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.

Chickpea Tagine with Buckwheat Pancakes

During the colder months, it's important to warm our bones with healing foods such as soups and stews. This one freezes well, so you can make a double batch to thaw and enjoy at a time when life is busy.

Take a moment to slow down and breathe in the fragrance of these spices as they cook. Native to North Africa, this spice blend and concomitant stew are a wonderful way to boost your immunity and strengthen your digestion while learning about the culinary traditions of another group of people.

Tagine refers to the earthernware pot in which this dish is traditionally cooked. Records of this dish date back to the 9th century CE.

Chickpea Tagine

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek
  • ½ teaspoon each: cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, salt
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • One 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 15 ounce can no-salt-added garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas), rinsed and drained OR 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat until hot. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes or until beginning to brown and stick to the pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Stir in 1/3 cup broth and continue to cook 4 to 5 minutes longer or until very tender. Stir in spices and tomatoes. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Add remaining vegetable broth, sweet potato, garbanzo beans, and lemon juice.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until sweet potato is tender.

Serve with buckwheat pancakes and parsley pistou if you like.

Savory Buckwheat Pancakes

Mix together:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water

Cook in an oiled skillet as you would pancakes. Serve with chickpea tagine.

Parsley Pistou

In a blender, combine:

  • 2 cups flat leaf parsley, rinsed and de-stemmed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup water

Blend well and enjoy with tagine or as a spread on bread.

Green Drink to Boost Mood and Energy

As we head into the holidays, it's good to slow down and take care. Food is a wonderful way to soothe the spirit and keep the body healthy. 

When the sun sets earlier in the afternoon and we need energy to make it through the rest of the day, anti-inflammatory spices and energizing berries and vegetables can lend that energy.

Try this drink to support you during and afternoon slump and boost your immunity, too!

Green Drink

In a food processor, blend these ingredients well:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1⁄2 cup frozen blueberries
  • juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1 inch of of fresh ginger root, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

Drink this beverage when you are feeling tired or cravings sweets / carbohydrates in the mid-afternoon. This kind of drink tends to slow down digestion in the morning, but provides a great afternoon energy boost. 

I like to heat it gently after I blend it to have a warm, soothing drink. You can make a double batch and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Blueberries: strengthen immunity and enhance overall health with power-packed antioxidants; support brain function and offer acid-alkaline balance in intestines. 

Ginger: warming, anti-inflammatory, soothes stomach cramps, reduces flatulence, alleviates common cold and flu symptoms.

Parsley: 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. Contains volatile oils that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens as well as ease the burn of insect bites and stings.

Spinach: high in fiber to support healthy digestion and intestinal flora, iron for energy and healthy immune response, and folic acid for heart health.

Gluten-Free Homemade Breads

Are you trying to eat food without gluten?

This practice can help heal gut imbalances such as dysbiosis, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), leaky gut syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating and a whole host of other conditions. Eliminating gluten also reduces inflammation, thereby improving mood, providing energy, and rerong, reducing the symptoms of auto-immune disorders. 

Avoiding gluten is also a great way to simplify your diet and head into the winter with strong immunity. However, one caveat: packaged gluten-free breads and baked goods are just as toxic to the system as those containing gluten. Please stay away from them. 

When you are craving bread or a baked good, try your hand at these simple recipes.

Sweet Potato Bread

You will need:

  • 1 cup roasted sweet potato flesh
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut yoghurt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat your oven to 400.

Chop sweet potato into chunks, place on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.

Roast sweet potato in large chunks for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

If you would like, roast a larger quantity of sweet potato and set some aside to have as a snack with nuts or nut butter.

Place the sweet potato, coconut flour, yoghurt, and eggs into your processor and blend until the mixture resembles a smooth, runny batter. Add the soda and mix to combine.

Grease a loaf pan.

Reduce oven heat to 350.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes before gently transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 minutes prior to cutting.

Cornbread

You will need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup brown rice flour or millet flour
  • 1 ½ cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon each: baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 350.

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

Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil.

Scrape in the cornbread dough; it will be thick like cookie dough, not a pourable batter. Press down on the top to form an even layer. It is easiest to do this with a rubber spatula.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking for a healthy treat recipe that kids and adults alike will enjoy?

