Fire Pit Cooking Tips
- Use dried hardwood (like oak, cherry wood, and apple wood). It will burn hotter and longer than soft woods like pine and spruce. While pine resin smells nice, the aromas can leave an unpleasant aftertaste in food. You can add flavor by adding water soaked wood chips like hickory.
- Use fatwood or kindling to start fire. Try to avoid using chemical starters.
- When stacking wood, allow space for airflow. Air is the secret to allowing the fire to grow. Lightly blow on flames to help them spread.
- Grill on hot embers, not open flames. Along flames to die down slightly after starting. If you want to cook food more slowly, use indirect heat, placing meat, fish or vegetables along the edges of the grill.
Vitamins and Food Sources That Support the Immune System
Beta-Carotene (Vitamin A)
Fish liver oil
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring
Cod liver oil
Fortified milks, yogurt, cheeses
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
Pumpkin Health Benefits
- High in vitamin A
- High in vitamin C
- High in antioxidants
- High in fibre
- immune boosting
- can help lower cholesterol, reducing arterial plaque, and supporting heart health
- supports skin health
- supports eye health
- low calories and low sugar food
- complex carb
- can help lower the formation of cancer cells
supports heart health
Shiitake Health Benefits
Cancer fighting properties
Immune system support
Good source of protein
Low in calories
High in minerals
High in B vitamines (the only non animal source of vitamin B12), copper, riboflavin, niacin, B5+B6, selenium, manganese, zinc, folate and vitamin D
Natural source of sterols, eritadenine and beta glucans which helps block and lower cholesterol absorption
May lower blood pressure
Antibacterial and antiviral properties
Relief from pain, swelling and stiffness
Boosts the immune system
Non weight bearing exercise
Promotion of relaxation
Cardiovascular fitness (heart and lungs)
Muscle strengthening, maintenance & restoration
Increase in range of motion of affected joints
Muscle relaxation with heat
Reduces swelling in limbs with hydrostatic pressure
Water buoyancy increases stiff joint mobility with minimal exercise.
Post-operative rehabilitation and increased recovery time
Relief for upper Respiratory Infections
Increases endorphin production
Balances blood sugar levels
Melon Health Benefits
Supports skin and hair health with high vitamin C and vitamin A content, both of which are essential in the synthesis of collagen
Melons are an alkaline food that help to neutralize acidity in the body caused by stress and illness
Supports digestive health
Melons have a high mineral content
Diuretic properties that support kidney health
Energy boosting due to presence of B vitamins
Anti-cancer properties due to high levels of carotenoids.
Melon supports heart health because of anticoagulant properties of adenosine present in the fruit, which can help to stop clotting that can lead to heart disease or stroke
Asparagus Health Benefits
Good source of vitamin K, that has anti-clotting properties
Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties
Supports a healthy digestive tract. Because inulin in asparagus doesn’t fully break down during digestion, it helps to flush the intestine and because a source for healthy bacteria
Pregnancy food as a high source of folate
Good source of fiber
Contains carcinogenic detoxifying properties
Watermelon Health Benefits
Hydration. Watermelon in 92% water and also supports satiety.
Supports eye health
May help with muscle soreness
High and vitamin C and A, which supports skin and hair
Can improve digestion due to high fiber content
High levels of lycopene can help protect cells from damage and may help lower the risk of heart disease.
Salmon-Mercury Health Tip
Despite salmon's myriad of health benefits from omega 3 fatty acids to being a high protein source, it comes with some risks. Like other large fish, salmon is high in heavy metals and consuming the fish more than several times a week is not recommended. But the benefits need to be weighed against the risks, and to tip the scales in your favor, try taking chlorella at the same time you want salmon.
Chlorella is a type of single-celled green algae that binds to the heavy metals-like mercury-in fish and helps to flush it from your system. In addition, chlorella offers vast health benefits including:
Chlorella Health Benefits
Supports healthy hormonal function
Promotes heart health
Can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol
High source of vitamin A, Iron, vitamin B2+3, and Zinc
Can help counter the effects of chemotherapy and radiation
Aids in detoxification
Cucumber Health Benefits
Hydration (cucumbers are 96% water)
Fights heartburn symptoms
Assists in flushing toxins
High in vitamin A, B and C, magnesium, potassium, and silicon
Helps stabalize blood pressure and blood sugar
Helps lower cholesterol
Supports joint health
Relieves sun burns
Fig Health Benefits
Good source of magnesium, manganese, calcium, copper, and potassium, K and B6.
Can lower blood pressure (due to potassium).
Filled with antioxidants which help to neutralize free radicals.
Good source of fiber.
Figs promotes heart health.
Helps lower cholesterol.
Figs are an excellent nutritional source for pregnant women.
Filet Cod (Cabillaud)
Olive Oil + Coconut Oil
Salt + Pepper
Vegan Soy Cream (one store serving per every couple of handfuls of sliced mushrooms)
(Sautee mushrooms with olive oil, add soy cream, S+P, herbs optional and reduce to thick sauce)
Thinly slice radishes
Soak in white vinegar and agave marinade for half an hour (or more, for deeper pickling, which is always good)
+Nori cut into squares for presentation
Health Benefits of (Wild) Salmon
High in Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, and selenium
Great source of protein
Contains the antioxidant astaxanthin
May reduce the risk of heart disease and benefit weight loss
Supports nervous system and brain health
Pear Health Benefits
Improves digestion due to soluble fiber content
Low calorie fruit
Filled with antioxidants
High source of vitamin C and vitamin A
Great source of potassium, which supports heart health
Quinoa Health Benefits
Quinoa is a high protein grain containing all nine essential amino acids
Quinoa has 2x the fiber content of most other grains
Good source of iron
Contains lysine, essentially for tissue growth and repair
Rich in magnesium and manganese
High in Riboflavin (B2), essential in energy production in cells
Sweet Potato Health Benefits
Excellent source of Beta Carotene (vitamin A), essential for hormone synthesis and an excellent nutritional source for pregnant and breast feeding women
Good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, B vitamins and phosphorus.
Good source of fiber
Boosts immune system
Supports health vision
Supports digestion and regularity
Good food option for diabetics as sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index, despite their sweet flavor
Peas Health Benefits
High in antioxydants that protect the body from free radical damage (think pollution, toxic chemicals in food and water and solar damage).
One of the best plant-based protein sources
Supports healthy blood pressure (low glycemic index food)
High fibre content supports heart and gut health
*Peas are not a low FODMAP food and can cause bloating in some. It is also higher in anti nutrients that can interfere with nutrient absorption, so these with digestive absorption issues should eat peas with “controlled” abandon
Cinnamon Health Benefits
– High in antioxidants such as polyphenols.
– Anti-inflammatory properties.
– Reduces bad cholesterol and supports heart health.
– Improves insulin sensitivity and may help support metabolism and energy use and can lower blood sugar levels.
Health Benefits of Apples
– High in vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and dietary fiber.
– High in phytonutrients that fight free radicals.
– Aids in digestion and improves intestinal health.
– Fights anemia by increasing body's intake of iron.
– Helps with diabetes with presence of polyphenols that stimulate insulin receptors and speeds up removal of sugars from bloodstream.
Cauliflower Health Benefits
High source of vitamin C
Also a high source folate, vitamin K, vitamin E, and B vitamins, manganese and omega-3 fatty acids
Cauliflower fights oxidative stress
Supports cardiovascular health by helping to maintain good blood flow (due to presence of vitamin K)
Supports healthy digestion due to high fiber content, also helping to eliminate toxins from body
Helps to fight respiratory viruses
Skin support. Cauliflower helps skin fight against UV damage (due to sulforaphane content)
Dozen or so radishes (sliced)
1 part feta cheese (microwave melted)
1 part cream cheese, softened
Handful, nice quantity of dried cranberries, finely chopped
Salt, pepper, dash of agave
Whip together melted feta and cream cheese. Add s+p and agave.
Sandwich mixture between radishes
Squash Health Benefits
– High in vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as B6, niacin, thiamin and folate.
– Squash is high in minerals like magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, calcium and iron.
– Good source of carotenoids and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
– Squash helps regulate blood sugar due to B vitamins and pectin content.
– Protects heart health due to high levels of potassium and the iron and copper helps regulate flood circulation.
Health Benefits of...
Mussels: High in protein. One serving of mussels contains 18grams of protein (30% daily value). Mussels are high in Selenium (balances thyroid hormones, supports muscle functions, acts as an antioxidant). High in vitamin A (supports production of red blood cells, vision and skin health).
Clams: Very high in iron. Steak and liver doesn't compare. Just a three ounce serving of clams (9 clams) has more than the daily recommended dose of iron. Clams are also a good source of phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.
Shrimp: High in protein. Four ounces of shrimp contain over 100% daily value of protein. Shrimp also contain over 75% daily value for vitamin B12, over 50% for phosphorous, and over 30% for choline, copper, and iodine
Cod: Cod is an excellent source of vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorus and protein, as well as choline, niacin, potassium, vitamin B6, molybdenum, pantothenic acid and omega-3 fatty acids.
Health Benefits of Scallops
– Scallops are over 80% protein.
– High in vitamin B12. Only about two scallops contains 100% of our daily need of vitamin B12, essential for cardiovascular health and helps to repair damaged blood vessels.
– Scallops are also high in iodine, omega-3 fatty acid, phosphorus, selenium and choline.
Health Benefits of Crab
– Promotes bone health with high levels of calcium and phosphorus.
– Contains a diverse range of nutrients including copper, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid that support cardiovascular and nervous system health.
– Excellent source of protein.
– Good source of selenium, which plays a key role in the body's antioxidant and metabolic systems. 100g of crabmeat contains over 100% the daily recommended value of selenium for men and women.
Rose Petal Poached Peaches
Peel peaches and place in large saucepan. Cover entirely with water, add 3 tablespoons of honey or sugar and a small handful of fragrance rose petals.
Gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove peaches from water (you can reserve the liquid for cocktails and champagne mixers) and chill.
Slice and serve atop panna cotta after it has hardened and set.
Cod Health Benefits
High source of vitamin B12.
Excellent substitute for meat protein, with one serving containing over 40% of daily protein needs, with approximately 21 grams per 4 ounce serving.
High in iodine, selenium, phosphorus, choline and vitamin B3
Supports heart health as vitamins B12 and B6 keeps homocysteine (a molecule that can damage blood vessels) levels low.
Salicornia Health Benefits
Also known as "asparagus of the sea" this salty, bitter, yet savory little sea vegetable is packed with nutritious health benefits and can be eaten raw (with sandwiches or in a salad) or lightly sautéed and incorporated into eggs, risottos or with potato or pasta dishes.
Cooking Notes: Make sure not to overcook the salicornia as it will destroy the flavor. And be careful when adding salt as it is already naturally imbued with salt from the ocean.
- Edible plants found near the ocean have a better balance of amino acids than land-based plants.
- Salicornia is high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat and calories.
- Excellent source of B-complex vitamins vitamin C, and vitamin A.
- Good source of minerals, calcium, iodine and iron and is a good supplement for people who do not eat enough seafood and need more iodine in their diet.
Barbecue Rib Tips
– Choose ribs that are plump and meaty. Avoid ribs with exposed bones.
– Remove the membrane before cooking as it impedes absorption of flavor and is quite tough to eat.
– Always pre cook ribs in the oven in foil before setting on grill. See recipe for details.
- Apply layers of flavor. Pre marinating, basting and again covering with sauce at the end.
