Food for thought ~ Buy organic!
There are so many wonderful things to do in life.
The world is an open book for exploration, adventure, risk, fun and creativity. Call them hobbies or passions, it doesn’t matter. Some are readily available, some take planning, all take time. For example, I really enjoy walking. I love the feeling of being in nature and all of its sounds and stillness. In order for me to fit a walk in my day, I must schedule time to do it.
We have become so busy in our everyday lives that we all walk around with our calendars open. We have become a scheduling society. Dear me! We owe it to ourselves to create space every day to do something that nurtures our souls, like walking.
I also love reading a good cookbook! I grasp moments when I read, usually very early in the morning. My cookbook collection gives me ideas and inspiration. They help me further my journey in the kitchen. It’s strange, because when I am actually cooking, I never use a recipe. I draw from my imagination and the knowledge I have read in my cookbooks. It’s really a lot of fun! I love it when I have a bare cupboard and an empty refrigerator – that’s a challenge!
I encourage you to take this springtime – a time of opening up – to be more adventurous in the kitchen. Take risks. Remember, “practice makes progress” as my yoga teacher always says. Keep in mind that in our world today we have more have -to-dos than love-to-dos. Find time to fit the latter in and nurture your soul. Bon apetit!
Here are two recipes from my favorite cookbooks. In Simple Treats by Ellen Abraham – she bakes the same way I do; as naturally as possible – Ellen offers:
Pan-Seared Cod Fillets
in Orange-Ginger Broth
1 onion, sliced thinly lengthwise
1 carrot, cut into matchstick pieces
2” piece of ginger root, cut into thin matchstick pieces
2 celery stalks, cut: diagonal pieces
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 C. mirin (health food store)
2 C. spring water
Tamari or soy sauce
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 (6 oz.) cod fillets
Optional: basmati rice, cooked to serve
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
4 T. freshly grated daikon
Place vegetables, ginger, orange zest and mirin in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add water and soy sauce (tamari) and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Broth will reduce slightly.
While broth simmers, heat olive oil in a deep skillet over high heat. Season the fish lightly with salt. Add fish to skillet and cook until the bottom sides are nicely browned (about 5 minutes). Gently turn fish. Add all vegetables and broth to skillet. Cook over high heat until fish is opaque in the center and broth is reduced (about 6 minutes). Serve over bed of white basmati rice garnished with scallions and 1 T. grated daikon.
This meal with a salad and the Blondies for dessert is delightful. Remember to ad lib and make it your own, adding different veggies, using lemon or lime in place of orange. Create and have fun!
Chocolate Chip Blondies
1 1/4 C. rolled oats
1/4 C. plus 2 T. canola, safflower or sunflower oil
1/4 C. plus 2 T. maple syrup
2 T. brown rice syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chocolate chips or 1 C. vegan carob chips
1/3 C. chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 C. plus 1 T. barley flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Topping: 1/4 C. chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8×8” baking pan. Process oats in food processor until consistency of coarse flour. In small bowl, mix oil, syrups and vanilla. Set aside.
In separate bowl (larger) place ground oats, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into oat mixture. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with spatula until well incorporated.
Pour batter into pan, sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake for 15 minutes and rotate pan half a turn to ensure even baking. Bake 6-7 minutes more or until golden brown. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
Another favorite is Cooking the Whole Foods Way by Christina Pirello. Due to an illness, she changed her life and is now a fantastic cook advocating whole foods and organic cooking. Although her basis is macrobiotic, her recipes are delicious and well thought out. She has a cooking show on TV. CHA
Eat this Book by Tyler Florence – very different but exciting recipes.
The Voluptuous Vegan by Myrna Kornfield – meatless eggless and dairy-free meals. Very innovative.
The Natural Foods Cookbook by Mary Estrella, an oldie but greatie! It may be out of print, but could be ordered.
The Natural Gourmet and The Book of Whole Foods by Annemaire Colloin, a crusader for healthy cooking, she has a cooking school in New York City.
The Silver Palette Cookbook by Julee Russo and Sheila Lukins – fun for a
more gourmet type of cooking.
BY NANCY CROSBY, SPRING 2006