Month: November 2015

Curry-Lime Chickpea & Protein-Packed Pasta {Gluten-Free}

After getting back from a long weekend away for Thanksgiving and my sister-in-law’s wedding (which was SO fun!), we hadn’t thought much about what we’d be eating for dinner this week.

So, when I got home from work tonight, I checked the pantry and fridge and used a few things we had on hand to whip up this recipe. That’s the value of having a well stocked pantry – even when you have no time and no plans, you can create a delicious dish pretty quickly without making a trip to the store.

This meal came together in about 20 minutes and was filling, delicious and nourishing (the trifecta of food awesomeness!). It showcases GBOMBS – some of the most anti-inflammatory, disease-fighting, immune-boosting, health-promoting foods we can eat!

If you’re not eating pasta because of the gluten or refined flours, keep reading! I have a solution for you 🙂

Meet, Tolerant Foods pasta.

Tolerant Green Pasta

I first tried their pasta last fall at the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. At the time, the only pasta I ate was brown rice pasta (ingredients = brown rice + water), but I was curious to try Tolerant’s pasta because it was made from one ingredient.

Beans.

Or, in this case, lentils.

We had tried the black bean variety and the red lentil version, but this year I was introduced to the latest and greatest addition – green lentil pasta.

Here’s why this pasta is so awesome.

Unlike regular highly processed pasta that’s usually made from enriched flours that can send our blood sugar (and energy levels and weight) on a roller coaster, Tolerant’s pasta is PACKED with satiating protein and fill-you-up fiber. 

Just over 1/3 of a box of the green lentil pasta has a whopping 21 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. It’s also full of energizing B-vitamins, iron and zinc. It’s also made with non-GMO, organic ingredients.

Green lentil label

What’s not to like??

The pasta cooks up in 8 minutes, making it a great option for a quick dinner. And because of its pale green color, it looks more like pasta than the red lentil or black bean pasta, so it would be an easier sell with kiddos or bean-based pasta skeptics.

It’s sold at a higher price point than a box of Barilla, but I focus more on nutrients/dollar than calories/dollar, so it’s worth it to me.

MOMs and Whole Foods sell Tolerant pasta (sometimes on sale!), but you can also buy their stuff online at Vitacost or Amazon. Check out this link to use the store locator to find where Tolerant sells their products near you.

Then, make this recipe 🙂 (And don’t mind the less than stellar pics taken from my iPhone without daylight!)

Curry Lime Chickpea PastaChickpea Pasta Pan

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
  • 1 8-ounce box Tolerant pasta (or other gluten-free or bean-based pasta)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, no salt added, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Coarse sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside 1/3 cup pasta water. Strain pasta and leave in strainer.
  2. Heat ghee or oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onions and saute 5-7 minutes or until they start to soften. Add ginger, garlic, and curry powder and saute another minute or so. Add pasta water and stir to loosen up anything stuck to the pan.
  4. Add chickpeas, coconut milk and pasta and reduce heat to medium. Stir to combine. Add spinach and toss until coated and slightly wilted. Add lime juice and stir to combine.

I added some sea salt throughout, probably about 1/2 teaspoon total. How do you know when you have enough? If your food tastes flat or bland, add a little salt at a time to increase the flavor. The acidity from the lime juice, fat from the coconut milk, and spice in the curry powder give this dish a lot of flavor, so just add salt to your liking 🙂

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares {Paleo, Vegan}

As we’ve been gearing up for Thanksgiving and experimenting with different dishes, I’ve been trying some new desserts.

Inspired by the textures of Meghan Telpner’s Rawmazing Key Lime Pie, I thought I’d infuse the flavors of fall into a melt-in-your-mouth, coat-your-tongue, creamy, no-bake cheesecake.

And I wanted an excuse to use pumpkin.

Pumpkin

Because I love pumpkin.

All things pumpkin.

Especially when it’s mixed with sweet maple syrup, creamy cashews, and warming cinnamon and ginger.

It’s my new go-to for a Thanksgiving dessert.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares.

I’m going to keep it short and sweet here today because this recipe is that good, but all you need to know is it’s easy to make, doesn’t require baking, and is so addictive you’ll want to eat multiple squares at a time.

The creaminess comes from the raw cashews (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it), and the slight hint of tartness we’d usually get from cheese comes from a spoonful of lemon juice.

