Thursday, April 4, 2013

Miso Salmon Steaks with Homemade Ginger Mayonnaise and Roe

Winter is coming, and if you're not doing it already, y'all need to start paying serious attention to your intake of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. And not in the way you think.



Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to tell you something that I hope makes you rejoice... I WANT YOU TO EAT MORE FAT.

As with everything in nutrition, quality is paramount, and when I say "fat", I don't mean deep fried junk or commercially produced treats loaded with hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans-fats. I mean oily wild fish, fatty cuts of pasture-raised meat, chook thighs, egg yolks, liver, fish roe, coconut, olives, raw grass-fed dairy (if tolerated), avocado, and plenty of activated nuts and seeds.

Fat is one of the most important macronutrients when it comes to your immunity, and many people feel the effects of a compromised immune system in the cooler months when colds and respiratory infections tend to take hold. Vitamin C and Zinc are both well-known to boost immunity, but did you know the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K also all play a vital role in maintaining immunological health? Not only do the fat-soluble vitamins serve as cofactors for many reactions in the body which a healthy immune system needs in order to function optimally, but the fat itself also serves to bolster the integrity of cell walls (which are largely made up of fat, the majority of which is saturated), thus protecting the cells from infection from viruses which can invade via weakened cell walls and cause illness.

I hope y'all are on board enough with recent scientific literature to understand that I am not fattening you up for winter by telling you to eat more of this particular macronutrient, and that ample good quality fat in the diet will NOT make you pile on the body fat. I also hope we are all wise and comfortable enough to understand that we - especially we women - NEED some body fat in order for functioning fertility, proper endocrine/hormonal activity, and to maintain optimal immunological health.

Anyway, enough pre-amble. Let's get to the recipe. This is one of my favourite, simple winter dishes that is absolutely loaded with vitamins, protein, living probiotics (if you include homemade whey in the mayonnaise), and health-promoting fatty acids. It's also absolutely delicious, and the ginger and miso paste make it a wonderfully warming dish to enjoy as the seasons begin to change. This dish will take approximately one hour from start to eat, but it isn't as fiddly as you might think. The portions below will feed two hungry people.

Let's get to it.

Miso Salmon Steaks with Homemade Ginger Mayonnaise and Roe

Ingredients:

2 salmon steaks
1 medium sweet potato
1 small floret of broccoli
1 small bunch asparagus
2-4 Tbs salmon or kingfish roe
2 Tbs raw butter (use coconut oil if dairy is an issue)


Miso marinade
1 Tbs unpasteurised miso paste (I used one made from fermented brown rice)
The juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp honey
1 tsp of freshly grated ginger

Ginger mayonnaise:
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs homemade liquid whey (optional)
1 pinch sea salt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 x cup olive oil
(then add)
1/2 tsp of lemon rind
1/2 tsp of grated ginger
The juice of 1/2 a of lemon


Method:

1) You can make the mayonnaise up to three days in advance if you like, the addition of liquid whey will help preserve and ferment this condiment as is done traditionally. To make, place the egg, yolk, liquid whey, salt, and mustard in a food processor and start to blend. Add the olive oil in very slowly in a thin stream while continuing to blend the mixture. If you rush this step, the mixture will crack and the oil will not be incorporated. It could take up to five-ten minutes to add the oil slowly enough. Once this is done, stir through the lemon rind, ginger, and lemon juice.

2) Preheat the oven to 180C, combine the ingredients for the miso marinade, and then coat the salmon steaks in the marinade and allow to sit.

3) Cut the sweet potato into 1cm discs, coat in butter or coconut oil and season with salt and pepper, and cook in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

4) After 20 minutes, butter and season the broccoli and asparagus and add to the baking sweet potato for a further 10 minutes.

5) While the greens quickly roast, fry the salmon in either butter or coconut oil over medium-high heat on your stove top. I like my salmon rare, so only fry it for about 2-3 minutes each side.

