Reduce waste through home composting

Composting, Cooking, FL, Growing, Healthy Food, Local Orlando Businesses, Organic Herbs and Teas, Orlando News and Events, Recycling
Dandelion Community: Green Tip #1
Did you know that 24-percent of the municipal solid waste stream is food and yard waste? A great way to reduce your landfill contribution and create your own nutrient rich soil is home composting. City of Orlando offers free home composters and workshops through Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Green Works initiative.

Click here to sign up to receive your free composter. See our backyard composting handbook for more information about the benefits of composting and how to get started with your own composting bin!

Click here to sign up to receive your free composter!

Composting Guides

Backyard Composting Handbook
UF compost guide
EPA compost guide

Composting Workshops

The City of Orlando and the Orange County IFAS Extension Office are partnering to bring you free composting workshops. Residents of the City of Orlando can pick up a FREE backyard composter. The first 20 attendees will receive a FREE kitchen scraps collector!

We’ve wrapped up our spring 2016 workshops, our summer 2016 workshop schedule will be coming soon.

Compost  Drop-Off Sites

Can’t use all of your compost? A colorful bin will be placed at these community garden sites to accept finished compost in case residents are not able to use all of their compost:

  • Parramore Community Garden
    654 W. Robinson St.
    Orlando, FL
  • Colonialtown North Community Garden
    1517 Lake Highland Dr.
    Orlando, FL
  • Festival Park Community Garden
    2911 E. Robinson St.
    Orlando, FL

Reduce Summer Pest with herbs

camping, Cooking, FL, hiking

Mosquitoes hate herbs like lavender, mint, lemon balm, sage, and of course, citronella.

Toss a few branches of herbs fresh or dry into the fire and what smells heavenly to you, will send bugs packing!

Even if you don’t have a firepit, then you can still create bug-repelling smoke. Making your own citronella candles is easy and inexpensive if you use recycled materials. See how to make these Citronella CANdles here:

 
Sage for campfires

There are plenty more mosquito-repelling plants that you can add to your landscape. See them on my eBay blog:

http://gardentherapy.ca/smudge-your-fire/

Herb Day At Dandelion Cafe May 7, 2016

Bicycling, Cooking, FL, Growing, Healthy activities, Healthy Food, Organic Herbs and Teas, Orlando News and Events

 

Dandelion Communitea Cafe & The Florida School of Holistic Living Presents

Herb Day May 7th from 11am- 5pm at the Dandelion Cafe:

Orlando’s Organic & Vegetarian Friendly Gathering Place

618 N Thornton Ave • Orlando FL 32803 • 407-362-1864

Herb Day at Dandelion

  • Free Workshops
  • Cooking Demo
  • Plant and tea sale
  • Weed walk
  • Activities for kids

Herb Day At Dandelion Cafe Facebook Event Page

FarmDaddy Self Watering Growing System

Cooking, FL, Growing, Healthy Food, Local Orlando Businesses, Organic Herbs and Teas

We have been up to FarmDaddy in the Sanford area to learn more about this growing system and what makes it different from many of the other systems out there.

FarmDaddy How It Works

One of the most ingenious features of the FarmDaddy is the simplicity of how the garden container is watered.  The unit requires NO electricity, attaches to a common garden hose (or rain barrel) and is self-regulating . The garden container provides each plant the precise amount of water it needs at the exact time it needs it. Each self watering container maintains optimal plant hydration 24/7 which maximizes plant growth potential. One box can be daisy chained to up to 600 boxes. Due to the bypass in each box, only the boxes that need water receive hydration. Other so called watering box systems still need the user to physically add water at regular intervals.

The FarmDaddy garden container provides accelerated growth and increased productivity for growing fresh organic food or flowers.

