Welcome to my humble little space on the world wide web. I’m Elizabeth Allen, amateur cook, and student of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Originally from deep in the cornfields of Ohio, I now hang my hat in Brooklyn, NY. I adore avocados, fresh raspberries that are so ripe they crush under the weight of themselves, green rooibos tea and dark chocolate. When I’m not in the kitchen I read a lot, usually books about food/nutrition or holistic healing;make and teach music, and host dinner parties. I also consume my fair share of wine. I started Greens & Seeds in March of last year, to share my love of cooking healthy, nourishing and delicious food with my family and friends. You’ll find that all my recipes are pretty simple and straightforward, and tend to lean heavily on seasonal produce. All the recipes are vegetarian, and I try to use natural sweeteners whenever possible. I’m a “pinch of this and a splash of that” kind of cook, which means that the measurements in these recipes are estimates, so feel free to play around with them. Most of all, have fun in the kitchen and cherish all your meals with your loved ones.
My favorite foods growing up were macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and spaghetti with butter and kraft parmesan from a can. Every August we would have corn-on-the-cob, tomatoes, and peaches from Grandpa’s peach tree, but other than that out dinner table lacked most in the produce department. It wasn’t until my college roommate cooked a vegetable stir-fry that I even knew what fresh veggies tasted like. After graduating college and securing my first real job, I started to teach myself to cook, if even just a few basic recipes.
Fast forward a number of years, to when I met Donny. An artist, musician, and gourmet vegetarian chef, we were invited to his place for a home-cooked meal. I never imagined that food could taste so good, especially without the use of meat. And My amazement continued when I realized I was just the right amount of full. Right then and there I decided to experiment more with vegetarianism. I stopped buying meat, started getting cookbooks from the library, and was amazed each time I cooked with a new ingredient.
Since then, I have experimented with veganism, macrobiotics, and raw foods. I’ve dabbled in the real food movement and read about GAPS and paleo as well. I’ve found the best diet for me is one full of cooked and raw veggies, plenty of whole grains, a big handful of beans, nuts and seeds, and some eggs and dairy here and there. I think everyone should listen to their own body and decide what diet works the best for them. As long as your eating food as close to it’s natural state as possible, you can’t go wrong.
This is a picture of my entire kitchen. On the opposite wall is just enough room for a sink, half size stove, and refrigerator. Above them are three small cupboards. The floor space is about as big as the window. What you see is a baker’s rack, holding most of my cooking utensils and silverware (there are no drawers) my toaster, baking dishes, my grains, beans, lentils, oils, vinegars, salts, peppers, spices and teas. One of the shelves is covered by a beautiful cutting board (where all the photos are taken), which is my only counter space. There is another rack next to this, housing my pots and pans, bowls and food processor.
I tell you this not for sympathy (though you can give me that too) but to prove that you don’t need a big fancy kitchen to cook. A big pot, a skillet or two, a chef’s knife and cutting board will do. Yes, a few baking sheets, a food processor and baking dishes are nice to have, but you can get those as you need them.
As far as food goes, I like to keep an assortment of grains, dried beans and lentils on hand in tightly sealed jars. My nuts and seeds are stored in the freezer. I always have a few types of pasta shapes (one chunky and one noodle) as well as an asian noodle of some sort. My freezer also holds some raw tempeh, and a few different kinds of flour. In the fridge is something leafy and green, and a few more choice seasonal veggies, fruits and fresh herbs. There is also shoyu, maple syrup, curry paste, miso, nut butters, a few cheeses and sometimes a half dozen eggs. I buy as much as I can locally, and from bulk bins, as it saves money and packaging, supports local farmers and tastes better.