Welcome to my whole foods cooking blog. I believe that food and eating are essential to our life as human beings and in forming a strong social connection to the world around us. This blog is a way to experiment with recipes and educate myself and anyone else who stumbles by on the history and benefits of eating slow, whole foods.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cumin Scented Roast Carrots

Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 30 min


1 # carrots, organic
1/4 cup EVOO/Ghee
2 Tbsp cumin powder


1:Pre- heat oven to 375 F
2. Peel and slice carrots diagonally approximately 1/2 thick
3. Toss carrots in oil and cumin until well coated
4. Place on sheet tray and into oven
5. Toss carrots 15 min into cooking
6. When carrots are soft, but not mushy, take out and serve warm

Poblano Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Bison Roll

Prep Time: 25 min Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min


2 # ground buffalo meat, hormone/antibiotic free
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, small diced
2 poblano peppers, small diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tsp smoked salt (optional)
1.5# nitrate-free, thick cut bacon

1. Pre-Heat oven to 375 F
2. Heat coconut oil to medium and saute onions until translucent, about 10 min
3. Add poblano peppers, saute until almost soft, about 15 min
4. Add garlic and ancho powder, saute for 5 min
5. While above is cooking, mix buffalo meat, cumin, and salt and set aside
6. Make bacon lattice as shown below on a sheet tray with a lip, covered in aluminum foil *In order to make the lattice wide enough you may have to add some slices on the end and cut some bacon slices to continue the lattice

7. Spread meat on top of lattice and then vegetables as shown below

8. CAREFULLY roll up starting at one end, some of the vegetables will fall out and you can just stuff them back in at the end. Once you have it rolled up, carefully turn it so it sits lengthwise on the sheet tray with the seal side down as shown below

9. Place meat thermometer directly in the center of the roll from the side and place on rack in the middle of the oven
10. Cook until thermometer reads 150 F or 160F if you prefer well-done. Remove and let sit for 5 min.
11. Slice and serve with Roasted Kale with Pinenuts or any other favorite veggie side dish

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bison: The Other Red Meat

The American Bison is a relatively new addition to grocery shelves that you may have come across when perusing the grass-fed beef and other specialty meat items. It is not, however, new to this continent. First things first, let's make one thing clear- bison and buffalo are not the same animal. Bison have a hump as a distinguishing feature and make their home in North and South America in rugged conditions such as the Great Plains, and can live up to 40 years as opposed to Buffalo who have no hump, live mainly in Asia and the Cape in Africa, and live both in water (water buffalo) and more rugged conditions (Cape). Buffalo is also used for it's milk which you may have come across if you've ever had fresh buffalo mozzarella- which I highly suggest you do. Bison, on the other hand, is used primarily for meat in modern times but for many Native Americans they were the back bone of life.

Many of the Plain's Native Americans and bison's lives were inextricably intertwined. The bison gave the Native Americans food, shelter, utensils, and through them, a spiritual connection to the land and the bison themselves. Around the same time settlers began encroaching on Native American land, they also began killing the bison which, coupled with unregulated hunting laws pertaining the bison, led to what had been herds containing upwards of 50 million bison prior to settlement to no more than 1,500 in the mid to late 1800s. Settlers killed the bison primarily because they saw them as an inexhaustible food source and as a way to essentially force the Native Americans into starvation by eliminating their primary food source. Today the bison are once again thriving although it has only been in the last 10-15 years that the herd has grown to an estimated 500,000 in North America thanks in a large part to the legal protection established in Yellowstone Park, the National Bison Refuge in Montana, and ranchers actively raising bison on their own land.

Raising bison is in most ways very different from raising cattle. They are not given hormone or antibiotics and spend most of their time grazing freely on grass and hay although, unfortunately, many producers still finish their herds on corn for the last 90-120 days. Because bison are allowed to roam most of their lives, they are nutritionally similar to grass-fed cows except for the influence of corn on their fatty acid make-up when finishing. They are generally leaner and lack the marbling seen in beef. This means that they are low in fat, high in protein, and can be treated like other lean game animals such as venison and elk when it comes to cooking. This usually means that you need to be very careful not to overcook bison. Medium well is probably the highest you would want to cook your meat unless you are braising it although surrounding in a juicier meat to hold in the moisture, like I did with bacon below, will help retain the moisture in higher heat cooking.

