Posts Tagged ‘organic’

Quick – Print Now! The Shopping List to Save Your Life!

Here is your shopping list.  Please buy the highest quality, in season, organic foods wherever possible.

Vine tomatoes
Greens – 3 types – Kale / Collard Greens / Chard / Bok Choy
Pumpkin / squash / gourds
Green beans
Sweet potato
Courgette / Zucchini
Fresh chili peppers
3-4 Lemons
2-3 Limes
Corn if in season
Low sodium V8

Indigenous in-season fruits – apples, peaches, pears, plums, etc.
Raisins / Sultanas
Melons – honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon

Dried Apricots

Unsweetened coconut juice

Crab sticks / kamabako “surimi”
Dolphin friendly tuna in spring water
2-3 varieties white fish
Octopus  / squid / scungilli
Mackerel (smoked or fresh)
Sardines (fresh or canned)
One whole fish if desired

One whole organic chicken

Wholemeal or Gluten-Free Bread
Brown rice
Pearl barley
Red Camargue rice
Wild rice
Oat groats
Mung bean or rice vermicelli (Asian glass noodles)

Unsweetened soy milk, rice milk, oat milk

Skim / fat free dairy milk
Non-fat PLAIN yogurt

Bran flakes
Spelt flakes or
Gluten-free flakes

Porridge oats / uncooked oatmeal with NO additives

4-seed mix (sunflower / pumpkin / flax / hemp / linseed, etc.)

Extra virgin olive oil
Organic honey
Sea salt
Fresh black pepper
Tamari soy sauce
Brown rice vinegar
Roasted / toasted sesame seeds
Balsamic vinegar

Chicken stock cube – organic, low sodium
Dijon or other French style mustard

Tea bags – Green, Jasmine Green, Rooibos (Red Bush), Peppermint
Coffee (not instant)

Barley miso
Brown rice miso
Tofu (Nigari)

Dried or canned chick peas, kidney beans, lentils, cannellini beans, flageolet, borlotti
Canned plum tomatoes


Vegetarians! Are you eating Vegetables?

If you are a vegetarian and overweight or at all unhealthy, constipated, or have a preventable disease, I suspect you are eating many of the foods I recommend trying to quit or radically reduce, and probably lots of “good fats” too. 

You may not be eating animal foods, but you’re probably not eating an incredible amount of fresh fruit and vegetables either.  Am I right? 

Also beware, many vegetarian processed foods are pretty dubious – some vegetarian sausages and veggie-burgers are filled with really bad ingredients. 

Please please please, do not eat processed, pre-packaged vegetarian foods unless you have complete and total confidence in your ability to read labels. 

Try to go for foods with ONE ingredient – themselves, and do your own cooking.

Many vegetarian restaurants and dishes are good, many are bad.  Like everyone else, vegetarians need to understand how these foods are prepared and if there are any bad ingredients or if they are soaked in vegetable oil, etc.

Dairy fat is a big temptation for lacto-ovo vegetarians, but I don’t quite understand how consuming lots of dairy makes any sense for anyone who is very concerned about the welfare of animals

If you must have dairy, you should make it organic and fat-free, and limit your intake of diary to once a day maximum. 

If you have not experimented with light soy and oat or rice-based drinks instead of dairy milk, please do so.  These are superb alternatives, provided they don’t contain sugar. 

Additionally, many vegetarians simply do not get enough high value protein in a lean and concentrated form, therefore they wind up hungry, and noshing on bad carbs. 

If you exercise a lot, or are in a weak state of health, you must ensure you are getting good high value proteins.  Soy is a good solution, so ensure you are getting enough. 

Make sure you are eating “integrated” foods – protein/ carbohydrates such as pulses and legumes, and ensure you are eating lots of different types of organic grains, fruits, vegetables, soy products such as tofu and edamame, and that you also are cooking with soybeans like any other pulse or bean.  Variety is key if you are vegetarian.

If you are celebrating vegetable plant life with your vegetarian diet, that is absolutely wonderful – ensure to celebrate the full spectrum and spend lots of time in the fresh produce section of your supermarket – where the fruit and vegetables are! 

You may wish to consider eating organic, wild fish from time to time, but that’s down to you.  If not a little fish, perhaps a few organic eggs.  Organic eggs are excellent sources of protein.  I believe it is better to eat organic fish and eggs than dairy products.

If you are vegetarian, Macrobiotics can be the solution for life-long health.  If you’re a passionate vegetarian I encourage you to explore the philosophy and methods of the Macrobiotic diet.  It is truly a celebration of plant foods, and will teach you about food combinations and ingredients, as well as a whole integrated philosophy about eating well. 

You may not think you are killing an animal, but ensure you’re not killing yourself either!

Love to you all!
La Libertini

Why Organic?

Why Organic?

My simple answer to this is – why not?  If you have a choice, why would you choose the non-organic?  It is not a mystery – organic food tastes better and retains more of its naturally found nutrients. 

I don’t want to eat food that’s been reared or grown in an environment that is ridden with inorganic compounds – fertilizers, pesticides, hormones or whatever  the manufacturer or farmer has used to get the goods to market in a hastened or unnatural way.  It really is that simple. 

I think there will come a day when we look back on non-organic food and see it as just a phase that we went through in a post-industrialized world.  A phase that thankfully ended. 

For now, we should be demanding full digital disclosure on the barcodes of all food labels – organic or not. 

If the manufacturer can’t fit lots of information on the package, we should be able to enter a barcode online at home and get all the information about the production and/or growing processes. (Clothes too for that matter…) 

This way, we could have the correct information about what we are buying and can make the best, most informed choice. 

