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)

Friday, June 12, 2009

In Defense of Traditional Food

The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) is responsible for my turn around of health five years ago. I had been teaching a class on nutrition at my church and thought I really knew all about that topic. So, in preparing to teach this class, I went online for resources, etc.

That's when I discovered WAPF. At first I was very offended by what I read: "Saturated fat is good for you"; "Cholesterol is not a danger to your health"; "Low-fat foods cause many health problems"; "Poly-unsaturated fats are to blame for heart disease"; and on and on and on.

But with each of these bold claims, there was a terrific amount of research documentation to back it up. It all began to make sense, especially as I considered that the foods this organization supported as healthful were the very foods that our Creator had given us to eat. And the foods that were dismissed as promoting illness were man made foods.

It wasn't long before I was so convinced that I began eating this "traditional diet" and within 2 months, my health had taken a dramatic turn for the better. Because of that, much of my time for the last 5 years has been used to teach others about this way of eating in hopes of improved physical health for those who desire to learn. Franziska's Pantry is a written testimonial of that also.

So, in defense of traditional foods, please consider the following three videos. Sally Fallon, the president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author of Nourishing Traditions Cookbook is the speaker. These are excerpts from her classes at the Eighth Annual Conference of the Weston A. Price Foundation. She has certainly done her homework and you will benefit greatly from listening to her culinary wisdom.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

If You'd Like to Improve Your Health, See This Movie!

Now here is a movie worth seeing. It may just improve your health. This is the trailer for Food, Inc. I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing it. Food, Inc. is showing at local theaters starting tomorrow.

Go here to see the trailer.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Weight Loss - The Real Way

This is an interesting video about real food. The folks being interviewed, Kevin Brown and Annette Presley, co-authored a new book called The Liberation Diet. If, after watching the interview, you are interested in ordering the book visit The Liberation Diet website.

Harvest Show Liberation Diet


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Warm Weather Means Lemonade

This is such an easy and refreshing beverage to make. It can also be a healthy beverage if the sugar is replaced with stevia. Here's how to make it:

Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a glass. Add 1 or 2 packets of stevia (about 1 and a half teaspoons if you want to spoon it out of the shaker container instead). Add ice and filtered water to fill the glass. (Next time, you can adjust these amounts to your own liking and/or make enough for the family.) Stir. That's it! Now drink and be quenched!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Great Book for Mom and Baby

It is fact, and I am realizing it more and more, that our great grandmothers knew volumes more about food than the science-savvy food technologists of today. That is why I really like Nina Planck's new book, Real Food for Mother and Baby...The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two and Baby's First Foods. She gets back to that wisdom of the ancients in this very helpful work.

Nina's first book,
Real Food, is a general treatise about traditional food to benefit anyone and everyone. Sometime after writing Real Food, she had a baby. During her pregnancy, Nina discovered that the bulk of information available now really misses the mark as far as diet is concerned, even perpetuating many myths that keep women and children eating a substandard diet. Of course, she was compelled to do something about that. And so Real Food for Mother and Baby came into being.

Nina's book is quite refreshing and just makes sense. It is so freeing to be told that it's alright, even the best practice, to eat the very things your body craves and requires to be nourished (real butter, good meat, etc.) during pregnancy and beyond. As she chronicles her own journey with baby Julian, she lays out what real food is and how it nourishes, builds, strengthens, satisfies, heals and energizes you and your little one.

Nina also provides sound counsel concerning fertility - what to eat that encourages conception and, once pregnant, the nutritional needs of the little one nurtured within the womb.

Good simple food will do it. Eat it and flourish - both you and your little ones! Read Nina's book. You will be all the better for it.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Old Time Snack-Favorite Made the Old Time Way

Long ago, in a land far away, people popped popcorn on the stove. I remember when my mom used a large pot on the stove top to make this snack. Then entered "Jiffy Pop", the forerunner to microwave popcorn. But I wonder, in light of micro popcorn, how many people know that you can still buy Jiffy Pop?

Here's a Jiffy Pop commercial. I'm not sure when this was made. The late 1970's is my guess.

Not long after this commercial was made, microwave popcorn was introduced. This is what most people eat nowadays. It is my belief that the majority of the American population does not even know that popcorn can be made quick, easily and cheaply on a stove top.

The advantage of making your own popcorn from scratch is that it is much healthier and it is also much, much cheaper (microwave popcorn is anywhere from $4 to $6 per pound, while bulk organic popcorn is $1.50 - $2 per pound).

