Make-Ahead Stir Fry Sauce

My Inspiration…

While thumbing around my Pinterest feed, I came across “The BEST Stir Fry Sauce” by the blogger behind Tastes Lovely.  I liked the idea that this post was just for the sauce.  The sauce is key.  To me, stir fry is like frittata…there are hardly any rules, and ANYTHING can go in it.  So why not just make a recipe for the stir fry sauce and change up the dish with different veggies and protein.  Great idea Natalie! 

I had a crazy week, and I knew a pre-made sauce would save my butt when dinner had to get on the table in 15 minutes (and it did)!  Eric loved it and said it tastes like something from Chinese takeout.  Maybe I should have called this Chinese Takeout Stir Fry Sauce?  Nahhhh.  

P.S. I’m back into Pinterest and I am loving it!  I had too many sites to focus on for a while there so I sort of left Pinterest behind in the dust.  I realized it was time for me to get back in the pinning game once I started sharing boards with friends.  It’s fun to share boards!  If you haven’t started Pinterest yet, you totally should!  Find me there at www.pinterest.com/LongevityKitch (ughhh pinterest why wouldn’t you let me choose a handle with more characters?) and let’s share ideas! 


Longevity Tips…

I’d love to tell you about the ingredients I chose for my version of this Make-Ahead Stir Fry Sauce!  

Tamari:

Tamari Lite

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Tamari.  Tamari is basically soy sauce, but more legit.  Modern Soy Sauce has WHEAT as the main ingredient— often preceding even Soy on the ingredient list.  That’s a bunch of hooey, and we want our soy sauce made from soy and salt…NOT WHEAT.  I should begin to clarify something however; I usually tell people to stay away from Soy.  There’s a lot to be said on the subject, but just hear this:  Soy is a profitable crop for America to grow and utilize, so they want us to believe it’s healthy and they want to put it in everything (same goes for wheat and corn).  The main problem is that soy mimics estrogen in the body and really throws our hormonal system out of whack; putting us at risk for thyroid problems, cancer, infertility, and all kinds of stuff that sucks.  In countries like Japan & China, they use soy as a condiment and they would never consider it their main source of protein.  50% of the soy they eat is fermented, and they have a drastically different diet than us Americans, and their diet is much richer in micronutrients.  There are a few forms of fermented soy that you may be familiar with: Soy Sauce, Tempeh, & Miso, among others.  I recommend including these foods in your diet on occasion and skipping all other forms of unfermented soy.  If you have children, an autoimmune disease, or are trying to conceive, keep yourself and your children as far away from soy as you can.  To learn more about the many dangers of unfermented soy, read this.  

Coconut Aminos is a great alternative for people avoiding all types of soy.  It’s like soy sauce, but sweeter.  You can find coconut aminos at most health food supermarkets in the Asian section, or you can order all of the products I recommend online through Thrive Market.    

                                               

The good news is, you can buy Tamari Lite at the grocery stores now!  Get your hands on some Tamari Lite or Tamari Low-Sodium. The Non-GMO certification (or Organic) is great because we know the soy plant wasn’t sprayed with the same deadly chemicals they use on GMO soy. Get it? Got it? Good.

Benefits of Coconut-Palm-Sugar

Coconut Sugar / AKA Coconut Palm Sugar

I’m totally into this stuff.  I don’t use it a lot, because it’s still sugar.  But it’s minimally processed (only 2 steps!), and delivers less of a spike in our blood sugar than nearly any other sugar available.  It tastes like brown sugar!  No, it doesn’t taste like coconut.  You can find bags of this in the baking aisle or online, so go get some!

Potato Starch / Arrowroot / Tapioca Starch / Cassava Flour

Starch helps to thicken your sauce like the gravy at a chinese restaurant!  These are smart swaps for corn starch, if you ask me.  Corn starch is always GMO unless you buy organic or Non-GMO verified (this is a problem because of the dangerous chemicals they spray on the GMO plants, and the toxins the GMO corn produces to keep away insects.)  Corn Starch is also insanely processed, and did you know corn is not even a digestible grain?  We literally can not digest it.  I know it’s sad; you like corn on the cob.  Who doesn’t?  Anyways, I’m not here to tell you you can’t eat corn on the cob…I’m here to tell you what you should be using in place of corn starch (for the love of heart health and all things healthy: throw away your corn oil). 

Potato Starch, Arrowroot, Tapioca Starch/Flour, and Cassava flour are all awesome alternatives to corn starch.  These starches are perfect for thickening soups and gravies, and you can even make a batter with them and fry up some goodies (arrowroot is the most pricey, and the most particular of them all.  So I only recommend arrowroot if you have other recipes to try that call for it).  My family made fried Calamari and all sorts of fried fish using potato starch on Christmas Eve…it turned out great!  They did this just because they love me and know I can’t have wheat flour.  Happy.  There are a million recipes out in the Paleo world now using these starches, so go ahead and do a search for ideas!  They store well, and potato starch is inexpensive!  


 

It’s Time to Cook…

This recipe is so eeeeasy!! 

Just throw it all in the blender, and save it for a rainy (raining with responsibility) day.  This could be one of those weeks when you buy the conveniently pre-cut veggies from the supermarket…like I did when I made this stir fry.  $6 for a package of pre-cut asparagus?  That’s not a deal at all…but on occasion it’s okay because then we still eat veggies even though I’m busy, and I don’t have to worry about the prep and mess! 

What are you going to put in your stir fry?  I made one with shrimp, broccoli, and bell peppers; and the winning dish was chicken thighs with asparagus & kale.  Do your body a flavor and buy some organic meat, free from antibiotic & hormone use, and from a farm you can trust.  Want to buy directly from a farm but don’t know how?  Check out the place I get our meat from: www.sevensons.net  They deliver to pickup locations all over the midwest!  Wouldn’t you feel saintly if you knew the farms that raised your meat?  I know I would, and I do!

Okay, what are you waiting for?  Make this 5 minute sauce so it’s ready when you are!  Comment below or tag me in your creations #mylongevitykitchen

Make-Ahead Stir Fry Sauce
Serves 4
Make this 5 minute sauce so it's ready when you need dinner on the table in no time! Using whatever protein and veggies you have on hand, you can create a chinese takeout dinner with endless possibilities.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 inch piece fresh GINGER, peeled & minced (about 1 tablespoon), See Notes
  2. 2 GARLIC Cloves, chopped (help a blender out), See Notes
  3. 1/4 Cup of BROTH (water works in a pinch)
  4. 1/4 Cup Non-GMO TAMARI Lite Soy Sauce (soy-free sub is Coconut Aminos)
  5. 1 Tablespoon COCONUT SUGAR (ommit for lower carb)
  6. 1 teaspoon APPLE CIDER VINEGAR or Rice Vinegar
  7. 1 teaspoon TOASTED SESAME OIL
  8. 1 Tablespoon POTATO STARCH, See Notes for subs
Instructions
  1. Add Everything to your blender and blend on high.
  2. Save in a jar in the fridge for up to a week
Ready to cook? Follow these steps
  1. If using meat/seafood, cut your meat into bite sized pieces, and heat 3 tablespoons of high heat cooking fat like avocado oil, ghee, refined coconut oil, palm oil (or even lard/tallow/bacon fat from healthy animals).
  2. Cook your meat/seafood until 75% done, and season with salt and pepper while it cooks.
  3. Remove the meat and set aside.
  4. Add your veggies to the pan along with a splash of water, and half of the stir-fry sauce. Season with salt and pepper and cover the pan.
  5. Steam-cook your covered veggies for about 3 minutes over medium heat.
  6. Remove the cover, stir, and add back your meat/seafood. Pour the rest of your stir fry sauce onto the meat/seafood, and stir to combine everything.
  7. Turn the heat to high and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir occasionally and watch the sauce thicken (thank you starch).
Notes
  1. Ground Ginger can be a good substitute. Use 1/4 teaspoon
  2. Garlic Powder can be a good substitute. Use 1 teaspoon.
  3. Potato Starch can be swapped for Tapioca Starch, Cassava Flour, & Arrowroot Starch in this recipe. You can ommit the starch completely and still have a delicious dish that is even lower in carbs.
Adapted from Tastes Lovely
Adapted from Tastes Lovely
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/
SaveSave

My Favorite APPS for Wellness

This is the second installment of a 5-part series called:  

My Favorite Things  

Click here to see my first post called My Favorite Books, and hang tight for more lists like My Favorite Kitchen Stuff, Supplements & Herbs, and of course My Favorite FOODS…all things to help you thrive!  

 


My Favorite Apps

 

Who can deny that smart phones and apps are just a part of daily life now.  Whether we like it or not, smart phones are making our lives easier in many ways (I’m not even going to get into to the ways they affect us negatively), and podcasts & apps are a HUGE part of my wellness routine.  I cover quite a few categories here from fitness to brain function.  The information and guidance you seek is just a click away, and I’m so excited to show you the wellness apps I fell in love with…

 


 

Sleep / Meditation

sleep cycle app 2

SLEEP CYCLE – $0.99

Sleep is more important than most people like to admit, and this handy app will really show you the quality of your sleep.  I found out about this app from Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof Exec.  The things that really sold me are the fact that it wakes you during your lightest stage of sleep, and that it allows you to create a checklist of things you do that day in order to see how they affect your sleep!  For instance, I check a box that says “drank coffee after 4pm” or “melatonin” and I can see after a few nights if that is negatively or positively affecting my sleep!  Genius.  The other great thing is that it shows you on a graph how you go through the different stages of sleep (or don’t go through; like me) throughout the night.  Try the Power Nap app by them too.  A 20 minute power nap is one of the only ways I have found to reset my brain when I’m confronted with decision fatigue or straight up stress.    

Check out sleepcycle.com to learn more.  

isleep easy app - Copy

iSLEEP EASY – Free

Do you have busy thoughts while you’re trying to sleep?  Do you want to “meditate” but you don’t know how or when you’ll ever do it?  This free app is perfect for you.  I sleep way better when I do my sleep meditation app, and I always fall asleep before I’m halfway through the playlist.  My husband was teasing me about it one night, so I told him to just listen to it…before you know it he was passed out too!  It works I tell ya!  The teacher guides you through a sleep meditation by saying things like “Whatever was left to do today can be done tomorrow.  Enjoy the comfort of your bed.  Notice the feeling of the sheets on your skin.”  There’s something about being aware and focusing our attention on our physical body that makes meditation so magical. 

Check out meditationoasis.com to learn more.  

sleep mask

SLEEP MASK – $10-$20

Okay this isn’t an app, but it pairs perfectly with the isleep easy app (above).  I remember walking out in my living room to find my brother crashed on the air mattress wearing a sleep mask.  I laughed!  He said he thought it was weird at first too but now he loves it.  I decided to give it a try because my husband and I both had unusual schedules.  We were both hooked on the first try!  Even when it’s dark I wear them.  I am telling you you’ve gotta try it to believe it!  And the shapely ones like this are the best— if you ask me.

You can purchase this one on amazon.com


Yoga / Fitness

yoga studio app

YOGA STUDIO App by Gaiam – $3.99

I have only tried a few Yoga apps, but I am telling you this one is amazing!  It’s worth wayyyy more than $4 so don’t even hesitate.  There are endless combinations and flawless video demonstrations.  It took me a second to get used to the teacher’s voice, but it really is soothing and crystal clear.  This is perfect for anyone, beginner to novice, and sessions go from 10 minutes to 60!  Did I mention you can choose a class based on your needs?  Flexibility, strength, balance, combination.  Nice!  I should mention that it took me a long time to fit yoga into my routine because I just sucked at it.  And if you suck at something, you generally don’t like it.  I soon discovered that if you have zero flexibility, and suck at yoga, that just means that you NEED yoga more than anyone.  Stretching and challenging different muscles is imperative for longevity. 

