Eat. Play. Love.

All Posts for ‘menu planning’ Category

I apologize for the delay in getting out this recipe, Folks! Awhile back, I posted a pic on Instagram and Facebook and had a few requests for the recipe. This is one of those salad where I open up the fridge and take a peek in the garden to see what I have and then make something up. Sometimes I nail it. Other times, not so much. Just ask Joe. 🙂 Having said that, I really enjoyed this lentil salad! The lentils provide a great source of protein while the herbs and Gone Greens collard green chile paste add a little kick. You can serve this as is or on a bed of greens. Let me know if you try it or some variation.

Lentil Salad with Cilantro & Radishes

Serves 2-3
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
By author Kim Rush Lynch

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lentils (soaked 12 hours, then cooked)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • 6 Medium radishes (sliced)
  • 1 Medium kohlrabi (julienned)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 3 Medium spring onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup olive oil (extra virgin, un-refined if possible)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons collard green chili paste (check out Gone Greens brand!)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Make the dressing first, by combining the olive oil, worcestershire sauce, garlic, chili paste and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk.
2. Mix together your lentils, sliced radishes, sliced kohlrabi, chopped cilantro, and sliced spring onion. In this recipe, you can really add any veggie to it in any proportion. So experiment!
3. Add dressing to salad until it's dressed to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chill for later.
4. Enjoy!

Note

Remember to soak your lentils for 12 hours and rinse before cooking.

 

Welcome to Cultivating Health! If you haven’t done so already, sign up for Juicy News, my monthly e-newsletter that gives you practical health and nutrition tips that will have a profound impact on your health and happiness if you’re ready for change. Juicy News topics include:

  • menu planningjuicy_icon
  • digestive issues
  • detoxification
  • hormonal imbalances
  • adrenal fatigue & stress
  • moods
  • cravings (especially sugar cravings)
  • play
  • playful eating
  • self-care
  • work-life balance

Of course, there is always a delicious, seasonal recipe in there, too!

In addition to juicy health tid bits, you will receive invitations to special events including nutrition playshops, cooking demos and classes and PLAY events.

As a token of my appreciation, you will receive a free 15 minute phone consult AND my Top Kitchen Tips & Tricks to save you time and aggravation and bring the fun back into meal prep.

Here’s to cultivating YOUR health!

 

Dress up My Detox Veggies

  • February 27th, 2014

When I facilitate detox programs for my clients, I put them on a two to three week whole foods program with a week on either end for transitioning in and out of the detox. Frankly, the detox protocol I use is a lifestyle, and folks can remain on it as long as they would like. Some chose to stay on it well beyond the detox or take on a modified version because they feel so great on it and it facilitates quick, yet healthy weight loss! There is absolutely no reason why one can’t stay on a food plan that involves lots of steamed veggies, veggie juices, gluten-free whole grains, good fats like butter, ghee, olive oil and coconut oil and quality proteins (i.e. legumes and clean sources of animal foods) while avoiding the Sensitive Seven.

For those of you not familiar with the Sensitive Seven, they are common foods people have allergies or intolerances to including corn, dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, soy and sugar. Bottom line: this is a great way to figure out how and what to eat for one’s unique body type in a fashion that’s healthy and sustainable.

detoxHaving said that, one thing that gets a little old for some on this program after week one, is the steamed veggies. They are delicious drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper, but sometimes you’re craving something with a little more punch. So I provide my detox clients with lots of recipes to “dress up” their veggies. I mean, the flavor of steamed veggies is awesome and there are some fabulous combinations, but why not experiment with some tasty, healthy ways to accentuate their awesomeness? My favorite sauces include bitter greens like arugula and detoxifying herbs such as cilantro. Not only are they delicious, but they enhance the detox power of steamed veggies.

I’m sharing my three favorite recipes to spice up any veggie dish. They can be accessed from my Pinterest page as well. If you don’t have time to make you’re own, there are lots of pre-made products like zaatar, harissa and pesto that are readily available at the health food store. Just be sure to check all of the ingredients to make sure they are detox friendly.

So without further ado…

Arugula Cilantro Pesto
Chimichurri (add some extra cilantro and red pepper flakes)
Zaatar

Let me know what you think and please feel free to share your favorites here as well!

 

I get it. There are mornings when you need breakfast-to-go or afternoons when a sweet treat that isn’t full of sugar and flour would hit the spot. My yoga friend, Katy, found this awesome flour-less peanut butter banana muffin recipe  from Detoxinista. They are delish and you would never know that there isn’t an ounce of flour in them.

I modified her recipe a bit, and oh was it yummy! Sometimes I find that banana is a little too sweet, so I substituted steamed and mashed sweet potatoes for the banana. Because the consistency is a little thick, I added a little almond milk to thin it out and lighten it up. I also added some freshly grated ginger, a dash of maple syrup and a few mini gluten and dairy-free chocolate chips. Pumpkin pie spice is also a wonderful addition. You can use peanut butter or almond butter in this recipe. One of the reasons why I love this recipe so much is because there are a variety of substitutions you can make to change up the flavor and texture.

They freeze well, so I make mini-muffin batches and then store them in several quart size Ziploc bags and thaw out as needed.

So without further ado…

Flourless Ginger Sweet Potato Muffins

Serves 12
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Allergy Egg, Peanuts
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert
By author Kim Rush Lynch, inspired by Detoxinista

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural organic peanut butter (could also use almond butter)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup sweet potatoes (steamed and mashed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (or stevia, to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (grade B)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (freeze and microplane)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F and prepare a muffin tin with 12 paper liners (more if you use mini muffin liners).
2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients mix until smooth. At this point, you can fold in one or more of the optional add-ins.
3. Scoop the batter, using a 1/4 cup, into each muffin liner.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. The resulting muffins should be firm and lightly golden.
5. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
6. Serve immediately, freeze or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Note

Optional add-ins: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup peanut butter chips, 1 cup fresh berries, 1/2 cup dried raisins, cherries or cranberries

Are there any flour-less, dairy-free, white sugar-free baked good recipes that you like? Please feel free to share a link to the recipe here.

Let’s face it. Most of us love a little sweet treat during the Holidays, but for those of us who are sensitive to flour and sugar, our options are limited. So I love to make these little balls of joy to satisfy that craving for something sweet and festive. Originally, I got the idea for this recipe in a book that my friend and colleague, Ellen Siegel, shared with me called Cosmic Cookery by Kathryn Hannaford. The beauty of these little bundles of yumminess is that the combinations are endless. They also make adorable Holiday gifts for your loved ones! Enjoy the recipe.

Cocoa Pistachio Date Truffles

Serves 25 balls
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan
Meal type Dessert
By author Kim Rush Lynch, inspired by Cosmic Cookery by Kathryn Hannaford

Ingredients

  • 4 cups almond meal*
  • 2 cups chopped Medjool dates**
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • pinchsea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped lightly toasted nuts or seeds (sesame, pistachio, walnuts, hazelnut, pecans)
  • shredded coconut for rolling (or oats)
  • cocoa powder for rolling*** (or carob powder)
  • 2 cups chopped Medjool dates**
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • pinchsea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped lightly toasted nuts or seeds (sesame, pistachio, walnuts, hazelnut, pecans))

Directions

1. Mix all of the ingredients together, squeezing the mixture between your fingers so that all the ingredients stick together. You can also mix in a food processor.
2. Shape into balls between the palms of your hands.
3.
Roll in the shredded coconut and/or nuts.

Note

* You can also use sesame meal or hazelnut meal.

** You can use a combination of dried fruit such as raisins, dates, goji berries and cranberries.

*** You can experiment with a variety of other ingredients and toppings as well:

  • finely grated orange zest
  • instant espreesso powder
  • cinnamon
  • tahini, almond or cashew butter
  • ginger
  • cardamom
  • pomegranate arils
  • maple syrup

What are some of your favorite date truffle combinations? Feel free to post here!

 

 

Although it sounds cliché, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and unfortunately, it’s one of the first things to slip off the radar during the busy Holiday season. Fortunately there are very simple things you can eat for breakfast that don’t require much work in the morning while you’re trying to get out of the door. These ready-to-go breakfast ideas are also great for entertaining guests over the Holidays so you can enjoy your company and not feel like you’re spending hours in the kitchen.

KARLfritatta

1. Porridge/Oatmeal: The important thing here is to soak your grains 7 to 8 hours before cooking. The soaking process neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and unlocks the nutrients in the grains so that your body can assimilate them. Consider trying a mixture of gluten-free whole grains like buckwheat, millet and amaranth. One of my favorite recipes is my Coconut Ginger Pumpkin Porridge. I used this recipe  by Real Food Outlaws as a starting point and then added grated ginger and apples or raisins to the mix. I then top this warming dish with toasted pecans and coconut. Yum! You can make this the morning of or cook on low in the crockpot overnight. By the way, the pumpkin pie spice from Frontier is my go to spice this time of year for porridge and healthy baking.

2.  Birchermuesli: I learned about this wonderful breakfast food in Switzerland. My husband’s family there makes this regularly. Basically, you soak oats/muesli overnight in an acidic mixture to help pre-digest the oats. In the morning you add your spices, yogurt and fresh fruit. I love this recipe because you can make it the night before and it’s about done in the morning with the exception of a few additions. Quick, easy and healthy.

3.  Fritatta: My body requires substantial protein some mornings which is why I love fritattas. A fritatta is an excuse to load up on your favorite veggies. Some of my favorite ones include, arugula, mushrooms, red peppers, leeks and Swiss Chard. The combinations are endless. I encourage you to stuff your fritatta with as many dark leafy greens and veggies as possible to counteract all of the nutrient depleting foods consumed over the Holidays. Add your favorite fresh or dried herbs for a special punch. I love to include fresh dill or cilantro when I can. If you can tolerate dairy, add a little grated parmesan, cheddar, ricotta or goat cheese for extra body and flavor. Make your fritatta ahead of time and keep in the fridge so it’s ready to warm up for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a nice side salad.

4.  Soup: Soup is one of my FAVORITE winter breakfasts. You can pack alot of nutrients in soup and it’s a great way to get in your bone broth. Homemade bone broths pack a lot of minerals that are missing in our diet. I don’t care what kind of soup you make, but if’s chock full of veggies and homemade stock, I’m happy as a clam. The beauty of soup is that you can make it in batches and freeze it. It’s also quite packable and portable. Just reheat and voilé! Breakfast is served anytime, anywhere.

5.  Dinner: In this country, we get stuck on eating “breakfast foods” for breakfast and this is just lame. We think nothing of having an omelet or fritatta for dinner so why not wild salmon and a side of collard greens for breakfast? Leftovers for breakfast are a great way to get the day started. You may have to think outside the box a little.

The bottom line is to eat in the morning and keep your mind open about what constitutes breakfast. If you’re not a breakfast eater currently, start slow. You may try a piece of fruit with a little bit of almond butter at first until your body adjusts to having food in the morning. And if you don’t fee like breakfast when you get up because you’re up before the rooster, pack your breakfast and eat it once you get to work. Your body will thank you for it…and so will your co-workers when you’re less cranky due to proper nourishment.

I have some other breakfast ideas on Pinterest that you are welcome to check out. What are some of your favorite healthy breakfasts? Please feel free to share them here.

 

Collard Green Wraps

  • July 30th, 2013

Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE me some sandwiches. Unfortunately, since I’ve cut waaaaaay back on my gluten intake, I rarely eat them anymore. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, on occasion if I’m really in a sandwich mood, I’ll use a gluten-free bread or brown rice wrap, but some days it doesn’t cut the mustard. So I was noodling around on the internet and discovered some amazing recipes for collard green wraps. Now, I have made lettuce wraps before, but they don’t always hold up well if you’re transporting them. So this notion of wrapping my sandwich deliciousness in a dark leafy green rocked my world. I was kicking myself for not having thought of it earlier!

Collard green wraps are a healthy way to jazz up your traditional sandwich or wrap regardless of whether or not you’re gluten-free. You can stuff them with something more conventional like a tuna, chicken or egg salad or you could fill them with your favorite veggie toppings such as red pepper, sweet potato, avocado, fresh herbs and some type of protein such as hummus, quinoa or legumes.

Here is the recipe I made with families at the Washington Youth Garden a few weeks ago:

Collard Green Wraps

collard green wrap

Source:  Inspired by Sprouted Kitchen

Servings: 4 wraps

Wrap Ingredients:

  • 4 large collard green leaves*
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup of tender greens or micro-greens
  • 2 cups of raw or roasted julienned or grated beets, peeled
  • small handful of scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup of radishes, sliced or julienned
  • 1 cup of potatoes, boiled or roasted (red, white, sweet)*
  • ½ cup of basil, marjoram or lemon thyme, chopped
  • ½ cup goat cheese (optional)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 TBSP tahini or cashew butter

 Directions:

1.  Prepare the collard leaves by cutting off the stems at the base of each leaf, then, using a paring knife, carefully cut the thick bump of stem off the back of the leaf so it becomes flush to the leaf. This will make the collard flatter and easier to roll.

2.  Blanch greens, by placing them in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and place in a bowl of ice cold water to cool. Note, you can also use the leaves raw if you don’t mind the texture.

3.  Prepare the vegetables as indicated above.

4.  In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk together. Adjust ingredients to taste. Drizzle over prepared veggies and herbs.

5.  Layer veggie mixture at the base of the collard green leaf. Fold the collard sides over and roll tightly like a burrito. You can serve it immediately or store in the fridge, wrapped, for about 2 days.

*Notes: For a larger wrap, use 2 leaves at a time, overlap them halfway to create a bigger wrapping surface.

Feel free to add any combination of veggies and herbs, depending on the season. In lieu of potatoes, you could also add 2 cups quinoa, millet or buckwheat, soaked for 7 hours and cooked or beans, soaked for 12 hours and cooked. If you’re in a hurry, stuff with store bought hummus and/or guacamole!

I have pinned a few other collard green wrap ideas on Pinterest. Feel free to check it out. Post your collard green wrap recipe ideas below!

gluten-free salads

We had a great time on Saturday at the “Gluten-Free Summer Salads Playshop.” The group whipped up five seasonal salads including a Buckwheat Garden Salad, Italian Aduki Bean Salad, Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Tahini Dressing, Raw Kale Salad and Blueberry Avocado Salad. All were quite beautiful and delicious. Well, almost all of them – the aduki bean salad looked just like that – dookie. Fortunately the taste made up for it and as one of my students said, “it reminds me of refried beans, only slightly prettier.” Although that’s not saying much, I guess the presentation of the dish was not a complete loss!

So I wanted to take the opportunity to share the recipe for the Blueberry Avocado Salad inspired by Kimberly Snyder. So yummy and I LOVE the contrast of the deep indigo blueberries with the bright green avocado. Add some red raspberries or strawberries to the salad to make it festive for the 4th of July! But before we get to the recipe, what are some benefits of blueberries?

Blueberries are a cooling food full of vitamin C, pro-vitamin A and manganese. Loaded with anthocyanins and other antioxidants, blueberries are anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighters! They help to keep your memory sharp, your blood sugar levels and cholesterol low and they are good for your eyes and contain bacterial fighting properties that help to keep your urinary system in good shape.

fresh berries

Here is a delicious, simple recipe that contains avocados which contain healthy fats to help you absorb the fat soluble pro-vitamin A in blueberries!

Blueberry & Avocado Salad

Source: inspired by The Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snyder

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups blueberries
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled and cut into 1-inch squares
  • 6 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 2 – 4 tsp of raw honey, maple syrup or coconut nectar (or 10 drops stevia)
  • 3 – 4 TBSP of freshly chopped mint.

Directions:

1. Add the blueberries, avocado and mint to a mixing bowl.

2.  Whisk together the lime juice and sweetener and pour over the fruit. Gently toss together, being careful not to mash the avocado pieces.

3.  Enjoy!

 

What are some of your favorite ways to use blueberries? Please feel free to post them below!

 

Ditching Wheat Belly

  • June 18th, 2013

Let’s face it. Wheat isn’t what it used to be. It has been hybridized over the decades to contain more gluten, the sticky protein that gives bread it’s elasticity. Unfortunately, its “stickiness” has caused wheat to become increasingly more difficult for most of us to digest and creates inflammation in the body.  As a result, many people who are not celiac experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms and find that they feel better when they remove wheat from the diet.

In fact, it’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either a gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed. Crazy, right?

So what are some of the common signs of a gluten intolerance?quinoa salad

  • bloating – wheat belly!
  • gas
  • digestive distress
  • fatigue
  • headaches and migraines
  • dizziness
  • auto-immune disease diagnosis
  • joint pain
  • hormone imbalances
  • mood swings

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider eliminating wheat and other sources of gluten for 3 weeks and then re-introduce wheat and see what happens.

In the meantime, join me for “Gluten-Free Summer Salads” and learn how to use seasonal veggies, herbs and fruits to make an amazing dish for your next potluck or summer picnic. It IS possible to eat healthy and gluten-free at the neighborhood cookout without sacrificing taste. You’re dish will be a conversation piece, and folks will ask for the recipe after they have scarfed down every last morsel. We will also discuss proper bean and grain preparation techniques and how to store your fresh herbs. Includes materials, recipes, lunch and laughs.

 Feel free to post links to your favorite gluten-free recipes or resources here. One of my favorites is Elana’s Pantry.

 

Yesterday I attended a corporate health fair and whipped up this delicious seasonal smoothie inspired by a recipe from The Healthy Apple. You know I LOVE me some fruit smoothies with herbs. Mmmmmm! This zinger of a recipe included cilantro which I’ve never used in a fruit smoothie. I was intrigued to say the least! So I picked up some organic cilantro from Calvert Farm s and then headed on down to Shlagel Farms in Waldorf, MD to get the themed ingredient for the event – strawberries! In addition to the smoothie, I made a Balsamic Chicken Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad.

So why was I so excited to find a recipe with cilantro? Oh let me count the ways! Cilantro has astringent and cooling properties which makes it a great detoxifier and an potent anti-inflammatory. It’s soothing to the digestive system and can help alleviate mental stres, headaches, arthritis and rheumatism. Loaded with phytonutrients, this natural chelator of heavy metals also has anti-microbial properties.strawberry cilantro smoothie

Bottom line – use cilantro with abandon!

In addition to adding it to smoothies, try it in cold soups, salads, egg dishes and even make pesto with it. Of course guacomole is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it.

Now without further ado, here is that tastebud tantalizing recipe:

Strawberry Cilantro Coconut Smoothie

Inspired by The Healthy Apple

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • ÂĽ cup cashew butter
  • ½ cup oats, soaked
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup, raw honey or coconut crystals
  • 1 TBSP coconut butter
  • ÂĽ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • handful of spinach (optional)
  • ÂĽ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup ice cubes

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth. Transfer to serving glasses.
2. Serve chilled.

 Notes:

  • You can substitute soaked cashews for cashew butter
  • You can substitute coconut flakes for coconut butter
  • You can substitute frozen strawberries for fresh and skip the ice cubes.
  • You can substitute ÂĽ tsp stevia for other sweeteners.
  • Party-up this healthy smoothie with the addition of rum (this will counterbalance the detoxifying effects, however) 🙂

 

What are your favorite ways to use cilantro? Please share them here!

 
Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: