Recipes

*A note about these recipes: Recipes are divided into suggested meals. Please feel free to play with meal and recipe suggestions. Because I seldom measure anything, most recipes contain few measurements. Use your pallet and your delight as guides. Recipes for home-made fermented items are a notable exception to this rule. Please adhere strictly to all suggested quantities when preparing fermented foods. So doing will assist the microorganisms that you are trying to cultivate and deter those that cause food spoilage.

All meals feature home-made fermented foods. Fermented foods are produced by people in partnership with microscopic bacteria and fungi who dine upon decaying plant and animal parts. “Yum, yum,” you say. Before you become too excited, let me tell you that fermented foods are delicious. Microorganisms make miracles of ordinary substances. Here are a few of the foods that are produced through fermentation: chocolate, coffee, tea (black, pu-ehr, and oolong), beer, wine, sourdough bread, cheese, yogurt, kimchee, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, miso, tempeh, and amazaké. The flavors of fermented foods range from sharp and sour to earthy and sweet. These foods offer sophistication and wildness that you will not find in other fare. But microorganisms are guilty of contributing more than mere flavor to our foods. During fermentation, the vitamin C content of foods increases dramatically. The microorganisms involved in fermentation also create new nutrients. Most of the B-complex vitamins are produced during fermentation though B-12 is not. In addition to manufacturing vitamins, these industrious microorganisms make antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Miso, a fermented condiment from Japan, has received much attention because of its ability to protect “against exposure to radiation and heavy metals” (Katz, 2003, p. 59). Fermented foods also introduce beneficial microorganisms into the intestinal tract. Sandor Katz notes that human beings, like ecosystems, depend upon the diversity and health of their inhabitants. An internal ecosystem that contains many microorganisms is more resilient than an one that does not.

* For tasty recipes and basic information about fermentation, you can visit my three-part introduction to the art of fermentation on the Simple Good and Tasty Web Site:

http://simplegoodandtasty.com/2012/01/25/fermentation

* To learn more about this nourishing art, please refer the the following cookbooks:

Cambell-McBride, Natasha (2010). Internal Bliss. Middle River, MD: International Nutrition, Inc.

Fallon, Sally (1999). Nourishing traditions: The cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats. Warsaw, IN: New Trends Publishing.

Fryer Wiboltt, Anne-Marie (2008). Cooking for the love of the world. Goldenstone Press.

Katz, Sandor E. (2003). Wild fermentation: The flavor, nutrition, and craft of live-culture foods. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Prentice, Jessica. (2006). Full moon feast: Food and the hunger for connection. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

 

Summer Meal: Carrot & Ginger Soup, Dilly Cucumbers Salad, Fermented Dill Pickles, and Summer Frittata

 

Carrot & Ginger Soup

  • Coconut Oil
  • Minced Onions
  • Chopped Carrots
  • Water, Vegetable Stock, or Chicken Stock
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Grated Ginger Root
  • Grated Orange or Lemon Peel
  • Cardamom
  • Soaked Cashews
  • Minced Cilantro
  • Toasted Cashews
  1. Soak the cashews in water for six hours. You can add a bit of salt to the soaking water.
  2. Toast half the cashews at 250 degrees until they are crisp and golden-brown. Toss them with a little salt and coconut oil.
  3. Sauté the onions in coconut oil over low heat. Stir frequently. When onions are golden, add carrots.
  4. Cook for five minutes, stirring often. Add water or stock. Cook until onions and carrots are tender.
  5. Add salt, pepper, ginger, citrus peel, cardamom, and soaked cashews. Allow the soup to cool. Puree the cooled soup in a blender or food processor. Serve with cilantro and toasted cashews for garnish.

 

Dilly Cucumber Salad

  • Fresh Cucumbers
  • Fermented Dill Pickles (Recipe Follows)
  • Garlic
  • Dill
  • Olive Oil
  • Pickle Juice
  1. Chop cucumbers.
  2. Mince pickles, garlic, and dill.
  3. Combine all ingredients and chill for several hours.

