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!

Grain-Free Mini “Pizza” Turkey Loaves

All the wonderful ingredients to make these delicious little turkey loaves

Another nutritious, grain-free, easy recipe to support you during a busy week!

Just because I have a family of four and a two-career household, it doesn’t mean that I’m any busier than most everyone else these days.  All of us have many things going on in our lives.  And I know that if we don’t have foods prepared and ready to go come meal times, our choices start looking rather paltry (and for us, eating common fast-food offerings is simply not a choice.)

So, here’s another recipe to prepare ahead of time (i.e., Sunday!), and keep it in the refrigerator for lunches, a quick snack or on top of a dinnertime salad, as you work through your week.

This recipe is delicious and easy…the hardest part will be steaming the spaghetti squash.  And, this isn’t “hard,” but it is a first step.  Save the remainder of the squash in the refrigerator, to sauté in ghee with fresh basil and garlic, and serve as a quick side dish to fresh salad and these little reheated “loaves” on a busy evening. These will also be making their way into my kids’ lunch boxes this week, paired with some fresh veggies, a hunk of raw cheese and coconut crackers.

I call these “pizza,” because they have that flavor profile.  But if you chose to use thyme, rosemary, sage, omit the tomato paste, and used a little Chèvre as the cheese, they would be more in the savory, Thanksgiving-ish category.  You could also shift them toward Mexico, keeping the tomato paste, garlic, onion and oregano, and adding cumin, cilantro and chipotle.   There are countless ways to make these fit your palate!

Mini Turkey Loaves

Makes 18 muffin-sized “loaves”

  • 2 pounds Ground Turkey, preferably dark meat
  • 1.5 cups cooked Spaghetti Squash, steamed and drained of excess water
  • 3/4 cup frozen Spinach
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Jack Cheese, preferably raw and grass-fed, shredded (Raw Parmesan would be great, too!)
  • 1-7 oz. jar Tomato Paste, preferably salt-free
  • 1/8 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2.5 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2.5 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 3  teaspoons dried Oregano Leaf
  • Olive Oil or butter for greasing muffin tins

You’ll need muffin tins for 18 “loaves.”

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Grease each tin’s cups with oil to prevent sticking.  Fill each to the top with the mixture, and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.

Place on the middle rack in a well-heated oven.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes to resorb any oils back into each loaf.

Store in a glass, ceramic or parchment-lined plastic container in the refrigerator and consume within three days.

Turkey “loaves” ready to bake

 

Baked and cooling in the muffin tins

 

On parchment and ready to store in the refrigerator

 

Grain-free turkey loaves ready to enjoy with homemade sauerkraut and fresh greens!

 

Soul-satisfying Bone Broth

Rich, delicious bone broth–this batch was seasoned with onion and fresh rosemary

Rarely a day goes by I don’t extol the virtues of bone broth to someone.

Having made the decision to keep a crock-pot of it on hand at all times, I’ve come to deeply appreciate its virtues, both culinary and medicinally (and, in my life, the two generally go together!)

My first taste of bone broth came in the chicken and dumpling soups my Grandma Linda would make throughout my childhood.  I’m not too certain her methodology, but I do clearly remember a very rich butteriness, flecked with parsley, sizable bits of chicken and chewy, salty dumplings, all swimming in a sunny sea in a Corning Ware bowl.  I’m sure the dumplings were made with Bisquik (which I’d steer clear of today, instead figuring a way to use sprouted spelt flour and ghee or lard), but the chicken broth stands out as the golden essence of love in a bowl.

Happy chance when I began my study of Eastern Nutrition at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and we fell upon the use of bone broths.  The discussion of their use in convalescence from all sorts of traumas, from surgery to childbirth, to recovery from bone-crunching injuries, struck me as very reasonable and in keeping with the sage wisdom of Asian medicine.

Bone broths are full of many of the bits we pay for in our modern-day supplement and vitamin regimens–magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, collagen, easy-to-assimilate amino acids, glucosamine, chondroitin.  And the real beauty is that these components (and many others not mentioned!) are in a very bio-available form, so they are a breeze for you to put to use.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has long praised these virtues, and has used this kitchen medicine to repair a damaged body and return it to full capacity.  And I would argue, with the toxic-load we are exposed to in this modern day and age, we need this type of food more than ever.  From electro-magnetic fields, to depleted, pesticide-laced, MSG- and  GMO-tainted foods, to overworked and under-rested bodies, we are pushed to our limits.  And there is nothing quite as settling, nourishing and substantive as a rich bone broth.

To further capitalize on the wisdom of Chinese Medicine, I will sometimes include an additional ingredient–organ meats. Usually it is a liver, but I am happy to use heart as well.  The choice depends on what I hope to achieve in the broth’s nutrition profile.  If there are issues with failing eyesight, connective tissue problems, gynecological concerns, exhaustion and insomnia, then inclusion of a grass-fed, organic liver might be in order.  For cardiovascular issues, anemia and anxiety, then heart might be a good choice.  The wisdom goes, if there is a lacking in a given organ or in the tissues that are governed by that organ, then consume that organ to build the organ and tissues in the patient.

And if one looks at the nutrition profile of different organs, it is easy to see the reasoning.  Liver is rich in B-vitamins, protein, iron, CoQ10, and Vitamin A making it an excellent source for the nutrition to support the building of new blood cells and the various tissues of the body.  Heart is also rich in protein and CoQ10, each comprising the building blocks and energy source of the heart muscle, respectively.

In the yumminess of a broth, these incredibly nutritious foods come easily to the palate of even the fussiest eaters.  Much of the nutrition of the organ makes its way into the broth, without the need to actually eat the organ.

Plan to start your broth with 2-3 bones–a mix of marrow, neck, oxtail and shank, maybe a piece of organ meat, purified water, Celtic Sea Salt, an acid (usually raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice) and a bit of onion.

Place everything into a cool crock-pot, and set it for a 4-hour cooking.  Fill the pot with enough water to leave only about 1.5″ of space at the top, then cover with the lid.

You may want to start your broth as you go to bed, and let it cook through the night.  In the morning you’ll have a broth that is incredibly rich–sometimes so rich, a splash of vinegar in each serving is helpful to cut the oiliness of this first draft, or you might skim much of the fat off to use later to sauté vegetables.  Next pour in enough boiling water to replace the liquid  just removed, add a healthy pinch of Celtic Sea Salt, and keep the pot on the “Keep Warm” setting, which, on our pot is 190 degrees Fahrenheit, beating out the needed 180 degrees to keep pathogens at bay.

Throughout the day, use the broth as a base for cooking soaked and sprouted grains, as the steaming medium for chopped veggies, as a sauce base, as a wonderful beverage, and as the liquid to a quick “bowl soup”–just take some fresh greens (spinach, spring greens, soft chard), some slices of avocado–and pour the hot broth and some chunks of meat over the cold, fresh foods.  Let it sit for a few minutes, and in no time, you’ll have a wonderful, quick soup.  Topping with a dash of vinegar is an absolute delight!

Keep repeating the process of drawing off of the broth, and replacing with boiling water and a pinch of Celtic sea salt, maintaining the temperature at on the “Keep Warm” setting.  By the end of the first day, plan to have all meaty bits out of the broth, though you may keep the bones from larger animals in an extra day or two.  By the third day, strain the remaining broth from the bones and complete what remains of the broth.  Plan to start a new batch on the fourth day.

It should be noted to always use grass-fed,  pastured, organically-raised sources for meats, bones and organs.  There is real concern for toxicity if doing otherwise, whether blatant or as an insidious build-up over time. And even if a chicken is organic, if it’s been kept in a cage, its subsequent broth will not have the nutritious gelatin as part of its composition.  It’s just worth it to pay the extra and make the effort to find a source that meets these standards.  And, when using bones and organs, the cost is incremental to the standard cost of a muscle meat, making this option much more feasible for even the tightest of budgets.  Additionally, bone broth, rich in gelatin, allows for less meat consumption, if drunk throughout the day with meals.

Here’s a basic recipe for bone broth, using beef bones.  You can also use this recipe for lamb, and it could be replicated for bison, too.

