Sunday, July 23, 2017

Liver? How to get recommended four ounces down (and no it's not another liver pate recipe).

Me and liver? It's just not going to happen in this lifetime. You neither?

I've consulted all the recipes...adding bacon to my liver and onions...deep-frying liver (which kind of defeats the healthy-eating purpose of eating it at all)...slathering it with a french cream and balsamic vinegar glaze (again, defeats the purpose). I love the smell of it cooking. I love the gravy and onions on top of grits (not that I should be eating corn grits anyway since it mostly comes from GMO corn).

I would just leave the idea of liver alone, but that nutrient profile is so alluring. All that Vitamin A and Vitamin B-12 and iron and a host of other essential, healing, life-enhancing nutrition in such a small serving of relatively inexpensive grassfed beef. Liver is so nutrient rich, it can be dangerous if you eat too much of it. Stick to just four ounces and you'll be just ducky (but don't do foie gras from duck or goose livers because they fatten them horribly and they are not good for you or the goose or the gander).

Grassfed beef liver is the way to go. I can buy local, totally natural, grassfed liver for $3.50 a pound. That's less than a dollar a week to supply basically all my needs as far as grassfed beef goes. Everything else I eat from the butcher's freezer is just for pleasure and not essential. Great thinking, right? Except I can't get the four ounces down.

Four ounces, that's all we need to eat each week, and I can't stomach even an ounce of it. I even tried just nibbling it between my front teeth in tiny amounts, but it took forever to get an ounce down and it was still decidedly unpleasant to me. Liver pate? Forget it. No matter what seasonings you use, I can't swallow it.

But never forget that I'm Cajun, and I can make anything taste good. It's in my genes.

While I was nibbling and gagging at today's attempt at liver and onions (it was deep-fried, sliced thin, cooked with bacon and slathered with that cream and balsamic vinegar glaze), I suddenly remembered my momma's rice dressing or "dirty rice" from my Louisiana childhood. I could see my momma's face, laughing and shaking her head at me.

Momma would always remark on how I would gobble up that dirty rice without one complaint. It was no secret that it had all kinds of chicken livers and gizzards ground up in it. She couldn't understand why I would eat those livers--plus gizzards to boot--but not her prized calves liver and onions. I couldn't explain it. It just wasn't yucky in the same way.

That's when I decided I need to try mixing ground calves liver instead of chicken liver in a new Cajun dirty rice recipe.

So why not just eat rice dressing with chicken livers each week? Well, I can get grassfed calves liver a lot cheaper than pasture-raised organic chicken livers by the ounce, and beef liver has a much higher nutrient profile.

But there's another reason. I tend to think you have to be really careful with liver and make sure it doesn't come from a "toxic" animal.  To tell the truth, I don't trust that organic pasture-raised chicken in the grocery store is really organic and pasture-raised. So I'd have to buy lots of local chickens raised by people I know and take one liver from each to meet my weekly liver quota. It takes roughly 7 chicken livers. I can't eat 7 local chickens a week just to get the livers I need.

For beef liver, I can go down the road to the farmstand of our local grassfed beef purveyor who I know on a first name basis, and I can pull a pound of liver out of his freezer and leave my $3.50 in the jar (they still go on the honor system there). That'll do me a whole month at 4 oz a week. Or I can make a big pot of dirty rice and feed the whole family their week's worth of liver in a few servings. Dirty rice is a great side to just about any meal. It can even be a main course.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be working on the perfect recipe for Cajun "dirty rice" or rice dressing (whatever you happen to call it). Calves liver has a much stronger (repugnant) flavor than chicken liver, so it's going to take some doing to get it just right.

Keep coming back to the post until the perfect recipe has been added. I'll also notify you on my blog's Facebook page when the recipe is ready. If you haven't yet liked my Facebook page, go here and like the page and you'll get my Facebook post notifications:

I'm going to deliver a classic Cajun dirty rice recipe, but I'm also going to try a version of dirty rice that uses cauliflower instead of rice. I'm also going to make my momma's beloved eggplant-rice casserole using a mix of beef liver and ground beef.

