Archive for February, 2009

Magical Mystery Box! A.k.a How to buy great organic veggies CHEAP!

One of my dear friends took me to pick up one of Mariquita Farms’ organic, seasonal “Mystery Box”es yesterday. The Mystery Box is a just-picked array of vegetables. The best part is, just like Forrest Gump would say, “you never know whatcha gonna get.”

Ok, I’m about 5’1″ and 112 lbs. This “box” was HUGE!!! It felt like it weighed about half my weight, although it was probably around 20-25 lbs… for $25. I suspect the same quality and amount of vegetables from a supermarket would easily cost $100 or more. Unbelievable deal.

The big task is not going to be cooking it – the big task was actually the heroic act (if I do say so myself) of me trying to fit all those veggies into the fridge. I was chuckling out loud the whole time, trying to snip and shove bits and pieces every which way until it looked like we had trees growing out of our little fridge.

I’ve posted the stunning array of vegetables (from Mariquita’s accompanying newsletter with recipes) at the bottom of the post (because I can’t seem to the get the formatting thing down otherwise – oh well).

Gorgeous, eh? A bit psychadelic too.

Gorgeous, eh? A bit psychadelic too.

So, I’m not kidding when I tell my clients that although I’ve been at this for some time now, I still find a brand new vegetable to try at least once a month (which is what I challenge them to do – at least a couple times a month). Chiogga beets, for example. First of all, look how beautiful they are (photo courtesy of Mariquita’s website):


So, if you live in the SF Bay Area (man, we’re lucky!), check out their web site: I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.

And if you don’t live in the SF Bay Area, don’t despair. Chances are, with the increasing popularity and demand for organics (yes, even despite the economy – yay!), there is a wonderful organic farm near you and you can support their efforts AND get healthier at the same time. So, look for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) service or local farmer’s market near you. CSAs are farms or groups of farms that will ask you to pay a weekly/monthly/per order fee for receiving their fresh-picked goods. Farms will sometimes deliver to one central spot so you can go get the goods (like we did with Mariquita), or sometimes they’ll even deliver to your door and let you pick exactly what you do or don’t want in the box and at what frequency.

Find a CSA near you by going to this web site:

As to what the heck you do with all those veggies? Ohhh, so many options. The farms supply recipes and most of them are super duper easy and so much fun to make. Or, you can find recipes online – hello Google. Or, you can contact me and get some recipes. No excuses. Really.

A big part of why I love my work is seeing the delight my clients experience as they (re)learn how to cook simple, easy, delicious recipes and get addicted to the taste of their own cooking and how gooooooood it makes them feel.

In these days of tightening belts economically (or literally, because you’re hoping to lose that extra weight on purpose) cooking at home is where it’s at. For both reasons.

Cooking at home = save $$$ + lose (excess) weight + get healthy.

Plus a bone-deep sense of accomplishment and satiety. And that’s free!

It’s that simple.


Mariquita’s Mystery List (

French Fingerling Potatoes

Hamburg Parsley

White Carrots

Baby Orange Carrots

Baby Parisian Carrots

Purple Carrots

Watermelon Radishes

Red Turnips

Gold Chard

Little Gem Lettuce


Chioggia Beets

February 21, 2009 at 3:01 AM 1 comment

Simple Salty-Sweet Marinade for Tofu / Tempeh / Chicken / Meat

This salty-sweet marinade is great for tofu, tempeh, chicken, or red meat. I’ll use tempeh as the ingredient here.

Delicate layers of tempeh

Delicate layers of tempeh

1 package tempeh of your choice (pick a gluten-free one), cut into 1/5″ strips
1/4 cup tamari (soy sauce without wheat)
1 TBS chopped fresh gingerroot (in a pinch, can use 1 tsp ginger powder)
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped finely (depends on how garlicky you like it)
2-3 TBS mirin (sweet rice vinegar)
1-2 TBS sesame seeds
Optional: hot sauce or hot red pepper flakes for some spicy kick, to taste

Mix all the ingredients in oven-safe cookware – glass (such as Pyrex) is best for this – a bread pan size does well. Cut tempeh into 1.5″ strips and place in marinade. Let it marinate for at least 10 minutes, and up to several hours if you have the time.

To cook
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place dish into oven, let it bake for 10-15 minutes.
3. Remove from oven, drain the extra liquid, trying to keep the garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds in. At this point, you may want to add up to 1 TBS more of mirin.
4. Add about 1 TBS refined sesame oil (vegan) or ghee or coconut oil (vegan) to a warmed pan. Let the oil warm up on low medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add and saute the tempeh until crispy on both sides and cooked through.

The tempeh can serve as the main attraction and be accompanied by greens, beans, grains, vegetables, or used in a salad of mixed greens (get creative with added ingredients!) with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Curious to learn more about tempeh? Check out this informative site:

February 18, 2009 at 8:42 PM Leave a comment

Taking Stock

It’s been a rainy few days here in San Francisco. And with the 3-day weekend, super quiet. Even the confused too-early spring buds have retreated again.

For me, different ribbons of experience have been converging and making this a time for taking stock, not just of this past year, but the past 2.5 years:

For the past three weeks, I’ve been entering LOTS and LOTS of data into Quickbooks. What felt like a thankless exercise (yes, Oh QB Gods – I’ve learned my lesson – keep up with the books on a weekly basis – don’t try to enter the year’s data at once to meet the tax deadline) ended up becoming an exercise in taking stock, financially, of how far my fledgling practice has come since I had my epiphany 2 years ago and started my practice a year ago. It is now self-sustaining and poised to grow. Just in time for Spring!

Then, I was recently given the honor of speaking as a Patient Success Story at CPMC’s annual fundraiser gala, “Science and Soul.” It’s been a contemplative period for me to pause, give thanks to my supportive circle, and begrudgingly (it’s so hard!!) give myself credit for all the hard work I’ve put into healing my body and much more. I finally get to publicly thank part of my healing team – four beautiful people who have made me whole again – or more whole than ever. I have THREE MINUTES to try and convey the life-shifting experience and do justice to the gratitude I have accrued for these healers in the past 2.5 years.

Here’s a link to more details about the event:

Science & Soul Event

[I may post my speech when it’s ready – right now, it’s a scribble of notes that pushed itself out of my sleepy self last night, not letting me get to sleep until they were down on paper.]

And, most potently, as we recently lost a dear family member, it’s been a time of taking stock and acknowledging the passing of time, the passing of souls, and the perfection of each slice of time in our lives. I’m several chapters through the book of my life – almost halfway there, actually (if I may be presumptuous enough to guess so), and it was sad but soothing to let another chapter become a memory.

So. Are you due for taking stock of your ribbons?

As for me, right now, it’s dinner time, so time to get back to the present that is the present!

February 17, 2009 at 2:11 AM Leave a comment

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