Basic Bone Broth

  • 1 large Shank Bone (2 pounds or so)
  • 1 Neck Bone (1-2 pounds)
  • 1 Oxtail (1-2 pounds)
  • 1/2 pound Liver, if you like (rinse under cold water and remove any bandy parts)
  • 1 Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Celtic Sea Salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar (raw Apple Cider, naturally fermented Rice or organic Balsamic) or the juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup Wine (not necessary, though I like what it does to the flavor profile–I use organic reds for beef, lamb and bison, and organic whites for chicken, fish and turkey)
  • Enough purified water to fill the crock pot just shy of 1.5″ full

Place all ingredients in pot and place on 4-hour setting.  As you take the broth from the pot, replace with the same amount of boiling water and a pinch of sea salt.  Keep the pot at the Keep Warm setting and consume all meat/organ portions within the end of the first day.  The bones may remain in another day or two.  Plan to consume all your broth within 3 days of first starting it if using this perpetual method, where it maintains a hot temperature.  Any longer and proteins and fats can begin to degrade.

 

Turkey and Fermented Quinoa Patties

Sprouted Quinoa and Turkey Patties

 

These patties will be a lifesaver for you–they are a wonderful dish to have on hand for a quick reheat in the toaster oven, or as a protein entree in a brown-bag lunch (with a freezer pac!)

We love them straight off the griddle, paired with raw sauerkraut and a dollop of creme fraiche  (or, if you ask the kids, with organic ketchup!)  Another favorite is to break one up and top it with rich bone broth–such a nutritious meal!

They are just a handy, nutritious option that tastes great!  They are certainly worth the bit of time it takes to cook them, and even this can be shortened if you have a large griddle.

Turkey and Fermented Quinoa Patties

Makes approximately 28-30 patties

  • 4 cups cooked Quinoa (soak your quinoa in water and water kefir overnight before cooking)–I like to cook mine with bone broth for added flavor and nutrition
  • 2 pounds Ground Dark Turkey
  • 5 Pastured Eggs
  • 1 cup freshly shredded raw Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 teaspoons organic Poultry Herb blend
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup frozen, organic Spinach
  • Ghee, coconut oil or grass-fed Beef Tallow for the pan
  • 12″ fry pan

Combine all ingredients into a glass or stainless bowl and mix well.

Melt a tablespoon of oil in the frying pan over low-medium heat.

Using an ice cream scoop or serving spoon, make 3-4″ patties that are about 1/3″ in thickness–in a 12″ pan you should be able to fit 3 patties easily.  Cook for about 4 minutes on the first side, or until golden brown, then flip.  Allow another 3-4 minutes of cooking, then transfer to a non-plastic plate or dish.

Continue re-oiling your pan with each batch.

Patties store well in the refrigerator for 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months for reheating in the toaster oven or in a pan.  Wrap separately in parchment paper and use heavy duty aluminum foil or a freezer-safe container for storage.

 

Freshly-shredded raw Parmesan

 

All ingredients in the bowl, ready to mix!

 

Everything ready to cook

 

Patties ready to flip…

 

…et voila! Crunchy, savory, nutritious patties, ready to enjoy or to save in the freezer for another meal!

Food as Our Medicine

Breakfast of turkey bacon, broccolini and zucchini--just add some eggs, spring mix and avocado!

At the foundation of natural medicine should be a healthy, balanced diet.  Supplements and therapies are just that—supplemental and therapeutic means to affect change in the body.  However, it is the day-in, day-out practice of eating that is truly what makes a difference in health over the long haul. So, what does this look like from a practical standpoint?

Many years of professional and personal research, practice and plain tinkering have led me to some basic tenets that I’d like to share. I’ve found the culmination of many dietary questions being answered in clear detail in Dr. Jack Tips’ books, The Weight is Over, and The Pro-Vita Plan.

Eat mostly vegetables, and do so with each meal 

Shoot for mostly raw, with some cooked just to the point of softening.  Definitely do your best to make them organic, seasonal and local. If  not organically-grown, soak your produce for 20 minutes in a tub of clean water, with a few drops of grapefruit seed extract included to kill bacteria and other germs.  Rinse them under fresh water, then let them air-dry on towels before placing them in the crisper for safekeeping.

Raw produce allows our bodies to use the inherent enzymes in the produce to help with the pre-digestion of the meal.  Likewise, because we are not herbivores by design, we need to have the cell wall of the plants we eat partially broken down to extrude the nutrition found in the plant matter, and heating is a great way to meet this need; therefore, the need for some cooked vegetables as well.

Eating organically means the plants were grown in more nutrient-bearing soil, and that they are free of toxic residues from pesticides, fungicides, etc. Eating locally and in-season means we are eating foods that are in keeping with the biorhythm of our locale, which helps to support the nutrition needed for a given time and place.

Additionally, foods that are local and in-season can be picked at their ripeness, further enhancing their nutrition profile. This can look like a salad of mixed spring greens, or freshly made cole slaw, or a crudités platter.  Pair this with steamed vegetables like zucchini, carrots, parsnips, or sauté some spinach or collard greens with onions.  A homemade marinara sauce, full of lightly cooked veggies with onions and garlic would be a great choice, too.

Eat your heaviest meal in the morning, followed by your next heaviest at lunch, and your lightest at dinner

Eat more protein at the start of the day, and lighter carbohydrates at the end of the day.  Limit the amount of liquid (preferably water) with your meals. Our bodies run on natural biorhythms, and one facet of this is that we tend to produce more hydrochloric acid (HCl) as the day begins.  HCl has many important functions, but breaking down protein is one of its greatest.

Of the three macronutrients—carbohydrates, fats and proteins—protein is the most important for building healthy new tissue.  However, protein is also the most complicated of the three to digest and utilize.  Therefore, capitalizing on the body’s natural proclivity for protein digestion in the morning makes good sense.

Additionally, having the heaviest protein meal in the morning allows the body to digest and put to use the nutrition needed for the rest of the day, when our activity levels are highest.  A meal of softly-scrambled, free-range organic eggs with sautéed spinach, topped with a dollop of organic, plain yogurt and a side of sliced tomato and avocado will garner a balanced energy throughout the remainder of the day (even during the 3 o’clock slump!) Lunch should be a variation on the theme set out at morning, and ideally should be paced about 4 ½ hours later, allowing ample time for the digestion of the first meal.

A mixed greens’ salad with broiled, organic chicken or wild-caught fish, topped with a few soaked sunflower seeds and some sautéed vegetables from dinner the night prior, drizzled with walnut oil or cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil, some fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of herbs or garlic would make for a delightful, nutritious mid-day meal.

Finally, dinner should be the lightest meal of the day, more focused on complex carbohydrates, which are easiest of the three macronutrients to digest.  We don’t need heavy building as the day winds down—rather, it is a time of rest and recovery, and bogging down the system with a heavy protein meal leads to lymphatic congestion and disordered sleep, among other issues.  This meal should consist of sautéed vegetables, possibly with some soaked and steamed quinoa or amaranth, topped with a little butter, or possibly a baked sweet potato.  A piece of fresh, in-season fruit makes for a lovely dessert.

However, if you find that this “lightest” meal is just a little too light to make it comfortably through the evening, then do have a little protein–maybe 2-3 ounces of broiled fish with a salad, or some braised greens and onions with 2-3 ounces of turkey.  Just keep the portion size of the entire meal smaller than the first 2 meals, and complete eating at least a couple of hours before sleep.

Don’t mix carbohydrates with proteins

The reason for this lies in a point that was made earlier—protein is more difficult to digest than carbohydrates, and when a person eats a meal that is predominately carbohydrate, with some protein, the body begins producing the enzymes necessary for carbohydrate digestion, rather than the more challenging (and very different in composition) protein digestion.  Doing so digests the carbohydrates, but leaves the proteins not fully digested, leading to fermentation, gas, improper nutrient breakdown and indigestion.

So, eat your carbs (sprouted and non-sprouted grains, breads, tortillas, pastas, starchy vegetables, over-cooked beans, fruit, milk, sweeteners) in a separate meal from your proteins (eggs, meats, soaked/sprouted/gently cooked beans, cheeses, yogurt and other cultured dairy, nuts.)

