Monday, November 15, 2010





DISTURBING PRE-THANKSGIVING ANNOUNCEMENT

(CNN) -- A Texas firm has recalled about 2,600 pounds of fully cooked, ready-to-eat smoked turkey breast products because they may be contaminated with bacteria that can cause a potentially fatal disease.

The products by the New Braunfels Smokehouse were distributed nationwide, including via catalog and Internet sales, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Sunday.

The meat may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, the agency said.

The products subject to recall are:

-- 1-pound packages of New Braunfels Smokehouse Sliced Smoked Turkey, with the package code "2210" on the label.

-- 4- to 6-pound packages of New Braunfels Honey-Glazed Spiral Sliced Smokehouse Hickory Smoked Boneless Breast of Turkey, with the package code "2180" on the label.

-- 4- to 6-pound whole breast packages of Stegall Boneless Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast, with the package code "2210" on the label.

-- 4- to 6-pound whole breast packages of Stegall Spiral Sliced Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast, with the package codes "2180" or "2210" on the label.

Each package bears the USDA mark of inspection and the number "P-975" inside the mark of inspection.

The items were produced on August 4.

 

This news is disturbing for several reasons.  I've had occasion to wear mourning black on Black Friday for a couple of years now.  Saying goodbye to a loved one right after Thanksgiving is something I would not wish on anyone.  It's the worst sort of horror in the world.  Listeria-contaminated turkey has the power to spread the horror!  Hence I duplicate the announcement here.

Adding to my disgust is that this product was cooked in August!  Somehow I suspect that the label on the product does not state, "Cooked in August for your November enjoyment!"  It is not exactly what I would call "fresh" and that is stellar encouragement for cooking our own fresh, preferably organic food. 

This product bears the USDA mark of inspection!  That does not say much for the USDA, or the quality of their inspecting.  The FDA and USDA do not exactly have a stellar history of accuracy and reliability.  Their lists of errors provoke a notoriety that is very nearly unmatched.  It has reached a point for me to run the other way at speeds of an Olympic runner from anything they endorse.  That includes vaccines, medications, and animal products from factory farms.  I support my local farmers.  Their record is notably superior!

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

 

 





               



Sunday, November 14, 2010

 

Valia's Organic Recipe Collection

Salads are the classic meal choice for dieters all over the world.  It is more than a bit ironic that salads are frequently the source of fats, and fats do not necessarily have to manifest as fat!  Fats have become one of the most severely misunderstood components of the modern diet.  Animal fats have been ruled deadly.  Cholesterol has been charged and convicted of being the modern day killer of our era.  Supermarkets have been overtaken by products proclaiming that they are low fat or fat-free.  The time has come to dispel the myths.

 I strongly recommend reading The Skinny on Fats by Mary Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon.  Animal fats have been wrongly vilified, and yet vegetable oils such as corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, etc. have been directly connected to the explosion of cancer and cardiovascular disease in epidemic proportions.  Consequently, the only bottled oil I buy and consume is pure extra virgin olive oil.  Tropical oils like coconut oil and unrefined palm oil are not counted among the bottled here because they are not liquid while cold and they are not dangerous when used for cooking.  It is the listed oils that are genetically modified, refined, and processed, and are highest in Omega 6 which is dangerously out of proportion in the American diet, and becomes the dreaded trans-fat when heated.  I would not advocate substituting bottled vegetable oil in the place of traditional fats in any of my recipes, or in any of your food, including salad dressing.  Don't fry in it, bake with it,  cook with it.  Opt for animal fats ,  coconut  oil, or organic palm oil for those needs.

 Do not be fooled, particularly, by canola oil that is never organic despite being found in the organic section of your supermarket shelves.  It is extracted from genetically modified rapeseed, and insects do not even eat rapeseed!  Rapeseed oil has been classically used as an industrial lubricant, and to put the gloss on magazine pages. 

 Soybean oil is also revealing itself as problematic.  With rapeseed, soya, and corn topping the GMO agricultural charts, genetic modification is not the only problem.  Soy itself in an unfermented state, as it is found in soybean oil and infant formula, is revealing itself as destructive to the proper healthy function of the thyroid gland, and healthy reproductive development in children, prompting Israel to push for the eradication of soy formula. 

