Super Inexpensive Super Foods!

superfoods

tamarindTamarind -Tamarindo=]

Not so easy to plant, trees take ten years to grow… BUT, they are super cheap to buy, either in the actual pod form which are fun to pull apart or the pre-separated tamarind pulp.  Taste is nice and sweet, but not overly sweet, loaded with vitamins and nutrients, considered medicinal.

Great with lime juice and some cayenne.  This is one of the primary ingredients for the sauce in Pad Thai!

quinoaQuinoa –

Grows like a weed, seriously, it grows so easily, try some in your backyard, you cold be pleasantly surprised!  Young plants, from 2 to 8 inches can be used whole in smoothies as a super food.

As they get larger, use the leaves and compost the stem, once they start to seed, all the ninja vibe has gone to that part of the plant so wait till they are ready to harvest and eat.

Once harvested, clean them, or buy store bought and then cook as you would rice, but they take about half the time!

Considered a complete protein, meaning it has all the necessary amino acids, alkaline, no one really has an allergy to it that I know of, chap to buy and again, easy to grow!

amaranthAmaranth –

Again, grows like a weed, young plants, from 2 to 8 inches can be used in smoothies as a super food.  as they get larger, use the leaves in salads or as a steamed dish which tastes great with a little tamari/soy/braggs and pepper, or whatever you would normally season your steamed veggies with, once they start to seed, all the ninja vibe has gone to that part of the plant so wait till they are ready to harvest and eat.

The seeds can most effectively be eaten by popping them.  They will resemble tiny popcorns but are spheres.  hey have little to no taste and can therefore be added to ANYTHING you wish to supercharge with vitamins, minerals and protein.

Allow your skillet to get very hot, add a few hand fulls of seeds, they will be tiny, cover and check often.  Add to anything.  Depending on the country, you can buy pre-popped amaranth extremely inexpensively.

Tempeh al Axiote… Ay carambas!! Thanks TOFURKY=]

tempeh with achiote!

tempeh with achiote!32 oz. plain tempeh
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup axiote paste
2 limes
1/2 cup tamarind paste
4 red chilis
Salt and pepper to taste!

This recipe is incredibly easy and you won’t believe how good it is! Tempeh is a great protein option, made with fermented soy beans and packed with nutrition, there are several kinds of tempeh some of them mixed with other grains, for thos recipe we used plain tempeh since the axiote is already filled with intense flavor.

The axiote is a Mexican spice traditional to south and central Mexico. Most dishes are made with pork like the incredible “cochinita pibil” tacos which I must say, were my favorite growing up in Mexico city. The axiote paste is made from the seeds of the annatto tree mixed with other spices such as chillies and herbs, you can buy it in Mexican markets or international food market. To start you need to disolve the axiote paste on the orange juice, chop the rest of ingredients and in the resulting sauce marinate the tempeh overnight or at least for four hours.

Take your tempeh out, onto the grill until hot and roasted and done! Serve with lime, nutritional yeast and some tortillas [pref. NON GMO corn]!!

Tamarind Frijoles [Beans] – these are rad…

Super great tamarind beans on a table

tamarind, frijoles [beans], chili de arbol, garlic, onionThese are the best beans I have made since the Frijoles con Chocolada!

What you’ll need – Tamarind pods, Chili de Arbol, Garlic [I used Elephant for this], Beans [I used Black], Onion, Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Tumeric [powdered], 2 large yellow stripped Hierloom Tomatoes, oil [I used Olive, you may choose whatever you like] and 2 large green Jalapenos.

Start by getting your bag of black beans and emptying it on the counter to beginning the most essential part of the process – rock separation.  If you do not have to worry about rocks in your beans where you are, great, if you are in a place where there are rocks, you probably know by now if you have had homemade beans.  Do a very good job with this step, I have a Dentist appt. soon due to my negligence=]

Now rinse and soak the beans in as clean a water as you can find.  Try to avoid Tap water and have some kind of filtered water if possible.  The beans will soak up this water and whatever is in it will then be in you.  Know your Water, it completes you.

I used a pressure cooker, you can opt for a simple pot, just as effective and if you do it over a wood fire, even better.

Stir fry the Onion until it starts to lightly brown, then add the Garlic mixture.  In chopping the Garlic, chop it together with a tablespoon or two of the Sea Salt and the dried and fresh Chilis.

Add whole Tamarinds AFTER, you take off the shell.  Put in the whole thing, the seeds will be cooked and end up soft and chewy, turns out they also have a lot of good stuff for you, vitamins and minerals and things scientists don’t understand but know are good for us=]

Let this get darker brown, but NOT black.  Now add the chopped tomatoes.  Stir randomly to ensure even browning and minimal sticking, some sticking O.k. as Beans, Water and boiling are en route.   Add a little more Sea Salt and Pepper and now also add the Tumeric.  Your mixture should be brown, juicy and getting to a semi gravy like state.

Now add Beans and Water, stir a bit to initiate ninjafication.

As beans are cooking, add water to enhance the gravy aspect to your desired thickness.  If using a pressure cooker check after 20 min and then continue checking every 15 adding water or not based on what you like.  I fill the standard pressure cooking pot to about the halfway point with my Beans and Flavor mix and then water right to with a 1/2 inch from the top and that has me covered for a 30 min cook which is usually great for eating and right on time if you want to continue fine tuning.Super great tamarind beans on a table

Enjoy this most insanely healthy dish, add to brown rice, make a perfect protein by adding to CORN Tortillas.  Feel free to heat your Tortillas, toasting them, browning them, whatever shakes your shaker.