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licorice, astragalus, burdock, dandelion root, codonopsis

licorice, astragalus, burdock, dandelion root, codonopsis

Astragalus– immune stimulating (increases macrophages and natural killer cells) and adrenal tonic.  great for anyone with spleen qi deficiency, supports good digestion.  Very safe, mildly sweet flavor, overall tonifying.

Burdock root- Liver tonic, blood cleanser, alterative.  Mildly bitter and therefore stimulating to the digestive system.  Historically used for hormone balancing and skin conditions.

Dandelion Root- Alterative, liver tonic, nutritive.  Wonderful for detoxification and elimination processes.

Licorice Root-Anti viral, immune modulating, adrenal tonic.  Sweet flavor.  Used to treat colds, coughs, stomach upset, chronic fatigue. (caution in high doses if you have high blood pressure)

Codonopsis – Also known as Dangshen, or poor man’s ginseng.  Used to increase resistance to stress, increase energy, modulate immune response (increase response in cancer, decrease in autoimmune conditions).

Ginger– potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, carminative (good for nausea, gas, dyspepsia).  Warming.

cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, pepper

cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, pepper

Cinnamon-wow, a powerhouse of health benefits!  Anti-inflammatory (great for arthritis pain and menstrual cramps), antimicrobial, promotes healthy blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, can promote healthy cholesterol levels.  Warming and delicious!

Black Peppercorns– Helps with digestion, is antioxidant and antimicrobial.

Cloves-Pain relief, high in antioxidants, antibacterial, digestive stimulant.

The amount of herbs pictured (I’m bad about measuring things, but you can see it’s a tablespoon or two of each herb) made one gallon of chai.  Simmer the herbs for 45 minutes to an hour, add black tea and steep for 4 minutes.  Strain.  You can keep this mixture in the fridge for a week, heating up one cup at a time.  Add cream and honey to taste.  You might not need to add any honey as some of the herbs are quite sweet.

I recommend drinking super tonic chai daily to build strong adrenals, and keep your immune system healthy!

coconut macaroons

Easter and Eggs.  Rebirth. Resurrection. Eternal life. Spring. Baby chicks. Bunnies. Asparagus. Hollandaise. Macaroons.

Last week I bought a giant bunch of gorgeous asparagus, and made several batches of hollandaise sauce to adorn it.  So delicious and an easy way to get choline rich egg yolks, and CLA rich butter into our diet.  Only using the egg yolks in hollandaise left me with a jar of egg whites.  In the past that used to mean that an angel food cake was in my future, but now that I steer clear of gluten, I came up with a new plan.

6 Egg whites

2/3 cup honey

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

7 cups unsweetened wide flake coconut (if you want to read more about the many health benefits of coconut click here)

Into my vitamix (which serves me very well, but you could do this in a mixer or with a bowl and a whiskl) I put the egg whites.  I blended on low power for a minute or so, then drizzled in the honey while it was on.  I kept blending for another minute or so.  The point is not to “beat the egg whites” into a meringue, but they did become smooth, silky and well blended.  Add the salt and vanilla until incorporated.  Pour the egg white mixture over your coconut (in a bowl) and mix by hand.  Let this “batter” sit in the refrigerator for 30 min or more.  It will stiffen up a bit and make it easier to shape into cookies.  Try not to keep opening the refrigerator door to sample the mixture (like I did).  I hear raw egg whites are not good for you.  To shape the cookies you can scoop them with a small ice cream scoop, or use a tablespoon, or do it with your hands (I did), but the idea is to press the coconut together with some enthusiasm.  The will tend to want to fall apart. I greased the baking sheet with coconut oil, but parchment paper or a silpat would have been much better. Bake in a low oven (I have a convection oven, so mine was at 250 degrees-if you have a regular oven try 300) until they are all toasty brown.  After you take them out of the oven let them cool on the cookie sheet.  If you try to move them right away they will fall apart.  After they cooled I found they were difficult to get off the pan, even though I greased it.  So I (pretty pleased with my brilliance) gently heated the bottom of the cookie sheet on a burner for just a few seconds and they came right off.  I was quite delighted with how they came out.  Chewy, sweet, perfect.  Enjoy!  I could imagine instead of balls, you could shape them into little nests to hide a chocolate egg or a dollop of lemon curd.

