The adjustments of becoming pregnant and starting a newish career/job has kept me away from this wonderful outlet of sharing all the good food, well-being and nutrition that inspires me to live a heathy life. This preggo thing wasn’t a planned venture, (though super pumped!) I have some ideas of how I think it did come as a surprise - as for some, I know it does not. I hope to provide a little insight I’ve learned along the way that you can apply to begin housing a little being.

As well, I’ve been busy in the kitchen coming up with specific nutrient-dense recipes whilst being in this prenatal phase (and preparing for the postnatal - that will be in another post!). Foods and beverages that have worked for me to maintain a healthy weight gain, but also supply the proper nutrients my growing babe needs before coming into this mad world!

Anyone who’s been pregnant knows how awkwardly uncomfortable this last stage is, 38+ weeks to be exact! Finding a comfortable position to even write this is challenging! But like my yoga teacher said this morning, it’s the perfect place for baby until it’s ready to make an appearance. So until then, I’m hanging in!

Here are a few of the practices and pointers I found to helped guide me through this amazing transition and time in both our lives…

  • Detox The thing about detoxing is I think it can be taken to extremes, with crazy honey and lemon water only diets, fasting for days and those crazy kits you can buy (which I’ve done on numerous occasions). By detox, in this sense is in reference to what my natropath and other leading health professionals whom I follow taught me. There are many toxins in our environment that are out of our control, however the products and materials we use in our daily life are in our control.
  • While my intention was to soley rid our home of these toxic substances for our greater health and disease prevention, this can be a practice for those who are looking to release excess chemicals and endocrine disruptors that can adversley effect your chances of concieving. Here are a couple examples… all cosmetics or products you use on your skin that absorb into your blood stream, (this is a great site to help with these things) non-stick pans or aluminum and anything in plastic. I’ve always been a #hippyatheart so for me, I had already been using shampoos, deoderants, soaps and cosmetics with out all the junk for years. It was the plastic I found tricky to get around, mason jars are now my best friend!
  • Nutrition Now onto the good stuff, the real meat of being pregnant. Now that you’ve detoxified your home and powder room, move on up to your fridge and cupboards for an overhaul. As a Natural Therapuetic Chef, I’m more than ever aware of the issues with our food system. Being mindful is the first step to good nutrition, avoiding processed and packaged goods loaded with harmful preservatives and excess sugars and poor salts is a great start. Then the rest is just about eating local and seasonal, supporting your community butcher and going to the market for your produce. Sticking with nutrient-dense foods like leafy greens, colourful vegetables, high quality meats and healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds as well as coconut oil and grass-fed butter in moderation - of course organic whenever possible.
  • Yoga/Exercise For me, this is a must. I NEED to have a physical outlet for multiple reasons. But mainly as a meditative, stress and detoxification process it provides me with such a relief. In the first half of my pregnancy I ran in place of my practice of Bikram yoga, which was very difficult but for the health and growth of the wee one, I waited for the clearance from my midwife. Once I was, it felt great to be back stretching and sweating the toxins from my organs and tissues. It’s super important especially for an expecting mama like myself to properly hydrate in and out of the yoga room so tonnes of honey and lemon water or coconut water do the trick. Offsetting this more intense yoga with a prenatal form was a nice balance and a must for preparing my body for birth and quicker recovery.

That’s about it, I’m sure there’s more I could include but to keep within my scope of practice as a Natural Chef, I will continue in my next post with a couple of the recipes I think were great in each trimester. And if I don’t pop before too soon, I’ll try to squeeze in some of the post-natal recipes I’ve prepared for my recovery - super time-savers and packed with all a new mama (and papa) are in need of. Otherwise, I’ll see you on the flipside!

Ukrainian Red Beet Borscht

Thankfully, many years before my Grandmother passed away, I had the opportunity to watch her way of cooking this sweet, bright magenta soup first hand. Often cited as the Ukraine for it’s origin, (I think I’m bias ;) although it’s had it’s roots in most parts of eastern Europe. (no pun intended) Borscht, is slavic for borschevik or hogweed. What was originally used when making this hearty soup.

I commonly squished my face in disgust to this swampy looking vegetable soup as a child. This was before of course, I matured my palate and realized this stuff was pure goodness. 30 years of gathering with my Father’s large and ever-growing family on Christmas eve, at a dining room table (usually in an U or T shape to accommodate everyone). All this to enjoy and savor this once-a-year, 5-course Ukrainian meal. Two soups, a porridge, 2 varieties of cabbage rolls and perogies among other aperitifs and dessert treats. An experience to say the least, I think there’s butter in EVERY dish! A thick and fattening meal that leaves you wanting more while resenting what you already consumed!

The borscht soup I enjoyed cooking with my grandmother, is as authentic as she remembered learning from her mother - which I’m sure has been tweaked over the years. Her version contains a LOT of butter, oh and cream, lot’s of that as well! However, the authenticity and color of borscht is truly determined by the ingredients that go into making it. An true borscht recipe would ask for onions, beets, butter, carrots, beans, potatoes, dill, cream and lemon for balancing. Possibly cabbage and different varieties of meats are also commonly used.

Beets are a pure source of folic acid, fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium. Medicinally used for disorders of the liver - stimulating to the detoxification process. Betacyanin a cancer-flighting agent, gives them their bright pink pigment. (Murray,2005)


  • prep time

    25 minutes
  • cook time

    2-4 hours
  • yields

    five 16 oz. mason jars (maybe more depending on how long you cook it for)
  • inspired by

    My Grandmother’s traditional borscht
  • Night before

    Soak the dill weed by covering with the water and bring it to a boil before cooking.

Prep

  • one
    bunch dill (plus more for garnish)
  • two cups
    water for dill
  • five
    onions, or 6 cups diced and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups
    unsalted butter or ghee, divided
  • 1/2 cups
    olive oil
  • 3 tsp
    sea salt, divided
  • two
    large sweet potatoes, quartered
  • three
    beets, cleaned, peeled and quartered
  • one
    chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp
    ground pepper
  • two
    carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 10 oz.
    green beans, chopped into 1” pieces (about 11/2 cups)
  • 2 cups
    vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cups
    lemon, juiced
  • 10 oz.
    cremé fraîche
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Method

  1. Add 1 cup of the butter, olive oil and 5 cups onions and 1 tsp salt to a large pot and sauté slowly on medium heat until clear 10 minutes. Turn down to medium-low for another 15 minutes, it will increase in liquid almost by half when finished - pour into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Food process each separately, sweet potatoes, beets then remaining onions.
  3. In another pot, add potatoes and cover with water by 1” - add 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, turn off heat strain and reserve water.
  4. In the first large pot, add the remaining butter and the beets and salt and pepper. Stir to combine until the butter is melted.
  5. Add the potatoes and reserved potato water (add more water if neccessary), dill liquid, beans, carrots, chili pepper, stock, lemon juice and 1 cup of the reserved butter and onions mixture. Bring to a boil, very slowly over medium heat.
  6. Cover and turn down to a low simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occationally or until desired tenderness is reached on vegetables. They should be slightly squishy.
  7. To serve, remove from heat and stir in creme fraîche to create a bright pink hue. Garnish with a sprig of dill.

  • Sources: (1) Murray, Michael T., Joseph E. Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria, 2005. 164-65. Print.
  • Lamb and sweet potato stew with lemon
    and garlic cauliflower mash

    In a lesson at cooking school a few weeks back, we made a stew with lamb - that’s a first for me! Since then I’ve been inspired to make more and more stews and experiment with different cuts of meat and vegetable combinations. They’re a hearty meal to prepare on the weekend, especially in these cooling months towards winter.
    Stews require a little prep - but after it gets a good simmer on, with a variety of nutrient-dense, fibrous vegetables and grass-fed meats, soaking up spices like cumin, coriander and curry. Makes for one delicious Sunday evening dinner with the family - big or small! And this recipe is exactly that! I wanted some spice, warmth and definitely immune-building nutrition. I think I need more practice with spice and herb combining, to get just the right mix.
    With this hearty stew, I served with it with a slice of gluten-free pumpernickel, herb butter and a cauliflower mash. Ultimate comfort foods with healthful additions makes for one wholesome meal.


    • yields

      Approximately 4 servings
    • prep time

      15 minutes
    • cook time

      1 hour 30 minutes

    Prep

    • 3 lbs
      grass-fed and pasture-raised lamb
    • salt and pepper for seasoning
    • 4Tbsp
      unsalted butter or ghee, divided
    • 1
      yellow onion, diced
    • 1
      celery stock, diced
    • 1
      medium sweet potato, diced
    • 4
      garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2”
      ginger, minced
    • 1/4 tsp
      cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp
      coriander
    • 1½ tsp
      cumin
    • 1½ tsp
      sea salt, plus more to taste
    • ¼ cup
      dry red wine
    • 1 tsp
      maple sugar or syrup
    • 14 oz can
      organic diced tomatoes
    • 3½ cups
      chicken stock
    • 1 cup
      collards, chopped

    • cauliflower mash

    • 1
      head organic cauliflower (food processed into small pea forms)
    • 2
      cloves garlic, minced
    • ¾ cup
      vegetable stock
    • ½ tsp
      sea salt
    • 2Tbsp
      butter or ghee
    • 1tsp
      lemon juice
    • 2Tbsp
      goat yogurt
    • 1
      shallot, minced

    1. Season the lamb pieces in salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp of the butter. Brown each lamb piece, avoid crowding and then set aside.
    2. Add the remaining butter and add onions, sauté until translucent. Add celery, sweet potato, garlic, ginger, spices and salt. Stirring constantly until well combined and you can smell the spices begin to cook, about 4 minutes.
    3. With the red wine, deglaze the skillet, scraping bits off the bottom.
    4. Add maple sugar, tomatoes and chicken stock. Add back in the meat and bring to a light boil. Immediately turn down to a simmer on medium-low heat for 35 minutes.
    5. Remove lid and stir. Sauce should be slightly reduced and thicker. Continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to reduced liquid further.
    6. While the lamb is stewing, add the cauliflower to a pot with the stock, salt and garlic. Cover and cook on medium heat, for about 15 minutes or until almost all the stock is gone.
    7. Add the collards to the stew and stir to combine. Cook until greens are slightly wilted but still green about 10 minutes.
    8. Turn the heat off on the cauliflower and add in butter, lemon juice, yogurt and shallot. With an immersion blender, pureé in pot until smooth like whipped potatoes! Serve with stew and a fresh slice of gluten-free bread.

    Millet and Oat Spiced Pancakes

    My attempt to make pumpkin pancakes did not quite make it this time. Although, after a few test rounds, I ended up with a nice light batter, fluffy, filling and pumpkin-spiced. Pretty simple to make, now that I got the ingredients set! The millet gives them a sweet vanilla flavour, and is a source of magnesium and B vitamins. These are a great alternative compared to the traditional flapjacks that can be loaded with sugar and refinded white flour. I still have a full ziplock bag full of pumpkin wedges, pumpkin curry anyone?


