Food Quotes

"No therapy or drug known to modern medical science can rebuild tissue that has been damaged by disease or trauma. Food alone can accomplish this feat. It is for this reason that nutrition is an indispensable weapon against disease".
Dr. Bernard Jensen (1908-2001)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Buttered Beets

1 bunch red or golden beets (you can usually find these at the local farmer's market)
Directions: Cut tops (greens) from beet root. (Use the greens another night. Cook as directed for Steamed Greens.) Place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 45 minutes or until beets are fork-tender. Run under cold water and remove the outer layer. It will just peel off easily. Under that layer is a beautiful red or golden glistening gem! Slice beets and put back in saucepan with butter. Heat on low setting until butter is melted and beets are hot. Stir to coat beets with butter. Season to taste with real salt and pepper.

Red Pepper Quiche

1 recipe yogurt dough (see below)
2 red peppers
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 T. extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
3 egg yolks
1/2 c. sour cream or creme fraiche (organic from grass-fed cows)
real salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Directions: Start the yogurt dough the day before (see below). Day of: Wash and dry peppers. Place peppers under broiler pan to char skin. Check after 5 minutes and turn if skin has begun to blister and turn black. Keep under broiler until entire pepper is charred and blistered. Remove from oven and place in a saucepan covered with a lid. Let set for about 20-30 minutes till cooled.

Meanwhile, reduce oven heat to 325 degrees. Roll our dough for a 9-inch pie pan. Line pie pan with dough and pre-bake for about 20 minutes. (When done, remove to a cooling rack and continue with quiche ingredients. While pie crust is baking, remove charred skin from peppers. Open each pepper and remove seeds, membrane and stem. Lay peppers flat and cut into thin strips. Set aside. Saute onion in olive oil until soft; add the peppers to onions and heat until warmed through. Beat egg yolks with cream, seasonings and half of the cheese. Strew the onions and pepper over the crust and pour the egg mixture over. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350degrees for about 30-40 minutes until egg is set. Makes 4-6 servings.

Tender, Buttery Yogurt Dough

1/2 c. plain whole yogurt
1/2 c. real butter, softened
1 3/4 c fresh whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. real salt
unbleached flour
Directions: To make dough - Cream yogurt with butter. Blend in flour and salt. Cover and leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours. Roll out on a pastry cloth using unbleached flour to prevent sticking. Continue with directions above for Red Pepper Quiche. (To use for another recipe, for a pre-baked shell, prick well with a fork and place in a cold oven. Turn heat onto 350 degrees and bake for 2-3- minutes.)

Traditional Bone Stock (Chicken or Turkey)

Go here to read about the healthful benefits of this rich traditional bone stock.
Raw or cooked poultry pieces or carcasses with skin (2-3 lbs.)
Apple cider vinegar (raw and unfiltered)

Directions: Place bones in a large, non-reactive pot, add water to cover and add 1 teaspoon vinegar. Let set for an hour to allow the vinegar to begin drawing the minerals out of the bones. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid off. Skim off and discard any brown scum that rises to the surface.

Partially cover and gently simmer for a minimum of 2 hours and for as long as 24 hours. The longer the stock cooks the more flavorful and nutritious it becomes.

When the stock is cool enough to work with, strain through a sieve or a double layer of cheesecloth reserving all but the dregs.

Refrigerate the stock, tightly covered, for up to one week. Chilled stock is gel-like. Or freeze to keep longer and have when needed.

To use the stock immediately, remove excess fat (save fat and store in refrigerator to cook with). Season to taste with salt and seasonings of choice. Use as stock in soups, sauces and grains (use stock instead of water when cooking grains) or drink hot as a tonic.

Carrot Ginger Slaw

2 c. grated carrots or 1 1/2 c. grated carrots and 1/2 c. finely chopped cabbage
3 T. finely shredded dried unsweetened coconut meat
2 T. dried cranberries
2 1/2 T. chopped candied ginger
2 T. high-oleic, expeller-expressed safflower oil
2 T. raw, unfiltered honey
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch real salt
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Chill and serve. Makes 4 servings.

California Spinach Salad

1 1/2 pounds of fresh spinach, rinsed well
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 avocados, cubed
1/2 c. black olives, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 can mandarin oranges, drained and quartered
Directions: Place the spinach in a large serving bowl. In a medium bowl, generously drizzle lemon juice over the avocado cubes to enhance the flavor and prevent browning. Gently mix avocados, olives, onion and mandarin oranges into the spinach. When ready to serve, add vinaigrette.

Scrumptious Macaroni and Cheese with Ham

1/4 c. real butter (from grass-fed cows)
1/4 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 c. warm whole milk (pasteurized whole cream-top, never homogenized or ultra-homogenized)
dash pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons real soy sauce (brewed or fermented)
2 c. cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
1/2 c. sour cream or creme fraiche (organic from grass-fed cows)
12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese (from grass-fed cows; not treated with rBST)
8 ounces organic brown rice elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt butter; add flour and stir with a wooden spoon 3 minutes or until roux is frothy. Gradually stir warm milk into roux. Turn up heat; stir until sauce is just at boiling point. Turn down heat and let simmer a few minutes. Add pepper, cayenne pepper, and soy sauce. Stir in ham and sour cream; simmer briefly or until flavors are blended. Stir 3/4 c. cheese into simmering sauce until milted. Combine cheese sauce with macaroni and pour into a greased 2-quart dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden. Makes 6 servings.

Sweet Broccoli Salad

1 T. red wine vinegar (raw, unfiltered - find it at Whole Foods)
3 T. unfiltered raw honey or pure organic maple syrup
2 T. mayonnaise (be careful not to buy mayo with bad oil - click here for a list of good and bad oils - then scroll down page to the bottom of the Real Food post)
4 T. real sour cream (organic from grass-fed cows)
1 large bunch of broccoli, cut into small florets
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 T. raisins or dried cranberries (especially nice at Christmas time)
Directions: Pour red wine into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add honey or maple syrup. Stir constantly until mixture has a slight syrupy consistency, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir in syrup mixture. In a large salad bowl, toss remaining ingredients. Stir in mayonnaise mixture. Makes 4-6 servings.

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 c. cooked chicken, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 c. Traditional Bone Stock (chicken)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 c. frozen corn kernels or 2 ears of fresh corn, cut from cob
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
tortilla chips to crumble on top of soup
sour cream to garnish
1 c. Feta cheese, crumbled to garnish
1/2 c. green onions, chopped to garnish
avocado to garnish
Directions: Place chicken and stock into a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, corn, cilantro, and cayenne pepper to pot. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Place some crumbled tortilla chips in each bowl. Ladle in the soup and top with garnishes as desired. Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Optimum Food Choices: Part Two

In the last real food post, Real Food - Optimum Food Choices: Part One, though I mentioned that I would be covering fats and oils, cheese and breakfast cereals next, I will focus on fats and oils, and just give a brief review of cheese and breakfast cereals.

This post, hopefully, will help you to determine if a lipid (a fat or oil) is healthy to consume or not. (What I will post here about fats is not consistent with what we hear in the food industry, popular media and even from our doctors.)

When I first began to read about real food - fats in particular - I did a double-take in my mind and was very doubtful about what I was reading. If you have read my first post on real food, then you know that I was eventually convinced, and the wonderful healing results that accompanied eating real food for two months was all I needed to commit to embracing a complete change in lifestyle as far as diet was concerned. Good fats and oils have been part of that diet.

"But isn't any fat bad for us?", I hear you asking. We hear it everywhere that fat should be avoided and I used to believe that. While eating low-fat or no-fat foods, I had no energy, gained weight consistently, had unrelenting pain from osteo-arthritis, dry skin and more. Now that I eat more fat (all good fat) than is recommended, I have more energy than ever, have stopped gaining weight, my cholesterol is good, the pain has decreased dramatically and my skin is recovering.

This is simple, like last time with the apple. Think about building a fire. You start with kindling, then you add medium-sized branches, then you add the big, long burning oak logs. The kindling burns quick and hot, but is gone within minutes, yet not before the medium branches are aflame. These last long enough to get the big, oak log burning.

