En Route to Idaho — Day 3 : Des Moines – North Platte

Day #3  Des Moines, Iowa – North Platte, Nebraska: 400 Miles 644Kms
We left Des Moines a little after 9AM since we opted for a lighter driving day . It was 19ºF /-7ºc when we left Iowa. The light fog wrapping the windmills was beautifully quixotic. The fog had cleared by the time we reached Nebraska and clear skies accompanied us to North Platte.

We filled up the car & had breakfast before leaving so we stopped only for lunch. No rest stop extravaganza today, au contraire we opted to lunch at the Mormon Island State Recreation Area conveniently located off I-80. Named for the winter stopover used by Mormon emigrants heading westward we enjoyed lunching by the frozen lake and watching some locals ice fishing.

We then headed to North Platte where we had a blast visiting the Buffalo Bill residence’s outdoors grounds since the location is closed for the winter. On this Sunday afternoon North Platte was a pretty empty town and very few of its 24 000 inhabitants were visible. But the world’s largest Rail Yard sure was! After spotting the longest train we had ever seen going through town, we decided to visit the train yard and got there right on time to climb to the top of the The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center & what an amazing view!

This location was chosen because of its close proximity to the Platte river and to Grand Island. Nebraska’s been a railroad center since the Union Pacific Railroad first reached here in July 1866 & that first train rolled through what was known at the time as “Hell on Wheels” town. Today Bailey Yard, named for former Union Pacific president Edd H. Bailey, is the world’s largest train yard. Covering a massive 2,850 acres, each day Bailey Yard manages 10,000 railroad cars. Of those, 3,000 are sorted to make sure the cargo reaches its final destination. We sure did see some action from the Golden Spike Tower. We watched a gorgeous sunset and went to find our motel for the night.

Again we were able to make our lunch, dinner, coffees & teas. Lunch was a tuna fish salad into which I mixed the last of the grains — faro, rye & oats mixture — diced daikon, carrot, celery, red pepper, dressed w/ PJ’s Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Pierre had cheddar I had goat cheese with bran crackers,nuts & a clementine. For tonight’s dinner we finished the lentils as a soup, made a salad & used the last of PJ’s dressing, Blue Iowa Maytag plus apples & walnuts for dessert. Tomorrow a longer ride: trying to get to Rock Spring Wyoming!

And now if you have travel so far with us you might want to watch a freight train passing by for almost 3 minutes — and that is not even the full train. Mesmerizing!

En Route to Idaho — Day 2 : Maumee – Des Moines

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Day #2  Maumee, Ohio – Des Moines, Iowa: 558 Miles or 898 Kms

After drinking Pierre’s prepared cup of warm water with lemon & cayenne pepper water & our travelling green magic juice we hopped in the car at 7:50am to resume our journey West on I-80.

When we stopped for gas in Greenfield, Indiana we were reminded that if we wanted a soda, we should ask for “pop”! The lady at the Hardee’s was eager to take our order but we had our solid breakfast of pumpernickel bread, butter & cheese & we made coffee in the car.


Second stop was in Morris, Illinois & the R-Place Restaurant with its collection of antique toy displays, including a wonderful puppet show kept me busy filming & photographing for a while. I did ask for 4 quarters to play the puppet show. The clerk was proud to tell me that the puppet show grossed $80 per month, that was 320 plays.

Again we didn’t get any food though I considered the Strawberry Pillows for a solid minute — but by looking at the thing intensely I could almost taste it & that was enough to feel the sugar rush!

We left Illinois, crossed the Mississippi, & drove into Iowa.

I had noticed on the Waze app that the World’s Largest Truckstop was coming up on I-80 at the Walcott Exit. We stopped there & lunched on Romaine lettuce with carrots, celery, left-over pork roast, sardines, cheddar dressed with Pierre’s delicious Meyer lemon & olive oil vinaigrette & concluded with our usual plain yogurt with cinnamon, stevia & grilled seeds.

Then we had molto fun visiting the amazing World’s Largest Truckstop. We didn’t make it to the adjacent truck museum but we had a lovely time talking to several truckers who were trying new truck seats. Pierre joined them for a tryout of new-fangled special rubber seating. We exchanged our destinations & they advised us that road conditions between Cheyenne & Idaho can be very bad & told us to make sure to have a full tank of gas when starting this portion of the trip. Another trucker & his wife from New Orleans gave us the price of some of the chromes on display. “A $1000 for that apron. I’m gonna put some on my truck soon”. The sword & knife window display was open & a family was deciding what kind of knife to buy; a lady bought a mini gun. Pierre checked out the library section & considered buying a Louis L’amour Western audio book but since we had just started listening to the Lewis & Clark journal diaries  available free here,  we decided to pass.

Settled into our comfy Sterling Hotel suite —with terrible internet, after a quick trip to the Wholefood to pick up a salad & some cheese (a chunk of excellent! Iowa Maytag Blue — same family making blue cheese since 1941!) we had dinner, i.e. yesterday’s lentil salad turned into a stew to which I added some grains (farro & oats), followed by apples, nuts & cheese — the Iowa maytag, of course. & now some zzzz before heading to Wyoming. From here on out the route is new, for Pierre too who had driven this part of I-80 only to turn south here in Des Moines to visit with Ken Irby in Lawrence, Kansas. But that was in 1987, & this is today. Onwards! Let the wagons roll…

 

 

A “Restaurant” with Healing Paste

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Food for health is not a new trend; after all the name “restaurant” comes from the verb “to restore.” At the beginning of the 16th century the word was used to describe a meat fortifying broth sold in small Paris shops. Then, by the mid 18th century the word became the name for places where restoring soups where served.

If you feel “under the weather,” something most of us have experienced these past few months, this soup will give you a lift! This is how I proceeded but there is a lot of flexibility in the recipe. If you are vegetarian or vegan just make a rich veggie broth.

In my case I had the carcass of a Guinea fowl we had roasted a couple of days ago (chicken or any meat bones would do, though beef and lamb will have to cook longer). The carcass went into a large stock pot. I added a few green cabbage leaves; 1 onion with 3 cloves stuck in it; 1 carrot; 1 leek; 2 laurel leaves tied together with a small bouquet of parsley; 2 branches of celery; a few grains of black pepper; 1/2 lemon; a little piece of ginger that was lingering around; and a couple of garlic cloves. I simmered it for a couple of hours. Meanwhile I prepared the healing paste.

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In a food processor I mixed 8 cloves of garlic, 2 pieces of fresh turmeric, 2 pieces of fresh ginger, 1 tsp 1/2 of cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup of sesame oil (I use all organic ingredients). Once all is well blended, it is ready to be used and can be kept in the fridge in a glass bowl — I pour a thin layer of sesame oil on top to keep it moist. I got the idea of the paste by reading an article by Dr. Majid Ali. I simply followed his idea for Poly-spice therapy. Dr. Ali considers ginger, turmeric & cayenne pepper the most important healing spices. Here is a quote from an abstract of his article you can find the full version here:

Principles of Spice Medicine 
In closing this first of my series of article on the spice medicine and oxygen, I briefly state the following important aspects of such therapies that may be considered the principles of spice medicine:

1. Mono-spice therapy in large doses but for short periods of time can be very effective for acute conditions. To cite one example, large doses of ginger are often helpful in controlling motion sickness and pregnancy- related nausea. However, continuous mono-spice therapy for extended periods of time should be avoided. 

2. Poly-spice therapy — the concurrent use of spices with empirically- recognized complementary roles — is generally more beneficial for controlling acute infectious and inflammatory processes. For instance, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cayenne (when tolerated well) can be combined for better results.

