Condiments

I love good food. I love good food so much that I put good food on good food.

Condiments.

condiments

The array dazzles me dizzy.

How does one sauce up a plate when sugar, gluten, and soy are off the table. Well, here is what’s shaken on my kitchen shelf.

1) Salt: Not just salt. Infused salt. Plain white salt is for prison cafeteria, I am overwhelmed by the amount intriguing and delicious salt variations I come across.  I will only touch on one. It is a celtic sea salt imbued with dried mushroom.

condiments_salt

 

When I use it tiny crystal pyramids dissolve slowly on the tongue, flooding my brain with slow release umami mania. Any food I put it on trespasses deep into personally unknown realms of flavor country.

Salt, push its limits. Shake it liberally.

2) Hot Sauce: I worry about the additives packaged food, so I use hot sauce.

condiments_hot

Options galore,  with ingredients lists that satisfy even the most scrupulous clean eater. Burn Baby Burn (Disco Inferno!) Brand is currently bring the Hell to my plate.

Proceeds go to support the Black Panther Party’s philanthropic efforts. Groovy

3) Sprouted Stuff: What makes a salad great, crunchy bits. No wonder old stale chunks of bread (croutons) accompany greens in the poshest of restaurants.

Nuts to your croutons! Nuts instead of croutons for that matter. A jar some sort of nut or seed is usually on my table. Being a nutrition nerd, I often go the extra mile and sprout and dehydrate them as well. This is great fun and rather easy.

Still, we are busy folks. For care free Cruching just put a jar pumpkin seeds/almonds/cashews on the table

condiments_sprouts

4) Mustard: Wonderful for the same reason as hot sauce. The ingredients are friendly (quite healthy in fact) and the varieties seem to be endless.

condiments_mus

5) Pepper:  Flavor bomb. No explanation necessary.

condiments_pepper

Five fun finishers for you healthful palate. Heap em’ on with out a care.

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Food, News, and Health on my Rest Day

Bridges to Breakfast:

The Dude does not abide kids missing breakfast because they can’t make it to school in time.” – Politico

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I had not idea Jeff Bridges was such a gritty champion of hunger issues in the USA. His latest venture is a push to have breakfast served at the beginning of class for students who can not make it to school before the bell. Schools seem reluctant because they fear for the class time it will take… But

report from Deloitte has found that if 70 percent of elementary had access to breakfast in the classroom, it could mean that 3.2 million more students would score higher on their standardized math tests and up to 4.8 million fewer school absences per year.

That should make up for the eggie interruption. I just hope Kellogg’s and Post Cereal don’t hope onboard.

Greenland and Icey Floating Farms:

icefarm

“We had what seemed to us a massive resource on one hand, and a massive lack — no local produce — on the other,” Meriem Chabani

Iceland new farming method is a projected beauty. Full of icebergs and happy families apparently. I hope it comes true.

icefarm_family

This Weeks Ferment: Creole Kraut

creloe_kraut

  • 3 heads green cabbage
  • 2 big golden beats
  • 20 tiny Thai chilles
  • Paprika, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne
  • 3 TB pink salt

I am thinking about 10 days ferment time should do it.


High Fat Hoop Dreams

Quote of the day.

“First you get a swimming pool full of bone broth, then you dive in it.”

bonebroth

I know I have been touting bone broth alot lately but it seems to be internet choice for hot beverage of 2014. Hell, even dogs are getting a cup.

I have seen my own gut health improvement correlate with bone broth consumption…. and upped fat consumption in general.

mole

Correlation is not causation but as long as it stays this delicious I just don’t care.

The Lakers Basketball team’s nutrition and strength couch bought a 400 lb grass fed cow last year.

cowshare_Lakers

This created a lot of fat fandom as more ballers saw health improvements on a high fat paleo style diet.

Kobe is all about it.

What is on the menu. Veggies and meat. Alot of kale chips and kombucha involved.

menu_Lakers

Awesome.

Sport writer, Danny Chau, adopted a one week paleo experiment. Coming straight from the standard American Diet He had this to say.

“It’s ridiculous to expect a world of change in seven days…  I’ve already internalized some of diet’s broader lessons: I’ll continue to avoid processed sugars*, eat more vegetables, and stop using vegetable oils like canola and corn oil. Maybe I’m just not that attuned to how my body is supposed to feel, because I can’t exactly argue with results. I’ve lost four pounds since New Year’s Day.”

court_Lakers

So many stewy chunks of endorsement for high fat and whole foods floating around the NBA these days.  It is a relief. The diet I have adopted is not just about slimming down and looking glam. It is about performance.

