Thursday, April 19, 2012

Legumes & Stuffed Mexican Peppers

 Well, it happened..... I had my first major kitchen injury and it was NOT fun. I've had the occasional burn (once, when pan searing a steak - I grabbed the cast iron handle with my bare hand to take it out of the 500 degree oven, that injury comes close to this one) or the chopping "cut" (usually happens with stubborn fruit) But, this one has terrified me of my medallion...  I was slicing sweet potatoes lengthwise to make enchilada "shells" and wham my middle finger met the blade. It was such immediate pain, I had it off the blade before the blood began to poor. I'll leave the gory details out but it took off such a chunk, there was nothing left to stitch back together. I am going to have a Rachel Ray finger( she has no finger tips left due to all her chopping, slicing and grating injuries). Do you know how sensitive your finger tips are? Well, I found out for you! It was hard to function - washing my hands, taking a shower, writing, typing, you name it, you use your fingers for it, and even though you have 9 others, they only seem to work correctly as a complete team. It's been almost a week and it's finally starting to numb a little. I actually caught a ball in kickball last night and didn't want to scream from pain, so I guess we're getting somewhere. Regardless, take my advice and use EXTREME caution when using anything with a blade, really let me reiterate - EXTREME caution!!! 
 I saw a quote recently that said "vegetarian is just another word for bad hunter" and I couldn't help but laugh out loud. To each his own, but how in the world could anyone function on rabbit food and legumes/beans. Legume (or in the south lAygUume)... it's such a fun word to say but we stay as far away from them as I do my medallion slicer. But, what exactly is a legume and why are they forbidden? I wondered the same thing, and even though I still have a lot to learn about the curious, toxic little creatures, here is some information I have gathered thus far..........
Legumes are either the actual plant or the fruits of plants categorized in the Fabaceae family. AH HA! It all makes sense now doesn't it? Kidding, kidding, I have no idea what that really means so in my terms a legume is a family of pants including beans, garbanzos/chickpeas (which is what hummus is made of) lentils, peas, peanuts and soybeans. Farmers use legumes as a rotational crop to replenish soil that is lacking in nitrogen because they fix the depletion with the bacteria found in their roots, and because of their deep roots, legumes are also used in erosion control (imagine the "erosion control" it's doing to your intestines). Legumes give you gas (we'll save this for another day, but for the most part gas is just about eliminated while on paleo). In their raw form they are extremely toxic and even through all the sprouting, soaking, and cooking they still contain toxic traces.  Legumes contain phytates which inhibit nutrient absorption and can cause inflammation.  They also contain the devilish proteins we call Lectins. Lectins are believed to have something to do with the survival of the plant, in other words they protect the plant and wreck havoc on your digestion. They move through your body intact causing everything from autoimmune issues (hence, a reason why Doctors recommend a Paleo type diet for anyone suffering from diabetes, celiac, lupus etc) to leaky gut. Uh, do you want leaky gut, because I sure as heck am going to avoid it. (Lectins dredge across your intestine walls and after so many disruptions, the healing process is no longer able to occur.) Leaky gut is how food sensitivities begin, ever know anyone who was just all of the sudden allergic to something... Think on that for a minuet.
As far as soy as a separate intity goes, I personally always thought it was one of those really good for you, healthy things (like tofu & soy milk) WRONG. As well as all the issues listed above, soy also comes with new research that has found it tempers with the bodies hormones. More specifically, a soy compound in the body behaves like estrogen. It simulates the hormone and in some cases causes the estrogen-receptors (hello, biology class all over again!) to become temporarily blocked. One article I found said their research supported that soybeans and processed soy products (which are even worse) were linked to longer and more painful menstrual periods in females and a decreased sperm count in males. Remember that next time you go to drench your food in soy sauce! I do believe there is still a lot of research to be done on this subject, but as far as the Martins go - we will try and be 1 step ahead of the following :) (SIDE NOTE - when eating out, attempt to avoid places that cook their food in soybean oil, Chili's is a big culprit of this. At the least, ask them to cook your food separately)

So, what can you eat!?!? Here is a yummy recipe that is super simple and has no legumes in sight! (It's not spicy as written, but I added some diced jalapeno to mine!)

Stuffed Mexican Peppers
Here's what you'll need...

~5 poblano peppers (look for the full ones, not the ones with a side caved in)
~1lb. chorizo sausage (you could use less, but we liked our peppers overflowing)
~1 yellow onion thinly sliced
~ 1 large tomato diced
~ half of a bunch of cilantro finely chopped (optional) 
~garlic powder

Here's what you do.......

Preheat the oven to 425 & line a baking sheet with foil (unless you want to scrub pepper pieces all night)

Start browning the sausage & crumbling the pieces as they cook (I love my pampered chef mix & chop for this) when the sausage is about half way done, add the onions then as they cook down add the tomato. If you are using the cilantro add it and the cumin & garlic powder to taste (I load the spices on)

While the "stuffing" is cooking, begin preparing your peppers (Don't look at these things like they are indestructible, they need care when being handled so you don't rip them to pieces!)
Cut the tops of the peppers off, remove the seeds and gently cut a slit on one side (not a rip the whole way down giving you 2 pieces, just a slit)

When the stuffing mixture is done, stuff your peppers (duh, I guess you kind of figured that part didn't you?)

Bake the peppers for 20 minutes

I added diced jalapenos to mine (Perry hates hot) and served them with some homemade salsa!

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