Eat Out of the Skillet

This may not be a new culinary technique for all.

For me it was an epiphany.

Eat out of the skillet/pot/pan.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

The Price of Health has Dropped

As an ex-fruitarian (Short Story: bad Idea sorry pancreas). I had formed a psychological aversion to fruit. Thankfully that has subsided and the occasional apple has regained its appeal.

I am tapping back into one of the worlds simplest combinations of delicious.

Screenshot from 2013-07-26 19:34:06

That is why I was excited by this point. Fruit is a cheaper sweet, not only by weight but by calorie.

fruitVSfruitsnack3

Most demand a major caloric bang for each food fated buck.

Enter the Value Menu.

Mighty meal prices hover around the amount of change under my car seat. Provided i have not vacuumed recently.

Screenshot from 2013-07-26 19:21:08

Well apple now trumps apple pie bars in both caloric and economical regards.

fruitVSfruitsnack

I we find ourselves at a good grocer, price can indeed lean in favor of health.

How novel.

The only valid excuse now is availability. I am well aware that a banana in the super market is about 20 cents.

fruitVSfruitsnack2

But banana at the corner liquor shop. Well that baby is buck…. so is the chip bag and Little Debbie cake flanking it.  I don’t know about you, but when I stopped at the AM PM my walk home from school the banana usually lost.

Screenshot from 2013-07-26 19:28:52

Americans have the freedom to choose, now if we choose to use the power of intensive.

Food subsidies.Education.

Sugar taxes.

It could mean many things,  it could make many  well


What!? No Toy

“Pioneering this change on our menu is a bold move for our industry, and it makes sense for Taco Bell. We’ll be able to better focus on creating new and inventive items that our customers love.”

– Greg Creed, chief executive officer of Taco Bell

 

It is indeed a sad day.

The pressures of the obesity epidemic have proven to heavy for America’s cheapest chain chorizo.  Taco Bell will no longer be running a kids meal.  Children will now have to labor though America cheapest tacos, limpest burritos, and blandest quesadilla with no  toy to show for their brave effort.

Adiós  Viejo Amigo

Adiós Viejo Amigo

Don’t go singing their praises just yet. Kids meals account for only 0.05% of Taco Bell’s overall sales.

Screenshot from 2013-07-24 07:08:32So that means that the Waffle Taco is for adults. Good because all the plastic Dora the Explores were starting to make feel a little juvenile.


More Than Chocolate

“So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
– Willy Wonka

matt_n_dan

I work for Matthew and Daniel, they are candy men, they built Coracao Confections.

choc1

It is a chocolate company based out of Emeryville, California.

It is Raw and Vegan.

chocolate_1

It is hard for a small business to grow without taking a risk. After putting a lot of money into an old building, an Oakland chocolate landmark, the renters backed out; the deal fall through.

hoopers

Coracao is in some small business trouble.

Raw Vegan Chocolate is everyone’s chocolate. Here is why.

Chocolate_enrobing

The Ingredients: A simple assortment of 5 of the world’s finest flavors
– Raw Cacao
– Raw Cacao Butter
– Raw Coconut sugar
– Wild Vanilla Bean
– Himalayan Sea Salt

The Enjoyers: Regardless of diet (vegan or paleo), allergy (lactose, gluten, or soy), ingredient concerns (refined sugar and GMOs), or health concerns (diabetic or celiac) one can still enjoy a bar of Coracao.

chocolate_2

Coracao is an asset to a lot of people, and could still be for many more.

3 days a week it is my pleasure to provide this chocolate at Farmers Markets. I value and respect all market visitor and love what our chocolate brings them.

2 days a week it is my pleasure to help create this chocolate, with care, precision, and a group of wonderful people.

chocppl

So what am I getting at here?

chocolate_1

If you like chocolate then you already have good taste, why not taste some of the best.

Enjoy the benefits of quality Cacao, and prove that the benefits of quality still means something in a food system that values profits and processing over care and health consideration.

