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swampyankee

Asian Vegetables in Non-Asian Dishes

Although I think of napa cabbage as Asian it makes good sauerkraut. And bok choy in chicken noodle soup is good!

Zero-Calorie Food Tricks--

Lately when I'm making a pasta dish with sauce I reserve a cup of the starchy pasta cooking water, drain the pasta while a little al dente, then combine the cup starchy water, pasta and sauce and cook for a another minute until sauce really coats the pasta. It makes the sauce more clingy if that makes sense. Also works really well with dishes with veggies etc but no sauce to keep pasta from being too dry.

Ideas for egglant puree other than baba ghanoush

Try on pizza instead of tomato sauce, with lots of garlic and Parmesan!

What Do You Drink When You're Sick?

Ginger tea with orange juice and cayenne pepper. Along the lines of some of the other ones but it's not as bad as it sounds.

What is your favourite soup cookbook?

Deborah Madison's Vegetable Soups. And a third for soup bible.

Chicken & Waffle Potato Chips

Too much maple, not well balanced flavor, wanted to like them but didn't.

Easy Two Night Dinners

Chili in the slow cooker one night, then chili over spaghetti the next night. And I second the idea to cook a ton of chicken one night and use the leftovers for a second meal. I don't like eating thing two nights in a row but if I change something, like the seasoning or the side dishes, it works.

Skillet Suppers

Seconded! I love the recipes but lately the articles seem to favor a lot of restaurant reviews. More recipes!

The Pros and Cons of Joining a CSA

Good article! CSAs aren't for everyone, like you said, they are a good bargain if you don't mind being flexible and you eat a lot of produce. But for people who like to plan ahead of time and then shop based on that, you can still support farmers by shopping at farmer's markets. Many farmers participate in both because a CSA guarantees some upfront income early in the season to help with purchasing supplies while a market offers higher prices but is unpredictable.

Do You Frequently Get Take Out?

I don't often get takeout because if I'm going to spend the money I want the full eating out experience. A couple times a year I'll cave and get Chinese take out or pizza. If anything, my grocery store does really good prepared food so I'll get something from there.

But if I had your situation I certainly would, I'm jealous!

Her Shot: Beer Me.

I guess what bugs me is they basically just had the discussion with themselves. I'm having trouble buying they really want my input on this for anything other than marketing reasons. Tip to poster: Post something simpler like: "The old stereotype was blah blah blah. This seems to be changing. Do you agree and why?"

That I might respond to. I can't describe exactly what bugs me so much, maybe the fact that by trying to sound so NOT sexist, it actually still reads a little sexist to me? Like swearing off stereotypes in one paragraph and then in the next telling me that because i'm a woman in your age bracket I'm less likely to shop at Walmart?

Why You Should Compost Your Coffee Grounds

I worked at a coffee shop and took home grounds for my own compost heap. I second the recommendation to tip the baristsa (veggies are good!) because although its not a big deal, it is an extra thing to keep track of in a busy cafe so they are doing you a favor! (Yes you are also doing the cafe a favor by cutting down on garbage but the baristas don't personally pay to throw away garbage so you can see how it doesn't make a big difference to them.)

If you find the right person, and pick up the grounds regularly, I think plenty would be happy to do it for you!

Your opinion on a food business idea targeted at foodies

Is there ANY exchange of money in this service? Is this something you personally feel the need for? Because I don't. I wouldn't really be comfortable taking/giving produce to people I'm not personally aqainted with. And I sure as heck wouldn't let a stranger stomp through my garden to pick their own produce (that's just me though...spread of disease etc is a concern if you are organic.)

Lastly, what about liability? Sad to say but this seems like a good way to get sued if someone gets sick.

Alternate suggestion: set up a club of people who all personally know each other and swap produce. Drive any excess to a local food bank.

growing herbs... I'm torn!?!

I had a problem with bunnies eating the herbs in pots on my porch, surrounding them with marigolds helped. Starting seeds can be tricky and takes longer and since you don't need a ton of herb plants I'd just buy plants.

The exception would be things that don't like to be transplanted, like dill and maybe cilantro? Those you might be better off seeding in place. Good luck!

(Last resort: our cats kept eating our catnip down to the ground so we put a chicken wire cage around it, not pretty but it works and they get to eat whatever grows outside the cage.)

ISO Gluten-Soy-Dairy Free Soup Base and Other Products

Pasta D'Oro is corn pasta and pretty good. It's kinda like eating polenta in pasta form.

And watch out for stuff like oats that should be gluten free, as someone else mentioned unless it says gluten free it could have been contaminated.

Kitchen Basics stock is gluten and dairy free, not sure about the soy though.

over the years worked hard in high school

I dunno I honestly got a laugh out of reading this one. I say leave it.

Can you share a easy and quick dinner recipe?

Can refried beans + salsa = dip/taco/burrito filling. Add cheese and guacamole and you're really living it up.

