skills worth knowing 61 results

Got Flu? Try this Herbal Cough Syrup

I got the flu this year, first time in years. This was the hit-you-like-a-ton-of-bricks flu, body-slammed with fever, delirium, the whole works. My lungs and head filled up and a few weeks later I still had a deep, nagging cough.  After staring at all the OTC products on the drugstore shelf, weighing the nasty side effects I read about on the packages and the Internet, I figured it was time to go homemade.Fortunately, I had on hand almost all the ingredients for a kick-ass cherry herbal ...

Whole Baked Kabocha Squash with Apples

This recipe could not be easier. It is so easy, in fact, that I don't even think it's legit to call it a recipe but cookbook authors have told me otherwise. After all, we have entire "recipe books" devoted to juice, which basically consists of 2-5 ingredients put through a juicer.Its flavor belies its simplicity. The squash and apple meld together with the roasty goodness and it makes an amazing hearty winter side dish. Kabocha squash is particularly "meaty" and flavorful, with a cream ...

Easiest Pickled Dandelion Capers

Dandelions are getting a makeover in the public eye.  Sure, they're weeds marring the green lawn perfection. But the health benefits and culinary side of them have been getting increasing attention. Greens bursting with flavor and calcium, vitamins A and C, and iron, they are abundant and generally free. This recipe for naturally fermented (pickled) dandelion buds shouts gourmet but is the easiest way to preserve the ever-present weeds. No boiling, no vinegar, just easy. Bonus points ...

Healthy Hot Holiday Tamales

While some cultures definitely associate tamales with Christmas and holiday time, tamale-eating doesn't have to be limited to special times of year.  In fact, we like them so much that it feels like a celebration every time we eat them.This version is vegan, natch, and they freeze well (assuming there are any left). The assembly process is easy though a bit time-consuming but well worth the trouble. Be creative on fillings - these are black bean and sweet potato but you can use virtually ...

Easy Seitan for Any Recipe

Seitan is one of those vegan foods you either love or hate. To the gluten-free among us, it's a real no-no. Personally, we think it sometimes gives the chewiness some recipes need. We've sliced for stir fries, chopped for "meaty" sauce and used on sandwiches.This basic version can easily be adapted depending upon your flavor preferences. Adding to Mexican food? Try cumin and chili powder. Indian? Add curry powder and coriander. Like a chicken-ish flavor? Use no-chicken seasoning.  You get ...

Weeding out the Nutrition (in Your Yard)

By now, you might have heard that many plants we call weeds are actually great sources of nutrition.  Dandelions are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron.  Chickweed has become the darling of farmer's markets, with its spinach-like flavor, and is also very high in nutrients.  There are lots more everywhere we look.A wonderful and highly recommended book  by Katrina Blair, The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, published in late 2014 describes in detail 13 "weeds" that grow around the ...

Violets are Blue… Food and Medicine for You

Violets are not the stuff of bouquets, with their delicate purple, blue and white tops and heart-shaped leaves barely peeking through the Spring landscape for just a few short weeks.  Yet, both the flowers and the leaves are not only edible, they are loaded with nutrients, including Vitamins A and C, as well as minerals.Make sure you collect from a spot that has not had any chemicals applied (such as lawn fertilizers, fungicides, etc.).  We add the flowers and leaves to our salads and ...

The Delicious Magic Of Nixtamalization

The flavor of metate-ground fresh masa tortillas is unlike anything else: soft, warm and tender in the middle with tons of real corn aroma, nothing like the bland and neutral store bought corn tortillas many of us are used to. On a recent trip to Mexico, I was lucky enough to have small town women regularly hand-make these tortillas for me and my group. Even the tortillas made from masa harina, or dried masa flour, do not compare to the depth of flavor you get when the masa is made from freshly ...

Pumpkin Seed “Cheeze” (Non-Dairy) with Garlic and Herbs

Here's another vegan fermented “cheeze,” this one nut-free for those who do not want or cannot eat tree nuts like cashews or almonds.  Pumpkin seeds are a great source of fiber, protein, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and potassium.  They are also reported to help lower cholesterol and address cardiac issues.Tasty as a dip, filling for pasta (think stuffed shells or cannelloni), or in grilled sandwiches, this cheeze packs a punch with lots of fresh garlic, spicy ...

Spicy Radish Kimchi aka Kkakdugi

Wikipedia explains that Kkakdugi  is a Korean kimchi side dish reportedly developed by a princess wife in the 18th Century.   Of course.Having recently been gifted two giant daikon radishes (which are not the traditional Korean radish but close enough for us), we remembered the delicious radish kimchi sample we had from Mother-in-Laws and figured, “How hard could this be?”Crunchy, tangy and spicy, this is one of those recipes that is ridiculously easy and is a great condiment that ...