Archive: Jun 2010

  1. Healing Foods

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    Round two for Book Reviews! The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murry, N.D. with Joeseph & Lara Pizzorno. This one needs to be in your amazon basket – now. Everything you ever wanted to know about how all that healthy goodness gets busy making you feel like your best self can be found here, in these 895 awesome pages. Feeling anxious? Avoid caffeine and boost your intake of B vitamins, Calcium, and magnesium like leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seaweeds, and sesame. Come down with Bronchitis? Raw garlic is a superhero infection fighter, in Asia, it’s been called “Russian penicillin.” Crush a clove, let it sit for 10 minutes, douse it in honey to take the edge off and eat 2 daily. Canker Sores got you down? Avoid gluten (a group of proteins found in wheat and other grains) like the plague!

    These food prescriptions are great, but the first 673 pages of the book are actually dedicated to an in depth analysis of individual ingredients. It teaches how to select and prepare foods that will “prevent illness and maximize health benefits.” Who doesn’t want more of that, right?

    From the book, I picked out one fruit and one veggie that you’ve probably been seeing a lot of at the farmers market or Whole Foods because they are in season. If you have been passing them by, think twice! They need you to take them home with you! Here is the short rendition of their prolific profiles, but enlightening nonetheless!


    • Belong to the same family as Chard and Spinach.
    • Originated in North Africa and first grew along Asian and European seashores – the tribes that invaded Rome were responsible for their spread.
    • The largest beet consumers globally are Russia, France, Poland, and Germany.
    • Beet greens are higher in nutritional value than beetroots, as they are richer in calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.
    • Beetroots though, are an excellent source of fiber, manganese, and potassium.
    • Greens and Roots together, are a good source of magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6.
    • Beetroots have long been used for disorders of the liver, given their their stimulating effects on the liver detoxification process (ahem, college friends take note).
    • The pigment that gives beets their rich, purple-crimson color, betacyanin, is a powerful cancer-fighting agent.
    • When buying beets, look for turgid leaves and and a firm root.


    • Related to the Nectarine, which is basically just a smooth skinned Peach.
    • The fruit is native to China, was introduced in the middle east about 2,000 years ago, and was then (again) spread by the Romans.
    • Peaches and nectarines provide good levels of potassium, carotenes, flavonoids, and natural sugars.
    • Giving the fruit it’s red, orange, or yellow colors are phytochemicals like lutein and lycopene that prevent macular degeneration, heart disease, and cancer.

    Recipes might come tomorrow, we’ll see. For more information on The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, click here.

  2. Blueberry Scones


    All the credit for these goes to the amazing woman and cook, Laurie Boyte. I requested a scone recipe, and boy did she deliver. I put a little of my own spin on them, adding the berries, some ground flax and using coconut oil. Honestly, I will never turn to another recipe ever again because these are so nutrient dense and moist without any of the guilt of most scones. Blueberry Scones 

    • 1 cup gluten free flour blend
    • 1 1/2 cup gluten free oats
    • 1/3 cup raw sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp.  baking soda
    • 3 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tbsp orange zest
    • 2 heaping tbsp. ground flax seeds
    • 1 package fresh organic blueberries

    Mix together flour, oatmeal, sugar, spices, flax, baking soda, baking powder, salt and orange zest.  In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, egg and pumpkin. Pour over dry mixture, and stir to thoroughly coat. Toss in package of blueberries (or two, if you’re greedy like me), careful not to mash! Mix by hand until dough forms ball. Press into a circle on a good cookie sheet.  Cut with knife into 8 wedges.  Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes.

    Thanks so much Laurie! xo

  3. “Evolution” Salad

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    Since being home, I’ve become obsessed with my Moms food processor. She hates it – thinks it’s hard to clean – so I’m hoping one of these days it will find a spot in my suitcase so it can be loved properly once I have my own kitchen again (hint hint). This salad is inspired by a carrot rendition from Jamie Oliver. His is nice, but I find it far too basic. I will thank him for the idea of minced spearmint though, something that sparked my interest and turned out to be an amazing addition.

    Break out your spectacular food processor, and install the “grater” setting. I’m not sure if that’s what it is actually called, but you know what I mean. Prepare the following ingredients and let the machine work its magic:

    • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeds removed
    • 4-6 medium carrots, peeled
    • 1 small golden beet
    • heaping handful of radishes, ends trimmed

    Empty grated raw veggies into a large mixing bowl. Toss in:

    • 1 package grape tomatoes
    • 1 chopped red bell pepper
    • 1/4 cup minced chives
    • 1/4 cup minced spearmint
    • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
    • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • squeeze of a lemon
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Toss thoroughly! Serve immediately or chill for an hour or so in the fridge. For me, this makes a perfect light summer lunch but I’ve also served it as a side to watercress with avocado and shrimp. Tell me what you think! I promise you will be blown away! I miss you Shaun, taking pictures of the food is hard, you make it look so easy! I’m a work in progress with the camera, but it’s good for me! These are the hands of my handsome, intelligent, and hilarious “little” brother Austin. We’re all under the same roof again, Austin just finished his freshman year at UCSC — Congrats!

  4. Crunchy Dill Spread (or) Dip

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    Summer is finally here! Shaun will continue the whole 5 day work-week gig while I spend a few weeks at home in Northern California. In July, we’ll reunite when I return to San Diego for an internship with the International Rescue Committee.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, though. In the meantime, we’ll post recipes remotely. Shaun will tackle more kitchen time, and I’ll have to tackle more camera time and Happyolks will bear with us (smiles). I’ve been slow to post this dill recipe, but the photos and recipes are piling up and I don’t want to let this one (like many others) slip away. I got the idea for this spread to be used with the salmon sandwiches, but ended up favoring it as a dip for crunchy raw veggies like carrots, red bell peppers, and cucumbers. If you’re looking for something light for an afternoon backyard soiree, this is one is a keeper. I will warn, because there is Greek yogurt involved, the dish would need to be kept chilled!

    • 1 cup Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
    • 1/2 cup red onions, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
    • juice of a few lemon slices

    Super easy — combine ingredients, stir and serve! Fresh and basic, it won’t take away from the taste of your fabulous crisp veggies.

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