Burns Supper


(Jenn and Suzanne at Burns Night)

“My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer -
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.”
~ Robert Burns

On January 25th, Scots, those of Scottish ancestry and poets all over the world celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns by celebrating Burns Night and hosting a Burns Supper.

I meant to post this yesterday, but since our -30 F weather hit, our connection has been sketchy at best. Now that we are past sub-zero temperatures, it seems to be waking up again! Hope it lasts!

January 25th is the birthday of Robert Burns, the famous Scottish bard and poet. Traditionally on this day those that celebrate their Scottish ancestry prepare a dinner of haggis, a traditional Scottish dish with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes), recite An Address To a Haggis , a Burns poem, toast with whiskey (single malt) and spend the evening with family and friends, reciting the poetry of Burns and having a grand old time.

I have always been fascinated with Scottish culture, myth and history. I have studied it quite a bit over the years and have always felt a deep connection to Scotland. When I had the good fortune to visit Scotland several years ago, I kept experiencing déjà vu. Due to my interest in all things Scottish,  I even hosted a fabulous Burns Supper many years ago. I had connections to NYC at the time and was able to procure a traditional haggis and prepared it with all the traditional trimmings.

My dad’s ancestors come from Paisley, near Glasgow. Although that is pretty much all I know about them. His surname is Barr, of Irn-Bru fame, although I don’t think there is any relation.

This year, after finding my birth family I came to learn that I have quite a lot of genetic Scottish ancestry as well. My maternal great-grandparents came to the USA from Glasgow, and through this lineage I am proud part of the Boyd Clan. I also have some Scottish ancestors through my genetic paternal line.

With my new found Scottish heritage, I decided starting this year, I am going to celebrate Burns Night every year, by preparing a traditional Burns Supper. This year, to kick things off, we invited our friend Suzanne, a haggis-phobe to join us for our Burns Supper. I was able to order a haggis from Scottish Gourmet USA . It was shipped frozen, over night. The haggis comes pre-cooked so it just needs to be re-heated, and the vegetables need to be cooked. The ingredients are simple, lamb, oats, beef liver and spices. While I was boiling the tatties and roasting the neeps ( I used rutabaga and turnips mixed) I went about preparing the dessert: Cranachan.

Cranachan is layers of Drambuie infused whipped cream, toasted oats and raspberries. I had some homemade granola which I used in place of the toasted oats. It is a light, yet delicious dessert and so easy to make! I did not get a picture of my cranachan, because we ate it too fast! But this one from BBC Good Food should give you the basic idea, and a delicious recipe to boot. We used raspberries that we picked over the summer and canned. It was delicious.

We started off with oat cakes, smoked salmon, cheddar cheese and a very un-Scottish glass of Malbec.

We presented the haggis, and listened to this roaring raucous version of the address at the table.

“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.”

~Robert Burns

Then we toasted with a dram of Glenlivet 12 year and dug into the food. It was delicious – and despite being a haggis-phobe and declaring emphatically many times that she does not like lamb, Suzanne really enjoyed the haggis. I wish her husband Bob had been able to join us (next year!), but he was away on business. But we got pictures to prove it!

We had an absolutely wonderful night talking about all our animals, crazy journeys in life, languages, cultures and many other assorted topics over several hours. We had a wonderful time and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Let’s Get Cultured! Dairy Kefir: Our Daily Elixir

Many of you have been asking me about kefir lately. It appears often as an ingredient on this blog . I use it as a base for ice cream and smoothies, in desserts,  as a leavening agent in baking, and an acidic soaking medium for grains . I realized recently that I had never posted about my method for making it. Let’s make this the first post of my new series: Let’s Get Cultured! In my journey to go from food writer to food producer over the next couple of years, I am going to be experimenting a lot with dairy products.

As some of you know, we are going to be welcoming two Shetland sheep and two Alpine dairy goats to our menagerie in March. Although I won’t be getting milk from them for at least a year or so, I plan to get ready by trying my hand at many cultured dairy recipes, from kefir to cheese and everything in between!

(My Shetlands are part of this herd, but my Alpines have yet to be born!)

We are 100% addicted to kefir in this household. If we miss drinking it for some reason, the whole rest of the day feels “off”. When we travel, we make sure to bring kefir with us. It is that important to our health. Dairy or milk kefir is a delicious probiotic, a cultured milk drink that has over 2,000 years of history, taking us back to the Caucasus Mountains, located between Europe and Asia. Shepherds there noticed that milk carried for long periods of time in leather pouches or animal hides would sometimes ferment to create an effervescent beverage.

We have been making and drinking kefir every day for about a year. During that time we have noticed some remarkable changes since using it regularly – everything from clearing up chronic skin problems, to easier digestion and better immunity. We refer to it as an elixir because it is good for so many things.

The catalyst that creates kefir are the “kefir grains”, which are not actually grains but a colony of microorganisms which exist in a complex symbiotic relationship, in balance . The grains are formed during the process of making kefir and only from pre-existing kefir grains.

What sets kefir apart from other cultured dairy, is the number of various organisms, both bacteria and yeast, present as opposed to just one microorganism like most other cultured dairy products. Which is why in this house, we never go without.

Due to the variety of microorganisms, kefir is extremely beneficial to health. Even for those who are lactose intolerant! Kefir’s abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process.

Kefir is an immune booster, and contains a high amount of calcium, amino acids, B-vitamins, Vitamin K and folic acid. Due to all of the chemical reactions that occur when it is cultured, it is easy to digest allowing the body to absorb all of the nutrients.As a probiotic it helps to regulate and balance intestinal flora, controlling the overgrowth of yeast. All of these friendly cultures also make kefir an excellent remedy for digestive issues of all kinds, and a great elixir for people overcoming serious illness, especially if they have been treated with antibiotics. Studies have even shown that kefir stimulates peristalsis and digestive juices in the intestinal tract. This was discovered by Elie Metchnikoff back in 1908!

The best news is that kefir is extremely easy to make at home. Here is what you need.

* Milk – any variety will do, but ultra-pasteurized milk is not recommended. I recommend raw milk (if available) or full fat un-homogenized milk aka “creamline”.

* Kefir grains

* Small unbleached muslin bag

* Clean glass jar (I use a pint size)

* Non-metal strainer

* Pourable glass jar

To Make Kefir:

Place kefir grains in the muslin bag and drop into the glass jar. Pour milk into jar until it fills the jar. Place a cloth over the mouth of the jar and allow to sit out on the counter for 24-48 hours. The first few times you use your grains, it may not culture properly. So I recommend only using a cup of milk at a time in the beginning, and changing the milk every 24 hours. Around the 3rd attempt, it should culture properly. I have noticed that in the spring and summer, my kefir cultures in about 24 hours. But in the winter it can take up to 48 hours.

Once the kefir has cultured, using a non-metal strainer, pour the kefir into a pourable glass jar. You can store the kefir in this container, or pour it into a different glass container for storage.

Then rinse the muslin bag and squeeze it to make sure that if any milk has cultured in the bag it comes out. Then you are ready to start the process all over again.

Kefir will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. But you need to make your kefir regularly. As soon as one batch has cultured, clean your tools and start a new batch. If you are going away and can’t make your kefir as soon as the next batch is finished culturing, you can store your grains, in the muslin bag in about a cup of milk in the fridge. When you want to make kefir again, just discard that milk and start again as you normally would.

I highly recommend getting your kefir grains from Cultures for Health. You can also get cheese and yogurt cultures there, as well as a variety of other products to make fermented foods like sourdough, sauerkraut, and kombucha. They are a fantastic small company with very good customer service. So if you have questions, they can help.

*Parts of this post will be appearing in the 2011 Spring/Summer issue of Hex Magazine including an additional kefir recipe! So be sure to check that out when it becomes available.

Part of Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop!

Buckwheat-Quinoa Biscuits

In my quest for delicious gluten-free baked goods I have been experimenting in my kitchen and have been putting my hand-powered grain mill to work. I am a huge fan of both buckwheat and quinoa – they both have a wonderful nutty flavor that I find very satisfying. I buy these two grains, as well as other things I use often, whole and in bulk. So now that I am 100% gluten-free, I have begun grinding my own gluten-free flour. I do love my gluten-free scones, but I wanted to create a bready item that could be used for sandwiches and so these biscuits were born.

