So unexpected (plus a recipe)

Me? Write a cookbook?

Well, after deciding a meal my husband made was too pretty to eat and took out my new studio lights to take pictures – I was hooked. I have awakened a new passion the past few days to design recipes and artistically and visually capture the love I have for food, cooking, and a SOUL (seasonal, organic, unprocessed and local) lifestyle.

Want to take this journey with me?

Continue reading “So unexpected (plus a recipe)”

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7 ways your garden can save your life

 

Gardening is not just for flower lovers, and is moving out of people’s window boxes and into their backyards. In the past few years, food gardening has increasingly become an activity done to facilitate better physical fitness, healthier eating and well-being.

And science backs this up. Gardening helps you:

Continue reading “7 ways your garden can save your life”

Garlic Lover’s Dip

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If you love garlic, you’ll love this recipe.

 

Garlicky Spinach & Artichoke Dip (with kale)

2-3 cups fresh spinach (washed, stems removed)

1 whole bunch kale (washed, stems removed)

17 oz silken tofu

1 can artichoke hearts

4-6 cloves of garlic (depending on personal taste)

Olive oil for drizzling

Fresh oregano, basil to taste

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Add spinach and kale to boiling pot of water until leaves are wilted (about 2 minutes). Take out and put in icy water to cool to stop the leaves from continuing to cook.

Once cool, mix leaves with minced garlic, tofu, artichoke hearts, oregano, basil, white pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Transfer to a slow cooker and put on high and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and let melt. Once heated and sufficiently cheesy, take lid off and serve!

 

Meditation to ease your midweek madness

Stress!!!

It’s nearly unavoidable in this modern-day, ADD lifestyle we all lead. Most of us never allow ourselves a moment to breathe. And that affects us in so many ways: It affects how we eat (stress eating!), how we digest, how our cells manage nutrients and contributes to aging, causes high blood pressure – among so many other potentially harmful maladies. So take a moment today and give yourself the green light to relax and regain control over your life.

And if one day isn’t enough for you, Oprah and Deepak Chopra are conducting another 21-day, free meditation sequence (https://chopracentermeditation.com/). It is only day three, and meditations are available for up to five days after they are initially posted. Twenty-one days is a substantial amount of days to kick back and rediscover your core of peace and healing.

Namaste, and may you find stillness, peace, and joy in your day today!

From scraps to scrumptious: Regrow your groceries!

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Mother nature always shows that when there is a will, there’s a way.

I never realized until I started gardening just how easy it is to grow food. Because life, in any form, is engineered to grow, live, and flourish. It’s just the design. And any living thing in nature is also endowed with a healthy sense of self-preservation, so that even in the most adverse conditions life persists.

And this lettuce pictured above is a good example. Now that summer is setting in, my partner and I are eating many more raw greens and a LOT of salads. While we throw a lot of the leftovers of our inedible green remnants into the compost bin, my partner and I decided to try and follow a Facebook picture post we saw recently about growing food from scraps. So we spared two romaine lettuce butts this week, and dipped them in the smallest coffee cups we own.

Even though the head of romaine was lobbed from its roots weeks ago and its greenery denatured for our benefit – simply putting its root stub in water is inspiring the circle of life to start all over again. See those teeny tiny green stalks coming out of the center of this head? That’s new life. And a new food source.

We are officially growing lettuce in our kitchen. And I guess we can officially say that we’re growing using the hydroponic method!

So give that a try next time you have have a spent lettuce, green onions, bok choy, carrots, potatoes, basil, ginger, garlic…try placing its roots in some water and place it in a window and let it do its thing.

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to foster life!

Composting Lessons: Be wary of the seed

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Well, now I know why they tell you not to put anything with seeds into the compost.

We laid down some of our homemade compost in with our fresh dirt for our two new raised beds back in March. For over a month, we’ve had fast-growing, gargantuan rogue plants popping up everywhere before a single seed we had planted breached the surface. And I mean everywhere! Both beds were constantly coughing up these succulent, determined little shoots.

While I am all for upholding the old adage of “live and let live,” not knowing what this alien, uninvited greenery could be made my partner and me leery. We’ve left this one grouping (pictured above) to continue to grow, but pulled every other one (at least 30 in count) for fear they would choke out the seedlings. And we still have no idea what these mystery plants could possibly be. I can’t remember anything we’ve eaten with seeds that were THAT much in number. All I know is that there is more compost where that came from… so there’s plenty more of these rogue food seeds ready to sprout when we build more beds next year and lay down another layer of compost.

Maybe come May or June, this plant’s fruit will solve our mystery. And maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised. Or maybe not!

But until then, a word of warning to you: When making a compost, be sure to avoid putting anything with a seed. Because goodness knows what will sprout in your garden!

Super Size Your C Today

 

We all know Vitamin C, right?

Vitamin_C_(1989_calendar_march)We run to the drug store for copious amounts of it, especially when cold season starts to manhandle us midweek and can’t afford to get sick. We know our orange juice is chock full of it. We know it’s in a lot of citrus fruits, which protects us all from scurvy. So, at least no one can call us Scurvy Knaves anymore, like in Shakespeare’s day. But maybe that’s about as far as some of us can venture when describing why we need this essential vitamin.

So here’s a trivia question: Do you know Vitamin C by its more official name? Next time this comes up at Trivia Night at your local watering hole, you can proudly shout out “Ascorbic acid!” and sound amazing.

Ascorbic acid/Vitamin C is vital to our body structure and brain health. It’s one of the greatest cancer-fighting antioxidant nutrients we can get in our diet along with Vitamin E and many phyto-chemicals (chemical compounds in food that give fruits and vegetables their colors). It’s integral in assisting our bodies to produce the protein collagen that keeps our body structure, well, structured and put together by keeping our cells in place. Collagen is a primary ingredient in building bones and skin, blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons. It aids in wound healing (from simple cuts to even broken bones!), in immune system response for prevention of infection to spread, protects the heart, and helps build hormones that help us deal with stress in our lives.

It’s also one of the key elements in our bodies making neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. Low serotonin is often associated with depression. So Vitamin C could help in keeping moods level. It’s pretty nifty, too, in helping our bodies digest more iron. And for us ladies, that’s always a plus.

Wow, right? And the best source of Vitamin C is through food consumption rather than a taking a supplement. So let’s start eating some oranges, you say!

Believe it or not, that orange you are peeling or juicing right now does not have the highest Vitamin C content. Surprised? Guava is actually the fruit with the highest known Vitamin C content (125 mg per fruit), followed by papaya (180 mg/fruit), strawberries (85 mg/fruit), pineapple (80 mg/fruit), and kiwifruit (74 mg/fruit). Oh yeah, and THEN we have the orange (70 mg/fruit). Cantaloupe, honeydew melons, grapefruit and mangoes aren’t terrible sources, either.

And other amazing non-fruit sources are bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts (yeah, not my favorite either), kale, tomatoes, and peas.

So feel free to enjoy a good dose of Vitamin C today. Be well, everyone!