Topic: Food & Nutrition

Immune Boosting Fire Cider

Fire cider is filled with immune boosting ingredients to help you ward off cold and flu, and it’s fun and simple to make. While there are endless variations, our favorite ingredients to include are:

  • 1/2 cup fresh grated ginger root
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated horseradish root (be warned, fresh grated horseradish is pungent and sinus-opening).
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno or 1 habanero quartered
  • 1 orange, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
  • 1/4 cup peeled and diced turmeric (or 1 Tbsp. turmeric powder)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped rosemary (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped thyme (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 2 to 3 cups raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, or more to taste
  1. Place all of the vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices in a clean 1-quart jar.
  2. Add your apple cider vinegar up to the top of the jar (all your ingredients should be completely covered).
  3. Cap the jar. If using a metal lid, be sure to place a piece of parchment between the jar and lid. You will want to change this out about once a week.
  4. Shake well!
  5. Let the jar sit for 3 to 6 weeks, ideally giving it a daily shake.
  6. Strain the vinegar into a clean jar, and add honey to taste. (Stare with 1/4 cup and whisk the honey in well. If it is not sweet enough, continue to add and whisk 1 Tbsp. at a time until desired sweetness is reached.
  7. Refrigerate and use within a year.

Fire Cider can be taken straight by the spoonful (this is especially useful when you feel a cold coming on!), diluted with water or in fresh fruit or vegetable juice, drizzled on salads or used as a healthful marinade. It is delicious and warming added to a cup of herbal tea with lemon and additional honey, and fire cider can be very refreshing when added to seltzer with a splash of fresh citrus and a sprig of rosemary. You can even save the fire cider pulp and mix it in with lots of seasonal veggies for an immune boosting stir fry. Enjoy!

Creamy Thai Carrot Soup

This wonderful warming and nutritious soup includes seasonal carrots and sweet potato. Ginger and curry spices possess significant anti-inflammatory properties, and kaffir lime and lemongrass are both digestive tonic plants.  For a spicy variation on this soup, substitute the sweet curry powder with 1 teaspoon of red Thai curry paste. Dissolve the paste in a bit of hot water before adding to the soup.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small knob peeled fresh ginger root, chopped fine (about 1 tablespoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet curry powder
1 bay leaf
2 kaffir lime leaves or a 3-inch length of lemongrass sliced into matchsticks
1 1/2 pounds carrots, scrubbed and chopped
4 cups vegetable broth or filtered water
Sea salt
1 15-ounce can of coconut milk
Thai basil or cilantro leaves for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1.) Warm olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, sweet potato and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
 
2.) Add the ginger, coriander, curry spice, bay leaf, and kaffir leaves, and cook the mixture 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Heating the spices before adding liquid helps release their full flavor potential.
 
3.) Add the carrots and broth, along with an additional 2 cups of water and 2 large pinches of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, until the carrots are very tender.
 
4.) Remove soup from heat and discard bay leaf and kaffir lime leaves. Puree soup with a vertical blender until creamy. Whisk in the coconut milk, and if necessary heat to serving temperature, taking care not to boil the soup. Adjust seasoning and serve garnished with the Thai basil or cilantro leaves.
 

Adapted from a Whole Foods Market Recipe

Serves 6 to 8

Total Time 50 minutes

 

Comforting Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth

With the return of the rain and the early darkness, it is the perfect weather for warm and nutritious bone broth. Bone broth is nutrient dense with a rich flavor and easy on the digestive system. With a high concentration of minerals-including phosphorus, magnesium and calcium-it is a great immune boosting option for the fall and winter season. All you need to make this delicious nutrient powerhouse are:

  • 2 carrots, chopped medium
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped medium
  • 1 medium onion, chopped medium
  • 7 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3.5 lb of beef bones
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sea salt. I use Celtic sea salt.
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Water

Put veggies in the bottom of a 6 qt. slow cooker and drop the beef bones on top. Add bay leaf, salt (not a whole lot, you can add more to taste when the broth is finished) and vinegar and fill with filtered water. Let stand for ½ hour so that the vinegar can begin pulling minerals from the bones. Turn cooker to low and let simmer for 24 to 48 hours. The longer it cooks, the more the bones break down and release all their goodness into the broth. When done, strain broth and refrigerate or freeze. If you don’t want all the fat, skim off after cooling. Drink straight as a nourishing tea or use in soups, etc. Enjoy!

Almond Butter Granola

Bake up a batch of this almond butter granola over the weekend and enjoy it throughout the week on top of yogurt, in a bowl with dairy or nut milk, or simply by the handful. This is not only a healthy and filling breakfast or snack option;  it also makes your kitchen smell amazing while it bakes!

Ingredients:
Makes eight 1/4 c. servings
4 tbsp. almond butter
4 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. chia seeds
2 c. oats

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

2. Combine the almond butter and honey in a bowl and microwave until almond butter is slightly melted (about 30 seconds).

3.  Add cinnamon and vanilla to the almond butter mixture.

4. Stir in the oats and chia seeds, completely coating the oats in the mixture.

5. Spread oats onto cookie sheet and bake for eight minutes before tossing oats and baking for another four minutes until granola is slightly brown. Let cool until granola is crunch and enjoy!

 

No Bake Strawberry Pie

No Bake Strawberry Pie

By: Ashley Reed

INGREDIENTS:

  • Crust:
    1 cup almonds or pecans
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 Medjool dates, pitted
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup cashews (soaked 1-2 hours, or overnight)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ – ½ cup agave (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • ¾ cup fresh strawberries (if you choose to use frozen, thaw them completely first)
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/8 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Topping
    1-2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

PREPARATION:

Crust: Place almonds or pecans in food processor fitted with the S blade. Process until roughly crumbled. Add coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla and pulse together. Add the dates last, one at a time and pulse until the crust holds together when squeezed. If the crust does not hold, add more dates (again one at a time). Press into coconut oiled pie pan. Chill in freezer while putting together the filling.

Filling: Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or high speed blender. Pour filling into cold pie crust, top with sliced strawberries. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours until firm. Because of the coconut oil, the pie will need to stay in the fridge or freezer to stay firm. Serve cold.

Spring Asparagus Risotto

Spring Asparagus Risotto

By: Leah Scott

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 oz dry white wine
  • 3/4 lb thin asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, cut 2-inches long
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest for garnish

PREPARATION:

In a large saucepan, heat broth over medium-high heat. When it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and maintain over low heat, taste for salt and adjust as needed.

In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and add the shallots; sauté 3-4 minute. Add the rice; mix well so the rice is coated throughout and saute until the rice is slightly translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.

Add a ladleful of the simmering stock; stir and wait until it is absorbed before adding another ladleful stirring gently and almost constantly.

Continue this process until the rice is creamy, tender to the bite, but slightly firm in the center. Add the asparagus along with the last ladle of broth and continue cooking 5 minutes, total time should be about 25-30 minutes from the time you started. When all the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Serve immediately and top with fresh cracked pepper, lemon zest, and extra grated cheese if desired.

Makes over 4 cups.

Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 generous cup as a main • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 255 • Fat: 4 g • Protein: 9 g • Carb: 43 g • Fiber: 2 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 630 mg

Spring Cleanse

By: Colleen Bunker Lac

Spring Soup with Poached Eggs

As spring approaches many of us are thinking about giving our bodies a little tune-up. For most people, simply eliminating all processed foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine for a week or so allows for a gentle detox. For a deeper cleanse, you can also eliminate grains and dairy. Just by cleaning up your diet in this way, you give your digestive system, especially your liver, a much needed break and an opportunity to gently release accumulated toxins. Focusing on simple, whole foods and drinking lots of good water with lemon for 1-2 weeks is a good is way to prep your body for a more intensive detox with fewer dramatic side effects. Ideally, if you leave processed foods, sugar and trans-fats out of your diet year round, the need for a more intensive cleanse isn’t needed. I found the following recipe on a wonderful blog called The Ancestral Chef. It has only 3 ingredients and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs
  • 32 oz (1 quart) chicken broth
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • salt to taste

