Listing all posts with label Recipes. Show all posts.
  1. Beet and carrot salad       serves 4 - 6
    This refreshing raw salad is very earthy and grounding. It will add a beautiful color accent to your festive dinner table.
    9 oz (250 g) beets, peeled and grated
    9 oz (250 g) carrots, peeled and grated
    3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    4 teaspoons minced peppermint leaves
    1 – 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
    ¼ teaspoons salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    pepper to taste
    1 Add all salad ingredients to a mixing bowl.

    2 In a jar combine all dressing ingredients and shake to mix.

    3 Pour the dressing over the roots, mix well and let sit for at least one hour.

    4 Before serving, taste the salad and add herbs or balsamic vinegar to taste.

    ENJOY !

  2. Steamed Veggies with Lemony Soy Dressing      serves 6


    2 cloves garlic, pressed
    1 piece fresh ginger, about 1½ inches (4 cm), peeled and chopped fine
    juice of 2 lemons
    ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
    ¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce (I like tamari and shoyu)
    2 red beets
    1 rutabaga         all peeled, cut into cubes (1/2" x 1/2")
    3 carrots                          
    3 handfuls of brussel sprouts, cut into quarters lengthwise
    1 leek, cut into hlaf length wise, then into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces crosswise
    1 can (15 ounces or 420 g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

    Cilantro leaves and chopped scallions for garnish

    Combine the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Close the lid and shake to mix.
    Fill a pot with 1 inch (2½ cm) of water, insert a steamer basket and bring the water to a
    boil. Add the vegetables – start with the beets, then add the rutabaga, then the carrots, then
    the brussel sprouts – waiting two minutes after each addition. Follow with the leek and chickpeas
    added at once. Steam until tender.
    Serve on a bed of cooked brown rice, black rice or quinoa - spoon the rice on individual plates, then top with
    the vegetables. Pour on the dressing and garnish with cilantro leaves and chopped scallions.

    ENJOY !

  3. Moroccan Eggplant Soup       
    serves 6 - 8

    2 onions, chopped
    lots of olive oil
    1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
    2 teaspoons ground ginger
    1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    2 cups (480 ml) boiling water
    400 g eggplant, cut into cubes (about 5 cups (1.2 l))
    1 ½  teaspoons salt
    Pepper to taste
    2 cups (480 ml) whole milk
    1 cup (240 ml) full fat Greek yogurt
    For each portion 1 tablespoon full fat Greek yogurt
    ½ cup (240 ml) dried apricots, cut into cubes
    ½ cup (240 ml) roasted almond slices
    1 In a soup pot sautee the onions in olive oil until translucent.
    2 Add the spices and stir until onions are coated.
    3 Add 2 cups boiling water, eggplant cubes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover with a lid and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
    4 Pour the soup in suitable portions into blender and puree. Add the milk and puree some more.
    5 Pour the pureed soup back into a pot and whisk in the Greek yogurt.
    6 Taste the soup and if necessary, add salt and/or spices to taste. Heat until almost boiling.
    When serving, pour soup into plates and add one tablespoon of Greek yogurt per person, sprinkle with dried apricots and almonds slices.

  4. Green Superfood Smoothie       

    To give your body a mini cleanse after the holidays, return your blood to an alkaline setting, replenish vital minerals and rejuvenating antioxidants, lower inflammation, eliminate gastrointestinal upset,
    feed the friendly bacteria in your gut and strengthen your immunity, try this powerful and energizing green smoothie:
    The recipe will yield 2 tall glasses of smoothie. Enjoy one or two glasses per day for three days while staying away from sugary sweets and meats yet doubling up on the vegetables on your plate.
    Green Superfood Smoothie   
    1 cup water
    1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
    2 handfuls of kale, torn into bitesize pieces
    3 stalks celery, cut into chunks
    2” piece aloe (optional) use inner mucilaginous part only
    ½ thumb-size piece of ginger, sliced
    1 tablespoon coconut oil
    3 teaspoons raw honey
    1 – 3 squeezes of lemon or lime juice
    Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.
  5. Sweet potato recipes

    Super simple & super delicious: two sweet potato recipes, that could grace your Thanksgiving dinner or any meal during the fall/winter season:
    Baked sweet potatoes with lime     serves 4
    2 medium sized (about same width) sweet potatoes
    some butter
    juice of one lime
    a couple of cilantro twigs
    1 Preheat oven to 425° F (225° C)

    2 Place whole sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until potatoes become soft.

    3 Take the potatoes out of the oven and cut lengthwise in half. Place them on a platter, skin down and add some butter and salt.

    4 Drizzle with the lime juice and garnish with cilantro twigs

    Mashed sweet potatoes with rosemary     

    serves 4 - 6
    2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
    1 – 2 tablespoons butter
    several pinches of dried rosemary
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 – 2 cloves of garlic, pressed (optional)
    1 Boil or steam the sweet potatoes until soft. Pour off cooking water and save.

    2 In a pot, add the butter and a little of the cooking liquid to the cooked potatoes and mash with a potato masher.

    3 Add a few pinches of dried rosemary, salt and pepper to taste as well as the optional garlic. Mix well.

  6. Cucumber Smoothie with Ginger       makes 2 cups

    2 cups (480 ml) cucumbers (including peel and seeds), cut into chunks
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    3 slices of fresh gingerroot
    2 teaspoons honey
    ½ cup (120 ml) water
    Place all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth.

    Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime.


  7. Estonian StylDill Pickles

    Recipe for one 3 quart (3 liter) jar
    As many small cucumbers as you can fit into your jar, about 3 ½ lb (1.5 kg)
    1.5 quarts (1.5 l) water
    3 tablespoons unrefined salt
    6 cloves of garlic, cut into thick slices
    1-2 handfuls of dill stalks
    6 black current leaves (rub them a bit between your fingers)
    1 Place cucumbers into a bowl with cold water for a couple of hours
    2 Bring 1.5 quarts (1.5 l) of fresh water to a boil and add salt, stir to dissolve, let sit and cool to warm
    3 Wash your pickling jar with detergent and warm water, rinse well
    4 Place garlic, dill stalks and black currant leaves into bottom of jar
    5 Take the cucumbers out of the water and cut off ends
    6 Place cucumbers tightly into your jar, leave 2” (5 cm) free at the top
    7 Pour the salt water over your cucumbers to cover them completely
    8 Place a small plate that fits through the opening of your jar, or cut a plastic lid to size – the important thing is, that all cucumbers remain under salt water at all times
    9 Add a clean weight, such as a glass of water to the plate to keep the cucumbers from rising to the surface
    10 Cover with a dish cloth to prevent dust or bugs from entering your jar
    11 Let sit at room temperature for at least 3 days. Check in every day. If any foam forms, scoop it up and discard
    12 On the third day, taste one of the pickles. If it has a pleasantly sour taste to it, they are ready to be eaten. If you would like the tartness to be stronger, let them sit another day or two in the brine. Taste them every day
    13 When the desired tartness has been achieved, put a lid on your jar and store it in the refrigerator.


  8. World’s Best String Bean Recipe

    This is a surprisingly delicious and easy way of preparing green or yellow string beans. Don’t expect leftovers!
    Serves six
    1 pound (500 g) string beans, ends trimmed
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 Preheat the oven to 425°F (225°C).
    2 Place the beans on a cookie sheet or into a large baking dish.
    3 Sprinkle the beans with the oil and massage each bean until all are evenly coated.
    4 Spread the beans evenly and bake until tender and browned, about 30 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and stir.
    5 Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve hot.
    ENJOY !

