Time saving food tips for preparing food for the week

One of the biggest barriers to entry for those wanting to take on healthier eating habits is the PERCEIVED amount of time it takes to make healthy nourishing meals. There is often a prejudice to well prepared, healthy meals that sounds something like, “That’s great but I don’t have time to be spending hours in the kitchen.” I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but that’s because I like to experiment with recipes, make herbal blends, ferment my own veggies AND I run a food blog. The amount of time I spend in the kitchen preparing the average meal is often less than 15-30 minutes! I plan ahead by preparing food for the week! My main tools: Stock pile the fridge with ready to eat or partially cooked food. Crock pot for broths and stews Always cook for more than one meal (plan for leftovers) Plan meals at least once a week and plan market trips – make a list. This “stockpiling ready to eat food” business is actually quite simple. The idea is that you prepare a bunch of food at least once a week that you can then easily grab and put on a plate or stick in a tupperware if you’re on the go. Yes, it is true that food is most nutritious when it is freshly made but I’d rather eat food that I made in the past few days than eat something that comes out of a box or eat take-out that who know’s what sorts of additives or rancid oils (vegetable oils) the restaurant is cooking with. My favorite staples are eggs, quinoa, root vegetables, caramelized onions, shredded carrots/beets, and...

Chia Seed Pudding

How to make Chia Seed Pudding the Bite Kitchen way: Bite Kitchen is a FOOD education cooperative that works with teens and young adults to establish and nourish healthy relationships with body and...

RECIPE | LEMON COCONUT OVERNIGHT OATS

I just got back from a trip to South America and came home to an empty fridge!!  This gave me the perfect excuse to experiment with something I have been wanting to try for a while. Overnight (soaked) Oats!!! Oats are heart healthy carbohydrates, great for the coming season. And having them cold makes them delicious for what’s left of our summers.  They soak up the coconut milk, the almond milk, whatever you use. I made only one jar but tonight I am going to make 4 more (for the rest of the week) with different flavors (cinnamon, berries, mango, yum!) INGREDIENTS: 1 8oz Ball jar Ball 8-Ounce Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12 1/2 cup oats 1/2 cup coconut milk juice of one lemon 1 Tbsp agave or coconut sugar 1 Tbsp chia seeds PROCEDURE: Mix all ingredients into the ball jar, mix and refrigerate.  That is all....

2 INGREDIENT FIG ICE CREAM

I have been on a detox for two straight weeks. It’s Sunday and I am feeling like I want to indulge… I wanted something sweet. No sugar (only fruit) on a detox. I remembered I had bought a Zoku Ice Cream Maker (LIGHT GREEN), one serving ice cream maker, so I made myself some dairy-free and super delicious fig ice cream! Two ingredients: figs and almond milk. I blended them together in my Vitamix and plopped the mix into the Zoku bowl. Chopped a fresh peach on top and Voila! Fresh, homemade natural ice cream with no sugar. INGREDIENTS 3 frozen figs 2/3 cup almond milk  ...

Local Spring Water

I don’t like tap water. Most tap water in the US is chlorinated and fluoridated (fluoride). Although these processes have their benefits they make me uneasy. The chlorine irritates me and I’m weary of fluoridation (this link explains a little about the problems with fluoridation) . There have also been reports coming from various parts of the world of water treatment plants being ineffective at filtering out pharmaceuticals (like Prozac and other SSRI’s, Synthetic estrogen, and others) that are peed out by people prescribed these substances – yes, the water you flush down the toilet comes right back into your home after its treat at the treatment plant. Although I honestly have not researched this pharmaceutical issue myself, I am certain that the chlorine in tap water does not fly well with me. Besides irritating my esophagus and mouth, chlorine can throw off the balance of bacteria and microbes in our guts. The whole reason it is in our water is to kill bacteria. That’s great, I don’t want to be ingesting bacteria from waste water but if the chlorine is not effectively filtered out then it is having that same negative effect on my ever so precious gut flora. Yes, the stomach breaks down most of the chlorine but what about the balance of beneficial bacteria in my mouth, esophagus, and stomach that gets killed off by drinking this chlorinated water, One used to be able to leave tap water out for several hours and the chlorine would mostly evaporate out. The new trend with water treatment plants is to use monochloramine which does NOT evaporate out of the water if the...

Purslane – Grows Everywhere and High in Omega 3’s

We are approaching the big harvest time in New England and Purslane is everywhere. Most farmers toss this “weed” in the compost. But Purslane is a brilliantly nutritious plant that has a high mineral content and one of the highest Omega 3 ratings of any plant leaf. You’ve probably seen this semisucculent weed growing between the cracks of sidewalks or along walls. I’ve seen it from growing from Maine to Miami. I wouldn’t advise getting a bunch from the sidewalk or from a city street as it may have been visited by a dog marking its territory and may have sequestered some nasty toxins and metals from city grime. But if you find some in a clean field, grab it, eat it raw in a salad or lightly sauteed with butter or...

Making Medicine – St. John’s Wort

It’s high summer and many weeds aka medicinal plants are at their prime. I’ve been collecting St. John’s Wort flowers for a couple weeks and leaving them to dry. Yesterday I put them in a jar and infused them in 40% vodka. I’ll press out the medicine in about 2 weeks and I’ll have me some fresh, high potency, local St. John’s Wort to ease my nervous system when it gets a bit overwhelmed. I make some of my own herbal extracts because much of the herbal stuff out there is overpriced and low quality/low potency. I’ve had my suspicions that some of the pharmaceutical companies are actually associated with some of the major herbal brands and they intentionally produce supplements that are subpar, then people buy the supplements, they don’t work well, and then they lose interest in herbal medicine thinking it’s hogwash. Ive been making my own herbal medicine from local “weeds” and purchased bulk dried herbs from certain reputable gardens. I control the potency and make far superior extracts, not because I’m awesome, but because I’m in it for the quality, not the profit. It’s the same thing with food. You can get a cheap egg and it’s … an egg. Then you get an “organic, free range” egg and it’s like, a good egg. Then you get an egg from your neighbor that has chickens that roam around all day and eat grubs and grasses and you’re like, wtf?  Making Herbal tinctures is quite a beautiful process. I collected these St. John’s Wort flowers a couple weeks ago and let them dry. Plants have thousands of different...

RECIPE | PULPO A LA PLANCHA

By: Bettina Oh pulpo… how I love thee? Let me count the ways!  Octopus isn’t the most common food in North America though I do see it popping up on menus in big cities.  As you guys likely know by now, my family is Cuban, of (very) Spanish origin.  My Mom even lived in Madrid after leaving Havana for several years and my parents were married there. Their roots (and ways of being) are still very Spanish.   That being said, I don’t remember either of my parents making pulpo for me – what a shame. So I learned how to do it while in Spain visiting my best friend earlier this year. This week I took a chance and made the whole thing from scratch (I actually went through the process of cooking it in boiling water first since in Spain they sell it pre-boiled). It was was surprisingly easy. HEALTH BENEFITS OF OCTOPUS Octopus is quite lean and low in calories. A 3-ounce serving of octopus has around 140 calories and more than 25 grams of protein. WOOHOO! Octopus is naturally low in fat, though it is higher in cholesterol, which I know scares all of you but no one is going to eat industrial amounts of octopus so calm down.  The best part for people like me who eat a mostly vegetarian diet, is that octopus exceeds your daily recommended value of  of B12 which is a key nutrient we don’t get from vegetables. It’s high in Iron and Selenium.  And well, it’s delicious! INGREDIENTS: 1 octopus (they come in different sizes – mine weighed about three pounds) 1...

Foraging and Wildcrafting – Free Food and Medicine

Since I’ve moved up to Massachusetts I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot from my neighbors about the arts of foraging and wildcrafting. Foraging typically refers to finding wild edible plants and collecting them – it’s like grocery shopping in the forest. Wildcrafting is the same thing but the plants found are used for making “home remedies” or herbal medicines. In both categories the plants collected are weeds or plants that otherwise have little or no commercial value. But these plants have a great deal of nutritional value. Actually, many of these weeds make spinach and kale look like colored tissue paper in terms of their nutrient density. Below is a gallery of photos and short descriptions of some of my favorites. Note: Most of these weeds can be found in much of central and northern US. Dandelions can be found just about anywhere....

KIDS CAN COOK

By Bettina – Palos Verdes, CA I will say it over and over again… Kids Can Cook.  Our parents did us the grand favor of obligating us to help them prepare our dinners as a form of “entertainment”.  From the beginning of our lives, they gave us the tools to be able to  heal our bodies, be appreciative and conscious of what we eat and know how to prepare food for those we love. Many of us think that having kids in a kitchen is a hazard.  But it isn’t more dangerous than having them lay outside with sticks and stones or swimming in a pool.  Will your kids cut themselves a little? Maybe.  Might they get a small burn?  Sure.  Like with anything, kids need to be watched, vigilantly and with attention.  But they can do it and the more they gain confidence, the more they feel pride and learn to eat their own food. When I was in California in June, I cooked one morning with my friend’s very willing kids.  The kids actually suggested it and then fought over who got to cut what and how many eggs the other one had dropped into the Shakshuka.  Then, they ate it, all of it.  We made a traditional Middle Eastern Shakshuka dish which are eggs poached in a tomato and vegetable sauce.  Quite easy and so good for kids. #kidscancook  Give them a chance.  Its one of life’s greatest lessons, empowering kids to know how to feed themselves can change the course of their entire lives. Val cutting squash Val’s hand chopping squash I lift hot objects Val gently places...

SACRED FOODS

By: Bettina & Mau The food philosophy that most jives with both myself and Mau is that of the Weston A. Price Foundation – though we eat less meat than his Foundation currently recommends.  The studies of Weston A. Price make lots of sense to us. Price was a dentist who, after years of seeing crowded and rotten teeth in children in the U.S., traveled the world to study “primitive” cultures who he found had healthy, well-spaced teeth and jawlines (cultures who had never seen Colgate and brushed their teeth with tree twigs).  He found that these cultures who all ate Traditional Diets with foods that were local and native to their areas, all had certain foods that they considered “sacred” so these special nutrient-rich foods that were reserved from fertile/ pregnant women, nursing mothers and small children.  These foods included fermented foods, organ meats (for example, liver has 10,000 fold the nutrient content of a piece of sirloin), fish oils and other animal fats like seal blubber for Eskimos. Until recently, even in the U.S. kids were given fermented cod liver oil as a supplement (ask your parents if they took something called Scott’s Emulsion).  Dr. Price had a few characteristics that he found Traditional Diets had in common which you can read about here. His basic rules: Eat whole, natural foods. Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before the microbes do. Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, game, organ meats and eggs. Eat whole, naturally-produced milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as whole yogurt, cultured butter, whole cheeses and fresh and sour...

QUICK RECIPE | STEAMED LEEKS

By: Bettina – Miami Beach, FL I saw a recipe for one of my favorite alliums in the world, Leeks, in Clotilde Dusoutier’s The French Market Cookbook the other day that inspired me to make this super simple dish.  Took ten minutes start to finish and would be a delicious side-dish for your families or lovely meal for single people like myself. INGREDIENTS: 1 leek 1 garlic clove 1Tbsp olive oil salt to taste PROCEDURE: Boil water with steamer basket. Cut leek into lengthwise ribbons, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, place in boiling steamer for 6 minutes. Chop garlic. Take leeks out, put in a bowl, stiry in chopped garlic and olive oil.  Salt to taste and serve. * You can also mix the leeks with any sauce you desire.  Dusoutier recommends a classic French vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, mustard and olive oil.  This is also a delicious dish cold and holds easily in the fridge if you want to make it ahead of...

HEALTHY BREAKFASTS

By: Bettina – Miami, FL I always document my breakfasts for various reasons. I am usually home for breakfast I can’t believe I used to skip this amazing meal. Creating a balanced, bright, colorful breakfast is the easiest way to get your nutrition up front in the day so the rest of the day you can not overthink it too much. Below are pictures of last week’s breakfasts.  You will notice and surely have already, that avocado toast is almost a daily habit for me.  I eat between half and full avocado everyday.  I credit upping the good fat in my diet (and eliminating overly processed food) to the killing my ovarian cysts, healing my eczema, getting rid of my migraines and various other ailments.  Look for my next blog about Sacred Foods and the importance of Omega3s and good, healthy fat. So let’s pick apart last week’s breakfasts.  Avocado toast is in every picture.  One day this week I had one egg.  Another day I slathered the toast in hummus and tomato (in addition to the avocado).  Most days I coat the toast with miso.  I have been adding organic greek yogurt once or twice a week with a fruit “butter”.  The difference between and fruit butter and jam or jelly is that it’s just blended fruit and maybe some pectin and white grape juice to sweeten it.  So… no added artificial sugars. An important details.  Once you try fruit butters you won’t want to go back.  Markets like Trader Joe’s supply a wide variety.  And my toast… My delicious, nutty Mestemacher toast.  Flourless and made from sprouted grains which are...

HEALTHY BREAKFAST | FIGS & YOGURT

By: Bettina – Venice Beach, CA Absolutely nothing left in the fridge except (thank god), some organic Greek yogurt by Wallaby and some almost over ripened fresh figs.  Its is California after all, where one can get such things at the various Farmer’s Markets.  Such luck to be out here.  This quick breakfast is a good one because figs  – besides tasting like small creamy pieces of heaven – are full of fiber and when they are fresh, they are low in sugar.  They also help lower blood pressure because of their good amounts of potassium. Yogurt from grass-fed dairy cows is a very healthy choice – though I do limit dairy in general.   Fermented foods are one of the food items most notably missing from the standard american diet.  70% of our immune systems are found in our guts. I’ll repeat that: 70%, yes 70%, of our immune systems are found in our guts.  The fact that we don’t adequately feed our gut flora is behind the idea why we are so sick.  So many of us get sick because our immune systems need help.  I take a very high dosage of probiotics every day (50 billion) and literally haven’t been sick in years.  But getting more fermented foods into your diet is a really good first...

QUICK EASY DINNER | STIR FRY

By: Bettina – Venice Beach, CA I am leaving Venice today, so I gave away all the food and sauces and spices I had left to a friend and last night came home to an almost completely empty fridge.  All I had was: a half head of broccoli, a half a leek, some fresh garlic and one lone heirloom tomato.  Perfect for the best quick dinner ever: STIR FRY.  I didn’t even have spices, or lemons or anything else but salt.  But it reminded me how perfect a quick stir fry can be when you have left over veggies that may be trash-able soon.  A vegetable stir fry takes under ten minutes, can be super tasty, is full of fiber and depending what you put in it, can have all sorts of health benefits.  Plus, you don’t throw away as much food. Use your leftovers and odds and ends.  Make a stir fry tonight. INGREDIENTS (that I had on hand): 1 yellow tomato 1/2 leek 1/2 broccoli head 2 garlic cloves salt to taste PROCEDURE for almost any stir fry Rough chop your washed vegetables. Oil or ghee up your pan. Start with high heat. Cook vegetables on high heat for 1 minute and lower to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of water if dish is getting dry or sticking to the pan. Cover, cook 5 more minutes.  Serve.    ...

FRESH FOOD, REAL FOOD

By Bettina: Venice Beach, CA I thought I’d be blogging a hell of a lot more while I was in California… but life happens.  While I have been working pretty long hours, I have also found that the West Coast lifestyle of early rising and early resting sits very well with me.  Somewhere in between, I find time to prepare delicious, fresh food for myself.  There is no shortage of farmer’s markets here, teaming with Californian cornucopia of real food.  Food that isn’t wrapped in plastic, food with a short shelf life.  Food that wants to be prepared as soon as you walk in the door with it. I’ve been keeping it very simple lately.  Fresh fruits and vegetables a plenty.  Raw, truly fresh garlic in everything.  Salt, lemon and delicious local olive oil from a brand called California Coastal in Ventura.  It tastes like clean fruity, olive juice. Every morning I have avocado toast with black heirloom tomatoes and garlic.  It’s like heaven.  Lunch is usually out somewhere and dinner is a steamed barramundi (sustainable and affordable fish) filet, some quinoa and veggies or a salad.  I feel great. What can you make this week that’s fresh and real?     California Coastal EVOO Fresh veggie stir fry truly fresh garlic the beginnings of ratatouille beluga lentils baby...

Quitting Sugar

By Mau The single most dramatic change I have made in my life in recent years has been the reduction of sugar in my diet. I usually shy away from making gloating statements like that but the benefits I’ve enjoyed from this simple change afford such promotion. I acknowledge that my genes may dictate a sugar sensitivity but I’d be challenged to find many individuals that have no concept of a sugar-low. For much of my life I did nothing to moderate my sugar intake. My energy levels and general mood fluctuated wildly. I had taken it as a fact of life that I experience several drops in my state of mind and energy level throughout the day, some greater than others. And the people around me seemed to also be all over the place so I had no reason to believe that there was something peculiar about my energy rollercoaster. These occilations would limit my ability to focus, they’d make me irritable toward others and compromise my level of engagement in any activity that didn’t serve my own need for relief, relief from (among other factors) the perpetual insulin shock I would subject myself to on a daily basis. When we don’t feel well we become somewhat introverted so that, ideally, we can concentrate our attention on “fixing” ourselves internally. This introversion may lead to various antisocial behaviors such as avoiding company, anxiety in groups, being indisposed to help others, laziness, irritability, intolerance, and anger. If high sugar intake (among other dietary excesses and insufficiencies) is greatly responsible for creating this state of introversion, the average American diet...

EASY SNACKS | ROASTED TOMATOES

Tomatoes glorious tomatoes.  They aren’t for everyone, some people with sensitive stomachs don’t fare so well with them.  But you can adapt this idea with almost any veggie: asparagus, canned beans, squash.  I am going for a run in a bit so grabbed these local farmer’s market tomatoes, washed them and throw them on a pan with garlic cloves, olive oil and salt.  Total time invested: 3 minutes.  I popped them in the oven at 325 while I went out. An hour and a half later, I had gooey, melty, delicious roasted tomatoes great for spreading of english muffins, under and egg, together with some greek yogurt… lots of ways to serve these, but the general idea is to have them on hand when hunger strikes.  ...

KIDS | INTERNATIONAL FOOD REVOLUTION DAY

By Bettina – Venice, CA One of the main reasons I became a nutrition chef is due to the influence of Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution.  Watching his short-lived show made me sign up as a volunteer chef in a Washington Heights, NY after school program teaching kids about food and nutrition.  If sad, this is of the most fulfilling work I have ever done.  Kids couldn’t tell an onion from a potato.  For many of these kids, food was something that was born in a box and warmed in a microwave.  The idea that a pizza comes from wheat, tomatoes, olive oil and that cheese comes from animals called cows… this knowledge did not exist. Today is International Food Revolution Day.  Jamie’s Food Revolution aims to demand to governments around the world that it is a human right to teach children about food and it’s effect on their bodies.  Because the biggest killer of children around the world, is now diet-related disease. Last year was the first year in the history of the world where more people died of diet-related disease than of starvation and hunger.  In my opinion, education and knowledge about how to prepare food is the biggest lesson that will guide your child’s health throughout his/her life. So if your kid’s school isn’t teaching them yet… in honor of Food Revolution Day and for your child’s health, I implore you to consider cooking or preparing some food today (and any day) with your kids.  Teach them about fruits and vegetables, take them to a farmer’s market.  Help them to help themselves stay healthy for their whole lives.  Give...

30 MORE DAYS | POST-RUN BREAKFAST

By Bettina – Venice Canals, CA Just arrived in Venice Beach to a beautiful little house on The Venice Canals.  (If you aren’t familiar with the area, you can check them out here on a website I like).  This trip has changed a bit from what I originally thought it would be.  Life sometime throws you for a loop but I am going to make the best of it by upping my “health” game. I am undergoing a medical treatment in a month that requires that I eat “healthy” for the next 30 days.  When the doctor said this I wondered what I could do to boost things a bit.  Since I already eat healthy, I will be conscious to include more “sacred foods” as Mau described in a recent post, taking extra supplements, eating more consciously (even if I still have client dinners) and telling you guys about the benefits of these actions. For my first day here, I woke up early and went for a run around the beautiful canals where I live this month. Nothing crazy, a quick 2.5 miles (it’s hot out here).  I got home really, really hungry. Which is good because I decided to fill up on greens when I realized my plate looked kind of sad.  Today I had a sprouted bread English muffin with greek yogurt and miso smother and topped with fresh organic tomatoes.  One happy pasture-raised egg; and a side of greens with a drizzle Fire Cider made by my brother, Mau. Why are these things good for me?  Bread is not bread is not bread. Sprouted bread is made from...

BREAKFAST | HABITS

By: Bettina – Miami, FL Ok so maybe I am not what you would call a morning person (hence the mug which was a gift). But a healthy breakfast like this can make anyone more of a morning person. So many of us don’t have breakfast at all. When I was at my sickest and least healthy, my breakfast consisted of a coffee with milk. I never ate actual food till after 1pm. Until I literally obligated myself to start trying it. Now, I can’t live without my morning goodness and my body and health thank me for it. #breakfast #startyourdayoutright LAYER THE FOLLOWING 1 slice Mestemacher sunflower seed bread 1/2 Tbsp Miso 1 Tbsp Organic Wallaby Greek Yogurt In a bowl mix the following and top toast: 1 whole avocado pinch salt pinch red pepper flakes juice of half lemon * For miso I am (very) partial to South River Misos. This one was Leek and Dandelionhttp://www.southrivermiso.com/ * Organic greek yogurt is chock full of protein. Just a Tbsp is good enough. * The biggest change I made to my diet that I truly believe cured my ovaries from cysts was the addition of daily fresh avocado! They are good for everything, not just lady...

Raw Honey and Allergies

By: Mau – Northampton, MA Many of us suffer from allergies, especially at this time of year. It is believed that eating a bit of local raw (uncooked, unpasteurized) honey can alleviate nasty allergy symptoms. Often allergies are caused by seasonal pollen. Spring is high time for many pollinating trees. Here’s the idea: bees collect bits of pollen from a variety of trees, bushes, grasses, etc. and they embrue their honey with tiny doses of this cocktail of potential allergens. If we eat honey from local bees we are “vaccinating” ourselves with micro doses of these pollens, thus building up our tolerance to their aggravating effects. This seems like pretty sound logic, except its not complete. Some plants are pollinated by insects while others are pollinated by wind. Honeybees collect pollen from insect-pollinated plants and its the airborne pollen from the wind-pollinators that’s getting into our noses, eyes, throats, etc. It’s possible that the pollen micro dose we get from local honey can keep our bodies fit for dealing with the airborne pollen when it comes, but there is no conclusive evidence of this. I would still argue that raw local honey is beneficial in many ways: Anti-inflammatory – a great plus in dealing with allergies and other common ailments. Many researches, doctors, and clinicians are pointing at inflammation as the culprit to chronic diseases. Blood sugar – Raw honey has shown to lower blood glucose levels in diabetes [1], and daily intake of raw honey has shown to stabilize the metabolic irregularities caused by diabetes mellitus[2]. Cholesterol – Research has shown that raw honey can help balance cholesterol levels.[3] Antibacterial...

EASY FOOD ADD-ONS

By: Bettina – Miami, FL I am an onion fan, not going to lie.  But I know a lot of people who don’t love the taste of raw onion as much as I do.  But I find that when I only have greens on hand and not much else, adding some sauteed or caramelized onions is a good option for taste.  But the other day I decided to try making some quick macerated or pickled red onions.  Quick pickling tends to remove the “bite” of raw onion.  It’s the same as when you make the classic french vinaigrette (shallots, red wine vinegar, mustard, olive oil and salt).  You let the shallots soak in red wine vinegar for 20-30 minutes and it takes away the sharpness of the onion. And on a happy note: red onions are full of flavonoids and polyphenols (anti-oxidants that give them those pretty purple shades). So up your red onion intake (also delicious when caramelized) to get a good anti-cancer boost! INGREDIENTS 1 red onion 1/4 cup red wine vinegar pinch of celtic sea salt 8 oz ball jar PROCEDURE Slice onion. add vinegar and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes Enjoy! They will keep in your fridge for up to two weeks.  ...

ROASTING VEGGIES FOR FAMILY

By: Bettina – Miami, FL I have an Easter dinner tonight with my family (We are Latin, we celebrate everything at night).  I am making some roasted root vegetables that they like quite a bit because of the savory sweet mix that is very typical of the Cuban palette. INGREDIENTS: 1 Japanese yam (or boniato) 1 Garnet Yam 1 Jewell Sweet Potato 2 Red Onions 6 garlic cloves Juice of half a lemon Olive oil to coat Celtic sea salt to taste pinch of red pepper flakes Chopped parsley PROCEDURE: Preheat oven to 400. Chop onions and root vegetables Toss Ingredients (except parsley) in a bowl Roast for 50 minutes. Add parsley, toss and serve. Yes, it’s that easy!  ...

GOOD MORNING GREEN GOODNESS

By: Bettina – Miami Beach, FL Good morning carafe of green goodness! Reset and reboot week begins today! The next ten days tend to be the most stressful of the year for me so I have to be mindful to feed myself with nourishing and detoxifying foods. It will keep my immune system functioning well and since I tend to forget to eat during stressful times, having fresh green juices on hand help to keep nutrients flowing. This juice is almost all green save one small carrot, this makes it so that a juice isn’t a calorie/ sugar bomb as it will be if you juice just carrots, beets and apples. It also has some white daikon root which makes it a little spicy (yum). Ingredients: cucumber, wheatgrass, sunflower sprouts, kale, lots of celery, mint, parsley, daikon and a green apple. The beast part is that I wrote this post sitting on my balcony looking over the water with a cool breeze at my back. Enjoying the last day off I’ll have in a few weeks! Cheers!!...

PREP | Being ready

I got home from a 10.5 hour flight on Tuesday.  Straight off the plane to the market to get some ammo. I needed to reset my health in a very bad way.  So I got to my kitchen armed with lots of roast-able vegetables.  For what dishes? Who knows, I had no plan.  I only knew that while I showered, they would be roast8ing in the oven and ready for me to prepare all sorts of dishes with them in the coming days. I put the oven on at 375 and brushed the following items with some olive oil: two garnet yams, one sliced piece of pumpkin and one spaghetti squash with fork holes in it.  I set the timer for one hour while I showered, washed my hair and got my pajamas on.  😉  As soon as I was ready for bed, the squashes were nice and soft. Over the course of the week where I was working 15-17 hour days (Its busy season for my production business) I made dinner for my parents with the spaghetti squash.  I ate the yams for breakfast and lunch with different dressings and used the pumpkin diced into a simple green salad.  Having these items prepped made it so that I didn’t give in to getting take out at restaurants around my house.  It’s the easiest and best way to keep healthy and stay on track. Prep, prep, prep....

REBOOT!

Reboot Breakfast!!! Cabbage and quinoa with garlic tahini sauce and a side of kimchee. I ate deliciously in Spain. Food there is so delicious. They prepare everything simply and with fresh ingredients. That being said, I had dairy everyday (and not the raw food kind), I ate croquetas like they were going extinct and jamon serrano as if I was a connoisseur who needed to amply sample every piece of ham in sight. And I don’t feel guilty about this. But my body is protesting, badly. My eradicated eczema is flaring up!! Obviously I gained a few pounds and to top it off, I arrived back home with a crazy hive rash all over my face and neck. My body is clearly accustomed to lots of vegetables, low grain and very sporadic meat consumption. This kind of indulgence may have been pushing it. So I am back stateside now and am indulging in… Vegetables and detoxifying foods. Vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner with juices in between. And in less than two days I’ve lost 4 pounds, the eczema has stopped cracking and peeling and I have enough energy to have gone for a good run each morning. 😉 Amen for reboots! Don’t ever be afraid to start over or beat yourself up about a bit (or a lot) of indulgence. Just get back on...

OUR MOM & THE KALE MOVEMENT

By: Bettina – Madrid, Spain Kale has been a revolution in my life and in that of those who I love.  A little over 5 years ago, kale came on the scene and like a good health peddlers, Mau and I started introducing it to everyone we know, especially people that we love.  Why?  Well kale is really high-fiber, low calorie brassica filled with important vitamins like K, A and C as well as anti-oxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids that are so beneficial for people like Baby Boomers who have a higher chance of getting cancer than someone my age. Plus, to me, some well-prepared kale tastes delicious. The initial faces of my parents, family and friends in the Baby Boomer generation when they try kale, merited documenting.  I wish I had a camera on me for all of these experiences.  The general expression was “yuck” or “gross.”  But as Mau and I showed these adults in our lives how to prepare kale with love and attention (massaging it, steaming it, sautéing it) things changed. So much so that  last night I got this text message from my mother who I recently introduced to Lacinato or Dinosaur kale from our Farmer’s Market in Coconut Grove, Miami.  She had only tried curly kale in the past and I am much more of a fan of the dark green Lacinato Kale. Getting messages like these fill my heart with joy: “I know u r sleeping but I wanted to share this.  I am addicted to kale!! I went to Whole Foods to get the dark green kale that I bought at...

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT SALAD?

A fresh green salad.  So plain I almost didn’t post about it, but the truth is that I should post more of these staples that I make myself.  Why? Well, because a simple green salad is something we should all eat daily.  By now you all know I am kind of crazy and do things like eat kale for breakfast.  But a lot of time I start the day with a simple green salad.  It’s the easiest way to make sure you get a green boost, early in the day.  You begin your day with a powerhouse of enzymes, vitamins and nutrients.  Plus the olive oil we drizzle on it helps our bodies to absorb the fat soluble vitamins found in different kinds of lettuce and greens.  Vinegar, if it’s good unpasteurized vinegar, is fermented and still has the “mother” which gives you a probiotic boost, among other amazing health benefits. When I went to that detox spa a few months back, they showed us a little bit of oatmeal with an enzyme cap thrown in.  The enzymes melted the food down.  Enzymes are biological particles that breakdown our food.  Our perfect bodies create these little molecules that break down our food into their smaller building blocks, in order to facilitate their absorption by the body.  They are found mostly in the mouth, stomach and small intestine.  But our current diet makes a lot of us have very low enzyme production.  But we can also ingest them and boost them through eating raw food, like salad.  What’s not to love about a good, simple, green...

RECIPE | SPAGHETTI SQUASH “SPAGHETTI”

By: Bettina – Madrid, Spain Spaghetti Squash is a gift on this earth.  Other than being delicious it’s very light in calories and it absorbs sauces spectacularly.  I really do like it better than pasta. Procedure: Preheat oven to 375. Poke the spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Cut in half, scrape out the inside with a fork. Mix with any sauce that you like.  I personally like it with butter, garlic and miso.  But anything works.  It comes out of the oven hot and ready to mix with the sauce of choice and serve....

TRAVEL | COOKING IN MADRID

By Bettina – Madrid, Spain We decided to tackle a super quick dinner tonight with my best friend.  It’s been a long time since she and I cooked together.  There are few joys greater for me than food, a glass of wine, some good ingredients and great conversation, which with Val, there is never any lack of.  We’re in Spain, where she lives and here probably the most common thing to eat is octopus, here known as “pulpo”, a food I like very much and wanted to learn how to make… so she gave me a quick lesson while I made a big, green salad to accompany it. INGREDIENTS For Salad: 1 head Romaine lettuce 3 roma tomatoes 1 zucchini 2 stalks of leeks Juice of one lemon 3 Tbsp olive oil Garlic salt For “Pulpo”: 1 lb octopus salt to sprinkle all over pulpo garlic powder to cover pulpo olive oil for cooking Juice of one lemon PROCEDURE Time: 5 – 8 minutes For Pulpo, take freshly boiled octopus and sprinkle it lightly with salt then heavily with garlic powder. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil on a pan and bring to very high heat. Throw octopus onto pan and cook until all sides are well blackened and crispy. Put cooked octopus on a separate plate and deglaze pan with juice of one lemon. Pour pan bits and lemon reduction over octopus and slices thinly to...

