Coconut Cilantro Chutney

One of my sweet 30-something nephews came over for lunch today.  We hadn't really visited for some time since he lives an hour away. We caught each other up on news over chicken tacos, chicken Thai curry, whole wheat couscous, kale salad and spinach flat bread (I like eclectic meals).

I realized that I didn't have a chutney to serve, since most are so full of sugar I rarely buy them.  I came across this recipe... It goes very well with fish too, and takes just minutes to whip up.

Coconut Cilantro Chutney Recipe

GreenCoriander chutney
GreenCoriander chutney
  • 3/4 c. shredded unsweetened Coconut
  • 3/4 c. fresh organic Cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small seeded organic Serrano chili,  quartered
  • 1/2 c. light coconut milk (or green tea)
  • Juice of 1/2 organic Lime
  • dash of Sea Salt

Place all but Lime juice in blender, or food processor, and pulse until consistency is almost smooth.

Pour into a bowl and mix in lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.

As a variation you may add 1 clove of garlic to veggies, or a 1/2 inch slice of ginger.

Makes about 1 cup of chutney.

~ āp kā khānā svādiṣṭa ho! ♥

Kale Medley Wraps

Kale and Greens

medley bags from Trader Joe (baby kale, baby chard, baby spinach)  and decided to create an Asian Style wrap filling using that and a few other ingredients.

I had a cup of soaked and sprouted mung beans in the fridge, and about a cup of sprouted lentils that I cooked with green tea, onion, cumin, salt and pepper. So here's what was born from this starter.

Kale seasoning
Kale seasoning

Kale, Greens and Bean Filling

  • 5-6 cups mixed organic Greens (Kale, Chard, Spinach, Collards, Watercress, etc..)
  • 2 tsp.organic  extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 organic White onion, sliced thin
  • 1 c. organic Carrots, shredded
  • 1 c. cooked sprouted Lentils (cook in broth or green tea and spices to give it flavor)
  • 1 c. Mung Beans, soaked overnight till sprouted
  • 1/4 c. Water or Vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. organic Ginger, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. Tamari Sauce (Gluten Free)
  • 3 Tbs. Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Pour olive oil into a large sauté pan over medium heat, for 1 minute. Tilt pan to spread oil a little. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes, then add greens and carrots.

Stir for 5 -6 minutes or until greens turn bright.

carrot onion kale saute
carrot onion kale saute

Add Mung beans, lentils and water. Stir to mix.  When it starts to simmer, turn heat to Low, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Kale burrito filling 3
Kale burrito filling 3

Add ginger, and all seasonings.

kale saute _ginger
kale saute _ginger

Stir well, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender. Add a little more water if necessary.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Kale burrito filling 4
Kale burrito filling 4

Serve wrapped in wilted Chard leaf, whole grain Tortilla, or open face on whole wheat Pita bread. May also be served on top of wild rice or mixed in with buckwheat noodles!

 Bon Apetit!

What If? - Why Statistics Shouldn't Scare You!

One of the most routine pieces of information that the medical industry, for it is an industry, throws at us is a Statistic. Statistics are there to show you how likely you are to contract some disease, to have a boy or girl, to getting a divorce, or find a new job.  There seem to be so many studies that we now have a statistic for everything...including how many times you're likely to blink in a minute! How could we go on without that piece of data?

We have to be honest though; we like them. We quote them to others to deter them from some decision or action. If they favor us, we advertise them.

Statistical tables

Well, one thing I surely learned from taking Statistics in Grad School, is that if you manipulate data just right...you can come up with a number of statistics... and not all will agree.  In other words, much of data can be manipulated to show the statistic you are after.

And yet, without statistics we're loathe to trust information lest it merely be opinion.

Let's think about that for a minute.  I'm going to go out on a limb and ask... is there anything truly that is more than opinion?To be tagged a trusted statistic, the number must be based on factual data... that may or may not hold up in time.

How much time is long enough? 5 years worth of data? 20 years? Up until such time as new data is discovered?

Some of you are going to gasp in horror, shake your heads in dismay, and remind me about all the theories we accept as truth since they are based on scientific FACTS! You know the proven, repeatable, unbiased, honest-to-goodness, theories.

Bar Graph

Hmmm... can you think of something we believed to be true for decades that was later dis-proven?  I mean besides the Earth being flat, and that the Sun rotates around the Earth.

How about:

There are 109 Elements in the Period Table New information: Since 1994, six new elements have been discovered.

or:

The first mammals evolved about 155 million years ago. New information – “The shrew-like animal would have run under the feet of dinosaurs at the start of the Jurassic period, nearly 195 million years ago … Hadrocodium wui pushes back by another 40 million years its first appearance in the fossil record.”.

Here are a couple of sites just for fun...

1. Medical Facts that Have Been Proven to be Wrong

2. What Scientific Laws or theories have been proven wrong?

All this is to say that as we add new information to our data, our statistics or theories have to change.  With me so far?

Ok, here's the "WHAT IF"...

Let's go back to the Medical Industry... that slow to move, slow to assimilate new information, give me 3 - 10 years of similar data before I can make a decision, industry.

