The “Why Would I Ever?!” Greens Edition

Juicing greens definitely falls under the category of “why on earth would I EVUH do this?!”  Well, because green stuff is probably the most concentrated nutrition you’ll find and it’s a lot easier than you think.  And frankly, if you’re on the go and never eat anything green but do eat a ton of crap, you owe it to yourself to research ways to get something green into your nutritional repertoire.

There’s simply no easier way to get incredibly concentrated nutrition than by juicing it.  Green stuff is just crazy good for you as it’s loaded in chlorophyll and, if organic, loaded in trace minerals.  Why is green stuff important?  Here are a few reasons but personally, I want green stuff in order to detoxify and get magnesium.  Magnesium is, as Dr. Sircus calls it, the Lamp of Life.  Americans are chronically magnesium deficient and is linked to heart disease (and many others for that matter).

While I can take a chlorophyll or magnesium supplement, both of those have a tendency to be very hard on the stomach.  Magnesium is, after all, in things like milk of magnesia which is intended to get the system moving…very quickly.

What I can do very easily is green juice.  It upsets my stomach far less (when sipping…taken as a huge shot this might not work so well).  It’s fresh and full of live enzymes plus all the nutrients in it are bioavailable.  That means the body can use what’s there.  You know…because it came packaged that way in nature.

This is quite unlike a lot of artificially created multivitamins, some of which pass right through because they are in forms that the body can’t use.  We just don’t know so why take a chance?  Nutritionally speaking, real food is always the far superior answer.

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The other cool thing about green juice is that it’s a natural detoxifier (check out points #2 and #4). Based on personal experimentation, this actually works really, really well.  Anecdotally, I’ve tried this in a number of situations.  For example, any trip that precludes regular hygiene such as a week of off-shore sailing or when I’m on a 5-hour bike ride in training for an ironman triathlon.   Chlorophyll (in these cases supplemented forms and not juice) was exceptionally effective in reducing that “stank factor”.  If it works in the extreme cases like these, it’s gonna work for the average American work-day.

Here’s our masticating juicer (which is actually a wheat grass juicer):

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We also own a Breville which works great for non-leafy greens and vegetables like celery, and root vegetables.  The Breville is also my go-to when juicing fruit (the once a year that we eat fruit).  Which one will work for you?  Depends but based on my experience, centrifugal juicers don’t work well for greens and while the masticating or triturating juicers are more work, they extract more of what I’m looking for.

But what about all that fiber?  Well, we don’t throw anything away at Uli Nalu.  We recently ran across a recipe for crackers made with the vegetable pulp left over after juicing.  I was ridiculously skeptical but we tried it and it’s pretty stinking good! The recipe we used is pictured below courtesy of Prevention.comHere’s a “raw” version that uses a dehydrator.  I already extracted all the enzymes I wanted in the juice so was happy to bake mine.

We modified the recipe slightly by using one egg as additional binder and rolled as thin as possible to help make it crispy. In subsequent tries, we’ll add baking soda and a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar to see if we can’t get them even crispier.

Crazy healthy greens juice full of magnesium and detoxifying chlorophyll plus pretty decent crackers that are gluten free and zero-carb?  Sounds like a win/win to me.  Enjoy!

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Baja sauce on bibb lettuce fish tacos

Baja Tacos and Sauce

If you’re looking for ideas to make some simple changes to your nutrition and menu choices, here’s another great one.  Lunch today. In fact we eat this one often.  We’ve been experimenting with low carb (but not no-carb) as well as going free of corn and wheat.  That leaves limited choices if you like wraps and burritos but we’re willing to try something new.  And we’re glad we did!

So here’s the Uli Nalu take on fish tacos on Bibb lettuce leaves.  The key to any good fish taco (in my humble opinion) is the sauce.  In fact, it’s the sauce that really makes just about any low carb or keto meal. It’s hard to spruce up vegetables and meat if you’re going free of rice, bread ‘n beans but I’m here to tell you, this one is a winner and it’s because of the amazing baja flavor.

The beauty of this sauce is that: 1) it’s ridiculously easy to make; 2) it’s delicious and in fact we’ve had feedback that kids love…this….stuff; 3) it’s completely homemade and you know exactly what’s in it; and 4) it’s full of healthy fats, prebiotics, herbs and of course, egg yolks.

If you’re one of those, “I can’t possibly give up my bread and wraps!”, just know that the bibb lettuce wraps are way better than you might think.  This particular meal included the Trader Joes pre-bagged broccoli, kale, and radicchio slaw for garnish but normally we would have just chopped up some red cabbage which is traditional (at least in the California fish tacos I’ve tried).  Also we always broil our fish and don’t cover it in breading.  Just good fresh lime juice and cayenne pepper for taste.

Here we go….  Start with making home made mayo which takes 5 minutes.  This recipe makes enough sauce for about one meal.  We usually double or triple it so we can make the baja sauce plus some other sauces like our smokey steak sauce or just plain mayonaise for things like tuna and egg salad.

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp mustard powder, juice of 1 fresh squeezed lemon, salt and black pepper to taste
  • mix above ingredients well in blender or with immersion blender and then slowly drizzle oil in until mixture gets to correct thickness.

We use MCT oil especially if we are going to add a lot of other strong flavors.  You can also try bacon fat (for a “baconaise”), olive oil, macadamia oil, or our favorite, avocado oil, for home made sauces that you want just plain to enjoy the taste of the oil.  Avocado mayonaise has a pretty amazing flavor all on its own and you may not want to spoil that with other ingredients.

[Please realize that if you’re using bacon fat, you need to choose a very high quality, grass fed, organic bacon. I’ll save you the PETA posts but know that meat sources for pork, beef, and chicken like Polyface Farms makes a huge difference in both your quality of life and digestion as well as the quality of life of the animals you end up consuming.]

