Yoga and Yum

Nourish Your Self From the Inside Out

Month: August, 2013

Grilled Veggies Chickpeas and Pesto (a.k.a. the easiest lunch ever)

Toss some leftovers in a bowl, swirl with pesto, and voilá! Lunch!

Toss some leftovers in a bowl, swirl with pesto, and voilá! Lunch!

I love pesto. So much that I often snag a spoonful from the jar all by itself. But when I feel like not being a barbarian, and actually putting a full three minutes into lunch preparation, pesto of any variety (cilantro, basil, or arugula…whatever you have on hand) is quite a treat when mixed in with veggies and beans.

If you’re on the Paleo diet, then you can replace the beans with diced chicken or hard boiled egg for protein. It works with just about any type of grilled or sauteéd veggie you have on hand. What’s your favorite combo? Bon appétit!

Ingredients:

1 cup of chopped sautéed or grilled veggies, diced (for this batch I used grilled zucchini and carrots)
1/3-1/2 cup garbanzo beans (or the beans of your choice)
2 tbs. pesto of your choice (I used basil pesto)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Stir all ingredients in a bowl.

Serve and enjoy!

Borscht

Beets. It's what's for dinner.

Beets. It’s what’s for dinner.

There’s something so magical about this dish. Maybe it’s the rich-magenta hue, or the smooth and creamy texture. Whatever it is, I’ve enjoyed this dish since infanthood and wanted to share it with you. There are lots of variations. Some like it chunky, others like it puréed. I prefer the latter. Serve it warm or cold, by itself or topped with a drizzle of créme fraîche, truffle oil, or snipped chives. You really can’t go wrong with this velvety soup. Bon appétit.

Ingredients:

6 medium sized beets, skinned, roasted and chopped
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, skinned and shaved (using a potato peeler)
4 cups chicken, beef, or veggie broth
*1 can kidney beans (optional)
A splash of cooking sherry
4 tbs. nutritional yeast (optional, but lends to the creaminess)
2 bay leaves
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbs. coconut oil for sautéeing
1 drop doTERRA lemon oil
*1 drop doTERRA dill oil (optional)

Method:

Heat up a medium stock pot over a medium flame.

Melt coconut oil and add the chopped until. Sautée until lightly browned and aromatic.

Add the shaved carrots, beet, and beans (optional).

Sautée together until the flavors have cross-mojinated. (About 3-5 minutes)

Add the broth and the bay leaves. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer.

Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

Place in the blender (may have to blend in batches) with the nutritional yeast, sherry, lemon juice, and essential oils.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm or chilled. Serve as is, or top with créme fraîche, a dollop of Greek yogurt, fresh herbs, or a swirl of truffle oil.

Benefits:

Beet: A great source of phytonutrients called betalains, which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. They are also an excellent source of folate, which is a crucial nutrient especially for those who are (or are looking to get) pregnant. They are also very high in manganese and fiber. These root veggies contain nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information (raw) (cooked).

Carrot: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dill Essential Oil: Dill is a powerful anti-bacterial, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative(prevents gas and fermentation in stomach and intestinal tract), and digestive aid. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Kidney Beans: These legumes are packed with fiber, folate, and tryptophan. They also abound with a special trace mineral called molybdenum, which helps combat sulfites (a food preservative commonly found in wine, and foods found in salad bars). They are also an excellent source of protein, and minerals such as manganese, iron, and copper. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

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.

Onion:  Like garlic, onions are high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. They are a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and manganese. They help protect our blood, bone, and connective tissue. See here for other health benefits and nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

*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.


Un-Metallica Cilantro Smoothie

Detox your bod of heavy metals with this cleansing smoothie.

Detox your bod of heavy metals with this cleansing smoothie.

I can explain. I actually like a few Metallica songs. But I am not fond of allowing heavy metals to wreak havoc on my body. Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent that helps rid the body of heavy metals (like those found in pesticides, fertilizers, aluminum-based deodorants, cigarette smoke, aluminum foil…the list goes on). So if you’re feeling the need for a gentle sweep of the digestive system and your bodily tissues, give this smoothie a try. Not everyone enjoys the flavor of cilantro. If that’s the case, use half cilantro and half spinach or another less pungent green as the base of this smoothie.

