Day 2 of the 100-yard diet

Monday: day 2

For breakfast, I experimented with amaranth. This is a tiny round grain that grows from a decorative, easy to grow plant (they are in fact often weeds); the leaves are also edible. I grew some last year – just a couple of plants – but not knowing what to do with it, the harvested grain was just sitting around in a jar.

I cooked 1/3 cup amaranth in 1 cup water, it takes about 10-15 minutes to cook. To
serve, I added honey and milk. It’s tasty, but doesn’t stick together in the bowl
and does stick in the teeth… probably better as flour. Along with the cereal, I
also had hard boiled eggs.

Midmorning I put a butternut squash in the sun oven to bake. After a couple of hours, out it came and in went the garbanzos to simmer. The sun oven is great this time of year, I can cook without heating up the house (we don’t have A/C).

Bread is very easy to mix with the bread machine; but we always take it out and bake in regular loaf pans or in whatever other form is useful, it comes out much nicer. We use the same basic recipe we use for bread, pizza dough, burger buns, etc. In the simplest form:
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups wheat flour (this took the whole pound of wheat from yesterday)
1 1/4 teaspoon yeast

Today I formed the dough into pita bread to go with the falafel. A little heavy with all home ground whole wheat flour, but good flavor and we like a good hearty bread.

For lunch it was quick to make turkey salad with some leftover turkey, our own chevre thinned with milk to give it a mixable cream cheese texture, and chopped sweet red pepper. Add a slice of home grown tomato (Big Rainbow), put in a pita and it made a delicious sandwich.

For dinner, soup and falafel sandwiches. I roasted some sweet and hot red peppers, fried a small onion, and pureed both with half the baked squash, a little cumin, salt and pepper, then thinned with goat yogurt to soup consistencey; and it resulted in a really delicious, spicy soup.

The falafel was just okay; cooked garbanzos, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, and a bit of flour. Garbanzo beans (they are really a type of pea) are the easiest dry bean to grow and harvest, I think; they tolerate some frost, so they can be planted early and harvested early before the really hot dry weather sets in, and since they are big it’s easy to separate the dried beans from the pods. The parsley reseeded itself in the perennial garden. Coriander is the seed of cilantro, and since my cilantro usually flowers before I have many leaves, I do have coriander seed. All this was blended together, formed into patties and baked. The falafels were served in pita bread, along with chopped cucumber, tomato and yogurt sauce. Maybe I don’t have the right recipe, or maybe they just are better deep fried…

There’s so much to eat around me, though it all does takes effort to prepare, but I’ve been oddly hungry today. I’m afraid my body is used to more simple carbohydrates, sugar and white flour. It’s eye opening since Jay and I thought our diet was pretty good already. But now, how much more so, with nothing that came from a factory, nothing from the Iowa cornfields, nothing refined, no additives, no packaging… this is the way real food really is.

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