Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Brunch...

Our Chef Daddy sometimes makes us a hearty brunch. Organic corn tortillas fried in a pan and filled with seasoned pinto beans, caramelized onions and garlic, roasted red bell pepper, fresh cilantro leaves, and a splash of hot sauce. On the side we have roasted Crimini mushrooms, roasted aparagus, and roasted grape tomatoes. Potato wedges round out the deal. The nice thing about this meal is that we always keep these staple on hand, and it's easy to throw in other things we might have in the fridge or pantry. It makes for a nice, satisfying meal.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When Life Gives You Kale...Make Kale Chips!

With the cold weather winding down and spring just peeking around the corner, we found ourselves with an abundance of fresh, organic kale from our fabulous friends over at Big Lick Farm in Myrtle Creek. Just wanted to share with you a small briefing of how I set about keeping all this lovely kale from going bad and not having to eat kale day in and day out. I turned it into Cheezy Kale Chips, and if you try this recipe out, you'll find it is a delicious way to enjoy them.

In a blender, combine and blend until creamy:
1 cup raw cashews; soaked for at least two hours then drained and rinsed
1 organic red bell pepper; stem, seeds and inner membrane removed, then cut in chunks
2 Tbsp. fresh organic lemon juice
1/2 tsp. agave, opt.
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt

Place about 1/2 of the sauce mixture into a large bowl. Add to the bowl clean, rinsed and torn curly kale leaves with the stem removed. Gently massage the cream onto the leaves, coating each piece. You will want a light layer on the leaves, too much cream will overpower the flavor and it will take much longer to dehydrate. Repeat with remaining kale and sauce.

Lay the kale onto the flexible sheets of the dehydrator trays. Spread it out as much as possible. Don't worry if it's piled on a little, you'll be able to separate them when they've dried out some.

Dehydrate at 105 degrees for about 4 1/2 hours or so. Check to see that they have dried out sufficiently to separate easily and replace them to the screen. Dehydrate another 4 1/2 hours more. Check for crunchiness and no bit of moisture. Dehydrate as long as is needed to achieve this texture.

If you are familiar with dehydrating foods, you know that once done, they have a tendency to become limp or stale when exposed to the air. It helps to preserve the quality by packing them in thick plastic pouches such as the ones for vacuum-sealing. Also place an oxygen absorber packet if you really want these to last. However, they are so good, they may not last very long anyway! Enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nutritional Yeast: Friend or Foe?

Nutritional Yeast
Yeast is considered by many to be one of the most valuable nutrients available. It is a complete protein and contains more protein than meat. Yeast is an excellent source of B-vitamins including B-12 and it contains the glucose tolerance factor that has been reported to help in the regulation of blood sugar. It is a single-celled fungi present in the air around us and on fruits and grains - it converts various types of sugar to alcohol. The earliest recorded use was in 1550 BC in Egypt. But it is only during the last few decades that the outstanding health benefits of nutritional yeast have been researched.

Nutritional yeast is grown on mineral enriched molasses and used as a food ingredient. At the end of the growth period, the culture is pasteurized to kill the yeast. Live yeast is very different because it continues to grow in the intestine and actually uses up the vitamin B in the body instead of replenishing the supply.

Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids (forming the complete proten) and 15 minerals. Being rich in the B-complex vitamins, it is vital in many ways and particularly good for stress reduction. The B-complex vitamins help make nutritional yeast such a valuable supplement, especially to the vegetarian. It is one of the rare vegetarian sources of B12. One element of yeast is the trace mineral chromium, also known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). This is necessary to regulate blood sugar and is important for diabetics and people with a tendency toward low blood sugar.

Information taken from Wholefood Farmacy. For information on ordering any of their great products, visit my webpage at: