Real Food

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4/30/2015

japanese knotweed 

Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum or Fallopia japonica) is an invasive wild plant that is also a versatile ingredient, but only during the few short weeks of spring when it is tender enough to bother harvesting.

This plant was originally introduced to North America by the horticultural industry as an ornamental because its fast-growing, jointed stalks form attractive colonies that are reminiscent of bamboo. Like bamboo, the stalks are hollow except at the joints, but that's where the similarity ends.

Japanese knotweed stalks are speckled with red (or sometimes entirely red) and have papery sheaths at the joints. Often compared to rhubarb, Japanese knotweed does have a similarly tart flavor but also strong earthy green overtones. Like rhubarb it is crunchy raw but quickly cooks down to a soft, pulpy mass. It is good in both savory and sweet recipes.

When the plants first emerge from the perennial roots in early spring, they shoot straight up. As they get taller, the stalks begin to zig and zag at the joints, eventually branching and becoming as high as 8 feet tall.

The leaves are smooth-edged and shaped like a gardener's trowel. When the plants finally flower, the cream-colored flowers are in clusters and become aerodynamic seeds that spread far and wide, carried by the wind.

The root systems are massive, like huge clumps of twisted driftwood. Even a small piece of a Japanese knotweed root left in the ground will generate a new plant. That fact, plus those wind-born seeds, is why this is considered a dangerously invasive plant. It will quickly crowd out slower-growing plants trying to survive adjacent to it. You don't have to worry about over-harvesting this one!

Japanese knotweed contains the antioxidant resveratrol, the same substance that makes red grapes (and wine) useful for preventing heart disease. The root is harvested commercially in Asia for its medicinal benefits.

But for food, it's the young stalks that you want. Harvest them when they are still tender enough to snap off with a clean break without needing to use a knife. Here's a short video that captures the satisfying "pop" sound Japanese knotweed makes when it is harvested at the right stage.

Once you've harvested tender Japanese knotweed stalks in early spring, give them a soak in a sink full of water. For some reason, ants love Japanese knotweed but this preliminary soak will get rid of them.

Very young Japanese knotweed stalks don't need to be peeled. Try stripping off a bit of the skin of the stalk: if it strips off easily, then the skin is tough enough that it's worth removing it. If it's hard to peel because the skin is too thin, don't bother.

You can freeze Japanese knotweed without blanching it first. It will keep well, frozen, for at least six months.

hummus-filled knotweed 

Hummus-Filled Knotweed Snacks

Raw Japanese knotweed stalks have a celery-like crunch, but also a pleasantly sour taste that kicks up the lemon flavor of the hummus.

1. Choose tender, young Japanese knotweed stalks that are at least 1/2-inch in diameter. Remove any leaves, wash, and then peel if necessary.

2. Cut the prepared knotweed stalks into 1-inch lengths. They will look like short tubes.

3. Use a table knife to fill first one side and then the other with hummus (homemade or store-bought). Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 hours.

Leda Meredith is the author of Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries. You can watch her foraging and food preservation videos, and follow her food adventures at Leda's Urban

Homestead. Her latest book is Preserving Everything: Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke...and More.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



4/29/2015

sourdough potato bread

Recently we had a bout of cool, stormy, spring weather. Cool weather always makes me hunger for homemade bread, particularly sourdough bread. And since my foodie grand-daughter and I had recently made a beautiful batch of sourdough carrot bread, the starter was bubbling away waiting for a new creation.

There are a few breads that I make over and over; Sourdough Oatmeal and Greek Country Bread come to mind. But usually I like to experiment and try something new. So this time it was light sourdough potato bread. Like most potato breads, this one was soft and moist but it also had a nice crusty surface. The sourdough starter added tangy flavor that usually isn’t present in potato bread.

How to Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

There are many ways to make a sourdough starter. I personally prefer to use the method found on my website Make Your Own Sourdough Starter. Over the years Mother Earth News has published several articles about making your own sourdough starter, including Creating Homemade Sourdough Bread From a Starter Mix, and a previous blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough. No matter which method is used, your starter will eventually be populated with the local wild yeasts found in your particular geographical area. You may start with a dried starter purchased on your San Francisco vacation, but after a few weeks that starter will be less San Francisco sourdough and more Peoria sourdough or Austin sourdough. That isn’t a bad thing. San Francisco may be famous for their sourdough breads, but I guarantee that your bread will be delicious too.