You can learn more at yogastudioapp.com 

nike training club app - Copy

NIKE TRAINING CLUB – Free

This is hands down the best fitness app.  Do you get sick of doing the same workout?  Do you want to work out at home?  Do you wish you had more options like 15 min or 60 min?  This Nike app is free and expertly done.  I absolutely love everything about it.  Each workout is performed by a different Nike Trainer, and these women are fierce and beautiful!  Flexible times, innovative workouts, inspiring women…I’m not quite sure there’s anything left to be desired in a fitness app!

Find out more here at nike.com


Music / Reading

Spotify

SPOTIFY- Free or $10/month

Spotify is like the star-child of Pandora and iTunes.  You can download albums or playlists for free, you can stream, you can create radio stations like pandora, and choose playlists to suit your mood!  That last feature is why it’s on my Longevity list.  There are playlists to help you focus, help you be productive, lift you up, put you to sleep, make you laugh, and get you moving!  Did I mention it will play music according to the pace you’re working out at?  Love. 

Learn more at spotify.com

audible

AUDIBLE – Free to try – $15/month

I am so into Audible!  If you drive or commute a lot, or find it hard to concentrate when you read, then you should definitely get an audible membership.  Audible is an audiobook store by Amazon.  There are thousands of books available, free trials, free previews, and even returns.  You rack up credits for months that pass without downloading a new book, and you can cancel easily.  The most major benefit I just found with Audible is a section they include called “The Great Courses”.   The Great Courses is college-level audio courses taught on a wide-range of subjects by credited experts and professors.  We are talking about subjects like “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques For Retraining Your Brain”, “Raising Emotionally and Socially Healthy Kids”, and “Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language”.  These courses are averaging $60 and up on The Great Courses site, but many of them are part of your $15 audible membership.  Crazy Cool!

Try it for free now at audible.com


Brain Games

lumosity - Copy

LUMOSITY – Free & $3-$12 per month 

Have you heard of brain games yet?  Brain games are exactly as they sound but far more advantageous than a game.  We are talking about expertly designed, research-based, results-oriented games that are fun to play, and that exercise your brain.  Remember: If we don’t use it, we lose it…and there could be nothing more frightful than losing our mind.  Start using your free time to play a brain game instead of surfing social media or playing candy crush.  Lumosity is the first of 3 brain game apps I am recommending.  It is filled with more imaginative games, and perfect for first time brain gamers.  Picture colorful games full of shapes and patterns, exercising your brain in unfamiliar ways.  I like Lumosity best out of the 3 games when I’m tired or waiting in line somewhere.  If you get bored easily then this is a good brain game app for you.  This is also available on your desktop/laptop computers!  

Try the free membership and see how you like it!  www.lumosity.com

fitbrains - Copy

FITBRAINS, by the creators of Rosetta Stone – Free & $3-$10/month

 In case you didn’t read above, I’m repeating the same intro: Have you heard of brain games yet?  Brain games are exactly as they sound but far more advantageous than a game.  We are talking about expertly designed, research-based, results-oriented games that are fun to play, and that exercise your brain.  Remember: If we don’t use it, we lose it…and there could be nothing more frightful than losing our mind.  Start using your free time to play a brain game instead of surfing social media or playing candy crush. 

Fitbrains is the second of 3 brain games I’m recommending.  Fitbrains app focuses on what you’re weakest at, and recommends even more specialized apps to focus on your needs.  If you’re the type of person looking for results and likes a challenge, try this app.  Fitbrains is available on your desktop/laptop too!

Try the free membership at www.fitbrains.com

elevate - Copy

ELEVATE – free to start & $3-$8/month 

In case you didn’t read above, I’m repeating the same intro: Have you heard of brain games yet?  Brain games are exactly as they sound but far more advantageous than a game.  We are talking about expertly designed, research-based, results-oriented games that are fun to play, and that exercise your brain.  Remember: If we don’t use it, we lose it…and there could be nothing more frightful than losing our mind.  Start using your free time to play a brain game instead of surfing social media or playing candy crush. 

Elevate is the last of 3 brain games I’m recommending.  This game is very different than the other two.  I love it and I hate it at the same time, and I’ll tell you why.  Elevate is more focused on reading, writing, and exercises that work on memory, communicating your thoughts, listening, and vocabulary.  This is all very applicable in real life, and you immediately recognize your gains and weaknesses.  But honestly, it takes me back to school.  Some of the exercises remind me of state exams with a fun twist.  I find that this game is the most important to me.  I’m using it more and more each week, but if I don’t do it in the morning, I usually won’t ever get to it.  So I highly suggest this to anyone looking for immediate gratification, practical skills, and a caffeine alternative (play brain games in the morning and your brain will instantly snap into reality).   

Try it for free at elevateapp.com

My Favorite BOOKS

word swag books black 2

This is the first installment of a 5-part series called:  

My Favorite Things  

Coming up next is My Favorite Apps, Kitchen Stuff, Supplements & Herbs, and of course My Favorite FOODS…all things to help you thrive, so stay tuned!   


 

It seems like there are two groups of people:  those who love to read, and those who don’t think they love to read.  

My closest friends can tell you I’m pretty much always reading about 4 books at a time.  If you ask me reading something according to your mood or atmosphere makes way more sense than trying to finish one book at a time.  This way of thinking has gotten me through a lot of books!

Well, I have a message for everyone:  There are many ways to “read” these days…including audiobooks!  I am still hooked on traditional books, but I think audible.com is worth every penny – especially because they just increased the value by offering “The Great Courses”.  Click here if you want to know more ’bout all that.

I wish I was like Oprah and could just shower people with all the things I love.  This is my way of showing you I care (smile).  I’ve rounded up a list of 12 book titles, covering Nutrition, Cookbooks, Non-fiction/Self-Help.  Most of these items I cannot go without, and all of them will improve your life or replace something that’s holding you back!  Check it out…


 

Nutrition / Weight-loss / Lifestyle

perfect health diet book 2

 

Perfect Health Diet: How to Regain Health and Lose Weight By Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat

This is the most important book to me.  It’s super sciencey – which would usually scare me away.  It helped me make sense of all the diet advice out there.  If you want to be healthy, it really comes down to minimizing toxins in your food, and maximizing the nutrients you intake.  The scientists who wrote this book really know their stuff.  It surprised so many people in the Paleosphere to see white rice and white potatoes being recommended in a healthy person’s diet; but after you see the science, you see why this makes sense.  Anyone interested in Ancestral Health, the Paleo Diet, maximizing their nutrition, or tired of feeling like crap should DEFINITELY read this book. 

Microsoft PowerPoint - Food Plate.ppt
This is the Perfect Health Diet Recommendations

Note: I recommend this book in the digital format for many reasons.  I love a physical book in my hand just as much as anyone else, but digital readers are perfect for books with references, terms that are new to you, and content you’d like to refer back to.  Imagine being able to type in a search word like “magnesium” and find every place it is mentioned in the book.  Or how about highlighting a new word like “Apoptosis” so you can quickly see the definition?  You can also highlight and make notes to refer back to.  In this case, digital is the way to go.    

Price: THIS DIGITAL BOOK is on SPECIAL for $3.00 LIMITED TIME CLICK HERE TO BUY  (download the Kindle app and no need for a kindle)

Regular Price: $14-$20

Visit perfecthealthdiet.com for more info and a great resource

 

paleo cure
TODAY ONLY! $3

The Paleo Cure: Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health Needs.  Prevent and Reverse Disease, Lose Weight Effortlessly, and Look and Feel Better than Ever

Chris Kresser is the expert I am constantly quoting and referring back to when I need some straight-up facts about nutrition and wellness.  He is known as “the healthy skeptic”, and he wrote this book to help people figure out their own version of paleo.  We are different in many ways, so why should we have the same restrictions?  Anyone confused about what’s “healthy” these days, why people are suddenly allergic to everything, and what foods you personally should avoid, should buy this book.

Note: I recommend it in the digital format for many reasons too.  I love a physical book in my hand just as much as anyone else, but digital readers are perfect for books with references, terms that are new to you, and content you’d like to refer back to.  Imagine being able to type in a search word like “dairy” and find every place it’s mentioned in the book.  Or how about highlighting a new word like “autoimmunity” so you can quickly see the definition.  You can also highlight and make notes to refer back to.  For The Paleo Cure, digital is the way to go.  

Price: $10-$18 

Visit chriskresser.com for more info and a great resource
primal blueprint

The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy

I was high on life for about a month after reading the Primal Blueprint.  The message is so clear here, and actionable!  Mark Sisson of marksdailyapple.com is the original Paleo blogger, and an inspiration to everyone in the field.  This book is special because Mark takes a look at our modern lives and remind us of the simple ways we can start nurturing our inner primal being.  Take a look at his 10 Primal Laws

Primal Blueprint Laws
Primal Blueprint 10 Primal Laws

And if you’re into understanding what our body wants for fuel, then you have to check out his 8 Key Concepts here.

I love this program so much I am considering becoming a Primal Blueprint Certified Expert one day, by enrolling in his education program. 

I highly recommend The Primal Blueprint as an audio version for a quick, enjoyable “read” while you’re driving. 

Price: $9-$18 (click the book photo to order online)

Visit marksdailyapple.com for more info and a great resource


 

Cookbooks

paleo takeout

Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites Without the Junk

This cookbook is bonkers.  It’s insane how many recipes are in it, and this guy Russ Crandall (AKA The Domestic Man) is one of my favorite chefs out there in the Paleosphere (maybe my absolute favorite.  Okay yes, he is.).  He’s an advocate of the Perfect Health Diet, my first book recommendation on this post, and has Paleo-ish recipes which include white rice! 

“In Paleo Takeout, Crandall re-creates everyone’s favorite takeout meals using wholesome ingredients and some seriously inventive techniques giving you the opportunity to revisit your favorite restaurant classics, with all of the gratification and none of the regret!”

paleo takeout chinese

Here’s a sneak peek at the Chinese food section

Price: $10-$22 (Click the photo to purchase)

THE ANCESTRAL TABLE is his original cookbook I also refer to again and again for traditional foods from around the world.  Click here to order online

His blog is downright ridonculous for any serious home cook or global foodie.  Check it out at thedomesticman.com 

every last crumb

Every Last Crumb: Paleo Bread and Beyond 

This is another Paleo cookbook that’ll straight up blow your mind.  Brittany Angell recreates EVERY grain-based food you miss when you go gluten-free or paleo.  She is a master at it, and I highly recommend her website brittanyangell.com. This book has everything from english muffins, to hot dog buns, to cakes, pies, and taco.  This book is high quality hardcover and makes a great gift for anyone who loves to bake.

Price: $10-$16 (click book photo to purchase online)

 

zenbelly

Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean’s Guide to Paleo Cuisine 

I found this cookbook because everyone and their paleo Mom will tag #Zenbelly in their photos on Instagram.  She has several go-to recipes that make everyday life for gluten abstainers much easier.  Her plantain tortillas are one of them!  This cookbook is perfect for any serious home cook looking to cut out grains and dairy and still make drool worthy meals.  Here’s a great description:

“With over 100 real food recipes, The Zenbelly Cookbook covers every course and occasion; from simple weeknight meals that can be made for the family in under 30 minutes, to elegant multiple course dinners that will impress any guest. The Zenbelly Cookbook will also offer entertainment tips such as: what can be made ahead, shortcuts that don’t sacrifice quality, and menu suggestions. The goal of The Zenbelly Cookbook is to make incredible, professional quality food accessible to the home cook.” – Amazon

Price: $10-$21 (click the book photo to order online)

This Hardcover Book is Worthy Of Display

The Homegrown Paleo CookbookOver 100 Delicious, Gluten-Free, Farm-to-Table Recipes, and a Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Healthy Food

This book is as incredible as the husband and wife team who created it.  It combines two concepts that inspire me: a seasonal paleo cookbook and a beginner homesteading guide.  The photos are from their farm and home, and the photos are just gorgeous!  If you picture someone hugging the gift you gave them, this would be the book…for anyone interested in homesteading or seasonal paleo meals.  The meals are reasonably simple, and masterfully done, and the homesteading guide is just enough to get your hands really dirty.  

