Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spicy Rice with Collard Greens- auto dependence leads to food riots

Slice one inch of ginger thin and put in 6” oval pot. Add half a teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, two serano chillies cut into thin rounds, and two tablespoons oil. One clove garlic minced. Mix so the oil covers everything. These will rise to the top and “fry”.

One cup whole brown rice. Two cups waters. Salt to taste.

One bunch collard greens spines removed and tossed. The rest chopped into one inch squares. Place on top of the rice.

Cook for two hour in the winter position with the reflector, more if cloudy.

Optional if you use less salt- add juice of half a lemon or marinated red onions.

We get Massa Organic rice from the Chico Farmers Market. Rice prices have been rising leading to tension and riots around the world. This is challenging since most of the world is self sufficient in rice.

Instead of addressing our dependence on cars with pedestrian friendly cities policy makers are rushing to subsidize ethanol. The result is that we are Starving the People To Feed the Cars.

MICHAEL GRUNWALD writes that "by diverting grain and oilseed crops from dinner plates to fuel tanks, biofuels are jacking up world food prices and endangering the hungry.
Four years ago, two University of Minnesota researchers predicted the ranks of the hungry would drop to 625 million by 2025; last year, after adjusting for the inflationary effects of biofuels, they increased their prediction to 1.2 billion. The lesson behind the math is that on a warming planet, land is an incredibly precious commodity, and every acre used to generate fuel is an acre that can't be used to generate the food needed to feed us or the carbon storage needed to save us."

Lester Brown writes that the grain required to fill a 25-gallon SUV gas tank with ethanol will feed one person for a year.

Biofuels like corn, which we are subsidizing, threaten streams by reducing their environmental service. As streams weaken in their ability to remove nitrogen from fertilizer, more runoff gets to the sea, where algae grows and dies, creating huge oxygen deprived dead zones.

It would be a poor tradeoff if we killed the seas to fuel our cars.

Why solar cooking

Its healthy- cooking at low temperatures preserves enzymes. Ovens reach a minimum temperature of 225 deg or more. Protozoa and bugs are killed above 170 degrees.

No pollution- You don’t generate carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide from the cooking process. This is a big problem in the third world where people cook with firewood in doors and women and children suffer from high rates of asthma and lung cancer from black carbon (soot.) Which is a pity because the sun is abundant and free down there. And in the third world they wouldn’t need to deforest the planet for firewood.

Can’t burn food- The pots in the Solar Sport Oven doesn’t get hot enough for food to burn. Even with higher temperature ovens like Sun Ovens the temperature is not high enough to burn food. The worst that can happen is that the food will be overdone and taste like mush.

Can’t burn the house- This one is obvious.

You don’t need oil. I have nothing against oil but since food can’t burn you don’t need it in solar cooking. Add oil after your food is cooked, as a highlight just before serving, the same way you would for salad, and preserve the essential acids that are nutritious in most oils.

Tastes good- Solar cooked food has none of the opened amino acids that result for burning or over heating food. Solar cooking allows the natural flavors in food to present themselves. Mixing these flavors provides taste. Its possible to cut back on salt too by using lemon, after cooking, to release more flavors from food.

Doesn’t need gas or electric energy- energy costs money. Solar cooking pays for itself within a year. There is a Tulsi Hybrid solar oven which charges a battery to use electric heat to finish cooking if the sun goes away. But here where the weather is mild I can cook for three or four days and store most foods on the cool counter top. Of course meats and fish need to consumed after cooking or can be stored in a cool dark place for the next meal, but vegetables and beans will stay for a couple of days. Heat in conventional cooking is used to get water hot.

Use less water- reduced washing since being limited to a few pots means you are not getting everything in the kitchen dirty and since the food doesn't burn you don't have stuff to scrub off. And most foods don't need any water unless you are reconstituting energy intensive beans etc.

Recreation time- Because you don’t have to pay attention to the pot since you can’t burn the house down you can go fishing or ride your bike or do your chores. Set you timer and do something else. The sun also acts as a timer so if you are going out place the oven in a spot that will get shade after the needed cooking time has elapsed.

