Sunday, November 16, 2014

Roast Pepper - Potato Comfort Soup

Roast Pepper-Potato Comfort Soup
This roasted pepper-potato soup is a delicious, nutritious, warming comfort food that everyone will love. It is vegan (although you are free to plug in your animal products as subs) and gluten-free. The fragrance while it is cooking will draw everyone in the neighbourhood on a cool day. My dog is also much attracted by the fragrance.

  • 3 T. Coconut Oil or Ghee (if not vegan)
  • 3 - 4 Organic Red and/or Orange Bell Peppers
  • 1 Medium or 2 Small Organic Yellow Onion(s)
  • 1 Large Organic Potato, peeled and diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Liter / Quart Organic Vegetable Broth (or use 2 Organic Vegetable Bouillon Cubes in 1 Liter of Water)
  • 1/4 C. non-dairy Mylk, made from organically-grown nuts, soy, etc.
  • Cayenne, Celtic Sea Salt and Pepper to taste  
  • Roast the Peppers:  Wash and dry them.  Place them each in the oven, close together under the grill on the rack (no pan needed).  Turn oven to "Broil" or "Grill" and close oven door.  Grill for around 3-5 minutes, until black (and fragrant) and then turn on to another side.  (Use oven gloves) Do this until all sides of pepper are black.  Put the peppers in one of those brown paper bags you have been hoarding.  Fold the top over.  Let them steam in there for about 10 - 15 minutes.  You can do some of the other prep while that happens.  Then take them out, remove seeds, remove skins (should come off with no problem whatsoever), and coursely chop.  Set aside.
  • Heat up a Dutch oven or medium-large soup pot to melt the coconut oil/ghee.  Add in the chopped onions and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes.  Add in the potatoes and stir around in there for another couple of minutes (just to cover surface with oil).  Then add in the garlic and roast peppers.  Stir continually and cook for another 2 or so minutes.
  • Add the stock and, stirring, bring to a boil.  Simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are soft.
  • In a blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth.  It's a good idea to either let it cool somewhat before blending, or to make sure you do only half portions at a time and hold the lid down so it doesn't blow off via the pressure of the heat and steam.  Biggo mess, that.  
  • Return the soup to pot and, over low heat, add the cashew cream or nut milk or other non-dairy milk. Stir well.
  • Add in salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
My son forwarded me the following video on Facebook that shows how passion/compassion can trump money/fame on rare occasions (thank God!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Organic Borscht with Basil, Red Lentils and Purple Cabbage (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Delicious & Fragrant Organic Borscht with Basil, Red Lentils, and Purple Cabbage

I was at Costco today and saw a 2-4 servings package of ready-made beet borscht for ... are you ready?... $12+ change!!!!!  I knew I had beets at home in the fridge (thanks to that wonderful organic-vegetable-growing son of mine who harvested close to 3000# of beets this Fall!) and I DO know how to make borscht, so I could hardly wait to get home to make such a valuable-- and delicious of course-- soup.

And this borscht I am making is ORGANIC, it does not have any GMO possibilities, or high fructose corn syrup lacings.  This recipe will feed 5 people... so, I guess it must be worth about $25?  You can make it too:

  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Oil
  • 4 small Onions, halved and sliced (3 cups)
  • 1 T. organic dried whole Basil
  • 2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 medium Beets, peeled and grated, or pulsed until fine in Food Processor
  • Greens from beets (or bunch of Swiss Chard) sliced into thin ribbons
  • 2 C. Purple Cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
  • ½ cup small Red Lentils
  • 2 L. (or 2 Qt.) Filtered Water
  • 1 ½ T. Caraway Seeds
  • 1 ripe Avocado, for garnish, OR whirl up Cashew Sour Cream  (at the link, scroll down to find recipe)
  • 8  Lemon wedges
1. Heat Coconut Oil in a large, heavy pot. Add Onions, Basil, and Celtic Sea Salt; and sauté for about five minutes to soften.  Add in the Garlic next, stirring and cooking for an additional minute . Add in Beets, Cabbage, Lentils, Pepper and, Water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Add liquorishy Caraway Seeds and Greens or Chard. and cook until the Green have wilted (about 3 to 4 minutes).
2. Serve soup hot or cold, garnished with Avocado Slices and  a squeeze of  Lemon.
A convincing video to watch from the Beyond Patmos site:

*The above recipe was an adaptation of a borscht recipe on Vegetarian site.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Recipe for Homemade Ginger-Grape Jam: Easy Peasy

This luscious Ginger-Grape Jam is made with my own organic seedless green grapes! *Recipe for cakes below
The kitchen smells of Jam.
 Ginger-Grape Jam.
 It is a dark rainy night in the Comox Valley. This is the kind of night that Grandmothers use to make jam.

 We have a grape arbour that produces sweet seedless green grapes. This was a long hot, dry summer-- apparently the kind of growing season that these grapes enjoy!

