mostly organically-grown), jewelry, beauty products, baked goods, preserves, flowers, plants and so much more....2-6pm!!

The Civic Centre is located behind Sobey's, just turn at the stoplight. http://www.phcivic.com/

The new website will be made active soon at www.tables.ns.com. Stay tuned!

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Be A Locavore: Fresh, Organic Food For All

Tags: Around The Lake Being Neighborly Compassion Dining From the Garden Economy Edible Beauty Education Entertainment Exciting News Food & Health Friends Fun Gardening & Food Gastronomy Good Eating Good Eats Health and Well-Being Home & Health News Important Enough That We Focus Our Attention On It Learning Life Life In Cape Breton Life In Marble Mountain Life on Marble Mountain Local News Local Talent Marble Mountain
Community gardens and farms located throughout neighborhoods improve the quality of life.

Some communities have drawn up rules and agreements, see below for a sample.

Neighborhood Agriculture is any use for food or horticultural production that occupies less than one acre. It includes but is not limited to home, kitchen, and roof gardens. The use of a site for food production may either be “principal” or “accessory” to other uses, such as a private home. These smaller growing spaces must also comply with the following standards:

·      Sales and donation of fresh food or horticultural products grown on site may occur between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  People are allowed to sell produce from their garden/farm but cannot create a storefront in or make commercial improvements to their home that turn it into a defacto grocery store.  They cannot sell value added foods like jams or baked goods.

·      Compost areas must be set back at least three feet from structures on adjacent properties.

·      If fencing encloses the farmed area, it must be wood or ornamental and comply with a section of the planning code that regulates fences.

·      Mechanized farm equipment is prohibited in residential districts except during the initial preparation of the land, when heavy equipment may be used to prepare the soil. Landscaping equipment designed for household use is permitted in residential districts. All farm equipment must be screened from sight.

Obviously, these rules are for a different kind of community from ours but you can develop your own locale-dependant concepts from this template. One problem we won't have here is water supply. Our local water is pristine and abundant. That makes me smile.

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Making It In Down Times, Simply Putting Enough Nutrition On Your Dinner Table In The U.S. And Globally

Tags: Gardening Economy Food & Health News
On yesterday's evening news, there was a piece by a reporter who was trying to live on the normal monthly ration of food stamps. He barely made it though one month. He did have some packaged foods in the shopping cart, which are more expensive and nutritionally compromised - and that's for another story another day.

Sadly, there are a lot of people in the U.S. who need food stamps to survive and these people are not deadbeats, they hold down full-time jobs and many hold down part-time jobs in addition. Without food stamps and school food programs a lot of children would go hungry every day.

You may have noticed that many poor people look overweight, even obese, leading you to think that they are over-nourished. The way to look at it is to realize that they hardly ever consume fresh produce, which means they are living almost totally on foods that add to girth with little nutritional value. They are overfed yet undernourished. Some of those people, because of where they live, shop at stores that do not offer much fresh produce, mostly in the inner city. Others simply cannot afford fresh produce and consume greater quantities of more-filling foods because that's what is cheapest and keeps their tummies full. For a percentage of people, it is simply a matter of personal choice.

There is a lot of unused space all over the country in our cities, suburbs and country towns. It wouldn't cost anything for these neglected and unused parcels of land to simply be tilled and planted. What would it cost the government to simply hand out a seed packet with each batch of food stamps? One packet of lettuce seeds would provide salad greens to an entire household and a few of their neighbors from spring to fall. Think what that amount of lettuce would cost in the grocery store. Lettuce is only one easy crop that people could grow for themselves, there are many others like green beans, yellow squash, tomatoes, herbs & flowers to brighten meals and the home. Gardening is easy: dig the ground, put in a seed, come back in a few weeks and ta-da! you have fabulous food.

I know first-hand about land-sharing gardening. I had one of my best, most productive gardens ever under the power lines that run next to my old neighborhood. Several of my neighbors also took advantage of the free land. The land is not harmed and it improves the value of the land, thereby increasing property values in that neighborhood. It also provides a boost in nutrition, household economy and self-esteem for people who are often very hurt financially.

At a time when so many people are losing their investments, losing their homes, losing their jobs and their self-esteem, it would be in everyone's best interest to put fallow land everywhere to use as a community garden. This would also serve to get people involved in their communities and create an ad hoc networking system for people who need it. After all, you never know who will show up with a watering can, a rake & a hoe in the next garden plot over. http://www.sharingbackyards.com/about