Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chinese Fried Rice

So I've been slacking... for a long time... like years. I was working on my MBA so I stopped blogging out of guilt that I should be doing homework, but I never stopped cooking. I am going to get back into this even simply for a record of my recipes and whoever else may be interested. First up - Chinese Rice!

I didn't like rice for years. I couldn't stand it in any way, shape or form but I have come to enjoy the stuff and it is usually a child friendly food which is perfect in a home with lots of kids.

First - Cooking the White Rice

2 cups rice, jasmine and organic
2 cups water or bone broth

** If feeding a family this as a meal and not a side dish, I would double it. It warms up terrific in a fry pan the next day too.

Wash the rice in cold water by rubbing gently between your fingers. Keep rinsing until the water on the rice runs clear. Drain all water and add back in the fresh 2 cups water to the rice in a large pot (use bone broth instead of water if you have some available!)

Cover the rice and let it sit for at least an hour. (I've let it sit even overnight with no issues)

Put pot on burner on medium high and bring to a boil. Boil rice for 4 minutes (or until water is gone) and then cover and reduce heat to low and let it sit for 8 minutes steaming.

If not using the rice right away, put in a bowl and cover tightly.

Second - Frying the Rice

3 Tbl Peanut oil plus oil for frying meat
1.5 Tbl soy sauce
1.5 Tbl Chinese white rice wine
.5 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbl oyster sauce
1.5 tsp sesame oil
fresh pepper
ginger, fresh and diced if available, if not powder
garlic, diced
green onion, thinly sliced
pork, chicken or beef

Extra Added Items if Available (optional)
fresh snap peas
fresh beans

We have large gardens and we add whatever we have available to use up. I love the fresh snap peas in the rice.

Snap Peas from the Garden

Mix all liquids together minus oil. Add garlic. Set aside.

Dice meat. Fry meat in a pan in peanut oil with a splash of sesame oil and soy sauce. Set aside.

Heat pan up on high. Add oil. Add sauce mixture and fry garlic gently. Garlic cooks quickly so be careful!

Add rice. Break rice up with a wooden spoon until covered. Fry for a few minutes. Push rice to side of pan. Crack egg in pan and lightly scramble until cooked. Mix together with rice mixture. Add onions. Add meat and any other items left.

I love, love this rice. It makes for a quick meal too if there is any left over in the fridge. My family thinks it tastes better than any Chinese restaurant too including those in Chinatown. Whenever we have leftover meat, I either use the meat in a salad, a taco or in fried rice. I have used leftover meat from ribs, marinated pork tenderloin, chicken, really anything in the fridge to make a quick meal. We don't eat fast food in this house so Chinese rice is usually one of my "fast foods" since it is pretty easy. My kids love it too!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Organic Salad

The last several weeks I have went to Sendiks and purchased whatever organic greens they had to bring home and make a salad with. I eat a salad every day Monday - Friday. It all depends on my weekend schedule whether I can fit a salad in there or not.

This week I got spinach, dandelion greens, rainbow chard, two types of kale, arugula, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, romaine and some carrots.

The rainbow chard was MASSIVE! I have never tried this before but I was excited simply due to its size. It looks like a prehistoric plant it's so big!

I cut up enough for about two days' worth, rinse it real good and put half away in the fridge for tomorrow. I then take the salad I am going to eat, put it in a large bowl, add a few pecans and dried cranberries and toss it with cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I add fresh black pepper for a little flavor.

The fresh produce makes a perfect salad each time. I love the variety of the fresh greens.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Deep Nutrition

This is going to be the first post of several on a book I am reading. This book is revolutionary. It will change the way you look at food forever. The name of the book is Deep Nutrition.

Buy on Amazon

One page into the book and I was reading it out loud to my husband. I can't put it down.

The book talks about how we have changed our outlook on food to simply a caloric content. We no longer look at food as nutrition for our body to keep us in good health. Nutrition used to be passed from generation to generation. People knew what to eat depending on what they were taught by their parents and grandparents. We now eat based on the calories. We are simply filling a number and not worried about what our food actually contains.

