Leah bachhuber

Live, read, travel, explore, enjoy

Category: Food

A-Marketing for Dinner

There are so many things one “should” do in Paris: go to the Lourve, stroll the Seine, go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. All of them are wonderful things, but I did most of those “should’s” on our last trip to Paris. When picking things for this trip, I just asked myself, “what do I WANT to do?” One of my favorite things to do is find good local food markets, so this ended up being a top priority. I researched a number of food markets and Marche d’Aligre stood out. David Lebovitz described Marche d’Aligre as “especially bustling” and reflecting a rich cultural mix compared to other markets in the city. The Atlantic published a piece titled “Antidote to Stuffy Paris: The Last Great Daily Market.” So, naturally Marche d’Aligre topped my list of things that I truly wanted to see.

We spent most of Thursday walking around Paris. We started in Montmartre and headed to Canal Saint Martin, a neighborhood I had heard interesting things about. We wandered along the canal, poking through some of the stores in the area. Canal Saint Martin is quite an artsy and hip neighborhood, I’d compare it to Mississippi or Alberta streets in Portland, though maybe a bit more edgy and a bit less polished. The neighborhood is covered in funky graffiti, street art and hip cafes abound. The banks of the canals are where the Parisian youths gather for food and a bottle of wine (you know you’re old when you start referring to young people as “youths”).

We continued on towards Marche d’Aligre, though when we finally arrived at the market structure it was totally dead and the gate was locked. It turns out the market opens in the morning at 7am and then closes mid-day, then opens again at 4pm. We sat in a nearby park to kill time before the market opened again. Once the market did finally open, it was almost nothing like I expected based on the Atlantic and Lebovitz articles I’d read. I expected a sprawling complex of bustling stalls and a flea market component. When we arrived there were no wares being sold besides food (and flowers), and about half of the stalls within the market structure were closed. I concluded that to truly get the “bustling market experience” I think it is best to come first thing in the morning, or possibly on the weekend.

Despite the lackadaisical feel of the place, we still enjoyed surveying the offerings. There were stalls offering cheeses, meats, flowers, and different desserts. Earlier in the day Daniel had offered to make me dinner at our Airbnb rental. Admittedly, I didn’t jump on the idea because I wasn’t sure I wanted to miss out on an opportunity to dine of one of the multitudes of delicious street-side restaurants. But, Daniel convinced me that we should pick up ingredients from the market and cook them up into something tasty at home. After surveying the fresh pasta choices, I was convinced.

It turns out Daniel’s French is actually quite functional. He was able to talk a bit with the market purveyors and pick out thin sliced jambon, fresh tagliolini pasta, tomatoes, and some shredded cheese (which we thought was parmesan but may have been mizithra), and a slice of chocolate torte. On the walk home from the market we also picked up a fresh baguette, a pistachio meringue (needed sustenance for the walk), and two beers.

Back at home Daniel whipped up an absolutely spectacular meal with our market ingredients. The meal was simple, but oh-so flavorful. The French culinary axiom seems to be: use good ingredients, not too much or to many of them, and the meal will be spectacular. Daniel followed this with delicious results.

 

“These 11 Charts Show Everything That’s Wrong With The Modern Diet”

Finally! This information is getting into the popular mass media. Too bad my nutrition textbook is still lagging wayyyy too far behind on this information, recommending things like reducing butter intake, reducing meat intake and increasing consumption of vegetable oils. Really?!?

Interesting data collection. Most notably, look how much sugar and vegetable oil consumption has increased. These 11 Charts Show Everything That’s Wrong With The Modern Diet
Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 11.00.04 AMOh, hmm, look at the trends showing number of deaths due to cardiovascular disease since 1900, skyrocketing around the time people starting consuming copious amounts of vegetable oil, limiting consumption of butter, and reducing consumption of eggs. 

Other good related links:

Prevent Heart Disease – Eat More Cholesterol 

Cholesterol Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease – yes, even according to the Framingham Study!