    • yields

      2 servings (approximately 7-10 pancakes)
    • prep time

      5 minutes
    • cook time

      15 minutes

    Prep

    • 1/2 cup
      millet, ground into a flour
    • 1/2 cup
      out flour
    • 1/8 cup
      coconut sugar
    • 2 Tbs
      arrowroot flour
    • 3/4 tsp
      baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp
      cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp
      nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp
      xantham powder (as a binder)
    • 1/4 tsp
      sea salt
    • 1 cup
      almond milk or other milk alternative
    • 3 Tbs
      melted coconut oil, divided
    • 1
      egg, lightly beaten
    • 1
      organic apple, grated
    • organic maple syrup and butter or ghee (for serving)
    • Method

    1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
    2. Then in another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients, reserving 1 Tbs of the oil.
    3. Pour the dry mixture into the wet bowl and whisk batter together lightly just until combined. Consistency should be thick but runny.
    4. In a cast iron or heavy bottom pan on medium-low heat, melt a couple drops of oil to coat bottom.
    5. With 1/3 measuring cup, pour batter in the center. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining batter.
    6. Serve with the butter or ghee, grated apple and maple syrup if desired.

    Seasonal Leek & Cauliflower Soup

    I had a friend over the other night for dinner, we cooked up some fresh zucchinni salad with tender sweet pork ribs. Very tasty indeed! While we didn’t have any leftovers of that good stuff. She did leave a head of cauliflower. I thought it would be nice and nourishing in a soup with a leek I got at the market the other day. It was surprisingly good! I’ve made a cauliflower soup in the past that tasted “really” healthy, like dirt healthy. This one has much more flavor and a sweet and smooth texture. I love the soft yellow colour it has after being blended. Serve it up with a salad or thin crust pizza or just by itself for a light lunch.


    • yields

      Approximately two 16 oz Mason Jars
    • prep time

      15 minutes
    • cook time

      15 - 20 minutes

    Prep

    • one head
      cauliflower, chopped roughly
    • one
      leek, chopped
    • two stalks
      celery, chopped
    • 2 Tbs
      coconut oil
    • two
      bay leaves
    • 3 tsp
      dried thyme
    • 32 oz.
      organic vegetable stock
    • 3 cups
      water
    • one
    • sea salt & pepper to taste

    1. In a large ceramic pot, add coconut oil and heat for about 30 seconds.
    2. Add in leeks and celery. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add boullion cube, cauliflower, bay leaves, thyme and the vegetable stock (if I don’t have any homemade stock on hand, I’ve found Pacifico is reasonably priced and has a good balanced flavor - plus you can buy it organic).
    4. Bring this up to a boil, turn down to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
    5. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves.
    6. Using an immersion blender, set on low. Pureé soup until it has reached a consistency you like. Feel free to add a bit of water if you find it too thick.

    A Process of Elimination - Mega Veggie Sandwich

    prepare

    • 2 slices
      gluten-free bread
    • 2 spears
      romain lettuce
    • 2 slices
      plum tomato
    • 4 slices
      cucumber
    • 1 tbsp
      grated carrot
    • 1 tbsp
      almond butter
    • 2 tbsp
      hummus
    • 1 tbsp
      diced celery
    1. Toast bread and butter.
    2. Spread almond butter on 1 slice and hummus on the other.
    3. Place lettuce on the hummus, then cucumber, then carrots and celery, then tomatoes.
    4. Cover with other slice and serve.

    A Process of Elimination - Part 2 
    Foods, Challenges and Substitutions

    Here is a list of the foods and temptations. Some substitutions that fill the gap and are nutritious as well. p.s. the gf veggie sandwich is really good!


    • gluten

      Rye, wheat, barley (yep that means beer!)
    • dairy

      Anything from a cow or with casein.
    • sugar

      White, brown, cane, molasses, high-fructose corn syrup and honey.
    • coffee

      Espresso, lattes, cappuccinos and americanos.
    • challenges

      Eating in restaurants was the hardest. One because I wasn’t eating alone all of the time, secondly pizza and pastries are my nemesis. We are lucky enough to live in a health-conscious city. Even though I cook at home most of the time, when we go out Pho Vietnamese is quick and cheap. If you want to splurge The Plant is great and have gluten-free options.
    • substitutions

      These are some items I substituted in my pantry:
      • Stevia and Maple Syrup - Well the stevia went in my purse and the maple syrup went in the fridge. But those are the only 2 natural sweeteners (other than fruit) I used.