Disadvantages- The normally burned food that is unhealthy for you, but which a lot of people like, BBQ and french sauces, can’t be cooked in a solar oven.

More benefits here


Barbagelata Farms from Linden brings cranberry beans to the Belmont market. Cranberry beans are similar to Pinto beans.

Soak a cup overnight in 2 1/2 cups of water in the 5" round pot. Salt before cooking. Fresh beans need less water. If you are using really dried beans from the grocery store and like them soft use 3 cups of water. Otherwise the store beans will be al dente..

Place in the oven in the winter position with the reflector. Cook for two hours more if its overcast. Check for doneness and cook longer if necessary.

Serve whole, on a salad, or mash with mozzarella cheese and make burritos or tacos.

Hard boiled eggs

Not using your eggs up fast enough? Hard boil em and they will store longer in the fridge.

Two to four eggs. Place in the 5” round pot and put in the oven in the winter position with the reflector for almost an hour. Remove cool and refrigerate.

My friend Ed said that for many things we eat the “established scientific opinion” is out on organic versus non organic. But on eggs its clear that there is a benefit for organic. Beyond the obvious lack of toxins there are more nutrients. Dr Ben Kim likes them and Dr. Mercola summarizes the benefits of organic eggs.

There are eggs at many farmers markets. The San Mateo City College market has them. However the Belmont market does not.

Indian style lentils

Finely dice or slice one inch of ginger thin and put in 7” pot. Add half a teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, two serano chillies cut into thin rounds, and two tablespoons oil. Mix so the oil covers everything. These will rise to the top and “fry”.

One cup whole or cleaned orange mung lentils or as available. Two and a quarter cups waters. Salt to taste.

Cook for one hour in the oven in the winter position with the reflector. Longer- another hour- for whole lentils that have not been soaked.

Remove and add juice of half a lemon and half a bunch chopped cilantro.

Root vegetable roast

Peel and trim beets, carrots, potatoes as needed. Use turnip, rutabaga, celery, onion, etc as available. I buy it all from the Calderon Farm table at the farmer's market.

Cut into half inch or larger pieces. Mix two table spoons olive oil and one clove crushed garlic. Salt and toss roots in the olive oil and crushed garlic in the 6” oval roaster. Add one large 5” cut of rosemary. Add chili cayene if necessary.

Bake in the oven in the winter position with the reflector for 90 minutes to two hours depending on how much root vegetables are in the pot.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Salmont collapse- There's nothing bad for you at the farmers market

So said Michael Pollan at a recent talk at Stanford promoting his new book "In Defense of Food."

We can get fish from Half Moon Bay at some farmer’s markets like the San Mateo City College Market and the Menlo Park market. Pietro Parravano explains that salmon require management of both, ocean where the focus has been, and land based habitats, where salmon are born and die. The land habitats are under pressure from water usage causing the wild fisheries to collapse of the west coast.

“Craig Barbre, of Morro Bay, said he and his wife took their boat to troll off the coast of Alaska last summer and may have to do the same this year. But with soaring fuel costs, there's no guarantee they can make ends meet.”

But given the price of salmon or tuna at the farmer's market people feel that they are doing the environment a favor by consuming farmed salmon. Belmont is only 12 miles from Half Moon Bay yet its impossible to get fish from Half Moon Bay in Belmont. There are three Safeways in Belmont. Farmed salmon from Marine Harvest in Chile are dying of Infectious Salmon Anemia. “Many of these salmon still end up in American grocery stores Costco and Safeway."

The Times article says farmed fish consume “medicated food” which “contained antibiotics and pigment as well as hormones to make the fish grow faster.” The antibiotics are used in higher doses than are allowed in the US and "some antibiotics that are not allowed in American aquaculture, like flumequine and oxolinic acid, are legal in Chile and may increase antibiotic resistance for people." The feed is colorized with "rosy, which has been associated with retina problems in humans."