I still have not plunged into gluten-free sourdough baking because I am intimidated by it. Right now I don’t have a lot of extra time to put into that new skill set…yet. But it is on my agenda for 2011 and I think the final solution for our lack of artisan bread in the house. So for now I content myself with some bread “stand-ins” that I can quickly whip up in my food processor without hassle or learning curve.

(My grain mill, from Country Living – sorry about the quality of the photo, but my camera died recently, and I took this with my droid)

Roberto loves these biscuits and that is a huge plus! It is tough being a native-born Italian and living in a gluten-free household. But I have to give it to my man, he is ever supportive of me and cheers me on through my challenges. He has learned to love corn pasta and relishes these little gluten-free breads, which is why every year for his birthday he gets a tray of real lasagna and bread made with wheat flour.

I adapted a recipe I got from Cultures for Health. I signed up for their newsletter and got a free e-book of kefir recipes. Pretty nice deal and it is still going on! So get over there and get signed up!

Kefir is a nice leavening agent, as it contains a colony of both yeast and bacteria to culture milk. I will be doing a kefir post next week, so keep your eyes out for more on this wonderful health elixir.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
½ cup quinoa flour
¾ cup kefir (you can also use buttermilk)
¼ tsp aluminum-free baking soda
1 TBS aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
6 TBS cold butter

METHOD:

12-24 hours prior to making biscuits, mix the flours and kefir together. Cover and allow the flour to soak. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the butter into chunks then work it into the flour/kefir mixture along with the baking soda, baking powder and salt. I use my food processor using quick pulses. Do not over mix. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more kefir. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. Gently pat the dough to ½ inch thick (this will yield lighter biscuits than using a rolling pin). Use a round cutter to cut out the biscuits. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet. If you want biscuits with soft edges (and a higher rise), place the rounds touching each other. If you want biscuits with crusty sides, place the rounds about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Makes 10 biscuits.

This blog post is part of the Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop!

Pulled Pork with Apple Barbecue Sauce

This was the runner-up from last week’s informal poll on my facebook page about what recipes you wanted to see first from my list of back-logged posts. We enjoyed this dish for New Year’s Day – and many days after! This is a perfect dish for entertaining, because there is very little hands-on work. Just let the crock pot do all the work.  Plus it feeds so many mouths and you can make amazing soups and stews with the leftovers of leftovers!

We served it with homemade Sauerkraut with Juniper Berries and an updated version of Nana’s Beans. The post for the beans shows you how my recipes have evolved as I have gotten into more healthy ways of preparing foods.

I was inspired to make an apple barbecue sauce because I wanted a sweeter sauce and have been experimenting a lot lately with fruit-sweetening. I had quite a few apples in the fridge and some apple cider left over from the holidays, and so a plan was born.

This was delicious! The pork fell off the bone and melted in your mouth. The sauce was a nice accompaniment, but absolutely not necessary – the pork honestly stands alone in this dish. Granted it was a nice roast, made from local pork. So you use your discretion on that one. But the sauce is worth making as it is great with chicken, on burgers and sweet potato fries too. A really nice all around homemade condiment that you will enjoy having in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS:

6 lb, bone in, pasture-raised Pork Roast
1 TBS maple sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp each: smoked paprika, green chili powder, Mexican mole seasoning, dried thyme and basil
Salt & pepper
¼ cup raw apple cider

For the Sauce:

½ an organic apple, cut in chunks
1/3 cup raw apple cider
1 cup tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
2 TBS maple sugar
¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp each: coriander, cumin, paprika, thyme, basil

METHOD:

Rub pork with maple sugar and spices, wrap up tightly and store in fridge overnight. Next day put roast in crockpot with apple cider. Put crockpot on high for 8 hours, flip the roast and continue to cook on low for about another 2 hours.
Meanwhile make the sauce. Place the apple chunks and apple cider in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook down for about 15 minutes. Place apple mixture and the rest of the ingredients in the blender and whirl until blended. Set aside.
Using a fork, pull the meat away from the bone, continue to shred the meat this way until finished. Then serve with the sauce. YUM!

Raw Avocado Chocolate Pudding!

So I asked my facebook followers last night which recipe they wanted to see posted first, out of my list of back-logged posts. This chocolate pudding was the overwhelming winner! So by now, you know what the secret ingredient is – Avocado. Yep, I am serious. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

Pudding, custards, crèmes are all among my favorite desserts. What makes them so great? For me it is the creamy and delicious texture. Since avocado is mostly fat (the good kind), it makes a great base for a thick and creamy pudding. The dark chocolate overpowers the taste of the avocado, so it really works, and no weird flavors that shouldn’t be there! Plus, the time it takes to make this pudding is less than 5 minutes! Can’t say that about many other made-from-scratch puddings!

We made this dessert when my stepdaughter, Gwen was visiting (isn’t she gorgeous?!). She has a very adventurous palette and we have the best time cooking up interesting and delicious creations in the kitchen when she is here!  I wish she was here more often (hope you are reading this Gwen!)! She was a bit skeptical about this dessert, but she will always try something before she decides if she likes it or not (gotta love that in a young adult)! Well, it got the “Gwen Stamp of Approval”! On her excellent suggestion, we served our pudding with a nice healthy dollop of fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top! Perfect!

This is rich, satisfying and extremely healthy dessert. Absolutely 100% guilt free.

INGREDIENTS:
3 ripe organic avocados
½ cup raw milk (coconut milk would work too)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup fair trade, dark cocoa powder/ or raw cocoa nibs
Pinch of cinnamon

METHOD:
Throw all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and well mixed.

Rosemary Infused Honey and Other Remedies to Lessen Your Chance of Getting Sick This Winter

My kitchen-helper, Mini P, helping me do the dishes after decanting the herbal honey

Many folks who know me, know that I worked as an assistant to an amazing holistic doctor for 5 years. It was the best job I ever had working for someone else. I got to spend the day watching a genius at work, helping people with all sorts of health related issues, who often times, after decades of trying conventional, Western medicine and having no luck were seeking out alternative therapies and getting results for the first time. I saw the dangers and effects of artificial sweeteners, drastic diet plans and prescription drug complications first hand. And I saw that simple remedies, food choices and plants could be life changing healing agents for many.

I learned so much invaluable information that I have continued to apply to my life, health and well-being.

My interest in alternative remedies has a long history. Even in high school I was reading books about traditional herbal remedies, aromatherapy and homeopathics. I am not a health care provider, trained herbalist, nor homeopath. I am just a person who has been looking into these integrated therapies for close to 20 years and using them on me and my family with amazing results.

Friends and family often ask me for advice about eating, supplements and herbs. I tend to have a good instinct about what might be causing problems for people, and I always recommend getting to the root of a health issue, rather than just treating the symptoms. I point people in directions, and give them some tools to help them come to a health plan that really works for them, encouraging them to do their own research and work with their doctor.

This winter I wanted to share with family and friends a delicious and simple herbal honey. Something that they could spoon into hot tea on a day when they weren’t feeling so great to soothe them from the inside out. I chose Rosemary as the herb (see recipe below). Rosemary contains volatile oils like camphor, cineole, and borneol which have known antibacterial properties. Preliminary studies on rats have also been done to show that rosemary might have anti-carcinogenic properties (Teuscher E (2005). Medicinal Spices (1 ed.). Stuttgart: Medpharm). In any case, I often put a few drops of rosemary essential oil in a spray bottle with water to spray in the house when someone is sick. Which in this house is not very often.

Roberto and I both got sick this winter. We were on a train for several hours sitting across the aisle from a guy who was sneezing and hacking his brains out the whole time. I really, for the life of me, can’t understand why people travel in these conditions. It was the first time either of us had been sick in at least 3 years. I can’t recall the last time either of us took antibiotics or even had to go to the doctor for anything other than a yearly check –up.

So here are some of the foods we eat, and supplements we take during the winter that keep our immune systems up and ready to fight off a cold!

