Menus & Video for Jean & Renée

This blog is in French because it is for my parents  who keep asking me about low glycemic menus.
Below a first set of menu & a video for my coleslaw recipe, all in French.  Though the coleslaw recipe in English is here.

Idées de menus avec index glycémique bas pour Jean & Renée Peyrafitte

Tout  les jours au réveil:
1 verre d’eau tiède avec quelques gouttes de citron bio

LUNDI

Déjeuner
-Côtelettes grillées ou poêlées avec lentilles
Faire sauter légèrement oignons, céleri, ail, persil, un anchois ou deux hachés,  et ajouter sel poivre et lentilles et eau bien sûr! Cuire. Au moment de servir, ajouter un filet d’huile d’olive et du persil frais.
-Yaourt Nature avec cannelle moulue
de préférence chèvre ou brebis avec graines de courges, tournesol, lin. Les faire sauter séparément dans une poêle chaude — attention les graines sautent!

Dîner
-Soupe de légumes
suggestions: pas de pommes de terre (index glycémique très élevé) ), en hiver oignons, chou, champignons, poireaux, 1 petite carotte, 1 panais, navet, citrouille, topinambours, blettes, ail , persil… en été seulement: tomates, courgettes.
Pour y donner de l’épaisseur y ajouter soit: des graines de Chia, de l’orge, de l’avoine entière, du seigle entier ou du sarrasin entier; ces graines donneront de l’épaisseur et bon goût! On peut aussi rajouter haricots adzuki qui n’ont pas besoin de tremper.

-Salade Composée
Exemples:
Varier la verdure: roquette, laitue, romaine, endives
Ajouter: oignons, céleri, radis, persil, avocat, oeuf dur, thon, haricots, lentilles, pois chiches
Varier les vinaigrettes
-huile d’olive et citron
-vinaigrette aux anchois
-vinaigrette asiatique avec gingembre, sauce soja, vinaigre de riz, ail, huile de sesame
-vinaigrette au roquefort pour salade d’endives
Varier les huiles: Huile de Sésame, d’Olive, de Colza. et toujours bio pressées à froid
-Fromage des Pyrénées avec une demi Pomme non pelée

MARDI

Déjeuner
-Sardines avec rondelles d’oignons
-Omelette au Fromage/ ou Oeufs cocotte/ ou Oeufs aux plat
-Epinards vapeur au beurre frais
-Poire

Dîner
-Soupe de Lundi
-Chou Cru en Salade ( voir video)
-Tranche de Jambon d’York naturel ( sans conservateur)
-Yaourt

 MERCREDI

Déjeuner
-Poisson poché ou à la poêle
-Purée de pois chiches ou de haricots
Après les avoir fait tremper, faire cuire des pois chiches ou haricots nature (préparez-en beaucoup à la fois — ça se congèle très bien).
Faites blondir des oignons, du poireau, du céleri, du thym, du persil, rajouter assez de liquide pour faire chauffer et passer à la moulinette pour une consistance de purée.
Servir avec herbes fraîches et oignons crus ciselés en garniture et un filet de très bonne huile d’olive et quelques olives kalamata si ce sont des haricots blancs
-Pomme Verte (avec peau) avec un morceau de Fromage

Dîner
-Potage de potiron maison ou soupe de lentilles avec les restes de lundi
-Salade composée (voir suggestion de lundi)
Pudding de graine de chia (recette à venir! en attendant mangez un yaourt!)

JEUDI

Déjeuner
-Poulet Rôti
-Chou Fleur Sauté ou chou de Bruxelles ou topinambours et champignons sautés
-Compote de pomme maison cuite sans sucre et avec la peau!

Dîner
-Viande froide
-Salade composée
-Yaourt

VENDREDI

Déjeuner
-Poisson poché, à la poêle ou au four
-Chou de Bruxelles ou haricots verts avec une noix de beurre frais bio
-Fromage avec pomme

Dîner
-Soupe avec restes de la carcasse de Poulet
-Salade Composée
-Yaourt 

SAMEDI

Déjeuner
-Avocat vinaigrette
-Rôti de veau avec haricots blancs ou rouges ou noirs (faire une variation de mercredi)
-Kiwi

Dîner
-Soupe de pois cassés
-Carottes râpées assaisonnées au citron, ail, huile d’olive
-Yaourt

