When Zukay Foods contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing their products, I was enthusiastic. I love fermented foods, and with my current mission to restore gut flora, it seemed so timely. Unfortunately, the timing got kinda wrinkled from there on, which is why this review appears several weeks after first contact!
My package arrived in the middle of the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference, so you know that my attention was all elsewhere! It had not been treated well by USPS: apparently fermented products, glass jars and USPS don't go well together. I know that Averie and the Pure2Raw ladies had this explosive experience too!
The 'carrot ginger kvass' was missing entirely, and you can see that the salad dressing jar is mostly empty.
Kvass is another kind of probiotic rich fermented drink, originally from the Caucasus and typically made with beets. Fermentation plus beets sounds like all kinds of good--blood purifying, gallbladder-supporting, vitamin and mineral-rich, good bacteria...
I drank the beet-ginger kvass right away, and I really loved it. It's fairly thin in flavor, not full-bodied. Somewhat similar to pickle juice, but without the salt. It has just a hint of fizz, less so than kombucha, and neither the beet nor the ginger are overpowering at all. And with the slightly wide-mouthed glass bottle, it gives you a wonderful purple mustache!
And then we went to Oregon, and the rest, and the review, had to wait.
I was a little puzzled by the salad dressing's claim to be the 'best salad dressing ever' juxtaposed with the recommendation to add olive oil to make a vinaigrette. The 'best ever' claim implies that it's complete in itself. But, as Gena pointed out, and as the vinaigrette suggestion shows, it contains no fat. On the one hand, this is great; on the other, many people love to have some lubrication on their lettuce, and having some fat with salad is smart for helping absorption of fat-soluble vitamin K, in which green leafies are so rich.
So, I was planning to do something with the sweet, spicy, aromatic pulp left at the bottom of that salad dressing jar.
I'd bought a disappointing jicama: it was way starchy and dense. I adore crunchy, juicy jicama so much that I almost never make anything with it, preferring to eat it 'straight' (although that 'slaw I shared a while back was pretty good, I thought). This one wasn't edible 'straight.' Some kind of jicama 'slaw with a dressing salvaged from the Zukay bottle seemed in order.
But then Phil had a suggestion. He said: "Do you think that if you sliced up the jicama and soaked it in ice water, it would firm up?"
So we tried that, with a little squeeze of lemon, and it worked! Awesome tip, Phil (and he doesn't even like jicama).
In fact, it's quite uncanny how all the 'prepared' foods (whole fruit doesn't count under this) that I most enjoy are precisely foods that Phil does not like. I've pretty much given up trying to make something that'll work for both of us. Between preparing two meals each time and all the busyness of writing, editing, translating, gardening, kitchen-remodeling (which I haven't yet touched since we got back), very often, I forego elaborate recipes that brew in my head in favor of something simpler.
This is what ended happening with the jicama and Zukay dressing pulp: (excuse bad picture)
One thing I can do that suits both of us, especially now that I'm eating starch, is to cook up a bunch of potatoes and then fry Phil's or make regular potato salad with them, and do different things with mine. There are some really easy and yummy things...
Do you find yourself with elaborate recipe ideas and no time to make them? Do you enjoy the 'simple' version anyway?