Monday, January 23, 2012

One man’s spectacularly healthy and delicious is another man’s Monday dinner

·         Cultured Tomato-Basil Hummus with Veggie Chips and Seed Crackers
·         Red Lentil, Roasted Tomato Marinara on Zucchini Pasta
·         Banana Ice Cream with Vanilla, Caramelized Cayenne Walnuts, and Macadamia Cheese

Write book: Check!
Start blog: Check!
Write blog:  Ummm…

To jump start my stalled blog project I’ll begin simply and tell you about tonight’s dinner.   The longer I eat living, probiotic meals bursting with flavor the less remarkable it seems to be.  But when a friend joined me for an average dinner, I saw through his eyes just how special it was to be eating this way: living foods loaded with tastiness, probiotic, gluten-free, and (very almost) vegan.  Mind you I said special, not difficult, time-consuming, pricey, or weird – because it’s far from any of these things.  Just nourishing, energizing, delicious and fun – making every tastebud - both on the tongue and on the cells - happy as can be.

Cultured Tomato-Basil Hummus with Veggie Chips and Seed Crackers
2 C Garbonzo Beans
1 C Sesame Seeds
3-5 Cups Probiotic Water (see below)
4-6 Cloves Garlic
Juice of 4 Lemons
1 Tomato
Handful Fresh Basil
Salt to taste
Optional: Handful Parsely for extra freshness, 1 zucchini for creamier texture

Soak and Sprout Garbonzos and Sesames (see sprouting directions in “Probiotic Water” bubble)
Coarsely grind seeds in blender or food processor, then place in a sprouting bag or mesh screen and rinse with cool water until run off is clear.  This removes the excess starch and makes them MUCH easier to digest.  Trust me, big difference.

Combine with probiotic water and re-blend until smooth.  Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl (metal can cause faster oxidation – browning and nutrient loss) and cover with a dish towel

In a few hours, you see the culturing hummus starter floating to the top of the used probiotic water.  Taste it every few hours, until it’s as sour as you like (12 hours is usually good) .  With a slotted spoon, remove the probiotic-rich pre-hummus and continue with directions or store in the fridge.

Combine with all other ingredients and blend to desired consistency

Serve with sliced carrots, apples, celery, bell peppers, and/or dehydrated seed crackers (a future post)

FYI I used mostly yellow tomatoes and
pepper because they were on sale;
yours will probably be more red.

Red Lentil Marinara on Zucchini Pasta
When tomatoes cook, their starches break down and become sweeter.  Since our tomatoes are raw the red bell pepper picks up the slack, making the sauce a vibrant red.

2 Medium Zucchini

1 cup red lentils, sprouted, ground and rinsed (see hummus step 2)

1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes, liquid squeezed out for a thicker sauce

1 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper

2 cups tomatoes, dried for about 24 hours.  Store-bought sun dried tomatoes are processed at high temperatures, evident by their brown and lifeless color.  You’ll be surprised how bright red your tomatoes stay in the dehydrator, even when left in for a week.  We want our dried tomatoes to stay slightly soft, but still have the sweetness and meaty texture of traditional sdt’s.  And along with the red lentil sprouts, they’ll also thicken our sauce and add body. 

¼ Cup Olive Oil, extra virgin and cold-pressed

A small handful of garlic chives, or 1 clove of garlic, pressed

½ Cup Italian herbs: basil, oregano, thyme, parsley

Pinches each:  sea salt, ground black pepper and fresh chili or cayenne

Making the Noodles
The “type” of zucchini pasta (linguini, cappellini, etc) is determined only by preference and ease, though thinner noodles will leak more juice so need a longer rest before using, losing nutrients as they sit.
For wide, flat papardelle noodles, use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips as wide as the veggie itself, turning the zuke until you’ve shaved it down to the soft, seed filled core, which is wonderful in a breakfast juice.  For fett-zucchini or zucch-guini, line the strips up on top of each other and make lengthwise cuts with a paring knife held like a pencil.  Impossibly long strips of spaghetti and capellini are the ultimate veggie noodle, and quite easy to make if you have the right tool: a spiral slicer or saladacco.  This is a tool that turns a vegetable against a metal plate with many small cutters, pulling off long thin strands. 

