Enjoy This Organic Life Has Exciting News For 2013!

I am excited to announce we have launched a completely redesigned site for Enjoy This Organic Life! The new site will focus on healthy recipes, nutritional information, as well as the provide the knowledge and tools to eat a nutritious, sustainable diet. The new design will allow readers to quickly access recipes categories and nutritional information. We have also implemented a new Facebook fan page that will and a new Pinterest account to give you more ways to enjoy the site. The Facebook page will feature all new posts and the Pinterest account will showcase all of the recipes of the site.

I want this transition to be as smooth as possible for my readers so please take note of the following important information:

URL: The new site address is: http://www.enjoythisorganiclife.com.

RSS: If you follow by RSS feed you WILL NEED to follow the new feed address: http://www.enjoythisorganiclife.com/rss

Email: If you follow posts via email you WILL NEED to add your address again. Go to http://www.enjoythisorganiclife.com/blog and re-enter your email address.

WordPress: If you follow me through WordPress, unfortunately, you will need to choose a new way to follow site

Facebook & Pinterest links can be found on the homepage of the new site.

A diet founded on natural foods nourishes your mind, body & soul. Nurturing our minds, bodies, and souls will allow us live our lives to their fullest potentials! Please join me at the my new site to make 2013 your healthiest year yet!

In Health,
Kristen

Green-Bee Smoothie

Decided to switch it up this morning with a smoothie instead of juice. Mostly because I woke up so hungry I knew I needed some more fiber to keep me full through the morning.

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Green-Bee Smoothie:
yield: ~28 ounces

handful of romaine lettuce
1 pear
1/2 peeled lemon
2 small bananas
1/2″ piece of ginger
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup filtered water

Topped with a bit of bee pollen for extra nutrients & yumminess. Yum!!

Happy New Year!

I Am My Own Best Chef

As I take a break from packing up my belongings at the farm, I realize once again, I’m LEAVING! Wow, this season flew right by!  I am very excited to head back home with everything I have learned. It has been an incredibly insightful journey – I absolutely know I am leaving with the clearest vision I’ve ever had for what it is I am meant to do, what life it is I am meant to lead.

Although I am excited, I am slightly nervous. Why? Because I am leaving what I consider to be the best food in the world. I can count on one hand the amount of times I ate off farm the past six months: five. That’s right, five. And I have to say four out of those five I was disappointed. The one time I wasn’t I had fruit & mulled apple cider. Does that even count as eating out?? Anyways, the other times the food was way too salty. I know I am salt sensitive so I rarely ever use it but since when did chefs start using so much salt we can’t even taste the real flavor of the meal?

Because I want to eat the best quality of foods possible, prepare them simply, and know what the heck is in them… eating out doesn’t really appeal to me anymore. It is also difficult when I avoid gluten, sugar, most grains, dairy, meat, and salt. I want real food. I want quality food.  My body is my temple and I have to treat it with respect. As should you. This is why I believe I am my own best chef.

On that note I read this article last week about the prevalence of MSG at Whole Foods. I’m not a big fan of anything from a package, so this doesn’t affect me really, but is certainly something worth sharing! Know what you’re buying! Or better yet, make your own versions at home .

As we enter the winter months it is important to continue to eat well & stay active (especially with the holidays coming up!) If you live in the north, be sure to pay attention to your vitamin D intakes. Check out my guest post on vitamin D I wrote for my friend Johanna. I’ve been particularly aware of bone health the past few months as I was experiencing symptoms similar to arthritis in my right hand. The symptoms have more or less cleared, leading me to think it was just from overuse. However, maintaining healthy bones & joints is still a priority.

Eat well & nourish your soul!

Loving Cabbage (Juice) Is Normal, Right?

I am totally hooked on juicing cabbage! It has been the perfect replacement for cucumber since the stopped producing late summer. The cabbage really contributes to the bulk of the juice, something I cherish in green juice… I want a lot, as in 32 ounces at a crack. It sounds like it would reek havoc on your digestion but I really haven’t had any ill effects. I admit my system is accustomed to eating cabbage nearly everyday now, so it may just be I have a high tolerance. But like I’ve shared before, don’t knock it until you try it! If anything it is doing your body a whole lot of good! Think loads of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants.

As my juices change frequently due to what is available here at the farm, I have adapted my first go at cabbage juice a wee bit:

All Hail Cabbage:

1/2 napa cabbage (sometimes 3/4)
1 bunch red russian or dinosaur kale (12-15 leaves)
7-8 parsley stalks
3/4 lemon, with rind*
2 1/2 honeycrisp apples
2″ piece ginger

*Leaving the rind on really accentuates the lemon flavor (essential oils are concentrated in the rind). Lemon peel however is high in oxalates, so note of caution for those with kidney or gallbladder problems.

