Archives for category: primal, paleo, crossfit, organic, real food, slow food, baking, raw food, desserts, chocolate

Would you call it cheating on myself if I posted a link to http://www.ronathau.com/ronas-recipes-turkey-cupcakes-gluten-free-paleo-primal-nut-free-grain-free/ my new  recipe on my ‘other’ blog? Go on…they’re REALLY moist and REALLY good, simple to prepare and travel well for any meal or snack. Check ’em out and let me know what you think!

I can NOT believe it’s been a whole YEAR to the DAY since I’ve made a blog post. I’ve still been cooking, experimenting and taking photos though! This post looks sort of bland in color, so I’m seasoning it up by sharing with you a great seasoning salt called KALA NAMAK. Read on…

Today I want to share with you a favorite addition to many dishes in India. I use it here in my cooking often, even when I’m not cooking Indian cuisine.

The ingredient is BLACK SALT.  It’s also called Kala Namak.

two different bags of color black salt, kala namak

Black Salt aka Kala Namak

It’s a silly putty pink gray color and has a distinct smell of sulfur due to it’s high mineral content. It adds a very nice flavor to steak, eggs, vegan salad creations, on nuts, seeds and fruits too. The sulfur properties aren’t so pronounced when you cook with it. Cooking minimizes that trait.  But Kala Namak is also quite nice to sprinkle on to finish foods before eating. It’s quite delicious and even a little addictive because it’s so very unique in it’s subtle, not too salty flavor.

Another benefit of Kala Namak is as a digestive aid. It can help to eliminate gas, heartburn and aid in elimination. It’s one of those interestingly, oddly flavored things that I’m very fond of and utilize regularly in a variety of ways.

 Black salt may contain less sodium than regular sea salt, or table salts. So it can be an alternative on occasion,  to those low sodium or restricted diets. Like Himalayan or Sea Salt, black salt contains trace minerals from volcanic rock. These minerals are what contribute to it’s distinct pinkish color and sulfur smell. Please, don’t let the smell scare you away unless you happen to have a sulfur allergy …try it! You just might find you enjoy it’s use as much as I do.

That’s all for today but I thank you for visiting my blog here and I’ll share more with you soon.
Please also visit me and find more valuable health, diet and healing information at:

http://www.DrRonaThau.com

http://www.BlendEverything.com

http://www.SimplyBeing.com

 

with love

Dr Rona

Last week I was drawn to the special large boxes of fresh, local, beautifully plump fresh figs at Trader Joes. Fresh, California, purple figs. YUM. Knowing they’d not be there for long, I decided to buy two boxes. Also knowing, that’s more than I could possibly eat before they’d begin to grow blue fuzzy, my plan was to make some tea type simple cookies using the figs as the ‘sweet’. I found a recipe (here: http://www.leanmachinenyc.com/almond-fig-bites.html ) that looked delicious and i thought i was making until i realized that she used DRIED, not fresh, figs. lol…but that didn’t stop me. I’d already begun, and was prepared to see it thru–wet figs and all. It all turned out for the best because now I can share BOTH of these recipes for you, here! The fresh fig and almond cookies I prepared are based upon the recipe linked  above.

Normally, I think I’d have realized the recipe above called for dried figs; that’s pretty standard. But with those sweet, ripe, fresh figs right in front of me, I had other ideas. My mind was focused elsewhere (probably drooling over my imagined finished product!)

Things actually turned out well by implementing a few modifications. I thank LeanMachineNYC  for her reply to my email confirming that in fact she did used DRIED figs in her cookies. Her recipe looks delicious. It’ll also be MUCH sweeter and higher on the glycemic index than the recipe below. Either way, these almond fig cookies are wonderful and a tasty treat.

INGREDIENTS

2 c fresh ripe figs (purple or green) (stem removed)

2 1/2 – 4 c fresh almond flour/meal (i ground my own almond flour because I had almonds I’d soaked and dehydrated ~ almond flour is fine to use or use your vitamix or cuisinart to grind your nuts fresh) * see note below about soaking and dehydrating nuts

the amount of flour needed is dependent on the ‘wetness’ of the figs

if desired, up to 1 c of coconut flour or shredded coconut may be substituted for equal amount of almond flour.

4 Tbl chia seeds (or more) chia is a fantastic source of omega 3’s and fiber. It will absorb about 8-10x it’s own weight of H20

1 Orange :juice  plus the 1/2 the rind  (i used an organic valencia)

1-2 tsp. pure vanilla or the 1-2 vanilla beans scraped for the mmmmm paste

2 tsp. coconut oil

sea salt

*optional 1-2 tsp. orange or rose water (I happen to have it – so I used it.) completely optional.

DIRECTIONS

preheat oven to 350 F

1A~ If you plan to prepare  your own almond flour, put 2 cups of almonds (either raw or previously soaked and dehydrated/*see note below) in Vitamix or Food Processor and pulse to make in to fine flour/meal. Avoid leaving on the “on” setting to prevent from turning to almond BUTTER. Add fresh figs, orange juice and rind to this mixture after the almonds pulverize to flour/meal. or…

1B~ If you are using packaged almond flour/meal , pulverize the figs with the juice of the orange and rind in the Vitamix or Food Processor and then add the almond meal and combine.

If you add coconut flour or shredded coconut, combine with figs or almonds as directed above. The same directions for coconut as for the almond flour/meal.

Once step(s) 1A or 1B are complete, add the coconut butter, chia seeds, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt and orange water to the mixture.

You want your batter to have a stick together consistency. You should be able to form the cookie in your hands. If the batter is too wet, add some more almond flour, coconut flour or shreds and/or some more chia seeds to bind the excess moisture and get a nice workable dough that you can handle and shape.

Use a scoop (I used a 2 Tbl scoop) to form your cookies, then rolled them in my hands and flattened. Place cookie on to coconut oil greased baking pans and flatten (as you would a peanut butter cookie)

COOKING

Bake @ 350 for aprox 50 minutes until firm and browned. These cookies are more soft than crunchy. They freeze well and are delicious as a cookie sandwich with sugar free jam in between two. I used a tsp. of Crofters Europe Superfruit jam. Results? >>> YUM-ME!!!

*Note: Many believe it’s best to soak nuts before eating to remove enzyme inhibitors. These inhibit the seed to grow and can make digestion difficult. Soaking and drying the nuts make them taste like they’ve been roasted and make them easier on the digestive system. If you do not own  a dehydrator, you can soak, rinse and dry your nuts on a low temperature in the oven.

Some home ovens even have a dehydration setting as do many convection toaster ovens. Dehydrate around 105-115 degrees until crisp. ~soaked nuts that haven’t been dehydrated can be consumed (be sure to rinse well) but they taste funny and sort of  wet and soggy.

EnJoY

wItH lOtS oF lOvE…

Dr RoNa

Single living has pros and cons. When it comes to cooking and eating, single sized portions & potential leftover quantities need to be considered and juggled to allow for eating a variety of foods and flavors. Both to not be boring, but also to give the body a well rounded variety of nutrients it uses and needs to rebuild and thrive. Food is good medicine, probably the best medicine to stay healthy so treat it as such and you won’t be sick so much!

I prefer fresh food over frozen any day. I try to think ahead about  what might be leftover because I don’t like freezing food. It never tastes good to me. Most things have a really different & unappealing texture–except for maybe cookies and chocolate! So I figure it’s good to talk about what to look for and how to remember to

1. Play with fresh seasonal ingredients

2. Buy what looks appealing without buying TOO much for one (or two, or four, or eight for that matter)!

I’ve always prided myself @ being  good at cooking for an army of people. Too often I can overestimate what’s really needed. Cooking for ONE can be hard… I should say it requires some understand since most packages of food contain more than one person can consume. In contrast but along the same lines, when there’s some lovely produce or product @ the market, sometimes it does pay to buy in bulk.

Probably like you, I don’t want to waste food. There are people starving in my town and around the world. Plus, it’s an unnecessary waste of energy, resources and money.

There’s a fine line between having enough variety but without food spoilage! Do you ever find that your eyes are bigger than your stomach??? I do. Sometimes I over buy. I’m still learning how to get just the right quantity. Maybe one day I’ll figure out a formula–but until then here’s how I like to shop.