The most incredible part of the book so far is based on much research and how nutrition is passed on from generation to generation. One example the book gave was that if a mother smoked while pregnant her child was 1.5 times more likely of developing asthma. If the grandmother smoked the child was 1.8 times more likely of developing asthma - even if mom never smoked! If both mom and grandma smoked then the child was 2.6 times more likely of developing asthma. Our genes have nutritional memories that are passed from generation to generation!!

The good news though is that if you are only a generation or two away from good health (meaning grandma or great grandma ate organically on a farm) then your genes can be very forgiving. They just need to be woken up with good nutrition!

In my personal life, I have seen the health of my family deteriorate from generation to generation between my grandparents and myself. My grandparents were raised on a farm so they basically ate organic. Due to the lifestyle that their parents and grandparents lived, all nutritious food, they have a wealth of nutrition and essentially epigenomes attached to their DNA. These epigenomes control when a gene is fully expressed. When the gene is expressed you will experience good health and positive attributes in your appearance. When they are suppressed, due to poor nutrition, they will not fully express themselves and it will show in the state of the body - cancers, diseases, lack of beauty, etc. When my grandparents moved to the city and raised their two kids they switched to a processed diet. My grandparents' body could handle the switch and kept them in relatively good health their entire lives due to the memory in their genes of their raising in good health and the good health of their parents and grandparents. Their kids though suffered in not as perfect health since they did not have two decades of organic living. By the time those suppressed genes reached me, I was a wreck by my teens.

I was so sick. I ate a calorie restricted diet forever and I couldn't understand why my body was pretty much shutting down. Things didn't change with my health until I switched to an organic diet and I started seeing a naturopathic doctor that treated me with vitamins and hormones. I feel better now than I have in my entire life and I know things are only going to get better as I get access to better information and more quality, nutritionally dense products.

The book goes deeper into how nutrition decides whether you are going to develop into a beautiful person. Nutrition actually changes the structure of your face and your body, even the way your teeth form!

The book also talks about how nutritionally demanding being pregnant is and how in the old days, women used to prepare to have a baby by eating a certain way before getting pregnant and during pregnancy. We also used to choose our mates based on how healthy they were and how healthy of a baby they would give us. We no longer value the nutrition of our mate and ourselves when thinking about making a baby. Unless we change the way we eat, we are going to have a generation of ugly, nutritionally defunct people. We have to understand how nutrition determines everything and we need to make wise choices.

I will post more about this book as I continue along with it. It is a complete life changer for me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Food, Inc. Documentary

I recently watched a documentary called Food, Inc. I have a lot of food related documentaries I want to watch but this is the first one in the list. This documentary is such an eye opener. It isn't anything I didn't know yet, but it is put together so perfectly. For anyone that doesn't understand what the difference is between grass fed and regular meat and why eating organically and locally produced food is important, they need to see this film.

Although we choose grass fed meat where possible, there are times the other meat slips in. I just don't know if I will be able to slip it in anymore. When you understand that the goal of eating has nothing to do with calories and has everything to do with the nutrition you put into your body so that you can live a long, healthy life, then you start to question everything you are putting in.

This doc also showed the impact the fast food industry has had on Americans. Not only has it radically changed the way food is produced through its focus on cheap food instead of quality, it has also changed the way Americans feel about cooking at home. I haven't eaten fast food since I was a 14 year old girl. Even though I choose not to put that in my body, McDonald's is dictating how almost ALL food is manufactured. And those people that are trying to go back to sustainable, ethical farming and living are investigated as criminals. We have created a nation of people afraid to cook on their own. They do not have enough time. They do not like cooking. We worry about our children's college savings funds and our retirement accounts, but not too often are we concerned about the life we are predicting for our children based on the food we put into their bodies. We need to make a nutritional investment in our children so that they can create a new generation that is healthier, not sicker.

This documentary is on Netflix. Watch it. Then tell me how you will never look at a mass produced hamburger the same way ever again. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Steel Cut Oats

This past fall we had the opportunity to stay at a hotel with a pretty fancy room service breakfast. The oatmeal listed on the menu was $9 and it said it was steel cut oats. I had never heard of such a thing before, but oatmeal that expensive is begging to be tried. The first bite was a moment of "I'm not sure if I like this." The second bite was "This is the most incredible oatmeal I have ever had!" The texture is quite different. It is like a little ball of exploding grain. Once you go steel cut oats though, the old oatmeal will never taste as good again.
The product I used. I love Red Mill products.
Bob's Red Mill Website
When I got back home I decided to try and make steel cut oats. I bought a bag of organic steel cut oats and followed the recipe on the back. I followed it exactly and the cook time was about 20 minutes. The final product was ok, but not the texture I wanted. I did some research online and found out that the perfect texture takes hours to make. So I tried making it again, following the recipe on the back of the bag initially, and then leaving it on low heat and adding water every 15 minutes or so and stirring it. I will do this for three to four hours.

Now you may be wondering, who in their right mind would make oatmeal for three hours?

That would be me.

It's really not that much work. You can make a giant pot of this stuff and then warm it up in a saucepan and a little water for the next week and it will warm up perfectly.

I then came across a recipe for steel cut oats that are made in a slow cooker. After much trial and error, I have arrived at this recipe for a lesser work version of the perfect steel cut oat.

After much trial and error, I have also realized any recipe that calls for milk does not turn out correctly in my opinion. It ends up mushing the oats and they lose their pop factor. I like milk in regular oatmeal. Steel cut oats are not meant for milk.

The Slow Cooker Recipe

1 1/2 cups organic steel cut oats
6 cups water
1/2 tsp salt - I use Celtic Sea Salt

Cook in slow cooker for 6 hours. If you are setting this and then leaving, it will do fine. But I think it does better if you give it some attention and stir every once in a while.

After it is done, sweeten it up with some organic honey or coconut sugar (I use a little of both, more on the honey end though), add some cinnamon and some high quality vanilla. Add some fresh berries if you have them.

Take the leftovers, put them in a container and store in the fridge.

To Warm Up the Next Day

Put the already cooked oatmeal in a small saucepan. Add a little water and whisk. This will break up the oats.


I think cooking them over a stove for several hours constantly stirring gives a better outcome, but if you do not want to commit to that, the slow cooker will work.

Chicken Tenders in Coconut Oil

I bought a package of cage free, organic chicken tenders. I usually buy the breasts and cut them up, but the store was out of the breasts.

I put two large heaping tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan to heat up.

I coated the tenders in a half whole wheat flour, half organic white flour mixture.

Once the oil was hot, I added the chicken to the pan. I seasoned the chicken with Celtic Sea Salt, pepper and paprika.

Once the tenders were nice and brown on one side, I flipped them over. Once they were flipped, I lightly drizzled them with little bit of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil for the flavor.

This was my first time cooking in coconut oil and the chicken turned out perfect. It had a perfect crisp on each side. I will definitely be using coconut oil for frying and sautéing in the future.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Heather's Organic Colada Martini

I bought a carton of organic coconut milk and organic orange juice at Whole Foods. When I got home I decided that the two together with some fresh pineapple juice and a splash of coconut rum would make the perfect mixed drink. It turned out fabulous! My husband and kids (I made non-alcoholic ones for the kiddos) loved it!

The recipe:

Equal parts orange juice and coconut milk

I added a splash of fresh pineapple juice that my mother in law had made earlier that day with a whole pineapple

Then add coconut rum to whatever strength you want (obviously this isn't organic, but the rest is at least)

Shake it up in a martini shaker with a lot of ice and voilà!

The kids loved their non-alcoholic ones too!