BUST Craftacular

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from NOURISHING ROOT!

Come see me next weekend at BUST Craftacular!

https://bust.com/craftacular/bust-craftacular-home.html

 

Join me for an herbal workshop. 

And visit Nourishing Root's table for

herbal vinegars, herbal vegan gluten free snacks, gluten-free cupcakes and more.

Bust out your holiday shopping by supporting local businesses and artisans!

ENJOY!

 

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HERBS FOR THESE TROUBLED TIMES: RELAX AND RECHARGE WITH NOURISHING ROOT:

It’s hard to keep New York from stressing you out, which can lead to low energy, poor immunity, and unwanted tension. But herbal allies can recharge and relax you through calmatives, nervines, and adaptogens. We will sample a wide range of plants including linden, skullcap, and ashwagandha as well as plants that will help you set and keep healthy boundaries, such hawthorn, and St. John’s wort. Come learn how to use this wide battalion of herbal tools to thrive in NYC.

https://bust.com/item/101-herbs-for-these-troubled-times-relax-and-recharge-with.html

 

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Winter Herbal Allies: Learn how to fortify yourself with herbal preparations of dandelion, elder, pine and more. Use herbal allies as food with smoothies, honeys, vinegars, etc. and get ready to stay strong through the cold and flu season.

https://bust.com/item/100-learn-how-to-fortify-yourself-with-herbal-preparations.html

Use code ROOT10 to get 10% off workshops when you sign up in advance. 

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Quick Lentil Soup

A quick sunny soup for almost any weather or season. The ingredients are simple but the flavors are complex. A good trick for making soups without the layered flavor of a broth is to blend spices and seasonings and add the liquid as a quick broth. Here I added lemon, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger and water to make a quick broth for the red lentils.  Here's the recipe: Serves 8-12 INGREDIENTS: 1 large onion, small diced, about 1 C 3-4 large garlic cloves, or amount to taste 1 tsp sea salt, adjust to taste fresh ginger, 3 inches, washed 1 tsp cumin seed 1 tsp coriander seed 2 small lemons, peel and pith cut off 8 C water, plus more as needed 4 C red lentils 1 small bunch parsley, about 1/2 C chopped olive oil   PROCEDURE: In a large heavy bottomed pot, sweat onions with a tablespoon of olive oil, covering the pot, and stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. While onions are sweating, put garlic, salt, ginger, cumin, coriander, lemons and 6 C water in a blender. Blend till smooth. When onions are done, add the lentils and the blended mix. Stir and let cook at medium low until red lentils are tender. Add more water if soup is getting very thick. It should be thin enough so there's no chance of burning on the bottom. Keep in mind that the soup will thicken as it cools because of the nature of lentils.* Turn heat to lowest setting, adjust salt and stir. Add 2 T olive oil (or to taste) and parsley. Cover and let cook 15 minutes to let flavors blend.  Garnish ideas: a wedge of lemon on the side, chili pepper particularly aleppo or kirmizi pepper, extra virgin olive oil or pumpkin seed oil, coarse sea salt, more parsley or other fresh herbs.  *Thick red lentil soup is great as a veggie dip or cracker topping the next day. 

A quick sunny soup for almost any weather or season. The ingredients are simple but the flavors are complex. A good trick for making soups without the layered flavor of a broth is to blend spices and seasonings and add the liquid as a quick broth. Here I added lemon, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger and water to make a quick broth for the red lentils. 

Here's the recipe:

Serves 8-12

INGREDIENTS:

1 large onion, small diced, about 1 C

3-4 large garlic cloves, or amount to taste

1 tsp sea salt, adjust to taste

fresh ginger, 3 inches, washed

1 tsp cumin seed

1 tsp coriander seed

2 small lemons, peel and pith cut off

8 C water, plus more as needed

4 C red lentils

1 small bunch parsley, about 1/2 C chopped

olive oil

 

PROCEDURE:

In a large heavy bottomed pot, sweat onions with a tablespoon of olive oil, covering the pot, and stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. While onions are sweating, put garlic, salt, ginger, cumin, coriander, lemons and 6 C water in a blender. Blend till smooth. When onions are done, add the lentils and the blended mix. Stir and let cook at medium low until red lentils are tender. Add more water if soup is getting very thick. It should be thin enough so there's no chance of burning on the bottom. Keep in mind that the soup will thicken as it cools because of the nature of lentils.* Turn heat to lowest setting, adjust salt and stir. Add 2 T olive oil (or to taste) and parsley. Cover and let cook 15 minutes to let flavors blend. 

Garnish ideas: a wedge of lemon on the side, chili pepper particularly aleppo or kirmizi pepper, extra virgin olive oil or pumpkin seed oil, coarse sea salt, more parsley or other fresh herbs. 

*Thick red lentil soup is great as a veggie dip or cracker topping the next day. 

Summer Playtime in the Kitchen

Originally posted 6/22/15

Summer is here at last and it’s time to make fruits and veggies the stars of the plate. My favorite summer meals feature the simplest ingredients: a pint of fresh blueberries, a handful of green beans, cheese from the farmer’s market, heaps of salad. Au revoir roasted vegetables I’ve had you up to my ears full. Though I adore these simple meals, putting in a little more time can create a big return in flavor complexity and in the convenience of having food prepared for several meals.

Summer also brings an abundance of fresh herbs. In the summer the sun draws the essence of herbs out to play, to imagine, to inspire. Basil transports tomatoes to another level. Lemon thyme makes fruit jump and pause with aromatic height and earthiness. Cilantro dances with many partners on the salsa floor. Parsley’s bright green is like lounging barefoot in the grass. Mint hits high notes but calms in a steady cool. These two recipes are healthy and delicious with dynamic herbal flavors. They also create minimal heat in the kitchen.

The herbs used in the recipes are meant to be examples that can be replaced with what is available and exciting to you. I encourage you to use the recipes as a guide but follow your intuition for the combinations that feel right in the moment. What’s in your garden? What catches your eye at the farmer’s market? Use the sensuousness of the season to guide your nose and palate. I’ll make suggestions for substitutions where appropriate to give a sense of some other combinations that would be complementary. Enjoy summer playtime in and out of the kitchen!

