Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hambulance! We Need Egg Cups, Stat!

To make:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Have assistant deliver sliced ham via ambulance ( = Hambulance).

(This step works best if it's after school on Crazy Hair Day but work with what you've got.)

Lightly oil a muffin tin (I used coconut oil today).

Line each muffin spot with a piece of minimally-processed sliced meat (tonight we used ham and turkey from Applegate Farms).

Tear some fresh spinach into small pieces and put them in the meat slices, which have now formed a sort of cup at the bottom of your muffin tin.

Break an egg into each.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, with optional Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 400 for around 13 minutes.

Serve with a cup of broth and something green.

Optional goodness: sprouted whole grain bread with your own salty home-made butter. Or should I say "butter with bread?"

Bon appetit!

Tomorrow, stay tuned for Totally Paleo Birthday Dinner: Dad's Birthday Edition. Featuring Grain-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. (Wish me luck.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Minimally-processed, organic and nitrate-free ham "tacos" stuffed with our home-made purple sauerkraut. 

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Smell Pretty

We're talking healthy, non-toxic deodorant over at the natural beauty and wellness coaching blog.

Why not pop over and get the recipe to go from this:

to this:

in three steps for less than a dollar.

The recipe is here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easiest Sauerkraut Ever

Earlier over at my skincare and wellness coaching blog, I wrote that fermented foods are among the best things we can eat to achieve radiant health and clear skin. The natural probiotics in real fermented foods aid digestion and give powerful antioxidant protection. I see so many clients who struggle with treatment-resistant acne. These same clients tend to have poor digestion, low energy, allergies, and other signs of general low immune system health. One thing I always recommend is adding more raw, cultured nutrition to the daily diet. You can buy artisanal raw sauerkrauts at your local natural food store that are delicious, but it will cost you at least $9 for the real thing. Real raw sauerkraut is so easy and cheap to make, you may as well make your own. Here's how I do mine:

Real Raw Sauerkraut

Ingredients needed:


Supplies needed:

Shred your cabbage. Chop it finely with knife and cutting board. It doesn't have to look perfect but be sure the pieces are small. You'll be squishing them into a jar.

Add the salt and put your cabbage into a large bowl. Squeeze and press the cabbage with your hands to get it nice and bruised and juicy.

Add the caraway seeds, then pack it all up into a quart-size wide-mouth mason jar. Important: Press the cabbage down firmly with a spoon or, if it fits, with your hand. The goal is to get all solid bits of cabbage submerged beneath the juices. This will prevent mold from growing on your sauerkraut. *

Keep your kraut-to-be at a nice, warm room temperature for at least a week. After that, taste it and see if you like it. If so you may refrigerate it at this point. For even better nutrient profile, let it ferment at least two weeks before throwing it in the fridge. I like a stronger taste and tons of good bacteria so two weeks works for me. Just be sure your cabbage-y bits have enough liquid in them to stay sunken until refrigeration.

Two 20-ounce jars and a mix of green and red cabbages. It's 5:32 somewhere.

* Optional:  In her wonderful and highly recommended book, Full Moon Feast, Jessica Prentice recommends weighing your sauerkraut down with a smaller jar, filled with water, to ensure that your mix stays under the liquid line. I don't and haven't ever done that; I just press my cabbage down below the liquid every day and have never had a mold problem.

Monday, March 12, 2012

That Wiggle in Your Walk

Yesterday I wrote that gelatin doesn't have to be the junk food it was when my grandma (bless her cotton socks) was molding that day-glo stuff in a box into wiggly, jiggly shape for every holiday of the year. (This reminds me- every year she made a delicious and no doubt highly traditional green St. Patrick's Day cake out of boxed yellow cake, boxed pistachio pudding and green food coloring. It sure wasn't anything approaching real food, but the memory of it makes me smile this week as I'm preparing for a healthy St. Paddy's feast with my mom and family.)

Last year I read and loved Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan MD and Luke Shanahan.

Known on her web site as Dr. Cate, Shanahan writes with her partner, a chef, about the healing benefits of real, traditional foods. I’m a real food research junkie so the information presented in the book wasn’t very new. In fact, I was put off by the otherwise very enjoyable text because the writers clearly drew so heavily from the work of the amazing Weston A. Price Foundation but they say that their inspiration came from reading Dr. Andrew Weil - a lovely person, I’m sure, but his nutritional advices are usually far too soy-heavy and low-fat to be truly healthy. In any case, I won’t be offended if the WAPF isn’t, and Deep Nutrition is engaging and easy to read so I recommend it to my skincare clients all the time.