Collards at the FarmDaddy testing facility

Here is a video for you to watch to learn more:

http://www.farmdaddy.com/whyfarmdaddy/

 

CREAMY BROCCOLI SOUP

Cooking, FL, Growing, Healthy Food, Organic Herbs and Teas, Orlando News and Events, Recipes

broccoli soup-1-7

vegan/gluten free

makes 4-6 servings

As Chef Mark knows, I am a huge fan of soup. All kinds of soup! So he whipped me up this beautiful concoction to teach me a thing or two. This is a fairly basic soup, and many of the ingredients can be swapped out more to your liking. Instead of broccoli, try cauliflower or mushrooms; or switch the potatoes out for rice or white beans. The seasonings can be switched too, try curry powder or saffron, or even chili seasonings for more spice. You can also add on vegan or dairy cheese (cream cheese works great!), or throw in some crackers for some crunch. However you like it, let us know your favorite combination!

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups broccoli, rough chop
  • 2 russet or baking potatoes, large cubes
  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, pinch
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • baguette for croutons, if desired

Directions:

Sweat onions in EVOO over medium heat. Add garlic cloves, salt, and pepper; then veg stock. Bring to a oil. Add red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender, then add broccoli. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Cook until broccoli is tender enough to puree, it should still be bright green. Let cool until safe enough to puree. Use either immersion blender, food mill, or regular blender until smooth. Add salt to taste, and a cream or cream substitute if desired to add texture. (We added some almond milk in ours!)

Traditional Croutons: chop baguette in small chunks. Cover bottom of a pan with EVOO, cook over medium heat. Cook croutons to desired color, flipping once. Add black pepper & salt to taste.

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Taking a walk around Orlando

Healthy Food, Inspiration, Local Orlando Businesses, Organic Herbs and Teas, Orlando News and Events, Recipes

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

Henry David Thoreau

Even though it is winter there is lots of beauty to see along the way on an early morning walk or anytime during the day.

Orlando has lots of greenery, along with wonderful flowering bushes and citrus.

Plus walking helps improve a mood, gives you time to think, helps keep your brain active, increases balance, cost next to nothing and much more.

A little orange in life

A little orange in life

Being creative with stones

Being creative with stones

Purple camellia

Purple camellia

Orlando Flowering bushes some even bloom in the winter

Orlando Flowering bushes some even bloom in the winter

One good way to get involved in your Central Florida Community

Cooking, FL, Growing, Healthy activities, Healthy Food, Local Orlando Businesses, Orlando News and Events
Picnic Project Sanford Florida

Picnic Project Sanford Florida

THE PICNIC PROJECT.  Like Food Not Bombs, the Picnic Project feeds people and families in need in the Sanford area every Sunday (FYI – Picnic Project prepares conventional non-vegetarian food for the families they serve).
Mark a Dandelion Cafe team member is involved in the creation and development of the This Picnic Project and has volunteered countless hours with them over the past 5+ years.  Most weeks Mark gets involved with the SundayCommunity Meal that’s served at 1pm in Downtown Sanford area.

If any of you are interested in supporting the Picnic Project, please talk to Mark or email them at thepicnicproject@yahoo.com, or visit their Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/picnicproject/

Win a FREE Ticket to the 2016 Florida Herbal Conference!

Cooking, Growing, Healthy Food, Organic Herbs and Teas, Orlando News and Events

Mountain Rose Herbs is giving away one free ticket before January 8th

We are so excited to share this interview with Emily Ruff, the Executive Director of the Florida School of Holistic Living and a community herbalist who has practiced the art and science of plant healing for over a decade. Her studies have taken her around three continents where she has studied under healers of many traditions. Emily’s dedication to preserving bioregional medicinal plant traditions and ecosystems led her to serve as a Board Member of United Plant Savers. Inspired by a need for greater connection among her regional community, she founded the Florida Herbal Conference event in 2012, an event which continues to sell out annually. Enjoy the interview and be sure to enter for a chance to win free registration to the 2016 conference!  
Florida Herbal Conference - win a free ticket!

