SalmonBerry

Archive for November, 2014|Monthly archive page

Bold Dressings for Bitter Greens

In Nutrition on November 23, 2014 at 4:12 am
salt farm

Wasabi Sesame, Black Truffle, Uni and many more spiked salts from Salt Farm at Little Italy’s Farmer’s Market

I spent this beautiful Saturday with a dear friend strolling through the farmer’s market in Little Italy buying holiday gifts and catching up on our complicated lives. We bought vials of gourmet salts from Salt Farm and sugar scrubs and muscle rubs from Holistic Science. When we’d had enough of the crowds and sunshine, we stopped for a lunch of caesar salad and mussels at Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar.

kale salad ironside

Kale Caesar at Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar in Little Italy

This place never disappoints and their yummy, fishy, kale caesar salad was so perfect it challenged me to step outside the predictable avo/sea salt/lemon dressing that I consistently massage into dinosaur kale. Sure, it’s delicious but it’s not very inspired. Plus avocados are kinda dicey right now since they aren’t in season.

It seems to me that hearty, bitter greens like kale require equally bold dressings to balance all that dense healthiness.

Both of these dressing have a nice kick to challenge that strong kale flavor.

Lemony-Caper Dressing (more work but worth it)

2 lemons – supremed

3 TBSP shallots, coarsely chopped

2 TBSP Dijon mustard

1-2 TBSP capers, drained

1 tsp superfine sugar (regular sugar works fine too)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

lemony-caper dressing

Lemony-Caper Dressing

Segment the lemons using this technique (watch the short video!).

Use a hand blender to thoroughly blend all ingredients EXCEPT THE LEMONS. Massage the pureed dressing into the kale and then, after marinating for up to hour (or less), toss lemon segments with kale.

This is definitely not for the faint of heart.

It’s strong. And salty. And lemony.

Try it with a scoop of warm brown rice or grilled fish to temper the flavors.

If the idea of supreme-ing a lemon is just too much work (Yuwei – I’m talking to you), try this one:

Carrot-Ginger Dressing

This one is bold for different reasons – mainly the ginger and cayenne.

Use a hand blender or food processor to puree the following:

kale bouquet

Dinosaur kale bouquet in grated rainbow carrot water.

1/2 cup carrots, peeled & grated

3 TBSP sesame oil

2 TBSP peeled ginger, chopped

2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

1 – 4 garlic cloves

1 TBSP tamari

2 tsp honey

 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)

Both dressings will be infinitely tastier if you MASSAGE (yes, with your bare hands) the dressings into the kale. As my sister says, massaging makes the kale taste like it is loved.

In addition to tossing with a grain or protein, consider adding something sweet to balance the bitter-sour-spicy. Peaches or strawberries (in summer) or dried currants or cranberries (in winter) work beautifully. Creamy goat cheese or crunchy sunflower seeds will also round out these bold salads nicely.

Check out the little guy who got caught in the steam pot with our mussels! He was probably just as surprised as we were to see that he met this fate.

crab in mussel

Teeny tiny crab hanging onto the mussel!

Pink Parsley Salad

In Nutrition on November 19, 2014 at 9:31 pm

‘Tis the season for long-storing, high-starch, root vegetables.

Carrot-Beet Salad

Carrot-Beet Salad

Already bored with roasted root veggies? The cold, dry, winter months are not ideal for eating raw foods but Southern California’s Santa Ana conditions – hot desert wind that dries out your eyeballs – means we get a blast of summer in the middle of winter. Hydrating summer vegetables are what we crave during these Santa Ana events but what’s in season are beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes, squashes, etc.

Grating raw – or even gently steamed – beets and carrots and tossing them with rich dressing is reminiscent of summer but still in current season of storage and warmth. Use your leftover tahini dressing from Creamy Tahini Noodles on this high fiber, low sugar, raw salad.

Warning: this dish works your jaw allowing you to practice your mindful eating skills. Drink plenty of water with all this fiber.

Ingredients:

2-3 large carrots – grated

1 large beet – grated

large handful of parsley – chopped

2-3 TBSP unsweetened, coconut flakes

Toss the carrots and beets thoroughly with tahini dressing. Don’t skimp on the dressing…it’s an important source of fat and protein allowing for normal blood sugar and balanced mood. Top with parsley and coconut flakes. Pretty!

Nutritional Info: Off-the-charts source of vitamin A and good source of fiber (um, yeah, all those raw root veggies), folate, and vitamin K.

Creamy Tahini Noodles

In Nutrition, Recipe on November 18, 2014 at 7:22 am

My BFF, Amy, is so cool.

She was eating kale in the late 90s way before it was en vogue.

creamy tahini noodles

Soba noodles, carrots, and cabbage in creamy tahini sauce.

