The Healing Kitchen

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A Dressing For Everyday Of The Week

FRIDAY, THE PERFECT GREEK DRESSING

I absolutely love to make and eat Greek salads!  They are so easy, fresh, and simple with just a few ingredients.  This dressing is fabulous, not only for salads, but as a marinade for chicken, fish, or lamb.  

 

The Perfect Greek Dressing:

Enough for a large salad that can serve 4 people.

 

3  Tablespoons Olive Oil (I use Wildflower Foods Koroneiki, which happens to be Greek)

2  Teaspoons Wildflower Foods Greek Herb Blend (In a pinch you can use dried oregano, mint, and dill)

A  squeeze or two of both an orange and a lemon

A pinch of salt (I use pink Himalayan)

A few grinds of freshly ground pepper (optional)

 

Whisk all ingredients together, add chopped tomato, chopped cucumber, sliced red onions, black olives, and feta.  Toss to coat and you're ready for a fabulous salad!  I served it with grilled chicken!

Note:  Can be made ahead, the flavors only get better!

 

 

THURSDAY, A NOT JUST FOR LETTUCE DRESSING

A combination of white beans, red onion, and tomato make a heavenly dinner for me!  I love to serve grilled chicken with this salad too!  

I adore sumac berries!  Before the availability of lemons, these berries were used to impart a fresh lemony taste to food.  They make a great pairing with the fresh mint in this salad.  The cayenne just adds a little zip.  This dressing is great with any type of lettuce, lentil, or bean!

A Not Just For Lettuce Dressing:

Makes enough for a large individual salad, so adjust accordingly.

 

1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (I use Wildflower Foods Koroneiki)

1/2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon freshly chopped mint

1/2 teaspoon ground sumac berries (Wildflower Foods)

Pinch of cayenne

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Drizzle of honey

 

Whisk ingredients together and toss with your salad.  The longer this salad has to rest, the better it is!

 

 

WEDNESDAY, A SIMPLE ASIAN DRESSING

A fabulous carrot, cucumber, and radish slaw!

This dressing is so light and versatile.  There is just a subtle flavor of sesame oil so it goes great on a salad but can also be drizzled over fish or used as a dipping sauce for sushi.   

A Simple Asian Dressing:

Makes enough dressing for an individual salad, so adjust accordingly to your needs

 

1 to 1 1/2  Tablespoons rice wine vinegar (I use 1 Tbl)

1/2   Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1/4   teaspoon honey

1/2   teaspoon Wildflower Foods Oriental Stir Fry Blend (This blend is great to use in stir fries, it takes all the guess work out of cooking Asian dishes)

Pinch of Salt

A few grinds of freshly ground pepper.

 

Whisk ingredients together and toss with your salad!

 

 

TUESDAY, MY ESSENTIAL CREAMY BUTTERMILK DRESSING

This is one of my favorites when I want something creamy.  I love pairing it with cucumbers, radishes, raw corn, red onion, and grilled chicken.  I use Greek yogurt, but you can use sour cream if you prefer!

 

My Essential Creamy Buttermilk Dressing:

Note:  This makes quite a bit of dressing, but I love having this in the refrigerator, ready to go!

 

1/2  cup Greek yogurt or sour cream whichever you prefer (I use Fage 2% Greek yogurt)

1/2  cup buttermilk

1   Tablespoon Zinfindel or Champagne Vinegar (both Wildflower Foods)

Small handful of fresh chives, chopped finely

1   small garlic clove, finely chopped or minced

Sea salt to taste (I use pink Himalayan) 

A few grinds of freshly ground pepper to taste

zest of 1 small lemon (optional, but I love the zip that it gives the dressing)

 

Whisk all the ingredients together and drizzle over your salad.  Remember that this recipe makes a fair amount of dressing so make sure to transfer to a bowl before making your salad.

 

MONDAY, MY EVERYDAY ITALIAN DRESSING

I love blending herbs and spices so making my own salad dressings is just a natural thing to do! Salads can be such a healing part of your daily life.  Between the power of herbs and spices there are the health benefits of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, vinegars, and oils. Salads are just that great!  I am going to share with you a week's worth of dressings to show you how simple it is to make your own.  Once you start, bottled salad dressing will become a thing of your past.

