P.I.O.N.E.E.R. “Pass it on now with enthusiasm, eagerness and resilience”
It’s my longest acronym to date! I use it to urge us ‘foodies’ to pass on growing and eating to the next generation. As you are with your whisk…it’s a kind of baton!? Upstream on purpose! Graham
What was the start?
Cooking table side, a crepes Suzette, at my parents hotel for a young appreciative couple. I had a recipe that worked, a story to tell as I cooked and they ate it in the end and loved it enough to give me my first ever tip. The rest of my life seems to have galloped on from there!
The French term mis en place. Prepare and measure every single ingredient BEFORE you begin to cook!
Pass the whisk?
I call it the double benefit. Find a potentially harmful habit, reduce its portion size by 50% . Replace its vacated plate space with a beneficial plant that you enjoy and if you saved money then split the savings in half, use one half to upgrade your daily nourishment and give the other half to folks who are really making a difference in our sorry world. So far, over a 28 year period we have made a $105,000 saving and been able to give over $50K out of our food budget.
Works for us…we cover this and all the rest in our new book, ‘ Flash of Silver’ it’s out in November 2015
For more information, and to order his books, click here
Recipe by Graham Kerr
Recipe source: Reprinted with permission from Graham Kerr’s Growing at the Speed of Life, Copyright 2011 by the Treena and Graham Kerr Corporation. Published by Perigee Trade.
KAREENA’S SOUP BASE
Our youngest daughter now has two daughters of her own and lots of reasons to get more vegetables into their young and vibrant lives Like so many of our neighbors, they wanted something they could make in a reasonable quantity to get ahead of the typical busy day, when, so often, the easy way out was a pizza.
I went looking in the fall season for a soup/stew base that could be frozen and nuked back to life in minutes, and then created a list of simple add-ons that took no time and created a sense of variety:
It worked for us and them, and now, I hope, for you.
When the vegetables are in season, this is also an example of good nutrition at a great price. When I tested this, not one of the enhanced soups cost more than $2.00 a portion!
SERVES 30 (EVENTUALLY!)
1 1/2 pounds sweet onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice (save peelings)
2 ounces grated gingerroot (optional)
5 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
1 1/2 pounds rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (save peelings)
1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (save peelings)
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (save peelings)
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (save peelings)
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (save peelings)
8 ounces celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8-ounces Swiss chard stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (yield 2 cups)
1 quart low-sodium vegetables stock
20 cups cold water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Greek Islands Ethmix (from Growing at the Speed of Life by Graham Kerr, page 287) this is optional
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with water (slurry; only 1 teaspoon for each portion)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste
Equipment: To cook a large amount at one time, you will need a 10-quart saucepan or stockpot (available through a restaurant supply business) and a large, heavy-based frying pan that’s at least 10 1/2 inches in diameter You’ll also need quart-size freezer bags.
First, thoroughly wash all the vegetable peelings and saute them lightly in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high in a large saucepan. Add the stock and 20 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 30 minutes Strain the stock into jugs or bowls and discard the vegetable peelings into the compost. Taste the broth and add just enough salt to begin to make a difference.
Add to the frying pan 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onions until just brown At this time, you can add the ginger and garlic.
Turn the onions into the large saucepan and set the heat on medium-low.
Now saute each of the following ingredients, one at a time, until just colored, and tip onto the onions, mix, and let cook together.
This is the order of addition: rutabagas, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, celery, and chard stalks.
Simmer the vegetables in the stock and add spice mix. Test the carrots after 25 minutes; when they are tender, the rest will be just right.
When done, remove 1 quart of the cooking liquid to a smaller pan, and add the slurry and parsley. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 30 seconds, to clear the starch taste and thicken the stock. Pour this back into the main saucepan and stir well
Count 1 1/2 cups of the stew per head and add, if you wish, one of the following add-on garnishes. The remaining vegetables and their liquid can be spooned into 1-quart freezer bags, dated and quick-frozen for later use.
When defrosted and reheated, you will need to repeat the cornstarch thickening to regain the texture and gloss (1 teaspoon per portion is enough).
1. Red kidney beans—add 1/4 cup per serving
Per serving: 139 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 27 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 274 mg sodium. Exchanges: 1 Starch, 2 Vegetable
2. Whole grains—cooked bulgur, quinoa, couscous, barley, or brown rice; add 1/2 cup per serving.
Per serving with brown rice: 194 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 40 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 90 mg sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 2 Vegetable
3. Garbanzo beans—add 1/4 cup cooked per serving.
Per serving: 157 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 31 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 264 mg sodium. Exchanges: 1 Starch, 2 Vegetable
4. Dried fruit—cranberries, raisins, dates, figs, apricots, plums, apples. Add 1/4 cup per serving.
Per serving with raisins: 209 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 50 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 89 mg sodium. Exchanges: 2 Vegetable
5. Spices—cumin is especially nice, or try one Ethmixes (from Growing at the Speed of Life by Graham Kerr on page 286)
6. Tofu—dice in 1-inch cubes, toss in brewer’s yeast, and saute; add 2 ounces per portion.
Per serving: 121 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 105 mg sodium. Exchanges: 2 Vegetable