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.

OH! HO HO HO Clothespin Cookies

Some family traditions are worth the sugar rush.
Clothespin Cookies – Use the old fashioned kind of clothespins.
Easy to make dough. Swirl onto greased pins.
These are ready for a roll in the sugars.

THE RECIPE

COOKIE DOUGH

  • 2 1/2 t dry yeast
  • 1/2 c milk, heat to 115
  • 4 c all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • Decorating sugars 

Dissolve yeast in milk and set aside. Mix sugar and salt into flour. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs. Mix eggs and yeast/milk mixture together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast/milk/egg mixture. Mix well and knead a few times. Wrap in wax paper and a damp tea towel and refrigerate overnight.

Grease about 50 clothespins with vegetable shortening. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 300º F. 

Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface roll each half into an 8″ wide X 20″ long rectangle. Dough will be about 1/8″ thick. Cut off rough side edges and set aside to roll again later. Cut rectangle in to 3/4″ strips and roll onto clothespin with floured side on the clothespin, overlapping edges. Do not wrap to “shoulder” of the clothespin as removal is difficult. Set rolled curls aside to warm a bit as this helps decorative sugars to adhere a bit better. Prepare all cookies.

Gently roll cookies in sugars. Roll with the swirl so you don’t uncurl the cookie. Place seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Double pan and bake 30 minutes until just golden on the bottoms. You can prepare filling while cookies bake.

Cool on wire racks for a few minutes and gently remove each cookie from the clothespin. Eat one. Let the rest cool to room temperature.

FILLING

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salted or unsalted butter divided in two
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (Penzy’s double strength)
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Heat sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan just until butter melts. Place in mixer bowl. Add milk and vanilla. Beat at high speed until mixture combines, about 10 minutes. It will look curdled at first. Add whipping cream and continue to beat at high speed. Add 1/2 cup butter a small piece at a time until the mixture becomes a fluffy frosting. This filling is a bit fussy to make but worth it for the taste. You could opt for your favorite Italian or French buttercream or stabilized whipped cream.

Fill the curls. Immediately eat them. Refrigerate or freeze those that aren’t eaten within an hour of filling. Refrigerate for up to ten days. They freeze for months – which makes the sugar rush last longer.

Merry Christmas and EVERY other holiday that happens this time of year!

Kimchi Yumi

Ancient, created thousands of years ago in Korea, kimchi is the perfect gut flora food. Fun to make, it’s really delicious, even if it does smell a bit farty as it cures.

Market List: Napa Cabbage, Daikon, Bok Choy, Carrots, (Pea pods, snow peas, peas, seaweeds, – choose your own added vegetables.) Ginger, Garlic, Onions (green/yellow/white), Leeks, and/or shallots, red hot peppers (fresh dried or in a sauce just be sure no preservatives). Preservative free Fish Sauce (Naum Plum) if  you like. Have FUN!

IMG_2435
Be sure all utensils are are clean. CLEAN means washed, rinsed, then rinsed again with boiling water. PREPARE VEGES: NAPA CABBAGE chopped 12 cups  BOK CHOY chopped 3 cups CARROTS 1 cup sliced DAIKON RADISH cubed 4 cups SEA SALT 8 tablespoons FILTERED WATER 8 cups  Place the vegetables in a large clean ceramic or glass container (never metal or plastic). Dissolve the sea salt in the water to make the brine and pour over the vegetables. Add a plate weighted with a jar of water to keep the vegetables submerged. Cover with a clean cloth  Let cure at least 8 hours, up to 12 hours. Drain the brine and reserve.

IMG_2442
Prepare the spices: GINGER 3 to 5 Tablespoons, grated. ONIONS 1 large WHITE or YELLOW one cut in crescents or chunks; add maybe 5 GREEN onions, diced if you like. LEEK green and white parts sliced in thin rounds, about a cup. GARLIC 5 to 8 large cloves minced. HOT RED CHILIS: 1 ONE 1  Hey – I make my own kimchi because I am not a fiery spice girl. Add what you like but remember, you can’t “de-fire” it.  Taste the veggies and insure they aren’t too salty. If they are too salty, just dilute the brine LATER. Add the alliums and spice mix to the vegetables and blend well with clean hands. You can transfer the entire mixture to a clean (boiled clean) crock at this point or leave in the ceramic bowl. If the vegetables were too salty dilute the brine. Remember, the salt is what helps to safely cure the kimchi so don’t desalinize them. Add brine until your kimchi is fully submerged with about an inch of liquid over it.
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Add a clean plate that covers the vegetables and weight it with a clean large bottle of water. Cover completely with a clean cloth. (Notice the “clean” repeated.) Place in a dust free area for it to nap and ferment. Check daily and press under the brine. Is there yucky stuff? White mold? Just remove it. Other weird stuff, don’t risk eating it. My kimchi ferments for 7 days at 70°F. Then I pack it into clean (sterilized) Ball jars and press it firmly down to insure covered with brine. Seal with clean Ball enamel lined lids. Don’t use metal utensils to scoop your kimchi out of its jar – only wood, ceramic (like Asian soup spoons) or silicone ones. I  drink the leftover brine – no kidding. Kimchi will continue to ferment in the refrigerator, just more slowly. Heat destroys the healthy bacteria, so add Kimchi to maximum 115°F broths. Delicious in miso and you get 2 gut goodies! Always refer to the real expert —Wild Fermentation 

 

Sauerkraut – Delight your gut bugs!

YUMMY sauerkraut is so easy to make. Besides just scooping it out and eating it, I add it to my salads, as a garnish for soups, and as an extra in my wraps. All you need is cabbage, sea salt, a crock or a glass jar, something to weight the cabbage under the brine and a cloth to cover it. I like about 1 part red cabbage to 3 parts green because it is just so brilliantly pink when it’s done. My KRAUT GURU’s book WILD FERMENTATION (Sandor Ellix Katz) is the best bedtime read. Next up, I’m trying – MISO and Summer Half Sour Pickles.

The other book that keeps me up nights digesting it (LOL) is THE GOOD GUT by          Justin & Erica Sonnenburg, PhDs.