Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chop, Slice and Dice to Feel Great

trim stems. slice thin.  maximize broccoli.
The more I want to stay slim, feel great and eat well, I have learned I need to take things into my own hands!  It is easy when you like working in the kitchen to see that waste is a big part of veggies that does not have to be. 
finely slice strong radish, shred fennel and cabbage
tear lettuces, peel carrots, break cauliflower

Follow two key factors in getting great usage out of everyday and specialty vegetables.  First maximize the usage and learn how not to throw away what is fantastic in flavor. You need to learn how to cut veggies for the intended use.  Chunks for soups, fine cuts for salads and lighter recipes.  Correct cutting enhances palatability. Second, find a flavor point that you want to combine with your nutrient dense one off veggie or a mixture of creative produce so that you are elated with the taste of the final dish.

Prep Smart. Eat Well. Feel Fantastic. The Vegetable Alchemist.
paprika finishes a mustard vinaigrette for zip

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tomatoes: a case study

Tomatoes.... one of the world's healthiest vegetables.  High in Vitamin C, rich in anti-oxidents, brimming with heart positive lycopene, and great in other phytonutrients that assist in body health including better bones! And since phytonutrients like fresh tomatoes or better yet tomato juice bathe our bodies in ways that are so good, I had to tackle a published recipe that would assist in adding taste to not so tasty tomatoes.  Enter quick marinaded tomatoes.

The larger the tomato the more the juice, the more the leaching of the water from the tomato into the finished mix.  Make the marinade and adjust the time of marinading according to the size and intended eating time.  Practice in most things makes perfect and my first thought on how long to marinade had to do with the ripeness (not very), the cut (eighths) and the amount of moisture ( a lot!).

Drops of oil, an inch of fresh sliced lemongrass, a tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger with a smashed garlic clove, a drop of cider vinegar,a cinnamon stick for fragrance, and a bit of finely chopped left over mustard greens. Finish with a tablespoon of sambal oelek or other Asian Chili paste for a kick with a few cups of tomatoes, cut depending on size.  Normally I would save left over juices for a tasty addition to a salad but these we so good I drank ever last drop in the bowl!  The Vegetable Alchemist.
Quick Marinaded Tomatoes

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Trasnsitions in Beef n Broccoli

The Traditional Beef n Broccoli
The stir fry was a method created to conserve fuel in China.  Vegetables and meat were cut smaller and cooked in the pan designed to be fuel efficient, the Wok. Everything took only minutes, sometimes seconds to cook.  The bigger the number of portions, the larger the wok but food cuts remained small.  So designing small cut vegetables and designing the Wok, made the goal of conserve precious fuel become reality.

My goal is to preserve and extend my precious health with a thorough addition of nutrient dense greens and vegetables to my everyday eating.  A little beef hits a small amount of vegetable oil in a hot wok preceded by aromats like garlic, onion and ginger.  With cut broccoli tossed and followed by two inch cuts of chard, mustard green, kale and dandelion, a few teaspoons of soy and oyster sauce to finish make this updated beef 'n broccoli a favorite as Beef n' Veggies! Remember: Don't discard the tough broccoli stems.  Use a pairing knife and trim or peel off the outside greener layer, then cut lengthwise against the grain as a way to soften the vegetable fibers and make them a lot more palatable. Tasty, quick and your bod will enjoy an upgrade on nutritional density.  Thoughts from The Vegetable Alchemist......
The Addition of Nutritionally Tasty Greens
Transition to naming Beef n' Veggies

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vegetable Ma-Po Tofu

 Vegetable Ma-Po Tofu
I got home from the work out, famished and dehydrated.  A glance at the frig found a bowl of nutrient dense uncooked, chopped mixed greens like kale, dandelion, chard and collards, extra from the udon prep the night before.  Add a half container of firm tofu in water with the veggie bin staples of scallions and ginger to the garlic in the counter ceramic and I started to see a dish emerging.  With bottles of soy, oyster sauce and spicy chili bean paste on hand Vegetable Ma-Po Tofu  was born.  The combination had so much flavor I used only one half table spoon of oyster sauce and shook it with a half a cup of vegetable stock before I stirred it in to finish, but water offers an alternative to stock.  You can see in the pic the chili paste before the final stir.  No salt or pepper needed. With the utility wok the whole thing from frig to fast stir fry took only 10 minutes to a bowl .  Clean up was only an easy minute or two.  Oh happy meal....from The Vegetable Alchemist

Friday, June 20, 2014

Planned-Overs....More Density for your Dollar

Planned over Pizza Salad ready for action
In working on new Nutritionally Dense recipes I have to say, that one of the keys to getting a good cost on a dish is usage.  Kitchen after kitchen testing recipes pays for 100% of the raw product and throws out 60% as they only use the beautiful cuts or forget about what they don't use in the frig and the garbage is the next recipient.  Your kitchen might be the same!

