Little kids, grown up diets and the Tao of a peaceful meal.

If you’re like me, and have a little kid(s) then you know what a struggle it can be to please everyone at meal time. Our daughter is a pretty good eater, though she is prone to change her likes and dislikes seemingly on a whim. The problem is that what she likes and what we can eat usually diverges and causes a bit of a drama, especially at dinner time.

The solution to said drama is a never ending journey for many a household, and sadly I do not have an answer for you. I do however have a few ideas that have worked for us, at least until our daughter changes her mind again.

Get involved

I started teaching our daughter a few kitchen tips when she turned five, I had tried earlier but it didn’t quite stick. We started easy, like having her place the food on her plate. Then we moved up a bit to actually building the food together, she loves mixing and flipping food in the pan. I am now trying to help her chop food, but that is pretty nerve racking (for me!). Another thing I am helping her learn is about food nutrition, and she seems pretty interested. I love the way she lights up when she learns her meal suggestions are healthy! Kids are the best!

You’re the boss, but kids get a say, too

“You’ll eat what I put in front of you and like it!” Oh boy, that is a fun one to hear. I’m sure everyone has one of those memories locked away somewhere, just itching to come out when your kid turns up their nose at dinner. Now I agree that our kids should be thankful for what we provide for them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a say. I am pretty sure if someone put a plate of *enter food you can’t stand here* and told you to eat it or else, you might not react too well either. So I try and work on our weekly menu as a family, everyone has a say, within reason at least.

Turn everything off, no tablet, no phone!

Talk like you like each other, because you know what? You do, and it’s a great time to see what everybody’s been up to.

A dish for the family

Okay, here is a little meal our family likes to do together, we make “platters”. Super easy, super fun and it’s family time while learning to eat healthy. Go to the store together and discuss what looks good and what will taste good together. Talk about why you can’t just have pizza and call it good, why we need fruits and veggies in our diet every day.

After you are back from the store set up a “platter station” where everybody can reach all of the goodies for their platter. Let the kids be as creative as they want, remember the word “art” in culinary arts is there for a reason.

Then, when everyone is done, take pictures to remember what you did and if you have a safe place online to post the pictures, you know the kids will love that. The picture for this article is from a platter our five year old daughter made, and she couldn’t be more proud of it.

So find a compromise with your kids, enjoy these moments because they fly by, and finally have that relaxing meal you always dream about. Namaste

Cheers, Blue

Sheet pan cod with asparagus, carrot, lemon and a funny thing.

BLE compliant; gluten-free; low carb; omega 3 booster;

Seafood is a funny food for me, not funny haha, but funny as in it is rarely a go to meal for me. I usually go for chicken or pork, heck I turn to meatless options before seafood usually. What’s even funnier about this is that I (used to) like seafood, and enjoy preparing it. So what gives, why do I dismiss one of our planets most abundant food sources so much? Funny you should ask.

It all started with the diet. You see a funny thing happens on the way to a sugar and flour free lifestyle. Your tastes change quite a bit, as in your taste buds go through a pretty dramatic change. Well, your tastes do to, but I digress. Simply put, you will like food you did not before and stop liking some food you used to like. For me, I can no longer eat most vegetables from the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc) and sadly many types of fish. Oh and tofu makes me gag, and I used to eat tofu a few times a week. So now you’re wondering why I am posting a fish dish, right?

Turns out not all fish are created equal, and luckily I was able to come up with a not funny tasting fish dish. The nice part about this dish is that it is a handy all in one place meal, fit for a weeknight or weekend dinner. One other part I would like to note is the quality of the fish. I mean, you all know not to buy stinky fish or fish that looks like it’s been mashed.

But it is also very important to know where your fish comes from, and how it was sourced. I do usually prefer to eat locally as often as possible, but one of the few foods I like from distant waters is cod. I have found the cod from the pristine cold waters of the north Atlantic to be amazing, both Norway and Iceland have found a sustainable way of harvesting what the ocean provides without leaving a giant footprint in their wake.

Anywho, enough of me prattling on. Let’s make some food!

Recipe

Serves four

  • 1 1/2 pounds Icelandic (if you can find it) cod
  • two pounds asparagus, tough part removed with peeler
  • one pound carrots, cut into long thin angled slices
  • one medium onion, cut into eighths
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • two small lemons, halved seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, equally divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste, equally divided
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (weird I know, trust me it’s good)
  • two tablespoons olive oil
  • cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F.

Meanwhile, combine all vegetables, half of divided spices and herbs in a large mixing bowl and season with the oil and Worcestershire sauce.

Toss thoroughly to coat, spread evenly on a parchment lined sheet pan.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes, while the veggies are cooking spray the cod with cooking spray and season with the remaining salt, pepper and oregano.

After 15 minutes remove pan from oven and clear spots for the fish so that it is laying flat in the pan. Place halved lemons cut side down in the pan, too. Put pan back in the oven for 15 more minutes, the veggies should be soft with some browning and the fish will be firm and flaky.

I suggest checking the fish after 10 minutes, if it is done early remove the fish from oven and let the veggies finish. Be sure each person gets a lemon to squeeze over everything, it takes on such a unique flavor after cooking.

Welp, there you have it folks. A delicious and healthy take on a fish we all know, and see it didn’t taste funny at all!

BLE note: The fat is the oil, and if you need more veggies for your portion a nice side salad will do.

Cheers, Blue

Roasted celery root, with carrot and onion.

BLE compliant; gluten free; low sodium; vegetarian; vegan

One thing about side dishes that we take for granted is their versatility. There are so many side dishes that can be paired with other dishes, that we forget to search out new and exciting foods. Instead we stay in our lane, doing what feels safe. Ever notice that we wander through the aisles of a department store, or the wine section, and, if you have kids, the toy section? But I have noticed that I rarely wander through the produce department, and when I looked around nobody else was either. We were just all going straight to each item, and then off to the next department.

So I challenge you the next time you’re in the produce department, take a little extra time and see what weird and odd looking item you can try. Take it home, maybe you just found a new favorite side…or maybe not, but at least you tried. And that’s all anyone can ever ask of us 🙂

Recipe

Serves 4

  • One bulb celery root, peeled and cubed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into circles
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium yellow onion, large dice
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, dried thyme, oregano and rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (does not need to be extra virgin)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. While the oven heats throughly, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a parchment lined sheet pan, and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Toss veggies once and continue cooking for additional 15 minutes, or until carrots and celery root can be pierced easily with a knife.

This side can be paired with almost anything. I love it with roast chicken or a nice pan seared fish like halibut.

Cheers, Blue

Waste not, Want not, that’s what I always say.

A famous saying for sure, and one I repeat to myself on a fairly regular basis. I have mentioned before on this site that I have a bit of a problem with people wasting food. I’m sure my daughter can attest to that. One of the many lessons I learned in my culinary career was that there is always a way to utilize food that maybe you thought was garbage. In an earlier article (here) I gave a few tips on stretching your odds and ends, now here I want to talk about how we can further the idea.

How much food do you throw out, and why did you toss it away?

Did it get shoved behind the mayo jar for too long? Maybe you just didn’t feel like finishing it, or it wasn’t your fav. Perhaps it was expired and you forgot it was there, or hidden behind last year’s(!) Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer for goodness knows how long! In any event, there are very few good reasons to actually throw food away. I think we can all remember what our parents told us about starving kids all over the world. Who knew they were so very, very right.

When trying to utilize as much as we can, I find it helps to have meal plans in place. That way we’re less likely to cook too much food. We also weigh everything we eat so that helps too. I make sure the fridge gets a once through each week, and that includes the freezer. Speaking of which, did you know that most foods last between three and six months in the freezer? That gives an awful lot of time to use those leftovers. If your leftovers in the fridge are still there three days after you put it there…freeze them, don’t throw it out. This does two things, it saves you money and it saves the planet from having to over produce for us humans. That’s a win win in my book!

So what about the pantry, do you know when those cans of beans are going to expire? In the land of restaurants we use a term known as FIFO, First In, First Out, that just simply means the oldest food is in the front and newest in the back. It really works, try it out at your place. So, what happens if you find that your pantry is overloaded and a lot of food is set to expire? My first thought is always what can I make right away, whether to eat in the next few days or freeze. You’re an inventive bunch, so I’m sure that’s pretty easy to figure. But what if it just isn’t viable to do that, then what?

Take the dried and canned food to the food bank folks, even if it’s ready to expire, people are starving out there. No joke at all, please help your fellow man/women/child.

So thats it, just a few thoughts and tips on leading a less wasteful life…at least in the kitchen anyway. Oh, and if you all have some other thoughts and tips please send them along. Learning is a privilege available to all of us, we just need to be willing to open our minds.

Blue

Cheers, Blue

Warm Baba Ganoush salad

BLE compliant; gluten free; low sodium; low carb; vegan; vegetarian

This little dish from Lebanon typically is served cold, but I have become rather fond of it warmed up. My first experience of eating baba ganoush came about in a surprising way. I had to travel all the way to Brazil. My then fiancee and now wife is originally from there, and her great grandparents had immigrated there from Lebanon. So my first Lebanese food was cooked by a Brazilian grandmother, and it was amazing!

Methods for cooking the eggplant vary quite a bit, but I prefer roasting it whole and scooping out the insides after cooking. Now I must add in this caveat – I did hear of one instance of the eggplant blowing up (sorry, Mom!), so keep an eye on it while it’s roasting.

Recipe

Serves 4

  • two medium eggplant (look for firm veggies, without brown spots
  • two cloves garlic, minced fine
  • two-three green onions diced
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley minced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 375F, and prepare a parchment lined sheet pan. Place whole eggplant on sheet pan and roast 30 minutes, rotate eggplant and return to oven for another 30 minutes. The eggplant may feel hard, but inside the vegetable has cooked down considerably. Let the veggie cool in a large bowl, and when it has cooled enough to handle, make a long cut down the length of the veg. Scoop out the contents (including the liquid) into the bowl, and add all remaining ingredients.

Now here is where the recipe really differs from your usual one, and why I call this a salad. Instead of pulsing in a food processor, I leave mixture chunky by cutting the veg with a pair of kitchen shears inside the bowl. I then use the best tool in the kitchen to mix everything together – your hands of course! I make sure that the consistency is still solid, but mashed enough to become sticky.

So there you go, another healthy side to try out. This one goes really well with lamb and if you are going vegetarian try serving with hummus and a zesty tomato cucumber salad. A big shoutout to my “Vó”, thank you for that amazing experience. Te Amo, Biza!

Cheers, Blue

Healthy Carnitas, no trip required.

BLE friendly; low sodium; gluten free; low carb

Going out to eat has become somewhat of a rarity in our house, maybe once a month or even less. It is not because of a lack of options, or because we can’t find healthy meals while out n’ about. It usually has to do with wanting to have a cheat day and eat our past favorites, and when you put yourself in that situation it may be hard to resist. Now I am not saying everybody should stop going out, that would be silly. What I am saying is that instead of putting yourself in difficult situations, maybe we can figure out how to lighten up those restaurant fav’s at home.

Take for example carnitas, I love carnitas. Their crispy yet juicy goodness is enough to make me drool right here on my keyboard. A traditional carnitas recipe calls for pork shoulder, which when handled properly can still be a healthy choice. It’s the next step that leads it down the road to a coronary overpass. Lard, straight up lard…pork cooked in lard for 12 hours over a low heat. Then, cooked again in more fat to crisp it up. Ay caramba!

So how do we make this a more viable option, without losing what made this dish so succulent? As mentioned before, pork shoulder is fine once you have removed the excess exterior fat prior to cooking. After the meat has cooked, you can then remove the intra muscular fat. The second part is the cooking process, since slow poaching in oil is clearly not going to work. Instead, we will be braising our pork in a flavorful cooking broth. So, unbuckle and sit back while we bring this restaurant classic home.

Recipe

Serves 4

  • 1 4 pound pork shoulder or Boston butt
  • spice rub ( equal parts; cumin, cinnamon, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, dried oregano, with twice the part of salt)
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock, or low sodium store bought
  • 1 bottle Mexican lager at room temp
  • 1 7 oz can salsa verde
  • 2 large oranges, juiced (do not use store bought OJ)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1 bunch cilantro stems (save the leaves to make pico de gallo)
  • cooking spray

Directions

Trim excess outer fat from pork, spray with some cooking spray and thoroughly rub the spice mixture all over the pork. Wrap the pork in plastic wrap, and leave in fridge between four and eight hours. When the pork has been in the fridge long enough, remove pork from fridge and leave at room temp for about 30 minutes. Heat a dutch oven on medium high heat, spray with cooking spray and sear pork until golden brown on all sides. Remove pork and brown onions for about five minutes, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add beer and scrape pan to release any bits, return pork to pan and add all remaining ingredients. Preheat oven to 300F, while the oven is preheating place a lid on the pot and let cook until the oven is preheated. Cook for three hours, let cool at room temp and very carefully shred the pork and discard as much intra muscular fat as possible.

Heat a skillet or frying pan on medium heat, spray with cooking spray and cook the shredded pork until you see some browning and the edges are crispy.

Serve with any of your favorite garnishes, such as pico de gallo, guacamole (2oz), sour cream (1oz) . I also like to make “tacos” with this recipe, using large lettuce leaves as the vehicle to deliver this delicious take in meal.

So there you have it folks, a healthy take on an unhealthy meal. And you didn’t even need to worry about traffic, lucky you!

Cheers, Blue

The Breakfast of Champions!

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you gotta start your day the right way. They say that without a well balanced breakfast, you wouldn’t be on your game. They say the early bird gets the worm. I’m assuming that is in reference to breakfast somehow. Wow, “they” sure say a lot of things, don’t they?

Turns out, “they” were right…about this one anyway.

Here is a brief timeline of my typical daily breakfast habits over the last 25 years.

20’s – Cigarettes and coffee

30’s and early 40’s- Coffee, green tea and water

44 – now – 4 to 6 oz protein, 4oz grain, and 6oz of fruit, green tea and water

Notice anything about this timeline, like maybe breakfast wasn’t my thing for, oh, I don’t know, let’s say 24 years? Yeah, I noticed that too. See, it’s not like I didn’t know I was supposed to eat breakfast. I guess I was just too busy. Well, at least that’s the way I remember it. Anyway, the point I guess I’m try to get to is this; If someone went 23 years without really eating breakfast and then changed so dramatically, maybe anyone can change.

My wife and I made some pretty drastic lifestyle changes, which included a very structured and rigid diet. This kind of forced my hand. If I wanted to get healthier, I needed to change my routine. It started off a little rough. It was almost like force feeding myself each morning. Then, one morning I was super busy and didn’t take time to eat breakfast. By about 11 that morning, I had turned into quite the bear. My wife asked why I was acting so gruff and I didn’t have an answer, until I realized…oh boy, I didn’t eat breakfast. Being a breakfast newbie, I was unaccustomed to this reaction my brain/body was having. Now, breakfast has become an important way to start the day, one that I actually look forward to. Below is a recipe idea, though, thankfully, it doesn’t contain any worms.

Super Starter Waffles

Serves 1, but can easily be multiplied for a larger batch

Recipe:

1 oz dry oats

1 egg

1/2 oz peanut butter (any nut butter will do, but make sure it is without sugar)

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or apple pie/pumpkin spice

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 oz banana (medium)

3 oz blueberries or any berry you like

2 oz plain greek yogurt *

1/2 oz peanut butter (any nut butter will do, but make sure it is without sugar)

Directions:

Heat waffle iron, as you are waiting combine all ingredients up to, but excluding blueberry, in a mixing bowl. Mash everything together to form a wet batter. It will be lumpy. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and slowly add the batter. Lower the lid gently, as it will want to squirt out the sides. Be ready to catch any overflow, meanwhile combine the yogurt and 1/2 oz peanut butter to make a spread. The waffle only takes 3-4 minutes and should be a deep brown color. Place on plate and top with spread and blue berries.

Another way to make this recipe is by making muffins. Just preheat the oven to 350F, and make exactly the same way with the following changes; 1 oz peanut butter in the batter (omitting the yogurt) and place the berries on top of the muffins before baking. Spray the muffin pan, measure out five muffins, bake for 18-20 minutes and let cool on a rack a few minutes before eating.

Muffins

I have read many variations on this recipe, but the main idea is to have zero flour or sugar. The portion control is important, too. A good healthy breakfast will have a more positive effect than a big plate full of food. Looking back at my breakfast timeline, I haven’t the slightest idea how I made it this far. Huh, I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!

