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6 Stellar Toppers for Butternut Squash Soup

6 Stellar Toppers for Butternut Squash Soup


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Simple butternut squash soup is a perfect base for both creamy and crunchy toppers.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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For Simple Butternut Soup:Combine 3½ pounds cooked peeled butternut squash; 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth; 1 cup water; and ¾ teaspoon salt in a blender. Puree until smooth. Ladle soup into 8 bowls; top with one of these finishers.SERVES 8CALORIES 92; FAT 0.2g (sat 0g); SODIUM 294mg

FONTINA AND BASIL CROUTONSPreheat oven to 400°. Cut 3 ounces baguette into 8 (½-inch-thick) slices; rub each with sliced garlic. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; coat tops of bread with cooking spray. Bake 5 minutes, turning once. Combine 1/3 cup grated fontina cheese, 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Divide among toasted bread rounds. Bake 4 minutes.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 crouton)CALORIES 41; FAT 1.5g (sat 0.9g); SODIUM 98mg

2 BEET CREAM WITH GOAT CHEESE AND CHIVESPlace ¼ cup pickled beets, 3 tablespoons light whipping cream, 3 tablespoons water, and ½ teaspoon honey in a blender. Process until smooth. Swirl 1 tablespoon cream into each bowl; top with 1½ teaspoons goat cheese and ½ teaspoon chives.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 tablespoon beet cream, 1½ teaspoons goat cheese, and ½ teaspoon chives)CALORIES 33; FAT 2.4g (sat 1.6g); SODIUM 35mg

3 SPICED POPCORN AND BACONCook 1 bacon slice in a nonstick skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; crumble bacon. Toss 1 cup hot air-popped popcorn in reserved drippings with crumbled bacon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper.SERVES 8 (serving size: 2 tablespoons)CALORIES 37; FAT 2.8g (sat 1g); SODIUM 95mg

4 PARMESAN AND SHALLOT CRISPSPreheat oven to 300°. Sauté 1 large sliced shallot in 1 teaspoon olive oil until lightly browned. Grate 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about ¾ cup) into a bowl. Spoon cheese into 8 equal mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten mounds with the back of a spoon, and gently press shallot slices into each. Bake 20 minutes or until golden.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 crisp)CALORIES 53; FAT 3.6g (sat 1.9g); SODIUM 163mg

5 CHIPOTLE KALE CHIPSPreheat oven to 425°. Toss 1 cup chopped kale leaves (stemmed) with 1 teaspoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder. Arrange kale on a baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 tablespoon)CALORIES 9; FAT 0.6g (sat 0.1g); SODIUM 66mg

6 ROASTED RED PEPPER AND CREAMPlace ½ cup bottled roasted red bell peppers, 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 garlic clove in a food processor; process until smooth. Drizzle 1 tablespoon puree over soup in each bowl; top with 1 tablespoon light sour cream and freshly ground black pepper.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 tablespoon puree and 1 tablespoon sour cream)CALORIES 34; FAT 2.7g (sat 1.3g); SODIUM 30mg


Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I’m on a mission to stock this food blog with all the holiday recipes you might need, and it’s about time I shared a mashed sweet potato recipe. The problem with most mashed sweet potatoes is that they’re made even sweeter with brown sugar and marshmallows. Sweet potatoes are already plenty sweet on their own!

So, I added savory ingredients to my mashed sweet potatoes to balance out that inherent sweetness. Finely chopped fresh parsley and green onion combined with some sour cream and butter are all you need for incredible savory mashed sweet potatoes.

I don’t know why these basic ingredients create such a stellar flavor combination, but they do. These mashed sweet potatoes took a cue from my baked rosemary Parmesan sweet potatoes (another simple holiday side option) and the quinoa-stuffed sweet potatoes in my cookbook.

Watch How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes


When the sun shines up north in January….

You drop everything and get outside! Literally!

A couple weekends ago, it felt like mid-spring around here and we ditched our winter coats and snow boots for hoodies and rainboots! (Unheard of for January in Michigan!!) I quickly dropped all of my kitchen plans that weekend, and I was so glad I had these gluten free crackers to fall back on for quick, warm bowls of soup and crackers after our outside excursions!


Help: What to Cook?

I’ve been doing the Daily Dinner Drill for more than 10 weeks now. My back-of-the-envelope calculations disclose that this is more suppers than I have put together in the previous decade.

On the one hand, our little family dinners have been a joyful and unexpected gift in an otherwise troubled and anxious time. So many nice things happen across the table when dinner is a regular thing that happens.

On the other hand, I am fresh out of ideas for dinner.

When I say “dinner,” I don’t mean a series of Instagrammable courses served on the good dishes with a freshly pressed tablecloth, a lush-and-low flower arrangement, and candles. Those days are gone—they were few and far between to begin with.

I mean something hot and tasty, or cold and tasty, in a bowl, preferably combining protein and vegetables. Extra points if it’s vegetarian, as my vegetarians are insistent about their vegetarianism, and another thing I’m not doing anymore is catering separately for meat-eaters and vegetarians. The meat eaters have to content themselves with the occasional hamburger or sausage on the side.

