A Big Tossed Salad With Black Beans

1 handful lettuce mix
1 lg. mini English cucumber
1 med. Roma tomato
1/2 avocado
1/2 can rinsed-drained black beans
extra virgin olive oil
dark, fruity balsamic vinegar
fresh ground pink Himalayan salt
fresh ground black pepper

This was the last of a lettuce mix I made a few days ago.  It had 3 types of lettuce, sliced raw beets and onions.  I filled a bowl with that, then sliced in the remaining vegetables and added the black beans.  Tossed, then drizzled on the oil and vinegar then sprinkled with salt and pepper and tossed again.  This was one huge salad, could also be made into 2 or 3 side salads. . .Lin

Lemon Lime Cleansing Drink

This is my variation of an old German recipe that claims it will "cure clogged arteries, fat in the blood, infection and colds."  While it may, or may not, do all that, I think of it more basic terms.  It's a great daily cleansing drink!  The original recipe only used lemon, garlic, ginger and water.  Kale, spinach, celery or cilantro are other good cleansing agents.  In doing a side-by-side comparison of lemons vs. limes I discovered that they're are just packed with nutrients!  Where the lemon scored low, the lime excelled and vise versa, back and forth right down the list!  Now when using them in a lemon or lime recipe, I'll use half of each.


2 lg. lemons
2 lg. limes
1-2" cube of peeled ginger
4 lg. cloves of peeled garlic
a whole bunch of cilantro
1/2 gallon of filtered water
honey-to taste after chilling


Scrub, cube and seed the fruit - interestingly, there wasn't a single seed in any of mine!  Chop the ginger, garlic and thoroughly wash the greens.  Place all in a blender, adding enough water to fill in the air space.  Blend on high a couple minutes before returning the mixture to a 3qt. pan containing the rest of the water.  Heat slowly, while stirring occasionally, to just below the boiling point.  Pour into a large covered container and chill several hours.  Mix, then strain, using a very fine strainer, into a small kettle, add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of raw, organic honey.  Heat and drink.  I would recommend drinking a cup of this first thing in the morning and also an hour before dinner. . .Happy Cleansing. . .Lin

The Food Network

Do you get The Food Network on TV?

I do and find I have to limit my viewing time or I'd never get anything else done.  My three favorites are Barefoot Contessa, Pioneer Woman and Southern At Heart.

http://www.barefootcontessa.com

http://www.thepioneerwoman.com


Some great women and amazing cooks.  Do you have a favorite? . . . Lin

Spicy Mediterranean Pasta Salad

1 lg. clove elephant garlic
- or - 3 lg. regular cloves
4oz. kalamata olives
1 sm. can sliced black olives
1/2c drained caper berries
1/3c drained chopped pimentos
1/2c extra virgin olive oil
1/4c dark balsamic vinegar
1t+ sea salt and ground rosemary
1/4t+ ground black and red pepper




1 can artichoke hearts - drained and cut up
1c - or more - sprouted lentils and mung beans
8oz. dry quinoa pasta - cooked "al dente" - drained
1 lg. Roma tomato - finely cubed -optional-
4oz. ± crumbled feta cheese

Chop garlic and kalamata olives into a big glass bowl.  Add next 7 ingredients, stir together then let rest to blend the flavors for 30 minutes.  Add artichokes, sprouts, tomato and pasta.  Mix and let chill 30-60 minutes.  Top with cheese and toss just before serving. . .Lin

Shape, Size and Texture!!! It just might be all about TEXTURE!

I've never given any conscious thought to how texture impacts the foods we cook.  Cubed cheese or grated?  Grated potatoes, as in hash browns, or cubed for American fries?  Ground lean steak, or cubes of that same steak, in your favorite chili recipe?  I'd never use lasagna noodles in my shrimp scampi, nor angel hair in a hearty stew. . .it's all the same ingredient, but in the end, the texture really matters.



Enter my new favorite kitchen toy in. . .well. . .years!!  My new spiral slicer arrived yesterday and I ran right to the grocery store to get some interesting vegetables to try it out.


This time it was celery root, zucchini, yellow and red beets, of course onion, and napa cabbage that didn't spiral well at all.  It shredded nicely however.  So I only used a little.


I was torn between a raw salad and a vegetable stir-fry, so I made both.  I broke up the spirals a little then tossed it all with olive oil, a dark fruity balsamic vinegar, fresh ground black pepper, Himalayan pink salt and ground rosemary, then added a few tiny tomatoes and half an avocado.  It's perfect!

The stir-fry started with a little coconut oil and butter, ground red and black pepper, ground rosemary and Himalayan pink salt.  After 5-10 minutes, transfer to a serving dish, top with bleu cheese crumbles and it's ready to serve now, or heat up later.  Side benefit, your kitchen will smell awesome with the scent of coconut oil, rosemary and all those lovely vegetables.

