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Roasted Carrots With Lime Zest

Easy-peasy… okay, easy-carroty. These roasted carrots with lime zest are the perfect side dish for everything!

Roasted Carrots With Lime Zest

Who doesn’t need a quick, delicious, healthy, festive-looking side dish right about now? Even though cooking is truly my favorite thing about all holidays… I love having a few tried-and-true, beautiful-to-look-at, healthy side dishes up my sleeve. This is a great one.

I’m a lightweight when it comes to wine. I love it but I find that when I drink wine while I’m cooking, inevitably I leave out ingredients, or I leave a whole dish in the fridge instead of serving it… stupid stuff like that… but this dish is easy enough that even us lightweights can drink and cook at the same time…

These roasted carrots with lime zest are beautiful. And they are sweet. And they have the tang of lime zest.

And just look how bright and pretty they are.

They are just perfect with everything!

So, here it is, Christmas Eve… this will take you 5 minutes to prep and then you won’t have to touch it while the pan roasts in the oven.

If you have leftover carrots, try this carrot soup tomorrow, just because soup is awesome on family days!

Happy holiday! Enjoy everything and everyone!

Roasted Carrots With Lime Zest

Sometimes we forget that simple recipes can be terrifically healthy:

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc…. I always keep several heads of garlic on hand in my kitchen. When I catch a cold, I blend up the cloves from a head of garlic along with some lemon, lime, and honey and I drink it… it knocks those germs to the curb!

Roasted Carrots With Lime Zest

Roasted Carrots With Lime Zest
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetable, side dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These carrots are sweet and tangy and so pretty! This is the perfect easy side dish for everything!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 lb baby carrots or full-size carrots cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbs grass-fed butter or ghee, melted
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • zest of 2 limes
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the carrots with the butter, garlic, chipotle chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spread the carrots on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Roast in the oven until they start to caramelize and get some brown spots (turn them over halfway through the cooking time).
  5. Remove from the oven and put on a pretty platter.
  6. Sprinkle lime all over them.
  7. Enjoy!

Roasted Carrot With Lime Zest Collage

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe

What could be easier than a slow cooker whole chicken recipe? Nothing! And it’s moist and delicious!

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It seems almost everyone is a huge slow cooker fan.

Even though I completely understand the draw — I mean, they are easy — I never completely jumped on the slow cooker bandwagon (mostly because I don’t feel I’m that good at it…)

But, everywhere I turn, I see recipes for EVERYTHING in a slow cooker.

You know what they say… you like what you’re good at? Well, my slow cooker food is often not my best food. When you see me post a slow cooker recipe, I’ve usually had to test it over and over again to finally get a great result. I think this might be due to the fact that once you put the ingredients in, you can’t fiddle with them and keep tasting it to adjust the seasonings, etc.

But, I am a HUGE fan of cooking a whole chicken. Whole roasted chicken is kind of my signature dinner when I’m having friends over.

During Thanksgiving, I saw recipes for turkey breasts in slow cookers… and they looked good! And I saw whole huge roasts being cooked in them.  And big big pieces of everything imaginable.

So, I figured, a whole chicken has to work, right?

RIGHT! 1000 times right! This recipe for slow cooker whole chicken is amazing! The chicken came out so moist! It won’t replace my roasted chicken when I’m in the mood for crispy skin, but for all of my recipes for chicken salad, soup, quesadillas, nachos, pulled chicken, and everything I like to make with shredded chicken or just the meat of the chicken, this is perfect!  Pesto Chicken Salad or Shredded Chicken And Cabbage Slaw would be perfect!

All you do is season the bird, put it on top of your veggies of choice in the slow cooker and leave it alone. I wish I could find the words to tell you how easy and how delicious this is and how moist and juicy the meat is…

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Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you like in this recipe, but I used what my body needed at the time. Here’s what was in my slow cooker:

Chicken is something I always buy organic. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. It sounds odd but if you have bronchitis, you can actually put sliced raw onions in your socks when you go to sleep and you will wake up feeling so much better. The onion draws the unhealthy germs right out of your body. Onion is a superhero in the food world! I used red onions in this recipe, but I have to say, I think white or yellow would be better because the beautiful color of the onions gets a bit murky in the slow cooker!

