Real Food App!

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 1.11.45 PM

Can’t it be a hassle to find healthy food on the road? Don’t get me wrong–I love traveling, and I love seeing what other communities have to share in their local restaurants, farmers’ markets and natural food stores.  I think it can be a GREAT way to learn a lot about a town or city, and can be a wonderful way to meet like-minded locals.  But FINDING these locales can be a bit of a challenge sometimes.

Thankfully, this just got a LOT easier!

For $6 a year, you can download the Find Real Food App for the Weston A. Price Foundation, and get this information directly on your smartphone–YAY!

I had the opportunity to meet the wonderful couple who have spent the last 3 years developing this app, and when they told me the price, I thought for sure the cost was per month–which still seemed reasonable to me!–but when they told me it was per YEAR, I was shocked!

All you’ll need to do is enter the zip code you’d like to search, and products, restaurants and other whole food entities will pop up on your screen–and they’re even ranked on a GOOD-BETTER-BEST system, by people who care deeply about finding the highest quality foods at the Weston A. Price foundation.

So in this busy season of travel, do yourself a favor and equip your phone with an incredibly helpful tool that keeps on giving!

Some Basic Wellness Tips for a Tough Viral Season

A beautiful sunset shot from our neighborhood school where we lost one of our sweet first graders this week.

A beautiful sunset shot from our neighborhood school where we lost one of the sweet first graders to illness.

This week held a tremendously sad event for our community, where we lost one of our little first graders to a very serious respiratory illness.  In the wake of that, and the ensuing communication I received from parents and patients, I decided to pull this short list of wellness suggestions together…there are hundreds of other things I could include, but this is a very solid start that is very reasonable to attain.

Here is the letter I posted on Facebook:

Hello my friends. As many of you know, we lost one of our own yesterday afternoon after a tough battle with a very serious respiratory infection. He was a little first-grader right here at our kids’ school across the street. With the communication I’ve had with parents yesterday and today, I wrote the following post for our local communities–but, with the positive feedback I’m getting on the post, I’m going to post it here for everyone, as we definitely seem to be faced with some virulent pathogens right now. Blessings and well-wishes for you and your loved ones–take good care and take care of one another.

I’d like to just share some natural ideas you can use at home as you look to keep everyone well:

1. Keep the sugars down in the diet–it is incredible the impact sugar has on the immune system–it is no accident that the cold and flu season officially gets underway the week after Halloween. Sugars include the obvious choices, but also fruit juices, sports drinks, granola bars–read the sugar content of the foods you’re eating and make changes as appropriate.

2. Get some sun–without sunscreen. Balanced exposure of our skin to the sun is not only integral for natural Vitamin D production, but also the production and use of sulfur in our bodies. Don’t get burned, but 10 minutes or so of mid-day sun (just go walk around the yard and smell the flowers), in a tank top, a couple times a day, will be a huge boon to your wellness.

3. Drink only water–juices are full of sugars, and while they may have some nutrient value, you’re better off having an orange, with its fiber and raw nutrients, then a pasteurized, concentrated version. Put a healthy squirt of lemon or lime juice into your water for some fresh Vitamin C.

4. Eat foods that are rich in naturally-occurring probiotics, a huge benefit to the immune system. Kombucha, water kefir, raw sauerkraut (not the jarred stuff from the grocery aisles–that’s pasteurized), plain yogurt and plain milk kefir–these are all great sources of naturally-occurring probiotics. Note that I mentioned PLAIN–sweeten and flavor with fresh fruit and Stevia extract to sweeten.

5. Rest–if you feel like sleeping, sleep–our body heals much more efficiently in deep sleep. Not a time for pressing on with caffeine, which taps the adrenals and can set someone up for a big challenge on the immune system.

