Egg Cocette

I recently read one of Suzy’s posts about making baked egg cocettes, and since we had just gotten fresh eggs from some friends, this seemed like the perfect dish to make.

I modified ours to use some of the vegetables we already had. I sautéed some chopped potatoes until they were soft, then added in some spring onions and bacon, because bacon makes everything good. I added spinach into the pan until it wilted and put all of the vegetables into the bottom of two small dishes. I cracked two eggs into each dish and topped them with fresh cut herbs before pouring on about half a cup of half and half. I baked ours at 350, a little on the longer side, around 25 minutes because I do not like runny eggs. We topped them with salt and pepper and some chives, and it made for a delicious dinner!

I have some asparagus in the fridge now, and I’m thinking that would make a really nice vegetable base for the next cocettes we make.

Dietary Guidelines

I’ve been browsing around the Weston A. Price Foundation website lately and just stumbled upon their dietary guidelines. I’ve been quite intrigued by the foundation’s take on traditional foods, and have been reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and Nourishing Traditions lately. They are both large, technical books to get through, but I have been learning so much about REAL food! In time, I will share with you some of the things I’ve been learning, but for now I’ll leave you with their dietary guidelines.

  1. Eat whole, natural foods.
  2. Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before they do.
  3. Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, game, organ meats and eggs.
  4. Eat whole, naturally-produced milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as whole yogurt, cultured butter, whole cheeses and fresh and sour cream.
  5. Use only traditional fats and oils including butter and other animal fats, extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame and flax oil and the tropical oils—coconut and palm.
  6. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in salads and soups, or lightly steamed.
  7. Use whole grains and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.
  8. Include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
  9. Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use liberally in soups and sauces.
  10. Use herb teas and coffee substitutes in moderation.
  11. Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
  12. Use unrefined Celtic sea salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
  13. Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and expeller expressed flax oil.
  14. Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder.
  15. Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.
  16. Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.
  17. Use only natural supplements.
  18. Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
  19. Think positive thoughts and minimize stress.
  20. Practice forgiveness.

Produce Box

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Monday’s are always better when I get to pick up our produce box. I get seriously excited about picking up the produce – although I will confess that I still dislike mushrooms, and as you can see, we got lots of them this month!

So far we’ve indulged in Greek style green beans, grapefruit/carrot/beet/ginger juice, raw bell peppers for snacking, and roasted potatoes and onions.

Perfect French Toast

We often eat bacon and waffles for breakfast on Saturday mornings, but some weekend breakfasts call for an extra special meal – french toast. It is only recently that I started loving french toast – previously when I had made it I felt like it was too soggy and too eggy. I would definitely eat it, but it wasn’t my favorite thing.

One day we randomly happened to catch an episode of America’s Test Kitchen on tv, and they were making french toast. It looked so delicious that we went out the next day to buy bread so we could test their recipe.

It was unbelievably delicious.

The secret to making perfect french toast is to use challah bread. It is made from eggs and is nice and dense. We have been able to find it at our local bakery (Stick Boy) and some of our grocery stores. Just so you know, it’s pronounced “halla”. That way you won’t feel as self-conscious buying as I did.

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Slice it an inch thick and let it get nice and dry in the oven.

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Soak it in the egg and milk mixture for exactly 20 seconds on each side.

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Cook it with butter.

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Pour on real maple syrup.

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And enjoy!

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Since this isn’t my own recipe, I’m not going to type it out here, but you can get it on America’s Test Kitchen website. You will have to register as a user to view the recipe, but it is free and worth it!

Food

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore.

Seriously dwelling on this food for thought today.

Attacking stress

Sorry for the silence. It’s been quite busy around here the past few weeks.

I had been working on a very large proposal at work that finally got submitted Friday at 11:23 am – right before the 11:59 am deadline. This proposal had been worked on by more than 30 people, and at least 3,800 hours had gone into the creation of it. It was worth about $60 million in food and cash, and I was responsible for pulling together all of the documents that people had worked on. It was a lot of pressure and long hours. As soon as it was submitted, I came home and took a nap!

It’s amazing how tempting it is to fall into bad habits when the stress level rises. It’s kind of a viscous cycle – little sleep, caffeine, fast food, and it starts again. I tried to focus on giving my body healthy things so that I had energy to get everything done, but I did still eat chick fil a twice!

My parents got me a sweet food processor for Christmas, and it has a juicer attachment, so I’ve been making lots of delicious juice. My favorite is still grapefruit, carrot, ginger though. I could drink it every day! The combination of tart, sweet and hint of ginger is just so delicious.

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I also tried these oatmeal bars this week and can attest that they are delicious. They kept me fueled for the long days. I used honey instead of maple syrup and added chocolate chips and dehydrated blueberries. They pack a punch of energy!

