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TIP OF THE DAY: Irish Lamb Stew For St. Patrick’s Day

Irish Lamb Stew

Pint Of Guinness

Arthur Guinness

[1] Irish lamb stew, made with pearled barley. [2] A pint of Guinness, once the world’s top-selling beer†. [3] Arthur Guinness founded the brewery in 1759. It’s the world’s oldest continuing brewery (all photos courtesy Guinness).

 

If you like lamb, there’s no better excuse to make lamb stew than St. Patrick’s Day. Lamb shoulder, the best stew cut, is also far less pricey than lamb chops or leg of lamb.

This traditional dish is served on St. Patrick’s Day at the restaurant in Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which provided the recipe below. Is so easy to make, that even a young cook can throw it together.

The Guinness Storehouse is the original property leased in 1759 by Arthur Guinness for his brewery. It’s a 9,000-year lease, by the way, leading one to wonder if the landlord refused to write a 10,000-year lease.

The property has been converted into a museum on the history of brewing and the history of Guinness.

RECIPE: IRISH LAMB STEW

Note that the recipe cooks the meat and the vegetables for the same time. This creates soft vegetables, the old-fashioned style.

If you prefer your veggies al dente, add in the vegetables after 45 minutes, but cook the full amount of stock from the beginning.

Similarly, our mom always browned stew meat before adding it to the pot. Browning helps develop more depth of flavor; some cooks even brown the vegetables and herbs. This step isn’t required in Guinness’ recipe, so we didn’t do it; although next time we will for comparison.

Serve the stew with a side of the pearled barley, some Irish soda bread and a Guinness (or brand of choice).

While the stew is cooking, check out the different cuts of lamb.

 
Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 2-1/4 pounds lamb shoulder cubes
  • Bouquet garni* of parsley, thyme and bay leaf
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 3-4 carrots, diced (if carrots are slender, you can cut coins instead)
  • 2 sticks of celery chopped
  • 1 small turnip, diced
  • 1 small leek, diced
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 pints chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons pearl* barley
  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • Garnish: sprig of thyme
  • ________________

    *See the last sections, below.

     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the meat, bouquet garni, barley, onions, carrots, celery and turnip in the pot; cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for one hour.

    2. SKIM off the scum on top of the pot. Add the potatoes and continue cooking for ½ hour. For the last 5 minutes, add the leek.

    3. REMOVE the bouquet garni. Stir in the chopped parsley. Serve in bowls.

    ________________
    †According to The Street, the world’s best-selling beers are now:
    1. Snow (SABMiller/China Resources Enterprises)
    2. Tsingtao (China, Tsingtao Brewery)
    3. Bud Light (Anheuser-Busch InBev)
    4. Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch InBev)
    5. Skol (Carlsberg, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Unibra)
    6. Yanjing (Beijing Yanjing)
    7. Heinecken (Heineken International)
    8. Harbin (Anheuser-Busch InBev, China)
    9. Brahma (Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brazil)
    10.Coors Light (MolsonCoors)

    Times change: We remember back in the 1970s that Guinness was the number one beer in the world.

     

    HOW TO MAKE A BOUQUET GARNI

    A bouquet garni (French for garnished bouquet) is a bundle of herbs tied with a string. It is used in the preparation of soups, stews and stocks.

    The herbs are tied for easy removal after cooking. In situations where some ingredients can’t be tied (peppercorns or garlic cloves, for example), a small muslin drawstring bag or piece of cheesecloth is used.

    The bouquet is cooked in the pot with the other ingredients, but is removed when cooking is complete.

    There is no generic recipe for bouquet garni, but most French recipes combine bay leaf, parsley and thyme.

  • Depending on the recipe, it may also include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, savory and tarragon.
  • How many pieces of each? That’s up to you, similar to adding “a handful” of something. We use four of everything.
  • Vegetables such as carrot, celery (leaves or leaf stalks), celeriac, leek, onion and parsley root are sometimes included.
  • Don’t hesitate to include flavors you’d like in your recipe. In Provence, dried orange peel can be added.
  •  

    A Tip For Parsley

    Keep the parsley leaves for garnish, but tie the stalks in the bouquet garni. They have lots of flavor.
     
     
    WHAT IS PEARLED BARLEY?

    Pearl barley, or pearled barley, is barley that has been processed to remove the hull and the bran.

