Ortiga Tea

Okay, I voted! By absentee ballot online, for my state of Montana, while I’m here in Ecuador! And you can, too, at  FVAP.gov, and follow the instructions for your State.

Also known as Stinging Nettle – I used to serve this to my kids for their allergies. It’s know as Ortiga here – used for bleeding, gingivitis, hay fever, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Diabetes, Anemia, Circulation and Anemia!

Recipe of the Day – Ortiga Tea

Ingredients:

1 pot water

1 tsp. ortiga

Directions: Put a teaspoon of the fresh or dried herb in a cup, and pour almost boiling water over it. Let steep for twenty minutes.

Word of the Day – votar – to vote

Tip of the Day – It’s pretty calm-tasting. You can mix it with another herb to help you sleep,(valerian) or calm down, (chamomile) or wake you up! (guayusa)

 

Peaches and Curcuma (Turmeric) Smoothie

Well, I kept track of my expenditures last month.  Every day I wrote down the tiniest things. I felt like a total spendthrift, eating what ever I wanted and having smoothies whenever I wanted. And I’m so thrilled. And shocked! I’m still only spending $225 a month. Including swimming! (But not counting yardwork.) That’s what I was spending 4 years ago! (The difference in using my electric bike – no taxis, as I was 4 years ago.)

Ingredients In The Turmeric Smoothie
  1. 1 c. peaches, frozen
  2. 1 tsp. turmeric powder.
  3. 3 drops vanilla stevia
  4. juice of 1/2 lemon
  5. 1 c. coconut milk
  6. 1/2 an orange, juiced.
  7. 1/4″ ginger root, grated

Directions: Blend.

Word of the Day – curcuma – turmeric

Tip of the Day – Turmeric root powder contains 2-4% curcuminoids where all of the turmeric benefits are stored) while standardized turmeric extract contains 95% curcuminoids! That’s quite a difference!

Black Morada

Happy Day of the Dead! (Día de los Muertos) The colada morada,  black punch with sweetbreads are all over town and the country! The punch is made from fruits like blueberries and elderberries/blackberries. Sangorache (ataco), is a purple grain with black leaves, and to it the black fermented corn is added Nowadays they make it with ishpingo (Cinnamon’s Flower), myrtle leaves, strawberries and blackberries. Some people also use fruit, like pineapple.

Recipe of the Day – Black Porridge

1 c. mora, boysenberries or other berries

 Directions: Bring the water to a boil with the corn, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a large pot. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain o remove the corn and spices. Stir the lemon juice and sugar into the chicha until the sugar has dissolved. Chill until cold. Stir in the chopped pineapple, berries and apple before serving over ice.

Word of the Day – maiz morado – purple corn

Tip of the Day – Share this drink with others. It’s meant to be shared in ceremony, in parties, a common practice in the barrios of Ecuador.

Rice Noodles with Apple Slaw

So, I have this bump on the outside of my big toe. Same as my mom and grandma, right? So, I assumed it was hereditary. But Thkm, the body worker, was working on my back, and mentioned it. He said a lot of people think it’s hereditary but it’s actually a wek muscle. All you have to do is ke working it ou to the side, engaging that muscle again, and the bone will go down! I’m writing it here so I can look back and see how long it atkes to go down,

Recipe of the Day –Rice Noodles with Apple Slaw

2 c. rice noodles or brown rice

1 T. sesame oil

2 heads fermented garlic, minced

1 green onion, sloces

1″ lemongrass stalk, sliced and smashed

1/4″ ginger root, minced

1 tsp. Turmeric

1 apple, washed and sliced

1 c. Cole slaw

optionsl – Braggs or soy sauce

Directions: Saute the onions, garlic and lemongrass in the sesame oil 3 minutes or until tender. Add the slaw, apple and turmeric and stir gently. Cook th noodles according to package instructions. Darain and top with your sauce and soy or Bragg’s, if desired.

Word of the Day – dedo – toe

Tip of the Day – Use zucchini, shedded or as noodles, instead of the pasta!

 

Geranium Tea

Did you know you could make things with geranium leaves? And they smell amazing! My good friends Darina and Oracio gave me Bulgarian Geranium to plant, and Bulgarian Rose Perfume. Wow! What treasures, both the friends and the gifts!

Recipe of the Day – Geranium Iced Tea

Ingredients:

 5 c. water

 1-4  Geranium leaves, depending on the strength you like it
1 heaping tsp. mint leaves
1/2 tsp. chamomile flowers
Ice cubes

optional – sweeten with your sweetener of choice, stevia, coconut crystals, honey.