  1. Medical statistics in the West are based on Western Medicine's view of valid data.  Yes?
  2. In the U.S. and even more so abroad, many, many people incorporate "alternate"  methods into their every day or healing regimen. Yes?
  3. When a patient visits a traditional medical practitioner, their condition is assessed from a "symptom" and "data I learned about that symptom" perspective. Yes?
  4. A patient is hardly ever asked what their eating habits, supplementation, attitudes and belief's are as part of the standard, one size fits all data sheet they fill out.  Yes?
  5. A diagnosis is based on those symptoms (I am trying to distinguish these from causes of illness) and on scientific data, clinical that is.  Yes?
  6. You are then given a statistic if relevant to your situation, and with Cancer patients, boy are we happy to quote statistics.  Yes?
  7. You leave programmed with the belief that you will fall in one of those statistical groups, and left to wonder which it will be... because you really have no control over that...it will depend on how your 'disease' responds to treatment. Yes?

Here's my belief and something you should think about seriously

To make things simple I'm going to choose two people to illustrate my theory. We're going to name them B and K.

B and K have recently had mammograms that show a small mass in one of their breasts. B and K are informed they should have biopsies.

B is conservative, has not done a lot of thinking about health trends or a lot of research about cancer treatment approaches.  She is a believer in Traditional medicine and trusts that her Oncologist has all the answers.

B opts for a needle biopsy, since she is assured they are safe.

K is progressive, she is a hiker, has acupuncture for benign symptoms and  is very interested in nutrition and Eastern medicine. She immediately scours the Internet for the latest news in Breast Cancer research.

B doesn't want a needle biopsy.  She can't believe it's 100% safe, since in her mind there is no way that pulling a needle filled with cancer cells isn't going to leave a few of those microscopic cells along the needle path. She opts for a lumpectomy.

They have the same type of cancer, and their Oncologist suggests the traditional Chemo drugs for that type, followed by a course of radiation. The statistics are shared with each of them... since they were both caught early there is a 78% chance that nothing will develop, and a 22% chance of recurrence. Chemo adds another 5-6% benefit.

For our example, they both choose to have Chemo.

They both meet with the resident Nutritionist who tells them about foods and supplements to avoid during treatment, and how to modify their diet for cancer prevention.  He gives each a handout about Chemo side effects and some suggestions to alleviate them (most are drugs to take).

K leaves feeling down, a little overwhelmed by the information and the changes she has to make.  Her husband is supportive and upbeat, and her sister is distressed, a little worried about her own fate now. K's home is comfortable, clean and in a suburban neighborhood. K has two children, 14 and 16, and a small dog. Her brother has left her a message on her answering machine encouraging her to talk to a Doctor he trusts before making a decision.

B leaves feeling anxious to get home so she can initiate a search for a Complimentary Therapy practice.  Her boyfriend sends a few emails to solicit info from friends.  They live in a two-story condo and have custody of his 12-year-old son. The house is a little messy, but furnished tastefully.  Flowers stand in a vase in the living room, and a parakeet in a large cage near the patio door. Two of B's friends are waiting for her when she arrives...each has brought a gift from the Farmer's market.  They cook lunch together while she tells them what her approach is going to be.

K and B go through the same treatment cycle.

I m not sure...

K

takes the suggested meds for side effects.  Eats well and tries to be positive. Her husband goes to most of the sessions with her, alternating with her concerned sister.  K suffers from fatigue, has a rather emotional reaction to her hair loss, and is cautiously optimistic.  She walks for 20 minutes most days and tries to act brave in front of her sister so as not to worry her.  Her kids are taking things well and help around the house.

No one suggests she have alternate types of care during the course of her treatment. She's not sure she trusts acupuncture, when a friend mentions it.

B

finds and consults with a Nutritional Oncologist. She immediately starts on a long list of supplements each specifically targeted to either support her immune system, help the Chemo be more effective by unmasking cancer cells, or counteract the side effects. She continues acupuncture to move the toxins out as quickly as possible and alleviate nausea, and joins her two friends in a Yoga class twice a week.

Her boyfriend sets up a rotating meal prep schedule with some of their friends, so that for the 4 days after Chemo they don't have to worry about cooking.  They give each cook an approved ingredient list. He makes sure B has plenty of uplifting books to read, is ready with an amusing story when he gets home, and the three watch funny movies after dinner and homework are done.

Pretty woman

B meditates, is determined to move through this process and into a healthier body, and goes out with the girls to shop for a crazy wig when her hair falls out.

Outcomes

A year and a half later, K has a recurrence almost in the exact same spot as her previous tumor. She opts for a mastectomy and new course of treatment. She mostly sticks with her diet, and takes a few standard vitamins.

B on the other hand, is an active volunteer in the Cancer Wellness Community 3 days a week after work. She has completely changed her lifestyle and eating habits and continues with a maintenance Supplement regimen per her Nutritional Oncologist.  Her friends, inspired by her, have cut out some of the bad foods they used to indulge in. She has one more scan in 6 months and will proclaimed Cancer-Free.

And What do the Statistics Say?

K and B's Oncologist, ignorant of all the ingredients that went into each woman's healing process, chalks one person up as benefiting from the XYZ Chemo combination, and one woman needing a second round with XQW treatment, and per statistics not as good a prediction for long-term cancer-free survival.

Where are the Stats that take into account the needle biopsies vs. lumpectomy?

Where are the Stats that traces eating habits and the effect of well-studied supplementation?

And where are the Stats that show how one's attitude and faith skew the odds in one's favor?

Where are so many of the potentially high-impacting variables accounted for in the Medical Industry data?

No where.

And so from my heart I say:

  1. You are not a Statistic.
  2. You are in charge of your healing process.
  3. Educate yourself and be open-minded.
  4. Surround yourself with happy, positive people.
  5. Don't mess with the recommended Cancer Diet, it's Medicine!
  6. Cultivate an unshakeable faith in your ability to heal
  7. You are NOT your illness... it is passing.
  8. Laugh, laugh, laugh... It really IS the Best Medicine!

