Green Lasagna

Spring is finding its way into summer here in Vermont. As we approach next week's new moon and the possibilities that it brings, consider ways to bring more vegetables into your life. This shift offers a host of benefits: from improved digestion and immunity to healthier skin and balanced weight.

Try this vegetarian lasagna recipe to bring more green into your next meal.

Green Vegetarian Lasagna

You will need:

  • 2 packages gluten-free lasagna noodles, oven ready (I like De Bole's brand)

  • 1 stick butter

  • 2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 large yellow onions

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon each: thyme and oregano

  • 3 cups cremini mushooms

  • 5 medium zucchini

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • Two 15 ounce cans (canellini white kidney) beans (I like Eden Organics) or 3 cups cooked dry beans

I like this recipe because you can prepare the two sauces on a day off, assemble the lasagna whenever you have time, and refrigerate it for up to a day before baking it.

Chop the onions and saute them in olive oil for 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add thyme and oregano.

Coarsely chop and add zucchini. Saute for 5 more minutes and then set aside to cool. Blend with immersion or upright blender until you get a smooth sauce.

Then, prepare the second sauce.

Melt the butter in a deep skillet.

Chop the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and add them to the butter. Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Mince garlic and add that to the mushrooms. Add cooked beans and milk. Stir well saute for 3 or 4 more minutes, then and turn off heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with olive oil.

Assemble the lasagna by first spreading a thin layer of the mushroom bean sauce on the bottom.

Place noodles on top and make sure that they do not overlap for even baking.

Spread the zucchini sauce over the noodles.

Cover with a generous helping of grated Parmigiano.

Add another layer of the mushroom bean sauce, more noodles, zucchini sauce, and cheese.

Repeat until you get to the top of the dish. I usually make 4 layers.

After you lay down your last layer of noodles, do not add more zucchini. Just cover them with cheese and then wrap the dish tightly with aluminum foil. It's ok if it mounds over. It will settle as it bakes.

Bake for 50 minutes.

Remove foil, turn broiler on high, and broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

Serve immediately with a side salad.

images.jpg

Salad Summer

Summer is a wonderful time to combine fresh ingredients and minimal cooking effort to create a delicious meal. Try these salad recipes to nourish and inspire you.

Arugula, Potato and Green Bean Salad

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup walnuts

  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 packed cups arugula

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop and set aside.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a colander to drain and cool. Set aside.

Return pan of water to a boil. Add green beans, and cook until tender and bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the colander with the potatoes.

Whisk together vinegar, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; season with pepper. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Set dressing aside.

Arrange arugula, potatoes, and green beans on a platter. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted walnuts; toss to coat.

Parsley Cilantro Chickpea Salad

For the salad:

  • 2 cups cooked chick peas OR one 14 ounce can chickpeas. drained

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each: salt, black pepper, allspice, cumin, and cardamon

  • 5 packed cups of salad greens

  • 2 cups cucumbers, diced (about 1 cucumber)

  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (about 3 medium tomatoes)

  • 1/3 cup each of fresh cilantro and Italian parsley. chopped

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon each: salt and black pepper

Cook and drain the chickpeas. If cooking dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and boil them in water for 2 hours until tender.

Place them in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, cumin and cardamom. Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Chop cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley and cilantro.

Wash and drain salad greens.

Remove chickpeas heat and place them in a serving bowl with all the other salad ingredients.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad, toss well, and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour.

ruth-reyer-1140152-unsplash.jpg

A Week in Vegetables

As we pass the halfway point between winter solstice and spring equinox, I am thinking about the fertile seeds that we will plant in dark soil this spring. These seeds will bring delicious food to our table and fill our root cellar with bounty for the winter to come.

I realize that time is not linear, but cyclical. The cycle of seasons finds plants on another ring of the spiral each year as they sprout new branches, stalks, and shoots. We can also grow into each new cycle by appreciating how far we have come since this time last year and renewing our body, mind, and spirit with simple food. 

As the outside world slowly wakes up to welcome another growing season, so can we rejuvenate our bodies by including more plant foods into our diet.

Here is the shopping list for a week of healthy, plant-based lunches.

You can gain the complete guide, including recipes, by clicking here.

Simple Vegetable Recipes 

to keep you nourished all week long

Shopping List

  • 8 small sweet potatoes (or 5 to 6 medium/large)

  • 1 head of cauliflower

  • 1 head of broccoli

  • 2 bunches Swiss chard

  • Baby spinach

  • 2 bunches kale

  • Mushrooms

  • 1 can white beans

  • 1 can chickpeas

  • 2 red onions

  • 1 large leek

  • Parsley or cilantro (optional)

  • Grocery

  • Olive Oil

  • Eggs

  • Ghee or grass-fed butter

  • Tamari or soy sauce

  • Cumin

  • Coriander

  • Paprika

  • Apple cider vinegar

  • Salt and pepper

While making breakfast, follow these instructions for assembling a lunch quickly. It will take about 30 minutes per morning.

nadine-primeau-1117871-unsplash.jpg

Mexico-Inspired Feast

As the weather starts warming slowly, I try to move my body more, breathe the fresh air even though it's cold, and eat more spicy food. Spice from the capsicum family (peppers and paprika) awakens the digestive system, accelerates the metabolism, and improves circulation.

I am inspired to share a Mexican-style meal, which reminds me of my visits to the Yucatan Peninsula. Every part of Mexico has its own regional cuisine. These dishes are familiar to me from my time in Chiapas.

Many of these ingredients, including garlic, cinnamon, and rice, have incredible healing properties.