I have many on this blog, including:

Coconut milk brownies

Pineapple ginger upside down cake

Maple pecan fudge

These cookies are amazing because they taste good and are high in protein, which curbs the blood sugar spike and subsequent crash that happen when we eat sweets without protein.

My (Current) Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will need:

  • 1 /4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 /4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 /3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-size mixing bowl mix together flours, spices, and chocolate chips. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.

Add the eggs, almond milk, maple syrup, almond milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Whisk these together, then incorporate with the other ingredients.

Oil a cookie sheet with coconut oil. Place on cookie sheet in heaping spoonfuls. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Moussaka

This incredibly comforting and delicious dish is akin to a Middle Eastern version of Sheperd's Pie.

The spices are warming (cinnamon), digestive (coriander and black pepper), and anti-bacterial (allspice and oregano).

Enjoy!

Know that you can make it vegan by using kidney beans instead of turkey or beef and olive oil instead of butter.

Moussaka

For the sauce:

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  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef (hormone / antibiotic free)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, coriander, allspice, black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Salt to taste

For the layers:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggplants or 3 zucchini
  • 3 Yukon gold or other yellow potatoes
  • Olive oil

Prepare the sauce by chopping the onions and sautéeing then in olive oil for 5 minutes or until translucent.

Add the garlic, spices and beef or turkey. At the wine and stir well with a metal spatula until meat is thoroughly cooked.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 15 or 20 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thick.

Remove bay leaf.

Meanwhile, slice the eggplant or zucchini, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast at 415 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Boil the potatoes, drain three quarters of the boiling water, mix with nutmeg and butter and mash thoroughly with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.

Reduce oven heat to 375.

Oil a 9x9 baking dish or small rectangular casserole dish. 

Assemble the moussaka:

place a layer of beef/turkey sauce on the bottom;

Arrange half of the eggplant/zucchini over it;

Cover it with another layer of beef;

Add the rest of the zucchini/eggplant;

Smooth the potatoes over the top.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until potatoes are golden.

Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy!

Cabbage Recipes

Why cabbage? It is a healthy and inexpensive vegetable that’s in season in the fall and winter. It contains polyphenols, cancer-preventive plant nutrients. It’s packed with Vitamins A & C to boost immunity. It helps reduce inflammation and heal stomach ulcers.

Purple Cabbage Soup

You will need:

  • 1 head purple cabbage
  • 1 rutabega
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive, grapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon each: thyme and coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste

Chop onions into thin crescent moons.

Heat oil in the bottom of a soup pot. Add onions, stir briefly with spatula, turn burner down to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add mustard and spices and simmer for 15 more minutes.

Meanwhile, chop rutabega and turnips into small chunks. Chop 1 medium red cabbage into threads, removing the hard inner core.

Add vegetables to the pot and add enough water to cover vegetables. Bring both to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook with the lid on until vegetables are soft.

Purée with a blender or immersion blender.

Enjoy with a dollop of unsweetened yogurt or sour cream!

Comforting Cabbage and Noodles

This is adapted from a traditional Slovakian recipe, Haluski.

You will need:

  • 1 package wide egg noodles or gluten-free noodles
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion
  • ½ head green cabbage, chopped (about 5 cups)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the egg noodles according to the package directions (boil until tender) and then drain in a colander.

While the noodles are cooking, thinly slice the onion. Remove any dirty or damaged outer leaves of the cabbage.

Cut the cabbage into wedges, remove the core, then slice thinly.

After draining the noodles, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the sliced onions to the pot used to cook the noodles. Sauté the onions over medium heat just until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes). Add the cabbage and continue to cook until the cabbage is tender (5-7 minutes).

Return the drained noodles to the pot with the cabbage and onion. Add the remaining butter and stir until the butter is melted and everything is evenly coated. Season the cabbage and noodles liberally with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Serve warm.

You can scramble an egg and serve that over it to add protein to your meal!

Savory Cabbage Fritters

This is adapted from a traditional Japanese recipe, Okonomiyaki.

You will need:

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4-5 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 green onions
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce or sriracha

Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Thinly slice the cabbage until you have 4-5 cups.

Peel the carrot and shred it using a large-holed cheese grater.

