Chinese Food at Home

Why at home? Because you control the ingredients and it’s so much better for you. No need to sacrifice flavor on this dish. Spicy Shrimp thingy below;

This is real easy to do, so here it is broken down. About a pound of fresh shrimp (I eat a good amount of shrimp, simply because there is an abundant supply of the fresh stuff here where I live), asparagus, celery and onion. I used a wok for this dish. Fill your wok with water, get it to a boil and par boil your cut up asparagus, next your celery anf lastly a few slices of onion. Just use a big slotted spoon to remove the veggies when done and set aside. Next, in a small bowl mix together the following;  1 tbsp fresh garlic,  1 tsp fresh ginger, 2 scallions, 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp rice cooking wine, dab of chili paste, 5 tbsp katsup, pinch of salt.
Get your peeled shrimp ready, and get coconut oil nice and hot in your wok. Add the shrimp and stir for about 2-3 minutes until nice and pink….don’t overcook. Remove the shrimp. Add a bit more coconut oil and get hot again. I diced up 2 serrano peppers (if you can find chili peppers even better). Toss the peppers in the wok and stir until you can really smell the spicyness of the peppers….now add your little sauce and stir quickly. Next add the shrimp and your veggies. A few splashes of toasted sesame oil at the end. Mix well so everything is coated. Serve and enjoy!
Do you make your Chinese food at home?

Whey, Pickled Beets and Synchronicity

Home made liquid whey. Or should I say liquid gold? I use it many different ways. If you’re looking to get some more probiotics into your “eating” , this is one of the best ways in my opinion. There are many sites with info, so I won’t repeat it all here. But Ms. Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions Cookbook, is a great place to start. I was not aware that whey was “prescribed” by Hippocrates some 2500 years ago. All I know is n=1. I tried for myself, and observed. Well, liquid whey is one of those “foods” that make you feel very very good. What’s your mileage? Interesting blog here;
http://thenourishingcook.com/  The author of this blog, sets out to make all the recipes in the cookbook Nourishing Traditions.

I made the pickled beet recipe and it came out delicious! Liquid gold on the left, beets on the right.

Feel Good Living;

Synchronicity and Mr. Carl Jung. I’m sure you are familiar with the word. But for a refresher, here.
What do you think? Do you have a story to share? The way my life is unfolding, I’m just blown away with the concept. Invisible connections….are they possible? Well, we don’t exactly see the connection between the remote control and our tv, yet it is real. Hat tip to Mr. Wayne Dyer for really pushing my nose in it πŸ˜‰
I read this a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it, so wanted to share.

“Nothing is Random”

Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishingly frigid winter after another.

Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one can be certain.

And yet there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple.

Nothing is predetermined; it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given – so we track it, in linear fashion, piece by piece. Time, however, can be easily overcome; not by chasing light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once.

The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was, is; everything that ever will be, is – and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we imagine that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful.

In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but as something that is.”

Author,Mark Helprin

THOUGHTS?

Food for the Day

My meals on Sunday.
Johhny at The Lean Saloon had a short and sweet, great post  late last week. Give it a look.

Two meals for the day;

Two eggs fried up in some bacon grease and scallions. Topped with grass fed raw cheddar cheese. 2 strawberries, a few slices of banana, tomato and some celery for crunch factor. This “breakfast” was filling and very satisfying.
“Margarita Steak”
Grass fed loin steak…..so many marinades, so little time πŸ˜‰
I was putting some wine away in my wine fridge, and noticed far in the back a close to finished bottle of “margarita mix”. Left over from a part a while back, this mix has the tequila in it. So as I was about to throw it out, I thought: hey! perfect little marinade. I mean it has citrus and tequila. I cut up some garlic,onion and jalapeno and added that to the liquid. I marinated it for a day and a half. When I was ready to grill (used my charcoal grill for this one) I put the left over marinade in a sauce pan, boiled it and reduced it down a bit for basting purposes.
Yes, there is al ready a piece missing, had to try it you know?
Slice against the grain, nice and thin.

I used a “minimal” fire for this one. Direct heat, but not a blazing fire. Just some smoldering wood charcoals.
I also put a few small red bliss potatoes on the grill. Once the meat was done, I just closed the lid and let the potatoes cook a bit more. While the potatoes were doing their thing, I made a quick guacamole with tomato,onion, cilantro and a dash of garlic powder. (in the picture topped with a dab of greek yogurt). Nice salad to go along with it. The dressing I made will be topic for another post.

Coming up…Pickled Beets, Whey and Synchronicity.
Make it a great day

Creative Flavors and Jump rope

Had a GREAT workout this morning. While I was enjoying my morning and my jump rope, I realized I wanted to ask all of you something; Do you jump rope? I don’t know why it doesn’t get talked about all that much anymore. This little piece of equipment has been around for so long, and even with all the fancy new methods of training, it’s still a staple at EVERY boxing gym. If you have never done it, start slow. Give your body a chance to get accustomed to it. I think you will really enjoy it. It’s so adaptable to all parts of your routine and fitness. It’s nice to warm up with, cool down with, use as intervals etc etc. If you’re looking to improve foot speed for your running or tennis for example, this is one way that has a solid proven track record.

So about an hour after my workout, I wanted something to eat. I was craving some good flavor.
Opened my fridge, and I was pleasantly surprised that I was out of pretty much everything. No eggs, no meat, no bacon. Not even an old slice of turkey, nor a freezer burned breakfast sausage to be found πŸ˜‰

Try this one;

The players; red cabbage, one scallion, miso paste, full fat yogurt and pepper (not pictured).
This is so simple and yet so decadent, you HAVE to try this.
In a bowl with a little bit of water, add 1 teaspoon miso paste and stir so it disolves. Next add 2-3 teaspoons of yogurt and fresh pepper to taste. Again mix well until nice creamy dressing consistency. (side note; I made some whey last weekend and so I added 2 teaspoons of liquid whey. You don’t need it to make this work)
Slice yourself some red cabbage slaw and the scallion and put in a bowl. Pour your miso/yogurt dressing and mix it all together. I served it over 2 thick slices of Florida avocado.

Simple and delicious! Maybe even good for you. πŸ˜‰
Make it a great day and be nice.

Home Made Meals, Love and Dirt

Last week Dr. Eades had a wonderful post. As always, it was straightforward, full of information and entertaining. I want to add one small word to the article; love. What struck me as I re-read the post was this:
“The only way you maintain control is if you do the cooking yourself. Plus, you’ll save a lot of money because it’s almost always less expensive to prepare it yourself. One of the best things you can do for your health (and your pocketbook) is to spend more time in your own kitchen”

We often forget this as we get caught up in our lifestyles of convenience. As I was rushing home to my kids yesterday, I stopped at the supermarket and picked up some ground meat, butter and cucumber.
Short on time, I looked at all the other options and almost gave in to some “all natural organic chicken nuggets and frozen meatballs” I even considered the “organic pizza”. I was short on time, had to cook quickly, had to bring my oldest daughter to a study group, you know…
All the above pre-made items cost around $9 dollars. The meat I bought was $5. (not grass fed, but hormone and antibiotic free).
Came home, kissed the kids and started cooking. I realized in the middle of talking to all of them while cooking, that they were closely watching me. When they saw what I was making, I got cheers all around that said, “yay…home made meatballs”.

It made me happy that they like “home made” better then “freezer bag”.
What also struck me was the fact that the 30-40 minutes of hanging out in the kitchen before dinner, and talking to each other about our day, is a HUGE part of a very “grounding/calming” routine. When you toss the nuggets in the oven, that time is missing and everyone seems to scatter about to go do their own thing. The more I thought about this, the more I realised that it was the same for me growing up. I would sit on the counter and talk to my mom, while she prepped and cooked dinner. The next thought that then BLEW me away was the fact that by cooking…we literally infuse our food with love and good intentions. I think that this love/intention in some way makes our food even more nutritious and for sure more satisfying. I’ve read about this before, but I felt that thought last night.
Mumbo jumbo? What do you think?

Dirt,
You just can’t find produce like this at the supermarket. It’s too dirty πŸ˜‰

These scallions/green onions that I buy at the farmers market, are locally and organically grown.
You wouldn’t believe the way these taste. See all the nice DIRT still stuck in them. Yes, they don’t come in a handy dandy plastic baggy, nor have they had a quick little acid wash like the ones in the supermarket…but this is what REAL FOOD is supposed to look like. It takes a few extra minutes, to get these ready for your salad or cooking, but it’s worth the extra time. I’ve come to realize that I realy enjoy that time cleaning and handling the food. Peeling garlic is very calming for me, so I don’t buy the big plastic jar with pre-peeled garlic cloves.
Dr.Eades is spot on, make your own food most of the time. It will save you money and your health. 

10K and Indirect Heat Grilling

Woke up nice and early Sunday morning to go run a 10K I had signed up for.
I love that early morning “race vibe”. Always a great group of people with tons of energy.
The “vibe” did me good as I was tired from not sleeping well the night before.
It was a beautiful flat course they had laid out through a very pretty residential neigborhood.

