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Lentil Soup December 13, 2016

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It has been very cold, so I’ve been making lots of different soups. Soups warm you up inside and out, and are very filling.

One of my basics that I make quite often is lentil soup. If you aren’t familiar with lentils, then I suggest that you google them, They are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=52)

I usually add a carrot, but I didn’t have any. I did, however have a sweet potato, so I used that instead. I’m flexible like that. 🙂 It was just as good. I had half of a tomato, so i threw that in, too,. You can start this soup simmering a few hours before you want to eat, and most of that time this takes is the soup cooking.

Ingredients:

2 cups lentils, rinsed

Water to cover, about 4 cups

Garlic and onion, diced, about ¼ cup

¼ to ½ cup carrot or sweet potato, diced

1/2 of a tomato, diced

1 teaspoon veggie bouillon

Bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, cayenne, to taste.

¼ to ½ cup cheese, optional

Directions:

Simmer lentils in water about 1 ½ hours, until almost tender, Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer about another 15-20, or until done.

Stir in cheese, if desired. This is good with corn bread and a salad.

 

Chocolate Coffee Biscotti October 15, 2016

Filed under: Cooking,guides,Homes,Uncategorized — misscilicia @ 11:07 pm
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These are an Italian breakfast cookie, made to be dunked into your morning cup of coffee. The name appropriately means twice-baked. It is a stormy autumn day and thus perfect for making the house smell good and baking something yummy. I have been invited to Sunday brunch tomorrow by a very nice new friend, and I am making these as a hostess gift. Sssshhh. Don’t tell her. 🙂

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ cup unsweetened cocoa

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup sugar

 

1/3 cup canola oil

¼ cup brewed coffee

¼ cup almond or other plant based milk

 

¼ cup walnuts, chopped, optional

 

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredients well. Mix the next three ingredients together. Pour oil mixture into the flour and stir well. Add more liquid if needed. Add walnuts. This will make a soft dough. Half the dough and roll each out into 1” logs. Place on unoiled cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes. It should still be soft when you take it out. Let rest for about 10 or 15 minutes. Cut into ½ “pieces and return to a 375-degree oven and bake for another 20 minutes. They should be crispy after baking the second time to hold up to being dunked. This makes about two dozen pieces.

 

ENJOY!

 

CACIO E PEPE September 2, 2016

Filed under: Cooking,guides,Homes,Uncategorized — misscilicia @ 5:55 pm
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The seasonal change in light has a big affect on me. I feel the change as the bright, brilliant summer light gives way to the softer, weaker sun of the autumn season. It leaves me feeling a bit melancholy and low-spirited. Does anyone else feel this way? This past Tuesday was when I felt the light sifting as another season slipped away. I have by now figured out ways to combat this feeling, by burning candles and stringing white lights all over inside, and I adjust pretty quickly.

The good thing about this change is that I feel like cooking and eating again. I’ve never had much appetite in the summer time and mostly just munch on whatever’s ripe in my garden. I made myself a new recipe last night and I think it came out well enough to share.  Like most of my recipes, it is quick and easy to prepare.

Ingredients:

6 oz. pasta

1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Several fresh basil leaves, diced

About ¼ cup reserved pasta water

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. I also added a sprinkling of cayenne.

 

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

While pasta is cooking, put the rest of the ingredients, except the pasta water, in a large bowl and mix well. When the pasta is done, drain, remembering to reserve some of the water, and add cooked pasta to the bowl and stir, adding enough water to help coat the pasta. Serve with French garlic bread and salad, if desired.

 

ENJOY!

 

Sweet & Sour Zucchini Salad August 27, 2016

Filed under: Cooking,guides,Homes,Uncategorized — misscilicia @ 6:19 pm
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This recipe is inspired by my mom. She gave it to me the last time we visited and gave me a serving of this salad. Since I have more zucchinis than I can possible eat or even give away, I made a big ol’ batch. I’ve modified this recipe slightly and cut it in half, so you can easily double it if desired.