 

SUMMER ROLLS with PEANUT SAUCE

Ingredients:

summer rolls:

9-inch summer roll rice wrappers, at least 20, Red Rose is a popular brand

2 heads soft lettuce like boston (iceberg or green leaf would also work), washed and dried and torn into pieces about 2 inches by three inches

1 large daikon radish, peeled, cut into thin strips 3 inches long

3 large carrots, peeled, cut into thin strips 3 inches long

1 large cucumber, peeled (optional), seeded, cut into thin strips 3 inches long

2 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), seeded, cut into thin strips 3 inches long

1 bunch scallions, cut into thin strips, 3 inches long

juice of 1 lime

2-3 avocados, sliced, removed from skins, gently tossed with lime juice

1 bunch mint, leaves picked, washed, and dried

1 bunch basil, leaves picked, washed, and dried

1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked, washed, and dried

Note: the size of the vegetables is flexible. Work with the size and shape of each vegetable to maximize the number of usable pieces. Smaller and thinner is better to get more flavors into each roll.

peanut sauce:

1 1/2 C roasted salted peanuts

1 C water

1/4 C tamari

1 T brown rice vinegar

1 T molasses

1/2 tsp sea salt

optional 1/2 C crushed peanuts

equipment:

large bowl, at least 11 inches diameter

plastic cutting board: Bamboo and wood tend to stick to the wrappers. If you don’t have a plastic cutting board use a large plate or try a piece of wax paper on top of the cutting board.

parchment or wax paper

serving plates or storage containers

Procedure:

Make the sauce first as the flavor and texture will benefit from a little time to sit.

For the sauce:

Place all ingredients (except crushed peanuts if using) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in crushed peanuts if using. Note that peanut sauce will thicken as it sits, so don’t be concerned if it looks thin when first made. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the rolls:

  1. Prep all the vegetables according to the ingredient list.
  2. Arrange vegetables in easy access around a clean plastic cutting board. 
  3. Set up plates or storage containers in easy access for the finished rolls. The rolls will stick to each other if they touch. When storing, separate rolls with wax or parchment paper.
  4. Fill the large bowl with hot water.
  5. Dip one rice wrapper in the hot water. When the water is very hot the wrapper will need a very short time to soften 5-10 seconds. As the water cools, the wrappers will need more time. As you work with the wrappers you’ll get a feel for how long works best. Feel free to change the water and start again with hot water as needed.
  6. Place the wrapper on the cutting board. Imagine the wrapper divided in half top and bottom. Place lettuce just below the imaginary dividing line and then fill the lettuce with at least one piece of each vegetable, keeping the edges of the wrapper clear.
  7. Bring the bottom of the wrapper up rolling over the veggies tightly, fold in the sides tightly and continue to roll all the way up the rest of the wrapper. The rice wrapper will stick to itself and seal. Place the roll in the storage container or serving plate.
  8. Keep rolling until the ingredients are used up. Don’t forget to taste test to see if you like the proportions of vegetables and herbs and adjust accordingly.

Substitutions

  • Try roasted almonds or cashews instead of peanuts for the sauce.
  • For herbal options think soft in texture with big flavor: shiso leaves, parsley, lemon balm, other mint family plants like thai basil or holy basil, sorrel, watercress, nasturtium leaves.
  • Add in cooked fish or chicken. If using chicken, simmer it in water, shred it and mix with rice wine vinegar, some honey, and salt to keep it moist. If using fish, rolls should be eaten for that meal, and within the next twenty four hours given proper refrigerated storage.

 

 

BERRY COMPOTE with MINT

This compote packs a flavor punch. The crunchiness of the hazelnuts adds satisfying texture and protein. The compote is great on it’s own but especially delicious mixed with yogurt or served over ice cream, pudding, custard, or cake.

Ingredients:

16 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

20 oz frozen blackberries

1 1/2 C hazelnuts

1/2 C +2 T honey or herbal honey (or more to taste)

2 tsp lemon zest

2 T lemon juice

1 T orange zest

1/4 C fresh orange juice

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

pinch sea salt

1-2 C fresh mint, washed, leaves torn, (amount adjusted to taste)

Procedure:

  1. Toast hazelnuts on a small sheet pan in a 350F oven or toaster oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Heat blackberries in a medium saucepan on medium heat with 1/4 C water to prevent burning. Cook until completely defrosted. Add orange and lemon zests and let cool.
  3. After the hazelnuts have cooled, chop them by hand or quick pulse them two or three times in a food processor.
  4. In a large bowl, combine quartered strawberries, cooled blackberry zest mixture, chopped hazelnuts, honey, orange and lemon juices, salt, apple cider vinegar.
  5. Mix and taste. Adjust sweetness to taste.
  6. Place some mint at the bottom of serving bowls, top with compote and with more mint, or serve over desired dessert.

Makes about 6 cups.

Substitutions

  • Try an herbal honey or an herbal apple cider vinegar.
  • For herbal options think bright aromatics: lemon balm, other mints, thyme, lemon thyme, thai basil.
  • Try different berries or even other fruit like mango.
  • Try other nuts. Almonds and macadamia nuts are very versatile with sweet dishes.

HERBAL HEART INFUSIONS

Originally posted 2/13/15

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Heart Opening Blend

2 T hawthorn flower

1/4 C rose petals

1/4 C rosehips

4 C water

♥♥♥

Relaxing Heart Blend

2 T lavender

1/2 C chamomile flowers

4 C water

♥♥♥

Circulatory Heart Blend

2 T goji berries

4 cinnamon sticks

1 T dried ginger root or 2 inches fresh ginger, sliced thin

4 C water

♥♥♥

Aphrodisiac Spicy Heart Blend

2 vanilla beans (already scraped) or 1/2 vanilla bean split open

2 T cardamom pods bruised with mortar and pestle

3 T anise seeds

4 C water

♥♥♥

TO MAKE TEA:

Put herbs in a glass jar.

Top with boiling water. Cover.

Let sit a minimum of 30 minutes up to 12 hours.

Strain. Compost your herbs.

Enjoy at room temperature, cool, or hot.

Add honey to sweeten if desired.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

WHITE PINE FAMILY

WHITE PINE FAMILY

Come, soft pine arms fold you to her trunk.

Grandfather pine sits you down across and behind.

Guardian squirrel and guide hawk nest overhead.

Father Sun spreads his fingers around your heart, his nest egg.

We are ancient. We are ancient.

We are the ones standing.

We are the ones standing, watching.

We are holding the vision.

We are the gateway.

We are the door keepers.

Waiting for you to come our way.

Waiting for you to come our way.

Waiting to open the door.

Waiting to give you the key.

Dancing as all our needles perceive.

As all our needles perceive, growing from root to seed.

Come. Be. Welcome to our Pine family.

We were family from before the time you learned the bluejay’s name.

Watching your joy rush down the snowy hill, we kept you warm with our  

              winter fire.

Our waving branches called the circle for your grandparents to sit

              recalling  your heritage from the stones to the stars.

We hold the deep surrender of earthly love, where below our Mother

             transforms and raises your heart to the sky.

Listen granddaughter you will grow inward up a smooth trunk

         and outwards whorling branches, eyes the shape of lines.

See my learning: focus on trunk and then focus on branches.

Pick your time and place, sit yourself down, and here hear the exploration.

We bring acceptance, peace, stillness, concentration.

When you are everywhere from everyplace at everytime you shriek with noise.

When you go carrying the quiet, white bright sap goes from earth to sky, root to crown, safe to receive all the impressions, holding center firm and clear, holy flame ignited.

Bouncing and holding my hand, pine children are true friends, paying attention, ready with smiles.

Grandmother pine circle I come to your house to release,

Resting on your bed I could forever lie in peace, restoring my being.

May you furnish the house of my mind with calm and compassion,

the home of my heart with light,

the home of my womb with play,

my feet reaching down to the fiery core, the vital flame.

I thank you Pine for all your power and all your patience,

     for cleaning me, teaching me, embracing me, fortifying me.

I offer my gratitude to the Pine family, their ancient eyes holding all of  

    our hearts, evergreen, forever glowing bright.

Dandelion Root Winter Cooking

Originally posted 12/12/14

When dandelion does her trick, it feels like looking out newly cleaned windows (thank you liver clearing eye supporting medicine). She makes space to let a little more light in. As her energy moves down we release what we no longer need and with each letting go we feel our roots in the earth. Dandelion guides this journey downward. In the fall we become tired watching the leaves fall and the ancient desire for sleeping and dreaming comes. Stepping into the dreaming dimension we have the opportunity to choose to return and journey back to the heart of the earth. Our pilgrimage to sleep in the roots of mother earth facilitates an important aspect of the creative cycle. Without the dark space to rest and receive, to dream and imagine, to feed and to fast, we cannot be balanced in our pursuit of creation.

With dandelion’s bitterness comes a pairing with sweet. The component inulin helps the body maintain a steady blood sugar. Autumn is a natural time to be consuming more sweet foods. Eating starchy fall vegetables here in North America helps prepare the body for colder days. Dandelion is a wonderful digestive stimulant. Dandelion root reduces liver heat and inflammation. It is a tonic for the liver, kidneys, spleen, and stomach. The root can be used for more potent conditions like helping the body recover through chemotherapy or kidney stones, for example, but integrated on a regular basis dandelion root can be a nutritive and gentle balancer, helpful to reduce breast swelling, reduce PMS, stabilize blood sugar, reduce skin eruptions, and heal kidney and urinary tract infections.

The seasonal mood shift into winter can cause a desire for sweets too. We are coming to an ending. We want to remember the sweetness of spring and summer, but ahead there is a big winter bridge. When there is a sense of resignation, dread of the cold, dandelion can bring lightness of spirit and reminders to hope for the spring. Dandelion is like a lion curled up in a cave, vibrating to its own breath at peace in the dark. Napping under the earth’s surface, we will be covered with snow, a purifying layer of frozen water, which will melt and rebirth us into the next phase, the next spring. And under the snow while we lay dreaming at the roots of mother earth, we will dream our next self into being. The birthing and dying will be bittersweet.

Dandelion clears the channel between the solar plexus and the root chakra so that we can journey in both directions- to the heart of mother earth and to joy and sunshine of our true selves. The root has a stronger pull toward the root chakra, and the flower to the solar plexus. It also flows along and clears the energy channels between the first and third chakras allowing a flow in both directions. Through all this clearing and motion, space is also created for levity. Dandelion may bring out a bawdy boldness or a liminal laughter.

In the spring when we emerge again into the sun and feel new life reaching to the sun, dandelion is also there shining her cheerful yellow medallions, little suns on the ground. Like a good lion dandelion basks in the sun, taking in pure joy. And like a good lion, dandelion roams and hunts, its prey ultimately a deep feeding. So when dandelion takes us on a roam and a hunt, we need to lighten up, letting go of what weighs heavy in order to find what will feed us best, letting go so we can take in a better resource. Dandelion as a diuretic releases excess water and supports the liver to remove its waste. Dandelion makes more space in the body to hold the light of the sun, vital energy.

In observing the relationship between dandelion, the seasons, and energetics, I was naturally drawn to pair bitter dandelion with sweeter foods. Dandelion root would also be wonderful in making a stock or broth, as a tea with honey, and the infusion could be substituted for water in many cases such as in cooking grains or added to cooked beans, greens, etc. Using herbs and their preparations in cooking allows us to infuse another layer of flavor and intention into our food. These dandelion experiments are a small beginning. I encourage you to experiment and share your favorite recipes. The possibilities are endless: dandelion fudge, dandelion pecan pie, dandelion braised chicken, and please don’t forget the dandelion wine. To get you started I made these dandelion recipes: dandelion decoction, dandelion quinoa risotto, dandelion sweet potatoes with lime yogurt, and dandelion maple custard. If you try them, let me know how they come out. 

DANDELION DECOCTION

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dandelion root
  • 12 cups water

Note:

I typically do a 1:8 ration dandelion to water, but I want the decoction to be concentrated so I’m already taking that into account here. For an even stronger decoction, start with less water to dandelion root and follow the recipe from there.

Procedure:

Bring to a boil. Shut off heat. Let sit covered overnight. Strain and decoct to half the volume by letting the strained infusion steam at the lowest heat in a wide mouthed pot. It is helpful to mark the starting point or the goal point with a piece of tape on the outside of the pot so it’s easy to know the half volume goal has been reached.

 

DANDELION SWEET POTATOES WITH LIME YOGURT

Sweet Potatoes:

Ingredients:

  • sweet potatoes, any variety, about 2 pounds scrubbed clean, cut into medium dice (If organic, peel if desired. I don’t peel them because I like the taste and texture of the skin. If using non-organic please DO PEEL).
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 cup dandelion decoction
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 T chili powder
  • optional spicier version: add some cayenne anywhere from a sprinkle up to 1/2 tsp.

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place diced sweet potatoes in a 9x13 baking dish. Mix oil, decoction, salt, and chili. Pour over sweet potatoes and stir to mix. Bake for at least an hour, checking them every 10-15 minutes until they are very soft in the middle. You should be able to cut a sweet potato easily with a butter knife.

Lime Yogurt:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup organic whole plain yogurt (if you use Greek yogurt, the end product will be thicker and more protein rich but either is good)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 T lime zest from 2-3 limes
  • 2 1/2 T lime juice

Procedure:

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well mixed. Taste and adjust salt and lime to taste.

You can also cut the sweet potatoes into different shapes such as the slices shown below and see the difference in how the liquid absorbs.