Back then she gave me the recipe for this tahini-based sauce. It was a revelation to me at the time. These days using nuts and seeds in sauces is quite common; however, if you have yet to try a tahini sauce…well, you must! It’s simple and fast to make a creamy, savory dish with no food processor required.

This speedy meal combines gluten-free soba noodles and high-fiber, high-antioxidant veggies with a rich, creamy, HEALTHY sauce made from tahini (ground sesame seeds). Tahini is a powerhouse of minerals such as copper, calcium, and iron as well as the 2nd highest plant source of tryptophan, a pre-cursor for seratonin (the “feel good” hormone).

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat whose unique flavonoid compounds are critical for vascular health. Buckwheat is unrelated botanically to wheat (it’s a fruit seed) so it’s naturally gluten-free; however, read labels, some brands add wheat flour to their noodles. Of course, feel free to sub in zucchini noodles or kelp noodles (as in this kelp noodle recipe with a spicy, coconut, tahini sauce) or soba noodles, if you so desire.

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 cup carrots – sliced into rounds

1 cup red cabbage – shredded

Soba noodles or kelp noodles or zucchini noodles or whatever

Tahini sauce (makes a lot!):

1/2 cup tahini

1/2 cup hot water

1 lemon – juiced

2 TBSP tamari

3 tsp maple syrup

2 tsp rice vinegar

Nutrition Info (SAUCE ONLY): 1/2 cup (4oz) = 244 kcals + 16g fat + 8g protein + 4g fiber

Directions: Whisk sauce ingredients together and set aside. Toss carrots into boiling water. Bring water and carrots back to a boil and toss in 2 servings of soba noodles (whatever that looks like to you). Cook for 3 mins, then add cabbage. Boil for 1-2 mins more (test for done-ness) and drain. Toss 1 cup (more or less) of sauce with hot noodle mixture and top with green onions. Savory, creamy, delicious…

shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms

Try this “meatier” comfort food variation: Sauté 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms, 1/2 cup diced red onion, and 2 TBSP fresh grated ginger in a splash of sesame oil and tamari. Toss with sauce and soba noodles and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. This version will be higher in fat and lower in fiber but ginger, onion, and shiitake increase the ‘healthy’ factor so dig in!

Cold-Busting, Flu-Fighting Garlic Soup

In Nutrition, Recipe on November 4, 2014 at 10:40 pm
Immune-supporting Garlic Soup

Immune-supporting Garlic Soup

So you think you’re about to get sick.

Stop. Sit down. Breathe. And check your calendar. What previous commitments are you going to cancel?

You don’t have wait until you are full-on sick to rearrange your calendar. Being bed-ridden is not the only good excuse for not following through on a coffee date or volunteer time-slot or swimming with your kids or dinner with your loved ones.

And, by the way, you don’t need an excuse. Ever. For anything. If you’ve changed your mind about something, you are allowed to state that with no explanation necessary – but that is another discussion.

Sickie Defense Arsenal

Sickie Defense Arsenal

If you start to have even the slightest bit of sniffles, sore throat, or achey-ness, it’s time to clear your calendar and break-out the Sickie Defense Arsenal: throat sprays, herbs and minerals, neti pot, and citrus juicer and make a pot of nourishing, immune-supporting soup. Traditional chicken soup is always a winner. You can also try Quinoa Chowder or Cleansing Soup. Or, if you want to go BIG, try the recipe for Garlic Soup below.

An electric citrus juicer (and 10lb bags of oranges and grapefruits) is a winter-time necessity. Once November rolls around, the apples are starting to get old and citrus is the only local, seasonal fruit left (at least in Southern California). Indulging in fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juice during the cold, dark winter months keeps you hydrated and full of antioxidant, immune-supporting vitamin C.

Vitamin C is quite fragile and quickly loses it’s effectiveness once exposed to heat, light, and oxygen – geez! It’s found in most FRESH fruits and vegetables but the longer your food has been transported, displayed, and stored, the less vitamin C it contains. Citrus, with it’s trusty, protective peel, locks in the vitamins until it’s juiced and then straight into your belly!

Head to the market for the following ingredients for GARLIC SOUP and other necessities:

grocery cart

Garlic Soup ingredients & Vitamin C-rich citrus

garlic (52 cloves, yes, 52!)

olive oil (2 TBSP) and sea salt (for roasting garlic)

ginger (1/2 cup)

onions (2 yellow)

butter, grass fed (1/2 stick)

cayenne (2 tsp or more!)

fresh thyme (lots)

coconut milk (1/2 cup)

3 1/2 cups veggie stock

If Garlic Soup sounds scary, think how scared that random virus will be and how stoked your body will be.