Price: $10-$27 (click the book photo to purchase online)

Follow their blog at sustainabledish.com for recipes, action from the farm, and ways to increase your eco-awareness.  


 

Non-fiction/ Self-help

10 percent happier

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story

I adore this book!  I breezed through it in a week!  I probably could’ve read it in 2 days.  Dan Harris, known for anchoring on ABC news, is hilarious, vulnerable, and increasingly cynical.  This book is great for anyone who wants to quiet their busy mind, or has mood swings, or is interested in meditation or Buddhist beliefs.  Here’s a quick synopsis:

“Harris had the ambition and drive to rise to ABC News television anchor. He’d felt the ‘journalistic heroin’ of reporting from war zones, anchored national broadcasts, and even recovered from cocaine addiction. But he also had a voice in his head, the same voice most of us wrestle with, constantly second-guessing him. If he could only quiet that voice, he’d be happier and less stressed. Harris was already covering the religion beat when he veered off on a personal journey to find answers beyond the self-help gurus. Along the way, he talked to Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, a host of Jewish Buddhists, and even the Dalai Lama before reluctantly trying meditation. Approaching it with all the skepticism of a reporter, Harris checked out the neurological research and learned that meditation was being used in the corporate and military arenas to heighten focus and clarity. After going on a meditation retreat, he ultimately found the balance he sought between ambition and inner peace. In this brave, completely engaging, and often hilarious book, Harris achieves his aim of demystifying meditation.” –Vanessa Bush

Price: $10-$15 (click the book photo to purchase online)

 

Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives 

There is so much to love about this book.  I literally think everyone in the world should read it!  Don’t you ever wonder why you can’t just stick to a new habit, or do something you really WANT to do?  Whats holding us back?  What are some actionable steps we can take to change that?  This is a subject that’s been tackled before, but someone finally took a different angle.  The author, Gretchen Rubin, is a writer who studies happiness, and she wrote this book after discovering something about habits.  We are all very different people with different tendencies, so how can one habit-forming strategy work for us all?  It won’t.  She pinpoints all of our different tendencies and helps you learn very actionable tricks to start making habits stick.  You will love it! 

Try it on audio book and listen while you’re driving!  And to all my podcast listeners out there, you have to check out her awesome podcast called “Happier”. 

Price: $13-$20 (click here to order online)

I highly recommend her website gretchenrubin.com for great advice on how to increase your happiness and productivity. 

 

Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals 

This is a book I will never forget.  I even plan to read it again because it has so much to say.  I usually wouldn’t pick up a book this long, but after all the hype about it I decided to give it a try.  I fell in love with the Author, Michael Pollan, and his writing style.  If you want to know more about where our food comes from, and hear a thoughtful interpretation on food philosophy, this book is for you.  

“It’s a fascinating journey up and down the food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a steak or decide whether to buy organic eggs. You’ll certainly never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again. Pollan’s narrative strategy is simple: he traces four meals back to their [origin]. He starts with a McDonald’s lunch, which he and his family gobble up in their car…Corn feeds the steer that turns into the burgers, becomes the oil that cooks the fries and the syrup that sweetens the shakes and the sodas, and makes up 13 of the 38 ingredients (yikes) in the Chicken McNuggets. Later, Pollan prepares a dinner with items from Whole Foods, investigating the flaws in the world of ‘big organic’; cooks a meal with ingredients from a small, utopian Virginia farm; and assembles a feast from things he’s foraged and hunted. -Pamela Kaufman, Executive Editor at Food & Wine magazine.” 

Price: $8-$15 (Click here to purchase online)

feast nearby

The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week)

I love the way this memoir includes recipes throughout the book.  That made it even more special to me!  I’ve recommended this book several times to mothers and home cooks who want to appreciate the homesteading life, and get inspired to be more self sufficient. Here’s a nice intro for you:

“Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan. 
 
There she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible. In The Feast Nearby, Mather chronicles her year-long project: preparing and consuming three home-cooked, totally seasonal, and local meals a day–all on forty dollars a week. “

Price: $13-$20 (click the book photo to purchase online)

 

wildlife garden

ThenWildlife Friendly Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Food in Harmony with Nature

What an inventive book.  This book is for gardeners, and people who’d like to know how they can co-exist with the natural wildlife surrounding us.  Just by looking at the cover you will see the playful drawing style she uses to show the different creatures.  This was the perfect book for me because I hate looking at real-life insects.  But these cute cartoon drawings were the perfect way for me to see which insects are beneficial and which are pests. This one-of-a-kind book shows you how to create a peaceful co-existence between your vegetable garden and the wildlife who consider it part of their habitat. By understanding and working with the surrounding environment – instead of continually fighting it – you’ll reap a larger harvest with much less stress and effort. “

Price: $13 (Click the book photo to purchase online)


Comment below and tell me which books you’ve read!

Coconut Green Tea Dairy-Free, Paleo, Sugar-Free

"InstaRecipe" Alert! (click here for info)

603750_10153276553197486_395972309578252352_n

I’d hardly call this a recipe because it is so simple!  But indeed it is a recipe for greatness, and it’s time to share it with you!  It tastes like a warm and creamy vanilla milkshake, for real!  It’s so frothy and delicious.

I am a Bulletproof Coffee fan, for life.  But I am also trying to figure out what my brain needs to function optimally and stay focused throughout the day.

After reading the famous book “Healing ADD” by Daniel Amen, I understand that coffee may not be the best choice for my morning routine.  Here and there yes, but not daily. Sooooo, I had to start toying with my green tea and make it “Bulletproof” too!..

I use coconut oil for the satisfying fats and MCT’s (medium chain fats that are good for the brain and metabolism), protein powder because most distracted brains thrive on higher protein and lower carbs (this is especially important earlier in the day to boost your focus and concentration skills), and often add in Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil for added brain boosting power.   This combo of healthy fats and protein provides you with a power breakfast that’ll hold you over for hours into your day!  And I still get to keep my morning routine.  I don’t miss the coffee one bit!

Caffeine makes you feel more focused but unfortunately it also decreases blood flow to the brain–and over time can make ADD symptoms worse.  Green tea is a better choice than coffee because it contains less caffeine, and more importantly, green tea contains Theanine and EGCG which both benefit the brain in many ways.

Coconut Green Tea made with coconut oil, cinnamon, and grass-fed vanilla whey protein. By Marisa Moon of My Longevity Kitchen

Scroll down for the recipe…

Looking for some high quality vanilla protein powders? Here are some brands that I recommend:

Primal Fuel Vanilla Coconut Whey Protein Isolate with Prebiotic Fiber

Reserveage Grass-fed Vanilla Minimally Processed Whey Protein 
 

Tera’s Whey Grass-fed Organic Bourbon Vanilla Protein 

Garden Of Life Raw Vegan Organic Protein, Vanilla, with Sprouted Foods & Pea Protein

 

Disclaimer: Marisa Moon of My Longevity Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to awesome products they recommend from amazon.com


Coconut Green Tea
Serves 1
Blend together hot organic green tea with nourishing coconut oil, and vanilla protein powder for a nutritious and brain-boosting breakfast alternative.
Write a review
Print
Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 serving of prepared Hot GREEN TEA (organic)
  2. 1-2 Tbsp Virgin COCONUT OIL
  3. VANILLA Grass-Fed Whey PROTEIN POWDER (see notes for brands and measurements)
  4. A generous dash of CINNAMON
Optional
  1. Up to 1 Tbsp MCT oil or Brain Octane Oil
Instructions
  1. Using a blender, BLEND together the HOT GREEN TEA and the COCONUT OIL first.
  2. Touch the mixture with your finger to test the temperature. If its too hot to touch then it needs to cool a little longer before you add the whey protein powder (to avoid damaging the nutrients).
  3. Once it's at a temperature you can touch comfortably, add the protein powder and cinnamon. Blend again. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Whey Protein Powders: All protein powders have different measurements and different levels of sweetness. I use Reserveage Vanilla or Primal Fuel Whey Protein and put 2 Tablespoons in my coconut green tea recipe. Terra's Grass-Fed Vanilla Bourbon Whey is also great, but you will have to double the quantity (4 Tablespoons). Do you have another brand? If so, start with 2 Tablespoons, and taste to decide if you need more. See my full list of recommended protein powders above. Happy sipping!
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/

Ciambotta: Italian Vegetable Stew

2

My Inspiration…

Sure enough, whenever the leaves are thinking about falling, I’m thinking about Ciambotta—pronounced Chom-BOAT-ah.  This Italian vegetable stew is a southern Italian tradition.  It gives you the opportunity to celebrate the bounty of your garden (or farm stand, CSA, and local produce section), kiss the Summer goodbye, and say hello to a 50 degree day.  I’m okay with that. 

2015-09-29 20.21.22

I love Ciambotta for so many reasons!  Most importantly, I grew up eating it—anything in a red sauce, with parmigiano reggiano and crushed red pepper was my favorite.  But ciambotta is awesome because it’s cheap, versatile, and reminiscent of a bowl of pasta.  (I should mention it freezes fantastically too.  BONUS!)


Longevity Tips…

Are you buying organic produce yet?  I understand it’s tough to get used to paying more, so check out this list of vegetables that are highest in pesticides (we are talking over 50 different pesticides detected on some of these veggies; not to mention that kale and hot peppers often contain chemicals that are so dangerous they should be illegal).  If you buy these organic, you’ll be cutting out a majority of the pesticides/herbicides your family is exposed to. 

This list is only for vegetables.  Read here for the full list including fruits (pleeeeease buy your apples organic)

Watch this 2 minute video to see what chemicals are in your body before switching to organic.  You’ll be shocked!


 

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: 

If you aren’t already buying organic tomatoes, you should start right now. Standard tomatoes are sprayed with some of the highest levels of herbicides/pesticides being used. These chemicals are “classified as ‘bad actors’ by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN). A “bad actor” is a chemical that is toxic, promotes cancer in lab tests and animal studies, interferes with reproduction, or contaminates the environment.”

Thanks to Jo Robinson’s book “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimal Health”, I am able to provide you with this important information.

And skip the traditional cans because they are lined with all sorts of chemicals that tomatoes leach from (even if they are BPA free). Go for glass jars or cartons of organic tomato products…stock up when they are on sale around $3 and save big!  I heart organic tomatoes.


It’s Time To Cook…

Okay so you’re ready to make your Ciambotta, and you notice the ingredients in my recipe aren’t in precise amounts.  Welcome to the world of Italian cooking!  And honestly people, this is my style.  Recipes don’t have to be so rigid to be great!

I want you to use whatever you like, and whatever you have access to.  The base of a great ciambotta is usually tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes; but there are SO MANY GREAT WAYS to make it!  My family often puts green beans or peas in this stew.  Don’t like eggplant?  I say try it in this dish, and you might be surprised…but you can always leave it out.  Even the amount of liquid is not precise.  All you need to worry about is that there is just enough liquid to cover those veggies.

Let me know how this works for you!  I always make it on the stove top, but I know you can do it in the slow cooker.  Give it a shot, and tag me #MyLongevityKitchen on Instagram and Facebook @MyLongevityKitchen, or comment right here!  

