Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard & Tarragon and Sauteed Kale

I was inspired to make this pork tenderloin when a girlfriend told me about how her French mother prepares pork roast by stuffing it with garlic and ginger and covering the roast with tarragon-infused dijon. For this weeknight meal, I chose a tenderloin which is leaner and cooks much more quickly than a whole roast.

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard
3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp dried ginger or 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
2 garlic cloves minced
3/4 - 1 lb pork tenderloin
Salt & pepper

Place tenderloin in a baking dish. Sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Combine first five ingredients in a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mustard mixture over all surfaces of the tenderloin. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Preheat a grill to high. Cook tenderloin, attempting to grill on all four "sides", approximately 6 or 7 minutes per side, until cooked through. Center may be slightly pink. Place on a cutting board or platter, cover with foil and let sit while you prepare the kale (recipe follows). Slice tenderloin into approximately 1/4"-thick slices. Serve with extra dijon for dipping, if desired.

Sauteed Kale
1 bunch kale
2 cloves garlic, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Wash and dry the kale. Separate the kale from the center rib. [There are two techniques I use to do this depending on the type of kale. For curly kale with small leaves, I hold the stem in one hand, wrap my hand over the leaves with the other and strip the leaves off of the stem. Technique shown in top picture. For plain leaved kale, which is usually larger, I bend the leaf in half (so the "bottom" is on the outside) and while holding onto the leaf with one hand, I rip away the stem with the other hand. Technique shown in picture on bottom.] Once the leaves are removed, chiffonade the kale using the same technique I described for chopping basil.

Cover the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and heat on medium. Add the garlic and cook approximately 1 minute, stirring to avoid burning. Add the kale and toss, making sure to incorporate the garlic so it doesn't sit on the bottom of the pan and burn. Season with salt and pepper and saute until tender, approximately 10 minutes.

For a slightly more interesting side dish try one or a combination of the following:
  • Add 1 Tbsp slivered almonds before the garlic and cook for two minutes.
  • Add 1/4 Cup of diced onion before the garlic and saute until golden.
  • Drizzle toasted sesame oil and/or soy sauce over cooked leaves before serving.
  • Add several dashes of red pepper flakes along with the salt and pepper.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Success - A Natural High!

My brother and I received this email from my Dad this morning. It's too inspirational (and sweet) not to share:
My Children,

178.5 as of this morning. You're Father loves you and thanks you.

My mom and dad started Gundry a month or so after I did. My dad is not what your average person would describe as "fat", but he's been carrying around a bit of extra chub for most of my life. Despite the fact that he eats fairly well and runs regularly (in fact he finished a 10K this past weekend) - the extra LBs around his middle have led to a poor lipid profile (a group of blood tests that are an indicator for heart disease). So, a few years ago his doc said he'd better drop weight or face the risk of a heart attack. Dad has made several attempts to change his diet and exercise routines to get some weight off, but for the most part, he was stuck in the mid to low 180s. Now that he's following Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution, the pounds are steadily coming off. He calls me almost daily and says proudly, "I've reached a new low!" Referring to his weight of course. For the first time in a long time, he feels in control of his weight. He's ecstatic!

Mediterranean Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken

This salad is crisp and fresh - perfect for a summer lunch.

Serves 2

1 head romaine, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, julienned
3" segment of cucumber, halved, seeded, julienned
10 - 12 pitted kalamata olives, halved
3 - 4 oz. french green beans *See Notes
6 sliver-think cuts of 1/2 red onion, segments separated
1/2 lb. cooked chicken, roughly chopped to bite-size *See Notes
1 Tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled *See Notes

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and top with dressing. Turn lightly with a large spoon to coat evenly. Divide in half and spoon onto plates. Enjoy.

Green beans - I used about half of a bag of Trader Joe's French Green beans. You can throw them in raw, but I like to cook them a bit. The cooking directions on the bag suggest 3 - 4 minutes in the microwave. I find this to be too much - 1.5 minutes will give you a crisp-tender green bean. You can also use traditional green beans. If you do, I would recommend steaming or microwaving to soften and chopping into bite size pieces.
Chicken - Most grocery stores offer pre-cooked chicken options. Trader Joe's Just Chicken is cooked and cut into strips. If you buy flavored/marinated pre-cooked chicken, check the ingredients list for sugary foods. For this recipe, I barbecued chicken breast tenders drizzled in extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, over medium heat for approximatley 4 minutes per side.
Feta - Feta cheese is a natural accompaniment for the flavors above. Remember that cheese is a protein, so if you include it, cut back a bit on the chicken. If you're a vegetarian, you can ditch the chicken altogether and mix in a 1/2 to 1 cup of crumbled feta.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Pine Nut Dipping Sauce

This sauce is simple and delicious. Serve it alongside a frittatta or use it as a dip to liven up a raw veggie snack.

