Haight Street and Roasted Vegetables with Tea Leaves

I had an appointment with my anthroposophic Doc in San Francisco yesterday.  I've been having vertigo that lasts for a few seconds when I lay down, and inner ear congestion, so I sought her help.  She is an amazing woman with more accomplishments than I can ever remember. 

haight street SF
haight street SF

J and I drove in 4 hours early since he had a meeting on Haight Street with contractors bidding for a remodel on a new building his boss purchased to turn into another Music store.  I hadn't been to Haight in a number of years.  My niece and I used to go to a Middle Eastern restaurant across from the building where J has his appointment, to enjoy the food and belly dance to live music.

Everyone knows that one aspect of San Francisco's charm is the wonderful Victorian architecture.  The intricate designs and eye-catching colors never cease to please me.

red victorian SF haight
red victorian SF haight

Haight Street is best known as the principal street in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. The Haight-Ashbury district is famous for its role as a center of the 1960s hippie movement. College and high-school students began streaming into the Haight during the spring break of 1967.

Hunter S. Thompson labeled the district "Hashbury" in The New York Times Magazine, and the activities in the area were reported almost daily.  I'm sure we all remember the Summer of Love, the social phenomenon in the summer of 1967, when about 100,000 people converged on the Haight-Ashbury triggering a major cultural and political shift.

The 'Peace Cafe' located in the Red Victorian, is neighbor to a Vintage Costume and Rental store.  We got ourselves something to drink from a cafe across the street, decorated with huge paintings on canvas based on "The Wind in the Willows".

Back at home, I decided to roast some veggies, bake some Cod filet with ginger and green onions, and steam Butternut squash with a hint of coconut oil, salt and pepper. For a salad a Slaw with Red and Napa Cabbage.

Roasted Rainbow Vegetables

8 Servings

~I only use veggies that are Organic.

  • 1 cup chopped Red Cabbage
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped Onion
  • 3 Zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 3/4" thick
  • 3 Carrots, sliced 3/4" thick
  • 1/2 large Eggplant, cut in chunks
  • 2 cups Butternut Squash, cut in bite size chunks
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, cut in bite size chunks
  • 7 -10 cloves Garlic, halved if large
  • 2 Tbs. Green Tea leaves (reserved from making tea, or soaked)
  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Caraway Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 425ºF ; 220ºC.

Combine veggies in a large bowl with tea leaves. Add Olive oil and toss to coat thoroughly.

Sprinkle with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Caraway and Cayenne. Toss again until evenly coated with the spices.

Spoon Veggies into a large ceramic or glass baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with Coconut or Olive oil.

Roast veggies for 30 minutes, toss them with spatula and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

veggies roasted
veggies roasted

Adjust seasoning, and serve hot.

~ Bon Apetit! ♥

The King of Vegetables and My Eggplant Caponata

As a child, eggplants were my least favorite vegetable, much to my mother's disappointment.  The only exception was Baba Ghannouj, a must at every Lebanese appetizer table.
You see, in the Middle East, the Eggplant is referred to as the King of Stuffed Vegetables due to its versatility and the large number recipes that feature this violet beauty.
When I was in my preteen years, I decided that every couple of weeks or so I would force my self to eat one food item that I did not like. When the eggplant's turn came around, it took a while, but slowly I grew to love that little bit of creamy bitterness it offers.  Soon my favorite recipes included 4 eggplant dishes... 1) Eggplant rounds pan-fried in olive oil and topped with a Spicy Tomato-Onion medley; 2) Eggplant stuffed with Rice, Lamb, Onions, Tomatoes and Spices; 3) Eggplant-Beef boats with Pine Nuts; and 4) Baba Ghannouj.
The recipe below calls for the Caponata to be served cold as an appetizer.  Since it is versatile, I have heated it up and spooned it over hot whole wheat couscous that has been cooked in chicken or vegetable broth, for a wonderful meal!

Recipe

Serves @ 10 as an appetizer
  • 2 lbs. organic Eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. organic White Onion, small diced
  • ½ c. organic Bell Pepper, small diced
  • 2 Tbs. Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 c. organic Tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and small diced)
  • ¼ c. organic Basil, fresh chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. organic Lemon, squeezed
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 small Green Chili, minced (opt.)
  • ¼ c. Green Olives, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 Head of Green leaf Lettuce
Sauté diced eggplant in olive oil until lightly browned; removed from pan. In the same pan, sauté onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic for 2 minutes (vegetables should still have some texture, and garlic should not brown). Mix everything else together in a large bowl with the cooked vegetables.
Refrigerate overnight.
Serve a large scoop of pate over a bed of lettuce and surround with toasted whole wheat pita bread triangles, or scoop onto whole wheat Tuscan bread that has a light smear of Vegenaise.

