Friday, November 6
I am so happy to be back blogging! Somewhere along the way I had lost my ambition to maintain a blog but I regained inspiration when I found a camera I thought had been stolen and remembered all the wonderful things I could do with it! Number one at the top of that list was sharing delicious live food.
This is a recipe I stumbled across, from the blog Gitta's raw kitchen. I humbley repost her recipe.
for the spaghetti
2 zucchini pealed
1 tsp salt
for the sauce
2 tbsp sunflower seed (soaked for overnight)
3-4 nice large mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
2 glove garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
half bunch of parsley
pinch fresh ground black pepper
With a knife or with a slicer make spaghetti from the zucchini. Put the salt on it, stir well, and set aside. After 15 minutes pour the salty liquid off it.
For the sauce put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Put a little water in the blender if it is needed.
Put the spaghetti on a plate, put some sauce on it, and garnish with mushroom cubes and parsley.
So simple! So delicious! I had never drained my zucchini noodles before, and it makes such a difference! I'm going to do it every time now. I also made my sauce in the food processor instead of a blender because I broke my blender the other day :( I think I like it more this way, more texture to the sauce.
Today also marks the last day of one week very high raw! And though I'd love to see the week through (and really wanted to) I'm comming down with a cold and I've been bad company so my boyfriend is out to brunch and bringing me home a comfort food breakfast that I didn't ask for to make me feel better. It's a sweet gesture so I will indulge, and post about it later!
Until then, enjoy this sweetly simple and delicious dish!
Sunday, July 12
Friday, May 15
Monday, May 11
A Good Food Manifesto for America
By Will Allen
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
5500 W. Silver Spring Dr.
Milwaukee WI 53218
Phone: (414) 527-1546
Fax: (414) 527-1908
I am a farmer. While I find that this has come to mean many other things to other people – that I have become also a trainer and teacher, and to some a sort of food philosopher – I do like nothing better than to get my hands into good rich soil and sow the seeds of hope.
So, spring always enlivens me and gives me the energy to make haste, to feel confidence, to take full advantage of another all-too-short Wisconsin summer.
This spring, however, much more so than in past springs, I feel my hope and confidence mixed with a sense of greater urgency. This spring, I know that my work will be all the more important, for the simple but profound reason that more people are hungry.
For years I have argued that our food system is broken, and I have tried to teach what I believe must be done to fix it. This year, and last, we have begun seeing the unfortunate results of systemic breakdown. We have seen it in higher prices for those who can less afford to pay, in lines at local food pantries, churches and missions, and in the anxious eyes of people who have suddenly become unemployed. We have seen it, too, in nationwide outbreaks of food-borne illness in products as unlikely as spinach and peanuts.
Severe economic recession certainly has not helped matters, but the current economy is not alone to blame. This situation has been spinning toward this day for decades. And while many of my acquaintances tend to point the finger at the big agro-chemical conglomerates as villains, the fault really is with all of us who casually, willingly, even happily surrendered our rights to safe, wholesome, affordable and plentiful food in exchange for over-processed and pre-packaged convenience.
Over the past century, we allowed our agriculture to become more and more industrialized, more and more reliant on unsustainable practices, and much more distant from the source to the consumer. We have allowed corn and soybeans, grown on the finest farmland in the world, to become industrial commodities rather than foodstuffs. We have encouraged a system by which most of the green vegetables we eat come from a few hundred square miles of irrigated semi-desert in California.
When fuel prices skyrocket, as they did last year, things go awry. When a bubble like ethanol builds and then bursts, things go haywire. When drought strikes that valley in California, as is happening right now, things start to topple. And when the whole economy shatters, the security of a nation’s food supply teeters on the brink of failure.
To many people, this might sound a bit hysterical. There is still food in the suburban supermarket aisles, yes. The shelves are not empty; there are no bread lines. We haven’t read of any number of Americans actually starving to death.
No, and were any of those things to happen, you can rest assured that there would be swift and vigorous action. What is happening is that many vulnerable people, especially in the large cities where most of us live, in vast urban tracts where there are in fact no supermarkets, are being forced to buy cheaper and lower-quality foods, to forgo fresh fruits and vegetables, or are relying on food programs – including our children’s school food programs – that by necessity are obliged to distribute any kind of food they can afford, good for you or not. And this is coming to haunt us in health care and social costs. No, we are not suddenly starving to death; we are slowly but surely malnourishing ourselves to death. And this fate is falling ever more heavily on those who were already stressed: the poor. Yet there is little action.