 

Fermented Dill Pickles

  • Whole Pickling Cucumbers
  • 1/4 C Whey
  • 1 Tbsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • Water
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne Pepper and/ or Anything Else You Care to Add
  • Leaves of Horseradish or Wild Grape
  1. Stuff clean cucumbers, dill, basil, garlic, and other spices into a sterilized, quart jar.
  2. Dissolve salt and whey in approximately two cups of filtered water (the amount of water will vary depending upon how tightly the cucumbers are packed into the jar).
  3. Pour liquid into jar. Leave one inch of head space. Make sure the cucumbers are under the brine (put a rolled cabbage leaf on top to keep them below the brine if necessary). Leave at room temperature for approximately three days.
  4. Store in refrigerator. Note: It is worth your while to seek out a source of wild grape or horseradish leaves. These additions keep pickles crisp.

* Note about Whey: This recipe calls for whey. You can make your own whey in the following way: Line a bowl with a clean, white dishtowel. Pour plain yogurt with live, active cultures into the towel. Gather the ends of the fabric and tie them together. Hang the bundle from a nail or hook or place it in a colander with a weight on top. Place the bowl beneath the yogurt bundle to catch the liquid (whey). Let the bundle drain until dripping stops. Remove the yogurt which has thickened and become yogurt-cheese (a healthy version of cream cheese). Save the whey for making fermented vegetables or for using as broth in soup. Mix the yogurt cheese with herbs and spices.

If you would like to make your own yogurt, please refer to this article on the Simple Good and Tasty Web Site: http://simplegoodandtasty.com/2012/02/27/fermentation-living-with-wild-things-part-2-dairy-ferments.

For fermented vegetable recipes that do not require whey, please refer to Wild Fermentation or Internal Bliss (see full citations above).

 

Summer Frittata

  • Coconut Oil
  • 2 Onions
  • 10 Mushrooms
  • 4 Zucchinis
  • 3 Red Peppers
  • 18 Eggs
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Lots of Fresh Basil or Dill
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Paprika
  1. Chop all vegetables and herbs.
  2. Sauté onions in coconut oil over medium heat until golden-brown.
  3. Add mushrooms, zucchinis, and red peppers. Cook for three minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and pour into a well-greased, oven-proof pan.
  5. Beat eggs with mustard, dill or basil, salt and pepper.
  6. Pour egg mixture over vegetable mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until eggs are set.

Fall Meal: Homemade Sourdough Bread with Pesto, Mayonnaise, Pickles, and Tomatoes, Maple-Cashew Yogurt Cheese, Squash Ginger Soup, Orange Ginger Kale, and Ginger Bread

A Sourdough Bread Recipe from Wild Fermentation

  • 2 C Cooked Grain
  • 2 C Bubbly Sourdough Starter
  • 2 C Water
  • 8 C Flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  1. Mix cooked grain, sourdough starter, water, and 4 cups flour. Stir well.
  2. Cover with a damp towel and let sit in a warm spot for 8 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. When dough is quite bubbly, add salt and remaining flour.
  4. Knead dough on a floured surface for at least 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume (this may take some time depending upon the temperature and the dough).
  5. Knead briefly, place in oiled loaf pans, and let rise for 2 hours.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until done.

A Sweet Sourdough Recipe from Nourishing Traditions

  • 4 C Freshly Ground Rye or Spelt Flour
  • 1 C Raw Honey
  • 2 C Water
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon, 1 tsp. Coriander, 1 tsp. Cumin, and 1 tsp. Fennel
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Grated Rinds from 2 Oranges
  • 1/2 C Sourdough Starter
  1. Mix flour with salt, spices, and orange rind.
  2. Heat honey with water to dissolve. Let cool.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add starter.
  4. Gradually pour in honey mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  5. Place buttered parchment paper into two 9-inch cake pans. Pour batter into pans.
  6. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 12 hours.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until done.

Notes on Inventing Your Own Sourdough and Maintaining a Starter

Sourdough Starter Recipe From Wild Fermentation

  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 C Filtered or Spring Water
  • Unwashed, Organic Grapes or Plums (optional)
  • Additional Flour and Water

This is a much abbreviated version of the recipe for sourdough starter offered by Sandor Katz. For a complete version of the recipe, refer to Wild Fermentation (Katz, 2003, pp. 95-96). Combine 2 C water with 2 C flour in a bowl. Stir well. If desired, add unwashed, organic grapes or plums (local/wild ones are best). Use one handful of whole fruit. Wild yeasts abound on the skin of these fruits and aid the process of wild fermentation. Cover bowl and let it sit in a warm location. Whisk batter enthusiastically at least once per day. After some days, small bubbles will appear on the batter. (Bubbles will always appear after you stir the batter. The bubbles that we are after here will form of their own accord while you are away.)

