Spring Green Salad

It's Spring in New England and I've been devouring these fresh, crisp, flavorful salads with almost every meal! I'm trying to incorporate more bitter and sour flavors into my diet this season to encourage healthy & gentle internal "spring cleaning." 

ingredients (from the store, farm, or backyard!)

  • romaine lettuce
  • radicchio
  • parsley
  • chives
  • cilantro
  • basil
  • mint 
  • common springtime herbs ("weeds") that I forage*: dandelion, violet, chickweed, ground ivy, bedstraw, plantain, purslane
  • optional: dulse flakes or other dry sea vegetable

dress with olive oil, sea salt, fresh cracked black peppercorns & vinegar of your choice

*note: do not forage & consume plants that you cannot confidently identify. Don't harvest plants in toxic areas such as roadsides, beneath power lines, in areas that have been sprayed with pesticides, etc. Check out these articles for more info on foraging, and more resources: Honest FoodThe Kitchn, Peterson's Field Guide

Salmon Salad

I whipped this together when I was really hungry and my pantry felt a little uninspired! It's so quick to make and tastes fresh, delicious, and nourishing. It's wonderful on toast, salad, crackers, or all by itself.

ingredients:

  • canned salmon (I used a 14oz can, but whatever you have/get is fine as all ingredients are to-taste)
  • fresh or dried dill leaf
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice
  • optional umami: splash tamari or shoyu ('soy sauce')

Drain the liquid out of the salmon, and add to a large bowl. Break apart with a fork. Add enough olive oil so it's moist and the consistency of tuna salad (or to your liking). Squeeze in the juice of 1/2-1 lemon, and stir. Add pinches of dill, black pepper, and salt, to taste. Adding a splash of tamari or shoyu brings all the flavors together beautifully, and mutes the brightness of the lemon and dill. 

Spread on toast with butter, serve on a bitter-greens salad with a hard-boiled egg, or eat straight from the bowl! 

Fire Cider: dressing, marinade, winter-immune tonic!

Fire Cider was one of the first 'herbal remedies' I learned how to make. It's very simple, is made from ingredients most will regularly stock in the kitchen, and is a wonderful warming, immune-supporting tonic, especially for the wintertime! It is a traditional/folk remedy--passed down for generations--similar to chicken soup or elderberry syrup. 

The recipe is similar to making vegetable stock, made from whatever you have on hand and whatever you're inspired to throw in! The listed ingredients below are merely a general starting point. Please don't feel that you need to include all of them if they're not something you have access to. It would be potent and delicious with just cider vinegar, onion and garlic!

ingredients:

  • quart-size glass jar with a lid (and wax paper/cheesecloth if possible!)
  • apple cider vinegar
  • onions
  • garlic
  • horseradish
  • {cayenne} pepper
  • ginger root
  • turmeric
  • burdock root (gobo)
  • herbs (fresh or dried) like rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, cumin, pine needles, elderberries, etc.
  • optional: honey, to taste

directions:

  1. Roughly chop/cut/grate all ingredients. 
  2. Add to glass jar and cover completely with cider vinegar (and honey to taste, if you want)
  3. Let sit in a cool/dry/dark place (a pantry shelf is good!) for about a month, giving it a shake whenever you think of it.
  4. When you're ready, strain using a fine mesh strainer (with cheesecloth if you have it). 

suggestions* for use:

  • can be made into a yummy salad dressing! (just add olive oil and salt + pepper to taste)
  • for braising greens
  • in soups, or stocks
  • as a drizzle over meals, rice bowls, etc.
  • taken daily for immune system support: 1 shot glass, taken straight or in warm water (tea)
  • when you're coming down with cold/flu/respiratory symptoms: take throughout the day (since this is a 'food', you really can't have too much!) 

note: Fire Cider is spicy! If you have heartburn, acid reflux, ulcers, or other sensitivities with your gut, please use wisely and with caution, and pay attention to your body. 


A few years ago, a company trademarked the name "Fire Cider". This is an issue for many reasons--they are taking credit and ownership of a classic folk remedy and thus preventing small herbal companies from being able to share it. From the "Free Fire Cider" movement: "This type of action opens the door to the trademarking of traditional medicines for profit. The biggest reason that this is dangerous is because herbs and herbalism have always been widely available to everyone. Trademarking traditional terms will change the herbal market into something that looks more like the pharmaceutical industry, with corporations owning words/terms that were previously accessible to the public." For more information, please visit the Free Fire Cider movement, sign the petition, and most importantly--spread awareness and make your own fire cider! 


* Please note that this information does not replace medical advice and is not meant to treat, diagnose or cure any disease. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with your medical practitioner.