you say “leaf” I say “pad”

Whatever you call it, that ubiquitous cactus that is probably hanging out in more back yards than many of us realize, is packed with superfood nutrition. The leaf or “pad” of the nopale is believed to support many aspects of health and well being such as weight loss, blood purification, maintaining blood sugar balance, and more. My personal philosophy is that nature designed the nopale to provide good, somewhat complete nutrition in climates where growing and cultivating food, and finding an abundant water source may be a challenge. In any case, I feel extremely lucky to have two nopale trees in my food garden. They are going crazy right now producing more nopales than we can keep up with. In the spirit of water conservation, food sustainability, and good health, why not explore how many accessible nopales are growing in your world? Here is a simple, very traditional egg recipe for enjoying fresh nopales from your garden. Be sure to cut the nopale when the leaf is still young and the thorns are still soft to the touch. Once the thorns have become wooody and hard, the nopale leaf is too mature for culinary enjoyment. You can cut nopales, clean, and cut into “nopalitos,” basically cleaned and cut up nopales, and store them in an air tight bag or container for up to a week or two.

huevos con nopalitos

Makes 2 servings
1 large or 2 small nopale pads
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed but still intact
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 eggs Read More


you say "leaf" I say "pad"

Whatever you call it, that ubiquitous cactus that is probably hanging out in more back yards than many of us realize, is packed with superfood nutrition. The leaf or “pad” of the nopale is believed to support many aspects of health and well being such as weight loss, blood purification, maintaining blood sugar balance, and more. My personal philosophy is that nature designed the nopale to provide good, somewhat complete nutrition in climates where growing and cultivating food, and finding an abundant water source may be a challenge. In any case, I feel extremely lucky to have two nopale trees in my food garden. They are going crazy right now producing more nopales than we can keep up with. In the spirit of water conservation, food sustainability, and good health, why not explore how many accessible nopales are growing in your world? Here is a simple, very traditional egg recipe for enjoying fresh nopales from your garden. Be sure to cut the nopale when the leaf is still young and the thorns are still soft to the touch. Once the thorns have become wooody and hard, the nopale leaf is too mature for culinary enjoyment. You can cut nopales, clean, and cut into “nopalitos,” basically cleaned and cut up nopales, and store them in an air tight bag or container for up to a week or two.

huevos con nopalitos

Makes 2 servings
1 large or 2 small nopale pads
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed but still intact
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 eggs Read More


spiced-up grilling simplicity

I love cooking outdoors! One of the highlights of my summer has always been firing up my electric smoker, or using my Texas barrel as a “wood oven.” I have cooked just about everything imaginable outdoors, from pizza to smoked peaches. Grilling, smoking, and barbecuing doesn’t have to be reserved for meat. There are a lot of plant foods that do extremely well on the grill. This recipe for grilled eggplant is my favorite way to just grab an eggplant from my garden and quickly turn it into a featured grill item. If you can mix a few spices together, you can easily prepare this dish. The buttery flavor from the natural oils of the roasted eggplant along with tomato and the tahini is heaven when eaten! You can even prepare this on your stovetop griddle or in a grill pan.

moroccan spiced eggplant & tomato with tahini

Serves 2-4
2 large Japanese eggplant
2 tomatoes
Olive oil for brushing
Prepared tahini
Salt to taste
Moroccan Spice:
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. coriander Read More


a healthy dose of sweetness

This recipe and image has been sitting in my drafts folder for a couple months. I am currently on a 5 day bicycle ride to raise money for climate ride. When I am riding my bicycle for five days straight, my body craves clean, usable nutrition without a lot of hard to digest stuff. This protein bar recipe came to mind so I thought it is time to finally post it for you all. And, I thought it would be a fun for you to try on the weekend because these bars store great for a week long go to snack. By the way, if you are curious about Climate Ride, you can learn more and make a donation here: http://bike.climateride.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=3270

vegan lemony power bars

2 1/4 cups vegan protein powder
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
1 1/2 cup pure agave nectar
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Zest from 2 lemons
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 16-oz. jar pure chunky almond  butter (salted brings out the flavor better)
3 cups hempseed granola (available at Trader Joe’s)
Sunflower seeds for garnish

Warm the almond butter and agave in a bowl together. Mix together with all the remaining ingredients except for the granola. Work in the cereal until it is all mixed well. Press into a 9″x11″ dish. Sprinkle generously the sunflower seeds over the top of the mixture. Press the seeds into the mixture so they don’t fall off the top. Refrigerate the mixture until firm. Cut into squares and enjoy immediately or store for later. These store well at room temperature for up to a week, and freeze well also.


root systems we love!

I love the artichoke roots that have taken hold in my food garden! Every year, a glorious new artichoke plant pops out and produces delicious artichokes right on schedule. They have become one of the highlights of spring in at our house. Artichoke roots go dormant in late summer early fall, but then wake up in early winter to start producing the plant, and spring is usually harvest time for artichokes. Many people scratch their heads at artichokes, either because they only know how to boil them, or maybe they just don’t think its worth the work required to finally get to the delicious heart of the artichoke. To me it is all worth the work, but just in case, here is a super easy way to prepare fresh artichokes, that incorporates roasted garlic. I recommend trying this accompanied by something you can spread the edible meat of the artichoke, along with the roasted garlic onto, like a baguette or a toasted flatbread. Don’t let spring pass without trying this once! It is a nice alternative to the traditional boiling method. I like to leave two or three artichokes on the plant each year because they eventually blossom into a beautiful flower. And they look as beautiful as they taste!

garlic stuffed roasted artichoke

4 medium artichokes
2 lemons, cut in half
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
12 or more cloves of garlic, peeled
12 sprigs fresh thyme Read More