Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? Or read the book? Julie Powell became an internet celebrity with her 2004 blog recording her yearlong adventure cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I am taking on a similar challenge, only I am blogging my way through a very healthy cookbook! And I will learn to master the art of healthy cooking! The book is called Eat For Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I will cook every recipe start to finish in four weeks just as they are laid out in the book. I will write about the recipes, show you pictures, and tell you how my SAD (Standard American Diet) eating, carnivorous husband likes them too. (See archives below.) He is behind me 100%!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Disease-Proof Your Child


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For me, my sugar addiction has not gone away until I completely eliminated processed sugar, and starting adding desserts to my life! But the desserts are made from whole, unprocessed foods. It sounds contradictory to add desserts, but it's true. Haze and I ate dessert almost every night when I was working through the Eat for Health cookbook. They were all different and exciting! We always ate them right after dinner--so we always made sure to leave some room. It was such a treat!! In the past I have always tried to eliminate all desserts. But it never works. I am looking through my Eat for Health cookbook—and there are almost all A’s next to every one of the desserts!! We truly enjoyed them. You just can’t even believe how wonderful they are! I feel like I don’t even need processed sugar anymore. They are that good. So the book I have chosen to work on next is Disease Proof your Child—Feeding Kids Right. It’s filled with FUN sounding meals, lots of desserts (hooray!!) and I we are both so excited to get started! Take a second look at these amazing, delicious, and NUTRITIOUS desserts!!
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Disease-Proof Your Child

Sometime around 1971 my Mom turned “Health nut.” As I remember it, that meant whole-wheat bread (or as we called it “brown bread”) instead of white bread, skim milk instead of whole milk, brown sugar instead of white sugar, and no packaged desserts or cereals. It was a big deal for 1971. We had to take BROWN bread sandwiches for our lunch at school with non-hydrogenated peanut butter. Try explaining that to your friends when you are 6 and it’s 1971. They thought I was nuts. I remember telling a classmate in the lunchroom that the baloney sandwich she was eating contained “cancer-causing nitrates.” I was like 9 years old! She called me a Liar. I was like, “NO—you don’t understand, my MOM told me this. It’s true!” She told the teacher and I got into trouble for causing lunchroom panic and lying.
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My mother had another Health-nut house rule: dNo desserts unless you made them yourself, from scratch, and only on the weekend, and only if Mom said you could make something. d
It was becoming harder and harder for me to get my sugar fix. On Halloween I would stay out until I could not carry my candy-filled pillowcase another step. Then I would take 2 or 3 days to eat ALL of the candy until it was gone. Even the gross stuff that I didn’t like would eventually get eaten. Like the Candy Corns. (What on God's green earth are those by the way??) I would nibble all the chocolate off of the Mounds Bars and toss out the coconut part. (I hate coconut) Candy Cigarettes got eaten too. Those have got to be outlawed by now. I remember “smoking” mine before eating it. (And yes, I was a smoker too for many years.) I could eat a TON of sugar.
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The sad part is I remember LOVING fruit as a child! I would come home from school grab an orange, some grapes or an apple and watch cartoons. And my Mom did her very best—she really did. We always had lots of fruit in the house, homemade meals, and big salads with every dinner. We all loved to cook—each person had a specialty. There were always homemade whole-grain breads—and no processed foods really ever. But still, there was that nagging sugar addiction...
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To be continued…

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Disease-Proof Your Child

Hello Everyone!
I am going to start blogging the recipes from Dr. Fuhrman's Disease-Proof Your Child next and will start posting the recipes on Monday, January 25th. So I thought I would take a few days and tell you why I chose that book—even though I do not have children. I also wanted to give you a glimpse of what my own childhood food life was like! I am the youngest of 4 girls and everyone in my whole family—including my Dad—can cook!
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“Someday you will thank me!” my Mom used to say. Well, thank you Mom!! She started me on this path of thinking about food, thinking about what I was putting into my body from a very young age. It wasn’t exactly a Dr. Fuhrman health-food plan, but she did her best with what was available. She read books like Diet for a Small Planet, and Laurel’s Kitchen. She started shopping at a health-food store, and she improved the quality of our food. This began in 1971 when I was 6 years old.
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But as early as I can remember my serious addiction to sugar began. Some of my earliest memories involve sugar. I remember sneaking into the kitchen and stealing the container of Tang, which is basically orange-flavored sugar that you mix with water to make a sugary orange drink. Apparently, Tang became popular when NASA used it on Gemini flights in 1965—that was the year I was born. Can you imagine being up in space and drinking orange-flavored sugar water? They must have been bouncing off the walls—literally. Only with me, I wouldn’t mix it with water—I would just eat it straight from the container. I would also nab boxes of Jell-O from the kitchen cabinet and just eat it. Finally, after my Mom kept finding me with an orange or purple tongue, and little trails of different colored sugar all over the place she stopped buying it. It was a sad day. I also remember stealing money from my sister’s piggy bank to buy candy from a neighborhood boy—when I was like 4 years old! I got caught. Sugar totally had a hold on me—and it’s been an ongoing problem my whole life.
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To be continued tomorrow…

