Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tea for the Holidays? Are you a tea snob?

Ever observe a restaurant patron bearing their esoteric tea bags requesting a pot of hot water, “…and it better be hot, Bub!” 

Tea’s my cup of Joe, diet cola, and red wine; my ‘longevi-tea.’  I  am thankful for my tenderly brewed tea leaf friends, for if I am too cold, tea warms me; if I’m too heated, it cools me down; if I’m depressed, it cheers me, and when excited, it mellows my harsh. Charles Dickens wrote, “My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head, I should better understand your affairs.”  Tea touches our souls-- a stand-up celebration of simplicity.  

As a youthful food server, tea drinkers were pain in the tea bag since maintaining a civilized cup-o-tea required more responsiveness than decanting a cup of Java. Tea bags need refreshing, the pot of water kept hot and frequently refilled; “Waiter, where’s the lemon? Would you please warm the tea cup first with hot water?”  Servers instantly roll their eyes at the ‘needy nerdy tea snob'.  Tea gets a bad rap, despite its uber health mojo.

Japanese studies urge eight to ten cups of green tea per day to positively affect cholesterol levels and generally reduce risk for cardiovascular disease whether you smoke, drink, or are weighty.  The connection; green and some black tea contain the same nutrients and antioxidants in red wine and cocoa that undo the effects of a fatty diet and smoking.
Purdue’s School of Consumer and Family Sciences say drinking more than four cups of green tea a day provide enough active compounds to speed-bump cancer cell growth; prevention in a teacup.
Our family dentist noticed our cavities frequency declined, so when I read  black or green tea, hot or cold, aid digestion, are antibacterial, and contain anti-aging properties, we had our explanation. Once a day, I slush the green tea around my mouth, as I would a mouthwash, becoming a bacterial mass-murderer. The Dental Clinics of North America explain the ideal anti-plaque agents in tea can eliminate disease-causing bacteria, reduce plaque and gingivitis. Natural Health Magazine reports Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) contains Catechins which destroy bacterial bugs, yes bugs that cause bad breath. Those bugs turn sugar into a sticky colony of living bacteria, sugars, proteins, and cavity-causing acid when it comes in contact with sugary or starchy foods.
Malty, smoky, full bodied aromatic Green tea comes from the leaves of the tea tree, Camellia Sinensis.  For centuries, woodsy green tea has been produced from leaves laborers handled gently and heated soon after harvesting, as opposed to black tea leaves which are vigorously rolled to make them release a particular enzyme, then left to sit for a few hours, during which time the enzymes interact with oxygen causing the leaves to develop a heartier flavor and a darker hue. Please shun tea from China.

Holidays are perfect for sipping green tea to undo the annual sugar-glazed Holiday dietary carnage. Next time you attend a holiday buffet, ceremoniously brew your favorite then savor civilization’s second most popular beverage second place to water. Join me this holiday season, and become a tea snob.  Invite your ‘nerdy’ friends over to share a freshly brewed pot of tea graced with raw, local honey. As you’ve deduced, a wee bit of tea is good for thee, accompanied by a little sympathy. Preparing tea is the ceremony of pouring all one's attention into the predefined, patient method. The process isn’t about drinking tea as much as it’s aesthetics of preparing a bowl of tea from the love from one's heart. 

Recipe for Blissful Holidays

1 cup unconditional love
½ cup joy
2 dollops of compassion and acceptance
2 tbs. white light
2 tsp. belly laughter
2 tears of joy
30 minutes of peaceful meditation
  • Remove ego and mix gently.
  • Serve abundantly to all you greet

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pea-nuty Asian Noodles with Coconut Milk

Mouthfuls of explosive flavor wait in the highly nutritious Asian pasta dish that brims with protein and colorful fresh vegetables. Another veggie-licious way to enjoy increasing your consumption of health-restoring vegetable. You’re doing great!

Serves 4

12 oz Buckwheat Udon Noodles, or Barillo Plus spaghetti (or however much you think you need!
1/2 green/red/yellow pepper, julienned
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cabbage (Napa or red. Depends on your preference)
1/2 onion, julienned
1/2 c organic peanut butter (Meijer carries a nice one)
1/4 c soy sauce
2 tbs. sesame oil
2tbs. ground flax or Chia seed for FIBER
2 tbs. cider vinegar
2 tbs. Raw coconut oil
¼ cup coconut milk (Shake the cans contents vigorously before opening)
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. pepper flakes
2 tbs. sesame seeds (toasted if you have time)
1 scallion, chopped
2 tbs. chopped peanuts

1. Set a large pot of water on to boil Add salt followed by the spaghetti; cook al dente according to package instructions.
2. Slice (julienne) all the vegetables. (Note: you can really put in any veg you like. It all works!)
3. Whisk together the peanut butter, soy, sesame oil, and vinegar. Taste it! You might want to add more of one ingredient depending on your personal preference.
4.  Heat the oil in a medium pan to medium heat. Add vegetables, then salt and hot pepper.
5. Drain the pasta, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid. Add the vegetables and sauce to the pasta. Combine all the ingredients and add some of the reserved water if the sauce is too thick.
7. Plate the dish and sprinkle with the chopped dry roasted peanuts and scallion.

Oatmeal with Apple Cider, Walnuts, Flax, and Berries

2 Portions
The best darned Oatmeal you’ll ever eat!!!
Our friends at the FDA say Oatmeal may reduce cholesterol in the human body. By using fresh apple cider and not water, the flavor of the oatmeal is ethereal, the blueberries are powerful antioxidants and the cranberries help prevent bladder infections.  Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) that can prevent the adhesion of certain bacteria, including E. coli, associated with urinary tract infections to the urinary tract wall.  The anti-adhesion properties of cranberry may also inhibit the bacteria associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers.

Oatmeal is good for reducing cholesterol, but not the Quaker species.  Quaker is too processed just like white rice.  This dish with the berries and nuts supplies you with Omega 3 Essential fatty acids and powerful antioxidant protection.  They slow down the aging process, reduce cavities, ulcers and the granddaddy of them all...cancer.

Ingredients:Steel cut oats—follow the package instructions (No Uncle Ben’s Please!)
Fresh apple cider not sugary apple juice instead of water or milk
1/2 cup  cranberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 tsp. cinnamon
REAL maple syrup to sweeten
1 tsp. of wheat germ or ground flax seeds for fiber   
Pinch of sea salt
1 wood spoon
   In a sauté pan, place the fresh cranberries and frozen or fresh blueberries in the bottom of the pan.
• Next add about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, cinnamon and simmer over LOW heat till you hear the first POP! of a cranberry.
• Add the oats and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the oats  absorb the delicious apple flavor and are cooked.  Gravity happens and the porridge can scorch easily.
• Add a pinch of salt.
• When desired consistency is achieved, pull it off the fire and serve topped with walnut pieces.  Irresistible flavor and a bonanza of nutrition.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Harvesting Garden and Soul

With summer fading, the solstice passed, our warm earth begins to cool. Our days get shortened while shiny plump crows caw over painted harvests and compost-crusted gardeners and family farmers dance, sing, and reap in joyful celebration.The third sphere from the sun freely yields what grows on its bountiful surface. The ultimate recompense of human bumblebees seeding, growing and reaping food, herbs, and flowers from Earth’s gardens is to express; to create then harvest beauty and nourishment with inspiration drawn from the altruistic well of Nature’s soul.

The plant world lives not in isolation but in sacrosanct interdependence's with our shared earthly milieu. Just as skin, bone, and brain form the whole of human, carbon-based organisms, edible plants are upstanding, indispensable human compatriots; equal members connected by our commononenessThere’s no form of food consumption more quixotic, satisfying and soul-stirring than eating what’s recently harvested from a small garden plot or neighboring family farm. Not much fossil fuel gets burned when plucking and reaping zucchini or sweet cherry tomatoes few steps or blocks from the kitchen counter top. Green families feeding their clan from a sequestered vegetable plot squeeze pennies by doing so.

Diligent gardeners acquire gigantic freezers together with an eagerness to resuscitate the ancient mysteries of canning.Growing and raising food and supporting local farmers is an excellent way to obtain the freshest, most nutritious energy-packed produce, often at reasonable prices. Wisdom decrees learning to store, temperature control, and preserve perishable plant foods. The American family throws away $500 of food annually due to poor product management. Plant foods need a little help from their green friends.Like garlands of pearls, flower buds blossom, expressing joy by putting forth their delicate,aromatic petals.

When a flower is respectfully picked for aesthetic delight, the Earth has a sense of well-being, for the Earth cheerfully shares its prosperity. For example, when the corn is reaped in the autumn or when animals graze on the plant growth, fostering Earth has a sensation of well-being such as that felt by the cow when its calf suckles milk. A home filled with nature’s abundance has extraordinary energy; a delicious vibration of love and respect. Food is sacred;our supper tables are an altar of gratitude to the Great Spirit.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Late Summer Watermelon and Feta Salad

Watermelon is not only delicious, but nutritious too. For example, Watermelon has lycopene, which can help reduce the risk of several cancers. The juicy orb also contains tons of potassium,vitamin A, vitamin c, protein, folate, selenium and zinc.

The combination of watermelon and feta cheese is a Greek favorite in summer. It's eaten as a snack or a light meal. This variation includes paper-thin slices of red onion, and a touch of balsamic vinegar to turn this fabulous taste combination into a late summer salad.
3/4 - 1 cup of cold watermelon, cubed
1/4 cup of feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
1/4 medium red onion, cut in paper-thin slices
1/4 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette
·        Place the watermelon in a bowl, top with most of the onions, then the feta cheese. Place remaining onions on top. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, and serve.
·        Do not mix or it will break up and turn ugly.
·        This recipe can be made in individual servings or multiplied and served in a large salad bowl.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chilled Corn Bisque with Curry Oil

On a hot day you don’t want to turn on the stove top.  Instead, prepare this refreshing chilled corn soup. Keep yourself and the kitchen cool as a lake breeze with this simple-to-prepare, refreshing, cold soup.

