Daikon “noodle” soup

Daikon noodle soup

If you’re low carb or paleo, then here’s a delicious “noodle” soup for you. I used a julienne vegetable peeler and made noodles with daikon radish and carrots. It can be easily customized with whatever veggies and meats you want. If you don’t know already, daikon is another super food that’s high in vitamin C, antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. If you are lucky enough to get daikon leaves with your radish… throw that in the soup too. It’s full of calcium.


I don’t have a specific recipe for this and just threw everything together.

1. Bring bone broth to a boil.

2. Add in mushrooms, daikon, and carrots.

3. Throw in some pork meatballs.

4. Let everything come to a boil.

5. Season and top with scallions. Enjoy!

Or if you are not paleo, stir in some miso paste into the soup after you take it off the heat (you know, to preserve the good bugs).

Daikon noodle soup

daikon noodle soup

Homemade Elderberry syrup for cold and flu season

Elderberry syrup

Elderberries are known to help boost the immune system and are a source of Vitamin A and C. For a small bottle at the health food store, you can expect to pay almost $20. I’ve been making this all season and take it numerous times a day whenever we feel something coming on. The kids have only taken this  and no over-the-counter medications at all. So far, they’ve only had the sniffles. Thank goodness we can stop whatever was brewing in their tracks.

I’ve played around with the ingredients and so far, I’m loving the current recipe. I adapted it from Wellness Mama and have added some other immune boosting ingredients: garlic and rose hips. You can make elderberry syrup with just elderberries, water, and honey or sugar. So if there’s something you’re missing, don’t worry. The extras will just give your body an additional boost.

Dosage: I don’t have a set dosage to give. I give normally about 2 teaspoons to the 3 year old and 1 teaspoon to the 18 month old about 3 times a day. It’s food, so you can’t over dose on it :)

Infants under 1 should not ingest honey. You can substitute honey with organic sugar.

homemade elderberry syrupIMG_6931

  • ⅔ cup dried elderberries
  • 5 star anise
  • 2 TBSP ginger
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 6 to 10 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 TBSP rosehips
  • 3½ cup water
  • 1 cup raw honey
  1. Add all ingredients in a pot.
  2. Simmer on medium high until the water has reduced to half.
  3. Strain.
  4. Let liquid cool down to warm and then stir in honey.



Juicy pan seared chicken breasts


It’s hard to get pan seared chicken breasts that are not dry. But I have found a way! This is juicy and has a crispy skin. Perfect for sandwiches or topping for salads. I buy whole chickens and cut them up myself. I like to leave on the skin on. Once seared on the skillet, the skin is nice and crispy. The chicken breasts finishes in the oven and gets very juicy!

Juicy pan seared chicken breasts
  • 2 chicken breasts with the skin on
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 TBSP oil (use something that can handle high heat; sunflower oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, butter)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Take a meat mallet and tenderize the chicken breasts.
  3. Put a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and pour on oil.
  4. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  5. Once the skillet is hot enough, put the chicken breasts on the skillet skin side down and flip once the skin is nice and crispy. Approx 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Let the other side brown for about same amount of time.
  7. Turn off the heat, and put the skillet in the oven for 10 mins.


Juicy chicken breast



Coffee yogurt

Coffee yogurt

Here’s something you probably won’t see on the supermarket shelves. Coffee Yogurt! I was making a regular batch of Vietnamese yogurt and decided to test out new flavors and added some instant coffee to it. Yum!

So for you coffee drinkers, you can have this for breakfast instead…or just a nice healthy pick-me-up in the afternoon!

I put the yogurt in individual serving cups in the oven with a blanket wrapped around them with the oven light on.

I put the yogurt in individual serving cups in the oven with a blanket wrapped around them with the oven light on. The coffee yogurts were hiding in the back. 

Coffee yogurt
  • 3.5 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt as starter
  • 3 to 4 tsp instant coffee
  1. Heat the milk until it reaches 180 F. Turn off stove.
  2. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and instant coffee (use more or less depending on how you like your coffee).
  3. Let the milk cool until it reaches 115 to 120 F.
  4. Take some warm milk out into a large cup and whisk in the yogurt starter. Incorporate it back with the rest of the milk.
  5. Pour into individual serving mason jars (or one large jar). Put on the lids.
  6. Put them in the oven with the oven light on to incubate for about 8 to 13 hours. (The longer you incubate, the less sweet and more thick it will be).
  7. Put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours before consuming.




