Friday, February 26, 2010

un-sick soup

Just to jump off today's earlier post about the wonder that is the Neti Pot... here's a quick recipe for the soup I came up with for lunch today. Matt (my boyfriend) is home sick from work, so I have had healing the flu on my mind... and figured it might help you too. So, here you have it:

un-sick soup

in a soup pot or reasonably sized sauce pan:

heat 2 Tbs olive oil on medium heat


4 minced garlic cloves, let cook 1-2 min (about the time it took to chop the mushrooms)

12 chopped shiitake mushrooms, let cook 3-4 min (about the time it took to wash and chop kale)

1 bunch rinsed and chopped kale

saute for a few minutes until kale turns bright green, and mushrooms are tender

add 4 cups vegetable broth

a few shakes cayenne pepper, a few shakes garam masala, a splash of toasted sesame oil, and a splash tamari (or soy sauce if you're not gluten free)- to taste

bring to a boil, and simmer for 5-10 minutes until you feel it's done


He really enjoyed this soup. "I love this soup!" was the actual response. And confirmed that it really helped to open up his sinuses, cut through the junk, helped him feel a bit better.... and led to a nap (to complete the perfect equation of healing the flu... broth + sleep=better). If you need it, hope it helps you feel better too. (I enjoyed it as well, and am not feeling sick... it's really a tasty soup.) Hope you're not sick too. big hug xxtbone
Seems like everyone I know is fighting the sniffles right now. Soooo, what better time to talk about the NETI POT. If you haven't tried one, you know you really do kind of want to... even though it probably seems far too gross or uncomfortable to actually go through with. If you're unfamiliar with what I'm talking about check this out:

I know it seems crazy if you haven't tried it. It looks like it must hurt or feel like drowning... but it doesn't. It doesn't at all actually. It feels good to gently help whatever is irritating your sinuses to move on it's way out. It is a great help for allergies as well. The stream of salty water keeps things moving so your body doesn't have to work so hard to keep it's pathways clear. 

Personally, I like the plastic squirt bottle version made by NeilMed. I was going to put a link to the product but here's a video about it... they are so much better than pictures, and I think it's funny to see people do this so calmly. I like the squirt bottle better as I feel less awkward pouring water through my face this way... personal preference. And one more note, I know in both of these videos they are selling you their product, which you do not need to buy to achieve this treatment. The salt water mixture is simply 1 teaspoon non-iodized salt to 16 ounces water, and if you feel comfortable trying it, you can sniff it... although to me that seems scary, for now, I'll stick to the squirt bottle method.  Here's the other video, enjoy and hope you're well xxtbone

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

there's always room for jello... i mean "kanten"

I'm a sucker for dessert. But, I want it to do a little more for me than just satisfy the sweet tooth. I am very happy to share this idea with you. KANTEN. It's like a jello-ish, pudding-like concoction... that is a bit magical in it's transformation. (In case you haven't noticed, I'm also a sucker for magic.)

In your local store where you can find sea vegetables (read: seaweed) you will find a small package of a treat called Agar-Agar, also known as Kanten in Japan. This little miracle of the sea acts as a gelatin and has incredible health benefits when added to your daily routine. It is very high in fiber, thought to help lower cholesterol and is great for aiding in your digestion... thus a super addition to any meal. It has virtually no calories, it's a sea vegetable so it comes from nature not from a lab, and doesn't have a distinct flavor. It adds vitamins and minerals to your diet as well, including iodine, calcium, and iron. How cool. 

Here's a quick recipe for the pudding I made in the photo above, I made it with organic raisins, since I had some... but I imagine you could try it with any dried fruit.

Raisin Pudding

1 cup raisins
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons Agar-Agar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small sauce pan, heat 1 cup water with raisins for 15 minutes on medium to low heat. Add cinnamon, stir for 2 minutes. Blend this mixture in a food processor or blender. Dissolve agar-agar in 1 cup water. Add to blended mixture. Give a couple of pulses to mix in the blender. Return to pan for 5 minutes. Pour into a glass or ceramic container that will go into the refrigerator for an hour or so, until set.

There you go. It's super simple. Goes great with a little granola if you want a little something more for a snack. But, thanks to the properties of the agar-agar, it helps you feel very full and satisfied. Give it a try, let me know what you think. It's kinda weird, I know... but, I'm totally into it. Hope you are well, big kiss xxtbone