Homemade Aromatic Cayenne Powder

January 13, 2012

Our cayenne plant was on FIRE this season!!! We couldn't eat enough of these hot peppers. I mean really, we couldn't.

Spicy chocolate, spicy soups, salads, cayenne-agave lemonade, bastante! But we are hot-spice lovers (hot-sauce eating contests have occurred in this kitchen) and this was one of the most gorgeous little explosions of plant life in our garden.

A prized herb, cayenne has been used for centuries for its medicinal and nutritional properties. High in vitamins A and C, it is thought to be great for the heart and circulatory system as well as a helpful "delivery" system when taken with other herbs. And while most peppers have an acidic profile, cayenne powder is alkaline, making it a favorite among raw foodists, especially to "heat" their meals.

Now that the season is nearly over, I made cayenne powder for use during the rest of the year.

I harvested a bowl full and strung them up in the kitchen to dry for a couple of weeks. Later, I stuck them in the oven with no extra heat besides the pilot to remove any remaining moisture. When I finally remembered, I de-stemmed and threw the dried peppers whole into the dry VitaMix Blender container, blending to a coarse dust.

I happened to funnel the powder into an old jar holding the remains of a little cumin and thus created the most aromatic, best-tasting cayenne powder EVER. So now when it drops down to a freezing 50 degrees here in L.A. winter, we have something incredible to keep our blood warm.

NOTE: Blending hot pepper is no joke, the air gets a little spicy...so maybe not the best project to do with the kids.

High Raw: Nori Rolls

December 7, 2011

Keep it simple.

Nori sheets rolled with avocado, mixed greens, Vegenaise, and a drizzle of tamari or Braggs.
Optional: raw sauerkraut adds a mock-tuna flavor and a dose of probiotics.

Seaweeds such as nori, hijiki, kelp, and arame are satisfying because they are highly-mineralized foods. Rich in trace minerals, B12, and iodine, they are excellent for the thyroid and protection against heavy metals, toxins, and radiation.

Spaghetti Squash Recipe

November 21, 2011

It's fall. We like warm food. We love pasta, but it sits in the belly like a bowl of glue. Three good reasons to make spaghetti squash a staple for dinner this season:

Chop the spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds, and lay cut side-down in a pan with ½ inch of water. Throw it in the oven at 350° for 30-40 min until the flesh is soft and can be scraped out like spaghetti.

In the meantime, chop up and sautee an onion in a bit of water* until softened.

Add: marinara sauce (we blended 5 medium tomatoes with 2 garlic cloves on super low for a few seconds), herbs (dried or fresh; we used fresh oregano, basil, and parsley), optionals (we used a variety of sun-dried tomatoes plus olives), and sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Let simmer until flavors blend, 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
When squash is ready, scrape out the flesh and add it to your sauce. Reheat.

Top each bowl with a good dollop of raw olive oil and nutritional yeast.

Note: This dish passes the child-friendly-taste-test with flying colors!

*We prefer using water to sautee and to add olive oil after the heat is turned off—right before we eat—so we avoid eating cooked, rancid oils. More on that here.