Yoga and Yum

Nourish Your Self From the Inside Out

Month: January, 2014

Warm Pickled Beet Salad with Goat Feta

Cleanse your blood and please your palate with this tasty pickled beet salad!

Cleanse your blood and please your palate with this tasty pickled beet salad!

This recipe was inspired by A Thought For Food.

February marks the last bit of winter. In Ayurveda it is “kapha” season, which means that our digestion and our bodies might feel sluggish. It’s an important time to start to boost our metabolism of fat in preparation for spring cleansing. So in order to assist our gall bladders and livers rev up their fat-busting super powers, we should favor natural cleansers such as vinegar, lemons, beets, kale, and beans.

Beware of too much dairy this time of year, as it can keep our systems slow and sludgy. If you’re going to partake, then try to include goat dairy, as it is generally easier on the digestion than most cow dairy.

In terms of seasonal eats, there’s not much growing outside in February, so it’s nice to have stocked up on some canned or pickled items (I just learned how to make pickled beets in November…Thanks Tamlin!). And folks who are fortunate enough to have a greenhouse or cold frame might have some greens growing. So thus was born this warm pickled beet salad with arugula and goat feta. Feel free to add whatever kinds of herbs to your vinaigrette that sound tasty. I personally liked the basil/mint combo, but get creative and enjoy!

Tamlin and me, having a domestic goddess day in our frilly aprons. She taught me how to can beets. So fun!

Tamlin and me, having a domestic goddess day in our frilly aprons. She taught me how to can beets. So fun!

Ingredients:

1 Pint jar of pickled beets (or you can just roast or boil 4 beets that have been trimmed, peeled, and sliced into rounds)
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons ghee
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Clove garlic, minced
1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and pepper
1/2 Drop doTERRA basil essential oil
1/4 Cup chopped mint, or 2 tablespoons dried mint
1/4 Cup chopped basil, or 2 tablespoons dried basil
1 Small red onion, thinly sliced into rounds
4-6 Cups arugula (you can use spinach or watercress in its place too…)
1 Cup goat feta cheese, crumbled

Method:

Drain the pickled beets. (If using fresh beets, roast or boil them to your liking, skin, and slice them into rounds, and allow them to cool a bit.)

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, allspice, salt and pepper to taste, the mint, the basil. Then dip a toothpick in the doTERRA basil oil and stir it into the mixture.

Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the ghee, and the onions. Allow the onions to brown, then add the pickled beets. Saute them together for a few minutes until sufficiently warmed. Add a bit of the dressing mixture into the pan to coat the beets and onions.

Toss the arugula in remaining dressing. Put it into serving bowls (2 for a meal-sized salad, 4 for an app-sized salad), then adorn each bowl with a bit of the beet onion mixture.

Crumble some goat feta atop each one. Serve and enjoy!

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.

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.

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).

Ghee: A favorite among Ayurvedic practitioners, said to help cure ailments from tight muscles to memory loss. Ghee is essentially clarified butter that has been separated from the milk solids and saturated fats. I highly recommend replacing your regular butter with this. Read up on the health benefits and nutritional information.

Peppermint: Peppermint is a good source of vitamins C and A, as well as manganese and copper. It is also great for the digestion and has antimicrobial properties. See here for more health benefits.

Kimchi (Spicy Tart Fermented Korean Veggie Love)

Put a dose of kimchi over eggs, with spicy sausage or bratwurst, over your favorite fish dish.

Put a dose of kimchi over eggs, with spicy sausage or bratwurst, over your favorite fish dish.

According to Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science which helps us to maintain balance in our beings,  January is a time to include fermented foods in our diets to ensure gut health. It’s a time to favor sour, hot, and bitter foods. And this dish offers all three! Introducing kimchi. Perhaps you’ve met this dish at your favorite Korean barbeque house, or in a bento lunch box aside your teriyaki salmon. Or perhaps you think I’m speaking gibberish, which, of course, is also entirely possible.

Kimchi is a traditional Korean condiment made from fermented veggies, most commonly, Napa cabbage, radish, cucumber, or scallions. This recipe favors Napa cabbage. If you’re afraid of fermenting your own veggies, don’t be. It’s a simple and delicious way to get more nutrients out of your produce while promoting healthy flora in your belly.

