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Inspiring and sharing tools for you to reconnect with a nourishing lifestyle.

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Recipes

Quinoa and Roasted Turkey Salad

Pavan Gulati

I count my blessings everyday to be married to such a wonderful health coach and chef.  However, that privilege doesn't exempt me from the occasional daydream to the hamburgueseria down the street on days when I hear we are having salad for lunch.  Nothing against salad. I love salad - especially with Olga’s yummy grapefruit dressings.  But my mom was a mid-Westerner.  And growing up, a salad consisted of a side dish with light green crunchy iceberg lettuce concealed by a layer of ranch dressing decorated with croutons.  (Side note:  never confuse achiras for croutons while you are in Colombia.  That conversation doesn’t end well.)  So when I hear we are having a salad for lunch, not a side dish, I’m already thinking about an early afternoon snack.  

If your instincts are like mine were, all I can say is to go into this dish with an open mind.  It works out in the end and here’s why.  We’re still talking about a salad here.  So vegetables are indeed the main ingredients.  However, when you add some good protein and a little bit of starch you find yourself with a very balanced and satisfying meal.  

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Here are some tricks to the trade behind the scenes.  Keep cooking practical and by doing so, eating at home becomes much more sustainable.  When it comes to salad, roast batches of vegetables, meats, and make enough dressing so it can last for multiple meals.  Now you’re cooking one day and simply assembling salads for the rest of the week.  Mason jars are your friends.  Bonus tip for the parents out there:  the pre-roasted ingredients also make great snacks for your little one’s lunch.  

Here is the method to the madness for our quinoa and roasted turkey salad.  Soak the quinoa prior to cooking it.  As explained in more detail in the Colombian lentil stew recipe, properly soaking and cooking grains is of most importance for nutrient absorption and ease for digestion. 

We (and when I say “we,” I mean “Olga”) also use Kombu algae to cook the quinoa.  Kombu helps with the digestibility of grains and provides a wide variety of valuable nutrients. We use it every time we cook grains and legumes. Sea vegetables are rich in iodine which supports thyroid function. They are also known for decreasing inflammation in the body, help prevent cancer, and are rich on folic acid, magnesium, and B vitamins. 

This recipe calls for a generous amount of chopped onions and celery to the quinoa as well.  When you cook grains with vegetables, the water in which they cook becomes more of a mineral broth.  It is also a great way to add even more vegetables to your diet (yes, even if you already are eating salad).  When time is tight (and when isn’t it?) a decent option to save the day is a scoop of quinoa mixed with a can of tuna.  

Ingredients:

For the quinoa:

  • 2 cups red and white quinoa soaked overnight 
  • 1 small onion - diced
  • 6 stalks celery -chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups of water for cooking (since the quinoa was soaked overnight, it needs less water that it says on the instructions) 
  • 1 piece of Kombu algae

For the turkey:

  • 2 turkey breast tenders
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • mix of dried herbs (you can pick your favorite)

For dressing:

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For salad:

  • Romaine lettuce - chopped 
  • Arugula
  • Cucumbers - finely sliced
  • Avocado
  • Baby carrots - julienned 
  • Apples - sliced 

Procedure:

For the Quinoa:

  1. Heat a sauce pan to medium-high and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the onions and celery and sauté for about 4 minutes. 
  3. Add the quinoa and sauté for an extra 30 seconds.
  4. Add the salt, the water and the piece of Kombu. 
  5. Bring to a boil, then bring down to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the quinoa is soft. Some people like it al dente, I personally prefer it well cooked. 
  6. Set aside when done. 

For the turkey:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F
  2. Place the turkey breast tenders on a baking pan. 
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and dried spices, in this order. 
  4. Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the breast tenders.
  5. Let cool and slice very thinly with a chef’s knifes.
  6. Set aside.

For dressing

  1. Place the romaine and arugula in a bowl and dress it with part of the grapefruit and olive oil. Leave some dressing for assembly.
  2. Squeeze the whole grapefruit into a bowl. 
  3. Add the olive oil salt and pepper and mix well. 

 For assembly:

  1. On a plate or a salad bowl serve about half a cup of the quinoa with veggies. 
  2. Place the salad greens on top and towards one of the sides of the quinoa. 
  3. Place the remaining ingredients on the portion of quinoa that is still uncovered.
  4. Once you’ve placed all the other veggies, drizzle with the rest of the dressing and enjoy. 

SALUD!


