Monday, June 27, 2011


Basil, dill, green onions, spinach, leaf lettuce, cabbage, and sweet peas.
Half of one week's crop share.

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA is where a group of individuals pledge support  to a local farm.  Typically a member or "share holder" in the CSA pays a specified amount of money to cover  farming operations and the farmer's salary.  In return they receive part of the farm's bounty called a crop share during the growing season.  Members also share in the risks of poor harvests due to bad weather or pests.  My mother and I have been part of an organic CSA for a few years now.  We split one share and it is always more than enough.  The fun thing about participating in a CSA is that you don't know from week to week what you will get.  You receive whatever was ready to be harvested.  I enjoy trying to come up with new recipes for the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables we receive each week.  The first share I got this year is pictured above.  It looks like there will be a lot of salads, bruschetta, and some type of slaw at my house this week.

To find a CSA near you visit

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grilled Chicken Tacos and Guacamole

Oh Mexico, how I love your cuisine.  Thank you for your wonderful flavor profile.  I am grateful.  Your ingredients are simple, fresh and delicious.  Here is a recipe for healthy grilled chicken tacos and guacamole that satisfies my craving for Mexican fare.  Enjoy!
Place 1 cup fresh cilantro, 2 garlic cloves, juice from 3 limes, 1 tsp cumin,
and 1 tsp sea salt in food processor and blend.
Slowly add 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil. 

Marinade for chicken

Add marinade to 4-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Place 4 ripe avocados in a large bowl.
This is excessive, insuring there will be plenty of guacamole for chips tonight.
And tomorrow.
Feel free to cut this recipe in half.

Mash avocados with a potato masher or fork.

Add 1 tomato diced, 1 sweet yellow or red onion diced, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped,
juice from 3 limes, 3-4 cloves of garlic minced and 1 1/2 tsp sea salt.

Stir well, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chop fresh leaf lettuce to serve with tacos.
Take marinated chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.
Grill over medium-high heat 6-7 minutes per side.
Slice grilled chicken breasts. 

Take fresh corn tortillas and warm by heating a few seconds on each side
in a lightly oiled frying pan.
Place tortillas in a covered dish to keep warm until serving.

Fill a warm tortilla with chicken, guacamole, lettuce, and fresh tomato salsa.
Serve with cheese and sour cream if desired.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nut Milks

Nut milks are exactly what they sound like, dairy-free milk made from ground nuts.  These beverages are a great alternative for people who are sensitive to dairy or soy products.  Almond milk has gained popularity and can now be found in the dairy section of most grocery stores.  Nut milks are also easy to make at home if you have a vitamix or other high speed blender.  Almonds are wonderful for making nut milk but you can also use brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts or any other nut or seed that appeals to you.  These milks are delicious with cereal, coffee, or added to smoothies and shakes.  They will keep for 2 days refrigerated or can be frozen in ice cube trays and then transfered to a freezer bag to use later.  In the pictures below I am making brazil nut milk but the same method applies for any nuts.
Soak 1 cup of raw nuts in filtered water for 4 or more hours.

Place soaked nuts with 4 cups of filtered water in high-speed blender.

Blend on high for 2 minutes.

Strain through a nut milk bag squeezing out milk,
or strain through a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth.
Discard nut pulp.

Nut milk bags are available at for around $12.

Rinse out blender well and add strained milk.
Add 2 Tablespoons agave or honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of sea salt and blend .


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shelton's Turkey Sausage

My sister Liz introduced me to Shelton's turkey sausage.  It is a healthier alternative to pork sausage and is just as delicious.   In fact, turkey is listed as one of the fourteen superfoods in Dr. Pratt's famous book "Superfoods".  It is a great source of lean protein and also contains niacin, selenium, B6, B12 and zinc.  These nutrients are heart-healthy and are also valuable in helping to lower the risk for cancer.  Shelton's uses free-roaming turkeys and they don't add any artificial ingredients or fillers to their products.  This sausage is wonderful alone or served as a side with pancakes and eggs.  When I want a bigger breakfast to get me through a long day, I make a sandwich with it.  I toast an Eziekiel sprouted grain english muffin or toast, and top it with a turkey sausage patty, avocado and pink finishing salt.
You can find these in the freezer section with other great Shelton's turkey products
I buy mine at Lakewinds in Minnetonka
For a store that carries them near you check out their website:

Ezekeil brand sprouted english muffins
I chose cinnamon raisin this time

My delicious breakfast sandwich

Monday, June 13, 2011

Next Day Salad

When I am entertaining I have a tendency to cook too much food.  It is a running joke with family members. "Do you think we'll have enough?" they ask sarcastically.  Maybe it is from my many years of catering, where my worst fear was running out of food.  I know how to do the math and estimate servings, but I still always have plenty left over.  Now I just plan to make a salad the next day with the extra food.  You can make one with anything, steak, chicken, fish, grilled vegetables, whole grains etc. and just throw in whatever else you have on hand.  This past week-end my sisters and their families came up to our cabin for the week-end.  I served grilled salmon with cous cous for dinner one evening and had enough left over to make a salad for lunch on Sunday.  I love a good salad and have a few personal rules I follow when making one.  First of all, everything must be chopped.  I like to get a little taste of everything in each bite.   Second, it should have something sweet like fresh or dried fruit.  Third, it should have something crunchy like nuts, seeds or croutons of some sort.  Fourth, it should have something with fat for good mouthfeel like avocados or cheese.  Finally, it should be tossed with a light dressing that doesn't take away from the natural flavor of the ingredients in the salad.  Here is the next day salad I made for  my family this week-end.  It ended up being a big hit.  I didn't measure anything, so all measurements are rough estimates.  Hopefully it will inspire you to make one with your left overs!
Fresh chopped spinach, about 5 cups

Whole wheat cous cous, about 1 1/2 cups

Flaked grilled salmon, about 12 oz.

Toasted pine nuts,  about 1/2 cup

Fresh blueberries, about 1 1/2 cups

Extra virgin olive oil, about 1/3 cup

Juice of 1 or 2 lemons, salt and pepper

1 avocado chopped

Toss and serve.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Feeding Others

If you know me or have read my story, you know that food is a big part of my life.  I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about food.  When I am working on a recipe I often think about how fortunate I am to pick and choose different components and make what sounds good to me.  The possibilities and access to ingredients is endless.  We are blessed.  So when my husband and I make our charitable giving decisions, we always try to include organizations that put food in the mouths of people who need it.  One of the ministries we support locally is The Sheridan Story started by Mill City Church.  The church meets in the auditorium of the Sheridan school in Northeast Minneapolis.  Over 90% of the students at Sheridan school qualify for free or reduced lunch, and approximately 65 of the 600+ students come from homeless or highly mobile families.  The Sheridan story sends the children home with backpacks full of food every Friday.  Without these backpacks, most of those children would have nothing to eat over the week-end.  When I lived in Michigan, I worked for the Grand Rapids Public School as Commissary and Catering Manager.  It was eye-opening for me to discover that for many of the students there, the school breakfasts and lunches were the only meals they ate.  It inspires me to see The Sheridan Story recognizing this same need in Northeast Minneapolis, and doing something about it.  They are committed to loving and serving the students there.

There is a really cool lifestyle and activewear boutique in Wayzata called Maha.  The owner of the store, Krista Fragola started a wonderful program called the Maha Movement.  Each month she selects a customer of the month and a charity of that customer's choice.  Maha donates 10% of the proceeds from all purchases made every Monday of that month to the selected charity.  I am honored to be Maha's customer of the month for June and the charity I chose is The Sheridan Story.  So if during the month of June you are shopping for high performance workout wear, beautiful clothing, great jewelry or a fun handbag, stop into Maha on a Monday.  Not only will you find a stylish addition to your wardrobe, you will also help support The Sheridan Story.  Maha is located at 631 Lake Street East in Wayzata.

The Sheridan Story


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thai Green Smoothie

This Thai Green Smoothie is one of my favorite smoothies and often makes an appearance in my 3 day raw detoxes.  It is a great way to start the day!  I like to drink half of it in the morning and save the other half to drink in the afternoon.  I recommend using organic produce when possible.
In a high speed blender combine 3 cups fresh spinach, 1 cup fresh cilantro,
half of a fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed, 1 lime, peel removed
and 1 cup coconut water or filtered water.
Blend on high until well combined.