Monthly Archives: October 2014

Wolfgang Puck’s Organic Soups Product Review

wp soup multiIdeally I would like to make my own soup but every now and then a quick meal is needed and I try to make it as healthy as I can. So our local store on Gabriola (Canada) had a special on the new Wolfgang Puck organic canned soups. They were on for 2 for $5. It’s really one meal in a can (no water added) so this could be a bit pricey for some people and also consider that the full price will be more than that. They will be less money in the US I would assume. However, the ingredients are very reasonable and all organic. So far the ones I have tried are truly excellent tasting. I’ve tried the Tortilla, Tomato and Basil, Chicken and Dumplings, Corn Chowder and Minestrone. There is gluten in some of them so if you are avoiding that, pay attention to the addition of pasta and flour in some varieties. There are a few other kinds but I haven’t tried them yet or we can’t get them here.

A little bit about Wolfgang Puck…if you don’t watch the Food Network, you might not know that he is a famous chef…:)

The name Wolfgang Puck is synonymous with the best of restaurant hospitality and the ultimate in all aspects of the culinary arts. The famous chef has built an empire that encompasses three separate Wolfgang Puck entities: Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Catering, and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.

WPPuck began cooking at his mother’s side as a child. She was a chef in the Austrian town where he was born, and with her encouragement, Wolfgang began his formal training at fourteen years of age. As a young chef he worked in some of France’s greatest restaurants, including Maxim’s in Paris, the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, and the Michelin 3-starred L’Oustau de Baumanière in Provence. At the age of 24, Wolfgang took the advice of a friend and left Europe for the United States. His first job was at the restaurant La Tour in Indianapolis, where he worked from 1973 to 1975.

Wolfgang came to Los Angeles in 1975 and very quickly garnered the attention of the Hollywood elite as chef and eventually part owner of Ma Maison in West Hollywood. His dynamic personality and culinary brilliance that bridged tradition and invention made Ma Maison a magnet for the rich and famous, with Wolfgang as the star attraction. He had an innate understanding of the potential for California cuisine, and was pivotal in its rise to national attention during the late 1970s.

You can read more about the famous chef here

So all in all a VERY good tasting, relatively healthy choice for a quick meal or something you could take to work and heat up easily. I recommend it.



What Do We Feed Our Puppy?

Georgie on the chair (1 of 1)-2

Not quite tall enough yet to steal Nutty the seagull’s food.

I’ve had some people ask specifically what we feed our 4 1/2 month old Akita puppy who, by the way, is now over 30 pounds. She was at the vet for a check up a couple of days ago and another client said, ‘That’s a movie star dog.’ The vet couldn’t stop stroking her fur back and forth and was obviously impressed with her health and temperament. On the way back to the Gabriola ferry we stopped at Buddies Natural Pet Food for a month supply of raw food. That’s all they do…raw food. There’s no kibble or anything processed in their store. They have their plant in Duncan, stores in Duncan, Victoria and Nanaimo. They have other locations on the mainland etc so see the retailers link below. The food they sell is fit for human consumption. There are other brands of raw food available as well such as Red Dog, Blue Cat, Mountain Dog Food and Pets Go Raw.

So Buddies sell bags of frozen 1 and 2 lb blocks of ‘meals’. By that I mean for example, beef and chicken (with ground bones), veggies and innards in the right proportion to what they would eat in the wild. This is important. So if you are going to feed your pet raw food, do it right. Yes you could make your own but the ground bone is important so that requires the right equipment.

Right now because Georgie is growing, we are using the beef/chicken meal as it is high in protein. They do have poultry on it’s own (chicken, turkey, duck), rabbit, lamb, pork, venison, etc. This time I bought a 20 lb bag of the 1 lb blocks and she gets about 1 of these per day (around $60). I also bought a bag of lamb necks, chicken necks and beef necks. These are almost all edible and serve as part of a meal. So this should stretch us to about a month. I also buy local (Gabriola) ground beef and make small balls and freeze so I can use these in between meals if she is hungry. She gets as much as she needs and we just watch her waistline. If it looks like she’s losing her waistline, we back off a bit. I divide her meals into 4 right now but 2 is fine. I’ll go to that when she is a bit older. Right now she needs the sustained energy so more times a day seems to suit her best. I’m home most of the time so I can do it but if you are working then 2x a day might be more practical.

Buddies also sell a variety of other supplementary foods for a change like herring (a stinky outdoor treat), antlers, tripe and they have supplements. I get supplements for Georgie from Standard Process Labs as they have a nutraceutical veterinarian line which is great. I give her 2 Optimal EFAs per day from Biotics which is 1000 mg. They also have treats available that are dehydrated so still technically raw. However, I make my own treats since I have a great dehydrator. Dehydrate at no higher than 113 F to keep treats raw. Over that and enzymes are destroyed. Click for recipes Beef Jerky and other jerkies. I have some in the dehydrator right now and she likes to hang out underneath it…just in case. LOL I also make cookies (no grain just meat, coconut flour to bind and other goodies so they are very packed with protein and flavour. Here’s a variation on the cookies too. I have also dehydrated thinly sliced sweet potato and I had some huge carrots from a local organic farm the worked too. I give her those from time to time. She likes apple and I dehydrated some cranberries but they take forever so I took them out early and throw a few in her meal and she likes those too. If you have a finicky pet, you will have to experiment. Ours seems to like everything except perhaps oysters:) We collected some at the beach and she wasn’t too interested in them. A new addition to Buddies line is dehydrated meals for ease when traveling…just reconstitute and voila! Buddies have a discount system too so you can get a break when you buy over $100 and all new customers get a discount.

Georgie on the chair (1 of 1)

Lounging around. Much to my surprise, shortly thereafter she leapt on to the glass outdoor coffee table. EEEK! Thank God it didn’t break!

So I guess that’s about it. It took a bit of figuring to start with but it’s easy now and it’s definitely paying off. Think of the life of your pet and how much more quality it will have and less trips to the vet. This is how they were meant to eat. Just like us…no processed stuff just real food.

I’ll talk a bit about vaccines another time. Oh and by the way, last night Georgie slipped while charging around the yard. Later I noticed one ear was bugging her. There was nothing to see inside so my husband, Rodney (aka Dr. DiffRANT) checked her neck and it was out so he adjusted it and no more ear problem. So keep in mind that some pet issues might need a chiropractor and there are some around that will see animals.

Retailers…coming soon to Fort Langley!store

I forgot, I make kefir too and she gets a bit of that every day for good gut flora:)

March 2015 update…Buddies doesn’t have it’s own retail outlet in Nanaimo anymore but Bark and Fitz now carries it at the same price. They just recently got out of the franchise and are called Fetch for Dogs. Same owner and location.

6338 Metral Drive, Unit 4B
Nanaimo, British Columbia

Sorry...can't help showing her off:)

Sorry…can’t help showing her off:)


Tags: , , , ,

Why is the Paleo Diet the Best?

Dr. DiffRant's Blog

Paleo-Diet---chart-1-One wonders if any one way of eating is right for everyone and of course there will always be variations for each individual. However, from all our time in the holistic health business, the one way of eating that stands out is the Paleo Diet. For one thing…it isn’t a ‘diet’ per se. It’s just the right way to eat so if you are doing that, you shouldn’t gain unwanted fat. Just be aware that there are 2 takes on the paleo diet. One is protein, protein, protein so high in meats, fish and other proteins. The other one, which I think is a better way for most is the vegetable based paleo diet. This can be vegetarian but not necessarily and for myself, I don’t feel great on a veg diet so I prefer to include meat and fish but just not tons. So just be aware of that…

View original post 1,138 more words


More on Raw Dog Treats

Georgie Girl

Georgie Girl

So the treats were a roaring (or should I say barking) success and they disappeared much more quickly than I thought. What I like about them is that for a growing puppy they are packed with protein and really help sustain her energy throughout the day. They can be broken for smaller treats too.

The second time I made these, I used about 2 lbs of ground organic beef and 1 lb of ground salmon. I added 2 eggs, some Romaine Lettuce and a TBSP of Spirulina. So they are now Green cookies:) I also dehydrated them a bit longer so they are crispier. I am still keeping them in the fridge as a precaution but they are quite dry so should be fine at room temp for a while. I also took them off the paraflexx sheet about half way through so they had more air circulating.

See the link to the original recipe.


Tags: , , ,

Time for Some Curry!!

We tried to go for Indian food in Nanaimo yesterday but the restaurant we were going to (Tandoori Junction) closes between lunch and dinner and with the ferry schedule as it is these days, we just can’t get there in time or wait around for them to open for dinner. So…got to make my own. Here’s my take on Butter Chicken. I added coconut milk and spicy chillies. Butter Chicken usually isn’t too spicy but I grew some chillies this year and figured, ‘Why not?’.

So here’s my recipe.

Spicy Chicken Coconut Curry, Serves 4 Print

chicken curryThis is my take on a butter chicken that is so popular with western diners in Indian restaurants. I still remember when I discovered it for the first time. I was in heaven!

This time I decided to spice it up and add some coconut so it’s definitely not a traditional butter chicken recipe. Serve it over rice for a gluten free meal. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making ghee (butter melted down and milk solids skimmed off), you can use a combo of coconut oil and butter. This works quite well and adds another layer of coconut taste to the dish. The coconut oil has a higher smoke point than butter and helps prevent it from burning. You can marinate the chicken in yogurt or kefir for a few hours if you like. Usually butter chicken recipes require this. Throw some Garam Masala in the yogurt too. It just adds to the flavour. The yogurt adds a bit of creaminess as well.

2 tablespoons Ghee, see directions below
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 -inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 jars or cans tomato sauce, 15 oz
1 to 2 tablespoons Garam Masala , available in most super markets or make your own, see below
1 cinnamon stick
2 small hot red chilles, fresh preferably or dried (more if you really like HOT!)
Celtic or Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ cups chicken stock (organic or home made)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 lemon, juiced

How to make Ghee:

Put the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Melt the butter slowly and make sure it does not sizzle or brown. Increase the heat and bring the butter to a boil. When the surface is covered with foam, stir gently and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Gently simmer, uncovered, and undisturbed for 45 minutes, until the milk solids in the bottom of the pan have turned golden brown and the butter on top is transparent. Strain the ghee through a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth. The ghee should be perfectly clear and smell nutty; pour into a glass jar and seal tightly.

Garam Masala:

2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
2 dried red chilles, broken in pieces, seeds discarded
2 tablespoons turmeric

Toast the coriander, cumin, cardamom, peppercorns, fennel, mustard, cloves, and the chilles in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat just until they smell fragrant, about 2 minutes. In a clean coffee grinder, spice mill or mortar and pestle, grind the toasted spices together to a fine powder. Add the turmeric and give it another quick buzz to combine. Use the curry powder immediately, or store in a sealed jar for up to 1 month.

Makes about 1/2 cup


Heat the ghee in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic and cook slowly until the onions are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste, Garam Masala, cinnamon stick, and chilles and give it a good stir; season with salt and pepper. Pour in the coconut milk, tomato sauce and chicken stock and bring it back to a simmer; simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes or up to an hour. Add the chicken, cilantro, and half the lemon juice; continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and serve over Basamati rice.
This is traditionally served with a bread as well like Garlic Naan but if you want gluten free stick with the rice.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Mains, Poultry


Tags: , , , ,