Go Ahead and Cry


By Bera Dordoni, N.D.

Food. Men. We can’t live with or without them. Well, at least the food we can’t do without. Right, ladies? Oh, my, did I just say that? I know I also can’t live without my dogs! Or a good book. Or… especially Ron.

And it happens every day. I mean, we want to eat every day. Sometimes more than once a day – even three times a day along with some snacks. Why not? Even if we’re not hungry, we usually love to eat. It tastes good. Why? Often it’s all the chemicals that entice us if it’s a fast food designed to addict us (like sugar). Yum, good chemicals. But after a while, if you’re like most Americans caught up in the rut of grabbing a fast food because it’s convenient (and you’re tired after a long day at work), you might not want to give up something you like. It’s quick. It’s convenient. It’s immediate comfort. Other than the accompanying bloat or discomfort. You’ve grown accustomed to its taste, even if it doesn’t provide you with energy, increased mental capacity or joy for living.

Oddly enough, however, there are foods that come mostly straight from gardens that can do just that. Consuming foods designed for our bodies actually does provide us with joy for living, with increased energy or mental clarity, and they taste dang good if you’re willing to give them a try.

Recently we held two events that included ‘farm-to-table’ foods at the Ramah Farmers’ Market and at the Chamber of Commerce in Gallup. Lunch was served at each event and the response was overwhelmingly positive. For several of the dishes we prepared I’ve been asked to provide recipes. I’d gladly do so here, but I’ll only include what was in each dish and not the amounts, which I recommend each person/family do according to their size and if they want to have leftovers. I have to apologize – I simply don’t measure like normal people do or read cookbooks. I love to let my intuition do the commanding – and follow its guidance in putting in the ingredients and amounts. If you love to eat and don’t mind spending time in your kitchen instead of running to a fast-food joint, then your own creativity will take over. As you prepare your foods, taste test for flavor and texture you want.

Salads are my favorite ‘go-to’ dish throughout warm weather – all summer long I can live on what’s fresh from the garden. But once the weather changes so does my palate, and now I hanker for warm foods in addition to the salads, and the salads tend to become a bit heavier (including beans or whole grains). I love to have some form of soup available all winter long (so if you come visit us, you can expect to be served a bowl of soup).

We made similar soups for the Farmers’ Market and the Chamber of Commerce events. Basically, what was available in the local organic gardens or at La Montaňita Co-op made it into the soup.

Southwestern Harvest Soup

We steamed in a large stock pot some fresh pumpkin, eggplant and celery. At the same time we lightly sautéed onions, garlic, jalapeňos and potatoes in organic virgin coconut oil (yum!), then combined the sautéed items into the stock pot with the steamed veggies. We added to that some dulse and kombu (kelp) – both salty-flavored sea vegetables. Once those flavors were combined, we added coconut manna and nutritional yeast to taste. How much? I recommend tasting it as you’re preparing it for flavor and texture. Nutritional yeast has a slightly salty, cheesy, nutty flavor that lends a wonderful taste to a variety of dishes (it’s our ‘go-to’ along with the coconut oil for making popcorn). When we were about to serve the soup, we added raw, finely chopped kale and asparagus so there would still be some live enzymes remaining intact (not heated above 120 degrees) to nourish the body. The only thing not remaining when we finished both luncheons was any soup.

Of course the soup had to be accompanied by salads, so we threw together two easy salads that anyone can make in a hurry, both including foods that had just come from the garden.

Garbanzo/Quinoa Salad

The garbanzos and quinoa didn’t come from any of our local gardens, so we had to purchase those at La Montaňita Co-op in Gallup. Since we were in a rush, we didn’t prepare the garbanzos like we usually do (boil them for hours to soften them). Instead we allowed ourselves to purchase a couple of cans of organic garbanzos. The quinoa only takes about 20 minutes to prepare (boil in water). To that we added fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and spinach, finely chopped, diced onions and garlic, cilantro, organic corn, cayenne pepper, olive oil, fresh-squeezed lemon and ume plum vinegar. We also took no leftover salad home with us from the events.

Cabbage Salad

When cabbages are in season, they are so crunchy and delicious. I love to make fresh sauerkraut (http://gallupjourney.com/2012/08/fermenting-we-will-go/ or check out editor Nate’s DIY Gallup October article), add cabbage to my soups, or make a delicious cabbage salad (some might call it cole slaw). You might enjoy making my version with the following ingredients:

Large cabbage (organic, of course), fresh garlic, sliced almonds, toasted sesame seeds, red bell peppers, small amounts of liquid aminos, ume plum vinegar, coconut nectar (sugar), toasted sesame oil and apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered). Shred the cabbage, and mince the red bell peppers. Mix with the remaining ingredients and serve.

Munch Time

Grab some organic black corn chips and make a pico de gallo. Finely chop up tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, onions and jalapeňos, mix together, dig in your chips and enjoy.

Oat Seed Clusters

Attention: Mothers who give your kids snacks… Local farmer Denis Black shared his personal recipe with me for a healthful snack you can grab rather than junk food. I won’t divulge his exact recipe, because then I’d have to kill you, following which he’d kill me, but my takeoff is a variation on it, and you can make it with your own choice of nuts or seeds. If I’m honest here, I liked the texture of Denis’s combination better, and he says it’s because he boils the honey to make it hold together better. Since I like to keep as much of the nutrition intact, I don’t bring the honey to a boil. Simply, the recipe calls for approximately a cupful of uncooked oats, some sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, honey and almond butter (approx. ¼ cup) (or sunflower butter, peanut butter – your choice). Heat them in a pan long enough for them to moosh together, take them out and press them flat (½ inch thick), let cool, cut into clusters and enjoy. Good fiber, good taste.

Feel the Love & Cry

Everything that comes out of my kitchen has a big helping of love thrown in, which gives a warmie feeling. Interestingly, more than one person who has come up the mountain where I live has cried in their soup. They couldn’t explain what brought on the emotions, but they have each felt like they were being nurtured and loved, and said it brought on memories from their childhoods and ‘better times.’ Imagine that! You can make a soup for family and friends and make them cry.

Christmas gifts are often most appreciated when they’re homemade. Share some of your creations with family and friends and spread the wealth about health. I love receiving gifts that come from the heart – that took time to prepare – and have a purposeful intent. My favorite gift to give someone is sweet – get some raw, unfiltered organic honey and heat it very gently, just enough to allow it to become more liquid than solid (certainly NOT up near 120 degrees) and add some of my favorite chili powder to it, put it in a cute little jar with a ribbon and voila, here’s a gift of chili honey. As Jackie Gleason always said, ‘How sweet it is!’

We have to eat in order to live, although many of us live to eat that next bite of something full of addicting toxic chemicals; then we pay for it. We know it’s holiday time and we’re gonna junk out more often than not, and end up getting sick if we don’t counteract the junk food with nourishment. So why not eat something that can nourish you and sustain your health that you know was made with love and everything else good. Make a nice pot of soup and accompany it with a fresh garden salad. Share them with those you love.

I wish you great health, happiness, and more blessings than you can count through the holidays and always, and a good cry in your soup! See you in 2014.


Dr. Bera “The Wellness Whisperer” Dordoni, N.D.

Specializing in immune system rehabilitation, restoration, and maintenance through nutritional counseling, life-style coaching, and the laws of attraction. To purchase I Have a Choice?!, schedule a private consultation, or learn more about her next workshop, wellness retreat, or natural-health class, visit www.bastis.org or call 505-783-9001.