Healthy Herbes de Provence

C’est bon et bon pour vous.
  • 1 T Fennel Seed 
  • 2 T Summer Savory
  • 2 T Thyme
  • 2 T Basil
  • 2 T Marjoram
  • 2 T Parsley
  • 1 T Oregano
  • 2 T Rosemary
  • 5-6 Bay Leaves (or 1 t ground Bay Leaf)
  • 2 T Lavender Flowers
  • 1 T Tarragon*
  • 6 Black Peppercorns
  • YOU CAN USE ALL FRESH or MIX FRESH & DRY HERBS IN THIS BLEND AND FREEZE. Allow 3 times the dry amount for fresh and of course you’ll have to grind your dry herbs, mince your fresh ones & blend. Storage info follows.

To mix, you can use a suribachi (I love this Japanese grinding bowl bowl with a rough unglazed center that I learned about from Alice Waters.); mortar and pestle; or an electric spice grinder. (I have a Cuisinart SG10 which holds all of this mix.) You can also use ANY BOWL and a wooden spoon.

When mixing spices grind the largest ones first…ie. peppercorns and bay leaves. When these are relatively small, add the all the remaining herbs & blend to your preference, coarse to very fine. Try to have consistent particle sizes of all the herbs so you have true blend of flavors for your recipe.

Store AIRTIGHT in a dark/tinted GLASS container for up to 6 months. Beyond that your flavors and nutrients will dim. You can freeze your blend (IN FREEZER PROOF AIR TIGHT GLASS NOT METAL OR PLASTIC) and maybe get 12 months. (PLASTIC is toxic next to any food! It is NOT airtight. I love Ball straight-sided freezer safe jars! Here’s Dr. Weil’s view about SILICONE which might be an option…https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/cooking-cookware/cooking-with-silicone/

I have also mixed my blend with olive oil, plopped teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined tray, frozen and popped out into my BALL jars and returned to freezer. Pre-measured with an extra boost of EVOO. 12 months maximum storage but I use within 6 months.

MAGIC HEALTH

This is just a teeny bit about the health gifts.

As a nutritional chef, I have learned that this blend is loaded with LIFE — phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. Remember more is not necessarily better. Taste your foods as you cook to see what is your spice preference.

  • Fennel – Carminative (antiflatulent), galactagogue (increases breast milk supply), expectorant/antitussive (relieves chronic cough), anti-colic, stomachic (aids digestion), anti-inflammatory (supports overall wellness). I LOVE FENNEL!
  • Savory – Anti-oxidant (see oregano blog https://chamberslife.com/?s=oregano for information about antioxidants), anti-septic, anti-fungal, expectorant, stomachic, aphrodisiac, thirst quencher.
  • Thyme – Antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, anti fungal, expectorant, anti-candida, vermifuge (expels parasites), carminative, antitussive, antispasmodic, diaphoretic (skin redness increasing blood flow for musculoskeletal/arthritis/rheumatism pain relief).
  • Basil – Antidepressant, detoxicant, headache relief, lung support, digestive.
  • Marjoram – See Oregano.
  • Parsley – Diuretic, blood purifier, digestive, galactagogue, emmenagogue (menstrual flow stimulant), carminative, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant.
  • Oregano – https://chamberslife.com/?s=oregano
  • Rosemary – Nervine (calms nerves), antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, diaphoretic, analgesic (pain relief), antispasmodic (muscle spasm relief), antioxidant, carminative, liver tonic, astringent, circulatory support. I LOVE ROSEMARY! Here’s a little side note about the magic of Rosemary. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/world/what-in-the-world/rosemary-and-time-does-this-italian-hamlet-have-a-recipe-for-long-life.html
  • Bay Leaf – Anti-carcinogen, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, calmative, antiflatulent, sedative, sodium replacement for taste. DO NOT EAT WHOLE BAY LEAVES AS THEY MAY CAUSE CHOKING/GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS!
  • Lavender Flowers – Antibacterial, digestive, cholagogue (promotes bile flow), carminative, nervine (Lavender is amazing, helping with sleep, depression, fatigue, anxiety, etc.), insect repellent. Suggested lavender varieties include Provence, Melissa, Royal Velvet, Buena Vista and English.
  • Tarragon – Digestive, antiflatulent, cholagogue, nervine, appetite stimulant, metabolism booster. *Tarragon has very distinctive flavor can overpower other herbs, so you may want to start with less to see if your taste buds agree. If your tongue feels a little numb when you eat Tarragon, I am told that’s part of it’s magic.
  • Black Peppercorns – Digestive, enhances bioavailability, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, improves cognition, expectorant, antitussive. EAT ON EVERYTHING!

SOURCES & REFERENCES, ETC.

www.katolenyardley.com The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies by Katolen Yardley

www.thymeherbal.com Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen by Brittany Wood Nickerson

Dr. William Li https://drwilliamli.com author — Eat to Beat Disease

Rebecca Katz – AMAZING RECIPES! She so gets the flavor thing — MAKE — www.rebeccakatz.com/recipe-box/triple-triple-brittle

And last but not least — I love this podcast because Dr. Gundry has a plethora of health professionals as guests whether he agrees with their views or not. So if you are a sponge for health info this is your go to… …https://drgundry.com/the-dr-gundry-podcast/

TREASURE FIND Vegan Bouillabaisse

TRY THIS Faux Seafood Stew – IT IS AMAZING!
Inspired by GENIUS Chef Tal Ronnen. https://www.plantforwardkitchen.org/tal-ronnen
Although they say when you change one ingredient the recipe is yours, this one is definitely MORE Chef Ronnen’s. The ingredient list is long but the recipe is super EASY.
  • STOCK
  • 8 c filtered water
  • 4 Sencha tea bags or 4 t Sencha tea
  • 2 6-inch by 8-inch pieces of dried kombu
  • 2 T avocado oil
  • 1 onion, unpeeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk cut into chunks
  • Sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 fresh 4-inch thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 t whole black peppercorns
  • 2 large allspice
  • 1/4 c astragalus root pieces
  • 1/2 c Sauvignon Blanc
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring the water to a boil. Add tea & kombu. Remove from heat & let steep 15 minutes. Meanwhile heat the avocado oil & sauté the onion & celery with a sprinkle of salt until onion is transparent. Add remaining ingredients, except wine & cook about 1 minute. Add wine & cook 1 minute. Add the stock & simmer for 20 minutes. Strain stock into another pot. Toss or eat the vegetables. Yields 6 cups of stock.

  • SOUP
  • 1 t saffron threads, place in 2 T water
  • 1 T avocado oil
  • 2 c chopped leeks, white & light green parts only (Think 1/4″.)
  • 2 – 3 c chopped fennel bulb (Think 1/2″.)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb mushrooms cut into largest bite size pieces. THINK DRAMA. (Chef’s recipe called for 1.5 lbs oyster & lobster. I had maitake & oyster on hand. Dr. Andrew Weil http://www.drweil.com/health is a great believer in the immune-enhancing and cancer-protective properties of shiitake, oyster mushrooms, maitake, enoki, etc.
  • 8 artichoke hearts (fresh, frozen or canned) cut into halves
  • 4 Italian parsley sprigs & stems, minced
  • 1 navel oranges, finely zested & juiced (Have a second orange on hand in case you decide you’d like more citrus flavor.)
  • 8 ounces diced Italian tomatoes
  • 2 T Pernod TASTE AFTER 1 T ADDED.
  • TASTE FIRST. You may or may not need this — 1/4 c Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 t herbes de Provence (Recipe coming.)
  • Sea Salt or Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Rouille (Recipe follows.)

Sauté the leeks & fennel in the avocado oil for 2 minutes. Tasting along the way…add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT MUSHROOMS. Simmer 10 minutes. Add mushrooms & simmer 10 minutes. Adjust flavor to your taste just before serving. Meanwhile, prepare ROUILLE.

  • ROUILLE
  • 1/2 c vegan mayonnaise
  • 1.5 roasted red pepper (jarred is fine)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 3-inch by 4-inch +/- baguette, remove crust & tear into pieces
  • 1.5 t Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
  • 1 T lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • Cayenne, a pinch to taste
  • Sea salt

Toss everything except olive oil, cayenne & sea salt in a Blendtec mini or your favorite machine that pulverizes everything. Pulverize until very smooth. With the machine running slowly add the olive oil. When you have a creamy emulsion, taste & add cayenne & salt to taste.

SPOON the SOUP into a bowl. Top with ROUILLE. SMELL IT. Add a crusty piece of garlic smeared baguette. ENJOY!

Best Possible Chili Ever

Chilly out means chili in. Vegan. My mother was a test kitchen — and we were her focus group. She tried hundreds of chili recipes. Some were so spicy, it became a challenge for us four kids. “Whoever eats this gets all the pie!” My brother Chris always won because NOTHING could stop him from that pie. Lemon Meringue was my mom Ruth’s specialty.
THIS IS THE WINNER CHILI MOM!

