Two Summer Slaws

IMG_5858Asian Summer Slaw

You’ve basically already got the recipe for this one if you read my Garlic-Ginger Kale-Sweet Potato Salad post of a few days ago. It’s the same dressing, so hopefully you have some of that still in your fridge. Only difference is you use chopped (or shredded) cabbage (asian, red, green, combination of colors) and red bell peppers instead of kale and sweet potatoes (I’m telling you, this dressing will keep your kids eating raw cruciferous veggies all summer–or year, for that matter–long!). That’s it–those are your ingredients. Add chopped up almonds (we like the sprouted ones) or peanuts. You can add cilantro or basil too (did you know that cilantro is a great sugar-and-insulin-regulator? Not to mention, rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids, and phenolic acid compounds, all of which contribute to fighting inflammation and free radicals? Basil is also a great antimicrobial/antibacterial herb). Garnish with extra cilantro leaves (or mint!).

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Quick Lacto-Fermented Cole Slaw

Ingredients:

1 large head of Cabbage (red, green, combination), well chopped, or grated
approximately 1 cup of whole fat plain (preferably raw) kefir or yoghurt

1 medium to large red onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, finely diced
lots of fresh dill (or dried if you can’t get it), to taste

approximately 1 cup of whole fat (preferably raw) sour cream (or creme fraiche)
a few T of fresh squeezed lemon juice and/or raw apple cider vinegar (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
a tiny amount of stevia, to taste (optional)
Combine cabbage and yoghurt in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Mix well until cabbage is thoroughly coated. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour, then cover and place in fridge. Leave overnight, then stir until re-coated. Cover again and leave in fridge for another 24 hours or so. Then add all other ingredients, mix well and enjoy.

Sesame-Garlic Kale-Sweet Potato Salad

IMG_5691The key to the delicious taste of this one is the dressing, which is actually very simple, and we use it on lots of other veggies (sauteed broccoli is a favorite). It’s a great way to get kids to eat lots of garlic and ginger when they’re sick, too.
You can also have the dressing with just kale, to keep it really low carb. For the most part, we avoid sweet potatoes, but I’ve found that the small amount of sweet potato per serving in this doesn’t spike my daughter’s sugar.

Dressing ingredients:

1 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4–1/3  cup olive oil (make sure it’s extra virgin, organic)
tons of garlic, minced
approximately a 2″ X 2″ piece of fresh ginger (or more to taste), grated
1/8 cup rice vinegar
2 or 3 T tamari (make sure it’s organic–you don’t want to get any GMO soy)
1 scoop KAL organic stevia (or 1 tsp raw honey if you’re not doing really low sugar/carb)

Shake all ingredients together well in a jar. This makes quite a bit of dressing, not just enough for this salad. It’s always good to have around, and keeps really well for a long time in the fridge (though ours usually gets used up within a few days).

Other ingredients:

1 medium-sized bunch of kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 medium to large sweet potato, also chopped into small bite-sized pieces
Coconut oil or Olive oil

Preheat oven to just below 325 F if using olive oil;just below 350 F if using coconut oil.

Toss the sweet potato with olive oil, then roast in oven until pieces just start to brown. Remove pieces onto a plate and let cool. They will become a little chewy. Once cool, combine sweet potatoes and kale together in a large bowl. Add as much of the dressing as you want and toss until veggies are all coated. Julienned red bell peppers are also good in this salad, and add some great color.

 

Raw Sugar-Free Chocolates

These are SO good (again, if you like strong dark bitter REAL chocolate), and so good for you. Terrific holiday treats for the kiddies (and the kiddies in all of us!).

Cacao is full of heart-protective anti-oxidants similar to polyphenols found in red wine and green tea. It is full of many minerals too, and extremely high in magnesium, a mineral many diabetics in particular are often deficient in. The problem with commercial chocolates is that they are full of sugars or chemical sugar-substitutes. Any chocolate that contains under 70% cocoa shouldn’t even be called chocolate!

Anyway, here’s my basic recipe, with suggestions for variations afterwards.

Approximately 7 ozs raw cacao butter, melted slowly in a double-boiler
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted over a very low heat
2 cups raw cacao powder
1 T vanilla extract
1 T almond extract
Approximately 20 scoops of KAL organic stevia (or to taste, depending on how sweet you want it)
Chocolate molds and/or ice cube trays

Combine the melted oils in a large bowl or measuring pitcher. Add the extracts and stir well. Stir together the cacao powder and stevia powder, then pour these dry ingredients into the wet and whisk together until no lumps remain. Pour or spoon chocolate into molds and refrigerate. They should set in about an hour. These need to be kept in the fridge. They’re a little more melty at room temperature (approx. 70 degrees F) than commercial chocolates, as they don’t contain soy lecithin or any chemical emulsifiers. You can also try a higher percentage of cacao butter (or no coconut oil at all), and they won’t melt as easily. I’ve never done this, I guess just because I like them cold out of the fridge anyway.

Here are some of the additions we’ve done:
mixed dried berries
goji berries
golden berries
orange extract
mint extract
powdered dried mint leaves
powdered  dried basil leaves
turmeric, almond butter and black pepper
almond butter
peanut butter
crushed pecans
chopped almonds and walnuts

If you add some raw cream while you’re making them, they come out thicker, like truffles. Experiment!

Raw Chocolates, sugar-free and delicious

No time left today, but will get this recipe up very soon, so stay tuned. I promise it will be in the next couple of days. These are incredible, if you are a true chocoholic and like dark bitter chocolate, but don’t want (or can’t have) all the sugar.