So the next time you find yourself confronted with a curious vacuum sealed packaged containing Bison next to your usual grass-fed ground beef- take the plunge to the wilder side of red meat!

Slow Roasted Beef Brisket with Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Being a Texan born and raised (for the most part), I love a good, slow cooked brisket. Preferably one that has been smoked over hickory chips lending it that delectable balance between the smoke infused flavor of the outside and the tender, juicy meat on the inside. If you ever find yourself in the middle of Texas on I-95 say somewhere between Austin and Dallas and you pass a sign for Cooper's BBQ I highly suggest you defer all travel plans and swing in for some of the best suck-the-bone-dry BBQ you'll ever experience. Unfortunately, I have neither a smoker nor a small town BBQ pit with ten of their own smokers to satisfy my hunger. So I decided to take the plunge and buy a piece of brisket anyways and figure the rest out as I went. The result was delectable and the chipotles in the sauce added just the right touch of smokiness to make up for the lack of a real smoker. For those of you who may be wondering what cut of meat you need to hustle your butcher for, there are two types of brisket cuts: the flat cut and the point cut. I prefer the point cut, and in fact it was the only one available at Whole Foods, because it has a nice strip of fat on one side that is a delicious texture contrast and melt in you mouth flavor booster.


1 2-3 # trimmed beef brisket, grass-fed if possible, hormone/antibiotic free
1 6 oz can organic tomato paste
1 c beef stock
3 Tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to season
2 chipotles in adobe sauce


2 c beef stock
1/4 c gluten-free Tamari, low sodium
1/4 c dijon mustard
1/4 c gluten free San-J szechuan sauce
1 tsp smoked salt
1 onion, medium dice
6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1/3 c coconut vinegar

1. Combine all ingredients in a pot large enough to hold the brisket and mix well
2. Place brisket in pot.
3. Cover brisket with marinade making sure some is underneath the meat then cover and refrigerate for 8-16 hours. I like to get is ready to night before when I'm making dinner and let it marinate until time to cooke around 1 pm.


1. Pre-heat oven to 270 F
2. Take brisket out of marinade, dry off and let sit out for 20-30 min
3. While brisket is drying, take pot with marinade and place over high heat
4. Reduce by 1/2 then take a stick blender or throw the marinade into a blender and pulse until coarsely blended
5. Add paste and cup beef stock and mix well
6. Heat coconut oil on high in a skillet large enough to fit brisket in
7. Season both sides of brisket with salt and pepper
8. Sear each side of the brisket until it is nice and brown careful not to burn
9. Place brisket back into pot, coating each side with the sauce
10. Cover pot tightly with aluminum foil securing with a top if possible
11. Cook for approximately 4-6 hours (1.5 hours per pound) turning every 1.5 hours.
12. Remove brisket from pan and let sit on cutting board
13. Put sauce in blender with two chipotles and blend until smooth
14. Slice the brisket against the grain as shown below and serve with sauce

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Roasted Leg of Lamb Stuffed with a Sage Artichoke Rub with a Sage Cremini Mushroom Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 1-2 hours Variable to Desired Doneness/Weight

Roasted Lamb


1 butterflied New Zealand leg of lamb (you can ask your butcher to remove a bone if only bone-in is available)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 c finely chopped artichokes
3 Tbsp minced organic sage
2 Tbsp EVOO
Butcher twine
2 tbsp organic, virgin, unrefined coconut oil
S & P to season


1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F
2. lay lamb out fat side facing down on a flat surface or cutting board, drying with a paper towel
3. Mix garlic, artichokes, sage, and EVOO until well blended
4. Spread this mixture evenly over meat
5. Cut approximately 5-6 pieces of string about 8-10" long
6. Roll up lamb and tie off, starting at middle, then one of each end, and then tie the remaining two strings as shown in the picture below making sure that each string fits snugly against the meat

7. Season the outside of the roast with salt and pepper
8. Heat up a cast iron pan or non-stick skillet large enough to fit entire roast on high
9. Add oil
10. When oil begins to smoke or when small amount of water flicked into pan scatter on impact add roast
11. Cook each side until it has a crisp, golden crust
12. Place roast on a metal rack in a roasting pan and place a meat thermometer through center of met (careful to avoid hole created by rolling which will cause inaccurate readings)
13. Bake roast until it reaches desired doneness, removing when thermometer is approximately 5 degrees below this mark and let sit for 5 minutes

Timing Chart:
Rare: 20-25 min/# or 135 F
Medium Rare: 25-30 min/# or 145 F
Medium- Medium Well: 30-35 min/# or 160 F
Well Done: 35-40 min/# or 170 F

I recommend medium rare for lamb, but if you like it more well-done I would cook it to 155 F and let rest 5 min otherwise you run the risk of over cooking an otherwise magnificent piece of meat.

