recipes

Turkey Tacos

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As much as I love to cook, this time of year I just want to fix something quickly so we can get on to more fun things… like going for a walk, relaxing on the patio or planning our California road trip we have on the calendar in June. Summer (especially these early few weeks before it really heats up in Texas) is no time to be slaving away in a kitchen. That’s why there are grills. And gorgeous fresh produce that’s even better raw.

These turkey tacos are a perfect summer dinner. They’re quick – like 15 minutes quick. And using romaine instead of tortillas give them an even fresher, crisper taste. Top them with your favorite fixins. We usually keep it simple with fresh avocado, cilantro and tomato. You could always go even more low maintenance with your favorite store-bought salsa. Or take it to a whole new level with your own salsa creation…maybe something with mango or peach?

In the name of keeping things simple for summer, I’m making this one short and sweet…and going for a walk. Happy Summer, everyone!

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Turkey Tacos

Ingredients

1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 lb organic ground turkey
1 head romaine, leaves seperated
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions

Heat skillet over medium heat and add coconut oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and spices; stir and cook another minute. Add ground turkey and cook until cooked through and lightly browned.

To serve, spoon turkey into romaine leaf and top with tomato, avocado and cilantro. Finish with a squeeze of lime.

 

recipes

The Trick to Making a Delicious Kale Salad

salad plate

How do you really feel about kale?

If you’re making a bitter face after reading that sentence, I understand. The No. 1 complaint I hear about kale is that it’s soooo bitter. And you’re right. Eaten completely raw the stuff is absolutely disgusting. There, I said it. But when kale is properly prepared, that bitterness mellows and can even (dare I say) turn slightly sweet, and that, my friends, is when kale becomes absolutely delicious!

If you take nothing else away from this post know this: Eating healthy does not mean force feeding yourself bitter green things. No one does that. Or at least no one does that for more than a day or two without coming back to reality. I’m here to tell you that there is so much more to kale beyond it’s bitter rap. The trick is just knowing how to prepare it.

Here’s a fun fact. Did you know chopping kale in a food processor sort of smells like freshly cut grass? It does… but if your salad tastes like your lawn there is a problem…

chop greens

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Bitter is Better
The darker the green, the more bitter the taste. But don’t let that scare you. Dark leafy greens are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, chlorophyll and oxygen. They help detoxify, purify the blood, oxygenate your cells and can even lift your spirit. All these benefits and yet dark leafy greens have so many of us stumped. Once you know how to prepare them though, they’re easy to add to any meal.

Banish the Bitter
Now that we’ve appreciated bitterness for what it means nutritiously, let’s talk about how to get rid of it. Kale is a hearty plant with a tough exterior so that it can endure the harsh winter months. To enjoy it raw, you have to get it to soften, because behind that tough exterior is just a sweet vegetable. It’s all in the approach. And it starts with lemon. The acid in lemon counters the bitter flavor and helps to break down the leaves. Combine lemon juice and olive oil in a 1:1 ratio and season with salt and pepper to make a simple dressing. Pour dressing over the chopped greens and (this is the real trick) get in there with your hands and massage the kale. You read right… massage – deep-tissue style – both hands. in there. working it. This breaks down the cellulose structure of the plant so that it wilts and softens. Pay attention as you massage and notice the leaves turn a more brilliant green and shrink up a bit. And just like that the kale is transformed from lawn clippings to a delicious salad…. Magic!

dressing

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add nuts and fruit

Massaged Kale Salad

Ingredients

1 bunch kale
1-2 lemons
1/8 cup EVOO
salt & pepper
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc.)
1 cup dried fruit (currants, raisins, cranberries, etc.)

Directions

Wash kale well and tear leaves away from stem. Tear leaves into pieces and place in food processor or blender to chop. Pulse until  finely chopped (you’ll have to do this part in a few batches). Transfer to a large bowl.

Next, make the dressing. In a small bowl combine juice from lemons and EVOO. Season with salt and pepper and whisk well until combined. Pour over kale and massage the dressing into the greens using your hands.

