Wild Arkansas

October 10, 2011

No-fat cookies

Filed under: baking, cooking, fat free, recipe — WildArkansas @ 2:44 am

No fat cookies

Our family tends toward kitchen experimentation; that is, cooking and baking with whatever materials are at our disposal.

Sometimes we take it further than just experimenting with what we have. Sometimes the product is just a test of what can be done with limited resources.

Tania conducted one such test, by eliminating eggs, baking powder and baking soda from oatmeal cookies.

Her ingredients:

2 cups of low-fat baking mix

1.5 cups of oatmeal

water (enough to make it all sticky)

3 small pkgs sweetner

That’s it. She mixed it all up and made it into cookies. When done the end product really tastes more like oatmeal bread with a hint of sweetness.

Though the cookies are great, I personally think this would be an excellent muffin mix.

October 11, 2010

Gloria’s Kitchen

Filed under: Gloria's Kitchen, lambsquarters, organic greens, recipe — Tags: , — gloria1083 @ 2:36 am

Wild spinach stuffed chicken breast

1/2 cup wild spinach

2 chicken breast

1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)

6 strips bacon

2-1/2 tbsp zesty Italian dressing and marinade

garlic powder, salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees while preparing mixture and breast

Rinse the wild spinach with luke warm water in drainer, then squeeze out excess water, set aside.

Chop bacon, fry in pan on medium heat.  Cook until brown and crispy.

Remove bacon, but leave grease in pan.  Add the wild spinach and cook on low for 2 mins turning constantly.

Drain. Put the wild spinach on a plate and mince.  Add bacon, 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice, and wild spinach in a bowl and mix.  Add a pinch of salt pepper and garlic powder.

Chicken breast-

Wash your chicken thoroughly.  Put your breast on a plate and tilt it to the side, cut down the middle about an inch into the breast.  Stuff with bacon, cheese and wild spinach mixture.

Rub the entire chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.    Use 1/2 tbsp of zesty Italian dressing on top of chicken.  In baking pan coat the bottom with 2 tbsp zesty Italian dressing, place chicken breast in baking pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes covering pan with foil.  Take remaining mixture and place on top of breast finished.  Place breast back in the oven for 5 minutes.  Serve on bed of rice or your favorite pasta.

October 5, 2010

Something about Chicory

Filed under: chicory, foraging, herbs, recipe — Tags: , , , — WildArkansas @ 5:41 pm

Best known as a coffee substitute or additive, young leaves are less bitter than dandelion, especially if picked growing in shade. As a medicinal chicory is found to contain volitile oils that kill intestinal worms and in Germany the flower has been used to treat ailments from gallstones to sinus problems.

Every part of the plant is edible with no ill effects. It is best tasting when found growing in shady areas and from early spring through the autumn months.

I dug some chicory recently and am currently using the herb as a liver tonic.

The root, brushed with olive oil and roasted in the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes, produced something palatable, but tough and stringy. On further consideration, I believe I should have soaked in salt water for awhile and then roasted it.

The leaves sauteed for two minutes with onion and garlic are not as bitter as I expected and mixed with other veggies or pasta would hardly be noticeable.

There has been some confustion over what chicory is edible. All chicory is edible, but some is more palatable than others. All chicory is bitter to some degree, but the Chicorum endiva or Belgian endive is cultivated most often.

The purple ray flowered, spindly limbed species we find alongside roads and in pastures share many of the same qualities as the cultivated varieties, but is higher in nutrients and lower in palatabilty. You must work to make it palatable.

The chicory root can be quite deep as it is a tap root. Set your spade or shovel about five inches from the center of the plant and then dig down and inward toward the center.

Use a small spade to brush dirt away so you can see where the root is and dig under it. If the root is too large it will be too tough even when soaked or boiled. Try to get roots that are not more than two inches in length or after a frost.

The following recipe is taken from Dolce Vita Diaries.

Chicory Spaghetti

Ingredients for 4 people

Spaghetti – 400g (or any pasta you fancy)

Wild chicory – 500g (plain chicory is available in most supermarkets)

Chilli – one dried one, chopped

Anchovies in olive oil – 3 fillets (optional)

Garlic – 2 cloves Olive oil – 5 tablespoons

Parmesan – 75g grated

Black olives (optional)

Wash the chicory well, cut it up roughly and put it to boil in plenty of salted water. Boil for 15 minutes or until the thicker bits are soft. Drain.  Boil a pan of water for the spaghetti. In a big pan or wok heat the oil on a low flame and add the garlic roughly cut into quarters, the anchovies and the chilli pepper. After a few minutes add the chicory and cook slowly for another 10 minutes. Add the spaghetti to the water and cook for about 5 minutes until ‘half’ cooked. Then spoon out the semi-cooked spaghetti into the chicory mixture (keeping the spaghetti water) and mix well.

Add the spaghetti water to the pasta/chicory one ladle-full at a time (like cooking risotto) and keep on stirring. When the spaghetti is nearly cooked add the grated parmesan, leaving a bit to sprinkle at the end, and mix well. This method gives you quite a creamy sauce, so that’s what you should be aiming for. Check for salt and serve. If you use short pasta instead of spaghetti it’s a bit easier because‘you don’t make such a mess’.

July 17, 2010

Lambs quarters prep

Filed under: foraging, lambsquarters, organic greens, recipe — Tags: , , , , — WildArkansas @ 4:37 pm

Simple is best. I gathered lambs quarters this morning and though I’ve never prepared it, I took a chance and used it as I have other greens.

Thrown in with a bit of oil, salt and pepper to taste, I cooked it until the leaves turned a darker green color (spinach green).

Daughter #1 tried it and said it smells and tastes like spinach. I don’t think so. I think it tastes like lambs quarters, though it does have the texture, color and smell of spinach.

This is a clean, organic green that grows everywhere in NW Arkansas.

The cost of organic spinach at Ozark Natural Foods is currently:

$6.99 lb in bulk

$2.49 by bunch/bunches are from 1-1.5 lbs.

Lambs quarters nutrition information

High in vitamin C, rich in riboflavin, one cup of cooked lambs quarters provides an excellent source of vitamin A, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamins E, B6, and thiamine. Substantially more nutrients than cultivated spinach.

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