  9. Polli Talu Style Greek Salad

    Serves 4
    This is a lovely salad for a hot summer day. Instead of the customary iceberg lettuce, we use Chinese cabbage, which is a lot more flavorful and much more nutritious.
    1 small Chinese cabbage, cut into bite-size pieces
    4 tomatoes, cut lengthwise into wedges, then cut crosswise into halves
    1 long cucumber, peeled and cubed
    2 smal red onions, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into very thin crescents
    ½ cup (120 ml) pitted kalamata olives
    1 scallion, chopped
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon dried thyme
    pepper to taste
    9 ounces (250 g) feta cheese, cubed
    1 Combine the vegetables in a bowl.
    2 Add the olives, oil, thyme and pepper to taste. Mix well.
    3 Just prior to serving, add the feta and toss gently.

    Serve the salad with oven-roasted small new potatoes

  10. Dandelion Greens in Creamy Sesame Sauce
    serves 4
    This delicious dish was inspired by Johnna Albi and Catherine Walthers’s cookbook, Greens, Glorious Greens!
    If possible, use tender wild dandelion greens, but cultivated dandelion greens work fine too.
    3 tablespoons tahini (sesame butter)
    5 tablespoons water
    1 tablespoon maple syrup
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    juice of ½ lemon
    2 cups (480 ml) water
    1 pinch salt
    1 bunch dandelion greens, stems removed, chopped into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces
    2 cloves garlic, sliced
    2 tablespoons olive oil

    In a small mixing bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and mix until creamy. At first it will seem as though the tahini is not going to combine with the water and soy sauce. Keep on stirring and it will. Set aside.
    2 Bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and dandelion greens and cook covered over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 - 2 minutes. Drain.
    3 Sauté the garlic in the oil until light golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked dandelion greens.
    4 Pour the dressing over the cooked greens and stir until the greens are coated.

    Serve hot with cooked grains and a root vegetable. Garnish with lemon wedges.
    ENJOY !

  11. Kale with carrots and leek    serves 4
    A refreshing leafy greens dish color accented with carrots and cherry tomatoes
    2 carrots, cut lengthwise into halves, crosswise into 2 “ (5 cm) pieces, then into little sticks
    olive oil
    1 leek, cut into ¼ “ ( ½ cm) wheels
    2 cloves of garlic, cut into slices
    8 large leaves of kale, stems removed, cut crosswise into 1 “ (2.5 cm) strips
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 cups (480 ml) of halved cherry tomatoes
    a little bit of lemon juice
    1 In a pan, sauté the carrots in olive oil until tender.
    2 Add the leek, garlic, kale, and a little water, toss, cover with a lid and let steam for a couple of minutes.
    3 When the kale is soft yet still bright in color add salt and pepper to taste.
    4 Add the cherry tomatoes and heat through.
    5 Sprinkle with a little lemon juice and serve warm.
    This simple dish goes well with cooked grains and root vegetables, also with fish or chicken.
    ENJOY !
  12. Summer Berry Cake

    You can make this cake in a 10” (26 cm) springform pan or double the recipe if you want to bake it on a 13” x 15” (34 cm x 38 cm) cookie sheet  
    3.6 oz (100 g) butter
    1.8 oz (50 g) whole wheat or spelt flour
    1.8 oz (50 g) rye flour
    1.8 oz (50 g) barley flour
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
    1 pinch salt
    13 oz (375 g) sour cream
    14 oz (400 g) farmer’s cheese or ricotta
    3 eggs
    4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
    3 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 pinches salt
    3 handfuls currents or halved gooseberries
    1/2 cup (120 ml) almond slivers
    1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C)
    2. Whip the butter. In a separate bowl mix flours and baking powder
    3. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter. Add the maple syrup and salt. Mix until the dough becomes uniform.
    4. Cover the bottom and sides of the springform pan with the dough.
    5. Combine the sour cream, farmer’s cheese, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and salt.
    6. Sprinkle about half of the berries over the crust, then pour the filling over them. Sprinkle remaining berries over filling.
    7. Sprinkle with almond slivers and bake until the filling is set, 40 – 60 minutes.

  13. Potent Round Brownies  

    makes 18 - 24 individual brownies
    These brownies are flourless, therefore gluten free as well
    10½ ounces (300 g) dark chocolate (70 percent cacao)
    2 cans (15 ounces or 420 g each) chickpeas or black beans, drained and rinsed
    4 eggs
    2/3 cup (160 ml) maple syrup
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 pinch cayenne pepper
    1 pinch salt
    1 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter two pans for 12 standard-size muffins
    2 Break the chocolate into pieces and melt by placing the pieces in a heat-resistant bowl inside a pot of boiling water, or use a double boiler.
    3 Combine the beans and eggs in a blender or food processor.
    4 Add the agave nectar, baking powder, vanilla, cayenne pepper and salt. Blend until smooth.
    5 Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the melted chocolate.
    6 Spoon the batter into muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes.
    7 Allow to cool before serving.
    For a special treat – on Valentine’s Day, for example – garnish individual brownies with whipped cream and a strawberry.
    If you bake the brownies in a mini muffin tin, as shown on the picture – only bake for 11 minutes.
  14. Sourdough Rye Bread Polli Talu Style 

    1. pour 500 ml warm water into a big glass bowl
    2. add 150 g starter – dilude it in the water, add 2 teaspoons salt and 3 tablespoons sweetener (rye or barley malt, maplesyrup or honey) – stir with wooden spoon
    3. add enough rye flour until batter becomes like a thick pancake batter
    4. cover the bowl with saran wrap – let it sit in a warm place for 9 – 16 hours (to ferment)


    1. add more rye flour and mix with wooden spoon until dough becomes quite thick – but you can still stir it with a spoon
    2. take away 150 g of the dough to use as starter for your next bread, wrap it in the saran wrap and place in refridgerator
    3. add 2 handfuls of roasted sunflower- and pumpkinseeds – mix
    4. butter a bread baking dish (about 14 cm x 30 cm)
    5. pour the dough into the baking dish
    6. wet your fingers and even out the top of the dough, create a smooth surface
    7. with the back of a knife draw a diagonal pattern into the dough
    8. let the bread rise in a warm place, covered with a clean dish towel, for 1.5 - 2 hours
    9. place into cold oven and turn oven to 225º C. bake 40 min.

    1. take the bread out of the oven – let it cool a little
    2. take the bread out of the baking dish and place it on a grate to air. brush the top with butter while still warm. 
  15. Coconut Cacao Macaroons          makes about 24 macaroons
    These macaroons are juicy and full of flavor. Cacao paired with coconut is simply irresistible.
    2 cups (480 ml) shredded coconut
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    13 ½ tablespoons (100 g) cacao
    6 tablespoons (80 g) coconut oil, melted
    7 tablespoons (100 ml) coconut milk
    7 tablespoons (100 ml) maple syrup
    2 teaspoons almond extract or 6 drops almond essence
    a handful or so of shredded coconut for garnishing
    1 Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C)
    2 In one bowl combine shredded coconut, cacao and salt.
    3 In another bowl mix coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup and almond extract. Add this mixture to the shredded coconut mixture and stir well until mixture is evenly moistened.
    4 Take one tablespoon of the mixture and form a cone. Spread some shredded coconut on a plate and roll the cone in the coconut pieces.
    5 Place all coconut covered cones on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for 7 minutes.
  16. Peppery Sauerkraut  -   this recipe yields about 2 quarts 

    This sauerkraut has a kick to it !

