Category Archives: Recipes

violet flower sake cocktail

Sneak Nutrition into Your Loved Ones! Tip #3: Bloody Caesar

Ok, so many of you might complain that this is cheating, but… so far it is one of the more successful sneaks.  You don’t even have to hide it!  You do however need to add Vodka.

Caesar, where have you been all my life?

Lime Wedge

  • rim the glass, (hey, none of that!!)  I simply mean run the lime around the edge to wet it……
  • squeeze and drop wedge into the glass (or garnish)
  • vit C, enzymes, lovely sour for that chinese medicine taste protocol, and well, it’s green?

Celery Salt

  • Here’s where I win!  For much cheaper, you can buy whole celery seeds and mortor & pestle or grind them up with coarse sea salt (see my tip #1:) and get creative!
  • Seaweed, pepper flakes from the garden – hand dried by needle and thread – or maybe chipotle?!  You see what I mean.
  • Just powder ’em all up and dump on a clean surface, then dip the edge of the limed-up glass in it so it sticks to the edge

Ice

  • hey!  It’s still H2O, water, hydration and all…
  • fill glass, whatever glass you use

1oz vodka

  • the cleanest of the alcohols, the only one allowed by naturopaths if you are on a candida diet (shhhhhh…)
  • sugarless, grain free*

*Interesting fact though, check the label… in my liquor store I could only find ONE brand made from potatoes.. I thought that was the basic premise behind Vodka!  But most of them are “winter grains” or wheat.  It’s distilled all the same, but STILL!  (pun intended)

bunch of Wort sauce, Worteshire, Worticheshire (who the hell named this?)
– a scoop on what’s inside 
Worcestershire

  • shake it like a polaroid picture
  • i’m sorry for the above bullet point
  • its got fishies!!! heh.  (!vegan warning!)
  • apparently it’s the British answer to Vietnamese Fish Sauce
  • savoury and best not to think about the rest…
  • the real stuff is fermented, and that is good for the digestion and absorbtion of many minerals and vitamins

Tobasco,

  • they say 2 dashes, I say 5+
  • I figure any chili sauce will do, made with vinegar
  • chili’s – if not messed with – are high in the vit C area too
  • pep up that digestive fire, warm up your cold nights

4oz Clamato Juice (spicy)

  • !redundant vegan warning!
  • spicy, clams, veggies, tomato paste, etc…
  • I’m sure on some bottle, somewhere, there is a claim for “{some number here} servings of veggies!”
  • clam broth, it’s gotta be good for something!
  • vit A (according to my label)

Pour into glass.

Add more celery salt, or salt and pepper.

Garnish

  • this is the super veggie bonus addition round
  • half a celery stick
  • olives
  • asparagus for those fussy adventurous types
  • ideas?

My fuss-pot eater requests these, and has even bothered to learn how to make them!  I figure, what’s an ounce of vodka compared to all that other craziness?  Just don’t get in the habit of drinking them as your salad course.  I mean it.

fish on green background

Sneak Nutrition into Your Loved Ones! Tip #2: Miso

Next on the sneaky mission for stealth vitamins… Miso!

Miso is one of the most nutrient packed things I can think of off the top of my head.  B-vitamins, enzymes, protein and goodness (vitamin G) are all contained within small amounts of this Japanese salty paste.  I’ve been told it’s similar to Marmite which hails from Australia, but I haven’t confirmed this for myself, just relying on hear-say.

How do you hide this quite distinctive taste you ask?  Think salty, think savory;  after all it is used traditionally as a soup stock.

TIPS:

  • Mash and mix well with whatever you are combining it with.
  • Use the paste not instant powder for maximum health benefits.
  • Don’t boil, fry, or microwave to keep the nutritional content intact – treat it gently, like a delicate flower of the stock family.
  • keep in mind the different colours have different shades of flavour:  whites to light-yellows are sweeter and milder, yellows to dark-reds are saltier and stronger.

#2. Miso it Up

1. Sneak a bit into that cup-o-soup package when you mix in the boiling water (shhhhh…) not too much though, enough to make the fuss-pots think they are going slightly crazy, but not enough to suspect that you might be the culprit.

