Hemp for Deep Nourishment

Happy Pisces Full Moon Everyone!

This full moon comes each year as an opportunity to get in touch with how we are feeling and find balance in our bodies, hearts and minds.

What is feeling heavy right now? Can you find a stone to symbolize it and place the stone out in the moonlight?

What is feeling nourishing right now? Try to celebrate it with a symbolic act such as picking a bouquet of flowers or enjoying the rich harvest of berries and stone fruit that's available during this late summer season.

To enjoy and relax as we move into fall, try including more hemp in your diet.

Hemp, cannabis sativa, has been part of nutritional therapies since 2300 BCE. It is a high protein seed which, similar to flax, contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is rich in fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin E. Due to its balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fatty acids and its high GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) content, hemp seed and oil can help stimulate immunity, balance the endocrine system, and support healthy skin and hair.

Unlike soy, which contains high amounts of phytic acid (an anti-nutrient that prevents us from absorbing minerals), hemp seed has no phytic acid. Because it is nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, however, it will go rancid if stored at room temperature or heated above 100 degrees F. Hence, hemp milk is not the best source of this power-packed nutrient. Instead, choose hemp oil or seeds that come packaged in opaque containers and stored in the refrigerator.

Sprinkle hemp seeds over your oatmeal and drizzle hemp oil on your salad.

Here’s to your health! Try this smoothie to bring some sweetness and heart medicine into your life.

Blueberry Hemp Smoothie

Place these ingredients in a blender:

  • ½ teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom
  • a pinch salt
  • 2 Tablespoons hemp oil
  • ½ can un-sweetened, full-fat organic coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries

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

*Variations: use almond milk instead of coconut milk. Use peaches instead of blueberries.

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Amaranth and the Earth Element

Here in the northern hemisphere, e are moving into a time that is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as late summer. Many call it "the great interchange of seasons" because, when we harmonize with this time of year, we head into the colder months feeling strong and well-equipped to handle any virus or bacteria that might come our way.

Late summer is a glorious time of year. Days are still warm but nights turn cooler. Follow your instinct to have a cup of tea before bed. Try chamomile and lavender or a dandelion root blend. To align with the earth element, try eating more cooked vegetables, and make sure that plenty of them are orange. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, and the first winter squash.

Earth is represented by the sweet flavor, which, in TCM, doesn't mean sugar as much as it means whole grains and starchy vegetables. In this traditional nutritional philosophy, each time of year and element aligns with organs that need special attention. In late summer, it's the spleen and pancreas. Think digestive secretions, ability to digest and eliminate effectively, and mindfulness while eating.

The Earth organs, through their digestive processes, are at the heart of making vital energy for our entire being. To support the spleen and pancreas at this time of year, consider sitting down quietly with amaranth flatbread, baked sweet potatoes, and adzuki beans garnished with tahini for dinner.

Have you ever eaten amaranth before? Just as there is currently a quinoa craze, there was an amaranth craze (which some of you might remember) in the 1970s. 

Be aware, though, that whenever a food becomes trendy, it's important to trace that trend to its source. When Americans were consuming loads of amaranth in the seventies, Oaxacan breastfeeding mothers didn't have access to it. This fact is problematic when you realize that amaranth, a member of the chenopodium family (quinoa, beets, chard, spinach), is native to Oaxaca, Mexico and is the chief food for lactating mothers.

We know about the Bolivian quinoa scandal and the work that's being done in the U.S. to grow quinoa domestically. Its forgotten cousin, amaranth is a delicious, nutty, slightly crunchy whole grain that's high in protein and lower in carbohydrates than grains like rice and oats. 

Amaranth is relatively rich in lysine, an amino acid that helps with the absorption of calcium and the formation of collagen. It is also high in the minerals calcium, iron, and magnesium. It contains about four times as much calcium as wheat and twice as much iron and magnesium.

Cooked and baked into a flatbread, it makes a delicious and crunchy addition to a late summer lunch. Try this recipe and let me know what you think!

Simple Amaranth

Combine 1 cup amaranth with 2 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for up to 20 minutes, until grains are fluffy and water is absorbed.

Amaranth Flatbread

Take 1 cup cooked amaranth and mix in a bowl with:

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  • 3 Tablespoons flax seed meal
  • ¼ cup coconut flour 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil 
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: nutmeg, cinnamon, salt
     

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a cookie sheet with coconut oil. Spread batter in a thin layer on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

The longer you bake it, the crispier it becomes.

Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Key Lime Pie

I am so grateful for the work I get to do with clients. I learn so much and gain such inspiration from our healing partnerships. Here is a recipe to bring light and delight to your summer.

Key Lime Pie

Grain-free, Gluten-Free, No Refined Sugar

Crust:

  • Coconut oil for greasing
  • 1 cup organic pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup dates, softened
  • 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut cream 
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 small can organic coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare the crust. Grease a pie dish with coconut oil. n a food processor, combine all crust ingredients and process on high about a minute, until you get a thick pasty mixture. Press this mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish and set aside while you prepare the filling.

Prepare the filling. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor or blender, blend all filling ingredients until smooth.

Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Make the coconut whipped cream.

Beat or whisk the coconut cream until light and creamy (you can use an electric mixer or do it by hand) and lumps are removed, then whisk in the sweetener (honey or maple) and vanilla.

Top the chilled pie with the whipped cream and enjoy!

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Probiotic Cleansing Soup

Once every few weeks, it can feel rejuvenating to eat the same thing for a day. This practice gives the digestive system a chance to re-calibrate and rest. Since a large part of our stress response is triggered by the enteric nervous system in our gut. this day-long cleanse helps to reduce anxiety and depression as well.

In traditional nutritional philosophies such as Ayurveda from India, this concept of periodic meal simplification is common and often takes the form if eating kitchari, a simple meal made up of rice, lentils, spices and vegetables.

This spring, try eating this cleansing and nourishing probiotic soup for three meals a day on a day off. You will move forward feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and energized.

Probiotic Leek Soup

You will need:

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  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large leeks, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 bunch chard, chopped
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 inch kombu seaweed
  • 1 teaspoon each: salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh basil

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the leeks and celery. Cook, covered, until these are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add zucchini and sauté for 5 more minutes.

Add the chard and artichoke hearts.

Add the water and kombu and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Add the basil. Remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender.

Enjoy! Feel free to eat as much as you want during your one-day cleanse.

Sauerkraut

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In Traditional Chinese Five Element Theory (TCM), the flavor of Spring is sour. The sour flavor and the wood element influence the liver and gall bladder. Sour foods include vinegar, sauerkraut (and other lacto-fermented vegetables), lemon, rye, turnips, greens, quinoa, fennel, and caraway seeds. Sourness has an astringent and consolidating effect in the body. It can control diarrhea and excess perspiration or help focus a scattered mind.

Sauerkraut

Time frame: 1-2 weeks
You will need:
                Ceramic crock or food-grade plastic bucket, one-gallon capacity or greater
                Plate that fits inside crock or bucket
                One-gallon jug filled with water (or a scrubbed and boiled rock)
                Cloth cover (pillowcase or towel)
                5 pounds cabbage
                3 tablespoons sea salt
 
Chop or grate cabbage, finely or coarsely, with or without hearts, however you like it. I love to mix green and red cabbage to end up with bright pink kraut. Place cabbage in a large bowl as you chop it. Sprinkle salt on the cabbage as you go. The salt pulls water out of the cabbage (through osmosis), and this creates the brine in which the cabbage can ferment and sour without rotting. The salt also has the effect of keeping the cabbage crunchy, by inhibiting organisms and enzymes that soften it. 3 tablespoons of salt is a rough guideline for 5 pounds of cabbage.

Mix ingredients together and pack into crock. Pack just a bit into the crock at a time and tamp it down hard using your fists or any (other) sturdy kitchen implement. The tamping packs the kraut tight in the crock and helps force water out of the cabbage.
 
Cover kraut with a plate or some other lid that fits snugly inside the crock. Place a clean weight (a glass jug filled with water) on the cover. This weight is to force water out of the cabbage and then keep the cabbage submerged under the brine. Cover the whole thing with a cloth.
 
Press down on the weight to add pressure to the cabbage and help force water out of it. Continue doing this periodically (as often as you think of it, every few hours), until the brine rises above the cover. This can take up to about 24 hours, as the salt draws water out of the cabbage slowly. Some cabbage, particularly if it is old, simply contains less water. If the brine does not rise above the plate level by the next day, add enough salt water to bring the brine level above the plate. Add about a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water and stir until it’s completely dissolved.
 
Leave the crock to ferment in a corner of the kitchen. Check the kraut every day or two. The volume reduces as the fermentation proceeds. Sometimes mold appears on the surface. Skim off what you can and don’t worry about it. It’s just a surface phenomenon. The kraut itself is under the anaerobic protection of the brine.
 
Rinse off the plate and the weight. Taste the kraut. Generally it starts to be tangy after a few days, and the taste gets stronger as time passes. Store in jars in the fridge for up to 1 year.

Gratitude to Sandor Ellix Katz for guidelines from his book, The Art of Fermentation (Chelsea Green, 2012)

Beet Brownies

Beets are rich in minerals and aid in liver detoxification. As we prepare for spring, they are an excellent ingredient to include in roasted vegetable dishes, soups, and in baked goods, too. They lend an earthy sweetness to any dish.

These beautiful root vegetables come in red, pink, yellow and striated varieties. They are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. These plant nutrients provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. They are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, which support nervous system health.

Foods belonging to the chenopodium family — including beets, chard, spinach and quinoa — are also high in carotenoids, which support eyesight.

Beets are high in betaine, an essential nutrient made from the B-complex vitamin, choline. Choline reduces inflammation in the cardiovascular system by preventing unwanted build-up of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound.

Here is a beet-based recipe to inspire you. I love making these for both children and adults. The beets blend so well with the chocolate that a deep, rich taste comes through and it's nearly impossible to guess what the "secret ingredient" is.

red velvet Brownies

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour or millet flour
  • 2 eggs or 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup boiled, blended beets
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coarsely chop beets and place them in a pot. Cover them with water and boil for 15 minutes, or until fork tender.

Strain off water and place beets in a blender or food processor with almond/rice milk. Blend well.

Add all other ingredients and blend well.

Oil a glass baking dish or pie plate with coconut or sunflower oil.

Pour batter into it and bake for 30 minutes.

Cool for 20 minutes, slice, and enjoy!

Spring is coming: food for liver renewal

Today marks the last full moon before March 21st, the Spring Equinox. The earth is rife with purpose, ready to push up the myriad of seeds that will green our landscape for the season to come. Similarly, our bodies are ready to eat more green foods and move more to harmonize with the coming change of season. Mornings and evenings may feel chilly, but the sun shines longer each day and brings the warmth that heralds this season of renewal.

In my native Italy, the word for spring is 'primavera', meaning 'first truth'. May you find time to slow down as you eat, listen to your body's messages for nourishment, and savor the green flavors of the coming spring.

Here are some recipes to inspire your dietary transition from winter to spring.and to support the liver's natural renewal process.

Beet Sauce

You will need:

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  • 3 medium-sized red beets, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon each: allspice and salt
  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, ginger, coriander

In a small pot, boil beets for approximately 20 minutes or until tender. Once done, drain them and set aside to cool.

In a small sauté pan, over low-medium heat sauté shallots in olive oil and add spices and salt. Once shallots look caramelized, set aside.

In a blender, combine beets, shallots, vinegar, and water. Blend until smooth.

Use as a topping for millet bread.

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Millet Bread

You will need:

  • 1 ½ cups millet
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaf
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder

Place millet in a cooking pot with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Simmer until millet begins to thicken (about 20 minutes). Stir well, as though cooking oatmeal.

Add all the other ingredients and stir well. Cook on low heat and keep stirring until millet thickens.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour millet into a baking dish and flatten it evenly. Bake it for 15 minutes.

Slice and eat as you would polenta. Let the millet cool before slicing it.

Add toppings! If spread out in a thin layer on a baking sheet, this also makes an excellent pizza crust.

Click this link for more spring recipes.

Food as Medicine: Balance Your Hormones

Everyone thrives when their hormones are balanced. Lack of adequate hormone secretion can affect mood, digestion, and fertility. For female-bodied people, there are not any foods that contain estrogen or progesterone. However, certain nutrients support the body’s natural process of producing these hormones in a balanced way. Since most of the neurotransmitters that produce our hormones live in our intestines, using food to balance hormones is very effective!

After age 35, progesterone levels tend to decrease and estrogen levels increase. This slow process eventually leads to menopause. We can support this gentle change while we are still in the child-bearing years (until age 43 on average) by boosting progesterone levels.

Here is a list of progesterone-stimulating nutrients and their food sources in order of importance. Don’t feel like you need to get all of these nutrients every day. Focus on L-Arginine, Magnesium, and B Vitamins.

L-Arginine: aim for 6 grams per day

  • Turkey – 4 ounces contain about 16 grams 
  • Chicken – 4 ounces contains 9 grams 
  • Pumpkin Seeds – 1 cup contains 7 grams 
  • Chickpeas – 1 cup contains 1.3 grams 

Magnesium: aim for 500 mg per day

  • Spinach – 79mg per 100g 
  • Pumpkin Seeds – 534mg per 100g 
  • White fish (cod, trout, haddock) – 97mg per 100g 
  • Brown Rice – 44mg per 100g 
  • Dark Chocolate (70% or higher) – 327mg per 100g 
  • Vital Calm Magnesium powder – 320 mg per serving 

Vitamin C: aim for 1,000 mg daily (do not exceed)

  • Yellow Peppers –3mg per large pepper 
  • Kale and Collard Greens – 120mg per 100g 
  • Kiwi – 64mg per Kiwi 
  • Broccoli – 89.2mg per 100g 
  • Oranges – 69.7mg 

Vitamin B6: aim for 25 mg per day

  • Sunflower Seeds –35mg per 100g 
  • Pistachio Nuts – 1.12 mg per 100g 
  • Tuna – 1.04mg per 100g (cooked) 
  • Turkey – 0.81mg per 100g (cooked) 
  • Prunes – 0.75mg per 100g 

Vitamin E: aim for 150 mg per day

  • Almonds – 2mg per 100g 
  • Sunflower Seeds – 3mg per 100g 
  • Shrimp – 2mg per 100g of Shrimp 
  • White fish (cod, trout, haddock) – 8mg per 100g 
  • Olive Oil – 4mg per 100g 

Zinc: aim for 25 mg per day

  • Beef – 12.3mg per 100g 
  • Wheat Germ – 16.7mg per 100g 
  • Pumpkin and Squash Seeds – 10.3mg per 100g 
  • Cashews – 5.6mg per 100g

Here are some recipes that include hormone-balancing ingredients.

Easy Trail Mix

You will need:

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3 tablespoons pure Grade B maple syrup
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup prunes,chopped

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients except the prunes until well mixed.

Spread mixture in an even single layer on the lined baking sheets.

Bake the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, place back into bowl, add chopped prunes and toss to combine. Cool completely.

Store cooled trail mix in an airtight container at room temperature.

Lemony Turkey Stew

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pound organic ground turkey
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each: coriander, cumin, oregano and salt
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 inch chopped kombu or wakame seaweed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • juice of 1 lemon to finish

In a soup pot, sauté turkey on medium high heat with vinegar, stirring constantly with a metal spatula, until chicken is cooked through - about 25 minutes depending on the cut.

Add the celery, carrots, ginger, cabbage, seaweed and spices. Stir well. Add the kale and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cook for 15 minutes, and stir in lemon juice. 

Serve and enjoy!

Blueberry Bread

Winter is a wonderful time to prepare dishes that feature the summer's bounty and remind us of the warmer days that will soon come.

We froze a lot of blueberries this past summer and have been enjoying them in baked goods all winter long.

May this bread nourish and inspire you. It's a great one to make an advance and have ready for breakfast or a snack when you're short on time.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon each: baking powder and baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350.

Oil a loaf pan and set aside.

Mixed together the flours, spices, soda, powder, and salt.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and put the vinegar, syrup, eggs and oil into that well.

Whisk them together with each other then incorporate with the dry ingredients. The batter should be fairly thick and lumpy.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Run a knife along the edges of the bread and let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy!

Keeping Blood Sugar Balanced

When eating treats, it's great to choose those that contain protein. 

Because it takes the body longer to digest protein, blood sugar remains stable when eating sweets with protein. The digestive process takes all carbohydrates and turns them into glucose, a kind of sugar that's and released into the blood stream for energy.

Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps cells to absorb glucose once it's in the blood stream so that they can use it to generate energy. However, if there is too much circulating glucose in the system, the body gets overloaded. 

By consuming excessive carbohydrates and sugar without the protein to slow down the release of glucose into the blood steam, sugar levels and hence insulin levels can become chronically elevated. This elevation can lead to inflammation, high blood sugar and pre-diabetes (also known as insulin resistance).

Combining sweets and protein helps our body make the best use of the energy we gain from treats and keeps blood sugar balanced. Protein sources include: nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, meat, eggs, and cheese.

Nut Butter Chocolate Chippers

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sorghum or brown rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (try to find ones sweetened with rice syrup instead of cane sugar)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Oil a cookie sheet with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond butter, coconut oil, applesauce, coconut sugar, flaxseed, and vanilla. Mix in flour, cinnamon and salt until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Flatten in a criss cross pattern with the tines of a fork. Bake for about 15 minutes.

Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before enjoying.

Turmeric and Ginger Harvest

I am honored to participate in the harvest and cooking of fresh, organic turmeric and ginger grown in a Vermont greenhouse.

May the fruits of the harvest inspire us to find balance during this fall equinox time. Equal day and equal night call for a pause, a moment to revel in what surrounds us, appreciate it for what it is, and reflect on what's working in our lives and what we could let go.

Let these traditional Indian recipes inspire you to support your digestive health and immunity with turmeric and ginger. I have learned how to prepare these dishes from Dr. Vasant Lad, director of the Ayurvedic Institutes in India and New Mexico.

Ginger: warming, anti-inflammatory, soothes stomach cramps, reduces flatulence, alleviates common cold and flu symptoms. Clinical studies show that ginger consumption decreases arthritis pain and protects the liver from damage.

Turmeric: anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory, turmeric contains anti-inflammatory curcumin, which helps to heal GI diseases such irritable bowel syndrome. It prevents cancer cells from growing new blood vessels to feed themselves and induces the death of existing cancer cells. It also breaks up accumulated amyloid plaque in the brain that’s related to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Rajma

Rajma means red kidney beans in Hindi. This is an adaptation of a traditional Punjabi recipe. These rich and hearty legumes are high in iron and protein. They support gut health with their fiber content.

To pressure cook* the beans:

¾ cups rajma (red kidney beans)

1 ½ cups water

*If you do not have a pressure cooker, just soak the beans overnight and boil in water until tender, about 45 minutes.

For rajma recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated turmeric
  • 2 cloves fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red chili powder or 2 fresh chopped chilies
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste

Wash dried rajma under running cold water till water runs clear.

Soak them in enough water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

If using canned beans, there is no need to soak or pressure cook them. Just rinse under the water and use beans in the recipe

Pressure cooking beans: discard the soaking water and add rajma to the pressure cooker with 3 ½ cups of fresh water. Close the lid and put the top on. Cook on high for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes. Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the cover. After pressure cooking the rajma, they should be soft and some of them will open up. Discard any leftover water from pressure cooking.

To prepare the rajma, heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add bay leaf and saute for 30 seconds. Add chopped onions and salt. Cook the onions till they are light brown in color, about 5 minutes. Saute ginger, turmeric and garlic for a minute.

