Sea salt

Kale/Spinach Frittata

 Frittata

Simple yet satisfying, frittata or omelets make the perfect breakfast where you can pack it full of goodness. The recipe below is one I most commonly use, but I change it up a bit depending on which vegetables are available.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. Coconut oil or grass-fed butter- use more if needed
  • 1 small onion, dices
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 Crimini mushrooms, diced
  • 2 Cups cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 Cups kale, chopped OR 3 Cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp. unrefined salt, or to taste
  • 5 free range eggs +1/2 tsp. sea salt, whisked in a bowl

Optional; grated raw cheddar cheese and/or avocado, cayenne

Instructions:

  1. Melt coconut oil or butter on medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until slightly golden.
  2. Add bell pepper and mushrooms, sate for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower and stir for about 1 minute to cover in oil.
  4. Add kale and salt. (if using spinach, don’t add until cauliflower is tender; then add the spinach for 2 minutes covered.)
  5. Cover and reduce heat to low. Stir every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick. When kale and cauliflower are tender, it’s done.

There are a two methods to making frittata;

  1. Stove top – When vegetables are finished, pour whisked eggs and salt over vegetables and cover with a lid on low heat for about 5-10 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked.
  2. Oven; pan, dish, muffin tin (great for on the go or lunches, especially kids lunches). When vegetables are finished, transfer to a buttered/oiled baking dish of choice, then pour whisked eggs and salt mix over the vegetables. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked and turning golden.

If you are using cheese, add it in the last few minutes by sprinkling over the top, then cover to let melt.

If using avocado, serve on the side or cream it and spoon on as you would sour cream.

Sprinkle powdered cayenne pepper for a spicy version.

NOTE:

The good thing about this is that you can cook the vegetables ahead of time; once a week if needed. Then reheat just before adding the eggs. If you choose to do it this way, make sure you melt a little coconut oil in the pan before re-heating vegetables, then adding eggs.

There are many variations for frittata; feta and spinach, tomato and mushroom, plain cheese, and more.

Sauerkraut Recipe

Sauerkraut

sauerkraut

This recipe was taken from my book A Closer Look At Nutrition & Wellness – Handbook of Digestive Health for Well-being

Equipment Needed:

Sterilized glass bowl (a crock pot will do) and a plate that fits inside of it to weigh down the cabbage, and a weight such as a gallon water jug to sit on the plate that will press it down.

Ingredients:

1 medium head of cabbage (purple, green, or ½ head of each), thinly sliced or shredded (a food processor works fine)

2 Tbs. unrefined sea salt (sea salt, Celtic salt, Real salt, or Himalayan salt)

Instructions:

  1. Layer and salt the cabbage slices in the glass bowl.
  2. Press the cabbage down with your fingers as much as possible in order to get the culturing process started. You will see liquid being drawn out of the leaves. Do this for a couple minutes. Then arrange the whole leaves of cabbage over the top and make sure it is totally covered.
  3. Next put the plate and some kind of weight on top of the cabbage in order to draw the water out and allow the fermenting process to happen.

Over the first 24 hours, check to make sure that the water level rises to just above the cabbage. If after 24 hours there isn’t enough water to completely cover the cabbage, mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt with 1 cup of water and use this brine to fill in the water line to just above the level of the cabbage.

Sauerkraut will take anywhere from 3 days to a week (or more) depending on the temperature of your kitchen for the ferment to reach the desired tangy flavor. Check it once daily to see how it’s doing. When it reaches the desired flavor at least after 3 days, you can let it ferment further by checking once a day, or finish the process.

Remove the grayish mold that forms over the very top (this is normal but try to remove most of it before eating). Then put your finished product in a glass jar in the refrigerator where it will keep for months. Enjoy as a side dish, on sandwiches, in salads, or on its own as a snack.

Notes:

Next time, you can use a little of your homemade sauerkraut, stirred in with the fresh cabbage in Step 1 after sprinkling with the salt. This will act as a starter for the fermentation process to get things moving along more quickly.

Eggplant, Tomaoto and Garbanzo Summer Stew – Lebanese Moussaka

mskaka

This is a delicious Middle Eastern vegetarian dish that should be eaten at room temperature and the flavor gets better over time. This desh can be served as a side dish or the main meal (makes a great on the go food).

Recipe:

2 long Japanese eggplants, approx ½ lbs. (or other if you don’t have)

Coconut oil or cold pressed Sunflower oil for frying

……

4 Tbs. coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced thin

1 ½ tsp. sea salt

1 Cup garbanzo beans that have already been soaked, cooked and drained

2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled and chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed

Instructions:

Peel the eggplant in strips as seen in photo, then cut into rounds about 1/2 inch. Next, lay out a paper towel on the counter and place eggplant on it, then generously sprinkle sea salt; this is done to remove excess water in the eggplant and it won’t absorb much oil when fried. Leave for about 30 minutes, then pat dry.

Fry eggplants on medium heat until golden, remove on a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.

mousakka

Meanwhile, sauté onions in oil on low until limp and golden. Add salt and garbanzo beans and heat for about a minute, and then add tomatoes; simmer covered for about 15 minutes.

