|Growing up we had Sunday night BBQ Steak, and every week we had BBQ Hamburgers! I loved the smell of them cooking on the grill and was pleasantly surprised to find a delicious steak sandwich in my lunch on Monday mornings, thank you Mom!
I found out as an adult that I have a food sensitivity to Beef, and even it I weren’t I am sure I would not eat it because of the ways it raised and slaughtered in this country. After learning about “Mad Cow Disease” in Neurobiology class I was done with Beef. I wanted something that tastes like Beef, but was healthier.
Then, I found and fell in love with Bison(AKA Buffalo) on a trip to Montana; and hope you will too. My friends served Bison in many forms-roast, sausages etc.. and they were the most flavorful I had ever tasted without any hormones or additives that I avoid. I was delighted to find it sold at health food stores, specialty butchers and some local grocery meat counters. I have recently been ordering directly from the ranch where they graze on grass in Colorado.
What I learned later was that is has so many nutritional benefits. It is much lower in fat, calories and cholesterol and higher in protein, iron and vitamin B12 than chicken and beef! See chart below.
After my neurobiology class in 2005, I decided to never eat beef again…and I have not missed it to date. I was so excited to find Bison as a healthy alternative and quickly began testing all my favorite recipes that traditionally used beef. To my surprise, they were even better with Bison! My cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, has many recipes for buffalo including: Bourguignon, Chili, Meatloaf, Moussaka, Swedish Meatballs and Stroganoff. I also am an animal lover and am concerned about making environmentally friendly and humane choices in my food.
Buffalo/Bison are free range and graze on the green grassy hills.They are native to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and the Dakotas-and raised in Minnesota too. They were almost extinct, but are making a comeback thanks to ranchers and an increased demand. So, the more we eat the more we will support their proliferation.
I was happy to learn that Billionaire, Ted Turner owns 15 ranches in seven states, covering 1.9 million acres. That’s 3,000 square miles – bigger than Delaware or Rhode Island. They are to make money, to protect the environment and to promote the conservation of native species. The ranches have diverse revenue sources. The most visible is the sale of buffalo meat. Much of it is sold through Ted’s Montana Grill, a fast-growing chain of about 50 casual restaurants, the newest of which just opened in midtown Manhattan. (Turner oversees the restaurants with a partner, George McKerrow.) I will definitely be making a reservation for my next NY trip, how about you?! To learn more about his ranches go to his website or watch a rerun of Martha Stewart who dedicated a whole show to Buffalo/Bison and a visit with Ted Turner on one of his ranches. Read an article by Fortune magazine at
Ted’s Montana Grills now have Gluten free Menus! http://www.tedsmontanagrill.com/menu/download/TMGGlutenFreeMenu.pdf
Buffalo is also called Bison can be used interchangeably with beef in all recipes, so enjoy all your favorite dishes made healthier – buffalo burgers, tacos, buffalo chili, buffalo lasagna, buffalo stew – the list is endless.
Cooking Buffalo: See below along with internet searches with many sites including utube videos with Buffalo/Bison recipes.
Crock Pot Cooking
To order and more information go to: http://www.eagleswingnaturalbison.com
Or go to the Links page on this website for more sources
For more info and scientific studies and more go to:
I hope you will give Bison/Buffalo a try and fall in love with it as I did. You can order my cookbook on this site along with my Gluten-free Biscotti. See bison nutritional chart below. Be Well & Thrive into you Dreams, Lauren
When I got diagnosed with a dairy sensitivity 15 years ago, I had no problem giving up milk. At first the alternatives had a thinner, watery texture to me, but I got use to them. I did not mind the taste of most of them. Well, alternative milks have come a long way in 15 years, and there are a lot more to choose from now. I also love coconut milk and sometimes I add an organic can or homemade coconut milk from a Thai coconut to my nut or seed milk to thicken it, but not every week.