    All barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; but pearl barley is then polished to remove the bran layer.

     

    Bouquet Garni

    Pearled Barley

    [1] Don’t worry if your bouquet garni doesn’t look this pretty (from Recreational Witchcraft | Tumblr). [2] Pearl or pearled barley (photo courtesy BBC Good Food).

     
    With the bran removed, the barley is no longer a whole grain, but is still nutritious. Hulled barley, the whole grain form, is also known as barley groats.

    Pearl barley is still chewy and nutritious, but less so than hulled barley, which still has its bran layer.

    The polished grains are also softer and take less time to cook, about 40 minutes. That’s why pearl barley is most often used in recipes.

    You can substitute hulled barley in recipes, by adjusting for a longer cooking time.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Fun With Rice Colors

    Tricolor RIce

    Tr-Color Rice Cake Recipe

    Brown Basmati Rice

    Italian Black Rice

    Red Rice

    Green Bamboo Rice

    [1] A tricolor rice dish made from white rice, using vegetables for color (photo courtesy Nephroplus). [2] These are the natural colors of brown rice, [3] black rice and [4] red rice. [5] Green bamboo rice is white rice infused with bamboo extract, combining the health benefits of chlorophyll with a delightful color (uncooked rice photos courtesy rice specialist In Harvest).

     

    All rice starts as a whole grain, which means that the germ and bran layer are intact. When these are removed, you have white rice.

    The most common bran layer for rice is brown; remove it and you have white rice. But there are also red and black rice brans. The darker the bran layer, the more nutritional value the rice has.

    Some rices are only partially milled, so some of the bran layer is left on. These rices tend to be light tan, pink or even a striated color. Our Madagascar Pink Rice is an example of rice that is partially milled. It still retains a high level of nutrition, but cooks faster and has a texture that is closer to white rice.

    But you don’t have to by naturally colored rices to serve colored rice. You can color white rice with vegetables, as in the recipe below.

    Tricolor rice is a popular dish in India, but we haven’t yet seen it in the U.S.—probably because it’s a bit more work.

    We did find a sweet dessert versions to join the savory rice below.

    You don’t have to use Indian flavors if it’s not your thing. Just add your own favorite herbs and spices, using the recipe template as a guide.

    This special-occasion recipe from Nephroplus.com as an Indian specialty called a rice sandwich.

    Since most of us in the U.S. don’t want to labor over six individual servings, we made it in one large Pyrex bowl.

    Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 25 minutes, baking time is 20 to 25 minutes. The wonderful aroma will have everyone waiting in anticipation!

    RECIPE: TRICOLOR RICE

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

    For The Orange Rice

  • 1-1/4 cups cooked rice
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1 tsp finely chopped green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt to taste
  •  
    For The White Rice

  • 1-1/4 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped paneer (substitute drained ricotta or small curd cottage cheese)
  • Salt to taste
  •  
    For The Green Rice

  • 1-1/4 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup cooked green peas
  • Salt to taste
  •  
    For The Green Paste

  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon amchur (mango powder—substitute ginger powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • A bit of water
  •  
    Plus

  • 2 teaspoons oil for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  •  
    Preparation

    For The Orange Rice

    1. COMBINE the tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of water in a deep non-stick pan. Cook over a medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes or till the tomatoes are soft.

    2. BLEND the tomatoes in a blender to a smooth pulp and strain it using a strainer; set aside.

    3. HEAT the ghee in a wide non-stick pan. Add the onions and sauté over a medium flame for 1 minute. Add the carrots and sauté for 1 more minute. Add the prepared tomato pulp, green chiles, sugar and salt. Mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes.

     
    4. ADD the rice, mix well and cook over a medium flame for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
     
    For The White Rice

    1. HEAT the ghee in a wide non-stick pan and add the caraway seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the green chiles and sauté on a medium flame for 30 seconds.

    2. ADD the rice and paneer, mix well and cook over a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
     
    For The Green Rice

    1. HEAT the ghee in a wide non-stick pan. Add the onions and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute.

    2. ADD the green paste and again sauté over a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice, green peas and salt, mix well and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
     
    To Assemble

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 360°F. Grease a microwave safe baking bowl with oil and spread the green rice evenly over it using the back of a spoon. Add the white rice and spread it evenly using the back of a spoon. Top with the orange rice and spread it evenly using the back of a spoon.

    2. POUR the milk evenly over the rice, cover the bowl with a lid and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (or microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes).

    3. SERVE: Turn the bowl upside down on a serving plate. Serve immediately.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Cook Sorghum For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    When we first saw the word sorghum, it was as a tween, in the reading of “Gone With The Wind.”

    There was no sugar available in the blockaded, war-torn South, so Scarlett O’Hara sweetened her coffee substitute, chicory, with sorghum syrup, a molasses substitute.

    For decades, we thought of sorghum as a sweetener. After all, it’s not something you come across in the American diet.

    That is changing, with the rise in demand for gluten-free whole grains.

    Sorghum is an ancient Old World whole grain that has been cultivated for millennia.

  • It’s an energy food that’s gluten free, cholesterol free and non-GMO.
  • It’s a good source of fiber and iron.
  • It has 5g of protein per serving.
  • Its neutral flavor can be paired with any foods; it can be substituted for rice or lentils in dishes like paella and biryani.
  • You can find whole grain sorghum, pearled sorghum, sorghum flour and sorghum-based flour mixes.
  • It cooks, freezes and reheats easily.
  •  
    You can also pop sorghum seeds. The result looks just like popcorn.

    COOKING SORGHUM: WHERE TO START?

    Click to the links featured in the photos, and/or pick up a sorghum cookbook.

    WHAT IS SORGHUM?

    Sorghum is a genus of plants in the grass family—the family that includes the other grains (see the list below).

    Seventeen of the twenty-five sorghum species are native to Australia. One species, Sorghum bicolor, native to Africa, has become an important crop worldwide.

    Most varieties of sorghum are drought- and heat-tolerant, and are especially important crops in arid regions, where the grain is a dietary staples for the poor and rural populations.

    Sorghum is not only used for food (as grain and sorghum syrup, similar to molasses), but is brewed into alcoholic beverages, used as animal fodder, and made into biofuels.

    Nutritionally, it is similar to raw oats. A serving contains 20% or more of the Daily Value of protein; the B vitamins niacin, thiamin and vitamin B6; and several dietary minerals, including iron (26% DV) and manganese (76% DV).

    HULLED VS. PEARLED GRAINS

    When you see a grain labeled “hulled,” such as barley or sorghum, it indicates a whole grain.

    Hulled means that the the three parts of the seed—the bran, germ and endosperm—are intact, or “whole.” A whole grain provides optimum nutrition—vitamins, minerals and fiber.

    Only the inedible outermost layer, the hull, has been removed. This is true for all grains for human consumption: We can’t digest the hulls.

    Pearled grains are processed, like white rice. The polishing (pearling) removes the nutritious bran layer. The flavor is more delicate, not earthy; and it cooks faster. But a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber are lost in the process.

    Here’s more about whole grains and their nutrition.
     
    WONDERGRAIN: A LINE OF PREMIUM SORGUM PRODUCTS

    In 2012 Patricia Alemdar was given a taste of crushed sorghum from Haiti, where it’s considered a medicinal food. Although she liked the taste, she didn’t really care for the texture.

    (The common variety of sorghum is too dense to be cooked whole, so it needs to be crushed.)

    After months of research and testing, she and her mother produced a better, premium version of sorghum.

    It didn’t have to be crushed to be eaten whole. It had the softest bite and fastest cooking time. They launched it in 2014, and branded it Wondergrain.

    It’s a delicious addition to our table! The line is certified kosher by OU.

    Discover more at Wondergrain.com.
     
    FOOD FUN: NAME THE WHOLE GRAINS!

  • Amaranth
  • Barley (but not pearled barley)
  • Buckwheat (Kasha®)
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Chia/Salba®†
  • Corn (whole grain corn or cornmeal, yellow or white)*
  • Farro (emmer wheat)
  • Flaxseed
  • Grano
  • Hemp
  • Kamut® (Khorasan wheat)†
  • Millet
  • Oats (oatmeal, whole or rolled oats)
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa
  • Rice: black, brown, red, wild
  • Rye (whole)
  • Spelt
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Triticale (barley/wheat hybrid)
  • Whole wheat
  • Wild rice
  • ________________
    *Grits are refined and are not whole grains.

     

    Sorghum

    Pearled Sorghum

    Sorghum Hot Cereal

    Sorghum Grain Bowl

    Sorghum Salad

    Roast Chicken With Sorghum

    Sorghum Squash Pilaf

    [1] Sorghum (photo courtesy Wondergrain). [2] Pearled sorghum cooks faster, but is not a whole grain (see the discussion below—photo courtesy Healthy Nibbles And Bits). [3] BREAKFAST: A bowl of hot sorghum (here’s the recipe from Clean Eating Magazine). [4] LUNCH: Sorghum grain bowl with beans and avocado (here’s the recipe from Street Smart Nutrition). [5] Sorghum salad with kale pesto (here’s the recipe from Healthy Nibbles & Bits). [6] DINNER: Serve chicken or fish with a side of sorghum (here’s the recipe from Bon Appetit). [7] Add some grated cheese to this sorghum and squash pilaf (here’s the recipe from Cooking Light).

    †Salba is a trademarked name for chia, Kamut® is a trademarked name for khorasan wheat.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Tofu Sandwiches

    What’s trending in sandwiches?

    According to Technomic, a food industry research and consulting firm, it’s tofu.

    The company’s MenuMonitor tracks more than 7,000 commercial and noncommercial menus to identify new ideas, including new menus, seasonal promotions and limited-time offers. The next trending sandwich protein, they say, will be…tofu!

    Chicken and bacon are, by far, the most popular “hot” proteins on sandwiches, the company says. But tofu is on the rise due to growing consumer desires for:

  • Healthy eating
  • Sustainable eating
  • Vegan foods
  •  
    So don’t be surprised to find tofu on the sandwich and burger menus of mainstream venues.

    Why not try it in your own kitchen?

    Chop tofu into “egg” salad; grill or pan-fry it to replace sandwich meats or burger patties.

    For starters, here’s a tofu burger recipe from tofu specialist House Foods. They also sent us recipes for:

  • Eggless Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich
  •  
    RECIPE: TOFU SLIDERS OR BURGERS

    Ingredients For 8 Sliders Or 4 Burgers

  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons soy oil
  • 8 small slices mozzarella cheese
  • 8 slider buns or small dinner rolls or 4 burger buns, split and toasted
  • 16 fresh basil leaves or 8 small lettuce leaves
  • 8 slices plum tomato
  •  
    For The Pesto Mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the pesto mayonnaise. Stir all ingredients for in a small bowl; refrigerate until ready to use.

    2. QUARTER the block of tofu into 4 equal pieces. Slice each quarter horizontally into 2 thin pieces.

    3. BEAT the eggs with the mustard in shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. In a third bowl, combine the flour and herb seasoning.

    4. HEAT the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Dip the tofu in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then the bread crumb mixture. Add to the skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Top with the mozzarella slices after turning the slices.

    5. SPREAD the sides of the buns with the mayonnaise; place the tofu slices on the bottom halves, topping with basil and tomato slices.

    TIPS

  • BUY premium quality tofu. If you care about non-GMO foods—93% of soy is genetically modified—rely on a brand like House Foods, which uses only non-genetically modified soybeans grown in the USA and is Non-GMO Project verified.
  • STORE leftover tofu in a water-filled, airtight container in the fridge. It can keep for two to three days, but change the water every day or two.
  • FREEZE excess tofu in its original container or a freezer bag. To thaw, just leave it out on the counter for a few hours (don’t microwave it). Defrosted tofu’s texture becomes more spongy, great to soak up marinade sauces and great for the grill.
  •    

    Tofu Banh Mi

    Eggless Egg Salad

    Tofu Sliders

    Tofu Pizza "Burger"

    House Foods Extra Firm Tofu

    [1] Tofu banh mi sandiwich (here’s the recipe from Cooking Light). [2] Eggless egg salad, substituting tofu (here’s the recipe from House Foods). Make tofu sliders or burgers, garnished anyway you like: [3] with pesto mayonnaise and fresh basil, or [4] pizza-burger style, with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. [5] House Foods Extra-Firm Tofu. House Foods tofu is non-GMO.