Concerned about sodium? Use canned whole beans, rinse well and mash yourself. I recently read you can wash up to 40% of the sodium off canned beans...although I'd take that statistic with a grain of salt...hehe.

Gadgets: Excalibur Dehydrator

We got my mom one of these for Xmas one year. Some models don't have a built in timer but from what I've read you can just go to a hardware store and get a timer that you plug it into.

It works great for apples, if you pick your own or can get cheap ones at the farmer's market (maybe funny looking ones) it's not too expensive and they are way better than the kinds you can buy.

Also we live in a very humid area so things people can air dry (sun dried tomatoes...more like sun mold tomatoes) we have to use this for. Dried cherry tomatoes from the garden are sweet and delicious!

I'd love to hear any really interesting things people have dried with one of these.

The Vegan Experience: Grilled Marinated Heart Of Palm Tacos

Sweet potatoes make for lots of vegan friendly tacos! I usually have guacamole on mine and often I bake the pieces along with peppers and onions. Corn and black beans go well too and I even have put kale on which turned out good!

Chili powder is a sweet potatoes best friend. (Also I'm not vegan, but I still eat these tacos.) Very intrigued by using hearts of palm, I'm gonna try it!

What is your favorite shape of pasta or noodle?

penne rigate (the smooth penne just creeps me out)

Supermarket Smackdown

I believe only Rhode Islanders will know about this one...but I'm loyal to Dave's. It's just the right size, not tiny but also not so giant that I feel like I've gone for a hike by the time I get to the checkout. And this being RI (a state so small it seems like you've met everybody at some point) I once met the guy who manages all of them and he told me about the way demographic differences even within a town with two stores make for big differences in what they sell...which at the time was interesting but as I type this I'm starting to wonder if I need to redefine my definition of interesting...

Vacation Advice: US Virgin Islands

@erinlovestoeat those dishes sound amazing!

thanks for the recommendations everyone, I'm taking notes!

We're actually staying on Coral Bay so Sweet Plaintains and Skinny Legs are on my definite list.

Bad wine club

No experience with wine clubs but the guys at my liquor store (not fancy but a decent selection and at least one staff member who is really interested) always have good suggestions. I find it helps to be explicit about price up front (I'm looking for a $10 bottle etc.) and then tell them a couple things you like, even if you don't know the technical terms for what you like you can always tell them a wine you did like and ask for something else similar.

Best option: rope a bunch of friends into a wine tasting, set a $10 upper limit, put them in brown bags so it's a blind tasting and you'll get to sample a bunch but for the price of one bottle!

Wilted Kale Salad - substitutions

I've eaten raw collards used as an alternative to a wrap. It wasn't nearly as tough as I expected (you have to take out that center rib though.) This makes me think you could certainly use it like raw kale. Some salt, acid and massaging should tenderize it and I personally like the flavor better than kale!

Horse meat, Should we worry about our own ?

I don't have any problem eating horse meat (I actually really don't like horses) but for me this just highlights the problem with ground meat (or pulverized chicken meat in nuggets): the more processed something is the easier it would be for contaminants to go unnoticed.

That being said...I still eat hot dogs. I just always assume they have raccoon in them.

Vacation Advice: US Virgin Islands

I'm lucky enough to be going to the US Virgin Islands for my honeymoon in a couple weeks. Looking for any recommendations really, looking for more of what the locals eat, probably won't go out to more than one fancy dinner. We'll mostly be on St. John but might have a day or two on St. Thomas.

Bonus points for ways to kill time in Logan or San Juan Airport!

Do good spatulas still exist?

I'm at my wits end looking for a decent spatula for my dad. First, to clarify, I'm looking for the metal (non-slotted) turning/flipping type, not the silicone scrapping down the side of a bowl type.

My problem is that they all seem to be either too stiff or crazy flexible. We had an old one (handle broke) that was perfect, just flexible enough that you could flip stuff without the entire thing buckling. Are these extinct?

Where to eat near the MFA in Boston?

I'm going to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston this weekend and I was hoping to find a good place to eat while I'm there. I'll be there midday so I'm hoping for some kind of ethnic or deli type casual lunch (ie fairly limited budget). Anything good close by, or a couple T stops away? Thanks!

What to do with abundance of baby salad greens?

I recently started working at an organic farm and one of our perks is free produce. Right now I'm coming home with an abundance of amazing baby salad greens mix. This may sound like an odd question (obviously I should make salad) but I'm getting sick of plain old salad.

So far the only other thing I've come up with is to toss the greens with some pasta as soon as it's drained and add some Parmesan, which I love.

The salad mix consists of arugula, mustard greens, mizuna, baby bok choy, baby red kale, some lettuce and other things which I can't think of at the moment.

Anybody have any new things I could try with it? Thanks!

Worn Out Mortar and Pestle Question

I have an old mortar and pestle and it is worn smooth so it's not very useful for grinding anymore. It seems like such a shame to get rid of it, does anyone know how to roughen it up again? Either who will do it for you or how to do it yourself? If not anything else I could use it for?

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