Saturday

Morning Meal 1, 2, 3

We have been having this simple breakfast each morning for  the past two months.

It is simply Oat Meal, with the addition of Almond Meal and Flax Meal.

It is as easy as 1, 2, 3, put your water on the stove and get it boiling, then add Quick Oats, Almond Meal and Flax Meal. Then turn down the heat to medium (immediately so it doesn't boil over) and cook it for about five minutes, or until the almonds are done.

Oats are healthy source of fiber and provides us with a good dose of Zinc. Almonds and are rich in protein and a quarter cup has 44% of our daily value of Vitamin E.  The Flax is loaded with Omega 3 Fatty acids.

It is a delicious, satisfying and  easy breakfast.  We have been awaking each morning, eager to eat our Morning Meal.  We make enough that we can have it for breakfast, and still have some extra for a ready snack later in the day.

Friday

Easy Almond Milk

 

Almond Milk is easy to make using almond flour, water, and a strong blender.


Almond Flour is just finely ground raw almonds. We got it from the bulk section at the grocery store.
We put a generous cup of almond flour in the blender, add about a cup and a half of hot tap water.  Blend this to break down the flour and let it soak for a half an hour of so.
After it soaks awhile, blend it a little more (the amount of water depends on how thick you like your milk) and then add a few more cups of hot tap water to the blender and blend it all  together once more. 


Run it through a fine strainer to remove as much of the solids as you feel necessary, if you want it smoother you can use cheese cloth or something to remove the smaller particles. 
We don't mind a little bit of nut suspended in the milk, the straining goes more quickly and cleanup is easier if we skip the cheese cloth. I'm pro lazy, so ease is more important to me than texture.


Strain the milk, and drink it while it is still foamy, it is delicious!

The strainer will have a fare amount of nut pulp in it, we like to put it in a little bowl on the table.
Eat it by it's self, or on stir fry, or crackers. Don't let it set too long it will get "ripe" with in an hour or two at room temperature. 
If we don't feel like eating nut pulp the dog, cat, chickens and goats are always willing to help.


Almonds are the only nut with an Alkaline PH factor of around 8.0 on the food pH.charts, all the other nuts besides chestnuts rank below 7.0 (acid). 
Almond Milk provides a steady energy that stays with us through the day.
We found that since we started drinking this a couple times a day, we feel more NUTritionally satisfied, and are eating smaller amounts of food at meal times, without even trying!

Sesame Oil on Popcorn

Popcorn with Sesame oil

We always seem  to want to eat popcorn when the cold weather arrives.
Maybe it is the white fluffiness  of the popcorn  that reminds us of snow, or perhaps it is just that when it is cold outside, snacking from a bowl of hot popcorn feels kinda cozy.  Whatever it is, we always go for the popcorn in the winter.

One day, about five years ago we wanted to make popcorn, but didn't have any butter in the house.  I didn't want to go all the way to town just for butter, so it seemed that popcorn wasn't an option, but the urge for popcorn was so strong.   I didn't want dry popcorn, either, then it struck me. Sesame Oil tastes buttery so why not try some on the Popcorn.

Well I tried it, and I liked it. Jin tried some too and was immediately hooked. We haven't used butter on popcorn since.  This has freed up the some of my dietary butter allowance for using in things that really need butter.

We pop our it on the stove top, in the dutch oven using canola oil for popping, and then drizzle sesame oil and dust the popped corn with finely crushed sea salt.

Replacing the butter with a little toasted sesame oil is gives a wonderful nutty flavor. It is easier to prepare, because there is no need to melt the oil as you would butter.

Use a good sesame oil, like Kadoya available in the 56oz tin box can, from your local Asian market.

Popcorn is a great alternative to other expensive salty snack foods, in their fancy wrappers.  We avoid a lot of garbage by keeping the un-popped kernels on hand, and pop them up fresh anytime the notion strikes us.  It is very economical especially when purchased in a 25 pound bulk bag (Around $20.00).  We use "White Popcorn" instead of the yellow popcorn.. The White Popcorn is easier on the teeth, yellow popcorn pops up with harder centers.

Popcorn is touted as a great diet food, but always with a warning about avoiding the butter,  Sesame Oil is a very nutritious and healthy fat.

Try some, it's easy, you can thank us later.



11/23/10

Thursday

Pan Fried Cheeze season is here



It's Pan Fried Cheeze season once again.
  When we want to have a cheezie chips or diner food we like to get straight to the point, and just fry up some cheese.



 

Wednesday

The Secrets of Growing Bean Sprouts


If you want to start growing your food sprouting grains is a good place to start. We are going to show Mung Bean sprouts because that is what we know best.

The equipment is simple, you need some gallon glass jars, some mesh garlic sacs with rubber bands to hold them on, and some mung beans.

Soak your mung beans in a big bowl of water, overnight.



Rinse the beans well, strain off the all water and put the beans in your jars. Put on the garlic sacs.


We made a rack by tying some two gallon plastic planters together with bailing twine, and hung it by the water heater in front of a hot water pipe. We put the jars with the freshly rinsed mung beans into the planters, which are tilted up slightly so the jars don't slide out.

