Wild Greens Quesadilla Omelette

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." -  Harriet Van Horne

This exotic, complex, taste bud-delighting meal won’t be found on a menu anywhere, 
but it may become at regular at your house after you taste it...

Start by harvesting some wild greens - about two loose handfuls.  Today I harvested leaves of Red Clover, Plantain, Dandelion, Lady’s Thumb, Ground Ivy, Garlic Mustard, and Wild Onions.  Make sure you know your plants before harvesting so you don’t pick anything poisonous.  

Here are two great books for learning the edibles:


This recipe makes enough for two people. 

Chop the greens.  You can use a knife, or I like to use scissors.  It’s important to cut the pieces small because some of the greens are spicy or bitter and you only want a little in each bite.  Test taste them until you know the material.

Crumble 4 oz. of organic feta and dice about 3 medium tomatoes.  We used the last of this year’s tomato harvest - a gift from a friend.

Mix all the ingredients and top a tortilla with them (use half the ingredients for each of two tortillas).  I like to use the sprouted grain, brown rice tortillas from ‘Food for Life,’ since sprouted grains are easier to digest and better for you.

Put this on the top over rack and broil until you notice the edge of the torilla browning; it doesn’t take long!  Then put another tortilla on top, press down, and broil until browned. 

Gently slide one of the Quesadillas onto a plate, being careful because you haven’t used enough cheese to make it one cohesive unit (cheese is best as a occasional condiment, not the bulk of a meal).  Scramble two organic eggs and put them into a lightly greased, heated skillet (medium low?)  big enough for your Quesadilla to fit into, then put your Quesadilla on top and press gently into the egg.  Use a lid so the egg cooks through, about 10-15 minutes. 

Once the egg is solid, gently use a spatula to loosen it up and slide it out onto a plate.  Or I like to put a plate on top of the skillet upside down and then turn the skillet upside down effectively putting the food onto the plate without a disaster.  Slice into quarters.  You can stack these quarters on top of each other if you want, lasagne style.  Yum!

Delicious and healthy - and less than $4 per person!

If you’ve harvested the right greens, no spices are needed - you will have a garlicy, oniony, spicy flavor from the greens.  Play around with different greens for different tastes and strengths.  Some greens are mild enough that you can saute them and eat a big bowl of them solo.  No salt is needed as the feta is salty, though you may want to add black pepper after cooking to help with digestion.

Autumn-Olive Berry Honeycakes

Autumn-Olive berries need be ripe to taste agreeable.  If you get them before they are ripe they are incredibly astringent and chalky.  You can taste one each day until they sweeten up, so you know when to harvest.  There will still be a slight astringency and chalkiness to them even when ripe, but don’t let that scare you.

Autumn-Olive is an aggressive, non-native species which means that they spread readily and overtake native species.  Not a good thing.  We can take advantage of this because it means they are commonly found in many locations.  And by taking their fruit (and their seed), we keep them from propagating.  Two good things.  Their pomegranate, plum-like taste is yet another.

I’m really into texture when it comes to food; it’s as important as flavor to me.  The seed inside the berry gives these fluffy pancakes a nice crunch.

 Mix everything together:
1 ½ c. whole grain pancake mix
2 organic eggs
½ c. hemp milk
1-2 c. Autumn Olive berries
2 Tbspn. honey

Makes 12+ smallish honeycakes, enough for two.

I don’t worry about taking the stems off the berries; all it does is add a little fiber and since you are eating the seed with the berry, you already have a fibrous texture happening.

I don’t add oil to my mix because I prefer to use more in the skillet when cooking to get the grilled exterior.  I love coconut oil for this, being quite liberal with it in the skillet.  These honeycakes are great as they are, or you can add whatever toppings you might like.  I like to top my pancakes with ground flaxseeds to get some Omega 3s.

With the added honey, these cakes are quick to burn, so keep an eye on them.





 "...the branch of biology that studies the relationship of organisms and environments"

This past Father's Day my family and I camped along the Shenandoah River
 and I took some pictures of the marvels to be found:

 “The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls. ” - John Muir

All leaves above: young Sycamore

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone 
or weary of life.” - Rachel Carson

Two photos above:  Horse Nettle, Solanum carolinense - a poisonous relative of the tomato

 “Experience the beauties of nature, 
and in doing so, learn about yourself.”
- Japanese proverb

Magical Datura
"Would you like to save the world from the degradation and destruction it seems destined for? 
Then step away from shallow mass movements and quietly go to work on your own self-awareness. 
If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. 
If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. 
Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation." - Lao Tzu

Tiny Toad

Mullein Verbascum thapsus

"Wonderful how completely everything in wild nature fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us. The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and; tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love." - John Muir

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things,
 it will come and sit softly on your shoulder… - Thoreau

Zebra Swallowtail  Protographium marcellus

I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained;
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God;
Not one is dissatisfied-not one is demented with the mania of owning things;
Not one kneels to another, nor his kind that lived thousands of years ago;
Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth.
'Animals' - a poem by Walt Whitman

Sleeping in the Forest
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better. Mary Oliver

                                                    "His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!"
 from 'The Bee' by Emily Dickinson

Walnut  Juglans nigra

“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.” - Abbey 'Desert Solitaire 

Hops  Humulus lupulus

Prickly Lettuce  Lactuca serriola
" If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive."
 - Eleonora Duse

Redtop Grass  Agrostis gigantea

"This is a test to see if your mission on Earth is over:
If you are still alive, it's not."

- Sir Francis Bacon

Squash?  seeds must've washed in

Magical Datura Bud
“Progress has not followed a straight ascending line, but a spiral with rhythms of progress and retrogression, of evolution and dissolution.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"I, the fiery life of divine wisdom, 
I ignite the beauty of the plains, 
I sparkle the waters, I burn in the sun, 
and the moon, and the stars." 
- St. Hildegard Von Bingen

"I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, 
and that you will work them, 
water them with your blood and tears 
and your laughter 'til they bloom, 
'til you yourself burst into bloom." 
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Virginia Creeper  Parthenocissus quinquefolia


Tengri & Eje

"Divinity is everywhere all the time.  
You can't take Divinity out of nature 
and put it in a book or between four walls."
 - from Paulo Coehlo 'The Zahir.'

And you cannot take it out of us either, those deemed good and bad.  Underneath this duality is One
and we are all connected.  All humans.  All beings.  The plants and the mountains, the waters and
those who ride the wind...

Eternal Blue Sky

"We share the air we breathe with all other living creatures and every breath we take is a confirmation of the essential unity and interconnectedness of life.  Air is a universal for which we neither have to forage nor to till.  By a miracle of plant alchemy, solar energy is taken in by green leaves, acts to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrate, releasing oxygen into the air." 
- Richard Mabey 'The New Age Herbalist'

Plants eat sunlight giving us food to eat and oxygen to breathe.  Have you thanked a plant today?

Axis mundi

 "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us,
our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar."
- Wordsworth

The Mountains and Waters Sutra .... Dogen turns this traditional reading on its head by insisting that mountains and rivers are the sutra. They are the teachers and the teaching." - Mike Hoolboom

"Nature streaming into us, wooingly teaching her wonderful glowing lessons...every wild lesson a love lesson..." - John Muir

"May your rivers flow without end...where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you..."  - Edward Abbey