"Simple Healthy Recipes" on a BUDGET
To find a RECIPE select at left of HOME page a major Ingredient or a Cooking Style or a Dish or type a word in the SEARCH THIS BLOG window.

Please note that your COMMENTS will be moderated
On MOBILE devices, the MOBI version of the BLOG will be automatically displayed to facilitate the reading.


Why are you recommending organic or all-natural ingredients?
We recommend organic or all-natural ingredients since they are free of dangerous chemicals, definitively have a better taste and have no water added during processing. When we purchase, we do not want to pay for water. For example, a lot of supermarket meats are in a solution which increases the weight of the meat by 20 to 25%, solution that is included in the calculation for the price of meat.  Organic or all-natural meat does not shrink during cooking.  In fact it may increase in size. 

Why are you recommending wild-caught fish?
For fish, we try as much as possible to avoid farm-raised fish.  We prefer to use wild-caught fish.  Wild-caught fish contains the omega-3 fish oils that our bodies need.  Farm-raised fish contains omega-6 fish oils which are harmful and do not contain much if any of the needed omega-3 fish oils.

Why you are not using processed food?
We do not use processed food or most canned foods since they contain a lot of sodium or refined white sugar and dangerous chemicals.  You can identify those chemicals on the label.  They are the ingredients that are very difficult to pronounce. We use canned food such a tomato's paste or diced tomatoes only when it is organic and low sodium.

Which ingredients do you never use?
We never use WHITE ingredients such as salt, sugar, flour, bread or pasta since they are bleached and the residual bleach might go to your brain.  They also have been heavily processed, depriving them of a lot of nutrients.

What kind of eggs are you using?
We only use free range and cage free eggs.

What kind of oil are you using?
Olive Oil for salad dressings.  Olive Oil and Coconut Oil for cooking (Coconut Oil has the highest smoking temperature - when any oil is starting to smoke it changes to trans-fat).

What kind of water are you using?
We cook with tap purified/filtered water (with Britta, WaterPick, filter on the tap, etc) or reverse osmosis water.  Tap water contains chlorine, a disinfectant, that is removed by filtration.

What kind of salt are you using?
We use Kosher, Celtic or rock salt.  Table salt usually contains an additive to prevent clumping.  It is heated to 1200 degrees, changing the molecular structure, which the body can't easily metabolize.  It is also bleached to make it white.

What kind of sugar are you using?
We use turbinado sugar. It is a golden coloured natural brown sugar produced by extracting the juice from sugar cane, heating it to evaporate water and crystallise the sugar, then spinning in a centrifuge to remove some impurities and further dry the sugar.

What about cooking meals that include potatoes?  It is a white ingredient, isn't it?
The problem with cooking with white potatoes is that there is a lot of unhealthy starch that will pack on the pounds and eventually can cause other health problems none of us want.  However we use a technique when cooking potatoes that removes most of the bad stuff.  No matter how the potatoes are prepared we cut them into small chunks and boil them for about 15 minutes in water, then pour the water out and use them in our dishes.  For example when we have a dish that we are baking that includes potatoes, they are boiled first then added to the dish and baked in the oven.  The results are the same but most of the bad stuff is removed.  We use this technique for all kids of white potatoes (Russet, Red, etc.)

Where are your recipes coming from?
Most of our recipes are from our childhood where ingredients came from the nearby farms and cooking was very simple.  We refer to most of these recipes as "peasant food" or "food for the poor".

Are you using wine for cooking?
Our style of cooking is essentially French with a California twist.  We often use wine (red or white) for marinating, cooking and deglazing (to make succulent gravy without flour or very little whole grain flour). Remember that all the alcohol dissipates during cooking. There is no alcohol in the dishes ready to be served.

Why do you prefer slow-cooking?
The preparation time for most of our recipes is short.  However the cooking time itself may not be.  It is NOT fast-food.  It is quite often slow-cooking in the oven at low temperatures or in the crock pot.  In slow-cooking the liquid transfers heat from the pot walls to its contents, and also distributes flavors evenly. Slow cooking leaves the gelatinized tissue in the meat and makes a richer liquid.

Why do you prepare your oven baked (or slow cooked) dishes a day in advance?
We do this because we found that the flavor increases as the ingredients have had time to permeate when we store them in the refrigerator.  We slowly reheat in the oven at temperatures between 180 and 250 degrees depending on the dish.

What king of pots & pans are you using for stove-top cooking?
For stove top cooking we mostly use cast-iron skillets and steel pots & pans of various sizes with a thick bottom for evenly distribution of temperature. We do not recommend aluminum since some studies have linked it to the Alzheimer's disease. We also do not recommend pots and pans with a "Teflon" like lining since the chemicals making the lining might leach on the food.

Why you are not using microwave ovens?
We will NEVER recommend the use of a microwave oven.  Microwaves distort the molecular structure of the foods. They destroy much of the nutrients and cause many other problems with the immune system over a period of time.

We love hearing from you.
If you have other questions you would like for us to answer, please email them to us at or post them in a comment on one of our blog posts.  If we are able to answer the question we will post our response on this page or maybe on a future blog post.