 Extra virgin olive oil is terrific, so long as it is pure and unadulterated.  In the US, that is not always the case, but you don't need a chemist or a laboratory to arrive at the truth about the bottle you have bought.  You only need your refrigerator.  Place the bottle of olive oil in the refrigerator overnight or during the day while you are at work, and then have a look at it.  If it has remained liquid-if it has not grown solid and pale in the bottle-then you have been tricked into buying something that is NOT 100% pure extra virgin olive oil!  If, however, you achieved success and own the real thing, leaving it at room temperature will return it to its liquid state.

 Now on to creating sensational salads.  It begins with the elimination of bottled salad dressings that have frightening ingredients lists.  Making your own is so easy, and so good for you!  Give it a try and see what you think.  Here's to your good health and happy cooking experiences!

                                                                                                 Salad Dressings

Raspberry Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 shallot, quartered
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a clean jam jar with a lid.

Creamy Italian Dressing:
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade, and quartered
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons Parmesan
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a clean jam jar with a lid.

Italian Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and quartered
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves (from 3 or 4 small sprigs or 1 or 2 large sprigs)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (from 3 or 4 small sprigs or 1 or 2 large sprigs)
1 teaspoon fresh parsley leaves (from 3 or 4 small sprigs or 1 or 2 large sprigs)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a clean jam jar with a lid.


French dressing

Peel and finely chop 1/4 of a clove of garlic. Put the garlic, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Yogurt dressing

Put 1/3 cup of natural yogurt, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Lemon dressing

Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon.

Balsamic dressing

Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

 

 





               


Monday, November 8, 2010

 

Valia's Organic Recipe Collection

Making soup from scratch need not be difficult or labor-intensive.  It also need not be a threat to good health because it has been loaded with offensive additives and/or preservatives that neither add to its desirability as a nutritious food, nor make a positive contribution to the good health of those who eat it.   Soup is a fantastic commencement of optimal digestion, and is a wonderful choice for people who tend to eat quickly without properly and adequately chewing their food.  Finally, soup can be a fantastic beginning to a larger meal, or it can be a meal all by itself! 

We live in a time when "cooking" has become a term interchangeable with "heating" what has otherwise come out of a box or a can.  The end result is heavy consumption of monosodium glutamate (MSG), called any number of odd ingredients on the labels!  There is no denying that MSG tends to make food delicious-that was the primary reason it became so commonly used.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the two worst excitotoxins  found in food in modern times…an additive which crosses the blood-brain barrier that causes brain cells to fire off in a highly excited state until they die from a process that cannot be referred to by any name other than cell suicide!  The modern mantra that "just a little bit won't hurt" is a dangerous gamble to take!  It is also a carefully concealed gamble.  When an illness induced by excitotoxins (such as Parkinson's disease) appears, doctors won't ask about the details of the patient's diet, and even if they did, most patients would not know what additives to focus on.  Thus, the best strategy is simply not to consume the offensive ingredients to begin with!

These listed ingredients ALWAYS contain MSG

Glutamate
Glutamic acid
Gelatin
Monosodium glutamate
Calcium caseinate
Textured protein
Monopotassium glutamate
Sodium caseinate
Yeast nutrient
Yeast extract
Yeast food
Autolyzed yeast
Hydrolyzed protein (any protein that is hydrolyzed)
Hydrolyzed corn gluten
Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium)

These ingredients OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing.   

Carrageenan
Maltodextrin
Malt extract
Natural pork flavoring
Citric acid
Malt flavoring
Bouillon and Broth
Natural chicken flavoring
Soy protein isolate
Natural beef flavoring
Ultra-pasteurized
Soy sauce
Stock
Barley malt
Soy sauce extract
Whey protein concentrate
Pectin
Soy protein
Whey protein
Protease
Soy protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Protease enzymes
Anything protein fortified
Flavors(s) & Flavoring(s)
Anything enzyme modified
Anything fermented
Natural flavor(s)
Enzymes anything
Seasonings (the word "seasonings")

FINALLY….

The newest approach is to label hydrolyzed proteins as "pea protein", "whey protein", "corn protein", etc. If a pea, for example, were whole, it would be identified as a pea.

Calling an ingredient a protein indicates that the source has been hydrolyzed, at least in part, and that processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is present.

That includes "wheat protein" and "soy protein".

