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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Octopus Salad with Artichoke Hearts, Olives, and Caper Berries

GLUTEN-FREE |  DAIRY-FREE  |  DETOX-FRIENDLY


This simple salad makes a stunning starter. I had the opportunity to cook some baby octopus and took the less-is-more approach. To preserve its tender texture I cooked it quickly, dressed it with olive oil and lemon, and tossed it with just a few other ingredients.

This salad is an example of why I like to have a jar of marinated artichoke hearts in my pantry. They're full of flavor and ready to dress up any course. You could use instead freshly cooked artichoke hearts, cleaned and quartered, or frozen thawed artichoke hearts. If your lemon isn't organic, use the juice but omit the zest.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound baby octopus, cleaned
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 organic lemon
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground peppercorn
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup caper berries, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup quartered marinated artichoke hearts

Directions: 
  1. Use a clean kitchen shears to separate the octopus heads from the tentacles. Cut the heads in halve lengthwise, through the fleshy neck area, and drop the pieces into a clean bowl. Cut the tentacles in half through the end where all of the legs meet. If they are especially big you can cut the halves in half again. Add them to the bowl with the heads. Peel and smash a fresh garlic clove, then add that as well.
  2. Toss the pieces of octopus with enough olive oil to coat.
  3. Zest about a quarter of the lemon into the bowl with the octopus and the rest into a separate, large, clean bowl. Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze about a tablespoon into the dish with the octopus and the rest into the bowl with the lemon zest.
  4. To both bowls, add a pinch each of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  5. Toss the octopus with the seasonings until thoroughly coated. Set it aside to marinate for 30 to 60 minutes.
  6. To the other bowl containing the lemon zest and juice, add an equal amount of olive oil. Stir together and taste for seasoning. Make any necessary adjustments. Add the olives, caper berries, and artichoke hearts. Toss them in the lemon vinaigrette and set the mixture aside.
  7. After the octopus has had some time to marinate, warm a cast iron skillet, cast iron grill pan, or stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Pick up the pieces of octopus and let the marinade drip off before you drop them into the warm skillet. Don't move them around. As they cook, they will curl up and when they are ready to flip, they'll detach from the pan naturally. As they start to do this, add the marinade and continue cooking until the octopus are just cooked through. Give this your full attention because it will only take a few minutes and over-cooking octopus can make it chewy and tough. 
  8. As the octopus pieces become fully cooked, transfer them to the bowl with the artichoke heart mixture. Toss everything together, taste for seasoning, and make any necessary adjustments. Serve this salad immediately or cover and serve within two hours.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Curried Mango Chicken Lettuce Wraps

GLUTEN-FREE  |  GRAIN-FREE  |  DETOX-FRIENDLY


These lettuce wraps are delicious, nutritious, and full of anti-inflammatory spices. Cashews add texture and a bit of crunch while mango adds a subtle sweetness. You can make the chicken salad ahead of time and take this dish to go, whether you're headed to school, work, the park, or the beach.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Green Salad with Apples, Fermented Beets, and Ginger Orange Vinaigrette

GLUTEN-FREE  |  DETOX-FRIENDLY  |  DAIRY OPTIONAL


This light and refreshing salad makes a stunning starter or main course. It contains everything that healthy meals should: fiber, protein, healthy fat, and a fermented food. Every day I encourage my patients to eat more fermented foods because they support the friendly bacteria inside our digestive tracts. These beneficial microorganisms manufacture nutrients, break down environmental toxins, reduce inflammation, strengthen our immune systems, and modulate the expression of genes that influence metabolism and fat accumulation. We wouldn't live long without them.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Vegetable Beef Pho

GLUTEN-FREE  |  DAIRY-FREE  |  DETOX-FRIENDLY  |  VEGAN VARIATION


Soup is a great dish for the change of seasons when we crave food that’s lighter but still satisfying. This recipe has everything a healthy meal should contain: vegetables, protein, and healthy fat. It’s my version of the Vietnamese favorite called pho (pronounced "fuh").

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ginger Peanut Noodle Bowl with Mango and Shrimp

DAIRY-FREE  |  DETOX-FRIENDLY  |  GLUTEN-FREE VARIATION  |  GRAIN-FREE VARIATION  |  VEGAN VARIATION


I don't eat pasta very often, so when I do, it better be good. This colorful pasta salad is an excellent example. It's light and refreshing but also satisfying. Because it's served cold or at room temperature, it makes a great dish for picnics, potlucks, and trips to the beach.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Detox Salad with Orange Ginger Vinaigrette

GLUTEN-FREE  |  DETOX-FRIENDLY  |  DAIRY OPTIONAL


This colorful salad is delicious and nutritious. It's especially good for detox because the ingredients support the body's natural mechanisms that help eliminate the environmental toxins we're exposed to every day. Beets, fermented foods, and raw nuts are three of the top twelve detox foods I discuss in chapter eight of my book, The Prediabetes Detox. Citrus and parsley also support detox pathways and have been shown to improve blood sugar control. And avocado adds the kind of healthy fat that helps fight inflammation in the body.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cauliflower Chowder with Bacon and Green Chilies

GLUTEN-FREE  |  GRAIN-FREE  |  CONTAINS DAIRY


This creamy soup has a complex, smokey flavor. I don't eat a lot of bacon, but when I do I make sure it comes from well-raised pigs and I use it as condiment to flavor other dishes. It's one way to incorporate pasture-raised meats into a plant-based diet.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Pickle Shots and More


Every day I encourage my patients to eat more fermented foods to support a healthy microbiome (the collective community of microorganisms living on our bodies that we couldn’t survive without). While it's easy to ferment your own foods at home, not everyone has the time or interest. Fortunately, there are some good products available for purchase.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Moroccan Chickpea Soup

GLUTEN-FREE  |  GRAIN-FREE  |  DAIRY-FREE  |  DETOX-FRIENDLY


This soup is delicious and nutritious. It contains all the components of a healthy meal: fiber, protein, and healthy fat. It also contains anti-inflammatory spices and bone broth. The nutrients and protein in bone broth are particularly well absorbed and they support the growth and repair of connective tissues in the body like bones, joints, and skin. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sweet Potato Larb with Avocado


GLUTEN-FREE  |  DAIRY-FREE  |  GRAIN-FREE


Larb, also known as Laab or Laap, is a delicous and healthy dish from northern Thailand. It's full of protein, healthy fat, anti-inflammatory compounds, and bold flavors. Larb is usually made with ground meat, most often pork and sometimes chicken or duck, but it can also be made with crumbled tempeh or tofu (extra firm, pressed and drained). Larb is eaten wrapped up in a lettuce leaf. It's fresh, flavorful, and healthy.