Many astute and well-informed people beside myself, most notably Michael Pollan, in a highly persuasive treatise last fall in the New York Times, have issued these same warnings and laid out the case for reform of our national food policy. I need not go on repeating what Pollan and others have already said so well, and I do not wish merely to add my voice to a chorus.
I am writing to demand action.
It is time and past time for this nation, this government, to react to the dangers inherent in its flawed farm and food policies and to reverse course from subsidizing wealth to subsidizing health.
We have to stop paying the largest farm subsidies to large growers of unsustainable and inedible crops like cotton. We have to stop paying huge subsidies to Big Corn, Big Soy and Big Chem to use prime farmland to grow fuel, plastics and fructose. We have to stop using federal and state agencies and institutions as taxpayer-funded research arms for the very practices that got us into this mess.
We have to start subsidizing health and well-being by rewarding sustainable practices in agriculture and assuring a safe, adequate and wholesome food supply to all our citizens. And we need to start this reform process now, as part of the national stimulus toward economic recovery.
In my organization, Growing Power Inc. of Milwaukee, we have always before tried to be as self-sustaining as possible and to rely on the market for our success. Typically, I would not want to lean on government support, because part of the lesson we teach is to be self-reliant.
But these are not typical times, as we are now all too well aware.
As soon as it became clear that Congress would pass the National Recovery Act, I and members of my staff brainstormed ideas for a meaningful stimulus package aimed at creating green jobs, shoring up the security of our urban food systems, and promoting sound food policies of national scope. The outcome needed to be both “shovel-ready” for immediate impact and sustainable for future growth.
We produced a proposal for the creation of a public-private enabling institution called the Centers for Urban Agriculture. It would incorporate a national training and outreach center, a large working urban farmstead, a research and development center, a policy institute, and a state-of-the-future urban agriculture demonstration center into which all of these elements would be combined in a functioning community food system scaled to the needs of a large city.
We proposed that this working institution – not a “think tank” but a “do tank” – be based in Milwaukee, where Growing Power has already created an operating model on just two acres. But ultimately, satellite centers would become established in urban areas across the nation. Each would be the hub of a local or regional farm-to-market community food system that would provide sustainable jobs, job training, food production and food distribution to those most in need of nutritional support and security.
This proposal was forwarded in February to our highest officials at the city, state and federal level, and it was greeted with considerable approval. Unfortunately, however, it soon became clear that the way Congress had structured the stimulus package, with funds earmarked for only particular sectors of the economy, chiefly infrastructure, afforded neither our Congressional representatives nor our local leaders with the discretion to direct any significant funds to this innovative plan. It simply had not occurred to anyone that immediate and lasting job creation was plausible in a field such as community-based agriculture.
I am asking Congress today to rectify that oversight, whether by modifying the current guidelines of the Recovery Act or by designating new and dedicated funds to the development of community food systems through the creation of this national Centers for Urban Agriculture.
Our proposal budgeted the initial creation of this CUA at a minimum of $63 million over two years – a droplet compared to the billions being invested in other programs both in the stimulus plan and from year-to-year in the federal budget.
Consider that the government will fund the Centers for Disease Control at about $8.8 billion this year, and that is above the hundreds of millions more in research grants to other bio-medical institutions, public and private. This is money well spent for important work to ensure Americans the best knowledge in protecting health by fighting disease; but surely by now we ought to recognize that the best offense against many diseases is the defense provided by a healthy and adequate diet. Yet barely a pittance of CDC money goes for any kind of preventive care research.
In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security approved spending $450 million for a new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility at Kansas State University, in addition to the existing Biosecurity Research Institute already there. Again, money well spent to protect our food supply from the potential of a terrorist attack. But note that these hundreds of millions are being spent to protect us from a threat that may never materialize, while we seem to trivialize the very real and material threat that is upon us right now: the threat of malnourishment and undernourishment of very significant number of our citizens.
Government programs under the overwhelmed and overburdened departments of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services do their best to serve their many masters, but in the end, government farm and food policies are most often at odds between the needs of the young, the old, the sick and the poor versus the wants of the super-industry that agriculture has become.
