Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew

In honor of Star Wars Day…

Hardcore Star Wars fans will immediately notice the faux pas on this page. But it is not in the food! The food is good! When these spices, which will now be “Yoda spice” to me, hit the pan, the aroma is intoxicating. A feeling of peace and serenity fills the air, and the soul. And with power spices like turmeric and ginger, this would be fabulous for a young Jedi in training!

According to Wookipedia:

Rootleaf stew was a favorite meal of Jedi Master Yoda during his exile on Dagobah. It was a staple of his diet, supplemented by yarum seeds, mushroom spores, galla seeds, and sohli bark. Yoda prepared rootleaf stew the evening that he met Luke Skywalker.

To set the scene…

The only information that Wookiepedia has on the stew’s ingredients is that they “came from plants found on Dagobah”.  So with no access to Dagobah vegetation or knowledge of their Earth counterparts, we have to use a little guesswork to create Yoda’s Stew.

This was done for us by Craig Claiborne in 1983. Chef Claiborne was hired by NPR to create this dish for a 10-part radio drama aired on the station. This recipe is his, with a few tweaks.

Chef Claiborne’s recipe is printed below. Feel free to make it as-is, or tweak it any way you like! It does contain the primary elements, roots (ginger, turmeric), bark (cinnamon), and seeds (cumin, cardamon). There should probably be mushroom added, and I do question the availability of lamb on Dagobah, but the flavors synergize nicely!

Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew

To make this recipe easier, you can gather all the spices together first. This is your coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamon, cinnamon, and cloves… Yoda spice blend.

(This is pretty much a Garum Masala.)

yodaspice1

I am adding ground lamb because I have ground lamb. However, it seems very unlikely that there would be lamb-like creatures in the swamps of Dagobah. Maybe crustaceans, frogs, and snakes?

Cook the lamb first, then set it aside. Discard the grease from the pan. Keep the fond!

lamb_ground1

Chef Claiborne’s recipe calls for A LOT of parsley. I just chopped up about one half of a bunch, then threw in, maybe a cup. Use any amount you like.

parsley1

Blooming spices!

A little bit of coconut oil in the pan will bloom your spices beautifully, bringing out all that wonderful flavor and aroma. Ahhhh

If you have sliced your onions, brown those first! Then bloom your spices and throw in your bay leaf and ginger too. My Jedi do not like onion pieces, so I grate my onion and garlic and add it after the spices and ginger. If desired, add heat in the form of peppers. I have habanero, so that will go in.

spicebloom

Seriously, happy happy aroma…

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Now we have spices, grated onion and garlic, ginger and bay leaf… add water, just enough to make it soupy and allow flavors to continue to meld. I think Yoda would approve of this sauce.

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The lamb goes back in…

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About 5 minutes before stew is thoroughly cooked, with flavors developed to your liking, add fresh chopped parsley. As much as you like.

If you want your stew more soupy, add water, or chicken broth.

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The last item to go in is the spinach. It takes seconds for it to cook. Chef Claiborne cooks his spinach separately, probably to ensure that it is not overcooked, and to improve the texture. I prefer to save time and throw it in at the very end… and I use a lot less spinach.

yodastew_4

Jedi ready!

Yoda Root leaf Stew

In case you did not notice the faux pas… I thought it would be cute to use my daughter’s Old Republic symbol in the background, only to be quickly reminded that Yoda’s time was thousands of years AFTER the Old Republic.

Whatever….

Yoda Root leaf Stew

The stew is REALLY good! Serve it at your Star Wars party. 🙂

Yoda Root leaf Stew

Stay tuned for my Vegan version! To be posted soon!

Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew by Craig Claiborne

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds lean lamb or other meat
  • Salt to taste; if desired pepper to taste
  • Freshly ground 6 tablespoons oil, light or vegetable or other
  • 6 cups parsley, finely chopped
  • cups onions; thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic; finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons ginger root; finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot green or red chilies; finely chopped, seeded
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamon; ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 pounds fresh spinach; well rinsed and tough stems removed

Method

  1. Cut the meat into one inch cubes, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat half the oil in a heavy skillet and add the meat, turning to brown the pieces on all sides.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch oven or heavy casserole and add parsley, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often until the onions are wilted. Add the meat, coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger root, chilies, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir. (I add about 2 teaspoons salt at this point, then adjust at end)
  4. Add water to cover, bring to boil and cover tightly. Let simmer about 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the meat is quite tender.
  5. Meanwhile, drop the spinach into a kettle of boiling water with salt to taste and let simmer about five minutes. Drain well and run under cold water. Drain thoroughly.
  6. Squeeze the spinach to remove all excess liquid. Place the spinach on a chopping block and chop coarsely.
  7. Add the spinach to the stew and stir. Let simmer together about five minutes.
  8. I like to serve this over white rice with steamed carrots.