Root Love

I’ve been doing a little hibernating lately.  It only seems appropriate during the shortest days of the year, and in soggy Portland.  My menu these days reflects my desire for warming, grounding, nourishing foods.

Chicken and root vegetables in white wine

Into my dutch oven start some chicken thighs cooking in white wine, added golden beets, turnips, parsnips, celeriac, rutabaga, garlic cloves.   Simmer in white wine with bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary, peppercorns, whole fennel seed, and a can of diced tomatoes, until the chicken falls off the bone, and the roots are tender.

Eat up and then go back to your good book by the fire!

roots and thighs

Grain Free Goji Berry Granola

I wanted to find a solution to what to eat with greek yogurt when I need a quick and easy snack/dessert.  Having discovered that I am much healthier and happier when I avoid grains in my diet, I’ve been missing my homemade granola.

seeds and such

Into a bowl I started tossing seeds and such.  Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chopped almonds, fennel seeds, ground cinnamon.  I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter and honey together, and tossed with the seeds until they were coated.

Next I spread it out on a sheet tray and baked in a slow oven (300)  until toasty and almost done.  Then I added some large flake coconut and put it back in the oven for a few minutes (watch it closely!) until toasty brown.

"granola"

After the mixture cooled, I added a few handfuls of dried goji berries (AKA wolfberries).  While I don’t usually indulge in dried fruit because it delivers such a big shot of sugar, goji berries have actually been helpful in balancing blood sugar, they are high in antioxidants, and protect the brain and the eyes.  If you are interested in reading more about goji berries click here.

Grain Free, Goji Granola

Store in an airtight container.  Eat as a snack or sprinkled on greek yogurt with berries.  Mmmmm.

Muffin beginnings

Still on my domestic roll here:

Grain Free Banana Raspberry Muffins

Makes 10 large muffins

6 eggs

1 banana, mashed up in the eggs

vanilla (I used a lot- like 2-3 tablespoons.  yes, really!)

cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter, melted

2 tablespoons coconut butter, melted (not coconut oil, but the actually fleshy buttery coconut spread-really hard at room temperature, but delicious and spreadable if you heat it up)

1/2 cup honey, melted

Mix together the wet ingredients.

almonds and coconut flour

1 cup whole, raw almonds

1/2 cup coconut flour

Grind finely in food processor.

1/4 cup flax seeds

Add to wet ingredients.

dry and wet

Mix together and add frozen berries of your choice.  I used raspberries, and I put in about 1 cup and a half.  Fresh berries would work too, but it is January.

Spoon into buttered muffin pan, bake at 325 until done.  I know, that’s skirting the issue.  But it’s true!  You want to check them after about 15 minutes and see how they are coming along.  Then every 10 min or so after that.  You can tell that they are done when they are browned on top, maybe cracking a little, come out of the muffin tin easily.  By all means, break one open and test it!

These muffins are high in protein, good fats, and fiber.  And fairly low in sugar.  They keep well and are a handy snack to have around!  I’m going back to my den now!

raspberry muffins

pumpkin pie

I love my pumpkin pie, but I am determined this year to not have regrets about what I ate over the holidays!  How many times do I need to learn that the recovery time is not really worth the few bites of gluten laden decadence?  For those of you looking for a delicious alternative to feeling regret, read on!  I started with a real pumpkin because my CSA gives them to me!  But working with canned pumpkin is just fine too.  The only thing is you won’t have the yummy roasted pumpkin seeds to snack on while you are waiting for the pie to cool!

Start by baking a pumpkin, if that’s your plan.

pumpkin

pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scoop out the guts and seeds of the pumpkin.

pumpkin guts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake face down on a sheet pan at 350 degrees until soft.  Let cool before scooping the flesh out of the shell into a measuring cup.

baked pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, separate the pumpkin guts from the pumpkin seeds.  Rinse the seeds and roast with a little oil (I used delicious, nutritious coconut oil which I got here) until you hear popping sounds coming from the oven.  They should be crunchy and irresistible, especially with good salt.  Pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition.  Known to be a good source of minerals including zinc and magnesium as well as protein and essential fatty acids.  Research suggests they are useful for prostate health, bone density, parasites, arthritis and healthy blood lipids.  Find out more here.

pumpkin seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a food processor make the crust:

3/4 cup raw pecans or pumpkin seeds (grind ‘em up real good in the food processor)

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 cup coconut flour (find out why I’m such a fan of the coconut here and here)

1/2 tsp good salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup  coconut sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 free range egg

 

Process dry stuff, add the coconut oil and process.  Then add egg and pulse until it comes together.  It will be sticky.