My Everyday Italian Dressing:

Dressing for 1 large individual salad or 2 smaller side salads

Note:  All Wildflower Foods products are available for purchase on the site under Shop Wildflower Foods

 

1/2 Tablespoon Zinfindel Vinegar (Wildflower Foods)

1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (Wildflower Foods House Blend)

1/2 - 1 1/2  teaspoons Wildflower Foods Italian Herb Blend or use what you have on hand

1/2 - 1  teaspoon of honey

Pinch of sea salt (I use pink Himalayan)

A couple of grinds of freshly ground pepper

 

Whisk all of your ingredients together, toss with salad and enjoy!

 

Lettuce Nachos

With an abundance of lettuce in my garden, lettuce nachos are one of my favorite things to make. It is early in my growing season so the lettuce leaves are small, hence the nachos. When the lettuce leaves are larger the recipe turns into lettuce cups or tacos.  Basically, you are filling lettuce leaves with fabulous, fun ingredients and eating with your hands.  I love it!

Ingredients:

Lettuce leaves, cleaned and dried using a salad spinner

1 lb ground turkey (you can use chicken, beef or even beans as your protein)

1 to 2 Tablespoons cumin depending upon your taste (I use 2)

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (a mild chili)

2 small red bell peppers, chopped 

1 to 2 cloves garlic, sliced or minced (I do sliced)

1 small onion, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 small handful freshly chopped cilantro (optional)

Cooked rice

Options For Extra Toppings:  your favorite shredded cheese, sliced olives, scallions, cucumbers, avocado, and tomatoes.  I always use whatever I have on hand.

 

1.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a fry pan and add the onions and let saute for a minute or two.

2.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two before adding your peppers, adding a little more olive oil if necessary.

3.  After letting the peppers saute for a couple of minutes, add the ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces and cook until just about cooked through.

4.  Add the ground cumin and ancho chili powder and stir until everything is well coated.  Let the turkey finish cooking.

5.  Salt and pepper to taste

Note:  I salt and pepper after every step.  I find that I need and use less salt.  Everyone has a different style and way of doing things.

6.  Top with chopped cilantro, if using

7.  Serve nacho style with rice and your other favorite toppings! 

 

Sauteed Fiddleheads

There is nothing like a fiddlehead sauteed in olive oil and garlic!

I wait all year for the three week period in spring where fiddleheads are in season and available at the local produce market.  Fiddleheads are the furled fronds of a young fern, harvested for use as a vegetable.  Their taste is reminiscent of asparagus. They are an early spring delicacy, but don't try to forage for them yourself.  Some are not safe to be consumed and there needs to be a balance between gathering and leaving enough behind to guarantee a healthy crop for the next season. Fiddleheads need to be cooked before eaten to be safe.  I steam mine for about 10 minutes before I use them in a recipe.  You can also boil them for about 15 minutes, if you prefer.  I use them in salads, chopped up and spread on crostini, thrown in with pasta, and my favorite way, sauteed with oil olive and garlic!  Yum!  I always hope to inspire people to try new flavors, and to try to eat things that are in season.  I don't know, to me, everything tastes better and we appreciate it more when eaten just in season.

Ingredients:

A bunch of fiddleheads, thoroughly washed, boiled for 15 minutes, or steamed for 10 minutes

Olive Oil, about 2 Tablespoons, more if needed

1 or 2 or 3 cloves of sliced garlic, depending on the amount of fiddleheads and your tastes (you can also mince the garlic if you prefer).

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

 

1.  In a saute pan, on medium high, heat the olive oil.

2.  Add garlic and let cook for a minute, being careful not to let the garlic burn.

3.  Add in the fiddleheads and saute for a few minutes until the flavor of the garlic infuses into the fiddleheads.

4.  Salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Serve your favorite way!

PS  A new way that I tried....on a pizza with grilled ramps!  Click here to view recipe



Grilled Ramps

  

Ramps are in season, hooray!  I wait very patiently for spring every year in anticipation of beautiful and delicious ramps.  Ramps are a pungent cousin of the leek and when grilled are out of this world.  They grow in the wild and are harvested by commercial foragers. This recipe is simple, yet a perfect way to enjoy them.

Serves: 4         Cook/Prep:  10 minutes

Ingredients:

- 1 large bunch of ramps, rinsed (I leave the roots on, but you can cut them off if you prefer)

- Olive Oil (I used Wildflower Foods House Blend) 

- Salt and Pepper, to taste

 

1.  Heat grill pan on high heat.  When heated, turn heat down to medium high and brush with a little olive oil.

2.  While pan is heating, toss ramps with olive oil, salt and pepper.

3.  Grill ramps until slightly charred.

4.  Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving, then enjoy!

Note:  I used a grill pan on my stovetop, but I have grilled them on my grill outside too!  If you don't have a grill pan, a sauté pan will do just fine.

 

Chicken, Zucchini Spaghetti And Pea Shoots

 

I love grilled chicken chicken, zucchini, and pea shoots, so together they are amazing.  There is nothing like grilling outside on a beautiful day.  In the warmer months, this is my typical dinner.  I might change the greens depending on what is in my garden, but everything else is the same. This recipe is meant to be an inspiration to make something simple, quick, delicious, and healthy.  Enjoy!

Servings:  2 or 3, based on the serving size of 1 to 2 chicken breasts per person.  

Ingredients:

4   Chicken breasts, grilled with a little bit of olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Reserve the juices that collect when the chicken is resting for the dressing.

2   Zucchini 

A large bunch of pea shoots.

For the dressing:

Zinfandel vinegar, olive oil, honey, reserved chicken juices, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Note:  I just have to mention that I use Wildflower Foods vinegars and olive oil.  Honestly, they are the best!  Yes, they are available in the store.  I couldn't resist!  Forgive me!

 

1.  Slice your chicken breasts after letting them rest.

2.  Using a spiral slicer (I use the spirelli, which is available in the store) turn your zucchini into spaghetti or if you don't have a spiral slicer you can use a julianne peeler.  The only difference will be that your zucchini will be in small strips instead of spaghetti.  Place into a salad bowl.

3.  Add pea shoots and toss together.

4.  Make your dressing.  Whisk together 1 Tbl zinfandel vinegar, 3 Tbl good olive oil, reserved chicken juices, 1 tea honey (add more if desired), a nice pinch of sea salt, and a few grinds of freshly ground pepper.  Pour over zucchini spaghetti and pea shoots and toss.

5.  Divide your zucchini spaghetti and pea shoots between plates, top with sliced grilled chicken, and serve with a toasted piece of ciabatta bread.  Yum!

Note:  You can always make a little extra dressing to drizzle over the chicken.

 

 

 

Spiced Nuts, Turmeric Inspired

Nuts are a great snack and I always try to have them on hand.  If I am hungry an hour or two before lunch or dinner, I grab a handful and they are quite satisfying.  I also like to put them out with a cheese board as an added accompaniment with olives and my pickled jalapeno peppers.  Inspired by turmeric, I found a recipe and played around with it and here is the result.

Yields:  about 2 to 3 cups

Ingredients:

2 to 3 cups of your favorite raw nuts (I used cashews, almonds, pecans, and pistachios, just because that is what I had on hand)

2 to 3 teaspoons of oil (I used olive oil, but I would also use coconut or a vegetable oil)

2 to 3 Tablespoons of an organic honey

1 teaspoon of the following spices - Cinnamon, Cayenne, Cumin, Curry, and Turmeric

Pinch or two of  sea salt

 

1.  In a large bowl, toss nuts with the spices and salt.

2.  Add oil and honey, stirring to combine well.

3.  Spread nuts evenly on a sheet pan.

4.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and roast for about 15 to 20 minutes, checking every 5 minutes, until they are a deep brown.