What makes Deep Nutrition particularly interesting is its focus on beauty as a manifestation of health. Dr. Price did so too, in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. But Dr. Cate’s book is more of the how-to book to Dr. Price’s drier anthropological work. She has a lovely passage about skincare, inside and out, which I've written a little about over here. When I reread it recently, I was hot to go and rediscovered my love of making gelatin molds to add a sweetish and snacky alternative to my usual gallons of bone broth.
The incredible Cheeseslave has a terrific recipe here that includes freshly-juiced fruit to get a really nutritious gelatin. I'll bet it tastes divine but I'm not that committed. To reduce the sugar content, I use one part water to three parts organic unsweetened fruit juice and I follow a tootsed-up recipe I devised yonks ago off the back of the Knox box. I don't buy Knox, though. I boycott Kraft, its icky industrial food parent company, and I get Great Lakes brand gelatin online because it comes from healthy cows that are pasture-raised.

I like my gel-o really firm so my gelatin content is high. Here's how I do it:

Put one cup of cold filtered water in a bowl and sprinkle with 5-6 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin.

Stir gelatin into juice until it is dissolved.

Bowl 3 cups of juice.

Add boiling juice to the water-gelatin mixture.

Stir together and pour into a your mold or baking pan that has been laid with a shallow layer of the frozen organic fruit of your choice. (I use a silicone bundt cake mold that I got as a wedding gift and it is perfect for this recipe. Next week- ask me about Punch Bowl Kombucha!)

Let it set in your refrigerator overnight and by morning you will have a very firm, very delicious treat that is relatively low in sugar, very high in protein, and full of the collagen we need for healthy hair, skin and nails - or, as we say in our house: healthy claws and a shiny coat.

It's wee-beastie approved!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Busy Kitchen Sunday

Yesterday I was completely grateful to a client who brought me a nice big cup of Starbucks during a long Saturday working afternoon, but otherwise it's been 100% Radical Dining-In for a week. This is the longest I have gone I've gone in a long time without visiting so much as a coffee shop-- much less a restaurant or two.  It is always odd to remember that that participating in public life without spending money is really, really hard. Earlier this week I had four hours free between work ending a a class starting, and being unable to stop into a cafe for a warm drink on a cold day was downright unpleasant. After spending an hour in a book store, an hour walking around, and another hour hanging out reading on a rooftop garden, having "nowhere to go" for another hour started to provoke a little anxiety. It made me feel for people who literally have nowhere to go and who can't just stop their little blogging experiment at any time to go back to their normal consumer lifestyles.

So I feel good and my body feels well and today the kitchen buzzing with good things to eat later on in the week. Better than that, my family is eating gorgeous, organic, pastured, grass-fed, grass-finished and totally home-made for somewhere around $8 per person, per day. That is what a bit of planning will do for you. (I realize that that number would be high for a family on a tighter budget than ours, but these things are relative and $8 is relatively dirt cheap compared to our usual cash spending on food. Before we started Radical Dining In my husband and I spent a combined $12 a day on breakfast alone.)

Anyway here's what's cooking:

  • a huge batch of almond flour blueberry pancakes for breakfasts
  • a 10" x 12" almond flour-apple sauce "cake" with raisins
  • a giant egg casserole with spiced ground beef from our Marin Sun Farms CSA and spinach and arugula from the farmers market
  • two quarts of raw sauerkraut
  • one quart of raw milk yogurt
  • tons of vegetables prepped and stored for the week
  • crockpot chicken casserole simmering away
  • chicken livers soaking for my truly knock-out pâté*
  • gelatin for snacks and my kid's lunchtime treats**

eating our almond-blueberry pancakes a few Sundays ago

* because do you know how amazing organ meats are for our health? Here's a bit about liver from the really fantastic Primal website, Mark's Daily Apple: Possibly the most common organ meat consumed in the U.S., liver was once regarded as a meal for the affluent and was even named one of the Eight Delicacies in The Li-Chi, a handbook of rituals published during China’s Han era. So why should you be eating it? According to those in the know, liver is an excellent source of high quality protein; contains an abundance of vitamin A and several B vitamins; is an excellent source of folic acid and iron; is the number one food source of copper; and contains CoQ10, which is important for cardiovascular function.

**GELATIN?!! Yes, Gelatin. Believe it or not, a properly-made jello-mold is actually a tremendously tasty health food. I'll write about why tomorrow, and include a little recipe. For now, it's time for a cup of broth and a cup of tea.

Friday, March 9, 2012

NPR on Claudia, The High-Tech Cow

I like my food low-tech, thanks. Yet another reminder to buy REAL milk from small, organic farmers. Listen to the story (4 minutes, 19 seconds) on NPR here.