Bonus Episode: Cooking the Weight & Wellness Way

April 1, 2020

Join Dar and Marianne as they discuss healthy recipes you can make at home.

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DARLENE: Well, welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Darlene Kvist, the founder of Nutritional Weight and Wellness and of this podcast, Dishing Up Nutrition. You know, in the past two weeks it feels as though our lives have been turned upside down. Instead of shopping and stopping for lunch at our favorite restaurant or meeting friends for dinner, now we need to cook for ourselves and for our families. Now that you're home, you may find yourself standing in the kitchen saying to yourself, “Well, what will I cook for lunch today? What can I make that is simple, but also something that's going to taste great?” So today we want to help you by giving you some simple meal ideas with easy steps to follow so that you can actually make a very tasty lunch. You know, I have my apron on and I have asked Marianne, our Weight and Wellness cooking instructor to join me as we share ideas on this podcast. And we're calling this podcast: Cooking the Weight and Wellness Way. She's going to talk you through three simple recipes that are easy to prepare and of course, those that taste great. Marianne will start with, you know, something that's rather simple, a tuna salad, and then she'll then give us some tips on how she makes a great tasting chili. You know, she's going to tell you how to spice it up or spice it down. For all of you more experienced cooks out there, she will also explain how she makes a batch of bone broth. Marianne has got lots of ideas on bone broth. You know, Marianne, when you taught our recent cooking classes at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, everyone raved about your teaching and how much they learned from you. And with all those rave reviews, I thought, “Hey, we should be helping people get comfortable in their kitchen.” You know, because we know that it's going to go on for several weeks that we're going to have to be doing our own cooking. And some of us, well not us, but some of those people, some of our listeners, they haven't been cooking for a while. We hear it all the time. So, Marianne, thanks for joining me this morning and, just kind of share with our listeners a little bit about yourself; some of your culinary background and why cooking and eating real food is so important to you.

MARIANNE: Oh, Dar, thank you so much. It is absolutely my pleasure to talk to you today and to all of the listeners under these circumstances. And, and I'm glad that we are talking about my favorite subject. I assume it's one of your favorite subjects and that's food.


MARIANNE: Absolutely; so my name is Marianne Jurayj and I'm a chef and a culinary nutrition educator. I've been cooking professionally for over 25 years. I worked the line of many twin cities restaurants. I served as Director of Dining in higher education and now I have a company called The Cooks Cure, which helps people to see cooking as part of self-care and to gain some culinary skills to do that. And so it was absolutely so wonderful to connect with Weight and Wellness clients and do that cooking class, and partner with you, Dar, and create those classes that are so fantastic. It was such a pleasure and we had so much fun.

DARLENE: Yeah. I mean, isn’t it great to go and teach something and just have fun with it? And know that you're really connecting with people? And when they go home they're going to try whatever you said. So that's great. I know making a tuna salad seems so easy. So when I suggested this, I bet you thought... I bet you rolled your eyes actually.

MARIANNE: No, no, no, I didn't do that. But it is a good starting place.

DARLENE: You know, I know many of our listeners, they haven't made a tuna salad for years. You know, they may have picked up a tuna salad at their local grocery store or co-op, but we know as nutritionists and nutrition educators and as great chefs, that the quality of the mayonnaise that are in some of those products that we pick up the grocery store that are premade, they’re not the best. So let's kind of go and say, okay, if you're going to make a tuna salad, what kind of, what kind of canned tuna do you choose and why? Also, Marianne, talk about the kind of mayonnaise that you use because I know that many of those mayonnaises out there contains soybean oil and on our other shows we talk about that all the time as being a factory fat that it’s going to damage your cells. So…

MARIANNE: Absolutely. Yeah, I totally agree. And you know, any good recipe has to start with really good ingredients. And so I tend to lean towards the skipjack tuna. It's a smaller fish and therefore it has less mercury in it. It's still really high in omega-threes. And they're usually packed in water and they've got the little slip top; super easy to use. And, and I feel like everyone could look in their pantry right now and probably find a can of tuna or salmon, something like that. So this recipe should be really, should be something that everybody can sort of jump onto. And so, so you have really good tuna. I'm going to say this recipe also works well with salmon or sardines if you're that adventurous.


MARIANNE: And then, the mayonnaise, so boy, there's a lot of mayonnaise out there. And, food manufacturers have gotten really good about knowing that the key words that we want to see. And, I looked at a jar the other day and it said that it was an olive oil mayonnaise, but when I turned it around, the second ingredient after water was soybean oil. So even though it said olive oil on the front, and there was all the oil in the, in the ingredients, but it was farther down and it was, it was, it was not the only oil on that label. So we have to be careful to, to, even though it says it on the front, we still have to check those labels for sure.

DARLENE: You know, I think, Marianne, we drive this home and on every one of our podcasts is that soybean oil is really a damaged fat that damages your cells. So, so what…?

MARIANNE: Yeah, yeah, I agree. Now I tend to use Primal Kitchen, which is a great brand. They have an avocado oil; comes in a couple of different flavors and that's the only oil in it. And then I found the other day, Sir Kensington's; they have an avocado oil now that is, it's free of all those other kinds of oils and it all, they're all ingredients you can pronounce, which is fabulous. So I was excited to find another brand. But yeah, and Hain’s expeller-pressed safflower oil. We, we, we like that one too. So that one's probably pretty easy to find in most grocery stores. And so, so you've got, those are the two main ingredients. And then the rest is a little bit, there's a lot of creativity. And so, so we have a recipe on our website, our salmon salad. But like I said, it can be interchanged with tuna or sardines. And I add a little green onion. Whenever I, I make a salad that has called for onion I tend to do red or green onions. They're milder. They, they, they, they really have a nice flavor and they're not as strong as a yellow or a white onion.


MARIANNE: And then, our recipe calls for frozen peas, which, which really fleshes out this, it almost makes it a meal for sure. And we've got hard-boiled eggs, some ripe olives, which add to that fatty flavor. And then we've got the, we've got a third of a cup of cold-pressed mayonnaise. And then you can add herbs. And I like to use soft leaf herbs like basil or tarragon. But you can use dry herbs. If you had some dry dill that would be fabulous, which pairs really well with salmon. And, you know, you can get really creative. If you're using an avocado oil, you could throw it in a little ginger. I feel like now turmeric is sort of the cool, anti-inflammatory spice and boy you could throw a little of that in there and it tastes fantastic.

DARLENE: That sounds easy to make. So how much tuna or salmon would you be using?

MARIANNE: So for four servings, we would do two seven-ounce cans of wild salmon or tuna. And then I would put in something crunchy and that could be celery. You could put in a cup of celery; do a quarter cup of green onions. Like I said, really nice mild flavor, but you could use red onions there; a cup of frozen peas and you would have those thawed before you put them in the recipe. And two hard-boiled eggs. And you can chop those up, adds a little more protein, a little more texture.


MARIANNE: And then we threw in a half a cup of ripe olives. And those could be black or kalamata if you wanted to do sort of a Mediterranean flavor profile, you could do the kalamata, but black olives work really well. And then a third of a cup of mayonnaise, and then two tablespoons of whatever fresh herbs you have around: parsley, basil, tarragon. And, and I would do probably two teaspoons of dry.

DARLENE: Okay. So Marianne, if I wanted to make mine just a little more tangy or taste, what would you put in?

MARIANNE: So you could add in a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.


MARIANNE: You could add… to really brighten the flavors you could add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. You know, often we feel like something's missing from a recipe and it, it tends to be an acid, which we don't think about. We, we tend to go to the salt shaker and think, “Oh, I need to just put more salt in this.” But often it's an acid that we need to add to brighten it. But, but you know, like I said, fresh herbs are amazing and I love herbaceous things that, that really, really brighten flavors.

DARLENE: You know, it's so interesting that you just gave little tips for people that are not experienced cooks; will just make the recipe just really zing for people. And it's just little things like maybe adding just a little bit of vinegar and adding a certain kind of herb. Great; great Marianne. You can tell that you really know how to cook. So, so you know, let's go on, you know, help you out in case you're not able to jot down everything Marianne just shared. We have, you know, we have the tuna salad and the salmon salad in our either in the cookbook or it's on our website at So I think Marianne, we really don't have a tuna salad our website, do we? Or do we?

MARIANNE: You know, we don't have a tuna salad, but the salmon salad, you can simply trade out the the salmon for tuna and it will work absolutely the same way.

DARLENE: You know, the reason that I picked tuna salad to start out with is because I think in the back of everybody's cupboard, they've got some tuna.

MARIANNE: Absolutely; yup. I totally agree. Yeah.

DARLENE: So let's switch gears, Marianne, and let’s have you kind of talk us through how you would make a batch of chili. And again, I was thinking, you know, you have a lot of people have extra, they have their kids at home that they're feeding and they need something for lunch that's going to be easy; and you can make several batches of chili at once. So I'm going to turn it over to you, Marianne, just so you know what kind of direction that I was thinking of.

MARIANNE: Fantastic. Well, I love chili and you know, we're still, it's March, even though it's a little sunny today, it, it can still, it can still be a little cold and it's nice to, to warm up the kitchen with a nice big pot of chili. And I, I have to say, I am really fortunate, because my brother raises grass-fed beef, so I get, I get my beef right off the farm. And so obviously if you can, always find meat that is really good; it's pasture-raised, organic, organic if you can. So let's talk about making chili. And our recipe on the website is a beef chili and it calls for two pounds of ground beef to one can of beans. And we do that because we want it to, we want to avoid too many carbohydrates. We want that to be a good ratio. And we know that protein supports our immune function and our moods and they are so important. So we like everybody to have at least four to six ounces of meat per person. And this recipe is fantastic. So you can use any ground meat, quite frankly. You can use beef, but you could also put in turkey or chicken. You could do a blend of beef and pork, which would be really tasty.

DARLENE: That just sounds good.

MARIANNE: Yeah, it's really good. So let me tell you, this is how we've got it on, on our website. So we've got two pounds of ground beef and we cook that up in avocado oil. You could use coconut oil when we're, when we're, we're cooking at a higher heat when you're browning meat. I tend to like avocado oil or coconut oil. It's got a little bit of a higher smoke point. You could use ghee, which is also a clarified butter. And so we, we brown that up and then we set it aside and in that same pan we add, we add a little bit more avocado oil or ghee or coconut oil and we sauté our onions; we've got a cup of onions, a cup of green peppers. That could be red peppers as well if you prefer. And we do two cloves of garlic and you want to put the garlic in a little bit later because you don't want that garlic to burn. It doesn't take long for garlic. So garlic really only needs a minute or so to brown up. And I'll tell you my little, my little trick with garlic. Garlic, if you, if you have it in a recipe, have it be the one of the first things you chop up because it is so good for us, but it doesn't release the nutrients we need. They are not bioavailable to us if we throw them into the pan right after you cut them. So cut them up and leave them for 10 minutes and they will, it makes their nutrients bioavailable to us.

DARLENE: Gosh, I didn't know that. That's a great tip, Marianne.

MARIANNE: Yeah, it's a great little tip. So, so just don't chop up your garlic and throw it right in the pan or you're going to lose that, that benefit. So, so you've got your garlic in the pan and now, you're only going to let it cook for a minute, and now you can return the meat in with the vegetables and we're going to add all our spices. So we've got a teaspoon of chili powder, and of course you could add two, two teaspoons if you're adventurous. And we've got a teaspoon of ground cumin, a teaspoon of dried oregano, a little dash of Tabasco sauce. You could use sriracha here if you wanted. And then I put in a can of organic chopped tomatoes. It's a pretty basic chili recipe that you can take so many directions. You can switch out, you can throw in celery, you could, your vegetables can switch out. I kind of like chili to be my, let's clean the refrigerator out and put, put in whatever I've got. I've been known to put carrots, parsnips, whatever, throw it on in there. And then we let that cook for a little bit. And, and then we put in our beans towards the end because beans will get, the longer they cook, they tend to get mushy. So we put in one 15-ounce can of kidney beans. You could do chickpeas if you wanted. You could do white beans. And then we put in eight large black olives. We did a couple of tablespoons of chopped cilantro or parsley. Now I know some people don't like cilantro so you can certainly do parsley. Yeah, cilantro’s that funny herb that, you know, people either love it or they hate it. You fall into one of those camps. And then we finished it with eight tablespoons of sour cream that you could divide. Once you would put it in the bowl, you could divide that. If you have a dairy sensitivity, you could eliminate that and maybe slice up a little avocado and put that on top of the chili. It's fantastic; tastes so great.

DARLENE: That's a great idea; just great tips for people. I really learned something about garlic today. So…

MARIANNE: Yeah, the, that's a fun little garlic trick.

DARLENE: Yeah. You know, this chili recipe can be found on our website,, and I encourage you to make a double batch of chili and then freeze some for the next week. So now we want to move on to making a batch of bone broth. And I know that drinking bone broth daily support your immune system.

It also supports bone density and bone strength, and has key nutrients for a healthy nervous system and for our digestive system. To my clients often suggest that we drink or have them drink like 12 ounces of bone broth. And what that does is it sort of calms down and heals our digestive system and it gives them some energy. It's, it's so loaded with nutrients. So, Marianne, what kind of bones do you do, what do, what do you use to make your bone broth? And then also how do you season your bone broth?

MARIANNE: I'm a little bit of a food nerd when it comes to bone broth. I love bone broth. I think it is such a healing, healing thing. So I love to use, let me tell you this. I'm fortunate enough to have a brother who raises grass-fed beef. I was raised on a, on a farm and he bought a farm very close to our, our home in Wisconsin. And so I'm lucky enough to get those. And so I, I tend to use a lot of beef in my bone broth. And so you want to make sure that you have a really healthy animal because you're extracting all of the minerals and good stuff, the collagen that that is coming out of those bones and you want them to be healthy bones. And so, but I will make my bone broth out of many bones. So I have, I've got beef right now in my freezer. I've got chicken. I've, in the spring I tend to make lamb bone broth, which you can, you can get usually get lamb bones frozen in your, at the grocery store. You can also find it at the farmer's market. You know, you can do a ham bone and you can do a turkey bone. So your turkey carcass, you know, obviously we, a lot of us do that after Thanksgiving.


MARIANNE: But, and you can, you can mix your bones. So, sometimes I do beef and lamb together. Sometimes I’ll do turkey and chicken. I tend to throw chicken feet into my, into my, all of my broths because there's a lot of collagen in chicken feet and your broth gets really nice and thick.

DARLENE: Marianne, you may have just lost some of the people when you said chicken feet, you know. Tell people a little bit more about chicken feet because I think a lot of people cannot believe that that's something we would be using. And you know, you've kind of touched on it because it's high intelligence, but talk about it just a little bit more if you would.

MARIANNE: So, so I know that I can get them at my local co-op now. Because bone broth, it has such a, it is a trend, there's a lot of grocery stores that are trying to meet that trend. And so, obviously you can also get them at the farmer's market, but, but they are really high in collagen. And so when you, when you cut them up and put them into your bone broth, you're, you're able to extract all that collagen, which is so good for our own joints and they keep us limber and keep the aches and pains away. And, so when your bone broth is in the refrigerator, it gets nice and thick. And that's when you know that it has lots of collagen in it, which is so good for us.

DARLENE: Yes, very good.

MARIANNE: So let me tell you how I make, how I make my bone broth. And it's a, you know, on a, it's a good rainy day project. It's one of those things that is really quite easy to make. It just takes a lot of time. But it's a passive time. It's not time that you have to be chopping, mincing and dicing. So, so we have our Bone-Building Broth recipe on our website and we have a range of animal bones in that recipe with chicken, beef, hambone, like I said, whatever you've got. So you need about a pound of bones and then you need four quarts of water. And, and I would encourage you to double this recipe if you have that many bones cause boy, it's, if it takes a long time to cook, you might as well cook up a whole big batch. And then we put in two tablespoons of vinegar.

I use apple cider vinegar, but you could really use any white vinegar. And the reason you do that is that acid pulls the minerals out of the bone while it's in the water. So, so two tablespoons of vinegar, two large onions, and you don't have to be fancy about any of this cutting cause it's all, you're going to strain it out in the end. So you can just do a rough chop on your onions. We've got three carrots, four celery stocks, eight cloves of garlic, and three parsnips, also rough chopped. And then we put in 10 sprigs of fresh thyme and 10 whole peppercorns. And that peppercorn is going to give it that little bit of a tiny bit of a bite, which is really lovely. You could also put a bay leaf in your, in your stock. And then they, you could also put some seaweed, which has iodine and it; it gives it almost a briny flavor. It's lovely. It also helps to extract those minerals. So you put this, you put this in a stock pot on your stove and you bring it up to a boil and you do that for about 20 to 30 minutes and you're going to get a little bit of a foam that develops on the top and you're going to spoon that off a little bit and then you're going to turn that burner way down to simmer and you're just going to let it do its magic. And ideally cover it a little bit and let it go for 12 hours. If you prefer to do it in a Crockpot or a slow cooker, you can do that. And the longer you cook it, the better it gets, and the more that you're going to get out of those bones. I will say working in a restaurant, almost every restaurant has a stockpot of bone broth waiting there to, we send out our sauces with it. If a recipe called for water, we would often use bone broth instead of water. So it's, it's such a versatile thing. It freezes really well. It's, like, like Dar said, it's, it's a fantastic beverage when you're not feeling great or if you want to keep feeling great. It's, I steep my tea in it. I'm one of those crazy people. It's a, it's a fantastic, I love bone broth. I really do.

DARLENE: Well, you know, Marianne, I have, I keep some bone broth in the refrigerator all the time, not just for myself but for my dog because I, I am, I put the dog food out and it's all organic and doesn't have any grain in it. And then I put some organic chicken or something like that on top and then I pour it some homemade bone broth on it.

MARIANNE: Wow. That is one lucky dog. That is fantastic. I love that.

DARLENE: But we don't have to go to the vet.

MARIANNE: Exactly. And so likewise, if we drink our bone broth, hopefully we don't have to go to the doctor either.

DARLENE: That’s right. So again, this recipe is on our website,, and it would be a great thing to do right now. We're home. We've got time to make these. Honestly, I make my bone broth in the Crockpot so I don't have to worry about watching it or thinking about it. It just cooks by itself. Do you have any other things that you wanted to add about bone broth or any of the other recipes, Marianne?

MARIANNE: Well, I did want to say, and like you just said, it does freeze really well. You can keep some of it in a Mason jar in your fridge. And let's say you're going to cook green beans or a vegetable that, that, if you didn't want to steam it, you actually wanted to, to blanch it; you can blanch it in bone broth and now some of the nutrients from that vegetable has, has leached into that bone broth. And then you drink that as a beverage. It's fantastic. It's so good. So anytime there's there's water in a recipe, think, see if you can put bone broth in and it will make it a more nutrient rich item. Think of beans, rice, you know, lentils, whatever you make that you would traditionally do in water, make it with bone broth. And it's going to be that much healthier.

DARLENE: It's going to be healthier and it's also going to taste better.

MARIANNE: Exactly.

DARLENE: It's such a win-win for people. So I really appreciate you being on the podcast with me today and I'm hoping that people who are listening are going to be listening and they've got some really good ideas. And you know, kind of let us know if this Cooking the Weight and Wellness Way podcast is helpful for you. If it has been helpful for you, let us know what other real food recipes you would like Marianne to share and or what other kinds of information would be really helpful for you today.

So you know, we believe eating real food, like real meat and real fish and real vegetables and real fruit and real fat supports all aspects of your health. Real food supports your immune system, you know, it supports your nervous system. It gives you energy and it supports your wellbeing. You know, these three recipes are on our Weight and Wellness website or they're in our cookbook, our Weight and Wellness cookbook. And so you can, you can get those so easily these days. So if you have any questions, call us at 651-699-3438 or you could email us a question. Just go to our website. You know, our goal of this Cooking the Weight and Wellness Way podcast is actually to educate each and every person on how to have better health through just cooking and eating real food. And right now that's what we're supposed to be doing. We’re supposed to be staying home and cooking real food for our families. Marianne, any closing thoughts as we move on to another topic?

MARIANNE: Well, I think that this was a great show. I think it's a great idea and I hope everybody will take advantage of the time they might have now and get into the kitchen and take care of yourselves and take control of your food by getting back in the kitchen and doing a little cooking.

DARLENE: So you know, people, listeners, Marianne has so many ideas and tips, so if you think this is going to be beneficial, let us know. Give us, give us a head’s up and we'll make more of these podcasts. And again, thank you for listening.

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