Shutting down

Hi everyone,

I’m really sorry to say that I will be shutting down the Food Tunnel. I think I bit off more than I could chew, and between that as well as things going on in life, I am now feeling up to the task. However, that doesn’t say that I won’t be doing something with food in mind. I am going to be starting up a blog called boosounds. Boosounds is already an account on a social network called Audioboo. It’s where you can record your status, or whatever you want (within reason of course) for others to hear. Through that, a community is born. I have also made some friends, and for that I am grateful. So, when I have created Boosounds, I will post here.

Boosounds is a way for me to record things that go on in my life, of course, but more importantly, for me, it is a place to share where and how I travel in my hometown of Edmonton Alberta. I have taken everyone on LRT Rides, to the farmer’s market, and more. Each week, I hope to feature something from my account and write about the experience further in print form.

Farewell, take care, God bless, and may all your journeys be safe ones.

Michelle

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Gardening

Today’s Food Tunnel is going to start us on the gardening journey this summer. Of course, I am not going to bore you with the adventures of the gardens, so I will hopefully get to try different products, or interview a business or three.

So anyway, back to the gardening. I have a container garden just outside my home, and today I transplanted my Russian Tarragon. It is a very nice herb that works well with poultry and other stuff. Anyway, mark my words, if you have something in a peat pot, slice the bottom. Otherwise the roots won’t get through. I learned the hard way. Secondly, I planted peas and spinach this afternoon. As soon as I get some shoots, I’ll post the pictures on the blog. I’m looking forward to the bounty already.

Eating local at this time of year, whether it’s your garden or otherwise is the best. It’s healthier, and it’s better for the environment. Plus, it gives you a sense of accomplishment. I’m hoping my walk through container garden expands this year.

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You’ll get no Flack from Flax

It has been a long time since making a post, and it’s long overdue. I was at the Alberta Avenue Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago, and I met a local grower of organic grains. He asked me if I did any baking, and I told him that I didn’t anymore. John mentioned that he had some flax and pancake mix, and we got talking. I mentioned this blog, and I tried his flax.

A bag of organic golden flax seed

This is the bag of flax from John. It costs $5 a bag, and I am still using it.

John and his wife Cindy Schneider run Gold Forest Grains, He has an informative blog written in a fun style.

Cindy on the left and John on the right.

Anyway, back to the flax. John had mentioned it would make a great sesame seed substitute and I totally agree. I made a vegetable stir fry, using the flax, and it turned out wonderfully. Flax is high in omega 3, which is heart healthy, so if you use it in stir-frys, Flax can be used in a variety of uses. A person could put a handful into yogurt to add a crunch, into breads, and just eaten alone as a snack.

Some people say that flax needs to be ground for consumption. For me, that’s so if I am going to use it in something like a bread. On the other hand, if you put the flax seed into a dish at the beginning, or, in the case of yogurt, stir it in and leave it for a few minutes, the flax softens. Then the seed doesn’t pass through you and it becomes an excellent source of fiber. I have used a small hand full each day with my yogurt, and I have found it to be beneficial. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to eat yogurt without pain.

Flax has been grown and used since the beginning of civilization and is rich in protein. This can aid a person if they have chosen to have a vegetarian diet. More information can be found at the Canadian Flax Council.

Thai Vegetarian Stir Fry with Flax

INGREDIENTS

sliced and slightly caramelized

blended sesame oil
1 onion, halved, then sliced.
1 package oriental blend frozen vegetables (or whatever you like to use)
1/2 green pepper halved, then sliced
1/4 – 1/2 zucchini quartered then sliced
2 tbsps peanut butter
1 hand full coconut
lime juice
vegetable broth
1-2 hand fulls flax
Chinese 5 spice powder
pepper to taste
Dried chilis to taste
2 packages fresh shanghai Noodles

Vegetables before the noodles

Heat your wok to medium and pour in a tsp of oil. Sprinkle in your 5 spice powder and pepper. Then toss in your flax. Cut up your onion, but keep an eye on your wok. If it gets too hot, pour in a little broth. Slightly caramelize the onions (see previous article regarding this). Then toss in your green pepper, zucchini, and Oriental blend. If your mixture starts to burn at any time, put in more broth.

globs of sauce on top just before stirring

In another bowl, combine peanut butter, chilis, coconut broth, and lime juice with a whisk. The sauce should be of medium thickness. You should be able to taste the lime. Toss in the noodles and then the peanut mixture. When the noodles are cooked, serve.

My husband is holding the bowl of stir-fry (or whatever you want to call it.)

Here are some more recipes.

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The Onion – Wah! Time to Cry – NOT!!!

Ah, the onion, a robust flavor in cooking circles. There are many different types of onion from the green to the common onion. It is used in cooking and medicinal ways as it’s very versatile. I myself use a whole onion in most recipes as you’ll find out. When I researched the Onion at Wikipedia, I found out that they are usually called Garden or bulb onions in layman’s terms. You can go there if you want the full latin term, but I find that so many other articles, blogs, etc already do that, so I tend to stay away from that kind of thing…especially since I don’t understand it.

Onions have been used since probably the dawn of time for their uses. I won’t go into it deeply, but onions have been used in various countries to treat everything from angina to colds.

I know, you don’t like to cry when you peel an onion. Neither do I. Many people have suggested various ideas to me to keep my eyes from watering, but I have found that the best way is to NOT breathe through your nose. I have found out that if I do that, my eyes water. Granted, that if I get an extremely powerful onion, it will still happen, but it’s less likely to happen if you do that.

Now on to the technique I want to tell you about. In previous recipes, I have said to “slightly caramelize the onions.” How do I do that without using a lot of fat? Easy.

Onions in dutch oven

slightly caramelized onions


1. Start with a Teflon pan. You don’t have to, but it makes your work a little easier. The process is still the same, none-the-less.
2. Put in about 1 tsp olive oil and heat it with whatever dried spices or herbs you like using in the recipe.
3. Put in your onions. Stir occasionally, but keep an eye on it.
4. Once your onions start to stick, that’s when you splash in the vegetable broth…just a little – enough to pull off the stickies from the bottom.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until slightly browned.

You’ll find that once you do that, the flavors of all your dishes will intensify and become earthy in nature. I hope this will take away the mystique and keep you from crying.

Happy cooking!

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Oxtails?? What are They?

We’re going from what’s common today to what was common in days gone by. Apparently, according to JoA Martin, a writer on ehow.com, oxtails were a dime a dozen in the Depression Era. What was inexpensive then is now more expensive now. Well, unless you get a good deal like I did. I did some research and found the article I mentioned earlier as well as another recipe. I decided to combine a little of both recipes to make mine, and it turned out very well. Oxtails are a well used part of the ox as they are the tail. There is cartilage, but a lot of meat and cooked the right way, it can be a very succulent delicacy.
Raw oxtails browning in frying pan
SLOW COOKED OXTAILS

INGREDIENTS

3-4 pounds oxtails
1 Onion halved and sliced (or you can slice as rings.)
4-5 carrots pared and sliced (In the pictures, I just broke them in half, but I’d recommend using your own discretion.)
3-4 potatoes (It says cubed in the recipe, but I quartered the potatoes as I didn’t want them to get overcooked.)
1-2 small turnips (the purple and white kind) sliced thickly or quartered
2-3 tsps dry thyme
1-2 bay leaves, depending on the size
Salt to taste (I didn’t use salt as there’s enough in the sauce)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup beef broth (vegetable works just as well.)
3 tbsp Barbecue Sauce
2-3 tbsp flour
1/4 c water (You can use red or white wine. I used white.)
Browning Oxtails in Frying Pan
METHOD
Everything assembled
Brown oxtails in frying pan (or you can use a grill pan, or just put them in the broiler.)
Place browned oxtails in Crock Pot
Put in all ingredients except for the flour and liquids.
Make a Slurry of the barbeque sauce, flour, wine and water. Pour over the whole crock pot and stir it up.
liquids whisked together.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours. On the last hour, stir everything around and turn to high.

