Winner of Dr. Mark Hyman’s Recipe Contest! The Ultimate Blood Sugar Solution Meal

By Mona | Wednesday 16 May 2012 11:40 pm

Out of over 240 recipe submissions, my delicious “Spiced Ground Turkey Wrap with Watercress and Avocado” won Dr. Mark Hyman’s Recipe Contest for the Ultimate Blood Sugar Solution Meal.
I recently submitted this recipe in a contest called “The Blood Sugar Solution Recipe Contest”.  Dr. Mark Hyman, (a five time New York Times bestselling author, physician, and international leader in functional medicine), ran the contest looking for recipes that would work with his recently published book, “The Blood Sugar Solution”.  Criteria for the recipe: healthy, anti-inflammatory, easy to prepare and flavorful.
Please see the article by Dr. Mark Hyman titled, “Recipes Galore…The Path to a Healthy Life” for more info. and for the recipeHere is the link:
The recipe will be used by Dr. Mark Hyman for a cooking video and for a recipe e-book.
categories: News

An Important Article and Update On Gluten Sensitivity

By Mona | Monday 13 February 2012 3:57 pm

I was quoted in an article released today titled “Clues For Gluten Sensitivities: A New Guide Indicates Who Shouldn’t Eat Gluten“ written by Michele Wolfson.  The article addresses the recent classification system of gluten related disorders proposed by a team of 15 experts from 7 countries.  The research in this area is constantly evolving.  Please share this update with your friends, family, and physician.  

This is the link to the article:

The full paper by the team of 15 experts can be found here:

categories: News


By Mona | Wednesday 1 February 2012 5:19 pm


Yield: 7 quarts

Besides it’s culinary use, bone broth is loaded with nutrients and gentle on the gut.  According to Donna Gates of “The Body Ecology Diet” (, “Bone broth is rich in minerals to strengthen the immune system and support healthy digestion. Bone broth also contains collagen to strengthen tendons, joints, ligaments, bone, and skin and will help heal the lining of the gut to relieve heartburn, GERD, and other types of intestinal inflammation. On top of that, collagen will support healthy skin to make it supple and strong to reduce the appearance of cellulite.”

Bone broth is also a health supportive beverage to use as part of a cleanse. According to Dr. Mark Hyman in his book “The UltraSimple Diet”, “drinking 3-4 cups of broth a day helps to alkalinize the body from an acid-producing modern diet. Detoxification can only happen if we reduce the acidity in our bodies”.

When purchasing vegetables for the broth, try to buy organic. Most fruits and vegetables contain unacceptable and unsafe levels of pesticides, so it’s a wise choice to buy organic produce as often as you can.



4 pounds grass-fed organic beef marrow bones *

Nature's Elixir

9 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds

3 unpeeled medium yellow or red onions, cut into chunks

1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds

1 bunch celery, cut into thirds

2 unpeeled medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

1 unpeeled medium yam, cut into chunks

2 medium turnips, cut into chunks

2 medium parsnips, cut into thirds

6 unpeeled large garlic cloves, halved

1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 bunch kale

1/2 bunch swiss chard

8 inch piece of ginger root, cut into slices

2 6-inch strips kombu (also known as kelp; dried sea vegetable that is a rich source of iodine and trace minerals) **

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

3 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

10 quarts water

sea salt to taste (since kombu is high in iodine, taste the broth before adding additional salt)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place the bones on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse all the vegetables well. Since, the vegetables are unpeeled, use a vegetable brush to scrub and clean them well.
  4. In a very large heavy stockpot, add all the ingredients, add water to cover, and bring to a boil.
  5. Uncover, reduce to a bare simmer, and skim any scum that rises to the surface.
  6. Simmer uncovered for 8 to 24 hours. A long and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone. As the broth simmers, some of that water will evaporate.
  7. Remove and discard the bones, then strain the broth through a fine sieve and discard vegetables. Stir in salt to taste.
  8. Cool to room temperature, and store in a large tightly sealed glass container(s) in the refrigerator.
  9. Skim off any fat from the top of the broth. Broth can also be portioned into smaller containers and frozen for future use. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

(Recipe adapted from “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen”, by Rebecca Katz, Celestial Arts, 2009)

* You can use an assortment of different animal bones. Just make sure that all bones are sourced from animals that are organic and grass-fed or pastured and free-range. Everything that the animal ate, how it lived, and where it lived all factor into the health benefits of your broth. “Cattle were designed to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. A recent comprehensive study found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium.” – Dr. Mercola “Avoid These Seven Foods and You’re Off to a Healthier New Year”, December 29, 2009,

Whole Foods sells frozen organic grass-fed beef bones in the frozen meat section. You can also ask the butcher if he has some in the back. Alternatively, order grass fed bones online from US Wellness Meats (

**Dried Kombu strips are sold in Whole Foods.

categories: Broths, News, Recipes


By Admin | Tuesday 8 November 2011 12:28 am

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categories: News

Kids Gluten-Free Guide

By Mona | Thursday 3 November 2011 2:16 pm

Barista Kids Gluten-Free Guide

BY  |  Thursday, Nov 03, 2011

Food allergies are no fun. Parents with kids who need to eat gluten-free know just how much energy it takes to plan a menu and to acclimate their child to the special dietary needs that preclude wheat, barley, rye and triticale. The challenge grows if one child needs to be gluten-free but other children in the family don’t.

Mona Solar, Health Supportive Gluten-Free Chef and Certified Nutritional Consultant, knows about these challenges and is excited about expanding families’ awareness on resources for eating gluten-free.  She offers her advice on where to eat and shop in Baristaville.

Solar’s first tip for parents relates to kitchen set up. “One of the biggest challenge is if the whole family is not eating gluten-free. Cross contamination is a big concern since something as small as a breadcrumb is enough to make someone with Celiac sick. So it is critical to make sure that the kitchen is set up in a way to prevent cross contamination.”

Solar recommends some staples for parents to have around the house,I prefer to stick with whole foods as much as possible and suggest a variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables. There are also some wonderful gluten-free pastas; Tinkyada and Jovial brands are my favorite brown rice pastas and Andean Dream makes a really nice Quinoa Pasta. For some sweet treats, Andean Dream and Mary’s Gone Crackers have a nice variety of cookies with better ingredients.”

Solar points out that one downside of the gluten-free diet is that “many people miss breads on a gluten-free diet.”  But, in fact, Solar recommends a line of gluten-free breads that she loves. “I am a big fan of Breads from Anna, which sells a line of gluten-free Bread mixes.  The company carries 12 varieties of mixes that are also free of dairy, soy, nuts, corn and rice (some are also yeast free).  The breads have a wonderful moist texture and delicious taste.”

For families eating out, the best thing to do is to find restaurants that serve some portion of their menu gluten-free. “I would avoid going to a restaurant that doesn’t offer any gluten-free options. The risk of cross contamination is extremely high, and you would want the chef to have knowledge of how to prepare gluten-free meals safely.” She also tells parents to speak up. Don’t be shy! “It is a good idea to ask to speak to the chef when you are dining at a restaurant with a gluten-free menu. The chef has full knowledge of the ingredients that are being used, can guide you through the menu and is the best person to answer any questions.”

Thankfully, there are many places that do cater to those with food allergies.

Here’s our guide to a Gluten-Free Baristaville:

Local places that prepare gluten-free products:

Miss Nicky’s
her Pretty ‘M’POWerFUL’ Chilly-Millie Cookie taste like brownies.

The Bread Company
113 Walnut Street
Montclair, NJ 07042

Le Baker’s Dozen
206 Bellevue Avenue
Montclair,  NJ, 07043

700 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ< 07042
Serves Will’s Firebird Pancakes, which are gluten-free

Go Lightly
4 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, NJ, 07042
Serves gluten-free, vegan cookies, cakes and more.

The Able Baker
187 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ

The Roman Gourmet
153 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ
Offers gluten-free pizza

Strawberry Fields
147 B Maplewood Ave
Maplewood, NJ
Most of the frozen yogurt is gluten free certified.

Maplewood Deli and Grille
149 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ
Every day at least two gluten-free items are included on the menu.

La Riviera Trattoria
421-27 Piaget Avenue
Clifton, NJ 07011
La Riviera Trattoria is having a gluten-free Italian Thanksgiving dinner on Monday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m. ($50) According to Solar, “The chef has first-hand knowledge of Celiac disease since his daughter was diagnosed a few years ago. Since her diagnosis, he has introduced gluten-free menu options and knows the importance of cross contamination issues in the kitchen. If you plan on eating there and want to order a gluten-free meal, you need to make a reservation so that the kitchen can prep for the meal. The restaurant also sells gluten-free pasta and cookies imported from Italy.”

Websites with gluten-free recipes:


Solar recommends any cookbooks by authors Carol Fenster, Rebecca Reilly, Bette Hagman, Annalise Roberts

Meet-up Groups:

The Northern NJ Celiac Disease Support Group

Lines of Food that are gluten-free

  • Applegate Farms has a great line of frozen organic turkey and beef burgers as well as cold cuts and frozen breakfast sausages.  These are good to have around the house for a quick meal.
  • Kettle Cuisine has a nice line of gluten-free soups, which can be found in the frozen foods section.
  • Pacific and Imagine brands have a great variety of organic broths that are also gluten-free.
  • Whole Foods, Shop Rite and Stop& Shop are some of the big named supermarkets that carry a good variety of gluten-free products; also, you will find a good selection of gluten-free foods in nutrition/health food stores.

A few more resources from Barista Kids:

  • Enjoy Life Foods: Gluten and allergen-free cookies, cereal bars, granola and chocolate.
  • Cherrybrook Kitchen: Baking mixes that are gluten-free.
  • Yummy Earth: Organic, peanut-free, nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free lollipops and gummy bears.
  • Stuck On You makes great vinyl labels.
  • Jeeto makes cute allergy stickers for lunchboxes, backpacks and more.