Unless there’s something specific I need,  I keep my eyes peeled for fresh items that look appealing. I follow my gut instincts and senses about what I want to eat and how much to buy. You can’t plan BEFORE you go shopping because you don’t know what will look good when you’re at the store/CSA or farmers market. That’s why i find it’s more challenging to make a specific meal plan rather than plan by what looks fresh and tasty.

For instance, when shopping the other day and looking around the bins of seeds, nuts and dried fruits; I came upon these gigantic, plump, amazingly delicious looking Turkish Figs. (photo left) Even the store clerk commented when she saw me scooping the last of them from the bin. She said that she had more (the bin was down to the bottom of the batch), but she said she was rather certain that they wouldn’t be like these. I concurred and scooped out the last of the bin. Mine all mine! I’m on a limited carbohydrate and dried fruit eating plan too. None the less, the quality of these beauties were not to be left behind. They’ll keep well and I’ll use them for grainless granola and some cooking and occasional snack. And so it goes. When the “gettins good”…get.

When you  shop you just have to trust that you’ll pick right. You may want to have a loose plan, but oh please do not pass by the beautiful (whatever amazing item you weren’t planning on buying) because your meal plan calls for a slightly different ingredient. Allow yourself the flexibility to tip and bend  and streeeeeeetch gracefully outside any menu or ingredient lists.

My feeling is Quick and Healthy is Good and Simple no matter how you do it. Bottom line: Pick healthy fresh food. You can not go wrong.

Fly on my apron strings and explore putting together WHATEVER YOU have on hand ~ in a way that’s simple, tasty and nutritious.

A few days ago, I was @ Whole Foods and I saw they had some beautiful, fresh, Wild Salmon. I knew I wanted to get some. It happened to be on sale too. I was TEMPTED to buy more than I needed, (twice as much) but quickly realized the 1.5 lb fillet on the scale MORE than adequately suited my needs and that had I gone for more I would have had to freeze it. For me, not worth it.

The salmon I got was plenty  for  3-4 meals. The first evening I cooked it up searing it in the pan with bacon fat and apples and just a little salt and pepper. I paired the fish with some chayote squash cooked with some wheat free tamari night one. The night after, I put together the arugula, leek & lemon (all of which were in the frig and needed to be used) recipe I’m sharing below, and topped it with cool leftover salmon. It had really nice flavor and pleased me because I’d just put together what I had in the vegetable bin that needed to be used. Oh happy day!

QUICK LEMON ARUGULA & LEEKS with (leftover) PAN SEARED FRESH WILD SALMON cooked with Granny Smith Apple

serves 1 (adjust quantity to serve more easily)

1/2 bag TJ’s organic arugula

1 small leek, bulb only

1/2 – 1 organic lemon (juice)

left over wild salmon or fresh hot salmon or your choice of protein (fish, pork, beef, lamb, chicken and eggs would all pair nicely)

Directions:

in a hot skillet add 1-2 tsp bacon fat (or your choice of oil)

add sliced leek and saute for about 30 seconds

add juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 bag (about 3 oz) organic arugula

stir/mix and saute until arugula is wilted (about 3-5 minutes)

add more  lemon juice to taste

the flavor was fantastic. i didn’t add any salt or pepper~i didn’t feel it needed any but season with salt and pepper to your taste (taste first though!)

Salmon:  

I seared the salmon, skin side down in organic bacon fat. It was cooked on a medium – medium/low heat skin side down until cooked part way through. My fillet was rather thick. The trick I’ve learned is to cook it skin down until cooked about 1/3 of the way through, flip and cook until just underdone, remove from heat and let the fish continue to cook through without over cooking as it rests. This prevents dried out fish.

I seasoned this salmon with a little dried dill, tri color pepper, and a splash of garlic. As it was cooking, I decided to cut up 2 small granny smith apples and add them to the pan to add flavor. This is completely optional. Peaches would work and taste great instead, too. Plain salmon or cooked with a fruit (or tomato) up to you and what you may have on hand or see that looks yummy to you.

Here are my leftovers (right):

Night one I ate the fresh hot salmon with chayote sauteed in (wheat free) tamari. (pic below) That’s the 1.5 lbs of salmon, chayote and apples all on one plate~kinda crowded~sorry I don’t have a real platter for ‘show’. It’s just me. 🙂

Night two I had the salmon room temp with the arugula and lemon leek mix. mmmmm Splendid. (photo below)

Funny, but I haven’t eaten the apples I cooked with the fish. When I taste them I’ll amend the post. I’m guessing they’ll taste good with something…

*addendum: the apples have a nicely rounded flavor slightly lemon, lightly sweet (but not sugary) and savory from being cooked with the salmon in the bacon fat. nice.

i highly recommend this simple lemon leek arugula. Give it a try and post your comment below 🙂

EnJoY and be cReAtIvE

LoVe

rona ❤

Can I tell you a secret? I guess it’s not really a secret. I like fennel a lot. Please, don’t bail out here if you don’t, because I promise, you can make this with something different if fennel isn’t a flavor you fancy or you don’t care for it. But~give it a chance. Make your decision afterwards. Braising it in the butter and orange minimizes it’s pungent flavor to a very subtle hint. In the meantime, here’s what you’ll need on hand to prepare this fresh and flavor bursting dish; I’ll provide some options for you at the end so we can still be friends.

INGREDIENTS (click any photo to enlarge)

(I made this with 3 breasts; you can easily make more, or less)

3 turkey breasts (boneless skinless) sliced lengthwise not all the way through

1 large fennel bulb sliced

1 organic valencia orange

2 tsp unsalted organic butter (may substitute with bacon fat, coconut or olive oil)

a few slices of red onion (optional)

1 bunch organic cilantro

1/3 fresh medium pineapple in chunks or 3/4 1lb can pineapple drained

pink or sea salt

pepper (i like the tri color from trader joes in the grinder)

DIRECTIONS

Slice the breasts lengthwise but not all the way through so you can open them up like a book (you’ll be putting the fennel and onion inside and closing them up again to cook).

Season the inside of the breast with salt and pepper.

Slice the fennel while 2 tsp of butter are melting in a hot pan. Add the fennel to the melted butter and saute until softening slightly, about 2-3 minutes on a low-medium flame.

Squeeze the juice of 1 valencia orange on to the fennel and continue to cook until the fennel begins to lightly caramelize, about 5-7 minutes depending on how finely the fennel is cut. Let the fennel cool enough to handle.

Stuff the breasts with as much fennel as you like or will fit along with a few pieces of red onion (optional). It adds a nice sweetness once cooked along with pretty purple color.

Fold the breasts back to as close to their original shape as you can after stuffing.

I didn’t tie or tether them closed but you could with twine or a toothpick. I found my filling stayed inside nicely.

Turning the breasts with tongs was extremely helpful to maintain the integrity of the filling & keep it inside.

Into a hot, oiled skillet place the breasts to cook over a low-medium heat. Sear and Cook until the bottom layer is just beginning to turn white towards the middle, then flip with tongs. If you don’t own tongs, flip with a spatula, and use caution to not spill the contents.

Continue cooking on this side until JUST right~maybe even a tad UNDERdone and let rest to finish cooking.

*A meat thermometer might be handy, but no worries~just do not eat pink turkey. I used to cut in to my meat to visualize if it was done. Now I just know when to shut off the heat. Be sure your poultry is cooked. You’ll get the gist of when to turn off the heat once you cook breasts a few times I promise.

The addition of the pineapple chunks in the pan once the breasts are turned helps steam and cook the breasts perfectly.

While the turkey finishes cooking, blend the cilantro and pineapple in a small food processor. Chop/grind until pulverized.

The sauce will be sort of thick. I used a full bunch of organic cilantro with about 1/2 c fresh pineapple chunks and two lychee nuts.

*The lychee is a lovely addition but not necessary. I just happened to have some fresh ones on hand (they’re the light heart shaped things in the  photo on the plate with cilantro and pineapple @ 11 o’clock. The magenta skin has been peeled. You’ll see it’s shiny brown pit to the right.)

OPTIONS:

I promised you didn’t need to bail. If you don’t have fennel, won’t try fennel or want to prepare your stuffed breasts another way, try sauteed shiitake, crimini or portabello mushrooms with tomatoes (fresh or sundried) and thyme, sage or oregano. Add a little sheep milk feta, ricotta asiago, provolone or mozzarella cheese…mmm, beautiful. Lots of options. As the fall and winter months come upon us, you might even stuff the the turkey breasts with pumpkin, butternut, acorn or kombucha squash and season with some cinnamon, ginger, cloves or pumpkin pie spice! (there are ALWAYS options!) Feel free to comment or email me with your questions or creations!

Always EnJoY with Lots of LoVe

Dr Rona 🙂

yes...that's an m&m plate 😀

Silly, simple, succulent success. So fast and easy my dad could do it.  It’s possible to add anything to it but time was of the essence! I was hungry and all I wanted was fast, easy, flavorful protein, quickly.

ITEMS TO HAVE ON HAND:

1. Ground Turkey breast 1.44 lbs made 4 good sized burgers

* if you prefer, make meat balls (more time consuming to roll but would be delicious too.

Options are good aren’t they? I say yes!

2. Capers

3. Olive oil or spray for pan (yes people, you know who you are, your bacon grease is perfectly acceptable here)

4. Salt (sea or pink)

5. Pepper (tri color is great)

6. Left over veggies or veggie(s) of choice ~ anything you have on hand will do. Fresh is preferable.

7. (optional) sauce

8. (optional) cheese

DIRECTIONS

Heat skillet with olive oil, bacon grease, or spray

assemble burgers (or balls).

I simply opened my package of meat, scored into 4 pieces and made a large ball with each then flattened to a potato looking shape

Next, poke finger holes (about 4-5 in each piece)

Add 1-2 (2-3?) capers in each hole then shape burgers and flatten covering up the caper pockets.

I chose to reheat fennel I had cooked in the same pan; but any vegetable can be incorporated INTO the burger, or cooked on the side.

This was such a fast process that by the time my pan was hot, my capered turkey burgers were shaped and ready to sear.

All burgers go in the pan and get seasoned on top there. After seasoning, I added my cold fennel and 1/2 oz of raw romano sliced on top of the fennel (i like the taste of the browned cheese mmm)

Cook, flip, cook second side and let rest…

Usually, I undercook slightly so the white meat doesn’t dry out

The capers add a beautiful burst of moisture and fabulous flavor

Easy, Simple, Healthy and a burger (or ball) with a Sweet & Salty zest. Quite Yummy in the tummy.

Eat ’em up!

Pair with just about any vegetable. Try sweet potatoes, squash, eggplant, onions, turnips, string beans any type of greens or a simple salad.

If you make turkey balls, try this sauce from Trader Joe’s. You might even want to sauce your burgers! ~ The sauce ~ it’s not organic but it’s got nice ingredients (including CAPERS!). Seems tasty. I tried it at the store and got a jar.

Options, additions and other musings to try:

*make it a meat loaf

*add an egg or two to the meat

*season with fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, oregano (i’m especially fond of greek oregano), rosemary and lemon rind

Options are a good thing. I’m sure of it. Nothing is written in stone except the 10 commandments. So work it, have fun, play and EnJoY the flavors!

LoVe,

dR  RoNa

caper (verb)[intrans] to skip or dance about in a lively, playful way

As promised I’m posting the recipe for the Pear Muffins. They were GOING to be cupcakes but I never got around to making the frosting. The poll results from feeding friends and neighbors is definitely more than 2 thumbs up.

Remember, I’m all about flexibility….so….if pears aren’t in season (and you’re making with fresh ingredients) choose apples, crispy persimmons (if u are a flavor savour like me)

If You do choose something requiring no food processor, like applesauce, pear sauce, apricot sauce, etc. Be SURE to READ THE INGREDIENT LABEL and choose the kind that’s got NO ADDED SUGAR (and of course~no artificial sweeteners added).

So you’ve been patient. Let’s get to it.

