Feb. 20, 2015
Healing chicken bone broth; An essential when you are looking at healing your gut either during a reboot or after a course of antibiotics. Or maybe just because you feel like sipping a delicious chicken bone broth.
Organic chicken, leeks, onions, carrots, fresh garlic, fresh Italian parsley, fresh thyme (or dried), fresh bay leaves (or dried), peppercorns, Braggs apple cider vinegar.
Adding a splash of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to the pot before the chicken joins the group.
Add enough water to cover the entire contents.
Bring it to a boil, take it down to a simmer and simmer for an hour, skimming off any foam that forms on the top. Remove the chicken and allow the broth to simmer another hour or two. You can pick the meat from the bones and use the meat for another dish. Or package and freeze for another day.
Pour the contents through a strainer into a bowl large enough to accommodate the broth.
And here you have it, home made chicken broth. I usually chill it for a few hours and skim any fat off the top. Store the broth in a tightly sealed container to be used in other homemade soups or sip a cup of it each day to heal your gut. If you don't need all of it within a few days, freeze in small containers to be used later.
Feb. 24, 2015
What's for dinner?
How many times have we asked ourselves that, pushed to conjure up something tasty, quick and enjoyable for the entire family? Even I, someone trained in the culinary arts, gets tired of making meals day after day after day after...oops sorry, I got caught up in that.
This afternoon I asked myself the same question, but this time I had something to base the meal on - a lovely piece of wild-caught Black Cod that I bought at Georgetown Market. I had no idea what I would produce with that piece of cod but figured I would come up with something. And I did, using the Clean Eats cookbook, looking at the 'Gut' recipes. Granted, this recipe would be delicious with any wild-caught cod or maybe sea bass or another 'meaty' white fish.
One of the reasons it is so easy to come up with quick meals is the 'staples' in my fridge and pantry. The recipe is simple using several of my 'always-have-on-hand' items - fresh lemons, Italian parsley, raw sprouted almonds, red onion, fresh garlic, and olive oil. Took only 10 minutes to prepare, another 15 minutes in the oven and dinner is ready to be served. Since it's a 'gut' recipe, I didn't need to pare it with a grain this time. Served on a bed of fresh baby spinach leaves (also a staple in this household) with the lovely juices drizzled over the top. And the beauty of this recipe is that it would also allow me to prep it the night before (with the fish in its frozen state in the covered oven dish in the fridge, ready to pop it in the oven once I got home the following evening. Twelve to fifteen minutes in the oven just about leaves me enough time to set the table, prep my dishes with the fresh baby spinach leaves and....wow, dinner is ready!
And that's what's for dinner this evening.
Wild-caught black cod with an almond gremolata
March 31, 2015
Making your own nut or seed milk
It's really not difficult to make your own nut milk ( ie. almond or cashew) or seed milk (ie. hemp or flax). It requires a couple of kitchen tools like a blender, something to use to strain your homemade milk through and a large measuring vessel. That's it. Ingredients? Nuts, of course. Preferably the raw kind, not roasted. Water. And then some flavorings like vanilla, cinnamon. If you are have chosen to go the unsweetened route, that's all you need. But you can add one more ingredient, if you aren't doing a cleanse (which means food choices that close the door on a few foods during the cleanse like sugar) you can add a pitted date in the milk as a sweetener. Dates are a good natural source for sweetening foods. More about dates at the end of this.
July 16, 2015 - "May the Force be with you" - the positive energy force, that is.
When I'm teaching cooking classes, I speak of the 'energy' used in the shopping/preparing/eating of our nutritionally-dense foods. And it's often more pleasurable doing all of these things in the company of like-minded friends/family. But what if you don't have that group around you all the time? How do you makes those moments count when you are on your own? First, meal planning can be at a moment of your choosing with a mug of calming tea in front of you and your favorite music playing in the background...or sitting outside enjoying the summer weather.....or wherever, of YOUR choosing. Having cook books that are visually pleasing also starts you out in a positive direction as you look forward to the moment. (I'm a fan of beautiful cookbooks that keep the recipes simple in their ingredients as well as their step-by-step instructions). Check out the reference section for favorite books of mine.
Second, try to pick a time/place that enhances that shopping experience. If you can, chose to shop at places where the experience has the potential for being a pleasant one. Shopping in a big box store may not be as favorable as heading to the farmer's market or a local natural food store. There are several go-to sources for buying organic/local and keeping within your budget, thus eliminating the lure of those discounted items the big box stores use to get you in their doors. And you have the benefit of only buying what you need if you shop the bulk section. If you have found that doing your grocery shopping during the lunch hour just works out better for you (ie more time, more energy), take along an insulated bin with cold packs in them to keep those purchases cool until you can get home. I keep a stash of ice in sealed pouches in my freezer at home so that I'm always ready. If they melt by the time I get back home, it doesn't really matter since I pop them back in the freezer for the next time.
Third, use imagery to guide yourself through the store, staying focused on the task at hand. I tend to write out my list according to the lay-out of the store, as this helps me optimize my shopping time. Yes, walking 10,000 steps a day is wonderful, but does it have to happen during my grocery shopping when I end up going back and forth because of how I wrote out the list? I prefer to do that in a place/at a time of my choosing.
Once back home, putting those lovingly chosen ingredients away in the proper way is equally important. A well-organized pantry, refrigerator, and freezer keep the guesswork out of your kitchen. That way, when it's time to make your grocery list again, you will have a proper overview of what you have which will save you time and money.
The next section, Keeping it Positive in your Kitchen, will follow soon.