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? read 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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Creamy Vegan Pesto Recipe

Creamy Vegan Pesto

½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
2 medium cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 Tablespoon water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
Zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons of juice.
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Makes about 1 cup
In a food processor, blend the cashews until well pureed. Add the remaining ingredients and process until nice and smooth. Serve tossed with whole grain or quinoa pasta or as a dipping sauce for grilled or roasted meat, chicken or fish or vegetables. If serving with pasta, add a few tablespoons of the pasta water to loosen the sauce. If storing in the refrigerator the top may oxidize but the color will not affect the flavor. If you prefer when using you can scrape the top off a bit with a spoon.

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Feeding The Hungry Ghost and Going Vegan

Welcome all to our Vegan Month of February! There is not much of a ring to the name but it just seemed fitting to start the year this way (I am 1 month late to the punch I realize). For Vegan Valentines we’ll call it, I will be holding only vegan cooking classes (don’t squirm, there is nothing lacking in flavor and we will not be learning “rabbit food” for goddsakes!), posting vegan recipes and honoring the new book of a friend of mine that deserves center stage. Feeding The Hungry Ghost written by  Ellen Kanner is my book of the moment. This is not just a cookbook, it is about the pursuit of connection through food, something that speaks to me.

Through this book Ellen explores “Life, Faith and What To Eat For Dinner” in a playful, witty and satiating way while sharing some of her life’s favorite vegan recipes. Ellen is the Huffington Post’s Meatless Monday blogger, the syndicated columnist the Edgy Veggie and contributor to publications including Culinate, Bon Appetit and Every Day With Rachael Ray as well as her own blog. This must read book is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble and Indie Bound.   

“Ellen Kanner goes far beyond the physiological function of food in this charming book. Fun, well written and full of information, it is an ode to veganism and a new way of connecting with the seasons”
~Jaques Pepin, author of Essential Pepin

“Beyond being a collection of recipes, this is a book about living. Ellen is like having an elfin, white, Jewish, vegan Oprah whispering in you ear, “It’s going to be more than okay, honey…it’s going to be magical!”
~Norman Van Aken, author My Key West Kitchen: Recipes and Stories

From the book Feeding the Hungry Ghost. Copyright © 2013 by Ellen Kanner. Reprinted with permission from New World Library.

Check out the latest class schedule for February and indulge in a menu dedicated to Ellen’s goodies and a month of Veganism!

Coconut Chickpea Curry

Coconut Chick Pea Curry Vegan

Coconut Chickpea Curry

3 Tablespoons coconut oil, ghee or olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
4 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 inch knob of fresh ginger, rough ends removed and finely chopped
1 heaping Tablespoon ground turmeric
1 Tablespoon coriander seed
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 can of organic chopped tomatoes
1 can chick peas with the water
1 can Kidney beans, drained
1 can full fat coconut milk
salt to taste
splash of red wine vinegar or lemon juice if necessary

~makes 4-6 servings

Heat the oil in a high sided saute pan on high, add onions, garlic and ginger. Turn the heat down to medium-high and saute for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add your spices and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the spices from burning, they should become quite fragrant. Add the tomatoes; juice and all, the chick peas including the liquid from the 1 can and the coconut milk. Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and leave to simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally. If too much of the liquid reduces you can add a splash of filtered water. read more…

How to Live Your Purpose

I have always believed that I could do anything. Not because I am all that amazing, but because I believe that anyone can do anything that they put their mind to. When I say anything, I mean anything. From reversing cancer, to levitating, to setting things afire with a solid stare. The mind is an incredibly powerful tool. When harnessed or rather focused (“harnessing” implies that you have total control and control is an illusion in case you didn’t get the memo), the possibilities are limitless. What gets in the way of us attaining all that we desire and crave is the ego telling us “no” or  “I wish I could”. read more…

Cheerful Optimism with a side of Holiday Recipes

Somewhere 30,000 feet over the country on our way to California for the holidays, I am reminded of how I want to be in the world. The weekend before Christmas and we are facing a 6 hour layover (initially 2 1/2), cutting way into family time and the amazing dinner that we had planned in San Francisco. This is the news just before boarding the plane…uggg.

One always has choices on how to react to things. My first reaction…ugly. Upon breathing (and a desperate call to my mother to try and re-rout us) I have settled in the knowing, all is as it should be and I am grateful for the luxury of even getting on a plane to see loved ones. I will not dwell, I will not lament, I will not bitch out the poor and defenseless person at the counter. I will however begin festivating early with a few cocktails and perhaps we will jet into this unknown city, buy a coat and grab an amazing bite to eat. Roll with the punches cause if you let ‘em get you down, you just may never get back up again. read more…


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