Raw Beet and Carrot Salad

Spring is here! Finally! This winter has been cold, wet, and dreary. Normally, I would consider it a delightfully wonderful winter if you’re a native Northwesterner. But, after months and months and months of hardly seeing the sun here in Seattle, I’m ready for a change in the season. This Raw Beet and Carrot Salad is a wonderful spring detox food… or just a food to support bile flow.

 

Beets provide anti-inflammatory, detox, and antioxidant support. They are also high in minerals and vitamins. Their greens are a wonderful food, too! We like to saute them in pasture-raised ghee and sprinkle truffle sea salt on top prior to serving. For clients with liver and gallbladder issues, beets are usually one of the first foods I ask them to introduce as they help promote healthy bile flow. This salad is a wonderful introductory to the world of beets! As a beginning amount, I usually recommend a forkful per meal and slowly increase from there.

Raw Beet and Carrot Salad

  • 2 Organic Raw Beets, peeled and shredded
  • 2 Organic Carrots, scrubbed and shredded
  • Juice of an Organic Lemon
  • 1/4 cup Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, toss the shredded beets and carrots. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice and olive oil together. Season with sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat the salad. Make a few hours ahead of time and let sit in the fridge in order for flavors to marinade.

Brussels Sprouts Braised with Lemon

If you want to talk about a food that gets a bad name, these might be it. No one likes them, everybody hates them, guess I’ll go eat worms. Ummm… or not. Brussels sprouts are one of my most favorite foods. Why? They’re just so much fun to eat! Each one is a mini cabbage that I get to play with and peel. Because I’m 30 going on 5. And sometimes I play with my food. Sometimes I also understand the necessity to get other people to eat their greens. This recipe was born out of that need. According to my brother, who loathes, despises, abhors and detests Brussels sprouts, they did not taste like the delightfully adorable mini-cabbages and were actually quite good. (A huge compliment from a sarcastic 21 year-old!)

They have a touch of ground mustard to give them some subtle heat and a bit of a kick. Not to fear, it’s very subtle and enhances the flavors in the dish. The lemon juice provides a distinctive acidity that is delightfully mellow. I hope you enjoy them! I’ve been eating them alone, with other foods and as a noodle replacement for my marinara all week. So fantastic! 

Brussels Sprouts Braised with Lemon

  • 2 tbsp organic ghee 
  • 1 ½ lbs organic Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed, julienne-cut
  • 1 small organic onion, diced
  • 3 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • ½+ tsp ground mustard (the spice, not the condiment and heap that measuring spoon)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp organic lemon juice

  1. In a medium frying pan over medium heat, melt the ghee and add the onions. Saute until translucent, add the garlic and saute a few minutes more.  
  2. Add Brussels sprouts and stir to mix. Add spices. Cook until sprouts are a bright green (not the gross dark green overcooked crud).
  3. Add lemon juice and stir. Turn off heat and serve warm. 

Sauerkraut, straight up

Sauerkraut. You either have fond memories of dancing the Polka at Oktoberfest or your grandma opening up a can (with a can opener) of the most foul-smelling concoction you’ve ever let your nose experience. What if I told you that the canned stuff, the stuff we’ve become accustomed to isn’t the same stuff that our ancestors ate… and that what they ate actually tasted good? Well, I’m telling you. It’s delicious. And the probiotics are even better than what you can get in yogurt (which only has a few strains, wild fermentation has many many more stains of good bacteria in it). See? Here’s a fancy chart to illustrate it:

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I’ve had a hankering for some good Polish hunter’s stew. Unfortunately, the main ingredient is sauerkraut and I have none… so this hankering is going to have to wait. Oh well – in a few weeks, you’ll see a post for the best stew that will get your blood flowing again. Seriously. It’s that good. And it has 3 kinds of meat in it – mostly bacon.

I outlined the necessary supplies on my fermented red potatoes post so check that out before you start. If you want more information about why sauerkraut is good for you, check out my Latin American sauerkraut recipe. Also, when you go and buy your cabbage, don’t waste your money on the organic stuff – cabbage is one of the Clean 15. Going to WinCo or some other bargain grocer and spending $.50 per pound is perfectly acceptable and it’s what I do! That makes two liters of finished sauerkraut cost me about $5 total. I can buy a pint and a half of raw sauerkraut at the store for $10. Umm – yea. I’ll take my deal any day.

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Sauerkraut

  • 2 heads cabbage, washed and shredded, with two whole leaves set aside
  • 3 tbsp sea salt, non-iodized (iodine kills bacteria… which is not what we want)
    1. In a large bowl sturdy bowl (I use a massive stainless steel bowl), mix all of the ingredients.
    2. Now comes the fun part: Pound with a wooden pounder or meat hammer for about 10 minutes, until the cabbage starts juicing well. You will see it becoming more and more wet as the time goes on and when it is finished, you will be able to squeeze some in your hand and have the juices run between your fingers.
    3. Place in 1- or 2- quart, wide mouth mason jars and press down firmly until juices come to the top of the cabbage. Do this in small increments, making sure to have all of the air bubbles pressed out.
    4. Stuff one of the saved whole leaves down around the cabbage, being careful not to rip the leaf, to get out all air bubbles and to keep the mash down below the juice level.
    5. Using a clean, round and flat river rock (not bigger than the mouth of the jar) or a glass dunker, place on top of the whole leaf and push down. This will keep the mash below the juice level for the whole fermenting process. It is okay if the top of the rock or dunker is above the juice a little bit.
    6. With a clean rag, clean the lip of the jar and place the lid on the jars and let sit on the counter for 14 days (after three days, there will be bacteria growth and after 14 days, there is a more complete panel). A cool place (65 degrees Fahrenheit) is best as the warmer temperatures help bad bacteria grow.
    7. Place in the refrigerator and let sit for an additional week – do not open during this time. So, your kraut will have fermented for three weeks total.
    8. Open jars once a day during the sitting-on-counter phase to allow gas to escape. 
    9. Sauerkraut will keep indefinitely in the fridge. Enjoy!

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    Note: If the sauerkraut doesn’t smell sour, pickle-y, or kraut-y or is growing black sludge, toss it out! You’ll know if it smells bad (as in going to kill you). Lacto-fermentation, what this process is called, is very very safe. However, there are times where the tools are not clean and bad bacteria gets in. The best way to prevent this is to use a clean workspace and a clean jar. As always, wash your hands thoroughly prior to beginning.

Latin American Sauerkraut

If you had asked me six months ago if I thought I would be fermenting my own sauerkraut, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Now I find myself fermenting sauerkraut and loving it. It’s delicious. And fresh. And so so so different from the crap you buy in a jar at the grocery store. Imagine that! Fresh sauerkraut is crunchy, tangy, and not overly vinegary. And, most importantly, it’s easy. Oh, and it’s good for you. Like, really really really good for you. In case you haven’t caught my drift, here’s one more “really” to get my point across: REALLY.

And it tastes really good. As in my friends who were lamenting that they “hate sauerkraut” and “how could you make this” blah, blah, blah, LOVED it. In fact, they loved it so much, they might have eaten the rest of my lunch.

Now, if you’ve never had fresh fermented foods: be cautious. Too much could cause die-off and no one wants that. Seriously. It’s not fun. Die-off is caused when the bacteria and yeast in your gut die off and start releasing their toxins into your system. The result: what looks like, acts like and feels like the flu. But really isn’t the flu. Try telling that to your body. Which means…

  • muscle aches
  • fever
  • chills
  • headaches
  • skin rashes
  • brain fog
  • excess mucus production
  • increased GI problems – it gets worse before it gets better
  • and a whole myriad of other issues

So now that I have you all terrified, here’s the good news: you have to eat a whole lot to cause it. When you first introduce sauerkraut or other fresh lacto-fermented foods into your diet, do it in small quantities. A small portion of sauerkraut, like a ¼ cup will suffice. And increase from there. You may notice a bit of stomach gurgling after you eat it the first few times – that’s okay. That would be the good bacteria waging a war the likes of the movie “300” on the bad bacteria. 

A few notes before we get started – cabbage is one of the Clean 15 and does not need to be organic. You will need a jar that you can burp. I write about which jars I like in my Fermented Red Potatoes post. And, finally, you will want to put the sauerkraut somewhere where you don’t mind a little stank while it ferments. Some of the juices will leak out and it can be mildly smelly. Not too bad. Make sure you place a pie dish or something under it so you don’t have a huge mess to clean up on your counter.

Latin American Sauerkraut

  • 1 head cabbage, washed, cored and shredded 
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise and very finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ¼-½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp sea salt (no iodine!!!!!!)

  1. In a large bowl sturdy bowl (I use a massive stainless steel bowl), mix all of the ingredients
  2. Now comes the fun part: Pound with a wooden pounder or meat hammer for about 10 minutes, until the cabbage starts juicing well. You will see it becoming more and more wet as the time goes on and when it is finished, you will be able to squeeze some in your hand and have the juices run between your fingers.
  3. Place in 1- or 2- quart, wide mouth mason jars and press down firmly until juices come to the top of the cabbage. Do this in small increments, making sure to have all of the air bubbles pressed out.
  4. Place the lid on the jars and let sit on the counter for 14 days (after three days, there will be bacteria growth and after 14 days, there is a more complete panel). Place in the refrigerator and let sit for an additional week – do not open during this time.
  5. Open jars once a day during the sitting-on-counter phase to allow gas to escape. 
  6. Sauerkraut will keep indefinitely in the fridge. Enjoy!

Recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

I Love Arugula Salad and Herb BBQ’d Chicken

Arugula just might be the best leafy green out there…. beside baby spinach. It’s spicy, the texture is pleasant, and it’s spicy. So when a friend of mine celebrated his 30th birthday on Sunday with a BBQ and I knew there were going to be a few paleo (or modified) people there, arugula salad seemed to be the logical choice. And it’s vegan.

For those friends who asked for this recipe, this one’s for you.

But really, the rest of you should make this salad – it’s fabulous. The recipe is from my Mom so I take no claim to this one. But, really, it’s fabulous. Times ten.

As for the chicken, well, here you go to my friends who asked. It was yummy. And I ate too much – but when you eat paleo, eating too much doesn’t really exist in your vocabulary.

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Arugula and Onion Salad

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ to 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 6 cups organic baby arugula, rinsed (or pre-rinsed)
  1. Saute onion over medium heat in half of the olive oil until translucent and just starting to caramelize.
  2. Add remaining olive oil and allow to sit for a minute longer and let the onions cool slightly, stirring so all of the oil is incorporated with the onions.
  3. Toss with the arugula in a large bowl and add sea salt, to taste.
  4. Serve while onions are still a bit warm.
  5. That’s it! Seriously.

Herb BBQ’d Chicken

  • 6 organic, free-range chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh organic,thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh organic rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Mix the marinade together until blended.
  2. Toss all of the ingredients in a container (plastic ziploc, glass dish and cover with plastic wrap, or a plastic container) and allow to sit for about an hour in the fridge.
  3. Throw on the BBQ until juices run clear and the meat is cooked, about 4 minutes on each side. Unless you happen to have a Traeger (smoker BBQ) – let it sit a bit longer and that’s even better.

Enjoy!

Arugula Egg Breakfast Salad

I know, I know. The thought of a salad for breakfast sounds a little weird, right? Don’t worry, though. It’s delicious. I was privileged enough to go in late to work today… which was wonderful considering that last night’s workout left me exhausted and sore so the thought of waking up early and heading into a job where I sit at a desk all day just didn’t sound too appetizing. (run-on sentence, anyone?) I decided to make the most of the cool morning and cook up something that was filling, nutritious, and colorful. I also wanted something chock full of vegetables. I’ve been craving them like crazy.

In other news, I went to a new bar with some of my girl friends from work last night for happy hour. And I ordered their special “Second St Sling”

Oh my, it was fabulous. I have a new love. If you’re ever in Portland (or live there now), and go to a gastropub called Produce Row, order that. And their fried cauliflower. And then thank me later. Or just skip the thanking part and order another round. 🙂

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Enjoy and cheers to a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

Arugula Egg Breakfast Salad

  • Organic arugula, rinsed – a handful or however much you feel like eating
  • 3 strips lean gluten-free applewood smoked bacon (I used Hempler’s – your butcher will tell you if it is gluten-free or not), sliced into ½"-¾" strips
  • One quarter of a medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (Because why not use three cloves of garlic?!)
  • ¾ cup organic grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 organic, free-range large eggs, beaten
  • Small amount of sheep’s milk feta in brine, crumbled and no brine (optional – omitting makes the dish paleo)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until starting to brown.
  2. Add onion and saute until onion is translucent, stirring often. Add garlic and stir off and on until garlic is starting to golden.
  3. Incorporate beaten egg and “fold” until egg is almost done setting.
  4. Toss in the tomatoes and heat just until the skins begin to blister.
  5. Serve over a bed of organic arugula and top with crumbled feta.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.

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