The Transfiguration Dish

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The Transfiguration Dish is a collaborative art dish co-created , through wonderful collaboration , by Chef Nathaniel Day & Photographer Gina Weathersby .

TRANSFIGURATION

tran(t)sˌfiɡyəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state.
     For example … “in this light the junk undergoes a transfiguration; it shines “

The idea for this dish emerged within my mind after spending some time contemplating the changes of biological life forms . Our relationships , transformations , and transmutations in Nature . I wanted to represent my thoughts and present it to my audience utilizing my particular art form … Food .

 

Starting on the left of the plate we have the freshly born , new , living , raw , elements in the form of a composed salad of avocado , plums , alfalfa and radish sprouts .

In the center we have the representation of “death ” in the form of extreme high heat cooking , deep frying , which kills biologically living activity . Tasty “dead ” food in the form of deep fried japanese pumkin & agadashi Tofu (Agedashi tofu is a Japanese way to serve hot tofu. Silken firm tofu, cut into cubes, is lightly dusted with potato starch or cornstarch and then deep fried until golden brown)

The next form , which completes , in my mind , this Transfiguration is fermentation . This begins in this dish with the small green pickles  , goes to the red pickles , and ends with the accompanying miso citrus dressing . ( I pickled cucumber , beet , lotus root , and eggplant for this dish . My method of pickling will be shared below ) Which is there like a potion in the upper left corner . This dish also represents me being playful with Japanese cuisine elements , after having worked with some amazing japanese chefs . This is how I see the dish and basic reasoning for the layout . Let me know what you think with comments .

Recipe ! Have fun

We will start with the miso – citrus dressing . simplicity itself .

1 tablespoon of red miso paste , whisked together with about 6 Tablespoons of fresh citrus juice . I used half grapefruit and half orange juices .

This dressing is oil free and will do your body good . Miso is a fermented food with many health benefits and nutritional components . Miso contains zinc , manganese , copper , proteins & omega 3 fatty acids . Additional phytonutient antioxidants are produced during the fermentation process , these very components are anti cancerous , free radical scavengers .  Fermented foods such as kimchi , pickles , yogurts , beers & wines ect. produce friendly forms of bacteria  which will aid in digestion and support an , overall , healthy gut . Yes , we should eliminate bad bacteria , but we should also , simultaneously , include “good” bacteria in order to function optimally . A sound mind in a sound body .

My pickling Method

 

 Start with a large glass jar, or ceramic crock, at least 4 or 5 inches in length.
Pour boiling water in to sterilize your container.  Don’t use chlorinated water, or anti bacterial  soap, as this will kill many of the good bacteria that you want alive.
Rinse off your veggies (cucumbers, eggplant, lotus root, whatever you want to pickle) and place them in the jar, leaving some space on the top.
Add spices (I love using garlic cloves, peppercorns, dill, coriander, and/or fennel seeds.)
Pour brine over your pickles – made by combining 8 tablespoons of kosher salt to 8 cups of clean water – next, add a quarter cup of vinegar.
Do NOT cover with a lid. You may tie a cloth over it. Keep the pickles submerged in the brine, undisturbed and in a cool place for 25 days.
Put them in the refrigerator when finished to stop the fermentation process.

 

Elements of the Dish
Small handful of sprouts, we used radish & alfalfa.
5-6 slices of plum.
2 or 3 slices of avocado.
A few thinly slices rounds of shallot
Slice the tofu into blocks, and dry them thoroughly with towels.
Cut the pumpkin into cubes.
Coat each block of tofu and pumpkin with a very fine layer of potato starch, and brush off any excess starch.
Fill a wok with enough coconut oil to cover the tofu and pumpkin, and heat.
Drop the tofu and pumpkin pieces into the wok, turning until cooked through, but without over browning.
Assembly
On a plate, arrange the sprouts, plum, avocado towards the top, following with the browned tofu and pumpkin, followed with the fermented pickles.
Scatter shallots.
Season with maldon salt, to taste, and drizzle with the miso citrus dressing.
Thanks for stopping by , likes , comments & shares are appreciated .
See you next time .
Chef Nathaniel Day

Heirloom Tomato & Avocado Salad Recipe and Health benefits

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I have begun a collaboration with Photographer Gina Weathersby   . We will be creating some unique dishes together and then I will be sharing the recipes , along with health benefits / nutritional information , and more . So , if you like what you see , stay tuned in with us both for much more , and help us about by commenting with your thoughts , and share us with your friends . Thank You !

Chef Nathaniel Day’s Heirloom Tomato Salad 

  • 1 large heirloom tomato , sliced thinly
  • 1/2 -1 hass avocado , peeled , sliced thinly

Fan out both the tomato and the avocado sliced , alternate them and then form them into a circular “disk” or “flower shape , and place in the center of your dish . In the center of this we placed highly aromatic purple basil .

accompany your centerpiece with the following

  • 1 grapefruit , supremes
  • 1 orange , supremes
  • smaller heirloom tomatoes , halved
  • fresh figs , halved , quarted & whole
  • pickled shallot, just a couple strands
  • pickled ginger , just a thin slice or two
  • chopped basil , a few leaves chiffonade
  • edible flowers , a couple variety , use which you have access to and are fresh
  • 1 teaspoon bee pollen

For dressing the salad I created an orange , citrus balsamic reduction

 

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Orange citrus balsamic reduction

  • 1 250 ml bottle of quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 orange juiced , fresh , or you may use up to 250 ml , or 8 oz , of fresh citrus juice for a more highly flavored citrus reduction .

simply add these to a saucepan , over medium high heat , allow the concoction to slowly boil and reduce . It is finished when it has reduced , in volume , by half . allow to cool before using .

Be sure to follow me on INSTAGRAM for more regular updates and creations 

Health Benefits are substantial ! You will feel great !

  • Heirloom varieties of foods will provide your body with more nutritional coverage . More color , and other subtle differences , rather than just eating the same old thing ( always yellow corn , or always white sugar ) for instance , will mean that you are only getting the same ol’ nutrients , or lackthereof ! Color in food is a nutritional / bio – logical SIGNal . Different pigments contain within them different phytonutrients which will protect your body from serious dis-ease , such as cancer and more . It is important to include all colors in your diet to do the best for your self . I have overcome many adverse health conditions , and I have found that color , is one of the keys . I am now known as a Chef with very colorful dishes 🙂 .
  • Avocado will help your skin to look in tip top shape and will fuel your brain with its healthy fatty acid content .
  • Figs , especially fresh , will lower high blood pressure , increase dietary fiber intake , lower poor insulin response , and protect against macular (eye ) degeneration
  • If you are a male with poor sexual health , such as erectile dysfunction , an amazing combination for a natural cure would be figs combined with walnuts .
  • Herbs such as basil and others that we used  should seriously be thought of as food ! when you think food , you might first list things such as potatoes , rice , bread , ect. but from a health , and especially if you are sick in any way shape or form , standpoint , you should think of all the herbs as food . Although It is not often that I would choose to quote the bible , I find it interesting that it says in revelation 22:2 that the herbs , or leaves of the trees , are for the HEALING of the nation . Parsley is food , not simply a garnish . This is another KEY to unlocking your individual right , and ability , to regenerate and heal yourself . True healthcare is putting your health into your own hands , we should not live on a faulty diet and put our health into the hands of governmental entities and mega pharmaceutical corporations . What do you think ?
  • The grapefruit and oranges contain plenty of vitamin C , folate , fiber , vitamin B1 , copper , potassium & calcium ! Salad like this will lower your bad cholesterol and get things moving in the right direction promoting optimal health and protecting you from cardiovascular issues ( the number 1 killer that doesn’t have to be ! )
  • Any other herbs , the oil free balsamic reduction and the edible flowers are going to do more than make a beauty statement , they are going to provide even more diverse , and subtle , nutritional components that are going to make you strong , resilient , and powerful , the way that you are designed to be .