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins… I can’t say I’ve tried this, but if need be, I’m game!

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to quench thirst and help with digestion. If a patient of mine comes in with hypertension or dehydration, I will often recommend eating tomatoes. In our country, one of the things that tomatoes are touted for is their choline content. Choline helps with sleep, memory and muscle function. So, between the Eastern and the Western ways, tomatoes are awesome!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

I also added some raw Chinese Herbs to the pot. My favorite thing about using a slow cooker is that because things cook so slowly, any herbs I add get lots of time to infuse their healing capabilities into my food. I added Huang Qi (Astragalus) and Shan Yao (Chinese Yam) for energy.

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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, dinner, entree, slow cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
What could be better than putting a whole chicken in the slow cooker in the morning and coming home to a delicious moist chicken ready for you? This recipe was inspired by so many of my favorite cooks and bloggers, but I must give a shout out to Heidi at FoodieCrush because her recipe really inspired me!
Ingredients
  • 1 4 lb. whole organic chicken, rinsed inside and out and then dried
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 large or 2 sm/medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 8 cloves of garlic
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle on the paprika and thyme.
  3. Put all of the veggies and garlic in the slow cooker.
  4. Nestle any Chinese herbs you are using in the vegetable pile.
  5. Lay the seasoned chicken on top of the veggies.
  6. Cook on low heat for 9 hours.
  7. Remove the chicken, and do what you want with it: shred it, eat it as is, cut it up and serve with anything you like...
  8. Remove the veggies and eat them too!
  9. Enjoy!

Seafood Salad With Garlic And Oil

I make a huge platter of this seafood salad with garlic and oil for every holiday!

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Ok, so it’s that time of the year when I always feel full. There’s just soooooooo much food everywhere! I’m not complaining; it’s one of the things I love best about the holiday season, BUT I’m like an addict and I. Can’t. Stop. Eating.

This simple seafood salad with garlic and oil is my antidote to all of that heavy food.

It’s so light and clean and satisfying and it feels just a little bit fancy…

Ok, I’m going to fess up here… I actually made a HUGE platter of this and served it at Thanksgiving alongside the turkey and sides. It may not be traditional, but it was goooooood. And, everyone ate it… even the doubters who thought this was too much of a break from tradition… and, because it’s a cold salad, it made for the best leftovers — which was my master plan all along. Having leftovers that are not heavy is a great thing.

One of the greatest things to do with leftover seafood, is to make a lettuce or cabbage wrap with them. These Smoky Shrimp Cabbage Leaf Wraps are awesome and will take you only a few minutes to prepare!

I make this dish a lot. It’s great for a dinner party. Or brunch. Or… just because. And, it’s adaptable to whatever seafood looks freshest when you are at the fish market.

This time, I used a ton of shrimp and squid. I was happy to be able to buy the shrimp already deveined and the squid was already cleaned so all I had to do was slice it…

Seafood Salad With Garlic And OilSeafood Salad With Garlic And Oil

Not only is this seafood salad delicious and refreshing, but it is really good for you:

Clams, aside from being a favorite of mine, are one of the most nutritious foods around. Anytime you steam clams, make sure you also use the steaming liquid in a sauce of some kind because the water soaks up the benefits of the clam shells. These shells are a Chinese herb (Ge Ke) that’s used to clear phlegm and neutralize stomach acid. They are the “tums” of Chinese herbs and are also good for some coughs and wheezing.

In Chinese medicine, scallops are considered to have some great health benefits. They are great for people who find that they are urinating too often at night and they are also great for the digestion; they are especially good at relieving bloating, constipation, and excessive belching.

