MALIBU, California

MALIBU, California
LOOKING ACROSS STA MONICA BAY

Friday, March 30, 2012

FOOD FACTS -The OTHER 3 R's Plus tabbouleh -Kuwait back story

THE MOJAVE DESERT
Sometimes I think our modern way of describing things get's in the way of actually understanding what's being said, with that in mind I want to bring your attention to the purpose of eating more fruits and vegetables:
Replenish
Repair
Renew

No other foods on the planet can do what fruit and veggies do.
Instead of words like anti-oxidant, anti-aging, anti-fungal, etc. just remember those 3 words when you are deciding between a thick pork chop or a great big fresh salad..enough of the "anti" words..and time to put positiveness back in to the diet is what I say!

And a more positive approach to what is consumed leads to a fair greater positive life: here are some reasons why I include lots of veggies and fruits where normally, "they don't belong", on my menus:

my own grown sprouts..great as a salad, added to a cooked dish once it is plated ( heat destroys some major nutrients in plants), or just eaten as a snack..these contain the building blocks of life and enzymes.the essential catalysts for all chemical reactions in the body, digestion, immunity, and all other metabolic and regenerative processes....
(replenish, repair and renewal)
Sprouting increases naturally found Vit. B 2000%, overall vitamins 500%, nucleic acids for renewal and repair increase by 30%, the protein content of any seed increases 15-30% ( Yale University)

Dr Jeffrey Bland (prof. Nutritional Biochemistry at university Puget Sound) concluded that sprouts are a "more efficient, healthier form of protein than the conventional animal or even other types of vegetable protein".

also mine are grown in double filtered water with added Lemurinan crystals to increase their healing powers.

Cucumbers..relax the mind and  body..known to cool the blood and liver,( when the liver is properly nourished  and not overheated , the liver can boost mood, balance hormone levels, beat stress).. hence "as cool as a cucumber" is not just an old wive's tale it is actually true. It can help remove internal inflammation, and help to soothe the person.

Celery also is a stress beater..a stalk of raw celery at night can increase restful sleep.

Mint has  similar properties but can also heat the body up, as in peppermint, and is popular with chili and basil in Thai cuisine.

Pumpkin seeds..2ozs contains 458 milligrams of potassium, potassium regulates the water balance of the body, too little means the sodium levels are too high leading to tiredness, fatigue, high acid stomachs, over weight.
Potassium is also found in potatoes


Fennel..the seeds and the raw bulb are great for the stomach as they have a calming influence.  The seeds also prevent or settle gas.

Parsley..this is a wonder food, and not very recognized for that..very high in Vitamin C ( more vitamin C than most citrus fruits) and high levels of B12..increase energy,plus chlorophyll for great skin renewal, fiber...it is great used in low salt diets to give a depth of fresh flavor

Oats..another energy food..as they help keep blood glucose levels at an even keel..for concentration and alertness and they also combat depression
 
Monday's Menu:

I am making some great cooked cucumber and mint soup (I also have some great summer recipes that call for RAW cucumber soup, but that is another blog) that is wonderful served at room temperature ( cold soups should not be served chilled cold, but at room temperature for better flavor and nutrition) or gently warmed, originally it had yogurt but I am keeping it vegan with coconut milk.
A blended potato, scallion and green pea..a more green version of vichyssoise without the cream; a miso with coconut milk, butternut squash and lime leaves ( a Thai inspired soup)...the lime leaves give it a wonderful flavor..just hints of citrus and no sourness..these are imported from Thailand fresh, I get them from an Asian Market down town

The entrees include a fabulous tabbouleh salad with fresh fennel and "sprouted" almonds ( almonds in actual fact do not sprout, they are simply soaked overnight to soften). Also did you know that you should never eat shelled almonds without washing/rinsing them first as they have a toxin on the skin, that irritates the stomach, which in the wild makes the birds drop it when eating the almond fruit?
Some Provencal veggies..fresh green beans, tomatoes, black olives, zucchini, red onion, garlic, and potatoes with whole wheat couscous & herbs d'Provence ( using my own fresh French lavender buds).
A creamy, dreamy non-dairy vegetable pot pie with cauliflower, spinach, cannelli beans and carrots;
and a SPICY  Spring Greens ( some home grown wild spinach in this) and pumpkin seed salad with a grapefruit and green chili dressing

