Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Non-animal diet’ Category

Pro Home Cooks on Rice Bowls — and how to make them better

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Michael G. has a good video (below) on rice bowls, including good tips for the novice cook. However, I strongly recommend using brown rice, not white — that is, use intact whole-grain race. Removing a grain’s bran (to produce white rice or pearled barley or the like) also removes a substantial amount of the nutritional value. Refined or highly processed foods lack the nutrition of whole foods. Whole grains include the bran. See what the Harvard School of Public Health has to say about whole grains.

He says he uses white rice because brown rice takes a long time to cook.  ???  Why not cook the (brown) rice ahead of time — like the day before? Cook a large batch, put it in a storage container, refrigerate it, and then take servings from the container as you need them

This has two benefits:

  1. Refrigerating the cooked intact whole grain will make the starch resistant and not so quickly digested, with the result that you don’t get hungry so quickly and it also nourishes your gut microbiome.
  2. When you go to make the dish, the rice is already cooked — it takes no cooking time at all (not even so much as cooking white rice) because you already cooked it. Just take the amount you need and put it in with the foods you’re cooking, or sauté it with a little oil (and perhaps onion or garlic or shallots) to heat it up, or just eat it cold.

And in fact, why use rice at all? Try cooking hulled barley (that’s intact whole-grain barley, with the bran still in place), or whole rye, or Kamut®, or spelt, or intact whole-grain rye — those also take a long time to cook, so cook a batch the day before. These grains are much more nutritious than rice — even brown rice. (White rice is not worth discussing.) Just use these cooked grains as you would use rice.

That said, the video does have some good tips. But he’s wrong in his approach to rice.

Written by Leisureguy

29 November 2021 at 2:56 pm

Dinner thoughts with Beyond Meat’s Beyond Sausage

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Dinner — after I cook it and serve it with hulled barley and lentils

The Eldest told me that Beyond Meat’s Beyond Sausage is quite tasty. I’ve been wanting to vary my greens (thus yesterday’s combo of tung ho, bitter melon, fresh bamboo shoot, red onion, jalapeño, and Japanese condiments (shoyu sauce, mirin, and brown-rice vinegar). That turned out very tasty, but I thought a spicy sausage would spruce up greens a lot.

I want the taste and the mouthfeel, but not the other things that go with regular sausage: salt, saturated fat, IGF-1, risk of E. coli contamination (do a search on “sausage recalls” or “ground meat recalls”), preservatives, and outright animal cruelty. So getting the taste and mouthfeel from healthful ingredients? Sounds to me like a big win. And the ingredients of Beyond Sausage look pretty good:

Water, pea protein*, refined coconut oil, sunflower oil, natural flavor, contains 2% or less of: rice protein, faba bean protein, potato starch, salt, vegetable juice (for color), apple fiber, methylcellulose, citrus extract (to protect quality), calcium alginate casing.

*Peas are legumes. People with severe allergies to legumes like peanuts should be cautious when introducing pea protein into their diet because of the possibility of a pea allergy. Contains no peanuts or tree nuts.

Too bad about the nuts, but I can stir in some walnuts if I want. The only odd ingredient is methylcellulose. It helps with mouthfeel and is not digested — and very little of that is used: it’s way down on the list of the items that together constitute 2% “or less” of the product. 

A couple of the sausage links, cut into sections and sautéed with the onion, jalapeño, garlic, and ginger before I add the chopped collards and a little Bragg’s apple-cider vinegar (and perhaps a dash of Red Boat fish sauce), will make this a tasty winter version of Greens. I’ll have it with the hulled barley that I have on hand and the rest of the lentils. (I got some dried soybeans to cook; I might make tempeh with those, or just have them as cooked beans.)

The price I paid is (in US$) $2.15 per sausage. For an occasional treat, that seems fine.