Some people used to stay away from shrimp because they were afraid that eating them raised cholesterol levels. Now, research shows that shrimp actually can lower triglycerides because they are rich in Omega-3s. And, they are high in protein and low in calories, so really, they are a pretty good thing. Squid contains lots of great vitamins and minerals, so add that to the shrimp and you are on your way to a healthy meal.

Also, whenever I cook anything in boiling water, I like to add some Chinese herbs for whatever conditions I feel need help at the time. One of my favorites is Huang Qi (Astragalus). It is great for an over-all strengthening of the body and it’s energy. So, when I’m cooking all of this seafood, I keep removing each item as it’s done with a slotted spoon and I keep the water for the next item. The herbs infuse their healing power into each seafood, so it’s a great thing.

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Seafood Salad With Garlic And Oil

 

Seafood Salad With Garlic And Oil
Author: 
Recipe type: seafood, salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This is a perfect dish for entertaining, but it's easy enough to make anytime. It's clean, fresh, and delicious, and it will keep you healthy!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs white vinegar
  • sea salt
  • 2 sticks of Huang Qi (Astragalus), if using
  • 2 lb large shrimp, deveined, but tails left on
  • 1-1/2 lb squid, cleaned and bodies sliced into rings (cut up tentacles if you like them)
  • 1 lb sea scallops, halved if very large
  • 2 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed well
  • 8 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cloves minced
  • dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Fill a big pot with water. Add vinegar and a handful of salt and Huang Qi (optional) and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook just until done, about 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
  3. Bring the water back to a boil and add the squid. Cook until done, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with a slotted spoon.
  4. Bring the water back to a boil and add the scallops. Cook until done, about 5 minutes. Transfer these in the same manner.
  5. Pour most of the water out of the pot, leaving about 2 inches of water in the pot. Add the clams gently, trying to keep them in a single layer. Cover the pot and let the clams cook until the shells are opened, about 10 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Drain and transfer to the bowl with the rest of the seafood.
  6. Add the celery and onion to the seafood.
  7. The seafood can now be covered and stored in the refrigerator if you are not planning on serving it right away (I often make this the day before).
  8. Heat the oil in a small pot. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and simmer, stirring occasionally, just until the garlic starts to brown, being careful not to let it burn.
  9. When you are ready to serve the seafood, drizzle the oil all over the top. Enjoy!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Stuffed sweet potatoes are a great go-to last minute dinner — stuff them with whatever makes you happy!

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I was in the kitchen and I had no clue what to make for dinner. It’s not that I didn’t have any ideas, it’s that I was feeling kind of lazy (OK, more than kind of lazy) and I didn’t want to go to the market. But, as I was looking around, I really felt that everything I was in the mood for required an outing, which required more energy than I was willing to put forth.

I had a few sweet potatoes left over from Thanksgiving. And these were no ordinary sweet potatoes. These tubers were almost as big as my head. I mean, obscenely huge. It was time to get them off of my counter (I mean, they were taking up so much room and I needed the space…), so I poked them with holes and roasted them in the oven. For a long time. They were so big that it took about an hour and a half for them to be done!

While they were cooking, I had a lot of time to create a stuffing.  I’ll admit that some my incentive came from my desire to forage within the confines of my kitchen so I could avoid having to put my coat on to go outside… And, let me tell you, this recipe is a keeper. Butternut squash, tomatoes, sage, pomegranate seeds, avocado, jalapeños… sooooooooo good!

Feel free to use creative license with this recipe. Use whatever you have in your fridge. I finished mine off with a drizzle of spicy sriracha mayonnaise… this, I highly recommend…

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These stuffed sweet potatoes are delicious and good for you…there are some really amazing ingredients:

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone.

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence.

Jalapenos contain capsaicin which has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic properties. They are also rich in vitamins A, C and E. In Chinese medicine, we know that eating bitter and spicy foods can keep the body warm in the winter and can help get rid of an infection. Spicy foods can also help tremendously with certain types of arthritis and can benefit heart function.

