Kale Waldorf Salad

 This is my Gram.

She was a total fox, right?

She was full of snap and sparkle.  She had a sharp tongue and quick wit.  She lived a wild life before leaving this world at the ripe age of 91. In her younger years, she smooched plenty of cute boys, danced until dawn with a young Merv Griffin, Aaron Spelling, and Errol Flynn in San Francisco during WWII. She survived a near fatal car accident that resulted in a broken back, and a million other crazy things that would amaze you.  In her later years, Gram kicked a life-long addiction to alcohol, became the belle of her church singles group when she was in her 70’s after my grandfather passed away, and loved riding on the back of her church friends’ motorcycles in her leather Harley vest and boots. She was a complicated, outspoken, generous and amazing lady. I loved Gram then, and I love her still, brambles and all.

Gram was a devoted veggie lover. I’ve actually never seen anyone eat more vegetables without juicing them.  She ate a big salad for lunch every single day, and always ate salad at dinner, too.  And then she ate more veggies on the side.  She obsessed over vegetables, and salads in particular.  I’m certain her consumption of vegetables will be remembered for decades to come.

A few years ago, I found myself preparing a meal for most of my extended family for a small reception after Gram’s memorial service.  And since salad was her very favorite food group, I had to honor her, right?

Since 90% of the prep had to be done the night before, I needed to find something that could withstand overnight storage.  I needed to pull it out of the fridge and get it on the table in 10 minutes.  It also had to be something that I could eat and that my family would want to eat.  (Sometimes, we don’t always like the same things.  Shocking, I know.)

Kale definitely fit the bill. I knew that my mom would really like it, since she is my Gram’s daughter.  I knew my brother would probably try it, even though he really dislikes kale, just because he trusts my cooking.  I also have a previous track record of helping him overcome aversions to certain foods, like brussels sprouts.  My dad is ridiculously easy to please.  My cousin and his wife are mostly vegetarian, and are fairly food-adventurous.  As for the rest of the family, they would either try it to be nice, or discreetly move on to the chicken salad and veggie tray.

But all those reasons aside, I knew Gram would love this dish and enjoy every bite. I hummed her favorite 40’s songs while I prepped, and smiled when I served it in her favorite wooden salad bowl.



2 bunches of kale, de-stemmed and cut into ribbons

2 cruncy apples, sliced into little quarter-moon pieces (I prefer honey crisp or pink lady)

1/2 cup dried unsweetened blueberries or currants

1/2 cup pine nuts

3 Tbsp (heaping) stone ground mustard

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tsp basalmic vinegar

1/2 small lemon

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

black pepper to taste


  1. In a VERY LARGE BOWL, place your prepared kale, apples, mustard, vinegars, mustard and lemon juice then mix well.
  2. Add dried blueberries, pine nuts and nutmeg
  3. Mix everything together using your hands and gently squeeze until kale starts to reduce slightly in volume.
  4. Taste it.  What does it need?  Pepper?  More nutmeg?  More baslamic vinegar?  Add it.
  5. Transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Making food that connects me to the people I love long after they’ve passed is a way for me to actively keep who they were to me alive and tangible, even through a dish as simple as a salad.  The power of food is incredible.  Thank you for letting me share it with you.


Veggie Lover for Life,


Buttered Coffee – Why Fat Is GOOD For You

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about buttered coffee by now.

If, by some miracle, you haven’t heard of it, let me tell you…

Buttered Coffee

It’s heaven in a mug.

Imagine the creamiest, most decadent latté you’ve ever tasted, almost like drinking liquid velvet.  Got it? Great.

Now imagine that it’s good for you.

Many years ago in the ancient era known as the 1990’s, a fad diet told everyone to cut fat from their daily food intake.  It basically went like this: “Eat lots of carbs, and hey, why not replace all the healthy fat that naturally occurs in food with chemicals and sugar and  high fructose corn syrup so it will still taste good?! This is GENIUS”.  The Fat-Free Gospel was so well proselytized it’s taken over 20 years to break that damaging message.

So, from here on out, can we just make peace with fat?  Real fat.  Like butter and tallow from animals that were raised properly and coconut oil. Because margarine is not a health food.

Margarine Face
I mean this in the least judgmental way possible.

