Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Naturally Sweet "Pumpkin" Pie Breakfast Pudding

Lucky I caught this picture at all, it was disappearing so fast!
I LOVE pumpkin pie for breakfast! But since we’re not eating sugar any more, Joseph invented this amazing stand-in and I can’t really tell the difference. He uses leftover sweet potatoes, which require a fraction of the natural sweeteners pumpkin would need.
For us, when combined with stevia, only a tablespoon of real maple syrup does the trick. You might need two if your tastebuds are accustomed to the jaw-socking sweetness of refined sugar. If you’ve used fresh eggs from a source you trust, you can taste the pudding mix before baking; it should taste slightly sweeter than you want the final dish to be. (Don't do this if you're using commercial eggs.)
This will supply a complete, balanced breakfast with protein, carbs, and fat if you split it between two people.
Naturally Sweet “Pumpkin" Pie Breakfast Pudding
Serves 2 or more

1 tablespoon goat butter
10 oz. cooked organic sweet potatoes (aka garnet yams)
5 fresh eggs + 1 yolk from free-range chickens
2 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon green stevia

Prepare a steam bath:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Choose a glass baking dish or pie plate that will fit inside a larger pan holding water, so that the water comes up about an inch along the sides. It's easiest to put the pans together, measure in the water, then remove your baking dish and place the water-holding pan in the oven to warm.

Melt the goat butter in the pie plate by placing it in the steam bath for a moment. Then carefully remove it from the oven before the butter burns. Set aside.
Place peeled sweet potatoes, eggs, cream, and maple syrup in blender. Turn on low. While it's running, slowly add the spices and stevia. (Taste if you've used safe eggs and adjust sweetening.)
Pour into the pie plate and sprinkle the top with fresh-grated nutmeg. Bake in steam bath at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Cut and serve like pie. Serves 2 for breakfast, or serve as a very mild but filling dessert.

If your family traditions differ slightly (adding allspice, etc.) feel free to adjust the spices accordingly, but keep the same proportions as your pie recipe. Joseph derived this version from my Gramma Jo’s original recipe. J You can also serve this in a crust; just bake it like you would any pumpkin pie!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Blueberry Rice Puddings, Gluten & Sugar Free

It's a marvel the way Joseph creates sugar-free and yet deliciously sweet Breakfast Puddings without using artificial sweeteners. Instead he relies on the natural sweetness of organic fruit and a tiny touch of stevia plant extract.

For company who're accustomed to lots of sugar, he might add a smidgeon of raw honey, but the stevia alone is enough for us and still allows the fresh fruit taste to bloom through to our tastebuds. Since I love blueberries, they often show up in the puddings he makes. Here are two versions.

I woke up to this first Breakfast Pudding this morning and had to share it with you! Luckily I remembered to take a picture before I ate it all. I thought it was nice the way the rose on our table contrasted with the purple berries.

Creamy Blueberry Buckle
(Gluten and sugar free)
Serves 2

1 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 T. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon green stevia powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 T. goat butter (or you can use cow butter if you like)
1 cup organic blueberries, frozen or fresh
3/4 ounce broken walnuts (that's about a Joseph-fist full of whole walnuts)
Splash of goat milk (or cow)

Boil the water and stir in the rice flour. While it cooks, stir in everything but the walnuts and milk. Cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes, stirring, to blend flavors. (If you choose to add honey, start with 1/4 teaspoon; the sweetness of the stevia reduces the requirement considerably!) Serve with walnut and milk garnish.

For a complete breakfast, add a vegetable and protein. We ate it with fresh carrots and cheese on the side.

* * * *
Disappearing fast!

The pudding is extra zesty, and required a bit of honey to balance the lemony zing.

Zesty Lemon Blueberry Rice
(Gluten and sugar free)
Serves 2

2 T. organic heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon green stevia powder
1 cup cooked white rice
2 T. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon raw honey, organic
2 T. frozen wild blueberries

Boil cream, zest, and stevia for 2 to 3 minutes in a small saucepan. Stir in rice and lemon juice and heat through. Turn off the heat before you stir in the honey so it retains the benefits of its raw-ness. Garnish with the wild blueberries.
Delicious either cold or hot! We ate it as a dessert, after chicken tenders fried in garlic and a Greek-style salad.
Serves 2.

