Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Oct 14, 2013 2

finished-bbcsalsa-h

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I came across a form of this, what they called “spicy”, recipe years ago and had to give it a try. It turned out, whoever’s recipe it was, had hyper-active heat sensors on their taste buds. There just wasn’t any heat. The concept was there though, so I tweaked it. This still isn’t really hot, so most anyone can enjoy it, but there’s also enough heat to please those who like it hot. If you have people over who really don’t do spicy food, just eliminate the heat mixture. If you’ve got a heat loving crowd coming over, double up on the heat mixture. This recipe is easily customized. The ingredient list on this one is longer than the instructions too (I love those kinds of recipes!) It also gives me the excuse to get out my molcajete and use it. I think I have this exact one here (it’s really a mortar and pestle, but growing up in Arizona I always thought they were just called “molcajetes”. I was nearly an adult before I realized there was a difference.)

*as always. whenever possible use fresh, organic, and local.

This stuff is easy!

Drain and rinse the black beans. Juice about 3 limes for the 1/3 Cup (I love the convenience of this lime juicer.) Combine all the ingredient from the salsa recipe except the tomatoes in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

juice-limes

 

Put the vinegar in to the molcajete. Add the minced jalapenos (with seeds and veins.) Pay special attention to trying to grind the jalapeno seeds as this helps to release some of those oils in the seed itself. Mash the jalapeno in to the vinegar.

 

diced-jalapeno

smash-jalapeno

 

This is also why using a molcajete is so fun, you can really get in there with some force and feel like you’re being destructive…anything with pounding, smashing, grinding food by hand (well, without a motor at least)…it’s a little primal.

Add the garlic, spices, and hot sauce, and continue to smash together.

 

assblaster

 

Ass Blaster or Spontaneous Combustion are a couple of my favorites.

 

add-spices

spice-mix

 

You’ll end up with a finely chopped salsa looking mix.

Once the heat mix is nice and combined take a taste test of it. If it needs a little more hot sauce, by all means, feel free.

If you can make the heat mixture a head of time and let it sit in it’s own juices for a few hours, that flavor will develop even further, but this is not required. If adding the heat mix, add it to the base now and stir it all together. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Stir in tomatoes just before serving.

 

finished-salsa

 

*Note – in my opinion, there’s no such thing as “too much cilantro” so use the 1/2 Cup as a guide.

*Note – If you’re sensitive to peppers, or are prone to cutting peppers then touching your face, you might want to wear some rubber gloves while preparing the jalapenos.

This is excellent on organic tortilla chips. You can also use it as a burrito filling by itself. If you want to be a carnivore add some shredded chicken or I imagine carnitas, or a shredded beef (barbacoa style maybe)) would be awesome as well, but haven’t tried the carnitas or barbacoa yet.

Enjoy!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
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This is a simple yet bright and flavorful black bean and corn salsa. If you want to make it spicy simply mix in the optional spice mix mixture (recipe included). This is an awesome traditional salsa alternative on tortilla chips. It's also packed with nutrition and can stand as a meal of it's own. If you want to add some shredded chicken, carnitas, or barbacoa feel free! This recipe is very customizable.
Prep Time
20minutes
Prep Time
20minutes
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
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This is a simple yet bright and flavorful black bean and corn salsa. If you want to make it spicy simply mix in the optional spice mix mixture (recipe included). This is an awesome traditional salsa alternative on tortilla chips. It's also packed with nutrition and can stand as a meal of it's own. If you want to add some shredded chicken, carnitas, or barbacoa feel free! This recipe is very customizable.
Prep Time
20minutes
Prep Time
20minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse the black beans.
  2. Juice about 3 limes (1/3 Cup).
  3. Combine all ingredients except tomatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add tomatoes and mix in just before serving.
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Spicy Heat Mixture
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This spicy heat mixture can be mixed in to just about anything you can mix stuff into to add an element of depth and heat.
Spicy Heat Mixture
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This spicy heat mixture can be mixed in to just about anything you can mix stuff into to add an element of depth and heat.
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or molcajete (mortar and pestle) put the vinegar and add the jalapenos and mash together. If using the molcajete, pay attention to smashing the seeds well to release the oils.
  2. Add the garlic, spices, and hot sauce and continue to smash everything together.
  3. It is done when it's the consistency of a finely chopped salsa.
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100% Whole Wheat Bread

Oct 11, 2013 0

finished-bread-h

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Make that bread out of these basic ingredients.

