Homemade pesto sauce

Nettle Pesto

Springtime in the Pacific Northwest is a great time to forage for nettles and make my favorite pesto. Yesterday, I went out with my son and collected enough nettles for about a third of a grocery bag. We cut off the top of the stem and leaves, and then brought them home.

To prepare the pesto, I boiled the nettles in a pot of water for three minutes, and then put them in a strainer and an ice bath to keep their vibrant green color. I divided the nettles into two batches, one with Parmesan, pecans, salt and olive oil, and the other with Parmesan, cashews, hemp seed, salt and olive oil. Tonight, I'm going to make them over gluten free elli - I can't wait!

What are Nettles?

Nettles are a type of plant that have small, sharp stinging hairs on their stems and leaves. Nettles are native to much of the world, and are often seen growing in fields and woods. They can be used for various purposes, including for food and medicinal uses. The leaves of nettles can be eaten cooked or raw, and are high in vitamins and minerals. Nettle tea is also a popular beverage, and can help to boost the immune system and provide relief from allergies. Nettles can also be used to make natural dyes and fabric dye, as well as in herbal remedies.

https://youtu.be/7JFMSeE3GEY

Nettle Pesto Recipe

Per batch:

  • 40 nettle tops (the top 1/3 of the plant; collect using gloves!!)
  • 6 oz parmesan (can substitute with 3 oz nutritional yeast for vegan option)
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, more depending on desired consistency
  • Combination of approx. 1 cup nuts/seeds: cashews, pecans, walnuts, hemp seeds

Directions:

1. Boil nettles for 2 minutes, strain, then place in a large bowl of water with ice and “cold shock” the leaves (this helps them keep the vibrant green color). Press the excess water out.

2. Add the nettles to a food processor along with the parmesan/nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, salt, and nuts/seeds. Process on high, slowly adding in the olive oil until the desired consistency is reached.


jicama

Jicama Cilantro Salad

Jicama Cilantro Salad

jicama cilantro salad

This Jicama salad is a truly healing dish, and easy to whip up. It's got crunch, amazing flavor, looks beautiful, and boasts some tang with the dressing.

Jicama is packed with nutrients, including vitamins C and E, folate, potassium, magnesium, and beta-carotene. It has an excellent dietary fiber profile, and can thereby improve bowel function. It's high in inulin, a prebiotic fiber, which helps nourish the good gut bacteria. Healthy gut bacteria is important for reducing the risk of developing obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

My other favorite nutrient is cilantro, also known as coriander. Cilantro leaves contains vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, and manganese. The leaves of the cilantro plant has also been found to bind heavy metals, such as mercury, and synthetic chemicals, so that they can be detoxified out of the body.

 

Salad

  • 1 pound Jicama root (approx. 1 root)
  • 1 cup Red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Mango, cut into small cubes (fresh)
  • 3 Tbsp Cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Dressing

  • 1 tsp Lime zest (organic)
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice (preferably fresh)
  • 2 Tbsp Honey (preferably organic & unpasteurized)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (preferably unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt)
  • 2 Tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pinch Cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Salt the onions lightly and set aside; this cuts down on the sharpness of the onion.

  2. Remove the skin of the jicama root and rinse to clean any remaining debris.

  3. Cut the jicama lenth-wise, then cut into 1/4-inch strips.

  4. Place chopped jicama, red onion, chopped red bell pepper, sliced radishes, and cubed mango in a bowl, and mix gently.

  5. In a separate bowl, combine the lime zest, lime juice, honey, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Don't add more than a pinch of cayenne, as it is HOT!

  6. Pour the dressing over the salad, and gently toss to combine.

jicama cilantro salad

Salad
International

Onions, garlic and herbs bio from the garden

Pickled Garlic

 

Pickled Garlic

Garlic is a massively potent antiviral and antibacterial. I use garlic daily in my cooking, because it is SOOO delicious and amazing for the body. Pickled garlic is extra potent as it is packed with probiotics but fun to eat on its own as it is milder than fresh, raw garlic.

  • pint jar
  • 40 raw garlic cloves (peeled, organic if possible)
  • 12 oz raw apple cider vinegar

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  1. Place garlic and optional ingredients into the pint jar.
  2. Add the apple cider vinegar until the cloves are covered. Leave ¼” of space at the top of the jar.
  3. Close the lid and leave the jar in a dark, room temperature location for two weeks.
  4. After two weeks, place in your refrigerator for two more weeks.
Side Dish
International


Green spinach tortilla

Extra Easy Keto Vegan Tortillas

Need a quick and healthful alternative to the standard lunch PB&J sandwich? These keto vegan tortillas are fun, super healthful, tasty, and easy to make. They are excellent with:

  • fresh or sautéed greens
  • fresh julienned or sautéed veggies (such as snap peas, carrots, zucchini, and sweet potato)
  • sliced avocados
  • hummus, olive tapenade, baba ganoush, or other keto spreads
  • boiled and sliced or scrambled eggs (if you're not vegan)

Taco night? You can use these keto vegan tortillas instead of conventional tortillas in standard Mexican cuisine. They are a bit fragile because they are gluten-free, but as long as they are handled gently, they can work great in an enchilada or similar recipe.