Remove fruit. Add 2 Tbsp flour per day for three or four days. Stir as before. Add more water if the mixture becomes too thick. “Once you have a thick, bubbly batter, your starter is ready to use” (Katz, 2003, p. 96). Each time you use your starter, you will remove a portion for use in bread and reserve a portion. Add equal amounts of flour and water to the reserved portion to replenish your starter. After the replenished starter has been bubbling for 4 to 8 hours, you may refrigerate it for future use. Store your starter in the refrigerator when it is not in use. You should aim to bake bread or feed your starter once per week.

When baking sourdough bread, you can utilize one of the above recipes or you can invent your own. Sourdough is very flexible. You need not measure anything once you have a feel for desired dough texture. You can add anything that you like: grated carrots, ginger, grated orange peel, cinnamon, raisins, nuts, onions, caraway, dill, coriander, etc. If you would like a richer bread, add olive oil and/ or eggs. In general, sourdough is left to rise twice in a bowl and once in bread pans. Salt is added prior to the second rising as it inhibits the ability of the dough to rise.

Serve sourdough bread with pesto, mayonnaise, pickles, and tomatoes (recipes follow). If you elect to make the sweet sourdough bread, try serving it with maple-cashew yogurt cheese (recipe follows).

Pesto

  • Basil
  • Miso
  • Lemon Juice
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Nuts
  1. Mix all ingredients using a food processor or a mortar and pestle.

Mayonnaise Recipe from Nourishing Traditions

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1.5 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Whey
  • Large Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Mustard or Garlic & Dill or Coriander & Cumin or Any Spice Combination You Desire
  • 3/4 – 1 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Combine everything except for the olive oil in a blender or a food processor.
  2. Add the oil very, very slowly (only a trickle should escape your pouring vessel).
  3. If you have no mechanized food implements, you can make mayonnaise with two people. One person can beat the mixture vigorously while the other person pours the oil.

Pickles

  • Whole Pickling Cucumbers
  • 1/4 C Whey
  • 1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
  • Water
  • Fresh Dill
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Cayenne Pepper and/ or Anything Else You Care to Add
  • Leaves of Horseradish or Wild Grape
  1. Stuff clean cucumbers, dill, garlic, and other spices into a sterilized quart jar.
  2. Dissolve salt and whey in approximately two cups of filtered water (the amount will vary depending upon how tightly you pack the cucumbers into the jar).
  3. Pour liquid into jar. Leave one inch of head space. Make sure the cucumbers are under the brine (put a rolled cabbage leaf on top to keep them below the brine if necessary).
  4. Leave at room temperature for approximately three days. Store in refrigerator.

Maple-Cashew Yogurt Cheese

Drain yogurt and mix with cashews, ginger, maple syrup, and olive oil.

Squash Ginger Soup

  • Butternut or Buttercup Squash
  • Homemade Coconut Milk
  • Onions
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Grated Ginger
  • Coriander and Cumin
  • Parsley for Garnish
  1. Bake whole squash at 350 degrees until tender.
  2. To make coconut milk, pour six cups of boiling water over four cups of dried coconut flakes.
  3. Allow mixture to sit for at least twenty minutes.
  4. Process in a blender or food processor and strain through a cheesecloth. The strained liquid is coconut milk.
  5. Sauté onions in olive oil until tender.
  6. Remove seeds and skin from baked squash. Combine all ingredients except for parsley.
  7. Cook briefly. Blend in a blender of food processor.
  8. Serve with parsley.

Orange-Ginger Kale

  • Kale
  • Orange Slices
  • Grated Ginger
  • Cashews
  • Minced Red Onions
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  1. Chop kale into small pieces and steam until tender.
  2. Toss with all remaining ingredients.

