Vegan Chia Burgers

Summer is drenching Vermont in rain to the point of flooding. Farmers are doing everything possible to secure crops and we are watching puddles turn into pools in our garden. We hope that this damp weather will pass so that plants may flourish once again.

Meanwhile, we are trying to dry the dampness with warming, nourishing foods that still feature summer ingredients.

These chia burgers fit the bill.

Chia, a member of the sage family, has delicious, peppery, edible seeds that are high in protein and fiber.They are a great replacement for eggs and taste delicious in sweet and savory dishes alike.

Corn is a wonderful food for summer. From digestive support to blood sugar balance, it is a healing food as long as it’s not genetically modified. Ask your farmer where they get their seeds and check for the non-GMO label on corn products in the store. Corn fiber supports the growth of friendly bacteria in our large intestine. It is rich in B-complex vitamins and has about 5 grams of protein per cup. Fiber and protein make corn a great food blood sugar control.

Vegan Chia Burgers

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (non GMO)

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 medium zucchini, grated

  • 1 medium carrot, grated

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together.

Oil a cookie sheet with olive or sunflower oil.

Shape dough into patties and flatten each one onto the cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, cool and enjoy.

They pair well with pesto and grilled chicken or cod.

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Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Trust me, I am a lover of turkey. We have the honor of roasting a bird raised by our friends at Tangletown Farm. These turkeys are a heritage breed that only feeds on grass - they are delicious. 

However, it can be nice to have an alternative to the sedating effects of the tryptophan in turkey. Here are some protein-rich vegetarian ideas for the feast.

Lentil Millet Loaf

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, ground

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

  • 1 large carrot, grated

  • 2 celery ribs, diced

  • 2 cups cooked lentils

  • 1 cup cooked millet

  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth, as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: sage, rosemary, thyme

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with olive oil.

Grind the sunflower seeds into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Sauté vegetables in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny. Add more ground sunflower seeds if the loaf seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Leftover slices of make a great sandwich filling.

Lentil Squash Soup

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.

Pumpkin Cashew Soup

Watch this simple video

to learn how to make it!

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Cooling Desserts for Lingering Evenings

June is here. Firefly season in Vermont. Lupines blooming blue next to ox-eye daisies.

The angelica, black cohosh and feverfew plants tower over the garden, delighted to be its protectors.

Last fall's potatoes are sprouting: it's time to plant them.

The soil is warm enough for winter squash seeds to sprout and peas are almost a foot tall.

At our homestead on Sparrow Farm Road, this is the time we await with delight. 

Whatever summer looks like for you, soak in it.

Sit with the evening and let yourself become absorbed in the pink light as it slowly gives way stars.

Find local raspberries ans strawberries to make an amazing topping for this vegan cheesecake.

Hawai'i Inspiration: Vegan Cheesecake

Recipe by Ani Phyo - courtesy of Alessandra Jann-Jordan

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts (or almonds)

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup pitted dates

  • 1/4 shredded coconut

Chop nuts and dates into small pieces.

Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon. Mix well.

'Flour' bottom of 9 inch spring form pan with shredded coconut. 

Press crust evenly on bottom.

For the filling:

  • 3 cups cashews

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup honey (or pitted dates)

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil

  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • Water as needed

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend into a smooth cream.

Add water as needed to make a smooth, thick batter - like pancake batter.

Smooth into pan and place into freezer until firm - about 12 hours. 

Before serving, defrost on a plate 1/2 hour.

Top with fresh, chopped raspberries and strawberries.

Enjoy!

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Gratitude and Delight

Friends,

I appreciate all who have recently told me that you read this blog. Thank you!

When I write, I often wonder if anyone will read these words and try the recipes and suggestions I offer. 

Always feel free to send me a note or leave a comment at the end of this post. It's nourishing for me to know that we are connecting. Likewise, please let me know how I can best support you and answer your food and health questions.

Recently, a friend and follower let me know how much she liked the smoothie recipes I had posted. She encouraged me to offer more - here goes.

This one's for you!

Love, Lisa

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

Place these ingredients in a blender or Vitamix:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup blueberries (either fresh or frozen and thawed for 10 minutes)

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 2 spoonfuls tahini

  • 1/2 cup spoonful whole milk cow yogurt or coconut yogurt (choose a brand with no added sugar)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Blend well and enjoy for breakfast with quinoa almond pancakes

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Avocado Date Almond Smoothie

Place these ingredients in a blender or Vitamix:

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • pinch salt

  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 handful chopped, pitted dates

  • 1 avocado

  • 1 handful almonds

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

Blend well and enjoy!


Maca Cacao Smoothie

Place these ingredients in a blender or Vitamix in the order listed:

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon maca powder

  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder

  • 1/4 cup hot water

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 handful pitted dates, chopped

  • 1 handful almonds, chopped

  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

Blend well and savor slowly. This smoothie is like a dessert pudding that lends endurance, too.

