Quick Pickled Jalapenos

The pepper plants have been prolific this year! Far too many to eat at once. So I started making pickled jalapenos to preserve the harvest. Don’t be thrown off by the sugar in this recipe. It is just enough to cut through the bite of the vinegar and turn these jalapenos into an addictive condiment.

10-15 jalapenos
2 garlic cloves
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Thinly slice the jalapenos and garlic and place in a mason jar. You can also leave the garlic whole if you prefer.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar and salt have dissolved.

Pour the brine into the mason jar with jalapenos and garlic.

Place lid on jar. Let pickles cool at room temperature and then store in the refrigerator.


Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger & Turmeric

Serves 6-8 (makes about 2 quarts of soup)

Ingredients
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2″ knob of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
2″ piece of fresh turmeric, peeled & chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 quart chicken or veg broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
Salt to taste

Method
1. Heat coconut oil in a medium sized stock pot. Add onion and saute, on medium high heat, until translucent.
2. Add garlic, ginger and turmeric. Saute for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
3. Add butternut squash and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the squash is falling apart.
4. Remove soup from heat and let cool. Transfer soup to blender and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot).
5. Stir in the coconut milk and season to taste with salt.
6. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro and pumpkin seeds. And an extra drizzle of coconut milk for more creaminess if desired.

Spicy Cilantro Kale Pesto

Here is a fun twist on the classic basil pesto. Serve this spicy cilantro kale pesto as an accompaniment to grilled meats and vegetables or spread generously on warm crusty bread. I used cotija cheese, which is a salty dry cheese similar to parmesan. Feel free to use parmesan if you can’t find cotija.

1 bunch kale, stems removed & leaves chopped (about 4 cups, packed)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
2-3 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place the kale, cilantro, seeds, cheese, garlic and jalapeno in a food processor.

Start processing the mixture. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it has all been incorporated.

Continue processing until the pesto has reached the desired consistency.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Quick Guacamole

Quick Quacamole

4 avocados, pits removed
1/2 small red onion diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded & minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Scoop the avocado flesh into a mixing bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Use a fork to mash the ingredients together to desired consitency. Serve guacamole with tortilla chips.

Khichari – a nourishing Ayurvedic lentil stew

I was first introduced to this dish years ago by my good friend Ilana Sobo, who is a clincial herbalist and Ayurvedic healer, and it immediately became one of my favorite things to make, and to eat.  Khichari is a traditional Ayurvedic meal that is often eaten for its nourishing, cleansing and rejuvenating properties.  The rice and lentils make a complete protein while the addition of veggies makes it a one-dish meal.  But the herbs and spices used in khichari are where the real healing power comes from.  The combination provides potent digestive aid, soothes inflammation, promotes circulation, is antiviral and antibacterial, and helps to break up and eliminate toxins from the blood and organs.  This is a basic recipe, so feel free to get creative with the addition of your favorite veggies.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 cup red lentils
3 TBSP coconut oil or ghee
1 tsp whole cumin seed
1 tsp whole coriander seed
½ tsp black mustard seed
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1” knob of ginger, peeled & minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground black pepper
4 cups water or chicken broth
Chopped cilantro, garnish
Fresh grated coconut, garnish
Lime wedges, garnish

Instructions
1- Rinse the lentils several times the drain well.

2- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds and toast for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.

3- Add the onion, carrot and celery, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften.

4- Add the ground cumin, ground turmeric, black pepper and drained lentils. Stir well and cook for another 2-3 minutes to toast the spices and lentils.

5- Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer lentils for 20-30 minutes, until tender.

6- Serve stewed lentils over rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro, shredded coconut, and a lime wedge.