DIMANCHE

Déjeuner
-Radis beurre
-Morue aux Poireaux et Topinambours
Acheter de la très bonne morue et la dessaler 12 heures et changer l’eau souvent.
Mettez la morue dans une grande casserole et recouvrez-la d’eau froide (non salée, bien sûr). Portez à ébullition très doucement; retirez la casserole du feu dès le premier frémissement, couvrez et laissez pocher 10 minutes.  Égouttez. Faire revenir les poireaux et des oignons dans de l’huile d’olive avec un peu de beurre.
Couper les topinambours en cubes. S’ils sont frais pas besoin de les peler; les gratter avec une brosse dure.
Dans un plat à gratin beurré, mélanger morue, topinambours, poireaux, oignons. Ajouter de la bonne crème fraîche, bien poivrer, bien mélanger et cuire au four environ 1 heure. S’il y a des restes: Rajouter de l’eau et/ou un peu de lait, mouliner et voilà  un potage délicieux! Servir avec du persil frais en garniture.
-Poire avec un morceau de très bon camembert ou brie

Dîner
-Soupe de légumes au miso et aux algues
Faire revenir légèrement de l’oignon, du chou haché fin, du céleri, de l’ail, du gingembre frais haché. Rajouter l’eau et 1/2 tasse d’algues Wakamé que vous aurez fait tremper quelques minutes dans le d’eau, 1 cuillère (ou 2) à soupe de sauce soja.
Ne pas cuire très longtemps, 20 minutes suffisent. Au dernier moment y rajouter la pâte miso et bien remuer. Ne jamais faire bouillir le miso, il perdrait toute valeur nutritive.
– Quinoa avec beurre frais (on peut aussi l’ajouter à la soupe)
– Pudding de graine de chia (recette à venir! en attendant mangez du Fromage blanc!)
Si vous avez des suggestions et/ou des questions merci de laisser un commentaire  ci-dessous et  en attendant:
Bon appétit!

Low Glycemic Dunch Deluxe

tofupudding

I am getting the hang of cooking low glycemic index meals —more on that coming up, since it will be the focus of my cooking for a few months. The menu featured today is my best so far. It happens to be vegetarian but I can assure you that it will satisfy even the staunchest meat eater. The delicate flavors & the filling qualities provide total satisfaction.

veggiestew

Fragrant Chickpeas, Veggie & Shitake Stew & Turmeric Slaw

Sauté 1/2 onion finely chopped in organic Olive Oil
add the following chopped vegetables:
2 leeks
2 celery ribs w/ tops
1 red bell pepper
2 Jerusalem artichokes
1 cup of shitake mushrooms
2 cloves of grated garlic
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 1/2 cup of soaked & pre-cooked chickpeas (soaked over night, boiled once and let sit for one hour before use in stew)

Turmeric Slaw

turmericslaw

If you have read the previous post you know that I have beautiful turmeric from Hawaï. This coleslaw recipe is a low glycemic slaw variation that work quite beautifully with the Fragrant Chickpea Veggie & Shitake Stew.  It is only slightly different than the one featured in Passion Cabbage.

Ingredients:
Finely chopped green cabbage/onion/celery/fennel bulb/ cilantro/
Dressing:
Fresh grated ginger / turmeric /1 clove of garlic
juice of 1 Mayer lemon
soy sauce
mostly sesame oil
a little olive oil
flax seeds

Tamarind Tofu Pudding with Minty Blueberry Purée

Finally a tofu pudding that is really good! I have been trying for months & at last here is one worth sharing. First I made tamarind paste with wet seedless (not totally!) tamarind. Tamarind doesn’t have a super low glycemic index but first, little is used & second, it is supposed to be very good for the liver. The process is a little tedious but worth the effort since it can be used in many other dishes —e.i: simply add to goat milk yogurt, morning cereals or to make the famous Pad Thai.

Tamarind paste process:
Soak one 14oz package in equal amount of warm water. Let it sit for a few hours. Once rehydrated work it with your hands to remove veins & seeds. Blend in food processor until smooth; keep in a glass jar in the fridge. For our purpose you will need only one or two tablespoons.