~ Buon Apetito!

Baked Falafel

The first couple of times I tried making baked Falafel in our oven, they were just OK.  They dried out a bit more than they should have, and weren't as crispy as I like them... even though I brushed them lightly with olive oil.

Well, tonight I decided to give Big Boss a try.. and it didn't disappoint!

Big Boss Falafel
Big Boss Falafel

I put the first batch in for 10 minutes at 400ºF, and then flipped them and added another 10 minutes. Hmm, not very crispy.

So J suggested we cook the second batch at 425ºF for 10 minutes on each side, and YAY, the edges were nice and crunchy, and the middle still moist.

Flafel big boss
Flafel big boss

I stuck with Tradition and whipped up Tahini Sauce, and sliced some organic tomatoes, onions and pickles to go on top. Steamed broccoli, broiled chicken and baked Mac 'n Cheese for the kids completed dinner.

Tahini Health Benefits

Tahini is a source of healthy fatty acids, containing 60.1 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 3.421 mg of omega-6 fatty acids. Your body doesn't manufacture these fatty acids, so getting them from the foods you eat is critical and they are beneficial for your brain and heart.

Thiamine : Consume tahini to boost you thiamine intake. Each serving provides 16 percent of the daily suggested intake of this vitamin, also known as vitamin B-1. The thiamine in tahini influences your nervous system, muscles and digestion.

Phosphorus : Tahini provides 12 percent of the phosphorus you require in each serving. This mineral is important for the strength of your bones and teeth

Copper : You need only small amounts of copper in your diet each day, and tahini can help you meet those nutritional needs. This mineral helps keep your blood vessels and bones healthy

Traditional Tahini Sauce recipe

  • 1 c. organic Sesame Tahini
  • 2 small Garlic cloves, mashed well with 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 c. organic Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. + cold Water, enough to give sauce the consistency of Ketchup.

Pour lemon into garlic and salt mush, and stir well.

Add to Tahini sauce along with 1/4 c. water. Stir.  Tahini will thicken first (due to chemical reaction to lemon juice.  Keep stirring and adding water in 2 Tbs. increments until consistency is reached.

Add parsley and stir. Will keep for 1 week in refrigerator.

Serving Ideas: Use on Falafel, Fish, as a topping on Steamed Veggies, or as a spread on Baked Eggplant and Tomato sandwiches.

Tahini Sauce
Tahini Sauce

Luckily there is enough left for lunch tomorrow!

Falafel Plate
Falafel Plate

 ~ Sahtein (double health)! ♥

"Chemo Brain" and Cancer Related Fatigue - Remedies

Suffering from Cancer Related Fatigue? Chemo Brain? Decrease your Cancer Fatigue by taking control of inflammation.

I take 2 - 4 Curcumin capsules a day to lower inflammation, as well as Reservatrol, and I add a few drops of Astragalus tincture if needed.

~~~~

High inflammation equals promotion of Cancer fatigue, Cancer growth and Cancer recurrence. Research shows that many herbal medicines can lower pro-inflammatory factors fueling this common side effect of hormone therapy. Below are six herbs that may transform exhaustion into vitality.

One of many reasons we "feel sick" and experience fatigue is due to elevated levels of pro-inflammatory factors. By lowering the levels of these damaging factors we can transform fatigue into well-being, enhance vitality and quality of life and mitigate inflammation related pain.

Inflammation is a fact of cancer and contributes to one of the most common complaints of cancer patients and cancer survivors, Cancer Related Fatigue, a distressing and persistent sense of physical and emotional tiredness as well as reduced mental clarity and alertness. Cancer survivors complain of inability to focus and concentrate, poor memory, inability to think clearly as well as sadness and depression, symptoms of Chemo Brain.

Cancer Fatigue is a common side effect experienced by breast cancer patients undergoing hormone therapy.

Studies have shown that Cancer Fatigue is linked to increased levels of two inflammatory molecules produced by our cells: Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFa) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6). Increased inflammation contributes to a sense of malaise, lethargy, muscle tenderness and even Lowering TNFa and IL-6 also have been shown to decrease depression and lethargy. Here are six potent herbal medicines, supported by research which demonstrates a decrease these pro-inflammatory factors. You can reduce fatigue, lower disease progression and have less anxiety about recurrence.

SIX HERBAL MEDICINES and FIVE SPICES FOR RELIEF OF CANCER FATIGUE and INFLAMMATION

Research shows that the following herbs and spices lower TNFa and IL6 and can improve normal inflammatory function and relieve symptoms associated with Cancer Related Fatigue.

1. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) one of the great medicinal mushrooms of Chinese Medicine traditionally used in many anti cancer and immune modulating formulas. New research demonstrates its ability to lower TNFa and IL6, thus improving Cancer Fatigue.

Grape 2

2. Resveratrol a plant constituent found in red and purple grapes and concentrated from the herb Polygonum cuspidatum. Studies show that Resveratrol is able to turn on genes in the cell linked to longevity and immune function. Immune regulation includes this ability to turn off genes that create inflammation.

3. Astragalus Root is a well-known Chinese Herb traditionally used to support vitality and is found in many anti cancer and immune modulating formulas. Astragalus root is often added to soups to for its nourishing and healing properties.

4. Milk Thistle Seed Extract Milk Thistle has been used traditionally thistlenot only for its value in enhancing normal inflammation function. It has also been used traditionally to support normal liver detoxification function, lowering our body burden of toxic chemicals which is also linked to tiredness, fatigue and a loss of well-being.

5. Ginseng Root (Panax Ginseng) is a well-known Chinese botanical medicine used for centuries for its restorative properties. Modern science has demonstrated its ability to lower TNFa and IL6, linked to improved energy and relief from these causes of cancer fatigue.

6. Schizandra, The Fruit of Five Flavors, one of the great tonics of Chinese Medicine not only lowers causes of inflammation, but is also rich in plant anti-oxidants which also protect our cells and our genes (DNA) from damage. Reducing DNA damage and protecting our genes is one of the primary ways to limit cancer.

The Pharmacy in Your Kitchen

You can also fight cancer in the kitchen by using culinary spices and herbs that also lower Pro-Inflammatory TNFa and IL6. Such an Anti-Cancer Anti-Inflammatory diet might also include the liberal use of oregano, rosemary, garlic, tumeric, ginger and green tea also rich in cell protective anti-oxidants.

Herbal Medicines may be made into tea or taken as herbal extracts or herbal powders dissolved into water or taken in capsules and tablets.

Always consult with a health care provider knowledgeable in the safe and appropriate use of herbal medicines. (Contact me here for a referral).

Using high quality pharmaceutical grade herbal medicines is the best way to insure expected results. Be patient. Herbal medicines work in the rhythm of nature. It takes several weeks to yield sustainable changes.

If you are concerned about unhealthy levels of inflammatory factors in your body, you can ask your doctor to measure not only TNFa and IL6 as well as HS-CRP (C Reactive Protein).

After you have incorporated foods and herbs that support healthy levels of these inflammation factors and lowered your intake of pro-inflammatory foods, you can re-test to see how well you are doing.

by Dr. Nalini Chilkov

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Dr. Nalini Chilkov is a well known expert and leader in the field of Integrative Health and Alternative Cancer Care. She has developed a system which combines the best of modern science and wellness medicine.  This system is based on individualized care and a model of natural health and longevity for cancer patients and cancer survivors. Visit http://doctornalini.com to learn more.

Kale to the Chief? .and How to Plan Your Meals

He'd be a lot healthier! If you told me 6 years ago, that I would grow to love this vegetable with a head of curls that vies my own, I would have fallen over into the clover, laughing like crazy Maizy (whoever she is)!

kale2
kale2

But the seemingly impossible has once occurred. It happened with Eggplant about 22 years ago.

1/2 cup of cooked Kale has an ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbent capacity) of 1150.  A minimum of 6500 is the recommended daily intake.  Add just 1/4 tsp. of Cinnamon and you've upped the dish by another 2675 to give you over half the daily goal in a 1/2 c serving of food!

If you have a cup of blueberries for breakfast or dessert (ORAC 3250), you've met your daily minimum of health supporting anti-oxidants.  Easy when you use the ORAC Chart.

shiitake
shiitake

I am always experimenting with Kale, since it lends itself to flavor exploration. Below is recipe that includes Shiitake Mushroomswhich are known for their anti-fungal, anti-tumor and anti-viral properties. Lentinan, an active compound found in shiitake mushrooms, helps boost the immune system, enhancing your ability to fight infection and disease.

Kale with Shiitake and Garlic

  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 med. organic White Onion, diced
  • 1 head of organic Kale, washed, and chopped
  • 7-8 Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 2 c. hot Water
  • 4 cloves organic Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed organic Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

Place a large pot over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add oil and wait 2 minutes.  Add onion and turn to medium low.  Saute, stirring, until onion is translucent.

Add kale and cook stirring until kale is bright green. Add mushrooms and stir to mix. Add hot water, return heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Add garlic, lemon and spices, stir to mix.  Cover and simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes or until Kale is cooked through.

Kale and Shiitake
Kale and Shiitake

Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with lemon wedge alongside brown rice and chicken or fish.

~ Sahtein (double health)! ♥

Rigatoni and Veggies

Dinner in a Flash

I had some left over Pasta noodles, zucchini and broccoli. I decided to toss them all together with a spicy sauce rich in antioxidants... due to the Garlic and Tomatoes (Lycopenes)... for a healthy and quick dinner.

Use any combination of veggies you have on hand.

  • 2 c. whole wheat Rigatoni, cooked per directions (I use Fiber Gourmet brand, or Al Dente Carba) Substitute Brown Rice pasta for Wheat-Free version.
  • 1/2. sun-dried Tomatoes in oil, chopped up in blender
  • 1/4 c. hot Water
  • 1/2 c. each lightly steamed Zucchini and Broccoli, bite size pieces
  • 2 cloves organic Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. Red Chili Flakes (opt.)
  • 1/4 c. organic flat leaf Parsley, chopped

Place pasta, tomatoes and water in a pan over medium heat. Stir.

Add veggies, garlic and spices. Cover and simmer over low heat until warm...about 10 minutes.  Add parsley.

Serve with a small slice of Whole Grain bread (Udi't Millet or TJ's Flaxseed) sprinkled with virgin Olive Oil and organic Garlic Powder.

The two Breads mentioned above meet our Formula for 'Healthy Carbs'.   ~ Buon Apetito!

Asian Slaw

Fresh, tasty, healthy and crunchy..what more can one ask ?  

For the salad

8 c. organic Napa or other green Cabbage 2 Tbs. Green Onions, thinly sliced 1 large Carrot, peeled and shredded 1 Tbs. seedless Raisins 1/4 c. sliced Raw Almonds

 

For the dressing 1 tsp. crushed Garlic, about 1 clove 2 tsp. grated fresh Ginger 2 Tbs. raw Tahini 1 tsp. Stevia 2 Tbs. light Soy sauce 3 Tbs. rice Vinegar or raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar 1 Tbs. extra virgin Olive Oil 1 tsp. cold pressed Flax-seed oil pinch Cayenne

Combine the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

In a smaller bowl, blend the garlic, ginger, tahini and Stevia to form a thick paste. Slowly add the soy sauce, vinegar, oils and cayenne and mix thoroughly.

Add to salad, toss well and serve.

Note:  This recipe has 6gr of fiber to 20g carbs... very good on based on our Good Carb Formula.

~ Enjoy!

The Reasoning for Seasoning*!

Abstract: The activation of nuclear transcription factor κB has now been linked with a variety of inflammatory diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, diabetes, allergy, asthma, arthritis, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, psoriasis, septic shock, and AIDS.

Extensive research in the last few years has shown that the pathway that activates this transcription factor can be interrupted by phytochemicals derived from spices such as turmeric (curcumin), red pepper, cloves , ginger, cumin, anise, and fennel, basil and rosemary, garlic, and pomegranate (ellagic acid).

For the first time, therefore, research provides “reasoning for seasoning.”*

Suppression of the Nuclear Factor-κB Activation Pathway by Spice-Derived Phytochemicals: BHARAT B. AGGARWAL*, SHISHIR SHISHODIA.

Article first published online: 12 JAN 2006 - DOI: 10.1196/annals.1329.054

Lower Blood Sugar with These Foods

Elevated blood sugar levels are associated with inflammation, tumor proliferation, decrease in immune function, and angiogenesis.

