Sunday, November 9, 2014


We've been enjoying a lot of jello in our house recently. I've made jello a host of ways with a variety of layers and flavors but this is the one I land on most often. It has both form and function - is delicious and beneficial. I don't add any sweetener to mine as I prefer the sour tilt but raw honey is a wonderful way to add some sweet as well as a nutritional boost.


2 c. cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 c. dried elderberries
1/4 c. dried bilberries
1/8 c. dried hawthorn berries
4, 1-inch pieces of fresh ginger or 1 - 2 tsp. dried minced ginger
4 c. water
1/4 c. lemon juice
3 - 4 T. pure gelatin
Add-in options: raw, local honey [to taste], camu powder, ginseng powder, ginko powder, goji berries, coconut milk

Optional Roasting: Roasting really add depth to the flavor of this jello. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread berries onto baking stone or parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 7 minutes [if using fresh berries] or 10 - 15 minutes if using frozen berries. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Place dried berries, ginger, and water in a medium size saucepan. Bring water to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 - 45 minutes [the more time you do the stronger the tea will be]. Remove from heat, strain out the whole berries and ginger, and set tea aside to cool slightly.

Prepare a 9 x 13 glass baking dish by rubbing it with a light coat of coconut oil. Set aside.

In a blender container, place [roasted] berries, tea, lemon juice, gelatin, and any addition add-ins you may have*.

Blend on high to very smooth. Pour mixture into prepared glass dish and place in refrigerator for 2 - 4 hours to firm.

Cut into small squares or use cookie cutters to create fun shapes. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

*If you want to make this a two layer jello, simply blend 1/2 the ingredients as noted above, pour into prepared pan and place in freezer to set quickly. Reserve out the other half. Add 1 additional tablespoon of gelatin and 8 ounces of regular coconut milk [or milk of choice] to the remaining ingredients. Blend on high to smooth. Remove the jello from the freezer and pour in creamed layer. Place in refrigerator as noted above.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Because my girls and I don't eat much dairy, quesadillas have been a bit of a challenge for us. However, the simplicity of the meal has had me forever enchanted.

Buttercup squash seem to hold a wonderful solution. These little guys have a thick flesh when cooked, reminiscent of a sweet potato, which is enough to hold together two finicky tortillas. The nutritional yeast and spices give it a "cheesy" flavor although [here's my disclaimer], cheese is cheese no matter how you cut it and, if we call it what it is, there isn't a substitute for the real stuff.

However, there is a different kind of really, really good and this is it.

So, put your preconceptions of what a quesadilla should be [or has been] on the shelf and give this a whirl. You might be surprised by your lack of disappointment.

Makes 2 - 4 Quesadillas

For the tortillas:

4 sprouted corn tortillas
extra virgin, raw coconut oil
sea salt

Gently rub, using hands, a thin coat of coconut oil over one side of each tortilla. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on each. Set aside.

For the "cheesy" spread:

1 large buttercup squash [or other thick-fleshed squash or sweet potato], roasted*
1/2 medium - large onion [or one small], finely chopped
1 - 2 tsp. raw, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 red, orange, or yellow sweet pepper, finely chopped
1 - 2 medium size carrots, shredded
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. powders of each: turmeric, coriander, and oregano
1 1/2 tsp. cumin powder [freshly ground if possible]
1 T. nutritional yeast
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 - 2 cups shredded greens [kale, spinach, pok choi, arugula, mustard greens, etc.]

Roast squash using instructions below [*].

In a medium cast iron or stainless steel pan, saute onion in a teaspoon or two coconut oil until onions are soft and just beginning to brown. Add pepper, shredded carrots, and garlic and saute for another minute or two until peppers are just beginning to soften.

Scoop roasted squash out of the shell and place in a blender with spices, yeast, and salt. Using a tamper, blend until very smooth. Add water by the tablespoon if mixture is too difficult to blend. The spread should have a thick, paste-like consistency.

Once sauce is blended [taste and make any necessary adjustments], spread onto the non-oiled side of half of the prepared tortillas. Top with the sauteed vegetables and shredded greens, add any additional fillings of choice [see suggestions below], and top with the remaining prepared tortillas. The oiled sides should be facing out. Place on a hot skillet or panini maker and cook until filling is warm [about two minutes]. Remove and gently cut into triangle pieces. Serve immediately with sides of choice [see suggestions below].

Optional Fillings:

additional sauteed vegetables
soaked and cooked beans of choice [black, adzuki, white, etc.]
shredded goat cheese
shredded chicken, beef, or lamb

Optional Sides:

fresh cilantro
avocado or guacamole
Greek Yogurt or non-dairy plain cultured yogurt of choice
coconut milk kefir

*To roast the squash, cut squash in half and scoop out stringy flesh and seeds. Place haves face-down [shell up] on a cookie sheet and cook at 450 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes or until soft. Use a knife or fork and gently prick to check. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 - 20 minutes or until you are able to handle the hot squash.