Sunday, May 25, 2008

Squash Blossom Soup

I made a simple squash blossom soup with sauteed garlic, leeks and squash blossoms.Then I added vegetable stock, oregano, a little silk creamer and salt and pepper in that order. The squash blossoms have the mild flavor of zucchini.

These fried squash blossoms are stuffed with a cashew cheese which contains cashews, watercress, garlic, olive oil, lemon and salt. For the batter I used a flour batter and a mustard and water bath which can a good substitute for egg bath but not in this instance. I will go with something much lighter in the future. They definitely passed the yummy test though.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let's talk about breasts, baby

Those pink ribbons really bug me!
I've had breast cancer and so have a lot of my friends which should come as no surprise since the latest statistics claim that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetimes.

Breast cancer awareness month was invented by Astro-Zeneca, makers of Tamoxofin, one of the country's leading breast cancer chemotherapies and Acetochlor, a B2 carcinogen and herbicide.
The message we hear ad nauseum during various pink ribbon events such as Race for the Cure, in magazine articles and with all of the cause-related marketing of products that flood the market in October is "early detection" which roughly translated means you should get frequent mammograms.
Getting yearly mammograms leads to detections of a lot of pre-cancers, which are not cancers and many times can heal themselves.
But if doctors tell you you've got pre-cancer you panic. You panic and then you take the blue pill, The Tamoxofin, the surgery, the radiation, the second mortgage on your home.
It's been studied over and over again and the conclusion continues to be that mammograms do not prolong peoples lives and often put women through unneeded surgeries, chemos and financial disasters. Check your breasts for a palpable mass (a lump) if you've got one, that's when it's time to worry.

I don't know much about how chemicals start cancer but I've been reading a lot about how diet does.

The next time you see women in pink jogging through town think for a minute about who all of that money is going to. It's not going to research diet related causes or environmental causes of cancer. It's likely not going to study causes of cancer at all.
It's going to develop more toxic cell-killing chemicals that make companies like Astro Zeneca rich and the rest of us poor.

Don't believe the hype.

The following is an article from The Cancer Project. I've omitted the indexes but you can check them for yourself at:

The Cancer Project also has information about how dietary fiber helps prevent all kinds of cancer.

Breast Cancer

Countries with a higher intake of fat, especially fat from animal products, such as meat and dairy products, have a higher incidence of breast cancer.13,14,15 In Japan, for example, the traditional diet is much lower in fat, especially animal fat, than the typical western diet, and breast cancer rates are low. In the late 1940s, when breast cancer was particularly rare in Japan, less than 10 percent of the calories in the Japanese diet came from fat.16 The American diet is centered on animal products, which tend to be high in fat and low in other important nutrients, with 30 to 35 percent of calories coming from fat. When Japanese girls are raised on westernized diets, their rate of breast cancer increases dramatically. Even within Japan, affluent women who eat meat daily have an 8.5 times higher risk of breast cancer than poorer women who rarely or never eat meat.17 One of the proposed reasons is that fatty foods boost the hormones that promote cancer.

The consumption of high-fat foods such as meat, dairy products, fried foods, and even vegetable oils causes a woman’s body to make more estrogens, which encourage cancer cell growth in the breast and other organs that are sensitive to female sex hormones. This suggests that, by avoiding fatty foods throughout life, hormone-related cancer risk decreases.

A 2003 study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that when girls ages eight to ten reduced the amount of fat in their diet—even very slightly—their estrogen levels were held at a lower and safer level during the next several years. By increasing vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans, and reducing animal-derived foods, the amount of estradiol (a principal estrogen) in their blood dropped by 30 percent, compared to a group of girls who did not change their diets.18

Harvard researchers recently conducted a prospective analysis of 90,655 premenopausal women, ages 26 to 46, enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II and determined that intake of animal fat, especially from red meat and high-fat dairy products, during premenopausal years is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Increased risk was not associated with vegetable fats.19

In addition, researchers at the Ontario Cancer Institute conducted a meta-analysis of all the case-control and cohort studies published up to July 2003 that studied dietary fat, fat-containing foods, and breast cancer risk. Case-control and cohort study analyses yielded similar risk results, with a high total fat intake associated with increased breast cancer risk. Significant relative risks for meat and saturated fat intake also emerged, with high meat intake increasing cancer risk by 17 percent and high saturated fat intake increasing cancer risk by 19 percent.20

Several studies show meat intake to be a breast cancer risk factor, even when confounding factors, such as total caloric intake and total fat intake, are controlled.21,22 Part of the reason may be that meat becomes a source of carcinogens and/or mutagens, such as HCAs, that are formed while cooking meat at high temperatures. A review of HCAs showed that certain HCAs are distributed to the mammary gland and that humans can activate HCAs metabolically.23 As a consequence, frequent meat consumption may be a risk factor for breast cancer.21

That was just something I needed to get off my chest

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What to do...

My next project will be to find something to do with this beautiful squash, patty pan and squash blossoms picked fresh from Emile Street Garden right here in Houston,

Vegan Chili Rellenos

Howdy there,

These are my chili rellenos made with baby bella mushrooms, brown rice, walnuts and fresh herbs from the garden There is also a layer of soft tofu underneath the stuffing that you can't see. The sauce is a mild tomato with onion and peppers and the cheez is Toffuti brand, which by the way, melts very quickly. If you don't get your dish out of the oven in time the slices of cheez will disintegrate into your food.

3 big Poblano Peppers


1 cup of cooked brown rice

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup any kind of mushrooms, chopped

1/2 cup walnuts

2 or 3 cloves of garlic

1 heaping tablespoon fresh savory herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, cilantro, rosemary etc..

1 tablespoon soy sauce

salt, pepper and an pinch of cayenne

2 tablespoons of canola oil or 1/2 cup water

1/2 lb soft tofu

Tomato Sauce

1 can cubed tomatoes

1/4 cup onions

2 cloves of garlic

Slice Toffuti Mozzarella cheez.

Put the poblanos in the oven on high heat (like 400 f or higher). Cook the poblanos until they blister all around. You will want to turn them so that all sides get a nice blister.

When all is blistered, place the poblanos in a plastic container and cover them. You can use a big old ziploc if you have to but treat them delicately. Set aside.

Take the onion, mushrooms, walnuts, garlic and herbs and give them a rough chop in the chop chop (food processor). If you don't have a chop chop, just mince these suckers up very fine. This is a mixture I use constantly as a fake meat. It has the earthy base note of meat with the mushrooms and the chewy texture with the walnuts.

At this point you can do one of two things; you can either saute this mash in oil or steam it in water. If your on a diet do the water. Put the 1/2 cup water in a saute pan with the soy sauce and dump the mix into the pan and spread it around evenly. Cover the saute pan with whatever you can. You can use another saute pan or a plate if you don't have a cover. Let this cook on medium heat for 3 to five minutes. After you open it up you can just stir it around and cook it like normal (add the rest of your seasonings) until it's done. If it's dry add a little more water. You need a little juice because you are about to add it to your cooked brown rice. Add your brown rice to the mix, stir and taste for flavor. Set aside.

For the sauce; Puree all ingredients in the chop chop then transfer to a saute pan and let it simmer.

Now you are ready to assemble.

Peel the poblanos carefully. You may want to do this near the sink with the water running but don't put the poblanos under the running water. Just use it to clean your hands. You'll see what I mean. You can leave the stem and all of its parts intact.

Cut a slit in the pepper. Stuff the pepper ,first with a generous portion of soft tofu, then on the top with your mash put this in the oven for about twenty minutes and then add a few slices of the fake cheez. That cheez will melt in about two minutes. Pull the rellenos out and place them on a plate on top of the tomato sauce and your done. I put those in the saute pan with the tomato sauce because I wasn't sure what time the Old Man was getting home and I didn't want the cheez to disintegrate.

Wally and Larry from the Progressive Forum enjoying a Chili Relleno casserole I made with the extra intredients (I always make way too much food)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Napolean of Avocado and Heart of Palm

Howdy there y'all,

This is my first blog post and I confess that this is an old picture of one of my favorite little tarts (other than my girlfriend Cherri). It's almost raw but the heart of palm and the pepinos (pumpkin seeds) are cooked. The crust is tamari pepinos and dried chili mangos ground up in the chop chop. Followed by layers of avocado and lime, heart of palm and gazpacho salad respectively. The dressing is an avocado-cilantro creem with artichoke juice.

Whenever the new camera cord comes from e-bay (I lost the old one) I'll post some of my latest adventures. For now at least I have something up.