Recipe: Fresh Fruit Bowl With Sprouted Oats and Chia Seeds

Olga Gulati

More than a recipe, this meal is simply a combination of nourishing foods put together in a bowl and turned into breakfast. 

My heart sings with joy because Juno loves it.  This is what she eats for breakfast at least three times per week. Other days we will eat eggs and at least once per week we have our sugar and grain free muffins. 

While we strongly encourage a very healthy diet for Juno, she is no stranger to cookies, cake and pizza as well.  Sometimes her dinner request is for ice cream.  The important thing is that we have exposed Juno to a lot of different foods. We also keep the options limited to real foods at home.  It is easier to havea toddler make healthier choices if they know those are the only options they are going to have.  That same plan of action serves me as well!  If I have ice cream sitting in my freezer, there is no chance that it will last more than one night before I eat it. 

The rule that we have is that we eat as clean as we can at home so that when we go out we can relax and eat the not-so-healthy, but very fun foods. 

This breakfast bowl is a very balanced way to start the day. It contains protein and healthy fats coming from the chia seeds and the almonds.  There is fiber coming from pretty much every ingredient, and healthy carbohydrates coming from the fruit and the sprouted oats.  There are no added sugars, which is a huge accomplishment considering a 3 year old is eating it. If you are used to sweeter things it would be  perfectly fine to add some raw honey.  Try it and let us know how you like it. 

This recipe yields 4 servings. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups water (for soaking)
  • 2 cups peeled and cut papaya 
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 medium sliced bananas
  • 1 cup sliced and toasted almonds
  • 1 cup cow’s milk kefir (which you could totally replace for almond milk if you don’t prefer dairy)

Procedure:

  1. Soak the rolled oats and chia seeds overnight. This technically means you are sprouting them. Sprouting is great for getting rid of anti nutrients like phytic acid. It also makes all the nutrients in the seeds and oats more bioavailable. This means your body can absorb them better. It also makes for a more digestible meal. 
     
  2. Place the soaked oats and chia seeds on in a sauce pan, add the cinnamon and add 1 cup of water. 
  3. Place the sauce on the stove on medium high heat and stir just until it thickens a bit, then turn off the heat. Warming up the oats and chia seeds makes this meal more comforting. 
  4. Pour the chia seeds and oats mix into a bowl. 
  5. Add the kefir and stir. 
  6. Top with all the cut fruit and finalize with the sliced almonds. 
  7. Add honey if you feel you would like it a little sweeter. 

Salud!




Recipe: Healing the Gut, Parsley and Kefir Dressing

Olga Gulati

Parsley and kefir dressing was another dressing that I made for Juno’s birthday salad bar. 

This particular recipe connects us with a topic that I’ve always been very passionate about: our gut’s health.  When I refer to our gut’s health, I’m talking about our intestines, digestion, the bacteria living in them, and the impact of all of these on our well being.

It is hard to decide where to start with this topic. There is a great deal of valuable information that connects the importance of taking care of our gut health with wellness or disease.  Understanding the concept of gut flora is a good place to start. 

Our intestines are the home to a bunch of bacteria. These are the microorganisms that are responsible for digesting and absorbing certain starches, fibers, and sugars.  They also produce vitamins, help absorb minerals, and aid your body with removing toxins. These bacteria train our immune system to identify and respond to pathogens in our body, thus preventing allergies. They help maintain a healthy balance with the bad bacteria that inhabit our gut.

Now that summary is just a brief list of what this microorganisms do.  There is so much more to our gut flora.  Trust me, you would never imagine how important of a role it holds. 

Now that we know a little about these bacteria, what can we do to keep them strong and healthy?

The first, and probably most important thing, would be to provide them the right foods.  Studies have shown that our diet significantly impacts the lives of these little “bugs”.  A combination of a good diet, fermented foods and a good quality probiotic can be they key to success. Fermented foods top the list of best things you can eat to support the gut’s flora health.  The kefir dressing  I prepared for Juno’s birthday got me thinking about good bacteria. 

Kefir is a fermented beverage made with “kefir grains” (not grains as in rice or barley).  The kefir grains are a combination of beneficial yeast and good bacteria (lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium bifidum and lactic acid bacteria).  This combination works as a powerful probiotic in our bodies.  In our recipe I use cow’s milk kefir.  It is preferable to only consume dairy that is fermented or cultured, as is the case for kefir.

