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Native Cooking

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If we are all very lucky, we will be able to eat fresh grown vegetables
from now until November, longer in some areas. Your own garden is the best
grocery but some supermarket chains are trying very hard to upgrade their
produce departments. This is due to the healthy lifestyles touted in the
media. Guess it is starting to pay off, people are better informed and,
therefore, paying more attention to what they eat.

My mother used to say, "the plainer the food is, the better it is for you."
That is true. It's a good rule to stick to unless you crave more variety in
your taste buds. We all do crave a taste highlight now and again, and I
really believe that is just fine within the boundaries of moderation and
health issues.

Candied Carrots Diablo

6 carrots, cooked until tender, drain

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 dash hot pepper sauce

1 dash pepper

Drain cooked carrots. Return them to pan and add the butter, sugar, salt
and peppers. Cook over low, low heat for about 10 minutes, stir a few

Carrots are good for you because they contain beta-carotene. However, they
need a small amount of fat to make the journey through your intestinal
walls and into your body. This is all right. So, the next time you are
serving carrot sticks, put out a little bit of ranch dressing as a dip.

Carrots are even more nutritious cooked. This is because carrots have lots
of fiber and cooking allows the beta-carotene to free itself from the fiber
cells which makes it easier for your body to utilize. Carrot sticks, cooked
carrots, raw shredded in salads, and the ever delicious carrot juice are a
few ways to get the beta-carotene we all need daily.

Interesting Wild Rice Salad

1 cup cooked wild rice

2 cups cooked white or brown rice

4 scallions, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup fresh green peas

10 grape tomatoes or

8 cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered


2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup tarragon vinegar (or other flavored vinegar)

2/3 cup light olive oil (or vegetable oil)

Pinch of sugar

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Salt and pepper to taste

Make dressing separately and toss lightly with combined rice mixture. Serve

Mushroom Salad

1 pound of fresh mushrooms, sliced thin

1 green pepper, bell or mild jalapeno

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

3 ribs of celery

1 red onion, chopped

1/3 cup of red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon oregano or basil Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Whisk all the
other ingredients together in another bowl. Pour over the mushroom mixture
and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

No-Meat Tortillas

4 flour tortillas

1 cup spicy black bean dip

1 cup Monterey jack cheese

1/2 small red onion, chopped

Brush the tortillas with corn oil on one side. Turn them over and spread
the bean dip on that side. Sprinkle with the cheese and chopped onion on
one half of the tortilla. Fold over and warm in a small skillet over medium
heat to melt the cheese.

You can also add sauteed mushrooms, wild or portabella. Corn kernels work
well and to get really fancy, some artichoke hearts, cut up.

Notes & Tips:

Uses for your microwaves: (Because they have come down in price so much in
the past few years, many people who may not have had them in the past find
they are welcome additions.)

To soften cold butter or cream cheese from the fridge, 12 - 14 seconds

To reheat morning coffee, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes

To remove odors from the oven put some lemon juice and peel in a small
glass bowl or dish with a little water. Heat for 3 - 5 minutes and then
wipe the oven with a damp cloth.

To bake a potato, six minutes.