2. Mix equal parts Mayonaise and Miso into a smooth (ish) paste and use as a spread for sandwiches or burgers.  I’ve especially gotten away with it on breakfast egg-sandwich-with-cheese type things.

3. Mix equal parts Tahini and Miso and thin with warm water to use as a savoury sauce or gravy on things as diverse as asparagus (haha) to potatoes or meats.  –This tip I gleaned off a friend nutritionist (link soon).

4. Use in a cheesball!  Yes, cheeseball, the creamy, sharp, herby things you bring to dinner parties.  They are always asking for worcestershire sauce or other savoury condiments, just start off light and add Miso to taste, remembering that letting the cheeseball sit brings out more flavour.

Have fun!

Carrot man

Sneak Nutrition into Your Loved Ones! Tip #1: Sea Salt

Do you, like me, have a pretty good working knowledge of nutrition, opinions to spare, a strong belief that you are, in fact, what you eat…

…and someone(s) in your life who couldn’t care less?

Well, after much lamenting, cajoling, mentoring, throwing up handing, and finally saying “fine, eat what you like i’m putting seaweed in my dinner dammit!” -ing, I have come up with a few tricks to appease my sense that time is running out to stuff adequate nutrition into another human being.  Because, lets face it, it ain’t my body, so I really don’t have the right to feel put out by it all.

Educate, don’t Berate!  (is that how the saying goes?)

IN THE MEANTIME:

#1. Spruce up the Salt

One good thing about fussy eaters, is that they are usually also too lazy to remedy a situation unless it is very uncomfortable.  So, get yourself a salt shaker that is also a grinder, some unrefined course sea salt (grey if you can get away with it) and some seaweed of your choice.  Mix it all together and pour into grinder.  Then, get rid of any other salt options in the house.  If they want to saltify, they must grind!  I haven’t actually had any complaints, as it really does just taste salty.

TIPS:

grinder:  if you can afford ceramic parts, great, they don’t rust.  If not, plastic or stainless steel will do the job.  If you can’t find one easily, you can buy one of those specialty salts in any grocer to start with and then just keep refilling it with your own mix.
salt:  get the biggest course salt you can find, if it is damp (high quality) you might need to spread it out on something (pan, towel, board) and dry it out first.  The grey colour is because it hasn’t been bleached or refined and it still contains all those tasty trace minerals that we actually need.  They also help minimize the damage excess salt causes in the body.  After all, we came from the sea originally right?

seaweed:  This is all preference… As I am lazy, I buy Dulse flakes, which are already cut up for you and mix well with salt.  I’ve also used Alaria, which come in black strands and breaks up nicely when dry.  Kelp gives you a littel extra calcium and Nori a little extra protein.  Use your imagination!

So, don’t do the salty dance of guilt, just spruce* your salt up!

*you know you Can eat spruce needles (or at least make vit. C rich tea outa them), but you might find the taste a little strong and distracting for salt…

Looking for a Green Christmas? Who Needs Snow when there is Frozen Algae!

Need some extra pep to get you though this busy time of the year, with the side effects of good health?

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Click Here to See their Superfoods and Gifts

Cheers and Happy Season even if you don't get many holidays…!

Oh, Water… how do I count the ways?

As I now haunt the west coast of Canada, I constantly think that I have too much water in my life.  This would be external water.  What I am here to espouse is Internal water!  Otherwise known as hydration.

I am still baffled by the amount of people I meet who still don't try for the Doctor (no less!) Recommended dose of 8-10 glasses per day.  If a glass is 8oz… that's 2L of water!  Yes, you unbelievers!… 2 litres, minimum.

Now I have been lucky enough to grow up in a place where water is abundant.  As I listen to the stream outside my window, I do think about how I could possibly get enough water in the desert? Or does the body simply function differently?  I often worry about walking around the planet Dune and having to use recycled bodily water for hydration.  Have I simply been spoiled on water?

