The winner of the Garden of Life Giveaway, chosen at random, was Heather. Thank you all for sharing your amazing smoothie ideas; I truly enjoyed reading through each and every comment.

Guess what? I won an online giveaway recently too, and a five pound box of Meyer lemons landed on my doorstep as a result. Thanks to Wine Imbiber for this awesome treat!

These lovely orbs arrived just in time for another snow fall in my area…

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…so I had an excuse to stay home and play with my lemons all day.

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Do you remember when I had some Meyer lemons last month and I made this lemon pudding and this lemon cream tart? I wasn’t sure what to make next, so I asked my friends on Facebook for some ideas. Quite a few of them mentioned lemonade, of course!

While I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean green lemonade, you should definitely try this if you’ve got a juicer.

greenlemonade275Green lemonade is a sweet juice treat high in enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

I first learned about it from Natalia Rose’s book The Raw Food Detox Diet. This book was one of the first I read about the raw foods diet, and I think it’s a great introduction to incorporating more raw foods into your diet.

I love this as a refreshing, cleansing drink first thing in the morning; it’s so much better for you than coffee or tea! Yes, cleaning the juicer is kind of a pain, but I promise it’s worth it…

Green Meyer Lemonade Recipe

Ingredients:

*1 bunch Romaine lettuce
*1 handful of dark greens (I used frissee because it’s what I had on hand; you could also use kale, collards, etc.)
*1 1/2 whole Meyer lemons
*1-2 green apples
*1 small hunk of peeled fresh ginger- optional

Directions:

Process through your juicer and drink immediately. Sip slowly and enjoy every last drop. If you don’t have a juicer, you can make this in a high speed blender (so it’s a green smoothie) instead.


Next, as an experiment of sorts, I started a batch of naturally fermented ginger Meyer lemon soda.

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To do so, I adapted this natural soda recipe from LearningHerbs.com, which I’ve made several times with berries. This time I used fresh ginger and Meyer lemon juice, plus the natural homemade soda culture I already had on hand in my fridge. It’s going to need a little while to “ferment”, so I’ll let you know how it works out.

When I squeezed the lemons for the lemon soda, I didn’t want to waste anything, so I made candied lemon peels.

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I used this recipe from Phoo-D.

I’ve never made any kind of candied citrus peel before, but I am definitely a convert now. I used a lavender sugar (organic sugar infused with lavender flowers) that I put together last summer, and it’s a really delicious combination with the lemon peel. Truly like candy…addictive…

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Lastly, I made this lemon ice cream recipe from epicurious.

I used Meyer lemons, of course, and I added my candied lemon peel instead of making the meringue. Instead of the 1 1/2 cups cream, I used 1 cup of buttermilk and 1/2 cup of creme fraiche. I figured this would work out well since Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons…and I was right. It was terrific.

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I’ve still got lots of lemons left, so stay tuned for Part 2!

Okayu is a Japanese porridge renowned for its ability to cure anything from garden-variety stomach ailments to hangovers. Healing properties aside, I just love it as a savory breakfast.

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To make okayu, you use a larger volume of liquid than is typically used to make rice and you cook it for a fairly long time: you want the result to be “soupy”.

There are many ways to make okayu, but often it is quite plain: with white rice, water, and maybe a little poached chicken. Here I’ve used more nutritious brown rice and added some flavorful stock, vegetables, and garnishes.

The idea for the matcha salt isn’t mine; it’s from Eric Gower. To make it, mix 1/4 cup course sea salt with 1 teaspoon of powdered matcha green tea. Use as a finishing salt for the okayu.

Recipe for Okayu
serves 4

Ingredients:

* 1 cup short grain brown rice, rinsed
* 4 cups homemade vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
* 2-4 cups water
* 1/2 cup dried mushrooms (I used porcinis; feel free to use another variety such as shiitakes)
* 1 cup shelled edamame (young green soybeans available in the freezer section of most large supermarkets)
* 4 tablespoons minced green onions- for serving
* 4 tablespoons minced all-natural pickled ginger (sushi ginger)- for serving
* matcha salt- for serving (see above)
*a drizzle of toasted sesame oil for serving- optional

Directions:

Place brown rice and 4 cups of the stock or water in a large pot on the stove. Add 2 more cups of water and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes- 1 hour. Add the additional 2 cups of water only if too much water is getting absorbed; remember that you want the end result to be “soupy”.

Add the edamame and the dried mushrooms and cook for another 30-45 minutes, again adding additional water if necessary.

When it has finished cooking, scoop the okayu into individual serving dishes and top each one tablespoon each of the minced green onion and the pickled ginger. Add a drizzle of the optional sesame oil and a generous sprinkling of the matcha salt before serving; I also love this with an egg cooked in organic coconut oil served on top!

This is a luscious vegan curry, inspired by the delicious Tomato and Coconut Fish Curry recipe in Monica Bhide’s lovely book, Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen. As an aside, I was thrilled to meet Monica in person this weekend at the Roger Smith Food Writer’s Conference.

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The chutney is optional, but is super easy to make. Monica does have a mint-cilantro chutney recipe in the book, but I improvised the one here.

If you aren’t vegan, I think this is really nice alongside Amreen’s Biryani recipe that’s available on Food52. This curry also works well over any cooked grain and/or with warm Naan or another Indian-style bread.

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Vegetarian Coconut Curry Recipe

adapted from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide
Serves 4

Ingredients:

* 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil or ghee
* 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
* 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
* 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
* 1 Serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
* 1 globe eggplant
* 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
* one 14 oz. can organic whole coconut milk
* 1 zucchini, chopped into cubes
* 1 green pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
* 2 cups chopped collard greens
* 1 tomato, chopped
* 1 teaspoon tumeric
* 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder or other red chile powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
* fresh mint for the chutney- optional
* fresh cilantro for the chutney- optional
* fresh lime juice for the chutney- optional
* organic sugar for the chutney- optional

Directions:

1. Cut the eggplant cross-wise into 1 1/2 inch thick slices. Sprinkle them all over with salt and allow to drain in a colander over the sink for 20-30 minutes. Rinse well to remove all the salt and chop into bite-sized pieces.

2. In a large skillet or wok, melt the coconut oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook for a minute or two until they "pop", then add the ginger, garlic, and chili pepper. Stir everything around for a minute or so.

3. Add the chopped eggplant and sweet potato to the pan along with the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if the liquid seems too thick.

4. Add the zucchini, green pepper, collard greens and tomato, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender, again adding a little water if necessary.

5. Mix in the spices and salt. Cook for one minute more. Taste and adjust the spices, if necessary. Add a little more red chile powder and/or salt, if you like.

6. To make the simple mint-cilantro chutney, mix equal parts chopped mint and cilantro with fresh lime and a little organic sugar. Taste and adjust the lime and sugar to your liking. I used about 1/2 cup each of the herbs, the juice of 1/2 lime and 1 tsp. of sugar. You can make a little or a lot of this, but just know that it doesn't keep very well, so don't plan to refrigerate it longer than a day or two.

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This post is linked to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!