Written by Leisureguy

29 November 2021 at 1:49 pm

Keto v. whole-food plant-based for loss of body fat — and an onion note

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Onion note first: the antioxidant content of onions varies by layer. The outermost layer, just under the papery skin, has the highest concentration of antioxidants, and the antioxidant drops, layer by layer, and you move to the center, with the innermost layers have basically no antioxidant content. And onions follow the general rule for vegetables: the darker the vegetable, the higher the antioxidant content, so red onions are better than yellow, and yellow onions are better than white. (That’s the takeaway from this video.)

The following video compares the effect on the loss of body fat (not just loss of weight, which can be merely water loss) of a keto (low-carb high-fat) diet vs. what he calls a “vegan” diet but from the context seems to be rather a whole-food plant based diet. (The vegan diet is not limited to whole foods but can include refined foods and highly processed foods.)

Written by Leisureguy

29 November 2021 at 11:47 am

Giant bamboo shoot is misleading — only the core is eaten

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The photo shows some of the things I’ll cook together. I think also I’ll add a jalapeño and a bunch of tung ho. Although the bamboo shoot seems enormous — well, it is enormous — only the very core is eaten. So you cut off and discard the tip part, and then cut away the outer layer of leaves. After removing the leaves and dicing the core, I got 3 cups of bamboo shoot. I simmered it 20 minutes, drained the water and simmered 10 minutes more, then drained the shoots and set them aside.

I diced the bitter melons (the 2 warty-cucumber-looking things) by quartering each lengthwise and then cutting across. I sautéd the bitter melon with chopped red onion and celery and one jalapeño until it seemed to cook down some — about 10 minutes.

I then added the bamboo shoots and chopped tung ho and cooked that for 30 minutes or so covered — with shoyu sauce (2 Tbsp), mirin (4 Tbsp), and brown rice vinegar (4 Tbsp) (all three from Eden Foods). I stirred it occasionally to see how it was getting along.

It’s quite tasty. The tung ho comes through, and the bamboo shoots are sort of crunchy. Not hot at all (I had only 1 jalapeño). The bitter melon seems subdued — that is, not very bitter. The most noticeable tastes are tung ho and the crunch of water chestnut, though there is some bitterness in the aftertaste (which I like).

Update:  Nutritional value of bamboo shoots — not bad at all. /update

I’m having a bowl with some hulled barley and green lentils mixed in: grain, beans, greens, and other vegetables all together. 

Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2021 at 3:36 pm

Leek Kraut with Tarragon

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Leek kraut underway

At right is new fermentation batch:

• 2 large, long leeks, sliced thinly, green tops reserved for other use
• 1/2 large red onion, sliced and then cut into short sections
• 1 jalapeño, chopped (including core and seeds)

That made a quart. I put it in a large bowl, added

• 2 tablespoons Celtic coarse grey sea salt (1.1 oz)

Using a spatula, I stirred and tossed it all to mix well, then used my hand to squeeze and mash the mixture to bruise it and have it release some juices.

I took a 1-liter jar, put one-third of the leek mixture into the jar, added one spring of tarragon, added another third of the leek mixture and the another spring of tarragon. I pressed the mixture down and added the last third, pressing it into place.

I covered the veggies using the liquid from the jar of Cabbage & Red ferment, whose contents I had eaten, put a fermentation weight on top of the veggies, and then screwed on the fermentation airlock lid. I labeled it with today’s date. I’ll let it ferment until December 11. That’s two weeks, which is probably long enough.

A bit more on calculating the salt amount can be found in the “Leek Kraut with Tarragon” section of my main fermentation post.

Written by Leisureguy

28 November 2021 at 1:22 pm

Time flies while you’re fermenting vegetables.

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And that’ll keep you busy, as Bob & Ray used to say. 

Two weeks ago I started a three-liter batch of Cabbage & Red, and today I am shifting it from “fermenting” to “food,” though the Red has paled.

Compare the photo above to the original. The Wife tells me that the reason the red radishes are now white and the red onion has no color is that acid is inimical to red. However, the orange of the orange peel still is vivid, and the taste is good.

I’m not sold on Savoy cabbage for fermenting. I have a batch of red-cabbage kraut underway, and that red seems to be holding up. I think i the future, I’ll use green cabbage or red cabbage for this recipe.

I decided on two weeks based on a remark by Michael G. of Pro Home Cooks, and it does seem fine. I will be draining the liquid to use in starting a batch of leek kraut tomorrow: sliced leek with a sprig of fresh tarragon.

The taste

It’s quite good. The jalapeño gives it warmth without pain (better than the Thai red chiles I used in Beets & Leeks, which were way too hot for me). Good textures, except the Savoy cabbage is tender where I wanted crunch. 

Definitely good to eat and confirms to me that fermenting vegetables is a good idea, especially now that I can use the liquid to start the next batch — and I think leek kraut will be interesting.

Written by Leisureguy

27 November 2021 at 5:17 pm

Roasted Royalty (pumpkin)

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Every knife I could find has been sharpened, and the knife sharpener stowed away again for a few months, plus dishes done, counters cleaned, and floor mopped. I decided as a reward to roast half the Royalty pumpkin — and its seeds, of course.

I still can find nothing on the internet about Royalty pumpkin, so note the label photo at the right. This is is indeed a Royalty pumpkin

The pumpkin halved reveals a paltry number of seeds: 28 (I counted). Still, 28’s a perfect number, so there’s that. With so few seeds I decided they could just take their chances with the pumpkin, so no pre-bake this time for the seeds by themselves before adding the squash.

It takes the oven a while to come to 400ºF because I usually have a cast-iron skillet upside down on the bottom shelf to get another coat of seasoning. (I use Larbee.) This time it was the Stargazer’s turn.

Here you see pumpkin (one half, cut into chunks) and the seeds (all 28), ready for the oven after being tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, fine grey sea salt, and ground chipotle.

Update: 30 minutes was perfect time. Pumpkin is tender and very mild flavored, seeds are extremely good: tasty and not in the least tough. I’m going to eat all 28.

Written by Leisureguy

27 November 2021 at 3:36 pm

Taiwan Holiday Cauliflower: A recipe du jour

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Yesterday The Wife and I went shopping for groceries and such. While waiting at the entrance to my apartment building, I noticed that these baby begonias had either not received or ignored the “it’s damn near winter” memo and were offering blooms to any passing butterflies or bees (of which I saw none). Still, I admired their spirit, a good reminder to follow your star and listen to the beat of your own drummer.

I got many things. I’ve mentioned the gargantuan bamboo shoot, which will appear in due course, but I wasn’t up for it today, and decided instead to cook the Taiwan cauliflower I got. These clearly grow to enormous size, though they are fluffier than regular cauliflower, and they were being sold as a section of a head. Here’s the one I got, top view and side view (and, as you see, some has been lopped off):

I like the delicate green color. I decided that I would cook it like this:

• about 1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 long leek, which had about a foot of white part (I save the green part for another dish)
• 3 Thai red chiles, minced (including seeds)
• good pinch of fine grey sea salt
• 3 cloves local Russian red garlic, chopped coarsely (because this is a mild garlic)
• what I had of the head of Taiwan cauliflower, chopped (including most of the stems)
• 1 large and beautiful Anaheim pepper

At this point it occurred to me that the dish was monochromatic, so I included:

• 1 red bell pepper chopped
• splash of Red Boat fish sauce
• after cooking: about 1.5 tablespoons high-quality toasted sesame oil drizzled over and stirred in

I had read an article in Taste about good sesame oils, and the one I could find was Kadoya. I had to order it, but TYD says she can buy it in her supermarket. 

So after prepping the veggies, including slicing the leek thinly and chopping up the head of cauliflower and putting it into a bowl, peeling and chopping garlic, chopping Anaheim and the red pepper, I was ready to start cooking.

Above: Top row shows the (enormous) cloves of garlic: fresh from the head, peeled, and chopped coarsely, which works well since the garlic is mild. Second row: the Anaheim and the red bell peppers

I started the cooking, using my 12″ Stargazer pan. Olive oil into the heated pan, then immediately add leeks and Thai red chiles and a pinch of grey sea salt. I let it cook until the leeks started to wilt, then I added the garlic and cooked that for a while. 

I then added the cauliflower, the Anaheim and red bell peppers, and the fish sauce, and continued cooking on 3 (medium heat). As the cauliflower started to cook, I covered the skillet (using a third-party lid) and cooked for about 12 minutes, stirring midway.

Then I added the toasted sesame oil and served myself a boal with green lentils and hulled barley from the fridge. Very tasty. Here’s the finished dish:

Looking at the final dish reminds me that I could (and should) have used some fresh turmeric root (and thus also some black pepper). What I cooked was certainly tasty, just not quite so nutritious as it could have been.

The three Thai red chiles were just enough to provide pleasant warmth in the mouth (perhaps the Anaheim contributed a little), and the cauliflower itself is deliciously sweet.  It’s a good thing to cook.

I had one bowl and squeezed half a lime over it. Exceptional!

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2021 at 5:49 pm

A Chemical Hunger – Part X: What to Do About It

leave a comment » has another installment in their series on the epidemic of obesity, and this one deals with what can be done. They do recommend a whole-food plant-based diet (and I think we all enjoy hearing a recommendation that we’ve already adopted — it aids our illusion of wisdom). Specifically:

1. — The first thing you should consider is eating more whole foods and/or avoiding highly processed foods. This is pretty standard health advice — we think it’s relevant because it seems pretty clear that food products tend to pick up more contaminants with every step of transportation, packaging, and processing, so eating local, unpackaged, and unprocessed foods should reduce your exposure to most contaminants.

2. — The second thing you can do is try to eat fewer animal products. Vegetarians and vegans do seem to be slightly leaner than average, but the real reason we recommend this is that we expect many contaminants will bioaccumulate, and so it’s likely that whatever the contaminant, animal products will generally contain more than plants will. So this may not help, but it’s a good bet.

3. — The third thing is you can think about changing careers and switching to a leaner job. Career is a big source of variance in obesity rates, so if you have a job in a high-obesity profession like . . .

The current installment begins with a table of contents of links so you can read the whole thing. Their investigation has been fascinating and striking in its findings.

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2021 at 12:47 pm

10 small changes that will dramatically improve your cooking

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I concur with the tips in this video, and over the years I’ve gradually incorporated many of them, but it’s nice to have them collected and to serve as a good reminder. Her point on salt is well taken: if you don’t eat bread, cheese, cured meats, highly processed foods (potato chips, frozen dinners, and manufactured foods like, say, Cheez Whiz), or restaurant or fast-food meals, but instead do your own cooking using whole foods that are plant based, you probably have good control of your sodium intake and can use modest amounts of salt in cooking with no worries. (Chicken and other meats are often injected with saline solution to increase moistness and also profits: selling brine at meat prices is very profitable.) I have used Diamond Crystal kosher salt for years. (Morton’s kosher salt is in little pellets and is terrible to use.) Lately, I’ve been using grey sea salt for the mineral content (Diamond Crystal is pure sodium chloride). It’s somewhat more expensive, but then I don’t use all that much salt.

Anyway, she has some good tips.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2021 at 12:54 pm

Orange Kabocha squash and Royalty pumpkin

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Orange Kabocha squash and Royallty pumpkin

The Wife and I visited the Root Cellar, the new produce market over in Cook Street Village, and I picked up a couple of attractive squashes. (You know you’re growing older when you talk about picking up attractive squashes.) I was particularly taken by the Royalty’s yellow and orange coloring. The label identifies it as a “Royalty pumpkin,” so I followed that usage in the post title, but “pumpkin” is merely the name given to some squashes.

The word “pumpkin” does not have any botanical meaning but is actually a common term used to refer to any round, orange squash (mostly belonging to the species Cucurbita pepo and Cucurbita maxima). Conversely, a squash is any edible herbaceous vine that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. Its color and shape can vary depending on its species. In other words, a pumpkin is a squash but not all squash are pumpkins.

I had never heard of an orange kabocha, which is, as you see, a dark orange with a green tinge. A little searching found the probable reason:

Orange kabocha

The Orange kabocha squash, botanically classified as Cucurbita maxima, is a uchiki red kuri and kabocha squash hybrid. The Orange kabocha, sometimes known as sunshine kabocha, is said to have superior flavor and texture over its parenting varieties.

That photo is from the link. In terms of the squash’s belly button — where the blossom was — the kuri is an outie (see this photo) and the kabocha is much flatter. The orange kabocha has the kabocha-style belly button.

Since I’ve now tasted both kabocha and kuri — and in fact have some cooked kuri in the fridge — I’m eager to try the orange kabocha. I’m curious to see what the seeds will be like once roasted. (Kabocha seeds are not worth roasting — too tough and hard, quite unlike buttercup seeds. BTW, there’s a butternut-buttercup hybrid, the honeynut squash, that I would dearly love to try. I’ll have to look for it at the Root Cellar, though on my recent visit I didn’t even see any buttercup squash.)

Pepita Pumpkin

The Royalty pumpkin/squash is totally new to me, and I can find no information about it in the searches I’ve done. It’s a beautiful thing, though, isn’t it? I was looking for more information about its nutritional value and for recipe ideas, but found nothing. I will do the usual chop and roast, including seeds. (In this morning’s searches, I learned that there are some squash specially bred to have tasty, tender seeds: the pepita pumpkin, for example.) So when you buy “pepitas,” you’re buying seeds from that sort of pumpkin.

Here’s a photo of squashes I have on hand, so you can compare and contrast the orange and regular kabocha;

L to R: Orange kabocha, regular kabocha, Royalty pumpkin

Update: The orange kabocha squash had a good number of seeds, and they were not so tough as the seeds from the regular kabocha in the photo. I roasted them for 40 minutes at 400ºF, the last 30 minutes along with half the squash cut into chunks and about 8 halved mushrooms, all tossed with olive oil, a small pinch of fine grey sea salt, and a good sprinkling of ground chipotle.

Written by Leisureguy

21 November 2021 at 11:47 am

New ferment: Red-cabbage sauerkraut with red onion

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Red-Cabbage Kraut

Dismal day, staying indoors, restless — I know! I can start a new ferment. I decided to do sauerkraut, very traditional, but I have red cabbage rather than green, and since I have red onion, the recipe writes itself.

I went with just a single 1-liter jar. I used my Oxo hand-held mandoline on the thinnest setting to slice 1/2 large red onion and about 1/3 head of red cabbage, and I have to say it did an excellent job — better than I expected. I don’t use their (awkward) little hand protector but instead wear a cut-proof glove. (It is, in fact, important to protect one’s hand when using a mandoline. ⇐ voice of experience)

After shredding cabbage and onion sufficient to fill the jar, I added about 1.5 tablespoons Celtic grey coarse sea salt and massaged it throughly into cabbage and onion for about 6-8 minutes. I then packed the jar (using a canning funnel, a big help) and poured in about 1/2 packet of starter culture that hand been hydrated. I was going to try it with no culture, just to see what happens, but I’ll do that another time.

Gonzalez Byass – Oloroso Nutty Solera

So now I’ll wait until Dec 2 for the transformation of cabbage into kraut. 

In the meantime, I got a wonderful-looking bunch of red chard yesterday and just cooked that in a little olive oil with the other half of the red onion, a medium beet I had on hand, a diced onion some minced fresh local ginger root, a splash of vinegar, and a splash of sherry (also a small glass of it, shown at left). 

Today was to be knife-sharpening day, but my resolution is weak, so as a compromise, I’m going to get out the sharpener and get it set up. That may provide enough momentum to do it, but if not, it will make tomorrow’s start easy while reducing the task today. Dividing a task into simple subtasks and tackling those has always been a good strategy for me. 

Update: Chard was excellent! Some left for tomorrow.


Written by Leisureguy

18 November 2021 at 2:03 pm

Kuri squash this morning

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Photo source and more info:

I like to try new foods. On the now-rare occasions when I eat in a restaurant, I look over the menu and if possible order something I’ve never had. (That how I first tasted goat, which is excellent.) So when I was at For Good Measure and saw this squash with the peculiar color and shape, I had to try it.

I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, and used the scooping spoon to scrape the seeds out of the fibrous womb in which they grew. This is a technique that evolved over time, and it works well. I then put the seeds into a bowl, added some extra-virgin olive oil and fine grey sea salt, and popped them into a 400ºF oven for 10 minutes (with my Field No. 8 upside down on the bottom rack for a bout of seasoning). The salt link is to, but you can surely find the equivalent elsewhere. There seem to be a good variety of grey sea salts available.

I then took half the squash, cut it into small pieces (this is another squash that does not require peeling), tossed those with olive oil, fine grey sea salt, smoked paprika, and garlic powder and mixed well. Once the seeds had their 10-minute head start, I added the squash pieces and cooked those for 25-30 minutes. (Test at 25 minutes, may want 5 minutes more.)

The squash is very tasty with a nice texture. The seeds, unfortunately, are very tough, not at all like the seeds from (say) a buttercup squash. I won’t bother with kuri seeds in the future.

So a nice meal: a bowl of kuri squash, greens cooked yesterday, intact whole-grain Kamut® (also from FGM), and black-eyed peas, with a dash of Louisiana hot sauce (and I’m now eager to making try my own fermented hot sauce).

Update: I noticed that the seeds at the edges of the flattened mass of seeds were not bad, so it occurs to me that the seeds were just insufficiently cooked. I’m going to try cooking them a bit more in a little oil in aa small cast-iron skillet to see whether their edibility will be thus improved. — I cooked the seeds longer. They were somewhat better, but I think in the future I’ll skip seeds from kuri squash. (I do like seeds from buttercup and other squashes a lot.) — Maybe not. Later in the evening, I tried them, and they’re not bad. Not company food, but actually pretty good.

Written by Leisureguy

17 November 2021 at 1:01 pm

Ensuring food variety

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Eating a variety of foods seems to be the best way to ensure getting adequate amounts of the essential micronutrients. Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen, for example, is a template of selected categories of food that offers good guidance. (In the post at the link I describe I incorporate that template into my meals and how my approach has changed with experience: still eating the same categories, but some with smaller servings).

Another template to ensure variety and good coverage of essential micronutrients takes a somewhat different tack: making sure that your daily intake of whole plant-based foods includes a full range of colors, colors being visual cues regarding phytochemical content.  In an earlier post, I include a description and a downloadable checklist to assist with getting the full range of colors each day. The checklist is a daily list for four people (e.g., a family) or a four-day list for one person (days A, B, C, and D).

Written by Leisureguy

14 November 2021 at 4:27 am

Cabbage & Red now fermenting

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Fermentation underway, 5 minutes in

I posted earlier what I thought I’d do, but the final recipe turned out be slightly different, but I now know quantities. I decided to use a Savoy cabbage instead of Napa or green cabbage because I saw a very nice head of it when shopping. It was a good choice.

The first thing I did was dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse Celtic grey sea salt in about 1 cup of water, and dissolve 1 packet of the starter culture in another. I let those sit while I prepared the veggies.

Everything but apples & cabbage

The photo at the right shows what I got from the first few ingredients:

• 2 bunches small red radishes, halved
• 1 large red onion, halved lengthwise, then sliced and cut
• 2 jalapeños, halved lengthwise, then sliced
• 6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
• peel of an orange (using a peeler)

That made 1 qt (4 cups). I ended up not using all the radishes. I picked out the smaller and halved them, and I quit when I had two cups. That seemed plenty, so I moved on to the onion.

