Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mom cautions daughter against ‘hot stuff’
I almost named my daughter Cayenne, because I love hot peppers so much.
I respect the advice against salting and peppering food before tasting it. Some say they could hire or not hire a person at a luncheon job interview because someone “assumed” the food needed seasonings without tasting first. This could be a sign of rash decision making.
But my daughter and I had to laugh when my mother chastised me for adding a generous sprinkle of crushed red pepper to my greens. “Oh, you have to taste it first,” she cried.
Jasmine (coulda-been-Cayenne) and I defended “But it’s salad,” in unison.
I assured her I meant to do that, figuring I was getting the metabolism boost experts say red pepper provides.

Try this:
Inspired by an infomercial, I tried something with what I had. I made an “ice cream” by blending banana with hot cocoa mix and a drop of imitation rum flavoring. Then I stuck it in the freezer for a few hours.
That was a delicious, healthy alternative to the real deal, and I gilded the lily by topping it with peanuts and cocoa nibs.

Brown rice and seaweed
I had a hunch these two things would work together and was just going to make some, but I thought I’d do a web search. I found plenty of ideas, and a blog by someone chastising a TV chef for pairing the flavors. The writer considered it so gross that wearing larger clothes and eating less healthy foods was preferable. I want to say this: If I could convince my husband to choose brown rice, anyone can change. It’s now something we both crave. We love the flavor and the health benefits.
So blogger, you should have tried my RiceSelect Texmati Brown Rice with Navitas Naturals Wakame Flakes. You might have liked it. We loved it.
Texmati comes in those boxy plastic jars that look so good in the pantry. I’ve got a new cooker with a brown rice setting that hasn’t failed me yet and I love this grown-in-the-USA product.
Texmati offers six new products, including pearl and whole wheat couscous, which I aim to share with you soon.
Wakame, grown in “pristine ocean waters of Tasmania and Patagonia,” is full of nutrition. The flakes are too hard to eat dry, but quickly soften into salty antioxidants to season soups, salads and Asian-inspired dishes. It’s great to keep in the pantry.

Goji goods
I’m still introducing people to little red goji berries from Ningxia Province, China. Apparently Asians have used them in herbal medicine for 5,000 years, but you know how we Americans are. Navitas Naturals sells them in a resealable packet so you can snack away wherever you are. The berries have a slightly sweet taste that’s subtle and refreshing. Goji makes a great tea, too.

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