Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall Beef Vegetable Soup

Sorry, no pic on this one yet...
The idea behind this soup is a very simple, light vegetable soup, with the ingredients cooked very gently until they are just tender. Cooking the beef separately by broiling or grilling allows the flavors of the soup to remain clear. I make this soup, or some variation on it, all the time without the beef (see my post on Easiest Bestest Veg Soup). You can pretty much add whatever floats your boat.

Fall Beef Vegetable Soup  
Serves 3 to 4
Beef Sirloin - 3 to 4 portions (Top Sirloin or Tenderloin)
1 bunch Carrots, peeled and diced
5 small Red Potatoes, diced
3 large Red Chard leaves, dice stems and julienne leaves
pinch Herbs de Provence
1 lemon, juiced

As usual, this recipe works best if you use top notch organic ingredients.
Grill or broil Beef Sirloin until cooked to medium. Let rest for 15 minutes. Dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside. While Beef is cooking, prepare other ingredients. Add Carrots, Potatoes, Chard stems, Herbs de  Provence to soup pot. Add water to just cover ingredients. Bring to gentle boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to simmer at medium-low. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender. Add Chard leaves and when wilted, remove pot from heat. Place reserved diced beef into the bottom of wide shallow bowls and use a ladle to gently add soup to the bowls. Serve with slices of lemon and sea salt.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A New Fence

What do you do when something happens that you cannot control, even though you've tried and tried and tried to prevent the something from happening? How about a smoothie and a poem?

A New Fence

A white cup
filled with
blood colored berries
fall apples
honeybee honey
almonds, golden, crushed
While the fence outside
is pulled down
to make way for
the fence, a new fence
to obstruct our view
of the golden fields
where I could sit and watch kestrels dive
and coyotes hunt
and drink from
a white cup

Friday, July 8, 2011

Watermelon Mint Basil Agua Fresca

Goodness I have been slacking on this blog. Oh well. Now that it's summer, I'm more inspired. First post of this summer: Watermelon Mint Basil Agua Fresca. So simple, it's barely a recipe.

Watermelon Mint Basil Agua Fresca
Watermelon, cut into large chunks
A few Mint leaves
A few Basil leaves
Raw Agave
A little Water

Blend well. Chill and drink when it's roasty toasty outside. You can mix with Vodka and pour over ice for a great cocktail.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Carrot Coconut Soup with a side of Greens and Beans

For me, the best meals are unplanned. If I try to plan things out too much, I often choke (sometimes literally). Tonight I made an impromptu dinner and it turned out so great, I had to post.

Carrot Coconut Soup
Carrots, about 8-10 medium, washed with tops cut off
1 can Coconut Milk

pinch each Cumin, Paprika, Coriander
Sea Salt
1/4 cup toasted Amaranth*
Tomatoes, chopped (I used yellow Heirloom here)
Lime juice, fresh

Place Carrots in food processor and process finely. Add Coconut Milk (create the soup consistency you would like- using less or more as needed- the texture will still be a little chunky). Add Spices and Sea Salt and process again for a minute. Pour into pot and heat gently over medium low heat. Serve in bowls, topped with toasted Amaranth, Tomatoes and Lime Juice.

Greens & Beans
Rainbow Chard
Toasted Sesame Oil
Sea Salt
Pinto Beans, canned or cooked fresh

Pour Sesame Oil into pan, heat to medium. Julienne Chard and add to pan. Add Pinto Beans (drain and rinse if canned). Let greens wilt slightly and toss with Sea Salt. Place in bowl and squeeze Lemon juice over top.

*Toasted Amaranth
This is a new food for me, and I am really loving it. It's cheap, full of protein, iron and calcium, and delicious when toasted. Take a cast iron pan, pour in enough Amaranth to cover bottom of pan, heat to medium high and toast until golden brown. Shake pan often.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Douglas Fir Spring Tips Tea

When I go for a hike in the summer, one of my favorite things to do is break off a small sage leaf and chew it while I'm walking through the forest. I also love to break open juniper berries and wear the juice like perfume. And the intoxicating scent of crushed pine needles...don't get me started. It's part of the reason I insisted on getting married in a mountain top forest of Ponderosa, Douglas Fir, Juniper and Spruce. While house sitting, I came across this tin of tea by Juniper Ridge. It's really's simply crushed tips of the Douglas Fir that are wild harvested from the coastal mountains of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. They also have a White Sage + Mint, which I just ordered. Maybe this Spring, I'll experiment and make some tea of my own...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Easiest Bestest Veg Soup

This soup is so easy and fresh, you'll want to have it all the time. When it's too cold outside for a salad, this is my dish!

