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For Christmas this year I am using some recreating some recipes we testing in my cooking with medicinal herbs class.

I am making a home-made elderberry syrup using dried elderberries, honey, apple cider vinegar and warming herbs. This syrup is meant to be taken daily to prevent cold and flu. It can also be taken once a cold or the flu hits. You can take it in higher doses to treat and lessen the symptoms that accompany these nasty winter ailments.

I am also making infused olive oil with fresh herbs like rosemary, oregano and thyme. I am first drying the herbs to increase the shelf life of the oil and then letting them infuse for two weeks before using them. This olive oil would be delicious with balsamic vinegar and some fresh bread!

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Yesterday I paid a visit to a local famers market at the Lloyd center here in Portland, Oregon. While I was there, my main focus was finding an item I had never used or knew how to use. The first stand I approached had produce from a farm just outside of Portland, in Gresham. This farm was called Udan Farms, an organic family run farm that is run by Claire and her husband. I was lucky enough to have Claire there to answer all my questions and allow me to take some pictures of her beautiful produce. Udan Farm places a large emphasis on healthy, organic produce that is grown without any chemicals while having as little negative effects on the environment as possible. You can find out more information about the farm on their Facebook page.

Claire had a beautiful selection of greens, tomatoes, cabbage and many other items that I was familiar with. I was originally drawn to the lemon cucumbers because I had never seen anything like them before. Once Claire explained what they were and I’d sampled them I decided I should pick an item that was a little more challenging. The lemon cucumbers, however, were delicious so I bought a few anyways. I came across some daikon radishes and decided they would be the perfect item for this project. I have never bought, cooked or knowingly eaten daikon before so I thought it would be a great learning opportunity. Claire gave me a few suggestions of ways to eat it. Because it is pretty spicy she recommended I use it sparingly if I was eating it raw, maybe shredded over a salad. She also suggested pickling the daikon, which I could then use in a variety of ways.

After I left the farmers market I looked up a couple recipes and found some ideas that sounded pretty good to me. I found a recipe for a banh mi sandwich. In this recipe I would pickle the daikon along with some carrots and onion. The recipe I used can be found here: I also found a recipe for a ginger, carrot and daikon radish salad on the site early morning farm that can be found here: I decided to go with the banh mi since it was a whole meal and not only a side dish. Also, I’ve never done any pickling so the extra challenge sounded fun.


For the banh mi I marinated and baked the chicken in a soyaki marinade from Trader Joes. I used French bread and made some sriracha aioli for the spread. I followed the recipes instructions for pickling which were to boil some water, rice vinegar and sugar and then pour over the daikon, carrots and onion. I added this to the sandwich along with some slices of the lemon cucumber, cilantro and a little limejuice. Overall, I thought the sandwich was delicious and I had a little left over pickled vegetables that I can use for some other recipes this week.

Daikon radishes can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. You can eat them raw in a salad sliced or grated. They can also be eaten in a coleslaw or deli style salad to add some crunch and spice. You can roast daikon radishes in the oven with a little olive oil. You can also pickle the daikon by pouring water, rice vinegar and sugar over the radish and allowing it to sit for at least 30 minutes. There are also many different pickling recipes and techniques but that is just the one that I chose to do1. 

Aside from their great taste, daikon radishes have a lot of great stuff in them for you! In a standard serving size, 100g, there are 18 calories, 0.1g from fat, 21 mg sodium, 4.1g carbohydrates, 1.6g dietary fiber, 2.5g sugar and 0.6g protein. Daikon radishes contain 37% of your daily-recommended amount of vitamin C, 3% of your calcium and 2% of your iron. They contain 1% of your recommended Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin and Pantothenic acid. They contain 2% of your Vitamin B6 and 7% of your folate. Additionally, Daikon radishes contain small amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, magnesium and selenium.2

Daikon radishes originated in the Mediterranean before spreading to Asia. It is now the most produced vegetable in Japan. In Japan, two thin slices of Daikon are served at the end of the meal. In China, daikon is used as a digestive tea and tincture.3 Because of its ability to tolerate cold weather; daikon is known as a winter vegetable. They can be grown and harvested year round but the winter months produce the best radishes. To properly store daikon, you cut off the top, which helps to keep the moisture in the roots. After cutting off the top of the radish, store it in a baggie in the fridge. Daikon’s can last two weeks or more if stored this way. The daikon that I bought from Udan farms sold for $2.50 a pound, costing me less than a dollar. The amount of flavor provided in one of these radishes was well worth the cost in my opinion.

I think in the future I will continue to eat daikon radishes in the pickled form to add to sandwiches, wraps, and as a garnish to other dishes. I would also like to incorporate it into some salads and deli style salad like coleslaw or potatoes salad. Daikon radishes are delicious, inexpensive, available year round and so versatile. I’m excited to continue to use this vegetable in the future with all of the new knowledge I have gained.


Works Cited

  1. Harrington BJ. How to Prepare Daikon Radish | LEAFtv. LEAFtv. Accessed October 5, 2016.
  2. HealthAliciousNess. Accessed October 5, 2016.
  3. Daikon Radish. Information, Recipes and Facts. Accessed October 5, 2016.

Lately, I’ve been doing more and more research on honey bees. Between Oct. 1 and March 31, Oregon beekeepers reported a 21.1 percent loss in colonies of the crucial crop pollinators, according to a survey by Oregon State University. Because of this, I have been trying to figure out what I can do to help. As it turns out, the best thing to do (that I am able to do) is to plant some bee friendly plants. How easy is that?! Honey bees rely on garden flowers when there is a lack of agricultural crops. It may not make a huge impact but I am going to do what I can to help. bees

This Thanksgiving I wasn’t able to go home to spend the holiday with my family in California. Instead, a group of about 2o of my friends got together and had a “Friendsgiving”. It was an absolute success with more people and food than I have ever had at a traditional Thanksgiving. I took on the responsibility of making the turkey. I have never cooked a turkey or entire bird, ever, so I saw this as a challenge and little bit of an adventure. I decided to do an overnight brine with vegetable stock and spices. The following day I roasted the turkey for several hours and the final results was wonderful! Of course, there was one minor issue. The oven was somehow set to broil instead of bake for the first 15 minutes so our bird did get a little more color than expected. But in the end, it turned out beautiful and it was delicious. Friendsgiving  may be one of my favorite holidays now!

It was a very busy first weekend of fall! With the GRE in less than two weeks, beginning the process for dietetic internship application and graduate school applications and all my normal weekend activities, it flew by. Between all of the studying I managed to rip out a couple of our tomato plants, spend a few hours with friends for a bridal shower and sample some french rosé. Our friend was nice enough to bring us back a bottle of rosé as a souvenir from his trip to France. Needless to say, it was delicious! One more weekend of studying for the GRE and then maybe I will consider getting started on our fall/winter vegetable garden. But for now, its back to the books!

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Source: How to Embrace Body Positivity

As summer is coming to an end, so is our summer garden. With the last of our tomatoes (a lot of which have split open and aren’t very appetizing) I decided to make some fresh marina sauce in the slow cooker. I used up the last of all our different types of tomatoes and peppers and then added the usual onion, garlic and herbs. I slow cooked this for about 6 hours. Im sure longer would’ve been better but it smelled delicious and I just couldn’t wait. My grandma gave me this awesome old school pasta machine and what would go better with fresh marina than fresh from scratch pasta? The pasta turned out amazing, the sauce was delicious and I got to enjoy it with the company of some great friends. My only complaint would be that I just didn’t make enough sauce. In the future, I think ill make more sauce and freeze it for those winter days when I’m really missing my summer veggie garden!