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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Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Restaurant Review: Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe New Mexico

by Kristen Suzanne in food journal, grass fed beef, omnivore, review
Cast Iron Seared Grass-Fed Filet Mignon Steak Au Poivre #CoyoteCafe Santa Fe NM

Cast Iron Seared Grass-Fed Filet Mignon Steak Au Poivre #CoyoteCafe

We recently enjoyed a summer road trip all the way to Michigan from Arizona. Yes, that’s a looooong trip which is why many people ask why we don’t fly. Well, to be honest, apart from kind of enjoying time in the car (I get a lot of reading done: here’s a great book), there’s an important factor with which I am obsessed: Food. By traveling in the car (our mini van, specifically), I can pack things from my kitchen so that I can cook on the road for my family (induction hot plate, anyone?). As I like to say, “have induction hot plate, will travel.” Eating healthy and delicious food is my main passion so I do whatever it takes to make that happen.

We ventured to Michigan because that is where I grew up, and my brother, his wife, and their kids are there, plus my dad, step-dad, and dear sister-in-law-ish. At the time of our journey, our daughter had just turned four years old, and that meant shorter stretches of driving. Therefore, our days in the car maxed out at around 7 hours, if we could help it. That means lots of nights in hotels. How did I make high-quality, Real Food on the trip in hotels? It was fairly simple… with smart planning. I’ll detail it all in a blog post soon because I have a lot to share on the topic. I’ve made the trip twice now, a bit different each trip, and I like to think I have it figured out.

We didn’t eat every single meal as homemade though. Some of our meals, although just a couple, were enjoyed in restaurants. Enter: Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, NM.

On the trip back from Michigan we decided to spend a couple of days in Santa Fe as a little break from the non-stop driving and to enjoy the local atmosphere of Santa Fe. So lovely.

Coyote Cafe 

One of the best meals of my life. And to think I almost opted for a different restaurant because of the Yelp Review stars I saw. Glad my husband urged us to go to Coyote Cafe. Greg had been there about 20 years ago (the place has been around about 27 years), and was itching to try it again.

The presentation of the meals was gorgeous and thoughtful. The decor of the restaurant was open and pleasing, artful, and chic although a bit dated. It is showing the years of wear and is overdue for a refresh.

The service was top of the line. Our server was Lynsey and she catered to our every need. I’d also like to mention that the support staff were equally great. So much of a restaurant experience goes beyond the food.

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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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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Recipe: Elderberry Cognac Health Elixir

by Kristen Suzanne in herbs, longevity, recipe
Elderberry Cognac Health Elixir

Elderberry Cognac Health Elixir

As many of you know, I’m really enjoying the study of herbal medicine. One of my favorite things to make is organic elderberry syrup. It’s easy, fun, and so much less expensive than buying it from the store. I source all of my medicinal herb ingredients from Mountain Rose to get the highest quality at a good price.

Well, today I made something different. I made Elderberry Cognac Health Elixir. Elderberries have been used for thousands of years to promote health. Today, similarly, people use elderberry for preventing and treating colds and flu. They are high in flavonoids which are helpful in fighting viruses. They can also have an anti-inflammatory effect. The French often refer to this plant as the house pharmacy.

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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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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Recipe: Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette – Make This Today.

by Kristen Suzanne in gluten free, recipe, salad dressing, travel

Make quick dressings, sauces, shakes, tonics, and chia pudding with this great little machine. NUTRiBULLET

Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette

Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette

During the summer I find myself eating more salads. They’re fresh, crisp, and help cool me down.

This recipe of Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette might be my new favorite. I use it not only on salad but also on vegetables, cooked or raw. You’ll see that some of the ingredients don’t have absolute amounts listed. That was my intent. By allowing some free reign in this simple recipe, it allows you to give your own dose of love to it.

I find, lately, that making dressing recipes in my Nutribullet is easier, and kind of more fun. It’s compactness and easy-to-clean-ness draws me in. I wrote an in depth post on my fondness for the Nutribullet here … think: easy salad dressings, sauces, chia pudding, protein shakes, fruit purees, tonics, travel, etc.

Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar (be sure to get a high quality one)
  • 1/2 cup raw organic pure olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled (or more)
  • a little fresh rosemary and fresh thyme (fresh is best, if possible)
  • Couple squirts organic yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole, plain, grassfed yogurt (or cream)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Blend everything.

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Monday, July 14th, 2014

Recipe: Berry Nourishing Tea (So Good!)

by Kristen Suzanne in herbs, longevity, recipe
Dried fruits and herbs for Beautiful Berry Nourishing Heart Tea #HerbalMedicine

Dried fruits and herbs for Berry Nourishing Tea #HerbalMedicine

I’ve been studying the medicinal powers of herbs this past year (as I detailed in this post on tinctures). As a result, I don’t go a day without some sort of herbal medicine in my diet via tea, tincture, homemade syrup, or herbal-medicine-rich food (pesto anyone?).

I’ve created quite the beautiful collection of herbs. What can I say? I’m now an herb geek. When I read books and articles on medicinal herbs I can’t help but get wrapped up in their history and seemingly magical powers. It’s all very romantic to me.

Here is a wonderful tea recipe that can be used to help the health of heart, eyes, immune system, and beauty. It’s delicious, rich, and fun to drink warm or over ice, sweetened with raw honey or not (though the licorice root sweetens it perfectly for me).

I sourced all of the ingredients for this mixture from Mountain Rose Herbs. I highly recommend that you start a collection of organic herbs for medicine. I use them (internally and externally) for everything: skin beauty, boo boos, immune strength, adrenal support, vision support, longevity, calming, sleep, dreaming, and overall optimal performance. Honestly, I feel empowered using medicinal herbs… like I know secrets of the earth that many others do not.  Read More »

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Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Recipe: Confession Granola (Gluten Free)

by Kristen Suzanne in coconut, dessert, ghee, gluten free, recipe, travel
Confession Granola #GlutenFree

Confession Granola #GlutenFree

I have a confession. I made granola. Really good (too good, actually) granola.

Why is that a confession? It’s a confession because I don’t eat many grains (usually only in the form of white rice, if at all) and I make a pretty big stink about sticking to that. By making granola, and using (gluten-free) oats (because oats are what true granola has), and it being granola that is impossible to only eat a few bites of… well, I ate a lot of it. So there, I admit it. I’m not perfect and I ate oats. (It was really good though.)

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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Meditation: Why I Meditate. How I Meditate. Plus Meditation Tips

by Kristen Suzanne in family, Kristen Suzanne, longevity

Every New Year’s eve my husband and I sit down and write out our lists of goals and intentions for the coming year. I usually divide up the ideas by life segments such as career, family, relationships, leisure, finance, travel, etc.

For 2014, I did something different. I did something I’d never done before. I decided that 2014 was the year I would embrace only one goal for the whole year: Meditation.

My 3yo meditating. #Longevity #Peace

My 3yo meditating. #Longevity #Peace

Why only one goal? For a long time, I’d been wanting to make meditation a big part of my life, a regular staple in my daily routine. But for some reason, I wasn’t doing it consistently. I always said to myself, “Oh, I need to meditate…. I’ll do it tomorrow.” And, as the 2013 year was coming to an end, I decided it was of vital importance to make it a regular part of my life (and for my family, too). So important that it was going to be the only goal I focused on for the year.

Why I meditate. There was a reason that I suddenly came to place meditation with such importance. That’s because I’m now a firm believer that meditation deserves top billing.

As most of you know, over the past couple of years, I’ve dramatically changed the way I eat. I went from being a militant vegan, with animal rights fueling my purpose, to eating a Real Food diet of grass-fed omnivore foods, when my family’s health was failing with vegan foods. (See here and here and here for specifics.) The frustrating thing about using diet for optimal health and longevity is that you can find diametrically opposed camps — with each claiming to have science on their side — about what is right and what is not right when it comes to the food you put in your mouth.

Amid the firestorm of controversy on so many facets of what comprises “optimal” health, the fascinating thing I realized is that there’s at least one thing that pretty much everybody agrees on: Meditation is healthy and important for health and longevity. You might have respected doctors vehemently disagree on whether kale or bone broth is the best superfood, or which position is the best way to sleep, or how to treat a cold… but I have never heard any expert in recent years say you shouldn’t meditate as a daily practice for optimal health. After years of peer-reviewed interventional studies, meditation has become not only non-controversial, but they just keep discovering new amazing benefits. The only people who don’t say meditation is good for your health are people who don’t know the first thing about the topic.

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