Happy Thanksgiving!

cheesecake banner

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (make sure they’re soft)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt

Filling

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 2-4 hours then drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put all the crust ingredients into a food processor, and process until the ingredients stick together. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a square baking dish.
  2. Put all filling ingredients in your blender or food processor (high-speed blenders like a Vitamix or Blendtec work best) and blend until smooth and creamy. You may have to stop to scrape down the sides. I had to use the tamper for my Vitamix to get it to be smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour the filling evenly over the base and smooth with a spatula. Cover the dish and place it in the freezer to set for 4-6 hours.
  4. Let the dish sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and then cut into squares. I sprinkled a thin layer of cinnamon on top before serving.

Eat to Live, Baltimore! Free, Fresh Food & Hope for Our City

Baltimore is my home.

I was born and raised here. I went to school here. I made my first friends here.

I had my first informal cooking lessons with our neighbor Miss Muriel across the street from the house where I grew up.

I remember going on school field trips to the Walter’s Art Gallery, the National Aquarium, the Baltimore Zoo, and Fort McHenry.

Some of my favorite summertime memories center around O’s games at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards with my family, walking to the local snowball stand, and spending hours splashing around at Swan Lake Swim Club in Northeast Baltimore.

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I realize this positive perception of my hometown isn’t shared by everyone.

In the midst of the negative media attention our city often receives,  I have a message of hope to offer.

Positive things are happening here, too. They may not be getting the same press attention, but they are worth talking about.

They need to be talked about.

As I was sitting in church Sunday morning, reflecting on what I experienced at a remarkable event in the city on Saturday, lyrics from one of the songs we sang resonated with me more than usual:

For greater things have yet to come,

And greater things are still to be done in this city.

I felt so strongly that the message was about Baltimore. Just one day prior, I had gotten a glimpse of one of those “great things.”

Tessemae’s, a local company known for their ingredient integrity and commitment to creating the best-tasting, natural, condiments and salad dressings, partnered with other organizations to put on a Crop Circle in Baltimore at New Hope Academy.

The goal?

Provide free produce to the community through a pop-up farmer’s market.

Tessemae’s partnered with a California-based company, Renaissance Food Group, which donated over 30,000 pounds of fresh food to be given away at no cost.

Since one out of four Baltimore City residents live in food deserts, without access to fresh fruit and vegetables, the Crop Circle was an opportunity to remove that barrier.

Volunteers arrived at 4 a.m. to set up the pop-up farmer’s market and would remain for nearly 12 hours, helping to distribute the food to local residents.

Dozens of companies, including radio stations and non-profits, provided samples, education, and information.

One of the vendors, Great Kids Farm, puts produce in city school salad bars and sends kids on field trips to the farm to learn about farming and gardening and to taste fresh food.

I met Ryan Brant, who started his own non-profit, Positive Strides, after his personal journey as an injured athlete, including four knee surgeries and a back surgery, all before the age of 25.

His noble mission is “to provide guidance and financial assistance to athletes who have suffered catastrophic or life changing sports-related injuries.” Positive Strides focuses on nutrition, too, because they know that what we eat impacts injury prevention and recovery as well.

Chef Egg, a fellow culinary educator and presenter, used the fresh produce to teach everyone how to make a minestrone soup, apple salad, and fruit smoothies.

We both agree on the importance of at least trying food before dismissing it, something I appreciate as a formerly picky eater turned foodie, and to avoid making comments about food we don’t like that others do like.

Chef Egg said, “Don’t ‘yuck’ my yum! If I like it, you don’t have to knock it.”

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I met Joyce, who arrived at 7:00 that morning with her daughter and sister to help people in line who were wheelchair bound, so they could be moved to the front of the line.

She told me how she and her husband volunteered at a similar event a few years ago on their anniversary from 4:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening.

She told me how a local rec football team was on its way to the Crop Circle to volunteer as a team before heading to their football game that afternoon.

She told me about the coat drive her church was organizing for a local school.

Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done here.

Congressman Elijah Cummings took the stand to share his thoughts, journey, and message of hope. He advocated for figuring out how to get more grocery stores that sell healthy food at reasonable prices into the city.

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He told this inspiring story about his own health journey:

About two and a half years ago, I made a decision about having to go through taking 5-6 pills a day for high blood pressure. I said, ‘There’s gotta be a better way.’