Cilantro is also a powerful anti-inflammatory herb, often used by Ayurvedic practitioners to alleviate unwanted inflammation in the body.

Make sure to drink LOTS of water after you drink this. Once you shake any toxic substances loose, best to flush them from your system by staying hydrated. Happy cleansing!

Ingredients:

1 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 cup water or coconut water
1 scoop high-quality protein powder
1/2 cup blackberries (frozen or thawed, depending on the temperature and consistency you prefer)
Juice of 1/4-1/2 lime
1 drop doTERRA cilantro essential oil
*Optional: 1 date if you like it sweeter

Method:

Put all ingredients together in your blender and blend to smithereens.

Serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Blackberries: Blackberries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They contain powerful anti-oxidants which help soothe internal inflammation, boost heart and digestive health. They also abound with vitamin K, which helps with maintain healthy blood and bones. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cilantro: Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent which helps remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. It’s also beneficial for the digestive tract due to its production of digestive enzymes, acids, and juices. Its essential oils stimulate peristalsis, relieve gas, and aid with digestion. Cilantro also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and helps to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cilantro Oil: Cilantro is a great digestive aid and is a powerful antioxidant. It helps control free radicals and leaches heavy metals from the human body. It is also a strong antibacterial and anti fungicide agent. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there’s so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

*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.

Arugula Carrot Salad

This hearty salad makes a great base for a meal, or a delicious side dish.

This hearty salad makes a great base for a meal, or a delicious side dish.

This recipe was inspired by the N.Y. Times.

Oh, the joys of summer cooking! Or rather, summer “food assembling.” (Some of my favorite dishes are just sliced, diced, and plated…no cooking required!). Where I live, summer is always abundant with farm-fresh produce. Last week I picked up, no joke, a 20-lb. bag of fresh produce from our farmer, Dave Banga. So exciting! However, once one has 20 lbs. of veggies to enjoy, one has to decide what to do with them so they are preserved and enjoyed at their peak of freshness…So, what does one do with two massive bags of carrots? Or a mountain of arugula? Enter this salad. It’s a fantastic way to highlight the sweet carrots and the spice of the arugula, and doll it up with some healthy fat from your nut of choice. I like walnuts to orchestrate the flavors, but pecans might be nice too. And a few fresh or dried herbs can enhance this salad too. Feel free to be liberal with your herb use. (I feel like I should enter a “wink wink” at the end of that sentence, but I truly just mean tarragon, rosemary, basil…you get my drift.)

Anyway, may you enjoy this salad, and your myriad garden-fresh dishes!

Ingredients:

Salad:
4 cups baby arugula
2 cups grated carrots
1/4 cup broken walnuts
1-2 tbs. finely chopped fresh tarragon
*1/4 cup grated Parmesan or crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Dressing:
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
1-2 tbs. sherry vinegar
1-2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Himalayan or sea salt to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 drop doTERRA lemon essential oil
*1 pinch of dried oregano (optional)
*1 small garlic clove, pureed or finely minced (optional)

Method:

1. Combine the arugula, carrots, walnuts, and tarragon (and optional cheese) in a salad bowl.

2. In a small glass jar with a lid, combine all the dressing ingredients. Secure the lid and shake to combine.

3. Shortly before serving, toss the salad with the dressing.

*Advance preparation: You can combine the salad ingredients several hours before serving and refrigerate in a covered bowl. The dressing will also hold for several hours, in or out of the refrigerator.

Benefits:

Arugula: Arugula is a rich source of folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and B-complexes (such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, which are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions). This is a low-cal lettuce leaf that packs a nutritional wallop, so don’t be afraid to ask for a second helping! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Carrot: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system, and promote a sense of well-being. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

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.

Tarragon: Tarragon is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc. It has also been used in various types of traditional medicine as an appetite stimulant, and as a remedy for anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence and hiccups. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. 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.

*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.