TANGERINE SHERBET

Cooking, Growing, Healthy activities, Healthy Food, Local Orlando Businesses, Organic Herbs and Teas, Uncategorized

We came across some yummy looking tangerines and decided to make some sherbet! We adapted from this recipe here from vanillaandbean.com, which they adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe here to make it vegan. See, it’s all about making a recipe your own!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Orange Juice, fresh-squeezed tangerines. This will require 2-3 lbs of oranges. Refrigerate the oranges overnight if possible.
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Granulated Cane Sugar
  • ⅛ tsp Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¾ C, or 13.6 oz can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 2 Tbs Orange Zest, 2 small oranges

Directions:

  1. The night before making the sherbet, place the oranges and coconut milk in the refrigerator. Place the ice cream maker’s freezer bowl in the freezer.
  2. In a high speed blender (or a food processor), blend the orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and coconut milk until the sugar is dissolved. Strain into a large bowl. Add the orange zest. Stir.
  3. Refrigerate until mixture is 40F or less (I refrigerated mine overnight to reach appropriate temperature).
  4. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. When finished, the sherbet will be like soft-serve (mine took 25 minutes).
  5. While the sherbet is processing, line a storage container with parchment paper and place in the freezer.
  6. Spoon the sherbet into the storage container making sure to redistribute the zest evenly as it tends to get stuck and clump up on the mixer attachment.
  7. Place a piece of parchment paper directly on the surface of the Sherbet and freeze until desired consistency. I freeze mine overnight, but a softer serve consistency can be enjoyed in about three hours.
  8. Serve in a bowl or cone.
  9. Store for up to two weeks in the covered container in the freezer.

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http://dandelion.kitchen/portfolio/tangerine-sherbet/

BOOKS TO LIVE BY

Cooking, Growing, Healthy Food, Inspiration, Organic Herbs and Teas

by: Chef Mark Thompson

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I love books. A lot. Real books – printed books that I can hold, flip through and put on my bookshelves. Old school. No e-books for me. But if thats your thing, don’t let me stop you.

Culinary books are a great resource – for techniques, flavor combinations, ideas and inspiration. Oh, and recipes. There are tons of tomes out there, but these are my personal favorites when it comes to plant-based cooking.

TOP THREE

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The Vegetarian Flavor Bible

The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity with Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and More, Based On the Culinary Wisdom of Leading American Chefs

by Karen Page

That’s one heck of a subtitle. But it’s true. This book has been indispensable to me. Hands down the book I use the most often. It was preceded by Culinary Artistry (I bought three copies, because friends kept ‘borrowing’!), then an updated and expanded version was released, The Flavor Bible. This vegetarian version came out in 2014. The bulk of the book is dedicated to ingredient matches and affinities. Want to know what goes with mangoes? It’s there. Really want to know? Everything from almonds to yuzu. Classic and clever pairings garnered from the input of some of the best chefs in America. As well as methods of preparation, seasonality, flavor profiles, sample dish ideas, nutritional profile, botanical relatives and tips. Also, there is a fascinating timeline of vegetarian history, great quotes, information on eating plant-based, menus from top restaurants and more. Learn about it, and buy it here.

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Ratio

The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking

by Michael Ruhlman

A New York Times bestseller, Ratio, like the Flavor Bible, is another book to help break beyond recipes and find a new freedom in cooking. Recipes, of course, are helpful, especially when starting out or experimenting with new cuisines. However, knowing a basic ratio makes cooking easier and more intuitive. For example, a classic vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Where you go from there is completely up to you (and half the fun!). Oil? The standard is olive. But what about avocado or hazelnut or sesame? Instead of the traditional white wine vinegar, try sherry, raspberry or balsamic. Or go crazy and use lemon juice! It’s your world now. Add in some salt and pepper, it’s that easy. Other common additions would be shallots, dijon mustard and herbs. Just the beginning… There are 32 other ratios with countless variations. While not a vegetarian book, it is incredibly helpful nonetheless.

This book is also available as an app. Which, even given my affinity for books, I will admit is pretty handy. Ruhlman also has a very informative blog, as well as many other great books. I like them all, including the ones having nothing at all to do with cooking. Such as The Elements of Cooking, Ruhlman’s Twenty, The Making of a Chef, House, Walking on Water and Wooden Boats. You can find it all here.