Pudding:
Put the desired amount of tamarind in a small pan, add a little water, heat to medium heat & add 1/2 package of plain gelatine; let it sit.
Meanwhile, in the food processor add:
1 package of organic silken tofu (1lb)
1 sunlime juice (this is a new kind of lemon that appeared at the ParkSlope foodcoop, if you don’t find it mix lemon & lime juice . The sunlime looks and tastes like an hybrid of the 2)
Freshly ground  cinnamon & nutmeg
Few drops of stevia (careful — too much gives it a terrible taste)
Add the tamarind mixture to the tofu mixture and blend thoroughly.
Pour in glass ramequin & let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Serve with fresh blueberry mint puree (blend fresh blueberry & fresh mint in food processor, strain and pour over the set pudding)

tofupudding

Bon appetit & keep healthy!

Passion Cabbage

I am very passionate about cabbage and a few years back I dedicated two blogs to it.
Cabbage: a winner for the winter (I)
Cabbage: a winner for the winter (II) 

Today I came up with an other version of cole slaw. So bright, so crisp, so healthy that I can assure you,  this dish will make you smile on the dreariest foggiest winter days.
Try it!
Ingredients:
Finely chopped green cabbage/onion/ celery/ apple/ parsley
add fresh pomegranate &  satsuma
Dressing:
Fresh grated ginger & clove of garlic
juice of 1 Mayer lemon
rice vinegar
soy sauce
mostly sesame oil
a little olive oil

 

 

Hara Chana or Green Garbanzos

Hara Chana, Garbanzos, Green Chickpeas

Until then I had seen them only naked, brown and dry; but on Saturday I got to see them dressed, green and fresh! How on earth did I miss seeing fresh chickpeas in their full regalia until  that day? I am a little embarrassed to admit to it, but as the French saying goes: un moment de honte est vite passé —a moment of shame is soon over! & the excitement makes up for the embarrassment!

We had planned to meet our BlogoBung friends Larry Litt and Eleanor Heartney for a food tour in Jackson Heights, Queens —their neighborhood for 10 years, and often called one of the most exotic places in New York City. After a delightful & tasty two hour aperitif of talking, munching — on Larry’s appetizing homemade Hummus & Salmon patés — & sipping Lillet at their house we went out for a wonderful Indian meal at Mehfil a Gujurati style restaurant.

Dhal

I had Dhal Makhini —creamy black lentils sautéed in butter with freshly ground spices— a restorative dish full of flavors with wonderful fresh coriander overtones that helped me get over my jet-lag. I got a taste of Eleanor and Larry’s delicate Tandoori Salmon & of Pierre’s rather bland Lamb Pasanda. Then we went for a walk and stopped at Patel Brothers —37-27 74th Street, (718) 898-3445 —“the granddaddy” of Indian groceries as quoted by the New York Times. That is where I discovered the fresh chickpeas. First, I saw them in the freezer, I grabbed a bag as I had never seen them green before, but Larry said “Wait! they’ll have them fresh in the produce section”. Larry knows the store like the palm of his hand and sure enough, here were the little green pods of hara chana —green chickpeas.

repackaged

I filled up half a bag while Pierre, guided by Larry’s expertise, selected Garam Masala & Curry powders. We also got mustard seeds, fresh turmeric, black lentils & Arrow Root flour—I like it  to make beurre manié, it is much lighter than wheat flour and gives the sauce a smoother consistency (a good option for my friend Anne B.!). Anyhow we took leave of our friends, our minds —and stomachs— filled with colors & scents.
Tuesday I finally got around to shell the peas for lunch. I am glad Pierre assisted me because unlike any other shell beans I know of, chickpeas have one pea per pod, only very occasionally two! A time consuming task that I would recommend doing while watching a good documentary or hire your guests while having aperitifs! (the fresh chick peas take no time to cook at all)

DSCN5205DSCN5212

Once shelled,  it turned out to be a small quantity so I decided to improvise a version of  a Hara Chana (green chickpeas), Aloo (potato), Patha gobi (cabbage) and Gajar (carrots) curry that turned out to be best vegetable stew I ever made. I think I was still very inspired by the tastes of the lentil dish I had. The fresh chickpeas are very tender with a subtle nutty flavor and a very smooth texture. Enhanced by the fragrant –medium hot—spices, this combination brings up a remarkable and specific savor. Once again I have to say that the decision of what to put in was made by default! Except for the chickpeas and the spices I literally gathered what was left over in the fridge and that was:

Vegetable

½ onion, diced
1 big carrot , diced
¼ cabbage, cut thick julienne
1 potato, diced
2 garlic cloves, slivered
½ bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 small piece of fresh turmeric, minced),
1 small piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon of Garam Masala
1 tablespoon of Curry powder
Salt/Black pepper
/Water or vegetable broth.
Coat a skillet with olive oil —ghee would have been better but I didn’t have enough butter in my fridge to make clarified butter,— and under medium heat sauté the onions until soft.
Add all the vegetables including turmeric, ginger and garlic, sauté for a couple of minutes.
Add the garam Masala & Curry powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and add water to barely cover the veggies.
Once the liquid starts boiling, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15/20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
I served it with brown rice —Indian style rice would be obviously better, but that is what I had available— and garnish with fresh cilantro.  Namasté to Larry  Eleanor!

Nicole's Vegetable curry

Purple Cabbage & Gromperen Plaâ

Red Cabbage Salad

When we took off for France in mid-July I left a purple cabbage (red cabbage is actually never “red”) in the fridge. I was pretty confident it would keep until our return. It was a beautiful purple cabbage from our CSA share and I actually wrote a post and took pictures about that particular share — click here for details. It was a very firm,  bright, shiny and freshly picked purple cabbage.  I must say I was a little surprised to find it in the CSA box so early in the season.  When we returned mid-August, the cabbage was holding great, no obvious signs of aging. It was not wrapped, or in the crisper, but just decorating the middle shelf of the fridge. I still was not ready to eat it; summer veggies were still plentiful and I assimilate cabbage more with a fall/winter food. I became so used to see it in the fridge that I almost forgot to eat it.  But a few nights ago I pulled it out of the near empty fridge to accompany Pierre’s Bay Ridge version of a Luxembourgish dish: the Gromperen plaâ. Only the first layer of the cabbage leaves where a little limp, the rest was still crisp. Before I tell you a little more about the Gromperen  plaâ this is how I made the cabbage salad:
1/2  red/purple cabbage head sliced thinly
1 diced onion
1 diced apple
1 diced celery rib
Chopped walnuts and/or almonds

Moisten all the ingredients with olive oil. Drizzle with vinegar — it can be: apple cider, or rice or light wine vinegar. Add a dash of sesame oil —very little, the goal is to use it to outline the ingredients  not to really taste it (do you  know what I mean?). Then add  fresh  chopped Italian parsley, salt & pepper to taste.

Pierre was supposed to give me the detailed recipe of the Gromperen plaâ but as you can check on his blog he is not home very much these days. In Luxembourgish Gromper means potato & plaâ means dish —plat in French. This is the first dish Pierre’s sister Michou makes when we visit. All the ingredients go into a terrine or a lasagna type dish. As I indicated I don’t have an exact recipe but I think I am right to say that Pierre never really follows one either. This is the kind of dish that is adjustable to what you have and how you feel. I personally encourage this kind of cooking and would like to have the guts to write such a cook book! Now here are the indications for you to make your own potato dish:

Butter  the bottom of the pan.
Line with one layer of sliced parboiled potatoes.
Sprinkle with  diced sautéed onions.
Cut slices of Mettwurscht the “national” sausage of Luxembourg.
In Bay Ridge we don’t have Mettwurscht so Pierre decided to make the Gromperen plaâ with the Turkish sausage sujuk— a beef sausage usually spiced with cumin, sumac, garlic, paprika and other red pepper —we always get it at Aunt Halime’s Halal Meat Market on 3rd avenue and Ovington in Bay Ridge.
Repeat layers until there is no more room in the dish.
Then fill the dish with seasoned
heavy cream—with salt, pepper and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg—  until the top of the pan is barely covered.
Top with a generous layer of shredded
cheese – can be Swiss , Emmental , Gruyère or even cheddar! 
The result was superb; I had forgotten to take a picture of the dish before we started digging into it and next thing we knew is that the three diners around the table cleaned it up in a flash! The combination of the textures and tastes were perfect. Thanks Pierre and this menu is a keeper! The only disappointment Pierre had is that he thought he was going to have some left over for lunch. Sorry!