And so I decided that I was going to change my eating habits. I cut out sugar. I cut out all the buns that I used to get. I used to go in there to Dunkin Donuts and get three donuts. ‘C’mon don’t act like ya’ll don’t know what I’m talking about.’ And then, to top it all off, I got a Diet Pepsi!

…But then what I decided to do is I wanted to lose this weight.

So, I started concentrating on vegetables and fruit and trying to eat right, always having a tossed salad at lunchtime. [… ] And over the course of two years, I’ve lost 65 pounds. And let me tell you something – I feel so much better, and now I don’t have to take all them pills […]

But, I did not come here to ask you to do this. I have come here to beg you.

We have to address what we eat, and we must eat to live, not live to eat.

And that’s so important because in our communities, we have higher rates of heart disease, sugar diabetes, cancer. As a matter of fact, one of the things Johns Hopkins discovered is that, for those who live in food deserts, life expectancy is something like 20 years less, which means people are dying before their time and they’re suffering needlessly.

So, my only wish for you at this Thanksgiving is when you sit down to eat, remember, we are eating to live.

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I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving, filled with gratitude, joy, laughter, and delicious, nourishing food. I’m grateful for your support for the work that I do and look forward to seeing what 2016 has in store!

If you’re looking for some recipe ideas for your Thanksgiving spread, check out the links below for some of my favorites:

Our First Baltimore Cookbook Club: The Power of True Community

What does a life lived in radical community look like?

Is community really worth the effort?

I knew I was in for exactly what I needed to hear at the start of Sunday’s service as our friend and pastor, Ryan, asked us to reflect on the answers to those questions and a few other truths about what it means to be in community.

As a culture, we’re moving away from true community.

The internet has fundamentally changed the way we communicate and connect with each other and altered our expectations about what to expect from community. Long-term commitments of any kind (jobs, houses, relationships) are no longer the norm.

We avoid community for a number of reasons. People require energy and effort, which can make true community feel like a burden. Because we know things ABOUT each other but don’t really KNOW each other, we fill in the gaps with assumptions and are more easily offended than ever before.

The hard truth is that it’s exposing to have people REALLY know us.

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So, we’re left asking ourselves: Is community really worth the effort?

The short answer is,”YES“.

As I’ve shared when I first wrote about community almost two years ago, sacrificially giving my time to be with and invest in others is not something that comes naturally to me.

We are all wired to be communal and crave connection, but when you’ve been burned by community in the past, it can be intimidating to put yourself out there again. When we do, we risk being examined, judged, and rejected.

But the greater risk is that we deprive other people of our presence and the gifts and talents we have to offer. 

There’s power in investing deeply in people and in having people invest in us. Sometimes we can feel like we are burdening other people. But guess what?

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When I get stuck in my own thoughts (which happens a lot) and overwhelm myself thinking about all that I could or “should” be doing, I tend to retreat and “check out” socially. I find every reason possible to avoid things like social events that pull me away from a self-centered pursuit or an opportunity to do something I want to do.

That’s why last Sunday night was particularly special.

It marked the start of a community-building opportunity that combines a few of my favorite things: cooking and eating nourishing, delicious food with like-minded people who value living a healthy, purposeful, vibrant life in the context of a supportive community:

Our first cookbook club.

My friend and fellow foodie and health coach, Katie Hussong, and I came upon the idea after seeing a post that went viral on Facebook about Why Cookbook Clubs Should Be the New Way We Entertain.

Katie and Me

Both of us are Culinary Nutrition Experts through the Academy of Culinary Nutrition’s program, so we have a mutual love for creating and savoring nourishing, healing food.

After a series of text messages agreeing we should “do this thing,” we organized our first ever cookbook club, bringing together friends from DC to Philly for a Sunday evening in Baltimore to share dishes from our mentor and culinary nutrition coach, Meghan Telpner.

Meghan recently published her first full cookbook, The Undiet Cookbook, and we used that as the source for our recipes. Everything was nourishing, delicious, made with love and dairy-free and gluten-free.

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We brought together fellow health coaches, culinary nutrition experts, and nurses, as well as friends from college, church and our neighborhoods.

Each of us prepared a delicious dish to share and gathered around the community table to savor the meal and get to know each other.

Green Mojito Smoothies and Jamu Juice Shots to kick off the night.

