Honey Lime Coleslaw

I love eating cabbage in the winter. It has all of the good stuff my body craves when it’s too cold to do anything other than lay under your bed covers for four months. Cabbage has vitamins C and K, as well as folate, fiber, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogenic compounds (which turns out to be pretty helpful when you look into how many carcinogens are in our everyday foods).

Looking back in history, you can find ancient Romans and Egyptians using cabbage to cure ailments such as gout, headaches, symptoms of poisonous mushroom ingestion and even hangovers.

The French explorer Jacques Cartier (1541-1542 AD) would bring cabbage on his voyages because the high levels of vitamin C prevented scurvy. Ship doctors in the 1700’s treated wounds and gangrene with sauerkraut. (My polish side’s heart just broke). In other words, cabbage is great. EAT IT!!

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tsps. honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 diced jalapeño
  • 1 small head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions:

  1. Whisk lime zest, lime juice, honey, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil until smooth.
  2. Add cabbage, carrots jalapeño and green onions with the lime mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  3. Sprinkle with cilantro.

West Indies Chicken and Rice

Guys. This West Indies inspired dish called out to my soul today. It has all of my favorite fresh flavors: grapefruit, lime, mint, cilantro, and coconut milk. Truth be told, I LOVE putting a little bit of coconut milk into my rice. It gives it a nice creamy texture and it’s way less boring than regular rice with salt and pepper. Also lets be honest, who doesn’t like coconut!? Sadists’, that’s who (joking).

But back to the business here on recent events. Joe Biden was elected our 46th President, with the amazing Kamala Harris as his V.P. (insert fan girl crowd cheers).

I’m happy to announce the United States has a different hue of citrus these days, and baby it’s PINK!

So to honor my fellow drugaricas, I’m making something a little special tonight. Why you ask? Because honestly, it’s a pretty nice feeling knowing we’ll have allies at the top who actually know what it’s like to be a female. The fantastic squad of women in Biden’s role call have worked pretty hard putting their best feet forward raising families, gaining respect and confidence from political peers and basically being bad ass chics.

Tonight I’ll be using a classic flavor of the season, grapefruit. Here’s to shattering glass ceilings ladies. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Coconut rice:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can lite coconut milk (don’t use full fat, it will be too thick)
  • 1 cup white or brown rice (I used white basmati)
  • salt to taste

Grapefruit glazed chicken:

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (roughly 2 large Grapefruits)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or regular white sugar
  • 1/4 cup Braggs liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2lbs chicken breast (I used 4 breasts from Simple Truth Thin Sliced Chicken Breast)

Toppings:

Instructions:

  1. Preparing the rice: In a medium-large saucepan over medium-high heat add water and coconut milk, rice and bring to boil. Bring temp back down to simmer, cover and allow rice to cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat when done.
  2. Grapefruit glaze: In medium saucepan over medium heat add freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, honey, sugar, braggs, vinegar, oil, spices and salt. Whisk gently until combined and allow mixture to come to a boil before simmering for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the chicken: Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add some oil to pan and place chicken breast in pan, not overcrowding the pan. Cook chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  4. Add chicken to glaze pan, put lid on and allow the chicken to simmer for about another 3 minutes, or until internal temperature has reached 165ºF. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve chicken with coconut rice and top with fresh cilantro, mint, and purple cabbage slaw.

Honey and Rosewater Fruit Salad

Last week I had a dream about rose water. I couldn’t really tell you why I dreamt about this floral water. It’s not like I had been thinking about it in any respect. The dream consisted of several people taking bottles of rosewater off my shelf and using it. It was almost as if I was the shelf itself and I was speaking but it no sound was coming from my mouth. No one could hear me or see me. I was just a shelf.

I started getting very angry that these random people kept taking my water without even asking. I finally shouted out “stop taking my water!!”. Then they looked at me. In their eyes I could see they were hungry, embarrassed and ashamed for their thievery. This of course made me feel like a jerk for yelling at them. After all, they did look like they needed it for something useful.

I mean I had just been safely storing this magical elixir for the last millennia or so…. never cracked and never tampered with, but whatever. They needed it! And I was happy to supply it when I witnessed their need. So I did what any stingy old shelf of a person would do, I changed my dusty ways and became the next Mother Theresa by handing them out to all those souls in need.

Again, I cant really tell you why I even thought about rose water. It certainly is not a staple item in my pantry. But I’m a big fan of paying attention to subtle clues the universe provides to you. So I started to look into what the symbolic meaning was and what people used it for in the past.

The use of rose water (in my words), dates back to the beginning of time. The uses of roses and rose water in history goes on and on and there’s no way I can list all of them at this time because it makes my head spin.

Distilling rose water for medicinal use was developed by a famous physician, alchemist, philosopher and godfather of medicine of the 10th century named Avicenna (Ibn Sina). Ibn can be credited for writing the most comprehensive medical book written in the ancient world and some of his medical books are still being used to this day.

Rose water has been said to aid in so many ailments. It’s pretty difficult to dig deep into just one. It’s been used for treatment of abdominal and chest pain, strengthening the heart as well as heart chakra, treatment of menstrual bleeding and digestive problems, reduction of inflammation on the skin, soothing sore throats, healing wounds, using it in a vapor form has proven to be helpful for some allergies, headaches, migraine, depression, grief, stress, tension and lets not forget about its relationship with love in general.

Personally I was and from time to time, deal with some heavy emotions that typically materialize in the form of not feeling involved, being pushed out of certain circles and then forgotten for lack of better words. I’ve seen a few amazing Reiki healers, Mediums, and indulged myself in eastern philosophies, religions and a plethora of techniques involving general wellbeing to try to “heal” myself of the guilt, shame and forgiveness that my soul seems to want to harbor all the time.

The rose water dream called out to me for some reason and after doing some research, I wanted to incorporate it into a few dishes from time to time when I’m feeling out of sorts. I found this lovely fruit dish from Unicorns in the Kitchen and I’m a bit obsessed. The measurements seemed a bit off for the fruit to dressing ratio, so I added more fruit and used less dressing. And guess what? This flavor is still absolutely fantastic! I never thought that fruit needed any flavoring, but lemme tell it to you straight…. I am so glad I found this recipe. The flavors are OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD and they brought me to my own little happy place. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Ingredients

Fruit Mix:

  • 3 Kiwis peeled – cubed
  • 3 Oranges peeled – cut into chunks
  • 5 Pineapple rings – cut into chunks. I used canned.
  • 1 cup Green grapes – sliced
  • 15 Strawberries – cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup Mangos – cut into chunks. I used canned.

Honey Rose & Orange Water Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. Rose water
  • 1 tbsp. Orange blossom water
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom (very important ingredient for flavor of salad. If you don’t have it, go get it)
  • 1 tbsp. pineapple juice
  • Juice of one freshly squeezed lemon

Instructions:

  1. Put all of your fruit in your fancy dish of choice
  2. Whisk honey, rose water, orange blossom water, cardamom, pineapple juice and lemon together until well incorporated.
  3. Pour dressing over fruit, mix well, get transported to another time and enjoy life!

Broken Heart Potato Soup

Life has a tendency to give you a bag full of lemons at times.

Life also has the tendency to put one of those chalky greenish/white lemons in your bag that sends a fever pitch message to all the other lemons in the bag pleading for them to make haste and start molding themselves.

This blog is not about lemons, nor is it about fever pitches. This blog is going to talk about death, heartache and a few spices that will help with the healing process.

Marjoram: “When in doubt, use marjoram” has been a term enthusiastically used by chefs for decades if not more. It’s complicated flavor is related to oregano and mint, but much sweeter and a bit more delicate. It’s been credited as a “nerve and heart tonic” promoting blood circulation, and used for coughs, gall bladder issues, digestive issues, nerve pain, runny nose, depression, dizziness, migraines, stomach cramps and much more. Historically used in love spells by the Greek and Romans, this magical herb was said to reveal to a young woman her one true love if placed under her pillow at night.

Rosemary: Rosemary has a range of benefits and I use it in practically everything. To name of a few of its purposes, it’s packed full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, improves digestion, enhances memory, concentration, prevents cancer and brain aging, and it even stimulates hair growth. The list goes on and on with this one.

Thyme: Most often used in medicinal purposes for its high yield of thymol, an antibacterial, antiseptic and antioxidant powerhouse. It’s often used in teas to treat ailments involving respiratory conditions ranging from bronchitis, upper respiratory tract inflammations, and coughs. It has even been used during times of stress to calm the nerves, relieve joint pain and was even offered to men going into battle in the middle ages as it was said to promote bravery.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

A dear friend of ours contracted COVID-19 and unknowingly passed it on as this shitty virus tends to do, onto several individuals including his mother. Losing a parent is tough. Losing a parent who is already uber terrified this virus will claim them months prior to succumbing to the virus, and then having the guilt that the host of that virus was yourself is devastating.

I wanted nothing more than to give him and his girlfriend who were very close with her, the biggest and the longest hug ever. I wanted to shower their home with gifts that could aid in the healing process. Like sending a salt stone to clear the energy, candles & journals for meditating, Havan Samagri to burn and clear any allergens or bacteria from the house, uplifting quotes….anything that would aid in the healing process of the loss those two were experiencing. I just wanted to sit with them, listen to them, and let them know that we were there for them.

But in the case you’ve been living in a cave for the past year, it was also primetime COVID season. And everyone knows you’re not supposed to hug, be within 6 feet or be with anyone outside your household for very long,… Plus, the man is like 8 feet tall and is just as sarcastic, if not more than I am. So it could have been awkward, but that man needed a hug, and I’d do it in the name of comfort damnit!

I hate to see people suffer. I feel it in the depths of my soul and I can’t turn off those feels. It never fails. Whatever someone is dealing with, I’m dealing with it right along with them. It’s my bleeding heart syndrome. I have a tendency to pick up vibes from others. I don’t like it. It normally does me no good what-so-ever. I’d prefer not to have this super skill. But here I am, empathetic AF in my own glass house of emotion with a rotating door for anyone to come in at any time. It. Is. Awful.

BUT! I will say my super skill has lead me on a fascinating journey and it’s kind of how I landed where I am in this world. I’ve been on a holistic and natural remedies kick for my entire life. I very rarely take medication and I generally feel very good if I’m paying attention to the signs if body needs something… which brings me back to the recipe.

I adapted this from Anja Dunk’s recipe of Heartbreak Potato Soup which you can find here. If you want to give someone a hug in the form of food, this is the recipe. I couldn’t find speck anywhere, so after a quick Google search to find out what the hell speck even was, I decided to use bacon instead.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 7 oz. thick cut Bacon sliced – I like to cut the whole package in half, stack the slices, cut lengthwise down the middle and then slice it horizontally to get smaller pieces, but slicing bacon is your prerogative. You do you.
  • 2 large Leeks thinly sliced (green parts only/ or mostly. I like to use the white part too)
  • 3 large Carrots peeled and diced
  • 3 oz. Pitted dates
  • 1 lb. Russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 32 ounce Vegetable broth
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried Marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon crushed Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme (I used my lemon thyme)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat a medium sized Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot to medium-high heat. Add oil and bacon to pot and cook bacon down for about 4 minutes.
  2. Add leeks and carrot to pot for 5 minutes or until the leeks start to become translucent.
  3. Add broth, bay leaf, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, dates and potatoes to the pan, cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.
  4. Smash just under half of the potatoes in the soup to give it a creamy texture. Texture dependent on how thick you want it vs. how brothy you like it.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Garnish with parsley

“Drunk Mans” Broccoli Casserole

Oh hey guys! This week has been crazy, huh?! (insert nervous face emoji)

I as well as many other Americans, sat wide eyed, confused, and appalled watching and waiting to see what would happen next in the series of unfortunate events which were unfolding live on Capitol Hill.

