Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick and Fabulous Dinner

OK, so I made dinner in 45 minutes today. I served Cioppino with steamed broccoli soup and salad. If you have never had Cioppino before I suggest you try it, it is simply (and I mean simply) wonderful!

Ingredients for Cioppino:

2 dozen Manilla clams
1 dozen large shrimp
1/2 lb halibut (chopped)
1/4 cup olive oil
3-5 tbsp pastured butter
5 cloves garlic
herb mixture (see below)
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 head of fennel
1/2 cup red wine
3 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
juice of 1 lemon
2 cups fish stock
tabasco sauce is optional

You can use pretty much any fish or seafood for Cioppino.

Herb Mixture:
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sea salt

Just put in spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.

I started by soaking the clams in filtered water. Then I chopped the garlic, fennel and onion while I waited for the butter and olive oil to warm. As soon as I added the garlic I pulverized the dried herbs in my spice grinder.

I then added the onions, fennel and herb mixture. After letting them heat for a few minutes I added the wine, vinegar and fish sauce. I let that reduce for a few minutes (meanwhile separately I chopped the broccoli for the soup and began steaming it) and then I added the home-made tomato sauce (canned in the summer), the lemon juice and the fish stock (made from last night).

By this time the clams were ready to be scrubbed and rinsed, so I did that and added them to the soup and covered the pot. During that time (about 5 minutes) I quick as lightning peeled and de-veined the shrimp (butterfly them to make this process go quickly) and added them to the soup with the halibut. I covered the pot and let them cook for 2 more minutes and turned off the heat.

At this point I removed the broccoli from the steamer and put them in a small soup pot with about 4 tbsp butter and some sea salt and then I made the salad (a simple salad of lettuce, cilantro, avocado, red bell pepper and cucumber). Then I added some duck stock (home-made last week) to the broccoli, heated a little and pureed in the pot. I dressed the salad with olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar and wheat-free tamari.

And that's it. Simple but really, really tasty. The broccoli soup may seem like an odd addition but that was a request from my daughter.

A few days ago I made red snapper, which I bought whole at the store. I saved the head and bones for my fish stock. You can make fish stock from any whole fish but white fish is best (and red snapper and halibut are really the best, but both are pretty pricey).

Fish Stock:
I put the carcass in a pot and added about 2 quarts of filtered water and about 2 tbsp vinegar (any kind will do). I let that soak for about 1 hour and then added 1 onion, 1 head of garlic and some slices of ginger. Then I turned on the heat to low and simmered overnight.

About 10 minutes before I was ready to drain the stock I added some fresh parsley to the stock.

To drain I used a strainer and a funnel and I strained the hot liquid into quart-sized Ball jars. I immediately plunged the jars in ice-cold water to cool quickly (this helps with gelatinization) and then put the jars in the fridge to fully cool.

Stock is easy and sooooooo good for you! It is packed with minerals and the gelatin aids in digestion. There is a reason why people have served chicken soup when you get sick. But it only works if the soup is made with high-quality stock.

The fish stock was my inspiration for the Cioppino. Stock, butter, cream and salt are magic ingredients that make everything taste good.

As far as eating raw today, well, I did OK.

3 raw eggs with raw cream and strawberries pureed in the food processor (Jill's shake)

2 pieces of raw cheese

Raw ribeye steak sliced and eaten with Lewis Labs' Brewers Yeast and dipped in soy sauce and vinegar. Salad with dulse. Egg drop soup (this was super easy to make)

Raw liver shake: Add about 4 oz of raw liver (I used beef but chicken or duck is much more mild) to food processor, add 1 raw egg, 3 tbsp raw cream, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp raw honey and 1 tsp cinnamon and process. Take a deep breath, muster your courage and drink up. If you can't handle the aftertaste (which the cinnamon greatly reduces) have a strong drink to chase it with, kombucha works beautifully)

Dinner is above.

Egg Drop Soup:

5 eggs from pastured chickens
1 quart duck, turkey or chicken stock
4 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 cup tomato sauce
sea salt and pepper to taste

Heat stock and thicken with arrowroot powder (take about 1/2 cup of hot stock, add to a small bowl with arrowroot powder and dissolve, then add back to stock and stir until thickened). Add tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper. Crack eggs in a bowl, turn off heat, add eggs to hot stock slowly, whisking as you add the eggs. Serve immediately.

