Saturday, February 27, 2010

Parsleyed Quinoa with Oven Roasted Cabbage and Goat Cheese

 This recipe is simple but delicious and is perfect for a light dinner (which really should be a smaller meal than it traditionally is). Cabbage is low calorie, high in fiber and antioxidants and a wonderful filling food especially if you are dieting. Quinoa is just awesome, and good source of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese, Vitamins B6, Niacin and Thiamin, lysine, is low in fat and high in protein. Goat cheese is known to cause less adverse reactions than cheese made from cow's milk and has a unique tangy quality that I love!

• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 1 cup quinoa
• 1/4 t. salt (optional)
• 1 head of cabbage
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley rough chopped
• 2 cloves garlic minced
• 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus more for drizzling
salt and pepper to taste
young chevre (goat cheese) for crumbling over cabbage

1) Preheat oven to 400º.
2) Clean and core cabbage, peel outer leaves and cut into quarters. Place cabbage quarters on a cookie sheet covered in foil with the sliced sides facing up.
3)  Heat olive oil and minced garlic in a small microwave safe container for 30 seconds. Brush on cabbage. Be sure to get an equal amount of garlic on each piece of cabbage.
4) Place cabbage in preheated oven, roast for 45 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan bring the 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil and add 1/4 cup of chopped parsley and quinoa and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (if desired). Bring up to a boil then cover and reduce heat to simmer until all of the water is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. The quinoa will appear translucent when done. Keep covered to steam until cabbage is done.
6) When cabbage is done (cabbage should be still slightly crunchy in the middle but tender on the outsides with a nice brown color) sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
7) To serve, place 1 cabbage quarter on a plate with 1/2 cup of quinoa, sprinkle with about 2 Tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese and enjoy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Last Day of Liver cleanse - White Been Purée with sautéed chard

So I am in the home stretch of the liver cleanse and I am so happy that I did this! I feel wonderful, lost a couple pounds and I think I have kicked my dependence on caffeine for good! I have been eating surprisingly well but have started craving all of the foods I am not supposed to have of course. After today I can re-introduce gluten, dairy, eggs and soy one at a time to see if I have any adverse reactions which may indicate a food allergy. I really hope I am not allergic to dairy - I don't think I could live without cheese! Throughout the day I will post a few of the recipes I have tried during the week. First up:

White Bean Purée with Sautéed Chard
(adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop)

Creamy Puréed White beans with roasted garlic perfectly compliments sautéed Onions and Swiss Chard for a balanced healthy snack or side dish to fish or chicken. You can use fresh chopped garlic that has been sautéed for a spicier flavor but I love the mellow sweet creamy taste of the roasted garlic with this. This is delicious, protein packed substitute for starch when following a low carb diet!

Bean Puree:
1 1/3 cup vegetable broth
3 , 15 oz cans of Cannellini or Great Northern beans no salt added (or low salt)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 roasted garlic cloves peeled (whole garlic bulb is needed)
Kosher or sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Drizzle olive oil on the garlic bulb and wrap a the whole bulb of garlic in tin foil. Bake in toaster over or regular oven at 400 degrees about 45 minutes.
2. In a medium sauce pan bring the broth to a boil. 
3. When garlic is done remove and peel 6 cloves and place in a food processor with your white beans and broth. You may have to do the beans in batches depending on the size of your food processor. Purée until smooth.
 4. transfer the bean puree back into the sauce pan and cook until thick. Salt and pepper to taste.

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves Minced
2 1/2 lbs well rinsed Chard leaves rough chopped, thick stems removed (you can roast the stems so save them if you like!)
1 Teaspoon minced herbs ( I suggest fresh sage or thyme)

1. In a large Stockpot heat oil over medium heat, add onions and cook until just golden. Add garlic and herbs until fragrant - about 1 minute.
2. add Swiss chard, turning in the pot to coat with oil. Cover and cook until wilted stirring occasionally.
Reheat the White Bean Purée is necessary, portion out in to a shallow bowl and top with greens!
I love to top this with slivered almonds as well!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Indian style lentils with spinach

It is the third day of my liver cleanse and I can now incorporate food back into my diet, so I am treating myself to a hearty and healthy dish of fragrant Indian spices mixed with nutritious lentils and spinach! Part of my love of making this is the beautiful aromatic spices and vegetables I get to experience while making the dish - it sure gets my appetite going!

