Eat Food, Not Food Products

November 12th, 2006

Sound advice from Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”.

After all, food products are made by food companies who’s main objective is the bottom line – profit. They are beholden to their shareholders who expect the maximum return on their investment. Not your health. Period.

Food, on the other hand, is made by Mother Nature and her main objective is to support life.

So let’s eat some good food in all it’s natural glory.

But wait –what distinguishes real food from food products? Well, there are degrees but let’s say food is closest to it’s original form and food products are processed to some degree with or without additives. Some examples…

Food is oat groats or oatmeal versus the extreme food product – “Cherrios”

Food is eggs versus “Egg Beaters”

Food is a fresh apple or dried apples versus apple juice or the extreme product – X brand’s “Apple Fruit Snack Pie”

Food is a handful of raw nuts and dried fruit versus a calorie, er – “energy” bar

Food is a platter of fresh vegetables or home cooked vegetable soup versus the extreme product – “Vegetable Ritz” crackers

Food is roasted free-range chicken versus a frozen commercially made chicken pot pie or fast food fried chicken.

So here we go – eating Food means…

Starting the day off with some oatmeal, free-range eggs or fruit and nuts.

Need a snack – veggies, fruit, nuts or a piece of cheese

Lunch? A hearty home made soup or maybe a sandwich of whole grain bread, or piece of chicken with salad.

A nourishing dinner? Roast free-range chicken (or homemade chicken pot pie) and a pile of fresh veggies quickly sautéed or steamed.


Time for a nutty whole grain snack

November 6th, 2006

Granola is a versatile food. Great for breakfast or to nibble on whether at your desk or on the road. Here is a recipe with a slight twist…or rather a head on collision with Asian ingredients. It’s got a bit of seaweed for extra minerals and a splash of tamari soy sauce to balance the sweetness of the honey. Use the best organic ingredients you can find and you are good to go. Sometimes I like to add dried cranberries or diced dried apples for variety.
Nutty Tamari Seaweed Granola

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
6 cups oats — old fashion, raw
3 tablespoons sesame seeds — whole raw
3 tablespoons flax seeds — whole
1/2 cup sunflower seeds — raw
1/2 cup pumpkin kernels — raw
6 tablespoons seaweed — flaked
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons oil
4 teaspoons tamari soy sauce

Preheat oven to 300F

Put dry stuff in a large bowl and toss to mix

Heat liqiud ingredients in small sauce pot until thin enough to pour.

Pour honey mixture on to oat mixture and stir to evenly coat.

Spread on two half sheet pans lined with parchment paper.

Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown – about 25-30 minutes. Granola will become crispy after cooling. Stir in your favorite dried fruit if desired.

Cool and store in airtight containers.

“3 quarts”



Substitute the donut thump for the Soda bread yum

October 15th, 2006

When Irish Soda Bread lands in County Alameda – home to Berkeley California!

What else could happen but we stuff it full of nuts and seeds. This bread is inspired by Karyn D, one of my classmates at the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant program. She happens to hail from Ireland – home to my favorite fiddle music 😉

She made her very addictive Irish Soda bread for us which she learned how to make from her Mum by the POTPOT method.

Just so you know she’s the one who added the nuts and seeds. I’m just attempting to record an approximation of a recipe – not the recipe. This is what I came up with. Not as tasty as I remember hers to be but satisfies my craving. And I couldn’t in good conscious call it Irish soda bread because of the County Alameda influences!

Irish Lassie Crunch Bread

Amount Measure – Ingredient – Preparation Method
———————   ————-    ————————-
3/4 cup oatmeal – old fashion
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons sucanat or rapadura
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, fine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter – chilled, and cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup flax seed
1/3 cup walnuts – finely chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds – for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a medium loaf pan with butter and lightly flour.

Toss together flours, almond meal, sucanat, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt in a large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Mix in nutsand seeds. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk. Using fork, gradually stir dry ingredients into milk until just blend. Don’t overwork or you will have a very tough loaf of bread.

Transfer dough to prepared pan and flatten slightly. Sprinkle dough with the 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds.

Bake bread until brown and tester inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Transfer to rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yields 1 loaf with approximately 14 slices. Per Serving: 147 Calories; 8g Fat (49.4% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber.

A nice variation would be to add some dried fruit: raisins, apricots, cranberries, cherries.