By and large, the government’s funding of nutritional health comes down to spending millions on studies to tell us what we ought to eat without in any way guaranteeing that many people will be able to find or afford the foods they recommend. For instance, food stamps ensure only that poor people can buy food; they cannot ensure that, in the food deserts that America’s inner cities have become, there will be any good food to buy.
We need a national nutrition plan that is not just another entitlement, that is not a matter of shipping surplus calories to schools, senior centers, and veterans’ homes. We need a plan that encourages a return to the best practices of both farming and marketing, that rewards the grower who protects the environment and his customers by nourishing his soil with compost instead of chemicals and who ships his goods the shortest distance, not the longest.
If the main purpose of government is to provide for the common security of its citizens, surely ensuring the security of their food system must be among its paramount duties. And if among our rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we are denied all those rights if our cities become prisons of poverty and malnutrition.
As an African-American farmer, I am calling on the first African-American president of the United States to lead us quickly away from this deepening crisis. Demand, President Obama, that Congress and your own Administration begin without delay the process of reforming our farm and food policies. Start now by correcting the omission in your economic stimulus and recovery act that prevented significant spending on creating new and sustainable jobs for the poor in our urban centers as well as rural farm communities.
It will be an irony, certainly, but a sweet one, if millions of African-Americans whose grandparents left the farms of the South for the factories of the North, only to see those factories close, should now find fulfillment in learning once again to live close to the soil and to the food it gives to all of us.
I would hope that we can move along a continuum to make sure that all of citizens have access to the same fresh, safe, affordable good food regardless of their cultural, social or economic situation.
* * *
Sunday, May 10
I was craving two very different things, and decided to marry the two. This dish resulted! It was very good, so I decided to share it. Though I think I may do a few things differently, for the first creation of its kind, I'd have to say it turned out pretty well. I was quite satisfied and had plenty of left overs.
3 T Nama Shoyu
1 T Cold Pressed Flax Oil
2 Large Portabella Mushrooms
1 small Carrot, peeled
1 large Beet, peeled
12 leaves Laciento Kale, de-stemmed
1/2 t Lime Juice
1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 T Grapeseed Oil
2 T Honey (Buckwheat Blossom from WI's honey co-op)
1 t Cumin
1/2 t Cinnamon
Sea Salt to taste
1 ripe Avocado
1/2 of a Shallot
2 stalks Celery
1 large clove Garlic
1/3 C soaked Sunflower Seeds
1/2 t dried Dill
Pumpkin Seeds as garnish
one) Marinate Portabellas in Nama Shoyu and Flax Oil, at least one hour.
two) Shred Carrot, Beet, Kale, and one handful Parsley in a food processor.
three) Combine Lime Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, Grapeseed oil, Honey, Cumin, Cinnamon and Salt, then mix into processed veggies. set aside.
four) Pulse 1 handful Parsley in food processor. Place in a bowl and mash one ripe Avocado into the pulsed Parsley. Add one handful of each, Sunflower and Alfalfa Sprouts.
seven) Take Mushrooms out of marinade and lay on top of each bed. Scoop Sunflower Seed Mixture into Mushroom.
eight) pour remaining marinade on top of Mushrooms, and garnish with Pumpkin Seeds.
Friday, May 1
Directions: Using the s-blade in a food processor, blend walnuts and dates until dough forms. You'll need to play around with the amounts that you use. If dough is too dry to shape, add more dates. Add cinnamon to taste and blend. I use 1-2 tsp, but it's really all about what you prefer. Once ingredients are blended and you have a nice dough, form into cookie shapes. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes and then serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
***Variations: Form into balls and call them Spice Balls. Form into balls and roll in coconut flakes. Replace cinnamon with carob for a "chocolaty" treat.
I know, I know. A video of me making this will come... someday :)
To make a spirulina salad:
- Choose your greens and/or sprouts. Any and all will do. You can just choose one, or have a salad with a large variety. My favorites are clover sprouts, kale, butter lettuce, spinach, mache, baby lettuce, and sunflower sprouts. Mix in a bowl.
- Choose any additional salad items. Most of the time, I don't have anything extra, but additions can be nice: tomatoes, celery, cucumber, zucchini, saurkraut, avocado, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, olives, etc. Add to salad.
- Choose your oil - olive, hemp, or sesame. All work well, so experiment to find your optimal flavor. Pour on salad in quantity desired. Mix all together.
