Recipe of the Month: Fruit Nut Smoothie

Fruit Nut Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

 

Ingredients:

1 banana

1 cup soy or rice milk

1 cup berries

1 cup diced melon

1/2 cup almonds

2-4 ice cubes

 

Directions:

1.   Mix in blender for 1-2 minutes and serve.

Note: You can add other ingredients for added nutrition such as a spoonful of bee pollen, coconut oil, flax seed oil, spirulina powder or a scoop of protein powder.

Warm Vegetable/Bean Salad

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup small-sized broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup small-sized cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup steamed bean sprouts
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • Rock salt to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Combine broccoli and cauliflower and steam or blanch until fork tender.

Heat olive oil in a pot and add the vegetables, bean sprouts and garbanzos, salt and black pepper.

Stir until heated through. Remove from heat.

Add lemon juice and basil; stir. Enjoy warm. (Serves 1)

 

Massaged Kale Salad

Ingredients:
1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup red onion, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
½ green apple, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Directions:
1. Wash and dry kale.
2. Stack leaves, roll up and cut into thin ribbons.
3. Put kale in a large bowl and cover with salt.
4. Massage salt into leaves with your hands for about 2 minutes or until it looks wet and broken down.
5. Transfer kale to a fresh bowl and discard any leftover liquid.
6. Mix in onion, cranberries, apple and sunflower seeds.
7. Dress with oil and vinegar and toss.
8. Enjoy!

FOOD FOCUS OF THE MONTH — Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is a nutritional powerhouse with ancient origins. It was originally cultivated by the Incas more than 5,000 years ago; they referred to it as the “mother of all grains.” It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a great source of protein for vegetarians. Quinoa is also high in magnesium, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin and zinc.
While quinoa is widely considered a grain, it’s actually the seed of a plant called Chenopodium or Goosefoot, related to chard and spinach. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain and has a similar effect as other whole grains in helping to stabilize blood sugar.
It has a waxy protective coating called saponin which can leave a bitter taste. For best results, rinse quinoa before you cook it or even soak it for a few hours or overnight. When cooked, it has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Try it in soups, salads, as a breakfast porridge or as its own side dish.

For quinoa, and whole grains in general, the majority of digestion occurs in the mouth through chewing and exposure to saliva. For optimal nutrition and assimilation, it is vital to chew your grains well and with awareness. A great meditation is to find a calm place, without distractions, to sit down for your meal. Make it a habit to chew each bite 20 times or more. See how this simple practice can help your digestion and overall focus for the rest of your day.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH:

CURRIED QUINOA

1 Tbls Curry powder or combine turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon  or any other curry combination you like

1/2 teas oregano and basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup quinoa rinsed

2 cups water or stock

*optional* add handful dried cranberries, nuts and seeds of your choice.

 

Coat pot with olive oil and sauté curry and herbs and salt. Stir for  a couple of minutes. Add rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water. Boil and then turn down to simmer about 15-20 minutes. Fluff.

Recipe of the Month: Mushrooms and Greens over Millet

1 onion chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped

1 bunch of collard greens, swiss chard, or spinach chopped

2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp butter

120z cremini mushrooms

1-2 portobello mushrooms

8-10oz shitakii mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

a little wine to taste (red)

Fresh parsley

Directions:

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil and butter till soft. Add chopped greens. Saute until bright green. Add chopped up mushrooms, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until mushrooms are tender.

Millet Recipe:

1 cup millet, soaked

3 cups water

a few grains of sea salt

Directions:

Place millet and salt in a pot of water. Cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 30 minutes or pressure cook 20 minutes.

Serve mushroom mixture over millet. Chop parsley, sprinkle on top. Add grated pecorino romano cheese to taste.

 

Soul Food

When I think of soul food I think about high fat, heavy rich food that sticks to the ribs (and other places not so appealing). But when I think about food that truly feeds the soul, comfort food, I think about the food that brings me to a place of pleasure, warmth and contentment. Sometimes in the dark cold days of winter it is just what I need to feel warm and safe.

Think for a moment of a food from your past, one that makes you feel great after you eat it for no specific reason. Maybe it is macaroni and cheese, slow-simmered tomato sauce, ice cream cones or potato pancakes. Eating comfort foods (every now and then) can be incredibly healing, even though your rational brain might not consider it highly nutritious. Maybe it was the people we were with that made the food more meaningful.

Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well-being. What we eat can reconnect us to precious memories, like childhood playtimes, first dates, holidays, our grandmother’s cooking or our country of ancestry. Our bodies remember foods from the past on an emotional and cellular level. Eating this food connects us to our roots and has youthening and nurturing effects that go far beyond the food’s biochemical make-up.

Acknowledging what different foods mean to us is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. This month when we celebrate lovers and relationships, it’s important to notice that we each have a relationship with food—and that this relationship is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food, attempting to control our weight. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others ignore food, swallowing it whole before we’ve even tasted it.

What would your life be like if you treated food and your body as you would treat your beloved – with gentleness, playfulness, communication, honesty, respect and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt, and enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you.

Foods for a Healthy Heart

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. -Rumi

Foods for a Healthy Heart:

  • Grains (whole wheat, brown rice, oats)
  • Mushrooms
  • Silicon Foods: cucumber, celery, lettuce, oatstraw tea, barley gruel, oat goat tea
  • Fruit: mulberries and lemons- calm the mind. Schisandra berries- calm the spirit.
  • Seeds: jujube seeds- nourish the heart.
  • Spices: dill and basil- give a calming effect.
  • Herbs: chamomile, scullcap, valerian- help with insonmia and nerves.
  • Animal Products: quality cow and goat milk- nourish the spirit of the heart.
  • Oyster shell- for the yin of the heart.

* Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods, 2002.

 

Mighty Miso Soup Recipe

[intro] Food Focus: Sea Vegetables[/intro]
In traditional Chinese healing, sea vegetables correspond to the winter season and to the kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder and reproductive organs. The strengthening, balancing and cleansing properties of sea vegetables are known to help these organs as well as the hair, skin and nails. Sea vegetables (or seaweeds) provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron and iodine, and can help balance hormone and thyroid levels in the body. Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your diet can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.
[intro]
Recipe of the Month: Mighty Miso Soup[/intro]
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 4-5 servings

Ingredients:
4-5 cups spring water
1-2 inch strip of wakame, rinsed and soaked 5 minutes
in 1 cup of water until softened
1-2 cups thinly sliced vegetables of your choice (see notes)
2-3 teaspoons barley miso
2 scallions, finely chopped

Directions:
1. Chop soaked wakame.
2. Discard soaking water or use on houseplants for a boost of minerals.
3. Place water and wakame in a soup pot and bring to a boil.
4. Add root vegetables first and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until tender.
5. Add leafy vegetables and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
6. Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from pot and dissolve miso into it. Return it to the pot.
7. Reduce heat to very low; do not boil or simmer miso broth.
8. Allow soup to cook 2-3 minutes.
9. Garnish with scallions and serve.

Note:
Any combination of vegetables can be used in miso soup. Here are some classic combinations:
• onion-daikon: cleansing
• onion-carrot-shiitake mushroom-kale: mildly sweet
• onion-winter squash-cabbage: great in wintertime
• leek-corn-broccoli: great in summertime

Variations:
• Add cooked grains at the start of making the soup. They will become nice and soft.
• Add a tablespoon of uncooked quinoa or millet at the beginning and let it cook with vegetables for 20 minutes.
• Add cubed tofu toward the end.
• Add bean sprouts toward the end.
• Season with 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice for an interesting twist.
• If using dry shiitake mushrooms, let them soak for 20 minutes, slice and add at the beginning.

(photo from the blog post of happyfoody)

Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro

Cravings for sweets can be greatly reduced by adding sweet vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, beets, squash, turnips and rutabagas to your daily diet. Sweet potatoes elevate blood sugar gently rather than with the jolt delivered by simple refined carbohydrates, so there’s no energy crash after you eat them. Much higher in nutrients than white potatoes and especially rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes offer a creamy consistency that is satisfying and soothing. They are healing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and help to remove toxins from the body. They can increase the quantity of milk in lactating women and can lessen cramps and premenstrual symptoms. If you don’t have any sweet potatoes in your kitchen, go out and buy some (organic and local if possible) and make the recipe below.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

4 sweet potatoes
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
2-3 limes
butter or olive oil, salt (optional)

Directions:

1. Wash the sweet potatoes and bake them whole, in their skins, at 375 degrees until tender, about 40 minutes.
2. Wash and chop cilantro leaves.
3. When sweet potatoes are done, slit open the skin and place on serving plate. Season with salt and dots of butter or a sprinkle of oil, if you like, then squeeze fresh lime juice all over, and shower with cilantro leaves.

Photo credit: Jeanette’s Healthy Living. Link