I realize, it's brand new, but already I give this slicer very high marks!  I'm sure I'll always have one in my kitchen! . . . Lin

Salad Season

In my house, Salad Season is all year long, just like Soup Season.  This was my great find today, while at our local organic grocery store - this awesome sprouting jar!  A half gallon jar, which is probably overkill since I live alone, but I'm pretty sure that whatever I sprout, I'll eat before they get funky.

I bought 4 seeds for sprouting, my favorite, green lentils - which have a really nice peppery flavor, mung beans, radish and broccoli seeds.  All organic.

Today I'm only using the lentils and mung beans (in the bags) - one part, consisting of a mix of those two, into the jar, followed by three parts warm water.  Always stick with similar sizes, or you'll have some big ones that are rock hard mixed in with little ones that are perfectly sprouted.  The smaller they are, the faster they sprout.

I hope you try these on whole grain bread sandwiches and salads for a great, spring-fresh flavor, vitamins and lots of protein. . .Lin

Simple Salads. . .

Since a big salad can be such a vital part of our daily diet, it's really important to have a Salad Plan.  For me, it's in 2 stages, salad ingredients and dressing.  If you shop regularly, it's easy to keep a good variety of greens and other favorites on hand to quickly combine for a great, fresh salad.  The most healthy dressing, I'm convinced, consists of a simple one that starts with good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a Balsamic Vinegar.  This particular brand has quickly become a fixture here.  Their line of oils and Balsamic Vinegars is excellent.  The other enhancements would be the spices you add after the oil and vinegar has been drizzled on.  Mine are shown in the two containers on the left.  The first contains Himalayan Pink Salt and Ground Rosemary.  The other is a shaker of Penzeys Black and Red Spice, which is a blend of ground black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Experiment and find what works for you.


Yesterday's salad, shown here, was a mix of Romaine, green cabbage, baby spinach, cauliflower, tomato, avocado, green onion, garbanzos and cubed asiago cheese.

Today's was similar but Chinese Cabbage (Nappa) was used as the base and I switched out the cauliflower for heirloom carrots.  A half a can of beans are a wonderful addition for protein and fiber, and of course the cheese cubes are a nice way to round it out, nutritionally.  Be creative and have fun making healthy, fresh options as we enter into the season of Salad Days. . .Lin


Minestrone

2 finely chopped carrots
2c thinly sliced celery
5 lg. sliced scallions (green onions)
4-5 lg. minced cloves garlic
2T extra virgin olive oil
ground red and black pepper
ground rosemary and sea salt
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1-2t sugar

½ head cubed green cabbage
5 lg. bay leaves
1 can drained-rinsed garbanzo beans
½c tiny Asian red beans
½c brown and wild rice



Combine the first 5 ingredients and seasonings in a 3 quart pan. Simmer and saute' until the vegetables are 'snapping,' for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the tomatoes, sugar, cabbage, bay leaves and garbanzos, then return to a light boil. Cover and simmer an hour. Meanwhile, in a small pan, combine the red beans with 1½ cups of water and simmer on medium heat for an hour.





Do the same with the rice and 1½c water. After an hour, add the beans and rice and whatever water is left in the little pans, to the soup pot. Simmer another half hour until beans and rice are cooked the way you like them. Check the flavors and add any additional seasonings needed. . .Lin

Quinoa With Dried Fruit And Seeds

1/3c quinoa - any color
½c water
2 cubes of candied ginger - sliced thin
¼c roasted pumpkin seeds
¼c craisins
1t butter or coconut oil
a sprinkle of sea salt

Combine all the above and bring to a quiet simmer. Cook this way, covered, for 15 minutes or until water absorbs and quinoa sprouts little tails. Take off heat, keep covered, another 5 minutes. Makes 1 big serving. . .Lin

Costa Rican—Italian Vegetables

1 chayote
2 sm. zucchini
4 cloves garlic
1 can sliced stewed tomatoes
ground black and red pepper
ground rosemary & Himalayan pink salt


I discovered chayote on a trip to Costa Rica a few years back. A lot of the restaurants there serve it as a side. Chop, slice, or dice the two types of summer squash and garlic. Combine all ingredients with a little olive oil and Balsamic vinegar, in a big frying pan. Simmer on low until squash is translucent and done the way you like it.

Serve just like this as a side or sprinkle with sunflower or pumpkin seeds and crumbled feta cheese for a high protein main dish. . .Lin

Bison Spaghetti

1# ground bison (buffalo)
1 med. onion - chopped
5 cloves garlic - minced
olive oil and Balsamic vinegar
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 bay leaves
2t sugar
1t ground rosemary
1t pink Himalayan salt
½t ground black and red pepper


Combine bison, onion and garlic in a large frying pan. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, break up the meat, and simmer until browned. Add tomatoes, (I did not use the diced tomatoes or the little can of tomato paste shown.) bay leaves, sugar, seasonings and simmer an hour or more.


