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Step up your game, Fortune Cookie.

By Aloysius Bromley Giantside

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Fiber and Flax. That’s all I wanted, honestly, but I got in line and that wonderfully mysterious woman from one of the Dakotas gave me a little piece of paper with a website and a code on it. She told me to play the game. Acquaintances of mine will say, ‘Bromley? A game? Don’t bother!’ but the truth is that I quite enjoy the good game every now and then. It just has to be a good game. No, I can’t suffer the likes of Old Maid or Go Fish, but a game where world domination is at stake does tickle my fancy. I need to feel stimulated by a game, and I’ll tell you… in a whisper. Imagine I’m whispering now. 

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This Fortune Giver game is a bit mysterious. It seems simple enough at first: click on the paper and it folds this away. Click again and it folds another. “Child’s play!” and “A bit heathenly!” I exclaimed. (Mind you, I’m still whispering, so if you’ve taken my exclamation as cause to slip out of that voice, you are mistaken. I’ll advise when we’re back to a normal indoor voice.) What’s that? It’s given me a piece of wisdom that’s neither fish nor fowl—clearly non-traditional, yet deeply rooted in the same fire that must have stoked beneath the great Lao Tzu. I play again, the fortunes that I am given become eerily pertinent. I can’t stop mashing the screen of my nephew’s Kindle! Something new happens (I guess, we left the whisper voice a few lines back, I apologize if you’re still there with me). 

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I seem to have entered a winning code and hit the jackpot. Something that years wasted on floating slot machines never accomplished is finally at my footsteps. I’ve hit it big time and now I am about to step backimage

into the Earth Fare and I want to ask all of my readers out there, what should I buy? Your answers will help me greatly. I like pickles, butter, salami, ice cream, hemp products, nuts, steaks, brioche, celery, goat’s cheese, fresh cow’s milk, exotic teas and onions. That’s my shopping list every week, but I don’t think I’ll hit the $100 mark very quickly and this money is burning a hole in my trouser. In the meantime, I wish you luck with your own interactions with this mysterious Fortune Giver. May your time spent playing be as fruitful as my own.

You may find FortuneGiver.com here.

Shrimp Tacos with Sriracha Crema
By Bridget from My So-Called (Mommy) LifeServes 4

INGREDIENTSFor the Sriracha Crema:2 Tbsp Sour Cream2 Tbsp Mayonnaise1 Tbsp Milk2 tsp Sriracha Sauce (or more)1/4 tsp SugarFor the Shrimp:3/4 lb Medium Shrimp, peeled & deveinedJuice of 1 Lime1 tsp Chili Powder1/2 tsp Chipolte Chili Powder 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder1/4 tsp Garlic Powder1 Tbsp Coconut OilSalt & Pepper, to tasteFor the Assembly:4 Tortillas of choice1 Avocado, diced1 Cup Shredded Cabbage1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
 DIRECTIONS
1.  In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Sriracha Crema.  Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. 2.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, coat the shrimp with the lime juice and all spices.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the coconut oil.  Once shimmering, toss in the shrimp and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.  Remove from heat, and salt and pepper to taste. 3. Heat the tortillas and then top with shrimp, avocado, shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, and Sriracha Crema.

Find the story behind this recipe and more at My So-Called (Mommy) Life.   High-res

Shrimp Tacos with Sriracha Crema

By Bridget from My So-Called (Mommy) Life
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
For the Sriracha Crema:
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Milk
2 tsp Sriracha Sauce (or more)
1/4 tsp Sugar

For the Shrimp:
3/4 lb Medium Shrimp, peeled & deveined
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Chipolte Chili Powder 
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste

For the Assembly:
4 Tortillas of choice
1 Avocado, diced
1 Cup Shredded Cabbage
1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro

 
DIRECTIONS

1.  In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Sriracha Crema.  Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

2.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, coat the shrimp with the lime juice and all spices.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the coconut oil.  Once shimmering, toss in the shrimp and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.  Remove from heat, and salt and pepper to taste.


3. Heat the tortillas and then top with shrimp, avocado, shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, and Sriracha Crema.

