Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sushi night ala Cha-ya

Along with Sascha and Leah, we decided to recreate some signature Cha-ya vegan sushi last weekend to great success! We even attempted their tempura rolls (whole rolls dipped in tempura batter and fried to a crisp).

Ingredients included: avocado, mushrooms, broccolini, squash, cucumber, green beans, lettuce, spinach, spicy tofu. Everything turned out so well. Yay for inventive cooking at home!

Further Experiment with Fermentation: Sauerkraut

We started our sauerkraut project today!

For anyone interested in making these in your own kitchen, all you need are vegetables (we used cabbage, onion & carrots), mason jars, and a tool to push down the veggies.

Just cut the veggies in bite-size pieces, salt on the heavy side (the fermentation process needs salt), mix and start putting into the jar, pausing every once in a while to push down on the veggies to create brine. And that's about it! Just make sure that by the end of your process, all the veggies will be covered in brine juice (otherwise, mold will start to develop).

We'll keep you posted on how ours turn out!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fire Dragons

Last night, we drove to the Goddess Temple in Chico, CA to participate in a firewalk. Under the guidance of Claudia Weber, we watched a huge pyre of cedar wood burn down to coals, and then walked across the coals to the sound of two assisting drummers and the natural sounds of the surrounding forest (the frogs from the nearby pond were competing with the crickets and the drummers for audial supremacy).

The night was clear -- with the moon and stars giving the whole experience a most perfect atmosphere - and the setting at the temple was beautiful. We can't wait to go back to the temple to camp in their tee-pees or participate in other events there.

The coals were certainly hot but we survived (albeit with slightly tender soles).

It's definitely a fun experience so we recommend giving it a try if you get the chance.

Kombucha, sauerkraut and pickled vegetables

Last week, our friend-slash-gardener-slash-garden/health mentor Lisa brought us a kombucha daughter and we've started brewing in our kitchen. For those of you who aren't familiar with the drink, kombucha is a fermented tea made from sugar, tea (usually green or black tea) and a SCOBY (symbiotic colony/culture of bacteria and yeast). It tastes a bit like sparkling apple cider, and has supposed benefits like improved digestion, better skin, stronger immunity, anti-aging effects, increased energy and weight loss. Some even say that it may have anti-microbial effects against harmful bacteria like E. coli, a range of vitamins and minerals, and possibly anti-fungal properties as well.

2 Gallon jar and "the new summer project"

Day 2 in the jar

Now that our kombucha project is well under way, we're excited to try other fermenting processes. The next time we get cabbage from our CSA, we're making sauerkraut! And Christopher just planted 4 more cucumber plants in our garden and we hope to start pickling cucumbers this summer. And we can't wait to start pickling other veggies, too...perhaps starting with garlic (our first garlic harvest was a success).

Stop by our place next week if you want to try our very first brew.