5.  After removing from oven, let cool for a moment, and transfer to a bowl, tossing to separate nuts.  

6.  Keep in a jar where handy for a quick, healthful, and filling snack.

 

Blueberries, Feta, and Mint

I love cookbooks!  There is something so magical about sitting down, flipping through the pages, and finding a fabulous recipe.  That is exactly how I found this wonderful, healing recipe.  It is from "Salads: beyond the bowl" by Mindy Fox.  I love the ingredients and how they come together is simply amazing!  The recipe isn't exact, but it is how I did it and it was delicious!  You can serve this as a savory salad, as I did with steak or as a dessert salad.  I even ate it for breakfast.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

3 Cups blueberries (roughly 1 1/2 pints) (I buy organic, especially when not in season)

1 Cup mint leaves, roughly chopped

1 Cup feta cheese, crumbled

4 Tablespoons of very good olive oil

Course Sea Salt, to taste

Course, freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

1.  Combine blueberries, feta, and mint in a bowl.  Set aside until ready to serve.

2.  When ready to serve, portion out 4 servings, drizzle each with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.

3.  Salt and pepper, to taste (I was generous with both) and enjoy!

 

 

Lentil Soup

There is nothing more healing to me then a fabulous bowl of soup.  In the Fall and Winter, I make a big pot on Sunday afternoons and that is what I have for dinner during the week.  I add a grilled cheese, a roasted sweet potato, a big loaf of crusty bread, or a salad to complete my meal.  And yes, I always add a glass of wine!  Lentil soup is one of my favorites.  I can have this soup on the table, ready to eat, in about 40 minutes.  So if you are in need of some healing, this is a wonderful soup for you and it only gets better the next day!

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

12 to 16 oz of lentils, depending on your taste, rinsed and drained.  (I use different colored lentils to make it more fun, but use what you have on hand)

1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 Tablespoon of tomato paste, give or take

1 Teaspoon of cumin ( I always use more, adjust to your taste.  My theory, you can always add more, you can't take it away)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

6 to 8 cups of water or low sodium chicken broth, depending if you prefer a thicker or thinner soup.

 

1.  Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven, add your onion, cooking until soft (about 3 - 4 minutes).

2.  Add your garlic, cook for another minute or so being careful not to burn your garlic.

3.  Add your carrots and celery, cooking for a few minutes.

4.  Stir in your tomato paste until it is fully incorporated, letting it cook for a minute.

5.  Add your cumin, mixing well and letting all the flavors combine.

6.  Add your lentils, coating them well and letting them toast for a minute.

7.  Add your water or chicken broth, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

8.  Salt and pepper to taste.

9.  Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or parmesan cheese and enjoy!

 

 

Nicoise Salad

What makes a recipe a Healing Kitchen recipe?  It's all about the ingredients.  I truly feel that if we are aware of what we put into our bodies we go along way toward healing whatever ails us!  I have a sign in my store that says "Healing starts with the food that we eat"  It is something that I try to live by.  It is just as easy to put something good into you as it is to put something not so good.  That is what the Healing Kitchen is all about!  Knowing where your food comes from, how it was processed, and how it arrived on your table.  I want to inspire awareness!  This recipe is such a great way to have an all in one meal!  Your vegetables and protein all together in one beautiful dish!  Very healing and satisfying.

Serves 2

For The Dressing:  Combine in a mason jar, shake well

1/2 clove garlic, minced

1/2 shallot, minced

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

6 Tablespoons Olive OIl

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

For The Salad:

6 small potatoes (fingerlings or Yukon gold)

6 baby beets

Handful of green beans, trimmed

4 handfuls of soft salad greens, rinsed and dried

4 radishes, sliced

1/2 cucumber, diced

2 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 Cup Nicoise olives

1 5 to 6 oz can of tuna packed in oil, drained

Before arranging your salad, boil the potatoes until tender enough to be pierced with the tip of a knife, then boil your beans until crisp tender, and finally boil your beets until fork tender.

Assemble your salad, drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

 

 

Karen's Greek Salad

This is one of my favorite go to salads in the summer!  I love using the tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers from my garden.  It is so fresh and light, truly a wonderful way to eat all year round if you have access to it's great ingredients! 