 

ingredients

 

I would recommend getting a mixer if you do not have one yet. I would recommend either of the following mixers. If you are not going to multiply this recipe you’re probably fine getting this lift bowl type mixer, but if you want to double or more this recipe I would recommend getting this more powerful mixer.

A brief note on the type of wheat (it does matter.) Research is showing that wheat that has been sprayed with pesticides, specifically glysophate are linked to gluten sensitivities. See this report at gmo-awarness.com for details. It’s important to use an organic, non-gmo grain when possible.

It is also preferable to use freshly milled flour. You may be able to find a local mill that is milling flour fresh that you can buy, or you can buy a home mill and grind your own wheat berries into flour when needed. See our post on milling your own flours at home here.

Lets make some bread

Start with 2 1/2 cups water and warm it on your stove until the water feels just room temperature on your finger. I put the 4-Cup measuring cup right on the burner.

 

soaker-water

 

Pour that warm water and apple cider vinegar over 3 cups of the wheat flour and whisk it until there’s no more dry flour left and it’s like a slightly thinner pancake batter. I’ve settled on soaking with a little apple cider vinegar, but you can use white vinegar, or even just water as well. At this time if your yeast is in the fridge, get it out, get it measured, and get it on the counter. The yeast needs to be at room temp when added in. Once the flour and water are whisked together cover the bowl with a warm, damp tea towel.

 

soaker

 

Let the flour soak for at least 2 hours, but even longer if you can. I’ve got up to a 5 hour soak and the bread was even better, but I wouldn’t go less than 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before your flour is done soaking take a 1-Cup Pyrex and put 1/4 cup of filtered water up to room temperature and stir 2 tsp of honey in. Add the 2 1/2 tsp of yeast and gently stir in until it’s just mixed it. Let it sit at room temperature for about thirty minutes. This, and the soaking of the flour, are the two secrets to this bread. After 30 minutes your yeast mixture, aka “the sponge”, will look like this; bubbling, foaming, growing.

 

sponge

 

It’s alive!

 

Put your salt in the bowl of a mixer. Add the 1/3 cup of honey. Add the 3 Tbs of melted butter. Pour in your soaked flour mixture. Finally pour in the sponge mixture. If you were adding the egg, this is when you would add it. Turn your mixer on a low speed (on my Kitchen Aid it’s a 2) and mix for about a minute until fairly well combined. You’ll probably have a bit of a butter ring around the edge.

 

kneading-dough

Time to knead!

Now, about 1/2 cup at a time, add in the dry flour. Mix (again on setting 2 for my mixer) until fully incorporated, and then add another 1/2 cup and repeat. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue this until the dough is cleaning the sides of the bowl for you. This video shows what “cleaning the sides of the bowl” looks like.

 

 

Let this mix for about 5 minutes. Then add the smallest amount of water back in (think about a tsp at a time). Let mix more until it doesn’t appear wet and sticky. Repeat that 2-3 times. The dough will take in more water after this initial 5 minutes of kneading. Stop adding water when you think “if I add more, it’s going to begin to start to stick again.” Let the mixer run for another 3-5 minutes.

Grease a large glass bowl (I use a little cold expeller pressed olive oil.) Put a little of the oil on the counter. Take the dough out and form it into a ball on the counter with your hands. Put it int he glass bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Put the bowl somewhere warm and let it proof rise for an hour. We don’t use our microwave, but have found that it makes an excellent built in dough proofer.

 

finished-dough

proof-dough

 

After about an hour the dough should have doubled. Depending on your elevation, room temperature, humidity…etc, etc. etc. it might be a little more or less. After an hour mine looks like this:

 

dough-rise

 

Punch the dough down. Oil the counter again (if needed) and knead the dough by hand for a minute or two (mostly to try to remove any bubbles). Divide the dough in half. This will make two 2 lb loafs. If you have a kitchen scale put a plate on top and zero it out. Put the dough on the plate to compare the two half to make sure they are nearly equal in weight. Form your loaf shape. A good beginner technique is to flatten you dough out into a rectangular(ish) shape where the narrow width is the same as the length of your loaf pan and then roll it up length wise. I use a 9 x 5 x 2.75 (2 lb) loaf pan. I found these silicone coated loaf pans and LOVE them. They are coated in a silicone coating somewhere that makes them nonstick without all of the chemicals found in most (or all?) nonstick coatings. If you have non coated loaf pans you might want to use some butter and grease the inside of your loaf pan. Once the loaf is formed put the loaves in your pans.

 

dough-loaves

 

Preheat oven to 400°. Cover again with a kitchen towel and back into the microwave. Let these rise until the dough just crests the top of the loaf pan (they will continue to rise A LOT in the oven). This will take between 30 minutes to an hour so check regularly. It’s time to stop letting them rise when they look like this:

 

risen-loaves

 

Put these in the oven and reset the oven to 350°. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Use a thermometer with a probe this digital cooking thermometer to check internal temperature. We’re looking for 180°. Remove loaves from oven and place on a cooling rack. Notice the rise difference from entering the oven to leaving the oven.

 

baked-loaves

 

Let these cool completely (this time, this is where I went to bed. When I woke up they turned right out and fell onto the cooling rack (with no greasing the loaf pans!)). That’s it! You’re done! Get a serrated bread knife and cut it as thin or thick as you want. Make sure it is completely cool before cutting. Warm bread will be too soft and you’ll tear the slices up. You have got to be patient if you want it to slice. If you want to tear it off by the fist full then dive right in as soon as they’re cool enough to touch!

 

sliced-bread

 

I’ve had this last easily over a week, maybe two, before it seemed too old/dry to eat as is (still toasts great at that point though.) Spread with some homemade butter and you’re good to go!

*EDIT – We are now soaking the flour for a full 24 hours and are seeing noticeable improvements in the bread.

100% Whole Wheat Bread
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100% fresh ground whole wheat bread with no white flour. The bread is wonderfully light and spongy, and has a deep complex flavor from the fresh wheat. This bread is not dense and all and rises quite fast.
Servings Prep Time
2loaves 360minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Servings Prep Time
2loaves 360minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
100% Whole Wheat Bread
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100% fresh ground whole wheat bread with no white flour. The bread is wonderfully light and spongy, and has a deep complex flavor from the fresh wheat. This bread is not dense and all and rises quite fast.
Servings Prep Time
2loaves 360minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Servings Prep Time
2loaves 360minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Ingredients
  • 6-7 Cups Whole wheat flour freshly ground is best
  • 1 tsp Salt (add 1/2 tsp salt is using a real/minimally processed salt as they tend to be less salty)
  • 3 Tbsp Butter melted and cooled, from grassfed cows
  • 2 1/2 tsp Yeast
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 2 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar Organic and raw if possible
  • 1 Egg pastured (optional)(gives this bread a slight egg bread flavor, yummy!)
Servings: loaves
Units:
Instructions
  1. Warm up 2 1/2 cups of water until warm to the touch.
  2. Combine warm water, and apple cider vinegar with 3 cups of the flour and whisk until all lumps are gone and there's no dry flour left.
  3. Cover with a damp tea towel and let sit on counter for at least 2 hours (I have let it sit for up to 5 hours even.) Update: I now leave this sit for a full 24 hours.
  4. About 30 minutes before the flour is done soaking warm up the 1/4 cup of water to room temperature and stir in the 2 tsp of honey. Lightly whisk in the yeast and let this mixture sit at on counter for about 30 minutes. This will make "the sponge."
  5. Pour the salt into the bowl of your mixer and add the 1/3 cup of honey and the melted butter.
  6. Pour in the soaked flour, the sponge, and the optional egg. Turn the mixer on a low speed (speed 2 on mine). Mixer to combine for about a minute.
  7. Now, 1/2 cup at a time, add in the remaining 3-4 cups of flour. Add in a 1/2 cup and mix until well combined and then add another 1/2 cup. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  8. Continue adding flour just until the dough is "cleaning the bowl" or it's picking up all the little pieces of dough that where sticking to the sides. Let it mix for 5 minutes.
  9. Grease a large bowl (I used a little cold pressed olive oil or butter here). Also put a little of the oil on the counter and turn the dough out of the mixer bowl onto the counter. Knead the dough a bit little bit just to form a ball.
  10. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place it somewhere warm to let the dough proof (I put mine in the microwave and let it sit there). Let dough proof for about an hour until dough has doubled.
  11. Punch the dough down and let the dough rise a second time. Oil the counter again if needed and knead the bread by hand for 1-2 minutes.
  12. Divide the dough in half. You should have 2 two lbs loafs.
  13. Form dough into loaf shape and place in loaf pans. The pans I have the finest layer of silicone coating so no greasing is needed, but typically you would need to grease the bottom and sides of your loaf pans.
  14. Preheat over to 400 F. Cover loaf pans with towel again and let rise for 30-60 minutes just until the dough starts to crest over the top of the loaf pan.
  15. Put the loafs in the oven and then turn the oven down to 350 F and bake for 40-50 minutes. We're looking for 180 F inside the loaf when done.
  16. Remove loaves from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely and turn loaves out of pans.
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100% Whole Grain Pancakes