Serve and enjoy!!

Oxtails with carrots, onions, and potatoes

Posted in Comfort food, crock pot meals, food, main, Meat, meat, Oxtails, two pot meals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Awwww, turkey again?

Yep. Turkey again. You’re probably going to really hate turkey after you see my postings, but i assure you, we’re not roasting the bird again. It’s amazing what you can do with turkey if you have seasoned the bird right in the first place. Remember when I told you I flavored the bird with parsley, tarragon, oregano, sage, pepper and thyme? Well, you’re not going to believe what happened when I tell you about this stoup. The flavor was incredible! The reason I call it a stoup is it’s halfway between a stew and a soup – it’s extremely hearty, so that makes it very fulfilling.

TURKEY STOUP

2 litres vegetable broth (your choice. I use what’s on sale).
4-5 potatoes quartered and cut
2 turkey wings (the full wing and some breast meat)
1/2 green pepper cut in half and sliced
2 packages Italian blend vegetables (Western Family)
1 Onion cut in half and sliced
5 cloves garlic sliced
Olive Oil for onions

Onions in dutch oven

slightly caramelized onions


1. Slightly caramelize onions in olive oil on medium heat. Add Garlic.
2. Pour in 1litre vegetable broth
3. Place in wings – don’t do what I did and put in the potatoes first. 😦 They were softer than I like.
Turkey wings in broth with potatoes

The makings of turkey stoup


4. Cover and let boil. When meat is heated thoroughly and wants to come off the bones, take it out, and cut it into
big pieces. Discard bones.
cover and simmer turkey in broth

turkey stoup in the making


5. Put in remaining broth, bring to a boil.
6. Add turkey, potatoes, vegetables, and green paper. heat, and serve.

Makes 4-6 (4 for us because we love our soup)

Turkey stoup - finished!

Yummy turkey stoup in the bowl


ps. If when you have finished the soup, and you have extra broth as we do, add veggies and noodles. It makes a great leftover leftover soup. Hope you enjoy the Food Tunnel!
turkey noodle soup

turkey noodle soup made with udon noodles and veggies


Oh, by the way, is there something you would like to learn about? A recipe? This is your blog too. Please feel free to contribute.

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Roasted Vegetables

Hi everyone. This will be the last in the series for the new year’s dinner. It has been fun writing that, but there is so much to talk about out there that i am itching to find and try out new things. So, on with the show.

Ingredients

3 lbs new potatoes
2 1/2 – 3lbs carrots
Kosher salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup oil of your choice. I prefer olive if I have it.

New Potatoes

Rinsed and ready for roasting.

First I washed three pounds of new potatoes. I bought these from Green Eggs and Ham, a local vendor at our farmer’s market.

Unpeeled and uncut.

Unpeeled carrots

Then I peeled and cut up most of a bag of carrots into manageable bites. I tossed the whole mixture in approximately 1/4c oil, kosher salt and pepper. I like how kosher salt explodes becomes crusty on whatever you roast it with and you get little explosions of salt in your mouth.

Ready for the oven

Put the pan of potatoes into the oven at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. These would be best to put in during the last hour of your turkey cooking and by the way, if you don’t have a lid for your smaller roaster, you can put foil on your stuffing pan and set it in the pan with your carrots and potatoes. It would still turn out all right. I did that.

So, in closing, it was a very successful new year’s dinner. I hope you enjoyed it. Hopefully you can use these recipes whenever you do a turkey dinner. Blessings to you you and your family this year.

Mmmm, turkey and all the fixings.

Turkey,, stuffing, potatoes, carrots, and turnip all together

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