The process of lacto-fermentation (which can be done with fresh veggies, salt, herbs and spices, and filtered water) renders your veggies and fruits more easily digestible, and with more access to the vitamins therein. Also, it produces lactobacilli, those yummy beneficial probiotic organisms that keep your tummy happy. So, even if this process or these flavors are new to you, it’s worth trying out. I modified this recipe from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 Head Napa cabbage
1 Bunch green onions, chopped
2 Medium carrots, grated
1/2 Cup daikon radish, grated
1 Tablespoon finely grated ginger
2-3 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced (You can use more if you want to ward off vampires…)
1/2-1 Teaspoon dried chile flakes
2 Tablespoons sea salt

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and pound or mash them to release their juices (about 5-10 minutes).

Place the juicy mixture in one quart-sized or two pint-sized mason jars and press down firmly with a clean spoon until juices come over the top of the veggies.

The top of the veggies should be one inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for three days. I like to put them in a cool dark place covered in a tea towel for extra good fermenting juju.

After day three, transfer to cold storage.

Your kimchi is ready to enjoy! Try it in place of sauerkraut over bratwurst, over eggs, with your favorite Asian dish, or over fish. Enjoy!

For this recipe, I sauteed the kimchi and put it over oven-baked mustard-crusted halibut, over a smear of pureed cauliflower. It was marvelous.

For this recipe, I sauteed the kimchi and put it over oven-baked mustard-crusted halibut, atop a smattering of pureed cauliflower. It was marvelous.

Benefits:

Cabbage: Cabbage is a powerful cancer fighter and lowerer (new word?) of cholesterol. It contains massive amounts of Vitamin A and is a good source of Vitamin C. While purple cabbage is more nutrient dense than the lighter green varieties (due to their added phytonutrients), all varieties are nutritional powerhouses. 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.

Garlic: Garlic has long been touted as a health promoting food. It is 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. Garlic is also rich with manganese and is a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as selenium. This “stinky rose” also protects our blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress, but its other health benefits abound. See here for nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Roasted Cauliflower and Apple Bisque

Enjoy this warm soup during the winter months, or serve chilled in the summer!

Enjoy this warm soup during the winter months, or serve chilled in the summer!

January is a lovely time to give your digestion a rest from heavy foods. Pureed soups and bisques are the answer! They allow you to feel warm and nourished without feeling like a lead weight in your tummy. This is a nice recipe because it includes cauliflower, one of the shining stars of the cruciferous vegetable family. It’s a gentle detoxifier, is packed with antioxidants, and is anti-inflammatory. Sooooo, eat it. A lot.

Cheers to a happy belly and a happy body!

Ingredients:

1 Head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1-2 Apples, (I like honeycrisps or pink ladies) cored and sliced
1 Onion, de-skinned and chopped into eighths
2-ish cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1-2 drops doTERRA ginger essential oil
Sprinkle of ground nutmeg to garnish
*Optional: truffle oil or sour cream (NOT BOTH!) to garnish

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place cauliflower, apples, ginger, and garlic in roasting pan and toss with salt, pepper, and oil, and toss to coat.

Roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing the vegetables about half way through, until the cauliflower is lightly browned and the onion is tender.

Transfer the veggies to a blender and add the stock. Add the ginger oil. Blend until creamy.

Transfer contents of the blender to a soup pan (or stock pot) to gently reheat the puree.

Add a little salt and pepper to taste and serve with a touch of ground nutmeg.

Benefits:

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cauliflower: Holy antioxidants! Need a gentle cleanse, this is your veggie. Cauliflower, a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, as well as phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and quercetin (think cell detox and protection!). See here for more nutritional information and health benefits.

Garlic: Garlic has long been touted as a health promoting food. It is 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. Garlic is also rich with manganese and is a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as selenium. This “stinky rose” also protects our blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress, but its other health benefits abound. See here for nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Ginger Essential Oil: Ginger is a powerful analgesic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-nauseant, and stumulant. It provides tremendous benefits to the digestive system, and can also be used as an expectorant and decongestant. Ginger can also help provide relief from coughs and sore throats. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

*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 batch. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Baked Grapefruits with Honey, Ginger, and Cardamom

Shake off the January "Blues" with this enlivening, fat-burning snack!

Shake off the January “Blues” with this enlivening, fat-burning snack!

This recipe was inspired by Joyful Belly Ayurveda and More than Paleo.