3. For chronic inflammatory and infectious disorders, mono-spice therapy should be avoided. Poly-spice therapy for such disorders yields superior results when combined with direct oxystatic therapies, such as hygrogen peroxide foot soaks (done with one part 3% peroxide and 30 parts of water with a pich of salt added).

The discussions of the therapeutic benefits of specific spices are presented in other articles of this series.

Returning to the cooled soup. I poured 1 1/2 quart of the broth into a sauce pan, added the meat I picked off the carcass and the cooked veggies — discarding the bones and skin and removing the parsley & laurel leaves. I warmed the soup again, added some soy sauce, & once the soup was hot I added country style miso (never boil miso, it looses it’s potency), & finished it with 1 tbsp of the healing paste (or more if you like the heat of the cayenne.) Serve garnished with parsley and lemon. Bon appétit & bonne santé!

healing paste

 

 

Mooch-o-colat for Valentine’s day (Eng-Fr)

MoochocolatSérie: Recettes pour Jean & Renée Peyrafitte —Français en suivant—

Just in time for Valentine’s day: the ultimate healthy chocolate dessert made with unsweetened 100% coco organic chocolate bar. I call it Mooch-o-colat. Its very creamy texture & the crunchy orange zest will never let anyone guess that there is no dairy  & no added sugar. Voilà! A low-carb delight very easy to make.

4 small ramekins

2 oz of unsweetened organic 100% cocoa bar
1/2 scraped organic vanilla beans
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
1 lb of silk tofu
1/4 cup of cashew nuts
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon drops of stevia (this the one I use)
1 organic washed orange for roasted orange zest
1 teaspoon of rasted seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower)

Melt the chocolate in a small pan.
Important: in order to be smooth, silky & homogeneous chocolate must not come into contact with any liquid. So place the chocolate ONLY in the pan & melt it very slowly. You can also melt it in a double boiler to avoid burning.
Add tofu, cashews, chia seeds, cinnamon & stevia into a blender. Mix thoroughly & add the melted chocolate. Fill the ramequins and keep in the fridge for a few hours.
Peel the orange with a good vegetable peeler, remove the white inner skin (see pix below), slice very thin, pat dry. roast them gently in a pan or in the oven until dry. Roast the seeds the same way. Garnish just before serving.

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EN FRANÇAIS:
Juste à temps pour la St Valentin, voilà un superbe dessert au chocolat 100% cacao —sans sucre ajouté, sans produit laitier, sans cuisson, pauvre en glucides et en calories. Je l’ai baptisé Mooch-o-colat; la texture onctueuse se marie magnifiquement avec le craquant délicat des zestes d’orange et des graines grillés.

4 petits ramequins

55gr  100% chocolat noir
1/2 gousse de vanille — coupez la gousse de vanille en 2 dans le sens de sa longueur. Séparez la gousse en 2 et raclez l’intérieur
1 cuillère à soupe de graines de chia
450 gr de tofu soyeux
35 gr de noix de cajou
1/3 de cuillère à café de cannelle moulue
15/20 (1.25ml) gouttes de stevia
1 orange pour les zestes rôtis
quelques graines grillés (lin, sésame, citrouille, tournesol)

Faire fondre le chocolat à sec à feu très doux— le chocolat n’apprécie guère la chaleur directe. Vous pouvez très facilement le brûler et en altérer le goût et la consistance; si vous avez peur de le brûler faites le fondre au bain marie.
Dans le mixer ajouter le tofu, les noix de cajou, les graines de chia, la cannelle moulue & et la stevia.
Une fois le tout bien mixé — laisser tourner un moment pour donner le temps aux noix de cajou de devenir onctueuses — ajouter le chocolat fondu. Remplir les ramequins et réserver au frigo quelques heures.
Peler une orange avec un pèle légume. Pour éviter l’amertume ôter la peau blanche avec un couteau à plat (voir photo ci-dessus). Couper en très fines lamelles et faire griller soit dans une poêle à sec soit au four jusqu’à ce que les zestes sont “secs;” faire griller les graines de la même façon. Décorer au moment de servir.
Bon Appétit et Happy Valentine’s day!