    What you need:

    your fermenting vessel (a 2 quart mason jar or any other 2 quart glass or ceramic container with a wide opening)
    a large bowl
    potato masher
    6 small bowls
    1 head of cabbage
    salt (non-refined) - sea salt works well, also “Real Salt” and Himalayan salt
    3 carrots
    1 red or yellow onion
    1 hot red pepper
    1 jalapeno
    a thumb size piece fresh ginger root
    6 cloves garlic
    Wash your fermenting vessel with warm soapy water, rinse and set aside to dry.
    Cut the cabbage into quarters, remove its core, then cut into strips. Each time you have about 4 handfuls of cabbage cut, place cabbage strips into the big bowl and sprinkle it with 2 generous pinches of salt. Repeat until all cabbage has been cut and placed into the large bowl.

    With the potato masher, pound on the cabbage, so that it breaks and softens. You will notice the cabbage becoming wet and glossy, as the salt pulls juices out of the cabbage. Let the cabbage sit for about an hour, once in a while pounding it with the potato masher. In the meantime cut all the other ingredients.
    Peel the carrots and cut into rounds. Place into a bowl and set aside.
    Halve the onion then cut crossways into slices. Place into a bowl and set aside.
    Remove the seeds and chop the peppers. Place peppers into bowls and set aside.
    Peel the ginger, chop and place into a bowl and set aside.
    Peel the garlic, chop and place into a bowl and set aside.

    Check back on your cabbage. Has the pounding produced enough liquid, so that the cabbage is partly submerged in liquid? If not massage and squeeze the cabbage by hand.
    Then begin to fill your fermenting vessel with the prepped vegetables. Take about two handfuls of cabbage and firmly push it down into the vessel. Sprinkle with a little of all of the other ingredients. Continue layering cabbage with the other ingredients, each time pushing them down tightly into the jar. You will notice more and more liquid coming out of the cabbage. End with a layer of cabbage leaving 2 “ (5 cm) free of the top of the jar.

    If there is not enough cabbage juice to cover the vegetables, add a little brine to make up for it.
    The brine is made from previously boiled and cooled water plus salt. The relationship water to salt is 2 cups water (500 ml) to 1 tablespoon of salt. Stir the brine until the salt has dissolved.
    Pour enough of the brine into your fermenting vessel until the vegetables are covered with liquid.
    Place a clean flat round object into the vessel and add a clean weight on top to keep the vegetables immersed in brine at all times. I happen to have a flat bottomed glass dish that fits perfectly into the opening of my 9 cup sized Ikea jar. I have also used small plates and plastic lids that I have cut to size with scissors. And then I place a glass filled with water as a weight on top of it. You can use other objects as weights as well. Just make sure they are clean.
    Cover the vessel with a dish towel. This will prevent dust or insects from falling into your vegetables. Never close the vessel tightly with a lid, as fermentation gases need to be able to escape.
    Place your vessel into a bowl or deep plate to catch any overflow that might happen during the first days of fermentation.
    Let your fermenting vessel sit out at room temperature. Check once in a while to make sure that the vegetables are always covered with the brine, as lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic process. If vegetables float to the surface, mold can develop on them. Skim off and discard any foam that forms on the surface of the brine.
    Carbon dioxide is released during fermentation. So the appearance of bubbles around the submerged vegetables is a clear sign that lacto-fermentation is indeed underway.
    In my experience cabbage takes at least one week to ferment. Times vary depending on the temperature in the room. After 7 days taste your kraut. If it tastes pleasantly sour and to your liking, you can remove the weight, close the jar with a lid and place it into the refrigerator for storage. If it just tastes salty and not sour enough, let it sit out a few more days or up to a week.
    Good luck! And ENJOY!
    For more info on the process of lacto-fermenting and its benefits click here
  17. Oat and Berry Smoothie        serves 2
    1 cup orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
    1 cup rolled oats
    2“ piece of aloe (cut off the edges that may have thorns, then cut through the soft inner part and scrape off most of the juicy part to add to your smoothie)
    1 handful of berries (fresh or frozen)
    ½ apple, core removed
    2 tablespoons of peanut butter or almond butter
    1 banana
    Place all ingredients into blender and puree. Add a little water if you like a lighter consistency.
    The aloe in the smoothie is great for the health of our digestive tract. Mucilaginous foods such as aloe become a favorable breeding ground for friendly bacteria in our intestines. And that is a good thing as we want our friendly bacteria to propagate happily and become strong in numbers to protect our intestines against harmful bacteria and microbes. In addition aloe soothes inflammation, slows transit time to enhance nutrient absorption, fights candida and improves bowel regularity.
    If you cannot find a whole aloe leaf in the stores (in neighborhoods with a Latino population food markets usually carry fresh aloe leaves) look for aloe vera juice in the health food store and use 2 tablespoons of the juice in the smoothie.
    When you make the smoothie with a fresh aloe leaf, save the rinds and use the inner side that will have a little of the soft and mucilaginous part of the plant attached as a refreshing toner for your face and neck in the morning. Simply rub your face and neck gently with the inner juicy part of the rind.
    Aloe is a wonderfully soothing and moistening agent for our skin after sun exposure as well – use the inside of the aloe leaf or apply the juice all over your body.

    Also: check out my upcoming guided online Autumn Detox with Whole Foods here
  18. Steamed Vegetables with Lemony Soy Dressing
    serves 6

    Nutritionally, I am a big fan of vegetables - in all shapes and colors. Luckily I also LOVE them. There are many reasons vegetables are good for us. They are a great source of complex carbohydrates, including micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals and in the form of protective antioxidants – compounds that strengthen our natural defenses against disease. Antioxidants can block the actions of so-called free radicals – highly reactive chemical compounds that can damage tissues and alter the genetic code contained in our cells, promoting cancer and premature aging. Interestingly, most antioxidants are actually pigments, natural pigments in the vegetable. So choose intensely colored vegetables for highest antioxidant content. When you eat a variety of vegetables, you can be sure to cover your entire vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant needs.
    There are many ways of preparing vegetables - steaming is one of them. In the following recipe you will find the perfect dressing to go with steamed vegetables that will knock your taste buds’ socks off.

    You can vary the kind of vegetables used to your own liking. The ones listed in the recipe are just an example. Have fun with it and play with the colors! As you can see from the photo above I used beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts and lacinato kale when I made this dish last. As a source of extra protein I added cannellini beans. 

    I learned to make the dressing from my dear friend and colleague choreographer Muna Tseng, who was born in Hong Kong. I could not believe how amazingly tasty it was, when I tried it the first time.
    2 cloves garlic, pressed
    1 piece fresh ginger, about 1½ inches (4 cm), peeled and chopped fine
    juice of 2 lemons
    ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
    ¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce (I like tamari and shoyu)
    1 tablespoon snipped chives, optional
    2 red beets
    3 carrots                          all peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
    1 turnip
    1 cauliflower, separated into florets
    1 leek, cut into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces
    1 can (15 ounces or 420 g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    6 leaves kale, stalks removed, torn into bite-size pieces
    1 Combine the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Close the lid and shake to mix.
    2 Fill a pot with 1 inch (2½ cm) of water, insert a steamer basket and bring the water to a
    boil. Add the vegetables – start with the beets, then add the carrots, then the turnip, then
    the cauliflower – waiting three minutes after each addition. Follow with the leek, chickpeas
    and kale, added at once. Steam until tender.
    Serve on a bed of cooked brown rice or quinoa - spoon the rice on individual plates, then top with
    the vegetables. Pour on the dressing and garnish with cilantro leaves or chopped scallions.