If you’re still on the fence about how fat is good for you, consider this.  Fat makes up 60% of your brain mass.  That’s right.  Your brain is a Total Fatty and it needs healthy fat to function. I guess being called a Fat Head isn’t so bad after all.

What are healthy fats?

  • Organic coconut oil
  • Butter from grass-fed cows
  • Ghee from grass-fed cows
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Tallow from properly raised animals
  • Hazelnut Oil
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Cod Liver Oil

In addition to making your brain a nicer place for your thoughts to hang out, healthy fat also burns more slowly than carbohydrates, which means you stay fuller longer.  Fat gives you luscious skin and hair, and in the case of grassfed butter and hemp oil, fat can be an excellent source of Omega 3 and essential fatty acids that keep your body functioning properly and even boost your immune system.

My favorite fats are anything butter/ghee and coconut oil.  In fact, that’s what I put in my coffee every single day, along with a tablespoon of Great Lakes gelatin. (Grassfed gelatin is another wonderful food, providing high amounts of easily digestible protein and numerous health benefits.)  You can add other nutritious goodies to your buttered coffee as well, but this is my favorite classic preparation.


  • 12oz of freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter
  • 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Great Lakes gelatin
  • Sweetener (optional)


  1. In a blender or Magic Bullet, add coffee, coconut oil, butter and sweetener.  Add gelatin just before you blend.
  2. Blend on high for 5 seconds. That’s all it takes to become emulsified and frothy and magical.
  3. Drink immediately.

If you use the gelatin in your buttered coffee, beware. Gelatin solidifies when the coffee gets cold, make sure you drink it within 30-45 minutes or keep it in an insulated coffee cup if you know you won’t finish it. You might need to work up to that much butter and coconut oil in your coffee, or find that you prefer a little more of some or less of the other. That’s okay.  Experiment and have fun with it.

Also, make sure you blend this, otherwise you'll just have an oil slick on your coffee that is thoroughly disgusting.
Also, make sure you blend the coffee, otherwise you’ll just have a thoroughly gag-tastic oil slick floating on top of your morning magic.

I hope your day is filled with lots of coffee, fat, and funny moments.

Forever a Fat Head,

Roasted Beef Bone Broth

imageWe make and consume a ton of bone broth in my house, especially during the winter. This food trend is not new. In fact, it’s part of a traditional, centuries old diet.

Bone broth lines your gut with a protective layer of healing collagen, it is packed with protein and minerals, and restores skin elasticity over time. It is excellent for your hair and nails, too. For about $1.00 a quart, you can make your own at home.

  • My favorite go-to recipe uses roasted, grass-fed beef knuckles and leg bones, lightly roasted onion, carrots, celery and just a touch of garlic.

Did I mention that it makes itself? After roasting the bones and veggies, you throw it all in a low temperature crockpot, cover it in water and walk away for two days.


  • 1-2 lbs of grassfed leg and knuckle bones
  • 2 organic carrots, broken in half
  • 3 organic celery stalks, cut in half
  • 1 small organic onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves fresh organic garlic
  • 3 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat bones and veggies in oil.
  3. Place in glass baking dish or roasting pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, but do not let the ingredients char. Your broth will taste terrible.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer immediately to crockpot and cover with water and add apple cider vinegar.
  6. Cook on low for 12-48 hours.
  7. Strain out veggies and bones. If you want super clear broth, do a second strain through unbleached cheese cloth.
  8. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.




Perfect Chicken Soup

PerfectChickenSoupLiving in the Pacific Northwest, the weather goes from very dry during the summer to very VERY wet during the winter.  And that transition is usually during two weeks we call “Fall”.  The leaves change overnight and are on the ground two days later.  Then it rains for months.

I’m not one of those people who hates the rain.  In fact, I enjoy the rain.  I find that I’m actually most productive on a rainy day because I’m more contemplative, and tend to dig in a little deeper to whatever I’m doing.  When the sun is out, I want to be out with it, so summer isn’t exactly my best season to get stuff done.  But there’s something soul-settling about the first big rain of the winter.  The accompanying darkness?  That’s a different matter altogether.  I hate the 4pm sunset time and needing lights on all day long.  But that’s another post.

As soon as the rain begins, my desire to make soup appears out of nowhere.  Colds, flus and other seasonal ailments also appear out of nowhere, and there is nothing more nourishing, healing, and comforting to me than soup.  So, be prepared.  You’re gonna see more than one soup here this winter.

