Posted in External Links

Some interesting articles June 2017

Food for thought and thoughts for food!

Having your carton and eating it too

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A bottle of honey in Ecovative packaging made from mycelium fungus.

 

 

‘Seductive names’ make vegetables more appealing

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Twisted Citrus Glazed Carrots

 

 

Factory Farms Belong in a Museum

Dodo

“‘Ten thousand years ago humans and our livestock accounted for about 0.1 percent of the world’s large vertebrates,’ said Tony Juniper, the former head of Friends of the Earth. ‘Now we make up about 96 percent. This is a timely and necessary debate, and an issue that is being debated more and more.’

 

 

Posted in Happiness, Health

Vasectomy by Dr Snip

I have never had a desire to be called’ ‘mum’ (or even ‘auntie’).  

Some kids know they want to be a pilot when they grow up, others want to be a rock star.  I just knew I never wanted kids.  People kept saying I would change my mind as I reached birthday milestones …25…nope …30…nope… 35…nope etc.

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Fortunately my partner felt exactly the same way about ‘dad’ and so an appointment with Dr Snip was made.  He has great information on his site, so if this is a path you are considering, it is well worth a visit.

For guys who are nervous about the physical side of it…think about what women go through…nine months of pregnancy (no alcohol!), permanent body changes, painful childbirth, sore boobs, career upheaval…and suddenly it doesn’t seem that dramatic at all.

My partner had it done on a Friday (I got to watch).  He works in a physical job and would have been able to go back to work on the Monday, but his big tough team leader who is terrified of the idea encouraged him to take it off, so who was he to refuse!

He had some discomfort on and off for a few weeks afterward, but nothing he needed painkillers for.  A few months after the procedure he experienced discomfort again, that lasted a couple of weeks then went away and he has been perfect in the years since.

It has DEFINITELY made a very positive contribution to our relationship. Spontaneity is never an issue and there is no more stress about contraceptive measures that can be unhealthy, unpleasant and also are never 100% effective.

Vasectomy is 100% effective and should be long-term side effect free.

dr snip.jpg

Some people say that we ‘missing out’.  No doubt we are missing out on some nice things, as well as some not so nice things…as are they.   Nobody can have everything.  I am just grateful that our society offers us the choice.

If you have decided not to have kids for one of many reasons…

For environmental reasons.  Or you can’t/don’t want to stump up the associated costs.  Or to prevent passing on a health issue.  Or you think that being born a human is overrated and you don’t want to put someone through all that.  Or you value your freedom and have other plans.  Or you want yourself and your partner to remain each other’s Number One.  You may like to know that when your turn comes to exit the world, you can do so with less attachment. Or you may like the ability to give/will your earthly possessions to charitable causes.  Or you just find the thought of being depended on claustrophobic.  Or you already have your fair share of kids.

…You have the choice to put your balls on the line.

Dr Snip will even throw in a free stubby cooler.

Posted in Happiness

Your own consciousness should be heard

I nearly packed this whole thing in out of a feeling of  anger, powerlessness and insecurity combined.

 

Insert your pet's/child's name here
Insert your pet’s/ child’s/ partner’s name here

I don’t understand a world where people claim to love animals then pay other people to hurt them secretly.

I don’t understand a world where ‘Buddhist’ precepts apparently make the most logical moral/religious sense to so many humans, but still they don’t gel with what we greedy things actually do in the ‘real world’.

Surely if there really was a genuine, underlying ‘meaning to life’ then the ‘moral’ way would be more clear cut and more attainable by all?

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu – May all beings be happy and free.

What a crock of shit.

In the competitive natural world where things need to evolve, find a niche and survive, sadly selfishness is the ONLY way forward with cruelty tacked on as an added survival imperative for many of the more parasitic/carnivorous/voracious species.

Who can believe the ‘universe’ is pure love?! Unconscious cruelty is everywhere.

Conscious cruelty goes unchecked.  Surely pure love would reward the principled more and punish the amoral?

