Beets are highly nutritious. Their unique pigment protects against coronary artery disease and stroke. lower cholesterol levels within the body, and have anti-aging effects. In addition, Swiss chard, like spinach, is the store-house of many phytonutrients that have health promotional and disease prevention properties. – Nutrition & You
Ingredients: serves 4
1 box whole grain Linguini pasta
4 cups Swiss Chard, chopped and loosely packed
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 large beet, quartered
4 ‘on the vine’ (medium) tomatoes, quartered
4 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, seeds removed
1/2 cup water
salt & pepper
Preparation: 1/2 hour
1. Sauce: In a blender, combine beet, tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, water, salt & pepper. Puree.
2. Pasta: boil water in a large pot, add pasta and cook until tender.
3. Meanwhile: in a medium pot, simmer beet sauce over medium flame to heat, bring out the flavors and cook off a bit of the water.
4. Strain pasta, place back in large pot, add beet sauce and toss until pasta is coated and bright red.
5. Swiss Chard: In a skillet over high heat, add Olive Oil and Swiss chard. Sautee until just wilted.
6. Plate: Make a nest of beet coated pasta, top with swiss chard, grate parmesan over, and serve.
- Corinna Mantlo
I do my best to keep everything in my life simple, natural and ecologically responsible. When it comes to wash day, the bulk of my laundry is done by hand in the sink and hung to air dry around the apartment.
I don’t believe in chemical detergents, or the wasteful plastic containers they come in, and even though my clothes get pretty caked with grease and grime from playing grease monkey in my spare time, I manage to get everything down to the grossest shop rag clean naturally and for less money than the store bought bottles by using clean, 100% natural soap, white vinegar and baking soda.
100% natural, Savon de Marseille (soap from the French region of Marseille) is made exclusively with a base of olive oil, copra, and palm oil. It’s PH neutral for extremely sensitive skin types, biodegradable and to be considered authentic ‘savon’, must contain 72% olive oil. It costs about $7 for a big chunk and can be found at your local health food store or in a pinch, online HERE
Using a potato peeler, shave off a bit of soap (play with the proportions til it’s right for you. you can always add more). Add the shavings to a sink full of warm water and clothing.
Pure, natural soap can have a tendency to be a little ‘scummy’. If you find this to be the case, add a tablespoon of Baking Soda to the wash. This will help pull stains and cut through the soap scum.
White Vinegar (a cap full or two) can also be added or can be substituted for the Baking Soda. It will also cut through the soap scum, as well as getting odors out of clothing. I use one or the other or a combination of the two depending on the wash load contents, based on trial and error.
Make a thick paste using soap shavings, Baking Soda, White Vinegar and a little water. Spoon it on to the stain and allow to sit for a half hour or so. wash as usual.
The history of Savon de Marseille
In the Middle Ages big blocks of olive oil soap were first crafted in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille with olive oil from local groves, marine ash and sea salted water. The quality of these soaps were immediately famous throughout Europe and in 1688 French law declared that only soaps made according to certain ancient methods could bear the important mark Savon de Marseille. Now the most prized of all soaps in the world, our Savon de Marseille is still crafted by hand, in Marseille, just as it has been for hundreds of years. It takes the Maitre de Savon (soapmaster) two weeks to make Marseille Soap. The purest ingredients are heated for ten days in antique cauldrons. The soapmaster knows just the right moment to pour the mixture into open pits where it slowly hardens. Cut into cubes and stamped, without machines of any kind, the soaps are then set out to dry in the sun and cool winds. Savon de Marseille (“Marseille Soap”) is once again being rediscovered for its extraordinary purity, gentle skin care and ecological value. Savon de Marseille is recommended by dermatologists throughout the world for dry or sensitive skin, eczema and other ailments. In France it has been trusted for generations to cleanse everything from linens to little faces. Marseille Soap is totally biodegradable, requires little packaging and its manufacture is environmentally friendly. Authentic Marseille Soap is stamped with its weight in grams – a practice left over from years ago which allowed households to compare prices and plan their inventories. This gram weight is the weight of the soap “frais,” or fresh, in the factory. The soap will lose weight as it becomes drier and it will weigh less than the “fresh weight” when you receive it. No soap is “greener.” In France they are sold piled high on open-air market tables like produce, wrapped in craft paper. Your Savon de Marseille will be delivered without plastic packaging, carefully wrapped in paper stamped with the famous marks to prove its authenticity. – Savon de Marseille’s website
Happy Wash Day!
