Monday, April 5, 2010


Can I just say..........

NUTRITION SCHOOL IS FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I'm out here, and in my 3rd week and I.LOVE.IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All the people in my class are AWESOME and so fun and nice. We come in and tell each other about the latest article we read, or recipe we tried, and we recipe swap....and all the chefs who teach us are ALSO amazing! The first one who came is a raw foodist, which is very interesting. She's more of a hippie type, but she's an herbalist and very very knowledgeable and very nice. The second one owns a soup company here and is very sweet. The third one is HILARIOUS and so down-to-earth, and she's the hardcore chef-y one who has been teaching us basic cooking and chef skills.

And I must say I was SO ridiculously excited today when she whipped out NOURISHING TRADITIONS and asked if any of us were familiar with it. I almost fell out of my chair I was raising my hand and waving it around so enthusiastically (yes, I'm a nerd. I know). I was SO glad to hear her say this book sums up her nutrition philosophy and her life. I have been SO excited to learn more about this nutritional direction, and so far all the other chefs have been vegetarian raw-foods type people, which is totally goes against Weston Price's findings about nutrition. I was going to ask them how they reconciled their food philosophies with Dr. Price's, but I'm SO glad my favorite chef follows the same philosophy I try to :-) AND she has Celiacs, so she's also gluten-free! She's so nice, but hardcore and funny, and helpful and encouraging. I'm so excited for everything I'm going to learn from her!!!

So the first two weeks were kinda boring, b/c we basically sat in the classroom and listened to the different chefs and the kitchen manager (who, by the way IS JIM HALPBERT. Seriously...he reminds me of him so much IT IS SICK. If I hadn't already found the most incredible man in the world, I would TOTALLY be in love with this guy ;-)

This past Friday, however, we finally GOT IN THE KITCHEN. It was our knife skills class. We each had our chef knives, bamboo cutting boards, and a PILE of vegetables. I learned to supreme an orange, chiffonade mint leaves, julienne potatoes, properly cut an onion (never knew how, apparently!), Chinese cut celery, roll cut carrots, fine dice (the chef complimented me on my beautiful dicing skills :-D ) and so many other things!! I LOVE learning all these random awesome things about nutrition and cooking.

For example, did you know to get the tough part off asparagus, you just break the bottom off where it snaps easily? And, did you know you start building flavor for soup as SOON as you start making it? At home, we always threw everything in the pot and let it simmer, b/c that would "intensify the flavors." WRONG!!! Before you put in the vegetables and spices, you must caramelize them in oil. The oil and heat bring out the sugars and the full flavors of the vegetables, and open up all the aromatic properties of the spices. THEN you can add it to the soup, and it will be delicious and flavorful! I tried this out this weekend, and for the FIRST time, I had soup that TASTED like something!! And you know what? Just because I like you so much...I will share my basic recipe with you all ;-)

Indian Jerk Bean Soup
  • 2 cups dried bean/rice mix from bulk bins at store (soaked overnight or all day~8 hrs-ish)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 turnips, sliced
  • any other veggies you like! Go crazy!
  • coconut or olive oil
  • cumin
  • cinnamon
  • allspice
  • salt
  • pepper
After the bean mix has soaked, rinse them thoroughly. Add water to pot (about 2 inches or so above the line of beans - you might want to add more depending on how liquid-y you want the soup). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for at least 45 mins (taste beans to tell when they're cooked).

Meanwhile, heat up a large cast iron skillet on medium heat with some oil in it. I use coconut, because it is better for high heats than olive oil. Add onions and carrots (hard veggies) and caramelize (about ten minutes) stirring often. Also add the spices, to give them a chance to permeate the oil and make it tasty goodness :-) As for amounts...I honestly didn't measure any of them. I added quite a bit of cumin and salt, and smaller amounts of cinnamon and allspice. Really you just have to keep tasting it and see what else it needs.
*Another interesting note..."It always needs more salt" according to my teacher lol. It brings out all the other flavors.
Add softer veggies and minced garlic and caramelize for a few more minutes. Veggies are done when they are goldeny and smell AMAZING.

Add everything to the beans and keep simmering until the beans are done. Keep tasting it and adding spices as needed.

My friend was here this weekend for Easter, and she LOVED this! I was so happy! IT TASTED LIKE SOMETHING!!!! YAYYY!!!

We also made flourless walnut brownies, and flourless chocolate cream cake! Which, interestingly enough, if you somehow forget to add the eggs or something, turns out as delicious fudge! (not that we'd know that from experience or anything....*ahem*)


No comments:

Post a Comment