How to make a Bokashi Composter in your suburban home easy!

DIY Bokashi Composter Instructions and Images

Tom Gardening & Compost Leave a Comment

How to build your Bokashi composter and start composting today!

We moved to the suburbs and now I am composting.  We simply eat a ton of veggies and generate some serious green waste.  It makes me sad to send the scraps from high quality food off to a landfill to be buried with batteries and plastic bottles for eternity.  I spent money on that organic trash yo.  This lead me to begin the COMPOST QUEST!  We are living in a town home with a professionally landscaped yard, so I am not sure where I will put it once complete, but hey it won’t be in the dump.

How to make a Bokashi Composter in your suburban home easy!

First off I bought a rotating composter to put on the porch.  This filled up within about 3 weeks.  Now it’s brewing for a while.

Then I bought a worm factory for the garage.  The worms are hungry, but don’t knock out the compost as fast as I was hoping.  Also not as stinky as one might think.

Now I am off to try the Bokashi composting method!  There are a few great resources for supplies and buckets to compost, but they carry a significant price for a 5 gallon bucket with a spigot.  This lead me to make a few Amazon and Uline orders so that I could DIY the Bokashi composter.

The Bokashi method boasts some major advantages over traditional composting, such as the ability to compost meat and dairy scraps, smell free, faster, etc.  Can’t wait to see if it is true…

Let’s build a Bokashi Composter!

How to make a Bokashi Composter in your suburban home easy!


DIY Bokashi Composter with Step by Step Instructions

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how to make the best coffee with the aeropress method instruction eat with tom chicago

Aeropress Inverted Brewing Method – Chicago Coffee

Tom Breakfast, Recipe, Techniques, Video Leave a Comment

Best Aeropress Brewing Method by Joshua from Everybody’s Coffee Chicago

Nothing starts the morning off like a cup of coffee. Or really, the afternoon… or the work week… or even the weekend! With so much coffee, shouldn’t it be awesome? Joshua from Everybody’s Coffee in Chicago is a coffee aficionado who has studied, and perfected the art of the Aeropress inverted brewing method. People come from around Chicago to enjoy his brews, I’ve seen them at the shop… This video and recipe outline the step by step instructions to craft an amazing cup of coffee that doesn’t suck, right at home!

Videographer Tom Schmidt in Uptwon Chicago Everybodys coffee brewing recipe and method for inverted

The recipe video begins by explaining the grind size and how it should look (like a coarse sand) for the best result. We used the Hario Ceramic Slim Mini Mill hand grinder with 6 clicks from closed on to get the perfect grind for this variety.


“If your coffee tastes too acidic, grassy/vegetal, or weak, go down one click at a time (a finer grind) & if your coffee tastes too bitter, drying, or harsh, go up one click at a time.” -Joshua


Turn the Aeropress upside down and toss in the grounds. Josh then shows us how to use the Bonavita Kettle to properly moisten the grounds with a swirling motion. This sounds a little silly at first, swirling and pouring slowly… but it helps to open up the flavors and get the hot water more evenly throughout the Aeropress chamber. Can’t argue with results… Once the chamber has reached capacity, give it a gentle stir with a metal spoon or the included stirrer. Replace the lid and LET IT BREW!

Josh uses a basic kitchen timer to track the brewing time which totals just about two minutes, 1:40 for brewing and about :30 for the plunging. He makes it look so easy… that you will definitely have to try it at home. To really geek out on the Aeropress, stop by Everybody’s Coffee and pick Josh’s brain or look up the World Aeropress Championship (no kidding!) for creative and crazy recipes.

Let’s Brew!


Inverted Aeropress Brew Recipe with Step by Step Instructions

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coconut macaroons lynnette astaire eat with tom

Coconut Macaroons Recipe – Lynnette Astaire

Tom Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Party Food, Recipe, Snacks, Vegan, Video Leave a Comment


Lynnette Astaire’s Coconut Macaroon Recipe


Let’s face it when you get hungry, you gotta eat something… And you can’t just bake a chicken or make a fresh kale salad every time the HUNGER strikes! These coconut macaroons sweet, filling and store well for at least a week. That is if you can resist eating them all at once…

Recipe Inspiration: Lynnette Astaire – LiveLynnette.com

lynnette astaire featured on Eat with Tom chicago food blogFor this post we’ve brought in the lifestyle expert and healthy food queen Lynnette Astaire to help us out with a healthy snack recipe. She is a true health fanatic and loves to share her tips and tricks for a great life on her site www.livelynnette.com. The content is raw, real and super funny! Her recent Beyonce 7/11 parody video had me cracking up as her and a friend lip-sync the song on the beach in Mexico.

