Mother Earth Living

Food Matters

All about fresh, flavorful food


4/24/2014

Spring is here! Flowers are in bloom and local farmers markets are opening; the perfect time of year to pick up a rack of lamb. This quick spring meal is complete paired with wilted spinach and a glass of your favorite red wine. If you want to step it up then ask your butcher to french the rack, this is a method of trimming the fat cap away and cleaning the meat, cartilage and fat between the tips of the rib bones, thus exposing the bones and creating a kempt and refined presentation.

I recently received several homegrown chops from one of my friends. She surprised me by cooking the meat without trimming the fat. The lamb was juicy and tender and the fat imparted a bold flavor. We also had the option of eating the fat as it was easy enough to cut away, dare-I-say easier than frenching a raw rack!

If you are yearning for something rustic then simply skip the frenching step and if you want those classic lamb lollipops, you’ll need to put your inner butcher to work! Below you’ll find my favorite way to enjoy lamb chops. If you are unfamiliar with how to make your own garlic paste, don’t fear; check out Honey Dumplings TV for a quick culinary film.

Rosemary Lamb Chops
Photo by Victoria Greenstreet

Rustic Rosemary Garlic Lamb Chops Recipe

• 2 tablespoons homemade garlic paste (see video below)
• 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 rack of lamb, cut into 8 chops (optional frenched)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Chop the garlic paste into the minced rosemary and put into a shallow bowl.

2. Pour the olive oil over the rosemary garlic paste and stir until well mixed.

3. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper.

4. Coat the lamb with the olive oil garlic paste mixture and marinate in the mixture for 15 minutes at room temperature.

5. Warm a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the lamb chops and cook to desired doneness, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serves 2-4


Victoria Greenstreet is inspired by seasonal ingredients. Her focus is whole foods and gluten-free cookery. She is a classically trained chef, freelance food writer, stylist and photographer. She is currently working on her first cookbook. Visit her blog Honey Dumplings for more recipes and culinary adventures.



4/18/2014

Moist and tender, this recipe for Confetti Cornbread uses colorful veggies that taste great any time of the year. From vibrant red pepper, to dashing jalapeño pepper, you are sure to impress with this colorful concoction. This recipe, courtesy Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, uses Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits, and won second place in the Quick Bread category at the 2005 Summer Loaf Bread Baking Contest.

Alone, corn grits—also known as polenta—makes a popular Southern-style breakfast, served with milk and honey or brown sugar. For added texture, sprinkle 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds across the top of your cornbread batter before baking. Serve with chili or enjoy all on its own. Check back next week for another great recipe from Bob’s Red Mill.

Confetti Cornbread

Confetti Cornbread

• 1 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits (Polenta)
• 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, divided
• 1 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
• 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 2 large eggs
• 1 1/4 cups diced fresh or frozen corn, red pepper and jalapeño pepper

1. Soak corn grits in 1 1/4 cup buttermilk, cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before proceeding.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and pour in cornbread.

3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Stir in soaked corn grits and brown sugar. Set aside.

4. In another bowl, dissolve honey in melted butter. In a third bowl, whisk eggs with remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. Add honey and egg mixtures to flour mixture. Stir in corn and peppers until evenly dispersed.

5. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until center is springy and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes before serving. Serves 12.


Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods offers a diverse line of more than 400 all-natural, organic and gluten-free flours, cereals, meals and mixes for pancakes, breads and soups that are available all around the world.



4/11/2014

With spring brings fresh ingredients. And what better way to use fresh harvested herbs than in a flavorful homemade pesto. Whip up this snappy pesto and pair it with buckwheat for a delicious grain salad. This recipe, courtesy Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods and Melanie of Nutritious Eats, uses Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat Groats and was an entry for the 1994 Buckwheat Recipe Contest.

The buckwheat groats, hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant, only take about 20 minutes on the stove top to fully cook, so you won’t have to brace the heat for very long. Although buckwheat is what makes this dish truly unique, you can easily substitute with another one of your favorite grains such as millet, wheat berries or quinoa. Serve alongside a slice of crusty bread or sliced veggies for a simple spring meal. Check back next week for another great recipe from Bob’s Red Mill.
[Photo courtesy Melanie of Nutritious Eats.]

