Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Time To Slow Down Time

With autumn in full bloom, per se, changes are in the air. Trees are slowing down and leaves are turning brilliant colors.  Cool mornings arrive with a moist feel. Evenings grow cooler as the sun sets. Busy, too, with our lives now that a school year has started, a harvest time in full swing. This is the perfect time to stop and smell the roses; slow time down.

And, when it comes to preparing whole foods for our families, there is a way to slow things down and be efficient at the same time. It is called a slow cooker! Here is how simple and delicious it can be:

Curried Chicken and Veggies
serves 4

4 pieces of chicken on bone (legs and thighs)
2 sweet potatoes, diced
3/4 cup of lentils
1 cup baby carrots
1 small onion, chopped
1 bunch of kale, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, pressed
2 T olive oil
1 T curry
2 t cumin
1/2 t turmeric
1/4 t ginger
2 t vegetable bouillon
3 c water

Add everything to slow cooker. Mix so that everything is coated. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Serve over brown rice or serve with crusty bread.

A simple, nutritious, and delicious whole food meal. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Eggs Over Easy with Kraut

With all the rage about the importance of gut health, it's not surprising I started researching how to get probiotics into my daily diet. Sure I've always been mindful of eating live cultures; I eat yogurts, but now I am interested in diversifying my probiotic portfolio. Here's how it started:

The news is breaking regularly about the importance of human gut health, it's relation to immune health, overall wellbeing, and it started to get my attention. Probiotics, the microorganisms in some fermented foods, may help break down carbs and sugars, aiding in healthy digestion and better human health.

On this day, I wanted to start my day with a punch. Koreans eat kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage condiment, at every meal, starting with breakfast.  NO kimchi in the house this particular morning when I had begun this adventure. Instead, my option was limited to what I had in stock- sauerkraut. But how could I make it into a breakfast? Probably the only way I'd eaten sauerkraut in my life was on a hotdog or with kielbasi. Protein is always a key ingredient and I knew then that I needed to make these two work. What I didn't know was that I was about to embark on would be a foodie experience that would surprise me, in delicious ways.

I heated up my cast iron pan and got my ingredients out. Once a few drops of olive oil had heated and dispersed, I crack my egg on the side of the pan and dropped it gently down. It started to sizzle almost immediately. After about 2 minutes, I added the sauerkraut; I scooped about 4 heaping tablespoons of the fermented cabbage right next to the sizzling egg. Almost immediately the two foods met and started a synergistic cooking phenomenon. I guess the moisture of the sauerkraut in some way was absorbed by the egg in the minutes. I flipped my egg easily, which both suddenly and miraculously flipped with ease as if I'd just transplanted my cast iron with a chemical-laden non-stick pan. The egg had cooked quickly and the kraut was warmed enough that it seemed appropriate to serve myself breakfast. The ease and agility of the egg lent itself to a quick swipe of my spatula, as I delivered my concoction to the plate. I added a dollop of mustard for good measure, got my fork and arrived at my table ready to dive in and see if this experiment had turned into a success.

At first, I was hesitant, not sure the two were ever meant to meet and afraid that I may have wasted food in  my haste and reckless abandon. I gently cut into my egg, allowing the egg yoke run a bit, and forked a piece of egg heaping with kraut atop. The fork delivered this bite to my mouth and I had to take a moment, or maybe I needed a second bite, possibly even a third to know what I had gotten myself into.

And what did I get myself into? ... Possibly one of the best health packed breakfasts I've had yet! Eggs over easy with Sauerkraut! It was an experience in my mouth for sure. Remember I talked about the moisture meeting the egg as it cooked, well the pairing gave way that the egg was cooked softly, gently and blended with the kraut in a way that seemed to melt in my mouth like buttah. With a little mustard for sharp flavor, I enjoyed in delight this light, nutritious packed, morning starter meal I had just created for myself.

After a successful smile settled on my face, my belly felt satisfied, my taste buds electrified, a light bulb in my idea bubble lit brilliantly and I ran to my desktop computer, opened up Google and searched eggs over easy with sauerkraut. The all mighty worldwide web showed this masterpiece to have limited fame with very few links. Ah, my day, a great breakfast and a new blog post. "I'll share my invention with the world."

And here it is. Try it, you'll see, probiotics and protein packed meal that takes literally minutes to prepare.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Beautiful Infused Waters

14 Beautiful Infused Waters To Drink Instead Of Soda
Make each with 6 cups of water and ice. Recommended to make in the evening and let sit overnight for stronger flavor. Or, if short on time, prepared and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
You can also muttle your fruits and herbs to intensify flavoring.

Healthy, hydrating, and homemade.

1. Strawberry, Lemon, & Basil                                         2. Orange & Blueberry
4-6 strawberries, hulled and cut                                               2 oranges, cut into wedges
1/2 lemon, sliced                                                          a handful of blueberries
Small handful of basil, scrunched 

3. Watermelon & Mint                                                      4. Citrus & Cucumber
1 cup cubed watermelon                                             2 large oranges, sliced              
1 handful of mint leaves                                            1 lemon, sliced
                                                                                   ½ large cucumber, sliced
                                                                                   1 handful of fresh mint

5. Strawberry, Lime, & Cucumber                                      6. Citrus & Cilantro
1 cup sliced strawberries                                                    1 orange sliced
1 cup sliced cucumbers                                                      ¼ cup cilantro leaves
2 limes, sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

7. Rosemary &Grapefruit                                                   8. Blueberry & Lavender
half a grapefruit sliced                                                                    1/2 pint blueberries
several sprigs of rosemary                                              couple of springs of Lavender Flowers

9. Cantaloupe, Honey & Mint                                             10. Kiwi & Cucumber
1 cup sliced cantaloupe                                                6 kiwis, peeled, sliced
1 tsp honey                                                                   1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded
Handful of mint leaves

11. Honeydew, Lime & Raspberry                                   12. Grapes & Pineapple
1 cup honeydew, cubed                                                      1 cup pineapple
½ lime, sliced                                                                     ½ grapes, sliced
Handful of raspberries

13. Apples & Cinnamon                                                    14. Mango & Ginger
1 apple, thinly sliced                                          1 in Ginger Root, peeled, sliced
1 cinnamon stick                                                1 cup fresh or frozen Mango

Saturday, January 16, 2016

How To Make A Well Rounded Salad

Out Do Yourself!

I did not begin this project with the intention to out do myself; I simply wanted kale and bean soup. And yes, it is still September and therefore, a bit premature to be boiling up pots of hot liquid to heat the already muggy house.  But, that is, in fact, what I did.

The CSA farm where I get my vegetables from, is abundant with kale; off season I grab a bunch of organic kale from the grocery store.  Both work great.

Yesterday I made a soup that knocked my socks off.  For those of you who like veggies with a hint of meat:

Kale and White Bean Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
16 oz diced tomatoes
3 cups liquid (veg, meat or combo stock)
1 can northern white beans
1 cup diced ham (end is best)

- Saute oil butter and onions about 3-4 minutes.  Add in celery and carrots.  Cook another 3 or so minutes.  Add seasonings.
- Crush in garlic and saute, stirring, abut 30 seconds.  Then toss in kale and stir to mix well.  Cook several minutes.
- Add in tomatoes and liquid. Bring to boil.  Lower.  Simmer for 25 minutes.
- Add beans and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Cool and enjoy!

Here's what I do.  I use 1 cup of chicken broth and 2 cups of water with a half of a vegetable bouillon. The bouillon boasts of flavor from turmeric, parsley, and sea salt.