Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Simple Quinoa

I think this recipe is somewhat similar to a previous quinoa recipe that is already on the blog, but I wanted to post it to share a simple supper that is even quicker to make than rice. Quinoa is a great grain to have in place of rice and it cooks up in 20 minutes. I paired it with french lentils, which do not require soaking, and also cook up quickly in about 30 minutes.

Here is the recipe for Simple Quinoa (see picture to the left): 1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly through a wire strainer, 2 cups of water, 1/2 medium onion, chopped, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1 celery stalk, chopped, 3 green onions, chopped, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp cashews, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp grated lemon rind, 1 tsp ginger, freshly grated

Place quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add onions, garlic, celery, and green onions, and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Once quinoa is finished cooking, add sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sesame oil, lemon rind, and ginger, and mix well. Serve with french lentils and a simple stir fry (I used carrots, zucchini, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, and collard greens).

This was a delicious and light meal that was ready in no time!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Squash Stir fry!

Generally, I bake squash, but tonight I had a squash stir fry instead. It turned out to be quite easy to make! This is another simple supper, but the flavors and texture made me want to share it.
Here is the recipe for squash stir fry (see picture to the left): 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 medium onion, chopped, 1 garlic clove, minced, 1 kabocha squash, halved, de-seeded, peeled, and cut into chunks, 1 cup mushrooms (I used shiitake), chopped, 1 large carrot, chopped, 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped, 1 cup sugar snap peas, cut into halves, 1/2 cup broccoli, chopped, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp savory herb mix (chickadee farms mixture- parsley, garden thyme, leek, celery leaf, marjoram, garden sage), 1 cup black kale, chopped, 2 cups long grain brown rice, cooked (for 40 minutes), 2 cups pinto beans, cooked (for 60 minutes)

Place olive oil in pan over low-medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add squash and saute for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrot, zucchini, sugar snap peas and saute for 4 minutes. Add broccoli, paprika, cumin, sea salt, savory herbs and saute for 4 minutes. Add black kale and saute for 1 minute (or longer - remove from heat once squash is soft). Serve with long grain brown rice and pinto beans.

This was a delicious and yummy way to enjoy squash!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Walnut and Rice Bake

I am a huge fan of raw walnuts on my nightly supper salad. This leads though to many bags of small pieces of walnuts and 'walnut dust' accumulating in my fridge! Once the pile gets too big, I generally sift the small pieces through a colander to separate out the 'walnut dust' and then slowly use up the remaining small pieces of walnuts. Tonight it was time to clean out my fridge and I decided to use some of the walnuts (I had over 6 cups!!) when making supper.
Here is the recipe for the walnut and rice bake (see picture to the left): 2 cups walnuts, chopped into small pieces, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 red onion, chopped, 4 garlic cloves, minced, 1 leek, chopped, 3 celery stalks, chopped, 2 cups mushrooms (I used portobello and shiitake), chopped, 2 cups of zucchini, chopped, 2 tbsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 greens onions, chopped, 2 cups black kale, chopped, 2 cups short grain rice, cooked (brought to boil and reduced to simmer for 4o minutes), 2 cups of beans, cooked (I used a mixture of navy beans and kidney beans - brought to boil and cooked for 60 minutes)

Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan for 2 minutes. Add olive oil, onions, garlic, and leek and saute for 2 minutes. Add celery and saute for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes. Add zucchini and saute for 2 minutes. Add oregano and sea salt and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

When there is 10 minutes left for the rice to cook, add green onions and black kale to rice pot. Cook for another 10 minutes and remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix walnut/vegetable mixture with the brown rice and the beans. Place in a lightly canola oiled baking dish and place in oven for 20 minutes.

