Monday, June 25, 2012

Iceberg claims a Stake

With all the grills in America seemingly primed for the upcoming week of July 4th, a true celebration is certainly center of plate!  Freedom Rocks. Freedom is King.  Freedom is something never to take for granted.  I worked for The United States Government for 10 years with a team that traveled to many countries explaining the foods we had available for export. It is a demanding job. It was exciting to bridge the gap of language and culture with food. Meeting people around the globe on their own soil, from Asia to Africa, South America to India and the Middle East brought to mind how ' food brings people together '.  This was the theme I used in addressing the Fourth of July, United States Embassy party in Osaka Japan.  Our team prepared regional dishes for over 600 people visiting from twenty countries.

This year, my idea of seeing Heads of State has turned for a moment on this day to tasting Heads of Lettuce!  My smokey tasty celebration involves none other than Iceberg and some smokey salt!  It will be my center of plate.  Wildly popular decades ago iceberg has a solid place in the wide and colorful field of garden greens. Crunchy, crispy, full of pairing opportunities aside bbq, meat, poultry, fish, vegetables or just on its own with a delicious umami dressing, Head Lettuce takes its own center Stake for this Day.  

Happy upcoming Fourth of July.  And thank you, American Armed Services, a part in my family included, who continue to keep us free.  Respect Freedom.  It's not free. Happy Birthday, America.
The Vegetable Alchemist.

Iceberg dressed with Smoke Sea Salt
1    Head Iceberg lettuce, cut into four wedges
1    teas  + 1/2 teas smoked sea salt
1    tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1    clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1    lemon, cut into 4 wedges (optional)

Using a fork or whisk rapidly stir the white balsamic vinegar into the olive oil.  Add the garlic and one teas smoked sea salt.  Mix thoroughly. Stir in the parsley leaves.Crack in black pepper to taste and serve over wedges of cold, crisp iceberg sprinkling evenly with the remaining 1/2 teas of smoked sea salt.  A wedge of lemon is a great garnish, especially if you are serving the Wedge with a protein.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Salad is the Real Cool

Energy. Energy. Lots of easily usable, renewable forms of energy. Energy that powers the Universe. Energy that powers you. Think fresh energy.  Think fresh, tasty energy. Think way past protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Energy wants you thinking PHYTOCHEMICALS.  And so I include the meaning of the word.  You might even try snackin' on it for that short umami energy hit.  Phytoliscious sunny spectacular fun. I know you can appreciate that.

Phytochemicals, chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants (phyto means "plant" in Greek), are responsible for color and organoleptic properties, such as the deep purple of blueberries and smell of garlic. The term is generally used to refer to those chemicals that may have biological significance but are not established as essential nutrients.[1] Scientists estimate that there may be as many as 10,000 different phytochemicals having the potential to affect diseases such as cancer, stroke or metabolic syndrome. Although certain phytochemicals are available as dietary supplements, some scientists speculate that potential health benefits of phytochemicals may best derive from consumption of whole foods.

Your Universe needs more than a mound of carbs, much more than a shake of protein and far more than a dish of fat. Leave the obesity behind.  Phytochemicals will soon have their own GNOME week!  Luv what you body luvs. Snack on phytolife!  Be the Cool.  Authentic Rethought!  The Vegetable Alchemist.