All posts in Food, Diet, Recipes

Bring the Colors of Spring to Your Table

spring cleanse detox breakfast greens

Spring cleansing changes the way you look at breakfast!

This simple Springtime dish makes enough for 2 meals, in 20 minutes. And there’s still enough time to get ready for your busy day.

Start with 1/2 chopped onion, 2″ slice of tempeh, crumbled, and 8-10 shredded brussel sprouts. Saute in 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil or ghee for 5-6 minutes, then add 1 small, thinly sliced beet, 3-4 large chopped chard leaves and stems and 1/2 cup black beans. Pour in 1-2 Tbsp. water and place lid on for 4-5 minutes to steam. Season and enjoy!

Spring greens, especially the bitter-tasting ones, aid in the digestion of your food by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes. AND, they provide oodles of fiber, minerals and vitamins. Beets are a super food for the Liver while providing the sweet flavor we often crave when we’re weaning off of processed sugars.

Bon appetit!

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Who Says Cleansing Has To Leave You Hungry?

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Lunch on a cleanse is tasty and appealing

Lunch during a Spring Liver Cleanse can be as easy and filling as this quick blend of asparagus, onion, portabella mushroom and carrots over long grain and wild rice. There’s no need to starve yourself or drink slimy beverages that make you gag.

We’re all short on time to take care of ourselves, and the first place we seem to skimp is in the kitchen. We rush through cooking, or substitute processed and fast food for real, fresh ingredients. Healthy cooking is worth a few extra minutes, especially when the result is a happier, lighter you.

This quick, healthy cleanse meal took barely 30 minutes to prepare, start to finish. I served it for dinner with oven-broiled red snapper, then brought the leftover to work for a yummy light lunch. [Yep, that’s two meals in 30 minutes!] And it didn’t leave me with that familiar afternoon sleepy feeling like a heavier lunch can.

Come back later this week for more colorful and tempting photos of my cleanse dishes. Something tells me it’s time for BEETS! Stay tuned…

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Natural Health on a Sunday Morning…

Saute 1/2 chopped onion in 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add 4-5 large chopped mushrooms after about 3 minutes. Stir and saute together until onion is translucent. Transfer to serving dish. Scramble 2 large eggs mixed with 1/4 cup almond milk and cook until soft and barely done (Eggs will firm up perfectly in the dish). Transfer to same serving dish. Heat 1/4 cup black beans with 1/2 tsp. olive oil in skillet until warmed. Place over eggs and vegetables in dish and top with chopped tomato, salt, pepper and herby spices of your choice. Eat!

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Sunday breakfast never tasted so good!

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Snow Day Soup is Healthy & Hearty

White bean soup with gluten-free cornbread. Snow day deliciousness.

White bean soup with gluten-free cornbread. Snow day deliciousness.

When I think of snow, I think soup. So, of course I spent our Nebraska snow day in the kitchen cooking up a bowl of tummy-warming homemade soup.

Here’s how to start a pot of white bean soup cooking for your family:

Soak a 1 lb bag of white beans, great northern or navy beans in water overnight. In the morning, drain and set aside.

Chop one onion, 6-8 stalks of celery, 5 large carrots, 4 cloves of garlic and 2 turnips. Place in soup pot and saute in 2 Tbsp ghee, butter or oil until onion is translucent.

Add drained beans, 6-8 cups water, 1 heaping Tbsp vegetable bullion, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1 tsp thyme leaves and 1 lb neck bones, smoked ham or turkey bone or ham hock.

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 2-3 hours. Take the bones out, remove all the meat you can and throw bones away (or make your doggie really happy and share). Return meat to soup, adding salt or seasonings to taste. Cook 5 more minutes and serve with gluten-free cornbread (I used Bob’s Red Mill – very tasty and easy mix). YUM!

 

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Winter Cleanse Dish – Good Taste, All-You-Can-Eat!

Roasted veggies make a yummy Winter cleanse dish

Roasted veggies make a yummy Winter cleanse dish

As promised, I’m sharing New Year cleansing and detox foods I’ve prepared. So, here’s a photo of a tasty, steamy pan of roasted oven vegetables, fresh out of the oven…cauliflower, beets, sweet potatoes, red onion, bell pepper.

Combine 8 cups of any vegetable (especially root veggies like turnips, beets, carrots, etc), greens, onion, garlic or whatever suits your taste with 1/4 cup of olive oil (olive or sesame oils are cleanse-friendly). Generously season with salt and pepper and an herby blend you like, and oven-roast at 400 degrees for 90 minutes, stirring every half hour. Serve with salmon or a favorite fish, buffalo steak, or a wild game dish.

