Burma Ferment8ed Tea Leaf Salad

My daughter is in San Francisco having this life-changing salad, she calls it. The Tea leaf dressing will change your world. Tangy but not over-powering, just super-interesting.

Then she told me this neat story of clean-up and Buddha Shrines. On a corner in Oakland just east of Lake Merritt, At 11th and 19th there used to be a horrible amount of dumping and crime. Someone, Dan Stevenson put a Buddha there, without being even particularly religious, and then people started cleaning up around it, making it a little altar, and now look at it! At first the City rejected it, but the neighborhood wanted it so badly, the City acquiesed!

Burmese Tea Leaf Salad



  • 1 c. dried green tea leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 c. kale or cabbage, finely chopped
  • ½ c. finely chopped cilantro, loosely packed
  • ½ c. green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 T. garlic paste
  • 2 T.  finely chopped ginger root
  • 2 green chilies, minced (optional)
  • juice squeezed fresh from one lime
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 3 T. coconut oil
  • 1 head garlic,minced
  • 2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 T. roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup thin tomato wedges (optional)
  • Final Dressing –
  • 1 T. garlic oil
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg’s aminos or fish sauce
  • fresh lime slices
  • pinch of salt


Fermenting the Tea Leaves
Pour 4 cups of hot water over the dried tea leaves, stir, and let soak until the leaves have expanded about 10 minutes. Then drain, and discard any tough bits. Squeeze out any remaining liquid from the  leaves.. Do this two more times, then let sit an hour to remove the bitterness. Chop the leaves finely and mix together with the kale, cilantro and greens,  ginger, garlic paste,  salt and  lime. . Cover the dish tightly and allow it to ferment for two days in a dark, cool space. Then place in the fridge.

To serve, set a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and let them heat, shaking the skillet from time to time to ensure that they aren’t scorching. You will start to smell them toasting after a few minutes. Keep stirring so they don’t scorch, and cook for another minute or two, until they are golden. Transfer to a dinner plate and let cool completely. Next, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the sliced garlic, reduce the heat to medium and fry until just golden, about 5 minutes. Lift the garlic out of the oil with a slotted utensil and set aside on a plate to crisp up. Save the oil, now flavored with garlic, to use in the final dressing.

Serve the salad unmixed, arranging small piles of all the ingredients on a platter. Toss the fermented tea leaves with the reserved garlic oil, fish sauce, and lime juice .Add a generous pinch of salt, mix again, taste and adjust other seasonings if needed. Place the leaves in a neat pile in the center of the other crunchy mix-ins.

Word of the Day – altar-altar, Buddha -Buda

Tip of the Day – You can add dried shrimp, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained, if you like.


Herbal Bean-Potato Salad

How would you have answered? I just came back from town, brought a friend over to my house…first time. When he asked if he should remove his shoes, I said , “Oh, that’s okay, ’cause the dogs have already been running in and out.” Half hour later, while we were in the kitchen, he looked down at the floor and said, “Your floor is dirty.”                                              I didn’t know what to say, too many ways to answer. I think I said, “Oh, that’s okay” or something. But then he said, ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness, Dorothy.”                              Wow, how would you have answered?    “As a single mom, the rule in my house was, if you pointed out dirt, you had to clean it.”      But since that time, I’ve thought of other response. What do you think of these?                                                                                                                            “Oh?”

“After a lifetime of cleaning for others, I choose when to clean. ”                                           “Yeah, with the dogs and living in the country, it needs it three times a day, ha ha. Better for me not to get neurotic. about it.”                                                                                                                                                          “Who stands in someone else’s house and points out dirt? My friends never do.  They wouldn’t want me to point it out in their houses, haha!” 

I think now, a week later, knowing the person, I would have liked to have said, “You know, there are so many ways to be next to Godliness. Sometimes you make order and space in your house. Sometimes you choose to meditate instead of cleaning.  Sometimes you have to respect the pain in your body, and know it’s better to rest. No matter how much you’d like your house to be beautifully clean. Sometimes you choose to be with the person standing there, listening well, instead of cleaning.”                                                                                                                                                               What would you have said?

Recipe of the Day –
Bean Potato Salad


    • 2 c. black, garbanzo or red beans
    • 1 c. green beans
    • 1/4 c. fresh parsley leaves with tender stems
    • 1/4 c. olive oil
    • 3 T. green onions
    • 1 c. chopped, cooked, cold potatoes
    • 1 T. finely grated lemon zest
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper or 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    • Salt

Moringa Recipes

A yoga student gave me Moringa, powdered and the leaves, in return for a few yoga classes. What a nice exchange. benefits include antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements, balancing hormones and slowing the effects of aging, improving digestive health, balancing blood sugar levels and helping fight diabetes, protecting and nourishing the skin, and helping stabilize mood and protect brain health!