Gromper Pla

C.S.A & Sour Cherry Sangria

DSCN3520

Most of you probably know about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), which has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. This is how it works: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically a share consists of a box of vegetables, though other farm products may be included: as you can see above there are fruits. This year the Bay Ridge CSA program offered fruit shares. The consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a weekly offering of seasonal produce throughout the farming season. “Our” farm is Hearty Roots Community Farm in Tivoli NY. I have not yet met the farmers personally, nor have I visited the farm, but so far I like their produce and the variety. I also like the way we get it; instead of getting the traditional prepacked individual box, we are instructed what to take and we get to pack our own from the bulk crates (except for the fruit, but that is from another farm anyway). C.S.A arrangement creates many rewards for both the farmer and the consumer, if you want to read more on the subject click here. I do share a share with my older son’s family and this is what we got this week.

Veggie Share:
8 scallions
1 head of lettuce
2lb of zucchinis
1 red cabbage
1 lb of japanese turnip
1 lb of Chioggia beets
1 bunch of basil

Fruit Share:
1/2 pint mulberries
1 pint sour  cherries
1 pint blueberries

DSCN3521


I boiled the beets until tender and dressed them with fresh scallions, sprinkled with olived oil, salt & pepper. I saved the beets greens and mixed them with sautéed potatoes. What I really like is to discover what I am getting and I can’t wait to get home and start processing my new bounty.


DSCN3544

The sour cherries were a little disappointing. They didn’t have much taste raw, not really sour enough to make an interesting sauce — I used to make a wild salmon with sour cherry sauce.  As they were very pretty, I had the vision that they might enhance a not so great white wine I had sitting in the fridge. Bingo! This made a great summery aperitif! Let’s call is Sour Cherry Sangria! I crushed the cherries in the wine, added one dash of maple syrup plus one serious dash of grappa. Let it is sit for a few hours in the fridge. Strain and serve in small glasses with a fresh sour cherry at the bottom! Enjoy the summer — and the next post should be from my dear Pyrenean mountains. Adishatz!


Summery Garlicky Beans

VoilàBeanKaleGarlicSoup

As blogged last week, this past Friday I set up my kitchen/stage at 5C Café in Manhattan. I  want to thank Michael Bisio who delighted us on bass, Pierre Joris, Yuko Otomo & Steve Dalashinky who read fun & beautiful food & Paris poems, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte who took  the photographs and helped set up/clean up, Adrien Aquilina for his  assistance on waiting tables, as well as Bruce,  Trudy  & the volunteers at 5C  for their graceful hospitality & for giving me the opportunity to cook and sing. Many thanks also to a sophisticated, warm & engaging audience. Please feel free to post comments about the evening if you were there. If you were not there: the menu, the recipe of the main course, & Miles’ photographs are below.
But first let me tell you about my next performance coming up this Thursday with Peter Knoll on electric guitar. No food this time, but singing 3 French songs. I am really excited to be part of the Mongrel Vaudeville, and looking forward to the various & extravagant performances.
Program:
Mongrel Vaudeville
“Blue Moon in June”
What: Performance
Host: Julian of Nowherr
Start Time: Thursday, June 25 at 8:00pm
End Time: Thursday, June 25 at 10:00pm
Where: thru the swingin doors at Freddy’s Bar & Backroom
485 Dean Street Brooklyn, NY 11215
That’s the corner of Dean Street and 6th Avenue in Brooklyn.

Now Friday’s menu:
Appetizers:

Sardine Paté w/ pink peppercorns (see Sardine Tartine blog ; all I added were the pink peppercorns)
Syrian Cheese served with green spicy Turkish and black Moroccan lemon olives
Baguette

Main Course:

Summery Garlicky Beans & Kale
(Thank you d’Artagnan for the coco Tarbais beans)

Dessert:

Strawberry short cake w/ live whipped cream!
(Thank you Pierre Landet for the pan and the strawberries)

Photographs by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

Summery Garlicky Beans & Kale Recipe

I don’t have exact proportions, and it is really up to you to make it the way you like. Though as a rough indication here are the ingredients and the proportional ratio.
Soak beans over night:  2/3 white (coco tarbais)   for 1/3 red beans (dark red pinto beans).
Cook your beans separately and reserve.
Sauté
—in duck fat, or olive oil— enough diced onions  to cover the bottom of the skillet in which you will cook your dish.
Add a few ribs of diced celery and diced red pepper. Sauté for a few minutes.
Add the purple kale, about half the pot, sauté until wilted.
Add the green garlic cloves. Make sure you buy them with the green stalk attached. Use about 1/2 a head per person. Green fresh garlic is very mild, do not be afraid.

Add about 1 to 2 garlic scapes per person (see last blog for info on scapes). Make sure they are very tender, if not peel them and cut them like green beans.
Salt & freshly ground pepper.
Add stock or water to just cover your vegetables & legumes.
Cook for about 40/60 minutes depending how big your pot.
Just before serving add one tablespoon of a pesto —my “pesto” had only  basil/regular garlic & olive oil, but nothing prevents you to add pignoles and cheese. I just wanted to keep it light as the appetizer had cheese and the dessert, whipped cream.
Make it soon because the garlic ain’t gone be fresh for much longer.

Very Healthy Dinner



A toothache plus a little too much sweets and rich food over the holidays prompted this menu. My mouth is healing really well thanks to the care of Jerome Pindell, our family homeopath for 15 years and his referral to Sandra Senzon, a real Tooth Fairy, who is taking me on the path to save seven of my teeth from extraction! After the time to feast, voilà the time to nurture! Life is a question of balance, isn’t it? This dinner is very satisfying and tasty, not austere at all & it might even fit macrobiotic requirements!

Vegetable Soupe with Miso & Seaweed
Brown Rice & Kim Chee
Baked Apples with Cinnamon & Maple Syrup

Green Tea

Vegetable Soup with Miso & Seaweeds
1 Small Onion
1 Carrot
1 Clove of Garlic
1 1/2 Cup of Cabbage
1 little piece of Ginger
1/2 cup of seaweed (like wakame, soaked and cut small)
All veggies are chopped very small
2 Tablespoons of Tamari
Do not add miso until ready to serve. (Miso looses it’s power when overheated/boiled)
1 Tablespoon of Miso (I like hatcho or red miso)

Coat a pan and sauté the onions & the carrots. When the onions are translucent add the cabbage, the garlic & the ginger. Sauté for a few minutes. Add 4 cups of filtered water, add the seaweed & the tamari. Bring to a boil, lower the flame and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots & cabbage are soft but not mooshy. When you are ready to serve, mix in the miso and make sure you don’t leave any lumps.
Serve with a cup of steamed brown rice and some kimchi.


Baked Apples with Cinnamon & Maple Syrup
Core the apples, place them in a baking dish with a little water on the bottom. Pour 2 tablespoons of maple syrup on top. Bake for 20/30 minutes depending the kind of apple you get. I had forgotten how good these are! (for another occasion you add a scoop of vanilla ice cream!)

Cap it all with a good Green Tea & good health to you!

A Winner for the Winter (II) : Cabbage Roll

Cabbage Roll with Ginko Nuts

Cabbage Roll with Gingko Nuts

“Chose promise, chose due”, voilà the cabbage rolls with ginkgo nuts recipe. I have had stuffed cabbage or chou farci in many ways but the *japanese* cabbage roll became one of my favorite versions. I suspect this dish being part of the yoshuku tradition, but I haven’t yet found much info on it, even in the very good book by Katarzyna J. Cwiertka “Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food Power & National Identity”. This book was recommended by one of the members of the ASFS list server (Association for the Study of Food & Society). I have posted a new inquiry to the list server about cabbage rolls in Japanese cooking and about ginkgo nuts.

On that topic: I have been instructed by my daughter-in-law‘s mother not to eat more than 4/6 ginkgo nuts a day. When I asked why, the answer was: “That’s the way it is”. I insisted and was told that I should just accept it. Moi!? Curious as I am? Though this made me think that I too grew up with similar beliefs that I never questioned and do apply all the time! Among them, passed on by my grand mother, grand father & mother:
“Pèle la poire à ton ami, pèle la pêche à ton ennemi.”
“Peel a pear for your friend, peel a peach for your foe”.
L’Orange le matin c’est de l’or, à midi de l’agent et le soir du bronze”
“Orange in the morning: gold; mid-day: silver; evening: bronze”
I do peel my pears and rarely eat oranges after 3pm! That will join the list “to be investigated”.

Meanwhile lets make the promised rolls with the right amount of gingko nuts!
(My recipe is a variation from this internet recipe)
Ingredients:
8 to 10 savoy cabbage leaves
1 lb ground pork
about 40 ginkgo nuts
4 to 8 shitake mushrooms
1 small onion
1 carrot
Salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 cups chicken or beef or veal stock

1 tbsp soy sauce


Remove core of cabbage leave and parboil the leaves for a few minutes in simmering water. Drain and reserve.

