Taking a Break to Reorganize


 
Over the weekend, it finally became clear to me that I need to get a new desktop computer. It had been having problems so I took it in and didn’t have a computer for four days so couldn’t write this week’s posts. And at the end of all that they couldn’t even diagnose the problem. So now it’s get a new computer and transfer all the data and reorganize everything.

So I’m going to take this opportunity for a few of weeks of reorganization to set things up for a new phase of production for Wholefood Cuisine.
 


Stuffed Grape Leaves (Armenian Sarma aka Dolmas) and Armenian Rice Salad

Traditional Armenian stuffed grape leaves (sarma) that my grandmother taught me to make

 

NOTE: You can make this recipe with grape leaves, cabbage, or swiss chard leaves.

Larry and I live in Sonoma County, California—the “Sonoma” of the internationally famous Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino wine region—so we live surrounded by miles of vineyards growing grapes. We watch them through the year as we drive past, going through their lifecycle from bare branches to green leaves, grapes, yellow leaves, and bare branches again.

The green leaves start appearing in April and by now, in early May, the leaves are big enough to make stuffed grape leaves, a tradition from my Armenian grandmother. This is the best time of year to make this popular appetizer because the leaves are fresh and tender. You can continue to make this throughout the summer until the leaves begin to give way to grapes. But you can continue to stuff other leaves that come into season when there are no longer grape leaves. Stuffed swiss chard leaves are my favorite after grape leaves.

Larry’s family has a grape vine that now has grape leaves too, so I couldn’t resist picking leaves to make stuffed grape leaves.


Cooking With Leaves

Since this week’s recipe is about cooking with grape leaves, I thought I’d share this very interesting cookbook with you that is all about cooking with all different kinds of leaves.

Leaf: Lettuce, Greens, Herbs, Weeds – 120 Recipes that Celebrate Varied, Versatile Leaves is unique among cookbooks because instead of focusing on the type of dish—such as how to make crepes—it focuses on the different types of leaves that we use every day in cooking and what we can do with them. This book truly begins in Nature and creates familiar dishes from using leaves. I’ve learned so much from this book because it really takes a look at the characteristics of each leaf and reveals its best uses.


Eliminating Single Use Plastics From Your Kitchen


 
Sometimes I come across articles that are so well written I don’t see any point in rewriting them myself.

Such is the case with How To Tackle The Single-Use Plastic Crisis in Your Kitchen which appeared in the Serious Eats blog this week.

With all the take-out food from the pandemic, the use of single-use plastics is at an all-time high, with corresponding environmental consequences.

This post thoroughly explains the issue and helps you figure out how you can reduce your use of single-use plastics.

My best advice on the subject, of course, is to prepare all your meals at home from ingredients purchased at the farmer’s market or and carried home in a reusable basket, or grown in your own backyard. No plastic involved.
 


WholeWater Goes With Wholefoods

 

On this blog, we’ve been talking about whole food, so I thought we should also look at the idea of whole water.

Just like industrial food does not contain all the nutrients and other aliveness factors that make wholefood so enlivening, so too does industrial water—from the tap or the bottle—not contain the minerals, oxygen, and other factors present in the water found in natural ecosystems.

Tap and bottled water does contain nutrients that are naturally occurring minerals/electrolytes, but the problem is, they are mixed with contaminants. Improperly water treatment techniques (reverse osmosis, distillation, de-ionization) strip the nutrients out.

The difference between wholewater and tap water is astonishing.