Ingredients:
½ of a large zucchini-cut small
½ red onion-diced
Minced jalapeno, to taste
2-4 cloves garlic-diced
½ green pepper-diced
1 tablespoon organic sugar
1 tablespoon agave
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon tamari-optional
1 tablespoon dill
1 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Dice the veggies, put in bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.
This is even better the next day, after it has marinated.

Enjoy!

 

Black Bean Dip May 7, 2016

Filed under: Cooking,guides,Homes — misscilicia @ 10:17 pm
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Yummy Black Bean Dip

My office just had its first art of the year. (My “day-job” is a Realtor.) It was a blast and I had a lot of fun. The first Farmer’s Market of the year was held at the same time. As a veggie addict, I was thrilled. Since it was eve of Cinco de Mayo, I made a black bean dip for the Art Walk and served it with corn chips. I made a large bowl and it all disappeared quickly. I make beans from scratch, but if you wish, you can use canned beans. Pinto beans would work well too, but since black beans are my favorite, I used them. They have an astonishing nutritional profile, besides being delicious. This makes up really quickly, once the beans are cooked. And, here’s my recipe.

Ingredients:

 2 cups black beans

¼ to ½ red onion, depending on your taste, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, diced

Cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.

Lot of cilantro, if you like it.

Salsa or Salsa Verde to taste

1 small container of sour cream

 Directions:

Put beans in food processor, or smash them with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. That’s it—you’re done!

 

ENJOY!

 

Cheese & Veggie Quesadilla March 27, 2016

Filed under: Cooking,guides,Homes,Uncategorized — misscilicia @ 12:38 am
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Quesadilla

 

Cheese & Veggie Quesadilla

A quesadilla is my fallback meal when I’m too hungry to cook anything that takes more than 10 minutes. Another great thing about them is that I can get a lot of veggies in one. I do loooove my veggies. The ones I add depend on the season and the contents of my veggie drawer. I dice the veggies and they cook a bit as the cheese melts. I always start with red onion and a clove of garlic. Tomato, zucchini, spinach, bell pepper, olives and tomatillos are some good veggies to add. You can serve it with some leftover beans and/or rice too, if you have some on hand. I usually favor pepper jack cheese, but last time I tried queso, the traditional Mexican cheese. It was very good. Vegan cheeses works well too.

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole wheat tortilla

¼ to ½ diced veggies of your choice

3 or 4 slices cheese, thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Optional: Salsa and avocado

 

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oil on medium in pan for a few minutes. Put in tortilla and heat on one side. Flip over and put cheese and veggies on one side and fold in half. Sautee on one side until crisp, then turn over and cook until the other side is crisp. Cut into quarters and top with salsa and sliced avocado, if desired. Plate and eat.

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Quesadilla

ENJOY!

 

5 Minute Salsa Verde October 5, 2015

Filed under: Cooking,Homes — misscilicia @ 10:33 pm
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5 Minute Salsa Verde

5 Minute Salsa Verde

After several year’s absence, I have volunteer tomatillos this year, and the plants are loaded. In case you aren’t familiar with these, Wikipedia tells us, “The tomatillo, also known as the Mexican husk tomato, is a plant of the nightshade family bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico and were cultivated in the pre-Columbian era.”

My favorite thing to do when I have a bounty of them is to make some yummy salsa verde. Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients:

About 20 Tomatillos

½ White onion (I only had a red onion, so I cheated and used it.)

3-5 Cloves garlic, to taste

Lots of cilantro, if you love it like me. Optional

3-5  green chilies, to taste

1 lime, juiced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons Oregano

1 Tablespoon Cumin (My secret ingredient!)

Directions:

Place everything in the food processor and process for 2-3 minutes, or until desired consistency. Remove from processor and break out the chips! This is good with anything that any kind of salsa  with eaten with, such as Mexican food, and over eggs.

ENJOY!