Kefir is readily available at grocery stores or you can also make your own using coconut milk, coconut water or other liquids.  For this particular recipe, I personally like best the flavor and creaminess of the cow’s milk kefir.  

This dressing also ties nicely with our theme of healing the gut because it is meant to be eaten with salad.  Fiber has been found to be one of the most important foods that you need to feed your gut bacteria and keep it healthy.  Check out this great article for more info on that topic.

So here, enjoy a delicious recipe and nourish that army of good “bugs” that play such an important role in our bodies. 

Ingredients:

  • ½  cup cow’s milk kefir
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 packed cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon raw honey

Procedure:

  1. Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. 
  2. Add more parsley for a stronger flavor.  I personally love it. 
  3. Pour your dressing on top of a fresh vegetable salad like the one pictured. You could also add some cooked brown rice, quinoa or corn.  But always make sure to privilege the green stuff :)

SALUD!!!

Recipe: Juno's Birthday Party Salad Bar

Olga Gulati

Just like I promised here it is, some details on what I made for Juno’s birthday party. 

We were lucky enough to spend her birthday in the company of loved friends and family. About 40 people total (kids and adults) joined us. 

We had offered lunch and were  trying to come up with something that could be suitable for all ages, but also for all diet preferences. 

We thought a nice salad (fruit and mostly veggie bar) could be a good idea since people could pick and choose what to put on their plates. Of course there had to be protein, a little grain and dressing to make it all tasty.  

It was nothing fancy, but sure made with love. Everything was homemade and at least 90% of our ingredients were organic. I didn’t have to spend long hours in the kitchen, and I think people were pleased. 

Little by little we will be sharing each of the recipes for the  salad bar. Today we are listing everything  served, and we are sharing with you the recipe for one of the dressings. 

 

For vegetables we had:

  • A mix of baby lettuces 
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Carrots 

For proteins:

  • Roasted turkey breast tenders
  • Canned tuna salad
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Cooked garbanzo beans

For grains:

  • Cooked brown rice medley 

For nuts:

  • Sliced almonds

For seeds:

  • Roasted sunflower seeds

For fruit:

  • Apples
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes

We also had some green and black pitted olives, and some cheese, dairy in moderation is fine, plus the kids would have not forgiven us If we would have skipped it. 

For dressing:

  • Peanut sauce
  • Parsley kefir dressing
  • Arugula pesto dressing. 

Today I'm sharing with you the arugula pesto dressing. Like I’ve mentioned before, a good dressing is what makes the difference with a salad. Yes, eating vegetables is good for your health no matter what, but making it tastier and fun with a good dressing makes it all more enjoyable. Pleasure is a fundamental factor in taking care of our health and wellness. Plus, healthy food should be delicious, period. 

So, guess what I'm going to say.......That's, right! This is very simple! Check out my arugula pesto recipe, make that exact same pesto and Just add orange juice. 

 

I told you I love having enough pesto in my fridge, it is a meal life saver. I use it for many different recipes and meals. One is making this dressing. Sometimes people prefer getting their dressing at the store because they feel its a lot easier, or they don't have ideas of what type of dressing to make. Trust me I understand the convenience factor, but there is nothing like the flavor of a homemade dressing. In addition, most of the dressings that you can get at the store are unfortunately filled with crap. Vegetable oils, sugars, gums, preservatives, etc. Also by making a homemade dressing you are not only avoiding the bad ingredients, but are adding nutrient dense herbs to your diet. For some hints on nutrition information, check out the arugula pesto video, also the orange parsley dressing

Lets take a look at the exact proportions for this dressing. 

Ingredients:

- 2 Tablespoons of arugula pesto

- 1 navel orange, squeezed

- sea salt to taste

Procedure:

1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. 

2. Add more or less juice depending on how thick you like your dressing. 

3. Enjoy

You don't need to add oil because the pesto already has the perfect amount of oil for a dressing. 

Salud!

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Video Recipe: Arugula Pesto

Olga Gulati

Pesto can go pretty much with anything.  Make it to spread on toast.  Use it as a dip for celery, carrots, or cucumber sticks.  Enjoy it as a sauce for zucchini spaghetti.  Add fresh squeezed orange juice and you have a dressing.  Get creative.  This pesto is another great way to add nutrient dense veggies to your diet.

With this video recipe, we mix it with our roasted sweet potato recipe and turn it into a whole meal by adding a fried egg.  Delicious!