As for the ingredients in Butter Flavored Jiffy Pop, it contains the following:
"popcorn, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, less than 2% of: salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, natural flavor, color added, freshness preserved with TBHQ, methyl silicone".

The only real ingredient in that list that is popcorn and even that is grown using pesticides, chemical fertilizers and in ground that is totally deficient in nutrients. The sad truth is most likely even worse than that since much of our corn is now genetically modified. Yes, there is also salt, but that is as processed and harmful to health as white sugar.

Micro popcorn contains pretty much the same things as Jiffy Pop. The natural flavor mentioned in the Jiffy Pop ingredient's list is also in micro popcorn and is a very toxic chemical:
The chemical -- diacetyl -- adds buttery taste. Government worker safety investigators have linked exposure to the synthetic butter to the sometimes fatal destruction of the lungs of hundreds of workers in food production and flavoring factories...It remains in widespread use in thousands of...consumer products, including the microwave popcorn brands Orville Redenbacher and Act II.
The following video demonstrates how to make popcorn on the stove top. But, of course, I would like to offer a few suggestions:
#1. Use organic, virgin coconut oil instead of what the instructor of this video suggests.
#2. Use organic popcorn since so much of what is grown now is genetically modified, which can have deleterious effects upon human health. I buy my popcorn at Whole Foods out of the bulk bins.
#3 Use real sea salt (it isn't white - it's gray) or Redmond's Real Salt (I really like this salt because it dispenses from a shaker just like processed white salt).
#3 When the corn has finished popping, empty it into a large heavy paper grocery bag (the kind with the handles works really good.)
#4 Melt some real butter and pour over the popped corn while shaking the bag to distribute the butter.
Yum, yum! I'm getting hungry for popcorn just thinking about it.


Flavors of Thai Meatloaf

This meatloaf is sooo good that I may never go back to the recipe I have characteristically made for all of my married days. I got a meatball recipe off of the internet and did some major tweaking, not only with the ingredients in the meatloaf, but also completely remaking the sauce and foregoing the meatballs for meatloaf. We loved the sauce so much, that I am considering keeping it on hand in place of ketchup. But just a warning...this recipe is mildly spicy. If you'd like to tone down the heat, use toasted sesame oil in the meatloaf and half the red curry paste in the sauce.

1.5 pounds of ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon hot chili oil (or toasted sesame oil if you want a less spicy meatloaf)
1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup bread crumbs (from whole grain sprouted bread)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Don your kitchen gloves and mix till all ingredients are thoroughly combined, being careful not to over mix as this makes for a tough meatloaf. Shape meat into a loaf and place in a loaf pan, molding meat to fit (or divide meat among 6-8 muffins recesses in a muffin tin or pan, rounding to look like a baked muffin.) If using a loaf pan, bake 1 1/2 - 2 hours; or if using a muffin pan, place pan on a larger baking sheet. Place in oven and fill the empty muffin recesses with hot water. Bake 45 - 60 minutes.

Thai Tomato Sauce
1 cup tomato ketchup (Trader Joe's organic does not contain so much sugar)
1 tablespoon diced ginger
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 large garlic clove, diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon red miso (optional)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons red curry paste (use half this much if you want a less spicy sauce)
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Spread over meatloaf after it comes from the oven. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to several weeks.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Coconut Peanut Sauce

This recipe is from Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon. On this diet, you get to eat wonderfully satisfying foods like this peanut sauce - so good on baked chicken. My recommendation would be to use the parts of the chicken that are fattier - the thighs and legs. They stay moister when baking and are just better with this sauce (delicious!).

To bake the chicken, simply lay out the pieces, skin side up, in a stainless steel or glass baking dish. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1-1 1/2 hours. Remove from pan to serving dish and serve with Coconut Peanut Sauce.

6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
1 teaspoon Asian hot chili oil
3/4 cup natural peanut butter
3/8 cup naturally fermented soy sauce (T.J.'s brand is good)
3 tablespoons rice or coconut vinegar
1/2 can whole coconut milk

Directions: Place garlic, ginger, and cilantro in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add all remaining ingredients and pulse until well blended. To warm sauce, place in a medium bowl set in a pan of hot water over very low heat.

Vanilla Cream Pudding

This is a fairly healthy option for dessert when made with either palm sugar (this is the best option) or maple syrup. You could actually substitute a little stevia for some of the sugar and it would even be better. Of course the eggs are a great source of protein and the whole milk and butter provide healthy fat. Anyway, it is a heavenly dessert. If you've only eaten those powdered pudding mixes with chemical flavors, you will be quite delighted when this pudding lights on your taste buds for the first time.

3/4 cup palm sugar or 2/3 cup pure organic maple syrup
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon real sea salt or Redmond's Real Salt
3 cups whole milk (non-homogenized)
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions: Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Gradually stir at least half of hot mixture into egg yolks. Then blend into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Blend in butter and vanilla. Pour immediately into single serving dishes. Let cool. Serve by itself or with a little whipped cream on top.  

Chocolate Pudding: Make above recipe, except increase palm sugar to 1 3/4 cups and add ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa, stirred into sugar, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) and salt, then proceed with recipe as instructed.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Good Video About Good Fat

Here is a video that puts the claims of healthy oils to the test. Two women agree to exchange the bad oils in their diet with good oil. This is the basic change they made and the results are quite surprising!

Note: As you watch the video, be aware that Nutiva, though it is an excellent source for coconut oil (and the other oils mentioned as well), is not the only good source. For the best price I've found for a great quality coconut oil, go here.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Baked French Toast

This is absolutely delicious for breakfast, but it could actually be served as a dessert also (a most delicious bread pudding), topped with whipped cream instead of maple syrup.

Serve this dish for breakfast on the day you make it (but small servings would be good if you are trying to watch your carb intake). Freeze whatever is leftover as follows: Cut cooled French toast into serving size pieces, wrap in fold-over sandwich bags and place those in a one gallon zipper baggie. Seal and store in the freezer. To serve hot, wrap in aluminum foil and warm in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

French Toast
8 - 10 slices sprouted whole grain bread (sandwich slices)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup whole milk (not homogenized)
2 tablespoons palm sugar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 dash salt
Maple syrup

Praline Topping
1 cup butter
3/4 cup palm sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons pure organic maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions: Slice bread into 1-inch squares. Arrange pieces in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch baking dish overlapping pieces as needed. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, palm sugar or maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not frothy. Pour mixture over the bread, making sure all is covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Following morning: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make praline topping and spread evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup. Makes 8 servings.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Making Raw Sauerkraut - Video Demos

Here are some good demos on how to make raw sauerkraut. Sauerkraut provides great nutritional benefits to the diet when made as demonstrated below. I decided on these videos because each one highlights a different aspect of the process. I will also be posting a basic recipe for sauerkraut in the next few days (Lord willing).

Though the following videos only demonstrate making large quantities of "kraut", you can make just one quart at a time using a small head of cabbage (1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds). Pack the cabbage into a one-quart mason jar, making sure that the liquid covers the cabbage. You can weight it down with a plastic baggie filled with water. Let this set out on the cabinet for three days, then refrigerate. Stored in the refrigerator, the sauerkraut will last at least 6 months.

Listen for the ingredient amounts in the videos if you want to start your sauerkraut before I get the recipe posted.

Friday, March 20, 2009

In the Pantry - Healthy Fats and Oils

This pantry post is all about healthy fats and oils. I decided to devote an entire post to these elements of traditional foods since they are so important for health. Our supermarkets carry so many unhealthy oils that are cheap, but so very destructive to human health, causing untold amounts of free radical damage. We might pay a small out-of-pocket cost for these types of oils, but we are paying huge prices in terms of degenerative illnesses and medical expense.

And it's not only that these fats and oils directly damage our bodies, they also do not provide essential nutrients that we need in order to produce the bio-chemicals that maintain optimum health and a sense of well-being.

So without further ado, here is a list of the fats and oils that I keep stocked in my pantry:

Bottled Oils and Fats:
Extra virgin, cold or expeller expressed oils, such as olive, flax seed (buy only flax seed oil that has been refrigerated in dark bottles as this oil is very unstable [turns rancid quickly] if not kept cold; never cook with it as it is very damaged by heat), peanut oil, sesame oil, high-oleic expeller-expressed monounsaturated safflower (I use this for cold applications such as mayonnaise and salad dressings - I would not heat this oil). I find these oils at Trader Joe's (olive and sesame), at Whole Foods (safflower, peanut, flax seed).

Coconut oil
deserves a paragraph all it's own, even it's own post, which I will do soon. This is perhaps the healthiest, great tasting oil on the planet. If you like the taste of coconut, buy "virgin, unrefined organic". It smells and tastes like coconut. I use it to make tacos, eggs, to saute and stir-fry with. Most people who have not eaten coconut oil before notice a slight sweetness but cannot identify it as a coconut taste. Few, if any, guests have not liked it. But, if you do not care for coconut, you can buy the next best coconut oil that has been slightly refined (it will indicate this on the label) to remove the taste and smell of coconut. The health benefits are not as optimal, but it is still a very nutritious and beneficial oil to use. For all the health benefits of coconut oil, visit this site. Also, see the side bar under "Resources" for the best prices on coconut oil.

