Category Archives: food recipes

Mango Pineapple Fire Freeze

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I visited Oregon four times in the summer and fall of 2014 before finally moving here in November 2014.  It was a hot summer and I discovered Dutch Brothers.  I’m not so excited about their coffee or their mocha, but man, that summer they had a frozen mango drink spiked with hot pepper that was absolutely to die for.  I ordered it every time I could, with whipped cream on top.  They were amazing.  Once I moved here…those awesome hot spicy frozen mango delights disappeared.  They didn’t make the next season’s menu.

I hadn’t really thought about them until tonight when I suddenly got the urge to take one cup of pineapple juice and three cups of ice and throw that in the VitaMix together.  Aha, I said to myself, then add some cayenne pepper and turmeric and it’ll be healthy — how about some ginger too!

I mixed that up until the blender stopped suddenly, then tasted it.  Whoa, this was great — but…could be better.  Mango.  Mango is what it’s missing.

IMG_1004I emptied the pineapple & crushed ice cube mix into a tall glass and pulled about 3 slices of dried mango out of the jar, put those in the empty VitaMix, added a cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon of the real herb stevia.  Not the white processed powdered stevia, but the actual herb plant stevia.  I’m following the Blood Type O diet at the moment, and most sweeteners are on the “nope” list.  Stevia is a natural sweetener and is okay to use.  I bought the stevia in bulk years ago and sweeten my yerba mate’ with it.

I blended that, added in the pineapple and ice and hot spice mix, blended that all together, and wow, amazing!  This is almost exactly what the Dutch Brothers hot spicy mango freeze tasted like.

It’s going to be 106 here on Saturday and 102 on Sunday.  I’m all ready for it.  Mango Pineapple Fire Freeze, here I come.

So here’s the recipe:

1 cup organic sugar-free pineapple juice
(I didn’t use a cup measure; I used one of the glasses out of my cupboard)
3 cups of ice from the ice-maker
approximately 1/8 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
approximately 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
approximately 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
2-4 slices of dried mango
1 cup of water IMG_1005
(less water, more ice, if you want it to be more like a slushy to eat with a spoon)
1/4 teaspoon stevia herb

Blend it all and enjoy its healthy hot & spicy deliciousness.

This is a perfect recipe for the Blood Type O diet, by the way!

Update:  It was so good I had to try it a second time.  This time I threw all of the ingredients into the VitaMix at the same time and turned it on.  It stopped quickly, and I stirred it up a little and turned it on again, and again the blender whirred for a bit and then stopped before completing the cycle.  This happened oh, a dozen or more times.  I added a bit more water.  That helped, but not much.

What I learned:  do it the way I accidentally did the first time, only in reverse.

Next time I whip it up here’s what I’ll do.  First add the dried mango slices, the pepper, ginger and turmeric and stevia, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of pineapple juice, and blend.  Then add one cup of ice cubes at a time and blend, going for three cups total, or to the consistency you want.

 

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Almond Milk & Hemp Seed Hot Breakfast

IMG_0983I’m back to working with a Blood Type O diet due to inflammation in my joints and muscles.  I reorganized my kitchen cupboards and my pantry and my refrigerator to “hide” all grains (including rice), multigrains, breads, anything with gluten in it, and make the pantry more accessible to the stuff I need to be using.  I actually alphabetized my pantry shelves.  Seriously.  The dried blueberries sit on the shelf next to the almonds and are at the opposite end from the walnuts.  This is the only way I could think of to organize my shelves and know where stuff is, now.

So the top shelf in the pantry is for the “this is awesome for you” Type O Blood Diet foods.  The shelf below that is for the “neutral” foods.  The shelf below that is for the “only once in a great while” foods.  And the cupboard above the fridge, the one that’s almost impossible to reach unless I get on a 2-step stepstool, that’s where I keep the stuff that, so the theory goes, is going to make me hurt.

There’s a lot of fish and meat on this diet.  Meat for breakfast?!  Things like whole wheat toast for breakfast are forbidden.

For the first few days, a plate of tuna with olive oil and lemon juice and a sprinkling of my pink salt with dulse added in…that was just fine.  That and a banana, groovy.

This morning, I wanted oatmeal.  Or rice.  Or something like that.  Warm.  In a bowl.  A little bit sweet.

And this is what I came up with.

Start with:
3 cups water in the VitaMix
1/4 cup almonds
~~blend to make Almond Milk~~
Then add — and I didn’t measure anything, just threw it in, so my measurements are approximations:
1 Tablespoon blueberries-ish
6 apple slice rings-ish
1 teaspoon dried ginger-ish 
3 dates (make sure the pits are removed)
~~blend on the Soup setting to make it hot~~
Pour into your bowl or mug and add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of hemp seeds and eat like a very thin oatmeal, or drink like a very thick chai.

