Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dinner at Home. Between my friend Jeff querying me today about whether I cooked gourmet things for my father, and wanting to participate in this week's (WHB) hosted by Nandita of Saffron Trail, I cooked in tonight. The result is the above dinner, Wild Alaskan Salmon (another Costco freezer case wonder) with steamed fresh organic broccoli and organic celery cous cous with fresh garlic. The celery cous cous is my entry this week in the WHB event, but more about that and the recipe later in the post.

My friend who inspired tonight's dinner, Jeff, lives with his wife Cindy near Mt. Shasta, and he sent me this gorgeous photo of the rainbow that appeared over the vista from his home at 8 o'clock this morning. Jeff & Cindy are quite amazing in that they truly live off the grid and produce most of their food from their land. They use solar and wind power and cook using direct solar light in a solar cooker that Jeff made! When Jeff & Cindy were in the bay area we had a potluck lunch, and among the wonderful home grown things that they brought was some acorn bread, hand prepared and ground from acorns on their property. A unique taste-first for me! I actually had not realized that you could eat acorns, unless you were a squirrel! Talent as well as ecological interest runs in the family, as their son Peter Weiss - The Singing Scientist not only does research in the area of atmospheric mercury transport, but has put his musical talent and smooth voice into "Happy Earth Day", an album using happy sound to convey an ecological message.

So on to the herb blogging, and the marvels of celery. Celery is another of my favorite herbs. Plentiful and a wonderful addition to many dishes, it is also full of health benefits! It is from the Umbelliferae family whose other members include carrots, fennel, parsley and yes my other favorite - dill. The World's Healthiest Foods has a nice write up of the health benefits of this popular herb. I can't tell you how many times growing up I was told that eating celery actually provides ~negative~ calories! I rather doubted that, but in fact, it must be true as Snopes, the trusted rumor and old wives tale buster feels that it is true!

Celery Cous Cous

1 cup chopped celery
2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (one can plus water is fine)
2 cups dry cous cous

In a medium pot, saute the celery and garlic in the olive oil. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the cous cous, cover with a lid and remove from the heat. Leave with the lid on for 5 minutes. After the cous cous has steamed for 5 minutes, it is complete and just needs stirring and serving. Makes 6-8 servings

This makes a nice bed for a number of things, including the Wild Salmon I made tonight.

When buying celery, it is one of the more important vegetables to buy organic as it is in the top 12 vegetables containing the most pesticides.


cookiecrumb said...

Do you know about my celery idiocy?

Anna Haight said...

Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed your post, and was glad you found local celery! I would find it hard to live without, especially at stuffing time!

Katie said...

It always seems I have 2 stalks of celery left with no purpose at the end of the week - now they have purpose, I love couscous. This looks great!