Buckwheat Pesto Salad 

Buckwheat Pesto Salad

• 2 1/2 cups water
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat Groats
• 1 tablespoons butter, softened
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 1/2 cup chopped Bob’s Red Mill Walnuts Baker’s Pieces
• 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
• 2 teaspoons dried basil
• 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup sliced black olives
• Salt, to taste
• 1/2 cup soy bacon bits, for garnish (optional)

1. Boil water with salt. Add groats, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and leave pan covered for about 5 minutes, then fluff with fork. Set aside.

2. Mix butter, olive oil, garlic and walnuts together. In a separate bowl, combine parsley, basil, cheese and olives. Add butter mixture to groats, then add the parsley mixture. Salt to taste. Toss and serve. Sprinkle soy bacon on top, if desired. Serves 6.


Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods offers a diverse line of more than 400 all-natural, organic and gluten-free flours, cereals, meals and mixes for pancakes, breads and soups that are available all around the world.



4/2/2014

If you are looking for a fruity treat that’s also high in fiber, look no further. The following recipe, courtesy Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, uses a mixture of whole grains and dried fruit to create a moist cookie similar to oatmeal raisin cookies.

Although this recipe calls for dried blueberries, apples and roasted hazelnuts, you can trade out these fruits for dried versions of your favorites. If you’re looking to cut sugar from your diet, this recipe also performs well with up to half the sugar. Check back next week for another great recipe from Bob’s Red Mill.

Granola Cookies Recipe

Whole-Grain Apple Blueberry Granola Cookies

• 1 cup butter, softened
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Honey Almond Granola
• 1/2 cup dried blueberries
• 1/2 cup diced apples
• 1/2 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda, then stir into the creamed mixture.

4. Finally, stir in the granola, dried fruits and nuts.

5. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Remove cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Enjoy this whole grain treat! Makes about 24 cookies.


Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods offers a diverse line of more than 400 all-natural, organic and gluten-free flours, cereals, meals and mixes for pancakes, breads and soups that are available all around the world.



3/27/2014

There is something about the combination of crunchy and salty from chips that just makes snacking better.Editors Pick But when the snacking urge strikes us here at the Mother Earth Living office, we like to indulge in better-for-you options. Sure it would be easy to take the short trip to the vending machine, which hosts a seemingly unlimited variety of chips, but why choose chips that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG), partially hydrated oils and unhealthy amounts of sodium when there are tasty, healthier options that are better for us—and the planet?

In order to bring you some of the best and tastiest snack chips out there, we’ve embarked on the onerous task of taste-testing each of these varieties here in our office. Check out our favorite picks for organic chips.

Organic Chips

Late July Mild Green Mojo

They may be mild, but they’re also bursting with flavor! This unique variety was one of our favorites. Once the bag was open, it didn’t take long to finish them off. I’m excited to try these chips with a guacamole dip in the near future. Late July chips are family-owned and are certified USDA Organic and non-GMO.

Cost: $3.49

Kettle Brand Sea Salt

These should be your go-to chips when you just need the simple salty crunch of a potato chip. Kettle Brand Organic Sea Salt potato chips contain just three ingredients: organic potatoes, organic vegetable oil and sea salt. But those three simple ingredients combine to make one mighty tasty chip.

Cost: $3

Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips

What makes Jackson’s Honest potato chips unique is that they kettle fry them in organic coconut oil—a much healthier option than many vegetable oils. And in case you are wondering, the coconut does not present itself in the flavor. These chips offer just the right combination of salty and crunchy. Jackson’s Honest chips are certified organic and non-GMO.

Cost: $5

Good Boy Organics BOPS Sour Cream and Onion

Sour cream and onion is a time-honored classic, and I was excited to discover that Good Boy Organics truly mastered the conventional “ruffle” chip in my favorite flavor. Good Boy Organics bakes their chips instead of frying them. They are certified USDA organic, non-GMO verified and gluten-free.

Cost: $3.49

Honorable Mentions

These following chips are not organic, but we have chosen to include them in this list because they are a healthier alternative to conventional potato chips.