That said, have you read the ingredients on the labels of these milks? First of all, nuts are heavily sprayed with pesticide if they are not organic. I go to great lengths to eat organic so I don’t want to drink hidden pesticides or possible GMO’s that are not labeled. I certainly do not like the added oils either. The only oils I choose to eat are coconut, olive, grapeseed and avocado. Oils to avoid because they cause damage in our bodies for various reasons are: canola, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed. I could write an article on each one of these oils, but you just need to know that they are either toxic or cause health problems or do not have the necessary ratio of omega for our bodies optimal health! To learn more you can go to hear Dr. Tel-Oren at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUS5j39cnFE
Finally, I don’t like the added vitamins(don’t know quality or quantity needed), and many people are sensitive to the thickeners such as carageenan and xanthan gum.
So, what do we do? Make or own and control what you want to consume! Mine only contains raw nuts or seeds and good quality water, then you choose what else to add such as: sweetener of your choice, gluten-free vanilla, Himalayan sea salt etc…
You can find many youtube videos on how to make nut or seed milk. It is important to buy organic raw nuts because once nuts are heated the oils go rancid quickly and become a free radical(correlated with causing cancer). You can buy them online at http://www.organicfruitsandnuts.com or at your local health food store where they sell them often. Check the expiration dates and if they smell funny they are rancid, return them and find another source.
Finally, we must rotate our food and that includes nuts and seeds. If we eat the same kind of food, in this case nuts and seeds, everyday we can become sensitive and not be able to eat them without causing health problems! Do you know where 70% of your immune system is in your body? Answer: the intestines/your gut! So, we need to take care to not create food sensitivities, especially people who have a leaky gut and many people do! The main cause of a leaky gut is antibiotics and gluten, but that is another post. The solution is a rotation diet and eating seasonally(don’t buy it if it is not in season, just because you can).
Here is what I do, I make a pitcher of alternative milk each week and keep it in a glass or ceramic pitcher in the refrigerator. Each week of the month I use a different seed or nut for example, week 1 almond, week 2 sunflower, week 3 cashew, week for pumpkin seed. I also make sesame, hemp, hazelnut, brazil nut and this is what I use for anything I would use regular milk for, smoothies, in tea or coffee, over gluten-free cereal/GF oatmeal, in my dessert and savory recipes that call for milk. Every other week I will add coconut milk to my nut or seed milk to thicken it up. You can buy organic canned w/out preservatives such as sodium benzoate or ideally, make your own from a fresh Thai coconut, see you tube for videos. They also have coconut milk powder now which is convenient especially for traveling, but nothing is better than fresh Thai coconut. See my article on this blog about the health properties of coconut. Hint: It cannot build up as plaque in our arteries because it’s a medium chain fatty acid and it convert directly into energy when we eat it. There are many other health benefits and it tastes great!
In my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, I make a white sauce to replace milk in Bechamel with nut or seed milk which is used in other recipes including: creamed tuna, pot pies, macaroni and cheeze, stroganoff. I also use nut or seed milk in cakes, cookies, puddings and much more. For the recipe to make nut or seed milk go to http://nowheatnodairynoproblem.com/recipes/
Let us know by commenting below what nut and seed milk you make and love. Feel free to ask questions too!
Apparently this vodka has been around since 2009, but I’ve never seen it or heard about it until now! I’m really looking forward to having an alternative to regular vodka that can be made from wheat or potatoes. I like the potato vodka, but have not tried the quinoa yet. Here is what I found out about Fair Spirit Quinoa Vodka:
Fair Spirits great taste comes from our high quality quinoa with a special production process – the result of a two-year joint research project between French distillers and Bolivian farmers.
Quinoa is the mother of all grains and is an ancient power food used by Incan warriors 5000 years ago. Quinoa is gluten free.
We source our quinoa from the Andean mountains of Bolivia. The Altiplano plateau is over 3000m above sea level where the quinoa grows in fertile soil on volcanic rock.
JUDGE’S TASTING NOTES
“Very smooth, fruity, spicy vodka that will shine with a nice chill or in martinis”
50 BEST IMPORTS
SF WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION
BEVERAGE TESTING INSTITUTE
Hi Everyone! Check out my new page on this blog where I can personally assist you on your journey to better health and happiness. I’m now offering new services for people who live afar via Skype and those who live in the SF/SJ Bay area! Please feel free to share. This is a great gift too.
I have a new 6 week cooking series in January at New Leaf in Santa Cruz! Check it out and sign up at
Let’s all have a Happy, Healthy 2014!