With chills and weakness brought on by a cold, cinnamon's (cinnamomum sativum) anti-microbial activity stops the development of pathogenic bacteria. The active components in its essential oils warm the body. Try sprinkling it on buttered toast or adding it to applesauce.

Garlic, alium sativum, is one of nature's most powerful antibiotics. Its sulfur compounds reduce inflammation in the body. Effective in treating both viral and bacterial infections, fresh crushed garlic is a potent remedy. If your belly can tolerate it, mince or press 2 cloves of garlic, mix with 1/4 cup honey, and eat with toast or rice. You may also place a spoonful of fresh minced garlic in chicken soup.

Rice, oryza sativa, is the most common cereal grain world-wide. It is nourishing and soothing to a system that's depleted by cold and flu. It stops diarrhea, nourishes dehydrated tissues, and is one of the easiest grains to digest. When you are sick, make rice porridge with 1 cup rice and 3 cups water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to ensure that you are getting sufficient electrolytes. You can season it with thyme and cinnamon if you like.

Shopping List

  • cornmeal (non-GMO if possible)

  • long grain brown rice

  • black beans - please soak overnight

  • eggs

  • sour cream

  • milk (almond or cow)

  • olive oil

  • apple cider vinegar

  • canned / jarred tomatoes

  • salt

  • cinnamon

  • cumin

  • coriander

  • oregano

  • red chile flakes

  • onions

  • garlic

  • carrots

  • lime

  • orange

  • spinach

  • mushrooms

  • fresh cilantro (optional)

Black Bean Stew

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, oregano and salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes (optional)

  • 1 cup cooked black beans

  • 2 cups water

  • juice of 1 orange

  • freshly chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Soak beans overnight or for 8 hours. Rinse, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer.

Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top of the pot.

Simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are tender but still well-formed.

Rinse, drain, and set aside.

Chop onions, garlic, and carrots.

Place in a stock pot with olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add spices and black beans. Stir well and sauté for 3 more minutes, or until you can smell the spices.

Add water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the juice of 1 orange. Stir well.

Turn off heat and enjoy with cooked rice and a garnish of freshly chopped cilantro if you like.

Cornmeal Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a glass baking dish (9x9 or so) with olive oil. Set aside.

Mince:

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 pound mushrooms

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 onion

Place these in a deep skillet with 3 tablespoons olive oil.

Turn heat on high and then reduce to medium low once vegetables start to sizzle.

Add 1 teaspoon each: oregano, cumin, and coriander - mix well.

Splash with 1 tablespoon lime juice, stir once more, and cover.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. 

Turn off heat, add 2 packed cups spinach, stir well, and spread into baking dish.

For the topping, whisk together these ingredients in the order listed:

  • 2 cups cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups milk (almond or cow)

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Add a bit of water if the dough is too dry. You need to be able to handle it with your hands without it cracking or crumbling.

Shape dough into a flat disc and place over vegetables.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 

Remove from oven and serve with sour cream chile sauce.

GET CREATIVE! Avoiding cream and cheese? Put a fried egg or braised cod on top.

Sour Cream Chile Sauce

In a serving bowl, mix:

  • 2 cups sour cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon each: coriander and chile flakes

  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Serve immediately or keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

elle-hughes-666419-unsplash.jpg

Love the Body, Calm the Mind, Nourish the Spirit

Mid-winter is here. We are half-way between winter solstice and spring equinox. This is a time to savor the warmth of the hearth, the delight of soup, and the crunchy texture of a little bit of winter green food.

Enjoy these recipes and remember to breathe in the scents of the spices as you savor your meal.

Lentil Squash Soup

Thanks to Rebecca Katz for this recipe inspiration.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 3 celery stalks, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon each: salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon

  • 1 medium butternut squash, baked

  • 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and boiled

  • 1 cup kale or Swiss chard, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Place the squash on a cookie sheet in the oven and bake it for 1 hour, or until it is soft when you cut through it with a knife.

Meanwhile, rinse the lentils and bring them to a boil in a sauce pot with 3 cups water. Reduce heat to simmer, skim off any foam that rises, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Rinse, drain, and set aside.

Now, chop vegetables.

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add diced yellow onion and vinegar and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add diced carrots, celery, and spices. Sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes.

Add cooked lentils and 3 cups water.

Bring to a boil, reduce to low, and cook, covered, while you peel and de-seed the squash.

Once it’s peeled and de-seeded, add the squash to the pot.

Add the kale or Swiss chard.

Simmer for 15 more minutes.

Taste for salt and serve immediately with nutty rice flatbread.

Roasted Root and Chopped Egg Salad

Thanks to Bon Appetit for this recipe inspiration.

You will need:

  • 2 large carrots, chopped

  • 3 large parsnips, chopped

  • 1 celeriac (celery root), chopped

  • 5 whole cloves garlic

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1½ pounds frisée and/or arugula, torn and washed

  • Walnut mustard vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss carrots, parsnips, celeriac and garlic with oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet. Roast, tossing halfway through, for 30 minutes total.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.

Add eggs and boil for 5 minutes. Run them under cold water, peel them, chop them, and place them in a large bowl with the roasted roots. Toss well.

Add frisée and/or arugula and dressing.

Toss again, serve, and enjoy!

Walnut Mustard Vinaigrette

You will need:

  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon tamari

Place all ingredients in a mason jar, screw on the lid, and shake well. Pour over salad and enjoy!

jeshoots-com-409789-unsplash.jpg

Healing Bowl of Delight

To celebrate the arrival of darker evenings, I am cooking with more root vegetables, warming spices, and foods to balance mental health.

Try this recipe to delight your senses and soothe your soul. It's a great way to cleanse after a day of rich, Thanksgiving-style eating.

BOUNTIFUL BOWL OF DELIGHT

This healing meal is comprised of three parts: pickled cabbage slaw, ginger tahini sauce, and vegetable legume pilaf.

PICKLED CABBAGE SLAW

You will need:

  • Half a head of red or green cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, fenugreek and cinnamon

GARLIC, GINGER + TAHINI SAUCE

You will need:

  • ¼ cup tahini

  • ¼ cup water

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon salt or tamari

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon freshly chopped ginger root

  • ½ teaspoon freshly chopped garlic

VEGETABLE + LEGUME PILAF

You will need:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 bunch (2 packed cups) of kale, chard, collards or spinach, roughly chopped

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, millet, kasha, or quinoa – cooked with wakame seaweed

  • 2 cups cooked beans (I like adzuki or kidney beans)*

  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary leaf powder

  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

Make the pickled cabbage a day in advance. Place the red or green cabbage in a large jar or airtight container. In a large measuring cup, combine the apple cider vinegar, water, honey and salt. Pour the liquid over the red cabbage and press the cabbage down so that it is fully covered. Cover the jar/container and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To prepare the tahini sauce, combine all ingredients in a cup or small bowl and whisk well. Chill until ready to use.

Cook grains in twice as much water. Add seaweed halfway through cooking. Salt grains with about 1 teaspoon of salt per 2 cups of dry grains.

*If you are using dry beans, soak overnight and cook in three times as much water with more seaweed. Skim off any foam that rises to the top and discard it. Once beans are soft, rinse them well. Season them with rosemary, salt, and olive oil. Set them aside.

To cook the sweet potato, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Spread the sweet potatoes out on the sheet. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with a spatula until fully coated. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes, tossing them with a spatula after 15 minutes.

For the greens, fill a large shallow sauce pan or medium pot with about 1 to 2 inches of water. Place a steamer basket in the pot and fill the basket with the chopped greens. Cover the pot and turn the heat up to high. Once the water begins to boil, or after about 4 to 5 minutes, remove the kale from the basket and set aside.

In 2 bowls, divide the cooked grains, legumes, and sweet potato. Add a generous serving of greens. Top with slices of avocado and pickled cabbage. Drizzle the sauce over the top and enjoy!

tom-crew-625205-unsplash.jpg

Chicken and White Bean Stew

As Autumn Equinox comes near, I am gathering the abundance of the harvest and making basil and nettle pesto, elderberry syrup, tomato sauce, and blanched vegetables for the freezer.

The evenings are almost frosting and the mornings are misty and cool.

It feels like time for some warming, comforting soup

A food’s energetic quality is inherent to it. Cooking can modify it, but only to a certain extent. A cooling food like fruit, even when cooked, is still relatively cooling. Ginger or cinnamon can be added to an apple to increase its warming quality, but the fruit’s original cooling effect remains. As we prepare for winter, we can eat warm and warming foods to prevent illness and strengthen ourselves for the colder months to come.

Foods rich in protein and fat have more calories and thus are more warming. Vegetables that grow more slowly are also more warming. For example, cabbage is more warming than lettuce and root vegetables are warmer than peppers or tomatoes.

The fire element is related to heat in the body. Metabolism and circulation depend upon this stimulating quality to transform food and body chemicals into functional substances and circulate them throughout the system. Foods that are hot, both in temperature and spice level, increase metabolism and circulation.

CHICKEN AND WHITE BEAN STEW

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 1/4 pound free-range chicken, boneless (omit for vegetarians)

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups purple cabbage, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon each: coriander and cumin

  • ½ teaspoon each: oregano, chili flakes, and salt

  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed, or 4 cups

  • cooked canellini beans

  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

  • Parmesan cheese as garnish if desired

In a soup pot, saute onions for 15 minutes on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown.

Splash with apple cider vinegar.

Add the chicken and saute on medium high heat, stirring constantly with a metal spatula, until chicken is cooked through - about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the cut.

Add the celery, carrots, garlic, cabbage, and spices. Stir well.

Add the other ingredients (except the cheese) and bring to a boil.

Reduce to simmer, cook for 15 minutes, and serve.

Garnish with Parmesan if you like.

Enjoy with sourdough bread or your favorite whole grain.

dana-devolk-1348684-unsplash.jpg

First Harvest Time

Lammas, "Loaf Mass" - also known as Lughdnasah by Gaelic people - is the first harvest time, when agrarian people of the Northern hemisphere prepare fermented foods and enjoy the gifts of wheat, corn, beans, and summer squash.

dragne-marius-117368-unsplash.jpg

Try these recipes to include first harvest foods in your meals.


CRANBERRY BEAN AND CORN SALAD

You will need:

  • 1 pound cranberry beans

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 3 shallots, chopped

  • 2 ears fresh corn, shucked

  • 1 teaspoons thyme, de-stemmed

  • 2 teaspoons rosemary, de-stemmed

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon each: salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak beans in cold water overnight or for 8 hours.

Then, bring beans and 8 cups water to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium and cook until beans are tender - about 35 minutes.

Drain and transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shallots until soft, about 5 minutes.

Remove corn from ears and add to skillet.

Add thyme and rosemary. Cook for 5 minutes more.

Let cool slightly; transfer to bowl with beans.

Toss with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!


CORN CAKES WITH FRESH HERB SPREAD

For the spread:

  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/3 cup cashews

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • Juice of 1 lemon

Blend these together in a food processor. Set aside.