Red palm oil is also very healthful. I do not use it however, because I do not care for the taste. Red palm oil is unrefined and it is a very dense dark orange color that remains in food after cooking. I once made eggs with it, and, you guessed it, they were an unappetizing dark orange. If that were the only disadvantage, I would use red palm oil. But I really cannot tolerate the taste. However, I do use a "shortening" that is made from 100% refined red palm oil. The taste is neutral and it looks much the same as regular trans-fatty shortening (white). Of course, there are not trans fats in this palm oil shortening and it is a very healthy alternative to standard shortening that we now know to avoid like the plague.

Refrigerate all of the above oils in dark bottles except for virgin organic coconut and palm oils, which are fine to keep at room temp because they are extremely stable. (If you do not have dark bottles on hand, save empty dark wine bottles, or if you do not drink wine, ask a friend who does to save her emptied bottles for you.)

Note: Never buy processed polyunsaturated oils, 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, anti-nutrients, and phyto-estrogens.

Butter: Raw, organic butter from grass-fed cows is best, though I do not buy it because it is so pricey. I stock organic, pasteurized butter from grass-fed cows (this next best), which I get at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (if I have a coupon). Butter can be kept at room temperature for a few days as it is fairly stable and will not oxidize quickly. This applies to butter that you use on toast, etc. Refrigerate butter still in the wrapper.

Duck Fat: This delicious to cook with. I used to stock it, but no longer have a source for it, though I keep looking. Buy only that which is from a healthy animal (see note below).

Beef Fat (called "Suet"): Whenever I make beef stock, I take the suet off the top of the stock (refrigerate stock after it's finished and cooled and the fat will collect on top, making it easy to remove.) Suet is one of the fats I might use when I saute beef or need to add fat to a beef or other red meat dish.) (Buy only that which is from a healthy animal (see note below). This is an inexpensive fat to use since it would ordinarily be a discarded waste product. Refrigerate suet.

Chicken Fat (called Schmaltz): Everything said about suet (beef fat) above is true for schmaltz. It is a product of bone stock make from the chicken carcass. Remove the fat as for beef stock above. It is another inexpensive good fat. Refrigerate schmaltz after rendering it from the stock.

Lard (fat from pigs): Do not cringe in disbelief! I love lard for adding a wonderful flavor to dishes. It is a healthy fat to use as long as it comes from a healthy animal (see note below). I render my own lard from the fat that is included in the pork order that we purchase from a local farmer. Also, just a warning about the so-called lard that is available in the supermarkets: it is partially hydrogenated which absolutely ruins whatever good qualities it might have had to begin with, not to mention that it came from an animal that was raised in unhealthy conditions. Keep lard refrigerated.

Bacon drippings: Another source of inexpensive good fat is bacon drippings. After frying bacon (do not overcook - bacon should not be crispy) bacon from a healthy animal (see note below), strain off the drippings (fat) into a jar. Use for many different dishes - any kind of beans, creamed corn, etc. Keep bacon drippings refrigerated.

Note: A healthy animal is one that has been raised on organic pasture and not given antibiotics, steroids or hormones. These kinds of animals are usually raised by small farmers committed to humane and healthy practices. Click here for "Eat Wild" which can provide a listing for these kind of farms in your area.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thai Coconut Basil Soup

2 1/2 cups traditional chicken bone stock (get recipe here)
1 cup coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups diced cooked chicken or pork
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
2 cups shredded fresh spinach
2 green onions, sliced diagonally
1/4 cup chopped fresh Thai basil

Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine stock, coconut milk, lemongrass and garlic, Cover and cook 10 minutes over medium high heat. Add cayenne pepper, chicken, carrot and spinach, Cover and continue cooking 5 minutes. Add green onions and Thai basil just before serving. Serves 4 - 6 people.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Southern -Style Creamed Corn

8 ears corn, husked
3 tablespoons granulated palm sugar or 2 tablespoons pure organic maple syrup
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons bacon grease
1 tablespoons butter

Directions: In a large bowl, cut the tip off cob. Cut the kernels from cob with a small paring knife. Using the back of the blade, scrape against the cob to press out the milky liquid. Whisk together sugar, flour, and salt and pepper, to taste. Combine with corn. Add the heavy cream and water. Mix. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat bacon grease. Add corn mixture and turn heat down to medium-low, stirring until it becomes creamy, about 30 minutes. Add the butter right before serving.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Avocado and Orange Salad

3/4 cup high-oleic, cold-pressed safflower oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon raw honey
2 medium avocados, peeled and sliced
2 medium oranges, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Bibb or Boston lettuce
Directions: Combine oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey. Set aside. Arrange avocado, orange, and onion slices on bed of lettuce. Spoon dressing over salad. Serves six.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here is my menu for this week:
Sunday: Leftovers from Last Week

Monday: Baked Potato Soup, Spinach Salad, Fresh Orange Segments, Crusty Sprouted Bread

Tuesday: Asian Beef with Oriental Noodles, Sesame Chard

Wednesday: Irish Reuben Panini, Fruit Salad, Sliced Avocados with Lemon

Thursday: Thai Chicken Curry, Stir Fried Cabbage, Avocado and Orange Salad

Friday: Pasta with Broccolini and Sausage, Marinated Roasted Pepper and Olive Salad

Saturday: Scrumptious Macaroni and Cheese with Ham, Buttered Broccoli, Carrot Ginger Slaw

Baked Potato Soup

6 slices bacon
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken bone stock (get recipe here)
4 cups diced baked potato
2 cups whole cream-top milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed
2 teaspoons real salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup slice green onion

Optional Garnishings:
Bottled hot pepper sauce
Crispy-cooked bacon
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Italian parsley
Directions: In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or soup pot, cook bacon over medium-high heat till done. Remove bacon and saute onion in bacon drippings. Remove onion. Using a wire whisk, stir flour into bacon drippings. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually add chicken stock, whisking to prevent lumps. Cook and whisk until mixture thickens. Add potato, milk, parsley, basil, salt, garlic and black pepper to Dutch oven. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the 1 cup cheese and the green onion to Dutch oven, stirring until cheese melts and soup is heated through. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce. Top with optional garnishes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Roasted Asparagus

This recipe is from The Roasted Vegetable by Andrea Chesman.
1 pound asparagus (12 to 16 medium-thick spears), bottoms trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
Real salt and freshly ground pepper to

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan of half sheet pan. Arrange the asparagus in a single, uncrowded layer in the pan. Drizzle the oil over the asparagus and roll to coat evenly. Roast for about 15 minutes, until the asparagus is lightly browned, shaking the pan occasionally for even cooking. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Marinated Roasted Pepper and Olive Salad

This recipe comes from The Roasted Vegetable cookbook. So far, all the recipes I've tried from this book are wonderful. See what you think.

A note for the recipe reads, "This is a terrific salad with any number of serving possibilities. You can make it a meal with the addition of crusty French bread and sliced tomatoes. Or you can serve it as a topping for warm pasta or as a dressing for a cold pasta salad. It also makes a fine addition to an antipasto platter...[or use for] a sandwich filling for pita pockets."

2 medium-size each green, red and yellow bell peppers
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/2 cup pitted brine-cured black olives, such as Kalamata
2 tablespoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Real salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions: Wash and dry peppers. Place peppers under broiler 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, turning as necessary. Remove from oven and place in a saucepan covered with a lid. Let set for about 10-15 minutes to loosen skins and cool. Meanwhile, place mozzarella, olives, oil, vinegar and basil in a bowl. To prepare peppers, slit and let drain briefly into a large bowl to catch any juices. Do not discard juices. Remove charred skin from peppers. Open each pepper, remove seeds, membrane and stem. Lay peppers flat and cut into thin strips. Add to the remaining ingredients along with the pepper juices. Let stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's the menu for this week. Remember that you can find more menus by clicking on the logo on the left.

Sunday: Pasta with Broccolini and Sausage, Marinated Roasted Pepper and Olive Salad

Monday: Taco Salad, Aunt Helen's Heavenly Fruit Salad

Tuesday: Beef Chuck Stew with Mushrooms, Romaine and Apple Salad, Hot Buttered Sprouted Bread

Wednesday: Antipasto Pitas, Raw Sauerkraut, Fruit

Thursday: Country-Style Spareribs, Fried Rice, Buttered Green Beans, Fresh Pineapple Slices

Friday: Pasta with Alfredo Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, Sliced Tomatoes with Feta

Saturday: Leftovers from the Week


Aunt Helen's Heavenly Fruit Salad

3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup pure organic maple syrup
1 tablespoon (or more to taste) stevia extract
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple in its own juice, drained (reserve liquid)
1/2 cup pineapple juice, (reserved from canned pineapple)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions: Day before (or at least 6 hours before): Combine eggs, maple syrup, stevia, flour and pineapple juice, stirring vigorously with wire whip to prevent flour from lumping. Heat pineapple in a double boiler or in a small pan inside of a larger pan with water (in the larger pan). Do not boil pineapple. Add egg mixture. Cook over low flame, stirring constantly, until thickened. Chill in refrigerator. Meanwhile, whip the cream. Fold into chilled pineapple mixture. Transfer to covered refrigerator container. Store in refrigerator till chilled.

4 large apples, such as Fuji or Red Delicious, cut into bite-size chunks
4 bananas, sliced

Directions: Combine apples and bananas after dressing has chilled. Add dressing to fruit salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 8-10 servings.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Beef Stew with Mushrooms

3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup flour
4 tablespoons extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
4 cups traditional beef bone stock, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 onions, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pound small boiling onions, peeled
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms

Directions: Season beef cubes with salt and pepper to taste; dredge in flour. Heat oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown beef on all sides, in batches, and transfer to a bowl; set aside. Pour off any remaining oil from pot; add 1/2 cup beef stock to pan. Deglaze pan by boiling broth over high heat for 1 minute, scraping bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour broth over meat. Heat butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion and garlic; sauté, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until onions are golden. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add remaining beef stock, reserved meat with juices, potatoes, bay leaves, thyme and cloves. Simmer gently for 3 hours. Add boiling onions and mushrooms and cook for 1 hour; season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Chutney

1 cup apricot fruit spread (fruit and fruit juice only - no added sugar)
½ cup golden raisins (organic is best)
¼ cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced onion

Pork Tenderloin:
1 tablespoon crushed fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)

Directions: For apricot chutney, process all ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer ingredients to a medium saucepan over low heat. Stirring frequently, cook 7 to 9 minutes or until mixture is heated through. Remove from heat. Cover and allow flavors to blend.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For pork tenderloin, combine thyme, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub mixture over pork; place in a roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into thickest portion of tenderloin. Spooning about 1/3 cup chutney over pork after 30 minutes, bake 40-50 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees. Transfer tenderloin to a serving platter and allow to stand 10 minutes before slicing Garnish with thyme sprigs. Serve with remaining apricot chutney. Makes about 4 servings.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pasta with Broccolini and Sausage

3 medium cloves garlic, quartered
3 tablespoons extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
real sea salt

1 pound rigatoni, penne or ziti (brown rice pasta is good)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups traditional bone stock (chicken) (get recipe here)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch broccolini or broccoli, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place 3 cloves garlic in the center of a small piece of aluminum foil lined with parchment paper. Fold up the edges to form sides. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Fold foil and parchment over garlic to enclose. Place on a small baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente; drain. Toss cooked pasta with roasted garlic and return to pot to keep warm. Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, until no trace of pink remains, about 7 minutes. Add the slice garlic and cook for one minute. Add the stock and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Add the broccolini , cover and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the butter, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese and cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Add pasta, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and let set for a few minutes to absorb some of the flavorful liquid. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday


Here is my menu for the week. There were several meals that I did not get made up last week because we had the opportunity to fellowship and eat with another family in our church on one day. Another evening we had a sandwich out because of errands that kept us running longer that we had anticipated. So I carried over a few of last week's meals to this week.

You can find many more menu plans by clicking on the Menu Plan Monday graphic above.

Sunday: Crustless Vegetable Quiche, Greek Salad (as follows: romaine hearts with sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil [drained], shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced red onion, Greek Kalamata olives, sprinkle of dried basil, real salt and freshly ground pepper with balsamic vinegar and expeller-expressed, extra-virgin olive oil), Fruit

Monday: Chicken Divan Soup, Red Butter Lettuce Vegetable Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, Brown Rice Pudding (for dessert)

Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Carrot and Pineapple Coleslaw, Hot Buttered Broccoli with Parmesan Cheese

Wednesday: Pull-Apart Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Buttered Red Beets, Beet and Chard Greens

Thursday: Eggplant and Peppers with Brown Rice, Beet, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Chutney, Asparagus with Cheese Sauce, Buttered Golden Beets, Twice Baked Potatoes (This is what I've planned for Robert's and my 32nd Valentine's Day evening together.)


