Well being.


Yesterday while hiking, ran into two men that were harvesting “Horsetail”.  Of course, not being familiar, I asked what it looked like.  He showed me his bag of Horsetail. I then asked why he was harvesting it- he told me that in WWII, after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese government told people to drink Horsetail team to fight cancer.  He claimed that it help save 80% of the people diagnosed.  Now I am not sure about that, but it does seem to have some medicinal properties.  Like fighting colds and the flu.  Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial.  Look here for more info: http://www.horsetailtea.net/

Speaking of well being- eating well and joyfully provides me with a wealth of benefits- and eating this salad, will make you smile and feel better.  Just look at the amazing food in it- tomatoes, nectarines, onions, basil and olive oil.  Feeling better just typing these words!

Tomato and Nectarine salad with Feta and Basil


3 Ripe Tomatoes

3 Ripe Nectarines  (Yellow or White, whatever your preference)

Half of a Sweet or Red Onion, thinly sliced length-wise

5 good size basil leaves cut in Chiffonade style

1/3 C good feta  (Greek is good, so is French)

1/2 chopped salted pecans

Excellent Olive Oil

Sea salt

Make sure to clean the nectarines and tomatoes before adding to salad.

Putting it Together:

Slice tomatoes vertically to form wedges.  Cut Nectarines in half.  Remove pit.  Cut into wedges.  Arrange on both platter.  Sprinkle the onions over the top of both.  Rough chop the feta and toss over the top of tomatoes and nectarines.  Dress the salad with Olive Oil and sea salt.  Sprinkle the basil and chopped pecans over the top.


I served it with grilled pork loin chops with olive oil and lemon pepper rub, and garlic knots.






Beets Me.


So impressed by the strength of wildflowers.  Long, cold and windy winters, followed by intense sun and short growing seasons.  Amazing that they flourish, and bring such diversity and incredible beauty.  I know this flower opens to a cascade of small white blooms, but the buds are just as stunning.

The bounty of summer is gone in 6 weeks here in the mountains.  So we eat fresh fast and furious.  Tomatoes, sweet corn, cantaloupe, peppers, and on- never enough time to eat enough, Enjoy enough.

So, even though some may consider beets a fall vegetable, the fresh arugula is not.  So- to that end here is the recipe of the day.  We made & ate it as an entree.  Served with hot bread from the oven and good olive oil and sea salt for dipping it in.  A bowl of fresh strawberries and blueberries with some whipped cream for dessert.

Roasted beet salad with arugula and Maple Vinaigrette:


 1 bunch large beets

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup goat cheese crumbled

3 cups baby arugula

1 can Mandarin Oranges  ( please use oranges in their own juice, NOT light syrup. And drain them thoroughly.

Maple Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

Here we go:

Peel beets and cut crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick.  Place on cookie sheet into oven preheated to 350 degrees.   Drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for appx. 10 minutes.  Then flip to roast other side.  Sprinkle with sea salt.

While the beets are roasting, make the Maple Vinaigrette.


Maple Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup real maple syrup.

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1 1/2 T dijon mustard

Pinch of sea salt & pinch of ground pepper.  (couple of good healthy grinds)

2 tsp apple cider vinegar.  (I like to use Bragg’s)

Whisk together or put it all in shaker.

Putting it Together:

Place the cleaned and dried arugula into a bowl.  Toss lightly some of the dressing.  Try to use a light hand; you don’t want the lettuce swimming in dressing.

You can take two approaches to this- either make in traditional format- serve it on a platter or have some fun.  Make it into a stacked salad.

Place a roasted beet on a plate.  Put a small amount of dressed lettuce on top.  Top with crumbled goat cheese and pine nuts.   Repeat till about 3 beet “steaks” high.  Top with goat cheese and pine nuts.  Add oranges around side.



Quite honestly, I would use micro-arugula if possible; easier to control and make the presentation better.  It just doesn’t make it this far up the highway.

For traditional salad, place the dressed arugula on a platter or plate.  Top with beets, goad cheese, pine nuts, oranges.   A good crank on the pepper mill can’t hurt either.













Sego Lily.  Such a beautiful wildflower.  In full bloom everywhere in the high mountain desert right now.  Enjoy the beauty fleetingly- next week they will be gone.  Such a gift to enjoy and relish.

I was feeling a bit international, so I decided to make spiced yogurt-marinated chicken thighs with rice almond salad and grilled corn.  Served with hummus and homemade Tzatziki Sauce.  Fit the bill for a summer meal on the deck.

Here we go: 


2 lbs. boneless, trimmed chicken thighs

I C plain Greek yogurt (use fat-free or full fat.  Full fat adds a bit of depth that fat-free doesn’t have)

1/4 tsp coriander

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cumin

Putting it Together:

Mix the yogurt and spices together in a large plastic bag.  Add the chicken.  Mush it up together to make sure the chicken is well coated.Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour; up to overnight.

Heat your grill to medium.  Shake excess marinade from chicken and grill till done. Typically, 6-8 minutes turning once.  Will see some brown bits.

Serve with pitas, Tzatziki sauce, warm rice almond salad and corn.  Love!