Saturday, June 30, 2018

RECIPE: Hakurei Turnips - how to use them

Hakurei turnips are very mild and can be eaten raw, like radishes, either as is or dipped in salt.

They can be spicy, like some radishes.  If you can't handle spicy, dress them in a slightly sweet vinaigrette, like this one.

You can also cook them: Glazed Hakurei Turnips

Turnips are high in resistant starch which is very healthy! 

Monday, June 25, 2018

RECIPE: Penne with Swiss Chard & Garlic Scapes

Original Recipe: penne-with-swiss-chard-and-leeks-in-a-walnut-cream-sauce

I have been making this recipe for years excluding the walnut oil (because the raw one has very little flavor and the roasted one isn't healthy).  My husband leaves off the walnuts because he's not crazy about them, I add extra because I love them.  We both like this recipe so much that at the height of the swiss chard season I make large batches of the vegetable base and freeze it. 

This year, I decided to add a handful of garlic scapes, and it took the recipe to a whole new level!  I'm going to try freezing them, too.

I have made this with every pasta shape imaginable and penne works best.

Pasta with Swiss Chard, Garlic Scapes and Leeks 
in Cream Sauce with Walnuts & Tarragon  

Serves: 2-3

3 T. ghee, divided
10 garlic scapes sliced into 1" pieces
1 c. minced leek, white and light green part only (I use onions when I'm out of leeks)
1 pound swiss chard, preferably red, stems cut from leaves and both chopped into thin slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 c. broth (I use veal broth, vegetarians can use water)
2/3 - 1 c. heavy cream
2 T. minced fresh tarragon or parsley or a combination of both
1/2 pound penne (or 1pound cooked chicken, or 1/2 pound of each*)
3 T. toasted walnut halves, broken into small pieces (I use soaked and dehydrated)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a skillet set over medium heat, melt 1 T. ghee and saute garlic scapes until softened and slightly charred.  Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Reduce heat to moderately low and melt remaining 2 T. ghee, add leek, chard stems, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut a round piece of waxed paper to fit the size of your skillet and place it over the vegetables. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 5 minutes. 

Remove the cover and waxed paper. Now add the chard leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes, and broth and simmer the mixture uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more.  * If you're using the chicken, add it here.

Increase the heat to high and reduce liquid until almost evaporated. Add the reserved garlic scapes.  

At this point, you can freeze this mixture to use later.  Defrost and reheat gently in a saute pan then proceed with the rest of the recipe.  You could freeze it after adding the cream but it will take up more room in your freezer and, since cream is available year round, I don't see the point.

Add the herbs and the cream. Season with salt and pepper.  Keep warm while you cook the pasta.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well and return to the warm pot. Add the sauce and toss to combine. Stir over low heat for 5 minutes so pasta can absorb the cream.  

Transfer pasta to serving plates and serve with the walnuts and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 


If you multiply the recipe (I just made it for 10 people) you will need to cook the garlic scapes in batches or they won't brown.  Add a little water inbetween each batch to deglaze the pan. 

* I have made it all three ways, and they're all delicious.  My husband prefers when I add chicken.

A sweet effervescent wine like Moscato goes very well with this.

RECIPE: Garlic Scape and Basil Mayonnaise

Garlic Scape and Basil Mayonnaise

 Makes 2 cups

1/2 c. garlic scapes, sliced 1/8" thick
1/4 c. basil leaves, coarsely chopped
4 egg yolks
1 heaping t. Dijon mustard
3 T. lemon juice
3.4 t. salt
3/4 - 1 c. unrefined safflower oil

See HERE for a detailed description of the method.

Combine all but the oil in a pint jar and stir to combine.

Pour in the oil and wait 10-15 seconds until it has risen to the top.

Insert an immersion blender to the bottom of the jar and blend the first 6 ingredients.  Tilt the head gently to slowly incorporate the oil.  Use more oil if you like a stiffer mayonnaise, less if you like it more sauce-like.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

RECIPE: Garlic Scape, Parsley, and Yogurt Dressing

Original Recipe: Garlic Scape Green Goddess Dressing

This recipe doesn't taste anything like Green Goddess Dressing! tastes very fresh and summery.

Garlic Scape, Parsley & Yogurt Dressing 
Makes 1.5 cups

3/4 c. greek yogurt
1/2 c. packed flat leaf parsley
1/2 c. garlic scapes sliced 1/8" thick
1/2 avocado, peel and pit removed
2 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T. lime juice
Whey or water to thin the dressing
Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine yogurt, parsley, garlic scapes, avocado, vinegar and lime juice. Process until smooth.

If you like a thinner dressing, add whey or water 1 T. at a time.  I made the greek yogurt by draining our farm yogurt until reduced by half, which is more like yogurt cheese, and I needed to add 1/2 c of whey to create a pourable dressing.

Friday, June 22, 2018

RECIPE: Garlic Scapes - how to use them

Source: Food52

Garlic Scapes are the flower stalks of the garlic plant.  They're removed from the plant in early summer so the plant will put all its energy into creating the bulbs, rather than creating a flower.  Garlic scapes taste like mild garlic and can be used in place of it in most recipes.  Store them in the fridge - they last for MONTHS!

The flower bud can be cracked open and the seeds sprinkled on salad.

If you want an even milder flavor you can tame the pungency by immersing them in boiling salted water for 30 seconds and then plunging them into cold water to stop the cooking.

Here are some of my favorite ways to serve them:

Basil and Garlic Scape Mayonnaise

Penne with Swiss Chard and Garlic Scapes in Tarragon Cream with Walnuts

Pasta with Turnip Greens and Garlic Scapes in Lemon Cream Sauce

"Refried" Beans with Garlic Scapes

Beef Chili with Garlic Scapes and Hidden Nutrition 

Garlic Scape, Parsley and Yogurt Dressing

A friend uses them as a vegetable in stir fries!

Sauteed Garlic Scapes with Lemon and EVOO

Garlic Scape and Gruyere Biscuits 

Lots of good ideas here (Serous Eats)!

More good ideas here (Food52)


Saturday, June 9, 2018

RECIPE: Chive Blossoms

We LOVE chive blossoms!  They taste like mild chives and they look so pretty.

If the blossoms haven't fully opened when you get them home put them in a small glass with 1" of water.  If you don't want them to open,put them in the fridge without water.

Once the blossoms have opened you need to use them within 2 days or they will dry out.

Here's how I harvest them:  Hold the stalk in one hand and grip the head right below the blossoms by the dark red papery membrane that covered the bud.  With the other hand grab the blossoms and pull.  It's fine to use the tiny green stalks as well as the unopened flowers but don't uses the papery membrane.  If the flowers have started to turn red, they are drying out and I would NOT use them.

Here's a photo of a small container of flowers that I put in the fridge to extend their life by a few days.  You can see the tiny stems and unopened flowers.  On the right are the stalks.  The stalks are NOT edible (they're not chives) and will go on the compost pile:

Here are some of the ways I use the flowers:

sprinkle on green salads
press into deviled eggs
stir into mayonnaise
make a dip using quark & yogurt
preserve in EVOO or vinegar
blend into butter and then freeze (add chives, too)
sauteed mushrooms with thyme and chive blossoms
stir into mashed potatoes or sprinkle on baked potatoes
stir into cream sauce used for pasta

RECIPE: Chive Blossom Mayonnaise

We LOVE chive blossoms!  Here's one of my favorite ways to use them.

Original recipe:  Immersion Blender Mayonnaise

Chive Blossom Mayonnaise

There are two ways to make this.

(1) You can add the chive blossoms to the egg-lemon-mustard-salt mixture before adding the oil.  Stir to make sure they're covered with egg, add the oil and proceed with the recipe.  That's what I did in the photo above.  This gives you chive flavor distributed evenly thoughout.

