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Here’s one from last year. A small story about the magic of fermentation and a Yummy recipe from Mara as well. Thanks Yoga Journal!
Originally posted by Alexa @ www.superfoodsuperlife.com
One of the foods that I never thought I would fall in love with is pickled vegetables. I had grown up loving deli pickles, but nothing more than that. How was I to know there is such a simple yet beneficial world of food out there — all things pickled, fermented, cultured and alive! I read about this exciting world of microbes contained in these foods in Dr. Perlmutter’s recent book Brain Maker. A must-read or must-listen for anyone who wants to improve their gut health!
I wanted to speak with the people who actually make these foods. Willow and Mara King are the chefs behind Ozuké, one of my favorite brands of fermented vegetables. To think that ingesting living organisms being beneficial for our gut is utterly fascinating! It used to totally freak me out, but now I try and get some form of probiotics into every meal. It has made a significant difference in my digestion, my immunity and so much more.
Q&A with Mara and Willow King of Ozuké
Q: What inspired you to create Ozuké?
A: Ozuké was born out of the kitchen… that fun space where you go with your friends to create deliciousness, make something brand new and share your creations with what invariably ends up being a party.
Q: What does ozuké mean?
A: Ozuké means “the best pickled things” or “honorable pickles” or “from pickles” or even more esoterically… “from cooking without heat”.
Q: What’s your philosophy on health?
A: Health is your participation in the creation of an inspired life.
Q: How long have you been pickling/fermenting for?
A: Kombucha since the 1990’s… I picked up a scoby from a cute french girl and nurtured it in my mountain home at the time. That little scoby became a giant scoby in the back of one of the sushi bars I ran in the 2000’s along with smelly pickling experiments all in recycled 5-gallon sushi ginger buckets. In 2009 I was the head chef of a nutritionally sound fine dining establishment and we had my kimchis and probiotic krauts on the menu as well as my kombucha in the bar.
Q: What are some of the benefits to eating cultured foods?
A: Eating cultured foods is good for your digestive health, your immune health, your mental health and is even (through vitamin A and K) supposed to be good for regenerative or skin health.
Q: How much do you consumer regularly? How much should the layman consume?
A: I drink fermented beverages daily and have done for many years. I eat about 1/2 – 1 cup of fermented veggies daily. I eat yogurt quite often and I have recently started playing with fermented grains as well. I often hear that when folks are new to fermented foods there can be a period of adjustment that can be gassy and painful. My recommendation is that if you are brand new to it go slowly… a bite here and there and then build up your tolerance.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to pickle and why?
A: I have really enjoyed making fruit ferments the last couple of years… I started with plums making umeboshi and then applied the same logic to cherries. My latest obsession is fermenting grains… idli and dosa batter, injera, sourdough pancakes.
Q: Are there any individuals in the food movement that inspire you?
A: I recently spent a week living at Sandor Katz’s Tennessee home and studying fermentation with a group of 10 complete food nerds. It was such heaven! Sandor is an amazing human being through and through. A thought leader, a kickass mover and shaker in the kitchen, patient, accepting, full of humor and sweetness.
I like Mark Bittman’s can do approach to food and his commitment to food activism / politics as well.
Q: Is it possible to mess up a culture?
A: It is possible to mess up anything. What’s more important is paying attention to how and why. Processes, ritual, attention and an openness to learn are more important. Nature has been teaching us all lessons for ever – having a living thing in your care is a sure fire way to learn and grow.
Q: Why do believe cooking is important?
A: For me cooking is a practice. Like yoga or meditation for some. I get to tune in to flavor, seasons, color, fragrance and texture, to use these things along with technique, time and effort to create, to nurture and to share. If I do this more often than not I know that I am infusing the people that I love the most with my unique and distinctive inspirations. Cooking every darn day is also a political stance. I choose where my food comes from, I support my local farmer, I participate directly with the health of my local food shed, I choose not to buy processed crap. Some days I am tired and I don’t feel like cooking… good thing I married a man who also did his time slinging hash, working in bakeries and various restaurants in his youth who is perfectly capable of producing deliciousness and playing his part.
Q: Could you share an easy recipe with us?
A: We call this “Red Rice” at home. It is my daughter’s favorite and she will make it by herself (and a huge mess in the kitchen too 😛 teenagers!) This recipe starts with plain white rice and stains it red with beets. Start with butter melting in a pan. Add a full jar (you heard me!) of our fermented Beets, Dulse & Kale. Sizzle for a bit then add cooked rice.
Stir over medium heat until it is all incorporated. Add finely minced garlic and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. We love to serve this rice with an egg on top and some sprouts or baby kales on the side. You’ll definitely enjoy the bright red pearly grains juxstaposed with a vivid white of eggs and the greens. It’s such an attractive plate and you can always snazz this up with another kind of protein and call it dinner. Make this one time and I promise your family will start harassing you for more and more beets. Enjoy!
As you know, ramen is all the rage. It has been for a while now. Ask anyone where to get the best ramen and they will likely have a very passionate response. In fact, finding the best ramen has almost become an urban sport, the winner gaining social status, emphatic pride, and maybe even a few dates.
Unfortunately, when something becomes insanely popular, it can also become insanely expensive. Not all ramen spots are pricey, but there are certainly a lot of pricey options out there. What if you are just as obsessed with ramen as everybody else, but are shackled by your budget?
We are here to tell you that making ramen does not require alchemy—especially with the super power of delicious kimchi. So why not make your own?
Like an embedded reporter, I photographed as a friend made ramen for dinner. I pretended to be experimenting with a new camera as I lined up the ingredients and snapped away. Herein these photos lies the secret to making delicious, easy and inexpensive ramen that doesn’t come in a microwavable cup.
When I walked in the house I noticed two things immediately: An amazing aroma and my growling stomach. The broth had been simmering for some time before my arrival.
This particular cook was rather secretive about his broth, I think because his strategy was to add a little of this, and add a little of that, until the flavor reached its zenith. He did however excitedly use some juice from Ozuke’s Kale & Collards Kim Chi. He poured it right into the broth, right in front of my camera.
As I arranged the ingredients that were set out for the meal to “try out my new camera,” there were hints of what the broth contained. Beside the kimchi you’ll notice Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, Sriracha, natural rice vinegar, white pepper, turmeric, black sesame oil, and even Jamaican Jerk seasoning.
We can also see almost everything else that the ramen will include once it is plated: ramen noodles, ginger root, garlic cloves, shallots, carrots, radishes, a lime, a jalapeno, green opinions, cilantro, and shitake mushrooms. Not pictured: four eggs and one cucumber.
Isn’t there something so dangerously fun about jalapenos?
I confess I didn’t see what role the ginger played in the meal, but I suspect it was used in the amazing broth.
While the broth continued to simmer, our chef of the evening grabbed a knife. He cut up the green onions, the carrots, the radishes, the mushrooms, the cucumber, the jalapeno, the shallots, and pulled the leaves from the cilantro.
After that, there was some cooking to do. Four eggs were cracked and scrambled with black pepper.
After that, there was some cooking to do. Four eggs were cracked and scrambled with black pepper.
After all the prep was done, the stage was set like this. Everything is fresh and simple, the signature of a good, healthy meal.
As our chef for the evening began to plate the food, it was confirmed that he was an artist. He took his time laying each ingredient on each plate at a time so that the patterns matched from plate to plate.
And after everything was arranged just so, he poured in the broth we’d been salivating over, making each dish almost complete. The cherry-on-top to this ramen dish was our Kale & Collards Kim Chi—a grand finale indeed.
Yes, it was delicious.
Now let’s review. Making a delicious ramen meal at home is something all of us can do. There is very little cooking involved, there is ample room for creativity, the ingredients are simple and few, and as long as kimchi is involved, you’re going to love it
Fermented foods are making a tasty new splash as “good-for-you-foods”–although our grandparents knew it all along. By Mary Lynn Bruny
Red Rice Make this recipe once, and I promise you, your family will ask for more. My daughter, Kailee, would never let a beet near her lips in any other way! Ingredients Butter or olive oil, to taste 1 jar Ozuké the best pickled things Beets, Dulse & Kale 3-4 cups rice, cooked 1 teaspoon garlic (or to taste), minced Toasted sesame oil Optional: sprouts, kale, fried eggs Directions Put butter or olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add one full jar Beets, Dulse & Kale. Sizzle for a bit, then add cooked rice. Stir over medium heat until everything mixes together. Add minced garlic and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. We serve this rice with a fried egg on top with sprouts and baby kale on the side. You can always snazz this up with another kind of protein and call it dinner. —Mara King, Esoteric Food Company
What kid doesn’t want to eat purple food? All kids do, according to our kid savvy Chalie. She has developed a purple hummus recipe for lots of children we know. But how does hummus get purple? Well, with ozuké the best pickled things Beets, Dulse & Kale of course. According to her, it’s the perfect snack food for kids & adults. And she is right!
Hummus, a creamy protein rich Middle Eastern dip, is easily portable and contains all sorts of vitamins and minerals such as C, thiamin, B6, folate, zinc, phosphorus and iron. When you add our naturally fermented probiotic rich beets, the hummus becomes even better for you.
Probiotic rich foods have been found to support gut and immune system health. Read more about the benefits of a diet rich in good bacteria in The Journal of Applied Microbiology. Chalie’s purple Mediterranean treat can be prepared with store bought or homemade hummus.Chalie’s Purple Hummus Ingredients:
Place all ingredients into a food processor. Blend until creamy! Option: stir in beets whole or blend for creamier texture. Serve with vegetables, crackers, pita, bagel chips or grilled bread. Enjoy!Is your homemade hummus not as creamy as you like? Do you want to know how to make creamy hummus? I stumbled across the answer to this question when I found Heidi Insalata Krahling’s Mediterranean cookbook. She’s a California girl with Italian roots, and some fantastic tricks up her sleeve. Her stunning cookbook has become an invaluable resource in my kitchen. Her secret is to add baking soda to the garbanzo beans while they’re cooking. It reduces the boiling time significantly, and yields a softer bean.