  19. Asparagus Soup   serves 4
    This is a very fast and easy way to serve up asparagus, one of my all-time favorite spring soups. I learned to make it from my colleague Andrea Beaman.
    Asparagus reduces mucus and eases constipation. It is diuretic and anti-carcinogenic. A compound called rutin helps prevent small blood vessels from rupturing. Asparagus has been used traditionally for heart palpitations.
    1 medium size potato, peeled and cut into cubes
    3 cups (720 ml) water
    1 bunch green asparagus, woody bottoms removed, cut into 2 “ ( 5 cm) pieces
    1 leek or spring onion, thoroughly washed and chopped into pieces
    salt and pepper to taste
    dulse flakes or gomasio (optional)
    1.     Boil the potato in 3 cups of water for 5 minutes
    2.     Add the asparagus and boil for 3 minutes, add the leek and boil for another 2 minutes.
    3.     Puree the soup in a blender.
    4.     Pour back into pot, heat up and add salt and pepper to taste.
    Sprinkle with dulse flakes or gomasio when serving.
    Note: Dulse is a seaweed and is sold as little flakes for easy sprinkling. Gomasio is a mixture of nori (seaweed), roasted sesame seeds and sea salt. Seaweeds are the most mineral rich food on this planet and using dulse or gomasio is an easy way to add them to soups, salads and sandwiches. You can find them in the health food store in the Japanese section.


  20. Cacao Cashew Date Truffles        yields 40 truffles


    All the ingredients are wholesome and nutrient dense – no empty foods here.
    These truffles do melt in your mouth yet keep your blood sugar levels even.

    They contain plenty of protein, good fat, fiber and superfood cacao.
    Read more about the amazing properties of cacao here.

    1 cup (240 ml) pitted dried dates, cut in half lengthwise (this way you make sure, there aren’t any pits left)
    1/4 cup (60 ml) water
    2 cups (480 ml) raw cashews
    3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
    5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a couple of scrapings of the vanilla bean
    3 pinches fine sea salt
    ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
    1 Soak dates overnight in ¼ cup water

    2 Place cashews on cookie sheet and roast at 400 F (200 C) for about 10 minutes, until slightly golden

    3 Process nuts in blender until quite fine, set aside

    4 Process dates including any leftover soaking water and the maple syrup or honey in blender until they become an even paste

    5 Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix with spatula, if necessary knead by hand to produce an even consistency

    6 Take 2 teaspoons of the mixture and form into a small ball, rest on a paper towel first so that any excess nut oil can be absorbed

    7 Continue making little balls out of the entire mixture and rest on the paper towel

    8 Then transfer truffles onto serving platter

    Matcha Cacao Truffles        yields 30 truffles

    9 tablespoons raw cacao powder
    2 teaspoons matcha powder
    1 pinch fine salt
    3 tablespoons cacao butter
    1 tablespoon coconut oil
    4 tablespoons maple syrup
    1 drop almond essence or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    2 teaspoons matcha powder
    ½ teaspoon fine salt
    1 In a bowl mix all dry ingredients.
    2 Warm the cacao butter in a small pot on lowest heat until molten.
    3 Add the coconut oil and stir until molten.
    4 Add the maple syrup and almond essence and stir some more.
    5 Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
    6 Place the bowl into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
    7 Form 1 teaspoon size balls and place them on a serving plate.
    8 Mix the dusting ingredients in a small bowl. Use a tea strainer and teaspoon to dust your truffles.
    PS: It can be hard to find cacao butter (the cold pressed fat from cacao beans) in the health food store. I get mine through Amazon. Here is the link to a brand I like:
    Terrasoul Superfoods Raw Organic Cacao Butter, 16 Ounces

  21. Bone broth

    The following recipe is for a bare-minimum broth—not for a soup stock, which would include onions, carrots, celery and spices. It contains only three ingredients: bones, water and vinegar. The vinegar is there to help pull more minerals out of the bones.
    The broth can be made from meat, poultry and fish bones or from seafood shells. It is best to use bones from pastured farm animals, free-range poultry and wild-caught fish.
    Make a habit of cooking bone broth. In preparation, save bones and shells from foods you eat and collect them in a plastic bag in your deep freezer. When you have accumulated enough to fill half of a large pot, it is time to make the broth.
    You can prepare this broth on the stovetop at the lowest possible heat setting or in a slow cooker (such as a Crock-Pot). Either way, slow cooking gets every drop of nutrients out of the bones.

    Bones from meat, poultry or fish, or shells from shellfish
    1/3 cup (80 ml) vinegar, preferably raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar

    1.     Fill a stockpot about halfway with bones.
    2.     Add water to cover plus a little more.
    3.     Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Skim off and discard any foam that forms on top.
    4.     Cover and simmer over the lowest possible heat for 12 to 24 hours.
    5.     Pour the broth through a strainer or colander into another large pot and discard the bones.
    6.     Strain the broth again through a cheesecloth-covered strainer to catch any small particles that might have
            made it through the first time around.
    7.     Divide the broth into containers. Store for up to a week in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer.
    If you are keeping broth in the refrigerator, be sure to boil it before you consume it. Drink the broth as a powerful mineral tonic—heat it up and flavor it with salt, pepper, chopped fresh herbs and scallions. You can also fill an ice cube tray with the broth and then use a cube or two when cooking greens or sauces. Use bone broth instead of water when cooking grains or making a soup.

    Benefits of bone broth

    Indulgences over the holidays, especially of the sweet and spirited kinds can lead to a depletion of our mineral reserves. And that in turn can lead to susceptibility to colds and flus in the New Year.
    Bone broth is known to provide easily absorbable minerals and trace minerals.
    In addition it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which both support the cartilage that acts as a cushion between the bones in our joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin may be helpful in cases of osteoarthritis.
    Bone broth nourishes all body parts that contain collagen. These include skin, bones, muscles, blood vessels, intestines, corneas, mucus membranes, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and intervertebral discs.
    It also contains glutamine, an important fuel for cells in the immune system, small intestine and kidneys. Therefore, it fortifies us in combating colds and flus and supports kidney as well as adrenal health.

  22. ‘Tis the season
    According to traditional Chinese medicine our kidneys and adrenals require special care during these cold months of the year. The kidneys are considered the home of our life force. It is imperative to take good care of ourselves during the winter, to slow down, to rest more and to look within to preserve life force. It is helpful to eat warming foods. Meats, especially lamb and pork, are the most warming of foods. Many spices provide our body with inner warmth. Oils and fats are warming as well – use them more generously in the winter. Enjoy cooked intact whole grains as well as soups and stews with root vegetables and cabbages.
    And without further ado,
    here is my list of 9 wintery superfoods to keep you warm and healthy