Be Well and Thrive, Chef Lauren
Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving that was Gluten-free of course!;)
Breakfast: First things first, I eat pie for breakfast the day after! You can also make Turkey Hash with small diced cooked or raw potatoes and/or yams, diced onions and parsley, poultry seasoning in a big cast iron pan. Top with fried eggs.
Eggs Benedict withTurkey or ham if you had that-see Hollandaise Sauce recipe in my cookbook.
What can I make with leftover Turkey from Thanksgiving? Tired of eating plain turkey the same old way? Here are some ideas and recipe referrals from my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem:
Creamed Turkey(see “cream” sauce and creamed Tuna/Vegetable recipes)-make cream sauce and add diced Turkey, green peas, poultry seasoning and serve over rice, quinoa or rice pasta.
Turkey Pot Pie-use Chicken Pot Pie recipe and substitute Turkey for Chicken! Yum!
BBQ Turkey Sandwich-shred Turkey and pour your favorite GF BBQ Sauce over it(I like Organicville BBQ Sauce . Many BBQ sauces have gluten from adding soy sauce which contains wheat! Heat in a pot over low-medium heat, until it is simmering. Any tomato product will burn easily especially if it contains any kind of sweetener. Toast your GF bun(I love Schar baugettes or rolls made in Italy sold at the Beehive in San Jose, CA). Slice the bun in half and pour the BBQ Turkey over it, roll up those sleeves and have lots of paper towels and maybe a gluten-free beer or sparkling soda sweetened with agave or stevia!
You can make your own healthier soda with flavored stevia and sparkling water-kids love it! SSShhhh, this may be the once in a blue moon you’ll catch me with a Coke made in Mexico b/c it is made with real sugar and not corn syrup. Forget the diet, the sweeteners are very unhealthy. Aspartame is made from ant poison which is a neurotoxin! Yes it is true.
Turkey Salad/Sandwich: add organic mayonnaise(we love Grapeseed Veganaise) to diced Turkey, chopped pecans or walnuts, diced celery, diced organic apple, chiffonade(finely sliced) fresh basil, dried cranberries. Serve on a bed of lettuce or use romaine lettuce and make a wrap or gluten free/wheat free bread with mayonnaise and cranberry sauce.
Turkey Burritos: Fill GMO-free organic corn tortillas with Turkey and refried or black beans-top with guacamole and fresh/refrigerated salsa. Add Daiya cheese alternative and be sure to heat until it is melted.
Turkey Tacos: Fill organic corn tortillas, that have been heated in a pan with a little oil, with diced or shredded Turkey, organic baby tomatoes halved, baby greens: arugula, mache, micro-greens. Top with guacamole and fresh/refrigerated salsa.
Ultimate Turkey Sandwich: Gluten-free Schar or Udi’s bread, cranberry sauce, Toffuti(soy cream cheese) or organic mayonnaise. This was served in a Victorian House Restaurant I worked at as a teenager-originally with regular cream cheese on Brioche bread! Yummy!
Brad’s favorite Turkey Sandwich: Gluten-free Foccacia(Canyon Bakehouse) heated at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, cool and slice into squares and cut in half with a serrated knife. Add homemade pesto to your favorite mayonnaise, add avocado and lettuce or arugala, fresh pepper and turkey.
The classic Hot Turkey Sandwich: Gluten-free bread(toasted), hot mashed potatoes, hot sliced Turkey, hot Gravy and cold cranberry sauce! Now that is what I call comfort food!
Thai Curry: Red Curry Paste, coconut milk, turkey, thai basil, broccoli florets or veggie of choice-serve over brown rice. I like Mae Ploy brand curry paste-no preservatives. Quick, easy, flavorful and delicious. Beware not to use more than 1 Tablespoon of Mae Ploy curry paste-it is very spicy!
