Monday, September 6, 2010

Food Falling into Place....

Every once in a while I get an email or a blogpost comment about how I turned someone on to pressure cooking! I admit that recently this blog hasn't come close to it's original intention of focusing on the behaviors and metaphysics around eating and food first, instead evolving into another kettlebell training blog. I can only look at that and reflect.....if I keep my focus on training the rest will fall into place....

So what's been falling into place in my kitchen lately? Well, I still use my pressure cooker more than any other piece of equipment in my kitchen, and I use it practically everyday. At this moment I've just poached a whole chicken with my onion, celery and carrot scraps I collect in my freezer, for about 15 minutes, then I harvested the meat for some chicken curry that I'll make tomorow, and some of the meat I'll use for salads. I've put the bones back in and the pressure cooker, and it's continuing on to make about 2-3 quarts of chicken stock I'll use to cook the curry in addition to beans and grains the rest of the week.

Here is a salad I've been kinda hooked on this last week from one of my favorite blogs....(pictured above and linked below)
Fawn made and served Mark and I a salad with fresh herbs from her there anything better than fresh herbs?

I found the green soy beans (dried edemame), for the above recipe, at the Korean grocery and I have to say..."Yum-yum!" Although a very popular food, I have never bought edemame, fresh or frozen, and now I don't feel as if I ever will! The dried beans cook quickly in the pressure cooker and combined with garbanzos and barley, tossed in olive oil, fresh thyme and lemon, thinly sliced radishes and baby greens or arugula....goodness, somebody stop me! Seriously, if my biggest problem is overeating fresh homemade foods then I've got some high quality problems!

Another grain I'm absolutely in love with is farro (pictured above to the right). I haven't found inexpensive farro, instead I can only find this imported Italian brand, costing $5.99 lb....come on now, grains shouldn't cost more than $.99 a lb for God's sake. Anyway, I could eat farro mixed with yogurt and raisins, or now my freakin' favorite way, pressure cooked in tomato soup and mixed with some cottage cheese when it's still warm......

I would never be privy to this amazing world of dried beans and grains if it weren't for the pressure cooker. Using my own homemade stocks, making soups, stews, chilis, rices, polenta, and all sorts of other, ususally time intensive meals are less than 15-30 minutes away. (I sent my son Gabriel to the store the other day for some dried black beans....he looked at me with a puzzled look....."What are dried beans, and where will I find them?", he asked. As much as he sees me cook, and eats the foods I make, he still has no idea beans come from anywhere but a can!)

But let's not forget salads..... It's the end of summer (well, it would be the end if summer ever comes, lol) and balck beans seem to end up in all kinds of salads these days. Currently my favorite salad (at least for a few more days...) is,

vine ripened tomato (seeded and chopped)
black beans (pressure cooked)
avocado (here's the fat...thank you Fawn!)
seedless watermelon (diced)
a good pinch of kosher salt
good red wine vinegar
baby greens

bonus (es)
chicken (protein, pressure cooked)
cojito cheese (diced)
grilled corn (cut from the cob)

I looked back in my photo album to the same month last year, and the year before, to see what I was eating. Last year it was my Raw Cauliflower salad,
....good God, how did I forget about that yummy salad (cauliflower, balck beans are in the fridge waiting, along with the fresh tomatoes from Waynes garden on the kitchen counter...), the year before? I started making tomato soup.....even more tomatoes waiting on my counter for tomorrow nights sauce....I've graduated from soup to sauce! Goodness I've got some killer tomato sauces in my freezer, including Sloppy Joe sauce (recipe to come shortly)

Bottom line? I cook and prepare most of my own foods and meals. Fast foods are things like nuts, dried fruits, and fresh fruits......and, of course ocasionally cookies, and ice cream (but not at the same time....hey!...) I try to eat seasonally because in the modern world we live in with so many choices and abundance of all kinds of foods, why not eat the foods God intended for us to eat, at the time He intended us to eat them....can God be wrong?

What the heck....God invented refrigeration, and gas for trucks to get us strawberries in the knock yourself out! Whatever works, don't feel guilty. What's right for me doesn't have to be right for you. Just enjoy, and learn how to make it yourself!

Life is good. Life is yummy. Swing some kettlebells tomorrow.....if you didn't already swing today!

PS I took away the split peas from the recipe above from Lucullians delights because I couldn't keep them from getting mushy! But try and find the dried edamame, it's texture, shape and flavor is a really fun , and inexpensive, salad addition.
PPS Radishes, as I written about before, are, in my opinion, the biggest $ deal at the market! They are yummy in stir frys, as well as salads. And for about $1.00 a bunch, if you can find them with fresh looking greens attached it's a bonus....don't discriminate against radishes!


elle pee said...

Great blog, keep on pressure cooking!

Tracy Reifkind said...

elle pee,

Of course!

Mark Reifkind said...

I LOVED this salad, it's amazing.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Tomorrow is Friday and hopefully I can make it to the downtown Farmers Market for more Cauliflower! I'm hooked, again, on this salad! But the season is coming to and end.....

Beth said...

Lately, I have been missing blogposts from the peeps I follow...grrr. I have been pressure cooking and canning jalapeno jelly. Plan to try to pressure cook more often, but I am really enjoying it.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm assuming you mean elle pee? Her comment made me aware of her blog for the very first time, and unless I'm missing something, I thought there would be more content about pressure cooking based on the blog title.

I've got plenty of pressure cooker blogpost, especially the first year to 1 1/2 years of this blog...been busy training a bunch lately, lol. But I still cook everyday, just no time for writing about it.

Cooking takes litle time, writing about it takes a whole morning or evening!

Canning is the one thing I haven't done in the PC....I'm jealous!