I halved the onion  lengthwise, then sliced each half across, making semicircular slabs. I held those together and cut across the slices to make 3 equal sections (60º each), so the onion pieces were were 1/3 of  a semicircle. That made just about another two cups. So I used just one onion instead of the two I thought I might need.

I figured the jalapeños, garlic, and orange peel would not add to the volume because they would settle into the interstices, so I added those and called it all 4 cups.

The full batch except brine and culture

So with 1 quart completed, I knew the rest: 

• 2 cups diced Royal Gala apples
• 6 cups shredded Savoy cabbage

It turns out that 2 Royal Gala apples make 2 cups when diced. I did not core them, but used them seeds and all. And just two leaves more than 1/4 this Savoy cabbage made 6 cups when shredded.

I mixed together all ingredients (which did require a larger bowl), then poured over the brine and the water with the starter culture, and mixed all well.

Savoy cabbage is somewhat fluffy, but still the 3 jars were quite full. Once the jars were packed, I poured in the liquid remaining in the bowl, a roughly equal amount to each jar, pressed in the fermentation weights, and then added spring water to barely cover the veggies (not the weights).

I believe these will be ready next Sunday.

UPDATE: I let it go for two weeks after watching Pro Home Cooks’ video about fermenting vegetables. Final result in this post. /updat

PS And a tasty dinner meal to boot. In my No. 8 Field Company skillet, I drizzled a little olive oil and cooked:

• 1/2 large red onion, chopped
• 2 bunches radish greens, rinsed well (they’re very dirty) and chopped

I cooked the onions until they were transparent, then added the radish greens and continued cooking until greens wilted and seemed done, turning frequently with a spatula. 

I put into a large bowl:

• 1/2 avocado, cut up into bite-size pieces
• 1/2 cup black-eyed peas
• 1/2 cup unpolished kodo millet
• about 1 Tbsp Bragg’s apple-cider vinegar

I added the cooked onions and greens, stirred to mix, and topped with a little kala namak.

Extremely tasty.

Written by Leisureguy

13 November 2021 at 2:13 pm

Still thinking about the next batch of fermented veggies

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In this post I wrote out a recipe for making 1 jar (a quart or a liter) of a recipe I called “Cabbage & Red,” and today I went shopping for the ingredients. As it happens, they had Savoy cabbage, and I got one (enormous) head of it — large enough that I decided to make 3 one-liter jars.

I didn’t expect it, but in practice one jar is quickly consumed. Plus I have all that cabbage. So 3 jars this time.

I rethought my recipe, since I need to figure out how to make about 12 cups total for 3 jars. I decided my best bet was to see what volume the non-cabbage ingredients would occupy, and then just chop enough of the Savoy cabbage to bring it up to 12 cups. I also decided I would dice the apple rather than grate it, and I still want to do the apple at the very end. I decided to go for 2 cups of diced apples, since I want this to be mostly cabbage.

So I’ll begin by preparing:

• 2 large red onions, halved lengthwise, then sliced into semicircles — perhaps quarter-circles
• 2 bunches small red radishes, halved
• 2 jalapeños, chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, chopped
• peel of an orange — and maybe peel of a lemon, too

I look and see how much volume that is. I think it will be about 2 cups, maybe 3.

⇒ If it’s 2 cups, I’ll chop/shred 8 cups Savoy cabbage and dice 2 cups of apples.
⇒ If it’s 3 cups, I’ll chop/shred 7 cups Savoy cabbage and dice 2 cups of apples.