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Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Butternut Squash, Avocado, And Jalapeños
Author: 
Recipe type: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, main course
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: serves 2
 
These sweet potatoes are stuffed with butternut squash, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeños, and pomegranate seeds... they make for an awesome simple and healthy vegetarian meal.
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 lb cubed butternut squash
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 7 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • ½ of an avocado, diced
  • 14 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sriracha
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork and roast it in the oven until it's done (my sweet potato was so huge that it took 1-1/2 hours in the oven!)
  3. Place the squash, tomatoes, and sage on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer.
  4. Place this tray in the oven and roast until the squash is tender and the tomatoes start to caramelize, about 35 minutes (depending on the size of your squash cubes).
  5. Make the sriracha mayo by mixing together the mayo and sriracha in a small bowl.
  6. When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven, scoop out a little of the insides if you like, then fill or top with the squash tomato mixture, the avocado, jalapeños, and pomegranate seeds.
  7. Drizzle with the spicy mayo.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge

Keep this pumpkin peanut butter fudge in your freezer and you’ll always have an awesome healing dessert ready to grab!

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Open your freezer right now. Look in. Is there a healthy grab-and-go bite-size dessert in there? If not, think how happy you would be if a tray of this deliciously creamy no-guilt fudge was starting at you.

This is how it works. I make at least one tray of petite freezer-friendly dessert every week. After dinner or when we are binge-watching TV shows, I don’t have to worry about it when Steve grabs his idea of healthy snacks (which somehow he can rationalize as being fried chips with a whole tub of dip), because I can just open the freezer and grab the best desserts ever.

This fudge is not one of those desserts that “tastes good for something that’s healthy.”

It IS really good… even if it wasn’t healthy you would grab it. I mean it. Really.

With this pumpkin peanut butter fudge in the freezer, the chips in our cabinet went stale. Yup, this one’s a winner and even trumped the chips in flavor.

A great thing about this fudge: you can  have 2 or 3 pieces without killing your diet. It’s actually good for you, tastes like a combination of decadent peanut butter fudge co-mingled with an ice-cream bonbon, and no cooking experience is required.

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I’ve made many batches of healthy fudge, but this one is my favorite. Here’s what’s in it and why it’s so good for you:

Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this fudge I used cashew butter and it really is just perfect — I like the creaminess it lends to the fudge and it tastes awesome. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates. This fudge requires no sugar because we fill it with dates — amazing, really!

Goji berries are a chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in this fudge should be fine for anyone.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is used in different forms in Chinese medicine: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, fudge
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18 pieces
 
It's like a dream come true: fudge that will actually heal your body. And it tastes like real fudge. Amazing!
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 6 Tbs cashew butter
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs goji berries
  • 20 pitted dates
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • For topping:
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbs raisins
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (through maca root powder) in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan.
  3. Top with nuts and raisins.
  4. Let set in freezer at least a few hours or overnight.
  5. Cut into squares.
  6. Keep leftovers on a tray, covered in freezer.
  7. Enjoy!

Spicy Chickpea Turkey And Tomato Stew

This spicy chickpea turkey and tomato stew is so warming and healing!

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Why is it that a big pot of spicy stew makes me smile so much?

Do any of you feel the same way?

Whether it’s chili or hot and sour soup or a spicy meat and veggie concoction, just the smell of it makes me happy. Maybe that’s why a huge pot of chili is often on my stove. Or, maybe it’s because I love football and all of the traditional foods associated with the game.  I’m sure it’s partly because a big pot of simmering goodness is the perfect foil for my Chinese herbs.

But it’s mostly because it’s just so yummy! And warming! And filling!

Whatever the reason, this stew came together because I had a hankering for chili, but it wasn’t football Sunday. So, what’s a cook to do? Lots of times, I just make the chili anyway, but this day I felt like something a little different… more like stew I thought… or maybe a touch Moroccan… I just felt like taking regular chili to another level… a little more gourmet if you will (does that sound too snooty???). Since I was only cooking for a few people instead of a regular big football crowd, I figured I’d experiment. And a successful experiment it was!