Stay tuned, liver lovers. (Not!)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


I wasn't planning on cooking anything for the blog that night--hence I had to hurry up and snap a terrible photo right  before I ate what just may be the most amazing mock cornbread in the world ever.

And I made it with no recipe by complete accident.

It has absolutely NO corn in it (GMO or otherwise), is gluten-free and is made up of sprouted ancient grains like amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat with a dash of tapioca and brown rice flours. All organic. All sprouted.

And it was moist, not crumbly at all, absolutely to die for, melt in your mouth, sliced easily, and I swear it almost slid out the pan with no oil needed on the cast iron skillet. Perfection--by accident!

I promised I'd do a post soon with the recipe, then I drizzled that beautiful perfect wedge with organic blackstrap molasses and it was like having cush-cush and Steen's but a healthy version (my Cajun readers will know what I'm talking about). In other words, it was good eating for being so healthy! 

And it got better every day. It was best on the 3rd morning. I just stored it in the oven, like my mother always stored her cornbread.

I told you to be on the lookout for my best-mock-cornbread-in-the-world-ever post and here it is:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix following dry ingredients well:

1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat flour
1/2 cup sprouted oat flour
1/2 cup sprouted amaranth flour
3/4 cup sprouted quinoa flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (tapioca is made from a root and doesn't need to be sprouted)
1/4 cup sprouted brown rice flour
2 tsp baking powder (I like Rumford's aluminum-free)
1 1/2 tsp salt (or 1 tbsp pink salt coarse)
1/2 tsp baking soda (I only use Bob's Red Mill, and there IS a difference)

3. Mix wet ingredients as directed below:

1/4 cup organic butter (half a stick) or coconut oil or avocado oil (but I like butter)
1/2 cup organic milk or buttermilk
3 large eggs (can replace with 1/2 cup soaked flaxseeds with gel)
1/6 cup sweetener (I use organic succanat or organic sugar or honey since it's such a small amount and I think organic sugar is much healthier than artificial sweeteners)

Melt butter then cool, add milk, sweetener and then eggs.

4. Pour wet mix into dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon, careful not to over mix.

5. If batter doesn't look wet enough to you, add more milk. If it looks too wet, add extra amaranth or quinoa flour until it looks right to you (you know what a cornbread batter is supposed to look like).

6. Heat your black iron skillet on the stove. If it is well seasoned, you won't need any butter to oil it, but if it is dry or new, oil it with butter. Pour your "cornbread" batter into the skillet. It should sizzle slightly as you pour it in.

7. Move skillet into preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown.

8. Cool for 10 minutes then slice, serve and enjoy.

One of my friends asked why I couldn't just make cornbread with cornmeal since it's easy to find organic cornmeal. I explained that corn is fed to cattle to fatten them up. There's a reason for that. There's a reason the sweetener used in almost everything bad for you is high-fructose CORN syrup. Corn is notorious for fattening us up.

Basically, regular cornbread is a carb. This cornbread is primarily a protein. Everybody knows how important protein is in the morning.

The ancient grains used in this recipe are not really grains, but rather seeds, and they are high in protein (except for brown rice and oats and they are superfoods). Because all grains, nuts and seeds are chock full of anti-nutrients, it's important to sprout them before making them into flour. I buy this flour that is made with sprouted, organic ingredients. Once sprouted, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice and oats are all superfoods, high is soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients. It's basically nutrient-bread, not cornbread.

Some people ignore me when I talk about how important it is to use sprouted grains. I honestly would not eat grains at all if they weren't sprouted and organic. They are bad for you. I swear. I can give you links to all the articles. If you don't know where to get sprouted organic flours like these, just google it or email me and I'll send you links. There are a variety of sources. Email me at If I don't answer you back quick enough, comment on one of my blog entries. That should get my attention. :)

Oh, one final note: I wouldn't advise eating my mock cornbread at night. It wakes my brain up. The first time I made it, it was at night and I couldn't sleep after eating it. I thought it might be because I was so excited I'd come up with such a great mock cornbread. Nah. It's got to be one of the ingredients--or the combination, I don't know which. But it's perfect for breakfast if you want your brain operating on all gears. You'll be amazed. Please write to me and tell me if it has the same effect on you. (As an aside, it doesn't just get your brain moving, if you know what I mean. No, no, not that. Although maybe... I'm talking movement in the bathroom, not bedroom, but you never know. It might wake everything up.)