Find the story behind this recipe and more at My So-Called (Mommy) Life.

Strawberry and Chicken SaladAuthor: Lynda from Southern Kissed
Ingredients
2 boneless, skinless chicken breastssalt and pepper to tasteSalad greens½ – 1 cup honey roasted almonds, coarsely chopped½ carton crumbled goat cheese1 carton strawberries, washed, hulled and quarteredPoppy seed dressing
Instructions
Lightly salt and pepper chicken breasts and grill for 8 to 12 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut into strips.

Place salad greens in bottom of large bowl and top with almonds, goat cheese, and strawberries. Top with chicken and drizzle with salad dressing.

Find the story behind this recipe and more at Southern Kissed.   High-res

Strawberry and Chicken Salad
Author: Lynda from Southern Kissed

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
Salad greens
½ – 1 cup honey roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
½ carton crumbled goat cheese
1 carton strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
Poppy seed dressing

Instructions

Lightly salt and pepper chicken breasts and grill for 8 to 12 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut into strips.

Place salad greens in bottom of large bowl and top with almonds, goat cheese, and strawberries. Top with chicken and drizzle with salad dressing.

Find the story behind this recipe and more at Southern Kissed.

Peeps & Feathers

Last week we welcomed four little bundles of feathered and peeping joy into our lives. The kids have named them Muffin, Pepper, Peanut Butter, and Lilly. They had initially, unbeknownst to their little innocent minds, named Lilly a rather inappropriate name that is chicken related, but has alternate connotations. Thankfully, they acquiesced to changing it and required little explanation as to why it needed to be changed. But not before by husband and I stifled quite a few middle-school type giggles. We have one Rhode Island Red (Muffin), which will look exactly like the pictures of big red roosters your Grandma has on her kitchen towels. The other three are French Marans, which will be black with white polka dots, and they lay the dark chocolate colored eggs.

Here are the first two that hatched (French Marans), very shortly after hatching:

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I’d like to share some fun facts we learned while incubating and hatching the eggs:

  1. Chicks begin to peep before they hatch, about 24 hours prior.

  2. They also somehow make the egg roll around before they begin to hatch. It actually takes about a day or two for them to emerge from the egg once they’re ready to come out.  It really takes a lot of effort! One of the funniest, yet slightly alarming things I’ve ever seen is an egg rolling around an incubator peeping.

  3. They have a little “egg tooth” on the end of their beak that helps them tap out of the egg. It falls off within a couple of days.

  4. Chicks survive by continuing to absorb the yolk from the egg for two days after they are born.

  5. They have freakishly large feet that are pretty comical.

  6. When they first hatch, they are covered in fluff, and begin to grow feathers within about four days. The first feathers are wing feathers.

  7. They have to stay inside in a “brooder” for about a month. The brooder is basically a metal tub with a heat lamp and wood shavings on the bottom. It takes the place of a “broody” hen, which is a hen who decides to sit on her eggs (given that there is a rooster in the picture). So, this means I have chickens IN MY HOUSE. Only temporarily.

Here they are, today.  You can see their little wing feathers:

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This whole chick experience has been so much fun and the kids have absolutely loved it. However, I was disappointed that out of 24 eggs we only got four chicks. After researching, there are factors that could have caused this: we had some uncontrollable temperature fluctuations as well as issues with keeping the humidity at a proper level. But, from what I understand even the best of incubators can have a pretty low hatch rate.

I’ve got about three more weeks of chickens hanging out in my house and seven months until we hopefully have eggs. If we have any hens, that is. It is still to early to tell. Until then, Earth Fare will continue to meet all of our egg-acquiring needs (for cookin’, not hatchin’). Up next…The Garden.

startwithaseed:

wanderblog:

treehugger:

The Nourishmat comes with everything you need to start growing organic vegetables: seeds, fertilizer and know-how.

The mats last about 5 years and are printed with nontoxic ink that won’t leach into the soil.

The mats use a technique called square foot gardening. “The key is planting in grids instead of rows so you can maximize your space,” said Weiner. “More food in less space. We adapted the layout of the Nourishmat based on this popular method. We say natural because it embraces the idea of bio-diversity.” This method requires less water and fertilizer then conventional monoculture farming.

The square-foot method also makes plants into beneficial neighbors. “The layout of the plants revolves around companion planting,” said Weiner. “For example, the bugs that like marigolds are the same bugs that love to eat the bugs that love to eat tomatoes.”

This looks a lot like my fall/winter garden layout.

Zucchini Salmon Patties (gluten-free & paleo)
Author: the sprouted life
prep time:  10 minscook time:  10 minstotal time:  20 minsserves: 4-6
Ingredients1 lb. of fresh salmon1 large zucchini or 2 small (grated)1 egg1 cup almond flour2 Tbps. grated onionsalt & pepper to taste2 Tbsp. coconut oil for pan browningoptional: 2-3 Tbsp. tapioca starch
Instructions1.   Place fresh salmon on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes at 375 degrees until, partially cooked through.
2.   Using a fork, shred the salmon and place in a large bowl.
3.   Finely grate your zucchini and place in a colander and press out some of the water.
4.   Add grated zucchini, grated onion, egg and almond flour and a pinch of salt & pepper into the bowl with the salmon and mix together.
5.   Heat up a skillet with coconut oil on medium-high (oil should coat the bottom of the skillet)
6.   Form patties with the mixture and place in the skillet to brown (approx. 10 mins)
7.   Optional: If you feel like your batter is too wet (depends on how well you squeezed out the zucchini). adding a few Tbsp. of tapioca starch will help in the binding and also give you a little extra crisp on the outside of the patties. *(tapioca starch is a commonly debated paleo ingredient)
Find the story behind this recipe and more at the sprouted life.   High-res

Zucchini Salmon Patties
(gluten-free & paleo)

Author: the sprouted life

prep time:  10 mins
cook time:  10 mins
total time:  20 mins
serves: 4-6

Ingredients
1 lb. of fresh salmon
1 large zucchini or 2 small (grated)
1 egg
1 cup almond flour
2 Tbps. grated onion
salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. coconut oil for pan browning
optional: 2-3 Tbsp. tapioca starch

Instructions
1.   Place fresh salmon on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes at 375 degrees until, partially cooked through.

2.   Using a fork, shred the salmon and place in a large bowl.

3.   Finely grate your zucchini and place in a colander and press out some of the water.

4.   Add grated zucchini, grated onion, egg and almond flour and a pinch of salt & pepper into the bowl with the salmon and mix together.

5.   Heat up a skillet with coconut oil on medium-high (oil should coat the bottom of the skillet)

6.   Form patties with the mixture and place in the skillet to brown (approx. 10 mins)

7.   Optional: If you feel like your batter is too wet (depends on how well you squeezed out the zucchini). adding a few Tbsp. of tapioca starch will help in the binding and also give you a little extra crisp on the outside of the patties. *(tapioca starch is a commonly debated paleo ingredient)

Find the story behind this recipe and more at the sprouted life.

Pizza that goes beyond Thunderdome & Digiornos

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By Aloysius Bromley Giantside

Sometimes I have simply got too many things to do on a Friday night to be bothered to cook, or even nag a friend for one of those Stove Top dinner invites. Besides, going to a friend’s place is never a time saver; you can’t really eat and run and remain friends for long. I’m not dragging you along on a whine-scapade, though. Aloysius wouldn’t do that to you intentionally (editor’s note)! The reason for the season is thrift, expedience, efficacy and delicacy and I have found those things in the form of a Take-N-Bake Pizza from Earth Fare paired with a handful of items from the hot and salad bars, respectively. 

If this were a dance, allow me to lead you through the steps: You get a plain cheese pizza (which is a new Real Low item costing only $7.97 and comes in a package that you can stick in the oven!) and about 1/4lb. of mixed treasures, take them home—don’t drive too fast, now, let’s get this beauty home in one piece—and then preheat the oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Once your oven reaches temperature, throw it in there (in the packaging, minus the top cover, of course) and before 20 minutes have passed you’ve just outdone yourself with a pizza that will leave you feeling like a little gourmand! But don’t let it go to your head, anyone could have done that, Aloysius!

#xl