Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Healthier Healthy Foods Techniques Number Five - The Combo

Well, I'm hoping that you, my readers, have gotten a little bit of fun and info from the last few days worth of entries here.  It's been fun writing the stuff.  Only got one email this past week, and it was from some whacko that didn't like my stance on vaccines, but nevertheless, I plod along with my views.  Here today, is the final episode of the series making Healthy Foods Healthier.  We have so far learned about four different methods of preparing basic foods that each and every one of them does a pretty fair job of removing or neutralizing the toxic defense and storage mechanisms of the plant's lectins and phytates. Today, we just look at the obvious, combining those techniques.  

In reality, it's just common sense.  If each technique does a good job, then combining will do a better.  Right?  It's like alcohol, a little makes you feel good, a lot makes you regret that decision.  Sort of the same thing here.  I mean if we look at grains and legumes, soaking then cooking via steam or in a pressure cooker is not at all a bad thing.  They cook faster, added flavor components are injected into the grains or legumes under pressure, most of the lectins and phytates were washed away and the resultant end product is more nutritious, and mighty tasty.  And generally fartless.  However one thing we don't really want to do is soak your legumes, let them sprout, then ferment them a bit, and cook them in steam.  You will get a mess.  There is a limit.  Like waking up to the slug of a person that you remember sitting at the end of the bar and swore you would never ever go talk to but somehow forgot all that after imbibing ever more alcohol.  (Never happened to me)

If you think about it, the first three techniques that I have outlined for you are all about time.  Each one progressively taking ever more time, and in the world of big food manufacturing business, time means money.  That's why it is not done, money.  That's why you can do it at home with anything you do, because the reality is that the time it takes to prepare your own food is pretty minimal.  Soaking beans, three minutes to fill the pot with water, the next day drain rinse and cook, another five minutes.  The gratitude of your family and friends having you not having explosive gas attacks, immeasurable.  Again, let me just say that no one can make these decisions for you, the choice to eat a diet that is cheap and laden with both natural toxins (ie. lectins and phytates) as well as doused liberally with unnatural chemical additives that are approved by the FDA (even though 700 of the GRAS list are classed as Class II Carcinogens by the EPA); is entirely up to you.  Most people don't care, look, see how popular McDonalds and their brethren all are.  And look, see how the grocery store shelves are filled to overflowing with processed foods.  It's your decision, it is in fact, your life, and you have to live, or die, with the consequences.

So, let's take a fun peak at some stuff.

Brown Rice Paella - Brown rice as we all know is undeniably soooooo much better for you health wise.  It just takes longer to cook and doesn't present itself for many of the best recipes that we have enjoyed from other cultures.  Paella is one of those, it is traditionally made with medium grain white rice, for ease of cooking.  We can do the same with the Healthier Health Food techniques.  Take two cups medium grain organic brown rice and add to a quart or more of water and allow to soak.  Bing, technique one.  Drain, rinse, and add to your small pressure cooker, or steamer will work.  Bing, technique four.  Cook in the pressure cooker or steamer for 18 or 35 minutes respectively.  Remove from heat and add a bit of cool water to stop the coking process.  Drain excess water and allow to cool in colander.  Spread onto a baking sheet and allow to get pretty dry.  Then in your large Paella pan, add a quarter cup of olive oil and heat to a shimmer, now brown well four chicken breasts and thighs that you had coated with a spice mixture (recipe at the end) the night before when you started the rice soaking.  Get well browned.  Remove and set aside.  Add some sliced Spanish Chorizo, brown and remove.  Now add a bit more olive oil and a diced onion and red pepper.  Cook stirring abouut two minutes.  Now, add the dry rice and cook, stirring well.  This should take about 8 to 10 minutes, you want to brown the rice grains a bit.  Now add a cup and a half of white wine.  Stir in well, add a big pinch of saffron, some thyme and sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and stick in the chicken and sausages.  Let cook for about five minutes then add mussels, clams, shrimp, langostinos, crawdads or whatever you want.  Then scatter over them a big cup or so of frozen peas thawed.  When all the liquid is absorbed, allow to cook a bit longer to get the crust on the bottom, then dust with chopped parsley and more black pepper.  And serve hot.   Spanish spice mix is easy, just mix in a small jar 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, a tablespoon oregano, crushed, a teaspoon thyme, coriander and cumin, a tablespoon seas salt and two of black pepper.  Also if you have it, some dried lemon zest.  

Cowboy Western Bean - Take a pound of pinto or black beans and look for rocks, then soak in water overnight.  Bing, technique one Rinse, and add to pressure cooker.   Bing, technique four, add enough water to cover by about 2 inches and add two packages of Frantic Foods Mesquite Smoked Onion Dip Mix available from my business, or use any nice spice mix that you like and have used on stuff before.  Cook under pressure for 35 minutes and remove from heat, cool to open and serve incredible flavorful beans.  And leftovers you can smash a bit and reheat as refried beans.  

Jambolaya - Again, here we are going to use brown rice, because I like it, and it is healthier.  Take two cups of long grain brown rice and soak in water overnight. Bing, technique one.  Drain, rinse and drain in colander.  In large pressure cooker,  Bing, technique four, add a quarter cup olive oil and brown a cut up chicken.  Remove.  Now, dice an onion, a bell pepper, eight ribs celery.  Dump half of it all into pot and season well with Cajun seasoning (recipe below)  And cook, stirring until the vegetables are well cooked, and the whole mess is thick and almost solid black mass.  This does take about fifteen minutes over medium high heat.  Now add a couple tablespoons more olive oil and add the remaining veggies plus about ten or more cloves garlic you sliced.  Cook another 5 minutes.  Add the drained rice and stir in well.  Add two cans diced tomatoes and a bottle of beer and one cup water or stock. Add another two tablespoons of the Cajun seasoning.  Bring to a boil and add the chicken and nestle in some cut up sausages.  Cover, bring to pressure and cook under pressure for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, cool the cooker under running water and remove cover.  Add shrimp, fish or whatever seafood you want, put cover back on and place on medium heat until pressure builds.  Turn off heat and allow pressure to drop on its own, about 5 minutes or so.  Remove cover, sprinkle on the chopped parsley and serve.   Cajun seasoning, in jar add 3 tablespoons crushed thyme, 2 each of basil, oregano and dried garlic.  one each of cayenne and paprika.  Add some black pepper and sea salt.  Shake, store in the jar and make flavor happen.


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