Oh, sorry… It does… but we have to wait til a mysterious and inexplicable afterlife?

How does this make sense?

A good parent educates their child there and then, not at some random time in the future.

Also good parents reward good children.  I don’t see much of this either.  Bad children get lots here on this random, survival of the fittest earth.

Why don’t moral people find themselves more blessed by ‘the universe’ in winning lotteries they can use to do good with and getting less early death than the morally corrupt?

Maybe there IS NO UNIVERSAL MORALITY. 

It’s time to stop waiting for it to magically reveal itself.

Doesn’t matter.  We all have our own consciences, and we all know when we are denying our conscience a right to be heard.  We do all have an individual morality that is unique to each of us.

If each of us would stop ignoring it so hard, the world would be a much kinder place.

So much meat is eaten not out of need, but out of either laziness, ignorance or greed.

So many children are born out of much the same reasons,

And ditto waste and pollution.

If you care about refugees, sick kids, animals, the earth; don’t do nothing, do something.

Forget a heavenly after-world. Wake up now and realise that every single thing we touch..be it having kids, having pets, what we eat, buy, sell, where we go for holidays and what we talk about; basically what we do and what we don’t do, seen and unseen, all of it, we are responsible for.

Otherwise, we might as well be  zombies…a fetishisation of gruesome death that is actually pretty pathetic.  Try showing ‘zombie walkers’ abattoir footage and see how many last the distance.

The quickest way to start making a difference right now, is with what you eat.

If you care about animals, it is so easy to learn something new to eat, get healthier, help animals and save money, all in one single day.  Don’t be lazy.

Stop paying someone else to make unseen animals suffer.

Be the morals that you want to see.

 

Image result for kind animals

 

Posted in Ethics and Animal Welfare

Kangaroo meat is NOT ‘ethical’

I covered this in 52 charities*, but here is a very. brief. recap. after a conversation yesterday with an ex-vegetarian who had bought into popular fiction that kangaroo meat is OK to eat.

Here are some facts to counter the fiction.

It is not sustainable.  If everyone decided kangaroo meat was A-OK there would soon be no kangaroos left. Putting that kind of pressure on any wild species leads to a narrowed gene pool and ultimately, as has happened with many ‘abundant’ species in the past, extinction.

It is definitely not ethical.  The killing is done free from scrutiny.  And this suits the killers just fine.

A head shot is the most ‘ethical’ way to kill an animal.

I know people who love kangaroos and want the best for them so volunteer their time to care for them when injured, and to euthanise  them when beyond help.  Even to get a clean head shot on a partly immobilised animal is extraordinarily difficult.  Usually two shots are required to ensure that life is extinguished as quickly as possible.

Imagine yourself at night, trying to hit a very fast, very frightened, distant animal which moves in unpredictable jumps and has a tiny head, only a small part of which contains the brain which is what must be hit? 

Severe but non-fatal injuries or prolonged and painful deaths are norms, not exceptions.

(Oh and don’t forget there are often joeys in the pouch.  Also, like horses, kangaroos have complex social systems which are destroyed by these indiscriminate massacres.)

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Cover of Macropod Husbandry by Lynda Staker

I know most people will continue to eat meat.  I can’t stop them. But I hope sharing information can help call out the ‘Emperor for wearing no clothes’ and encourage people to take genuine ownership of their choices.

Arguments citing sustainability and ethics are false self-justifications.   If ethics are really a concern, is any meat really ‘ethical’…except, maybe, roadkill?

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*Extract from Week 8 of 52 Charities

Save them or kill them?


<p>Illustration: Geoff Richardson

Text: Eleanor Nurse

Our kangaroos are hunted in the largest commercial slaughter of land-based wildlife on the planet and hunters are permitted by law to take not only males but also females with joeys in pouch and dependent young. 

The roo meat industry treats these joeys as collateral damage in the hunt for profits. 

Under the relevant industry Codes of Practice that govern the hunts, shooters are instructed to “euthanase” the joeys of any female who is killed either by decapitation or a single blow or shot to the head. 