 

DANDELION MUSHROOM QUINOA RISOTTO

This recipe was inspired by risotto, though using quinoa it will not have the same texture. For a texture more similar to arborio rice try using barley. When using barley the mixture may need to be stirred more and you may need to adjust the quantity of water so the barley cooks without sticking to the pot. The quinoa has less of a tendency to stick.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil (or more to taste)
  • 1 large yellow onion, small diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves (or more to taste), minced
  • 2 cups dandelion infusion
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped (I like to use the stem and the cap, removing the bottom of the stem and chopping the rest of the stem smaller because it is tougher.)
  • 3 cups mushrooms such as cremini, maitake, portobello, or other mushrooms
  • 3 1/2 cups quinoa
  • water as needed
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, about 1 cup, washed and chopped
  • optional: grated parmesan cheese (or another aged cheese) for garnishing

Procedure:

In a large heavy bottomed pot, saute onion in olive oil on medium low heat. When the onions are soft, add the minced garlic, dandelion infusion, vegetable stock, mushrooms, and quinoa. Stir. Bring to a boil, stir, and turn down heat to low. Cook for about 30 minutes until quinoa is soft, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese if using.

 

DANDELION CUSTARD

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups organic whole milk (or raw if you have it)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (any grade ok, I love grade B but grade A is more common)
  • 1 cup dandelion decoction
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

Procedure:

In a large bowl, combine eggs, maple syrup, dandelion decoction, salt, and vanilla. In a small pot scald the milk (bring just to a boil and turn off immediately when the first boiling begins. You should be able to catch it before the milk boils so much that it foams up in the pot.) Temper the egg mix by adding the scalded milk in small amounts, approximately one or two tablespoons at a time until the egg mixture is warm and you have used about a third of the milk. Tempering prevents the curdling of the eggs and promotes a more consistent texture. After the egg mix is tempered, add the rest of the milk and whisk. Pour into 6 ramekins or an 8x8 glass pan. Set up a bain marie water bath by placing the ramekins or pan in a larger pan and filling the larger pan with water half way up the side of the pan or ramekins it holds.

Bake at 350 for 80 minutes. Remove from the oven. Remove from water bath (if it’s more convenient the custard can cool in the water bath for some time). After the custard cools to room temperature it can be covered and refrigerated. It tastes best after about 8 hours of refrigeration but will keep well for 3-5 days refrigerated.

Tofu Spices

Originally posted 12/1/14

At my cooking job what pleases is healthier takes on comfort food. For me there is no greater comfort than good Thai food with its exquisite playfulness of sweet, salty, pungent, sour, bitter, hot tastes. I love cooking Thai food because it's great in hot and cold weather, is packed with flavor, and can be packed with veggies too. This dish, Tofu Spices, is dear to my heart. It recalls memories of friends gathered in Brooklyn, relaxing, sharing a varied Thai take out spread. Tofu spices was always on our menu and the place around the corner made it so well. I don't know about your experience fellow New Yorkers, but I think as a city we've peaked on Thai food. Five and ten years ago Thai food was excellent and being cooked by Thai people. There are still some gems, but even places that were renowned years ago have not been able to keep the same standard, and I'm seeing fewer Thai people in those Thai kitchens. First Chinese food, then Thai, now what New York?  If I'm wrong and we have a new wave of Thai excellence, my heart and tongue will sing together. If not though, I feel even more inspired to cook Thai food myself. And that brings me back to Tofu Spices. I'm not sure why it's called Tofu Spices when it is made with seitan instead of tofu, but after tasting this dish that inconsistency is easy to forgive. With a huge block of seitan in the freezer at work and unwilling to make yet another seitan chili, I was excited when I decided to give this one a go. To complement the Tofu Spices I made rice, Thai chicken with basil, and a vegetable red curry. But you could simplify and eat it on its own or with rice or another whole grain, or pair it with a salad. It's great with crunchier lettuces like romaine or iceberg. I've only made it once so consider this a starting ground for your favorite adaptations. I didn't want to wait to share it with you. Feel free to send me your suggestions.

TOFU SPICES

Serves 6-8 as a main course. Feel free to halve the recipe to make side dish portions. 

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 pounds seitan, broken up into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil    (I would try it with either a refined coconut oil or peanut oil, or an even mix of those two. The coconut flavor competed with the other flavors more than in the traditional dish, but from a health perspective I like coconut oil, and with peanut oil you can use a higher heat safely and scheive a crispier outside texture on the seitan.)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small-medium red onions, halved and sliced into half rings
  • 4 plum tomatoes, halved and sliced 1/4 -inch thick
  • Thai roasted red chili paste, 1 4 oz jar   (Yes, sometimes I take short-cuts. Had I had the time, I would have used a recipe like this one: http://www.thaitable.com/thai/recipe/roasted-chili-paste. For vegans and strict vegetarians, use one that substitutes mushrooms for the fish like this one: http://inquiringchef.com/2011/02/17/nam-prik-pao-thai-chili-paste/.)
  • 1 large mango, peeled, medium diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed, and chopped coarsely
  • 3 large limes, juiced
  • 2 large oranges, juiced
  • tamari, generous amount
  • 1-2 carrots, grated for garnish, optional

Procedure:

  1. Get all of your ingredients ready.
  2. Heat the oil in a large cast iron pan or wok. Add seitan and garlic and fry on medium high heat until the seitan is crispy and darker in color on the outside.
  3. Turn the heat to low, add the chili paste, onions and tomatoes. Stir to mix, then turn off the heat.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, adjusting tamari to taste.
  5. Serve warm over rice or cool to room temperature to pair with salad. Garnish with carrots if using.

ENJOY!

 

All Souls, All Saints Gather Round the Yew

Originally posted 11/1/14

Happy All Souls Day and All Saints Day. As we pass through the veil of Samhain, we enter the Celtic new year, the beginning of winter, to the flowing waters of dreamtime. On a personal note, I can't believe how fast this year as moved, how long it's been since I've written a blog post. Some of you have asked me what is going on, why am I not writing? Isn't that always the question? Why are we not sitting down to write or sitting down to do the things we WANT to do? It is so much easier much of the time to do the things we feel we should do. That is why I feel especially fortunate to have followed my passion to travel to Brazil and to Greece with friends and family. These journeys have been fun and formative and now that I've had time to integrate and have found more consistency in my daily work schedule, I look forward to writing more, so please stay tuned.