The Happy Blueberry Chef
(I read a FB post that said, "There's nothing sexier than a man in an apron." Hmmm, could be true! But he should never let his wife run the blog! mwa-ha-ha ... )

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Healthy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream - Sugar Free!

I managed to capture this before it was gone!
With fresh egg yolks, organic cream, and a tiny amount of raw honey or maple syrup boosted with 100% stevia, this ice cream is actually a healthy treat!

No sugar, antifreeze, or other weird additives! And no foul-tasting "artificial sweeteners" or sugar substitutes containing sugar alcohols.

Joseph's brilliant invention is the use of stevia to drastically reduce the need for high-calorie honey or maple syrup. Maple syrup blends more smoothly, but I like the tiny frozen honey bits you sometimes get.

The wooden mallet helps break up the bagged ice.
It all began when we found an old-fashioned, hand-crank, 70s-era ice cream maker at an "antiques" market in Michigan. I know. I didn't think I was an antique either. Never mind the insult, the thing only cost $1.69! And we've been enjoying homemade ice cream ever since.
It's so much easier than I remembered, probably because we learned the secret ingredient from author Sally Fallon (Nourishing Traditions): arrowroot. It's a white powder you'll find in the spices section. But her recipe called for a whopping 1/2 cup of maple syrup! Too much of an insulin rush! Instead, we enjoy the creamy coldness, and all of our guests have loved it.

The other white powder you'll need is 100% stevia rebaudiana powdered extract. Do NOT use green stevia, or the kind that comes in packets or has unhealthy fillers. We buy Trader Joe's brand, but read this first if you're new to stevia.

Be sure to use real rock salt. Fine salt won't work!

Healthy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream - Sugar Free! 

3 cups heavy organic cream, not ultra-pasteurized!
3 egg yolks, very fresh, preferably from free range chickens
3 T. raw honey or maple syrup
1 T. Homemade Vanilla
1 T. arrowroot
2 scoops white stevia from TJs (or 1/32 teaspoon pure stevia, no additives)

Plenty of bagged ice
About 1 cup rock salt

Prechill your serving dishes, spoons, and plastic freezer container for leftovers (if any!)

Measure cream into blender. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Turn on blender to low and quickly add the honey or maple syrup, arrowroot, and stevia. Blend as little as possible to mix, so you don’t wind up with butter or whipped cream, Joseph says. Taste for sweetness, keeping in mind that it will be less sweet when frozen. Adjust if needed. Pour into cream container. You can do this in advance and keep it in the fridge if necessary.

If using an electric maker, follow manufacturers directions to freeze. Some of the tips below may still apply.

Tips for a hand-crank ice cream maker:

Ice & Salt: Add several layers of rock salt in between layers of ice, packing the container to the top of the cream cannister. Do not use sidewalk-clearing chemicals that are not salt! It must be rock salt.

Cranking: Don’t stop even for a second! (This goes for electric makers, too.) When you do, the ice cream freezes to the metal sides of the cream container, making it hard to crank so you think it’s done, but the middle portions will still be too soft. Ours takes about 12-15 minutes to crank. If you trade crankers, or arms, do it without stopping the motion. Crank until it become truly difficult to crank.

Opening: Carefully wipe off the salty ice and take a look. If you’ve cranked too long, some parts will be buttery but it’s still delicious. Do not remove the container from the ice mixture. Crank until it looks like this:

But you'll probably need to taste it (wink, wink):

Serving: It’s nice if you have pretty, chilled glasses or dishes and tiny dessert spoons  ready. (Tch, who ever thought you should eat this on paper plates! It melts!) Be sure to leave the container in the salty ice mixture while you serve and while you eat your first serving. Make them small servings because you know you’ll be back for seconds if there’s any left. J

One last note from Lianne: I used to panic and try to get the leftovers into the freezer quickly, using a prechilled container, but by then my serving had melted. No worries; the ice cream stays perfectly firm if you just leave it in the ice mixture until you’re done eating. That won't take long! And that myth about homemade ice cream going grainy in the freezer? Bah! It was just an excuse to eat it all at once. It stays wonderfully creamy and hard as rock if you don't let it melt before you freeze it. You can eat it in moderation all week long ...


Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Very Best Exotic Chicken Curry Kabobs (with Pattypan Squash)

Joseph invented this recipe after we got home from watching the film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Fast and easy! And it made great use of the awkwardly shaped pattypan squashes he'd bought super-fresh at the farmer's market.
It's mildly spicy as written, but you can control the heat when you add the chili flakes.

[Note from Lianne: If you've got a vegetarian in the house, marinate veggies and meat separately and treat them to marinated squash, mushroom, and onion kabobs. This squash has never tasted so good to me!]

The Very Best Exotic Chicken Curry Kabobs
(With Pattypan Squash)
(Serves 3-4)

1 lb. organic chicken tenders
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 lb. white mushrooms
1 red onion, quartered and separated
4 pattypan summer squashes, cut into large chunks

Mix olive oil and spices in large glass bowl. Stir in chicken and set aside.
Prepare vegetables, adding to chicken mixture. Stir well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

To cook: Skewer chicken and veggies on strong metal skewers, folding the tenders to skewer twice. Cook on grill, turning regularly until chicken is done and you can pierce the squash with a knife. (Can also be cooked under broiler.)

Serve on a bed of seasoned white rice (ours had toasted pine nuts and dried apricot slivers) with tiny bowls of whole, plain yogurt on the side for dipping. (Or a cucumber-yogurt dipping sauce if you have the time and inclination.)
* * * *

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quick Lebanese Macaroni with Asparagus

Joseph doctored up a recipe from my Lebanese cookbook by adding this springtime twist. I want to eat this one again!! If you like tahini (think hummous), you'll love it.

Makes a colorful and mildly exotic side dish, but it contains carbs, vegetables, protein, and fat.

Quick Lebanese Macaroni with Asparagus
(Serves 2)

1/2 cup rice macaroni
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
7 medium-sized organic asparagus spears

Cook macaroni. Drain. Wash and snap the tough ends off the asparagus, place in a pan of cold filtered water and bring to a boil. It's done when the tip of a knife just pierces it, about 3 minutes only!

While the asparagus and macaroni cook, mash the garlic with the salt. Add tahini and keep mashing. Add the water and mash. Add the lemon juice last. (Very important to add the water before the lemon juice; not sure why but I learned this in a kitchen in Beirut from a woman who spoke no English. -- Lianne)

Slice the cooked asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Combine the tahini with the cooked macaroni, then stir in the asparagus pieces.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Asparagus Soup with Orange Crème Fraîche

Asparagus season!
This yummy recipe serves a lot of people, even as a main course. So be sure to cut it in half if necessary.

We made the whole recipe, liked it so much we ate it for several meals in a row ... and then, okay, we'd had enough asparagus. But we couldn't resist the draw of the Homemade Chicken Stock base. The body computer seems to know when there's powerful nutrition involved, and it alerts the tastebuds! Mmmm ...

Asparagus Soup
(Serves 8)

3 lbs. fresh organic asparagus
5 cups Homemade Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon ghee
1 med. yellow onion, sliced
Sea salt
White pepper
1 cup peeled, sliced potatoes
1/4 cup fresh orange juice


    1/2 cup crème fraîche
    2 tablespoons orange juice
    1/4 teaspoon minced orange zest
    1/2 cup asparagus tips (2-inch pieces)

Break woody ends off asparagus. Wash in water soapy with special veggie wash; rinse well. Cut 2-inch asparagus tips, about 1/2 cup’s worth, and set aside for garnish. Cut remaining asparagus into 2-inch lengths. Heat ghee in large, deep soup pot. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of white pepper. Saute 5 minutes over medium heat or until onions are soft. Add potatoes and 1 cup of stock, cover, and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. While they cook, steam or boil the asparagus tips set aside for the garnish, about a minute and a half, and set aside again. Add remaining asparagus, 1/2 teaspooon salt, and remaining stock to the soup pot. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes.

While it cooks, make the Orange Crème Fraîche:

Combine crème fraîche, 2 tablespoons orange juice, and orange zest. Stir and set aside.