Those who are not caught and killed will most likely die as a result of starvation, exposure or predation without the protection of their mothers.

All of this happens in the wild and at night, hidden from public view. 

This might be why so many Australians are on board with kangaroo meat. The kangaroo industry has escaped the scrutiny levelled against many of Australia’s other meat industries in part because it is nearly impossible to get a look at the killing. 

Unlike most animals killed for food who are pre-stunned and slaughtered in abattoirs, kangaroos are shot in rural areas, usually from afar, and in complete darkness. 

The industry codes do stipulate they must be shot in the “brain”, but this is not an easy job. 

In 2002, the RSPCA estimated that 120,000 kangaroos are  “body shot” each year, wounded but not killed.

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If you want to understand just how brutal these killing sprees are, watch the Australian cult classic film ‘Wake in Fright’.  It is real footage and it is sickening.
Posted in Kitchen Tips, Recipes

Garlic Bread-The Easiest and Best

This just needs your toaster, so it is really quick.

Ingredients – Bread, Oil, Minced Garlic, Lemon Pepper (highly recommended but can sub with Massel stock powder or salt)

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Persian Garlic bread hanging out with friends with benefits

Step 1: Put chosen bread in toaster.  Fold if it is flat bread, slice thinner if it is Turkish bread.  Western sliced bread works fine.  Persian/Iranian bread, similar to naan, about $3-$4 for 5 rounds from Arabic grocers is my favourite- cut a round into half then fold the half into thirds and gently stuff into toaster.

Step 2: When lightly toasted, remove from toaster and spread with oil.  You can just use a spoon or a knife.  My favourite way is to keep a 50/50 blend of olive oil (cheap)/macadamia oil (tasty) in an aluminium hairdressing spray bottle (bought from ‘variety/junk’ shops $2-$3).  We spray this on toast in place of butter/marg.  I tried to buy an expensive fancy culinary stainless steel one. More fool me, it was hopeless.  The aluminium ones won’t so much ‘spray’ as ‘stream’ after one use, but it is a really useful, cheap and efficient tool to have in the kitchen.  Better than buying aerosol oil sprays for sure!!!

Step 3: Spread on minced garlic.  Use the bought stuff IF YOU MUST! Or prepare some especially… or even better, next time you are in front of telly, peel bulk home grown stuff or the best quality bought stuff you can afford.  Freeze the peeled cloves, or blend with olive oil, salt and some citric/tartaric or ascorbic acid and keep in a jar in the fridge (sorry, I don’t know the official quantities, the idea is to hold anaerobic salmonella at bay while not turning the puree inedible through its acidity, so far I am not dead with adding about half a teaspoon of acid, a similar amount of salt + 25 % olive oil to 75% garlic and blending and keeping in the fridge in a 300g Dorito salsa dip style jar and using over weeks.***   (Aussies, if you prefer to get a similarly dimensioned jar with much more dimensional ingredients, I heartily recommend this amazing cashew sensation.)

.***ALL GUESSTIMATES****

Step 4: Sprinkle on Lemon Pepper.  Seriously, do it.  The capitalisation isn’t an accident.  I’m just not sure how to add haloes to lemons.نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪halo lemon emoji‬‏ نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪halo lemon emoji‬‏This stuff adds glorious pizazz to so many things. Like pizza.  Look for it in bulk in Indian or Arabic grocers, or in the supermarket for smaller, way over-priced doses of this love drug! Sub with salt or Massel stock powder and any other jazzing up you choose.

Step 5 : Eat… while everyone else is still waiting for their oven to heat up.

Posted in External Links

10 Serves of fruit and veg a day-news article

The “five a day” rule should be doubled to 10 pieces of fruit and vegetables, a major study has said as it found that increasing consumption dramatically decreases the chance of disease.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/23/five-a-day-fruit-veg-must-double-10-major-study-finds/

Winners!!