The sustained energy comes from maca, a root indigenous to the Andes that's often prepared as a food within its local context. It is rich in calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. It contains essential fatty acids and amino acids (the building blocks of protein), too.


Green Fruity Delight Smoothie

In a blender, place:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 1 green apple, cored and sliced

  • 1 small stalk celery, chopped

  • 2 cups spinach

  • One inch of ginger root (no need to peel if it's organic)

  • 2 teaspoons

  • spirulina powder

  • 1/2 cup water

Blend well. This is an excellent smoothie for cooling summer heat.


Pineapple Mango Happy Belly Smoothie

In a blender or Vitamix, place:

  • 2 cups frozen, diced mango

  • 2 cups frozen, diced pineapple

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 2 handfuls cashews

  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Blend well and enjoy! You will boost your metabolism and digest better thanks to these incredible, golden fruits - high in digestive enzymes.


Very Berry Yogurt Smoothie

Place these ingredients in a blender:

  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries

  • 1 medium banana

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, whole fat yogurt

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg

  • 1 cup water

Blend well and enjoy! 

The yogurt will provide probiotic support to your gut microbiome and its protein content will keep you going until your next meal.


Chia Raspberry Coconut Smoothie

Place these ingredients in a blender:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 handful raspberries (fresh or frozen and thawed for 10 minutes)

  • 1 spoonful chia seeds

  • 2 spoonfuls shredded, unsweetened coconut

  • ¼ cup coconut milk (full-fat and organic)

Blend well and enjoy for breakfast with quinoa date porridge.

You can try smoothie recipes  with kombucha or with turmeric here

.To learn about the healing properties of these foods, please join email newsletter updates.

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Favorite Breakfasts with 3 Ingredients Each

Each one of these breakfasts provides protein, fiber and flavor for balanced energy that jump starts metabolism and provides satisfaction.

I love sweet potatoes. They are a staple in my diet because they support the reproductive system, satisfy the sweet flavor, and feed beneficial gut bacteria. They are also rich in anthocyanins to recude inflammation and plenty of dietary fiber to stabilize blood sugar.

Grocery store labeling can cause much confusion. What is the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? 'Yam' comes from the Fulani (West African language) word 'nyami', which means 'to eat'. Native to Africa and Asia, these root vegetables belong to the Dioscoreaceae family

.Sweet potatoes, instead, are members of the Convolvulaceae, or morning glory plant family. They are more commonly grown in the United States. Breakfast can be easy and delicious. Watch the video and try these recipes and see for yourself! 

Prepare these dishes ahead and have them ready for the week to come.

Kasha Sweet Potato Pie

You will need:

  • Kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)

  • Olive oil

  • Roasted sweet potatoes

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cube and roast sweet potatoes with olive oil (4 tablespoons) and salt (1 teaspoon) on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, place kasha and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, add 1 teaspoon salt, and stir occasionally.

Once sweet potatoes are roasted, remove them from the oven and lower the temperature to 375 degrees.

Oil a pie plate with olive oil. Once the kasha is cooked, spread it into the pie plate. Top with roasted sweet potatoes and bake for 15 minutes.

Enjoy with a spoonful of your favorite nut butter. I like tahini.

Sunflower Sweet Potato Flatbread

You will need:

  • Cornmeal

  • Sunflower Seeds

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Oil a loaf pan with olive oil.

Bring 3/4 cup sunflower seeds in a spice / espresso bean grinder until they reach a flour-like consistency. 

Combine with 1 cup cornmeal and a pinch of salt. 

Add 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes (see preparation directions above) and enough water to make a thick, chunky batter - about 1/2 cup.

If you would like a smooth consistency, blend in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Spread into loaf pan and bake for 15 minutes.

I like to slice it, toast or fry it, and serve it with parsley pistou

.

Coconut Sweet Potato Cakes

You will need:

  • Coconut flour

  • Shredded coconut

  • Roasted sweet potatoes

To prepare:

In a bowl, mix equal parts coconut flour and shredded coconut. 

I also like to add a teaspoon of cinnamon. 

Mix in 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes (see preparation directions above) and smash them with a fork.

Add enough water to make a thick, dough - about 1/2 cup.

If you would like a smooth consistency, blend in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Oil a cookie sheet or baking dish with olive oil. Shape dough into patties and place on the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!

I like mine toasted and drizzled with honey or maple syrup and a spoonful of almond butter.

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Spring Smoothies Make Terrific Breakfasts

Life is full. As the days grow longer and we start to be more active, it's as important as ever to start our days with a protein-packed breakfast. Try these smoothies to ease digestion, strengthen the body, mind, and spirit for the day ahead, and embrace spring.

These smoothies are also an ideal way to refuel after a workout, hike, or bike ride. For those of use who need extra protein to support healthy pregnancy or maintain long-term energy during physical activity, add organic hemp seed powder.

Each of these smoothies provides beneficial pro-biotic bacteria with ingredients such as kombucha. They also contain pre-biotic ingredients, such as papaya and flaxseed meal, to nourish that good gut bacteria.

Food is medicine. Learn to use it wisely. Breathe into the present moment and appreciate life for a moment before you sip your healing beverage. 

Digest-Ease Smoothie

Blueberries are high in antioxidants, spinach is rich in fiber and minerals, almond butter provides protein and is pre-biotic, kombucha is pro-biotic, and spirulina micro-algae help to cleanse the lymphatic system. Here's to your health!

You will need:

  • 2 cups blueberries - fresh or frozen

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder

  • 1 cup kombucha

Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender.

Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Turmeric stops the body's inflammatory response, ginger warms the digestive system, papaya provides potent digestive enzymes, walnuts are rich in ellagic acid to nourish the brain, and flax seed is pre-biotic.

You will need:

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk

  • ¼ cup dried, unsweetened papaya, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes

  • ¼ cups walnuts

  • ½ inch fresh ginger root

  • ½ inch fresh turmeric root

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ cup flaxseed meal

Boil a bit of water and soak the papaya in a bowl.

Chop ginger and turmeric.

Drain papaya water.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well.

Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!

Do you have a smoothie recipe to share? #showusyoursmoothie

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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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Stuffed Cabbage Dumplings

By popular demand, here is my version of Holiskes, Galumpkies, or cabbage leaf dumplings, which came through to me from my Polish ancestry. I offer this recipe in tribute to my maternal grandfather, John Witkowski, whose life story and gifts are an inspiration to me.

STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup brown rice

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • 1 large head green cabbage, cored

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon each: ground black pepper, paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, coriander*

  • 2 cups whole peeled tomatoes with juice - if tomatoes cause ulcer or reflux, you can make this "no-mato" sauce recipe

  • 1 pound grass-fed, local ground turkey (substitute cooked kidney beans for vegan recipe)

  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

  • 1/4 cup raisins or prunes, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon each: salt, ground black pepper, cumin, coriander, and paprika

*This Eastern European spice blend has the capacity to dispel the onset of a virus and expedite healing from the cold or flu.

Cook the rice in 1 cup water.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; add cabbage, and cook, pulling off each outer leaf with tongs as it becomes tender, about 2 minutes per leaf. Transfer leaves to a baking sheet and continue until you have 20 leaves.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat; add onions and carrots, season with wine / vinegar, salt and spices.

Cook until just caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add a bit of water if the vegetables stick to the pan.

Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, until reduced, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a bowl, combine turkey / beans, cooked rice, mustard, flax, raisins / prunes and spices. 

Place 2 spoonfuls of this mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, fold sides over filling, and then roll up. Transfer rolls, seam side down, to a glass baking dish. 

Pour tomato sauce over rolls; bake for 45 minutes. 

Enjoy and be well!

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Homemade Almond Milk

As we get older, our bodies produce less of the lactase enzyme, which digests the lactose in dairy products. If dairy is giving you gas, bloating, or intestinal cramps, try these substitutions.

Dairy is an important source of protein and fat, so it's good to substitute it with foods that have similar nutritional profiles such as nuts, winter squash, purslane, and borage leaves.

For delicious recipes featuring plant-based protein, visit my recipe page.

ALMOND MILK

Soak 2 cups raw, organic almonds in 4 cups water overnight.

Drain, rinse, and place in a blender with 4 more cups water.

Add a pinch of salt.

Blend well.

Strain off the liquid. This is your almond milk!

Store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Click this link for a blueberry chia lime smoothie recipe to enjoy your almond milk.

Save the almond pulp and add it to cauliflower flatbread or any recipe that calls for almond flour.

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Back to School Breakfasts

As the new moon grows, I am aware that the next new moon will mark fall equinox. These last golden moments of summer offer an opportunity to slow down, take in the long sunsets and appreciate the morning mists.

To stay healthy through this seasonal shift, it's important to eat breakfast with good quality protein. Whether you are back to school, more involved in work, or shifting gears to prepare for winter, now is the time to nourish yourself.


QUINOA POPPYSEED PANCAKES

You will need:

  • ½ cup white rice flour

  • ½ cup quinoa flour

  • a pinch sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon and nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

  • finely grated lemon zest2 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 cup almond or rice milk

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, spices, and zest.

Make a well in the center and add eggs, milk, juice, maple, and oil.

Whisk with each other, then incorporate with dry ingredients.

In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.

Pour ¼ cup of batter in the pan and repeat for as many pancakes as you can make.

Cook until the surface bubbles and starts to set, then flip the pancakes and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more or until golden.

Serve pancakes immediately with yogurt, maple syrup or your favorite fruit.

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FRUITY + NUTTY BREAKFAST POCKETS

I love this recipe because it's both kid-friendly and ideal for adults on the go.

Take two pieces of whole wheat sourdough bread or gluten-free bread with no added preservatives.

Spread a tablespoon of organic nut butter (no sugar added) on each slice.

Chop a banana or take a handful of berries and sandwich between the nut-buttered slices.

Toast in the toaster oven for 3 minutes or fry in a skillet.

Apparently, this was Elvis Presley's favorite snack.