Sourdough Potato Bread Recipe

• 1 large Russet potato
• 2 tbsp melted butter
• ¾ cup potato cooking water
• 2 cups sourdough starter
• 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 2 ½ cups Kamut flour
• 1 tsp salt

1. Peel and dice the potato. Boil until tender. Drain and reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water.

2. Mash the potato and let cool to room temperature.

3. In a large bowl or a stand mixer bowl combine the cooled potato, butter, cooled cooking water, and sourdough starter.

4. Stir in the flours and salt. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to prevent excess sticking. The dough should be soft and somewhat sticky. Be careful not to add too much additional flour, you only want enough to make the dough manageable.

5. Form dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 2-4 hours. Gently deflate dough, shape, cover and let rise another hour.

Note: I shaped my loaf into a round and let it rise in a brotform, but it will work well in a traditional loaf pan too. The soft dough does need some sort of structure though, so it will not work well to let it rise in a free-form shape.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slash the top of the loaf and bake on a hot stone for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees.

7. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Renee Pottle is an author, Family and Consumer Scientist, and Master Food Preserver. She writes about canning, baking, and urban homesteading at Seed to Pantry.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



4/28/2015

tostones

Tostones, or twice-fried plantains, are a crispy and delicious taste of the tropics.

While there’s a lot to love about Texas cuisine, I often miss the flavors of South Florida, where my husband and I spent the first two years of our marriage.

The Miami area blends cultures and cuisines with an extra helping of tropical flair. From Haiti to Puerto Rico to Cuba, twice-fried plantains under some name are a tropical standard and one of my favorite Miami memories.

At most of the restaurants we went to, these savory treats were called tostones. Made from green or not-too-ripe plantains (similar to large, starchy bananas), tostones make a great side to serve with a big bowl of beans for a casual dinner, or a perfect snack to serve with your favorite tropical drink.

Tostones

Ingredients

• 2 green or light yellow plantains (avoid those with many black spots, as they will be too ripe)
• Peanut oil (or another oil suitable for frying)
• Half a lime
• Salt

Directions

1. Near your frying space, set up a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet and line with paper towels if desired.

2. In a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan or cast-iron skillet, heat about 2 inches of oil to 300-320 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. While the oil is heating, use a chef’s knife to slice off the ends of the peels of both plantains, then cut each plantain (through the peel) into 1 ½-inch chunks. For each chunk, cut down the side of the peel from top to bottom (cutting completely through the skin), and then remove the peel.

4. Fry the chunks (in 2 batches), turning with heat-proof tongs as necessary, until light golden all around.

5. Use the tongs to transfer the chunks to the prepared cooling rack as ready. Adjust the heat of the oil as necessary to keep the heat between 330 to 325degrees Fahrenheit.

tostones

6. Transfer the fried chunks to a cutting board and use a flat-bottomed drinking glass to smash each chunk to a ¼-inch-thick disk.

tostones smash

7. Allow the oil to come up in temp to 320 to 340 degrees.

8. Fry the disks in batches until dark golden and crispy.

9. Transfer the tostones to the prepared cooling rack as necessary, seasoning immediately with a few drops of lime juice and a good sprinkling of salt.

Tostones are best if eaten soon after frying, either on their own or with a simple dipping sauce of  pureed garlic and olive oil.

Morgan Crumm is a mother, blogger, recipe-developer, and real-food advocate based in Dallas, Texas. More of her work can be found at Being The Secret Ingredient, a blog about food, life, and love.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



4/20/2015

My husband recently had a hospital stay for a fractured skull after a bad fall. It was an ordeal, but he is expected to make a 100% recovery, fortunately. During his two-night stay, we had plenty of time to observe the hospital goings-on. We started at our local hospital, and everyone there was wonderful, including, of course, the ambulance crew. However, he was soon shipped off to a bigger city hospital whose main characteristic was chaos.

Shaded Forest Lane

On Hospital Food

After several tests and innumerable blood taking (I wouldn’t be surprised he was anemic at some point), the problems were spotted. The only positive thing with a head injury is you don’t have much appetite, and in this case, the hospital food did not disappoint in its terrible reputation. As is usual, you pick off the tray what you hope is edible, and leave the rest. One morning, the only edible thing was oatmeal, the next was toast. I did not ask about dinner. My son and I took to smuggling fresh fruit in, like bananas and apples.

In cruising the halls, I noticed all the food trays stacked up, waiting to go back to be washed. One could not help but notice how much was not eaten. The portions were not large, but most of it was not touched. Now, it is a given that when you do not feel well, you usually also do not feel like eating, so maybe they do not bother trying for that reason. Having said that, when you do not feel well, that is all the more reason for palatable, decent food. It is possible!

That same day, by sheer luck, I had been in another city hospital earlier in the day. Different city, different hospital. We ate lunch in the cafeteria, and I was pleasantly surprised to find fresh items, salads, decently cooked entrees and sandwiches. I had a Western sandwich and sweet potato fries that were quite good. My son had a Caesar salad, milk and a sandwich; my husband, the pizza. They said it all was good, and the Caesar salad made me hungry just looking at it (next time, I will be smart and get one).

Institutional Food

Institutional food has always had a bad rap, and deservedly so. I would have to include school lunches and airlines in this, although we pay dearly for them, either through taxes or fares. In one case, the transatlantic 747 we were on to England ended up with major food poisoning, with the majority of bathrooms no longer functioning due to the fact so many people threw up (only one was left, with a line of fifty to sixty people for it). The beef was literally rancid, and I picked up on it immediately, warning the others in our party not to touch it. We then dove into our backpacks for snacks. One could only hope the one pilot that got stuck with beef didn’t eat it! (Having said all this, I have had decent meals on some airlines, and I was only in First Class once, so it too can be done.)

The school lunches are improving, from what I hear, but when I was a young kid, they were disgusting. My mother could not understand why I refused to eat them after a while, and started brown-bagging lunch. The price was right, certainly cheap enough, and that perhaps is the problem. Somehow, it became acceptable in our society to feed children, the ill, and airline passengers poor to really bad food. Or none at all.

Improving Institutional Food

Today we obviously still live in a society that condones cheap/bad food for those who can’t afford it or have no say. Sadly, many times healthy food is only for those who can afford it or have access to it. Things are improving, but unfortunately, the old rules seem to still apply. Some hospitals have tried mightily to improve their menus, but obviously, some others have room for improvement.

One area of great improvement is university/college level meals, in fact, one could easily argue that a revolution took place on campuses across the country, certainly in Ontario [1]. In some cases, the student meals have been taken over by students themselves, other times restaurateurs have been brought in to do it right. Again, you pay dearly for your education, but your health and welfare used to be a distant second in favor of your mind. Granted, they saw education of your mind as their job, generally, and how well they fed you, well....let’s just say I know personally of several cases of food poisoning on campus in years past. It might be useful for hospitals et al, to take a cue from what the colleges and universities have done.  

As for the airlines, well, caveat emptor.

  1. Knezevic, Irena. TVOntario episode of “The Agenda.” March 2, 2015.

You can follow the adventures of Sue at www.SVanSlooten.com, or email Sue at sueanslooten@ripnet.com.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



4/20/2015

Ball Blue BookJust like seed catalogs help backyard gardeners weather the long cold winter, canning books help preserving types get through the planting season. Apple blossoms bring to mind jars of spicy apple butter, and grocery store tomato plants have us planning new salsa recipes. Alas, it’s a bit too early to jump into full-fledged canning mode, but it’s not too early to plan our canning projects. That’s where these favorite canning books come in handy.

Most of these books won’t be found on any best-selling list, but after 30 years of experience they are the books that I find most useful. I don’t receive any free copies or other benefits for recommending them – with one exception, see below. They are the books that you will find on my bookshelf, sticky with spitting jam and stained with sloshed vinegar. I am sure that you will find them useful too.

Ball Blue Book: The Ball Blue Book, published in cooperation with Ball® has been the go-to canning guide for over 100 years. This is the first canning book many new canners purchase, and many long-time canners own more than one version. The Ball Blue Book is updated periodically, as canning and safety guidelines are updated. The most recent version is from 2004 and includes all the basics about canning both low-acid and acid foods, freezing and dehydrating. There are numerous recipes for soft spreads and pickling as well as some less well known recipes like Chablis Jelly and Maple-Walnut Syrup.

So Easy to Preserve: If the Blue Book has all the basics covered, So Easy to Preserve takes those basics and does them one better. So Easy to Preserve is published by the Cooperative Extension of the University of Georgia, where the National Center for Home Food Preservation is located. It is a coil bound book with few illustrations, but chock full of canning/freezing/drying charts, tips and recipes. For example, there are 12 salsa recipes alone. As might be expected, there is quite a bit of southern region food information like how to can okra or black eye peas that might not be as popular elsewhere. You will find something about almost any meat, fruit, or vegetable that you are interested in preserving in this tome.

The Joy of Pickling: I borrowed this book, along with its sister, The Joy of Jams and Jellies, from the library so many times that it’s a wonder the staff didn’t buy me a copy. Finally I ordered both books, and haven’t looked back since. Linda Ziedrich is the genius behind The Joy of Pickling. It is divided into several sections, each highlighting a particular kind of pickle, e.g. fermented pickles, fresh pickles, sweet pickles, chutneys, and even pickled meat, fish and eggs. The instructions are well written and easy to follow and all include an interesting head note. My favorite thing about this book? The variety. Along with recipes like Old-Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles and Sweet Gherkin Pickles you’ll find Robert’s Tea Pickles and Pickled Walnuts. In fact, I try to make something new and different every year. This book has kept me going for several years now with no end in sight.

