Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cold Beet Salad with Sliced Fennel, Pecans, & Feta Cheese

My lovely neighbor, Vera, gifted me with six organic beets!  Now, you either LOVE beets...or you absolutely hate them.  I have a friend who thinks beets taste like dirt.  I think they taste like root vegetable heaven :)  Vera's beets are red (they come in yellow too)...and they are deep red from skin to center.  The phytonutrients (plant nutrients) in beets give them that saturated color.  Those same phytonutrients pack an antioxidant punch!  Beets are also high in folate for heart health and tissue growth. 
So, I took those red beauties and decided to make a beet salad with sliced fennel, toasted pecans, and feta cheese!  And, of course, I am sharing it with you....





First:
*Wash 6 medium beets....trim the roots and the greens.
*Place the beets in a glass dish....add 1 cup of water...cover with foil...and cook for 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven OR boil the beets until fork-tender.
*Allow the beets to cool...remove the skins...and cut into large cubes.

Now:
*Slice 1 large fennel bulb.
*Lightly toast 1 cup of pecan pieces...and set them aside to cool.
*Measure 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese.

Prepare the dressing:
*Place 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a small mason jar.
*Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder OR 1 clove of minced fresh garlic.
*Add 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
*Slowly add in 6 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil....1 tablespoon at a time.  Whisk the mixture with a fork after each tablespoon.
*Season with sea salt & pepper to taste.

Finally:
*Combine the beets, fennel, pecans, and feta cheese.
*Drizzle with the dressing to your liking :)

Enjoy this unique combination of flavors!

Recipe courtesy of www.santacruzholisticnutrition.com

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Walkin' in the Rain!

      After a quite substantial Mother's Day meal at my daughter Angie's, I came home ready to take a walk.  It was lightly raining, which made the idea even more appealing :)  I grabbed my brand-new umbrella and set out around the subdivision.  It felt so good to move my body...and to BE out in the weather.  My first thought...how GOOD the rain is for all of us....the trees, the robins, the earth... 
It's easy to bemoan the rain...but what if it didn't rain?  And then I noticed the SOUND of the rain...hitting my umbrella...landing on the newly-sprung leaves on the trees...running down the street to the storm drain.  How blessed we are to have water...and even to have storm drains!   Then it started to rain harder.  It was coming down straight, and there was little wind.  My umbrella kept me sheltered as I SLOWED DOWN to navigate puddles.  I soon gave up on dry feet.  I was in sandals, and the air was warm.  Cars rushed past...and I wondered if they thought me silly to be out in the rain.  But I didn't care...and I didn't want to be in a dry car.  I was beginning to feel a part of the trees, the birds, the flowers, and the rain.  I began to feel CONNECTED.  I was nourished at Angie's with tasty food.  I was nourished on my walk with the energy of nature and a spring rain!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Preparing for Juice Feasting!


 


      Happy Tuesday everyone!  I have been investigating Juice Feasting...a practice of nourishing oneself exclusively with fresh, organic vegetable and fruit juice for anywhere from 1 to 90 days.  The purpose of Juice Feasting is to detoxify and cleanse the body with an abundance of juice...about a gallon a day!  There is no deprivation of calories or "fullness" with this philosophy.  You can check out ALL the details at www.juicefeasting.com

      I was thrilled to learn that I could Juice Feast without a juicer!  I have an old Juiceman Junior, but it is not an efficient machine.  I DO have my trusty Vitamix blender.  I can blend my veggies and fruit, and then strain out the juice using a nut milk bag. 

      So this morning I gave it a whirl (pun intended) :)  As per the instructions on the Juice Feasting website, I first put my celery and a bit of water into the blender.  I blended that, and then added in the rest of my ingredients.  I ended up with a thick, but pourable, veggie and fruit blend.  I poured it into my nut milk bag that I held over a large bowl.  Then I squeezed the bag...and my lovely juice came pouring out :)  It was delicious...just the right degree of healthy sweetness.
      Here's a list of the ingredients I used today...

          *2 large stalks of celery
          *1/2 cup of filtered water
          *1 medium apple, cored and cut into chunks with peel
          *1 medium carrot, cut into small pieces
          *1 small handful of flat leaf parsley
          *2 cups of mixed greens (spring greens and spinach)

      I plan on Juice Feasting within the next month for 3 days, as a Spring detox.  I want my first feast to be a realistic endeavor.  I will keep you posted! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The BEST Bean Burger Ever!

My happy place, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, offers up a killer bean burger!  Lucky for me, they share their secrets :)  You simply place the ingredients in a food processor...pulse away...and form your patties.  Here are before and after photos.....followed by the recipe!


 
Gather your ingredients:
*1 can of organic black beans, drained well
*3/4 cup of cooked brown rice
*1/2 cup of rolled oats
*1/2 of a sweet red pepper, cut into chunks
*1 tablespoon of chopped chives
*1 tablespoon of dried basil
*1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
*1/2 tablespoon of sea salt
 
Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
Pulse until the ingredients are blended and clump together along the edges of the bowl.
Form the mixture into 4 large patties.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the patties are firm to the touch.
*Do not cook these burgers on a grill, as they will stick.
 
Enjoy with or without a bun...and top with any of your favorite condiments or additions :)


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lunchtime Lentil Video!

Hello everyone!  It is nasty cold and very snowy and blowy where I live.  I am inside...safe and warm today.  Luckily I had some great food in the fridge :)  Here's a short video highlighting my lunch today.  If you'd like to give it a try, the recipe is below the video....

 



Curried Apple Lentil Salad
 
Things To Prep Ahead of Time
 
*Soak 1 cup of green lentils in hot water for 1 minutes.  Green lentils hold their form a bit better than other kinds of lentils.
*Core and dice 2 medium apples of your choice.  Soak them in 1/4 cup of raw apple cider vinegar to prevent browning...and for flavor :)
*Peel and dice one large Idaho potato.  Cook until just tender.  Drain and cool.
*Heat 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of curry powder and heat until bubbly.
*Drain the soaked lentils and add them to your saucepan and fry briefly.
*Pour 1 cup of water into the pan.  Bring the water to a boil...and then lower to simmer for about 20 minutes.  If the lentils are not tender when the liquid is absorbed, add more water.  Transfer the lentils to a heatproof dish and allow them to cool.
 

Assembling The Salad
 
*Add your diced apples to the cooled lentils.  I added in about half of the vinegar as well.  The flavor was just right.  I think that adding in all of the vinegar would have been too powerful.
*Add in the diced potatoes.
*Season with a bit of sea salt, freeze-dried parsley, and freeze-dried chives.
 
This recipe serves 6-8 people.
Source: Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind & Cathleen Hockman-Wert


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An Unexpected Gift :)

     
      Before I begin this story, I will tell you that I am a book geek.  More specifically, I am a cookbook geek.  I counted my cookbooks the other day, and my total was something like 130!  I am also in love with my public library :)  I think it's wonderful that I can enter a building full of books and walk out with several of them for FREE!  Well...a month ago, I checked out a newly published cookbook called At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chapin.  It is a vegetarian cookbook full of luscious recipes made from REAL FOOD.  I really liked this cookbook, but I was trying to save my pennies.  I saw the cookbook at Barnes and Noble...but I was strong.  I mentally added the title to my "wish list".  
      Then.....a few weeks ago, my good friend Lynn called to ask if I had heard of a cookbook title.  Just guess what the title was.....yup....At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen!!  She saw it listed as one of 2014's best books.  She had ordered it for me ...and it became a late Christmas present :)
      Lynn and her husband came over on Super Bowl Sunday to enjoy the game and some good food.  I decided to try out a recipe from my lovely present.  My husband had made homemade soup and chicken wings...so I chose "Roasted Winter Vegetables and Arugula Salad with Mustard Dressing".  It was absolutely delicious...something different and fresh!  There is such a great combination of flavors and textures.  This salad also kept very well...even with the dressing on the greens.  So here's the recipe for you to enjoy!

