Author Archive

Warming “Jamu” Turmeric Tea

| March 21st, 2016



Turmeric is an ancient Indian yellow spice used for centuries that has an active ingredient called
curcumin. It has significant anti-inflammatory properties as well as a host of other health benefits.
Turmeric is also fantastic for digestion and cleansing the liver which is the “filter” for our body.

Whenever you feel pain in joints and muscles or just want to boost your immune system,
make some Jamu or Golden Milk tea just before bedtime. Drinking turmeric tea in the morning
and evenings may make all the difference in soothing joint pain. Make sure and add black pepper as it
enhances bio-availability of turmeric as well as makes the tea invigorating. The maple syrup sets off
the earthy-acridness of the spice enough that the tea is simply delicious. Udo’s oil added at the end is full of DHA that helps with inflammation.

I use coconut milk because it is full of healthy fats and is so good for you! Turmeric tends to stain anything it comes into contact with, so be careful!

                                                                                                 -To your good health, Lee Newlin

serves 2

• 2 cups unsweetened coconut, flax, almond, hemp, soy milk or filtered water
• ½ teaspoon fresh turmeric powder
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
• 2 slices of fresh ginger
• black pepper (just a pinch)
• 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
• 4 tsp. maple syrup or honey
• 1 tsp sesame oil or Udo oil (great for joints) (health food stores carries both)
1. Gently bring milk just to a simmer and whisk in all the ingredients, except the lemon,
sweetener and oil. Let sit for 5 minutes and then remove ginger slices.
2. Whisk in the lemon, oil and maple syrup just before serving hot.
3. For a frothy and creamy consistency use an immersion blender and blend for 10-15 seconds.
4. Top off with grated nutmeg and stir now and then as you drink so all the good stuff doesn’t settle to the bottom.



| March 7th, 2016

Amanda shot

Amanda Cushman of Simple Real Food Inc. is a culinary educator who has cooked professionally for over thirty years. She teaches privately for groups of two to twenty students in their home as well as having taught in venues such as Sur La Table, The Institute of Culinary Education, and Williams Sonoma. She has taught corporate team building classes for companies such as; Fitness Magazine, Exxon Mobile, Hugo Boss, Yahoo, Nike, Google, Guess Jeans, Direct TV, Toyota and Korn Ferry International.

She began her food career in Manhattan starting out in catering and worked with Martha Stewart and Glorious Foods before becoming a recipe developer for Food and Wine, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, Fine Cooking and Ladies Home Journal. She was a private chef to a number of clients including James Robinson; CEO of American Express and Amy Levin the Editor in Chief of Glamour. Her private classes were a big hit in LA with clients such as Neil Patrick Harris, Molly Sims, Anne Archer and Randy Newman.

She has made her name in cities such as Boston, NY, Miami and Los Angeles and recently relocated to Durham, NC where she continues to teach in private homes as well as develop recipes for food start ups. Her highly popular public classes are featured at Southern Seasons, Duke Fitness, Durham Spirits and ICE in NYC.

Lee and Amanda will be working with the produce from Peaceful River Farm to create this glorious feast of flavorful Moroccan dishes. All recipes are gluten free and vegetarian. We are going to show you delicious recipes that will broaden your palate with good taste and even better nutrition! This class is ideal for folks who want to expand their menu to include African cuisine. Don’t let a lack of time keep you from making a nutritious choice for meals. Come to this class!

will be working with the produce from the farm to create this glorious feast of flavorful Moroccan dishes. All recipes are using organic produce, gluten free and vegetarian. Vegetable Tagine with Charmoula, Quinoa Pilaf with Scallions and Almonds, Orange and Olive Salad with Feta, Almond Honey Cake with Lemon Glaze

Spinach Curried Chickpea Soup

| February 5th, 2016

Our family loves curry and it loves us back with its protective compounds like turmeric which gives curry its yellow color. However, not all curries on the market contain turmeric, so be sure to read the label. This powerful soup is loaded with goodness and great flavor.-serves 6

