Recipe: Watercress Soup


Watercress is one of my favorite vegetables of all timesThis soup is a cross between Caldo Verde (Portuguese green soup named after the intense color of the couve galegaand Sopa de Agriões (Portuguese watercress soup). You can add Portuguese chouriço or Spanish chorizo to spicy it up.

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Recipe: Nettle Walnut Pesto

Last weekend I found stinging nettles in my neighbourhood market for the first time this year. To me that is the sign of spring. I bought a bag and made my favorite nettle pesto. It is super easy to make and completely vegan.

Here is how I do it.

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Recipe: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Truffle Oil


When I phoned my mom last week, the doctor in her reminded me that I had been eating unhealthy during the holiday season. She was right, what with all the parties and dining outs, it’s hard to pick what I ate, let alone controlling portions. Continue reading “Recipe: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Truffle Oil”

Recipe: Root Vegetables Farro Salad

For someone who get most of her produce from an outdoor farmers market, I have to admit, this time of the year in the Pacific Northwest isn’t all that exciting. My favorite vendor of wild mushrooms and other foraged food is on a three-month hiatus. And there aren’t many choices of green vegetables, if any at all, to choose from.


But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a delicious healthy meal. I made this salad over the weekend. I love the nutty flavor and the chewy texture of the farro and the natural sweetness from the caramelized root vegetables. I highly recommend it. Continue reading “Recipe: Root Vegetables Farro Salad”

Wild Mushroom Risotto

This wild mushroom risotto recipe is adapted from “Cooking Wild in the Northwest“, by Seattle chef John Sundstrom.


It delivers a creamy texture and is packed with rich flavors.

For the mushroom stock:
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Shishito pepper (獅子唐辛子) is a sweet finger-sized Japanese pepper. The name refers to the fact that the tip of the chili pepper (唐辛子 tōgarashi) resembles the head of a lion (獅子 shishi). In Japanese it is often abbreviated as shishitō (lion pepper).


Shishito is usually served hot – skewered and grilled. It can also be sautéed at high heat till it blisters then season with sea salt, preferably Maldon. The heat brings out the peppery aroma and it is the perfect accompaniment to clean sake.

Chocolate Mousse (Vegan)


The best chocolate mousse I have ever had was in the Slovenian village of Divača. We had just crossed the border from Croatia, and on our way to Lake Bled, we stayed at a nineteenth centrury farmhouse overnight, so that we could visit the nearby Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The owner of the farmhouse Ervin is a fantastic chef, and to this day I still remember this asparagus risotto, so creamy and fresh:


And his chocolate mousse:

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I went back after our cave visit the next day just to order it again, but an Australian couple beat me to it! Who said revenge is a dish served cold…To make it official, I took a picture of their plate ^o^. Continue reading “Chocolate Mousse (Vegan)”

Esalen Institute Kale Salad


Two years ago around this time, I took a Cloud hands/Tai’chi class at the Esalen Institute.

Perched on top of the rocky shores of Big Sur, California, 45 minutes from the nearest civilization, Esalen Institute is one of the best detox retreats in America.

Every morning, to get to breakfast, we would walk through a lush forest, cross a valley where a solitary meditation hut sits next to a running creek.  The view of the Pacific Ocean opens up.


Meals and snacks are served at the lodge.  The outside deck has a fire pit and is perfect to enjoy a tranquil moment in the morning or a reflective time at dusk.

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Being non-vegetarian, my biggest concern was that the food will be bland and tasteless.

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I was soon proven wrong.  They grow vegetables using organic practice, so salads are fresh from the garden.  And they make these heavenly breads along with various home-made jams and nut butters.  Oh, if only I could get a hold of those recipes!!! Continue reading “Esalen Institute Kale Salad”