Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Farro Risotto

I had heard of a grain called Farro (also called emmer), I believe it's an ancient grain, but had never eaten it until we were in Seattle a month ago and I had delicious farro risotto.

I am hooked.

I finally picked some up at the local Planet Organic. I soaked it overnight in water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (breaks down the phytic acid, which blocks mineral absorption and protects the seed from predators). Yesterday I made a new batch of chicken stock. I got smart this time and stored it in 1L, 250mL and 125mL jars instead of the nearly-two-litre buckets I have. Much more usable for the freezer!!

Anyways, faro is lovely. It is not gluten free, but like spelt it is much lower in gluten content than regular wheat. It has quite a dense texture, very nutty. The other benefit of soaking it, is that it makes the grains really soft after you cook them. 

It's small, like rice (farro on the left, brown jasmine rice on the right). But tastes almost sweet and quite nutty.

I used a standard risotto recipe (1 cup of rice, 1 litre of stock, 1 onion, salt and thyme). I added mushrooms, because I love the creamy mushroom taste. I also added bok-choi from the farmers market.

I used full grown bok choi, next time I'll use baby bok choi, since it's a more neutral flavour. But super tasty!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fish Tacos!

For dinner last night, J requested fish tacos. Since we visit Mexico (specifically Puerto Vallarta, since J's dad lives there half the year) every year, we are taco junkies. When we're in Mexico, we are purists, but at home its a mish-mash of whatever we think is good on that particular day.

Last night, they were exceptional.

The fish we used is rough-eye, which I then covered in a paste made of mexican chilli powder, garlic powder, salt and olive oil, and baked at 350 until it was cooked.  The marinade is optional, you could just cover it with salt, pepper and a little bit of oil.

Rough-eye is a white fleshed fish, we were trying it out because of the price point (it's cheap!), but you could use any fish at all (however, I'm not a fan of salmon tacos).  The marinade will go on any white fish.  Try to buy local and by people whose livelihoods you are actively supporting, farmer's markets are *GREAT* for this (which is where our fish almost exclusively comes from!).

The rest of the ingredients are as follows:
-Sauerkraut (either homemade or store bought, the stuff we used comes from the farmer's market, since the stuff on the counter is not ready yet.  I should mention this is REAL fermented sauerkraut, not the fast version where you cover cabbage in vinegar!)
-"guacamole", but it's not really (just avocado, lime juice, salt, and garlic and cumin powders)
-diced bell pepper
-carrot sticks (soaked in apple cider vinegar and water, with a few onion pieces).
-fresh cilantro

So delicious.  The corn tortillas come from the 7 Seas trading co on Granville Island (right across from the Granville Island Tea company).  It's also an insanely quick meal, since you can pre-marinate your fish and the carrot sicks, so all you have to do for dinner is heat the tortillas (wrapping a clean dishtowel in a steamer is my preferred way, and I have tried them *all*) and make the guac, which takes about 2 minutes.  The fish cooked *really* fast.

We also split a Delicata squash, which I sprinkled on some sea salt and tossed it in the oven with the fish, took about 20 minutes to cook since it's such a thin skinned squash.  But YUM, it's a tasty tasty squash.  Sadly I forgot to take it's picture.

This meal will not travel well (unless you're happy to put in the work of heating your tortillas and assembling all your ingredients).  It also tends to be messy.  I shy away from messy foods at work because I eat on my lap and tend to get food all over me.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kombucha success!

I'm still on my cleanse, now up to day 5 of week 2.  My eczema is slowly slowly healing.  The kombucha will help, since it's re-populating my gut with good bacteria!  And I finally succeeded!  My first batch when mouldy, but I very fortunately was given another scoby by a lovely friend (hurray social media!).

The recipe I used is here.  I flavoured mine with pomegranate juice, and I've got 500cc sitting on the counter in a jar testing the carbonation.  It tastes absolutely fine on it's own, so I put the rest in the fridge in case I botch the carbonation portion of the program.

Here's the finished kombucha, SCOBY is already removed (it's in a jar back in the fridge, since it finished yesterday and I didn't have time to make a new batch again as I was in the middle of night shifts). 

I seeded 3 pomegranates, a test run last week gave me 1 cup of juice per pomegranate. Yum. 


The kombucha on the left is mixed with pomegranate juice. It all looks so pretty in its glass jars!! :)