Archive for March, 2011

Quick Spinach and Feta Pie


Quick Spinach and Feta Pie

I haven’t made anything with Filo dough for a long time but saw a version of this recipe on Jamie Oliver’s site and wanted to try it. It’s part of his 30 Minute Meal recipes (the cookbook will be released in the U.S. in October). Filo dough or pastry is found in the frozen section, near the pie crusts. This is my version.

It was fairly easy and quick and really good!




5 free range or organic eggs

101/2 oz. organic feta cheese

¼ cup organic Cheddar cheese, preferably raw milk cheddar

Dried oregano and sea or Celtic salt, and pepper

1 organic lemon

1 – 2 tlbs of organic, pastured butter

14oz bag organic baby spinach

1 pound package of filo pastry (I found organic Filo at our HF store)

1 whole nutmeg or 1-2 tsp of grated nutmeg




To Start: Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Turn the oven on to 400°. Put a medium (10 ½  in diameter) ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat.


Crack 5 eggs into a mixing bowl and crumble in 10 ½ ounces of feta. Grate in the Cheddar Cheese.

Add a pinch of pepper, a couple of pinches of dried oregano, zest of 1 lemon and a glug of olive oil.


Put the empty frying pan back on the heat, add a little olive oil and a knob of butter and pile in half of the spinach. Gently push and move it around and add more as it wilts down. Make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom and, when there’s room, start adding the rest, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, take the pastry out of the fridge. Lay a large sheet of parchment paper, approx 20 inches long, on the worktop, rub a little olive oil all over it, then scrunch it up and lay it out flat again. Arrange 4 filo pastry sheets in a large rectangle, overlapping at the edges, so they almost cover the paper. Rub some olive oil over them. Sprinkle over a good pinch of pepper and a pinch of salt. Repeat until you have 3 layers. Don’t worry about any cracked bits. Remember to keep stirring the spinach. (to see how to put it together, watch the video at

Once the spinach is really nice and dense, take the pan off the heat. Add the wilted spinach to the egg mixture and grate in 1/2 a nutmeg. Mix well. Carefully move the greaseproof paper and filo into the empty frying pan so the edges spill over. Push it down into the sides of the pan, then pour in the egg mixture and spread it out. Fold the filo sheets over the top and let them fall where they will.

Put the pan back on a medium heat for a couple of minutes to get the bottom cooking, then put the pan into the oven on the top shelf to cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.  Enjoy!

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Avoiding GMO’s in Restaurants

Another great guest post today from Jeffrey Smith. Thank you, Jeffrey!

Avoiding Genetically Modified Organisms in Restaurants

By Jeffrey Smith

When eating at restaurants, it is not too hard to identify non-GMO options if your restaurant cooks from scratch. If they used processed foods, which is true of fast food places, they will have hidden GM ingredients.

For those restaurants that do cook from scratch, you will be able to easily identify most food items that may be GMOs. Corn products include tortillas, corn bread, corn on the cob, polenta, and corn chowder. Soy products include tofu, teriyaki and soy sauce. Any item that contains zucchini or yellow crook neck squash is a gamble, since a small amount of these are GMOs.

The hidden ingredients are usually the oils used for cooking and for salad dressing. Most restaurant cooking oil is from soy, corn, cottonseed, and canola—all GMOs. If they say vegetable oil or margarine, it means it is almost certainly one of these.

So the first question usually is, “What oil do you cooked with?” If they use GMO oils, ask if they have anything that is cooked without oil, or if olive oil or some other oil can be used. If they have olive oil, be sure it’s not a blend. Many restaurants blend canola and olive. (In fact, some shady olive oil companies actually blend other oils into their olive oil but don’t reveal that on the label.)

You may go through the same routine for the salad dressing, to make sure it is pure olive oil. Same for desserts; make sure they don’t use margarine and vegetable oil as shortening. But for desserts, you also have to think about the sugar. Unless sugar says pure cane or organic, it likely contains sugar from GM sugar beets.

To avoid dairy products from cows treated with genetically modified rbGH, in U.S. restaurants you will likely have to avoid menu items with dairy. (The hormone is banned in practically every other country.) Very few restaurants buy milk from non-treated cows, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. In fact, it is always good to ask every time, so the restaurant realizes it’s an issue, and can take steps to eliminate GMOs.

Since most processed foods contain GM derivatives (corn and soy, for example), ask what foods are freshly prepared. But check if packaged sauces are used.

Other common sources of GM foods at restaurants include ketchup, bread, and mayonnaise.

If you plan ahead, you can call or email the restaurant you plan to visit and ask for a list that let’s you know: Going through this process will not only give you a superb list of healthy eating options, but informs the restaurant that you prefer healthier non-GMO options when you dine out, a win, win situation for everyone.