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chicken Divan Soup

1/2 cup real butter
1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
4 cups traditional chicken bone stock (get recipe here)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons cooking sherry
1 tablespoon brewed soy sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt or Redmond's Real salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 bunch broccoli, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups cooked chicken
Directions: Melt butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan; blend in flour. Add chicken stock. Bring to a simmer an cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in cream, sherry, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, broccoli and chicken. Return to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender. Ladle into bowls and top with extra Parmesan cheese.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 (8-inch) whole wheat (sprouted) tortillas
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup sliced celery
1 large tomato, diced

Whisk hot pepper sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken tenders; cook until no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add to the bowl with the hot sauce; toss well to coat. Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, pepper and the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl. Stir in blue cheese. To assemble wraps Lay a tortilla in a work surface or plate. Spread with 1 tablespoon blue cheese sauce and top with one-fourth of the chicken, lettuce, celery and tomato. Drizzle with some of the hot sauce remaining in the bowl and roll into a wrap sandwich. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's my menu for the week. It's a day late, but, hopefully, will be a resource in the weeks to come also. You may have also noted that Tidy Tip Tuesday is absent. I will attempt that for tomorrow. Also, go to Franziska's Pantry for recipes for this week's menu.

Sunday: Pablano Steak Chili, Mixed Green Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, Corn Bread, Sliced Pineapple

Monday: Spinach and Mushroom Quiche, Greek Salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil Dressing, Fruit

Tuesday: Asian Lettuce Wraps, Fried Rice, Sesame Chopped Salad

Wednesday: Coconut Brown Rice with Chicken, Ginger and Scallions, Jicama and Cilantro Salad

Thursday: The Best Pasta and Meatballs Ever, Romaine Antipasto Salad, Maple Glazed Carrots

Friday: Pull-Apart Roast Beef, Smashed Red Potatoes with Gravy, Red Beets with Butter, Steamed Beet and Chard Greens with Butter

Brown Rice Pudding

2 cups Soft and Savory Brown Rice (get recipe here)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch real sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups raisins, preferably organic
3/4 cup crispy pecans (get recipe here), chopped

Beat eggs with cream, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Stir rice, pecans and raisins. Pour into a buttered casserole or souffle dish. Bake for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees. Makes 8-10 servings.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Carrot and Pineapple Coleslaw

2 cups shredded cabbage
1 (15 1/2-ounce)can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup crispy nuts (get recipe here)
2/3 cup mayonnaise (made with expeller-expressed extra-virgin olive oil)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon grated onion
1/4 teaspoon real sea salt or Redmond Real salt
Directions: Combine cabbage, pineapple chunks, carrot and nuts in a large bowl and toss gently.
Combine mayonnaise, and remaining ingredients, stirring until smooth. Pour dressing mixture over cabbage mixture and toss gently. Cover and chill thoroughly. Makes 6 servings.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon (without nitrates or nitrites)
1 cup real sour cream (not low-fat or no-fat)
1/2 cup whole milk (not homogenized or ultra-pasteurized)
4 tablespoons real butter
1/2 teaspoon real sea salt or Redmond Real salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions, sliced, divided

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Starting today, whenever I can, I will post my dinner menu for the week. There are quite a few bloggers who do this and you can look at their menus by clicking on the "Menu Plan Monday" graphic above.

Now, here's a little additional info for you about weekly menu calenders:

Since I started using Vista for Windows so many of my old applications just do not work. One of those was a calender that was handy for planning my weekly menus. For the past several days I've been searching for something similar without the results I want.

On the left you can see what my old menu calender looked like. You can't really make out the menus, but they are high-lighted in pink for each day. I really liked the fact that there was room to write notes for each meal.

Well, the calender programs I have now will not let me include the entire menu on the page. It gets cut off. It's an application that is meant to be used on the computer. You click on the text and it opens to the full explanation, etc.

However, in my quest I found an online calender program that I think I might really like. Click here to check it out. The basic calender is free which is just what I was looking for. It's easy to create and print. Below is the first calender I printed for next week's menu:

During the week, I keep the menu posted on the frig and then move it to a binder with all my past menus when the week is over. As you can see, it has plenty of room for notes or a To-Do list for the day. And what I especially like is the larger font. It's easy to read. This is what I'll do now for my menu plan and notes.