    Buckwheat is warming and very nourishing and will keep your blood sugar balanced for many hours. Buckwheat is rich in flavonoids that protect against illness and boost the effectiveness of vitamin C in our body. Buckwheat is a great source of magnesium which relaxes blood vessels, improves circulation as well as the transport of nutrients to our cells and lowers blood pressure. Buckwheat elevates the level of hemoglobin and is a potent remedy against reoccurring colds and flus. A mixture of buckwheat flour and warm water when applied to aching joints makes for a soothing remedy.
    Cinnamon has a warming effect and acts as an expectorant with colds, bronchitis and flus. Cinnamon relaxes muscles, strengthens the heart, lessens digestive upset and warms the kidneys. During the winter it is recommended to eat otherwise cooling fruits like apples, pears and plums baked in the oven and sprinkled with cinnamon. A mixture of cinnamon and honey can soothe a sore throat and calm infections. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and fights yeast, E.coli, flu viruses, staphylococci and the onset of pneumonia.  
    Ginger warms the body, soothes rheumatoid pain and strengthens our respiratory system. Ginger gives us energy, activates our metabolism and stimulates our immune system. The essential oil that gives ginger its typical spicy taste is a relative of salicylic acid, the ingredient found in aspirin which thins the blood and can prevent heart attacks. At the first sign of an oncoming cold grate about half of a thumb size piece of ginger into a cup, add the juice of half a lemon and fill up with hot water. Add honey to taste and drink to your health.
    Garlic contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral components, which makes garlic an essential food during cold times. It strengthens our immune system and eases symptoms of colds in the nose, sinuses, throat and bronchi. Thanks to its high sulfide content it is a strong antioxidant that protects our cells against cancer and premature aging. Garlic helps us to isolate iron from food and facilitates in iron absorption into the bloodstream, where it is needed for the formation of hemoglobin and oxygen transportation.
    The mineral rich cranberry also contains vitamin C, B1, 2, 3, and K as well as beta-carotene, from which the body can make vitamin A. Cranberries are anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and have an overall strengthening effect on the body. Since they increase stomach acid and stimulate the pancreas to release enzymes, cranberries make the absorption of nutrients more efficient. When you have a sore throat crush a few tablespoons of cranberries, add half the amount of honey and take a teaspoon of this mixture a couple of times throughout the day. Cranberry juice is an excellent remedy for bladder infections.
    Sauerkraut, which is lacto-fermented cabbage, is probiotic, meaning life supporting. It supplies our intestines with friendly bacteria which fight bad bacteria, microbes and yeast. During the process of lacto-fermentation friendly bacteria increase the vitamin content of the cabbage tenfold. Sauerkraut is a living food that also supplies our body with valuable enzymes and thus helps with the digestion and absorption of our food. I recommend to eat the sauerkraut raw for maximum effect, even one or two tablespoons per day will be beneficial. In its raw sate all enzymes and friendly bacteria stay alive and active. You can also make a very simple and delicious salad by mixing sauerkraut with small cubes of cooked beets. Just add a little olive oil and pepper.
    Warming hazelnuts provide us with a concentrated amount of nutrients and energy. They contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, oils, protein and fiber in abundance. One handful of hazelnuts provides enough energy for an hour-long workout. They protect our kidneys and prevent the forming of kidney stones. Hazelnuts contain a lot of vitamin E, which helps to keep our cell walls strong and protects our skin from free radicals. Minerals such as magnesium, phosphor and calcium strengthen our bones.
    Butter contains fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K2 in abundance. K2 is connected to calcium metabolism and a deficiency in vitamin K2 can lead to illnesses of the circulatory system, cancer and osteoporosis. The short and medium chain fatty acids found in butter give us a feeling of satiety and encourage body fat to be burnt for energy. Butyric acid, one of the fatty acids found in butter is anti-inflammatory and protects the health of our digestive tract. The relationship of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is balanced, making butter a healthy fat.
    Herring is one of the best food sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for strong teeth and bones and helps to prevent illnesses such as MS and diabetes. In the winter, when there is not enough sunlight for us to produce our own vitamin D from the cholesterol in our skin, herring is a welcome vitamin D source. In addition herring contains fatty acids that prevent heart problems, support our brain and soothe inflammatory processes in the body.
    And for my local peeps in the Beacon NY area: something to look forward to:
    The New Year : New You : Wellness Workshop
    Starting in the end of January and through the month of February I’ll share the principles of natural nourishment and loving self-care essential to an energized and fulfilling life as discussed in my book Essential Nourishment.
    We will meet once a week for 6 sessions in the cozy setting of my home and kitchen in Beacon, NY where I will guide you to reset the clock, jumpstart your metabolism, renew your relationship with food and substantially improve how you feel, look and weigh.
    Find details and a special Holiday offer here
  23. Carrot Potato Gratin  11 inch Ø quiche pan, serves 4 - 6

    This is a very simple yet elegant way to serve up potatoes and carrots
    250 g (8 oz) large carrots
    250 g (8 oz) small potatoes
    100 ml (a little under a half a cup) heavy cream
    150 ml (2/3 cup) sour cream
    2 eggs
    salt, pepper to taste
    7 pinches freshly ground nutmeg
    80 g (3 oz) coarsely grated Grana Padano cheese
    20 g (1 oz) coarsely chopped hazelnuts

    1. Heat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F).
    2. Scrub potatoes and carrots with a brush and slice thinly. Cut the carrots on a diagonal, this way their surface becomes bigger and they become about the same size as the potato slices.
    3. In a bowl whisk the eggs, heavy and sour cream. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
    4. Butter the quiche pan and place vegetables alternating carrot and potato slices in a circular pattern slightly overlapping each other in the pan.
    5. Pour the egg cream mixture over the vegetables.
    6. Sprinkle the grated cheese and chopped hazelnuts on top.
    7. Cover the pan with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes.
    8. Remove the parchment paper and bake for another 10–15 minutes, or until the gratin becomes golden.

    Enjoy with a mixed green salad.
  24. Chicken Breast in Coconut Milk         serves 4
    ½ onion, cut into thin wedges the long way
    ½ fennel bulb, core removed, cut into bite size pieces
    1 cup cubed butternut squash
    1 red bell pepper, cut into bite size pieces
    1 tablespoon coconut oil
    2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
    black pepper
    cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon coconut oil
    1 can (14 fl oz / 410 ml) coconut milk
    a generous sprinkle of turmeric
    2 – 3 scallions, cut into thin slices on the diagonal
    1. In a wok or pot sauté the vegetables in the coconut oil until tender
    2. Lay the chicken pieces out on a flat surface and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika. Pat the spices into the meat.
    3. In a pan fry the chicken pieces in coconut oil briefly on both sides
    4. Add the coconut milk, turmeric and chicken pieces to the vegetable sauté, bring to a boil and stir – let simmer 5 minutes
    5. Just before serving add half of the scallions to the dish, save the other half to be sprinkled over the meal when plating
    Serve over a bed of brown rice, quinoa or millet
  25. A vegetarian version of Borscht   serves 4 - 6
    1 onion, chopped
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 red beets, cut into small cubes
    2 carrots, cut into half rounds
    ½ cabbage, chopped
    1 – 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    2 bayleaves
    1. In a large soup pot sautee onion in olive oil for 5 minutes.
    1. Add beets, carrots and cabbage and sautee another 5 minutes.
    1. Add enough water to cover vegetables, apple cider vinegar and bayleaves and bring to a boil.
    1. Cook at medium temperature until beets are tender.
    1. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
  26. Gluten-free and nibsy
    I have fallen in love with these cookies and have made them already a few times this winter season. They have been enthusiastically received by all our guests. Surprisingly the buckwheat flavor goes really well with the cacao nibs. The original recipe stems from Alice Medrich’s book Pure Dessert. I have adjusted it to contain only whole foods and to be gluten-free.
    Buckwheat Cookies with Cacao Nibs            yields about 60 cookies
    1¼ cups (300ml) brown rice flour
    ¾    cup (180 ml) buckwheat flour
    ½    teaspoon salt
    ½    teaspoon baking powder
    2     sticks (225 g) butter at room temperature
    2/3  cup (160 ml) maple syrup
    1½  teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/3  cup (80 ml) cacao nibs
    1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl – set aside
    2. In another bowl whip the butter with a hand mixer until creamy
    3. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and mix until smooth
    4. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until integrated, if necessary use your hands
    5. Add the cacao nibs and knead until evenly distributed
    6. Divide the dough into 2 parts and place each half on a sheet of plastic foil. Fold part of the plastic foil over the dough and roll each half into a 1½ ” (4 cm) diameter roll. Place the rolls wrapped in the plastic foil into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight
    7. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C)
    8. Unwrap the rolls of dough and cut crosswise into 1/4“ (5 mm) thick rounds
    9. Place rounds on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes

  27. The instantly festive pomegranate

    Recently I have fallen in love with the pomegranate. This beautiful creature adds a touch of festivity to all dishes.