That these sick salmon could end up in the food supply is not surprising. Downer cows have been in the food supply for a while and the recent big recall only happened because of exposure.

So eat less salmon (or tuna) and get local fish from the farmer’s market or out at the coast. We should be eating less predatory fish anyway, because our mercury tailings from power plants, static removers, florescent bulbs, thermometers, etc. ends up concentrated in the large predators, along with other pollutants, and the government irresponsibly puts a label warning on fish instead of addressing the issues with product manufacture and disposal.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Arugula flower salad.

This time of year J&M has arugula on a stalk with the flowers. The plant looks like the mustard plant except smaller and with larger whitish blossoms.

1/4 pound arugula
One bunch arugula flowers picked off stems.
One orange cut into small pieces
Fistful of broken nuts.
Fistful of radish cut into 1/8” rounds
Half a celery stalk chopped fine and small if desired.

Pour two tablespoons olive oil and toss salad. Salt to taste. Add two tablespoon white vinegar and toss. Add two teaspoon balsamic and toss.

Add shredded cheese or brown rice and serve.

Whole lentils with mushroom stock.

Celery is one of those things that need a community to consume. I never can seem to finish a bundle of celery.

Two and a half cups mushrooms stock one cup whole lentils. You should have saved enough stock from cooking mushrooms and other vegetables. Add equivalent water if you don't have enough stock. If the stock is recent you can soak the pulses overnight.

Place in 7” round pot and cook in the summer position, yes we just passed the spring equinox, with the reflector on for one hour. If cooking in the early morning use a 2x4 to tilt the oven toward the lower sun. I use some books here. Note that the summer position is the wide part of the oven down.

Remove, salt, one clove crushed garlic, half a stalk celery chopped fine and three to four sprigs parsley chopped fine. Optional- add half a teaspoon curry powder. Mix cover and let sit in the heat of the lentils to blunt the harshness from the garlic and celery before serving

Mushroom Anti Pasta

J&M used to be in Gilroy, about 40 miles of Belmont. Their ID on the Pacific Farmer’s Market web site still says that.

But their farm was sold to grow homes during the last housing boom and they have moved to Fresno. Their sister farm still grows mushrooms in Morgan Hill by Coyote Valley and may do so for another decade.

Sustainable San Mateo County in their 2007 Indicators Report writes under Agriculture about out challenge: Farmland—or “working landscapes”—if managed sustainably can provide significant environmental and quality of life benefits, such as open space and healthy microclimates. Controlled grazing helps minimize soil erosion and control invasive weeds. Locally grown food contributes to the county’s food security, reduces transportation- related air pollution and costs, maintains food freshness and nutrition, and protects land from urban sprawl. Organic farming practices are especially important for maintaining agricultural vitality because they reduce the harmful environmental and health effects of pesticides and protect long-term soil quality.

Separate button style mushrooms from caps. Any small round mushroom will work. You can compost the stalks or use them for additional stock. Clean with a brush or rinse and toss in a 7” round pot and cook for an hour without the reflector in the summer position.

Mix juice of one lemon, equal part white vinegar, equal part olive oil, one crushed garlic clove, five to six sprigs parsley chopped fine, chives of two spring onions chopped fine, and salt.

Combine mushrooms and marinade. Let sit for four hours stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. You should have about 3/4 cup mushroom stock in the pot which you should save to cook grains like whole lentils for a grain salad.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bread Pudding.

I buy Real Bread from Whole Foods. This bread goes bad in about four to five days as food is supposed to. So after three or four days I use the leftover bread in a break pudding.

Real Bread comes to the Berkeley Farmers Markets. These markets are run by the EcoCenter in the city of Berkeley. The Belmont market on the other hand is run by a consortium which, fortunately for us, holds markets all over the Peninsula.

Soak half a handfull dried fruit in two table spoons brandy overnight. Raisins and berries work well.

Two cups milk, two eggs, three tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, two teaspoons vanilla, half a teaspoon cinnamon, one two inch strip of lemon rind. Mix well in the 6” oval roaster. Use more sugar or add a half cup of chopped fruit if you like it sweeter.

