September 27, 2013

Recipes for Life with Jill Dahan

Let me introduce you to Jill Dahan. I met her a few years ago through some mutual friends and immediately found her to be delightful. My husband has been quite taken with her for sometime as well, for at least one reason that I find hard to argue. She is an amazing cook!! Not only off the charts tasty but healthy. I am one of those women who loves the idea of feeding my family the most healthy dinner I could create, however, then the reality of my world comes crashing down around us. Much to the dismay of my sweet husband, who never complains about what we eat but would be in heaven, if only I could prepare a meal resembling anything that we have eaten in Jill’s presence.

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Jill actually has a fascinating story. She lived and worked many years in London, across Europe, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. During her time she professes that she was not much of a cook but had an interest in eating more healthy foods. She landed in a quaint English village called Sunninghill, where she ultimately began raising her three boys along with her husband, Rafic. She started teaching cooking classes and experimenting with new ideas and ingredients.

This would become more of a passion as she dealt with a couple of severe health crises in her family. Two of her boys were diagnosed with cancer and one was an extremely rare form. So, the mission to help her family regain their health was now underway, and in the process she began using ingredients in unexpected ways that have culminated in some delicious and incredibly healthy new recipes. Jill’s determination and research combined with her passion to help others prepare and eat foods that nourish our body is inspirational.

Jill teaches classes here in Charlotte at Earthfare but even more exciting is her new cookbook. It’s entitled Starting Fresh. I absolutely love it. I need all the help that I can get as I realize that all the processed foods that are so easy to use are also terribly unhealthy for all of us. I was raised in a home full of boxed foods and I am trying to break out of that habit with my own kids.

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This is one of the recipes from her book. It’s her go to in the morning:

EGGS
Loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein, eggs are one of nature’s most perfect foods. Relatively inexpensive, they can be prepared in a zillion ways.
Eggs, having all eight essential amino acids, are beneficial for cardiovascular and brain health. The choline found in egg yolks helps prevent the collection of cholesterol and fat in the liver.  Choline also boosts the brain’s memory power for 4-5 hours after eating. Organic eggs are higher in omega-3s which are are extremely beneficial in preventing heart disease. (Buy pasture-raised if you can. )

Breakfast on the Fly

[Serves 1]
½ tsp coconut oil or butter for greasing ramekin
1 slice tomato
a few fresh baby spinach leaves
1 large egg
1 tbsp unsweetened almond or cows milk
1 tbsp feta, cheddar, or goat cheese, crumbled
Brush a little oil inside a small ramekin cup and then put tomato
slice on the bottom. Microwave for 20 seconds. Add spinach, egg,
,milk, and sprinkle with cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds for soft
yolk or a little longer for harder yolk.
Alternatively: Bake in the oven for 5 minutes with the tomato in the
ramekin and then add the rest of the ingredients as above and bake
4-5 minutes for runny eggs or 6-7 minutes for harder yolks.

Jill’s cookbook is out on the shelves and she has appearances in Davidson and all over Charlotte in October. Her website is www.jilldahan.com. She has many other recipes on her website and I absolutely love that she is local. By the way, proceeds from her books are being donated to help fund research to fight cancer. You can also contact Jill directly through her website.

Ok Smarty Moms, let’s support our local talent and in the process, at least at my home, improve the quality of what we eat.

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