Zucchini Hummus, Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables, Sweet Potato Grills with Cashew Ketchup, Wild Rice & Chickpea Salad, Thai Mango Salad, and Maple Balsamic Kale with Butternut Squash for dinner.

A decadent array of desserts, including Ginger Cookies, Wild Berry and Apple Crumble, Chocolate Raspberry Delights, and my contribution, the Rawmazing Key Lime Pie, to finish the evening.

key lime

Everything was DELICIOUS! (If you want the recipe for the pie, click here!)

We even had the opportunity to Skype with Meghan, the chef and cookbook author herself!

We had each person introduce themselves and the dish they had made, which was one of the coolest moments of the evening.

Hi Meghan

Me & Katie Skyping with Meghan!

Our bodies and souls were nourished by the food and our time together.

We could let down our guard and just be ourselves.

We ate. We talked. We laughed.

And through it all, we connected.

We were in true community.

This is how we were meant to live!

Community

So, what is holding you back from community?

Who misses out if you don’t show up, if you’re not present and willing to share your gifts and talents?

What makes you feel truly known?

If you’re interested in connecting with community like this, fill out your contact information here, and I’ll put you on our list 🙂

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If want to connect with others and serve Baltimore this upcoming weekend, join me at the Baltimore Crop Circle with Tessemae’s at 900 Druid Hill Avenue in Baltimore from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 21st. We will be giving away over 30,000 pounds of FREE fresh produce to the community!

The UnDiet Cookbook Review {Plus a Yummy Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipe!}

This is so much more than a cookbook.

It’s an inspiring, encouraging, confidence-boosting guide to life that happens to include over 130 awesomely delicious and nourishing recipes.

Whether you’re gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, or just trying to live a fuller, more vibrant and balanced life, you need The UnDiet Cookbook in your life!

undiet cover

I had the privilege of learning from the author – nutritionist and best-selling author, Meghan Telpner – as a student in her Academy of Culinary Nutrition training last fall. As founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition and author of the bestselling UnDiet: Eat You Way to Vibrant Health and The UnDiet Cookbook, Meghan has committed her life to creating a revolution in health and well-being.

She does it in a way that is non-judgmental, kind, fun and inviting.

Meghan knows that being approachable and FUN is the key to engaging people, especially when it comes to something as sacred as what we eat and how we live.

So often when people are on diets, they settle for subpar food and a life marked by deprivation. They focus on what they “can’t” eat instead of channeling all of that energy toward what will nourish, satisfy and fill them up physically and emotionally.

Meghan is out to change that:

“UnDiet is here to free us from the chains we attach to all of those old, harmful, self-defeating, unhelpful rules we think we need to follow. They only make us miserable […] UnDiet is breaking free from the rules we think we’re meant to follow, and doing what is the very best for our individual health.”

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I totally agree.

She inspires anyone reading to take a build-you-up, positive, encouraging approach to what to eat through killer recipes that not only taste good but make our body feel amazing.

And she has a way of building and promoting community. In fact, I partnered with a fellow Culinary Nutrition alum and friend, Katie Hussong, to host our first UnDiet Cookbook Club, where each attendee made a recipe from Meghan’s cookbook or blog. It was SO fun!

Community

As someone who doesn’t follow one prescribed diet, I’m drawn to Meghan’s “UnDiet” approach. I follow the same philosophy because I’ve found in my own life that there is not one way of eating that everyone in the entire world “should” follow.

We agree that the bulk of what we eat should be plant-based (AKA “plantiful”), but there is room for flexibility, depending on what makes your body feel best and thrive.

One of the things I love about this book is that the UnDiet recipes are free from dairy and gluten (just like every recipe on this blog!), which means all of you can enjoy them.

Though knowledgeable about every diet out there, Meghan prefers to UNdiet, calling herself a “Meghanatarian.” She encourages us to make our choices with “awareness and knowing, doing what feels right for you, your body, your values, your environment, your budget.”

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It’s about pausing long enough to tap into our body’s own intuitive wisdom that tells us what makes us feel awesome and what brings us down.

Through her journey with Crohn’s Disease, Meghan has experienced the healing and restorative power of the UnDiet lifestyle first-hand and is inspired to share what she has learned with the world.

Her intention is that her readers will “get it” and understand for themselves. That way she doesn’t have to say eat this, don’t eat that. She does her best to provide the information with the what’s the why’s the how’s in place, and lets them decide what they’re ready to pick up and run with.