Combine with cooked pasta, that's been drained but not rinsed, in a large baking pan. Cover and chill overnight. Reheat in the oven on low. Serve with a chunky vegetable salad. . .Lin

Another Great Salad. . .

a big handful of lettuce mix*
several pieces of cauliflower
2 lg. pickling cucumbers
1 lg. carrot
½ avocado
½ tomato
olive oil and Balsamic vinegar
-or- ranch or poppyseed dressing
smokey paprika
bright green dried dill weed
fresh ground pepper
Himalayan pink salt



To make a big individual salad, start with a really good, fresh, self made, lettuce mix. (*This one contains hard, crunchy iceberg lettuce, red leaf lettuce, Romaine, onion and green cabbage.) Then roughly peel the cucumbers, slice or chopping the remaining vegetables into a big salad bowl. Dress and season. . .Lin

Cabbage Chopped Tossed Salad



Chinese cabbage
purple cabbage
½ sweet onion
½ lg. tomato
½ avocado
2 med. pickling cucumbers
crumbled bleu cheese


This is a cabbage version of my 5-Ingredient Salad. Rough slice and chop all the vegetables into salad bowls. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season with finely ground red pepper, black pepper, and Himalayan pink salt. Splash with some really good balsamic vinegar. . .Lin

Honey-Lemon-Ginger-Garlic 'Tea'

3 fresh lemons
2” chunk of fresh ginger
3 lg. garlic cloves
3T raw organic crystallized honey
2 quarts of fresh cold water


Zest and halve or quarter the lemons. Peel and thinly slice the ginger. Slice then mince the garlic. Bring the water to a rolling boil then take off the heat.

To the water add: lemon zest, juice, the remains of the lemons, ginger, garlic and honey. Stir. Let stand 20 minutes. Mash everything well with a potato masher, stir again then pour into a covered glass container. Keeps well for several days in the refrigerator. Strain enough to fill a mug, heat and drink. It will develop more flavor as all those ingredients steep together. This is excellent to drink, several mugs a day until it's gone, for a nice gentle cleansing. It's also a really comforting drink for those days when it feels like you're fighting the flu or a cold. Drink up, be well. . .Lin



Footnote:  What I actually ended up doing was to leave the tea and remaining ingredients on the stove.  When I'd pour a mug I just added that amount of water to the pan and heated it again.  Doing this yielded a total of 3-4 quarts of the tea.

Your Comments. . .

Well now. . .I'm officially blown away!

This blog site directed me to comments and requested I check those that may have been routed to the 'spam' section.  I'd never gone there before.

SO many comments - that I'd never seen!  It appears blogger.com won't allow comments to appear that have included a web address.  Please leave your comments about the recipes, just don't include your own blog information or refer to any other websites by using a specific address.

Thank you all for coming here, your suggestions and all the encouragement. . .please continue and leave your comments. . .Lin

ATTENTION PASTA LOVERS!!!


Some REALLY good news here!




Much Healthier Pasta Only Depends On Temperature. . .








Lately there is a lot of buzz about fermented food.  It's something that should be part of all our diets.  It might take a little digging to find commercial fermented foods locally, or the recipes, if you want to make your own.  Sauerkraut and Pickles are a good place to start.  Pickles, however, are traditionally made with a vinegar brine.  Fermented Pickles are made with a salt brine.  I'm not ready to commit to making my own yet, but found some to try, at our organic grocery store.  They're a little different, but considering the health benefits, won't take too long to adjust to.  Happy reading and discovery!


Sweet Potato Dog Treats

2 lg. oval-shaped sweet potatoes
a little olive oil
pastry brush
a a very sharp knife

Slice the tips off the potatoes then thick slice, evenly, lengthwise.  This is much easier when the potatoes are regularly shaped, and not all twisty. Make the slices about 1/3" thick.

Lay these on two parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Brush each side with a little olive oil.  Bake at 275° for a total of 3 hours, turning them over after 90 minutes.  When time has elapsed, shut oven off and let cool to room temperature.  You dogs will love these.  I make them for mine every week.  Healthy, no preservatives, chewy and full of fiber.  Your house will smell like Sweet Potato Pie all day!