– When grilling ribs on fire, use indirect heat: Move ribs away the hottest part of the fire, slightly to the side. Low and slow is the way to go.
– Let ribs rest after taking them off the grill. This allows the moisture to build up from the juicing running out as you cut them.
– While it's good to baste the ribs while the cook with a mixture of the rib rub and the juices leftover from precooking, it's best to add the majority of the wet rub after cooking so it doesn't burn on the grill
Health Benefits of Almond Milk
Almond milk contains the same nutrients as milk (most almond milks are fortified with extra A, D, and E vitamins) and is a good substitute for those with intolerance to dairy products or soy.
Maintains healthy blood pressure.
Promotes kidney health. Unlike dairy and soy products, almond milk contains limited amounts of potassium, which can be harmful to the kidneys if found in excess in the body.
Skin Health. Almond milk contains high levels of vitamin E, which repaired damaged skin cells and acts like an antioxidant.
Good source of calcium.
No bad cholesterol. Promotes heart health.
Unsweetened almond milk is a good option for diabetics (unlike soy milk, which has a comparatively higher sugar content) as a typical serving only contains 8 grams of complex carbohydrates.
Low in calories and fat per gram when compared to other milk options.
*When possible, choose organic almond milk, as almond trees are often sprayed with harmful pesticides.
History of Escargot
Escargot translates into "edible snails" and is a delicacy in France, Portugal and the Catalan region of Spain. Archeological excavations have shown that snails have been eaten for thousands of years. The Romans in particular considered snails an "elite" food as noted in the writing of Pliny, a Roman, naturalist philosopher. In French cuisine, the snails are removed from their shells, cooked separately in garlic and butter and then placed back inside their shells and served.
Health Benefits of Chocolate (70% or darker)
Chocolate is packed with vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium. (1)
Chocolate may improve blood flow and pressure. Flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate endothelium (the lining of the arteries) which produces nitric oxide, which sends signals to the arteries, telling them to relax, lowering blood pressure. (4) (5)
Skin health. Dark chocolate can protect against sun-induced sun damage, improves blood flow to the skin and increases skin density and hydration. (8)
Health Benefits of Beets
– Lowers blood pressure and supports a healthy heart (1)
– Beet juice can slow the progression of dementia by increasing brain oxygenation. (2)
– Anti-inflammation. The choline in beets is a versatile nutrient that can reduce chronic inflammation in addition to improving sleep and memory, as well as maintaining proper muscle movement and fat absorption. (3)
– Beet juice increases athletic performance due to improved muscle oxygenation. (4)
History of the Terrine
The terrine dates back to the Romans and was rumored to have been a favorite of Nero. It has evolved over the centuries and has become engrained in French culinary tradition in the form of oven baked meat and fish pâtés.
The French fashion their terrines with finely chopped meat marinated overnight in a wine and herb mixture and then oven baked in an earthenware dish au-bain-marie. The dish is pressed with a heavy object while in the refrigerator for several days in order to release trapped air pockets and to further infuse the flavors.