~ Be Well. ♥

Guaranteed to Raise Your Antioxidant Level

It is rare to find a company that has enough research behind their product that they can offer a money-back guarantee if it does not perform. Depending on the supplement you are taking, it's not always an easy task to discover if you're getting the full benefit from what you're taking.  With Vitamins like D, you can do a blood test, but when your goal is to raise your antioxidant levels, testing how well  you're doing can be costly.

What Depletes Antioxidants Stored in our Body?

Many things contribute to the depletion of antioxidants in our bodies...stress, smoking, lack of good digestion, too much exercise, infection, etc.

Vitamin C fights free radicals in body tissues and blood plasma, while vitamin E protects fat-rich molecules, such as LDL and HDL cholesterol, and fat cells from oxidation. This effort to protect the body results in the depletion of vitamin C and E in body stores.

Our bodies store antioxidants for use when we need them.  If we are not storing enough, we are less likely able to fight off inflammatory diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Eating a balanced diet with 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day to obtain maximum levels of dietary antioxidants is recommended, but not always achievable.

To boost your vitamin E levels, include whole grains, nuts and seeds, egg yolks and vitamin E- fortified foods in your diet. Consult your doctor about vitamin supplementation.

Choosing an Antioxidant Supplement

Choosing an antioxidant supplement to support your immune system is not a simple matter.  You want to make sure the manufacturer uses pure ingredients from a trusted source, organic when possible, has both their own and third-party research behind the formulas, and is reputable.

There are a handful of companies that meet these criteria, but only one I know of that also offers a money back guarantee.

Lifepak Nano is a proprietary innovation in anti-aging protection with advanced bio-availability and maximum benefits. It is manufactured by NuSkin / Pharmanex, one of the leading anti-aging research companies.

I recently attended a seminar where their lead scientist was speaking, and I was impressed by the research and with the person. I asked the him a few questions I had about ingredients in another of their nutritional products, and found him to be sincere and to the point.

Lifepak Nano is their star supplement, which exhibits rather awesome results.  A number of their customers were in attendance, and the testimonials were notable. A doctor who is part of Integrative Oncology at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley was there, and said she puts her cancer patients on the supplements right away, and has noted that they weather treatment better than other patients.  She said they have higher energy, and less severe side effects.

I know that is true from my own experience.  Without the supplements I was taking throughout the year, I am sure I would not have been as healthy as I was through Chemo and Radiation.  My skin barely suffered from the latter, although I did peel.

Getting Your Antioxidant Level Assessed

In another post I mentioned that my family and I got tested our antioxidant levels tested with Nuskin's patented BioPhotonic scanner a few weeks ago (as seen on Dr. Oz).  Well, I started my son on their Teen version, and J and my daughter are taking the Lifepak Nano. J can feel a difference taking two packs daily, and as a person who doesn't go to doctors and refuses to take any meds of any kind, that's really saying something.

If you are considering taking a comprehensive Vitamin/Mineral/Flavonoid/Carotenoid supplement, please consider this product.

Here is What I Suggest:

1) Contact me to find out if there is a NuSkin distributor near you where you can get your Antioxidant level checked (usually $5 - $20). You may find that you are doing well with diet alone, and don't have to worry about antioxidants.  In that case a good Vitamin and or Fish Oil supplement may be sufficient (they have several).

2) For access to the NuSkin wholesale pricing, send me a note and I'll give you an ID to log into their preferred customer website. You can browse their site, read about the research and science they are involved in, and place an order; or you can have me walk you through it.

3) If you do the first two things, in 4 - 6 weeks get a second reading of your Antioxidant level, and if you haven't improved notably, the company will refund your investment!

Below are the Benefits of  LifePak Nano per NuSkin's site:

  • Nourishes and protects cells, tissues, and organs in the body with the specific purpose to guard against the ravages of aging each day of your lifespan*
  • Superior bio-availability with CR-6 LipoNutrients™ enhances uptake from the gut into the bloodstream and body for maximum anti-aging benefits*
  • Advanced anti-aging formula helps protect the body with key nutrients such as NanoCoQ10™ and nano carotenoids*
  • Helps maintain normal inflammatory responses in the body*
  • Feeds and helps protect the brain with DHA and EPA*
  • Offers superior DNA protection against damaging free radical attacks by providing the body with important antioxidants and phytonutrients such as alpha-lipoic acid and catechins*
  • Protects cell health with an antioxidant defense network*
  • Helps protect cardiovascular health with a comprehensive blend of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients
  • Provides comprehensive bone nutrition support*
  • Promotes healthy immune function*
  • Supports normal blood sugar metabolism*
  • Corrects nutritional deficiencies*

 Feel free to contact me with any questions.

~ Be Well!

Dreaming of Minty Kabobs

On June 6th I had surgery to complete a cosmetic need after my surgery in May 2011. This to me is the culmination, the period at the end of the two-year cancer experience process I have lived. With God's grace, I can mark that day as the end of a transformation and the beginning of living what I learned in those two years...of giving back in any way I am able.

And so I am confined to the house, and mostly my room, for a week.  No bending, lifting, driving, jumping on the bed or doing the Macarena! Also, as a test of my willpower, no cooking!

Today is my son's last day of school, and so I have solicited the aid of J and my daughter to stock our dining room table with a whole wheat pizza, fresh veggies, and some type of dessert.  He's bringing a few friends over, but I will be hiding in my room with my apple slices, cinnamon and almond cheese snack!

