Real Food

Eat the Weeds! Fried Dandelion Flowers

Eat the Weeds! Fried Dandelion Flowers

Our lawn has become a sea of dandelions. Their vibrant yellow flowers dance in unison to the cool spring breeze. We are certainly overdue for cutting the lawn, but until i force myself to do so, we will keep enjoying the nutritious wild foods that have emerged from the ground. This past weekend, while hosting some close friends, we enjoyed a few wild food feasts. I whipped up a tasty fried dandelion flower dish that was perfectly paired with some aged fermented tomato salsa.

Lemon Peppered Fried Smelt

Lemon Peppered Fried Smelt

I grew up along the southern coast of New England, so for me, I have always enjoyed the taste of fried fish during the summer months. Unfortunately, this cooking technique is less then optimal. For the last 30 years or so, the use of traditional animal fats in restaurants have pretty much been completely replaced by omega-6 rich vegetable oils.

Broccoli & Blood Oranges

Broccoli & Blood Oranges

Citrus season is here! Grapefruits, tangelos, tangerines, and juicing oranges are one of my most appreciated "imports" come late winter. After several months of eating grounding roots and hearty meat based stews, adding in citrus fruits and fresh pressed juice is my favorite way to begin my real food "cleanse" for spring.

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Not much explaining to do here. This easy recipe is straight forward and damn good tasting. Sweet and savory collide for an unusually great pairing of bacon and dates. As the dates heat up they ooze with caramel flavor. While the bacon crisps up, it oozes with salty-smokey flavor.

Pork & Ginger Pot Stickers

pot stickers

Last week, while shopping at our local coop, I got inspired to make pot stickers. But, I planned on taking a  shortcut and use premade wrappers. I know, how could I?  Ha, anyways, they didn't have any and since I had already picked out the ingredients to go into this yummy Chinese staple, I decided I would make the wrappers from scratch. When I got home, I checked out an old recipe book I had from Ming Tsai. I remember watching him on the food network back when I was just getting out of culinary school, I found him very inspiring. Just as I thought, I found a simple recipe. Making and kneading the dough takes very little time, and the wrapping goes pretty quickly once you get the hang of it. As you can see by the photo, I didn't exactly shape these "properly", but when you have a young child tugging on your shirt to be held, swung, and biked around the house, I'll take what I can get.

The filling is easily adjustable, so vegans and vegetarians take note! Roast 1-2 sweet potatoes until soft, then scoop out the flesh and replace with the ground pork. I've used sprouted spelt flour here for the dough, which to me digests well and doesn't feel "heavy" when eating them. You'll get about 16-20 dumplings from this recipe.

Pork & Ginger Pot Stickers

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces ground Pork  *Replace with roasted sweet potato for vegetarian option
  • 1 cup chopped Napa Cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated Ginger
  • 2 garlic Cloves, minced
  • 3 green Onions, sliced thin
  • 1/4 tsp ground Red Chili
  • A few splashes Ume Plum Vinegar
  • A few splashes Nama Shoyu

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups Sprouted Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3/4-1 cup Boiled Water (As Needed)
Orange-Miso Dipping Sauce:
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • 2 Tbsp South River Miso
  • 2-3 Tbsp Nama Shoyu
Use a fork or whisk to combine these ingredients, then set aside.
Preparation:
  1. First, prep the dough. Combine the flour w/ the sea salt then slowly add the water while mixing.
  2. Add just enough water to form a ball then bring to a work surface.
  3. Sprinkle some additional flour on your work surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. This takes about 5 minutes.  Cover w/ a damp cloth and allow to rest for an hour.
  4. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, stir together everything until evenly mixed throughout. Cook a tester to make sure the filling is to your liking.

Rolling and Filling:

  1. Once rested, work with a lightly floured surface, cut the dough in half, then roll into a long 1 inch thick tube. Cut about 1/2 inch pieces and flatten using a rolling pin. You want the wrappers to be about 1/16 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. *If you don't have proper utensils to cut the rounds, use a lid from a wide mouth Mason jar to cut your circles.
  2. Place about 2-3 tsp of the pork mixture and place them into the middle of the wrapper. Be mindful not to get any on the edges, because that can keep them from sticking together.
  3. Bring both sides together to form a half moon shape. Crimp the edges to seal then set aside on a lightly floured sheet pan. For tips, check out this video.

Cooking Method:

The pot stickers can be baked, steamed, or pan fried. The Choice is Yours!

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few Tablespoons of coconut or peanut oil. Add enough pot stickers to fill the pan but don't over crowd them.
  2. Brown on one side, then flip to brown the other. At this point, you can place directly in the oven. bake for 5-8 minutes. This will yield a crisp out shell.
  3. For a more doughy texture, after browning, pour in 8 ounces of stock or water, cover and allow to steam for 2-3 minutes. The reduced liquid forms a nice glaze. YUM!
  4. Serve with the dipping sauce and enjoy!