Directions: Bring water to almost a boil, then throw in the mint, chamomile and geraniums. Turn off heat and add sweetening.Cover and steep 20 to 30 minutes.  Strain into a pitcher and chill. Pour over ice cubes and add fresh sprigs or leaves, if desired..

Word of the Day – geranium –geranio

Tip of the Day – Darina puts them in her jams and jellies!

DIY Sweat Lodge

Here’s my new sweat lodge – made with carriso – like guadua and bamboo but tougher, more resilient and bendable. Wilson Picoita made it! You dig the hole. Then put sticks with room underneat. Then, seven big stones, sticks again, then seven more, in the traditional way. You light and tend the fire for about 3 hours, letting the stones get super hot. Then, remove the fire and sit in your tent, with a bucket of water and eucalyptus leaves. Every 15 minutes, or when you want more steam, pour a cup of water over the rocks. There’s your truco – your steam bath! I’m so happy. You feel amazing agterwards, especially if alternately get out and take a cold shower. Whew! My skin always looks so good afterwards.

Word of the Day – truco – steam bath

Tip of the Day – Start slow, just a few minutes  at a time, if you’re not  used to steaming. Don’t let yourself get dizzy or faint!

Raw Petit Fours

You know, you can complain wherever you go. That everything is not perfect for you. That there’s violence, or meanness. But then you’re at Carmita’s. And a little penny falls out while you’re searching for change. A penny that your son carved ten years ago, carved out in metal shop so that only the face of Lincoln remains. And you laugh and tell Carmita that story, and that that penny has been in your wallet for ten years. And she pauses, then takes the penny, moves to the side, under the counter, and comes up with your little precious penny in a tiny, perfect, sealed bag. So that it will always be protected, and never confused with your other change. She did that.

Recipe of the Day – Vegan Petit Fours Continue reading “Raw Petit Fours”

Pickled Garlic

D told me she couldn’t eat raw garlic, but she can eat pickled garlic. Yum! Fermented foods being good for your stomach – makes sense! You make this just like you would cole slaw or other fermented dishes. Pretty simple, except for the peeling, But luckily, here you can get the bag of garlic already peeled! And what a great snack when you don’t want something sweet, or want to keep away colds, or vampires!

Recipe of the Day – Pickled Garlic

INGREDIENTS:
12-14 heads of garlic
1 liter water

2 T. sea salt
Herbs such as thyme, basil, rosemary or fresh oregano from the garden

Directions:
Peel garlic  Pour them into a quart jar, leaving 1-inch of space at the top.. Pour the salt water and herbs over garlic cloves.
Allow to ferment for 3 to 4 weeks before moving to cold storage. The longer these sit in the cold, the better they are!

Word of the Day – crudo – raw

Tip of the Day – To peel, you can either: smash each one between two spoons, and the skins fall or

Roast it in a low oven, around 200°F, until the skins loosen a bit.
Peel them with a small sharp knife to keep them 100% raw.

Or:
Put the whole head(s) of garlic, or the unpeeled cloves, into a small metal pot with a lid, then shake the covered pot vigorously for a few minutes. The paper on the garlic cloves will fall right off.

Tom Kha Gai

First my daughter took the pain away. Then, several days later when it returned – another Reiki friend took out another layer. Then Thom – the Body Alignment Specialist. I think he healed me in one session. i really do. people stopped in the streets to tell me how amazing I looked. It’s amazing what being free of pain can do to your face. He presses gently, with strong hands, into the muscles that are incorrectly tensed, relieving the pressure with zero pain. And engages the muscles that need engaging. I’ve never had my sacroiliac put back with such ease. He also taught me to stand, sit, bicycle and swim correctly. And I am still out of pain, whoaaa…

Recipe of the Day – Tom Kha Gai

Ingredients:

1 1” piece ginger, peeled
10 kaffir lime leaves or 1 Tbsp. lime zest and ¼ cup lime juice
6 c. vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth
1 Lb. tofu or. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
8 oz. shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 c. coconut milk
2 2. fish sauce or soy sauce (We don’t have Fish sauce here)
1 tsp. coconut sugar
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
Options: peanuts, pineapple, chili  oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)
  • Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass and ginger, then cut  into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8–10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.

  • Add tofu or chicken and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add mushrooms, and simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20–25 minutes. Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar.

  • Divide soup among bowls. Serve with chili oil, cilantro, and lime wedges. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Word of the Day – ayudame – help me

Tip of the Day – You can also do light surface cuts along the sections, which helps release the lemon flavor. Then blend them in a food processor.