Isn’t that refreshing?

I’ve made over a dozen recipes from the cookbook and have loved every single one.

From Undiet Coffee, Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes, and Banana Berry Oatmazing Muffins to the Vegalicious Quiche, Sacred Scramble, Balsamic Roasted Vegetables, Gracious Glow Soup, Maple Balsamic Tempeh, Baked Apples, Crispy Rice Squares and Rawmazing Key Lime Pie, every recipe we’ve tried has been a hit!

Undiet collage

Meghan’s endearing quirkiness and sense of humor comes through in recipe titles like, “Sunday Night Quickie Chocolate Chip Cookies,” Let’s Stay Together Crackers,” and “Breakfast Patty Whacks”…a few recipes I’ve yet to try but am excited to tackle.

She doesn’t take herself too seriously and consistently communicates the message we shouldn’t either. In the very beginning of the book, she shares her creed, which includes advice like:

“Flirt with farmers.”

“Dance like a four year-old.”

“Make love in the kitchen.”

And, last but not least:

“Today is the day. Make it ridiculously awesometown.”

The UnDiet Cookbook will give you confidence that everyone (yes, even you!) can cook and that it is possible to eat well, be well and live a vibrant life without ever feeling deprived. This is the way we were meant to live.

It wouldn’t be fair to end this love note without sharing one of my favorite recipes from The UnDiet Cookbook.

I’ve made it several times already and like to change up the beans and greens. One time I used cannellini beans and spinach and another time I used black beans and kale. I love versatile recipes like this because they give me a chance to use what I have on hand.

And the ingredient list couldn’t get any simpler.

Introducing, “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potato.”

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Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potato

Nut-free
Soy-Free (option)
Grain-free
Protein Powered (option)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45–60 minutes
Serves 4

4 organic sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp avocado oil, coconut oil or organic ghee
1/2 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (14-oz) can organic beans of choice, drained and rinsed*
6 cups greens, trimmed and sliced into ribbons
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Make-Your-Own Sambal (page 206 in The UnDiet Cookbook), red pepper flakes, or your favorite hot sauce
Sea salt

Optional Add-ons

  • Hemp seeds (protein bonus)
  • Toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • Fresh sprouts
  • Tempeh bits (prepared as with TLT Deluxe Sandwich, page 83 in The UnDiet Cookbook)
  • Tahini Dressing (page 194 in The UnDiet Cookbook)

* Make it Protein-Powered!

Swap the beans for 1 lb pastured, organic protein of choice such as ground beef, chicken, or turkey. Cook the meat just until browned and then use in place of the beans.

Make It Like So

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes and prick them in a few places with a fork (this gives them room to breathe as they bake). Place them on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, heat the olive oil in a medium pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in your greens (the heat will wilt them). Add your lemon juice, sambal, and sea salt to taste.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven. To serve, slice each sweet potato through the middle and top with beans + greens mix and your optional add-ons.

Excerpted from The UnDiet Cookbook: 130 Gluten-Free Recipes for a Healthy and Awesome Life by Meghan Telpner. Copyright © 2015 Meghan Telpner. Photography Copyright © 2015 Maya Visnyei and Catherine Farquharson. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd., a Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Two Soups for You! {Moroccan Chickpea & Curried Butternut}

It’s the perfect time of year for a nice big bowl of soup. As the weather cools, my body starts to crave foods like that, so I give it what it wants!

Soup is the ultimate savory comfort food for fall. Remember back to when you were a kid and your parents gave you a bowl of chicken noodle soup when we were sick? How about a dippable bowl of creamy tomato soup for your crunchy, buttery grilled cheese sandwich?

Foods like these are comfort foods because they give emotional comfort to us when we eat them.

Today I’m going to share recipes for two soups we recently tried from culinary translator and food as medicine guru, Rebecca Katz.

I recently wrote a post about her cancer-fighting, brain-boosting, longevity-promoting cookbooks and her famous Magic Mineral Broth. If you missed it, check out that post here. You’ll use the mineral broth in both of these soups, which is why we made it in the first place!

Broth

I love the rich flavors of today’s soups, especially the Moroccan Chickpea and Vegetable Soup. When I lived in Spain in college, I was in the southern town of Granada, so I was just a couple hours north of Morocco.

It was at that time that I first started to get comfortable trying new foods and experimenting with what I put on my plate. It also served as my introduction to Moroccan food.