Sage Cremini Mushroom Sauce


8 oz organic cremini mushrooms. sliced 1/4" thick
leftover oil from searing lamb OR 2 tbsp coconut oil/butter
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup organic good quality chicken stock
1 tbsp sage, minced
drippings from lamb
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

*Begin making sauce when lamb had approximately 20 minutes left to cook

1. Drain oil from pan used to sear lamb, leaving only a thin film to cover the pan
2. Heat pan to medium heat and saute mushrooms until tender
3. Turn heat to high and add white wine; let reduce by 1/2
4. Add stock and drippings from lamb once it is removed from the oven and reduce until only a thick sauce remains
5. Season with salt if desired and serve over lamb

Toasted Sesame Szechun Dressing


3 oz toasted sesame oil, unrefined, expeller pressed
2 oz coconut vinegar or rice vinegar
5 oz EVOO
3 Tbsp Gluten Free San-J Szechuan sauce
juice of 1/2 lime


1. Place all ingredients in either a blender or a high container to use an immersion blender in and blend until fully emulsified together
2. Drizzle some on a salad, toss, and enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Go Green- Part 1: Kale

Many people already know, or have been told repeatedly by their doctors, that the green leafy vegetables are among the best veggies you can include in your diet. The way most Americans handle this information, if they bother to heed the advice at all, is to get that one big salad a day and call it even. After all, it's fairly brimming with the green goods so there's got to be enough in their to do my body good. The Go Green series is meant to shed light on just which greens are REALLY packing the nutrient punch and which ones you could probably pass by in the vegetable aisle.

Today we're talking about Kale. You may know it as one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you can get your hands on, or you may know it as that funky green afro nestled somewhere between the swiss chard and fresh spinach. Kale, contrary to its leafy, light appearance, is in fact in the cabbage family. It is high in vitamin A, calcium, and beta-carotene but is also packed with Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium, copper and manganese. Nutritiondata. com gives it a 257 anti-inflammatory rating. For those unaware, the American diet is extremely inflammatory meaning it promotes inflammation in your body which leads to diseases such as auto-immune diseases, heart disease, and cancers when it goes unchecked. So including a heavy hitter like this as a staple in your diet is crucial. Kale is also one of the "Dirty Dozen" or highest pesticide containing foods when raised conventionally so if your are discerning with just what makes the organic grocery list make sure to add kale as one of them.

Now obviously it is not the bad word of mouth keeping Kale from most Americans plates although in many areas it's LACK of any knowledge that's the real dilemma. But for the most part, people are just afraid of it. Could be their mom boiled the living daylights out of it when they were younger and now they're scarred for life having nightmares of soggy, tasteless green blobs. Or they just are so overwhelmed by the sight of it that they just don't even want to try. Or it resembles the beast from The Little Shop of Horrors and no one wants to go there... I am here to say you can take on kale. I have faith that everyone can master cooking delicious kale without any nose-holding or grimacing.

There are many tasty recipes the be had on the web, but I would like to share one of my favorite preparations with you today. In fact, you may just find yourself eating this kale like popcorn (I know I did)!

Roasted Kale with Pine Nuts

Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 15 min

1 bunch organic Kale
1/3 c organic pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/2 tsp salt (I prefer smoked Salish)


1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Wash and dry kale
3. Remove the leaves from the stem by running your knife along the stem where the leaves meet it
4. Roughly chop the leaves, they do not need to be small
5. Place chopped kale, pine nuts, garlic, EVOO, and salt in large bowl and mix thoroughly (I prefer using my hands to ensure all the leaves get coated)
6. Spread out in either a large sheet tray or 1-2" deep baking dish, do not worry if they pile up as they will shrink
7. Bake for 15 minutes
8. Remove and enjoy!