- Shake some salt on top. If desired, you can also add garlic powder or pepper as well. Cayenne works too, if you like it hot ;)
- Add spirulina. The only spirulina I really, really love is Healthforce Nutritionals. If your taste buds are not yet used to spirulina, use just a small amount first (maybe 1/2 TBS), or as abundantly as you choose!
Wednesday, April 22
Tummy tingling breakfast greenie:
1 blood orange
coconut water (to cover fruit)
large handful spinach
1 huge mustard green leaf
1 teaspoon spirulina
Saturday, April 18
Friday, March 13
I have (literally) just finished reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It is a quite fascinating read, tracing and sourcing four meals beginning with McDonalds and ending with a hunted & foraged feast. It was borrowed to me by a co-worker & friend, who had read it along with a few other co-workers over this past summer. I had been eager to get my hands (and eyes!) on this book for months and it was well worth the wait. I highly reccomend it.
It contains the complete history from source to mouth of four very distinctly different meals and for many an omnivore will truley open your eyes.
From my unique standpoint I found it was missing some essential facts, not so much in the history but in what happens to your body after the food is consumed. I consider that to be an equally important factor in selecting a meal. Then again it was not the point of this book at all, as it is subtitled "the history of four meals". My eyes are also considerably biased in the area of food gathering and consuption.
Though he presents a very good argument in the animal/humanistic relationship formed in farming & rearing meat and reminded myself of why we began to eat it in the first place, and continued once we absolutly do not need to eat meat for survival or health.
I stand by the my opinion that if you are able to hunt & dress your own meat you most certinally deserve to eat it, and Mr. Pollen dives into the range of human emotions during this most primal human experiance, those I hope to never experiance first hand.
This book also sparked a great interest in the mystery of mushrooms. A growing favorite food, and completly mulit-fascited culinary delight as well as a great link in the earths cycle of life and death, I will be diving into this subject in the future!
All in all I highly recommed this book to everyone! No matter where you fall into the global food economey change, this book is sure to open your eyes with fascination and hopefully, delight!
Wednesday, March 4
Pesto Stuffed Zucchini roll ups with Red Pepper Bruschetta
1 large zucchini
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
pinch of salt & pepper
1 T onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove
pinch of salt & pepper
One) Pulse Ingredients for pesto in food processor until a creamy consistency is reached. Place pesto in a bowl and set aside. Rinse food processor.
Two) Use a carrot peeler to create thin slices of Zucchini, lay flat and spread an even coating of pesto on zucchini slice. Roll up, and place one rolled side up on a plate.
Three) Pulse Ingredients for Red Pepper Bruschetta in Food processor, consistency should be chunky. Pour over Zucchini rolls.
Tuesday, February 24
1 cup brazil nuts
4 small dried medjool dates
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons ground flax
1 small lemon
2 tablespoons honey
one) let brazil nuts, cashews, and dates soak ( I just so happened to leave them for 24 hours, I'm sure less time would be fine)
two) Combine brazil nuts, dates, and a dash of cinnamon in food processor until nuts are finely ground and dates bind them together.
three) press evenly into the bottom of a large cereal bowl, forming a crust along the side. place in freezer.
four) rinse food processor
five) slice lemon (leaving peel on) and combine with cashews in food processor, adding honey, flax, and a quick dash of sea salt until a whipped consistency.
six) remove crust from freezer, and evenly spread lemon whip over top.
seven) top with fresh blueberries! Then let refrigerate for a few hours.
Friday, February 20
1/2 Cup Water
5 dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 teaspoon rose water
1/2 inch of vanilla bean
2 cardamom pods
2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 Tablespoon beets, chopped
5 cranberries, chopped finely
blueberries, two large handfuls
2 large prunes, chopped
2 1/2 dried medjool dates chopped
dried bing cherries, 1 handful
1 T raw cacao nibs
One) allow dried hibiscus flowers to soak in half cup water over night
Two) remove flowers from water and combine with rose water, half a banana, inside of the vanilla bean & cardamom pods. Blend until creamy and frothy, then set aside.
Hibiscus has been credited with a wide range of healing properties. In Colombia, the plant is used to treat hair loss and scurvy; in Samoa, it is commonly given to women who are suffering from menstrual cramps or who are in childbirth, as the leaves ease labor pains. In the Cook Islands and the Philippines, the flowers are used to induce abortions. In a 1962 study, hibiscus was confirmed to be hypotensive, as well as antispasmodic, anthelminthic, and antibacterial. In subsequent studies, the plant was found to effectively work against such diseases as ascariasis and tuberculosis. Studies in France, Malaysia, and Egypt have found that the plant has anticarcinogenic effects.
