Friday, November 25, 2011

Nourishing Green Juice

Thanksgiving has come and gone and as we gear up for the next round of Holidays I say let's lighten up and Nourish our cells with a mini Juice Feast. Weather you chose one day, two days or snack on your glass of Green Goodness, enjoy it and feel your body coming alive as you cleanse with this vitamin and chlorophyll rich elixir.

There are three  main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your health program:

1.Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body's ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to "pre-digest" them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition.

2.Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.

3.You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.

Ingredients:  Kale~Parsley~Celery~Cucumber~Granny Smith Apple~Lemon~Ginger 
Breville Juice Fountain Elite
My Juicer of choice is the Breville Juice Fountain Elite. I love it! So easy to clean and powerful. I run all of my pre-washed veggies and fruits through, give it a quick scrub and I'm good to go!
Try experimenting with different ingredients and make your own "just right for you" Juice. Just remember to include some greens.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Nourishing Stuffed Squash

Even with the weather feeling like late September we cannot stop the Calendar. Thanksgiving is just a few days away! I have created a Menu which I hope will be the Muse for your Holiday fare. The Star of the show is, Acorn Squash with a Wild Rice Stuffing. For me nothing brings Thanksgiving to mind more then roasted squash, wild rice, toasted pecans, and cranberries. Come deliziosi

Acorn squash is totally satisfying when roasted and topped with a drizzle of Olive Oil and s sprinkle of Sea Salt. If filled with a hearty stuffing of Lundberg's Wild Rice blend, Pecans, and Cranberries, it is a meal in itself. Loaded with comforting flavors it is bound to be hit at your Holiday Table!

The Menu:
Corn Chowder, 03 August 2011
Stuffed Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing
Daikon Nishime, 19 November 2011
Swiss Chard and Shallot Saute, 04 September 2011
Blanched Salad, 24 August 2011 
Ginger Pear Crisp, 23 September 2011
"Kukicha" Twig Tea
Acorn & Delicata Squash

3 Acorn  Squash  Cut in Half
1 Yellow Onion Small Dice2 Medium Shallots Minced
4 Celery Stalks Small Dice
2 tsp of Fresh Sage Finely Minced
2 tsp of Fresh Thyme Finley Minced  
2 Cups of Cooked Wild Rice Mix 
2/3 Cup Pecans Toasted and Chopped
1/4 Cup Apple Juice Sweetened Dried Cranberries 
1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
3/4 tsp Sea Salt 
4 Tbl Olive Oil to Brush on Squash and for Sauteing  

Lundberg's Wild Rice Blend
1.Place squash cut side up on a baking sheet, brush 1 teaspoon of the Olive Oil over the tops and insides of the Squash halves, season with Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
2.Roast in the oven until just fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes
3.Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil in a large saute pan over medium heat
4.Add the Onion, Shallots, and Celery, season with Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, stirring occasionally, cook until just softened, about 6 minutes
5.Stir in the Thyme and Sage cook about 1 minute
6.Remove from heat and stir in the rice, pecans, cranberries, and measured salt, pepper and the last Tablespoon of Olive Oil
7.Divide the rice filling among the roasted Squash halves, about 1/2 cup for each
8.Continue roasting until the Squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to brown, and the filling is heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nourishing and Cleansing Daikon Nishime

As the North Wind comes blowing through the Valleys of Vermont, the Mountains are awash with shades of brown and speckled with Evergreens. The sky is overcast shades of dove grey and mauve. This inspires me to pull out my heaviest pot and make one of my favorite nourishing and cleansing dishes.

In honor of our upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. I have decided to go back to my "Root's" in appreciation for the Kushi Institute in Becket, Massachusetts. I learned so much while studying and working there as a Head Chef. 
This is a simple method of preparing Vegetables which is helpful in restoring strength and vitality to someone who has become physically weak. Consider adding this dish to your meal plan two to four times per week.
Daikon Nishime
Nishime style cooking is a very comforting, relaxing way to cook. It's basically a Japanese slow braising technique that uses very little water, and increases the nutritional value by adding the sea vegetable kombu.

Daikon Radish
1 Large Daikon Radish
1 Three inch Piece of Kombu Seaweed 
1/2 Cup Spring Water
Kombu Seaweed
Use a heavy pot with a heavy lid or cookware specifically designed for waterless cooking
Soak a 2 to 3 inch piece of kombu until soft and cut into one-inch-square pieces
Place kombu in bottom of pot and cover with water
Add daikon which should be sliced into 1-inch Rounds
Sprinkle a few drops of Wheat Free Tamari over the Daikon Radish
Cover and set flame to high until a high steam is generated
Lower flame and cook peacefully for 15–20 minutes
If water should evaporate during cooking, add more water to the bottom of the pot
When the Daikon is cooked through, add a few more drops of tamari soy sauce
Replace cover and cook over a low flame for 2–5 minutes more
Remove cover, turn off flame, and let the Daikon sit for about two minutes 
You may serve the cooking juices along with the dish, as it is very delicious
Garnish with finely sliced Scallions, Parsley or my choice Lemon Zest 
You may also like to try one of the following combinations:
Carrot, Cabbage, Burdock, Kombu
Carrot, Lotus, Burdock, Kombu
Daikon, Shitake Mushroom, Kombu
Turnip, Shitake Mushroom, Kombu
Onion, Cabbage, Winter Squash, Kombu
Onion, Kombu
Note: It is not advisable to cook only carrot and daikon or carrot and turnip together, except when using additional vegetables.

Daikon cleanses the blood, promotes energy circulation and increases metabolic rate. It contains diuretics, decongestants and, in terms of phytochemicals, the digestive enzymes diastase, amylase and esterase. This makes it a primary ingredient in many home remedies.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Nourishing Carrot Cupcakes

Everyone seems to be riding the latest Cupcake Craze! My Carrot Cake has always been a favorite at our house so I decided to transform this delectable root vegetable rich dessert into, yes, you guessed it Cupcakes. The Maple Syrup and Coconut Milk in this recipe adds another dimension to the flavor and texture and the Tofu Whipped Frosting is Divinity!

Carrot Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Dry Ingredients:
1½  Cups Organic Unbleached White Flour
1½ Cup Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 Tbl Baking Powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
⅔  Cup of Raisins
⅔ Cup of oven roasted Walnuts or Pecans chopped 

Wet Ingredients:
1 Cup "So Delicious" Vanilla Coconut Milk
1 Cup Maple Syrup
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar 
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ Cup Sunflower Oil
2 Cups of Grated Carrots

In one bowl whisk together dry ingredients to be sure they are thoroughly blended
In a Second bowl add all wet ingredients including the Grated Carrot and Raisins 
Whisk together to ensure blending
Spray Muffin Tin with Oil Spray
Place individual Paper Cupcake Liners in Pan 
Then pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients using a stir/fold movement to mix 
DO NOT over mix, this will create a tough texture
Spoon into Cupcake Tin
Place in the oven on middle rack
Bake for 30 minutes 
Test with skewer for doneness or tap with fingers and they should feel firm.
Remove and cool thoroughly

2 12 ounce packages of silken extra-firm Mori-Nu tofu, drained
⅔ cup of melted Coconut Oil
⅔ Cup of Rice Syrup
1 Tbl of Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Sea Salt
Place Tofu in a food processor and blend till creamy
Add Rice Syrup, Vanilla Extract, Sea Salt and blend thoroughly
Drizzle the melted Coconut Oil into the Tofu mixture while the food processor is running 
Chill and Pipe on Cupcakes to create a swirl or simply spread in top   

Carrots strips made with a vegetable peeler
1 Cup of Rice Syrup

Warm Rice Syrup in a Double Boiler 
Add Carrot strips and let sit in the warmed Rice Syrup for 20 Minutes
Drain in a strainer 
Create Curls on a plate and chill in the Fridge 
Place a Carrot Curl or two in the Center of each Cupcake

You could use the rice syrup in place of some of the Maple syrup in your recipe.This would save waste and create a dessert that would support more balanced blood sugar levels.
Also consider making this recipe with Barley flour if you have a Wheat allergy. They will be more dense in texture but they will still have amazing flavor.  
I hope you have fun with this recipe and sharing these Cupcakes with your Family and Friends.