Is Your Diet Boring You? Get Grooving in the Kitchen…

Believe me, I know how hard it can be to pull yourself to the kitchen counter to prepare a meal. The easiest thing to do is to pull out a microwave meal from the freezer but hey… that’s no fun. And not as nutritious as something you whip up from fresh ingredients. And those meals usually have way too many calories.

On difficult days, boil some whole wheat noodles and make a salad from spring greens. Throw a handful of sunflower seeds on top of the noodles on the plate, as a garnish and to add protein. Add avocado and tomato to the salad, sprinkle apple cider vinegar on the salad and soy sauce on the pasta. A dribble of olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper on the pasta will make the meal complete.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

Food and Cooking: Nothing Moo Under the Sun

I’m reading, “The Day the Bubble Burst: A Social History of the Wall Street Crash of 1929” by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts. As I do, I see parallels with 1928 and what’s going on today. Believe it or not, even cows offer nothing new under the sun. Just as they did in the days before the Great Depression, they’re very much in the news. And somehow, they’ve managed to work their way into the political discourse.

Henry Ford did not like cows and he let America know it. To Ford, cows never stopped eating and they left their slurry everywhere. He believed that crime and health could be attributed to a person’s diet and his reasoning was that people who filled up on steak were more likely to steal than those who didn’t fill up on steak. And those who indulged in butter fats, he said, were more likely to get sick. “Bad food causes crime,” was his rallying cry, believing that if people ate right, they would act right. To Ford, eating right meant no beef and no butterfat.

Henry Ford didn’t win that battle and isn’t it interesting that the meat/no meat conversation continues today. One decade a substance is bad, the next decade it’s a miracle food. Makes for plenty of apathy for those of us who’ve lived more than a few decades. But if you’re looking for ways to decrease your meat eating, I’ve got just the book for you. Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

 

 

Eating Acorns… Are They Fattening or Just Delicious?

They do fatten hogs with acorns but we humans eat them in such small amounts I doubt there’s much to worry about. Nutritionally, acorns are said to be comparable to barley, a grain, so yes there are carbohydrates to digest but I’ve NEVER, EVER worried about gaining weight with acorns. BUT… the Acorn Chocolate Cake and Acorn Cheesecake that I make with the acorns… that’s a different story. Next time you see acorns on the ground, grab a handful, take them home and shell, grind and leach them. Make Acorn Onion Dip or the desserts I just mentioned. Be sure to invite friends to join you, otherwise you may find yourself devouring your acorn dishes all by yourself. They’re THAT good. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Preparing Acorns… How Long Do They Need To Leach?

How long you leach acorns depends on the type of oak tree the acorns came from and where they came from. Tanoak acorns from along the California coast may only take a week to leach the tannic acid enough to be edible. Valley oaks in the Sierra Nevada may take two weeks or more while Valley Oak acorns closer to California’s coast may only take a week to remove the tannic acid. It’s a good idea to become familiar with the acorns you have access to. There’s so much tannic acid in acorns, it takes awhile for them to go bad, especially when you change the water regularly, so there’s no fear of leaving them leaching in the refrigerator for two weeks so that enough tannic acid is leached and they won’t give you digestive upset. Once you remove most of the tannic acid, they are great to cook with. You haven’t lived until you try acorn chocolate cake.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Cooking With Acorns… What Recipes Can You Make?

There are not many dishes that you can’t make with acorns. You can add acorns to everything from smoothies to chili. Deserts, omeletes, cakes, pies, Mexican food, Italian food, Middle Eastern food, comfort food, breads… you name it. Acorns make everything taste better. If you think chocolate cake is good, try adding leached and prepared acorns to it, you’ll not be sorry. Do you have a favorite cheesecake recipe? Add some leached and prepared acorns to it, delicious. I won third place in a big cooking contest because I added acorns to my cheesecake… Acorn Cheesecake? What’s not to like?

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Food & Cooking: What’s the best way to Crack Acorns?

Cracking Acorns? Acorns as food for other than squirrels? Yes, absolutely. But the first problem one comes up against is how to crack the shells; they aren’t always easy to pry open. Well… the Indians used to use a big rock that fit nicely into their hands. The spots where they sat on top of large boulders down at the river are still there, the little holes where the women would sit and grind acorns. For a long time I used an old cookie sheet and a river rock that fit in my hand. Today though, I use a Texan Nut Sheller. I found it one day at the feed store when I was buying hay. You can probably find one on the Internet or have your local hardware or farm supply order it for you. It’s the size of a pair of pliers but the blades are razor blade sharp so it needs to be kept away from children. You can open up plenty of acorns with it, solving the problem of how to get into those acorn shells.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Autumn: Time To Eat Nuts… Acorns Included

Here they are again, nuts, nuts, and nuts. Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Chestnuts and Acorns. Acorns? Do people really eat acorns? Aren’t they poisonous? No. Acorns are not poisonous if you leach the tannic acid correctly, and they’re delicious and quite the natural flavor enhancer. So start looking around, at the park, along the roadway or if you’re lucky, in your own yard. Gather a basket of acorns and after enjoying their beauty sitting on the kitchen table, try leaching and grinding them. Cook ’em up in your favorite recipe, you’ll not be sorry.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Acorn Chocolate Cake, a Rare Treat

Acorn Chocolate Cake

Mix together well with a fork:

2 cups flour

2/3 cup baking cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

In a second bowl mix:

1 & ¾ cup sugar

¾ cup ground, leached, cooked, pre-frozen, thawed and drained acorns. Complete directions for leaching acorns are available in the book “Acorns and Eat’em,” available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

½ cup rice milk (dairy milk O.K.)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Slowly add to sugar and acorn mixture:

2 beaten eggs

¾ cup water

Carefully add sugar mixture to the first bowl. Mix well.

Oil and flour two 9″ cake pans (or one 13X9). Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Cool.

Chocolate Frosting

1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup baking cocoa

½ cup butter (one stick) or substitute

5-6 Tbs rice milk (dairy milk O.K.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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There Was a Feeling in the Air… Hard Times Were Sure to Come

After I wrote “Acorns and Eat’em,” a how-to cookbook for gathering and preparing acorns, I wanted to share what else I had learned while living in the mountains, far from the grocery store, with a limited budget. Y2K was fast approaching and survivalists were sending me checks for my acorn book. Obviously there was a feeling in the air that hard times were sure to come. I care about people and nutrition so I continued creating unusual recipes from simple, natural, unprocessed ingredients. For example, in “Poor Jonny’s Cookbook”, my recipes teach you the art of making biscuits from scratch with minimal ingredients. Our great-grandparents knew how to survive, we need to follow their example and return to the basics. There’s a little bit of everything in this cookbook, my hope is that when you use this book, you’ll get into the flow of cooking with what you

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Poor Jonny's Cover

The Historical & Cultural Significance of Oaks & Their Edible Fruit, the Acorn

There are not many places around the world where oak trees haven’t left their mark. The giant oaks were so stout and the wood so long-lasting, many an ancient habitation was built using oak stumps for a foundation, some reportedly still standing hundreds of years later. The Greeks and the Romans both chose the oak to build their homes, ships and bridges. The Vikings used the oak heartwood to build their long ships and later the English used it to build their legendary fleet of war ships. An old Encyclopedia Britannica from 1884 stated that, “the church till recently standing at Greenstead in Essex, and supposed to have been erected in the 10th century was wholly formed of oak trunks roughly squared.”

The fruit of the oak, the acorn, was also prized by the ancients. The oak was, and still is sacred to the Druids of Northern Britain and it is easy to understand why.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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