Press into a pie plate or tart pan.  Freeze for 15-20 minutes, then bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees until lightly browned.

crust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next mix up the filling in the food processor:

Filling:

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup (or less)

1/2 tsp good salt

1/4 tsp allspice

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

pinch of cayenne

pinch of ground cloves

1 can coconut milk (not LITE)

Blend everything together until it is a smooth puree.  Pour into partially baked pie crust.  Tap to release bubbles.

unbaked custard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake 45-55 minutes at 325. Be sure to let it cool before you serve it.

Delicious ending to a healthy fall meal, but honestly it makes a darn good breakfast too!

 

 

dig in!

 

Anyone out there have tomatoes piling up?  Attracting fruit flies?  Tired of BLT’s? (Never!)

tomatoes from MY YARD!

I realized today that if I didn’t act, and act TODAY my tomato harvest would be fruit fly food.

 

I had yellow tomatoes, green stripey tomatoes, and red, red tomatoes.

 

If I mixed them all together I would create a really attractive brown tomato sauce!  So I made Cream of Tomato Soup with the yellow and green ones, and Roasted Tomato Sauce with the red ones.  I’m pretty pleased with the results, so I thought I would share!

Cream of Tomato Soup Indian Style

Saute in coconut oil:

  • ginger, onion, garlic

Meanwhile toast your whole spices in a dry skillet:

dry toasting spices

  • cumin, coriander, black pepper corns, mustard seeds, fennel seeds

Grind the whole spices and add them to the onion mixture.  Add a healthy dose of turmeric (if I’d had fresh turmeric I would have used it, but dried ground turmeric is fine.  Remember how good it is for you?  Anti-inflammatory?), and a dash of cinnamon.

Saute the spices for a minute. Then add a bunch of cut up tomatoes.  I used yellow and green ones which worked great with the turmeric which is bright yellow too.

Add a little chicken stock or water to get the tomatoes to start breaking down.  Put the lid on the pot and let it simmer for a while, checking occasionally and stirring.  When the tomatoes are completely broken down, puree the whole she-bang.  I used my trusty Vita-Mix, but those immersion blenders work well too.  After pureeing the mixture, put it back in the pot and add a can of coconut milk and salt to taste.  Heat it gently at this point.  You don’t want the coconut milk to boil.

lunch. check.

 

 

Depending on how sweet your tomatoes are you might want to add a handful of sugar, honey, or maple syrup to balance out the acid of the tomatoes.  I decided against that.  I portioned out the soup (after eating some, of course) for lunches for the next few days!

 

 

 

Next up:

Roasted Tomato Sauce

The recipe is thus:  Cut up a bunch of tomatoes, toss with olive oil, salt, fresh thyme, oregano, and rosemary.

red tomatoes ready for the oven

 

 

Roast in a 350 degree oven until they break down and start to dry out a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

herbaceousness

 

 

Add some fresh garlic and chopped basil and spoon over  spaghetti squash, roasted cauliflower, zucchini ribbons, or…. pasta!

I spooned mine into a jar, and froze it for some winter day when I need to conjure up the bounty of these last fall days!

 

 

 

 

 

after roasting

 

 

Tomato’s nutritional claim to fame is high levels of a carotenoid called “lycopene.” Carotenoids act as anti-oxidants in the body and high intake of lycopene has been found to be protective against prostate cancer.  Lycopene is what gives tomatoes, watermelon, and guavas their pink/red color.  Lycopene is more available to the body when tomatoes are cooked, and they should be cooked with some oil to aid absorption.

 

Ginger, Turmeric, Cinnamon

Ginger, Turmeric, Cinnamon

More and more research is supporting the idea that inflammation is at the heart of most chronic diseases.

A wonderful friend of mine taught me this delicious recipe for an anti-inflammatory tea.  She experienced significant reduction in her arthritis pain after regular consumption.  I decided I had to try it myself!  Not only is it extremely good for you, it is delicious!