Coffee is a passion I share with a group of amazing Barista friends in New York City. The variety of wonderful, fair and direct trade beans available, roasted locally by Counter Culture, Stumptown and The Rook (among others) and handed over to us to serve with love at Beaner Bar, Black Gold, and Cafe Meccanica is astounding.
It was this variety that got me to thinking about making a homemade cocktail brew. As the recipe uses fresh ground beans, you can use your own favorite blend of coffee to give it a distinct and unique flavor.
The sweet and spicy Mexican Mocha, a signature drink at Beaner Bar also inspired me to experiment with additions to the recipe. The next batch I make will definitely be a chocolate/coffee liquor. And, for my New England friends fiending for the ‘Champagne of Maine’, I’ll be substituting brandy for rum, for a nice, home made Coffee Brandy. Both these recipes coming soon.
This recipe makes about 1 quart (4 cups) of coffee liqueur. Because it needs to cure for 2 weeks before bottling and is easy to do it in bulk, I made 4 times this recipe, all in one big jar, and bottled it in smaller pint and quart sized jars once it was done.
1 cup coffee – fresh and coarsely ground
1.5 cups Rum
1.5 cups Vodka
1/2 cup raw Sugar
1 cup Water
1 whole Vanilla Bean
Combine coffee, rum, vodka, sugar and water in a large glass jar.
Split the vanilla beans and scrape the seeds into the jar. Toss the empty pods in as well.
Stir, cover tightly and set in a dark cupboard for 2 weeks (the longer the better), shaking the jar regularly. I also recommend tasting it regularly. The coffee grounds will filter the vodka and the liquor will become smoother as it sits.
When you are happy with the taste and smoothness of the liqueur (2 weeks at least), strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the coffee grounds and vanilla bean pods. Discard the coffee grounds but rinse and save the vanilla bean pods.
Strain mixture through a coffee filter to remove any remaining sediment.
Transfer to smaller bottles or jars, adding half of a vanilla bean pod (or more) to each jar.
Seal tightly, label and store to enjoy and give as gifts.
I serve coffee liqueur with a little milk, over ice
Bison, Tomato Stew with Kale & Spaghetti Squash
Healthy, fresh and flavorful, and using Spaghetti Squash as a pasta alternative, this is a wonderful, quick meal. This is not spaghetti-o’s in a can, but I promise it doesn’t take much more of an effort to make. I served this with Apple wedges sprinkled with a little salt and dried parsley. It might sound silly, but I find that apples do a good job or replacing bread as a side snack.
(makes 4 servings)
1 pound fresh ground, Bison Meat
3 Beefsteak Tomatoes – chopped
1 Onion – chopped
1 bunch Kale – stems removed, and chopped
1 Spaghetti Squash – halved and seeds removed
3 cloves Garlic – minched
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 cup white wine
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place both halves of the spaghetti squash (skins sides, down), in a large baking dish. Fill bottom of baking dish with 1/2 inch of water, and bake for 45 minutes or until you can pull the spaghetti like flesh of the squash apart with a fork. This should be very easy. If still hard, let it cook a little longer. check the squash regularly and add more water as it evaporates. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, use a fork to separate the spaghetti strand flesh from the skins and set aside.
2. Combine the onion and olive oil, and saute in a large pot over high heat until soft. Add the Bison Meat and cook just long enough to brown it. Add the tomatoes, garlic, wine, salt and pepper. Lower heat a bit and cook, stirring often, until meat is cooked and tomatoes have broken down a bit. You’re not looking to make a thick tomato sauce, but instead, more of a fresh chunky stew.
