Saturday, July 23, 2016

Polenta and Eggs, Pecan Salad

Home-grown Sprouts 101.

Sprouts are one of the healthiest, cheapest, and easiest foods to grow on your own. They are the ultimate “locally-grown” food. Sprouts are nutritionally dense foods. They contain 100 times more enzymes than most uncooked fruits and vegetables. Essential fatty acid content is increased through sprouting. When seeds are soaked and sprouted, their energy is released, providing amazing life force. Sprouts aid digestion, and they are alkalizing to the body, making them a “healing” food.

Sprouting is so easy to do from home. One of the most common and simplest ways to sprout from home is to use the mason jar method. I recommend using quality, organic sprouting seeds. The salad mix is usually the most flavorful. Measure about 2-3 tablespoons of seeds and pour into a well-cleaned mason jar. Pour filtered water over the top, and rinse several times. I use the sprouting screen lid to drain the jars. This minimizes the amount of potential seed loss that could occur. After rinsing, fill the jar with more filtered water, leaving about two inches from the opening free. Place the sprouting screen lid on top, and set aside to soak for about 12 hours. Rinse the seeds again, but this time place the sprouting screen lid on tight, and tilt upside down at an angle in a dish rack or something similar. Inverting the jar this way allows for it to properly drain and air to circulate within the jar. “Let the sprouting process begin!” The only thing left to do is to rinse the sprouts about 2 to 3 times per day, and continue to drain and leave inverted at an angle. The sprouts will begin to show and grow over the next few days. Once you are satisfied with the amount of sprout growth, rinse and drain one last time, then store your sprouts in a produce container in the refrigerator. They should keep fresh for a few days.

Sprouting 101

Now for a yummy, easy to make recipe, topped with delicious home-grown sprouts!

The recipe can be prepared as a gourmet lunch salad, or delicious late breakfast meal. It’s basically sliced polenta, with over-easy fried eggs, placed on top of mixed herbs, lettuce, and greens. Top it off with crushed pecans, a drizzle of maple syrup, and finish it with a bunch of yummy, crunchy, homemade sprouts!

Polenta and Eggs, Pecan Salad

Polenta and Eggs, Pecan Salad

½ package of prepared organic polenta (about 1/2lb or 9oz)
1 T coconut oil
1-2 T coconut spread or organic butter
2 organic brown hen eggs
½ cup chopped raw pecans
2-3 cups fresh mixed salad greens and herbs
½ cup to 1 cup fresh home-grown sprouts*
Organic Grade B maple syrup to taste

Melt coconut oil in a large non-stick pan over low to medium heat. Slice polenta into even slices, about ½” thick. Place polenta slices in pan and lightly cook on both sides till heated, and slightly browned. Remove from heat and place on plate lined with paper towels for draining. Drain pan of excess coconut oil. Add most of the coconut spread or butter to the hot pan. Crack eggs over pan, and cook and flip till “over easy”, just like a standard fried egg with slightly runny yolks. Ready to plate.

Place greens on plate, and top with hot polenta slices. Add a little butter to the polenta. Top with fried eggs and chopped pecans. Drizzle maple syrup to taste, and finish by topping dish with fresh home-grown sprouts. This is super yummy and fresh tasting. Enjoy!

*Prepared Polenta is traditional to Italian cooking. It’s an alternative to pasta, rice, and potatoes, and it pairs well with sauces and meats. Polenta is basically cornmeal that has been slowly simmered and stirred with chicken broth or water. It’s similar to grits, but thicker and denser as a finished product. Polenta is often seasoned with cheese and butter. Another way polenta is served is by chilling the cooked porridge in the shape of a roll. The roll is then sliced and pan-fried with a little butter or oil and seasoned accordingly. Prepared polenta rolls are available at most gourmet and natural grocery stores. One of my favorite brands is the Trader Joe’s organic polenta, but another brand that’s easy to find is San Gennaro Traditional Italian Polenta. Or, you can make your own from scratch.  Bob's RedMill Polenta Corn Grits is easy to prepare, and not too expensive.


Polenta, Pecans, with Micro Herbs

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