HERBAL HONEY
To Make Herbal Honey
1. Use 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, or half a teaspoon of dried herbs for every 2 cups of raw honey.
2. If the herbs are fresh, grind them well to aid in the infusion.
3. Tie the herbs in cheesecloth.
4. In a pot, warm the raw honey and herbs. It is important not to heat the honey too much or the enzymes will be destroyed. Simply warm the honey to a temperature well below 115 degrees.
5. Put the honey and the herbs into a large canning jar with a tight fitting lid.
6. Let the honey sit in at room temperature in a dark place for at least one week.
7. Heat the honey just to warm and press the liquid out of the herbs.
Read more at Suite101: Herbal Honey Recipes: How to Make Herb Infused Honey

KEFIR
Kefir is our daily elixir, it is a delicious probiotic, a cultured milk drink that has over 2,000 years of history. We have been making and drinking kefir every day for about a year. During that time we have noticed some remarkable changes since using it regularly – everything from clearing up chronic skin problems, to easier digestion and better immunity. What sets kefir apart from other cultured dairy, is the number of various organisms, both bacteria and yeast, present as opposed to just one microorganism like most other cultured dairy products. Kefir is an immune booster, and contains a high amount of calcium, amino acids, B-vitamins, Vitamin K and folic acid. Due to all of the chemical reactions that occur when it is cultured, it is easy to digest allowing the body to adsorb all of the nutrients. Kefir is an amazing probiotic, as it helps to regulate and balance intestinal flora, controlling the overgrowth of yeast. All of these friendly cultures also make kefir an excellent remedy for digestive issues of all kinds, and a great elixir for people overcoming serious illness, especially if they have been treated with antibiotics.

CHICKEN SOUP/ BONE BROTH
I make bone broths about twice a month. Whenever I cook any meat of any kind, I always keep the bones and store them in the freezer, until I am ready to make the broth. I place the bones, some spices and filtered water in my crock pot and let it simmer away anywhere from 24-48 hours. The result is a deeply colored broth, which I use to cook with. Chicken soup, prepared in this way, really is good for colds!

OREGANO OIL
Anyone that is a facebook friend of mine knows that I am big on oregano oil. Oregano oil is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It comes in small gelcaps or as a liquid. Any time at all that I am feeling rundown, my throat starts feeling weird, or if I have to travel or spend a lot of time in enclosed spaces with lots of other people, you can bet that I am popping oregano oil pills! When I use the oregano oil, I am able to stave off colds and viruses from flourishing.

GARLIC/ALLICIN
The combination of rosemary, oregano and garlic is not just for the kitchen anymore. It is also a trio of cold-fighting herbs! Allicin is organosulfur compound obtained from garlic. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

WILD CHERRY BARK
Wild Cherry bark syrup is great to have on hand for any throat and lung issues. This can be helpful with whooping cough, soothing after pneumonia and great for any kind of coughing. It sooths the throat and lungs. I always have a bottle of Honey Gardens Wild Cherry Bark Syrup on hand.  It is made here in Vermont and combines wild cherry bark, raw honey and several other immune boosting herbs.

OXYLENT
Oxylent is the new Emergen-C. It comes in convenient one use packets, that you dump in a glass of water and drink up! Roberto doesn’t like to swallow pills, so he loves these packets, and we always take them with us if we have to travel.

VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is so important for overall health, and especially in the winter when we have less daylight and are spending more time indoors. It is an easy and very affordable supplement that we should all be taking everyday.

HOMEOPATHICS
Remedies like herbs, homeopathics and supplements have become topics of extremely heated debate, in recent years. But I stand by them. I have used them on myself, my family, friends, seen them work in a professional environment on thousands of patients. I have used homeopathics on my own pets, and recommended them to others with pets – and again, amazing results.

Oh, and just for the record, animals can’t experience the placebo effect. Just ask Mini P.

Holiday Baking Series: La Befana Stars: Limoncello-Lavender Stars

These are the last of my holiday cookies, however I waited to post them until today, because yesterday was the day that La Befana or “the witch”, traveled around Italy giving gifts to all good children and coal to those not on such a good path. Before Santa or Babbo Natale appeared on the scene in Italy, La Befana was already there.