Turkey Stock: Put Turkey carcass into a large stock pot, add celery hearts/stalks, carrots, onion, bouquet garni(thyme, parsley, peppercorns) tied in cheesecloth or loose. Bring to a boil, scoop foam off the top with laddle. Turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered for 1 hour. Or if you can put it in a crockpot, with 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, on low and simmer for 2 days for the maximum health benefits! Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Strain and store stock in mason jars in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze(leave 1/2 inch of room at top to expand). Use fresh within one day to make Turkey Soup. Scrape off all meat for Turkey soup or at least feed to the dog and discard all bones(do not feed to the dog) and vegetables and bouquet garni.
Turkey Soup: Bring stock to a boil and add sliced carrots and any vegetables you like(cooking times will vary-softer vegetables cook faster). Turn down to a simmer and cook until vegetables are fork tender, not mushy, about 5-10 minutes. Add Turkey, top with fresh chopped parley or herbs and serve immediately. You can also add cooked rice or cooked quinoa/rice pasta such as penne or fussilli. Do not attempt to cook the rice or pasta in the stock as it will be too starchy.
Variations on Soup:
Mexican-add tortilla chips, avocado chunks, diced jalapeno, chopped cilantro instead of parsley
Asian- add Gluten-free Tamari(wheat free soy sauce), rice noodles, cilantro, grated ginger, sliced scallions and a Thai chile or chili sauce/flakes for heat if desired.
Cranberry Sauce is a sweet-tart topping over the Vanilla Ice Cream or Pumpkin Ice Cream in my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, which is on this blog for sale.
Gobble, Gobble, who knew there were so many things you can do with Turkey? Hope you love these ideas and have fun with them. Many thanks to all of you who continue to support me and read my blog…please pass the word. Remember my cookbook is available on my blog which makes a great holiday gift.
I am so grateful for all of you who have been loyal followers and supporters, many heartfelt thanks. I wish you all much health and happiness always with plenty of good food and loved ones.
Many Blessings with Love, Lauren
Have family or friends or maybe yourself who are coming for Thanksgiving who are on a special diet or have health issues and concerns and you don’t know how to manage? Whether you just want to eat healthy and delicious food or have a food/health issue…you don’t have to spend the whole day cooking and cleaning in the kitchen this Thanksgiving! Below I’ll give you a week long planning guide along with recipes to make a deliciously healthful Thanksgiving that everyone can eat.
Everyone that has eaten my Thanksgiving recipes all said they are as good or better than traditional gluten recipes, and they did not miss the gluten, dairy or refined sugar! Wow, this is so wonderful and many heartfelt thanks!
Here is an easy guide to help you prepare things ahead of time you so you can enjoy your holiday and guests. Trust me after 20 years of doing this…it is so much easier than trying to be the Superhero on Thanksgiving…especially if something goes wrong-very embarrassing. Don’t be afraid to send the recipe to one of your guests/relatives and ask them to make it and bring it-delegate and gratefully accept the help. I know it is not easy, especially for people who like to be in control/charge! Remember, we allow others to grow and feel needed and be blessed by their contribution too. This is what helped me to realize micro-managing was stunting the growth of my employees! Let go, ah, it feels so good! There is still plenty for you to do.
I am listing all the goodies you can prepare ahead of time by day from my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem-order it now on this site!
Up to one week ahead: Pie Crust (see Recipe of the Week-15 minutes), dairy-free and Gluten Free, Cranberry Sauce(refined sugar free and way better than anything that is store bought-15 minutes)
Up to three days ahead: Candied Yams( adapted from Paul Prudhomme)-40 minutes, Mashed Potatoes 30 minutes, Sweet Potatoe Pie Filling 10 minutes
Up to two days ahead: Brine 5 minutes and soak/refrigerate Turkey(fresh or frozen)-will be the juiciest ever! See my directions for thawing turkey according to weight-must be done in the refrigerator. You can now buy a Brined or Kosher Turkey and skip this step. clean your house or have it cleaned, do laundry etc..!;)
The day before: make salad dressing/vinaigrette, chill wine, cook Turkey neck in broth and chill or gravy, Pecan Pie Filling, Cornbread for stuffing, chop vegetables(onion, celery etc…), Assemble and bake pie-Sweet Potato Pecan, Pecan, Pumpkin. I highly recommend the Sweet Potato Pecan-it’s a sure winner! See my utube video for rolling pie crust and dicing an onion at http://www.youtube.com search under LaurenHooverAuthor and laugh out loud!;) You try being videotaped and then laugh at yourself…I did! Take a hot bath and get a good night sleep, you’ll need it. Spend quality time with those you love, play a game together, go for a walk etc… because Thanksgiving is so busy that you may not get a quality conversation in that day. It so important to remember to be thankful and tell our loved one’s how grateful we are for them-especially children…they really are not mind readers!;)
Go to the grocery store for anything you still need.
