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Recipes From a Box: Hypertension Noodle Soup August 29, 2009

Don’t we all just love to cozy up on a cold winter’s day – or a crazy cool late August day here in Northeast Kansas (!) – with a warm bowl of soup?  Nothing else really hits the spot the way a bowl of chicken and noodles or cream and tomatoes can.  Even a sweet, televised snowman can’t resist the wafting fragrance, slurping down a warm bowl of broth to his own peril. Nowadays, canned soups make for a quick, light meal – and a dish in a microwave for 2 1/2 minutes won’t provide that wafting aroma that attracts melty, suicidal balls of walking snow to your doorstep.

Before you eagerly head out to grab a can of soup, you should consider one tiny little mineral that makes a big difference to your heart’s health: salt.  In the United States, processed foods account for three-quarters of our daily sodium intake, and often puts us well over our daily recommended amount.  Canned soup – and if you are using canned broths for recipes – often means that in a single serving, you are slurping down nearly 50% of your maximum salt allotment for an entire day.

Following is a recipe for a sodium-laden canned chicken broth, with salt ranking third on the ingredient list directly behind “chicken flavor”:

swanson brothINGREDIENTS: Chicken Stock, Chicken Flavor (Maltodextrin, Water, Dextrose, Salt, Chicken Flavor [Chicken Stock, Salt, Enzymes]Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Chicken Fat, Modified Food Starch, Ascorbic Acid, Sugar, Rosemary Extract)Salt, Dextrose, Spice Extract, Carrots, Celery, Flavoring, Onions. Water, Sugar, Sodium Phosphate, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Soy Lecithin, Citric Acid.

PROCEDURE:

1. Raise, slaughter, and process millions of chickens without letting them see the sun once. The horrors of the modern, conventional chicken industry are too many to cover in this blog (but fear not, it will be discussed shortly!).  To make a long, gruesome story short (and PG), chickens these days are raised in long, sunless houses where they are packed so tightly they can hardly move.  Their short lives are spent eating grain (and nothing else, like tasty bugs or greens) and becoming morbidly obese before they are killed in a factory, processed into their parts, and packaged for sale across the country.  The creation of chicken stock is, never fear, a highly scientific process, where studies have been done to see what leftover parts of the chicken – after the more valuable pieces have been removed and processed – make a broth decent enough to sell.  In other words, the broth sold in cans is nothing more than a by-product that has been scientifically reduced in quality to the lowest tolerable point.

2. Add water and fake chicken flavor. This liquid by-product is then thinned with water to remain a cost-effective by-product, if not a tasty one.  The flavor of the broth really comes from the “chicken flavor” (which I thought chicken broth was supposed to be, by definition, but who am I to say?) which is primarily salt, sugar, and an assortment of artificial extracts that mimic the real chicken flavor the broth itself does not contain.

3. Add salt to cover up the fakeness. The third, and arguably most important, ingredient in this recipe is the salt.  Salt brings out flavors, and since this broth contains so few of them, it is imperative that a high level of sodium be maintained to keep the missing tastes of real chicken and vegetables from being noticed.  So important is salt to the processed food industry, the Salt Institute was created to lobby on behalf of the salt and processed food industries.  This group has played an important role in creating a so-called fog of confusion around the true health links between sodium intake, blood pressure levels, and risk of atherosclerosis.  A quick perusal of the Salt Institute’s website will make you feel as if eating more salt is the same as finding the Fountain of Youth.

4. Preserve the freshness of the fakeness. Salt is a natural preservative – and this broth contains a high enough concentration of sodium to be considered more of a brine than a broth – yet the standard list of corn and petroleum-based preservatives are added just to be safe…. for approximately twenty-odd years or so.

5.  Can it, label it, ship it, sell it. Canned soups have become a staple in many pantries, and canned broths can greatly reduce the amount of cooking time required for a (salty) gravy.  Plus, no one really has the natural fats from roasting a whole chicken to make gravy anymore – so instead the boneless white chicken breasts are baked and the by-product from their deboning is heated to create the sauce to put over them.  Mmm-mmm good.

EAT OUTSIDE THE BOX! Make your own homemade stock from leftover veggies and bones – the ultimate way to reduce your waste and you risk for heart disease with one easy recipe!