(2) You can stir them in after the mayonnaise is made in which case you'll get a burst of chive flavor every now and then.

In both cases use 1/4 c. of chive blossoms for one recipe.  (Use more if you want a really strong chive flavor.)  Here's how to harvest chive blossoms.

I use this for egg salad, ham salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, potato salad, dipping sauce for crudites, and as a spread for sandwiches.  It would also be good with these carrot pancakes

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cognitive Decline: My plan to avoid it

My plan to avoid cognitive decline

My grandmother died with Alzheimer's.
My mother was diagnosed with Dementia at age 87 and lived with it for another 10 years.
I intend to avoid both of these diseases.

Press HERE for an explanation of the steps I plan to follow.

I will be updating this page with my results and comments as things progress.

Here's what I've done so far:


1. Get a personalized diet plan like SWAMI, to determine lectins dangerous for my genotype
  • I've been following my SWAMI since 2006  
  • In June 2018, if you get this done through COEGM it will cost you $515 
  • If you have it done through Dr. Robert Brody it will be much cheaper  

2. Have all amalgam tooth fillings removed by a mercury-safe dentist.
  • I had this done decades ago.

3. Have my genome decoded by 23-and-me and 

4. Have Opus 23 analyze results from and
  • This cost $515 for my initial 90-minute appointment
  • Subsequent 60-minute appointments with Dr. Robert Brody were $300
  • You can find a local practitioner HERE
  • If you use Dr. Robert Brody please tell him I referred you (no, I don't get a commission).

Optimize filtration mechanisms:

1. Insure colon is functioning correctly - as least 2 BM/day, ability to produce diarrhea.
  • I now start each day with a green smoothie, and I have greatly increased my consumption of resistant starches (sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, celeriac, etc...).  I've also reduced my protein intake.  This has made me very regular. 
2. Insure minerals are balanced.
  • Still working on this as I'm not sure how to determine whether they're off.  I add minerals to my morning smoothie which I hope will correct any imbalance.
3. Get detox pathways working.  
  • I am currently working with Dr. Robert Brody on correcting my detox pathways.  He has an AMAZING amount of knowledge in this area and was able to answer every one of my questions without hesitation.  I recommend him wholeheartedly.  If you are in New England and can visit him in person, he accepts insurance.  If not, he's able to work with you remotely via Zoom

Dr. Brody agreed that it would be a good idea for me to detox because, as I suspected, I DO have SNPS in several places which compromise my ability to create/clear certain compounds.

I'm not going to share exactly what he prescribed for me because the supplements are specific to MY GENOME and I don't want someone with different SNPs following my protocol.  Here are some of the changes he recommended FOR ME:

Increase dosage of Ashwagandha for adrenal health.
Switch from Berberine to Skullcap for brain health.
Increase dosage of Quercetin for allergies
Maintain dosage of DHA and billberry for eye health
Maintain dosage of Magnesium Threonate for brain health
Eliminate Vitamin D3 and K2 until I have had my levels tested (I was taking too much)

He added the following:

Riboflavin-5-phosphate to correct several SNPs that compromise my ability to create serotonin. 

Topical glutathione, which corrects 7 gene traits, to accomplish the following processes:
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Detoxify the body
  • Improve the rate of cellular repair
  • Boost brain function
After two months on these supplements - which my body will use to clear those compounds that require serotonin - I will add a specific type of b12 which will improve my methylation pathways.  Which type of B12 is determined by my genes.

Concurrently, he prescribed several supplements for brain health:

Klaire Target gb-X for gut-brain axis.  When I questioned the ingredients "maize starch (cornstarch)" and "maltodextrin (sugar)" he said they were there to provide food for the probiotics, and were refined to the point where all lectins had been removed.