    The lustrous edible seeds have little pulp but lots of ruby red juice. Like small precious jewels they reflect the light in an enchanting way. When they pop open in your mouth you experience delightful little flavor explosions – perfectly balanced – not too sweet, not too tart.
    The fruit stems originally from Persia but is now cultivated widely in the tropics, subtropics, the Mediterranean and southern California.

    The seeds are blood building, strengthen the bladder and gums as well as soothe ulcers in the mouth and throat. They even expel tapeworms. Pomegranates are a great source of potassium and citric acid. They also deliver vitamins C and B. And they are very high in antioxidants, as their brilliant color alludes to, helping you to keep your cells protected and youthful.
    Pomegranates keep well in the refrigerator – for up to 2 months.
    What’s not to like about the pomegranate? Sprinkle a handful of seeds over your porridge, your yogurt, your salads, your leafy greens and literally any and all dishes – it goes well with fish, poultry and meat. It lifts your eating experience to a whole new level of enjoyment – both taste wise and visually. Experiment freely and have fun with it!

    The photo to your right shows a simple salad made with left over whole grain pasta, orange bell pepper, fennel, napa cabbage, pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of rice vinegar and olive oil.
    Here is a quick video on how to easily get the seeds out of the fruit.

  28. Moroccan Style Chickpea Salad
    2 carrots, cut lengthwise into half then sliced crosswise
    1 can (15 ounces or 420 g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1.5 handfuls of prunes cut into chickpea size pieces
    1 handful of fresh peppermint leaves, cut into thin strips
    1 handful almond slivers, roasted
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1/4 cups (60 ml) olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 tablespoon honey
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 pinch cayenne pepper
    1. Steam the carrots until almost tender, set aside
    2. In a small pot roast the cumin for 2 minutes
    3. In a bowl combine all salad ingredients, except for almond slivers
    4. Combine all dressing ingredients in a glass jar, shake to mix
    5. Pour dressing over salad and toss
    6. Let the salad marinate for at least an hour
    7. Toss again and garnish with roasted almond slivers when serving

  29. World's best blueberry tart

    2 cups (250 g) whole hazelnuts
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    2 tablespoons coconut oil
    1 pinch salt
    a little butter
    ½  cup (120 ml) apple juice (unsweetened) or apple cider
    1 ½  tablespoons potato starch or kuzu
    ¼  cup (60 ml) maple syrup
    ¼ teaspoon almond extract or 1 drop almond essence
    zest of 1 lemon
    1 pinch salt
    2 cups (480 ml) blueberries, preferably wild
    To prepare the crust:
    1. Heat oven to 200 C (400 F) and line a 10” (26 cm) springform pan with parchment paper and butter its sides.
    2. Grind hazelnuts in small food processor or coffee grinder and place ground hazelnuts into mixing bowl.
    3. In a small pot heat maple syrup, coconut oil and salt until the oil is melted.
    4. Pour the oil mixture over the hazelnuts and mix until all becomes a uniform mass.
    5. Place the dough into the springform pan and spread to form a base and sides (about 1” or 2.5 cm high). With a fork poke a few holes into the bottom.
    6. Bake for 10 minutes at 200 C (400 F). Then let the crust cool down on a rack.
    To prepare the filling:
    1. In a small bowl mix the apple juice with the potato starch. Set aside.
    2. In a small pot heat the maple syrup, almond extract, lemon zest and salt – let it simmer on low heat for a few minutes.
    3. Add one cup blueberries and mix until some of the berries break and the liquid turns purple. Stir in the potato starch apple juice mixture. Once the liquid thickens, add the rest of the blueberries and stir. Pour the blueberry mixture into the crust and spread it out evenly. Let the tart set in a cool room or refrigerator for at east one hour before serving.
  30. Cooooooling and energizing summer smoothies

    If not now - when? Smoothies are a wonderful summer meal. Yes, I consider them food as opposed to a drink.  Unlike juices they are for the most part a whole foods creation - and often so nutrient-dense that they will fill you up and give you clean energy for many hours to come. Since most smoothies are fruit based, I like to add some fat and/or protein to make sure you don’t get a sugar rush and to slow down the digestion process a bit so that you can really get the most our of your power-packed liquid food. When consuming smoothies, take your time, even chew. I like to eat mine with a spoon and savor every single “bite” of them.
    Here are three of my favorite new smoothie recipes that will be photographed next week for my new book.
    New Recipes: Summer smoothies
    Cucumber smoothie with ginger              makes 2 cups
    2 cups cucumber, cut into chunks
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    3 slices of fresh gingerroot
    2 teaspoons honey
    ½ cup water
    Place all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth. Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime.
    Blueberry smoothie with cardamom              makes 3 ½ cups
    2 cups blueberries, preferably wild                                    
    2 pears, cores removed, cut into chunks
    2 – 3 dried pitted dates
    1 avocado
    ½ cup water or apple cider
    a pinch of ground cardamom
    Place all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth. Garnish with a few blueberries.
    Raspberry smoothie with cacao               makes 2 ¾ cups
    2 cups raspberries
    2 bananas
    3 tablespoons cacao
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup coconut milk
    1 pinch cayenne
    Place all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth. If you like it sweeter, add a little maple syrup or honey to taste. Garnish with a few raspberries.
    Enjoy and please let me know which one is your favorite!
  31. Lemony Red Lentil Soup with Lacinato Kale     serves 6 - 8

    2 cups red lentils, rinsed
    ¼ cup quinoa, rinsed
    9 cups water
    1 onion, chopped
    3 carrots, quartered lengthwise, sliced crosswise
    1 table spoon of olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, cut into thick slices
    1 teaspoon of olive oil
    ½ bunch lacinato kale, cut into ¼ “ strips
    salt, pepper to taste
    cayenne pepper to taste
    ½ lemon juice
    1. Boil the lentils and quinoa in the water for 15 min
    2. Sauté onion and carrots in olive oil for 10 min - add to soup
    3. Sauté garlic in olive oil until golden – add to soup
    4. Add kale to soup and let simmer for 5 more minutes
    5. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and lemon juice
  32. Happy Valentine's Day!
    Two scrumptious recipes to incorporate more chocolate into your life

    Chocolate Macaroons       
    makes about 18 macaroons
    2    cups shredded coconut
    ½   teaspoons salt
    ¼   cup coconut milk
    ¼   cup maplesyrup
    1    teaspoon almond extract
    6    oz (170 g) dark chocolate (70 percent cacao)

    1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
    2. In one bowl mix shredded coconut with salt.
    3. In another bowl mix coconut milk, maplesyrup and almond extract. Pour this mixture over shredded coconut and mix until evenly moistened.
    4. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt by placing the pieces in a heat-resistant bowl inside a pot of boiling water, or use a double boiler.
    5. Pour melted chocolate into the coconut mixture and stir until well blended.
    6. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place 1 tablespoon size macaroons on it. Gently press the macaroons with your fingertips to form a little pointed macaroon shape.
    7. Bake for 20 minutes at 350° F.
    Original recipe by my colleague Terry Walters from her book Clean Start

    Vanilla Cupcakes with Raw Chocolate Frosting  
    makes 24 mini cupcakes
    Vanilla Cupcakes
    ½     cup coconut flour
    ½     teaspoon salt
    ¼     teaspoon baking powder
    6      eggs
    ½     cup coconut oil, melted
    1/2   cup maple syrup
    1      tablespoon vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 350° F
    2. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. Set aside.
    3. In another bowl mix wet ingredients with a wire whisk.
    4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk with wire whisk until smooth.
    5. Grease mini muffin tin with coconut oil (make sure the bottom is well greased) and fill with batter (about 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of batter per cupcake). With a spoon push the batter into the tin and smooth out top.
    6. Bake for 24 minutes at 350° F
    Raw Chocolate Frosting
    1  ripe avocado
    2  tablespoons cacao powder
    2  tablespoons honey
    1  tablespoon coconut oil, melted
    1  teaspoon vanilla extract

    1. Puree all ingredients in a blender or mix with hand mixer until smooth.
    2. Apply to cupcakes once they have cooled off a bit.