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    Recipes From Outside the Box: Waste Not, Want (Tasty Soup) Not August 28, 2009

    I know, it’s the end of August and the idea of heating up the house to make soup sounds totally unfun.  But wait – it’s cloudy outside today, and the high is only in the seventies, so what the heck?   The first step to making a truly delicious, box free soup is to make your own soup stock.  Besides the impeccable flavor, homemade stock is a great way to turn food waste into new food – that tastes unique each time.  Plus – canned broth can be loaded with sodium, artificial flavorings, and make a simple soup cost a lot more than if you use leftover veggies in your fridge or freezer.

    Brewing Stock: Smoked Turkey and Frozen Veggie Remains

    Brewing Stock: Smoked Turkey and Frozen Veggie Remains

    The simplest version: vegetable stock.  Each time you cut up vegetables for a meal – especially celery, carrots, onions, parsley, and garlic – save the parts you normally throw out (or compost) in a freezer bag.  The white rooty part of the celery that no one wants to dip in peanut butter, the end of the carrot, the (rinsed) skins of those onions and garlic cloves you chop up – all of that food you thought was trashable is absolutely freezable and stockable. Some of my favorite additions are the beet skins from boiled and peeled beets, and the stalks of any leafy green (like kale and chard).  Once you have a large freezer bag or two full (just keep adding to the bag as you cook), you have the makings of a basic veggie stock that will be stock-full (pun intended) of all the vegetable goodness you just couldn’t fit into earlier meals. This is a also great way to use the leftover bones and parts of a whole chicken or turkey, bones from barbequed ribs, or even the bones from a whole fish to add some good solid fats and proteins to the stock – not to mention another level of flavor.

    A basic  stock recipe (adapted from Alice Waters’s amazing cookbook, The Art of Simple Food):

    INGREDIENTS

    The carcass or meaty bones from a previous meaty meal (i.e. the remains of a whole chicken or turkey)

    Frozen vegetable remains, defrosted if time allows (the more veggies, the richer the flavor)

    1 or 2 bay leaves

    1/2 tsp. black peppercorns

    depending of veggies used, you can add any of the following:

    1 head of garlic, cut in half

    1 onion, peeled and halved

    1 celery stalk

    1 carrot, peeled

    1 1/2 gallons cold water

    PROCEDURE:

    If making a meaty broth, begin by placing the carcass into a large stock pot, and pouring the cold water over the bones.  Place over high heat, bring to a full rolling boil, then turn the heat down, maintaining a gentle simmer.  The foam that rises and collects at the top should be skimmed off with a ladle and discarded, but be careful to leave as much fat as possible (which makes the flavor so tasty and imparts important minerals to the stock).  After you have skimmed off the foam, add the vegetables.  This way, they will not get in the way of the skimming process (as they like to float on the surface).  If not using any meat, place the vegetables and water in a stock pot and heat to a rolling boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer.

    Once the stock is at a simmer, add the bay leaves, and herbs (such as a bouquet of parsley and/or thyme), and peppercorns.  (It is possible to add salt at this juncture, but I wait until I’m making the soup later on, to ensure I don’t end up with an oversalty end product).  Let the broth simmer for 3 – 5 hours, depending on how strong you want the flavors to be.  Once it is done, use a slotted spoon to remove the larger vegetable chunks and animal carcass, then pour the remaining broth through a strainer (lined with a cheesecloth for a clearer, “thin” broth) into a nonreactive container.

    If you use the broth immediately, skim the fat off the top.  If not, allow the broth to cool completely, then refrigerate it

    "Thick" Broth

    "Thick" Broth

    with the layer of fat on top.  The fat will help seal in the flavors, and help preserve the broth longer in the refrigerator and is easily removed once cooled.  Do not cover the broth until it is totally cool, it can end up staying warm too long and spoiling otherwise.  I store the broth in two-pint containers in the refrigerator for a week or so, but it can also be frozen for a few months.  Be sure to defrost the stock before using it if you do decide to freeze it.

     

    Recipes from Outside the Box: Homemade Granola Bars August 20, 2009

    Homemade Granola Bars

    Homemade Granola Bars

    The staggering amount of waste linked to food production in the United States, generated to create products like granola bars, is overwhelming to say the least.  Fortunately, there is another way (cue the triumphant horns: da-da-daah!)