I have exhausted my repertoire. Everything on my beloved New York Times Cooking app is starting to taste the same. I’ve sheetpanned all the sheetpans and I’ve stewed all the stews. I have memorized Chili Con Jamie and adapted it to the constantly varying ingredients in my Chili Pantry (and it’s always good).

I’m guessing there are others out there like me. Let’s crowdsource this thing! People, please (please please I’m begging you), give me your best supper idea in the comments. It can be a link, it can be a short-form recipe—hell, it can be an ingredient. I don’t rule out that dinner menus later this summer will be one word, and that word will be corn or tomatoes. (On Sundays they might get corn AND tomatoes.)

I think many of us are going through this. Some are feeding the five thousand, others only have one person to feed in quarantine—themselves. We all need to eat, and right now we all need to cook.


Make it into "Skinny" Frosting

Although frosting isn't exactly "healthy," you can make a less-fattening version with the help of Greek yogurt. When used in place of buttercream or cream cheese the tangy base can slash tons of calories and fat from standard recipes. To make a batch, combine a cup of plain Greek yogurt, a tablespoon of vanilla extract and a ⅓ to ½ cup of sifted powdered sugar in a large bowl. (How much you use depends on how sweet you want your frosting to be.) Whisk the ingredients together until they thicken up a bit and then pop it into the fridge for about 30 minutes, to allow it to thicken further. Then, spread onto cookies, cupcakes, cakes, or whatever else your heart desires! For even more way to craft a healthier treat, don't miss these 25 Healthy Ingredient Swaps for Baking!


Monday, December 6, 2010

So, I know I have been a bit of a slacker. I have been planning birthday parties for my kiddos. Which I will be posting all the details soon. I will also have a giveaway coming soon. So lots to look forward to, but I wanted to post this awesome chicken recipe that I use. I often make this when I don't know what to make and I have just cleaned up the kitchen and don't want to make a big mess. Everyone has different food items that they always have on hand. My fridge always has things to make tacos/burritos. That is per my man's request. So this chicken I can just put in the crock pot and it makes great shredded chicken for tacos. Give this a try. This is also good when you have company. It makes a good amount and you just add tomatoes, shredded lettuce, olives, cheese, sour cream, you name it. Good stuff. Give it a try.

3 frozen chicken breasts
1 cup salsa (any kind)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup water

Throw the above ingredients into a crockpot and let it cook on low for around 4 hours. About 3 1/2 hours into it take the chicken out and put it in a separate bowl. Grab two forks and start shredding that chicken. It will just fall apart. That part always makes me happy. Then return it to the crockpot. Let those taco juices do their job and seep into that shredded chicken. There you go, you have just made some wonderful taco chicken.

Breville Pie Maker


6 Stellar Toppers for Butternut Squash Soup - Recipes

Fill your gallbladder with vibrant green light

Compliance Tip: Element Wisdom Cards

Choose an Element Wisdom Card each day to support the organ systems, seasonal harmony or your constitution. These unique messages support your seasonal health & elemental constitution as determined by your 5 element practitioner or our Seasonal Medicine Element Quiz.

Peppercorns:

action: opens pores, promotes sweating, warms abdominal organs

affinity: Liver, Lung & Kidney

Whole Foods Tip: Sprouts/microgreens

Sprouts and microgreens are easy to grow and easy to digest gaining them superfood status. You can literally taste their vitality and nutritional density. I love to eat them fresh, toss in into the end cook stage of a stir fry, layered into a sandwich or atop or replacing salad greens.

Sprouts of all kinds:

action: specific to type of sprout

affinity: Liver, Gallbladder, and specific to the type of sprout

Citrus Peel: Lemon, Lime Zest

action: supplements body fluids, benefits Liver, regulates Qi

Whole Foods Tip: How to Sprout

Visit our previous spring Cultivating Wellness blog post How to sprout food and eat your dandelions to learn how to sprout.

The soups can be created and enjoyed in any order. However, the order of the soups as presented journeys you through the 12 organ network in order of energetic flow. One or two may even become your favorite go to soups throughout the year. The first and last vegetable combinations concentrate on the Metal element organs: large intestine and lung respectively.

All Nourishing Winter Soup Cleanse recipes can be found a few posts back (click here).

Wanna dive deeper into the cleanse with spices, soup toppers and self-care actions? Check back in for our upcoming posts or search our Cultivating Wellness blog for key words now.

To support the liver and gently detox your liver, apply a Castor Oil Pack. As I like to say, messy but so worth it. Castor Oil Packs were the number one treatment prescribed by Edgar Cayce and a favorite prescription of Naturopathic Doctors and nature cure practitioners everywhere due to it’s gentle yet powerful action on optimizing the natural function of the liver and gallbladder. The liver is responsible for a multiplicity of functions in the body including detoxifying medicines, bacteria and other harmful substances – including environmental toxins transforming cholesterol to carry fats through the body synthesizing proteins for blood plasma as well as bile for supporting digestion storing and releasing glucose processing hormones, bilirubin and hemoglobin regulating blood clotting producing lymph for immune support. To learn how, click to take you to our Castor Oil & Gentle Liver Cleanse blog post.

Fri, 28 May 2021 17:41:25 +0200

Compliance Tip: Soup Share

Want to do the soup cleanse with 1/2 the work? Consider a soup share. Divide the soups and double the ingredients, package and swap with a friend or family member.