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 3 Healthy Made Delicious

This was a fun project--thank you Chef AJ! All of the food on your DVD is fabulous and we will be making the recipes often. Next I am going to work on the recipes in Dr. Fuhrman's Disease Proof Your Child. There are about 50 recipes in the book, and while we do not have children, the recipes look tasty and fun! And we love fun food!! Here is what I made yesterday:
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Nutrient Rich Chocolate Smoothie
Smokey Black Bean Soup
Dream of Tomato Soup
Chocolate Mousse Torte
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The Nutrient Rich Chocolate Smoothie was very yummy! I've said before that I am very used to a berry based smoothie, but trying these new flavors has been fun! I think I made it a bit runnier than I like, so next time I will add a bit more frozen banana. But it's very tasty--I gave it an A.

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The Smokey Black Bean Soup was FABULOUS!! We gave it an A+. I added some guacamole on top--but you could add cilantro, nuts--lots of different flavors. Next time I will puree it a bit more--but we absolutely loved it. Tons of flavor!! I served it with some corn tortillas squeezed with lime. Really yummy meal.

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In Chef AJ's DVD, she says that the Dream of Tomato Soup can be used as a topping for veggies--so that is what I did. I steamed some broccoli and cauliflower and added the dreamy tomato on top! It went really nicely with the black bean soup. We gave it an A-

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Ok, I completely botched the recipe for the Chocolate Mousse Torte! But Haze still gave it an A+ + + so I guess you totally do not have to know how to cook to make this recipe taste great!! I ran out of nuts--so I had to make a completely different crust (I used the crust from Eat for Health's Bluevado Pie--which is Swiss Familia Cereal and dates). I also turned them into cupcakes--which is becoming a standard for me! The mousse is creamy and chocolatey and delicious!! You could serve this recipe to anyone and they would love it.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 2 Healthy Made Delicious

I haaaaated meatloaf as a child. I hated when my Mom would serve it (sorry Mom!) It would literally make me gag. Not like the saying--"it makes me gag" but quite literally-----I... would... gag. Meatloaf is probably one of the reasons I became a vegetarian!! I have been a vegetarian for about 20 years now, and only very recently did I try a veggie "loaf." Dr. Fuhrman has a recipe listed on the Recipe Guide on his website called Thanksgiving Non-Meatloaf that we made for Thanksgiving and absolutely loved it!! And yesterday, we tried a new recipe by Chef AJ called Hearty Lentil Loaf, and again LOVED it!! Check out AJ making Hearty Lentil Loaf on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABtdPdkBhro It is a clip from her DVD called Healthy Made Delicous. You can order this DVD and get these recipes by emailing Chef AJ at: chefaj@att.net Here is what I made yesterday:
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Wake up and Smell the Kale
It's Easy Being Green Smoothie
Hearty Lentil Loaf
Nutty Buddies (A Fundue variation)
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If you read my first blog on Dr. Fuhrman's Eat for Health you will know that Haze and I don't like veggie juice very much. But the Wake up and Smell the Kale was a nice surprise! Chef AJ adds a tropical twist to this juice and it really hides the kale taste nicely. I was not feeling well yesterday and this was sort of like an elixir that brightened me right up! I gave it an A- Haze gave it a B

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For lunch (along with a big salad and some leftover soup) I had the It's Easy Being Green Smoothie. It is definitely a new favorite! Rather than a berry base that I am used to in smoothies, this one had again--sort of a tropical spin that made it very tasty. I felt like Superwoman after eating this!! This is a great way to get your kale!! I gave it an A.

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The Hearty Lentil Loaf is just completely yummy and filling! It is totally different than the Thanksgiving Non-Meatloaf--a nice new addition to our recipe cache. We both gave it an A. There are tons of variations that you could do with this recipe--like top with BBQ sauce, ketchup, cranberry relish, gravy, slice it and make a sandwich. But we had some leftover guacamole and decided to top it that way. (Actually, Haze wants credit for the guacamole topper!) I couldn't find low-sodium ketchup, so I bought canned, no-salt, fire-roasted tomatoes. We spooned it over our slice of Lentil Loaf and then topped with guacamole. Wow! It was fabulous!!