      Udi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread - This is awesome bread! For a gluten-free option is goes the distance. I love it spread it with some almond butter and sliced banana.

      • Granola - I thought I hit the jackpot once I found gluten-free oats. Took me a couple rounds to get the right flavor and crunch, but I landed on a nice recipe with maple syrup.

      • For snacking I chopped vegetables like celery, cucumber and carrots. Low-glycemic fruits such as berries, kiwis, cherries, pineapple and grapefruit. Choosing produce that is in season, local and organic whenever possible.Mary’s Grain-Free Crackers, Almond Butter store-bought or be brave like me and try to make it yourself. #patienceiskey Rice cakes, mixed seeds and nuts are a standard.

      • Gluten-Free Flour Mix - This is a must if you want to bake still. I tweaked an existing recipe and used it for zucchini banana bread and chocolate chip cookies.

      • If in the morning you have a habit like me of grabbing a steaming hot beverage with your breakfast. Finding a few tea blends that you can count on with solid flavor - go a long way. I’m now hooked on Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey and herbal teas such as Lavendar Chamomile and Green Tea with Jasmine. Steamed nut milk is also a good substitute for a fluffy latté.

      • Smooth Hummus - I wanted to try making hummus from raw chickpeas, I’ve heard before it can be healthier to soak your beans and legumes instead of using them in can form. Plus it’s less waste:) It produced a hummus with more flavor even though I hadn’t added garlic.

      • Gluten-Free Veggie Club - I was inspired by Mark Bittman’s recent book VB6. A diet of no meat before 6pm - or at the least use it as a baseline for your meat intake. It’s a tasty sandwich, even my actor-vegetarian brother approved!

      Now on to the food!

    Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

    image

    I’ve started taking a high quality omega fatty acid DHA 3·6·9 Blend to improve memory and cognitive strength (I know I need that!). Although, I’m not a fan of the taste - adding it to this smoothie disguised the flavor entirely. Enjoy!
    Have some ice cubes prepared beforehand.


    • makes

      two full glasses
    • prep time

      15 minutes
    • cook time

      5 minutes
    • inspired by

      tara stiles

    measure out

    • two cups
      organic strawberries quartered
    • 1 cup
      ice
    • 1/2 cup
      oats
    • 1 cup
      cashews
    • 1 cup
      almond milk
    • 1/2 tsp
      cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp
      nutmeg
    • two tbsp
      maple syrup
    • 1/2 tsp
      vanilla
    1. Add almond milk in with the strawberries and ice into a blender.
    2. Pulse for a bit until it combines.
    3. Add in remaining ingredients and more milk if needed.
    4. Pour into two tall glasses and enjoy!

    Spiced Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins

    image

    I wanted to make a small batch of healthy whole wheat muffins for a morning or afternoon snack. My husband who doesn’t normally indulge in baked goods, clearly stated “these muffins are great!” - most likely because I cut the sugar in half. I preheated my oven pretty high so that they would rise really big, they came out light, fluffy and full of warming spices.

    Preheat your oven to 425 F 


    • makes

      six large muffins
    • prep time

      15 minutes
    • cook time

      20 minutes
    • inspired by

      lauren’s latest

    measure out

    • one cup
      whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup
      bread flour
    • 1 1/4 tsp
      baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp
      baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp
      sea salt
    • one tsp
      cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp
      ground cloves
    • 1/4 tsp
      nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup
      brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup
      light olive oil
    • two
      eggs
    • 1/2 cup
      unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 1/2 cups
      carrots grated
    1. Line a muffin tray with 6 muffin cups.
    2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
    3. Whisk together eggs, sugar and remaining ingredients.
    4. Fold in flour mixture and mix just until combined. Batter should be real thick.
    5. Fill lined muffin cups nearly full. Add a bit of water to any empty tins.
    6. Bake for about 10 min then turn down to 350 F and bake for another 10 min. Muffins are done when pressed they spring back.
    7. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

    Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

    image

    Even a health nut like myself needs a good chocolate chip cookie every now and again and these are by far the best I have ever made. A classic cookie recipe from reclaiming provincial. I especially like that they are made with nutrient-rich whole wheat flour. Chewy on the inside but crisp on the edges, with a warmed glass of milk - this is the ultimate comfort food.