When the asparagus is cooked, turn off heat. Add 1/4 cup orange juice, then puree with a hand-held blender. Serve with a swirl or dollop of Orange Crème Fraîche and decorate with reserved asparagus spears. Goes well with sauteed, seasoned chicken tenders and a small fresh salad.

* * * *

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Substitutions: The Secret to Great Recipes

Cooking Note from Joseph:

Many of my dishes are created by substitutions. I hope you get to the point where my recipes serve simply as inspiration for your own creations.

That said, I also realize that not everyone has emu eggs or suet handy, but I think it makes the blog and recipes more interesting and hope it challenges you to seek out delicious food sources of your own.

Also, if you happen to spot fresh emu eggs for sale at your local farmers’ market, you’ll find a recipe here to experiment with. Go ahead and tell your kids, or your spouse, or your squeamish co-workers that it’s a dragon egg. They sure look like it.

Emu Egg Figgy Pudding

This is one of the special recipes from a category we call Breakfast Puddings. We might try to eat the whole thing between the two of us as a meal because it contains a balanced amount of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. But you could also serve it as a holiday dessert with a little stevia-sweetened whipped cream.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homemade Vanilla

Nothing could be easier to make, and it will save you from additives that often include sugar!

Homemade Vanilla

1 fresh vanilla bean
1 cup of the best vodka brand you can afford
1 glass jar with a tight-fitting lid

Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise, carefully preserving the tiny seeds. It will smell heavenly. (You can also cut it in half horizontally if it doesn't fit into your jar.) Measure out the vodka and put them together in the jar. Close tightly and swirl gently. Set aside for 4 weeks in a coolish, darker spot (but NOT the refrigerator). We use an old ghee jar and mark the lid with the finish date. Peek at it occasionally and swish it a little. You can use it earlier than 4 weeks but the flavor won't have fully blossomed.

We decant ours into a prettier container, and if we're using a lot, start another batch. We've never had a batch go bad, but it does get darker over time because we leave the vanilla beans in. We did try a batch with cheap vodka once and you can really taste the difference. (A vodka-savvy friend tipped us off to the problem.) Different types of vanilla bean also affect taste. Experiment!

Where to find whole vanilla beans? Spice section of the supermarket, health food store, World Market, Whole Foods, Amazon. We've paid up to $9 for two, and more often a lot less. So shop around for the best price and freshest beans in your neighborhood.

Update: We've since switched to whole, crushed vanilla beans—no sugar AND no alcohol.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quick Quiche-ittata with Spinach and Mushrooms

Rich as a quiche, fast as a frittata! A blindingly fast way to serve a vegetarian dinner.

Joseph invented this dish in less than 30 minutes from start to finish so that we could make it to a weeknight Rumba class. Then, instead of waiting for this crustless quiche to bake, he cooked it frittata-style. Simple, fast, and delicious!

Quick Quiche-ittata with Spinach and Mushrooms
(Rich as a Quiche, Fast as a Frittata)
Serves 2

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 bag organic baby spinach leaves
4 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 eggs
1 cup heavy organic cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup goat cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in an iron skillet (or other skillet you can place under a broiler). Cook onions and mushrooms over medium-high heat, about 8 minutes or until soft. (Turn down the heat if the onions start to stick.) Add spinach and stir, cooking until wilted.

While the onion mixture cooks, place eggs, cream, and pepper in a bowl and whisk. Stir in the cooked onions, mushrooms, and spinach. Add cheeses, mixing well.

Melt the remaining butter in the skillet and pour in the egg mixture, spreading the ingredients around evenly. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees (for even cooking), and set the timer for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat up the broiler. When the timer goes off, place the skillet under the broiler and cook until the eggs are cooked on top. Keep a close watch on it!

Serve with a carbohydrate and you've got a complete meal! We ate ours with frozen raspberries and banana slices.

* * * *

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chicken Breast Tenders in French Cream

This quick-to-make recipe smelled and tasted so heavenly while Joseph was cooking it, I could have sworn the sauce had mushrooms or truffles in it. Turns out the recipe that inspired him really did have those ingredients! ??? Something metaphysical about that ...

