Monday, March 17, 2008

Saint Patrick's Day Green Mashed Potatoes

Here's a fun idea to serve with dinner for St. Patricks day tonight. As much fun as green beer and cupcakes can be, this way of turning your meal green using parsley actually adds more nutrients to the dish, rather than taking any away. Parsley is a very nutrient dense food, high in anti-oxidants.

Start with 6-8 medium sized potatoes. You can use any kind but I prefer red potatoes because I don't peel my potatoes and the red skins are usually less tough. (There are a lot of nutrients in the skin, vitamin C, folic Acid, minerals, and I like to keep those in the food instead of taking them out.)

Sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil (Extra virgin-it's green :)
6-8 cloves of garlic-minced
4-5 tbsp butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk (You can substitute broth for milk with nice results, but it's a little less creamy.)
one thick bunch of parsley
Fresh ground pepper
Goat cheese or cream cheese-Optional and more fatty, but very delicious. The goat cheese adds a nice sharp flavor and protein.

Dice the potatoes. I like to make the pieces pretty small so that the peel is cut up more and there aren't any big chunks in the mashed potatoes.

Place the diced potatoes in a pot and add cold water until it covers the potatoes. Add a generous splash of sea salt. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are soft through and break apart when you stick a fork in them.

Remove them from heat and drain the water. You can save this salty potato water for use in soups and breads, it's full of minerals. Put the butter in the drained potatoes so it melts right away. (If you are using cheese now is the time to add it too.)

While the potatoes are cooking, in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium low heat, saute the garlic in the olive oil. Be careful not to burn. Stop as soon as the garlic starts to give off a nutty aroma.

Wash the parsley. Coarsely chop the parsley, stems and all.

Place the parsley, olive oil and garlic mixture, and 1/4 cup of milk in a blender or food processor. Blend until the parsley is very small and the mixture is smooth.

Mash potatoes. If you are doing it by hand, mash them and then stir in the parsley and garlic mixture. If they need more liquid add more milk or broth. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Your potatoes will turn out green.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Thursday, March 13, 2008

home made iced coffee, save money and use leftovers

Every morning my husband wakes up, fills the french press with coffee and boils the water. He fills his travel mug and leaves for work leaving behind almost exactly one more cup of coffee. I don't drink coffee, can't stand the stuff. My husband won't reheat old coffee. So every day I was pouring money down the sink in the form of this wasted cup of coffee. Granted it is still cheaper than a trip to Starbucks every morning, but still. Waste not want not is a motto I was raised on. I started to freeze the stuff, thinking I'd find a use for it eventually, and then, I had a big duh moment.

My husband also likes the iced coffees that Starbucks offers, with the names like frappacino, for $2.50 a bottle. So one day I poured the leftover coffee into a jar. I used a salsa jar, you could use a recycled frappacino bottle from Starbucks. I added sugar (Organic evaporated cane juice actually) , I added cream. I put the lid on and shook it all together before putting it in the fridge. Then I slipped it into his lunch box the next day.

The result?

He tells me it tastes good. Almost exactly like the store bought version in fact. He's been taking it every day since and has been enjoying an iced coffee at lunch out of what was essentially waste before.
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