I love cooking down the aromatic ingredients and then shoving (literally shoving) as many leafy greens as I can into the pot and watching them melt into the gooey goodness in the pot…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (spinach)-9583

“Pots of stuff” or “stews” are great because you can add in whatever you like and whatever your body needs at that point in time. Here’s some of what I put in this gorgeous pot:

Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic, pasture-raised turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium.

In my acupuncture practice, some of my favorite conditions to treat are stress, anxiety, and depression. I’m also always looking for foods that will add to the effectiveness of these treatments. Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Most people think of Popeye (am I dating myself??) and iron when they think of spinach. It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe has canned chopped tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes — double whammy!

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; the onion can actually draw the toxins out of the body!

Chili powder is rich in vitamins A and C and also in essential minerals. Spicy pepper is one of the most nutritious spices available. Consuming small amounts gives you a great source of potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Spicy peppers have been shown to ease the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

I love to add my Chinese herbs to anything that simmers on the stove for awhile. This time I added some Bai Shao. Bai Shao is white peony root and it’s great for yin deficiency (think menopausal symptoms…). If you want more info on this herb, just ask…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (pot)-9633

 

Spicy Chickpea, Turkey, And Tomato Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, chili, one-pot meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ground turkey, chickpeas, and spinach cook in an amazing, spicy tomato sauce... so warming!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric (just found this one-- I'm buying it for next time!)
  • ½ tsp (or more if you like more spice) chipotle chili powder (here's one I use a lot)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika (this one sounds good - let's try it!)
  • 20 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 5 oz baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 2-minutes.
  2. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and stir for about 3 minutes, or until it is starting to get some color.
  3. Add chili powders, turmeric, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring, until no longer pink.
  4. Pour in canned tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.
  5. Add chickpeas and bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and add the spinach. Let the spinach wilt and stir until it is all well combined.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until it's hot and smelling amazing.
  7. Ladle into bowls. Enjoy!

Persimmon Pomegranate Smoothies

When persimmon season hits you have to try these persimmon pomegranate smoothies — so sweet and so healthy!

Persimmon Smoothie-9957

Here it is the day after Thanksgiving. When I walked into my kitchen this morning and looked around, I saw all of the food that remained staring at me. I’m not talking about leftovers (although there are plenty of those…); I’m talking about the fresh ingredients that I bought with grandiose ideas of preparing so many more dishes than we needed. Or that I had time to make. Or that I was in the mood to make after a few glasses of wine…

So,  this morning, on my kitchen island calling out to me were the most beautiful, huge persimmons you have ever seen. Persimmons are amazing. They are in season now and here in New York they are everywhere. The farmers markets have them, the fruit vendors on the street are carrying them, and the supermarkets are well stocked. So, a few days before the big event I bought 4 huge persimmons. I was going to make a salad with arugula, kale, persimmons, cranberries, nuts, and cheese. Well, that never happened. So… what to do with these deliciously sweet and juicy persimmons????  Breakfast smoothies!!!

If you’ve never had a persimmon, this is the time to try them. I was a first-timer up until a few weeks ago and now I’m kind of obsessed with them. I can’t figure out what fruit they are similar to, but they are great. They are really, really sweet and smooth and beautifully orange. They actually kind of taste like they look.

Persimmons being sliced-9873

These persimmon pomegranate smoothies are as good for you as they are beautiful:

Persimmons are great for some coughs and sore throats. They can also relieve diarrhea, quench thirst, and lessen the effects of a hangover. The tops/stems of persimmons are a Chinese herb (Shi Di). This herb is used to stop hiccoughs and can be mixed with other herbs to stop vomiting.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence.

Bananas (I like to use frozen ones that I keep in the freezer all year round) make this smoothie particularly creamy and give it a great ice-cream-like texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

Goji berries are a chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in this smoothie should be fine for anyone.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Bee pollen is considered one of the most nutritious substances you can put in your body. It is higher in protein than anything animal-based and it contains an amazing amount of amino acids. It’s good for your energy, your skin, your breathing and your allergies. Add a spoonful to whatever you can.

