No, green heron chick isn’t a super hero… but, for a bird, it’s pretty close. It can hover briefly to catch prey. Some even say this bird is one of the world’s most intelligent because it has been know to use bait to attract fish.
Check out this green heron bait fishing with bread:
We’re lucky enough to have a green heron pair nesting near our pond for the past several years. We always know when they’ve arrived each year because of their loud and very distinctive calls (advertising and alarm calls are what we hear most often). It’s impossible not to take notice when what sounds like a crazy, prehistoric chicken is croak/shrieking as it flies from tree to tree around the pond.
It wasn’t until this year that we were finally able to locate “our” green heron pair’s nest, which looks more like a scaffolding made of loosely interlaced twigs. Although we were able to observe the parents feeding the two chicks, we missed the chance to photograph them before they fledged this precarious perch.
This little cutie was spotted 3 days later hiding in tall grass next to the pond. It seemed wary, but tolerated a somewhat prolonged photo session and even seemed to vamp a bit for its first close up.
At different times of the day now, the parents can be heard calling to the chicks in their croaky, prehistoric voices, announcing a regurgitated meal of small fish, frogs, bugs and other small prey.
A friend of mine recently gave me two boxes of grain-free pastas to try. So I got to work making a grass-fed meat sauce with some veggies including onion, mushrooms, and peppers. Then I topped the pastas and enjoyed the leftovers for days. Below is a comparison of the two types.
Cappello’s is an almond flour pasta made with eggs , tapioca flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt. It literally takes 45 seconds to cook and tastes great! Very satisfying! The downside? A hefty price tag at $9/box—but you can get at least 3 servings out of it.
Tolerant’s Organic Red Lentil Penne was next up. The only ingredient? Lentils! How could this make a pasta dish? But it did. I would describe it as al dente. It’s great for vegetarians or vegans because it’s packed with protein.
Capello’s was a tough act to follow. I definitely preferred the taste and texture. Both can be purchased at Earth Fare. Leave a comment if you happen to try either of these pastas. I would love to know what everyone else thinks!
1-1/2 pounds skinless chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
Coconut flour for breading
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 cups fresh green beans
3 8 ounce packages mushrooms, any kind
Heat coconut and sesame oil in a large skillet and add breaded chicken chunks, frying until golden brown.
Remove chicken to a plate with paper towels to drain.
Using the same skillet, add garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute to flavor oil, then add green beans and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Next add mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes longer.
Add vinegar and soy sauce and stir to coat veggies thoroughly.
Return chicken to the skillet and stir to coat.
Try a flavored balsamic vinegar for extra zing. I substituted out half the balsamic vinegar with tangy fig balsamic vinegar (YUM!). This recipe can be served over mashed cauliflower, spaghetti squash, rice or quinoa.
1 16 oz can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups cooked red quinoa
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp roasted ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
4 tsp tamari
1-2 large leaves of swiss chard or kale chopped
1 large yam, baked or sliced and steamed
chili powder to taste
Herbamare to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 small avocado, chopped (omit if doing 2 week NO FAT plan)
1. Cook quinoa.
2. Cook or reheat cooked yams.
3. When quinoa and yams are almost done, sauté onions dry in a non-stick pan for 4-5 minutes until soft.
4. Add in garlic and bell peppers and sauté for another 2 minutes.
5. Add in black beans and quinoa and stir to heat through for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add in seasonings and swiss chard and stir to wilt.
7. Add in green onions and cilantro and stir.
8. Cut up yams into cubes and gently toss with hash to combine..
9. Season to taste with chili powder, Herbamare or salt and pepper.
10. Spoon into bowls and top with chunks of avocado and salsa if desired.
3 28-ounce cans beans of your choice (try a combination of pinto, pink, and black beans), drained and rinsed
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
1 to 2 jalapeño or other hot peppers, seeded and minced, or one 8-ounce can mild or hot chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped ripe tomatoes for garnish
Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish
Heat the broth in a large soup pot. Add the onion sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until the onion is golden. Add the remaining ingredients except the last three. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender and the flavors have melded.
Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the other seasonings. If time allows, let the chili stand for up to several hours before serving. Heat through as needed.The chili should be nice and thick; if it has gotten too thick, stir in a cup of water. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with tomatoes and cilantro.
Add a cup or two of cooked corn kernels toward the end of cooking time
Add a medium or large firm-cooked sweet potato, peeled and diced
Add a diced zucchini or yellow summer squash about halfway into the cooking time
Serve with grated nondairy cheddar cheese on the side for garnishing individual servings
Put out extra “hot stuff” like minced fresh chili peppers, dried hot red pepper flakes, or hot sauce for those who like their chilies extra-spicy