Mix in choice of nuts, fruit or other salad toppings. If kale still tastes bitter, add more lemon and continue to massage until no longer bitter.

recipes

Basil Broccoli Chicken Spaghetti (Squash)

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I’m not sure what the weather is like where you are, but here in Texas, we’ve officially begun that schizophrenic  time in between summer and fall where the weather just can’t make up its mind. This is usually how it goes… the temperature drops to the 80’s and for a few fleeting days we remember what it’s like to not step outside and immediately start sweating. We rush to a patio, or the nearest Starbucks for a pumpkin latte, and bask in the glory because we all know what’s really going on… it’s just a tease. Summer isn’t over yet.

I’m not sure how this goes in other parts, but without fail, each year, this is what we go through in Texas. The tease of fall. I’ll start thinking about new sweaters, lusting after boots, dreaming about pumpkin-and-spice-tasting everything… Only to come crashing back to reality days later when the temps go back up and I remember: We’ve got one more month to go (at least).

So while my boots patiently wait in the closet, I’ve started celebrating fall with some of my favorites in the kitchen. Warming squash stews still don’t feel quite right, but for those of us stuck in the middle, we can take a little from this and a little from that. So I bring you the perfect combo of summer and fall with basil and spaghetti squash.

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photo courtesy of steamykitchen.com

If vegetables can be cool, spaghetti squash is the coolest. I mean, just look at what comes out of that thing… To cook, I usually just put it in the oven on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30 minutes (more or less depending on the size). I take it out, let it cool and cut it in half long-ways. This is so much easier than trying to hack your way through a hard-as-a-rock, giant squash. You can thank me later. Then scoop out the seeds (roast them later for a healthy snack) and start scraping the insides with a fork. The meat shreds into thin spaghetti-like strings that you can twirl and spin just like the stuff your mom used to make. This vegetable is a godsend to anyone who’s eliminated actual spaghetti. And just as easy as boiling water too. Not to mention, the added nutritional benefits from being a vegetable rather than a refined starch. Just sayin.

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While the squash bakes, go ahead and start the sautee. The onion and garlic add a lot of flavor at the start. Then at the end when you add the lemon, olive oil, and basil, it all comes together as a light sauce for the spaghetti.

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I try to prep everything ahead, but that doesn’t always happen… After the onions are in the pan, wash and chop the broccoli. For the basil you can either tear it with your hands or thinly slice the leaves with a sharp knife so it’s ready to go when it’s time to eat.

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When the onions and garlic are slightly browned, add the broccoli. I love watching greens turn that bright, vibrant shade of green just a few minutes after they start cooking.

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Once the broccoli is cooked through and a little tender, add the cooked chicken and spaghetti squash. Stir well so that it all gets mixed together.

The last few steps are small, but so important. Squeeze half a lemon over the pasta and then season with salt and pepper. You can add the basil now, or if you plan to have leftovers, wait until you plate. Red pepper flakes are a good addition too if you want a little kick.

Then twirl that spaghetti to your heart’s content and enjoy tasting summer and fall at the same time.

Basil Broccoli Chicken Spaghetti (Squash)

Ingredients:

1 whole spaghetti squash
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1 lb. cooked chicken breast (1 in. pieces)
handful basil, thinly sliced or torn
lemon
salt and pepper

Directions

First, get the spaghetti squash in the oven. Preheat oven to 350 and place squash on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake about 30 minutes, more or less depending on the size. You’ll know it’s done when it’s softer to the touch and you can get a knife through it.

While the squash is baking, prep your ingredients and start a large sautee pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, then onion and cook a few minutes until translucent, then add garlic and cook another minute. Add broccoli. Cook, stirring occasionally until broccoli softens, about 5-10 minutes.

When the squash is done, allow to cool and then cut in half long-ways. Scoop out the goop and seeds in the middle and then, using a fork, shred the “meat” by gently scraping it away from the outer skin.