Quick Chunky Vegetable Salad

1 med. tomato
1 lg. pickling cucumber
some cauliflower
a little sliced green cabbage
1 cubed avocado
1/2 sliced sweet onion
good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2-1 lemon - zest and juice
bleu cheese crumbles
pink Himalayan salt
fresh ground pepper

In a big individual salad bowl, chop the tomato, cucumber and cauliflower.  Add the rest.  Toss, season and have at it! . . . Lin  

Elk Roast With Vegetables

1 can cream of mushroom soup*
1 can water*
1 pkg. powdered onion soup*
fresh ground black pepper*
4 heirloom carrots - scrubbed
2# (grass fed) elk roast
2 lg. potatoes - peeled
1 lg. sweet potato - peeled
1 sm. head green cabbage
3 lg. cloves fresh garlic - smashed


In your crock pot, combine first four ingredients. Slice carrots, potatoes and cabbage in half. Coat the carrots with the soup mixture and put cut side down in the bottom of the pot. Coat the meat and potatoes as well, arrange everything in the pot and cook on medium or low until done. *This mixture can be used with chicken, venison, beef, lamb and buffalo with excellent results every time. . .Lin

Red Pepper - Artichoke Egg Salad


4 fresh, chopped hard-boiled eggs
3T chopped bread & butter pickles
3T large caper berries
3T roasted red pepper-artichoke tapenade
½ diced avocado

¼c± sour cream
sea salt
red and black ground pepper

Combine all the above. Serve on pita bread, rice cakes or over baby kale as shown. . .Lin

Carrot Tossed Salad

a little crunchy Iceberg lettuce
sliced red cabbage
Earthbound Farms Baby Kale
Chinese cabbage
red butter - Boston - lettuce
sweet onion
1 lg. heirloom carrot
extra virgin olive oil


pear infused white Balsamic vinegar
pink Himalayan salt
black and red ground pepper
crumbled bleu cheese
craisins & pecans - optional





Chop or slice the first 5 ingredients for the lettuce mix. Put a big handful in a large salad bowl.  Add sliced, onions and carrots.  Sprinkle with oil and vinegar, season, toss then top with crumbled cheese, craisins and pecans. . .Lin

Michael Pollan



This is a good video illustrating the need for sticking with the philosophy of Slow Food.


If you find this one helpful, there are a lot more he has done:


Hope you find this informative and helpful.

An Even Simpler Way. . .

A few days back, I posted some good, sound "diet" choices.  If you'd like something even simpler, welcome to the Nutritional Plate.  This is meant to replace the long outdated, food pyramid.

The only thing you need to keep in mind when using this plate mentality, for recipe ideas and meal planning, is to keep all the food in your grocery cart, then on your table, as healthy as possible.  If you have an organic grocery store or Farmer's Market in the area, take advantage of these.  Try to shop local and seasonal whenever possible.  If you're not a vegetarian, substitute meat, for the protein suggestions, a couple times a week.

Happy Cooking, and eating!

Clean-Out-The-'Fridge Vegetable Soup


1c. chopped celery
2 sliced leeks
½ small head of GREEN* cabbage
2-3 sliced carrots
4oz. mushrooms - sliced
6 sm. red potatoes - small cubes
2-3T coconut oil
1 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes
red and black ground pepper
fresh ground pink Himalayan salt
1t ground rosemary
powdered chicken soup base
1c sour cream

Be creative. These are always an adventure. Use whatever you find that would blend well in the soup. This recipe is what I had at the moment.

Slice-chop all the vegetables into your favorite 5qt. pot. Saute' together, with the pot covered, for about 15 minutes in the coconut oil. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, salt and pepper, and 2 cans of water. Simmer 30-60 minutes. Check for flavors, adding however much soup base you need. Just before serving, stir in the sour cream - if you're using it - and heat again to a small bubble. The combination of tomatoes and sour cream in a savory soup is very nice! Serve with Gluten Free Oat-Flax Cornbread (scroll down for recipe) or some really good crusty bread. . .Lin

* I used purple cabbage - DON'T do it unless you want Dr. Seuss Soup.  The potatoes were purple, the mushrooms - green, the broth a sickly pink.  Tasted great, but did not look good.

Fancy-Schmancy Cheese

I have given up dairy for a while now, but missed it.  I've decided that when I buy cheese, I'm going to be sure it's some I really like, often a little pricey - so it's usually a splurge - not something I'd do often.  I like a hard, dry, sharp, nutty type of cheese.  While checking the import area, I hit the jackpot with these recently.


This one's Irish and just a wonderful cheese:

http://kerrygoldusa.com/products/cheese/dubliner-cheese/




The other two I discovered, are made by an English company, called Springdale.

One is a Vintage Cheddar that recommends a red wine paring.  The other is Extra Sharp Cheddar to go with white wine.  I don't drink alcohol anymore, but that isn't stopping me from loving their cheese.  The weblink doesn't show or describe these two, but if you like sharp, flavorful cheddars, and find them at your grocery store, buy them.  You'll be glad.

I'm thinking maybe using a blend of cheese, such as these, with some cream cheese might melt very nicely and could be used for a full-flavored adult version of Mac and Cheese.  I might work on a recipe for that. . .Lin

Good Choices. . .


Struggling With Extra Weight?
click here :
These 'diets' are all excellent choices.  Read them over

and pick the one that would work best for your lifestyle.