In the past decade we’ve placed SO much emphasis on whole foods, clean foods, paleo vs. vegan, gluten-free, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant... I think we’re there already, don’t you? We know what healthy eating is. ENOUGH ALREADY! I want to move beyond the research, the data, the shoulds, the restrictions (and the ensuing guilt), and plant my flag right here: are you really being nourished by what you eat?
What is nourishment?
I’ll always remember the first retreat I cooked for at the Commonweal Cancer Help Program in Bolinas, California in 2000. With transient taste changes and discomfort resulting from treatment, people with cancer may eat so little they become malnourished. My challenge was to provide appealing, healing, tasty food. (In fact, this became a centerpiece of my culinary work.) It wasn’t just about nutrition; it was about comfort and nourishing these beautiful people on a very deep level. I rose to the occasion, and watching their faces as they took tentative bites and responded with closed eyes and blissful expressions was unforgettable! That’s nourishment. Deep comfort and delight. I’ve been signing my books “nourishing thoughts” ever since.
Typically, chutneys are rather easy to prepare. In general, the fruits and spices are blended together and served. In some cases, the spices are roasted first and then added to the blender.
The three chutney recipes below are from Heaven’s Banquet by Miriam Kasin Hospodar.
This blog is the first of a three-part series on meal planning. For anyone looking to create more organization and improved quality of their weekly meals, it's important to have a solid place to start from. Have a colorful plant-based list of foods that all of the meals each week will be based around. The list below will give you enough color, variety, and flexibility to choose from seasonally. These staple ingredients are part of a Mediterranean diet, the most well researched diet, showing benefits for many of the chronic diseases the Western world faces today, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and mental illness. Keep reading to see examples of how to apply the science into a weekly meal plan.
Whenever someone tells me they don’t like eggplant, I try to point them in the direction of my marinated eggplant recipe – it’s in our latest cookbook, and it impresses seemingly everyone. Eggplant is spongy and absorbent, so marinating it transforms it into this super flavorful, velvety version of itself that seriously tastes like heaven. I also really like adding eggplant to curry or ciabotta and broiling it in the oven with a miso glaze. It has so much potential to be really delicious!
This eggplant fried rice is our latest obsession. It’s weeknight-friendly, satisfying, and full of fresh, late summer flavors.
Do you have annual food rituals that you love? Making tomato sauce when the season's at its peak, freezing ripe blueberries or making stock when soup season begins in fall? The fizz of anticipation, the planning ahead, the sheer contentment when the treasure is stored away for future delight. If you haven't tried it or tried it with a friend yet, do! Working side-by-side with a dear friend in the kitchen is one of the most nourishing experiences in the world. Enjoy!
Every year around the 2nd week of August, Gravenstein apples make their entrance at our farmer’s market in Marin County, California. Gravenstein is an apple cultivar that originated in the 17th century or earlier. The fruit has a superbly tart flavor cherished for cooking, and it has such a short harvest! Blink and you miss it — which makes it all the more precious. My culinary co-conspirator Julie Burford is our spy. When she sees the apples come in, she orders 40 pounds from the farmer. We are preparing to preserve!
Come and get 'em! The last of this seasons heirloom tomatoes, in the full array of glowing oranges, reds, and golds. But—what to do with them? If you haven't yet tried slow-roasting tomatoes, you MUST! This caramelizes and intensifies the flavor. Be prepared to have your socks knocked off. :)
On my countertop right now I have a collection of tomatoes. It looks like they’re having babies! We’re at the pinnacle of tomato season, when they’re the juiciest, the most flavorful, the most irresistible. I can’t THINK of anything I don’t want to incorporate them into!
Besides slicing the most perfect tomato, drizzling on a little olive oil, sprinkling on some sea salt and just eating it, my other favorite thing to do with tomatoes is to roast them. When you roast tomatoes, they give up their amazing sugars and become so sweet! I’m very fond of roasting the yellow heirlooms, which are lower in acid, meaning they’re sweeter and easier to digest. I peel the bubbly skin right off and throw them into the blender with a handful of basil. People say, “Are you kidding me? That’s ALL you did?” It’s like drinking summer. Or add roasted tomatoes to any soup to turn it into something special. It’s like magic!
