Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Pesto Freezer Cups – Keep These On Hand For Amazing Meals

Frozen Pesto (#HerbalMedicine)

Frozen Pesto (#HerbalMedicine)

I never thought of pesto as herbal medicine, but indeed it is.

Pesto has earned a spot in my diet (and my freezer), fairly regularly as a result. I mean, think of it, it’s chock-full of herbs. Herbs are medicine. Pesto = Powerful Herbal Medicine.

The thing about pesto, for me at least, is that I don’t relish the making of it. I have to lug out my food processor and wash lots of herbs (I like to keep them varied for optimal nutrition). The other issue is that sometimes you don’t want a lot of pesto… you want just a little. Well, that’s not a problem when you’re smart and make pesto ahead of time.

When you realize you want (or need) some pesto, it’s great to have it on hand. It requires thawing, but I find that I usually know if I’ll need pesto a day in advance so I put it in the fridge to thaw overnight. I like to make a good sized batch and freeze it in jars of different sizes as shown in the pictures. I especially like these baby food storage jars because the amount frozen is perfect for adding a little of pesto flavor to any dish where you want herbal flare but not a pesto-heavy result.

Pesto (#HerbalMedicine) going into little cups for freezing.

Pesto (#HerbalMedicine) going into little cups for freezing.

When I go to the farmers’ market, I see what lovely fresh herbs the farmer has, and I buy a lot. I go home and get to making some pesto straight away so I can be done with it. It feels good to have a freezer stocked of different things that can quickly be thawed for food. If you haven’t seen my post on Real Food Fast Food, please check it out. I share lots of ways to make really fast meals that qualify as Real Food (healthy stuff).

Pesto goes wonderfully served over a grass-fed steak, grass-fed burgers (I buy from Alderspring), pasture-raised chicken (I buy from Good Earth Farms), wild-caught salmon (I buy from Vital Choice). It’s also delectable slathered over some fermented organic sourdough bread, drizzled over mochi, dumped on top of gluten-free pasta, and stirred into organic goat cheese for the best goat cheese ever. You can also add a spoonful of it to the next dressing you make. Holy moly, you’ll be licking the bowl and begging for more salad when you do.

See? Many ways to enjoy pesto, when you have it on hand. Don’t forget…

Pesto = Powerful Herbal Medicine.

Pesto is pretty easy to make even if it’s not my favorite thing to do. However, I am not going to give you much of a pesto recipe because it’s so forgiving. You only need fresh herbs and a couple of other ingredients. I list many herbs below and you can use one or a combination of many. I also prefer hemp seeds instead of other nuts because they’re nice and small, soft, and offer some better nutrition than many other nuts.

  • Fresh Organic Herbs: basil, oregano, dill, thyme, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, mint, dandelion, arugula
  • sea salt (to taste, but don’t be shy)
  • a few pressed cloves of garlic (more if you’re Italian) I love the Joseph Rocker Garlic Crusher
  • 1/2 to 1-cup hemp seeds
  • hard raw cheese like parmesan (if vegan, omit the cheese and add extra hemp seeds)
  • 1/2 to 1-cup quality organic raw olive oil (or a mix of olive oil and Upgraded MCT oil for a brain boost)

Place the herbs in a food processor, like this one I have, fitted with the “S” blade, along with sea salt, garlic, hemp seeds, and cheese. Pulse it a bit until it’s nicely chopped. Turn on the food processor and add the olive oil in a steady stream until it’s incorporated. Set some aside to eat, if desired. Transfer the rest into glass storage cups of different sizes to be frozen. Be sure to label them with “Pesto” and the date.

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Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Recipe: Gussied-Up (low mercury) Tuna Salad Gluten-Free

by Kristen Suzanne in apricot, fish, gluten free, MAC knife, omnivore, salad, travel, tuna
Gussied (low-mercury) Tuna Salad. Perfect for any party, lunch, breakfast, or whenever

Gussied-Up (low-mercury) Tuna Salad. Perfect for any party, lunch, breakfast, or whenever.

Tuna fish in a can makes a quick lunch, but I’ll only buy one brand of tuna. Wild Planet is a tuna fish I can trust to have low mercury and high omega fatty acids.

When we travel on the road, we eat it right out of the can for a satisfying protein and nutrient boost (we take these to Disney Land, too).

But, today, I’m sharing a recipe where it’s all gussied up with delicious textures and flavors. My whole family loves this, especially the bites with hidden gems in them like diced dried apricot.

Gussied-Up (low-mercury) Tuna Salad

Yield 2 to 4

  • 2 cans low-mercury tuna
  • Juice 1 organic lemon or lime
  • 1/2 cup grass-fed organic (full-fat) Greek yogurt
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped <— get a good knife
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp kelp granules
  • 1/2 to 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Drizzle quality raw organic olive oil (or brain boosting MCT oil)
  • 1/2 cup raw sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon organic mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup diced dried apricots (or currants)
  • Handful each cilantro, parsley chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mix everything together with a large spoon in a large bowl. Enjoy.

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Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Recipe: Sunday Grass-Fed Brisket

by Kristen Suzanne in ghee, gluten free, grass fed beef, paleo, recipe
Sunday Grass-Fed Brisket

Sunday Grass-Fed Brisket

Grass-Fed Brisket… a wonderful dish that I’m eager to share. It makes such a lovely dinner for family and friends, which is how we always have ours. I make it and I invite our most cherished friends and family. Sharing food is one of my favorite things to do, and making a dish with the grass-fed brisket cut of beef makes it an inexpensive (and nutritious) way.

I learned the basics for cooking brisket this way from Cook’s Country, but I couldn’t follow their recipe precisely because it called for cola. Um… gross. So I made my own version, using their technique for prepping and cooking the brisket, with a twist on the ingredients of my own. It turned out unbelievably fantastic.

I call this Sunday Grass-Fed Brisket because the way I made it required being in and out of the kitchen a bit for the day, but an enjoyable experience. Typically this could be made in most homes on a Sunday, as a result, so you can tend to it. Also, Sunday is when many families have big dinners. Sunday Brisket makes a lot of food, perhaps feeding 6 to 8 people. Therefore, either make it and invite everyone over, or make it and eat it for a few days. Or, make it and freeze the leftovers.

I buy my dry-aged, grass-fed, organic beef from Alderspring Ranch. They’re a beautiful company where the rancher, Glenn, sends email updates on the animals that are darn near poetic. I also appreciate their values, one of which is “Absolute Traceability: Each cut is labeled and traceable to a single beef.” I really like Alderspring Ranch.

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Friday, August 29th, 2014

Recipe: Longevity Bone Broth Soup to Help Live a Long Life

by Kristen Suzanne in gluten free, herbs, longevity, paleo, recipe
Longevity Bone Broth

Longevity Bone Broth

The fall weather is approaching.

It’s time to get serious and prep our bodies with nourishing foods to get through flu season with ease. Bone broth (i.e., stock) is essential to help prevent getting sick, and to help you heal in record speed, if you do get sick. My family consumes homemade bone broth (on a very regular basis) delivered by mug, soup, stew, sauce (I make demi-glace from it which serves as the bases for many unbelievable sauces), and rice pilaf. We also rely on herbal medicine to keep our immune systems in the best shape possible. See posts here and here for herbal medicine. Oh and this post with a delicious(!) berry tea recipe, great for helping you fight and prevent colds and flu.

In case you haven’t read it yet, I wrote an epic blog post showing you many variations to making your own homemade bone broth (i.e., stock). Today, I’m quickly sharing a groovy longevity twist I have been making: Longevity Bone Broth.

I am naming it Longevity Bone Broth because I’ve added a number of longevity supporting ingredients such as:

Bone broth is a pretty bad-ass longevity food on its own, but this version takes it to new levels.

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Recipe: Strawberry Banana Brain-Boosting Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Brain Boosting Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Brain-Boosting Smoothie

Enjoy this mega brain-boosting smoothie for your next breakfast or lunch. Warning: if you have a little one around, especially a little girl who loves pink, be sure to double the batch or she’ll drink all of yours.

Strawberry Banana Brain-Boosting Smoothie

Blend everything in an awesome high-speed blender. (You don’t really need a high-speed blender to make this… but life is better with one.)

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Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Recipe: Spicy Aloe Beauty Salad (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)

by Kristen Suzanne in beauty, gluten free, paleo, recipe, vegan
Spicy Aloe Beauty Salad (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)

Spicy Aloe Beauty Salad (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)

I’m into beauty. I’m a girly-girl. I like beauty products, anti-aging goodies, sparkly things, makeup, and all things pink. And, as someone who closely watches what I put in my body, I do the same for what goes on the skin of my body.

Enter: Superfood Aloe.

Aloe is an amazing superfood that can be used externally and internally for amazing beauty results including fighting wrinkles when taken internally. Yeah, who knew?! Trouble is… fresh aloe is bitter so it’s not easy to find ways to consume it.  Sometimes I drop a chunk in my smoothie, other times I add to soup (like my Beauty Soup Recipe), and yet other times I add it to salad. (Be sure to consume only the clear gel/flesh part, and avoid the yellow part or you’ll get a sick tummy and be running to the potty more than you want.)

Here’s a refreshing and energizing salad that brings you beauty internally and externally with the hydrating cucumbers, circulation-boosting jalapeno, beauty enhancing raw honey, and skin loving aloe. Enjoy.

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Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Recipe: Roasted Kale with Ghee

by Kristen Suzanne in ghee, gluten free, kale, paleo, recipe
Roasted Kale with Ghee

Roasted Kale with Ghee

If I eat kale these days, I prefer it cooked because it seems it’s healthier this way for some people, as the current research I’ve done indicates.

Enter: Roasted Kale with Ghee. (I’ve updated this post with an extra step to help ensure extra kale deliciousness: 8/22/14)

Roasted Kale with Ghee and a little kiddo's hand grabbing for some.

Roasted Kale with Ghee and a little kiddo’s hand grabbing for some.

This is a great side dish for lunch because it can be done in less than 15 minutes. I make a recipe of Roasted Kale with Ghee and my 4-year old and I share it along with some homemade bone broth (learn easy ways to make your own bone broth here) and a can of sardines. Yeah, we’re hardcore with eating sardines straight from the can, but if that’s not you, then please hop over to my post on how I came to love sardines and how you can, too. That said, I think my favorite way to enjoy this dish is with some pasture-raised eggs, soft cooked, and placed right on top. That’s what I’m talking about.

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Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Recipe: Minted Mango Salad

Minted Mango Salad

Minted Mango Salad

I love cooking on the spot, where you take a look at what’s in the kitchen and throw things together. That’s what I did today when I made this Minted Mango Salad.

I recently bought a few potted herb plants so that I can always have fresh herbs whenever I need. I bought rosemary, basil, and mint. I saw the mint this morning and was drawn to it. It was breakfast time so maybe that was the attraction… something minty. I was also in the mood for the mango and avocado I had in the fridge.

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Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Recipe: Beauty Soup (Gluten Free)

Beauty Soup

Beauty Soup

Don’t you just love a nice bowl of soup? I know I do. Soups are one of my favorite foods, because they’re generally easy to make, and, most often, they are so very nutritious. Blending up all of those ingredients facilitates digestion, which can make for a happy tummy and happy you. Today, I have a wonderful soup recipe that serves up some potent beauty ingredients in a delicious and creamy way. Oh, and Greg loved it, too. He asked for seconds.

Enter: Beauty Soup.

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Recipe: Fresh Herb Tea – Who Knew?!

by Kristen Suzanne in gluten free, herbs, paleo, recipe, vegan
Fresh Herb Tea: fresh basil, fresh rosemary, and fennel seeds

Fresh Herb Tea: fresh basil, fresh rosemary, and fennel seeds

Did you know that you can make a deliciously nutritious tea using simply fresh (or even dried) herbs?

I never knew this until I learned it in my recent herbal medicine studies. It makes sense, of course, when I think about it. After all, we eat the herbs, we make tinctures with herbs (fresh and/or dried), so why not make a tea?

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