It was warm enough today to spend more than 15 minutes outside. Ladybug, Musicman and I built a fire and got some things done in the yard. One of those things was building Ladybug’s first snowman. She spent a good deal of time conversing with him while I did some shovelling.
I shovelled the across-the-street neighbours’ walkway and, when I was done, they asked us to come in. Their house is a mirror image of our 1953 built 690 square foot bungalow, save the 150 square foot addition on the back. They were proud to inform us that they had raised five children there, and that with only one bathroom. I was immediately reminded of how our realtor suggested that our three bedroom house would not suit many people because it was too small for anyone other than a couple or single person. How times have changed!
I recently read Disease Proof Your Child, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and have been feeling somewhat guilty for turning my back on nutritionally sound eating in favour of ripple chips and beer. It happens every year during the winter doldrums: I ditch fresh fruit and vegetables and cling to sinfully starchy carbs. Not that I’ve started Ladybug on beer just yet …
In an effort to make something that would satisfy one and all, I went to the cold room and pulled out some of our lovely Alberta Blush garden potatoes to make twice baked potatoes. Normally, this is a dairy-heavy recipe with butter, cheese, milk, and sour cream, but I modified it so that I could eat it and feed it to Ladybug:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 small onion
8-10 medium sized potatoes
Salt and pepper
Non-dairy milk ( I use almond)
1. Put cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 400.
3. Drain cashews and place in blender or food processor with garlic and half the water. Turn on and add rest of water, as needed, until you have a thick but smooth cashew cream. Salt & pepper to taste. Place in fridge.
4. Prick potatoes with a fork and put in oven for 40-50 minutes. They should be cooked through but not too soft.
5. Let potatoes cool while you chop up the onions and olives. (This step can be altered to accommodate whatever you’d like in your potato: garlic, cheese, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, etc.)
6. Cut each potato in half and use a spoon to scoop out most of the flesh. Be careful: they will still be hot. Make sure you leave about a quarter inch next to the skin, so that your boats don’t fall apart. Place the cashew cream, potato, onions, and olives in a bowl.
7. Using a ricer or hand mixer, blend the potato mixture, adding a bit of non-dairy milk at a time. Salt & pepper to taste.
8. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed out potato boat a little over the top with the mixture, and place on a baking sheet.
9. Pop the sheet back in the oven for 20-30 minutes until just beginning to brown.