I asked on Facebook if ya’ll would be interested in reading about our adventures (or misadventures) in homesteading here on the blog. It was a pretty overwhelming yes. So, I’m going to try to do a weekly post about what we are doing.
I will warn you upfront. We are not vegan or vegetarian. We raise animals to butcher. They live a very happy life and meet a quick ending. Yes, I do believe killing animals can be humane. If you’ve ever seen the aftermath of a raccoon or mink killing, you would know nature can be very inhumane. I’m not going to avoid the subject of butchering animals because it is a very important part of our homestead. I will try to avoid posting any graphic pictures.
After a long and particularly cold winter, our garden is finally growing. One of the first things that can go in the ground here is radishes. Mine were planted a little over a month ago but due to a chilly spring, we’re still waiting for them to mature. Soon, soon, but not soon enough.
Most people think of the root part of the radish plant and toss out (or compost) the tops. The tops are edible and actually quite good. I add them to salads, sauté them with onions, juice them or make them into this creamy soup. Radish greens are rich in vitamin C, folic acid, anthocyanins, B vitamins, and phosphorus.
So stop throwing away those green goodies! If you have more greens than you can eat, you can freeze extras by gently steaming them, bagging them and then placing in the freezer. We have greens all winter long thanks to our vacuum sealer. We also dehydrate and powderize the leaves to sprinkle in all sorts of foods.
I’m going to share with you two ways you can make this soup. The first is with a high speed blender like a Vitamix or BlendTec. The second is on the stove, blending with a stick blender (this is the blender I use Cuisinart Stick Blender). Both ways have their advantage. The high speed blender is quick and easy, makes a very smooth soup, and only one thing to clean. Supposedly this could be considered a raw soup since it’s heated up just enough to be warm. But one drawback is the foam on top of the soup. It bothers some people but not everyone. You can minimize the foam by letting it set a while and then scooping off the remaining foam. But then you have to reheat it. The stovetop method yields a less smooth soup and is cooked but it won’t have the foam problem. Either way is super yummy. A stick blender will not blend coconut flakes up enough to be appetizing, so be sure to use coconut cream or milk and not flakes.
Dairy free enchiladas? Why that’s easy, just make it without cheese.
Uh, no. To me, cheese is the second most important ingredient. Right next to a good enchilada sauce. I’d rather leave everything else out.
I love enchiladas but I’m not going to bother making them without cheese. It’s like a pizza without cheese. Sorry, I just don’t dig it.
Sigh, I love cheese.
But, this recipe is not only an acceptable substitute, it’s actually good. Like not “this is good for dairy free cheese” but actually just plain “this is good” without the disclaimer. The first time I made this, I made half dairy free and half with cheese. The children request the dairy free version over the real cheese one.
To quote my husband, “Woah, Mel, this is good. I mean, you look at it and it looks all disgusting but then you take a bite and it’s so good.” I think that’s a compliment, right?
30 mins later… I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but this is a really big dish. It’s 9″x13″ and 3″ deep. A lot of food. 2 lbs of beef, 2 cups of beans, about 24 corn tortilla shells, a full recipe of the cheese sauce, and a full recipe of the enchilada sauce.
It’s not just for enchiladas either. This cheese tastes great as a nacho cheese sauce with chips as well, as a topping for vegetables, over noodles for mac and cheese, and even on pizza.
I don’t know if I should admit this or not but… I ate a whole head of cauliflower by myself yesterday. I meant for everyone to have it but the boys had Royal Rangers (church Boy Scout type thingie) and I mis-timed making these. My husband took the boys to church and I was home all by myself with a pan full of roasted cauliflower “popcorn”. I couldn’t help myself.
I don’t like to eat out and I especially don’t like to eat out at a fast food restaurant but on the rare occasion that we do, Wendy’s is one of the few places we’ll go. They don’t use pink slime and their burger patties are actually made from beef. It’s not pastured organic beef but it is beef, no soy crap substitutes. On the good, better, best scale, it’s at least an ok.
Anyway, this isn’t meant to be an ad for Wendy’s. Avoid eating out (especially fast food) as much as you can. One of their menu items that we love is their chili. My kids ask for it all the time but I’m not going to to buy it for them as often as they would like. So I’ve set out to create my own version at home.