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Lentil Stew & Variations

1 T coconut oil

1/2 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 C lentils

1 14-oz. can tomatoes

3 1/2 C water

1/2 t salt

1/2 t black pepper


Heat oil in a saucepan over medium high. Add chopped onions and saute until browned, 3-4 minutes. Add lentils, mix well, and cook 2-3 minutes while stirring occasionally. Toss in minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and stir to coat lentils. Let lentils absorb some of the liquid before adding water. Cover and cook 30-40 minutes until lentils are tender. Add salt and pepper, stir and taste to adjust seasonings. Serves 4.



Italian lentils: Add kielbasa or Italian sausage link in last 5-10 minutes of cooking and garnish with chopped parsley.

Pacific Northwest inspired: Add 1 C chopped roasted winter squash + 1/4 C crumbled feta, OR add 1/2 bunch of shredded kale in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking and garnish with 4 chopped hard-boiled eggs.

Mexican: Add 1/2 chipotle pepper, chopped, at the beginning of cooking, and finish with the juice of 1 lime and half a bunch of chopped cilantro

Fresh Cheese

1 gallon whole milk

Lemon juice or cider vinegar


Cheesecloth or butter muslin

Pour the milk into a large stockpot. Heat over medium high, stirring constantly with a ladle, until it begins to steam. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice or vinegar until the curds separate from the whey. Ladle the curds into a strainer lined with butter muslin or thick layers of cheesecloth and squeeze into a ball to help drain. Add salt, garlic, or herbs to taste.


½ gallon whole milk

2 T live-culture yogurt for inoculating




Optional: cheesecloth or butter muslin to strain and thicken yogurt


Prepare your incubator before starting or while your milk is heating (e.g. an insulated cooler with hot water bottles). Pour the milk into a large saucepan and heat until it reaches 180 degrees. Pour through a strainer into a wide stainless steel bowl (this will allow for maximum cooling), and cool to 110-115 degrees. Ladle out a cup or two of milk into a separate bowl and mix in the yogurt culture. Pour the yogurt mixture back into the milk, stir, and ladle milk into quart jars. Place jars in incubator for at least 6 hours, and up to 24.

Optional: strain the yogurt to create a thicker, Greek-style product. Pour the yogurt into a strainer lined with butter muslin or thick layers of cheesecloth and hang for 2 hours. This will yield slightly more than 1 quart of yogurt and slightly less than 1 quart of whey, which you can use for baking, inoculating vegetable and grain fermentations, or as a cold, tangy beverage in the summertime!


1 lb. of unsalted butter (about 1 pint of ghee)

Small mesh strainer



Melt the butter over low heat in a wide heavy skillet. Foam will start to form on the surface and the butter may sputter if the brand you’re using has a high water content. Stir gently from time to time to keep any milk solids from adhering to the sides of the pan. If you move the foam to the side you will see that milk solids are clustering on the bottom of the pan. Decide what stage of ghee you prefer – you can strain it as soon as the milk solids begin to color or you can let them brown for a nuttier flavor, though be careful not to burn the butter. When done, skim the foam off the top and carefully strain into a pint jar through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Let cool then label and date – no need to refrigerate!

Corn tortillas

1 3/4 C masa harina (nixtamalized corn flour--do not use regular corn flour)

about 1 1/8 C water

Mix masa harina and water in a bowl. Knead on a clean surface until smooth. Cover with plastic and let rest 30 minutes. Take a golf-ball sized ball of dough and use a tortilla press, rolling pin, cash iron pan, etc. to flatten between wax paper. Cook on a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Flip when cooked side begins to blister. Keep cooked tortillas warm wrapped in a dish towel.

Flour Tortillas

4 C all-purpose flour

1/3 C shortening

1 T salt


Mix flour and salt in a large bowl, and cut in shortening. Work in water until texture is moist but not tacky. Knead for 10 minutes. Divide into about 20 golf-ball sized balls, and put back in bowl. Set aside covered with a damp cloth for 10 minutes. Roll tortillas out on a well-floured surface as thinly as possible. Heat floured griddle over medium-high and cook, flipping when bubbles appear. Keep cooked tortillas warm wrapped in a dish towel.

Spinach Ricotta Ravioli with Marinara Sauce


2 C semolina flour, plus extra

1 t salt

3 eggs


4 oz. spinach, fresh or frozen

4 oz. ricotta

1/4 C grated Parmesan

Pinch of salt, pepper, and nutmeg


1 onion, cut into wedges

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 anchovy fillets, chopped (opt.)

1 qt. chopped tomatoes

1 T parsley, chopped

1/2 t each oregano and chili flakes

1 1/2 t salt

1 t sugar

To make the sauce, saute garlic and onions in a generous amount of olive oil for about 10 minutes. Remove the onions and add anchovies, if using. Mix in well. Add parsley and saute 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, about 40 minutes.  Season to taste.

To make the filling, lightly steam or saute the spinach until wilted.  Let cool, then chop and combine with ricotta, Parmesan, and a pinch of nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To make the pasta, combine the flour and salt in a food processor or large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and process until a ball forms, or work in with a fork. If mixing by hand, knead the dough until stiff and not sticky. Sprinkle with a little extra flour, cover in plastic, and let rest about 30 minutes (or store in the fridge for up to 24 hours; or freeze, for up to 1 month). Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Roll out the dough with a pasta maker or rolling pin. Drop heaping teaspoons about 1 ½” apart. Brush water between the filling and lay a second sheet of dough on top, pressing out any air. Trim, and cook until they rise to the surface of the pot, only a few minutes. (Once shaped, you can also refrigerate or freeze the ravioli, dusted well with cornmeal to prevent sticking.) Yields: 1 lb. of dough, about 4 servings.