They also taste AMAZING and make you feel GREAT!!

fruit machine.jpg

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Coincidentally, on the theme of gambling, I just found this http://www.veganaustralia.org.au/the_optimism_of_uncertainty

Howard Zinn, Social Activist

In this awful world where the efforts of caring people often pale in comparison to what is done by those who have power, how do I manage to stay involved and seemingly happy?

I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game before all the cards have been played. The metaphor is deliberate; life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning. To play, to act, is to create at least a possibility of changing the world.

Posted in Happiness

Butterflies and Gold Dust Wattle

Not only does the Gold Dust Wattle (acacia acinacea) have a beautiful name and beautiful flowers, it has also brought new life into the garden; and new learning into our life!

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Gold Dust Wattle

We noticed caterpillars on it a while ago and they were covered in ants, but apparently unperturbed.  Then they went into chrysalis stage and still were covered by ants. Now in the last couple of days we are having lots of beautiful butterflies hatching.  They are getting busy in the wattle making the next generation and they are also really enjoying the flowers on our garlic chives.

The butterflies are called Common Imperial Blue.  They are amazing.

Butterflies in the family Lycaenidae are known as ‘the blues’ and some species are famous for their relationships with ants.

Adult Common Imperial Blue Butterfly

Adult Common Imperial Blue Butterfly
Photographer: David Gray © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Common Imperial Blue Butterfly

Identification

The Imperial Blue Butterfly has a tail on the base of each hind wing. While resting, the tails blow in the wind and look like antennae. This may fool predators into attacking the more dispensable tails, rather than the head, of the butterfly.

Size range

4 cm

Habitat

The Common Imperial Blue Butterfly lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands, heath.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Ants swarm and surround the caterpillars of the Common Imperial Blue Butterfly, eating the honeydew they produce and, in return for their sweet treat, the ants guard the caterpillars and keep predators away. The black caterpillars are usually found feeding on acacias. The best way to find the caterpillars is to follow the trail of ants along the branches of one of these plants.

https://australianmuseum.net.au/common-imperial-blue-butterfly

It is wonderful to have a garden that gives food and happiness to us and to little indigenous critters alike.

 

There are nurseries which specialise not just in general Australian native vegetation, but in area-specific indigenous vegetation.

Even if you only have a small balcony, by letting your herbs go to flower they will provide food for many insects and lots of watching pleasure for you!  Parsley is very popular amongst our adult insect friends. The larval stages often need native vegetation to grow on though.

If you do have the space, give some room to indigenous plants and reap multiple rewards 🙂

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In our area, north of Melbourne there are three nurseries that we have been to:

Western Plains Flora– (nearish to airport) open to public but not for browsing, give them your order using the latin names of species and they will box up the plants for you and bring out to the waiting area.

Valley of a Thousand Hills (Strath Creek) – only on Saturday, call first. Small but good quality and friendly and nice to visit, stop at the look out on the way. 03 5784 9286

Goldfields nursery, near Bendigo.

Here is a more complete list for greater Victoria.

http://www.spiffa.org/uploads/2/6/7/5/2675656/vic_regional_nurseries_211.pdf

Posted in Kitchen Tips

What to do with excess broad beans

While I am on a roll…!

Save the best ones for next year, (plant in March, you need cold winters for them to set fruit) allow them to dry in a cool, dry place in their pod.

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De-pod the victims who are going to be eaten.  I never peel the beans themselves.  Who has time?  Pick them when they aren’t too big and they will be fine as is.

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Broad bean falafels (On top of seitan and zucchini burgers.)
Use them to make the best falafels you’ve ever made.  Process into fine pieces in a food processor bowl along with onion, parsley, garlic, chilli, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and then add flour or vital wheat gluten to glue together. I cook mine on the sandwich press (which is why they are flat) and freeze extras for later.

Use for soup, (blend, or use whole in miso or pho) or dips.

Broad Bean “Crumble”: Roughly process then fry with herbs (sage, rosemary,oregano thyme etc) and garlic and stock powder.  Serve with flat bread or pasta…you can make creamy sauce by adding white wine and coconut cream.