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Party Time Healthy Delicacies —part 1 (Fr-Eng)

IMG_7281Série: Recettes pour Jean & Renée Peyrafitte —English below—

Un délicieux menu pour votre prochaine cocktail party —sans sucre, pauvre en glucides, un bon équilibre de protéines, de verdure, de cru et de cuit — Essayez pour les Oscars peut être! Aujourd’hui les deux premières recettes:

Cocktail de Crevettes avec Salsa de Tomate & Avocat
Oeufs Mimosa avec Tofunaise maison
Endives avec Poires, Stilton, Célerie et Noix
Patates douces rôties
Blancs de Poulet Marinés Grillés
Cheese Cake Crémeux et Confiture de Chia aux Baies

A delicious menu for your next party — no added sugar, low glycemic, a good balance of proteins, greens, raw & cooked food— Try it for the Oscars! Today two recipes:

Shrimp Cocktail w/ Avocado Salsa
Deviled Eggs  w/ Home made Tofunaise
Belgian Endive  w/ Pears, Stilton, Celery, Walnuts Baked
Japanese Yam Fries

Grilles Marinated Chicken Tenders
Creamy Nut Crusted Cheese Cake w/Berries Chia seeds Jam

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Cocktail de Crevettes avec Salsa Tomate & Avocat -Cuire 500 gr (pour 3/4 personnes) de crevettes non pelées dans un court bouillon. Pour le court bouillon faire frémir l’eau avec de l’oignon, du citron, du sel de céleri, une feuille de laurier, du thym, du persil…etc, après 5 minutes de cuisson égoutter et les laisser refroidir. -Salsa: 1 grosse tomate, 1 avocat— bien mûrs, 1/2 oignon doux, coupés en petits dés. 1 bonne poignée de coriandre fraîche ou de persil haché, 1  jus de citron vert, 1 ou 2 cuillères à soupe d’huile d’olive vierge, quelques gouttes de sauce piquante, sel et poivre.

Shrimp Cocktail w/ Avocado Salsa (3/4 people) 1 lb of unpeeled medium size raw shrimp. Cook them 5 minutes in a court bouillon. For a quick court bouillon add onion, lemon, OldBay-seasoning , bay leaf, thyme, parsley … etc to water. Bring it all to a gentle boil & cook shrimp no more that 5 minutes. Then drain and let cool. Salsa: 1 large tomato, 1/2 sweet onion, 1 avocado, diced. 1 bunch of coriander or parsley; juice of 1 lime, 1 to 3 spoon full of virgin olive oil, hot sauce, salt & pepper.

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Oeufs Mimosa avec Tofunaise maison
Cuire les oeufs dur. Les laisser refroidir. Pendant ce temps préparer la “Tofunnaise”, qui n’est qu’autre qu’une mayonnaise au tofu mais plus digeste, moins grasse et — je vous le garantis! — meilleure que n’importe quelle mayonnaise achetée.
-1 livre de tofu soyeux, 2 gousses d’ail, un peu d’huile d’olive, sel, piment d’Espelette, mettre le tout dans le mixer. Peler les oeufs. Ecraser les jaunes et en garder une cuillère à soupe pour décorer. Mélanger les jaunes écrasés à la tofunnaise et remplir les oeufs avec une cuillère ou avec une poche à douille. Décorer avec jaune et paprika.

Deviled Eggs  w/ Home made Tofunaise
Cook hard boiled eggs. Cool. Meanwhile prepare the Tofunnaise. This tofu mayonnaise is more digestible, less oily and will taste better than any store bought mayonnaise.
-1 lb silk tofu, 2 cloves of garlic, a little olive oil, salt, Melinda hot sauce — into the blender & mix thoroughly. Peel the eggs. Mash the yolks and keep a tablespoon for garnish. Mix the mashed egg yolks with the tofunnaise and fill the eggs with a spoon or a pastry bag. Garnish with paprika and the saved yolk.