    Granola bars are a perfect example of how to turn an overly packaged food (those individually wrapped chewy gooeys

    Containers of foods bought in bulk

    Containers of foods bought in bulk

    are quite the waste generators) into a bulk buying – and super fun baking – experience.  At many self-proclaimed health food stores, you can find a bulk department to stock up on the ingredients you will need for the following recipe.  Don’t forget to bring your own reusable bags or containers to put your oats, flour, nuts, and dried fruits into, along with a bag to put all those bags and containers in.  Some stores even offer places to refill oils and sweeteners, but if not, consider buying the bigger containers – typically a better deal for both the wallet and the planet.

    Another option is to search out – or start your own! – a bulk buying club.  The ingredients used below, except the whole wheat flour from the local Gasper Family Farm, all came from the New Boston buying club.  This is the ultimate bulk buying experience – where most of the food is available in grandiose sizes – like 50 lb. bags of flour – that can be split among the group’s members to significantly cut costs and packaging waste.  In the pictured finished bars, I used sunflower seeds and almonds as the nuts/seeds portion, raisins as the dried fruit portion, coconut oil as the oil portion, agave nectar as the sweetener, and cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla as the flavorings of choice.

    The Pantry of Bulk

    The Pantry of Bulk

    Homemade Granola Bars

    INGREDIENTS

    4 c. rolled oats

    1 c. whole wheat flour

    2 c. seeds or chopped nuts

    1  – 1 1/2 c. chopped dried fruit (raisins, shredded coconut, cranberries, apples, etc.,)

    1/2 c. oil (butter, coconut oil, peanut oil, sesame oil)

    1/3 c. water

    1/2 c. sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave nectar)

    pinch of salt plus other spices or flavorings you like

    PROCEDURE:

    Mix oats, flour, nuts/seeds and dried fruit together in a bowl.  Warm oil, sweetener, water, salt and other flavorings on stovetop until all melted together.  Add the “gooey glue” to the dry ingredients, and mix until well combined.  Don’t be afraid to use your hands and get messy – it’s super fun, plus helps the water bind the flour to create a stickiness that holds the bars together (think of it is a tasty paper maiche project).  Press the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish – preferably glass – and set in the oven at 325 degrees F for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from

    Weighing down the bars

    Weighing down the bars

    oven, cover with a clean dish towel, and top with weights to help the bars cool and hold together solidly.  (This morning, I used some jars of rice and oats on top of two big cookbooks to evenly distribute the weight across the bars).  Let cool, remove weights and towel, and cut into 20 or so bars.  Will keep in an air-tight container for a week or so, but they can be refrigerated to extend their lifespans.  Additionally, if you like your bars sweeter or are having trouble getting everything to stick together, additional oils and sweeteners, or even melting some peanut butter into the “glue” ingredients can help hold it all in place – almost as good as spandex.

     

    Recipes From a Box: Trashy Granola Bars

    As a young soccer player – you know, the age where the games are more like watching herds of children swarm after the elusive ball than a competition of one team against another – my favorite part of the game may well have been halftime.  The parents of my teammates all took turns bringing treats, so while I pretended to listen to my coach give us our strategic game plan (which, c’mon, how constructive could that have been for bunch of 4 year-olds?), I slurped my CapriSun and chowed down on some chocolate chip granola bars.  As the second half was about to begin, the whole team would venture to the trash can to toss out the plastic, chipboard, and aluminum that had encased our snacks.  Armed with a new game plan on how to more effectively chase the ball around the field and a full tummy, the amount of waste generated by our halftime routine was definitely not on my mind.

    In the United States, it’s easy not to think about trash: we put it into bins, then dump those into larger bins, then someone comes and makes it all go away.  According to the EPA, in 2006, ‘someone’ took away nearly 251 million tons of solid waste and put it in landfills across the country.  While recycling is important, the fact of the matter is that household waste only generates around 2% of those millions of tons, meaning that the other 98% is industrial and business waste: the trash made while the stuff we buy (and maybe recycle later) is being created, processed, and shipped to us. Food packaging waste is a big part of that 2% of municipal solid waste, and the waste created to process and send it to the grocery store is even more incredible.