Preserving Memories: Preserving Memories, written by Judy Glattstein, is a one-of-a-kind book primarily about jams, jellies, and other soft spreads. Since jams are my very favorite canning projects, I fell in love with this book because of its shear scope of recipes. Not only will you find recipes using common fruits like raspberries and blueberries, you will also find recipes for rose petal jam, cranberry butter, rowen jelly and caramelized apple-sage relish. Just looking through the recipes will have you out foraging for saskatoons or lingonberries. This is the perfect book if you really want to wow your gift recipients with something unique.

Saving the Season: Saving the Season, written by Kevin West, is a hefty hardcover book, with an in-depth index, a bibliography, and informative appendices that provide information about popular fruit varieties, peak fruit and vegetable seasons by region, and a helpful pH guide. All the basics are here too; canning how-to, canning equipment, jam making directions and explanations, and pickling tips. There are canning and preserving recipes here, everything from a basic strawberry jam to lime curd to pickled cardoons. One thing in particular I love about this book is how deep the author delves into the why of canning and preserving. Most canning books simply cover the how and what of canning but Saving the Season explains why canning requires certain steps too. You can find more about this book over on my blog where I reviewed it last year.

The Confident Canner: Full disclosure – I wrote this e-book. All of the above books belong on your bookshelf and in your kitchen, but I have found over the years that canning books don’t always answer the niggling little questions. You know the questions I mean, things like “Do I have to add salt to my canned vegetables?” or “Is it ok to design my own canning recipes?” or “How do I keep my cooking jam from boiling over?” The Confident Canner is like having your grandmother standing next to you, teaching the finer points of canning. After 30 years of canning and giving advice, I pulled the questions together so everyone could benefit from mistakes I had made. For example, boiling jam all over the stovetop is a mess, and something you definitely don’t want to repeat.

Honorable Mention: Since canning is so popular once again, there are plenty of good new canning and preserving books. I can also recommend Preservation Kitchen by Paul Virant, The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan, and Put em Up by Sherri Brooks-Vinton.

Do you have any favorite canning books I haven’t mentioned?

Renee Pottle is an author, Family and Consumer Scientist, and Master Food Preserver. She writes about canning, baking, and urban homesteading at Seed to Pantry


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



4/17/2015

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

I’m a big sourdough fan, making wild starters in almost every place I’ve lived. I’ve cultivated and eaten wild sourdough from south eastern Oregon, the north coast of California, famed San Francisco, ultra urban Los Angeles and now sourdough from Minneapolis, Minnesota (Kitchen Sink Sourdough here). Memory being what it is, I can’t quite remember the differences. I wish I still had samples of all my sourdough starters, but life has a way of making you leaving such treasures behind.

Time to do a taste test! How different is my Minneapolis sourdough from the classic San Francisco sourdough? Since I no longer live in the city by the bay, I ordered wild San Francisco sourdough yeast from Cultures for Heath. I followed their instruction for culturing the starter, which took about 4 days. Once the starter was active, I began my test.

I took my Minneapolis starter and the San Francisco starter and, following the exact same culturing method, made two very bubbly, healthy starters from the same flour and water. Then I took 1/2 cup of starter from each batch, placed each starter in a clean mason jar, added 1/2 c flour and 1/2 c water to each jar, stirred to combine (don’t use the same spoon or you’ll cross contaminate your starters!). I covered each jar with a piece of cheese cloth held with a rubber band, and then set them on the counter for 24 hours. I repeated this process for 5 days - yes you are throwing out over half your starter everyday. You will have leftover starter, which can be thrown in to regular pancakes and bread recipes, or thrown away.

Once the starters are bubbly within a few hours of being fed, you are ready to make bread. Using a soft sandwich bread recipe, I fermented and rose the bread for almost 24 hours, using the same ingredients, rising time, baking temperature and pan size.

The finished bread loaves were almost identical, with the same rise, air bubble size, crust and texture. But the taste was totally different. The Minneapolis sourdough was sharp, tangy and mouthwatering, with a slight bitterness (in a good way.) The San Francisco sourdough in contrast was buttery and nutty, with a slight sour cream tang that was much more subtle than Minnesota.