This recipe was inspired by one of Lynnette’s favorite snacks from Whole Foods. The only problem was, she loved them so much that the pre-packaged price tag was eating a hole in her pocket. With a bit of ingredient list research and a few Google searches, voila Coconut Macaroons on the CHEAP!!

This recipe includes almond flour (or meal) to keep it gluten free and gives it nice nutty flavor.  This is a new ingredient for me, but it is a fun one!  Angela the Baker first introduced almond meal to me with the Peach Crumble recipe where she combined it with ground up quinoa for a tasty grain-free topping.

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Step-by-Step Coconut Macaroons Recipe Instructions

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Kale Salad Recipe Parmesan True Food Kitchen

Savory Kale Salad Recipe w/ Parmesan – From Dr. Weil

Tom Dinner, Great Left-Overs, Recipe, Salad, Side Dishes, Video 4 Comments


Kale Salad Recipe with Parmesan, lemon and Breadcrumbs


This super quick kale salad recipe will remind you of your favorite Cesar salad, but without all the dressing! It features my favorite deep dark green lacinato kale. You will love this recipe as a savory contrast to the sweeter Massaged Kale with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds.

The lemon juice with a little salt magically wilts down the greens making them soft and luxurious. I like to give this one a quick massage speed up the process and make it extra tender, but you can also just let the lemon and salt work their wilting magic over a few hours. Check out the video to learn how-to massage the kale!

Kale Salad Recipe Eat with Tom Foodie Blog Chicago

Parmesan provides the blast of flavor. Be sure to look for a quality chunk of parmesan to grate into your salad, mmmmm… worth every penny. Even with the best parmesan you can find, you only need a few bucks worth for a whole dish!
True Food Kitchen Restaurant and Cookbook Review

Recipe Inspiration:

Adapted from Dr. Weil’s cookbook, this is a close cousin to the Kale Salad served in the True Food restaurants. On my recent trip to Denver, I tried the real deal at True Food in Cherry Creek. The restaurant is super hip:  fun concept and lots of veggies on the menu (but also some meat and booze — look, it’s a party; bring friends!)

The True Food – Cherry Creek experience: trendy neighborhood, fashionable folks, intellectual chatter and open concept kitchen and food prep areas. The layout and attitude implies respect and authenticity on HOW your TRUE FOOD is PREPARED, the heart of the “True Food” concept. The service had a educational flair, with the waiter answering all menu questions with an underlying knowledge of the health benefits. Bottom line, a cool place to stop by in Denver.

Kale Salad Recipe Parmesan Lemon Ceasar true food weil eatwithtom 0662

The salad was great at the restaurant, but a little pricey for my big appetite for greens. As with any great experience comes a price tag, but HOORAY: this salad is one you can make at home. Thank you, Dr. Weil — for the cookbook featuring many of True Food’s popular dishes. Filled with beautiful images and fun commentary from the Chefs who worked along side Andrew Weil in creating these recipes, this cookbook is a treat. Pick up the True Food cookbook and read the story of how Dr. Weil convinced the Chef to embrace the use of a garlic press. Funny stuff!


Massaged Kale Salad Recipe Step by Step Images

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Pressure Cooker chicken soup recipe lemon vegetable

Chicken Soup Recipe – Pressure Cooker Method

Tom Dinner, Great Left-Overs, Recipe, Techniques, Vegetables 12 Comments

How to make easy chicken soup recipe in Fagor pressure cooker


Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup Recipe – Fast and Delicious!


Delightfully satisfying and comforting chicken soup on the quick! This use of the pressure cooker creates both a wonderful soup broth and perfectly cooked chicken (not that soggy stuff…) ALL IN ONE POT.

The pressure cooker has earned its place on the shelf with this recipe. You might be thinking, damn, I don’t have a pressure cooker. Take a quick scroll through this recipe any way and check out the result. See how stinking fast you can have awesome soup?! If you’ve still got some Christmas cash laying around, check out the Fagor Pressure Cooker.

“I could eat this everyday! I like to grate a bit of white sharp cheddar on it too.” – Tom’s Mom

This soup features two layers of flavor, the deep rich and savory flavor from the fresh chicken broth and then it’s brightened up at the end with a large handful of spinach and some lemon juice. The lemon is amazing because the acidity enhances the flavor similar to salt AND causes the broth to transform into a white opaque color. Whooaaa food chemistry…

Chicken soup recipe pressure cooker vegetables lemon sass 0620

Recipe Inspiration: The Pressured Cook

This recipe was adapted from Lorna Sass’ book on pressure cooking called “The Pressured Cook.”
She is a pressure cooker master and the book is chockful of tips for pressure cooker success. According to Lorna, this recipe has been adapted from the Scottish soup called “Cock-a-leekie” — and COCK-A-LEEKIE CURES ALL AILMENTS. So there you have it!

My initial hesitation with this recipe was the idea of boiled chicken meat. Seriously it freaked me out. Sounded like it might turn out like some gnarly cafeteria goo. To my utter amazement this was absolutely not the case! I pride myself with my chicken cooking abilities, so I promise you won’t be led astray with this one.


Lemon Chicken Vegetable Soup with the Pressure Cooker Method Step by Step Recipe

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broccolini recipe plenty more edamame green beans coconut

Asian Inspired Broccolini Recipe, Edamame, Coconut

Tom Adventure Eating, Dinner, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetables 1 Comment

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Broccolini Recipe with Edamame, Coconut and Kaffir Lime Leaves


Fresh and light with tons of lime and coconut. Take a ride around the world with this tropical vegetable dish. The Kaffir Lime leaves give an amazing aroma of lime throughout the dish without citrusy bitterness. Finished with heaping handful of cilantro for an ultimate fresh taste.

Over the Christmas break, I was back at home perusing cookbooks and found “Plenty More” by the uber famous Yotam Ottolenghi. At first glance I was thoroughly impressed by the images, but felt the ingredients may be too obscure for most.  I still grabbed the book and loaded it up for some airplane reading on the way back from Missouri to the Chicago Arctic.

Recipe Inspiration – Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi (pg.62)

While squished into an airplane seat and thumbing through the book, I found myself quite excited about a number of Yotam’s recipes. They seem to have an un-abashed other world flair to them. Due to his British tongue, a number of ingredients that sound exotic turn out to be easily attainable. For example, “haricots verts” actually are just simple green beans…

Ok, so beans are haricots verts, but when do I find curry leaves, and fresh ones to be exact? Well I haven’t yet… But I did find fresh Kaffir Lime leaves at an asian grocery store for real cheap. So I tossed ’em in! Although I am sure it’s a very different flavor from the original recipe, the aroma and flavor infusion from the leaves is worth a quick trip to the market.

Another substitution I made for this recipe was young coconut meat for grated mature hard coconut. Until preparing this dish I had never hacked into a fresh coconut in the kitchen. Recalling my childhood, we might have had one that I smashed with a hammer in the driveway, but that’s about it. My girlfriend loves coconut water and has many fond memories of drinking them along the roadside in Singapore. She assured me, “just cut here and here and the top will come right off.”

broccolini recipe plenty more edamame green beans coconutI sort of believed her, but I still wore my cut resistant gloves. I dug up an old knife and began gently hacking away at the top point. It’s easy to cut through the white flesh, but then there is a woody center that does take a bit more whacking. Then suddenly the coconut water begins to leak out and whoohoo! Just like finding water in the dessert. Take a look down below for images of how-to break into the young coconut, it is definitely easier than I would have imagined. AND the coconut is totally worth it in this veggie dish for a hint of sweetness and richness.

This recipe was the my first foray into “Plenty More” and it actually turned out real tasty! Either every recipe in this book is pretty good, or I just got lucky. Regardless, I am motivated to translate more British English to discover the world according to Yotam.


