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A Food Plan For You

(Including Ten Favorite Recipes)

I feel that if you have 10 healthy and favorite recipes to choose from on a regular basis, you will have a much easier time handling your meal planning. It becomes a no-brainer. Since I am a working girl, I am not interested in complicated recipes - just good, healthy fare. For this reason, I find the crockpot indispensible and have included some crockpot recipes. When I cook, I also make more than enough and either freeze or plan to have the same meal for lunch the next day or the next night or the next. I never hold food in the fridge for more than two days because of the mold factor.

You will note that most of my recipes are low on the glycemic index (except for pasta and veggies) and most are classically food combined. I feel better this way, can lose weight and/or maintain my current desired weight if I eat this way. I rarely mix meat (flesh) and grains. This means that I will eat meat and vegetables together or grains and vegetables. No nos are, for example, tuna or chicken sandwiches or the typical meat and potatoes meal. Instead, I will have a vegetable sandwich (avocado, tomato, sprouts, rice cheese) and either rice and veggies or meat and veggies.

Lunches for me are usually a salad which I prepare the night before and carry to work in a pyrex glass container and put in the fridge, untossed. My typical lunch salad may consist of lots of mixed greens including radicchio, arugula, endive, spinach, watercress, whatever looks good at the market. Then I will have deli turkey, tuna or left over meat/fish from dinner, in addition to my blood type, beans (leftover from All Day Beans and Rice recipe below. I am AB+ , so I will usually have pinto or red). Then you can add garnishs like olives, artichoke hearts, grated zucchini or carrots, cooked string beans, pumpkin seeds and/or a dill pickle. I make my own dressing out of olive oil, dijon and lemon or apple cider vinegar, take it in a small jar, and toss the salad just before I eat.

I usually do my meal planning and shopping on Sunday or Monday (my day off). Also, I wash the vegetables and greens. This way I can sail into the week prepared. Yes, it takes time and effort, but it's worth it and keeps me (and will keep you) away from bad food. Here are my current 10+ recipes that I use a lot. You could use these or not. I know you must have your own favorite 10.

  • Turkey Burgers
  • Pasta and veggies
  • Crockpot Cacciatore
  • Crockpot Spicy Beef
  • Joe's Special for Two
  • Grilled Salmon
  • All Day Beans and Rice
  • Salad Nicoise
  • Soup (current favorite: Broccoli)
  • Marinated tarragon roast chicken
1. Turkey Burgers for Two:
    1 lb. white meat ground turkey
    1 bunch spinach
    1 medium onion, diced
    10 or 12 mushrooms, chopped

In your big teflon skillet ( have a huge Cuisinart teflon electric skillet which I use), saute the onion and mushrooms in some PAM, then add the washed, chopped spinach and cover until it is wilted. When it is cool enough to handle, mix this cooked stuff with your raw turkey meat. It will make 4-6 good sized patties. Saute the patties in some olive oil. You will have enough for leftovers the next day.

I will have a salad with this or some vegetables like a mixture of kale/swiss chard/collard greens sauteed briefly in lots of garlic then slow cooked (I/2 hour or so) in vegetable broth. Note: Cut the hard center stems out of the kale and collard greens - just use the leaves. Swiss Chard stems are O.K.

2) Pasta and Veggies: This is a total carbo meal and I probably have it once every two weeks or so. If you are fighting a sugar problem (high insulin or glucose) you shouldn't have this at all. Remember you can't have any protein with pasta and veggies, so don't put any cheese on top of this.

Aside: If I have Pasta and Veggies for dinner, then I will make sure to have enough protein for breakfast and lunch. So, I may have eggs and bacon for breakfast (3 egg whites/1 egg yolk scrambled and 1 slice of Applegate Farms turkey bacon) and my salad with meat on it for lunch. With this protein ballast, my body will be able to take the huge carbo load of dinner. If I have a carbo meal for lunch for example (like veggie soup and bread, my body will not want MORE carbo for dinner and I will start feeling hypoglycemic. Here's the recipe:

  1. I use Mom's brand Fresh Garlic and Basil Spaghetti Sauce. It seems really clean, tastes great and comes in a glass jar.
  2. Since I am wheat sensitive, I use either Eden Quinoa or Kamut noodles or VitaSpelt whole grain noodles which come in all sort of interesting configurations. I find that rice or corn noodles turn to mush, so I don't use them at all. (Buckwheat soba is OK for the wheat sensitive too, since buckwheat really isn't wheat but part of the rhubarb family.)
  3. Then get yourself some veggies of choice or whatever is in season and steam them. For example, I may use a mixture of zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms.
  4. Put your cooked noodles in one of your biggest one-person bowls (I just prepare individual helpings), heap the steamed veggies on top, then garlic/basil spaghetti sauce. It's a huge and filling meal. You could also have bread with this meal but no butter. You might possibly have enough for another meal, too.

