Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pureed Vegetable Soup

The first principle of healthy eating according to Rex Russell, M.D. in his book, What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, is to eat the things God made.  Here's a soup made from all natural, living foods that is so creamy even kids will love it.

Pureed Vegetable Soup (adapted from Real Food magazine, Spring 2009)

1/2 diced onion
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp butter (or use olive oil)
2 C chopped vegetables (cauliflower, squash, broccoli, etc.)
Liquid to cover the vegetables in the pan, either vegetable stock or water
1/4 C cream (optional) (Shredded potatoes also make a creamy texture).
Salt and pepper to taste 

Heat the onions and garlic in the butter or oil with a touch of salt. Allow them to sweat. Cover the vegetables with a couple inches of liquid. Cook on low until vegetables are soft. Puree the vegetables and broth in a blender. Strain the soup if necessary. This will make it very creamy. Put the soup back in the pan, adjust the seasoning. If too thick, add more liquid. Warm and serve with crusty bread.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nutrient-Rich Greens

Dark green, leafy vegetables are known for their high nutritional value. They're full of anti-oxidants, iron, calcium and vitamin C and more. Don't worry, they're delicious! Even the most expensive restaurants use greens for their rich color and flavor as well as nutritional content.

Here's an easy recipe that can be used all year long. In the winter time use canned, diced tomatoes and in the summer you can chop your own fresh tomatoes. 

Greens with Tomatoes:
1 bunch greens (any variety of kale or chard)
2-3 ripe tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
2-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Place all ingredients in a deep frying pan on the stove. Set on medium heat. You may need to add 1/4 cup water to the pan (or less) if using fresh tomatoes. Canned tomatoes come with their own juice. Cover the pan and allow to steam for a few minutes. Stir from time to time so the greens are cooked equally.

Serve this with a simple pasta topped with olive oil, your favorite herb (oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.) and some vegetables tossed in.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Versitile Oatmeal

My husband is not a fan of hot cereal, but I love oatmeal. It's so easy and you can add variety by simply changing the toppings.

1 cup thick rolled oats
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
honey, agave, maple syrup, sucanant 
banana slices & pecans,
toasted walnuts & cranberries,
raisins & cinnamon,
apple chunks, banana slices & cinnamon or nutmeg
experiment with your own ideas. I enjoy a tsp of butter in addition to my toppings.

Bring the oats, water and salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 - 7 minutes until soft and creamy.
Stir in your sweetener of choice.

For extra creamy and nutritious oatmeal, soak the thick rolled oats in water with a tablespoon of plain yogurt mixed in overnight. It almost tastes buttery.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vegetarian Pad Thai -A Refreshing Dinner

Here's a quick, refreshing dinner to serve during lent, cleansing or anytime you want to feel a burst of energy.

Vegetarian Pad Thai

1 12oz pkg rice noodles
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar or sucanant
1/8 cup crushed red pepper or 1 Tbsp red pepper paste
1 cup thinly sliced snap peas or pea pods (slice the whole pods on either)
1 cup thinly sliced carrots (matchsticks)
3 green onions
1/4 cup peanuts
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Soak rice noodles in cold water 30 - 40 minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.

Heal oil in wok over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into hot oil, and cook until firm (Can also ad chunks of firm tofu here).

Stir together oil, rice vinegar, sugar and crushed red pepper. Pour over the drained rice noodles and toss. Put noodles in large skillet with veggies and eggs/tofu. Toss and warm on the over for just a few minutes.

Garnish with crushed peanuts, chopped green onions and lemon wedge.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Remember Japan

Here's an easy Japanese recipe called Ocha-Zuke. It's a common snack in Japan. Enjoy this rice-dish with your family and remember the families in Japan that are suffering so much right now. Say a prayer together for them as you join together to eat.


Salmon fillet
1/4 Nori sheet
1 1/4 cups Japanese short grain rice, cooked
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp Sencha leaves (a kind of loose green tea)
1 tsp wasabi paste (from a tube or dry, mixed with water)
4 tsp shoyu (similar to soy sauce)

1. Salt the salmon fillet and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

2. Wipe the salt off the salmon with paper towel and broil the fish for about five minutes, or until cooked through. Remove skin and bones, then flake the fish with a fork.

3. Cut the nori sheet into thin strips about an inch long.

4. Place equal amounts of rice in soup bowls or rice bowls. Place equal amounts of the salmon on top of the rice.

5. Put the green tea in a teapot and cover with hot water (barely boiling). Allow to steep 45 seconds to 1 minute. Strain the tea, the pour over the top of the rice and salmon. Add some nori and wasabi to the top of the rice, then trickle some shoyu on and serve.

From: The Complete Book of Japanese Cooking, the Traditions, Ingredients and Recipes

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Breaking Food Addictions

This is a great time of year to start fresh with diet and nutrition. Ever heard of "Spring Cleaning?"

Food addictions can weigh the body down and cause a cycle of craving, feeding and more craving. Take time this season to discover what you crave, when you crave it and why. Try fasting that food during Lent or for a month and see how you feel at the end.

Here's a great article to help you on this journey: Are Food Addictions Real on the Native Remedies Blog.

 Sugar is a big one for Americans. This is an old book, but still so applicable. If sugar is your addiction, you may want to read Sugar Blues.

Tell us your story about food addiction in the comments.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Deliciously Balanced Glucose

Recently I was asked about Glucose and how to eat healthy with blood sugar levels in mind.

Here's a short simple definition from WiseGEEK:

Our body's primary source of energy takes the form of glucose. This type of sugar comes from digesting carbohydrates into a chemical that we can easily convert to energy. When glucose levels in the bloodstream aren't properly regulated, one can develop a serious condition, such as diabetes.
We get most of our glucose from digesting the sugar and starch in carbohydrates. Foods like rice, pasta, grain, potatoes, fruits, a few vegetables, and processed sweets qualify as carbohydrates. Our digestive system, breaks down the starch and sugar in these foods into glucose. This functional form of energy then gets absorbed through the small intestine into the bloodstream. There, a chemical known as insulin, excreted by the pancreas, meets the glucose. Together, they can enter cells in muscles and the brain, allowing glucose to power activities like lifting a book or remembering a phone number.

. . . At any step in the process, problems can arise in keeping the right amount of glucose circulating in the blood.

Excessively high glucose levels, called hyperglycemia, might be due to too much sugar or too little insulin. The opposite, extremely low glucose levels (hypoglycemia), can result from too little food or variable insulin excretion. A common disease related to irregular management of glucose is diabetes. . . 

Unbalanced levels of glucose can cause weight gain, fatigue, moodiness/depression, lack of focus. Unchecked for a long time, it can contribute to diabetes.

It's important to focus your diet (daily way of eating) on complex carbohydrates. These break down into sugar (glucose) more slowly in your body. Complex carbohydrates have more fiber, leave you feeling satisfied longer and increase levels of energy.

Complex carbohydrates can be found in foods such as whole wheat pasta, oatmeal and vegetables. Dried beans and lentils are a wonderful, inexpensive choice.

Lentil Soup

2 1/2 cups large green or brown lentils
about 13 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

Bring lentils to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 45 minutes or until soft. (If using brown lentils they will take about 30 minutes longer and use about 1 1/4 cups more water).

In the meantime put olive oil and onions in a frying pan over medium heat until the onions are golden.

Take lentils off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Put in a blender and liquidize. Return lentils to the pan, stir in the onions with oil, season with cinnamon or cumin (depending on the taste you want), salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick add some more water to get the right consistency.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

This soup goes well with a heavy brown, whole-grain bread.