Here is a breakdown of the common macronutrients, so you can more easily decide what goes with what, and when it should be eaten

Very starchy carbohydrates—avoid consuming with proteins, but fine with moderate fats

  • All grains and grain products
  • Overcooked beans (not sprouted beans gently cooked below the simmer point)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Cooked and baked potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Rutabagas
  • Yams
  • Split peas

Carbohydrates that are medium starch, a small amount with protein should be fine, and fine with fats

  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Lightly cooked corn
  • Daikon radish
  • Jicama
  • Okra
  • Parsnips
  • English snow peas
  • Radishes
  • Raw summer squashes (crookneck, zucchini, etc.)
  • Rhubarb
  • Hard squashes (acorn, banana, spaghetti, etc.)
  • Turnips
  • Water chestnuts

Carbohydrates that are non-starchy, an excellent choice with fats and proteins

  • Most sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Beet tops
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuces
  • Onions
  • Sea vegetables
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes

Fats, fine with proteins and carbohydrates

  • All oils, from vegetable and animal sources
  • Lard
  • Butter

Proteins, consume with fats and non-starchy carbohydrates

  • Beans that are sprouted and cooked just below the simmer
  • Beet leaves
  • Chesses
  • Chlorella
  • Green coconuts’ milk
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Dulse
  • Eggs
  • Gelatin
  • All meats
  • Milk
  • Miso
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Peanuts
  • Dried peas
  • Seeds
  • Seitan, tempeh and tofu
  • Tahini
  • Wild rice

              —

Looking for healthy recipes that are always gluten-free, grain-free and organic?

Look no further!

With these recipes, discover the joy of eating nutritious, tasty foods that are always gluten-free and grain-free .

Learn to make salads that eat like a meal in themselves, protein-rich breakfast foods that will keep your energy balanced, and yummy superfood snacks for when you’re on the go.

When looking over the recipes, the following is a given:

• I use organic produce, herbs and spices to the best of my abilities

• I use locally-grown produce as it’s available

• I use organic, free-range or wild-caught eggs and animal proteins

• Salt is always some type of sea salt

• If I’m using any variety of cultured dairy, it is usually prepared at home– yogurt , kefir , soft cheeses —this is not mandatory, but it makes for a very nutritious selection that I know is full of healthy flora

• Any milk is organic and raw—if you are not inclined to use this yourself, please do use organic and full-fat. And more often than not, I use goat milk

• Raw nuts are organic as often as possible, and have been soaked and dehydrated at 100 degrees—you can use raw nuts that have just been soaked and not dehydrated, but their texture will be moist and chewy, rather than crunchy

• When using stevia as a sweetener, my preferred variety is the concentrated powder, which you can find at Trader Joe’s, or most any natural foods’ store

• When using honey , I use local and raw

I hope these ideas inspire you and give you direction on making healthier foods in your own home.

Change them as needed to fit your taste preferences, or stay true to the ingredients listed to try something new.

Whatever your choice, keep this saying in mind:“Make every fork-full as nutritious as it can be!”

To help you along, I’ve included links to some of my favorite sources to help you find farmers and stores close to you.

And if you are really interested in learning many more grain-free, GAPS-friendly foods, please click here to sign up for grain-free meal plans.

Have fun, be creative and enjoy the process! Bon appetit!

Recipes to Enjoy

Savory, Smoky Grain-Free Meatballs 

Squash and Turkey Bacon Hash 

Baked Cultured Tarragon Chicken 

Nut Mayonnaise 

Sweet Pot-Souffle 

Cousin Dee’s Sweet Potato Pancakes 

Sprouted and Dehydrated Quinoa Flour 

Hazel-Coco Bread 

Sprouted Quinoa Bread 

Chicken and Chevre Salad on Mixed Greens 

Grilled Nicoise Salad 

Cabbage and Turkey Bacon Slaw 

Coconut Fish with Braised Vegetables 

Coconut Flour Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing 

Cashew Mousse 

The Dehydrator and Its Many Wonderful Ways

Breakfast Foods–Your First Line of Defense to Come What May

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day—I’ve tried it many ways, from frozen waffles drenched in imitation maple syrup or cold cereal floating in homogenized, pasteurized low-fat milk (oh, the folly of youth!), to an apple with a handful of raw almonds and a cup of tea (left me full for a bit, then ravenous later), to something including eggs, sautéed veggies, a pinch of spring greens and a slice of red pepper, maybe some uncured turkey bacon or free-range chicken sausage, topped with avocado slices (rocket fuel!)

Having run the gamut of options as they regard to breakfast, I have come to find that something less sugary, more savory, with healthy fats, raw and cooked produce, and a good amount of protein is the way to go. Being mindful of these components has delivered regularly on keeping blood sugar balanced, thoughts clear, cravings down, mood bright and energy even (both for the adults and for the kids, who are very busy with their schoolwork.)

I do tend to wake early to prepare everyone’s breakfast—I like not being rushed, and the extra time allows me to think more clearly on adding a little variety each morning. I don’t want the same, nutritious dish to become white noise to our bodies. It’s good to mix things up a bit each day.

So, on a given morning, I might make up a pot-souffle , using organic eggs, unsweetened almond milk, and sweet potatoes or winter squash—these I’ve steamed beforehand and have ready for use in the fridge. Or, I might make a veggie scramble, using sautéed zucchini and spinach, a little goat cheese and organic eggs. Plainly scrambled eggs are always a hit, too—the kids love when I slow-scramble them, so that they stay soft in texture.

With the protein entrée complete, an accompaniment of organic, nitrite- and nitrate-free poultry bacon or sausage is always welcomed—and these tend to be pre-cooked, making a quick re-heating in the pan or pot used for the egg dish easy, and cutting down on clean-up. One or two pieces go a long way in terms of taste and adding a little more protein.

For the grown-ups, I put a little sauteed veggies (whatever greens are in season are wonderful), over a pinch of salad greens, or pair them with a few slices of raw veggies.  This way we get enzymes to help with pre-digestion, and the nutrition of cooked veggies, where the cellulose wall has been broken down through some cooking.

I always have a side of fresh, organic, seasonal fruit slices or fresh berries—not too much, maybe the equivalent of a piece of whole fruit. Since we don’t do commercially-prepared toast or cereals, I like having a little bit of sweetness and carbs, and the kids love it.

But, what if you’re in a rush each morning, trying to get many things done in a short window of time?

If it’s happening every day, then I’d encourage you to go to bed a half-hour earlier so you can wake up a half-hour earlier and get a more balanced start to your day—starting the day in a frenzy is a rough way to begin any day, and if it’s a regular pattern, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot before it’s even left the house!

But, sometimes, even with the best of intentions and planning, things can go awry—the alarm clock doesn’t go off, an emergency clean-up after a pet consumes your time, an unexpected, lengthy phone call pulls your attention for the morning.

We’ve all had those mornings.

So, when your time has been consumed in something other than the creative pursuit of a tasty breakfast, it’s great to have on hand some items that will meet your nutritional needs and keep you going.

Here are some ideas:

• A slice or 2 of raw cheese , some raw nuts , coupled with a piece of organic fruit

• Plain, organic yogurt sweetened with a teaspoon of raw, unprocessed sugar or local, raw honey and a little vanilla extract, with some superfood powder mixed in, topped with a few raw nuts

• Sliced raw veggies (bell pepper, carrots, celery, jicama) with some raw cheese and a boiled egg or two

As you can see, these options are focused on giving you protein, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals—they may not be as inviting as a steaming plate of scrambled eggs or soufflé, but they will give you good nutrition in a little bit of effort.

Have fun with your breakfast—it is the springboard from which you’ll get through the rest of your day. Make it tasty and full of nutrition so that you’ll be primed no matter what comes your way!

Cabbage and Bacon Slaw — Veggies, Seeds and Carrots Come Together with Cilantro


This gently-cooked cabbage and bacon “slaw” is a tasty, tart salad that is great to have on hand as a side dish, as an entrée over fresh mixed greens, or as a quick snack! The lively cilantro, lime and cayenne offset the earthiness of the bacon and pumpkin seeds. 

Serves 4-6 as a side, 2-3 as an entrée

  • ½ head Green Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ Purple Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices organic Turkey, Beef or Pork Bacon, thinly sliced
  • Ghee or Coconut oil for the pan
  • 1/3 cup raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¼ cup Thompson Raisins
  • ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped

For Dressing:

  • 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil • 2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 T fresh Lime juice
  • 1 T raw Honey, Yacon Syrup, or a dash of Stevia
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt, adjust to taste
  •  1/8-1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  •  Sliced Avocado for topping

 

With a mid-range heat, add a tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil to a medium-sized pan.  Add the bacon, cabbage, onion and carrot and sauté to just soften the veggies and gently cook the meat.  Remove from the heat.

Place the cooked ingredients and raisins, seeds and cilantro into a glass bowl.  Combine vinegar, oil, lime juice, honey and seasonings into a cruet and shake well. Pour over the salad, mixing from the bottom to coat all ingredients well, then refrigerate for 2-4 hours , stirring from the bottom occasionally. When ready to serve, allow to warm up to room temp a little, stir again from the bottom, then top with fresh slices of avocado. Bon appetit!

