Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pesto Potato Salad and Seasonal Sunday Retreats!

Summer Flower Power!

I am still flying high from our Herbal Garden Retreat Weekend. Finding our plant allies, learning about the first aid power of abundant weeds, sharing our food traditions and surveying pollinators - a feast for all the senses and more.  Join me and friends for a Seasonal Sunday Herbal Retreat, one Sunday a season starting in October.  Register now to secure a spot.


One great american summer food tradition is Potato Salad.  I had made various pestos before the retreat weekend (explored purslane with added molasses!)  and decided to combine the two using a tried and true Basil Pesto to wild acclaim.
Adding mineral rich Pesto of any Greens boosts the nutritional punch of your favorite dish but is particularly tasty with cold potatoes for flavor.  Healthy greens and fats are excellent for cutting sugar cravings and keeping your brain focused and body energized for more summer fun. Use with your favorite potato salad recipe add some basil leaves to dress it up.  Enjoy!

1-1/2 lb potatoes, scrubbed and peeled, diced and steamed ( I like to keep the red skins on and use new potatoes)
1/4 cup each olive oil and pickle juice or vinegar
1/4 cup capers
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
1/2 t salt (optional .. especially if pesto uses a lot of parmesan)
1c each diced celery and red onion
3 Hard boiled eggs cut up in pieces
1 cup half mayo and half greek yogurt
2-3 ounces of your favorite Pesto (see below)

Put hot steamed potatoes in large bowl.  Whisk oil and vinegar, salt and pepper together and pour over potatoes.  Combine celery, onions and eggs with mayo/yogurt and pesto and mix with potatoes.
Voila!  Garnish with basil.  Serves 6-8 hungry guests.
(This recipe was adapted from VegetaBalls Pesto Farm - a favorite found at Hunger Mountain Coop) 

Try Purslane in Pesto.. so good for the brain as it has natural Omega 3's, or Cilantro for heavy metal detox, great cleansing herb too.  Use other nuts instead of pricey pine nuts.  I always use walnuts, my favorite, but pumpkin seeds (great zinc for colds) or sunflower seeds (a tip from Lisa Mase of Harmonized cookery) work just as great.  Consider adding sea vegetable powder like kelp instead of salt. so many ways to change up Pesto! For a delicious basic pesto recipe that you can change up.  Click here.

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Marie offers transformational health coaching for individuals and food as medicine demos and healthy living workshops focused on reducing stress and building energy.  Find out more at her website

Friday, July 4, 2014

TWO Favorite Super Summer Salads

Happy 4th of July Weekend~  

A Salute to Two Favorite Summer Salads!

The garden is in it's glory! and I am so grateful for the bounty, the sun, the rain, and the compost that nurtures those roots and blossoms of green and color.

Two spots left in the Vermont teaching garden retreat!  Let me know if you are interested.  Next summer we will move this to June and become a traveling garden group to workshops at the homes and gardens of local healers.  Let me know if you want to be on the list to get updates.

Summer is full of deliciously fresh salad fix ins..a colorful array of whole foods to build and boost cellular energy and cut cravings.   Two of my favorite salads for family and friends, summer gatherings, major dinner sides and left overs for breakfast or lunch.   Enjoy!

I love this recipe because it reminds me of the first time I tasted it from a cook in an old crusader castle in the middle east when I was fortunate to experience working with a team on a biblical archeological dig near the dead sea in Jordan.  I love the addition of mint to salads - the aromatic sensation combined with parsley is pure joy.  I also make this with Quinoa.  

2 cups water
1 cup bulgar (cracked wheat)  You can substitute this with Quinoa for gluten free.
1 tsp salt
¼ cup lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 shallots, trimmed and thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped mint
¼ cup olive oil
Pinch black pepper
2 medium tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
2/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the bulgar and salt. Cover the pan, remove it from the heat and let the bulgar soak about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare other salad items.
2. When bulgar is tender, turn it out into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, garlic, shallots, mint, oil and pepper. Toss to mix. Cover the salad and put it aside until you are ready to serve.
3. Just before serving, add the tomatoes, parsley and cucumber and toss again. Serve.

 Recipe courtesy of Maggie Taylor of The Gourmet Saint

This is a true favorite and always a hit at pot-luck picnics and cook-outs.  I love the combination of flavors and the Mexican salsa like kick.   You can use it in taco's too.

Lime Juice from one lime, olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper, one avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, two cans of black beans (or your own cooked) ,corn kernels (fresh or frozen), cilantro.

Salad Dressing
1/3 cup fresh lime juice in ball jar
add one minced clove of garlic
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper - Shake and wait.

Drain and rinse two cans of black beans
Dice one avocado
Chop one red bell pepper
And two tomatos

Thinly slice 6 green onions
Chop ½ cup fresh cilantro

Put all ingredients in a bowl with
1.5 cups of frozen corn kernals
fold veggies together
add lime dressing

Toss and serve. Garnish with cilantro
Taken from