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August 2018 Grain/Green Corn Full Moon

August 25, 2018


Breakfast 3 Ways: Homemade corn tortillas topped
with a fried egg and lacto-fermented salsa, Half-buckwheat sourdough topped with easy farmers cheese lox and capers, and sourdough topped with homemade butter and raspberry farmers cheese


Howdy! Welcome to the "Happy Foods for the Whole Life Cycle" August 2018 Moon Meals recipe video! I make short, monthly recipe videos (sometimes with my 2 young children) celebrating local and seasonal foods, which I believe brings about a sense of balance and harmony, lending itself to greater happiness - mind, body, and soul. I use each full moon as a template for each month's meal, focusing on the Farmer's Almanac/tradition Native American names for each moon - which always corresponds to whatever is happening with the flora and fauna around that particular time. I also incorporate different aspects of Nutritional Psychology in my meals - how foods, and the nutrients found in them, physically effect our mental health and overall well-being (hence, the "Happy Foods" branding). My triple-pronged approach is basically: Happiness and better overall well-being through food: Mind/Body = Nutritional Psychology; Soul = local and seasonal aspects. I hope you enjoy!


>>> I decided to make this month's meal very information-heavy, because I kept the video really simple. Skip to the bottom if you just want the video/full recipes!


This month, we celebrate the bittersweet dying down of 1 very busy (but bountiful!) summer (come on, fall! whoo!) with fresh-picked tomatoes, fresh milk, and the harvests of the first grains of the year/the ripening of corn (a staple here in Upstate New York) with"breakfast 3 ways":

  • The first recipe is for homemade masa (corn) tortillas topped with a fried egg and whey lacto-fermented salsa. The whey gives the salsa a gut-friendly probiotic boost (and when our gut is flourishing with a variety of "good bacteria", our brain is "happier"), and the egg(s) provide an important ingredient for optimum brain function - complete protein (contains ALL the amino acids necessary for optimum brain function). For this recipe, I used fresh tomatoes from both my mom and my neighbor's garden (mine still aren't ripe!), garlic from a friend, fresh onions from my garden, and eggs from Oliver's Eggs (Frankfort, NY). It's important to note a couple of things with this recipe:

    1. Fermentation is involved and can be tricky. If you've never done it before, I suggest doing some research first, because doing it improperly could lead to serious health issues. The whey I used in this recipe was extracted from plain organic full fat pasteurized store-bought yogurt (with live and active cultures), so it's a pretty safe, reliable, fool-proof method. I recommend doing the same. Still, do some research. Google some stuff. Thanks.

    2. Usually, I don't encourage grains (especially gluten!) as part of a gut/brain-friendly diet, but since grains are such an important part of the seasonal foods where I live, I just couldn't justify leaving them out completely. I paired my homemade kombucha with this meal to help with digestion, and I would suggest doing the same (or taking digestive enzymes with this meal - of course consult a medical or health professional first). You can find kombucha in almost every grocery store nowadays! If you don't drink it often, start with a little - maybe a quarter of a cup - so you don't upset your stomach. Health benefits of kombucha here.

    3. Please be aware that most of the corn in the US is genetically modified. If this is something that concerns you, go for an organic/non-GMO brand. Here are some brands from the Non-GMO Project.

  • The second recipe is for homemade half-buckwheat sourdough topped with easy farmers cheese, lox (smoke salmon), and capers. For this particular recipe, I used my own whole wheat wild yeast starter, and a tried and true recipe I've been using for about a year now, which I admittedly cannot take credit for (it's amazing!) Here's a link to this recipe, which includes a link for making your own starter (yeast): https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-sourdough-bread-22436 

    • For this recipe, please note:

      1. Sourdough bread is a good option when you're trying to keep your gut healthy and your blood sugar from rising too high, but I wouldn't overdo it (see #2 explanation above), as eating bread and grains regularly really messes with gut/brain health and blood sugar. I even tried making a gluten-free sourdough for this month's meal, but it crashed and burned. So, to reconcile, I used half buckwheat flour because it is a complete protein and "it is gluten-free, a good source of fiber, and rich in minerals and various plant compounds, especially rutin. As a result, buckwheat consumption is linked with several health benefits, including improved blood sugar control and hearthealth" (read more about the health benefits of buckwheat flour here). Also, opting for sourdough is a better choice than a non-sourdough bread because it improves nutrition by "pre-digesting starches, making the bread more easily digestible and lowering insulin response/improving glucose tolerance" (more about the health benefits of sourdough here) And just as with the corn tortillas, I would recommend taking extra digestive enzymes (per Dr. approval) or drinking kombucha with this sort of meal.

