1950’s Pear Pie

Fresh pear pie

fresh pear pie

The history of sugar is intriguing, spanning the continents.  Here we will examine the major turning points in the background of this substance.

My mother gave her children the choice of birthday cakes.  I was hard put to choose between banana cake-see 2016/08/08-and fresh pear pie.  My soul still thrills with the beautiful taste of baked pears, rich crumb topping, and the best of pie crusts.

I am so health conscious; thus I have experimented with using sugar alternatives here.  Coconut sugar or sucanat (evaporated cane juice) can not compete with cane sugar in this receipt. Only sugar insures the right texture and flavor in pear pie.

Sugar has been around for the longest time.  Saccharum officinarum, sugar cane, originated in the South Pacific’s New Guinea and was subsequently carried by human migration into Asia.  Sometime before 500 B.C., people in India were producing raw, unrefined sugar.  1

Its first known reference was in 325 B.C., when  Alexander the Great’s admiral Nearchus wrote of reeds in India that produce “honey” without any bees.  The word sugar began to appear frequently in Indian literature around 300 B.C.  This Sanskrit word sarkara, meaning gravel or pebble, became the Arabic sukhar, which finally came to be sugar.  2

The use of Indian sugar cane spread.  Around the 6th century after Christ, it was planted in the moist terrains of the Middle East, where the Persians made sugar a prized ingredient in their cooking.  After Islamic Arabs conquered Persia in the 7th century, they took the cane to northern Africa and Syria; it eventually made its way to Spain and Sicily.  3

Sugar in Europe was barely known until around 1100, and it remained a mere luxury until the 1700’s.  The western Europeans’ first encounter with sugar was during their Crusades to the Holy Lands in the 11th century.  Shortly thereafter Venice became the hub of Arabic sugar trade for western Europe, while the first known large shipment went to England in 1319.  4

At first the western Europeans treated it like other exotic imports-e.g., pepper and ginger-strictly as medicine and flavoring: it was produced in small medicinal morsels, as well as preserved fruits and flowers.  These sweets or candy first began being made by apothecaries, or druggists, which were making “confections” to balance the body’s principles.  The word confection is taken from Latin conficere. meaning “to put together” or “to prepare”.  5

The medieval years brought sugary nonconfections to Europe, such as candied almonds, as well as the use of this substance in recipes for French and English courts.  The chefs of royalty employed sugar in sauces for fish and fowl, for candying hams, and in desserts of various fruit and cream/egg combinations.  Around 1475, the Vatican librarian Platina wrote that sugar was now being produced in Crete and Sicily, as well as India and Arabia.  Columbus carried the cane to what is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic in 1493, on his second voyage.  6

By the 18th century, whole cook books were devoted to confectionery, which had become an art no longer associated with medicine.  During this century, sugar consumption exploded in Europe, with the rise of colonial rule in the West Indies and the enslavement of millions of Africans, resulting in the sugar industry becoming the major force behind slavery in the Americas (one estimate holds that fully two-thirds of the twenty million African slaves worked on sugar plantations).  This industry saw rapid decline later in the 1700’s, with the abolition movements, especially in Britain; the other European countries followed, one by one through the mid-19th century, in outlawing slavery in the colonies.  7

Sugar, however, had now become a world staple.  Presently 80% of its production comes from sugar cane, while most of the rest is derived from sugar beets.  8

Wisdom and moderation are needed with this substance.  Today our nation consumes sugar in unhealthy amounts.  Personally I hold fast to the adage of Mary Poppin’s:  “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”  My standard is to substitute more beneficial sweeteners wherever possible.  However, there are times when only cane sugar will do.   My precious pear pie is one of them!

Enjoy this carefree, mess-free recipe.

References:

  1. Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking  (New York: Scribner, 1984, 2004), p. 648.
  2. James Trager, The Food Chronology  (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1995), p. 19.
  3. Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking  (New York: Scribner, 1984, 2004), p. 648, 649.
  4.  Ibid., pp. 648, 649.
  5. Ibid., p. 649.
  6. Ibid., pp. 649, 650.
  7. Ibid., pp. 650, 651.
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugarcane
Pear pie, whipped cream, and freshly ground nutmeg

pear pie, whipped cream, and freshly ground nutmeg

Pear Pie with Hot Water Pastry Crust  Yields: 1-10″pie.  Total prep time: 1 1/4 hr/  active prep time: 30 min/  baking time: 45 min.

1 1/4 c unbleached white flour  (Bob’s Red Mill is high quality.)

1 1/3  c whole wheat pastry flour  (May grind 1 c soft white winter wheat berries for 1 1/2 c total fresh ground whole wheat pastry flour, carefully measuring needed amounts.)

1 tsp salt (Himalayan, pink, or Real Salt is critical for optimum health; a fine grind Himalayan salt is available very reasonably at Costco.)

2/3 c oil  (Grapeseed or avocado oil is best, available inexpensively at Trader Joe’s and Costco.)

1/3 c boiling water.

1 c sugar  (Organic cane sugar id preferable; available in 2 lb packages at Trader’s, but more economical  in 10 lb bags at Costco)

1/3 c butter, softened

5 lg Bartlett pears, ripened  (May use Anjou pears as well, but Bartletts are best, must be ripened.)

1 c heavy whipping cream  (Lightly sweeten this with powdered sugar.)

Nutmeg  (Freshly ground is superb!)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Blend unbleached white flour, 1 c of whole wheat pastry flour, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add oil and boiling water; mix lightly with a fork.
  4. Divide into two balls, one much larger than the other; cover balls with plastic wrap and place on hot stove to keep warm.  (You will need to use 3/5’s of dough for this single crust for a 10″-pie plate; may bake leftover 2/5’s of dough in strips with butter and cinnamon sugar.)
  5. Roll out the large ball of dough between 2-18″ long pieces of wax paper. Form a very large, oblong circle which reaches to the sides of the paper.
  6. Gently peel off the top sheet of wax paper; turn over and place piece of rolled dough, wax paper side up, over a 10″-pie plate. Very carefully peel off the second piece of wax paper.
  7. Patch any holes in crust by pressing warm dough together with fingers. Form rim of crust on edge of pie plate by pressing dough together gently, using excess dough from heavier areas to make up for areas where dough is sparse.
  8. Mix 1/3 c of whole wheat pastry flour and sugar in same bowl in which you made the pie crust.  Blend in butter with a fork, until mealy in texture.
  9. Sprinkle 1/3 of this mixture in bottom of unbaked pie shell.
  10. Fill crust with peeled pear halves.  Fill in spaces with smaller pieces.
  11. Evenly spread remaining flour mixture on top of pears.
  12. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes more, or until crust is golden brown.
  13. Cool, serve with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.  Mouthwatering!

1950’s Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

When we were young, my siblings and I chose the meals for our birthdays and holidays; we always picked sweet and sour meatloaf.  How we loved it!  There was never a Christmas Eve that our home didn’t boast of its tantalizing smells, for they arose from the roasting of beef, with its contrast of vinegar and brown sugar, mustard and tomato sauce.  The aroma was remarkable.

My memory of festivities back then was that of heightened anxiety, with my troubled soul.  Celebrations  made me deeply aware of the void in my being, as I suffered greatly from lifelong mental illness.  But no more.  The powerful word of God has completely healed me; it removed all wreckage from my mind and body, just as it promises to do.

I asked Jesus into my life on December 16, 1994, but my healing didn’t begin to materialize with clarity until Mother’s Day of 2013; this marked the start of my attendance at Abundant Life Family Church (alfc.net), where the word is taught in all its pure simplicity.

I am indeed set free!  Now I thoroughly enjoy gala affairs; moreover everyday is a glorious party.  May you realize that heaven is here on earth.

My family still holds fast to our traditional repast of sweet and sour meatloaf.  It is ever-present at celebrations, and blesses us on my every trip home.  Always I envision this mouth-watering dish when I think of family and food, for it’s an inseparable part of our clan.  It is extremely easy to prepare; I guarantee you will be wowed by it.

1950's sweet and sour meatloaf

1950’s sweet and sour meatloaf

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf Yields: 4 servings.  Total prep time: 2 hr/ active prep time: 20 min/ cooking time: nearly 2 hr.  Note: You may double this for superb sandwiches from leftovers.

4 med russet or baker potatoes, cleaned and wrapped in tin foil

1 lg egg, beaten

1/2 c fresh bread crumbs

1 med yellow onion, chopped

1 1/3 c tomato sauce

3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper  (Himalayan, pink, or Real Salt is critical for optimum health; an inexpensive fine grind Himalayan salt is available at Costco.)

1 lb ground beef  (Beef fat MUST be 15% /85%; natural or organic ground beef is best; available frequently at a very good price at our local Grocery Outlet.)

2 tbsp brown sugar, packed down  (Organic is best, available at Trader Joe’s.)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar  (Raw has health benefits; most economical at Trader’s.)

2 tbsp yellow mustard  (Only use yellow mustard, such as Frenchies)

1 c water

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 2 hours before serving.
  2. Place potatoes in oven; bake for nearly 2 hours, for medium-size potatoes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix egg, bread crumbs, onion, 1/3 c tomato sauce, salt, and pepper; then, thoroughly blend the hamburger into the sauce (it works best to use your hand to do this.)
  4. Form a loaf in a 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 3 inch Pyrex pan, or other deep baking dish.  Use a 13 x 9 1/2 inch pan if doubling.  Make a deep indentation in the center of the loaf, so it looks like a boat (this will hold the sauce in the center of meatloaf); therefore, basting isn’t necessary.  Place meat in oven.
  5. Using the same bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients: 1 c tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, and water.
  6. Remove loaf from oven, pour the sauce over the meat, and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Serve with unwrapped, split baked potatoes, on which lots of sauce is poured.  SO GOOD!

Williamsburg Orange Cake

Williamsburg Orange Cake

Williamsburg Orange Cake

This Williamsburg Orange Cake dates back to the mid-twentieth century.  Personally, the spring and summer of 1973 brimmed with vitality for me; I had taken the quarter off from college “to find myself.”  However, I forgot my mother’s birthday in the midst of my prosperity.

My heart broke when I soon realized my mistake.  To make amends I baked and delivered this glorious cake; I drove it 200 miles across Montana’s Big Sky country, from Missoula to East Glacier Park.  My benevolent mother graciously welcomed both me and this exquisite confection!

This beloved parent learned the powerful lesson of forgiveness in her youth; she is always eager and ready to forgive as a result of this.  Mom taught me this precious wisdom, which exempts us from much disruption when mistakes are made: immediately we amend all with our Father in heaven; next, we lavishly forgive others and ourselves; finally as needed, we seek compassion from those we have hurt in our wrongdoing. This spells freedom for our emotions and minds!

Me, my brother Paul, mother Pat, sister Maureen

me, my brother Paul, mother Pat, sister Maureen-June 2016

That was Mom’s 50th birthday and the first time I made this Williamsburg Orange Cake.  I went home to Montana to celebrate her 93rd birthday this past June.  We had a repeat of this treasured sweet!

The recipe calls for zesting oranges.  I like to equip my sister’s kitchen with gadgets which I find helpful in cooking.  This year I blessed her with a GoodGrip zester and thus insured my ease in making this cake. GoodGrip is high quality and economical.  A large array of this brand’s useful gadgets is available at our local Winco.  This particular zester is most efficient; it makes a difficult job super easy.

My recipe appears lengthy.  It is actually very simple, for I have included many baker’s tips. Don’t be daunted by deceptive looks!

Williamsburg Orange Cake  Yields: 2-9 inch round layers, 3-8 inch rounds, or 2-9 x 5 inch loaves.  Total prep time: 2 hr, plus 1 hr to freeze cakes for easy frosting/ active prep time: 1 1/2 hr/  baking time: 30 min.

2 1/2 c flour  (Bob’s Red Mill  organic unbleached white flour is of high quality; better yet grind 1 2/3 c organic soft white wheat berries to make 2 1/2 c of flour.)

1 c raisins, soaked in boiling water  (Organic raisins are available inexpensively at Trader Joe’s.)

1 1/2 c milk or cream, soured

lemon juice from a squeeze ball for souring

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt  (Himalayan, pink, or Real salt is critical for optimum health; an inexpensive, fine grind Himalayan salt is available at Costco.)

3/4 c butter, softened  (This 1970’s cake called for a mixture of butter and the then popular Crisco; see Ozark Honey-Oatmeal Cookies, 2017/10/30, for history of Crisco.)

1 1/2 c sugar  (May use coconut sugar, or sucanat, which is evaporated cane juice; if using sugar, organic cane sugar is premium.)

3 lg eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3 oranges  (It is important to use organic, as the zest of regular oranges taste of pesticides.)

1 c pecan pieces

Spray oil  (Coconut spray oil is best.)

Flour for dusting pans

Williamsburg Orange Frosting  (This is for 2-9 x 5 inch loaf pans or 2-9 inch round layers; 1 1/2 recipes will be needed if making 3-8 inch round layers.)

1/2 c butter, softened

4 c powdered sugar  (Organic is available at Trader Joe’s.)

1 1/2 tbsp orange zest

3/8 c orange juice, freshly squeezed from above oranges

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

10 narrow slices of orange rind, cut lengthwise on surface of orange (see top photo).

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If using freshly ground flour, begin grinding now.
  3. Cover raisins with water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside.
  4. Place milk or cream in a medium bowl; sour with about 6 squirts of lemon juice from ball; let sit.
  5. Stir together flour, salt, and baking soda in a med/large bowl with a fork.
  6. In a large bowl, beat 3/4 c butter until light and fluffy, mix in sugar gradually, beating thoroughly.  Add 1 egg at a time, mixing well with each addition.  Blend in vanilla.
  7. Add 1/2 the flour to butter mixture, beating only until all is incorporated; then, mix in 1/2 the soured milk. Repeat these steps to use all the flour and milk; do not over-beat, as this toughens cakes and cookies.
  8. Wash and dry oranges.  Zest 2 oranges and set zest aside; save these two oranges for juice for frosting.  The third unpeeled one will be used for optional decorative strips.
  9. Drain the raisins, which have been become plump in the hot water. Blend the raisins, l tbsp of zest, and nuts into the cake batter.
  10. Spray pans with coconut oil and dust with flour lightly. (Rinse nozzle on can with hot water, for easy spraying in future.)  Pour batter in the prepared cake pans.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cake should respond, bounce back, when pressed with your finger.  Do not over bake!
  12. Cool in pan for 5 minutes to facilitate removal; slide knife around edges to gently remove; then, freeze cakes on separate paper plates for about an hour-this prevents cake from crumbling while frosting.

Frosting  (Note: make 1 1/2 recipes for 3-8 inch round layers.)

  1. Cut 10 narrow slices of rind, lengthwise on surface of third orange for optional decoration: using a sharp knife, cut just below rind from top to bottom of orange, gently peel stripes off orange, set aside (see top photo of decorated cake).
  2. Squeeze oranges to extract 3/8 c juice, set aside.
  3. In a med/large bowl, beat 1/2 c butter until light and fluffy, preferably with an electric hand mixer.
  4. Mix in 2 c of powdered sugar.
  5. Beat in 1/4 c of orange juice, 1 1/2 tbsp zest, vanilla, and salt.  Add remaining sugar, 1 c at a time, blending well; set aside.  (Save extra orange juice.)
  6. Frost frozen cake layers or loafs.  (Add the extra orange juice 1 tbsp at a time, only if frosting is too stiff to spread easily.)  Optional: decorate with slices of orange rind while frosting is still wet, arranging narrow slices back-to-back on top of cake (see top photo).
  7. If making the loaf cakes, to keep in freezer for unexpected company, be sure to freeze the frosting on cake, before sealing in gallon-size freezer bag.
  8. Enjoy this delightful cake!

Tortellini Sausage Soup and Bone Broth

pot of tortellini soup

I first had this soup in the pleasing home of a beloved friend six years ago. Her husband was dying of cancer; I was there ministering to them and they to me, for she was letting me do my laundry, while I helped to cook and clean.  We also had a time of deep prayer, as we cried out for healing grace.

My friend showed me how to make this tortellini soup amidst cleaning and laundry; it nourished our bodies and souls then especially, because of the trauma.  Here I have elaborated on this recipe, bringing yet more vitality, with the most important change being homemade bone broth. How it generates length of days!

Bone broth is a power food.  Eight ounces of chicken stock has only one gram of protein, while bone broth has nine grams per cup!  Further, it impacts our health in numerous ways.  Dr. Axe in Food is Medicine, lists its benefits as: aiding digestion, overcoming food intolerances, boosting the immune system, improving joint pain, and reducing cellulite.  1

I encourage you to take advantage of leftover bones; freeze chicken carcasses, until you have three; then, make this super stock with the easy guidelines listed below.

This friend’s other-half died shortly after this.  His funeral was a celebration of goodness and life; it was my favorite funeral ever, for God’s love was there.  I, however, experienced a mingling of confusion admits the joy: why death?

I have since learned the answer to this.  It is never our Father’s will that anyone die before fullness of age.  The Bible teaches us precisely how to avoid all ruin; it warns us that we are destroyed by lack of knowledge.  Its careful directions educate us on how to avoid destruction, with exacting instructions for receiving abundant life, as well.