I can’t say that I was always excited to be more adventurous with food, but the payoff has been incredible! I now enjoy so many different types of food and ethnic cuisines I would have not even thought to try before that experience.

The second soup uses my favorite fall squash – butternut – and incorporates healing spices like turmeric, ginger, and cumin along with a rich, creamy can of coconut milk.

Butternut Squash Closeup

I found it to be a little thinner than I prefer, but you can always use less broth to start and then add more to thin it out.

If you’re looking for some immune-boosting, heart-warming, soul food for this weekend or upcoming week, try one of these two soups! They are delicious and packed with flavor.

Get the recipe for the Moroccan Chickpea and Vegetable Soup.

Moroccan Chickpea

And the recipe for the Curried Butternut Squash Soup.

BSquash Soup

Immune-Boosting Magic Mineral Broth

On one of my morning walks, I was listening to an interview that Evelyne Lambrecht of Elevate Your Energy did with “Author, Educator, and Culinary Translator,” Rebecca Katz.

The topic was Eat Well for a Healthy Mind and Longer Life, and Rebecca’s playful, positive approach and style intrigued me.

I love finding other people in this field who are out to make the world a better place through food, health and healing and who do it in a positive, build-you-up way. It’s what I aim to do as well!

Rebecca says this about her work:

I teach people how to connect the dots between foodbig flavor…& vibrant health!

She invented the term “Culinary Translator” to describe what she does, which is essentially translating nutritional science to the plate. She got to this place in life after a stressed-out career in the business world led her to seek a more nourishing life.

She’s an expert on eating for health and healing, especially for when it comes to boosting immunity, protecting the body and brain from chronic conditions (especially cancer), and living longer.

You can find her cookbooks here on Amazon.

Katz Books

We’ve made some of her recipes over the past few weeks and have not been disappointed!

The base of many of her soup recipes starts with her Magic Mineral Broth. Here’s what she has to say about this nourishing, immune-boosting staple:

This rejuvenating liquid, chock-full of magnesium, potassium, and sodium, allows the body to refresh and restore itself. I think of it as a tonic, designed to keep you in tip-top shape.

I’ve made my own vegetable broth before using scraps from things like celery, carrots, onions, scallions and other veggies (find that recipe here), but I wanted to give this one a try.

It’s loaded with healing, nutrient-dense, mineral-rich ingredients like garlic, celery, leeks, onions, sweet potatoes, and kombu (a seaweed that has been a pantry staple of ours for years!).

MMB Ingredients

You can sip this broth on its own, especially when you are feeling a bit run down and want a mineral boost, and you can also use it as the base for any soup recipe that calls for vegetable broth.

We used this broth to make a few of her soups, and I will post about them this weekend, so you can have some new ideas for soups to try this fall and winter.

Click the picture below or click here to get the full recipe for Rebecca’s amazing broth!

Broth

Butternut Squash & Quinoa Harvest Salad {Gluten-Free}

One of the coolest concepts I learned about in my health coach training was food energetics.

Steve Gagne, an expert on the topic and author of the book Food Energetics: The Spiritual, Emotional, and Nutrition Power of What We Eat, taught us about the energetic properties of certain foods.

Now before you start thinking I’m going a little out there on you, listen up!

You may have already noticed this without even thinking about it based on how your food preferences change seasonally.

In the warmer months, we often crave lighter foods – salads, smoothies, raw fruits and vegetables, and chilled soups like gazpacho. These foods are naturally cooling, support our body’s detoxification processes and keep us feeling light during the hot and humid months.

As the fall approaches, we naturally turn to more warming comfort foods – things like hot soups, stews, chilis and squashes. We crave warming spices like cinnamon and ginger. We look forward to holding a piping hot mug of cocoa or tea.

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In other words, during the warmer months we crave lighter, cooling foods. During the colder months, we naturally go for grounding, warming foods and drinks.

Squash is one of those grounding fall foods and happens to be one of my favorites. There are so many varieties of squash that you could have a different one every day for weeks and not get bored!

Today’s recipe pulls in one of my absolute favorite squash and the one most of us are familiar with and have tried before – butternut squash.

In case you want a little how-to about how to cut up this vegetable, check out the guide below. I find that it helps to peel it with a good quality vegetable peeler BEFORE cutting it up, but it works either way. Once you’ve cut it up, then dice it into cubes for this dish. 

