Monday, June 25, 2007

i wish every day were the weekend

...because weekends are where it's at. I was even (still) sick this weekend, and it was good. Any benefactors out there want to make this a reality?

Anyway. I finally found some big glass jars so I could start the kombucha magic! My dear Doggie gave me a mother and some starter liquid, and now she's started. It had actually started to form another mother in that small jar. You can see both of them in the photo.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
If you're not familiar with kombucha, it's a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY). It's full of goodness (this from wikipedia):

Acetic Acid: Its main function is to inhibit harmful bacteria. Acetic acid is used as a preservative because of this action. It is also what gives Kombucha that 'kick' to its smell and taste.
Butyric Acid: Is produced by the yeasts and when working with gluconic acid. Might help combat yeast infections such as candida.
Gluconic Acid: Is effective against many yeast infections such as candidiasis and thrush.
Lactic Acid: Found in Kombucha in its most potent form L-lactic(+). Lactic acid is essential for the digestive system.
Malic Acid: Is also used in the body's detoxification process.
Oxalic Acid: Encourages the cellular production of energy and is a natural preservative.
Usnic acid: Potent antibiotic that exhibits antiviral, antiprotozoal, antimitotic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity.
Kombucha also contains vitamin groups B and C, beneficial yeasts and bacteria.
Also, this:

In addition to, or aside from any possible health benefits, many users report a relatively subtle but definite perceptual shift after consuming kombucha. This perceptual shift is generally characterized by mild euphoria, relaxation, and an overall sense of physical and mental well-being. This effect is not to be confused with the highs associated with some illegal drugs. There are no known psychoactive or psychotropic substances found in Kombucha other than trace amounts of alcohol and if not made with decaf tea, caffeine. Alcohol amounts vary from .5% to 1.7% depending on brewing time and amounts of sugar used in the fermentation of the tea which may account for the experiencing of these effects by some consumers. Stimulation of the circulatory and immune systems, and associated glandular releases, may also account for some of these effects.

AKA It kinda makes you feel a little bit high. Personally? I enjoy that. And, it's really easy to make. I started it on Saturday, and hopefully it'll be ready by Saturday. It's really up to personal taste, so I'll start tasting it on Thursday and go from there. Woo hoo! I love that stuff, and it's so good for you! E. & A. are in line for their own mothers when I get a few ready. If you're in the 'Burgh, and would like one, let me know and I'll put you on the list.

I'm going to start some kefir soon, too. I just need to get the car back in working order (have an appointment on Friday. please cross your collective fingers that it's super easy and cheap to fix) so I can get over the east side of town where they sell organic milk. Dang.

I did start a new batch of chick pea sprouts for veggie burger making. I love those sprout burgers! The ones I made at the beach were super-duper, so I'm going to add a bunch of the same stuff, and this time they'll be even healthier since they're sprouted.

And, speaking of healthier, I lost two more pounds! I swear to the baby jesus that it's the shedding of the secret that is once again allowing for the shedding of pounds. I was stuck, and now I'm un-stuck. So,

Starting weight (02-jan-2007): 245
Lowest weight: 205
Today's weight: 208
Goal weight: 140

Sweet! I can't wait until I break the 200 pound mark. It's been a long time since I've seen the other side of 200 pounds, and it makes me a little giddy to think about it.