      2. If you don't want to mess around with baking your own bread, I would recommend trying to find an artisan bread bakery that sells an authentic sourdough. Be aware that store-bought/commercial bread brands are heavily processed, over-glutenated (causing stomach issues and subsequent "brain fog" and other physical/psychological reactions), most likely contain the Monsanto cancer-causing pesticide glyphosate (unless organic), and most likely contains "enriched" flour. Even though "enriched" sounds like a great thing, it is exactly the opposite. Enriched bread products (mostly every bread-based product you'll find in a grocery store) contain folic acid (NOT the same thing as folate, which your brain and body need), and we are finding out that this synthetic substance really gunks up the neurological system, and actually inhibits the bodies ability to absorb and use folate from foods (further causing neurological issues), especially for folks who have the MTHFR gene. More about folic acid vs. folate here.

      3. Feel free to make any of these recipes vegan/plant-based, and please give me feedback! I realize many people are sensitive to dairy, or choose to not eat animal products. I do consume dairy occasionally because it's a complete protein, and my family and I don't seem to have issues with it, so for us the benefits of eating it seem to outweigh risks, but I'm always looking for more plant-based options!

      4. The lox and capers I just bought from the store. This full moon is also called the "Sturgeon Moon", so I tried to incorporate a fish. Wildcaught salmon > farm-raised. And capers, because they're awesome. Who doesn't love capers? Honestly.

  • The third recipe is the same sourdough as above, but topped with fresh-made butter from my cousin's dairy farm, and a late-season raspberry (foraged in our community) easy farmers cheese drizzled with raw honey (Finster's Raw Honey, Frankfort, NY).

(in the easiest order to make them):


Note: Because these meals include fermented foods, be aware that you'll be making a lot of the foods over a few days (even a weeks) time. Sourdough starter takes 5 days to mature, the bread sponge needs to sit for a day, and you'll need a full day to actually make a sourdough loaf. The salsa needs to ferment for a couple of days also. So if you have a feast date set, start planning early :)

1. Sourdough starter and loaf recipe link here.

I'm not even going to pretend to be the world's greatest baker. I've had the most success with this awesome recipe. If you're opting for an artisanal sourdough bread, skip to second recipe.

2. Whey for the salsa lacto-fermentation

First, you'll need to acquire whey with live and active cultures. The easiest way (no pun intended) to do this is to buy a 2 lb. jug of plain organic full-fat yogurt. Line a strainer with cheesecloth (a couple of paper towels work fine too), suspend the strainer over a bowl, and wait about an hour. The clear yellowish liquid that drains into the bowl is whey. You'll need about 1/2 cup of it for this recipe (takes about an hour to drip enough for a 1/2 cup). The leftover yogurt will just be a thicker, greek-style yogurt that you can put right back in the container and save.

3. Lacto-fermented salsa

While the yogurt is setting and dripping your whey, make the salsa.


  • about 3 - 3.5 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped

  • 1.5 yellow or white onion, chopped

  • 2-3 peppers (hot or sweet - your choice), chopped

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • fresh cilantro (optional)

  • juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime

  • 2 tbsp. salt

  • 1/2 tbsp. dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp. cumin

  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder

  • a few cranks fresh ground pepper

  • a pinch cayanne (if you want spicy)

  • about 1/2 cup fresh whey

Put all ingredients except the whey in a big bowl and stir together. Then, add the whey and stir well. Pour into mason jars and cap tightly. Let ferment in a cool, dry place for 48 hours. Store in fridge.

4. Easy farmers cheese


  • 1/2 gallon of organic whole milk

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • cheesecloth

  • strainer

  • bowl

  • food thermometer

Heat the milk and the pinch of salt in a big pot on medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. When the milk is just about to boil (about 200 degrees F), stir in the lemon juice until the milk starts to curdle. Turn off the heat and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Put cheesecloth in a strainer, and suspend the strainer over a bowl. Pour the milk into the strainer. The curds will separate from the whey. Squeeze any whey you can out of the curds. Transfer cheese to a bowl and mix in the 1/4 tsp. salt, and any other fresh herbs you'd like (for the lox and capers combo) or mix in fresh raspberries (for the butter and honey drizzle combo).

*Note* The leftover milk and whey (or just the plain clearish-yellow whey if all the milk separated from it) can be saved and added to smoothies or anything else to provide extra protein. This whey should not be used to lacto-ferment foods, though, as the heating process destroys the bacteria (although it was probably destroyed in the pasteurization process anyway if you're using store-bought whole milk). For the salsa, it's best to stick to the whey extraction method provided.

5. Corn Tortillas

Ingredients (Makes 4 large tortillas):

  • 1 cup masa flour

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. water

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until a dough forms. Divide the dough into 4 balls. Add more water if necessary. Flatten the dough balls by rolling the dough out between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Heat a griddle on medium high heat. Cook the tortillas, about a minute on each side (Top with a fried egg and fermented salsa).


Enjoy! Check out the full recipe 2 minute recipe video below (basically just pictures of the process). Thank you!






















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