Possibly The Best Chili Ever

  • 12 oz. Impossible Meat™ ground beef or your choice of “meat” or mushrooms or more beans
  • 1 package McCormick™ Original Chili Mix *
  • 1 can pinto beans (Goya™ organic)
  • 1 14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c diced tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
  • 2 T avocado oil
  • 1/2 C chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced 
  • 1 t ground turmeric
  • 1 T dry onions
  • 1 T chili powder +/- heat as you prefer
  • 1 T mushroom powder (reishi or a blend)
  • 1/2 t asafoetida powder (helps legume digestion, oniony flavor, member of the celery family) 
  • 1 t fresh minced oregano
  • 1 t dry oregano leaves (+ immunity)
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t fresh black pepper (+ nutrient absorption)
  • 1 T psyllium husks
  • 3-5 astragalus root strips (+ immunity)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of water

Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients. Brown the Impossible with 1/4 t sea salt, trying to keep some chunks. Add onion & garlic. Turn heat to low until alliums are clear. Add remaining herbs & spices and stir well. Add 1/2 C water, beans, tomato sauce, psyllium & tomatoes. Add more water for the thickness you prefer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove astragalus & discard. Serve with green onions, cheese or faux cheese and crackers. I like a glass of milk with my chili. Have soy, oat, almond or grass fed diary according to what makes your body happy.

  • You can make your own chili mix if you like. I know, McCormick’s is a non-organic item which is usually NOT my go to. BUT comfort memory of this McCormick blend won in this recipe.
This recipe is dedicated to Lenice Ruth Keele Chambers, my mom, who was the best test kitchen ever.

Beauty & YOUR Immunity Soup

Good health is beautiful. GARLIC, onions, ginger, thyme turmeric, cayenne, black pepper, veg broth, coconut milk.
That pansy has antioxidant & anti-inflammatory properties.
  • 6 BIG bulbs of garlic, separate into cloves only smashing & peeling half of the cloves
  • 1 huge white onion, peeled & sliced
  • 2 T ghee & 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced ginger
  • 2 t fresh thyme
  • 1/4-1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t fresh milled black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juice & 2 t grated peel
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (Magic Mineral Broth)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup coconut milk (I like the 1 cup)
  • sea salt, a bit added while sautéing & final then for seasoning
EVERYTHING ORGANIC! 6 BIG bulbs of garlic. 350°F oven.
Place have of the cloves, unpeeled in a baking dish. Toss with olive oil, cover and bake 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, smash the remaining garlic cloves and peel them. Set aside. Melt 2 T Grass-fed ghee in a 2-quart or larger pot. Add 1 huge white onion peeled & sliced, 2 teaspoons fresh thyme , 2 heaping tablespoons of turmeric*, 1/2 cup chopped ginger, 1/4 or more cayenne as you like, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 t sea salt & half of the remaining garlic. Cook until the onions are transparent. You might need to add broth because the turmeric wants to thicken & stick so it can turn everything in your kitchen golden. Add the oven roasted garlic – popping each clove out of its skin. Add 4 cups of vegetables broth.** Simmer 20 minutes * I juiced fresh turmeric and added about 2 tablespoons of juice & 2 level tablespoons of dry.
**I love Rebecca Katz & her Magic Mineral Broth.
Well, I love all of her recipes. http://www.rebeccakatz.com

Puree the soup. Return to pot. Add coconut milk & heat through. Add remaining garlic cloves RAW, whole or chopped, your preference. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Eat hot or cold. On rice or cauliflower. Tame it a bit with broth and vegetables. JUST BE SURE TO EAT IT! To be beautiful and smell like garlic. Refrigerate up to 7 days. Freeze some. Hey how about in ice cube trays? A little immunity shooter anytime. Straight-sided Ball jars work great. Be sure to leave 1″ of headroom to allow for the expansion during freezing. DATE ’em & eat within 3 months of freezing.
  • Garlic & Onion Cut at least 10 minutes before eating to release their power!
  • One clove of garlic has manganese, B6, C, selenium, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron, B6. BOOSTS IMMUNITY!
  • Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory. Inflammation compromises your immune system. Turmeric must be eaten with black pepper & fat to best be absorbed. REDUCES INFLAMMATION!
  • Thyme C, A, copper, iron, manganese & disinfects & stops coughs. SANITIZES & BOOSTS IMMUNITY!
  • Ginger improves digestion (helps with turmeric absorption & allium digesiton), reduces inflammation, may protect respiratory system, fights infections! DOES A LOT!
  • Coconut Milk is full of antioxidants C, E, & electrolytes potassium, magnesium, phosphorus & antiseptic properties & is an anti-inflammatory & has ZINC & is a strong gut health supporter. MIRACLE FOOD!
  • Black Pepper is high in antioxidants is anti-inflammatory, boosts nutrient absorption & gut health. BRING IT ON!
  • Cayenne – I go light on cayenne, a personal preference and intolerance to night shades, but it can aid digestion among many other benefits for folks.
  • Lemon VITAMIN C and then some. For immunity boosting Vitamin C (time release) is recommended. I drink the juice of half a lemon every morning in warm water to detox my liver a bit as well.

Butternut Heaven MASH•PUREE•SOUP

Preheat oven to 425° F. Parchment line a half sheet pan.

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled & cut into 1″ cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 2-3 firm apples, cored & cut into wedges (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, peeled & cut into wedges (about 3 cups)
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (think gentle garlic background flavor not strong in- your-face garlic)
  • Olive oil
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Good water*
  • Cooking steps follow below the cashew cream and garnish information.

Cashew cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3-4 cups good water*
  • 1 t orange juice (or lemon)
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • Dash (1/16 t) nutmeg

Soak cashews in 2 c water for 2 hours. Drain. Put cashews, 1 cup water and all other ingredients in Blentec. Blend until smooth and creamy. Adding more water if you’d like a bit thinner. I like it a thick cream consistency.

Garnish: Diced apple, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chose one spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, curry powder. Rebecca Katz’s Triple Triple Brittle is particularly delicious, alone or as a garnish. https://www.rebeccakatz.com/recipe-box/triple-triple-brittle (I revised the spices: 2 t cinnamon, 1 t ginger, 1/4 t allspice, 1/8 t cloves, 1/4 t cardamom.)

A grapefruit spoon works great to remove the seeds.

Smash the Garlic to easily peel and release antioxidants.

Keeping ingredients separate (so that when they bake you can remove any item that cooks faster), toss them with olive oil, sea salt and cayenne and place in dedicated sections on the baking sheet. Roast until they just start to caramelize. Start with 20 minutes. Depending on the moisture content, this may vary by quite a bit. The apples usually cook a bit faster, so remove them to a bowl and return the pan to the oven. The pumpkin really does need to brown a bit to have the best flavor.

Now you can make, a mash, a puree, or a soup. Blendtec everything, adding 2 cups of good water. (*Blog about what make good clean water coming soon. For now, nothing out of a plastic bottle and preferably filtered.)

The amount of liquid you add will, of course, determine if you want a mash, puree, or soup. BUT it also depends on the moisture content left in your unique squash, onions, and apples. I make a thick soup that can be used as a sauce for grains, chicken, fish, etc. It’s especially good with scallops.

Portion the soup, then stir in a bit (1T) of diced apple for interest. Then swirl cashew cream on top and sprinkle with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds.
Wow — It’s like a beautiful party!

Hot. Cold. Over. Under. As a base under or a sauce over for grains, scallops, green beans, chicken, eggs…

Freezes perfectly. So does the cashew cream. Use Ball Jars (straight-sided that say freeze proof), leave 1″ of space at top of jar (head room) to allow the expansion that happens when freezing. Stock up. Thaw in the refrigerator totally or under constant supervision to be sure it stays cold, thaw under warm water. For food safety, if you are using the warm water method, thaw just until it can pop out of the jar into a saucepan to heat.

PLAY! Here’s a bit of plate art…Butternut Heaven, Cashew Cream and Spinach Basil Soup. (Recipe coming soon.)

HUGS!

Winter Proof You!

Neti, Coconut oil, Astragalus, Sea Salt and…

NETI. DAILY. I imagine the ocean through my sinuses as I let the water trickle through. Use a ceramic neti pot. Use sterile water! (Boil water for 3 minutes and let cool to room temperature.) Sea Salt, a pinch is plenty for about 1/4 cup of water.

OIL. DAILY. Your favorite healthy oil will work but coconut helps soothe, protect and smells great.(Here’s that beach connection for me again.) Or you can get unscented. Sesame (untoasted) is also a great oil. Dab your little finger into the oil and oil your nostrils. Not only does this help with dryness so common when we turn on the heat but it also deters microbes. Oil everything on your body while you’re at it for super health!

Astragalus Root – just throw a few pieces into everything you cook! It’s a great immunity booster!

EAT. Alliums! Onions, garlic, leeks, ramps, scallions, shallots. Think about making a “fire cider.” RAW apple cider vinegar (Braggs or any unpasteurized organic, unfiltered, unheated 5% acidity type), 1 part each onions, ginger, horseradish, 1/2 part garlic & a dash of cayenne, cover with vinegar in a glass jar. Cover with clean parchment paper and then a lid (not metal) and let age for about 4 weeks. I like to use on my salads. There are a lot of recipes online so find one that gets your cells smiling.

AND EAT. Eat seasonal vegetables and fruits & good fats. This depends on where you live. Here in North Carolina that means cruciferous everything, sweet potatoes, winter squashes and pumpkins, pears, apples, pecans. Good fats (think little fatty fish like sardines and anchovies) avocado and coconut oil for heat cooking and olive oil (not heated).

SLUMBER. Last but MOST – get lots of sleep. There’s a lot more darkness this time of year which is a natural hint to cozy in. The latest in sleep research – at least 7.75 hours a night and be consistent with your bedtime and awakening. You might be able to have a bit less sleep if you are consistent.

Don’t forget all that other great stuff you do — meditating, exercising, loving time with your family & friends, time outdoors.

COZY Health!