Eat as a snack with beer (like eda mame but pods already removed).  Cook whole (de-podded) beans on sandwich press when nearly done add some soy/garlic/chilli/pepper/sesame seeds.

IMG20170228113238.jpgGyoza dumplings: process raw beans to a rough crumb.  Stir fry or cook on sandwich press with a sauce of your choosing (we used rendang for something different).  Wrap in round gyoza wrappers, pinching closed at top with fingers and using a flour-water ‘glue’ to seal shut.  Cook in fry pan with lid or on sanga press, splashing over a bit of water towards the end of cooking to steam them through.  Serve with a soy sauce and vegenaise blend.

For those you won’t use imminently:

Freezing them is the best option.  They come out just like new ones when defrosted, in fact better, as they need less cooking time.

Drying them is great if freezer space is limited but then they end up a bit ‘mah’…the skins toughen and they aren’t that exciting imho.  They take a long time to soak and cook.  If you have one, use a pressure cooker.

Broad beans are also known as fava beans.

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(As always, these are ideas only, please ensure that you are happy with the safety of preserved food before you consume it.)

Posted in Kitchen Tips

What to do with excess zucchinis

Q. Why do country people lock their cars?

save_31

A. So their neighbours won’t leave zucchinis in them.

If you don’t have an excess of zucchinis, but would like one, I find Black Jack variety to be the best.  I grow from seeds, because it is cheaper and you do not want to grow more than two plants unless you are feeding an army!  Honestly, from two plants so far we have had about 15kgs of produce.  And that is with us cutting them off to prevent even more…

Plant seeds as the weather starts to warm up.  Protect the young seedlings from being eaten with either a ‘mini greenhouse’ (aka a plastic bottle with the top cut off and turned upside down over the area) in cooler weather, or in hotter weather, cut the top and bottom off to create a ‘cuff’ that goes around it. Remove the bottle once the plant is out of the danger zone as it will rapidly outgrow it.

The zucchinis (or courgettes) for sale in fruit shops are just tiny specimens of the giant triffid-like marrows they will become if left unwatched for a couple of days.  I think they are just as yummy big as small.

There are lots of recipes out there, here are a couple of my ideas to add to the fray…it’s amazing where you can stick zucchinis with nobody noticing…*ahem*…!

Fettucchini

Most people don’t own a spiraliser with which to make ‘zoodles’…zucchini noodles. Quicker and easier, instead grab a big zuc and run your $2 vegetable peeler fast up and down its length… you can have ‘fettucchini’ instead! Serve chilled with a chilled raw tomato and herb sauce on those hot days.

You can also use this fettucchini in place of papaya in ‘som tum’ -thai green papIMG20170228132316[1].jpgaya salad.  To make vegan som tum just leave out the fish sauce and use soy sauce instead.  If you want to be really fancy buy some vegan anchovies to sprinkle over the top from Vincent Vegetarian in Footscray.

It is also perfect in fresh Vietnamese spring rolls.  The best wrappers I have found are the ones with the rose on the or the horse.  I didn’t like the Erawan ones from the supermarket at all, though that was a while ago and they may have changed the formula.  Dip in super hot water until just soft then use immediately.  I put my frying pan full of hot water on the stove and use that.

And of course, just add it to any salad you like.

Zwater

Don’t add water to your cooking, add zwater!!

Liquefy zucchini then add it in place of liquid in cooking…even in cakes…just say it is green tea flavour if anyone asks and you will sound really cool.  You can even add some green tea ‘matcha’ powder if you believe in truth in advertising…

I made green lasagne…mozzarella recipe from here, but using zwater instead.(Mozzuchrella is cooking in pan in pic above). The tomato sauce was made from zwater and tomato paste blended with herbs and garlic.  Finally the lasagne sheets were replaced with microwaved zucchini slices.  In between i layers red caps, eggplant and sweet potato all done on the sandwich press.  There was no need to bake in oven, I just heated up individual serves when ready to eat.