This recipe will last up to 5 days in the fridge.  I’ve even had it my fridge for up to 7 days, but the taste keeps best up until the 5th day.

Ingredients:

    -    2 ½ packed cups of arugula

-    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

-    1 clove chopped garlic

-    ¼ cup pistachios

-    ¼ teaspoon sea salt

 Procedure:

1.     Add half of the oil to a blender or food processor.  Some liquid on the bottom makes it easier to blend.

2.     Add half of the pistachios, all the garlic, some of the sea salt and half of the arugula. Blend for a few seconds, stop and scrape the sides with a spatula.

3.     Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until you obtain the consistency of a paste. I like it chunky so I don’t blend it for too long.  If you like a smoother texture, blend for a little longer.  Either way the flavor will be fantastic.

4.     Place it in a small mason jar, or any glass container to store in the fridge. Never use plastic.

5.     Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (for optimal freshness) and enjoy with anything you can imagine.

Salud!

Recipe: Green Beans and Caramelized Onions.

Olga Gulati

Veggies are a huge part of a healthy balanced diet. I always tell my clients they should try to make veggies 80% or at least 60% of their diet. We try to do this at home as well. I find that when I’m eating lots of vegetables is when my digestion works best.  I feel the most energized, and also, I don’t feel as guilty when I eat “pecados” (Spanish word for sins).

Vegetables provide our body with most of the fiber we need.  They also help balance our pH, and contribute to maintaining a strong gut flora. They also have a significant percentage of the vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. I know I don’t need to convince you about the health benefits of eating vegetables. What I need is to seduce you into cooking and eating them more often.  

Most of the time people don’t eat as many vegetables because they find it boring. Therefore a great way to feel encouraged to eat more of them is by learning very easy, but mostly delicious ways of preparing them.  

When it comes to salads, I feel that dressing is the key to success. For cooked vegetables, a sauce or seasoning can be key. But also, pairing a vegetable with something that you really love (which can be another veggie) can be the trick to come up with a recipe that you crave. This is exactly what I did with the recipe I’m sharing with you guys today. I paired green beans which I like but not die for, with my caramelized onion recipe, to make something that I devour.

So like I say in of all my videos “this is very simple”. Gosh! I hadn’t realized how many times I repeat that. But yes, this is a very simple recipe and I know you are going to love it.

Ingredients:

-       2 large caramelized onions. See recipe here.

-       1 large bunch of green beans. About 250 grs.

-       Sea salt to taste.

Procedure:

1.     Fill a wide saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring it to a boil and add some sea salt.

2.     Add the green beans and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until al dente. It depends on how crunchy you like them and also on their size. If you are using haricot verts, the time might be just 2 or 3 minutes. (You could also steam them if you prefer).

3.     Once green beans are cooked drain water and set aside.

4.     Start caramelizing your onions like I did here.

5.     About 5 minutes before your onions are completely caramelized, add the green beans and finish browning the onions while stirring them with the beans.  This way the beans will get impregnated with the sugars that are being released by the onions. Now you have a wonderful combination of flavors. 

6.     Turn of the heat, serve and enjoy. 

SALUD!

ps: Another way to serve blanched or steamed green beans is with this delicious parsley dressing. Perfect for a hot summer day, when you don't feel like eating warm foods.  

 

 

Recipe: Homemade chocolate spread.

Olga Gulati

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Whenever I talk about this recipe, I refer to it as my homemade Nutella. Like you know, I have an awful sweet tooth and I love anything chocolate. Nutella is one of those things I used to love and enjoy. Then I became aware of the importance of reading labels and ingredients on the food that I buy, and Boom!  I had to take it out of the list of occasional treats. But because I still want to have an alternative option, I came up with this very simple recipe.  I love it because it satisfies my craving for smooth creamy chocolate. It has clean ingredients. It is a much better alternative for blood sugar balance, since there are no added sweeteners and it has very healthy fats.

Coconut milk and especially coconut oil is known for it’s multiple medicinal and nutritional powers. If you want to learn more I recommend for you to check out the Coconut Research Center.

I use it to spread on toast, as a frosting for my grain and sugar free muffins, to pair with sliced strawberries, apples or pears.

 Sometimes I even eat it by the spoonful with a little bit of peanut butter, but shh don’t tell anybody.  Let’s not forget this treats should be eaten in moderation.

Lets get to the recipe so you can enjoy it as soon as possible.