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How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food

by Mark Bittman

I’ve liked Mark Bittman for some time now. Up until recently he was a columnist with the New York Times, but has since left to work with a vegan startup. He is also an outspoken commentator on our broken food system appearing often on news programs, in documentaries and writing other books like Food Matters. His column, The Minimalist, was known for straightforward, simple recipes. This volume, one of a series, carries on that theme. This is a more traditional cookbook, but a massive one. And while there are over 2,000 recipes, there are also variations and substitutions and techniques to help facilitate spontaneous and seasonal cooking. The recipes run the gamut of soups, salads, breads, desserts, grains and way more. My personal favorite is the section on spices, condiments and sauces. It’s a great way to build up your pantry with natural, homemade goodness, without all the chemicals and superfluous ingredients found in mass market convenience products. With this book, you can make your own pesto, ketchup, eggless mayo, mustard, vegan fish sauce, barbeque sauce and mix your own curry powder, chili powder, garam masala and tons more.

This book is also available as an app, which makes a convenient, searchable, portable companion. Other books I like by Bittman include the aforementioned Food Matters, as well as VB6 and Kitchen Express (not entirely plant-based, but easily customizable). For more information, visit his website here.

CHEFS & RESTAURANTS

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Crossroads

Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine

by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones and Serafina Magnussen

Just know this – Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney and Jay-Z are all fans of Ronnen. So, you don’t really need me to tell you. But I will anyway. This is vegan food taken to the highest level. Primarily Mediterranean, it is beautiful just to peruse, but there is plenty here that you could make at home. The first thing I did was make his simple, but tasty Walnut Parmesan. Some very interesting flavors and a section on basics, with recipes for almond Greek yogurt, cashew cream, vegetable stocks and a demi-glace that is next up on my hit list. He also has another book, The Conscious Cook, which is also worth checking out.

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Dirt Candy: A Cookbook

Flavor-forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant

by Amanda Cohen & Ryan Dunlavey with Grady Hendrix

My new favorite cookbook. Funny, clever and filled with great recipes, ideas and techniques. Written in graphic novel form, it is part memoir, a history of her NY restaurant, and a cookbook all in one. Learn the trials of opening a restaurant and how to make Smoked Corn Dumplings or Huitlacoche Cream. What I like most is ideas for components to reinforce and add extra layers of flavor. For example, her recipe for Roasted Carrot Buns also includes a carrot & cucumber salad, carrot hoisin and a carrot halvah garnish to really bring out the carrot flavor in different ways and textures.

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The Accidental Vegetarian

Delicious Food Without Meat

By Simon Rimmer

The chef at the Greens, in Manchester, England, Simon Rimmer has put together this tasty collection of dishes that could please anyone, omnivores included. Pulling inspiration from around the globe, there are dishes with Thai, Indian, Japanese, Middle Eastern and Italian influences. Most of the dishes are simple enough even for a weeknight, but there are plenty to impress at your next dinner party as well. Samples include Leek & Potato Rosti, Phyllo Strudel with Port and Eggplant Tikka Masala.

DIGGING DEEPER

OmnivoresDilemma_full

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

A Natural History of Four Meals

by Michael Pollan

Basically an exposé of what it takes to get food on your plate. An attempt to answer the question, “What should we eat?” Delves into the benefits and problems with organic production, fast food, the meat industry, and foraging. A fascinating look into a broken system. The book earned Pollan a James Beard Award. There is also a young readers version available. Also great is In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto and I also enjoyed Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education.

The_china_study

The China Study

Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health

by T. Colin Campbell, PHD and Thomas M. Campbell, MD

An eye-opening look at the effect our diet has on every facet of our health. The book is based on the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted. The main focus is the correlation between animal protein consumption and chronic illnesses. It can be a bit tedious, but the information is incredible. The study is featured in the film Forks Over Knives.

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Cooking

600 Recipes, 1500 Photographs, One Kitchen Education

by James Peterson

Somehow this guy seems to know everything about cooking. I mean, he did teach for seventeen years and write the advanced curriculum for The French Culinary Institute. So there’s that. He also has a degree in chemistry. He’s also written over a dozen books. This is the culmination of all of them, in one convenient package. It won a James Beard Award, as have several of his others. This is not all plant-based cooking, this is all cooking. So if you would be offended at pictures on trussing a veal roast, skip it. If you want to learn how to make concassée, Borscht, grill zucchini, and find out what the heck herbs de Provence is, then this is the book for you.

http://dandelion.kitchen/portfolio/books-to-live-by/