Enjoy! And May the 4th be with you.

For great food ideas for your Star Wars theme event, please check out my new ebook on Amazon.

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Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew – Vegan

Yes, I’m serious. Yoda stew. Because I am surrounded by nerds, I mean SciFi fans.

There is a school of thought that says that Yoda is vegetarian. If anyone is able to confirm or deny this theory, please do! In any event, with all due respect to Chef Chaliborne’s 1983 rendition of what Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew from the Planet Dagobah might look and taste like, the idea of a vegan version sounds plausible…. and recreating this iconic dish is just fun. Not to mention, a great way to convince young Jedi to eat spinach! Yoda loved it! 🙂

Yoda's Rootleaf Stew

According to Wookipedia:

Rootleaf stew was a favorite meal of Jedi Master Yoda during his exile on Dagobah. It was a staple of his diet, supplemented by yarum seeds, mushroom spores, galla seeds, and sohli bark. Yoda prepared rootleaf stew the evening that he met Luke Skywalker.

To set the scene…

The only information that Wookiepedia has on the stew’s ingredients is that they “came from plants found on Dagobah”.  So with no access to Dagobah vegetation or knowledge of their Earth counterparts, we have to use a little guesswork to create Yoda’s Stew. This was done for us by Craig Claiborne in 1983. Chef Claiborne was hired by NPR to create this dish for a 10-part radio drama aired on the station. His recipe – a Paleo version containing animal protein – is posted here.

The spice blend that Chef Claiborne uses is pretty much a garum masala. It is delicious! And it does contain the primary elements of Yoda’s stew, roots (ginger, turmeric), bark (cinnamon), and seeds (cumin, cardamon). These would be very nourishing and strengthening for a young Jedi in training!

Sooooooooo

When I think of available ingredients in the swamps of Dagobah, something like this comes to mind…

root_leaf1

Yoda did use mushroom, and some sort of tuber would fit in nicely.

Chef Claiborne’s recipe calls for A LOT of parsley. I just chopped up about one half of a bunch, then threw in, maybe a cup. Use any amount you like.

parsley1

To make this recipe easier, you can gather all the spices together first. This is your coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamon, cinnamon, and cloves… Yoda spice blend.

(This is pretty much a Garum Masala.)

yodaspice2

Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew

In  a little cooking oil, cook the mushrooms first, then set them aside.

mushrooms1

Blooming spices!

A little bit of coconut oil in the pan will bloom your spices beautifully, bringing out all that wonderful flavor and aroma. Ahhhh

If you have sliced your onions, brown those first! Then bloom your spices and throw in your bay leaf and ginger too. My Jedi do not like onion pieces, so I grate my onion and garlic and add it after the spices and ginger. If desired, add heat in the form of peppers.

spicebloom1

spicebloom2

This grated onion and garlic looks like mush, but it is flavor! Full delicious flavor.

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Now we have spices, grated onion and garlic, ginger and bay leaf… add water, just enough to make it soupy, allow flavors to continue to meld, and to cook your taro root. If you prefer, use potatoes.

Add in your diced taro root. Couldn’t you imagine something like this tuber growing in the swamps of Dagobah?

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When the taro root is just about tender and cooked through (raw taro root can be toxic to the liver), add mushrooms back in, and your parsley. Use as much parsley as you like.

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If you like, add lentils. This is about 1/4 cup rinsed and cooked french lentils. French lentils fill out the soup beautifully with a firm meaty texture and earthy flavor.

If you want your stew more soupy, add water. The last item to go in is the spinach. It takes only seconds for it to cook. Usually I use a heartier green in soups and stews, but spinach just seams more appropriately swampy.

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Jedi ready!

Yoda's Rootleaf Stew

Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew

Altered from Chef Claiborne’s recipe from the 1983 NPR Star Wars features, this vegan version would do Yoda proud!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz mushrooms, quartered (baby portobella used here)
  • Cooking oil (I like coconut)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (or grated)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoons ginger root; finely minced
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon hot green or red chilies; finely chopped, seeded
  • Spice blend
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1/8 teaspoon cardamon; ground
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup peeled and diced taro root
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cooked lentils (I like french lentils)
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley (use as much or little as you like)
  • 1/2 – 1 pound fresh spinach; well rinsed, sliced (or kale or collards, if you prefer a green leak that holds up better in a stew)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In  a little cooking oil, cook the mushrooms first, then set them aside.
  2. In the same oil (add a little more, if needed), brown sliced onions, then add peppers, ginger, and spices to bloom them. Lastly, add minced garlic. If you have grated your onions and garlic, add them in after the spices are bloomed.
  3. Add taro root (or potato, if using) and just enough water to cover and cook them. Cook taro root until it is just about tender, uncovered. Adjust water level as needed.
  4. When the taro root is just about tender and cooked through (raw taro root can be toxic to the liver), add mushrooms back in, and your parsley. Use as much parsley as you like.
  5. Add lentils, if you are using them.
  6. Add spinach at the very end. If you are using a heartier green, add it in about 5-7 minutes before stew is completely cooked.
  7. If you want your stew more soupy, add water. Adjust seasoning, as desired (salt and pepper).

Serve immediately. It is very good over rice!

Enjoy!

For great food ideas for your Star Wars theme event, please check out my new ebook on Amazon.

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Eggless Egg Roll Wrappers with Sprouted Filling

A shatteringly crisp and crunchy wrap makes just about ANY filling it holds too delicious! So why not fill it with veggies? Springtime sprouts make for a light and very healthful bite. Betcha’ can’t eat just one.

Here was the dilemma that inspired this simple wrap. Finding a good ready made wrap can be problematic. Most of them contain ingredients that my family does not want. Our favorite is made by Nasoya. We love that these wraps are nonGMO and free of artificial preservatives, but they are not organic. We really love eggrolls, and eating them often! That being the case, we would prefer organic ingredients and egg free for vegan food days.

Another problem has been consistency. Quality will vary from wrap package to wrap package, even in the same brand. You never know what you are going to get! The wraps may be very thick and overloaded with cornstarch, or very thin and stick together.

The solution? Make your own! This is so easy that you may wonder why you did not do this before. If you have flour and water, you can make wraps. Add a little salt for flavor. You can even add a little sugar, if you like.

eggless eggrolls

The Dough

Mix flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

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Add water a little at a time until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

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Knead the dough for a couple of minutes.

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Cover and allow to rest for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile make your filling.

Put anything you like in your filling. These rolls will be filled with steamed cabbage, julienne rainbow carrots, all kinds of sprouts, mushrooms for meatiness, green onion and liquid aminos to enhance all the flavors. Mmmmm

Combine the filling ingredients and set aside.

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Making wraps

Divide dough into 7 equal sized pieces. I use a portion scoop to help with uniformity. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten, any way that works for you. I use my tortilla press to flatten each piece…

egglesswrap1

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… and then my pasta machine to roll each wrapper very thin. Start at 4, then 3, then 2, then 1. All you need is a very flat thin wrapper with no holes or tears.

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Of course, you can roll these out with a rolling pin if you do not have a pasta maker.

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Wrapping Eggless Rolls

As long as you wrap them tightly so that the filling does not leak out while frying, you are pretty much good to go. To follow is a method that I like.

On a clean surface, place one egg roll wrapper

egglesswrap4

Place about 1/4 cup filling onto the wrapper. I like it a little closer to me than the center.

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Wrap the filling with the wrapper starting with the side closest to you. As you wrap, tuck the filling in tightly. But not so tightly that it tears!

egglesswrap6

Tuck in sides, and fold them over so that filling is thoroughly contained. Your technique matters much less than just having the filling contained. You do not want this filling leaking out.

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You can use a little cornstarch slurry to “glue” down the sides, if needed. This is just water mixed with a little cornstarch. I like to use organic.

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Using a brush or your fingers, paint cornstarch slurry onto the upper end. You will want this well-sealed.

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Continue rolling tightly, being careful to prevent space for air bubbles.

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Roll until that last end is glued down.

