Winter Food Blues

It is that time of year... I am sick of winter root veggies, squash, and cabbage.  I know, on the tail end of it, there IS good things coming.  I get impatient. I long for the green things sprouting out of our local soil.  To survive until the local farmers and my garden has some stuff to offer up, I play around with food. (Truthfully, I play around with food all the time.)

I am waiting, very impatiently, for the wild leeks.

I do have tiny stinging nettle tops poking up in my garden.  I have popped off a couple of nettle tops and indulged in the raw green-ness of it.  They are so young that they leave no sting behind on the tongue or in the throat.

Dandelion greens are out there too.  All survival food to nourish my cells and my soul!

So a dear friend turned me on to Balela, a Mediterranean salad. Immediately I thought: "What a fun idea and release from winter food."


David's recipe, displayed above:

Ingredients:  all ingredients are organic

  • 1 15-oz can black beans
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 stocks green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (white or apple vinegar should suffice)
  • two organic tomatoes chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • unrefined sea salt & pepper to taste



My improvised Balela, using what I had on hand:

Ingredients: again, all organic

  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans (no black beans in my cupboard)
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup organic lemon juice, Lakewood Organic from the Potsdam Coop
  • Chopped chives from my herb garden
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar from Martin's Farm Stand
  • about 25 frozen cherry tomatoes from The Kent Family Growers winter CSA, thawed and chopped in 1/2
  • 2 tbsp chopped oregano from my herb garden (no parsley yet!)
  • 1 tbsp lemon thyme from my herb garden (no peppermint, deer ate it!)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • unrefined sea salt & pepper to taste

Just before I indulged, I placed pine nuts on top and some sheep milk feta.     Very YUMMY!

I know David is eating and enjoying Balela, as well, in LaFayette!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's Winter Food Blues Recipe... how I Spring up the root veggie kraut to make my taste buds sing (instead of them whining about more winter food and thinking the green stuff will never grow!).

Hang in there... local, spring food is right around the corner!

Signs of Spring

Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal, time for making positive changes in our life and our health and healing. spring sprouts

When the potatoes, onions, and garlic, still in their bins, begin to sprout, it is a clear sign that spring is on its way.  The rhythm of life cannot be denied when root veggies, tucked away in the cupboards of a home, know it is their time to sprout and bloom.

I never cease to be amazed at the wonders of nature (and we are nature).  There is a rhythm, an internal time clock in every living thing, that just knows when it is time to grow and change.

Humans, as we are nature, know this too.  We internally know when we need to shift, change, and grow.

As my geranium reaches for the light every day, growing larger and larger, I contemplate where I need to grow towards light and learning; where I need to get "larger."


What spring changes need to be made in your life?  How do you need to change and grow to share the gift of who you are on this earth?

Further signs of the impending spring: My Siamese has not been outside in months!  March 29th and she wandered outside for an hour!


A recipe to put "Spring" into your step

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin, organic olive oil
  • 6 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, the raw & local kind!
  • 1 tbsp. honey mustard (read ingredients to avoid crap)
  • 1 tbsp. minced shallots or green onions (they will be coming soon AND those wild leeks I long for in spring!)
  • 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 3/4 cup raspberries (maybe pull some out of the freezer from last summer's picking frenzies?)


Put the first 7 ingredients into a jar (a wide mouth quart jar works nicely).

Smash the raspberries very well and add to the jar of liquids.

Shake like crazy... with the lid on, please!


Thanks to my sister Terry for sharing her kitchen art and magic. She was in the mood for raspberry vinaigrette and found herself in a "fix" without any on hand. With her whole food kitchen know-how, she created her own healthy, home version.




Celeriac LOVE Update!

Celeriac LOVE Update


I am determined to create celeriac lovers out of you!  The below saute' was made with 100% Kent Family Growers veggies and Kerry Gold butter from Ireland (not very local but I am having a tough time finding local butter from grass fed cows!).


1.  Gently saute' onions in much yummy butter, 2-3 minutes.

2.  Add grated celeriac and saute' gently for 2-3 minutes.

3.  Pop in some chunks of frozen red peppers and green beans (Thank you Megan Kent for putting these veggies up!).

4.  Crush one large clove of garlic and stir it all up.

5.  Cover cast iron pan & turn off heat.

6.  Finish making my root veggie slaw, the rest of dinner selections, and serve up the yummy celeriac dish, see below!

My Advice:  LOVE your celeriac.  It will LOVE you back!


Check out the Kent's interview on North Country Public Radio!

PS  For those of you who have been following my lust of root veggies, fear nothing, I have not abandoned my love for the humble beet!

