Category Archives: Recipes

Creamy Leek Soup (Low carbohydrate, Paleo)

Came home from a lacrosse game and found a neglected refrigerator. There were two big leeks, some celery, and a bag of soaked, dehydrated cashews in the freezer. We were craving something hot and decided to experiment with our own version of potato leek soup.  It was like eating cheddar cheese soup. My daughter said it reminded her of béchamel sauce.  Next time, I might add some nutritional yeast to give it an even more cheesy flavor. This was so delicious; we will definitely make it again! We didn’t crave bread or crackers in the least!

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Recipe:

1 large leek, sliced thinly and rinsed well. (Leeks are sandy.)

1 tablespoon avocado oil

½ cup sliced celery

1-1/2 cups cashews (preferably soaked, 8 or more hours,  for extra nutrition)

1 32 oz box of organic chicken broth (or 4 cups of homemade bone broth)

¼ teaspoon fresh rosemary – chopped

¼ teaspoon fresh thyme – chopped

1 teaspoon fresh parsley – chopped

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chiffonade

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Himalayan salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Put avocado oil in a soup pot. Add leeks and celery; sauté on medium-low heat; stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, put cashews and broth in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the cashew mixture to the soup pot once the leeks and celery are soft. Add herbs and spices.  Simmer for 10-20 minutes.  Use an immersion blender and puree until almost smooth.

Health Benefits: Leeks are a great source of fiber and provide PREBIOTICS. PREBIOTICS feed the good bacteria living in your microbiome (gut). The bacteria in your gut/microbiome make up most of your immune system, so take care of it!  Bone broth is also great for the immune system. It provides collagen which seals a leaky gut, and helps our skin look less wrinkled.

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Eat Organic?

Why Eat Organic is an article I worked on with the awesome people from Orgain Inc.  I recommend smoothies for so many of my clients, because if made properly they are incredibly nutrient dense.  Smoothies provide protein, calories, and micronutrients, either to compliment your daily regimen, or as a meal substitute. If you can’t make your own, don’t worry, Orgain products are available to grab and go too!

Here are  two of my favorite smoothie recipes and a link to Orgain’s website where you can see all of their products.   Here is where you can find a store that sells Orgain products.

Chocolate Smoothie/Meal Replacement or high calorie snack

(2 servings)

1 avocado

1 tablespoon raw cacao

1 scoop chocolate (Orgain) protein powder

2 pitted dates

1-2 cups almond milk

½ teaspoon cinnamon

ice

Please use Organic ingredients whenever possible.

 

Tri-berry Smoothie/Meal Replacement or high calorie snack

(2 servings)

2 cups frozen organic berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

1 cup coconut milk

1 Tablespoon almond or peanut butter

1 cup water

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 scoop (like Orgain) protein powder, vanilla

Please use Organic ingredients whenever possible.

ENJOY!

Kale-Quinoa Salad

kale quinoa salad

Just delicious. Make it on the weekend and take it to work for lunch all week long! The flavor keeps getting better as the week progresses.

Salad:

  • 1 head of organic lacinato kale – stems removed and shredded (in a food processor if you have one) (Lacinato or Dino kale contains less oxalates.)
  • 2 cups cooked organic quinoa. (Cooked in organic, pasture-raised  bone broth. You can find organic bone broth in many grocery stores.) Cook quinoa  according to package directions.
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese or goat cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup organic raisins and/or dried organic cranberries (optional)
  • Sliced turkey breast (optional)

Dressing:

  • juice of one lemon, one lime, one grapefruit, and one orange – organic if possible
  • Zest of the lemon and orange; about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1-3 tablespoons of real maple syrup or raw honey – use as little as possible, according to your taste. (It’s still sugar, but at least it contains nutrients, unlike cane sugar.)
  • 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil

Put the shredded kale in a bowl. Pour the hot cooked quinoa over it and let it sit to softly steam the kale.  Once it cools, add the ingredients of your choice. Toss with dressing and keep covered in refrigerator until  you’re ready to eat it or pack it for lunch. The salty feta cheese tastes so good with the slightly sweet dressing and the sweetness from the raisins/cranberries.

Juice the citrus into a glass container and add the zest. Stir in the maple syrup/honey. Slowly pour in the olive oil, while vigorously whisking. Store in the refrigerator if you don’t use it all on the kale-quinoa salad. It makes a delicious salad dressing.

 

Broccoli’s Benefits Abound!

Eating broccoli regularly has been something I’ve tried to instill in my children since they were just old enough to eat it.  I pretended it was little trees and even had an imaginary friend ring the doorbell and come to visit, simply because we were having broccoli – because he loved it so much.  That game would encourage my daughter to gobble her broccoli up before the imaginary friend ate all of it!

As part of the cruciferous vegetable family (like cauliflower, brussles sprouts, and cabbage,) broccoli is filled with benefits that help us to stay healthy. (Let food be thy medicine…)

Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium,  soluble fiber and chromium.(High fiber foods can help keep blood sugar levels stable.) It contains lutein, which supports eye health and may prevent thickening of the arteries. Broccoli is also an anti-inflammatory promoting vegetable. (…let medicine be thy food.)

Broccoli is sulfer-rich, and contains a compound called sulforaphane, which may protect cartilage from damage and pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Sulphoraphane may help to improve blood pressure and kidney function.
It also enhances and protects our immune system by reducing oxidative stress.  Since oxidation is one of the causes of aging, broccoli may help to protect our youthful appearance and protect our internal organs from decline due to aging. Blood vessels are protected from damage, as sulphoraphane encourages enzyme production that protects them.   Sulphoraphane and its precursor glucoraphanin may help protect against the proliferation of cancer cells, caused by chemicals like pesticides and herbicides.

Although naturally resistant to bugs, it is still best to buy organic broccoli when possible, to avoid synthetic pesticides/herbicides and weed killers that may be sprayed on it.

(My son dressed up for a Halloween Party 🙂 “Broccoli ROB”

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Broccoli Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 2 heads broccoli, 1 pound each, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  •  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds – toasted and ground
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

    Mix vinegar and salt in a large bowl.  Add broccoli and toss. In a large skillet, heat avocado oil. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sesame oil and pepper flakes. Pour mixture over raw broccoli and toss well. Let sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature, and  then refrigerate.  Adjust seasonings as needed.

References:

1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23983046 (Arthritis and Rheumatism, 2013, August 27.

2)DrMercola.com, November 9, 2013, “Eat Your Broccoli”

3)http://www.pnas.org/content/94/21/11149.full (Broccoli sprouts as inducers of carcinogen=detoxifying enzyme systems: Clinical, dietary, and policy  implications, by Marion Nestle)

Roasted Purple Cabbage with Carrots and Sprouted Lentils

Roasted Cabbage Pic

1 head of organic purple cabbage
4 organic carrots sliced thinly
1 cup uncooked organic sprouted bean trio (lentils, mung, and adzuki) or sprouted lentils
¼ cup avocado oil or organic olive oil
2 tablespoons organic coconut aminos
1 tablespoon organic Worcestershire sauce

Slice cabbage into small thin pieces. Slice carrots into thin rounds. Place in bowl and toss with the oil, coconut aminos and Worcestershire sauce. Place on a cookie sheet and roast for about 30 minutes @ 400 degrees. Meanwhile, cook the bean trio or lentils according to package directions. (Sprouting is important because it makes the beans much higher in nutrient content. The process of sprouting removes phytic acid – an anti nutrient.)

Combine roasted vegetables and lentils in a bowl and mix well. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

Can be served with wild caught salmon, pasture raised organic chicken or any protein of your choice.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Bones from 1-2 chickens (after roasting chicken, remove most of the meat and save the bones)
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar (This is important, because it leaches immunity and minerals from the bones into your broth)
Filtered water – enough to cover the bones
Sea Salt
Pepper – optional

1) Bring above to a boil.

2) If you have a crock pot, put contents into it and set crock pot to low. If no crock pot, turn the boiling contents down and simmer, covered.

3) Contents should simmer for at least 4 hours, but preferably 12-24 hours. (This is why a crock pot is advantageous; it’s safer.)

4) Let it cool, to room temperature.

5) Skim the fat and any light brown colored scum off the top.

6) Store in glass containers and freeze. Use to make soups, cook rice or quinoa, or stews.

This is easy and one of the healthiest and most nourishing foods. If you buy the best quality organic chicken, you don’t want to waste one speck of it! Making bone broth is a simple solution to utilizing the chicken for all it’s worth!

Low Carb Cauliflower Rice

Although there is nothing like hot crunchy bread from the oven or a loaf of soft multi-grain,  many people are trying to eliminate or reduce gluten intake. My personal reason is to cut down on carbs, which become sugar,  soon after the digestive process begins

The most difficult part for me is not having a sandwich at lunch; which is convenient, satisfying, and sometimes an event, if the filling is fabulous! (i.e. chicken salad on molasses bread with grapes, cinnamon, and homemade mayonnaise)

One substitute which I enjoy because it has satiety value, (unlike leafy greens on a plate) is a chick pea salad.  I found it at Costco; it is organic and called Pita Pal’s Organic Balela. I am going to make it myself, eventually, but right now the convenience is appreciated.  Here are the ingredients: All organic – chickpeas, black beans, onion, parsley, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes, salt, mint, spices, and love.

Although rice does not have gluten in in, it is still a carbohydrate, and should be limited if you are trying to lose weight or keep blood glucose under control.

The other night at Book Club, my friend Cristina, who is a Latino and grew up on rice, told us about a wonderful rice substitute.  It is made from a vegetable – cauliflower – and Latino approved!  My family loved it. I followed the recipe below exactly, and topped it with a stir fry of  organic andouille sausage/kale/and canned chopped tomatoes, with a splash of white wine.

Next time I make it, I will take a picture and add it to this post 🙂 (We were so hungry,  and the smells were fabulous, so it was devoured before I could pull out the camera!)

Here is the recipe for the Cauliflower Rice.
3 T Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped (about one cup)
4 Stalks Celery, finely chopped
1 Large Head Cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1/4 t Sea Salt
Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onion for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft and translucent.  Add the celery and sauté for 5 minutes.
In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it is the texture of rice.  Add the cauliflower to the skillet, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Stir in the salt and serve.