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seitan loves zucchini

I also made seitan, very loosely following this recipe, but of course using magic zwater blended with stock powder in place of the broth and water.  Seitan is a 2000 year old concept which result in ‘wheat meat’.

Sun dry them

Slice thinly, sprinkle with salt and put out in the sun, preferably under glass.  Grease-proof paper will prove to be your friend here.  I am using racks from the oven under our coffee table and gutter guard under the drying table.

Ensure they are COMPLETELY dry then store in airtight containers for use later in winter soups.

 

…and last, but not least…

Give them away

If you can!  Hopefully these tips will help make re-homing easier!

 

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(As always, these are ideas only, please ensure that you are happy with the safety of preserved food before you consume it.)

 

Posted in Kitchen Tips

What to do with excess cherry plums

Cherry plums are small plums that look like cherries (fancy that!) which grow all over the place in Victoria.  I think the ones on trees with red leaves are nicest.

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Unfortunately they all ripen around the same time (early-mid January), leaving you with a small window of incredible abundance.

Not owning a cherry pitter, in previous years I have tried pushing out the seed with an arrow shaft to separate it from the fruit, but it was time consuming, messy and not that great.  If you have access to a pitter, you could try that, then halve and sun dry them,   make jam, or bottle them.

Also time consuming, I have cut the ‘cheeks’ off them and sundried.  If you cut downwards, parallel to the indent you will get the biggest pieces cos the seed is slimmer that way.  Again, jam, dry or bottle.

This year, I found an alternative technique, using the microwave*.  This will give you juice and pulp.

  1. Put your plums in bowl and nuke for a couple of minutes until hot and splitting.
  2. Put into a strainer and strain them as much or as little as you like. (I did it to the max to get out the amazing red syrup which we then used in cooking and as a drink.  It is just like cranberry juice except not sprayed, packaged in plastic and shipped from the U.S.A.   It is great mixed with soda (and vodka?).  Can be used in cakes, in soups, jam, sorbet etc.  It holds it colour and lasts in fridge for ages.  You could freeze or bottle this juice if you can’t use it all now.
  3. Spread the remaining skin/pulp out onto greaseproof paper.  Pick out and discard the pits and put out in the sun to dry, preferably covered with glass, which greatly magnifies the heat.
  4. When it it totally dry, cut it up with scissors and keep in a sealed bag.  Add into homemade muesli or baking.

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*(We were late on the uptake of a nuker. I would never go back to not having one now, it introduces great new scope to cooking technique.  And its bloody convenient.)

(As always, these are ideas only, please ensure that you are happy with the safety of preserved food before you consume it.)

Posted in Kitchen Tips

Pressure cookers-like slow cookers, but fast

Pressure cookers can be designed either for regular stove top use, or as a plug in appliance.

How does a pressure cooker work?
A pressure cooker is a sealed pot with a valve that controls the steam pressure inside. As the pot heats up, the liquid inside forms steam, which raises the pressure in the pot. This high pressure steam has two major effects:

  1. Raises the boiling point of the water in the pot. When cooking something wet, like a stew or steamed vegetables, the heat of your cooking is limited to the boiling point of water (212°F). But with the steam’s pressure now the boiling point can get as high as 250°F. This higher heat helps the food to cook faster.
  2. Raises the pressure, forcing liquid into the food. The high pressure also helps force liquid and moisture into the food quickly, which helps it cook faster and also helps certain foods, like tough meat, get very tender very quickly.

The extra-high heat of the pressure cooker also promotes caramelization and browning in a surprising way — we’re not used to food caramelizing when it is cooking in liquid. But the flavors created in a pressure cooker can be really deep and complex — unlike regular steamed foods.

http://www.thekitchn.com/a-primer-on-pressure-cooking-193715

Considerations, depending on what type of cook you are:

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Tefal  neo 5 – includes steam basket

Stove top – need to monitor it just like regular saucepan cooking.

