Tag: turmeric

Comforting Curried Lentil & Rice Casserole {Gluten-Free, Vegan}

Mashed potatoes. Ice cream. Pizza. Mac & cheese.

We tend to crave these foods. They comfort us. We have really great memories of them from a young age.

Broccoli. Brussels sprouts. Carrots. Spinach. Butternut squash. Collard greens. 

Not exactly the same effect, right?

Many of us grew up thinking that only the foods in the first group can taste good and make us feel good.

What if the same foods that “comforted” us also nourished us? It’s possible!

curry

Our body has an amazing ability to adapt our taste buds and preferences, even for those of us who consider ourselves picky eaters.

Trust me. I get it. For most of my life, I was one of the pickiest eaters you would ever meet! I was loyal to my egg noodles, parmesan cheese, chicken fingers, and broccoli. Sauces / soups / salads / seafood / sandwiches / dips / dressing / ethnic food?…no thanks!

I didn’t eat any of it.

Now, Bill and I eat lots of foods that not only make us feel good but also nourish our bodies.

I’m excited to share one of my NEW favorite, Indian-inspired recipes with you! I just made it for the first time last week, and Bill and I loved it. It’s one of the tastiest, most warming and wonderful meals we’ve ever made. We had it for a week and never got sick of it. You have to try it!

Keep in mind…

  • You will do very little cooking. The only thing you actually take time to cook in this recipe are the onions (mixed with spices).
  • The rest of the meal is “set it and forget it.” Once you’ve cooked the onions, you pretty much dump them and all of the other uncooked ingredients into a casserole dish and leave it alone in your oven until it’s finished cooking. It’s almost impossible to mess this one up!
  • This recipe makes A LOT of food. Perfect if you’re having lots of friends over for dinner or want a meal you can cook once and eat about 4-5 times. I cooked it in a deep lasagna pan.
  • Don’t be intimidated by longer ingredient lists. Just because an ingredient list looks longer than you’re used to doesn’t mean it’s more difficult to make. A lot of the time, our ingredient lists may appear longer because half of the ingredients are herbs and spices. Fortunately, they don’t make the recipe take any longer to prepare but do add tons of flavor! Just make a list and pick them up on your next shopping trip.

casserole bannerIngredients

a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil OR coconut oil (we used coconut oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh turmeric, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups french lentils or green lentils
1 cup long grain brown rice
5 cups water
1 can coconut milk (full fat)

Click here for the full recipe from Nourishing Meals!

Rainbow Super Food Kale Salad {Paleo}

Today’s post is inspired by Skittles.

Skittles-Wrapper-Small

Whenever I hear the phrase, “Taste the Rainbow,” I always think of Skittles.

They were one of my favorite candies as a kid, especially the purple and red ones!

Not so fun when you reach a wet hand into a bag of Skittles after an hour of swimming at the pool in the summer though… 🙂

Okay, so this post isn’t exactly about Skittles, but this recipe and the chewy bite size candies do have one thing in common…

IMG_7825

They are both very colorful…and look like a rainbow!

I taught a group of a dozen coworkers how to make this kale salad last week and they LOVED it!

In fact, there wasn’t any left for me by the end of the demo – which is a good sign! Here’s what one of my coworkers said about the salad:

“I have a new appreciation for kale. I never eat it but the salad today was so good. I also want to start making my own dressings and that was fabulous.”

See what I mean?? You have to try this salad!

IMG_7833

So, what inspired this recipe?

I’m currently going through a certification program to become a Culinary Nutrition Expert, and one of our assignments has been to focus on a particular health condition and come up with recipes and meal plans that would help someone with that issue.

I chose inflammation.

If you’ve ever had any kind of “itis” (dermatitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, colitis, rhinitis, gastritis, arthritis, thyroiditis, etc.), you’ve dealt with inflammation.

Our body is really smart, and it’s naturally designed to protect us from harm.

At its most basic level, inflammation is the body’s response to an attack from a “foreign invader,” such as an injury, infection, bacteria, or virus. It’s designed to help us fight the bad guys, so we can stay healthy.

We want our body to respond with inflammation temporarily when we do something like sprain our ankle or scrape our knee. Inflammation brings a rush of blood, nutrients and fighter white blood cells to the area to start the repair and healing process.

IMG_7814

For many of us though, inflammation is driven in part by the food we eat (and don’t eat). Most of the Standard American Diet (abbreviated SAD) is full of pro-inflammatory processed, refined foods loaded with chemicals most of us can’t pronounce and would be more likely to find in a lab than a farmer’s market.

If we can reduce inflammation, we set ourselves up to be much better at preventing or delaying disease and even getting to a healthy weight. Dr. Mark Hyman has written extensively about inflammation and how to reduce it. Click here to learn more from him.

The key dietary recommendation to heal or “cool” inflammation is to consume an unrefined, whole food (ideally organic), high fiber, plant-rich diet, which naturally stabilizes our blood sugar (and energy levels!) – another key to keeping inflammation at bay.

When I was creating this recipe, I focused on making it an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, something that your body would love for you to eat…and that would taste amazing.

Crunchy, creamy, sweet, and the slightest bit salty, this salad has all of the flavors and textures we crave and love.