1/2 cup roasted red peppers*
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt

Put all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until blended. If you'd like a thicker sauce add more peppers or for a thinner sauce more oil. Add salt to taste if desired. If you only have a large food processor or blender, I would suggest doubling the recipe.

*I've never been very successful at roasting peppers myself - I buy them in a jar. Take a gander at the ingredients list before purchasing. Some brands include sugar. Pull the peppers out of the jar with a fork, so most of the liquid drains off.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Salmon Kebabs

When I saw the mouthwatering cover of this month's issue of Sunset Magazine, I said, "I will be making those salmon kebabs". And make them, I did!
Here's the recipe for Sunset's Pancetta salmon kebabs with parsley vinaigrette:

At Flying Fish restaurant in Seattle, chef Christine Keff makes this super-easy, luscious recipe with fillets. It's worth it to buy really good oil and vinegar for the vinaigrette—you'll taste the difference. You'll need 8 (10-in.) skewers; soak wooden ones in water 4 hours to prevent burning.

25 minutes
Yield: Serves 4


5 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar, such as Kimberley
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
1 1/2 pounds skinned king or coho salmon fillet (1 in. thick), cut into 1 1/2-in. chunks
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Combine 1/4 cup oil, the vinegar, garlic, salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°). In a large bowl, combine remaining tbsp. oil with remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper. Turn salmon in oil to coat.
3. Set out rows of 3 salmon chunks on a work surface. Unroll pancetta slices into strips and wrap strips once or twice around salmon, weaving long pieces between chunks. Skewer each row of salmon with chunks slightly separated.
4. Oil cooking grate, using tongs and a wad of oiled paper towels. Set kebabs on grate, then grill, covered, turning once, until fish is barely cooked through, 4 minutes.
5. Arrange kebabs on plates. Stir parsley into dressing; spoon on top of kebabs. Serve with warm, crusty bread for dunking.

Despite the delicious suggestion, I did not serve my kebabs with warm, crusty bread. I also tweaked the recipe by using thinly sliced deli ham, since it's leaner than pancetta. You could also use prosciutto (one of Gundry's Friendly Foods - page 58). Whatever pork product you choose to use, make sure it is thinly sliced. If the slices are wide, cut them lengthwise. The ham should be the ribbon on the salmon present, not the wrapping paper.
I also used a combination of parsley, marjoram, basil and oregano in my dipping sauce. The parsley plants in my herb garden are kind of sorry, so I had to supplement with other herbs. And, truth be told - I used reasonably-priced Trader Joe's brand evoo and red wine vinegar, rather than "good-quality" brands as suggested.
As you can see from the three scrawny, misshapen skewers above, I ended up using rosemary sprigs (leaves removed) for skewers as I realized, mid-dinner prep, that I had only one skewer left. (Which I guess also let's you know that I never follow the advice about soaking skewers. I've never had an issue with burning and I rarely remember to do preparation steps hours before I actually start making dinner). I'd seen rosemary sprigs used as skewers on cooking shows, but had never tried it. It really worked well. I rinsed the sprigs thoroughly as I didn't want the rosemary flavor to overpower the salmon. It still added some flavor, but it was subtle and nice. If you want to try this at home, you will probably need to get the sprigs from an actual rosemary plant. The herbs available at grocery stores, are generally the more delicate top sprigs, which wouldn't be sturdy enough to use as a skewer.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Meat and (this cauliflower is so good you'll forget you're not eating) Potatoes

One thing I love about the diet schmiet! diet (based on Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution), is that you can totally treat yourself to a satisfying meal with out cheating. My fiance loves beef, so for a treat tonight (it is Saturday afterall), I decided we'd have steak. I prepared this meal with the Top Sirloin Filets, yellow summer squash, zucchini and a 12oz. bag of trimmed cauliflower from Trader Joe's.