Early settlers may have perished if the Native Americans hadn't turned them on to corn.  Settlers learned to grow it by planting kernels in small holes fertilized with small fish. Wise Native Americans celebrated corn’s health mojo.
A one cup serving of sweet yellow corn contains:

·        356 IU vitamin A

·        A significant source of dietary fiber

·        108 mcg of beta-carotene

·         Lutein and zeaxanthin, powerful antioxidants that prevent eye diseases.

·        Cooked corn contains a fraction of these vitamins.

Did you know?

·        The average ear of corn has 800 kernels,

·         Arranged in 16 rows

·        With one piece of silk for each kernel.

·        One bushel contains about 27,000 kernels.

·        Each tassel releases 5 million grains of pollen.  

Raw Corn Bisque with Curry Oil 


·        3 Cups Sweet Corn kernels

·        1 Cup almond milk

·        Sea salt or kosher Salt  


·        ½ Cup Sweet Corn Kernels

·        Julienne zucchini

·        Curry Infused Olive Oil * /

·         *Warm, but not boil ¾ Cups Olive Oil in saucepan and add 3 tbs. of Curry or to Taste. Whisk well.

·        Shut of heat.

·        Let set overnight then strain through cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer. 

To Make Corn Soup:

 In a high speed blender or food processor combine the corn and water and puree until smooth.

 Pass through a fine mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you wish, do not strain and leave in the fibrous pulp. It’s not going to kill you.

Portion then garnish with julienne zucchini, kernels of corn, and then drizzle with curry infused olive oil. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sweet, Beautiful Corn

Dad loved Sunday family drives in the country even though his rambunctious three sons whined and fidgeted in the back seat of our ’55 Pontiac. As we cruised, between cow-counting, we were mesmerized by unending fields of corn. Like windshield wipers in a downpour, in unison, our heads whipped back and forth as our young eyes, at 50 MPH, struggled to fix on each linear row.

Corn is native to the Americas; grown by Native Americans thousands of years before Columbus arrived to the New World. Current World Archeology reports new evidence the earliest domestication of corn was in Mexico 8,700 years ago. Domesticated maize reached Panama by 5,600 BC and northern South America by 4,000 BC. Over millennia, Native Americans transformed maize through special cultivation methods. Maize, developed from a wild grass (Teosinte), originally grew in southern Mexico 7,000 years ago. The ancestral kernels of Teosinte looked different from modern corn. The kernels were small and not fused together.
Early settlers may have perished if the Red Skins hadn't turned them on to corn.  Settlers learned to grow it by planting kernels in small holes fertilized with small fish. Wise Native Americans celebrated corn’s health mojo.  A one cup serving of sweet yellow corn contains 356 IU vitamin A and 108 mcg of beta-carotene along with lutein and zeaxanthin, powerful antioxidants to help combat harmful free radical activity and prevent various degenerative diseases.
The average ear of corn has 800 kernels, arranged in 16 rows with one piece of silk for each kernel. One bushel contains about 27,000 kernels. Each tassel on a corn plant releases as many as 5 million grains of pollen. In the 1930s, before machinery was available, a family farmer could harvest 100 bushels of corn by hand in a nine-hour day.

Corn’s an ingredient in more than 3,000 grocery products.  Pick up a can of cat or dog (carnivores) food and read the first ingredient; corn, used as filler to increase corporate profits. Poor critters. The real bummer; almost all grocery corn today is GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) which has not been adequately analyzed by the USDA for future environmental and socio-health and economic impacts of grafting God’s sacred design.
We are the unwitting experiment. The problem of GMO crops birthed an angry tsunami following the U.S. Supreme Court's ill-fated decision in 1980 to allow corporations to patent life.  God's word cautions against adulterating seed, or defiling produce.  Deuteronomy 22:9-11 asserts fields should not be sown with diverse seeds. Man in infantile false hubris shouldn’t bully the hand of our perfect Creator.
Raw and fresh, popped, grilled, or boiled, just eat it. Sorry, Corn Dogs don’t count. But first educate yourself on real foods, and then seek community sources and Farmer’s Markets close to home with a grower who has a faithful moral obedience towards our magnanimous Creator’s directives. Just Say ‘NO’ to unholy GMO’s.  About 80% of grocery produce is GMO. When a German court ordered Monsanto to make public a controversial rat study in 2005, the data upheld claims by prominent scientists who said animals fed GMO corn developed extensive negative health effects in the blood, kidneys and liver and humans eating the corn might be at risk.
The Universe is the author of life and it’s all His—it’s His corn and His wine, His wool and His flax. Though we’re permitted to use them, the ownership remains His and should be used for His service, not Big Ag.
Karma is impending for GMO Jerkonians for forsaking and not obeying His word. Sermon over, so someone please offer up an Amen and pass the garlic- basil butter.