PREPARATION:

Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
Turn down the heat and poach the 2 eggs in the broth for 5 minutes (for a slightly-runny egg).
Remove the eggs and place each into a bowl.
Add the chopped romaine lettuce into the broth and cook for a few minutes until slightly wilted.
Ladle the broth with the lettuce into the bowls.

Nettle and Parsely Pesto

Nettle and Parsley Pesto

By: Leah Scott

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh nettle leaves
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Stinging nettles are abundant in our part of the world and host many health benefits.  They are particularly useful in reducing inflammation and alleviating allergy symptoms, arthritis and skin complaints such as eczema.  As an iron-rich green, they are an optimal blood builder.  Foraging nettles is tricky due to the stinging quality, but wear gloves and gather the younger leaves on your next wander through the woods or along the banks of the Columbia.  The leaves must be blanched prior to use and the water can double as a nourishing tea to sip!

First blanch the nettles for a few minutes in a rolling boil, strain and allow leaves to dry thoroughly.  In a food processor, add garlic, olive oil and lemon juice.  Alternate adding nettles and parsley in pulses with pine nuts and cheese (if you choose) until the pesto comes together in a paste with some texture still.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Green Beans, Crispy Pancetta Mushrooms and Shallots

GREEN BEANS, CRISPY PANCETTA MUSHROOMS AND SHALLOTS

INGREDIENTS:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 2-1/2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta (five or six 1/16- to 1/8-inch-thick slices)
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium cremini mushrooms, trimmed, halved if large, and very thinly sliced
  • 2 medium-large shallots, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup very thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

PREPARATION:

Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes and water and set aside. Fill a 6- or 7-quart pot two-thirds full of well-salted water. Bring the water to a boil and boil the beans uncovered until tender to the bite, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain, transfer to the bowl of ice water, and let sit until cooled, about 2 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

Put the pancetta in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and cook over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and coarsely crumble. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.

Add 2 Tbs. of the olive oil to the pan and return it to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring frequently, until both are nicely browned and shrunken, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar, mustard, and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Stir to combine.

Return the pan to medium heat, add the green beans and toss to combine and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to a warm serving platter and garnish with the pancetta.

Make Ahead Tips

The beans can be boiled and refrigerated up to 6 hours ahead. The remaining ingredients can also be prepped up to 6 hours ahead and held in the refrigerator. An hour before finishing, remove the beans from the refrigerator to come to room temperature.

Wild Rice and Chanterelle Salad with Dried Fruit, Goat Cheese and Walnuts

WILD RICE AND CHANTERELLE SALAD WITH DRIED FRUIT, GOAT CHEESE AND WALNUTS

INGREDIENTS:

8 cups water
2 cups wild rice
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 bay leaf
12 sprigs thyme
4 teaspoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 pounds chanterelle or portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped

Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and cracked
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and cracked
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mixed dried fruits, such as cherries, cranberries, raisins, chopped figs, or chopped apricots
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 pound stemmed arugula or watercress
8 ounces fresh white goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

PREPARATIONS:
To prepare the rice: Wash the rice under cold water for 2 minutes. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and add the salt, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the washed rice to the boiling water and simmer for 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain the rice and remove the bay leaf and thyme; let cool. (This can be done 1 day ahead of time and refrigerated.) You should have 7 cups cooked rice.
In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed or canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from heat, drain well, and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, fennel, cumin, thyme, and pepper and season with salt. Add the dried fruits.
In a salad bowl, combine the cooled wild rice, cooked mushrooms, and walnuts. Toss with the vinaigrette and fruits.