I can type however!  At least for a few minutes...

And so of course, since thinking of food and reading and watching videos are all I can do (oh, and I colored a cartoon scene I drew a few months ago), I figure why not contemplate what I want to make the instant I have the ok to resume my activities!

Well, these Kabobs came to mind. Lamb seemed the right protein, and middle eastern spices the right compliment.

Minty Lamb Kabobs

This recipe makes about 4 servings.

  • 1 Tbs. whole wheat Bulgur, rinsed (use bran flakes or quinoa for Gluten Free version)
  • 2 tsp. Coriander
  • 2 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 3 whole Cloves
  • 3 green Cardamom pods
  • 6 black Peppercorns
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh Ginger
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh Mint
  • 1 small organic Onion, chopped
  • 14 oz. ground organic grass-fed Lamb
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

Dip

  • 1/2 c. plain Soy or Coconut Yogurt
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh Mint
  • 3-inch piece of organic Cucumber, grated
  • 1 tsp. Mango Chutney

Soak bulgur wheat in 1/4 c. of warm water for 5 minutes. Drain.

Preheat oven on Broil.

Heat skillet over medium heat, and dry-fry the coriander, cumin, cardamom pods, cloves and peppercorns, until they turn a shade darker and release a roasted aroma. Watch and stir often to avoid burning.

Grind the spices in coffee grinder, spice mill or with mortar and pestle.

Put ginger and garlic in food processor or blender and process to a puree.  Add the spices, bulgur, mint, onion, lamb, and salt and process until finely chopped. You may alternately do this by hand, chopping garlic and ginger.

Mold kabobs into small sausage shapes or  4 metal or pre-soaked wood skewers. Cook under broiler for 10 - 15 minutes, turning skewers occasionally.

To make dip, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Serve kabobs with lime slices and the cucumber - yogurt dip. Garnish with mint leaves.

~ To Your Health!

Authentic Arabic Bread - Basic Dough

Whenever we make dough for Zaatar pies, we save some to make Arabic (pita) bread. This is a Basic Dough recipe which is used to make Spinach, Meat and other hand-shaped small pies, as well as bread.  The dough is rolled thinner than for pita rounds, and is folded and sealed around a variety of fillings. This bread is present at almost every Lebanese meal. Another variety of Arabic bread that I love is rolled paper-thin and cooked on the top of a domed outdoor oven.  It is called 'marqooq', and is like lavash but much thinner. It can be found at Middle Eastern or Persian markets.

It's ideal for rolled sandwiches and making pin wheel appetizers, but since the dough is thin you need to use fillings that are not very wet, so the bread doesn't become soggy.

Traditionally, Arabic bread loaves are 10-11" round, but you can make them smaller, like the popular store-bought pita.

I use my larger Cuisinart to mix the dough, and then knead it 5 minutes by hand, or sometimes I let my KitchenAid mixer do all the work.  I leave that up to you.

Depending on the size of rounds you decide to make, this recipe will yield anywhere from 12 - 16 loaves.

Recipe

  • 4 c. organic all-purpose Flour
  • 2 c. organic Barley Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 packets (4 tsp.) dry Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. organic Evaporated Cane Sugar
  • 2  to 2-1/4 c. tepid Water
  • 3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sift flour and salt. Dissolve yeast and sugar in water, and proof for 5 minutes.

Fit mixer with dough hook, or Cuisinart with dough paddle. Put flour in mixer bowl and add water and yeast mixture. Process until smooth.

Remove dough and place on floured board.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Dough should be soft but not very sticky.  Add a little more flour or water depending on consistency.

Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Divide dough into 4 equal portions, and divide each of those into 3 -4 balls depending on size preference. Cover balls with towel and let rest another 15 minutes.

Heat oven to 425º F, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven.  You will bake the bread on this surface (if you have a pizza stone then you can use that instead.)

Dust your work surface with a light coating of flour.  Slightly flatten one of the balls of dough with your hands and sprinkle a bit of flour on top.

Roll the dough out to between 1/8 and 1/4 " thick. If the dough does not stretch easily cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Repeat with rest of dough.

Place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking sheet surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3-4 minutes.

Remove onto cooling rack with dough paddle, or large spatula.

Store bread in airtight bag. Will keep for 2 days at room temperature, or in refrigerator for 5-6 days.

~ Sahtein! (double health).

Wrap It - à la Mediterranean

They're easy to transport, easy to make, inspire creativity, and are fun to eat... I'm talking about Wraps

Crunchy GF Wrap6.jpg

This wrap integrates a North African ingredient with a tasty hummus (or you may substitute BBQ'd tofu) filling.

Mediterranean Chicken Wrap Recipe

 Yield - 8 wraps

  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat Couscous
  • 1/2 c. chopped Almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 c. golden Raisins
  • 3 c. BBQ'd Tofu (opt.)
  • 2 c. shredded organic Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 Tbs. diced organic Red Onion
  • 1/4 . extra virgin organic Olive Oil
  • 1/4 c. organic Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 Tbs. chopped organic Parsley
  • 1 tsp. grated Lemon peel
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 whole wheat Pita Bread pockets, split into 8 rounds (or 8 whole wheat organic Tortillas)
  • 1 c. Hummus

Cook couscous according to package directions.

In a medium bowl, gently combine couscous, almonds, raisins, tofu, lettuce and onion.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, cumin and lemon peel. Season with salt and pepper.  Mix 1/4 cup dressing into couscous mixture.

To assemble wraps, lay bread split side up on work surface. Spread each with 2 tablespoons hummus. Spoon approximately 1/2 cup couscous mixture down center of each pita round.

