Sunday, February 20, 2011

A favorite weekend breakfast

Grey sole fillets cooked on low heat in lots of butter and lemon juice--

...topped with freshly made guacamole: one ripe avocado, juice from one lime, a few tablespoons of diced tomato, and chopped cilantro and sea salt to taste--

Mash thoroughly and serve with the fish. Don't forget to include the butter/lemon cooking juices from the pan! This is a very filling and satisfying breakfast. I also like to have this meal before I go on my food deliveries.

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Home remedies for a sore throat

I woke up with a bit of a sore throat this morning, so decided to use some home remedies to try and clear up the issue.

1. I peeled and minced a clove of garlic, and swallowed the pieces with water, like pills. A great antibacterial remedy, courtesy of my friend Stephanie. I often do this when I feel like something is just beginning to come on.

2. Cotton ball with a few drops of tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil. Place in a small container and hold one nostril closed as you breathe deeply with the other, then switch. Eucalyptus is good for clearing up any congestion, and, as Raine Saunders writes on her blog, "tea tree oil is a natural antifungal, antiseptic, and disinfectant and its fumes are powerful enough to ward off an infection in your respiratory tract if started quickly enough." Although I didn't have any congestion I decided to do this just in case.

3. Cayenne pepper in a mug of warm chicken broth. I used 1/4 teaspoon for one cup of liquid. Got this sore-throat remedy recommendation also from Raine Saunders's blog post which I HIGHLY recommend: She suggested warm water, but I thought the broth would be a big improvement on that, and it was! Like a very spicy beverage. For children you would need to cut down the cayenne pepper quite a bit. Be sure to stir regularly as it tends to settle toward the bottom. This definitely relieved the discomfort and was soothing. The discomfort hasn't returned so far and there is just a twinge left when I swallow.

And a bonus tip: open a few (2-3) probiotic capsules and pour the powder into the back of your mouth so the good "bugs" can work on any infectious bacteria or viruses that may be present.

Cooking class anouncement

Come join me for a special class on Digestion & Absorption, to be held on March 6 in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Drumroll please: **I will be teaching my famous nut flour crackers at this class!**

REGISTER HERE or email me ( about paying by check

In this class we will focus on traditional foods and preparation methods to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. Participants will learn how to remedy common digestive complaints (gas, bloating, reflux, diarrhea, constipation), and will explore traditional preparation methods that render many hard-to-digest foods nourishing and digestible. Topics include:

1. understanding your unique digestive strengths and weaknesses so you can tailor your diet accordingly
2. the top ways to increase digestibility of whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds
3. improving digestion of healthy fats and animal protein
4. gluten intolerance and alternatives to grains
5. improving dairy digestion, culturing, and raw vs. pasteurized dairy
6. GAPS issues (allergies, candida, behavioral and mood disorders, "leaky gut" syndrome, food addictions)
7. herbs, spices, home remedies, and supplements to improve digestion
8. digestive dos and don’ts
9. infant/toddler digestion and proper feeding

Demo list & menu

* Warm Tummy tea ~ a root, herb, and spice beverage that warms and comforts while preparing the digestive system
* raw grass-fed ghee ~ the ideal butter substitute for cooking, and an essential healthy fat for the dairy-intolerant
* court bouillon ~ a uniquely spiced beef broth, perfect for poaching raw meat and vegetables, served at our tasting with raw beef tenderloin and fresh scallions
* cashew-sunflower crackers ~ the perfect substitute for grain- and starch-based crackers
* raw grass-fed crème fraîche ~ enjoy the improved digestibility of raw cultured cream products
* beet kvass ~ the quintessential tonic for digestion, cleansing, and detoxification
* sprouted quinoa pilaf ~ a delicious gluten-free pilaf which can be enjoyed by many who are sensitive to grains, made using traditional sprouting and cooking methods
* traditional refried beans ~ an irresistibly tasty side dish made that incorporates traditional soaking methods, bone broth, and pastured pork lard for maximized digestibility and nourishment

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kids can sleep anywhere

Ollie got up early to play with Hugo before work the other day..but I guess he took too long in the shower!

