Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cabbage with Onions

Delicious Cabbage with Onions
A question on the Avoiding Corn Forum got me thinking about one of my favorite "tried and true" recipes that got me through the early days of my allergy. Some people live in small towns with no access to organic produce or specialty staples (as I did in the beginning). In a situation like that it helps to have something that is pretty much always safe. I have found that cabbage and onions tend to be safe no matter what brand I have tried. With that in mind, I thought I would post one of my favorite veggie dishes. I call it simply:

Cabbage with Onions

1 cabbage
1 or 2 onions
extra virgin olive oil and/or safe butter
sea salt and other spices of your choice

Layer veggies and seasonings in the pot
Rough chop the cabbage and onions. Layer them into a large, heavy-bottom pot with a tight fitting lid. Add seasonings for each layer. For a large head of cabbage and 2 onions, I put two palmfuls of sea salt and probably 2 or 3 tbsp. olive oil plus 1/2 stick of butter sliced over top. Don't worry if it fills the pot to the top because it will cook down quite a bit. I use my 6-quart Lodge Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven (if you don't have one, I highly recommend it).

Cover tightly and start cooking on medium low (3 on electric stove). Set a timer for 30 minutes, remove lid, stir, replace lid, set for 30 minutes more, remove lid, stir, if the cabbage is translucent at this point leave off lid, set for 30 minutes more to cook out liquid. You can turn up the heat at this point and stand over it stirring frequently to get a nice caramelization on some of the cabbage, but it isn't necessary. Serve with a dollop of Daisy full fat sour cream and a piece of quick bread if you like.
After one hour of slow cooking

You will be amazed how sweet and delicious this dish tastes after slow cooking for 1.5 hours. You can add any seasonings that you desire. In the past I have added one or more of the following: sliced new potatoes, caraway seeds, red pepper flakes, garlic, bell peppers, Anaheim peppers, zucchini, etc. Tonight I added diced jicama and coriander because I had a jicama and it just seemed right. Jicama reminds me of apples and pears and there is some precedence for pairing apples and cabbage in traditional recipes.

Since this is a slow cooking dish, you could probably get better than average results using a slow cooker. I don't have one (believe it or not) so I haven't tried it. This heats up beautifully so you can make a huge pot of it and eat it over the next few days. It has been a real lifesaver for us and we still eat it quite often even when we have a big variety of safe, fresh produce available.


Friday, September 10, 2010

GMO corn is everyone's problem!

I am painfully aware of the prevalence of GMO corn in the food system of America. This awareness is a necessary by-product of learning to live with a corn allergy. When I speak to people (even friends and family) of the problems that are caused by our dependence on GMO corn, I am met with an attitude of "That's something we don't have to worry about, luckily we aren't allergic like you are." I wish I could make people understand why it is a problem for our whole country right now and is on its way to becoming a problem for the whole world. I found this neat video that helps to explain why genetically modified foods are so bad. Enjoy:

I think all corn allergy sufferers should be active in the fight against genetically modified crops. Tell everyone you know to watch this ten minute video. There are feature length films and books out now that help to illuminate the problems we face because of our dependence on GMO corn. Here are links to my favorites:

If  you would like to know more but don't want to purchase any of these books or movies, you can rent most of them from your local library.  Also, doing a search on YouTube or Google will produce thousands of videos and articles. If you need help explaining the danger of GMOs to others, there is an excellent printable brochure by Jeffrey M. Smith on his website. He is the author of, "The Seeds of Deception" and a famous activist for safer food. He also has a blog on The Huffington Post site.

No matter how you choose to spread the word, the important thing is that you help in some way. Even if you just mention the dangers of GMO corn to a young mother picking out yogurt for her baby at the grocery store, it helps. The continued ignorance of the American public on this issue is the only thing that biotech giants have in their favor.