Our produce share had awesome things in it this week – it was very exciting. Matt made me an avocado, tomato, spinach sandwich with a slice of provolone cheese and a hint of oregano on dense 12 grain bread. It was delicious, and I ate at least three of them throughout the week.

We also powered up on lots of fruit and vegetable smoothies.

So, here is to more nourishing foods and rest this weekend!

Grapefruit, Orange, Ginger Juice and Pear Bread

It’s cold outside. Even when our house thermostat is set for 70, I am still cold. It’s funny how winter makes you slow down. Even though I hate the cold weather, I really appreciate the opportunity to rest and relax. It’s like my own time to hibernate. I can’t stay out working in the garden until the last bit of light fades at 9. I don’t really want to leave the house once we get home from work, and if I do go anywhere it’s to Espresso so I can have coffee and read, while getting out of the house. Most days after work I come straight home, crawl under my puffy-puff (down blanket) and read or watch episodes of Netflix. I’m currently on season 4 of both Frasier and How I Met Your Mother. Seriously, what would we do without Netflix?! I’m sure it would help if we went to the gym after work, you know since we have a gym membership that we haven’t used since we started it in December, but it’s just too cold and I’m just too lazy. So instead I’ve been trying to make us more nutrient rich foods so that we’ll have energy to make it through the winter.

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Grapefruit, carrot, ginger juice and pear bread – it’s what we’ve been having for breakfast this week.

The juice was made with 4 grapefruits, 10 carrots and a good inch cube of peeled ginger root. I would use more but I don’t think Matt would drink it. I love ginger – it’s pretty much my favorite thing to eat. As a side note, did you know that most ginger-ales don’t actually have ginger in them? That’s right – take a peek at the ingredients on that can you’re drinking to help settle your stomach, and I think you’ll be surprised! I like to drink Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew. It has 26 grams of ginger. Now that’s some delicious ginger-ale! Alas, this post is not about ginger.

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If you’re interested im my pear bread recipe, here it is. I’ve started writing down my recipes as soon as I make them, or else I forget how I made them and I can’t recreate it. I can’t type it up for you because I have to get back under my puffy-puff and watch another episode of How I Met Your Mother, so hopefully you can read my chalk board scribbles.

Oh yeah, I cooked the bread at 350 for about 65 minutes.

Oatmeal

It has been pretty cold and snowy in Boone the past few days. And windy. And did I mention cold? We have been running from the house to the car to work, and back at the end of the day. We haven’t really been venturing out much because it’s cold, I’m lazy, and we don’t need anything. I am seriously stocked up on groceries for a while, and I did some cooking on Monday, so we haven’t even been tempted to eat out. It has been glorious!

Oh, did I tell you that I joined a co-op? I’ll save that discussion for another day, but I will say that it has changed my grocery shopping habits, which tend to get out of control.

Anyway, to the real point of this post … we discovered oatmeal this year. Not the packs of oatmeal you mix with water and microwave. Real oatmeal – that isn’t mushy and full of weird ingredients. We eat it almost everyday for breakfast, which is a big step because before ate chick-fil-a for breakfast a lot. Oatmeal is quick and easy to make. We make a big batch at the beginning of the week and eat on it for several days. It reheats really well.

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Oatmeal
*modified from Oh She Glows

2 cups water
2 cups almond milk
1 cup steel cut oats
1 TBSP flax seeds, ground
1 TBSP chia seeds
1 TSP vanilla extract
1 TSP cinnamon
1 apple
maple syrup
walnuts

Mix all ingredients, except for apple, syrup and walnuts in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add apples and maple syrup to taste. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Served with toasted walnuts.

The nice thing about oatmeal is that you can alter it to suit your palate. Don’t like apples? Try substituting pears instead and add some cloves and nutmeg for a nice flavor. Try blueberries – frozen, fresh or dehydrated. Don’t have chia seeds? Cut down on the liquids, but get yourself some chia seeds. You can find them at a health foods store -Whole Foods and Earth Fare carry them. They offer the only complete source of protein in a vegetable form. They will help you have energy throughout the day. Don’t have almond milk? Use all water instead- it will be less creamy, but it will work. Haven’t used steel cut oats before? Get some. Don’t be afraid. You can find them in the bulk grains section of many grocery stores. Sometimes they can be found in cans in the breakfast cereal section, but they will be really expensive. I order from our co-op, and I was able to get 30 lbs for $1.06 per pound. I love steel cut oats because they don’t get mushy.

So, if you are looking for a healthy, filling breakfast recipe to comply with your New Years’ resolutions, look no farther.