Why Miso Paste is SO Good For You

Miso is my new magic weapon. Actually I have been using it for years but did not have any idea the extent of it’s healing properties. It had not been until the last year or so that I have educated myself and begun to explore this whole new and delicious world. There are several different kinds of miso and can be used in a variety of ways.

I have some recipes that include sweet white miso such as Kale & Sweet Potato SaladNori Rolls with Spicy Coconut Dipping Sauce and Healing Creamy Vegetable Miso Soup. White miso is the most mild and versatile and can easily be added to dressings, soups, sauces, mashed potatoes, spread on toast and a host of other possibilities. The red, brow and yellow miso pastes are stronger but versatile nonetheless. Buy them and experiment, they will keep in the fridge forever but I promise you, once you start using it you will not be able to stop! (more…)

Healing Creamy Vegetable Miso Soup

This nourishing and hearty soup was inspired for my mother who just underwent major surgery. She needs easily digestible, protein rich and comforting foods. This soup fits the bill. Feel free to get creative with some spices and truly any other veggies that appeal, cauliflower, broccoli or zucchini would be divine. Whether you do it by the book or add your own twist, your and your loved ones are sure to feel it’s healing nature…be sure to cook it with a lot of love…always.
Healing Creamy Vegetable Miso Soup

Ingredients:

3-4 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium red onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, tough ends removed and chopped
2 large parsnips, unpeeled and roughly chopped
3 medium carrots, rough chopped
2-1/2 pound acorn squash, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (leave skin on)
1 cup lentils, brown green or red
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth*
1 can coconut milk, full fat
1/2 pound of firm tofu
1/2 cup miso paste, white, yellow or brown**
1 small bunch of cilantro

Makes about 8 servings

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Kale & Sweet Potato Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

I just love myself some miso! Especially the white or the yellow flavors as they are sweeter and have less salt than the brown or red varieties, in fact I could almost drink the dressing for this Kale & Sweet Potato Salad with miso ginger dressing. Miso not only has a lovely umami flavor that adds depth to soups, births, salads, desserts and main dishes, it also helps to protect the body from radiation, cancer, air pollution, and environmental toxins. And it is wonderful digestive aid and protein source, bonus!

I also particularly like kale salads not only for their nutrient value but almost more so because it doesn’t get soggy as it sits like other greens and almost gets better when it is leftover. You can use this recipe as a template and add pretty much anything you want, but pay attention to the mixing technique- you don’t want to add somethings soft before you have incorporated the dressing (read on, you will see what I mean). Double up the batch and take some to work with you the next day for lunch. For a hearty, vegan or paleo meal you can even make it a meal by adding some beans, quinoa, brown rice, nuts, seeds or other protein, the sky’s the limit!

I also particularly like kale salads no only for their nutrient value but almost more so because it doesn't get soggy as it sits like other greens and almost gets better when it is leftover!

Kale & Sweet Potato Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

1 large bunch Tuscan or curly kale
1 small sweet potato or yam, skin removed and peeled into ribbons with a potato peeler
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 medium red bell pepper, julienne
1/2 bunch of green onions, sliced thin

Dressing~
1/4 cup sweet white or yellow miso, at room temperature*
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 Tablespoon maple syrup or raw honey
3 Tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced (about 2 inch piece)
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Makes 4-6 servings

 

Remove the dark green leafy parts of the kale from the stems and set aside. Gather the stems into a pile with one hand and- thinly slice the stems into 1/8 inch rounds and add to a large salad bowl. Cut the leafy parts into strips to about 1 inch. If the leaves are very large and wide then cut them in half the long way and then proceed, adding the leaves to the bowl as you go. Add the remaining ingredients for the salad to the bowl and set aside.

Place all of the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl and whisk well to combine. If you coconut oil is very solid you will want to warm gently on the stove before adding to the dressing. If you want to make a double or triple batch of the dressing you can put all the ingredients in a blender and been on high until smooth- no warming necessary.

Pour the dressing over the kale salad and toss very well with clean hands, massaging the leaves to help the marinating process. Don’t be gentle here, your really want to crush the leaves to soften and help the marinating process. Taste and adjust salt and lemon if necessary. You can serve immediately but also great leftover!