Thanksgiving day: Eat Breakfast so you are not ravenous all day and then get a stomach ache from not eating for hours-you will be so much happier and your family will be very thankful. This is a lovely time to have quality time with whomever is in your home before all the rest of the guests arrive.
Begin with a Clean Kitchen-which will keep you organized and calm. Set out ingredients, measure them out and follow the recipes. Have fun! I like relaxing or upbeat music playing while I cook.
Get the kids/husband/family/friends to set the table, build a fire, decorate-it will keep them busy and out of your kitchen-unless they like to cook! Kids love to make the name tags for the place settings-great project to keep them entertained.
Prepare stuffing(cornbread or regular or Gluten Free) and chop herbs, Stuff Turkey and bake (see my recipe that was even good enough for a US Senator)! The secret…cooking it at a very high temperature will create crispy skin and juicy meat- not to mention-save time and energy! Yum! Reheat Mashed Potatoes, Candied Yams in a double boiler(or glass bowl above boiling water) or the oven or microwave if absolutely necessary, cook and chop vegetables and wash/spin salad greens-toss at the table. Teenagers who like to cook will love to make salad or this is a good item to ask some else to bring. Pour wine and enjoy!
I do not put out a lot of snacks…just a few to tide people’s appetite, but not spoil it for a huge dinner. Choose 2: bowl of nuts, hummus(put in a bowl of ice to keep cold) & raw vegetables, olives, deviled eggs all of which can be made the day ahead or store bought(of course I make them myself)!
Important tips: See Professional Secrets and Tips section of my cookbook-it will help to ensure YOUR success.
Use oven and digital read thermometers-temperature is key. See my guide for cooking times according to the weight of the Turkey. Enlist help, people love to help.
Clean(with hot water and soap) all surfaces, sinks, counters, cutting boards, utensils and hands that touch raw Turkey to prevent spreading salmonella-food poisioning.
Keep Turkey refrigerated at 38 degrees until ready to stuff and bake.
Stuff the Turkey just before baking so bacteria will not grow.
Do NOT and I repeat, DO NOT leave food out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. It is best to put out smaller batches. Optimal Bacteria growth temperatures are between 40-140 degrees…yep, room temperature! It grows extremely rapidly by the hour after four hours throw it out. I hate waste…so I put out smaller portions or serve everything at once and put it away or send it home with guests just after eating. Only follow this advice if you want to avoid food poisoning or a big tummy ache-really you will be so much happier and healthier.
Final Tip/Preference: To baste or not to baste? I like to soak a large piece of cheesecloth in grapeseed oil, fold it in half and in half again to fit over the Turkey. Cover the Turkey with it and I do not baste if you like a crispy skin. The high temperature will crisp the skin and seal in the juices. Resting the Turkey for 20-30 minutes is the ONLY way to have the juice stay in the meat. If you cut into the Turkey right away or before 20 minutes, watch all the juice run away and there is nothing to get it back into the meat…it will be dry, I promise. While Turkey is resting, make gravy.
Let someone else, especially the teenagers, do the dishes!
BTW, I did all of this in a cooking class last week in 3 1/2 hours – I slept very well that night! So, You can do it too. Just follow my recipes carefully-read them first. I like to read them the night before I make them. and again just before making them. Buy my cookbook even if you only use the Thanksgiving recipes!
Take a deep breath, have a glass of organic wine, relax and have a very Happy Thanksgiving. From my heart to yours…may you have much to be grateful for this year. I am so grateful for many things/people including everyone who have been so supportive of my mission in helping you change your life with delicious, healthy food. Thank you.
FOR ALL RECIPES GO TO THE RECIPES PAGE ON THIS BLOG.
