Category Archives: Recipes

Food is some of the best medicine! In my naturopathic and acupuncture practice, I often work with my patients to address their health concerns using dietary strategies. For me, it was incredibly empowering when I realized that I could take my health into my own hands by cooking and eating healing foods. Below are a few of my favorite recipes that are both healthy and delicious. To learn about more recipes and other natural health tips, please subscribe to our mailing list (the link is in the side bar).

What’s In Your Medicine Cabinet?

 

MomBeach_0002Our Grandmothers

Lately I’ve felt a lot like a Jewish grandmother.  Not my Jewish grandmother, Nanette, per se, but a kind of stereotypical character.   One who would recommend chicken soup for almost any ache and pain.

Two of the most common things I see in my practice are digestive issues and musculoskeletal problems (back pain, knee, pain, arthritis, etc…).  If you are suffering in one or both of these areas, there is a good chance that cooking up a bone broth and eating it every day could do you worlds of good.

I find myself recommending this over and over again to my patients.  I sometimes picture myself in a kitchen with an apron on, hair tied up in a bun, dishing out soup, and wondering why it has taken the medical community so long to come back around to what our grandmothers knew decades ago, and the ancient Chinese have understood for millennia.

Soup made from cooking animal bones (chicken, beef, lamb) has tremendous healing properties when you make it correctly (there is a recipe at the bottom of this article) and use well sourced animal products (organic and grass fed).

Bone Health

When I was in Naturopathic Medical school, we were shown x-rays with bizarre objects lodged in the colon.  Was it cancer? Some other rare and unusual disease? Nope.  Undigested calcium supplements.  Bone broth is chock-full of calcium and the other minerals that make up healthy bone.  And it is much easier to absorb the minerals in soup form than in a supplement!

Joint Health

People with joint issues often take supplements to help protect and build cartilage.  When you make soup with joint bones, the cartilage naturally dissolves into the broth and helps to protect your joints.

Digestive System

Bone broth is one of my favorite tonics for the digestive system.  The nutrients in the cartilage and the bone marrow are extremely nourishing to the rapidly dividing cells lining the digestive tract, and can heal damaged and inflamed tissues.

The Recipe

Another wonderful thing about bone broth is that it is incredibly easy to make.  The following is a basic recipe, but you can add different herbs and spices for extra flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole free-range chicken (you can roast a chicken and make soup from what is left after you have finished eating it) or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones, and wings  and/or 1-2 organic grassfed beef bones (cut to release the marrow)
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sea salt to taste

In a large stock pot or crockpot, place all the ingredients and cover with filtered water. Simmer for 8-10 hours or more.  Chicken bones should be soft enough to crush the ends.

Using a strainer, pour the broth into glass containers. Remove the bones and bay leaf and, if desired, add the meat back to the broth. The broth will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days, or in the freezer indefinitely.

Enjoy

In addition to being a top notch healing tonic, bone broth is delicious!  I recommend having at least one cup a day.  You can drink it strait, or add it to your favorite recipes.  It is a great way to add flavor and depth to a stir fry, and a wonderful base for sauces.

 Putting it all together

One of my favorite parts of my job is that I get to combine some of the oldest treatments around with cutting edge techniques.  It is often the simplest things that make the most profound shifts.  Incorporating homemade bone broth into your diet is a great way to take your health into your own hands, and start feeling better! Give it a try.  Your grandmother would be proud.

 

Squash!

Does anyone want any summer squash? Does anyone else have this problem?  You planted zucchini and now it seems to be taking over.  You are up to your ears in these vegetables, and they seem to be getting bigger by the hour!

Well, of all the problems one might face in the world, this is not such a bad one.  And it forces a bit of creativity into my normal cooking routine. I’ve been putting summer squash into almost everything I cook.

This morning I had a revelation about squash in eggs.  It was an experiment.  A risk on a Monday morning when there wouldn’t be time to make a breakfast take two.