If you are a convert, please tell others about the goodness of organic foods.  Cook with them, tell people where to find them, and discuss the quality of organic foods with anyone who wants to know.

If you are worried about the cost, it may be worth doing a real comparison shop.  I think you will find the cost is not that different. 

And think not only about the cost to your health from eating inorganic compounds.  Think about being efficient with your food, not wasting your money on processed foods or foods you don’t need, and even growing your own garden. 

Start an organic garden – for you and your kids

If you have the space, try growing your own vegetables, herbs and even fruit.  There is no greater testament to organic, than to taste food that you have grown organically in your own back yard. 

There are many rather large suburban gardens that in summertime, could be heaving with fresh produce.  Yet, we go back and forth to the supermarket to buy what we could have grown, essentially for free. 

For children, taking part in the activities of a garden is educational and a truly wholesome way to spend time. 

Many urban areas have schemes for land-sharing and allotments.  Some are easier to join than others.  If this appeals to you, why not get involved?

Love to you all!
La Libertini

Cleansing and Detoxifying Fish Pho with Greens

Fish Pho With Greens

A Pho, pronounced “phuh” is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine.  It is normally made with beef stock, but this is a much lighter version using fish and greens.  You could even omit the fish if you are fasting or are a vegetarian.

The Pho is a wonderful staple at any time of the year.  Its great in summer when you need something filling but don’t want to be around a hot stove for too long.

The idea is to add some raw and some cooked ingredients to hot miso or chicken stock. Experiment with greens, onions, garlic, ginger, hot pepper, mushrooms, fennel, etc. to taste.

Serves 1

You’ll need:

  • Chinese mushrooms (dry)
  • Fish balls / shrimp / tilapia or any NON-OILY fish such as cod, halibut, snapper, bass, etc.
  • Mung bean (glass) vermicelli noodles (optional)
  • Broccoli rabe or any other dark green leafy vegetable
  • Rocket / arugula
  • Fennel
  • Miso base OR organic low sodium chicken stock (cubes are fine)
  • Red hot chili peppers
  • Ginger
  • Optional greens are spinach leaves, basil, mint, cilantro
  • Optional onions are chopped scallions, onions

If your mushrooms are dried, soak these for half an hour or until soft. Remove stalk and slice mushroom caps thinly.

Steam or blanch all the other ingredients, apart from the mung bean noodles and any “instantly cooking” greens like spinach or rocket, or your herbs.

If you are using a white fish, you can grill this or steam it separately if you like.

Noodles need to be boiled for about a minute separately. Drain noodles, rinse under cold water.

In an empty saucepan, place 1 tablespoon miso soup base (use brown, red or white miso).  Add 16 oz of water and stir to dissolve paste. You can also use organic chicken stock by cube.

Add noodles, sliced mushrooms, greens, fish balls, shrimp or other white fish, and simmer for a minute or so to return them to temperature.

At the last minute, add any “instant cooking” greens or leaves and if desired a small handful of chopped coriander leaves.

Pour into bowl, sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and enjoy.

The Best Tofu

When I read about nigari tofu in Aveline Kushi’s book, The Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking, I knew why so many of my previous experiences of tofu had not always been great.

And I finally found some nigari tofu at The Organic on Clifton Road in Maida Vale, made by a company called Dragonfly.

Nigari is the residue that remains after sea salt is extracted from seawater.  Highly concentrated, it is rich in minerals such as magnesium and iron.  The taste is totally different to that of silken tofu, which you could not consider using in this recipe.  Your tofu must be organic, and solidified in the traditional way, with nigari.

Tofu Feast
Get a steamer rack ready and hot.  You should steam the tofu over water, you can add a few inches of kombu to the steaming water if you wish – this not only creates a delicious stock but imparts a delicious flavour to the tofu.

Slice one approximately 250 gram block of tofu in half, so you have two thinner pieces.

Finely mince 4-5 spring onions (or scallions) and a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger.

Lay the tofu onto the steamer rack, sprinkle lighly with Jurassic salt, and liberally pile the ginger and scallion mix on top of it.  Sprinkle a further pinch of Jurassic salt on top. Cover with lid and steam for 15 minutes.

Serve by dividing each slice of tofu again into 4 cubes, so that you have 8 smaller pieces of tofu in total.

A little brown rice vinegar can be added, but just a touch. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds as desired.

In our view, tofu is best served and appreciated with macrobiotic accompaniments. These would be brown rice, pearl barley, or Nishime style vegetables.

Nishime Style Vegetables
Take any three of of turnip, carrot, leek, fennel, radishes, daikon, purple sprouting broccoli, pumpkin, shallot, swede, beetroot, cauliflower, etc.

Peel and chop into larger bite-size pieces.

Take one sheet of kombu, cut into 3-inch slices and place in the bottom of a pan.  Arrange the vegetables on top of the kombu, adding enough water to come just halfway up the height of the vegetables.

Sprinkle with Jurassic salt and a dash of sesame oil.  Place a tight-fitting lid on and gently simmer until the vegetables are tender.  This should take no more than 15 minutes, but check after 10 minutes for tenderness, and to also ensure pan has not boiled dry.

Once cooked, put vegetables and remaining stock into a bowl, sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and just a touch more Jurassic salt if required.

Remove the kombu and chop into very fine ribbons (chiffonade).  Sprinkle with a tiny bit of tamari soy sauce, some brown rice vinegar and roasted sesame seeds as desired.

We also like to eat the above feast with umeboshi plums and hijiki.  Delicious.