From the earth….

Root vegetables, I have realized….are amazing and delicious and well….amazing.  This is the simplest recipe to prepare, with only a few simple seasonings, some beautiful root vegetables and a good knife needed.  I sliced up a few of my favorites; multi colored carrots, red potatoes, leeks, beets, acorn squash, and something new to me, celery root. I also through in some Brussels sprouts because I had them and I love their nutty flavor.  I tossed the veg with some olive oil and sprinkled them with coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper and threw in a few plucked sprigs of fresh thyme. Roasting them for 30-45 minutes brings out the sweetness of each vegetable and the flavors burst. After roasting the vegetables, I let them cool completely while I made a roasted garlic vinaigrette.  I assembled the salad by topping a serving platter with a big pile of greens. I used a mix of kale, spinach, chard, beet and mustard greens.  I nestled the roasted veg in the greens, making sure each area contained all of the vegetables so that it would be easy to serve a spoonful with everything included.  I topped the salad with large shavings of Parmesan and drizzled with the roasted garlic vinaigrette, right before serving.  Beautiful, natural, from the earth goodness!  Good for you and good for me.

My tips:  Use a large (and sharp) kitchen knife to cut up your vegetables.  Vegetables like butternut squash can be tricky without a good knife.  Make sure your vegetables are cut at the same thickness. This will help them to roast evenly.

Before and after……

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DIY: Growing Sprouts

 

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I’ve been growing my own sprouts in my kitchen for a few years now.  I had the hardest time finding them at the grocery store and when I did find them, they only lasted a short time before they were slimy.  I gave up on relying on my grocery store and started to grow my own.  It is so easy, requires little maintenance, NO dirt and you can grow them right in your kitchen.  This is a GREAT project for your kids as well.  Although, I still can’t get my kids on board with eating them, but at least they can have fun growing them for me!

The supply list is short.

Seeds – My favorite: a spicy blend of clover, fenugreek and radish seeds, Alfalfa seeds are another favorite of mine.
Sprouting Lid – I ordered my lids on Etsy
Mason Jar(s) – I like to use a 24oz. jar to grow my sprouts and a 16oz. to store them in.

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I typically grow a tablespoon of seeds at a time.  One full tablespoon will give you a least 2 cups of finished sprouts. Place your seeds in your growing jar with the mesh lid. Rinse them a few times.  You will need to soak your seeds.  This breaks down the hull and allows the sprouting to happen.  Fill your jar with 3 times as much water as seeds and allow to soak overnight.

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The next morning, drain your seeds and rinse them a few times.  Shake the seeds around the jar to space them out a bit.  Rest your jar (downward) in a bowl with a towel to catch the excess water that will drain out.  *The seed water stains badly, so use a towel that you don’t care about staining.

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Rinse seeds and drain twice daily.  Store in area with low humidity and out of direct sunlight.  On about the 4th day, place rinsed seed jar in indirect sunlight so sprouts can develop their green chlorophyll leaves.  This will take just one day.  After green leaves have sprouted, you will need to pull all sprouts out of the jar for a final rinse.

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I place my sprouts in a large bowl of water and swirl them around a bit with my hand.  The hulls from the seeds will float to the top and (mostly) to the side of the bowl.  I scoop the hulls out with a large spoon and re-rinse until most of the hulls are gone.

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Drain your sprouts well on a clean towel.  I store my sprouts in a glass jar in my refrigerator.  They last for about 2 weeks.  They are perfect for topping a sandwich or sprinkling over a salad.  I like to eat them straight up as a snack as well!

Sprouts…oh, how I love thee!

I get happy cravings for sprouts.  My favorite is a huge layer of spicy sprouts on a pita sandwich.  They are great in salads and I have been known to eat them by the ‘pinch full’ as a Good-for-Me snack.  They are the perfect green ‘crunch’ and they are so good for you.  They can be hard to find at the grocery though.  I remember searching for them years ago and finding out there was a recall on them due to an E coli breakout in our area.  So, I stopped my search and worry about E coli (yuck!) and  started to grow my own sprouts.  It only required a few tools, (i.e., a jar and seeds) no dirt, minimal care and I could do it in my kitchen.  The result was fabulous!  It’s been years since I’ve bought them.  I’ll share how to grow your own in the coming week…..

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