Yoga and Yum

Nourish Your Self From the Inside Out

Month: March, 2013

Heart-y Spring Sauté

Boost your heart health with this springy and versatile dish.

Boost your heart health with this springy and versatile dish.

‘Tis officially spring! Spring is an excellent time for gentle cleansing. And it’s always in season to take care of your heart. This dish is a great way to do both. Seasonal and organic vegetables that are green in hue are very supportive for the heart and cardiovascular system, as well as for the Anahata, or heart chakra.

Dress up these spring veggies with a little vegan pesto and you’ve got yourself a tasty side dish or base for a meal. The combination possibilities are endless, but I like to use spring-savvy veggies like asparagus, spinach, and peas, with zucchini, chard, or kale. You can also add organic (NON-GMO!) shelled edamame if you’re looking for a vegetable-based protein boost.

Help your heart and body adjust to the new season with this delicious dish. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the Sauté:
1 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, “tripped” and chopped into 1″ slices
1 cup spinach
*Optional: 1 cup green peas, 1 cup chopped kale or chard
For the Pesto:
3 Tbs. cold pressed olive oil
1 Small handful fresh basil
2-3 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1 clove roasted garlic, or 1 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbs. toasted piñon (or pine) nuts
.5 Drop basil essential oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Place the olive oil and basil leaves in a mini-food processor. Blend for about 10 seconds.

Dip a toothpick into the bottle of basil essential oil and stir into the basil/olive oil mixture.

Add the remaining ingredients and blend until roughly mixed (it’s ok to have a few chunks…has a more rustic taste and feel this way).

Drizzle in more olive oil and blend if you’d like your pesto to be thinner. Then set aside while preparing sauté.

Heat medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive or coconut oil (DON’T HEAT TO THE POINT OF SMOKING!).

Add the bigger veggies (like asparagus and zucchini) to the pan and allow to sauté until golden brown (about 5-7 minutes).

Add the leafy vegetables and stir together. Allow to cook for a couple more minutes until the leaves are tender.

Add to a bowl and toss with pesto mixture. Salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Benefits:

Asparagus: Asparagus is packed with vitamins K and A, as well as iron and folate. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and abounds with antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese, and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Basil Essential Oil: Basil has powerful anti-infectious, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It can be used to boost alertness and concentration, ease anxiety, nervous depression, headaches, mental fatigue, and insomnia. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Kale: Kale is a powerful green which has been proven to help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of various types of cancer including bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. It has powerful detoxifying properties and is an excellent source of vitamins C, K, and A. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a staple source of protein, particularly for vegans and vegetarians. It is one of the few non-animal sources of B-12, is rich in folic acid and other nutrients and amino acids. Nutritional yeast is free of the Candida Albicans strain, making it safe for those concerned with candida. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Peas: Green peas are an excellent source of vitamins C and K, large amounts of manganese, and are high in dietary fiber. They’re high in protien and are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Yum! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pine Nuts: Pinenuts are excellent source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folate. They also contain healthy amounts of essential minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Zucchini: Excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, and is a good source of vitamin A. Summer squash also retains its nutrients when eaten raw, lightly steamed, and/or frozen. And make sure to eat the seeds! Summer squash seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which are helpful in the prevention of inflammation. The seeds are also thought to contain anti-microbial properties and are still used in some parts of the world to treat intestinal parasites. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Rosemary Artichoke Hummus

Artichoke hearts lend a delightful creaminess to this hummus. A definite crowd pleaser!

Artichoke hearts lend a delightful creaminess to this hummus. A definite crowd pleaser!

This recipe was inspired by The Inadvertent Gardener.

We had private photo and film viewing party at our house recently for a budding photographer named Anneliese Zemp and the non-profit organization Unite Our World. It was amazing. Oodles of guests showed up in support to see the Anneliese’s photographs and Unite Our World’s documentary film about their efforts to build a self-sustaining medical clinic in a remote village in Uganda called Kampala. Yes, the evening was totally inspiring. And the food was pretty tasty too.

What does one serve at a nosh-friendly party? Hummus, of course! This new take on the old-standby that was well-received by the crowd. This recipe can easily be doubled if you’re expecting lots of hungry folks to show up at your door. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cloves roasted garlic, or 1 tsp. garlic powder
3 or 4 Tbs. fresh rosemary, roughly chopped, or a large pinch dried rosemary
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (or soak and cook your own)
1 15-ounce oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, packed in water
2 Tbs. tahini
Juice of one lemon
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 drop doTerra rosemary essential oil
Salt to taste

Method:

Combine the garlic and rosemary in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 8 to 10 times to chop.

Add all but 1 handful of the chickpeas, all but 1 small handful artichoke hearts, and the tahini to the bowl of the food processor. Add the essential oil to the lemon juice, stir, and add to the bowl of the food processor. Process for approximately 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and process again while drizzling in the olive oil. Add a smidge more olive oil if the hummus feels too dry.

Add salt to taste.

Chop the remaining artichoke hearts.

Garnish the finished hummus with remaining chickpeas and artichoke, more fresh or dried rosemary and/or parsley, toasted pine nuts, paprika, and olive oil.

Serve with crackers, bread, or crudité such as jicama or daikon radish rounds for dipping. Enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Garbanzo Beans: Also known as “chickpeas,” these beans are particularly high in insoluble fiber, which means you have a squeaky clean colon and feel fuller for longer when eating these legumes. They are also extremely high in lots of nutrients such as manganese, folate, and tryptophan. They are a great source of plant-based protein. If you find legumes make you gassy, try pre-soaking them for easier digestion. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon Juice: Lemons (and limes) are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Rosemary Essential Oil: Rosemary essential oil is an analgesic, anti-arthritic, antibacterial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antioxidant. It is commonly used for calm and stress relief, cold and flu, hair care, arthritic pain, asthma, bronchitis, and digestive issues. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Tahini: Sesame seeds (of which tahini is made) are jam packed with manganese and copper, and are a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, and dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Spiced Fig Energy Bites

The best energy ball recipe hunt continues! These peppery confections blow fig newtons out of the water.

The best energy ball recipe hunt continues! These peppery confections blow fig newtons out of the water.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried flaked coconut
1/2 cup blanched almonds
4 Medjool dates, pitted
1/2-3/4 cup dried figs, destemmed
1/2-3/4 cup fresh almond cashew butter
Hefty pinch cinnamon
Hefty pinch cardamom
Pinch sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 drop doTerra black pepper oil
1/4 cup coconut water
*Optional: 1/4 cup dark mini chocolate chips…This makes this recipes take like cookie dough yumness.
*NOTE: You can replace the almond cashew butter with any complimentary nut or seed butter.
*NOTE: Omit the rolled oats to make this recipe paleo friendly

Method:

Place 1-2 drops black pepper oil in the coconut water and set aside.

Place all the ingredients (including the peppery coconut water) except for nut butter in a food processor with the “S” blade. Blend until grainy (entirely depends on what kind of consistency you prefer…you like crunchy, process less. You like them sans chunks, process longer.)

Add nut butter and process for another 15-30 seconds or until well-mixed.

Using a spoon and/or your hands, form into little balls and place into a glass tupperware container.

Allow to chill and set in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Black Pepper: Black Pepper essential oil is great for your digestive system. It stimulates salivary glands and secretion of digestive juices meanwhile neutralizing gas formation in the intestinal tract. Also a great cleansing agent! Black pepper oil also increases circulation, reducing inflammation, and provides relief for arthritis and other muscle and joint discomforts. Great for athletes! See here for more.

Cardamom: This spice is an excellent source of iron and manganese, making it a rock star for blood and cellular regeneration. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, and can be used as an anti-spasmodic and digestive aid. Great for the belly AND the heart. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Figs: Figs are a good source of manganese, potassium, and dietary fiber. They also contain significant amounts of vitamin B6. Dried figs are an excellent sugar alternative and can be added to most recipes in place of other sweeteners. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Rolled Oats: Due to their high fiber content, oats are known to help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream. Oats also help maintain cardiovascular health since they contain antioxidant compound called avenanthramides, which help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol. Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal also contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan, which has been shown to help immune funtion and to stabilize blood sugar. Oats are also high in manganese, selenium, and phosphorous. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.