6) Serve the salmon and veggies topped with the ginger mayonnaise and fresh roe and an additional wedge of lemon if desired.

7) Congratulate yourself on making such a well-rounded, delicious, and healthy meal for yourself.



Enjoy it, foxes. xx

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Raw Triple Layer Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse Pie


I'm back.



It has been a while since I last posted, and if you don't want to read a clumsy preamble about my personal life, feel free to scroll straight down to the recipe. Go on, I'll never know.

I've had some pretty major life changes occur over the last few months, and things have been internally and externally extremely unstable for me. I feel as though I've spent recent months gnawing on imaginary tethers before I finally turned the lights on and realised I was, in fact, free this entire time. Life is interesting. And beautiful. And surprising.

Although I always make a big effort to continue to nurture myself and eat well; making beautiful, home-cooked meals did fall by the wayside somewhat in recent times due to my being so unsettled. Recently I have been making absolute basics most of the time and did not create anything worthy of a Famished Fox post!

Now I am settled in my new home in Bondi Beach, living with an absolutely gorgeous flatmate who I met studying Naturopathy. We both like to cook deliciously healthy meals, frolic gracelessly in the sea, train hard, drink wine by the bucket, and make fun of silly boys. We're a good match.

Through all of the recent tumult, I have really had my eyes opened to the quality and beauty of the people around me and I am wholly and joyfully grateful for the amazing support network I have. I must be the luckiest woman alive. So, I decided to get (raw) cooking and make my famous Raw Triple Layer Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse Pie for some very deserving friends. Heather. Fereen. Sean. Kylie. Eat the food, y'all. You've earned it.

Now back to the pie... this pie is legitimately ridiculous.

I have never made this dessert for someone who didn't love it. This list includes teenagers, little kids, stubborn parents, and health-suspicious friends. This recipe is a FF original and is jam-packed with antioxidants, good fatty acids, protein, enzymes, minerals, and a good range of both water and fat soluble vitamins.

This recipe makes two full-sized pies plus a teensy single serve pie in a jar, which I made for my friend, training buddy, and collaborator Sean over at The Movement Guide. Sean and I have some very exciting news to share with all y'all soon, but you'll have to wait until my next post to find out exactly what that is ;)

Anyway, enough chatter, let me give you what you came for:

Raw Triple Layer Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse Pie:


Base:
2 cups activated almonds
8 - 10 juicy medjool dates
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 Tbs of rose buds/petals

Cashew Cheesecake Centre:
2 cups raw cashews (soaked for minimum 4-6 hours)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp Loving Earth Vanilla Bean Powder
1/4 cup coconut syrup
Up to 1/4 cup water (just enough to loosen the mixture so it blends smoothly)

Chocolate Mousse:
5 large ripe avocados
1/2-3/4 cup raw cacao, depending on how chocolatey you like it
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 Tbs orange zest
1 tsp Loving Earth Vanilla Bean Powder
1/2 cup coconut syrup or raw honey (I used a combination of both, but keep the honey out if you'd like to keep this dessert vegan)
3-4 Tbs coconut oil

Decorate with:
Fresh or frozen berries (I used raspberries)
Cacao nibs
Desiccated coconut
Orange zest
The tears of angels who cannot eat this because they are angels

Method:
Blend all of the ingredients for the base in a food processor until it just starts to come together but still has some texture to it, and then press into the base of the pie tins and jars. Blend all of the ingredients for the cashew cheesecake layer and layer over the almond base. Refrigerate or freeze while you process the ingredients for the mousse so that it is more firm and easier to layer the mousse on top of the cheesecake layer. Decorate at will, and eat the whole thing in like, 12 hours. That's what we all did.



Stay tuned for some exciting news, foxes. It feels good to be back.

FF xx

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tangy Turmeric and Garlic Hummus

Hummus has got to be one of the best snacks there is, and did you know that when it is traditionally prepared it is incredibly healthy too?



