Monday, February 25, 2019

Blooms & Shrooms, Two Recipes & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  Today, I'm going to share two recipes.  I had a request to share the vegetarian meatball recipe, and I also wanted to share the best "sweet" treat I've found so far.  I printed out the meatball recipe, and I'm sorry to say it has no identifying info.  I've not been able to find it again in a search, but will be happy to give credit to it's creator if someone knows.

Italian Vegetarian Meatballs

2 onions finely chopped (a food processor is helpful; I only use 1 onion)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 - 1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 clove garlic, crushed in garlic press (or chopped)

Combine all the ingredients, mixing well.  With wet hands, form into small, even sized balls.  Fry in hot oil until browned all over.

Serve as spaghetti and meatballs by topping with tomato sauce.  The recipe can also be made into patties and served with mushroom gravy and vegetables.  Also in pita bread with salad and aioli.

I will say I only fry food once or twice a year, and this was really oily for me, though they do taste nice.  The next recipe came from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.  I've not been given a cancer diagnosis, but many family members have (3 out of 4 grandparents, my Mom, an uncle, aunt,  & cousin), so it seems wise to eat health-promoting foods, and it fits my Dr's diet recommendations.

Anytime Bars

1 cup raw pecan halves
1 cup whole raw almonds
4 tbs brown rice flour, GF flour, or coconut flour
2 tbs finely ground flaxseeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup pitted dates (preferably medjool), quartered
1 cup unsulphured dried apricots, cut in half
1 organic egg
5 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  (I regularly toast nuts and seeds for recipes, and find it easier to keep an eye on them in a pan on the stove top.  I do both nuts at the same time.  Your choice).  Lightly oil a 9" square pan.

Spread the pecans in a single layer (if choosing this method) on the prepared baking sheet and toast for 7 to 10 minutes, until aromatic and slightly browned.  Watch them carefully, as they can burn easily.  Repeat this process for the almonds.  Turn down the oven to 325.

Combine the flour, flax seeds, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a food processor and process for 5 seconds to combine.  Add the pecans and almonds and pulse 5 times to coarsely chop the nuts.  Add the oats, dates, and apricots and pulse 10 to 15 times, until the mixture is well chopped but still coarse.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg, maple syrup, and vanilla together until thoroughly combined. Add the fruit and nut mixture and use your hands to mix thoroughly, being sure to separate any clumps of fruit.  Spread the mixture in the oiled baking pan in an even layer and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until set and golden brown; don't overbake, or the bars will be too dry.  Let pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then cut into 25 squares.  Leave the bars in the pan until completely cool so they'll hold together when you remove them.

-use walnuts instead of pecans
-Add 1/4 cup dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins or currants when mixing together at the end.
-Add 1 tbs grated orange zest when mixing together at the end.
-Add 2 tbs sesame seeds when mixing together at the end.
-Add 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut when mixing together at the end.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 2 months.

So, I use coconut flour for this recipe.  I sub honey for the maple syrup due to Dr's orders, but I bet maple syrup would be wonderful.  I use whatever dried fruit I have in place of apricots; the first batch was a berry cherry mix, the second batch tart cherries. I use my coffee grinder for the flax seeds.  These have a light sweetness, but satisfy that craving for me.  I plan to try some of the variations next time. 

Running errands after work, I saw an Aronia Berry at Tractor Supply, and purchased it.  If it's not a taste we love, apparently the birds love them.  I purchased 3 flower seed packets at Big Lots for $1 ea.  Last week, I ordered several bare root shrubs at one of the feed & seeds, which we'll pick up this weekend.  J & I discussed where to plant them, and marked the spots.  I prepared a dish of homegrown spaghetti squash and lambs quarter, and another of potatoes and rutabaga.  Bread ends were added to a pan, to dry for bread crumbs.  Eggs were boiled for the pups.  I made homemade thousand island dressing, yogurt and suet.  Our sweet potatoes were baked on a raw day, adding warmth to the house.  I used the wood stove to help melt oils for soapmaking.

future dye stuffs- sweet gum balls & magnolia pods
A pot of pine cones was simmered on the wood stove, then set outside to cool for future dyeing.  I've read about using soy milk as a mordant prior to dyeing, and pre-treated several items with this method.  It's recommended they sit a week before dyeing, so they are currently resting.  Another two cabinets were cleaned while waiting for eggs to boil... well, a bit after, but I was on a roll.  I watched one of the best picture nominees on amazon.  Honestly, I found none of the characters terribly compelling, and was disappointed in the movie as a whole.  Ah, well.  It rained all day Friday, so I caught up on all manner of small tasks.  Our laundry hampers were overflowing, so I did a load of J's work clothes, and dried them in the dryer.  I'm hoping to catch laundry up on Tuesday, when I'll be home and the weather may cooperate.

early peach blossoms
I made pasta sauce with homegrown tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant, basil and rosemary.  J & I picked up the bare root shrubs on Saturday, after dropping our taxes off.  Only 2 of the 4 requested were available, but we got them planted into our soup of a ground, with homemade compost and bone meal I picked up at the Feed & Seed.  The two shrubs I received were New Jersey Tea and Sweet Pepperbush.  I hope they'll be happy here.  We're supposed to have a couple of days reprieve from the rain, before it begins again.  The ground is a mucky mess, but our cisterns are full, so I'm thankful for that.  Wishing you a lovely week, friends. 


cookingwithgas said...

rain brings sun! I was happy to walk in the sun yesterday afternoon.

christine said...

Thanks for posting the recipes. I think I will try the meatball recipe today. I was back and forth about what to cook today. Now I have a plan. I'm not fond of walnuts so I plan to try pecans (which I needed to use up anyway). Thanks again.

Laurie said...

Yes, so appreciative of the sun today, Meredith.

I hope you like the meatballs, Christine.

Jeannie said...

I have never heard of New Jersey Tea bushes. Can they be used to make tea? Will you use them to make tea or to dye something?


Laurie said...

Though the plant has been used for tea, I mostly bought them because it attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, and is a host plant for at least three butterflies.