Drizzle with 1 tablespoon dressing.  Fold up bottom and then sides to wrap.

~ Sahtein! ♥

Think of One Word to Describe a Pie – Before You Read On!

Ok, how many of you said "Round"? How many of you said, "Sweet"? or "Apple" or "Pizza"?

round pie
round pie

Depending on the country you live in.. the word "Pie" will evoke a variety of images or adjectives. But no matter what the particular response is, it probably includes a smile and a yearning.

Pierogi (Polish), Kulebyaka (Russian), Steak and kidney pie (British), Zwiebelkuchen (German), Tourtière (French Canadian), Banitza (Bulgarian), Kreatopita (Greek), Fatayir (Lebanese), Torta de frango (Brazilian), Bunuelos (Mexican).

Pies are comfort food...especially the ones you can hold in your hand, warm from the oven, whisps of steam rising from the flavorful filling.

rectangle apple_pie
rectangle apple_pie

I think there is something very earthy about Pies...to me they're usually all about the crust... and then about the filling.  And if they're about the filling, I love them even more because it's encased in a buttery crust. True?

Pies can be round, square, rectangles, triangles, crescents and shapes that defy description!

rolled pie
rolled pie

On my Cancer Prevention diet, I have to be very careful about the amount of Carbs I eat, since we all know they cause our blood glucose levels to spike, and Cancer feeds on Glucose (those pesky rat finks).

But I don't believe in depriving oneself of comfort foods, because they nourish your soul, and healing and staying healthy means taking care of ourselves in a holistic way... body, mind and spirit.  If one is off, you're out of synch and susceptible to illness.

I've successfully experimented with spelt and barley flour crusts that use coconut or olive oil instead of butter (depending on the type of crust or dough I need), and if I throw in some freshly ground flax seeds, I've upped the fiber so I"m well within our Good Carb Formula.

apple_pie
apple_pie

When I think of Pie... the image that comes to mind depends on how hungry I am! If I've just had lunch or dinner, then it conjures up an image of a slice of apple pie

If I'm hungry, then I think of the Crescent-shaped Beef, Onion, and Pine nut pies Mom used to make, or the lemony Spinach Triangles I love so much.

fatayer
fatayer

What's your favorite pie...sweet or savory?

~ Cheers! ♥

Two-Berry Parfait - non-Dairy

I REALLY wanted something creamy, dreamy this morning...but that would be acceptable for breakfast. I need my anti-oxidants (berries), a healthy protein (tofu) and something to satisfy my sweet tooth (stevia, apricot jam, dark chocolate!) I'm not too fond of smoothies (ouch!) so I thought I'd whip up a quick parfait.

I have a return to make at JC Penney, and some shopping to do before it gets too hot, so gotta run soon.  I think we're going to hit 89º today.

Ok so here's my quick n easy...

Strawberry - Blueberry Parfait

  • 8 oz. organic Silken Tofu
  • 2 packets Stevia
  • 1 generous cup organic Strawberries
  • 2 Tbs. low-sugar Apricot Jam
  • 1 tsp. Rose Water (Maward)
  • 1 c. organic Blueberries
  • 1 oz. Dark Chocolate (opt.)

Rinse and slice strawberries.

strawberries
strawberries

Place tofu, Stevia, strawberries, jam and rose-water in food processor.

parfait1
parfait1

Blend until smooth.

parfait2
parfait2

Fill parfait or wine glasses 1/2 full with strawberry mixture.  Add a layer of blueberries.

blueberries
blueberries

Pour more parfait on top. Add another layer of blueberries.

parfait3
parfait3

Decorate with chocolate shavings and half a strawberry.

parfait4
parfait4

Refrigerate 20 minutes to an hour.

~ Enjoy! ♥

Green Bean, Carrot and Red Pepper Salad

Tonight was my night to cook 15 to-go dinners. Three times a week, people from our community volunteer to cook for 15 -20 people in the neighborhood who sign up for take away dinners.

I made Fasoulia, Green Bean/Carrot Salad and Pearl Barley Pilaf.

I'm not usually a fan of red peppers, but in some recipes, like this one, I love the flavor they bring to the dish.  This is a salad that is best at room temperature, but can also be served chilled.

You'll need:

  • 1 lb. organic Green Beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 lb. organic Carrots, sliced in 1-inch pieces or julienne
  • 1/2 organic Red Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 organic Red Onion, diced

 

 

Dressing

  • 2 Tbs. Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Stevia
  • 2 tsp. organic Tomato Paste
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Steam green beans and carrots until crisp-tender, about 15 minutes.

Drain and place in a large bowl. Add peppers and onion.

Mix dressing with a fork until blended. Pour over vegetables and mix well.

Serve at room temperature for maximum flavor.

~ Bon Apetit!

When Eggs Meet Vegetables - à la Lebanese

Two of the main spices in Lebanese cooking are Allspice and Cinnamon.  These are used in both savory and some sweet dishes. They were made for each other in terms of flavor compliments. Third in line would be Black Pepper, followed by Cumin. This is the basic 'Omelet' in Lebanon. As with many recipes it includes fresh vegetables and aromatic spices.  I was very scrawny as a girl, and Mom used to tell me stories and feed me bites of breakfast until my plate was clean.

This was one of my favorite egg-based breakfasts, with a few slices of tomato on the side, drizzled with virgin Olive Oil pressed from our own olives. It's still a popular choice at our home.

I'd love to hear how you like it!