Compliance Tip: Element Wisdom Cards

Choose an Element Wisdom Card each day. These unique messages support your seasonal health & elemental constitution as determined by your 5 element practitioner or our Seasonal Medicine Element Quiz.

Basil: warm, pungent

qualities: harmonizes stomach

actions: heart protective, antiviral

Snap the asparagus from the bottom of the stalk to divide the tender from the woody stalk.

Store the asparagus in water in a cup or glass in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Lemon zest or juice:

qualities: sour, sweet, neutral

action: calming, clears phlegm misting the heart

To support the heart: practice metta – loving kindness toward yourself and others

I hope you enjoy this journey! Be creative. Love your body with healthy foods.

Sat, 17 Apr 2021 00:01:14 +0200

Gardening Tip: Direct Sow Cilantro Seeds

In the south, we are able to have fresh cilantro during winter and spring simply by direct sowing every three weeks. I watch the weather and sow my seeds just before or during the rains. So sow those seeds!

Fill your kidneys with blue-black light

Compliance Tip: Element Wisdom Cards

Choose an Element Wisdom Card each day to support the organ systems, seasonal harmony or your constitution. These unique messages support your seasonal health & elemental constitution as determined by your 5 element practitioner or our Seasonal Medicine Element Quiz.

Peppercorns:

action: opens pores, promotes sweating, warms abdominal organs

Whole Foods Tip: Cilatro berries

Discover the delightful in between stage from cilantro leaf to coriander seed – the amazing, little known cilantro berry. This tender green pod pows with flavor. I love to eat it fresh, toss in into the end cook stage of a stir fry or fancy up my salsa.

action: warms coldness. supports sexual function, removes dampness

Pollinator Tip: Bees adore the Cilantro flowers. Like buckwheat, they are an early source of pollen and nectar to forage. If your spice plants bolts, bee happy – don’t worry.

To support the kidney and its expression as the adrenal: tonify the vagal nerve to move into rest & digest mode.

How to practically soothe your nervous system and improve vagal nerve tone:

  • Take a cold shower or plunge
  • Splash cold water on face & neck
  • Sing, laugh, chant, hum, & hug
  • Restore the microbe of the gut
  • Relax jaw tension
  • Meditate on loving kindness
  • Positive Social Connect

Thu, 11 Mar 2021 19:36:13 +0200

Compliance Tip: Soup Share

Want to do the soup cleanse with 1/2 the work? Consider a soup share. Divide the soups and double the ingredients, package and swap with a friend or family member.

We are all brothers and sisters

Compliance Tip: Element Wisdom Cards

Choose an Element Wisdom Card each day. These unique messages support your seasonal health & elemental constitution as determined by your 5 element practitioner or our Seasonal Medicine Element Quiz.

Fresh Ginger:

action: releases exterior, disperses cold: stops cough, alleviates vomiting

Skin: promotes urination, reduces edema

affinity: Lung, Spleen & Stomach

Whole Foods Tip: Peeling the carrots will sweeten the soup. Choosing not to peel the skin imparts an ever so slight hint of earth and bitter taste. This soup freezes well for single servings later on.

Chopped Soaked Almonds:

action: ventilates lungs, relieves cough & asthma, transforms phlegm, lubricates intestines

affinity: Lung & Large intestine

To support the lung and its expression as the skin: breath work and dry brushing

I hope you enjoy this journey! Be creative. Love your body with healthy foods.

The winter soup cleanse as a method of preparing the body for a spring cleanse, resetting after over indulgence and a nourishing and gentle act of a self care to resent our habits. Our goal should always be to first optimize the functioning of our bodies to aid elimination when we undertake a detox.

Thu, 25 Feb 2021 19:05:53 +0200

Energy in the body is in dream state during the winter. It’s creative energies rise in the spring, blossom in the summer, being deterioration in the fall and come to quiescence in the winter. The transitions between seasons and is the focus of our second soup in the series. *Learn more about the Doyo – Earth – Transition season here* and the Earth element rule all transitional periods.

The color associated with the Earth elements is golden yellow and the taste is sweet. To Further direct the golden winter squash on this soup toward the Earth element trio, concentrate your efforts on spicing and topping to enhance the power of the soup. Winter squash and pumpkin are detoxifying and cooling in nature thereby quenching thirst, relieving irritability and alleviate skin lesions. Additionally they all leech dampness remedying edema and difficult urination.

action: ‘wakes’ the spleen, removes dampness, promotes circulation of qi and warm these organs, stops vomiting

affinity: Kidney, Spleen & Stomach

action: warms any coldness in the body, fortifies yang, unblocks channels, stops pain, generates qi and blood

affinity: Kidney, Spleen, Liver, Heart

Miso (chickpea or soybean) ring:

As a salt substitute and probiotic drizzle a ring around the edge of the bowl to benefit the spleen and the large intestine. Reduce a spoonful of paste in warm water to liquid consistency.

Walnuts: crush and sprinkle (raw or toasted) to benefit the spleen and kidney and add a dose of omega 3 fatty acids.

To support the spleen and stomach: visualize golden light filling your stomach, spleen and pancreas.

I hope you enjoy this journey! Be creative. Love your body with healthy foods.