This afternoon Oliver decided to continue his nap in the kitchen...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oliver's 2-year portraits

I can't believe how cute these came out!! :) (from last September)

My two wintertime cuties

Not sure why they look so serious... Hugo took this picture himself.

Crustless breakfast quiche

I have finally (by chance) hit upon a recipe for a breakfast quiche that Oliver likes to eat! It's not terribly quick, but it's easy to make and doesn't have a crust. This makes enough for Oliver and me to share for 3 breakfasts.

Before you get started --> heat your oven to 375 degrees and butter a 9" pie pan.

1. First, chop a medium/large onion coarsely and saute until nice and soft and turning brown in plenty of ghee or butter (I like ghee because it won't burn or turn brown the way butter will in a hot skillet). Ghee is easy to make by melting butter at a very low temperature for several hours, and then pouring off and saving the clear golden liquid to leave the milk solids at the bottom -- of course we use raw butter in our house, but you can use any kind.

2. Mix 5 eggs with 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. cream. Blend well. Add one pinch of salt for each egg, plus 1-2 extra pinches (so 6-7 pinches in all). Be sure to use an unrefined natural sea salt, like Celtic, Eden, and Redmond brands, available in health food stores and some grocery stores. (I use pastured organically-raised eggs with raw grass-fed cream. Read my blog post comparing pastured with free-range eggs.)

3. Grate a sizeable chunk of cheese, enough to make about 2 cups grated (a chunk approximately 3"x3"x1"). I like to use raw milk grass-fed cheese with medium sharpness; it's fine to use a cheese that isn't the most delicious for snacking -- it will be great in the quiche.

4. Mix the caramelized onions and most of the cheese into the egg & cream mixture, reserving a bit to spread on top.

5. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake until slightly puffed and golden brown, approximately 45 minutes (begin checking at 35 minutes as some ovens can vary dramatically). Cook the quiche in the center of the oven.

I like to have this quiche with bacon and homemade sausage (from pastured pork), homemade yogurt with berries or homemade apple butter, homemade chicken bone broth, homemade beet kvass, and either fresh veggies or my homemade lactofermented veggie medley. Oliver alternates bites of quiche and bacon, has a spoonful of fermented veggie juice, 1/2 tsp. fermented cod liver oil, sips of beet kvass, and yogurt with apple butter for dessert. After breakfast he has the lukewarm broth in his sippy cup. This breakfast/brunch is so nourishing and filling that there's no need for lunch!

Store the leftover quiche in the fridge and reheat wedges in a 300-350 degree toaster oven for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Common Health & Nutrition Myths

Here is a recent free download I added to my site. Check out the other ones I have available, some for free and some (the packets from my cooking classes) for a fee.

Common Health & Nutrition Myths

Learn why the old-fashioned way of doing things is actually the healthiest.

1. Cholesterol and animal fats are bad for your health
As Weston A. Price discovered, diets rich in traditional animal fats were correlated with longevity, vitality, strength, and freedom from chronic disease. It was not until the rise of refined vegetable oils that heart attacks and heart disease even began to be observed among the general population. Foods rich in vitamins A and D (the foods that are most vilified in our Western culture) ensure that our bodies can utilize the valuable minerals we are consuming, and use them to keep our bones, teeth, and organs healthy and well. If you want to protect your heart, strictly avoid processed vegetable oils and refined sugars, and eat a traditional nutrient-dense diet. Look for the book The Cholesterol Myths or visit to learn more.
Cholesterol plays an important protective role in the body, and will rise naturally as a person ages -- this is actually a healthy thing! Most cases of “abnormally high” cholesterol are an indication that the body is in a state of ill health or imbalance; cholesterol may rise in response to stress, illness, and/or a low level infection. It is crucial to address this underlying problem rather than simply trying to lower the cholesterol level.

2. Eating fat will make you fat
The rise in popularity of low-fat foods has occurred at the same time as a national upward trend in obesity rates. Fat is a crucial component of food that triggers the feeling of satiety, or fullness, that we are supposed to feel when we have had enough to eat; it also makes our meals more sustaining. Desserts in particular should contain plenty of fat as it slows the release of glucose into the blood, and helps prevent sugar spikes and crashes. Fat is actually our body’s preferred energy source! We are able to convert fat into ATP (energy) much more efficiently than carbohydrates. And as Weston A. Price discovered, high levels of dietary fat in the context of a traditional diet free of refined sugars is actually correlated with physical fitness and a slimmer waistline.

3. Drink low-fat milk for your bones
Dairy should be consumed only in its full-fat form because we need the fat to properly digest and assimilate the protein; without the fat, our body will quickly become depleted in vitamin A, which is essential for a whole host of body functions (heart health, hormone production, and digestion among them). The butterfat (cream) in milk is the carrier for fat-soluble vitamins A and D, which are essential for health and even mental and emotional well-being. These vitamins are also crucial for the formation and strengthening of our bones, so it is the opposite of beneficial to consume low-fat or skim dairy products for bone health. Full-fat dairy, butter, and cream are even good for your metabolism and healthy weight loss. Still not convinced? It may interest you to know that farmers feed pigs skim milk to fatten them up!
We should also mention here that pasteurized dairy lacks the enzyme phosphatase, which is needed for absorbing calcium. Therefore, the best option for dairy is full-fat, grass-fed, and raw. For individuals who cannot consume dairy or who lack access to raw dairy, traditional bone broths are an essential part of a healthy diet; they are a rich source of easily-absorbed minerals (including calcium and magnesium) and contain many components that superbly nourish our bones and joints.

4. Salt is bad for you
It is true that common table salt is linked to hypertension and many other health problems. However, old-fashioned salt which is from the sea and is truly unrefined is absolutely essential to our health. Unrefined sea salt contains many important trace minerals from the sea, including iodine (for thyroid health), and aids in digestion by stimulating the production of stomach acid. Salt that is good for you is generally not white; look for light grey or even pinkish salt. Good brands include Celtic, Eden, and Redmond; you can find them at your local health food store or by ordering online.

5. Soy foods are good for menopause
In American society, soy foods have been elevated to celebrity status, largely through the persistent work of the soy industry. Soy (which is nearly always a genetically modified crop) is now added to a very high percentage of all processed foods we consume in this country, ranging from baby formula to fast food. Many people point to Asian diets as evidence that soy is beneficial; however, traditional forms of soy consumed in Asian countries were far different than the soy foods we eat today. Industrial soy is highly damaging to the digestive system, destroys the thyroid, and wreaks havoc on our hormones and endocrine system. Furthermore, unfermented soy contains anti-nutrients that can cause serious nutrient deficiencies and digestive issues. Studies on the use of soy for menopausal and post-menopausal women have found it to be ineffectual at regulating hormones or reducing the symptoms of menopause. To read more about the dangers of soy, visit

6. A high fiber diet is the key to digestive health
These days, fiber is added to everything from yogurt to children’s juice, and we are encouraged by physicians, advertisers, and bureaucrats alike to consume more whole grains and foods high in fiber. However, a diet high in insoluble fiber is actually linked with many digestive disorders, including Crohn’s disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is because whole grains and legumes contain phytic acid which can chelate important minerals from the body; in addition, many people have a compromised digestive system that cannot properly break down fiber. The best bet for digestive health is to consume foods rich in natural probiotics, like lactofermented vegetables, and to include plenty of vitamin A (such as that found in fermented cod liver oil) in your diet.

7. Non-caloric sweeteners are healthier than sugar
When it comes to “sugar-free” foods and sugar alternatives, the best thing to do is to just say no. There is no non-caloric sweetener on the market that is not associated with major health risks (with the exception of unprocessed natural green leaf stevia). If you want that sweet flavor, try using raw honey, grade B maple syrup, or Rapunzel brand unrefined sugar (Rapadura). Even regular white sugar is better than sugar-free sweeteners, though if you must eat sugar it would be best to choose organic as sugar is a highly sprayed crop.

8. Feeling (and looking) “old” is inevitable
With a diet rich in traditional nutrient-dense foods, it is entirely possible to live a healthy and energetic life well into old age, without the use of drugs or supplements. Many of the people encountered by Weston A. Price were surprisingly youthful and fit, even at advanced ages. Traditional foods will even help keep you looking younger! Studies carried out by plastic surgeons found that women who ate mostly animal fats (such as lard) had fewer wrinkles and healthier skin tone than women consuming mostly vegetable oils.