Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Get Cultured Teaser

   Probiotic smile.
Heal your gut by eating cultured foods.  Our food system is full of antibiotics, with huge amounts from factory farmed meat as well as overly used in treatment because so many immune systems fail.  Pasteurized products line the store shelves, while our environment is sterilized with antibacterial cleansers. These things kill beneficial bacteria that we need to digest and absorb nutrients from food.  Without the gut flora, our whole system is set back and we develop IBS, allergies, auto immune disorders and colon cancer. Consuming cultured foods and fermenting with them heals the digestive track so that it can function properly, this healing improves overall health drastically.

Babies love cultured dairy from the start.  If mine is having a hard time eating a meal, I mix some in a little bowl of kefir and he downs it.  Brik asks for kefir at least once a day.  It is simple to do once you’ve seen it done and work it into your routine.  By culturing your own you save money and control the ingredients.  Using less processed, high quality ingredients and yielding a fresh product that caters to your taste, you will reap the rewards our ancestors did when Western diseases were unheard of.

Come Friday for your own starter cultures.  I will teach you how to keep them going and how to use them.  Soaking, smoothies, snacks, breads and other things that will make you smile, probiotic-ly.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Flour Tortillas

I fell in love with homemade tortillas after a class with Chef Brad 8 years ago. There is really nothing like them in the stores. When people hear I make my own tortillas, some can't even fathom it. They think it takes strange ingredients or equipment or an elaborate process. The number one comment made in tortilla making classes is on the note of how surprisingly easy it is all around. The fact is that they only take a handful of common ingredients, you need only a rolling pin and a hot pan and depending on your level of practice (and how many you are making) they take from 15-30 minutes from start to finish.

How great is it to be so self reliant that you can make something so fabulous from staples in your own home even if you can't get to the store, the store is out/closed or you can't afford to buy them?

My recipe is a compromise. I always make sure people know that whole grain is an option, but the results are sub par. They still taste great, it is just that they can't hold up to a moist filling and will crack and crumble. Whole grain tortillas work great for quesadillas, but not burritos, unless you like to eat them with a fork. So to get a nice pliable tortilla that will hold in all the beans and salsa, a cup of unbleached white flour does the trick.

Here is my old recipe with a few updated ingredients that increase the nutrition amid the white flour.

1 cup white flour
1 1/2 cups sprouted flour
1/3 cup coconut oil or palm shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder or cumin (opt.)
1 cup hot water

Place flours, oil and seasoning(s) into mixing bowl. Cut in coconut oil with wire whips. Change to dough hook, start mixer and add water until dough pulls together. Add more white flour if dough is too wet. Let dough rest for 15 minutes. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into rounds. Roll out each round with plenty of flour or press in a tortilla press.
Cook 45 seconds each side on high heat (450 degrees). Use a nice pan that holds heat so that you don't have to wait for it to come back up to temperature between cooking each one. Wrap in towel to keep warm and moist. Of coarse you can make any size you'd like, just make sure your pan is the right size to accommodate.
links; Whole Foods for the Holiday's

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spring 2010 Schedule

Thanks to everyone who has participated in this month's cooking classes.  I have enjoyed having you here, sharing your enthusiasm and being part of your journey.

I have been teaching classes for 7 years and have learned that Spring Break greatly interferes with commitment, so my next set of classes will begin the week after the kids are back in school.  I have had a lot of requests for weekend classes, so I will be trying that out this time around.  Most of the classes are the same topics as last time, however, I will be reorganizing some of the information and the class attendees greatly influence the way the class flows.  Don't be afraid of taking the same class twice, there is great power in repetition.

Again, these classes will be held at my home in East Mesa.  Contact me via email karabagley(at)gmail(dot)com to register. Class fee will be collected at the start of class.  No children please.

Slow Food
Stepping away from fast, cheap, in a box, with a health claim.
Saturday, March 27 from 10 to 11 am
$10 per person

Meat’s role as a condiment.
Saturday, April 3 from 10 to 11 am
$10 per person

Whole Grains
Transitioning back from refined white flour.
Saturday, April 10 from 10 to 11 am
$10 per person

Soaking 101
How to make it happen in your kitchen.
Saturday, April 17 from 10 to 11 am
$10 per person

Pressure Cooking 101
Intimidated?  Become familiar.
Saturday, April 24 from 10 to 11 am
$10 per person

All About Greens
Learn how to dress your summer salads.
Saturday, May 1 from 10 to 11 am
$15 per person

Get Cultured
The basics of kefir, yogurt and sourdough.
Saturday, May 8 from 10 to 11 am
$15 per person

Homemade Tortillas
Because nothing compares.
Saturday, May 15 from 10 to 11 am
$20 per person

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Homemade Tortilla Teaser

THE Tortillas was my first recipe post I made on this blog, so you might have missed it.  The pictures are blurry and I still haven’t updated them even though I have made them around 25 times in the last year!  I have changed up the ingredients a bit, using sprouted flour and a bit less white flour.  Also, I’ve made them more often with coconut oil and have gotten used to the coconut-y flavor and found it is really hidden with a bit of cumin.  I have looked into soaking them, but it seems to change the texture quite a bit and I am not sure I am ready for that as I absolutely LOVE these tortillas just the way they are.  So I go on making extra healthy fillings, never eat them plain or with just cheese.  This way I can justify the white flour, but that is just me-- don't judge.

