Sunday, January 15, 2017

Amazing Creative Greens!

Tips For Cooking Greens

When I was a kid, my idea of “eating my greens” was a serving of baby peas. My sister loved spinach, especially creamed spinach but other than that, I don’t think I even knew about the existence of other kinds of greens. If it wasn’t lettuce in my salad, I was clueless. When I became vegan, a whole world of food was opened up to me: whole grains, succulent fruits, colorful vegetables and a slew of dark, leafy greens. I was amazed at how many kinds of greens there are: cabbage, bok choy, broccoli rabe, kale, collard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard, turnip, radish, beet and dandelion greens, to name just a few. Today, I love them all. I add greens into just about every dish I make though my favorite way of eating them is simply sauteed or steamed.

I think one of the biggest obstacles people face when it comes to eating dark, leafy greens is not knowing how to prepare them and make them taste delicious. Many greens can taste bitter and often, greens are undercooked and tough or overcooked and mushy. Knowing how to get rid of the bitter taste and be left with tender, flavorful greens requires knowing a few tricks. Consider this a crash course in how to cook greens so they taste delicious.

1. Get to Know Your Greens

There are many types of greens and while, for the most part, you can interchange them in recipes, they each have their own distinct flavor and texture. Dark, leafy greens are hardy and can be bitter, spicy or pungent, especially when eaten raw. You may be familiar with kale and how it comes in a curly version and a flat version called Lacinato, Dinosaur or Black Kale that is more flat and tender. Some greens such as broccoli rabe and beet greens can be bitter, mustard greens and dandelion greens tend to be spicy while chard is mellower. Try buying different types of dark, leafy greens and get to know their textures and flavors so you can choose the right greens for your recipes and the right cooking method for your greens. Experiment with different combinations of greens to balance texture and flavor. Buy a lot since greens cook down significantly and what looks like a mountain will shrink down to just a few serving sizes.

2. Wash and Prep Your Greens

Greens can be very sandy and gritty, especially when you get them fresh at the farmer’s market or in your CSA box, so they need to be washed well. Don’t wash the greens unless you are going to use them in a day or two as they will start to wilt. If you do wash them in advance, place them in a storage bag with a clean towel or paper towel to absorb the moisture and keep them refrigerated. The easiest way to wash greens is to fill the sink with cool water and give the greens a bath. Separate the leaves and agitate the water a bit with your fingers to loosen the dirt. Shake the leaves dry of excess water and then dry them in a salad spinner or by laying them between two clean towels.

If the greens you are using have thick stems or stalks, you need to remove them. This is true for kale and collard greens. Other greens such as chard and spinach have edible stems though you can certainly remove those as well. The easiest way to remove the stems from large leaves is by “stripping.” Hold the base of the stem in one hand and run your index and middle finger of the other hand along the stem, from base to tip, stripping the leaves off as you go. The leaves can then be chopped. I like to chop large leaves by rolling them up and cutting them into thin ribbons that will be easier to eat.

3. Blanch the Bitter Away

If you are concerned that the greens will be too bitter, you can remove that bitter taste by blanching them first. You can do this before you chop the greens to make it easier to handle. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and drop the leaves in. Stir them around a bit. In just a few minutes, the greens will start to wilt and become a beautiful, bright green color. Don’t cook them too long or they will lose that color and get mushy.  You can taste a leaf to see if the bitterness is gone enough for you. Transfer the greens to an ice bath to stop the cooking process or at least, run them under cold water. When they are cool enough to handle, you can wring the leaves out and remove the excess water. Then continue on to chop them for your recipe.

4. Aromatics and Seasoning

No matter what you are cooking, you want to take every chance you have to add flavor. Start with aromatics like shallots, onions and garlic. Heat a bit of your favorite oil in the pan and saute thinly sliced shallots and minced garlic until they are lightly browned and the smell permeates the air, telling everyone you are cooking something delicious. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or finely chopped chiles for a bit of heat. Or grate some fresh ginger for an Asian flavor. When you add the chopped greens, toss them so they get coated in the seasoned oil. These aromatics set the foundation for an amazingly flavorful dish.