For the corn cakes:

  • 1/2 cup organic, non-GM cornmeal

  • 1/2 cup flour (wheat, spelt, or millet)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • 1 cup milk (almond, rice, or cow)

  • 2 eggs OR 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal dissolved in just as much hot water

  • 3/4 cup fresh sweet corn kernels - about 1 large cob

  • olive or sunflower oil for cooking

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, powder salt and paprika in a large bowl.

Make a well in the center, add butter, milk, eggs/flaxseed, and corn.

Whisk wet ingredients together briefly then incorpoate with dry ingredients.

Heat some olive or sunflower oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Pour small amounts of batter onto the skillet (about 1/4 cup per corn cake).

Cook until cakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve warm with a garnish of herb spread.

Salad Dinner

Summer is the time to enjoy creative combinations of fruits and vegetables with tangy dressings.

Try these for your next dinner party, picnic, or potluck.

PEACHY GREEN BEAN SALAD

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon each: salt and freshly ground black pepper1 pound ripe peaches, sliced

  • 1 handful lemon balm,  finely chopped

  • 2 pounds green beans, ends snipped

  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Whisk oil vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Slice, pit and add peaches. Mix well and set aside.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil.

Add beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. 

Add to peach mixture. Toss to combine.

Add almonds, toss one more time, and serve!

GET CREATIVE: Enjoy with white bean, garlic and parsley salad.

TOMATO SWEET POTATO SALAD

You will need:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, chopped into cubes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon each: coriander and salt

  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, minced

  • 2 handfuls cilantro, chopped

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet with oil, coriander and salt.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Whisk ginger, cilantro, lime and honey in a large bowl. 

Add potatoes and tomatoes.

Toss to combine and serve warm.

GET CREATIVE: Sprinkle goat cheese over the top. Roll the salad into wraps and slice length-wise into bite-sized pieces.

LENTIL BEET SALAD

You will need:

  • 1 pound red and /or golden beets, chopped

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups indigo or green lentils, soaked for 3 or 4 hours

  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 red apple, chopped into cubes

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place beets on a baking sheet with oil and salt.

Roast for 1 hour or until fork-tender.

Bring soaked lentils and 4 cups of water to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, about 45 minutes. 

Drain, discarding liquid, and rinse through a fine-mesh colander.

Place in a large bowl and toss with mustard, oil, vinegar, apple, honey and garlic.

Add beets, toss once more, and enjoy!

GET CREATIVE: puree the whole salad and shape it into burgers. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes on each side and enjoy with green salad and toasted sourdough bread drizzled with olive oil.

roychan-kruawan-327903-unsplash.jpg

Picnic Time

As the weather gets warmer and the brilliant shades of green decorate the countryside, take time to sit outdoors and enjoy a meal. Bring your favorite foods, and remember to drink plenty of water.
Here are some recipe to inspire your next picnic.

Tahini Date Cookies

Tahini, roasted sesame seed butter, is one of the best vegan sources of calcium to promote healthy bones, teeth and heart.

You will need:
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup dates, chopped
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 cups oats
pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon each: nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom
3 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.
In a food processor mix together the dates, water, tahini, and maple until creamy and blended.
Pour into a bowl and mix together with the oats, salt, spices and olive oil.
Scoop out spoonfuls of the batter on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, to desired crispness.

Tacos

This is a nourishing and creative way to enjoy a gluten-free feast and honor the gastronomic traditions of Central and South America.

For 6 people, you will need:
12 corn tortillas
1 cup queso fresco or any cheese you like
1 quart cooked beans -  I like pinto or black beans
2 fresh limes, cut into quarters
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
salsa fresca 

To prepare salsa fresca, chop:
2 ripe tomatoes
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic
2 handfuls cilantro or parsley if you prefer

In a bowl, mix these together with:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lime

Assemble tacos, drizzle with salsa, and enjoy!

Avocado Hummus

This Middle Eastern dish is full of vegan protein and fiber from the chickpeas and polyunsaturated fat from the avocados.

You will need:
1 ripe avocado, cut in half, skin and stone removed
One 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed OR 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
One clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon tahiniJuice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon each: paprika, coriander, and cumin 
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
6 pieces of pita bread for serving

Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Chill in the fridge for one hour before serving with pita bread.


Simplify

Spring is a great time to simplify your diet. Start enjoying seasonal spring food and try to include at least 7 sevings of fruits and vegetables in your daily intake. Focus on meals comprised of 2/3 vegetables, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 whole grains. 

For protein, choose pastured poultry and eggs, white fish, yogurt, hard cheeses and beans.

Enjoy whole grains such as millet, rice, buckwheat, bulghur (wheat), and amaranth.

Depending on where you live, spring vegetables can vary. Look for these foods as they become available locally. They are high in antioxidants and fiber. Many of them help renew the liver, flush out excess toxins, and digest fats more effectively: asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, burdock root, celery, chicory, chives, dandelion leaf and root, endive, fennel, nettles, parsley and spinach.

Incorporate more fruit into your diet! Try some of these delights: apples, dried apricots, blueberries, apples, oranges, and strawberries.

Health Benefits of Foods

Leeks: strengthen lungs; anti-microbial; anti-bacterial; offer rich source of fructo-oligosaccharides, which stimulate growth of healthy bifidobacteria and suppress the growth of potentially harmful bacteria in the colon.

Millet: alkaline enough to balance body’s pH; nutrient dense, hypo-allergenic, complex carbohydrate; offers a balance of B vitamins to support digestion and provide consistent energy.


Nettles: rich in chlorophyll, fiber, flavonoids, tannins, plant acids and histamin, vitamins A, C, and many minerals, including iron, copper, and calcium.
Parsley: depurative, anti-dandruff, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, odontalgic, stomachic, and tonic. rich in Vitamin C to decrease inflammation, beta carotene to help prevent infection and strengthen immunity, and folic acid (B vitamin) to support cardiovascular health. The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens as well as ease the burn of insect bites and stings.

Recipes

Millet squares
Soak ½ cup millet for 2 hours or so. Strain and rinse millet.
You can also cook without soaking. This process removes phytic acid, making millet more digestible.
Pour into a cooking pot with 2 cups water.
Bring to a boil; then reduce to simmer.
Simmer until millet begins to thicken (about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally, as though cooking oatmeal.

Add:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon salt
Cook on low heat and stir occasionally until millet thickens.
Grease a large glass baking dish (9x13) with vegetable oil. Turn on the broiler.
Pour millet into the baking dish and flatten it evenly. Broil for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and set.

GET CREATIVE! Toppings: fried eggs and spinach; scallions and sardines; artichoke spread and braised chicken; cumin-spiced pinto beans with roasted carrots; goat cheese and pesto

***
Eggs poached in beet greens

Take a bunch of beet greens, rinse them, and place them in a deep skillet with an inch of water at the bottom.
Bring to a boil, covered, and reduce to simmer.
Add salt and black pepper.
Crack four eggs on top of the beet greens. Place lid on skillet and angle it to leave enough of an opening for steam to escape.
Slowly poach the eggs on low heat for 5-6 minutes for soft yolks (8-9 minutes for hard yolks).
Meanwhile, chop a handful of each of these fresh herbs if you have them: mint, basil, parsley, cilantro.
Add fresh herbs on top of poaching eggs and steam briefly.
Remove each egg from the skillet with a slotted spatula and place on plates. 

GET CREATIVE! Serve with toast or quinoa; drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice; use as a topping for millet waffles.

***
Zuppa verde - Italian green vegetable soup
You will need:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely sliced
2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts finely sliced crosswise
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled, split, woody core removed, finely sliced
4 yellow or red potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, sliced (optional)
6 cups water
Salt, thyme, and oregano to taste - about 1 teaspoon each
2 cups fresh green beans, tips snapped, cut crosswise into ½-inch lengths
3 small, firm zucchini, cut into ¼-inch slices

Place olive oil in a soup pot and heat gently. Add the onion and sauté for 15 minutes on medium heat.
Add leeks, celery, carrots, potatoes (if using), and zucchini. Sauté for 5 more minutes. Add water and herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for about ½ hour.

Incorporate green beans and cook another 15 minutes until the beans are done but still a bit crunchy. Add a handful of freshly chopped basil and serve.

Resources:
Kushi, Michio. The Macrobiotic Way. Avery, 2004.
Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods. North Atlantic Books, 2002.
Turner, Kristina. The Self-Healing Cookbook. Earthtone Press, 2002.

Spinach for spring

A wonderful spring vegetable, spinach is growing in many farmers' greenhouses right now. Enjoy its mineral rich content and know that your digestive tract will thank you for eating green fiber! You can substitute chard if you like, which is another delicious green member of the chenopodium family.

Spinach Rosemary Soup
Rosemary adds a complex flavor to this simple soup while helping to boost brain function and immunity.

You will need:
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary, fresh
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups red potatoes, rinsed and cubed
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
6 cups fresh spinach (or chard)

To prepare:
Add oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. 
Add onion, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. 
Pour in broth.. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach (or chard) and continue to simmer until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes more.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or regular blender (in batches), leaving it a little chunky if desired.
Serve the soup garnished with nutmeg, if desired, and topped with a spoonful of yogurt (cow or almond).

***
Mung Bean and Spinach Stew
This fresh spring stew will nourish you and re-vitalize your senses! Breathe in the aromas of ginger and chiles and savor their digestive power.

You will need:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger

2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons Tamari or soy sauce
4 cups mung beans, soaked overnight and cooked
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

To serve:
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Cilantro 

To prepare:
Rinse and drain mung beans. Cook in 8 cups water, skimming any foam that rises to the top. Once tender, drain and rinse once more.
Rinse and cook quinoa in 2 cups water with a pinch of salt.
Place minced garlic and ginger in a skillet with coconut oil. Saute on medium heat for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add chile, paprika, and Tamari. 
Reduce heat to low. Add cooked mung beans and stir together.
Add water, cilantro and spinach.
Cook on medium heat until spinaceh is wilted, about 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat, stir in the rest of the ingredients, and serve in bowls garnished with fresh cilantro and lemon juice.

Soup!

During this last moon cycle before spring equinox, I like to strengthen immunity and soothe my winter-weary spirit with soup. Here are some tips to cook ahead and be flexible with this delicious one-pot wonder. 

The Building Blocks of Soup


Protein: Next time you cook protein like beans, eggs, chicken, beef, tempeh, or tofu, make a double batch for soup. Perhaps you a roasted a chicken earlier in the week, or boiled pinto beans for tacos — whatever you have leftover will make the perfect addition to your soup.

Grains: Did you eat millet, rice, buckwheat, or oats recently? All of these make a great add-in to enrich soups and offer filling fiber. If you don’t have any left over, rice noodles and oats (yes, savory oats are delicious!) cook quickly and are terrific in soup.

Vegetables: Have leftover cooked broccoli, kale, or carrots? Blend veggies and add them to your broth! Not only does this put leftovers to good use, but it’s a great way to sneak added nutrients into your meal without your kids even knowing they are eating veggies.

Slow Cooker Magic
Let soup cook during the day! Slow cookers are helpful: simply throw some ingredients in before you leave the house and by the time you get home you’ll have a delicious stew waiting to be served. 

Try this general guideline: three parts liquid (try chicken or vegetable broth), one part protein, one part starch (beans or whole grains) and tons of vegetables. Layer them with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and raw grains on the bottom, raw vegetables and spices/salt in the middle, cooked protein on top - all covered with liquid.

To prepare slow cooker soup ingredients ahead, set aside an hour on your day off to divide out chicken/beans, potatoes, veggies, whole grains, and anything else you want in your soups into re-sealable freezer bags. On busy days, you can simply dump the bag in the slow cooker on your way out the door in the morning.

Slow Cooker Soup Recipes

Mung Bean Vegetable Soup
You will need:
1 cup cooked mung beans (about 1/2 cup dry beans)

2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
2 large yellow onions
4 stalks celery
½ inch fresh ginger root
1 turnip, chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 bunch collard greens, chopped
1 teaspoon each: garam masala and coriander seed powder
½ Tablespoon each: cumin seed powder and turmeric root powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish of cilantro if desired

Soak beans at breakfast and cook in slow cooker overnight (from 6pm to 6am for example).
Rinse and drain in the morning. 
To the bottom of the slow cooker, add oil and rice.
Add all the vegetables
Add spices.
Add cooked mung beans. 
Cover with 5 cups stock (chicken or vegetable).
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

***
Zucchini Soup
You will need:
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 large yellow onion
1 inch fresh, chopped ginger root
Salt and pepper to taste (1 teaspoon each)
1 teaspoon each: turmeric, coriander, cumin and thyme
4 large zucchini, chopped into crescents
1 bunch fresh basil

In a slow cooker, add oil, onions, ginger, and spices.
Add zucchini.
Cover with 3 cups water or stock.
Cook for 6 hours on low heat.
Wash and chop 1 bunch basil. Add to soup, stir, and turn off heat.
Blend soup with immersion blender or in food processor. Enjoy!

***
Tuscan Ribollita Soup
You will need:
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, peeled and chopped into crescents
3 carrots, chopped into cubes
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup vegetable stock (make your own or choose a brand with no sugar)
1 cup cooked cannellini or great northern beans
1 sprig fresh rosemary OR 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
½ cup rolled oats
Soak beans at breakfast and cook in slow cooker overnight (from 6pm to 6am for example).
Rinse and drain in the morning. 
To the bottom of the slow cooker, add oil, celery, onions, garlic and carrots. 
Add sauteed sausage if using.
Add beans.
Add the kale and oats. 
Add the tomatoes with their juices, broth and rosemary. Add 3 cups water.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Mardi Gras Foods

Dear Friends,
I just returned from New Orleans, where Carnival season is in full swing! Locals celebrate with music, dancing, parades, and, of course food.

This is the traditional time of feasting before the 40 days of lent and simple living, which lead up to Easter.

This year, Mardi Gras, which translates as 'Fat Tuesday', is March 4th.
Enjoy these healthy versions of celebratory foods and consider eating more simply for the days that follow. From a seasonal perspective, this practice is a wonderful way to prepare body, mind and spirit for spring, which makes its first appearance around spring equinox, March 21st.

Corn Bread

To prepare, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a square baking dish with oil and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine:
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour (rice, spelt, or millet)
1 teaspoon each: baking powder and baking soda
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Make a well in the center and add:
1 cup milk (almond, rice, or cow)
1/4 cup sunflower or olive oil
2 eggs (or 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal soaked in 4 tablespoons water)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Whisk these together, then incorporate with dry ingredients until barely mixed.
Pour into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.

Try it with molasses, black-eyed peas and greens for a complete meal.

***
Another classic recipe of coastal people who celebrate Mardi Gras is Jambalaya. This one-pot wonder often includes spicy sausage and seafood. Prepare it according to your palate and tradition.

Jambalaya

In a stock pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Brown 1 pound boneless chicken breasts on both sides, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Using the same pot, saute together for 10 minutes:

3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon gumbo file (made from sassafrass)
1 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, oregano

Add shrimp and/or andouille sausage if you like and cook until done, about 5 minutes.
Add cooked chicken.

Then, add 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup crushed tomatoes with juice. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook 1 cup long-grain rice in 2 cups water.
Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil as rice is cooking to add flavor.

Serve jambalaya over rice and breathe in the amazing aromas of this traditional dish.




Brussels Spouts

These adorable tiny cabbages might get a bad rap, but they are a delicious and ideal mid-winter cleansing food.

Roasted Almond Brussels Sprouts

You will need:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon stone ground brown mustard
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 cup almonds, chopped1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half, rinsed and patted dry¼ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, caraway seeds, and almonds. Add the trimmed Brussels sprouts to the mixture, toss well, then spread them in an even layer on the prepared pan. Season the Brussels sprouts with sea salt and roast for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Enjoy with white bean velouté.
***
White Bean Velouté

Choose cannellini (white kidney) or Vermont yellow-eye beans.To soak dry beans, place ½ cup in a large bowl and cover with 1 inch water. Soak for 8 hours or overnight.
Pour beans through strainer and allow to drain.Rinse with water until liquid runs clear through strainer.
Pour into a stock pot with 3 cups water.Cover pot and turn heat on high.Bring to a boil, watching carefully to make sure that beans do not boil over.

Once the pot has come to a boil, remove lid and reduce to medium heat. Foam will form on top of the water. Use a spoon to skim off the foam. Repeat this step periodically as you notice more foam. Cook beans 1 hour or until tender.
Strain and rinse once more.If using canned beans, choose ones with no salt added (I like Eden Organics). Strain and rinse before proceeding.
Meanwhile, make caramelized onions (see below).
Once beans are cooked, add: ¼ cup olive oil 1 Tablespoon dried thyme Salt and freshly ground black pepper Caramelized onions (see below)Purée in food processor or with immersion blender.

***Caramelized Onions
Choose 1 large yellow onion. Chop off top and bottom, peel skin and slice in half width-wise.Place two halves flat on cutting board and slice each one into thin crescent moons. Follow the ridges of the onion when chopping.Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a skillet that has a matching lid.When oil is hot, add onions, stir briefly with spatula, turn burner down to medium-low, and cover.Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.Add salt and any desired spices and simmer for 15 more minutes, until onion starts to brown.Add water if onion is sticking to the bottom of the skillet.

Healthy Grocery Shopping

Writing and sticking to your grocery list is essential to make sure you’re loading up your cart with healthy food choices. Break down your list into staple items that fit into five basic categories:

Fresh produce. While it’s good to have a list of staples, be sure to choose a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.Frozen fruits and vegetables can be a good way to add variety when fresh produce isn't in season.


Proteins. Focus on variety and keep fat content in mind. Look for ground beef or turkey that's at least 93 percent fat-free and grass-fed The omega 3 fatty acids is grass provide nourishment, both for animals and for the humans who eat them. Lean turkey and skinless chicken are all great options for your weekly list.Grass-fed local eggs and wild caught sardines are another way to add variety to your proteins. Dairy products also include protein and fat. Choose a good quality source of butter and cheese.

Whole grains. Create a list of different whole grains for the week. Staples can include brown rice, millet, buckwheat groats, and oatmeal. Try to buy in bulk if possible! Check which grains are highest in protein and include those every other week, too. For example, substitute millet for amaranth. If buying whole-grain sourdough bread or whole-wheat pasta, check the labels: Stick to choices that have more than 3 grams of fiber per serving, part of a daily goal of 25 to 35 grams of fiber. 

Fats. You do need some fats in your diet — it's simply a matter of choosing healthy fats and limiting them to an appropriate amount. Options can include natural peanut, almond, and cashew butters. Avocados, nuts and seeds, and olive oil are also good staples for your grocery shopping list. These provide mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are more easily metabolized without increased cholesterol storage.

Foods to Avoid

Sodium: Opt for low-sodium soup when you can, and ask for low-sodium lunch meats at your deli counter. You can still eat foods with sodium. Just be sure your product doesn't have more than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving.

Condiments: Look for a vinaigrette or oil-based salad dressing instead of a creamy one. You can also try topping your favorite sandwiches with mustard, which is generally a healthier condiment choice.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Also known as invert corn syrup. Sodas, candy bars, cakes, cookies, pastries and even energy/granola bars are loaded with sugar and calories, so it’s best to avoid them.

Remember to enjoy everything in moderation. Having a good understanding of healthy and unhealthy foods means you’ll make the most of every grocery shopping trip.


Thanks to Dr. Andrew Weil for this inspiration.

Favorite Holiday Recipes

It's time to gather in with friends and family, enjoying the warmth of the season. Take this time to slow down and let thoughts of work and life responsibilities take the back burner. Nourish your own heart, hearth, and the seed of your deepest desires for the year to come.

These recipes have graced holiday tables in places where I have traveled.
Enjoy! I have put a healthy spin on each of these traditional dishes. 

Switzerland: Rosti

1 large yellow onion
3 large russet potatoes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each of these seeds: coriander, caraway, fennel

Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain potatoes, and set aside to cool for about 20 minutes. Grate potatoes using the large holes on a cheese grater; set aside.

While potatoes are cooking, chop onion. In a deep skillet, saute it on medium low heat, with spices and butter/coconut oil, for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a cookie sheet with butter/oil.

Add onions and spices to the grated potatoes. Mix well to incorporate.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheet and flatten with the back of a fork all around the perimeter.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy and golden.

Enjoy with cooked winter greens, cranberry sauce and hard cheese as a holiday brunch!

***
Tuscany: Cranberry Hazelnut Farro Bread


1/2 cup cooked farro (spelt berries)
1/2 cup hazelnuts, ground into flour in a spice grinder


1½ cup flour (spelt or millet)
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda
pinch salt
½ cup dried cranberries
1¼ cups milk (almond or cow)
¼ cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil

Cook farro in twice as much water. Cook extra for a hearty winter dinner salad if you like.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a loaf pan with olive oil.

In a large bowl, mix hazelnut meal, flour, spices and cranberries.

Make a well in the center and add milk, honey, oil, and eggs. Whisk these together, then incorporate into dry ingredients.

Fill loaf pan, bake for 35 minutes, and let stand to cool about 15 minutes before turning out onto a cutting board, slicing and serving.

***
Bali: Banana Pancakes


1¼ cups rice flour
¼ cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon each: cardamom and cinnamon
pinch salt
2 Tablespoons rice syrup
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup rice or cow milk
1/4 cup cashew butter
1 medium very ripe banana, mashed (about ½ cup)

Mix flour, spices, and coconut in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, and saute on medium heat in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet. Oil the skillet with coconut oil between round of cooking.

Serve with extra banana slices, a dollop of cashew butter and a garnish of shredded coconut.