*~*~*~*~*~*

Lebanese Garden Omelet

  • 2 Omega-3 Eggs
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. parsley
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped organic Green Onion
  • 2 Tbs. chopped organic Tomato
  • 2 tsp. pine nuts (opt.)
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.

Place a sauté or omelet pan over medium-high heat, and brush lightly with organic butter just to coat bottom.

Wait 1 minute, then pour egg mixture into pan.  When edges turn light brown, turn heat to medium-low.  Fold omelet in half and cook for one more minute.

Flip omelet and cook an additional 2 minutes, or until just set in the center. (you can make a small slice to peek).

Serve with fruit, non-dairy cheese, cucumber or tomato slices and whole grain bread.

~ Sahtein!

 

My Marvelous Meatball Soup

We may have seen the last of the cool weather in Northern California, so I wanted to close the season with one more gathering around soup bowls. In the valley where we live, summer temps can reach 102ºC...HOT.  Today it was in the high 80's, still tolerable, but around 3pm I had to get the a/c going.

I realized that it has been forever since I made Mom's meatball soup. Rolling the tiny meatballs was an activity I liked participating in. Mom taught me how to roll two at a time, since we'd make about 150 of them sitting on the pink vinyl couch in our spacious kitchen, with a low table in front of us.

There was al,ways something going on in the kitchen. We had two live-ins since our house was a two-story with 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 3 living rooms, a formal dining room a laundry room and kitchen.  (Makes me pant to think about it).

My 4 aunts and uncle lived just 4 miles away and dropped by often.

So deciding to make this soup today was a trip down memory lane.  I seem to be doing that often these days.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lean Grass-fed Beef (or Lamb)
  • 2 tsp. Wheat germ or Oat Bran
  • 1/2 c. organic Parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 c. chopped organic Tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. Tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c. chopped organic Onion
  • 1 organic Carrot, shredded
  • 1 large organic Carrot, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/3 c. Brown Rice
  • 2 Tbs. Parsley, chopped (as topping)

Mix meat, seasoning, wheat germ, parsley, onion and shredded carrot well.

meatball soup1
meatball soup1

Form into tiny meatballs, a little larger than a hazelnut.

meatball soup2
meatball soup2

Heat 6 cups of water in a large pot, and drop meatballs in a few at a time.

meatball soup4
meatball soup4

As it starts to boil, turn down heat and skim surface until clear.

meatball soup5
meatball soup5

Add tomato sauce, rice and round carrots, cover, and cook until rice is done, about 35 minutes, depending on rice you use.

Season with salt and pepper and a generous dash of cinnamon.

meatball soup6
meatball soup6

Cook 5 minutes longer, and add some chopped parsley.

Enjoy with a side salad and roasted sweet potatoes.

~ Sahtein (double health!) ♥

Make room for Mushrooms.. It's What's for Dinner

Chanterelle Mushroom – Chicken Pie

Adapted from Tom's recipe at www.tallcloverfarm.com

For the vegetarian version, omit the chicken and add three pounds of mushrooms.  This is a great vegetarian pie as chanterelles are meaty little guys with rich texture.

You will need:

  • Two Pie Crusts: Your favorite Whole Wheat,  Spelt (Whole Foods has a wonderful frozen Spelt crust), or Gluten Free crust of your choice
  • 1.5 lb Chanterelle mushrooms
  • 3 T. Virgin Olive oil
  • 1.5 lb organic, free-range Chicken
  • 1 T. whole wheat Flour
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 1 c. Soy Yogurt (Sour Cream if you can eat dairy)
  1. Sauté mushrooms in oil, until tender and most liquid evaporates
  2. Add onion, sauté until translucent
  3. Add diced chicken to pan, cook until tender
  4. Add flour, stir, cook for a few more minutes for thickening
  5. Add lemon juice and yogurt and stir. Let cool to room temperature

Preheat oven to 425 F. Place baking sheet in oven.

Line crust in 9-inch pie plate (10-inch works, too).

Add cooled filling to crust. Place second crust on top and crimp edges. Vent top crust by making 5 – 6 cuts with a knife.

Brush top crust with egg wash (one egg, 1 t. water, mixed).

Place pie on baking sheet in oven, on the middle rack. Bake for 15 minutes, or until top crust begins to brown.

Lower temperature to 350º F, continue baking for another 30 – 35 minutes, until golden and center is firm.

Serve warm (reheats well).

chanterelle mushroom pie Slicin Up Some Chanterelle Mushroom Piephoto credit: http://www.tallcloverfarm.com

Serve with a green salad and roasted balsamic asparagus!

 ~ Bon Apetit!

Shake It... Twice!

First Shake ingredient: One pair of hips

First Shake Recipe

If you just can't seem to get outside for a run or a walk, put on some belly shakin' dance music and MOVE!

Sometimes it helps get you in the mood to wrap a scarf around your waist.  I love the jingle of coins, so I bought a couple of belly dance scarves to play with.

I am going to suggest a list of 7 beat-filled songs that will make it very hard for you to sit still.

If you're not into belly dancing, then do your own thing during the 23 minutes of music.  You too guys... dancing moves a lot of muscle groups, done right!

Before you start spend 5 - 10 minutes stretching.

Youtube Song list:

The first video includes dancers to get you started. Make them all into a playlist and off you go!

  1. Amr Diab - el Allem
  2. Amr Diab - Nour el Ein
  3. Ragheb Alama and Gypsy Kings
  4. Yalla Beena Yalla - Eres Tu
  5. Alabina - Salma ya salama
  6. Ishtar  - Shukran
  7. Ishtar - Sawwah

 

Second Shake Recipe

When you're on the go and need a pick-me-up, this yummy shake will do just that.

