Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pickling: Simple & delicious!

If you have extra vegetables around this spring summer, consider pickling them! There's the quick way, done with a simple brine of salt, spices, and vinegar. Another more gut-healthy option is making your own lacto-fermented slaw with these veggies.

Pickled vegetables are easy to make at home, and spice up any meal as an appetizer, cocktail adornment, and adds a delicious flavor-boost to any salad or rice bowl. In short, it makes you feel creative with minimal effort and expense!

Here's what you need:

A watery vegetable like: red onion, shallot, radish, cucumber, or carrot*. Use a mandolin slicer (BE CAREFUL, please) or sharp chef's knife to slice the veggie as thin as possible. Follow a basic recipe as follows:

2 Shallots, peeled  and very thinly sliced
3/4 rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of red chili flakes (optional)

1) Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan
2) Bring mixture to a boil, turn off heat, steep mixture for 10 minutes. Once cool, drain the shallots of the liquid and place in covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
3) Consume within 1 week for best taste; 1-2 tablespoons is a recommended serving.

Here are my quick-pickled shallots over a bed of lettuce and green kale with goddess dressing (Trader Joe's is vegan and our fave at the moment:

For more recipes and ideas, check out this fantastic article from the Natural Gourmet Institute on Vegan Charcuterie:

Now if you are interested in making your own slaw and fermented sauerkraut, stick around! I learned how to make them last summer in a cooking lab with Chef Myra Kornfeld ( She has done everything in the healthy cooking world, starting as a raw vegan chef and is currently promoting aspects of the Westin-Price philosophy of eating and nutrition (  I learned a lot in the lab, and have taken away this easy and extremely beneficial-to-your-gut-health skill of making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut.

*To avoid toxins from the peel of nonorganic produce: Peel the radish, cucumber, and carrot if they're not organic, and make sure to peel off the first two layers of the onion or shallot to avoid consuming pesticides.

Let me know how your quick-pickling adventures go!

In Health,



Saturday, October 8, 2016

Ever heard of José Andrés? He is a Washington, D.C.-based chef, originally from Barcelona, Spain, who has had an incredibly successful career as a restaurateur in the United States. In more recent years, he has been continuing to share his success as a philanthropist. Check out his Washington D.C. restaurant, Minibar and Bar Mini for a fantastic and avant-garde experience of food. He is also opening a new restaurant in the National Harbor, called Fish.

LET FOOD BY THY MEDICINE! 'Tis the Season for going to a Maryland Farmers Market during Fall harvest.

Kinder Farm Park in Millersville, MD - a great place to take a walk with your family!

And finally...Sleep. I love spring and summer, but I find it harder to get to bed on time when it's light out later, and need to remind myself of a few things. For instance, no electronic devices for an hour before bed, no caffeine at night, eating dinner no later than 7:00 PM...and how exercise during the day also detoxes the body and balances my energy as well. Check out these sleep tips from the Sleep Foundation.

With that, I bid you adieu!

Yours in Health,


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hello again, readers!

I apologize for the hiatus, but I have been working hard on a Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health at MUIH as well as planning a wedding! Nuff said :).

As the Spring Equinox just past this weekend, my mind has been turning to the many wineries out there in the U.S., which are a delightful opportunity to experience a bit of nature AND a bit of fun! One that I recently enjoyed with a friend in California is called Chamisal Vineyards (, located in San Luis Obispo, in the Central Coast area:

Lovely Tuscan red exterior:

Fun patio with barrels, tables, lights, and cover, with a view of the rolling vineyards!

Map of the vineyards, which are mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes:

Afterwards, we grabbed lunch in the nearby town of Arroyo Grande, at the Rooster Creek Tavern

I absolutely love the sweetness of California golden beets. These were cooked and chilled to perfection along with red beets, combined with greens, red cabbage and goat cheese crumbles, and topped with omega-3 rich wild Alaskan grilled salmon. Delish!

On the east coast, closer to home, is another gem: Black Ankle Vineyards in Mt. Airy, Maryland. This family-run, biodynamic winery is unique in that it was modeled after French wineries. The couple who runs Black Ankle are both former government employees who decided to invest in this winery, and have been incredibly successful! They grow mostly red wine grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, which make up their Rolling Hills red blend. We took a winery tour last summer, and got to try some fresh grapes - verrrrry tart! More tannic is good for our health, though, as red wine contains polyphenols.

I highly recommend taking a jaunt to your local winery this spring and enjoying a (sometimes FREE) tasting with delicious food, of course! Enjoy walking around the grounds, and please drive safely afterwards!




P.S.: Here's a really resourceful website which will be the topic for a future post: EWG Good Food on a Tight Budget

Monday, May 18, 2015

As a thunder storm showers overhead, I'm typing in my living room, finally starting a blog! I'm really excited, and hope you all will enjoy the posts I'll be putting up, like links to useful, interesting, and entertaining information out there in the world of health and wellness. I'm currently in my third semester of studies at Maryland University of Integrative Health, as a Master of Science in Integrative Health and Nutrition student ( Wow, what a world of knowledge I've just really started to touch on! It's humbling, challenging, and gives me the feeling of being a BEGINNER's great and really hard at the same time. So, with that, I am posting my first blog post on Nutrition with Meghan! I look forward to your comments, questions, and interactions about this topic I am so very passionate about. 

Today I signed up for a CSA at Gorman Produce Farm in Laurel, MD! Here's their website: Because of my traveling schedule, I asked a friend to share the CSA with me, which runs from June to October. It worked out great! I'll pick up a medium share of produce once a week, each week I paid for in advance (or they have a payment plan too), and get yummy FRESH produce like:

Pre Season:Strawberries
Late Spring/ Early Summer:
Arugula, beets, bok choy, broccoli, spinach, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, escarole, fennel, garlic scapes, green garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, napa cabbage, peas, collard greens, scallions, parsley, cilantro, dandelion, red & green cabbages, spring onions, sugar snap peas, summer squash, swiss chard, radish, turnips
Beans, beets, cherry & specialty tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, fennel, garlic, bell peppers, hot peppers, lettuce, cantelope, watermelon, specialty melons, red - yellow - white onions, potatoes, summer squash, swiss chard, tomatoes, roma tomatoes,
Late Summer/Fall:
Arugula, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, eggplant, escarole, garlic, hot peppers, kale, leeks, lettuce, melons, onions, peppers, potatoes, radicchio, scallions, summer squash, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes,  cherry tomatoes, turnips, radish, winter squash
Last year we went strawberry picking there :)

If you sign up for the CSA, you get your own special strawberry patch to pick from! I would recommend the strawberry picking and farm stand to anyone who's not quite ready to sign up, but just wants to enjoy the farm during the summer.

FYI: CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture ( To find one closest to you, use Just enter your zip code, and find all of the farms in your area. That's how I found Gorman Farm!



PS: If you didn't find any of this interesting, enjoy this picture: