Last week I demoed my vegetarian Russian Borscht recipe on a live zoom call. Dill is one of the main flavors in borscht, and with this I began to crave traditional Eastern European cucumber salads that I often found in restaurants in Poland and the Baltic States.
However these people made their cucumber salads, I dont know, but it is hard to replicate authentic and decade-old recipes. With a lot of dill in my refrigerator, I decided to concoct a traditional vinegar cucumber salad with dill.
Dill is a powerful herb (like all herbs) that is medicinal and contains certain compounds called monoterpenes, as well as flavonoids, minerals, and amino acids. The miraculous properties in dill contain enough properties to aide in:
-maintain bone health because of the calcium
-Relieve some arthritic pain
-may treat respiratory health because of Kaempferol and certain other components of flavonoids and monoterpenes in the essential oils
Perfect for summer or winter, this is one salad that can accompany holiday meals very well!
Cucumber Dill Salad
Total Time: 10 minutes
2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
In a bowl whisk together all of the ingredients EXCEPT the cucumbers. until well combined. Let the mixture sit while you cut the cucumbers.
Use a mandolin to slice the cucumbers, or with a knife, thinly slice the cucumbers. Mix the cucumbers into the dressing until well combined. Serve chilled!
Let's Connect! Check out my other salad / cucumber recipes below!
Are you ready to ramp up your immunity this winter? Are you ready to detox out all of that heavy Thanksgiving food? If so, beets and borscht are for you!
This warming and healing beet-based soup is traditional across Eastern Europe and Russia. I grew up every holiday eating traditional Ukrainian food, and every country, culture and cook has their own special recipe.
While living in Germany, every country created borscht different. For most eastern block countries, they use animal bones to flavor the soup. I remember while traveling throughout Poland when I lived in Germany, that borscht was basically clear beet broth soup. Nothing else but beet broth.
My Ukrainian grandmother made this differently that I just did, but know these vegetables are here to ignite your health during this "cold and flu" season.
Join me Wednesday December 1, 2021 on Zoom 6-7pm PST for alive demonstration of this recipe + my roasted agave mandarin Rainbow Carrots. Sign up here!
Vegetarian Russian Borscht
Time 30-40 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, grated
2 beets, grated or diced
4 small white potatoes, diced (or 2 large)
1/4 cabbage (approx 2 cups), sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 small lemon, juiced
1/4 - 1/3 cup fresh dill
2 dried OR 6 fresh bay leaves
salt + pepper to taste
Begin by prepping the vegetables. Sautee the garlic, onion and carrot in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the potatoes and sauté for another 3-5 minutes. Add the beets and cabbage, salt, pepper and bay leaves, sautée for another couple minutes. Add the vegetable broth, mix, cover with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes. Next, add the dill, tomato paste and lemon juice. Mix well and simmer for an addition 10-15 minutes.
Once fragrant and potatoes are edible, remove from heat, adjust any spices and serve warm!
This soup tastes better after 24 hours once the dill and bay leaves have additional time to "marinate."
Let's Connect! Check out my other beet + carrot recipes below!
If you're looking to stay warm in the next few fall and winter months, warm up with a unique Greek-inspired soup recipe that is super healthy and ready in under 30 minutes.
This lemon orzo chickpea soup is usually creamy because the Greeks add in eggs. In this version I am omitting the eggs and sticking to the basics of lemon juice and broth.
Soup and sweater season is here and the number one benefit of soup is that it not only nourishes the body, but it allows us to consume liquid during a season when people do not drink as much water because they are rarely hot. When hot, the body craves liquid to cool down. So soup helps us incorporate more liquid into the diet and keeps us warm too.
Simple. Easy. Healthy. The basics is really all that we need. Enjoy!
Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup
Total Time: 20-30 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, minced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 handfuls of fresh spinach (1 bundle, washed)
1/3 cup dried orzo
5 cups vegetable broth
1 lemon, juiced
salt + pepper to taste
In a large pot, begin by sautéing the onions, garlic in olive oil, for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until soften and onions are translucent. Add some salt + pepper and give it a good mix.
Add the orzo + broth, mix well and let the soup simmer with a lid on it until the soup is al-dente. Once the orzo is edible, add the chickpeas and spinach and cook for several minutes until the spinach wilts. Once done, remove from heat and add in the lemon juice. Mix well, adjust spices and serve warm!
Let's Connect! Enjoy my other orzo / bean+green recipes below!
As a holistic fitness professional, I cannot emphasize enough why people should adopt a detox-based diet for optimal health. The word diet is overused in modern society but rather it is important to incorporate foods that help the body detox and eliminate toxins.
Many of our everyday fruits, vegetables and herbs aide in this process along with filling the body with necessary vitamins, nutrients and electrolytes to aide in overall wellbeing.
The body primarily detoxes through the fecal waste, urine, perspiration and respiration. The body cannot hold or contain toxins for too long, which is why we eliminate waste. Diseases like Crohn's is deadly because if perforations develop in the intestine, bile and waste leaks into the blood stream, which overloads the body with toxins that can lead to traumatic issues.
Your health is NOT a joke.
We've become SO disconnected to our body, mind and spirit that we have become irrational in understanding how human physiology works. In a spiritual sense, we've disconnected from the sacredness that says, "your body is a temple."
We need to understand that what you consume will drastically help or hinder your health in the long term. Millions of people around the world suffer from heavy metal poisoning because everything in modern society has either been laced with chemicals (example: pesticides) or from Environmental pollution.
If you are ready to improve your health, and want to make a "radical" change....all you need to do is to start incorporating more fruits, vegetables and herbs in your diet to help rid and cleanse the body of its waste and toxic overload.
