Being a cinnamon lover and valuing the nutritional and medicinal properties of the spice, I was delighted recently when I found Horchata in my local grocery store. I had never had the drink before but love rice milk, cinnamon and vanilla, so knew I had to try it.
The drink tastes great on its own but I added in herbal coffee for a twist. You can make your own Horchata from scratch, but I cheated and used the box mix (below):
Add 8-16 ounces of Rice Dream Brand Horchata
I cup crushed or chopped ice
Lightly mix or blend in a blender
Pour 1-3 shots of coffee or Herbal coffee over the top
I first tried fiddlehead ferns last year for the first time and was somewhat reluctant to try them. Not something you see in your everyday grocery store. Not knowing what to expect, but surprised at the taste, a mix between asparagus and spinach, was really flavorful.
Fiddlehead ferns can be found in the springtime growing in the forest and in damp shaded environments. Nutritionally they are packed full of vitamins including: protein, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
Not to be eaten raw, they need to be boiled until tender first and then can be fried, sauteed or baked. We made a tasty meal of sauteed fiddleheads in garlic, mushrooms and olive oil, with gluten free pasta and vegan Parmesan cheese for me and a squeeze of lemon. Nutritious and tasty.
Again, do not eat anything you pick wild or raw unless you are sure you know what you are eating. Fiddlehead ferns can also be ordered online through specialty suppliers.
Not only is it asparagus season, but the morel are up too!
Wild food hunting and harvesting is rather new to me. I first started going in search of natural foods last year and have to admit that I have become addicted. It’s like a treasure hunt, as you never know what you will find.
The other day when we were out mushroom hunting, we found two large morel mushrooms. I know with mushrooms you really have to know your stuff as many can be poisonous. My husband knows his mushrooms, and over the last year, has turned me into a mushroom connoisseur. With a large stash of wild asparagus and two morel mushrooms, we headed home and cooked up a feast. We sautéed the mushrooms in garlic oil and added them to our pasta.
I used to love going to the grocery store to shop for healthy foods before the pandemic, although I still go, it’s not as fun as it used to be, but hunting for wild food in natures grocery store is much better. Fresh air, sunshine and tasty food right out of the ground. Yummy!
For those of us who love asparagus hunting, the season is here!
Last year was my first experience asparagus hunting. I remember slowly driving down country roads as my soon to be husband spotted wild asparagus growing in tall grasses, alongside fences and under trees. I was shocked that he could spot anything as it all looked the same to me, green grass and weeds, but eventually with some help from him, I was able to start spotting asparagus as well. It became a treasure hunt for us and after several hours of searching, we took our prized asparagus home and cooked up a tasty feast.
Since we are still limited as to what we can do with the COVID 19, and not wanting to spend our time in stories but prefer to be out in nature, asparagus hunting as brought some tasty excitement back into our lives.
During a past trip to Costa Rica, I was invited into one of the local’s home for a traditional Costa Rican meal.
I was surprised at how simple yet efficient the kitchen was and loved the wood burning stove. The entire house had no windows and was totally open and exposed to outside elements.
I was served a wonderful Costa Rican meal of rice and beans by gracious hosts who spoke limited English. The experience was unlike any other that I have had on my travels, and it later inspired me to expand my cooking skills.
During this time of the pandemic, being stuck at home for longer periods of time, I am again exploring new foods and new recipes. It’s the perfect time to be creative in the kitchen, cooking foods from the past as well as new recipes from other places around the world.
Although our physical travel may be limited at this time, we can still travel through our cuisine and experience the spices and flavors of other countries in our own homes.
On a recent trip to Florida for a Drum Circle Facilitation Workshop, I fell in love with Good Vibes Juice Co. Each morning I would wake up and head to the juice bar where I would pick out one or two raw organic juices and sit in the sunshine outside the shop, and soak up both nutrients and sun-rays.
One of my favorite juices is, “Shark Bite”, a combination of carrot, beet, pineapple and ginger, an earthy grounding blend. Another favorite was “Riptide”, a mix of coconut water, lime juice and blue majik (freshwater algae). One of the most potent shots I had was, “Ginger XL”, a powerful double dose of ginger and cayenne pepper. Strong enough to blow your head off!
Sadly after a few days, I had to leave the sunshine state and head back to the dreary midwest winter. I decided that juicing was going to be a part of my new life, along with drumming. I knew that the raw juices were good for my body, and that drumming was good for my soul. A perfect blend of health and happiness.
I brought back a couple of empty Good Vibes juice bottles and now I am making my own mixes. The first juice I made was a combination of turmeric, apple cider vinegar, orange juice and chia seeds. Although not the same as Good Vibes Juice Co., it was satisfying, and fulfilled my need to keep up with a healthy daily routine and reminding me of my mornings in the sun.
A little bit of juicing and a little bit of drumming, a perfect start to any day.
I just came back from a day trip to Sedona, Arizona, one of the most beautiful spots in this country. Surrounded by red rocks, whirling vortexes and positive energy, I was able to spend the day hiking up Bell Rock. Although it’s wintertime, the temperature was perfect for hiking, not too hot, not too cold, and because of the season, the number of tourists was very low.
Bell Rock is one of the larger vortex sites in Sedona. Vortexes are concentrations of energy spiraling upward from the Earth. As you climb the rock, you can see tree trunks that are twisted, a visual sign that energy is present. Vortex sites are known to have physical and spiritual healing properties and there are a number of them present in Sedona. Whether or not you believe, you can certainly feel something is different in this part of the world.
As far as when to travel, summer has beautiful weather, but if you want to avoid the crowds, winter or early spring is perfect as you can experience more solitude and still have sunny skies. All you need is a light jacket and a water bladder or bottle and you are good to go.
Having lived in England for over 12 years, I originally did not like the taste of Marmite, but eventually fell in love with the distinct flavor and found that it made a wonderful vegan french onion soup that tasted even better than the beef broth version and was healthier with lots of vitamin B. Here is a new twist on an old recipe!
Ingredients 2 Large Onions (1 Yellow and 1 White) thinly sliced
2 or 3 TBSP Marmite or desired amount
Add 6 cups of water or desired amount or vegetable stock
French Baguette or 2 slices of bread
Pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to soup pan
Cook over medium flame or heat for 30 minute until it begins to boil
Pour into bowl, add chopped bread pieces or a slice of french bagette
Top with shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
1A way to brighten up dark winter days is to make a huge pot of homemade organic potato soup. It warms both the body and soul. Below is my recipe for organic vegan potato soup. This recipe is simple and can easily be adjusted to add any other spices or flavorings.
8-10 organic potatoes
1 organic medium yellow onion
1 box organic vegetable broth
3 cups organic soy milk
3 Tablespoon vegan butter
Gluten free table crackers
1 or 2 chunks of vegan cheddar cheese
dash of salt
Peel and chop potatoes and onion into small pieces.
Empty box of vegetable broth into pan, heat to a boil.
Add potatoes and onion, salt and pepper, bring to slow boil.
Add soy milk and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.