Tue, 16 Feb 2021 19:48:17 +0200

  • lungs via carbon dioxide gas
  • large intestine via feces
  • skin via sweat
  • liver via detoxification pathways
  • bladder via urination

The first soup in the series address the metal pair of organs: the lung and large intestine. The onion/garlic base is a pre-biotic with their long carbohydrate strands that feed the microbiome. Onions are warm in nature, promote sweating, resolves phlegm and act as a diuretic. Do you notice how many of the avenues of elimination just onions hit? Garlic is hot in nature was recognized as an antibiotic long before the advent of pharmaceuticals. In fact, it was a standard item in military ration kits through the ages. It also has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-helminth properties. If onions and garlic aren’t your thing, visit our post on soup stock variations.

Beyond the base: concentrate your efforts on spicing and topping to enhance the power of the soups.

Black & White Pepper:

action: warms internal organs, eliminates phlegm

affinity: Large Intestine & Stomach

action: warms internal organs, eliminates phlegm

affinity: Large Intestine & Spleen

action: moistens lungs, intestines, skin

affinity: lung and large intestine

To support the large intestine add abdominal massage.

To support the lung add breath work and dry brushing

I hope you enjoy this journey! Be creative. Love your body with healthy foods.

Wed, 10 Feb 2021 15:48:50 +0200

The soup cleanse is developed with simplicity in mind. However, onion and garlic base may not be the best fit for everyone or we might tire of the same flavor or feel creative. A percent of people are sulfur intolerant in these cases, I suggest a simple vegetable stock or herbal tea.

My favorite long game way to create vegetable stock is to consistently contribute all the trimmings from my organic vegetable meal prep into a collective freeze. I save all the heads, tails, skins, peels, cores from vegetables and fruits that cross my cutting board and add them bit by bit to a collective in the freezer. When needed, I simply add the fresh and frozen scraps with chosen whole spices to very clean water and simmer on medium-low with lid on for 10-15 minutes once the stock has come to a gentle boil.

A short game to create a quick soup base is brewing or warming herbal tea. My winter favorite quick tea bases are ginger, chai and green tea. Over the years, my tea ritual has evolved to almost exclusively bulk teas. The quality of the herbs are superior and the cost overall less when we re-brew the leaves. As long as there is color in the second or third or fourth ‘washing’ of the leaves, there are powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients. The additional benefit is that it natu rally decaffeinates the teas by water processing. Roots and leaves release their medicine at various temperatures and decocting or steeping times. For more information about tea preparation visit our previous post Brewing Teas: free their medicine.

Wed, 03 Feb 2021 20:19:19 +0200

Each season has a corresponding set of organs that reach their energetic peak during this 73 day period. Water rules the winter season. The bladder, kidney and adrenals are expressions of the water element in the landscape of the human body. In addition to the organs and the yin/yang organ pair (kidney = yin & bladder = yang). The water element manifests as the physical organs, their energetic pathways (meridians), the hair, teeth, bones, brain and spinal cord. You can learn more about simple, harmonious ways to support the water element here.

Supporting the practice of focus is one powerful way to promote winter wellness. One of our patients sent an image of how she integrates the Element Wisdom Cards into her life. She chose the card with intention and placed it in her workspace for the week. She reported that the Focus card was a tremendous support to anchor her mind. The focus card may also be used on an altar or vision board to support your dreams or in your meditation space to focus your attention back to the breath, sensation or heart. The element wisdom cards help you find your authentic and unique path to wellness – step by step.

Mon, 01 Feb 2021 16:34:12 +0200

dance time, qi gong shaking, yoga, walks

Mon, 01 Feb 2021 01:11:30 +0200

The number one question I get in January is “What do you think about this detox kit or that cleanse program or this product? My general answer is Winter is NOT the most harmonious time of the year to detoxify – save it for spring and fall. And always, always prepare your body for a detox by opening the 5 avenues (emunctories) of elimination

I do understand the sentiment, the desire, the need to reset after the overindulgence of the holidays and to affirm our newfound, yearly commitment to healthier habits with action. To that end, over the next week I will guiding you through a simple winter soup cleanse with soup base modification, organ specific spices along with seasonally appropriate practices to feel better now.

Over the next 7 days, I will be delivering lifestyle and winter wellness tips, whole food hacks in a mini blog format. Click here to have the blog delivered to your inbox, so you don’t miss these insider tips.

The soups journeys you through each of the the 6 yin/yang pairs of the organ network to gently cleanse and restore – a perfect winter way to care for yourself.

Triple burner/ Pericardium

All in a base of onion, garlic and sea salt

For 2 servings: combine one medium onion, 2-5 cloves garlic, seal salt to taste in 1 quart of filtered water. Simmer until onions are not quite clear. Add chopped vegetables until fork tender. Blend with immersion blender, blendtech/vitamix, or blender. Add a little olive oil.

Optional spices to taste like cardamom, curry, turmeric, Chinese five spice, fresh parsley, basil, chives, etc.

If you wish to go deeper into seasonal wellness purchase your Winter/Water Element Wisdom Card Deck here for 73 unique messages of inspiration, affirmation, jedi mind tricks, inquiries and instructions and to support this restorative cleanse.


6. Spirulina Powder, 2g protein

Spirulina nutrition facts

According to the USDA, 1 teaspoon of spirulina powder contains:

That super dark green stuff that makes your smoothies look like swamp water? Yes! In addition to being a great vegan protein source, spirulina powder is packed with nutrients.

Spirulina powder has one of the highest amounts of protein per 100 grams coming in at 66.7g vegan protein. It’s nearly impossible to consume that much spirulina in one sitting, but you can realistically pack in a couple spoonfuls throughout the day.

Simply add spirulina to smoothies, juices, and other beverages. You can even get creative and make spirulina smoothie bowls, oats, protein balls, and more.

Sure, this isn’t the best tasting vegan protein source, but it’s an easy and healthy way to pack in more vegan protein.

High-protein vegan spirulina recipes


6 Stellar Toppers for Butternut Squash Soup - Recipes

Fill your gallbladder with vibrant green light

Compliance Tip: Element Wisdom Cards

Choose an Element Wisdom Card each day to support the organ systems, seasonal harmony or your constitution. These unique messages support your seasonal health & elemental constitution as determined by your 5 element practitioner or our Seasonal Medicine Element Quiz.

Peppercorns:

action: opens pores, promotes sweating, warms abdominal organs

affinity: Liver, Lung & Kidney

Whole Foods Tip: Sprouts/microgreens

Sprouts and microgreens are easy to grow and easy to digest gaining them superfood status. You can literally taste their vitality and nutritional density. I love to eat them fresh, toss in into the end cook stage of a stir fry, layered into a sandwich or atop or replacing salad greens.

Sprouts of all kinds:

action: specific to type of sprout

affinity: Liver, Gallbladder, and specific to the type of sprout

Citrus Peel: Lemon, Lime Zest

action: supplements body fluids, benefits Liver, regulates Qi

Whole Foods Tip: How to Sprout

Visit our previous spring Cultivating Wellness blog post How to sprout food and eat your dandelions to learn how to sprout.

The soups can be created and enjoyed in any order. However, the order of the soups as presented journeys you through the 12 organ network in order of energetic flow. One or two may even become your favorite go to soups throughout the year. The first and last vegetable combinations concentrate on the Metal element organs: large intestine and lung respectively.

All Nourishing Winter Soup Cleanse recipes can be found a few posts back (click here).

Wanna dive deeper into the cleanse with spices, soup toppers and self-care actions? Check back in for our upcoming posts or search our Cultivating Wellness blog for key words now.

To support the liver and gently detox your liver, apply a Castor Oil Pack. As I like to say, messy but so worth it. Castor Oil Packs were the number one treatment prescribed by Edgar Cayce and a favorite prescription of Naturopathic Doctors and nature cure practitioners everywhere due to it’s gentle yet powerful action on optimizing the natural function of the liver and gallbladder. The liver is responsible for a multiplicity of functions in the body including detoxifying medicines, bacteria and other harmful substances – including environmental toxins transforming cholesterol to carry fats through the body synthesizing proteins for blood plasma as well as bile for supporting digestion storing and releasing glucose processing hormones, bilirubin and hemoglobin regulating blood clotting producing lymph for immune support. To learn how, click to take you to our Castor Oil & Gentle Liver Cleanse blog post.

Fri, 28 May 2021 17:41:25 +0200

Compliance Tip: Soup Share

Want to do the soup cleanse with 1/2 the work? Consider a soup share. Divide the soups and double the ingredients, package and swap with a friend or family member.

Compliance Tip: Element Wisdom Cards

Choose an Element Wisdom Card each day. These unique messages support your seasonal health & elemental constitution as determined by your 5 element practitioner or our Seasonal Medicine Element Quiz.

Basil: warm, pungent

qualities: harmonizes stomach

actions: heart protective, antiviral

Snap the asparagus from the bottom of the stalk to divide the tender from the woody stalk.

Store the asparagus in water in a cup or glass in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Lemon zest or juice:

qualities: sour, sweet, neutral

action: calming, clears phlegm misting the heart

To support the heart: practice metta – loving kindness toward yourself and others

I hope you enjoy this journey! Be creative. Love your body with healthy foods.

Sat, 17 Apr 2021 00:01:14 +0200

Gardening Tip: Direct Sow Cilantro Seeds

In the south, we are able to have fresh cilantro during winter and spring simply by direct sowing every three weeks. I watch the weather and sow my seeds just before or during the rains. So sow those seeds!

Fill your kidneys with blue-black light

Compliance Tip: Element Wisdom Cards

Choose an Element Wisdom Card each day to support the organ systems, seasonal harmony or your constitution. These unique messages support your seasonal health & elemental constitution as determined by your 5 element practitioner or our Seasonal Medicine Element Quiz.

Peppercorns:

action: opens pores, promotes sweating, warms abdominal organs

Whole Foods Tip: Cilatro berries

Discover the delightful in between stage from cilantro leaf to coriander seed – the amazing, little known cilantro berry. This tender green pod pows with flavor. I love to eat it fresh, toss in into the end cook stage of a stir fry or fancy up my salsa.

action: warms coldness. supports sexual function, removes dampness

Pollinator Tip: Bees adore the Cilantro flowers. Like buckwheat, they are an early source of pollen and nectar to forage. If your spice plants bolts, bee happy – don’t worry.

To support the kidney and its expression as the adrenal: tonify the vagal nerve to move into rest & digest mode.

How to practically soothe your nervous system and improve vagal nerve tone:

  • Take a cold shower or plunge
  • Splash cold water on face & neck
  • Sing, laugh, chant, hum, & hug
  • Restore the microbe of the gut
  • Relax jaw tension
  • Meditate on loving kindness
  • Positive Social Connect

Thu, 11 Mar 2021 19:36:13 +0200

Compliance Tip: Soup Share

Want to do the soup cleanse with 1/2 the work? Consider a soup share. Divide the soups and double the ingredients, package and swap with a friend or family member.

We are all brothers and sisters

Compliance Tip: Element Wisdom Cards

Choose an Element Wisdom Card each day. These unique messages support your seasonal health & elemental constitution as determined by your 5 element practitioner or our Seasonal Medicine Element Quiz.

Fresh Ginger:

action: releases exterior, disperses cold: stops cough, alleviates vomiting

Skin: promotes urination, reduces edema

affinity: Lung, Spleen & Stomach

Whole Foods Tip: Peeling the carrots will sweeten the soup. Choosing not to peel the skin imparts an ever so slight hint of earth and bitter taste. This soup freezes well for single servings later on.

Chopped Soaked Almonds:

action: ventilates lungs, relieves cough & asthma, transforms phlegm, lubricates intestines

affinity: Lung & Large intestine

To support the lung and its expression as the skin: breath work and dry brushing

I hope you enjoy this journey! Be creative. Love your body with healthy foods.

The winter soup cleanse as a method of preparing the body for a spring cleanse, resetting after over indulgence and a nourishing and gentle act of a self care to resent our habits. Our goal should always be to first optimize the functioning of our bodies to aid elimination when we undertake a detox.

Thu, 25 Feb 2021 19:05:53 +0200

Energy in the body is in dream state during the winter. It’s creative energies rise in the spring, blossom in the summer, being deterioration in the fall and come to quiescence in the winter. The transitions between seasons and is the focus of our second soup in the series. *Learn more about the Doyo – Earth – Transition season here* and the Earth element rule all transitional periods.

The color associated with the Earth elements is golden yellow and the taste is sweet. To Further direct the golden winter squash on this soup toward the Earth element trio, concentrate your efforts on spicing and topping to enhance the power of the soup. Winter squash and pumpkin are detoxifying and cooling in nature thereby quenching thirst, relieving irritability and alleviate skin lesions. Additionally they all leech dampness remedying edema and difficult urination.

action: ‘wakes’ the spleen, removes dampness, promotes circulation of qi and warm these organs, stops vomiting

affinity: Kidney, Spleen & Stomach

action: warms any coldness in the body, fortifies yang, unblocks channels, stops pain, generates qi and blood

affinity: Kidney, Spleen, Liver, Heart

Miso (chickpea or soybean) ring:

As a salt substitute and probiotic drizzle a ring around the edge of the bowl to benefit the spleen and the large intestine. Reduce a spoonful of paste in warm water to liquid consistency.

Walnuts: crush and sprinkle (raw or toasted) to benefit the spleen and kidney and add a dose of omega 3 fatty acids.

To support the spleen and stomach: visualize golden light filling your stomach, spleen and pancreas.

I hope you enjoy this journey! Be creative. Love your body with healthy foods.

Tue, 16 Feb 2021 19:48:17 +0200

  • lungs via carbon dioxide gas
  • large intestine via feces
  • skin via sweat
  • liver via detoxification pathways
  • bladder via urination

The first soup in the series address the metal pair of organs: the lung and large intestine. The onion/garlic base is a pre-biotic with their long carbohydrate strands that feed the microbiome. Onions are warm in nature, promote sweating, resolves phlegm and act as a diuretic. Do you notice how many of the avenues of elimination just onions hit? Garlic is hot in nature was recognized as an antibiotic long before the advent of pharmaceuticals. In fact, it was a standard item in military ration kits through the ages. It also has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-helminth properties. If onions and garlic aren’t your thing, visit our post on soup stock variations.

Beyond the base: concentrate your efforts on spicing and topping to enhance the power of the soups.

Black & White Pepper:

action: warms internal organs, eliminates phlegm

affinity: Large Intestine & Stomach

action: warms internal organs, eliminates phlegm

affinity: Large Intestine & Spleen

action: moistens lungs, intestines, skin

affinity: lung and large intestine

To support the large intestine add abdominal massage.

To support the lung add breath work and dry brushing

I hope you enjoy this journey! Be creative. Love your body with healthy foods.

Wed, 10 Feb 2021 15:48:50 +0200

The soup cleanse is developed with simplicity in mind. However, onion and garlic base may not be the best fit for everyone or we might tire of the same flavor or feel creative. A percent of people are sulfur intolerant in these cases, I suggest a simple vegetable stock or herbal tea.

My favorite long game way to create vegetable stock is to consistently contribute all the trimmings from my organic vegetable meal prep into a collective freeze. I save all the heads, tails, skins, peels, cores from vegetables and fruits that cross my cutting board and add them bit by bit to a collective in the freezer. When needed, I simply add the fresh and frozen scraps with chosen whole spices to very clean water and simmer on medium-low with lid on for 10-15 minutes once the stock has come to a gentle boil.

A short game to create a quick soup base is brewing or warming herbal tea. My winter favorite quick tea bases are ginger, chai and green tea. Over the years, my tea ritual has evolved to almost exclusively bulk teas. The quality of the herbs are superior and the cost overall less when we re-brew the leaves. As long as there is color in the second or third or fourth ‘washing’ of the leaves, there are powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients. The additional benefit is that it natu rally decaffeinates the teas by water processing. Roots and leaves release their medicine at various temperatures and decocting or steeping times. For more information about tea preparation visit our previous post Brewing Teas: free their medicine.

Wed, 03 Feb 2021 20:19:19 +0200

Each season has a corresponding set of organs that reach their energetic peak during this 73 day period. Water rules the winter season. The bladder, kidney and adrenals are expressions of the water element in the landscape of the human body. In addition to the organs and the yin/yang organ pair (kidney = yin & bladder = yang). The water element manifests as the physical organs, their energetic pathways (meridians), the hair, teeth, bones, brain and spinal cord. You can learn more about simple, harmonious ways to support the water element here.

Supporting the practice of focus is one powerful way to promote winter wellness. One of our patients sent an image of how she integrates the Element Wisdom Cards into her life. She chose the card with intention and placed it in her workspace for the week. She reported that the Focus card was a tremendous support to anchor her mind. The focus card may also be used on an altar or vision board to support your dreams or in your meditation space to focus your attention back to the breath, sensation or heart. The element wisdom cards help you find your authentic and unique path to wellness – step by step.

Mon, 01 Feb 2021 16:34:12 +0200

dance time, qi gong shaking, yoga, walks

Mon, 01 Feb 2021 01:11:30 +0200

The number one question I get in January is “What do you think about this detox kit or that cleanse program or this product? My general answer is Winter is NOT the most harmonious time of the year to detoxify – save it for spring and fall. And always, always prepare your body for a detox by opening the 5 avenues (emunctories) of elimination

I do understand the sentiment, the desire, the need to reset after the overindulgence of the holidays and to affirm our newfound, yearly commitment to healthier habits with action. To that end, over the next week I will guiding you through a simple winter soup cleanse with soup base modification, organ specific spices along with seasonally appropriate practices to feel better now.

Over the next 7 days, I will be delivering lifestyle and winter wellness tips, whole food hacks in a mini blog format. Click here to have the blog delivered to your inbox, so you don’t miss these insider tips.

The soups journeys you through each of the the 6 yin/yang pairs of the organ network to gently cleanse and restore – a perfect winter way to care for yourself.

Triple burner/ Pericardium

All in a base of onion, garlic and sea salt

For 2 servings: combine one medium onion, 2-5 cloves garlic, seal salt to taste in 1 quart of filtered water. Simmer until onions are not quite clear. Add chopped vegetables until fork tender. Blend with immersion blender, blendtech/vitamix, or blender. Add a little olive oil.

Optional spices to taste like cardamom, curry, turmeric, Chinese five spice, fresh parsley, basil, chives, etc.

If you wish to go deeper into seasonal wellness purchase your Winter/Water Element Wisdom Card Deck here for 73 unique messages of inspiration, affirmation, jedi mind tricks, inquiries and instructions and to support this restorative cleanse.


Back-to-School-Swag: Review and Giveaway of Unprocessed by Chef AJ

Hope y’all had a great Labor Day weekend (or Saturday and Sunday, as the case may be). The HH, Girls and I had a lovely weekend despite my need to do some school work. We brunched, enjoyed a couple of sun-kissed walks (and the Girls even had a swim), I supped with a couple of nutrition school friends, the HH and I watched another of our newly-purchased DVDS and then I saw The Help with my buddy Eternal Optimist yesterday evening (loved it–so many fine performances!). And smack in the middle of the weekend, we were visited out of the blue by an old friend of the HH’s as he drove from Calgary to Kingston and opted for a pit stop at our house.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready for summer to be over just yet! *Sigh.* Yet somehow, the weather here in Toronto has co-opted my favorite season and set the perfect backdrop for back-to-school today with chilly, 12 C (54F) temperatures.

In an attempt to prolong that good summer vibe as long as possible, I thought I’d revisit a series that I ran last year called Back to School Swag (ha ha on you, TIFF–you’re not the only one giving out swag this week!). I received a few products and books for review over the summer months, and I’ll be giving away some of them (just the ones I liked!) over the next month or so. Today’s inaugural giveaway features a cookbook that impressed me quite a bit.

Some of you may recall the Crazy Simple Kale Salad I posted last winter. It’s a simple salad with a quick and stellar dressing that really elevates it to something spectacular. The HH and I adored it and I often make it as a way to enjoy raw kale.

Well, wasn’t I just tickled when my post received a comment from the salad’s creator, Chef AJ! Chef AJ is the author of Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight and a whole foods, vegan chef who has worked with the likes of Dr. McDougall, Colin Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn. Her recipes feature whole, often raw, ingredients and lower fat options.

As soon as I opened the book, I knew immediately which recipe I wanted to try: the Hemp Seed Lime Dressing. I know, a dressing, of all the possibilities! But raw kale salads are such a staple in our house now that I’m always looking for new and interesting toppers. I whipped it up that evening–so quick and simple–and we devoured it before I could even snap a photo. Luckily, I used the leftover dressing the following day on my Baked Sweet Potato Falafel:

[A perfect rich and creamy foil for the falafel!]

Once I’d scoured the book for recipes and filled it with my trademark sticky-note bookmarks, I sat down to really read the intro chapters. In the author’s own no-nonsense, engaging and humorous voice, the book’s first five chapters introduce the concept of “unprocessed” (the basic criterion is, “can you make it in your kitchen?”) explain the “evil trinity” of sugar, fat and salt, and why she never includes them in her recipes relate Chef AJ’s own story and how she came to follow a vegan, high-raw, unprocessed diet and provide pointers, tips, and questions for the reader to determine whether s/he wants to attempt the same type of diet, or perhaps move in a more unprocessed culinary direction.

I found AJ’s personal story to be both touching and compelling and gained a great deal of respect and admiration for her both as a person and a chef after reading it (without revealing too much, let me just say that she experienced illness, eating disorders, personal and family tragedy and a variety of other crises in her life–and came through it with a renewed determination, vibrancy, and, ultimately, health and energy).

The book will make you laugh (“Kosher salami, for those of you taking notes, differs from regular salami in that one kills you and the other is blessed by a rabbi before it kills you”) will motivate you (“The fact that you are even reading this book tells me that you are the kind of person who can see the possibility of something wonderful for your life, for your health and the health of your family. I’m guessing you already have done many difficult things in your life and have succeeded at them, so why should this be any different?) and will inspire you. Most importantly, it will provide you with over 100 easy, quick, unprocessed and delicious recipes to help you achieve better health.

After delving more deeply into the book, I turned to a couple more substantial recipes. First up was the raw Spanish “Rice” (made from cauliflower). This was a flavorful mix of veggies and creamy avocado with a spicy kick. I could have eaten the entire bowl myself (oh, wait, except for the HH’s sampling, I did!):

[Tangy, spicy, filling raw Spanish “Rice”.]

Finally, in honor of fall (I may wish it weren’t here, but there’s no denying that chill in the morning air), I blended up the Cream of Zucchini Soup (also raw). This lovely, full-bodied and velvety soup combines a protein boost from hemp seeds with a subtle sweetness of fresh basil and dates (I used stevia instead). Filled with rich flavor and the luxurious silkiness from the hemp, it was a perfect lunch before moving on to a productive afternoon. (For the recipe, see below.)

[A bowlful of whole-foods, raw, creamy goodness.]

I loved all three recipes that I tried. Overall, the book offers dishes that are quick to prepare, made from simple, whole ingredients without added fat, sugars (of any kind) or salt–yet Chef AJ excels at creating interesting and satisfying flavor combinations that will please all types of eaters.

If you’re curious about how to create tasty whole foods recipes without sugar, fat or salt if you’ve been leaning toward more raw foods or if you’re simply seeking out healthier recipes, you’ll want to get yourself a copy of this book and begin enjoying flavorful, simple, unprocessed foods. And you can also enter to win a copy!

GIVEAWAY: Chef AJ has offered to give a copy of the book to one lucky DDD reader! (open to Canada and US only).

Here’s how to enter:

It’s simple: just leave a comment on this page telling me what your favorite whole food is.

For extra entries, do any or all of the following:

  • Subscribe to Diet, Dessert and Dogs, follow me on twitter, or “like” the DDD Facebook page then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did so (a separate comment for each one, please)
  • “Like”Chef AJ’s page on Facebook, then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did so
  • tweet about the giveaway and use @rickiheller in your tweet so I’ll see it, then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did so
  • post about the giveaway on your own blog or Facebook page, tagging or linking to Diet, Dessert and Dogs so I’ll see it then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did so.

The giveaway will remain open until midnight on Monday, September 12th my time. Then I’ll choose a winner at random and announce the winner the following day.

Cream of Zucchini Soup (adapted from Unprocessed by Chef AJ)

Suitable for ACD all stages

This rich and creamy soup is a great way to use the bounty of zucchini you’ll find around this time of year. If the weather is chilly, I bet it would be just as good warmed a bit as well.

2 small zucchini, washed and trimmed, cut into chunks

3/4 cup (180 ml) unsweetened plain almond, soy or hemp milk

3 Tbsp (45 ml) fresh lemon juice

5 drops plain stevia liquid, to your taste

heaping 1/4 cup (70 ml) shelled hemp seeds (or hemp hearts)

1/2 large fresh tomato, chopped

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until silky smooth. Garnish with more basil, if desired. Serve immediately, or warm and then serve. Makes 2-3 servings.

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to RickiHeller.com via email. You’ll get recipes as soon as they’re posted, plus cookbook updates and news about upcoming events! (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”)

Two Years Ago: Beet the Heat and Mint Salad (GF ACD all stages)

Three Years Ago: Flash in the Pan: Ginger-Mint Iced Tea (GF ACD all stages)

[Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission from the sale.]


Watch the video: Turning Ourselves into Wedding Cake Toppers


Comments:

  1. Toxeus

    Not the hardship!

  2. Barnabe

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  3. Zuluramar

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  4. Kaarle

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  5. Kentaro

    The probability of such coincidences is practically zero ... Draw your own conclusions

  6. Nikotaxe

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