Avocado Pear Smoothie

"Ewww, what is that?" Ian, my housemate, is not impressed by my concoction. The rest of my housemates eye it suspiciously, but don't say anything. I take the first sip while they all watch me shaking their heads. "This is delicious guys! I swear! Who wants to try it?" "Sure why not." Nick takes a sip."Mmmmm, that's actually not bad! What did you put in this again?" Not everyone in my house has embraced a whole foods diet, because many of them have the misconception that healthy food is bland, or worse, tastes bad. Thus, many of my recipes are viewed skeptically, especially when they're green. Honestly, I don't blame them - I used to think the same thing about eating healthy. But not anymore! I've learned that the healthiest food is by far the most delicious if you learn to read the signals your body is giving you accurately. In this case [...]

April 8th, 2014|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Elk Burger Lettuce Wraps

Yes, you heard right.  ELK burgers. Last week, I went hunting and killed a giant Elk and carried it home on my back. Seriously though, we did get Elk meat from a wild Elk that was shot in the woods, not by me, but by one of my husband's friends. I am not that kind of awesome, sorry guys! But I am the kind of awesome that is thrilled when the husband brings home Elk burger out of the blue! I admit, I was disappointed  at first to have to eat a hamburger with no bread or cheese. However, I changed my mind after the first bite of these babies. This burger was juicy, full of flavor (but not gamy!), and the sauerkraut, fresh tomato, and avocados just sent my taste buds to heaven. Here is a simple way to enjoy Elk burgers (or even a regular old beef burger, really) [...]

March 27th, 2014|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Meat Loaf Recipe

Dear Meatloaf, I'm sorry I so grossly misunderstood you when we first met over ten years ago, my first year in American college. I thought you were kind of ugly, dry, and bland. I was slightly appalled at the idea of eating just a wad of ground beef slathered in ketchup. I called you meat bread and would publicly refuse to eat you.  But once I started cooking for myself and incorporating some of the American foods I saw others making, I decided to give you another chance. After all, Clayton liked you so much - how could he be so wrong? But I cheated a little. I couldn't accept who you were, but like all true love, I know you could be something better. I mixed you with pork and wrapped you in bacon. I replaced the ketchup with a homemade tomato glaze, sauce and switched out your breadcrumbs bread [...]

March 12th, 2014|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Seven Things I learned from Grain Brain

A couple of weeks ago, when I posted on The Kitchen Rag Facebook that I was reading Grain Brain, you asked me to share what I've learned from it.  The book focuses on how our diet impacts the development and degeneration of our brain. The author, Dr Perlmutter, is not only a board certified neurologist who has been awarded the Linnus Pauling award for his innovative approaches to neurological disorders, but he also holds a degree in nutrition from the American College of Nutrition. He is one of the few conventional doctors to deny the validity of the low fat theory. The points he makes in his book have caused quite a bit of negativity from his more conventional colleagues. But the seed has been planted, and his book has been on the New York Best Seller List since it was published late 2013. Dr Perlmutter has http://thekitchenrag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/grain-brain1-1024x1024.jpgbeen invited to speak [...]

March 8th, 2014|Categories: Books Reviews|Tags: |2 Comments

The Privilege of Driving

"Hey Sir, can we get a ride to Mereseni? The man looks inquisitively at me and my best friend and then opens his back door for us. "We are in luck today.", Dana whispers in my ear. We jump in the back seat, throwing our backpacks at our feet. I know what you are thinking. "Bad idea." Two seventeen year old girls  hitchhiking home from school with a stranger.  Maybe in America that is a cultural taboo, but in Moldova this is a normal way to commute. The buses that come from the capital city are typically full, so they either don't take any more passengers, or they do, which is sometimes even worse. You get to experience the epitome of Moldovan travelling - standing inside a human sandwich topped with grocery bags and sometimes even animals like chickens, pigs, goats or some other creature. If you have a big space [...]

March 2nd, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |6 Comments

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pizza

I never thought pizza would happen for me again after I gave up dairy last November. As I browsed through my recipe list, I sadly scratched pizza off the meals I could still enjoy. I'd been making pretty darn good gluten-free pizza for a few years now, but pizza with no cheese, I mean, come one, what's the point? Well, turns out I was wrong. I changed my mind a few months ago  when my brother and sister in law (Me Gusta Mentequila!) made this delicious gluten-free, dairy-free pizza while I was visiting them for my birthday. It was amazing, and I haven't been able to get enough. Since then I've made it a few times myself and honed in what works best for me. The secret ingredient for this pizza is pesto. Dairy-free, delicious, creamy pesto. Here's how: Pesto Ingredients 1/3 cup of almonds 1/4 cup of avocado oil, find [...]

February 26th, 2014|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Book Review: Pruned

I don't deal well with change. I'm rarely on board with a new move or opportunity, and frequently I worry how it would affect us financially. Sometimes, this causes me to become anxious, and I start panicking, which usually means I become more controlling with my environment and my husband. I turn into someone else, and it's not pretty. For the last few years I've been trying to process my past more and figure out what made me so fearful of change. Its not as easy of an answer as I'd have hoped for. Some of it is just the way my brain is wired, some of it has to do with my family dynamic growing up, and some if it has to do with my country and the time in history I was born in. Watching the Moldovan economy collapse and destroy my parent's savings helped create a neurotic [...]

February 24th, 2014|Categories: Diana|1 Comment

My Five Favorite Ways to Use Avocado Oil

The day I had to give up my precious stick of grass-fed butter was a sad day. I hope to bring it back to my plate soon,  but for now, while my gut is healing, I am dairy free. Unfortunately, this also means giving up my main cooking oil - butter. So, I've taken to using coconut oil and clarified lard instead. Although I love both of these fats, let's face it, they both have a pretty overwhelming flavor for most cooking applications. I don't mind cooking meat in clarified lard or tallow, but with veggies, it tends to get gross. I've tried coconut oil for this, but it's was just too sweet and, for lack of a better word, coconutty. I felt like I was eating coconut with every meal. About three months of experimenting with different butter substitutes, I finally discovered avocado oil. At first I was apprehensive [...]

February 18th, 2014|Categories: Healthy Lifestyle|Tags: , |0 Comments

Surprised by Marriage

"I am going to marry you" he says, and his hand tightens around mine. "I know it will be tough with me still being in school, but we can do it." As he continues to explains logistics, my twenty-two year old mind turns into lead. I am trying hard to listen, but all I hear is the sound of my heart pounding hard in my ears. "What do you think?" he inquires and turns to face me. My sweet 6'6" nineteen year old boy's face looks serious and concerned, trying to find the answer in my lowered gaze counting the buttons on his shirt. "Um... I am not sure. You know what that means... I just can't  think about this yet... I really don't know...", I stammer, trying to loosen my hand from his tight grip. Clayton wraps his arms around me and we stand there on the sidewalk as [...]

February 14th, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: |2 Comments

Easy, Gentle Detoxing with Hydrotherapy

One of these statements is false. Guess which one. A) Over one billion pesticides are used in one product or another every year in the US. Source B) Out of 84,000 chemicals on the market today, many of which are in objects that people come into contact with on a daily basis, only 50% have been studied for safety. Source C) The average newborn baby, according to the Environmental Working Group, has 287 known toxins in his or her umbilical cord blood. Source If you click on the sources you will quickly figure out which one is false, but I'll save you some time and give you the answer. If you don't believe me you can go back and read the article. The false statement is B.  Only 1% of the 84 chemicals on the market today have been tested for safety, not 50%! Are you horrified? Me too. If a [...]

February 10th, 2014|Categories: Healthy Lifestyle|2 Comments
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