Baby Cakes

Happy Valentine's Day! My daughter is indeed a Valentine baby: she will turn one year old on Thursday. Her presence in my life has eclipsed all other priorities and it is a joy to witness her grow, learn and thrive each day.

May this day remind you of the love that is always in our hearts when we relax, breathe deeply, and open to our unlimited potential. What brings you joy? What nourishes you? Ask yourself these two questions each morning and set out to live a day filled with joy and nourishment. This practice of self-love spreads love to others and helps cultivate happiness, even during troubled times.

As my daughter learns to feed herself, I have been exploring new sources of nourishment that can be fulfilling for us both. The wonderful food solution we have both been enjoying lately is baby cakes: small pancakes made of eggs and vegetables. I add a few spices and some oil to bring flavor and soothe the nervous system. Try these combinations and let me know what you think!

All of these freeze well and reheat easily in a toaster or toaster oven.

 

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Sweet Potato Baby Cakes

High in beta carotene and vitamin A, sweet potatoes soothe the nerves, balance the endocrine system, and promote healthy elimination.

You will need:

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon and nutmeg

  • 2 cups sweet potato, boiled and drained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Boil sweet potatoes with just enough water to cover. It will take about 10 minutes for them to be tender.

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well.

Bake at 375 on an oiled cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Flip and bake 5 minutes more.

Cool and enjoy.

I enjoy them with a vegetable and egg scramble or ground turkey with sauteed greens.

Carrot Chicken Baby Cakes

High in protein, pastured chicken contains all the essential amino acids necessary for muscle development and provides steady energy.

You will need:

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup cooked chicken

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon and coriander

  • 2 cups carrots, boiled and drained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop and boil carrots with just enough water to cover. It will take about 20 minutes for them to be tender.

Boil or braise chicken for 20 minutes if bone-on and 10 minutes if boneless. Pull chicken off the bone if necessary and remove skin.

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well.

Bake at 375 on an oiled cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Flip and bake 5 minutes more.

Cool and enjoy.

I enjoy these with parsley pistou or pesto.

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Spinach Squash Baby Cakes

High in fiber and iron, spinach is important for brain development and promotes healthy elimination.

You will need:

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: thyme and coriander

  • 2 cups winter squash, baked and de-seeded

  • 1 cup spinach, boiled and drained

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place an acorn or carnival squash in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until it's soft when pierced with a knife, Cut it open, remove seeds, and scoop out flesh. I like to make these at the same time as the spinach cakes so that I use up all my squash.

Boil spinach with a little water in the bottom of a small stock pot. It will only take a few minutes. Drain well.

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well.

Bake at 375 on an oiled cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Flip and bake 5 minutes more.

Cool and enjoy.

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Blueberry Baby Cakes

High in resveratrol for balanced blood pressure and antioxidants for stress reduction, blueberries are a superfood for all of us!

You will need:

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom

  • 1 cup winter squash, baked and de-seeded

  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place an acorn or carnival squash in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until it's soft when pierced with a knife, Cut it open, remove seeds, and scoop out flesh. I like to make these at the same time as the spinach cakes so that I use up all my squash.

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well.

Bake at 375 on an oiled cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Flip and bake 5 minutes more.

Cool and enjoy.

Zucchini!

By popular demand, here is a compendium of zucchini recipes to fulfill the summer abundance of this

amazing food.

When I have too much zucchini, I shred it, put it in freezer bags, and freeze it for winter soups and breads.

Zucchini is a member of the cucurbitaceae family (along with pumpkins, melons, and summer squash). It provides a very good amount of dietary fiber (2.5 grams per cup); rich in pectin fibers to help regulate blood sugar; reduces inflammation in the cardio-vascular system and gastro-intestinal tract; rich in B vitamins.

Savory Zucchini Cakes

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon each: turmeric, coriander, salt

  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded

  • 3 Tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 minced garlic clove

  • ½ cup cornmeal

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a cookie sheet with olive or sunflower oil.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk well.

With a soup spoon, scoop out cakes and place them cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, flip with spatula, bake for 15 more minutes, and savor the results. Try these with quinoa pilaf

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Grain-Free Zucchini Blueberry Bread

You will need:

  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

  • 1/2 cup blueberries

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • a pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a loaf pan with sunflower oil.

Blend all ingredients in the order listed.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

This is great for breakfast topped with poached eggs or almond butter.

Classic Zucchini Walnut Bread

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat or spelt flour

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • a pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Oil a loaf pan with sunflower oil.

Blend all ingredients in the order listed.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Delicious. Freezes well.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat, spelt, or brown rice flour

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • a pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a cake pan with sunflower oil.

Blend all ingredients in the order listed.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

These make great cupcakes, too! Just place the batter in muffin tins instead of a cake pan. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes instead.

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Spring Tonics

Green spring tonics are a time-honored tradition to encourage gentle liver and gall bladder renewal. Leafy greens, both wild and cultivated, are some of the most nutrient dense vegetables available.

This is a time when we transition from Winter hibernation to Summer growth. Because we are part of the earth and its cycles, it’s crucial to align with this seasonal change by strengthening digestion and immunity.

Certain foods and culinary herbs are specifically indicated for supporting this transition. They tend to be ones that promote digestive and eliminative function, or strengthen the immune and endocrine systems.

Rejuvenating Nettle Soup

You will need:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 large shallots

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon each: coriander and turmeric

  • 2 large zucchini

  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground brown mustard

  • 4 cups freshly harvested young nettle tops

  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock

  • 1 cup chopped green olives

Peel and dice shallots.

Place oil in a soup pot, warm it to medium heat, and sauté shallots for 5 minutes.

Add spices. Sauté for a few more minutes.

Dice zucchini and add to the skillet. Add mustard and olives.

Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the water / stock and nettles.

Bring everything to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.

You can add marinated tempeh or roasted chicken to the soup for a delicious meal.

Nettles (Urtica dioica): warming and drying, nettles alleviate water retention, boost our body’s stores of iron and offer many other nutritive minerals. Gently cleansing, they can help mitigate the effects of seasonal allergies.  Use the young, fresh leaves in soup, pasta sauce, or as tea.

Olive oil: monounsaturated and liquid at room temp., first cold press olive oil is high in anti-inflammatory polyphenols, which reduce risk of heart disease, maintain a balanced cholesterol profile, and reduce the overgrowth of ulcer-inducing helicobacter pylori bacteria in the intestines. It improves calcium levels in the blood and enhances memory function by oxygenating blood.

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Eggs: Incredible, Edible ... Allergens?

Happy Egg Moon, Sap Moon, Passover, Easter, Hanuman Jayanti, and more!

In many cultures, the first signs of spring are cause for celebration of life's renewal.

The full moon tomorrow morning will be marked by a lunar eclipse visible in the Northeast around 5:45 am. If you do not want to set the alarm and rise before dawn, take a moment when you do get up to honor this transformative time

.As spring comes on, chickens start laying more eggs. This perfect protein is nourishing, balanced and vital for many. However, with the advent of large-scale agriculture and grain-fed chickens raised in contained settings, the nutritional value of eggs has declined.

All pastured animals can eat grass, which is high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The animals kindly convert the fatty acids in the grass into a bio-available form that humans can digest. However, when these animals, from chickens and turkeys to cows and lambs, do not graze on grass, no one receives the omega fatty acid benefit.

What does this mean?

Without the crucial presence of these fatty acids, the body doesn't recognize the egg as food. Eventually, our systems begin to treat eggs as allergens.

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In short, know your food sources! Meet the chickens that lay your eggs. It will help your body to digest and assimilate this potent protein.

Try making eggs poached in beet greens to celebrate the full moon of spring.

They make a great brunch dish alongside shredded carrot and zucchini bread

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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.

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Hazelnut Escarole Salad

For many indigenous cultures of this hemisphere, today's full moon is known as the wolf moon. The wolf honors its pack, its community, its loved ones. It also takes time alone to howl at the moon, hear its own voice, and reflect the importance of taking space to care for the self.

The wolf moon reminds me to find inner balance so that I can relate to others in a harmonious way.

Try these recipes to balance body, mind, and spirit. Prepare them mindfully. Spend time with the ingredients. Taste as you go. Mix and match them to create different meals.

Most of all, be well and take time to reflect on the splendor of your own inner harmony.

Hazelnut Escarole Salad

For the dressing, blend these ingredients in a food processor:

¼ cup roasted hazelnuts

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon raw honey

1 garlic clove, crushed

salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon each)

Then, mix all these ingredients together in a large bowl to assemble the salad:

1 head escarole, washed and steamed

1 green tart apple, thinly sliced

½ cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped

¼ cup sourdough bread croutons (optional)

Pour dressing over salad, toss well to coat, and serve with your favorite soup.

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How To Video for a Simple, Delicious Meal

Click this link to view the introduction to this delicious cooking video from the Harmonized Kitchen.

VEGETABLE POT PIE

Start by cooking down two yellow onions with salt, pepper, and red wine or vinegar for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, celery and potatoes. Add spices: rosemary, oregano and thyme are great choices. Saute for 15 more minutes. Add walnuts, pour into an oiled baking dish, and bake for 15 minutes at 375. Meanwhile, mix your pot pie topping: 1 1/2 cups flour (spelt or millet), 1 teaspoon baking powder, 4 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, pinch salt, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup milk (almond or cow). Spread over pot pie and bake for 10 more minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if you like. Feel free to substitute cooked beans (1 cup), ground turkey (1 pound) or beef (1 pound) for the walnuts.

LEEK KALE FRITTATA

Start by chopping two leeks and 1 bunch kale. Place them in a skillet with olive oil, salt and black pepper. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes, or until tender. Add a few cloves of pressed or minced garlic if you like. Place vegetables in a baking dish. Whisk together 6 eggs, 2 tablespoons mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, juice of 1/2 lemon, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Substitute any vegetables you have on hand.

ORANGE HAZELNUT CAKE

Grind 1 cup hazelnuts in a food processor or espresso bean grinder. Reserve some hazelnuts to decorate the cake. Whisk together 1 orange, peeled and chopped, with 1/3 cup maple syrup, a teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg. Add 1 cup almond milk and 1 egg. Whisk well to incorporate. Add 2 cups spelt or rice flour, hazelnut meal, a pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Incorporate all ingredients and pour into oiled cake pan. Decorate with remaining hazelnuts. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Garnish with whipped cream if you like!

This cake is also delicious with raspberries or blueberries and almond meal.

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Summer Dinners

Happy Summer!

The days are long and lovely. It's time to spend time outside and soak up the green world all around us.

Try these picnic-friendly recipes to invigorate you after a long day and enjoy the evening outdoors. 

Thanks to Saveur for this recipe inspiration.


KOHLRABI POTATO SALAD

This traditional Swedish recipe is unique and delicious. Kohlrabi, a Brassica family cultivar, tastes like a cross between cabbage and broccoli.

You will need:

  • 1 pound potatoes or any kind

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 small kohlrabi, chopped

  • 1 cup roughly chopped kohlrabi leaves

  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped dill

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steam potatoes in until tender, 18–20 minutes; set aside. 

Melt butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add kohlrabi pieces; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5–7 minutes. Add reserved potatoes, the chopped kohlrabi leaves, dill, salt, and pepper; cook until leaves are wilted, 1–2 minutes more. Serve warm or at room temperature.


CORN SALAD

A classic Midwest United States recipe that reminds me of my mother's Kansan heritage.

You will need:

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups fresh peas

  • 3 ears corn, husks and silks discarded, kernels sliced from cobs and reserved

  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 avocado, chopped

Whisk vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; set aside. Bring a 2-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook until bright green and tender, 1–2 minutes. Drain and add to bowl along with remaining ingredients; toss to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.

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Spring Soups

Prepare these soups ahead so you can enjoy a simple meal when you get home after a long day in the green beauty of the blossoming world.


SPRING TOMATO SOUP

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 2 potatoes, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon each: rosemary and thyme

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes OR 1 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Chop onions and garlic.

Add to a soup pot with olive oil.

Sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add carrot, potatoes, salt, rosemary and thyme.

Sauté for 10 more minutes, then add tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

Add 2 cups water.

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, or until flavors have incorporated.

Blend with immersion blender if you prefer a creamier soup.

Enjoy! Garnish with unsweetened yogurt if you like.

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CREAMY CHERVIL SOUP

inspired by Nadia Hassani

You will need:

  • 6 ounces fresh chervil, stems and leaves separated1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

  • ½ cup milk (cow, rice or almond)

  • 2 egg yolks

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring chervil stems and stock to a simmer in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat

Simmer, covered, until stems are tender, about 10 minutes.

Strain stock, discarding stems; return to pan and keep warm.

Purée chervil leaves, milk, parsley, yolks, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth.

Whisk in the broth until smooth.

Enjoy with a garnish of fresh parsley if you like.

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CARROT SOUP WITH HERBED YOGHURT

For the soup:

  • 6 medium carrots, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the yoghurt sauce:

  • ¼ cup unsweetened, whole yogurt or soy yogurt

  • 1 chive, minced

  • 1 handful fresh parsley, minced

  • 1 handful fresh basil, minced

  • pinch salt

For the soup: Put carrots, oil, water, and spices into a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid has evaporated and carrots are very soft, about 1/2 hour.

Purée carrot mixture with immersion blender and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Serve with yogurt sauce.

To prepare the sauce, mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Serve a spoonful as garnish in each bowl of soup.

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Simplify Your Diet This Spring

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 SPRING 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.

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 and 1/2 teaspoon 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

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.

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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.

Spice Blends and Ingredient Substitutions

By popular request, here are some ideas to change how you cook!

Spice blends from Navdanya, Vandana Shiva's organic seed farm in Northern India:

Savory Masala:
Mixture of ground ginger, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, turmeric and fennel

Garam Masala:Mixture of 1 tsp. cardamom seeds, 1 Tbs. cumin seed, 1 Tbs. coriander seed, 2 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. cloves, and 1 tsp. nutmeg

Substitution ideas:

Ingredient: WHEAT FLOUR
Substitute: spelt flour (wheat-free) or half oat flour and half millet flour (gluten-free)

Ingredient: BUTTER
Substitute: Clarified butter, coconut oil, half and half clarified butter and olive oil

Ingredient: EGGS
Substitute: 1 mashed banana or 1/4 cup applesauce per egg (best for baked goods); 1 Tbs. agar flakes whisked into 1 Tbs. water and chilled for 5 minutes (for an egg white substitute), 1 Tbs. ground flaxseeds simmered in 3 Tbs. boiling water for 2 minutes.

Ingredient: OIL IN BAKED GOODS
Substitute: Applesauce, puréed bananas, puréed cooked prunes

Ingredient: COOKING OIL
Substitute: Vegetable stock, wine, vinegar

Ingredient: CREAM IN SOUP
Substitute: Vinegar or citrus juice thickened with puréed roasted red peppers, carrots, onions, garlic

New Year, Healthy Eating

Would you like to reach your wellness goals in the new year?

Do you need help navigating the waters of food choices and fad diets?

With this step-by-step program, you will lose weight and learn healthy habits that last a lifetime.


A healthy diet is essential to achieving and maintaining well-being.

This simple program includes:

Recipes: Taste good health with delicious recipes that are easy to prepare and highlight food as medicine.

Updates: Receive customized advice based on your health assessment.

Tools: Gain tips to stay healthy and keep eating well for life.

Resources: Read articles written by food experts that relate to your wellness goals.

"Lisa's Healthy Eating Program gave me personalized content, including information on how to cook and eat better, reduce stress, breathe, and more! Her simple, weekly guide helped me implement changes at my pace and maintain the new way of being. Thank you!" Christie W.


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!

Apple Season

It's apple season. In Vermont, the wild apples are lining the roadsides, ready for gleaners to scoop them up and make sauce or cider. These fragrant fruits have excellent medicinal value and help us transition into fall and winter.

Apples contain polyphenols and fiber to help prevent blood sugar spikes. They provide pre-biotic compounds that support intestinal flora and ease gas and bloating. Apples also contain antioxidants that help to digest fat in the cell membranes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular difficulties.

These lovely fruits, in the malus genus, are part of the Rosaceae family, to which roses also belong. Thus, it is no wonder that apples enliven our hearts and uplift our spirits.

Enjoy these apple recipes and ease into fall.


Apple Onion Tart

This tart is gorgeous and delicious. Sweet, savory, and fragrant, it is perfect for any meal.

