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?  

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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’!

 

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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Aimee, This One’s For You!

As my friend Aimee liked to bring to my attention today – I haven’t shown much love here lately and her ability to stalk me has been severely hindered. So here is what I have been up to since the day I ran the city of bridges.

-Two weekends ago I moved out of my tiny dollhouse apartment into Jeanne’s – a mere hop, skip, & jump away in Squirrel Hill. Temporary roomie until I head to Toronto and permanent roomie come December. Living with Jeanne means I’ll be able to enjoy many more walks with Edison & flowers!

My favorite pic from an early morning walk a few weeks ago –

-In the last week I officially became an omnivore (a picky one). Yep, this girl ate a burger last week (thanks to Jeanne’s local, grass-fed meat from her CSA) and am looking very forward to the bison I will be dining on come Wednesday with my fam at the Heartland Cafe. In addition to that burger, I’ve enjoyed some eggs, raw milk, organic yogurt, wild-caught salmon and pasture butter. I wouldn’t go as far as saying “I’ve been missing out” but I cannot deny that I have enjoyed these foods entirely. More blood work showed I’ve hit a scary level (you can go ahead and read this as nearly zero) with my hormones and vitamin B12 – so instead of not working out which was recommended by the doc – I decided to introduce pristine quality meat and raw dairy into my diet while continuing to workout. The fact that I’m craving red meat again speaks volumes – I clearly need the nutrients. More on this to come.

-Flew into Chicago last week and have been enjoying the amazing weather, relaxation, catching up with friends, reading the Hunger Games, going to my first Cubs/Sox Crosstown Classic game, visiting the always beautiful Chicago Botanic Gardens, and watching movies with my momma.

Being home has meant I’ve even been able to witness the first ripe strawberry from my plants of last year – my mom and I went to harvest our one berry this evening and some stinker already got it! You snooze you loose apparently. This week I’ll likely do lots of reading, yoga, running, projects with my mom (soap, sauerkraut, more lotions, yada yada yada), and go see The Hunger Games before heading to Milwaukee this weekend for another Jagel wedding. Cannot wait to see Ryan & Maggie get hitched and to hopefully check out Growing Power Saturday am. I have a lot to pack in before I go back to the burgh Sunday & Canada Monday!

-Today I made homemade lotion and chapstick! Easiest. projects. ever. and both incredibly cost efficient. For just a few cents I have a few mason jars full of lotion and 6 tubes of chapstick. Here’s how to DIY:

Homemade Lotion

1/4 cup olive oil (note: not extra virgin)
1/4 cup emulsifying wax (purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs)
1 1/4 cup hot water
essential oil(s) of choice

Directions: In a glass pyrex measuring cup combine 1/4 cup emulsifying wax & 1/4 olive oil. Heat these two until wax is entirely melted either in microwave (~1-2 minutes) or double broiler style in a pot over medium heat. Once the wax is melted add 24-36 drops of essential oil(s) if desired. While adding oils, heat 1 1/4 cup of water for about 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave. Add hot water to oil/wax mixture. Immediately the combination will turn milky white. Stir and pour into a 16 ounce mason jar. Cover and allow to settle & cool.

That’s it!! So quick, easy, and eco-friendly.

Homemade Chapstick

1 1/8 tsp cocoa butter
1 7/8 tsp coconut oil
3 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp beeswax
3 vitamin E capsules
6-7 chapstick tubes (reuse old ones or purchase for cheap Mountain Rose Herbs)

Directions: In a pyrex glass measuring cup combine melted cocoa butter, coconut oil, beeswax & olive oil. After these four liquids are well combined, add the contents of three vitamin E capsules. Stir and pour into empty tubes. Allow to cool and harden and there you have chapstick that smells like honey!

I was very pleased with all the products I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs – just be sure to purchase everything at once to keep the price of shipping down.

Let’s see what else… while teaching Jeanne to juice last week we pumped out one of my typical green juices while also making a watermelon-strawberry juice. Delicious. A few days prior I had juiced some remaining watermelon that was in my fridge so I didn’t have to pack it for my move. Why had I not done this before? Simple watermelon juice is so refreshing and hydrating. A perfect summer beverage. So this morning I decided to start my day not with green but with red juice and opted for a pineapple & watermelon juice:

1/2 pineapple
2-3 cups watermelon
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 1″ nub of ginger

So good and rehydrating. I’ve been in desperate need of liquids after a weekend of too much salt however water wasn’t appealing. This really hit the spot.

Off to read more Hunger Games, do some yoga, and perch with Ma & Pa.

Source: etsy.com via Jo Ann on Pinterest

a very green wednesday

Apparently yesterday was a day chock full of green!

am post- yoga rehydration: Green Juice (kale, celery, cuke, apple, lemon)

“lunch”: green grapes, zucchini & celery

snack: apple & coconut water

2nd snack: green smoothie (kale, 1/2 cuke, 1 banana, 1/2 small avocado, flax)

Post 2 hour run: a heaping bowl of salad greens & thai coleslaw x 2

I thought I had previously shared the recipe for thai coleslaw (raw, vegan)- apparently it was all intentions and no action! I love this particular recipe as it is full of nutrition, cheap and so easy! I usually omit the tamari & honey – and only add the herbs if I have them on hand.

thai coleslaw *adapted from Sunny Raw Kitchen

ingredients:

3 cups shredded cabbage (mix of green & purple)
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1 bunch chives or green onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Dressing:

2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup  low sodium tamari
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons of honey (or bit of stevia)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1″ ginger, peeled, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder

directions: Blend all dressing ingredients for dressing.  Add to chopped salad ingredients. Toss & serve!

and now i’m off to figure out why this new format won’t let me single space any of this and read The Dirty Life and Food and the City. I love having the space to read books for pleasure again… I can’t begin to imagine how many I’ll plow through at the farm this year!

Also working on many updates for the blog – be on the lookout – publishing soon!

Warm Weather Inspiration

Warmer temperatures these past few days have helped me see some light at the end of the tunnel (although it still seems eons away). Sunday morning after nearly three hours of hot yoga – hellllo sweat – I walked outside to a 70 degree, very sunny day! Amazing. Showered, made some green juice, ate half a pineapple (totally normal…), and joined my friend Jeanne & Edison (pictured below) for an afternoon walk to the park. Spent a lovely hour or so soaking up the warm rays and getting a fair amount of pet therapy in the process… SO many cute puppies.

Edison

Onyx

Was too distracted with his cuteness to remember his name

Monday morning I woke up pre-sunrise to finish Pineapple Culture, a book I’ve been reading for my Food, Culture, & History class this week. With my tea I had fresh orange and pineapple juice (coincidence???). In the juicer went 5 small valencia oranges and about 1/4 of the remaining pineapple from Sunday. Simple, sweet, and a wonderful way to start my Monday. Unfortunately, I will now always associate pineapple with American imperialism in Hawaii… I double checked-my pineapple came from Costa Rica. Certainly no better. Can’t win.

Late Monday night I decided to make cashew butter and a face scrub. I’m not sure what made me decide to do this but come 10:30 I figured it was time to start a project in the kitchen. So unfortunately for my neighbor I ran my food processor, loudly, for a good 15 minutes.

It’s too bad my apartment has horrific lighting and pictures don’t do justice for anything made here. So I can’t share what these two look like. You’ll just have to trust my judgment and make them yourself because they are worth it.

Cashew Butter

Simple. Grab a bunch of raw cashews and throw them in the food processor. Turn it on and let it process. Every few minutes scrape the sides and mix up what is in there to make sure nothing gets glued to the sides. After about 10-15 minutes you’ll have a smooth & creamy butter. No need to add additional oils- there are plenty naturally in the cashews. Enjoy! Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Oatmeal Lavender Face Scrub

Exfoliating your face with this brings out a rich lavender smell… can’t beat it. And an excellent, chem-free way to refresh your skin after winter.

In a food processor combine:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dry lavender flowers, stripped off stalks (available at health food stores & Whole Foods herb bulk sections)

Pulse these a few times just enough to break up the oatmeal a bit. Transfer to a bowl and add ~1/4 cup of milk. Stir to combine. Massage into damp skin and rinse. Will store in a sealed container up to six months.

