Meal 1: Moroccan Chic Pea Stew, Chioggia Beet and Carrot Salad, Sautéed Spinach
• Heat the stew on the stovetop.
• Fold the sultanas into the carrot/ beet salad. Add a little salt, as I omitted this to prevent too much wateriness. Serve chilled.
• Briefly sauté the spinach in a not too little bit of olive oil heated over medium heat. If you like add a little minced or paper-thinly sliced garlic first. Cook it gently for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Add the spinach. Salt, and toss until it is wilted but still bright green. Serve immediately.
Meal 2: Stuffed Napa Cabbage, Korean Noodles w/ Choi and Egg, Diakon Kim Chee
• Put a foil lid on the cabbage after adding a splash or two of water. Heat the dish at 350 for 25 -50 minutes depending on the size of your share, to allow the rolls to cook through. Remove the lid once you can see bubbling along the side of the dish. A microwave will also do the trick pretty well, at least for getting the chill out of them – then finish in the oven at the above temp for half the time.
• Carefully remove the choi and egg and reserve. It’ s OK if you don’t extricate it all from the noodle. Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan. When the oil is hot, add the noodles and their liquid. Toss. Add a splash of water and stir fry until the noodles change shades from translucent to transparent-ish. Add the garnish and toss once or twice before serving.
• Serve the kim chee chilled as a side dish.
At my annual physical I asked my doctor what she thought about screening for vitamin deficiencies and the use of supplements. She reassured my inclination that a balanced diet is far and away the best medicine for avoiding any deficiencies, and that tests are best reserved for those with overtly problematic symptoms. She mentioned that fish oil is appearing to be much less promising than initially supposed, and Vitamin D is often over consumed by the general public. And I chimed in how most vitamin supplements are very energy intensive and toxic to manufacture and are often relegated to third world production (most are made in, of course, China), despite their prominence in ‘Green’ groceries and lifestyles. She concurred, mentioning the devastating impact of the over-harvest of herrings for the above mentioned fish oil. I nodded having heard as much while reading about East Coast striped bass conservation. Want health? Eat healthy. Avoid fads and diets, says Michael Pollan. Eat what your great-grandma ate. It was real. It was nice to get this affirmation. But what really got me was the emphasis she put on eating live foods, and all the fascinating research coming out about the impact of our personal biological community on our health. So in honor of that, I went out to the Tree Farm, harvested a bunch of diakon radish and Korean hot chiles, whipped up a batch of diakon kim chee on Sunday, and allowed it to ferment before packing it up for you all. Remember ! This is a living food. Your jar may ‘exhale’ when you open it. The kim chee may fizzle on your tongue a bit when you eat it. Don’t be alarmed. It’s all part of the show. Enjoy!