Tag Archives: Real Food

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Cashews

Cranberry Cashew Kale Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

This is a delicious salad any time of year, but it is particularly good, in my opinion, in Autumn! The crunch of the cashews, and the chewiness of the dried cranberries, along with the savory scallions and tangy mustard maple dressing is the perfect balance of sweet and zesty!

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Cashews

1 Bunch of Lacinato Kale (also known as dinosaur kale)

1/3 Cup of Dried Cranberries (fruit juice sweetened if available)

1/3 Cup of Raw Cashews

2 Scallions (thinly sliced)

1 Tablespoon of White Balsamic Vinegar

Mustard Maple Dressing:

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of White Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions:

Wash and strip the stems from the kale. Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and add them to a medium salad bowl. Pour over 1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar and massage the kale leaves with your hands. The vinegar and massaging will help break down the fibers in the kale and make them tender, about three minutes will do.

Add in the cranberries, cashews and sliced scallions.

Whisk together the Dressing ingredients, and pour over the kale salad. Toss and serve!

Delicious Kale Salad with Cranberries, Cashews and a Maple Mustard Dressing. Gluten and Dairy Free

Beef Liver Pate

Is liver my favorite? No. But the benefits of grass fed liver cannot be ignored, and my favorite way to eat it is a pate, which is quite delicious. Those who try it unknowingly, for instance on a platter of cheese, crackers and dips, have been known to say “Mmmm! What is this?” Yes, it’s perfectly true!

I remember a similar experience with squash substituted for pumpkin in pie. When I was a child, we would play with our neighbors outdoors almost daily all Summer long. One of my friends swore up and down that he thought squash was disgusting and never to be touched with a ten foot pole! Until one day he tried My Mother’s “pumpkin” pie which she had made with winter squash from our garden. He said “Man, this is the best pumpkin pie I have ever had!” I couldn’t wait to tell him, with relish, that it was squash! Beef liver is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins. It is a powerful superfood and has been included in traditional diets for thousands of years. Liver is the best source of B12. It is also high in active Vitamin A (retinol) that our bodies don’t have to convert like we do plant based Vitamin A (carotenoids). Liver is also high in Iron, B6, Folate, Biotin, and small amounts of copper, chromium and selenium.

I have flavored this pate with herbs, spices and aged balsamic. It is anything but plain. I used US Wellness Meats Grass Fed Beef Liver in this recipe. You can also find good grass fed beef liver locally at Farm Markets or from your local Farmer.

Beef Liver Pate

Beef Liver Pate

Ingredients: 1 lb. of Grass Fed Beef Liver, sliced

2 Cups of Chopped Red Onion

1/4 Cup of Aged Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of Dried Rosemary

1 Tablespoon of Dried Marjoram

1 Tablespoon of Dried Thyme

1 Tablespoon of Turmeric Powder

1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon of Dried Lemon Peel

Directions: In 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil, Sautee the Beef Liver sprinkled with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt over medium high heat.  Cook on one side for five minutes, then flip the liver and cook on the other side until it is cooked through.

Remove the liver from the pan and set aside. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and the chopped red onion. Cook until tender. Sprinkle the rosemary, marjoram, thyme, garlic powder, turmeric, and lemon peel over the onions. Then, cook, stirring until the herbs, spices and onions are fragrant. Add the apple cider vinegar to the pan and deglaze, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom. Add the 1/4 cup of aged balsamic and stir and cook for 30 seconds.

In a food processor, add the cooked liver and the onion mixture. Process until you have a smooth spread, being sure to scrape down the sides a few times. Put your pate in a pretty serving dish, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Before serving, add a pretty spring of fresh herbs to the top like parsley or basil.

Nutrient Dense Superfood, Beef Liver Pate

 

Blueberry Lemon FroYo

Blueberry Lemon FroYo

Fro Yo is one of Summer’s simple pleasures! It has the frozen sensation and creaminess of ice cream, but has the benefit of being healthier, with more protein and probiotics to promote good gut micro flora. Why not take it up a notch further by making your own healthier version with less sugar and more real food goodness like fruit, pure honey, cinnamon and fresh Greek yogurt which is packed with calcium and protein? Here is an easy and super delicious recipe! Feel free to mix up the fruit you use.

Lemon Blueberry Fro Yo, Gut Healthy, No Refined Sugar, Real Ingredients Frozen Yogurt

BLUEBERRY LEMON FROYO

Ingredients:

3 Cups of Greek Yogurt (24 Hour Homemade Yogurt for SCD)

3 Cups of Frozen Blueberries

1/4 Cup of Honey

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

In a food processor, add all the ingredients and pulse, then blend until you have a smooth consistency with most of the blueberry smooth and creamy. Taste to make sure the sweetness is to your liking.

Place your FroYo base into an electric ice cream maker, and churn as directed on your machine. I used this one, and it took 30 minutes.

The FroYo is best eaten immediately, but you can freeze any leftovers in a sealed container, and let it thaw on your counter until soft enough to scoop.

Cookies and Fro Yo

You can find the recipe for the Cashew Lemon Cookies pictured here. 🙂

 

How I Bounce Back from the Holidays and What I’m Eating to Start the New Year and do a Reset!

New Year's Reset - What I'm Doing

The New Year is here, and I’m resetting my taste buds after enjoying the holiday and extra treats.

The number one rule I have when doing a food reset is Don’t Starve Yourself. That just messes up your metabolism and hormones, so don’t be tempted by that. It never works long term.

I am taking out extra sugars, which for me would be maple syrup and honey mostly, but still eating low sugar fruit like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, which are full of nutrition and fiber.

I am making sure I get plenty of low starch vegetables in like spinach, bok choy, artichokes, broccoli, zucchini, Swiss chard, kale, cucumbers, leafy green lettuces, mushrooms, asparagus, fennel (one of my favorites) onions, a little bit of fermented vegetables each day, and Brussels sprouts. I eat as many of these vegetables as I want.

I’m eating complex carbs from vegetables like butternut squash, beets, carrots, and winter squash. You can make “noodles” with butternut squash, beets and zucchini noodles using a spiralizer. (I have this one that suction cups to the counter top and cleans up like a breeze! It’s under $20. now. ) You need adequate protein for each meal like grass fed meat, pastured chicken and seafood such as salmon, and also healthy fats, especially whole food avocados.

I am also prioritizing sleep. Plenty of sleep helps avoid cravings and lowers cortisol levels. High cortisol can cause you to store belly fat and make you crave sweet things more than ever.

I’m drinking plenty of water and clear teas which are perfect hot for this deep freeze we are having in Maryland! My favorite teas are Dandelion Root, Rooibos, Chamomile and Milk Thistle with a piece of ginger root in it. I also have one cup of coffee a day with raw cacao powder, a scoop of collagen and a tablespoon of coconut milk.

I have a shoulder injury at the moment involving the lower trapezius muscle by my right shoulder blade, so weight bearing arm workouts are on hold for now. It’s an injury that occurred last June that healed, and then I re-injured it doing planks again. So, now I’m starting physical therapy to help heal and learning techniques to strengthen that muscle and restore the range of motion to prevent another re-injury. It’s a bummer for me, but you have to take care of your body. Currently my exercise routine looks like this, and I’ll add there is a point of exercise where you feel good and refreshed, and one where you overdo it and feel depleted. You want to avoid feeling depleted. If you can’t recover quickly, then it’s too much. For me what works is twenty minutes in the morning of some form of toning exercise like pilates, resistance bands, cardio step or an exercise ball, and then later in the day a 30 to 40 minute brisk walk, preferable outside, but on the treadmill if the weather isn’t good. I start out my walk with a square of 70% dark chocolate. I’ve been doing this for years, and it works very well for me as a motivator.

Happy, Healthy New Year to Everyone!

Sam

 

 

 

Raspberry, Blackberry, Mango Smoothie

Raspberry Blackberry Mango Smoothie

Are you ready for a super delicious, berry infused, smoothie to jump start your day?

This smoothie has your daily allowance of selenium with the addition of just two Brazil nuts! Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium. Selenium is one of the nutrients that helps regulate thyroid function, as well as boost immunity, and so much more. Learn  more here from Dr. Axe on the benefits of selenium. Other good food sources of selenium are liver, eggs, grass fed beef, yellowfin tuna, cooked halibut, sardines, turkey, and spinach.

The berries in this smoothie are fantastic sources of Vitamin C, Magnesium and Fiber. Mango is great for the skin and digestion, as well as a good source of Vitamin C and Fiber. I added almond butter for healthy fat and some protein, and ground flax. There is an option to add in Grass Fed Collagen (I have it every day in my smoothies no matter what kind I make for my hair, skin, nails and gut health. It is tasteless, and also is a source of protein.) The lime juice gives the smoothie an extra zip like a sweet tart, and coconut water is very hydrating. I just love the flavor and color of this health promoting smoothie!