Recipe?  In a saucepan full of water throw a few slices of fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, and cinnamon sticks.  Simmer for 20 min or longer.  Add  a small bit of honey and the juice of one lemon.   Drink hot or cold!  It is also easily made with dried, ground herbs as well.  Try 1 quart of water with 1/2 tsp of each herb.

Curcumin, the potent anti-oxidant in Turmeric has been found to be as effective an anti inflammatory as prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in a trial with rheumatoid arthritis patients.  It is an effective free radical scavenger, and holds promise in prevention of cancer and alzheimer’s disease.  In nutrition, it seems that the deeper the color of the food the higher the nutritional value.  So when you are shopping, look for deep green greens like kale, dark berries, and bright yellow pigments like turmeric for nutrient dense power.

Ginger has been used traditionally to quell arthritis pain and has been shown effective in trials comparing it to NSAIDS.  Ginger is also a warming, digestive stimulant.

Cinnamon is rapidly earning its reputation as a blood sugar and lipid regulator for folks who struggle with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.  Besides this, cinnamon is also anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, warming and delicious!

Do you need any more encouragement to go put on a pot of water for a batch of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon tea?

beet, ginger, dandelion greens

I need a little correction after the holiday weekend.  How about you?

Into the vitamix today went:

1 small beet (liver food)

a handful of dandelion greens (good diuretic and bitter greens for liver/gallbladder stimulation)

1 cup kombucha (probiotics, tangy deliciousness)

1/2 cup frozen cranberries (great for kidney flush, and high in anthocyanins)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries (what are blueberries NOT good for?)

fresh ginger (anti-inflammatory, digestive stimulant)

2 T ground flax seeds (high in lignans, soluble fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory)

1 tsp ground milk thistle (liver and kidney tonic)

2 cups water

super satisfying for any time of day!

Salmon Cakes

2 cans wild salmon

2 eggs

1 1/2 T coconut flour

1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 scallion, chopped

1 shallot, diced

1 T grated fresh ginger

1 t grated fresh horseradish

splash of tamari

fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

mixing the mix

Melt some coconut oil in a skillet.

melting coconut oil

Fry the salmon cakes until browned on both sides.

Browned salmon cakes

St. Patrick's Day is coming!

Seeing corned beef in the grocery stores these days made me dream up this low glycemic version of one of our favorite breakfasts.
I used Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, (which are high in anthocyanins and low glycemic, getting some press these days as a new “super food”) instead of white potatoes and added quartered brussels sprouts for a high fiber, satisfying breakfast! My son poached me an egg and mixed up a mixture of ketchup and chili sauce for the perfect accompaniments.

One of my guilty procrastination techniques all through medical school was to watch Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Videos.  I LOVE them!  They are short, funny, and produced well.  But most of all they offer fantastic recipes:  simple to execute, healthy, and delicious.  Just what everyone needs more of in their lives!  His recipe for chickpea flour savory pancakes has become a staple in my repertoire.  I leave out the wheat flour, and double the chickpea flour to make it gluten free.  Often I add shrimp, diced red peppers, scallops, fresh parsley, fennel bulb, or minced scallions.  It is incredibly versatile.  Another recipe that I have adopted successfully is his sweet potato salad.   Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense compared to their white potato counterparts.  In this version, Bittman gives potato salad a complete makeover, adding black beans, cilantro and lime.  Fresh, creative, easy and nutritious!  I was very excited when I learned that he would be speaking at Powell’s Books this week!  He is touring to promote his new cookbook titled The Food Matters Cookbook, following the publication of his book, Food Matters.  The thrust of his message promotes movement toward a plant based diet and away from processed foods.  His personal health has improved since making these changes in his diet and he argues that this way of eating is good for our planet’s health too.  He shared some statistics about the industrialized livestock industry which were indeed damning.  It was at that point in his presentation that I started questioning his message.  Sure, I agree that industrialized animal production is a nasty business, using far more water, land, petrol, and resources than it should, but all these statistics are based on feeding animals a GRAIN based diet.   Cows, pigs, and chickens have not evolved to eat grains, and neither have we.  Factory farmers feed cows corn because it fattens them up and makes them grow faster than their grass grazed cousins.   Prairies and grasslands that could be feeding cattle using only the sun and rain as resources have been converted into giant corn and soybean monocrops in order to feed cattle and fuel our industrialized food industry.  The solution is not to become vegetarian, but to raise our meat sustainably.  In my experience as a physician I see my patients’ health improve when they eliminate grains (especially, but not just wheat) from their diets.  I would assert that eating grass fed meat with heaps of vegetables and small amounts of properly prepared grains and legumes is the ideal to shoot for.  I do agree with Bittman’s main message that we need to eat REAL FOOD, which means we need to cook.  We need to protect our children from anti-foods like soda and chips that are available from vending machines in their schools, and served to them on trays (subsidized by the government) in school cafeterias.  My personal mission is to help people realize that it is not hard or time consuming to cook healthy meals.  I think Mark Bittman is on the same path.  I did buy the cookbook because it is chock full of innovative simple meal ideas.  In fact, he took a picture of the couple in front of me while I was in line to get the book signed, and I made it onto the website!  (I’m in the second photo) I would love to hear from my readers:  what are some obstacles to cooking real food that you experience?  What are some solutions that you’ve found?  What do you think about vegetarianism or sustainable agriculture?