Persimmon Smoothie (top)-9961

Persimmon Pomegranate Goji Berry Smoothies
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
The bright orange taste and flavor of this smoothie is from persimmons, pomegranate seeds, goji berries, clementines, and bananas. It will brighten your day and keep you healthy!
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 large Hachiya persimmons
  • 2 Clementines
  • 2 Tbs goji berries
  • 2 Tbs pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tbs bee pollen
  • 2 tsp maca root powder (here's a good one)
  • ⅔ cup coconut water (I like this kind)
  • 6 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender (my Vitamix made quick work of this) and blend until perfectly smooth. Enjoy!

Raspberry Lavender Cranberry Sauce

This raspberry lavender cranberry sauce is a great everyday condiment — it’s not just for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Sauce With Raspberry And Lavender-9611

I was deciding which Thanksgiving recipe to post today, when all of a sudden I was famished. Really hungry. So hungry that I had to stop thinking about food (which I am always doing…) and eat something. So, I opened the fridge, took out some leftover soup, grabbed my just-made cranberry sauce, put a big scoop of it right in the center of my soup and I ate. And I smiled. The cranberry sauce made my delicious soup even better. Cranberry sauce post it is!

Cranberry sauce is an awesome condiment. It’s so much better than ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise on a sandwich. And, I’m not just talking about serving it at Thanksgiving or on those delicious leftover turkey sandwiches. You can put a dollop of a great cranberry sauce on top of your salad. You can’t do that with ketchup. You can stir it into soups — try a big scoop in your next bowl of butternut squash soup…

So many people just make cranberry sauce for holidays. Well, I’m here to tell you to respect the berry. It deserves to be seen all throughout the year. Start by making a bigger bowl than you’ll need for the Thanksgiving table, save the rest in the fridge, and put it on everything all week long. You’ll become a berry-believer, I’m sure of it.

Now, this particular version of cranberry sauce is really special. It’s got the usual amount of traditional tart beautiful cranberries, but it’s also filled with sweet tender raspberries. Then there’s the fresh lemon zest; the tart fresh lemony taste mingles with the sweet raspberries… OMG. But wait, we are not done yet, because we haven’t yet added the lavender. And, the lavender just takes this bowl of berry bliss to the next level.

Rasperry Lavender Cranberry Sauce (pot)-9546

Cranberry sauce is one of the easiest things to make. You just stir all the ingredient in a pot and cook. And all of a sudden, like magic, you go from the above picture to the finished product. Yum.

This cranberry sauce, aside from being mouthwateringly delicious, is really good for you.

Cranberries are known to most people as being good for the urinary tract and the bladder. They are also good at preventing kidney stones and can be eaten to increase fertility.

Raspberries are an anti-aging fruit. They are great for men who are experiencing frequent urination and for men and women with vision issues. They have anti-cancer and anti-inflammation properties. In Chinese medicine, raspberries are an herb called Fu Pen Zi that’s prescribed for impotence, premature ejaculation, poor vision, and frequent urination. Raspberries are great for you, but if you are experiencing difficulty urinating, that’s when this berry should be avoided.

Rasperry Lavender Cranberry Sauce (lemon)-9537Rasperry Lavender Cranberry Sauce (hand-lavender)-9516

Lavender and lemon are an amazing combination. They just taste great together. The floral taste of the lavender flowers plays perfectly with the tartness of the lemon zest in this cranberry sauce.

Lavender adds iron, calcium, and vitamin A to your diet.  It’s good for eye-health and digestion. I absolutely love the taste of lavender — there’s something so clean and fresh about it.

Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. I zest them in lots of foods to brighten the flavors…

Raspberry Lavender Cranberry Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, side dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 2 cups
 
This recipe takes gorgeous traditional cranberries and pairs them with sweet raspberries, tart lemon zest, and flowery lavender. It's one you won't want to miss.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup dark cherry juice (here's a concentrate I sometimes use)
  • 6 oz fresh raspberries
  • zest of one lemon
  • ½- to 1- tsp lavender flowers (you can get them here)(start with a little and add more if you like your sauce very lavender-like)
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar (I like this one)
  • 1 Tbs pure maple syrup (here's one)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a medium pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, about 40 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture is the consistency you like. It will thicken up more when it cools. Enjoy it on everything!

 

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale

These lamb meatballs with herbs and kale are incredibly delicious and satisfying!

lamb meatballs (finished in pan)-9346

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? I mean, you can’t be unhappy while eating a meatball, right? I’ve kind of become a little obsessed with them… I’ve been making them out of beef, chicken, pork, veggies… and they’ve all been good. But these lamb meatballs… these are great. They are grain-free and paleo, they are healthy, and they have a slight Greek feel to them. And the tomato sauce is so aromatic and amazing (don’t tell my husband that I hid olives in the sauce…)

A few weeks ago I went to The Meatball Shop. It’s a restaurant that pretty much serves meatball everything. I ordered “The Kitchen Sink”.  I got to choose they type of meat or veg I wanted my meatballs to be made from and which type of sauce I wanted. I got three big balls served on top of vegetables and salad, smothered in sauce. Can I tell you, I was in heaven.  Anyway, that kind of inspired me to create some meatball dishes that didn’t need to be on top of pasta or in a sandwich. These delicious Greek meatballs are filled with kale and scallions and hemp seeds and almond flour. I know, it sounds a little weird, but trust me and try them. You will not be disappointed.

lamb meatballs (raw on tray)-9323

So, let’s get to why these are so good for you:

In Chinese medicine, lamb is known to be the most warming meat. We recommend it for a lot of ailments caused by cold conditions. It’s great for some arthritic conditions, weakness, and back pain. Lamb also helps with insufficient lactation and impotence. By combining the lamb with all of the warming spices in this dish, you get a great winter-warming meal.

Kale is everywhere these days. I kind of got a little tired of just eating it in salads, so I now use it inside of different dishes, like here inside these meatballs. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. I bought this kale already shredded and washed. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really mind them if the kale is cooked). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Scallions, if you know me, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion (Cong Bai) is considered an herb. With autumn coming, I implore you to always keep scallions on hand in your refrigerator so that you can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second you feel that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever. And, they give these meatballs a great flavor.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

I used some almond meal in these meatballs. In Asian medicine, we eat nuts because they are good for the brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

I add Chinese herbs to everything I can. This time I added Chen Pi (dried tangerine peel) to the sauce. Tangerines are good for nausea, chest tightness, excess mucus, and some stomach pains. Dried tangerine peels are a Chinese herb (Chen Pi). At any given time, if you look on my kitchen counter, you will see a bowl filled with sun-dried tangerine peels. I make tea out of them, and I grind them up for some recipes. For this recipe, I simply dropped the whole dried rind into the sauce and let it work its magic.

lamb meatballs (ball on fork closeup)-9401

I sprinkled some pomegranate seeds on top of the meatballs before I served them. Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence…. And they look like little jewels…
Pomegranate seeds on parchement closeup-

 

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15 meatballs
 
These lamb meatballs are grain-free and paleo friendly. They are filled with kale, scallions, hemp seeds and more amazing ingredients! And the tomato sauce is slightly Greek tasting... so good!
Ingredients
  • For meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup finely minced kale
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 12 grinds of black pepper (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbs almond meal
  • For sauce:
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 10 oil-cured, pitted black olives, chopped
  • Optional Chinese herb: Chen Pi (dried tangerine rind)
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl. Get in there with your hands and mush up just until mixed together.
  3. Form the meat mixture into balls (I made mine like big golf balls and I got 15 balls out of it)
  4. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake the balls for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over and bak an additional 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. For the sauce:
  8. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  9. Lay some of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish or ovenproof skillet. Arrange the meatballs on top of the sauce.
  10. Bake in the oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds.
  12. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash And Apple Soup With Beets And Kale