Which one did I like best? I loved them both! The Minnesota sourdough really tasted like it had rye flour in the mix and paired just beautifully with salted butter. I loved the pronounced tang! The San Francisco sourdough was much more accessible, and worked really well with in the ham sandwich I made with it, not competing to heavily for your attention. Now I have two great sourdoughs in my arsenal of taste and will be making many more in the future. Next time I travel for a week, remind me to capture some local sourdough as a souvenir!

Sourdough Starters

Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe

Activate your sourdough starter by taking out 1/2 cup of starter, mixing it with 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour.  The next day, take out 1/2 cup of starter and do it all over again, discarding the remaining starter or using it as filler in pancakes or other breads with regular yeast or baking powder. After 5 days your starter should be good and bubbly.  Once it strongly bubbles within a few hours of feeding, you're good to go.

Ingredients:

1/2 c active sourdough starter
1 c water
1/4 c olive oil
1 tbs honey
1 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 c whole wheat white flour, plus more for kneading

Instructions:

This recipe takes 16-20 hours to ferment, rise and bake.

1. The night before you bake, combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat with a spoon until a sticky dough is formed. Turn into an oiled bowl, flipping over once to cover both sides. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let ferment overnight.

2. The next morning, about 8-12 hours later, dump the dough onto a well-floured counter and knead until you have a smooth elastic dough, adding flour as needed. You could add as much as an additional cup of flour. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then form into a loaf. Grease a loaf pan, and add the dough. Cover the pan and let dough rise until double.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack placed in the upper middle. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the bread reaches an internal temp of 190 degrees or so. Turn bread out on to a cooling rack. Try to let it cool before you slice it, if you can.

Minnesota and San Francisco Sourdough Breads

Tammy Kimbler is the blogger of One Tomato, Two TomatoA cultivator at heart, Tammy’s passions lie with food, preservation, gardening and connecting to her local community through blogging and urban agriculture. She eats well and love to feed others as often as possible. She currently resides with her family in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



4/15/2015

Slice whole olives into a simple spinach and chickpea salad and skip the oil for more flavor and nutrition. This thrifty recipe tastes like a splurge but only costs 37 cents for a side-dish serving using organic ingredients and less if you grow your own spinach. It's quick to make because my recipe makes good use of the "meanwhile."

Greek Spinach and Chickpea Salad

For a potluck at my friends' farm last weekend, I wanted to show off their lively fresh spinach. I also wanted to bring a dish that would give the vegetarians and vegans in the crowd a good source of protein. This quick recipe let me get out and enjoy the glorious spring weather.

Using Whole Foods Instead of Extracts

Sliced olives provide intense flavor, decorate your salad, and don't puddle at the bottom. Unlike extracted olive oil, they also nourish you with calcium, iron, fiber, and vitamins A, E, and C. To give olive oil credit, it does have about four times as much vitamin K than whole olives for the same amount of fat.

The Magic of Meanwhile

draining chickpeas

This salad recipe uses one of my favorite techniques: get something started and let it work while you do something else. Let the chickpeas drain while you start the spinach soaking. Let the spinach soak while you slice the olives. In just a few minutes, you've got a gorgeous, lemon-scented salad.

Greek Spinach and Chickpea Recipe

Yield: serves 24 as a side dish or 8 as a main dish.

Ingredients

• 4 cups cooked, cold chickpeas
• 4 ounces fresh, raw spinach
• 4 ounces pitted Kalamata style olives or other olives of your choice
• 1 lemon or about 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

1. Drain chickpeas. I cook several pounds of chickpeas at once so I can have them on hand for hummus and stews too. I drain chickpeas for salad right over the pot to save the delicious broth for gravy. If you used canned chickpeas, rinse them in water and don't save the broth.

spinach soaking

2. Put spinach in a clean tub full of water and swish it around. Most of the dirt will sink to the bottom and any critters usually swim to the surface.

3. Slice olives. Zest the lemon and save the zest for another purpose (blueberry pancakes!).

4. Gently lift spinach out of water, empty tub, and refill. Swish spinach again and lift out. Repeat until the water is clear. Usually three rinses are enough.

5. Stack spinach leaves and cut into ribbons about 1/2 x 3 inches and put into a bowl. Set aside a few of the prettiest olive slices for the top, then add the remaining olives and the chickpeas to the spinach.

6. Juice lemon and pour juice over salad. Toss to combine and top with the pretty olive slices.

7. Serve at once or cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Source for nutritional information: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27.

Photos by Linda Watson (c) 2015 Cook for Good, used by permission.

Check out Linda's website Cook for Good for more recipes and tips. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. She is the author of Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet — All on $5 a Day or Less and Fifty Weeks of Green: Romance & Recipes.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.












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