These were party perfect for a friend’s 50th birthday bash, without the party food guilt. And a perfect way to start the New Year, after all the festive seasonal foods and frolicking.

Who says cleansing has to be tasteless and boring? There’s nothing like the smell of roasting veggies on a cold winter’s day. It warms the home, and the body, before it even hits your mouth.

And the best part is, you don’t have to starve to cleanse. Cleansing is about tonifying and strengthening your deepest tissues, promoting rejuvenation and vitality. You can eat as much as you like and receive all these cleansing benefits without fear of adding pounds.

What other foods can you say that about?

 

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Eating Seasonally Saves Money – and Time

Every Autumn, I get a little closer to nature by eating more of the foods that are abundant in the Fall, which happen to be nutrient-dense and easy to stretch over several meals. Take butternut squash for instance. Since I rarely use a whole squash for a single recipe, sometimes, a 3-pound squash will expand to several meals, with a portion going into a breakfast egg dish, a lunch side dish, a roasted vegetable mix and served with wild rice and turkey for dinner. Give me a crockpot and a good knife and in under 20 minutes, I’ll have a delicious, budget-stretching stew assembled in the morning. A little of everything from the week’s groceries goes into a dish like this. Just thinking about how delicious a home-cooked stew will taste makes my mouth water on the drive home later that day.

The money I save by eating with the season includes the dollars I won’t spend seeing a doctor for a cold-weather sinus infection, the sick days I won’t have to take from work, and the restaurant bill I won’t have because there’s nothing fresh at home to eat. That’s the beauty of Fall menus. The foods stay fresh for weeks, without the perishable quality of tender spring greens or summer berries. Try your farmer’s market for colorful squash, root vegetables and game meats this time of year.

As seasons go, Fall is my favorite, and not just because I get to gorge myself on acorn squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, daikon radish, apples, pears and wild game (duck, turkey, deer, quail). These colorful, vitamin-rich foods contain healing and fortifying vitamins and minerals that keep my body healthy, warm and strong as cold weather approaches. After a spicy bowl of buffalo stew or squash soup, I feel satisfied in a way that seems especially suited to a cool, blustery day.

Need help getting creative in the kitchen? Here’s a trick I’ve learned to make use of chunks of leftover vegetables and other foods: google your ingredients and see what recipes pop up. A favorite website of mine, with the tag line “every recipe in the world’, is yummly.com. It lets you search for recipes with almost any food and preference imaginable – gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, low-calorie, and just about any flavor combination you can think up. You’ve got a masterpiece waiting to prepare in the kitchen!

Still not confident you can cook your way through Fall? Schedule a visit with me to talk about healing recipes and how to include herbs that make your menu more interesting and healthy for you and your family. Call 402-933-6444.

 

 

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Blackstrap Molasses – Not Just For Grandma’s Cookies Anymore

Making a tonic syrup with an old favorite - blackstrap molasses

Lately, I’ve been putting in long hours growing my herb practice, taking an Anatomy and Physiology class and visiting my mom, who’s been in and out of so many nursing homes and hospitals over the past 10 weeks, I’ve lost count. I finally had to admit to a close friend that it’s been exhausting and I’m just plain tired. “Well, what would you tell a client who felt like you do?” she asked.

“Take tonic herbs!” The concept of tonic herbs is virtually unknown to Western herbalists, but it’s common in Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM]. The idea that the body recovers not only from rest, good food and good air, but also by taking in strengthening and nourishing herbs over an extended period of time, say 3-6 months or more, is central to TCM healing practices. I should know, since I’ve benefitted from tonics during other stressful, depleting times in my life. So, I spent practically the whole day making a wonderful tonic syrup out of Chinese herbs and one of my favorite old-fashioned syrup bases – blackstrap molasses.

I love the rich, earthy taste of blackstrap, but I learned to really appreciate it a few years ago when I discovered it has a significant iron content but doesn’t create the constipation that iron supplements can. It also has healthy levels of minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium and is known to help normalize blood sugar levels. Just what the doctor ordered for the marathon that is my life lately.

So, I cooked and cooked those Chinese roots and barks and healing herbs in a pot of water on the stovetop until the liquid was reduced by three-fourths, added the blackstrap in and cooked it down a bit further. I bottled the strained liquid and I’ll be adding a tablespoon to my morning and evening tea every day for the next few months. Just the process of slowly cooking this brew over several hours was a relaxing way to begin settling my life down a bit.

I’ll check back over the next few weeks, but what I’m prepared to feel is an energy lift, better focus and concentration at the office, and more sound, restful sleep. Stay tuned…

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