It was a success!  The squash gave the eggs a nice fluffy texture and a great taste.  The veggies thrown hastily on top cooked up well.  And it took only about 15 minutes to whip up .

You can skip down to the bottom for the recipe, but first I want to tell you a little about the nutritional benefits of zucchini.

Zucchini, which is probably the best known of the summer squashes, has a water content of 95%.  This makes it very low in calories (only 14 calories per 3.5 ounce serving), and an excellent diet food for those trying to loose weight.  It also contains fair amounts of potassium, carotenes and vitamin C.

In addition to these nutritional benefits, summer squash, along with many other vegetables, has been shown to be protective against the cell mutations that cause cancer.

Combined with the other veggies in this recipe, you have a delicious array of the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy.

Here is what I threw together:

Summer Squash Frittata

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1/4 of a medium sized red onion, chopped
1/2 jalepeno pepper (the ones we grew this year aren’t that spicy, so you might need to adjust this)
1 medium sized grated summer squash
3 eggs
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
1/2 cup of tomatoes, sliced (I used cherry)
3 medium kale leaves
Fresh herbs to taste (I used basil, oregano and rosemary)
High heat oil for sauteing

Saute onions and peppers over medium heat until the onions are translucent.  While you are doing this, whisk together the grated squash, eggs, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Once the onions are ready, pour the egg and zucchini mixture over the onions.      Put a lid on it and let sit until the bottom is lightly browned, and the frittata can be easily flipped.

Flip the frittata* and add the kale, herbs and sliced tomatoes.  Cover and let sit for a few more minutes until the kale is wilted and bright green.

Serve and enjoy!

*Note: I didn’t execute the flipping part with the utmost grace, and mine flipped in a few different pieces.  It was still delicious, and with the veggies on top still looked good too.  

Source: The Encyclopedia of Healing foods by Michael Murray, ND

Photo courtesy of www.babyfood101.com

Gingerbread Smoothie

photo courtesy of myrecipes.com

This is a great on the go breakfast or snack.  Packed with protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory herbs and even some iron.  Oh, and it’s delicious!

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2-4 Tbs of hemp protein powder

1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbs molasses
 If you have blood sugar issues you can decrease or take out the molasses.     Replace with a pinch or two of stevia powder for sweetness.  1 tsp of molasses     plus the stevia will give you the gingerbread flavor. 

Fresh or frozen fruit (optional)

Put all the ingredients in the blended and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Why these ingredients?

Unsweetened almond milk: The best tasting unsweetened non-dairy milk that I have found.  Dairy is pro-inflammatory and best avoided (unless using 100% raw milk from grass fed cows)
Hemp protein powder: A whole food minimally processed protein that few people are allergic too.  High in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.*
Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory
Ginger: Anti-inflammatory and good for digestion
Cinnamon: Helps regulate blood sugar and can benefit digestion
Molasses: 1 Tbs of molasses contains 15% of your daily iron.

Fruit:Adding in 1 cup of blueberries or other dark berries will give you a nice dose of tasty antioxidants.  The antioxidants in these berries, which are called flavanoids, are beneficial for cardiovascular health.

* If you hate the texture of hemp protein powder, you can use a different protein powder.  You can also leave out the protein powder all together for a refreshing drink that is still anti-inflammatory. 

Masala Chai


In India, chai is the word used for tea with milk in it.  Masala chai refers to tea with milk and spices.  The spices that are traditionally used in masala chai are warming and can be used to help fight off a cold, or to warm you up when you feel chilly.  They are also beneficial for digestion.  Continue reading

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate makes a wonderful wintertime dessert or snack.  It has all the taste and health benefits of chocolate, without the sugar or dairy.   With the richness of coconut oil and the natural sweetness of the almond milk, most people do not need to add extra sweetener. Continue reading

Blueberry Vinaigrette

Blueberry vinaigrette
Ingredients:
– Equal parts blueberries and balsamic vinegar
– Salt, onion powder and dijon mustard to taste

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a blender.  Drizzle on salad with olive oil.  Also delicious on fish or meat.