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The Best Cabbage Soup Evar

After debuting onstage as a star for Mad King Thomas (really, it even participated in a kick line), this cabbage honorably reincarnated itself as delicious cabbage soup. You, too, can cook yourself a star cabbage soup.

You will need:

Half an hour to 45 minutes

A big soup pot and a ladle

Olive oil

Some small potatoes, skins on, in 1/4 inch cubes

Half a red onion, sliced

Can of navy beans

4 c veggie broth

Cabbage, sliced into thin strips

Boiled sausage from the farmer’s market, optional

A stove, or a fire

Seasonings, such as salt, Old Bay, garlic salt, and pepper

Cook potato cubes in olive oil for five minutes on medium high. Salt them for added dehydrating effect. Add onions. Cook for five minutes more. Add beans and broth. Cook for five minutes more. Add cabbage. Simmer. Season. Top with farmer’s market sausage if you are of the carnivorous variety.

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Make Your Jack-o-Lantern and Eat It Too

In honor of Sasha, this post is about eating your jack-o-lantern.

Image from

Instead of letting all the perfectly good pumpkin food go to waste, it’s possible to make tons of sweet and savory treats from your Halloween decor. Carved jack-o-lanterns keep several days before they start rotting. Cut away any rotting parts before you cook. Instead of sooty candles, the the Ultimate Cheapskate recommends using an electric light.

When cutting, remove the seeds, rinse them, dry them, salt them, season them, and bake them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet in a 250′ oven for around an hour. Stir every 20 minutes.

Scrape out as much pulp as you can. Steam it for 30 minutes or until it’s tender, then puree it in a blender.

Painted jack-o-lanterns are OK too, but make sure you don’t get paint in the food. Pop them in the oven and bake them to make the skin flake off.

How-to from Mother Earth News:
1. Remove any paint with metal pot scrubber, or peel skin off.
2. Scrape out seeds and stringy fibers with soup spoon.
3. Cut pumpkin into 4-6 pieces, or keep whole and replace the cap when scooped
4. Place on greased cookie sheet
5. Bake at 350’F until tender (about an hour, or an hour and a half if whole)
6. If whole, pour off any collected liquied
7. Cool it quickly in cold water and drain. Cut the meat away from the skin and puree it to remove lumps.
8. If you have lots of pumpkin puree, pack it into pint or quart jars or freeze.

You can make pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread….

Some more ideas from Frugal Fun:

1. Pumpkin butter
(pureed pumpkin plus mace, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and apples)
2. Pumpkin soup
(pumpkin, hot pepper, apple, garlic, almonds, mozzarella)
3. Pumpkin chocolate chip bars
4. Pumpkin chips
5. Chilean Squash Casserole (from Moosewood Cookbook)
(pumpkin, cheddar cheese, carrots, cumin, salsa)
6. Pumpkin latkes
(grated with eggs, onions, and flour, and fry patties)
7. Thai pumpkin curry
8. Baked pumpkin seeds
9. Pumpkin pie
10. Stuffed pumpkin
(vegetables, cheese, milk, bread crumbs, spices)

If you don’t like eating pumpkin, there are still ways to get another use out of it – Gaiam Life recommends composting or donating it to your local zoo.

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OMG Veggie Meal Plans!

Can anybody say, “Godsend?”

image © 2007-2008 Cassie Young,

So I basically don’t cook anymore (thanks, holidays), but almost want to just to try out some of the gorgeous meals on this site.

Cassie Young, 39, from British Columbia generously shares recipes from her real life dinners.

Swiss Chard Soft Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa? Butternut-Pecan Pancakes? Red Lentil Dal, Roti, Curried Cauliflower and Peas?

Yes please!

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Produce in Season

As it is wintertime, and the idea that we can eat raspberries all year round is a bit silly, this tool from the government in Victoria, Australia seems like a pretty cool idea. You see a list of produce available in the area, click on it, and then recipes come up.

Here is a pretty guide to seasonal produce from the Food Network.

And here is a Southern California harvest chart.

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Homemade Bread

Well, I don’t know if this is particularly environmentally friendly per se, but it certainly cuts out a transit step (blah blah carbon emissions blah).. pretty much, it’s fun to make your own bread. I like food much better when I see everything that goes into it.

White Bread Recipe
2h30m time commitment: 20 minutes prep, 2 hours waiting.
Shopping list: sugar, active dry yeast, salt, vegetable oil, about 1/2 bag flour.
Stuff you should have: bread pan, big bowl, strong stirring spoon, liquid measure (a pyrex), dry measure (1 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 tablespoon, 1/2 teaspoon), serrated bread knife and cutting board (for eating!)

2 cups warm water
2/3 cup white sugar
1.5 tablespoons active dry yeast
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

Large bowl: dissolve sugar in warm water, then stir in the yeast. The yeast is happiest with a warm environment and food to eat, so don’t boil the poor buggers to death. Wait until the yeast start eating – you can tell when the bowl has a layer of creamy foam.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Do not forget the oil like I did. This will require much kneading later and chewier bread.

Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. I like to clean off the countertop and dump a thin layer of flour straight onto it because then I can pretend I have a bakery.

As my mom says, “When the dough looks smooth like a baby’s bottom,” put it in an oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down! I think this gets the air out so you don’t end up with big bubbles in your bread. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans.
Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. Preheat your oven when it’s almost risen. On second thought, don’t preheat.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

This stuff is made with white flour, so it’s pretty much cake with less sugar, but you can modify it with wheat flour and honey, says my mom who made it as a hippie health nut back in her early 20s.

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Acorn Squash stuffed with Pilaf

As fall approaches, why not enjoy some seasonable vegetables? After all, in-season produce is less likely to be flown in from Chile and more likely to have been grown locally.

Here’s vaguely what you do:

Grease shallow pan.
Cut squash in half.
Clean out seeds (save for roasting!).
Placed squash open side down and bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Cook brown rice – Uncle Ben’s goes fastest, admittedly. You can throw some carrots in here for cooking.

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil. Add diced apples. Stir in lentils.

Stir cooked rice/carrot/onion/apple/lentil mixture together. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Here is your pilaf!
Spoon this into your finished squash. Top with grated cheese if you’re not vegan.

Then, turn the oven down to 300 and remove flesh from the seeds. Salt them and cover them with olive oil. Make sure you remove the covers from your stove burners as this is where the moisture vents out – I once broke an oven roasting pumpkin seeds with the stove burners left covered.

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Green Breakfast

So I’ve finally replaced daily trips to Starbucks or the bagel shop with green tea and a protein smoothie. I like to re-use POM tea glasses or Acher Farms juice bottles to take them along to work with me. Saves money, time, a car trip and empty calories.

Here is my protein shake recipe:

1 banana
1/2 c vanilla yoghurt
1 c orange juice OR milk
1 c frozen strawberries, raspberries, mangoes, peaches, or blueberries
OR 3 tbsp. almond butter (use milk instead of orange juice. ew. also, freeze your banana ahead of time)
1 scoop protein powder

This packs about 30 grams of protein for breakfast overall, more if you use milk & almond butter. Not bad, eh?

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