Trehalose Complex, 1 t. per day, for healthy brain and nerve function.  You can get this directly from Dr. Brody, or you can get it cheaper via Amazon's Subscribe and Save program .  If you want to save even more money, you can make your own 'complex' using the following 3 ingredients.  You can use other brands but the quality won't be as high.  I add 1 t. to my morning smoothie.


Mix thoroughly:

Dr. Brody also approved the use of Gotu Kola, Bacopa Monnieri, Guducci Stem, and Lion's Mane for several other SNPs but I will be adding them one at a time to determine if I have a reaction.

Concurrently,  I've decide to start lining my gut with binders even though I haven't yet done all the other steps.  This should trap any new toxins I ingest before they can be added to whatever is already in my body.  It should make detoxing easier once I get to the 'mobilizing' stage.  In the master list below I've crossed out the ones I'm not going to take until I start mobilizing:

UPDATE June 18, 2018:

Yesterday, my friend and I drove down to Dr. Brody's office to have him run a BIA test on us, to create a professional version of SWAMI, and to be registered as a patient so he can order labs under our insurance plan.  We had a WONDERFUL TIME!!!  We were the last patients of the day and spent the entire afternoon with him.  Afterwards, we had a delicious dinner at a restaurant across the street that uses grass fed beef and organic vegetables.  They have an outdoor patio, the temperature was a comfortable 74 degrees, and there were no bugs.  It was an absolutely perfect day.

My BIA scores were 'good' but not 'great' so I will be working to improve them.  We added Membrosia Complex and Fluidizer to my supplements.  I take them with ginger tea and it tastes good.

My new, professional, SWAMI is very close to my old xpress SWAMI except that he emphasized foods to improve my BIA scores.

I'll be going back next month to see whether I've improved.  I'll be getting the B12 supplement at that time, too.  I haven't noticed any changes in the weeks since I've been taking the riboflavin and glutathione except that I'm using the bathroom more frequently.  Dr. Brody says this is because my body is getting rid of wastes, which is exactly what I want it to do! 

UPDATE December 18, 2018:

It's now been 6 months since my last Brody appointment and I've leaned a LOT about my body during that time.  I will post an update after I review my findings with Dr. Brody.

Listed below are links to the other cognitive decline pages on this blog:

Dementia and Alzheimer's Overview

DETOXING - Why it's necessary





Review of Dr. Bredesen's The End of Alzheimer's

Sunday, June 3, 2018

RECIPE: Apple Mint Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Original recipe: Spring Rolls with Avocado and Mint  (Isn't the presentation beautiful?)

Photo credit:Feasting at Home

Spring Rolls with Apple Mint and Thai Dipping Sauce

There has been apple mint in our farm store the last few days and I wanted to do something special with it.  Unfortunately, I found NO recipes online!  I try and use as many farm veggies as possible in every meal so I googled the ingredients I had on hand and this recipe came up. I decided to try it using the apple mint and it was delicious.

Follow her instructions on how to soften and roll the rice paper wrappers.

I didn't have to hack the ingredients but I used what I had on hand (and we don't eat tofu):

  • 8-10  spring roll wrappers (8 1/2 inch in diameter)
  • 1 cucumber – cut into strips
  • 1 diakon radish cut into strips ( or use red radishes)
  • 12 oz baked tofu- cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 2 cups mache, arugula or salad greens
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint, basil, cilantro or combination of any
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
  • 1 carrot cut into strips 
  • 4 green onion tops cut into strips
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Prep all filling ingredients and have them ready to roll.

Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water.

Submerge 1 rice paper in the water until tender and flexible, about 30 seconds-1 minute. Working with one at a time, place the softened rice paper on a damp kitchen towel, smooth it out and fill with fresh veggies and fresh herbs. Roll it up tightly like a burrito. Set it aside seam side down. Repeat with all the Spring Rolls.  (They can be refrigerated at this point, briefly). 

She served them with Nước chấm.  I served them with Thai Dipping Sauce.

Of course, mine didn't turn out as beautiful as hers but they were tasty, and the mint was the best part!