Well, those thoughts aside, water has helped me with:

  • PMS: water retention and bloating is caused by the body actually having too little water and having to store it.
  • Dry skin and lips, dry scalp
  • Sports, the muscles react better, faster and with less fatigue than if I have been lax in my water drinkage.
  • Constipation:  a dehydrated colon is a common cause of bowel issues. (magnesium helps the colon absorb the water)
  • Tiredness:  the body is made up of so much water, fluids is how almost every system in our body communicates (lymph, blood, digestive juices, intracellular fluid)
  • Headaches (mild-moderate):  some say that the glass of water you take with your 'Advil' is actually what cures the headache.
  • Toxicity:  soreness, tiredness, brain fog, joint problems, edema.  Water can dilute and flush toxins out of the body.
  • Thirst (haha)

 

Some books claim that dehydration is the cause of almost every major disease out there.  It's an extreme theory, but it doesn't hurt to try drinking water first, as it is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do for yourself (at least in my part of the world…)  Watch your electrolyte balance if you Only drink water (especially if you are sweating) and try to include some juices, herbal teas or (as all the hot yoga places say) Emergen-C.  Gatorade if you are desparate and in a sea of convenience stores instead of health food stores.

-what you are looking for is H20 with glucose, potassium, sodium and magnesium.  (limes or Apple Cider Vinegar, sea salt, molasses/raw sugar/maple syrup)
I will endeaver to find a tasty homemade substitute as I can't find my notes right now!

Just remember, when in doubt, drink water!

Weeds glorious weeds!

lovely weeds, wonderful weeds! (to the tune of  "lovely spam, wonderful spam")

My neighbours and landlords usually watch my gardening with  a suspicious eye….maybe it's because i might dig holes in the back lawn to put compost in….maybe its because i rejoice to see a field of dandelions to put that sunshine yellow in my salads and pancakes! 

I skulk around neighbours yards looking jealously at their chickweed and lambs quarters, wondering if they know what nutritional powerpunches they have right under their noses.
When taking care of my mom's garden, i am careful to grab all the weeds and take them home with me to put on my balcony…
They grow well!  They are super tasty, Pretty, and Good for you!

here are my favorites, as a lazy yet opportunist gardener:

  • chickweed (needs wet cool, light sun)
  • violets (same)-tiny wild pansy
  • purslane, i've only found in my garden once, in Hamilton, where it was very fertile but very HOT, interestingly sour and crunchy.
  • lamb's quarters (seems to just grow….you can see it in empty lots, abandoned ground…spinach like in its culinary actions)
  • dandelion, do i really need to describe? mmm, liver bitter….
  • plantain (city sidewalks, with grass, wherever people walk)
  • wild lettuce, grows all over the city with little spiky spines on it…but don't eat much, its a strong relaxant)
  • nettles, if you are lucky enough to live by a fertile creek or park where they hide under the big trees to enjoy the damp…you can identify by the invigorating sting.
  • i also really like aloe, which does grow as a weed in some places! (namely those places where i tend to get sunburned)

I know i have seen at least one example of each this summer, next year i promise to bring the camera with me… but the best thing to do is find someone (the local herbalist) to take you on a weed walk in your particular zone.
 

Sake on a Flower

tastes fruity & flowery & fresh

               I love eating flowers.  Picking petals seems so delicate, and eating them seems very divine or decadent. (or crass from the flower's point of view, i suppose)  The trick is to find flavours that are subtle enough to not overpower your flower.  Make sure you get the right species of flower (the Latin name to be safe)– growing your own is fun, or farmer's markets sometimes have options, possibly gourmet stores. 

Viola Tricolour (Heartsease, Johnny Jump Up, Wild Pansy) are those tiny flowers that look like little sisters to the violets bred large for modern gardens. (viola tricolour pictures).  They are good for the brain and the heart and the adrenal glands and more!  Plus they taste like a mild spearmint with fun overtones…..And purple basil is just one of many varieties of basil, I just think it goes best in this drink… after all, how often does one get to eat purple anything??  Sake is a sweetish Japanese wine that has a light flavour when mixed with other things, and no, i didn't choose it for the vitamin content. 