Sickie Defense Arsenal and Strategy:

1) Neti Pot 2x/day w Varcho Veda Neti-Wash Plus (zinc drops)

2) Throat Sprays 3-5x/day (2-3 sprays each time): Echinacea/Goldenseal/Propolis and S-Clear

3) Wellness Formula 2x/day – 3 horsepills (they suck but are so worth it)

4) TONS of fresh-squeezed orange juice (or grapefruit). Even better – try a carrot-orange-ginger juice

5) Make a HUGE pot of soup. Eat it all day long for days. Garlic Soup directions below (ingredients in list above).

To Make Garlic Soup:

Preheat oven to 350F. Get pumped for the job with positive warrior affirmations (and maybe a few warrior poses) to kick this sickness to the curb. Now put that awesome energy into your soup.

roasted garlic

Roasted garlic – olive oil, salt, 350 for 45 minutes

Place 26 garlic cloves (UNpeeled) in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes.

While garlic is roasting, take a bubble bath.

While garlic is cooling, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions (sliced), thyme, ginger (peeled and chopped) and cayenne powder. Cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.

Onions, garlic, ginger, butter, cayenne

Onions, garlic, ginger, butter, cayenne

Meanwhile, squeeze cooled garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Lick your oily, salty, garlicky fingers. They are delicious.

Add roasted garlic and 26 raw garlic cloves (peeled this time!) and cook 3 minutes. Add vegetable broth, cover, and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Puree soup with a hand blender, add coconut milk, and bring to simmer.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon on top and feel better soon!

Mini-Cleanse

In Nutrition on November 3, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Cleansing on a quarterly basis sets the habit of regularly treating your body with kindness, attention, and respect and re-sets your palate back to healthier, cleaner food that encourages satiation and satisfaction and reduces cravings and overeating.

suja and cleansing soup

Cleansing Soup and Fresh-Pressed Juices

This is a cleanse that everyone can do. It’s only 3 days long. You can do anything for 3 days. That’s what I told myself about natural childbirth – I can do anything for 24 hrs.

EAT ONLY THIS SOUP for all your meals and DRINK A LOT OF VEGGIE JUICES.

Making the soup alone is an exercise in mindfulness and patience and being present. Make it the night BEFORE you want to start the cleanse. There is a lot of chopping…like…a lot. But once it’s assembled, it’s instantly ready to eat. No need to simmer for hours to bring out the flavors – it’s ready to go.

You’ll think this soup is so delicious on Day 1.

On Day 2, it will still taste good but eating it might not seem so joyful.

I’m not going to lie. Day 3 is hard. You are really sick of the soup. Not like I’m-gonna-gag-on-it-if-I-take-one-more-bite but eating is something you might try to avoid. Don’t avoid it. Just eat for sustenance and don’t make a big deal out of it. If you don’t eat because you aren’t looking forward to the meal then you will end up with a massive headache and possibly nausea from low blood sugar. Much better to just eat the damn soup.

Eat as much and as often as you would like (seriously, 6 bowls of soup a day is fine). And drink as many fresh pressed juices as possible but go easy on the added fruit. It’s OK to have lemons, apples, or pears in your veggie juices but refrain from the high sugar fruits. I have SUJA 12 Essentials and Purify on hand during this time so I don’t have to worry about juicing when I’m headache-y from the cleanse (it will happen). Abstaining from caffeine and alcohol during this time period is critical.

0115_130502_Salmonberry

Take care of yourself with yoga

Each day you may have 1 PIECE OF FRESH FRUIT OR FRUIT JUICE as a treat or dessert.
This will be the most amazing piece of fruit you have ever tasted in your life. Savor it. Send it gratitude. Make a lot of mmmmm and yummmm noises as you consume it.

If you are not up for your regular exercise routine, take long walks or a restorative yoga class or just give yourself a break and get more sleep. Pushing yourself beyond your limits is what has gotten you to place where you need to cleanse. So take a step back and treat yourself with compassion.

These 3 days of the Mini Cleanse is just a portion of the Salmonberry Signature Cleanse (8 days) which definitely takes more work and stamina but can also be much more rewarding.

One day I will blog about the longer cleanse (a brief intro is in this post) and link to all the helpful recipes that get me through this longer cleanse.

IN SUMMARY:

1) Make Cleansing Soup

2) Stock up on fresh-pressed veggies juices – homemade, from your local juice bar, or SUJA

3) One piece of fresh fruit or 8oz of juice per day (optional)

3) Abstain from caffeine and alcohol

4) Get a lot of sleep

5) Gentle exercise, if possible

You’ll be really happy you did this!