WHOLEFOOD CUISINE NEWSLETTER
Sign up to receive a weekly peek inside our kitchen.
Eating Outside the Industrial Box
Over the years one of the things I have discovered is that it is much easier to make meals and recipes from fresh ingredients if those fresh ingredients are prepped in advance and ready to go into a pot or pan or on a plate.
For the past couple of months, I have been making a point for Larry and I to each green salad each day, as many days as it is possible, given our busy schedule. Even though we miss some days each week, overall, we have both seen an improvement in our health and energy and our blood sugar is falling even though we are not strictly on our Rice Diet Revival diet. As a result of this Larry has had to lower the amount of insulin he is taking because he wakes up with his blood sugar too low.
Earlier this week I had one of those stunning moments where you realize something of staggering importance that changes everything.
You can read the whole story at LIFELY: Successful Actions and the Standard Operations Procedure Manual. Here I just want to show you how this applies to eating and food.
I was just about to send out my newsletter with the post Maple Syrup and Sugar: The Sweetener of Spring when I received an email promoting an article about sugar alternatives that “won’t poison you.”
I had to click through, of course and find out what these “sugar alternatives” were.
They turned out to be
3. raw honey
These were presented in the article as “natural solutions.”
But are these sweeteners actually as they occur in nature? Are they whole foods?
my morning brown-rice-and-fruit and then I realized, “Of course! The sap in the maple trees must be rising!” And I was right on time. I just looked it up online and just about that time there was a flurry of news reports that the maple sap was running.
Though it won’t fully be spring until the Spring Equinox this weekend, we are in a period of time where winter is ending and spring is coming, thus the trees are exacting expressing the activity going on in Nature at this time. I love this.
While almost everyone has eaten the industrial imitation “pancake syrup” made from corn syrup, artificial maple flavor and preservatives, real maple syrup is quite a different thing.
Today the Spring Equinox, one of two points in the year where day and night are of equal length. So from today through the summer Summer Solstice, each day gets longer and longer and each night gets shorter and shorter. It is a time where all new life is bursting forth and there is a big surge of forward momentum toward growth all throughout life.
Two weeks from today is Easter, the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. It’s one of those rare holidays that is calculated by celestial events rather than the civil calendar. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the Full Moon that follows the Spring Equinox. If the Full Moon is on a Sunday, Easter is celebrated on the following Sunday.
Easter eggs are a charming custom that is much older than Easter. What more obvious symbol of new life than the egg?
I wrote this some years ago, but I thought of it as I was writing about Spring Equinox. Birds in the wild don’t lay eggs over the winter because it’s too cold for the chicks to survive when they hatch. So finding bird eggs is one of the first signs of spring. I don’t eat many eggs nowadays but in the past I would celebrate spring by eating things like strawberry and ricotta omelets and other egg dishes for a good week after the equinox.
I had been buying local, natural, free-range eggs at the natural food store down the street. They came in a plain white paper carton, with a simple label pasted on. “Hunt and Peck Farms,” read the label. “These ungraded FREE RANGE eggs are hand polished and not washed with detergent. No hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products are added to feed.”
These eggs were delicious, with big bright yellow yolks.
But what was really wonderful for me was that the eggs went into the carton just the way they came from the hen.
I subscribe to a number of newsletters about food for ideas but also to keep my eye on what’s going on in the food industry.
Just now when I saw an email come in with a subject line that said, “This Winter Citrus Salad Shines Like a Thousand Suns” I had to open it. And even though I don’t have time to make it because I’m packing up to be away for two weeks, I had to send it to you right away.
This is a recipe from Saveur magazine, which is one of my favorite magazines of all time. I have been devouring it from the first issue, but even if you don’t want to subscribe with a paid subscription, do sign up for their newsletter.
The whole objective of Saveur is to explore the authentic cuisines of the world and support their continuance by encouraging readers to cook these recipes. Originally all these foods were made from whole, local, and naturally organic (pre-pesticide) foods—though they also showcase recipes made with refined ingredients, such as breads and desserts—and authentic-type dishes creates by contemporary chefs. I have been inspired and educated by Saveur over the years. It is truly one of the foundations of my wholefood cuisine philosophy.
Last week I didn’t do much cooking because Larry and I were moving to our new home! You can read all about the move at LIFELY: Our New Home. Basically we moved out of our bedroom where we had been living in Larry’s Mom’s house into our tiny-house-under-construction and a storage room, about 100 feet away. So no moving truck, but a lot of walking and carrying.
Larry and I moved everything ourselves so it actually took five days. It took a lot of time and walking back and forth between the main house and the storage room in another building.
Fortunately, my office and kitchen were not being moved so we could still eat. But I just didn’t have the time or energy or attention to prepare all three meals as I usually do.
But we did do pretty well with our wholefood eating.
I was all ready to write the second part of this post when I got an email about something else regarding organic food that I had to share with you.
When Organic Foods Are Tainted With Toxic Chemicals
Last week The New York Times published the article [Annie’s Pledges to Purge a Class of Chemicals From Its Mac and Cheese]=https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/business/annies-mac-cheese-plastic-phthalates.html with the lead “The move comes nearly four years after a study showed that chemicals believed to cause health problems in children and reproductive issues in adults were found in mass-market macaroni and cheese packets.”
This begs the question: Why is it taking Annie’s four years to remove chemicals that cause health problems in children from their kid-oriented products?
And why were these chemicals in these organic products to begin with?
On Saturday morning Larry and I went to one of my local farmer’s markets and one farmer had a box of kumquats.
“Larry!” i shrieked. “Come buy these kumquats!” He was holding the two-for-one farmer’s market coupons he receives because he is disabled. Not only does he get money on an account but if we present it at the farmer’s market, we get coupons worth $2 for every $1 he takes from this account.
They reminded me of when I fell in love with kumquats when we live in Florida. I came to love kumquats so much that one year I even went to our local Kumquat Festival in nearby Dade City, which is known as “The Kumquat Capital of the World.” Lucky me!
You may have never even heard of a kumquat if you don’t live in Florida or California. I’m not sure how far and wide they are shipped.
This blog is about eating “whole food” that is really whole and about creating a style of wholefood cuisine that comes from the inherent flavors and qualities of the foods themselves, rather than trying to make familiar industrial-style foods from whole ingredients.
To eat in this manner is not only enjoyable, it also benefits health and the environment.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, our industrial food supply is crumbling fast. And we still need to eat. I’ll show you how.