Oxalates – BE CAFEFUL – Spinach, Beets, Swiss chard, Endive, etc…

I just wrote Dr. Gundry. I really like his podcast because he has all sorts of geniuses speak, even if he doesn’t agree with them. I was about to load up on Belgian endive, a member of the chicory family, when I learned more about oxalates. Here’s what I wrote to Dr. G.

“Dr. Dr. G — Recently I was diagnosed with Lichen Planus, UGH! I am a Food/Health Chef (passionate nut). In researching potential diet culprits, seems oxalate heavy foods can be contributors. I sparingly eat Swiss chard, spinach but I was eating beet greens and beets (even juicing them), and just bought endive, radicchio because of your podcast recommendation BUT these also have oxalate (oxalic acid).

It’s important to address OXALATE specific foods. Maybe talk about Lichen Planus/Lichen Sclerosus. I’ll stick with my cruciferous greens (kale, arugula, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens) as my everyday greens, but enjoy beet greens (and beets), Swiss chard, spinach, endive, and radicchio, occasionally.

Thanks, and I do love your podcast. As a Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach/Nutritional (delicious foods) Chef, I send all my clients your way!

chamberslife.com”

Greens, Scallions, Herbs & Beans

Spring at Raleigh City Farm means — out of the greenhouse & into the plots. Seen here kale & lettuces.
  • 2 T EVOO (Italian has the most nutrients.)
  • 8 scallions/green onions Separate the white & green parts as the white parts taste entirely different than the green & we’ll cook the white parts and have the green parts as a garnish. Chop.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • Sea salt, black pepper, turmeric
  • 1/4 C. stock of your choice or water
  • 2 C pressure-cooked garbanzo beans/chick peas Choose Eden Organic if using canned. Pressure cooking eases digestion by inactivating lectins. Add a couple strips of astragalus root for immunity. Remove the astragalus before serving.
  • 6 C fresh greens, roughly chopped. Or add whole(beautiful as a nest)& include a knife to serve.
  • Herbs of your choice and as much as you like. The Raleigh City Farm harvest this week includes rosemary, oregano & thyme. My recommendation is rosemary by itself or a mix of two thirds oregano to 1/3 thyme. Taste the herbs raw to make sure you like them. The taste will change when cooked; while oregano will mellow, thyme and rosemary will intensify. Thyme can be very dominant so add sparingly. You can always “herb/spice it up!” later. Rosemary is an amazing herb — improves brain function.Centenarians in Italy pinch a bit & eat it every day. Look for my future post about rosemary(s). Oregano, I can’t say enough, except eat it every day, raw in salads, on sandwiches, etc. Check out my prior post here about all the benefits of: OREGANO!
  • Acid splash of some sort — Lemon juice or Champagne vinegar
  • Crunchy something — pumpkin or sunflower seeds, fried onions (yum!) even crumbled chips or crackers
  • Optional: A bit iof feta & a few kalamata olives for interest.

Heat the EVOO in a skillet. Add the garlic & scallion white parts. Sauté just until clear. Add +/-1/2 t salt, 2 dashes of freshly ground black pepper & a dash (or 2) of turmeric. Add the stock, herbs & garbanzos and cook until the beans are heated through, stirring constantly. NOTE: If you are using leaf lettuces, spinach or baby greens, just place them raw on the plate as the beans will wilt them. OR Add the greens & cook just until wilted. If you’d like a greens’ nest, for ease later, cook the greens separately on one side of the beans’ skillet.

Taste the beans & greens and add more herbs & salt/pepper as desired.

If you cooked the greens whole, pull them from the skillet and form a “nest” for your beans. If you chopped the greens, just add the bean/green mixture to a serving dish. If using raw greens, place them on a plate & top with the hot beans. Squeeze a bit if acid over. Sprinkle with the green onions & crunchy stuff. Add olives & feta if you like.

Divine & Delicious Dining, Ya’ll!

See ya at the FARM! Don’t forget to get your April 24 Bearthday Celebration tickets by April 19!