Serves 3 to 4 people

Ingredients:

5 to 6 small tomatoes, medium diced (you can use halved cherry or grape tomatoes)

1/2 to 3/4 of an english cucumber, medium diced

1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 to 3/4 cup of pitted olives, halved (use your favorite)

1 handful of fresh mint, chopped

1 handful of fresh oregano, chopped

1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese (add more if you prefer)

Small squeeze of lime juice (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well.  Let sit for a little bit to let the flavors meld together.  Serve and enjoy!

  

FRESH CORN SALAD

   

I love going to the market and getting inspired!  It is one of my favorite things to do.  This recipe was created from four inspirations, a conversation with a customer, a trip to the market, summer, and Wildflower Foods white balsamic vinegar.  It is so simple and wonderful!  The beauty of it is that any fresh herb can be substituted for basil and anything can be added.  I usually add a chopped jalapeño pepper.  I am all about cooking with a little of this and a little of that.  Have fun and enjoy!  I say that it serves four, but I usually eat most of it myself, just so you can prepare!

Serves: 4              Cook/Prep: 10 minutes      Inactive Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

- 5 ears of fresh corn on the cob

- 1 medium red onion, diced small

- 2 bunches of fresh basil, chopped into your preferred size

- 4 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar (Wildflower Foods)

- salt & pepper (optional)

 

1.  In a large bowl, cut the corn kernels off the cob with a knife.

2.  Add diced red onion and chopped basil, toss.

3.  Add white balsamic vinegar and toss well.

4.  Season with salt & pepper if desired.

5.  Let stand for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better) and serve.

Note:  It is great the next day! 

 

Chicken & Spring Onions over Zucchini 

 

 

I try only to eat fruits and vegetables when they are in season!  It is a hard task when everything is so readily available year round, but it is well worth it.  I am not perfect, but I do try my best.  Everything tastes so much better and is so healing for you when you eat them when nature intended you to.  I love Spring and its beautiful bounty of all things green. Spring Onions are one of my favorites and the inspiration for this recipe.  Enjoy and have fun!  This recipe is intended to be quick and stress free!

Serves: 2          Cook/Prep: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

- 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced thinly - I grilled mine using Wildflower Foods Garlic Salt Blend

- 4 small spring onions, sliced thinly - ramps or leeks can be substituted

- 2 small zucchini, spiral sliced like spaghetti

- Olive oil - I use Wildflower Foods House Blend, but your favorite one will do

1. Heat sauté pan on medium high, when heated, coat bottom of pan with olive oil (1 to 2 tablespoons) and give it a second to heat up.  Add your sliced spring onions and sauté until soft (4 to 5 minutes).

2. Turn your heat down to medium and add your sliced chicken, sauté until heated through.

3. While sautéing spring onions and chicken, in a medium bowl, use your sprielli or spiral slicer to prepare your zucchini.

4. Toss zucchini with chicken and spring onions, divide between two bowls, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve. Yum!

Note:  Add a little feta cheese to the top and enjoy with a fabulous slice of your favorite bread!

 

IT ALL STARTED WITH LETTUCE

 

While I was at the market over the weekend, all the different greens reminded me of a fabulous thing that happened two years ago at this time, the start of a glorious summer of food and a 45 lb weight loss!  And believe it or not, it all started with lettuce.  I had planted lettuce in my garden just to try something different and before I knew it, I had an over the top abundance.  Romaine, Green Leaf, Red Leaf, you name it, I had it all in my backyard and at my fingertips.  It was so easy to grow that I was truly amazed. It was in the shade most of the day except for a few hours of beautiful sun in the afternoon.  Then came the question of what to do with it all, so I just started eating salads.  If I was hungry, I would eat more salad.  It tasted so much better to me than any lettuce I had eaten before and it became a fun way to discover making different dressings and adding other things from my garden like mint, cilantro, tarragon, spinach and swiss chard.  I think I even picked the dandelion greens in my yard and threw them in.  As the spring and summer progressed, I started adding grilled chicken, steak, nuts, dried fruits, avocado, cheese, and hard boiled eggs.  It was wonderful.  So every year, in early spring, I plant my lettuce and I see what develops!

A Quick Note:  A salad spinner is a summer simple essential and a huge time saving tool!

 

Go to Salad Spinner →

 

Go to Wooden Bowls →

 

 

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