This Weeks Box 10/26/2012

Carrot flower
Patch “O” Butternuts
Here is the list 
butternut squash
bag of eucalyptus, rosemary and sage
habanero pepper or two
mild peppers
summer squash
a bell pepper or two and an anaheim pepper or two
some beets without greens
bunch of cilantro

Herbal  SteamA “Not So Strange Brew”

An herbal steam is a method of “kitchen herbalism” that many of us already do, or have at least tried before. Cold season is around the corner, so wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have got an all natural, herbal ace in the hole that you can pull out and serve up for yourself and your family in a matter of minutes?

This particular cold season herbal steam recipe involves three common, safe plants from Blue Sky Ranch that are well known for their anti viral, anti bacterial and respiratory benefits. They are rosemary, sage and eucalyptus.These plants have all kinds of benefits. Some of their important functions in an herbal steam is to open up your airways with their aromatics and lubricate and protect the lungs and sinuses with their anti bacterial properties. In my experience, these particular plants also seem to have a calming as well as strengthen effect on the nerves too. The way to get the steam to work best is if we relax and take many deep breaths. I always find that taking time to focus on my
own breath, really seems to ground and center me too.

Doing an herbal steam is a good idea at anytime during the course of a cold. It does not have to be days after you’ve been sick. I feel like I have actually stopped a cold that I thought was coming on by initiating an herbal steam. I have done herbal steams for enough years that now, my body seems to intuitively know that, when the herbal steam comes out, it is time for healing.
I do not really have measurements for the recipe, it is more a matter of getting a quart or two of water almost boiling and then just start crumbling in a little bit of each herb evenly until the aroma starts to fill the room.

You can stand over the pot with a towel over your head. Be careful the burner is not on when you do this for obvious reasons. For kids, you can poor the steaming water in a bowel and have them sit at the table and inhale the vapors while being supervised of course.

I was in a household once and all four of us were sick with a cold. We had a pot going almost non stop for a week. Someone would refresh the herbs and water every morning and we would all just go in the kitchen turn on the burner and partake in the steam at will,  during the day.
The only other herb I have experience with for a steam is Creosote Bush, Commonly known as Chaparral. This was introduced to me by a very wise woman in Anza Borego. If you can get it, it does wonders for breaking up congestion and aiding in a productive cough too. Boiling creosote bush indoors, makes your whole house smell like the desert after rain.

Fresh Marinated Beet Slices

3 medium sized  beets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh onions or chives, diced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
coarse ground pepper to taste


Clean and trim the roots and greens off the beets. I used a mandolin to slice them on the thinnest setting, but if you don’t have a mandolin you can slice them thinly by hand. Take your time doing this, both methods may be both tricky and dangerous.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, chives, salt and pepper.

In a shallow dish pour the vinegar mixture over the beets, coat each beet well and let sit for one hour. After the hour is up, flip the beets around so each side is marinated. The beets will be ready to eat after two hours. You can let the beets sit and marinate as long as you’d like though. Use them in a salad or just eat the fresh chips.

 Peanut Butter Chard Recipe

1 bunch chard, stems removed and cut into thin strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1 half onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon peanut butter (depending on preference)
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil pinch
crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When hot, saute the garlic and onion until onion is translucent. Add bell pepper and tomato and saute a few minutes more until soft. Add chard and saute to your liking. When the dish is just about ready, add peanut butter and seasonings. Serve hot and enjoy!

Here’s a summer salsa that’s hearty enough to serve as a side dish or a salad.


  2 tomatoes, diced
1 ear of corn, removed from the cob
1 ripe  avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
1/4  onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, smashed and finely diced
1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
 juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.   This salsa gets better if it can sit for an hour or so to allow the lime to take some of the edge off the onions and to allow the flavors to combine.  The lime should prevent the avocado from browning.  Try to avoid refrigerating, as this can lower the quality of the tomatoes and avocado.  

Summer Squash Red Curry
1 green zucchini, halved and sliced
yellow or patti pan squash halved and sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup peas
  1 tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon of cornstarch + 1 tablespoon of cold filtered water
2 cups of lite coconut milk
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 teaspoon fish sauce [eliminate for vegan]
1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of chili paste
1 tablespoon coconut oil
pinch of kosher salt
fresh cilantro and lime to garnish

1. In a large wok, heat coconut oil over a low flame. Add in the zucchini, summer squash, onions and garlic. Heat through for about 5 minutes and then add in the peas and tomatoes.

2. In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and filtered water until smooth. In a large mixing bowl combine the cornstarch mixture, coconut milk, red curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice, chili paste and pinch of salt. Whisk together well and then pour the sauce over the veggies. Simmer for about 10-15  minutes.

Serve hot over brown rice or quinoa with fresh cilantro and lime!

Creamy Bok Choy Cilantro Soup

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger
1 pound bok choi, chopped
1 large potato, peeled, diced
1 bunch cilantro chopped
3 cups vegetable stock or water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper hot pepper flakes
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sour cream


1. Heat the peanut oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.

 Add the onions, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add the choy, half of the chopped cilantro and the potato. Pour in the stock or water and add the salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to taste. Increase the heat and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the toasted sesame oil.
3. Transfer the soup to a food processor or a blender and purée. Ladle soup into individual bowls.
4. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

We put one or two habaneros in each box in case you might be one of the daredevils.
Here is what they look like….


One thought on “This Weeks Box 10/26/2012

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