Lemon serves as a tonic for the liver and can aid in daily digestion. That, combined with the fiber in this smoothie can help things get back on track. This also has a good dose of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system.
I posted this recipe over a year ago, but it wasn’t under a typical recipe heading. So, I’m reposting it. I created this as a tasty Summer/Spring salad, but it’s great for during any warm weather spell.
Combine the following chopped herbs in food processor with 1/3 cup or more olive oil. Add lemon or vinegar if desired,
1 bunch cilantro , packed
1/2 cup parsley , loose
1/4 cup each dill, mint & tarragon
Mix with the following:
2 cups (more/less as desired) cooked quinoa
small sautéed onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 to 1 serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped
3-4 green onions, sliced
generous handful of arugula, chopped
salt & pepper to taste; I also added cumin
If you don’t like the taste of tarragon, you could skip it or experiment with another herb…basil, sorrel, lemon thyme.
I didn’t learn to appreciate eggplants until my 30’s. My initial exposure to eating eggplant was in heavier dishes, such as eggplant parmesan or moussaka. I wasn’t able to recognize or appreciate the flavor until trying baba ganoush. It took me awhile to experiment with making and cooking eggplant dishes, but now I try to make something with eggplant about twice a month when they are in season.
A kin to the tomato, bell pepper and potato, the eggplant is a nightshade that grows hanging from the vines of a plant. It is technically a fruit but is classified as a vegetable. The eggplant tastes bitter and slightly sweet (but it slows the absorption of blood sugar and is a useful regulator of glucose and insulin activity in the body.) Ayurveda considers it as heating. Chinese medicine considers it to be cooling (clearing heat) and to remove blood stagnation.
As for nutrients, eggplants are an overall source of many vitamins and minerals. They contain fiber, folate, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and vitamins C, K and B6. Eggplants are also loaded with antioxidants, which are known to help defend a variety of diseases and conditions. One study found that eggplant skin is loaded with a potent phytonutrient and antioxidant called nasusin, which is an antioxidant that protects brain cells from free radicals and damage.
While eggplants contain decent amount of fiber, for some eggplants can irritate the digestive tract and are recommended to reduce or avoid if you have GI tract inflammation.
This anti-inflammatory smoothie (pear, ginger, turmeric, greens, vitamin C) has a slight kick for digestion with the ginger. The cucumber and pear balance the digestive fire and add cooling properties that can be great for warmer weather or after a post-workout sweat.
½ or more inch slice ginger
¼ – ½ inch slice turmeric (or ½ tsp ground)
3-inch cucumber slice
Juice of ½ to 1 lemon
Small handful of almonds
Handful of spinach
7-10 mint leaves
Splash water or orange juice
I like to occasionally add a generous pinch of cardamom or cinnamon. You can add a greens powder to this if you like. If you have issue with the pea-green color, skip the spinach.
As the Fall season arrives, I am ready for sautéed or roasted brussel sprouts. However, early Fall in San Francisco feels like summer and I’m still wanting to make salads. This salad is well rounded with taste: brussel spouts – bitter; walnuts – astringent; pecorino romano – salty and sour. The same can be said for the dressing. If you want more brightness, you could add more lemon or reduce the mustard in the dressing. You could also add a fresh herb. This dish is also great the next day, and the brussel sprouts stay crisp.
• ¾ cup walnuts, whole
• 1 lb brussel sprouts
• ¼ cup pecorino romano cheese, plus 2-3 Tbs reserved
• salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• 3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
• 1 ½ Tbs Dijon mustard
• 1/3 cup olive oil
Lightly toast walnuts on low to medium heat stovetop, tossing often. Set aside to cool.
Trim the bottom of the brussel sprouts and thinly slice them. I used a knife
but a mandolin may slice them more evenly. Place thesprouts into a large bowl. For the dressing, whisk the last 3 ingredients with a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the brussel sprouts and mix well. Cover and put brussel sprout mixture in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Taste the sprouts and add more dressing if desired.
Coarsely chop the walnuts and grate the cheese.
Add ¾ of the walnuts and ¼ cup of the cheese to mixture and toss.
Extra dressing can be added or stored for another use.
This smoothie is good morning post-practice/workout fuel, and it carries me until the end of lunchtime teaching. It’s tridoshic and has a touch of everything: anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, detoxicants, protein, minerals, fiber and water regulators.
This is a vibrant vegetable salad that’s full of texture and a great pairing with many proteins or cold noodle dishes. (Try with the Mint, Cilantro and Green Onion Soba Noodles.) It tastes great fresh or the next day. Keep in mind that the next-day vegetables will taste pickled with the dressing combined. I like this salad with a bigger sour and astringent taste of vinegar. If you’re sensitive to vinegar, try adding half of the quantity first and adjust to taste.
1 medium cucumber
1 bunch radishes
1 1/3 lb snap peas
1/8 cup sesame seeds
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar*
½ tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Lightly toast sesame seeds on low to medium heat stovetop, tossing often, until golden. Set aside to cool.
Trim peas as needed. In a medium saucepan, cook peas in boiling salted water for 30 to 60 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop peas from cooking.
Peel and deseed cucumber. Halve cucumber and radishes and cut unto ¼-inch thick slices. Cut the larger peas in half.
Combine vinegars, salt and sugar in small bowl. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve.
Toss vegetables, vinegar mixture and sesame seeds in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
*If using seasoned vinegar, the additional salt and sugar may not be needed.
With the recent heat wave we had, I looked for recipes that were easy with minimal cooking. I found a soba noodles recipe and modified it below to my liking. Mint and cilantro are two favorite herbs that add a stimulating and cooling, respectively, effect to meals. They worked perfectly with this cold dish.
I paired this with the Cucumber, Radish and Snap Pea Salad (shown in photo.) If I were to pair the noodles with something less sour and astringent, I would add rice vinegar to the noodles. I’d start with a tablespoon and adjust from there.
10 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles
2 Tbs avocado oil
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 ½ tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ cup fresh mint, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
freshly ground pepper to taste
Cook noodles in boiling water until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain immediately in colander under cold water to stop noodles from cooking. Drain well and place in refrigerator.
For dressing, whisk together avocado oil, soy sauce, sugar and salt until sugar and salt are dissolved. Taste and adjust as needed.
Toss noodles with dressing, mint, cilantro and green onions. Add pepper to taste.
The first time I made this recipe I used a baguette. This time I got my hands on dakos (barley rusks.) It tasted like…more…
A friend from Greece sent me the original recipe. It’s simple to make and will look familiar – the Italian’s variation is bruschetta.
However, what makes this special is the flavor combination of the dako with flavorful tomatoes, along with grating the tomatoes. I wrote this recipe using Early Girl tomatoes, which are juicy and have the right touch of sweetness and don’t necessarily need added honey. If using other tomatoes, you many want the honey to balance the acidity along with the salt. You could add capers, olives or other herbs, and sometimes I’ll add green onion.
6 small dakos (or 6 baguette slices)
6 Early Girl tomatoes
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey (optional)
pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper
fresh basil, finely chopped
fresh thyme, finely chopped
¼ fresh onion, finely chopped
soft cheese (optional)
Place the dako pieces onto a plate.
Cut 3 of the tomatoes in half and grate into a bowl. (If the skin doesn’t break down, pop those extra antioxidants in your mouth.) Dice the remaining 3 tomatoes and set aside.
In the bowl, add the vinegar, honey (if using), salt, pepper, basil and thyme. Toss. Adjust seasoning and herbs to taste.
Pour the mixture over the dako. Drizzle with olive oil. Top the dako pieces with the diced tomatoes along with the juices. Sprinkle with onion.
I do recommend trying this with the barley rusks. However, if you can’t find them you can make them or use a day-old baguette instead.
There are different philosophies on tomatoes. Here is a brief summary. Ayurveda (but not all Ayurvedic nutritionists) advises not eating them, since the cause toxic build-up and stimulate heat and desire. Chinese medicine claims tomatoes can cool the blood on hot days. Those in the Mediterranean embrace the tomato, where apparently in the northern part of Europe the tomato is considered by some to be poisonous. Take your pick.
Tomatoes are acidic, meaning they are stimulating and sour. To some, tomatoes can irritate the digestive tract and are recommended to avoid if you have GI tract inflammation. These irritating qualities can be enhanced when cooked or sun-dried, since the flavors become more pungent and hot. The tomato flesh in general is easy to digest, and the seeds and skins can be irritating for some.
As for nutritional value, tomatoes have a high concentration of the antioxidant lycopene. It also has high levels of potassium and vitamins C, K and A, along with others.
I personally embrace them, but also eat them in balanced quantities. Tomatoes can aggravatePitta in the digestive tract. However, their cooling properties are refreshing on warm days. My personal favorite is the Early Girl tomato. I don’t have a problem grabbing and taking a bite in Early Girl tomatoes. They are juicy and have a sweetness that makes my mouth water.