Slice the green onions.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, soy sauce, and sesame oil until smooth. Begin whisking in the flour, ¼ cup at a time, until it forms a thick, smooth batter.

Add the cabbage, carrots, and green onion to the batter and stir until the vegetables are mixed and everything is evenly coated in batter.

Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add ¾ cup of the vegetable and batter mixture. Press it down into the hot skillet to form a circle, about 6 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Place a cover on the skillet to hold in the steam, which will help the cabbage soften as it cooks.

Cook the pancake until golden brown on the bottom (about 5 minutes), then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side.

Pile the cooked pancakes on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm until ready to eat. Add more oil to the skillet as needed as you cook the pancakes.

To prepare the spicy mayo, mix together the mayo and hot sauce. Drizzle over each pancake just before serving.

Revamp Your Lunch Routine

Fall is here, and it's the perfect time to look inward, slow down, and change the way that we eat. Summer's expansive energy is culminating in the harvest of beans, grains, root vegetables and winter squash. These are also essential foods to eat right now because of their immune-boosting benefits.

Try these lunch ideas to strengthen your immune response and simplify your diet.

To prepare:

Set aside 3 hours of time on a day off. Make a list and go food shopping.

Prepare a double batch of these two recipes and you will have lunches ready for the week ahead.

Green Leek Millet Casserole

You will need:

  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 teaspoon each: salt and black pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large leek
  • ½ teaspoon each: sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh greens: dandelion, kale, chard, collards
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon each: cumin and coriander powder
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons stone-ground mustard (no salt added)

Place millet in a stock pot with 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Add salt and black pepper.

The millet will reach a thick, porridge-like consistency as you stir. Once it does, remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. 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 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 separate bowl, whisk eggs with cumin, coriander, lemon juice, and mustard.

Spread the millet on the bottom of an oiled baking dish. Place vegetables over millet. Pour eggs over the top and bake for 40 minutes.

Eggs: each one contains 6 grams of protein, 9 essential amino acids, and only 1.5 grams of saturated fat; rich in lutein, which helps prevent macular degeneration and cataracts; improve human lipid profile, thereby balancing cholesterol; contain naturally occurring vitamin D.

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.

Buckwheat Cauliflower Shitake Casserole

You will need:

  • 1 cup kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)
  • ½ teaspoon each: salt, coriander, nutmeg
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1/4 pound shitake mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • ½ teaspoon each: salt, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic

Place kasha and 2 ½ cups water in a stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes until kasha begins to thicken. Add spices.

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

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Chop cauliflower and carrots.

Oil a rectangular baking dish. Add carrots and cauliflower to the baking dish. Season with spices, Toss well to coat. Roast for 15 minutes.

Chop shitakes and add them to the roasting vegetables. Roast for 15 more minutes.

Mince garlic. Remove vegetables from oven and mix in garlic. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a thin layer of cooked kasha. Cover kasha with the vegetables. Cover vegetables with the rest of the cooked kasha.

Bake for 15 more minutes. Cool, slice and enjoy!

Buckwheat: this little seed is not technically a grain, but is often treated like one. It is gluten-free and contains more protein than fiber or fat. It is filling, nourishing, and offers a warming quality during the colder months. Buckwheat helps maintain balanced cholesterol, stable blood sugar, and low blood pressure. Its beneficial effects are due to its high flavonoid and magnesium content. Kasha is the name for toasted buckwheat groats, which cook up much more quickly than raw buckwheat.

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.

Mushrooms: anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and anti-oxidant. These members of the fungal family have rich, earthy flavor (umami), are high in protein, and are the fruiting bodies of a network of mushroom mycelium that runs underground throughout the entire planet. They contain a special fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which may be able to bind onto aromatase enzymes in breast cancer cells and lessen their ability to produce estrogen.

Would you like to dive deeper into changing your lunch routine?

I have created a week-long menu plan of plant-based lunches, which includes recipes, a shopping list and cooking tips. You can prepare each of these lunches easily as you make breakfast in the morning.

Build Immunity Now.

Fall equinox passed us last week, providing a balance point, a moment of equal day and equal night before we delve into the inner journey of fall and winter. By strengthening our immune systems now, we bolster our bodies to prepare for a healthy winter.

Here are some ways to honor this transition:

  • Take a deep breath before you eat a meal. 
  • Stop to appreciate fall foliage. 
  • Wake up affirming that something wonderful is going to happen today.
  • Set aside time to prepare a healing, delicious meal. May these recipes inspire you.

Mushroom and Carrot Pilaf

You will need:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 10 ounces cremini and shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 medium carrots, grated
  • 4 Tablespoons flaxseed meal

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to coat in oil, and cover skillet.

Cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add mushrooms and lemon juice. Cover and cook until mushrooms release most of their liquid, about 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, grate carrots.

Remove skillet from heat, mix in carrots and flaxseed, and serve warm.

Carrots are an excellent fall and winter food because they tonify the intestines and support immune health. Mushrooms are immune-boosting and high in vegetarian protein.

Quinoa and White Bean Sauté

You will need:

  • 2 cups white beans (soldier or cannellini), cooked
  • 2 inches seaweed (kombu or wakame), for cooking the beans
  • 3 cups quinoa, rinsed and cooked
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, minced
  • 2 large bunches kale, or other hearty green, chopped
  • apple cider vinegar and olive oil for dressing

Soak beans overnight. Rinse, drain, and cook with 2 inches seaweed.

Cook beans and quinoa.

Meanwhile, mince shallot and chop kale, parsley and basil.

Sauté shallot and ginger in olive oil for 4 minutes, or until browned. Add kale. Sauté for 5 more minutes. Add ½ cup water and sauté for 5 more minutes. Stir to incorporate, turn off heat, and mix with cooked beans and quinoa. Toss with olive oil and vinegar.

Serve at room temperature.

Shallots and ginger are warming, digestive, and stimulate the immune system.

Miso Walnut Porridge

You will need:

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup walnut halves and pieces
  • ½ teaspoon each: coriander and cardamom
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon miso

Heat coconut oil in a small stock pot.

Add walnuts, coriander, and cardamom. Toast on low heat for 3 or 4 minutes.

Add oats and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, add miso, stir to incorporate, and enjoy!

This is a terrific breakfast or a wonderful addition to a dinner of poached chicken and steamed kale.

Have you ever had savory oats? I think they're delicious. They also soothe the nervous system and support healthy transit time and elimination. They're a perfect warming grain for fall and winter.

Blood Pressure and Heart Health

Reduce Blood Pressure and Promote Heart Health 

Eat 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal daily.

Sprinkle it on sautéed vegetables, salads, and whole grains. Consuming flaxseed in a variety of foods was linked to a reduction blood pressure when eaten daily over six months. Flaxseed’s alpha linolenic acid, lignans, peptides and fiber reduce blood pressure.

Use good quality olive oil.

as your primary cooking and garnishing oil. Spanish researchers compared a diet of polyphenol-rich olive oil to a diet that didn't contain any polyphenols and their effects on

blood pressure over a period of four months. The results: The polyphenol-rich olive oil was linked with drops in systolic and diastolic blood pressure—especially among women with higher blood pressure to start.

Reduce consumption of saturated fat.

Try to cut out most dairy. Unsweetened yoghurt is ok 3 times weekly. Limit intake of coconut products to 3 times weekly. Whenever possible, avoid pork products, lunch meat, and beef/venison/beefalo. The peptides that are produced when digesting saturated fat are known to increase blood pressure.

Reduce consumption of nuts and nut butters.

Again, these protein sources are high in saturated fat and can aggravate rising blood pressure. Pistachios seem to be ok on occasion.

Limit sodium intake.

Please read labels on packaged food. If a food product contains more than 50 mg of sodium per serving, try to avoid it. Stop sprinkling salt on your food before you eat it and enjoy its natural taste.

Eat more beets!

A 2013 study in Nutrition Journal observed a reduction in systolic blood pressure six hours after participants drank beet juice, especially among the men. Beets naturally contain nitrates, which ease blood pressure.

Enjoy foods high in potassium.

Consuming more than a cup of pomegranate juice every day for four weeks was linked to a drop blood pressure (study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition). Other potassium-rich foods include bananas and potatoes.

Focus on omega-3 fatty acids.

If you aren’t doing so already, take a fish oil supplement. I recommend Nordic Naturals. Include salmon in your diet weekly and enjoy eggs daily or every other day.

Enjoy magnesium-rich foods.

