Jul 16, 2013

Summer CSH Share Recipe #2 // Shakshuka with Sara Seinberg Holistic Health Coaching

Here is the second of the recipes that Seinberg Holistic Health Coaching contributed to our Summer CSH Share booklet! Amazingly delicious and adaptable, enjoy!

Shakshuka is as old as the hills. And in Northern Africa and the Middle East, that's friggin' old. Some say it's a Jewish thing. Some say it’s regional. But if you peep a breakfast table, you'll find it. This dish alone is spurring me to furrow away some sheckls to visit the Moroccan versions in person along with their tile work that I often daydream about. But like the BBQ sauce of the south or the "best" way to make a peach cobbler, if you ask a hundred grandmothers from Istanbul to Jerusalem to Casablanca, you'll get a hundred variations on this popular traditional feast. I got obsessed with the stuff last year and read about that many recipes. I've made my way through a bunch, channeling my inner Zayde, and I believe this version is the perfect edition for a Portland Apothecary Summer. 

You might be tempted to bake it until the egg yolks are solid all the way through. Don't. 

California Jewess Shakshuka

5 fat ripe tomatoes
1 red onion
1 shallot
1 Anaheim chili
1 bell pepper (I use yellow here)
5 cloves garlic
1c fresh basil, separated
4-6 eggs
2T olive oil
1T ground cumin
1t smoked, sweet or hot paprika, depending on your preference
1/2t cayenne
1/2t turmeric
1T cider vinegar
1t smoked sea salt

 Before you begin, make sure you have a heavy, oven-safe vessel. I like to use a good ol’ cured iron skillet, but a ceramic dutch oven works or even pyrex, but I go for the Ye Olde Feel as much as possible with this. Preheat your oven to 375.Now, coarsely chop up all your tomatoes, save all the seeds and juice and get those into a bowl. After those are prepped, heat your olive oil over a medium flame and add in your chopped onions and shallot. When those are translucent, around 7 minutes, add your garlic spices, smoked salt, half of your basil, chopped fine, and your cider vinegar. Now let that all cook together for about 8 more minutes. Add your chopped pepper and chili. When you slice up the chili, especially those of you going for spicier varieties, wear gloves or be careful not to touch your eyes when working with spicy peppers. Their oils are no joke. Let those soften. By now your kitchen should smell incredible. Finally add in your tomatoes and wait until the whole thing is bubbling. It should be right at the brim of your skillet. 

Here's the fun part. Make little wells for the eggs and crack them into the pan. I use four but people often like a lot more. Transfer the whole thing to the oven and bake on 375 for 10-12 minutes. The whites should be firm but the yolks will be runny and perfect inside. Serve topped with the rest of your basil sliced into pretty ribbons. 

Like I said, there are about a billion and ten ways to make this and here are a few ideas from all the wonderful people out there who inspired me. You can use some and/or all of these at your whim. Add Feta. Add in thyme and coriander. Use spicier peppers and less garlic. Swap out the basil for cilantro. Add a dollop of honey to the sauce or a different vinegar. Shred cheese on top. Include some cooked chickpeas. Have a great time with this one. It's a keeper for the long haul.

Jul 3, 2013

Summer Share Recipe // Popsicles // Seinberg Holistic Health Coaching

With every seasonal CSH Share we put out we include recipes for the season. For the past year we have had the great pleasure to work with our good friend Sara Seinberg. She is the head coach over at Seinberg Holistic Health Coaching and we're a huge fan-- especially of her coaching style and her Seasonal Cleanses. Here is the first of the two recipes she gave us to pass on to you for SUMMER, popsicles!

When I was a kid, you could find me by a pond covered in mud, scraped up legs standing stock still as I stalked fat bullfrogs. I loved the feel of the slimy big things in my hands breathing. They didn't like it, but I was a kid and my curiosity had little to do with compassion. I couldn't believe such a foghorn sound could come from the green beasts. I'd stick my blue tongue out at them and laugh. I wanted them to love me and stay with me but I knew they just wanted to be back in the water. I'd let one go and look for my next one. 

Oh wait: my blue tongue. Yes, you caught that. Because other then being a fearless and deft bullfrog oppressor, I was also a lover of the blue raspberry Otter Pop. I'd feel a thrill roll through me when my mom brought them home, nuclear and wrong in their plastic tubes. Something about the way the pops felt in the summer heat still thrills me. Popsicles, a summer heaven. 

My tongue has ceased in its blue, but my love of a cold summer dessert has not. These recipes not only scratch the itch of my summer tomboy, they also offer electrolytes for active summer fun, fresh fruits and vegetables for nutrients, and, not to brag, some serious gourmet tastes.

Favorite Summer Popsicles

The Summer Kick
3/4 c of seeded watermelon hunks 
8oz. container of coconut water. (I like the raw by Harmless Harvest, but use your favorite. If it has added sweetener, probably a new favorite is in order.)
knuckle of ginger 
1/2 a cucumber
1/4 cayenne
dash of sea salt

The Pluot Paradise
2 beautiful ripe pluots
about a 1/2c of fresh basil
8oz coconut water
1T balsamic vinegar

Take these ingredients and toss them in the blender. Whirl them around and then freeze your pops. You can get molds or use an ice tray. 

Jul 2, 2013

Summer CSH Share 2013 /// Remedy Guide

Every seasonal CSH Share we make comes with a booklet describing the health concerns of the season and a detailed description of each remedy included. We've decided to post those booklets here from now on, both as a reference and for hopefully others to enjoy!

Hawthorne Berry Elixir: This elixir tastes so good it’s hard to believe that it’s medicinal! You can either take it straight by the spoonful or mix it into some tonic water for a refreshing summer drink. As mentioned earlier, the Fire Element of Summer is associated with the health of the Heart. Traditionally Hawthorne has been revered for its capacity to strengthen and fortify the heart and the circulatory system of our bodies. It’s a tonic herb that is especially useful if there is a history of high blood pressure, heart disease or sluggish circulation that runs in your family. We are introducing it to you here, but it can be a real benefit if taken consistently throughout the seasons.  Schizandra berry is an adaptogenic herb that is well suited as a companion herb to Hawthorne. Adaptogenic herbs can also be taken for lengths of time to fortify your health and in essence work toward reversing any pathological state your body might be in regardless of the direction. For example, it can bring about heightened mental clarity and energy if you are fatigued, but it can also calm down your nervous system if you are suffering from anxiety. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this berry represents the five flavors: sour, bitter, sweet, acrid & salty.  We’ve also added a small amount of Motherwort extract to this mix. Motherwort is sometimes referred to as ‘Lion Hearted’ and addresses both physical and emotional issues of the heart. We made the Borage Flower Essence in this elixir on a sunny day and the bees were busily tending it, but let us make off with a handful of flowers to make some medicine. Borage will bring you courage to allow your soul to be buoyant, and will work to help you improve your outlook on your life. That pure blue color of the petals is transcendent! We also included Bleeding Heart flower essence to help you invite love into your heart, fully and without the inhibitions perhaps caused by previous experiences. This elixir addresses the heart on a physical, spiritual and emotional plane. Enjoy.

Summer Calm Extract: Our motivation for this Extract includes those perfect still moments of summer. Right now as I’m writing this I’m picturing waking up early while on a camping trip and walking down to the lake. The water is still, the birds are already busy and a few fish are jumping. The air smells sweet and cool and there is a feeling of all the potential the day has. This is what this extract can bring you – calmness of the spirit, insight into the potential of your experiences and a sense of the natural pace of life. Pedicularis  is a beautiful native plant that is a skeletal muscle relaxant taken in larger direct doses. We are blending it into this extract to serve as an aid in releasing muscle tension in your body that has been built up by stress. Let Pedicularis help move those shoulders down a few inches! CA Poppy in all of its cheery bright orange is a powerful nervine and is amazing at calming any anxiety you may be having.  Elie harvested these Oat Tops while on a beautiful farm in Northern California while they were in their milky stage, meaning that when the tops are pressed together a milk like substance can be seen. When tinctured fresh in this stage it is powerful medicine for adrenal and nervous system exhaustion.  This medicine is food for your nervous system. And lastly we added Apple Blossom Flower Essence carrying over a little Spring medicine into the Summer Share. Simply standing under an apple tree in bloom can lift your heart, and we are using this essence with the intention of aiding you in welcoming new dreams and aspirations into your life. Summer is about pure potential and this essence will help you clarify where your adventures might lead you.