    The recipe for a standard granola bar, individually packaged in an aluminum wrapper and packed 12 to a chipboard box, is as follows:

    INGREDIENTS: GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWN SUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT], WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OILS* WITH TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL WITH NATURAL TOCOPHEROL ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRY MILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOA BUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CRISP RICE (RICE, SUGAR, SALT, BARLEY MALT), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED OIL*, SORBITOL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, BHT (A PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID.

    PROCEDURES:chewy-protein-pb-choc

    1. Bind oats with corn syrup and hydrogenated fats.  While the first ingredient specifies whole grain oats, the list quickly descends into a variety of processed fat and grain products.  Particularly of concern are the number of partially hydrogenated oils and corn-based fillers, sweeteners, and preservatives.  Sure, these bars are chewy, but do you really want to be chewing BHT and soy lecithin?

    2. Seal them in aluminum. Since these bars contain so many preservatives, you wouldn’t think that an individually-wrapped package would be necessary to preserve freshness.  Since so many breakfasts and snacks are eaten on the go – particularly in a car – the wrappers make living an on-the-go, what-does a-kitchen-table-look-like-i-forget-because-i-haven’t-seen-one-in-so-long lifestlye all the more convenient.  Plus, a significant portion of the cost of the food is actually going to this cute, shiny little wrapper.

    3. Pack them into chipboard. The individual bars are snugly – or not so snugly – fitted into chipboard boxes to make buying at least a dozen or so at a time your only option. That way, a kid can eat more than one bar on the way home, while looking at all the trees passing by the car window and – although it’s not likely – ponder how many of them it took to create the box holding the bars being eaten.

    4. Cover them with inks and health claims. Because whole rolled oats have been linked to cholesterol reduction, practically any food that has oats in their ingredient list now has a ‘heart healthy’ or ‘smart choice’ seal of approval – think of most breakfast cereals, oatmeal, and, of course, granola bars.  Despite the nine – count ’em, nine – sweeteners and three separate partially hydrogenated oils – proven to be very heart unhealthy – the low calorie count and inclusion of whole rolled oats makes these granola bars a “health food”.

    5. Send them around the globe. Thanks to their shelf stable packaging – these ones can sit on your shelves for at least six months and probably closer to ten years – cardboard boxes full of styrofoam shipping peanuts and chipboard boxed full of aluminum-wrapped processed fats and sugars can be halftime snacks for kids playing soccer games all around the globe.  Oh, joy!

    6. Eat at soccer games, or any other appropriate venue – although at this point, is there such a place?

    Eat outside the box: Prepare granola bars at home and save yourself from the packaging, not to mention the TBHQ (which is apparantly to scary to write out in words), partially hydrogenated oils (from at least 3 different plants), and various smattering of corn products (including your all-time favorites, high fructose corn syrup and modified corn solids).  Also included are tips on buying the ingredients in bulk, so you don’t replace one box and wrapper for another.

    Nestle, Marion. Food Politics. University of California Press, Berkely: 2007.

     

    Recipes from Outside the Box: Go(at)gurt, minus the plastic tube August 19, 2009

    Filed under: Recipes from Outside the Box — Jennifer Kongs @ 4:04 am
    Tags: , ,
    Baby goats at Homestead Ranch

    Baby goats at Homestead Ranch

    The current state of the dairy industry and most store-bought yogurt is an unfortunate one to say the least (read why here).  Lucky for us, there are enough industrial food and farm outliers to make a go of completely homemade yogurt – even getting the milk straight from the goat (or cow) if so desired.

    Because I’m a believer in the goodness of raw milk,

    Mama Goat at Homestead Ranch

    Mama Goat at Homestead Ranch

    and super devoted to being uber-DIY, I make a trek once a week to milk four dairy goats at Homestead Ranch in Lecompton, KS.  I use the milk to make yogurt in a sweet little electric yogurt incubator, although this piece of equipment is totally unnecessary.  The recipe below is how I started to make yogurt a couple years ago, and it works fantastically.  Really, it’s a super easy process, and while the yogurt incubates, you get to walk away and get on with your life, then come back to a super cheap, super healthy, super tasty treat!

    Yogurt Making Supplies (Special incubator is optional!)

    Yogurt Making Supplies (Special incubator is optional!)

    INGREDIENTS

    1/2 cup good quality commercial plain yogurt*, or 1/2 cup yogurt from previous batch, or one pkg yogurt starter

    1 quart whole milk (2 % can be used), nonhomogenized and non-ultrapasteurized


    PROCEDURE

    Gently heat the milk in a saucepan to 180 degrees F (measure with a candy thermometer).  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to about 110 degrees F, stirring occasionally to remove the “skin” that will form on the top later.  Pour about 1/2 cup of the milk into a dish containing the yogurt (or starter) and stir until smooth and a liquid consistency.  Add to the rest of the milk and place in a shallow glass, enamel, or stainless steel container.  Cover the container and place in a warm over (a gas oven with a pilot light or electric oven pre-heated to warm and then turned off) overnight.  In the morning, transfer to the refrigerator.  Once thoroughly cooled, enjoy!  Delicious topped with fruit, granola, or with a bit of honey stirred in.

    *When purchasing good quality yogurt, organic whole milk plain yogurt is best.  Try to find one with the fewest preservatives and addditional emulsifiers or other ingredients.

    Oooh, Incubation

    Oooh, Incubation

     

    Recipes From a Box: Yogurt on Drugs August 18, 2009

    Filed under: Recipes From a Box — Jennifer Kongs @ 10:14 pm
    Tags: , , , , ,

    Who doesn’t wish that all healthy foods were as easy to eat as yogurt in a plastic tube?  Sweetened and in a variety of

    fruit flavors, ads show how kids don’t even have to get off their skateboards to enjoy yogurt anymore.  Long touted as an exemplary healthy food – chock full of vitamins, minerals, and recommended fats –  yogurt is also “alive”.  Cultured with various probiotic strains, including Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus and bifidobacteria, yogurt is a good digestive boost and immune system enhancer.  Depending on the type of milk used to make the yogurt, however, there could be other not-so-great microscopic bits kids are sucking down on the go.

    It is not too much of a stretch to claim antibiotics are the backbone of Western medicine.  They are commonly used to treat serious infections, fungal outbreaks, and even the common cold.  Nowadays, you can dose up on antibiotics each time you eat dairy – including yogurt, such as the one described in the recipe below:

    INGREDIENTS: Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Milk, Sugar, Nonfat Milk, high Frustose Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Kosher Gelatin, Tricalcium Phosphate, potassium Sorbate (To Maintain Freshness), Carrageenan, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Colored with Carmine.

    PROCEDURE:

    1. Cram thousands of cows into a small space.  Conventional dairy cows live in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), meaning a minimum of 700 cows are living in an unvegetated area – either in or outdoors – for a minimum of 45 days.  These cows spend most of their lives sick, pregnant, and walking around in a sludge of their own manure – it’s no wonder most of us have never seen a dairy operation: who would drink milk anymore?

    2. Feed them corn until they’re sick. Cows normally eat grass, but there isn’t enough to go around in a standard CAFO.  Instead, cows are fed corn (cheap thanks to government subsidies) that often makes them sick.  Cows have also typically been given artificial growth hormones to increase milk production, resulting in severe cases of mastitis among other serious illnesses.

    3. Shoot ’em up with meds so they don’t look sick. Instead of abandoning the practices that make the cows sick in the first place, antibiotics are routinely added to the dairy cows feed and antimicrobial shots are commonly administered.  These meds end up in our milk supply, and have been linked to consumer allergic reactions as well as the increased growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria.  It’s not unfathomable to say that those antibiotics the doctor prescribes may not do any good one day soon, due in part to the overuse of them in our milk and meat production systems.

    Dairy cow with Mastitis (Credit: advocacy.britannica.com)

    Dairy cow with Mastitis (Credit: advocacy.britannica.com)

    4. Milk them – even if they’re sick.  Enough said.

    5. Replace the natural probiotics with sugar and preservatives. Legally, milk can only be sold in most states if it has been pasteurized, a process required to kill the harmful bacteria the CAFO system has made common in most milk.  Thus, the natural enzymes and probiotics that naturally occur within the yogurt-making process must be artificially added in.  In the case of the above ingredient list, however, this was not done.  In essence, the “yogurt” in a tube – marketed mainly to young children – is processed milk enhanced by sugar, corn syrup, artificial flavorings, and preservatives.  None of these additions offer the enhanced digestive and immune benefits of true yogurt (although the additional antibiotics may be a good marketing point as a means of preventing infection).

    6. Seal it up in a plastic tube.  Like Space Food. Although there is too much to say here for this blog, it is worth mentioning that the incredible amount of packaging is also a serious environmental issue, not to mention the cultural issues with a food that encourages kids to eat on the go and away from the family table, or even the ethical issue of such an unhealthy product being directly marketed to children.  (Ah, but mom, look how cool it is – I can eat it AND play Nintendo at the same time!)

    Eat outside the box:  Buy organic or locally produced milk that is free of artificial hormones and antibiotics – or better yet, find a good farm nearby and switch to fresh raw, grass-fed milk – and make your own yogurt.  This yogurt recipe is super easy to make at home – and if you’re interested, read about milking the (antibiotic-free) goats who provided the milk!

     

    Recipes From Outside the Box: Breakfast Burritos (Tortilla Included) August 14, 2009

    DSC03383Homemade breakfast burritos – especially if made a dozen at a time so the leftovers can be frozen – are a fantastic hands-on meal.  Real corn tortillas are a rarity these days, thanks in part to U.S. trade policies such as NAFTA, and in part to the perception that making tortillas at home is too time-consuming.  To make the process easier, a tortilla press and masa harina dried corn flour) are used in the following recipe – although pressing the tortillas out by hand and finding fresh masa are definitely good options worth exploring.  When buying masa harina, it is important to be aware that most corn products are made with genetically modified corn, which you may want to avoid. (I use corn flour from Bob’s Red Mill, which is organic and guaranteed gluten and GMO free).

    Mix a variety of seasonal vegetables (totaling close to 4 cups) in the following burrito recipe, the use of new potatoes and a mix of sweet and hot peppers from the farmer’s market is just an August favorite of mine.  I cook the veggies in butter from the local Iwig farm, use eggs from a neighbor with an urban poultry set-up and raw goat cheddar.  (Check to make sure the cheese you use is made with antibiotic and RBGH-free milk!) Top the burrito with fresh chopped tomatoes or homemade salsa for a complete dish.

    Homemade Tortillas

    When buying masa harina in a sack, it likely has instructions on the back for rehydrating the flour.  Generally, you combine 2 cups corn flour with 1 cup water.  Mix until the dough forms a ball, adding a tablespoon or two more water if needed.  Shape into about 12-14 balls, and cover with a damp towel to prevent from drying out.  Cut a Ziploc plastic bag in half, lining the tortilla press.  One at a time, take a ball of dough and slightly flatten it with your hands.  Place the ball between the two pieces of plastic bag and flatten with the tortilla press.  Set onto a cast iron skillet warmed to medium heat, and let sit for a minute or two.  Flip the tortilla, let it set another minute, then remove to a plate and wrap with a towel – which can even be slighty damp – to keep pliable.  Repeat until all the balls have been pressed into tortillas – check out the first few minutes of the above video for a visual guide!


    Breakfast Burritos (Recipe Adapted from  Lumpe Burritos recipe in Rolling Prairie Cookbook by Nancy O’Connor)

    1 lb new or fingerling potatoes

    1 tbsp butter or oil

    1 medium onion, chopped

    1 bell pepper, chopped

    1 hot pepper, diced (optional)

    6 eggs, beaten

    1 tsp cumin

    1/2 tsp salt

    pepper to taste

    2 to 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, and/or basil

    10-12 homemade corn tortillas (keep tortillas pliable by wrapping in a damp towel and placing them in the preheating oven as you prepare the filling)

    1 cup grated cheese

    PROCEDURE

    Wash the potatoes, cut into chunks, and add to a pot of boiling salted water until just tender.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onion and peppers until just softened. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  When the potatoes are done, drain well and add to the other veggies.  Push to one side of skillet and crack eggs into other half (if you don’t have a large enough skillet, scramble the eggs separately with a little oil and add to veggies when mostly cooked).  Sprinkle cumin, salt and pepper over entire skillet, continuing to stir the veggies and eggs separately. When the eggs are mostly solid, stir together with vegetables until the potatoes just begin to brown, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and toss in whichever herbs you choose.  To assemble, put a scoop of filling onto a tortilla, top with a sprinkling of cheese, and roll up as well as you can (Ojo (Caution): it’s easy to want to overfill the tortillas, but this will make rolling impossibly frustrating!)  Place in an ungreased baking sheet, lining them up as you make each one, side by side.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes.  Serve hot, topped as you see fit of just as they are.