These are known to lower blood pressure and are delicious, too! Choose chard, kale, avocados, pumpkin seeds, black beans, and quinoa.

Drink herbal tea.

A blend of linden flowers, hawthorn berries, motherwort flowers and hibiscus flowers promotes heart health due to the high anthocyanin and polyphenol content of these plants. Add a bit of raw honey to sweeten the tea.

Practice deep breathing.

Calming the nervous system has a proven effect on reducing blood pressure. Try this: breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 2, breathe out for 4, hold for 2. Repeat this cycle 3 times.

Get cardio-vascular exercise.

Two or three times weekly, try to walk uphill or ride a bicycle at a rate vigorous enough to feel your heart pounding. Do this for at least 10 minutes. Slow down, then resume the vigorous rate for 10 more minutes. Remember to stretch a bit before and after exercising.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Summer is transitioning into its late stages and we move from enjoying the bitter flavor of quinoa olives and salad greens to embracing the sweet flavor of millet and round vegetables.

Why not mix the bitter and the sweet in this delicious chocolate cake recipe? Try it and let me know what you think. It makes a great birthday cake.

You will need:

  • 1 bar dark chocolate 80%
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat.

Place in food processor with all other ingredients.

Blend well.

Pour in greased cake pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Dust with cocoa powder or cover with

coconut frosting

if you like.

Middle Eastern Feast

Dear friends of ours are getting married this fall. I have the honor of helping coordinate the wedding feast. Because the bride grew up in Jerusalem, they are choosing a Middle Eastern theme for dinner. 

Here are some recipes from the feast, which are perfect for cooling summer heat. They will tantalize your senses and get your creative juices flowing.

Tabbouleh

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups bulghur wheat*
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups minced scallions
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cucumber, unpeeled and diced
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

*You can substitute cooked quinoa for a gluten-free version of this salad.

Place the bulghur in a large serving bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh marinates for a few hours.

Watermelon Mint Feta Salad

You will need:

  • One 8 pound (approximately) watermelon
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

Chop the watermelon, remove the seeds, and place in a colander to drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt, and black pepper to create a dressing.

Place watermelon in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing and chopped mint over the watermelon and toss gently to coat. Crumble the feta over the top ans stir gently to incorporate all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Israeli Salad

This salad is delicious served with feta and olives or pita bread.

You will need:

  • 3 cups Roma tomatoes, diced (about 5 tomatoes)
  • 2 cups cucumbers, diced (about 2 cucumbers)
  • 1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced (about 1 pepper)
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Toss together all ingredients in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

This salad's flavors improve when given a few hours to marinate. Prepare it mid-day to serve at dinner.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Salad Summer

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

Arugula, Potato and Green Bean Salad

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 packed cups arugula

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

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

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

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

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

Parsley Cilantro Chickpea Salad

For the salad:

  • 2 cups cooked chick peas OR one 14 ounce can chickpeas. drained
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each: salt, black pepper, allspice, cumin, and cardamon
  • 5 packed cups of salad greens
  • 2 cups cucumbers, diced (about 1 cucumber)
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (about 3 medium tomatoes)
  • 1/3 cup each of fresh cilantro and Italian parsley. chopped

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon each: salt and black pepper

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

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

Chop cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley and cilantro.

Wash and drain salad greens.

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

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

Whole Food Carrot Cake

The first carrot fronds are popping out of our rich garden soil. The long summer days are hot and we give the beets and carrots some extra water to encourage their growth.

As the first tiny carrots come into the summer harvest, I give thanks with this delicious, wholesome and protein-rich carrot cake.

Try it for yourself! It happens to be vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, and sweetened only with dates.

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

You will need:

CarrotCake.jpg
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, grated

  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a cake pan with olive or sunflower oil.

Place all ingredients EXCEPT carrots in a food processor. Blend well. Fold in carrots.

Smooth into cake pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make coconut frosting to go on top.

Coconut Butter Frosting

coconutbutterfrosting.jpg

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a small pot. Heat gently, whisking and stirring to blend.

Spread a light layer of frosting onto baked carrot cake.

With gratitude to My Whole Food Romance for this inspiration.