3. Turn heat off and stir in the raw kale. This will soften the kale, but retain all of it’s wonderful vitamins and nutrients.
4. To serve, fill bowl half with the cooked spaghetti squash and then cover with the Bison Stew. Top with grated parmesan.
I first became obsessed with chile powder in beer on a trip to Patzcuaro, Michoacan Mexico in 2007. In the Zucalo, a cart vendor served up unbelievably fresh and delicious Ceviche, which in itself was a treat, since most of my journeys in Mexico have been in the mountains. Though Patzcuaro is situated inland as well, it encompasses the largest lake (and their aren’t many) in the region. Because of this unique locale, you get not only the inland cuisine, but also a wonderful array of fish dishes.
The beer was served in a can, topped with a cooked, peeled shrimp drizzled with lime juice and sprinkled in chile powder. With the first sip, goes the spicy shrimp shot, and the remaining chile on on the top of the can is consumed with each sip after.
1 Tecate beer (in a can. Clean the top well)
1 Lime wedge
1/4 tspn Chile Ancho powder
optional: 1 peeled, de-veined and steamed shrimp
Directions: Open can, garnish with lime and chile ancho. Serve.
As far as I’ve found, the origins of the drink go back to the 1940’s when the practice of adding hot sauce and lime to beer became popular in Mexico. I wish I had more to report, but I do know that I now confuse local bar goers in NYC on a regular basis by ordering a Tecate with lime, and then proceeding to take out a small bottle of chile powder (which i travel with) and sprinkling a healthy dose on the top of the can.
On a recent jaunt to 169 Bar, I was also pleased to discover (having forgotten my vial of spice at home) that a few drops Siracha (available for their bar food menu) and lime is a great alternative. But be careful, that Siracha packs quite a kick…especially after the 4th or 5th!
Chile Ancho: The poblano is a mild chili pepper originating in the State of Puebla, Mexico. Dried, it is called a chile ancho. The ripened red poblano is significantly hotter and more flavorful than the less ripe, green poblano. While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably, they can have significant heat.
I love vegetable soups, especially on a chilly winter day. Quick and easy, and a great use of those veggies that have lost their crunch. Carrot is a staple, but using the base of stock, veggies, and spices blended into a creamy, delicious soup, the possibilities are endless. Experiment with all those beautiful, in season vegetables that catch your eye at the local green market, paired with different spices to put a spin on each new meal. I’ll post more variations soon as well. Enjoy.
2 bunches (about 2lbs) – scrubbed, chopped carrots
4 cups home made Soup Stock
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoons home made Butter
1 medium yellow onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – crushed
1/2 cup almonds – chopped
1 ½ teaspoons Cumin
Salt & Pepper
Goat Cheese – crumbled
Home made Kale Chips
In a large pot, on medium heat, sauté onion, garlic and nuts in the butter/Olive Oil until onions are clear.
Add carrots, stock, salt, pepper and cumin. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or so, until carrots are soft.
Turn heat off and let soup cool to room temperature.
Puree the soup in a blender. This will be done in several batches (fill blender no more than half full) to avoid a mess. Transfer each batch once pureed, to a large bowl. When all batches are done, blend with a spoon to get a uniform consistency.
Garnish the soup with Kale Chips and crumbled Goat Cheese
Kale chips make a wonderfully crunchy, healthy vitamin packed topping for everything from soups and stir-fries, or crumbled onto popcorn. The dark green chips also make a great addition to crudites spread with dip, for a cocktail party, For this, I generally make the chips larger, leave the stems in and serve them with a light yogurt dill dip (simple recipe for that, below).
Kale Chips with Garlic
1 bunch kale – washed, dried, stems removed and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves Garlic – sliced thin
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, toss kale with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Spread the coated kale out on a baking sheet. If the kale overlaps too much, it won’t dry out properly.
Bake for 15 minutes or so, until the kale is crispy.
2 Cups Yogurt
1 cup lite Sour Cream
1 cup chopped dill
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in a bowl, stir, and serve with fresh vegetables, and Kale Chips.