It is now early August, and as I awoke this morning the first thought that floated across my mind was that winter is long gone, the delicate spring flowers have been replaced by bursting vegetable gardens, and the hot, lazy days of summer are in full swing. So, what’s to eat that keeps me on the light side, both in terms of foods and my waistline? For many of you, this blog post may be a keeper for the same reasons.
During the summer months, we seem to want lighter meals that minimize the time we spend in a hot kitchen. As some of you may know from my previous blog posts, I love, love old herbal and food magazines and have quite a collection to draw from. Looking through some of them for light and easy recipes, I happened on the one issue I have of New Health, from November 1981.
As I turned the pages, I was greeted with a great assortment of recipes that focused on eating light and staying light. What a gift! Most of my blog posts are generally wordy and sometimes complex. This one will be shorter, but it is deep and hardy with plenty of these wonderful oldie recipes. I hope you make it a point to get them from my post to your inbox! Oh, and please feel free to comment below on those you like best and why.
What Does an “Eat Light, Stay Light” Menu Look Like?
The menus I’ve included are simply suggestions and include only breakfast and dinner. The recipes below are a great way to modify the menu, and of course you can substitute whatever light meals that are already on your favorites list.
Calories aren’t an issue in my meals, and therefore I usually eat whatever sounds good to me, so long as it’s organic and follows the Weston A. Price food philosophy advocated by Sally Fallon Morrell and the wondrous food principles promoted by Dr. Royal Lee.
My reasoning for excluding the luncheon menu is that we all eat at different times of the day. Some of us sleep later, and our breakfast is really a brunch. However, most of us eat two full meals a day. I suggest eating a small snack or smoothie in between or simply going without.
Note: For a heartier breakfast that will carry you longer into the day, try reversing these menus and eating the dinner for breakfast.
Monday: Uncooked applesauce, whole grain sourdough bread, raw butter, kefir.
Tuesday: Yogurt over frozen blueberries, raw cheese slices, herb tea.
Wednesday: Fruit salad topped with sunflower or pumpkin seeds, drink of choice.
Thursday: Apple slices with almond butter, bacon, and raw milk.
Friday: Papaya topped with granola, herb tea.
Saturday: Scrambled eggs, bacon, sourdough bread, raw butter, fresh orange juice.
Sunday: Optional fast day or eat breakfast out.
Monday: Minced fresh greens and tomato salad topped with canned salmon.
Tuesday: Turkey slices and steamed cauliflower with melted cheese, raw apple slices.
Wednesday: Broiled steak topped with raw butter, small potato with sour cream, cucumber salad.
Thursday: Baked chicken breast, steamed asparagus, shredded carrots with yogurt.
Friday: Chilled cucumber soup, filet of sole, steamed mixed vegetables.
Saturday: Box lunch picnic at park: chicken wings, raw veggie slices, sourdough buns.
Sunday: Dinner in a fancy restaurant.
Before I go on to the recipes, let me recommend a few products for achieving a healthy lifestyle. These may be especially helpful if you’re a newbie to eating well!
An important point to remember about eating light is that it does not by any stretch of the imagination mean eating whatever looks good regardless of its nutritional value. We still need to be conscious that whether our meals are light, heavy, or somewhere inbetween, they must first and foremost contain nutrient dense ingredients. For that reason, a little education is always a great way to understand what “nutrient dense” means. I am therefore recommending that you treat yourself to the following enjoyable books and a DVD/booklet combo that will go a long way to setting you on the right path.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. “Sally Fallon—founder and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, nutrition researcher, lecturer, and mother of four—takes readers through the ages, breaking down how our present food supply has been corrupted and what each of us can do to start eating healthfully again. Based on the brilliant research of Dr. Weston Price, this bestselling cookbook delivers hundreds of facts and recipes, written in clear, concise terms, that reveal the wisdom of traditional human diets and put to rest the dietary myths of modern nutrition. Whether you’re a nutrition beginner or a longtime practitioner, this book delivers the goods!”
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is! by Stephanie Selene Anderson. “Ditch the fads and get to the fundamentals. Start your journey to better health through superior nutrition in the pages of this revised and expanded edition of Stephanie Selene Anderson’s deceptively slim guide to healthy food shopping. You’ll learn why Dr. Michael Gaeta calls it ‘the real deal for real food.’” (Available in print and ebook editions.)
Cook Your Way to Wellness DVD. “Cook Your Way to Wellness features 90 minutes of careful, detailed instruction for making kefir, whey, beet kvass, fermented veggies, kombucha, bone broth, butter, and beef jerky. The accompanying Tell Me More booklet supplements the many questions that inevitably come up for beginners (and sometimes even experts). Together, this DVD-and-booklet or e-learning-and-PDF set will boost your nutritional levels overnight.”
Now read on for some of those yummy recipes I discovered in my New Health magazine from November 1981.
Ripe apples of your choice (mixed varieties), washed.