Oct 11, 2013 0

finished-pancakes-h

100% Whole Grain Pancakes

Start preheating a heavy cast iron skillet like this square cast iron griddle over medium heat (on my stove it’s set at 4).
Whisk vinegar into milk gently and let it sit for 5 minutes to sour the milk. Whisk in to the milk the 2 eggs.Mix all dry ingredients together. Whisk the milk, vinegar, and egg mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk well to break down all lumps. Finally whisk in the melted butter. You could probably combine it all in a blender too, I just haven’t gone there yet. Hand whisking is easier than blender cleaning I guess. Once batter is mixed, put a bit of butter on the skillet and spread it around. I actually use my own purified bacon drippings instead of butter for this.

Pour the batter!

Use a 1/2 Cup measuring cup to pour batter on to skillet. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes until edges start to appear dry and air bubbles releasing from batter has slowed like this.

 

pour-batter

 

Use a wide and heavy spatula (even if you’re a master “flip it straight from the pan” type of chef, the weight of the cast iron makes this technique a little extra challenging.) I use my “pancake spatula” like this stainless steel turner with wood handle. Pancakes should be a nice golden brown.

 

flip-pancake

 

Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Flip again and look for desired color on the other side. Cook a little more and flip until cooked to your liking. This batch should make about 6 pancakes of this size plus 1 more slightly smaller than the others.

Pour something all over it!

Now just server yourself a nice manly stack of three of these (or 4 if your insanely awesome.) You may not need to eat for the rest of the day. These will not make you feel like you need to roll to your bed and die because you’re so full. You will, however, not be hungry for a long time. These grow big and tall and are so fluffy.

Just look at this stack when cut in to soaked in real maple syrup (feel free to expand on the use of maple syrup if you choose.)

 

cut-pancake

cut-bite

 

Enjoy!