Give a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide that lists “at-risk” ingredients to your waiter, waitress, chef, or restaurant owner. And add the GMO Health Risks brochure, so they understand why you are concerned, and why they should be too.

To learn more about the health dangers of GMOs, and what you can do to help end the genetic engineering of our food supply, visit

To learn how to choose healthier non-GMO brands, visit

International bestselling author and filmmaker Jeffrey Smith is the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified (GM) foods. His first book, Seeds of Deception, is the world’s bestselling and #1 rated book on the topic. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, provides overwhelming evidence that GMOs are unsafe and should never have been introduced. Mr. Smith is the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, whose Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to create the tipping point of consumer rejection of GMOs, forcing them out of our food supply.

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Here’s a link to Jeffrey Smith’s must read book, Seeds of Deception:


Homemade Chicken Pot Pie


Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

I’ve been making a lot of homemade chicken broth lately and as I use a whole chicken, I end up with a lot of leftover meat. Sometimes I make chicken salad out of it, but I decided to try something different. This did take some time, but it was delicious.

* Prep Time: 1 hr

* Total Time: 1 3/4 hrs

* Servings: 6-8


o 1 cup organic potatoes, peeled and diced

o 1 cup organic yellow onions, diced or 1 cup pearl onions

o 1 cup organic carrots, diced

o 1 cup organic mushrooms, sliced

o ½  cup organic celery, diced

o ½  cup organic parsley, chopped

o  2 cloves organic garlic, diced

o 1/3 cup melted organic butter or coconut oil

o 1/2 cup  organic all-purpose flour

o 2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade

o 1 cup organic half-and-half (or ½ c. raw milk, ½ cup raw cream)

o 1 teaspoon Celtic or sea salt

o 1/4 teaspoon pepper

o 4 cups organic, pastured chicken, cooked and chopped

o 2 pie crusts ( either store bought or your own recipe)



1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Sauté onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and parsley during the last minute or so.

3. Add flour to sautéed mixture, stirring well, cook one minute stirring constantly.

4. Combine broth and half and half.

5. Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.

6. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.

7. Stir in salt and pepper; add chicken and stir well.

8. Pour into shallow 3 quart casserole dish and top with pie shells.

9. Cut slits to allow steam to escape.

10. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly and cooked through.

11. Enjoy!

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Easy Chicken Stew

Chicken Stew

This is from a Nigella Lawson recipe (Praised Chicken – sort of a poached/braised chicken). It makes a rich and fairly quick chicken soup. It’s absolutely delicious, the broth gels wonderfully and the addition of mustard and dill are fantastic. It’s easy and very nutritious too.

You can serve it with some basmati brown rice – put it in the bowl first and ladle the stew on top – or with some nice homemade bread on the side. If you don’t have leeks, you can easily substitute a roughly chopped organic onion.


1 large chicken, preferably organic

2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil

Scant 1/2 cup white wine or dry white vermouth

2 to 3  organic leeks, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into approximately 2-inch logs

2 to 3  organic carrots, peeled and cut into sticks

1 to 2 celery stalks, sliced

Approximately 2 quarts cold water

1 teaspoon dried Herbs de Provence

Fresh organic parsley stalks or few sprigs, tied or banded together

2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon Celtic or sea salt

2 teaspoons red peppercorns, or good grinding pepper

Chopped organic parsley leaves, from stalks, for serving

Chopped organic fresh dill, for serving

English mustard, for serving (I found an organic horseradish mustard at our health food store that was just perfect)

On a washable board, un-truss the chicken, put it breast-side down, and press down until you hear the breastbone crack. Then press down again, so that the chicken is flattened slightly.

Put the oil in a large, flame-safe cooking pot (with a lid) in which the chicken can fit snugly: mine is about 11 inches wide by 4 inches deep. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the chicken, breast side down. Brown the chicken for a few minutes, then raise the heat and turn the chicken over.

Add the wine or vermouth and let it bubble down a little before adding the leeks, carrots, and celery.

Pour in enough cold water to cover the chicken, though the very top of it may poke out. Add the herbs and the parsley stalks or sprigs along with the salt and red peppercorns or a good grinding of regular pepper.

The chicken should be almost completely submerged by now and if not, do add some more cold water. You want it just about covered, but still a few inches below the top of your pot.

Bring to a boil, clamp on the lid, turn the heat to very low, and let cook for 1 1/2 hours, or 1 hour 40 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle the chicken with parsley leaves.

If you’re serving with rice, put a scoop in the bottom of your bowl, then add chicken, veggies and broth. Put a spoonful of mustard (horseradish mustard works great) and as much fresh dill as you like. Serve and enjoy!

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You can buy Nigella’s Kitchen at Amazon, link below.