Health-Wise Beginnings

Friday, June 8

Favorite Health-Wise SALAD #1:

Quinoa with Pickled Beets, Cucumber, and Dill


The bonuses?  Whole grain, fresh vegetables, pickling.  This one is equally nice (and larger) served over a bed of chopped romaine lettuce—up to you! Anyway, here are the yummy ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1/2 cup dry red quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup boiling water (add a little chicken bouillon to flavor the quinoa–or cook the   quinoa in chicken stock!)
  • 1 baby cucumber per salad, quartered and sliced (prettier with the peel on)
  • several sprigs of dill, stems removed
  • crumbled or cubed feta (gorgonzola is great, too)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
  • 3 TBL white balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. honey (takes the edge off the vinegar)
  • 1 large beet, cooked, skinned (we talked about this at the beginning of the blog ), cut into sticks, slices, wedges (I used my pickled beets to enhance the dressing.)

Add the quinoa to the boiling water, lower the heat to med-low, and cook for 18 minutes with a lid on the pot.  Remove pan from heat and allow quinoa to cool thoroughly in large bowl.

Remove bowl of quinoa from refrigerator. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, adding the cucumbers, dill, feta, scallions and dressing (beets later).

Make the dressing by whisking the oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and honey.  Add a sprinkle of salt (garlic salt is nice), a few grinds of pepper. Add about 2/3 of the dressing to the quinoa and vegetables in the bowl.  Stir gently.

Plate the salad and top with the beets (they won’t bleed all over the other ingredients this way). Drizzle the remaining dressing onto the salad.

If you wish to avoid dairy, toasted walnuts are a good protein to add to this salad.

The salad will keep, finished, in the refrigerator, for 3 days….but you might want to keep the beets separated in their own dressing until ready to serve–they will be lightly pickled!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  I’m always on the lookout for new combinations that are not only Health-Wise, but taste DIFFERENT but GOOD!

Leave a comment at the bottom!  See you soon—–>>>CHEERS!!!


June 6. 2018

You’ll notice a new look, starting today. Latest posts will be at the top of the page you visit.  No more paging to find out what’s new.

And we’re going to move on to other Health-Wise recipes that involve more than just pre- and probiotics. Someone asked me, “Are we supposed to be eating prebiotic and probiotic foods all the time?”

Well, yes…and no.  Those posts were ideas to help attain better gut health, and therefore, better whole body health. I implement fermented foods and fiber as much as I can.  It’s working for me.

But, of course, we don’t eat only those foods mentioned in the posts. And it’s summer, so we’re grilling and eating foods that don’t make those lists in the posts.  But we can add them as sides, condiments to improve the value of the over-all meal.

And that’s where we’re headed now–how to make many of your favorite recipes  healthier: lighter versions of classics, healthy meals with a French twist, foods we want to eat but which NEED to be healthier.  So, stay tuned!

And soon, I’m going to involve you in a GAME!  You know how “Chopped” works on TV, right? Well, I’m going to have you  “chop” ME through the blog! We’ll announce the winning combination via Facebook!  More later…

For now, let’s start with SALADS and GRAIN BOWLS.

………back later—–>>> CHEERS!


June 5, 2018

Wonderful brined-and-fermented sauerkraut!  But first off, I’ve learned something recently: if you don’t make your own sauerkraut at home, you should buy REFRIGERATED kraut only.  Why? Because, as the experts tell me, sauerkraut is a living thing and the more it’s processed, the less prebiotic power it has.  So, I’m buying my kraut in the refrigerated section of the store from now on! A great one is Farmhouse Culture (Organic),  which comes with different flavors/seasonings added.  I bought the Classic Caraway,  since I wanted to start with something familiar.

First prep:  I merely warmed it a bit and smothered it over a Pork Loin Chop with cauliflower rice mash-sour cream (I like it as well as potatoes anymore).

That sauerkraut had more honest flavor than any of the canned OR jarred brands I have bought.  I have switched!  (I can’t imagine what it would do to bratwurst at a picnic!)

So there I had the prebiotic sauerkraut and probiotic sour cream (just a teaspoon in my serving), as well as the goodness of cauliflower. Most of the probiotic power of store-bought sour cream has died as a result of processing. But…WAIT!…GOOD NEWS!

