Pomegranate Olive Salad

January 16, 2018
Pomegranate Olive Salad

Now that the holiday season is officially over, it’s time to get back to the kitchen to start cooking up some delicious clean healthy meals.  The following is a quick recipe that calls for pomegranate and olives adapted from Épices de Cru.  Ever since visiting their shop at Jean Talon market in Montreal, I’ve literally been in love with their product line.  Their website also boasts some interesting recipes as well.  Note, this is NOT an affiliate link.

Pomegranate is considered a superfood due to its polyphenols giving it powerful antioxidant properties.  According to Wikipedia, I know, not necessarily the highest quality reference material:

A 100-g serving of pomegranate seeds provides 12% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, 16% DV for vitamin K and 10% DV for folate (table).

Pomegranate seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber (20% DV) which is entirely contained in the edible seeds. People who choose to discard the seeds forfeit nutritional benefits conveyed by the seed fiber and micronutrients.

Pomegranate seed oil contains punicic acid (65.3%), palmitic acid (4.8%), stearic acid (2.3%), oleic acid (6.3%), and linoleic acid (6.6%).

Whatever your reasons for eating pomegranate, this recipe is delicious, refreshing, and a good way to kick start the year.

Adapted from Salade d’olives vertes et de grenade from Epices de cru

Pomegranate Olive Salad

3 cups of large green olives, pitted

1/2 cup of toasted walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

4 green onions, minced

2 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped

juice from 1/2 a lemon

2 tbsp of pomegranate molasses, can be bought as is, or homemade by reducing pomegranate juice until thick syrupy consistency

1/2 tsp of paprika or Espelette pepper, more if desired


  1. Bath olives in a water bath for about 15 minutes, to remove salt. Drain and chop.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Season as desired.


Schubert SY, Lansk EP, Neeman I. Antioxidant and eicosanoid enzyme inhibition properties of pomegranate seed oil and fermented juice flavonoids.  1999 Jul;66(1):11-7.


Turmeric hummus

November 28, 2017
Turmeric Hummus

Turmeric is a highly anti-inflammatory food that’s attracted a lot of attention these past few years.  In a previous post, I discussed the merits of turmeric for the treatment of osteoarthritis.  You may remember, that you need to take 2 – 3 grams of turmeric daily to get the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric.  Most people supplement with capsules, but it doesn’t hurt to further supplement with the real thing.  Try this recipe for turmeric hummus.  It’s delicious, it’s healthy, and may improve joint wellness!

Turmeric Hummus


3/4 inch of turmeric root, sliced

1 15 oz. can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1/2 lemon

3 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of tahini

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup of olive oil


  1. In a food processor, blend the turmeric, chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, black pepper, and cumin.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Slowly but surely add the olive oil as the hummus is mixing until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Adjust seasoning.
  4. Serve with vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumbers or with pita bread, crackers, etc.

Turkey bone broth

November 14, 2017
Turkey bone broth

Thanksgiving is almost upon us and I’m sure many of you are on “full-on” recipe mode.  What recipes to do for the big day and what recipes to make with your turkey leftovers?  Before discarding your turkey carcass, why not whip up a batch of nutritious turkey bone broth?  Bone broth is thought to promote healthy digestion, reduce joint pain and inflammation, inhibit infection, promote healthy bone formation, and promote healthy hair and nail growth.  It contains gelatin, chondroitin, glucosamine, calcium, magnesium, and many amino acids such as glycine, proline, and glycine.  I just think it’s delicious, and I hate to see a bird go to waste.  Please remember to use a organically-raised, pastured or grass-fed animals turkey for your broth.  Enjoy!

Turkey Broth

1 turkey carcass

1 cup of carrots, cubed

1/2 cup of celery, sliced

1/2 cup of onions chopped

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Place turkey in a large cast iron pot and cover with water.
  2. Add carrots, celery, onions, bay leaf, and vinegar.
  3. Bring to a boil and remove scum that rises to the top.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours.
  5. Strain.
  6. Season to taste

Turkey broth is extremely versatile.  I used this batch to make my most recent farmhouse bowl: shiitake mushrooms, raabe, radish, green onions, Forbidden rice ramen, fig compote, and a soft boiled egg. Yummy…


Creamy avocado dip

October 31, 2017
Creamy avocado dip

Every family seems to have a family member(s) who’s known for their special dish.  My grandmother is known for her ham.  My aunt Lucie is known for putting maple syrup in almost everything, “tout est meilleur avec du sirop d’érable!”  As for my mother, it’s her creamy avocado dip.  It isn’t the fanciest recipe but she never brings leftovers back when she brings it to gatherings.  It’s incredibly versatile, so you can dress it with whatever veggies or herbs you like.

