Monday, November 15, 2010

Salad Time baby rocket aragula

Just to give the bagged salad another chance I got a bag of unwashed baby aragula to try it out last week. The sales person showed me his product and as you can see it was labeled pesticide free, and unwashed. Both are good indicators, since A no chlorine soak at the factory and B no pesticides (re:nervous poisons) during plant growth and development. It seemed good on paper so i gave it a go...
And was very disappointed. Its possible that it just didn't keep well in my fridge overnight since it was a bit wilted when I served it, but even then it was too bitter. It tasted flat and bitter, not to mention it had bad texture.

I would suggest you buy leafy salad veg from Rustance Fresh. There are a couple of organic brands, clearly marked and labeled as organic in the fresh veg area. Either brand is only 50PHP. "Zacky's Farm" brand I have mentioned before is very good. The flavor is good and when i eat it i can feel that my body LIKES it and thinks its good for me.

Zackys farm is located in Tagaytay, they used to sell at Market!Market! I particularly like this brand because they provide fresh quality herbs, at reasonable (30-60PHP thats .75 - 1USD) prices and it is a relatively new and small company (re: not overly commercialized). I like to support sustainable, and non commercialized products and companies. I hope you do too, since they provide a good service. You can find out morehere at Market Manila's post on Zacky's Farm.

Check out Making your own pre-washed salad and Making your own veg wash.

Crisp salad, every time! Prewash your own salad.

You will need:
Your prefered salad leaves
Herbs you enjoy

A salad spinner, for crisp veggies.
Vegetable washing solution
  • (try 1tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, and 1 cup cold water in a spray bottle. There are other varriants of vinegar, lemon juice, and basking soda wash recipies available on the net.)
1. Wash
  • Spray the leafy veg with your vegetable wash.
  • leave for 3-5 min
  • rinse off or soak (if carrots or potatoes, they take a while)
  • let drain in a colander for 1-2 min.
2. Spin
  • When the cleaning agent has been washed off, place your leaves in a salad spinner and spin.
  • This is crucial for good salad, the veg will absorb the excess water that doesnt drip off and will be soggy if you dont spin it.
3. Chill & Store
  • Line a container with a paper towel (use PET plastic or PET density varriants, glass or BPA free plastic please, unless you want plastic toxins and chemicals seeping into your food)
  • Keep chilled in your refridgerator's crisper (the bottom pull out bin).

It should keep a week. and you took care of the hassle ahead of time.
And thats it, easy 1-2-3 your own stock of nutritional veg, waiting for mealtimes. Just take the hassle out of the way ahead of time.

Be sure to use unwashed, fresh, loose (non-vaccum sealed) packed leafy veggies. Usualy i wash a couple packages at the same time, since its just Mr. Catfish and I this lasts us a week to a week and a half. You can definitely adjust this amount to three packages (for 3-4 people, 2 salads a day for 3-5days) or five (for 6 people and above 2 salads a day for 3 days). The amount you make really depends on how much your family or guests like salad.

I like leafy lettuce and aragula, if i'm bored with it i add some fresh basil or rosemary to the wash bin. You can serve it as is leaves and herb with some dressing or add more veg to it. Sometimes I add cucumber, olives and capers or onions to it before serving. Try your own combo of leaves and herbs and tell us about it!

Check out making your own salad dressing.

Why pre-bagged salad is bad for you.

Bagged leafy veg is misconceived as healthy for you when it's actually toxic! Many of the mass produced conveniently bagged salads are pre-washed, thats why they are so convenient. You aren't told though that the veg is washed in chlorine. Doesn't sound so bad? It's a helpful chemical for cleaning and home maintenance. Remember you use it to kill microbes and keep the bugs out - which die when they get into chlorinated water. Chlorinated water also kills plants, so how would it affect you? Chlorine is a poison, the gas of which was also used in warfare as a poison.

The best way to support services you appreciate or want to see more of is to put your money into it. Economically speaking if people do not buy an item, the item will either lower in price or no longer be sold, however if people buy the item it will be made more available. Lets support smaller non commercialized and sustainable buys from companies that care about the consumer's wellbeing.

So the next time you see a bag of salad... just say no.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

SM Organics

Stumbling into SM supermarket's organic section was a pleasant surprise. SM organics are priced well for organics and depending on the item it can be anywhere from a third to half the price of its counter part at Rustance fresh. Rustance produce keeps longer and is isn't as shocked by the change of temperatures during transport. Some of my SM organic section purchases have had a bit of spoiling or partial softening, but you can cut it right off and keep the extra savings.

They have carrots, cucumber (both white and green, the white is just a bit sweeter and crisper), bell peppers, celery, cherry tomatoes, squash cabbage, chinese cabbage, broccoli, baby corn, and lemon grass. The produce is affordably priced - the baby corn and squash is at just 17 pesos, two pieces of carrots or a bundle of celery is 20 plus pesos, a bundle of three cucumbers of either variety is 50 pesos and so on.

There is a bit more than that, but off the top of my head thats what I remember. There are herbs and bagged salad leaves right after it. Don't get tricked by bagged salads though! (more on this in the next post). There are several publications that have discussed the "dirty dozen" and its clean counterparts. Most of the dirty dozen is made available at the SM grocery stores.

Check out the dirty dozen.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bug fix 1.0

This blog was initially intended to be on observing cultures, cliques, and hallyu. However it has not lived up to this purpose, but rather has ended up being a 'dump' for the recent cooking odds and ends i have picked up.

The bottom line is this, i collect hobbies, and skills. Aside from this i have many interests, so this will now be my web haunt dump for all of this. There isnt really a following of any sort here - its just a semi dilapidated and unvisited dank corner of the net-verse, so i have the liberty to do what i want without anyone expecting anything from it.

In the event that a soul does brave these parts, i have streamlined the labels. So just pick a topic of interest at the side and read on. Or you can read it chrnologically and trace a hobby ebb to another's flow. Do what you like, i will.