If you are lucky enough to have a strawberry patch, here is a wonderful way to celebrate any excess you can muster:—freeze strawberries whole and separate (on a cookie sheet), after they are hard you can jumble them in a container.

Sake-on-a-Flower

makes two drinks (you need a blender that can handle ice crushing.)

  • 5 or 7 frozen strawberries (med. size)
  • 6 viola tricolour flowers
  • 4 purple basil leaves
  • 2 ice cubes
  • sake (use as half the liquid)
  • soda water to cover stuff in blender
  • glug of maple syrup

whizz, pour into pretty glasses and garnish with extra flowers

(and i suppose for drink mixing, counting flowers can be considered a measurement of sorts..)

waldorf gone sesame!

My own version of a Waldorf salad comes directly from Faulty Towers, episode:  Walfdorf Salad.  Basically celery, walnuts, apples and mayonnaise are my favorite parts….and those of you who saw my last post will be happy to know i purchased some organic mayonnaise in a jar for now.

Now, for some reason unfathomable to me, I can't seem to find anyone in Vancouver who likes the mayo!  Is it just me?  Has that beautiful white creamy dressing gone so far out of fashion that dry salad is actually preferable?  Will i Really have to dip my pizza crusts in marinara sauce? 

So in an effort to not force my mayonnaise fetish on others, and while surprise entertaining, i was sprung into new-salad concocting mode. 

what i had: (so i thought)

  • shredded cabbage
  • mayonnaise
  • walnuts
  • apple
  • salt/pepper
  • lemon

Now i think that would have been a very reasonable approximation of a good salad, However, "add yer own mayo" seems odd to me.  Now comes the good part:  My friend Monica (a definite Non-Mayo enthusiast!) suggested sesame oil, which led to sesame seeds (toasted)  and created a scenario where (gosh darn it!) i didn't even need to add Mr. Mayo!! 

 

SO, the final version being:

Sesame Waldorf

  • shredded cabbage
  • walnuts, chopped
  • apple, chopped (if organic, skin on), lemon squeezed over to keep from browning
  • sesame seeds toasted, with a dash of toasted sesame oil

try adding:

avocado on the side, organic chicken or cheese for added protein, a dash of flax oil for omega-3 (your walnuts and sesame have the omega-6's).

 

simple and yum!  (thanks Monica)

and yes!.. i tend to trust instinct over measurements… it's liberating really..

Mayo 101

Do not make mayonaise in a personal smoothie drink blender!
So i loooove mayonaise ( and hollandaise sauce, and that ranch dipping sauce that comes with take-out pizza…. You get the picture). So I figured what better service to humanity than to figure out a super tasty, fast and nutrient dense home version? The kind to make Jamie Oliver beat down my door and shake my hand…
Being in a hurry and being the only person around me who eats mayo(?!), I figured personal size! Here I come! Did mention that I couldn’t be bothered to look up a recipe too? I know the general premise: blend egg yolk with vinegar/lemon and then slowly add oil until it thickens.
Maybe the ratio matters, or maybe it’s oil and Then vinegar, or maybe it’s the fact that the egg yolk took up so little space that it sat under the blades and so could not get pre-whippified.. Regardless, it was runny and oily and kinda gross and I had to add a whole bunch of tofu just to thicken it up.
I have not given up (think flax oil, fresh lemon, herbs) but I will get back to you after a little extra research and equipment sourcing.
Back to the vitamin packed margheritas with my little blender!

Hot Brie with benefits!

(ok, ok! the real title is:)

Baked Brie with warm nuts and berries

Brie: (creamy kind is best – like a double cream brie)
Mixture: cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and gogi berries, raisins.


Put mixture all over brie and bake on low heat. Watch carefully as you don't want cheese to melt, just bake and soften
I found out the hard way that u keep the brie as one piece – I tried cutting it into smaller bits but it melted too quick on me – then it's wasted

A Jenn Sunset contribution.

 

(colleen's note:  How to make your cheesy dreams chock full of nutrients and flavour sensations!! mmmm   P.S. I'm pretty sure that i was the recipient of the "wasted" experiment…but i can assure you that the goo you are left with is still a delicous thing to spread around…)

serve with almost anything!