Any combination of spices and herbs can be added for extra zest, color, and flavor.

vegan tortillas

vegan tortillas


Extra Easy Keto Vegan Tortillas

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 15 min

Total: 25 min

Yield: 6 tortillas 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp avocado or extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½-1 cup warm water
  • Optional spices to mix and match: ¼ tsp cumin, ⅛ tsp turmeric, 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds, 2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil, cilantro, or parsley, pinch of pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix. 
  3. Add ½ cup water and the oil and mix by hand until thoroughly combined. Add more water as needed until the dough holds together but is not too wet. Knead dough for 2-3 minutes, form into a ball, then cut into six equal pieces.
  4. Roll each of the six smaller sections of dough into balls, then push them down onto parchment paper with the back of your hand, forming flattened circles, approx. 1/8" thick (or use a tortilla press lined with parchment paper if you have one).
  5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, then transfer each of the tortillas carefully onto it. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5 minutes.
  6. The finished tortillas can be crisped or reheated in a very hot skillet for 30 seconds per side.

 


Matcha tea latte in glass

Paleo Fall Matcha & Spice Latte

 

Paleo Fall Matcha & Spice Latte

This recipe is packed with anti-inflammatory punch, and is easy to make for a quick morning treat, with Thanksgiving dessert, or just because.

  • 10 oz coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup (authentic)
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (ground)
  • 1/4 tsp cloves (ground)
  • 1/4 tsp allspice (ground)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (ground)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (authentic)
  • 2 tsp matcha powder
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  1. Heat coconut milk, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, spices, and vanilla extract over medium heat in a saucepan. Whisk occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the matcha and hot water together.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into two mugs, then top with the whisked matcha. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  4. Leave layered and serve with spoons.
Beverage
International


Herbs and Spices

Immune Fire Tonic

Immune Fire Tonic

Here’s my favorite immune-jooping tonic that I drink once every few days during the colder months of the year, and 2-3 times daily when I’m feeling under the weather.

  • 2 cloves minced garlic (preferably fresh)
  • 1 tsp ginger (chopped or grated peeled raw )
  • 1 tsp horseradish (chopped peeled raw )
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (preferably raw and organic)
  • 1-2 tsp honey (preferably organic)
  • 1/2 tsp unsalted butter (grass-fed , coconut oil, to aid the absorption of the active curcumin found in the turmeric)
  1. Bring 8oz water to a boil.
  2. Mince the garlic, ginger, and horseradish and add to a tall cup.
  3. Add cayenne, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and turmeric to the cup.
  4. Add the boiling water, along with apple cider vinegar, honey, and (optional) coconut oil or butter to the cup.
  5. Cover and let the tonic steep for 5 minutes.
  6. Sip over the next 20-30 minutes.
Drinks
American


apples

Yams and Apples

This holiday season brings to mind a nice side dish I have enjoyed for decades. It reminds me of past family dinners as well as a celebration of autumn harvests. This dish provides us with much-needed carotenoids/vitamin A, fiber and minerals. It also provides calories for enduring those cold winter nights. And yes, “yam” is a misnomer as sweet potato is not a yam – it just is more fun to say it that way.

Yams and Apples

This holiday season brings to mind a nice side dish I have enjoyed for decades. It reminds me of past family dinners as well as a celebration of autumn harvests. This dish provides us with much needed carotenoids/vitamin A, fiber and minerals. It also provides calories for enduring those cold winter nights. And yes, “yam” is a misnomer as a sweet potato is not a yam – it just is more fun to say it that way.

  • 1 whole sweet potatoes (orange )
  • 1 whole granny smith apple ( or other type - sour apple)
  • 1 whole honey crisp apple (or other type - sweet apple)
  • 1 cup apple juice (organic if possible)
  • 1/4 stick butter (sliced into pads)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (ground or 1 cinnamon stick)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (ground)
  1. Peel the potatoes and apples. Remove cores from apples. Cut both potatoes and apples into approximately 1”-2” blocks or chunks. Mix together and add them to a buttered baking dish. To that add enough apple juice to cover mixture. Gent
  2. Gently stir in the spices and then top the mix with the pads of butter.
  3. Place in an oven at 325F for around 45min-1hour. It is ready when potatoes are soft but not mushy.

Serve alongside holiday meats and veggies

Side Dish
American


Japanese ramen soup

Dr. Lenny's 15-Minute Miso Ramen

Regular intake of organic fermented soy products, such as miso, have many health benefits, including a reduced risk of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers. There is also research suggesting fermented soy products are superior to non-fermented soy when it comes to health benefits. This miso ramen recipe with noodles and mushrooms is one of my mainstays. It's easy to make, is full of flavor and incredibly nourishing. I like to add the chili peppers in the colder months. Enjoy!

