Archive Eat Well Be Happy, Tasty Tantalizing Television
Episode 335

with Debra Stark & Robin Johnston

  • Rice Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Crunchy Veggies
  • Corn, Bean & Cauliflower Salad with Basil Pesto
  • Grilled Eggplant Slices
 Staff Favorite
 Staff Favorite

HU Dark Chocolate Cashew butter and vanilla: “I tend to Choc-o-lot about this because it’s NUT your average chocolate!”- David

Of Note


Saturday, October 21, 10:00-2:00. Debra’s Natural Gourmet Turns 28!  Birthday Party, Non-GMO FOOD FAIR, Discover West Concord Day – all in one!   We’ll have cake and ice cream, of course, but also some favorite companies sampling food.  Come have a great time, have lunch and help us celebrate!  5% of our sales the whole day will go to The Non-GMO Project.   More in the October store newsletter

Ice Cream in Summertime

Summertime is synonymous with ice cream. Just drive by Reasons to Be Cheerful, or any other ice cream shop if you don’t believe me….. All those people out there licking away! Did you know it takes 50 licks to finish off a single scoop of ice cream?

Feed your plants!

Flower growers have used blackstrap molasses (yes, we do sell this old-time remedy for iron poor blood!) to get stronger, longer lasting blossoms for ages. Molasses supplies trace minerals along with bio-available sugars that feed plants. Milk, too, is a soil and plant food. The organization Slow Food says that, in addition, milk is an effective fungicide and soft-bodied insecticide; critters like grasshoppers don’t have a pancreas to process the sugars, so they are driven off when milk is applied to leaves. Slow Food says to mix two cups of milk (whole) into eight cups of water and stir in ¼ cup of blackstrap molasses for the first feeding (spray on leaves or pour a cup of the mixture around the stem of each plant).  Do this once every week or two to nurture healthy communities of microbes, fungi and beneficials in compost or garden soil.

Have an unusual-looking vegetable or fruit from your garden? Bring it in and show us!

And here’s to a wonderful start to everyone’s summer. For ice cream, remember we have two wonderful companies who use no gums or stabilizers in their recipes. These old-fashioned ice creams are the real deal – from Stow, MA, Ken and Gina’s; and Tea-rrific, whose flavors each feature a different tea.

Royal Jelly and Aging

Debra Stark, oldie but goodie

This is foundational in my personal repertoire.

What is royal jelly?  It’s the food the nurse bees manufacture for the sole purpose of sustaining the queen bee.  It’s the superfood that keeps her healthy and allows her to live longer and be stronger.

In “Royal Jelly in Dermatological Cosmetics,” Hans Weitgasser, M.D., a German dermatologist, wrote: “Through local application as an ingredient in face masks, cream and lotions, royal jelly has tremendous effects at the cellular level.  In regular use, the skin becomes soft and wrinkles disappear.”

Who we are.

This Monday, almost two dozen members of the DNG family are scheduled to work. We’ll meet the early deliveries, open the doors, stock the shelves, chop and cook, help you find what your looking for, and show you to the door with a smile. If you’ve shopped here before, you probably recognize some of us.

Most of us are U.S. citizens by birth. But among us this Monday will be more than one immigrant, and two legal permanent residents awaiting citizenship; one of us who came to the U.S. as a child refugee; and at least one of us whose spouse holds a green card. Wherever we came from, and however we got here, we’ll spend the day together. At the end of the day, we will return to the neighborhoods we share, as each other’s neighbors and friends.

Without any one of us, we wouldn’t be the same. We couldn’t imagine it any other way.

We’ll see you Monday.

 What's Cooking

No-Pasta Eggplant Lasagna with Greens

Did you know that the eggplant, known as an aubergine in France and England, is not a vegetable, but is a berry of the nightshade family (Solanaceae)? Interesting, isn’t it?

Please make sure all your dairy products come from grass-fed animals.  Not only for the animals’ sake, but so you get more nutritional bang for your buck.  Grass-fed=more CLA, conjugated linoleic acid, which helps prevent belly fat.

Mediterranean Marinated Medley with Obis One Black Garlic

Steam your favorite assortment of seasonal vegetables, then marinate them in extra virgin olive oil, a little red wine vinegar, Spike seasoning, thyme and Obis One black garlic.

I love this combo with some fresh mozzarella or Nettle Meadow cheeses (Kunik and Simply Sheep are my new favorites!), ripe tomatoes and good olives. For carnivores, it’s great alongside salami or sausages. It’s also yummy on the plate next to corn or a big roasted potato.

So, what is black garlic? It’s aged, fermented raw garlic, whose flavor will amaze you. Black garlic is sweet and savory, all at the same time, and soft, like dried fruit. Once aged, it keeps at room temp for six months. Eat it, and you get no garlic breath, and black garlic contains double the antioxidants of raw garlic. Who knew?

A Quick Easy Dessert, No Oven Necessary

This recipe from last summer, serves four people. Mix 1 C thick yogurt or mascarpone or crème fraîche with 1 tsp rose water and 2 Tbsp honey or agave. Spoon into 4 bowls or pretty glasses. Scatter 4 C any kind of berries over cream mixture (save a little cream to dollop on top, too). Top with remaining cream, drizzle with 2 Tbsp more of honey or agave. It might be nice to garnish with roasted, salted pistachios (about 1 Tbsp per bowl).

Adam's Corner

Culinary & Medicinal: Exotic Mushrooms in the Kitchen

Growing up, mushrooms were mushrooms.  There was only one kind in the store: small and round, bland and boring.  Button mushrooms, they were called.  Or champignons, if you wanted to sound classy.  A lot of people liked them, but nobody loved them.  Nutritionally, they provided minor amounts of protein and fiber, vitamins and minerals.  But nothing special.

So today, it’s a pleasure to see all these upstart growers bringing new varieties to market, varieties that emerge from the dark in which they’re grown in a profusion of whites and pinks, yellows and blues; amorphous and architectural, variegated and cascading, with (and without) delicate tendrils that make you want to stare in fascination, or pet them like a kitty cat.

These exotics are beautiful, they’re delicious, and they’re easy to cook.  Some of them are strongly healing as well.   

Have a Happy, Healthy Cycle!

If you have PMS or menstrual symptoms, you’re not alone. More than half of all women experience mood swings, anxiety, bloating, headache, acne, cramps, etc. Luckily, we can do something about it.

Your first line of defense is EXERCISE. Study after study shows that women who exercise regularly do better with every single symptom of PMS. Any exercise is good, but here getting your heart rate up is more important than weight training; frequency of exercise, more important than intensity.

Secondly, CLEAN UP YOUR DIET. Seek out fresh, organic plant foods rich in fiber. Make your grains whole grains. Try to eat legumes at least once a day. Throw nuts and seeds into the mix, as well as fermented foods (“Ahem – note the black garlic in the recipe above, and have you tried our new fermented olives sold near our refrigerated krauts and kimchis?” asks Debra).

Limit processed and refined foods, meat and dairy. No single meal is going to make or break your PMS. But over time, daily foundational changes can tip the scales towards hormones in balance, and a more comfortable period.

Before we get into supplements, let’s talk for a moment about what causes PMS. Lots of things do, of course. But I want to talk here about estrogen dominance.