Sustain Your Energy! Healthy Summer Treats

During these long summer days, we can support ourselves and maintain balanced energy with healthy treats. Instead of grabbing something quick and chock full of preservatives when you are starved, pack some of these treats in your snack bag.

As always, be well and enjoy whatever you eat.

Maple Pecan Fudge

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon and nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a blender and combine.

Fold in 1/2 cup pecans.

Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment/waxed paper. Allow the mixture to cool in the freezer or fridge into solid. Slice into small 1 inch by 1 inch squares or slices. Because of the coconut oil, these will melt if not kept in the fridge or freezer.

Protein Power Squares

BananaOatBars.jpg

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup nut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix everything together. Shape into squares. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bars

You will need:

  • 1 cup peanut butter (no sugar, organic) - substitute any nut butter you prefer
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup chopped almonds, cashews, or pecans
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt peanut butter and maple over low heat.

Once all of the mixture is all melted, add the rice and chopped nuts.

Mix all of it together and press it into a 9×13 pan.

While the rice part is cooling, melt the chocolate chips, cinnamon and vanilla over low heat. I just use the same pan for this part to save on dish washing.

Spread the chocolate chip mixture over the rice base, put in the fridge to let cool and soften.

Get Your B Vitamins!

Many kinds of B vitamins are important to human health: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12. Each of the B vitamins has a unique and essential function:

Vitamins B6, B12, and folate: red blood cell production and nervous system health

Biotin and pantothenic acid: healthy metabolism

Niacin and thiamin: cardiovascular health and energy production

Riboflavin: production of skin cells, nails, and hair

The B vitamins are necessary cofactors in an essential cellular process called the methylation cycle. In this cycle, all three B vitamins are used to convert a potentially damaging molecule called homocysteine into the useful amino acid cysteine. When levels of these B vitamins are low, blood levels of homocysteine rise—a situation that has been shown in numerous studies to significantly increase the risk for heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Luckily, homocysteine levels can be kept in balance by eating a diet high in the following foods.

Whole Grains (high in B6 and B12):
brown rice
oats
kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)

Vegetables (high in folate):
spinach (also contains B6)
parsley
broccoli (also contains niacin & riboflavin)
kale (also contains niacin & riboflavin)
beets
turnip and mustard greens (also contain B6)
asparagus
romaine lettuce
bell peppers (also contain B6)

Fruit (high in B6):
banana
mango
avocado (also contains pantothenic acid)

Legumes (high in folate and niacin):
all lentils
green peas

Nuts / Seeds (high in B6, B12, folate and niacin):
almonds
walnuts
sunflower seeds

Animal Protein (high in folate, B6 and B12):
beef
chicken / beef liver (also contains biotin)
chicken (also contains niacin & riboflavin)
pastured eggs (also contain biotin, niacin & riboflavin)
wild salmon (also contains riboflavin

Be sure to include food sources of B vitamins all year round! Some of us may need supplementation of specific B vitamins. If you would like to learn about ways to tailor your dietary needs to your personal constitution, please schedule a nutritional consultation here.

Cool, Green Summer

We find balance in summer weather by eating foods that are

bitter

(cooling, moist), such as: unsweetened cocoa, olives, dandelion, kale, celery, and amaranth leaves. It is also important to take time to rest, sit in the shade, breathe deeply, and absorb the green color that surrounds us.

These are the healing properties of summer herbs:

Basil

–anti-bacterial, digestive, and aromatic, this member of the mint family stimulates growth of white blood cells and protects against unwanted bacterial growth.

Cilantro

– the leaf of the coriander plant stimulates the secretion of insulin and helps lower levels of total and LDL (the "bad" cholesterol), while actually increasing levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol). Cilantro’s volatile oils have antimicrobial properties.

Parsley

– purifying, anti-dandruff, digestive, and tonic, parsley is also 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.

Velvety Green Soup

You will need:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 bunch chard, chopped
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 cups water and 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 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 shallots and onions.

Cook, covered, until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add zucchini and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add the chard and peas. Add the water and stock 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.

Chop the rosemary and use as garnish. Serve with cooked quinoa. This soup is excellent chilled, too!

Herbed Pesto

pestomortar.jpg

You will need:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup fresh parsley¼ cup pumpkin OR sunflower seeds1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Place basil, seeds, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor.

Make a coarse pesto and set aside.