Kimchi Latkes!

Every year I choose a different culinary tradition to model our Holiday dinner around.  We’ve done Victorian England, with Roast Goose and Christmas pudding, we’ve done Shanghainese Soup Dumplings, once visiting my Sister and Brother in Law we did Puerto Rican Christmas. Bringing in these varied traditions helps to educate me as a cook and to educate my children with the many flavors of our abundant human experience. I can’t remember which year we chose to cook traditional Hanukkah treats but now Latkes always make an appearance in our home around this time of year.  So simple and so good.  And I love how the story of Hanukkah resonates especially around the time of the Winter Solstice.  As the nights get longer and the days get shorter the story of Hanukkah meditates on finding a miracle of light in the darkness and finding freedom in the midst of oppression. And of course the tradition of eating fried foods to celebrate the miraculous oil that lit a single lamp for 8 days…  a holiday that celebrates with fried food!!!!  That is a wonder for sure!

This year I can’t believe that I’ve never thought to replace the onion in the Latke recipe with kimchi before.  It is simply amazing!  You can add more spiciness, more chiles or gochugaru to the mix if you like.  I doubt you can make these and not fall in love.

Wishing you all a great miracle this Hanukkah.


Kimchi Latkes

2 cups shredded potatoes (I like em with skin on but either peeled or not is fine)

½ cup of kimchi that has already had all the juice squeezed out of it.

3 eggs

3 heaped Tablespoons flour

Salt and Pepper

More chiles/gochugaru (optional)

Oil for frying (we used peanut oil but your choice of high heat oil)


Put shredded potatoes in cheesecloth or nut bag and squeeze as dry as possible.

Cut the squeeze dried kimchi into small dice or tiny strips.

Beat eggs.

Combine potatoes, egg, kimchi, flour, (gochugaru if you want), salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy skillet with a ¼ inch of oil on the base to medium high heat.

Press heaping spoonfuls of potato mixture onto the hot skillet squashing the pancakes down to ¼ – ½ inch thickness.  Cook until brown on both sides…  approximately 3 minutes each side.

Serve hot with apple sauce and sour cream – YUM.

20 questions with The Rawsome Vegan Gal

Mindy Goldis AKA The Rawsome Vegan Gal sat us down and got the nitty gritty on what life is really like at Ozuké, the best pickled things. Hop on over to her site to find out what really makes us tick. While your at it, watch her glowing youtube review of our products here:

Cocktail Time

Bloody Mary
via Michelle Auerbach
My friend Jen is known for many things, including her enormous hospitality. When she invites you for Sunday Brunch (and often at other times) she will have a pitcher of Bloody Mary’s waiting. Hers just taste better than anyone else’s and finally this winter I found out why. Pickle juice.  Or when she is out of pickles, Kimchi juice. This twist gives a probiotic lift to an otherwise not so healthy drink, but it also adds a zing that is hard to define. It’s just good.
1 jigger vodka
1/2 teaspoon horseradish
2 shakes Worchershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
2 Tablespoons pickle juice
1 shake Tabasco
a few grinds of black pepper
6 ounces tomato juice, no salt
Squeeze 1/4 lemon
Celery stick for garnish
Over ice
This makes one drink. You can make it by the pitcherful and then you season by taste. Hotter if you want it, more pickle juice if you want it.  All you need to do is mix all the ingredients in the glass or pitcher and serve.
Now be careful. It tastes so good that large adult men have needed designated drivers home from brunch. So either don’t make plans, or sip slowly.

Johnny Loves Ozuké

Last night we received one of the most enthusiastic and heart felt endorsements from our Facebook page. Interestingly we receive at least an email a week asking us if ourjumping beets ~fizzy, earthy, so alive they climb out of the jar beets are safe to eat. Something about your food rushing out to greet you has been unnerving for some folk who from experience expect a vacuum sealed lid to pop and show that everything is dead and safe and hermetically sealed. Well our beets are definitely NOT dead. They are the most live and most nutritionally dense of all our products, between the mineral and iron rich beets, the zinc and magnesium rich Maine coast harvested dulse seaweed and the blood bolstering garlic something truly magical happens. Johnny felt the magic. Here is what he said. 🙂

PS. make sure you read to the bottom there is an amazing 3 ingredient raw beet soup recipe that Johnny magicked together.~~~

jarring beets

I am slowly starting to ease into eating more fermented foods. I have a lifelong history of acute eating disorders that have caused some pretty intense damage to my body, especially my distressed digestive tract. I am a firm and faithful believer in the power of healing naturally with whole foods and know how beneficial fermented foods are to the digestive system. I recently discovered Ozuke’s sensational line of raw organic krauts at a local natural market. There were quite a few raw kraut brands to choose from but Ozuke’s really caught my attention so I went with my gut feeling and decided to give it a try. One of the first things I noticed was the amazing aroma that scented my car as I drove home. The krauts are freshly packed in air tight glass jars but the smells still seem to seep through. This made me eagerly enthusiastic to get home and dive in! The bottle will caution you to open carefully as natural explosion can happen. Do not let this scare you. You know the feeling when you pop open a bottle of bubbly on a special occasion and suds soar? Most people find this exciting as they cheerfully celebrate while they pop the top resulting in a fizzy frenzy. My reaction to opening my first jar of Ozuke beet, kale and dulse kraut was exactly this and so much more! To my surprise about 1 inch of shredded beets emerged from the top of the jar almost like it was sprouting up to shout “let’s get this party started!” Too anxious to wait, I quickly wiped up the beautiful beet splatter paint (hey, we all need some color in our lives!) and determinedly dove into deliciousness. I’m blushing to admit but I did not want to put the jar down. I was clinging to it like Winnie the Pooh to his honey pots! Everything became euphoric! The combination of sweet, salty, savory and slightly sour/tart raw-kraut-rocked my world like I was in some kind of sauerkraut sacred space with a note on the door that said, “Please do not disturb. I am in sauerkraut Heaven right now!” I say this with sincere seriousness. Nowadays I prefer to make all my own food, including homemade organic krauts, but Ozuke’s products are my new exception and obsession. I am currently hooked on their beet, dulse & kale kraut which I love using to make a dreamy & creamy fermented raw soup with 3 simple ingredients: Ozuke’s beet kraut, ripe avocado and Thai young coconut water – pureed into pure beet bliss! I am on a mission to try different krauts and start a staple stockpile of their fabulous fermented foods in my fridge! I feel it deep in my heart to share this testimonial because the outstanding owners at Ozuke are not just changing the food industry by promoting real, raw and healing foods but also changing the lives and health of others. I encourage others to embrace, enjoy and experience the nutritional cathartic healing benefits live fermented foods offer. Your health is worth it and you deserve it. Ozuke’s products are the perfect way to get your fermented food fix! You will feel the love, passion and positive energy they hand pack into every blessed jar. I cannot thank you enough Ozuke, God bless! JohnnyLovesOzukeJohnny Righini aka Mr. Sauerkraut Sassypants with his favorite Ozuke beet kraut!

Thank you Johnny for taking the time out to share your story and fizz like your favorite beets with such healthy enthusiasm.  xo

January cleanse

After a wonderful month of butter cookies, eggnog and other sundry delights, it is time to clean the pipes. I have a couple of cleanses that I really like and think can work for different metabolisms and temperaments. One of my favorites is the Colorado Cleanse:  which can be adapted to suit your needs. I often make this salad for the first four days (although the mustard is not really allowed)

but the oily delight of the avocado with the zing of citrus ginger kraut is very satisfying. I have also heard great things about what these ladies are up to:

and am eager to try it out this month. I will let you know how it goes!

Here is to a month of vibrant health for all.


Root Down! New Denver Restaurant Review

Looking for a deliciously fun brunch, great ambience, and bottomless mimosa & bloody Mary’s? Then get yourself a reservation at Root Down (RD) in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver now! It takes some planning to get a table where tasty breakfast and lunch dishes are plentiful and doors close at 2:30 pm each weekend.

RD, Linger Eatery, and most recently, Root Down Denver International Airport (DIA), are where Chef D and his team work together with local farmers and artisanal food makers to create unique entrees. One of the most popular dishes at Root Down, is the vegetarian and gluten-free Eggs Benedict on the brunch menu. Instead of a traditional English muffin, hearty quinoa cakes are the foundation of this colorful eggs Benny. Atop the cakes is a generous layer of ozuké pickled beets that perfectly compliment the organic poached eggs, and the creamy rich dried tomato Hollandaise sauce. Citrus dressed arugula and roasted root vegetables complete this uniquely satisfying meal.
Recently Updated4 For some time now, Chef D has been using ozuké pickled things on his Root Down brunch and raw night menus. Recently, he and Mara have been brainstorming about plans to include ozuké pickled things in new and exciting ways at all three restaurants. Can’t wait to taste what he creates!
Recently Updated8In the meantime, we’ll keep enjoying brunch at Root Down Denver, and we’ll be sure to visit their DIA location in the C concourse on our next trip. I know there will be lots of eclectic art to check out, refreshing beverages, and yummy food combinations. Plus there’s the Lite Brite bar at Linger Eatery!

• 1600 W. 33RD AVENUE, DENVER, CO 80211 | 303.993.4200 | INFO@ROOTDOWNDENVER.COM

Monday – Thursday, 5pm – 10pm
Friday & Saturday, 5pm – 11pm
Sunday, 5pm – 9pm
(Bar stays open later – 12am-ish)

HAPPY HOUR (bar only)
Monday – Friday, 4:30pm – 7pm

Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 2:30pm

Blinking Beets & Cauliflower

Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? It was just a minute ago when Mara led a fermenting workshop. Then I blinked and it was Halloween. I blinked again and it’s almost Thanksgiving!tanner in leaves

As falls hits, the energy at my house begins to burst at the seams in anticipation of the holidays. It starts on Halloween, my boys get excited about running from house to house in costumes and collecting more candy than they will ever consume. Each year they try to finesse their trick or treating strategy by improving their running times. They start out sprinting, and by the end of the night they are dragging. The goal, of course, is to FILL their pillowcase with as much high fructose corn syrup as possible. When they were little, going to a handful of houses was adequate. Now, they can go for longer than an hour or two at full speed. It’s still not quite long enough to fill their pillowcases, but it’s plenty long enough to collect gobs of their favorite treats. They return home to sort, trade, and make plans for how each piece will be eaten and in what order. I wonder what is more fun? Trick or treating, or sorting and planning?Beets Cauliflower picklesWhen the weather is warmer, like during an Indian summer, Halloween is just that much more fun. It’s nice to be outside in the evening smelling and feeling fall. Is it the leaves turning shades of yellow, orange, red and brown that make the air smell like fall? Or is it the cooler night time temperatures? It’s probably both, and shorter daylight hours too. Either way, fall is a welcome respite from the long full days of summer. This pickled recipe of Mara’s feels like fall. She combines beautiful golden beets and creamy white cauliflower for a seasonal probiotic rich side dish.  It is fall!beets3As temperatures drop, heartier plants such as crucifers (cabbage, broccoli & cauliflower) and root vegetables begin to play a larger role in our daily diets.  They take on richer, sweeter flavors because the sugars are more concentrated in the plants. This phenomenon has also been referred to as ‘Frost Kissed’. Plus the nutritional benefit of eating these brassica vegetables is enormous.  As a group, these plants are high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and cholineFolate is an essential mineral that supports healthy brain function and is important in the construction of cell membranes. Choline helps to reduce chronic inflammation and protects the liver. Eat your golds, and creamy whites! Here is Mara’s Golden pickled beets recipe.DSC_0067

Golden Pickled Beets, Cauliflower & Peppers:
1/2 Gallon spring/filtered water
2 TBSP sea salt
3 Medium golden beets, slice 1/8″ thin by hand or with mandolin
1 Head cauliflower,  larger than bite size pieces
Peppers, sliced in half (few or many, depending on desired zing)
1 tsp Coriander seed
2 tsp Fennel seed
2 tsp Cumin seed
1/2 tsp TumericRecently Updated2Directions:
Dissolve sea salt in water using a glass jar or fermenting crock.  The brine should be salty, but not overpowering. Be sure to use non-iodized salt. Trim and peel golden beets. Then slice them approximately 1/8″ thick. Break apart or cut cauliflower into florets. Slice peppers down the middle. Pack vegetables into jar or crock alternating among colors. Continue until full. Be sure all of your vegetables are fully immersed in brine. This will ensure an anaerobic environment which is necessary for fermenting.  If needed, add brine to cover vegetable mixture completely. Allow 2-3 weeks to ferment on counter top at approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit.wet handTry these pickled treats with Tandoori chicken or other Indian spiced dishes. Of course, golden pickled beets & cauliflower would be great on a holiday antipasto platter. We hope you find the time to truly enjoy the upcoming holiday season.


Homemade Ginger Beer Recipe

Ginger Beer Recipe:

This is a very simple and tasty recipe on how to make ginger beer. It is very strong in ginger taste and perfect for the cocktail “Dark ‘N’ Stormy “or just drinking. You can also add half seltzer water for the folks who like a milder Ginger flavor. Below is  a cartoon of the recipe ,thanks to my fantastic mama for drawing it. A natural, classic non-alcoholic ginger beer made with fresh pressed ginger juice.

* You may have to unscrew the lid a couple of times to let the gases out if not it will explode.

Yield: 6 bottles

Prep Time: 30 minutes + 60 hours of infusing and fermentation time


3/4 cups Brown Sugar
2 qts of Water
1.5 cups of Grated Ginger
2/3 cups Lime Juice,
Fresh Squeezed please it is worth it
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar

1/4 tsp of Baker’s Yeast or Champagne Yeast

Let’s go make some ginger beer…

1.)Bring the brown sugar, water, grated ginger, cream of tartar to a boil.
2.)Place into a large jar and let sit for 24hrs.
3.)After it sat overnight strain the ginger.

4.)Heat the mixture to 65 F, then add the yeast.

Close up picture of the yeast in the ginger beer.

5.) Cover and let sit for 48 hours for maximum carbonation. Bottle if desired. If you do not have the fancy bottler I do, then just put the ginger beer in glass bottles and tighten the lid on. My mother uses repurposed glass mineral water bottles. Some of the carbonation will leak out, but it will be okay.


Make sure you chill the bottles before opening them because they will explode all over.

We enjoyed this distinctly grown up soda (it’s a bit spicy for the kids and not too sweet) with some excellent Kraken spiced rum over ice.  It was a fun center piece to a sausage making party that we threw, a sharp and warming accent to the delicious fatty sausages.

I love Ginger. I have a tendency to keep asking the sushi chef for more and when I was in Japan it was unlimited. I was eating at the sushi conveyor belt restaurant and I must of ate 1.5 cups of ginger. Within 10 minutes, I got a really bad stomach ache and could not go anywhere. It was not fun. I learned my lesson: Do not eat an excess amount of ginger!

Dorian O’Connell guest blogging for Esoteric Food Company…  see her own blog here:

click here to link to

winter is a comin… Raw Salsa Recipe

The farmer’s market this weekend was a blustery affair, complete with spits of hail and rain. It was heartwarming to see all the hard core locovores, out in their wellies and wool hats, filling their market baskets with the harvest of the season. On Friday, when the air started to turn chilly, I was over at my friend Jen’s house. Jen is an amazing gardener and she was out harvesting like crazy, trying to beat the frost. My timing happened to be good- I came just as her tomatillo basket was overflowing and I got to take home some the goodness. I found this great recipe for raw salsa verde on Nourished Kitchen and adapted it just slightly to tame the spice for my kids.

  • 1 lb tomatillos (husked and halved)
  • 8 to 12 jalapeno or serrano peppers (seeded if desired and chopped)
  • 1 medium head of garlic (cloves, peeled and crushed)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp unrefined coarse sea salt
  • starter of choice, I like whey or kombucha
  1. Toss tomatillos, peppers, garlic, lime juice, salt and starter culture or fresh whey into a food processor or blender and process until smooth, adjusting for seasoning as necessary.
  2. Transfer the sauce to a mason jar or a vegetable fermenter  and allow to ferment at room temperature for three to five days before transferring to cold storage. Serve the salsa verde over grilled chicken or fish or as a garnish for tacos and burritos.


Video Interview: Willow Talks Pickles

Check out co-founder Willow King as she gives us the inside scoop on pickles at Zuke!