Today I am remembering a dear friend who made her passage this morning, and another dear friend who made his passage two years ago at this time. Both friends showed so much grace and bravery as they passed. As we move through this powerful shifting of the year, I am inspired by the Celtic tree calendar. November 1st begins the month of the yew tree, Taxus baccata, with the Irish yew, Taxus baccata 'fastigiata'. The yew is an evergreen tree that lives for a long time, has strong wood, and is often found in graveyards and marking the boundaries of churches. Many of Ireland's monastic sites have legends of yew trees having been important for choosing the sacred site or of the yew as a presence in the community on the grounds or graveyard. "At St. Columcille's monastic site in Derry, was a 'Yew of the Saints' especially beloved by him where he used to chant the hours with his other saints and 'ten hundred angels ... , above our heads, side close to side.'"* Yet in the ancient Celtic lore, the yew was also associated with warriors, particularly female warriors. Yew wood makes excellent bows and spears. "The association of yew with the themes of churchyards, sanctuary and war links it with the goddess of the land who both protected her own, living and dead, and waged war on their enemies."** Over time the yew also became associated with the land of Ireland, and personified as the Irish goddess warrior queen who protects all her citizens, living and dead. The war imagery here resonates not with violence for me but as a call to get clear about what I am willing to fight for with my heart. What is so important to your heart that it would send you into battle? What will you fight to protect? As we enter this turning of the year with Saints above our heads, lets hold the evergreen fire of the yew burning bright arrows of everlasting life, sending our thoughts to what we wish to grow with love, sending arrows of clarity of new beginnings, feeling winter waves wash over us, sending us deep into our dreams and clearing what is ready to be released. With the yew goddess I honor the heart courage of my friends' passages and I honor the passages all of us continue to make as we learn and live. I offer the image below of an ancient Greek snake goddess (now located in the Museum at the Ancient Agora, Athens, Greece). These warrior snake goddesses are believed to have been worshipped for their connection with the earth and all her rhythms, and for renewal and healing. May her medicine accompany you on this All Souls Day and winter season. Blessed be. Amen. Aho.

 

 

 

*p. 138-9. Mac Coitir, Niall. Irish Trees: Myths, Legends, and Folklore. Cork: The Collins Press, 2003.

**p. 143. Mac Coitir, Niall. Irish Trees: Myths, Legends, and Folklore. Cork: The Collins Press, 2003.

Imbolc blessings

Bright Imbolc Blessings              

The Coming of Bride (Brigid) by John Duncan

Originally posted 2/2/14

             Today, February 2, 2014, celebrates Imbolc, St. Brigid, and Iemanja goddess of the sea. Imbolc is a cross quarter day marking the turning of the seasonal wheel between winter solstice and spring equinox. Imbolc’s equivalent was celebrated among many ancient peoples but was particularly beloved in the Celtic tradition. Imbolc celebrates the return of the light. The darkest part of winter is over and the ceremonial first day of spring brings longer brighter days. Imbolc was appropriated into St. Brigid’s day in the conversion to Christianity.

               St. Brigid is the protector of fertility of the fields: sheep, goats, cattle, and of human mothers and thus represents abundance of food and milk. Saint Brigid is the white triple goddess, the cow goddess, goddess of midwives, animals, milk maids. She had the ability to restore life to the dead. One would pray to her for maladies of the eyes. Her name means “Fiery Arrow, Bright One, High One”. St. Brigid is keeper of an eternal flame, the flame that guides poets, healers, smiths. She protects all bodies of water and especially healing wells, where people would tie strips of cloth holding their prayers to the cloutie, or hawthorn, trees. The strips would be left to be cleansed by the winds and the energy of the healing wells. Hawthorn trees are also holders of fire and water magic, teaching us how to circulate our energies and passions so we sparkle safe in our boundaries, dancing from the heart.

               Connect to Brigid to engage your divinatory eyes to see what is is deep within your well and what you are ready to release. Where can Brigid help you access your transformative fire? Blacksmith what are you crafting? "Many traditional blessings invoke her in Irish (Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid and Mary be with you) and Welsh (Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey). A blessing over cattle in the Scottish isles goes: 'The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms, Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair;'" (http://www.allsaintsbrookline.org/celtic_saints/brigid.html). Connect to Brigid as a guide as you travel moving on open paths.

                Iemanja is goddess of the sea, great mother, mover of obstacles, protector of children and fishermen. I had a dream once of going on a long journey and at the end I came to the ocean and at the shore there was one special wave. This wave contained many people of all ages of all emotions. As I walked around the wave I saw many lifetimes and all states of weather. There was snow and ice, clouds and sun. And though there was so much variety contained in the spectrum, I could feel the force of the ocean sparkling as if it all was encased in a sparkling light. All the parts felt small in comparison to this whole, this force saying it is going to be ok. So if you have been moving through deep transformation as so many of us have moving from the last two years in a cycle of water and introspection, then ask Iemanja to connect you to the flow of the great rhythm of the sea, of the life cycles, to help you move through challenges with the force of the waves tempered by the softness of the sea lapping to the shore. May you manifest now with a better understanding and conscious awareness of those watery patterns that sometimes move us unconsciously. May Iemanja’s sparkling force guide you as we enter the Chinese year of the Wood Horse, galloping into action.

             Celebrate by lighting a candle in honor of Brigid (and perhaps also eat some delicious cheese or dairy). Take a bath remembering Iemanja. Today is a good day to clean, to set your intention, to connect with the light of your inner flame by doing something that sparks your passion and creativity. May you be blessed this Imbolc with cleansing restorative waters, bright creative flames, and an abundance of fertile cosmic milk.

 

 

Happy Holiday Food

Originally posted 12/17/13

The holidays are here and it's easy to slip into a diet that has a larger than average portion of foods like cheese, refined carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol. As enjoyable as these foods can be in moderation, there are much better foods to give you the energy you need to sustain a season of celebration and good cheer. Here are some recipes that deliver taste and will feel good in your body so you can keep smiling all the way into 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FARFALLE with KALE PESTO and VEGETABLES

This pesto is great in the winter when fresh basil is less readily available. You could also make it with dandelion greens or any other dark leafy greens. Substitute gluten-free pasta if you wish. Substitute different veggies too depending on what you have and what sounds good. I choose these veggies because this recipe was originally geared toward kids and the sweetness of the onion, carrot, and tomato softens the bitterness of the kale.

Serves 6-8 as a main course

Ingredients:

2½ lbs. lacinato kale, stems removed (curly kale will work but it will be a lighter green)
4 cloves garlic
1 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 lb. dried farfalle
1½ C grated parmigiano-reggiano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 medium large yellow onions, small diced

4 large carrots, cut in 1/4 inch rounds on the bias

2 C cherry tomatoes, cut in half (or substitute diced canned tomatoes)

2 T dried basil

1 T dried oregano

optional dried chile flakes

Procedure:

1. Bring a pot ofwater to a boil. Add kale and 2 cloves garlic; cook until bright green, 3–4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

2. Transfer kale and garlic, salt and the two raw cloves of garlic to a food processor; pulse to a purée. Pour in 3/4 cup of the oil while pulsing to form a pesto. You can add up to 1/4 C more oil if necessary to get the right consistency of pesto.

3. Once it is the right texture, i.e. thin enough to spread evenly on the pasta and vegetables, add in the grated parmesan. Mix and set aside.