History of Sauce Béarnaise
Sauce Béarnaise is considered a "child sauce" born from its mother sauce, hollandaise sauce. The main difference is that a Béarnaise sauce adds shallots and tarragon. Created through an emulsification of butter and egg yolk, the sauce was originally intended for steak. It's name is derived from the Béarn region in France. Culinary history supports the idea that this sauce was originally created by chef Collinet for the 1863 opening of his restaurant Le Pavillon Henri IV, named after Henri IV who was from Béarn. (1)
Ginger Shot: Ginger root about the size of your hand (X2 if you want to make a few shots) + 1 apple
Green Boost: 1/2 cucumber, 4 handfuls of spinach + 1 tablespoon spirulina powder
Cumin Elixir: 2 oranges, 2 tablespoons Turmeric + 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
Antioxidant Hormone Balance Boost: 1/2 cup pomegranate juice, handful of blueberries + 1/2 tablespoon Maca powder
Aloe Flush: 1 aloe leaf (1/4 cup aloe juice) + 1 lemon
Immune Boost: 2 clementine + 2 carrots + 1/2 teaspoon zinc powder
Liver Health Elixir: 2 beets + 1 tablespoon turmeric powder + handful of spinach + 1 Apple
Hangover Cure: 1/2 cup coconut water + 1 teaspoon sea salt + 2 beets + 1 celery branch + 1 handful spinach
Headache Reliever: 3 beets + 1 green apple + 1 cucumber + bushel of watercress + 1 lemon
Strawberry+Chocolate Stress Relieving smoothie juice: 3 celery branches + handful of strawberries + 1 banana + green tea powder + 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
Enzyme-Rich Food Sources:
Shitake, Reishi and Maitake mushrooms
History of the French Fruit Tart
The French tart is thought to be a product of medieval pie making dating back to the 16th century. This early version was originally made with meat and other savory fillings. By the 18th century, the pie had taken on a sweeter interpretation and was viewed as high-cuisine and favored amongst nobility. These tarts were made with shortcrust pastry shells filled with custard and decorated with fruits.
Cauliflower Health Benefits
Contains cancer-fighting compound, sulforaphane, which is a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells. (1)
Boosts heart health. Sulforaphane helps improve circulation and kidney function. (2)
Rich in vitamins and minerals; mainly vitamin C, K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. (4)
Supports brain health. Choline in cauliflower is a B Vitamin known for its role in brain development. (5)
Detoxification support. (6)
Digestive benefits due to high concentration of dietary fiber. (7)
Health Benefits of Radishes
Liver purifying+kidney cleansing properties
Inhibits urinary tact infections
Reduces destruction of red blood cells by facilitating oxygen absorption in blood
Filled with anthocyanins, which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Radishes also have detoxifying anti-carcinogenic properties
Relieves constipation (high in fiber)
Lowers blood pressure (good source of potassium)
Positive impact on blood sugar levels
Source of vitamin C, phosphorous, zinc, B-complex
Good Saturated Fats+Lowers Cholesterol
Not Readily Stored As Fat+Easily Digested
Fights Alzheimers Disease+Memory Boosting
Promotes Heart Health
Good For Cancer Patients+Reduces Chemo Side Effects
Increases Absorption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Eases Pancreatic Stress
History of Steak Diane Sauce
Steak Diane sauce was named after the Roman goddess Diana of wild animals and the hunt. Her body was considered sacred and when a hunter happened upon her while she was bathing in a river, she turned him into a stag, acounting for the fact that artistic depictions of Diana show her accompanied by a deer. In the 19th century, chefs named their black truffle and cream à la Diane sauce after the goddess as an accompaniment for venison. Over the centuries it evolved into a mushroom steak sauce flambéed with Cognac or brandy and exploded across restaurants in the 1960's as a fiery, table-side dining presentation.
Radish Health Benefits (1)
Fights viral infections due to high Vitamin C content
Soothes sore throats and clear sinuses
Detoxifying. Radishes can help break down toxins and cancer-causing free radicals.
Milk of choice (pictured: almond), 1 cup
1/2 cup water
Cumin pods, small handful
Ground turmeric, 1.5–2 tablespoons
Black Pepper, a few grains or 2 teaspoonsCinnamon, 3 sticks or 1 tablespoon
Ginger, several slices fresh ginger or 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
Anise, 3-4 star pods or 1 teaspoon powdered anise
Vanilla, sprinkle of seeds or a 2-3 drops
Agave or Honey (aim for organic to avoid pesticides), 1-2 tablespoons
Place milk and water in medium sauce pan.
Add spices and other ingredients and gently simmer to infuse for roughly 20-30 minutes. Add more milk/water if reduced too much.
Strain and serve+leave an anise pod in cup as a garnish