Tag Archives: traditional foods

Hey Good Lookin’… 6/6/13


I grew up on meat and potatoes. Fried. Covered in butter. With a side of white bread.

I have no business wondering how I ended up with all this cake.

These days, I eat *thoughtfully*. I am aware of what goes into my body, what its effects are, and why I should (or in some cases, shouldn’t ) be eating it.

Here lately, that means mostly protein and veggies. As I stated in an earlier post, my Naturopath has me off all grains, sugars, and most dairy. I can see my health improving and I am so grateful for such a knowledgeable doctor in my life.


Ok, that’s an overstatement. I don’t really miss *every* element of what I grew up on. In fact, the thought of white bread kind of grosses me out now. I do, however, really miss potatoes. Maybe it’s not even the potatoes I miss, but that sense of comfort that comes from eating the thing that nourished you as a child. In my case, this translates to potatoes=happiness.

Again, I have no business wondering how I ended up with all this cake.

Last night I tried a recipe from Holistic Squid. Shepherd’s pie that was *almost* approved by my doctor. Had I used arrowroot instead of sprouted wheat flour, it would have been spot on, but frankly, I wanted a traditional gravy in this. Her recipe is HERE. I made some changes to it. I did not add liver ( which I may try in the future as long as it is organic/pasture raised.) and I skipped the peas and carrots because they are not on the hubby’s approved food list.

Here is how I made mine:


1.5 lbs grassfed beef.

2 italian zucchini, peeled and shredded

1 small onion

1 bag frozen cauliflower florettes or one head fresh cauliflower cut into small-ish pieces.

3 TBSP sprouted wheat flour or about 1 TBSP arrowroot powder if gluten free

6 TBSP butter, divided

1 cup water or broth

salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne all to taste.

fresh organic parsley

Cover one bag of frozen (You can totally use fresh. I just didn’t have any.) cauliflower florettes with water, and set to boil while you do the following:

Peel and shred two italian zucchini.

Sautee 1 small onion in 3 TBSP of butter. Season with sea salt to help the onions “sweat”.

add 1.5 lbs of good quality ground beef to pan, and cook until done. Add squash and cook until tender.

Push the meat aside, drain off the grease (you can leave it, but I am going to add butter back instead of ground beef fat), add 2-3 tbsp of butter to the pan, whisk in the flour to form a roux. Add 1 cup water, and whisk until smooth, stirring the meat into the gravy. Note: I do not remove the meat from the pan as I do this. I just shove it aside. Once incorporated, check the flavor. At this point, I added garlic powder (at least a tsp. maybe 2.), a bit more sea salt, a generous amount of black pepper and some cayenne for kick.

Set the meat/gravy aside while you finish up the cauliflower. Once it is tender, drain the cauliflower well and add to food processor with 4 TBSP butter and a good pinch or two of sea salt. Process until smooth.

Add meat to a 2qt casserole dish. Top with cauliflower “potatoes.” Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh organic parsley  before serving with a nice salad. In my house, “nice” means organic mesculin greens, sunflower seeds, a little bit of chopped apple and a vinaigrette made with 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup raw apple cider vinegar, 2 TBSP good quality honey, 1 tsp sea salt and a dash of pepper. Add all ingredients except oil to a blender.   Pulse the ingredients until blended, then turn blender on and drizzle in olive oil until fully incorporated.



Healthy Cake 2/24/13


My kitchen tends to be a bit of a science lab sometimes. Between brewing Kombucha, fermenting milk into all kinds of things like yogurt, buttermilk, and kefir, and growing teeny tiny gardens on my kitchen counter, I keep myself busy with food experiements.

I recently scored a sprouting tray from a friend of mine. This allows me to grow tiny, edible plants that nourish the cake in so many amazing ways.

For those that are unfamiliar with sprouting, think alfalfa sprouts…you’ve seen or eaten those before I am sure. Sprouts just like those can very easily be grown in your own kitchen.

Although I don’t eat alfalfa sprouts due to some studies that show they can diminish your immune system, I do eat other seeds (and sometimes nuts) that have been sprouted. Sprouted nuts and seeds can provide your diet with some of those most amazing nutritional benefits, and are often very mild in flavor which makes them easy for even the pickiest of eaters to stick them into just about anything without noticing much of a taste.

Today, I am sprouting Chia Seeds.

Remember chia pets? Ch-ch-ch-chia! Yeah, you can EAT THOSE. There are a million reasons you should eat chia seeds and/or sprouts. Go here for just a few reasons, including cardiovascular health and assistance with weight management. The seeds themselves are mucilaginous, which translates to “they get really slimy and gooey when you add liquid to them” (Yes, that’s the scientific definition.) I, personally have A MAJORLY HARD TIME eating them once they are wet. They are kind of like tapioca, and I do not do tapioca. You can eat them dry, (sprinkled on whole wheat toast maybe?) or wet if you dont mind the goo. My favorite way, however, is to SPROUT THEM.

Essentially, yes, I am growing a chia pet without the terracotta Obama head. Oh, and my seeds are organic. So its an organic non-terracotta Obama head. In my kitchen. Totally sounds normal, right?

Chia sprouts are easily added to salads, smoothies, sandwiches, etc. If you go to the happy raw kitchen blog, you get an idea of how you can grow them without any special equipment.  There is also a link to the “Sprout People” site that is kind of the go-to for all things sprouty and wonderful. This particular link takes to you the chia directions they provide. I really enjoyed this article too.

There are tons of seeds that can (and should be) sprouted. Chia might be among the best though when it comes to health benefits. Chia is gaining popularity, so the seeds are not hard to find for most people. I buy mine at Whole Foods, but they can be found in most large grocery stores and in most every health food store across the country. If you have a Winco near you, they are in the bulk section. 🙂

Better get this cake back into the kitchen…time to get my lab coat on. 😉