(Recipe adapted from the Everyday Italian cook book by Giada De Laurentiis, 2005)
Serves 2 - 3
1 lb. Top Sirloin Filet or other lean cut of beef
1 large, peeled garlic clove, halved
Salt and pepper
1/2 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat a gas grill for medium heat. Place steak on a plate. Rub the steaks with garlic on both sides and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill steaks until desired doneness - approximately 5 minutes per side for rare or 7 minutes per side for medium. Transfer the steak to a serving platter. Squeeze lemon and drizzle olive oil over steaks. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


3 zucchini
3 yellow summer squash
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

Wash and dry squash. Trim both ends of squash and slice in half length wise. With cut side up, drizzle squash with extra virgin olive oil, spreading evenly with a cooking brush or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill squash, flipping once until each side has nice, dark brown grill marks, approximately 15 minutes.


12 oz. bag chopped cauliflower,
1 Tbsp. cooking liquid
1 Tbsp. unsweetened soy milk
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Add cauliflower to a pot of boiling water. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until very soft. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cauliflower to a blender. Add cooking liquid, milk, salt and pepper to blender. Blend ingredients on medium speed or "chop" setting if your blender has one. Blend just until mixed. If needed, add cooking liquid and/or soy milk by teaspoonfuls. The mixture may still have some chunks of cauliflower (I prefer it that way). Be careful not to overblend or the mixture will get gummy. Mix in additional salt and pepper to taste, by hand.

Balsamic Dijon Salad Dressing

On Gundry, a lot of your lunches and some dinner side dishes will likely be salads. Lettuces are a great way to get bulk and nutrients into your diet. But what about dressing? Most store-bought dressings have sugar or other foods that are off the list. I think the easiest solution is to make your own dressing at home.
Make dressing in bulk and keep it in a jar or tupperware in the fridge. As you can see, I keep mine in an old olive jar.

1 Cup extra virgin olive oil
8 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 Cup water
Salt & pepper to taste

Pour all ingredients into a jar or tupperware with a good lid and shake to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store in the fridge. Because of the oil, the dressing will congeal slightly in the fridge. When you plan to use it, set it out for a few minutes while preparing your salad and shake well before use. If desired, add a little water to thin.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Trick for Chopping Basil

Fresh herbs are a bit of work, but they are totally worth it. I have a trick for chopping basil that makes it very easy. First, wash and dry your basil. Pick off the amount of leaves you want for your recipe. Using 5 or 10 leaves at a time, stack them, making sure to have a bigger leaf on the bottom and top and stuffing smaller ones near the middle - this will make the next step easier.

Roll the leaves up, using your thumb and forefinger on both hands.

Keep ahold of the roll with one hand and use the other to chop thin slices of the roll.
This will create a nice chiffonade, great for tossing in a salad or to top a dish.

If you would like chopped basil - great for including in sauces and dressings, continue by running your knife through the thin ribbons of basil until you've got a fine chop. This technique is also good for sage or other leafy herbs.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eggs - What about my cholesterol?

A friend recently expressed his doubt about eating eggs on most days of the week for breakfast. Here's what Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution says:
"Despite what you've been told, consuming up to four eggs a day has no major impact on most people's cholesterol... your ancestors did well with the real thing and so can you."
For a cholesterol free and convenient alternative to eggs you can use a 100% egg white liquid egg product such as Nulaid ReddiEgg, found next to regular eggs in most grocery stores. I've tested them out in some of my breakfast recipes. I must admit it's a little weird to pour eggs from a carton, but it was much quicker than cracking eggs and separating yolks. Some brands add food coloring to mimic the typical yellow color that comes from egg yolks.

Breakfast on the Go

I'm just about to head out for my favorite 7am yoga class and I have to be downtown for a planning commission hearing at 9am. What about breakfast? I threw a low-carb protein bar in my purse (along with my nut snack for later), I'll shower at the gym and I'm ready to go.

Page 65 of Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution lists four brands of Meal Replacement Bars that are great in a pinch and won't throw you off your low-sugar lifestyle. We keep Atkins Advantage and think Thin bars in our home. My fiance prefers the Atkins bars which are a little sweeter and I prefer the think Thin bars which taste a bit more "vitaminy", but I find heartier.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keep Up With Your Social Life!

Just because you're following a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you can't go out to eat or meet your friends for cocktails. One of the reasons I am in support of a lifestyle following Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution is that eating out and keeping up with your social life is totally doable.

