I’m old school in that I believe Sundays are very special and we should observe them as such. Not only does the Old Testament command that we observe a day of rest (Exodus 20:8), but it is also a scientific fact that resting one day out of the week is essential.
In a blog post I wrote about the importance of giving your brain a rest, I included the following quote from essayist Tim Kreider, which I discovered in the inspiring Scientific American article “Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime”:
“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.”
In searching for special recipes on this special day, I wanted to make sure they center one of the most nutrient dense ingredients if ever there was one! What is it? Butter.
Yes, butter is by far one of the healthiest foods that our loving cows provide. It is even #1 on the list of the Fourteen Super Foods recommended by Sally Fallon Morrell. In this case, I am of course talking about organic butter from grass-fed cows raised on the open green fields of many small farms.
Fresh butter from raw cream is superior to any other form. Just see what Dr. Royal Lee says about butter substitutes in his article “Butter, Vitamin E, and the X Factor of Weston Price”:
The physical penalties for using a synthetic, imitation, chemically embalmed substitute for butter seem to be quite drastic. Some appear to be:
- Sexual castration for the growing child, in more or less degree, with oversized females who are fatter and taller than the boys. (Remember, meat animals are castrated for the purpose of making them fat.)
- Loss of ability to maintain calcified structures such as teeth and bones. Dental caries, pyorrhea, arthritis, etc., would be logical end results that would inevitably follow, especially in view of the added influence of other refined and devitalized foods. Dr. Weston Price’s experience in curing arthritis, dental diseases, and lowered resistance [to infection] with good butter directly bears out this conclusion.
- Evidence is accumulating to show that multiple sclerosis is a result of deficiencies, in which the vitamin E complex (as found in butter) is vitally involved.12Furthermore, vitamin E is now found to be a remedy for the disorders of menopause,13 showing how these deficiency diseases follow their victim through life.
This list could be extended almost without limit, but we feel we have established our case.
Dr. Price cites the case of an Eskimo woman “who had had twenty children so easily that she did not bother to wake her husband when the birth occurred at night. The daughter had very narrow dental arches and a boyish type of body build. Unlike her mother, she had a very severe experience in the birth of her only child and insisted she would not take the risk of another…”
Deformity due to the poor nutritional status of the parents may of course be of mild or severe character. The narrow arches, nostrils, and hips and the susceptibility to dental caries that Dr. Price found among primitive peoples who had shifted from a good, tribal food pattern to a poor, civilized food pattern should be rated as mild deformities since they handicap the individual’s ability to function without destroying his social validity.14
—Dr. Royal Lee, “Butter, Vitamin E, and the X Factor of Weston Price,” available at the SRP Historical Archives (see full article for references).
The Weston A. Price Foundation Shopping Guide is a wonderful resource for locating farmers that provide fresh butter. Some of them also offer mail order and shipping in the winter months. And of course, you could always learn how to make your own butter!
By the way, did you know that you can buy premium butter from grass-fed animals in a can? Use it for your favorite dish or put it away for long-term storage in case of a disaster.
In their article “Why Butter Is Better,” Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig talk about some of the nutritional goodness of butter:
“Butter contains lecithin, a substance that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents.
“Butter also contains a number of… [vitamins and minerals] that protect against the kind of free radical damage that weakens the arteries. Vitamin A and vitamin E found in butter both play a strong…role [in health]. Butter is a very rich source of selenium…containing more per gram than herring or wheat germ.
“Butter is also a good dietary source of cholesterol. What?? Cholesterol is…[health-giving]? Yes indeed, cholesterol is flooded into the blood when we take in too many harmful free-radicals—usually from damaged and rancid fats in margarine and highly processed vegetable oils. A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine.”
Hopefully by now your mouth is watering for some great ways to use butter. I have therefore provided ten wonderful recipes below to try out on your special rest day.
Mmm…Sunday Brunch Recipes for Family and Friends
The following recipes have been adapted with permission from Go Bold with Butter. All ingredients should be organic, and I recommend King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour when flour is called for.
Finally, although I’ve chosen these recipes for a late Sunday morning brunch or midafternoon dinner, feel free to use them anytime—just be sure it’s a day of rest!
Broccoli Ham and Cheddar Biscuits
—Makes 12 biscuits
1 small broccoli crown, cut into small florets and rinsed
3 cups organic white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
⅔ cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing tins, melted and cooled
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup diced ham
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce or red pepper flakes (optional for spicier biscuits)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cupcake tin with melted butter and set aside. Fill medium pot with water and bring to boil. Add broccoli and cook until bright green and tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer to large bowl filled with ice water. Allow to cool down and then drain once more. Set aside.
- In large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add eggs, melted butter, and buttermilk. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix! Chop cooked broccoli and add it to the batter, along with ham and cheese. Fold until well incorporated.
- Evenly divide batter among prepared cupcake pan, filling to the top of each. Bake 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool down on a wire rack before eating. Enjoy! (These can be made 2 days in advance and be stored in the fridge until ready to eat. Just rewarm in the oven.)
Eggs Benedict Casserole
8 English muffins (such as Rudi’s organic whole grain wheat English muffins)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 (6 oz.) packages Canadian bacon, quartered
2 cups whole milk
8 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
¼ teaspoon paprika
For the hollandaise sauce:
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside. Split open each English muffin and then cut each piece in half. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Bake until golden brown, about 10–12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Place half of the English muffin pieces in the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the Canadian bacon. Repeat with the remaining bread and bacon.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Pour over the bread and bacon. Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove from the fridge and allow it to sit as the oven preheats to 375°F. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Remove foil and keep baking until the casserole is golden brown and a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle, about 15–18 minutes.
- To make the hollandaise sauce, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a large bowl until pale and doubled in size. Place over a pot of barely simmering water and cook, stirring constantly, until the egg yolks have warmed through, about 5 minutes. Keep the heat low and continue to whisk so as to not cook the eggs. Slowly whisk in the melted butter in a steady stream until the mixture comes together smoothly and has doubled and thickened. Season with salt and cayenne pepper.
- Cover hollandaise and keep warm until ready to serve. If the sauce thickens too much as it sits, whisk in a tablespoon or so of warm water to loosen it up.
- Once the casserole is done, remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Top with warm hollandaise sauce and garnish with chives and paprika before serving.
For the biscuit crust:
1⅔ cups organic white whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon fine grain salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the topping:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Sea salt and pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
3 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
5 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
2 fresh Campari tomatoes, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped scallions (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare the biscuit crust: Place flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk and the melted butter. Mix together until just combined. Pour the mixture out onto a flour-dusted work surface and dust the top of the dough with flour.
- Knead the flour briefly and gather into a disk. Roll dough out onto a greased baking sheet or pizza pan to about 12 inches in diameter. Prick the crust about 1 inch from the dough’s edge with the tines of a fork. Bake 12–15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and spread the room temperature butter over the crust. Let the crust cool while you prepare the topping. (Keep the oven at 425°F while you work.)
- To prepare the topping, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into a large bowl. Add the heavy cream and whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper and whisk again. Pour mixture into the hot pan and scramble the eggs until well-cooked but not rubbery.
- Place scrambled eggs on top of the biscuit crust and sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top. Arrange the slices of fresh mozzarella over the eggs and cheddar. Top with the chopped bacon. Return pizza to the oven and bake 7–10 minutes, or until the cheeses are melted and gooey. Remove from the oven and top with the tomato slices. Scatter with chopped scallions while pizza is hot. Serve immediately.
Softened butter, for greasing baking dish
3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons butter
8 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1½ cups shredded gouda cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons organic white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with softened butter. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with one-third of the potatoes. Layer one-third each of the onions and garlic over the potatoes. Dot with 1 tablespoon of the butter, then sprinkle with one-third each of the crumbled bacon, gouda, and cheddar. Repeat steps with the remaining ingredients in two more layers, ending with the layer of cheese on the top.
- Whisk cream, milk and flour in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper and stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 70 minutes. Remove foil and return dish to the oven for another 20–25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and the top is browned and bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Casserole
This casserole can be prepared ahead of time. Cover unbaked casserole with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for up to 1 day. Remove plastic wrap and bake, increasing the cook time to 35–40 minutes.
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, divided
1½ lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
8 oz. button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
Sea salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons organic whole wheat white flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (homemade is primo if you have it on hand)
1 cup half and half
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 (6 oz.) can French fried onions
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in large skillet set over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to separate bowl and set aside.
- Add mushrooms and onions to skillet. Season with sea salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 5–6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add to Brussels sprouts.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet. Add flour and whisk to form thick paste. Gradually add chicken or vegetable stock, whisking constantly. Whisk in half and half. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, whisking frequently. Simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine Brussels sprouts mixture with sauce and pour into prepared casserole dish. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and combine with breadcrumbs in medium bowl. Add French fried onions. Scatter mixture on top of the casserole and bake until topping is bubbly and brown, about 20–25 minutes.
Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 medium shallot, minced
Coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons organic white whole wheat flour
2 cups milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
12 oz. egg noodles, cooked
2 (4 oz.) cans good quality tuna such as albacore
1 cup frozen peas
6 oz. grated gruyere cheese
½ cup panko
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a wide skillet. Add minced shallot and a small pinch of sea salt. Sauté about three minutes until it starts to brown. Whisk in flour until it becomes a paste. Add milk in a thin stream, whisking as you go.
- Next, add the zest and juice from the lemon, along with another pinch of sea salt. Add cooked egg noodles, tuna, and peas to the sauce, tossing to coat. Sprinkle gruyere over the top and bake for 25 minutes (30 minutes tops), until the cheese is browning in places and starting to bubble.
- In the meantime, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a smaller skillet. Add the panko with a pinch of sea salt and brown in the butter for about three minutes until crispy. Serve the casserole garnished with anything you like, along with the crunchy panko topping.
Stovetop Tomato Basil Chicken
3 tablespoons butter
3–4 chicken thighs or breasts
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup tomato sauce
¼ cup packed basil leaves, finely chopped
- Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken to pan and cook 6–8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and lightly browned. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside. Add garlic to pan and sauté 1–2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add tomato sauce, remaining Italian seasoning, and chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and allow to simmer 5–8 minutes. Transfer chicken back to pan and cover with sauce. Serve hot.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
8 oz. penne pasta
4 slices bacon, chopped
½ lb. boneless chicken breast, cubed
Sea salt and pepper
½ cup butter
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Add cubed chicken to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5–8 minutes until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside with the bacon.
- Add butter, sour cream, and garlic to the skillet. Melt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Return chicken, bacon, and drained pasta to the skillet, stirring to combine with the sauce. Add dill and chives and season with more sea salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.
For the graham cracker crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
For the blackberry filling:
1½ cups fresh blackberries, plus extra for topping
2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup light raw sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (read my great vanilla blog post here)
- For the graham cracker crust: Butter a 10-inch round pie dish. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, coconut sugar, and butter until combined. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pie dish. Set aside.
- For the blackberry filling: In small bowl, mash blackberries slightly with fork. Set aside. In large bowl, whip heavy cream with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside. Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, mashed blackberries, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Pour mixture on top of crust. Freeze 4 hours or overnight. Allow to thaw 10–15 minutes before cutting with sharp knife and serving. Top with fresh blackberries if desired.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
3–4 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast
Sea salt and pepper
2 tablespoon butter, divided
1 (14 oz. can) beef broth (about 2 cups)
1 small onion, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
2 garlic cloves
2–3 stems of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and sage
1 tablespoon organic white whole wheat flour
- Lightly season the roast with sea salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned roast and brown for several minutes on each side. Transfer roast to a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Pour beef broth into the slow cooker. Add onions, carrots, garlic, and herbs. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook until roast shreds easily with a fork (4–5 hours on high or 6–8 hours on low). Remove roast from slow cooker and cover to keep warm.
- Dump the broth and vegetables through a strainer, reserving the broth. Use a spoon to skim as much fat off the top of the broth as possible. Set aside vegetables to serve with roast.
- To make gravy, add the remaining tablespoon of butter to a skillet set over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour. Add broth to skillet, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk until thickened, about 2 minutes.
Serve over buttery mashed potatoes or with a fresh raw salad to make this a nice comfort meal![xyz-ihs snippet=”Begin-Authors-Note”]
Afterthoughts from the Traditional Cook
Here are some nice thoughts from Life as Mom about planning a rest day, and I feel they are worth quoting here (emphasis mine):
While I know that there are many different religious interpretations and practices for a rest day, I am going with the simple idea of taking a break from the work I usually do on the other days, incorporating recreation into my rest day, and otherwise trying to create a vacation one day a week. I can see proof of this in Scripture, so I’m going with it…
What I found in the early few weeks was that during the week when I came across something fun to do, I was able to assign it a day when I could actually do it! Previously, a fun activity was relegated to “someday.” Now, it is dedicated to happen this week!
I also discovered a lot more peace and rhythm to my weeks.
The last month has been one in which our weekends have been jam-packed with conferences, amusement parks, and family events. I have not had my rest day in the way that I was growing accustomed. And I miss it!
I know now that I can’t keep going like I once did. I know that my body and my brain need a day of fun and recreation. I need a rest day each week. In fact, now I crave it!
I’m finding that resting my mind, body, and soul, it helps me work better through the week.
Disclaimer: This website offers products that I have not used or subscribe to. Please do your own research to be sure they are appropriate should you decide to order.
Maria Atwood, CNHP[xyz-ihs snippet=”End-Authors-Note”]
Disclaimer from Maria Atwood, CNHP: 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 or health practitioner prior to following any recommendations I make in my blog posts or on my website.