Green Beans with Lemon, Tarragon & Chia Seeds

green beans with lemon

This green beans with lemon recipe is another one of those super simple, “too tasty and easy to be true” dishes for an easy lunch or dinner side dish. Sometimes demonstrating that you can grab one vegetable from your garden or the Farmers Market, and easily turn it into a fairly complete meal or tide-over, is the best way I can use my blog space! The chia seeds provide extra complete protein and healthy fats to this, making it a decent light meal. And you can always add more chia seeds to suit your own nutritional preference and taste. So enjoy this one and let me know in the comments all the different ways you did! I used some rattlesnake beans from my garden for this recipe.

green beans with lemon, tarragon & chia seeds

About 1 pound of green beans, trimmed
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Manuka honey (or other organic raw honey) Read More


Grilled Figs are Gloriously Easy

grilled figs

It’s that time of the year again! The onslaught of ripening figs is happening faster than we can keep up with. Here is a really easy way to enjoy some grilled figs, and gobble them down without making a huge production out of it. Enjoy!

grilled figs in lettuce cups with caramelized onion & chèvre

6-8 fresh figs
1 tbsp. grass fed or coconut butter
1 Vidalia onion, sliced stir-fry style
2 tbsp. fresh sage, julienned
1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 lime, divided in half Read More


Nasturtium Pesto & Endless Possibilities

nasturtium pesto

Are you a pesto-file? Always looking at different ways to make pesto? Here is one you quite possibly have not tried yet, and it is very versatile. A couple weeks ago, I taught a workshop on edible common garden flowers at Fig Earth Supply, the edible nursery in my neighborhood. And, it got me thinking of all the delightful, delicious ways we can get the most nutritional bang from our outdoor spaces. Enter nasturtium pesto!

This pesto’s uses are pretty much endless! Top it on some eggs, spread it on vine ripened tomatoes, dollop on fresh caught trout, spread it on crostini, mix it into Alfredo sauce, heck I’ll bet it would even make good ice cream if done right! My favorite, and the most nutrient dense way to enjoy it is as a simple, stand alone dip for colorful, raw vegetables, like peppers, asparagus, cucumber, and celery.

And what’s the  best part about this pesto? It is, in fact, made of a leaf that would otherwise become byproduct in your garden- the edible leaves of the nasturtium flower. The main nutritional components found in nasturtium are glucosinolates, mustard oil, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C.

There are a few recipes for this pesto out there, but this one is 100% vegan and raw, for added nutritional value and plant-powered nuance. So, if you feel like having some pesto, but don’t have any basil around, just run out to your back yard and grab some nasturtiums, and go to town!

vegan cashew nasturtium pesto

2 cups of nasturtium leaves (about 30 leaves of varying sizes)
About 20 nasturtium flowers
NOTE: Try to pick the stems with the leaves, and reserve them as an optional ingredient
1/2 cup raw cashews
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly sliced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Read More


Tuna Salad on a Mission

Used to be that tuna salad was considered the “healthy choice.” But now who knows? Is the tuna wild? Is the mayo used to make the salad healthy? What about the bread for the sandwich? Is it gluten free? We can drive ourselves bonkers trying to keep up with all the information. And, this may  be part of the reason why tuna salad has lost popularity lately.  So, if you ever just get a taste for a tuna salad sandwich, why not just try it from a different angle? This recipe combines a dairy-egg free variation of tuna salad with Life Changing Bread, to bring you a clean(er) nutritional powerhouse of a tuna sandwich, with fiber, complete proteins from the fish and also plants, healthy fats, and other vitamins and minerals.

So, forget about “whether a tuna sandwich is okay” and dig in!

niçoise tuna salad finger sandwiches

2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
About half a scallion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, loosely chopped
Splash of unfiltered raw cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon (or more if you like strong mustard flavor) Read More


It’s a Radish Wrap

So, I guess I have thought in the past about slicing a daikon radish thin to use as a wrap. But for some reason, when my airbnb guests from Korea introduced this dish to me, it seemed like a totally groovy new thing. I think what did it was the fact that the daikon radish came already sliced into perfect round sheets, and packaged. At first, I thought it was a gyoza (pot sticker) wrapper, but when I saw that it was radish, I was pleasantly surprised. So, today we have a couple of unwitting guest bloggers,  Hyoungwoo & Silhui from Seol, Korea, and their super simple, daikon veggie rolls. I see these being very versatile, stuffed with shrimp, seared tofu, smoked mushrooms, all sorts of things. This recipe is just a basic veggie roll, just like the ones that were prepared in my home the other day.