    Original recipe by my colleague Stanzi Allan Pouthier
  33. Discover the story behind the cover image of Essential Nourishment
    by visiting Donna Currie's Food Blog

  34. What’s kale got to do with it?
    I woke up on January 1 with a serious craving for kale. Luckily I had some sitting on my kitchen counter and my husband and I devoured a big bunch of it for breakfast. I made this very simple version of boiled kale:
    1. Rip kale into bite size pieces, discard stems.
    2. Fill your sink with fresh water and wash the kale by submerging and swooshing it around
    3. Fill medium size pot with about 1 “ of water and add kale
    4. Bring to a boil, constantly stirring the kale so that all parts come in contact with the boiling water – cook for about 5 minutes
    5. Taste the kale to make sure it is tender but not overcooked (one way to tell is by the color: the color of the kale should remain vibrantly green – once it turns olive green it’s surely overcooked and will not taste so great anymore)
    6. Pour off cooking water (save as a soothing mineral rich alkaline drink for yourself or use to water your house plants after it has cooled down)
    7. Add a sprinkle of soy sauce and a drizzle of olive oil to the kale, toss and serve immediately
    I paired the boiled kale with baked eggs and it was extremely delicious and satisfying – it totally hit the spot in other words.
    Now, the reason I was craving kale was probably a combinations of things:
    1. I love kale and I love weekend or holiday breakfasts that include leafy greens and eggs. It has become a tradition in our home.
    2. Kale, as all leafy greens are abundant with minerals and vitamins. They are the perfect detoxing, energizing and rebuilding food.
    3. After all the heavy holiday foods kale felt like the perfect balance food.
    4. After a generous dose of sweets over the holidays which most likely led to the loss of minerals and vitamins, kale was the perfect antidote and replenishment.
    5. Wanting to start the New Year in high spirits – kale provided uplifting and vibrantly fresh energy.
    Is it not amazing, what food can do for you? It can support, balance, provide pleasure and heal you. Using food with awareness and intention can make a huge difference in how you feel and how you perform. Learning to pay attention to your body’s messages and cravings provides powerful information for seekers of balance, sustenance, well-being and happiness.
    It is something everybody can learn. And I’d be thrilled to help you along in this process:
    For my local peeps, I am offering two FREE Introductory Talks and a 6-session Breakthrough Wellness Workshop, which addresses just that:
    • Supporting your daily activities by eating with awareness and intention
    • Getting to know the foods that provide sustained energy, vitality and rejuvenation
    • Preventing dips in concentration, mood swings and diabetes
    • Losing weight and keeping it off without dieting
    • Protecting your heart to live an active life for years to come
    • Nourishing yourself with easy to make delicious wholesome meals
    FREE Introductory Talks take place January 10 at 7:30 pm at The Living Room in Cold Spring, NY and on January 14 at 6:00 pm at the Beacon Natural Market.
    If you cannot make it to one of the Free Talks, here is a recording of a similar lecture:
    The Breakthrough Wellness Workshop starts January 24 at 7:30 pm at The Living Room in Cold Spring, NY. Remaining sessions take place January 31, February 7, March 7, 14 and 21.
    Investment in your health:
    Early Bird: $227 (pay by January 15)
    After 1/15: $267
    Single session: $50
    For more information click here
    To register call 646–241–8478 or email
    To book the Breakthrough Wellness Workshop click here
  35. Kabocha Apricot Soup
    serves 6
    What could be a better treat than a squash puree soup on a chilly autumn day? Although the
    original recipe calls for kabocha squash, any winter squash or pumpkin can be used. The dried
    apricots add a little twist of sweet and tart and a hint of sophistication.
    1 kabocha squash, about 2 pounds (1 kg), cut into quarters, seeds and fibrous parts removed
    4 cups (1 l) water
    1 onion, cut into wedges
    12 dried apricots, cut into halves
    1 piece fresh ginger, about 2 inches (5 cm) long, sliced
    1 tablespoon butter
    salt and pepper
    2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
    1 Place the squash in a steamer basket inserted into a large pot. Add 3 cups (750 ml) of the
    water and steam for 20 minutes. Reserve the cooking water. Place the cooked squash onto
    a plate to cool. Use a spoon to scrape the meat from the peel.
    2 Boil the onion, apricots and ginger in the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) of water for
    10 minutes.
    3 Combine the squash with the onion mixture. In batches, pour into a blender or food
    processor and puree, adding some of the reserved squash cooking water for a smooth
    4 Return the puree to the pot. Add the butter and bring to a boil. Add more cooking water if
    the soup is very thick. Add salt and pepper to taste
    Pour into soup plates and garnish with chopped scallions.
  36. Wheat Berry Salad with Sage     
    serves 6

    Here is a recipe for a lovely grain salad that combines flavors of almonds and apricots with honey, lime and sage. Its medieval charm goes perfectly with festive dinners. It travels well – surprise your friends and family by bringing it along. You can easily make it the day before – it keeps well in the refrigerator and tastes even better the following day, when the dried apricots have fully absorbed the dressing.
    4 cups (1 l) water
    1 cup (240 ml) wheat or spelt berries, soaked overnight in 3 cups water, drained
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    ½ cup (120 ml) almonds, soaked overnight in 1 cup water, drained
    2 carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise then sliced thin crosswise
    ½ cup (120 ml) dried apricots, cut into small cubes
    5 fresh sage leaves, cut crosswise into very thin strips
    juice of 1 to 2 limes
    2 teaspoons honey
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 Bring the water to a boil. Add the soaked wheat berries, oil and salt. Bring to a second boil, then reduce the heat to its lowest setting and simmer, covered, for 30 to 45 minutes. Cook only until the wheat berries are soft – remove from the heat before the berries open and lose their shape. Pour them into a sieve and rinse under cold water until cool. Place the sieve over a bowl to drain.
    2 Submerge the soaked almonds in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then douse them in cold water. Remove the skins and break them into their halves.
    3 Steam the carrots until tender. Rinse them in cold water and drain.
    4 Transfer the cooked wheat berries and carrots and the blanched almonds into a large bowl and stir in the apricots and sage.
    5 Combine the dressing ingredients in glass jar. There should be about three times as much lime juice as oil. Close the lid and shake to mix.
    6 Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Let the salad marinate for at least 1 hour.
    7 Just before serving, toss again and adjust lime juice and seasoning if necessary.
  37. Keep yourself nourished with hearty root vegetables and the super grain quinoa:

    Quinoa beet salad
    / serves 6

    The beets give this dish a most amazing magenta coloring. Bring this to your table and everybody will gasp with delight – guaranteed!