Sugary Foods Increase Heart Risks

Almond Flour Pumpkin Pancakes and Apple Compote

This morning Daniel and I: slept in –> 4 mile run in Forest Park (most of our running energy and enthusiasm has been sapped since the marathon) –> grocery shopping at New Seasons –> pumpkin spice lattes –> breakfast. Breakfast was paleo almond-flour/pumpkin pancakes and not-so-paleo apple compote. As far as I know, paleo man did not have access to maple syrup, but maybe he did. Now, going to the University of Portland soccer game, then going to spend the afternoon studying bones.

Almond-flour/pumpin pancakes recipe here, from fastpaleo.com.

Coconut Flour Pumpkin Apple Bread (Grain-Free, Gluten-Free)

Fall was officially in the Portland air today and it was glorious. I love Portland for many reasons, one of them being the pronounced change of seasons. Summer to fall is probably my favorite change of all. Tree leaves are quickly turning yellow and red at the tips, mornings are chilly and misty, the sky starts turning a bit more gray, sweatshirts come out of boxes, and beds get covered with extra layers of blankets. On a side note, I recently found the new Oregonian Tumblr ‘Photo a Day’ blog. This photograph fully encapsulates every single thing I love about Oregon in the early fall. I want to find a print of that photo and get it framed.

I digress. As I was feeling in a very “fall” mood today, I also got a hankering to cook something season-appropriate. I decided on pumpkin bread. I’ve baked with almond flour before, but this time decided to make the pumpkin bread with just coconut flour. Coconut flour is gluten-free, and it also sucks up a ton of moisture. That’s why you need to use so many eggs for this loaf. I loosely based my recipe on The Coconut Mama’s ‘Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bread.’ I changed the recipe quite a bit by adding less pumpkin puree and more finely sliced apples and included ginger powder to the mix. I definitely recommend making this recipe. It is gluten-free, grain-free and low sugar. I will admit, because coconut flour does take so many eggs, it definitely has a mild “eggy” flavor, which kind of makes you feel like it’s more of a breakfast loaf. Instead of “bread” I’d actually call this more like a custard. Either way, it’s good and good for you. You could probably even make it more low sugar, or sugar-free (with stevia). I’ll have to experiment with that later. Now, for the alchemy:

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 of an apple finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I might have done a little extra because I like nutmeg)
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (but not too hot so it doesn’t cook egg)

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2) Mix together coconut flour, baking soda, ginger powder, nutmeg, baking powder and sugar.

3) Separate the eggs. Whip the egg whites and the sea salt with a hand mixer until they are frothy and stiff.

4) Mix egg yolks, coconut oil, pumpkin puree and vanilla together in a separate bowl.

5) Mix dry ingredients and pumpkin mixture together. Fold in egg whites.

5) Finely chop 3/4 of an apple. Fold in apple bits with a spatula.

7) Put batter into a bread pan greased with coconut oil. At this point I painted the top with the white of one egg. Then I sprinkled more fresh ground nutmeg on top. Cover with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes and then take tin foil off. Bake for another 30 minutes.

8) Take out of oven and cool.

Final Step: Slather a warm slice of this bread with butter. Eat while gazing out the window at falling leaves and drinking Good Earth tea. This is a recipe for happiness.

Tomato/Kale/Sausage Soup

While everyone else was talking about Mitt Romney’s “not elegantly stated” remarks this evening, I was making soup. “But it’s hot in Portland right now!” you say. Yes, yes it is. And now I’m very hot and sweaty, but this soup was delicious. Probably better cooked and consumed on a chilly fall evening. But, when that time does come around this year, I’ll be prepared.

I’m all about soups and one-pot meals so I can make a big batch and then eat it for the rest of the week. Also, I’m obsessed with kale right now, so this soup was a good fit. I adapted the recipe from FastPaleo.

Ingredients:

  • One onion
  • One bunch kale
  • 2 red peppers
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 28 oz. can whole tomatoes (peeled)
  • 1 pound chorizo sausage (not in casing)
  • 4-5 cups bone broth (FastPaleo said chicken, but I had homemade beef stock, so I used that. I think it added to the flavor.)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • Coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder
  • Oregano, basil, salt, pepper (to taste)

1) Heat up the coconut oil (a generous dollop) in a soup pot. Dice the onion and add it to the pot once the oil is hot. Mince the garlic and add it (2-4 cloves depending how many vampires will be around that night). Cook for 5 minutes.