Okay. So. On Saturday I got some lovely mushrooms at the Farmers @ Firehouse farmers market from Mushrooms For Life (locally foraged and cultivated). I got a 1/4 lb. of beautiful shittakes and was trying to decide what to do with them when I was on the phone with my chef-mentor Doggie, and she suggested that I bake them. I'd actually just seen that somewhere online recently, but had forgotten about it, and she instructed me to slice them really thinly, then toss them in a little olive oil with salt and pepper, then bake them at 325-350 for about 20 minutes (shaking them after 10 minutes, and then again every 3-5 minutes until they're ready). Oh. My. God. This is one of the best things I've ever tasted! They're really crispy and smoky and taste a LOT like bacon. Freakin' magically delicious.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I also saw the cutest, sweetest mushroom I'd ever seen. It was a pompom mushroom, and it was described as being "similar to crab". Oh, hell yeah. First off, it's truly beautiful, secondly, the texture is *exactly* like crab, and thirdly, the flabvor is fantastically mild and delicious. She suggested that it's best with eggs and mild cheeses. So, I made an omelette with the pompom, parsley, green onions and chevre. And, sprinkled some of the baked shittakes on top. YUM. (I bought one mushroom and it was enough for two omelettes).

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I also made a really tasty quinoa salad this weekend. Last week I had a doctor's appointment near Whole Foods, and was starving when it was done so I ran in and grabbed something from the prepared foods bar--which I'll never do again since it was approximately one bajillion dollars. And, it wasn't even very good. I got this orange-almond-mint quinoa salad, and it just didn't have much flavor. So, I used that as my inspiration and made this salad. Which, I gotta say, was way better.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Quinoa Salad

juice and zest of two oranges
2 T. olive oil
2 T. honey
2 T. greek yogurt (I'm in love with Fage Total 0%--fat-free!)
1/2 t. fine-grain sea salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. finely minced crystallized ginger (honestly, I can't really taste this in the finished product, so feel free to leave it out or add 1 t. fresh grated ginger instead)

Whisk together and set aside.

5-6 c. cooked quinoa
1 c. dried cranberries
1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley (you could also use mint, but I didn't have any)
1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
more salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts.

Mix the cranberries, parsley and green onions into the quinoa and add the dressing. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Sprinkle generously with pine nuts when serving (if you put them all in they'll get soggy).

It's really yummy, and really good for you! Quinoa is a complete protein! Totally a little powerhouse grain. I love it.

Apart from cooking, I had some other fun this weekend. Yesterday I hung out with Lauren. She took me to brunch at Zenith where we met up with Austin (the birthday boy!). If you haven't been to brunch at Zenith, do it. It is amazing. The tastes and the unbelievable bounty. It is something to behold. And, we ended up sharing our table with Monica and Jai, and they were a real good time. We had a really interesting discussion of our religious backgrounds, hilarious religious-related stories and childhood secrets and dreams. All while shoveling in some fabulous food. That is where it's at.

Afterwards, Lauren, Austin and I went to the Carnegie Museum of Art to see the Phil Collins (not that Phil Collins) exhibit, the world won't listen. It's a video installment of fans of The Smiths in Istanbul singing karaoke from The Smiths' repertoire. It is amazing. Really amazing. Fun and funny and touching and sad and sweet. Really amazing. We danced, we sang, we had a wonderful time. It's only there until July 1st. If you get a chance this week, go see this. I'm a HUGE Smiths fan, but I think this would be fun for anyone. So good.

Then we bid Austin adieu and headed over to Braddock for the I Made It! craft fair and free vegan cupcakes from Dozen (chocolate with coffee icing--yum). Tons of super-cute stuff. Lauren snagged an adorable shirt, skirt and hat. Good stuff.

Okay, it's Monday and I have work to do. So, yeah.


nowlzie said...

kambucha the drink is the saliva of the devil. kambucha the mother is the slimy, white, stinky tongue of the devil. i'm NOT hatin', i'm just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

how did i not make the weekend blog edition?? i was an integral part of the weekend! ah

nowlzie said...

it would be nice if i had spelled "kombucha" correctly in my comment. where's that damn edit button?

"kambucha" is how we say it in brooklyn, anyways.

"eh! kambucha! fuggedaboudit!"

Ehrrin said...

nowlzie--i hear some hate. and, that disappoints me. do not hate the kombucha (or even the kambucha). mother loves you.

hurd--you're an integral part of the weekend and weekdays. but sometimes our adventures are not fit for print.