One medium banana (100 g) is a good source of vitamin A; a source of vitamins B6 and C, and copper; contains 0.3 g of fat, of which 33% is saturated; provides 3 g of dietary fibre; supplies 86 kcal (360 kJ). The sodium content is low (1.2 mg/100 g)
In old medicinal literature, vanilla is described as an
Cardamom is best stored in pod form, because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavor. Green cardamom in South Asia is broadly used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, and inflammation of eyelids.. It is reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom bite, it also is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat stomach-aches, constipation, dysentery, and other digestion problems.
Three) Combine Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
In addition to linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, selenium, calcium and zinc. Additionally, they are rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.
Pumpkin Seeds , only five to ten grams daily could help prevent kidney stones. Furthermore, could help deter parasites, such as tapeworms. The seeds are also good sources of protein, and the essential minerals iron (25 grams (about a quarter-
Four) Add Beet, Cranberry, Blueberries, and the other half of a Banana
Beets are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.
Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with notably high levels of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber. One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load score of 4 out of 100 per day. Especially in wild species, blueberries contain anthocyanins, other antioxidant pigments and various phytochemicals possibly having a role in reducing risks of some diseases,including inflammation and different cancers. Researchers have shown that blueberry anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, flavonols, and tannins inhibit mechanisms of cancer cell development and inflammation in vitro. Similar to red grape, some blueberry species contain in their skins significant levels of resveratrol, a phytochemical. may alleviate the cognitive decline occurring in Alzheimer's disease and other conditions of aging. Feeding blueberries to animals lowers brain damage in experimental stroke. Research at Rutgers has also shown that blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections. Other studies found that blueberry consumption lowered cholesterol and total blood lipid levels, possibly affecting symptoms of heart disease. Additional research showed that blueberry consumption altered glycosaminoglycans which are vascular cell components affecting control of blood pressure.
Five) Add prunes, dates, cherries and cacao nibs
Prunes are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin B6. They act as a natural laxative.
The fruit of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), one of the oldest cultivated tree crops. It provides a staple food for many populations in the Middle East and North Africa, and also is highly valued for feed, fiber, and shelter. 100 g of dried dates (three weighed with stones) provides 3 g of dietary fiber. Dates are also a good source of protein and iron
Cherries are high in vitamin C, carbohydrates, and water, and include trace amounts of fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), niacin, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium.
Unprocessed (raw) Cacao beans contain magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, calcium, anandamide, phenylethylamine, arginine, polyphenols, epicatechins, potassium, procyanidins, flavanols, vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
Six) Pour flower milk over Raw-Nola
Sunday, February 15
6 large local butterleaf lettuce leaves, torn
1/4 cup sunflower sprouts
1/2 of a bosc pear, sliced and diced
2 cardamom pods
1/2 inch vanilla bean
2 dried medjool dates
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
One) Layer greens
Two) Break open cardamom pods & vanilla bean, combine with liquids
Three) Dice Dates & combine with mixture
Four) Add hemp seed, coconut & pistachios
Monday, February 9
1 c brown rice
3 Yukon gold potatoes, small
1 carrot, small
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 vadallia onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1/2 c seitan, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow squashed, chopped
1/2 zucchini, chopped
1 portabella mushroom, sliced
1/2 box cherry tomatoes
1 small lime
fresh parsley, 1 medium handful
4 large leaves butterhead lettuce
pico di gayo (mild) salsa
El Ray habanero salsa
grape seed veganise
El Ray Tortillas
Second) Warm frying pan with 2 Tbs olive oil over low heat, add garlic and onion
Third) Slice Potatoes in thin wedges, place in steam basket, place in rice cooker
Fourth) Peel carrot in long thin strips, add to potatoes in steam basket, let steam 5 minutes
Fifth) Place in frying pan, turn up to medium heat
Sixth) Add red pepper & seitan, soon followed by zucchini, squash, mushroom
)Flavor with dried oregano, "taco seasoning", and cayenne, all to taste
Seventh) Flavor rice with juice from 1/2 a lime and celery salt, to taste
Eighth) Place 1 tortilla at a time in steam basket, steam for 1 minute