Here are some ways to use moringa in cooking.

Wash and finely chop the leaves. A little lemon juice will take out the bitterness.

  • salad, soup, tea
  • scrambled eggs, omelettes
  • curry, dal, egg rolls, rice


Word of the Day – donacion – donation

Tip of the Day – Wash the leaves well and discard all the stems, which are inedible. While the leaves aid digestion and gastrointestinal health, they are  somewhat tough to digest. Cooking them will help.

Pumpkin Pear Salad With Saffron Vinaigrette

A reader writes on the way to maintain a good sleep pattern in your life – ”
“I do everything I can to make sure I sleep – I get up really early, exercise, eat healthy, meditate, stick to an evening schedule, cut off caffeine very early (there’s a free Iphone app called UpCoffee that can track your caffeine and tell you when you’re about to get to the point where sleep is impacted). I also have soft sheets and a comfy bed because I really really want to sleep badly. And no light in the bedroom – not the window, not a lighted alarm clock, nothing.

Probably an overshare but I really value my sleep. The one thing that still can keep me awake is fear of not sleeping!”

Recipe of the Day – Pumpkin Pear Salad

4 c. greens, washed, dried
1  pear, halved lengthways, cored, cut in slices

2 sprigs fennel
1 T. red wine vinegar
4 slices gluten-free crusty bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a toaster oven or broil. Add the pumpkin and cook, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden and tender.Place on a plate lined with paper towel.
Add greens and pear to the bowl, toss lightly. Add fennel to decorate. Top with pumpkin.

saffron vinaigrette –

Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. coconut  sugar or sweetener of choice

Pinch saffron
1/4 c. olive oil

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions: Combine lemon, mustard and sweetener, by hand or in a mini food processor, Add the saffron. Then slowly add the oil in  a stream to mix. Season with pepper to taste.

Word of the Day –  azafrán – saffron

Tip of the Day – I find saffron a difficult spice to use, so taste and use sparingly.

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Donna’s Quinoa Corn Salad with Avocado

I awoke this morning, as did the sun, and thought, “it’s so beautiful. And I live here.”

Anyway, Gosh, I watch these young women and men with their families, so aware of diet, may trying to live a raw food lifestyle.With all the new information we have on individuals and their dietary needs, it’s hard enough to deal with all the differences in your family’s diet. Then add in blood types, allergies, preferences and illnesses, plus income restrictions, and it can be pretty difficult to come up with diets for everyone. The food preparer can feel like their just preparing food all day, and doing nothing else. I watch them engage their kids in soaking the seeds, straining the water, putting cookies in the dehydrator. They really have to think ahead, two-three days for sprouting, and getting into the rhythm of the daily production of many meals. It’s really awe-inspiring to watch.

Reclpe of the Day – Quinoa Corn Salad


2 c. cooked quinoa

4 c. corn

3 ripe avocadoes, diced

  • 2 c. tomatoes, chopped
  • ed
  • 1 c. chopped red onion
  • 1/4 c. seeded jalapeno
  • 1 T. lime peel
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Directions: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the quinoa for 15 minutes. In a smaller pot, cook the corn for 3 minutes. Toss the tomatoes, red peppers, onion, jalapeno peppers and lime zest to the bowl. Then gently add the avocados and lemon juice.

    Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and cayenne  together in a small bowl and pour over the vegetables. Toss well. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve

    Word of the Day – madres – mothers

    Tip of the Day – Keep breathing, you young mothers out there. Work is prayer, too, and you’re so beautiful.

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Zucchini Sesame Salad

Truly thought today was Thursday, first time. And in the perfection of things, the propane gas needed re-filling, so I called a taxi, whch took 20 minutes. Then I decided to go in to town since it was a 50 cent ride. Very relaxed, I got to the Juice Factory, took several precious minutes talking to a few ne’er-do-wells, at which time I noticed the walking group was there , and Franco Organico was there. Those two are only there on Fridays. Yikes! “Is it Friday:” I asked the group? “Yes!” was the resounding answer. I looked at my phone – 9:57, and walked quickly over to teach yoga at 10:00. In my jeans, but luckily they were baggy. Whew! I don’t like that! How did I lose a day? But thanks to the perfection of everything getting me there on time, wow.