Butternut squash how to

I made this recipe for my Going Gluten-Free without Going Crazy workshop in October and it was one of the most liked dishes I served all night!

We combine the roasted butternut squash with my #1 herb of all time – rosemary – and toss it with some dried tart cherries, toasted pecans, and a simple apple cider vinegar Dijon dressing. To add some lightness and a bit of peppery spice, we mix in a bunch of arugula, one of the tastiest salad greens out there.

We’ve since made it multiple times, so it’s quickly become one of our fall staples. It would make the perfect side for Thanksgiving dinner or for any fall or winter meal.

When we were on a trip to Upstate New York last month, we even served it with a (slightly overcooked!) fried egg on top. This one is a keeper 🙂

egg with quinoa salad

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Butternut Squash, Quinoa & Arugula Harvest Salad

This salad makes for a hearty side dish to a fall meal and combines some of our favorite fall ingredients - squash, pecans, and cranberries. You can serve it with a side of chicken or fish or add some chickpeas to up the protein content.

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Author Rachel Druckenmiller

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 large butternut squash peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or tart cherries
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 2/3 cup pecans toasted and chopped

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

  2. In a large bowl, combine squash, rosemary, and 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 12-15 minutes, until squash is tender. Let cool completely.

  3. While squash is cooking, cook quinoa. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Fill medium saucepan with 1 3/4 cups water and add quinoa. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and reduce heat to simmer for 12-15 minutes. Once water is just barely absorbed, remove pan from heat and leave covered for 5-7 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Spread quinoa on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool and prevent it from clumping together. This last step is optional but really helps!

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients in the order listed.

  5. In a large bowl, combine roasted squash, quinoa and dried fruit. Pour dressing over mixture and gently toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add arugula and pecans, gently tossing to coat.

Warm & Cozy Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal {Gluten-Free}

Sometimes we read books that transform us and the way we think, and once we’ve read them, we’re never the same.

That’s how I feel about a book I recently finished reading, The Slow Down Diet by Marc David.

I’m putting together a separate post about the key takeaways from the book, but as a sneak peek, one of them is to SLOW DOWN and listen to your body.

Sure, it’s not a mind-blowing revelation, and it’s something most of us have been told before, but I’m finally at a point in my life where I’m open enough to hear it.

The other day, after I woke up, I drank a tall glass of water, sipped my cinnamon tea, set up my oil diffuser (like a candle but better!), and did a video session of Yoga with Adriene.

I’m going through her 30 Days of Yoga series and am LOVING it!

It helps me stay focused and grounded first thing in the morning and brings more oxygen into my mind and body for clearer thinking and a boost to digestion.

After my yoga session, I was ready for breakfast and headed into the kitchen.

I’ve started being more intuitive about what I eat. Instead of just gulping down a smoothie on my way out the door, rushing to get to whatever is waiting for me for that day, I’ve been taking more time with eating. I’ve been pausing before making decisions about what to eat and paying attention to what my “gut” is telling me.

So, instead of robotically slamming a smoothie every day (typical time to belly = 60-90 seconds), I’ve gone back to basics and have been enjoying some of my favorite breakfast foods, foods I can chew.

Foods that are warm. Foods that are packed with flavor and texture.

PS Oatmeal

The first image that popped into my mind as I was standing at the door of the fridge that morning was a warm and cozy bowl of oatmeal, perfect for the cooler weather we’ve been having.

For me, oatmeal is one of the best comfort foods for fall, especially when it’s full of flavors like cinnamon, ginger, clove, and maple.

My favorite oats to use are Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Oats. Almost every grocery store sells them. I even got to meet Bob Moore himself at the Natural Products Expo last month.

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It was super cool!

I’ll be sharing a recipe for Banana Nut Oatmeal in November, but in the meantime, give this pumpkin spice version a try and let me know what you think!

PS Oatmeal Banner PS Oatmeal Closeup

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats (old-fashioned, not quick cooking)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (flax meal)
  • 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • Optional: scoop of unflavored protein powder (I like Vital Proteins collagen peptides)

Directions

  1. Bring water, salt, and oats to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in pumpkin puree, almond butter, vanilla and protein powder and stir. Remove from heat and cover for 5 more minutes.
  3. Stir in ground flax meal and maple syrup.
  4. Pour into serving bowl and top with chopped pecans.

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