Category Archives: Recipes

Real Food Dessert Recipe: Tiramisu

 Tiramisu Healthy Happy EaterUntil last weekend, it had been about ten years since I’d made tiramisu; I promise it won’t be another ten until the next time. On New Year’s Day,  my husband’s family makes and eats an Italian pasta called cappelletti, and I wanted to bring a special dessert for after the meal. A recent visit to Jimmy’s Food Store in east Dallas, a mecca of Italian specialties, inspired me to make tiramisu. It’s delicious, beautiful, easy and doesn’t require any cooking. Try it!


  • 8 large eggs from pastured chickens, separated
  • 1 cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • splash of maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups marscapone cheese
  • 4 tbsp maple sugar
  • 32 ladyfingers (avoid those made with enriched flour … or make your own!)
  • unsweeted cocoa powder
  • bittersweet chocolate shavings

Step One
Combine egg yolks, 2 tbsp espresso, 1 tbsp kahlua and sugar into large mixing bowl. Beat 2 minutes. Add marscapone, beat 3 minutes until smooth.

Step Two
In another bowl, beat 5 egg whites until stiff peaks form (you will not need the remaining 3 whites). Fold beaten whites into marscapone mixture.

Step Three
In a separate bowl, combine coffee, Kahlua and maple syrup. Arrange 1/2 of the ladyfingers in the bottom of a rectangular serving dish, and brush with half of coffee mixture; spread half of the marscapone cream mixture on top; sprinkle cocoa powder and chocolate shavings on top. Repeat one more time with remaining ingredients.
You may use a trifle bowl or springform pan; you’ll just have more than two layers. 

Step Four
Refrigerate for at least four hours, overnight is even better.

Feel free to experiment with different quantities of the ingredients. I consulted several cookbooks and recipes on the backs of the marscapone cheese and ladyfingers, and they varied greatly in the amount of sugar used (I used very little), the number of ladyfingers and the amount of liquor. The recipe above will serve more than 12 people.

Where does tiramisu get its name? In Italian, “tirami su” means pick me up. This dessert is so good that you’ll swoon, and need someone to pick you up off the floor. Cute, huh? Be well.

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Breastfeeding Alternative: Homemade Formula

At the Wise Traditions conference last weekend I attended a session led by Sarah Pope, the Healthy Home Economist, about Breastfeeding Myths, Alternatives and Supplementation. This is an area in which I have no experience, not having been a Mom and all … but I have the utmost respect for Sarah and the wisdom shared by the Weston A. Price Foundation, so I happily attended. I hope this info helps you or someone you love.

The main points were:

  1. breastfeed if you can
  2. NEVER feed a commercial baby formula with soy, even if it’s organic
  3. feed your baby one of the two homemade formulas in the video
  4. even if you breastfeed well, you and your husband should practice making this in case something happens and you’re unable to breastfeed, or you need to supplement your breastmilk
  5. this homemade formula is comparable in nutrition to mother’s milk
  6. feed this formula until your baby is one year old, then switch to raw cow’s milk (cow’s milk has more vitamins than goat’s milk)

It was inspiring to see so many young moms at the session, and at the whole conference actually. This video gives step-by-step instruction to teach parents the optimal methods for homemade formula preparation.

Please read here for additional information. Be well.

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Real Food Recipe: Whole Fruit Frozen Margarita

Dana, this marg’s for you! I’m glad you liked the margarita, fruit fiber and all. Here’s the recipe, as requested:


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 1 medium orange, peeled, halved
  • 1 lime, peeled halved
  • 1 lemon, peeled, halved, seeded
  • 1/4 cup sugar*
  • 6 cups ice cubes
  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix* container in the order listed and secure the lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 45 seconds, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.
  5. Pour and enjoy!

* Consider Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice; I used this in your margarita), raw honey or maple syrup. You may also think about a small amount of natural stevia (not Truvia) to taste. If you use stevia, use the green powder, which is the ground up herb, not the white powder, which is the extracted compound.

** Using a standard household blender? Make half the recipe at a time. The full recipe – whole fruit, lots of ice – works best with a large-capacity power blender like Vitamix or Blendtec.

Thanks to Vitamix for the recipe.


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Real Food Recipe: Blue Cheese and Walnut Dressing

healthy happy eaterSally Fallon Morell says that a good first step on the journey to eating nourishing real food is to learn how to make salad dressing. This advice has helped me a great deal; by making salads more tasty and interesting, I eat more of them. Most of the salad dressings at the grocery store contain oils you should stear clear of: soybean and canola.

I’ve stocked my cabinet with ingredients to make easy, delicious dressings at a moment’s notice. On the back of one of those ingredients, white wine vinegar, I found the following recipe from Marlene Sorosky Gray (cookbook author and food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle).


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 TBSP fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Mix oil vinegar, mustard and orange juice. Stir in blue cheese, season to taste (May store in refrigerator for a few weeks.) Stir in walnuts before serving. Makes about 1/2 cup.

This dressing can be served over cooked asparagus, broccoli or green beans. I like it on a salad, with all the leaves lightly coated with dressing:

  • wash Romaine (or your favorite) lettuce
  • dry it in an OXO Salad Spinner
  • chop it with  an OXO Lettuce Knife
  • sprinkle lettuce with real salt
  • in a large bowl, toss lettuce with just enough dressing to lightly coat
  • sprinkle with toasted walnuts, and serve

I hope you enjoy this. I’ll post more salad dressings in the future. Be well!


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Simple Real Food Recipe: Shrimp and Cheese Grits/Polenta with Bacon Tabasco Sauce

I’ve lived in the south all my life, and grits were always a breakfast dish made with white corn grits, mixed with butter and salt; yum. I have an Italian grandmother, and now an Italian husband, and yellow corn grits has always been polenta; also yum.

As contemporary American chefs get back to basic food traditions, I’m finding grits on the menu more often, and it’s not just for breakfast anymore. I was inspired to make this after a visit to Hattie’s (an American bistro with a southern low-country influence) in Dallas. Whether you call it grits or polenta, I have an easy, yummy recipe for you.


Cook the grits according to package directions; I use chicken stock or broth, instead of water, for flavor. The War Eagle grits have microwave instructions, Bob’s Red Mill has stove top instructions. Leave the grits mushy, there’s no need to let it set up in a bowl to cut into cakes.

Toss the shrimp with good olive oil and sea salt and pepper. Spread them in one layer on a sheet pan, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. (This great method for cooking shrimp is from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook – a great resource.)

Cook the bacon until crispy, remove from pan and reserve the fat. Mix bacon fat with Tabasco Chipotle to taste.

To assemble:

  • mix the grits with cheese and butter, place on plate
  • top with shrimp
  • break bits of crispy bacon over dish
  • spoon bacon Tabasco sauce over the top

Serve hot with a big salad, a nice glass of chilled white wine and enjoy! Be well.

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Simple Real Food Recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Serendipity struck in the kitchen last night: I made a delicious broccoli cheddar soup on the fly, and it was terrific! You’ll see from the picture on the left, that it’s bright green, not orangey-yellow. When you mix green broccoli with naturally white cheese, you get a beautiful bright green soup.

Mainstream cheddar is orange only because industrial food companies dye it that way. I had a lightbulb moment about this last weekend when I visited some cheese artisans at the Texas Daily Harvest farm in east Texas. I must tell you, this was a revelation to me.

My broccoli cheddar soup was serendipitous because I was making another dish, and ended up with mushy broccoli that I couldn’t use. I had meant to blanch my broccoli, and then put it in an ice bath, but I ended up letting it boil too long. This turned out to be a great thing, because it turned into a delicious, easy soup. I hope you like it.


I blended it for five minutes on high in my Vitamix blender*, and it came out velvety smooth and piping hot. Drizzle good quality extra virgin olive oil (Tutta Toscana) over the top, and enjoy! You may also want to experiment by adding a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream, and maybe some toasted pine nuts. Buon appetito!

*If you don’t have a high-performance blender such as Vitamix or Blendtec, you’ll need to heat it on the stove. (Blend the broccoli with the liquid ingredients, pour it in the pot, add the shredded cheese, and heat.) I love the Vitamix; it makes hot soups, smoothies, and so much more; I use it almost every day. It has an air-cooled motor that allows it to run for long periods of time without overheating.


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I Wanted McDonald’s Today

…but I didn’t get any. It was an interesting experience. Having been a lifelong fast food eater, and being “sober” for almost four months, I was surprised that it sounded good today. I was surprised, because ever since I discovered real food, I have happily not wanted fast food. So what happened today?

I’ve been so busy that I didn’t get enough nutrition in this morning … just one glass of raw milk on the way to work. Now I believe that raw milk is a complete food, but not necessarily a complete meal. By lunch time, I was really hungry. I usually bring my lunch, most often leftovers from last night’s dinner, but not today. McDonald’s popped into my head and stayed a few minutes. I thought about the fries, and an extra value meal sounded good.

I thought those days of eating massive amounts of McDonald’s food and Coke in secret, in my car, were behind me. Instead of freaking out or white knuckling it, I calmly and objectively assessed the situation:

Q: Why does that sound good?
A: It just does.

Q: Ever since getting off fast food, you’ve felt so much better.
A: Yes, I have. It’s kind of weird that I want it now.

Q: Where did this thought come from?
A: I passed a brand-spanking new McDonald’s yesterday. It doesn’t look like those nasty roadside joints. It’s made of stone, and it’s in an upscale area. Maybe I should eat there while the oil’s still fresh and the restaurant is clean.

Q:  What about the quality of the food. Do you want to rethink that?
A: Let’s see, there’s:

  • the rancid vegetable oil they cook the fries in
  • the Russet Burbank potatoes that come from a perilous monoculture
  • a cheese-like substance
  • soybean oil in the sauce
  • high fructose corn syrup in the ketchup
  • buns made of refined white flour
  • beef from cattle fed a diet of genetically-modified corn … on a crowded feed lot …whose stench you can smell for miles … who are killed and processed in factories where workers are treated like animals
  • and all that sugar in the Coke …

My whole thought process was quick, much faster than typing about it, and I moved on. I ended up at Chipotle where I got a carnitas quesadilla with guacamole and water. Read Chipotle’s “Food with Integrity” story, and you’ll see the difference. Will I ever darken the doorway at McDonald’s again? Maybe to buy a bottle of Dasani water, ironically made by the CocaCola company.

By the way, I’m not opposed to burgers and fries; in fact, it’s one of my favorite meals. But why have low-quality fast food, when you can have a truly great burger and fries? By truly great, I mean delicious, satisfying and nutritious. The best I’ve had so far are the ones I made from the America’s Test Kitchen show, Best Burgers and Fries. I made everything exactly according to the recipe, and I just swooned … so did my husband. Will you let me know what you think if you make it? Be well.


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Salmon Croquettes: not your Mama’s salmon patties

One of the great benefits of eating well is making new, delicious meals. I never got anything like this from the McDonald’s drive-thru!

Salmon Croquettes
(based on a modified New Basics recipe from Ann Marie at Cheeseslave)

15 ounces wild Alaskan salmon (I used canned Bear and Wolf from Costco)
3/4 cups toasted bread crumbs (toast 4 slices frozen sprouted bread, pulse in food processor)
1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise (I used the recipe for mayonnaise in Nourishing Traditions – make it ahead of time to allow it to thicken)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper (or celery)
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper 
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley 
2 eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp organic Worcestershire sauce 
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup macadamia nut oil to start, more as needed
mayo to serve

  1. Mince all the veggies together in a food processor.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the salmon with 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs, along with all the other ingredients (except for the macadamia oil and the mayo to serve).
  3. Shape into patties. Roll the patties in the rest of the breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat 1/2 cup of macadamia oil in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet on medium heat. Cook the patties 3-4 minutes on each side, until brown and crispy.
  5. Serve with mayonnaise

Serves 4. Serve with a big salad and a glass of wine.

Notes: If you use prepared bread crumbs, read the label to make sure it is just bread crumbs (e.g., no vegetable oil or other chemicals). Don’t be afraid to make real mayonnaise; throw out that stuff with soybean oil. A panini grill is a great way to heat the leftovers. Enjoy!

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