Do you ever turn your life into an “if-then statement?” If I have this, then I can do that. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work that way. What if you can’t make the “if” part of the statement true? The second thing can’t follow, and instead you sit around waiting. Sometimes it’s worth just jumping ahead to the “then” part.
Alternatively, do you ever put off doing things because you don’t want to do them alone? A number of years ago, for instance, I wanted to go apple picking but thought that it would be more fun to do with someone else. When I couldn’t find a friend to join me, I decided to go by myself, leaping over the “if” and going right to the “then.” I took my dog, Molly, and found an organic U-Pick apple farm nearby.
A version that marches to the beat of a different drummer from the usual garlic-laden, tahini-based Middle Eastern hummus bi tehina.
Why We Love This Recipe
Pitta dosha types, this hummus is for you! It offers a cooling take on traditional hummus. A bit of fresh ginger helps aid digestion in this protein-rich dish.
Note that you must soak the garbanzos overnight.
The tart consists of three elements that seem to have been made for one another: a 4-ingredient, grain-free crust, a savory cauliflower ricotta, and a layer of juicy, caramelized tomatoes on top.
I love making ‘ricotta’ with almonds or cashews, but thought that my usual recipe would be too heavy for this tart, since I needed a fairly good amount of it to fill up the whole crust. Cutting the nut ricotta with some steamed cauliflower worked amazingly well. If anything, the cauliflower contributed to the nutty and savory flavor of the cheese even further, while making the texture fluffy and light. It never hurts to add a dose of cruciferous veg to your meal, either ;) The richness of the ricotta is the best compliment to the sun-fed, juicy caramelized tomatoes that crown the tart. Add a (vegan) buttery crust to that, and you’re really in business.Because this tart is plant-based and doesn’t contain eggs to thicken the ricotta, and because I didn’t want to over-complicate the recipe with any vegan thickeners, the ‘cheese’ is quite soft straight out of the oven. It’s still possible to get a nice slice though, if you work with a sharp knife and a dependable pie server. The ricotta layer does thicken up after a night in the fridge, so your leftovers will be even more sliceable. We hope you’ll give it a try!Click for GRAIN-FREE TOMATO TART WITH CAULIFLOWER RICOTTA Recipe Serves: one 10" tart
Summer heat getting to you just a little bit? Have I got the coolest, most refreshing ideas for you! Soundtrack included.? An excellent solution from the archives. Enjoy!
My friends, cucumbers have changed! When I was growing up, cucumbers were fat and stubby with waxy skins and big, blah seeds. They were relegated to three uses: a garnish on the plate, sliced in a salad, or finely sliced in little tea sandwiches with butter on white bread. Honestly not a major player, nothing spectacular. The texture was unexciting, the seeds were annoying, the skin was bitter. Meh.
Oh, there was one other cucumber use! Me and my friends all put them on our eyes :) We had sleepover dates, in which we would rummage through our mother’s beauty supplies, slather our faces with face masks and put cucumber slices over our eyelids to get rid of puffy eyes. (Really? Did we really need to worry about puffy eyes?) We listened to Seals and Crofts “Summer Breeze,” face masks hardening on our faces like cement. Straight out of a Patty Duke Show.
This morning I spent an hour on the phone with Verizon Wireless to undo an erroneous charge.
Although this was not how I planned to start my day, it helped me realize something about manifestation. As I dialed Verizon, I asked myself, “What do I want?” Once my intention was clear, I was able to pursue it with determination. Yet, I wasn’t attached to the outcome, which kept me calm and focused. I wanted my account credited, but I knew I’d be okay if it didn’t happen. After talking to four different people, however, I eventually got it.
Whatever your dreams—a refund on your cellular data plan or something much bigger—set your intention, release attachment to the outcome, and feel it with all your might. My mom calls this “acting as if.” Act as if your future is already a reality and believe it or not, once you truly feel your dreams, they do indeed come true.
Cherry, beefsteak, sungold, green zebra. Who doesn't like a ripe, juicy tomato in the peak of summer? They seem to pop out all at once in our gardens, CSA baskets, and markets, which is why we eagerly wait all summer for them to appear. There are so many varieties to choose from, each with a distinct taste, scent, and texture. Even the health benefits vary from one variety to another: smaller cherry tomatoes contain higher levels of beta-carotene than the larger beefsteak and field tomatoes.