4. In a large saucepan, heat 2 T olive oil. Add onions and saute on medium until onions are translucent. Add carrots, stirring occasionally until
carrots start to just soften and onions are getting brown on the edges. Add tomatoes and 2 T water. Cover 5 minutes until tomatoes are softened. Season with basil and oregano (and chile if using). Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add farfalle; cook until al dente, 10 minutes. Drain. Put the pasta in the bowl with the cooked vegetables. Add 1/2 the pesto to start, adding more to taste. add pasta to bowl of pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. If you have leftover pesto, keep it for dipping crudites or spreading on crackers or sandwiches. It also freezes well stored in an airtight container.

 

 

 

 

CHICKPEA CARROT SALAD

I love this recipe. I make variations of it throughout the year. In the summer I use lemon and sunflower sprouts and skip the ginger. This version has more warming and digestive spices. I always recommend soaking dried chickpeas in bulk, then cooking up a big batch and freezing them in smaller portions. I do this with all my beans so I have the convenience of canned with the taste of dried beans. Add some kombu when you're cooking the beans and it will make them more digestible and less gassy. This hearty salad keeps well and is best eaten in 3- 5 days.

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

5 C grated carrots

5 C cooked chickpeas

1 1/2 C parsley chopped

dressing:

2 T lemon juice

1 whole lemon, outer peel cut off, keeping some white on

1 apple, peeled and cored, cut into 8

1 C tahini

2 inches fresh ginger, washed and cut into smaller pieces

1 T sea salt

2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp whole cumin seed

2T olive oil

 

PROCEDURE:

1. In a large bowl, combine grated carrots and cooked chickpeas. Keep parsley aside for now.

2. In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Blend until smooth.

3. Pour dressing over chickpeas and carrots. Mix. Add parsley. Adjust seasoning to taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAI 2013

Every year I make a chai recipe and drink it regularly for a few weeks. It helps me adjust to the change of seasons and I get the benefit of all those warming spices. This is caffeinated so depending on your sensitivity to caffeine, you may want to use a less robust black tea. The stronger black tea works well in flavor with all of the spices.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

10 bags PG Tips black tea
10 whole cardamom pods
4 cinnamon sticks
1/4 of a whole nutmeg
2 star anise
1/4 C whole cloves
2 tsp whole peppercorns
3 inches fresh ginger root, sliced
3 quarts water
6 C almond milk (any kind of milk will work. I like almond milk because it tastes neutral and I have not wanted dairy. Regular dairy milk

will   make a richer chai).
1/2 C honey or more to taste

PROCEDURE:

1. In a 4 quart saucepan, combine water, tea, and spices. Bring to a boil, immediately turn heat to low and simmer 1 hour.

2. Add almond milk and honey.

3. I like to strain it as I serve so I can keep the spices infusing longer, but you can strain it at any time. Strain and store refrigerated. Keeps up to 1 week.

 

  May you be bursting with energy this holiday season

and be well nourished from head to toe.

 HAPPY HOLIDAYS

from

NOURISHING ROOT!!!

Celebrate Winter with Self Care

 

 

 

Originally posted 12/15/13

Winter invites us to the underworld. In this time, we have have two tendencies: to seek comfort finding an ally in the darkness, and to tend our inner flame - holding space for the light and warmth of the sun.

There are many ways to recognize the season’s unique opportunities through self care, including meditation and awareness of the solar and lunar cycles, cooking with nutrient dense food, herbs, and spices, or simply savoring a cup of tea!

The clocks have been turned back. As the sun sets earlier and earlier at this time of year, more darkness surrounds us and the colder weather contracts us inward. We go to the cave of our animal nature seeking warmth and comfort.

In this cave, darkness is not the darkness of negativity, despair, gloominess, or obscurity. It's a more ancient darkness: the darkness of rich soil, the darkness which allows space for creativity and regeneration. Only with the contrast of darkness can we experience the shine of the moon, the force of that feminine power, moving the tides of the earth and the tides of our bodies.

 
Time of the Bear
Autumn and early winter is the time of the bear. It is time to come into the cave, to find comfort
at home, to enter the dreamtime. This is the time of releasing that allows us to plant new seeds
that will sprout when the wheel of the seasons turns again. With the trees releasing their leaves
there is an opportunity to release back to the earth whatever is no longer needed: emotions,
relationships, intentions, patterns in the mind or in behavior.  With so much release and with the
comfort of warmth fading outside, it is the perfect time to create comfort at home. What better
way to find comfort at home than to make time for self-care, whether that be through cooking, a
bath, or a cup of tea, or whatever you choose?

I invite you to choose one activity to incorporate into your life for one moon cycle (new moon to the next new moon). This activity should be something you do daily or weekly that sparks joy and pleasure instead of something that is tinged with a sense of ought or should. If it does not happen as planned, know that you are holding space for it to happen, gently bringing yourself back to your intention. Release any judgement, and envision the intention fulfilled. This process will make it easier to manifest the fulfillment of the intention.

 
Tending the Inner Fame
As the sun changes its angle and the days grow shorter and colder, I envision taking the warmth
of the sun and feeding it to my internal flame. Imagine your own internal flame. Is it bright?
Were you already aware of it? What feeds it? Do you take time to feed it? Does it jump around?
Is it steady? Is it playful? Where do you feel it in your body?

This internal flame is another way of seeing the energy body. Do you see it starting at one chakra and ending at another? Does it circulate through your whole body? You are a keeper of this flame all the time, and especially
until the next spring when more of that energy can be manifested externally in new life and new
growth. (Keeping an awareness of this inner flame can be extremely helpful for those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder.)

Ways to keep your flame bright in the winter are doing a candle gazing meditation, gazing at the sun (with eyes closed), getting outside and letting the sunlight hit your bare skin to absorb vitamin D, and to supplement with vitamin D (I prefer liquid drops).

I also work with hawthorn, white pine, and linden for supporting the inner flame, particularly on an energetic level.

 
Warm Up in the Kitchen
There are many many herbs and spices that can be used in food or in tea that can support us in
the winter. Most of what becomes problematic in the winter comes from too much stagnant
energy, and often this is connected with kapha energy in Ayurveda: cold, wet, slow moving, or
vata energy: dry, windy, scattered.

To find balance one should incorporate plenty of moistening and warming elements. Drink warm liquids. Eat soups and cooked food. Incorporate lots of warming spices like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, turmeric. Add spices to your breakfast: cinnamon and ginger and any of the sweeter spices are delicious on oatmeal or yogurt. Cinnamon is warming, supports blood sugar balance, is anti-fungal, anti-
bacterial, and eases muscle spasms.  Consistently using more spices in your diet can strengthen your whole system, and spices taste and feel good. Plus they are inexpensive, especially when bought in bulk, and are easily accessible.

It is also helpful to look at supporting movement in different bodily systems. We clear through the breath, through the skin, through the liver, through the digestive tract, and the circulatory system, helping move everything along the way.