Farmers_market

Buy a bar, send a gift, tell a friend, or just come to the Farmers Market grab a square of 81% on the house. Shoot me a smile if you like what your taste buds are telling you.

6134_116900177946_8156387_n

In every case I am flattered.

Screenshot from 2013-07-22 20:18:51

Chocolate 4 Life


How I Made a Green Drink,Or How I Made a Green Drink Better

‘How do we motivate people to make soft drinks part of their morning ritual in the same way as tea or coffee?’

— Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.sales report

gd8

In reference to their developing smoothie line.Coca-Cola busting into breakfast with “refreshing, healthy, and tasty alternatives” to a glass of agua in the AM. I imagine this morning mis-start will hover some where between Fanta and GoGurt tastewise.

Smoothies.

I don’t buy them, but I make them. They are a convenient way to eat a lot of very good things. Along with coffee, they are indeed my morning ritual.

So I wanted to learn a little more about the liquid meal..

Smoothie Mile Stones:

Pre 1900s: Blended fruit drinks were common in Latin American cultures, as well as in India (home of the Lassi, the original yoghurt smoothie).

lassi

1930s: American West Coast (we do love our super foods) health stores start selling blended fruit drinks.

1940s: Waring Blender Cookbook includes recipes for banana and pineapple blend ups.

Hippie Dippie 60s: Free spirit health gurus embrace macrobiotic vegetarianism. The term ‘Smoothie’ starts to get tossed around

13888_10151572971905909_1057096588_n

1973: Steve Kuhnau founds the first Smoothie King in Louisiana (Louisiana? I would have thought California for sure), experimenting with smoothie ingredients such as yoghurt, protein powder, and vitamins. Chains spread nation wide; Smoothie becomes a household word.

1017174_10151693870895909_724465150_n

1980s: Popularity of sports and fitness led to the marketing of specialized juice and smoothie bars. Nutrition science enters the blender.

1990: Jamba Juice turns milkshakes into health food. Every one From Mcdonald’s to Odwalla jumps on the joke of a smoothie band wagon.

2012: Sean buys a Vitamix 5200 and makes a Green Smoothie

gd5

And so we come to part 2 of this post.

My green smoothie recipe.

A good green smoothie is like any good 21st century machine.

Its components are interchangeable and interchangeable based on convenience and function. There are hundreds of recipes on the web, pictured as holy vessels full of exotic fruits and garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Get over yourself its just kale

Get over yourself its just kale

Confusion abounds, and many end up with an every thing but the kitchen sink drink.

Just remember to KISS.

Keep It O Smooth and Simple

Ingredients:

First 5 are essential, Second 3 are optional

1) 1 cup hard greens
(kale, collards, spinach, bok choy, cucumber, celery)

2) 3 finger pinch salt to provide flavor contrast

3) 20 grams sweetness of some form
(1 cup coco water,orange, banana, 1/2 apple, 1 1/2 medjool date, 3/4 cup berries, 1 tb honey, Kombucha, roasted sweet tater…)

4) One serving fat
(2tb nut butter, 1/2 yogurt, 1/2 avocado, 1tb coconut oil, or fresh coconut meat)

5) One cup filtered water or ice

Bonuses Added to Taste:

1) SPICE: (Cinnamon, cacao powder vanilla, curry, tumeric, allspice, ginger root, cayenne, fennel, garam masala, paprica)

2) HERB: Mint, Cilanro, Basil, tea leaves,

3) FUNCTION: hemp seeds, lemon juice, protein powder, spirulina, maca, chia, Brazil nut, cacao nibs, bee pollen,

Toss it in blender, flick it to high until smooth.

All this together would be quite a disappointing goulash, but the right combos are not hard to pick. Match the green drink to the need and accommodate what you have in the fridge (avocados on sale? lot of ginger root in the ol’ CSA, Bananas going brown?, need a little protein? post exercise carb maybe?).