Dehydrated kraut seasoning

dehydrated kraut seasoningI’m not sharing any new ferments this week… but this is close. Not everything that I make is always a success. Sometimes things are too mushy or I just don’t care for the taste. What better way to “save” those not so savory ferments than to dehydrate it and grind it up to use as seasoning?

I used my dehydrator on the lowest setting (95 F) so that the probiotics in the sauerkraut will stay alive. Then I used a food processor to grind it up.

I used some of the seasoning to top cooked asparagus. Delicious! This is purely for taste. But if you do care about keeping the probiotics alive, turn off the heat before you add the seasoning to your foods.

Note: I had regular cabbage, purple cabbage, and butternut squash in this seasoning. 

dehydrated sauerkraut

dehydrated sauerkraut seasoning

Fermented Russian Tomatoes

Russian Tomatoes

Some fermenting peeps turned me onto Russian tomatoes. The recipe calls for you to make jars and jars of this stuff. I’m not about to ferment 30 tomatoes until I know I like something. I converted the recipe and used grape tomatoes instead.

And do you know what? I love Russian tomatoes!

Blend up some of these fermented tomatoes and some fermented hot sauce, and you have instant salsa! I will never have to buy the jarred stuff again.

Fermented Russian Tomatoes
  • 2 pints of grape tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped up dill
  • 2 to 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Heat up a small amount of water. Dissolve sugar and salt into it.
  2. Add in remaining water to cool it down.
  3. Poke holes into the tomatoes with a fork.
  4. Pack the tomatoes, dill, garlic, and bay leaf into a clip top jar. Pour in salt and sugar brine until it covers everything.
  5. Close the lid and let ferment 1 week.

Adapted from Effortnesslessly.

If you are using mason jars, then release the pressure by opening the cap once in awhile.  There is no need to do so if you are using clip top jars.  Put a towel or plate underneath the jar in case it gets too happy.



Master Tonic (aka Fire Cider) for cold and flu season

I got fancy and used my own homemade apple cider vinegar for this batch.

I got fancy and used my own homemade apple cider vinegar for this batch.

I’ve been meaning to post about Master Tonic for awhile now. It is a traditional remedy popularized by Rosemary Gladstar and where the coined term Fire Cider came from.. Well, it just so happens that I’m feeling under the weather so what a perfect time to talk about it. This is something you don’t want to wait until you’re sick to make.

At the first sign of getting sick, I take a swig of this. Woooweeee!!! It’s strong but it keeps the sickies away. I’ve been dosing myself on fire cider, elderberry syrup, honey ginger, and bone broth the past week to build up my immune system. I haven’t been drinking my kombucha as I normally do so my body was just prime for attack. I did notice that my cold symptoms were lessened than those of years previous. I am not up all night coughing like I used to.

Run to your health food store and get these ingredients now because it’s awesome stuff. It works!

Use equal amounts of:

  • Ginger
  • Tumeric (tumeric powder can be used if you can’t find fresh)
  • Horseradish
  • Lemon
  • Jalepeno
  • Garlic
  • Onion


Optional things to add:

  • Peppercorns – to help absorb the properties of turmeric
  • Burdock root
  • Orange

1. Chop, mince, blend… however you want to do it… your ingredients and put them in a jar. Pour apple cider vinegar until it covers everything.

2. Put a cover on it and let infuse for 4 weeks. You do not need to weigh things down. Just give it a nice shake once in awhile.

3. After 4 weeks, strain the liquid out into another jar and add honey to taste.

Adapted from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Do not throw out the pulp after you’d strained it. Save it in the fridge and put them in your tea. Put it in your soup. Dehydrate and pulverize for a seasoning mix. No waste!



Fermented hot sauce

Killer hot sauceI’ve made hot sauce before. But this… this hot sauce is just out of this world good. It’s so easy. No cooking, no boiling, no messy pots and vinegars smelling up the kitchen making you cough. The first batch I ever made was consumed within a week. So this last time, I went slightly bigger (and hotter). This batch lasted a little longer because it’s too hot for my husband just to eat with tortilla chips.

Use whatever hot peppers you find. I used a mixture of hot peppers I found at the grocery store: Anaheim, serrano, jalepeno, haberno… I feel like I’m missing something. Use just jalepenos for a nice mild hot sauce that’s perfect throwing into salsa.

