Monday, February 2, 2009

What's Cookin'?

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Periodically, I will detail what's happening in my kitchen. I spend hours planning for how to feed my family (and I also spend way too much, so I am not necessarily the frugal example to follow, but it's healthy!) AND realized how you all might be able to benefit too from these efforts. So, check in to see What's Cookin'? in RunningGal's kitchen!

I love an active kitchen! One with sprouts growing, beans soaking, flour fermenting overnight, nuts sprouting, and the dehydrator whirring. It’s so fun to have all these mini projects brewing, cause the final result, is food that is alive and full of active enzymes.

Right now I have 5 different bowls with beans soaking overnight. I have soft wheat berries soaking too, and starting tomorrow for 3 days, I will rinse and drain them 2 times a day so that in about 3 days, they will be fully sprouted.

The pinto beans will soak overnight and tomorrow I will do my monthly routine of making about 8 batches of my most famous refried beans, as taught to me by my sweet mother-in-law. All recipes posted throughout this week. This is one to cherish! I make a ton, and freeze it in gallon bags for our weekly taco night. These are organic pinto beans from Azure.

The black beans are soaking so that tomorrow I can get them simmering and cooked for a delicious sweet potato black bean dish that my amazing cook of a friend, Ruth, made me during the "sick" era of my life to keep in my freezer for a night that I was just too out of it to cook. No wait, this is Ruth's recipe but our friend Jen actually made these for me to have on hand. Don't you just love dear friends!

The wheat berries are soaking. Once they are sprouted, I will lay them out on a cookie sheet and dry them out in a 150 degree oven. Once dried, I will throw them in the food processor and grind them into a flour called "bulgar Flour" to be used in another recipe later this week.

Tomorrow night, I will soak a couple of cups of rice and wheat flour so it's ready to make delicious honey sweetened berry muffins the next day. Why am I soaking my flour? Well, flour should always be soaked for at least 12 hours, preferably 24 hours in buttermilk, cultured milk, youghurt, or whey to activate the enzyme phytase, which works to break down phytic acid in the bran of grains. Sour milk products also provide lactic acid and lactobacilli that help break down complex starches, irritatin tannins and difficult to digest proteins. Soaking increases vitamin content and makes all the nutrients in grains more available. It makes for light and moist baked products that my family just loves. Civilizations have followed this procedure for thousands of years, and it's been lost in our modern, fast paced society and with it we lose those "good bacteria" that we need for a strong immune system and a well-functioning digestive system. (info taken from my favorite cookbook "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon).

Friday night is Pizza night - using homemade pizza sauce that we made from our summer's garden tomatoes, canned and ready to go. Here's what we are eating tonight:

Turkey Meat Loaf with Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey - free range, organic

1 onion, chopped

1 bunch fresh ORGANIC spinach (spinach is a MUST for Organic!) - about 4 cups

1 cup flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

2 T Dijon mustard

1 large egg white

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup of Organic Ketchup (make sure your k-up is sugar free. This is yet another product that cheap k-up makers are sneaking corn syrup and sugar into. Azure and Trader Joe's have good k-ups)

2 pound of organc red potatoes, quartered (Potatoes are HIGH priority to make sure are organic. Horrible stuff on regular taters, growth retardant and pesticides are used a ton on the innocent tater making it one of the most lethal veggie to get conventionally)

1 cup buttermilk

1 T olive oil

1.4 c marinara sauce

1. Heat oven to 400. In a bowl, combine the turkey, onion, spinach, parsley, bread crumbs, mustard, egg white, and 1/2 t each salt and pepper/

2. Transger the mixture to a baking sheet and form it into a 10 inch loaf. Spread with the k-up. Bake until cooked through, 45 to 60 min.

3. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash in the pot with the buttermilk, oil, 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper

4. Serve the meat loaf with the marinara sauce and potatoes.

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