Quick Dinner: Korean Turkey

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image courtesy of Lizzy Writes

Off the back of the success of the chorizo taco recipe, I’m on a huge ground meat kick.  It’s fast and easy and tasty and gives me the protein I need.  I just found a recipe that’s so good, I want to pass it along with my adjustments.

The original recipe is from Lizzy Writes and is for beef.  I had turkey on hand and it was great.  I’m sure you’d get great results with chicken or pork, too.

About the other swaps: Lizzy calls for sugar but my body doesn’t respond well to that so I used carob molasses.  It was what I had on hand and I wanted to add nutrients.  When I added it to the mix I thought I had made a mistake.  But once I tasted it I knew I was wrong.  I would go ahead and use any kind of molasses except maybe pomegranate (although that might be good in another kind of dish!).

1 pound pastured ground turkey
1/4 molasses (I used carob)
1/4 cup soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil + 1 tbsp ghee
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 – 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (to desired spiciness)
salt and pepper
1 bunch green onions, diced
Warm the ghee and toasted sesame oil in pan on medium.  Add the turkey and garlic and saute for a few minutes until browned.  Add the ginger, molasses, soy sauce or Braggs, crushed red pepper and salt and pepper and simmer together until reduced.

To serve, top with chopped scallion.  I also added a pat of grass-fed butter to the meat for some extra fat.  If you’re doing the grain-free thing, serve with some fermented ginger carrots from Nourishing Traditions.  If not, put some rice on that plate!

It was a great recipe that took maybe 15 minutes to make.  I’m definitely looking forward to checking more of Lizzy’s stuff out.

Pantry Clean-Out

Hi All.  I wanted to share with you one of my pinboards on Pinterest.  I’m in the second week of a pantry clean-out and put together a collection of recipes to that end.  You’ll find:

Green Rice Recipe from 101Cookbooks that I’ve been enjoying in a big way

Coconut flour crepes

Fish couscous

And lots of other things!

What recipes do you use when you want to clear out your pantry?  I’m hoping you can help me add to my collection :)

Jaggery Tea Cookies from Love Food Eat

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Look at these pretty tea cookies from Love Food Eat!

It’s a super simple recipe and what I love about it is that it uses jaggery!  Read all about jaggery’s health benefits here.  I’ve been fantasizing about introducing a proper tea time into my life and I think this is a perfect nudge in that direction.  I could see adding some cardamom and cashews to these for an Indian tea time.  Or ras el hanout and pistachios for Middle Eastern take.  Our doing them provencale with some lemon zest and lavender.  So many ideas!  What would you do?

Step 1: What to Read

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I’m not going to tell you what to read, that defies the object of this whole series.  This is about expanding your mind, not mine.  It doesn’t matter much (although perhaps some) what the “good” books are.  What matters is what your’e interested in, where you are, and where you want to go.  I will, however, suggest starting a resolution to read by picking up these two books:

An Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

The Well Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

An Uncommon Reader is a great place to start.  Why? Because it’ll inspire you to read and it provides an example of the way it should be done.  It’s a short story about Queen Elizabeth who picks up a book one day, catapulting her into a reading habit.  That first book piqued her interest about another book, which piqued her interest about yet another.  This is how it should be!  It should be an organic process that moves with the growth of your mind.  I think you’ll feel inspired by this book.

The Well Educated Mind is a book, like this post, on how to read and why.  There is more detail here in terms of book choices that I’d vouch for (it’s not wrong, it’s just not my philosophy) but what I love is the structure for reading that it provides.  Bauer goes over the basics of classical education, in particular the three stages of reading.  These stages will have you really learning about books, more importantly, about the ideas they provide.  They will have you asking questions and answering them.  This is the “how.”  I’ll go over this more soon.

So, those are the two books to start with.  After that it’s up to you.  What are you interested in?  Let’s say it’s food (this is, after all, a food blog!).  Ok, great, what about food?  History? Politics?  Ok, great.  Let’s say it’s food politics – what about it?  Maybe you’re interested in meat and whether it’s ok to eat it.  Great! Or, not.  If you’re just a “food politics” that’s great too.  It can be as broad or specific as you want.  The next thing is to put together a little starter-list on the subject.  Here’s how:

1) Google “food politics books.”  See what comes up.

2) Go to Amazon and search the same way.  Or start with a book you do know, like Fast Food Nation.  Start a wish list.  Read comments on books for more suggestions.  Read people’s lists.

3) Ask a friend for some recs.

4) Go to a bookstore and browse.

When you have 3-4 books on your list that you’re interested in, you’re ready.  You don’t want more that that because right now you’re just creating a loose structure.  You may not even read all these books because you might not be at the same place after book 1 as you are now.  You may not be interested in food politics anymore, or you may find that a book referenced in book 1 is really interesting to you.  That’s great!  Go with it.  The point is to learn: about the world and yourself.

So this is the first step for quality reading.  Questions? Lemme know.

Step 2 is coming soon!