There are many herbs and spices we could look at in detail that can help keep the body moving through one or more of these organs or systems. To pick one plant, let’s look at ginger. Ginger, Zingiber officinale, is warming, a circulatory tonic, immune stimulating, an expectorant (removing mucous from the respiratory system). It reduces
both vata and kapha, is a diaphoretic (opens the pores and promotes sweating to clear through the skin), and supports the digestive system.

 

Ginger Juice

Ginger juice is wonderful to have on hand to add to tea, to soups, or to mix with soda water for an unsweetened ginger ale. I call it juice but it’s really ginger root blended with water. It’s best used within one week but it will keep for about 2 weeks if not longer.

Ginger Juice Recipe:
3 inches fresh ginger root (if it is organic and washed well you do not need to peel it)
2-3 C water (start with 2C and add more water if necessary to blend. This can vary depending on blender horsepower.)
Wash organic ginger root. Cut ginger into 1/2 inch pieces. Put ginger and water in the blender. Blend until smooth. There will be a little bit of pulp left in the liquid. Store refrigerated. If the ginger separates and there’s white sediment on the bottom, stir or shake that back in to get the most benefit.

 
Spicy Warming Tea Recipe:

Try this tea with ginger for extra warming or without ginger for a more delicate spice.
1/4 C (or more to taste) grated ginger root
6 cinnamon sticks
25 cloves
3 T anise seed
1/2 tsp mace pieces (1/4 tsp powdered, and you can substitute nutmeg. Nutmeg is from the same
plant as mace and is a little sweeter than mace.)
8 C boiling water
honey, to taste, optional
Put spices in a half gallon jar or saucepan. Add boiling water almost to the very top. After 5
minutes, add honey to dissolve, top up with water. Let sit 4-12 hours for medicinal value or at
least 30 minutes for flavor. Strain out spices and enjoy!

May you stay bright and warm this season!

Gloria's Blueberry Cake

Originally posted 8/25/13 The summer is flying by but it's not too late to make this recipe. And don't forget to freeze some good local blueberries for the winter and this cake will be a hit even when the ground is snowy. Every summer growing up I could not wait for blueberry season. I'd ask my grandparents when the berries would be ready to pick in their back yard, and the answer was always around July 4th. Blueberry cake is the only recipe I remember my grandmother Gloria making. I'd collect tiny wild blueberries in paper cups, closely watching the accumulation to see when we'd have enough for cake. In honor of my grandmother, I like to make blueberry cake every summer, particularly around July 4th. This is the first time I've made it gluten-free, with less sugar, and hemp milk instead of cow's milk. This recipe test is part of my project to make healthier versions of family favorites. The recipe makes 2 8x8 pans. You'll enjoy having two cakes to share with company, or eat one now and freeze the other. If you're bringing the cake to a party or a picnic, transport the cake in the pan and cut slices from there, or bake in muffin papers. The cake has a delicate crumb. I think it would also be delicious ifyou sprinkled chopped pistachios over the top before baking. It won't last a long time because it is so moist, so plan to eat it within 48 hours or freeze it for later. Gloria's Gluten-free Blueberry Cake Ingredients: 2 C oat flour- To make your own see the note below. 1 1/2 C gluten free flour blend (see note) 1 1/2 C coconut sugar 1 C almond flour 4 tsp baking powder 1 tsp sea salt 1 tsp ground nutmeg 4 large organic free range eggs, beaten 1 C melted organic salted butter, cooled (Use unsalted butter if you prefer. I always use salted. And note that paying for organic is worth it when it comes to dairy. You'll be able to taste the difference.) 1 3/4 C hemp milk (or other nut or dairy milk)- To make your own see the note below. 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 C blueberries, washed, and tossed with 1/2 C gluten-free flour blend (Tossing the berries in four helps suspend them in the batter so they don't all end up on the top or bottom.)   Procedure: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 2. Oil (with melted butter, ghee, or oil) and flour (with gluten free flour blend) two 8x8 inch pans. 3. Combine flours, coconut sugar, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Whisk to combine well. 4. Making a well in the flour, add melted cooled butter, beaten eggs, hemp milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine, mixing dry and wet ingredients. 5. Add blueberries, and gently fold them into the batter. Do not mix too much at this point. 6. Divide the batter in half and pour into prepared pans, evening out the tops with a spatula. 7. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean. 8. Let cool. Slice, serve, and enjoy!   Notes: -Oat flour: if you have a Vitamix or another high powered blender, you can make your own flours. The trick is to not overfill the blender. Do 1.5-2 C at a time and use the tamper tool to move the oats around as they grind. This will help cool the oats and get a more even grind. I like to make a larger batch and store it in the fridge so my prep time is reduced for other recipes. -Coconut sugar is wonderful to work with! It can be substituted 1:1 for regular sugar and has a much lower glycemic index. I recommend straining over a mesh strainer to get any lumps out of the sugar. -Gluten-free flour blend: combine 4C sorghum flour, 1 1/3 C tapioca flour, 2 C potato starch, and 2 tsp xanthan gum. Stir well. This is my equivalent to a whole wheat flour. It's nice to make a double batch and have it ready to use. -Hemp milk: so easy it's life changing. Put 1/4 C hemp seed in the blender with 3 1/2 C water. Blend until smooth. You can strain it if you want but it's not necessary for baking, and for coffee and tea, the sediment sinks to the bottom. Try it with a pinch of sea salt, a dash of honey or agave, some cinnamon, cardamom, or vanilla extract.    

Originally posted 8/25/13

The summer is flying by but it's not too late to make this recipe. And don't forget to freeze some good local blueberries for the winter and this cake will be a hit even when the ground is snowy. Every summer growing up I could not wait for blueberry season. I'd ask my grandparents when the berries would be ready to pick in their back yard, and the answer was always around July 4th. Blueberry cake is the only recipe I remember my grandmother Gloria making. I'd collect tiny wild blueberries in paper cups, closely watching the accumulation to see when we'd have enough for cake. In honor of my grandmother, I like to make blueberry cake every summer, particularly around July 4th. This is the first time I've made it gluten-free, with less sugar, and hemp milk instead of cow's milk. This recipe test is part of my project to make healthier versions of family favorites. The recipe makes 2 8x8 pans. You'll enjoy having two cakes to share with company, or eat one now and freeze the other. If you're bringing the cake to a party or a picnic, transport the cake in the pan and cut slices from there, or bake in muffin papers. The cake has a delicate crumb. I think it would also be delicious ifyou sprinkled chopped pistachios over the top before baking. It won't last a long time because it is so moist, so plan to eat it within 48 hours or freeze it for later.

