Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Paleo Coconut Crepes with Seasonal Berries

Berry season has arrived in our neighborhood with a profusion of gorgeous strawberries and dark-as-night blackberries. I wait in anticipation every year for local berries to appear at our market stands. These are the real deal -- bright, sassy and full of flavor. Not those tasteless varieties that have traveled, say, thousands of miles and were most likely picked unripe.

Low in calories yet high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, berries are one of the best foods you can eat in terms of nutritional value. Bursting with phytochemicals and flavonoids, berries help prevent certain forms of cancer, protect eye health and slow the aging process. Many are low-glycemic to boot, adding another sweet benefit. And berries just happen to be a terrific complement for crepes.

Sprightly Summer Spritzer with Raspberry and Lemon

Here is another lightening quick recipe for the dog days of summer – a refreshing spritzer with just a hint of sweetness and a touch of tanginess. I normally do not recommend cold beverages as they tend to suppress digestion, but I couldn't resist with this one. Just make sure you enjoy the spritzer on its own and straight up. Fresh raspberries and lemons, a dash of stevia, squeeze of juice along with sparking mineral water like San Pellegrino and you will never be tempted by artificial vitamin waters again. Wishing all an outrageously festive, healthy and playful season.

Late Summer Green Bean Salad with Feta, Cranberries, and Walnuts

As we enter the last hurrah of summer around here, a bumper crop of lovely green beans are making their showy appearance at our local farmers market. Sure there are the standard beans, glorious in their plump greenness, but there are also the more unusual varieties arriving onto the scene. The deep purple, almost midnight black numbers. Broad beans that are flecked with a red that mysteriously disappears once cooked. The fashionably thin French selections. All delightful and unique in their own way.

Mix any combination of these beauties with brain boosting walnuts along with the tang of feta and the sweetness of dried cranberries and you have the beginning of an enchanting late summer side salad. For our vegan friends, skip the feta. An inspired raw version can be created by shredding the uncooked beans, switching out lemon juice for the balsamic and Dijon, omitting the cheese and leaving the walnuts in all their raw glory. 

Solar Cooking 101: Harnessing The Sun For Health, Wealth And A Clean Environment

Cooking with the sun is not only eco-friendly, it also contributes to better tasting, more nutritious food. Preparing food in this way encourages energy independence for both developing countries and industrialized nations alike. In areas of the world where disease is on the rise and fuel is in short supply, economical sun cookers are a workable solution.

Thrive Short-Order | Scapes with Eggs, Bacon and Artisan Salt {Paleo and Gluten-free}

We received a tangle of scapes with our CSA box last week and I decided to throw together a quick lunch utilizing this gorgeous vegetable. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this relative of garlic, you are in for a treat. Keep an eye out at your Farmer’s Market for slender, corkscrew-shaped green stalks that are topped with a white ‘Russian dome.’ Possessing a more complex flavor than standard garlic, you can use the entire stalk and bulb in any culinary creation where you would like a hint of flavor, without it being overpowering. The white bulb caramelizes beautifully, just make sure you don’t over do it since it can burn and turn bitter just as easily.

I also came across several varieties of artisan salt at our local natural market the other day—both black and pink Hawaiian, along with an applewood smoked number. I decided to use a pinch of each to lend a bit of mystery and depth to my humble fried eggs. Why not? Feel free to grind the salt. I chose not to from sheer laziness, and it worked out just fine.

This recipe comes together in a snap—the perfect compliment for busy and fun-filled summer days where the last thing in the world you want to be doing is slaving over a hot stove.

Thrive Short Order | Caramelized Italian Plums with Mascarpone and Almond {Gluten-Free}

We have some beautiful Italian plums in season at the moment - firm, dark and mysterious. With a slightly tart-sweet flavor, they are absolutely perfect for caramelizing and pair wonderfully with the richness of mascarpone. And cardamom makes an appearance here as well. Used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 5,000 years, modern science is now verifying the healthy usefulness of the spice. More than just a flavorful favorite, cardamom also has many surprising benefits. It's a potent antidepressant, aphrodisiac and relaxant. But these are just a few of the reasons to use the spice. Find out more here.