Update: As it turned out, it was 4 cups, so I used 6 cups Savoy cabbage and 2 cups of apples. Also, just 1 large red onion made 2 cups when chopped, and I used 2 cups of halved small red radishes. (the jalapeños, garlic, and orange peel’s volume was negligible. /update

So after I’ve done the above and put it into a large bowl, I’ll add:

• 7 or 8 cups chopped/shredded Savoy cabbage (depending on other veggie volume)
• 1 1/2 tablespoons Celtic sea salt, dissolved in a little water and added to mis
• 1 pack starter culture hydrated for 10 minutes and added to mix

Mix all that well, then add:

• 2 cups diced Royal Gala apples

Mix well, load the 3 jars equally, put in the fermentation weight, and fill with spring water. Put on the fermentation airlock lids and let ferment for 7-10 days.

I’ll rinse the radish greens well and cook those. They’re tasty.

Written by Leisureguy

12 November 2021 at 10:51 pm

Beets & Leeks and Thai red chiles

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Beets & Leeks (and Thai red chiles)

First batch features a recipe I made up:

• 1 large leek, white section, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced
• 1 medium-large red beet, grated
• 9 Thai red chiles, stem removed, chopped (with seeds)

I got about 2 full cups (i.e., a little more) of sliced leeks and the same of beets. I put them in a large bowl, added the chopped chiles, and stirred well to mix. I then packed the mixture into a 1-litre wide-mouth jar.

• 2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
• about 1/2 packet Cutting Edge Culture

I put the salt into about 1 1/2 cups water, stirred to dissolve, then poured that over the vegetables in the jar. I added just a little more water, then tested the fermentation weight. That brought the water level a little too close to the rim, so I poured some out. 

I pressed veg back down, sprinkled the culture over the top, replaced the fermentation weight, and screwed on the lid with the silicone fermentation airlock in place of the regular cap. I added a masking tape label with the date to remind me when I started it.

I’ll check after three days.

Written by Leisureguy

6 November 2021 at 3:16 pm

Findings on fermented foods

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I’m not big on podcasts, but I am looking at making more fermented vegetables, so it caught my eye ear. I ordered and have already received 4 silicone airlock tops and 4 fermentation weights, with the culture on the way. I learned from my previous batch, using a regular-mouth canning jar, that a wide-mouth canning jar works better: the wide-mouth jar is more a cylinder, with no narrowing at the aperture. 

I’m also using a starter culture this time, and the first batch will reprise the carrot-cake-in-a jar recipe, but I look forward to fermenting all sorts of vegetables — leeks and beets come to mind, for some reason.

And because I am looking at fermenting, I found this podcast quite interesting.

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2021 at 4:05 pm

Leeks and beets

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I bought one bunch of beet greens with beets attached — four beets as it happened — and I realized I needed to cook them. I also had a couple of enormous leeks, each with a long white sectio of considerable diameter. So here’s what I did:

• about 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, drizzled into 4-qt All-Clad Stainless sauté pan or similar
• 1 very large leek, halved lengthwise and sliced, including green leaves (rinse well: often dirty)
•ˀgood sized pinch of salt

Cook over medium-low heat — 3 on my induction burner — until leeks wilt and pan is hot. Add:

• greens from one bunch of beets with greens, rinsed and chopped
• the beets that were attached to the greens, diced
• 2 lemons, ends discard, cut into slabs and diced (with peel still on)
• about 1 Tbsp fish sauce
• about 1 Tbsp apple-cider vinegar

I decided it could use a bit more liquid, so I added:

• 1 can Ro•Tel Original
• about 2 Tbsp Mexican Oregano
* some freshly ground black pepper

I covered it and cooked it for 30 minutes at 225ºF. I had a bowl with some black beans, walnuts, and cooked spelt. Tasty and filling.

No photo because initially I didn’t really think of this as a recipe, just as cooking up some vegetables. But it is very tasty — also very red. The beets add good color.

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2021 at 3:46 pm

Some reasons to avoid eating meat, dairy, and eggs — and the shortcut in the video didn’t work

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Written by Leisureguy

3 November 2021 at 2:31 pm

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