Pistachio House http://www.pistachiohouse.com we love to talk food, and we're a little nutty Thu, 15 Jan 2015 06:45:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.11 Review: Nutritionists say to avoid… http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/28/review-nutritionists-say-to-avoid/ http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/28/review-nutritionists-say-to-avoid/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:36:04 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1697

Garden and Coop - All rights reserved  © Francine Mastini

Garden and Coop – All rights reserved © Francine Mastini

This article was recently posted up on Facebook from Active.com It’s titled Foods Not to Eat: What Nutritionists Never Touch

Almost everything but the bacon makes sense. Don’t mess with my bacon, people! What I find disturbing about these lists is that they do not take into account REAL food. 
Here’s the list and it’s mostly a sensible list:

  • Sugary Beverages – Why only sugary beverages? What is worse? Sugary beverages or artificially sweetened ones? If you have no choice – choose that which has actual sugar and not High Fructose Corn Syrup. Otherwise,  you are controlling the sweet content yourself go with something more natural. Also, Agave? NO! Bad! Worse for the enviroment than strip mining.
  • Hot Dogs – Not always. I’m not sold — There are people that make them from scratch around here and they’re full of good meats. You can buy organic that do not contain entrails and rat feces.
  • Bacon – Only when full of nitrites and nasty stuff.
  • Artificial Sweeteners – Won’t get an argument from me. Avoid like death.
  • Soda and Diet Soda – Agreed, even TONIC water now has High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. Come on now! Tonic?
  • Crunchy Orange snacks– They single out the orange. Why only orange? Orange is the only crappy fast food snack? Just steer clear of the prepackaged crap full of canola oil and other machine extruded and manufactured food.
  • Cold Cereal with non-fat dairy – OK, this is where I go… whuu? This kind of blanket statement is poorly written.  These are two separate items to be avoided. T-W-O. Non-fat dairy is a stupid concept. Non-fat dairy removes every possible nutritional aspect of the dairy.  Get the whole milk, preferably raw. Again, this is manufactured food. Cold cereal can also be nutrient dense muselix and granola. Breakfast cereal is generally a no-no around Pistachio House. I can’t get the husband quite to buy in on this but I have hope.  He likes it and I get him non-GMO, no crap added cereals as a compromise. Small steps.
  • Maraschino Cherries – LOL! If you’re having them in booze, the cherries are the least of your problems.
  • Pepperoni – I buy the Applegate brand when I do make pizza for the fam. Most of the time, pepperoni is to be avoided. Look at the label.
  • GMO – Support your local farmer!!
  • Processed/canned meat and cheese – Sadly, the days of my Underwood Deviled Ham and Laughing Cow addiction are over.  Look at the label on your deli meats, too. A lot of the time these foods are full words you can’t pronounce. If you want lunch meat, make a roast and cut it up or even better. Try some of NomNomPaleo’s lunch box delights.

So that’s their list. It’s generally a decent one. Just remember, if you are eating real food, then you don’t need to worry about lists.

Meet your farmer, rancher butcher, fishmonger, and greengrocer. Shop at your local Food co-op.  Ask for what you need and want to see on the shelves.  Demand grass fed for animals you eat and organic for the fruits and vegetables. Be a partner in the process of bringing food food to the table.


Try it, it’s good!


I recently read some “helpful” comments which were screened. I laughed so hard I think I hurt myself. Thank you “Suzie”.

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Whole30: Salmon Zucchini Sliders http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/19/whole30-salmon-zucchini-sliders/ Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:07:15 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1689

salmon, slider, wrap, cauliflower, rice, avocado

Salmon Zucchini Slider Wraps with Minty Cauli-rice (and half an avocado with balsamic and olive oil)

There’s been some delicious cooked salmon in the refrigerator that needed to get cooked. I tried to eat it but it just wasn’t the same cold. Tonight I decided to cobble together some ideas and here’s what happened. MAGIC. My husband cannot stop raving about these. Put a dollop of homemade mayo on some fresh crisp butter lettuce and eat up!


