Hi eKa CIRCLE
Don’t ever overlook a few pieces of humble vegetable. You will be surprised how much each have to offer. I am a big believer that most people “trying” shop, forage or gather intuitively for what the family needs for their health and wellbeing. The gatherer has an inkling that the family need some broccoli or whatever else it is that is brought home. So don’t let that precious gift end up in landfill. Everything we come across has a purpose. The good, the bad and the ugly.
I am particularly fond of the new trend of ugly fruit and veg, surely this was never an issue in times past. We have collectively been conditioned that apples are all the same size and waxed shiny fresh out of cold storage. When in fact mother nature revels in differences. When one weighs up the cost of the food waste involved in order to achieve this unrealistic level of perfection it blows my mind that anyone could agree to it with hunger being one of our world crisis issues. The variety of types of fruit and vegetables has also suffered. I was astounded while living in Asia at how many types of mangos and bananas there were for example. Where as here in Australia we have narrowed that down to two types if we are lucky. It is the same you will notice with most strains of fruit and veg…desiring firmness for ease of transportation and uniformity in size being the goal over flavour. Most are picked underripe so they don’t bruise during travel. Further steps introducing the seedless and selling it as a great thing! Regardless whether the chicken or the egg came first one thing I am certain of is that whoever controls the eggs is in charge of future chicken production.
It is the seed that holds life and not having access to those seeds prevents us from growing our own. Look at what has happened in India and countries like it where farmers heirloom seeds have been swapped out for supposedly better- at such a HUGE cost as the “better seeds” do not germinate and so the market is driven by needing to purchase seeds for each crop. There is a heavy price to pay for the biotechnology offered, and dependency on just a few monopolising. If and when crops fail we have seen a huge rise in suicides and the loss of land that has been held in family lines for centuries- all due to bankruptcy- the mighty dollar strikes again. So at what cost is this progressive meddling in something as simple as the seed. The seed is life. Whoever holds the humble seed holds the land, the wealth and our health.
Yah said, “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all of the earth, and every tree that has seed bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29
Fresh produce is a God given gift; each plant speaks in its own way a life force of healing to us. When we consider that the life force is in the seed, we might understand why the seed is being meddled with. Have we lost touch so much that everything we purchase is wrapped in plastic and travelled from a foreign land? Just a short while ago everyone grew something in their backyard and shared the excess with their neighbours. Our grappling for modernisation has rapidly shifted this extremely valuable knowledge into a distant past. When one knows how to grow the basics, there are less toxic chemicals used, no cold storage, no fuel used to transport about across continents, no staff required to wrap in plastic wrap or fix those annoying little stickers onto every piece of fruit, no pretend biodegradable bags required to bring the produce home and we are more inclined to put our food scraps back into our land to make a compost. We are hands dirty building immunity, getting some fresh air and much needed sunlight and speaking kindly to our plants that give us life. We are back “in touch!” I am sure there are many other advantages that I have not quite considered in this short piece.
Don’t get me started on the scraps sold all sliced up packaged in gas because we have become too busy to slice a cabbage!
Do you remember as a child the “old wives tale” to not eat the seeds as they will grow inside you? Yet it is that very life we require for optimum health. As a vegetarian I can say that protein and nutrients are essential from a seed based diet. Those that miss this in a change of choices often suffer with poor health even though they technically might be “vegan or vegetarian.” Some would be better off going back to meat as long as it is organic and grass fed.
So in honour of the humble vegetable I have two very simple recipes made with stray “plant friends” that I found in my fridge. One is a delicious garlic broccoli pasta dish the other is a chilli eggplant that I served with some leftover hummus dip and some rather crispy flatbread. Everything that arrives at your door has arrived for a reason. Welcome them and share in their abundance.
Garlic Broccoli Spaghetti
1 pkt organic durum wheat spaghetti
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large head of broccoli, roughly cut into florets
1 tsp chilli flakes
pinch of ground nutmeg
juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
grated fresh parmesan cheese to serve
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the spaghetti, cook to al dent using the packet directions.
Heat the butter in pan and saute the garlic and broccoli until just tender. Add the chilli flakes, nutmeg and last minute add the lemon juice. Toss through the warm drained pasta and serve loaded with parmesan cheese.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 finger eggplant, sliced
1 Tbsp chilli sambal (or blend fresh red chillies )
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a wok and saute the onion, garlic and eggplant until golden and soft. Add the chilli sambal and toss over the heat. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves. Cook covered for a few minutes and cook until the tomatoes have softened. (You may need a little water to help soften the tomatoes.) Season to taste.
I served mine today with some grilled Lebanese bread (yep I overdid it! It didn’t matter- I only ever cook the bread on one side.) some humus and some pickled cucumbers.
love & light
M + E