A new day gets a new dish: Stuffed Omelet
Here's one idea for evening over nutritionally dense salads. They actually keep well overnight.  Turn the mixes into a host of new applications.  This one is easy, my Salad Pizza from last night, where a Marinara no cheese pizza was topped with the mixed greens (yesterday's blog) converts to a little  breakfast omelet today. I added a touch of water to lighten the two eggs when whipping them together.  No salt or pepper needed.  And of course if egg whites rock your omelet pan, then let the egg whites begin!

Two flavorful notes: the night over pizza marinara slices really add flavor to the greens, so I just scraped off the salad and popped them into the toaster.  And for this combination I realized I add a touch of color to the omelet instead of cooking it lightly as I usually do as I like the extra caramel toast against the whole combination.

While this time I just folded in the salad as it, I can see hundreds of opportunity to stir fry these dense greens with all kinds of flavors into next day wonders.  So, have today's wonder from The Vegetable Alchemist, nutritionally dense recipes for the taking!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eatsa Pizza Salad !

Nutritionally Dense Pizza Salad
For centuries Italians have topped pizza with an assortment of lettuce and vegetable blends.  Add the new knowledge of nutritional density in choosing the salad components and Alora!  I did this one last night by an order pick up of a simple marinara (no cheese, tomato sauce sprinkled with oregano and basil, then made a salad topper.  I chopped mustard and red chard greens with fresh fennel, green onions and cilantro.  Dressing was a squeeze of fresh orange juice, some balsamic, olive oil and fresh sea salt and pepper.  Some folks are saying no gluten. Some are saying no salt and no oils.  But I am saying, I want to eat, be consistent in my weight, feel good, live longer and have fresh, simple deliciousness.  I mean, what more could you ask for? And best yet, to enjoy all the greens, I made a sandwich of the last two pizza wedges. For me,  this creative

tasty fun satisfies my needs like a good Pizza Pie from The Vegetable Alchemist!  Enjoy

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grooming Ourselves for Discriminating Taste

And NO!  This is not my dog. Cute glasses though!
Time to start grooming ourselves for a new more discriminating type of recipe that offers the Ultimate in nutritionally dense ingredients.  Don't waste time with big dead calorie meal bombs and a lot of traditional food that adds weight to our bodies and take away the beauty of what it is to feel good and live longer!  Take a look, everyone's doing it!  Have a great day as you do.   The Vegetable Alchemist
Add Nutritionally Dense Watercress to your Salads

Monday, June 16, 2014

Swimming in Watercress

Salmon in a 'living' Watercess Vegetable Soup
A remarkable discovery in flavor and positive effect on my lungs!  A 4 oz piece of salmon seared skin side down with a pinch of sea salt, white pepper and teaspoon of dried basil on the flesh while cooking to crisp on the range top.  Yesterday's watercress vegetable soup warmed with more fresh ginger before a two minute slow simmer skin side up on top of the vegetables to keep the skin crisp and salmon lightly pink.

To plate, chop half a bunch of 'living' watercress without the dirt clot and place in a service bowl. Place the salmon on the fresh 'living' watercress in the bowl.  Enhance the soup by stirring in to dissolve a bit of yellow miso and pour around the salmon.  The flavor is outstanding, the effects are terrific.  If you swim you will love the results of fresh watercress on opening up you lungs for an easier breath.  A least I did. ( Living Watercrss is about $2.49 in the produce section, depending on the market.)  Today's note from The Vegetable Alchemist.

More than a Bowl of Soup

Spring quik Vegetable Soup with Watercress

The Vegetable Alchemist introduces the New Vegetable Culture, with food health based on the nutritional density value of a recipe more than those rated by calories.  Raid the refrigerator and chop cuts of your favorite veggies like onions, carrots, celery, asparagus, mushrooms, green leafy types while making way for a new group as you shop currently for freshness.  FINISH a simmering both of those vegetables with a fast no cook stir in of two hands of chopped stems and whole leaves of watercress per person.  I seasoned mine also with stirring in yellow miso and a touch of white cracked pepper.  Bowlfuls of nutritionally dense one dish bounty from The Vegetable Alchemist. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Asparagus Charcuterie Style

Fresh Asparagus Salad with Mustard Greens at Tete Charcuterie
Just opened in Chicago and fantastic, Tete Charcuterie at 1114 West Randolph St. does and amazing job.  Felt just like I was on the spot making pates in France. I sat by the open kitchen in a great room of like minded people; quality, comradery and fun while not over priced.  One dish I opted for was asparagus, with no less detail than all the sausages, terriines, pates, cured and smoked items.  Jumbo white, whole and shaved green asparagus with touches of balanced exciting flavors.Vegetable Alchemy for today.