Sunday, April 29, 2012

Real food recipe: Cauliflower, Leek and Celery root Soup

I love soup!  I try to make one pot of soup per week for lunches or a light dinner, and the less chopping and ingredients the better (although I do like 'fancier' ones too).  This recipe is the quickest and simplest soup EVER!  My mom started making this recipe based on Rose Reisman's recipe.  3 main ingredients:  leeks, cauliflower and celery root (celeriac).

1 cauliflower, washed, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 leeks (white parts only), thinly sliced
1 celery root (a scary looking vegetable, but adds wonderful flavour to vegetable dishes.  You will find it with other root vegetables like beets in the produce aisle), peeled and chopped
2 tbsp butter, preferably organic and grass-fed*
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 cups + water or vegetable broth

In a large pot, melt butter until it froths.  Add the leeks and saute until soft and fragrant.
Add the cauliflower and celery root.  Saute for 10-15 minutes until soft.
Add 1 cup of broth or water and continue cooking the vegetables.
Once the vegetables are soft and fall apart, using a hand immersion blender, puree the vegetables until smooth.  Add water or broth as needed to thin to a desired consistency and thickness.
Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to your liking.
Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serve with vegetable crudite, thin slices of grass fed and naturally smoked summer sausage (where to buy summer sausage), sourdough bread (where to buy true sourdough bread), and/or a green salad.

*Dairy-free?  Substitute coconut oil instead of butter

Monday, April 23, 2012

Real Food Recipe: Thai Mango Salad

A couple of weeks ago I fell in love (again) with mangos and Thai cooking.  It was lunch time and the fridge was pretty bare.  I had a chinese cabbage (aka Napa cabbage), a mango, left over chicken and some herbs.  My dear friend Joyce W. popped into my head and the delicious rice wraps she made with mango, chicken and cilantro.  This recipe was born from a fond memory.  This salad is light, filling and refreshing.  You can easily make this a main dish by adding chicken, shrimp or beef.  

Thai Mango Salad:
1/2 Napa cabbage, shredded
1 mango, peeled and cut julienne
2 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 cucumbers, peeled if desired, and cut into matchsticks
1/4 -1/2 cup snow peas, finely sliced if desired
2 scallions, minced
handful of cilantro, washed, stemmed and finely chopped
handful of mint, washed and finely chopped
handful of basil, washed and finely chopped
grilled chicken, shrimp or beef (optional)
1/4 cup cashews or almonds, finely chopped (optional)

juice of 2 limes (depends on the size of your salad)
1 tsp lime zest
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled and put through a garlic press
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Prepare the vegetables and herbs and place in a large bowl.  
Place all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a lid.  
Give the dressing a vigorous shake and toss with the salad ingredients.  

Variation:  You could easily serve this with the meat option on the side as a chicken or beef satay skewer.  So yummy!! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A sweet boy's birthday

Today is my son's 3rd birthday. An Easter baby. Every day I am thankful and grateful that Archer is a part of this world. Today we will be have the Lobb gang for an early dinner. 20 people in our 1200 square foot home - oh my!

I am excited about the birthday menu. My virtual friend Jenny at Nourished Kitchen gave me a few ideas as well.

  • Grilled chicken breasts and pastured sausage
  • Mexican quinoa salad
  • Greens with kefir herb dressing 
  • sauerkraut
  • Veggies with hummus, guacamole and yogurt cheese herb dip
  • Devilled eggs using homemade lacto fermented mayonnaise
The birthday cake is of course our tried and true go to recipe for birthdays - Coconut Flour Cake with homemade coconut ice cream. This was actually my 'birthing cake' recipe. When I was in early labour I made this cake ;) It was fun and memorable to actually have a birthday cake the next day (actually 2 days later). We shared it with our midwife and grandparents.

This is always a day for me to reflect as well. I remember every detail of those 22 hours of labour and I wouldn't change a thing.

"We are humbled by the awesome power of this moment.  From our lives we have brought forth life.  Through our love we have fashioned a child of love.  May our child be a blessing to all he meets.  And may he count us among his blessings as well. "   Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

Happy Birthday Archer!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

7 Steps to Healing with Food

70% of health problems can be cleared up with nutrition and lifestyle choices.  When the body is properly supported, the vitality can once again regulate the self healing ability of the body and the body will return to a state of health on its own.  You are what you eat and do.  Plain and simple.  

So these steps will give you enough of an idea of how to evolve to a state of wellness by changing the way you eat.  No supplements needed, just a good old dose of common sense:  If you don't know what it is, don't eat it.  

Step 1: Eat Real Food (Local, Seasonal and Organic)
Eat real food in its unprocessed state.  Real food is meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, butter and non processed dairy, ocean fish, nuts and seeds and some whole grains like quinoa, buckwheat, teff, brown rice, wild rice, spelt, rye and steel cut oats.  Our bodies are not designed to eat 'gogurts', canola oil, margarine, Bear Paws, gold fish crackers, Baby Mum Mums or textured vegetable protein.  If it didn't walk on land, swim in the ocean, grow in the ground or on a tree, or fly in the air it isn't food.  If you live in Huron-Perth County you are in luck!  We are blessed with a plethora of local resources for real food.  For an extensive list and shopping guide look under the Real Food Resources tab. 

Step 2:  Reduce Glycemic Index
The increased incidence of heart disease, diabetes and obesity is connected to our intake of processed vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates.  Refine carbohydrates have a high glycemic index.  The glycemic index of a food refers to the rate at which a food turns to sugar when it is eaten.  Refining and processing a food gives it a higher glycemic index.  
These foods are high glycemic index:  Corn, wheat/flour, whole grain processed foods (bread, granola bars), refined grain products like ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, sugar of all kinds even natural sweetners like honey and maple syrup, fruit and fruit juices.  A note on fruit:  most fruit have a high/moderately high glycemic index, so don't overdo it on fruit, vegetables are most important. Blueberries and other berries have the lowest glycemic index.

Low glycemic foods:  all vegetables except potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, beets, legumes, grains in their whole kernel state, the best being quinoa, oat groats, buckwheat, steel cut oats and pot barley.

To keep your blood sugar stable be sure to include the following in each meal:  High water content vegetables (greens, cucumber, celery, cabbage etc), healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, butter, nuts and seeds and avocado and healthy protein like eggs, fish, meat or legumes.

Step 3:  Prepare the Feast
Make food preparation a priority.  I would consider it one of the most important tasks in your household.  Yes it takes time.  A lot of time actually.  If health is a priority for you and your family, someone in the household will have to take the time to prepare wholesome real food.  To be healthy, we cannot rely on ready-to-eat food.  We must prepare food for ourselves and our families.

Step 4:  Drink Pure Water
The only beverage we need is water.  For variety include herbal tea, green tea, or a twist with lemon or lime.  Avoid juice.  Consider the Santevia system, or a reverse osmosis unit to filter your water.  See related articles: Why you should worry about your drinking water

Step 5:  Include raw foods in your diet
There are nutrients and enzymes in raw foods essential for good health.  Cooking destroys these nutrients or makes less absorbed by the body.  If you cannot tolerate raw vegetables lightly steaming them if also an option.  Grains and legumes should not be eaten raw.  

Step 6:  Soak grains before use
This could be a post all on its own, and I will be doing that eventually.  The short answer is that grains contain phytic acids.  Phytic acid blocks proper digestion of grain and inhibits absorption of minerals.  Soaking the grains in water for a few hours before cooking breaks down phytic acid.  Sprouting grains and traditional sourdough also breaks down phytic acids.  Don't worry if this confuses you - I will be posting more on this topic.  

Step 7:  Avoid Processed Foods, Vegetable Oils, GMOs 
Any food that has been altered from its original state or had chemicals added to it is a processed food.  Regardless of label claims, processed foods are not healthy.  Avoid ready to eat and pre packaged foods, foods with additives and preservatives, food colouring, aspartame and nutrasweet.  A good rule of thumb:  If you read a label and don't know what an ingredient is, you should not be eating it.  
Vegetable oils include canola oil, margarine, soybean and shortening.  These oils are heat damaged and too high in omega 6 fats.  Use extra virgin olive oil, organic butter, and extra virgin coconut oil.  
Genetically modified foods (GMOs) have been allowed into our food system without passing safety studies.  Research does show negative effects of GM foods on human health.  This is another topic all on its own but for more information check out: and download the lecture "Don't Put That in Your Mouth".  The most common GM foods are corn, soy, canola and cottonseed.

Start slowly choosing one thing to focus on and make it a new habit.  Then move on to the next.  Soon these steps will become a way of life.  

Dr. Kate

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bieler's Broth for 'Spring Cleaning'

As the days become warmer and brighter, nature rouses from her winter slumber and looks ahead to the new growth of spring.  It is a common practice in many parts of the world to undergo a 'cleanse' at the change of season - Spring and Fall.  Springtime is associated with the element Wood.  In traditional Chinese medicine, the Wood element represents the liver and the gall bladder.  The liver especially being the major filter of everything in your body.  Treat your body like you do your house: dust, open the windows to air things out, and purge clutter.
Here are some suggestions for living in harmony with the spring season and re-connect with Nature.
  • Begin your day early, with a brisk walk. 
  • Feel the sunshine on your face, watch buds rush into leaf, often doubling their size in a day. Look for birds' nests - you'll find them everywhere.  Make a garden. Eat greens.
  • Begin new things - at home, in your work, and in yourself. In this season when nature reinvents itself, we too can see people and situations with new eyes. Take time to create the next path in life and take fresh hope.  Make things, do things. Begin!
  • Consider how you wish to prepare your summer harvest.  Spring does not last forever.  Use its bountiful energy wisely, so that the crops you sow - in yourself, in your work, and in your life - are those you wish to harvest.  The energy of spring brings vision.

Perhaps you are someone that looks forward to a spring cleanse where you can modify your nutrition to rejuvenate and detoxify your mind and body with lots of rest, meditation, and simple food.  In an ideal world, everyone would simply eat a well balanced, nutrient-dense, seasonal diet and avoid junky, over-processed foods.  In reality, however, this doesn’t always happen, and occasionally it’s nice to give the digestive system a mini-vacation.

Bieler’s Broth is a great recipe to try when your looking to lighten up, and spring time is an ideal season for doing so after a winter of hearty stews, and breads.  Taken from Nourishing Traditions, this recipe was originally create by Dr. Henry Bieler, MD, “for fasting, for energy, and for overall health.”

The combination of veggies in Bieler’s Broth is thought to be ideal for restoring acid-alkaline imbalance as well as sodium-potassium balance to the body.  Perfect for recovery from stress and adrenal fatigue or a weekend of over-indulgence, this soup is also recommended for individuals with back and ligament problems.  Try eating it for breakfast (or before breakfast) for a cleansing start to the day.

Bieler Broth
Makes 2 quarts

4 medium squash (zucchini, yellow or summer) washed, ends removed and sliced
1 pound string beans, ends removed
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 bunches parsley, stems removed
fresh herbs (thyme or tarragon) tied together with a string
1 quart filtered water
whey, optional *

Place water, vegetables and herbs in a pot.  
Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes.  
Remove herbs.  
Vegetables may be eaten whole with cooking water, or blended into a thick soup with an immersion blender.  
One tablespoon of whey may be added to each cup of soup.

*Whey is prepared by straining yogurt through cheesecloth.  The liquid that drains from the yogurt is whey.