Carbohydrates or starchy foods (and I am talking about good carbs now, like brown rice, whole grains, legumes, beans, and starchy vegetables, etc., not sugar, white flour, white rice, etc.) are like kindling. They provide quick energy, but burn off fast in our bodies. Protein is like the medium-sized branches, which provide energy for a longer period of time. But fats, like the big, slow burning oak logs, provide sustained energy and also tell our tummies and brains that we are satisfied for hours. Every morning I eat a good breakfast at about 7:30, with plenty of good fat. I do not even think about eating again until around 1:00 in the afternoon. Food is not at all on my mind. Good fat really satiates our hunger.

Besides providing long lasting energy and satisfaction, fats are needed in the body to produce many functional, structural and energy biochemicals that are absolutely essential to your health. These include hormones, cells and cell membranes. Healthy fats are also needed for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and they slow down the rate of absorption of carbohydrates and protein that you consume. In other words, healthy fats keep the kindling (carbs) and medium sized branches (protein) burning longer. This is why you stay satisfied longer.

But not all fats are healthy. Generally speaking, fats will either build, repair and supply energy to our bodies or they will damage our bodies. There are good fats and there are bad fats. So how can you tell if a fat is good or bad? We will get to that, but first we need to review a little.If you remember in the last post about optimum nutrition, oxidation, free radicals, free radical damage, etc. was presented. (Read that now if you have not already done so by clicking on this sentence.)

Briefly, an apple, when cut in half and left exposed to air, heat and light becomes damaged. It turns brown. This is called oxidation. Free radicals are present in damaged food. For lack of being able to repeat the technical, scientific jargon, I think of free radicals as out-of-control, marauding rebel cells that go about causing harm to healthy cells. That is actually exactly what they are and what they do. Thus, damaged food, when eaten, causes damage to our bodies.

Now, back to determining if a fat is good or bad. This depends entirely on its stability - its ability to resist oxidation or not. Contrary to what we have been told for quite some time now, fats and oils are not good or bad depending on their saturation level, ie. all saturated fat (solid fat) is bad for you and unsaturated fat (liquid fats) are good for you. This is simply not true!

Diana Schwarzbein, M.D., a brilliant endocrinologist in Southern California says in her book The Schwarzbein Principle II - The Transition, "The definition of a healthy fat has nothing to do with whether it is saturated or mono- or polyunsaturated, but everything to do with whether or not the fat is damaged." (Read about Dr. Schwarzbein's experiences that brought about her successful treatment of degenerative diseases.)

The most unstable of all oils are the polyunsaturated oils - the liquid oils. A polyunsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature and also when refrigerated. These oils react quickly and dramatically to air, heat and light, sustaining extreme damage when processed. I remember when polyunsaturated oils were touted as being the most healthful of all oils. I used them to cook with when my children were growing up and avoided saturated fats - the fats that have been demonized by the food industry, etc.

Processed polyunsaturated vegetable oils are some of the worst culprits for causing damage to our bodies. Just like an apple, when the seed - let's say corn seed - is broken open and exposed to air, heat and light, all parts of this oil begin to oxidize. The oil from the seed is extracted by high, prolonged heat. Then the last 5% of the oil that still remains in the seed is pulled out by a solvent called hexane gas (similar to gasoline). When all of the oil is extracted, the hexane gas is boiled off (residues always remain, however, and it is found in human breast milk).

After this destructive process, the oil looks gray and murky and smells rancid, as it is, so it is deodorized and bleached, for no one would buy it if it was left as is. This is the pretty, sparkling golden corn (soybean, safflower, etc.) oil that you pick up and pay money for at the supermarket. When you take it home and heat it in a pan, it is further damaged.

As damaging as heat-processed polyunsaturated fats are, there is one fat that is worse. Trans-fats are made from already damaged polyunsaturated fats. In processing polyunsaturated fats into trans-fats, the molecules of the fat are rearranged, making them even more dangerous to eat. Our bodies do not know what to do with these fats, also appropriately called "funny-fats", so they are always stored in the fat cells. Eventually, after eating this way for a period of time, our cells actually become trans-fatty in nature.

Monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, are less susceptible to damage from air, heat and light. A monounsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature and semi-solid when refrigerated. Good olive oil (this is defined below under Food Review) can be used to cook with, but only when using moderate heat. This oil does sustain damage from high-heat cooking and therefore should not be used for that purpose. (To read more great information regarding good and bad fats see these articles at )

By far, the most stable of oils are the saturated fats. Saturated fats are solid (some softer than others) at room temperature and hard when refrigerated. Because of their composition, they are not easily damaged by air, heat and light.

Butter is stable and can be left unrefrigerated without it turning rancid (or being damaged). It is also highly nutritious. (To read about the remarkable nutritional value of butter see this article at It can be used to cook at higher heats than olive oil, but it should never be heated to the point of smoking. Any stable fat or oil that has been heated to that degree has been damaged and should not be eaten.

Other good saturated fats include:
Beef and lamb tallow
Chicken, goose and duck fat
Coconut and palm oils

Good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats include:
Sesame oil
Cold pressed olive oil
Cold pressed flax oil (never heat)
Marine oils (from deep, cold waters)


Butter & Other Oils and Fats: Extra virgin, cold or expeller expressed oils, such as olive, flax seed, peanut, sesame, high-oleic expeller expressed monounsaturated safflower or sunflower oil (these two are good for making mayonnaise) (refrigerate all of the above in dark bottles); extra virgin organic coconut and palm oils (fine to keep at room temp); organic, (raw is best) butter from grass-fed cows, duck fat, suet (from beef); never processed polyunsaturated, including canola oil or partially-hydrogenated (or hydrogenated) oils, such as shortening and, margarine, and never soybean oil even if it is cold-pressed because of a myriad of toxins, carcinogens, and anti-nutrients, and phyto-estrogens. *WFM; TJs; FC; R

Breakfast Cereals:
organic whole unprocessed grains such as whole oats, (whole grain cereals should be soaked in water and lemon juice or liquid whey for 8 hours or longer to neutralize phytic acid and other anti-nutrients), brown rice cereal (does not need to be soaked); never processed cold cereals, even all so-called? healthy? ones ? all are very toxic because of the harsh processing they undergo and have caused rapid death in test animals due to the toxins they contain.
*WFM; TJs; FC; R

1) organic, raw, whole milk or 2) organic, pasteurized whole milk cheeses made from cow, goat, and/or sheep milk; stay away from aged cheeses as the fats in them are compromised (rancid). *WFM; TJs; (Ask at WFM as there are several places where they are found.)

*WFM = Whole Foods Market
TJs = Trader Joes
FC = Food Co-op (email me about this if you want more info)
R = Raley's Food Stores

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Question About Beans

Anne asked the following question in a comment posted on the Pinto Beans post in the Recipe section:

Hey Sharon,

Is it important what kind of pinto beans I use? Do they need to be organically grown? How many servings do 3 cups dry beans make? Also, I've been keeping my eye out for you to post that meatball recipe you made for Frankie and I the other night! They were so scrumptious!

Here is my answer:

Hi Anne,
You are really getting into this food thing! Good for you.

As for the beans, I would say - use up what you have on hand and then think seriously about buying organic. To give you an idea of how much better organic are, you should know that organic beans will sprout and grow if you were to plant them or soak them long enough. The bean has to contain the nutrition to feed the seedling while it is setting down roots. Non-organic beans will not sprout or grow if you plant or soak them. They are very inferior in nutrition.

They are also treated with pesticides and chemical fertilizers and grown in ground that is not sustained. The soil pretty much is sterile - very few nutrients or minerals. Organic food (produce) contains twice as much nutrition as its non-organic counterpart. And the nutrients are organic as compared to chemical nutrients that non-organic is fed with.

But organic beans are still a good food bargain. Though they cost a little more, pound for pound, as compared to organic meat (or even conventional) they really stretch the food dollar. I keep some in the freezer at all times in quart containers. When I run out, I make more and freeze them. They are so versatile. We eat them with tacos, etc. And for lunches they are great for tostadas or burritos, on a sausage-dog or hot-dog, etc. I also use them to make Pablano Steak Chili (get recipe here).

The recipe I have posted will serve at least 12 people. The spaghetti sauce and meatball recipe will be posted soon. Thank you for being patient and for your question.

© Franziska's Pantry

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy written by Sharon Kaufman: By Sharon Kaufman. © Franziska's Pantry. Website:

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