15-Minute Miso Ramen

  • 2.5 cups chicken/bone/veggie broth
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste (I recommend Miso Master Organic brand)
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup noodles (Experiment with soba, rice, shirataki, or zucchini noodles)
  • 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps (Approx. 4 caps)
  • 1 sheet nori
  • 1/2 inch ginger root
  • 1/2 inch turmeric root (In a pinch can substitute 1/4 tsp ground turmeric)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 whole serrano or jalapeno chili (If you like it spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp fish sauce (Dulse flakes are a great vegan substitute)
  • 1 tsp cilantro or parsley
  1. Finely dice the ginger, turmeric, chili pepper (optional) and garlic. Saute these with oil and sliced mushrooms in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour in the broth and bring to a gentle boil. Once boiling, stir in the the miso paste and simmer on low heat until it dissolves, approx. 5 minutes.
  3. This is a good time to prepare your noodles following the package directions. Drain your noodles well, then add to the broth.
  4. Add a splash of fish sauce and crumble the dried nori sheets and parsley or cilantro over the ramen as a garnish.
  5. Serve up!

References:

1. Okabe Y, Shimazu T, Tanimoto H. Higher bioavailability of isoflavones after a single ingestion of aglycone-rich fermented soybeans compared with glucoside-rich non-fermented soybeans in Japanese postmenopausal women. J Sci Food Agric. 2011;91(4):658-63.
2. Pudenz M, Roth K, Gerhauser C. Impact of soy isoflavones on the epigenome in cancer prevention. Nutrients. 2014;6(10):4218-72.

Main Dish, Side Dish
International


chocolate mousse

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse

Here's an easy, simple chocolate mousse recipe, perfected by our very own Gwendolyn, that can be whipped into an amazingly gourmet-tasting and uber-healthy dessert in no time. Plus, it is dairy-free and gluten-free, and thus caters to many diets. Top with fresh raspberries or strawberries and coconut shavings and YUM!

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse

  • large avocado (should be perfectly ripe for best results)
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk (found in natural food section of most grocery stores)
  • 2 tsp stevia or other natural sweetener (substitutes: maple syrup, birch syrup, coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  1. Purée the avocado until smooth, either by hand or in a food processor.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and milk and purée until combined.
  3. Stir in the sweetener of choice, vanilla extract, and any extra ingredients (toasted almonds add a lovely crunch, and frozen berries give the mousse a great fruity twang) and mix well.
  4. Transfer the mousse to individual bowls and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
  5. Top with optional extras prior to serving.

Blend up and enjoy! Double or triple++ the recipe and spread the love.

Dessert


Glass of tea with rosehips, cinnamon stick and orange slice

Rose Hip Tea to soothe, nourish, and uplift

If you suffer from achy, arthritic joints, seasonal depression, tend towards anxiety, or can't seem to recover from one cold before the next one hits, rose hip tea may be a wonderful way to reduce pain, raise moods, and generally lift the body's resilience. Rose hips, which have been used both medicinally and as a food for over 2,000 years, are very high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, bioflavonoids, fatty acids, carotenoids, and Vitamin E, to name a few. Rose hips have been shown to improve immune function and reduce joint pain. They contain anti-cancer properties, improve postpartum depression and anxiety, and even improve the risk of heart disease. As a food, rose hips are widely used in jams, jellies, syrups, chutneys, wine, and in the simplest form - tea. Here is a wonderfully simple and delicious recipe for soothing, nourishing, and uplifting rose hip tea.

Rose Hip Tea

  • 3 cups rose hips (organic/unsprayed)
  1. Harvesting the rose hips: At time of harvest, rose hips should be firm, plump, and have a little give when squeezed. Their color should range from deep orange to bright red. If they are dark red, they are overripe. They are sweetest at this point, but have lost much of their Vitamin C. To harvest, carefully remove 3 cups of rose hips from the stem of the rose plants.
  2. Preparing the tea: Cut off the bloom stem and cut each rose hip in half. If a knife proves to be tricky, try scissors. Scrape out the pith and seeds (I've found this to be easiest with a grapefruit spoon). Rinse the rose hips in cold water and air dry them out on a clean towel or cheese cloth. When dry, mince the hips. Boil in 3 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain, and enjoy hot or cold.
  3. Other ideas: If you're the creative type, add dried lavender (preferably L. officinalis), fresh or dried ginger, or dried hibiscus flowers to the tea. If the added ingredients are fresh, boil along with the rose hips. If they are dried or flowery, let them steep in the rose hip tea after the boiling phase.

Rose hips will have the most nutritional value when used directly after harvesting.

To dry rose hips, spread the halved rose hips after the pith and seeds have been removed on wax paper and leave in a dark area for three weeks or until they are hard and wrinkly. Store them in airtight containers, away from direct light. When using dried rose hips for tea, use 3 tsp per cup of boiling water, and let steep for 10 minutes.

Do not use aluminum pots for cooking the hips, as these will change the color of the hips and deplete Vitamin C.

Beverage