Add spaghetti and cooked chicken to the broccoli mixture and stir to mix well. Squeeze half a lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and top with fresh basil. For a little heat, add red pepper flakes.

cooking, recipes

Coconut Chicken Curry

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Since getting back last week from India… I mean Austin… I think I’ve had curry four times. Why am I confusing Austin and India, you ask? That was my little joke during our long weekend visit with friends, because every day involved something Indian. We were there primarily to see my friend Lauren perform in a Bollywood production – Om Shanthi. Bravo, Lauren! Maybe all that Bollywood energy stuck with us. But the next night we ended up at G’raj Mahal, an Indian restaurant near Rainey Street. And then, the following day, I found myself loading up a plate of curried cauliflower and chickpeas at the Whole Foods on Lamar, which, by the way, also thinks it’s in India – I couldn’t believe the assortment of Indian curries in the to-go food section and naan in the bread aisle. Anyway….

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Curries like this one are on the regular dinner rotation at our house. I’m a big fan of anything that you can cook in one pot and I love using lots of spices. So, Indian food, and actually most cuisines from the eastern hemisphere make regular appearances. We joke about how our future kids’ friends will react when they stay for dinner and then find out we’re having dahl… Iguess I better get working on a back up healthy mac & cheese…

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Usually when making curry I don’t stick to a particular recipe. I like to change it up and just go with whatever vegetables I have on hand. It’s a great “clean out the fridge” dish or if you’re shopping you can try to save a little and opt for what’s on sale. Serve over brown rice (or enjoy just by itself) add a little cilantro and BOOM!

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I’ve been asked if there’s a particular brand of curry powder I prefer, or if I make my own. I don’t have any regular go-to’s really, but as we’ve experimented more and more, it’s sort of fun combining my own spices rather than going off the shelf. The one in this recipe comes from a recipe provided by Dr. Amy Myers from Austin UltraHealth. If anyone out there has a brand or personal blend they swear by, please share!

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This recipe uses butternut squash (I found the cutest little baby one… makes me excited for fall!), celery, green onions and kale. But change it up and use what you like… cauliflower, zucchini, squash, sweet potato, broccoli, carrots… the possibilities are endless. Don’t have that mix of spices? Use a prepared curry powder or paste. Here’s an old vegetable curry recipe from way back when that uses curry powder for another option.

Did I mention this meal has super powers too? The pungent spices – turmeric, cumin and coriander (just to name a few) – in curry have been used medicinally for centuries. Pungents, which are usually lacking in our modern American diet, are drying which should balance out the sweet (considered mucus forming) foods that it’s easy to get some much more of. Think about the last time you had a spicy chili and it left you with a runny nose, clearing your sinuses. The spices really were “drying you out.” Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, teaches that a truly balanced meal should include all six flavors – spicy, sweet, sour, salty, pungent, astringent and bitter – for satisfaction, balance, optimal digestion, health and harmony. It may sound like a tall order for just one meal, but it shows, food is powerful. And when it’s powers are used for good, magic like this happens…

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Coconut Chicken Curry

(recipe adapted from Austin UltraHealth’s recipe)

Ingredients:
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, cut into crescents
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced small
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups kale, torn and roughly chopped
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into pieces
1 can full fat coconut milk

Directions:
Heat large skillet ove medium heat and add coconut oil. When oil is hot, add onion and garlic and cook until translucent and slightly browned. Add spices and stir to coat onions. Then add squash, celery and green onions and stir to mix well. Pour in water and bring to a boil. Cook until you can pierce squash with a fork. Add kale and continue to cook until wilted. Add chicken and coconut milk and simmer to allow flavors to combine. Add black pepper to taste. Serve as is or over brown rice and topped with cilantro.

recipes

Red, White & Blueberry Salad

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Happy Fouth of July, everyone! I just couldn’t let the holiday go by without contributing something red, white, blue and edible. Now, I realize there’s just no topping last year’s American flag tart (gluten-free and dairy-free), so I didn’t even try with the desserts. I decided to go in a completely different direction instead… salad. Before I go any further, let me explain my philosophy on salad. It’s simple: Lettuce alone does not a salad make. A salad should be packed with all sorts of different flavors, textures and colors. It should look exciting, fresh, beautiful… almost like art. The taste should of course match. And the process should be fun! No more boring old lettuce and dressing salads. Blah. OK, I’ve said my piece.

