Layered Frittata with Leeks, Swiss Chard,and Tomatoes

Frittatas, or baked omelets, are a delicious staple of Italian cuisine. Unfortunately, many people avoid them because they believe eggs raise cholesterol. That just ain’t so. A huge study of 100,000 people proved that to be a myth, and the American Heart Association now says that eggs can be part of a healthful diet, as long as other sources of dietary cholesterol aren’t excessive. Aside from being an excellent source of protein, eggs also support brain health. In this delicious frittata, the eggs frame a whirlwind of flavorful ingredients with all the colors of the Italian flag: Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. 

Position one oven rack about 6 inches below the broiler and another rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

6 organic eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons organic plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and green parts
4 cups stemmed and chopped
Swiss chard, in bite-size pieces
2 cups of leeks, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons almond flour, (optional)

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Put the eggs, yogurt, thyme, pepper, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl and whisk until the eggs are frothy and only very small lumps of yogurt remain. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and sauté until just golden, about 6 minutes. Put the Swiss chard on top of the leeks and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the chard. Cover and let the chard steam just until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the chard.

Pour the egg mixture over the tomatoes and make sure it seeps through the greens; you may need to gently shift the greens a bit to help with this. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and almond flour over the top. 

Bake on the center rack of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the eggs are set. Turn the oven to broil and move the skillet to the top rack. Broil for 1 minute, until the cheese and almond flours are golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature. 

Variations: Make this frittata dairy-free by substituting 2 tablespoons of water for the yogurt and omitting the cheese. Feel free to substitute spinach or kale for the chard.

Orange Pistachio Quinoa

Quinoa is its own little ecosystem, containing all of the essential amino acids that we must obtain through the diet. Put another way, quinoa brings some good nutrients to the table that the body needs to begin repairing itself. Its mild taste makes it a perfect backdrop for this nicely layered crunchy/chewy portable dish, in which olive oil, citrus, vitamin-rich pistachios, and raisins dance delightfully on the taste buds, and herbs (mint, cumin, and coriander) provide a huge hit of taste and anticancer nutrients.

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes

1⁄2 cup raw pistachios
1 1⁄2 cups quinoa
2 1⁄2 cups Magic Mineral Broth (page 49) or water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon coriander
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 scallions, both green and white parts, finely chopped
1⁄8 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
1 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1⁄2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Spread the pistachios in an even layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until aromatic and slightly browned. Let cool.

Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well under cold running water to remove all the resin.

In a pot, bring the broth and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the quinoa and cover. Decrease the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer from the heat and fluff with a fork. Spread mixture out on a sheet pan and “rake” with a fork occasionally until cooled.

Transfer the quinoa from the sheet pan to a large bowl. Stir in the cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Add the mint, scallions, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil, lemon juice, toasted pistachios, and raisins. Mix well and taste; you may need a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon, or a dash of olive oil.

VARIATION: Make this a meal in a bowl by adding 1 cup of cooked chickpeas when you stir everything together.

COOK’S NOTES: Rinse, rinse, and rinse again! Quinoa is naturally coated with a bitter-tasting resin. To get rid of the resin, put the grain in a bowl of cool water, swish it around with your hand, then drain it in a fine-mesh sieve.

Quinoa is gluten free, which makes sense when you consider that botanically, it isn’t a grain at all; it’s more closely related to beets.
STORAGE: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days.
PER SERVING: Calories: 265; Total Fat: 10.3 g (1.3 g saturated, 5.9 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 40 g; Protein: 7 g; Fiber: 6 g; Sodium: 435 mg

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Turmeric and Cinnamon Masala Chai

Isn’t your mouth watering already? Talk about an alluring recipe. Masala is Indian for a spice blend, most notably those used in teas (aka chai). This incredibly comforting libation heals both body and mind; the spices, notably turmeric and cinnamon, have outstanding anti-inflammatory properties. I recommend this chai to anyone whose appetite is waning or who finds him-or herself with a touch of indigestion. Added bonus: the almond milk, besides tasting great, is perfect for those of us who are lactose intolerant.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 10 minutes

1 ounce water
8 ounces almond milk
1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄3 cup peeled fresh ginger, sliced 1⁄4-inch thick
Pinch of black pepper
2 teaspoons dark amber maple syrup 

In a small saucepan, combine the water, almond milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. Allow the chai to gently cook over medium low heat for 2 minutes, or until small bubbles start to appear. Cover, and simmer for another 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the maple syrup, and allow the chai to sit for 5 minutes, then pour into a cup.

STORAGE: Drink immediately

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Cashew Cream

You know that old Sesame Street song that goes, “One of these things is not like the others . . .”? Put a cashew next to butter and margarine and you’ll probably think, “Hey, I know which one of these doesn’t belong.” Think again. By using nut creams—in this case pulverized cashews—I’ve pleased many a client who swears by butter but wants to go dairy free. Not only is the cashew taste fulfilling and delightful, but nuts are far better for you than any store-bought buttery spread made from corn oil.

MAKES: about 3 1⁄2 cups
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: Not applicable

2 cups raw cashews
2 cups water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or orange juice
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Grind the cashews in a mini food processor or nut grinder to give them a head start in the blender. (If you have a Vitamix, you can skip this step.) Put the water in a blender, then add the lemon juice, salt, nutmeg, and cashews and blend until creamy smooth. This takes several minutes, but your taste buds will reap the rewards of your patience.

Bella’s Carrot, Orange, and Fennel Soup

PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 35 minutes

Here’s where a cook learns to ad lib. For years, I’ve made carrot ginger soup for my cancer patients when their tummies are a little off. One day, I came home to find my husband, Gregg, in a similar state; he felt a little foo in the belly, but nonetheless hungry. I went to the pantry to whip up some soup, only to find there was no ginger to be had. But there was fennel. “Fennel is good for the stomach,” thought I, and into the pot it went. Gregg soon sat down, took one taste, and started raving. A few weeks and tweaks later, I found that adding cumin, cinnamon, and allspice really brought this soup home. I named this recipe after my dog, Bella, because she’s quite possibly the only dog on the planet who prefers carrots to bacon; for every four carrots that went into making this soup, one went into Bella’s mouth. Otherwise she howled. (Sigh.)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped fennel
Sea salt
3 pounds carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon orange zest
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of red pepper flakes
8 cups Magic Mineral Broth (page 49)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon maple syrup
Cashew Cream, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion, fennel, and a pinch of salt and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, orange zest, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, red pepper flakes, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt and sauté until well combined. Pour in 1⁄2 cup of the broth and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add the remaining 71⁄2 cups broth and another 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a blender, puree the soup in batches until very smooth, each time adding the cooking liquid first and then the carrot mixture. If need be, add additional liquid to reach the desired thickness.

Return the soup to the pot over low heat, stir in the orange juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt, and gently reheat slowly. Taste. Does it need a squeeze of lemon, a pinch or two of salt, or a drizzle of maple syrup?

Serve garnished with a drizzle of the Cashew Cream.

COOK’S NOTE: Put liquid ingredients in the blender first, and then add the solids to blend more efficiently. The pressure builds up when blending hot liquids and can blow the lid right off the blender chamber, so always place a dishtowel over the blender lid before you hit the power button to prevent spin art on your kitchen wall (and possibly burns).

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