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.
- 2 eggs
- 32 oz (1 quart) chicken broth
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
- salt to taste
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.
By: Colleen Bunker, LAc
Fermented vegetables are easy to make, very nutritious and supply the gut with tons of beneficial bacteria that support our intestinal flora, improve digestion and nutrient absorption and boost immunity. Here is the first kimchi recipe I tried, from Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions. There are many variations of kimchi and a wonderful world out there of other ferments. If you get inspired, you can check out Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Elix Katz.
- 1 head of nappa cabbage, cored and shredded
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
- 1 cup of carrots, grated
- ½ cup daikon radish, grated
- 1 tablespoon freshly ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes (I often use fresh peppers from the farmers market in varying degrees of hotness to suite my tastes)
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt (I use Celtic sea salt – it’s lower in sodium and high in other beneficial minerals)
- 4 tablespoons of whey or you can use an additional tablespoon of salt.
Put all ingredients in a bowl and pound with a wooden pounder or meat hammer to release their juices. Place mixture in a wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly until juices come above the vegetables, leaving an inch below top of jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before putting in the fridge. Simple! Enjoy!*Whey
- Cheese cloth
- Fine strainer
- Large bowl or pot
- 1 quart of whole milk organic yogurt
Line strainer with 2 layers of cheese cloth and set over a deep bowl or pot. Put yogurt in strainer and leave to drain. I just put whole thing in the fridge and come back later. The liquid that drains off is whey, full of beneficial lactobacilli bacteria that will inoculate your ferments and give them a jump start the fermentation process. It will keep in the fridge for months and can be used to soak grains also. The remaining yogurt is now Greek style yogurt or yogurt cheese. YUM!
GREEN BEANS, CRISPY PANCETTA MUSHROOMS AND SHALLOTS
- 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
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.
Nettle and Parsley Pesto
By: Leah Scott
- 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.
Buckwheat Crepes with Pears, Arugula, Hazelnuts and Balsamic Caramel Sauce
By: Christine Stecker
Crepes are one of my favorite meals to have with a gathering, as all the fillings are really the best part and they accommodate the savory and sweet eaters alike. Buckwheat is an excellent flour to use for added protein, fiber, magnesium and B vitamins. In fact it’s a seed rather than a grain making it gluten free and low-glycemic. Buckwheat has a nutty and hearty quality that I like in baking but it can be quite dense, which is why I love it in this crepe recipe, as it gives the crepes a sturdiness that allows robust flavors in the filling without losing the container. I highly recommend these with lox and cream cheese or prosciutto and blue cheese, or for a savory meets sweet as in this a pear, arugula, toasted hazelnut and a balsamic caramel syrup filling.
Yield: 6 large crepes
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3/4 cup milk or milk substitute
- 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup white flour or gluten free substitute
- 1/2-1 cup water
Whisk wet ingredients together, add dry ingredients in thirds. Mix thoroughly, batter should be thick and sticky. Then add small amounts of water until the batter reaches a thinner pourable consistency. Refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 48 hours before cooking.
Balsamic caramel sauce:
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
Add lemon zest and balsamic in a small pot on medium low heat for 5 minutes, add sugar and keep slightly above simmering for 10 minutes stirring continuously. Add butter and stir until fully incorporated. Finally, add a bit of water if necessary to pour like syrup.
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- 2 pears, sliced thinly
- 2 cups arugula or spinach
Northwest Kale Salad with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts
By: Mary Warrington
- ⅔ cup hazelnuts, halved
- 1 large bunch of kale (6-8 cups torn leaves, stems removed)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 large (fist-sized) beet, uncooked
- 2 large carrots
- ⅓ cup hemp hearts
- ⅔ cup dried sour cherries
- 1 Tbsp plain yogurt
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 oz chevre, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until fragrant. Don’t burn them! Remove from the oven, and set aside.
- Cut the kale into small pieces (smaller than dimes). In a large bowl, combine the kale with 1 tsp of the olive oil. Using both hands, reach into the bowl and squeeze/massage the kale. Work with it for about 2 minutes, or until it has noticeably softened in your hands.
- Grate the beet and both carrots with the large setting on a box grater. Toss, along with the hemp hearts and cherries, into the kale.
- Combine the remaining olive oil with the yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Toss with the salad, then top the salad with the hazelnuts and goat cheese.
- This salad can be made a few hours head of time, and stored in the fridge.www.thekitchenpaper.com/northwest-kale-salad-with-goat-cheese-and-hazelnuts
Spring Asparagus Risotto
By: Leah Scott
- 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
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.
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