Faeries dwell in the Twilight, between day and night, between spirit and matter, between the conscious and unconscious... where all things are possible, where the past and future meet, where we meet ourselves coming back. When we dance wit the faeries, we dance with the reflections of our true selves and the true inner self of the world.
i cannot get enough of its seductive nutty aroma and flavor
Heat 1 pound unsalted organic butter on medium for 5-10 minutes. Skim white foam off that rises to the top. Milk solids will settle at bottom of pot. Strain through cheesecloth into jars and allow to cool.
In my kitchen, the days of opening cans of beans are pretty much long gone. Of course now and then, cans are there in a pinch...for the occasional pureed bean dip, or for when I'm craving some creamy cannellinis but forgot to plan ahead. I remember my first attempt at cooking dried beans. I had no idea what I was doing. My pretty green flageolets, after boiling for over an hour, turned out partly disintegrated and tough. Disappointed, I didn't even attempt working with dried beans again until a few years later when my dear friend Jesse taught me the basics of cooking a simple pot of beans. Everyone should know how to transform these dried legumes into something rich, creamy and delicious. I am now confident with my bean-cooking skills and I have realized the inherent difference between freshly cooked beans and those that have been sitting in a can. Whenever possible I buy organic heirloom varietals (Rancho Gordo has a wonderful, diverse bean selection, and Community Grains has amazing quality beans as well; I am 100% hooked on their cannellinis), as their flavor and texture far surpass the rest. I love waking up in the morning and putting beans on the stove to simmer. They keep well in the refrigerator for use in a variety of dishes in the days that follow.
The only obstacle that might stand between you and your succulent pot of beans would be not thinking ahead. You must soak dried beans, preferably overnight. Place 2 c dried beans in large bowl and cover with water. Water level should be at least three inches above top of beans to allow for absorption. Let stand uncovered at room temperature overnight. In morning, prepare your vegetables. Dice up around 1 carrot, 1-2 stalks celery and a half or whole yellow onion. Smash 2 cloves of garlic, and mince 4 five inch stalks fresh rosemary. Place everything (along with any other herbs you'd like; I usually add a bay leaf or two) in a medium sized pot with a few tablespoons oil (i switch off among coconut, olive and sunflower oils) on medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, for around 5 minutes. Drain beans from their soaking liquid. Add beans to pot, followed by fresh water to about an inch above level of beans. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover pot with lid. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (cook time depends on size and varietal of bean) or until beans are perfectly tender. Remove from heat. Add a few teaspoons of good quality salt to taste. Obviously beans can be enjoyed in infinitely wonderful ways. One of the more simple ways I like to enjoy them while they are still warm is ladled into a bowl with some of their liquid, drizzled with vibrant extra virgin olive oil and topped with some crushed walnuts and a bit of salt.
Spring has begun to gift us with its soft petals and pollen-scented air. I harvested a bag of fresh, young nettles last week, drying most of them for future tea and keeping the rest for immediate cooking. I just attended my first weekend of classes at The School of Traditional Western Herbalism. We held a potluck to ring in the beginning of our program, for which I put together this super simple fresh nettle soup. Rich in minerals, nettles have a characteristic deep, earthy flavor that I absolutely love. They have to be one of my favorite ingredients EVER. If you do harvest your own nettles, be sure to remember that they STING. Their sting is on the mild side, but it is best to wear gloves and be mindful of other bare skin. Their stinging property goes away once they are cooked or dried.
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large yellow onion
3-4 cloves garlic
3 yukon gold potatoes
fresh nettles (at least 2 lbs; the quantity I used
was a densely packed plastic bag-
the kind you would find in the produce section)
water to cover
salt to taste
whole organic coconut milk (for garnish)
Before starting the cooking process, make sure your nettles are trimmed and washed and ready to go. I use gloves and kitchen scissors to trim nettle leaves from the more fibrous stems (discard stems). Once trimmed, use tongs to place nettles in a large stainless steel bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water and allow nettles to soak for a few minutes, tossing them gently. Remove nettles from bowl with tongs and place in colander to strain.
Roughly chop onion, garlic, and shallots. Place in large pot with coconut oil over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes. In the meantime, slice potatoes into about 1/4" pieces. Add potatoes to pot. Cook for a few minutes, then add water to the pot, enough just to cover the vegetables. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add nettles to pot in batches (using tongs). They will immediately decrease in size as they begin to cook and you will be able to keep adding more. Once all the nettles are in pot, top off with more water so nettles and vegetables are just covered with water. Cook for 5 more minutes.
Blend the soup in batches, scooping from the pot to the blender until entire soup is pureed. (You can also use an immersion blender or a food processor.) Pour pureed soup back into soup pot and season with salt. Serve soup with a swirl of coconut milk.
You can alternatively stir in desired amount of coconut milk to entire soup before serving. Toasted, crushed walnuts or almonds are a wonderful addition to the top. I also love sauteed black trumpet mushrooms for garnish. You could skip the coconut milk completely and instead top with a dollop of delicious, whole sour cream (with nuts and mushrooms!).
I threw this one together and kept it pretty simple, craving a light, healthy salad. But it would be delicious with other additions as well, like some shredded beets or carrots, radishes, avocado (sky is the limit). The following makes 1-2 servings.
Chop 1/2 bunch (about 8 stems) lacinato kale (ribs removed), 1 c parsley and 1/3 c fennel frawns. Place in mixing bowl. Grate about 1/2 c kohlrabi and add to bowl. In separate small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp tahini, 2 Tbsp white/yellow miso paste, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, a splash balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp water and a pinch of salt. Mix well. If dressing seems too thick, add a bit more water, but dressing should be on the thicker side. Pour dressing over other ingredients and "massage" oils into the kale for about a minute. This helps break down the more fibrous parts of the kale and makes it easier to chew and digest. Top salad with raw pumpkin seeds.
This recipe makes about 2-3 cups of fresh almond milk that will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I like to double the recipe. Store it in a glass jar or other airtight container.
1 c raw almonds
2-3 c water
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 nut milk bag (or cheese cloth + sieve)
DAY ONE: Soak one cup of raw almonds in water for 12-24 hours.
DAY TWO: Drain the almonds you had soaking, add them into the blender along with 2-3 c water (the less water you add the creamier the almond milk), dates, and vanilla. Blend for a couple of minutes. Once it is completely blended, pour your almond milk through the nut milk bag (or cheese cloth/sieve) into a bowl. Squeeze as much of the liquid from the bag as possible. Once all the milk has drained through the bag you can either toss the remaining almond pulp or lay it on a cookie sheet and dry it out in the oven at 175F until it is dried out (you will have your own homemade almond meal).
A quickie soup that hits the spot on a rainy day. I just made this for lunch during Red Barn Studios' second Herbal Body Care workshop. Served with a hearty kale salad, it was the perfect creamy complement. I prefer to roast the squash ahead of time in the oven (peeling and chopping raw butternut squash is a bit labor intensive), but you can also chop the squash and add to the pot at the same time as the potatoes. If you'd like you can roast the squash a day ahead, or the morning of making the soup. You can also experiment by adding a larger amount of spices. Garnish soup with toasted pumpkin seeds and organic whole sour cream or Greek yogurt.
2 small-medium butternut squash (or combination of squash varieties)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp ground or whole coriander
2 Tbsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp chili flakes
2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4" slices
water to cover vegetables
salt to taste
To roast squash: Preheat oven to 400F. Slice squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place face-up in a baking dish. Add about 1 inch water to dish, cover with foil, and place in oven for about 45 minutes, or until tender. When cool enough, scoop squash flesh from skin into a bowl.
In large soup pot, heat coconut oil and all spices on medium-high for 2 minutes. Then add onions and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, potatoes and water (about 4-6 cups) just until the level reaches top of the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Add all squash to pot, and a little more water if necessary. Continue to simmer until potatoes become tender. Remove pot from heat. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Transfer back to soup pot and add salt to taste. Serves 8-10.
I threw this dish together, served it, ate it and never stopped to take a photo.
Imagine hearty buckwheat noodles in a creamy coconut milk sauce, enriched with salty miso, warming ginger, garlic and cumin, with kale and crunchy walnuts. This dish is healthy yet somehow decadent, and the perfectly enjoyed on a winter evening alongside a crackling fire.
5 ounces soba noodles
2 Tbsp coconut oil
4 Tbsp ground cumin (i prefer grinding whole seeds)
1 tsp chili flake
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/4 c fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, (blends better if already minced)
1/2 c red (or white) miso paste
3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 can whole coconut milk
6 stalks purple (or other variety) kale, roughly chopped
1/2 c walnuts
Place coconut oil in a medium-sized pot on medium-high heat. Once melted, add freshly ground cumin and chili flake. Stir for a couple minutes as spice aromas release. Add chopped onion to pot, give a stir, then turn heat to low and cover with lid. Fill a second pot with water and bring to a boil. In the meantime, combine ginger, garlic, miso, sesame oil, mirin, lemon juice, and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Turn on and blend until a smooth sauce is created. After onions have cooked down for about 10 minutes, remove lid and add whole can of coconut milk. Continue to simmer and add kale. Place soba noodles in boiling water and cook until al dente. While noodles are cooking, add ginger-miso sauce to coconut milk-onion pot. Once noodles are done, strain and add tosauce pot. Lightly toast walnuts in a cast iron skillet, then chop or crush (place nuts on cutting board and with the smooth underside of a large bowl, apply pressure to nuts, crushing them). Serve noodles in bowls, making sure to include some of the sauce, and garnish with walnuts. Fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, or tarragon would be delicious on top as well.