Homemade Garbanzo Beans: (recipe from Insalata’s Mediterranean Table)
2 cups garbanzo beans or chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water, plus a little more if needed
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup tahini
Soak beans for at least 4 hours. After rinsing and draining, cover the chickpeas or garbanzo beans with 2 inches of water in large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the baking soda. Reduce the heat, simmer, skimming and discarding any skins and grayish foam that rises to the surface, until the chickpeas are soft, but not mushy. In my experience, the cooking time is approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Running around taking care of things such as work, kids, and chores can make it challenging to eat well every day. Here is a protein rich quinoa salad that can be made anytime and refrigerated, making it easy to just grab-n-go. The best part is that this colorful dish can be eaten hot or cold, and the ingredients are simple, and nourishing.
Our ozuké pickled beets, dulse, & kale is the SUPERFOOD ingredient adding brilliant color and intense nutrients to this meal. In addition to being a great source of iron, beets have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Dulse, a mineral rich sea vegetable, contains trace elements and is a protein source. Kale, a member of the mustard family, is high in calcium and vitamins A,C, and K. And, of course, ozuké pickled beets, dulse, & kale, like all of our fermented foods, is raw, organic, and probiotic.What makes puts the ‘gold’ in golden quinoa? Turmeric! Dubbed by some as the ‘world’s healthiest food’, turmeric comes from the roots or rhizomes of the plant species Curcuma longa (Ginger family). Perhaps best known as an ingredient in curry, turmeric is what gives mustard its bright yellow color. It is rich in manganese, iron, vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium. Turmeric’s color and flavor make it a great spice to incorporate in so many recipes.
1 cup of quinoa
½ teaspoon of turmeric
1 TBSP Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Olive oil
½ small onion, chopped
1.5 cups of water
1 cup edamame, frozen
1 clove garlic, peeled & smashed
½ cup each of fresh cilantro, and mint, and parsley, lightly chopped
½ cup carrots, shredded
½ cup cashews, toasted
1 TBSP or more of lemon juice & zest
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup or more ozuké beets, dulse, & kaleDirections:
In a medium saute pan with lid or sauce pan, heat oil. On medium/high heat saute onion and quinoa for about 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Add water, edamame, garlic clove, and stir. After bringing to a simmer, cover and let cook about 15 minutes. If possible, let cool, then fluff. While quinoa is cooling toast cashews in a pan on medium heat. Add remaining ingredients, stir and top with ozuké beets, dulse, & kale.
Serve Golden Quinoa as a meal or a side dish, hot or cold. As an alternative to shredded carrots, consider using this Cranberry Carrot Salad recipe.
Woo Hoo: Another guest blog from Michelle Auerbach photo by Zoe Auerbach
There is nothing like not cooking. When it’s 90 degrees in the kitchen at ten a.m. on a Saturday morning, turning on the oven or even the stove can seem like diving into lava. But, even in the winter, a meal using no pots and no pans is a gift to whoever cleans your kitchen after you cook. Sushi should be one of those meals, but never is. However, this recipe allows sushi lovers to get creamy, salty, crunchy, and tangy – along with seaweedy – without making rice or messing up more than a bowl, plate, and cutting board.
Pickled Beets Et Al Sushi
1 Tablespoon white miso
1 teaspoon raw honey
3 Tablespoons tahini
Zuke Beets, Hijiki, and Kale
Mix the miso, honey, and tahini in a bowl. If it is not smoothing out to a nice paste add a teaspoon of hot water.Slice the avocado into strips. Use a vegetable grater to make long strips of the carrot and cucumber. Wash the romaine lettuce and break into sushi nori length strips.Take one sheet of nori, spread a little it of the mixed miso paste on the edge of it. Then, line up the vegetables in palate pleasing proportions. Finish with a couple dollops of the Beets, Hijiki, and Kale. Roll up into a long nori roll and place on a plate seam side down. You can either make a few at once, or just bring all the ingredients to the table and let people roll their own to taste.
There is a Bhutanese red rice. This recipe starts with plain white rice and stains it red with beets. My Daughter Kailee would never let a beet near her lips in any other way. Red Rice is all the rage at my house these days. Start with butter melting in a pan. Add a full jar (you heard me!) of our Beets. Sizzle for a bit then add cooked rice. Stir over medium heat until it is all incorporated. Add finely minced garlic and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. We love to serve this rice with an egg on top and some sprouts or baby kales on the side. You’ll definitely enjoy the bright red pearly grains juxstaposed with a vivid white of eggs and the greens. It’s such an attractive plate and you can always snazz this up with another kind of protein and call it dinner. Make this one time and I promise your family will start harassing you for more and more beets. Enjoy 🙂