Back then, my friends and I didn’t have enough wisdom to overcome death’s fierce attack.  Today I can say that I have the knowledge to overcome anything, in Jesus Christ’s name; this is solely because of the truth I have learned from the word of God.  Now I am strong and can stand in the face of all adversity, and I do just that!

My most prized wedding took place months after this favored funeral.  The size of this celebration of matrimony was extremely small, just a handful of attenders, but God was present!  The Spirit spoke to my heart in every fine detail of this ceremony: the vows spoken, the songs sung, the exquisite food, the fond fellowship were all an expression of vibrant blessing.

I experienced jubilee this day, for at the time, I thought there is redemption of the loss of my friend, with this wealthy wedding, which has followed the holy funeral.  Nevertheless, this recovery was in mere seed-form then, as all truth starts.

Now there is fullness of this hope, for I know that we no longer have to be victims of destruction, as we have authority over the enemy of our souls.  This I learned at Abundant Life Family Church; I invite you to listen to teachings at alfc.net.

Bon appetit!

References:

  1. https://draxe.com/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth-for-digestion-arthritis-and-cellulite/
Tortellini soup

tortellini soup

Tortellini Sausage Soup  Yields: 2 qt.  Total prep time for soup, if bone broth is prepared ahead: 1 hr/ active prep time: 30 min/ cooking time: 30 min.  Note: may substitute packaged chicken broth.

1 tbsp oil  (Coconut or avocado oil is best; olive oil is carcinogenic when heated to high temperatures.)

1 med/large onion, chopped

1 lg carrot, cut diagonally in 1/4″ slices

1 stalk celery, sliced at a diagonal in small pieces

10-14 oz natural sausage, sliced diagonally  (A spicy sausage is preferable.)

scant 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice

scant 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper, or to taste

1 1/2 qt bone broth, recipe below  (You may substitute 1-liter box of chicken broth plus 1-15 oz can.)

6 oz frozen spinach or kale  (Organic frozen kale is available in health section at our local Fred Meyer-Kroger-store.)

1-15 oz can  kidney beans, or beans of your choice  (Organic beans are only slightly more expensive.)

1 c dried cheese or pesto-filled tortellini  (Available at Trader Joe’s.)

1 tsp salt, or to taste  (Himalayan, pink, or Real Salt is critical for optimum health; an inexpensive fine grind Himalayan salt is available at Costco.)

1 c grated or shaved Parmesan cheese

  1. sweating onions

    Heat oil in a stock pot over medium heat; when a piece of onion sizzles in hot oil, add the rest and sweat, or cook until translucent (see photo).

  2. Add carrot, celery, and sausage; cook covered for a total of 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Blend in Chinese Five Spice and red pepper; cover and cook 2-3 more minutes, stirring once midway.
  4. Stir in broth (see recipe below), cover, and bring to a boil over med/high heat.
  5. Mix in spinach or kale, tortellini, and drained beans; cover and bring to a second boil.
  6. Lower heat to medium, uncover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until greens are limp and pasta is soft.
  7. Add salt; then, adjust seasonings to taste.
  8. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Bone Broth  Yields: about 3 qt.  Total prep time: your choice of 13-25 hrs/ active prep time: 15min/ inactive prep time: 30 min/  cooking time: 12-24 hrs, longer cooking extracts more nutrients.  (Note: may be made ahead and frozen in quart-size containers.)

1/2 c raw apple cider vinegar (Raw cider vinegar is most cost efficient at Trader Joe’s.)

3 leftover chicken carcasses, or 1 lg turkey carcass, broken in pieces  (May freeze individual carcasses until ready to use.)

2 lg yellow onions, quartered

4 celery ribs with leaves, cleaned and chopped in 2″ pieces

4 lg carrots, cleaned, skin scraped off, and chopped in chunks

8 lg cloves of garlic

  1. Fill an oven-proof stock pot one-third full of water, stir in vinegar, place poultry carcasses in water-break the bones to fit compactly in pot.  Add more water to cover carcasses and stir well.  Let sit 30 minutes (the vinegar draws out the nutrients from the bone marrow).
  2. Spray vegetables, except garlic and onions, with a safe, inexpensive, effective vegetable spray made by combining 97% distilled white vinegar with 3% hydrogen peroxide.  Let sit for 3 minutes; then, rinse well.  Scrape carrots and cut all vegetables; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. After 30 minutes, add vegetables to pot (be sure all is covered with water) and place it in oven.  Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.
  5. Turn temperature down to 300 degrees; cook for a total of 12 to 24 hours-longer periods produce more nutrition, though 12 hours is still quite good.
  6. Add more water periodically, if needed; don’t, however, add any water the last 12 hours of cooking-this will aid in reducing broth, for freezing compactly.
  7. Strain when done.  Note: you may reduce to 2 qt liquid, for freezing compactly in quart-size containers, adding 1/2 qt of water to each, to restore to 1 1/2 qt of bone broth, for use in this tortellini soup recipe.

