As to simplicity, think: foods of bold, bright color and variety. Am posting Part 2 as its own entity so folks who've waited for the next bit, can now find it!
Health food stores now offer a sprouted, then dried brown rice, at higher cost, which ~triples nutrient content. Some enthusiasts are doing that with special rice cookers or with handy-hands-at-home improvisations. Some cooks even brew anti-oxidant-rich green tea for the sprouting/cooking, which turns out to be yummy:
Update: Have been fiddling with the rice sprouting issue. There seem to be three electric options: 1) A pricey rice cooker with (toxic) non-stick coating. 2) The above link suggests rheostating a hot plate. 3) A creative colleague has begun successfully sprouting red and brown rice, and quinoa in the Thermodor warming drawer of his electric range/oven, leaving the door ajar for a temperature of 94F. He is monitoring energy consumption.
Dependence on electricity is a niggle-itch we may soon have to scratch--I've spent long stretches with power out, or simply not available. What then? What if the grid goes down? (See "Hearth & Home Infrastructure" right sidebar for precedent.)
I have existing radiant floor heating, dependent on electric pump, and natgas availability. I tried setting a glass jar of green tea and rice on the floor with an upturned pot over the jar--steady 80F--a temperate temperature rather than a tropical one, though not bad.
My improv yogurt incubator method seems to be the most efficient non-electric method thus far. A picnic "cooler" holds a cold temp; it can also maintain an incubating one, given sufficient volume of water in which jars are warmly immersed.
Having left warmth and moisture to do their magic, you can augment the already high nutrient content of the rice and strong green/white tea by adding sea veggies and dried mushrooms when cooking.
Example: a fat pinch of sea lettuce, powdered alaria and dulse; ditto dried shitake mushrooms, dried porcini; a small handful of dried nettles is also excellent. (For sea veggie sources, see "Radiation Remedies.")
Friends who drop by ye olde nutritionist's pharmacopoeia and kitchen to see what's cooking, have wolfed down the organic concoction, pop-eyed at the satisfying richness of nutrients.
Note: AgriBiz-depleted soils produce poison-pap food which does not satisfy, and leads to overeating and overweight.
Quinoa: Beige, black or red, an awesome grain, cooking in 20 min. vs 45 for brown rice. It's nearly comparable to milk as a complete protein. It works well as a hot breakfast cereal, very sustaining, or as a side dish or stuffing. Pretty good as a gluten-free substitute for tabouli.
If you soak beans overnight and pour off a couple water-soaks, you 1) decrease the "fart-factor" and 2) increase digestibility and nutrient content. How? Soaking seed activates the conversion of stored starch into B-Vites, Vit-E and enzymes. At almost zero cost to us humans. I like the Biosta 3-tiered Sprouter; glass jars with mesh lids also work well.
A nut recommended by Edgar Cayce, eaten as a 3/day cancer-preventative, and by Deepak Chopra, M.D. in this era. Chopra suggests soaking ~12 organic raw almonds overnight, which starts the biochemical transformation of sprouting, enhancing food value. Pour off the water at breakfast and munch, or add a little fresh water and blend for almond milk.
(You may have to request almonds imported from Spain or Sicily for raw/organic--to bypass the USDA's edict to organic California growers, imposing fumigation or heat-treatment on their almonds.)
I simmer dried elderberries and bilberries (1 Tbs each/gal.) before using that fragrant liquid to brew tea for kombucha! (See "Kitchen Probiotics" linked under the Preparedness header, right sidebar.)
During WWII, the RAF fed bilberry jam to flight crews heading out on night bombing raids over Nazi-occupied Europe. Bilberries and blueberries are good for eyesight and are included in formulations to protect the eyes.
Amazonian rainforest berries are of such superfood value, that they may help protect the rainforest as source for sustainable crops, and alternative to clear-cutting: Check out powdered dried acai berry, camu-camu,.. mega-nutrient and protective against degenerative disease.
In Tibet and Mongolia, and perhaps eventually in similar Rocky Mt. habitat, dried Tibetan Goji Berries reign as superfood extraordinaire, essentially mega-vite in a berry. Add to cooked cereals, rice, soak to add to fruit salads or yoghurt:
The Female Food Group! Yes, premenstrual women crave chocolate. Reason? Very rich source of magnesium, nature's calmative and anti-spasmodic (Take note guys!) Magnesium deficiency is very common, and can be a factor in leg cramps as well.
Moreover, raw cacao is regarded as a heart-healthy superfood among holistic physicians, and also contains an ingredient for a feel-good neurotransmitter. Dark organic chocolate bars with 70-85% cacao contain max phyto-nutrients and least sugar. Bliss.
Nor have water filters, carafe or otherwise, been designed to remove radiation. I began researching availability of rad-removal filters the day after Japan's quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster--dismaying non-availability. I kept looking, and found a small US business which utilizes US-made filters, not ones from China.
The unit is three-stage and impressive, an easy install. Whole-house unita are also available. I used to enjoy spring water on my organic farm years ago. This filtered water has that bright pure taste.
Given our new global reality of Fukushima meltdown and jet-streamed black rain, I urge implementation of rad-water filtration for our families, and eventually our communities.
So, brightly-colored, high-flavored foods meet grandmother wisdom--in our own kitchens and changing food choices--a home-style bounty.
And more and more restaurants are featuring "locavore" foods: locally grown and whatever ripens in a given season. (Which means pumpkins in Oct, strawberries in June, not December, peas and spinach with nights still cool, and asparagus as harbinger of summer's plenty.)
Can the northern hemisphere continue to count on out-of-season fresh produce shipped thousands of miles from the southern hemisphere? And vice-versa, north to south. A global people, yes, but we may be about to learn an old thing anew--to cherish what feeds us near at hand.)
I wish you good eating and home-style conversation. See you at the farmers markets, and in gardens everywhere!
Yeoman Gardener's 5-star reviewed book:
Whale Rider of the Tide