                                                                                                 Potato-Leek Soup

 

1 large or 2 small leeks, about 1 pound
2 bay leaves
20 black peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 to 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, diced  (5 maybe?)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
2 tablespoons snipped chives (optional garnish)

 

Trim the green portions of the leek and, using 2 of the largest and longest leaves, make a bouquet garni by folding the 2 leaves around the bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme.  Or Fasten in a large teaball, or  tie into cheesecloth,

Using a sharp knife, halve the white part of the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water to rid the leek of any sand. Slice thinly crosswise and set aside.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is very soft and has rendered most of its fat. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the reserved bouquet garni, chicken stock, potatoes, salt and  pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart and the soup is very flavorful.

Remove the bouquet garni and, working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Stir in the creme fraiche and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately, with some snipped chives sprinkled over the top of each bowl of soup.

 

 





               


Monday, November 1, 2010

 

Valia's Organic Recipe Collection

Appetizers are such multi-functional foods!  They can warm up the appetite before a meal.  They can serve as hors d'œuvres with drinks at a party so that guests are less likely to be hungry and become quickly intoxicated.  Quite often, they are the stars of the party in their own right.  They make terrific snacks in a time that has become frighteningly reliant on processed, crispy snacks in a bag or box that bear such negative ramifications on both the health and the waistlines of humanity. 

1.           Soy

2.           Corn

3.           Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils)

4.           Canola (canola oil-also known as rapeseed oil)

5.           Sugar from sugar beets

These are the top 5 culprits in the current GMO nightmare, plentiful in the processed and pre-packaged snacks that have become the choice of convenience for people all over the world.  People who would not deliberately buy or consume anything GMO, may do so quite regularly when they purchase and eat something that relies on GMO products to manufacture it.  Consider that microwave popcorn, that bag of potato or corn chips, those bite-size candies in the candy bowl, those crackers that may be loaded with GMO goods that are not subject to regulation, even in countries that otherwise prohibit the marketing of GMO products in their unnatural "natural" state.  It is said that 75 percent of processed foods contain GM ingredients, so you'll want to avoid as many processed foods as possible.  Only time will reveal, as anti-GMO activist Jeffrey Smith points out, the extent of the unforeseen illnesses caused by GM foods.

 

Avoid the danger.  Make your own appetizers and snacks!

 
 

Whole Wheat Crackers


5 cups organic whole wheat flour
2 cups (16 ounces) organic whole buttermilk or yogurt
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter (softened or melted)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) coconut oil (softened or melted)
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoons sea salt

1. Add flour and buttermilk or yogurt to bowl of stand mixer and blend until dough starts to come together.

2. Blend in butter, coconut oil, baking powder and sea salt. You may need to add a little more coconut oil or a little more flour to get the perfect texture.

3. Taking a fourth of the dough at a time, roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness on a floured surface.

3. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares, or a floured cookie cutter to cut into rounds.

4. Place the dough shapes close together on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

5. Store in a freezer bag or airtight container.

 

 





               


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Valia's Organic Recipe Collection

Invite your backyard garden to "Sonic Bloom"

Perhaps you have decided to plant your own backyard garden or erect your own greenhouse in the interest of superior flavor and health benefits coming from fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you grow yourself. Who could fault you for electing to consume more wholesome produce that you have grown yourself, free of the nasty pesticides and herbicides that get sprayed on the commercially-produced variety that are subjected to dozens of applications before they make it to your market shelf and kitchen? This can be a scary undertaking to the novice gardener, and not without risk to the experienced gardener as well...until "Sonic Bloom" came along! Sonic Bloom will help to BOOST the Size, IMPROVE the Taste, INCREASE the Nutrients, EXTEND the Shelf Life, SHORTEN the Growing Seasonand MULTIPLY the Harvest of YOUR Home Garden or Farm Crops!

22 Mind-Boggling Farm and Garden Results Obtained Using Sonic Bloom

1. Strawberry yields, individual results have had increases of 300%.
2. 5 ft. alfalfa has been reported by users, with 100% increase in tonnage, 29% protein gives 30% increase in milk production.
3. Over 600 ft. Purple Passion Plant (Guinness World Record)
4. Sonic Bloom doubled the Active ingredient in Ginseng.
5. Apple yields increased 50%
6. Soybean harvest doubled.
7. Hot peppers mature 30 days sooner and produced twice as many peppers.
8. Sonic Bloom apples had 5-month shelf life.
9. Zinc content of apples increased 1750%.
10. Sonic Bloom matures tomato crop 35 days sooner and nearly doubled yield.
11. 16 foot high corn with three or four ears per stalk.
12. Accelerated growth of Black Walnut trees 300%. They are ready for sale in 20 years instead of 50 years.
13. Sonic Bloom increased sugar levels.
14. Sonic Bloom increased grape yields by 100% and sugars 2 percentage points
15. Sonic Bloom increased the size of cranberries by 66%.
16. Normally sterile tomato plant "suckers" are potted and produced tomatoes faster than from seed.
17. Blueberries were the diameter of a nickel and ripened 2 weeks sooner.
18. Cucumber plants produced 3 times as many cucumbers.
19. Sonic Bloom reduced irrigation requirements up to 55% in some cases.
20. Sonic Bloom tomatoes had a roadside, fruit stand and shelf life twice as long as untreated plants.
21. Produce buyers drove extra distances in order to buy Sonic Bloom produce because of its incredibly delicious flavor.
22. Chrysanthemum flowers doubled in quantity and mature in 4 weeks.