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  • Rethinking Diabetes June 26, 2013
    Dr Louise Rose
  • Healthy Brains, Healthy Habits: LENS Neurofeedback and Open Focus Brain Exercises February 7, 2013
    Why Neurofeedback? By guest blogger Austin Rose Do you ever feel like who you are limits who you could be? Have you ever felt negative thinking influences how you live your life? Political theorist William Connelly describes the activity in our brains when he says, “to think is to move something. And to modify a […]
    Dr Louise Rose
  • Super Tonic Chai December 2, 2012
    Astragalus– immune stimulating (increases macrophages and natural killer cells) and adrenal tonic.  great for anyone with spleen qi deficiency, supports good digestion.  Very safe, mildly sweet flavor, overall tonifying. Burdock root- Liver tonic, blood cleanser, alterative.  Mildly bitter and therefore stimulating to the digestive system.  Historically used […]
    Dr Louise Rose
  • Look What is Blooming at Rose Cabinet Medicine September 5, 2012
    Yarrow is a common medicinal plant and familiar wild flower.  In traditional herbal practice it is used to stop bleeding, reduce fever, and also as a bitter herb to tonify the digestive systerm.  Herbalist Matthew Wood says in The Book of Herbal Wisdom, “Like a number of good blood medicines, Yarrow both stops hemorrhage and […]
    Dr Louise Rose
  • Easter Macaroons April 7, 2012
    Easter and Eggs.  Rebirth. Resurrection. Eternal life. Spring. Baby chicks. Bunnies. Asparagus. Hollandaise. Macaroons. Last week I bought a giant bunch of gorgeous asparagus, and made several batches of hollandaise sauce to adorn it.  So delicious and an easy way to get choline rich egg yolks, and CLA rich butter into our diet.  Only using […]
    Dr Louise Rose
  • Anatomy of an Epidemic March 13, 2012
    Anybody who has been hanging around me lately has gotten an earful about this book.  Integral to my philosophy of medicine is  that mental/emotional wellness and overall health are inseparable.   As a naturopath, I believe in the healing power of nature.  I do not use or prescribe pharmaceutical drugs without carefully considering and exhausting […]
    Dr Louise Rose
  • Roots, Seeds, Raspberries… Emerging briefly from hibernation. January 30, 2012
    I’ve been doing a little hibernating lately.  It only seems appropriate during the shortest days of the year, and in soggy Portland.  My menu these days reflects my desire for warming, grounding, nourishing foods. Chicken and root vegetables in white wine Into my dutch oven start some chicken thighs cooking in white wine, added golden […]
    Dr Louise Rose
  • Don’t go without pumpkin pie this year! Gluten free, grain free, dairy free deliciousness! November 9, 2011
    I love my pumpkin pie, but I am determined this year to not have regrets about what I ate over the holidays!  How many times do I need to learn that the recovery time is not really worth the few bites of gluten laden decadence?  For those of you looking for a delicious alternative to […]
    Dr Louise Rose
  • Gluten. Biochemistry. History. November 4, 2011
    Dr Louise Rose
  • Brain Food October 26, 2011
    Dr Louise Rose

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