Although it is generally best to eat nuts and seeds raw and unsalted (to get the full nutritional benefit from them), it is also fine to have toasted/baked nuts and seeds occasionally. This supper was a hearty and filling meal. This recipe also made a huge amount, so there is lots leftover for later in the week!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vitamin D

A systematic review by Natural Standard Research of the scientific literature regarding vitamin D that was published in the Natural Medicine Journal in Aug, 2011, finds that vitamin D can offer support for a number of different concerns, in addition to bone health. There is a high prevalence of vitamin d deficiency in people with asthma and vitamin D supplementation may reduce the severity of symptoms and improve response to treatment. Increased vitamin D intake has also been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal, cervical, breast, and prostate cancer. Vitamin D deficiency is a potential risk factor for increased cardiovascular disease processes. Vitamin D is also associated with improved cognitive test performance in older people. Vitamin D supplementation may improve symptoms of depression with seasonal affective disorder. It is important to not overwhelm our selves with supplements during a cleanse (and in our regular routine when we are not on a cleanse), but based on the wide variety of information available, it is clear that vitamin D3 is a supplement we should all consider integrating into our routine as an effective form of overall health support.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Yam Hash Browns!

Tonight for supper, I made a simple and quick yam hash brown mixture. It was a fun supper to have as the week starts to wind down.
Here is the recipe for Yam Hash Browns (see picture to the left): 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 medium onion, chopped, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 3 green onions, chopped, 3 medium yams, peeled and chopped into small cubes, 2 1/2 cups of additional veggies (I used shiitake and crimini mushrooms and zucchini), chopped, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1 tsp mixed savory herbs (this mixture is made by chickadee farms and contains parsley, thyme, leek, celery leaf, sage, and marjoram), 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 cups black/green kale, 2 cups split peas/french lentils, cooked (cooked for 25 minutes), tahini sauce (1 1/2 tbsp tahini, 2 lemons, freshly squeezed, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp sea salt - thoroughly mix all ingredients together in a bowl)

Place olive oil in pan over low/medium heat. Add onion, green onion, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add yams and saute for 5 minutes. Add additional veggies, paprika, cumin, savory herbs, and sea salt and saute for another 15 minutes (or until yams are tender - I placed the lid on the pan to help the yams cook more quickly and thoroughly). Once the yams are tender, add black/green kale and saute for 1 more minute and remove from heat. Serve with split peas/french lentils (I intended to have just split peas, but realized I did not have enough, so I did a mixture of split peas and french lentils instead) and tahini sauce.

This was a filling and delicious supper!

Monday, January 9, 2012

New and Improved Chickpea Stew!

There have been many chickpea stews on this blog/in my recipe handouts/in my old newsletters, but this feels like the chickpea stew to be reckoned with!
Here is the recipe for the New and Improved Chickpea Stew (see picture to the left): 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 medium onions, chopped, 2 - 3 garlic cloves, minced, 1 leek, chopped, 1 cup mushrooms, chopped (I used shiitake and portobello mushrooms), 1 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped, 1 large carrot, chopped, 2 tsp ginger, freshly grated, 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 - 3 yams, peeled and cubed, 1/2 cup almond butter, 4 cups water, 2 cups chickpeas, cooked (the chickpeas were soaked for 4 hours and then cooked for 60 minutes), 1 cup black kale, chopped, 2 cups long grain brown rice (cooked for 45 minutes)

Place oil in soup pot and heat to low-medium. Add onion, garlic, and leek and saute for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, zucchini, and carrot and saute for 5 minutes (add a few tbsp of water if necessary). Add ginger, cumin, cayenne, and sea salt and saute for 1 minute. Add yams and stir well. Add almond butter and use whisk/fork to mix thoroughly. Add water, bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, add chickpeas and black kale. Serve over long grain brown rice.

This chickpea stew was rich and very delicious - definitely recommended as a filling, warming winter meal!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Red Lentil Stew #3 - again!

Tonight I had the red lentil stew #3 for supper. Although I originally posted this recipe Jan 24, 2010, I thought I would re-post it again. This is a very delicious stew and once the grating of the 4 tbsp of ginger is finished, it is an easy and quick recipe to make! I have continued to make this stew on a regular basis since Jan 2010 and thought it would be a good one to share again.

Here is the recipe for Red Lentil Stew #3 (see picture to the left):
2 tbsp olive oil, 1 medium onion, chopped, 2 celery ribs, chopped, 1/2 leek, chopped, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 4 tbsp ginger, freshly grated, 2 cups additional vegetables (I used portobello mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, and zucchini), chopped, 2 1/2 cups carrots, chopped, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp red chili flakes, 8 cups water, 1 cup uncooked red lentils, 1 lemon, freshly squeezed, 1 lime, freshly squeezed, 2 green onions, chopped, 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, 2 cups black kale, chopped, 1/2 cup cooked long grain brown rice.

Place 1/4 cup long grain brown rice and 1/2 cup water in a small pot, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 40 minutes. Place 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large soup over low heat. Add onion, celery, leek, garlic, and ginger and saute for 5 minutes. Add additional 2 cups of vegetables and carrots and saute for 3 minutes. Add sea salt, turmeric, coriander, red chili flakes and stir for 1 minute. Add water and red lentils, bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 25 minutes (or until red lentils are tender). Remove from heat and stir in lemon, lime, green onions, cilantro, black kale and long grain brown rice.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It is very easy when doing a cleanse, or when working towards more balanced health in general, to become overwhelmed by all that we want/feel we have to do. In her book, Taking the Leap, Pema Chodron offers a great suggestion for when we are feeling overwhelmed or rushed by all that we want to/have to accomplish. She suggests using daily activities (such as before we brush our teeth, after a work meeting, before we drive to pick up our family members, before we eat, etc. - anything that is a regular part of our daily routine) to act as reminders for us to stop, take 3 deep breaths, and move on with our day. This provides us with an opportunity to change the busy pace of our daily lives and to get centered within our selves. When we do this on a regular basis, it supports our ability to feel more grounded not just during the moments we stop, but throughout our day, which then can make it easier for us to not feel as overwhelmed as often. We can choose to do this once a day, or more often, depending on what feels the best for us each day. I think this is a very simple and valuable gift to build into our daily routine (whether we are doing a cleanse or not!) and can support all of us in moving towards more balanced health.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Root Vegetable Bake

Tonight for supper, I made a root vegetable bake (see picture to left). To start, I placed yams, beets, onions, garlic, leek, carrots, zucchini, and 3 tbsp of canola oil in a casserole dish and baked it at 350 for 25 minutes. I then added finely chopped black kale and a tahini sauce (which included 2 lemons, freshly squeezed, 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp of tahini, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/8 tsp sea salt, 1/4 cup water) and baked for another 45 minutes/until the vegetables were tender. I also cooked up a mixture of pinto beans and small lima beans (soaked for 4 hours, then cooked for 45 minutes/until tender) which I mixed with the finished root vegetable bake. This was a dish that was very easy to prepare and was a delicious meal for a January evening.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Refreshing Green Smoothie

On Day 2 of the cleanse, I started with a refreshing green smoothie (see top picture to the left). It contained 1 granny smith apple, 1 cup of loosely packed spinach, 2 inch length of cucumber, 1 tbsp of hemp seeds, 1 tbsp of almond butter, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, 1 cup of water - all of these ingredients were placed in a blender, blended until smooth and then drank! The green smoothie can take a little time to adjust to, but it is a very pleasant and positive way to start the day. For supper, I continued with the simple supper theme (see bottom picture to the left) and had brown rice soba noodles (King Soba brand - they only require 4 minutes to cook!), french lentils, a stir fry (with onions, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, portobello
mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, and green kale) and an easy tahini sauce (which included 2 cloves of garlic, minced, 2 lemons, freshly squeezed, 1/8 tsp of sea salt, 1 tsp ginger, freshly grated, 2 tbsp of tahini, and 1/2 tsp of sesame oil - all mixed together in a bowl and then mixed with the cooked soba noodles). It was a quick (it took 45 minutes to make) and tasty

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!!

Happy 2012!! I started the cleanse off simply this year with an easy supper (see picture to the left) consisting of long grain brown rice (cooked for 40 minutes), chickpeas (soaked for 4 hours and then cooked for 60 minutes/until tender), and a stir fry (with a variety of vegetables including ginger, garlic, onions, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, and green kale). I hope to write more frequently in the blog over the next year, starting with the cleanse during the month of January. Rather than just posting recipes, I will also include interesting cleanse/natural health related info. Sending everyone wishes for a new year that is filled with continued forward movement towards more balanced health.