What else sounds good to throw into the mix?


Natural Iodized Himalayan Pink Salt — add Dulse!

A friend and I were discussing iodine recently and we both bought iodine supplements and started using it.  IMG_0876Today I did a little internet research, now that I’ve got my tiny and very spendy little bottle of liquid iodine that I’m taking a few drops of in water every morning, and came up with a cheap and easy way to add iodine to my diet:  dulse.

Iodine is one of those things that we really don’t get enough of in our western society.  Studies show that Japanese women have a much lower breast cancer rate than western women, and it’s probably due to the fact that they eat a lot of seaweed.

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Dulse, seaweed, a natural source of iodine

Usually we get iodine in the food we eat; now, however, our soil is so depleted, there is no iodine in it.  Iodine is available in the ocean, so if a person eats seafood and seaweed frequently, they’re getting their necessary iodine.

In the United States, iodine was added to table salt in the past, and currently it sounds like the amount of iodine in table salt is vastly decreased.

I know personally over the past ten years I’ve changed my diet.  I eat more vegetables and less meat; I’ve chosen to use sea salt, celtic salt and Himalayan pink salt instead of the iodized brand of table salt I grew up with, and I never really thought about getting my needed iodine in some other way.

Until yesterday and today.

Pulverized dulse (the dark red), Himalayan pink salt, and Hawai'ian red salt, my new table salt mixture

Pulverized dulse (the dark red), Himalayan pink salt, and Hawai’ian red salt, my new table salt mixtureI mixed it all up, and now I have — taa-daa! — natural homemade iodized salt.

I threw a good handful of dulse into the Vitamix, mixed up 1 part pulverized dulse, one part Himalayan pink salt and 1/2 part Hawaiian red salt in a jar, shook it up, filled my salt grinder with the blend, and now I have — taa-daa! — natural homemade iodized salt.

How great is this!  Himalayan pink salt supplies 84 necessary nutrients; dulse supplies iodine and a whole lot of other nutrients, and Hawai’ian red salt supplies minerals and electrolytes, iron oxide, and rich flavor.  Win, win, win.  I get my salt, my nutrients, my iodine, and it tastes so good.


Cashew Milk & Cashew Milk Ice Cream

IMG_4725This is so easy.  No straining, no nut bags, just soak some raw cashews for an hour or more, blend them, and voila, cashew milk.

Add some sweetener of your choice, like maple syrup, if you want; add a little salt if you want too.  And enjoy!

Seriously.  Making your own homemade cashew milk will open up horizons you never knew existed.  Like making your own cashew milk ice cream, for example.  I googled around and found one cashew milk ice cream recipe that included a banana, cashews, and not much else.  I added some chocolate, some sugar, ice cubes, and some roasted & salted cashews…made a big huge VitaMix supply, and I froze most of it.  It’s going to last quite a while.

I’m really impressed with just plain old cashew milk.  Love it!!!

So, the how-to’s:

IMG_4722~Soak 1/2 cup of raw cashews in a couple of cups of water for an hour or more.
~When you’re ready to make the cashew milk, drain off the water, add 2 cups of water to the blender, and add the soaked cashews.
~If you want some sweetener, add a small amount of sweetener.  I add a “glop” of maple syrup — maybe a tablespoon or more.  Whatever glops out is what I add.
~And I add something like 1/8 teaspoon of pink salt.

~Then I blend it through two whole VitaMix “liquid” cycles, or a total of about one minute.

That’s it!

It is SO good, and very creamy.  If you’re lactose intolerant, I’d definitely give this a shot.

I bought organic raw cashews, about a pound, for $10 or so last week.  This should make about 2 gallons of milk.  $10 will buy WAY more homemade organic cashew milk than it will locally-grown organic cow’s milk — AND it’s so creamy and rich I might put it in coffee, if I were still drinking coffee, which I’m not.

And this is my cashew milk ice cream experiment:

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~1/2 cup cashews
~1 banana
~3-4 cups of ice cubes
~2 cups of water
~3 tablespoons of chocolate powder — I used 3 big piled-high scooped-up tablespoons of Ghirardelli’s 100% Unsweetened Cocoa
~about 6 tablespoons of raw organic sugar — it couldn’t scoop and pile up like the chocolate did, so I’m guessing it’s about the same amount of chocolate as sugar
~about 1/4 teaspoon of pink salt

Blend this in the VitaMix on the “frozen” setting

And once that’s blended, throw in about 1/4 to 1/3 cup roasted, salted cashews, and blend them for about a split second or two, just enough to break them down ever so slightly.  I like to taste the nuts in there and see them and feel them.

