Category Archives: dairy

Simple, Healthy Meals: Pizza

We all love pizza, right?  And generally with pizza, you’re taking on a load of calories, fats and the bloat to go with it all.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

Many times (like recently), I’ve been very busy with work so when it comes to dinner time, I turn to some of my quick, healthy meals.  Last night?  It was gluten-free veggie pizza.

Because gluten free crust is hard to come by and takes forever to make from scratch, we’ve been using our high-fiber, gluten-free lavash as the basis for our pizzas for 5 or 6 years or longer.  (I’ve mentioned the lavash before in my quick morning go-to for my husband when he needs the energy to play 18 holes of golf in the searing heat.)

All you need to do is to decide on your sauce and toppings.  Your choices are limitless!

Pizza BasicsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I start with the lavash and spread with my sauce du jour.

Sauces:

If you prefer a red pie which we do sometimes, and I have a homemade marinara on hand, I use that since it will be organic.  You can buy jarred organic pasta sauces but be warned – they’re generally loaded with sodium.

If you like a ‘white’ pie, I spread on a herbal butter/olive oil blend that I make.   For that, mix in a jar equal amounts melted organic butter and organic olive oil with a few cloves of garlic that have been pressed, and a tablespoon of mixed herbs (usually oregano and thyme). Warm slightly in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Shake or stir well.  Refrigerate and use for toppings for pizza, for garlic bread or for anything else you desire.  Tip:  Udi’s makes a nice baguette that can be brushed with this garlic/herb oil/butter mixture and baked in minutes.  Yum!

If you like a pesto base, a homemade pesto is simple!   In a small food processor, add fresh basil, pine nuts, a bit of citrus (lime or lemon) salt, pepper and olive oil.  All are available in organic.

Toppings:

Simple is always good so my choice for simple is the classic Pizza Margherita:  Add pieces of torn basil leaves and your favorite shredded Italian cheeses.

Veggie toppings, to name a few: mushrooms, onions, artichoke hearts, black olives, broccoli, zucchini, sliced tomatoes, green onions, eggplant, red, green or yellow peppers, broccolini, pepper flakes and grilled Portobello mushrooms.  Some like a Hawaiian pizza with pineapple and ham. The produce section offers many veggie treats for your creative pizzas!

Meats:  While pepperoni is preferred by many, it is high in sodium and fat, and has no vitamins, no fiber and very little else to offer.  Some alternatives include parma ham, grilled chicken, or crumbled, cooked chicken or turkey Italian sausage.  Grilled and sliced (or chopped) portobellos give a meaty flavor without the meat.

Cheese:  You MUST have cheese!   The standard Italian cheeses just can’t be beat. Parmesan, Romano, Asiago are hard cheeses that melt well. Pecorino is flavorful and a slightly different twist.  You can add Gorgonzola for a bit of a bite.  As you may remember, when it comes to cheeses, I prefer cheeses that are not made in the US (and thus guaranteed to beFresh Veggie Pizzacontaminated with GMO).  You can find, by the way, organic cheeses made in the US that will not have GMO’s.  Organic Valley has a small selection. When I can find true Italian Fontina, I use it.  This isn’t a hard cheese but it is a wonderful-gooey mess when it melts.  Experiment!

Finally, don’t be afraid to use pizza for other courses and other meals.

Dessert pizza:  Spread with cream cheese, top with fresh berries and bake just a few minutes. You can also add any fresh-fruit organic marmalade or jam.  Just be sure that you stay away from the chemicals and high-fructose corn syrup.

Breakfast pizza:  Whip your eggs as usual, carefully pour on the crust, add a bit of cheese, perhaps a bit of ham, veggies, bake and you’re good to go.

If you’ve forgotten how much I love cheese (the ONLY dairy we eat), please feel free to check out this August post:  Cheese, Glorious Cheese!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shocking truth about Milk – it does NOT do a body good

I had not planned to write about this today, but a little back ‘n’ forth on Facebook has pushed me forward on this subject.

You see, I’ve never been a fan of social media.  I’m a fairly private person and don’t want to spread my personal life in public.  However, since I wrote the book, it seems I’m expected to put myself out there more to promote my writing.  So, the first step was Facebook.   To continue to embrace healthy choices, I ‘liked’ a few sites that appeared to have healthy concepts to share.  Two of the three are excellent and I have learned something new every day just from reading their posts.  The other though?  Oh, my!  They are espousing ideas and concepts that are supposed to be healthy but in fact, are far from it.  I suspect they’re either (1) on the payroll of factory farmers and the companies that sell products laced with GMO’s or (2) they aren’t truly interested in doing the research that it takes to provide facts for those interested in true wellness.  Many of these sites are heavily driven by advertising so if you look at WHO advertises with them, you can then judge their content more clearly.

I guess this is just a lesson to all of us to never take anything at face value.  If we want to move forward with our wellness goals, it’s important to question everything.  This particular site many times has pushed ‘chocolate milk’ as the ultimate health food.  I mean, seriously?  Milk is far from healthy.  As I mentioned briefly in my ‘Cheese, glorious Cheese‘ post a few days ago, milk is actually bad for most people. Humans are the only species that drinks milk after they are weaned and we’re the only species that drinks the milk of another animal.  That in and of itself is hardly natural.  But let’s put that information aside for a few minutes and look at what milk really is and the damage it does.

First, the manner in which it is produced is always in question.  Generally, dairy cattle are NOT allowed to graze in the sunshine like these lucky cows are in the first photo.  Dairy cattle in pasture - the right way Instead, most are forced to live in barns 24/7, they’re tied to an area where they cannot move,  they sleep on concrete and are nothing but production machines.  They have no quality of life to begin with (see the second photo below.)  There is no way that this bad treatment doesn’t transfer to your food!  When you support this type of operation, then you are supporting the poor treatment of a species and that makes you part of the problem. When you buy the products, you enable these operations to prosper and continue to do great harm to the animals and to us all.

Dairy Farming - The WRONG way

The second group pictured is feeding on whatever feed is provided.  They are commonly fed GMO feeds and of course, those poisons and toxins now go into your milk.   There is a chance those grazing in the pasture are also getting GMO’s, but it’s not as likely.

Now we get to the actual value of dairy or lack thereof, to your health and well-being.  Suffice it to say that the entire advertising campaign about how healthy dairy is for you is nothing but fraudulent.

Cows’ milk is great for calves, but it is not formulated for humans.  The dairy councils advertise that milk provides calcium, but not only does the calcium not absorb, it MILK BADactually depletes calcium from your bones.  Even doctors don’t seem to know this, but that isn’t surprising since they have very little working knowledge of nutrition.     MILK does the body HARM!

Scientific studies show that milk actually increases fracture risks.  Studies show that those who consumed milk at age 20 have a higher risk of fracture when older.

Dairy consumption has also been linked to ovarian, breast and prostate cancers.   Understanding the Problems with Dairy Consumption

Type 1 Diabetes has been linked to dairy consumption.

And again, back to the whole contamination issue:  Milk is highly contaminated with rBGH, a bovine growth hormone, which is used to increase milk production in dairy cattle.  Once you add that, the cows end up with inflammation of the mammary glands simply because their bodies were never MEANT to produce in that manner, and so they must be given antibiotics.  That, plus the GMO’s and pesticides all show up in the milk that you and your loved ones may be drinking.

When I have a recipe that calls for milk, I now use organic coconut milk.  I like the SO Delicious brand of unsweetened coconut milk.  I’ve used it for years in casseroles, sauces and baked goods and no one has ever noticed that I don’t use dairy.   You can use canned coconut milk, refrigerate it and then, carefully skim off the cream portion and whip it as you would whipped cream for a great dairy-free topping.

As for the drink du jour?  How about fresh, purified water?  We can never get enough of it!

If you wish to find out more about the excellent sites that provide the best health information as well as those that are more questionable, please comment or ask questions!