Monday, October 8, 2012

Mixed Grain Stirfry with Onions, Carrots and Greens

Sometimes when I cook rice I like to make it with a 3:1 ratio of another grain such as spelt, buckwheat groats, rye berries or hulled barley. Adding other grains brings variety and also extra nutrients.

Long grain brown rice with spelt.
Greens are an extremely important food, we should all try to eat more of them. Dark green leafy vegetables are super high in calcium as well as many other vitamins and minerals (and unlike dairy they have NO saturated fat or cholesterol, and they have an alkalizing rather than an acidifying affect on our blood). You can use any greens you want for this, but keep in mind that while all greens are high in calcium spinach, chard, and beet greens contain oxalic acid which hinders our ability to absorb calcium. A really cool thing about greens is that vitamin C aides in our body's ability to absorb calcium, and in her great wisdom mother nature endowed most leafy green vegetables with high levels of vitamin C (unlike dairy). Did you know that there are numerous studies showing that countries with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis? And countries with the lowest dairy consumption have the lowest levels of osteoporosis (and breast cancer!).

When I speak of acidic vs. alkaline blood what I am referring to is our blood's ph balance. Many studies have shown that disease thrives in blood with an acidic ph balance. We, therefore, want to eat foods that promote a slightly alkaline blood ph. Foods that promote alkaline blood include: brown rice, dark green leafy vegetables, burdock root, sea vegetables and citrus. Foods that promote an acidic blood ph include drugs (including prescription), alcohol, meat, dairy, caffeine, and worst of all, sugar. When we consume foods that acidify our blood our bones release calcium (and other precious minerals) into our bloodstream to bring its ph back to an alkaline state, which many believe is more responsible for osteoperosis than not getting enough calcium. Yet those brilliant (and well funded) marketing execs working for the dairy industry have managed to hoodwink us into believing we'll collapse into a pile of fractured hips if we don't drink cow's milk. Brilliant.

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. another oil (olive, canola, hot chili, etc.)
1 white or yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2-3 carrots, washed and sliced
4-5 c. cooked brown rice, with other grains if desired
1/4 c. shoyu or tamari
1 tsp. brown rice or ume plum vinegar
1/4 tsp. Chinese 5 spice powder and/or 1-2 Tbsp. vegan hoisin sauce
1-2 c. (really as much as you want) chopped greens, any kind

1) Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the onion & carrots and saute until they begin to brown 5-7 minutes.

2) Add the rice and then all of the other ingredients except for the greens and toss to mix. Cook for about 3 more minutes while tossing.

3) Add the greens and continue to saute until the greens are wilted (this will take longer for a hearty green like kale than it will for a tender green like spinach).

This can be garnished with brown or black sesame seeds, a little baked tofu, several Tbsp. of cooked beans, pickled vegetables such as beets or red onions, or whatever else your (healthy from vegan food) heart desires.

Serves about 4 with a little left over.

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