Roast the gingko nuts in a medium hot a skillet until skin detaches. Let cool and rub off the skin.

Dice onions, shitake mushrooms & grate carrot.

Mix all the ingredients with the ground pork. Salt & pepper to taste.

Divide stuffing for 8 or 10 leaves and fold carefully into each leave.

Warm up stock and soy sauce in pan, place the rolls and simmer gently until cooked (20/30mn).
Serve with brown or white rice & poor some broth over. This makes a light, delicious, heart warming dish that freezes well. If you make it
let me know.
Bon Appetit!

Cabbage: a Winner for the Winter! (I)

Brassica capitata alba

“Brassica capitata alba”

The culinary & healing possibilities of cabbage are endless, and they are not a new trend!
The Greeks and Romans were using cabbage mainly as medicine rather than food. Greek doctors like Hippocrates (who lived circa 460 BC. and is considered the father of medicine ), and Roman doctors like Pliny the Elder praised cabbage very highly. Hippocrates recommended cabbage for kidney diseases, dysentery as well as increasing the amount of milk in nursing mothers. Pliny, who lived in the first century AD and wrote a 37-volume Natural History mentions cabbage as an ingredient in 87 remedies.

The ancestor of our cabbage is believed to be what is called today sea kale (crambe maritima) also called “wild cabbage” or “sea cabbage.” It resembles a loose-leafed cabbage with an extensive core bearing very small leaves. This theory can be supported by the findings of Judith Hiatt in her book Cabbage: Cures To Cuisine; she suggests that cabbage didn’t form a head until after the time of Charlemagne, i.e. the 9th century AD. Until then it was more like kale and collards. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collards, kale, kohlrabi belong to the same specie, Brassica oleracea. The different plants evolved by encouraging the development of elements already present in the original plant.

“Medicinal workings of cabbage rely on the balance of all its nutrients and the way they interact with each other in the body,” says Judith Hiatt. Cabbage contains vitamins A, B-1, 2, 6, C, K, U and very valuable minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium. One cup of raw shredded cabbage contains 43 mg of vitamin C, or 100% of the RDA for children. In the 80s the virtues of cabbage and its family were finally being rediscovered by the medical scientists. An article published in 1982 analyzes the result of studies which show that cabbage and its related family could prevent certain kinds of cancer:

“The committee believes that there is sufficient epidemiological evidence to suggest that consumption of certain vegetables, especially carotene-rich (i.e., dark green and deep yellow) vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (e.g., cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), is associated with a reduction in the incidence of cancer at several sites in humans. A number of non nutritive compounds that are present in these vegetables also inhibit carcinogenesis in laboratory animals.” (extract of a study compiled by the National Academy of Sciences entitled Diet, Nutrition and Cancer. 1982. National Academy Press, Washington DC)

I personally do use cabbage as a medicine often. For burns, I immediately slightly crush a leaf of cabbage take the core off and roll the leaf around the burnt area, attach it with kitchen string if possible. It relieves the pain and heals the burn really fast. At the beginning change the leaf often, you will notice that the leaf does absorbs the heat. I have wrapped cabbage leaves around my neck when I had sore throat or around limbs for rashes. Now, that might become trendy to walk into your office or job with cabbage around your neck!

The benefits of cabbage can most of all be experienced through our every day diet & there is so many different ways of eating cabbage and related members of its family.
As the first of a series of cabbage recipe I choose an American favorite: Cole slaw . Cole slaw came into the New World with the Dutch settlers and was then known as Kool Sla, meaning cabbage salad in Dutch. It is important to note that for maximum health benefits, cabbage should be eaten raw as vitamins C and U do not survive the heat. So voilà for today and stay tuned for my incredible Cabbage Roll with Ginkgo nuts recipe!

Ni-Cole Slaw
4 servings
1/2 Cabbage or the heart of a small cabbage
1 Carrot
1 small white Onion or 2 or 3 Scallions
1 tender Celery rib
1 small tart Apple
1/4 cup of Walnuts
1/4 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Fresh minced Parsley

Dressing:
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2 Tbs Apple Cider vinegar

1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
salt, pepper

COMING SOON: CABBAGE ROLL