    Preheat your oven to 350 F 


    measure

    • 1 1/2 cups
      whole wheat flour
    • 3/4 tsp
      baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp
      baking soda
    • 3/4 tsp
      sea salt
    • 1/2 cup
      unsalted butter cut into 1/2” pieces
    • 1/2 cup
      dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup
      cane sugar
    • one
      egg
    • one tsp
      vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cups
      bittersweet chocolate chips
    1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
    2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt in a bowl and set aside.
    3. Combine butter, sugars. Beat together until blended and add egg and vanilla.
    4. Add the dry ingredients and fold in chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.
    5. Place 2 inch scoops onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart at least.
    6. Bake for 16-20 minutes.
    7. Transfer to a cooling rack for a little bit before serving.

    Crock Pot Chicken Stock

    image

    I’ve tried making homemade stock in the past, but failed miserably. It was
    a vegetable version with celery root and I don’t think I cooked it long enough. I make soups quite often and hate store-bought broth cubes that can be full of preservatives and added sodium. This time I made a super flavor-packed organic chicken stock made in my crock pot. I used this recipe as a guideline. This makes a lot of stock but can be froze up to 4 months.

    measure

    • one
      4-5 pound organic chicken
    • one
      medium onion quartered
    • two
      carrots quartered
    • two
      celery stalks quartered
    • four
      cloves of garlic roasted
    • four
      dry bay leaves
    • four
      fresh thyme twigs
    • 1/2 tsp
      sea salt (you’ll probably need more)
    1. Clean chicken and place into the crock pot, season with salt.
    2. Fold in chopped vegetables, garlic and bay leaves.
    3. Fill crock pot with water until it covers the chicken entirely.
    4. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 6 hours.
    5. Skim fat off the top, remove meat and refrigerate.
    6. Give it a taste to see if it needs more sea salt - mine did. Place the bones back in the pot and add in thyme. Put cover back on for 2 hours on low.
    7. In a large bowl, put a colander inside and pour the stock and filter the solids from the broth. Discard solids.
    8. (This is the key to smooth, clean stock. I used a large pot and tied some cheesecloth to the handles.) Gradually pour stock into the pot.

    Let the stock cool (no longer than 1/2 hour) before transferring to jars. The stock can keep in the freezer for about 4 months.

    Warming Winter Aromas

    imageimage

    Freshly cut flowers and a bowl of sweet oranges are a few things I love to have out on the kitchen table - not just for their beauty but also their aromas. The Modern Ayurvedic cookbook, says using specific essential oils can calm nerves, uplift spirits and balance energy. I’ve been using them in a ceramic diffuser, these are my absolute favorites… sweet orange, atlas cedar, geranium rose and lavender. I’ve also been diluting them with a carrier oil like organic sesame and used them as bath oils. What essential oils help you keep balanced?

    Organic Almond Milk

    image

    I had no idea almond milk was so easy to prepare and 100% natural. I made mine with less water and more almonds so it had more flavor. I omitted the cane sugar - I’m trying to stay away from that stuff, pretty sure I have a cavity! It’s really nice warmed up with nutmeg and a cinnamon stick or over your morning oatmeal.