Ciambotta: Italian Vegetable Stew
Serves 3
Pronounced Chom-BOAT-ah, this Italian vegetable stew is a southern Italian tradition. It is a celebration of the garden's bounty slowly cooked in a rich tomato sauce.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ ONION, chopped
  2. Optional: 1 organic CELERY, 1 CARROT, finely chopped
  3. Optional: 1 teaspoon CRUSHED PEPPER FLAKES
  4. 3 cloves of GARLIC, peeled and smashed
  5. Approx. 1 lb EGGPLANT and/or organic ZUCCHINI, diced
  6. Approx. 1 lb organic Potatoes, peeled and diced
  7. Optional: ½ lb GREEN BEANS and/or organic SWEET PEPPERS chopped
  8. ¼ Cup organic Extra Virgin OLIVE OIL
  9. 24 oz Jarred organic TOMATOES (I prefer jarred Whole Peeled Tomatoes, but any variety canned—and quartered fresh tomatoes—works too)
  10. 18 oz BONE BROTH, STOCK, or WATER (just enough to cover the veggies)
  11. 1 BAY LEAF
  12. 1 Tbsp minced FRESH HERBS (parsley, basil, oregano, thyme)
  13. 1 tsp dried OREGANO (skip if using fresh oregano)
  14. SALT & PEPPER
  15. Optional: ¼ Cup GRATED Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (More nutritious compared to “parmesan”)
Stovetop Method
  1. Using a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, and celery (if using), and a heavy pinch of salt. Stir and saute for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and crushed chili pepper flakes, stir and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add all of your vegetables, tomatoes, and ¼ cup olive oil. Stir and add enough broth or water to just cover the vegetables.
  5. Turn the heat to high, stir in the herbs, bay leaf, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  6. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover.
  7. Cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring around every 15 minutes to prevent burning on the bottom.
  8. After 1 hour, and all the veggies are super soft, you may leave off the cover to reduce the amount of liquid remaining. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until you reach the desired thickness.
  9. Stir in the grated cheese (if using), and taste for salt. If it tastes like something is missing, add more salt.
Slow Cooker Method
  1. Add all of the ingredients—except the grated cheese¬—to the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 8 hours, until the veggies are super soft.
  3. If it’s too soupy, continue cooking uncovered on high or transfer to the stove uncovered and the liquid will evaporate as it simmers.
  4. Stir in the grated cheese and taste for salt. Something missing? Add salt.
  5. Serve with fresh herbs, grated cheese, and crushed pepper if desired.
Notes
  1. Ingredients marked organic are specifically high in pesticides when grown conventionally
  2. Variations: Add organic leafy greens, and ANY cooked meat to change it up.
  3. This is hearty enough to serve as a main course and can be stretched by serving over rice or Non-GMO polenta
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/

3 Ingredient Spice-Crusted Lamb

Isn’t it awesome when you find a tasty recipe that only requires a few ingredients?  

Check your spice cabinet for ground cumin and smoked paprika…

Not in there?  Go and get some!  

These two spices are at the very top of my list.  Cumin gives you that warm taco meat flavor, and smoked paprika gives you a smokey red pepper kick!  

That’s basically all you need for this recipe.  And the star ingredient?  

My favorite meat: Lamb.  

Besides the superior flavor, do you know what’s so great about lamb?  Lamb is not as mass produced as beef, chicken, and pork, so you can be sure the lamb you are buying is almost always living a good life…which means it’s healthier for us to eat.  When you see New Zealand on the lamb label, that tells you the lamb was eating grass just like nature intended.  This means that the meat is higher in omega 3’s and lower in the inflammatory omega 6’s (compared to animals fed grain).

New Zealand, 2006
Sheep Farming in New Zealand (Wikipedia)

What do we do with this super easy, 3 ingredient spice rub????

You can use this spice rub on lamb chops, kabobs, and mix it into lamb burgers.  But the easiest preparation (which I choose to make time and time again) is to get some diced, trimmed, leg of lamb, marinate for 30+ minutes in this spice rub, and give it a quick sear in a hot pan.  

Longevity Tip: Choose your oil, or what I like to call “cooking fat” wisely.  Oils that have lower smoke points (temperatures at which they break down) will release dangerous stressors in the body…so it’s important to choose specific cooking fats for high heat cooking!  I give you many options in the recipe notes, but just grab a bottle of avocado oil if you want something pour-able and easy to use.  Want to understand more about fats and their smoke points?  Read this

If you want to make lamb kebabs, ask the butcher for a boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cubed into 1.5 inch pieces.  They’ll do it for you, so just ask!  The trimming is important because the fat won’t have time to cook when you are using a high heat method like the grill.  Coat the meat in the spice rub about 30 minutes before hitting the grill, and let it marinate at room temperature.  When skewering the meat, it is best to do the meat on its own, with space between each piece of meat.  I know it looks pretty mixed with vegetables (like Jamie Oliver’s version below), but make it worth your money and cook it properly.  Space between the meat allows each piece to cook more evenly, and there aren’t any veggies getting in the way either.  On a hot grill, you cook the meat for just a few minutes max, per side.  If you have big pieces of meat, you’ll have to find a cooler spot on the grill so the spices don’t burn before it’s cooked.  Pull the lamb off when it’s medium rare!  It will continue to cook when it cools, and you want it to be tender. 

jamie oliver kebabs

The inspiration for my spiced lamb came from Jamie Olivers Marinated Lamb Kebabs Recipe.  I made the kebabs for a party, and people were goin’ crazy for them!  I mean, we went through 10 lbs of New Zealand Lamb in no time!  3 people asked me for the lamb recipe, so I knew I had to post it on my blog one day.  I originally altered Jamie Oliver’s recipe by simplifying the ingredient list…using only cumin, smoked paprika, and salt.  It was a huge hit, and I never turned back.  

seven sons

I made it the past few times with a locally sourced lamb stew/kebab meat from Seven Sons Farms.  Seven Sons Farms distributes and deliveries responsibly raised meat from farms all over the midwest!  Check it out if you live in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, or Kentucky.  

 

Buying from a local farm can mean a little more fat trimming at home.  You can see here the before and after photo of lamb I trimmed. 

 

You want this lamb to be tender, and succulent, and worth every penny.  That’s why we trim.  The fatty white tissue will be too chewy in this quick-cooking method.  I saved all the fat and scraps for a tomato sauce (just sear the fat, add garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and cook partially covered for an hour, stirring occasionally).  These small cubes of lean meat I ended up with are perfect for a quick sear in the pan.    

Are you ready to make the quick and easy version of my 3 Ingredient Spice-Crusted Lamb?

This lamb, or any meat for that matter, goes perfectly with chimichurri sauce.  The vinegar and bold flavors are perfect for this spicy smoky masterpiece.  I LOVE it with a cilantro based chimichurri because the cilantro is strong enough to stand up to the lamb.  Try and make your own chimichurri with my recipe template here.  You can make this fresh Argentinian sauce in so many different ways, and I show you how in this build-your-own Chimichurri recipe!  

Tag me in your lamb photos on facebook or instagram @mylongevitykitchen #mylongevitykitchen

3 Ingredient Spice-Crusted Lamb
Serves 2
An unexpected combination of cumin and smoked paprika makes this 3 ingredient lamb so easy and satisfying. People will be asking for your recipe! I show you how to make it quickly in a hot pan so you can have a lamb dinner on the table in 5 minutes!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
2 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
2 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp SMOKED PAPRIKA
  2. ½ tsp GROUND CUMIN
  3. ½ tsp Finely GROUND SEA SALT
  4. ½ tsp ground BLACK PEPPER
  5. 2 tsp Avocado Oil (see substitutions in notes)
  6. 1 lb leg of LAMB, 1 inch cubes trimmed of most visible fat (see notes for variations)
Instructions
  1. Check to be sure your lamb is cut into about 1 inch pieces, and trimmed of most the white fat and tissue.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together EXCEPT the lamb, and make a spice paste to coat the lamb.
  3. Add the lamb and rub the marinade all over. Let it sit, partially covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature, or longer in the fridge (bring back to room temp before cooking).
  4. Heat a heavy pan over high heat, or heavy duty foil on a hot grill. Add a little avocado oil or other high heat cooking fat to the pan a minute before you are ready to drop in the lamb.
  5. Add the marinated lamb to the hot pan letting it sear on one side for 1 minute.
  6. Flip the lamb pieces using tongs or a spatula and leave for 1 more minute to sear another side of the meat.
  7. Pull out a smaller piece and check for doneness. I usually transfer all of the meat to a plate after only 2 minutes of cooking! It will continue to cook as it rests.
  8. Sprinkle with a little salt when done cooking, serve with potatoes or rice, and chimichurri sauce if desired (see previous post or links above in this article)
Notes
  1. Lamb Cuts: You can use this spice rub on lamb chops, kebabs, and mix it into lamb burgers. See this blog post article for kebab instructions.
  2. Cooking Fats for High Heat: Ghee, macadamia nut oil, palm oil, palm shortening, beef tallow
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/

How Trees Help Us Live Longer

Shaggy bark Closeup

Trees help us live longer. They actualize our lives.

Articles are everywhere now citing research that actually proves trees, and plants, make us substantially healthier. 

“It is becoming increasingly clear that trees help people live longer, healthier, happier lives—to the tune of $6.8 billion in averted health costs annually in the U.S., according to research published this week. And we’re only beginning to understand the nature and magnitude of their tree-benevolence… New research says the closer you can live to trees, the better off you are. ”

James Hamblin, The Atlantic (2014, July 29).  The Health Benefits of Trees

In Japan they even do something called…

‘”Shinrin-yoku“, which can be defined as “taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing”, has been receiving increasing attention in Japan in recent years for its capacity to provide relaxation and reduce stress.’

Environ Health Prev Med. 2010 Jan;15(1):27-37

“The results of [forest] walking experiments provided similar results…demonstrated that immune function was enhanced by forest therapy in middle-aged employees who volunteered to participate in these experiments. Natural killer cell activity, an indicator of immune function, was enhanced by 56% on the second day and returned to normal levels. A significant increase of 23% was maintained for 1 month even after returning to urban life, clearly illustrating the preventive benefits of forest therapy. 

Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2014;69(2):122-35

shirin-yoku hawaii

Now, research is showing that visiting a forest has real, quantifiable health benefits, both mental and physical. Even five minutes around trees or in green spaces may improve health. Think of it as a prescription with no negative side effects that’s also free…While we breathe in the fresh air, we breathe in phytoncides, airborne chemicals that plants give off to protect themselves from insects. Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which help plants fight disease. When people breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells or NK. These cells kill tumor- and virus-infected cells in our bodies. In one study, increased NK activity from a 3-day, 2-night forest bathing trip lasted for more than 30 days. Japanese researchers are currently exploring whether exposure to forests can help prevent certain kinds of cancer.”

Immerse Yourself in a Forest for Better Health.  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

phytoncides

If you haven’t heard the story about how my family ended up in the Country, then it’s time I tell you…

My husband Eric and I loved the city (notice the past tense…okay, we still have a place for the city in our hearts, but it’s not the same kinda love). We loved living in all the action and right where the newest restaurants and bars were popping up on every corner. Living in a beautiful high-rise condo, on the 21st floor, we still had this feeling that something was missing. We thought maybe it was because we needed a dog.  So, of course, we adopted a 10-week old puppy named Koa. 

We spent much of our time training Koa to be a loving, well-behaved dog (still working on that; she’s sweet, but a little nuts).  I loved taking her for 1 or 2 hour walks in Chicago, in hopes of giving her the life she deserved.  I noticed quickly that there wasn’t a single place I could walk Koa on the grass.  She loved the grass!  But, get this: dogs aren’t allowed on the grass in the city!  Honestly, there’s not much grass at all, and there aren’t many trees either.  