    MORE TOFU RECIPES

  • Tofu Bean Chili
  • Tofu Caprese Salad
  • Tofu Chocolate Mousse
  • Tofu Fries
  • Tofu Fritters
  • Tofu Salad Dressing
  • Tofu Scramble
  • Tofu Tomato Skewers
  • More Ways To Use Tofu
  •  

    Tofu Blocks

    Tofu Breakfast Scramble

    Tofu Chocolate Pudding

    [6] Tofu blocks (photo courtesy Hodo Soy Beanery). [6] Tofu breakfast scramble (here’s the recipe from Oh My Veggies). [7] Tofu chocolate pudding, or budino in Italian (here’s the recipe from House Foods).

     

    WHAT IS TOFU

    Tofu is made from curding soy milk, much in the same way cheese is made from dairy milk.

    First, soybeans are ground with water and heated. The soy milk is separated from the solids (analogous to milk curds), the hot soy milk is stirred and a coagulant (a natural firming agent, analogous to rennet) is added.

    The curds that form are poured into a forming box (a mold) and the whey is pressed out. The pressing action forms the curd into a solid block of tofu, which is also known as bean curd.

    Here’s more about tofu, including the history of tofu.
     
    TOFU HEALTH BENEFITS

    Nutritionists, physicians and other healthcare providers want you to eat more tofu.

    Tofu offers a variety of health benefits. It’s low calorie, cholesterol-free and an excellent source of high-quality protein, iron and calcium.

    Soy foods in general are associated with decreased risk of cancer. A comprehensive analysis of 28 previously published studies on Chinese adults shows that intake of soy foods in the form of tofu (and soy miso) does a better job of reducing risk of stomach cancer than soy in general.

  • In the U.S., a study released in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism last spring that showed soy might counter the harmful effects of bisphenol A (BPA), and that diets high in soy may improve women’s fertility.
  • More and more experts point to recent studies that demonstrate its benefits, such as lower risk of breast cancer and reduced levels of inflammation.
  •  
    It’s still January, the window for new year’s resolutions is still open. Why not turn Meatless Mondays into Tofu Tuesdays?

    Take a look at these tofu cookbooks:

  • The Guide to Cooking Tofu: The Ultimate Tofu Cookbook That You Will Ever Need
  • This Can’t Be Tofu: 75 Recipes to Cook Something You Never Thought You Would–and Love Every Bite
  • Giant Book Of Tofu Cooking: 350 Delicious & Healthful Recipes
  • Tofu Recipes: The Ultimate Tofu Cookbook With Over 30 Delicious And Amazing Tofu Recipes
  •  

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Sustainable Eating Helps All Of Us

    Black Bean Burger

    Sustainable Seafood

    Malaysian Palm Oil

    Organic Cayenne McCormick

    [1] Black bean burger: Add your favorite condiments garnishes and you’ll love it (here’s the recipe Urban Accents). [2] “Trash fish” look and taste just as good as the big-name fish—for as fraction of the price (photo courtesy Chef Barton Seaver, author of this sustainable fish cookbook). [3] Hello, Malaysian palm oil; buh-bye, canola oil (photo courtesy Food Navigator). [4] Buy the 4-5 spices you use most often in organic versions (photo courtesy McCormick).

     

    You may have successfully conquered the first week of “good eating” in the new year. Congrats!

    Now, can we twist your arm abut eating more sustainably?

    Here are recommendations from Chef Gerard Viverito, Director of Culinary Education for Passionfish, a NGO non-profit organization dedicated to educating people around the globe on the issue of sustainability in the seas.
     
    HOW TO EAT MORE SUSTAINABLY

    1. Eat Less Meat & More Beans.

    Beans, lentils and other legumes are called “nitrogen “fixers.” They convert inert gas from the atmosphere into the type of ammonia needed for plant food, reducing the need to use as much synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

    Livestock is a major driver of deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Livestock requires about 3.9 billion hectares of land for grazing and to produce animal feed. That’s an area that’s five times larger than Australia.

    Deforestation means fewer trees to absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Livestock emissions, including manure and digestive gas, contribute more greenhouse gas to the atmosphere than automobile emissions.

    Meatless Mondays is an idea that should evolve into Vegan Mondays. If you’re eating cheese and ice cream, it’s still part of the problem.

    With all the delicious vegan choices—including hearty vegetable stews, pasta, pizza and vegetarian chili—you won’t suffer one day a week. You may even discover new favorite dishes!

    Check out 16 main course bean dishes from Saveur.
     
    2. Buy wild-caught U.S. seafood.

    Yes, it can be more costly than other options, but American fisheries have some of the most stringent ecological rules in the world (and, might we add, health rules—no melamine in your shrimp).

    If we ate what the oceans were sustainably supplying instead of insisting on only a few well-known fish species, we would further cut down on over-fishing our waters.

    Be open to sampling different fish species. The new trend among top chefs is trash fish, a.k.a. rough fish.

    What are trash fish?

    Trash fish are those that travel in schools with more desirable fish, and are often landed as by-catch. Because they don’t have the marketing demand of other fish and thus only command a fraction of the price, fishermen would toss them overboard (trash them) as not worth the effort of processing.

    There is no standard list of trash fish. A fish that is considered trash in one region may be treasure in another. For example, the common carp is considered undesirable in the U.S. and Australia, but is the premier game fish of Europe and the most valuable food fish across most of Asia. Ask your fishmonger what’s available in your area.

    Just because you haven’t heard of something or it sounds weird, don’t pass it by. Dogfish travel in schools with flounder, hake and pollock, three of which have marketing value while the other is in the doghouse.

    In the U.S., 91% of all seafood consumed comes from outside the country. More than two-thirds of all seafood we eat comprises shrimp, salmon, tilapia (almost all farm-raised under dubious conditions) or canned tuna. The oceans offer a wealth of tasty fish, and we only eat four of them.

    Don’t walk away from banded rudderfish, barrel fish, bearded brotula, lionfish, southern stingray, squirrelfish and other strange names. If they didn’t taste good, they wouldn’t be for sale. Here’s more about trash fish.

    There’s even a sustainable fish cookbook—the first of many, no doubt.

     
    3. Use a sustainable cooking oil.

    It doesn’t make sense to buy healthy, sustainable foods and then cook them with oils made from genetically modified plants.

    Try the buttery Malaysian palm oil, which is natural and sustainably produced. Because it has a high smoke point, Malaysian palm oil can be used for grilling, baking and frying without burning and making food taste bad.

    All palm oil is non-GMO, which may be why it’s more affordable than the popular but non-GMO canola oil.

    Note: Be sure it’s Malaysian palm oil. The Malaysian government has commented to growing and processing.

     

    4. Upgrade your favorite spices to organic.

    The use of chemical fertilizers and plant pesticides is a growing concern in the spice industry. But organic spices and herbs can be pricey, so invest in organic only for those that you use all the time.

    McCormick sells more than 22 organic herbs and spices—just about anything you need regularly, including vanilla extract.

    Here’s another money-saving tip: Whole ginger root is a fraction of the price of powdered. Buy a root and cut into 1-inch cubes then toss them into the freezer. Grate a cube whenever a recipe calls for this fragrant spice.
     
    5. Eat more leafy greens, and find more fun preparations.

    Kale, spinach and other leafy greens grow quickly in most climates. This means they have a lower impact on our environment and may require less fertilizer than slower growing veggies.

    Up the kid-friendliness of these greens by making tasty oven-fried veggie chips. Drizzle oil (Malaysian sustainable palm oil, of course) over the greens, sprinkle with salt or other seasonings and then bake in a 350°F oven until slightly brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Eat the crispy veggies for snacks, as pizza and pasta toppings, add to omelets, etc.

    This great microwave tray from Mastrad lets you make chips in two minutes! We stack them 3-4 trays high for the most chips in the shortest time.

    And of course, there are many, many luscious recipes for leafy greens. All you need to do is look online.
     
    6. Look for “grass-fed,” “organic” or “pasture-raised” beef.

    To come full circle from the first tip, raising livestock takes a big toll on our environment. It uses more than 70% of our agricultural land and is the largest driver of deforestation (which enables greenhouse gases) in the world.

     

    Bake-Fry Spinach Leaves

    [5] Eat more leafy greens: They grow more quickly (photo courtesy Hungry Couple). [6] Enjoy meat, but in smaller portions.

     
    But that doesn’t mean you have to give up meat if you want to eat sustainably. Just choose quality over quantity. When cooking, combine meat with healthy plant-based foods. Throw some black beans into ground beef when making tacos or combine chicken with quinoa when making a casserole.

    Eat as they do in the rest of the world: smaller portions of meat, larger portions of grains and vegetables.
     

    THANKS FOR HELPING

    Adopting even one of these six ideas will make an impact.

      

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