Monday, January 30, 2012

Rainbow Salad and Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms and Eggplant

Rainbow Salad

Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Portabello Mushrooms, Eggplant, and Pumpkin Seeds

Vegetarian diets in general have a more cooling effect on the body.  However, using an oven to cook your meals can add a more of a warming quality to your food than steaming or simmering.  It also enhances sweet flavors.  Concentrated proteins, such as the goat cheese in this dish, are deeply nourishing and also add more heat to the body, building resistance to the cold- even in January! 

This meal features quinoa, sacred grain of the Incas.  It was believed to have been brought from heaven by a bird.   According to the Baby Boomer Diet by Donna Gates:
"During the European conquest of South America, quinoa was scorned by the Spanish colonists as   "food for Indians" and even actively suppressed.  Because it imparted so much energy and strength, growing it was forbidden, on pain of death.  Instead, the Spaniards introduced rice, wheat, and barley.  Fortunately, quinoa still grew wild in the higher altitudes, where it could be hidden from the Spaniards, and small amounts were consumed in secret.  But its ban had an irrevocable impact on the Incan culture.  The grain fell into obscurity for centuries." 

Salad Tip:  For wonderful salads all week, make a few cups of shredded carrots and beets in your food processor and then store in an airtight container to use any time

Rainbow Salad: 
Mesculin Salad Greens
shredded carrot/beet mix
thinly sliced red or white onions
dried cranberries
raw goat feta cheese
a sprinkle of dill and black pepper

Cold pressed sesame oil mixed with Balsamic Vinegar to taste with a little honey if desired

Instructions:  Toss the salad.  Add the dressing.  You're done!

Quinoa Pasta:
one box of quinoa spaghetti
your favorite spaghetti sauce
2 portabello mushrooms
1/2 of a medium sized eggplant
1 leek
pumpkin seeds

Step 1:  Follow the instructions on the box to make the quinoa pasta.  Place in a serving bowl and add a dash of olive oil to prevent it from sticking. 

Step 2:  Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Slice the portobello mushrooms about 1" thick.  Slice and quarter the eggplant into 1/2" thick slices.  Slice the leek into 1/2" slices.  Then, mix all the vegetables together in a roasting pan.  Lightly coat with melted ghee, coconut oil, or palm oil.  Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes (but keep an eye on 'em!), stirring once during the process.  

Step 3:  Layer the pasta, tomato sauce, and roasted veggies.  Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and fresh, chopped parsley.  

Step 4:  Enjoy your beautiful meal.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Corn Chowder Even Your Baby Will Love

Corn Chowder

I made this corn chowder for my husband, my 7 month old, and myself the other night, and it went over very well with everyone...  Its warmth was a great contrast to the chilly January evening we were having here in Western Massachusetts.  Plus, I love serving potato based dishes for dinner because the minerals and starches they contain naturally relax the body, making sleep come more easily.


3 cups ORGANIC corn kernels (conventionally grown corn is mostly Genetically modified these days)
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
3-4 yellow potato, such as Yukon Gold, cubed (leave the skins on for more nutrients/fiber)
4 c. vegetable stock (I like Pacific brand)
1 c. almond milk (blend 1/4 c. almonds with 1 c. water to make your own!)
sea salt and black pepper to taste

3 T. fresh chopped basil, for garnish
Organic Butter or Flax Oil


Toss the first 6 ingredients into your slow cooker.  When the potatoes are soft, the soup is done.  You can serve this corn chowder as-is- Or, blend it with a handy dandy hand blender to create a creamier consistency. 

Garnish with fresh basil and Flax Oil (for a vegan meal) or Organic Butter (for a Vegetarian one).  To round out the meal, a massaged kale salad would be lovely- or even some steamed broccoli sprinkled with oregano!  Enjoy :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Resolve to Succeed in 2012! Reframing your health resolution can help you succeed long-term

Do you have a health-related New Year's resolution?  How you frame your resolution can make the difference between failure to stick with them and long-term success that ripples into positive changes in your life.  Here are a few tips for reframing your resolutions for success!

Tip #1:  Pick up a slimming habit.  Instead of resolving to lose weight this year, choose a specific "slimming" habit to adopt instead.  For example, you could resolve to eat all of your meals/snacks before 8 p.m., squeeze a walk in every day, try interval training, enroll in a yoga class, or make the switch to eating organic foods.

Tip #2:  Never say never.  It is a part of human nature that, when we're told we can't have something, we want it even more. Instead of dropping a less than healthy habit, a smarter approach would be to upgrade it.  For example, if you love chocolate ice cream, find a healthier alternative to it (such as organic Coconut Bliss chocolate ice cream), rather than resolving to never eat it again!

Tip #3:  Get specific.  A resolution to "eat better," is too vague.  A resolution to try one new, healthy recipe per week will garner better long term success in changing your eating habits.

Tip #4:  Take Baby Steps.  Did you know that breaking larger tasks into smaller ones can help you succeed?  According to Steven Covey's book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, the habit of chunking- or breaking larger tasks into smaller ones- is a habit of highly successful people!  By focusing on achieving one small step at a time, one can achieve a larger goal much more easily.  If you'd like to shrink from a size 12 to a size 4, resolve instead to slim down to a size 10 first.  The feeling of success you'll have from reaching your initial goal will give you the fuel to continue moving towards achieving your larger one.

Tip #5:  Cultivate self-love first.  At the core of anyone's ability to follow through with a health resolution is an inner feeling of self-love that inspires them to live as fully, long, and healthfully as possible.