6. Make chicken soup–from a whole chicken, using only water, salt, garlic, onion, celery, carrots, black pepper, and a splash of apple cider vinegar, or the juice of 2 lemons. Don’t use prepared broth or bouillon cubes–you won’t need them with the flavor from the chicken. Put into a crockpot for the easiest method. Chicken soup helps to loosen the phlegm that arises in the chest, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Consider using medicinal grade essential oils to support the immune system.  Oregano, thyme, tea tree, lemon, basil, frankincense, lavender, orange, clove, rosemary.  These are oils that have shown very good effect in supporting the immune system as it rallies against viruses and bacteria.
Please consider these suggestions–if they seem a good fit for your needs, use them–if not, that’s OK, too. I just wanted to share what I’m sharing with others, and how I’m taking care of our family. If you have more questions, you can contact me at sarica@naturallylivingtoday.com.

Blessings, love and peace to you all!

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

20 Life-Changing Minutes

header2_resized

 

If you ever notice that I become incredibly uncomfortable when I see kids eating donuts, or Doritos and Gatorade being handed out as a snack…if you take 20 minutes to watch this video, you will have an excellent understanding of why. This is why I do what I do and why I post what I post. Please take 20 minutes for a deeper understanding of the issues we face…This video will put the information right in front of you in an easy to understand format that is life-changing.

Fresh Salsa…Mildly Fermented!

Delicious, fresh tomato salsa…ready to enjoy immediately, or to ferment a bit for a healthy beneficial bacteria profile!

Delicious, fresh tomato salsa…ready to enjoy immediately, or to ferment a bit for a healthy beneficial bacteria profile!

Freshly made salsa is so delightful–it is a perfect compliment to eggs, meats, beans, you name it.  And it is one of those condiments that makes nearly everyone happy, whether they’re following Paleo Diet principles, GAPS dietary prescriptions or raw food ideals.  Or, maybe someone just doesn’t bother too much with concern for their nutrition…fresh salsa works for this group, too (and it is a great way to get some fantastic nutrition into them, with a smile on their face!)

I love preparing and enjoying food in its proper season…and since we live in the desert southwest of the U.S., all of these ingredients are here, even in winter.  This is fantastic, as this recipe is a great source of naturally-occuring Vitamin C and gut-boosting beneficial bacteria, thanks to the water kefir and mild fermentation.  Both of these qualities are real boosts when it’s cold and flu season (and this salsa tastes great!)

This is a blended salsa–in this instance, I’ve used our food processor.  However, if you only have a blender, feel free to use it.  Either kitchen tool works fine.

This recipe can be enjoyed without the inclusion of the water kefir and the 24 hour room-temperature fermentation cycle, and it will be incredibly delicious if you choose to prepare it this way.  But, if you do choose to follow the recipe as delivered in its entirety, you’ll not only have the boost to the beneficial bacterial profile, but the salsa will last much longer (remember, fermentation is an ancient food preservation technique–and when combined with the modern-day convenience of refrigeration, the combination can lend itself to an extended shelf life.) However, this benefit of the salsa storing longer in the refrigerator if mildly fermented is really a moot point–it is so tasty, it won’t last long in any case!

Mildly Fermented Fresh Tomato and Cilantro Salsa

Makes approximately 2 quarts salsa

  • Approximately 4 cups organic Cherry or Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 organic Bell Peppers, preferably red, yellow or orange, coarsely chopped
  • Approximately 1 cup loosely packed organic Cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 organic Green Onions (Scallions), rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen organic Pineapple and/or Mango
  • 4-5 cloves organic Garlic
  • 1 organic Jalapeño Pepper, seeds removed if you don’t want it too hot
  • 3 teaspoons Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle Powder
  • 1/4 cup Water Kefir (Kombucha or fresh Whey would work as well)

Place tomatoes in the carafe of the food processor or blender and coarsely chop, then add the rest of the ingredients.  Blend/chop well until incorporated and uniform.  Spoon into 2 glass quart-sized jars, cap with lids, and leave at room temperature for 24 hours (do this final step if you’ve added some kind of culture for fermentation–such as water kefir.  Otherwise, you can simply store the salsa in the refrigerator immediately.)  If mildly fermented before refrigeration, you can expect the salsa to last at least a week in the refrigerator.  If no fermentation has occurred, then plan to enjoy the salsa within four days.

Fresh veggies for salsa--what a delight!

Fresh veggies for salsa–what a delight!

 

Tomatoes coarsely chopped in food processor.

Tomatoes coarsely chopped in food processor.

Veggies on top of chopped tomatoes, ready to blend it all together!

Veggies on top of chopped tomatoes, ready to blend it all together!

Freshly made water kefir to add to the salsa

Freshly made water kefir to add to the salsa

All ingredients blended and ready to spoon into jars

All ingredients blended and ready to spoon into jars

Salsa--lids in place and ready to ferment for a day…and enjoy tomorrow!

Salsa–lids in place and ready to ferment for a day…and enjoy tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent Primer on Real Foods, Where to Find Them and How to Use Them!

All the ingredients for soaked and cultured pancakes--delicious and nutritious!

All the ingredients for soaked and cultured pancakes–delicious and nutritious!

If you are keen on where to begin on how to use real foods–maybe you’re even wondering where to FIND real foods–then you’ll want to invest in the fantastic education from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.  And, through the weekend of Thanksgiving here in the US, you can purchase Kelly’s trainings at HALF OFF!  Simply enter BLACKFRIDAY as you check out.

What will you receive in Kelly’s trainings?  Here’s a breakdown:

For the Real Food Ingredient Guide E-book, you’ll find:

This revised version is cram-packed with new information.  What I’m most excited about is that it’s set up in a way that gives you exactly what you want in whichever format you need it in at the moment…

  • It has a newly revised 7-page quick reference guide for when you want fast answers to questions like,
    • Will you please just tell me what I’m supposed to buy?!”
    • Or when someone puts you on the spot and you need a quick reminder of “What was so bad about that food again?
    • Or maybe when you’re at the store you might need something to flip to for guidance there on various ingredients, including “good, better, best” options.
    • It’ll also help you know what to look for at your local farm and what questions to ask.
  • It has a more detailed section with facts on the different food groups and ingredients, for when you have time to dig in a little more, and it includes information on where to go for even more in-depth reading and research.
  • If you’re more of a visual learner, you’ll find an easy top ten real foods and top ten junk foods list in pictures.
  • It also includes new bonus material:  How to bring your family from junk food to real food, and how to overcome the six main obstacles everyone faces:
    1. Motivation – You won’t be willing to make a change if you don’t understand why it’s so important!
    2. Confusion/feeling overwhelmed – You’re probably sick of trying to navigate all the information from the ‘experts’ like what’s ‘good’ vs. what’s ‘not good’, especially when that keeps changing; and you just want to figure out the age-old question of “What the heck can I eat?!”  Especially before meal planning or grocery shopping…
    3. How to afford real food – You’ll learn loads of tips all in one place.
    4. Dealing with family complaints – This can wear you down at times, so I’ve got ways for you to get past this one!
    5. How to make time for real food – There are so many ways that I’ll bet you’ve never thought of!
    6. Sticking to it for the long haul – This is often what trips people up.  Life gets in the way and you find yourself slipping backward.  You’ll learn here how to prevent that from happening or how to get back on track.

And, for Kelly’s Real Food for Rookies Online Class, you’ll receive:

  • 12 weeks of online classes with videos, downloadable audios, and written materials.
  • LIFETIME access! Read/listen/watch at your leisure: on your break at work, while the kids are sleeping, in your pajamas, whatever! If you have a busy week, no big deal, just pick it back up on your own schedule.
  • Exclusive expert interviews with Sally Fallon Morell (President of the Weston Price Foundation), Dr. Kaayla Daniel (author of The Whole Soy Story), Jane Hersey (Director of the Feingold Association), Tom Naughton (Fathead filmmaker), and now one more: Jimmy Moore from the Livin LaVida Low-Carb blog!
  • BONUS: Free copy of the Kitchen Kop Real Food Guide
  • Save time and money while serving Real Food
  • Read labels and avoid dangerous ingredients
  • Make nourishing “fast food” meals to avoid last-minute trips to the drive-thru
  • Find healthier alternatives for soda pop, refined sugars, heart-killer oils, sugar-bomb breakfast cereals, factory farmed meat and more
  • Serve nutrient-dense foods that are necessary for good health
  • Take control of your health and change your family’s future!