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Options: You can cook these right away, or freeze them for a quick and easy meal later! Freeze eggrolls in a layer. Once they are set, you can transfer them to a freezer bag.

These eggless eggrolls have been frozen.

frozenrolls1

Deep Frying

In a pot, heat oil to medium-high; dip in the end of an eggless roll. If bubbles form, your oil is hot enough. Gently drop in the eggless roll and allow to cook until it is golden brown.

If you are frying frozen eggrolls, they can go straight from the freezer to the oil. But you will want a slightly longer cook time. If you cook frozen rolls too hot too quickly, they will still be cold on the inside.

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Use a heat-safe utensil to gentle turn egg rolls or hold them under the hot oil, if needed, for even browning.

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As they brown, remove them from the oil and place them on a rack.

Then serve! Add a dipping sauce, if desired. Pictured here is tamari… easy.

eggless eggrolls

eggless eggrolls

Eggless Egg Rolls with Sprouted Filling

Fill these crispy crunchy bites with anything you like! 

Yield: 7 wrappers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (I use organic)
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • about 1/4 cup warm water
  • cornstarch (I like organic)
  • cooking oil, enough to submerge eggrolls (I like a blend of coconut and peanut oils)

For filling

Use any vegetables you like. For these rolls, I like about one part cabbage to one part everything else. 

  • 1 cup lightly steamed cabbage
  • 1 – 2 T liquid aminos (or soy sauce or coconut aminos, or tamari)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 t sesame oil
  • peanut oil  or peanut butter, just a little, to taste (omit if you have allergies)
  • 1 cup combination of julienne yellow, purple, and orange carrots, sprouted adzuki, lentil and mung beans, diced green onion, broccoli sprouts, diced and sauteed mushrooms

Method

Mix flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add water a little at a time until the mixture comes together to form a dough. (Using as little water as possible helps the skin to crisp better.) Knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Cover and allow to rest for about 20 minutes.

While dough is resting, make your filling. Add anything you like! Just avoid anything soggy. If you have juices, drain those off or dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. To avoid soggy rolls, the only dampness should come from your seasonings.

Sprinkle cornstarch onto your rolling surface to prevent sticking. You can also sprinkle a little cornstarch between each wrap and stack them.

Divide dough into 7 equal sized pieces. I use a portion scoop to help with uniformity. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten, any way that works for you. I use my tortilla press to flatten each piece, and then my pasta machine to roll each wrapper very thin. Start at 4, then 3, then 2, then 1. All you need is a very flat thin wrapper with no holes or tears. Of course, you can use a rolling pin if you do not have a pasta maker.

Note: To get that crunch, keep these wraps as thin as possible! And eat them fresh.

Wrapping egg rolls

As long as you wrap them tightly so that the filling does not leak out while frying, you are pretty much good to go.

  • On a clean surface, place one egg roll wrapper
  • Place about 1/4 cup filling onto the wrapper. I like it a little closer to me than the center.
  • Wrap the filling with the wrapper starting with the side closest to you. As you wrap, tuck the filling in tightly. But not so tightly that it tears!
  • Tuck in sides, and fold them over so that filling is thoroughly contained. Your technique matters much less than just having the filling contained. You do not want this filling leaking out. You can use a little cornstarch slurry to “glue” down the sides, if needed.
  • Using a brush or your fingers, paint cornstarch slurry onto the upper end.
  • Continue rolling tightly, being careful to prevent space for air bubbles.
  • Roll until that last end is glued down.

Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers. On a parchment lined cookie sheet sprinkled with corn starch (preferably organic), place each roll as you wrap them. Leave space in between each roll so they do not stick to each other.

At this point, you can make extra and freeze them on the cookie sheet. When they are set, put them in a freezer bag and keep them frozen for easy egg rolls any time you like.

Frying

Heat oil until it bubbles and sizzles when an egg roll is placed in it. Oil that is too cool will result in soppy messy oily egg rolls. Oil that is screaming hot will cook your egg rolls too quickly. You want about a medium-high temperature.

Drop in egg rolls gently, being careful that they do not stick to each other. I use a medium sized pot so not much oil is needed, and cook about three at a time. They cook quickly. Use a heat-safe utensil to gentle turn egg rolls or hold them under the hot oil, if needed, for even browning. As they brown, remove them from the oil and place them on a rack.

