Fusion Kugel

Last Updated on Wednesday, 6 July 2011 01:53 Written by Flax Tuesday, 5 July 2011 01:08

For the past few decades coconuts have been considered the forbidden food.  This is mostly due to their high triglyceride content.  Recently however coconuts have made a comeback.  Studies show that coconut oil is high in MCT.  When digested, the liver turns MCT oil into ketones.  Ketones are a high-energy fuel that nourish the brain. Bottom line, coconut oil, or “high energy brain food” is now promoted as a way to prevent and help with  neurodegenerative disease that affect glucose metabolism.  Two big examples of this type of disease are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 

Learning how coconut oil helps with the memory of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s made me want to experiment with my own memory.  Instead of the oil however, I  wanted to see how coconut milk would affect my own short term memory and attention span.  While perhaps, not the most scientific of studies, I decided to see how it would affect my Sudoku time.  I played a game of Sudoku immediately before and again immediately after eating this dish.  The results were astounding!   The speed with which I solved the Sudoku puzzle increased phenomenally! 

So, I am now a true believer in the power of the coconut.  I do however disagree with the idea of eating a spoonful of coconut oil.  My culinary and nutritional work are based on the intrinsic balance found in traditional foods and their cultures.  Cultures that have a tradition of using coconuts eat only the fruit and the milk of the coconut and use the butter externally.  Additionally, when they cook with coconut or with its milk, they do so in combination with strong spices which help us to digest heavy and fatty food.  So, while I am now able to eat my coconut and feel good about it, I am going to stick with the ancient tradition of eating the fruit and the milk and using coconut butter as a moisturizer.

Below is a kugel recipe which uses coconut milk.  The heaviness of the coconut milk means that you don’t miss the  oil and eggs which are normally a staple kugel ingredient.  For a dramatic effect, serve this dish on a platter with grilled shiitake mushrooms. The dark of the mushrooms next to the yellow,and red of the kugel makes everyone go “Wow!”

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1″ ginger, grated
  • 2″ chilli pepper, diced (or 1/2 tsp chilli flakes)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into small pieces
  • 4 stalks coriander, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cups polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Oil the bottom of a sauce pan.  Saute the onions for a few minutes until soft.  Add the remaining spices and saute for one minute more.  Add the water and the coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the red pepper and coriander and then slowly pour in the polenta, while briskly stirring the whole time to prevent lumps.   Keep stirring the polenta for a few minutes while it cooks.  The polenta is ready when it starts to thicken and pull away from the pan. 

Pour the polenta in to an oiled baking pan.  Allow the polenta to cool slightly and then cut into serving size cubes.  

This dish can be served immediately or refrigerated and reheated for Shabbat lunch. 

Serve hot.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Learn More

Adzuki-Butternut Squash Curry

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2011 08:30 Written by Flax Wednesday, 15 June 2011 01:35

This is a dish that I prepared with my Nutrition Workshop.  The focus of this dish is to strengthen the Kidneys and nourish our Jing

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 small leeks, chopped
  • 1″ ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 green chilli pepper
  • 4 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup adzuki beans
  • 1 butternut squash, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp arame (or any other type of seaweed)
  • curry powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 liters water

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan.  Saute the leeks, ginger, garlic and spices.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer for one hour.

Serve hot on a bed of brown rice.

Serves 8.

Enjoy!

Learn More

Coconut-Polenta Rounds

Last Updated on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 12:56 Written by Flax Wednesday, 23 March 2011 10:42

Mushrooms on a bed of PolentaI often get asked, how I come up with new recipes every week.  The answer is that I find inspiration all over the place.  I also think I must dream about food.  This is because one morning last week, I opened my eyes, and this recipe popped into my head.  I must admit that if I do have to dream about food, this dish is worthy.

In class we made this as a spicy biscuit, served with grilled mushrooms and grilled eggplant slices.  It can also be made into a delicious egg free, gluten-free cookie.  I give both recipes below.

Spicy Polenta    

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1″ ginger, grated
  • 1″ chilli pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Oil the bottom of a sauce pan.  Saute the onions for a few minutes until soft.  Add the remaining spices and saute for one minute more.  Add the water and the coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the red pepper and then slowly pour in the polenta, while briskly stirring the whole time to prevent lumps.   Keep stirring the polenta for a few minutes while it cooks.  The polenta is ready when it starts to thicken and pull away from the pan. 

Pour the polenta on to a flat surface and smooth it out.  Allow it to cool for up to five minutes.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out the desired shape. 

It’s not really possible to recut the remaining polenta – so just put it on the table and let people munch on it. 

Sweet Polenta

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Bring the liquid, spices and sugar to a boil.  Follow the same method as above.

Before serving, grill the polenta in a toaster or an oven for five minutes.

Serve hot.  Serves 4-6

Enjoy!

Learn More
Copyright © 2009 Afterburner - Free GPL Template. All Rights Reserved.
WordPress is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.