HOW TO :: Homemade Nut Milks

With health consciousness on the rise, more people are turning to dietary alternatives with the aim of avoiding allergens in their food. Why? Because many of these foods create internal inflammation of our tissues and joints and chronic inflammation can lead to disease and illness.

homemade almond milkCommon food triggers are wheat, dairy, peanuts, soy, refined sugar. If you’re following a paleo diet these and many more are on the no-no list. If you’re doing a detox cleanse, you need not be as strict. Many things have easy, healthy substitutes – instead of white sugar, opt for raw local honey. Instead of peanut butter, try sunflower seed butter.

Dairy gets a little tricky because many of the substitutes have OTHER allergens and ingredients to steer clear from. Most shelf-stable nut milks contain carrageenan, “a gum extracted from certain species of red algae (also known as Irish moss) has thickening, gelling, and binding properties. It is used to stabilize emulsions in dairy products; to improve the quality of foods such as soups, salad dressings, sauces, and fruit drinks; and to give a creamy thick texture to milk products,” states Prescription for Dietary Wellness: Using Foods to Heal by Phyllis Balch. Continue reading

Chia vs Hemp :: A Health Lovers Guide

Nutritious eating has always been my game – I like getting the proper proportion of fats, protein and healthy carbs in on a daily basis. Like most people, I’m also following food trends and hoping to anticipate them. Flax meal? On it – you can catch a recipe or two in Urban Pantry. Fermented foods? Eat them – I have several jars in my fridge and eat them with a soft-boiled eggs as a quick lunch when I’m in the gardens. Lately, it seems everyone is going ga-ga over hemp seeds and chia – me included. I wrote about hemp seeds in the February issue of Seattle Magazine and received a bag of ‘cereal’ at IFBC 2014 that included chia with hemp and buckwheat (and was delicious). Experimenting with healthy foods is fun, but I can’t help but wonder……why the fuss? What ARE these proclaimed super foods actually adding to our diet and do … Continue reading

Best Soups in Seattle

I loved putting together this list of what I think are the best soups in Seattle. The article ran in January’s Seattle Magazine, but I’ve condensed it here to a selection of soups that I would personally recommend, versus having to include neighborhoods across town. I would eat these soups any day of the week. What am I missing?!

DOWNTOWN 

Tom’s Tomato Soup at Dahlia Bakery and Dahlia Lounge 
In the jewel-box space that houses the Dahlia Bakery, people queue up year-round for takeout soups, salads and sandwiches. Just like mom used to make, Tom’s tasty tomato soup (available daily) is loaded with canned tomatoes and cream in perfect proportions, creating a super tomatoey soup that is best eaten with the brown-butter croutons (always served in Dahlia Lounge, next door; order as an extra at the bakery).
Tom's Tasty Tomato

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Leafy Greens & Coconut Milk Soup :: Clean Eating

Leafy Green & Coconut-Broth SoupThe new year is a great time to recover from holiday indulgences. Personally, I’m so over food and drinks just now. Instead,  I’m craving clean eating foods that I know will work through my system quickly and provide me with energy. (I’ve been counterbalancing bourbon with green juice for a week!) Craving fuel, January 1 is when I typically make a shopping list and stock up on frozen cut fruit for smoothies, bunches of leafy, winter greens and make sure I have some lean proteins available for adding to meals. Continue reading

How to Harvest & Eat Dandelions

Poor dandelions, always getting a bad rap for wreaking havoc on lawns and in general being a ruthless weed. It’s true that dandelions are a deeply rooted “weed” that are a real nightmare to dig out, but it’s also true that they taste pretty good and are literally everywhere. One need not look very far to find a bed of dandelions fit for eating; they are easily identifiable. Dandelion greens turn bitter and woody quite quickly, so very early spring is the best time to harvest them. To harvest and eat dandelions, try to clip the small leaves from the plant before the plant flowers.

How to Harvest & Eat Dandelions

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Cabbage – Clean Eating

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, just like broccoli, kale, collards, turnips and MORE. Cruciferous veg are high in sulfur. Eating these natural compounds help your body produce anti-oxidant and detoxification proteins, which in turn help to eliminate biohazards from your cells. Seriously! Basically, what this does is increase your bodies cellular function   and help clean out your system – like a gentle internal cleanser. For these reasons (and more which surpass my scientific understanding of digestion), many health advocates contend that you should be eating raw cruciferous vegetables daily. Because of their cellular support, cruciferous vegetables are thought to aid in the prevention of many cancers. Studies have been done to prove this, but why wait for a study? Eating more raw (or cooked) leafy greens will never prove to be a BAD idea.Cabbage Pancake

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Clean Eating

IMG_9666Many people opt for health in the new year, particularly after weeks of festive parties and holiday cheer. This marks a new column for the site focused on Clean Eating. While you wouldn’t necessarily make the connection, many of the recipes I write are considered ‘clean’ – they take advantage of healthy fats, steer clear of inflammatory foods and maximize flavor. I don’t eat wheat, rely on fruits and vegetables for bulk, and count on lean proteins for their nutritional properties and ability to sate. I’ve been eating like this for years. It all started when…… Continue reading

Asian Noodle with Kale & Avocado-Miso Dressing Recipes

Kale & Avocado Miso DressingI am in love with this salad from my new eBook KALE. Last week on the TV show Top Chef, Dana Cowin (the long time editor of Food & Wine Magazine) said kale is one of her most hated food trends. Then, this……”I love kale, that’s not a trend to me,” says host Padma Lakshmi. “The idea of kale has now become boiled down to ONE iteration – it’s either Kale Salad or Kale Chips,” responded Dana Cowin. Continue reading

Chilled Squid with Pickled Peppers & Summer Herbs Recipe

Chilled Squid & Pickled PepperThis is a perfect dish for a cool and sunny autumn afternoon, from my ebook Fresh Pantry: PEPPERS. Eat as many peppers as you can before they are all gone – we’re in our last days of harvesting them! My dear friend Ritzy, who seldom cooks but is always hungry said “omg. I love this salad so much! I gobbled up the entire grande bowl that you gave me.”

Chilled Squid with Pickled Peppers & Summer Herbs
SERVES 4

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