La Befana is nowadays associated with the Feast of the Epiphany in Italy, celebrated on January 6. The Christian story tells us that she was visited by the Three Magi (Wiseman) on their search for the baby Jesus. She was too busy doing her chores to go with them, and afterwards regretted it. So now every year, gives gifts to all small children in Italy hoping to inadvertently finally give her gift to baby Jesus.
However, the story of La Befana is pre-Christian in nature, and much like Christmas itself, a celebration which was converted from native Pagan beliefs to the new religion. In pre-Christian times, La Befana begins with Winter Solstice and takes origin from the bonfires burned in the squares to celebrate the end of the year, a symbol of time cycles always ending and beginning again.
The witch is the ancient priestess of nature. The “coal” that she would leave to the nasty children was actually also a symbol of fertility connected to the sacred bonfires and the Ceppo – the Italian version of the Yule Log. To learn more about the origins of La Befana, both Pagan and Christian, please visit this informative website.

Regardless of religion or ethnicity, please make these delicious cookies!

Limoncello-Lavender Stars

Adapted from Dolce Italiano by Gina DePalma
INGREDIENTS:
3 ¼ cups organic spelt or AP flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ cups softened, unsalted butter
1 ¼ cup organic cane sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS limoncello
Freshly grated zest of one lemon
1 tsp dried lavender

METHOD:
Soak the lavender in the limoncello so the lavender can “bloom”. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt – then set aside. Cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the egg and egg yolks one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract, lavender infused limoncello and lemon zest.
Beat in the dry ingredients, creating a stiff batter. Remove dough from the bowl, flatten into a disk and refrigerate for about an hour, or until firm enough to handle easily.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time, and keep the other pieces refrigerated. On a floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a floured, 2-inch star cookie cutter, cut dough into stars. Place cookies ½ inch apart on the prepared trays. Gather the scraps of dough and repeat the cutting out process. Continue with all three pieces of dough.
You can brush cookies with an egg wash, or bake them as is. Bake cookies until they are lightly golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Rotate the sheets 180 degrees halfway through cooking to ensure even baking.
Allow cookies to cool slightly on the sheets, then remove with a spatula to a wire rack to cool. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container, layered between parchment paper for about 4 days. Makes 4 dozen.

ThinkFood Feature: Breakfast of Champions & My First YouTube!

I am excited to announce that today; my recipe which appears in the ThinkFood Cookbook, about brain health is Today’s Featured Recipe !

You may recall many months ago, when I told you about the book, and how you could get free weekly recipes delivered right to your inbox! If you signed up for the weekly recipe, then this post is old news to you, as you should have the recipe in your inbox! I hope you enjoy it.

But don’t stop reading, because I have more news to share with you.

I started developing my “Breakfast of Champions” over a year ago – when I first started getting heavy into weight lifting. I wanted a “real food” alternative to all the protein powder, power bars, etc. that most people into this kind of exercise seem to be into. So I created a super balanced, but very versatile dish, which can be eaten almost daily without feeling like you are eating the same thing. This is a recipe for anyone who needs sustained energy throughout the day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you might as well, go for it! Even kids love this recipe. One of my favorite kids in the world often asks her mom to make her “The Champions” for breakfast.

The grain component to this dish is soaked buckwheat. However, I have often made it with sprouted quinoa, or leftover roasted potatoes. I also switch up the greens and cheeses depending on what is in season or on hand. I even made this dish with leftover mole sauce ! Like I said, it is so versatile!

I am so proud of this dish, especially because it was featured in this cookbook, and also because it includes EGGS, which have become a big part of our life since we got laying hens this past summer and they started laying this fall (click here to read about our first egg).

I love that this dish is so balanced nutritionally, but also includes major components of my food philosophy – real food, local food, grow/raise your own, etc.

That is why I decided to prepare this recipe on film, to submit as my entry to MasterChef, Season 2. So I ask all of you to keep your fingers crossed for me that I am invited to be part of the show. My goal for wanting to be on the show is to present real food and traditional food preparation to the masses. Here is my first ever YouTube video! Hope you enjoy it! (running time @ 15 minutes)…

You can order your copy of ThinkFood: Recipes For Brain Fitness via this link !