3) Crockpot Cacciatore:

    3 lbs. organic chicken breast, browned
    4 cloves garlic
    One red pepper sliced into a thin julienne
    2 tsp. basil
    Salt and Pepper
    1/2 C. red wine (optional)
    1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
    Large can of organic whole, peeled tomatoes (tear apart with your fingers)
    1 "box" of organic chicken broth

If you have to go to work, you might as well put this dish together the night before, since you have to brown the chicken. Refrigerate overnight just to be on the safe side. Before you go to work, get it all going on the low setting. Your dinner will be done when you get home. If you are food combining, lose the temptation to have noodles with this. Instead, have more vegetables like steamed cauliflower or broccoli and zucchini. You will have leftovers for one more meal.

4) Crockpot Spicy Beef:

    1 lb. organic ground beef
    1 large onion, chopped
    A few garlic cloves, chopped
    5 cups chopped green cabbage
    32 oz. kidney or pinto beans
    3 - 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
    2 cups beef broth
    1 green pepper, chopped
    3/4 Cup picante sauce
    2 t. ground cumin
    1 - 2 t. chile powder

If you have to go to work, you might as well put this dish together the night before, as you must brown the beef and the onion/garlic prior to putting it in the crockpot. After you've browned and drained the beef mixture, put everything into the crockpot. Stir around a bit. If you think you might need more broth or water, add some. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Serve when the cabbage is tender. This is like chili. Lose the temptation to have rice with it. You could have a salad with this, or more veggies.

5) Joe's Special for Two:

    1 lb. ground white turkey meat or organic ground beef
    One bunch spinach, washed and chopped
    One chopped onion
    6 eggs with two of the yolks removed and given to the dogs

Slowly saute the turkey or beef with the onion until done. Drain any excess fat. Add the spinach on top of the beef/onion and let cook a minute or two until wilted. Clear a hole in the middle of the skillet and pour in the beaten eggs. Cook slowly and insinuate the eggs gently into the turkey/onion/spinach mixture until nothing is runny anymore. I serve this with unsweetened catsup and some steamed veggies. Salad would be good too.

6) Grilled Salmon: This could just as well be burgers on the grill, or steak or halibut or chicken. Just grill at least once a week while the weather is good. Here's a good marinade for salmon:

In a small saucepan combine the juice of two lemons, 4 T. olive oil, 2 T. butter, 1 T. Dijon, 5 garlic cloves minced, couple dashes of cayenne, salt, 2 t. each dried basil and dill, 4 t. capers. Bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, turning once. Place your salmon fillets in a baking dish and pour the marinade over the fish. Either grill it in a fish griller outside (basting it with the marinade), or bake in the juice in a 350 oven for 20 minutes or until the salmon is flaky. Serve with salad and steamed veggies.

b) Salmon Teriyaki: Marinate your salmon fillets in the fridge for at least 4 hours turning a couple of times in a one to one ratio of honey and wheat and tamari, maybe 2 T. of each. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of this. (You could start marinating it before you go to work in the AM, then turn it over when you get home for a 1/2 hour or so before you cook it.) Bake it in the same pan at about 350-400 for 10 minutes on one side and 10 minutes on the other. Sauce will become gooey, and kind of caramelized and the salmon will be a nutty brown when it is done. Cook longer if you have to.

7) All Day Beans \(and rice): Here's another pretty heavy carbo load - like the pasta and veggies. Again, no meat with this. I treat beans as both a protein and a carbohydrate, so it's pretty versatile for food combining. This means you could have some cheese with your rice and beans or have some beans on your salad along with chicken or tuna or other meat. Again, if you are working on a sugar problem, do not have this dish because it will raise your insulin levels.