2) Put in the sausage. I used chorizo sausage, which made it a little extra spicy and delicious. Cook for 5 minutes.

3) Dice the red peppers and add them, cooking for another 5 minutes.

4) Add kale (de-stemmed and shredded into small pieces). Cover the soup pot with a lid so the kale steams and softens. FastPaleo recommended this, and it make the kale much more palatable. Steam the kale for 3-4 minutes.

5) Add 14 oz. of diced tomatoes and 28 oz. of whole tomatoes (peeled). I also added a few small fresh tomatoes I had laying around (diced). PS. Make sure there are no crap ingredients or nasty oils in the tomatoes.

6) Add the spices to taste. I did 2 tsp. garlic powder, 1.5 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. dried basil, fresh group pepper and salt to taste.

7) Add the bone broth. I used a full 1 quart mason jar of my beef stock. If there is extra fat in the bone broth: bonus.

8) Cook all ingredients together for another 5-10 minutes until the bone broth is boiling and ingredients are well mixed. DONE.

So quick, so good, will be so perfect for winter. I think this recipe would also go well with cornbread or almond flour muffins to soak up the tomatoey sauce.

Rants: Mountain Dew AM at Taco Bell

This really grinds my gears and makes me sad for the future of America. It also makes me wonder how food executives and some PR people can sleep at night. Case in point: This Taco Bell press release that explains their re-invented breakfast menu. Taco Bell’s FirstMeal (which you presumably eat in the hours close after your FourthMeal) menu “combines great value and innovation,” according to their press release from QSR Magazine, an industry publication on food and food service.

Taco Bell is offering an AM Crunch Wrap, which sounds slightly less appetizing than cardboard. But, perhaps the most horrifying bit of this news is that they are also offering something called “Mtn. Dew AM” to start your day off right. This is a mix of Mountain Dew and Orange Juice. One might as well just hook themselves up to an IV drip filled with high fructose corn syrup. As if Americans didn’t have enough diet-related problems, now they are being marketed soda for breakfast.

In a truly laughable (but depressing) quote, Brian Niccol, the chief marketing and innovation officer at Taco Bell Corp. said, “over the past four decades, Americans have lulled themselves into a breakfast routine. In the spirit of our tagline, Live Más, we want to offer consumers a chance to change up that routine with the reinvention of traditional breakfast, the A.M. Crunchwrap.”

If people start downing Mtn. Dew AM for breakfast, they will surely not be “Living Más,” but “Living Less.”

Cauliflower/Almond Flour Pizza Crust

I originally made this recipe a few weeks ago after a suggestion from my mom. I had no idea what cauliflower pizza crust might taste like, but she raved about it. The recipe we made was an adaptation from the Love and Lemons recipe. The crust is DELICIOUS for people who are or aren’t gluten-free. You can also leave the toppings off, put some fresh herbs and sea salt on top instead and make a gluten-free alternative to foccacia flat-bread.

Ingredients for two pizza crusts: 

One large cauliflower

1 1/2 cups almond flour

6 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste (you can also add other spices like garlic salt, cayenne pepper, rosemary, etc… if you want to experiment).

Left toppings: figs, goat cheese, fresh arugula, drizzled in honey. Right: fresh walnut pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and black olives.

Recipe: 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

1) Cup up cauliflower into small florets and process in a food processer until the cauliflower is small (the consistency of rice grains, maybe a little smaller even). Make sure not to process it so much that it becomes a paste.

2) Beat the 6 eggs. Add salt and pepper and other spices to the eggs.

3) Pour the eggs and the 1 1/2 cups almond flour into a bowl with the processed cauliflower. Mix together. It will be quite a bit more “wet” than actual bread dough would be.

4) Cover a baking sheet (with sides if possible) with parchment paper. Split the “dough” into to halves and mold them into crusts. The thickness should be a little less than 1/2 an inch.

5) Bake the “doughs” for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top. Take the crusts out of the oven and put your toppings on them.

6) Put the pizzas back in the oven and bake as long as you want for the cheese to melt, or the other toppings to get warm. Note: if you are cooking meat (like sausage), you should cook those before you place them on the pizza crusts.

7) Take pizzas out of the oven. Let cook for a few minutes and cut. Continue to enjoy the explosion of delicious in your mouth.

How to Make Your Own Kefir

Thanks to the encouragement of my mother who is super into making fermented foods, I’ve been trying my hand at it too, lately. I’m now a pro at making my own kombucha. Kombucha is pretty difficult to mess up and it tastes delicious. I’m now experimenting with making flavored kombuchas (you flavor the kombucha on a second ferment, I’ll write more about this later). I currently have second ferments going in these flavors: blackberry, blueberry mango, ginger basil, and plain ginger. I’m excited to taste them in a few days! A few weeks ago I made a batch of cherry and cranberry. Both good, the cranberry was better though. I’ve also been making my own pickled ginger carrots and other pickled vegetables. By the way, fermented foods are sooo good for you and they are easy and fun to make. I recommend everyone try a batch of pickled vegetables themselves. Fermented foods are excellent for digestive and overall health because they are full of good bacteria (probiotics) which are difficult to get in regular, raw foods. Also, fermenting vegetables makes the nutrients in them more bioavailable when you ingest them.

I digress. On to kefir. Kefir is a kind of soupy yogurt. It is good to drink alone (it has a tart flavor that is really quite good), or as a base for smoothies (which is what I’ve been doing every morning for breakfast). All you need is milk (preferably raw) and kefir grains. I recently got three quarts of raw goat’s milk from my mom, and have been using that for my kefir. Here’s how you make it:


Start with kefir grains. I think you can order them online. Or find a friend who has extra and is willing to give you a few. They look kind of odd: a little like extra chunky cottage cheese.

Get a quart of milk, preferably raw. I have been using raw goat’s milk.

Pour the milk into a quart glass jar with the kefir grains at the bottom. Screw on the lid and let sit out (not in the refrigerator) for up to 24 hours. I tend to leave my out to ferment for about 18-20 hours. 24+ hours makes it a little too kefiry for me.

When your kefir is done fermenting, strain the kefir trains out using a mesh (not metal!) strainer or cheese cloth. Put the kefir grains in a small glass jar with a little milk to cover them and place in the refrigerator. Voila! You’ve got delicious and nutritious kefir for the drinkin’.

Fourth of July in Manzanita

Today I returned from an awesome 4th of July holiday spent on the Oregon Coast in Manzanita. Daniel and I went down to his parent’s beach house on Tuesday evening and spent the evening and the following day with Daniel’s friend/co-worker, Andrew, and Andrew’s wife, Leah.

We headed to Manzanita Tuesday after work and were greeted with warm, balmy beach weather, a real (rare) treat for the Oregon Coast. On Wednesday morning Daniel and I went for a 6-mile run along the beach (my first in about a week due to an aching knee) which felt fantastic. There is little I like more than running on the beach. There is an incredible, stress-relieving quality to running next to the ocean, so much so that I often think about how fantastic it would be to actually live by the ocean permanently and run/walk along the ocean every day. Maybe it would lose its novelty factor, but probably not. After some lounging time, we all headed to the Manzanita 4th of July parade, which was actually rather impressive. It went on for at least an hour and was made up of “floats,” a.k.a. personal cars/boats/golf carts that were decorated with holiday appropriate sparkly things and balloons. Highlights included: a remote controlled golf-bag, an awkward collection of body-painted Avengers, a belly dancer (also awkward), a lot of candy throwing and a BookMobile.

Post-parade we hiked to the top of Neakahnie Mountain. The weather was absolutely perfect (actually got a little sunburned, almost unheard of on the O-Coast!), and the hike reminded me why Oregon outdoors are pretty much unbeatable: steep hills covered in wild flowers, shaded groves, fallen trees blanketed with bright green moss and views from the top that make you never want to leave this state. Quite a few other people had the same idea to hike Neakahnie, so the summit was pretty packed. Daniel, Andrew, Leah and I hung out on the top for a while, taking in the coast line. After a while, all thoughts turned to apple pie, so we headed back to town.

Nothing says “America” like excess, so in true patriotic fashion we made a massive 4th of July dinner that probably could have fed 10 people. The meal consisted of chicken and vegetable kabobs, bean salad with onions and cilantro and mashed sweet potatoes with garlic. It was sooooooo good. Also, everything tastes better after a long hike and when eaten outdoors. Complements to all the chefs.

After dinner Andrew and Leah headed back to Portland and Daniel and I walked to the beach to watch the fireworks, which were awesome. Great day off and great 4th of July. Feeling very fortunate to have spent Independence Day on the coast with great company, good hiking, perfect weather and good food.

Recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes (my contribution to the dinner): 

These are so simple and so good.

1) Boil 2-3 large sweet potatoes with skins for 30 minutes, or until soft.

2) Remove from water, let cool and remove skins.

3) Mince 7-8 cloves of garlic (probably could have done more).

4) Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and sautee garlic until it is golden brown.

5) Mash the boiled sweet potatoes and add another 3-4 tablespoons of butter. Add the sauteed garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Voila! That’s all. Simple and delicious.

We thought these might also be good with some heavy cream or sour cream added.

Fubonn Market

Fubonn Market: oh hells yes, Portland just got so much more awesome now that I discovered this place. If there is anything I love almost as much as being in Asia, it’s being in Asian supermarkets or Asian neighborhoods in the US (best = San Francisco’s Japantown, New York’s Koreatown, Vancouver, BC’s Chinatown, Golden Plaza in Singapore: Burmese enclave within Singapore). I’ve made many a visit to Uwajimaya grocery store in Beaverton, but now that I live on the east side, I knew I had to find a new source for all the Asian ingredients I like.

I was spurred on this grocery store exploratory journey with one mission: find some pandanus leaves. Pandanus, also known as “padan,” is an herb found in many South and Southeast Asian dishes. Portlanders who have been to Pok Pok will know the flavor of it because the proprieter uses pandan to flavor the water. It adds a coconutty, grassy, sweet, smokey flavor. The other day I was eating at Chiang Mai restaurant on Hawthorne with Daniel and his parents and they had the same delicious water. I asked the waitress what they flavored it with and she said “pandanus.” After reading up on the herb, I realized I had seen it many times before while in Thailand. When I was working on an organic farm in Bang Phra (2 hours from Bangkok) I would help the farm owners cook dinner and we often used the green leaf to flavor rice and curries, but I never connected the dots as to what it was called or that it was that specific ingredient that lent that flavor to the food. So, finally having discovered the name of the herb I headed to Fubonn to see if they had it in stock and to explore what else they might have.

Fubonn, supposedly Oregon’s largest Asian mall, is on 82nd Ave. and is surrounded by a bunch of other kind of sketchy looking, but probably legit-tasting Asian restaurants, mostly Chinese and Vietnamese joints. The minute I got out of my car I was met with a pleasant surprise: the whole parking lot at Fubonn smells like grilling Korean BBQ meat. That’s what’s up.

Me : Asian markets:: kid : candy shop. I love walking up and down the aisles and checking out all the odd drinks, spices I’ve never heard of, fresh fish in their tanks, spiny vegetables and desserts. I can vicariously live out my Asia travel dreams at the Asian market. Also, it’s fun to find an ingredient that makes me remember a certain time during my travels. For example, durian fruit reminds me of Malaysia, bulk shredded green papaya of Thailand, and fish paste of Cambodia.

Fubonn did not disappoint. I found what I was looking for: huge packs of pandanus leaves for $1.19 each (actually the leaves were labeled as Bak Thoy, and were from Vietnam, but same thing). I’ll keep one pack and give one to my mom. I also picked up some S&B Curry Powder (for Japanese cooking), rice seasoning, ginger, some Chinese candy for Maggie, tea strainers for my kombucha, bulk Jasmine tea and some shredded lemongrass which I’ll attempt to come up with a use for later. Two thumbs up for Fubonn.

Also, I want to read this ASAP.

Rambutan.
Galanga root, peppers and lime leaves.

Interesting tea 1.

Watch out Viagra.
Durian fruit.
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