Lemon/Spinach Chicken or Ahi Tuna

Lemon spinach chicken

lemon/spinach chicken

Back to cooking with greens with another delightful dish!  This simple spinach recipe utilizes the bounty of my friend’s fall garden.  She replants her leafy vegetables mid-August for a late harvest, with which I am blessed. However one 10-12 oz bag of fresh spinach will do, if you are buying it.

This recipe is high in protein and iron. It has vitamin C as well, which increases the absorption of dietary iron according to the Mayo Clinic.  They recommend using any of the following for this purpose: broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, leafy greens, melons, oranges, peppers, strawberries, tangerines, or tomatoes.  Lemon juice and tomatoes were my inspiration here.

It is important to use coconut or avocado oil, as olive oil produces carcinogens, when heated to high temperatures.

I always use Real Salt or Himalayan salt, which have all the necessary minerals. Other salts (including white sea salt) don’t have these essential nutrients.  High quality salt, which is pink in color, and electrolytes are both necessary for good health.  You will notice a stabilization of your emotions, when these are balanced in your system.  Arbonne sells excellent electrolyte powder at a reasonable price, especially when you consider the cost of coconut or vitamin waters and Gatorade.  The caliber of Arbonne’s electrolytes far exceeds that of these drinks!

The first time I served my lemon/spinach creation was for a couple from my church.  His mother had just passed and we were celebrating her life with utter joy!  There were jocund accounts of her life’s victories, as well pictures of her holy marriage in the 1940’s.  The Spirit of God moved during our festive fellowship.

I used ahi tuna steaks that night in this recipe, instead of the chicken tenderloins. Either version is powerfully good.  Note: be extra careful not to overcook the meat or fish.

Enjoy perfect simplicity here!

Lemon Spinach Chicken   Yields: 4 servings.  (Note: may substitute ahi tuna steaks.)

3 tbsp of oil  (Coconut or avocado oil is best.)

1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 medium lemons, squeezed

12-16 chicken tenderloins, thawed  (Natural ones are available at Trader’s inexpensively, or you may substitute 4-6 ounce ahi tuna steaks.)

Salt and pepper to taste  (Real Salt is best, available in the health section at local supermarkets)

2 medium/large tomatoes, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, chopped  (For a change, I used elephant garlic which is milder; if using this, double the amount.)

10-12 ounces of fresh spinach

Steamed brown rice  (Basmati rice from Trader’s is my favorite.)

  1. Heat 1 ½ tbsp oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add small piece of onion; when it sizzles, add the remaining onion.  Carmelize onion (cook until dark brown).  Set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile roll lemons on counter, pushing down hard with your hand, to loosen the juices inside.  Squeeze lemons. Set aside.
  3. Melt remaining oil in frying pan over medium heat.  Pat thawed tenderloins or tuna, somewhat dry, by using paper towels.  (A little moisture will help the adhesion of seasonings.)  Be sure to salt and pepper raw meat/fish generously.  Cook chicken tenderloins or tuna, in hot oil, in batches if necessary.  Cut tenderloins into bite-size pieces with spatula.  Cook only until very pink inside.  DO NOT OVERCOOK!  (The inner meat of the tuna or chicken should be almost red, as it will cook more later.)  Place pieces in the bowl with onions as each is done.  Watch very carefully, as not to overcook.  Leave fond (pan drippings) in pan.
  4. Add tomatoes and garlic to hot frying pan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until soft and chunky.  Deglaze the pan (scrape fond off bottom with a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon), while tomatoes are cooking.  Note: there is an abundance of flavor in fond.
  5. Add half the spinach to hot sauce; stir well, by distributing the tomatoes over greens.  Repeat step with rest of spinach; cook briefly, or just until leaves are slightly limp.
  6. Place meat or tuna, onions, and lemon juice in frying pan with spinach/tomatoes.  Stir well.  Cook mixture just until hot.  Do not overcook the meat/fish.
  7. Adjust seasonings.
  8. Serve with steamed brown rice.  So delicious!