Christmas Salad

christmas salad

Fresh persimmons in a salad?  Are you kidding?!

Opening one’s mind and taste buds to new thoughts, ideas and flavors is what keeps life interesting. The idea of including fresh persimmons in a salad presented itself when I attended a supper club meal at Polly’s Paladar. This creation was made with bitter greens, pomegranates, and candied pecans. It was topped with hot pork chunks and served with a vinegrette dressing.

Here is my modified version.  I named it ‘Christmas Salad’ because I first made it right after Thanksgiving – using turkey left-overs – and everyone exclaimed that the colors (spinach, pomegranties, persimmons and mandarines)…looked just like Christmas.

 

Candied Pecans

Coat as many pecans as you plan to use with maple syrup. Spread them out flat on a baking pan and cook at 200 degrees until nuts are lightly toasted (and dry) …..approx. 30 minutes.

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Fresh spinach

Fresh persimmon(s) – soft…almost squishy…peeled and seeded – chopped into bite-sized bits

Mandarines – peeled

Pomegranate seeds

Top wth your favorite protein

Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

 

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Detoxing, Recharging and Cleaning Out the Pipes

Stefan Krause, Germany

I’ve watched many friends doing detoxes and cleanses but was never brave enough to try one myself.  What is a detox? It is like flushing out  slow-running pipes in your plumbing system….except this one is in your body. Over time, our soft tissues and circulatory system accumulates things that we wish it wouldn’t; chemicals from cleaning products, preservatives from processed foods, heavy metals from environmental pollution and the list goes on…

On a scale from one to ten, I figured that my daily eating habits rated about a 7.5. There was room for improvement. A system-wide preventative-maintenance program seemed like a good idea at this point, because I’d clicked over another zero on the odometer of life. Finally, I was curious to find out if I had the willpower and resolve necessary to be really good with everything that I put in my mouth.

I signed up for an 11 Day Clean Eating Program with Zywies (Z ī -wees) Health Coach, Mafer Frantz. In the beginning, I was worried that I might fail. I love my morning coffee and enjoy satisfying a desire for something sweet after lunch.

IMG_6987-lrwebAccording to Mafer, “detoxing at least 4 times a year supports a healthy body for a lifetime.” Her program promises that you won’t go hungry, you will eat whole, seasonal foods and you will have more energy and feel great. Her promises are true.

The regime begins with drinking lots of water! First thing in the morning, a splash of apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper is added to it. For the remainder of the day you are drinking water with unsweetened fruit juice concentrates. The next step is the elimination of some of the things that we all know are not good for us – sugar, caffeine, bread, cheese and certain meats. Going along with every step, Mafer provides educational articles to read about what happens inside our bodies as a result of  eating the foods we habitually consume.

Alternatives and substitutions are where things start to get interesting and where my failure-worry was replaced with curiosity and enthusiasm for all of the new things to eat, snack on and prepare.

At the conclusion of the program, I did feel more energized. I haven’t resumed my prior coffee habit and I have adopted new, healthier, practices that will be incorporated into my (and my families) everyday life. I have also learned, once again, that I don’t have to be afraid of change.

Since this blog follows the ebb and flow of Shared Tastes, you will be seeing my own take on preparing and eating superfoods, more seasonal whole foods and more vegetarian dishes. Many of these are directly inspired by Mafer Frantz’s 11 Day Clean Eating Program.

 

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Sautèed Onions and Chia Seeds over Butternut Squash

A savory vegetarian dish with seasonal produce, and lots of healthy oil for adding moisture to the hair and skin.

 

Fully cook a butternut squash.

Remove skin and seeds, then mash or blend to desired consistency.

Add fresh or dried thyme, cardamom (1 drop food-grade essential oil**), turmeric and garlic powder to taste.

 

In a frying pan sautè one onion – sliced – with 4 tblsp. olive or coconut oil. Once the onions are browned add

2 tblsp. chia seeds

2 tblsp. pine nuts

1 tblsp. (or more to taste) liquid aminos

 

Top butternut squash with sautèed onion mixture for a yummy, warm, one dish meal

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** I have a specific brand of food-grade essential oils that use in my recipes.  DO NOT consume any random brand of essential oil as many of them contain toxic filler ingredients. If you’d like to know more about that brand that I use, you can contact me via e-mail.

 

Stuffed Mushrooms – Todd Frantz

 

 

 

todds stuffed mushrooms

 

A holiday treat shared with lovely friends that is sure to become a frequently requested family favorite.

Coat cooking pan with olive oil

desired amount of fresh mushrooms with stems removed

Filling (enough to fill the mushrooms):
olives
capers
garlic
salt
Italian Seasoning

finely chop all of the above – fill the base of the mushroom caps

smoked Gouda cheese – chop finely or grate – place on top of filling

several pieces of mostly cooked bacon – finely chopped – place on top of cheese

brush, spray or drizzle olive oil over the top of the mushrooms (keeps them moist)

Bake at 425˚ until cheese is melted.

Stuffed Sweet Potaotes

This is a family (especially kid) pleaser! A yummy comfort food for a cold, rainy night.

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Baked Sweet Potatoes

Hollow out potato – leaving enough inside the ‘shell’ to support the structure.

In a pan, saute

2-4 tbslp. olive oil
with 2-3 cloves garlic – chopped
and 2 large carrots – julienned

once carrot are softened
add 2 small zucchini – julienned
3 green onions –  chopped fine
3-4 medium sized tomatillos – chopped fine (if you like a tart flavor…add more!)
remove from heat once zucchini has softened

*may also add meat for protein – in this recipe, I added chopped ham

line the bottom of the potato with shredded Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
fill with sauted vegetables then top with more cheese

Salsa

Base:salsa web

2 tblsp. olive oil in saute pan
4 cloves garlic – chopped
1 habanero chili (or 3 Thai chilis…or any type / combination of hot peppers that you like) – finely chopped

Saute garlic and peppers in oil just long enough that you start to smell the aromas
(garlic should be slightly browned …turn off heat before it burns).  Remove from heat.

to the sauted oil, garlic & peppers add

1 can tomato sauce – set aside to cool

Chop:
4 stalks celery
1 large yellow or white onion
1 carrot
3 or 4 bell peppers
6 or more large fresh tomatoes
2 bunches fresh cilantro
juice and zest from 5 limes
salt & pepper to taste
1 tblsp. cumin seeds

Pour sauce base over chopped vegetables and mix.

Great freshly made…but even better after sitting over night!

Lisa’s notes:  Salsa…. I have been known to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I love mexican food and can tell in the first few moments if a restaurant is good by their salsa; if it is awesome, then the rest of the food usually is too.

My favorite salsa of all time is Casa Lupe’s.  My parents first took me to a restaurant that was in Gridley, CA when I was a child. Since then I have eaten mexican food all over and have yet to discover a salsa that’s better.  ….I have often contemplated applying for a job there so I could learn their salsa secrets!  This recipe is the culmination of many years of experimentation in attempts to match Casa Lupe’s awesome salsa.

Oatmeal Drop Cookies – Grandma’s

3/4 cup shorteningIMG_0709 - Copy
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup & 2 tblsp. flour
1 teas. baking powder
1/4 teasp. salt
1/3 cup milk
1 teasp. cinnamon
1 teasp. vanilla
3 cups quick oats
1 cup raisins or nuts

Cream shortening & sugar, beat in eggs one at a time.

Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon & salt.

Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Stir in vanilla, add raisins & oats.

Drop from teaspoon.

Bake 375 for 15 min.

Betty’s Notes:  Best  B.W. 12-21-95  Today I used half brown sugar and half white.

 

grandma aren

 

grandma adam

 

 

 

 

 

Carrot Soup

carrot soup with goat cheese rabit 10-12 carrots cut into chunks

1 onion – chopped

several celery stalks – chopped

1 cup cream (or milk or soy milk)

1/4 cup butter

fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

cinnamon or nutmeg if desired

Add all chopped vegetables to 8 cups boiling water. Boil until vegetables are soft.
Use a food processor or blender to puree. Add butter, dairy, lemon juice and seasonings.

To Make the Rabbit:

Shape rabbit face out of soft cheese – use black peppercorns for the eyes; red for the nose.
Use a vegetable peeler to make the whiskers and to shape the tiny carrot at the bottom.
Hollow out a space at the fat end of the tiny carrot to insert a celery leaf or two.
(The white and blue part of the eyes were drawn in digitally)

Spicy Sunrise Soup – Mushroom, Tortilla Strips & Egg

 


Cut cor tortillas into thin strips. Generously coat with herb infused olive oil ( I used garlic, parsley, basil & rosemary olive oil). Cook in oven on low heat until golden brown. While still warm, sprinkle with lemon, Tabasco Chipolte flavored sald.

Salt: Lemon zest, Tabasco pepper sauce & salt

Sautee in herb infused olive oil, garlic, onions & mushrooms. place in a mound in bottom of bowl.

Heat chicken stock & thicken with corn starch.

Pour stock around mound. Place fried egg on top. Crush some of the tortilla strips & finely chop cilantro & mix with lemon zest.

Fill a poultry injector with Tabasco sacue and swirl around in chicken stock.

garnish egg with alternating “ray’s of crushed tortilla & cilantro / lemon….dip remaining tortill astrips in tabasto sauce and place along back of dish.