Across the board, tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. The vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids (a type of phytonutrients) can help protect against cancer, maintain healthy skin, maintain blood pressure, and lower blood glucose in diabetics. Let's dive in a little deeper about some of the health supportive effects of tomatoes.
So, gazpacho has been a weekly staple for us. I like to vary the recipe every time I make it so as to not get bored, and also because there are so many possibilities to explore in the gazpacho realm. Check out our Red Lentil, Spicy Strawberry, Watermelon, and Pineapple Cucumber gazpacho recipes.
This mango version is so refreshing with its lovely balance of sweet, savory, and spicy notes. It couldn’t be easier to make, too – just throw everything in the blender, chill, and enjoy.
Did you know that fresh herbs and spices don’t JUST 10x flavor (as if that weren’t enough), but that they have magical healing powers, too? Many contain compounds capable of modifying gene expression to potentially keep cancer and other diseases at bay, plus providing immune support, controlling inflammation, and warding off bacteria and viruses—i.e., they have superpowers! So we’re not talking just enhancing taste, but improving wellness and possibly increasing longevity when you reach for that spice jar or throw some chopped herbs in whatever you’ve got cooking.
I’m delighted to share one of my favorite posts from the archives on this topic. If you haven’t seen it before, take a few moments to absorb this truly remarkable knowledge developed over the past decade of nutrition research. Plus get 2 superb recipes, including one of my most popular potato recipes ever. Serious yum!
Often the effort we put into something has a direct correlation with our satisfaction. If you are a picky eater or if you have children who won’t touch a vegetable with a ten-foot pole, grow a vegetable garden. It sounds like a crazy idea, but you may discover a latent penchant for kale, tomatoes, or zucchini as a result of the love and time that you put into your little patch of earth. There is power in growing your own food, be it a small pot of mint on your kitchen counter or an acre of vegetables. I’m constantly in awe of nature’s majesty when I see what one tiny seed can become.
What other things in your life might you perceive differently if you spent time tending to them and nurturing them?
This recipe is all about two things: 1) the sauce and 2) keeping your ingredients as cold as possible. The sauce is a combination of everything that’s good in this world. It’s spicy, salty, creamy, and a bit sweet. It’s great for so much more than slathering on noodles, too: dip anything in it, like summer rolls, raw veggies, your fingers…
Have you experienced hangry? I recently got called on it. I had worked myself into a snit in conversation with my friend when she turned to me and said, “When’s the last time you ate?” I looked at her wide-eyed, and thought, Oh my God! When was the last time?
I work really hard and forget to eat. I lose track of time and my blood sugar runs a little low. At that point, I’m slipping into fight or flight and my mood is taking a dramatic dip. Have you thought through how deeply hangry can affect your productivity, your behavior, your relationships—and why?
An article in the Washington Post this month entitled “If you’ve ever been hangry, this is what your body may be telling you” got me thinking about the whys of hangry, and how much it makes perfect sense! All your neurotransmitters are cycling through your enteric nervous system. If you’re not feeding and nourishing your brain, your mood’s gonna dip! Things that would never irritate you normally are suddenly the most monumental issues in the world. I get possessed! Who is that person? Angry, irritable, upset-out-of-nowhere and often doesn’t even realize it!
As soon as I feed myself, usually a good combination of fat, protein and carbs (enter the nut or seed), I go from possessed… back to my normal self. That little goblin goes away. Is it literally that simple? Yes.
Do you ever feel jealous of posts on Facebook about summer adventures? When you’re working long hours or stuck at home with a summer cold, even little things like a photo of a homemade smoothie or a mention of a walk with a dog can elicit envy. Do you want to experience the carefree feeling of the summer of your youth, to swing for hours under a grand, old oak tree, dig your toes into the sand at the beach, and wipe the sweat from your brow as you slice, dice, pickle, and preserve the bounty of a summer harvest?
One summer a few years ago when I was down with the flu and had to succumb to a bowlful of cough drops and endless hours of Netflix, I looked out the window and heard the kids next door running through the sprinkler and smelled another neighbor’s charcoal grill. I longed to join them.