Thursday, January 15, 2015
Even though it may be winter, you can still eat the colors of the rainbow and give yourself a hearty dose of powerful phytochemicals! Consuming the deep reds, magentas, and oranges you see in this salad means that you are flooding your body with plant chemicals that prevent DNA damage, stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, block substances we ingest from becoming carcinogens, and of course mop up free radicals. In fact, I should rename this salad to The Anti-Cancer Salad! My children even love this salad (minus the red onions). I came downstairs yesterday morning to find that they had all packed a container of it their school lunches (along with chicken-vegetable soup or turkey black bean chili)!
If you haven't worked with fennel before then you are in for a treat. This delicious vegetable adds complex flavors to this salad. I love eating it raw but it's also delicious braised or roasted! We like to added it to fresh juices, in fact, since this recipe only uses the bulb, you can save the stalks to make green juice (combine green apple, parsley, kale, lemons, and fennel stalks for a delicious elixir). If you need some visual assistance in cutting up fennel then check out the tutorial I prepared for you at the bottom of this post.
One more note on the ingredients here….this recipe calls for either chopped or segmented blood oranges. To chop them you just peel, slice, and then chop into pieces. To segment, you need to peel them and then cut into wedges around the membranes. I like to use a small serrate knife to do this. It's really very easy but if you've never done it before it can seem daunting. Food52 has a great, short video on doing this that I suggest watching for guidance if you need it. You can view it here.
Thursday, January 8, 2015
I love curry dishes, but curry powder typically contains chili peppers (a nightshade vegetable). If you are following the Elimination Diet and craving curry, try this stew! It's warming, though not as spicy as a typical curry would be. I use garam masala powder, cumin seeds, and turmeric powder to create a flavorful dish without chili peppers. I know it's not authentic at all, but it is totally satisfying if you are on a nightshade-free diet or elimination diet!
Consuming nightshades (potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, goji berries) can trigger joint pain, migraines, skin rashes, acne, GI upset, and inflammation in SOME people. Are you sensitive to nightshades? Please share your experiences in the comment section below. If you think nightshades might be an issue for you, the best way to determine that is to do an Elimination Diet.
Garam masala is a staple spice blend at our house. I use it a lot to flavor roasted vegetables, or garbanzo bean dishes. Garam means warm, and Masala means spice blend. Garam masala typically contains cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
This is a recipe that anyone can do. Yes you. You can make this. It's so simple and yet so delicious. Winter squash is an excellent, easily digested carbohydrate that's packed with antioxidant-rich carotenoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, beta-cyrpto-xanthin, and zeaxanthin.
I planted winter squash starts, including four delicata squash plants, in many of my garden beds last spring. Squash can be one of the easiest vegetables to grow, as long as it gets enough water early on in the growing season. Just plant organic starts or seeds in nutrient-rich soil that gets plenty of sun, water often, and watch them grow! We're pretty much out of the delicatas we grew but we still have a box of kabocha squash, carnival squash, sugar pie pumpkins, and spaghetti squash sitting in our house…..all from our garden! Winter squash is such a sustainable form of carbohydrates. Just think of the kind of agriculture it takes to grow grains compared to something like squash! I've come to rely on this food more and more for sustained, clean-burning energy.
This recipe is essential to use during phases 2 and 3 of our Elimination Diet. You can vary the recipe and use ground cinnamon and nutmeg in place of the black pepper, and use coconut oil in place of the olive oil for a simple dessert. I also like to add a drizzle of pure maple syrup as well to this when making it for dessert.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Indulge a little too much during the holidays? Feeling the need to cleanse and reset? Drinking too much alcohol, eating a lot of sugary foods, and just eating too much food in general can tax your detoxification pathways. If you are not detoxing properly, you can end up with lowered energy, increased pain in the body, poor circulation, and sluggish digestion.
By consuming this salad, which is rich in plant-based chemicals that promote detoxification, you can relieve some of the unwanted symptoms of a holiday hangover and begin to regain balance. In fact, if you include raw plant foods such as kale, cabbage, arugula, broccoli, collards, ginger, pomegranates, lemons and limes, blueberries, cranberries, black currants, and raspberries in your daily diet (try green smoothies, fresh juices, and big salads), you will find that indulging in (healthy) holiday treats once in a while will be easier for your body to handle. Hint, hint….try serving this salad at your next holiday gathering!