Most people would serve this over rice or noodles. We ate it out of a bowl to savor the sauce. (If you're worried by the cream, read the post about fats before you try this one.)

Chicken Breast Tenders in French Cream
Serves 2-3

3 tablespoons ghee
Approx. 1 lb. organic, free-range chicken breast tenders
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat ghee in iron or other large skillet. Add tenders, seasoning with half of the salt and pepper. Cook over medium low heat, turning until the color changes to lightly browned, if at all, on all sides. Cover and cook in juices and ghee for approximately 10 minutes. Then remove the chicken to a bowl to keep warm.

Add shallots to the skillet. Cook and stir for a minute or two. Add brandy or cognac and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the cream. Raise the temperature until the cream bubbles, then reduce heat and cook until the mixture thickens, approximately 10 minutes. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Pour chicken and juices back into the pan. Stir and heat.

* * * *
We served this with a Greek salad (feta, olives, and lemon vinaigrette) and mashed roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with pumpkin pie spices and ghee or butter or hazelnut oil. (And of course you can add mushrooms or truffles!)

Let us know how you liked it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Raspberry Apple Mash

We often invent yummy sweet dishes without resorting to sugar, honey, syrups, or nectars. After you've recovered your tastebuds from years of abuse, Nature's delicate flavors provide plenty of sweetness without the insulin punch-in-the-gut that's causing everyone so much trouble.

For this recipe, he used 100% green stevia leaf powder to add just a little sweetness. Then he added rose water, which you can find in the spices section of your supermarket or health food store, or local Indian, Persian, or Arab market, to bring up a flowery sweetness that goes nicely with the raspberries.

Stevia Secrets

Our fledgling stevia plant
Joseph's Cooking Notes:

I love stevia! It’s great stuff, but it doesn’t taste very good because it’s 300 times sweeter than sugar. It’s so sweet that if you ate the extract straight, your mouth would implode and you might end up with permanently sunken cheeks. Don’t try it. Let this serve as your warning.

Fat: Why We Cook with Butter, Ghee, and Grease

Joseph's Cooking Notes:


Around 10 years ago, I lost 45 pounds on a low-fat diet. I ate many whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, abundant low-fat meat and protein, and kept my fat intake around 10%. After about two years on this diet, I developed what doctors call irritable bowel syndrome. Trust me, you don’t want your bowels mad at you. I’ll spare you the details.

But the cure for me involved adding fat back into my diet—and not flax oil, or soybean oil, or hydrogenated plastic can’t believe it’s not butter or whatever. I mean ANIMAL FAT. I can hear a collective hush from the health fiends, such as myself. But I’m convinced that animal fat has been unfairly demonized. Here are a few facts about animal fats that I seldom hear from the hysterical food police:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Joseph’s Irish Frittata

This is a great way to use up the leftover potatoes and onions from your St. Patrick’s Day boiled dinner! (Leave out the cabbage, though.) Joseph used leftovers from our Polish-Irish Turkey Kielbasa Dinner, giving the frittata a wonderfully tangy undertone.

Joseph’s Irish Frittata
Serves 2

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 eggs
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup leftover boiled potatoes, sliced
1/2 cup leftover boiled onions, chopped
Goat feta cheese, crumbled, 1 to 2 oz. to taste

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Gently stir in potatoes and onions. Set aside.

Heat oil in an iron skillet, then set the heat on medium-low (4 on our electric stove). Pour in the egg mixture, spreading the potato and onion pieces evenly around the pan. Sprinkle with the feta cheese.

Cook for five minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees. (Joseph says this is necessary because all electric stoves are cooler and hotter in different places). Cook another five minutes on the stovetop, then place the skillet under a hot broiler until the frittata is sizzling and cooked on top. Serve with buttered, gluten-free toast. Serves 2.

Polish-Irish Turkey Kielbasa Dinner

A Polish step-granddad and an Irish family heritage probably contributed to Joseph’s fondness for this kind of meal, a lighter alternative to the traditional corned beef served on St. Patrick’s Day.

It’s also quick and easy, but tastes like you’ve been slaving over the stove for hours! 

