Traditional Foods

"Traditional" in the context of these projects means pre-contact foods. No beef, mutton, goat, chicken, pork, milk, butter, cream, wheat flour (no fry bread), rye, barley, okra, black-eyed peas, or any other "Old World" food that many of us have lovingly incorporated into our diets and tribal cultures. No processed foods (Doritoes, Lays Chips, etc), even if the base is corn or potatoes. No chocolate unless it is unsweetened cacao or sweetened with honey from the Melipona bee, fruit, stevia, camas or agave. Be adventurous and try unfamiliar foods! There are many foods to choose from. My American Indian Health and Diet Project site lists and defines many of them.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Drying Foods

I picked the last of my garden last night--the first freeze arrived around 4 a.m. I found a lot of tomatoes and peppers. The green ones will go in paper bags so they can ripen.

My American Harvester dryer is old, but still works. It has dried venison, apples, tomatoes, peppers, mangoes and even liver for my sled dogs when we lived in Arizona. I don't recommend drying liver since it stinks beyond description.

Here is a container of tomatoes. The flavor is sweet and intense. If you live in a hot and dry climate, you can dry them in a screened-in porch. We'll use these as snacks and on sandwiches.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Keeping Track of Nutrition

Dinner I made last week of turkey breast, sweet potatoes, quinoa with peppers and tomatoes, prickly pear cactus fruit.
 When you plan your meals, you may find this site useful. "My Calorie Counter" allows you to enter everything you ingest and the site computes the nutritional content of your food.

Students in my History of Indigenous Food and Health course are required to keep a detailed food log. Many use this site to learn just how much fat, cholesterol and sugar they are eating, as well as vitamins and minerals. This is quite an eye-opening exercise for those who have never chronicled their diets.

See also this page on my big site for sample diets:
Here is a sample breakfast (note that the carrot juice is Old World and, if I use this during the mini-diet I will cook turkey or goose eggs and substitute coconut milk for cow's milk in the coffee)


1spray of vegetable oil0000000
2 eggs15012228054240
½ c mushrooms91110.100
¼ c red pepper201530.303
2 green chilies362830.100
2 corn tortillas120225350.502
4 T salsa40023200.100
1 c carrot juice7021516001
3 c decaff coffee4014000
1 T skim milk50.450.656.5000
1 pack Stevia0000000


Quinoa, a chenopod, is a staple food of the Incans. It is gluten-free and has a protein content similar to milk. It also contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamins B and E. Quinoa is black, orange, purple, red, or white. When cooked it looks like little squiggles, has a soft texture and tastes "earthy."

It's easy to prepare. I buy the Alter Eco brand (below), both red and black. One cup of dry quinoa prepared with 4 cups of liquid serves 4.

You can eat quinoa plain (above). I made the black version with vegetable stock and black pepper. You also can use turkey stock and mix in sauteed squash, onions and peppers or, mix with scrambled turkey, goose or duck eggs. I have used quinoa in turkey and venison meatloaf and burgers.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sample Meals

Here are some ideas for indigenous meals--recipes on my website. left: Breakfast of banana, dragonfruit and papaya. below: snack of salsa (baked tortilla chip recipe on my site)

left: venison patty with tomato slices, sweet potato fries, green chili and onion salsa and grilled sweet corn; below: two versions of Choctaw tamfula