Yotam Otteolenghi’s Plenty More Recipe Adaptation for Broccolini and Edamame Salad Step by Step Images

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Quinoa Recipe with Avocados and Eggs Eat with Tom

Quinoa, Black Beans, Cucumber and Avocado with Eggs

Tom Gluten-Free, Great Left-Overs, Lunch, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegetables 4 Comments

Quinoa Recipe Healthy Eating Ideas - Avocado Black Beans Cilantro Cucumbers Easy Lunch


Quinoa Recipe for a quick lunch


This dish with Quinoa, Black Beans, Cucumber and Avocado with Eggs is light, but hearty enough to refuel your tanks and support your journey to greatness. The combination of the vinegar, limes and cilantro creates a wonderful freshness that reinvigorates your soul through your daily grind.You never know, a great idea might even hit you over the head after lunch when you are NOT a wandering zombie in an afternoon coma…

Lunch is often a “human maintenance” meal for me. This translates to: I need food that fuels me through the rest of the crazy day, without leaving me ravenous or sleepy an hour later. Since I love to eat, it also kills me to just grab some junk food and call it okay. So I have been on a quest to find a lunch “supplement” that is filling, enjoyable, and healthy.

This recipe evolved from a bean and quinoa salad dish that my mom regularly makes at home. From that inspiration, I added some avocado and eggs to make it a little more savory and substantial enough to call it a meal.  Without the eggs, it can also be a great side dish.

how to cook quinoa food blog recipe

I like to use organic dried black beans cooked via the pressure cooking method, but you can use canned ones. I recommend spending the additional nickel and grabbing the organic ones if available. The organic version will have fewer preservatives and I usually feel less “musical” after the meal. Even if the upgraded beans are a couple bucks, you are nowhere near the cost of a cheeseburger! Treat yourself!

This is a great meal to partially prepare ahead of time, especially the beans and quinoa. I like to make a large batch of beans and quinoa, and store them (separately) in left-over containers in my fridge. They last for about a week without getting funky. With these prepped, you can pull together all kinds of healthy meals on the quick (and cheap).


Quinoa Recipe with Eggs Step by Step Images

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how to make sausage from scratch - illustrated recipe Eat with Tom

Chorizo Recipe – How to Make Pork Sausage

Tom Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Paleo Friendly, Party Food, Recipe, Techniques 2 Comments

How to make Chorizo Recipes


A wise man once said: “When life gives you big ole pork butts, make Chorizo sausage”


Here we turn our pork butt into Chorizo, a dynamic and delicious team player in the kitchen. This sausage brings a strong spicy and rich flavor to any dish. (Check out the Seafood Stew!) Chorizo can also stand on its own, I’ll even throw a link on the grill and top it with some ketchup. Shoot, Chorizo can even take the lead on your next conference call, really just a great team player…

When picking out your next piece of butt, choose a nice big one with plenty of marbling. Good fat content is paramount to a successful sausage. Or if your local grocery does not have whole butts, grab a large pack of pork steaks, it is the same meat.

All spices our local shop The Spice House in Old Town

We shot this recipe when my parents were visiting and my Dad Jerry is the true sausage aficionado who got me started with this whole idea. I like to be a conscious eater, and sausage is terribly hard to find without NASTY chemicals. Soooo I am learning to make it at home without the monster toxins!  Additionally you know that the ingredients include good quality meat with the proper fat content (approximately 20% with a pork butt), compared to store-bought sausages that can go as high as 50% fat!

Making Sausage at home is a bit of a project, but it saves super well and you will love spicing up all kinds of dishes with a bit of sausage. Add a bit of chorizo to Kale and Eggs or a frittata to give it a uniquely Spanish taste.  Also you can simply poach these sausages in fry pan with a bit of water or pan fry to an internal temp of 165F for a quick lunch.


The Tools for Sausage Making


Kitchener Sausage Stuffer - Harbor Freight Meat Grinder ReviewYou need a few tools for this project, but seriously, you can afford these! The grinder is $50 and the stuffer is $100. Combined, about equal to the price of a pair of decent dress shoes. Of course you could get it done with the KitchenAid Grinder Meat Grinder attachment, but you likely won’t have as much fun. Believe me, I was bit skeptical on this investment, but I am diggin’ it now!