Select a sweet, green, and fat source. 2-3 Herbs and spices for flavor and any fun functional bonuses that intrigue.

Examples:

Post Crossfit workout: Coco water, kale, 2 tb hemp protein, spirulina, cinnamon, cayenne, sea salt, cacao nibs, 2 tb almond butter

gd1

tastes like pumpkin pie

Savory Breakfast for Busy morning: kombucha, collard curry, 1/2 avocado, lemon juice, 1 tb chia, Brazil nut, sea salt, whole cayenne pepper

gd4

tastes like spicy curry

Throughout the morning at work sipper: coco oil, 1/2 apple, spinach and celery, mint, fennel seed, spirulina, vanilla, a little cacao powder , sea salt

gd2

Tastes mellow and cooling.

Raise your jar in oppositional toast. Coka-Cola, go blend your morning corn syrup somewhere else, ’cause today I am drinking collard that taste like cream.

gd3

Enjoy!


Spice

I would like to take a post to appreciate the shop that spices my shelf.

The Oakland Spice Shop

The Oakland Spice Shop

As I have begun to grow as a chef and confectioner I am experiencing time and again the integral role of the right spice at the right moment plays. As with most thing related to cooking

Screenshot from 2013-07-13 18:05:39

Simple is best.

The Oakland Spice Shop is full of singular wonders to take a meal from (forgive me) satiation to sensation.

Screenshot from 2013-07-14 06:05:29

In the great tradition of animated French rats, one such flavor sensation recently came in the form of a Spanish Smoked Paprika that took a ratatouille over the moon.

Oakland Spice Shop stocks the essential. Particularly…

Screenshot from 2013-07-13 18:05:07

Salt.

Few things are more important, as most food processors know to well unfortunately.

The singular addition of their applewood smoked salt combined with the substitution of coconut sugar took Coracao’s hazelnut toffee bark and thrust it to the realm between heaven and earth, aka Heath.

TOFFEEBARK

Rubbing a cut of pastured pork with a Cyprus mushroom infused salt marooned the lost loin in a wilderness of delicious, a twist of lemon found it and brought it home.

I am being melodramatic, but cooking melodrama by nature. Hell it has enough reality shows to prove that… Chopped anyone?

Screenshot from 2013-07-14 20:59:34

Here is the Details for those able to make the visit:
Oaktown Spice Shop
530 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 201-5400

Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 12pm-7pm
Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: 12pm-4pm
Closed Mondays


PREAM, or Pickles Rule Everything Around ME

My sister asked me a very valid question yesterday. “Why is everything around you pickled?”
dilly

To answer, fermenting is an endlessly entertaining combination of chemistry, health, and flavor. Each batch of fermented veggie/tea/grain or (Dare I) meat I make is a scientific exploration of the best kind.

amazake

The edible kind.

cf048724de8611e2b45022000a1fb3cd_7

My body is a ship for billions kindly bacterial travellers. A man shaped Carnival Cruiseliner, complete with unlimited buffet, plenty of leisure, and a well maintained waterslide. Together we happily sail through the day feasting on probiotics.

By comparsion, many sad sailors are travelling on decrepit slave galleons, forcing their pour gut flora to work hard hours, in the dank fiberless bowels of their bowels. They subsist meagre rations of occasional yoghurt and pasteurized dills.

284fe8b4decd11e2893922000aeb0bbd_7

So I surround myself with ferments, cultural reflections of my internal culture.

lexiconbig

Culturing is my culture, and for most of our brief existence it has been the human culture. Only recently the human gut had to settle for the a society pasteurized.

Screenshot from 2013-07-11 13:51:38

And yes… I can pickle that.

Screenshot from 2013-07-11 13:51:11

Keep Guts Alive, Remember 3 and 5

Sauerkraut Recipe:
– 3 tablespoons seasalt
– 5 pounds cabbage