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This recipe was a spontaneous decision on my part to use up the overabundance of produce in my possession.  Add to that the chill to the air in the Pacific Northwest  (despite the rare occurence of sun recently) – and you have a warming, healthy stew that will feed your entire family (or yourself + leftovers for the week).  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • -1 yellow onion, diced
  • -4 cloves garlic, minced
  • -1.5 lbs pork stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • -2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • -2 turnips
  • -4 celery stalks
  • -1 orange bell pepper (feel free to substitute red or green here)
  • -1/2 head red cabbage, sliced
  • -2 leaves each rainbow chard and collard greens
  • -7 c chicken broth
  • -1/4 c raw apple cider vinegar
  • - 2 tbsp bacon fat
  • -1 tsp oregano
  • -1 tsp paprika
  • -2 bay leaves
  • -salt & pepper, to taste
  • parsley

Directions:

  1. Melt about 1 tbsp bacon fat in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until lightly browned on all sides.   Drain any excess liquid and set pork aside to a bowl.
  2. Add another tablespoon of bacon fat to the saucepan over medium-high heat and add the chopped carrots, celery, and yellow onion, cooking until the onions start to brown.  Stir in the bell pepper, red cabbage and garlic, then cook for another few minutes.
  3. Add in the chicken broth, pork, turnips, apple cider vinegar, chard, collards, bay leaves and spices, until the mixture comes to a full boil (for about 5 minutes) .  Reduce heat to low, allowing to slow cook until vegetables are fork tender (about 1 hour).   Remove bay leaves and serve, adding salt/pepper to taste and parsley for garnish (optional).

Cod Fish Tacos

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Here is a simple, quick and easy fish taco recipe…

Ingredients:

-stone ground corn tortillas

Filling:

-baked cod (I seasoned with salt, curry, turmeric)
-quinoa
-shredded/chopped romaine lettuce (or cabbage)
-sauteed onion
-avocado
-fresh ginger and raw milk cheddar cheese (shredded, for topping)
-salsa, sour cream
-(juice of) 1 lime
-cilantro

Directions: Assemble all filling ingredients onto tortillas and enjoy!  I didn’t have cilantro on hand but would definitely include it next time chopped up as another topping ingredient.

With the recent fall weather change I’ve been craving more hearty, warm meals. I decided to put a twist on traditional chili recipes and add bison instead of the usual turkey or ground beef.   It turned out delicious!

Ingredients:

-1/2+ lb ground bison
-2 sweet potatoes
-2 c black beans
-1 c tomato
-4 jalapeno peppers
-1 c yellow onion
-2 c zucchini
-3 cloves garlic
-1/2 tsp (ea) ground cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper
-sea salt, pepper
-fresh herbs (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice the sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Set aside.

Mix the ground bison in a bowl with the cumin, paprika and cayenne.   Add sea salt and pepper. Heat a skillet/pan on medium, add butter/coconut oil (or cooking oil of your choice) and cook the ground bison for approximately 8 minutes.

Dice the tomato, jalapenos, yellow onion, zucchini and mince the garlic.   Sautee the first jalapeno, onion and zucchini on medium/low heat, adding the minced garlic last.  Turn down to low and add in the remaining ingredients (tomato, baked sweet potato, black beans, bison), stir to combine. Serve with fresh herbs of your choice; I used hot n’ spicy oregano.   Bison Appetit!

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Ingredients:

1 c coconut water
1 c frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
1 orange
2 leaves green kale
2 leaves swiss chard
1 tsp bee pollen and/or protein powder

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy being naturally infused with vitamins and nutrients! :)

I won’t go too much into why you should choose grass-fed beef over conventional. You can read all about it in the following article from Mother Earth News. I think that it tastes a lot better than conventional, in addition to the added health benefits. Onto the recipe…I hope that you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

(1) 1/2 lb (8 oz) grass-fed beef top sirloin steak
-4 large collard green leaves
-2 large garlic cloves, minced
-1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
-2 baby portabella mushrooms
-2 jalapeno peppers
-sea salt, ground pepper, Italian seasoning (to taste)
-butter, olive oil and/or unrefined coconut oil

Directions:

Set oven to broil Cut 3-4 slits in the sirloin steak, then season with sea salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, to taste. Top with one minced clove of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and a few slices of good quality butter (I like SMOR or Kerry Gold). Place in oven on broiler rack or foil, let cook approximately 10-15 minutes – I like mine medium rare to well done, check a few times and test until cooked to your preference.

While steak is cooking, prepare the vegetables to sautee. Chop the collard greens, one garlic clove, red onion, mushrooms and jalapenos. Sautee over low-medium heat in coconut oil (or oil of your choice) for approximately 8 minutes. Cut the steak into strips and top over the sauteed veggies. I also served this with sauerkraut on the side – delicious!

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I was expecting the sun to come out on my day off of work today. I’ve been feeling unmotivated this afternoon so I decided to throw together some ingredients from the overwhelming fruit and veggie collection that I’ve been hoarding lately (not the worst thing to get into the habit of :P). Here is the lowdown on what I threw together and I feel like I can now go about my day with a bit more energy despite the clouds and cool breeze (I’m not ready for summer to be over!):

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-1 bunch dandelion greens – detoxifying, an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, K, calcium and iron. These do add some bitterness/bite, which I don’t mind, but you can also throw in kale, romaine or spinach instead.

-1 very ripe pear – a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, copper, and vitamin K

-1 banana – a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese.

-1 c blackberries – packed with polyphenols and anthocyanins which can help to prevent cancer and heart disease. Blackberries are also rich in manganese and vitamin C. Can sub. other berries too – blueberries would work great!

-1 teaspoon ea of unsweetened cocoa powder – rich dietary source of flavonoids, bee pollen – loaded with enzymes which help us break down and digest food, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and phytonutrients (please do not use this if you are allergic to bee products), spirulina – rich supply of many important nutrients, including protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, and vitamins A, K, and B complex. It also has a high supply of carotenoids such as beta carotene and yellow xanthophylls which have antioxidant properties. It is also rich in chlorophyll, fatty and nucleic acids, and lipids, rich in iron, magnesium and trace minerals, and is easier to absorb than iron supplements. The highest source of B-12, essential for healthy nerves and tissue, especially for vegetarians.

-1 c goat milk kefir – provides protein, calcium, probiotics (or milk/non-dairy option of your choice)

-a few ice cubes

Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender, enjoy immediately!

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When I spotted nopales in a produce market that I visited last week I decided to purchase one. I’ve been making an effort to incorporate new foods into my cooking and I figured that cactus would be an interesting addition. Nopales originated in Mesoamerica (what is now Mexico) and continue to be a popular ingredient in their regional cuisine.

I almost forgot about the nopale sitting in my refrigerator until today when I was looking for lunchtime salad ingredients. That’s when I also spotted some ripe avocados, softening sugar plum tomatoes and a lonesome lime that had seen better days.

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Needless to say, I became inspired by what could be created by combining everything. What transpired was this delicious dip that complements a variety of foods. If you are wondering about the flavor of the cactus, it’s sort of tangy and tastes like the spawn of a big green bell pepper that got lucky one night with a little okra. It definitely adds zip to the overall flavor! It works well paired with the creaminess of the avocado and the spiciness of the cayenne pepper. You can read more about nopales in this article and here.

Cactus Avocado Dip

Makes about 1 1/3 cups. Double ingredients as needed for larger servings.

Ingredients:

One nopale (cactus) pad
Handful each of pumpkin (pepita) and sunflower seeds
Juice of 1 lime
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup cherry or sugar plum tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Bring a small pot of water to boil with steamer basket. Prepare the nopale by scrubbing any spines with the hard side of a clean kitchen sponge. Cut around the sides of the pad and the bottom stem. Chop lengthwise, then into smaller pieces. Add the nopale chunks to steamer basket, reduce heat and lightly steam for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain liquid.

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The cactus will be slightly gooey in texture. Transfer the nopale pieces to food processor, add lime juice and seeds and pulse to smooth consistency. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides.

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Add in the remaining ingredients and pulse until well blended.

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Transfer to a bowl and serve with fresh vegetables or crackers. This dip would also make a great addition to burritos or tacos. If you prefer a richer texture, add more avocado(s) to the recipe.

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