 

Tips & Notes~

Add some shaved carrots, yellow beets, avocado or some chopped up nuts. If using avocado, add after you massage the dressing into the kale.

Miso: Found in the refrigerated section of many grocery stores. The white and yellow kinds are more mellow in flavor. If you can only find the red or brow you can decrease the amount to 2 tablespoons. Miso helps to protect the body from radiation, cancer, air pollution, and environmental toxins. Also a wonderful digestive aid and protein source.

Spicy Nacho Kale Chips

Definite S.F.O  Update (Seriously Freakin’ Outstanding)

My most favorite all time amazing snack. They are spicy, crunchy, decadent and healthy all at the same time. Oh and they are easy too! Beware however…they are Seriously Freakin’ Addicting…

Spicy Nacho Kale Chips

1 large bunch curly or Tuscan kale, washed and very dry**

Cheese Sauce~
1 cup cashews (soaked in water for at least 6 hours, drained)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
Juice of 1 medium lemon (2-3 Tablespoons.)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup water
1 large clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
A good dash of cayenne pepper if you like it spicy

Servings depend on how much self control you have 🙂

Trim the toughest part of the kale stems, and cut or tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Fill a large bowl with water and place kale pieces in water. Swish the kale around so that any debris floats to the top. Drain, and dry completely in a salad spinner or with towels. Once dry, place kale pieces in a large bowl with enough room for mixing the kale with the cheese sauce.

To make cheese sauce~ combine all ingredients for the sauce in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth.

Combine cheese sauce and kale pieces, and use your hands to massage kale with sauce. (It’s fine if coating is uneven or if there are big globs of cashew cheese. In my opinion, the cheesy parts are the best part of the final product!)

Preheat oven to 200°F. Spread kale pieces on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for about 1 hour. Remove form oven and flip and bake for another 1 1/2 hours or until crunchy. The curly kale will take a bit longer.

Tips & Notes~

**Completely drying washed kale pieces is an important prerequisite for yielding kale chips with maximum crunch factor. You can even washed the kale a day before and leave the pieces to dry overnight to ensure they are perfectly dry.

You can add any dry spices or even fresh herbs that you would like such as curry powder, chili powder, parsley, basil or rosemary.

Health Tips 101 ~ “Easy Rules To Live By”

Our diets and lifestyle choices for the most part in this country have taken a turn for the worse…this will come as no surprise, I imagine. Obesity rate is at  epidemic proportions and people everywhere are developing allergies and illness. Statistically we are most likely to die from cancer than any other dis-ease. Each body is different and responds in different ways. There are no perfect answers but there are however some basic, general, and let’s face it, pretty obvious “rules” to live by. DON’T SMOKE CIGARETTES~ I mean THIS one is a gimme, right? QUIT already!

EAT VEGGIES~ The fresher, more local organic the better but any kind is better than none. Look at your plate…how much COLOR is on it? Are you eating a variety or is is mostly white?

CUT DOWN ON SUGAR ~ So maybe I should be say cut “out” sugar, but let’s face it, cutting out sugar is one of those things that inevitably sends you running to the ice cream isle at midnight when you just cannot help yourself any longer. This is true for pretty much any kind of forbiddance…only makes you want it more. So cut back and find healthy alternatives for that sweet treat after dinner. Unsure where to start? Well there are a ton of great ideas on the internet and on my site as well. I also am teaching a class in February devoted to healthy dessert options…good plug right? (more…)

Flatbread with Winter Squash, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios

Winter Squash and Goat Cheese Flatbread with Pistachios

1 pound store-bought pizza dough, preferably wheat, thawed if frozen
cornmeal for the pan
1 pound delicata or butternut squash, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (if using butternut be sure to peel it)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
6-8 large fresh sage leaves
a few Tablespoons good olive oil
8 oz of goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Servings varied

Heat oven to 425° F. Place the dough on a flour dusted work surface and roll out into a large oval, rolling as thinly as you can. Sprinkle the back side of a baking sheet with the cornmeal. Lay the dough on top of the cornmeal and brush the dough with olive oil.

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