 

Some simple summer veggie ideas

“Recipes” included on this page:

Leaning Tower of Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella
Raw Kale Salad
Steamed Beets and Greens
Sungold Soup

I won’t go so far as to venture to call these “recipes,” because they are so simple. Some moms are always asking me for ways to get their kids to eat veggies. I’ve found with my daughter and many of her friends that simpler is usually better.

This is what my daughter calls the Leaning Tower of Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella. She loves helping assemble it too.

So easy:

3/4 lb to 1lb of fresh mozzarella, sliced into thinnish pieces
a few large handfuls of fresh basil leaves
a couple of large sweet fresh ripe red or yellow tomatoes
some sungold or cherry or roma tomatoes, for garnishing
balsamic vinegar, for garnishing
celtic sea salt, to taste

Place a slice of mozzarella on a plate. Layer a slice of tomato on top of this, then some big basil leaves, then another slice of mozzarella, etc., until you have a tower as tall as you can make it without it sliding (the tallest one we’ve made had 5 slices (very thinly sliced)/5 layers. drizzle balsamic vinegar over and around the “tower.” You can also garnish with more basil leaves, and/or sungolds cut in half.

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Raw Kale Salad

Sometimes my daughter loves steamed kale with lots of fresh pastured butter and salt and pepper. Other times, she hates it, and won’t eat it at all. Recently I asked her if there was any other way she thought she’d like kale, and she said, “Raw, chopped, with some kind of dressing,” which surprised me, and of course I was extremely skeptical. So, I tried it. Just chopped up some raw kale fresh out of the garden (chopped it really small, which I think might have been the key–I know a lot of “raw foodies” massage their kale, which helps break it down a bit, make it more easily digested [though kale is nowhere near as high in oxalic acid as chard or spinach]. Small chopping seems to have some of the same effect as massaging, which at this point I just don’t have time for). She loved it. Even wanted it as part of her breakfast for three days in a row! I remembered that in the last month of my pregnancy (6 and 1/2 years ago), I wanted raw kale salad like this all the time. Couldn’t get enough of it. Maybe that has something to do with her knowing she’d like it that way before she even tried it. Some kind of preverbal (prenatal?!) memory…?

Finely chop a bunch of fresh kale (any kind you like). Toss it with olive oil and salt (pepper optional–I like it, my daughter doesn’t). That’s it. Easy.

Oh, a variation:I sometimes sprinkle lime or lemon juice on it with the olive oil.
Another variation: toss with some cubed avocado, until the avocado starts to coat the kale.

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Steamed Beets and Greens

Thinly slice a few beets. Place in a steamer. Steam for about 5 to 10 minutes, then add chopped beet greens. Steam for another 5 minutes or so. Turn into a bowl. Immediately toss with fresh pastured butter, salt and pepper.

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Sungold Soup

Every year we have tons of Sungold tomatoes (those little orange REALLY sweet ones). They’re delicious popped into your mouth right off the vine. Here’s a simple (and very quick) soup to make out of them:

Place a whole bunch of tomatoes in a pot over a medium-low heat, and boil them down, stirring frequently so they don’t stick to the bottom. You can add some stock or broth here (I sometimes use some home-made chicken stock), but the tomatoes create a lot of liquid. If you add broth you will have to cook longer to thicken the soup. Just keep cooking until you reach desired consistency. Add celtic sea salt toward the end. You can also add basil or other herbs, but these tomatoes are so sweet they taste good on their own. When it’s all cooked, we push it through a press to strain out skins. You could also do it through a sieve to get rid of seeds, but we kind of like the crunchiness of these, so leave them in.

Serve sprinkled with parmesan (if you so desire), and garnished with basil leaves.

Raw Crunchy-Nutty Kale Crisps

Here’s a great way to get kids (and kids-at-heart!) to eat kale. These taste like a kind of cheesy salty crunchy cracker, and I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t love them.
You have to have either a dehydrator or an electric oven that goes down to about 150 F (and a chopstick to then prop this open so you can get temp down to between 116 and 120) to dehydrate food and still keep a lot of the healthy enzymes alive. If you don’t have either of these, I think these would still be good baked on the lowest setting you have. You’ll still have a healthy, mineral-and-protein-rich snack, just not quite as full of nutrition as when it’s dehydrated.

1 large bunch fresh kale, washed, removed from stems and broken into medium-sized pieces
1 and 1/2 to 2 cups “raw” cashews,* soaked for a few hours and rinsed well
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large pieces
Juice of 1 large lemon
Celtic or Himalayan sea salt to taste

Throw all ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE KALE into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You may have to add a little water to reach a good consistency. You want it pretty thick, though, not watery at all. When you’ve done blending, toss this mixture in a big bowl with the kale pieces, until kale is thoroughly coated. Lay out on dehydrating sheets (or baking sheets, if using oven), and place in dehydrator/oven. I dehydrate mine at about 120 for about 24 hours, after which time the crisps are really crunchy. If you want them chewier, do it for less time.

Variations:
1) Use the cashew/pepper/lemon/salt mixture on its own:just shape spoonfuls of it into flat medallions, about 2 inches in diameter, and lay out on dehydrating sheets, etc.

2) Blend all the ingredients, including kale, in the food processor, and make “crackers” as above.

3) Add herbs or spices to your liking to the nut mix before you toss it with the kale. Experiment!

*Cashews are actually not ever raw, no matter what someone tells you. To extract these nuts from the shells they are heated to high heats, so if there are any raw foodies reading this, know that you are never getting truly raw cashews, as you can with some other nuts. I soak them to get a creamy consistency, and to remove the anti-nutrients that nuts contain, some of which still exist even after high-heat extraction. Don’t soak cashews for more than a few hours though, as they will start to taste bitter. More on nuts and soaking them when I get the Food Basics page of this blog up, which will happen someday I promise!