Angiogenesis plays a critical role in the growth and spread of cancer. A blood supply is necessary for tumors to grow beyond a few millimeters in size. Tumors can cause this blood supply to form by giving off chemical signals that stimulate angiogenesis.

Thankfully, there are many foods that help lower our blood sugar.  There are also tactics you can use to keep your blood sugar in check:

1. Avoid refined, low fiber carbs and sweets

2. Choose whole grain foods that offer more than 1-gram of fiber for every 10-grams of Carbs (the Good Carb Formula.)

3. Avoid eating carbs alone especially on an empty stomach! Add a protein or healthy fat to balance blood sugar (almond butter, coconut oil, sardines, light meat tuna, almond cream cheese,etc.)

Eat more of these. . .

  • Apples, Red with Peel
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • avocadoAvocados
  • Barley
  • Black Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Chamomile tea
  • Chard
  • Cherries
  • Cinnamoncinnamon
  • Flax-seed Meal
  • Garlic
  • Goji Berries
  • Green tea
  • Leeks
  • Lemon
  • Parsley
  • Nuts
  • Oat Bran
  • Olive oilraspberry
  • Onions
  • Raspberries
  • Seeds
  • Sweet potato
  • Yams

~ Cheers!

Healthy Stir-fried Veggies

The important thing about sauteing any foods is to keep the oil below burn point. Foods added to the oil should not 'sizzle' much.  You want to aim for 7 cups of vegetables a day (4c. cooked).  This recipe will yield 2-3 servings, more if you have a salad with your meal.

Hoda's Healthy Stir-fried Veggies

  • 1 inch piece of Ginger, chopped
  • 4 c. organic Broccoli, cut up
  • 4 stalks organic Celery, cut up
  • 1/2 White Onion, sliced thin
  • 6 organic Green Onions, cut in 1 inch pieces with green tops
  • 4 organic Carrots, cut up
  • 1 organic Baby Bok Choy, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp. Sesame oil mixed with 2 tsp. organic Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs. Tamari or Soy sauce (gluten-free)
  • 2 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Stevia or 1 tsp. Xylitol
  • 2 tsp. Cornstarch mixed in 1/3 c. Water or Green Tea

Place a large saute pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Pour in the oil mixture. Wait another minute then add the ginger, stirring.

When it starts to wilt add all the veggies except the Bok Choy and garlic.  Stir for a 3 -4 minutes, then cover, turn heat to low, and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add Bok Choy and stir to mix.  Cover again for 2 minutes.  Add garlic and stir.

Mix wet ingredients and add to pan, mixing with veggies for 2 minutes until they are all coated and sauce has thickened.

~ Enjoy.

Garlic

Garlic, like its cousins the onion and the shallot, is a member of the Allium family that is infamously distinctive for its strong odor. Surprisingly, the origin of garlic’s characteristic smell is also the explanation behind its anticancer abilities. The high content of the odorous sulfur-containing compounds diallyl sulfide (DAS) and diallyl disulfide (DADS) play the principal role in cancer prevention: they have the ability to prevent carcinogenic damage to healthy cells by reducing reactivity of carcinogens with healthy cells and by accelerating the elimination of the harmful carcinogens from the body.  It is also believed that DAS may directly attack tumor cells and destroy them by triggering tumor cell death.

Garlic has been found to be most advantageous in the prevention of esophageal, stomach, and colon cancers. It also may play a role in prostate, breast, and lung cancer.

A Queen's-led team has discovered the reason why garlic is so good for us. Chemistry professor Derek Pratt led the study. Their findings are published in the January 2009 issue of the international chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie.

The research team questioned the ability of allicin to trap damaging radicals so effectively, and considered the possibility that a decomposition product of allicin may instead be responsible. Through experiments with synthetically-produced allicin, they found that an acid produced when the compound decomposes rapidly reacts with radicals.

"Basically the allicin compound has to decompose in order to generate a potent antioxidant," explains Dr. Pratt, who is Canada Research Chair in Free Radical Chemistry. "The reaction between the sulfenic acid and radicals is as fast as it can get, limited only by the time it takes for the two molecules to come into contact. No one has ever seen compounds, natural or synthetic, react this quickly as antioxidants."

The researcher is confident that a link exists between the reactivity of the sulfenic acid and the medicinal benefits of garlic. "...until now there has been no convincing explanation as to why garlic is beneficial," says Dr. Pratt. "I think we have taken the first step in uncovering a fundamental chemical mechanism which may explain garlic's medicinal benefits."

  •  Garlic is most effective if crushed, chopped or eaten raw in salad dressings and salsa
  • A clove a day keeps the doctor away, and 2 or 3 will prevent a cold (see my cold remedy under Diet and Nutrition /Herbs and Spices)
  •  If a recipe calls for garlic, wait until the last 10 minutes of cooking to add the garlic
  •  Be careful not to eat too much as garlic can irritate your digestive system... I don't think you'll have any problem eating  3-4 cloves a day
  •  Don’t microwave garlic - it this kills the active ingredients!

I will be adding plenty of recipes that call for my friend the 'stinky rose'.

~ Chewing raw parsley will help get rid of garlic breath!