Recipe of the Day – Sesame Zucchini Noodle Salad

4 zucchinis, spiralized
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
½ c. diced green onions
Sesame Vinaigrette:
3 T. apple or rice wine vinegar
2 T. coconut or sesame oil
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 T. honey
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
½ tsp. ground fresh chile paste or chile powder
1 garlic clove, minced
salt & pepper to taste
(optional garnish: sesame seeds and fresh cilantro)

Slice your zucchini with a cai bo or spiralizer. Sprinke with salt and lay in a paper towel. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, oil, cilantro, honey, lime juice, chile paste, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk until blended. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add zucchini noodles, peppers and green onion. Lightly drizzle dressing over top and toss.
Garnish with sesame seeds and fresh cilantro.
Word of the Day – pensé que – I thought that

Tip of the Day – Time flows very differently here, in Ecuador. You learn to go with it, and not worry if the flow changes. No one else living here, worries.

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Jessica’s 3 M fruit Salad

You don’t mind sharing my good fortune, do you? I have nine banana trees with bananas on them! Each one has about a hundred bananas. And th maracuyas, the passionfruits, are in abundance with all the rain. So I sat down with my friends, and Jessica gave me her beautiful recipe for this maracuya salad.

Recipe of the Day – Mango, Mint, Maracuya Salad

1 large mango, diced

7-8  of mint leaves, finely chopped

5 wrinkly passion fruits

3 T. Coconut sugar, panela or honey

3/4 c.  of water

Directions: Make the syrup first, cutting the maracuyas in half, then scooping out the pulp. Blend the pulp with the water and sugar. Strain through a sieve or sprouting lid into a cup. There you have your passionfruit syrup/dressing. Then, peel and cut up your mango and put in a bowl, Pour the dressing over and adorn with the mint leaves. What a pretty dish!

Word of the Day – maracuya – passionfruit

Tip of the Day – You could also add little slivers of red onion, peppers, and pit over a bowl of greens,

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Yucca Pepper Salad

Can I tell you a Tiko/diotamaceous story?
After Tiko was poisoned a couple weeks ago,
I was supposed to watch his poop and tell the doctor when it was clean of blood.
(Yucky story, sorry,)
Well, he had several white plateworms, yikes, in each one. So, I doubled up on his diotamaceous earth,
 giving it to him twice a day, and the worms are completely gone after three days. I am So happy!
And so is Tiko! Back to his mischievous self!

Recipe of the Day – Yucca Salad


1 large yucca root, peeled and chopped

1 qt. water

4 c. Baby greens

1 sliced red bell pepper

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 T. Olive oil or mayonnaise

2 sliced green onions,

juice of one lemon,

salt and a sprinkle of cayenne

Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until yucca is tender. Remove from heat, drain using a colander. When yucca is cool enough to handle, chop yucca into small cubes and place into a large bowl. Add greens, tomatoes, mayonnaise, red onion, red bell pepper, green onion, celery, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper.

Word of the Day – gusano – worms

Tip of the Day –  Give the diotamaceous earth by weight. A tablespoons for humans, and surprisingly, two for big dogs like Tiko.

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Mora or Blueberry Tahini Dressing

The thing you gotta do here in Ecuador is learn how to make your own good dresssings. Good thing, too, that they don’t have store-bought, as this beats anything you could buy in a store. So fresh!

Recipe of the
Day – Mora Dressing
Blueberry Tahini Dressing
½ c. mora or blackberroes

juice of 1/2 of a lemon

1 T. olive oil
2 T. tahini
sea salt, to taste
water, if needed

Place all ingredients for the dressing into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. You can add a little water or coconut milk if you want it more liquidy, (starting with 1-2 teaspoons).
Prepare your salad by starting with a bed of greens, add whatever you want, and pour th dressing over.

Word of the Day – hacer – to make

Tip of the Day – Use this as a dip for vegetables or crackers, too!

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Apple Fennel Salad

Fennel is an herb of the parsley family. I didn’t know that! For gas and indigestion, to increase breast milk and relieve babies’ colic pain, and also for coughs and bronchitis, as well as a massage to cure joint pains! I will make fennel salves! But for now, here is an apple fennel salad that has the nice licorice taste of fennel.

Recipe of the Day – Apple Fennel Salad


2-3 apples of choice, sliced thin and cored

1 large fennel bulb, sliced thin and and cored

1 1/2 T. Olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

1/4 c. Slivered red onion

Directions: Wash and slice the apple and fennel very thinly. Whisk the oil, lemon and spices together. Toss with the onion, apple and fennel.

Word of the Day – fennel – hinojo

Tip of the Day – Use fennel aa a straight tea, too! It’s good! Just throw a sprond in apot of water that just almost boiled, and lei it sit for twenty minutes.