Pumpkin is incredibly rich in vital anti-oxidants and vitamins. This humble backyard vegetable is very low in calories yet good source of vitamin A, flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants like leutin, xanthins and carotenes. It is high in fiber so will help you feel full.

4 servings

  • 4 c. almond milk
  • 4 scoops Whey Protein Powder (low sugar) -about 8 Tbs.
  • 1 c. 100% pumpkin (frozen in ice-cube trays for 2-3 hours)
  • 1 water-soaked medjool date
  • 4 tsp. Xylitol or 2 packets Stevia
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice

Place all ingredients in blender, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. You can make half a recipe, or share with friends.

Pour and enjoy.

~ Be Well!

The New "BOSS" at Our House...

Three weeks ago, one of my sweet nieces who used to make and bring me dinner every other week after my treatments (she was one of 3), sent me a Groupon notice for the Big Boss Oil-less Fryer. She knows I love Sweet Potato Fries, and the only place I can get them air-fried is in Berkeley (15 miles away). I immediately sent off for the Fryer... a $79 bargain.

A week later, UPS delivered a huge box to my front door.  I couldn't imagine what it was.  Yes, you guessed it was the Big Boss... and it was BIG!! In fact AWE-inspiring (phantom organ music here).

My son and I hauled it out of the box with two cranes and a winch, and set it on the piano bench.  Why the piano bench?  I'm not sure.  It seemed too overwhelming for the kitchen counter, and since the piano is just around the corner in the breakfast/computer den.. it seemed close enough but not too close.

The next 7 days I looked at it from a 5 -6 foot distance, assessing its personality.

The 8th day it seemed less imposing and actually friendly.

In the meantime, my 5 lb. bag of sweet potatoes was twirling its thumbs and tried to trip me twice as I passed by it on my way to the Cereal cabinet!

The 9th day.... TA DAAAA...I peeled two potatoes and my boyfriend J cut them into strips.  He and my son and three neighbor kids, moved the BIG BOSS to the kitchen counter.  He wiped down the large glass bowl and other parts.

We read the instructions and suggestions and directions. Carefully we placed the potatoes on the racks, cleared the area, plugged it in, set the temperature at 450º,  and turned the timer to 12 minutes.  J then lowered the handle into place (which turns the BOSS on apparently) then...

and WHOA!!  My eyes!!

An intense infrared glow filled the house, spilled down the counter to the floor and leaked out the doors onto the streets.

We stood transfixed...barely breathing.  "Is she gonna blow?" I asked J.

"I don't think so," he whispered back... his arms still spread out as if to shield us from an impending blast.

I tried to act nonchalant, and went back to chopping salad greens, peeking over my shoulder at the glowing UFO on the counter.

12 minutes were up.  Bodies came from everywhere to see if the fries were still there, or had been beamed up to the Enterprise.  Nope, there they were, a little golden, but not quite  done. Oh, where did we go wrong?  Maybe we should have bowed down lower?

We read the booklet again and Duh...we should have put one layer at a time for crispy fries.  So J carefully fished out one rack, and turned the BOSS on again. 6 more minutes and we had Sweet Potato Fries with a mist of oil, crispy on the ends and tasty in between!

I'm sorry we ate them before I could get another photo. :(

So now I am good to go... the BOSS is back on the piano bench gloating, and I am making my list of dishes to turn over to him...Roasted Game Hens, dehydrated Veggies, Minted Salmon, Onion Rings, Kale chips,  and Stuffed Peppers.

Got a request?  The BOSS is in!

~ Cheers!

Baked Tomato Saucers

As the youngest of 7, I was still at home and got to help Mom in the kitchen over a 5 year span, as she re-created every recipe she knew and had collected, for her cookbook.  She needed to write the measurements (she never measured when she cooked). Most of my siblings were married and away, except for my sister #4 and me. So we were her tag team. We have all been blessed with Mom's love of cooking. My brothers are amazing chefs too.

In this photograph, she's making Middle Eastern couscous (mograbiyeh) from scratch, I mean the actual ingredient, not the dish.  It starts with a handful of bulgur wheat, flour and water, and a lot of patience as you spray the wheat, add flour swirl the grains around until coated and not stuck to each other, spray with water, add more flour...etc.. until the couscous are the size you want them to be!

Years ago, when I stayed with my #3 sister in Virgina during summer breaks from college...we cooked dinner for the family together.  We had gourmet nights, take out the Grill nights, and Eating on the Mediterranean nights.

One of the tomato side dishes I fell in love with was this recipe for Baked Tomatoes. I have modified it to fit in with our Anti-Cancer diet... but it's just as delicious. I call these Saucers because I use beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, and they're huge!

If you have a Baked or Grilled Tomato recipe, do share!

Baked Tomato Saucers

  • 2 large ripe organic Tomatoes, sliced 1/3" thick (about 5 -6 rounds each)
  • 3 c. Whole Wheat or Gluten Free Bread crumbs (tear bread into tiny pieces)
  • 1/2 c. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh Thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 packet Stevia or 1 tsp. Xylitol
  • 1/4 c. Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. shredded Almond or Rice Cheese (if you are eating dairy, use 3/4 c. Parmesan Cheese)

Preheat oven to 325º F (165º C).

Place tomatoes on large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Divide bread mixture evenly among the tomatoes, pressing down a little.

Place in middle of oven and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until tops are crisp and tomatoes are soft.

Excellent with grilled meats... choose organic chicken, wild caught fish, or a 3 oz. serving of grass-fed lamb or beef.

~ Bon Apetit!

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie - Tweaked

I try to make a 'healthy' treat every week for the kids (my son and my boyfriend's 2 girls). I aim for high fiber and low sugar.  It's easy to sneak in some flax seeds for nutrition with no tell-tale flavor. Last week I made the dark Chocolate Tofu Mousse with Mint, and while my son loved it, the girls (12 and 10) thought it was too chocolaty. If I had half n half I would have whipped some into the Mousse for a more expected flavor.

Today I decided to modify an Oatmeal Cookie recipe from my files to fit my healthy food criteria.  The original recipe called for 1/2 c. all-purpose flour instead of barley, brown sugar and vegetable oil (no flax seeds or Xanthan gum).

Next time I want to add dark chocolate chips. I think it will kick these up another notch.

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie

  • 1/2 c. Whole-wheat Flour (or Oat flour for GF version)
  • 1/2 c. Barley Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum  (use 1 tsp. for GF version)
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbs. freshly ground Golden Flax Seeds
  • 1/4 c. virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 c. Barley Malt Syrup *
  • 1 large Omega-3 Egg
  • 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  • Generous 1/2 c. Rolled Oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1/2 c. dried Currants, Cranberries or Blueberries

Preheat oven to 350º F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, Xanthan gum and baking powder; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, syrup, egg, and vanilla.

Add t0 flour mixture, and stir to combine.

Mix in oats and currants.

Using 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie, roll into balls or drop onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or lightly coated with Coconut Oil), about 1-1/2 inches apart.

Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

Cool 5 minutes on sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 5 days.

* Barley malt syrup is considered to be one of the healthiest sweeteners in the natural food industry. Made from soaked and sprouted barley, which is dried and cooked down to make a thick syrup, barley malt is a sweetener that’s slowly digested and gentler on blood sugar levels than other sweeteners.

~ Enjoy!

Cheesey Stuffed Mushrooms - Non Dairy

Tomorrow evening I am having a few people over to test their anti-oxidant levels with the amazing machine I spoke of in my post on April 27th. I'm so excited to have access to such a wonderful tool.  My teenage son agreed that most kids in his class would rate quite poorly, and he's anxious to see what his results will be. To supplement his diet, I started him on the Teen vitamins Pharmanex makes, and so in 4 weeks we'll do another reading to see if his levels rise. (It takes about 4 weeks for the change in your anti-oxidant levels to reach the skin, which is what the Biophotonic Scanner is measuring.)

I am going to try to get as many doctors in our area to incorporate this piece of data into their health evaluations!

Anyway, I want to make a little treat to serve tomorrow night and thought these quick and simple to put together appetizers would be fun.  (If you are someone who can eat dairy, then substitute goat cheese for the rice cheese.)

Makes about 24

  • Olive oil, for baking sheet
  • 3 slices whole wheat Sandwich Bread
  • 1 small Garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz grated Rice or Almond Cheese
  • 1/2 c. fresh organic Parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. Red Pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Coarse Sea salt
  • 2 packages (10 ounces ea) white button mushrooms, stems removed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.

In a food processor, pulse bread and garlic until fine crumbs form; set 1/2 cup aside. To food processor, add cheese, parsley, and red-pepper flakes. Season with salt, and pepper and pulse filling until combined.

Spoon filling into each mushroom, and roll filled side in reserved breadcrumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet; bake until mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cheers!

Oh-So-Blue Cornflour Crepes

A couple of weeks ago I was wondering down the wall of Bulk Bins at WholeFoods, after looking at fiber ratios of grains I have yet to try... and the Blue Cornflour caught my eye. I was sure I'd never cooked with Blue Cornflour, and stood there with my hand on the bin cover thinking... how would I use it?

A lady standing next to me, who was putting dried figs in a bag, turned her head and said, "I made Brownies with Blue Cornflour a couple of weeks ago and they were great! I remembered my Mom using the stuff, so I experimented and the flavor of the corn and chocolate were amazing."

Naturally, we chatted a bit about the flour and recipes it lends itself to, and I decided to take a plunge into the Blue waters of this indigo grain.

This morning I was ready to tackle my first recipe...I had frozen Marion Blackberries in the freezer, so I poured them into a pot to heat up while I began my adventure.

Blue Crepes

  • 1/4 c. organic Rye flour
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground Flax Seeds
  • 1/4 c. Blue Cornflour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum (opt.)
  • 4 Omega-3 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. Rice, Almond or Soy Milk
  • 2 Tbs. melted Coconut Oil+ 2 tsp. for pan
Blue Cornflour Crepes1
Blue Cornflour Crepes1

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add wet ingredients and mix well. Let stand 20 - 30 mins.

Coat a crepe or small saute pan with a little of the coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Wait 2 minutes and pour enough batter to coat bottom of pan.  Swirl to even out crepe.

IMG_1007
IMG_1007

Cook until edges turn brown, and flip.  Cook for another 20 seconds or until brown.

Blue Cornflour Crepes2
Blue Cornflour Crepes2

Remove from pan. Since crepe is not sweet, you may fill it with your favorite savory or sweet filling.

Blue Cornflour Crepes4
Blue Cornflour Crepes4

Note: I added 1 packet Stevia to 2 c. of Marion Blackberries, simmered them on med-low heat while the crepes cooked.  I put berries in the crepe, and the juices on top.

Blue Cornflour Crepes3
Blue Cornflour Crepes3

~ Bon Apetit!  ♥