I eat for thisthe_snatch_2Not This.

modelHigh level athletes are fuelling and excelling on butter, bone broth, and big meaty salads. So am I.

Wheaties are for weanies. It is good broth makes Good ballers.

Dikembe-Mutumbo-Cereal-Block-Geico

O.K. one more quote.

“I feel so much better that I’m never coming back.”

Luis Scola


Eggsplorations: The Hard and The Boiled

As a child no food seemed less satisfying than a runny boiled egg.

TIme heals all wounds.

young_seanHard boiled eggs are an elegant combination of, convenience, nutrition, and with a little research delectability.

Like many, I have been boiling  irresponsibly; tossing eggs into a pots willy nilly and returning 15 minutes later to disgruntling peel rubbery whites enrobing chalky yolks.

Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bao 2

High time I settled on a boiling time…. and method for that matter.

Today, a simple eggsperiment, along with tips that actually do grease the shelling wheels.

egg_time_pre

Recipe:

  • Get out your eggs and a Sharpie Marker, label each according to the time frame you would like to test, they will cook more consistently if they are at room temp before their dunk so do this first.
  • Set water to boiling
  • Add a couple of shakes (1/2 teaspoon) of baking soda regardless of number of eggs*

*this really does help with ease of being later on. With Organic or pastured eggs all that freshness lowers the pH level of the white, causing it to adhere to the shell membrane. Baking soda raises that pH allowing for easier peeling with less length boiling times. Salt is also used but in  it did not seem to help me as much.

egg_time_water

  • When the water is about to reach boiling (the French Chef calls this a smiling pot) drop in your eggies
  • Get exact,  SET A TIMER! Let the alerts correspond to you labelled egg times.
  • As each egg reaches its desired pull period use a spoon to fish it out, set it in a bowl of cold water, set that bowl in the freezer. Repeat For each egg.
  • 20 minutes or so later get em out peel em up and choose the yolk for you.

egg_time_post

I like a little run so I dialled in 7 minutes as my prime time. 6 minutes had the same runniness but was a pain to peel. 8 minutes was good to, but any longer and the runny runs away.

Thus, 9 minutes is a good start point for those chasing a firm yolk.

Sprinkle them with salt and each them straight up. Or side by side with some apple-kraut slaw (to each his own.

egg_time_meal

“I think one of the terrible things today is that people have this deathly fear eggs.”

– Julia Childs

Julia-Childs-Kitchen-631


Lies My Marketplace Told Me

My flat mate left for Minneapolis last month. I finally got around to getting rid of some of the stuff left in the freezer. I was washing out an old tub of vibrant green pistachio ice cream. It was a good tub fated for holding a pound of bee pollen.

I poured the contents into the sink and glanced at the ingredients.

ice_cream3

The usual ugliness was present in force. Corn syrup,  cheap gum emulsifiers, skim milk with artificial more shelf stable fat added back.

I think, “Whoa. A real bastardization of Old Fashioned ice cream with its cream, sugar, and vanilla.”

I read the front of the container.

ice_creamSo it is old fashioned after all huh? Well, Berkeley Bowl Marketplace you just lost some major street cred with me.

Finding time to shop is hard enough for most of our over worked country. It frustrates me to think of the folks who were mislead by this comfortingly simple label that exudes in house artisanal production.

ice_cream2

I went away for the weekend, here is the ice cream in my sink…. two days later when I got home. Apparently, melting is to hip for what ever is binding the artificially old fashion green cream.

For those who rightfully like the quick convenience of store bought cream. Here is a quick and cheap recipe for ice cream with one ingredient,. You would need a food processor or blender.

ice_cream4

I would add a pinch of salt, touch of vanilla, and some almonds… maybe some nutmeg.

Foodishness is Foolishness.


A Meat by Any Other Name, or Taco Tuesday

taco_bell_meat

In the wake of pink slimegate 2012, Missy Schaaphok, nutritionist and product manager for Taco Bell (that is an oxymoron), wants the chain to place an emphasis on nutrition, not meatiness. Enter the “FRESCO POWER MENU.”

taco-bell-fresco-power-menu-600px

Here is a link to Missy Schaaphok video recipe guide to an anchovi veggie wrap… did not make the power menu; what a shocker.