Summer Basil Pasta

This simple recipe is an all time favorite.
  • 5 ORGANIC plum or other tomatoes, chopped (about 1 pound) (Peel & seed first for easier digestion.)
  • 1/4 C ORGANIC basil chiffonade
  • 1 T ITALIAN extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T ITALIAN red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves ORGANIC garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 t Iodized sea salt
  • 8 ounces ITALIAN farfalle/bowtie pasta, cooked (Cook until almost al dente. The bow’s center will be a bit firm and seem undone, but it will soften in the marinade.)

Mix all ingredients & refrigerate for at least an hour. DELIZIOSA INSALATA!

MUST! Supplements

I am a sponge trying to absorb information about nutrition & that includes food as well as supplements. It’s an ever changing research project. The best advice came through a program I took with PESI and that is — EVERY individual requires unique health care. What’s right for me is not always right for you.

Learning what was right for me came first through some wonderful healers who thought outside the box a bit. One was my eye doctor who not only recommended Lutein 20mg a day, but also Omega 3s when I complained in my mid 50s of dry eye. He said, “Hey, try taking 2000 mg of Omega 3s for about 3 weeks and let’s see what happens.” My dry eye was completely relieved & I also noticed my brain seemed to be working a bit better as well.

A B-complex was recommended to help my focus. Worked!

Low magnesium was the culprit after an ambulance took me to the Heart Center with a suspected heart attack just 2 years ago. Damn, was I scared. I was admitted & the next morning took a stress echocardiogram. I could have run on that treadmill all day. My heart was in great shape but my magnesium levels were low. About 7 years ago, I had my heart checked because I had tightness in my upper chest on elevation hikes. My heart was fine. My lungs were fine. No one checked the magnesium level. Today, with a magnesium boost every day, I hike well & I also noticed I am a bit calmer.

The legal disclaimer: This is what I learned that worked for me. I am a Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach, not a doctor. I do have a voracious appetite for health knowledge. BUT you must work with your trusted health professionals to know what’s best for you. IMPORTANT! f you take ANY PRESCRIPTION medications, supplements (and even foods) may interfere with your Rx’s effectiveness or duplicate their purpose. Some prescriptions deplete nutrients that you might need to replace. For example Synthroid, which I take for hypothyroidism, may deplete my calcium.

Your pharmacist & health professional can guide you. Sprouts Farmers Market has a nutrient awareness guide that details what prescription meds may deplete.

BE SURE all your supplements are verified through a third party source (USP or other lab) as supplements (& what they claim they are) are not regulated by the FDA.

I’d like to highly recommend two podcasts Dr. Gundry and Dr. Hyman as resources to help you sort what is right for you. And here’s the list of what I take & why. NOT what you should necessarily take. ASK your health care provider to test for deficiencies before you take anything!

  • Omega3 2000 mg ratio — DHA 66% (brain) EPA 34% (heart) Brain power, heart health. Balance overload of Omega 6 in our diets.
  • Magnesium Potassium Aspartate — Nerve & Muscle support. You can also obtain topically (epson salts bath) Replace loss of magnesium in our food due to soil depletion. If you take too much you will have diarrhea. Start low & increase. Everyone is different.
  • Lutein 20 mg Eye health
  • IMPORTANT!!!!! Vitamin D3 LOTS! Immunity & brain & bone health. I take 2000 IU a day regularly & up to 4000 IU these days when I want to boost my immunity. I put my mushrooms in the sun to increase their Vitamin D2.
  • B complex + a sublingual B12/methylcobalamin form Nerve/brain support, digestion, energy. Especially if you are a vegetarian but everyone needs as our food sources are depleted.
  • IMPORTANT!!!! C 1000 mg TIME RELEASED or take 250 4 times a day. Immunity, iron/nutrient absorption, tissue repair, collagen formation, wound healing, bone & cartilage support. TOO much will give you diarrhea! Especially important for immunity!
  • CoQ10 – Heart Health
  • Zinc, selenium, other minerals. I eat Brazil nuts for the selenium & oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp (shell fish) for my super immunity etc boost! Research mineral supplements thoroughly before you ingest.
  • Iron — just fyi, tea depletes iron.

GOOD HEALTH!

ImmuniTea

Think delicious first then immunity booster.
  • 1/2 cup dried astragalus root pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries
  • 1/2 cup dried rose hips
  • 1/2 cup dried whole hibiscus flowers (1/4 cup pieces)
  • 1/3 cup dried ginger root (not powder) OR fresh ginger slices added when preparing
  • Honey or your preferred sweetener (or not)
  • Fresh orange slice or a squeeze of any citrus

Mix the dry ingredients & store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. For a cup of tea, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 4 tablespoons of dry mix & fresh ginger to taste. Ginger adds heat so temper to your taste. Simmer, think teeny bubble, for 15 minutes. Strain. Add honey. Pour into your favorite cup. Add citrus.

I think this is MY find recipe for January 2021. Check my blogs for Immunity Soup https://chamberslife.com/2020/03/15/beauty-your-immunity-soup/ & Winter Proofing https://chamberslife.com/2019/10/31/winter-proof-you/.

Next blog — SUPPLEMENTS for Immunity & Brain wellness.

Ginger-Scented Pecans

I have to give these away immediately TO MY FAVORITE FRIENDS because I will eat them all!
This is Martha Stewart’s recipe with more pecans & ginger.
  • 7 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons (or more) ground dry ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Heat oven to 325°F. Place the nuts on a parchment-lined full sheet pan (26×18) & roast for 12 minutes; stirring & turning the pan after 6 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Line a second full sheet pan with parchment paper & set aside. Just before the nuts are done, in a large skillet heat the honey, oil & water. Immediately add the hot pecans to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated (3-5 minutes). Add the dry ingredients & coat all the pecans. Pour the nuts onto the second sheet pan to cool.

When they are room temperature, eat them all. HAHAHA. Store in an airtight container. Thank you Martha for this recipe, one of my favorites.

Oysters Rockefeller

I love OYSTERS. I eat them at least once a week. My test recipe for this classic is delicious & easy.

OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER

  • 36 clean oyster shells &
  • 2 pints of fresh east coast (USA) oysters, drained OR 36 fresh oysters, popped open
  • 3 tablespoons organic butter (+ 1 tablespoon for topping)
  • 1 medium clove of organic garlic, pressed or teeny minced
  • 1/3 cup minced organic shallots
  • 1/4 cup minced organic shiitake mushrooms
  • 12 ounces chopped, frozen or fresh, organic spinach (For fresh, blanch & set aside.)
  • 1/2 cup organic cream
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup grated Italian Parmigiano Reggiano (+ 3 tablespoons for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon +/- Pernod Absinthe (A very gentle anise flavor, barely detectable is desired.)
  • 1 tablespoon +/- organic lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground organic black pepper
  • Topping: 1 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons Parmigiano
  • Sea salt – maybe

About 2 hours before you want to serve your Oysters Rockefeller, prepare the spinach mixture. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan. Add shallots & garlic & cook 3 minutes until just they are clear. Add the mushrooms & cook 3 minutes. Add the spinach & cook until the moisture evaporates. Cool to room temperature. Add cream, 1/3 cup Parmigiano, 1 teaspoon Pernod, 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 t black pepper. Mix until just combined. TASTE! Adjust seasoning to your preference.

I love sea salt but I found this recipe didn’t need it, but that depends a lot on your cheese’s saltiness.

Refrigerate for 2 hours. This helps the mixture to mound well on the oysters.

Prepare the topping by melting the butter, adding the bread crumbs and cooking just until bread crumbs turn golden. Remember they’ll continue to crisp on the oysters. Stir in the Parmigiano.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the drained oysters on paper towels. Then place 1, 2 or 3 oysters in each of the shells. Arrange on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. If using fresh oysters, gently pour off any liquid, & arrange them on a baking sheet.

Top the oysters with about 1 tablespoon of the spinach mixture. Sprinkle generously with the bread crumb topping.

Slice some lemons & BE READY!

Bake for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them because the size of the oysters will effect the cooking time. When they are bubbly and just golden brown, they’re done.

FEAST!

Saffron Cauliflower Pilaf

The Healthy Mind Cookbook by Rebecca Katz, inspired this delicious dish.

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, softened in 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup minced carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (iodized, preferred)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups of riced cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon chicken or no-chicken bullion (I like Better than Bullion Organic.)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 t lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • walnuts or nuts of your choice

This is truly one of my FAVORITE dishes.

In a skillet large enough to hold all of the ingredients, heat the ghee or oil. Add the onion, carrot, fennel, celery, garlic, salt & pepper. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower & sauté 3 minutes. Stir the bullion into the 1/4 cup water & add to the vegetables, along with the saffron, lemon zest & lemon peel. Cook 2 minutes; the cauliflower should be crisp. Avoid overcooking because it will be mushy. (Most things continue to cook for a bit even after they are removed from heat.) Stir in the parsley.

With the addition of a few nuts, you’ll have complete meal. It’s a great side dish & a perfect base for a breakfast egg. ENJOY!

Poultry Bone Broth & Food Safety

This year’s turkey was a 12 pound, free-range, organic bird from Trader Joe’s that cooked perfectly. After our table feast, I immediately prepare the turkey for the refrigerator & the carcass for bone broth.

Poultry Bone Broth

  • Roasted Turkey (or other poultry) carcass broken into pieces with a meat cleaver to release minerals from the bones. Include the herbs and vegetables you roasted with the turkey & any extra gravy.
  • 2 large carrots, cleaned but unpeeled, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 5 large stalks of green celery cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
  • 1 leek, green and white chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 6 whole alspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 springs thyme
  • 5 large springs parsley
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon iodized sea salt
  • Filtered water

Place bones in a large stock pot. Add water to about 4 inches above the bones. Add all remaining ingredients. Check water level to be sure it’s at least 2 inches above the ingredients. Over high heat, bring to a boil quickly, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to a barely visible simmer. This take a bit of checking to get the temperature exact. It is IMPORTANT to check and be sure it is always simmering to insure this food’s safety.

Simmer, uncovered, 24 hours. Yep 24 hours. While I am awake, I stir the broth occasionally & check to insure I have a teeny bubble simmer & that the water level is still about 2 inches above the ingredients. So by the time I go to sleep I am sure the cooking temperature is accurate. Broth making for smaller birds works well in a crock pot or an instant pot.

MY SERVSAFE FOOD PROCTOR SAFETY NOTE: Poultry broths should be kept HOT (=/+165°F) or COLD (=/- 39°F/Refrigerator Temperature) for optimum safety. So preparing properly for freezing or refrigeration is critically important.

After 24 hours, I bring the broth back to a rolling boil for about 2 minutes. Then I remove the pot from the heat & immediately cool.

Although the official “safety timeline” is cool soup from 140°F to 70°F in 2 hours & from 70°F to 40°F in no more than 4 hours, I work fast after my broth is ready to store by straining out the ingredients & spreading them out in a large baking pan & setting them aside to cool for my https://compostnow.org bin & treats for Lucy, my dog. (I’ll sort carrots & meat bits for Lucy or if the bones are totally soft, I’ll Blendtec the whole mess once it cools for her to enjoy as “Lucy Goo.” I take the same care in freezing Lucy’s Goo as I do for the bone broth.)

I use one of three methods to cool the broth. 1) Preferred — I pour the remaining hot broth into stainless steel bowls & set these into larger stainless steel bowls filled with ice & water. I stir these until the broth has cooled to about 65°F (room temperature or cooler). This takes about 30 minutes. 2) or I spread the soup into a very large shallow pan to cool. 3) or I add ice directly to the broth to cool or use an ice wand (on Amazon) to stir the broth cool. Or some combination of the above.

Then I divide the soup into straight sided ball jars, leaving 1″ of head room. I freeze or refrigerate the jars of broth without lids as the condensation in a closed container may also encourage bacteria*. I label the lids with “Turkey (or whatever) Broth” & the date & close the jars as soon as they are 40°F or frozen.

NEVER place hot broth in the fridge or freezer as it will raise the temperature of the appliance; the broth will cool from the outside edges to the center, causing opportunity for bacteria to grow in the warm center. AND the warm broth will raise the temperature of the refrigerator or freezer causing potential for bacterial growth in your other foods.

*When you receive take out food that is hot – immediately remove the lid as condensation may reach the perfect temperature encourage bacterial growth. Also, be sure to cool that food, using the above guidelines for broth, before putting it in the fridge.

All foods require careful temperature control. One that surprised me — RICE is very often a culprit for bacterial growth.

The process for bone broth is WORTH the steps. Enjoy!