Add handfull crumbled nuts and brandy soaked dried fruit.

Five slices whole bread or six slices other bread or cake cut into tiny cubes. Toss in and push around so that it looks soaked in the mix. Sprinkle on one tablespoon brown sugar on top to caramelize the surface.

Place in the in the oven in the winter position with the reflector with the reflector on for an hour. Its important to level the oven for this one otherwise the pudding dries out on the high side. So adjust the level using the liquid in the pot as a guide before you close the pot and the oven. When done remove the lid from the pot so that no condensation forms on the pudding. Serve with whipped cream or eat plain.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stir fry greens with marinated onions

One of the vendors J&M brings pre-washed arugula and other winter greens. They also bring ready to stir fry mixed young winter greens. These aren’t as young as the winter salad greens at the Chico market but ok for stir frying. But we solar cookers don't need to kill the food by stir frying it and vaporizing oil all over our kitchens to ruin our indoor air quality.

Place half a pound young greens in the 6” oval pot and place in the oven in the winter position with the reflector. Bake for one hour. Remove and let cool then cut chop roughly into bite sized portions.

Mix one lemon, equal parts white wine vinegar, one teaspoon sugar, half teaspoon salt, stiring until the sugar disolves. Add one fine chopped red onion turning occasionally for an hour. You can also use a white onion but marinade it overnight.

Combine greens and onions with two teaspoons of the marinade, drizzle a salad oil like sesame or walnut, and salt to taste.

Why should the Farmer’s market be our main source of food

- Fresh food is tasty. Only Farmer’s markets can deliver vine rippened food since its picked before being driven to the market. Vine rippened food is not only the tastiest, it is hard to transport for large agribusiness with distant markets. That's why grocery stores have mealy fruits and vegetables which are picked early for shelf life.

- Its local. The neighboring air and water quality region supplies food to our farmers markets.

- Season food may be healthy. Plants that can survive winter temperatures are different than plants which grow in the summer. The contrasting foods and related storage technologies of drying and picking food are what the human species has evolved on.

- Seasonal food may have less pesticides. The best strawberries occur for a brief period in May when the fruit is filled with sun stored sugars and ripeness. However the popularity of strawberries makes farmer’s try to produce them year round. This time of the year a week before the Spring Equinox there were four vendors at today’s market selling strawberries. Not one of them was organic. These out of season strawberries look like the real thing but they have an insipid cellulosic texture like flavored water with a mild dull strawberry taste. Yet, more than 50% of the farmer’s market in May is made up vendors of loud delicious organic strawberries. Even grocery store shelves are filled with delicious organic berries in May. My conclusion is that foods grown out of season and locality are more susceptible to pests which may prevent organic production.

- No garbage. The store bought food is package for storage and to reduce handling and personnel costs. Food packaging is what makes up the major component of out garbage. The trimmings from the vegetables and fruit from the farmer’s market goes into the compost bin to feed our soil.

- You can further reduce garbage by cleaning and folding your plastic bags, and bundling them in little packets with a rubber band, and then storing the bundle in your cloth market bags. Use these “recycle” plastic bags for the produce from the Farmer’s market stands. When you get home from the farmer's market, clean and fold them back into bundles.

- It spoils if you don’t consume it. Now this may be counter intuitive but if food doesn’t spoil there is something terribly wrong with it, and the chemicals we end up consuming, that is preventing the natural life process from changing the produce.

- take a shopping list. Buy what you need not what you think you will need. Using the grocery store for spot supplies is better than filling your compost pile with farmer’s market spoilage and then not going back to the market.

- Reduced water and energy use. Food packaging in the store is a surrogate for water. The centralized processing plants used by corporate agriculture washes and disinfects produce with bleach before packaging, sometimes not successfully. The finished toxifed product is packaged for long term storage on refriderated and humidified, read energy intensive, grocery shelves. Today’s farmers makets can deliver mud free food. However if the winter greens or beets are muddy chop them as you need and then soak them over night in water. After you put the greens into their cooking pots use the water in your garden.