    • serves

      6 cups or 1.5 liters
    • prep time

      8 hours
    • cook time

      30 minutes
    • inspired by

      So Good and Tasty

    measure

    • 2 cups
      organic almonds
    • 4-6 cups
      water
    • 1 tsp
      vanilla
    1. Place almonds in a large bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight.
    2. The following morning combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
    3. Strain the milk through a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer over a tall bowl.
    4. Press down to squeeze out the liquid from the pulp.
    5. Reserve the almond pulp for other recipes.
    6. Pour the milk into a seal glass container and store in the fridge up to 5 days.

    Yummy Yam Soup

    image

    I made this soup from The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook. A great source for wholesome recipes based on the principals of Ayurvedic cooking. A sweet, rich and nutritious soup. Perfect for those cold winter nights - it’s warming qualities of cinnamon and clove are super comforting.


    measure

    • 2 tbsp
      ghee or butter
    • 2 tbsp
      olive oil
    • 3/4 cup
      onions sliced
    • two
      garlic cloves
    • 6 cups
      yams cubed
    • five cups
      vegetable broth
    • 1/2 tsp
      salt or to taste
    • one
      cinnamon stick
    • one
      clove
    • two
      whole peppercorns
    • 1/4 tsp
      turmeric
    1. In a large pot, heat ghee/butter and oil. Add onions, sauté until they start to soften.
    2. Add garlic. Continue sautéing until the onions are transparent.
    3. Add in remaining ingredients.
    4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20min.
    5. Check seasoning. Remove cinnamon stick, peppercorns and clove.
    6. Using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. Check consistency, if the soup is too thick add more water.

    Top with plain yogurt and serve with a fresh slice of bread.

    Root Vegetable and Squash Bake

    image

    Sometimes I find it hard to cook naturally without having a plan. If I know what I want to cook before-hand, it makes things easier. Especially for recipes like this one, that has specific ingredients I wouldn’t have on hand. This was simple and rich. In season root vegetables and warm spices, grounding and smooth. I modified this recipe from Kitchen Medicine Cooking Medicine, a great resource for natural living topics.

    Preheat your oven to 375 F 

    measure

    • 1/2
      butternut squash peeled and chopped
    • one
      parsnip peeled and chopped
    • one
      sweet potato peeled and chopped
    • one
      onion sliced
    • 1lb
      organic grass fed ground beef
    • 2 tbsp
      raisins
    • 1/2 tsp
      turmeric
    • 2 tbsp
      allspice
    • 1/2 tsp
      sea salt
    • 1/4 cup
      prune juice
    • 1 cup
      water
    • 4 tbsp
      olive oil
    1. Combine the chopped vegetables and set aside.
    2. Sauté onions in oil until transparent.
    3. Add in beef and break apart into tiny pieces while cooking until brown.
    4. Add in spices and sea salt, stirring on low bringing out the fragrances.
    5. Add remaining ingredients and stir together for a couple minutes.
    6. Fold into a small baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

    cooling and serving:

    I served it with basmati rice, yogurt and chapati bread.

    Yeast-free Bread

    image

    This ayurvedic bread is dense, yeast-free and takes no time to make. It’s the perfect bread for soups and stews. Adapted from Plantwell, I took their advice and made a cinnamon raisin version as well. Sliced with some butter, it’s a sweet nourishing afternoon snack.


    Preheat your oven to 400 F


    measure out:

    • 1 cup
      rolled oats or grounded steel cut oats
    • 1 cup
      whole wheat flour
    • 2 tsp
      baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp
      sea salt
    • 2 tbsp
      maple syrup
    • 1/2 cup
      applesauce or 1 egg
    • 2 tbsp
      butter or ghee
    • 1 cup
      whole organic milk
    • 1 tsp
      cinnamon (optional)
    • 3/4 cup
      raisins (optional)

    process:

    1. Food process oats.
    2. Combine the oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt (and cinnamon if desired).
    3. In another bowl, mix maple syrup, applesauce, ghee/butter and milk.
    4. Combine the dry and wet mixtures and stir until a soft dough is formed (and raisins if desired).
    5. Knead the dough into a ball or loaf shape and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or when it sounds hollow when tapped.