Last night I also made kale & lentil soup for a friend. While I didn’t taste it – I can guarantee, based off the smell of my apartment after it was cooking all night in the crockpot, it is bound to be tasty…. Marisa will have to confirm :)

Kale & Lentil Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup of green or brown lentils, picked & rinsed
6 cups of broth or water
4 kale leaves (Dino/lacinato works best)
1 tbsp tamari (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

1. Combine oil, onion, garlic, carrot and celery in crock-pot on low.
2. Rinse lentils, add to pot along with broth or water. Add tamari if desired.
3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
4. Cut kale into bite size strips and either a) steam in a double boiler for 5 minutes or b) add directly to crock at least 15 minutes prior to serving to soften.
5. Season with salt & pepper if desired.

Highlights Of My Week

A few of my favorite things this mid week of February:

Simple juices… real simple. Like 1 to 4 ingredients and I’m done.

Top favorite??

GRAPEFRUIT!


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I woke up this morning not really looking forward to my day that set to begin at the doctors office. I turned my sleepy frown upside down immediately with the help of three grapefruits. Peeled & juiced to perfection. Not too sweet, not too bitter… and just so happens to result in the prettiest shade of pink. A mason jar full of pink juice is certain to make anyone smile :)

Another fave: the quintessential OJ!


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My friend Anna just introduced me to frozen, unpasteurized OJ from Whole Foods. Put it in the fridge overnight and wake up to a half juice/half slush beverage that is wonderfully hydrating.

Spin class. Love, love, love! Yet I’m convinced spin instructors are on crack. I don’t know how they lead these workouts while dancing (bike style) & singing simultaneously. Waving their hands around in the air… I’m lucky if I don’t face plant with both hands holding on and my feet strapped in. Crack or no crack though, I’m glad they are up there kicking my behind.

Night bike rides. Chilly but invigorating.

Multi-colored popcorn.

Farm fresh eggs in my fridge. Complete with feather remnants stuck on the shell.

Class outing to the Heinz History Center. So much history packed into this place! Another Pittsburgh gem.

NYC next week!

Chicago in two weeks!

and this song.

Spinach soup & then some

Before I submersed myself in a delightful yoga session at home this morning (Sean Conley podcast, of course!), I made a full on mess in my teeny tiny kitchen. When I started I thought I was only going to make my usual breakfast but it quickly turned into a bit more. I blame the energy I got from sipping the greens…

First was this morning’s green that included:

Handful of kale
Handful of romaine
2 celery stalks
1/2 lemon
1 cuke, peeled
1 1/2 apples
1 small piece of pineapple (what was leftover from what I wolfed down while washing the veggies)
2′ piece of ginger

Per usual… best breakfast eva.

I got ambitious and figured I’d make a carrot juice since I haven’t for awhile and had 5 lbs in my fridge. Then I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and make spinach soup if I was juicing carrots. SO, into the juicer went 2.5 lb of carrots. All washed & ends chopped off.

Carrot pulp was saved and stashed in fridge for a creation to be decided upon later this week. Probably crackers or a raw bread in the dehydrator.

I saved roughly 8 ounces of carrot juice for my snack and threw the rest in the blender. Finished up the juice with some jalapeno (obsessed), an apple, lemon, and ginger.

At this point I had food and utensils everywhere. My kitchen imploded. I had carrot pulp all over my floor, bags of compost in my drying rack and on the stove, veggies in the drying rack, lettuce on top of my fridge, food all over my stove and in my sink(!!), the veggies in the sink were sharing space with dirty dishes, juicer parts all over….. ah. If you’ve seen my kitchen you know it’s a feat just to cut an apple. No joke.

Once I got ahold of the mess I made the soup. SO good!

Spinach Soup

~16 ounces carrot juice
5 SMALL cloves of garlic
1″ piece of peeled, fresh ginger
tiny chunk of jalapeno
touch of lemon juice
LOTS of spinach
Fresh pepper

Blend everything except the spinach until well blended. Add spinach and fill to top. Blend. Add more. Blend. Add more. Blend. Add more. You get the picture.

I thought I went a little nuts with the garlic. However, five cloves was in fact perfect. The sweetness from the carrot toned down the power of the garlic. I enjoyed this cold, alongside a kale, carrot pulp, and mushroom salad with dijon lemon dressing. Yum.

I’d say I got my dose of greens today.