Apple juice (organic) unsweetened
Powdered cinnamon or allspice
Cut and core washed apples. Peel apples if they are waxed. Place a few pieces at a time in blender with a small amount of apple juice to start the blender working smoothly. Add cinnamon to taste. Refrigerate or serve at room temperature.
1 cup homemade mayonnaise (recipe in Nourishing Traditions)
1 minced garlic clove
1–2 minced parsley stalks
1–2 minced green onions (scallions)
1 teaspoon tamari (Red Boat Fermented Soy Sauce)
½ cup fresh alfalfa sprouts
Place all ingredients in a blender and buzz for a few seconds. For thicker dressing, mix in two extra tablespoons mayonnaise by hand after removing mixture from blender. Shake well before using. Variation: substitute the mayonnaise with 1 cup plain whole-fat yogurt plus 1 teaspoon raw honey. For greener dressings add more parsley.
Chilled Cucumber Soup
1 cucumber, chopped (peel if waxed)
½–1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 celery stalk, chopped
½ ripe avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
Dash of cloves
Place all ingredients in blender with about a ¼ cup of water or more, depending on the size of the cucumber. Puree until smooth. Serve in bowls and top with grated carrots, pecans, or fresh green sprouts. Substitute tomato juice or yogurt for all or some of the water.
Minced Vegetable Salad
Black olives (optional)
Lemon juice (optional)
Mince vegetables finely to make a moist dish. Toss gently with sesame seeds. Sprinkle with lemon juice or your favorite dressing, although this is a wet salad and really requires no extra dressing.
⅔ cup almonds, cashews, or sesame seeds
Soak the almonds, cashews, or sesame seeds overnight with 1 teaspoon of salt. Rinse well the next day and place the soaked nuts in blender or Vitamix with 1 quart of water. Refrigerate immediately and use same day. Personal note: Nut milks are not a good substitute for real, whole, raw milk but can be used on occasion and/or to complement some dish requiring a liquid nondairy substitute.
Basic Tossed Root Salad with Sprouts
If you like, you may slightly steam and cool the grated carrots and beets before adding them to the salad. Additionally, if crunch is essential to your taste, dehydrate the sunflower seeds for a few hours or overnight.
Alfalfa or sandwich sprouts
Lettuce bits (leaf and romaine)
Sunflower seeds (previously soaked, as indicated in the Nut Milk recipe above)
Natural organic or homemade dressing of your choice
Prepare vegetables listed above. Toss in a bowl. Add the dressing of your choice. If you chose not to slightly steam the vegetables, serve immediately to prevent the raw veggies from oxidizing.
Whole Meal Salad
Washed lettuce leaves (darker leaves best)
Young spinach leaves
Sliced cucumber or zucchini
Sliced green onion with green tips
Sliced yellow squash
Cubes of natural raw cheese or baked chicken chunks
Natural organic or homemade dressing of your choice
Prepare vegetables listed above. Toss in a bowl. Add dressing and serve at once. If serving to a large gathering, use two bowls and place salad in the larger bowl that has chipped ice in it. That will keep a larger salad fresh.
Mixed Sprout Salad
Sprouted wheat berries, steamed
Slices of red onion, very thin
Toss all vegetables with sprouts, adding other vegetables of your choice or whatever might be in season or from your garden. Adding a creamy dressing with crispy nuts sprinkled over the top will make a very satisfying meatless dinner meal.
Stir-Fried Vegetables with Tamari Almonds
Coconut oil, lard, or tallow
1 garlic clove, minced
Lightly steamed broccoli pieces
Chopped zucchini or yellow squash
Chopped tomatoes, ripe but firm
Mung bean sprouts
Tamari almonds (recipe below)
Preheat wok or frying pan, add fat and heat for a few minutes. Add broccoli and squash, then stir fry 3–4 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to prevent burning. Next, add scallions and mushrooms. Stir fry for 1–2 minutes. Finally, gently stir in tomatoes and bean sprouts. Remove from heat. Toss gently with tamari almonds.
For the tamari almonds: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 1–2 cups of crispy almonds on a cookie sheet and heat slightly or until slightly browned, not more than 5–10 minutes. Spread over your stir fry and enjoy!
And last but not least, permit me to add my own emery-packed smoothie…
—A Traditional Cook original recipe. (Note: no added sweeteners, please.)
1 cup raw milk (preferred) or organic non-homogenized milk
1 tablespoon Calcifood Powder
1 raw egg yolk from pastured hens eating organic, soy-free feed (optional)
Blueberries or ½ a banana (optional, but these are good additions)
1 Protefood capsule (provides all your amino acids)
Mix all ingredients except Protefood and blend in a Vitamix or blender. Open Protefood capsule and mix with smoothie. Enjoy with raw butter on toast.
Note from Maria: I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, CNHP, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any human diseases. Please see your medical doctor prior to following any recommendations I make in my blogs or on my website.