Electric Meat Grinder
Harbor Freight grinder is a great cheap grinder for the foodie. It is perfectly capable of grinding any meats without bones. It is a simple,  small and light enough to easily put away. It seems that this grinder will run for quite a while as long as you do not feed it rock solid frozen meat.

Although the grinder can stuff your casings it can be a real mess and take a long time to stuff and clean up. A true stuffer is a key tool for success.

Kitchener 5-Lb. Stainless Steel Sausage Stuffer
At $100, this is the least expensive route to a great sausage stuffing experience. The tool is finely manufactured and works great. The speed that you force the meat through the tube can be finely adjusted. The ability to control all that raw meat moving around your kitchen will go a long way toward enjoying your sausage making experience and keeping your food prep safe.


Chorizo Homemade Sausage Recipe and Stuffing Tutorial

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beet juice recipe benefits

Carrot Orange Beets Ginger and Turmeric Juice (COBGT Juice)

Tom Juice, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian 1 Comment

beet juice recipes how to juice carrots


Beet Juice Recipe to Boost Your Nutrition Intake and Brighten Your Day!


Bold color and big nutrition. This juice is loaded with some richly colored roots, kicked up with ginger and turmeric and then smoothed out with some oranges. It turns out super red, but don’t let that fool you, it doesn’t taste as earthy (like dirt) as you might imagine a beet juice blend.

beet juice recipe cleanse ideas
With the eternal question of juicing or smoothing, I choose both. I have not gone down the juice cleanse road, although I have heard some amazing things from friends. I look to juicing to complement my diet by getting a concentrated dose of nutrients, QUICK. This allows me to get some of the goodness from greens, roots, and fruits that I likely would not have eaten raw.

When picking out the ingredients for this juice, I go the bulk root produce section. If you go with the less pretty, but organic versions (i.e. bulk beets) you can get this elixir done on a budget. Turmeric can be a little trickier to find, but seems to be at most of the Whole Foods in Chicago. If you cannot get your hands on it, just go for the ginger, it will still be a treat.

carrot juice recipe with orange beet ginger turmeric

Recipe Inspiration – Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, and Living Well

Squeezing all of those whole foods into a smooth juice does come with a hit of sugar, so be prepared. I tend to do my best thinking and work when I am not spiked on sugar, so I like to enjoy my juice with meals to blunt the sugar rush. You will definitely still feel a jolt of nutrients and energy any way you enjoy this powerhouse blend.

Lynette Astaire, an interesting personality in the health, fitness and fashion scene, whom I met in Chicago, has been chronicling a 21 day fast on YouTube. It’s quite informative and entertaining, definitely worth checking out. Sooner or later, I will be pulling Lynnette in for a collaboration on Eat with Tom, stay tuned!

 


Juice Recipe with Beets, Orange Turmeric, and Ginger Step by Step Images

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Seafood Stew Recipe Salmon Mussells Fennel

Summer Seafood Stew with Salmon and Mussels

Tom Dinner, Easy Impress, Great Left-Overs, Paleo Friendly, Recipe 4 Comments

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Seafood Stew Recipe with Salmon, Mussels, Fennel, and Chorizo


Bright, hearty and complex! This salmon and mussel seafood stew has a delightfully fresh tangy flavor and a deep savory finish. Although it is a warm stew, it is perfect on a summer evening with a glass of white wine.

This is one of our favorites for at home celebratory meals. Compared to some of the more simple (and cheaper…) dishes featured on Eat with Tom, this one is definitely worth the investment. Maybe a good idea for the next big night in with your sweetie…

Seafood Stew Recipe Salmon Mussels FennelFeel free to make this with whatever seafood is available in your area, this dish is versatile. I have made it with a variety of fish and seafood ingredients, but have landed on Coho salmon and mussels as my favorite. The Coho Salmon has a strong flavor that is perfect in the stew and tends to hold together nicely.

Recipe Inspiration – Feasting at Home (blog)

Don’t forget the lemons! The stew develops a wonderful depth of richness that is brightened up with the zestiness of the lemon juice.


Step-by-Step Summer Seafood Stew Recipe

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