Serve immediately, or at room temperature. They are even delicious cold.

Cabbage Notes

  • From one medium-sized napa cabbage, I got about 4 cups shredded cabbage, which yielded about 2 1/2 cups after it was steamed.
  • From one medium-sized green cabbage, I got about 20 loose-packed cups shredded cabbage, which yielded about 7-8 cups after it was steamed.

Enjoy!

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Half Smashed Mini Potatoes

Just as much fun as tater tots and SO MUCH easier!

Colors in food make me a happy girl. Color = flavor, and nutrients entering the cells in your body creating happy healthy food highs! When these little purple potatoes hit the shelves, I can’t resist playing with them. Of course, you can smash ANY cute little potato. Purple is not mandatory. Neither is red. But if you got ’em, smash ’em and fry ’em in coconut oil!

Why coconut oil? Coconut oil contains precious little Omega 6. Using this as your go-to cooking oil will help to keep your Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio in much better balance. This balance reduces inflammation and promotes health.

Organic or Conventional

Potatoes are one of those foods that are better organic. They are on the “Dirty Dozen” list of foods that retain high levels of pesticides. It is difficult to get completely organic potatoes because much of our soil has been so contaminated that even when spraying stops, there are still remnants left behind. But if you wish to reduce pesticides to the furthest extent possible, go organic.

Half-Smashed Mini Potatoes

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Crispy and salty on the outside, creamy on the inside.

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Half Smashed Mini Potatoes

Wash and parcook mini potatoes by steaming (or boiling) them until they just begin to get fork tender, about 10 minutes.

mini_pot_steam

Remove from heat.

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With a flat utensil or a plate, gently press on each potato to lightly flatten it. If you smash them all the way, they will still be delicious, but may fall apart.

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half smashed mini potatoes

All half smashed…

halfsmashed1

Purple potatoes pretty much become Pacman.

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Heat cooking oil in a saute pan. Add onion, garlic, and any other herbs you like, to season the oil.

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flavored_oil

Allow them to infuse the oil with flavor, then remove them before they burn.

(These are still delicious bits. You do not have to throw them away.)

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On medium to high heat, add potatoes and saute until golden brown.

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Flip them and brown the other side. Remove potatoes from the heat and place them on a rack or paper towels.

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Immediately salt and pepper, to taste.

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halfsmashed4

Half Smashed Mini Potatoes

Ingredients

  • mini potatoes
  • cooking oil (we like coconut)
  • onion, sliced
  • garlic, smashed
  • optional: any herbs you like to flavor oil (rosemary is delicious)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Wash and parcook mini potatoes by steaming (or boiling) them until they just begin to get fork tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. With a flat utensil or a plate, gently press on each potato to lightly flatten it. If you smash them all the way, they will still be delicious, but may fall apart.

Heat cooking oil in a saute pan. Add onion, garlic, and any other herbs you like, to season the oil. Allow them to infuse the oil with flavor, then remove them before they burn. On medium to high heat, add potatoes and saute until golden brown. Flip them and brown the other side. Remove potatoes from the heat and place them on a rack or paper towels. Immediately salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve immediately.

 

Enjoy

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Kombucha Class

Foodie Field Trip! Kombucha class and I am there, camera in hand, ready to document. If you are unfamiliar with Kombucha, please peruse this post and introduce yourself.

My fermentation buddy, Candy, who also shared her DELICIOUS kimchi with us, is holding class today. To follow are images from her class. She kindly provided each student with a starter, a beautifully lamented set of recipes and instructions – which I will post for you soon, and tastings!

kom_ready2

Kombucha, aka “Immortal Health Elixir” in Chinese culture for millenniums, finally made its way to the states (U.S.) in recent decades. It has been studied in Russia and Germany because of a strong correlation to seemingly cancer immunity in some regions. However, studies are rare because, frankly, there is no money to be made by proving its health benefits. It is rich in probiotics, anti-oxidants, glucosamine, Glucaric acid, and more!

Here are just a few reported benefits:

  • Detoxes the liver
  • Fights cancer
  • Improves energy
  • Supports the immune system
  • Strengthens joints, reducing arthritis
  • Promotes a healthy gut, improving digestion
  • Beneficial for candida, for some (good yeast fight the bad yeast)
  • Helps with depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia

You can read more from Food Renegade here.

There is also a school of thought that says TOO MUCH Kombucha can be a bad thing. My thinking is that too much of just about anything can be a bad thing.

Consider: How much Kombucha may be beneficial to you might depend on the rest of your diet, as well as your personal composition. Every person is unique. What is great for one may be harmful for another. Too much carbonation may cause bone loss and dental issues. (I would worry much more about sodas.) Kombucha is generally made with caffeinated tea. Most people do not have a problem with this because very little caffeine remains in kombucha after it ferments, but there are methods for keeping it caffeine-free. See how here.

The idea is to keep your personal body healthy and in balance. Only you, and your physician, can determine what is best for you. Of course, you can get probiotics from other fermented foods, such as miso, kimchi, and lacto-fermented vegetables.

The SCOBY

SCOBY… dooby doo

This word always conjures up in my mind Frank Sinatra singing Strangers in the Night. And if I let my mind wander, there are images of the cartoon dog, and my cool cousin Debbie who never missed an episode.

SCOBY is an acronym for:

Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast

And it is the thing that produces all that fizz, flavor, and gifts of health!

This thing is NOT attractive. It looks a bit like an alien life-form, which for some of us (nerds, nature nuts, and outside-the-boxers), makes it all the more cool. You can cut pieces from it and it will continue to grow, thrive, and make “babies”. Yes, this is the “mother”.

The SCOBY just sits in sweetened tea and does its thing. It consumes the sugar you give it, and it gives you back nutrients.

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In this adorable little starter jar, lovingly prepared by our class instructor, is a cute little piece of the mother SCOBY.

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What do I do with this thing?

If some kind person has gifted you a SCOBY, or you have obtained one somewhere else, what do you do with it?

If you want perpetual kombucha, it will need some attention. Not a lot. If it were a pet, it would be more of an independent cat than a devoted lapdog. You do have to feed it and keep its container clean, but you can go on vacation without worry that it will die.

Basically, every so often you drain off some of the tea and add more. Use sweetened tea because the sugars feed the mother SCOBY. Candy keeps tea in the fridge and does this every day. How long you let the new tea cold “brew” with the scoby depends on whether you prefer a sweet drink, or a very fermented one. The longer it sits, the more fermented it becomes. It will taste more and more like vinegar. If the vinegar flavor becomes strong, make a very healthful salad dressing!

Candy removes 20% of the tea to drink, and adds the same amount back in for more the next day.

Second Fermentation

From the perpetual kombucha, Candy makes flavored teas, allowing a second fermentation. These delicious teas get all bubbly and it is like drinking indulgent flavored sodas that make you feel good!

kom_flavors1

The Tasting

Candy has a plethora of bottled flavors! She hands everyone a little cup which gets filled and refilled and refilled. There will be many happy guts today! With a little creativity, you can create so many flavors! Then choose your favorites to make again and again. Candy shares blueberry, hibiscus, ginger-lime, pomegranate, mango, Mountain Rose, apricot, and my daughter’s personal favorite, apple.

You can use real fruit. Do not use oils, so no Earl Gray.

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A word of caution: as the flavored kombucha ferments in the bottle, pressure builds and the bottle can explode. Be sure to “burp” the bottle periodically to prevent this, and open it very carefully!

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One more word of caution: Very fermented homemade brew can make you feel intoxicated! So be careful about how long it sits and who gets into it.

Word to the wise…

If you are going to do this, invest in a good continuous container with a spout. Then it will be a piece of cake to just pour out ready-to-use tea from the spout before adding new tea to the top. Keep it covered with something breathable, like a rubber-banded cheesecloth, so that it can “breathe” while also keeping out contaminates.

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Otherwise, you have to pour out of the top and it gets messy. Why bother with all that?

Instructions and recipes will be posted soon! And they will be linked up here!

Good Health to You!

 

 

Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms and Minty Pea Puree

Are you looking for a quick and easy hearty stick-to-your-ribs lunch or dinner idea? Look no further!

Recently. this blog featured a springtime creamy minty pea puree. and also a savory sauteed escarole with mushrooms. I put the two together for lunch and was not hungry for hours! My son added lamb chops to his dish… I will post that later for paleo friends.

But here is why these two dishes work so well together to create a satisfying Vegan meal.