After you add the greens and they have wilted a bit, it’s time to add more seasoning. You could just add salt and pepper but why not experiment with different herbs and spices? I always add fresh grated nutmeg to my dark greens for a mildly nutty flavor. Thyme, oregano and parsley are also among my favorite herbs while cumin, coriander and paprika are my favorite spices. Of course, season your greens with salt and black pepper.

Balance is important in cooking. If the greens still have some bitterness, you could add agave nectar or sugar to sweeten it a bit. Add a bit of vinegar for some acid; balsamic is fruity and rich and can stand up to the hearty greens though apple cider and red wine vinegar are also good choices. I like to use vegan Worcestershire sauce for complex, savory flavors. Tamari, soy sauce, liquid aminos and seaweed add rich, salty flavor. Play around with your favorites and come up with combinations you like best. You don’t need to add a lot; you just want to enhance the flavor of the greens, not cover it up.

5. Cooking Ideas

There are many ways to use and cook greens, whether they are part of the dish or the main component. Of course, you can eat greens raw as well. There are three ways I use greens in their raw state: salads, pesto and wraps.

Spinach and chard are mild flavors that work well in salads. Kale makes an amazing salad, but if it seems too rough, massage it first. Simply rub a bit of oil on your hands and give the kale some loving until it breaks down and softens. You can also massage other hearty greens like collards to soften them for salads. Try this Raw Massaged Kale Salad with Fresh Figs and Oranges and this lovely Spring Salad with Edible Flowers and Dandelion Greens.

Another way to eat greens raw is by making pesto out of them. I make pesto with radish greens, kale and any other greens I have a lot of. Mix the greens for a balance of flavor as in this Kale-Basil Pesto Pasta with Apple-Sage Sausage and this Ramp and Spinach Pesto over pasta.

Large leaves like collard greens work well as wraps for your favorite fillings. You could also blanch the leaves first to soften them. Learn how with these Raw Veggie Stuffed Collard Wraps .

A common method of preparing greens that I use is barely considered cooking them. Whenever I make a hot dish like pasta, I line the bowl with lots of chopped raw greens. When I top them with the hot food, they instantly wilt and steam a bit. Alternatively, when I am just about done cooking a dish such as my Southwestern Tofu Scramble with Greens, I add the chopped greens to the pot, put the lid on and let the greens wilt until they are soft and bright green. Then I mix them into the food and enjoy the almost-raw texture they add to the dish.

My favorite way to cook greens is to saute them in a pan with olive oil, garlic, shallots and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I don’t cook them long, just long enough to wilt and get bright green. Sometimes I saute one type of greens and other times, a combination of greens. Kale and cabbage is a favorite combination of mine. I love the greens sauteed with just the aromatics but a bit of tamari, vegan Worcestershire sauce or vinegar is also delicious. Try these sauteed Beet Greens with Garlic and Toasted AlmondsSauteed Broccoli Rabe with Red Chili Flakes and this Sauteed Spinach in Fennel Tomato Sauce.  Also add greens to your stir-fries like this Stir-Fried Crunchy Bengali Boy Choy.

Braising, which is cooking food in liquid and fat, is a good method for cooking greens because it softens the leaves and the longer cooking time gets out the bitterness. You get greens that are tender but not soft and mushy. Try my Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Braised Garlicky Kale.

Soups and stews are an excellent way to add greens and bulk up the dishes. When I make Minestrone or Pasta e Fagioli, I add a big bunch of collard greens, turnip greens or Swiss chard. My favorite hearty soup is Caldo Verde or Portuguese Kale Soup which has tomatoes, cannellini beans, vegan sausage and, of course, lots of kale. Enjoy all the seasons with this White Bean and Kale Soup in the winter and this Spring Kale and Dill Soup with Rice in the warmer months.  Try turnip greens in this Tempeh and Turnip Greens Soup. My stews and chilis also get big bunches of chopped greens in them. In fact, for a long time, the most popular recipe on my blog was an Ethiopian Beans, Greens and Quinoa Stew. Black-eyed peas and collard greens are deliciously featured in this African Groundnut Stew.

Everything tastes good battered and fried and greens are no exception. When I make vegetable pakoras, I always make some with kale and spinach or whatever greens I have in the fridge. Just dip the leaves in a batter of chickpea flour, white rice flour, baking powder, arrowroot powder and Indian spices and fry them until crispy. They get a light and crunchy coating while remaining tender inside.

Top your pizza with a healthy dose of greens. Whether it’s raw as in this Raw Vegan Pizza with Spinach, Pesto and Marinated Vegetables or cooked as in this Kale and Artichoke Pizza, adding greens to your pizza is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy one our favorite foods.

A fun way to eat your greens is to make chips out of them for snacking. You have probably had kale chips but did you know you can make chips out of other greens too? Read How to Make Healthy Veggie Chips of All Kinds or take any of your favorite kale chips recipes suc

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

John Taylor Gatto

The Paradox of Extended Childhood

https://archive.org/details/ThePardoxOfExtendedChildhood-InstitutinalizedEducationJohnTaylorGatto

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Why Prevention Starts at Home

As you know I'm a big fan of prevention. Preventing anything bad or negative before it happens is my base mindset and dealing with life from this standpoint had been my personal default setting for years and has become integral in my way of life. It may not seem heroic macho or significant to some but it works for me. For those of you who understand the art of living, preventing disasters before they happen can be as real as preventing failure or preventing the destruction of the environment. Whatever area you work at preventing negatives you are allowing positives and that in my estimation is a very good thing. That's why I'm a big fan of the Wim Hof Method. (see the blog post)

Jane Roberts Seth material teaches that we create our own reality. We create the universe we live in and while we may be subject to the creations of all the other people on the planet we choose much of what manifests for us personally.

When we talk about health and wellness, so much of our reality has come under our control that it is beginning to look like we will be able to live out our lives without the need for doctors if we are lucky enough to start a prevention program in generally good health and wellness. From that point, the sky is the limit as we make moment to moment choices as we create our world out of what has become new compulsory lifestyle habits that will not only assure our survival but also will give us all a shot at genuine joy and happiness. How bad could that be?

As you may already know I've been promoting the Wim Hof Method.  It's basically breathwork practiced in a particular manner.  In terms of natural preventative immunotherapy, the Wim Hof Method appears to break the chains of non-control over the autonomic nervous system and the immune system and gives humans back the long dormant ability to wake up this control and take back the ability to fight physical and also psychological disease with one simple daily practice.

Like I've said in many articles before this one, we live in a world that requires daily actions that were once unnecessary to maintain health and wellness. Our world has become more polluted and our bodies are not designed to handle the toxic load they receive. A diseased body is the inevitable outcome of a lifestyle that does not address the new compulsory requirements of the body. Diet, exercise, detoxification and emotional health all get upgrades in naturopathic technology to cope with the changes in our environment. Certainly, any Vegan knows this but what about the rest of the culture? Are there no tools to help the stressed out carnivore who might be at higher risk of disease due to the consumption of highly processed meat products?

Suffice to say medical doctors welcome your disease with open arms. They all but promote it as their paychecks depend on your body's reaction to a filthy world by prescribing all kinds of nasty things to silence disease with symptom masking drugs. All without addressing the underlying problem. While many argue the effectiveness of western medicine smart guys and gals know that prevention is better than fixing a problem. That's a concept just about everyone would agree on. But modern medicine has no interest in teaching or promoting effective truly healthful prevention habits, not really. They might cast allusions or make vain attempts at the effort but they do not dig in and get serious about it because their livelihood depends on us all being moderately ill for as long as possible. They consciously or unconsciously choose to keep the public just well enough to need their often dubious services. They do not appear to have any interest in permanent, easy or free cures and they most certainly do not promote serious preventative measures that might bankrupt their cash cow especially when big money is at stake. That said western medicine has made remarkable strides in many areas of medicine. However heart disease, cancer, and degenerative diseases. Western medicine earns an "F" rating for greed-based therapies that through advertising and sales promotion control the public mind and opinion when natural cures (often free) are readily available.

Considering the unexpected outcome of the Yale University Milgram experiment we learn that doctors take orders from authority figures who literally order them to prescribe profitable procedures. Doctors are brainwashed to inflict painful, unproductive and sometimes lethal procedures that are often ineffective. One can not help but think of the Milgram experiment when we see how doctors tow the party/corporate line while they knowingly or unknowingly betray the trust of an unsuspecting public en mass.


When we talk about what it is to take health into your own hands by exercising preventative strategies we are talking about a process that begins at birth. Parents must understand that children are born with up to 60,000 new, distinct toxins that did not exist in the human body before the year 1700. The body does not know how to cope with them and often develops a disease in response to the toxins. By all appearances, the patient has simply developed common allergies or has gotten cancer or any number of degenerative diseases. But what is really going on is likely a response to poison from the environment expressing itself by exceeding the capacity of the immune system to cope with the multitude of highly unnatural new and often dangerous toxins within the human body.

Modern medicine does not approach this subject with any answers. Detoxification and a strategy (attitude) based strongly in prevention does. While we wait for "modern medicine" to catch up, people must understand that they can take healthcare into their own hands responsibly and with excellent results. The secret is simply the conscious incorporation of two or three new habits that prevent disease. Period.

1. Diet (An organic, plant-based vegetarian diet)
2. Cleanse (customized *procedures to eliminate heavy metals and existing toxins from the body)
3. Detoxification of the environment (more aggressive treatments to eliminate toxins from the body and from the environment). From colonics and chelation to the removal of chlorine from water supply the range of toxins is wide and large and can be purged by simply selecting options and better habits.

*Cleansing basics: Resting the organs through fasting;
Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body;
Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys, and skin;
Improving circulation of the blood; and
Refueling the body with healthy nutrients.

Prevention truly starts at home, with the individual decision to make a change. Times change. And so does the world. We must change along with it or suffer the consequences. Keeping personal health is a martial art. At this point in history, you have to retrain yourself to fight off an infection the same way a Kung Fu artists fights off an attacker. For those who do not learn the martial art of Prevention will forever be at risk of attack by degenerative diseases and the western medical system's approach to disease.




















Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wim Hof Method - Groundbreaking Breathing Protocol

See additional video's added since publication. They are located at the bottom of the blog entry.

Update: Dec 29, 2016: Missing only one or two days in the last week each morning I've done four rounds of the breathing technique. Today a breakthrough came when I finished. Yesterday was very good as well. Yesterday I felt incredibly "young" energized after the exercises and a cold shower. I was so energized I wanted to get outside and walk. So I took a walk. The whole day went well. This morning I did four rounds of the WHM breathing exercises. After I completed them I felt like a completely different person. Dysthymic depression was completely gone as I sat on the edge of my bed greeting my non-depressed self for what seems to be the first time. Living with Dysthymic depression is not a death sentence but it grinds against the productivity and joyful play we experience in its absence. Yesterday it was gone, for the most part, all day, but today the results were so astonishing immediately after I completed the breathing exercises that I was absolutely flabbergasted. I felt as though I had taken a magic anti-depressant pill and it kicked in immediately. Every day I take a warm shower as usual but finish with a 60 degree (F) 30 seconds to one minute cold shower by slowly lowering the temperature to zero added hot water. Once I reach that point I go for one minute of 100% cold water each day after the WHM breathing exercises. I will add the Push Up's routine to the last (of four) rounds of breathing exercises tomorrow as my body keeps feeling stronger and more alive. I look forward to extended benefits from adding this and also yoga exercises to the method over time.

Update Dec. 11, 2016: I have been working with this technique for five days. Each morning I get up and work this program. The warm-to-cool/cold showers are getting more tolerable and far more refreshing and exhilarating than warm showers. There is no need to take anything beyond our edge of tolerance but the cool thing is we get to find out where our edge actually IS. 


“He or she who is willing to be the most uncomfortable is not only the bravest but rises the fastest.”
– BrenĂ© Brown

Friday, December 30, 2016

Earthing Pad $99.00

Earthing is important to people recovering from degenerative diseases. The quilted pad is probably the best value and effective for bed, chair or even office.

https://www.earthing.com/nighttime/pads/earthing-silver-plush-pad-kit.html

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Banned TEDTalk about Psychic Abilities | Russell Targ

Non-local connection. The hottest topic in modern physics. Why is this relevant to Zimmermania Health? Well, it is just so darn fascinating and it proves