Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Black Bean Burgers

These were excellent, easy, will have to be made again, and next time I'll have to measure. When I make such large quantities, my guestimates don't work properly. Suffice it to say, that the key ingredients were quinoa flour, millet flour, flaxseeds, blackbeans freshly out of the crockpot, and then the other ingredients like onions, garlic, herbs and seasonings. The mixing bowl that I made these in was huge, and the bowl was almost full. Wow, I really made a pile of burgers, most of which will go into the freezer for those busy days on the go.
How to make black bean burgers
To make good burgers, texture is necessary, so the black beans were partially mashed to kind of break them up,
but so they could peak through for flavor and color. Also, the onions were cut in big enough pieces to also
be visible and for that all-important texture.
Once the mixture is ready, pat the patties out uniformly by using a large-mouth jar ring. My mom's clever idea.
She found that burgers of that shape and no larger would fit in her freezer boxes.
Drop the ring with mixture onto the oiled baking sheet and gently remove the ring.
Yummy looking!
This is just the first baking sheet starting to fill up. I must have had at least four sheets.
But then I like to prepare a lot at one time and have a long breather between the next batch.
After baking them, half the time on one side, and half the time on the other.
They look scruptious!
Uniform baking .... yep, works every time!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cilantro Pesto

The cilantro was beautiful at the foreign foods mart in Itaewon so I bought 3 large bunches, 2 large bunches of parsley, a massive chunk of ginger and then came home and made killer cilantro pesto.

Cilantro Pesto
2 large bunches of cilantro
1 large bunch of parsley
1 large handful of young green onion stems
7-8 cloves garlic
14 cherry tomatoes
1 1/3 cups whole washed almonds
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice with pulp
1 rounded teaspoon sea salt

In the BlendTec put in the cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice and whiz. It's easier to whiz the greens bit by bit so not as much olive oil is needed - seems healthier that way. Add the parsley and whiz, then the young green onions, garlic and sea salt and whiz. Lastly add the whole almonds and tomatoes and whiz just enough to break them up and give texture and bits of separate color to the mix. And wah-lah! Serve, and expect great flavor when especially biting down into a mouthful that has distinct bits of almonds ... it's like getting a sudden burst of Parmesan cheese flavor!

Burgers too!
I also made a whole pile of burgers, and in fact, I made so much mixture that it would have taken forever to bake them in my small oven, so I made one pan of "burger" wedges.

BTW, I threw these together quickly but they have lots of food processed vegies (cabbage mostly), black-eyed peas mashed, cooked brown rice for softness and moisture retention, coarsely chopped walnuts, and a small amount of whole grains whizzed in the BlendTec to a coarse flour (quinoa, millet and black rice). They have an almost "meaty" texture and flavor. I made some in a casserole dish as if it were a meatloaf, and it really turned out great. After it cooled, I chopped it all up in large squares and froze it for times when I need a quick meal and only have time for a salad. Smart planning, I think.

Batch #2 of the cilantro pesto was made with hemp seeds along with the almonds. The hemp make the pesto seem more substantial but I also noticed that the cilantro was more subdued. I like loud cilantro flavor for some things, and this rounder flavor for others. This second batch also had a few more young green onions, and I really like the harmony of green onions and cilantro in pesto. That was a great improvement.

I love my BlendTec. It makes "cooking" so easy!
I'm getting more and more inspired by sites that are all living whole foods, that is, they are all raw and have sprouting life. I'm not quite prepared to go all raw but I'm regularly upping the percentage. Since mid-October I've been about 70-80% raw, and  I LIKE it! My muscles feel more supple, I don't feel tired during the day, and I love the bounce in my step. This is great! I'll bet I can adjust the burger recipe above to only raw food and put it in the dehydrator to "make bread". Hmm, I challenge myself ... so wait and see the results :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Concerns of the Typical Raw Food Diet

Several years ago I started to become aware of the raw food diet when someone sent me a link about green smoothies and how they boost energy. A few months after getting that email, I bumped into Victoria Boutenko's book 12 Steps to Raw Food. I was kind of fascinated by eating raw so read a couple more of her books Green for Life and Green Smoothie Revolution. I didn't go raw but I became more aware of how I fixed my food and I did buy a VitaMix so I could make green smoothies sometimes.

About three years ago I started getting very interested in the raw food world. Because more and more people are getting sick off of food and environmental toxins, the number of raw food blogs has radically increased, so there's really a lot of recipes available online. In fact, I've found lots of food blogs that touch on raw food and experiment with the raw food diet (like I have been), and many food blogs dedicated to raw food (along with all sorts of promotionals -- which I don't like reading about) but I have picked through and identified a few favorites which I now follow. However, there's something a bit odd about the raw food recipe world (generally), and that is, when I look at the recipes, I have to question how people who consistently eat those kinds of raw foods over time can maintain their health. 

Broadly speaking, it appears that many raw foodists believe that because they are eating raw, they are eating healthily. I disagree but more on that below. Or that because their food is all natural plant food, they can create desserts out of the healthy whole raw food and not worry about gaining weight or perhaps getting diabetes or stressing their adrenals with the glucose and/or fructose spike. On the point of any kind of sugar, I know that it even in its most natural form can cause obvious problems for some people (me with my candida, and to a lesser degree, people with many autoimmune diseases to name a few), but with the high glucose and/or fructose that is consumed in the raw food diet, even people without health issues are taxing their adrenals and beating their pancreas, and that over time, there will be problems. From what I've seen on raw food blogs and in "cook"books, there's a disproportionate amount of desserts to salads, greens and vegetable preparations published.

Even sugar from natural food sources can cause problems. Dates, raisins, apples and other fruits are natural sweeteners, but before someone argues that they are totally natural and totally beneficial, let me also add that they have been grafted, cross-pollinated, and genetically manipulated to become sweeter, hardier and/or brighter, and so the modern-day fruits that we eat today really cannot be compared with the fruits of, say, a hundred years ago. Then there are the processed sweeteners used in raw food recipes -- honey (usually not raw), molasses (not raw), brown rice syrup (not raw), maple syrup (not raw), agave "nectar" (not raw although recipe books say "raw agave nectar/syrup"! and 90% fructose so much worse for the body than the the 50% fructose in corn syrup!). And then there are the sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, and of course xylitol, which doctors recommend for diabetics because in the modern world, we CRAVE sugar, are addicted to it, and therefore need a sugar substitute that won't cause glucose spikes like those experienced by diabetics. But hmmm, what about fructose spikes??? For side effects of high fructose, most links connected with that is linked with corn syrup, but I predict some day soon that agave "nectar" will be included. At 90% fructose I can't understand why it isn't discussed yet. 

Anyway, I seriously question the amounts of sugar used in the typical raw food blogs, and I seriously question xylitol and agave, both which feature heavily in raw food recipes. Just a BTW. Sorbitol and mannitol are made from cornstarch that have been put through multiple processes; xylitol is made from corn cobs, sugar cane bagasse or stalk residue following extraction, or even birth wood waste and also is heavily processed. And a FYI. Brown rice syrup is comprised of three sugars (45% maltose, 3% glucose and 52% maltotriose) and all three sugar have higher glycemic counts than sucrose/table sugar.

Another reservation I have about the typical raw food blogs is the heavy use of mangoes, avocados and bananas. Some blogs list these three fruits to be consumed in a single day and sometimes in more than just one meal, or they ubiquitously appear in the blog. These three fruits are all high latex foods, and latex foods are highly allergenic. Here are some of the most noted foods related to latex reactions from a blogger who writes exclusively on allergies and sensitivities:
Latex cross reactive foods
Other possible cross reactive foods
Squash family, pumpkin
Legumes, beans
Spices, mint, cinnamon

A little aside on the latex reaction to foods. Foods that are grown organically have less of an effect on people than fruits raised, for example, in a green house, picked green and "ripened" with the gas ethylene, which creates an injury type latex protein. Fruits and vegies have latex which converts naturally to ethylene hormone at the peak of ripeness, provided it was plant ripened. Therefore, plant ripened, organic fruits and vegies are what raw foodists (generally) strive for.

There are several more reservations I have about the raw food diets I see posted online and in books, and one is too many nuts in recipes seems to be mainstream. As I heard via a friend who's madly pursuing healthful living, 40grams of nuts, that is, enough to only fill the cupped palm, is what the body can easily digest; otherwise, the hardness of nuts is abrasive to the kidneys. Also, I think there should be a higher percentage of green vegies in the diet, significantly higher than the fruits. Greens with their healing and enriching chlorophyll are natural toxin removers from the body. It is the chlorophyll that attracts toxins in the body and actually escorts them out. Without chlorophyll, a person will have a lot of toxic build-up, even if they are on an all raw diet.

And then one last comment on the diet drawbacks as I'm seeing typically depicted via various media ... I'm not seeing a lot of food variation. I read somewhere that people typically enjoy 20 main kinds of food, in different forms, but mainly only 20. For example, potatoes can be baked, fried, hash-browned, stuffed, tatter totted, and french fried, but all these recipes still use the potato. In any regard, I've noticed the same trend on raw food blogs (and on my own!). Most people do indeed stick pretty close to their personal 20 staples. However, this is a drawback especially for raw foodists who already have eliminated many kinds of foods from their diets. A lack of variety could cause deficiencies or even a build-up of the good nutrients. For example, because Brazil nuts are so high in selenium (a trace mineral), they can be classed as yet another "superfood". However, a person shouldn't eat more than 6 Brazil nuts at a time or he/she will get an overdose of selenium and become toxic to it. (related article).

Anyway, these have been some of my deepest concerns about the raw food diet. I've tried to go all raw for a couple of weeks on a couple of occasions, but I feel that when I do I'm just not feeding my body well, especially since it's very sensitive with this candida bacteria. However, I was sleuthing around the web about two months ago and landed on the Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI) home page. There was relatively nothing printed on their site about raw food, so I followed the link to Facebook and looked through the albums of pictures just to see what HHI was all about.

And I had an epiphany! There was the chef with his arms outspread in front of a magnificent display of raw food. Haha, I smiled when I considered how many people would be unimpressed by the chef's lack of recipe preparation (each food dish only contained one food item, no mixing on that buffet table!), but I was so impressed because when I saw that display, I knew that each of those dishes, each filled with sprouts at their most nutritious point between 3 and 10 or so days would be rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, and each tiny sprout would come packed with different trace elements too. When I saw that picture, I thought, "Wow! Now that's how people should really eat!"

Hippocrates Health Institute with Chef Ken

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Animal Protein vs. Plant-based Protein

What Is Protein?

Protein is a macronutrient that is composed of amino acids, also known as building blocks. There are in total 21 amino acids, and these are broken down into 9 essentials and 12 non-essentials -- the non-essentials, meaning the body (the liver) can synthesize them by itself. The other 9 aminos are essential as the human body cannot make them in any way or cannot make a sufficient quantity. Given that the human body is lacking 9 aminos, humans must make up for that deficiency by making healthy eating choices, which the majority of us are scientifically clueless about making.

Basically, there are two types of proteins - plant protein and animal protein. Animal protein contains "higher-quality" proteins, that is, they may contain all of the essential amino acids, but these proteins are not necessarily "better quality" proteins (reasons given below). Plant proteins, except in instances like quinoa and soybean (soy however is highly genetically modified and estrogenic), do not contain all of the essential proteins by themselves, but when combined with other plants having diverse amino acid patterns, all of the essential aminos can be provided. Therefore, eating a diverse diet as a vegan or vegetarian in order to get all of the complementary aminos is necessary.

From this information, it is clear that people can feed off of animal or only off of plants to get the proper amino acids for creating a healthy body.

How Much Protein Is Needed Daily (for Vegans)?

The industry standard for vegans is 0.9 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is a bit higher than the RDA standard because non-animal protein sources are not as available or complete (in qualitity) in amino acids as vegetarian ones. The easist way to calculate individual needs is to multiply .45 grams by a person's body weight in pounds to get the average. Or for the active athlete who wants to increase the protein intake to maintain or build muscle, figure 1.3 to 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight. Following is the conversion formula:

To convert lbs to kg (lb = 2.2 kg). Protein intake (grams) = (weight in kg multiplied by .9)

What Is the Function of Protein?

The body needs proteins to grow, repair or replace tissue. Sometimes proteins facilitate or regulate bodily functions; other times they become part of a structure. Following are some roles that protein plays within the body:
  • Proteins are building blocks of muscles, blood, intestines, bone, teeth, skin, hair and nails. Collagen is a fibrous protein known to be the elastin and structure of skin, vessels, etc and is found both inside and outside of the cells. Collage makes us about 25% of the protein within the body.
  • Some proteins act as enzymes. Enzymes break down substances (like food) and build substances (like bones).
  • Some hormones are proteins, examples: Growth hormone (promotes growth), insulin and glucagon (regulates blood sugar), thyroxin (regulates metabolic rate), calcitonin and parathormone (regualtes blood calcium) and antidiuretic hormone (regulates fluid and electrolyte balance).
  • Proteins are regulators of fluid balance, a very important role for preventing swelling and water retention.
  • Proteins help maintain the balance between acids and bases within the body fluids.
  • Proteins act as transporters carrying important nutrients like vitamins and minerals and other molecules. Some proteins act as pumps maintaining the perfect balance of nutrients inside and outside of the cell walls.
  • Proteins defend the body against disease in the form of antibodies. Antibodies are giant protein molecules designed specifically to combat "antigens", otherwise known as viruses and bacteria.
  • Proteins are used as a source of energy when other sources like carbohydrates are not available.
  • Proteins participate in blood clotting and vision.

Why Is Animal Protein Unhealthy for the Human Body?

The type of protein consumed makes a dramatic effect on the body. While protein is necessary for sustaining life and bodily functions, proteins from harmful sources or in high consumption actually are detrimental to the body. The average person in the United States consumes between 70-100 grams of protein a day. That is about double the recommended allowance, but the worst part is, the source of that protein is from animal flesh. Animal flesh is high in saturated fat, phosphorus, sulfurous amino acids, uric acid and nitrogen, not to mention that it throws the pH of the body off, creating an imbalance and a playground for cancer. So just what does animal flesh/protein do to the body:

Heart disease
Research has linked high intake of animal protein to high blood cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease.

Kidney Function (Gout & Kidney Stones)
The kidneys are the last filter for the body and have the role of excreting the end products of protein breakdown. When excess protein is consumed, the amino acids travel to the liver for a process call deamination. Deamination is the process of breaking down amino acids and converting them to ammonia. Ammonia, a toxic compound to the body, is then converted to urea and uric acid. High levels of uric acid are very damaging to the kidney, due to their high acidic nature, and can lead to kidney stones and gout, a kind of arthritis.

Mineral Loss (Osteoporosis)
Animal proteins are rich in the sulphur-containing amino acids cysteine and nethionine. These amino acids are highly acidic which cause stress on maintaining acid-alkaline homeostasis in the body. In order to balance the acidity, the body draws calcium (alkaline) out of the soft tissues and the bones. As a result, this process can lead to osteoporosis (bone deterioration). A loss of calcium also affects muscle contraction/relaxation (cramps), blood clotting, and nerve transmission. Calcium is an integral part of the body's function and easily obtainable from many vegan food sources.

Some researchers have suggested that a high intake of animal protein alters hormones and the body's response to hormones, including leptin, which regulates energy intake and expenditure as well as appetite. By altering leptin, a person may cause the body to become resistant, which means that the body will not receive the message of "fullness". As a result, a person may not feel full and will keep eating. Furthermore, animal protein is high in saturated fat, which is a calorie dense macronutrient, therefore, contributing to weight gain.

Based on extensive research done by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, diets that contain animal protein turn on cancer genes. Campbell discovered that a person could alter gene expression by changing the diet from an animal-based one to a plant-based diet. Campbell's book China Study is a 20-year study done by the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine, Cornell University and the University of Oxford. Other studies have shown that a diet high in animal protein foods increased a person's risk for colon, breast, pancreas and prostate cancer.

Following is a chart showing that more than sufficient amounts of  protein can be derived from plant sources. Plant-based proteins are more easily assimilated in the body and therefore eating less than is suggested by the RDA can satisfy and nourish the body well.

Nuts / Seeds (1/4 cup or 4 tbls)
Protein (g)
Chia seed
Hemp seed
Flax seed
Sunflower seed
Pumpkin seed
Sesame seed
Brazil nut
Pine nut
Beans (1 cup cooked)
Protein (g)
Cannellini (white bean)
Cranberry bean
Navy bean
Split pea
Black bean
Garbanzo (chick pea)
Kidney bean
Great northern bean
Lima bean
Pink bean
Black-eyed pea
Mung bean
Pinto bean
Green pea
Grains (1 cup cooked)
Protein (g)
Oat, bran
Wild rice
Rye berries
Whole wheat
Bulgar wheat
Oat groats
Brown rice
Vegetables (1 cup, cooked)
Protein (g)
Corn (I large cob)
Potato (with skin)
Mushroom, oyster (1 cup)
Avocado (1 raw fruit)
Collard greens (1 cup)
Peas (1/2 cup)
Artichoke (medium)
Broccoli (1 cup)
Brussel Sprouts (1 cup)
Mushroom, shitake (1 cup)
Fennel (1 medium bulb)
Swiss chard (1 cup)
Sweet potato (1 cup)
Kale (1 cup)
Asparagus (5 spears)
String beans (1 cup)
Beets (1 cup)
Cabbage (1 cup)
Carrot  (1 cup)
Cauliflower (1 cup)
Squash (only zucchini and spaghetti)
Celery (1 cup)
Spinach (1 cup)
Bell pepper (1 cup)
Cucumber (1 cup, raw)
Eggplant (1 cup)
Leeks (1 cup)
Lettuce (1 cup, raw)
Okra (1/2 cup)
Onion (1/2 cup)

(This chart is taken from The Holy Kale and modified for the person with strict candida. All items crossed out are great vegan/vegetarian protein sources but either because of high glucose, gluten, are a nightshade, or for other reasons, these anti-inflammatories of candida must be stricken from the diet. There are still plenty of vegan choices for the person with candida to eat the proper amount of protein daily without feeling the need to eat animal protein, which in itself is very inflammatory.)

What Are My Personal Protein Choices?

Like many people who are vegan or vegetarian, my muscles have definitely gotten leaner. In the past 3 1/2 years my weight has great fluctuated, mostly in the first 1 1/2 years when no one including myself could figure out my problem. Once I figured out my problem, I could adjust my eating to ward off reaction, and therefore, not be on a weight gain-loss rollercoaster.
Even so, I have questioned my amounts of protein, one of the main reasons I was eating eggs for the past year or so. However, I have discovered another source of protein that is rich in vitamins, minerals and micronutrients - sprouts! When the seed is just maturing, it is at its richest nutritionally speaking, and is a phenomenal meat and egg replacement for those transitioning or just a way of ensuring that one is getting the proper amount of protein for maintaining the vital body function listed above.
Type of Sprout
Percent of protein
Alfalfa sprouts
Broccoli sprouts
Pea sprouts
Lentil sprouts
Radish sprouts
Red clover sprouts
Garbanzo bean sprouts
Mung sprouts
(percentages taken from The Healthy Eating Advisor)
So, I eat a variety of sprouts, hemp seed (one of those rare plant products that is a complete protein), spirula (another rare complete protein), nuts and seed, and many many vegetables. I've noticed that within the last few weeks, since being away from the fish eating I did in the US on vacation and upping my raw vegie intake, my nail health and hair quality are actually better. My nails are stronger and the color a bit pinker (paleness suggests anemia). Another comment on the escalating plant food in my diet is that early on after I first got systemic candida and started eating a 50+% raw food diet, my hair actually darkened! Victoria Boutenko, the raw foodist who really purports green smoothies, made that comment in either her book 12 Steps to Raw Foods or one of her books on green smoothies. Anyway, people started commenting that they didn't remember my hair being so dark, and I was that my hair had never had such body. Right! Victoria had written about some anti-aging factors related to a raw food diet, and my body changes are definitely supporting her analysis. 
Much of the above information was taken from a well-researched article at The Holy Kale.
For further studies in plant vs. animal protein, read T. Colin Campbell's phenomenally researched book The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-term Health

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bittermelon Okinawan Style

According to my health-conscious Philippina friend, bittermelon is very nutrition, especially for women as it's iron-rich. Well, what female doesn't need bittermelon ... but a word of caution for the unsuspecting, the vegie ... is ... very ... bitter. I actually like it, but I'm not going to eat it like I would a cucumber, although it goes very nicely raw mixed equally with cucumber. In that kind of salad, I grate the bittermelon and cut the cucumber in thin rings. With some cherry tomatoes or a little lemon juice and salt, it's quite the nice salad.
This recipe I bumped into online and just wanted to try it. I prefer not to cook my vegies if I can help it, but hey, an experiment today ["today" being a month ago].
Bittermelon with Egg and Onions
Bittermelon with egg and onions, also called goya chanpuru in Japanese, and it is an Okinawan delicacy. I was telling my Philippina friend about it because she introduced me to this exotic healthy "treat" and she said, "Oh yeah, we have that too. We serve it for breakfast." And so I made mine for breakfast.
1 bittermelon sliced into half-moons, 1 small onion sliced the same,
3 small eggs, 2 cloves of garlic, and sea salt
lightly sautee the bittermelon and onion together on low heat
when vegies lightly sauteed, I added in the beaten eggs and a few teeny-tiny cherry tomatoes
 I can't believe I ate the whole thing in one meal. I was planning to have a little as a side-dish for later, a typical Asian idea, but it seemed the perfect size. Ah well!
Another version: with zucchini peelings

[My days of eating eggs came to an end here when I made the second goya chanpuyu. Back in Korea, after a whole summer with my family, I was thinking of omelets with "free range eggs" like I had eaten at home, so bought a carton of eggs (10 usually in a carton in Korea) and came running home to try this new recipe. But the free-range eggs I bought were close to disgusting. The egg whites were incredibly weird, almost runny like water. I threw two out that were particularly runny and used three. Subconsciously, I didn't feel good about the change in the eggs and particularly that I was willing to eat such things. It gave me some serious "food for thought". So I threw the remaining icky things out. There are ways to get proper nutrition without eating runny-white, or any kind of, egg. I was absolutely strict vegan for several months when I was first so sick, and that diet really helped me. In hindsight, it's kind of stupid of me to fall into former eating patterns that I had before when I clearly know that eggs and fish had a very evil effect on me. That effect is written in Candida's Illustrious Beginnings, a time I would like to completely blot out of my memory.]

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Quick Salmon Casserole w/ free-range eggs

Incredibly easy to make with a can of Aldi's wild salmon (ingredients: wild salmon and salt) and three free-range eggs. (BTW, my cousin keeps our house supplied with his free-range eggs. We know the large area they roam around in and what feed he gives them, so we feel somewhat comfortable about eating those eggs. The free-range eggs in the store are a big question, first about their possibly dead-animal parts feed or because yes, the chickens might be able to go outside and roam, but if the chicks were raised inside and learned to fear the outside, then no matter if the door is opened, they will not go out. And laying chickens that have this "freedom" to go out even though they don't, their eggs are called .... free range eggs. Legal SEMANTICS!)
Quick Salmon Casserole
1 can wild salmon
3-4 ribs celery, chopped
2 medium onions, one chopped
3-4 eggs
garlic cloves or garlic powder
fresh dillweed
sea salt / Himalayan salt
First, open the can of wild salmon and drain. Then dump it in a serving bowl. Chop in the celery ribs and one of the onions. Transfer the mixture to a glass casserole dish. Then, in the blender put the eggs, the remaining onion in chunks, the garlic and the salt. Blend about 30 seconds until the eggs and onion make a froth. Add in the fresh dillweed and pulse the mixture once or twice to break up the dillweed but leave it in lovely green pieces floating throughout.

Pour the egg and onion froth evenly over the prepared salmon and vegies. Bake the casserole on 320F for 50 minutes. Baking at a higher temperature will make the eggs hard. This casserole should come out light, fluffy and very tasty.

The finished product just waiting to be eaten!

Hmm, guess I didn't take a picture of the steamed kale even though I'm drinking the leftover kale juice, supposedly where the most vitamins are after cooking.

Light, fluffy and very delicious! This was even better than salmon pie, which I've usually baked at a higher temperature. Must remember ... the lower temp is the key to a fluffier egg dish.

[This recipe was made in the 2012 summer. Since I have almost completely eliminated fish from my diet as I don't think fish, with its heavy metals and bacteria, are benefiting my body still ridden with some kind of candida bacteria. I should have come to this conclusion long ago.]

Cod, Baked Squash ... and more

This supper was principally baked with the exception of the salad, hidden somewhere beyond the camera. The menu was baked yellow squash, spaghetti squash, vegan burgers and ... yes, baked cod! I hadn't eaten cod in years, so this was a very special treat.
Baked yellow squash with rosemary and thyme and sea salt sprinkled on top.
Baking sure beats frying, something I dislike doing, especially individual vegetables
baked squash close-up
In a hurry, so we whipped some vegan garden burgers out of the freezer
and baked them as if they were grillers!
the vegan "grillers" close-up
cod baked on lemon slices, onion rings with thyme and rosemary sprinkled on top
This was a hit with me!!!
[Looking back at my pictures on my 2012 summer made me realize how much I was cooking my food instead of eating 50% or more raw. Also, how much fish and eggs I was including in my meal. Important realization. A clear example of the use and importance of Visual Anthropology!]

Wild Salmon Patties

Salmon patties absolutely rock! And when I can get the Aldi's brand of salmon with two ingredients in the list - wild salmon and salt - I let myself indulge in something fishy. Usually I make wild salmon pie, but at this time (last summer) there was some leftover Adlay, which I thought with its natural nuttiness it would be very complimentary to the salmon ... and it was! The salmon patties turned out a bit nutty-chewy with the grain, and was not only complimentary to the salmon but also the flavor-enhancing chopped onion and celery.
Wild Salmon Patties
1 can wild salmon, drained
1+ cup cooked Adlay (or brown rice)
1/2 cup or more of quinoa flour
2-3 eggs
chopped celery
chopped onion
minced garlic
chopped parsley
a little fresh dill (optional)
sea salt
Pat out patties and place on a oiled baking sheet.
Halfway through baking, flip the patties to brown the other side.
Serve hot or cold. The patties freeze very well.
Gingered green beans - Green beans boiled with ginger bits until beans are tender. No salt necessary.
Green bean-ginger "juice" - I was amazed that it tastes sooooo good! Supports a healthy esophagus too!
gingered green beans, salmon patties, and toss salad with a dill-garlic-lemon juice dressing (I even poured a little
over the salmon pattie and that was great! Salmon and dill is a wonderful complement.
the whole meal!
[Wow! In hindsight I ate a lot of eggs and fish during the 2012 summer. In Korea I had been easily maintaining my near-vegan diet (occasionally went to a fish restaurant with a friend) as I only cooked for me. My diet was 50+% raw and I felt clean after eating. But back home, eating so strictly wasn't easy, especially with people having a range of personal food and snack preferences, so I started to drift a bit from my eating schedule and experiment with expanding my very strict diet. I don't nibble, but being in the nibbling atmosphere, I started ... much to my disgust. Also, I don't cook meat in my house, but mom and I found wild salmon canned only with salt and wow, we wanted to treat dad, a former hunter and fisherman. Oh my wowwie goodness, I loved the salmon treat so much, I kept treating dad ... and me!
Anyway, the summer wasn't a particularly good time for me food-wise. When I returned to Korea, I didn't feel bad but I did notice that my energy level wasn't what it had been. It didn't take me long to realize that subtly over the summer my eating patterns had changed. I had gone from 50+% raw to only about 30%. The realization was a bit perturbin,g and without really planning, I just started eating more and more raw food ... until by early October I realized that my diet was 70% raw. The realization hit me when I was climbing through a mini forested area on my way to work (one hour on foot). I was nimbly climbing the steep areas without any joint stiffness. My muscles felt so fluid and I felt like I weighed a fraction of what I had before. What an exciting feeling and I knew it was related to my food choices!!! So, I decided to up my raw food from 70% to 80%. Making that conscious effort has taken a little planning and foresight, especially involving dehydrator "breads" ... but I'm getting there. Yesterday, I was 100% raw, and there will certainly be more and more of those days as I'm making more and better health choices for my life.

Expect to hear more about these exciting changes and reference the growing list of food blogs in the right margin to get more ideas about raw food "preparation"!!! I've been dabbling more and more in raw food since gettin sick 3 1/2 years ago, but the more I learn, the more I must share about my new knowledge and how it applies to my and others' lives.]