Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Soup Varieties

Last week, a dear friend (who is like a sister to me) was sick. I wanted to bring her two different types of soup. So, I added different meats to my vegetable soup and dropped off two mason jars of homemade soup! Simple!

One basic soup recipe, many different soups!

To my basic soup recipe, I add:
 chopped roasted chicken for Chicken Veggie Soup
 some spaghetti sauce for a Tomato Meat Soup
 chopped homemade sausage for a Spicy Sausage Soup
 spicy shredded chicken for a Spicy Chicken Soup
 spicy ground beef (recipe coming soon) for a Spicy Mexican Soup

Then, top off with:
 grated sharp cheddar or parmesan cheese
 a large dollop of organic sour cream
 avocado chunks


Since I often have mason jars full of soup and different meats in my freezer, dinner is easy. I especially appreciate this after a long day at the office. I move the jars from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before. The next evening, dinner is simple, satisfying and stress free!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spaghetti Sauce

We have been making this spaghetti sauce at our home for years. In the past I served this over pasta. Later we ate it over brown rice. Now, since we have removed gluten and almost all grains from our diet, I serve it over zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or, my favorite, just alone!

What you need:
 1 chopped onion
 Several cloves crushed garlic
 2 pounds ground beef
 3 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
 1 7 oz. jar tomato paste
 3 Tbs. oregano
 3 Tbs. basil
 1-2 tsp. sea salt
 1-3 Tbs. red pepper flakes
 1 peeled carrot, cut in several pieces

 Large stock pot

What you do:
 Heat ghee in stock pot
 Add onion and meat, using metal spatula to break up meat
 Add garlic and cook until meat is no longer red, but do not overcook
 Mix in canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt, red pepper flakes
 Add carrot and continue to heat
 As soon as the sauce begins to boil, turn to low and cook about 30 minutes
 Remove carrot and serve

This sauce is delicious with Parmesan cheese, olives and capers on top!  I store the left over sauce in mason jars. What we will eat in a few days goes in the refrigerator, and the rest goes in the freezer.

Food for thought on canned foods:
Is Canned Food Safe to Eat?, by Mark Sisson
Note: I have tried this sauce with organic jarred diced tomatoes. Just not as good. Canned tomatoes are about the only canned foods we eat, and not too often. So there you have it!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


One challenge when transitioning to a real foods way of eating is finding condiments that are nourishing to our bodies. Most conventional condiments contain refined sugars and some corn or soy (probably genetically modified if not organic). I started by making ketchup and found that it is easy!

What you need:
 14 ounces tomato paste
 3 Tbs. raw honey
 2 1/2 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
 1 1/4 tsp. sea salt
 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
 1/4 tsp. ground garlic
 1/8 tsp. cayenne
 1/4 cup whey (if fermenting)

What you do:
 Whisk all ingredients (except whey) together
 Place in pint mason jar and store in refrigerator
 If fermenting, add whey with other ingredients, seal and allow to sit 2 to 5 days
 Store in refrigerator for up to several months, if fermented

Why ditch refined sugar?
141 Reasons Sugar Ruins Your Health, by Nancy Appleton, PhD
The Harmful Effects of Sugar on Body and Mind
Zapping Sugar Cravings, by Jen Allbritton, CN

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Burgers have been a weakness of mine for awhile. Maybe that has something to do with going without red meat for about twenty years of my life, and my body knew I was missing out on something delicious. Anyway, the burgers at restaurants always tasted better than those we grilled at home. That is, until...

Ali's Amazing Burgers

What you need:
 1 lb. 100% grass fed ground beef
 1 chopped onion
 1 egg
 2 tsp. ground garlic
 salt and pepper to taste
 *makes 3 or 4 burgers


What you do:
 Saute the chopped onion in ghee until soft
 Mix onion into ground beef
 Add egg, garlic, salt, pepper and mix well
 Form into three or four patties
 Grill, being careful to not overcook

On dinner plates, we place each burger over a bed of organic mixed greens and arugula and top with cheddar cheese, bacon, sauteed mushrooms and avocados. Add a large dollop of organic, fermented ketchup and enjoy!

Why choose 100% grass fed beef?
Grass-Fed Basics, by Jo Robinson
Health Benefits, from All Things Grass Fed
Pasture-Based Farming Enhances Animal Welfare, from Eat Wild

Monday, November 11, 2013

Yogurt Smoothie

This yogurt smoothie is our go-to breakfast. It has a low glycemic load, so it does not cause a spike in blood sugar. Also, the fats from the yogurt, coconut oil and nut butter provide a steady, slow-burning source of fuel for our bodies and a wonderful sense of satiation!

What you need:
 3/4 cup full fat yogurt (100% grass fed)
 2 Tbs. (or more) coconut oil or coconut manna
 2 Tbs. almond butter or a handful of sprouted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
 1/2 cup frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)
 Toasted coconut flakes
 *makes 1 smoothie 

 Vitamix or heavy duty blender

What you do:
 Toast coconut flakes in toaster oven until lightly browned, then place in freezer for awhile
 Blend all other ingredients in Vitamix
 Pour into glass and top with toasted coconut
 Enjoy and add more toasted coconut as you drink!

Health benefits of coconut oil:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rosemary Garlic Parmesan Bread

Every now and then my family and I crave some type of bread to go with our soup. This recipe is an adaptation of the one found in Put Your Heart in Your Mouth, by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. (If you haven't heard of her, google her now!) Just what the doctor ordered!

What you need:
 3 eggs
 2 1/2 cups almond meal
 1 tsp. sea salt
 2 tsp. garlic powder
 1/4 cup melted ghee or butter, plus a little extra to grease the pan
 2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary (if available)
 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little extra to go on top

 8" x 4" loaf pan (I use glass)

What you do:
 Preheat oven to 300º
 As oven is preheating, melt a small amount of butter in loaf pan
 Whisk eggs in mixing bowl
 Mix in almond meal, salt, garlic
 Add melted ghee and mix
 Add rosemary and Parmesan cheese and mix
 Press into loaf dish
 Top with extra grated Parmesan cheese
 Bake for 50 minutes
 Serve warm and with LOTS of cultured butter!

Though this is a gluten free bread, it is not something that should be consumed often. A few times a week is more than enough. (My friend, Kim, would tease me...but this almond meal is not made from "properly prepared" almonds.)

Food for thought on removing gluten from your diet:

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Almost every day soup is one of our meals. Using different vegetables and meats creates variety.

What you need:
 Fat and gelatin that was drained from roasted chicken
 1 chopped onion
 4-8 diced carrots
 4-6 diced celery stalks
 2-6 cloves chopped garlic cloves
 chopped greens (spinach, kale, chard)
 chopped broccoli, zucchini, green beans (if desired)
 thyme, cumin, basil, oregano (additional spices if desired)
 sea salt & pepper
 bone broth

 Large stock pot

What you do:
 Skim layer of fat from jar of fat/gelatin from roasted chicken
 In large pot, heat fat
 Add onions, carrots and celery
 After sauteing for several minutes, add remaining vegetables
 Once vegetables are lightly cooked, add broth, gelatin and spices
 Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, adjusting spices to taste
 Add meat to the soup being consumed that day

From this large batch, whatever we don't consume for a meal that day is stored in quart sized mason jars. Some of the jars are stored in the refrigerator if we plan on eating the soup in the next few days. The rest of the jars are stored in the freezer. (Leave plenty of room at the top of these jars for expansion when frozen.) 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Roasted Chicken

About twice a week I roast a chicken (mostly for the bones for bone broth). I've tried several methods, but I keep coming back to the simplicity of this one.

What you need:
 1 whole organic chicken
 1/4 to 1/3 cup melted ghee (I melt mine in a stainless steel measuring cup)
 Garlic powder
 Sea salt

 Large baking dish with lid

What you do:
 Preheat oven to 300º
 Remove anything that is inside chicken
 Rinse chicken and pat dry with several paper towels
 Place chicken in oven-proof pan (one that has a lid)
 Use hands to coat chicken with melted ghee
 Sprinkle entire chicken with thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper
 Place in oven, covered, for 2 hours
 Remove lid, increase temperature to 350º and cook for additional 30 minutes
 After chicken is cooked, drain off all of the liquid into glass jar. Once the liquid cools, put lid on and    refrigerate for later.

Remember to save all of the skin that was not eaten and the bones for making bone broth. Store bones and skin in freezer if not making broth immediately.

Benefits of using organic spices:
Why Consumers are Buying Organic Spices, by Mark Harris
Never Buy Meat, Potatoes or Herbs With This Label on it, by Joseph Mercola, DO

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chicken Bone Broth

In our home, bone broth is simmering in our slow cooker continuously. The benefits are many and the taste...delicious!

What you need:
 All the left over bones and skin from a roasted chicken
 Filtered water
 Apple cider vinegar
 Sea salt

 Slow cooker
 Large strainer

What you do:
 Place all bones and skin in slow cooker
 Cover with filtered water (I usually fill my slow cooker 2/3 with water)
 Add 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
 Let sit for one hour
 Add salt and pepper (to taste)
 Cook in slow cooker on low for 12 to 24 hours
 Strain and enjoy!

We enjoy drinking a mug full in the mornings and also using the broth to make soups.

Health benefits of bone broth and more recipes:
10 Benefits of Bone Broth, by Amy Meyers, MD
How Bone Broths Support Your Adrenals, Bones and Teeth, by OraWellness
The Health Benefits of Bone Broth, by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD