Fresh Fig, Goat Cheese and Avocado Salad

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Fresh, fragrant figs are in season and I snagged a few over the weekend in France. Here is my five-minute salad without dressing. The toppings share all the flavor.

Fresh Fig, Goat Cheese and Avocado Salad

Mixed salad greens (Melange de Jeunes Pousses)

Salade de Mâche ( greens I never found in the US)

Alfalfa sprouts

1/2 Avocado sliced

Two fresh figs cut into quarters (Figues)

Soft Goat Cheese with honey (Fromage chevre au miel)

Goji Berries (Baies de Goji)

Pine Nuts (Pignons de pin)

 

 

Fried Sardines the Mediterranean Way

I love sardines but have never had them fresh. Since my husband grew up in Morocco where sardines are abundant I have heard stories and really wanted to try them. When I found fresh sardines during my shopping trip to France this weekend, I thought why not give it a try.

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The fish were whole and needed to be cleaned. I haven’t cleaned fish since my childhood in Minnesota. I am not squeamish so I jumped right in. Sardines are rather small fish but easy to clean. Just insert a knife close to the bottom of the fish belly and cut from one end to the other lengthwise. Pull out the innards with your finger. It’s quite easy. Then take off or leave the head. My family didn’t want to see the eyes so I took the heads off. Now rinse them with water. I also took the bones/spine out of some of them but this is not necessary since the bones are small enough to eat and easily separate off when cooked. Since once again my family is particular I deboned half of them.

I found a recipe from my favorite cookbook, Mediterranean Paleo Cooking by Cailtin Weeks, Nabil Boumrar and Diane Sanfilippo.

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Crispy Fried Sardines

2 pounds sardines

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

1 cup almond flour

Fine sea salt and ground pepper (I prefer to use Himalayan Pink salt for its healthy minerals)

2 Large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

up to 2 cups sustainable palm shortening or coconut oil

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  • After cleaning the fish place them on a paper towel to dry.
  • Mix in a bowl coating ingredients: garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, parsley, almond flour and a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  • Heat the palm shortening or coconut oil in a deep skillet. I only used a small amount of coconut oil to cover the bottom but the book suggests it be two inches deep over medium high heat.
  • Dip the sardines in the egg mixture and then dredge through flour mixture, coating both sides of the fish.
  • Add the sardines to the pan and fry until a golden brown, about 2-4 minutes on each side.
  • Drain the sardines on a paper towel and garnish with parsley and served with lemon halves and aoili if you would like.

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The sardines were a hit with the family. I also made Spaghetti Courgette (grated zucchini) lighting sauteed in butter and a Jamaican spice.  Give sardines a try. If you like smelt ( a Minnesota favorite in the north), then you will love sardines.

 

 

 

Container Gardening in it’s Simplest Form

 

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I bought a wooden garden box and starter veggies last week while I was in France.  I thought it was bigger than it ended up being. As I only travel to France from Luxembourg every couple of weeks I knew I needed to find a solution to my poor little veggie starts. I was hoping to find another box for my vegetables yesterday in Luxembourg but apparently they don’t sell them here. Plastic window boxes and pots abound but no wooden garden boxes. So, it’s Sunday, and nothing is open in Europe on Sundays and my poor veggies are wilting in the extreme heat this week.

So, I must come up with a plan. I had been throwing around the idea of using my large compost bags that are for garden waste to plant potatoes. My neighbor in Seattle used something like this for his potatoes. I thought, why not use my grocery bags, which are smaller than the compost bags but the same plastic material.

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So this afternoon I dug out all my grocery bags to see if I could fill them with my veggies. Thankfully I had plenty. There are no plastic or paper bags here in Europe so everyone brings their own bags to the market when they go shopping. And, the best part is that they are very inexpensive, only 50 cents. Each bag fit one 40L bag of soil perfectly.  With the bags only costing 50 cents each and the 40L potting soil only costing €2.39, I paid less than €3 ($3 US) for each container.

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In total I planted six tomato plants, six beet plants, three swiss chard plants and one hot pepper plant.

I also have a very artistic garden that can be mobile as well. Now I just need to replenish my grocery bags with some new ones (the prettier the better) and start my Spinach seedlings.

Simple Salsa for Cinco de Mayo

 

salsa1Salsa is a staple at our house. I was first introduced to true, fresh salsa while visiting Mexico as a teen. What better time to share my recipe of fresh salsa than in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

Now that we live in Luxembourg it is much, much harder to find Mexican food, let alone a simple salsa. Chips and salsa are almost non-existent here.
I love making my own salsa and I make it almost weekly. It is a simple and healthy snack and doesn’t take a lot of time. The hardest part is finding tomatoes that are ripe and jalapeno peppers are rare here. There are plenty of Italian, Portuguese and Spanish peppers that I sometimes use instead of jalapenos. Nothing beats a spicy, hot Mexican jalapeno but you have to use what you can get locally.

Here is my simple recipe for Salsa. Feel free to change it up and make it to your own taste. My son loves it very spicy so we put plenty of peppers, while my husband loves cilantro. I love lots of garlic. Enjoy the recipe.

Simple Salsa

Three to four medium ripe tomatoes – try different varieties
One small/medium onion – mix it to get a different taste
3-4 large garlic cloves (adjust garlic to your preference)
2 Jalapeno peppers – other peppers work in a pinch and each pepper is a different spice level.
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro – I grown my own on the patio
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice. I prefer lime. Fresh is always better.

 

Here is how simple it is to make salsa.

Gather your fresh ingredients and a food processor. A hand food processors also work well.

Prepare the onions and garlic by peeling and cutting into pieces. Split the peppers and cut the stem off and remove the inner white seeds. You could use the seeds if you want your salsa really, really hot.

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Put onions, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro pieces into the food processor and grate them semi-fine.

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Add lime juice and salt and tomatoes. Tomatoes can be in large chunks. Process the salsa again until it is the consistency you want.

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It’s as simple as that!

Serve it with tortilla chips, in a quesadilla (Luca’s favorite snack) or with guacamole. Salsa is great on almost anything.

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The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest” Docu-Series Free April 12 to 21

This is the third year of “The Truth About Cancer” and I want to share this knowledge with you. I have been watching this docu-series every year and find out new information each time.

The mission at The Truth About Cancer is to eradicate cancer by teaching the world all the best methods to prevent, treat, heal from, and beat the disease…

…And to expose all the mis-information out there causing millions unnecessary suffering (and their very lives).

Beginning April 12, they are going to re-release “The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest” 9-part documentary series for a limited time (for free) that I know and love…

And this time with your help their aim is for it to reach TENS OF MILLIONS who need it. So…

Register Here Now!

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Here’s the full schedule of the Encore presentation so that you have it handy:

Episode 1: The True History of Chemotherapy & The Pharmaceutical Monopoly
(April 12th  9:00PM Eastern US time)
Episode 2: Cancer Facts and Fictions, Breast Cancer, Hormones, Skin Cancer & Essential Oils
(April 13th  9:00PM Eastern US time)
Episode 3: Cancer-Killing Viruses, Cancer Stem Cells, GMOs, Juicing & Eating the Rainbow
(April 14th  9:00PM Eastern US time)
Episode 4: Excitotoxins that Fuel Cancer, Nature’s Pharmacy and Healing Cancer with Sound & Light
(April 15th  9:00PM Eastern US time)
Episode 5: Cancer Causing Blindspots, Toxic Vaccines, Homeopathy & The Power of Emotions
(April 16th  9:00PM Eastern US time)
Episode 6: The NOCEBO Effect, Healing Vaccines, Advanced Detoxing & Going Inside A German Cancer Clinic
(April 17th  9:00PM Eastern US time)
Episode 7: Heal Cancer with Clean Electricity, Unique Water, Natural Sunlight & Combining Superfoods
(April 18th  9:00PM Eastern US time)
Episode 8: Cannabis, Nature’s Epigenetic Switches, Peptides & Healing with Micronutrient Therapy
(April 19th  9:00PM Eastern US time)
Episode 9: Cancer Conquerors & Their Powerful Stories of Victory
(April 20th  9:00PM Eastern US time)