The pickled radish has sugar, so if you want to avoid that, make your own and use a healthier substitute for the sugar, like stevia, or jaggery sugar. Besides that though, this is a great way to get some raw, nutrient density into your body in a very simple and delicious way.

korean daikon radish wrap with vegetables

15-20 slices of Ssam-Mu (sliced & pickled Korean or daikon radish)
NOTE: You can also find it packaged at a Korean and sometimes Japanese Supermarkets
1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed and steamed or roasted
1 bell pepper, color of your choice, trimmed and julienned into slices
1 package enoki mushrooms, earthy base removed and cut into long, loose mushrooms
Your favorite Asian style dipping sauce

OPTIONAL OTHER FILLINGS: shrimp, sliced chicken, fresh herbs like basil, perilla leaves, Read More


Fig & Shiitake Bacon Bites

Here is a fun and extremely easy variation on the bacon-wrapped fig. Actually, I wanted to see if I could wrap a fig in a shiitake bacon, but the bacon pieces aren’t quite big or flexible enough. Next time I will try making a portobello bacon. In the meantime, this is what I ended up with, and to my delight, it came out very tasty. Try this as a snack, or a vegan and Paleo-friendly summer hors d’oeuvre, if you go with the vegan cheese, or I would imagine that goat cheese would be equally amazing. You can google shiitake bacon recipes and experiment, or just use the one I came up with here. Making shiitake bacon is much easier than it sounds if you use this quick method.

fig & shiitake bacon bites

For the shiitake bacon:
4 or 5 large shiitake mushroom caps
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. tamari or liquid aminos
1/2 tsp. melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper Read More


Avocado & Pear, What a Pair!

I love it when a random “grab two things and see what happens” move in the kitchen turns out to be so yummy. Here is an extremely easy recipe that mixes pears with avocados, and finishes it off with some fresh lime and basil. Add this to your list of simple raw fruit and vegetable go-to’s. It’s perfectly refreshing for hot summer days. Enjoy!

avocado & pear salad with basil lime dressing

1 fresh pear
1 avocado
1 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. raw honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
2 tbsp. julienned fresh basil Read More


Simple Brussels Sprout Brilliance

Brussels sprouts, you either love them, or you hate them. I have both prepared, and eaten Brussels sprouts many different ways: steamed, sautéed, braised in oatmeal stout, grated raw in salads; some preparations good, some not so good. So who knew that the quick and easy, clean and vegan preparation would turn out to be so delightful? Well, not me, but now I am sold. This dish provides the devout vegan with essential B12 from the nooch, essential fats, and a complete amino acid protein profile from the hempseed. But don’t let the word “vegan” put you off. This is absolutely delicious, light, and satiating and can be enjoyed on just about any diet or lack thereof.

brussels sprouts with hempseed & lemon zest

10-15 oz. Brussels sprouts, whole, or cut in half or quarters, depending on size
1-2 tbsp. vegan butter from healthy oils, like avocado, olive, etc. or coconut oil (suit amount to your taste and oil consumption needs)
2 tbsp. hulled hempseed
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast Read More


Another Shoutout for Figs

Okay, I warned you that there would be more than one post for figs this week. Here is a very simple and quick way to enjoy figs on a lazy summer Sunday. Even the cashew cheese is a “quick” version that does not require fermenting or any other drawn out process. The figs used in this recipe were Turkish figs, which have gorgeous striped outer skin, but you can use any tree ripened fig. I hope you get an opportunity to enjoy this soon.

seared Chinese 5-spice figs with cashew cheese

Fresh ripe figs, as many as you want to enjoy
Chinese 5 Spice
Cashew or your favorite soft cheese (cashew cheese recipe provide below)

Cut the figs in half lengthwise and discard the stem if it is present. Sprinkle a little bit of the Chinese 5 spice on the open side of each of the figs. On a hot skillet, sear the figs, open side first, until the seared side starts to become caramelized. Using a clean, thin spatula, very carefully scoop under the fig and flip it over. The juices of the fig are going to want to stick to the skillet so be sure to be as careful and thorough as possible when flipping, so that you still have some nice spiced coating on the top. Sear the other side of the figs for just a minute and then move over to a plate. Don’t cook the other side for very 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.