Both of these tools are invaluable in your journey to greater health and empowerment for yourself and your family.  It takes a village to recapture  the information that’s been lost over the years in regard to how to take care ourselves with nutrition, and Kelly’s classes and information are priceless in their role of keeping you well!  And, from Thursday, November 28th until Monday, December 2nd 2013, you can get these classes and information at half price, by entering BLACKFRIDAY as you check out.

Wishing you the best!  Here’s to your health and the health of your loved ones!

Great Sale Information–Discount to NLT Readers on KD Gold Soap!

KD Gold RTU offerings in the Starter Pack

KD Gold RTU offerings in the Starter Pack

As you may have seen in my recent post on KD Gold all-natural super soap, we are VERY excited to have such a versatile, toxin-free and potent product to use to clean everything–from our kids’ faces to our garage floors.

After years of looking at the research and reports of the effects of chemicals in our environment on our health and well-being, I believe with all my heart that any way we can reduce our toxic burden–whether in the foods we eat or the products we clean ourselves and our homes with– is an integral component to our wellness.

However, “Natural’ and “Green” labels often belie the truth of the ingredients–there are many products labeled as such that still contain chemicals none of us would wish to use.  Likewise, many of the natural products may be free of toxins, but their effectiveness is lackluster.  So, when I come across something that is toxin-free and works as well or better than the chemical-laden options on the market, I am in!

So, here’s some more really great news:  The good folks at KD Gold have offered to give a 10% discount to you if you enter NLT10 when prompted during the checkout process!  There is no expiration on this offer and you can use it time and again (on separate orders)–just be sure to enter NLT10 anytime you check out from the KD Gold store.  This is in addition to the other promotion they offer, which is free shipping on any concentrate purchase, from the quart to 5-gallon size.  Simply enter CONCENTRATE when prompted as you check out.  So, if you’re planning to use both codes on the same order, type in NLT10, CONCENTRATE and you’ll receive both!

So, to save on your orders of KD Gold, always enter NLT10 when you check out, and if you’re buying the concentrate, also enter CONCENTRATE  to receive free shipping!

Happy, safe cleaning!

Toxin- and Fragrance-Free, Crazy Effective, All-Purpose Natural Soap

KD Gold Display

In past posts, I’ve written about the importance of being mindful of not only what we put into our bodies, but what we put onto our bodies as well.  According to the website Is It In Us?, over 80,000 chemicals are in use in modern commerce, but only about one quarter of these chemicals has even been tested for safety.

And while many consider keeping pesticides off their food, or organic labeling as a necessity for consumption, what we come into contact with is truly every bit as important in terms of our health.

From the detergent we wash our clothes in, to the dishwashing soap we use, to the products we employ to clean our homes, our bodies, our children’s bodies–all of these choices have an impact on our well-being.  From hormone disrupters like DDT and BPA, to  carcinogens like 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde, these are common and dangerous ingredients that have long-term effect on our bodies at a cellular level.

I’ve shared my recipes on natural cleaning products, and I love them!  But now, I’d like to add one more ingredient, either as a stand-alone cleaner, or as a component to those great recipes.

Have you been looking for an all-natural soap that is completely free of fragrance, safe for the most chemically-sensitive among us, is powerful enough to clean grease from an auto mechanic’s garage, but gentle enough to bathe a baby in or even brush your teeth with?  Well, then look no further than here!

KD Gold is an incredibly potent, effective, odorless soap derived from a proprietary, bio-based formula of fatty acids, vegetable- and plant-based enzymes and minerals, organic alcohol, coconut oil, folic acid, natural vanilla and deionized water that has been reconstituted using Dr. Emoto’s beneficial method.  Every ingredient in KD Gold  is found on the FDA’s Generally Recognized as Safe list.  Because of this, no warning labels are needed on the KD Gold products.