Be Well and Thrive with Blessings,
Happy Thanksgiving, Chef Lauren Hoover-West
Many of my teachers are world reknowned gluten experts are speaking for the next week on gluten! You will learn so much. I’ve already learned some interesting things today.
Did you know that some Japanese restaurants are starting to add wheat/white flour to sushi rice? Yep!!
Did you know that some gluten-free Beer that begins with gluten(barley, wheat, rye, spelt, oats) and they add enzymes to eat the gluten in the middle of the process to “remove” the gluten, may still contain gluten and not be safe!
Here are just two examples of really valuable nuggets of knowledge you will gain by listening.
If you have family or friends or co-workers that just don’t understand….here is your opportunity to let them hear it from someone else…The Experts!
Be Well & Thrive, Lauren
P.S. I’m going to post Thanksgiving Menu/Party Planning with Recipes this week for you to have a healthy, gluten-free, safe holiday.
LINK FOR FREE GLUTEN-FREE SUMMIT:http://theglutensummit.com
Traveling with food sensitivities or allergies can be challenging. Here are some tips that I’ve learned to help make it easier and joyful! With a little planning ahead it can ease a lot of stress. I like to make some snacks to bring along on the airplane or in the car.
Snacks to make: Granola Bars, Trail Mix, Trail Mix Truffles(see recipe below from my upcoming cookbook), granola and smoothies(recipe from my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem).
Packaged Foods to take:
Packaged items that can really help are: Lauren’s Kitchen Skinny Dunker Biscotti(order online www.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com) or gluten-free cookies, San J Gluten-free Tamari packets, Justin’s Nut Butter packets, jar of nut butter or sunflower seed butter(nut-free), Gluten-free Granola(my favorite is Purely Elizabeth’s), Love Grown Foods Oatmeal Cups(just add water), powdered coconut water(just add water), g-free crackers, Glutino g-free pretzels, Udi’s g-free bread and bagels(ask the hotel or restaurant to broil it for you so it’s not contaminated in the toaster with gluten crumbs!). Also, hard boiled eggs, hummus, bean dips, chips, drinks, dairy-free yogurt and desserts.
Look at health food stores in the section with Raw foods, raw bars, tarts, kale chips, granola and macaroons. My favorite brand is Hail Merry-I’m addicted to their Lemon Tart(OMG)! Many health food stores have hot bars and deli’s with gluten/allergy-free food…just ask for the ingredients. Be careful about spices and marinades on chicken and meat, they often contain soy sauce(which has wheat/gluten) or spices with maltodexterin or vegetable protein which may contain gluten! Keep this in mind in restaurants too.
I stay at places with kitchens or kitchenettes or an empty the mini fridge, so I can stock it up with nut/seed milks, fruit, nut butter, earth balance, g-free bread, hard boiled eggs. If I am going to a place by car, I sometimes will even schlep my toaster oven and blender. You’d be amazed at what you can cook in a little toaster oven-eggs, chicken, fish, veggies and desserts). Use a bullet to make smoothies, and add g-free granola.
Go to local farmer’s markets and health food stores.
Go online and call the concierge(even if you are not staying at the hotel they will help you, just leave a tip). There are so many Apps and online guides for Gluten-free. Order a copy of Triumph Dining Gluten-free Guide, it’s like the Zagat of Gluten-free! I Google the city+gluten-free restaurants or raw food restaurants or vegetarian/vegan restaurants and usually get a long list of choices.
If you do not have the time to research restaurants, some allergy-friendly cuisines are Thai(make sure no soy sauce), Mexican(ask if there is flour in the corn tortillas or soy sauce in any marinades). Chiptole is our new go to place on road trips. We love the salad bowls. I order frozen pizza crusts online www.StillRidingPizza. com. At Japanese restaurants take gluten-free Tamari packets or bottle and request NO soy sauce.
Anything with a coating or crispy or breaded is almost guaranteed to contain gluten unless they have a gluten-free menu. Be sure to ask if it is fried in a separate fryer. French Fries often are coated in flour, especially if they are frozen. Ask.
Have safe and wonderful vacation, filled with happy experiences & memories, and new delicious food that is allergy-friendly! For more information go to: http://www.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com
Happy Travels with Many Blessings, Lauren