Raspberry, Blackberry, Mango Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Coconut Water

1/2 Cup of Frozen Raspberries

1/2 Cup of Frozen Blackberries

1/2 Cup of Fresh or Frozen Mango

2 Brazil Nuts (I use this gluten free brand)

1 Tablespoon of Almond Butter

1 Rounded Tablespoon of Grass Fed Collagen (optional)

1 Tablespoon of Lime Juice

1 Rounded Teaspoon of Ground Flax

1/2 Cup of Crushed Ice

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and add a straw. Enjoy!

Sam

 

 

 

 

Health Benefits of Zinc and Recipes to Include it in Your Diet

Health Benefits of Zinc and Recipes to Include it in your Diet

Zinc is a trace mineral and is needed for many important functions in the body. Zinc is not stored in the cells of the body, so it is needed in small amounts consistently. Benefits of zinc are: shorter duration of the common cold, good hair, skin and nails, prevention of age related macular degeneration, help in regulating blood glucose, keeps your immune system strong, and may stabilize cognition according to a six month study in Florida on Alzheimer’s patients.

I reversed a zinc deficiency by adding whole foods containing zinc daily into my diet using food as medicine. When I retested three months later, my zinc levels were normal, and my hair was growing thicker again. Once I started eating the zinc containing foods, I found I craved them and couldn’t get enough for a while. This was most likely my body’s way of saying “Yes! Thank you for listening!”

Those at a greater risk of zinc deficiency are those with gastrointestinal disorders (my case), a vegetarian diet, large iron supplementation, diabetes, chronic diarrhea, and liver or kidney disorders. However it is becoming more common to have mild zinc deficiency world wide due to soil depletion.

According to studies, low level zinc deficiencies are on the rise in the world. Signs you may be deficient in zinc are:

Poor Memory

Brain Fog

Hair Loss

Vision Degeneration

Slow Wound Healing

Weakened Immune System (frequent colds for example)

White Spots on Fingernails

I don’t recommend supplementing with zinc unless you get tested for deficiency and work with a practitioner. However, eating a diet including foods containing great levels of zinc in a whole food form can be very beneficial to preventing or correcting a mild zinc deficiency. Whole foods that are a zinc rich are:

Oysters

Pumpkin Seeds (I use these) (One of the Best Plant Sources of Zinc)

Lamb

Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter also a good source of calcium)

Dark Chocolate (Ya!) Keep it at least 70% Dark or else you are getting too much sugar! I eat Alter Eco Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate that is 85% Cacao and it is melty on the tongue and yummy!

Almonds

Cashews

Chickpeas

Lobster

Beef

Pork

Chicken (Dark Meat)

Yogurt

Cheese (such as cheddar and Swiss)

Here are some delicious recipes you can make at home that are good sources of zinc!

  1. Almond Tahini Grain Free Cookies
  2. Chesapeake Crab Cakes
  3. Chocolate Mocha No Moo Smoothie
  4. Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Bites
  5. Lamb and Pine Nut Meatballs with Swiss Chard
  6. Mango Cashew Chicken Salad
  7. Oven Chuck Roast with Vegetables
  8. Oven Roasted Carrots with Cumin, Lime and Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Pizza Kale Chips
  10. Pumpkin Seed Pesto
  11. Sunflower Pumpkin Seed Crackers

References:

Discovery of Human Zinc Deficiency: It’s Impact on Human Health and Disease

The Emerging Role for Zinc in Depression and Psychosis

Zinc Deficiency Associated with Hypothyroidism: An Overlooked Cause of Severe Alopecia

A 3-Month Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair

Zinc Fact Sheet for Health Professionals NIH

Disclaimer: This medical information is not advice and should not be treated as such. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements or vitamins.   The medical information on this website is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. You must not rely on the information on my website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Pumpkin Seed Pesto - Rich in Zinc and Nutrients

Pumpkin Seeds are rich in zinc, magnesium and plant based omega-3s. But, did you know they make a pretty amazing tasting pesto? Well they do! They almost taste cheesy, and they make a very creamy pesto dip!

This recipe is currently my new favorite dip/spread! It’s quick and easy to make!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Ingredients:

1 Cup Fresh Basil, lightly packed

3/4 of Olive Oil

1/2 Cup of Raw Pumpkin Seeds (the kind that are shelled, I use these)

1 Clove of Fresh Garlic (or you can use garlic infused olive oil)

1 Teaspoon of Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon of Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Directions: Blend the ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. Store in the refrigerator.

Perfect for serving with an appetizer tray. It also makes a delicious sauce to drizzle on chicken and seafood as well as salad!

Enjoy!

Sandra Shields, Certified Health Coach

 

 

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