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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: Spinach

I’m the only early riser in our household, other than work/school for the others. Here and there, I make myself a healthy, gourmet-style, breakfast. I’m not a trained chef, so this is as good as it gets.

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First off, gather your ingredients:

Artisan Roll
I want to cut down on carbs for myself, so this is 1/2 of a lovely chunk of bread.

One Duck Egg
They are really good for you (more Omega-3 fatty acids than chicken eggs), but the down side is that they are higher in cholesterol. In this instance I used one egg, as opposed to two. Chicken eggs are a perfectly acceptable replacement for this meal.
Our birds get to run around eating fresh greenery and insects, in addition to their grain-based feed. If you can’t keep your own flock, farmer’s market eggs are your best option. It is worth the extra money/time/energy. If you crack open a store-bought egg and one from a non-factory environment, you can see the difference. The color of the yolk is darker and richer in a home-grown egg, letting you know that it is packed with nutrition.

Note: If you are worried about the $$$, just think of how much $$$ you’ll save in health care costs. If you are worried about the time and energy it takes to go to the farmer’s market, think of all the health benefits you’ll receive from getting out walking outdoors.

Onion
Health Benefits Raw or Cooked
Whatever kind you have handy. I’m not sure what this one is called. My daughter offered it up and it looks to be high quality. Knowing her, this onion was also organically grown.

Fresh Parsley
Highly Nutritious
If you purchase parsley as a garnish, that’s great, but if you eat it too, you will benefit greatly from it.

Hot Yellow Pepper
Good for You and Taste Great Too!
This one is from my daughter’s garden. That guarantees that there are no pesticides in or on the pepper. The plants in her garden are also being boosted with kitchen-composted soil. I’m thinking that it’s going to be really yummy!

Spinach – Frozen or Fresh
I normally keep frozen handy, but, as I always say, fresh is best. Spinach is an extra healthy green vegetable: vitamins / antioxidants / minerals / vitamins A, B2, C and K / magnesium / manganese / folate / iron / calcium / potassium

Cheese
Again, anything that strikes your fancy will do well in a concoction like this. This happens to be a Monterey Jack/Cheddar mix. It is tempting, but I try not to use a lot. Cheese is highly caloric. Once I crossed over age 50, my ability to eat like a horse and remain lanky disappeared, hence the low carb, low fat approach.

Butter
For frying your egg.
Everything is always Better with Real Butter!

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This is a small cast iron pan. Iron will be released into your food. Iron is especially good for Women’s Health. The pan also allows for nice, evenly-heated cooking. I keep my cast iron oiled up with canola oil, since it doesn’t add a particular flavor to a meal. I then add something appropriate to actually cook with; butter, olive oil, ghee, sesame seed oil…

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You can mix everything (except cheese) up in a bowl, or throw it all right into the pan.

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Add cheese right at the end when everything else is fully cooked. This will melt the cheesy goodness onto the rest of your ingredients, without it getting dried out.

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Bon Appétit
Via a Real Chef Wanna Be

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I have two vertebrae smashed together in my neck. This has debilitated me quite a bit this past year. A wonderful chiropractic/physical therapy combination office has allowed me to bypass surgery and avoid pain pills. Having finally found the right direction to go in order to address this issue, I can function enough to do some of the activities that I really enjoy. Gardening is one of the great loves of my life.

After deciding to move the garden, we only had digging to look forward to and therefore procrastinated. This is positively not the fun part. We finally set up to start working this past weekend and the weather decided to mimic a sauna.

So, the area was staged and a sprinkler set up to soften that area. Then it rained the next day. Yesterday, I tested the waters (thick red clay soil) and was absolutely amazed at how easy it was to dig when moist.

Starting the Garden

The surge of my home office graphics work is over for now, so I’ll take advantage of this morning and work outside. The tiller gets too clogged if you try to start with that, so digging and de-weeding is the first thing to do.

This was not the best idea. I am still making a mental list of the parts to my favorite activities I must ban. One third of the garden is dug and now void of plant life, but the digging part is too much for my neck. I must have my husband do that part before I de-weed.

1/3 long garden turned

Lettuce, spinach and other cool weather vegetables (Spring crop) will have to be skipped, but there is plenty of growing time left. Our summer choices for the garden will be covered in our next blog.

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The dogs have acquired a taste for duck eggs, now that they are sharing stomping ground in the split rail fenced area (so that they don’t pester the neighbors). Every morning now, I rush ahead of the crowd at the dog door and collect the lovely porcelain vessel of goodness, glowing white in the makeshift nest of leaves, surrounded by the challenging red clay earth. But, that early morning jog bypasses the drool-covered egg on the kitchen floor complete with teeth marks or the absence of that egg altogether.

Ducks

Duck Mates

The brown female is a Khaki Campbell. She is a prolific egg layer, as are all members of her specific breed. Her old man is a Pekin. Although his breed started out as small and black, they transformed into the present day “Big & White”, making them a much sought after victim of Peking duck feasts. As far as egg production goes, KC ducks are more reliable than hens.

Chickens

Laying Troop

The gold girl, front and center, is the creator of the golden eggs. Well, actually sun-touched brown with a golden surprise inside. In times of plenty, fresh eggs make great gifts or additions to recipes such as:

Spinach Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, feta and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie crust.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

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