Archive for February, 2010

Last spring, I followed a 14-week low carb anti-inflammatory diet, during which time I needed some kind of snack that came close to satisfying my cravings for chocolate and sugar.  I got the idea for this simple frozen patty from the Carob Chips recipe in Nourishing Traditions, however this version uses stevia, which does not affect blood sugar, and the strongly flavored peppermint oil covers the unfamiliar taste of the stevia.  Freezing them just adds to the refreshing minty blast.

On a side note, the 14 week low carb anti inflammatory diet must have made some serious changes in my body. I have always had sugar cravings. Always. And I eat a lot. I mean, generally more than my husband. No, I’m not fat. I just have a really big appetite and a hearty metabolism to go with it. But I’m getting off track… This 14 week diet I did allowed no sweeteners (except stevia), no fruits except lemons, grapefruits and berries, no grains, no beans, and no starchy vegetables, at least not for the first 6 weeks. It was really tough at first, especially as the main chef of our house, but now that it is over, I have lost all cravings for sugar.

Update: It’s been a year and a half since my 14 week diet, and I still don’t crave sugar that much. If I do get a bit of a sweet tooth, it’s easily satisfied by a piece of fruit. Has anyone else had this experience? I’d love to hear your comments.


1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil

3/8 cup carob powder (sift it if it’s lumpy)

2 – 6 drops pure peppermint essential oil

1 – 3 drops liquid stevia or 1 – 3 tiny dashes powdered stevia

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together very well.  (You don’t want to bite into uncombined peppermint oil or stevia!) Spread 1 1/2 inch circles thinly onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and store the patties in a container in the freezer.

Makes 10 – 12, depending on how thick you make them.


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Tender, flavorful, and so versatile.  Serve it in tacos, on a green salad, or eat it with chips and guacamole.


1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 onions, diced

1 1/2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1 inch chunks

2 – 3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup beef stock

1 – 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced (I buy these in a can, and freeze the leftover chilies in a small container to use later.)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup Cultured Tomatillo-Cabbage Salsa, or other green salsa

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste


In a large saucepan over medium high heat cook onions, beef and garlic for 5 – 7 minutes, until beef is nicely browned.  Stir in beef stock and scrape up browned bits on bottom of the pan.  Reduce heat to medium and add remaining ingredients.

Simmer covered for 1 hour until beef is tender and sauce is thickened.

Serves about 6.

Slow cooker variation: Instead of simmering for an hour on the stove, add an extra half cup of beef stock and cook everything in the slow cooker on low for 6 – 8 hours.

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When we lived close by, my cousin Lisa and I used to get together to make huge batches of sauerkraut together.  It was always a great big mess and great fun to work and share a meal together when we were finished.  She used to bring along a delicious (and very expensive) fermented green cabbage salsa.  I don’t remember what brand it was, only that it was so unaffordable that we decided to try and copy the recipe.  I’d say we came pretty close.

The salsa Lisa and I copied was not chunky at all, so we processed it in my Champion Juicer with the homogenizing plate.  Alternatively, you can process it in a food processor to whatever consistency you prefer.

1 head green cabbage

6 tomatillos

1/4 onion

1 – 2 jalapeno peppers, depending on personal taste

1/2 bunch cilantro

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon salt

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons whey

Process all the ingredients in a Champion Juicer, Vita Mix, or food processor until you reach the consistency you like.  Place the mixture in 1 – 2 quart jars (the top of the salsa should be at least 1 1/2 inches below the rim of the jar – the vegetables will expand), wipe the rims carefully so the lids fit properly, and cover tightly.  Set at room temperature to ferment for about 3 days.  Then transfer to the fridge.  Use within about 6 months.

Try this salsa with eggs and raw cheese for breakfast, on top of a green salad, in Yucatan Beef, or anywhere else you like green salsa.

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1 can coconut milk (14 oz)

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Whisk until warmed and combined.  Serve in heated mugs.

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In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients and soak for 12 – 24 hours:

8 cups rolled oats

1 cup coconut oil or butter

1 cup honey

3 tablespoons whey (you can sub lemon juice or cider vinegar)

Then add these ingredients:

1/3 – 1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons vanilla

2 cups dried flaked coconut

1 cup crispy almonds or pecans

Bake in 2 buttered 9 x 13 pans at 350 degrees or dehydrate until crispy.

This same grain-soaking method can be used to make a delicious fruit crisp…

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I like to have the ingredients for this simple recipe on hand for days that I don’t really feel like cooking.  Since all the ingredients can be kept in the freezer or pantry, it’s also good for extending time between grocery trips.  It can be prepared in a matter of minutes, it’s a real kid pleaser, and gets five stars for compliance to all the Nourishing Traditions principles.

4 cups shredded, roasted chicken

6 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, divided

1 medium onion, diced

1  7 oz. can chopped green chiles or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh green chiles

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup chicken stock

4 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese

12 sprouted wheat tortillas (burrito size) – such as Alvarado Street Bakery

Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add the chicken, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and chicken stock.   Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  Uncover and continue to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.

In another large skillet, melt about 1/2 tablespoon butter or coconut oil over medium heat, and distribute it evenly throughout the pan. Place 1 tortilla in the pan,  spread a scant half cup of cheese over half the tortilla and a scant half cup of the chicken mixture over the cheese.  Cook until the cheese is melted, 1 – 2 minutes.  Fold the tortilla in half over the filling, remove it from the pan, and cut into wedges.  Repeat with each tortilla.

Serve with guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

Serves about 6 people.

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A summer staple in our house, this salad has all the qualities of a perfect summer lunch:  cold, refreshing and easy to prepare ahead of time.  Although quinoa (pronounced KEEN wa) is not technically a grain, Nourishing Traditions recommends soaking it for at least 12 hours before cooking.

1 cup dry green lentils, soaked overnight in 2 cups water + 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup quinoa, soaked overnight in 1 3/4 cups water + 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

2 tablespoons minced fresh mint (or 2 t. dry mint)

3 tablespoons minced fresh dill (or 3 t. dry dill)

black pepper to taste

1 small bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup packed minced fresh parsley

1/3 cup finely minced red onion

1 stalk celery, minced

1/2 cup (2 oz) feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

In two separate covered pots, bring lentils and quinoa to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to finish cooking.  If necessary, drain the lentils.  Let the quinoa and lentils cool, uncovered, for 30 minutes or so.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except for the tomato and walnuts.  Add the lentils and quinoa, stirring to combine.  Chill, covered, for about 4 hours.

Just before serving, top with the sliced grape tomatoes and walnuts.

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