Add…

Sauteed escarole with mushrooms makes a delicious dish all by itself. It is savory and meaty with sauteed mushrooms. Onion and garlic provide pungency and depth. And when escarole is cooked, it becomes slightly less bitter and adds a layer of butteriness… my mouth is watering again even though I am still stuffed!

plus…

Minty creamy pea puree balances bitterness of escarole with sweetness of green peas. Mint, acidic lemon or vinegar, and the peas themselves, are bright and fresh, waking up the palate. Starchiness of peas make this puree filling without weighing you down.

To equal:

A happy marriage.

Plus one more easy item to round out the dish. The only thing missing is a little crunch. Sprouted almonds sprinkled over the plate hit the spot!

Nutritionally, the fat in the almonds will help those wonderful vitamins in the rest of the dish to better metabolize!

‘Just sayin.

Click for Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms

Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms

Click for Minty Green Pea Puree

pea puree

Add a few sprouted almonds for crunch…

Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms and Minty Pea Puree

Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms and Minty Pea Puree

Yep… that’s a complete meal.

Enjoy

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Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms

When sauteed like this, bitter green escarole becomes buttery and delightfully slightly sweet. You may have to assure your vegan diners that there is no dairy in the dish! It makes for a delicious addition to soups and stews, and combined with meaty mushrooms and pungent onions, is a very satisfying savory dish.

Sauteed escarole can hold its own on any table – vegan to paleo. No need to tell the family that it is rich in folate, vitamin A, and fiber. 🙂

Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms

Here’s how!

Slice or chop escarole. Wash well.

escarole1

chopped_escarole1

In a pot of boiling water, cook escarole for 5-10 minutes, depending upon how tender you like it. Remove escarole from boiling water and set aside. If you like, you can immediately throw it into a bowl of ice water to retain the bright green color. Strain water from escarole.

boiling_escarole2

Heat a saute pan with cooking oil. Add onion slices and mushrooms and cook til just about tender.

onions_mushrooms

Add escarole and continue to cook and stir for a minute or two.

sauteeing_esc1

Add in minced garlic and cook until garlic is tender and well combined. Garlic tends to burn; I almost always add it during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

sauteeing_esc_garlic1

Salt and pepper, to taste. That’s it! Done and delicious!

Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms

Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms

Sauteed Escarole with Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • Fresh escarole, 1 bunch
  • 1-2 T cooking oil (we like coconut)
  • 1/4 -1/2 onion, julienne (thinly sliced)
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Slice or chop escarole. Wash well.

In a pot of boiling water, cook escarole for 5-10 minutes, depending upon how tender you like it. Remove escarole from boiling water and set aside. If you like, you can immediately throw it into a bowl of ice water to retain the bright green color. Strain water from escarole.

Heat a saute pan with cooking oil. Add onion slices and mushrooms and cook til just about tender. Add escarole and continue to cook and stir for a minute or two. Add in minced garlic and cook until garlic is tender and well combined.

Enjoy

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Easy Pan Seared Petite Lamb Chops

If you like tender juicy savory lamb chops, eat them in the spring. They are almost tender with no effort. Especially if you choose good quality lamb – those that were allowed to feel grass under their feet and enjoy a natural healthy life.

All you need is a good heavy saute pan or cast iron skillet, a little salt and pepper, a few minutes, and you are good to go! Even better if you blend up a quick sweet minty pea puree. The sweetness of a fresh puree compliments the savoriness of lamb, making it, as my son says, “even better!”.

lamb_castironpan3

Here’s how…

Sprinkle lamb chops with salt and pepper and allow them to rest for 30 minutes. We like pink Himalayan sea salt.

resting_chops1

Heat an oiled skillet to medium-high temperature. When the pan is hot, place lamb chops on it. If you here the sizzle, then good things are happening. (maillard reaction – flavor!)

lamb_castironpan1

When the first side is beautifully browned (and sweet), flip the chops over and brown the other side. When both sides are brown, remove from heat and allow chops to rest for a few minutes.

lamb_castironpan2

If you like your chops a little more cooked, place them into a pre-heated oven (350º) until they have reached desired doneness. You can determine doneness by pressing gently on the flesh. See this post for specifics.

