In my effort to spend a little less time in the kitchen some days, I’ve come up with a nice, easy, nourishing meal that I’m calling Souped Up Soup. I take a really decent organic boxed soup and I add a bunch of stuff to it to amp up the nutrition. It’s really easy and makes a fast dinner (or lunch) when I just need to get something on the table.
Over the past few months I’ve been researching the topic of herbal antivirals and herbal antibacterials. I’ve learned a lot to say the least. My family’s supply of immune boosting tonics, tinctures, herbs, etc is damn impressive, and if our house ever caught on fire, I’d probably grab as much of those as I could instead of my laptop, etc. Ha! Seriously though, I feel empowered to kick anything’s ass that comes my family’s way.
Entered into our home: the flu.
We had the flu in our house with our little one recently, and in my determination to heal her in record speed (which she did), and preventing my husband and me from getting it, I created this crazy wonderful drink, Golden Immunity. It’s filled with everything the body needs to nip the flu virus in the bud or help you prevent getting it, if you’re around people with influenza.
I made the drink on the spicy edge so I didn’t give it to Kamea. For Kamea, I did a number of other things from probiotics to lyposome encapsulated vitamin C plus vitamin D3/K2 drops, various tinctures like this Cherry Bark, this Astragalus, and this Dr. Christopher’s Echinacea Angustifolia, and homemade elderberry syrup (plus more) multiple times a day. (If you don’t make your elderberry syrup you can buy it here.)
Making Golden Immunity is a 3 step process to make it, but beyond worth it. There are no amounts listed in my rough outlined recipe, but I made a batch with 3 cups which Greg and I shared. Just eyeball everything because as long as you’re getting the following ingredients in, it’s immensely beneficial.
One of my favorite recipes to make is meatballs. Simply, it connects me to my Italian heritage and gives me a warm feeling in the kitchen. As I drop each meatball into the tomato sauce, I think of past generations… wondering what they were thinking about as they made meatballs.
This is an easy recipe that can be thrown together quickly with a few ingredients and some grass-fed ground beef. I intentionally created the recipe with only a smattering of ingredients to inspire myself to make it time and again.
Mama Mia Braised Meatballs is one of my family’s favorite dinners, too. Kamea has fun eating the meatballs because, well, they’re balls. And, Greg? He just chows down without saying much between bites, and then proceeds to lick everyone’s bowl of leftover sauce. Read More »
I love the holidays because they’re my time to indulge. But, if you know me at all, I never get too crazy. Instead of eating a gluten filled, extra sugary pumpkin pie, for example, I’ll make my own with ingredients that get my approval… and I’ll eat 2 slices (maybe 3… OK 4 tops!). :) That’s my kind of extra indulgence.
My family loves this pie and I’ve been making it for a few holidays now. It makes an appearance a few times each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My favorite part, other than the quality ingredients, is that it’s really easy to make. My (now) 4 year old loves helping me make it.
The crust in my Pumpkin Pie is based with organic blanched almond flour with grass-fed butter. Hence, it’s not paleo because I have the butter in it. These days though, I see a lot of paleo lovers venturing more into the “Bulletproof-type” diet, which I guess is like paleo, but with butter and rice. Don’t quote me though. If I HAD to label my eating, which I really do not like to do, I’d say we’re eating more Bulletproof than anything else… paleo with lots of grass fed butter, some rice at times (like when I mod my Chipotle bowl or when we eat these rice ramen noodles), and we definitely eat raw grass-fed cheese (which is not really Bulletproof according to Dave Asprey, but we find health in it).
Let’s get to this easy Pumpkin Pie recipe.
Pumpkin Pie (Gluten-free Grain-free Almost-Paleo)
Yield one 9-inch pie
- 1 Pie Crust (recipe below – make pie crust first)
- 1 (16 oz) box organic pumpkin puree
- 3 pasture-raised eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
- 1/2 cup unrefined sugar
- 1/4 cup grass-fed Upgraded collagen*
- 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon organic pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Blend all of the ingredients on high until smooth.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the chilled pie crust (recipe below).
- Put on a pie shield if you have one, and bake the pie for about 45 minutes (until the center is slightly jiggly). Sometimes my oven is way off and I end up needing to bake this for almost an hour.
- Open the oven door a bit, turn off the oven, and let the pie stay in there for 5 minutes before taking it out to cool completely.
* If you must, you can do without the collagen.
Pie Crust (gluten-free grain-free)
Yield one 9-inch pie crust
- 2 1/4 cups blanched organic almond flour
- 2 teaspoons dried organic orange zest
- 1 tablespoon xylitol (or sugar)
- 4 oz salted (grass-fed) butter, cold, cut into 8-tablespoons
- Briefly process the almond flour, orange zest, and xylitol using a food processor, fitted with the S-blade.
