Greens and Golden Beet Salad

I spent the better part of last week in Somerville with my sister Elise- we had a great time delivering bottles of Fire Cider to prospective stores and cafe’s.  We also went to a hot yoga class taught by my friend and former coaching client Joanna.  It was an amazing class, I think I will have to make hot yoga a part of my practice.  Perhaps once monthly to start, it’s pretty intense!  South Boston Yoga, where Joanna teaches, is a great studio if you are in the area.

Even though Elise lives in an apartment she has made excellent use of the limited outdoor space available: a planter box in the driveway that she grew corn and golden beets in and another small raised bed where she’s growing tomatoes, onions, spaghetti squash and a rose-bush.  For lunch one day Elise thinned the beets out by picking 4 small ones and we ate them from root to tip!  Here’s a whole meal in one salad that takes just a few minutes to make…..

Ingredients for 2 Servings:

Young beet greens, chopped and placed on 2 big plates or shallow bowls.

3-4 small golden beets, boiled til just soft.  Elise mixed the leftover beet juice with a cube of home-made organic beef stock for a joint and immune boosting, mineral rich, hot drink.

about 1/3 of a medium-sized onion, thin sliced

a clove or two of crushed garlic

olive oil for sauteing

salt and black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of Fire Cider

one whole sliced avocado

fresh goat or sheep cheese, we used the sheep yogurt-cheese from Sophia’s Greek Pantry, it’s some of the best Greek yogurt I’ve ever had, including the yogurt I had in Greece!

a handful of toasted walnuts

Procedure:

Separate the golden beets from the tender beet greens, chop the greens and spread between 2 plates or in shallow, wide bowls.

Boil the beets til tender.  While you wait for the beets, saute the onion and garlic with salt and pepper in olive oil over medium heat.  When the onions are soft and starting to brown, add the Fire Cider and turn off the heat.

Slice the beets while they are still hot.  Spread the beets over the greens, drizzle with olive oil, top with the sautéed onion and Fire Cider mixture.

Add a dollop of Greek yogurt or fresh sheep cheese, sprinkle with the toasted walnuts and a side of sliced avocado.

A Note About: the golden beets certainly tasted much less sweet than red beets and according to my ‘research’ on the internet there are about 18 grams of carbohydrates per cup or around 8 grams of carbs per 2.5 inch diameter beet.  So the golden beets are not a low carbohydrate food but not excessive either.  At this point, for me, portions matter as much as the carbohydrate count.  Eating small amounts of root vegetables and grains, even 100% rye sourdough bread, is a way to get healthy carbohydrates without causing candida symptoms.

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Camp Food and Travel Pictures: Cape Hatteras N.C.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, only 4 more hours to go!

Last week Dana drove us over 600 miles from the Berkshires to Frisco, NC on Cape Hatteras and back again, whew!   Our little ’84 Jetta was packed with camping equipment and of course, lots of food!  The state forest camp grounds were beautiful and totally worth the long drive to get there.  We camped for the first part of our trip and then moved a few miles down the road to a house on the beach that we shared with friends, what an awesome vacation!

The view of the Atlantic from our camp site in Frisco, NC

First I want to share my favorite way to enjoy avocados, with some tamari, wasabi and a spoon….

Chipolte, salt and lime on the left and my tamari and wasabi half on the right.

All you need is a spoon, and maybe someone to share the other half with : – )

Dana’s camp stove, which he took bike touring with him over a decade ago, decided it was time to retire when we tried to use it our first morning.  So we had to rely on the charcoal grill at our site.  Good thing we brought our cast iron pan!

Chopped cabbage, sauerkraut, bacon and eggs; everything you need for a hearty seaside breakfast.

I cooked the bacon first, then sauteed the cabbage, pushed everything to the side and fried the eggs in the rest of the bacon fat. Flax crackers and sun tea on the side. Eating directly out of the skillet means no dishes to do, we are on vacation after all!

One night for dinner we grilled asparagus and then cooked sausages and kale with mushrooms and onions in the skillet. Dinner is served.

Best beach house dinner: fresh fried mahi mahi fish tacos (‘slaw and corn tortillas not pictured) and sashimi tuna with bacon tacos. Gotta give Bill credit for the bacon and sashimi combo and the picture too!  I used romaine lettuce leaves to make my tacos, wicked good guys, you gotta try it!

5 Star Dessert

Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Cocao Nibs

One of my clients recently went to Thanksgiving dinner hosted by a chef whose day job is at a 5 star restaurant in San Francisco, lucky her!  She was worried, of course, that there would be only a few things that she would be able to eat since she is on the Candida diet.  And rightly so, it’s usually difficult to get someone who doesn’t have any idea what Candida is to understand this diet.  I recently had the pleasure of eating a meal at Eat in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  They usually serve a small, set menu based around what’s local and fresh, my kind of place!  And the set menu on Saturday night was not looking very Amy-friendly.  The chef, surprisingly, wanted to accommodate my diet and asked me, what can I eat?  We went through a list of the usual suspects and he seemed to understand.  What came out of his kitchen was absolutely delightful, lots of greens, some smoked fish, a little cheese, more fresh green herbs in an olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing.  I was impressed.  And so thankful that he was willing to be flexible and to listen.

I went to a restaurant with my mom yesterday for a little post holiday shopping meal.  Mom was familiar with the menu and quickly pointed out the things I could eat and probably get on the side.  And she was right!  It’s funny how something so seemingly insignificant as the minutia of what I can and can not eat means so much to me when someone else gets it, especially family.  Eating the same food, together at the same time, is so important and that’s why it’s so easy to feel lonely and left out when your diet seems drastic, mysterious and limited to those around us.  With all the holiday parties and family get togethers coming up it’s important to speak up and participate.  Bring food to share so that your friends and family can understand that your diet is full of delicious food.  Plenty of recipes to choose from here!  Ask ahead about the proposed menu and make sure that there will be plenty for you to eat that doesn’t compromise your health.  Is it really worth it to just eat what happens to be available (and end up starving) or have your health suffer for days because you ate something to be polite that you really shouldn’t eat?  Eating together is one way that we social creatures bond, so speak up and share your food, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Avocados: creamy, rich, healthy and versatile.

Back to the Thanksgiving dinner, my client had a great time because she chose to get in touch with the chef and, politely ask about his Thanksgiving menu.  The chef was very nice and had a chat with her about what she can eat.  He made plenty of friendly foods and he even made dessert!  Here’s the recipe for the rich chocolate pudding that he made.  My client loved it and, a few days later, replicated the recipe easily at home.  So we’ll call this one ‘Five Star Dessert’.  The recipe can easily be doubled.
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
Stevia, to taste
A bit of heavy cream or coconut cream, to desired consistency, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup
1 ripe avocado
Optional: vanilla extract, just a dash and cocao nibs, sprinkled on top!
Procedure:
Put everything (except the stevia) and about 1/4 cup of the coconut or dairy cream into a blender and blend.  Adjust the consistency by adding more cream and/or more cocoa powder.  Add stevia, a little at a time until it’s sweet to your liking.  Top with cocao nibs and/or shredded coconut.  Share, eat and enjoy!