For the crust:
1 cup almond meal
1 cup millet, freshly ground in a coffee bean grinder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each: rosemary and thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Grease a pie plate with olive oil and set aside.
Grind millet in a coffee bean grinder to produce a grainy flour-like consistency.
In a mixing bowl, combine almond meal, millet flour, salt, and spices.
Make a well in the center, add olive oil, lemon juice and almond milk, whisk together, then incorporate with dry ingredients.
Press into pie plate. Make sure that the crust gets up the sides of the plate and that the thickness is relatively even all around.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove to prepare the filling.

For the filling:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 onions (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs
1 cup almond milk
1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 tart baking apple (McIntosh, Gravenstein or Jonathan)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onions, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to very low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, for about 15 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, and nutmeg.
Stir in the onions.
Peel, core, and thinly slice the apple.
Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust and arrange the apple slices decoratively on top.
Press on the apples to slightly submerge them.
Bake until the top is lightly browned and the center is set, about 30 minutes. Let the tart stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


Onions: 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.


***
Gingered Apples and Leafy Greens with Oven-Roasted Beets

For the apples and greens:
wash 1 bunch kale or collards. Chop length-wise.
Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil.
Grate ½ inch fresh (or frozen) ginger root into skillet. Chop 2 cloves garlic and add to skillet.
Turn heat to high and sauté onions and ginger for 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add greens.  Grate 1 granny smith apple (rinsed, with skin on) and add to skillet.

Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pour 2 Tablespoons water over vegetables and cover with lid.
Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt before serving.

For the beets:
Choose 4 medium red beets for a 9x13 glass baking dish.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Chop beets in half, first length-wise then width-wise. Then, chop each section into cubes. Throw cubes into baking dish after they are chopped.

When the bottom of the dish is covered with one layer of diced beets, sprinkle over the top:
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon garam masala
Pour ¼ cup olive oil over the top and toss with a spatula until beets are coated well.

Slide dish into oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove dish from oven and toss with spatula.

Bake for 15 more minutes, cool and enjoy alone or as a soup garnish.

Dark, leafy greens: collards and kale are rich in folic acid, calcium, and fiber.


Garlic: high in Vitamin C and pungent sulfurous compounds, which reduce inflammation in the body; nature’s strongest anti-biotic; contains polysulfides, which trigger blood vessel dilation to reduce blood pressure; anti-microbial and anti-bacterial, controls overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the small intestine thus helping to reduce heartburn and eventual ulcers.   

***
Kasha Biscuits
 
You will need:
¾ cup cooked kasha (buckwheat groats)
1 tart baking apple, cubed 

¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup ground flax seeds

¼ cup ground sunflower seeds
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon caraway seeds
½ teaspoon each: baking powder, baking soda, salt



Place ½ cup dry kasha (buckwheat groats) and 1 ½ cups water in a stock pot. 
Add cubed apple.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until kasha begins to thicken.

Stir vigorously until grain reaches porridge-like consistency. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.



Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grind flax seeds then sunflower seeds in a spice/espresso bean grinder until they reach a flour-like consistency.

Place in a mixing bowl and add the coconut oil, cut into pearl-sized chunks.
Add spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix well. Incorporate the cooled kasha and then the lemon juice.

Drop mix in heaping spoonfuls on a greased glad baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges have turned dark brown.

Kasha (toasted buckwheat groats): rich in the flavonoid rutin, buckwheat woks to lower lipid content in the bllodstream, thus helping maintain smooth blood flow. Buckwheat also contains almost 86 milligrams of magnesium in a one-cup serving. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure.

Coconut oil: saturated fat, solid at room temperature, is a plant-based alternative to saturated animal fats. It stimulates brain function and promotes intestinal motility; its anti-bacterial benefits make it an important fat to choose during times of illness or infection and is specifically indicated for combating intestinal parasites.

 

Peaceful Nourishment

I had the honor to teach at the Womens Herbal Conference this past weekend. Here are some recipes from the classes. Be well and stay in touch!

Links:

Recipes listed here include: Walnut paté, Hard-boiled egg sauce, Sweet potato bread, nut and grain crackers, sprouted grain bread, coconut avocado smoothie, and zoom balls.
Click this link for more recipes.

Walnut Paté

Choose 2 large yellow onions.

Chop off top and bottom, peel skin and slice each one 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, and turn burner down to medium-low.

If you have leftover red or white wine, add a couple splashes. If not, just add a splash of apple cider vinegar. Then, cover the skillet.

Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add thyme, salt and black pepper. Simmer for 15 more minutes, until onion starts to brown.

Add water if onion is sticking to the bottom of the skillet.

While onions are cooking, place ½ cup walnut halves/pieces in a skillet.

Toast on medium heat, tossing often with a spatula, for about 3 minutes or until walnuts are lightly browned.

Once onions and walnuts are cooked, place them in a food processor and add 3 Tablespoons olive oil.

Blend at highest speed for 2 minutes. Taste for salt.

Keeps in fridge for 5 days.

Enjoy with biscuits, on toast or as a dip for carrot and celery sticks. This makes a lovely appetizer with nut and seed crackers or thinly sliced sweet potato bread.

***
Hard-Boiled Egg Sauce

Place a dozen eggs in a stock pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, drain hot water, and rinse with cold water until they are cool enough to handle.

Peel eggs and place in a blender.

Add to blender:
¼ cup olive oil
½  teaspoon salt
½ Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon each: powdered cumin and coriander
½ bunch fresh parsley, roughly de-stemmed

Blend at highest speed for 2 minutes.

Keeps in fridge for 4 days.

Eat with rice and pesto, over steamed asparagus or broccoli, or use as garnish for simple soups.

***
Sweet Potato Bread

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease an 8 or 9 inch pan with vegetable oil.

Combine these ingredients in a mixing bowl:
1½ cups flour (spelt or rice)
1 teaspoon each: baking powder & baking soda
pinch salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon each: nutmeg and cinnamon

Make a well in the center and add:
1 heaping spoonful almond butter
2 heaping spoonfuls melted coconut oil
1 ½ cups steamed, mashed sweet potatoes
4 heaping spoonfuls unsweetened, whole milk yogurt OR coconut milk

Make a well in the center, combine the wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended.

Incorporate wet and dry ingredients until they are well combined. 

Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests clean.

***
Nut and Grain Crackers

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In a spice grinder, grind:
1 cup sweet nuts (almonds or pecans)
1 cup savory nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts)
1 cup seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)

Mix together in a bowl with1 cup leftover oatmeal, quinoa, rice, or millet. Make sure you have cooked the grains down into a porridge-like consistency before mixing them in with the nuts and seeds.

Add ½ teaspoon salt and any spices you like.

Try one of these combinations: cumin, coriander, turmeric OR thyme, coriander, oregano.

If mixture is a bit dry, add a few splashes of olive oil. Mix well before adding any additional oil – the nuts already contain oil.

Grease a cookie sheet with oil and spread mixture in a thin layer.

Bake at 200 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Allow to cool completely before breaking into cracker pieces and storing in plastic bags.

***

Sprouted Grain Bread

To sprout your grain, you'll need a wide-mouthed glass jar (or a large plastic tub or soup pot) that has a screw-on lid with holes punched in it or a piece of fine screening, cheesecloth, or netting secured to the top with a strong rubber band. A meat grinder (or a food processor or hand-cranked grain mill), a cookie sheet, and an oven will take care of the rest.

Hard red winter wheat is a good choice for sprouting. Just be sure to buy uncooked, unsprayed, whole grain berries. Two cups of wheat yields about four cups of dough — enough for one loaf — so purchase accordingly. You can also use rye, spelt, barley, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, rice, or a combination thereof.

To sprout: begin by measuring the desired amount of whole wheat berries into the sprouting jar. Soak the berries overnight, using twice their volume of water. The next morning, drain off the liquid (which is rich in nutrients and can be added to soups, drinks, etc.), then set the jar in a dark place and rinse the berries with cool water at least twice a day. Drain the jar thoroughly after each rinsing, and shake it occasionally to prevent matting and spoilage.

When the sprout tails are about twice as long as the berries and have a sweet taste (try them!), they're ready to use. This takes three or four days, depending on the temperature, humidity, and so on. Skip the last rinse before grinding so that the berries won't be too moist to use.

