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granola

Ingredients:

1/3 cup molasses
2 T coconut butter or coconut oil
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t coarse salt

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup craisins

Preheat oven to 325.  In a large bowl, combine molasses, oil (melted if solid), cinnamon and salt. Add the oats, coconut and almonds and stir with your hands until the mixture is fully combined.  Spread in an even layer onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. Check it as you stir it–your nose will tell you when it’s done! Add the craisins once the pan is removed from the oven.  Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

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otis hummus

I love the simple joy of kitchen tasks sometimes. It’s a chance to quiet my often-busy mind and just focus. Over the weekend I soaked some garbanzo beans, cooked them up with a piece of kombu, drained them, and set to the task of popping them out of their skin–an idea from Smitten Kitchen to make the smoothest hummus possible.

Both soaking + cooking with kombu (a seaweed) help beans be more easily digested. Kombu also adds vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. And new info to me–cooking beans with salt makes them tough! Add salt only after they are tender, at which point it will also help with digestion. (I once spent almost four hours cooking beans in salt water, and was SO frustrated that they weren’t getting any softer!)

Lemon Hummus (adapted from Sprouted Kitchen)

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (naked if you have the patience for it!)
1 roasted shallot (roast with butter at 400F for 20 minutes)
3 tbsp. tahini
Juice of one lemon (add zest only if you have an organic lemon)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
sprinkle of cayenne
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Add the beans, shallot, tahini, lemon juice and spices in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. With the food processor running, pour in the olive oil and allow it to mix until it’s your desired consistency.  Yum! I’ve been enjoying mine with toasted pita, pea sprouts, and a simple salad.

hummus

barley salad“The challenge to every individual is to determine the diet that is right for him and to implement that diet in a way that does not divorce him from the company of fellow human beings at mealtimes. Each person’s ideal diet is usually discovered through a combination of study, observation and intuition…To make us healthy, our food must taste good; it must be digestible, and it must be eaten in peace. Even whole foods, properly prepared according to traditional methods, do us no good if we eat them with a grudge; they will not confer health on the person who does not forgive.”  Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions

This beautiful salad is not for the faint of heart–it has strong herbs (dill! it’s intense!), but the addition of allspice adds a beautiful and unexpected depth.

Barley + Pomegranate Salad (from Ottolenghi’s Plenty)

(serves 4)

1 cup pearl barley

6 celery stalks, cut into small dice

1/4 cup olive oil

3 T sherry vinegar (I used white wine)

2 small garlic cloves, crushed

2/3 tsp ground allspice

salt + pepper

3 T chopped dill

3 T chopped parsley

seeds from 2 pomegranates (I used 1 and it was plenty!)

Rinse barley with cold water, then place in medium pot and cover with fresh water–bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender (but will still have a bite). Drain the barley and transfer to a mixing bowl. While it’s still hot, add the celery, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, allspice and salt + pepper. Stir and set aside to cool completely. When it’s cool, add the herbs and pomegranate seeds–fold them in gently.  Add more salt + pepper to your taste–enjoy!

 

 

ImageIn this hibernation season, commit your time and energy to your own supreme well-being, and respect your own potential to heal + to be whole.  Be well!

Chicken + Barley Soup

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

4 cups of vegetable broth

1/2 cup barley

small bunch of swiss chard, chopped

1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken

1 lemon, juiced

1 tsp smoked paprika

pinch of cayenne

Heat some olive oil or butter in a soup pot over low-medium heat–add shallots and garlic and stir frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, smoked paprika, cayenne, and a sprinkle of salt–stir to combine everything and cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetable broth and barley–cover and bring to a boil, then reduce back to medium for around 20 minutes. Check the barley for doneness, letting it cook a bit longer if needed (barley will be toothsome, but should not be crunchy!).  When the barley is done, add the chicken + chard and cook until the chicken is warm and the chard is wilted, around 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, stir, and serve!

new year

Delicious, filling oatmeal made my early new year morning so much brighter.  Besides the familiar coziness a bowl of oatmeal provides, oats improve resistance to stress and support the system being in healthy balance. They also stabilize blood sugar, regulate the thyroid, soothe the digestive + nervous systems, and reduce cholesterol. Oats have a high unsaturated fat content, which provides a sense of stamina + warmth, and a feeling of being grounded.

Overnight Oatmeal (fully inspired by Heidi)

Serves 2…or 1 person 2 mornings in a row..

1 cup of rolled oats

2 2/3 cup of water

1/2 an apple, chopped

handful of sliced almonds

drizzle of maple syrup + pat of butter

Before bedtime, heat a tablespoon or so of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and stir them around a bit as they toast, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the water–let it sit overnight.  In the morning, heat the oatmeal on medium-high for at least 10 minutes–beyond that, let it cook to your desired consistency (longer = thicker).

Scoop out a bowlful and top with butter, chopped apple and almonds, and finish with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of salt.

Cheers to a happy + healthy new year!

Two of my essentials for cold season: Ginger Miso Soup + Winter Citrus

Ginger Miso Soup

1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 inch chunk of ginger, chopped finely

4-5 cups of vegetable stock

1 Tablespoon miso (I used yellow)

1 Tablespoon nama shoyu

1 bundle of soba noodles (my soba noodle package had 3 wrapped bundles)

chopped cilantro for garnish

1/2 lb shrimp (optional)

Heat a pat of butter* in large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, around 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, for about 1 minute. Add the veggie stock and let it simmer for a few minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the soba noodles when the stock is boiling. Cook according to package directions–add shrimp (if using) about halfway through the noodles cooking.  Reduce the heat to medium–remove a ladle full of broth to a smaller bowl, and stir in the miso and nama shoyu. Return to the pot and stir to incorporate–taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Top with cilantro and enjoy!

*A note about butter: I’ve been cooking almost exclusively with butter recently, using olive oil mainly for cold dressings or a finishing drizzle over cooked food. Ideally, olive oil should not be heated over 325 degrees to preserve its health benefits.