Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Fermenting root veggies

We have just started fermenting our own root veggies

I must admit that I never really liked foods like store-bought Sauerkraut. We had both tried Kimchi at Korean and Japanese restaurants and were not impressed. So when I started reading and hearing about how important our gut bacteria is, to not only only our digestive system, but the healthiness of our entire body, we were both rather skeptical.

Then we realized that fermented foods we have eaten previously sometimes contained vinegars, which is what gave them such a harsh flavour. Looking into fermented foods further, and talking to family that grew up with fermented foods, we realized that “real” fermented foods were much simpler.

On to YouTube to look at some videos and away I went with trying out my first fermented food trial. We happened to have a few turnips in the cool room that were getting towards the end of their storage life. We picked up a small celeriac (celery root) to go with the turnips and also added ginger root, mustard seed and Himalayan salt.

All I did was put grated ingredients together, pound them for a bit to get juices coming out and put them into an earthen bowl. There was not quite enough liquid to make sure veggies were fully covered (otherwise there will be spoilage), so I poured small amount of previously boiled water over the mix.

A lid from another bowl fit in upside down to give a partially sealed cover. I also added a few extra plates on top to make sure it stayed down on first batch. Didn’t need it on this one. Then I just covered it up and put it in a dark corner of kitchen for a week or so.

It tasted great! It wasn’t harsh like the vinegar-based products at all and the ginger gave it a nice little kick.

This time I am using sweet potatoes, carrots and ginger, along with mustard seed and salt. Next time, I may even add some onions and garlic!

Try it out for yourself. It is very good for your health and adds a flavourful condiment to your meal as well. Don’t eat too much in a day to start or your digestive system might not be too happy. Also, if you have health issues, or an overbalance of bad bacteria in your system, you may experience die-off like I did.

Be sure to sterilize everything used in process, and don’t use any veggies with molds on them.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Sustainable Homes and Living

Innovative, Energy Efficient, Solar Heated, Cost Effective Home in Montana

I recently got the chance to see a very innovative solar home being built near Bridger Montana by Andrew Ray of Rational Design/Build.
Andrew (and his frequent conspirator Clint Wicks of CW2 Construction) have been building homes for fifteen years, with Andrew getting his start with Steve Loken in Missoula.  But, this time its a really special home in that its for his own family. He is a very innovative builder and careful planner, and on this home he has taken out all the stops and included all of the best energy efficiency, solar, and material saving features he has used and studied over the years. Its a fascinating home.

Low Thermal Mass Sunspace (LTMS) — provides high solar fraction solar space heating with better control and more efficiency that conventional passive solar heating.

The Low Thermal Mass Sunspace provides 213 sqft of glazing optimized for solar space heating.


Inside-out Mooney Wall — provides an R34 with near zero thermal bridging. A low cost, high performance wall.  The walls are also very efficiently framed with continuous top of wall header and with metal bracing in lieu of sheathing.

The inside-out Mooney Wall with metal bracing instead of sheathing, and continuous top header.

Crawl Space Plenum — serves as a well sealed plenum to distribute the heat from the Low Thermal Mass Sunspace and the wood burner to the house.  It is constructed from Insulated Concrete Forms with a unique integrated footer design that requires no forms.  

Sealed crawl space that serves as plenum to distribute solar heat from LTMS


The house uses many innovative techniques to minimize material use and labor.  There are only eight sheets of OSB used in the entire home!

Note the minimal framing that reduces material use and thermal bridging.


While the home has about half the heat loss of an conventional construction home, the cost is no greater than conventional construction.  

All the details on this solar efficient home…


A lot to be learned from this house.

Gary


Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Brazilian Black Bean Soup

Brazilian Black Bean Soup Recipe
Brazil's cuisine often features smoky, grilled meats, but this healthy vegetarian bean soup recipe is completely meat-free. Instead, blackened jalapeños, fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika provide the Brazilian flair. A little molasses adds a sweet-toasty note, and the kale, while not traditional, bumps up your daily veggie count.

Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Roasted Cauliflower & Potato Curry Soup

Roasted Cauliflower & Potato Curry Soup Recipe
In this healthy cauliflower soup recipe, roasting the cauliflower first adds depth and prevents the florets from turning to mush. A little tomato sauce and coconut milk give the broth a rich, silky texture. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, if desired.

Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Romaine Salad with Grapefruit & Shrimp

Romaine Salad with Grapefruit & Shrimp Recipe
The burst-in-your-mouth juicy sweetness of red grapefruit is a great partner for the slightly briny and chewy bite of cooked shrimp. In this healthy salad recipe, we use romaine lettuce and red cabbage, but a handful of peppery arugula or watercress would be a nice addition.

Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Vietnamese Grapefruit & Pork Salad (Pork Goi Buoi)

Vietnamese Grapefruit & Pork Salad (Pork Goi Buoi) Recipe
Goi buoi is a Vietnamese salad typically made with pomelo, a thick-skinned but super-sweet citrus fruit. In this healthy salad recipe, we use grapefruit because it's easier to find. Plus, it lends a tangy, acidic flavor to balance the vegetables.

Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Chicken Fajitas with Red Grapefruit Salsa

Chicken Fajitas with Red Grapefruit Salsa Recipe
This healthy chicken fajita recipe gets a fresh spin with a sweet, tart and spicy grapefruit salsa. If you like, skip the fajitas altogether and serve the salsa on fish, steak or even with a bowl of chips. Adjust the amount of jalapeño to tailor the heat level.

Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Curried Cauliflower Steaks with Red Rice & Tzatziki

Curried Cauliflower Steaks with Red Rice & Tzatziki Recipe
Gone are the days when your rice choices were limited to white and brown. In this healthy vegetarian dinner recipe, the aromatic flavor of red rice or brown basmati jibes deliciously with fragrant curry powder. Because you need 2 whole heads of cauliflower to get 4 cauliflower steaks, you'll have leftover cauliflower florets to use up. Roast the florets alongside the steaks, then toss them with some chickpeas and tzatziki sauce for a healthy lunch.

Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Curried Cauliflower Steaks with Red Rice & Tzatziki

Curried Cauliflower Steaks with Red Rice & Tzatziki Recipe
Gone are the days when your rice choices were limited to white and brown. In this healthy vegetarian dinner recipe, the aromatic flavor of red rice or brown basmati jibes deliciously with fragrant curry powder. Because you need 2 whole heads of cauliflower to get 4 cauliflower steaks, you'll have leftover cauliflower florets to use up. Roast the florets alongside the steaks, then toss them with some chickpeas and tzatziki sauce for a healthy lunch.