FOOD Class: Reverse Tacos

By: Mau – Northampton MA We made reverse tacos in FOOD Class today. Polenta cooked in butter Sautéed red peppers Green onions Irish cheddar and lots of guacamole Wrapped up in a collards leaf. I wanted to put sardines but the kids were like, “hell no”. I get it, fish from a can, gross. But sardines are actually pretty awesome – it’s not as overfished as other species and you eat the whole fish so you get all of the nutrients in the bones and skin. Maybe next time I’ll bring in some mahi or bluefish. I’ve been working with these kids for several years and now their getting picky. I think its a good sign. Guacamole ingredients Reverse Taco Sage eats a tomato  ...

Fish stock – How to

By: Mau – Northampton, MA Fish stock and bone broth are inexpensive and easy to make. They are one of the best immune-boosters and overall health tonics around. Here’s a run from Bite Kitchen showing you how it’s done. This is how it came...

Whole Food = Whole Teeth

By: Mau – Northampton, MA Ok, so this isn’t entirely about your teeth. It’s more about a dentist named Weston A. Price. You can read about him here but the quick/short: In 1939 he published a book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration that compared primitive and modern diets and their effects on human health. He was perplexed by the incidence of crowded teeth found among his patients in the US and set out to remote villages around the world to find people with beautiful teeth. He strongly believed that there was a correlation between straight, white, cavity-free teeth and the nutrient density of the foods the children ate while growing up in those places. He travelled to remote villages in europe, africa, polynesia, australia and worked with isolated peoples that had not incorporated processed industrial foods into their diet. Among these peoples he found that few had signs of tooth decay or crowded teeth. All of the communities ate traditional nutrient-dense whole foods and a good amount of healthy (free-range) animal fats rich in vitamins that can only be absorbed in the presence of dietary fat. Basically, they ate the foods that people have thrived on for countless millennia. Some of the foods: Organ Meats – In particular – Liver. It has the highest concentration of nutrients of any part of the animal. Fermented foods – Living sauerkrauts, kimchee, pickles, even beer and sourdough breads. It’s important to distinguish between pasteurized (cooked) pickles and real pickled stuff. The pickles and kraut you get at the market are usually pasteurized – no good. Whole Foods Market sells some live – probiotic fermented stuff. Fermented veggies are a...

RECIPE | QUICK VEGGIE “FETTUCCINE”

By: Bettina – Bolinas, CA Last night we wanted to eat something very light and uncomplicated.   We are winding down our 30 days here so want to use up what’s in the fridge. Enter my favorite shaved vegetable dish. Grab a vegetable peeler and instead of just peeling the outside of the carrot (or asparagus or parsnip or beet or or potato), keep peeling!  Peel all the way through to the end making long ribbons of vegetables.  Then  dress how ever you want and sauté the ribbons in that sauce.  Anything goes: canned tomato sauce, lemon, creamy sauces.  Last night I used asparagus and carrots in a lemon garlic sauce. Serves two INGREDIENTS 1 bunch Green asparagus, shaved with a peeler 3 large carrots, shaved with a peeler For Dressing: 2 large lemons, juiced 1 Clove garlic, minced 1 Tbsp Brown Rice Syrup or honey in 3 Tbsp of water 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil pinch of salt and pepper PROCEDURE: Wash asparagus/ carrots and shave each stalk from top to bottom so that the pieces look like thin fettuccine. Set aside. Juice two lemons and simmer down till juice is a bit thicker (about two minutes over high heat). Mince one garlic clove. Dilute Brown rice syrup or honey in 3 Tbsp of water. Mix warm lemon juice, diluted brown rice syrup, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside. When ready to serve, pour hot dressing (reheat over stove if necessary) over cold raw asparagus and carrot shavings and mix well....

RECIPE | ALMOST MELTED SQUASH

By: Bettina – Bolinas, CA Squash is one of those no brainers that you should always have lying around.  Squash doesn’t need planning, has an awesome shelf life and is super delicious and comforting. We got back yesterday from Utah and had nothing in the refrigerator and a pile of work to do so no time for the 45 minute drive to the market.  But luckily, we had a big old squash lying around.  So while I made coffee to get to work I sliced her in half and set her in the oven, naked, at 350 and kind of forgot about her until a delicious scent started coming from the oven.  Lunch was that easy.  I took the squash out, smeared her with miso paste, some garlic chili paste and coconut oil.  I popped her back in the oven for another 30 minutes while I finished my calls.  And when we were hungry, she was ready.  Soft and dripping with melted squashy goodness.  So much goodness that we each ate a half a squash.  YUM! I suggest you do the same.  You can smear squash with almost anything you can think of: lemon, garlic.  Salt and butter.  Balsamic vinegar and olive oil (one of my faves); even some maple syrup (just a touch) or a sprinkle of coconut sugar.  The possibilities are endless and this works with almost any kind of squash: butternut, acorn, spaghetti squash… anything.   Just play with it and enjoy!  (I cook them for a little over an hour, depending on the size, but just check the squash and pinch it with a fork...