Flu Season Helpers

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It’s flu season, at least here in New York. And so, it’s time to boost your immune system! 
I’ve written two articles over the last week on MindBodyGreen.com. Check out my 5 All-Natural Alternatives To Flu Shots and Have The Flu? 5 Things You Should Do Right Now! 
Knock yourselves out :) And you know what they say in the boys scouts: Be Prepared! 

Here’s my recipe for a potent, immunity boosting 
Ginger Brew: 

Grate 1 tbsp fresh ginger into a cup and pour hot water over it.
Let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
Add the juice of 1/2 lemon, a sprinkle of cayenne papper and one tsp of raw, local honey.
Sip and enjoy slowly. 

Perfect on a cold winter morning! 

Smoothie of the Week: Belly Soother

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After a few weeks of heavy eating and drinking (I’m assuming here) give your belly a real probiotic and enzyme boost with this delicious, creamy smoothie. The coconut yogurt provides healthy fats and god bacteria to help restore your gut flora. And papaya is famous for it’s potent enzymes that aid in digestion. 

Drink up for you belly! 

Belly Soother

1 cup papaya

1 cup coconut kefir, yogurt ( aka cultured coconut milk)

juice from ½ lime

1 tbsp raw honey

Blend it all up and sip it slow. 

Smoothie of the Week: (The Green) Kiss

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This week’s smoothie has got some green goodness! The avocado adds healthy fat and makes it super creamy and the coconut water add delicious hydrating sweetness. Pear is an under-utilized fruit in the smoothie world, but for no good reason! And I’m sticking with the Prince themed names….

(The Green) Kiss

1 cup Coconut water
1/2 Pear
1/2 avocado
1 packed cup of spinach
1 tbsp flax seeds 
pure water - add enough to make it creamy but drinkable. Or keep it lusciously thick and eat it like a pudding.

Gluten Free Pasta with Mushrooms, Greens and Beans

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Remember when I wrote about the GOMBBS, the five foods that fight cancer; greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, berries and seeds? While I save my berries and seeds for my smoothies, I managed to create a delicious recipe with the rest of them! 
This is a perfect dish when you’re craving some comfort-food but would rather not deal with the inevitable guilt… 

Here’s the recipe for you.  

Gluten Free Pasta with Greens and Mushroom Sauté 

Serves 2

1 cup uncooked brown rice or quinoa pasta (penne or fusilli works great) 
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped 
2 cups sliced mushrooms of your choice
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cooked adzuki beans (but any other beans would work here too!)
2 cups chopped kale
1 small can of anchovy filets, finely shopped
1/4 cup chopped, fresh basil 

  • Heat a deep pan or skillet, add the olive oil and minced garlic 
  • Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes
  • Cook the pasta according to the package instruction. Drain and set aside
  • Add the mushrooms and broccoli, sauté for another few minutes
  • Toss in the kale, cooked beans and anchovies. 
  • Finally toss together the pasta with the sautéed vegetables.
  • Add in the basil just before serving. 

If you liked this recipe, you might want to check out the other Recipe’s on my blog too! 

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Let me know how you like it. 
Comment below and share it with your fellow gluten-free explorers.

DIY Tooth Soap

Have you ever turned your toothpaste tube around and studied the ingredient list? 
Here’s a few of the common ingredients:

Triclosan - a powerful anti-bacterial agent linked to development of super resistent bacterias and believed to impact thyroid function (NYTimes.) 

Artificial Dyes - linked to behavioral and learning issues and even hyperactivity in children (source.)

Sodium Laureate Sulfate- this is the stuff that creates foam, in both your toothpaste and your shampoo. It’s linked to canker sores and increased sensitivity in the mouth. 

So, instead of taking a risk brushing your teeth with toxic and irritating toothpaste, you can easily make your own with five commonly used ingredients. 

RECIPE:

3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tpsp baking soda
25 drops peppermint oil
1 packet stevia powder or xylitol
2 tsp vegetable glycerine 

Mash the oil and baking soda into a paste. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and store in a jar. 

Smile like you mean it!

Blueberry Soft Serve

As we’re approaching the end of summer, I love hanging on to the foods that really symbolize summer for me - and ice cream has always been one of those things. As a kid I loved soft serve vanilla ice cream (soft-is in Norwegian) with a fine chocolate powder topping. So, on this hot and steamy Saturday I decided to make my own soft serve - without the sugar, dairy or artificial anything!

Here it goes:

In a blender add..

1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup coconut yogurt (I bought mine from Sun In Bloom)  
…you could also use organic plain greek yogurt or kefir if you eat dairy
2 drops liquid stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp raw cacao

Blend it all up, pour into a bowl or glass and drizzle with a few blueberries and cacao nibs.

(p.s. you could certainly make this using any frozen fruit you like - bananas work really well…)  

Creamy Spinach Soup

I love home made soup!

On a drive upstate New York this weekend we drove past a farm stand selling big bags of spinach for just $2! I stocked up and decided to make a big batch of creamy spinach soup. The added potato makes the soup creamy and smooth without having to use any flour, thickener or heavy cream. 

Recipe:

1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large (red skinned) potato, cubed
6 good handfuls of spinach
1 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup water 
2 bay leaves
2 tsp sea salt or herbamare
1/4 tsp pepper
Handful parsley, chopped 

How:

Sauté the onion and garlic in a olive oil or butter. When the onion is translucent add in the rest of the ingredients except the parsley. Let it boil for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork. 
Fish out the bay leaf and discard.

Stir in the fresh parsley and blend up - either using a hand blender or a blender.  

Server with chunks of avocado and sprinkle with parsley. 

[ Popeye approved]

Fatty Fish Salad

You’ve probably read that you should eat more fatty fish, right? But then we also read about mercury and overfishing! So what’s a (wo)man to do?

- Choose smaller fish, these are less likely to contain dangerous levels of mercury
- Choose wild caught fish. Farm fed fish gets fattened up on a diet that is not of their own choosing and are loaded with PCB’s - Polychlorinated Biphenyls which have been linked to reproductive problems, cancer, immune & endocrine system disorders and more.
- Fatty fish from cold water have the highest amounts of Omega 3; choices include wild caught salmon, sardines, herring and small halibut.
- For an easy, always around, fish supply, buy some canned fish! Sardines, anchovies and wild salmon are good choices. Look for BPA free cans!
- There’s an App for that too: The Seafood Watch App is totally free. It uses your current location to determine what’s the best choice for you from the catch of the day!

Sardine Salad:

Ingredients:
A handful or bunch of lettuce - I used romaine - torn into bite size pieces
1 large roasted or boiled parsnip - chopped
1 can of sardines (pref. in olive oil)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp flax seed oil (can be left out)
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Whisk or shake up, do a taste test and drizzle over the salad right before eating.

Om- om- omega 3!

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Sweet Potato Fries

You don’t have to throw out all things delicious just because you want to live a healthier life. Instead - upgrade!

Sweet potatoes are more nutritious than white potatoes. They are certainly prettier and brighter and honestly, way more delicious!
In case you care about the details - sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C, potassium (move over bananas!) and fiber and have a lower impact on your blood sugar.

The most fun and easy way to prepare these babies?
Cut into fries or fingers (if you will.) Toss on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 375F for about 35 minutes or until desired consistency.
Enjoy it with some raw, fermented and awesome ketchup from BAO!

Superbowl Superfoods

So I’ve been told that there’s a big game happening this Sunday!? I’m quite frankly most interested in seeing Madonna’s performance at half time! And off course the great excuse to get together with friends and share great food. Instead of ordering pizza or a bunch of chicken wings - why not make some delicious finger foods and/or organize a potluck. 

Here are some fun, quick and delicious ideas.

1. Zucchini roll ups

Recipe via here.

2. Turkey Meatballs

Use ground turkey and your favorite spices. Roll into balls and fry it in coconut oil or butter in the pan. Serve with spicy salsa!

3.Vegetable Medley

Cut up all your favorite root vegetables and squashes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 375F for 30min.

4. Picnic Board

This one is totally inspired by Vancouver’s Nelson the Seagull. Dried fruit, fresh berries, raw nuts, sourdough bread, house made pastrami, pesto and orange marmalade. Pick and choose whatever suits your style!

5. Chickpea Fritters with Avocado Dip

Recipe via here.

Cooking leftovers; Warm Winter Salad

It’s been a cold few days lately so I though I’d share a super easy way to warm up and use up your leftovers…

Whenever I roast vegetables in the oven I make a HUGE batch of all my in-season, favorite veggies - especially sweet root-vegetables.


Try onion, carrot, rutabaga, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato etc. I also love adding cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts. I drizzle on olive oil, sea salt and pepper and cook at 375F for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

And the same goes for cooking grains ( remember to soak them over night…)
I’ll cook a lot when I’m at it. And - ta da - I’m left with a bunch of delicious leftovers!

So, to the Warm Winter Salad;
Mix together your leftover roasted vegetables and a cup of your grains in a pot with a splash of water. Reheat!
Then - stir in chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro and the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of sea salt.
Add a big spoon of hummus or guacamole on top and enjoy a delicious 5 minute meal.


Root vegetables with millet and hummus

Raw Winter Salad (Råkost Salat)

I love this bright, fresh and crispy salad!

It is packed with bright colors and sweet flavors. The C-vitamins from the orange and root vegetables are great for fending of the cold’s and flues of the season.

This salad is a staple on Norwegian dinner-tables, often accompanying pan fried fish and boiled potatoes.

RECIPE: Raw Winter Salad (Råkost Salat)

  • 1 rutabaga
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • The juice of one orange
  • salt & pepper

Peel the rutabaga and carrots and cut into thin strips using a mandolin or vegetable peeler. You can also grind it more finely.
— Whatever rock’s your boat!

Mix in the raisins and finely chopped celery.
Add the orange juice.
Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

As featured on Intentblog.com

Drink To Good Health; Gløgg or Mulled Wine

Gløgg is the Norwegian (or Scandinavian I should say) version of mulled wine, served at any and every Holiday Party throughout the month of December. This warming antioxidant boost is a perfect drink for cold, dark and cozy winter nights.
Cinnamon helps balance your blood sugar and cloves are known for having anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and pain-relieving effects.
Skål!

Gløgg/Mulled Wine Recipe

18 servings (1/2 cups)

3 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
2 (750-milliliter) bottles dry red wine
1 cup raisins
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup honey or maple syrup

1. In a large sauce pan, bring the first 4 ingredients to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Strain the boiled mixture into a large bowl. Discard the leftover spices and return the liquid to mixture to the sauce pan.
3. Add in the wine, raisins and sweetener and and slowly reheat the mixture. Do not let it boil if you’d like to keep the wine intact.
4. Serve hot with a spoon of chopped almonds and raisins. Garnish with a cinnamon stick!

Ginger Goodness

  • Anti Inflammatory
  • Fights nausea incl. travel and morning sickness
  • Comforts throat and chest
  • Digestion Aid both before, during and after a meal
  • Warming and comforting
  • Stimulates circulation of both blood and lymph
  • Helps the body release toxins 
  • PMS support
  • Immune Support

Try a Carrot Ginger soup or a Ginger Brew Tea this week to stay warm, help detox from all those Holiday Parties and protect yourself against the colds and flue’s of the season.

Ginger Brew Tea:

Slice up a few inches of ginger and add it to a pot of boiling water. Let it simmer for 30minutes before draining. Serve warm or cold with fresh lemon juice and sweeten with raw honey. For a quick, lazy version - just grind some fresh ginger straight into your cup and add hot water. Let it seep for five minutes and enjoy!

Easy Roasted Kombucha Squash

I love roasted squash! Oh so sweet, creamy and delicious.

But sometimes these big, weirdly shaped vegetables can be a bit intimidating. Luckily, it turns out they’re way easier to prepare than they seem! So - here’s my easy 4 step approach;

1. Cut the Kombucha squash in half and take out the seeds with a spoon. Rub the squash with olive oil or coconut oil inside and out.

2. Sprinkle the insides with your favorite fall spices; nutmeg, all spice, cinnamon, ginger etc…

3. Turn the squash so that the inside faces down to seal in the heat.

4. Roast at 375 F for about 40 minutes, or until completely soft and golden. Like so:

Tada!

Now - cut into cubes and serve in a salad or as a side dish. Or fill the “cup” with your favorite whole grains (quinoa or kasha would be so yummy here!) and some sauteed onion and mushrooms.

Totally comforting and satisfying - and Meatless Monday approved!