Gloria's Gluten-free Blueberry Cake

Ingredients:

2 C oat flour- To make your own see the note below.

1 1/2 C gluten free flour blend (see note)

1 1/2 C coconut sugar

1 C almond flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground nutmeg

4 large organic free range eggs, beaten

1 C melted organic salted butter, cooled (Use unsalted butter if you prefer. I always use salted. And note that paying for organic is worth it when it comes to dairy. You'll be able to taste the difference.)

1 3/4 C hemp milk (or other nut or dairy milk)- To make your own see the note below.

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 C blueberries, washed, and tossed with 1/2 C gluten-free flour blend (Tossing the berries in four helps suspend them in the batter so they don't all end up on the top or bottom.)

 

Procedure:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Oil (with melted butter, ghee, or oil) and flour (with gluten free flour blend) two 8x8 inch pans.

3. Combine flours, coconut sugar, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Whisk to combine well.

4. Making a well in the flour, add melted cooled butter, beaten eggs, hemp milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine, mixing dry and wet ingredients.

5. Add blueberries, and gently fold them into the batter. Do not mix too much at this point.

6. Divide the batter in half and pour into prepared pans, evening out the tops with a spatula.

7. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.

8. Let cool. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

 

Notes:

-Oat flour: if you have a Vitamix or another high powered blender, you can make your own flours. The trick is to not overfill the blender. Do 1.5-2 C at a time and use the tamper tool to move the oats around as they grind. This will help cool the oats and get a more even grind. I like to make a larger batch and store it in the fridge so my prep time is reduced for other recipes.

-Coconut sugar is wonderful to work with! It can be substituted 1:1 for regular sugar and has a much lower glycemic index. I recommend straining over a mesh strainer to get any lumps out of the sugar.

-Gluten-free flour blend: combine 4C sorghum flour, 1 1/3 C tapioca flour, 2 C potato starch, and 2 tsp xanthan gum. Stir well. This is my equivalent to a whole wheat flour. It's nice to make a double batch and have it ready to use.

-Hemp milk: so easy it's life changing. Put 1/4 C hemp seed in the blender with 3 1/2 C water. Blend until smooth. You can strain it if you want but it's not necessary for baking, and for coffee and tea, the sediment sinks to the bottom. Try it with a pinch of sea salt, a dash of honey or agave, some cinnamon, cardamom, or vanilla extract.

 

 

Pizzelles for any season

Originally posed 6/1/13

Pizzelle cookies are a traditional Italian flat waffle cookie, whose name means "round, small, flat" deriving from the same root from which we get the word "pizza". If you happen to own a pizzelle iron, it's easy to make gluten-free variations. Pizzelles are a holiday favorite in my family and for the past several years I've secretly been making the cookies gluten-free. The switch is so seamless that no one noticed the change. Sorghum flour alone works well or use a blend (see recipe below). The classic recipe is made with bountiful anise seeds (I use many more anise seeds than the average recipe) and a good shot of vanilla extract. Lately, I've been making sesame pizzelles and then making a sandwich cookies with two sesame pizzelles filled with a raw sesame caramel. The chocolate version is equally addictive and is great paired with hazelnut butter. Pizzelles last well stored in an airtight container and are easy to transport making them perfect for picnics and summer car trips.   Gluten-free Sorghum Flour Blend: I like to use this blend where I would use whole wheat flour. It has a hearty slightly nutty taste. In a medium bowl, combine: 2 C sorghum flour 2/3 C potato flour 1/4 C +2 tsp tapioca flour 1 tsp xanthan gum Whisk flours together until well combined. Store in an airtight container until use.   Gluten-free Anise Pizzelles: 1/2 C butter, melted (or coconut oil) 3/4 C coconut sugar 3 eggs 1 T vanilla extract 2 C gluten free flour mix (see recipe above) 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 C anise seeds   Gluten-free Chocolate Pizzelles: 1/2 C butter, melted (or coconut oil) 3/4 C coconut sugar 3 eggs 1 T vanilla extract 13/4 C gluten free flour mix (see recipe above) 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 C cocoa powder      

Pizzelle cookies are a traditional Italian flat waffle cookie, whose name means "round, small, flat" deriving from the same root from which we get the word "pizza". If you happen to own a pizzelle iron, it's easy to make gluten-free variations. Pizzelles are a holiday favorite in my family and for the past several years I've secretly been making the cookies gluten-free. The switch is so seamless that no one noticed the change. Sorghum flour alone works well or use a blend (see recipe below). The classic recipe is made with bountiful anise seeds (I use many more anise seeds than the average recipe) and a good shot of vanilla extract. Lately, I've been making sesame pizzelles and then making a sandwich cookies with two sesame pizzelles filled with a raw sesame caramel. The chocolate version is equally addictive and is great paired with hazelnut butter. Pizzelles last well stored in an airtight container and are easy to transport making them perfect for picnics and summer car trips.

 

Gluten-free Sorghum Flour Blend:

I like to use this blend where I would use whole wheat flour. It has a hearty slightly nutty taste.

In a medium bowl, combine:

2 C sorghum flour

2/3 C potato flour

1/4 C +2 tsp tapioca flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

Whisk flours together until well combined. Store in an airtight container until use.

 

Gluten-free Anise Pizzelles:

1/2 C butter, melted (or coconut oil)

3/4 C coconut sugar

3 eggs

1 T vanilla extract

2 C gluten free flour mix (see recipe above)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C anise seeds

 

Gluten-free Chocolate Pizzelles:

1/2 C butter, melted (or coconut oil)

3/4 C coconut sugar

3 eggs

1 T vanilla extract

13/4 C gluten free flour mix (see recipe above)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C cocoa powder

 

 

 

protein pancake make-over

Originally posted 5/8/13

My aunt told me she was enjoying making a recipe for protein pancakes and when I saw the recipe, I immediately knew that this was a recipe in dire need of a make-over. The egg whites, soy milk, protein powder, and artificial sweetener would all be replaced with nutrient dense whole food ingredients. My revision of Diane's pancakes is protein and fiber rich, gluten-free, sustaining, and delicious. These pancakes are so good and easy that they can become part of your weekly culinary routine without hassle or guilt.

DIANE’s PANCAKES:

In a bowl combine:
3 beaten eggs
2-3 C oatmeal (use gluten-free certified oats for gluten-free sensitivity)
2 T ground flax seed
2 T ground chia seed
1 T baking powder

set aside.

In a blender process:
2 T hemp seeds
1/2 C water
1/2 C soaked almonds

Then add to the blender:
1 banana
1 T honey or maple syrup or 2 dates
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 T vanilla

Mix egg oatmeal mixture and almond banana mixture. Mix in any optional add-ins. Wait five minutes for oatmeal to absorb some liquid. Cook pancakes in coconut oil in a frying pan. Wait until pancakes bubble before flipping. Pancakes will keep well for a few days. Store in the refrigerator.

Optional add-ins: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, berries, dried fruit, spirulina.

 

 

proteinpancake