Call for Recipe Testers!

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As I promised, here’s a list of entrees from the first to be released, Enlightened Cook ebook.  If you’d like test any of these just send me the title of recipes at  I’ll send back the recipe and for many a photo of the finished dish. What I would value in return is your feedback with specifics about length of  preparation time you experienced, whether the measurements, especially the spices were accurate and the like.

Towering Chicken Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Shrimp Curry in a Hurry

Chicken korma

Aloo Gobi

Broiled Ahi Tuna with Tamari-Lemon Glaze

5-Minute Dover Sole Saute

Sautéed Whole Red Snapper with White Grape Sauce

Porterhouse Steak with Sautéed Onions and Portobello Mushrooms for Two

Gingered Snapper

Chicken Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Maple Syrup -Poached Salmon

Osso Buco: Fall-off-the –Bone Veal Shank

Pistachio-Crusted Stuffed Chicken

Roast Duck

Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches

Oven-Baked Fish Cakes with Mango

Tilapia con Pepitos (Pumpkin Seeds)

Turkey Meatloaf

Vertical Roasted Chicken

Oven-poached Halibut for One

Fried Eggs Italian-Style

Simple Shitake & Arctic Char Sauté

Curried Steak

Many thanks to supporters of my upcoming cookbook, The Enlightened Cook; Think Like a Yogi, Eat Like a King.

Bodacious Albacore Bisque

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Look out people!  This soup is Bodacious!! By that I mean not for the faint of heart. Hardy, yummy, meal-in-a-bowl soup. I made a huge stockpot full last week and have been rationing it out to friends and neighbors all week. It’s also a great recipe to make hours in advance of entertaining and then just letting guests ladle out a bowl for themselves at their leisure.

My goal was to make a thick seafood soup without roux, the classic french soup thickener that’s in pretty much every chowder you’ve ever had. Roux starts with butter and white flour and I thought, eh– why go there? Other than texture, what’s the advantage? There’s no real nutrition with processed, bleached wheat flour,  and butter–well, it’s not on the top of my list as a superfood either. As a tantric yogini, I want more energy, more life force from everything I ingest and roux just didn’t make the cut!

So after literally a few years of contemplation and the great inspiration of my pal, Joel, who went fishing way south in in the deep seas west of Mexico, I bring you Albacore Bisque. One secret to this recipe is the absolutely fabulous 2  1/2 lb. of line-caught albacore from Joel. The other secrets are more subtle, as follows…

To achieve the smooth cream-like soup without using dairy either, I implemented a bit of knowledge I learned from web-cohort, Heather Van Vorous site, The site makes clear the distinction between two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. The latter is all the fibrous ruffuge one thinks of as high fiber, as in kale, celery and most vegetables that still require a lot of chomping even after cooking to break down the stringiness. The former is what we love about vegetables that turn to silky mush when cooked, such as yams, potatoes, turnips, carrots, etc. (By the way, if you have irritable bowel syndrome, you want lots of soluble (mush) fiber and insoluble fiber only when it’s been well softened by cooking. This management of fiber appeases the overly-active peristalsis that’s symptomatic of IBS patients.)

So what other smooth, silky things could I add? I added  a full cup of one of my fav superfoods kudzu root powder and 20 oz. of tofu. Those along my top notch, soluble fiber vegies (white potatoes, a few carrots, a parsnip and a turnip and a huge celery root)  lots of slow cooking and pureeing, and finally the most amazing bisque.

If tuna isn’t at a good price, I recommend trying mahi mahi, swordfish, cod, tilapia, sole, or thresher shark. Enjoy all those omega fish oils, and as always, live long and prosper, my dear cooks!

Creamy Albacore Bisque

(wheat and dairy-free!)

2 1/2 lb albacore tuna

2 T coconut oil

2 medium onions

5 medium thin-skinned potatoes

1 turnip

1 celery root

1 parsnip

2” inches fresh ginger root

1 quarts vegetable stock

2 quarts fish stock

1 cup water

1 cup powdered kudzu root

20 oz tofu

3 T sea salt

1 t finely ground black pepper

1 t ground cardamom

1 T dry mustard

2 cups sliced celery

1 cup chopped carrot

Peel and chop 2 onions and sauté them in the bottom of a large stockpot on medium high with 2 T coconut oil and 1 t salt until golden brown. Add the stock, the whole potatoes, turnip, celery root and parsnip. Coarse chop the ginger and add to the pot, bringing it to a boil for 25 minutes.

Turn off the heat and use tongs to remove all the whole vegetables to bowl and  rub them with a clean dishcloth to quickly peel them when they are cool enough to touch. Break them up a bit and return them to the pot. Puree the soup that has now cooled a bit with an immersable hand blender or in batches in a regular blender.

Measure 1 cup of kudzu powder into a measuring cup and fill with one cup of water. Mix thoroughly and add to the soup with the tofu, remainder of the sea salt, finely ground black pepper, dry mustard and ground cardamom. Remove the seeds and membranes from the red bell peppers, slice and add to the soup to cook for an additional 25 minutes. Puree the soup again to incorporate the peppers.

Slice 4-5 celery stalks and leaves to equal 2 cups of ¼” celery slices. Chop 2 carrots into ½” pieces.  Add to the smooth and thickened soup to gently cook for 20 minutes.

Tear the albacore tuna into 1” pieces, anticipating that they will naturally break up in the soup. Continuing to simmer the bisque, add the tuna at least 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday Gravy in the pot now!

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Sunday gravy is made–even though it’s Wednesday. Friends coming over for dinner on Friday to enjoy it with pasta and all the trimmings. Tomorrow will be a special delivery of meatballs, sausage, bracciole in tomato sauce.

Ok, so Italians reveal yourselves: Can I get 3 cheers for bracciole???

Sunday Gravy

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I just bought some all natural ground beef and pork for meatballs, plus some very thin slices of steak to make bracciole. Every Sunday and every holiday except Christmas Eve, whether at my folks house or another relative’s we were visiting, it was a tradition to eat pasta with “meat gravy.” For those of Italian-descent from the east coast, gravy refers to tomato sauce with meat or sometimes chicken. I believe I could make it in my sleep. This time I’ve got to force myself to measure for the sake of my anticipated cookbook readers!

I’ll post something on this reel soon.

September Cooking Classes

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September cooking classes forming.  Email me at for the latest info. Of course, the meals we’ll prepare will be healthy and delicious!

Marlon teaching on-camera

Marlon teaching on-camera

Photog Kevin Gregory’s muse remains Ms. Octopus

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Cuisinart Steak Knives for Less

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Cuisinart Steak Knives

Steak Knives

America’s Test Kitchen rated Cuisinart’s steak knives among the best in a product rating segment. I eat so little red meat, I couldn’t justify the expenditure, but yet I did want to own more than the 2 Henkle paring knives I do for better tabletop presentation. Alas, there’s nothing like a bargain to simulate the economy. I found a set of the Cuisinart knives at a Los Angeles Ross Dress For Less store for a fraction of the $42 list price I found here on the Cuisinart site

Yaaaaawza! Pistachio Crusted, Stuffed Chicken Thighs- Recipe coming!

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Last night for our picnic dinner at the Hollywood Bowl, I made a new chicken dish for handsome Bowl-mate Derek and I, that really turned out fab. It starts out with Trader Joe’s boneless chicken thighs, which I stuffed with tiny grape tomatoes, feta cheese and caramelized onions. Then I tied the rolled bundles with twine and coated them with a mixture of ground pistachios (coffee grinder worked great), cumin and coarse black pepper. Covered with a sheet of tin foil and slow cooked on my iron griddle with just a tad of olive oil, these babies were succulent, juicy with just a little oozing cheese after approximately 8 minutes a side. The crust was truly unique. Oh, I did brine the chicken for a day in salt water, because, well, brining is just my new thing.

I’ll get this recipe up soon. I promise!!

Had any good Sodium Tripolyphospate lately?

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If summer fare means eating lighter for you as it does for so many of us, you may have involuntarily ingested sodium tripolyphosphate. Many packaging plants “wash” shrimp and scallops in the harmful chemical before freezing. It gives the manufacturer the safety of killing every living bacteria (excuse me, but some of those are actually useful), so they’re not liable there. In the process, they’ve bleached away the delicate flavor those lovely crustaceans.

It seems the solution is often the same: shop in a health food market that understands you don’t want to ingest a industrial chemicals. There you are likely to pay more per pound, but in reality it probably works out just the same as purchasing untreated goods because the sodium tripolyphosphate makes foods retain water. If for instance Whole Foods is charging $8.99 for shrimp and more downscale market is charging $5.99, it could be without the additional water retention in the treated shrimp, you are getting just as much actual shrimp  spending $8.99 per pound.

Other sources of this harmful chemical with which you may come in contact are–are you ready for this— household cleaners.

Wikipedia says:

STPP is a solid inorganic compound used in a large variety of household cleaning products, mainly as a builder, but also in human foodstuffs, animal feeds, industrial cleaning processes and ceramics manufacture. STPP is widely used in regular and compact laundry detergents and automatic dishwashing detergents (in powder, liquid, gel and/or tablet form), toilet cleaners….

Food Applications: It is common in food production. In foods, STPP is used to retain moisture. Many governments regulate the quantities allowed in foods, as it can substantially increase the sale weight of seafood in particular.

Many people find STPP to add an unpleasant taste to food, particularly delicate seafood. The taste tends to be slightly sharp and soapy and is particularly detectable in mild-tasting foods. The increased water holding properties can also lead to a more diluted flavor in the food.

Toxitcokinetics and acute toxicity: Polyphosphates are hydrolyzed into smaller units (orthophosphates) in the gut before absorption, which may induce a metabolic acidosis[citation needed]. The acute toxicity of polyphosphates is low, as the lowest LD50 after oral administration is > 1,000 mg/kg body weight

Tools ‹ The Enlightened Cook — WordPress

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Tools ‹ The Enlightened Cook — WordPress.