KD Gold's Concentrate Label

KD Gold’s Concentrate Label

So, what can KD Gold do?  By no means is this an exhaustive list, but here’s a good start:

  • Incredibly effective degreaser, from spills on concrete to grease splatters in the kitchen or on the grill
  • Excellent laundry soap and spot remover
  • All-purpose cleaner for glass, stainless steel, counters, appliances, and auto interiors
  • Body wash, shampoo, baby cleaner…even teeth cleaner!
  • Powerful delousing agent (yes, lice!)  KD Gold is so powerful in this capacity, they have developed a case study of its use in killing lice from both the body and head!
  • Pet shampoo, flea eliminator, and urine stain and odor remover
  • Phenomenal carpet cleaner, both for the entire floor, or for spots
  • Varnish (in a 2:1 ratio of water to KD Gold concentrate) and tarnish remover
  • Vegetable and fruit wash for safe and effective dissolution of waxes and chemicals
  • Wound care and hand sanitizing
  • Poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac pain relief

The power of KD Gold to do all of the above (and much, much more!) is found in the size and action of its molecules.  Called colloidal micelles, this type of soap’s molecules are so tiny and active that they can penetrate into much larger oil and grease molecules and break them apart into biodegradable components.  This action makes KD Gold an excellent, environmentally-friendly choice in oil spills of any kind, or spills of chemicals that are petroleum-based.

We have used it to clean our kitchen, our bathrooms, our outdoor grill, take the tarnish from silver jewelry, clean the walls in and out of the house, deeply (and easily!) clean tile and grout, wash our skin, clean our laundry and dishes–and I have even used it in lieu of toothpaste, and it works great!  Its utility in our home, on our bodies and on our pets is only as limited as the ways we need to use it at a given time.  It is truly multi-functional and incredibly versatile.  But what  varies in all of these uses is its dilution…different needs have different concentrations, and it can be purchased as a concentrate or in the various ready to use formats (RTU) listed above.

KD Gold is a small, family-owned business that was created out of the personal need for a product that was safe for someone with chemical sensitivity, compromised immunity and hyper-allergenity–but who still wanted an effective cleaning agent.  The company is so certain their customers will love their product that they offer a 30-day return policy on any unused portion of the product–or even an empty bottle–less shipping costs.

Additionally, the company offers different promotions from time to time, so be sure to check back often!

Please let me know if you order KD Gold and what you think of the product…I will love to get your feedback.  And we’ll be posting different ways we use it–I’m really excited to have something that has this much functionality–and safety!

 

Avocado and Papaya Salad

Papaya, avocado, pumpkin seeds and cayenne topping fresh greens from our spring garden.  Absolutely heavenly drizzled with walnut oil and fresh lime juice.

Papaya, avocado, pumpkin seeds and cayenne topping fresh greens from our spring garden. Absolutely heavenly drizzled with walnut oil and fresh lime juice.

It’s getting hot here in the desert, and we have many months of high temperatures ahead of us.  It feels good to move into the lighter faire of fresh fruits and vegetables when the weather warms–wonderful, juicy sustenance, but grounded with a drizzle of rich oil and soaked and dehydrated seeds.

Here’s an easy, fresh and nutritious salad that will be a light meal on its own, a perfect side to grilled fish or chicken, or paired with an assorted raw cheese plate. It is rich in digestion-supporting enzymes, thanks in large part to the Hawaiian papaya.  Included is sliced avocado–it’s mellow butteriness is like a soft pillow to the gentle sweetness of the papaya.  Topped with soaked and dehydrated pumpkin seeds and raw walnut oil, these simple ingredients will surprisingly deliver on sustained energy until your next meal.  Seasoned only with fresh lime juice, coarsely-ground sea salt and a dash of cayenne pepper, it is a flavor profile that puts me in a Mexico state of mind.

Avocado and Papaya Salad

Serves 2

  • 2 cups fresh Green Leaf Lettuce or Bibb Lettuce, roughly chopped and divided to 2 bowls
  • 1 ripe Avocado, cut into 1/2″ slices, divided
  • 1 cup ripe Papaya, cut into 1/2″ slices, divided
  • 1/4-1/2  cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds (preferably soaked and dehydrated), divided
  • 1 Lime, sliced and divided
  • 1/4 cup raw Walnut Oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil will do, as well), divided
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Coarsely ground Sea Salt

Divide the lettuce between two bowls.  Top each with the avocado and papaya slices and sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds.  Drizzle with  walnut oil and top with sea salt and a dash of cayenne pepper.  Serve with fresh lime wedges and enjoy immediately.

Ferments and Culturing…How I love Your Ways

It may not look like much, but the fermentation and culturing happening here fuels our kitchen!

It may not look like much, but the fermentation and culturing happening here fuels our kitchen!  Shown here:  water kefir, ginger bug brew, raw milk yogurt in yogurt maker, sprouted brown rice incubating in second yogurt maker and fermenting with added water kefir.

I’ve been in the very good habit lately of leaning heavily on lacto-fermentation to pre-digest the foods our family eats.  Culturing, fermenting, sourdough-ing, kraut-ing…our kitchen has been a hotbed of activity, but not always a lot of elbow grease on the family’s part.

After spending the better part of this last year reading and re-reading The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, I’ve felt compelled and encouraged to just sit back and let the bacteria do a lion’s share of the digestive work, so we don’t have to.  (The digestive equivalent of comfortably reclining, quaffing champagne and noshing bon-bons.)

And it has been a good move!

We had decided some time back to work on incorporating some grains back into our months’-long grain-free diet, and as with any move to eat grains, we did so with the expectation that they would always be properly-prepared by a long, warm-water soak before cooking.  The removal of various anti-nutrients by this simple first step is paramount to getting more nutrition from the grains, and mitigating the mineral- and protein-leaching that consuming unsoaked grains can lead to.

But adding in a little fresh culture to that warm, long watery soak–by way of  whey from yogurt or kefir, or a splash of water kefir–provided  the additional benefit of allowing the cultures to pre-digest the complex carbohydrates in the grains, leaving us with much more digestible simple sugars.  Yay!  And everything took on that wonderful, slightly-tart flavor of sourdough (and once a palate gets a taste for sourdough, anything less tastes bland and simple)–Yay again!  But possibly best of all, the grains didn’t feel like a brick in our bellies–even pancakes and hot cereal have been very well-digested, where we are full, but not at all bloated or logy.  Yay!

At one point last week, I counted 9 different ferments happening in our kitchen.  And while that certainly seems like a lot, it’s important to remember that the process of creating lacto-fermented foods requires time.  Rome may have not been built in a day, but culturing a quart of milk to become yogurt takes about a third of a day, and that’s a little longer than simply picking a container off the shelf at the grocery store.  But the benefits are innumerable if you do allow the time for your homegrown cultures to go to work for you.  Most commercially-prepared yogurt goes through a hastened culturing process, that does not allow for the more complete conversion of what are for many troublesome milk sugars (lactose)  into the gut-benefiting, probiotic bacteria.  And, if you have access to raw, grass-fed milk, then you are able to make a very nutritious food, indeed.

Similarly, making fermented veggies at home–most widely-known as sauerkraut–allows you to make a condiment teeming with beneficial bacteria, with the ingredients you choose.  Many people have issues with thyroid function–whether it be diagnosed or sub-clinical–and consuming raw sauerkraut of cabbage can actually further dampen thyroid function.  It turns out that the fermentation process does not degrade the thyroid-dampening effects of brassica-family vegetables, of which kale, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower and many others belong.  Now, a little raw or fermented brassica veggies isn’t going to squelch most people’s thyroid activity.  But if a person is inclined to eat a few spoons’ full of fermented veggies in a day (read:  me), then, making a kraut that leans more heavily on other types of vegetation–zucchini and other summer squashes, carrots, cucumbers, onions, garlic, chard, lettuces–might be a good option.  Again, this just takes time to let those good bacteria do their good work for you.

