Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nothing beats winter beet green quiche for breakfast

Winter is upon us. In Southern California, that means green leafy vegetables such as kale and collards are plentiful in the farmers’ markets and grocery stores.

Green leafy vegetables should be part of everyone’s daily diet. They provide ample dietary fiber, they supply numerous vitamins and minerals, and they are a rich source of dietary nitrates that seem to help ward off diabetes and obesity.

One oft overlooked but delicious vegetable is beet greens. Indeed, many people pay for beets by the pound (including the green tops) and then proceed to have the vendor remove and dispose of the tops at the produce stand. 

Perhaps this recipe will convince some to eat their greens for breakfast. Of course, any other green leafy vegetable can be substituted, but nothing beats beet greens for this delicious quiche.

Ingredients for the crust
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1 cup kefir*
  • 3.5 cups whole wheat flour**
  • 2 tsp salt
Ingredients for the filling
  • 1 bunch beet greens***
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, or more to taste
  • 3 pickled hot peppers  (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups kefir
  • ground nutmeg
I. The night before you wish to serve the quiche, prepare the dough. This recipe is based on the recipe for “Yoghurt Dough” in Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions.” It does not make a flaky pie crust, but it is not tough either. It is very tasty, versatile, and easy to use.
  1. Combine the butter with the kefir in a large bowl.
  2. Add all of the flour and sprinkle with the salt.
  3. Mix well by essentially kneading the dough in the bowl until all the flour is combined.
  4. Form the dough into a neat ball and return it to the bowl.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out at room temperature overnight.
II. In the morning, pre-heat the oven to 350 ℉, and first prepare the crust.

You will find that the dough is extremely manageable and forgiving. It is easy to roll and easy to lift and transfer to a baking dish without tearing. Furthermore, if you are not satisfied with the results, the dough can be gathered together and re-rolled without loss of quality. As the dough ages, it appears marbled with some areas darker than others. This is perfectly normal and does not indicate spoilage.

  1. Divide the dough into 3 equal-sized balls.
  2. Wrap 2 in plastic and refrigerate for some other day.
  3. Lay a silpat or rollpat on a clean surface, and sprinkle with flour for rolling.
  4. Also lightly flour your rolling pin and both sides of the 3rd ball of dough.
  5. Roll it out evenly into a circle slightly larger than a ceramic quiche dish 11 inches in diameter.
  6. Lift the circle of dough into the quiche dish and arrange to your liking.
It is not necessary to partially pre-bake the crust, but you may do so if you prefer it to be drier.

III. Then prepare the filling.
  1. Chop one medium-sized onion into medium-sized pieces.
  2. Sauté in olive oil (~ 2 Tbs) until soft and slightly browned on the edges.
  3. Sever the beet greens and stems from the bulbous roots, and save the beets for another meal.
  4. Coarsely chop the stems and greens.
  5. Crush and coarsely chop the garlic.
  6. Add the garlic, optional hot peppers, and beet stems to the onions and continue to sauté to soften the stems and color the onions.
  7. Add the greens and continue to cook until the greens are wilted.
  8. Scramble the eggs in a large bowl, sprinkle with the nutmeg, and whisk in the kefir until all is combined.

IV. Assemble and bake.
  1. Spoon the cooked vegetables evenly into the crust.
  2. Pour in the egg/kefir mixture.
  3. Transfer the uncooked quiche to a preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the center surface of the quiche is set, firm and dry to the touch.
Enjoy. With the bright color contributed by the beet stems bleeding through the surface, this makes a festive addition to a holiday breakfast, or any winter meal.

*The quiche in the picture was prepared using kefir made with whole milk from Rockview Farms Dairy using the dry kefir culture purchased from
New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.

**King Arthur unbleached white whole wheat flour is good.

***The beets were from the Long Beach Southeast Farmers’ Market held Sundays in the parking lot of the Alamitos Bay Marina.

Copyright © 2010 Donna Marykwas; All rights reserved.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Still waiting for Santa's Christmas miracle

Dear Santa,

A certain 9 year old someone asked for the following:

“... a list of good farmland places [in the city of Long Beach] that are being sold and the prices ...”

She also said

“Santa I have tried to be good. Me and my mom baked some good cookies this year. I am going to give you one or two of each. I hope you like them.”

Didn’t you like the cookies? If you were able to produce the home-of-her-own for little Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street, can’t you produce a list of decent vacant lots to make this little Long Beach girl’s dream come true?

We’re waiting.

Copyright © 2010 Donna Marykwas; All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

California agriculture vision report released December 2010

California Agriculture Vision report falls short for local food systems.

Copyright © 2010 Donna Marykwas; All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Orizaba Park expansion breaks ground in Long Beach 4th district

The city of Long Beach is greening up the 4th district with the help of a $2.2 million grant. Read the full story here:

Friday, November 5, 2010

This evening listen live to chef Dan Barber converse about mindful eating
This evening listen LIVE to chef Dan Barber converse with American Public Media's Krista Tippett about mindful eating in the 21st century. (LIVE VIDEO 4:30 PM PST; 7:30 PM EST)

Photo credit: Being LIVE, American Public Media, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Green living featured at Eco Fair at California State University, Long Beach

Green living featured at Eco Fair at California State University, Long Beach
If you missed today’s (Wednesday's) event, there is still tomorrow. Be sure to at least visit the slideshow that I posted with this article.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harvest hoedown and build day this Saturday at Long Beach’s Martin Luther King Park Peace Garden

Continue making this dream a reality by helping out at this Saturday's MLK Park Peace Garden harvest hoedown and build day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One less farmers market in Long Beach on Sundays

There is one less farmers market to support the local food movement in Long Beach. What a loss.

One less farmers market in Long Beach on Sundays

Monday, October 11, 2010

Long Beach planting guide

This Long Beach planting guide might help you plan your fall garden.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Long Beach Grows™

Long Beach Grows™
Check out what's new on the original Long Beach Grows website.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Nourishing Traditions" a review

“Nourishing Traditions” focuses on ‘traditional’ methods of food preparation and preservation that have nourished people for most of human history, that is with the exception of the past 100 or 200 years or so. It is also a book about food politics. It offers us a wake up call ...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Long Beach Grows 'Nourishing Traditions'

'Nourishing Traditions' is a reference and cookbook by Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation. It teaches a return to traditional ways of cooking and eating that preserve rather than strip the nutrients from our food. The recipes are very good too. 'Nourishing Traditions' has several followers, including me (Donna of Long Beach Grows) and including Jenny from the 'Nourished Kitchen' blog and AnnMarie from the 'Cheeseslave' blog. Jenny's online class has come and gone, but now the Cheeseslave is offering an online cooking class to begin August 18. Check it out and give it a go. I wouldn't be surprised if it converted you to a "Nourishing Traditions' practitioner also.