Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fresh Spinach - Please Don't Get Me Started

I keep wondering who the genius in the FDA is who issued the decree that recommends that people avoid eating all fresh spinach. I live in Sonoma County, a good 100+ miles from Salinas where they bagged the E. coli infested spinach but still we are not allowed to eat fresh spinach. My farmer friend Larry of Triple T Ranch and Farm just plowed under his spinach to plant more lettuce. The cook at the Kaisier cafeteria in Santa Rosa where we installed a healthy salad bar is trying to figure out what to do with 6 pounds of baby spinach that she's been told not to serve. I said that I'd sit in the cafeteria and let people watch me eat it. Larry grew it and it is NOT contaminated. It is just fine.

What is wrong with people? We suggest eating 9 to 11 servings of veggies and fruits each day, yet we send out a blanket statement not to eat fresh spinach. What about saying, "Don't eat bagged spinach or suspect spinach"? If your spinach is locally grown and you know its source, eat it, please.

I was quoted in The Press Democrat on Saturday, September 23rd along with Larry of Triple T Ranch and Farm about this spinach issue.

Also please check out the website for Wake Up and Eat to read a bit more about the spinach scare. and look at Principle number 9 -- Consider the Source. This book and DVD will be out in 2007 and I will keep you up to date on the progress with it.

In the meantime, please shop at the farmer's market and buy local when possible. It could save your life, or at least make you feel better about your choices.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My New Breakfast

Just over a month ago (August 8th, 2006) a very close friend passed away unexpectedly and suddenly a week after he turned 44 years old. It definitely sent my life into a tailspin -- a downward spiral that has taken time to climb out of. But during this time I started making myself a nourishing and nontraditional breakfast. (I'm glad to know that my subconscious mind can take over even during a period of grief.)

Those of you who know me know about my love affair with my pressure cooker, and with fresh, seasonal vegetables. So for my breakfast I have concocted a combination that produces a tasty and satisfying veggie breakfast bowl or wrap.

Here's what I do:

Heat the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add a bit of oil, or not, and put in diced onions, garlic, carrots, tofu, potatoes, a tablespoon of Bragg's liquid amino acids or somewhat less tamari and a few tablespoons of water. You can also add chopped red, yelllow or orange pepper and a bit of jalapeno or serrano chile.(And honestly any veggie that takes a few minutes to cook plus your favorite seasoning such as curry powder.) Lock on the lid, bring to high pressure and cook for 2 minutes. Quick release the pressure and add 1/2 cup chopped summer squash and/or green or wax beans, and 1 small chopped tomato (optional). Lock the lid on and pressure cook for 30 more seconds. Quick release the pressure and serve in a bowl over brown or brown and wild rice or for sheer decadence put into a whole wheat, multigrain (from La Tortilla Factory) or a sprouted grain tortilla. This will hold you for at least a few hours. You can add any seasonal veggies. I've done it with eggplant and also add chopped greens and herbs. I eat the leftovers the next day for lunch or dinner.

It's an easy and satisfying way to start the day. Now I just need a name for it. Any ideas?