A FULL Mediterranean Menu

A FULL Mediterranean Menu

Fall starts next week, so we needed one last hurrah. Last weekend 18grains hosted its first ever {Grown-Up} Cooking Party! Working with adults is not so different than working with kids, except that there was wine involved and different topics of conversation. Thanks to our lovely host for offering her beautiful Corte Madera home and for the 12 moms who participated! While working together to prep and cook this three-course meal, we managed to tackle some important topics. Budget-friendly grocery shopping. How does one not spend $200 per week on grocery bills while still feeding organic veggies, grass-fed beef, and free-range eggs to a family of four? It’s possible, trust me, it just takes a bit more planning and strategizing. SUGAR- and it’s demise. Most of us have a sweet tooth, and if we cut sugar out completely, bad things happen. We covered lots of different kinds of sugars and talked about the best ones to use for the occasional treat. Sucanat was the best sugar for our sparkling lemonade and we used honey in the roasted fig dessert. How to cook beans so they don’t, um, give you gas. I talked about the value of soaking grains and legumes and how to cook beans with kombu seaweed. What’s the deal with GMOs for real? (Too much to write here) Then the topics got off track… like, “did you hear the NPR show on the cause of hangovers“.. So yes, you missed out! But don’t worry, I’m giving you all the recipes, which you will find at the bottom. Although the recipes are full of sophisticated flavors and spices,...
Two ways to use arugula

Two ways to use arugula

Fresh Corn Salad with Arugula I’m hooked on raw corn. Even though the BBQ is going as we speak, the crunchy, juicy kernels are at the peak of their season, so they pop with flavor and color just as they are. This salad is a crowd pleaser; a little spicy, a variety of textures, and super fresh. Summer is upon us. Ingredients: 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 Tbs. raw honey 1/4 tsp. sea salt 1/4 tsp. pepper 3 ears of corn 1 red or yellow pepper, diced 1/2 cucumber, diced 1 ripe tomato, diced 3 green onions, minced (white and green parts) 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced 1/3 cup fresh minced herbs: parsley, basil, and/or cilantro 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts Directions: 1) Prepare the dressing: combine oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid- shake vigorously until everything is incorporated. 2) Shuck the corn and carefully cut off the kernels with a sharp knife (be careful or they will shoot all over your kitchen!). 3) Combine corn and remaining ingredients in a large bowl, toss generously with dressing (but save remainder of dressing for future salads). 4) Serve immediately over a bed of arugula *Note- this salad holds together well, so if you choose to serve it later, just add the dressing and pine nuts right before plating. Arugula & Basil Pesto I whipped out my food processor, pulled my wilting bags of arugula and basil from the fridge, and voilà!- ate this ultra-nutritious pesto all week long. It’s great as a...
Summer Fruit Salad and Cashew Whipped Cream

Summer Fruit Salad and Cashew Whipped Cream

It’s Sunday night, so I’ll make it short and sweet. DirectionFive, the non-profit culinary and nutrition program for kids, made its appearance again at Marin Mart Farmers Market in Larkspur this Saturday to celebrate the inception of summer. Although the kiddos will eat anything if they’re the ones who make it, this recipe was an especially big hit. Cashew cream is just as deeply satisfying as regular whip cream, plus it has more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and antioxidants. This recipe is so easy- four ingredients!- and can be used in many applications. Both sweet and savory, cashew cream is a staple for a vegan diet and can be used in desserts, as filling for ravioli, and as a dairy substitute for cream-based soups (minus the sweetener). Fruit Salad: 4 ripe peaches, nectarines, and/or plumes, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces 1 cup of fresh strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries (slice the strawberries) 4-6 basil leaves, torn Use any other seasonal fruit you wish… Cashew Cream: 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews, soaked between 2-6 hours 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract 1 Tbs. of raw honey 1/2 cup of room temperature water Put all the cashew cream ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon on top of mixed fruit salad and serve immediately. Cashew cream will last in the fridge for about a week if stored in an airtight...
Two cleanse-friendly recipes

Two cleanse-friendly recipes

Lemon-Energizer-Aid Day 1 of the two-week cleanse: going strong with no caffeine headache! I’ve been lamenting about having no coffee for two weeks… but since I have so many of you counting on me to make it through, I WILL DO IT FOR YOU! Even if it kills me. I’ve bought a few boxes of green tea and stocked up on my matcha (smoothie recipe here), Inka grain coffee, and Teechino. I should survive, but ask me tomorrow and I may have another answer. This recipe below is one from my bag of tricks. It’s nourishing in so many ways, plus it packs a punch so it will kick your booty and wake you up when you’re dragging mid-afternoon. Lemon juice is great to drink before meals to help with digestion, and it’s full of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Ginger is also a digestive aid and soothes the stomach. Ceyenne is a powerful antioxidant and a pain-reliever (anticipating headaches…). Turmeric has a warming and bittersweet flavor and is loaded with curcumin, which is what gives this spice it’s famous anti-inflammatory properties. Happy cleansing and godspeed! Ingredients: 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (or the juice from about 3 lemons depending on how much juice you can get out) 2 tsp. raw honey 1/2 tsp. ginger juice 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper 2 1/2 cups water A few tips: -Drink this hot or cold -For the ginger juice- you can either press your own using a garlic press (I think I pulled a muscle) or buy the bottled kind. Honestly, it tastes better if you do it yourself, but The Ginger People offers a...
Join me June 1st- 3 Weeks ‘Till Summer SPRING CLEANSE!

Join me June 1st- 3 Weeks ‘Till Summer SPRING CLEANSE!

Has your body been trying to tell you something? Maybe it’s time to listen. Join me on a 2-week whole foods cleanse starting June 1st. Improve your health, repair your digestion, and change your bad eating habits by participating in this guided cleanse. We’ll support each other and make it an enjoyable, effortless two weeks! Why cleanse? Summer is right around the corner! Cleanses are a great way to reset your system, detox, and drop some extra pounds while nourishing your body to the max. This type of cleanse removes common allergens and toxic chemicals from your diet, which will improve the immune system, flush the digestive system, and facilitate healing. Plus, you will develop better eating habits and foster a greater sense of body awareness. What kind of cleanse is it? Whole foods, whole foods, and more whole foods. We’ll be cutting out all types of refined foods, soy, dairy, sugar, gluten, alcohol and coffee (*gasp!) with an optional juice fast at the end. BUT- you’ll be provided with lots of yummy recipes, meal plans and email support. You will never go hungry. Is it safe? Absolutely. For one, refined foods shouldn’t be part of our diet anyway. Because you’re not limiting calories, you’ll have plenty of energy to go about your daily routine, feel alert, and even exercise. It’s important to be mindful that you’re eating enough, drinking a lot of water, and paying attention to symptoms such as food cravings, headaches, or constipation. Troubleshooting some of these problems will be available during the cleanse via email support. How much does it cost? It’s FREE. However, you...
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