DISCOVERY JOY—North Georgia Candy Roaster

Thank you Farmer Maria! The word that describes this Raleigh City Farm gem – ABUNDANCE!
It’s a terrific winter squash that could work like a summer squash as well.
It’s a healthy eye additive for you and your dog too.

Abundance Soup/Sauce

  • 2 cups cubed peeled candy roaster
  • 1 cup cubed unpeeled from tart apple
  • 1 cup yellow onion crescents
  • 3 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt, fresh black pepper, dash cayenne
  • 2 cups water
  • Garnish – choose marigold petals, pumpkin seeds, teeny cubes of apple, sage leaves

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss all the ingredients and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until the squash is just brown on the edges, about 30 minutes. BUT check after 20 because the onion or apple may need to be rescued. Puree the roasted goodies with 2 cups of water, adding more water as you like. Garnish. It’s great hot or cold, as a soup or as an easy sauce (over or under) roasted cauliflower, poultry, pasta.

YUM!

Candy Roaster Blueberry Muffins

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husks (optional)
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed roasted candy roaster
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 orange
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Insert paper liners in a 12-muffin baking pan. Mix all dry ingredients including nuts in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in another. Combine the wet and dry until just mixed. Gently fold in the blueberries. Spoon batter equally into each muffin liner. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are browned. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Eat some. Freeze the rest. 

Seared Autumn Moons

Cut of a 6 inch hunk of candy roaster, split it in half longwise, peel, slice into 1/4” crescents. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a skillet large enough to hold all the roaster slices. Add 1 cup chopped onion, sauté until its translucent. Add 1 teaspoon curry powder or herbes de provence. Cook a minute and scoot the mixture into a bowl. In the skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee, sear the roaster until it is just caramelized and fork tender, not mushy. Add the onion mixture and heat through. Serve hot. 

Topsy-Turvy Fig Cake

Sweet figs and pungent rosemary make this a perfect summer treat. Serve with a creamy French cheese.
Raleigh City Farm has fresh delicious figs, and other fabulous produce. Check out their Wednesdays 4-7 farmstand.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh whole ripe figs, sliced in half, stem to blossom end
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Scant 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Grated zest of one lemon

Heat a 9-inch cake pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Add the butter and return the pan to the oven for about 3 minutes, just until the butter melts. Take the pan out of the oven. Mix the brown sugar with 1 tablespoon of the rosemary. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the melted butter. Place the figs, skin side up on top of the mixture. Place the walnut pieces in the spaces between the figs.

Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Whip the egg whites until stiff and set aside. Whip the egg yolks until they are light. Add the sugar to the yolks and whip until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, zest, and remaining rosemary. Blend well. Spoon the batter over the figs and even it with an angle spatula. Lightly bump the pan so the batter flows into the figs.

Bake for 40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it form the pan, and turn it onto a serving plate. Eat warm with a triple cream French cheese. It freezes great, too!

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!