- Add the butter and pulse a few times. Then, turn on the food processor, and let it stay on just until the dough barely forms into a ball. Don’t over process.
- Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes. Make the pie filling while it chills.
Want another way to get your morning buzz? Try Coffee Shake Ice Cubes.
Another thing I do once in a while is make a batch of my Coffee Shake and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Then, I transfer the frozen coffee cubes to a glass mason jar and store them in the freezer.
To enjoy: Simply throw a few of those cubes and a little hot water into a blender. Blend it up and enjoy. Alternatively, heat the Coffee Shake Ice Cubes in a small pot on the stove.
Making your own coconut milk is galaxies better than buying it from the store, at least in most cases. The reason is that when you make your own it’s: 1) fresh, 2) doesn’t have any preservatives or additives, and 3) it tastes so much better. Give yourself and your family a real treat by making it yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
I like my Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk heavily doused in my coffee, tea, and used in preparing raw or cooked foods. And, of course, a big ol’ glass of it straight up.
Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk
Yield 1 quart
- 2 cups dried, shredded, and unsweetened organic coconut
- 4 cups hot filtered water*
- Pinch sea salt
- Vanilla Bean Powder or natural vanilla drops, to taste
- Soak the shredded coconut with the hot water for about two hours in a large bowl.
- Transfer the mixture to a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, and blend for a minute.
- Strain through a good nutmilk bag (discard the pulp). <– I haven’t used that bag but it gets nice reviews.
- Enjoy! This keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. It will separate so simply shake it up before consuming.
* I use freshly boiled water from my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker.
I admit, 6 months ago I wouldn’t have had the courage to cook wild-caught salmon whole, but, today, I do. And, guess what? It’s wonderfully easy. Easy. Easy. Easy.
Plus, bonus, buying a whole wild-caught sockeye (or king) salmon is cheaper than buying it in pieces. I buy my wild-caught sockeye (and king) salmons from Vital Choice. I opt for the boneless with skin-on. They have an amazing product and fabulous customer service. I called them recently to ask them what to do with the prawns I bought from them. The gal on the phone told me step by step. Awesomeness.
This recipe doesn’t require much work at all. The hearty crisp romaine lettuce is tossed in a delectable creamy avocado dressing that is both sweet and savory, which pairs well with the salmon, having it’s own sweet and spicy elements. My 4-year old loved it. My husband loved it. I loved it. Say no more.
Making your own coconut yogurt is fun, really yummy, and only has three ingredients. I teach you how to make your own here. Check it out. Or, you can use grass-fed organic whole milk yogurt, not vegan. A great way to enjoy your homemade coconut yogurt is delivered via a salad with sauerkraut. I sometimes make my own sauerkraut, which I used in this salad ,and it’s the reason it’s all pretty-in-pink (from the purple cabbage sauerkraut). I teach you how to make your own sauerkraut here. Check it out.
This raw and plant-based (gluten-free) Coconut Yogurt Breakfast Salad is creamy, a bit crunchy, with a hint of sweet to offset the savory. Too often people eat breakfasts loaded with so much sugar that they crash, gain weight, and feel crappy. Well, here’s a wonderful salad to eat in the morning that will help you start your day right (after you have coffee, of course). Eating well is worth the time and effort. You’ll end up spending less time sick in bed and more time enjoying life.
Coconut Yogurt Breakfast Salad
- homemade raw coconut yogurt
- sauerkraut (that’s the pink color, in mine)
- 1/2 to 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cucumber, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic powder, to taste
- Onion powder, to taste
- Kelp granules, to taste
- Fresh rosemary
- Squeeze fresh organic lemon juice
Toss everything in a bowl and enjoy.
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.
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.
Making tinctures is so easy it’s ridiculous. Jar. Herbs. Alcohol. Label. Wait. Strain. Ingest. For more detailed instructions see my How To on Tinctures here.
Today, I’m sharing a quickie mixture I made that can help so many things: brain health, digestion, inflammation, longevity, and more. I was at the farmers’ market and they had organic turmeric. I couldn’t resist. I bought a bunch and decided to make some awesome tinctures from it (and Longevity Bone Broth).
Turmeric n Ginger Tincture
- Fresh organic turmeric root, grated
- Fresh organic ginger root, grated
- 80 to 100 proof alcohol
Place the ingredients in a glass mason jar. I’d say you’ll end up filling the jar no more than halfway with the turmeric and ginger. Add alcohol and fill to the top. Place a lid on it. Place a label on it with the ingredients and the date. Set it on your counter for 6 to 8 weeks, shaking it daily.
Strain off the liquid and toss the ginger and turmeric. Store the liquid elixir in glass tincture bottles (you can buy them here), or any bottle or jar, in a dark cool cupboard. These last for years.