I had only ran once or twice since my last 5K. Well to be honest…just once. The other two times I tried running on the treadmill after a workout. I can’t and won’t do it πŸ˜‰ I mean I can’t even run a quarter of a mile on that machine and I truly hate every second of it. So I just give up. It just doesn’t feel natural nor right.

It’s strange…I don’t consider myself a runner…my body doesn’t really look like one either and I’m just not very good at it (I do enjoy it though) that thought made me laugh on Sunday morning as I thought of this picture.

I’m learning that every race is different…
This race I struggled to get going. I just couldn’t find a nice pace and it seemed hard to run. But then a friend of mine (24 and a former women’s college soccer player) tapped me on the back as she and her (personal trainer) boyfriend passed me. We exchanged a few words and then they got going. I decided to follow. After the first mile I asked her what our time was and she said about 8 minutes. I enjoyed being outside and my stride started to get easier.
The turn came a little after 3 miles and I was feeling good. So…I left my young friends behind. I picked up my pace and with some good music, really started enjoying this part of the race. At mile 5 I thought that I had been clocking some good time AND I was still pretty fresh. So the last 3/4 mile of the race…I picked up speed. I ran as fast as my legs could go and it felt awesome. I passed tons of people and it was a thrill to run this hard this late in the race. Went through the finish line and………54 minutes. No wonder I was still so fresh, I couldn’t have ran 8 min. miles with this kind of time to show for. And, knowing how fast I was booking for the last part, it must have been 9 minute miles. It was a weird sensation…I thought I had ran a pretty fast race, but it was not so. Time to get my self a cheap watch with a stop watch function πŸ˜‰
Has that ever happend to you?

No picture, but try this for indirect heat grilling. Piece of grass fed steak (I had a rib eye). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coat one side with butter. Like you’re buttering a piece of toast. Sprinkle butter with garlic
powder. Put on grill, butter side up over high heat. Watch closely for a minute, then transfer to indirect heat side of grill. Close the lid. After 5-7 minutes turn and close lid. Another 3 or so minutes (this depends on the heat of your grill obviously) and you’re done. I also grilled a few slices of eggplant, that I chopped up and mixed in with some tehina, cucumber and tomato.

SMILE.

Grilling and Meals

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the post yesterday. The whole “is grilling safe” issue really got me thinking as I grill a good amount.

Here’s what I found interesting when Don said; “First, I put this in evolutionary perspective. Neither prehistoric people nor contemporary hunter-gatherers had equipment for grilling. Paleo people used baking, roasting, steaming, and boiling, not grilling. This means we have not had any time to adapt to the by-products of grilling.” I dont have the research to back this up, but common sense would tell me that putting a piece of meat on a stick and holding it/positioning it over a fire would compare to grilling, no? But maybe we are just splitting hairs there. What really put things together for me was this response from Don;

“Yes, I agree. The majority of carcinogens get produced when juices hit the flames, which converts components of the juices into aromatic compounds that then get lodged in the meat, so a drip pan will reduce this effect”
 
My heroes when it comes to grilling are the Argentinians. The way they have perfected the art of grilling is so mouthwatering good, I would move there just to be able to hvae regular acces to it. Now what I find very interesting is that “flare up” (when the juices hit the flame) is an absolute sin when grilling the Argentine way.
 
My conclusion, if you grill often as I do, study the art of using in-direct heat. More to follow on that subject. What do you think?
 
Lunch and dinner;
I really love this type of salad; red leaf romaine lettuce, with some scallion, garlic, cucumber. Olive oil and a bit of dijon mustard ties it all together. I cut up some left over lamb and quickly warmed it in some butter. Wonderful lunch.
 

So for dinner…………
Oh heavens was this good πŸ˜‰
Again some left over lamb with fresh shrimp simply sauteed in a bit of butter. Added a teaspoon of vindaloo paste (have you tried it yet?) and then a splash of heavy cream at the end.
Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into. WD

HumGuac

That’s what I called this little concoction.

Using the last ingredients in my fridge, before going to the farmers market on Saturday, I made some zucchini hummus and added the last half of a Florida avocado. Hum-Guac.
Really simple and super tasty. Great on it’s own or spoon over shrimp, meat, chicken.
Did you read the latest post (Grilling is it safe) on the Healthy Cooking Coach? The interview with Don M. from Primal Wisdom is a must read. What’s your opinion on it? Give me some of your thoughts and I will share mine in my next post.
Make it a great week!