Just A Little Something From Me to You!

 With a lot of help from Sheree Alderman and Michael McClendon, beets-2we are finally able to present to our readers our first e-booklet covering the recipes posted last year in a usable PDF format! Yay!

Magic Mousse, Broth, Dumplings, Smoothies, Gravy… it’s all there! To get your copy, all you have to do is: Click on the link FoodTalk4U 2014 Recipes and wella!! Just follow the prompts on top of the screen on the right hand side to download it!

I am followFood-talk-4-u-Keystone-Habit-(1)Ring ‘my bliss’ (see recent blog by same name) by delving into writing my first book! It is designed to go along with the ‘Designed for Health’ series that I teach here in New Bern, North Carolina, a couple times a year but will certainly be a helpful guide for any reader! It’s still unfolding before my eyes, and I look forward to seeing it in my hands… and YOUR hands!

Book writing and self-publishing sad-writerrepresents such an exciting learning curve! I am reading more than ever, above and beyond the daily food and wellness research; and then, of course, there’s the writing. Writing, writing, writing. I am trying to garner more resources for you and put together tools for you that will guarantee your personal success at a higher, more complete level of wellness than you ever imagined!

In the meantime, how does your plate look?

Here are two representations that summarize what I have been talking about:

1) The goal

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2) How breakfast might be composed.

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What’s the ‘green stuff’ in breakfast? Well, usually, I will grab 2 or 3 handfuls of baby spinach or a baby spinach/baby kale combination and throw them into my enamel non-stick pan with ‘happy butter’ from grass fed cows, similarly sourced Ghee, coconut oil or olive oil, and wilt the leaves. It’s a cinch! Stir those babies around a minute and they’re done! Add some pink Himalayan salt or lemon pepper, and you’re all set!

Food-Talk-4-U-Eggs-2Or…you can reheat last night’s leftover greens. Really, once you start doing this, breakfast will look funny without some healthy greens. Asparagus? Go for it! Sprouts? Green beans? Do it!

I always try to keep some mushrooms around. If they are not leftover, start them first in the pan and when they are finishing browning on the second side, scoot the mushrooms to one side of the pan and cook the spinach. After plating the veggies, you are ready to cook your eggs. Or….you can whip up the eggs, start cooking them, then add the veggies for an easy omelet!

See, you do not have to be a Master Chef to take control of your Female chef in restaurant kitchennutritional destiny!

It is so easy!

Enjoy the FoodTalk4U 2014 Recipes

Deidre

Love Your Bones

Nothing says “I love you” to your bones like a fresh batch of broth!

Geez, it’s the season for hearts, flowers, cupid, strawberries and chocolates…and you give me broth?

Yup! We are getting ready to put up the first annual foodtalk4you recipe book which includes my take on broth, but thought I’d do a special post to review the benefits of broth. Many thanks to Paul Stevens from the Star News in Wilmington, NC for interviewing me for his article which ran in the Sun Journal and all of its affiliate papers on Feb. 4, 2015! What an honor to have been included in ‘brothing’ opinions! Catch my 15 seconds of reading fame:

“Deidre Edwards, a wellness educator in New Bern, has written passionately about broth’s benefits on her blog (www.foodtalk4you.com) and teaches how to make it at home in her “Designed for Health” workshops.

“’There is a big interest toward more nutritionally dense food, and bone broth is a way to achieve that,” Edwards said, explaining that many of the attendees at her classes, which are offered for free at New Bern’s First Baptist Church, are concerned about bone health. “Meds for osteoporosis have heavy-duty side effects. Extracting the minerals from a rich bone broth, along with weight-bearing exercises, is a natural way to get stronger bones.’”

Indeed, bone health needs to be at the forefront of our minds at any age. Poor diets, sedentary lifestyles, and eschewing any and all sunlight without benefit of sunscreen all contribute to weaker bones for both sexes. The ability to actually build stronger bones declines as we age, so if you can start that decline with stronger bones, the better it is. The combination of clean, nutrient-dense foods, bone broth, weight-bearing exercises, and sun shine all work together to build stronger bones at any age.

Yes, direct sunlight on skin is important for bone health! Remember the “Sunshine Vitamin D”? But what about skin cancer? I am not asking everyone to strip down, head to the beach, and fry! But according to the experts I have been reading, 10-15 minutes several times a week, if not daily, is not only okay but desirable. Being fair-skinned myself, I can actually start burning pretty quickly, but I try to get some direct sun for a few minutes every day. Mind you, I never leave the house without putting on my facial sun screen, but before covering all exposed parts with sun screen, I definitely enjoy a walking spin around the yard (especially in warmer weather) to soak up a few rays.

Vitamin D supplementation may also be a consideration for you. Friends of mine actually have been tested for Vitamin D levels and are taking prescription strength dosages. I take my over-the-counter Vitamin D with my morning supplements. Some where I read something about taking vitamin D in the morning being a more natural time to take it, day time, -duh- and that taking it at night might contribute to sleep troubles. Made sense to me.

So, back to the broth. Once it is made and strained of the bones (now broken up and falling apart) as well as the over-cooked veggies, it’s time to either A) strain it again with a fine mesh sieve so it is totally drinkable, or B) make soup out of it. Strangely enough, this rich broth is rather mild tasting. I have never found the chicken broth I make to be very chicken-y tasting. You can add all kinds of veggies but a strong essence of anything is lacking unless the spice shelf is opened up and used. My personal favorite is Penzey’s Bavarian Seasoning which is an herb-filled, salt-free, meat and poultry sprinkle. The need for added seasoning is not stressed enough in the recipe which is as follows:

 

Better Bone Broth and Soup

Many people advocate drinking one cup a bone broth everyday as an elixir for everything from stronger bones to improved over-all health! Make sure your bone broth is up to snuff and you know how to tell the difference! Using a large stock pot, add the following:

Ingredients for flavoring the broth

LOTS of bony pieces of meat, preferably from grass fed animals or free range chickens. We’re talking more than one rotisserie chicken carcass! Today, I used a family pack sized tray of chicken wing parts containing just the two-boned half of the wing, not the single boned mini drumettes. If possible, add 3-4 chicken feet (just don’t tell your family!) which will give added nutrients and the desired “gelling” goodness. For a beef broth, beef knuckles and ox-tails work great.

2-3 carrots cut up into 1-2 inch chunks

2-3 ribs celery cut up into 1-2 inch chunks

½-1 onion cut up into 1 inch ‘square’ chunks

2-4 Tbs. apple cider vinegar which helps extract minerals from the bones

2 Tbs. unflavored gelatin (I use Great Lakes brand for its purity)

Large handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. ground porcini mushroom powder for an amazing “umami” factor!

2 tsp. poultry seasoning if using chicken

1-2 bay leaves, fresh thyme and/or oregano, and garlic if using beef

12-24 hours of cooking time, preferably divided.

Method for broth

Fill the remainder of the stock pot with water. I cook my bone broth for about 8 hours one day, cool it off in a cold water bath, refrigerate overnight, skim off congealed fat, check for gelling which shows how far along the way the broth is- the more gelled, the better- and return to a gentle simmer. IF using meaty bones and you want that meat as a part of a soup, remove the meat after 2-3 hours of simmering and return the bones, cartilage, and skin to the broth for the rest of the cooking time. Refrigerate the meat and use for the soup making later on. Add the parsley in the last hour or two of the cooking time.

Strain the broth using a large colander to remove big chunks and if desiring a really clear broth for daily drinking, strain again using a fine mesh strainer.

Method for soup

Add fresh cut up vegetables to the strained broth, simmer to desired doneness, return meat to the soup, adjust seasoning and serve.

 

Nut Dumplings for Chicken Soup

Now that you have a rich and healthful chicken broth from the preceding recipe, you can create a hearty meal with the addition of nutritionally-dense veggie choices and add some fun dumplings that will add to the nutritive factor and will thicken the soup as well.

Ingredients for Dumplings

½ cup tapioca flour

1 ½ cups slivered or sliced almonds

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. poultry seasoning

1/3 cup cooled broth

Method for Dumplings

Using a food processor, grind the almonds into a fine flour. Add the tapioca flour, salt, and poultry seasoning and pulse several times to combine. Add the cooled soup broth and pulse until a soft dough forms. Drop teaspoon-sized dumplings into soup that is at a gentle boil. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Soup ideas

While bags of frozen veggies are a quick way to ‘flesh out’ a good soup, chopping up fresh veggies is too! But even if you use a bag of frozen veggies, you definitely will want to add some leafy greens and other sources of great nutrition. Consider these:

  • Tear up several sheets of sea weed “paper”
  • Add broccoli florets
  • Slice up kale, chard, or spinach leaves into strips
  • Grate a fresh beet to change the soup to Borsch!
  • Add zoodles!
  • Add a handful of chopped parsley

Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

It’s A Ten Carrot Day!

Not those kind of carats... unfortunately....
Not those kind of carats… unfortunately…

 

It is so economical of time and effort to engage in periodic cook-a-thons; they save on food prep and clean-up time. Such was yesterday afternoon when my kitchen was all about carrots—shredded carrots. No use dirtying up the food processor three separate times … just do it all in one day and create three nutritious recipes!

Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

1 broccoli crown- stem removed and tiny florets created

2 celery stalks, sliced lengthwise and cut into small ¼ inch pieces

¼ red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise and cut into small thin slices

¼ cup red onion cut into thin semi-circular slices

1 cup shredded carrots

Handful of Craisins (cranberry raisins)

2 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled

Just enough mayonnaise to “glue” things together. I use Duke’s because it has the fewest number of ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup.

1 Tbs. coconut milk

Salt

Pepper

Method

Start with maybe a 1/3-1/2 cup mayonnaise, stir in the coconut milk to thin it, and season with salt and pepper.

Toss all ingredients into mayonnaise mixture, adjust seasonings, and enjoy!

Carrot Salad Carrot Salad

Shredded carrots—quantity is up to you

Handful of golden raisins

Minimum quantity of mayonnaise

1 Tbs. of coconut milk to thin the mayonnaise

Salt

Method

Thin the mayonnaise with coconut milk and season with salt. Add carrots and raisins. Combine well. Adjust seasoning.

Carrot PearMuffin Mix Up Nut Muffins

About 2 cups shredded carrots

1 pear, shredded

½ tsp. Anise seed

½ cup coconut flour

1 cup hazelnut flour

Hand-full of activated walnuts (remember: soaked and dehydrated)

Walnuts
Walnuts

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

tsp soda

¼ cup sugar

2 Tbs. coconut oil, melted

Method

Put carrots, pear, anise seeds, salt, both flours, nuts, and melted oil into a large bowl and combine well.

Whip eggs with a whisk, add brown sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine well. Pour wet ingredients into carrot mixture and mix well. If the batter is too wet, add a bit more coconut flour 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring well after each spoonful.

Carrot Pear Nut Muffin
Carrot Pear Nut Muffin

Put batter into a greased muffin pan or use baking cup liners. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven or 325 degree convection oven for 25-30 minutes until toothpick can come out clean once inserted into the middle of a muffin. Yield: one dozen.

All a part of a well-rounded dinner: raw broccoli salad, raw carrot salad, one muffin, sliced left-over steak with sautéed mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper. Even Mr. Virgil liked the muffins…They were sweet enough for him even though they are super low sugar! Yay!

The Ten Carrot Plate
The Ten Carrot Plate

Best wishes for successful cooking! Remember to breathe, walk in the sunshine and fresh air, do a few slow-motion squats and counter top push-ups. It’s been a few days since the last time I did those moves and after just five or six “slo-mo” squats and push-ups, I feel decidedly more invigorated and tighter around the tummy! So little work and so much benefit!

Deidre