Egg difference


The last time I visited my mother in Spain she brought some fresh eggs from the “aldea” (village in Galician) where some of her extended family lives. Some of the eggshells were white, some were brown, some were bigger, some were smaller – no surprise there. It was the deep orange color of the yolk that really surprised me. I’m talking about a tone of orange I’ve never seen in any egg yolk before. At that time, I wasn’t that interested on ‘why’ the Galician yolks were much darker and brighter than the Californian yolks.

Those yolks were so brightly colored because the Spanish village chickens roamed around outside and they were out walking around and exercising in the sunshine, eating all kinds of grasses and insects in addition to the grains the chicken owner’s feed them. A more diverse diet and more nutrition made those eggs have more vitamins in them.  Those eggs were not pasteurized and probably infested with salmonella, all sorts of food born illness, hen’s crap, and other unsanitary issues…but it has been way over 72 hours and I’ve survived long enough to tell you that super fresh eggs from happy Spanish chickens that eat bugs and hang out in the sun all day are the BEST eggs I’ve ever tried.
Pasture Eggs

Last week I came across these pasture eggs from Vital Farms at my local Ralph’s.  They may not come from happy Spanish chickens but the flavor, color and texture of these eggs were in one word RIGHT! That’s how eggs suppose to be. I mean, look at the color of this yolk!!! No filter…straight from my iPhone. I wasn’t to excited to pay almost $6.00 for 12 of these delicious but not DEALicious (hah) eggs, but it was so worthy. So, it was over easy eggs for breakfast the whole week. The white part was consistently fluffy and the yolk so thick and creamy every time. And even though these eggs were not pasteurized, I’ve survived again to document them here.

Here are some facts I learn about eggs:

  • Shell color is breed specific and it’s no indication of quality.
  • Cage Free hens are not caged and they live inside barns, but they generally do not have access to the outdoors.
  • Free-Range and Free Roaming seem to mean the same.
  • Certified Organic the hens are uncaged inside barns and are required to have outdoor access, but duration of outdoor access is undefined. They are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics and pesticides.
  • Vegetarian fed means that the hens’ food doesn’t contain animal byproducts.
  • Pasture-raised hens are kept outdoors for most of the year, on a spacious pasture covered with living plants, and are kept indoors at night for protection.
  • Pastured eggs have been shown to be higher in vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, and lower in cholesterol and saturated fat.

A very personal detox!


Summer is almost done and it’s time to clean up my gut, liver, skin, mind…Call it detox if you like but it really is ‘nourishing’. Not all appetites are created equal and the juice type of detoxing just doesn’t work for me–not for my hunger, not for my pocket. I can’t handle being hungry and a all juice 3 day diet it’ll seriously harm my mental health, not to mention the family’s emotional health.

So rather than starving and punishing my system in order to clean it up, I adjust my diet and habits in order to remember how good my body feels as a whole when I nourish it rather than punish it!

Detox/cleansing doesn’t have to be complicated. Replacing is better than eliminating. For 3 days I eat mostly raw green foods, drink only water or homemade juice, and add some supplements like chlorophyl, fiber and probiotics to help flush the toxins. I still drink my coffee in the morning (my apologies to all the orthodox detoxers out there) and have a small taste of whatever I’m making for the kids (no, I don’t put them through cleansing…not yet!)

It’s my third time doing this and I’ve learned a couple of DOs and DON’Ts.

I DON’T start on a Monday. Why? Mondays are usually busy and sucky. It sets the tone. I rather start easily on Tuesday, seriously continue on Wednesday and finish easy on Thursday. By Friday and the weekend I’ll be tempted to screw up my clean insides, but I’ll think twice before indulging.  I DON’T expect to feel amazing right away. I usually feel shitty before I feel great.

I DO make a list and prep ahead. There’s no way! I could NOT succeed without having healthy detox appropriate food ready to eat. DO make sure you have a bathroom available all the time. Drinking liters of water and eating lots of greens and going to a movie, meeting or long event is just dumb. Be ready to pee like a horse and poop at least 3 times a day. If you don’t, you’re doing something wrong.

So here is how it goes down. I make a big batch of Green Soup (see recipe bellow) and eat that for lunch and/or dinner, wash a lot of salad (I dress it with whatever I like as long it’s not cheesy), cut a lot of fruit (pineapple is a must), leave my juicer on the counter (at least 8oz fresh juice a day) and exercise at least 15 minutes for the 3 days (walking works too). I won’t even touch cheese (I have an addiction problem) or anything that comes on a sealed package (ham, crackers, and even oatmeal). If I get hungry I eat soup, veggies, fruit…you get the idea. If I need something sweet, I juice some veggies and fruit, eat a couple of dates or blueberry banana chia pudding (recipe bellow).

Green detox soup

Green Soup with Bone Marrow

  • 1 container (32 oz.) of organic or free range chicken broth (I used Pacific)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 small beef bone with marrow (available at most regular supermarkets but I usually get them at Whole Foods where they cut it in small sizes upon request)
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 small (really small) sweet potato
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of dandelion OR 1 bunch of green kale (aprox. 5 cups if chopped)

If you have a pressure cook (which it’s indispensable in my opinion) all you need is to throw all of it together and cook for 1o minutes after pressure valve starts making noise. If you don’t have a pressure cook GO GET ONE. You won’t regret it! Meanwhile, on a big pot cook the bone with the liquid for at least 45 minutes than add 2 more cups of water and the rest of the veggies. Let it cook for another 45 minutes. Add more water as need it.

Remove marrow from bone with a small spoon and add it to the soup. Discard bone. Blend the ingredients directly in the pot with a handheld blender. You can also transfer only the cooked vegetables to a blender and poor the mixture back into the soup liquids left on the pot. If you like your soups chunky, just smash veggies around with a masher.

Try the soup. Season with liquid aminos and cayenne pepper.

Blueberry Banana Chia pudding

Blueberry Banana Chia Pudding

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used plain almond milk)
  • 4 dates (soak in hot water beforehand if they are tough)
  • 1 frozen or fresh ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

Blend everything except chia seeds. Add chia to mixture and let it refrigerate overnight. Easy, right?

Detox water

Boost cleansing by dressing your water with lemon, lime and cucumber.


I also add chlorophyll to my water 2 times a day (8-10 drops) which helps to purge toxins.

Sesame Kale Chips

Munch on kale chips. There are a zillion of recipes out there but my favorite way to bake kale is dressed with salt and a little bit of sesame oil. Use one bunch of washed green kale, pat dry and cut into big pieces. Place kale in a large bowl and massage it with 1 1/2 tsp of coconut oil and drizzle of sesame oil. Place it on a cookie sheet, bake it at 300 F for 30 minutes or until kale is dehydrated and crispy. Season with salt to taste.

Zucchini Noodles with fresh tomato and mushrooms

I save my most creative dishes for the last day because I know I’ll be tired of soup and salad quickly. Zucchini noodles tossed with fresh tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms and herbs is pretty satisfying and easy to make if you have one of this.

Detox doesn’t have to be brutal. For me it’s all about nourishing without loosing my mind. Detoxing is a way of improving my relationship with food while helping my body to somehow stabilize.


French Macarons: My scariest baking nightmare

It seems like every other food blog out there has a picture or entry about these colorful pastry delicacies. Sure, French Macarons are a food photographer’s indulgence. Even a polaroid photo of these pretty little things will make your mouth water.

I love cooking but I’m baking-challenged. Cooking is a flexible improvisational exercise. Baking is a precise no-room-for-error business. But life is full of challenges, right? So I attended a “How To Make French Macarons” hands-on class at The Grove’s Sur La Table yesterday.

And the French Macaron marathon started. I’m still exhausted from the almost 3 hours that it took to make 30 chocolate Macarons…and all prep work was done for us…and I had a partner.

My quick take on it is that I don’t feel right about aging egg whites for 3 days in my counter or expending a mini-fortune buying essential items to make these little baking nightmares.

Although the class was fun and it’s always a blast to meet new people especially in the kitchen,  I was relieved to come home and share the experience with my family. The kids enjoyed the colorful treats and enthusiastically asked: “Can you make more for us tomorrow?”

“No”, I said. “But we can certainly buy them.”