And there are more ways we’ve been using the cultures…to make bread, to prepare beans for cooking, as a base for refreshing and calming drinks, in making pancakes, and even as skincare!  The ways to use them are only as limited as our ingredients on hand and our imaginations.  I’d love to hear from you on what you’re culturing and fermenting, what your favorite cultured foods are, how you’re using these foods in your life.  Please leave a comment or contact me–there is always more to learn and share!

Mediterranean Lamb Bake

Sprouted quinoa and grass-fed lamb bake, fresh from the oven

I’ll be the first to say that not every home has ground lamb ready to go in the freezer.  Pastured lamb is not as common in most kitchens as it once was. However, should you have the opportunity to purchase some, consider this recipe as an excellent way to put it to use.

And just because something doesn’t tend to be a regular part of our diet, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be.  Each food has its own unique nutrition profile, and consuming a variety of foods helps to keep us balanced and vibrant.  Dr. Jack Tips’ book, The Pro Vita Plan, speaks volumes about the importance of this practice.

And including a food as nutritious as pastured lamb in your diet is just a very good  idea.  Pastured meats tend to be much leaner than their lot-fed, grain-fed pastured counterparts, and the fat they do contain is much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and much lower in Omega-6’s (fresh grass is over 60% Omega-3’s, and, like us, these animals are what they eat.)  Pastured lamb is also rich in Vitamin E and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a nutrient increasingly recognized for its anti-tumor, cardiovascular-supporting actions. (1)  US Wellness Meats is an excellent resource for pastured meats, shipped right to your door.

Another nutritional powerhouse in this recipe is soaked and sprouted quinoa, which I’ve cooked in grass-fed lamb bone broth.  Although quinoa is a food of the Andeas, and not the Mediterranean, it combines really well with the lamb.  If you wanted to be a real traditionalist, however, you could certainly substitute orzo or couscous, though I’d recommend soaking both beforehand.  Quinoa is gluten free, has its own healthy protein profile, and when it’s soaked and sprouted, many of the anti-nutrients found in all grains and seeds are broken down into easier to digest, less bothersome components (phytates, tannins and lectins, to name a few.)

I pair this with freshly made, plain yogurt and a bright green salad topped with raw garlic, cucumbers and ripe tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.  It’s wonderful reheated in the toaster oven, or broken into steaming bone broth, a la matzo ball soup.  The kids love it, and the grown-ups do too, so it’s great as a casserole to serve at a dinner party.  And, of course, it makes for a quick lunch later in the week!

Mediterranean Lamb Bake

  • 1 pound ground Grass-Fed Lamb
  • 2.5 cups soaked Quinoa, cooked (preferably in lamb or chicken broth)
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese, preferably raw and grass-fed goat or sheep, crumbled
  • Prepared Vegetables (I sliced Carrot, 1 sliced Zucchini, 1 diced medium Yellow Onion, 3 minced Garlic Cloves, 4 sliced Celery stalks) sauteed in 1 tablespoon Ghee or Butter until soft
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Mint Leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Grease an 8″ x 12″ baking dish with butter or ghee and scoop in the mixture.  Smooth with a spatula and place, uncovered, on the bottom rack of the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes, then increase oven heat to a high broil.  Place dish on a medium-high rack and broil for seven or eight minutes, or until the top gently browns.

Remove from the the oven and allow the dish to rest for ten minutes at room temperature before serving.  Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Sprouted quinoa and grass-fed lamb

 

Veggies sauteed in ghee, with herbs and lemon juice added just at the end

 

Top-browning under the broiler

 

Delicious Mediterranean-style baked lamb and sprouted quinoa, with fresh yogurt

(1)  Visit www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm for more information.