Mediterranean Kebabs and Rice

kebabstotalI have been a fan of kebabs and Mediterranean food since I met my husband in 1999. We had a couple of kebab places we frequented near our home in the Washington, DC, suburb of Herndon, that we still really miss four years later. In Seattle we did found a Mediterranean restaurant we loved but they didn’t quite get it right with the kebabs and Middle Eastern restaurants are few and far between in Seattle. Here is Luxembourg we have yet to find a restaurant that makes kebabs. They do sell a lot of lamb at the boucherie (butcher) so I decided to make my own today in celebration of spring.  Springtime and BBQ go hand in hand and it is a beautiful day.

Here is how you can make these simple kebabs. You can make them with beef or chicken too since not everyone loves lamb.

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Simply take the meat and cube it into sizes around 1 to 1 1/2 inches (4 cm). Take about 2 teaspoons of Moroccan or Middle Eastern spice blend and put into a bowl. The Moroccan spice blend I used included tumeric, cumin, paprika, coriander, onion and cinnamon. Also add a little bit of salt to taste. I will not be an overpowering blend so don’t be afraid to cover the meat in the spices.

Next take the meat and put it on skewers alternating with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms or zucchini. I didn’t have zucchini or mushrooms on hand today but they are great as kebabs.

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The kebabs cook very well on the grill or in the oven for a rainy day.

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For my Mediterranean Rice it was also simple. I made the rice as usual and when it was either keep it in the pan or put into another bowl. Put slivers of butter on top and then sprinkle your favorite Indian/Mediterranean spice blend. The blends we used is called Sahara and it includes: coriander, onion, garlic, cumin, sea salt, paprika, turmeric, cumin, fennel, pepper, mustard and chili. You can mix it when you serve it.

kebabrice

We also served our lunch today with Naan Bread, which I bought at the store. Naan Bread is to die for if you can find it fresh and well cooked at a restaurants. It is not something I have tried and it is usually cooked in a special oven. But, this was great just heated up for warmth in the oven. We loved the Trader Joe’s Naan Bread and miss it dearly.

For veggies we had Cucumbers, which are refreshing with the lamb meat, carrots and Mallorcan cheese from our recent vacation in Spain.

 

PANDAS: A Real Life Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

A couple of years ago in Seattle we sat down with Shelbey Tozier to talk about PANDAS. She was just starting a documentary through film school and wanted to share the stories of kids with PANDAS. I am so proud of her and everything that she is doing. She is proof that PANDAS will not take over your life. She has turned her PANDAS story and others into a documentary that can educate as well as share the experiences of kids with PANDAS.

Luca is sitting on my lap halfway through the video.

Her mother wrote on the ACN (Association for Comprehensive Neurotherapy) Latitudes forum this letter that I would like to share.

My 24 year old daughter, as a film major, flew around the country making a documentary about PANDAS, interviewing PANDAS kids and following up three years later. She did this while having a PANDAS flare. You have no idea how difficult this was. She interviewed the researchers, physicians, scientists and families. Here is the promo!

Are you ready? SO EXCITED!!!!!

PANDAS: A Real Life Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a new online docuseries. Here is the first video, an introduction to the series.

For the past few years we interviewed dozens of children across America, and followed their stories growing through adolescents with PANDAS, and the struggles doctors and family members have trying to find a treatment for this life changing disorder.

Each episode will feature a new child, family or PANDAS specialist. It was important to us that this docuseries be made free and available to the public. Every episode will be featured on this Youtube channel.

Once the series is complete, it will be compiled into one documentary and sent out on DVD to those who have ordered it.

I’m honored to be able to share the brave and unique stories of the wonderful children I have met.

Please like and share the Facebook Page too!