Giant, Target, and Harris Teeter sell Horizon Organic cultured sour cream.  “Microbial enzymes”–the good bugs–are listed as the second of two ingredients, the other being cultured pasteurized organic cream.


What an easy way to put some good-for-you probiotics on the table or in a recipe—hopefully, uncooked, of course.

P.S., If you’re starting to get confused about what is a PRObiotic and which foods are PREbiotics, especially since both can be fermented and contain live cultures,  just remember that PREbiotics contain a lot of FIBER (like the fermented asparagus, pickles, beets.  Probiotic sour cream is not fibrous.

More soon—–>>CHEERS!!!

Pickled Vegetables (Asparagus, here)


I mentioned trying to do something with asparagus, a great probiotic promoter of your gut health.

But what if we pickled the asparagus to make it even more potent?  Besides, I like pickled things:  cauliflower, red beets, hard-boiled eggs left over night in pickled red beet juice (pretty!), and pickles of any kind.  It might help that I half of my brain is German when it comes to eating! Here are those babies waiting to be pickled!!


I used the following ingredients:

  • about 1 lb. of fresh asparagus…I just trimmed mine, but you might like 3″ pieces
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 TBL. kosher salt
  • a few grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1/2 TBL of pickling spice or just use 1 tsp. dried dill or 2 heads of fresh dill  plus 1 tsp of whole mustard seed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peel off, slightly crush
  • 2 tsp. honey

Place all ingredients(except asparagus) in a large saute pan…one wide enough to hold your asparagus. Bring to a boil.  Add asparagus and cook just long enough to soften the asparagus but keep some crunch. It might only be a minute, if your asparagus is thin.

Pull asparagus out and place on top of a bed of ice cubes to stop the cooking process.

Place cooled asparagus in a glass container/jar with a lid. (Metal may react with the vinegar and ruin the taste.)


Continue to simmer the liquid to reduce it a little and concentrate flavors, about 5 minutes. Put the pan with the liquid into the remaining ice cubes.

When the liquid has cooled, pour it over the asparagus in the container and store in the refrigerator.  Overnight is better, but they will be good “quick pickled” in a few hours.

ALTERNATIVE:  if you don’t want to fuss with making your own pickling brine, you can lightly steam the asparagus, cool it on ice and then pour on reserved juice from your favorite jar of dill pickles or pickled onions. This is good with steamed cauliflower florets, too!

And so now we have a great, healthy addition to our picnic tomorrow!!  Have fun!!


Kimchi and Aged Gouda Sourdough Sandwiches

If we are going to talk about fermented things, we MUST mention KIMCHI!!

What is it?  Basically, salted and fermented napa cabbage, Korean radishes, seasonings like chili powder, scallions, garlic, ginger, and some type of salted seafood (like a bit of anchovy—umami !!–you won’t taste it.)  It’s on the spicy side, but not aggressive.

So, this sandwich that I prepared today is a triple whammy:  fermented vegetables (esp. cabbage and onions), aged Gouda cheese, and sourdough bread. A real prebiotic boost!

If this sandwich looks yummy…it IS!!

20180602_123448.jpgFor each sandwich, you will need:

  • 2  one-half inch slices of sourdough bread–get it in the bakery section
  • 1/2 cup grated aged Gouda cheese (mine was aged 18 mos.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kimchi from the jar (mine was Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi, located in the marketplace area of Wegman’s, where the gluten-free items are, etc.
  • Spray Pam in a cast iron pan (or a panini sandwich maker) heating up on medium high. Then spray the outer sides of the bread and put them down in the pan for a few minutes to brown. (Keep checking them!)

When the bread is partly toasted, cover one slice with the Gouda and put a lid on the pan for a minute.  Then top the cheese with the chopped Kimchi, flip the other piece of bread on top of the Kimchi, and put the lid back on. Toast for a couple of minutes, flipping to make sure everything is warmed through. Slice and serve!

I’m sure you could add a thin slice of corned beef, but that would add a lot of calories….but, sometimes…you know???

My next project with the remaining Kimchi will be to try pumpernickel rye bread with aged Swiss cheese. I have a feeling that will lead to another delicious culinary experience!

And then there’s SAUERKRAUT……….’til next time—–>>>Cheers!