***

New Mexico: Pinto Beans with Poached Eggs and Corn Tortillas

1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight

1 teaspoon each: cumin, oregano, paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 small green chiles (if desired)
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
8 eggs
Fresh cilantro leaves and corn tortillas for serving

Drain and rinse the beans. Bring to a boil in a stock pot with in 3 times as much water. Cook on medium high for 25 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.

Rinse and drain again.

Meanwhile, chop all vegetables. Saute together in a wide, deep skillet on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add spices, reduce heat, and add beans once they are cooked.

Add 1 cup water and stir to incorporate.


Crack eggs in a circle over the surface of the beans and vegetables. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 more minutes.

Heat corn tortillas for 2 or 3 minutes in a 200 degree oven. Place 2 tortillas on each plate, cover with beans and eggs, and serve with a garnish of cilantro.

Do you have a food tradition that you love and appreciate? Research it, prepare it and serve it this holiday season. Email me and let me know how it turns out!

Basil and Blueberries

These two foods are perfect for summer and have powerful digestive and anti-oxidant qualities. Cook and be well!

Blueberry Basil Sauce

          

Rinse 2 cups fresh, organic blueberries.
Place in a stock pot with:
¼ cup water
pinch salt
1 Tablespoon almond butter

Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add 1 Tablespoon honey, stir well, and remove from heat.
Place in a blender with:
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Blend at lowest speed for 2 minutes.

Preserve in jars in the freezer or enjoy with salmon, chicken, or white beans.

***
Blueberry Basil Millet



Soak 1 cup millet in cold water for 1 hour.
Drain through a fine-mesh strainer, rinse, and place in a stock pot with 2 1/2 cups water.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and add:

        1 teaspoon coconut oil
        1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook for 20 minutes, or until all the water is consumed when you separate the grains with a fork.

Meanwhile, rinse and remove 1 quart organic fresh blueberries and place in a mixing bowl.

Chop1 handful fresh basil, add to blueberries, and mix.
Add cooked millet to the mix, stir and enjoy!
Garnish with fresh, chopped scallions if you like.

***  
Green Bean and Egg Salad with Blueberry Sauce

You will need:                                
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups green beans
½ teaspoon each: black pepper and sea salt
1 cup fresh basil

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

1 cup fresh, organic blueberries
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt

Rinse and remove ends from beans.
Heat olive oil in a skillet, add beans and cook, covered, for 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, hard-boil eggs for 6 minutes, run under cold water, and peel.
Chop each egg into quarters and place in a serving bowl.
Add beans to eggs.

Coarsely chop basil and add that to the beans and eggs, too.

To make the blueberry sauce, chop blackberries in half and place in a mixing bowl.
Add oil, vinegar, and spices.
Smash the mix with the back of a fork so that the berries secrete some of their juice.
Toss with eggs and beans and enjoy!

Summer Cooking Techniques

Cook your vegetables in new and delicious ways this summer!


Soffritto 


Try it with green beans.
Sauté a chopped onion, 4 chopped tomatoes, and 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil until very soft. Add 2 pounds green beans and simmer until just tender.



***

Braising with Lemon Juice

Using a vegetable peeler, cut ribbons from 1 zucchini and 1 summer squash.
Place in a deep skillet with 1 cup water and the juice of ½ lemon.

Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.
Place cooked zucchini and summer squash in a bowl and mix with 1/2 cup basil leaves, sliced thin, and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well and season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.


***

Grilling

Try it with corn!
Fire up a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. Peel back the husks and remove the silk of the corn, and then re-cover the ears with the husks and soak them in cold water for 10 minutes. Grill the ears for 15 minutes, turning so the husks don't burn. Pull back the husks and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the corn is lightly charred. Paint the ears creating a sheen with the mayo, squeeze some fresh lime juice on top

Ayurvedic Meal


Enjoy this soothing, healing dish. I like to prepare the rice and lentils separately and mix them in my bowl.


Brown Rice with Peas, Mint and Basil

Rinse 1 cup brown rice.

Pour into a cooking pot 3 cups water.

Bring to a boil; then reduce to simmer.

Add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 Tablespoons olive oil.

Simmer, covered, on low heat for 45 minutes.



Mince 2 large handfuls fresh basil and 1 small handful fresh mint.



When the rice is 5 minutes or less from completion, add:

minced herbs

½ cup peas (either shelled ones or whole sugar snap peas)


When rice is cooked, add roasted beets and a splash of lemon juice. Mix everything together, taste for salt, and serve!


***

Simple Dahl

Rinse 2 cups yellow split lentils. Drain and bring to a boil with 5 cups water.

Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Skim off any white foam that develops and discard it.

In a skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon ghee or coconut oil with:

            1 teaspoon salt

            1 Tablespoon each: cumin, garam masala

            1 teaspoon each: turmeric and coriander

Add vegetables such as beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, collards, kale and spinach to the skillet. Add 1 cup water, cover, and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Mix into the lentils, stir, and enjoy!


***

Raita

            1 large unpeeled cucumber, halved, seeded, coarsely grated

            2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

            ¼ cup (packed) chopped fresh mint OR cilantro

            1 teaspoon ground cumin

            Salt to taste

Whisk yogurt, mint or cilantro, and cumin in medium bowl to blend. Add cucumbers and toss to coat. Season raita to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. It can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.


***
Cilantro/Mint Coconut Lime Chutney

In a food processor, mix:

            ½ cup water

            ½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

            1 teaspoon salt

            Juice of one fresh lime

            Freshly chopped cilantro (½ bunch)

            Freshly chopped mint (½ bunch)

Blend at highest speed for 2 minutes.
Enjoy with rice and spicy dishes.