Whole Grain Pancakes
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These whole grain pancakes are light, fluffy, and have no all-purpose white flour in them at all! They are super healthy, but don't taste like it. Our kids even love them!
Servings Prep Time
6Pancakes (about) 10minutes
Cook Time
6minutes
Servings Prep Time
6Pancakes (about) 10minutes
Cook Time
6minutes
Whole Grain Pancakes
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These whole grain pancakes are light, fluffy, and have no all-purpose white flour in them at all! They are super healthy, but don't taste like it. Our kids even love them!
Servings Prep Time
6Pancakes (about) 10minutes
Cook Time
6minutes
Servings Prep Time
6Pancakes (about) 10minutes
Cook Time
6minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Pancakes (about)
Units:
Instructions
  1. I prefer to melt butter over medium low heat, so I start with melting the butter in a ramekin in a toaster oven or on the stove. When melted set aside so it can cool a little.
  2. If you have one to use, use a cast iron skillet and get it preheating over medium heat (on my stove it's about a 4.)
  3. Whisk the vinegar into the milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Do this even if using already acidic cultured buttermilk as the baking soda LOVES the vinegar.
  4. Whisk all dry ingredients together.
  5. Whisk together the dry and wet ingredients (excluding the butter). Whisk together until there's no lumps. I haven't but you could do this step in a blender as well.
  6. Lastly, whisk the melted butter into the pancake batter.
  7. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup pour the batter onto preheated skillet. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until edges start to look dry and the release of air bubbles from the batter has slowed.
  8. Flip pancake and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  9. Flip pancake again to check for desired color. It should be a nice golden brown
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The Dirty Dozen vs The Clean 15

Sep 19, 2013 0
Dirty-dozen-new

The dirty dozen vs the clean 15

No real food blog is complete without a “dirty dozen vs the clean 15” post, so here’s ours! If this is your fist time seeing these lists then we’re happy to have helped.

What are the dirty dozen and clean 15? “The Dirty Dozen” are the foods that you should always try to buy organics as they have been found to have the highest amounts of pesticide residues on them. The foods that were found to have the lowest amounts of these residues, even when not organic, are “The Clean 15” (I love creative naming.)

The Environmental Working Group (an organization of scientists, researchers and policymakers) have expanded the typical “dirty dozen” and added domestically-grown summer squash and leafy greens, specifically kale and collards.

You can refer to their website for more detailed information at www.ewg.org

The Good

Good news first? These are the foods that even when not organic you don’t have to worry too much about.

The Clean 15

Asaparagus

Asparagus

Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe

Grapefruit

Grapefruit

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Pineapples

Pineapples

Avocados

Avocados

Corn

Corn

Kiwi

Kiwi

Onions

Onions

Frozen Sweet Peas

Frozen Sweet Peas

Cabbage

Cabbage

Eggplant

Eggplant

Mangoes

Mangoes

Papayas

Papayas

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes


The Bad

 

The Dirty Dozen +

Apples

Apples

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Nectarines - imported

Nectarines – imported

Spinach

Spinach

Kale / Collard Greens

Kale / Collard Greens

Celery

Celery

Grapes

Grapes

Peaches

Peaches

Strawberries

Strawberries

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Hot Peppers

Hot Peppers

Potatoes

Potatoes

Sweet Bell Peppers

Sweet Bell Peppers

(images courtesy of www.ewg.org)

What does that all mean?

PBS also has a very informative article posted about these two lists and you can read further details here on www.pbs.org.

Here’s the bottom line. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Conventionally grown is better than none at all.  They truly can and should be snack foods more often than they are. Using this now common guide will help you avoid buying foods that have been found to have higher amounts of pesticide residues on them so you can make sure you get the cleanest nutrition for you and your family.

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Oceans cleaned of plastics in five years

Sep 16, 2013 0

Ocean cleaning invention

Oceans cleaned of plastics in five years

Read in the link below how this 19yo’s invention could clean up the ocean of floating plastics in 5 years, and how the project could even turn a profit!

It uses water and solar energy, and uses the oceans currents to bring the plastics to it. This also would theoretically let marine life swim free. the inventory concedes that more research is needed as to the feasibility of this project. I, personally, am not sure how well tethering these to the ocean floor would work. I do love his ambition and goal. I hope he get enough discussion going and direction from experts to maybe bring some form of this plan to a reality.

At the very least he’s taking a shot at solving a problem, and maybe that in and of itself will get others working on a solution. Stating that these could have the oceans cleaned of plastics in five years sure is enough to garner some media attention. If you want experts to take notice an know your name, make a bold claim to the media and let them run with it.

Read link below from the Dailymail.co.uk for details; and thanks to www.trueactivist.com for the heads up!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2415889/Boyan-Slat-19-claims-invention-clean-worlds-oceans-just-years.html

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