I make this butternut squash and apple soup with beets and kale so often — you’ve got to try it!

butternut squash soup w kale overhead (less clarity)-1

Yay, it’s full-blown soup season! I eat soup all year round but now that Thanksgiving’s almost here, I feel better posting my soups because who doesn’t love soup when the weather gets all crisp and chilly?  I know when I post soups in the summer, some people wonder what could possibly be going on in my head… This is the soup I’m going to serve for Thanksgiving. The base of it is an amazingly warming butternut squash and apple soup but it’s kicked up with fresh turmeric. Turmeric makes it so good for you and it gives it a little spice and just look at the gorgeous color!  And the toppings (because you have to have toppings, right?) are shredded beets and garlicky kale… OMG, it’s so good…

This year, we are having Thanksgiving for the first time in our new apartment. I’m used to cooking in a big kitchen, so there are some challenges, but it will be so much fun. I’ve been testing out recipes that are great to make in advance because of working with less stove and oven  space and this one is a big winner — you should try it too. I will make it Tuesday or Wednesday and hide it in the back of the fridge til Thursday.

I make a soup every year for Thanksgiving. I don’t serve it with the meal though. I like to keep it in a pot on the stove all day for those who get hungry before the meal. I keep the soup on the burner and the toppings next to it on the counter with a stack of bowls and people just help themselves. It works out so much better than making separate appetizers and it’s really really delicious.  And, it’s really easy to hold a bowl  or mug of soup (just not those shallow bowls) in your hands while you are screaming at the TV while watching football.

This year, the soup toppings will include shredded raw beets and thinly sliced warmed garlicky kale…
kale and tongs-1

OK, now I have to tell you why this soup is a must; why it is SOOOOOO good for you.

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric. When you combine turmeric with cinnamon (yup, another Chinese herb — Rou Gui) the pain relief can be amazing.

It really is true that an apple a day is a good thing. Apples help to strengthen your heart. They are also good for your digestion and they can help eliminate mucus when you have a cold. So, the combination of apples and cinnamon and turmeric together are great for this time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick.

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already shredded and washed at the market. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really mind them if the kale is cooked). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

butternut squash soup side-1

Butternut Squash And Apple Soup With Beets And Kale
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Butternut squash combines with apples and turmeric for the most amazing and healthful soup ever. And, as if that wasn't enough... the toppings are garlicky kale and shredded beets!
Ingredients
  • For soup:
  • 1 Tbs ghee or grassfed butter
  • 1-1/2 lb butternut squash chunks
  • 1 med onion, roughly chopped
  • 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large apple, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 large sage leaves, chopped
  • For kale:
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic gloves, sliced
  • 2 cups finely shredded lacinto (black) kale leaves
  • shredded raw beets (for topping)
  • extra sage leaves, chopped (for topping)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, melt the ghee. Add the squash, onion, cinnamon stick, apple, and curry powder. Season with salt.
  2. Season with salt and stir for about 5 minutes, until the veggies start to soften a bit and everything is coated well.
  3. Pour in the broth. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook about 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft.
  4. Meanwhile, make the kale: In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, and saute the garlic until it is just starting to brown (but don't burn it!).
  5. Add the kale to the skillet, Raise the heat to high and with your tongs, toss the kale continuously until it's all coated with the garlicky oil. Then turn off the heat. This should only take about 1 minute. Season with salt.
  6. When the soup is done cooking, discard the cinnamon stick and transfer the soup to a blender (my Vitamix made this soup like velvet). I did this in 2 batches so as not to overfill the blender with hot soup. Cover the blender tightly with a clean dish cloth and whiz it up until it's velvety smooth. Use a dish towel instead of the blender cover, so the steam can escape.
  7. Transfer the cooked soup back into the pot.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls or mugs.
  9. Put the kale and beets in separate bowls.
  10. Put a big dollop of beets in the center of each bowl and sprinkle with extra sage.
  11. Serve the kale alongside and let people choose whether to put in in their soup or eat it on the side.
  12. Enjoy!