Made from stainless steel.  Should last a lifetime (rubber seals may need replacing in the distant future).

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Electric – can be controlled run by timer and preset temperature settings.

Most have non stick inner pots, though you might find stainless if prefer.  Unlikely to last as long as a stove top model.

Takes up bench space which may, or may not be limited in your kitchen.

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I have a regular stovetop one as mentioned in Legumes, Starch and Farts 101 but I can definitely see why people might be drawn to electric.

I can’t imagine cooking without one now.

Add what you are cooking, bring to point where pressure is indicated, then turn stove down low, just enough to keep the pressure up, while not enough to burn the pot or its yummies within.

You can’t just take the lid on and off a pc like a normal saucepan. You first will need to remove it from the heat source, then release the pressure valve.  If you are in a rush, you can run a bit of cold water over the side of it.

If you open it while there is still a bit of pressure, your lentils will be on the floor, man.

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Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • If you start with well-soaked chickpeas or beans, tip off soak water then cover with boiling water, they should be cooked to perfection in about 15 minutes (instead of imperfection after 40 minutes.  Brown rice and buckwheat, same time and technique, but no soaking required.
  • Turn the temperature down low and you can do ‘slow cooked’ dishes…fast.
  • Great for making winter soups with soup mix in them.  Also pumpkin/potato soup.  Cube the vegies and add some boiling water with flavouring of your choice.  Seal up and check after 15 mins, should be well done.  Add green stuff at the end or it will go yellow.  Partially blend with a stick mixer (if you have one).to create a variety of textures, otherwise just use your normal blender…be bloody chqdefaultareful the lid doesn’t come off though, when blending hot stuff like this.
  • Learn ‘the curry secret’…basically make curry sauce by blending a few old things out of the bottom of your fridge (carrots/capsicums-seeds and all, mushrooms/zucchini/tomato/apple/pumpkin/ginger) etc) together with water, tomato paste, spices and coconut cream or cashews (optional) and cook this gently in your pc as the curry sauce, along with whatever is to make the ‘bits’ in the curry…cooked chickpeas, potato, vegies etc (Before adding the sauce to your pc you might like to fry a few whole spices coriander,cumin, fennel, cardamon seeds, curry leaves etc( in oil first and leave them in there when you add the sauce.) Improve the final taste with the judicious addition of salt and coconut oil.hqdefault_001.jpg
  • Use the steam basket to cook vegies while your rice is cooking, or just cook them over a couple of centimetres of water.  Use this water to make gravy or in soup or something.
  • Make cauliflower mash…steam a cauliflower until it is nursing home texture, then blend with seasoning of you choice, great for potato dodgers.
  • Pasta (and gnocchi) cook much quicker in a pc.  Because we all know that vegetarian food = pasta, right kids?!

 

 

So be nice to your pressure cooker,

learn what it is capable of

and

hopefully, it will be very nice to you in return!

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Posted in Health

Legumes, Starch and Farts 101

  1. How to appreciate farts for what they represent to your body’s health.
  2. How to minimise farting when there is no dog around to blame.
  3. How to best enter the wonderful world of beans and legumes.
starchy-carbs
Starchy Carbs
Research suggests that starchy carbs, not a meat-heavy diet, advanced the human race.  They provided the fuel to grow and power our energy hungry brains.
Many of our starchy friends also contain fibre which is a type of carbohydrate that our upper digestive system can’t digest …fibre turns into really good food for (usually)good bacteria lower in our intestine.  These are the foods can really ratchet us up to 11.  I’m looking right at you, jerusalem fartichokes.
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Of course legumes also have this reputation too, and in some cases justifiably so, but there is one common  hidden veggie that may be giving legumes a worse reputation than they deserve…read on to find the possible culprit…!

1 Think of farts as good bacteria burping ‘thanks’ after a great meal.

15-18 pop offs a day is pretty average.  More or less will depend on what you have eaten and who you have partying in your gut. 

Purna Kashyap, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic: Eating foods that cause gas is the only way for the microbes in the gut to get nutrients. If we didn’t feed them carbohydrates, it would be harder for them to live in our gut.”

And we need to keep these colon-dwelling critters content.  When they gobble up food — and create gas — they also make molecules that boost the immune system, protect the lining of the intestine and prevent infections.

And the more fibre you feed these friendly inhabitants, the more types of species appear, studies have found. This bump in microbial diversity has been linked to a slimmer waistline.

Most gas made by the microbiome is odorless. It’s simply carbon dioxide, hydrogen or methane. But sometimes a little sulfur slips in there.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/04/28/306544406/got-gas-it-could-mean-you-ve-got-healthy-gut-microbes

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2. So you definitely want to eat farty foods regularly for health, but there may be times that social convention overrides their health benefits, so here are some tips

  • You may like avoid these foods for 24 hours before critical times
  • Gas producing oligosaccharides are apparently water soluble.  Soak dried pulses in a large amount of water and use the water on the garden.  Maybe change the soak water midway through. 
  • When eating, chew carefully to maximise what is digested higher up in the digestive system.  Saliva is an important part of digestion and the smaller pieces are also more thoroughly broken down.
  • Try taking  digestive enzyme supplements before, or along with starchy meals.
  • Fart in the face of social convention…it is just another means of controlling individuals via herd mentality anyway!

The amount of oligosaccharides in legumes varies, so certain kinds of beans may make you gassier than others. Lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, mung beans and adzuki beans are relatively low in oligosaccharides, while garbanzo, kidney and black beans contain average amounts. Soybeans, navy beans and lima beans are fairly high in oligosaccharides, and widely considered the most “disagreeable.” Avoid Boston baked beans and other sweetened beans if you’re prone to gas, as the added sugar in these dishes is another source of gas.

http://woman.thenest.com/body-adjust-eating-beans-13468.html

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  • Finally don‘t just blame the legumes! Most foods that include legumes also include ONIONS.  My partner always said that onions made him fart, but to my peril I never believed him.  I do now.  There is heaps of info on the interweb about this.  Leave them out of legume dishes and you might be pleasantly surprised.

 Whenever you add more fibre to your diet, your digestive system usually goes through an adjustment (that may include increased bum humming) before you find your body copes better with fibrous foods. Don’t give up, legumes are wonderful…cheap, tasty, healthy and easy. Really.

3 I get it, legumes are wonderful. How to prepare them?

Quickest: Red split lentils are the earth’s gift to the unprepared.  Just wash them and cook, no soaking required.  Dhal Tadka, bolognese and lentil soup are great ways to use red splitsters.

Quick: You can speed up the soaking and cooking process of other critters in three ways…

  • Soak in boiling water – this brings the soak time down from overnight to a couple of hours, especially useful in winter time.
  • Add bicarb soda to the water.  About  1 tsp at the time of cooking.
  • Use a pressure cooker – today is my sister’s 40th and my gift of one to her inspired this topic.  I bought her a Tefal Secure Neo 5 as on special it is a ‘reasonable’ price, gets great reviews and includes a steam basket.  Mine is an old banger from the op shop for $5, it does a great job, so go second hand if you can find one.  Red split lentils in a pressure cooker… now that’s fast food!

Less quick,  good if you don’t have a pressure cooker, also has other benefits:

  • Try and soak from the morning, a day, or even two before.  This way you get the added advantage of the pulse beginning to germinate or ‘activate’.  Green split peas are like little rocks without a good soaking.  Start with the water warm and cover with water to more than double the dry height of soakees.  In cold climates, leave in a warm place to soak. (Like on top of the fridge).

You will get the best results though with a pressure cooker, so here is my handy guide.

Use legumes in hommous, nachos, tacos, soups (miso, pho etc), salads, curries, stir-fries, process chickpeas into ‘mince’, make felafels from green (frozen/fresh) broadbeans  etc

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All I am saying, is give peas a chance.

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