I’m leaving Florida for a visit to family and friends up in Chicago and Michigan. There are a couple of great events coming up. The first is a Juice Feast at Ronora Lodge in Watervliet, Michigan starting August 16th and going until the 19th. I recently was sent the preliminary schedule which looks to be really fun and informative. Immediately following the Feast is a Fest, Green Synergy Fest. It’s a raw food celebration featuring all sorts of raw food inspirational peeps from Aug 20-22nd. As in the past, each time I’ve left Florida during the summer we’ve had some hurricanes and tropical storms that kicked up some good surf. I’m hoping Mother Nature can hold off until I get back at the end of the month.
Enjoy this recipe which combines some unlikely summer produce, The Mango Okra Salad:
Snakes alive and caterpillars too! With the heat of summer all the cold blooded critters are coming out. I recently had my share of snake medicine from the many slithering friends who have crossed my path. I’m a big fan of snakes, lizards, turtles… I dig all animals but I especially like reptiles. I have a feeling I was a marine iguana in another life. You know, swimming in the ocean, eating seaweed, blowing salt out of your nose. Anyway, here are some pictures of the wild life I’ve captured on camera and in my hand.
Yellow Rat Snake – A common snake in the South, non-venomous constrictor that eats small rodents. They’re very docile as you can see which makes them an ideal choice as a pet, similar to the red rat snake/corn snake. This fellow was crossing a dirt parking lot when I snapped these pictures. It just kept coming towards me with out a care. I had to come back and rescue it from a police officer that was trying to pick it up using a long pole. Not having any luck I told him to let me try. I just picked up the snake. It was so mellow that it let me snap a couple pictures before I put it down in the bushes. I found it surprising that the police officers had no idea what kind of snake it was or if it was poisonous. Just goes to show what seems like common knowledge most common people don’t know.
Black Racer – Common in the East and their range extends as far north as Wisconsin and Michigan. These guys are fast as the name implies. I didn’t bother trying to pick this one up though I have caught them by hand in the past. They will bite and they release a stinky musk from their anal gland. No fun at all, it takes days to wash the smell off.
Painted Turtle or Cooter – Super common. They live in ditches, ponds and lakes. Folks fishing with dead bait often think they’ve caught a cinder block but it’s usually a turtle. Cooters and Painted Turtles look very similar and they can be distinguished by the coloration on their face and shell. This guys shell was covered in algae so I’m not sure which kind it was.
Gopher Tortoise – These guys are super cool burrow digging vegetarians. One thing that is unique about them is that they dig a huge burrow unlike most other tortoises. The burrow not only houses the tortoise but it is home to dozens of other creatures… not at the same time of course. Snakes will often share a den with gopher tortoises and critters like opossums and armadillos will move into abandoned dens. They live in wooded areas and in coastal sand dunes. They also love eating prickly pear cactus fruits just like me. Gopher tortoises were consumed during the depression era. They are now a protected species in Florida.
Giant Swallow Tail Caterpillar – This guy caught me by surprise and though I only have pictures of one of them, there were 3 in this little citrus tree when I first saw them. They look like little snakes. I snapped some pictures and then did a quick google search for “snake caterpillar”. It took some time to find the perfect match and when I found a site that referenced it as an “orange dog” because of their love of citrus, I knew I had found the one. Man do they love citrus. The leaves of my little tree had been shredded from their feeding. Another thing I came across and had to test out is that if you poke them they’ll emit an odor which I found more familiar than unpleasant. I still can’t figure out where I know the smell from, it’s kinda like a bitter perfume. Also when you poke them they shoot out 2 bright red antennae. It’s super cool, kinda like a snakes tongue, but not really. Nature is amazing. Unfortunately after 2 days on the citrus tree the caterpillars all went MIA. I’m guessing they ran off to become butterflies.
Here’s a fun summer recipe that uses raw corn on the cob. It’s an homage to treat I used to get from Mexican food vendors on the street up in Chicago. It’s called elotes but I call it corn in a cup.
2 ears of corn – cut from cob and place in a bowl
1/2 C cashews – soaked
1/2 C sunflower seeds – soaked
2 T nutritional yeast
2 T water
1 t chili powder
1/4 C lemon juice
1/2 C olive oil
1 t tamari
1 t salt – salt to taste
Place all the above ingredients in the blend or food processor and blend smooth to make a cheese. Adjust flavor to suit taste. Add water if necessary to thin. Mix in with the corn. Sprinkle paprika on top and decorate with fresh cilantro.
I also made the decision to charge $6 to download the ebook. This will help to keep my cupboards stocked with goji berries and spirulina. I hope most of you took the opportunity to download it for free. When I’m not working on this self-publishing endeavor I’ve been moving forward with my other recipe book, “The Live Food Experience: Book 1”. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when it is available.
Did you hear that Oprah Winfrey is giving away a talk show? Yes Oprah is having a contest on her “My Own” website in which people submit ideas for their own talk show. Watch my submission and give it a vote, maybe we can get a truly health conscious show on TV. It’s a long shot but crazier things have happened.
No post is complete without a tasty recipe…
Summer Sea Veggie Salad
1/4 C dry dulse
1/4 C dry hiziki
1 medium sized sweet onion – diced
1 yellow squash or zucchini – diced
1 apple – matchstick cut
1 avocado – cubed
4 celery sticks – diced
1 t lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/4 t Himalayan salt
2 T chick pea miso or other unpasteurized miso
2 T olive oil
2 t tamari
2 t apple cider vinegar
1 t red pepper paste
Place sea veggies in a bowl and soak for 30 minutes.
Cut the onion and lightly salt. Set aside in a small bowl.
Prepare other ingredients by hand or use a mandolin to slice. Place in large bowl.
Add onions to larger bowl.
Rinse sea vegetables and add to large bowl.
Prepare sauce in a blender or hand mix in bowl or jar. Pour over salad and serve.
All those folks with their milk mustache got it all wrong. The statistics regarding the consumption of pasteurized dairy and the incidence of osteoporosis and other chronic diseases paint a pretty clear picture… “milk doesn’t do the body good“. The milk I’m talking about is factory farmed, mechanically extracted, puss laden, pasteurized milk.
What’s a healthy calcium source you ask? KALE. Yes that fibrous leafy green that is used for a decoration on your plate in upscale restaurants. In many cases it’s the only thing on the plate that is safe for human consumption. Kale is your friend. It’s a mineral rich leafy green that can change your life if you give it a chance.
The trick to kale is knowing how to prepare it and that trick is “massaging” it. The procedure goes as follows:
Rinse the kale and shake off the excess water.
Stem the kale and place the leafy pieces in a large bowl.
Lightly salt the kale. Add about a 1/2 teaspoon per bunch.
Now massage the kale. Don’t be gentle, kale likes it rough. Rip it, squeeze it, rub it together, crinkle it up.
You know you’re done when the kale becomes shiny and wilted. Eventually it will give off an earthy smell.
Allow the kale to sit for 20 minutes and prepare other veggies to add to your kale salad.
You can squeeze some lemon juice or add some apple cider vinegar and massage it in. Drizzle your favorite cold pressed oil on top of your salad.
Some great additions to a kale salad are: avocado, carrot, celery, apple, tomatoes and bell peppers. The creation below has carrot, purple cabbage, marinated onions and green onions. I made a dressing with chickpea miso, tamari, hemp oil and apple cider vinegar. The picture was taken moments before I dumped a tablespoon of spirulina on my salad… mmmmm, spirulina.