Polish-Irish Turkey Kielbasa Dinner
(Serves 2-3)

1 package* fully-cooked turkey kielbasa (from Trader Joe’s)
5 organic potatoes
1 large yellow organic onion
Handful of organic peeled baby carrots
  (or 1 to 3 peeled whole carrots, cut in serving sizes)
5-6 fresh green organic cabbage wedges

Cut the kielbasa into serving-size pieces. Place in large kettle, cover generously with filtered water, put a lid on it and turn the heat on high to bring it to a boil.

Meanwhile, if you’re using russet potatoes, peel them; if red or yellow, leave the peels on but scrub well and carefully remove eyes. Cut them in half if they’re very large. Add to kettle, making sure there’s enough water to cover them.

Cut the onion into quarters. Add to pot. Add the carrots. Bring everything to a boil, then turn down and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are almost done, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover the pot and lay the cabbage on top. Cook it for only 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered! This will reduce the nastiness that can happen to cabbage if simmered for long periods of time in a covered kettle. Ugh.

Arrange the cooked meat and vegetables on a beautiful platter and serve it at the table. Pass salt and butter for the potatoes, with mustard for the kielbasa. (We don’t salt the kettle because usually the kielbasa does that for us. Adjust to your own taste.)

*Tips: If you plan to feed a family, buy two packages of the kielbasa and add a few more vegetables. Use any leftovers to make Joseph’s Irish Frittata for breakfast!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Now Joseph's Creamy Cosmic Potato-Leek Soup is famous!

A new site called Chic Galleria posted Joseph's recipe for Creamy Cosmic Potato Leek Soup as part of their Wednesday soups & stews series. So here's the link to yet another delicious winter soup:

Best thing about this link: It includes the instructions for making the Easy Homemade Chicken or Turkey Stock that serves as the basis for the soup, so if you want to share it with a friend, all the info is in one spot.

Thank you, Chic Galleria!

Creamiest Mushroom Soup Ever--without cream!

Personally, I would double this recipe because we ate it once, it was the best mushroom soup I've ever eaten, and now it’s all gone! But it's very easy to make.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Easy Homemade Turkey or Chicken Stock

Frozen turkey stock,
waiting to become soup on a cold day!
Next time you roast a whole chicken or turkey, make stock from the remains. It's incredibly easy, and you’ll create a goldmine of minerals to keep in the freezer and add to your diet at will. And it tastes amazing because your body-brain registers how nutritious it is and sends the message to your tastebuds. So comforting on a cold day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Orange Roast Chicken with Red Wine

Hi! This is Lianne. Joseph's been cooking up some fabulous soup recipes lately, even though winter seems to have forgotten to be cold in San Diego. But we're still getting frosty nights, so a nice warm bowl of homemade soup is especially welcome. But in this case, the chicken (or turkey) comes first!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What is Cosmic Cooking?

“I love traditional foods because I think many of them carry the wisdom of the ancestors. It’s the wisdom of the body before corporations got involved with their hidden agendas, and murked up the body’s innate nutritional instincts.”– Joseph
I’m the fortunate wife who gets to eat all of these marvelous concoctions Joseph creates. I also wash a lot of dishes.” – Lianne
What is Cosmic Cooking?

Cosmic Cooking is healthy, inspired, and often spontaneous. We think the lost art of cooking your own food is an important "Survival Skill for the 21st Century."

Cosmic Cooking is best enjoyed sitting down at a table with loved ones. But if you must, it will still be nurturing and satisfying stuffed in a backpack, eaten alone, consumed in the car, or spoon-fed in front of the TV. Although we think you’re going to like it so much, you’ll prefer the table, where you can taste every delicious morsel!

The not-so-secret ingredient of Cosmic Cooking is LOVE, every step of the way, from the field to the fork.

How This Blog Can Help You
If you don't know how to cook, let us inspire and instruct you.

If you do, enjoy some crazy new combinations or ideas or ingredients or tools you've never tried before.

And by all means, post your experiences in the Comments section! We'd love to hear from you.