This is probably one of the most important pieces of produce to consume on a continuous basis. The liver goes through a variety of phases to detox toxins.
Beets contain phytonutrients called betalains that support the stage 2 detoxification process of the liver. Consuming beets increases glutathione, which is used for almost every cell in the body to remove toxins.
Beets are also important for expecting mothers since its high amount of the B vitamin folate is known to reduce the risk of birth defects and the traces of folic acid help develop the growing fetus.
Beets thin the bile making it easier to transport it to the intestinal tract and colon. This is also made possible because of its high fiber content.
Check out some of my beet recipes below!
Kale is another powerful vegetable that is packed full of fiber and nutrients. Kale is alkaline that neutralizes that blood, and kale’s phytonutrients, such as kaempferol and quercetin neutralizes inflammation. Kale contains high amounts of Vitamin C, which benefits immune health, and contains chlorophyll and sulforaphane that are two powerful cancer-fighting agents.
Check out my favorite kale recipes below!
Parsley contains many of the essential nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C and K and minerals iron and potassium. As a natural diuretic, parsley eliminates excess fluid without ridding of potassium. It also contains chlorophyll, which improves detoxification and supports weight loss. The folate and Vitamin C contents also aides in immune function, which is no surprise as to why parsley is used to flavor soups!
Check out some of my recipes that contain parsley!
This is one of the most powerful food and herb on the planet. This tiny little root herb is one of the greatest anti-cancer foods. Turmeric is loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, protein, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc, with vitamins C, E and K.
Studies have shown that turmeric aides in the liver detoxification and can prevent liver disease. Some studies showed that turmeric provided therapeutic potential for treating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Something as small and powerful as this root has been linked to reversing liver damage caused by alcohol and other ingested toxins.
Check out some of my turmeric recipes below!
Broccoli is another powerful detox vegetable, similar to kale. Along with turmeric its been known as one of the best anti-cancer foods as well as helps the body detox the liver.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which fights off infectious cells in the body. Three of the most powerful nutrients include glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin, which neutralize and eliminate unwanted contaminant.
Since the body detoxes in a two step process, broccoli is a food that provides nutrients that work in both stages. The glucosinolates aide in phase one, and the sulforaphane contents aide in the second phase. Broccoli contains more vitamin A + C than a single orange.
Check out my favorite broccoli recipes below!
Eating and fruit, vegetable, root or herb will help the body naturally detox. These five are known for its powerful effect not only in cleansing the liver, but aiding in disease prevention. Your body and immune system is powerful, and it becomes more powerful with a cleaner and healthier diet.
While exploring the countryside of Colorado, I discovered a place called Eatery66 in Ridgway, Colorado. Needing some greens, I ordered the detox salad and it was by far one of the best salads I ever had. It came with a very light, oil-free turmeric dressing.
I could not figure out taste-wise, every ingredient but I wanted to replicate this the best I could. Since it was light, it was not like your traditional tahini recipe that has flavors that would go into hummus.
The dressing recipe has been adapted from the full helping blog that was the closest I could get to Eatery66's recipe.
As I've mentioned before, it is of the most utter importance to ramp up your immunity.
Raw vegetables in general aide in the detoxifying process; however, some ingredients are more powerful than others. Beets are the one ingredient that detoxifies every cell in the body. Turmeric, also known as the queen of spices, has properties like antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, to anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory usages. Turmeric is packed with nutrients such as dietary fiber, protein, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc, with vitamins C, E and K.
The great news is that I am demonstrating this recipe live on Zoom, alongside with my pumpkin curry recipe, with Guided Fitness on October 27, 2021. Feel free to check out my fitness and cooking classes at guided fitness.com/online The registration opens approximately 14 days before the class!
On October 27, 2021 at 6pm PST join me on a Live Stream Cooking Class on Zoom for these two recipes: Pumpkin Curry Soup + Detox Salad w. Turmeric Tahini Dressing. Class is only $5 for the public! Registration can be found at least 2 weeks in advance on GuidedFitness.com/online.
Detox Salad with Turmeric Tahini Dressing
Prep Time 10 minute
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Carrot ro Radish, grated
Cauliflower rice (optional)
Pumpkin + Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce or Tamara
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 small garlic glove, minced
dash of maple syrup
Mix together the quantity of vegetables you'd like in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until well combined. Drizzle dressing on top of your salad and enjoy!
The dressing is best for 4-5 salads.
Let's Connect! Check out my other detox-recipes below!
Time sure does fly. And boy, do things change over time. I've been reminiscing over the "good old days," and realized I never posted this recipe that I am made from a former yoga retreat I catered in Canada.
This recipe is ideal with farm-fresh berries and plums as it ignites the natural flavors and juices. Its an excellent end of summer recipe to transition into fall with a warmer and heartier and healthier dessert.
This refined sugar free recipe is important to enjoy sweets without the added sugar. Now more than ever it is important to ramp up the immunity, and cardamom spices and berries do that very well!
Crisps are one of the easiest desserts to make, and hope you enjoy this late summer fruit recipe....and Happy Fall!
Mix filling in a bowl.
Pour filling in a greased pie pan.
Mix the topping and pour even on top of the filling. Bake at 350 degrees.
Join me in OCTOBER for two live zoom cooking classes with Guided Fitness. Menu includes Rigatoni w/ Butternut Squash Sage Pasta Sauce w. Walnuts + Spinach. The other menu includes Curry Pumpkin Soup + Turmeric Tahini Detox Salad.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com