- Small growers who come to farmers market could be safer and cleaner.

- Fresh food is more nutritious (and cooking it slowly and at low temperatures preserves nutrition.)

- Preserve your water supply. The water supply gets contaminated by pesticide runoff.
However at the farmer’s market, vendors are confronted by customers who want tasty food and ask questions like "do you use pesticides?" Now no farmer will claim to use pesticides. More surprisingly even the farmers who aren’t rated organic claim their food has no pesticide and that they are working on certification. So if nothing the farmers market informs farmers that customers prefer food free of poisons.

- This site is a good repository for news and research into the health consequences of environmental pollution:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baked whole Lentils with broccoli.

Onions won’t saute in a solar oven and may retain their astringent smell and flavor.

Chop half a large yellow onion in half and then cut thin. Saute on the stove stirring for one minute in the 6” oval pot. Turn off the stove.

Add one cup whole lentils and two cups water. The goal is to get dry cooked lentils. Use more water if you like them soft. Salt to taste.

In the 5” round pot trim the florets off a stalk of a broccoli, then peel and chop the stalk fine.

Place both in the oven in the winter position with the reflector. Remove the broccoli after forty five minutes but leave the lentils for another hour.

Crush two cloves garlic in a half a lemon juice with equal parts white wine vinegar.

Mix everything together. Salt to taste.
Grate cheese of choice over if desired.

(Note- If the lentils are soaked overnight both brocolli and lentils and can be cooked in one pot for one hour. To do this soak the lentils in two cups of water.)
Return to oven for a half hour.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Solar cooking basics.

There are many reasons to solar cook. This post explains how.

Don’t use water. You only need water if you are going to reconstitute foods like pasta or beans. By now you’ve noticed from the recipes that there is no water utilized. Water is one of the hardest materials to heat on the planet. Bad. And it leaches nutrients out of the food. Bad.

Watch the quantity. More food takes longer to cook. Better to split between two pots. Cook what you need.

Use a sharp knife. Very important. Sharp knives are safer to use because you are not forcing the blade down and make cooking fun. Keep a witting stone around.

The sun moves 15 deg each hour. If you are using a timer, point your oven to the sun and then rotate it in the direction of the sun for the cooking time. For example if you need an hour rotate the oven 15 degrees. If you are not using a timer do the same thing but place the oven in a spot where it will be covered in shade after the cooking time has elapsed.

Use a timer. You don’t want the food to be overdone and taste like mush. So use a timer.

Use thin black pots. The green house effect in the oven generates enough heat for a thin black pot to absorb and pass onto (conduct) the food. Using anything else will unnecessarily be using solar heat to warm the pot. Non black pots may not even cook the food. Winsom's a nice hardware store in San Mateo carries or will order these pots for you.

You don’t need oil. I have nothing against oil but since food can’t burn you don’t need it in solar cooking. Add oil after your food is cooked as a highlight just before serving, the same way you would for salad or if its necessary for flavor.

The solar sport oven will condense water at the top when the food is cooked. That a quick easy visual guide to get the food out. If you are running an errand and may not be back in time put the oven in a spot where you know there will be shade in an hour after cooking.

Roots like potatoes and carrots take a longer time to cook- AND Don't NEED Water!

Save the stock for soups. Most foods will release a stock at the bottom of the pot after cooking. Keep the stock in the refrigerator. When you have two cups blend the stock with whatever cold vegetables leftovers are available. For example blending broccoli and stock makes broccoli soup. Strain if you want to keep the broth clear. Serve cold or warm with herbs on top. Two cautionary notes- Use your stock up in a few days and go easy on the salt when you cook the food.

Have fun. You can’t burn the house or the food in the solar oven. The worst thing that can happen is a dense cloud cover will require you cook the food on the stove or in a regular oven at 240 deg for the same amount of time you would have left it out. So go ride your bike or do whatever you want while the sun is cooking your food.

Ok and solar cooking doesn't use any fossil fuelish energy. You keep money in the bank, about 75 cents per day, every day you cook with the sun.

Mustard greens and kale with beens (or sausage) and marinated onions.

The beans and onions will add color, texture, and taste to the mix.

As we’ve moved away from the soil, our food supply has become unseasonal. The supermarkets in winter have the same summer supply of tomatoes and avacadoes, in their hard and tasteless varieties. The farmers market too are affected by consumer choice. The Belmont market does not have kale or mustard greens. These winter greens grow well in our climate and add essential nutrients to the diet. Whole Foods carries them, $2/- each, from Bakersfield all washed and healthy, but wrapped in a plasticized metal wire spined paper that cannot be recycled. Its as if the supplier has figured out a market without those consumer's environmental considerations.

Michael Pollan in In Defense of Food says to eat more leaves less seeds (like rice wheat beans potatoes etc.) We don’t need that much protein for a healthy diet. He says don't focus on nutrients, just make sure you are not eating food your grandmother wouldn't eat.

Soak half a cup beans for 24 hours in one and half cup water. Salt. Put into the 5” round pot.

Cut the stalks off the kale and discard. Chop the remaining leaves about 1/2 inch by two inches. Do the same with half the mustard but fine chop the stalks too. Soak overnight in cold water to get the grit off. If you buy the leaves from Whole Foods you can save this step since they carry washed leaves.

One clove garlic chopped fine.

Layer into the 6” oval roaster with salt, garlic, and red chili flakes to taste.
You will have to pack to fit the leaves.

Put both pots in the solar sport oven in the winter position with the reflector for one and a half hours. You might need another hour if its overcast.

(For more color and texture- Take three medium sized red potatoes cut in half, slice thin and add on top of the greens.)

Marinade one half of a small red onion cut into 1/2 inch by 1/8 inch pieces, in half a lemon juice, equal quantity white wine vinegar, one teaspoon sugar, and half a teaspoon salt turning often to make sure it all marinates.

Mix it all together making sure to unpack the cooked leaves. Drizzle olive oil to taste before serving.

If you prefer meat add two sausages. Place the sausages in the same oval roaster buried in the leaves. When done cut in half across the length, then peel. Dice the remainder and toss in the mix.

Basic Salad

There is absolutely no reason to pollute the planet by buying those bottles of salad dressing that taste like salt and chemicals from the forbidding aisles of the supermarket.

A basic salad dressing for four is two tables spoons vinegar, two tables spoons oil, and salt to taste.

Use less on delicate leaves like butter lettuce. Start with a tablespoon each olive and vinegar and salt, toss, taste a leaf and add more as needed.

I use Four Monks vinegar from San Francisco. Its a distilled vinegar from wine. For a more complicated dressing back off the basic vinegar and add proportionally balsamic, rice, lemon or a combination for heavier salad leaves like romaine, arugula, or winter greens. I grow my lemons and when I need more I ask my neighbors. Balsamic is available at our farmer’s market from Big Paw. A teaspoon of balsamic will change the dressing considerably.

Olive oil is also found at the farmers market also from Big Paw. There are more vinegars and olive oils at the Saturday Farmer’s Market at San Mateo City College. For a more complicated dressing back off the olive oil and add proportionally sesame or walnut oil or whatever takes your fancy.

These oils and vinegars bring more to the kitchen than the store bought dressings. Given the strange world of corporations he vinegars and oils we don't get from the farmers market come from

The basic dressings works on everything and brings out the flavor of fresh cut salad leaves.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Winter arugula with marinated onions

Don't be shy about mixing flavors with arugula. But watch out for the lemon and vinegar.

Mix half a lemon, equal part white wine vinegar, one teaspoon sugar, and half a teaspoon salt or to taste. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Chop half a red onion into one inch strips about an 1/8” wide.
Mix with dressing and turn over occasionally for an hour.
You can also use a yellow onion but marinade it overnight.

Half pound arugula common this time of year at the farmers market.
Two tablespoons olive oil. Toss.

