Friday, August 19, 2016

THAI RED CURRY with galangal and kefir lime leaf

Adapted from: Gluten & Dairy Free Everyday Asian by Bindu Menon

1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 T. garlic, minced
2 T. coconut oil
1 – 1 ½ lb chicken breast or lamb, thin sliced; shrimp or tofu
2 heaping tablespoons of red curry paste
1” piece of galangal or 2 tsp. powder
1 T. Thai fish sauce or tamari / soy sauce
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 15-ounce can regular coconut milk
1 T. raw honey
1/3 c. Thai basil leaves
2 kefir lime leaves [optional]
1 1/2 c. carrots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. red / orange / yellow sweet peppers, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. kale or spinach, thinly sliced
3 c. green beans, French cut or chopped

Warm oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook on medium-low, stirring frequently until onion softens and garlic becomes slightly golden on edges. Add meat of choice and cook thoroughly. Add curry paste, galangal, fish sauce, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Carefully pour in coconut milk and honey. Stir to combine. Add basil and life leaf and cook over medium – low heat until liquid begins to simmer. Reduce heat to maintain very gentle bubbling but not boiling, add carrots, and cook for 5 - 10 minutes or until carrots are just beginning to soften. Add peppers, beans, and kale. Cook until beans are bright green and peppers just soft. Remove from heat and serve over a bed of basmati or jasmine rice. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

SHOWER SUGAR SCRUB with lavender

One of my absolute favorite smells is lavender. It seems to me to be the perfect blend of floral and spicy and invoke a feeling of balance and peace.

I've posted a number of health and beauty recipes on this blog but none can compare with the simplicity of this. One jar. Three ingredients. Five minutes.

If you're looking for a place to start, a way into dabbling in homemade, I'd begin here. Lavender is a heal-all oil, can be used with children, and is one of the safest, most effective herbs we have.

Note: Of course, you could use a host of essential oil variations here. If you have experience with essential oils and understand the safety of use then experiment as you wish. 


2 - 3 cup glass jar with tight fitting lid
fine ground organic sugar
unrefined organic sesame oil [not toasted!]
10 - 15 drops lavender essential oil, optional
1/2 c. dried lavender flowers, lightly ground*

*You can use and pestle and mortar, blender, food processor, or coffee/herb grinder to lightly crush the flowers.

Fill glass jar halfway with sugar. Add lavender essential oil and top with lightly crushed lavender flowers. Add sugar to fill jar to 3/4 full and mix contents of jar. Pour oil over sugar to cover then mix. Continue adding sugar then oil until jar is almost full. Sugar should be oily but not drenched. Over time oil will start to pool on top. Add sugar as needed. If scrub dries out, add oil as needed. Store in refrigerator for up to six months or in shower for about one month.

At the end of your shower, massage scrub into clean, wet skin over entire body. Rinse residual sugar and pat skin dry with towel.

Note: To avoid oil getting on towel, pat skin with a dry washcloth before wrapping in towel. 

This makes a great gift! Package in a decorative jar with an artistic tag.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

TUNA BURGERS gluten, egg, and diary free

So, canned tuna. Honestly I'm not really a fan. I grew up in the day of forced tuna sandwiches, soggy from sitting in school lunch packs. Really, just ick.

But a little awhile ago I was meandering the aisles at Costco and came across canned tuna I could actually get on board with. BPA-free cans, proudly wild and sustainably caught. Tuna has raised some serious concerns about the health of our oceans. Fish are being recklessly over-caught, usually by mass fishing tactics that reek havoc on the ocean floor and life found within the waters. As the larger countries demand more fish, indigenous cultures dependent on this food source for survival are forced into more dangerous waters and the use of life-threatening techniques. Scarcity has become a familiar opponent.

Eating local meats and supporting companies working to heal the gaping wounds of our waters are the best ways to do our part. And eating foods like canned tuna in moderation rather than as a staple food if you find yourself landlocked rather than ocean-side can help replenish the rapidly dropping fish numbers.

If you do find yourself with a can of our sea friends and have yet to decide what to do with it, I'd like to offer this recipe. You may never eat tuna salad again.

Serves 4
Adapted from Paula Dean's Tuna Burger

2 [6-ounce] cans of wild, sustainably pole & line caught tuna, drained [can find this at Costco]
1/2 c. oats, ground [grind rolled oats using food processor, appropriate blender, or coffee grinder]
2 flax "eggs"*
1/2 c. celery, finely chopped
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish [look for the jars in the refrigerator section if possible]
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. unrefined coconut oil

*To make one flax "egg", combine one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Mix and let sit for ten minutes or until the mixture thickens a bit.

For the dressing:

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. raw honey
2 - 3 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. dried dill
pinch sea salt

Combine all burger ingredients, except oil, in a medium-size glass bowl using your clean hands. Take a portion of mixture, roughly 1/3 cup, and form into a well-packed ball. Carefully flatten into a burger shape, cinching and patting the edges where necessary and set on a plate. Repeat until all burger batter is formed into patties.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully place burgers in pan and cover. Cook for 6 - 7 minutes or until bottom is a deep golden brown color. Flip, re-cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

If you're using a cast iron skillet, place entire skillet into preheated oven. If using stainless steel, remove burgers from pan, spread out on baking sheet, and place in oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine dressing ingredients into a small jar and tightly secure lid. Shake vigorously for a couple minutes until well combined. Set aside.

Remove from oven and serve immediately. Burgers can be used like traditional beef burgers or laid on a bed of herbs [like parsley, cilantro, and/or dill] or fresh greens and topped with dressing.

These are great to freeze and dressing can be stored in refrigerator for up to a month.

Monday, August 1, 2016


Pickles are in by the bushel! Here's an easy way to transform these garden favorites into a delicious snack.