Sonic Bloom is a remarkable process developed on the basis that plants would "breathe" better when exposed to certain sound frequencies. Sonic Bloom consists of a sound generator or sound enhanced CD and a nutrient spray (Hence "sonic=sound, bloom= nutrients," as explained by the inventor, Dan Carlson.) The sound generator produces tones in the four to six kilohertz range, the same range as many songbirds.

Finding the right frequency was only half the battle. Finding the proper nutrient spray took an additional 15 years. Both were accomplished by the use of radioactive isotopes, which allowed Carlson to determine what frequencies provided for maximum absorption. After years of painstaking research, he determined that a nutrient spray containing a combination of 55 trace minerals, amino acids and seaweed worked best. With the use of radioactive isotopes, Carlson was able to document an increase of over 700% in nutrient absorption. This increase produces healthier plants and trees. Little, if any, pesticide is needed.

His invention has increased agricultural production around the world (he is being credited with rebounding the economy of Indonesia), and he has been nominated for a Nobel Prize. Currently, Carlson is working on his 140-acre farm near River Falls, Wisconsin, grafting and developing 128 varieties of nut trees. There are 30 years of research available for viewing.


Home & Garden Kit with Enhanced CD + Free 8oz Bottle!

The Sonic Bloom Home and Garden Kit is tailored to the home gardener, apartment dweller, condominium owner or anyone who has a love for plants. Can be used either indoors or outdoors. This contains everything for the home garden enthusiast to start and grow any size garden.

The Enhanced CD has everything you need to be successful.

It plays beautiful classical music that has embedded within the special Sonic Bloom frequencies on a regular CD player. In a computer, it gives you the 33 page spray manual which is printable, an 8 minute how to video, 14 photos of treated and untreated plants and trees and three articles about Sonic Bloom. The CD will help you know more about how to use Sonic Bloom and thus do a better job.

The kit also contains a generous 16 ounces of the special Sonic Bloom concentrated organic nutrients. There is enough concentrate to make 40 gallons of mixed spray. A huge value! The kit has a high grade one quart spray bottle, measuring device, and easy to follow instructions.
Call Dan Today! Tel: 715-338-6628
$69 + Free shpping on all orders within the UNITED STATES PRIORITY MAIL.

Mention to Dan that Valia and Kerrie from Phoenix Voyage sent you, and receive an additional 10% off! The link in the right margin will take you to the expanded product list that Dan has to offer for the larger-scale farmer (should you choose to share this phenomenal development with your favorite farm market green grocer) and the 10% discount from Phoenix Voyage will be extended to him or her as well, so long as it is asked for.

I am making plans for my next spring planting already!

Now, for a couple of recipes to delight you from this year's harvest...

Tomato-Corn Bisque



1 cup onions, chopped
¼ cup green peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 ½ cups corn kernels
4 large tomatoes, quartered
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack, parmesan, mozzarella, or other such cheese

Melt butter in large pot and sauté onions, peppers, and garlic until soft. Add corn and tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes before adding broth, tomato paste, and seasonings. Bring to boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Puree soup in blender or food processor, then return to pot and reheat, slowly adding cheese to melt it in.


Cream of Vegetable Soup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 potato, peeled and diced
2 cups veg, beef, or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups steamed vegetables, i.e. carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, spinach, peas
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until tender without browning. Stir in diced potato and liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer until potato is tender. Stir in your steamed vegetable of choice and return to a simmer. Puree the soup in batches in a blender and return to saucepan. Leave 1 cup of vegetables not pureed if a chunkier soup is preferred. Season soup with salt and pepper and finish with heavy cream.


(A good soup to make with the veg used to make broth so that it doesn't go to waste.)