What We Eat

We love to eat a gourmet, widely varied diet. You'll find specific posts about ingredients here, but you're probably wondering what kind of recipes you'll find. We've tried so many diets, it's really rather embarrassing. All of them had good results at first, but made us sick over time.

Since April of 2013, we've been on the Perfect Health Diet, which so far has lived up to its name. We do closely monitor what we put in our bodies, so that our current diet tends to look like this most of the time:

  • 5 oz. white rice (to avoid the toxins in brown rice), potatoes, plantains, orange, white or purple sweet potatoes, taro root (giant or little), tapioca, or other roots per meal, 3 meals per day
  • Healthy fats, including butter, ghee, cocoa butter, suet, and lard from pastured pigs, olive oil, and hazelnut oil; we try to avoid high omega 6 oils such as canola, corn, soy, safflower, etc.
  • No sugar or its artificial derivatives
  • Natural sweeteners (fruit, stevia, occasional honey, maple syrup, or carob syrup)
  • Fresh produce — Currently we're not eating as much organic because freshness energy-tests better than old, and the ethnic markets (Korean, Asian, Mexican, Persian, Arabic, etc.) in our neighborhood have higher turnover than the farmer's markets
  • Seasonal foods
  • Traditional dishes modified for today
  • We avoid all grains, especially wheat
  • Fermented foods for digestive enhancement
  • Limited lactose (for Lianne), with more goat milk and cheeses
  • Animal foods, mostly ruminants and low fat fish, with poultry, fatty fish, shellfish, and organ meats once per week. We eat 3–4 oz. (cooked) each, 2 meals per day
  • 16/8 fasting — We eat all our meals within an 8-hour window, fasting in between (Breakfast 10:30 a.m., Lunch 2:30 p.m., Dinner 6:30 p.m.)
A typical day for us would be:


Split a steamed pudding made from 10 oz. plantains, sweet potatoes, or tapioca, 8 oz. fresh fruit baked in with 6 eggs, 1 oz. of homemade sausage with liver or heart on the side for each of us, and raw carrots, celery, or jicama.

Steamed eggs, liver or heart sausage, and a mash of white rice or sweet potatoes with bananas or other fruits, and raw carrots, celery, or jicama.

Frittata or omelette with seasonal veggies (asparagus, chard, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, or whatever's in season), with goat cheese and a sweet mash like we have with the steamed eggs.


Salad with cold potatoes or rice or yucca, chopped meats (4 oz. for Joseph, 3 oz. for Lianne), and a variety of seasonal veggies with a nice, salty homemade dressing. We don't eat the bagged greens anymore. Perhaps they're too old by the time we can get them? Or maybe lettuce just holds up better in a head. 3–4 oz. seasonal fruit for dessert.


Bone broth or stock soup. We put the 5 oz. rice, potatoes, or maybe taro roots in a bowl, then on the stovetop boil two cups of bone broth or stock, into which go seasonal veggies and a variety of seasonings. Sometimes we'll boil the meat in the stock, sometimes we put leftovers in a bowl and heat it up by pouring boiling stock on top. Lianne likes to include a raw vegetable on the side (cucumbers, celery, carrots, red bell peppers, or ?)
Joseph considers it a special challenge to redesign familiar favorites to suit these parameters. He'll be posting specifics about some of his unusual ingredients, with recipes for sampling. 

We're not vegetarians, but we've been hugely influenced by the recipes and cooking style in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone; by the Weston A. Price Foundation and Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions; the Perfect Health Diet, and our large collection of traditional cookbooks, which you'll surely hear more about!

Who We Are
Joseph Downey is a self-taught gourmet who loves to create spontaneous, unexpected delights from whole, lovingly grown and carefully nurtured ingredients. He’s also an author, poet, composer, and dancer. But his favorite way to relax from his full-time day job is in the kitchen, converting another recipe into something truly magnificent—or just plain weird but yummy.

Lianne Downey has become an adventurous eater, purely for survival in Joseph’s kitchen! But she has no regrets and does in fact eat amazing meals three times a day, especially on weekends. She’s also an author, dancer, musician, and publisher. She writes another blog, "Soul Pursuits," about our shared adventures in interdimensional consciousness.

Together, we own Cosmic Visionary Music & Books – and this blog.