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:

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