Creamy avocado dip

1 cup cream cheese

1 cup sour cream

1 ripe avocado

dash of lemon juice

6 dill pickles, finely minced

1 cup of green olives, finely minced

2 green onions, minced

2 plum tomatoes, cubed


  1. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and avocado by hand.  Then mix in the cream cheese and a dash of lemon juice to prevent the avocado from browning.  Add more lemon juice to taste if you’d like the dip to have more of a “lemony” flavor.
  2. Place the dip in the middle of a plate or any other presentation dish.
  3. Finely mince the pickles and olives.  You can use a blender if you’d like to save some time, but it tastes better when done by hand.  Place these in a large bowl.
  4. Repeat with the green onions and cubed tomatoes.  Add these to the pickles and olives.  Mix.
  5. Pour the vegetable mix around the avocado dip.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips or with freshly sliced cucumbers for a healthier fare.

Note: You can also layer the vegetables as seen in the photo.



Minestra Di Fagioli

September 6, 2017
Minestra Di Fagioli a Blue Zone recipe

Although there currently isn’t any definitive evidence-based data supporting a particular diet to help treat autoimmune diseases, for many years I’ve been a supporter of the Blue Zone way of life.  People living in Blue Zone live longer and healthier than any population in the world.

Today I’d like to share a recipe for Minestra Di Fagioli adapted from The Blue Zones Solution – Hardcover.  Enjoy!

Minestra Di Fagioli

1 (15.5 oz) can of Great Northern beans

1/2 cup dried hull-less whole-grain barley

8 cups vegetable broth

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped

2 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

1 bunch of fresh basil

1/2 tsp ground sage

1 fresh rosemary sprig

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic, basil, and sage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the beans, barley, broth, potatoes, celery, carrot, and bay leaf.  Set over high heat and bring to boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer slowly until the beans and barley are tender, about 1 hour.  Discard the rosemary sprig and bay leaf; stir in the parsley, oil, salt, and pepper before serving.

Tip: To enhance the flavor, infuse 1 tbsp of purple basil pesto to each bowl of soup prior to serving.

Image courtesy of Johanne Plouffe


Purple basil pesto

August 23, 2017
Purple basil pesto: my first attempt at a Buddha bowl

Last Friday I lunched with one of my good friends, Barnaby, at the Iron Gate Cafe in downtown Albany NY.  What a treat!  The building was originally a school and then purchased by James Holroyd, a wealthy industrialist.  He renovated the mansion adding raised oak panels, a stained glass skylight, and formal gardens.  After his death, it was used as a physician’s office.  How clinics have changed.  The building now houses the Iron Gate Cafe and Holroyd Mansion, which is available for private events and functions.


We both chose the Farmhouse bowl special, which is composed with all foods delicious.  Some call it a Buddha bowl.  Iron Gate calls it a Farmhouse bowl.  Whatever you want to call it, it was delicious.  A perfect combination of grains, protein, and veg.  And you can’t forget their coconut curry.

I vowed that I’d try to make my Farmhouse bowl.  In fact, I vowed that I’d try to make as many Farmhouse bowls an humanly possible.  Not only are these bowls delicious, they’re incredibly healthy.  Here is my first attempt: purple basil pesto, Tuscan kale, baby bella mushrooms, rainbow quinoa, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, and pistachios.

Purple basil pesto

3 cups packed purple basil

1/4 cup shelled pistachio

1/3 cup Parmigiano-reggiano

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp of lemon juice

1 tsp of lemon zest

1/4 cup olive oil

  1. Chop the basil, pistachio Parmigiano, garlic, lemon juice, and zest in a food processor.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Serve or refrigerate.

I added a dollop of purple basil pesto to add flavor to my first Farmhouse bowl, but you can add it to pasta, pizza, soup, dips, meat, sandwiches, salad, etc.  Whatever your heart desires 🙂

Leave your comments below.  Tell us how you’ve used your purple basil pesto!


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