 

 

Salade Ovalie (Fr-Eng)

salade saveurSérie: Recettes pour Jean & Renée Peyrafitte —English below—

Le magret c’est léger! — surtout si on enlève la graisse après sa cuisson. Voilà une belle salade pour regarder la deuxième mi-temps du match de rugby (France-Angleterre)—que j’avais oublié mais que ma copine Ariane m’a rappelé. Qui dit rugby pense Sud-Ouest; qui dit Sud-Ouest pense magret et qui pense magret à New York pense d’Artagnan — soit Ariane Daguin! Donc dans cette logique —et avec une grosse faim— je me suis retrouvée à la mi-temps devant le frigo et voilà le résultat:

Verdure mélangée —ici romaine et laitue
noix et graines grillées —courge, tournesol, lin, sesame
assaisonnement simple : huile de noix, vinaigre de cidre,  sel et poivre
pomme verte
tranches de magret froid —dégraissé (restes du repas de mercredi)
échalotes et persil frais

Magret  (or duck breast) is a lean —once you remove its thick skin after cooking—  flavorful meat. Above is the beautiful salad I made for Pierre & me to watch the second half of yesterday’s rugby game (France 26-England 24). I had forgotten about the game until my friend Ariane reminded me. My culture rhymes with rugby, rugby rhymes with magret & in the USA magret rhymes with  d’Artagnan — owner Ariane Daguin! So, following this logic I found myself at half time, starved, running to the fridge & quickly put together this (truly marvelous) salad:

Mixed greens —here romaine & lettuce
walnuts & mixed roasted seeds —pumpkin, sunflower, flax, sesame
sliced green apple
cold cut of cooked magret — left overs from wednesday dinner
sliced shallots
simple dressing: walnut oil, apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper

More on magret here

Chia Seeds Pudding (Fr/Eng)


(Video in French – Recipe in english below)

Dans la série “recettes pour mes parents,” aujourd’hui: Le pudding au Tofu Soyeux aux graines de Chia.
C’est encore une recette très rapide (environ 8 minutes), ne requiert aucune cuisson, n’a ni produit laitier, ni sucre ajouté et est très pauvre en glucide.
J’utilise les graines de chia depuis peu. Ces graines magiques étaient cultivées par les Aztèques avant Christophe Colomb. Elles avaient presque disparues, car leur utilisation religieuse aurait poussé les conquistadors espagnols à s’en prendre à cette culture. Elles sont très riches en fibres, ont une forte teneur en acide alpha-linolénique (du groupe oméga-3),  en antioxydants, en protéines et sont pauvres en glucides.
Les graines de chia sont onéreuses, mais heureusement très avantageuses.

Ingredients:

Tofu Soyeux – 450 gr
Chair ou pulpe de Noix de Coco   -2 grosses cuillères à soupe
Noix de Cajou – 1 poignée
Le zeste d’un citron rapé
Graines de Chia – 1 C à soupe
Stevia – selon le goût mais: attention! deviens amer si on en met trop
Vanille- 1/2 gousse
Cannelle -selon le goût

In the series “recipes for my parents,” today :  Chia Seeds & Tofu Pudding.
This is a very quick recipe (took me about 8 minutes) & it doesn’t require any cooking, no dairy, no added sugar et very low carbohydrate.
I started using chia seeds recently. These magic seeds were cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times. They almost got eradicated, as their religious use would have enticed the conquistadors to ban them.
Their nutritional benefits include fiber, omega fatty acids (omega-3), calcium, antioxidants, protein & they are low glycemic.
They are a bit expensive — though they do expand in volume.