Ingredients:

-       250 grs organic dark chocolate. chopped

-       2 tablespoons organic raw coconut oil

-       2 cups coconut milk

Procedure:

1.     Place a medium saucepan on the stove on medium heat.

2.     Add the coconut milk to the saucepan

3.     Add the dark chocolate to the coconut milk.

4.     Bring the temperature down to low.

5.     Stir the chocolate and the coconut milk until the chocolate completely dissolves. Be careful not to burn the chocolate, it can't tolerate very high temperatures. 

6.     Take the mix away from the stove. Add the coconut oil and stir in. Combine very well.

7.     Place on a glass container (like a mason jar) and let it rest on the fridge to thicken.

You can also pour it while its warm and runny over pancakes, or strawberries and it will be yummy.

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SALUD!

Receta (Recipe): Aderezo de Naranja y Perejil. Parsley and Orange Dressing.

Olga Gulati

 

Dressing is what really makes a good salad.  Tasty dressing can get you wanting fresh greens every day. Opposite to this, a bland salad can be awfully boring to eat, plus won’t seduce you to eat those fresh greens that are so good for your body.

 Two of my favorite ingredients for making dressing these days are oranges and herbs.

 I love oranges in replacement of vinegar because they are milder in flavor. They can also be sweet and that is a great plus for my sweet tooth.

 Herbs, not only add great aroma and flavor to your meals, but also have incredible and underestimated nutritional value.

In this opportunity I chose parsley. This herb has very powerful anti-inflammatory properties; so much is highly recommended for people suffering from chronic inflammation, like arthritis. It is also very antioxidant, and it is packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B9, vitamin B6, potassium and many more.  I could keep on going and fill up two pages talking about its nutritional value. No kidding.

 My recommendation would be to use herbs more often and in more quantity, you have no idea what you are missing out on, if you are not making them a staple in your diet.

 So, let me now share with you my herb and orange dressing.

 Ingredients:

  • A fourth of a red onion finely chopped.
  • Half a cup of parsley finely chopped
  • 2 medium sweet oranges squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste

 Procedure:

 

 Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

 SALUD!

Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes

olga gulati

Above is a short video presentation of Olga and Juno preparing the roasted sweet potatoes.

I make large batches of these potatoes almost weekly.  We love them on just about everything and Juno gets very excited when I pack them for her lunch at school.

They are a huge lifesaver to have when improvising any meal.  I serve them on top of the Colombian Lentil Stew.  I mix them with arugula pesto and top them with a fried egg for lunch or dinner.  I sprinkle them in salads.  Use them as a side dish for a roasted chicken with veggies.  We also eat them as a mid day or afternoon snack, just as they are.

They are super easy to make and very easy to re-heat as well.  Juno actually doesn’t mind eating them straight from the fridge.

Chopping the sweet potatoes

Chopping the sweet potatoes

They are also great as a healthy option to satisfy cravings for sweets and carbs.  When I did my three months free of sweeteners and refined sugars (and a year of very few sugars, due to health reasons), I would always look forward to having some sweet potatoes in my meals.

 

Diced sweet potatoes

Diced sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious (one of the reasons why I love them as a snack for Juno).  They are high in iron, magnesium, vitamin D (which many of us are deficient), vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and the list goes on.

The sugars from the sweet potatoes are slowly released into the bloodstream, avoiding the blood sugar spikes related to fatigue and weight gain.

Oh, and did I mention they are delicious?  Especially if you roast them like I show you here.

 

Ingredients:

- 5 Sweet potatoes

- Sea salt to taste

- 1 tablespoon Coconut oil

 

Procedure:

1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F

2.     Wash your potatoes and scrub them with a brush if needed.  Keep the peel since that is one of the things that make them even yummier, also more fiber for your body.  However, this is why is very important to get them organic.

3.     Cut them in 1-inch (or less) squares.

4.     Melt the coconut oil on low heat.

5.     Place the cut potatoes on a cookie sheet.

6.     Add the melted coconut oil and the salt to the potatoes.  Mix very well.  Spread them out evenly on the cookie sheet.

7.     Place them in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until you see they start browning.

8.     Take them out of the oven and let them chill.  Enjoy or place them in a glass container to save in the fridge.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

SALUD!

Video Recipe: Colombian Lentil Stew

olga gulati

In this video Olga shows three different ways to serve Colombian Lentil Stew. 