Homemade hummus has a great macronutrient profile, being abundant in protein, good quality fats and low GI carbohydrates. It is also high in calcium from the sesame seeds in the tahini. This particular recipe is also abundant with therapeutic herbal actions too thanks to the inclusion of some great spices.

Unfortunately, most store-bought hummus has been made with the two main principles of the processed food industry guiding the procedure - make it fast and make it cheap.

By making hummus "the fast way", manufacturers neglect the crucial process of soaking the chic peas prior to cooking and end up with a very nutritionally inferior food. By making it cheaply, they substitute a quality oil like extra virgin olive oil with denatured, industrial garbage like canola oil. Don't even get me started on the health implications of this particular switcheroo. That's a topic for another post.

Chic peas, like all nuts, grains, and legumes, must be soaked before they are cooked for optimal nutritional absorption. That is because the raw product contains phytates such as phytic acid and oxalic acid which inhibit nutrient absorption by mimicking digestive enzymes and binding to the vitamins and minerals in your food so that they cannot be digested. And just what is the point of sourcing beautiful, organic ingredients if you are going to eat them alongside a food that is going to guarantee that your assimilation of the nutrients in that food is going to be poor? Phytic acid also can cause moderate to severe digestive upset in some individuals, and is responsible for the bloating and gas people feel when they consume tinned or non-soaked legumes. Oxalic acid is one of the principle elements in calcium oxalate - the most common material that makes up kidney and gall bladder stones.

Removing as much of these poisons from the diet as possible is imperative.

Some people go as far as to remove grains and legumes completely from the diet, but I believe that is extreme and unnecessary when the proper care and preparation is taken. Many traditional societies enjoyed excellent health without cutting these foods out, they simply took the time to prepare them correctly.

So how do you soak your grains, nuts, and legumes properly? Each food is a little different and requires a different soaking time and soaking medium.

All you need to do for the chic peas in this recipe is empty them into a bowl that they no more than half fill (as they will expand significantly), and cover them with the juice from half a lemon and some warm water. Cover the bowl with an upturned plate or some cling wrap and let the chic peas soak for 24-36 hours. You will notice a lot of bubbling, putrid scum rising to the top of the bowl. This is exactly where we want it, rather than trapped in the chic peas and then being ingested. After the 24-36 hours, rinse the chic peas thoroughly and then bring them to the boil in fresh water on the stove. Cook for approximately 90 minutes until they are tender.

That's it! Although the process takes a few days, it literally takes a total of maybe 10 minutes of you actually being in the kitchen doing stuff. So I'm calling BS on anyone that says they are "too busy" to prepare legumes the traditional way.

Suffice to say, this hummus recipe is prepared the traditional way. It is a lot more tangy and flavoursome than most hummus recipes, and that is what I love about it. I am big on spices, for both their flavour and medicinal value, so they feature strongly in this recipe. Raw garlic is hypolipidemic (lowers blood lipids and cholesterol), antimicrobial, and anti-coagulant. Turmeric is the king of spices: it is hypolipidemic, antioxidant, anti-platelet, anti-metastasis (the spreading of cancer), anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerative, immune modulating, depurative, and hepatoprotective (protects the liver cells from oxidative damage). The. King. Of. Spices.

Anyway, enough nutrition talk... let's get to the recipe.

Tangy Turmeric and Garlic Hummus

2 cups soaked and cooked chic peas (measured after cooking)
1/2 cup tahini
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
The juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves crushed garlic (I processed mine in the coffee grinder)
1/6-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (depending on how tangy you like it. I used 1/4)
1 tsp Himalayan salt or genuine sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric

Simply process everything together in a food processor until it is smooth. Drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish with fresh parsley or coriander to serve.



This is great as a snack with some raw vegetables and grass-fed cheese, or as I had mine today - a side dish for grilled chicken thighs and rocket salad.

Now get to soaking your chic peas so you can eat this beautiful dish on the weekend!

FFxx