In most Native American traditions, beans, corn, and squash are known as the Three Sisters – gifts from nature to sustain life. Full of complementary proteins, healthy carbohydrates, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, this hearty soup is perfect for those crisp early Fall evenings.
In Italy, the garbanzo bean or chick pea is called the ceci bean. Florentine, in addition to referring to the Tuscan town of Florence, is a name also added to dishes made with spinach.
The key to a healthier biscuit is to replace some (no more than half) of the enriched flour with whole wheat flour. The biscuits will be too heavy if you use all whole wheat flour. Such is the nature of whole grains! In addition to the leavening agents in this recipe, folding the dough over into layers also helps inject air into these biscuits. Hence their airy name.
This was one of my favorite vegetarian recipes when I was in my teens. Mom didn’t make it often because of the time involved with prepping the grape leaves, then stuffing and rolling them – but I couldn’t really blame her. She worked part time and had me and my two younger brothers to deal with plus a household to run. So, it was quite a treat when she did make them.
Many of the foods we consume today were introduced to the early European explorers and later settlers by the native inhabitants they soon displaced.
The original Thanksgiving was not a banquet of turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie with whipped cream and…and…and whatever else you can cram down your gullet before collapsing into the recliner in a food coma. It was a three-day harvest celebration (and not repeated for many years), attended by the early American settlers as well as the natives who initially welcomed them and helped them adapt to and survive in a harsh and unfamiliar landscape.
Whole grains consist of three parts – the endosperm, the germ, and the bran. The bran (outer layer) is rich in B vitamins, fiber, healthy fats, minerals, and protein. The germ (the middle layer) consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, protein, and vitamins. When whole grains are refined, the bran and often the germ are removed. There go all those healthy nutrients, blown away in the wind. What’s left is the endosperm, high in very easily digested carbohydrates and very little else.
While strict vegetarians consume no animal flesh or products, lacto-ovo vegetarians do drink milk and eat cheese, eggs and butter while avoiding animal flesh.