Friday, August 26, 2011

Worm in her salad

My Grandma Erma was eating out (something she rarely did) at Fredrick and Nelson's lunch counter in Seattle.

To understand the irony here, you need to know a few things about my Grandma.

She was in love with Jack Lalanne from day one and juiced everything. She could beat every one of her children and grandchildren in a headstand contest. She all but cured my Grandpa of lymph cancer, keeping him vital 7 years past his due date with organic produce and wheat grass.

When Grandma Erma passed away, my mom was looking through Grandma's checkbook and blurt out a symphony of messy laugh-cry sobs -

"Every check is either for the Church or Marlene's Organic Farm Stand," smiled my mom through curtains of black mascara tears.

That was Grandma.

I'm sure you've already guessed what she ordered at Fredrick and Nelson's. Yep. A Salad. Vinaigrette on the side.

As she poked her fork around what she believed to be pesticide poisoned leaves, she happened upon a couple wilted greens with a WORM munching away.

She squealed. With delight.

"This salad is ALIVE!" Grandma proclaimed happily. Fredrick and Nelson's wormy kitchen was praised by my Grandmother 'til the end of her days. Any lettuce that has a good healthy worm must be pesticide free and freshly picked. She loved it. And anyone who knew Grandma loves telling this story.

I think about Grandma every time I have the option of a green, living food or an over-cooked, processed food.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

My Grandma lived this verse every meal, with a cookie to share for dessert.

The God's Food diet is what I call the way I try to eat: consuming foods that God made, close to the way He made them. Most of the time I eat plants and fish. Sometimes I eat chocolate cake followed by a stomach ache cause I don't know when to quit.

I'm learning. I'm growing. It's an organic process.

Tomato Basil Spinach Salad  and Skillet Chicken with Onion
Grandma would have loved this meal as long as the chickens are were organic - better yet, if she plucked them herself. Grandma was also big on macrobiotics - not mixing fruits and vegetables, grains and meat. And every time she ate spinach, she'd get an entire leaf stuck in her teeth. I never said anything. Starting with frozen breasts makes the chicken super juicy and super easy.

Tomato Basil Spinach Salad
Use a couple leaves of basil for every handful of spinach. Roll basil leaves like a cigar then thinly slice. Toss basil with spinach. Throw on a coupled diced roma tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar on top and add a pinch of Kosher salt and cracked pepper. Yum.

Skillet Chicken with Onion
Drizzle a few tbsp olive oil in a  large, heavy skillet or cast iron skillet. Place frozen boneless skinless chicken breast into pan and move chicken through the oil to coat. Add one roughly chopped onion.
Turn burner up to high. Pour in some water until it's about 1 inch deep in your pan. Top with your favorite salt free, MSG, chemical free seasoning mix (like Mrs. Dash) or just pepper.
Bring water up to boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes replacing water when it gets low and turning halfway through. Check doneness by cutting into one of the breasts. It shouldn't be pink. When meat is cooked, or really close to it, uncover pan and crank the heat. Cook off all the water, turn heat down to medium, and let it go just a minute or two more to get a little color on one side of the chicken. Serve with onions spooned over the top with a little sprinkle of Kosher salt.


  1. Looks like a great dinner. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Awesome story-something that is not easily forgotten. The dinner you prepared does look easy and tasty-thanks for sharing.

  3. What a sweet story! What is it about food that seems to connect us all together and solidfy our bonds and relationships?

  4. Too funny! Your Grandma sounds like a kick. :)