We cover the jars with a silk robe to keep out the light,  the bean sprouts will try to reach for the light. This helps to produce a longer white stalk.

 

The beans need to be soaked and rinsed frequently so they don't start digesting themselves.
Rinse with cold water, using a garden hose spray nozzle*, spray the water forcefully to increase the O2 content of the water,  loosen the husks, and to get rid of any of the slipperiness that builds up  on the beans between rinsing.
Rinse the sprouts when you awake in the morning, a couple times during the day and again before you go to bed.

After a few days your sprouts will be ready to eat, rinse and remove them from the jar and store them in the refrigerator in a covered colander.   Don't try to grow them too long, they start to get stringy and tough.
When refrigerated they will keep for about five days or so.


These mung bean sprouts are lightly steamed, and topped with a little salt, black pepper, a generous amount of fresh squeezed garlic, and a sensible drizzle of sesame oil.

They were delicious.

 Start eating the mung bean sprouts while they are fresh, but first, go start another batch so you never run out. 


*We put a coil hose with a spray nozzle indoors to do this.

Spiral Spring Garden from last year

 
Last year we planted hardy greens in this garden and it has provided food for us all year.  We chose leafy cabbages, mustard greens, Swiss chard, celery, collards, assorted hardy leaf lettuces, carrots and some leeks.  Most of these plants wintered over well, with the exception of most of the lettuces.
We were able to shelter the garden, somewhat, from the winds, by putting plastic sheeting around the deer fence and setting up a temporary roof with poles, chicken wire, and sheeting to fend off the hard rains and snow, this winter which really helped with plant survival rates by preventing the direct rain fall from turning the covered soil to a fine mud, which would have smothered the roots as was the case in the previous year.



We planted a smaller garden with a similar selection of edibles, in the yard of our house in town. The little garden in town did very nicely all winter, the tenants enjoyed the vegetables, and I had chomping greens to snack on while working at the house.



We didn't need to cover the one in town because it is a not as cold at the lower elevation of town, where there was less snow, and the hard winds were slowed by all the warm houses.

Our garden up here, looks different now, then when the picture at the top of the post was taken, and the ratio of tasty greens to lush grasses has shifted quite a bit toward the grasses, Still, I am enjoying a nice plate of assorted steamed wintered over greens, with hot chili oil as I type.

We are starting the spring renovation of the spiral, and will be planting the same type of fare for the coming year.  We highly recommend this kind of garden. These types of plants provide a continual supply of leafs, and as you pick and trim them they just keep on giving, All Year Long.

Friday

Zippy Peppy Juice

 We have been making ourselves this Home Made Energy Drink we call Zippy Peppy Juice most mornings for about a couple of months now.  Zippy Peppy Juice contains: Fresh Beets, Carrots, Celery, Turnips, Rutabaga, Purple Cabbage, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens and Brussels Sprout Greens, Granny Smith Apple and a cup of Fresh Ginger Root.

The Champion Juicer is a simple, yet very powerful machine that can even handle a rutabaga smoothly.
We treat all our kitchen machinery as the power tools they are, and always put on hearing protectors that we keep hanging on the wall in the kitchen, that juicer uses the same motor as a shop grinder, and a blender is as loud as a skill saw.


All those roots and vegetables in the photo above produce enough juice for four cups like the ones pictured below.  It is an easily ingested treasure trove of minerals, enzymes, and natural sugars that really get the bodies energy flowing.


  
With all that ginger this really packs a wallop! 

It is sweet from the carrots, beets and apples and spicy from the fresh ginger root, and over wintered mustard greens.
The trick is that the celery gives a deceptively soothing, coolness, as it goes down. 

The mustard greens kinda sneak up and take your breath away, and the Ginger leaves you in a cold sweat.

Zippy Peppy Juice makes sparks fly!  *

 and the pulp is for the birds


* Disclaimer: Don't drink Zippy Peppy Juice on an empty stomach. We always  make sure to eat our seaweed soup FIRST !

Wednesday

Sprout Salad with Collards!

Center stage is our hearty salad, containing Collard greens and flower tops, that wintered over, some very spicy Mustard Greens, Purple Onions, Celery, Cucumber, and Arugula, Leaks that we planted last year, Young chinese greens, Mungbean Sprouts. We make homemade Caesar Salad dressing and use lots of fresh garlic and anchovies. To finish it we topped the salad with a mix of chopped sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and raw almonds, and some grated Romano Cheese.

Spicy miso soup with tofu, potato (with the skins on) and mung bean sprouts served with  21 grain super rice on the side. Also, Apples, Oranges, and the ever present Green Tea.


I'm looking at this meal, and thinking that only a couple years ago when I was a heavy sugar consumer, (S.A.D Diet) I wouldn't have been able to digest this meal very well, now I have no problem at all, I ate my share of this and went on a brisk mile and a half walk.  In the past I would have experienced a bout of reflux on the first hill if I even had diced onions in a salad.     If I had only known . . .