Douglas Fir Tip Infused Sea Salt: If you walk through the forests here in late Spring the Firs are adorned with bright green new growth at their tips. The color and patterns are stunning and you can’t help but spend some time with the trees admiring them, and if you’re an herbalist, nibbling on the tips. The tips taste all at once like the deep forest and surprisingly like citrus, with a bright clean note. They’re high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A and make a really pleasant tea or infused olive oil. We decided to infuse some Pacific Sea Salt with the tips and blend in some organic Meyer Lemon Peel to really bring out the citrus flavor in this blend. Now, we’re just waiting for our tomatoes to fruit to put this salt to work! Great used as a finishing salt for all manner of dishes.

Blossom Tea: Summer brings forth an explosion of blossoms, and we decided to put some of our favorites into a tea blend. Linden trees with their beautiful flowers and heart shaped leaves are the perfect base for this tea. Sipping on Linden tea has a long standing tradition to bring about a sense of ease and calm. Combined with lemon balm leaves it will put you into a relaxed state quickly! We added Mint, Hibiscus, Helichrysum, Chamomile and Rose Petals into this great tasting blend. The Hibiscus gives it a hint of a blush color once brewed. This tea is great as an infusion, but we also like it as a sun tea or an iced tea.

All Purpose Salve:  Whether it’s from gardening, camping or getting ensnared by blackberry tendrils it’s easy to wind up with some scratches, irritated skin, scrapes and bug bites over the summer. While it’s totally worth it, there’s no reason you can’t have a little relief. This salve is in an easy to carry tin that’s perfect to bring along with you on your summer adventures. Calendula petals and Comfrey leaves have a long standing tradition of bringing relief and speedy healing to the skin. We added a little Oregon Grape Root for anti-bacterial purposes and some Lavender Essential Oil for it’s anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. The Olive Oil base will soothe weathered skin. This salve will melt if exposed to high temperatures so it’s best not to leave it in a hot vehicle or in bright sun or you’ll have a potential mess on your hands!

Facial Toner: Inspired by Queen of Hungary Water we created a garden variety Facial Toner to help soothe your skin and refresh you after a long hot day of activities. We steeped lavender, calendula, comfrey, rose petals and huckleberry leaves in Witch Hazel to draw out the healing properties of all of these  wonderful plants and added a little Lavender Hydrosol. This toner is light and simple and carries just a light scent of roses and lavender. We’ve taken to storing it in the refrigerator so it’s extra refreshing and cooling on hot days. And while we do intend it as a facial toner it also feels great on sunburns and heat rashes.

Lemongrass Sugar Scrub: Keep your skin looking and feeling great with this rejuvenating blend. Promoting  circulation is an important part of skin care, and by massaging this scrub into your skin in a circular motion towards the heart it helps not only with your circulation, but also with lymphatic flow. Your morning shower will be infused with the refreshing and energizing scents of citrus and basil, ensuring a good start to your day. In addition to the exfoliating properties of this blend we’ve included shea butter, almond oil and avocado oil to moisturize your skin to encourage that healthy & radiant summer glow. Powdered green tea powder will help protect your skin against sun damage and is anti-inflammatory in nature. As you can probably tell, we’re in love with this blend!

Desert Soap: Ylang Ylang + Desert Sage. A sensual blend of essential oils, blue cornmeal, & red clay leaves the skin soft and your mind relaxed. All of our soaps are made in the traditional cold process method using high quality oils as their base. Pure essential oils are added to provide aromatherapeutic properties to each blend. Wildcrafted and organic botanicals, along with herbal infused oils, are used to create healing and nourishing qualities to our soap, making it rich in lather and mild for sensitive skin. The soap is hand cut and air cured for at least 4 weeks. Keep soap dry between each use to help it last as long as possible.