To prepare the dough: oil the grinder parts and put the sprouts through the grain grinder or coffee bean grinder. The resulting dough should be juicy, sticky, mottled light and dark, and rather like raw hamburger in consistency. If you think nuts or fruit would give some extra zing to the finished product, now's the time to put them in. Whatever dried fruits you plan to add should first be soaked in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes.

To shape loaves: wet your hands and take up a quantity of dough. One handful makes a nice roll, while a double handful is good for a small loaf. Work the dough briefly to get out any air pockets. Shape it into circular, somewhat flattened loaves. Place them on an oiled cookie sheet.

To bake: bake for approximately 2.5 hours at 250 degrees F, until the outside is firm—but not hard—and the bottom springs back slightly after a gentle prod with the thumb. The inside will be quite soft, developing a firmer texture upon cooling. (To prevent the loaves from drying out, some bakeries spray them with water before and during baking, or place a pan of water on another shelf in the oven while the bread is baking.)

Allow the loaves to cool on wire racks and then store them in sealed plastic bags. If you're going to eat your sprouted grain bread within two weeks, don't refrigerate it, as it will stay moist if stored at room temperature. Refrigerated, it will keep up to two months.


***
Coconut Avocado Smoothie

Place these ingredients in a blender:
½ teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom
pinch salt
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
½ can unsweetened, full-fat organic coconut milk
splash vanilla extract
1 ripe avocado
3 spoonfuls almond butter

Variations:
Add 1 cup blueberries for anti-oxidant de-stress power!
Add 2 heaping spoonfuls cocoa powder and 1 handful chopped, pitted dates for a decadent treat.

Blend well and enjoy! Keeps in fridge for 3 days.

***
Zoom Balls
based on a recipe by Rosemary Gladstar

*You will need:
1 cup tahini (roasted sesame seed butter)
½ cup cashew or almond butter
¼ cup honey (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom powder
3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
½ cup coarsely chopped almonds
2 oz unsweetened shredded coconut 

*Depending on condition and constitution, add restorative, adaptogen root powders such as: maca, licorice, ashwagandha, solomons seal, burdock, hawthorn, and/or marshmallow.

Mix tahini, nut butter and honey until smooth.

Add coconut and nuts - mix in well.  Mix in enough coconut to make dough thick.

Roll the dough into small balls. You can also spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and cut into squares.

Store the balls in baking tins in a cool place. They will last for 3 weeks.

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!

Savory Summer Breads

Asparagus upside down corn bread

You will need:
8-10 stalks asparagus
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup milk (almond or cow)
2 eggs OR 4 Tablespoons flaxseed meal

1/2 cup flour (spelt or millet)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a cast iron or oven-proof skillet, warm a bit of olive oil.
Add rinsed asparagus with its tough, woody stems broken off.
Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add a little water, cover, and saute 5 more minutes, or until tender.

As asparagus cooks, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, eggs/flax and milk in a mixing bowl. Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

Mix well to incorporate.
Pour over asparagus and bake for 25 minutes.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before running a knife around the edges.
Then, place a plate on top of the skillet, flip and enjoy!

***

Apricot chickpea biscuits


You will need:
1/2 cup dried apricots, soaked in boiling water

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/4 cup olive oil
 1 cup flour (rice or spelt)
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, cardamom, coriander, baking powder and baking soda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Boil a bit of water.
Coarsely chop dried apricots. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water.

As apricots soak, mix all the other ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Drain apricot water and add apricots to the mixing bowl.
Stir to incorporate.
Place dough in heaping spoonfuls on an oiled baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes.

Enjoy as breakfast or with soup!

***


Parsnip almond flatbread

You will need:
3 medium parsnips, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each: salt and nutmeg
olive oil for roasting

1 cup flour (spelt or millet)
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup milk (almond or cow)
pinch salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Chop parsnips and place in a glass baking dish (8x8 or so).
Coat with olive oil, nutmeg and salt.
Roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile. whisk all other ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Once parsnips are roasted, reduce oven heat to 350.
Toss parsnips with a spatula, pour batter over them, and bake for 25 minutes.
Enjoy with scrambled eggs and spinach as a lovely brunch or a light dinner.

Eleven Favorite Breakfasts

There are so many delicious food blogs out there. I want to share the breakfast recipes from some of my favorite authors. Thank you for the inspiration!

Hogwash
The Quickest Bite: Muesli

La Buena Vida
My Favorite Breakfast Sandwich

My Life Runs On Food
Quinoa Pancakes with Meyer Lemon Syrup

Herbivoracious
Maple-Roasted Shitake Mushrooms with Eggs

Honey and Jam
Yogurt, Biscuits, and Breakfast Outside

100 Perfect Pairings
Cherry Almond Granola

Nourished Kitchen
3-Seed Porridge with Ginger and Blueberries

Real Food Loves Writing
Cheese-less, Crust-less Quiche

Orangette
Zuni Cafe Polenta

Simply Breakfast
Breakfast Power Cookie

The Year In Food
Quail Eggs with Fava Greens on Toast

Spring Foods To Renew You

As spring arrives with gentle thaws and maple sap, we can awaken our senses and prevent spring colds by choosing foods that support the lymphatic system. 

Simplifying your diet and increasing your intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables will support lymphatic renewal. Spices and vegetables that cleanse the lymphatic system include fennel, coriander, fenugreek, kombu or kelp seaweed (Laminaria family), burdock, turnips, mustard, and horseradish. 

To learn about the healing properties of these foods, please subscribe to my eNewsletter.

For an two-week spring renewal protocol tailored to your needs, please email me.

Parsnip Soup

For those who planted them last fall, parsnips are one of the first root crops to dig out of the garden. If you do not have your own, ask a local farmer when the fresh crop will be available. 

You will need:
4 Tablespoons olive oil
4-5 large parsnips, chopped into rounds
1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
1 teaspoon each: dried thyme, coriander and nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
A few grinds fresh black pepper
7 cups water 

Chop off both ends of each parsnip and cut them into ½ inch rounds.

Peel onion and chop into ¼ inch crescents along the ridges of the onion.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in the bottom of a stock pot. Add the onion. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the parsnips, herbs, salt, and pepper and cook for 10 more minutes. 

Add the water, stir to scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot, and bring to a boil. 

Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the parsnips are tender – about 30 minutes. 

Mash the parsnips into the broth using a hard spatula, immersion blender, or potato masher. 

Taste for salt. Garnish with fresh, chopped scallions or fresh, minced parsley and savor each velvety bite. 

***
Dandelion Leek Frittata 

You will need: 
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek
2 teaspoons each: salt and black pepper
1 bunch fresh dandelion greens
6 eggs
1 teaspoon each: cumin and coriander powder
Juice of half a lemon
2 Tablespoons stone-ground mustard (no salt added) 

Chop 1 large leek into rounds. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add leeks. Reduce heat to medium low. Add salt, black pepper, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add dandelion greens. Simmer for 10 more minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked out of the vegetables. 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a pie plate with olive oil.

In a bowl, beat 6 eggs, cumin, coriander, and a splash (about 4 Tablespoons each) of water and lemon juice. Pour egg mixture over the top of the greens and bake for 40 minutes. 

***
Nettle Pesto
 
You will need: 
¼ pound fresh stinging nettles 
1 teaspoon salt 
½ teaspoon black pepper 
¼ cup lemon juice 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped 
¼ cup sunflower seeds  
Your best olive oil

To harvest stinging nettles, wear gloves and use scissors. Cut the nettle stem just below the first bunch of leaves. Choose leaf tops that have not yet flowered. You can find nettles in deciduous forests or plant them in a lonely corner of your garden. They thrive in poor soil. Nettles will over-winter and become perennial. Just make sure to cut them back and keep eating them so that they do not get unruly! 

To prepare pesto: 
Fill a large pot halfway with water. 
Add ¼ cup salt and bring to a boil. Submerge nettles in water and let them boil for a few minutes. 
Drain them and set aside. As the nettles boil, place garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, sunflower seeds, salt and pepper in a food processor. 
Blend until a paste forms. Add ¼ cup olive oil and the boiled nettles. 
Blend once more. You can add a splash of water to keep the paste-like consistency. 
Taste for salt and enjoy with frittata and sourdough bread from one of our skilled Vermont artisan bakers.