Roasted Cauliflower with Cinnamon

No spice reminds me of the holidays more than cinnamon. Prized by ancient Egyptians as a panacea, it is shown to have many health benefits. Not only is cinnamon great for lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar, it even helps to fight against a cold or bacterial infection. No wonder this is the perfect holiday spice!

Unfortunately, cinnamon is often associated with desserts and other sugary foods. So I want to share a quick-and-simple savory recipe that uses cinnamon. Plus it is gluten-free! Not only does the cinnamon really enhances the flavor of the cauliflower, these two powerhouse ingredients can boost your immune system and help you stay healthy during the cold winter months.

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Ingredients (serves 5)

  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC, or gas mark 6).
  2. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Place the cut cauliflower in a large bowl and coat evenly with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together the cornmeal, cinnamon, and sea salt. Sprinkle evenly onto cauliflower and toss with your hands until the cauliflowers are well coated.
  4. Transfer the cauliflower to an ungreased baking sheet, discarding any excess cornmeal. Drizzle lightly with the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil.
  5. Bake for ~40 minutes without flipping or until the cauliflower is browned on the edges and bottoms.
  6. Serve hot

-NZ

Mushroom and Veggie Pot Pie Holiday Recipe

With holiday season in full bloom, we can look forward to get-togethers, parties and of course…food. To stay healthy, consider incorporating healthy food into traditional dishes. One great example would be to make a vegetarian pot pie. Plus you are free to add whatever vegetable you have available.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted organic butter (or grape seed oil)
  • 1/2 large heads fennel, finely chopped (you can also use celery)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups of white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 organic potato, diced small (you can also use squash)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup parsely, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup organic milk or milk substitute
  • 2 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 7 ounces store-bought puff pastry
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter in medium heat. Add fennel, onions, and carrots, and cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add potato to the pan, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Add mushrooms, seal the pan with a lid and let it cook until the mushrooms let off water and are shrunken.
  5. Sprinkle flour over vegetables, stir to coat, and cook until raw flavor is gone. Then pour in broth and milk, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, add peas, herbs, and wine, and mix well. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the content into a baking pan.
  7. Whisk egg  yolk together with 2 teaspoons water and a pinch of salt until evenly mixed. Set aside.
  8. Take the defrosted dough out and top it over the filling. Brush dough with egg wash and cut slits on top to vent.
  9. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until crust is golden brown and mixture is bubbling.
  10. Serve hot!

-NZ

Zucchini Daal Soup

I was recently in San Diego for the conference of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. I’ve always known San Diego is one of the healthiest cities in the country, but now I get why. They are some of the most active people in the country, and they make exercise fun! They also make healthy food taste delicious. I went to every health food restaurant that I could in the time that I was there. One of my last stops was the People’s Market of San Diego. It was there that I had a Zucchini Lentil Soup that I could not stop thinking about, so I realized I had to make my own. Whoever the genius was that made this soup needs to know – it was amazing.

Zucchinis are high in fiber and are generally a great way to help you feel full. This daal has a very high fiber content per serving. For this recipe, you will need a pressure or slow cooker and a blender.

Ingredients:
4 zucchinis
2 cups Toor Daal (found in indian supermarkets)
1 quart water
1 can of diced tomatoes or 4 small whole tomatoes
1/2 a lemon

Spices
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ginger garlic paste ( or a one inch piece of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic minced)
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 dried red chillis
2 tsp salt

 

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My lunch: Zucchini Lentil Soup, and a salad with arugula, romaine, freshly cut veg with green goddess dressing over it. Herbal Tea to drink.

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Ocean Beach People’s Market of San Diego. It abides by Co-operative Business Principles which are painted in big letters on the ceiling.

To make the Zucchini Daal Soup, cut the zucchini into slices big enough to fit in your blender. Put the Toor Daal, zucchini water and tomatoes into the pressure cooker with the chilli powder, turmeric and salt. If you are using an indian pressure cooker, cook the mixture for 3 whistles. There is no great conversion for this to a standard American pressure cooker. Cooking for approximately 30 minutes will get you the result you need however. The daal is done when it looks like this:
Cooked Toor Daal

Uncooked Toor Daal looks like this:
http://gayatriorganic.com/portfolio/organic-arhar/

When the pressure cooker contents are cooked, remove the zucchini and most of the daal from the pressure cooker and blend to desired chunkiness, then put it back into the pressure cooker. In a separate small pan, make the tadka. A hallmark of indian cooking is that the spices release their flavor into oil as they are heated. This spice mixture is called tadka. Heat the oil over a low to medium heat and add the remaining spices to this. When the black mustard seeds start to happily pop and sputter, the spices have cooked. Pour this fried spice mixture into the Zucchini Daal Soup and squeeze the half  lemon into it. Mix together.

Optional: garnish with cilantro/coriander. Can add curry leaves to tadka.

-DS

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Pesto

Post halloween cleanup blue? Do you still have a lot of pumpkin seeds or even roasted pumpkin seeds (see recipe)?

You can use the pumpkin seeds to make pesto. Traditional pesto is made with basil and pine nuts, but I found pumpkin seeds add a twist and packed with healthy minerals and antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. FOR NON-ROASTED pumpkin seeds: toss pumpkin seeds with 2 tablespoons of the oil and salt then spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast until seeds are puffed and fragrant, (20 minutes). FOR ROASTED pumpkin seeds, skip to step 3.
  3. Combine the roasted seeds in a food processor with water, lemon juice, garlic, cilantro and 4 tablespoons oil.
  4. Pulse until mixture forms a coarse paste then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and chill until ready to use.

-NZ

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin season is in full bloom. So what is the best way to use up all those left over pumpkin seeds? Roast them! Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which is important for a healthy immune system and for vision. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in magnesium, iron and antioxidants.

There are a lot of ways to season pumpkin seeds: spicy, salty, sweet…or all of the above! I want to share my favorite ways…feel free to experiment with how much of each seasoning you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • jalapeno powder
  • ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preaheat oven to 300 F
  2. Clean up the pumpkin seeds by removing the pulp
  3. Pat dry all the seeds with paper towels- try to dry them thoroughly
  4. Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the oil
  5. Add the sea salt and coat all the seeds evenly. Then, do the same with the rest of the seasonings.
  6. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that they roast evenly.
  8. Enjoy!

-NZ

Triple Power Flax-Seed Energizing Oatmeal

One of my colleagues in residency is a dad to triplets and over time he developed a recipe that he swears makes them very active and energized in the morning. You would think he was crazy for doing this, but there is a method behind his madness – the ingredients are good for brain development.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp Raw Flaxseed
1 inch cinnamon stick grind to a fine powder in a coffee mill
2/3 of a cup quick oats
1 tbsp coconut oil
liquid lecithin
Molasses

Directions: Add 1 cup hot water, and stir well. Serve hot or cold.

-DS

Leaning into Fall

Fall is in full swing and as many people in my life know, I carry an affection for Fall. From the refreshing and rejuvenating crisp morning air, to the ritual festivities of the season, it has its charm. As the colder temperatures slowly make their way in, we seek ways to warm ourselves on a mind, body, and soul level. With the change of temperature and days getting shorter, many people report an increase in feelings of depression, sadness, and loneliness.

So what are some ways we can stay connected and soul-nourished this Fall/Winter?

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Ground in community- I find being part of a group that meets on a weekly basis for a common purpose is a great way to stay connected and reduce social isolation which can occur as a result of the seasonal change. Local community colleges often offer a wealth of classes in a variety of disciplines. I recently re-connected with a childhood passion of mine, tap dancing, and knowing I will be seeing the same familiar faces gives me incentive to return each week and feel part of a local community.

TLC- Doesn’t this weather make you want a cuddle buddy?! Whether you are single or partnered up, TLC can take many forms. Whether it’s a juicy nourishing hug from a friend, getting a massage, soaking in a hot tub, or cuddling. Loving touch is one way to lift our mood and help us feel connected and cared for.

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Attune to nature- Fall is a great season for hiking, camping, and being in nature in general. There is so much happening by way of transformation which can be observed spending time in nature. It can also be a portal for delving deeper into our own emotions that arise during this time of year and becoming better acquainted with them. I find this time of year to be conducive and deeply supportive of spiritual practice and inquiry.

Warm it up- This season screams of a hot cup of spicy chai (see chai recipe here)! Notice how the needs of your body shifts with the change of season, and try and pay attention to what it’s asking for. I find my body wanting healing warming spices and more grounding foods. Some great Fall healing herbs include cumin, fresh ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, nutmeg, and saffron. All of which can be incorporated in teas, desserts, soups, curry dishes, veggies, etc..

How are you nourishing yourself this Fall?! We would love to hear!

~SM