Ingredients:

English
Silken Tofu – 1lb
Coconut Mana 3 generous tablespoons —or to taste
Cashew nuts – 1/2 cup
One lemon grated
Chia Seeds – 1 Tablespoon
Stevia to taste
Vanilla-  1/2 bean scraped
Cinnamon to taste

 

 

Our Inauguration LG Extravaganzas

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Celebrating the second inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama, requires some festive foods. Our menu might not be as lavish as the Inaugural Luncheon but I am not about to loose focus from our low glycemic diet.

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No, we didn’t start the day with dessert, as the heading picture might suggest, but by a healthy juice inspired by Dr. Ali’s breakfast protocole. Juicing is now part of our daily routine & due to a low glycemic diet I rarely include fruits; but today being a festive day I included a red grapefruit —25 on GI scale when banana scores 45 & watermelon 76— accompanied by bok choy, celery, parsley, fresh turmeric & ginger roots, dandelions. And after our 5K walk the Tasty Pearl Barley Pabulum hit the spot:

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1 cup of cooked barley
1/4 green apple
cinnamon, roasted pumpkin seeds
moisten with home made almond milk.
Almond Milk:
Don’t get put off by homemade almond milk, it is actually quite simple & will serve two purpose here. To make the milk, soak 1/2 lb of organic almond in filtered water overnight. In the morning pour out the water, rinse almonds until the water runs clear. Add 1 quart of filtered water to the almond then process one ladle full of almonds & water at a time into the top of the juicer —I use a Vert VRT350 Juice & I am pretty happy with it. Reserve in bottle and save in the fridge. I do save  the meal that comes out on the other side. I dry it and use for many other recipe.

Inaugural Dunch

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Garlic Roasted Turkey Breast with Organic NYS Red Merlot Beans

Preheat the oven to 320°.  Grate 2 cloves of garlic, add olive oil, salt & pepper. Rub this paste thoroughly all over the turkey breast. Put a ramequin of water into the oven; it will keep the meat moist. Roast the turkey breast in the oven until thermometer reaches 160°.

To mirror the many New York State items on the Inaugural Luncheon I cooked NYS Red Merlot beans —available at the Park Slope foodcoop. These wonderful beans have a thin skin, are creamy though stay firm throughout. 

1/2 lb of  Org. NYS Merlot beans (or other red bean) soaked over night, then brought to a  boil in fresh water once and let sit for one hour before using in stew (for some reason I think it makes them more digestible).

1 onion finely chopped, goldened in the pan with olive oil
2 ribs celery
Lightly toast pumpkin & cumin seeds in a cast iron pan, then grind in a coffee grinder — I have one that I use only for spices —& add to the beans .

Add 1 seeded jalapeño pepper & 2 cloves of chopped garlic
Salt & Pepper
Bring to a gentle boil, turn it down & let simmer for 2/3 hours.

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Coconut Almond cookies

The cookies are essentiel to make this tart, festive, deconstructed Low Glycemic cheesecake work.
The custard:
Ben’s Cream cheese
Warm the juice of 2 lemon (Meyer if possible) in a pan
add 1/2 packet plain gelatine
Stevia to taste
Blend cream cheese,  juice w/ melted gelatin/ stevia

The cookies:
1 1/2 cup of almond meal —saved form several batches of making almond milk
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
Stevia to taste.
Mix, make the paste in a roll. Cut & bake  at 300° for about 25 minutes .


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 Supper Time:

And while watching —& dancing to— the Presidential Inauguration Ball, we had Pierre’s delicious Belgium endive salad with Humbolt Fog goat creamy cheese & walnuts, dressed with a light mustard & olive oil vinaigrette.  And to finish on a sweet note we had a small serving of goat cheese yogurt with fresh ginger, walnut, stevia & a few blueberries. Now, if we did our calculation right it looks like our glycemic load for the day is about 52 —under 55 considered low. But please correct me if I am wrong, I am still in training!

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