Anyway, here is what we are eating this week for dinner:
Sunday: Beef Vegetable Soup, Spinach Salad (pecans, dried cranberries, red onion and Feta cheese) with Smokey Poppy Seed Dressing

Monday: Classic Chicken Divan, Brown Rice with Peas and Parsley, Steamed and Buttered Yellow Squash

Tuesday: Pinto Beans, Chili Rellenos, Jicama and Cilantro Slaw

Wednesday: Stuffed Bell Peppers, Brown Rice Fetuccini with Marinara Sauce (left from cooked bell peppers), Mixed Green Salad with Easy Poppy Seed Dressing

Thursday: Greek Lamb Stew with Spinach and Artichokes, Fresh Fruit, Cool and Creamy Pea Salad

Friday: Country Style Pork Ribs, Winter Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese, Mixed Green Salad

Saturday: Curried Chicken Salad, Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (from Trader Joe's), Fruit, Crusty Sprouted Bread
Have a great week in the kitchen!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kaufman's Real Chili Rellenos

8 fresh pasilla, pablano, or Hatch green chilies, roasted (see directions below)
1 large organic egg
2 T. whole cream-top milk (non-homogenized from cows not treated with rBST, hormones or antibiotics)
1/2 c. organic unbleached all-purpose flour
8 slices or more if needed to fill chili (1/3-inch thick) Monterrey Jack (from cows same as milk above)
3 T. (plus more) organic, extra-virgin coconut oil
real sea salt or Redmond Real salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Salsa, sour cream, cilantro, green onion, lime juice (for toppings)
Directions: To roast chilies, place them directly on a gas burner on high or on a broiler pan under a broiler. Roast, turning often, until skin is blackened on all sides. Place in a paper bag, (closed) and let steam for 30 minutes. After chilies have steamed, carefully remove blackened skin from each chili, rinsing under cool running water as you work. Make a slit down one side of chili and remove the seeds and membrane, but leave the stem intact, as this looks nice when served. Place chilies flat on a double layer of paper towels to dry. To prepare chili rellenos, break egg into a flat Pyrex bread pan (or other similar dish); beat egg while adding milk. Place flour in another flat dish. Coat the outside of the chili first with the flour, then with egg, then with flour again. Lay cheese inside of chili and fold chili over cheese to enclose it. Preheat a large, heavy skillet till hot, but not smoking. Add 3 T. coconut oil. Immediately lay prepared chilies, two or three at a time at a time, in skillet. Salt and pepper very lightly. Cook until bottom side of chili is golden brown and cheese is starting to soften. This should only take a few minutes. Turn chilies and brown on opposite side, adding more coconut oil as needed, making sure to prevent it from smoking. Repeat for all chilies. Serve immediately with toppings of choice: salsa, cilantro, sour cream, green onions, a squeeze of lime juice, etc. Makes 4-8 servings. (Chilies are mildly spicy.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Soft & Scrumptious Whole Wheat Pancakes

This recipe is from Nourishing Traditions Cookbook with a few of my own variations:

Basic Whole Wheat Pancakes
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups plain whole milk yogurt, cultured buttermilk or kefir
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon real sea salt or Redmond Real Salt
1/2 teaspoon stevia extract
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda (without aluminum)
butter or coconut oil for griddle

Directions: The day before: Stir yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir into flour; cover bowl and "soak" for 12 - 24 hours in a warm place. In the morning, stir in eggs, salt, stevia, butter and baking soda. Batter will begin to increase in volume as soon as baking soda is added. Batter will also be thicker than other whole grain or white flour batters, but if it seems too thick to ladle, add a little milk to thin. Cook on a hot, oiled or buttered cast-iron griddle or skillet (for best results). Since these pancakes cook slower than other recipes, be careful not to burn. Serve with melted butter and pure organic maple syrup, or with fresh fruit sweetened with stevia, honey or maple syrup, topped with whipped cream. Makes 8-10 four-inch pancakes.

Variation One:
Oatmeal Whole Wheat Pancakes
1 1/2 fresh whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking type)
2 cups plain whole milk yogurt, cultured buttermilk or kefir
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon real sea salt or Redmond Real Salt
1/2 teaspoon stevia extract
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda (without aluminum)
butter or coconut oil for griddle

Directions: Prepare as with the basic recipe above. However, add oatmeal in with the flour to soak. Continue on with basic recipe above.

Variation Two:
Banana Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 recipe for Basic or Oatmeal Whole Wheat Pancakes
2-3 ripe bananas

Directions: Make Basic or Oatmeal Pancakes as directed above. Immediately after ladling batter onto pan, place 3-5 slices of banana onto pancake. Flip pancakes as usual. Makes 8 - 10 four-inch pancakes.

© Franziska's Pantry

You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Franziska's Pantry (Please use email link on sidebar to request permission).

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

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