No Time for Getting Sick

Just a spoon full of honey helps some medicine go down...

or so Mary Poppins said so! And who wants to argue with that legend?


This spoon is full of the "syrup" I made last night when I felt my throat on fire, my salivary glads swollen, pain in my left ear, and my neck lymph glands all swollen up. No time for being sick, I had to stop whatever the bug was.  Stop that bug in it's tracks!

Into the blender: 

1/2 cup of raw, apple cider vinegar (ACV)

1 medium onion chopped into chunks

1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated and paper skins peeled off

Optional good choices to use for this preventive elixir, this magic potion: horse radish root, ginger root, cayenne peppers, turmeric root. The more of these you add, the more immune boosting and anti-inflammatory benefits you reap.  Up the ACV to 1 cup and use chunks of the roots that are about a thumb's size and as much or little cayenne as you can tolerate.

How to:

Blend into a liquid.  Pour into a pint size ball canning jar.

Add 1 to 2 tbsp. of raw, local honey (preferably honey with pollen, propolis, and royal jelly still intact for extra immune boosting powers) and stir into the liquid until the honey dissolves.

Immediately take 1-4 tablespoons.

If your tummy will not be happy with the raw garlic and onions, take 1 tablespoon every 15 to 20 minutes until you have 4 into your system.

The first tablespoon I took, I added 1 drop of oregano essential oil.

Take the jar to bed with you, spoon in hand.  After you get ready for bed, take another 1-2 tablespoons.

By the time I turned off the bed side light, I was feeling 50% better.

Every time you wake up in the night, take some more.

In AM, take some more.  Take every 2 hours or so for the next day or two.  Finish the jar of "syrup."


This certainly beats getting the flu, or whatever was after me.  I will admit that getting sick on occasion: having a fiery hot fever, sweating it out, and resting to get better does do good things for the body (but hey, that is another blog post).  I did not have time this week to befriend the flu bug!

Eat garlic, onions, horseradish, ginger, cayenne, & turmeric .  Assist your immune system this winter!

Gustatory Guru of Gastronomy

# 3 & 4 image for book

Gustatory Guru of Gastronomy

So recently, I received a very sweet email, thanking me for my support in cleaning up this divine person's diet and contributing to their vibrant health.  And... "Gustatory Guru of Gastronomy" was the "alliterative moniker" she used for me!

Seems a lighter label than Diet “Dr. Doom” from an earlier blog post inspired by an encounter with a "health" chump of mine!

I find this to be true of people who are ready, on the cusp of making healthy changes in their lives:

When you are a stick of dynamite, ready to blast off into health and healing, changes are easier to accomplish and feel good about!

I light the fire under you and inspire you to activate your beautiful mind. You then peel back the layers to uncover your perfect soul. Healthy changes happen because when you feel good, you want to feel better.  What a ripple effect!


And... when one is not quite ready to dive headlong into major changes (Maybe you are one for a more subtle metamorphosis!), I help plant a seed.  A seed that will bloom and grow in your life, when the "soil" and conditions are right for growth.



Ethiopian Smothered Brussel Sprouts and Carrots with Turmeric 

1-2 tbsp butter, ghee, or toasted sesame oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

Unrefined Sea Salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

¾-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (or use dried ginger powder in a pinch!)

2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 lb carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into bite sized chunks

2 lbs Brussel sprouts, cut in half to make bite sized pieces

How to throw this together into a scrumptious pile of food:

Saute' the onion in butter, add ginger and saute' for 1-2 minutes more

Add carrot and Brussel sprout chunks

Let simmer in a cover pan for 10 minutes or so (I like the veggies to have a crispness to them)

Sprinkle turmeric over veggies, add crushed garlic cloves and stir well.

Turn off heat and let sit, covered, while you finish getting the table ready.

Serve:  over red lentils.

I bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil, add 1 cup red lentils,  and gently return to simmer.  Shut off heat when it returns to simmer and keep covered.  I then take the dog for a good 1/2 walk and the lentils are ready when I come out of the woods!


Use cabbage and potatoes instead of carrots & brussel sprouts

Add garlic, ginger powder, and turmeric to 1 cup pasture raised milk in your blender.  I also add 1/2 to 1 cup shredded coconut.  Blend to a puree and pour over veggies, stir well and gently re-warm.

Use coconut milk with the above spices.

ethiopian carrots  Brussel sprouts

As you can see, I added a few raw cashews on top!

The veggies are all local, seasonal, and organic.

The spices, coconut, and cashews... well, not so local!  face