I love good food. I love good food so much that I put good food on good food.
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.
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.
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
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.
5) Pepper: Flavor bomb. No explanation necessary.
Five fun finishers for you healthful palate. Heap em’ on with out a care.
Bridges to Breakfast:
“The Dude does not abide kids missing breakfast because they can’t make it to school in time.” – Politico
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
A 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:
“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.
This Weeks Ferment: Creole 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.
When it comes to spice the Thai do not play nice. Each meal I ate was the spiciest meal I has ever eaten. For examples, my last day in Thailand I ate the spiciest meal I have ever eaten.
Pat Krapao Moo Sap (spicy pork and basil salad.) prepared by this women.
By bite three face was beet red, bite five my lips went numb, ten bites in and my nose was running like a Niagara Falls on a rainy day.
I cried. I am not afraid to admit it.
Thailand, your climate is hot. Why the desire to eat pure (though often delicious) fire?
Simple answer, spoilage.
As an animal attempting to eat ancestrally, I consume a good deal of other animals. I make a respectful effort to ensure that is kept fresh and chilly, not wasted. In the tropics heat and humidity make this endeavour more challenging.
Hence the spice.
Chillie, curries, peppers, they all boast impressive antimicrobial properties that protect eaters from rapidly fermenting flesh.
Thus, the more my mouth melts the less food born baddies with burn up my belly. Good news to me as my travellers diet is comprised of 90% street cart food.
Central America, Central Africa, India, and of course Thailand, they all have long histories of hot dishes.
the arguement could be made that modern refrigeration has undone a lot of the need for such spicy measures.
But I’m sitting at my new favorite BBQ stand, watching a chef cut papaya and crack crabs in to a mixing bowl. O, I be grateful for chillie powder.
Helpful Thai phrases:
Lek lek pec kap khon kap = just a little spicy thank you
and for the daring,
Mak mak pec kap khon kap = spice it up
Quality chocolate is hard to find in Cambodia and my sugarfree sweet tooth is screaming.
I took a Cambodian cooking class today. Chocolate be damned. It ended with a dessert that is near and dear to my heart.
Mango sticky rice.
Typically thought of as a Thai dessert, I much prefer the Cambodian take. The sticky rice is simmered in coconut milk made fresh at the morning market.
After 15 minutes the rice is more akin to a gooey custard. This is the layered over fresh yellow mango slices and (if you are in Thailand) finished with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk.
White rice occupies the realm of occassional indulgence in my own day to day. A little more so this past month as I have been traveling in Thailand and Cambodia.
Sweetened condensed milk on the other hand… cheap dairy, refined sugar, I alway shy away.
Hence my of love of Cambodia’s extra sticky rendition of this tropic classic, which is finished with a palm sugar coconut milk caramel reduction.
Here is the low down on this 5 minute caramel.
+ 4 Tb palm sugar or coconut sugar (sub honey or maple if it is all you got)
+ 1/2 cup coconut milk (fresh from a Cambodian market is ideal but canned will do)
+ A pinch of salt
+ 1 Tb butter or coconut oil
+ A little water as needed
In a sauce pan simmer coconut milk in until boiling gently. Add palm sugar, a pinch of salt, and stir often for about 5 minutes. Add butter, turn off burner, and whisk until smooth. If the sauce is too thick to drizzle add a little water.
A simple and delicious addition to any dessert and a mango sticky must.
As I sit here, enjoying my drum
stick on a stick, I am not all that surprised as to why these Thai seem so much more healthful and at ease then my American countrymen. Don’t get me wrong, processed food are prolificprolific here, 7-11’s abound and soda is as cheap as water but.
They eat organs every day.
Unless you want to sit down for a full meal, the cheap eater has two common street options.
1) fruit on sticks (banana, papaya, pineapple, pear, a bunch I can not even name
2) meat on sticks (sausage, liver, squid, gizzardsgizzards, pork belly, fish, etc.)
I go to great extents to respect the animals I eat, so eating the less desirables parts appeals to me. Organ meat, offal, the nasty bits, call it what you want. I see it as a tragic forgotten cornerstone of the human diet. I am not alone.
Anadote Time. I did the workout at CrossfitBK yesterday. I was jet lagged and aclimating to a Bangkok climate 1/2 sauna and 1/2 traffic jam.
“What the Hell am I thinking” was all I could tell myself.
Killed it and got the best time of the day. That kettle bell might as well have been full of feathers for how fas it was flying.
That does not happen to me in California, but California I do not eat chicken liver/heart/gizzard for lunch. I do not drink fresh coconuts for breakfast or flag down carts rattling down the alley piled high with roasted sweet potatoes and bananas. In California my post work out meals are not intestine and cuddled blood soup topped with fermented cabbage (did I mention I am not the least bit sore today).
I do eat organ meats ocationally, but that just changed. I am no longer going to be afraid of that lonely pastured pig pancreus, cold and shunned in butcher cooler. They are a quite a lot cheaper than tenderloin anyway.
It is the powders and the supplements that strike me as strange now. Liver pate is my new forte.
No guts, no glory… HA literally.
Off to South East Asia for 6 weeks and I plan on posting some ancestral eats. til then though…
Sitting at a cafe in the San Francisco International Terminal; marveling at my snacking skills.
25 hours to Bangkok. O you know I brought treats.
– Almonds and raw Brazil nuts
– Raisins. I really like raisins
– Hard boiled eggs
– Avocado. The last one for a while I am sure
– 2 packs farmer’s market jerky
– so much celery
– Liver pate Ha! I will have mercy on my seat mates and eat this preflight
– A small bar of dark chocolate. 81% molded by yours trully at Coracao Confectioners
This paleo life is down right goofy sometimes. Pasture pork liver pate got some odd looks at the security checkpoint.
To be honest. It would not be to tough to keep snacking healthfully at airport these days. Fruit is everywhere, salad with some chicken or fish is not unheard of, and you are never more than ten feet from sushi in Cali these days. But I ain’t about to spend $20 on some factory farming and freezers veggies if I can avoid it.
These are not tips. Paleolithic air travel snacks is an old hat post. Most just suggest fasting but for an epicurean it is more fun to find ways of eating organs in original places.
So I know all are fridges brimming with whole fresh foods we painstakingly sourced from local farms, right?
In a perfect America maybe, but regardless of what is in your fridge lets keep fresh and far from death.
I read this infograph, I learned quite a bit. Hope you do to.
Click thepic to travel to the large version.