Back in the early days of this blog, I wrote a post about how to make a truly satisfying salad. If the idea of making something without a recipe totally freaks you out, I have lots of tips, tricks and how-tos for you here.

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So, this salad just so happens to be what’s for lunch today. You’ll have to pardon the bowl. If I was planning ahead I would have put it in something a little more photogenic than the plastic container I use to cart my lunch to work pretty much every day. Not the prettiest, but it sure is convenient, and even has a seperate contraption in the lid for dressing (Martha Stewart does it again!). I digress…

What makes this festive are the strawberries and blueberries of course. It just wouldn’t be the Fourth without those guys. And to get some white in there I’ve added radishes and hemp seeds. Not familiar with hemp? Here’s what it looks like in seed form…

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Hemp seeds (also called hearts) are an excellent vegetarian source of protein. They’re easily digested and absorbed; high in important nutrients like iron, magnesium, essential fatty acids; and a fantastic source of fiber. Hemp seeds are a great pantry staple to keep on hand to turn any salad into a complete meal. Here they’re totally optional. If you want to make this salad to bring to a BBQ or 4th of July picnic, you can take em or leave em.

Also, you’ll notice the recipe below doesn’t say exactly how much of everything to use. Just go with amounts that seem right to you. You really can’t go wrong. I’ve never heard anyone complain of a salad having too much avocado or fruit.

Whatever your plans are for the 4th I hope yours is a fun and relaxing one, complete with good company and great foods. God Bless America. 🙂

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Red, White & Blueberry Salad

Ingredients:

mixed greens
red onion, thinly sliced
radish, thinly sliced
avocado, diced
strawberries, chopped
blueberries
basil, thinly sliced
hemp seeds (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
lemon
salt & pepper

Directions:

In a bowl combine greens, onion, radish, avocado, berries and hemp seeds. To make the dressing combine EVOO and lemon juice (2:1 ratio) and add a little salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss.

recipes

Dinner for One: Sweet Potato with Kale and Avocado

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This is one of my favorite simple meals that I tend to make when I’m just cooking for myself. It’s super low maintenance (read: one pan) but has tons of flavor and is totally satisfying. It’s just simple ingredients that are easy to cook and happen to combine quite well together. By adding extras like garlic and lemon too, simple vegetables turn into the world’s simplest gourmet tasting meal for one. Did I mention how simple it is?

On a night when it’s just me, I can throw this together in about 30 minutes and be on the couch with dinner in one hand and the remote in the other, ready to relax and catch up on the girly portion of our DVR.

Sweet Potato with Kale and Avocado

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato
1/2 bunch kale, torn from stems and roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil
1/2 avocado, sliced
salt
lemon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, wrap sweet potato in foil and bake 30-45 minutes, until soft.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute 5-7 minutes, until translucent and beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add kale and stir to coat with oil. Cook about five minutes until greens begin to wilt and shrink.

When sweet potato is done, unwrap and cut it in half. Mash the potato with a fork and then top with greens mixture. Add sliced avocado, sprinkle with salt and give it a little squeeze of lemon.

recipes

St. Patrick’s Day Spinach Pesto Pasta

I watched maybe four episodes of “Chopped” last night. It may have been a bit much… because when I just went to the kitchen to make dinner, I created my own little mystery basket. Except instead of exotic or ridiculous ingredients, mine were things in the fridge that are about to go bad… I had to get rid of some spinach. And the broccoli was looking a little peaked. (Please don’t tell the judges.) So there was that… From the pantry I scrounged some staples: pasta, garlic, onion. Done! I’m going to make a spinach pesto with sauteed broccoli and penne. Boom! And that’s how it went. Pretty lame for “Chopped,” I know, but the approach sure beat opening the door to a near empty fridge, sighing and saying, “We have no food!” Which is how I probably would have reacted just a few years ago…

Instead, I accepted the challenge and tried my damndest to impress my judge (the husband). And here’s the oh-so-appropriately-timed St. Patrick’s Day pesto pasta we ended up with for dinner:

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St. Patrick’s Day is a favorite holiday of mine. And when I looked down at all that green goodness on my plate I couldn’t help but smile at the timing. I would totally make this, or even just the pesto for a St. Patty’s Day party. Festive, and good for you! Skip the green beer and load up on this. (Note, I said green beer. I have no problem with beer… just for the record.)