Sweet Pot-Scramble

 

This is a great way to start the day on a sweeter note, without the sugars found in more traditional sweet morning fare—something that works great for those following the Paleo Diet. It is packed with fiber, Vitamin A, protein and healthy fat. Use sweet potatoes or winter squash that has been pre-cooked to make preparation fast and easy. 

Serves 2

• 1 cup cooked Winter Squash or Sweet Potatoes, skin and seeds removed

• 2-3 raw Eggs

• ½ cup Whole, Organic Milk or unsweetened Almond Milk or Coconut Milk

• ½ tsp. ground Nutmeg

• ½ tsp. ground Cinnamon

• 1 tsp. Vanilla extract

• Pinch of Sea Salt, to taste

• Pinch of Stevia, or a scant teaspoon of raw, organic sugar, to taste, if necessary

• 1 T. Grass-fed Butter, Clarified Butter or Coconut Oil, plus a dab more for topping

• Raw Walnuts to garnish 

Over a medium heat, add butter or coconut oil, swirl around the pot, then add sweet potatoes or squash and milk.

Bring to a very gentle simmer, mixing the milk into the sweet potatoes/squash.

Add the seasonings, then the beaten eggs.

Reduce the heat to low, and mix all the ingredients well, occasionally folding them over to bring the cooked portion to the top, and the uncooked to the bottom. Once there is uniform consistency, but still relatively soft, remove from heat.

Scoop into 2 bowls and top with a drizzle of clarified butter, a pinch of sea salt if necessary, and a sprinkle of walnut pieces.

All ingredients just beginning to cook 

Fully cooked, and ready to serve 

Dish complete, drizzled with clarified butter and served with pastured beef bacon and berries

Squash and Turkey Bacon Hash

Squash and Turkey Bacon Hash on Arugula and Mixed Greens 

Squash and turkey bacon hash takes a savory-sweet spin on many of the usual Thanksgiving ingredients – a spin that is tasty and very nutritious! The secret to the development of the flavors is being patient and allowing the ingredients to braise a little before scooping and flipping for braising on the other side.

Once cooked, we enjoy it over mixed salad greens and/or arugula that have been lightly tossed in a little toasted walnut oil and fresh lemon juice. However, it tastes wonderful on its own, as a side, or an entrée.

Serves 6 as a side dish, 4 as an entrée

• 1 bunch Kale, stems removed and chopped in 1” strips

• 1 medium Yellow Onion, thinly sliced

• 4-5 stalks Broccolini, chopped in 1” pieces

• 1 Zucchini, sliced in ¼” rounds

• 3 cloves Garlic, finely minced

• 1 8-slice package of Nitrate- and Nitrite-free Turkey Bacon, chopped in 1” slices

• 2 cups cooked Acorn or Butternut Squash, cut in 1” cubes

• 1/8 c. Chardonnay wine (you could also substitute a little chicken stock, or even water—each option will create a different flavor profile, but all are fine choices)

• Clarified Butter or Coconut Oil for cooking

• 1 Avocado

• ½-1 tsp. Sea Salt, or to taste

• Raw Walnut halves, fresh Lemons and Cilantro for garnish 

To a large pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil. Once melted, add the chopped kale and onion, spreading them evenly over the pan. Do not stir, allowing the kale and onion to braise.

Kale and onion in pan, before braising 

Once braised a little, flip them and add the zucchini, broccolini and turkey bacon. After a little more braising, add the garlic and wine—this will allow the caramelized bits on the bottom to be released and become part of the dish.

Veggies and turkey bacon braised, ready to add the cubed squash 

Cook for a minute or two, then add the cubed squash, incorporating it into the dish, so that the squash comes into direct contact with the pan’s surface. After a couple of minutes, this will begin to caramelize; flip all ingredients with a spatula so that at least 2 sides of the squash are caramelized.

Ready to serve! 

Remove from heat and scoop into pasta bowls, garnishing with thin slices of avocado if you like, as well as walnuts and freshly chopped cilantro. Add a lemon wedge for drizzling over the top. Bon appetit!

Savory sweet hash on earthy greens–delicious!