Last week my fiance and I met a friend of his from grade school at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica for dinner. Rustic Canyon is a restaurant and wine bar that hosts a regularly-changing seasonal menu inspired by ingredients from local, sustainable farmers, ranchers and fishermen.

To our delight, our server didn't bring bread to the table (having to turn away a baguette is like a punch in the stomach for me), but instead brought a small plate of mixed olives and fried (but not breaded) baby artichokes with garlic, lemon and parsley. So delish! We ordered a bottle of organically grown wine - a recommendation from our friend because apparently in addition to the benefits of organic farming, organic wine is less prone to give one a hangover. Nice! I'll try to do some more research on this and report back :) Next, my man ordered a scallop appetizer while I got a really yummy and fresh dish of sliced summer squash with olive oil, lemon, mint and walnuts. For our entree we shared a steak, which normally comes with fries, but the restaurant graciously substituted expertly prepared sauted kale for the frites. We enjoyed every bite of our meal and made no diet "violations" whatsoever.

"Pizza" Night

Okay, so no one will mistake this "pizza" for the perfect slice. But for those of you who love pizza, this food bible-approved version does the trick. Instead of dough, which is loaded with sugar, this recipe uses low-carb toritillas.*

This recipe is adapted from Dr. Gundry's Evo Pizza recipe on page 228 of Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution. Serve with a salad or other vegetable side dish. Tonight, I'm serving this pizza with roasted zucchini (more on roasting vegetables later).

Serves 2.


2 low-carb tortillas
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup no sugar added tomato sauce (check list of ingredients)
1 tsp. each chopped fresh oregano, basil and parsley (or 1/4 tsp. each dried)
1 Tbsp. red wine
4 oz. fresh mozzarella (packed in water), thinly sliced**
Sea salt

Toppings: I like this "pizza" plain, but you can add any food bible-approved toppings that you wish.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add onions, stirring occasionally, until golden, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce, herbs and red wine, stir to combine and cook 2 minutes. Turn heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
Place tortillas on cookie sheet. Spread half tomato sauce mixture on each tortilla. Top with cheese and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake in oven for 5 minutes.

SHORT CUT: If you don't want to go to the trouble of making your own sauce, you can just use 1/4 to 1/3 cup of no-sugar added tomato sauce or chopped fresh plum tomatoes. Personally, the taste of plain tomato sauce reminds me of a Chef Boyardee meal - not a fan.

TIP: Tortillas keep well in the freezer. Once you open the package, you can put the rest in a zip-lock bag and store in your freezer. When you are ready to use one, thaw in the microwave or in a dry skillet over low heat.

* I used Mission brand Carb Balance Flour Tortillas. Get the taco size, not the burrito size.

** Fresh mozzarella is found in the refrigerated isle near other cheeses. You will likely find an 8 oz. package with two mozzarella balls. Slice and use one ball for two pizzas. This will roughly be 3 or 4 slices on each pizza.

Poached Salmon Salad Nicoise

So, truth be told, when I traveled to Paris in 2001 I had not yet been introduced to the fabulous cuisine that is French food. I passed by countless individuals eating what I now know to be a nicoise salad in countless fabulous sidewalk cafes. However, I ate exactly zero nicoise salads while in France and approximately five McDonalds Happy Meals. Heart breaking! But, the good news is: I have since discovered and come to L-O-V-E nicoise salads. In southern California, they are most often served with seared ahi, which, while yummy, just isn't my favorite. So, when I saw a recipe in Sunset's May 2010 issue for a poached salmon nicoise, I knew I had to adapt it and incorporate it into my repertoire.

2 servings


2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. herbs de provence
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 lb. skin-on, wild salmon fillet (1 - 1.5" thick)
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar (or substitute more red wine vinegar)
1/3 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped basil
1 bag mixed lettuce
2 hard-cooked eggs, cut into quarters
1/4 lb. haricot verts (French green beans) or regular green beans, trimmed and boiled until tender but crisp
1/4 C. cucumber, seeds scraped out with spoon, chopped
2 Tbsp. red onion minced
1/4 C. pitted nicoise or kalamata olives


To a large skillet, add bay leaves, herbs de provence, cracked pepper, salt and lemon. Lay salmon in skillet and add enough water to cover. Remove salmon, cover mixture and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer. Add salmon, cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until just cooked through.

While salmon is cooking, make dressing, cook green beans and chop red onion. For dressing, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, herbs and salt. For green beans, steam until tender but crisp or if using a microwavable bag, microwave for 2 minutes.

When cooked, remove salmon from liquid, place on a plate and chill in the refridgerator while preparing the rest of the meal.

Put salad mix on a platter, drizzle with dressing and mix to coat. Put haricot vert in a medium bowl and top with some dressing. Mix to coat and then place on platter. Put cucumber in bowl, top with some dressing, mix to coat and then place on platter. Remove salmon from fridge. Pull off salmon skin and place large chunks of salmon on platter. Place eggs quarters and olives on platter. Sprinkle chopped onion over salad. Drizzle remaining dressing over salad.

Get Yourself a Good Knife

I can't tell you how important is a good knife to cooking. One can't truly understand what I mean until he uses a good knife. I'm talking a whole, new world. If your knife dents herbs rather than chopping right through them, you don't have a good knife. If your knife could be included in a table setting as a steak knife, you don't have a good knife. Currently, my everyday knife is the Global 8" Chef's Knife. I use it for everything. You could survive with just one good knife, but it's also key to have a decent serrated knife (although it gets used much less in a life without baguettes and tomatoes) and a paring knife.

Spinach & Pepper Scramble with "Chorizo"

Four Servings


10 eggs (10 whites, only 6 yolks)
2 - 3 Tablespoons unsweetened soy milk
1 - 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
10 oz. frozen, chopped spinach*
1 bell pepper, chopped (I use red)
1/2 C. onion (approximately 1/2 medium onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 C. soy chorizo**
Salt & Pepper


Begin thawing spinach. See Tip: Thawing & Draining Frozen Spinach for a tutorial.
While spinach is thawing, crack eggs into a medium bowl, getting rid of four of the yolks. I separate the yolk from the white using the cracked shell, but if you find that too difficult or annoying you can always just remove the yolk from the bowl with your hand.
Add soymilk, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper to eggs and whisk with a fork until blended. Set aside.
Drain the spinach. See Tip: Thawing & Draining Frozen Spinach for a tutorial.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onions, cook, stirring occasionally until golden.

Remove the chorizo from the outer packaging and snip off the end of the plastic "casing" and squeeze out a 1/2 cup of chorizo (you'll use only about a quarter or a third of the package.

Reduce heat to medium and add chorizo, spinach and garlic to the skillet. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.
Push chorizo mixture to one side of the skillet and add egg mixture to the other side.
Cook eggs, stirring until scrambled and just cooked through, gradually combining in chorizo mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.

* Make sure to get chopped rather than whole leaf spinach. Frozen spinach typically comes in a 10 oz box from most grocery stores or a 16 oz bag from Trader Joe's. I used about 2/3 of the TJ's bag of chopped spinach for this recipe.

** You can find soy chorizo near the tofu in some grocery stores. I used Trader Joe's brand soy chorizo.

Thawing & Draining Frozen Spinach

Spinach is a nutrient-rich, miracle food. Of course, raw, fresh spinach is best. But, I think frozen, chopped spinach is a convenient and easy way to pack your recipes with leafy greens. I use frozen spinach at least once a week in my breakfast dishes and sometimes as a side dish. Search the Recipes Archive for recipes using frozen spinach. Below is a step by step tutorial on thawing and draining frozen spinach.

Empty contents of box or bag into a strainer set inside a medium bowl. If you don't have a strainer, put the spinach directly into the bowl.

Fill the bowl with cool water from your tap and let sit for five minutes.

If using a strainer, lift the strainer from the bowl and dump out the water. Return the strainer to the bowl. If not using a strainer, use your hand or a pot lid to drain most of the water, being careful not to lose too many pieces of spinach.

Fill the bowl with water again, using your hands to gently break up bits of frozen spinach. Again, let the spinach sit for five minutes. Again, drain the water. (If frozen bits remain, repeat the steps above one more time.)

Lay a clean dishrag on the counter. Using your hand, transfer the spinach by handfuls to the dishrag, squeezing out excess water as you do so. Fold the dishrag lengthwise over the spinach.

Twist either end of the dishrag and then "wring" out the spinach over the sink. If needed, move the spinach to a dry portion of the dishrag and repeat the wringing step.

You will have a well drained ball of spinach that wont turn your recipes into a soggy mess!

Spinach & Artichoke Frittata

(Shown above with roasted red pepper pine nut dipping sauce and coffee with a splash of unsweetened soy milk and a dash of cinnamon)

Four Servings

10 eggs (10 whites, only 6 yolks)
2 - 3 Tablespoons unsweetened soy milk
1 - 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
10 oz. frozen, chopped spinach*
14 oz. can artichoke hearts in water, drained and cut into sixths
1/2 C. onion (approximately 1/2 medium onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 - 2 Tablespoons crumbled feta (optional)
Salt & Pepper

Begin thawing spinach. See Tip: Thawing & Draining Frozen Spinach for a tutorial.
While spinach is thawing, crack eggs into a medium bowl, getting rid of four of the yolks. I separate the yolk from the white using the cracked shell, but if you find that too difficult or annoying you can always just remove the yolk from the bowl with your hand.
Add soymilk, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper to eggs and whisk with a fork until blended. Set aside.
Drain the spinach. See Tip: Thawing & Draining Frozen Spinach for a tutorial.
Turn on oven and set Broiler to High.
Heat the olive oil in a 12", oven-proof skillet** over medium-high heat.
Add onions, cook, stirring occasionally until golden.

Reduce heat to medium, add spinach and garlic, stir to combine, season with salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.
Add artichoke hearts, stir mixture until heated through, approximately 2 minutes more.
Spread mixture evenly over skillet and pour egg mixture on top. If needed, tilt the skillet from side to side to evenly distribute eggs. If using, sprinkle feta cheese on top.

Cook until bottom is set, approximately 4 minutes. There will be a thin layer of runny egg on top.
Put the skillet in the broiler and cook until golden, approximately 5 minutes more.
Remove the frittatta from the broiler and allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then use a wooden spatula to cut the frittatta into eighths. Divide on to four plates.

* Make sure to get chopped rather than whole leaf spinach. Frozen spinach typically comes in a 10 oz box from most grocery stores or a 16 oz bag from Trader Joe's. I used about 2/3 of the TJ's bag of chopped spinach for this recipe.
** If you don't have an oven-proof skillet (I don't) cover the plastic handle with tin foil.

Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth

According to my food bible, dark chocolate (greater than 70% cocoa) and cocoa nibs are acceptable low-sugar foods. This doesn't mean that you can eat all the dark chocolate you want, but when you get a craving, it's okay to have a square of chocolate or a few cocoa nibs. All of these delicious options pictured at right were found at my local Trader Joe's.

The package at the bottom left is a three pack of smaller bars. I brought a couple of these with me when my fiance and I recently went to the movies. It was a yummy treat and kept me away from the popcorn and my man away from his favorite movie snack - sour gummi bears. He was very good and only ate half of his bar. I can't say the same :)

For my day-to-day cravings, I keep a bar in the fridge and when I need a little something sweet, I'll snap off a square or two and leave the rest for the next time a craving hits.

My food bible

Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution has begun a revolution in my family. It started with a friend of mine who (now has lost more, but at the time) had lost 25 lbs. When I told my fiance about it, he insisted that we start the diet the next day. It has been approximately seven weeks and my fiance has lost nearly 20 lbs. I don't have a major weight loss goal, but I am more than happy to support him and have always been a firm believer in eating healthy. We are both looking great and feeling fabulous. Now, my parents, my aunt, and several friends have started this new lifestyle. I get calls and questions almost daily about what to cook and what foods are and aren't okay. I love sharing tips and recipes and helping my family and friends to look and feel great. So I've started this blog as a convenient medium to share with them - and now, with you. I recommend purchasing Dr. Gundry's book - he's the expert. Then return to my blog from time to time for Tips, Rules & Recipes.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sugar - the (un)Sweet Truth

Sugar is a fat maker and an energy tease. Sugar makes everything delicious, but when you strip away its yummy goodness you're left with a substance that tells your genes to store fat and gives you a bit of energy only to follow it up with a crash.

Unfortunately for those of us with a sweet tooth - a major key to health and weight loss is giving up sugar. But don't fret. Giving up sugar isn't as bad as it might seem at the outset.

I have a major sweet tooth. For me, in the debate between savory and sweet, sweet always wins. Omelet vs. pancakes - not even a challenge, pancakes of course. Make me choose between an in n' out burger and a chocolate chip cookie and it's hands down, the ccc. You get the picture. So, you'll believe me when I tell you that giving up sugar is totally doable. Honestly, once those unwanted LBs start falling off and you're feeling younger and healthier, you'll agree that it's worth it!