Thrive Short Order | Shaved Fennel Salad with Arugula and White Balsamic

Fennel is one of those vegetables we don't tend to hear much about these days. A shame, really, as the raw crunch and unique sweetness is a nice paring for warm weather. Combined with arugula along with a light balsamic vinaigrette and this recipe comes together in a flash. Not only that, but it's a nutritional powerhouse, chock-full of vitamin A and C as well as iron from the greens. And chipotle pepper adds a surprising smoky kick. Use as a side for grilled chicken or fish. It can certainly hold its own as a light meal too. Whichever you choose, make sure to share with good conversation and friendship.

Flash greens with red pepper, olives and bacon + Why I switched to a Paleo diet

Fast, easy and delicious is the name of the game this summer. If truth be told, who wants to spend time slaving over a hot stove when the weather is sparkling bright and a host of outdoor activities beckon? Yet we also don't want to substitute convenience for good food. Man (nor woman) can live by protein bar alone. So a happy medium is struck with a medley of colorful vegetables and a smattering of bacon with a few choice olives tossed in. A squeeze of lemon along with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and you're set. For those who have the time and inclination, roasting the red peppers is a nice touch – although it isn't necessary. I am not a big fan of pork for health reasons, but thankfully we live in an abundant age where convincing organic and nitrate/preservative free turkey alternatives are available.

Common backyard weed may curb cancer risk

Steve 'Wildman' Brill loves to forage for food. Along with Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham, Brill set out to Central Park in New York City to locate peppergrass growing wild. Brill believes the plant blocks carcinogens and may help prevent cancer by protecting cells. As part of the mustard family, peppergrass shares many similar anticancer attributes. The sharp taste of mustard seed is due to isothiocyanates and thiocyanates -- compounds that demonstrate antibacterial, antifungal and anticarcinogenic properties. The fiery tasting seed, leaf and root of peppergrass contain these same health enhancing substances. Peppergrass also helps to clear toxins from the body.  Read more » 

Evelyn's Raspberry-Apricot Tartlets

This recipe is inspired by Evelyn, our vivacious 16-month-old. She loves raspberries. I mean, this little girl can power-down an entire pint of berries if I let her. For Evelyn, raspberries are only second to avocados. And even then, it is a close match.

We are lucky enough to live in an area that grows seasonal, organic, real raspberries. Not those overly-perfect, yet totally tasteless kind. Ours are the real deal. If you can track down locally grown raspberries, it is well worth the effort.

The slight tanginess of the berries are paired with the sunny sweetness of apricots. And grounded with the richness of almonds. If you have not had a truly raw, unpasteurized almond lately, you are in for a treat. Tread carefully here. Many so-called 'raw' almonds have actually been flash pasteurized due to regulations in some states. Look specifically for unpasteurized on the label. There is no comparison in quality or taste. Think fresh marzipan with authentic almond character.

Chard Ribbons with Strawberry and Pine Nut

My toddler daughter Evelyn and I arrived in the Pacific Northwest last week after a seven month jaunt in Thailand. To be honest, it is a refreshing relief to be back in the cool green of Portland. One of our first outings involved the local, sprawling, lively organic farmers market. We found bouquets of swiss chard, collards and kale along with gorgeous Alice-in-Wonderland sized peonies. And the strawberries. Deep red, flavorful, and juicy. Need I say more? A delightful way to spend the afternoon.

For those who are raising an eyebrow at the combination of swiss chard and strawberries, let me reassure you: this is the perfect summertime salad. The chard is marinated in a zesty lemon-Dijon vinaigrette instead of cooked. Plump organic strawberries are a sweet compliment to the peppery tang of the chard. Tossed with a handful of golden brown pine nuts, the flavor is nicely balanced. In this version, the chard is given a slight wilt although it can certainly be served straight away for those who crave more crunch.

Make it completely raw by substituting the pine nuts with hemp seeds or even chopped macadamia.

This is a simple to prepare salad that is surprisingly complex in flavor and a good way to add leafy greens to the diet. Here's to health, well-being, and joy.

Yield: Four Side Servings

For Salad:

1 bunch rainbow swiss chard, chiffonade cut
2 cups quartered strawberries
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

And Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons fresh, coarse ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Celtic or Himalayan sea salt

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients for the vinaigrette. Add swiss chard and toss until ribbons are well coated. Let stand at room temperature until mildly wilted, about an hour. Next, gently fold in strawberries. Divide salad onto four serving plates and sprinkle with pine nuts and extra black pepper, if desired. 

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all."
-Harriet Van Horne