We usually do a large firework display in our culdesac with friends and neighbors for Independence Day. This year might be a little less fancy as we weren’t able to get any really good fireworks from the next state over. Instead, I’m going to let […]
My adorable nephew came over recently to hang out with auntie and his cousins. I sure miss the days when my kids where that young, snuggly and innocent. Now my not-so-innocent angels are traveling to different states with the grandparents and going off to overnight […]
Happy Friday everyone!! I’m just going to call this first-time-for-everything-Friday. For the very first time, I’ve done a podcast! Many of you know that I also contribute clean eating recipes for the amazing athletes on the Breaking Muscle website. So today I’m excited to share this super cool project that I’ve been working on via this blog and in tandem with the Breaking Muscle team. My first podcast, The Mindful Path to Clean Eating, also highlights my latest project: a 28 day clean eating meal plan just released!
- “Joining us for today’s show is Breaking Muscle’s resident creator of culinary masterpieces, Kari Lund, and the host of the 28 Day Clean Eating Challenge. Kari’s passion for mindful eating started with her struggle to overcome her own health issues, and now she’s bringing that firsthand knowledge to kitchens across the country. We dive into how she got started creating her own recipes, what clean eating means to her, and the importance of eating with a purpose.”
Listen in as I talk about mindful eating, getting the results you’re looking for both in body and mind, and about my newly released 28 day challenge!
Thanks for listening!
Who can resist grilled food on a stick?!? (If you just raised your hand, I don’t think we can be friends anymore… j/k!). Indonesian in its roots, this version of satay is the slightly spicier Thai version that is popular around all of Southeast Asia. Marinating […]
I told myself I wouldn’t be emotional on my son’s last day of preschool. But here I sit with a small well of tears threatening to spill out of the corner of my eye. He was sent home with a binder of all of his memories from this past year and it’s incredible how much he’s learned and evolved throughout the year. Not that I was expecting anything different as he’s an intelligent young lad. It’s just that now I’m being faced with evidence of the fact that he REALLY won’t be so little for very much longer. This fall I’ll be waving to him as he boards the bus to kindergarten so be prepared for an emotional post come September! Much like my son’s evolution this past year, vegetables can evolve into something spectacular like a Thai cucumber salad. Maybe that’s a weird segue into food but I take comfort in food comparisons. In this case, the ability of a humble cucumber to be elevated to a pickle status via a simple marinade.
This recipe for Thai cucumber salad is loosely based on recipes I’ve found for Namasu or Japanese pickles. I’ve made them into a cute colorful salad first by peeling the skin of the cucumber lengthwise only on part of the cucumber leaving strips of peel as well. Then cut the cucumber lengthwise and remove the seeds. When sliced, these look like crescent moons. Tossed in a mixture of rice vinegar, honey, salt and red pepper flakes, these cucumber bites morph into easy pickles that are sure to please your palate. You can make them a tish creamy if desired by adding a small amount of unsweetened Greek yogurt (pictured below) which also gives them a delicious tangy-ness!
- 2 English cucumbers, cut in half, seeded and sliced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅛-¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons plain whole milk Greek yogurt (optional)
- In a bowl, combine vinegar, honey, pepper flakes, salt, and yogurt.
- Peel a few lengths along the cucumber leaving some of the peel on for a varigated effect.
- Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a melon baller or tablespoon. Slice into ¼” slices and add to the bowl.
- Add green onions and stir to coat.
- Serve immediately or let marinate up to half a day in fridge.
Standing in the middle of my grandmother’s strawberry patch, I pick up the red fruits eager to make jam with her. To my left are many rows of tomato plants, beans, cucumbers and a lot of other plants that I have yet to learn their names. I am confident that I will know shortly. My grandmother is a very eager teacher. Fast forward 30 years and my grandmother is still teaching me via memories of gardening, food preservation and cooking with handed down cookbooks with her handwritten notations. It is no wonder that one of the many thrills in my life is gardening since it holds so many memories as well as being the perfect compliment to eating healthy whole foods. Now that the snow has melted, I’ve been busy preparing the garden for spring planting and thought I’d diverge from the recipe world for a moment to share what I do to prepare my vegetable garden and what my set-up looks like.
I begin each season with preparing the garden soil. I use raised beds because they are significantly easier to amend the soil nutrients than with an in ground tilled row-style garden. The soil here is extremely sandy so we built the raised beds and added a mix of black dirt, sand and compost which I acquired at the local compost site in a premixed “garden blend” of soil. To this, I’ve also mixed in peat moss and vermiculite. This forms the base of my soil. Every year, after establishing this base, I mix in additional compost which I make myself using kitchen scraps, chicken droppings and bedding from the backyard coop and the previous year’s spent vegetable plants that compost over the winter months.
I use a variation of the square-foot gardening method with a few personal changes to allow a little more space for certain plants. I’ve found this to be extremely space efficient, producing larger yields per square foot as well as provides a natural order and beauty to the garden. Every year, I’m a little crazy organized and map out my 8 garden beds with where I’m planting things so I can be sure plants are rotated each year both for pest control and for making it look pretty. Excuse the crumples and stains…the map gets drug around and re-looked at a number of times before it’s “final”.
Making my garden as organic as possible is important to me because everything you use in your garden is absorbed into your food and therefore into your body when you eat it. For fertilizers, I don’t use chemicals. The important trio to add as fertilizers or garden soil amendments are typically nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. For the nitrogen, this is usually covered with the chicken droppings and compost but in the past I’ve used blood meal or alfalfa meal for adding nitrogen content. I sprinkle on bone meal to mix into the soil for adding phosphorus. Kelp meal or a liquid kelp is what I use to enhance the potassium content of my soil. Alfalfa meal will also add needed potassium. After adding these soil amendments, I rake them in, being careful not to disturb any fall planted bulbs, like the sprouting garlic below, and let it absorb during the next few weeks with rainfall.
With the soil ready to go, I plant my seedlings indoors using repurposed Greek yogurt containers and paper egg cartons. I don’t start all of my seedlings early. Most of the ones I start early are the nightshade family of peppers and tomatoes plus any other long growing season vegetables like broccoli, squash and tomatillos. Tomatoes and pepper seedlings thrive with added calcium so I’ve added crushed eggshell to the bottom of each cup prior to adding the soil.
Most of the rest of my planting consists of seeds directly sown into the soil mid to late May when there is no more danger of frost. Here is the cute little greenhouse I currently use with a series of grow-lights strung above each shelf for my seedlings.
Here’s a peak at some of the fun seedlings that are just sprouting! Anaheim peppers, new mexico peppers, brandywine tomatoes and a series of herbs and perennial flowers round out the mix. You’ll notice there are more than one plant in each container. I usually plant more than one seed in each and then after the seedlings emerge, I pinch off the weakest one or two leaving the strongest seedling in each container.
Now it’s just time to wait until it’s warm enough for transplanting into the raised beds. In the meantime, I’ll plant some cold-tolerant seeds like spinach and kale to begin reaping the benefits in just a few weeks and enjoy the new buds on my orchard trees! I can’t WAIT for fresh apples, plums, cherries, pears and peaches from my own backyard!
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