The lovely people at Robert Rose Inc. sent me the book The 8-Week Healthy Skin Diet (by Karen Fischer) to review. Although the book was provided to me at no charge, all thoughts and opinions on this book are my own, and I was under no obligation to review it. I've read many nutritional books, but I found that I still learned new things while reading this book. I was constantly making little notes in the margins, which I rarely do. This is a very user-friendly book. FAQs, charts, questionnaires and diagrams. I look forward to trying the recipes in this book, and like that they include easy-to-find ingredients, many of which I have on hand all the time. Also provided with each recipe is a breakdown of the nutritional information. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who would like to improve their complexion, or maintain healthy skin. If you'd like to read more about the book or buy it, check here.
I am visiting my friend Holly in Santa Cruz and one of the things that we buy a lot at the local health food store, New Leaf, is their delicious Kale Salad. It has a lovely light lemony flavor, the kale is tender and the there are lots of seeds to give it crunch and some red onion for a little zing. I couldn't figure out what the special flavor was and I found out that the secret ingredient is Bragg's Liquid Aminos. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a seasoning sauce that is very much like Tamari or Soy Sauce and those can be substituted if you don't have any. When the Bragg's is combined with lemon juice and a bit of sugar, it makes a wonderful dressing. Kale of course is very healthy for you, but I am one of those people who don't really like it steamed all that much. I do like it in Caldo Verde (a previous post) but otherwise, I like it barely stir fried with garlic. But I do love the New Leaf salad and really wanted to make it.
Seeing is believing. Open your Google Earth and have a look at what is really going on in China from above. Western media won’t normally tell you about this. I will guide you through and point you where to look at. Our first destination is the coastal area in Fujian province. If we zoom in, we can find millions of floating houses and cages on the sea surface. If you look around the coastline from Zhejiang province to Guangdong province along the 1000 miles, you can see those floating cages are virtually “everywhere”. They are actually Chinese “seafood farms”. Instead of going out to the oceans and catching wild seafood, why not stay in the same place and raise your own seafood? It is not just sea or ocean waters that are being farmed, Chinese farmers find any possible open water such as reservoirs, rivers, lakes for farming their seafood/freshwater food. Imagine each of the cages contains tens of fishes and crabs. That’s A LOT of FISH! So how much seafood does China consume? As we know, both China and India have a similar population but China consumes 12 times more seafood than India, despite the fact that India is in a better geographical position surrounded by warmer oceans in a tropical fishing-rich region. Among the 65 million tonnes of seafood consumed in China, only 15 million tonnes are caught from the wild, the rest of 50 million tonnes are all raised by aquaculture “farming”. In contrast, 90% of Japanese seafood consumption is from wild catch. Thanks to seafood farming, normal Chinese families can afford cheap seafood in their daily meal. This is a typical family get-together dinner settings: You can see lots of them are seafood! This vlog shows how a bigger Chinese family enjoys steamed seafood.
My mother used to tap the "eyes" of the coconut at one end to find out if they were fresh. Another thing she did was to shake them to feel how much water is inside - the more there is sloshing around, the fresher the coconut. Or so I imagined. I still dont know how exactly she determines the tenderness of the coconut, but as far as I'm concerned, I only know that a coconut is rotting when the "eyes" are actually squishy to the touch. Short of that, I havent a clue. Which, I guess, is why coconut rice hasnt been on my agenda much. Non-tender coconut flesh, when grated or shredded, tastes an awful lot like wood shavings. You can chew and chew and chew until your mouth is dry, but swallowing is not an option because you just KNOW that it will all stick halfway down your gullet if you make the attempt to ingest it. Anyway, coconut rice is the simplest of recipes to make, if you have cooked rice and freshly grated or shredded coconut at had. I dont think the dry stuff would work well here and I'm not going to attempt it ever. As far as I know, coconut rice is not an everyday dish - it wasnt at home, at any rate.