If you have a high power blender, save the parsley for blending. Juice all other ingredients, add to blender with parsley & blend on high until parsley is liquified. Otherwise, toss parsley right into your juicer. Depending on the style/quality of your juicer, it may not truly be juicing any of the parsley.

This juice is amazing. So, so delicious.

Cabbage isn’t just lovely juiced… but in its much loved fermented form: sauerkraut!

Look at all that cabbage!!

We recently made enough sauerkraut to last a lifetime. This picture probably only captures 10% of how much we went through. Cabbage is certainly in no shortage here! I’ll never complain when fresh veggies are in ample supply. Bring. it. on.

So even if loving cabbage juice isn’t considered “normal“, it’s much adored in my books ;)

Question: What is your favorite way to enjoy cabbage?  

Thanksgiving Through My Brother’s Eyes

As I was catching up on google and WordPress reader this afternoon, I came across my brother’s recent blog post: Thanksgiving: My Favorite Holiday.

Oh hey, tears…

I teared up not because I missed my favorite holiday with my super duper amazing family but it truly warms my heart to know he is happy, healthy, and pursuing his passions. And for that, I am thankful.

I cannot wait to give him a giant hug & celebrate his least favorite holiday together soon. At Christmas I will be playing catchup and showering them  with all the reasons I am thankful for them.

Thank you, Brian, for sending such warmth on such a cold, blustery day.

Fall Flavors

Something that can’t be said enough about fresh, organic food is how amazingly delicious it is as is. A simple addition of some oil, fresh pepper, lemon juice or spices is all I ever need to take any meal to the next level. I am eating the best food – and it is all minimally prepared right here in my own kitchen. I’m not biased, I swear.

There are two new vegetables in season right now that have quickly become my new favorite juice staples… sweet potato & cabbage. Yep, taters & cabbage! Even though I absolutely love eating these two foods, I never thought I would enjoy them juiced. In fact, I still think the sound of it is slightly off-putting. However, like I say in so many other situations – don’t knock it ’til ya try it. So I did just that and no longer knock it. I strongly believe you should try these too!

Trial Uno:

Trial Dos (unpictured… drank too fast while video chatting with the folks):

Green Fall Tonic

1/2 napa cabbage
3 bartlett pears
1/2 lemon
1″ piece of ginger

The cabbage & pear combo is surprisingly smooth & light. Enjoy!

Both these juice recipes are well-representative of fall. Southern Ontario has had such a lovely fall – I have been enjoying the intoxicating spreads of color…

crisp temperatures, warm fires, new perspectives…

the sound of crunching leaves beneath my feet…

and reflections of  all the hard work we have put in this season as we slow down (relatively speaking).

Aside from juicing, there are three other simple recipes I am here to share that are sure to please your palate, while nurturing your god pod.

Steamed Kale & Garlic

1 bunch dino kale
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil, coconut oil, or coconut butter

It takes me more time to walk out to the cooler or garden to harvest the kale than it does to prep this dish. This is an excellent option for someone who doesn’t have much time, or is simply feeling lazy, to eat healthy in a flash.

Bring 2-3 cups of water to boil on the stovetop or in a tea kettle. Gather a handful of dinosaur kale and roughly chop or rip into large chunks (read: I’m lazy = less cleanup). Place kale in a colander & pour enough boiling water over for kale to lightly wilt. Allow kale to drain. Transfer kale into a bowl, press garlic onto kale, toss lightly with oil and voila!

This kale dish pairs well with my favorite beet hummus too. It adds a nice touch to the bowl and produces a lovely sea of green & purple. In effort to save on prep time,cleanup, & to continue to incorporate more raw foods – I made a raw version of this beet dip. Yum, yum, and yum!

Raw Beet Dip
3-4 medium red or golden beets
1 tbsp whole cumin (1/2 tbsp ground cumin)
1/2 lemon, juice of
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
pepper to taste

Wash, peel, and roughly chop beets. Add beets and remaining ingredients into food processor and process away until smooth. That is it! Enjoy on salads, in wraps, smeared on sandwiches, as a dip with veggies, or by itself straight out of the bowl…

Coconut Infused Roasted Sweet Potato
Oh.my.gosh.

So simple, so delicious, so healthy!

Tonight I chopped up leftover roasted sweet potato wedges and tossed them with some coconut butter in a small pot over low heat. Once the coconut butter was warmed, I removed it from the heat, gave it a good stir and topped a bowl of arugula with this buttery, sweet concoction. With a dollop of raw beet dip… total satisfaction!

Fall Inspired Juice

Until my friend Heather mentioned she was juicing fennel, I had never thought to as I figured it would be too rich in with its quintessential licorice flavor. I decided to give it a go as the cuke harvest dwindled significantly and fennel seemed a nice replacement… and per usual, I love it! It has now become a key component in my green juices and I encourage you to try it out!

More fennel recipes to come. Until then, keep the green juices flowin’!

 

Thirty-Six Years

Happy Anniversary to one heck of an amazing couple. To say I lucked out to have these two as my parents is an understatement. My Mom & Dad are forever the two greatest role models I could have ever asked for.

My Dad taught me to be a ‘tough little cookie’ and a hard worker. He continues, and always has, provided me the space, comfort, and openness to live my life to its fullest potential. He has shown me what it means to be a real man, to put your family first, no matter what. This man is Dedicated, with a capital D, to the Martinek clan. My Mom is lucky, my brother is lucky, I am lucky to be his ‘Daddy’s little girl’.

My Mom. Oh, I could write an entire novel on how important my Mom is to me. She is a woman who radiates wisdom, kindness, honesty, and wholesomeness . Through example my Mom has taught me how to live humbly, stay true to my heart, and enjoy in all the beauty of life. The older I get the more I realize how rare our relationship is – to say my Mom is one of my best friends isn’t something most girls get to say. For that, I am blessed. Her and I cherish our every moment together, which nowadays is far & few between, but we look so forward to the day, soon, I move back home near our farm in Wisconsin. I cannot wait to share in our farming and homesteading endeavors, together.

So, hats off to my Mom and Dad for thirty-six solid years of marriage. Together this amazing duo have shown me what it takes to raise a healthy, happy, and loving family.

Fall Is Upon Us!

Hello cooler temperatures! I welcome you with wide, very wide, loving & embracing arms. One thing this summer taught me is very hot temperatures + working outdoors + Kristen do not mix well. Thanks, but no thanks.

Of course I’ll miss the summer. The cucumbers, peaches, melons, berries…

…super addicting sun sugar cherry tomatoes

…brilliantly colorful bins of fresh vegetables & gorgeous flower bouquets.

But with fall comes winter squash!, apples!!, hot apple cider, pumpkins, warm fires, sweaters, changing colors, falling leaves, this list is endless…

So yes, I am ready, mentally & physically, ready for the slowing down of the season. As the sun sets earlier and rises later, I have noticed a striking shift in my energy. I went from barely being able to settle down and sleep just a few weeks ago, to now crashing before 10 (and as early as 8:30, woah!). I sleep now like it’s my job – I woke myself up Wednesday evening at acupuncture/reiki with a sudden snore. She said it was cute, I thought “oh gosh I’m passing out at 8″. Mentally I am ready to slow it down some too. Process & digest everything that I have experienced as of late…

which reminds me…

Since my last post I decided to officially withdraw from my graduate program and continue to farm full time as it is clearly what I need to be doing right now. Words really cannot convey what this farm brings to me, how it has nourished me in a way I feel people spend their whole lives yearning to find. I am blessed and forever grateful for my time here and for all the lessons I have learned that I will carry with me wherever I go after another season at Whole Circle in 2013.

Another farm update: we had a calf born two weeks ago! Miss Igne is the cutest little babe ever, especially as she curls up next to her momma during the morning milking.

 

And just for fun some things I’m really, really digging on right now include:

Watermelon! I can eat half one in an one sitting. No joke.

Concord grapes. Wow, what an explosion of flavor. I love them eaten and juiced. It is pure heaven.

Garlicky buttered popcorn. Fresh pressed garlic, stirred with melted raw butter, drizzled over freshly popped corn. Oh my. Our bowls disappear as quickly as they are made.

Raw sweet corn.

Chocolate milk. Fresh milk, raw honey, and pure cacao powder. Tossing back 1 liter at breakfast? no problem.

Raw Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge (Another one that disappears in the blink of an eye). And this has nothing to do with the season. Chocolate is delicious anytime of the year.

3/4 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup raw honey
1 cup pure cacao powder
4 tbsp peanut butter

Combine melted coconut oil, honey, and cacao powder in a food processor and blend until well combined. Drizzle in peanut butter (or any nut butter of preference) and pulse. If you wish to have more pronounced sections of peanut butter, transfer fudge from food processor before adding it and simply stir in by hand. Transfer into a glass dish and freeze for at least one hour to allow for it to reach a fudge consistency.

Summer Squash Pasta

This one is super easy as long as you have yourself a viable vegetable peeler. I love the idea of eating a noodle-like dish but without the effects of eating dense pasta.Ideal squash for this are anyones with length – think zucchini, yellow squash, crookneck, etc.

Cut the top off the squash and peel lengthwise. I discard the first layer, even though the skin is very much edible, I prefer the more tender strips from the flesh. Continue peeling strips of squash until you reach the seedy middle. Set the middle aside to add to a stir fry, frittata, or sauteed veggie medley.

Collect as many noodles as you like and there you have it! Toss in your favorite marinara, pesto, or a lemony tahini dressing.

Enjoy!

Kale, Kale, Kale!

I received an email from my dear friend Monica yesterday asking what to do with her abundance of kale. As I was typing up an email full of ideas… I realized it it was a great opportunity to share the recipes I love on here. So, whether you find yourself having an abundance of kale, none (like moi), or simply wish to incorporate more into your diet, here are some ideas to get you started or keep you going!

My favorite way to drink kale is in a green juice (scroll down to see a few “daily green” variations). Hands down my favorite green to throw in the juicer.

Another option is to add to smoothies. The green peppermint smoothie is a tasty treat on a hot day and a great alternative to a minty milkshake. Adding a handful of kale to any smoothie will pretty much do the trick. If you find it to be unpalatable, add some more sweet fruit such as peaches, bananas, or apples. Another green smoothie I like comes from Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie and I would just use kale in place of the spinach.

In addition to drinking kale – I love chowing down on this stuff. SO, so good. I love it so much I eat it straight up, I can just munch my way through a kale bed. But most people prefer things to be flavored and prepared, so here are some tasty salads and chip ideas.

Kale Chips

There are so many different ways to prepare kale chips. You can use either a dehydrator or your traditional oven. I have done both and prefer the dehydrator but the oven works does the job just as well!

Preparing the chips can be done in the same for both oven & dehydrator.

Begin with lots of kale. To prepare two baking pans of chips in the oven, I often bring in a entire shopping basket full of kale from the garden. It shrivels up quite a lot, so don’t be shy!

Rinse kale (easiest way to do this is fill a big bowl with cold water – or your sink – and gently wash the kale in the water. Remove from water and shake off water, pat to dry). Roughly chop kale. In large bowl, add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper to taste, and other preferred spices. Add kale to bowl, use hands to coat kale leaves, and spread evenly onto baking sheets or dehydrator sheets.

If baking in an oven: bake at 325 degrees Farenheit for 20-25 minutes. Remove when crispy.

If using the dehydrator: Most recipes call for 12 hours at 105-118 degrees. Basically leave in there until crispy!

Eat right away. I can never seem to keep these longer than a few hours after they are prepared as they become soft and wilty.

Oil, salt & pepper are a great basic recipe. Adding chipotle powder, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, cumin, curry, garam masala are all great options. Here we love lots of nutritional yeast and some unlabeled spicy powder that resides in the spick rack. Some great lideas include Sun-dried Tomato Cheezy Kale Chips from Oh She Glows and Spicy & Cheesy Kale Chips from Eating Bird Food.

Curried Kale Salad

This recipe comes from Rebecca’s friend Mary. She made it at our farm’s summer solstice potluck gathering and it went SO fast. A delicious and quick salad.

Wash a bunch or two of kale and de-rib leaves. To de-rib kale, hold at the base of the stem and tear the leaf right off. Thinly slice kale.

Dressing ingredients:

6-7 fresh dates
4 tbsp Braggs aminos (tamari or shoyu)
1 inch fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1-2 tbsp curry
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp of lemon juice.

Combine dressing ingredients in blender. Mix and massage dressing into kale for a minute or two until the kale has wilted.

Below are some other great recipe ideas… some that I’ve made and some I have yet to. Once the kale is back in full swing around here I’ll be able to enjoy in these myself.

Sunshine In A Bowl from Peas & Thank You

Summer Kale Salad from The Nourishing Gourmet

My friend Greg from the farm makes a delicious Honey Mustard Dressing that was my staple dressing for kale salad. Greg & I both cook without measuring devices, we basically eye ball everything and taste test along the way. So what I learned from him is to combine ~1/2 C olive oil, 1/4 raw honey, 2-3 tablespoons dijon mustard, and either a touch of water or apple cider vinegar. Combine in a blender and massage into a bowl full of chopped kale. Sprinkle on sesame seeds, raisins and/or walnuts.

Hope this inspires you to enjoy some kale! There are hoards of great recipes ideas online. I am always looking for new ideas, particularly those that are others favorites, so do share if you have a favorite! I’m patiently awaiting our plants to grow back!

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