Beanfield’s Bean and Rice Chips Pico de Gallo

I was pleasantly surprised by Beanfield’s chips. The Pico de Gallo packed a nice mix of flavors with just the right amount of crunch. The company has a variety of flavors that are also quite tasty, but Pico de Gallo won my heart. Beanfield’s chips are non-GMO and vegan, as well as dariy-, soy-, corn-, and gluten-free.

Cost: $3.49

RW Garcia Barbecue Tortatos

RW Garcia has managed to perfect a chip that’s part tortilla chip and part potato chip. The infusion is fascinating and delightful. In every bite you taste a little tortilla and a little potato. It’s the best of both worlds! And, although these chips are not organic, they are certified gluten- and GMO-free.

Cost: $3.49


Victoria Pitcher is Web Editor at Mother Earth Living. Find her on .



3/25/2014

Tomato soup is delicious any time of year. I find it to be both hearty and refreshing. My favorite tomatoes are Italian; I’m a local food advocate, but I bend the rules when it comes to tomatoes…there is a perfection to the Italian tomato. I prefer the San Marzano fruit, however any “Made in Italy” tomato will do. This staple of Italian cuisine is picked from the vine at the peak of ripeness and therefore packed full of sunshine, a touch sweeter than all other tomatoes.

Buon Appetito!

Homemade Tomato Soup
Photo by Victoria Greenstreet

Victoria's Tomato Soup Recipe

• 28 ounces preserved chopped tomatoes (If not your own preserves then preferably San Marzano)
• 2/3 cup evoo, divided
• 1 large yellow onion, diced
• 1 celery stalk, diced
• 1 small fennel bulb, diced
• 3 large cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 Parmesan rind 
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Strain the chopped tomatoes, reserving the juice and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/3 cup of evoo and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in 425 F oven until caramelized, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Saute the onion, celery, fennel, garlic and thyme until softened and transparent, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved juice, chicken stock, bay leaf and Parmesan rind.

Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender about 20 minutes.

5. Remove the remaining Parmesan rind and using an immersion blender puree the soup until smooth. You can also use a traditional blender, make sure to only fill the blender half full of the hot soup otherwise you will have a hot mess splattered all over your kitchen.

Season to taste and garnish with grated Parmesan, a glug of evoo and fresh fennel fronds (if your bulb had any attached).


Victoria Greenstreet is inspired by seasonal ingredients. Her focus is whole foods and gluten-free cookery. She is a classically trained chef, freelance food writer, stylist and photographer.  She is currently working on her first cookbook. Visit her blog Honey Dumplings for more recipes and culinary adventures.



3/24/2014

Scottish oatcakes, delicious and crispy crackers that taste wonderful with jam, have been a staple since the 14th century. If you’re looking for a gluten-free take on this traditional treat, check out the following recipe courtesy Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, a distinctive stone grinding miller of whole grains.

The amount of sugar in this recipe is minimal so that the cakes can be used in both sweet and savory applications. If you want a sweeter oatcake, increase the amount of sugar to 1 tablespoon. Alternatively, omit the sugar completely for a truly savory concoction. Check back next week for another great recipe from Bob’s Red Mill.

Scottish Oatcakes

Gluten-Free Scottish Oatcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

• 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Scottish Oatmeal
• 6 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Sorghum Flour
• 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
• 3/4 teaspoons Bob’s Red Mill Evaporated Cane Sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon butter, melted
• 1/2 cup hot water

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Scottish Oatmeal in a bowl with Bob’s Red Mill Sorghum Flour, tapioca starch, Bob’s Red Mill Evaporated Cane Sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir until combined.

3. Add butter and stir until evenly distributed. With a fork, mix in water just until moistened; let sit for 5 minutes.

4. Gather dough into a ball and flatten slightly.  Place dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. With a 2- to 3-inch round cutter, cut dough into rounds. Re-roll and cut scraps. Place oatcakes about 1/4-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake until Scottish Oatcakes are golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Enjoy plain, serve with jam or cheese, or use to build hors d’oeuvres. Serves 12 to 16.


Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods offers a diverse line of more than 400 all-natural, organic and gluten-free flours, cereals, meals and mixes for pancakes, breads and soups that are available all around the world.





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