Rainbow Chard, stems chopped, leaves julienned
Carrots, cut to 1/4" half-rounds
Fennel, sliced into thin slivers and chopped up a bit. Save stems for later use.
New or Red Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" cubes
Herbs de Provence
Bay Leaf, small or 1/2
Sea Salt
Grapeseed Oil

For 1 serving, I use about 2 Chard leaves, 2 small Carrots, 1/4 Fennel bulb, 1/2 Potato, and 1/2 Lemon. The other ingredients, to taste.

First, prep all your veggies. Add all veggies to pot with the exception of the julienned Chard leaves. Add a pinch or two of Herbs de Provence, depending on how many servings you are making. Add Bay Leaf. Cover with filtered water, bring to boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes, until everything is just tender. Add the Chard leaves and continue to simmer until they have wilted. Ladle into wide bowls and juice 1/2 Lemon over each bowl (this is a VERY important step...don't leave it out or it won't be the bestest soup). Sprinkle with Sea Salt and drizzle with Grapeseed Oil. 

**Extra secret ingredient** For a really wonderful flavor and a more deeply nourishing soup, add some Burdock Root- either fresh or dried. I keep a small bag the dried root in my fridge and add about a 1/2 tbs. per serving to the soup.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Inner Eco Probiotic Kefir

What fun is it to eat healthy, yummy food, only to be left with a tummy ache or poor nutritional absorption? That's been my dilemma for years. And when I say years, I mean since kindergarten. Now that the gluten is out of the way, I am working on healing and nourishing my inner digestive beauty! I've used other probiotics, and they have been really helpful, but Inner-Eco is by far the best I've tried by leaps and bounds.

It's sold at Vitamin Cottage for about $10. - (it's more expensive at Whole Foods, buyer beware!). I've been drinking 2 Tbsp a day, and getting really good results. I'm going to start giving some to Francis, my dog- it's pet and kid friendly too!

A little bit of info from their site:

"...dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free and certified vegan beverage. ...hand crafted and made in small batches using freshly harvested coconut water from young green (less than six months old) coconuts at the peak of their nutritional life..this kefir is a living food created to build and nourish the inner ecology of your body...employs the process of fermentation to create its Coconut Water Probiotic Kefir. Fermentation is the biological process that occurs when specific (probiotic) bacteria cultures are introduced to the water of the young green coconuts under controlled processing conditions. Coconut water makes the perfect fermentation medium because its naturally occurring carbohydrates, including sugars and fiber, provide food for the bacteria and stimulate their growth. Under these optimum conditions, the health-promoting bacteria are able to grow or culture, leading to exceptionally high culture counts of up to trillions of probiotic bacteria per serving." 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Warming Ginger Tea

This tea is a warming concoction that is great for bringing the digestive system back into balance. My Mom, who is a teacher and practicioner of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, recommended I try some ginger tea in the morning when I was complaining to her last week about stomach upsets. I got a little fancy and added some other ingredients; lemon- highly cleansing and alkalinizing, turmeric- wonder spice (see my previous post), cardamom- a yummy, fragrant, tummy-taming Indian spice that is part of the ginger family, and a small amount of honey for balance.

Warming Ginger Tea
1-inch Ginger, peeled and sliced
1/4-inch Turmeric root, peeled and sliced
pinch Cardamom seeds
small piece of Lemon, peel and all

Boil water in tea pot. Place ingredients in mug or tea pot (use a separate one for steeping). Pour water over ingredients and let steep at least 5-10 minutes. Strain tea, serve with a small dollop of honey. If you cannot find, or do not have the Turmeric and Cardamom, the Ginger and Lemon alone are great!
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