Add tomato. Mix well and let it cook till all the moisture is evaporated and oil starts to leave the sides of the pan. do stir in between to make sure that it is not sticking to the pan. Add all spice powders. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the beans, cook for 10 more minutes, and enjoy over rice.

Aloo Saag

In Hindi, aloo means potatoes and saag means spinach. This classic side dish can also be made with kale or collard greens.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 inch each of freshly chopped turmeric and ginger
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
  • ½ tsp each: salt, cumin, and garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 cups spinach leaves

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and fry for about 3 minutes.

Stir in the potatoes and spices. Continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes more. Add a splash of water, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Check the potatoes are ready by spearing with the point of a knife, and if they are, add the spinach and let it wilt into the pan. Take off the heat and serve with grilled chicken or cooked beans and rice.

Kitchari

Kitchari means mixture, usually of two grains. This is one kitchari recipe that is particularly nourishing and easy to digest. I like to prepare the rice and lentils separately and mix them in my bowl.

Rinse 1 cup long grain brown rice. Bring to a boil with 2 cups water. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, with lid askew, for 30 minutes.

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

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon each: mustard seed, cumin seed, cumin powder, coriander powder
  • 1 inch each of freshly chopped turmeric and ginger

When seeds start popping, turn off heat and slowly pour mixture into cooking rice.

You can add zucchini, summer squash, peas, cauliflower, broccoli or asparagus to the rice.

For the lentil 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 each: salt, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala
  • 1 inch each of freshly chopped turmeric and ginger

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!

Gluten-Free Maple Gingerbread

The nights are getting cooler here in Vermont, and I am thinking about the kinds of warming, blood-building foods that will strengthen our immune systems in preparation for the colder months.

Molasses is an excellent source of iron, supports blood and heart health, and is packed with minerals. Try to find sorghum molasses, which is derived from a low-glycemic, gluten-free grain: sorghum. A relative of millet, sorghum is native to North Africa. It is a warming and tonic food that helps build fluids in the body and regulates digestion. When boiled, it creates a delicious and rich syrup that takes this recipe to another level.

If you cannot find sorghum, unsulphured cane sugar molasses will do just fine.

This recipe is rich in medicinal spices to balance blood sugar (cinnamon), support digestion and endocrine health (nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon), and ward off the cold and flu (ginger and cloves).

Maple Gingerbread

You will need:

  • 1 cup sorghum or millet flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cloves and nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg or 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal dissolved into 2 tablespoons hot water (vegan)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a baking dish with coconut oil. I use either an 8x8 dish or a loaf pan.

Mix all ingredients together in the order listed. Spread evenly into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Check for done-ness by inserting a knife blade into the center of the bread. Bake for 5 more minutes if necessary.

Cool 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Summer Salads and Dressings

Summer is a time of heightened activity, longer days. It's also an opportunity to slow down, nourish ourselves, soak up the sun, and prepare for winter. The more we relax and reduce stress in the summer, the healthier we will remain during the colder months. Try these recipes to strengthen digestion and promote relaxation.

Lemon Garlic Dressing

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. 

Drizzle over salad. Serves 8.

GET CREATIVE! Add ¼ cup freshly chopped dill.

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Red Wine Vinaigrette

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. 

Drizzle over salad. Serves 8.

GET CREATIVE! Add ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. 

Drizzle over salad. Serves 8.

GET CREATIVE! Add ¼ cup freshly chopped basil.

Kohlrabi Potato Salad

Kohlrabi is extremely high in protein for a vegetable! It's a digestive aid as well. Enjoy it.

You will need:

  • 1 pound potatoes or any kind
  • ½ pound kohlrabi
  • ¼ cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped dill
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • one batch of lemon garlic salad dressing (see recipe above)

Steam or boil potatoes and kohlrabi in until tender, about 15 minutes.

Drain and place in a serving bowl. Toss with spinach, dill, mustard and salad dressing. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

GET CREATIVE! Add ¼ cup sunflower seeds.

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Corn Salad

Please choose non-GMO corn whenever possible.

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 quart 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.

GET CREATIVE! Add ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese.

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.

Coconut Almond Cake With Blueberry Lemon Glaze

Summer is here! Berries are one of my favorite aspects of summer cooking and eating. They are so high in healing plant compounds, low on the glycemic index, and naturally sweet. I take every opportunity to savor them during their short season. This recipe features blueberries, which are high in phytonutrients that reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. They lower triglycerides and protect cells and blood vessels in the heart. Blueberries improve memory, support the nervous system, and balance blood sugar. Try to eat 1 cup of blueberries daily to reap their health benefits.

Coconut Almond Cake

This cake is gluten-free, grain-free, and high in protein. 

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk of any kind
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt coconut oil in a 9x9 cake pan in the oven.

Mix all the ingredients together in the order listed. Pour the melted coconut oil into the bowl and mix well. Pour batter into cake pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Blueberry Lemon Glaze

This is truly the icing on the cake!

You will need:

  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom
  • a pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool slightly before pouring it over the cake. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes. It's even more delicious the next day after the glaze soaks into the cake.

Solstice Wraps

Summer solstice is upon us. Fireflies decorate the night skies and the first strawberries are ripe in our garden. We are harvesting nettles and red clover galore and making sun tea with red clover, chamomile, lemon balm and tulsi.

Now is the time to strengthen yourself. Now is the time to soak in the verdant wonder of summer as a way to prepare for winter.

Try this green recipe to inspire you. It reminds me of my time living in Indonesia.

Lettuce Wraps

You will need:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (I like Eden brand)
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded
  • 2 cucumbers, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large lettuce leaves
  • Sprouts (optional)

Pour chickpeas into a bowl and mash them.

Add in the avocado and continue mashing until well mixed and a consistency to your liking.

Add cucumber, scallions, cilantro and lime juice and stir until mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Divide salad mix into 4 servings and spoon each serving into a lettuce leaf.

Top with sprouts if you like and enjoy with peanut dipping sauce.

Peanut Sauce

You will need:

  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until well blended. Adjust to taste. Add honey, tamari, or water to achieve the desired consistency and flavor. Enjoy with lettuce wraps!

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.

Spring Cleanse

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 of all, and we’ll discuss their nutrition as well as many other health benefits. 

This is a time when we transition from Winter hibernation to Summer growth. Because we are part of the earth and it 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 (hormonal) systems.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring's flavor is sour. The sour flavor and the wood element influence the liver and gall bladder. Sour foods include vinegar, horseradish, sauerkraut (and other lacto-fermented vegetables), lemon, rye, turnips, greens, quinoa, millet, fennel, and caraway seeds. Sourness has an astringent and consolidating effect in the body. It can control diarrhea and excess perspiration or help focus a scattered mind. Sour foods will help us harmonize Spring.

In India’s time-honored tradition of Ayurvedic Medicine, spring is known as the Kapha season. Kapha, the earth element, is heavy, grounded, and can feel stuck when it is out of balance. While spring waters are flowing and mud is everywhere, uplift your body, mind, and spirit, with a daily walk, deep breathing, and sour food.

I was raised in the Mediterranean tradition, where we harvested dandelion greens each spring to make a bitter and delicious salad with olive oil, salt, vinegar, and grated carrots. I remember how much my grandmother loved vinegar. She dressed our salads generously with this sour liquid. Thank goodness for the carrots to temper the sour and bitter flavors for an overall harmonious effect.

Food-Based Cleanse

Spring is wonderful time to cleanse the internal organs with delicious fruit and vegetable juices. If you do not have a juicer, just use a food processor and strain out the pulp before drinking the juice. You can keep juice in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Juice recipes and health benefits:

  • To strengthen digestion - 1 granny smith apple, 2 carrots, 1 beet
  • To support the liver - beet greens, 1 beet, 3 stalks celery, 2 inches fresh ginger root
  • To cleanse the blood - 1 beet, 2 carrots, 1 granny smith apple, 2 handfuls fresh parsley

Enjoy! Drink a small glass of juice three times daily, from just after you wake up to times of low energy between meals.

Regardless of whether or not you are able to drink fresh juice, you can lighten your diet and include more lacto-fermented vegetables, bitter greens, lemon juice, and whole grains in your meals.

For a week, try to eliminate the following foods, which can tax the liver, gall bladder, and lymph over time:

  • alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages
  • meat: white fish is ok once during the week if it helps you meet your protein needs
  • cheese, cream, ice cream: choose avocados, coconut milk, roasted root vegetables, baked apples
  • popcorn, crackers, cookies
  • products containing sorbitol or xylitol (sugar-free gum and candies)
  • refined sugar: choose raw honey or maple syrup
  • gluten and processed grains like pasta/bread: choose spring grains like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and millet

Instead, enjoy the fresh nourishment of fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts, and whole grains. Garnish food with high quality olive oil or flax oil and lemon juice.

Breakfast ideas:

  • Quinoa porridge with carrot spread and almonds
  • Baked sweet potatoes with hard-boiled eggs
  • Scrambled eggs with spinach and quinoa
  • Roasted roots with hard-boiled eggs
  • Baked acorn squash with tahini (roasted sesame seed butter), coconut butter, and cinnamon

Lunch and Dinner:

Use recipes from the "spring" category of this blog.

Keep these on hand along with chopped carrot and celery sticks when you need a snack as you are cooking! Remember that flavor, which comes from spreads and spices, is crucial to enjoying your food.

Snacks:

  • Miso broth
  • Granola bar
  • Smoothie or juice (more juice and smoothie recipes on my blog)
  • Apple or orange

Liquids:

  • Dandelion root tea and a glass of warm water with lemon juice in the morning
  • At least 3 quarts water daily
  • Herbal tea in the evening: Traditional Medicinals’ Detox tea is a nice choice

Would you like more specific guidance, meal plans, and recipes for your cleanse? Try my two-week, food-based cleanse.

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.

Metabolism-Boosting Meal Plan

Here on the homestead, winter tends to find us slowing down, eating rich, nourishing foods, and enjoying a more relaxed pace. As necessary as this shift is, it can lead to a more sluggish metabolism. We like to take one day a week to enjoy this cleansing, metabolism-boosting meal plan as a way of pressing the reset button on our eating and boosting our energy.

It's a great thing to try in honor of the full moon today, which is known by indigenous peoples of this land as the Wolf Moon. Howl at the moon, stimulate metabolic activity and restore your energy with these recipes.

All these spices boost the metabolism, support healthy digestion, and/or ward off the cold and flu. Many of the ingredients in these recipes also support healthy metabolic activity. You can learn more by exploring the culinary pharmacy here.

 

Breakfast

Coconut Chia Blueberry Pudding

You will need:

  • 1 cup full fat organic coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped

Combine coconut milk, water, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 2 -3 minutes.

Add chia seeds, almonds and blueberries and mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes before eating.

Lunch

Spiced Cauliflower Quinoa and Greens

For the roasted cauliflower:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon each: turmeric and coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: salt, cinnamon and nutmeg

For the quinoa with greens:

  • 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon each: turmeric, chile flakes, cinnamon, and cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups kale

Roast the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 425. Toss the cauliflower florets with coconut oil and spices. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes on the middle rack, turning halfway, until the cauliflower is tender and golden on the edges.

Cook the quinoa: In a large pot with a lid, warm the coconut oil over medium heat.

Add the onion and ginger and cook about 5 minutes. Add spices and stir. Add water and quinoa.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.

Chop kale and add it to the pot. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the pot from heat.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Stir in the salt and vinegar. Divide the quinoa into bowls.

Top with roasted cauliflower.

Dinner

Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf

You will need:

  • 1 cup brown & wild rice blend
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon each: sage, thyme, oregano and salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Combine the rice and vegetable broth in a large saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover for 35-40 minutes, cooking until the broth is completely absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, melt the coconut oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the onion and celery until tender, about 8 minutes. Add in the garlic, mushrooms, sage, thyme, and salt, and sauté another 8 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.

Combine the cooked rice and mushroom mixture, and stir in the pecans. Adjust any seasoning to taste, and serve warm.