Oh baby, it’s cold outside. Frigid temperatures and overload of tasty treats have you feeling a little sluggish? Grapefruits are a beautiful citrus fruit that can help bring a little zest into our lives, and help get our bellies back on track. According to Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science), bitter and sour are the two flavors  to favor this month, as we transition past holiday indulgence and move toward cleansing in preparation for spring. Grapefruit offers both, and is a delicious canvas for other digestive boosters such as ginger and cardamom. And an added bonus: grapefruit improves fat metabolism, and encourages bile to move through the liver for a cleansing effect. Yum yum!

Honey (local and organic if possible!) is a wonderful sweetener in small doses. Like grapefruit, it stimulates fat metabolism, so you can enjoy this combination without guilt. If using, make sure to drizzle the honey on after the grapefruits are baked. Honey is widely considered to become toxic when exposed to extreme heat.

And feel free to try other flavor combinations as well! Try it with a dusting of cinnamon and a sprinkle of walnuts for a little variety. Enjoy!

photo

Ingredients:

1 grapefruit, rinsed, sliced in half, and seeded
Pinch ground cardamom
Pinch dried and ground ginger
Drizzle of local, organic honey

Alternate topping:
Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Handful of chopped walnuts

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Place the grapefruit halves, rind down, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet
Sprinkle with your spices
Place the cookies sheet in the oven for 15 minutes or so
Allow to cool a smidge, serve, and enjoy!

Benefits:

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.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Grapefruit: This citrus fruit is packed with Vitamins C and A. The pink varieties are an excellent source of the phytonutrient, lycopene, which has been touted for its ability to battle cancer-causing free radicals. Grapefruits also contain phytonutrients called “limonoids” which help inhibit tumor formation and growth. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Honey: Often called “Nature’s sweetener,” local, raw, honey is a great way to add sweetness to your life. Raw honey is packed with vitamins and minerals and offers anti-bacterial and and anti-viral properties. But according to the Ayurvedic tradition, don’t cook honey. Adding significant heat to honey both strips it of its vitamins, minerals, and enzymes while creating cellular toxicity. So add it to your cool dishes, or to warmer dishes AFTER they have finished cooking. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Metabolism Booster Tea

Melt away the sludge in your gut with this spicy, sweet, tart brew!

Melt away the sludge in your gut with this spicy, sweet, tart brew!

This recipe was inspired by Joyful Belly Ayurveda.

According to Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science which works with Nature to balance our bodily systems, lemon, honey, vinegar, and cayenne combine to create fat busting, digestion and metabolism boosting elixir.

Vinegar and lemon encourage bile from the liver and gall bladder into the gut. Bile helps the body to digest high-fat foods, which would otherwise linger in the digestive system making us feel akin to beached whales.

After spells of eating super rich and fatty foods (like the holidays, for example), it’s great to give your belly a rest and break up any sludge in your digestive system. This combination of vinegar, lemon juice, honey, chili powder, doTERRA grapefruit oil, and water combines to help kick start your metabolism while cleansing your blood and lymphatic system.

Drink this special brew upon waking, a half an hour before meals, or sip slowly after meals. Enjoy it up to a few times a day between meals until you feel your pipes are sufficiently cleansed. Happy digesting!

Ingredients:

1/8 Teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Pinch cayenne pepper

Juice of half a lemon

1 drop doTERRA grapefruit essential oil

1 Cup purified water

Method:

Heat the water until hot but not boiling.

Put the remaining ingredients into a mug and mix them together.

Add the hot water and stir until well-combined. Sip and enjoy the new sense of freedom in your digestive system. 🙂

Benefits:

Chile: Ah, the beloved chile. A sacred plant where I come from (New Mexico), this pungent pepper has a myriad of health benefits. The phytonutrients found in chile can fight inflammation, clear congestion, boost your metabolism and immunity, while balancing your blood sugar. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Grapefruit Essential Oil: This citrus oil boosts digestion and helps to clear the lymphatic system, while flushing the body of excess fluids. It is also beneficial for treating aging or loose skin. It is mood balancing and uplifting to the mind, and may help to relieve anxiety. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Honey: Often called “Nature’s sweetener,” local, raw, honey is a great way to add sweetness to your life. Raw honey is packed with vitamins and minerals and offers anti-bacterial and and anti-viral properties. But according to the Ayurvedic tradition, don’t cook honey. Adding significant heat to honey both strips it of its vitamins, minerals, and enzymes while creating cellular toxicity. So add it to your cool dishes, or to warmer dishes AFTER they have finished cooking. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon: Lemons 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.

*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 batch. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.