It’s much easier, quicker, tastier, and obviously healthier to make fresh veggie pasta than to boil water for dry, empty-calorie traditional pasta, and it also makes great garnishes and additions to vegetable salads, fresh or dried into crispy noodle nests.  Zucchini noodles will soften as they sit, so for a more al dente pasta, serve right away or dehydrate for a hour.  They’re also great just tossed with olive oil, lemon and salt, and a little B vitamin-rich nutritional yeast for a light cheesy flavor.

Making the Sauce:
A food processor is the preferred tool for a textured, chunky sauce, as a blender will puree it too smoothly.   Toss in everything else and process for 30 seconds or so, scraping the sides so it gets evenly blended.  Heat it up a little bit on the stove for a traditional hot marinara (though it’s also delicious cold or room-temp), stirring constantly so no part gets over 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 C).  Take it off the burner when it starts to steam.   Toss noodles and sauce together immediately before serving.

Banana Ice Cream with Vanilla, Caramelized Cayenne Walnuts, and Macadamia Cheese

The Vitamix will break up a frozen banana into frozen-banana-atoms, creamily sliding around each other with delightful tropical sweetness.  I added vanilla bean I brought back from India and spicy-sweet dehydrated walnuts for an all-cylinders living dessert.

2 Bananas, peeled and frozen

¼” Vanilla bean (extract is such a harsh flavor, doesn’t compare to the sultry invitation of whole bean, and either are totally optional)

¼ Cup Caramelized Cayenne Walnuts

Optional: 2 T raw, unhomogenized whole milk (we’ve recently visited a raw, organic dairy farm on the train, bicycling the rest of the way through mossy valleys and fog-enshrined hills and a little happy milk seemed to add a rich sweetness to the ice cream)

Blend bananas, vanilla, and raw milk (if you’re using it) on high for 30 seconds or so, just until smooth and creamy.  Toss in walnuts and chop, or toss them on top warm and gooey fresh from the dehydrator.  Finish with a dallop Macadamia Cheese.

Caramelized Cayenne Walnuts:
Soak walnuts in filtered water for 6-8 hours, draining and rinsing off the dark foamy liquid that shows enzymes being activated and digestibility increasing.  

Crush or chop and toss with raw honey and cayenne to taste and dehydrate at 110 degrees for 24 hours on non-stick sheets.  I always adjust proportions until it takes willpower to stop “testing” and put in in the dehydrator.  When you need to distract yourself from making frequent visits to “see how they’re doing”, you know you’re onto something.  I did about 6 T raw clover honey and 10 shakes cayenne to 4 C walnuts.

At the raw dairy farm in Sandy - "Muffin" is over
my right shoulder.  I prefer goats milk (sorry Muffin)
but hooked this up for $3 a gallon.
Macadamia Cheese adds a wonderful sour note, balancing the sweet banana, cleansing and preparing the palate for another bite.  We’ll ferment  soaked macadamia nuts with probiotic water, creating a friendly bacteria-rich condiment of creamy and complex character.

Soak raw macadamia nuts for 4 hours or so in filtered water, drain and rinse.

Blend well 1 part nuts and 3 parts probiotic water

Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl (metal can cause faster oxidation – browning and nutrient loss) and cover with a dish towel

In a few hours, you see the culturing mac cheese floating to the top of the used probiotic water.  Taste it every 6-12 hours, until it’s as sour as you like.  With a slotted spoon, remove the cheese and store in the fridge.

Sounds like a lot of work maybe, but it’s just a few minutes at a time, including making the actual dishes.   To make it easier, I made a schedule for preparing this meal, with day zero being the day of eating.  (Parentheses show minutes of actual doing stuff).

-8 - Sprout grains for probiotic water.  Freeze bananas (5 minutes)
-6 - Make probiotic water (2 Minutes)
-5 - (Overnight) Soak garbos and sesames together; soak red lentils. Soak walnuts and macadamias.  (5 minutes)
-3 - Drain and Sprout Lentils, Garbos and Sesame.  Drain and Prepare Caramelized Cayenne Walnuts and Culture Mac Cheese.  Dry Tomatoes.   (20 Minutes)
-1 - Culture Hummus (5 minutes)
0 - prepare dishes right before they’re eaten (20-60 minutes, depending on your kitchen toys) and enjoy!

So you see, even though it’s a bit of calendar time it’s not much actual “doing” time.  Let me know how it goes! 
JP, the Kitchen Sink Farmer

No enzymes were harmed in the making of this blog.

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