The key to successful chicken soup is keeping the flavors clean, layered, and full of nourishing ingredients.  If you can afford an organic, free-range chicken, be sure to get one!  If not, you’ll still get tons of great flavor and health benefits, so don’t let it stop you.

I’m also sharing my secret ingredients.  But you have to promise not to tell.  Here they are: Roasted garlic, fresh lemon, and apple cider vinegar.  All of these ingredients provide a big immunity boost and add layers of flavor. The sweet, pungent flavor of the roasted garlic is delightful, and the acidity from the lemon and ACV make the whole soup bright and light on your tongue.

Perfect Chicken Soup

1 whole organic chicken
2 quarts organic, free-range chicken broth
3-4 carrots, chopped
I bunch of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bulb garlic, roasted and crushed
3 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
3 Tbsp ACV
Juice of one large lemon
2-3 quarts of organic chicken stock
Chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)
1 zucchini, shredded (optional)
1 pkg brown rice pasta (optional)

1) In a large stockpot, cover whole chicken with water, plus a couple of inches.  Add a tablespoon of ACV, the bottom, core, and top leafy part of the celery and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 40-60 minutes until chicken is cooked.
2) Remove chicken from stockpot and allow to cool. Strain cooking liquid, and add chopped veggies and cook until tender.
3) Add pasta and cook until al dente.
4) Debone and shred chicken and add to stock after veggies are cooked.
5) Add lemon juice, ACV and extra chicken stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with cilantro/parsley, zucchini, and serve.

Feel Better Broth

Photo of Feel Better BrothA couple of years ago, we visited friends and family in Texas over the holidays. I worked in a doctor’s office at the time and had managed to escape getting sick before our trip. I was so proud of myself for taking all the extra precautions to stay healthy because I really wanted to enjoy my time with the people I love the most in the world.

Did I mention I was also pregnant? Because I was. I had extra incentive to stay healthy because pregnant Carrie + air travel + sickness = misery. I was fine the day we traveled, but my immune system couldn’t hack the long plane ride and day of travel, plus the shockingly sunny warmth of Houston in December. I woke up the on Christmas Eve and felt retched. Stuffy head, chills, cough, and lethargy. I wanted to feel better fast. I looked longingly at the fresh cinnamon rolls coming out of oven, knowing sugar would suppress my immune system even more. I made a cup of tea instead and tried not to let the pregnancy/sickie/holiday blues overwhelm me. I decided I would try to restore some of my health through good, clean eating and be glad to be with my family. My sickness would NOT get the best of me.

I dug through my mother-in-law’s pantry, looking for something to help me feel better. After foraging for a few minutes, I found ingredients for a soothing remedy comprised of free-range chicken broth, garlic, green onion, lemon juice, and parsley.  It took 10 minutes to make, and I was able to sip it all day long. I perked up quickly, my head cleared, and I started to feel human again.

During the holiday season, we always stock up on homeopathic remedies, kombucha, Tulsi lemon-ginger tea, and detoxifying baths.  We also keep ingredients on hand to make a batch of the Feel Better Broth, because it is so delicious and fortifying. Chicken broth is excellent for the immune system.  There’s a reason why chicken soup is popular for colds.  It’s a scientific fact that chicken soup boosts immunity.  Green onion has been used to fight colds in Japan for centuries.  Garlic is a natural anti-microbial/bacterial and cleans out the liver.  Parsley is a natural detoxifier.  Lemon juice draws impurities out of the lymphatic system where cold and flu germs like to hang out and keep you sick.  It’s the first thing I make for friends or family who get the flu and they always feel better after a mug of it.

Food is medicine.  This broth is delightful, comforting, and soothing, and warm.  You’ll feel better, I promise.


1 quart free range chicken or bone broth
  • 1-3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 green onions, chopped (including white stem)
1 small lemon
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Bring broth, garlic, and white stems of green onion to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until garlic is soft.
  3. Add fresh lemon juice to taste.
  4. Put some fresh parsley and green onion in bottom of mug or bowl and pour broth over it.  (This method keeps it the greens fresh and optimal for consumption.)
  5. Drink up!  Keep it warming on the stove and put a lid on it.  Drink it all day.  Feel better.