This is a simple soup that is a wonderful complement to any meal, the stock helps with digestion and is rich in minerals, the arrowroot is rich in calcium chloride (balances acid/alkaline in the body), and the eggs (provided they are from pastured animals fed a healthy supplemental diet) are full of good fat and cholesterol, protein (in particular the detoxifying sulphur-rich amino acids), omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins D and K.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Something about spring just makes you want to get all healthy, doesn't it? I recently heard a great theory as to why we have this impulse. Originally, the term, "spring cleaning" was not meant for cleaning out the cobwebs or washing your back deck, it actually referred to the process of cleansing your body as the weather grew warmer and more humid. The theory as to why people did this is that in the winter your cells slightly, yet significantly, constrict in order to retain moisture and heat, but in the spring your cells are able to relax and expand and so do not hold on as tightly to heat and moisture and, it so happens, toxins. This makes spring-time a perfect opportunity to cleanse your cells of built-up toxins because the cells just don't cling to them as strongly. So trust that instinct that is telling you to change your diet and get a few more nutrients in there. Those nutrients are the little soldiers that facilitate a continual state of detoxification.

So, perhaps that is why I've decided to take up writing in this blog again. Last year I started this blog in order to account my experience with a raw milk diet. After my dismal failure I turned away from the blog, thinking I didn't really have time to sit around and tell people what I was eating and how I felt. As boring as that may sound to some, for some reason now I do feel like sitting around and writing about what I eat and how I feel.

So, since last year, I've learned many, many things and I hope they will all come out in various entries in bits and pieces. I still take medication for my autoimmune issues (Hashimoto's Thyroiditis) and it irks me to no end. I've improved my nutrition greatly over the past year and I feel absolutely fabulous most of the time. I haven't been sick in over 2 years and I have tons of energy, I have improved strength and stamina when I work out and I don't get achy joints or back pain afterward, my period comes and goes with little or no discomfort, I rarely have cravings for sweets (which I used to have all the time) and, best of all, I have a pretty constant high state of contentment in life.

As I go I will blog about all of the things I do to keep myself in a calm, peaceful state of contentment with plenty of energy, but today I will begin to talk about what I have been eating (this is obviously key to health). I hope to include my daily food in here as well. Many people have asked me for recipes so this will be a good place for me to start recording some of my favorite recipes.

2 days ago, I had 3 amalgam fillings replaced with pretty porcelain ones. Despite my dentist's best efforts, I'm pretty sure there is some extra mercury floating around in me somewhere right about now. So on the advice of my mentor I am leaning toward eating a detox diet. I refuse to say I'm going all the way, no exceptions, because if the raw milk diet taught me one thing, it was that life happens, you gotta go with the flow. I also hope to talk another time about the importance of staying cool with food. Faithfully striving is great, fanatical up-tight adherence is perhaps not so healthy. And that is the goal, now isn't it? To be healthy, in the highest sense of the word.

So the goal is as much high-quality raw animal and vegetable food as possible in ratios that are appropriate for my individual metabolic needs.

This is today:

Breakfast: 2 eggs cooked omelet-style with raw cream and sea salt and my daily shake: 1 raw egg, 4-5 tbsp raw cream, and a handful of fresh berries mixed in the food processor (could work in a blender), 2 slices of bacon

Snack: Home-made raw farmer's cheese with fresh garlic, onion, leeks and sea salt, 2 pieces of organic salami, 1/2 stick of celery

Lunch: About 4-5 oz of raw ribeye steak, eaten with olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar, sea salt and homemade pesto dressing, 2-3 tbsp. raw chevre with nutritional yeast, and a salad of red bell peppers, celery, cucumbers and olives

Snack: 6 oz. fresh juice of celery, cucumber, red bell pepper, fennel, and cilantro with 2 heaping tbsp raw cream and 3 raw eggs.

Dinner: Garlic-Herb Red Snapper with Cauliflower, 3 heaping tbsp. sauerkraut and 1/2 cup beet kvass


Garlic-Herb Red Snapper with Cauliflower (GF, Can be DF)

  • 2 red snapper fillets, about 6 to 8 ounces each
  • 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced (add more if you love garlic)
  • 3 or 4 drops Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or your own favorite seasoning blend, (be careful of MSG here), or your own favorite seasoning blend (I took 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp. sea salt and crushed them in my spice mill, I didn't use all of it in this recipe, I just kind of threw in what looked good)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh or frozen chives, optional
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons plain or seasoned bread crumbs (gluten-free bread crumbs work just as well)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional


Place snapper fillets in a baking dish.

In a skillet, melt butter with garlic, fish sauce, seasoning blend, pepper, parsley, and chives, if using. Cook on low for 2 minutes, just to blend flavors. Brush both sides of fish fillets with the butter and herb mixture. Toss bread crumbs in the remaining butter mixture; sprinkle over the fillets. Grate cheese over fish (optional). Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets, until fish flakes easily and is no longer translucent.


1/2 head chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup grated cheese (monterey jack or cheddar work well)

Saute cauliflower in same pan that you heated the butter-herb mixture in. Add a little salt. Cook until slightly softened. Place in baking dish, sprinkle grated cheese over cauliflower and heat in oven at 350° for about 6-7 minutes, until cheese is fully melted.

Good stuff!