Meanwhile, on my little episode of “Chopped”… The judges were speechless and practically licked their plates clean…

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And there’s still plenty of pesto left over to use in dressings and to dip things in between now and the actual St. Patty’s day. This pesto (which is similar to this one) is a super sneaky way to get in more greens, which are good for you on every level – improving circulation, bringing in oxygen, detoxing cells and even lifting the spirit. They’ll also help counter act some of the not-so-good for you stuff (read: green beer) we may over do in honor of our patron saint in green….

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St. Patrick’s Day Spinach Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:

For the pesto:
1 bunch spinach
1/2 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic
1 lemon
1 handful basil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

For the pasta
1 box whole wheat or brown rice pasta
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

For the pesto, first put garlic clove in food processor and process to chop. Then add walnuts and chop. Add spinach, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and process into a smooth consistency. Last, add the basil and process until evenly blended and smooth. Add more olive oil and/or water until desired consistency is reached.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and sautee until translucent. Add broccoli florets and sautee about 10 minutes until cooked through.

Top pasta with broccoli mix and then pesto.

recipes

Sweet Potato, Kale and Quinoa Salad

veggie-kale-quinoa-saladAs I sit down to write this, it feels a little like calling an old friend you haven’t talked to in years. There’s some guilt for having let so much time go by, a bit of awkwardness getting to where you left off, and oh, where to begin….

I must say, it’s good to be back in the food/health region of the blogosphere. I think I mentioned, we’ve been renovating our new house over the past two months or so now. In that time, I’ve been orbiting, lost in the home design section of the Internet – obsessing beyond control over very important things like differences in white paint. Now that I’ve successfully memorized Benjamin Moore’s entire collection and learned all there is to know about kitchen appliances, I think I’ve had enough…. it’s time to come back.

Side note – I must say, I have a renewed appreciation for the way we communicate online today – being able to share and find information with some keystrokes and a click. I feel as though I’ve learned another language – mostly from people like me just across the blog-o-pond. As I return to my own neck of blog-land, I’m excited to contribute what I know and love –  oh-so-good-and-good-for-you food – so others may enjoy and benefit.

We got our knives, bowls and other kitchen tools out of storage a few weeks ago and I found myself itching to get back into the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed having the excuse not to cook and letting others (my mom) do it for me while I pinned planned. I really didn’t think I missed it. But I did. I really did. This salad here is one of the first meals I’ve cooked in months. And oh, it tasted so good.

It’s good to be back.

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Sweet Potato, Kale and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
2 cup water
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 red onion, thickly sliced
4 kale leaves, removed from stems and torn
sunflower seeds, toasted
extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/4 a lemon
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt
black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse quinoa well. In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil (add a pinch of salt), then add drained quinoa. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once all the water is absorbed and you can fluff quinoa with a fork, remove from heat and transfer quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Set pot aside – you’ll use it later to toast the sunflower seeds (one less pot to clean later… right, Ross).

Place sweet potatoes and red onion on baking sheet. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then toss to coat with oil. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes. When slightly golden, remove from oven and set aside.

While the vegetables cook, prepare the kale and sunflower seeds. In a medium bowl, marinate kale with a pinch of salt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well, massaging the kale until it begins to wilt.

Next, get your pot you used for the quinoa. Place over medium heat and drizzle a bit of olive oil into the pot. Add sunflower seeds and toast, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown slightly. When toasted, remove from heat.

To your bowl with the quinoa, add the roasted vegetables and marinated kale and sunflower seeds. Drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and serve.

recipes

Green Lentil Dahl

It may not be the prettiest of meals, but for a simple dinner on the quick, cheap and healthy, it’ll do just fine. This has become a go-to at our house when the fridge is bare and dinner comes down to pantry staples. It’s called dahl, an Indian lentil dish that’s strong in flavor and low in maintenance. Not the most pleasing to the eye, but what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in flavor. And did I mention it’s quick… and cheap?…

Super-Power Spice
It’s the spices that really make dahl, dahl. The lentils are cooked with tumeric — a spice that’s been used to treat everything from bug bites to congestion to menstrual cramps. The vibrant yellowy-orange powder is a staple in Indian cooking, though it was originally thrown in as a preservative to make curries last longer. Sure enough, the same way tumeric kept the curry from going bad, it works to protect the living tissues in our bodies. And looking at the health stats for people in India and Pakistan, there’s something to it. They have substantially lower rates of cancers, particularly colon cancer. Perhaps they’re on to something…

For centuries, tumeric has been used as a potent medicinal herb in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fill-in-the-blank properties. Let’s just say it has super powers. And what have we Americans traditionally use this cure-all for? To make stain-your-clothes yellow mustard. Huh.

Tumeric brings balance to the body as a warming and bitter herb. It helps with protein digestion and also works to decongest the liver and protect it from toxins. As an anti-inflammatory, some say it’s comparable to Hydrocortisone or Motrin. And if you want to up the ante, add a little black pepper. As if super powers weren’t enough on their own, the synergistic combo makes tumeric 2,000 times more potent. Whoa.

Lentil Love
Spices bring these bad boys to life, but on their own they’re worth talking about too. Lentils are one of the best vegetarian sources of protein and are a fabulous alternative to beans as they take half as much time to cook. They come in several varieties in different colors and sizes. They’re good for the heart and cardiovascular system and stimulate the adrenal system. Of course they’re also low in calories and fat, but filling. Adding spices – particularly cumin, coriander and ginger – help to make them easier to digest as well (you’re welcome).

Eat dahl in a bowl with brown rice (the combo makes a complete protein) or add some sauteed veggies to the mix. For something warming, hearty and spicy, look no further…

Green Lentil Dahl

Ingredients

1 cup lentils, uncooked
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp cumin, whole seeds or ground
2 whole cloves
dash pepper, to taste

Directions

In a large pot, place the lentils and vegetable broth, and bring to a slow simmer. Add the turmeric, cayenne and salt, and cover. Allow to cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, cumin and clove and stir to combine. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until onion is soft. When the onion begins to brown, add to the lentils, and allow to simmer for at least 5 more minutes.

Add a dash of pepper and more salt, if desired, and serve on it’s own, or with rice, veggies or both.

recipes

Curried Chickpeas with Kale

It’s been one of those weeks. You know, when you start out with the best of intentions…  a Sunday trip to the store, a fridge stocked full of fresh food just waiting to be turned into something delicious. And then life happens, work takes over and next thing you know you find yourself eating a LaraBar at your desk at 8 p.m. wondering how long an uncooked whole chicken stays good in the fridge. Does this happen to you? Or is it just me?

My problem is I do enjoy to cook, but often my eyes and intrigue are bigger than my tight schedule allows. If it’s going to be a busy week, I try to make a few staples (grains, beans, veggies, etc.) in advance and keep them in the fridge so I can throw something together in a pinch. This chickpea recipe is a great one to keep on hand. You can use canned chickpeas or make your own ahead of time (they’re so much better, and cheaper too).  To turn them into a meal, all that’s left is a little chop and saute and you’re about 15 minutes to done. Simple as a chickpea.

Curried Chickpeas with Kale

Ingredients

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
3 tbsp Thai green curry paste
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 tsp tamari or soy sauce
juice from half a lime
1 tbsp honey
cilantro, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and 2 tbsp curry paste. Stir until paste is dissolved into mixture. Add chickpeas, tamari, sweetener and lime juice. You can add water if the mixture becomes dry as it simmers. Add kale and stir to mix with chickpeas as the greens begin to wilt and reduce down. Cook for about five minutes, then add coconut milk and warm (not boil) another minute or two. Stir in 1 tbsp curry paste evenly throughout.

Serve as is or over brown rice and topped with cilantro.