Let me know what you think of it and if it gets you moving!

P.S. Add a half of a miniature can of mexicorn, some peppers (red bell pepper, jalapeno and serrano?) and your favorite mexican cheese to make Mexican Cornbread. What ? I'm telling you to add corn? A few grains of corn in your cornbread won't kill you...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

For the love of sauce...

What is so enticing about the photo above? You may not register it--except unconsciously--but it is that tiny drip coming off the right side of that delectable morsel of grilled steak. Rare steaks drip like that...but not everybody likes their food dripping blood.

That's why sauces got invented. They hook us into the ancient, primordial connection between our appetite and dripping blood--while catering to our squeamish modern sensibilities.

I love sauces. Food tastes so much richer with a sauce. The other day, they had the most scrumptuous tuna steaks on sale at the local grocer, and it made me think of a sauce I particularly loved that I'd eaten years ago. That tells you something--when a sauce is memorable from YEARS before. Of course, it could just tell you something about me. :)

The problem with sauces, for a fat girl, is that they are usually fattening or unhealthy in some way (full of chemicals, processed, unhealthy additives, too much sodium, too much cholesterol, etc.). I just knew this sauce couldn't have been good for me. It tasted too good.

But while I was eating that tuna steak (sauceless), I couldn't stop savoring the remembered flavor of that unforgettable sauce. So I emailed the restaurant where I'd eaten it. They were closed for renovations and from a quick scan of their online menu, they no longer served the grilled tuna dish anyway, but the corporate office got back to me with the recipe (in gallons). I did the math and brought it down to two cups of sauce (roughly).

The crazy thing's not unhealthy.

It's awesome on grilled tuna so I imagine it would be good on any fish, but I'm going to try it on all kinds of things.

Beware, though, of one issue with this sauce. It's got beer in it. Now I put beer in my barbeque sauce (and sometimes in my gumbo) and I put wine in all kinds of things. Cooking with alcohol is normally not a problem because the alcohol cooks off and only the flavoring remains. It normally doesn't even bother recovering alcoholics (though you should always ask). Problem with this recipe is, you don't cook it. That's live beer in there. Now, I'm not a drinker but I don't have a problem with a splash of beer in my sauce. I respect, though, that you might. Your faith might be the reason, or maybe you are a recovering alcoholic, or someone in your family could be. Either way, just beware. Usually when people are substituting something for beer in a recipe, they use a vegetable broth. You could try that if the beer is a problem.

Have a go at it and let me know what you think. The recipe is simple.

The Unforgettable Sauce

Light Beer (your favorite brand)
3/4 cup

Soy Sauce (I like San J's organic wheat-free tamari)
3/4 cup

Colman's Dry Mustard
1/2 cup

Extra-Strong Dijon Mustard (I like Sir Kensington's organic brand)
1/6 cup (or more to taste)

Whisk it together and that's all there is to it. It's especially lovely topped with chopped green onions.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Go meatless, go raw (go bra-less, for that matter) every chance you get...

I read this recipe on the website of The Natural Food Market in Midland, Texas. I have a friend who lives there, and I was looking for a place that offers fresh vegetable juices. I shared the info with her, then I absconded with this recipe for you. I googled the recipe trying to find out where it came from... I found all sorts of variations. So I took a few liberties with this recipe and made it my own. Try it and let me know what you think. This is a great raw and meat-free meal.

All-Raw Thai Coleslaw

The slaw:

1 ripe mango, cut in small diced cubes
1 head white cabbage, shredded
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup green onions
1 handful cilantro leaves
1 handful torn basil leaves

The Thai dressing:

2 tablespoons raw honey (or 1 tbsp and few drops stevia)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1 large clove raw garlic
1 tablespoon red chili pepper (fresh)
2 tbsp Braggs Amino Acid
1 cup raw almond butter (or raw almonds)--with either being sprouted
Himalayan sea salt to taste

Garnish with whole raw sesame seeds and whole raw cashews (preferably sprouted)

Cut the mango into small cubes. Shred the cabbage and carrots. In a Vita-Mix or high-speed blender, puree the honey, lemon juice, ginger and red chili. Add the raw almond butter and blend at low speed to combine, to get a thick, cake batter-like consistency. Add water to thin if necessary. In a bowl, mix the cabbage and the raw almond butter dressing mixture really well. Add the raw cashews, sesame seeds, cilantro, basil and mango pieces. Stir well but don't overdo. Top with a few leaves of cilantro and basil and a few pieces of mango and/or carrots for colorful garnish.

Here's a great source for sprouted nuts and sprouted nut butters, all organic. If you call or order, tell them Donnagail sent you. Maybe they'll send me a bag of nuts or something. Click on this link:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gluten-Free Ancient Grain Pumpkin Bread

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.” 
― Sarah Addison AllenFirst Frost
I love pumpkin, and if you haven't had much experience with it...well, 'tis the season. You know, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and all that. People joke about everything being pumpkin spiced this time of year. If you are like me and you love pumpkin, you should be encouraged to know it is a true superfood.

But if you don't like pumpkin, this pumpkin bread recipe doesn't have to include pumpkin. It can be made using apples or carrots or even butternut squash instead of pumpkin. A combination of apples and butternut squash is your healthiest replacement for pumpkin. Butternut squash is so filled with fiber and nutrients and I have not yet found a way to incorporate it into a dish I like. But what's not to like about a Butternut Apple Loaf. It's fall and 'tis the season for winter squashes, root vegetables and apple picking, so improvise.

This recipe is super-nutritious, packed with sprouted ancient grains and seeds, healthy fats, healthy sweeteners.

Healthy sweeteners? Yes, I use two of them in this recipe. The most healthy one is blackstrap molasses. Read my post on organic blackstrap molasses. It is a superfood in its own right. It's a tremendous source of magnesium and calcium and in the right ratio. My second sweetener is basically sugar, but it's a much healthier sugar than the white granular stuff you buy at the store. Sucanat looks like brown sugar but it is evaporated organic whole cane juice, filled with nutrients. It's basically what sugar is before all the processing. It's not as sweet as sugar though, but you can puree organic raisins, dates, figs or prunes to add sweetener

Keep in mind most recipes call for 2-3 cups of sugar to 3 cups of flour in a pumpkin bread recipe, but mine only uses 1 cup of succanat and 6 tbsp of the blackstrap molasses. I put twice (or more) the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in my recipe, and spices make it satisfying to me in spite of the mild sweet taste. But by adding pureed fruits to taste, you can make it sweet to taste and you'll be adding whole food and fiber to your pumpkin bread/muffins instead of empty sugar calories.

All of the grains and seeds used in this recipe are sprouted and organic. You can sprout them yourself or buy them already sprouted. Email me at and I'll send you links for purchasing organic sprouted nuts and flours.

Gluten-Free Ancient Grain Pumpkin Bread

Wet Bowl 

Soak your flax seeds overnight before using (or a minimum of four hours), then add the rest of your wet ingredients and blend it all together with an immersion blender:

1/3 cup fresh ground soaked whole organic flaxseeds
6 tbsp organic blackstrap molasses

6 figs (or prunes or dates) or three mini-boxes of organic raisins (remember this will be pureed)
1/4 cup grass-fed butter

 *vegans can double up on the coconut oil and leave the butter out or replace butter with avocado oil for savory flavor
1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 1/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice (aka sucanat)
 *sucanat is dry but you want to blend it into your wet ingredients before folding in your other dry ingredients
3 pastured or organic eggs

 *some recipes call for 4 eggs, but soaked flaxseeds are an egg substitute, so use 3 or 2 or 1 or if you are vegan none, your preference, just be sure to add 2 tbsp of soaked flaxseed for every egg you omit
2 tsp vanilla
15-18 oz mashed cooked pumpkin or canned organic pumpkin puree (can substitute with two cans of mashed carrots, two cups of mashed cooked butternut squash, mashed fresh-cooked carrots or mashed cooked apples)

Dry Bowl 

Combine all of these ingredients together in one "dry" bowl and sift and mix well:

3.25 cups organic gluten-free ancient grain flour mix

 *see mix below
1 1/2 tsp Bob's Red Mill baking soda (the brand makes a difference)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp fresh ground cloves
6 tsp ceylon cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped organic sprouted walnuts

You can mix and match sprouted gluten-free flours however you like but this is how I make my "Organic gluten-free ancient grain flour mix" and it gives me an amazing mix of proteins and nutrients in a simple morning muffin--and it turns out perfect every time:

1/4 cup sprouted buckwheat flour

1/4 cup sprouted amaranth flour
1/4 cup sprouted quinoa flour
1/4 cup potato starch (or arrowroot)
1/2 cup sprouted sorghum flour
1/4 cup sprouted brown rice flour
1/2 cup sprouted oat flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
3 tbsp ground psyllium husks

All my sprouted flours are organic. Email me for my latest "best source" for these organic, sprouted flours.

Gradually pour dry ingredients into wet bowl until mixed well. Pour into two loaf pans and bake for 40-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for one hour before slicing.

Also, you don't have to pour it into two traditional loaf pans... You can make three thin cake layers using cake pans and drizzle the healthy icing (below) on top and in between to make a three-layer "cake." Or you can pour it into a bundt pan and drizzle the icing on top and slice. Or make muffins.

Remember, all the varieties have different cooking times. The thin cake may take only 20 minutes, muffins may take 25-40, depending on how big you make them, and the bundt pan will take 40 minutes to cook a pumpkin bread.

I like pumpkin loaf to eat that night and pumpkin muffins to eat the next few days (and freeze) and this recipe makes 1 pumpkin loaf and 12 small-medium muffins.

Remember, overcooking your muffins can make them too dry and hard the next day, too many eggs can make them rubbery, and overmixing or leaving out the baking powder can make them lose their fluffiness. You don't want pumpkin rocks, you want pumpkin muffins.

My pumpkin bread and muffins are truly not very sweet, but when I bring some to my daughter who insists on super sweet pumpkin bread, instead of adding sweetener, I prefer to make a healthy icing with organic cream cheese slowly melted in a pan with virgin coconut oil, then mixed with organic raw honey after allowing it to cool some (you don't want to overheat raw honey and lose its benefits). The coconut oil and cream cheese both will stiffen as they cool and become harder to mix, so don't wait too long to add in the honey, but it will give you a stiffer icing without having to use powdered sugar or cornstarch. If you slather it onto the top of your warm pumpkin loaf, it will slightly melt into the loaf and then stiffen back up as the loaf cools.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Popeye was wrong!!!

Yes, greens are great for you, but I'm sorry, spinach is not. What I don't understand is why it is one of the most highly-promoted of greens when it's practically the most problematic green you can eat.

I'll tell you why in my next post which will be entitled "Bad greens, good greens, good grief..."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Chocolate parfait, anyone?

I know I'm always talking about  chocolate, but did I tell you the latest thing? I found out it can reverse the build up of plaque in your arteries. No lie.

Here's a way to get your healthy unsweetened cocoa, along with a few other superfoods, in a healthy chia pudding:

You can eat your superhealthy chocolate pudding by itself, or make a superfood parfait like the one pictured above. Make a whipped cream from a can of coconut milk (see this blog post describing how to do it: Or you can mix bananas and coconut milk and blend them together to replace the whipped cream. Add your favorite fruits and nuts. Voila!

Do NOT use milk or real cream or yogurt. Did you know that if you eat your chocolate with any type of dairy, it will negate most of the health benefits of chocolate. That's why milk chocolate is NOT good for you.

Note: I customized this chocolate pudding recipe from a recipe in Wellness Mama's blog, and you should check it out if you need a primer on why chia seeds are good for you:

Superfood Meltdown Chocolate Chia Pudding


2 cups of coconut milk or rice milk

1/2 cup chia seeds

4-6 tablespoons cocoa powder (I like organic raw cacoa)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon or more sweetener of choice (I like organic succanat)

Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in a covered bowl in your refrigerator and it should thicken after roughly 15 minutes (although I like to make it before bed and leave it overnight to eat the next day).