Tthen arrange the fried eggplant over the top and cover again; simmer for another 15 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. If the sauce is too runny; gently boil uncovered until the excess liquid has evaporated.

When ready, add mashed garlic, carfully blend in, turn off heat, and cover pot for another 2 hours or more to let it cool to room temperature.

Notes:

You can either let it all mix together, or make a nice arrangement by carefully placing cooled eggplants on a serving dish first, then put the tomato sauce in between.

Eat with a side of white or brown rice.

This is a great lunch to take on the go packed in a cooler.

Different Salts And Effects On Health

salt

(Photo illustration by Diane L. Wilson)

I have posted this article for Pennywise Platter Thursday @ http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2013/05/pennywise-platter-thursday-59.html#more-7280
Please check it out to see what other bloggers have posted.

Salt is an extremely important element in the human diet; very important source of minerals and nutrients. Today we often hear that salt is not good for us. It has a bad reputation for causing high blood pressure, inflammation; arthritis, and other chronic diseases. What you may not know is that the salt which causes this is refined table salt. The salt we should consume is unrefined sea salt.

Using the Refined-Table Salt

Using refined salt can lead to serious health problems including:

  • Arthritis and Inflammation
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Water retention
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Electrolyte disturbances
  • Neurological problems
  • Stroke and cardiovascular disease

One simple change in the diet can be the most effective in treating high blood pressure, arthritis and Inflammation involves simply switching from refined to unrefined salt. This change, of course, means eliminating processed foods.

Not Enough Salt

Modern diets are the cause of fear from salt; as a result, people are consuming less. In studies where humans consumed a diet completely lacking in salt, they developed extreme fatigue and tiredness and lethargy within several weeks. (Get resource here)

  • More salt is needed when the body is under stress or excessive exercise.
  • Prone to heart failure
  • Reduced salt diets often result in digestive problems
  • Never use salt replacement, and avoid “low-salt” processed foods because these often contain MSG and artificial flavors that are bad for the nervous system. Instead use as much unrefined salt in your home cooking as needed to give your foods the flavor you desire.
  • Always buy products with NO SALT ADDED, unless you know the source is made from healthy sea salt (not all packages that say sea salt is healthy).

 Modern Salt Production –Table Salt

  1. Modern processing of salt starts off with the de-mineralization of all the magnesium and trace minerals removed
  2. Then bleached.
  3. Then chemicals are added, including ones that contain aluminum and synthetic iodine since the natural occurring iodine has been removed to be sold as a supplement or added to other industrial products.
  4. Finally an anti caulking additive is added; such as silica gel, which is a drying agent found in the packaging of electronics, shoes, food and vitamins, and other household items to keep moisture out (you may have seen a package of silica gel in your new shoes, in a little package that reads “DO NOT EAT”). When this is taken into our bodies, the same thing happens; it takes the moisture out, which contributes to the dehydrating effects on the body and health problems from the salt.
  •  When this process is complete, the salt can no longer combine with the human body, it becomes a foreign substance.
  • When salt is refined, the processors then sell the minerals as expensive supplements in health food stores. The best choice is to get our trace minerals from high quality sea salt!

Not All Salt Is Bad

Unrefined salt is what you should be using. Salt should be off white in color; gray, pink, and even black, not white. Natural colors in salt indicate the presence of minerals. Using unrefined salt ensures that we get all the trace minerals we need and is a healthy source of sodium chloride.

Benefits of Un-refined Salt:

  • It provides the basis for cellular function in the body
  • Helps to absorb essential vitamins and minerals
  • Essential for digestion of protein
  • Assist in activating enzymes to digest carbohydrates
  • Development of brain
  • Supports adrenal function; people with adrenal exhaustion need more salt in their diets.
  • Development of the brain
  • Salt also activates an enzyme needed to help us perform the tasks of higher creative thinking.
  • Nursing mothers need to consume more salt to ensure that their babies nervous system develops properly. Babies first foods need a dash of unrefined salt when they start on solid foods.

Tip:

Unrefined sea salt (salt with natural occurring colors) is more expensive, but it is worth it; one trick is to buy thick salts for cooking, which are cheaper and thinner for sprinkling.

Some of the best kinds of natural salts are:

  • Real Salt
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Hawaiian black salt
  • Unrefined Salt (that still has mineral colors in it)

Traditional Salt Production

This method involves the simple evaporation of sea water and what is left is salt.

Conclusion

Salt should not be white, it should naturally be off white, pink, grey, black, or other.

Sprouted Lentil Tabouli

sprouted lentil tabouli 

Sprouted Lentil Tabouli

This is an altered version of the Lebanese tabouli/tabouleh. You can add cucumber or tomato if you’d like.

Recipe:

2 Cups sprouted lentils

2 Cups fresh parsley leaf – chopped fine (stems removed)

6 springs green onion or ½ white onion, minced

¼ Cup fresh mint leaves or 1 Tbs. dried

Dressing:

Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste

4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1tsp. sea salt

Instructions:

Mix everything in a serving bowl, let marinate in fridge for 30 minutes – 2 hours before eating.

Notes:

Please read the link below to find out why sprouts are beneficial and how to do it. I will explain in a future post.

Benefits of Sprouting:

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/beverage1/a/about-sprouting.htm