El Menú de Año Viejo, Among The Coconuts

black.bean.tempeh.1As I say goodbye to 2015, I enjoy a vegetarian feast with black bean tempeh, red peppers, onions and kraut on a bed of kale and of course a few friends. Here are some notes on the food we shared. This winter we have had the perfect temperature for kraut and a growing local awareness of cabbage. Luckily more ecological farmers and doctors are catching on to the idea of cabbage for taste and health. Kraut has long been a staple in macrobiotic and raw food kitchens. The rich black turtle beans have fermented beautifully into tempeh at 76 F in the dehydrator. I love tempeh and am committed to spreading the word about all its benefits and culinary delights. When I need inspiration, I always look to South East Asia since their temperature and to a large degree their culture is very similar to the Caribbean. ajicitosThe peppers and kale are from Finca El Paraiso in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Some are hot and some are not. Nina began to turn people on to kale here on the Island back in 2001. When I first me Nina and saw the quality of the kale and other things that she and her then partner were growing, I immediately knew I wanted to be their friend and so, it has come to pass. The onions are from a local supermarket chain that brings in some organics. Anyone who visits Puerto Rico from the mainland USA will notice that all produce and everything else for that matter is more expensive. This is the price we pay for freight and importation and living in paradise. A pound of organic kale in Portland, Oregon sells for $3.99 vs $10 in Puerto Rico. Commercial organic farming feeds less than 1% of the population here on the Island but, a wide variety of fruits and vegetable are grown in private yards and on small non commercial private farms. Recently Monsanto was chosen as one the best employers of Puerto Rico and the Department of Agriculture here on the Island loves them. I guess, I don’t need to say anything more about the matter. rancho.pmCandles are lit in my kitchen among the coconuts for the new year 2016. May all beings be happy, may all beings have peace.