Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Increasing Threat of Factory Farms - Monday September 25th, 2014
Rarely do we as Americans reflect on the fact that 10 billion land animals are slaughtered each year for our food system or that over 90 percent are raised in CAFOs, better known as factory farms. Since profit is the driving force, living, breathing creatures are treated as a commodity with the goal to produce the highest volume of meat and dairy on the smallest amount of feed, taking up the least amount of square footage. These animals are crowded in cages or pens with no vegetation, restricted fresh air and movement, and are fed a disease-inducing diet that betrays what each species has evolved to eat over thousands of years. For example, as we know, cows are herbivores and they're designed to thrive on fresh grass. In the common industrialized system though, they're forced to eat GMO corn, plastic pellets (to compensate for a lack of fiber), and pulverized animal parts, which creates acidification and inflammation in their bodies. Crammed in feedlots, often standing in thick, muddy fecal matter or breathing in "fecal dust" they're subjected to high stress from birth to slaughter. It's no wonder then that the need for antibiotics has increased!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Vegan Ice Cream

4-5 very ripe bananas
1 large avocado
2 tablespoons smooth, salted peanut butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Peel bananas and avocado. Cut into small chunks. Separate to two airtight containers and freeze until solid (preferably overnight). 

Add frozen bananas and avocados to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy (be sure to scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed). The mixture will go through different stages: crumbled, oatmeal-like texture, gooey to finally creamy. At this point, add the rest of the ingredients to combine.

You can enjoy this right away. For best result, freeze until set. Will keep for up to two days.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dill-Cured Salmon

1 1/2 - 2 lbs wild salmon
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 bunch of fresh dill

Rinse salmon and remove pin bones the same direction they face with a tweezer.

Cut salmon into two equal pieces.

Mix the salt and sugar in a bowl. On a plate or in a shallow dish, pile half of the mixture onto each half of the salmon. It will seem like there is extra mixture, but just pile it on. The salmon will absorb the mixture during the curing process. Next, place the dill on top. Sandwich the two pieces of fish together and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

Place the fish into a gallon-sized ziploc bag and push out all of the air. Now place in a shallow dish.

Refrigerate, with weights on top, which is crucial. 

The salmon will take 2-3 days to cure. At the end of each day, drain any liquid that has been extracted from the salmon and flip the salmon over, so that both sides are evenly weighed down. You can begin tasting it after 2 days. When it is cured to the desired taste, remove fish from plastic and rinse well.

To eat, slice thin on a bias, leaving the skin behind. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PB&J Isn't Cutting It...Here Are 6 Tricks For More Inspired School Lunches - Tuesday September 2nd, 2014

We’ve all been there—that carefully planned, painstakingly executed lunch sent to school with the kids comes back smushed and uneaten. If your darlings are rejecting what's packed in their lunchbox, know that you're not alone. Even food professionals get maddening results. I spent years learning how to make lunches for little ones as a personal chef with a specialty in cooking for kids. I remember when a family of young boys I cooked for found out I was sneaking vegetables into mini meatloaves sent for lunch. After that, they started shredding apart cupcakes for veggie inspection as well! I would introduce a variety of foods for afternoon snacks, so I could see first-hand what was devoured quickly. I learned that when there's a hit--work it. Of course every kid has his or her likes and dislikes, but here are a few foolproof tricks I discovered over the years for making bag lunches a little more fun:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Coloring Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes - Thursday April 17th, 2014
Easter is the time of year when many of us do something special with our breakfast food. In this experiment, we are going to use science to color eggs using natural dyes. While using natural dyes is a bit more time consuming than those little tablets you buy at the store, gathering and preparing them can be an interesting alternative.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4 Nutritional Powerhouses You're Already Eating

Lately there's been so much focus on newcomers like acai and kale that less glamorous fruits and vegetables are sometimes treated like second-class citizens. But researchers are discovering new reasons to get excited about the old standbys.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food!

Fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. The main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion: Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. The solution is to purchase local, organic food from farmers that value their soil. Know your farmer, know your food! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lemon Mascarpone Layer Cake

2 cups superfine sugar
3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
1 cup whole milk (room temperature)
4 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste
1/2 cup lemon curd
1 large lemon (zest and juice)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 2 round cake tins. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

Sift flour and baking powder. Combine milk and lemon juice. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add lemon curd, and zest to combine followed by eggs one at a time, beating well in between. 

Add flour and milk mixture, alternately to the batter, making sure to start with flour end with flour.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a stick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans to cool completely. 

Mascarpone Lemon Frosting:
2 small tubs mascarpone cream (room temperature)
1 cup fresh lemon curd
1 32 oz bag powdered sugar

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat mascarpone and lemon curd until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.

Slice each layer in half. Place one cake layer (golden side down) on a cake platter. Spread a third of the filling evenly over the layer, leaving the outer edge of the cake bare. Repeat with another cake layer (again, golden side down), applying just a bit of pressure so the layers adhere, and then spread on another third of the filling. Repeat the process until you get to the final layer. Cover the cake in frosting. Enjoy!

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