Ingredients:

-       1 large yellow or white onion small diced

-       1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil

-       200 grams bacon chopped

-       4 large carrots chopped

-       2 celery hearts chopped

-       350 grams green beans chopped

-       450 grams (1 pound) green lentils

-       1 piece of Kombu algae

-       1 tablespoon sea salt

-       1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon paprika in replacement of bacon if you are vegan or vegetarian

Procedure:

1.     Soak your lentils overnight in filtered water. Soaking is very important remove phytic acid  (a type of phosphorus) and other anti-nutrients that make them difficult to digest.

2.     In a pressure cooker (or pot, depending on what you want to use) add a tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee.  Let it melt on medium high heat.

3.     Add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes.  Immediately add the bacon and cook until onions are translucent and bacon has started to release its fat.

4.     Add the carrots, celery, and green beans.  Sautee for an additional 3 minutes.

5.     Add the lentils, the water, and the Kombu algae.

6.     Add the sea salt.

7.     Stir well and put the lid of the pressure cooker.  Make sure it is well secured. Cook for 15 minutes.  If using a regular pot, bring to a boil, then bring down to a simmer, cover and let cook for a total of 30 to 35 minutes.

They are now ready to serve. Enjoy with different toppings throughout the week to experience a variety of meals. Check out the ideas that we give you in our video.

This stew is also perfect for freezing.  This is a perfect way to plan a very easy and healthy meal in advance and have it ready to heat up at any time.  I recommend glass for freezing.  Plastic releases a lot of toxins that are not safe for our health, even the PBA free.

These lentils will keep good for up to 6 days in the fridge.  Make sure to always use clean utensils to spoon out what you are going to warm up.

Salud!


Various presentations of Colombian Lentil Stew

Various presentations of Colombian Lentil Stew

Recipe: Black Rice Salad

olga gulati

We’ve received several comments about the picture on our homepage, the black rice salad.  Due to popular demand, today’s post provides you with its recipe. 

We don’t eat a lot of grains at home.  While there is nothing wrong with eating grains (unless you have a specific health condition where you can’t digest them), it is important to watch the quantities consumed and how they are cooked.  At times, grains can be hard to digest.  If eaten in disproportionate amounts, the grains could put your pancreas under elevated stress.  Excessive carbohydrates lead to the pancreas’ secretion of excessive insulin. 

Having said that said, it is certainly preferable to eat whole grains cooked at home the proper way, than to consume grains turned into refined flours, boxed cereals or in other ways highly processed.

For a healthy and delicious way to enjoy some black rice (one of my favorite types of rice), I came up with this recipe that we love because of its versatility.  Due to its sweetness, it makes a perfect breakfast.  It also works well as a side dish or pack it up to take with you on a picnic or lunch at work.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup black rice (soaked overnight)

- 1 red tomato-small diced

- 1 small European cucumber –small diced

- 1 large red apple- small diced

- ¾ cup sunflower seeds (raw or roasted)

- ½ red onion –finely chopped

- 1 tablespoon coconut oil

- sea salt to taste

- 4 tablespoons lime or lemon juice

- 2 tablespoons honey

- 3 tablespoons sesame oil

- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Procedure:

1.        Prepare by soaking the rice the previous night. The purpose of soaking the rice is to make it more digestible. Most grains, beans, lentils etc, have anti-nutrients like phytic acid that make them very tough for our digestive system.

2.        Rinse the rice and use new water to cook it.

3.        In a saucepan heat the coconut oil and sauté the finely chopped onion.

4.        Add the rice and cook for an additional minute.

5.        Add 2 cups of hot water, sea salt and let the water and rice boil. Cook on high heat until most of the water has evaporated and you can see the rice on the surface.

6.        Turn down the heat and cover.

7.        Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until rice is completely cooked. Some people like rice al dente.  Some like it more tender.  Depending on preference, cook your rice for 15 to 20 minutes.

8.        Let the rice cool and put it in a big bowl.

9.        Mix in the rest of the ingredients, including the ones for the dressing.

10.    Mix well and serve to enjoy.

Black Rice Salad

Black Rice Salad


 Salud!

Recipe: Spinach, Kale, and Beef Burgers

olga gulati

Video for Spinach, Kale, and Beef Burgers

For this recipe I like making the burgers the size of  sliders to be able to plate them on a leaf of romaine lettuce (as shown in the video).

With the quantities of ingredients displayed, you can prepare 10 to 12 sliders.  Two sliders with all the toppings make a decent sized main course.

If you are making full size burgers, the recipe yields 4 to 5 burgers.

