If you’ve been cooking our recipes here on Nourish Network, you’ve probably noticed that the vast majority of them have no measurement when it comes to salt; only ‘sea salt’ listed in the ingredients. The reason is two-fold. First, range of preference varies widely when it comes to how heavily to salt a dish. Second, I’m more interested in encouraging people to wisely discern how much salt suits both their taste and needs than dictate how much to use in a single dish.
It’s March first and, maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the year is already zooming by. Ironically, well before the year began I had slated March to be a time when we slowed down here on Nourish Network. Not in the sense of fewer posts or reigned in momentum, but in terms of taking a big breath and diving deeper. Into why fresh, seasonal sustainably-farmed, -caught and -raised food tastes better and is better for our bodies and the earth. Into how our communities are strengthened and nourished when we choose to eat these foods (and, by contrast, are depleted when we don’t). Into where the choices we make at the grocery store, as isolated as they may seem, really do have an impact on things like national health care; global warming; the obesity crisis and hunger in developing nations.
Truth is, if you want to learn more about how to use an ingredient or find a substitution, you’ll probably start with the Internet. My first stop is The Cook’s Thesaurus, a site I learned about a few years ago from a colleague. It has a homey, unfussy design, a vast range of reliable food information, and great navigation. I’ve consulted it on my iPhone while at the farmers’ market and when I needed to make substitutions on the fly in a busy pastry kitchen. It’s rare that I don’t find what I seek in The Cook’s Thesaurus, and every time, I’m impressed anew by the site’s breadth and depth.
Years back, my mother took a Chinese cooking course and learned this recipe. Our family, including my husband now, has loved it for years. Napa cabbage is terrific this time of year. A vegetarian version is simple to make by subbing the pork with black mushrooms and slivered carrots. And remember, practice makes perfect and imperfect still tastes wonderful, so have fun.
It seems talk about flax—both flax oil and ground flaxseed—heats up and cools down at various intervals. There’s no question, flax is an incredibly nutritious food. But no matter what the buzz of the moment, it’s important to understand that flaxseed and the oil pressed from those seeds bring different benefits to our bodies.