Before work in the morning, combine 2 cups of rinsed dried beans, 8 cups of water, couple shakes of cayenne, 2-3 T. olive oil and S and P in a stainless steel 8 quart ovenproof casserole. I also add about a 5 inch piece of kombu seaweed which you can buy in bulk in the bins at Whole Foods. Don't need much. Crumple it up. Kombu adds all the great sea minerals and I swear it reduces the gas from the beans. Put the covered pot in the oven at 250 and let simmer all day while you are out playing or at work. The beans will be done when you get home.

Before you go to work you could also start soaking your rice: Wash one cup of rice -swirl it around a bit in your cook pan. Dump out the wash water and then put 2 1/4 c. water into the washed rice. Let the rice soak all day long. Then turn it on when you get home. Let it come to a boil, then turn way down and simmer for about 45 minutes. The soaking should reduce the cooking time for the rice. Serve the rice and beans with broccoli: They seem to complement each other. I always have leftover beans which I use for my salads or I may make a big tostada (with spelt tortillas) for dinner the next night.

7) Salad Nicoise: This just happens to be one of my personal favorites. All you do is boil some little red potatoes (how many depends on how many people you are feeding) and when they are almost done, throw in as many string beans as you want and cook until they are both done to your satisfaction. Cool. Heap a variety of lettuces on individual plates, then arrange the string beans and potatoes around the lettuce. Put tuna on top of the lettuce with a couple anchovies (optional) on top of the tuna. You could also use leftover salmon (or new salmon) instead oftheh tuna. Put some good cherry tomatoes around the side plus any or all of the following: olives, hard-boiled egg halves, purple onions thinly sliced and artichoke hearts. It also looks pretty if you sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over everything. I serve it like this with a boat of balsamic vinaigrette on the table. You can dress the salads individually.

a) Which reminds me, I love Deviled Eggs. Hard boil 6 or 8 eggs. Peel when still hot (but cooled slightly under running cold water) so you don't have to go through the frustrating chore of peeling little bits of shell at a time and ripping most of the eggs to shreds. Cut eggs in half and take out yolks, smush them a bit with a fork, then add mayo and Dijon to taste. Mix well. Put back in egg white shells and then sprinkle with dill or paprika. This is often a quick breakfast for me or a mid-morning snack. Variation: Stuff the eggs with hummus for a change.

9) Soup: Broccoli Cashew:
    1-1/2 cups of raw cashews
    8 cups veggie stock (two boxes)
    4 medium red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    1 large bunch broccoli, trimmed and coarsely chopped
    1 t. dried or 2 T fresh basil
    Salt and Pepper

I also like to put into the soup about 1-1/2 cup of leftover cooked butternut squash, which you've diced into roughly 1" pieces.

      Put cashews and 2 cups stock into a blender and blend until smooth.
      Saute onion in your stock pot, then add the rest of the stock (6 cups) along with potatoes and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Then add broccoli and basil and simmer until the potatoes and broccoli are tender.
      Stir in the reserved cashew mixture, salt and pepper, and butternut squash if you have leftovers and bring to a boil. After the vegetables are done and you've adjusted taste with salt and pepper, take 1/2 of the soup and puree it in the blender, then return it to the soup pot. It makes it smooth and chunky at the same time. This makesplentyy of soup and it freezes well.
10) Tarragon Chicken:
    1-4 pound chicken, butterflied downtheh breast (butcher will do this)
    3/4 C. chopped fresh tarragon or lots of dried
    1/2 C olive oil
    Zest and juice of one juicy lemon
    Salt and Pepper

Marinate your butterflied chicken in the above in a zip lock baggie for 12 - 24 hours in fridge. I use a two step method to cook the chicken.

      Roast chicken in a roasting pan in the oven at 450 degrees. Spread chicken flat with the breast side up. Roast for 25 minutes or so.
      Then take it out of the oven and throw it on the barby for the last 20 or so minutes. That way it gets nice and crunchy and brown, but does not overcook. (Make sure your chicken is done by wiggling the high or by poking the thigh with a knife. If the juice runs clear, it is done.)

For dinner I will eat everything but the breast. I save those to make chicken salad. I make my own version of Whole Foods Sonoma Chicken Salad which consists of mayon thinned with a bit of milk or 1/2-and-1/2, poppy seeds - enough to see them in the salad, about 20 green grapes halved, pecans dry-roasted in a pan for a while then chopped roughly, some celery and red onion if it is sweet. Delicious on your lunch salad.

 
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