First, Cut Up Your Veggies:
*Peel 1 medium sweet potato, cut it lengthwise, and cut each half into 1/4 inch slices.
*Peel 1 medium parsnip, cut it lengthwise, and cut each half into 1/4 inch slices.
*Cut 2 medium carrots (peeled or not) into 1/4 inch diagonal slices.
*Peel 1 medium beet, cut it in half, and cut each half into thin slices.

Now, Roast Your Veggies:
*In a large bowl, toss your sliced veggies with 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and a pinch of black pepper.
*Lay out your veggies, in a single layer, onto parchment paper-lined jelly roll pans
*Roast for 20 minutes.  Stir the veggies...rotate the pans...and roast for another 20 minutes...or until veggies are slightly browned and crisp.
*Set the pans aside so that the veggies can cool.

Now, Toast Your Walnuts:
*Spread 1/3 cup of raw walnuts onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Toast the walnuts in a 300 degree oven for about 5 minutes...or until they are fragrant.  Set them aside to cool.  Chop them to your liking after they have cooled.

Now, Make Your Dressing:
*Combine 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a jar.  Shake to combine and set aside.

And finally...Create Your Salad:
*Place 1 cup of cooked chickpeas, the toasted walnuts, the roasted veggies, and 6 cups of baby arugula leaves into a large salad bowl.  Toss to combine the ingredients.  Drizzle the mustard dressing over the salad (to your liking) and toss again right before serving.

>>>Arugula is a peppery dark, leafy green.  Baby arugula has a milder flavor. 
Recipe credits to Amy Chapin :)

 



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Homemade BBQ Sauce....all the flavor... naturally!

      Pork spare ribs from my beloved DC Meats are cooking slowly in the crock pot.  They were dry- rubbed with a blend of spices...and my husband said he could smell the aroma on the front porch :) 

As you may know, I am passionate about food quality!  Just to reiterate:  I believe that our country's state of ill-health has been caused in large part by our consumption of poor-quality food.  I define poor-quality as: produce grown using genetically-modified seeds, pesticides, and herbicides; animals raised in non-pastured fashion, and treated with antibiotics and hormones; processed foods created with chemical preservatives and colorings, added high-fructose corn syrup, and non-organic ingredients. 

      Well, back to those spare ribs...  I refuse to pour commercial BBQ sauce on my luscious ribs.  I discovered a great little BBQ sauce recipe the last time we cooked ribs.  It was easy, and tasted great!
So here you have it....a borrowed treat to share with you :)
Enjoy the quality!

HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE
 
1  1/2 cups of organic brown sugar
1  1/4 cups of organic ketchup
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of pure water
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (or Tamari*)
2  1/2 teaspoons of ground mustard
2 teaspoons of paprika
1  1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
 
*Tamari is wheat free soy sauce
 
Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
 
Recipe courtesy of www.simplyscratch.com

 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Snow Day Cooking :)

      Last week we had some radically cold and snowy days.  I was "snowed in" ...so to speak!  Luckily, I had a full fridge...and I was able to spend a good deal of my time preparing some new food dishes.  I love to cook...and....I love to eat :) 

      Join me in a little picture tour of my efforts. The kale chips I tried were crunchy and delicious.  Next time, I'm going to use nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste.  I moved on to a raw chia seed/blueberry jam that was soooo easy!  Then I got out my trusty Vita Mix and whipped up some hummus.  I enjoyed the hummus with some organic corn chips and raw veggies.  The last pic is of my cauliflower crust pizza.  I have wanted to try this for some time.  What a nutritious, gluten-free way to enjoy pizza :) 

      I would love to share my recipes for any (or all) of these tasty items!  Just send me an email...and it's done!    lori@nourishnutritionnow.com