Ginger Bread

  • 12 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 7 or 8 Tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 1.75 C Honey
  • .5 C Molasses
  • 1.5 C Orange Juice with the Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 4 or 5 Eggs
  • 3.5 C Oat Flour
  • .5 C Ground Flax
  • 3 tsp Baking Soda
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. Ground Mustard
  • 1-3 tsp. Cinnamon

A few Generous Spoons of Vanilla

  1. Place oil and ginger in a pan over low heat.
  2. Cook until golden brown, stirring constantly.
  3. Soak flour and flax seeds with juice.
  4. Mix all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minute or until done.

A Summer Feast: Walnut Crackers with Yogurt Cheese and Radish Kimchee, Sticky Plantains, Beans, Salsa, and Guacamole

Walnut Crackers

  • 1 C Walnuts
  • ¼ C Flax Seeds
  • Water
  • 1 C Grated Carrots
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Coconut Oil
  1. Soak the walnuts in water for approximately twelve hours.
  2. Drain and grind to a fine paste using a food processor or mortar and pestle.
  3. Grate the carrots and the ginger using the finest available holes.
  4. Pulverize the flax seeds. Mix all ingredients. The batter should hold together and not crumble.
  5. Add enough coconut oil to prevent the batter from sticking.
  6. Spread in a greased tray and dry at 140 degrees.

Yogurt Cheese

  • Yogurt
  • Minced Chives, Thyme, and Oregano
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  1. Pour yogurt into a strainer lined with a cheesecloth. Place strainer over a bowl.
  2. Allow to drain for three to five hours or until yogurt stops dripping.
  3. Remove yogurt. Mix yogurt with remaining ingredients.
  4. The strained liquid (whey) can be used for fermenting vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and meats.

Radish Kimchi

  • Radish Seed Pods
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Ginger
  • Hot Peppers
  • 1 Tbsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • ¼ C Whey
  1. Harvest radish seed pods when small and tender.
  2. Grate carrots and chop kale. Mix vegetables with salt and whey. Pound or squeeze with enthusiasm until a great deal of juice has emerged.
  3. Add grated ginger and minced hot peppers.
  4. Pack into a sterilized, one-quart canning jar, pressing firmly. Make sure that the vegetables are submerged beneath the brine.
  5. Place a round slice of pepper or a folded cabbage leaf above the vegetables so that they will not float to the surface. Leave one inch of space at the top of the jar.
  6. Cover and let sit at room temperature for two to three days before transferring to the refrigerator.

Sticky Plantains

  • Ripe Plantains
  • Lime Juice
  • Honey
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  1. Slice the plantains into rounds with a thickness of ¼ inch.
  2. Whisk together all other ingredients.
  3. Allow plantains to marinate for several hours.
  4. Fry in coconut or olive oil until golden brown, turning once.

Beans

  • Black Beans
  • Kombu Seaweed
  • Cinnamon
  • A Hint of Cardamom
  • Coriander and Cumin
  • Coconut Oil
  • Honey
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  1. Soak the beans in water for twenty four-hours.
  2. Add whey (two tablespoons per cup of beans) to improve digestibility if desired. Rinse and drain beans.
  3. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Allow to boil vigorously for ten minutes. Skim off and discard foam.
  4. Add seaweed and spices. Lower heat.
  5. Simmer beans for five hours. Stir in coconut oil, honey, vinegar, and salt after beans are completely cooked.
  6. Cool and serve with sticky plantains and a fresh salsa of your choice.

Fresh Salsa and Guacamole Recipes

For the following four recipes, mince vegetables and herbs. Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for several hours or until flavors meld.

Tomato Salsa

  • Tomatoes
  • Jalapeño Peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Sea Salt
  • Honey

Fresh Mango Salsa

  • Mangoes
  • Hot Peppers of Choice
  • Onions
  • Pomegranates
  • Fresh Mint
  • Lime Juice
  • Sea Salt

Water Mellon Salsa

  • Water Mellon
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Fresh Mint
  • Lime Juice
  • Sea Salt

Guacamole

  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Yellow Peppers
  • Lime Juice
  • Sea Salt
  • Cumin
  • A Hint of Olive Oil
  • A Dash of Honey (Optional)

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