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Podcast and Spicy Sauces Edition

Podcast and Spicy Sauces Edition

Heeeey Everyone,

Last time we wrote a podcast and recipe self care blog was January.  The beginning of the last blog noted that at some point January can jump up and bite you in the soul because your indoors so much, no sunshine, its cold.  Little did we know that there might be something that could keep us inside longer than January!  Good news though, the weather finally seems to be warming up and there is more sunshine!

As events get pushed back into Fall, there’s been plenty of time to listen to podcasts and find some more gems.  If you’re craving some fun and stimulating listening, see the podcasts below.  As weather heats up, lots of folks feel like it is time to go spicy with food and so we have some spicy sauce recipes for you.  While the sauces are spicy, feel free to put them on foods that are cool in temperature, like salad and cold noodles, to get the best of summer eating = spicy sauce + cool temperature foods.  Below are two spins on spicy Asian sauces that can go on salads, cold noodles or even hot noods and veggies if you just prefer it hot all the way around.  Don’t feel limited to asian noodles, this is a great pasta sauce or try it on another carbohydrate like rice, or quinoa.  Also you can use these sauces for dips for veggies, pretzels, potato chips, some fruits, really just about anything.

Today we have two towering icons, LeVar Burton and Bill Nye, who now have podcasts.  Again, all of these podcasts are available for free on Stitcher.

Remember when everyone used to watch Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton?  Well now LeVar Burton has a more adult version called LeVar Burton Reads (#levarburtonreads).  LeVar finds the most amazing stories from incredible people and uses his marvelous command of drama to make these stories every bit as verbally compelling as these stories deserve to be.  Two stories in particular really pulled at the heartstrings “The Paper Menagerie” and “Mono No Aware”, both by Ken Liu.  Many of the stories LeVar reads touch provocatively on the meaning of identity, culture and belonging.  LeVar peppers in thoughtful commonentary and interviews with authors.  *Bonus* right now LeVar Burton is reading live (#LeVarBurtonReadsLive @TwitterLive) to adults Fridays, 9 PM ET (check @levar.burton for times for readings for children and young adults).  As you would expect from LeVar, his selections represent a wide lens of perspective from many cultures.  LeVar will tell you on the podcast how to recommend stories you want to hear him read.

Now more than ever it’s becoming obvious that we need a return to critical thinking that can cut through and refute conspiracy theory thinking, fake news, and fear mongering that stands in the way of the kind of disciplined thinking that can make the world a better place.  Another icon, Bill Nye the Science Guy, has been on a life long mission to help everyone understand that science and the discipline of scientific thinking separates authentic problem solving supporting efforts to make the world better for everyone from fantasy thinking and social constructs that promote agendas supporting the few.  Bill Nye’s podcast is Science Rules.  His motto on Science Rules is… “We can make the world better for everyone”.  While his body of work is generally outstanding I am highlighting three podcasts to empower you with critical thinking and to tear down imaginary social constructs.  “WE’RE ALL SCIENCE PEOPLE” (yes it is all in caps in the title for the podcast) encourages you to keep learning about science and facts, no matter your vocation, and utilize your learning, knowledge and scientific thinking in daily life.  For instance the following two podcasts, “Why There is Nothing Odd About Queer” and the “The Story of Skin Color”, use facts and science to tear down the imaginary social constructs of the gender binary and race that are used to divide and suppress people and get in the way of helping us work together to make the world a better place.  While you’re listening snack on our spicy sauce on the food substrate of your choice!

Two Recipes for Saucy Summer Eating.

Summer Sauce #1

  • 1/2 c. peanut butter.  Doesn’t matter if it is smooth or crunchy – your choice.
  • 2 tbs tamari soy sauce (tamari is more flavorful because its fermented and also gluten free, but you can subsitute regular soy sauce if you prefer)
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (if in a hurry substitute 1/4 tsp for each clove of garlic*)
  • 1 small knob of ginger (if in a hurry substitute 1/4 tsp ginger powder for each 1/4 inch of ginger knob*)
  • 1 tbsp siracha or chili paste (sambal oelek) or go chu jang
  • 1 jalepeno (optional for extra spicy)
  • If you are using sugar free peanut buter add a tablespoon or two of honey or sugar.

*fresh ginger and garlic definitely make for better sauces than their powdered counterparts, but sometimes done is bettter than perfect when pressed for time.

Peel the garlic and ginger and if using jalepeno for extra spice seed the jalepeno.  Seeding the jalepenos will get capsacin on your hands – that is the source of jalepeno spice and you don’t want that in your eyes.  So wear disposable gloves while seeding the jalepeno and throw them out right away or dip your hands in a dilute bleach solution (1 teaspoon in 1/2 sink of water) if your hands are bare when cutting up the jalepeno.  Capscacin is an enzyme and bleach will destroy it.  Rinse your hands after putting them in the bleach solution.

Put the garlic, ginger and jalepeno (if using) in a food processor and set it to chop and then puree.   Add the rest of the ingredients and mix or puree.  Taste and add more spice, soy sauce and/or vinegar if desired.  If the mixture is too thick get a 1/2 cup of warm water.  Add 1/4 cup of warm water and mix.  If the consistency is still too thick, add the rest of the water a little at a time to get the consistency you want.  Keep in mind you want it to stick to noodles, veggies or salad.

Make a bowl of salad with whatever veggies you like.  You can use lettuce or cold noodles as a base. Cucumber, carrot, and red and green peppers are good in a salad with peanut sauce.  Add a protein like tofu, beef, chicken, pork or shrimp.  You can use up leftovers.  Remember you can start with warm noodles and warm veggies and proteins if you prefer.

If you like add some chopped cilantro and a squirt of lime.  If it is still not spicy enough you can also squirt on some siracha.  Be sure to taste before adding lime and siracha.

If you like nuts, put some chopped nuts on top (peanuts, cashews, pecans or any nut you like).  If allergic to nuts, or you prefer the taste of sesame – sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Summer Sauce #2

Use tahini (sesame seed paste) in place of part all all of the peanut butter.  It has a deeper, more roasted flavor than peanut butter.  It’s a nice change of pace.  It’s less sweet than peanut butter, so if you like less sweet this is perfect for you.  If you still want the same sweet level try adding one or two more tblsps. of sugar or honey.

Tahini is also great if you have  nut allergy.