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For dessert I made a variation on the Fundue that Chef AJ calls Nutty Buddies. We absolutely LOVED these! It tasted like an ice cream bar!! We both gave it an A+. YUM!!
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 1 Healthy Made Delicious

Chef AJ received an Easy Bake Oven at the age of 7 and has not stopped making food since. Following a plant based diet over 32 years, AJ is currently the Executive Vegan Pastry Chef at Sante in Los Angeles. She has been a Culinary Instructor in the Los Angeles area for the past 10 years. For 3 years she volunteered at the Braille Institute teaching healthy cooking to the blind, many of whom lost their sight due to Type II diabetes.A graduate of the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute,Chef AJ loves to inspire people to eat healthier by showing them that it can be easy, delicious and fun!!! She uses primarily organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and beans (her favorite bean being the cocoa bean). All of AJ's vegan creations are free of all processed ingredients including sugar, flour, oil and salt. AJ lives in Los Angeles, CA with her handsome vegan husband Charles and 2 rescued mutts, Ginger & Sparky.She has had the opportunity to cook for many celebrities and television shows. In her spare time, she designs T-shirts, her favorite one proudly saying "My IQ is higher than my cholesterol". She will be teaching in Austin with Rip and Dr. Essesltyn several week for the Whole Foods Immersion program, proudly wearing her new T-shirt which says "I am hotter than Rip and funnier than Jeff Novick".Chef AJ is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and a speaker for the National Wellness Institute where will be giving monthly webinars for them throughout the year. In November she will be speaking to 350 health professionals at the Cardiac Health Inprovement Program in Loma Linda.In her spare time, chef AJ volunteers teaching healthy food preparation classes for Black Women's Wellness and many other churches and organiztions where she inspires people to eat healthier.She just released a cooking DVD called Healthy Made Delicious with Matthew Lederman, M.D. of Exsalus Health and Wellness Center where she is the Consulting Chef.
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After spending 30 days blogging (and eating) our way through Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat for Health, Haze and I felt fabulous. Then, Saturday night we ate at a restaurant with no Fuhrman Friendly choices on the menu. The food was good but we could definitely taste lots of butter, salt and sugar! So we spent Sunday recovering from the very rich food. I am sooooooooo excited to get back on track--and what better way to start then with some yummy Chef AJ/Dr. Fuhrman Friendly food!! Here is what we had:
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Creamy Corn Chowder
Chocolate Fundue
And a very special TOP SECRET recipe called Hail to the Kale Salad
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The Creamy Corn Chowder was soooooooooooo incredibly easy to make and, in Julia Child's words, simplicity itself! It literally takes about 5 minutes to make. On her DVD, AJ says that she usually serves it cold, but we decided to warm it up. We topped it with some sun dried tomatoes, and some spicy guacamole and it was just luxurious and rich. Very hearty. We gave it an A-
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The Hail to the Kale Salad was absolutely tasty, creamy and luscious!! TONS of flavors going on there. Dr. Fuhrman has 2 kale recipes that we loved (California Creamed Kale and Orange Sesame Kale)--this one is right up there--if not better! WOW!! This recipe will be in Chef AJ's vegan cookbook that will be out soon. But she has agreed to let me share this wonderful recipe with you. (See below) We both gave it an A+ This is a recipe for everyone--kids included. It is that good!!
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It's good to know that even though we eat healthy--we are NOT missing out on treats. The Chocolate Fundue is rich, chocolatey, and just shamelessly good! I loved dipping the apples in it, but you could use any other fruit too (strawberries would be good in the summer!) What a creamy good treat!! We gave it an A+
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Chef AJ's Hail to the Kale Salad
This recipe will appear in Chef AJ's upcoming vegan cookbook, but she has agreed to give us a sneak peek!! This recipe is awesome and very easy to make. We will be making it lots!!
Ingredients:
2 large heads of curly kale (about 24 ounces)
sesame seeds, hemp seeds, peanuts, almonds or cashews (optional)
Dressing:
1 cup raw almond butter (raw, unsweetened and unsalted)
1 cup coconut water (or regular water)
¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2) and zest
2 cloves garlicf
resh, peeled ginger (approximately 1” or ¾ of an ounce)
2 tablespoons low sodium Tamari
4 pitted dates (soaked in water if not soft)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preparation:
In a high powered blender combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Remove the thick, larger stems from the kale and place in a large bowl. Pour 2 cups of the dressing over the kale and using an Ulu blade, massage the dressing into the kale while using the Ulu to finely chop the kale. Sprinkle with seeds or nuts before serving, if desired. Like a woman, this only gets better with age. This dressing also makes a delicious peanut dip for fresh veggies but you need to cut way back on the water and add some cilantro. http://www.chefajshealthykitchen.com/
copyright 2009
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