1. Mix 2 teaspoon kosher salt into 2 cups water. Stir to dissolve.

2. Cut up your peppers and stuff them into jars. Throw in a cut up onion and some garlic too. (I do not have the onion shown in the photo below because I had a whole jar of fermented onions that I drew from when I was ready to make the hot sauce).

fermented hot sauce

3. Pour brine until it covers the peppers. Let ferment for 4 weeks. If you are using a mason jar, open the cap occasionally to release the pressure. Put a bowl or towel underneath your jar in case it gets too happy.

4. Throw everything in the blender and blitz it into hot sauce.

This second batch is almost gone! I’m on the hunt for more red and beautiful hot peppers again.

Fermented hot sauce
  • Assorted hot peppers
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups water
  • garlic (optional)
  • onion (optional)
  1. Dissolve salt into the water to create a brine.
  2. Cut up peppers and onion.
  3. Pack peppers, onion, and garlic cloves into a jar.
  4. Pour brine into the jar until it just covers everything. Make more brine if necessary.
  5. Let ferment 4 weeks.
  6. Pour everything out into a blender and blend until desired consistency.



Daikon kimchi (daichi)

Daikon kimchi daichi

I am obsessed with daikon kimchi lately… or what I like to call daichi (it’s a newly coined term by me.) It’s julienned and perfect for sandwiches, salads, hotdogs, and as a regular side. Oh, and can you say bahn mi? I promised my husband that I “might” make him some sourdough banh mi. These will go perfectly in a bahn mi sandwich.

We opened this 750ml Fido jar and it would have been devoured in just 3 days if the husband was home for dinner that night. It is a quicker ferment so it really ties us over until the krautchi is ready to be eaten.

This is daikon radish. It’s awesome and I love this stuff.


Here’s how I make daichi:

1. Mix 2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt in 2 cups of water to create the brine. Stir to dissolve.

2. Julienne 1 large or 2 small daikons and 3 small carrots. The ones I get are from the Trader Joe’s lb bags so they are pretty small carrots. See above… my daikons are pretty small as well. I use this doodad to julienne.


3. Cut up 3 stalks of green onion and cut up 3 cloves of garlic finely.

4. Put in 2 to 3 teaspoons of Korean pepper flakes. I add in pepper flakes until I like the color. Using food safe gloves, mix it all in.

daikon and carrot kimchi

5. Pack everything in a 750 ml clip top (I use Fido) jar. Leave about 1 inch headspace.

daikon kimchi

6. Pour the brine into the jar until it covers the daikon and carrots.

daikon kimchi

7. Let ferment 5 to 7 days.

It is pretty packed in there so no need to weigh it down if the brine is covering everything. Put a plate or towel underneath the jar. It could get happy and overflow. If you are using a mason jar, release some pressure by opening the lid. It is not necessary to do that with a clip top jar.

I love eggs in the morning topped with daichi.

I love eggs in the morning topped with daichi.

...and one more feast for the eyes before I let you go.

…and one more feast for the eyes before I let you go.

Daikon kimchi (daichi)
  • 1 large or 2 small daikon, julienned
  • 3 small carrots, julienned
  • 3 stalks green onion, cut up
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 to 3 teaspoon Korean pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  1. Mix salt into water and stir to dissolve to create the brine.
  2. Add daikon, carrots, green onion, and garlic in a large bowl.
  3. Put in Korean pepper and mix until all the peppers are coating the vegetables.
  4. Pack everything into a 750 ml clip top jar.
  5. Pour brine until it covers the vegetables.
  6. Let ferment for 5 to 7 days.




Kombucha Diaries contributor

I’ve been making kombucha for almost a year now. Kombucha is a sweet fermented tea with many health benefits. I discovered it when I was pregnant with my 17 mo (though I didn’t drink it then). I started drinking it and loved how I felt. Of course, like many others before me, I could not see myself spending almost $4/bottle for long.

I discovered that I can make my own. Sweetened tea is fermented with a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts (scoby). Little did I know that I’d be sucked into the hole of kombucha making. I’m now a contributor to Kombucha Diaries, a collaborative resource for home brewers by home brewers.

I co-hosted a project called The Diversity Project. The idea was too combine kombucha starters from many sources to create a scoby. This scoby then will have all the beneficial bacterias and yeasts from all the different sources. Read my post on the Diversity Project here.

The scoby that was formed by combining 8 separate kombucha starters. She is named Dee.

The scoby that was formed by combining 8 separate kombucha starters. She is named Dee.