Salmon Zucchini Sliders
makes 4-6 patties

  • 3 cups cooked wild caught salmon
  • 1 organic free range egg
  • 1-3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil for frying (optional but you ought to have some)
  • 1-2 tbsp Home Made Mayo
  • Butter lettuce leaves

Grate the zucchini either with box grater or your food processor. Squeeze excess water out. Put into a colander with paper towel and drain while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Crumble salmon into the bowl of your food processor. Add egg, flours, mustard, salt, and pepper into food processor and pulse. Put this mixture into a bowl and add the capers and zucchini. Squish with your hands to mix.

Form patties on baking sheet lined with parchment and put into the freezer to harden for about 15 minutes. Go have a drink of some fizzy kombucha or sit with yourself and have some quiet time. 

Get out your cast iron skillet! If you don’t have one, be more attentive to the heat so as not to burn. Melt coconut oil and add a bit of avocado oil. Heat on medium-high until you see wavy lines. Place the cold patties into the pan. Cook for a few minutes (each side) until you have a lovely brown crust. Serve on butter lettuce with some home-made mayonnaise.

Stand back. The compliments are gonna blow you away. Side dishes that go well are Cauli-riceOven Baked Sweet Potato Fries, or a tomato salad.


Try it! It’s good!




Giambotta: Italian Stewed Vegetables http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/11/giambotta/ Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:21:49 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1617

Giambotta! Great hot or cold.

Giambotta! Great hot or cold. Pictured with Merquez Meatballs.

When I was growing up, summer meant vegetable hell. I mean I really hated my mother’s mushy squash. But my mother wasn’t the best cook, a rarity in Italians. So, it was my aunts and uncles who taught me to cook. One summer Aunty, my mom’s sister, taught me how to make the real giambotta, Italian stewed vegetables when I was visiting her in Virginia Beach. This was not the thing my mother would make and stew vegetables to mush but the REAL giambotta that my grandmother made and my great-grandmother, and her mother, and so on all the way down the line. Little women from Avelina, that I am proudly descendant from, made this for their families. It is sooo good. We learned to say it as ‘jam-bok” from my grandmother’s dialect. Even my first husband used to request the jam-bok and he was not Italian. As a paleo eater who eats nightshades, this is a good way to add my 2/3 veg on the plate. It’s great with any meat or fish. I picked some fresh carrots, pattypan squash and zucchini for this one and added some Merquez meatballs to the stewing process. OMG! One Pot of YUM!

The sweetness of the carrots are the secret to  a good giambotta. So here’s the recipe. Enjoy it this summer.

serves 2-4

  • Squash, Zucchini, 1-3 cups 1/2″ cubed
  • 1-2 carrots – cubed (1 cup)
  • 1 -2 cups diced onions (not sweet)
  • 1-3 finely diced cloves of garlic
  • Handful of basil
  • Handful of Parsley
  • 1 cup diced tomato (canned or fresh) or a cup of tomato puree
  • Your fat of choice – enough to coat the pan by 1/8 inch when melted
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Heat pan on med-high to make fat shimmer
  2. Add onions, salt and pepper. Cook until the membranes get slightly soft. Lower the heat to medium.
  3. Add in garlic and carrots, stir and let sauté until the carrots just begin to soften. Do not let them burn or get overly brown.
  4. Add squash and mix in.
  5. Add basil, parsley and tomato. Turn heat up and bring to a bubbling simmer. Then lower the heat and allow to simmer slowly over 15 -3o minutes. Cook until the vegetables stew together and become a melange. You should be able to pick out the carrots or squash but the onion should be melted by now.

Fresh Carrots from the Garden.

As to Salt and Pepper. I recommend at least a teaspoon to a half tablespoon, depending upon how much veg you’re cooking. For tomato puree I love Mutti Passata in the glass jars. I get it at the local World Market and always have it on hand.   If you want to add small meatballs as I did with merquez meatballs, add before the tomatoes and get them slightly brown. Then add the tomatoes and let them cook in the stewed goodness of the giambotta! Try it, it’s good!

Whole30: We have beef! http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/09/whole30-we-have-beef/ Sat, 09 Aug 2014 15:09:44 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1640

Thanks to Stewart’s Meats and my fabulous neighbors Alma and Katrina, there’s now fifty pounds (ish) of healthy grass-fed beef in my freezer.

What FUN! Katrina buzzed me when she got back from picking up the meat and this is what I saw when I walked across the street!

150 pounds or so of grass fed beef in the three coolers at the back of Katrina's car.

150 pounds or so of grass fed beef in the three coolers at the back of Katrina’s car.

Synchronicity! Alma arrived home in her car at that very moment. So, we set about organizing our beef so as to split it evenly. I grabbed an extra cooler. It made it so much easier to divvie it all out.

We had such smiles on our faces. The cost per pound, because we had all gone in on the quarter cow, was reduced to under four dollars a pound. WOW! I mean seriously! That’s amazing to get the cost down that low. If we had a couple of more neighbors eating paleo (oh, we’re working on it), we could get a half cow and reduce the cost even more.

My share of the 1/4 cow!

My share of the 1/4 cow!


Why am I so excited about grass-fed beef?

Simple. Grass Fed beef has more nutritional value in it. More bang for the buck when it comes to being healthy, fit and energetic.

Not to mention that the beef is raised humanely, it is allowed to graze, and is not stuffed full of GMO laden grains to fatten it up. It’s four times higher in Vitamin E. It’s higher in Omega-3. It’s also high in CLA.

Meat (and dairy) that comes from grass-fed grazing animals is the highest known sources of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). There is no alternative source that’s as nutritionally packed full of good fatty acid!

CLA? What’s that? Conjugated linoleic acid is the scientific name but what does that mean to you? Grass fed ruminant meat contains up to three to five times more CLA, an essential fatty acid. It is this fat that is known to be a potent defense against cancer. In a Finnish study, women who had a higher percentage of CLA in their diet had a 60% less risk of breast cancer. Just one serving per day of grass fed meat equals five times that amount of grain fed animal.

CLA is an essential fatty acid. Humans need to consume essential fatty acids because they promote cell membrane function, metabolize cholesterol and aid the body in synthesizing various metabolites. For those of us who no longer consume generic vegetable oils or soybeans, our CLA comes primarily from meat, like our ancient predecessors.

Omega-3 is found in certain nuts, seeds and seafoods as well as in pasture fed animals. When a ruminant is taken off of the omega-3 rich grass they’ve been grazing on, and are shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grains which are have little to no nutritional resource for us, they begin to lose the store of this fat and therefore lose the benefits of it for the end consumer.

In grocery stores now you will see a lot of “grass fed” signs on mega-corp meat. Do your homework. They may have been grass fed at some point but they were likely shipped to a feedlot and “finished” on grains. The high price tag, then, is for a label that does nothing whatsoever for your health but can take a nice chomp out of your wallet.  Do yourself a favor, find a friend to go in on with for some meat. Check to see if any of the local Crossfit gyms have a regular supply of grass-fed beef arriving to their doors and check with your local food co-op to get the best quality meat.

Mmmm…. primal living in the neighborhood! Many thanks to Katrina for coming up with the idea and implementing it. Thank you Alma, too, for being a primal health minded neighbor!



We Three Primal Gals!



Whole30: Fifty Pounds of Grass Fed Beef http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/08/whole30-fifty-pounds-of-grass-fed-beef/ http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/08/whole30-fifty-pounds-of-grass-fed-beef/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 01:08:12 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1651

Oh my gosh! I’m so excited! If you could see me, you’d see a dancing maniac making room for fifty pounds of beef in her freezer. My amazing neighbors Katrina and Alma (you’ll meet them, I’m sure) and I sharing a half a cow. That’s what I said,  HALF  OF A COW.

Let me back up, this is where it gets interesting. Two years ago, when I was having yet another snot riddled morning, you know the kind right? The mornings where you wake up and everything is goo and you sneeze about eleventy times in a row? Yeah, those mornings are just lovely. And by lovely I mean torture. At one point, before I moved to Tacoma, I went several YEARS not being able to smell or taste my food.  My former residence was a moldy apartment  which wreaked havoc on my immune system. But I know that now. I didn’t know it then. I just thought that there was nothing for me to do about it but get allergy shots, which incidentally didn’t work so I gave up.  That led to mornings where I would take the Over The Counter Allergy Flavor of the Week and hope that I stayed awake at work or worse yet, wasn’t too loud or insane and end up pissing off  all of my co-workers.

So, back to Katrina… my neighbor.  I noticed Katrina had lost a lot of weight and her husband had as well. Not only that but they were looking fit, too. I asked her what she had done. “We cut dairy out of our diet.” I almost staggered. Dairy? Out of my diet? No Cheese? What planet was this woman on? But she went on, “Yeah, our allergies have all but gone away.”

Say what? No way. No how.  Ok, fine, I’ll try it.

A week later I was breathing in the morning and sleeping through the night. A month later I’d lots ten pounds and hadn’t changed anything else. Ten pounds that I had struggled to try to lose for years. Fast forward two years and I am full on paleocentric due to the influence of Katrina and another friend, Courtney, who turned me on to the Weston A. Price Foundation and their findings. Then Katrina spread the good word of Paleo to our neighbor Alma who is in the medical field. We are a triangle of paleo in our neighborhood. Add that to my gardens, cats, rabbit, and chickens and you can guess who’s the neighborhood crazy.

We will be sharing the joy of grass fed beef from Stewart’s Meats. Needless to say, I’ll be sharing my joys and experiences with this beef on the blog in the coming weeks. What timing, right? August Whole30 and grass fed goodness!


Me! Post Whole30 in April 2014 and feeling amazing and kind of sassy Copyright Francine Mastini 2014 All Rights Reserved.

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Whole30: Paleo Prep – Sliders http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/03/whole30-paleo-prep-sliders/ Sun, 03 Aug 2014 15:32:38 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1613

I recently became addicted to Melissa Joulwen’s Moroccan meatballs recipe from Eat Well. This book and her blog, The Clothes Make the Girl, got me through my first Whole3o challenge in March.  I identified with her story. We seem to come from similar places in our lives. Immigrant mediterranean families with a healthy love of food and cooking stock our memory shelves.

In prepping for my next Whole30 I decided to get Eat Well 2 and try more of her yummy recipes. Last time I was so caught up in doing my Whole30 I really didn’t do a lot of blogging on how I was doing. This time I’m trying to get my journey blogged.

Growing up in a family with, as I have said before, a healthy love of meat I remember my mother’s meatball prep and have been doing this very thing for many years. Basically it goes like this:

  1. Make meatballs
  2. Put them on a cookie sheet.
  3. Put them in the freezer until solid (several hours
  4. Take them out and put them in a foodsafe bag then refreeze.

You can do the same with sliders.

Prep and place on parchment on a half sheet pan. Freeze until hard. Place frozen disks in a food safe bag.

I do this with a lot of things, meatballs, chicken, and fruit. Some vegetables need a quick blanching before you freeze them but I’ll cover that another time.  But I said sliders, right?

Why sliders?

Sliders, I found out, can go from the freezer to the grill and cook up super quick. Sliders fit easily into butter lettuce cups. Sliders are brilliant for making ultimate paleo meat (grass fed) go just a little further. Sliders can substitute for meatballs.

Sliders are genius! I would give my ovaries to be the one to claim the invention of the slider.

For these, I used Melissa’s Merguez Meatballs from Eat Well 2. I often use her Moroccan meatball recipe for sliders. And now, I can make sliders for dinner in a matter of minutes. Just fire up the grill and go!

I will continue to sing the praises of the slider during the rest of the month as I explore the summer version of the Whole30.





Paleo-Ish Stuffed Peppers and Polpette! http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/02/paleo-stuffed-peppers/ http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/02/paleo-stuffed-peppers/#comments Sat, 02 Aug 2014 00:30:05 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1644

Polpette, Stuffed Pepper, and Greens

Polpette, Stuffed Pepper, and Greens

Life has a funny way of not turning out the way you planned.  I was cruising along, enjoying life, and then it changed, suddenly.  I now find myself in a new house, with new people in my life both close and at arm’s length, and on the eve of being thirty-one years old, I find myself being introspective and examining how the new future will unravel itself before me.  As a result of this upheaval, and most of my life being contained to a storage unit–what little of it I managed to escape my earlier life with–I have not been cooking much.

I travel for my moonlighting job and stay in one place for my day job, and over the summer I have been across the United States and back several times and to Canada to train teachers in the art of concept-and-inquiry-based international education.  I live in my bed and I live at the gym.  I’m no longer the ectomorphic twenty-something who would blow over in the wind.  I’m a bit beefier, and I am struggling to figure out how to build my body on a Paleo or Whole30 type of diet.  Most kinesiology-based trainers over hype the importance of carbohydrates, both simple and complex, and it leaves my brain wondering “What the hell is going on here?!”  I’m still searching.  I try being more Paleo, but sometimes Sonic gets in my way and I fall victim to the processed slush and corn dog.  I blame the “I GOTTA GROW!” hormones that arrive soon after one completes an intense resistance training workout.  You want food, and you want it fast, knowing your body will burn the calories to grow your muscles, not your cellulite.

So, I leave you with this thesis – a stable life is important.  Striving for your goals, both personal and physical are important.  Family, if you have a few, or many, is important.  I had some bell peppers in the fridge and in a burst of “I miss my dearly departed mother” nostalgia, decided to stuff them with delicious fillings and bring back some family based memories.  Because I had more fillings than peppers, I also made polpette, and prepared some greens–yes, I put turnips beside this, and it doesn’t really go together, but I was out of Kale.  We adapt!


Stuffed Peppers (and Polpette!)
by Jason Osborne, adapted from Momma Monkey
yield 4 peppers and 6 polpette (or 6-8 peppers)


4 green or red bell peppers
one half red onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp italian seasoning
14 ounces of diced tomatoes (a can, or 1/2 cup freshly chopped)
8 ounces tomato sauce (or your own sugo)
a pound, or so, of 93/7 lean ground beef
1 egg
a few shakes Worcestershire sauce
1.5 cups cooked long-grain brown rice (omit if Paleo)

Preheat the oven to 350F and salt a pot of water that will hold the peppers.  Bring the water to a rolling boil while you remove the tops of the peppers, the seeds, and the inside ribs.  Blanch the peppers in the boiling water for no more than five minutes, then drain and shock with ice to keep them from turning brown.  Dice the usable pieces of the pepper tops, along with the onion.  While you’re chopping, mince the garlic and set aside.  In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and peppers until translucent, then add garlic and sauté for one minute.  Next, add the tomato products, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and reduce heat to a simmer.  Let this go for ten minutes, stirring every so often.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a fork and add salt, pepper, and a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce before adding the beef and rice.  Mix this up well with a clean hand.  Add about half the tomato mixture to the meat and stir to combine.  Reserve the other part.  Lube a baking dish and place the thoroughly drained peppers upright.  Stuff generously with the meat mixture and when all peppers are filled, pour the remaining tomato mixture evenly over the peppers.  At this point, if there is meat remaining, roll into polpette of the size of your choosing and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake the peppers for 45-60 minutes or until a probe thermometer registers at least 160F, the minimum safe temperature for ground beef products.  The polpette may be done in less time, or more, depending on the size.  Use your meat thermometer on those, too.

Bon Appetit!

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Whole30: Paleo Porridge, Take 2 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/08/01/paleo-porridge-take-2/ Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:30:42 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1596

One morning, after fun and games with porridge, I decided to try another approach. This time, after some feedback from my a friend and fellow knitter, Marti I thought I’d have another go at the recipe. This time I wanted to give some clearer idea of the how-to. The Basic Paleo Porridge uses two tablespoons of coconut flour. I wanted to change this up a little as well as offering some alternative flavors to try with your porridge. Since I’m doing a Whole30 Challenge (my second go!) I can’t add any sweeteners at all, honey or maple syrup but I’m guessing these taste abso-freaking-lutely yummicious with that. Here’s the alternative recipe for Paleo Porridge to try for yourself.

Paleo Porridge Variation 1 serving Time to cook: 15 minutes

2 eggs 1 tbsp coconut flour 1 tbsp almond flour 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk 1/4 cup water 1 pinch of salt 1/4 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

Paleo Porridge

Getting everything together before you start. ©Francine Mastini

Topping 1/2 tsp Penzey’s Dutch Process Cocoa Powder or cinnamon to sprinkle over the top. 1/2 cup fruit 1. Combine all porridge ingredients into a saucepan and whisk together. 2. Turn heat to medium – medium / high and stir with the whisk gently for five minutes to ensure that the heat is not too high. Keep an eye on the bottom of the pan, you definitely do not want this to get sticky in the early stages. 3.After five minutes, it should still be liquidy and you’ll start to get a little impatient. Stop whisking.

paleo porridge

Starting to thicken! ©Francine Mastini

4. Turn heat to medium – medium low. Get out your spurtle or wooden spoon. Let it cook for another five minutes. 5. At this point, it should start to thicken. Depending on your elevation. 6. BUT IT’S NOT DONE! 7. It really needs to get so thick that you can cut it with a knife. It’s still soft, though, so don’t worry. This is not like oatmeal or a wheat porridge. This is a custard and you’ll need to be patient. 8. Stir gently, making sure that it doesn’t stick but don’t do a vigorous stir, the custard needs to set. You’re just making sure that it’s not burning on the bottom. If you see it starts to brown, turn down the heat.

paleo porridge done

Porridge is ready to serve up!

9. After another five minutes (fifteen minutes in total should have passed) you’ll have a lovely porridge! 10. Plate it up and serve it with your favorite delicious fruit! Sprinkle with some cocoa powder or cinnamon. Top with some maple syrup or some honey if you like it sweeter.

And then eat it all!

Paleo Porridge Lite

Paleo Porridge http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/03/12/paleo-porridge/ http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/03/12/paleo-porridge/#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 21:00:23 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1583

I decided, on Ash Wednesday, that it was a perfect time for me to do a Whole30 challenge. It’s been a week and time for me to report that I’ve had a success so far. Not until this morning, when I accidentally licked the yogurt spoon for Thom’s yogurt, have I flubbed.

Yes, Francine has gone Paleo. This after scoffing at Jason’s gluten-free stringency when we were in Portland together last year I have finally seen that my half-assed and higgeldy-piggeldy approach to trying to get my autoimmune system fixed has not been entirely helpful. I mean, why would I give up grain? I love legumes! I’d already given up cheese two years before and that immediately cleared up my sinus infections which had plagued me since childhood. I should have had a clue then. Heck, there was a period of two years when I couldn’t smell at all. AT ALL. People nicknamed me “Sniffles” and my husband said a flurry of used tissues followed me around like Pigpen’s dirt cloud.

For two years I dabbled. Two years wasted. Now, I’m not the kind that’s going to measure every keto fluctuation. I don’t have that kind of attention span. Squirrel! What? I have a hard time just keeping track of what I eat, let alone the cholesterol content.

As I said, I’m just starting, so let me tell you how it’s going so far…

  • I have energy.
  • I’ve lost weight.

Granted, I’m not doing this to lose weight. I’m doing this because I need to hit the restart button on this body. After fifty years and fully into my “crone” years things have slowed down enormously. I’m also doing this for Lent, because it involves a fast, but that’s an entirely different blog. Heh.

After a week, I was getting bored with breakfast eggs. So, I looked for a an alternative to my favorite  Cream of Wheat and found I could make a decent porridge substitute. There are literally dozens of paleo recipes out there that are called “paleo porridge” and really what they are is a custard. With that in mind,  here’s my take.

paleo porridge

Paleo Porridge for breakfast. Photo © Francine Mastini

Breakfast Porridge
serves 1

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • A pinch cardamom seeds
  1. In a small pot, combine all of the ingredients with a whisk.
  2. Stir frequently over a low heat until the thickness of your choice.
  3. Serve with a dusting of cinnamon or full fat cocoa or both and a dribble of coconut milk. It’s great with some fresh fruit garnish, especially one that you’ve macerated for juiciness, like berries.

Try it, it’s good!

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Panettone Rabanada http://www.pistachiohouse.com/2014/01/03/panettone-rabanada/ Fri, 03 Jan 2014 00:31:34 +0000 http://www.pistachiohouse.com/?p=1567

New Year's Day Brunch

New Year’s Day Brunch


New Year’s Day is one of those times I like to spend completely and totally mindlessly in front of my computer chewing and spitting out pixels. But, it’s also one of those days I like to make brunch. Diametrically opposed to one another, these two things can operate in the same house, Pistachio House, with very little effort if planned out for minimum effort.

This year, the plan was to make some french toast out of panettone. But, you know, that’s what everyone does. Right? Not here at Pistachio House.  We take our tostada seriously.

I plucked out a book from the shelf, cocked my head at the French Toast recipe in a favorite vegan book and turned it into my food. I have nothing against veganism or paeloism or any foodism. Food is food, cuisine is cuisine. The book Vegan Brunch bi Isa Chandra Moskowitz has EXCELLENT brunch recipes in it all of which exude the deliciousness of this cuisine.  I highly recommend it for any foodie (except those that don’t do tofu or tempeh because this book is loaded with that) whether you like fake meat or not. This recipe is neither vegan that is neither vegan, nor paleo, nor gluten-free. Sorry. But what it is? IS amazingly delicious. So I present to you the drooly, brunchy goodness  that is…

Panettone Rabanada

Feeds Four (or more depending on whether or not they’re piggies)

1 loaf Essential Baking Company Panettone cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices cut again on the diameter
2 bananas
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp cinnamon sugar (see recipe below)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp corn starch

Cinnamon Sugar:

Preheat oven to 200F.

photo 1Blend the bananas, eggs, milk, baking powder corn starch, cocoa powder, and cinnamon sugar in the food processor.

Pour the blended liquid into a half sheet pan. Place the bread slices into the sheet pan in a single layer. Let it sit on each side for 10 minutes each side.





Note: When you flip, lift each slice using a large based spatula. While the bread is still on the flipping spatula, use a spreading spatula to smooth the liquid out under the bread. Now, flip carefully and place the bread unsoaked side down. Smush each slice gently with the wider based flipping spatula. This will ensure maximum soakage.


Preheat a skillet or griddle, non-stick or cast iron are ideal, to medium (350F). Spread your fat of choice to grease (bacon fat is good, so is butter). Cook first side for 5-7 minutes. Flip and cook the second side for 3-4 minutes. When ready, the toasted bread should have a deep golden-brown appearance. Place in a baking dish in the oven and cover until all are completed.

Serve with fruit! There’s really no need for maple syrup with this dish as it’s already super-sweet from the bread itself.

Cinnamon Sugar

6 1/2 tbsp white superfine sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

I keep this handy in a shaker for sprinkling on toast.