Originally the grapes  were used for wine-making. But we call them "Table Grapes". We freeze each little gem and use them in smoothies for most of the winter. And we make Jam.  Please note: This jam was made with ORGANIC seedless green grapes during ORGANIC WEEK! 

 So, let's get right to the recipe:
Pick the grapes (at least 1 Kg/2 pounds) and soak 20 min. in basin of water with 1/4 C. Vinegar mixed in.

  • 2 pounds/ 1 Kg Fresh, Ripe Grapes
  • 1/4 Cup / 60 g Sugar or other Sweetener
  • 1/2 Lime, Juiced, Fresh lemon is a good substitute
  • 1 thumb-size fresh Ginger, grated

In a heavy pot, put the grapes and cover with the sugar (I used Coconut Sugar).  Stir and cook on medium high burner.  I mashed down with potato masher.  Keep simmering and stir occasionally.  I also blended with a stick blender, but you can just use the masher and smooth it as you stir/cook.
Add in the Grated Fresh Ginger.  Keep simmering and stirring until the jam starts to get very thick and sticky.  When you clear a spot on the bottom of the pan you know the jam is "ready" because it will not flow into that cleared space as quickly as it did when it was runny.  It will thicken more as it cools.  Finally, add the Fresh Lime Juice and stir for another few minutes.  Remove from the heat and let it cool!  Bottle.
*If you want to enjoy the delicious little Gluten-Free,  Egg & Dairy-Free Mini-Carrot Cakes, go HERE for the recipe!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: Day 2 of the Detox Summit

The second day of the Detox Summit is dedicated to looking forward to what effects toxicity has upon our children, before birth (i.e., during pregnancy) and after, and what can be done to help detoxify the "toxic burden".  Attention is also given to detox and child autism, particularly by Dr. Martha Herbert, Associate Professor with Harvard Medical School and Pediatric Neurologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The presentations on the Detox Summit are free to watch for 24 hours (from 10am ET to 9:59am ET) but because of some technical glitch the first day, Day 1 is also being repeated for 24 hours.  So, register HERE and watch away! If you missed both days (or the whole Detox Summit) and want to have the complete 30 interviews to watch, please go HERE to find out more about how that is possible.

Day #2 Presentations by:
Dr. Martha Herbert MD, PhD
As I wrote a little about her above, I will skip that part of the introduction.  Doctor Herbert talked a little about how her own health issues (asthma and repetitive UTIs) were cleared by supporting the body with high density nutrition and a healthy lifestyle so that the body could get its clean-up and repair systems into action.  She made a humorous observation that the Glial Cells, which far outnumber neurons, used to be seen as merely "housekeeping cells" and were frequently described using the feminine gender.  But now that it is seen that their importance is more expanded than was formerly thought, they have, in some scientific literature, been endowed with the masculine gender.  (chuckle and shake head here).  You will definitely want to hear the interview to get a clear description of why Glial cells and even the Extracellular Matrix (the 'stuff' between the cells) are as important as they are.

Dr. Herbert talked a little about the aging process, with the example of how alcoholism prematurely ages the brain mostly because the reparative processes are not being supported and therefore do not nourish the neurons, the other important job they do.  The brain simply can't rid itself of toxins with the ongoing intake of more toxins in the alcohol.

Herbert suggested that we look at the "toxic load" holistically-- it is important to recognize that we have a total load made up of physical, emotional, electro-magnetic, and other toxic burden.  Your resiliency, the ability to "bounce back" into health, is dependent upon having accrued more resources than burdens.  If you are burning the candle at both ends, skipping nutritious meals, and not getting the rest and stress release that you require, well, it stands to reason that your brain will be impeded in its ability to repair damages.

Herbert spoke of autism as more of a process than a state-- the way we frequently look upon it.  She quipped that all of us could likely find ourselves on the Autism Spectrum during times of great stress-- the stress will often manifest in behaviours similar to what we see in autistic individuals: rigidity, repetitive behaviours and speech, lack of eye contact, etc. She stated that autism could be seen as a reaction to extreme form of stress with a large toxic load and depleted resources to deal with it.  She feels that if the person's brain is given the resources to eliminate some of the toxic load, the body will become more flexible, and the brain can also become more flexible.  Her book, The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be is written to reflect the recoveries of several persons who recovered their lives through a process of improving their total body health.  She talked about "high density nutrition" as one method of brooching the necessary mechanisms of repair.  She also had a great remedy for the frustration of "food defensiveness" that autistic children demonstrate, seeminly unable to try 'new' foods. Listen to the interview to hear more.

Dr. Herbert left us with these "take aways":
**Realize your resiliency is a very precious thing and nurture it with a healthy lifestyle
**Be forward-looking-- keep your heart in, and your vision on, the solutions
**Get a lot of sleep-- sleep is "active detox" a time that allows the brain trash collection to take place.

Dr. Kelly Brogan, MD
Dr. Soram Khalsa MD
and Dr. Elson Haas are all on the agenda for Day#2.  Go ahead and watch their interviews!  I only have time to do one review today, and Dr. Martha Herbert is well worth the limelight!

Here are books written by today's presenters:

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