    2 medium beets, tops removed, whole

    2 cups (480 ml) water

    1 cup (240 ml) quinoa, rinsed

    2 pinches salt

    1 bulb fennel, cut into small cubes

    1 bunch scallions, chopped

    1 handful chopped basil plus a few leaves


    juice of 1 to 2 lemons

    4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil

    salt and pepper

    1 Place the whole, unpeeled beets into a pot, add water to cover and boil until soft, about 40 to 60 minutes.

    2 In a separate pot, bring the 2 cups (480 ml) of water to a boil and add the quinoa and salt. Bring to a second boil, then reduce the heat to its lowest setting and simmer, covered and untouched, for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Spread the cooked quinoa on a large plate to cool.

    3 When the beets are soft, douse them in cold water until cool, then peel and cut them into small cubes.

    4 Combine the cooked quinoa and beets in a bowl and add the fennel, scallions and chopped basil.

    5 Combine the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. There should be about twice as much lemon juice as oil. Close the lid and shake to mix.

    6 Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Let the salad marinate for at least ½ hour.

    7 Just before serving, toss gently and adjust lemon juice and seasoning if necessary.

    Garnish with basil leaves.


  38. Karask – Traditional Estonian Barley Bread

    serves 8

    This is an Estonian folk recipe that I adjusted to include only whole foods and natural
    sweeteners. The barley flour gives it a distinct, sweet taste.

    4½ ounces (125 g) farmer cheese (or ricotta cheese)
    1 cup (240 ml) kefir or yogurt
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon honey
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
    1 cup (240 ml) barley flour
    ½ cup (120 ml) whole-wheat flour
    ½ tablespoon baking soda

    1 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
    2 Line a rectangular baking pan (5 x 10 inches or 12 x 25 cm) with parchment paper.
    3 Combine the farmer cheese, kefir, egg, salt and honey in a bowl and mix until smooth.
    4 Stir in the melted butter.
    5 Combine the flours with the baking soda and add to the batter. Mix well.
    6 Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. To check whether the bread is
    ready, insert a wooden toothpick into the center. When the toothpick comes out dry, the
    bread is done.

    Serve with butter or Onion Butter (page 220).
  39. Wild Rice Salad with Hazelnuts and Dried Cranberries
    serves 6

    6 cups (480 ml) water
    2 cups (240 ml) wild rice, rinsed
    2 pinches salt
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    ½ cup (120 ml) raw hazelnuts, cut in half
    ¾ cup (180 ml) diced celery
    ½ cup (120 ml) dried cranberries

    juice of 1 to 2 lemons
    4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
    salt and pepper

    1 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

    2 Bring 6 cups water to a boil, stir in 2 cups rice, salt and olive oil. Let it come to a second boil, reduce heat and simmer covered 40-45 minutes or just until kernels puff open. Drain off any excess liquid.

    3 Spread the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish and roast until you can smell the aroma, about 10 minutes. When the nuts have cooled, remove any loose skin.

    4 Spread cooked rice on a large plate to cool, then transfer to a bowl.

    5 Fold in the roasted hazelnuts, celery and cranberries.

    6 Combine the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. There should be about twice as much lemon juice as oil. Close the lid and shake to mix.

    7 Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and stir. Let the salad marinate for ½ to 1 hour.

    8 Just before serving, toss gently and adjust seasoning if necessary.

    Note: Dried cherries can be substituted for dried cranberries.
  40. Starting the day right … with breakfast
    Breakfast is a very important meal, and it really should not be missed. Because breakfast revs up your metabolism and ensures that it performs efficiently throughout the day, working at tasks such as proper absorption of nutrients, accelerated brain power and optimal calorie-burning capacity. What you eat for breakfast sets the tone for the day. When you eat a meal that balances your blood sugar, chances are that all day long you will have sustained energy and stable moods.
    Porridge is one great way to start the day. It provides complex carbohydrates that promote blood sugar balance and produce a gentle energy curve, delivering sustained energy for many hours. And it feels so good to have something warm in the morning, when the weather is still cold outside. By the way – it’s snowing in Beacon today.
    Steel-cut oats … the over-night method
    Steel-cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats – about twenty minutes – and they like to splash a lot. So to avoid the wait and the morning cleanup, I start them in the evening. Bring the water and oats to a boil, add salt and butter or oil and then turn the heat off completely. Cover the porridge and let it sit on the stove overnight. At breakfast time, simply add a little water, stir and reheat. Steel-cut oats taste great served with whole milk yogurt. If you like it sweet, add raisins or other dried fruit. Or spice it up with cinnamon or cardamom.
    For 2 servings use 2/3 cup steel-cut oats, 2 cups of water, 2 pinches of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of butter. So satisfying!
    A cold-climate grain,
    oats are a staple food in Ireland, Scotland and England, arriving there about AD 100 from Central Asia and Russia. For steel-cut oats, which were popularized by the Irish and Scotsmen, the oat kernel is cut into two or three pieces. Oats have high protein content and are most widely used as a breakfast food. It is said that oats are a male aphrodisiac as well as an adaptogen – a food that helps the body adapt to new conditions. Oats strengthen nerves and reduce addictive cravings. Their soluble fiber helps to lower high cholesterol.
  41. Mushroom Barley Soup Serves 6

    Here is a lovely version of the classical mushroom barley soup. What makes this version so delicious is the use of butter, soy sauce and sherry. I include carrots as well. 

    ½ cup (120 ml) barley, rinsed

    6 cups (1½ l) water

    2 onions, chopped

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    3 tablespoons butter

    1 pound (500 g) mushrooms, sliced

    1 teaspoon salt

    6 tablespoons soy sauce

    ½ cup (120 ml) medium dry sherry

    2 carrots, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise


    In a large pot, cook the barley in 2 cups (500 ml) of the water until tender, about 1 hour.

    Sauté the onions and garlic in the butter. When they soften, add the mushrooms and the salt. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms are tender.

    Stir the sauté into the cooked barley, then add the remaining 4 cups (1 l) water, soy sauce, sherry and carrots. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for  20 minutes.

    Adjust taste by adding more soy sauce or sherry if necessary. Add pepper to taste.


  42. Nomination for Essential Nourishment

    Essential Nourishment has been nominated for the prestigious GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARDS 2011. The “Best in the World” winners will be announced at the awards event during the Paris Cookbook Fair March 7 – 11, 2012.
  43. Yummy black bean soup

    This is the first bean soup I ever made. I had eaten bean, pea or lentil soups before, but I had never actually cooked one myself. It seemed to be a big deal to soak the beans and then cook them. But one day I got inspired and decided to give it a try. I planned it and soaked the beans overnight for a soup to be cooked on a Saturday. I made a big pot of it, which provided me with nutritious food for several days. And that was the beginning of my love affair with homemade bean soups. Now I make one every week. They are so rich and satiating that a bowl of bean soup can serve as dinner.

    2½ cups (500 g) dried black beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed

    8 cups (2 l) water

    1 onion, chopped

    3 carrots, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    3 leeks, cut into small pieces

    salt and pepper

    Place the beans and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Skim off and discard any foam that forms. Cook over medium heat for 1 hour.

    Sauté the onion and carrots in the oil for about 10 minutes.

    When the beans start to become tender, add the sauté and cook for another 10 minutes.

    Add the leeks and cook for another 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste

    Serve garnished with fresh cilantro leaves and topped with sour cream.


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