Dr. Rona’s Fresh Pear Muffin Cake Cupcakes (frosted cupcake to come in another post~promise)

INGREDIENTS and tools needed:

5 fresh ripe pears

1/2 lemon

2 organic bananas

2 organic x-l/jumbo eggs (use 3 eggs if smaller)

2  1/4 – 2 1/2 c almond flour/meal (may substitute unsweetened shredded coconut for up to 1/2 cup of almond meal)

2 T chia seeds (black or white) (ground golden flax may be substituted but i highly recommend the chia)

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. cardamom

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 rounded tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3 T + 1 tsp Olive oil (may be substituted with another oil, or melted butter)

2 T european yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, or cream (optional)

2T maple syrup, honey, yakon syrup or agave (optional)*if added sweetness is desired or use 3-4 pitted dates (soaked), 1 oz raisins or prunes

tools:

mixing spoon(s) or whisk

food processor if using fresh fruit

muffin pan (i used standard size muffin pan. if minis are used cooking time will decrease~if you prefer a cake pan, also modify cooking times to suit)

muffin tin liners (optional but helpful)

cooking oil spray (to spray pan or liners)

DIRECTIONS: (pre-heat oven to 350)

Cut and core pears

In a food processor, mix cut pears, and 1/2 lemon (rind included) pulse until nearly smooth

add 1 (ONE) peeled ripe banana to the puree and pulse to incorporate. If using dates or raisins add in and pulse into the puree here.

(this mixture yields aprox 2 1/3 – 2 1/2c. pureed fruit )

Transfer the pear and banana puree to a large mixing bowl and add 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla, spices 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and  stir or whisk to blend.

Next, add in 3 T + 1 tsp. olive oil/coconut oil or melted butter, 2 xl/jumbo organic eggs and yogurt (optional). Mix all in to a smooth batter. *if using maple syrup, honey, agave or yakon, add here.

Add the second (peeled & sliced) banana to the batter along with 2 T chia seeds, and 2 1/4 c almond meal/flour and stir until all the flour mixes throughly.

Add baking powder and soda to incorporate.

Do not over mix.

For muffins or cupcakes, line muffin tin with liners and spray lightly with olive oil spray/schpritzer. For cake pan spray, lightly oil or butter pan to avoid sticking.

Transfer batter to 3/4  fill muffin cups

Bake @ 350 for 35-40 minutes or until center of muffin is firm, golden brown and a toothpick removes cleanly from the center.

Due to the nature of fresh fruits and slight variations these muffins if not baked long enough~ have a wet center. An extra 5-10 minutes makes all the difference. Look for the golden brown firm top.

Yields aprox 2 dozen muffins

Do not open oven too early to avoid cakes falling. *note baking times may vary due to size and calibration of your oven*

(frosting recipe will follow sometime soon)

These muffins are a huge hit; and make a wonderful snack or addition to any meal.

E n J o Y

lOvE…

dr rona



I made this BURGER today after a really nice workout. For a while now I’ve been meaning to make something combining the Spicy Italian Sausages from Trader Joes with some Ground Turkey Breast & today it manifested itself just perfectly.

Here’s what I combined:

Rona’s PACKED Primal Burgers (yields 4-6 big burgers)

12 oz ground turkey breast

2 spicy italian sausages (trader joes; casings removed) *

2 organic omega 3 eggs

2 oz raw cave aged gruyere cheese cut in small cubes (optional)**

handful fresh organic green beans (aprox 2-3 oz) cut into 1/2 “ pieces***

3 small campari tomatoes sliced or cubed (any type of tomato will work well)

sea salt

tsp. dried organic oregano

1/2 tsp. dried organic thyme

1/4 tsp. organic dried rosemary

cooking oil (organic olive) for pan or to grease baking dish


*

DIRECTIONS:

in a large mixing bowl

first

mix the meats and the egg

then add cheese (optional)

veggies

and spices

mix well and shape

*

COOKING METHOD(S):

pan fry, bbq, or bake as a primal packed meat loaf

or make little

meat balls for an appetizer or a YUMMY snack PACKED with protein & goodness (and Love).


Enjoy plated with some delightful crisp organic beans or on the go.


***NOTES:

*i used pork but the chicken italian sausages can be substituted
**your favorite cheese can be used. i love the 12 mo. caved aged raw gruyere @ tj’s (black label)
***green beans are in season now, substitute other root or crispy veggies for variety, color and flavor! ENJOY!
*
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