IMG_7819

I’m about to get a little nerdy here, but just go with it 🙂

The healing foods in this recipe contain anti-inflammatory compounds like antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids that not only help us reduce inflammation but also boost our immune system, slow the aging process, sustain our energy, and regulate our weight.

Here are just a few reasons why you’ll want to upgrade your diet and add in this super nourishing salad that’s loaded with immune, beauty and energy-boosting ingredients!

  • Avocado, hemp seeds, tahini, pumpkin seeds, and extra virgin olive oil are excellent sources of anti-inflammatory fats that are not only good for our body but also for our brain (our brain is 60% fat!).
  • The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic are also anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting.
  • Leafy green vegetables like dino kale contain flavanoids and antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Isothiocyanates (eye-so-thio-CYA-nates), sulfur-containing phytochemicals found in red cabbage, regulate the body’s inflammatory response.
  • Turmeric contains over two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, the most powerful of which is the antioxidant curcumin, which gives it its bright yellow color.

Ok, now that you’re super stoked about eating anti-inflammatory foods, here’s the recipe! Bring it to your next potluck or holiday party – it’ll be a hit!

taste the rainbow salad

IMG_7839

 

5 from 1 vote
Print

Taste the Rainbow Kale Salad

This is my #1 favorite salad of all time and is always a hit at parties and potlucks. Packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients and full of flavor, this salad will turn any kale hater into a fan in no time!

Course Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Author Rachel Druckenmiller

Ingredients

Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin

Salad

  • 1 bunch kale dino kale is best
  • 1 cup purple cabbage shredded
  • 1 cup carrots shredded
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds shelled
  • 1/4 cup goji berries or dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a bowl OR place them in a blender for 30 seconds until smooth. Taste and make adjustments to dressing, if necessary. Add a few tablespoons of filtered water to thin it out if needed. I like mine thick.

  2. In a large bowl, place kale greens and add dressing. Massage dressing into kale leaves for about 2 minutes (until volume reduces by about 1/3). Add purple cabbage and toss to coat. Let sit for 15-30 minutes, so the dressing can continue breaking down the kale and cabbage.

  3. When ready to serve, add in shredded carrots, pumpkin seeds, avocado, hemp seeds, and goji berries (if using). Toss to combine.

Recipe Notes

This salad will stay good for about two days in the refrigerator. The heartiness of the kale greens prevents it from wilting like other salads would.

Double this recipe if you’re bringing it to a party!

You can add in any vegetables you like. Try this salad with some diced bell peppers, chopped broccoli, cooked sweet potato cubes or other vegetables. To make more of a complete meal, add in your favorite animal or plant-based proteins (chicken, salmon, lentils, beans, tempeh). Chickpeas or white cannellini beans would pair well with this salad.

Super Simple Curry Roasted Potatoes

For most of my life, I ate a pretty bland diet.

Sauces, spices, and condiments? No, thank you. I will have it “plain.”

“Plain” was safe, familiar, predictable.

My seasonings of choice were, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray, parmesan cheese, and black pepper…and maybe a pinch of oregano or basil every now and then. That was it.

As I’ve gotten more comfortable exploring new foods, I’ve been exposed to dozens of flavors and tastes that I never knew existed. Food used to be boring, but now it’s exciting and filled with variety!

One of the cuisines that I resisted eating until very recently was Indian food.

I did what I had done many times before and made up my mind that I didn’t like Indian food, even though I had never tried it. I made the assumption that all Indian food was spicy and the funky colors and strange-looking dishes were not appealing to me as a picky eater.

I had no idea what I was missing!

Though it likely started as a combination of ginger, turmeric and garlic, the origin of a signature Indian spice blend, curry, has been traced back thousands of years to the Indus Valley Civilization in modern-day India. Most likely rooted in the South Indian term for sauce (kari), British traders adopted the more familiar word curry to categorize these spice blends. It has evolved and been adopted by other cultures since then.

curry

Curry spice blends vary widely, depending on which region they’re from and based on people’s personal tastes, but some of the most common ingredients include turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, coriander, and cinnamon. Other varieties include cayenne pepper, cumin, mustard seed, and cardamom.

Many of these spices are highly anti-inflammatory, and many health experts agree that inflammation is at the core of a lot of disease and our struggles to lose weight. In addition, curry is full of warming spices, so it’s perfect for this cold weather we’ve been having.

After learning which spices were actually in curry (and realizing that I liked all of them), I’ve been on a huge curry kick, adding it to recipes to completely change the way they taste. You can find curry powder in the spice aisle at your grocery store. Bill and I are absolutely loving it!

We used the red potatoes and onions we got from our weekly delivery of produce and made curry roasted potatoes and onions. This recipe is so simple and delicious, it will become a staple at our house.

Curry Roasted Potatoes & Onions

IMG_2796

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red potatoes, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Let stand, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes so flavors can be absorbed.
  3. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet (I used parchment paper, so they wouldn’t stick).
  4. Toss every 15 minutes for even browning and to prevent burning.
  5. Bake potatoes and onions until golden brown, 30–35 minutes.

Want to change it up? Try subbing in sweet potatoes or cauliflower florets instead of red potatoes!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: