Planting seeds of health and happiness

Food Preparation

Pantry

Commit to a Healthy, Happy Fridge, Freezer and Pantry in 2014!

January 3rd, 2014 / cat / 0 comments

In 2014, commit to a HEALTHY, HAPPY fridge, freezer and pantry!!

If you are looking for a healthier connection to your food, here are a few tips to help you:

  • Cut waste
  • Eat more healthily
  • Use more veggies
  • Save money by cooking at home more often

And most importantly,

  • Get SOULFUL in the kitchen!

Soup!
Begin with SOUPS. They are satisfying, savory, easy, and most of all SIMPLE to prepare, freeze and keep. Soups are not only super tasty, they can fill the tummy with everything from staples like beans and greens to any veggie sitting in the fridge that needs to get used! Soups are perfect for cutting food waste.

What’s more, you can experiment with spices to ramp up flavor and healing properties. Herbs are perfect condiments, and any veggie is a virtue! All recipes are made to be re-worked and adjusted to your likes and what you have on hand. Ideas abound when it comes to soup – and you are the artist!

(And if you have questions about how to make the ultimate, delicious, nutrition-packed soup, be sure to attend my next soup class on January 25th!)

Purge!
It’s best not to keep fatty, fake, or processed foods in the house. If your freezer is stocked with ice cream, it’s harder to deny yourself the creamy treat, right!?  When you’re trying to clean up your diet, it’s helpful to get rid of the sneaky, non-green foods lurking in the pantry.

Start by eliminating processed foods – become an avid label reader and purge offending items!

Bye-bye to:

  • Processed, high-fat foods
  • Chemical-filled snacks made with high-fructose corn syrup
  • Any product with more than five ingredients
  • Sugary cereals
  • Prepared canned meals that could live on your shelf forever
  • Refined grain products – white bread, white rice, white pasta and anything made with all-purpose flour
  • Weed out canned foods in general

Note on canned foods: while it’s a good idea to have a few on hand, if you exclusively eat vegetables that come from a can, you’re missing out on the true taste of seasonal produce and you may be exposing yourself to the controversial chemical Bisphenol A which might leach from the can lining.

Another side note: if it’s on sale two-for-one, you know it is not real food. I have never seen a BOGO on organic kale! Food is your medicine. Cheap is cheap – no way around it!

You need not be wasteful. Find a second life for those purged foods:

  • Donate canned goods or unopened snack foods to a local food pantry
  • If you have a sack of all-purpose flour that’s already open, just substitute half the recipe requirement with whole wheat or unbleached flour the next time you need it.

Your New Kitchen!

  • Whole-grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice
  • Fresh, in-season, local, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Keep REAL food on hand – a carrot stick is pretty fast you know!
  • Make room in the fridge – all that fresh food you will be switching to requires cooling, and remember, no veggie goes into the drawer (read: abyss!)
  • You’ll need dish towels, bowls of water and lots of room to see what you can use rather than lose

Always remember, food is love and food is fun. Look for what comes in nature’s packaging and learn to use it well. Let the beauty SHINE!

See you at our next SOUP class – Jan 25th!!!
www.thesoulfulseed.com
susan.huff@icloud.com
727-902-0453
Susan Huff

 

Susan_Cooking_in_Tuscany

Susan’s Soup Class – January 25th 2014

January 2nd, 2014 / cat / 0 comments

IMPROVISE and SAVE!

Soul ~ Satisfying ~ Savory ~ Simple ~ So Easy

Make Soup the Simple Way with ingredients you have on hand! We will make a wonderful, easy to make healthy meal from basic ingredients you can improvise with, change up, and even leave out! It’s all about feeling safe to try and experience the kitchen as a place to have FUN and CREATE simple meals that will satisfy all, and are SUPER TASTY!

You will learn the techniques, tools (knife skills), Veggie Virtues (what they can do), herbs, and spices that will make SOUP Healthy and Hearty, and a staple in your home and freezer.

Saturday, January 25th
12 pm – 2 pm

Pay by credit card in advance – $25.00 for one, or bring a guest for only $35.00
(Limited space so please register by January 18th)

Be casual, bring a notepad and an apron. You will receive a booklet of ideas and tips, and you’ll take home some SOUP!

For reservations and questions, contact Susan Huff – susan.huff@icloud.com or  727-902-0453

Fire

When in Rome

August 5th, 2013 / cat / 1 comment

Salmon! Straight from the coastal rivers. Just about as local, fresh, and full of love as you can get. Never frozen, never farmed, never sealed in frozen plastic. Delicious as it is—no need for seasoning or even salt—the river’s bounty is packed with flavor. The taste is pure art from Mother Nature.

What a beautiful gift — spend a whole day catching, preparing, smoking, and admiring this vibrant fish. Taking the time and attention to turn, check progress, stoke the fire, and WAIT…watching, and tending. This is when my choice to live by the coast in search of fresh, seasonal, local, homegrown tasty food gets REAL. I am in Oregon for the summer – land of salmon, seeds, homegrown fruit and veggies galore, and great wine…pure and incredible local nourishment!

I can’t help but be totally amazed and thrilled to see so much abundance and so much fruit! Most days I glean the hood for berries, figs, plums, apples, stone fruit, and whatever presents itself – even purslane. Zucchini—green, yellow, Asian, whew!— is everywhere! Walk down my street and a neighbor is bound to offer you zucchini straight from the soil. As I walk along an urban street, fresh zucchini share in hand, the bees buzzing around the front yard, vegetable gardens abound, and I hear chickens in at least every second yard – it’s beyond inspiring and enlivening. I imagine this blissful scene of urban nature and homegrown food in every neighborhood – big farms will become a thing of the past if you support local food.
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Veggies

Soups, Stews, Sauces, and Spreads — Soulful Sunday Cooking!

July 25th, 2013 / cat / 2 comments

Every Sunday you will find me in my kitchen cooking up delicious wholesome meals to be enjoyed during the following week. I cook slowly and engage my heart with each chop and stir. I make enough to refrigerate or freeze so that I can re-heat slow-cooked meals at dinner time with speed.

The spreads are great for starters and snacks too. Sometimes I tuck into the spreads as I chop a daily fresh salad to go with my Sunday-made week day super meal. Soul-nourishing soups, stews, sauces, and spreads – quicker and easier than take-out, that’s for sure!

New colors and new tastes await you every week…so CREATE! Check out my specific recipes for inspiration on what to make on your very own Soulful Sunday – and share with me any new ideas that you stumble upon!

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Beet Salad

The Soul in My Sunday Kitchen

July 20th, 2013 / cat / 1 comment

Every Sunday is Soulful Sunday in my kitchen. I spend a good portion of the day creating and cooking up a storm — preparing my meals for the week. Each Sunday I conjure up a surprise concoction to share. It makes the learning all the more fun!

Soups, stews, sauces, and spreads – that’s what you will find me making on any given Sunday. They are made with soul, using my “must have” list of kitchen tools, and whatever delicious, fresh produce is in the garden, or in the fridge. No shopping needed on a Sunday – I am all about turning inward to my kitchen…connecting to the magic!

This blog is not just about the soul in my kitchen. Last week I shared the top tools I keep to hand. In this piece, I share how I prep my kitchen with ingredients so that I can cook with abandon – reaching for a beautiful sumptuous tomato, or aromatic herb as the urge takes me.
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Kitchen Cooker and Pans 2

Tips for a Soulful Kitchen

July 7th, 2013 / cat / 3 comments

My kitchen is my little universe where all the real magic happens. It’s the space where I create, consume, and most of all, CARE. I spend endless hours in my sacred space, and for that reason, it’s the space I give the most attention to when planning how to make it suit me.

I have remodeled more than 20 kitchens in the past few years and I have found many of the things I thought were important in the early days really are not. It simply comes down to “less is more”… with the exception of counter tops and chopping boards!

If you were to go on a guided tour with me through my kitchen, you would find some strange and interesting quirks:

  • No upper cabinets
  • An average size pantry with a few food items
  • An ultra-limited set of dishes
  • A general total lack of STUFF!
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    I no longer need 20 appliances, 3 sets of china I never use, and 12 coffee cups. Actually come to think of it, I have never had 12 people over drinking coffee at one time. Hence the purge!
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