All posts by boztime

Writing about myself writing about others writing about themselves for others and themselves

Super Sweet, Gluten-Free Mesquite

Deglutenized and Delicious

Nobody has written a memorable poem on the mesquite. Yet the mesquite has entered into the social, economic, and aesthetic life of the land; it has made history and has been painted by artists. In the homely chronicles of the Southwest its thorns stick, its roots burn into bright coals, its trunks make fence posts, its lovely leaves wave. To live beside this beautiful, often pernicious, always interesting and highly characteristic tree—or bush—and to know nothing of its significance is to be cheated out of a part of life. It is but one of a thousand factors peculiar to the Southwest and to the land’s cultural inheritance. (J Frank Dobie, Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest, 1952)

[Mesquite is] “the devil with roots. It scabs my cows, spooks my horses, and gives little shade.” (W.T. Waggoner, pioneer northwest Texas rancher, as qtd on Texas Almanac, texasalmanac.com)
For many…

View original post 1,417 more words

Dear TFR, My kid only wants macaroni…

image

 

Dear Texas Food Revolution,

My kid only wants macaroni and cheese for dinner. I think she’d also be pleased with a straight diet of ice cream. Neither of these are acceptable. We are trying to be a healthy food household but I really don’t want to be a food task master for my daughter! I enjoy healthy fresh food but I don’t to force it upon her and make her not enjoy it and associate good food with authoritative commands.

Please help, thanks,

Madeleine

 

Dear Madeleine,

The underground Mac & Cheese railroad will occur if you force your nutritional will without ingestible reason, and more importantly, fun. I have three tips for you.

The first recommendation, and it sounds like you are already doing this, is to lead by example when it comes to exercise and passion(not annoying dogma) about food. Leading by example also includes keeping the right foods in the house. If you have only one box of mac and cheese for the week, or only one box of cookies for the month, then that is that. When you go grocery shopping, this is a good chance to engage your child in choosing food. They will ask for everything, and some of it may actually be healthy, so when they get back home, there will be certain items that they have chosen and will feel ownership over their “treat.”

The second recommendation, and probably the most rewarding and effective one, in my experience, is to involve them as much as possible. A child who gardens is a child who eats veggies. But it doesn’t have to go so far as gardening, allow your child to make the salad, for example. Call your child your soux chef and talk about what you’re making so they don’t feel so force-fed. They will begin to take pride in the diverse food and unique presentations that don’t exist in something like mac & cheese.

The third recommendation is to step up your dessert game! There’s nothing wrong with decadent baked goods or frozen treats, but let their be an art to it rather than stuffing your face with high fructose corn syrup soda and pastries in front of the tube. There is always the “finish your plate to get dessert,” motivation, and when it comes to dessert there are many healthy options.

Ice, Coconut milk, honey, peanut butter and cacao smoothies, mmmm. Frozen banana puree with something fancy on it, mmmm. Gluten free baked goods, mmmm. Or even the occasional pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough is preferable over a packaged item, in the baking process there is an understanding of the value and effort that goes into the treat. Let the indulgences be mindful.

Engage your child in the food process and step up your own game. Guilt and demands surely never did it for me, anyways, LOVE brought me to local, fresh food, not fear and authority.

Green Papaya Lantern

 Part Batman, part Cantinflas, part Hunger Games, the script for Green Papaya Lantern is rumored to be in the hands of Alfonso Cuarón, director of Y Tu Mama Tambien.  Cuaróns’ agent has suggested that the four-time director and cult film icon isn’t sure what to make of the script yet, because he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the storyline. Six weeks after having read the script for Green Papaya Lantern, Cuarón is rumored to have become obsessed with the storyline of the screenplay.

“A Taquache … which by the way is the  South Texas dialect for Tlalquache, or opossum … becomes the size of a man on each and every nightfall …” Cuarón sputtered quizically to his agent after Cuarón downed his eighth Cuva Libre  within earshot of our source at a casino nightclub in Beliz, where Cuarón placed 37th in January 2014 World Poker Tour event.

“This Hombre de Quache …so to speak,” Cuarón continued  “… searches for unjust children in a steaming hot, yet icy, city of unjustness. And when he finds these children, he tells them stories of courage and despair while the marsupial serves the children green papaya. This makes no sense,” Cuarón continued as he emptied his drink, “yet I can not stop thinking about this story,” Cuaron mumbled frustratedly as he turned away from the dance floor of the fashionable Nighty Room and began ordering Shiner Bock beers on tap the rest of the night from his black granite bar-stool,  failing to acknowledge anyone around him until the bar closed and he needed help to call a cab.

The screenplay is a project of the Texas Food Revolution, a group of renegade chefs who promote the use of food grown, produced or raised within 100-miles or closer of where a person is at.

The screenplay ends when the mayor of Brownsville, Texas declares a day to celebrate the Taquache, with the community promising not to kill North America’s only marsupial for one day within city limits. One year later,  Taquaches for Life is born, a not-for-profit organization that rescues babies from the pouches of their trapped mothers. After the mayor christened the day — to soon be known as Green Papaya Lantern Day — Taquaches quickly experienced a Darwinian mutation that allowed them to remain human-sized throughout the entire day of celebration, and their furs began to take on a glossy black, green and yellow hue, much like the color of The Green Lantern comic book hero’s outfit. Green papaya is at its peak season on the day of celebration, so the day’s title of Green Papaya Lantern Day is apt beyond the obvious reference to the title of the proposed film.

The Texas Food Revolution did not return repeated phone calls and emails seeking comment on the screenplay.

Green Papaya
Green Papaya
"El Tlacuache". Publicado por Juan Palomino
“El Tlacuache”. Publicado por Juan Palomino
The cover jacket of Alfonso Cuarón's _Mamá_También‎ Wikipedia Y Tu Mamá También ( And Your Mother Too)  2001.
The cover jacket of Alfonso Cuarón’s _Mamá_También‎
Wikipedia
Y Tu Mamá También ( And Your Mother Too) 2001.

Alfonso

 

Natchetno Salad

I generally enjoy savory breakfasts like big omelette piles. I don’t usually eat sweet unless I’m indulging in dessert and I usually wouldn’t consider a salad for my first meal of the day. Leave it to a creative TFR captain to push paradigms in delicious ways with something like a Natchetno salad.

Interesting origin: Sharon’s six year old daughter had woken up in the middle of the night and made herself a generous portion of Greek yogurt and honey that stayed in the fridge till morning. This dressing was the unexpected catalyst for today’s breakfast.

This bed of spinach topped with quinoa, yogurt, honey, and berries had the delight and fulfillment of sweet oatmeal, the nutrition and fiber of a salad, and the whole foods boost to start the day. This is certainly a recipe I’ll be repeating for myself an others.

Savoy Breakfast Taco

“I love the tacos, but…”
“I love sandwiches, but…”

Using Savoy cabbage, TFR Captain Sharon really pulled off a nice wrap. The cabbage is durable so as not to split like lettuce, and it actually holds a nice flavor when steamed a moment on the griddle. I’d prefer a savoy wrap over a tortilla any day.

Try growing this kind of cabbage, or find it at the market, and begin enjoying amazing nutritious wraps.

20140220-153321.jpg

Most of this is pretty self explanatory, but one little trick to get a nice Asian flavor from this wrap is coconut oil and grated ginger in your egg mix, yum!

Herb Trout on Quinoa

20140220-145142.jpg

20140220-145112.jpg

I have had the pleasure of staying with fellow Texas Food Revolutionary, Sharon Castillo, the past week. I have known Sharon for years, she is a powerful soul, a hungry mind, and a very dedicated and patient mother of two. In addition to being my fellow philosopher and autonomous comrade, she also believes fresh organic ingredients and an adventurous spirit are the only requisites to be a great chef.

“Whatcha in the mood for?” She asks her husband. “Let’s cook up that rainbow trout.”

And like many improvisations of Texas Food Revolutionaries, her creation was worth repeating with your own style in your own home. I moaned and fawned over her dish, rich in herbal flavors, healthy fats, and subtle spice tones. She dodged my praise, feeling that the cooking process is so natural she could hardly take credit.

Ingredients:
-Rainbow Trout Filets
-Fresh Sage
-Fresh Tarragon
-Grass Fed Butter
-Pink Salt
-Garlic Powder
-Quinoa
-Turmeric
-Cumin
-Ginger
-Avocado

Get the Quinoa started, as usual, 2 parts water to 1 part Quinoa. Add some butter and a little salt. Towards the end of the Quinoa’s cooking add Turmeric, cumin, and ginger powder(or fresh grated) to taste. This should take about 20 minutes.

On a skillet, melt a big tbsp of butter at a low medium heat and sautee the tarragon and sage leaves. Place the trout on top with skin still on. Season the trout with salt and garlic powder on top and then flip when half cooked. When the filets are fully cooked, place them aside and make sure not to waste any of the sauteed herbs in butter.

Place fish, herbs, sliced avocado on top of quinoa and enjoy the omega rich feast. This meal gave me energy and clarity for days and really made me feel warm in the new home.

Farmers’ Market Renovations

322946_2748730720405_1928120941_oIf there’s one thing important to TFR, it’s encouraging and promoting attendance at farmers’ markets, the frontline of the struggle to get healthy food in people’s bodies, and to reducing the outflow of chemicals into waterways.  We’ve taken the reigns of farmers’ markets from time to time and tripled attendance, while more than tripling sales for farmers. So if you’d like a little help getting the public to your farmers’ market, please get in touch with us and we’d be happy to start a plan.

Just shoot an email to southtexasnation@gmail.com with some brief info about your farmers’ market along with your website, facebook page, etc. if you already have those set up.