Category Archives: Candida

Paleo Kugel

Oh wow.

I was going to wait until I had a photo and the recipe was all nice and tweaked and stuff, but it’s so good and so Passover appropriate and the holiday is coming up so fast that I just need to share it now. Writing it up will also be a good way to stop myself from eating the entire pan right this second. I will update it as I revisit it.

This kugel even comes out with that nice brown slightly-crispy layer on top!

Ingredients
1 head cauliflower, baked or roasted
4 eggs
about 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tbsp. for greasing the pan
salt and pepper to taste

Special equipment:
Powerful blender (I used a BlendTec)

Ahead of time:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Remove the outer leaves from a head of cauliflower and sprinkle it with some salt. Bake for about an hour. Once it’s out of the oven and cooled, chop the whole thing into approximately 1” bits. You can store this in a bag in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line an 8×8 oven-safe pan with olive oil.

Combine cauliflower, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, and olive oil and blend until the mixture forms a thick, uniform paste. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend again to incorporate.

Pour mixture into pan and bake approximately 1 hour, or until top is completely browned.

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Lamb Belly Stuffed with Garlic & Herbs

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All I can say about this is that it’s really good. To all you American kosher consumers out there, it may be hard to find lamb belly. I guess you’ll just have to join my meat co-op.

Ingredients
1 cut boneless lamb belly (ranges in size)
1 head garlic per lb. meat
1/2 bunch parsley per lb. meat
Zest of 1/2 lemon per lb. meat
2 tbsp. olive oil per lb. meat
1 cup dry white wine (optional)
Black pepper to taste
Salt

Tools & Equipment
Roasting pan or oven-save heavy pot with lid
If you don’t have a lidded pan you can use tin foil.
Cooking twine
Small dish
Zester

Process

If your lamb belly came rolled up, unroll it onto a cutting board or platter. (If it came frozen, you’ll have to defrost it first.) If you are not using kosher meat, sprinkle the meat lightly with salt.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Finely chop the garlic and the parsley. Combine garlic, parsley, lemon zest, black pepper, and olive oil in a small dish. Spread 1/3 of the mixture on the section of lamb belly that is closest to you. Begin rolling the lamb belly as tightly as you can. Roll it horizontally so that it takes the shape of a roast rather than a weird sausage. When you get to the edge of where you spread the filling, spread more and keep rolling. Keep going until the lamb belly is completely rolled up.

Tie the lamb belly to hold it in place in 4-5 places using cooking twine. If you have extra filling, pat it on the outside of the lamb. If using, pour wine into roasting pan. Place the belly in the roasting pan and cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. The meat should be soft and tender when it’s done. If you are using foil rather than a lidded pan, loosely wrap the whole lamb belly in foil, don’t just cover the top. Place this in a pan to catch juices.

Let rest 15 minutes before serving. To serve, cut crosswise slices so that each piece resembles a piece of jelly-roll.

Kosher for Passover and All Year Round

I’ve been in denial for six years.

Once upon a time I was a cute little thing with dreadlocks in the Chef’s Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts in New York. I was drinking in everything I could about the connections between food and health and learning how to cook like a boss: with the skills of a chef who has nutrition and nourishment top-of-mind.

Towards the end of the program, almost exactly six years ago, we learned about Candida, a very prevalent, commonly undiagnosed or misdiagnosed overgrowth of yeast in the gut that often goes untreated. While the yeast itself, Candida albicans, occurs naturally  in the gut, the disease or disorder is an imbalance in which the Candida gets way out of whack, grows like crazy, kills off the “good guys” in the gut, and does whatever it wants without regard for the well-being of its host.

Common symptoms of Candida include dandruff, flaky skin patches, recurring athlete’s foot, thrush, chronic fatigue, bloating, chemical sensitivities, irritability, anxiety, and fuzzy thinking. When we learned about it, I remember a little click going off in my brain and thinking “Huh, that sounds like me.” But when we found out that Candida feeds off sugar and healing it involved a very restrictive diet with absolutely no sugar, I put that thought on the back burner, went firmly into denial, and went on with my life. And with eating sugar. In fact, I became a baker.

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Me ca. spring 2012

A year later, I had pretty severe chronic fatigue that lasted 2-ish years. My first session with a Canadian osteopath (who is an absolute goddess) made it WAY better, and I considered myself basically healed even though I knew there was something more under the surface. That same osteopath suggested I look into Candida, and I ignored her advice.

Fast-forward another 2-ish years, and I started getting symptoms I couldn’t ignore. In the fall of 2017 I cut out added sugars in all their forms (cane sugar, honey, maple syrup, sucrose, dextrose, you name it!), except I kept drinking beer and didn’t ask questions about ingredients on Shabbat. That stuck for four months and didn’t change a whole lot.

And then.

My friend lent me a book called the Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates, and it was clear that the time had come. So after taking a 10-day hiatus to eat sugar while grieving the loss of my grandmother, I went all-in. I’m on a mission to bring that Candida back into balance and heal my gut.

I now eat vegetables, eggs, meat, and fish. I use butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, and other oils that aren’t highly-refined. Lacto-fermented vegetables (aka sauerkraut) are a very important staple. I’m going to experiment with kefir, a kind of fermented dairy product, and see if that works for me.

As it happens, this kind of diet works perfectly for Passover, which starts in 8 days. As I cleared out my cupboards of all the things I’m not eating right now I realized that I was inadvertently cleaning for Passover — how convenient! So my plan is to document what I’m eating all the time because so many people struggle with eating on Passover. I figure if I post meal ideas, recipes, and shopping lists for the entire duration of my diet (at least 3 months, maybe up to a year), I’ll provide the world with a lifetime’s worth of Passover eating.

Bon apetit!