WHOLEFOOD CUISINE NEWSLETTER
Sign up to receive a weekly peek inside our kitchen.
Eating Outside the Industrial Box
When we are evaluating food products, the first thing we need to consider is that we only see one aspect of the whole food—we see it when it’s sitting on a plate or in a bowl, all beautifully prepare to delight our senses. But this is just one facet of the whole lifecycle of the food, from the seed that takes form to the decomposition back into the Earth.
I’ve written about lifecycle at length at LIFELY: The Lifecycle of a Product so there is no need to repeat that here. Please go read it there. It even contains a comparison of the lifecycle of an industrial salad kit versus a fresh homemade salad. You’ll really see the difference once you know about product lifecycle.
You probably have heard of, if not eaten, Pasta Primavera, primavera being borrowed from the Italian alla primavera which means “in the style of springtime.” Going back even further, prima is italian for prime or first, and vera comes from the Latin verus, which means “of spring.
Pasta Primavera is generally pasta, of course, with a mixture of vegetables in a light sauce, or simply sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Looking at recipes I see that today’s recipes call for vegetables that are not particularly “the first of spring,” so…
Here is my take on a primavera made with chickpeas (a nod to the italian) and actual vegetables of spring.
Over the weekend, one of Larry’s sisters came over to bring Larry a gift.
She said, “I would have brough chocolate cake, but I thought you would prefer fruit!” And she handed him a tray of an assortment of fruits, cut into bite-sized pieces.
Well, in fact, as much as we love chocolate cake, we really appreciated that she brought us fruit that would support our dietary choices instead of hinder our goals.
This reminded me of Edible Arrangements, which I have known about for years but never pursued. I had an idea that I might want an edible arrangement for my birthday, so I looked them up. It’s too commercial for me. Not organic. And instead of being just fruit there are all types of goodies mixed it.
Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began over 100 years ago as a way for fishermen to keep a record of the fish they caught. They would apply sumi ink to one side of a freshly caught fish, then cover the fish with rice paper and rub to create an exact image of the fish. The ink was non-toxic and allowed for the fish to be processed for eating, while preserving records of fish species and sizes.
These utilitarian prints were incredibly life like. When done properly they retained even subtle patterns and textures of the fish. The relatively simple black ink prints later developed into an art form that added rich colors and environmental details.
– SMITHSONIAN: Education Uses of Gyotaku or Fish Printing
Last week while Larry and i were off on a trip celebrating his birthday, I came across a beautiful book on fish printing in a state park bookstore.
Last week when Larry and I were celebrating his birthday, we spent a lot of time outdoors in wild habitats on the beach and nearby habitats. I loved that we had enough knowledge to identify edibles as we walked.
One memorable trail was very narrow, flanked on both side by tickets of wild raspberry in bloom. How wonderful it will be to hike that trail in June and forage the raspberries!
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?
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.