To your good health, Lee Newlin


1 cup dried chickpeas making 3 cups cooked or 3 cups canned, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped (approx. 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp curry powder with turmeric (Penzeys is a great spice company) add more if you like
1 pound small red-skin potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch dice
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (approximately one can)
1 medium organic zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice (around 2 cups)
6 cups spinach leaves or tatsoi chopped
Zest and  juice of 1 lime
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In large pot, over medium high heat add onion and a little of the salt then sauté until softened about 4 minutes. When it begins to stick add a couple of tablespoons or so of water to release food. You don’t want to burn the food, just brown it some.
2. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute using a little bit of water to stop any sticking.
3. Adjust heat to low and add curry powder, lime zest, a bit of salt and potatoes, stirring constantly and adding water as needed, cooking for 15 minutes
4. Slowly pour in stock and coconut milk; add chickpeas and zucchini bringing to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes more with a lid to cover slightly ajar to release steam build up, until potatoes and zucchini are tender.
6. Off heat, season with additional salt if needed, and black pepper to taste then stir in spinach and lime juice.
7. Taste and adjust flavor if needed with salt and/or black pepper and let sit covered for 15 minutes.

So what am I supposed to eat??

| January 8th, 2016

Eat Your Greens

Every five years the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture publish dietary guidelines, and those recommendations were released January 7, 2016. There are reports that an advisory committee had recommended that the guidelines advocate a primarily plant-based diet, but food lobbyists argued against it. Yet, even with the watered down recommendations if we would follow these guidelines — especially eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, avoiding saturated fats, and drastically curtailing sugar consumption, there would be a monumental improvement in our health and a dramatic reduction in disease and health care expenses.

At Peaceful River Farm we grow a wide range of nutrient-dense, disease fighting vegetables and berries. We teach healthy cooking classes on a regular basis and enlist colleagues to focus on particular health issues or introduce us to new recipes. Our farm dinners showcase our produce, and we have recruited talented and creative chefs who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about healthy cuisine.   They eagerly prepare plant based menus  that showcase our vegetables and fruits rather than smothering them with sauces and spices.

A friend gave Lee a recipe book by Rebecca Katz featuring 150 recipes using whole foods, big-flavor ingredients and attractive presentations. Her book, The Cancer Fighting Kitchen should be utilized by every group, friend, or relative of a cancer patient. It is equally important for folks seeking to keep cancer at bay and for those wanting to keep cancer from returning.

Katz has a reference section early in her book she calls the “Culinary Pharmacy”. The good news for you is that many of the healing foods she champions – herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables can be found at your local farmers market, food co-op, or grocery store. We grow many of the nutrient-dense, disease-fighting vegetables and berries included in her “Culinary Pharmacy”, and Lee’s recipes champion these superfoods. Here is just a few of the health benefits of the beautiful whole fruits, legumes and veggies Katz touts:

Beans are anti-inflammatory lowering breast cancer risk in women as well as lower colon cancer risk. They also help control blood sugar and carry toxins from the body.
Beets are powerful anti-inflammatory food that are high in beta-cyanin helping to fight colon cancer.
Bell Peppers are anti-inflammatory with lycopene (also found in tomatoes), vitamin C, and lots of fiber offering protection against colon, cervical, bladder, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.
Broccoli is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, rich in sulforaphane which slows the growth of leukemia and melanoma. Eat broccoli and tomatoes together to to increase the potency of broccoli’s cancer fighting.  This is the combo that Lee first began to prepare when diagnosed with lymphoma.
Cabbage is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and along with other cruciferous vegetables is high in anticancer phytochemicals.
Carrots are anti-inflammatory with studies showing that a carrot a day could cut lung cancer risk in half. They are high in Vitamin A and rich in beta-carotene helping to prevent lung, mouth, throat, stomach, intestinal, bladder, prostate, and breast cancers.
Garlic is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial. The pungent smell created by allicin in both garlic and onions accounts for its cancer-protective qualities, especially colon cancer.
Kale is anti-inflammatory and contains a lot of indole-3-carbinol which studies show changes the way estrogen metabolizes. This may prevent lesions from turning cancerous or keep cancer cells from proliferating.

We’ve gotten half way through the alphabet leaving out a lot of the foods that Katz touts in between A and K and a whole lot more from L to Z. These are foods that we grow, that we champion to our customers, and that Lee showcases in her classes and at our farm dinners. The ominous sounding book is actually a great read — often amusing, highly informative and inspirational. It is filled with delicious recipes that everyone will enjoy but especially those facing cancer. We know personally from Lee’s experience (she was diagnosed eleven years ago today with non-Hodgkins lymphoma) that good nutrition is critical when you are undergoing chemo, but your taste buds go haywire and your appetite plummets. Friends undergoing treatment, who have read the book at Lee’s suggestion and employ Katz’s recipes, have reported that it has been an amazing aid in their recovery and the recovery of their appetite and fighting spirit.

Read the book. Keep buying and growing and eating wonder foods. Discover delicious, disease-fighting recipes and share them with friends. Give this book to a friend in need of hope and a “culinary pharmacy”.                                                                -To your good health, Lee Newlin

Glazed Carrot and Broccoli Salad-serves 4

| November 16th, 2015
Here is a great dish to bring to the holiday table and it’s healthy and delicious!
This is a beautiful dish that our family loves. Red beets, orange carrots green broccoli and salad greens make it a show stopper nutritionally and visually.
-To your good health, Lee Newlin
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine-mesh sieve
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cups of fresh broccoli tops only, broken into small pieces
3 tbsp apple cider or apple juice
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 medium carrots thinly sliced on a diagonal or julienned
1 medium steamed beet, peeled and diced
4 cups tender lettuce mix or Mesclun salad greens works perfect!
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Zest of one small organic lemon
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp dried dill or 2 tbsp fresh
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 450°
2. Bring quinoa and 2 cups lightly salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, 10-12 mins.  When quinoa is done add onion and broccoli to same pan; cover and cook for 1 minute longer and let sit for 15 minutes. Transfer all to a large bowl; let cool.
3. In a medium bowl whisk 3 tbsp. apple cider, maple syrup, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper then mix in carrots to coat. Lightly wipe a rimmed baking sheet with oil then scatter carrots and roast until tender, 15-20 minutes. Let carrots cool in pan while you make the dressing.
4. Whisk dressing ingredients in small bowl until blended.  Taste and adjust if needed.
5. To quinoa bowl add beets, carrots, and half of dressing and toss to coat.
6.  Just before serving, add lettuce and remaining dressing and toss to combine.

Lee’s Arugula Garlic Pesto

| November 10th, 2015

 What a great way to use up all the arugula in our garden!  This pesto is fantastic on so many dishes and it can be frozen for all winter use.

3 cups fresh arugula
4 garlic cloves peeled and minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese or use a parmesan substitute
1/2 cup pine nuts lightly toasted or chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Blend everything in a food processor or high speed blender until thoroughly smooth. Seal in containers and freeze for winter use.  This is delicious!!

Directions to Peaceful River Farm

| September 29th, 2015

Click here for directions to Peaceful River Farm

Cucumber Bok Choy Salad

| August 18th, 2015

The health benefits of cucumbers are remarkable even though some people think that they are just filled with water and nothing else. The nutritional profile of cucumbers is quite high making them one of the best foods to include in your healthful arsenal of great recipes. This flavorful, easy to make, refreshing dish makes a perfect summer meal as well as a cleansing detox combo with cucumbers and bok choy.  It has been a great summer dish in our home.  While a spiralizer (like what you see in the image above) makes this meal come together quickly, if you don’t own one you can just slice the deseeded cucumbers with knife.  Do place them on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

-To your good health, Lee Newlin


1. 1/4 cup organic peanut butter
2. 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how much sweetness you like)
3. 1 tbsp tamari sauce
4. juice of fresh 1/2 lime
5. 1/2 tsp sea salt
6. 1/2 tsp chili sauce
7. 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
8. 2 bunches baby bok choy or 1 bunch regular bok choy
9. 1 English cucumber organic (leave the peel on as it has loads of vitamin C)
10. 2 green onions sliced thinly
11.1/2 cup green bell pepper sliced thinly
12. chopped cilantro and chopped raw peanuts


1. In a small mixing bowl combine peanut butter, maple syrup, tamari, lime juice, sea salt, chili sauce and toasted sesame oil. Chill in refrigerator.

2. Thinly slice bok choy into slivers, chop some cilantro and peanuts for garnish

3. Run cuke through a spiralizer or slice into half moon pieces

4. To remove as much liquid out of the cucumber as possible, place on several paper towels and chill for at least an hour in the frig. This procedure prevents a soggy salad.

5. When drained of excess water, combine cukes with boy choy, onions and bell pepper in a large bowl and toss gently and return to frig until ready to serve shortly.

6. Just before serving add peanut sauce, a bit at a time, to cucumber and bok choy tasting as you go.

7. Serve immediately garnished with minced cilantro and chopped raw peanuts

Chocolate Chip Cookies Reinvented

| March 5th, 2015

This is a nutrient dense cookie that packs a lot of flavor with good food that most everyone can enjoy. The gluten, dairy and processed sugar is replaced with great ingredients that our bodies can use to stay healthy. -To your good health, Lee Newlin

3 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup organic almond butter or peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate chips plus 2 tablespoons for topping

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a mini muffin pan with12 holes
• In a food processor, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and process until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.
• Scoop batter evenly in prepared pan then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top.
• Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown.
• Cool pan for 20 minutes on wire rack.

Feel free to add in other things according to your dietary needs like nuts, dried fruit, or other types of chocolate. Coconut flakes are great!

Kale Secrets Revealed

| January 20th, 2015

One of the biggest obstacles people face when it comes to eating dark, leafy greens like the kale above is figuring out how to prepare them to make them taste delicious. Many older greens can taste bitter and tough when undercooked or mushy when overcooked. Knowing how to create tender, flavorful greens anytime of the year requires learning a few tricks like I’ve listed below. Once you’ve tried a few of these ideas you’ll be including these wonderfoods in many meals to come.                                           -To your good health, Lee Newlin

• Keep greens chilled in the refrigerator. They’ll keep for 5 days if in the proper storage bags ( I recommend “green bags” which remove ethylene gas from produce and are reusable) Use them as soon as possible to reap the health benefits fully. Do not wash kale before storing in the refrigerator as exposure to water encourages spoilage.
• Remove any thick stems (just hold the kale upside down by the stems and strip the leaves off with your hand), then stack large greens on top of one another, roll them into tight bundles and slice into thin ribbons. Don’t compost the stems!  They are loaded with nutrition and if finely chopped, can be sautéed along with onion. To get the most health benefits from kale, let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking. Sprinkling with lemon juice while allowing the kale to rest prior to heat  can further enhance its beneficial phytonutrient concentration.
• Blanching reduces bitterness and softens the tougher greens of winter, which is useful if you want to follow up with a quick stir fry or to freeze them for later use. To blanch kale, stir stripped leaves into boiling water for a minute or two, drain, then immediately plunge into a bowl of cold water. Proceed with your recipe.
• Braising tenderizes and adds a deeper flavor. To braise, slow cook 1 pound of greens in 1/2 cup of salted cooking liquid (stock or wine or water) for about 20 minutes or until greens are tender and ready to eat. You could add other flavor enhancements like minced garlic, ginger at the beginning. We like tamari (soy sauce), mirin, just a tad of toasted sesame oil, a dash or two of hot pepper sauce and plum vinegar but do taste as you add to make it your own recipe.  Another favorite combination is simply minced garlic and ginger, diced onion and vegetable stock.   Braise until tender, usually 15 minutes.  Yum!
Use in Salads:
• While kale is a go-to green for soups and braising, it also works surprisingly well uncooked in salads. The key to turning these leaves tender enough to eat raw is to use your hands to massage the sliced thinly leaves with an acid like lemon, a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper
• To prepare the kale for a massaged salad, strip the stems and cut into thin ribbons. Then add dressing ingredients and using your hands, massage them into the greens thoroughly, which “collapses” or softens the leaves. You can let the kale marinate for a bit before serving.
• Using avocado instead of the olive oil is delicious! Just rub the juice of one lemon and one chopped fully ripe avocado into a cleaned, stemmed and shredded bunch of kale, then season to taste.  Mix in a cup of diced tomatoes and you will put this recipe on your “Foolproof” and “go to” list for sure.

For Breakfast, really?:  Try adding fresh arugula on top of toast with hummus.  We cannot eat it  without these amazing and delicious greens.