Thanks for joining me!  Discover Health-Wise for recipes with your health in mind!

What we should be doing is that about which we are most passionate.

So………….here we are again!   I had to take down my last blog as the editing kept producing duplicates which conflicted with each other….probably the operator, not the machine….

But I said I’d delve into the wisdom of probiotics (good gut bacteria) and prebiotics (those that feed the good bacteria).  If we have a severe imbalance or low level of good gut bacteria, we can gain weight (especially belly fat), develop skin rashes, and just feel poorly, in general. Among other things.

We can buy (super-) expensive probiotic and prebiotic supplements or we can try to manage with foods that promote good “gut health.” So, let’s just dive right in here………….

When I first tuned into this, I thought…. oh boy, no more steak…and it’s grillin’ season!!       So the first recipe I found myself buying ingredients for was…wait…what?….STEAK?


Flank Steak with Chipotle Marinade

We need protein, of course, so this lean cut of meat, as long as it is GRASS-FED beef, fills the bill.  The portion (always controlled, right? 😉 is 4 OZ.

Oh, and by the way, if you don’t want to do beef, this marinade is super on chicken, fish and grilled vegetables!

You will need:

  • About 1 1/4 lb. flank steak
  • 1 cup of goat’s milk yogurt (gives the steak a luscious tenderness)–Redwood Hill is a good one
  • 1 Tbl. lime juice
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 TBL. dijon mustard
  • 1 teas. cumin
  • 1 TBL sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a few grinds of pepper
  • sea salt for serving

Combine all of the above in a bowl and pour into a zip top bag.  Add the flank steak, push out the air, zip it and refrigerate for AT LEAST an hour and up to 8 hours. (I marinated mine for 2.

Here is your goat’s milk yogurt steak:


I added a TBL of the goat’s milk yogurt to some steamed cauliflower, onions and garlic, to make a cauliflower mash (healthier than potatoes), and Romaine lettuce with homemade chipotle ranch dressing (fewer calories and fat than the bottled ones).

The onions and garlic go into the other category, we’ve mentioned:  the PREbiotics, which help feed the PRObiotics.  Here is a list of the top 9 prebiotic foods. Add these to your list of probiotics (May 29 post)  and you have some of the best foods on the planet to stock your pantry and fridge with (ranked in order of prebiotic POWER!!):

  • Acacia powder–health food stores, consume up to a TBL. with water or juice
  • Chicory root–Moutain Rose Herbs sell the roasted root (recipes for chicory coffee at
  • Jerusalem artichoke–peel, chop, and add to salads
  • Dandelion greens–just don’t pick them from your YARD!!!–chop finely and add to salads
  • Leeks–make great soups
  • Onions (esp. carmelized)
  • Garlic
  • Jicama–tastes somewhat like a pear; you can just snack on strips of them
  • Asparagus–we all know how health-wise this vegetable is!!

Of course, the less cooking you do, the more of the original prebiotic and probiotic POWER you preserve.  So a light steaming if best.

If you like to cook, you probably use SOME of the items in the two lists quite a bit.  I know I start almost every dish for my clients with garlic and onions.  They add a lot of flavor and they’re a good, healthy addition to a dish.

Try the recipe…or other suggestions…and leave a comment on the last page!  (Click on CONTACT on the home page.)

I wish you the best until next time….maybe we’ll play with asparagus…I need to find a different way to serve it…hmmmmm….

June 1–summer’s not far off!  (But it feels like August here in the Mid-Atlantic).

I wanted to add a pic to this first page before moving on to fermented/pickled things (YUM!).

I had so much goat’s milk yogurt left over from the large container I bought that I decided to replicate the marinade and use it on some St Louis Ribs last night.  Well, they were great!  I was a little hesitant to serve it to friends, because almost everyone expects sweet/sour/heat on their ribs. This tasted like a dry rub, but the ribs themselves were tender and not dry.  I marinated them in the above marinade recipe for about 3 hours, then grilled them to get some good marks.  Then I baked them at 350 degrees for a little over 90 minutes.

And here they are:ribs2

A big shout-out to my new food photographer, Justin Knapfel!!
He made ’em look as good as they tasted!!  haha
 Contact him for YOUR project:     


….now on to page two and those …..Fermented Things…

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