This experience with our dog is what really planted the “country seed”.  It started to hit me and Eric at the same time!  Now, imagine being Eric; he grew up around lush plants and natural elements, in Hawaii, well into his 20’s.  As for myself, I can think back to the times I would relieve daily stress by rollerblading in the forest preserve where I grew up.

There’s something about nature that you can’t quite explain, but we NEED it.

Seeing my dog roll around in the grass, like a pig in the mud, was a HUGE wake-up call for me.

All across the generations passed, and the millions of years we’ve existed as a species, we have lived our lives as one with nature!  Amongst nature.  Surrounded by nature.  Guided by nature.  

Most of us are so far removed from nature now that we think it’s disgusting to step foot outside without our shoes on (Hi.  I’m raising my hand here too because this was me up until just about a year ago).

Koa In Grass

Welllll, fast-forward a couple of years, and we decided to make the leap.  We left the city.  We found an amazing home, tucked away in the woods, inside 10 acres of wild oak-wood forests; and we’re only 45 minutes from Chicago.  

Life is good.  

We have a new sense of purpose.  A new satisfaction in life.  An all-around good feeling.

It’s like we’ve been reborn…we have so much to learn, so much to be grateful for, and we’re surrounded by wonder.

This is what life is about.

 

Build-Your-Own Chimichurri

Chimichurri Word Swag

 

This recipe will save any dish that goes wrong in your kitchen. 

It’s a game changer.   

I’m talkin’ about a flavor-packed meal in the blink of an eye. With this sauce you can transform just about anything. Trust me, people will be asking for seconds. 

I’ve been making chimichurri for many years now. My husband fell in love with chimichurri long before he met me because he spent some time in Brazil. Together, years later, we dined at a famous Argentinian steak house in Chicago, called Tango Sur (white tablecloth, Argentinian staff, no reservations, and BYOB!). Tango Sur serves up steaks the size of the dinner plate, and along-side is a bowl of this glorious tangy garlicky sauce: Chimichurri. 

Thank you Argentina, for bringing this to the American table. 

 

Tango Sur
Photo Courtesy of “Chewables Chicago” and Chicago Now

 

So what is Chimichurri? 

 

rustic spoon
The authentic version is rustic, and made by hand

Basically, Chimichurri is like a vinegary pesto, without the cheese or nuts. It is herbs, fresh and dried, with garlic, vinegar, plenty of oil, water, sometimes lime, and peppers, onions, and spices.

What do I serve it with?  

Almost ANYTHING. This stuff is like money in the bank. It will last in your fridge for weeks, and kick all your dishes up about ten notches. Try it with any seafood, any meat, and as a dip or salad dressing. Saute shrimp and greens in this sauce, or just pour it over the finished product. One of my favorite things to do with chimichurri is a quick tomato salad – especially when I am serving something with chimichurri already – putting it in the salad dressing just ties the whole meal together. And it’s so fast and easy!  

I made this recipe BUILD-YOUR-OWN because you can truly customize it to your liking. I love making chimichurri with Cilantro…but honestly? That’s not really chimichurri. The authentic version would not use cilantro. BUT WE LOVE IT!  It’s fun to combine cilantro and parsley in different quantities. And it’s great to be able to swap out ingredients according to what you already have on hand! 

The best part is there are two ways to actually make this. You can do it by hand, chopping everything real fine, just like they would in an Argentinian kitchen; or you can use a food processor like we do in the modern world because we like everything to be FAST AND EASY! Am I wrong? 

 

I would like to take a moment to send a shout out to the Italian man who started The Slow Movement,  in 1986. From the farming of the food, to the preparation in our homes, to the time we finish eating; food should be cherished. Time should nearly stand still. 

Food is a wonderful thing, especially when it’s made with your own two hands.  

Go on and rock this recipe out whichever way you’d like. Don’t be afraid to try new things, ask questions, and taste as you go! And look at my notes at the bottom of the recipe for some great ideas for serving and storing this sauce! 

Tag @mylongevitykitchen on Instagram or Facebook, or #mylongevitykitchen. 

Build your own chimichurri sauce for convenience and incredible flavor. This sauce has so many applications, from marinade to salad dressing to dipping sauce. Make it the authentic way, use dried herbs or fresh; endless possibilities. Recipe by Marisa Moon of My Longevity Kitchen

Build-Your-Own-Chimichurri
Yields 1
This vinegary herb based sauce is so versatile already. But this recipe makes it more versatile than ever! Build-your-own Argentinian-style chimichurri based on what you have on hand! Chop it up the old fashioned way, or blend it in the food processor to save time. You pick the ingredients, and you pick the method!
Write a review
Print
Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Base
  1. 2 to 6 GARLIC CLOVES, minced
  2. FRESH OR DRIED OREGANO, MARJORAM, or THYME. ¼ Cup Fresh OR 1 Tbsp Dried (oregano is traditionally used)
  3. 1 tsp each SALT & PEPPER
  4. 1/3 Cup ANY Combination of WINE VINEGAR and/or Lime Juice (Red Wine Vinegar is traditionally used)
  5. 2-4 Tbsp WATER
  6. 3-4 Cups loosely packed FRESH PARSLEY OR CILANTRO or ANY COMBINATION of these herbs (Parsley is traditional, Cilantro is a flavor explosion)
  7. ¾ Cup EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Optional Additions
  1. 1 FRESH HOT PEPPER OR ½ BELL PEPPER, minced
  2. ½ SHALLOT OR ¼ ONION, minced
  3. 2 teaspoons CRUSHED RED PEPPER
  4. 1 teaspoon PAPRIKA
Directions to Make By Hand (traditional method, rustic sauce, beautiful finish)
  1. Mince all of the garlic, fresh herbs, and any onions or peppers.
  2. To take the edge off the garlic (and onion if using), mix all base ingredients except for the parsley/cilantro and olive oil, PLUS now you will add your “optional add-ins”. Let this mixture soak for 30 minutes room temp or longer in the fridge (overnight is fine). You may also add the herbs now, which is more traditional, but the bright green herbs will turn a dull color. To save time you can skip this step and add everything at once.
  3. Add the herbs and 3/4 cup of olive oil.
  4. Taste and decide if the vinegar is too strong for your taste. You can add up to 2 more tablespoons of water (when you use mostly parsley, you will want to add more water; cilantro can stand up to the vinegar much better). Taste for salt, and Enjoy!
  5. Keep this in a jar in the fridge for weeks. See notes for more ideas.
Directions to Make in Food Processor (less chopping by hand, smoother sauce)
  1. If using food processor, still roughly chop the garlic, onion and fresh pepper to assist in proper mixing.
  2. To take the edge off the garlic, mix all of the base ingredients EXCEPT the fresh herbs and olive oil, PLUS the “optional add-ons”. Let this mixture rest for 30 minutes at room temp, or longer in the fridge (overnight is fine). To save time you can skip the step of resting 30 minutes.
  3. Add the fresh herbs to the food processor and pulse just a few times.
  4. Now add everything else to the food processor and turn it on for literally a second, just to mix. For a creamier sauce you can add everything EXCEPT the olive oil, and pour it into the machine while it is running. This will thicken the sauce a bit, and really blend it smooth.
  5. Taste if you like the strong vinegar flavor, or add up to two tablespoons of water (using parsley calls for more water, but cilantro can stand up to the vinegar better). Taste for salt, and enjoy!
  6. Keep this in a jar in the fridge for weeks. See notes for more ideas.
Notes
  1. My Favorite version is mostly cilantro, some parlsey, and some fresh oregano. I mix red wine vinegar and lime juice, and blend in the food processor. The flavor is insane!
  2. You can even freeze chimichurri in ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, transfer to a freezer bag, and then use them to add flavor to dinner whenever you want!
  3. Try it as a Salad dressing
  4. Boil/Steam Potatoes and toss with Chimichurri for a killer potato salad
  5. Amazing with any type of fish or meat
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/

Is the Paleo Diet Nonsense?

16525961761_ec5ee03369_n

According to most of the media, the Paleo diet is nonsense.  

See the latest example by clicking right here.  

They make statements like “the low-carb interpretation of the paleolithic menu is probably all wrong. The researchers posit that our cavemen and cavewoman ancestors loved—and needed—carbs as much as we do, even if they gathered them instead of cultivated them.”

 

My Mom sent me that above article and wanted to know what I think….

WHAT DO I THINK?

I agree with most of the points they are making, and so will most Paleo dieters.  If you google “Paleo Diet” you’ll see long lists of foods you CAN’T eat, and all these strict guidelines.  You’ll also see plates full of t-bones and bacon.  Then, when you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that the most notable leaders in this ancestral health movement (such as Chris Kresser, Mark Sisson, and Robb Wolf) will say there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to the Paleo diet, and white potatoes, for instance, are more than okay for anyone with healthy blood sugar regulation.  Most Paleo advocates focus on eating as many vegetables as we can; veggies first, meat second.  Oh, and note to all: veggies are carbs.  

I follow the Perfect Health Diet which is a variation of the Paleo Diet, also based on history and science.  This diet focuses on maximizing nutrients, and minimizing toxins;  preventing disease.  Most of our ancestors thrived on a paleolithic diet which included tubers and white rice.  

So, I am not “low-carb”, and I think many Paleo dieters are the same way.  Depending what your goals are – weight loss, fighting disease, healing from autoimmunity, or overall good health – you will not eat the same Paleo diet as another.  In fact, one’s version of the Paleo diet may change several times in their own life, in order to suit their current needs (like when I HAVE switched to low carb, for a brief period, to stimulate weight loss).  

The Media should look through a wider lense, and they will see there is so much more to Paleo than at first glance. The diet they are referring to is NOT the Paleo Diet that most of us believe in, and practice.  Besides, Paleo is much more than a diet.  

-Marisa Moon

Asian Marinated Kale & Kraut Salad

"InstaRecipe" Alert! (click here for info)

 

This kale salad is MARINATED.  

The biggest mistake people make with kale salad is when they don’t massage or marinate the kale!  Don’t make this mistake.  No one actually enjoys chewing on this fibrous raw veggie without a little help.  

Looking for a way to get fermented foods into your diet??? This is a great way to do it.  Mixing it into a salad is a sure-fire sneak-attack that will have you singing “Sauerkraut” in no time.  Try it!

“Ewww Marisa.  Why fermented foods?”  

Think probiotics people!  Think about your digestive health.  Your gut is considered your second brain.  Check out this quick description about why fermented foods are important and how you can eat more of them!

And onto the delicious, easy, make-ahead, keep-em beggin’ marinated kale salad recipe!  