*BLE note – This recipe is based on the protein allotment for men, remove the yogurt if it is not compliant for you.

Cheers, Blue

Let’s go bowling, no gutter balls please!

BLE-friendly; low carb; vegetarian; vegan; low sodium;

Now, when it comes to the latest trends, and what is hot, let’s just say I’m not exactly in the know. I haven’t updated my phone in a few years, and I was one of those fools in the 90’s that thought computers were just a passing fancy. If you asked me who is on top of the billboard charts (quick check….Baby Shark !?!?), I wouldn’t even come close. Is a Bieber still a thing?

The one big exception to this is food trends. I’ve always had a knack for seeing trends before they hit. From Korean BBQ to Pho and Ramen. Heck, I even remember telling people a few years ago that avocados would be the hipster fruit of choice (amazing how many people think they are a veggie).

Once again dating myself, years ago (the Mariners made the playoffs that year!) I was working in a restaurant and, with the executive chef away on vacation, the owner asked me to come up with some specials. I came up with what I thought was a great idea, I called it a “Bowl of Life”. You know what I’m talking about, the beautiful bowls of grains, veggies and protein. We now see them all over Instagram, and the star of many a healthy restaurant. Well, the owner was less than enthused and called it “a waste of space”, because back then it was all the rage to put about two ounces of food on a large plate and charge $40 a pop. So I came up with something he liked instead and shelved the idea; boy, do I wish I hadn’t. It must be so nice working with today’s wave of restauranteurs. They do such a wonderful job of sourcing locally and using the healthiest ingredients for their diners.

Well, enough of me prattling on about the past. Let’s get back to the future…err, the present and on to the recipe!

Recipe

Serves 4

  • 12oz low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 4 organic hardboiled eggs, halved
  • mixed greens, anything you like
  • various veggies that you like, such as carrot, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, micro green, and even fresh herbs such as basil and cilantro. You can use avocado, but it is pretty high in fat so no more than 2oz per person. Cut the veggies in different shapes and lengths, this will add depth to your work of art.
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Directions

Okay, as mentioned before, you all have seen a ton of pictures of bowls online so you get the general idea of what we’re doing here. But, there is a secret to all of those great pictures and I am going to share it with you….ready with pen and paper?

Here we go, they use their… imagination, that’s it!

We can talk about training and years of expertise from professionals. But really, when it comes to big, beautiful, bountiful bowls, it’s just about having fun and using your imagination. Though I posted a recipe here, you can come up with your own depending on your likes and dislikes.

Here are some more ideas to help you visualize your next work of art: try spacing out the colors, so you don’t have the same colors touching; use the greens as a base and try to elevate the different shapes and contrasts of the veggies for more height. Mix the oil, vinegar and mustard with a little salt and pepper until emulsified, drizzle over the salads right before serving.

So there you have it, you came for a story about bowling, and leave with…well, a story about bowling. But this story will leave you with a strike, and not lying in the gutter!

*BLE note; Measure all ingredients in four separate bowls, protein is split between the chickpeas and the egg. The fat is the EVOO.

Cheers, Blue

Locally sourced love

A locavore is described as someone who strives to only eat foods sourced within a 100 mile radius of their home.

This is indeed a noble endeavor, although one that can be nearly impossible to do. Most of Us just do not have the time, resources, or knowledge to pull it off. Where on earth do we find locally sourced exotic items such as “beef” or “pork”? And for the love of Pete, where are the tomatoes in December…can someone please think of the tomatoes? I kid, I kid. Seriously though, it can be pretty hard to find the food we like to eat all year round. Depending on where you live, fresh produce can be very seasonal. Here in the Pacific NW, the growing season varies a bit, but for the most part you are talking about April through August. Then you have to consider what doesn’t even grow in your region. We do not see a lot of local citrus around here. So, my take on the locavore movement is to utilize your resources the best you can and not worry about what you can’t control!

So where do we find what the locals eat?

Farmers markets are a great start, and not just for food. There is a lot of behind the scenes info going on there. Check out the produce stands – who has the biggest and brightest fruit and veggies? Ask them how they make their produce grow so well, and a common answer (besides love) is what goes in the soil; AKA manure (tip; this also a great way for vegans to find out how their food is grown). Okay, so what do we do with this info? Does the manure come from a ranch that raises cattle? If so, do they butcher said cattle? Another great source is the local butcher shop, and I don’t mean the grocery store. They will probably know all the local ranchers and livestock farms. By asking our local butcher crew, I learned that we have two pig farms, four poultry farms and a cattle ranch all within 50 miles of our home. Don’t just think about the farmers market for veggies and fruit either, but also local kombucha, jam, honey and cheese. Here we have so many coffee roasters and tea shops, that you would never need to wrangle a cart through the coffee aisle again. The list goes on and on.

So am I a locavore? The short answer is no. But I sure do try, and it’s a bonus that I have the privilege of helping out a local artisan and their business. When you think about it, without our locals growing and raising sustainable food, what is the hope for future generations? 20 pound orange potatoes? Soylent green? No thanks, I’ll take some locally sourced love!

***Disclaimer, if you were here looking for some tips on the local dating scene…well, sorry about that. But I do hope you found something new to love locally :-)***

Cheers, Blue

I’m just pickled pink to kraut your acquaintance.

Yeah, I know the headline is a pretty big stretch and most of you are just shaking your heads. But if I got at least a few of you to smile, then my day is made!

Pickling and fermenting foods is about as old a means to preserve food as you will find. The Chinese were already fermenting cabbage when the Huns invaded, and they passed their expertise all over Asia. In Korea, kimchi has been made for over 300 years. And we certainly can’t forget miso in Japan, or sake for that matter. Now, here in the United States, kombucha has become all the rage.

In Eastern Europe pickling vegetables is almost an art form, and many meals come with a pickled vegetable salad. Scandinavians love themselves a nice pickled herring so much that instead of bubbly they celebrate New Years Eve with pickled herring! Deli’s in the states serve the ubiquitous pickled cucumber with almost every sandwich. I can’t imagine a Ruben without one.

I personally love pickled and fermented vegetables, kind of like how some people crave chocolate or chips…I crave a nice crunchy pickled cucumber.

The problem is trying to find these tasty treats without sugar. You would not believe how many jars at the grocery store have sugar in them. Now, of course there are sugar free options out there, and some are quite good. But they will never be as good as what you make at home, and it’s so easy. Below are a couple of recipes you can try, and the really nice thing about these is that they can be tweaked and adapted to your individual likes.

Fermented Cabbage

Recipe

  • 1 small to medium head green cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Options for extra flavor include; caraway seeds, allspice berry, chili flakes.
  • 1 large resealable jar, thoroughly washed (you can find at any grocery store, or online as well.)

Directions

Quarter cabbage, and remove core. With the cabbage laying flat on one side and bottom of cabbage facing you, slice very thin strips (shred). When you get to the thicker, white part in the middle you will need to flatten the cabbage to finish. When all of the cabbage is shredded, combine with salt and any optional flavoring in a large bowl and thoroughly mix with your hands until the cabbage shows some bruising . Leave this covered at room temp for at least eight hours. For example have everything ready the night before, and toss together in the morning before you go to work. After it has sat in the bowl for the necessary time, you will see quite a bit of liquid. Place all of the cabbage and the liquid in the jar, seal and place on the counter in a cool place away from direct sunlight for one week, then put in the fridge for at least three weeks. It will stay good for months, and the flavor will even intensify as it continues to ferment.

Sauerkraut

Pickled Cucumber

Recipe

  • 2 medium English cucumbers (if you can get pickling cucumber then use instead) sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional, or even add more)
  • several mustard seeds
  • several whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup distilled vinegar (you can add more if you like a stronger flavor)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large resealable jar, thoroughly washed (you can find at any grocery store, or online as well.)

Directions

In a small sauce pan combine vinegar and all spices and seasonings. Bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, place all veggies into jar (you can make a salad with whatever doesn’t fit). Really pack them in tight. After the vinegar solution has simmered for about five minutes, remove from heat and carefully (very hot!) pour into jar. Let jar stand uncovered at room temp until completely cooled, then cover tightly and put in fridge. Your pickles will be ready in two weeks, and will last for months in the fridge.

Pickled cucumber

Well folks, I hope you had as much fun reading this as I did writing it. Now, go out there and give it a shot. You’ll ferment it if you don’t!

Cheers, Blue