The savoriness and slightly gaminess of lamb is DELICIOUS with this sweet creamy pea puree. Also, adding a bit of lemon to the pea puree will cut the luscious fat of the lamb. Yum!

petitelambchops1

petitelambchops2

Easy Pan Seared Petite Lamb Chops

Ingredients:

  • petite lamb chops
  • 1-2 T cooking oil – we like coconut
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: pea puree

Method

Sprinkle lamb chops with salt and pepper and allow them to rest for 30 minutes. We like pink Himalayan sea salt.

Heat an oiled skillet to medium-high temperature. When the pan is hot, place lamb chops on it. If you here the sizzle, then good things are happening. (maillard reaction – flavor!) When the first side is beautifully browned (and sweet), flip the chops over and brown the other side. When both sides are brown, remove from heat and allow chops to rest for a few minutes.

If you like your chops a little more cooked, place them into a pre-heated oven (350º) until they have reached desired doneness. You can determine doneness by pressing gently on the flesh. See this post for specifics.

If you have a meat thermometer, your lamb chops will be rare at 125-130 degrees, medium-rare (most tender) at 130-140, medium at 140-150, medium-well at 150-155, and well-done at 160-212.

The savoriness and slightly gaminess of lamb is DELICIOUS with this sweet creamy pea puree. Also, adding a bit of lemon to the pea puree will cut the luscious fat of the lamb. Yum!

Enjoy

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Minty Green Pea Puree

To make a pea puree, you only need to puree peas. 🙂 It’s simple. It’s vegetarian &  vegan. You can even puree them raw and add a little lemon juice, if you like raw vegan food. It’ gluten-free, dairy-free, and common allergen-free. Paleo people may argue about peas…. Check out this video if you have paleo concerns. Otherwise, they can be a great part of a healthy diet.

Image from Dr. Weil
Image from Dr. Weil

Keep reading for a couple of simple little techniques that will make your puree divine, and NOT baby food.

Quickly blanche and refresh your peas.

You can use fresh or frozen green peas. Peas freeze very well! Heat a pot of water to boiling. Throw in peas and let them cook for just about a minute or two. Quickly Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and cool them by throwing them into a prepared bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and retain the beautiful green color of the peas.

Prevent Oxidation 

Add acid, like lemon or vinegar, if you wish to slow down oxidation.

Fresh Bright Flavors

Next, add seasonings and flavorings. Added ingredients like mint, garlic, lemon, vinegar, and of course salt, will dance together with the peas, creating a vibrant bright spring performance.

pea puree

Minty Green Pea Puree

Blanche peas by tossing them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. This will help them to blend easily and will brighten the color.

peasblanche

Mince garlic and tear mint leaves.

mint_garlic1

Add peas, mint, and garlic to a blender or food processor. Add just enough liquid to help peas move around and blend properly tot he texture you desire. If you prefer a thick puree, add very little liquid; and,o f course, more for a thin puree. Depending on your personal diet and preference, your liquid may be coconut or almond milk, heavy cream or milk, or even just water.

blendedpeapuree1

blendedpeapuree2

Salt, to taste. If desired, add a bit if acidity to retain the color and add brightness.

pea puree

Enjoy as an accompaniment to many springtime dishes! Sweetness and starchiness of peas make them a delicious accompaniment to bitter greens and savory dishes.

Minty Green Pea Puree

This recipe makes a small batch. Mint leaves and garlic cloves vary in size; but this ratio is a good general guide. Multiple the recipe as much as you like. Go easy on flavorings, adding and altering the ratio to your taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1-2 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • a splash of liquid – coconut milk, dairy milk or heavy cream, or water
  • salt, to taste
  • optional: a splash of lemon, lime, or vinegar to prevent browning

Method

Blanche peas by tossing them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. This will help them to blend easily and will brighten the color. Remove them quickly and set aside. If you would like, you can “refresh” them and stop the cooking process by immediately throwing them into ice water.

Mince garlic and tear mint leaves. Add peas, mint, and garlic to a blender or food processor. Add just enough liquid to help peas move around and blend properly tot he texture you desire. If you prefer a thick puree, add very little liquid; and,o f course, more for a thin puree. Depending on your personal diet and preference, your liquid may be coconut or almond milk, heavy cream or milk, or even just water.

Salt, to taste. If desired, add a bit if acidity to retain the color and add brightness.

Special Diet Notes:

  • To keep this dish Vegan or Paleo, use coconut milk, almond milk, or water for your liquid

Enjoy

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