Oatmeal cookies with fresh ginger ( I blend the ginger root with the eggs then add to the mix, the results are incredible) & local grown raisins.
And a lemon cake with fresh berries..I will post pictures over the weekend as the preparation continues.
Tabbouleh Back Story
When I lived in Kuwait City  ( I actually lived and slept in one palace on the Persian Gulf and every day was driven down the the main compound/palace, then returned  sometime after midnight) I used to have to make bowls and bowls of tabbouleh every day, and because of the power outages.( this was the late 70's and the power plant was a bit "off kilter" and we had power outages every afternoon when the outside temp on the Persian Gulf was 120F+, and yes the air conditioning went off) most of the time I had to chop the all the veggies and parsley by hand..it wasn't long before I had hard pads and blisters on my hand from all the chopping..for along time after I stayed well away from tabbouleh salad..and don't get me started on  my kitchen "brigade" of 15 none of whom spoke English and most of us  spoke pidgeon Arabic!...one night in the middle of dinner for 30 I thought I had asked for more plates, when I was suddenly  under 6 inches of warm water ( I always wore clogs) as my "helper" took it I wanted to clean the floors and had opened all the lower floor water valves, my main concern apart from getting the food on the table was also not getting electrocuted..Oh the Joys of Private Service!, and yes I have many more stories like that...you will have to wait for the book...lol




Sprouts the Super food..they must never be allowed to get green leaves or all nutritional well being will have been used up








previous 3  all part of the 3 R's






Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Delivery Bulgur & Bakon

Lacey date & almond oatmeal cookies

 Steamed bulgur wheat 


 The ingredients for the bulgur pilau 


 the completed Bulgur pilau for the eggplant 

Caramelized onions for quiche

cooking tempeh bakon for quiche


sauteed cauliflower with red chili

Pine nuts and apricots for the Rice pilau

completed rice pilau..with added almonds

eggplants with bulgur for baking

the completed cheese, bakon and yogurt quiche
here are the photographs of some of the dishes being delivered today..enjoy

Monday, March 26, 2012

Partially completed dishes for delivery today

Loads of mushrooms to be prepared as in "escargot"..lemon, parsley garlic butter

Rich and thick parsnip-celery soup with walnuts

sweet potato succotash..secret ingredients Dijon mustard and red chili sauce

tomato-chickpea soup, topped with coconut milk

"creamy" vegetable soup

red potatoes, beans & butternut squash with pesto for GF pasta

cooked French lentils for roasted vegetable salad

sour dough waffle mix without baking soda

adding baking soda doubles the aeration in less than 10 mins

oatmeal chocolate-cherry cookies

oatmeal, butterscotch chip, cherry cookies
The partially completed dishes are delivered to client who then fully cooks them at home

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24th. planning for Monday's menu








The weather is very nice and mild right now ( mid 70's) but that is about to change as we have another big Pacific storm headed our way, due to hit tomorrow and Monday...bringing rain and snow at higher elevations!
So today I did most of my shopping for Monday's Menu..I am making  2 roasted vegetable salads, one with bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms with black lentils in a lemon dressing and romaine hearts; the other with garnet yams in a a fresh ginger and cilantro dressing with roasted unsalted cashews and arrugala ( I never know how to spell this correctly).
Also :
a pasta mix with (brown rice) gluten free pasta, sauteed butternut squash, red potatoes, fresh green beans and own made pesto.
and a sweet potato succotash stew with corn and Lima beans.

I have got my sour dough starter out and feeding today and tomorrow as I am preparing some banana/flaxseed/walnut waffles tomorrow night.

The desserts are oatmeal white chocolate and dried cherry cookies and Spiced honey cake

I will post Pictures of dishes and more info later tomorrow

Thursday, March 22, 2012

POTATO SCALLION PANCAKES ( LATKES); CHEESE & VEGETABLE STRUDELS; PROVENCAL RUSTIC ROASTED VEGETABLE TARTS; HOW TO PHOTOS


RAW LIVE tahini for the zucchini dip

the flax seed pastry for the Provencal tart

adding the sunflower seed pesto

Veggies added and formed

Cheese and veggie "strudels"

chunky ratatouille for the potato scallion pancakes

the Provencal tarts out of oven and topped with fresh basil


Potato - scallion pancakes ( Latkes)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21st 2012..roasted vegetables, baba ganoush, dulse..PHOTOS

I know a lot of you are wondering about my work history and how I am now cooking Vegetarian and Vegan..over the next few months I will let you into some of my secrets and past history, today is one of those days....
On leaving catering college my life's dream was to work on board private yachts as a personal chef and travel the world, a dream I realized within 4 years.
My first yacht was a small 90ft motor yacht in Antibes, South of France ( with a full crew of 3) and it was this first trip to France that opened my eyes to fresh fruits, vegetables and fish that can be brought to market...French "farmers"Markets are the best, there is no comparison anywhere in the world...you could smell the fresh herbs and flowers streets away form the actual market and the selection was always incredible...and don't get me started on the fresh cheeses or the breads!
I will always remember the little old ladies in the market,  dressed head to foot in black with head scarves whose only produce were small baskets of  live snails or perhaps 7 heads of lettuce from their own back garden..they always were cheery and helpful about the market and stall holders.
I bought fresh snails from them but was not sure how to prepare them, I took them back to the ship's galley and gave them some lettuce leaves and planned to cook them somehow for dinner..pretty soon I had snails all over the place....Gaston the skipper laughed and then showed me the correct way to clean snails was to cover them in salt..they would then release all their toxins in a green slime..after washing them and boiling them with some garlic and herbs...they came out of their  shells and were ready for the garlic butter,parsley and grated cheese for grilling...delicious!!

Obviously I have more tales to tell as I eventually worked on 3 more yachts, some over 200ft long.(with a full crew of 20 and 2 large speed boats and onboard helicopters!)   those tales will come later or maybe I should write a book?


Anyway the reason for this little tale is to give you a feast for your eyes as today I am prepping my vegetables to make a Provence inspired rustic roasted vegetable tart with a sea vegetable and sunflower seed pesto..quite a mouthful and a wonderful mouthful when consumed.

Just like in South of France I am using fresh herbs form my garden, and until the spring/summer harvest comes in proper I am using produce that are much better roasted to produce  more intense flavors

The tart dough is made with wholewheat flour and ground flax seed, and this will be rolled into a square shape then, covered with a layer of the pesto, then , the grilled vegetables that have been marinating  in olive oil, dry vermouth and fresh herbs, then baked tomorrow..I am enclosing photographs of today's prep.

I am also making Baba Ganoush ( smoked eggplant dip) and chickpea hommus that I learned from my days of living and working in Kuwait City & London & France for a  family from Kuwait ( before the invasion)...yes that tale is a whole chapter at least..photos  of dips also provided...amazing how I can have over 40 yrs of catering experience and still be only 47!..lol.

I got into vegetarian cooking as I don't trust my friends with dishes including meat or fish as they may keep then in fridge longer than is safe..then I got more interested in this cuisine and have now ventured in Vegan, which I now totally embrace.
The secret to good Vegetarian and Vegan dishes is to layer the flavors and use the freshest ingredients as possible.
Enjoy the photographs:


roasting the eggplant directly over flame for Baba Ganoush


Fresh veggies & lemons air drying


Vegetables washed and air drying


almost fully roasted and smoked eggplant..this has to be done over an open flame


strawberries for preserving


the fully smoked eggplant in plastic bag to loosen the skin


tomatoes ready for roasting


red onions about to be roasted


fresh culinary sage flowering..my back garden


English thyme


eggplant..rinsed with salt and drained


garlic and bell peppers to be roasted


perpetual basil..has spicy flavor


own grown orange tomatoes


French Lavender the MUST HAVE for Provence herbs


the yeasted flax seed dough on first rise


rosemary


the tray for the fully roasted veggies to marinate on over night...herbs: rosemary, thyme, lavender olive oil


the flesh of the smoked,peeled eggplant in food processor


the completed Baba Ganoush with tahini, garlic, olive oil


Baba Ganoush ready for packing


roasted tomatoes


completed chickpea hommus


column basil..sweeter taste


Dulse ( sea Vegetable) soaking to remove some of the salt


how the dulse is packaged ..this is ready to eat and is not hard dried


The fully roasted veggies ready for marinating overnight then to be baked in pie


Tonight I am making roasted pecan, raisin, carrot oatmeal cookies, a RAW dip, 4 soups, 2 other pies and pastries, ..delivery tomorrow afternoon, just the West Side.
I hope this entertains