 

 

Again , please share and let us know what you think of our collaboration. Thank you Gina Weathersby ! I look forward to more amazing creations .

Red Lentil Lasagna Recipe & Health Benefits

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Red Lentil Lasagna Recipe , Health benefits and more .

In this article I am going to quickly share with my readers a very delicious , simple , and healthy way to create a Lasagna . After the recipe I will go over just a few of the health benefits , or nutritional information , that may surprise you , about the key ingredients . Lastly , I will update you on a few things going on in my life right now .

Red Lentil Lasagna 

  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F . That is 175 degrees C .

Brush a Casserole dish with 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil .

You will need to have laid out , mise en place , the following !

  • 2 Cups of your best red sauce
  • 1 pound cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 Cup crumbled firm tofu ( that has been drained & pressed first )
  • 1/2 Cup Cooked red lentils
  • 1/4 Cup shredded carrots
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 Cup chopped spinach
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano and 1 of fresh marjoram chopped and mixed together .
  • freshly cracked black pepper , this will be to taste .

Start with a  nice , thin , layer of your sauce to moisten the bottom before the first layer of noodles . Then just alternate through all of the ingredients , finishing with your sauce on top . After you have gone through everything you have , cover , tightly , and bake for 30 – 45 minutes . Cool down , just enough , cut , serve , be happy .

Health Benefits

I have introduced so many people to lentils , who had never had them before , I get asked “are they a bean ? … what are they ? ” and I often tell people that they are a favorite ingredient of mine because they , unlike beans do not require being presoaked , just rinsed a couple times and they cook very quickly compared to beans . Yet they will provide you body with that , similar , high protein , fiber , and complex , slowly digested , long lasting energy , carbohydrate content .

Throughout history , Lentils have been used as a meat substitute by various cultures . Sometimes being used during religious ceremonies , or periods of time , where the consumption of meat was forbidden . They are packed with high quality protein and are a great source of iron . They are also one of the most cost effective , inexpensive , ingredients one can purchase .

lentils are legumes , just like many types of  beans . They are often sold in their whole form or split open in half . They come in many varieties , or colors . I have cooked extensively with red lentils , brown , green and black . They each have different textures and aromas , but they are all very nutritious and they absorb surrounding flavors very well .

Consuming lentils is going to provide you body with a ton of nutrition such as

  • Folate
  • molybdenum
  • Fiber
  • Copper
  • Phosphorus
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Protein
  • Vitamin B1
  • Zinc
  • potassium
  • B6

And all of the above is coming in to your body at pretty fantastic values ( at least 20 percent of your daily recommended amounts of all of the above , some 60 percent or more ! , in just a 1 cup serving ! )

In my personal experience , I have found that eating lentils keeps me fueled for a long time without feeling hungry and keeps me very lean and muscular . If I ever wanted to get very “ripped ” and down to below 10 percent body fat , I find it easy to do when my diet includes plenty of lentils . They also keep me feeling very strong .

In this recipe you are combining this high protein , high nutrient density , food with another complete protein like tofu . Thus with this plant based lasagna you are doing your body right with many nutrients .

The fresh herbs and spinach are all greens which are some of the most nutrient dense foods that you could possibly consume .

1 cup of cooked spinach can have as much as 900 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin K . These greens are also going to cover your nutritional needs with vitamin A , C and B’s . While delivering more protein , choline , selenium , and omega 3 fatty acids .

Cheers to good health !

Before signing off , I wanted to invite everyone over to my Instagram page here at Chefnathanday    so many people have been encouraging me to make an Instagram page , but I never did it , until now . It just started up but I will be posting 1 to 2 pictures  , and videos , a day . Thus by joining me on there you will have access to so many ideas , food pics , fitness things , and behind the scene action that could never be put on this website . Feel free to comment with you Instagram name and I will find you there .

Until our next time ,

Master your food / self ,

Chef Day .