I despise disguise, and that is what the new power menu is up to. While the options are calorically cut the quality remains… well, c’mon it is still Taco Bell. Perhaps the saddest member of the Yum! Brand Family of Fast Food/Slow Death.

Thus we have reached the inspiration for my Paleo style breakfast, a fresher fattier version of a Fresco Power selection.

The Taco Salad

The Taco Salad

The hardest part of this breakfast was the tortilla recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple. Basisally a really thin frittata.

EDITS: Lemon instead of lime, Chicken stock instead of water

EDITS: Lemon instead of lime, Chicken stock instead of water

The recipe recommends 4 small torts.

fryingtortilla

I went for one large. The cohesion level did not approve… the flip was a flop.
But the little resulting crunchy chips were nice perk of flipping failure.

tort_cjips

Next is was time for a quick Guacamole. My Guac has three ingredients.

guac_ing

A good Chilli Paste is a great instant Guac hack and Cultured’s ferments are flavor bombs.

This may seem a little too picturesque but Tim really is a stand up  modern farmer

This may seem a little too picturesque but Tim really is a stand up modern farmer

For my Power Protein Filling I fried up one Riverdog Banger with some garnet yam in the ol’ cast iron. Got some stem stock going in the mean time.

stem_stock

Time to assemble. Guacamole, roasted yam and sausage, shredded romaine, and some of the sauerkraut I jarred (still working on salsa bar spicy carrots).

taco_salad

Review: This was one tasty pile. Next time I would go with the recommended tiny tortillas for easy of flipping. I would add a two-finger salt pinch and, god forbid, a splash of honey for a twang of sweet and a nicer brown.

Edits: Used a lemon instead of a lime and chicken stock instead of water

Edits: Used a lemon instead of a lime and chicken stock instead of water

All and all though not a tough taco salad for a relaxed 4th meal.

Fourth-Meal

Crunchy.
Spicy.
Meltly.
Grilled.
All of the above.


Friday Food News Feast

Fast news on slow foods. GO!

1) Battle 16 Continues

Marion Nestle was present while the New York City Department of Health (DOH) tried on last time to save the 16 oz. New York soda cap initiative. The out look is grim.

As one judge stated, ““Do you need a PhD in public health to know that sugary drinks aren’t good for you?”

Well, you don’t need a High School Diploma not to know that smoking a cigarette after downing a Big Gulp is a bad idea too. It is almost like this stuff is addictive or something. Hey! maybe we should create a Marlboro Big Puff.

giant_cigarette

Just don’t flick them off your New York pent house balcony.

The American Beverage Association says there is no president for this type of legislation, well DOH offers this list.

My favorite example

My favorite example

2) Females Farm more Frequently

Women operated farms have darn near tripled over the past three decades, from 5% in 1978 to 14% by 2007… and they are mostly the tiny type. Farmer’s markets are helping to bring back the small farm tradition and many working women are slinging berries and beets on the side.

Kashiwase, where My chocolate employer Coracao gets their almonds

Kashiwase, Coracao’s hearts get their almonds

While we are on the topic of Clean eating women….

3) Primal is Unisex

The Paleo diet has a lot of redeemable qualities, but its media prescribed masculine persona was not one of them. Straight up inaccurate as the above article demo’s.

“There’s a core group of Paleo women who are blogging, landing lucrative cookbook deals, and amassing tens of thousands of Twitter followers.” Writes Grubstreet.

The Paleo Diet catches ALOT of flack from academia who confuse it with an irrational effort of city dwellers to eat like the missing link.

paleo-diet-half-baked_3

Scientific American associate editor Ferris Jabr writes. “It’s not clear. Just how far back were our ancestors eating grains and dairy? What we can say for certain is that in the Paleolithic, the human diet varied immensely by geography, season and opportunity.”

Here is how this diet is can be helpful:
– It shies away from processed foods, a stresses low sugar
– Raises awareness about factory farming
– Brings folks to the farmers market
– Discourages calorie counting, over exercise, and constant weighing (The Biggest Loser Model)

This should be illegal, lets analzye its science for a change.

And it ain’t all about meat. A good friend of mine is half way through her vegetarian paleo Whole 30. She seems to be eating like more of a queen then a cave girl. I look forward to her return to dark chocolate though.

A Meatless Meso Meal

A Meatless Meso Meal… is that pumpkin pie?!

I’m gonna try to get that paleo pie recipe, post it next week.