Thursday, October 28, 2010

Remembering Roots at Pilgrims Place & Raw Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

At long last, back to my beloved blog after a nice long hiatus. I am one of those people that just kind of checks-out when I am traveling. I admit it. I don't keep my phone on bad about returning phone calls.....don't like to check e-mail often.....forget about the bills that need to be paid.....yes, I really just check-out! I guess it can be a nice thing for the mind; to be able to detach once in a while....just so long as it doesn't get you into trouble!

During my hiatus, I had a chance to get out to Colorado to visit the folks, see my beautiful sister and her new town home (absolutely adorable!), and also meet my best friend's new poodle (also adorable)!
[Dad&Mom, Sees&Mom; KK Holiday(B.F.), Harvey boy (standard poodle pup) & Annie (toy poodle); Seester at her new town home; Harvey boy]

One of the pleasure's of Colorado this time of year is the coolness of the air, the leaves on the cusp of changing color, and the harvest. My Dad's harvest that is. Growing up on the plains of north Denver, we had dirt roads, some acreage, farm animals and last but not least, we had a GIANT garden! I guess you could say it was a bit of an alternative lifestyle. I remember the days of harvesting more corn than I think we could eat in a year! My Dad has always gotten pleasure out of growing a variety of vegetables, and I got the pleasure of eating them. : 0 ) I would love to say I have inherited his gardening skills, but I think my thumb has a bit more of a brown hugh than green! But I am still at it...

[From Dad's Garden: okra, lucinato kale (aka dinosaur kale), cabbage and shallots...for...days...!]

As for the farm animals, we never had horses or cows like most of our neighbors. No, Instead we had a little 'hobby farm' full of miniature pygmy goats, sheep, chickens, geese, Guinea hens, rabbits, a llama, a parrot and a peacock. I was kind of like a petting zoo and my mother (being the animal-lover she is) was the circus ring-leader. A lot of fun times were spent at the place we affectionately call "Pilgrims Place."
me bottle-feeding Diasy (a nubian goat)
me, Abner (a toggenburg goat) & Sees
me & 2 week old pygmy goat Oreo
Sees & I in the tree house with Lucy (toy poodle)

Now that me n' sees have grown up and moved out, the farm animals have gone, but the garden still prevails as strong as ever.

A highlight of my hiatus was getting some great shots of the beautiful veggies, planning recipes and cooking using the abundance of produce, enjoying an afternoon with my favorite people....and remembering my roots at Pilgrims Place:
from top to bottom: Dad w/ pepper plants; shiso leaf; basket of veggies; Mom with a kohlrabi; BF Katie, Sees & I; lucinato kale; me & Harvey; corn; Dad w/ a kabocha squash; beets, carrots, red onions & herbs; more peppers; varietals of garlic; Harvey; heirloom watermelon; Dad w/ his watermelon]

And to finish off my well-winded story, I will include one my favorite salads of all times! Here is a Raw Beet & Kale Salad, which I loved making with my 100% of my Dad's veggies and herbs.

Raw Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

1 bunch kale, thinly sliced (lucinato kale pictured)
1 red or golden beet, peeled and shredded
2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch green onions, diced
1/4 cup raw hempseeds

Tahini Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. nama shoyu (or soy sauce)
2 Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh oregano or thyme (or both!)
1 tsp summer savory (if available)
1 tsp fresh basil

Place the prepped vegetables and hempseeds in a bowl. In a blender, blend the oil, vinegar, nama shoyu, tahini, garlic, oregano, basil and thyme until smooth. Pour over vegetables and mix well to coat.

Nutritional Nugget: Kale is a nutritional standout in three basic areas: (1) antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, (2) much-needed macronutrients (in which the average U.S. adult is currently deficient), and (3) cancer-preventive nutrients called glucosinolates. Also worth noting in kale's nutritional profile is its vitamin K content. Kale contains nearly twice the amount of vitamin K as most of its fellow cruciferous vegetables. []

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