The lentil or dal, is super good for you - high in potassium, calcium and iron, and a good source of B vitamins, phosphorus and copper and we all know how good spinach is! Thanks Popeye!  Lentils are tasty, versatile, easy to prepare and pretty inexpensive making them one of my favorite foods!

The extra chili pepper and fresh ginger makes this dish very spicy! I suggest leaving out the chili if you want a milder spice flavor.

Spicy Indian Style Lentils with Spinach
• 1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger minced
• 1 green chili minced
• 1/4 Teaspoon garam masala (An Indian Spice mix which can also be found in the spice section of your grocery store)
• 1/4 Teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
• 3-4 cups rough chopped spinach
• Salt and pepper to taste

1) rinse lentils and pick over for stones.
2) in a small sauce pan bring lentils to a boil in the vegetable broth. Cook until tender about 25 minutes, add more liquid if needed.
3) in 3 T of Olive oil sautee chili, garlic, ginger, tumeric, garam marsala and cumin about 2 minutes
4) add the lentils plus liquid to the sautee simmer for about 10 minutes
5) add spinach and cook until wilted

Serve with brown rice! Makes enough for 2 servings or 4 servings as a side dish. Enjoy

7 Day Liver Cleanse - Day 2 recap, Day 3 menu

So the second day of fasting was a bit easier but and I had to eat a little (a tablespoon of almond butter and a banana) because I walk/jogged and did some stretching in the morning and needed some protein afterwards. After my exercise I noticed a yicky odor on my body, not normal body odor, but it smelled like the capsule supplement I am taking for the clease was seeping out of my pores. That was a little weird.

I felt less hungry in general yesterday, and did not have to nap like on Saturday. I did get a dull mild headache towards late yesterday evening but felt good when I woke up this morning. I already feel less bloated, and "cleaned out' than I normally do and did not wake up with sneezing like I do most mornings!

I am so happy about eating today!  I thought a lot about food yesterday.

The menu for today:
Breakfast: rice powder in rice milk, supplements
Snack: rice cake with 1 T almond butter, 1/2 cup of organic blueberries
Lunch: Indian Style Lentils with brown rice
Snack: banana, 1/4 cup almonds
Dinner: rice powder in rice milk, supplements

Herbal tea sweetened with molasses and lots of water throughout the day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

7 Day Liver Cleanse - Day 1

Yesterday I started a 7 day Liver Cleanse supervised by my friend Jim Chialtas a licensed Acupuncturist here in San Diego. The point of the this cleanse is to remove toxins from the body which can lead to adverse health effects, as well as eliminate stress caused by food allergens, diagnosed and undiagnosed. Even if you lead a healthy lifestyle you are exposed to pollutants found in the environment, non-organic and processed foods, and you may have food allergies that you are unaware of, so this is a way to give the body a break for a week.

Before the cleanse we were given a questionnaire that helps indicate toxicity level - I didn't score too well! Based on 60 symptoms and a point scale of 0-4, 4 being the most severe, I scored a 34 which indicates a moderate level of toxicity! I am hoping that he cleanse will improve some of my problems with allergies and congestion and get me on track to eat healthier. I live under the illusion that I am a healthy eater but in reality I munch on potato chips every once in a while, NEED my cup of coffee in the morning, enjoy my wine a little too much sometimes, eat more refined sugars and grains than I would like to and could stand to have more organic fruits and veggies in my diet. I am so happy I already kicked the diet soda!

As far as this weeks diet, we were provided with a rice powder supplement and two capsule supplements as well as a list of detox friendly foods - lots of organic fruits and veggies, lentils, beans, certain nut butters, whole grain rice quinoa, the list goes on. We can NOT have wheat or foods with gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine (except green tea), alcohol, and meat should be organic and limited if ingested at all. Day one and two was an optional fast that I decided to do, so just the rice powder supplement and capsule supplements, as well as herbal tea, water and whole fruit juice but no food. I slept most of the day yesterday but managed to take a short walk and make some veggie broth as a base for some of my meals this week! Today I woke up thirsty and hungry but the rice powder shake satisfied me enough to take a brisk walk - I snuck in a banana and a few raw almonds after the walk and I am looking forward to the next shake!

here is the recipe for the broth:

Vegetable Broth (use organic when possible)

1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6-8 celery stalks chopped
1 large onion chopped
4 medium carrots chopped
1 large leek chopped
10 cups distilled water
4 large garlic cloves whole (you can leave the skin on)
handful of fresh parsley
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
handful of fresh basil
skin from two potatoes
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1) Heat oil in a large stock pot on medium heat, add onion, garlic, leek and cook until translucent (I like to get a little color on them as I think it adds a richness to the stock flavor)
2) add celery and carrots cook about 5 minutes.

3) add distilled water and the remaining ingredients to the stock pot, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for about 90 minutes.

4) strain stock squeezing out the liquid from the solid. Let cool, transfer to a container and refrigerate for 2 days or freeze.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My experience with the Abbey James Soap Co.

Ok, you all know that I make soap and have an virtually endless supply at my disposal so when I do buy soap it is from friends and from soap artisans that tickle my curiosity and blow me away with design (Yeah, I am a jerk like that). I have finally checked the Abbey James Soap Co. off of my list.  I am so excited to show you what I got!

First I opened the package and I knew right away that I was in for a wonderful experience! The Thank You sticker is a great idea - a simple way to finish off your wrapping and make your customers experience memorable from the start!
Here is what was inside! We have the two items I ordered - a three pack body butter sampler and a bar of Sugared Spruce soap. Extra goodies: a sample size body butter, two cold process soap samples and a beautiful drawer sachet scented with her Haiku fragrance (also a great idea! It has all of the info you need to find your way back to the Abbey James Soap co. etsy shop!).
I am going to add a quick lesson in photography
to get a larger depth of field - top- use a smaller aperture (bigger number). In low light you may need a tripod as the shutter speed will be slower. For a smaller depth of field - bottom- use a larger aperture (smaller number). The corresponding shutter speed will be faster for the same exposure.

The body butters are amazing. They have a creamy light texture and absorb into your skin quickly. They scents are not overpowering, just strong enough to leave a light kiss of scent on your skin. I got Pomegranate Blossom, Lemon Biscotti and Red Clover Tea - the Lemon Biscotti is my favorite but then I am a sucker for sweets!

(small aperture, long exposure)
(large aperature, short exposure)
The soap smells divine and has a fluffy lather. I love how Rebecca used a clear label to show off the pretty soap!
Rebecca Smith is the owner, and creator of these luscious B&B treats. Her customer service is excellent and her products are wonderful. Check out her shop for beautifully packaged gift sets as well!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sugar Whipped Soap - 20 FREE samples

So, I am working on some fragrances for new Sugar Whipped soaps. So far I have Very Berri, Lemon Poppy Cake, Cardamom Vanilla (the same as my Marshmallow Cream soap), and Brown Sugar Pumpkin Crunch! The next 20 orders over $20.00 will get one of these 4 oz Sugar Whipped Soaps free! I would love some feedback on how you like the scent, texture, scrubbiness and any other comments! FYI - The label is a working label and bound to change so I would love suggestions on that too!

Friday, February 5, 2010

The New Line: English Apothecary™

You know when you are making a lot of soap or other toiletries and have numerous fragrances open and scents mingle together in the air, or maybe you are taking a morning hike or walking through a garden and sometimes you get a whiff of some fabulous combination of wild herbs and flowers that you can't decipher? That is the inspiration for this new line of soaps, bath salts, and body oils I am calling English Apothecary™.  An ode to flowers, nature, herbal teas and tincures, and a time when what we put on our bodies came of the same stuff that we put into it. With natural clays, freshly ground organic herbs, and custom blended pure essential oils and fine cosmetic fragrances!
I already have some items ready and will have soaps off cure by mid March.

So far I have: the signature blend, a scent reminiscent of misty morning walks through heady roses, lavender and peony, on the edge of a Cedar forest, very floral powdery and feminine. Gardenia with bright green notes of lemon verbena tea and and creamy thai coconut milk! 

Take a look!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shave Sets are back in time for your Sweetheart!

Just a quick update - The Men's Shave Sets are back! Heather at Muds Evolution Pottery has outdone herself again with this newest batch of mugs in a variety of rich colors! You get the shave mug shown in the listing, your choice of shave soap in tart Grapefruit, Kumquat, Sandalwood or Wasabi, and a boar hair shave brush all in a gift box!  $35.00 at Naiad Soap Arts


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