You know what I love about living on the West Coast? Our accessible farms. I love the fact that I can head to our local farmers market or farm and pick up fresh produce that is grown locally. I try to buy eggs that comes from local farms. I will support our local farmers as much as possible and buy free-range chicken and pork whenever possible. And if you’ve been reading my blog for the last month or so, you know that I get a lot of wild meat like moose and deer from my dad and brother. I cannot even recall the last time I bought beef from the supermarket. Most importantly, I try to inform myself about where my food comes from. When I got home from work this afternoon, I happened to catch the Oprah Show. Her topic today was “The Vegan Challenge”. This meant no meat, no milk, no animal anything for her and her staffers for one week. Her guests today were Michael Pollan, a best-selling author and food advocate and Kathy Freston, the “Veganist”. I thought I’d highlight a few interesting facts I heard on today’s show. Keep in mind that these facts are American, but I’m sure us Canadians aren’t much different.
“ We have more access to food than ever before, but the American diet has become a catastrophe. 75% of our healthcare spending is on chronic diseases linked to diet”.
“It’s not just the high amount of calories we’re consuming that are hurting us. It’s the types of foods we’re eating – like processed foods and refined carbohydrates.”
“Our diet has changed more in the last 100 years than in the last 10,000.”
“According to the USDA, Americans eat nearly 10 billion animals each year, including 33 million cows. If you make the choice to eat meat, you should know how it’s produced.”
So what is the moral of the story? Let’s try to eat less processed and refined foods, more natural foods, and be more conscious about where our food comes from. If you have local farms in your area, support those farmers that are doing an awesome job.
SPINACH AND CHEESE STUFFED RICE BALLS
I’ve craving these for some time now and I wish I could say they turned out the way I had hoped, but they did not. My rice balls were not a complete failure, nor were they a complete success. I am happy to report though that they tasted AWESOME. I’m going to have to think about how I can tweak this recipe so that they don’t fall apart during the cooking process.
- 2 cups cooked rice (arborio or sushi rice)
- 4 eggs (seperated)
- about 2 cups grated cheese (Dill Havarti, Edam, sharp cheddar, smoked mozzarella…)
- about 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
- some fresh chopped thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 cups of GF breading ( I used GF Rice Crackers)
The first thing you want to do is cook the rice and allow to cool. You can prepare the cheese filling at this time.
Combine grated cheeses, spinach and chopped thyme.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the cheese and mix well to combine.
When the rice is cold, add 1 egg and mix well with rice. Now you also want to prepare the coating. I made my own breadcrumb mixture by using these GF Crackers.
I put the crackers into my food processor and ground until fine crumbs.
Now I created my assembly line. In bowls from right to left are: cheese filling, Sorghum Flour, 2 beaten eggs, cracker crumbs and of course the rice in the back.
Now to create your rice balls. Make sure you have your tap running slightly with cold water to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.
Once all the balls are made, roll in sorghum flour, pass through beaten egg, roll in crumbs and shake off excess. Place on cookie sheet.
Then I placed the cookie sheet in a preheated 350F oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.
This is where things kind of fell apart. I checked on my rice balls after about 6 minutes and noticed that they were beginning to split and the cheese started oozing out. So I took them out and tried to pan fry a bit, but most of them still continued to crack.
SO I PUT THE QUESTION OUT INTO THE BLOGISPHERE….WHAT WENT WRONG? ANYBODY HAVE ANY INSIGHT?
WERE THEY STUFFED TOO MUCH? SHOULD I HAVE USED MORE RICE?
Hope everyone had a good day. Looking forward to hearing some suggestions because I want to make these again. I think I’m going to add saffron to my next batch…I used it all up and forgot to write it on my grocery list last time. It’s on there now though