How to Read and Why

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I haven’t been posting because the last few months have seen several digestive issues and I’ve been experimenting with my diet in a big way, so now is just not the time for me to post about food.  However, I do have something to say about books and here is as good a place as any to put my vision out into the world.  So, here is what I’m thinking:

Stop reading garbage.  Stop.

You are better than Dan Brown and all the other Thomas Kinkades of literature.  And if you spend your time reading the Bible, that’s fine.  But what I’d like to say is that if people read literature and quality nonfiction with as much vigor as they read the Bible, the world would be in a much better place.

There’s so much false virtue out there about reading. The general sentiment is that reading of any kind is valuable.  Even more than that, reading of any kind makes you a smart, thoughtful person.  That’s just not true.  Just as TV and film is full of programs of horrifying quality, publishing is full of garbage.  And reading that garbage is like drinking Coke – it will make your mind flabby.

It’s true that occassionally a decent book makes it on to the bestseller list (although rarely), but that still poses another problem: everyone is reading the same thing.  And so everyone is subjecting themselves to the same mind-set, increasing the likelihood that a hivemind is on the horizon.  This happens frequently in intellectual and pseudo-intellectual scenes.  Not good either.

So what, you ask, do I think is good?  I see a possibility for really wonderful things: Read vigorously about things that interest you, form opinions on those things, and keep going.  Over the next few posts I’m going to provide a structure for this concept.

There is also the motive of pure pleasure when it comes to reading.  Sometimes learning and pleasure converge, and sometimes not.  If you want to read a Dan Brown book because it adds a little spark to your morning commute than go for it.  But read that Dan Brown book after 2 or 3 books that really stretch your brain.  Come back to Dan Brown when you have a slightly different perspective about life.  There are so many ideas out there, and so little time.  So many opportunities, and barely enough time to scratch the surface.  Use your life, your mind and your will for all the exciting, positive and productive stuff out there.

More soon.

A Delicious Dinner In Only 3 Steps!

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From losttaco.com

I am feeling very proud of myself today, and I’ll tell you why:  I whipped up  a super quick dinner last night and so got several hours of painting done.  My goal to spend less time in the kitchen and more time in front of the easel has so far been a success!

Nearby my apartment is a place somewhat famous in Brooklyn for tacos.  It’s called Los Hermanos.  There are a lot of things I like about this place.  They cook EVERYTHING from scratch while you’re waiting.  Tortillas, meat, everything.  It’s also inexpensive.  My dinner there will cost $4 (NYers in particular will understand how incredible that is).  Oh, and it’s really good!  My favorite thing to order is the chorizo quesadilla.  It’s spicy, but not too hot and dripping with salty, oily goodness.

My only hangup about Los Hermanos is that I’m not sure where the meat comes from.  And at $4 for a huge quesadilla I’m guessing it’s not pastured pork.  So, I made my own version at home.

First, I picked up a pack of tortillas at my local supermarket.  I’m lucky enough to live in a Mexican/Dominican neighborhood.  The supermarkets here carry amazing food at even better prices (more on that in an upcoming post).  The tortillas are traditionally prepared, meaning they are soaked in lime water for increased digestibility and nutrient assimilation.  Score!  They are also a whopping $1.50 for a whole, huge pack.  Score again!

I’ve talked before about my deliveries from Spring Lake Farm.  Well, let me say again that these people know how to pasture some pork.  Their ground pork makes everything taste great!  I just defrosted 1 pound of it in the morning, and when I got home I was ready to cook immediately.

Here’s what I did:

Chorizo Tacos

Inspired by Los Hermanos, Rachel Ray and Emeril Lagasse

1 pound pastured pork

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1.5 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

rounded 1/4 tsp ground cumin

rounded 1/4 tsp ground coriander

3/4 tsp salt

2 pinches red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp cocoa powder

1/8 tsp cinnamon

grated cheese of your choice (raw cheddar or jack)

cultured sour cream

Nourishing Tradition’s corn relish

Corn tortillas

1 – Heat the olive oil in a pan and toss your onion in to saute.

2 – Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the pork, spices and salt.

3 – When the onion is soft, toss the meat in the pan.  Break it up with a wooden spoon.  Stir every few minutes.  It’s done when the meat is no longer pink, maybe 10 minutes.

Set up a little station with the meat, tortillas, corn relish, cheese, sour cream, etc, and get to work!

Hope you enjoy!

On Pennywise Platter Thursday and Real Food Wenesday

Coconut Oil Recipe: Homemade Chocolate Truffles

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I want to share a recipe I found over the weekend at Ramblings of a Happy Homemaker.  I was just perusin’ blogs when I found this gem.  I had all the ingredients on hand (isn’t that satisfying? I love when that happens!) so I just whipped them up right there and then.

Lemme tell you – they are sooo good.  And there are no gross ingredients in them.  Only real, whole foods.

And if, like me, you have a thyroid situation happening, just one of these is a pretty hefty dose of coconut oil.  So, you can eat a delicious chocolate and pat yourself on the back!

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