Two oranges and or one apple cut into small pieces about half inch long.

Mix fruit with arugula. Add marinated onions. Add a teaspoon of the marinade. Add a handfull broken walnuts. Toss together. Taste a leaf and add more marinade if needed.

Optional- add a farmers cheese or a goat cheese crumbled.

Serves four.

Mashed potatoes

Serves 4
Pick the potatoes so they would qualify as medium, about two inches round. Red or yukon or Idaho would suffice. We don’t get Idaho at the farmer’s market this time of year.

Cut six potatoes into half then cut the halves into four pieces.
Toss into the 6” oval roaster with salt.

Place in the solar sport oven in the winter position with the reflector and set the timer to two hours. Remember if the oven hasn’t steamed you should give it some more time. Start cooking early. I have the food cut trimmed and in the oven by 9:00 AM.

When done mash half the potatoes with the water that condensed in the pot. Add olive oil or butter as needed. Taste for salt and pepper. Add parsley and or green onions if you like.


Just about every one has broccoli year round at the farmer’s market.

Rinse and cut the florets off the head. Drop into the 5” round pot.

Peel the stalks. This is much easier if you don’t refrigerate the broccoli. Then chop up the remainder and toss in the pot.

Cook in the oven in the winter position with the reflector for one hour. Add 15 minutes if you are cooking something in the 6” roaster at the same time. Cook longer if you like it soft.

When done add salt to taste.

You can serve it this way when its hot.

Or if you warm it up, dribble on two teaspoons white wine vinegar and drabs of you favorite salad oil- I like olive or sesame oil.

Winter brown rice salad

Brown rice is the only food that no one is allergic to. We get Massa Organic from the farmer's market in Chico.

One cup brown rice. Almost two cups water.
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
1/2 inch fine chopped ginger or a tablespoon of powder.
1 fine chopped large garlic clove.
Two tablespoons vegetable oil.
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste.

Toss into the 6” oval roaster and in the oven in the winter position with the reflector for two and a half hours.

While cooking mix half a lemon juice with equivalent quantity vinegar. I use Four Monks white wine distiled vinegar from San Francisco. Its the same vinegar that goes in the spray bottles for all the cleaning.
Add one teaspoon sugar and half a teaspoon salt. Mix.
Chop one half red onion into half inch strips about an 1/8” wide.
Mix in the marinade for at least an hour. Turn over every fifteen minutes.

When the rice is done fluff and add
Handful of carrots chopped into 1/8” cubes
Handful radish chopped small
Handful of chopped cilantro
fine chopped chili if available and to taste
Spoon the onions carefully on top then add a couple of teaspoons of the lemon vinegar marinade to taste.

Mix well.

Winter Chutney

Chutneys are sweet, tangy, and spicy.
Use on crackers, bread or pasta by itself or with cheese, butter, or olive oil.

We buy a bunch of cilantro and another bunch of parsley at the farmers market each Sunday. Frequently the heads are almost untouched by Friday. So on Friday I blend them into a chutney.

Raymond sells bunches for $2/- each. The local ethnic market (Namaste) sells them 3 for a dollar. However $4/- a week is not a lot of money and I like the idea of an organic farm in Hollister 50 miles from where I live.

This time of the year multiple vendors sell California Navel oranges at $8/- for a ten pound bag. Most claim they don’t spray and are waiting for certification. However I'm not sure about the whole seedless oranges market dominance. What kind of freak of nature are these things?

Two naval oranges peeled and cut into large chunks. Drop into the bottom of the blender. I’ve also used apples, blood oranges, and kiwis in the past. Whatever is available.

One clove garlic. One small half inch section ginger.

Handful of nuts. I used walnuts today. I’ve used almonds too in past.

Blend briefly till the large items have broken down.

One teaspoon cumin powder.
Salt to taste about half a teaspoon.
Half a teaspoon cayenne, more to taste.
One each rinsed remaining bunch of cilantro and parsley. I’ve also used left over arrugula.

Blend to a fine paste.