These are the kind of people I have been teaching for the past year and they are showing improvement.  Practice makes perfect.

I have only one spot left in my Homemade Tortilla Class on Friday, so if you want it, you better act fast.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Creamy Italian Dressing

Salad dressings are something I am passionate about.  To me, it stands as the gateway in the big picture of a food change.  You must know; even the healthiest of store bought bottles are incredibly unhealthy.  Greens should be eaten regularly, and served with ample fat to utilize the fat-soluble vitamins.  So, say buh bye to fat free dressings and makeover your fridge with jars of homemade. 

Last week in class we focused on dark leafy greens.  These winter greens are no longer common place on our tables.  It takes time to learn to enjoy something we have been estranged from for so long, but we made some good headway.  I didn’t take a poll or anything.  I just gather from the comments that the Creamy Italian was the class’s favorite dressing and tat soi was the class’s favorite winter green. 

Tat Soi is a true winter green as it can withstand temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit and has been harvested from under snow.  Tat soi is often found in Asian cuisine and is a member of the brassica family.  It has a very faint mustard-like flavor and slightly sweet.  With a spoon-like shape, the leaves appear remarkably delicate and are delicious in a raw salad. If you want to give tat soi a try (and live in the Mesa area) shoot me an email and I will get you the latest order form from The Backyard Farmer.

I will be putting out a new schedule soon…8 weeks this time, a couple new classes and they will be held on Saturday mornings.

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon shallot
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup homemade mayo

Blend in all ingredients in blender.

Great on romaine, leaf lettuce and water cress.
Creamy Italian salad toppings; cucumber, red onion, tomato, pine nuts, parmesan cheese.

I am sharing this post on Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday

Monday, February 8, 2010

All About Green's Teaser

My baby loves greens, he snitches them out of my bowl when I am not looking.  I am not claiming ANY baby could love greens, but how would you know if you never try.  I admit, it took me a while to acquire the taste for the tougher, chewy, bitter, winter greens.  Now that I have arrived, I would like to share with you how I got from there to here.  All it takes is a few good recipes and some well grown greens to get started.

Why do you want to love greens?  Because of their value in good health.  Antioxidants, calcium, iron, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, phosphorus, manganese, not to mention the fiber and all the unknown nutrients.

This Friday I am bringing out those greens that are often overlooked.  We will be tasting them in different applications and learning how important it is to skip the bottled dressing.  Click HERE to sign up for the class. Following is a recipe to get you started using those valuable greens.

Sautéed Beet Greens
3 tablespoons butter
Greens from 6 fresh beets, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped shallot
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/3 cup almonds, chopped

In a large pan heat butter, add greens and shallot. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the greens are tender but still bright green.  In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper, pour over the greens and toss well. Sprinkle tomatoes and almonds on top and serve.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Soaking 101 Teaser

Isn’t it interesting that virtually all preindustrialized people fermented grain with starters, soured milk, whey, lime and more?  Why did they do it?  Where did it get lost?  As we know at the beginning of the 1900’s the food industry began it’s road to convince food.  Milling wheat into white flour seemed like a great idea at the time; white fluffy baked goods, easy to store and transport without problems of rancidity and infestation.  We are full-circle back to where we started; learning how to use whole grains again.  People are getting sick from gluten, have allergies up the wahzoo and believe eliminating grains is the answer.

When studying this traditional method I googled “pellagra” to get more info on what it is.

Wikipedia: “The traditional food preparation method of corn (maize), nixtamalization, by native New World cultivators who had domesticated corn required treatment of the grain with lime, an alkali. It has now been shown that the lime treatment makes niacin nutritionally available and reduces the chance of developing pellagra. When corn cultivation was adopted worldwide, this preparation method was not accepted because the benefit was not understood. The original cultivators, often heavily dependent on corn, did not suffer from pellagra. Pellagra became common only when corn became a staple that was eaten without the traditional treatment.”

Ah ha!

This week’s class is all about getting started with soaking in your kitchen.  For details on how you can get registered go HERE

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Meat Reduction Tips

My vegetarian-ish concept stems from 4 places. 1)Spiritual. Email me if you are interested in my compilation of scripture and prophetic quotes on the divine counsel we have been given to take care of our bodies. 2) Factory farming. Watch Food Inc. to get the big picture on factory farming, then resolve to eat less meat for the betterment of your health and planet. 3)Too much protein. The greatest amount of growth occurs in infants. Human milk, the most perfect food for infants is less than 20% protein. 4) Vegetables. Meals made with lots of meat leave little room on the plate for other important foods.

Meat reduction tips
  1. Stretch ground or shredded meat with beans, grains and vegetables
  2. Make a meal out of side dishes
  3. Use small amounts of flavorful meat
  4. Use fish in place of meat
  5. Use less meat than the recipe calls for
  6. Make more soup and casserole meals and less typical American “separate” meals.
  7. Create a meat placeholder
  8. Avoid soy substitutes
Do you want to be inspired?  Check out what other classes I am currently offering.
Related Posts with Thumbnails