Ingredients:

- 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil

- 1 medium yellow or white onion, small diced

- 300 grams (or 12 ounces) baby kale and baby spinach

- ¼ teaspoon sea salt

- 1 pound ground beef

- 4 tablespoons tamari

- 1 tablespoon paprika

 

Cooked spinach and kale

Cooked spinach and kale

Procedure:

1.     Place a sauté pan on the stove on medium heat.  Add a tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee and let it melt.

2.     Add the chopped onions and the salt.  Sauté for about 3 minutes or until translucent.

3.     Add the greens and sauté until they are completely wilted.  Fold the veggies in while reducing to be able to fit them all in the pan.  Turn off the heat and set aside.  Let cool.

4.     Once the veggies have cooled down, place them on a cutting board.  With a chef’s knife, chop them very small.

5.     In a bowl combine the ground beef, tamari, and paprika.  

6.     Add the chopped greens to the bowl with the beef.  Mix until completely integrated.

7.     Form your sliders or burgers depending on what size you are looking for.

8.     In a separate sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil on medium heat.  Allow it to melt.

9.     Place the burgers in the pan and fry each side for about 2 to 3 minutes depending on the size.

10. Turn off the heat and let the burgers rest for 3 minutes in the pan before serving.  This helps recuperate some of the juices lost during the process of cooking.

 

They are now ready to serve.  We highly recommend plating them with the toppings showed in the video:

-       leaf of romaine lettuce

-       slice of tomato

-       slice of avocado

-       2 tablespoons of caramelized onions

-       blue cheese crumbles

Spinach, Kale, and Beef Burger

Spinach, Kale, and Beef Burger

We hope you enjoy them.

Salud!

Recipe: Caramelized Onions

olga gulati

Anyone who knows me is aware caramelized onions are one of my favorite things to add to pretty much any dish.  I love the texture, color, smell, mouth feel, … everything.  They are just so delicious and rich.  Caramelized onions are also perfect for someone with a sweet tooth like me.  Fortunately, if made properly they don’t need any added sugar to caramelize.

 

I’m not kidding when I say I would add them to everything possible: salads, a grilled chicken breast, a soup, a wrap, on top of eggs, on fish, on top of stews.  Stay tuned for Thursday’s video recipe where Juno and I show you how to prepare Spinach, Kale, and Beef burgers topped with these delicious caramelized onions.

 

Ingredients:

-       2 large yellow or white onions thinly sliced (émincé)

-       1 tablespoon ghee

-       ¼ teaspoon sea salt

-       water as needed

 

Procedure:

Thin sliced (émincé) onions

Thin sliced (émincé) onions

1.     Place a medium sauté pan on the stove on medium high heat.

2.     Add the ghee to the pan and let it melt.

3.     Add the onions and immediately add half of the salt (reserve the rest for the end as needed).  It is important to add the salt as soon as you put the onions on the pan since the salt is what helps release the juices of the onion.

4.     Once you’ve added the onions and salt, turn the heat to medium low.

5.     Let the onions cook for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. If the pan starts turning brown on the bottom add a tablespoon of water to deglaze. The browning occurs due to the sugars released by the onions. By deglazing you are reincorporating those sugars into the onions and also giving them that beautiful auburn color apparent when they are done.

Browning process is getting started 

Browning process is getting started 

Cooking time may vary according to the size of the onions.

If you want to make a bigger batch to keep in the fridge use a little mix of water and butter to reheat.

Caramelized onions ready to eat

Caramelized onions ready to eat

 

Enjoy and Salud!

Recipe: Sugar and Grain Free Muffins

olga gulati

Olga and Juno from Juno Health and Wellness walk you through the preparation of sugar-free and grain-free muffins.

Sugar and Grain free Muffins Recipe

Ingredients :

-3 ripe bananas (preferably big size)
-2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
-4 eggs
-1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
-4 tablespoons ground flax
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1/4 cup cashew flour

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.

Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract and the eggs. Beat with an electric beater for 1 minute. Add the coconut oil or ghee and beat for another 2 minutes until the mixture shows lots of bubbles. (Incorporation of air).

Set the electric beater aside.

Add the coconut flour to the bowl and fold in to the mix with a fork. Then add the cashew flour and do the same.

Add the baking powder and apple cider vinegar.  Mix well.

Put the muffin batter into muffin or cupcake molds and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Top with creme fraiche and berries and enjoy.

Salud!