For the Baja sauce which will take another 5-10 minutes:

Mix all sauce ingredients well in a blender or with an immersion blender and allow flavors to settle for about an hour. Works well on just about anything including scrambled eggs, quesadillas, enchiladas, steak sauce, etc.

From there all you have to do is broil your white fish, place on lettuce wraps, top with greens or cabbage and cheese and then finally, the coup de grace, the baja sauce.

Total time if you have the sauce pre-made is about 15 minutes too broil fish and build your creations.

Enjoy!

 

Easy egg breakfast cups

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One of the most frequent challenges we hear in doing nutritional consults for Uli Nalu is that people don’t have time to make good food.  Perhaps during the week, this is true considering our busy lifestyles.  However, there is a way.

On the weekends, we take time to create good food in a way that it can be stored, easily carried (in lunch bags) and easily reheated to make healthy breakfasts and lunches while on the go.  This recipe is one of my favorites!  We stole the concept from Portables but frequently go freestyle with regards to what we put in them. These egg cups are completely ketogenic but if you’re not on the low-carb craze (because of things like this), you can always add precooked rice to the cups or mashed sweet potato to the egg mix for something more along the lines of a soufflé.

Because eggs are so packed with nutrition and it seems just about everyone loves egg and cheese, these are our go-to portables. In addition to making great breakfasts and lunches on the go, these are great for runners and cyclists who need to carry good fuel with them on long training sessions.

Total time to prepare was about 15 minutes.  Bake time was 25 minutes.  Total time 45 minutes.  That’s a small investment of time on a Sunday to make sure you have really easy meals full of nutrition on Monday through Friday.  The other upside is that this is a great way to clear out old vegetables and leftover stuff from the fridge.  We call this, “refrigerator casserole”.

Here’s the basic recipe.  Feel free to be creative with what you put in yours!  Next time we’ll be using leftover ham and swiss along with chunks of broccoli or asparagus.

Breakfast quiches

  • 9-12 eggs
  • vegetables of choice (we used diced zucchini, onion and poblano pepper)
  • meat of choice (we used leftover organic bacon and chicken)
  • Cheese of choice (we used shredded parmesan)
  • Approximately 1/2-3/4 cup Organic grass fed heavy cream (you can find this brand at Whole Foods)
  • Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste (we spice up pretty much everything)

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Precook vegetables and any meats to steam off water (especially onions, zucchini, spinach, etc.) and to mix flavors. Fill muffin cups with vegetables/meat mixture until about half full.  Top with cheese of choice. (Our recipe made 16 cups total…just add more egg and a little bit of cream for more cups.)

In a separate bowl, mix eggs, heavy cream, and spices with an immersion blender (get them nice and frothy).  Pour egg mixture over cheese, vegetables and meat mixture until almost full (leave a little room for egg expansion).  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until eggs and cheese brown slightly on top.

Serve warm with salsa, baja sauce or just some sour cream.  Ok, so we really need to work on our food photography but you get the idea.  Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Salt Block Steak with Smoke Sauce

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We are always looking for new and interesting ways to prepare our dinners.  When we have lots of time on the weekends, we break out the salt block.  Cooking on a salt block can be a fun and easy way to prepare simple tasty food.  It brings an intense flavor to your food beyond what you’d get from merely dusting with salt before eating.  It’s been a little bit of a learning curve to figure out how to best use the block.   Eventually we established a “protocol” of sorts and enjoy bringing this out when we have the time to allow the block to heat up slowly.  It’s a great choice for a cooking method when you have that amazing piece of grass fed meat that needs to be prepared perfectly.

We bought a 2″ thick himalayan salt block from amazon, with a book … and then went to town!  We’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way, which we’ll summarize here:

  • Cooking on a salt block takes some practice and time.  You want to heat the salt block up slowly, so trapped internal moisture has time to escape without cracking your expensive block!  Place your block on the exterior ring of a removable bottom tart pan on top of your stovetop burner.  Do not place your salt block directly on your burner!  Gradually increase heat over the course of 45 minutes to one hour until very hot.
  • You want the salt block very hot.  This will create an instant sizzle and salt-crusty shell that seals in the moisture of what you’re cooking, but doesn’t let too much salt permeate your veggies or meat.
  • Ideally, it’s best to buy your salt block in person (not sight unseen), because you want to inspect it for large cracks.  These will become huge fissures quickly, allowing oils and juices to flow through, and eventually break your salt block.
  • Slice up whatever you want, and it’ll cook quick!  Sliced grass-fed steak is one of our favorites. It takes about 5-10 minutes once the block is hot.  We have also had great luck with peppers, onions, zucchini and believe it or not, eggs sunny side up.

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Because we at Uli Nalu are advocates of the high healthy fats lifestyle (ketogenic), we always try to come up with a dipping sauce for our meats and veggies.  For this meal, we whipped up a batch of smokey cream sauce.  Its one of our best sauces yet!

Hickory Cream Sauce

Here’s our smoky dipping sauce recipe:

  • 2 eggs yolks
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of one fresh squeezed lemon
  • 2-3 cloves of (preferably) roasted garlic (raw is ok)
  • MCT oil (Brain Octane) (amount depends upon when you reach desired consistency)
  • 1 tsp of hickory liquid smoke
  • Two chipotle peppers from a can

Mix together yolks, salt, pepper, mustard, lemon juice and roasted garlic with a blender or immersion blender.  Once well mixed, slowly drizzle in oil until you reach your desired consistency (approximately 3/4-1 cup of oil).  Then add peppers and liquid smoke.  Add more peppers if you want it hotter but this does have a bit of a kick to it!

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