There are a few things that I currently am in love/obsessed with.
These are not new flashy items in any way, in fact one of them is as old as, well time, it seems. I bought red quinoa yesterday for the first time. I don’t know why I have not discovered and made this before, but hey at least I discovered it finally, even if it has been an important food for 6000 years. For whatever reason, probably because I have finals and a hundred other things I want to put off doing, I read about quinoa for a while and learned that it originated in the Andean region of South America, and the Incas held the crop to be sacred and called it “chisaya mama” or “mother of all grains.” It is high in protein containing a balanced set of essential amino acids; it is also a good source of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
Anyways I cooked it like rice (2 cups water, 1 cup red quinoa-bring to boil, then simmer til its done) and then today I heated up olive oil in a cast iron skillet, added chopped green onions, kale and red quinoa. I added salt and then this really tasty Cabernet savignon balsamic vinegar from Napa and let it cook down for a few minutes. The alcohol cooks off of the vinegar and I was getting super strong facefuls of alcoholic steam, it was a little overwhelming. The resulting dish is simple, a little sweet, salty and delicious. I like when my food looks beautiful so I ate it with spinach and strawberries with Parmesan flakes on top, and it tasted great all paired together.
Another one of my obsessions is Celtic Sea Salt. I’ve been using this stuff ever since I read Real Food by Nina Planck last year (GREAT BOOK!!) so I don’t know why I haven’t mentioned it before, but it is absolutely essential. I bring it with me on trips and hate cooking with refined, nutrient deficient, processed salt. You would not believe what they do to salt to make it devoid of its natural flavors, minerals and nutritional value. Salt, like most you would find at the store or in restaurants, is mined, blasted with heat, chemically treated, and anti caking and iodine are added. This processed salt is left completely devoid of natural essential minerals and macrobiotic nutrients that our bodies need for survival. Natural sea salt maintains these minerals and nutrients. It has a balance of sodium and chloride, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and many other trace nutrients. Natural sea salt is gray in color and tastes superior. This salt is in fact healthy. So, when you hear that you should avoid salt intake, heed that advice for refined salt, but do not hold back on the good stuff, sea salt. You can find TONS of more info on the web by searching processed salt.
Okay, and my last obsession that I have time to mention right now is Vod. It is a vegan organic deli with all raw foods in Reno. I am not vegetarian, vegan, or on a raw food diet but this place is absolutely delicious. I’ve had lunch there the last few days and I would honestly go everyday. I’ve tried three different entrees, 2 different drinks, and a dessert and they were all unbelievably good. I took my mom here today and could tell before the meal that she wasn’t convinced by my enthusiasm for the place, but as we were finishing every last bite of our drinks, meals and raw vegan dessert (decadent dark chocolate pie served over a bed of greens with a sweet raspberry sauce) I think she was persuaded. We might even take a beginners raw food class Saturday, March 9. The food here is beautiful, and more importantly than its healthiness, rawness, or veganess, it just tastes amazing and you can tell a lot of effort and care is put into the food. The people working there are very nice, we left with recipes and cookbook recommendations! Check out their website: www.voddeli.com