In a blink of an eye MAGA protestors turned into domestic terrorists breaking down crowd barriers, assaulting police officers and breaking into our Nations own Capitol building forcing all inside to seek refuge in secure rooms. This isn’t America to me. This was a third world country. This was barbaric and so many steps back from where we should be. All of this was done to instill fear and to silence votes of the Electoral College to keep Trump in office.

I sat there. I watched. I got frustrated. I got angry. I asked myself, where the fuck was the National Guard? I asked myself why people are this crazed over a man who has openly made fun of or spoke ill of the dead, war prisoners, the disabled, immigrants, people of color, women, literally anyone who has any other opinion other than his own. Also, why cant this man just stay off social media? I’m sure he would have been viewed differently if he owned just an ounce of responsibility for the power of his own words. Words matter bro.

I couldn’t make sense of any of it. So I decided to do what any respectable American who lost their job due the pandemic, who is now a stay at home mom and signing herself up for memberships such as First Leaf Wine Club to make it through each week… I poured myself a very large glass of wine, played LEGOS with my son and after some time, decided to pick up dog poop in the yard.

It seemed fitting at the time to clean up someone else’s shit.

The husband wasn’t home yet, and I really needed someone to talk to. At least someone who could comprehend what was going on past the mindset of a 4 year old’s innocent and very pure thought processes. So I walked my happy butt over to the neighbors house to discuss. Why? Because they’re my people. They are able to have a back and forth conversation about what’s right and what’s wrong in the world without being married to one side. Maybe its because they keep six feet distance from me. I don’t know. In other words, they are fantastic and we hit the bullseye with these neighbors.

A bottle of wine and two frozen Martini Rossi cocktails later, the hubs finally makes it over to the neighbors to join into our conversations.

By the way, if you’ve never tried Martini & Rossi Frozé and Frosecco, you’ve never lived. It was my first time, and I’m definitely putting them on my next shopping list for the next time our Nation faces a “dark day in history”. Hey, we have 13 days left with this president, so the world is practically our oyster right now. Drink cocktails and enjoy it while Democracy is still in place.

Listen, I’m not condoning alcoholism, nor am I an alcoholic. But I will say booze, food and myself go together very well. But I did not have food at this point and momma was getting hangry… and also drunk. I had to escape and I had to do it fast before I got trapped into the “one more” game.

You guys know that one. It’s when you’re about to leave and your host gives you one more drink because you’re having so much fun.

Anyway, I walked back with my son by my side, stripped us of our winter gear, washed our hands and faces, made my son a peanut butter and honey sandwich and combed the fridge to find something to cook.

I had… broccoli.

I was planning on making this vegan broccoli and chic pea dish, but lets be honest, that type of attention to detail was not there. At least not that night. I needed something comforting. Something that would make me feel safe. So I googled some casserole recipes.

Now I will preface, I have NEVER liked casserole. I think probably due to eating so much of it as a child. It was always just gooped together. But I was going for it. I found a lot of nice recipes online. Most of them had some pretty lengthy details that required much more focus than I could dedicate, so my drunk ass had to make something up. Forewarning, as I typed this out, flashes circled around my head of random ingredients that I kept adding to the dish. I might not have needed the plethora of all of these ingredients, but they all came together in a magical, “feed my soul and help me overcome this madness” kind of way.

Here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy, but also if you don’t, than I don’t care…. psych. I’d clearly want to know.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice such as Basmati
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon DIVINA caramelized onion jam – or you can make your own.
  • 1 10.5oz. can of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base
  • 3 broccoli crowns cut into florets
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded gouda cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup Progresso Italian Style dried breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pour rice and water water into a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered.
  3. While the rice and water are coming to a boil, start chopping your broccoli.
  4. Stir the following right into the pan while the rice cooks. Broccoli, caramelized onion jam, roasted garlic, Bouillon, rosemary, chicken soup, salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese and breadcrumbs and put that sucker in the oven with a lid. for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and broil for 5 minutes or less. You’ll need to really pay attention so it doesn’t burn.
  7. Enjoy with a dollop of sour cream and hot sauce.