Asian Marinated Kale & Kraut Salad
Serves 2
This makes a great make-ahead lunch or side dish! Give raw kale the love it deserves and massage and marinate it before you're ready to chow down. The combination of sesame oil, tangy sauerkraut, hard boiled egg, and sesame seeds works perfectly here.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Dressing/Marinade
  1. 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
  2. 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar (you can experiment with white wine vinegar or lime)
  3. 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  4. 2 teaspoons Oil of your choice (I used homemade chili olive oil, but extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil are also good choices)
  5. 1 Tablespoon Coconut Sugar (Coconut Aminos would be great here too)
  6. ½ Tablespoon Water
  7. ½ teaspoon each of fine sea salt and black pepper
  8. ½ teaspoon mustard powder (optional; and chinese mustard, or wasabi are great subs)
Salad
  1. 1 Head Curly Kale, stemmed and ripped into 2-3 inch pieces (these vary in size, so start with less and add more once you see how much marinade is left)
  2. 2-4 Tbsp Sauerkraut or Tsukemono (Tsukemono is the same as traditional sauerkraut but without the caraway. Your ingredients should say cabbage and sea salt only; feel free to experiment with other flavors)
  3. 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, sliced or diced
  4. *Sesame Seeds, or Furikake, or Seaweed Gomasio (see notes for more info)
Instructions
  1. Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl big enough for the kale
  2. Add the kale and toss to combine
  3. Now, take your hands and get in there, squeezing the kale to break down the fibrous texture and work in the dressing
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 2-3 hours, or refrigerate overnight. This salad gets better with time...even days!
  5. When you are ready to eat the salad, mix in 1-2 Tablespoons of Sauerkraut per serving.
  6. Then add the egg. Go ahead and mix it in for a wonderfully messy combination of textures (I kept it pretty for the photos)
  7. Drizzle your salad with a little extra olive oil or chili oil, and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds, or Furikake, or Seaweed Gomasio. Crushed Chili Flakes will be great too!
Notes
  1. *Search Furikake or Seaweed Gomasio on Amazon.com, and buy one if you haven’t tried it! It’s awesome with eggs, rice, soup, and anything Japanese or Korean. The healthier versions are only a few ingredients: Nori flakes, Sesame Seeds, and Sea Salt.
  2. This serves 2 people for lunch, but will serve many more as a side dish.
  3. Tag me in your photos on IG @mylongevitykitchen and #mylongevitykitchen
  4. Want to be part of my recipe testing team? Leave a comment on the blog to let me know!
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/

 

Build-Your-Own Tuna Salad

 

 

 

Photo Apr 03, 2 36 20 PM

If you don’t have canned fish in your pantry then I might assume

one of two things…

Either you don’t know anything tasty to make with them, or you think canned fish is gross. This recipe can change your mind in both of those scenarios, so let’s…

BUILD YOUR OWN TUNA SALAD!

Photo Mar 31, 3 18 56 PM (1) Most people think of tuna salad like potato salad and cole slaw…it’s always creamy. That is not true! Many ethnicities use these foods to make bright and refreshing salads just like the tuna salad I am introducing here.     I decided to make this recipe “build-your-own” because there are so many different ways you can go! It’s such an awesome recipe to make when you are out of ingredients, and even out of time! I bring this over to friend’s houses for a quick party appetizer, and people always love it.   Grab whatever you’ve got, and use my recipe template to build your own delicious salad.   ………………………………….

We should really take a minute and talk about how many different canned tunas there are.

Too many! Well most of them are pretty crappy. They are overcooked, packaged with extra liquid, and even artificial flavors. Some tuna fish are much larger than other tuna and will have a higher mercury content.   For many of these reasons above, I have switched over to Wild Planet Tuna. It’s cooked once, packed in it’s own juices (no water or oil), and they fish for smaller fish! Their white anchovies and sardines are the best I have ever had too. My pantry is always stocked with those.

BUT WAIT …

There’s a brand new tuna in town! And it sounds like it is far superior than anything available to consumers before. It is by a brand called SAFE CATCH. 100% of the Safe Catch tuna is tested for mercury levels (with their finest tuna being 10 times less mercury than the FDA limit). The fish is packed raw, and they have tested 70 cooking methods to find the perfect result for the final product. WOW! Safe Catch found me on Instagram and is sending me some free sample. I am pumped! I will probably order right now anyways…sales just started online.  So go ahead and get the safest tuna around! It’s between $3.50 and $4.50 a can.  Photo Mar 31, 3 08 02 PM

I think it’s time to build your own tuna salad!  

Try this salad recipe with crab, and any other canned/cooked fish you like! Let me know how it goes! Tag me on IG @mylongevitykitchen #mylongevitykitchen      

Build-Your-Own Tuna Salad
Yields 2
Using bright herbs, briney goodies, and crunchy veggies, we are really setting a higher standard for canned tuna salads here. This easy tuna salad template will have you rockin' out a refreshing tuna salad with whatever you have in your fridge and pantry! Perfect for lunch or appetizers. See recipe notes for tons of ideas!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Base Ingredients
  1. 5 oz Tuna preferably packed in its own juices, or drained
  2. 1.5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. 1 Clove Garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  4. 1/4 Cup Sliced Scallions/Green Onions (or 1 Tbsp minced red onion or shallots)
  5. Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Customizable Ingredients
  1. CHOOSE YOUR ACID. 1-2 Tablespoons of acid like Lemon, Red Wine Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, White Balsamic, Distilled Vinegar, Sherry Vinegar (almost any acid will work for this!)
  2. CHOOSE YOUR PICKLED BRINY GOODIES. 1-2 Tbsp Capers, or chop any of the following and use up to a 1/4 cup: Olives, Pickles, Pickled Peppers, Caper Berries.
  3. CHOOSE YOUR SAUERKRAUT. 1-2 Tbsp of your favorite Kraut! I suggest any basic Cabbage, Raddish, or Beet Sauerkraut; Not Kimchi
  4. CHOOSE YOUR FRESH VEGGIES. 1/2 Cup Fresh Crunchy Veggies, diced small or sliced thinly. Try Celery, Raddish, Fennel, Carrot, Jalapeno, Cabbage, etc…, in any combination)
  5. CHOOSE YOUR HERBS. 1 Tbsp minced Fresh Herbs (parlsey, cilantro, oregano, basil) + 1/8 tsp dried herbs (thyme, oregano are best)
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the Olive Oil, Garlic, Onions, and 1 Tbsp of your chosen acid, with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Now, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Taste for extra acid, if you prefer.
  4. Eat right away, or refrigerate and enjoy in the next 3 days.
  5. See Notes for many different serving ideas.
Notes
  1. Serves 2 for lunch, 6 for an appetizer.
Serving ideas
  1. Put a heaping scoop on top of mixed greens, and you instantly have an entrée salad.
  2. Wrap it in romaine lettuce leaves and eat it like a taco.
  3. This tuna salad is fantastic alongside a scoop of cottage cheese or an avocado.
  4. Serve small scoops inside raddichio or "cabbage bowls" with extra lemon wedges on the side.
  5. Serve like a dip. Add a tablespoon more of oil, and a dash of acid (or a spoonful of mayo) to help thin out the salad, and serve it in a bowl surrounded by sticks of celery, endive spears, or anything you'd like to dip! Keep a small spoon or fork in the salad to make it easier on your guests. (I often make this to bring to parties at the last minute, when I need to throw something together)
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/

Build-Your-Own No-Bean Chili

Build-Your-Own No-Bean Chili

My Inspiration

A good bowl of chili is like a warm hug in front of the fireplace…and a GREAT bowl of chili is homemade and packed with veggies!!! 

Chili can be so flexible.  So forgiving.  It can be fast or slow, meaty or vegan.  It can be thick or stewy, spicy or mild.  It can be a one pot meal, a crock pot meal, and it freezes perfectly for your convenience.  I just HAD to make this recipe “Build-Your-Own”. 

This is not a precise recipe that you have to adhere to.  You don’t have to run out and shop for the ingredients.  You can make the chili spice blend from scratch, or you can cheat and skip a few steps (see recipes at the bottom).  You can choose your favorite veggies and meat, or just use whatever you’ve already got!  I love it on a bed of spaghetti squash…

Build-Your-Own No-Bean Chili squash

I have made this chili several times this winter, and it’s perfect every time. 


 

Longevity Tips…

What kind of meat will you use?  Chili enthusiasts will argue which cuts of meat are appropriate for chili.

I say anything goes!

This is a great opportunity for you to cook with grass-fed beef or bison if you don’t already. The grass-fed ground beef can be found for as low as $3/lb, and the bison may be expensive, but in this veggified chili dish you will be stretching that $8/lb ground bison into 4-6 meals! Bison is more wild, and has even more longevity benefits than grass-fed beef. You may also use grass-fed beef stew meat diced small, chuck roast/pot roast diced small in 1/2 inch pieces.  You can change it up entirely and go with some organic ground turkey or chicken…although I always suggest ruminant meats (grass grazing mammals: cows, lambs, bison, and goats) over poultry because they are more nutritious. 

If we were to rank popular meats by their healthfulness, the order would be (1) fish and shellfish, (2) ruminants (beef, lamb, goat), and (3) birds (duck, chicken, turkey).  In last place would be pork,” says Paul Jaminet from Perfect Health Diet.

Now…WHY NO BEANS?? You might be thinking beans will add bulk for less buck; but that’s not the way I look at beans or legumes.

I look at beans or legumes as a specialty item you should be cooking with only if you take the time to prepare them the old-fashioned way.

You’ve probably seen few recipes that instruct you to soak the beans overnight.  Soaking beans and legumes overnight (grains too), is the proper way to treat these foods in order to ensure proper digestion and mineral absorption.  Not until the last 30-50 years have we been in such a hurry to skip this crucial step required to cook nutritious legumes.  When you use beans in the can, you can be sure they were not soaked or cooked properly. They can cause digestive distress and block the absorption of all those beneficial minerals they are known to contain.  So, only use those canned beans when you are in a bind! And take the time to learn more about cooking your beans. Soaking overnight sounds hard, but it’s hands free and only takes a little planning! Read more about the big legume debate here, from my favorite myth busting expert Chris Kresser

Bushels of organically grown tomatoes from my friends at Smits Farms in IL/IN

Lastly, lets take a minute to recognize the star of this dish.  The cooked tomatoes. 

Tomatoes, like other fruit, multiply in nutrients when you cook them. And the longer you cook them, the more nutrtients they will provide you! “Just 30 minutes of cooking can more than double their lycopene content,” and lycopene is the cancer-fighting, skin-enhancing compound that makes tomatoes red! Start cooking with organic tomato paste for the big win. This concentrated form of tomatoes has up to 10 times the lycopene of raw tomatoes!

Time out.

If you aren’t already buying organic tomatoes, you should start right now. Standard tomatoes are sprayed with some of the highest levels of herbicides/pesticides being used. These chemicals are “classified as ‘bad actors’ by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN). A “bad actor” is a chemical that is toxic, promotes cancer in lab tests and animal studies, interferes with reproduction, or contaminates the environment.”

Thanks to Jo Robinson’s book “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimal Health”, I am able to provide you with this important information.

And skip the traditional cans because they are lined with all sorts of chemicals that tomatoes leach from (even if they are BPA free). Go for glass jars or cartons of organic tomato products.

“But Marisa! They’re wayyyy too expensive!”

Everything healthy is expensive if you buy it at regular price. I stock up on organic tomato products when they are on sale. You can often get glass jars around $3 a piece or less! Keep your eyes peeled and start stocking up (hello Costco). It is worth it people. Why use a cancer-fighting food if you are going to burden your body with loads of chemicals at the same time? I heart organic tomatoes.

Build-Your-Own No-Bean Chili Main Edit


It’s Time To Cook…

This is the type of dish you make on a Sunday when you might be interrupted a million times while cooking, you are feeling kinda lazy, and you want to make a dish worthy of family praise.   Although very simple, this is the type of dish you have to prep the ingredients first!  You cannot chop-as-you-go!  This might sound a little troublesome, but it’s actually to your advantage in many ways.  You can chop all the veggies up to a day in advance.  Consider making a triple batch of chili seasoning in the recipe below, and use it later to give anything a spicy, smokey, warming flavor.  

Because this recipe is so chillaxed, you will need to get your salt and pepper arsenal ready and spice this chili with some intention!  We will likely use different broths, different meats, or different tomatoes, different veggies; our salt is probably different types or grain sizes, and we may even be using different spices!  For that reason, I cannot tell you how much salt you need;  I can only guide you.

salt crock

 

OH!  AND BUY YOURSELF A SALT CROCK ALREADY!  

Stop using the salt shaker from the table, and get real chef!  You need to be picking up the salt with three fingers, and sprinkling it over your food like they do on TV.  That’s how you get your food to taste good!  Buy a salt crock, buy a bag of fine sea salt, and start practicing your salt showers today!  P.S. It is almost impossible to get too much sodium in your diet when the food is homemade and you use sea salt. 

 

 

Now that you are armed and ready to make a pot of longevity chili, you better get goin! Tag me in your delicious photos, and tell me how it goes! @mylongevitykitchen #mylongevitykitchen  

Build-Your-Own No-Bean Chili
Serves 4
You'll find it hard to believe that 8 cups of veggies are jam packed into this no-bean chili. With the combination of grass-fed meats, slow cooked tomatoes, all those veggies, and homemade spice blends, you can really deliver the nutrition in this old-time family favorite. AND with this flexible recipe, you can customize it to your liking! Try it with different veggies, different meats, the slow-cooker method, and build-your-own spice blend. I've laid it all out for you in this DIY chili template.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Longevity Chili Seasoning (for one batch of Chili; read below for "cheater" blend)
  1. 2 Tbsp CHILI Powder
  2. ½ Tbsp GARLIC Powder
  3. ½ Tbsp ONION Powder
  4. 1 tsp PAPRIKA
  5. 1 tsp SMOKED PAPRIKA (optional, but awesome)
  6. 1 Tbsp ground PEPPER (black, white, pink, anything goes)
  7. 1 tsp ground CUMIN
  8. 1 tsp TURMERIC (optional, brightens the red color in chili)
  9. ½ tsp GROUND MUSTARD(optional)
  10. ½ tsp CHIPOTLE Powder, or any Hot Chile Powder like cayenne (optional for spicy food lovers; Chipotle adds smoky flavor)
Cheater Chili Powder (if you reallllly don't want to make the above recipe)
  1. 4 Tbsp CHILI Powder
  2. ½ Tbsp GARLIC Powder
  3. ½ Tbsp ONION Powder
  4. 1 tsp CUMIN
Veggie Prep
  1. 4 Cups HARD VEGGIES, diced (any combination of Onions, Celery, Carrots, Turnip, Rutabaga, Squash; I suggest 1 cup of onions, 1 cup of carrots, and any combo for the last 2 cups)
  2. 3 Cups of LEAFY GREENS (any combo of any combination of kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, collards, or spinach)
  3. 4 Cloves GARLIC, peeled and chopped at least 10 minutes before cooking (activates anti-cancer properties)
  4. 1-2 Cups PEPPERS (bell peppers, fresh jalapenos/serranos, poblanos, banana, etc...)
Chili Ingredients
  1. COOKING FAT, for High Heat (e.g. palm oil, ghee, avocado oil, organic lard, palm shortening, bacon fat)
  2. 1 lb Grass-fed/Organic MEAT (e.g. grass-fed ground beef, grass-fed stew meat diced 1/2 inch small, organic/pastured ground turkey or chicken, and my favorite is ground grass-fed bison)
  3. 1 batch of Longevity Chili SEASONING (approximately ½ Cup or as measured above)
  4. 40 oz Organic canned/jar TOMATOES (approximately 4-5 cups; you may used diced, peeled, crushed, or I prefer whole peeled tomatoes smashed)
  5. 1.5 Cups Bone BROTH or Stock (beef or chicken)
  6. Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare your chili seasoning blend, and prep all of your vegetables.
  2. If cooking with the old-fashioned stove-top method, continue to step 4.
  3. If using the crockpot/slow-cooker, throw all of the ingredients in and set timer for Low (8 hrs) or High, (5 hrs) depending on your schedule. Use the browning method if your cooker has one, and brown the meat first for more flavor. If you like a thicker chili, transfer to the stove top for 10 minutes at a light simmer, uncovered and most of the liquid will reduce. See notes for toppings!
  4. Heat a stock pot with 2 Tbsp of cooking fat.
  5. When it's hot, add your meat, and season with salt and pepper. You should hear the meat sizzle.
  6. When the meat is browned on all sides, remove it with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  7. Now add 2 more Tbsp of COOKING FAT, turn the heat to high, and throw in your 4 cups of the HARD VEGGIES (onions, carrots, etc...)
  8. SEASON with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. ADD GARLIC and LEAFY GREENS. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  10. Add your MEAT and your longevity CHILI SEASONING, and stir. Can you smell the lovely spices?
  11. When the spice mixture aroma fills the air, about 1 or 2 minutes, you will add the TOMATOES and the bone BROTH/stock.
  12. Stir and bring everything to a simmer. Stir again and REDUCE HEAT to low, COVER PARTIALLY and set a timer for 30 minutes (partially covering it allows liquid to evaporate, and your chili to thicken).
  13. ADD your diced PEPPERS and 1 TBSP SALT, partially cover, and set timer for 15 more minutes.
  14. Uncover and STIR. If your chili is soupy, simmer for 10 more minutes uncovered. Taste for salt, and serve. See notes below for yummy toppings!
Notes
  1. Suggested Chili Toppings include scallions, fresh jalapenos, cilantro, pickled peppers, organic sour cream or yogurt, diced avocado, and guacamole.
  2. Stretch this dinner by serving over spaghetti squash or rice that is seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. This recipe is freezer friendly.
  4. Tag me in your photos! @mylongevitykitchen #mylongevitykitchen
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/

 

Grass-fed Pot Roast

Grass-fed pot roast recipe for the whole family.  Paleo, Primal, Nutritious Recipe with winter root vegetables.  By Marisa Moon of My Longevity Kitchen

I love braising.

Braising is cooking something in liquid, at a low temp, usually after searing it first.

Why do I love braising?

It is easy; almost foolproof (unless you have too little liquid and burn your food), it always yields a flavorful, professional quality dish; and it is one of the greatest cooking methods for longevity.

What makes it healthier than other cooking methods?

Just like our modern lifestyle, we like everything fast. We usually crank up the heat on our grills, ovens, and stoves, and quick cook our favorite foods to get a crusty, smoky, texture and flavor. This is tasty, no doubt, but I would rather leave that for the grilling season… allow me to explain with a quote from my favorite nutrition book, The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet, PH.D., and Shou-Ching Jaminet, PH.D.:

“In meats that are grilled, barbecued, or pan fried, heterocyclic amines (HCAs) form from amino acids, sugars, and creatine. Formation of HCAs is substantial at temperatures around 400 degrees F. HCAs can cause cancer.”

Take a look at the warnings on www.cancer.gov, and see for yourself. 

Is this definitive? Can we be positively sure?  No. It’s nearly impossible to test such a thing in controlled studies, especially on humans.

But, gathering the information we have so far, HCAs and PAHs are dangerous to our DNA and might be making us especially vulnerable to cancers.

What are HCAs and PAHs? They are chemicals created during the process of cooking meats at high temperatures, or over an open flame.

I love the smells and flavors from grilling and roasting meats just like everyone else, but I am content now knowing that those cooking methods should be saved for specific occasions.

Braising is a great technique to learn.  You will find this cooking method works well on many of your favorite foods!  This works especially well with inexpensive cuts of meat, meat on the bone, and hearty vegetables. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Speaking of inexpensive cuts of meat, the chuck roast, or pot roast, is an economical cut of beef. It comes from the shoulder of the cow, and has lots of connective tissue which makes it perfect for slow cooking.

This is a great cut of meat to buy when switching over to grass-fed meats, trying to feed a family on high quality meats, and if you love tender, slow-cooked beef. If you find one with bone in, then go for it! Bones equal more flavor, and you can even reuse them to make stock after you scarf down this lovely meal.

See the recipe notes for ideas how to stretch this meal, or even save hands-on cooking time using the slow cooker.  This traditional braising method will give you the meatiest result though, so go for the big win!  

Grass-fed Pot Roast
Serves 4
A traditional dish with tried and true cooking methods that delivers tender and flavorful results every time. This flour-less pot roast recipe is made with grass-fed chuck roast, bone broth, and assorted winter vegetables. This warming, soulful dish will be a repeat in any house. This amount can serve 2 adults and 2 children, or 2-3 hungry adults. This makes great leftovers, so when it doubt, make more!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1.5-2 lb Grass-fed Pot Roast/Chuck Roast (left at room temperature for at least 20 minutes)
  2. Sea Salt & Black Pepper
  3. High Heat Cooking Fat (e.g., Ghee, Pastured Lard, Palm Oil, Avocado Oil)
  4. 1 or 2 Onions, cut in half, skins removed
  5. 3-4 Carrots, cut in 2 inch large chunks
  6. 3 Celery, cut in 2 inch large chunks
  7. 1-2 Turnips, or small/medium Potatoes; peeled, cut into 2 inch pieces
  8. ½ Cup Red Wine
  9. 1.5 to 2 Cups Bone Broth or Organic Beef Broth (Water or any broth can be used in a pinch)
  10. 1 teaspoon Dried Rosemary, or 1 Tablespoon Fresh
  11. 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme, or 1 Tablespoon Fresh
  12. Heavy pot/dutch oven with a lid
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon ghee on high heat, and season the roast with plenty of salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Once the pan is surely hot, place the roast in the pan using tongs. You should hear a loud sizzle. Time approximately 3-4 minutes on the first side to get a good sear.
  4. Sear both sides of the roast. You want dark brown color which takes about 3 minutes per side.
  5. Remove the roast from the pan and set it aside on a plate.
  6. Add 1 Tablespoon of fat, then the onion halves, flat-side-down, and the carrots. Brown the onions and the carrots.
  7. Now add the ½ cup of red wine, and using tongs, scrape the bottom of the pan with the onions...you want all the beefy goodness that is stuck on the bottom of the pan.
  8. Cook the wine for 2-3 minutes on a good simmer, so you reduce the amount of wine by half.
  9. Add the celery, turnips/potatoes, the rosemary, thyme, and some more sea salt and pepper. Give everything a good mix.
  10. Now make room for the steak in the center, placing it in the middle, and moving all the veggies to the outsides of the pan (it’s okay if they are on top of the steak)
  11. Add 1.5 Cups of broth. Use more broth if needed to cover at least half of the steak.
  12. Cover the pot, and transfer to the oven for 2 hours.
  13. Your roast is ready when it is fork tender, and flaking nicely. You may serve it sliced or shredded, on top of the braised vegetables. I usually finish with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.
Notes
  1. For a quick gluten-free gravy, while the roast is cooking, heat 2 Tbsp of butter/fat in a sauce pan. Then add 2 Tbsp of rice flour stirring for 2 minutes, careful not to burn. Now add 1 Cup of warm or room temperature broth, and whisk to incorporate. Bring to a simmer and continue stirring occasionally. The gravy will thicken as the heat rises. Season with salt, and herbs.
  2. If you are making the roast ahead of time, it is a great idea to use the broth left in the roasting pan to make this gravy as directed above.
  3. Stretch this meal by braising extra root veggies on the side. Peel and cube the veggies, rub with fat, season with salt pepper and dashes of rosemary and thyme, and place them in a pot/pan with enough broth to cover half of the veggies. Cover and cook in the oven while making your pot roast, but check your veggies after 1 hour.
  4. Slow Cooker Method: This method can be great if you don't have time to do the full recipe. Season your meat with plenty of salt and pepper, place in the slow cooker, top with the veggies and spices, and pour 1/4 Cup Wine and 1.5 Cups Broth over the top of everything. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
If cooking larger roasts, use extended cooking times as follows
  1. 3 lb roast, 3 hours in oven
  2. 4-5 lb roast, 4 hours in oven (8 hours in slow cooker)
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/

Italian Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Italian Broccoli Cauliflower text

Italians love their salads. There is always a salad at the family meal.

A salad isn’t just a lettuce salad though.  Tomato salads, broccoli salad, potato salad (no mayo over here), zucchini salad, yada yada, baccala salad.  We often consider marinated and pickled veggies a salad when we’re in a pinch.  

Here I have recreated a popular salad from my childhood.  Broccoli salad was one of my Mom’s greatest hits if you ask me!  I added cauliflower this time, along with the greens that surround the head.  I also use scallions instead of red onions because that’s one of the only ways I can get onions past Eric.  Feel free to add more or change up the onions if you’d like! 

This salad is sooooo easy, but a little laborious if you make a lot at once.  I say that because you can only fit so much into the steamer basket and have to steam the veggies in batches.  Other than that, it’s the easiest thing, and tastes so delicious!  To save time, try this recipe with one head of broccoli or cauliflower.  Just divide the dressing recipe, or make the whole batch of dressing and save some in a jar for salads during the week. 

The steaming and chilling process of the broccoli and cauliflower is great for meal prep. You can use this steamed broccoli and cauliflower in any dish to help save time during the week.

You should always blanch or steam cauliflower for dip platters and party trays…no one likes a dry crumbly cauliflower; that’s why there’s always cauliflower on the tray! Steam it lightly and you’ll see them start flying off the tray. One trick for steaming cauliflower, and retaining its bright white color, is to add lemon juice or vinegar to the water instead of salt. The salt can make it slightly yellow. It is one of the only veggies that benefits from an acid in the water. Italian Broccoli Cauliflower main circle

Quickly, before I hand over this simply delightful salad recipe, I must drop a little longevity kitchen knowledge:

Broccoli is one rapidly-aging beauty.  What I mean by this is broccoli’s nutrients vanish into thin air every day that passes after harvest.  It’s a darn shame I tell you!  I wish everyone could grow broccoli in their yards year round, or have a farmer on speed dial.  BUT, that’s not gonna happen. 

I’ll keep it simple.  NEVER buy broccoli that is pre-cut, or unwrapped.  It’s basically just fiber you’ll get with the pre-cut stuff.  So if you love broccoli that much, you are in a massive hurry, and aren’t going for nutrients, then fine.  Buy the bagged pre-cut stuff.  But other than that, it literally retains almost zero nutrients.  Just days after harvest the broccoli can lose 50-75% of it’s nutrients.  Sad, I know. 

Look for broccoli that is dark green on top with tight florets.  It should be wrapped in plastic, and have no yellow or pale florets.  The stem should be bright green, and the bottom of the stem should be moist and flat, with no pocked holes.  

Call your grocery store and ask when the broccoli comes in.  Buy it that day, and steam it right when you get home.  This will preserve the nutrients.  If you have a farm or farmers market you visit, call in advance if possible and ask about the day they harvest the broccoli.  Also ask if they chill it immediately after harvest.  This is key to obtaining the most nutritious broccoli with all the anti-cancer properties we love. 

Don’t worry as much about cauliflower.  It doesn’t have as rapid of a respiration rate, and we can relax a little with that one. 

So call that grocer, buy that broccoli, and let’s get steamin’! 

This recipe works great with asparagus, potatoes, and green beans. In the summer you will love to try this with tomatoes, potatoes, and green beans all together. That will be great with some red onion.  Tell me about your favorite combinations!    

Italian Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
This simple salad of steamed broccoli and cauliflower is a classic flavor and side dish you will surely fall in love with. The dressing is made of lemon, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic and herbs, and the best extra virgin olive oil you can find. Serve this salad at room temperature throughout the week along side many of your favorite dishes.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 small heads organic Broccoli
  2. 1 medium head organic Cauliflower
  3. 1 Clove of Garlic, minced (10 minutes or more before using. This activates the anti-cancer properties)
  4. Juice of 1 lemon, 3 Tbsp Measure (zest if organic, and desired)
  5. 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  6. 1 sliced Scallion
  7. 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 Tbsp minced fresh
  8. 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  9. 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  10. 1 ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  11. ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Prepare a steamer basket and pot of salted water for steaming. Get a large bowl filled with ice water to chill the veggies after steaming, and gather other tools such as a timer, a large slotted spoon, and a strainer.
  2. Clean and chop cauliflower into large florets, the size of about 2 bites.
  3. If the cauliflower greens are in good shape, cut the green stems/leaves into 2 inch long pieces, no wider than ½ inch. You may have to cut the stems lengthwise to make thinner pieces.
  4. Prepare the broccoli florets as well. Keeping them the same size if possible.
  5. Steam the Cauliflower florets for 3 minutes, in a single layer and in batches, using a timer. It helps to steam only pieces of the same size.
  6. Immediately remove the steamed cauliflower and transfer to the ice bath (do not steam more than 4 minutes or most nutrients will be lost). When the next batch is steaming, move the chilled cauliflower to the strainer you’ve set aside to use.
  7. Once all the cauliflower is steamed, you may start the cauli stems and greens. The stems might only take 2 minutes to steam, 3 minutes max.
  8. Repeat the steaming and chilling process with the broccoli.
  9. Now you will assemble the dressing. Start with a large bowl, big enough for all the veggies, and room to mix. Add the garlic, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar, scallions, herbs, and spices. Everything but the oil. If you would like the onion and garlic flavor then you may move on to the next step immediately. If you would like to calm the pungent flavors of the onion and garlic, let this mixture sit for 5 minutes or more.
  10. To finish the dressing, slowly stream in the oil while whisking constantly. This will create a nice thick dressing and make each bite of the salad more consistent in flavor. Your dressing will taste salty, but that is what we want! Once you add the veggies, that will no longer be the case.
  11. Mix in your veggies now, tossing numerous times to mix well.
Notes
  1. This salad keeps in the fridge for a week.
  2. If you don't have a steamer basket you may blanch in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes, but the result will be much less nutritious.
  3. If you are eating the salad right away, this should be the proper seasoning. You may need more olive oil, lemon or salt if you had larger heads of broccoli or cauliflower.
  4. If you are eating this salad later, refrigerate, and remove 10 minutes prior to eating for the best flavor, and also to let the olive oil come to the right consistency.
  5. The veggies absorb the dressing the longer they sit, so you may feel the need to add more salt, oil, or lemon/vinegar, along the way.
  6. This salad is great to eat by itself, or you may add it to any salad greens with just a little extra oil and vinegar for a quick side salad!
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/

Lime Marinated Grass-Fed Skirt Steak

Lime Marinated Skirt Steak Feature small

That name is a mouthful…a mouthful of meaty greatness! 

Skirt Steak is a great way to introduce grass-fed steaks into your budget.  It’s much more economical and has a ton of beefy flavor. 

This cut can be tough or chewy if it is cut the wrong way, or even prepared the wrong way.  And the beef from grass-fed animals, or animals raised on pasture, is much more lean (and full of meaty flavor), which can result in a tougher bite.  That’s why I chose an acidic marinade here.  The lime juice in the marinade ensures a tender chew, and desirable flavor.    

“Arghhh, No Marisa!  I don’t have time to marinate!  I have a 9-5 and barely make it home in time to make dinner as it is!”  I hear you friends.  Now, hear me out

 

Lime marinade

When you include acids in your marinades you are speeding up the process like crazy!  You can set this aside while you prepare a salad and heat the grill, and it’s already going to be amazing.  I’ve also prepared this marinade recipe with a dual function in mind.  You will be using 1/3 of the marinade for exactly that, and the other 2/3 to make a delicious sauce and dressing. 

When I made this dish I made the marinade before bed.  Then about 2 hours before dinner I put the steak in the marinade (that time worked for me, but you can marinade 30 minutes before dinner too).  See the recipe below for more pointers and variations!

 

About this steak.  I am lucky enough to have purchased this grass-fed skirt steak from a local rancher.  Lucky for many reasons, but mainly because I know where my food comes from, I am supporting hard-working, honest farmers in my community, I know this animal lived a healthy life eating the food it was meant to be eating (the latter is not as much about my compassion for animals as it is about the fact that a healthy animal yields healthy meat). 

That being said, I did not have the opportunity to choose my steak out of a lineup at the butcher counter, and inspect it for its size and accurate trimming.  My steak was a little small, and thin on one end.  I also had to do a little trimming myself just to remove the thick layer of excess fat.  This article on Serious Eats shows you how and tells you why. 

Call up your honeys and let them know that steak is for dinner!  Heck, steak is even for lunch!  These make great lettuce wraps.  Have fun, and tag me in your photos on instagram @mylongevitykitchen #mylongevitykitchen 

Lime Marinated Skirt dinner

 Suggested side dishes: Basmati or Calrose rice and Six-Spice Butternut Squash

Are some of these ingredients new to you?  Buy a bottle of Fish Sauce if you haven’t already. It lends a salty tangy dimension, like soy sauce and worchestershire combined, and is a healthy source of omega-3’s. The best brand is Red Boat Vietnamese Fish Sauce.  Check out my explanation of Coconut Aminos here

 

Lime Marinated Grass-fed Skirt Steak
A quick marinade of lime and fish sauce tenderizes your grass-fed steak, and gets an impressive dinner on the table with ease. This dual-purpose marinade serves as a delicious plating sauce and salad dressing.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  2. ¼ C Water
  3. 2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  4. 3 Tbsp Lime Juice
  5. 2 teaspoons Fish Sauce (or coconut aminos)
  6. 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  7. 2 small grass-fed skirt steaks, up to 1.5 lbs total weight
  8. 4 fresh Basil Leaves
  9. 2 Tbsp Cilantro or Parlsey
  10. 2-3 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  11. ½ fresh Chili Pepper, diced
  12. Butter/Bib lettuce leaves, or Salad Greens for two
Instructions
  1. In a small glass jar with a lid, mix together the water and coconut sugar, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed pepper. Shake it all up and set aside.
  2. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and place them in a gallon-size Ziploc bag.
  3. Marinate your steak at room temperature 30 minutes before dinner by adding 3 Tablespoons of the marinade to the Ziploc bag with steak. Swish it all around to coat the steak.
  4. IMPORTANT NOTE: Max marinade time for this recipe is 2 hours refrigerated. You MUST refrigerate the steak while marinating if you go longer than 30 minutes because this is a salty/acidic marinade. Marinating any longer will ruin the taste and texture completely. Remove the steak from the fridge 15-30 minutes before cooking so it can come to room temperature.
  5. Once ready to cook, heat a grill pan, cast iron pan, or heavy bottomed pan; and coat the grill with a high-heat fat like ghee, avocado oil, palm oil, or palm shortening. You want the grill pan nice and hot before cooking.
  6. Remove the steak from the bag and shake off the excess marinade.
  7. Grill the steak 3 minutes on the first side and sprinkle with sea salt while grilling.
  8. Flip the steak and cook 2 more minutes on the other side, sprinkle with sea salt.
  9. Place the steak on a plate to rest for 3 minutes before plating.
  10. Meanwhile, add the herbs, olive oil, and diced chili to the jar with the leftover dressing. Shake it up.
  11. Spoon the dressing over each steak as you serve. You can use the lettuce to make a wrap or you may toss the greens with the leftover dressing.
Notes
  1. Make the marinade the night before, and add to the steak when you get home from work. Then by the time you’re ready to grill it will be ready to go!
  2. I suggest serving this for dinner with basmati rice, and my six-spice butternut squash. Makes a great lunch all by itself with the salad or lettuce wraps.
  3. This recipe works with flank steak too. Flank needs longer cooking time by 2-4 minutes extra per side.
My Longevity Kitchen https://mylongevitykitchen.com/