Curry

DSC_0346I don’t know how I’ve gone the past few years without putting a curry recipe up here. I make curry at least once a week, usually when I have a bunch of veggies ready to be used, since its good with pretty much anything! Curry is also one of those dishes that tastes better the next day- hence the reason we take it to lunch so often!DSC_0340

I’m always down for a bowl full of veggies, but especially covered in coconut milk, curry powder & turmeric.

Curcumin, the main, health-boosting ingredient in turmeric that is responsible for its gorgeous golden color, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. It helps protect your liver form toxins, lowers cholesterol, is a natural pain-killer, and even helps soothe an upset tummy by aiding digestion!

Turmeric is also an antiseptic, meaning it speeds up the healing of wounds, both on the inside and out! This golden root has also been used in Chinese medicine for centuries as a natural anti-depressant: How could you be sad with this beaming ray of sunshine in your presence!?unnamed-6

My recipe for curry is very basic, and very delicious: Feel free to use anything you have laying around, my ingredients are always optional~

  • 1 head of broccoli or cauliflower (or both!)
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • a few cloves garlic
  • handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste

Chop all the veggies how you like them, and saute onion, garlic, bell pepper in a large pot until softened. Add chopped sweet potato, fennel, zucchini, carrots and broccoli. Pour 1 cup of water into the pan, cover and let sit until bubbling. Turn down heat, add coconut milk, spices and lentils, cover and let sit over low heat for about half an hour. Once lentils are ready, add in handful of spinach until wilted and and enjoy with a yummy yogurt dill sauce, or on top of quinoa! *This makes a lot, so enjoy some the next day as leftovers!DSC_0350DSC_0343

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Banana Granola

DSC_0366I wish you could smell this banana granola from my kitchen right now. The oven opened and the smell of fresh banana bread poured out. Delicious, comfort-food-turned into a nutrition-packed granola!

This granola uses lots of nuts and seeds, but the one highlighted today is Pumpkin seeds! Pumpkin seeds pack quite a nutritious punch:
They’re high in iron (blood building & energy boosting), magnesium (a natural relaxant), tryptophan (serotonin-producing, sleep-enhancing), protein (plant based & easily digestible), Pumpkin seeds also have high levels of omega 3 oils, anti-inflammatory properties and fiber! Not only for Halloween, pumpkin seeds can be used all year-round!DSC_0342DSC_0356

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • sprinkle of chia seeds (optional)
  • 4 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 4 Tbs. maple syrup, or honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • sea salt
  • 2 ripe, mashed bananas

Heat oven to 400. Combine nuts, oats and seeds in a large bowl. Heat coconut oil until liquid, and mix in separate bowl with maple syrup and vanilla. Add liquid mixture to dry, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and add mashed bananas. Pour into baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and smelling comforting. Let cool, and enjoy!DSC_0150DSC_0337

Ghee

unnamed-2Ghee, the healthy, golden, wonder-fat is my favorite thing to come out of my kitchen for a while.

I’ve toyed with vegan and raw diets the past few years, never actually sticking to one that felt “right”, until I started learning about Ayruvedic diets. I’m much more in tune with the whole foods diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, grains and good fats. In our world, we are taught to associate fats with weight gain. In truth, sugar is the culprit of weight gain and the low-fat diets out there are usually filled with a decrease in fat, but a boost in sugar.unnamed-1

There are so many good fats to love! Avocado, coconut oil, olive oils, and my new favorite, ghee. Ghee is purified butter, most commonly used in India. Ghee is a monosaturated fat (mostly saturated), that is rich in vitamins A, D, E, K and omega-3 fatty acids. In Ayruvedic texts, it is said the easiest way to remove toxins from our bodies tissues (heavy metals, pesticides, pollution) is with good fats.

While here in the Western world, we have a complicated love/hate relationship with butter (resulting in margarine and unfortunate faux butter alternatives), in ancient Ayruvedic principles, ghee has been used to nourish our bodies gut health, cleanse toxins, boost our immune systems, lower cholesterol and promote healthy living and vitality.

gheeDid you know that 80% of our immune systems are located in our gut! No wonder what we eat has a correlation to our healthy insides! Ghee helps balance and nourish the immune cells in your gut by minimizing stomach acid while repairing the gut’s lining. Ghee, being made of only good fat, helps in the production of digestive enzymes (less chance of indigestion).

Ghee is made by simmering butter (preferably unsalted, organic), until the milk solids separate from the beautiful golden liquid (the good fat). Once the milk solids are strained out, the ghee becomes a great fat for cooking because it has a higher smoke point. (Heating oils beyond their smoke points results in toxicity).DSC_0001_2

Another wonderful property about ghee is that once the milk solids are removed, the casein from the milk is also removed, meaning that people with dairy sensitivities can often tolerate it.

Ghee can be found in your local grocery store, or made at home! Making it at home ensures that your house will smell amazing for a few hours!

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. unsalted organic butter
  • 1 clean, airtight glass container
  • cheesecloth

Directions:

Place one pound of unsalted organic butter in a deep stainless steel pot over a medium heat (stay close by to avoid burning!) Have a sieve lined with the cheesecloth and the clean glass container ready.

In a couple of minutes, the butter will come to a boil. Let it continue to boil over a medium-low heat. Your kitchen will start to smell incredible. A foam will appear on top of the ghee, which is the milk solids separating. You can stir with a wooden spoon, or not.

In 7-10 minutes, the ghee will be beautifully golden and brown (milk) solids will be forming at the bottom of the pan. At this time, the ghee is ready!

Immediately remove the ghee from the heat and pour it through the cheesecloth into the glass container. Allow it to cool and harden. It’ll stay liquid for a while. Use for baking, steaming, on toast, or roasted veggies to boost your gut health and immunity! Enjoy!

26!

DSC_0343After a month in Guatemala (away from my vitamix and my juicer), and a birthday looming, I decided a cleanse would be a good way to restart my new year. A week of juices later, I’m 26 today and feeling great!DSC_0372

DSC_0364I woke up each morning with a big, fresh juice! And since it is still March and pretty chilly for an all-juice-cleanse- I made a big, green, power smoothie for lunch, and either a juice or a salad for dinner. With cleansing, its really important (I think), to listen to your body and what its craving. Sometimes I would only want a juice for dinner, but after an evening yoga class, I felt like I really needed a salad. Drinking enough water is also really important! Add some chia seeds for an added boost!DSC_0354

DSC_0360Juicing gives our digestive systems a break from their 24-hour a day jobs. Cleansing is a way to give our bodies the break they deserve while keeping ourselves energized and nutritionally balanced. By consuming fresh veggie & fruit juices that are loaded with nutrients (and alkalizing minerals) you’re giving your body a chance to convert lots of energy from digestion to cleansing.DSC_0394

Cleanses are used not only to detoxify the body, but to increase energy, increase mental clarity, balance your pH (=radiant skin, hair, complexion!) and promote better sleep patterns. DSC_0347DSC_0352

My favorite juice recipe from this week was:

  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • half a lemon
  • 1 green apple
  • slice of ginger
  • pinch of cayenne

Cheers!DSC_0375

Chocolate Goddess Cups

DSC_0358I spent the month of February feeling like a total goddess, surrounded by so many beautiful, inspiring women. Today, for International Womens Day (and the fact that I’ll never turn down a reason to make chocolate) this post is to honor the goddess in all of us, with none other than raw chocolate cups with an amazing caramel sauce!DSC_0362

For the chocolate sauce, I used “love grade” chocolate I brought home from Guatemala- pure, intense cacao bliss. Cacao powder will work the same!

  • 1/4 cup cacao
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 Tbs cacao butter (optional, but oh so yummy)
  • 4 Tbs sweetener (maple syrup, brown rice syrup, honey)

**Touted as “The Healthiest Sweetener,” I tried Brown rice syrup in these, which worked great! Its a neutral flavor and low on the glycemic index- meaning you won’t get any sugar crash effects.DSC_0360DSC_0364

For the caramel sauce, I blended

  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 3 Tbs coconut oil
  • Small handful of soaked dates (about 6-8)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanillaDSC_0365

Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter over a double broiler until liquid. Mix in cacao, sweetener and salt until combined and delicious. Pour half the mixture into molds and place in the freezer to harden for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, blend up the caramel sauce (and try not to eat it all by the spoonful!) Once the chocolate is hardened, spoon caramel sauce on top and cover with remaining chocolate sauce. Place in the fridge or the freezer to fully harden. Pop out of molds (They’re a little messy because of the caramel) and enjoy! DSC_0370

Cheers to all the gorgeous gals out there. May we be empowering, supporting and inspiring to each other.

Home Sweet Home

DSC_0192IMG_4020I’m just getting back from a month in Guatemala. It was my second trip to this beautiful country, and my first time on Lake Atitlan. This gorgeous lake is known for its healing powers and from what I’ve seen, they have proven to be true. Life on the lake for the past 3 weeks consisted of: Sipping ginger tea & meditating on the dock while the stars were still up in the sky, practicing yoga every morning as the sun peeked out from behind the volcanoes, picking salad greens every meal from the gardens, and cooking vegetarian meals for 30 daily! It was my first time cooking for such a large group, but what a good feeling when so many people love your food! I’m back to cooking for two now, which is a welcomed change of pace. Using only two avocados for guacamole seems ridiculous after using 40 in one night at the yoga farm! It seems as though February was a good time to get away- soak up some sunshine and try something new for a while, though its pretty nice being back in the comforts of home now. Coming home from the lake, I’m feeling so inspired to be back in the kitchen. I’ve got sprouts sprouting, water kefir bubbling away and a ginger bug started on the windowsill! Stay tuned…DSC_0121

 DSC_0317“Leave the familiar for a while.

Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season

Onto the meadow and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.

Make a new watermark on your excitement

And love.

Like a blooming night flower,

Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness

And giving

Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence

Lie beside an equator

In your heart.

Greet Yourself

In your thousand other forms

As you mount the hidden tide and travel

Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven

Are sitting around a fire

Chatting

While stitching themselves together

Into the Great Circle inside of

You.”

 

Creamy Millet & Coconut Porridge with Citrus

DSC_0029One of my best and loveliest friends is 8 months pregnant! Unfortunately, she lives in another state and I haven’t been able to be there to go thrift shopping for baby clothes, snuggle with her tummy or talk about all things food together. This breakfast porridge reminds me of her (and her little lady sprout)! Millet is new to me, but oh, so delicious!

Millet is a great grain for everyone, especially pregnant ladies because it is rich in iron, B vitamins and calcium. Millet has a mild corn flavor and is naturally gluten-free, and can transition between breakfast and dinner meals seamlessly! DSC_0024

DSC_0039I made mine with coconut milk and coconut oil: Coconut milk is high in lauric acid, (naturally found in breast milk) which has germ-fighting, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that are effective at ridding the body of viruses, bacteria and countless illnesses. Coconut milk is also high in vitamins C & E (boosting immune systems) and B vitamins (providing energy to our cells) and magnesium, (regulating the heart’s rhythm and supporting the function of nerve cells).  All this goodness in one bowl, not to mention, this easily digestible milk is delicious!DSC_0033

  • 1/2 cup raw millet
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • pinch of salt, optional
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Much like cooking quinoa (quinoa could easily be substituted), add millet & coconut milk to saucepan. Bring to boil, then cover, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Once the coconut milk is soaked up and the mixture looks like porridge, add vanilla and serve warm. I topped mine with gorgeous orange and blood orange slices. Mmm! Enjoy. Your bellies will thank you!homepageMANTRA_new