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Hot Days, Cool Meals

Homemade Yogurt Cheese, Zucchini Ribbons and Tomato Salad
Serves 4
For the yogurt cheese:
32 ounce container quality natural plain yogurt
( Stoneyfield Farms or Seven  StarsFarms)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
about 1 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

To make yogurt cheese:
If you don’t own a yogurt strainer, line a strainer with  a large unbleached (natural) coffee filter. Place the strainer in a bowl to catch of all the whey. Pour the entire 32 oz of yogurt in and cover loosely with natural paper towel. Place a plate on top to weight down and speed up process. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

Save the whey to use as a culture starter for the Ginger Fermented Asian Cabbage.

Salt and pepper the cheese to taste and mix well. Using a melon baller or tablespoon, mold the yogurt cheese into small rounds and place in a flat layer in a glass storage container. Mix the garlic and olive oil and pour over the cheese. You are now ready to let flavors “meld” in the ‘fridge. Cover and let season overnight.

To assemble the salad:
Arrange the zucchini ribbons and the tomato on a platter. Place the balls of cheese on as desired. Sprinkle with fresh basil and oregano and drizzle with some of the garlic olive oil from the cheese.


Ginger Fermented Asian Cabbage

If you’ve heard some rumblings of acid verses alkaline states of the body
take head and learn all that you can because a neutrally based system is a healthy system. The far side of the scale leaning towards acidic may bring about many diseases primarily based on inflammation. The term, “Living Foods” is the key. 

Walter Zeichner explains it nicely:

You and I, all humans, live in symbiotic relationship with countless micro-organisms. They're on the surface of our skin and they're inside us. All food and drink that we take into our bodies has micro-organisms in it. We ingest a variety of food and drink which are intentionally fermented or cultured in some way courtesy of friendly micro-organisms. Some of the more common such items are beer, bread, yogurt, cheese, and tempeh

In the old days of the US acid/alkaline balancing foods were derived from cultured buttermilk or naturally fermented sauerkraut. Our ancestors actually practiced this way of keeping foods alive while preserving them. Cucumbers, beets and turnips were typically fermented in Europe. The Slavic countries have varieties of naturally fermented beet juice.  In Russia and Poland, green tomatoes, peppers and lettuces were favorite cultured foods.  Ketchup, chocolate, coffee and tea were also originally fermented foods. The Asian countries have fermented soy or other fermented grain pastes called, Miso or the salty condiment: soy or tamari . Korea has kimchee which has come to the foreground recently as a deterrent for Bird Flu.

Ginger Fermented Asian Cabbage
For the cabbage:

drained whey from 32 ounce container natural plain yogurt (the yogurt is used to make the yogurt cheese-above recipe)
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 small to medium head cabbage, shredded
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh peeled and grated ginger
fermented brewed Tamari (such as San J brand)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Make sure to allow enough time to drain the yogurt. At room temperature, it will take about 6 hours but you will probably want to drain it in the refrigerater.

Corn-Bread Panzanella
Serves 4

If corn hasn’t quite peaked yet, you can enjoy the essence by way of cornbread in this American twist on an Italian standard.

2 cups corn bread cubes, toasted
2 cups chopped tomato
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
olive oil
chopped basil
a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar

Toss toasted cubes of corn bread with chopped tomato, cucumber, green pepper, red pepper, red onions, olive oil, chopped basil and a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar. Or use toasted country bread or ciabatta.

Clever Beer Gazpacho
Serves 6

The no-cook chilled gazpacho is virtually prep and appliance free but tastes fresh and homemade. If cooler weather is in store you may want to serve this as a hot soup trading out diced yellow bell pepper for the cucumber.

2 cups fresh diced tomato
1 1/2 cups diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced scallion
juice from 1 fresh lime
1  cup  flavorful beer
1/2  cup  salsa of choice, not too spicy
1  cup vegetable juice cocktail
Garnish : sour cream, lime slices and scallion green "shreds"

In a large bowl, place the salsa, cucumber, scallions,  and lime juice.  Pour in enough beer and juice to make a chunky slightly thick soup.  A few ice cubes can be stirred in until melted to chill soup if ingredients had not been chilled beforehand.  Serve immediately or refrigerate to allow flavors to blend. Add garnish to each individual bowl.

Recipes from “Cook For Life Balance” by Rita Calvert


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That KimChi sounds super yummy! I love good kimchi

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