YUMMMM.

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Update:  Still love the cashew milk; the cashew “ice cream”, not so much.  I don’t think I’ll make that again.

BUT:  when you’re soaking the cashews, DO NOT think that soaking them, oh, say, a day or two will make the cashew milk better.  It will not.  I just tried this, more or less because I forgot about the cashews as they were sitting there in my VitaMix, and I didn’t really *need* the cashew milk until I made it.

So when I drained the water the cashews were sitting in, I noticed it was really — how to say — kind of gel-like.  I suppose this water would be really good if you had a stomach upset.  The water reminded me a lot of slippery elm water when I drained it off the cashews.  The water seemed very oily, too.  I didn’t even think about it, drained the water and rinsed the cashews a few times…they seemed to need it…then made the cashew milk as usual.  When I tasted it right away it seemed…kind of not as good as usual.  There was too much foam.  Didn’t even think about it, though; assumed that would settle and the milk would be fine.

Well, no.  I let that sit for a couple of days in the fridge, and when I went to get it out to use it this morning, the cashew milk had glopped into a big gloppy glop at the top of the jar, and there was cashew milk water at the bottom.  This did not mix together, at all, when I tried shaking it up.  It stayed very much separated into a gloppy glopness at the top.

I tossed it all.  It was interesting, watching it sit in the sink and snake its way down the drain.  It didn’t drain out like milk; more like an ungluey glue.  Weird stuff.

Anyway.  Lesson learned.  No more soaking the cashews more than an hour or two.  And now I’m out of milk, and out of raw cashews.  Time for a trip to the grocery.


Anise, Clove, Ginger, Cardamom & Rose Hips Tea

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On the white plate, from left to right: anise star, clove, cardamom, and rose hip

I overheard a random comment from someone recently about the tea they were drinking — anise and clove.  Hmm!  I wondered what that would taste like.

Tonight I went to my local Natural Grocers in Medford and I just love their bulk aisle.  I found not only anise and clove prepackaged in bulk, but also cardamom and rose hip.  I had to look up rose hip to find out what that was good for.  Googling around, I found some recipes for Indian tea involving cardamom and milk.  That sounds good too!IMG_4313

I just kind of threw “whatever” in my little stone mortar and pestle, some anise, a clove, a few grains of cardamom and a little bit of rose hips, ground them all up, had the hot water ready, and a ginger root teaIMG_4312teabag, poured the water over it and let it steep for a few minutes, added a teaspoon of honey, and mmmm!  Perfect!


Homemade Natural Microwave Popcorn!

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I saw this one on Facebook and decided to try it tonight.

You’ll need:
1 brown paper lunch bag
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt

Drizzle the olive oil over the popcorn kernels and let that sit for a minute.  Then throw that in the brown paper lunch bag, sprinkle the salt over the popcorn & oil, fold the top of the bag twice, and place in the microwave for 2:30 — 2 minutes, 30 seconds to begin with.  Microwave power varies; start there and see how to adjust it to your microwave.

The Facebook recipe suggested that you could add sugar to the mixture too if you like it sweet.  I don’t.

I tried the recipe and it came out fine.  I like mine a little saltier, though, so next time I’ll add a little more salt — maybe after it’s popped.

Also, I used “Real Salt” for my popcorn, the kind that comes from Utah.  I’d also use Himalayan Pink Salt, ground fine.  And the next time I’ll use coconut oil instead of olive oil, and since my popcorn came out a little burnt this time, next time I’ll shorten the time to maybe 2 minutes 15 seconds.

But hey!  This worked great.  I might double-bag the popcorn, too, because as you can see from the picture the oil soaked all the way through the bag.  A package of 100 lunch bags cost $1.97 tonight at Target.  One 2-pound bag of organic popcorn kernels cost me about $5 at the organic grocery store the other day.  This way I could make 16 servings of organic healthy microwave popcorn for about $7.

Actually, Amazon’s Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Popcorn is cheaper; my version would be 43 cents a bag; Orville’s would be 39 cents a bag.  I have a feeling my version is way healthier.  Another Amazon offering is Act II Butter Lovers, which comes out to 59 cents a bag.  So, it depends on a person’s priorities.  I’m just excited to learn that I can make my own microwave popcorn!  I’d never considered that before.

Update!  Tonight I made the next batch of popcorn, using 2 minutes 15 seconds, double bags, and 1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil instead of 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  BIG huge improvement.  None of the popcorn burned; the kernels filled out much bigger than they did with the olive oil, and filled the bowl all the way full, with just 1/4 cup; I’m so much happier with this recipe.

I added too much salt, though.  Just 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt should do it.  No need to add extra, for me.  I did add more to the top of it after it was done popping, but added too much.

Oh, and one other thing.  I added the coconut oil to the bag with the popcorn, and today in my house the coconut oil is solid.  It gets liquid at 76 degrees and above.  Today in my house it is not 76 degrees.  So, about halfway through the popping time I stopped the microwave, took the bag out, shook it a few times, and turned the bag over, then started it back up again.  Perfect!

 


Baked Cauliflower

IMG_2792 Thanks to my sister for randomly mentioning “baked cauliflower” last fall. It took me until March to actually look up a recipe for this! I just made this and it’s so good…it would be perfect for a caveman diet or someone who’s on a food allergy diet.

I used:
1 whole head of cauliflower
1 fresh lemon
sea salt in a grinder
pepper in a grinder
olive oil to drizzle over top
coconut oil
pine nuts
Donabe Pot or whatever you use as a baking dish

Directions:
Heat oven to 400 degrees F
Separate the cauliflower into bite-size pieces & put them in your baking dish
Cut the lemon in half; squeeze the lemon juice all over the cauliflower
Grind salt and pepper over the cauliflower
Drizzle some olive oil over the cauliflower
Bake for 30 minutes at 400
Take the lid off; sprinkle on some pine nuts; bake for another 6 minutes or so
and you’re done!

Enjoy immediately.  I slathered on lots of coconut oil on top of mine, and sprinkled on some extra pink Hawaiian sea salt.  I love coconut oil and pink Hawaiian sea salt.  Mmmmm…..so good.

So, what’s in the background there in the picture?  Water kefir brewing on my counter…and bottled & capped homemade water kefir.  I’ll write about my water kefir experiments in another post.

Enjoy!


Garden-Fresh Cucumber Salad

I’m eating this now and it’s wonderful.

You will need:

A generous friend who volunteers to give you fresh cucumbers out of her garden
The actual cucumbers — preferably small ones, maybe four to six to eight inches long
A lemon
Several sprigs of cilantro out of your own garden — go pick it right now
A dash or two of Real Salt

Rinse all the mud off, then slice the cucumbers into your bowl.

Squeeze the lemon halves into a separate bowl — that way you can keep the juice, leave the seeds; add as much of the fresh lemon juice as you’d like.  I used it all.

Chop cilantro into bite-sized pieces.

Stir it all together, then sprinkle with as much salt as you like.

Yum!  Enjoy!  What a great summer salad.


caveman cookware: traditional Japanese donabe pot

I’ve been cooking with a donabe pot for probably ten years now. They are so useful. Now I have three of them, in different sizes, and they’re all three in use most of the time — now especially since I’m cooking for myself mostly, because I can’t eat anything in restaurants, and am “cooking ahead” so I have something I can take along for lunch and pack my lunchbox fast.

This is my big donabe pot; I happened to find it at a local thrift store for $6 several years back. What a find! I don’t think anyone else knew what it was.

They’re safe to put on the stove, over an open flame — I’ve cooked with gas ranges for the past 10 years; I don’t know how they’d be on an electric stovetop. They’re safe to bake with in the oven; they go in the refrigerator and probably the freezer, too — just don’t try heating up a frozen donabe pot over an open flame; I think that would be the end of the donabe pot. I microwave my donabe pots too.

They’re made out of a certain fireproof clay that not all pots are made of, giving them the ability to not break when they’re placed over a direct flame. Most of mine have the word “flameproof” etched in the clay on the underneath side of the pot.

And of course we know that tens of thousands of years ago our ancestors cooked with clay pots over open flames. So here you go: caveman cookware.  Find them online at private stores, or on Amazon, or at your local Japanese market.

 


real caveman food: lettuce out of the garden

I just harvested most of my lettuce, enough to fill one large plastic refrigerator storage box, and helped myself to some super-fresh lettuce for lunch. 

I washed the lettuce twice, drained it, saved most of it, put what I wanted into my serving dish, and drizzled it with olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon, a sprinkling of “real” salt, and a dash of turmeric.

Then I took the salmon out of the oven, where it had been baking for 45 minutes, and finished it off the same way, with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon, real salt, and turmeric.

For dessert: caveman cookie! Yum!


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