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Sarah Lawrence

PS, I love you

button heart_shutterstock_109762442Ever struggle with something?  A something that you strive to hide kind of thing?  Something that is so in your face on a daily basis; so out-there-for-the-world-to-see if you do nothing about it... For those of us with Psoriasis or skin conditions like it, it's a daily reality.  It's a daily reality for me and has been for 12 years. My Psoriasis was triggered by my first pregnancy.  A joyful time quickly became one wrought with focus on spoltches and patches that itched and bled, splotches that made this new mom want to avoid being in pictures with a darling newborn, splotches that were more than uncomfortable, more than annoying, more than unsightly --- they were embarrassing and infuriating. almost more so than the lingering baby weight, because at least that had a recognizable root cause and at least that I could do something about. Even with dermatologist prescribed lotions, salves, shampoos, ointments, tablets and treatments, my skin didn't improve.  So, I decided to accept the hand I was dealt, put my best face forward, even though that face has some significant patches of the dreaded PS. 2014-12-31 08.51.08 This is the story of many with PS, and there are MANY of us.  According to current studies, as many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis:  that's approximately 2.2 percent of the population, which matches the current trend worldwide. A second pregnancy, our second boy... brought more than joy and love and diapers... Psoriatic Arthritis was another gift.  Over the years, it's been crippling at worst and achy at best.  There have been some great days and some better months, but chronic pain is what it is and does what it does.  It grates on a person. It hardens parts.  It shortens fuses.  It kills desire and drags hopes through the gutter.  But, there's something that happens over time... At least for me, at least with time, Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis have given me the gift of a perspective that even my cancer didn't give me.   This skin I'm in is some crazy skin; it's thin, it's thick, it's sheds, it hurts, it responds to stress and loves the sun.  This body is wrought with daily pain, with twisted joints and knarled fingers, with aches in odd places and swelling and heat.  This body betrays me as boldly as it supports me.  And this dis-ease the same.  I am, all at once, thick skinned and vulnerable; able to bear great pain and be brought to tears with a feathers touch; a lover of the sun and a hater of bearing my skin in the light of the world.  I have hands that were once angels on the strings of my harp and lighter than air on the keys of my flute... they painted and drew and scribed... I made a living for years in the arts.  And now I have to fight to find enough strength to pull on a pair of pants (never mind zippers and buttons most days), wash my hair, brush my teeth, sign my name, use a fork and knife. But there is enough strength and it is a gift.  After years of this life, in this body, I am stronger in many ways than I was before.  When I wake every day, I am grateful and thankful for the pain in my hands because I know that they are still there and that I am.  When I wash my face at night and clear away the powder that shields me from stares, I see a survivior.  When I find new ways to access joys of old, singing bowls to make music and paints instead of pencils... I thrive.  I have never been a mouse and I wouldn't say that I have ever been ashamed of my skin badges, but when, day in and day out the eyes of the world gaze upon the imperfections there is a longing for sameness, for that same skin that you're in, so you don't look at me as less than, as weird, as sick.  So, I powder my face pretty perfectly and tend to wear long sleeves and long pants even on the hot days at the gym... because it's easier than having to muster up the energy to address the stares and glances.  But the greatest gain I've made in these 12 years is that I have come to love the skin I'm in.  I am courageous because of it.  I am healthier because of it too, from my approach to nutrition and exercise to stress relief and self care, even to how I manage  work and relationships. With another Valentines Day just a hair behind us, I thought it a fine time to acknowledge that loving our imperfections, our pains, our hot spots and those things that we hide away from the world is healing.  In the Psoriasis community, PS is short for psoriasis/PsA for Psoriatic Arthritis.  So, here I am, PS and PsA.  I love you.  I love you for what you have brought forth in me, for showing me my strength and creativity and passion and purpose.  I would gladly accept complete health, freedom from pain and joint damage and clear, glowing, gorgeous skin in a heartbeat.  But, I accept all of me, happily. What is it in your life that you're shuffling to the side and hiding?  What aspects of you make you unsure about your worth?  Look at them!  Sit with them and chew on them and see if you too can find some light in those dark places.  I bet you'll be surprised by what beams out of the broken places,  and by what can grow when you give it a little water and sunshine. For me, it's PS, I love you.  It's freedom from the fear of falling into the darkness of dis-ease.   Be brave now... peek into your darkness and peel back a layer... do it with love... and let me know how it goes. Sarah and, p.s.  I love you --- :)

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Sarah Lawrence

Do you have a minute?

One Minute Meditationrelate

I don’t know about you, but my world is crazy busy most days!

Doesn’t it seem like we are constantly surrounded by the hustle and bustle technology and a hyper fast-paced work world? No matter how hard we try, the stress of our go-go-go society just creeps in and blocks us from reaching our full potential...  this is true for work, relationships, self-care… you name it!  Think about it:  when was the last time you felt truly able to focus on being the best YOU at work, at home, or alone?  We’re living in a world that is so interconnected that our sense of self can get muddled.

If you’re the kind of person who’s got a little more stress than you’d like (and, honestly, who doesn’t feel that way, sometimes?), I invite you to try this one-minute meditation.

Give me your minute and we’ll get you a little bit closer to feeling more like you!  This quick meditation will help you to center yourself and find some inner peace amidst the chaos of everyday life. And believe it or not, even this simple minute meditation will help you to reduce inflammation in the body and decrease the toxic load on your organs.  In life, every minute counts.  Honest.

You ready to try?

Okay.  Just read these instructions and get down to business, right where you’re sitting… the only requisite is that you’re able to be safely still for one whole minute.

To do the one-minute meditation, breathe in slowly for 15 seconds, then exhale slowly for 15 seconds. Then repeat.

That’s it. It’sback to center really that simple.  But…. 15 seconds can actually be a looonnnnggg time to inhale if you’re not used to it.  So, what do you do?  Well, give it a good college try before you pooh-pooh the exercise.  I like to count while I’m breathing in-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15 AND out-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15.  If it’s too deep too soon, just try going in 10 second intervals.  No worries.  You don’t want to go much below 10 because we don’t want you to breathe too quickly.  The aim is slow, steady, mindful, deep breathes in and out.

If you’d like to change it up, you can breathe in one nostril and exhale out the other, switching the nostrils for inhalation and exhalation on the second round. You could also play around with how long you breathe in for and how long you breathe out for. The longer the inhalation, the more energy you will have. The longer the exhalation, the more relaxed you will feel.

Experiment, and see what works for you.

What did you think about this exercise?  By integrating simple things like this and coupling it with a little sweat and good nutrition you can make a real impact on your health and well being.  I’d love to help you reach your goals.

 I have a few spaces left in my Autumn Glow Detox.  This 15 day, whole food reboot is a no powders-pills-gimmicks- program that offer practical guidance designed to help your body eliminate some of the toxix burden that’s built up, while promoting a strong immune system and healthy digestion. You’ll get access to over 60 vibrant, tasty recipes, daily inspiration and support via email and a private Facebook group.  We roll in 3 days, so if you’d like to join us click over to www.sarahlawrencehealth.com/autumn-glow-detox for the details and to register.  It’s your time.  Give your body the benefit of some focused TLC that’s really do-able: 4 days of Pre-detox that allows you to gently reduce or wean off caffeine/sugar/alcohol and processed foods; 7 days of gentle, whole food based detoxification that does not leave you feeling hungry or deprived but also doesn’t require you to purchase crazy ingredients or mad kitchen skills; and we wrap with 4 transition days to help you integrate what you’ve learned with the more familiar things you love.

Sound good?

Pop over to www.sarahlawrencehealth.com/autumn-glow-detox and claim your space before it’s too late!

Xoxo,

Sarah


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Sarah Lawrence

What's the deal with Detox?

What's the deal with Detox? Click here for a quick video... “Detox” and “Cleanse” are total buzz words these days.  Unfortunately, most of the programs I’ve seen on the market involve hundreds of dollars for powders and pills and leave you with little to no support through the process.  This is the 3rd year I’ve been coaching people through whole foods detox programs… and what I can tell you right up front is that there are no gimmicks, no powders or pills --- in fact, the only “supplement” I recommend you purchase is a good probiotic ((but I also show you a fabulous and easy way to make your own probiotic rich foods and beverages!)) As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, my job is to support you through your experience so that you can go deep, do the work and see results.  The “Autumn Glow” program that runs September 14-28th is a seasonally inspired detox program.  This means that I highlight nutritionals that are available and that are appropriate for this time of year.  In the summer our bodies can stand watery, sugary fruits because temps are hot and we need to cool down.  In the fall and winter our bodies start to seek out warming foods, spices and drinks in order to balance out the cooler temps and keep our digestion from stagnating.  Just think about how it would feel to eat a cup of icy cold watermelon in December as opposed to eating it in July! So, it is suggested that we formally detox 4 times a year, once with each season, to cleanse our bodies of the toxins that accumulate each quarter from environmental factors, stress, and lifestyle choices.  I offer short detox programs in September, December/January, March and June.  With each season we do a little tune up.  Just like the rhythm of the day, the week, the month, the year, so becomes the rhythm of self care.  As we learn to honor our bodies and the changes that come with each season, we become stronger, our digestion improves, our skin clears and our immune system balances.  One of the major improvements that my regular clients report is freedom from allergies and seasonal afflictions like colds and sinus problems. Let’s take a minute and look at some signs that your body is experiencing the effects of toxicity:
  • Allergies
  • Constipation or loose stools
  • Fatigue
  • Acne and other skin problems
  • Bad breath
  • Poor circulation
  • Sinus infections or excess mucus
  • Headaches
  • Bloating and weight gain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • And so many more!
What are some of the benefits you’ll see after detoxing your body?
  • Better sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Better, more regular bowel movements
  • Clear skin
  • Lose weight
  • Kick the cravings
  • Look great and feel even better!
Detoxing in the fall is critical for building the immune system and strengthening your digestion. It’s also a chance to slow down and give your body a break after the busy summer months. In the fall, we focus on detoxing the lungs and the large intestine, which are the two organs that need the most attention during this season according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is possible using a combination of physical and emotional tools, combined with proper diet, all of which I cover in my program Autumn Glow. If you’d like to learn more about detox, sign up for my newsletter and check out the details for the program here:  http://www.sarahlawrencehealth.com/autumn-glow-detox   Early bird pricing is good through midnight tonight! (Wednesday September 10th) After midnight your investment in yourself is only $147! But, because I love you and I want you to GET YOUR GLOW BACK, here are some savings: Early-Bird Special:   $99 -- Sign up before 9/10 and save! Early Bird 2 for 1:     $147 – Sign up at the regular program rate before 9/10 and I’ll give you AND a friend access to the program! - See more at www.sarahlawrencehealth.com

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Sarah Lawrence

Mac & Cheese

I've been hearing from a lot of you lately that you need some tasty, dairy and gluten free recipes for kids.  This one has been a GodSend in our home for years.  We use gluten free pasta, but if you're not gluten free you can use whatever you like!  The cheese sauce is also yummy served over rice with broccoli, drizzled over burritos or your favorite Mexican dish.  Thin it out as needed. Cut back on the Daiya if it's too thick for your taste.  Easy. Yummy. Comforting for the little ones who are just looking for the taste of something familiar. Freedom Mac and Cheese 4 servings, 15-30 minutes from start to finish.
  • 8 ounces pasta, any shape and gluten free if necessary
  • 1 package Daiya cheddar style Shreds (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
  • 2 cups unsweetened milk product of your choice (rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but definitely helps cheesy flavor and boosts B12)
If you are baking the mac and cheese, here is a topper/crust idea:
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or melted Earth Balance (to moisten and bind)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ tsp ground pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs, optional
If you’re going to be baking the mac and cheese, preheat oven to 350°F. Get your water boiling and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. While pasta is cooking: Prepare the cheese sauce by warming the alternative milk, Earth Balance and Daiya.  Over medium low heat, stir or whisk until cheese melts, then add the nutritional yeast and whisk to combine. If sauce is too thick for your liking just stream in a bit more of your milk choice and whisk to loosen the sauce.  My kids like a thicker, creamier sauce… but we’ve gone up to 3 cups of liquid and gotten a nice, thinner consistency that is more like Kraft mac and cheese from the box mixes. Toss the cooked pasta with the creamy sauce and either transfer it to serving bowls or to a casserole dish (if you’re baking it). For baked mac and cheese:  Top with the bread crumbs and paprika. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered, or until the cheese is bubbling and top is starting to brown.

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Sarah Lawrence

Eat this!

I love taking recipes that my friends are making and converting them into things that my family can eat.  For one thing, it gives me a challenge.  But, more importantly, it helps my kids feel like they are being included in the "hip" culinary circles that their friends enjoy.   It's a BIG DEAL to feel like you CAN eat "NORMAL FOOD" when you are dealing with dietary restrictions... no matter what your age, stage or reason. So I took on the taquito.  These things are the rage on pinterest and kids are bringing them in for snack at school and super star moms are baking them up as after school snacks.  I'm in, I figured.  Let's do this!  Scale the recipe up if you have time and par bake the taquitos for 5 minutes, then remove them, cool them and wrap them individually to freeze!  Love it! Make it a meal: (adjust option to suit your family -- we round things out with BIG salads!)
  1. add a chopped salad (chopped greens, cukes, tomato, celery, red onion, pepper, avocado, carrot, berries, nuts, etc)
  2. add a soup (a brothy veg soup with fresh tomatoes, a hit of cayenne and lime and lots of cilantro would be great with the taquitos!)
Now, high five me and get in that kitchen! :) 003 Sarah's Baked Black Bean Taquitos ~ serves 4 for dinner, more as a snack ~
  • 1 can(822g) black beans (or 2.5 cups homemade)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa (or salsa of your choice)
  • 3 Tbsp dairy free cream cheese (I use Tofutti or Daiya)
  • 1 cup dairy free shredded cheese (I used Daiya)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 clove garlic, minced or 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 package gluten free tortillas -- many corn tortillas are ok, but check for wheat flour as some brands are labeled as corn but also include wheat
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drain the beans and toss them in a good sized bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (except the tortillas!) and stir until combined.
I find that steaming my gluten free tortillas makes them pliable enough to roll, so I set up a pot with about an inch of water, get that boiling and them set a cookie cooling rack on top of the open pot.  I set the stack of tortillas on the rack and cover with an oversized pot rack so they can steam for a few minutes.
  1. Now, take one tortilla and lay it out on your work surface.  Add about 3 Tbsp of filling in a line down the left edge.  Then fold the left edge over the filling and roll it tightly to the right.
  2. Lay the rolled taquito on a sheet tray and continue until you've used up your filling and tortillas.
  3. Put the pan into the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the edges just brown.
  4. Remove and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Sarah Lawrence

Sweet Potato Walnut Pilaf

I don't know about you, but I am always trying to think of ways to feed my family healthy foods that taste great, are easy to prepare and economical too!  Tonight, I'm sharing part 1 of this two-fer dish.  It's quick (30 minutes including prep), tastes great and will do double duty for you tomorrow night!
Nutritional-Know-How: I use sweet potatoes because they are rich in vitamins A, C, B6, B3, B1, B2, copper, manganese, pantothenic acid, biotin, potassium and fiber!  These high pigment powerhouses are anti-inflammatory wonders, help balance fibrinogen.  It's important to include a little bit of fat when eating sweet potato to unlock the potential of the beta-carotene in your body.* Walnuts not only add an earthy flavor but also contain an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid(ALA), copper, manganese, molybdenum and biotin.  Walnuts are a great source of gamma-tocopherol (a form of Vitamin E that has been shown to provide significant for the heart). The levels of potassium, calcium and magnesium along with other antioxidants in walnuts has been shown to help regulate blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and bone health.* Mushrooms are anti-cancer nuggets that are amazingly supportive of the immune system.  They became a part of our daily diet when I reviewed the studies cited in some work by Dr. Joel Fuhrman that found that "frequent consumption of mushrooms has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer by 64%" -- and we're not talking about a ton of mushrooms... we're talking about the equivalent of 1 button mushroom a day!!! * Millet is a great choice for many reasons... it's gluten free, high in protein(6 g/cup) and fiber(2 g/cup), rich in copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.  It looks a lot like couscous and can be substituted for couscous to make recipes gluten free!*

Sweet Potato Walnut Pilaf IMG_7582 Here's what you need to get started:
  • 2 lbs organic sweet potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, minced
  • 1 cup millet, uncooked ~ rinsed and drained
  • 2.5 cups water + 1 Tbsp broth powder OR 2.5 cups broth
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, minced
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  While you're waiting, spread the cubed sweet potato onto a baking sheet, drizzle it with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
  2. In a small skillet, over medium heat, sauté the onion and mushroom for about 5 minutes or until fragrant and soft.
  3. Add millet and water/broth and bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat.
  4. The oven should be hot enough now, so go ahead and put the baking sheet with the sweet potato on in and set your timer for 20 minutes.
  5. When the timer goes off take the sweet potato out of the oven and shut that off.  Remove the lid from your millet and taste it to see if it's done.  It's okay for millet to have a little bite to it, but you can also take it further to get it softer if you prefer.  When you're satisfied with the millet, turn off the heat, toss in the cooked sweet potato, the chopped walnuts and parsley.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as you like.
ENJOY!  And pop over tomorrow for Part 2 -- you're going to love what we do with the leftovers!   *Sources: Sweet Potato Walnut Mushroom Millet

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Sarah Lawrence

Roasted Eggplant with Warm Tomato Walnut Pesto

Inspiration ~ Roasted Eggplant with Warm Tomato Walnut Pesto IMG_9817 Dinner tonight was SO incredibly scrumptious that it's a definite for the Energy Retreat menu. (Have I mentioned that the Retreat is coming up fast! There are still a few spots open, so grab yours before they're gone! http://bit.ly/157lB9D) Now, back to the business of sharing this meal that is sure to satisfy not only your taste buds but also your soul! Um, yes... it's that good! It all started with a call from my friend MK who offered to share her abundant CSA haul with me. I picked up a few pounds of plum tomatoes, a gorgeously slender young italian eggplant, a crisp green pepper, a few surprising yellow cucumbers, some stubby and sweet carrots and a plump little spaghetti squash... and that's only what I used tonight... there's a sweet stash still in the sack that I'll be loving on tomorrow! Right, so I sliced the tomatoes, halved the eggplant and squash and laid them on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of good salt. Roasted them off in the 400 degree oven for a good 30 minutes until everything with stunningly fragrant and tender. Tossed together greens from the garden along with mint, chives, lemon balm and basil. Topped it off with the super sweet and crunchy yellow cuke, snappy green pepper, sweet carrot and a fist full of baby tomatoes just off the vines. Once the roasted veg were cooled just slightly, I scooped up the tomatoes and tossed them in a bowl with a handful of chopped walnuts and some minced herbs. I plated the salad and nestled the eggplant halves there before topping them off with the warm roasted tomato and walnut pesto; a nest of pure spaghetti squash topped with chive finished off the plate. perfection. honest-to-goodness-word-to-your-momma-double-rainbow-all-the-way perfection. So good. I'd love to make it for you and with you... join me in Vermont on September 20-22 and we'll cook together! The weekend is going to be such a beautiful blend of relaxation, discovery, energy and insight that I just know you're going to walk away feeling like the glowing, gorgeous diva you truly are! Click here for details or message me with questions.... or just register and I'll be in touch with the schedule of events and directions and a few other surprises!

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Sarah Lawrence

5 Reasons You Really Need A Retreat

I'm an info junkie and I just love-love-love science backed reasoning.  So, I want to share with you the 5 top reasons, according to scientists, that YOU REALLY DO NEED A RETREAT:
  1. To protect your heart of hearts: According to a study of more than 13,000 high-risk cardiac patients, people who take regular vacations SLASH THEIR RISK of heart disease related death by almost 30%!
  2. To extend your life: Yupper ~ that same study found that people who take regular vacations SLASH THEIR RISK of death by any cause by 17%!
  3. To increase your happiness: A 2009 study by Dutch scientists found that even the anticipation of a break increases happiness.  More than that, vacations and other leisure promoting activities yield lower depression levels and more positive outlooks!
  4. To boost your productivity: Many studies on productivity show that time off is CRUCIAL for STRESS RECOVERY... crucial.  Being less stressed means that you are more able to focus on tasks at hand and often are more clear thinking.  Win/Win!
  5. To improve your relationships: The Rural Women's Health Study found a direct correlation between the frequency of vacations and the odds of marital satisfaction; i.e. the more time women take off the happier those women are at home.
So, here's what you do... clear your schedule for the weekend of September 20th and join us for the 2013 Energy Retreat in Stratton, VT.  Tell your spouse that you're running away for the weekend!  Not only do you deserve a break, but it's scientifically proven that you will benefit from it!  I can tell you that you will love the Energy Retreat... gorgeous, serene location + tasty, local, seasonal food + workshops on meditation, nutrition and stress relief + yoga and a salt water pool + your place at a well appointed private estate with  a sweetly babbling stream in the peace and tranquility of Stratton, VT.  This is your get-away.  Join us and you will be treated to some TLC... you will feed your body and your spirit... you will sleep soundly and head back to your world on Sunday feeling Refreshed, Renewed and Re-energized! Reserve your space before they're gone! Click here for more information: http://bit.ly/157lB9D

Sarah Lawrence

Roasted Cauliflower Risotto

Farm stand produce is such a beautiful inspiration this time of year. I found an amazing head of cauliflower that could have been an earthy pizza crust or doughy fritters, but I read this snippet in Food & Wine magazine recently about an epic Roasted Cauliflower Risotto. And so, it began... cauliflower risotto Assemble: 1 head of cauliflower, broken in florets then scattered on a baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 400 for 15 minutes or until so fragrant and sweet that you can't stand it any longer. Let the cauliflower cool a bit and then chop it into smallish pieces. Set the tray aside. You will add this to the rice in a little while. 2 cloves of garlic + 1 sweet white onion, minced and softened in a large skillet in about 1 Tbsp olive oil or veg stock; you're looking for translucent, not browned, so low heat for about 10 minutes. 1 quart of great tasting vegetable stock - homemade or carton. 1 cup dry white wine or a crisp hard cider (optional, but adds lots of flavor) 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice -- add this to the softened onions and stir it really well to combine and coat the grains. Let the rice toast for a minute, then add wine or cider (if you're using) and let everything simmer for a few minutes until you can smell that the alcohol has cooked off. Then add 1/2 cup of veg stock and stir. You'll be doing this every 5-8 minutes as the stock is absorbed, so you need to stay near the pot. When you're down to about 1 cup of liquid left to add, stir in the cauliflower. Keep adding the stock until you've topped it off, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Because we're dairy free I don't add regular parmesan. When I made this dish though, I found a heavenly nugget of cashew parm that I made a few months back. Perfect, honestly, for this kind of dish, because I just chopped it and sprinkled it in for that cheesy, earthy yum factor. If you don't have any cashew cheese or if you're nut sensitive, consider adding a little tofu sour cream or even toasted hemp seeds and a sprinkle of finishing salt. More often than not, if you add a sprinkle of good salt to a dish that calls for parm you will be satisfied. Serve with a big salad and your tummy will be happy. **Reader's Response time: Do you like cauliflower? What is your favorite way to eat it? ~ one of my favorites is cauliflower poppers (roast florets and sprinkle with seasoning of choice).

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Sarah Lawrence

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Sweet Red Pepper Puree

Cauliflower is a beautiful, neutral veg.  Eat it raw or steam it and make a great mash or base for pizza crust (what?!!!).  Here, cauliflower creates a luscious, velvety soup base that’s hard to beat especially when you consider how quickly it comes together and how fabulous this cruciferous beauty is for your bod.  Cauliflower supports the body's detox system, antioxidant system, and inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system.  Why is that important?  Well, basically every major disease has roots in one or more of those systems… so, supporting them helps keep everything working properly.  That aside, cauliflower is high in Vitamins C, K and Folate; it is also fiber rich, so you’re in for some great digestive benefits to boot! [caption id="attachment_722" align="alignleft" width="640"]Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Sweet Red Pepper Puree Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Sweet Red Pepper Puree[/caption]     Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Sweet Red Pepper Puree 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, cleaned and chopped 1 large leek, green top removed, cleaned and sliced 1 medium potato, peeled & cubed 1 cup slivered almonds or raw almonds with skins blanched off 6 cups vegetable broth 1 tsp turmeric (optional) ~ boosts anti-inflammatory benefits Put everything in a soup pot and bring to a simmer.  After 20 minutes, the veg should be soft.  Turn off the heat and let the soup cool for a few minutes.  Carefully transfer the veg and broth to your blender (in batches if necessary), and blend until smooth.  Alternatively, use a handheld immersion blender and blend it in the pot. *If your blender has difficulty making this smooth on the first go, try soaking the almonds for an hour to soften them before adding them to the soup pot next time.  The Vitamix blends them beautifully, but others may leave a grainy texture without soaking. While soup is cooking, you can make the Red Pepper Puree 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained or 3 red peppers, seeded, sliced and roasted until soft 1 tsp olive oil 1 Tbsp maple syrup salt and pepper to taste Put everything in your Vitamix or blender and whiz until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.  Transfer to a clean jar. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with a swirl or dollop of the red pepper puree.

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