Seasonal Eating/ Fall Superlatives: Most Likely to Be Flavorful

 

 

Ever just CRAVED soup? Ever NEEDED mashed potatoes in the worst way? Have you ever DREAMT about diving into a bowl of macaroni and cheese(Don’t lie, you totally have)

 

When the weather cools down, your internal alarm clock goes off and you start to crave denser, heavier foods.

 

The cravings are REAL.

 

Your body is recognizing a change in seasons and is letting you know that its time to ditch the cucumber salads and reach for some warm,  hearty foods.

 

Cool.

 

The farmers market is stocked with locally grown goodies. EASY.

 

Now WAKE UP at 8 a.m. on a crisp  45 degree Saturday and go grab some local beets to “warm up”.

 

Yeaaahhhhhhh…turns out our bodies naturally want to hibernate under the covers this time of year.

 

But WAIT! A solution!

 

Casco Bay Organics makes it easy for you to eat local, seasonal foods to satisfy your natural instinct. They offer weekly or bi-weekly delivery of seasonally fresh produce RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR. You literally don’t even have to come out of your blanket burrito to answer the door.

blanket puppy

You don’t even have to put on pants (but you probably should you slacker)

 

And what benefits will you reap for eating seasonally? So happy you asked! Okay, I asked but just go with it, I’m rolling here.

 

You get:

 

  • The Most Affordable Produce Available
  • The Most Nutrients Present In Your Produce
  • A Wide Variety Of Produce To Choose From
  • Most Flavorful

 

I  am trying to explain that seasonal produce has more flavor because it’s grown and harvested when mother nature intended, but every time I look at the bullet that says “Most Flavorful”, all I can picture is this…

Mr. Pumpkin Face

Most Flavorful

Peter “Pumpkinface” McGee

Seasonal Eating is an excellent way to keep your grocery bill in check. You can count on what’s growing locally to be available for a reasonable cost RIGHT NOW.

 

The taste. OH THE TASTE of seasonal produce is UNREAL. These goodies are getting pulled from the ground super mario 2 style, dropped in a bucket and transported only a few miles. No chilling, no freezing, no long transports.

 

SUPER FRESH. Nutrients stay in tact. You are getting the best version of your produce.

 

Variety! The spice of life! Eating seasonally can offer a wide array of produce to try. This gives you an opportunity to experience something new!

 

This week I used an organic buttercup squash from my goodie box to put a spin on an old favorite of mine, squash and sage risotto. I swapped the arborio rice out for cauliflower rice pumping up the veggie content and making this dish allergy friendly and lower in carbohydrates. I also added spinach or swiss chard as an option because I like to add greens to my meals when possible!

 

 

Grain-Free Harvest “Rice”

 

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, chopped

½ riced cauliflower

1 organic buttercup squash, seeds removed

2 cups chopped organic spinach OR rainbow chard

¾ cup organic chicken broth

2 Tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or sea salt

½ tsp pepper

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and pierce the top and sides of the buttercup squash with a fork. Place squash on a baking sheet and roast 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let squash rest until its cool enough to handle.

 

When squash is cooled, slice the top off and scoop out the seeds from the center. Continue to scoop the inside of the squash out until you have separated the squash “meat” from the skin. Chop squash “meat” and set aside.

 

Chop cauliflower into pieces and use a food processors grate blade to “rice” it. Alternatively, you can use a box grater and hand grate the vegetable yourself.

 

Heat olive oil in a saucepan and sautee shallots and garlic for 2 minutes over Med-Low heat. Add riced cauliflower and ¾ cup of chicken broth and let simmer for 5 minutes before adding squash and spinach.

 

Add herbs and seasonings and stir until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

 

Toss pine nuts in small frying pan with a spray of oil or butter and toast over Med-Low heat until fragrant and lightly browned. Sprinkle over warmed harvest “rice” and enjoy!

 

 

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Sam is a Holistic Health Coach with a passion for feeding the masses with nourishing, delicious meals using REAL FOOD. She enjoys spending time in her laboratory/kitchen and delighting people with her inventive fare and witty commentary. She believes in inspiring others to find their own personal path to health and wellness. You can find her on instagram @NourishingNomsWithSam
Have a great Day!

 

 

 

Keep On Moroccan Me, BabY! – Sam Rispoli

KEEP ON MOROCCAN ME, BABY!

 

Moroccan Me

DETOX

Do you get kind of excited and nervous when this word is in front of a recipe claiming to “rid the body” of toxins?

“Feel more energized!”
“Clean up your system!”
“Jump start your metabolism!”

I won’t lie. I almost called this a recipe a Detox Salad. I know the word ”detox” is a buzz word often employed as a means of grabbing your attention and implying quick results.

Detox wants you to think she is a magical word that when placed in front of a seemingly healthy meal or drink, it melts weight magically and cleanses your body of last night’s pint of ice cream and this morning’s breakfast sandwich. Oh sister detox, forgive us now and at the hour of our mozzarella sticks. Amen.

Detox is a lying tramp.

Want the truth? The truth is that your body will naturally filter out toxins through your liver, kidneys and skin. They are always doing this job because your body wants to be balanced, and in order to be balanced, all these organs function simultaneously. You don’t even have to THINK about it!

Now… don’t be confused. Just because your body will detox itself naturally does NOT mean you should still make poor diet choices. A great many food products are made with toxic chemicals and preservatives that can make your precious organs work OVERTIME to filter out the junk.

This can confuse your body. It’s like “Oh cool, thanks for feeding me this food! Oh…wait…is this food? What is this? Can I use any of this for energy? No? WTF is this? WTF IS A SLURPEE? What am I supposed to do with this?”

 

comic

Copyright Bill Watterson, 1989

 

 

And if you are stressed and time crunched and keep ingesting weird non-nourishing food items then your body is forced to try and convert them to energy. The problem is these products can be more toxic than energizing. So it backs up the system when trying to get filtered.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?!

Well….you can start by eating more vegetables on a daily basis. Starting with this Moroccan spiced Carrot Salad! I was going to call it a Detox Salad was because I used Casco Bay Organics’ carrots, which contain Vitamin A, known for assisting the liver in flushing out toxins. I also used some Chioggia beets, which are also popular for their cleansing properties. This duo can help un-gunk your pipes naturally on the inside and support healthy, glowing skin on the outside. I fancied these fabulous organic veggies up with some garam masala spice, cumin and cinnamon for an interesting spicy-but-not-hot-spicy/sweet mix.

Moroccan Spiced Carrot Salad

1 lb organic carrots, shredded
1 organic Chioggia beet, shredded
¼ cup olive oil
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 package Eden’s Organics apple juice infused dried cranberries
½ Tablespoon cumin powder
3 teaspoons garam masala spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

moroccan spiced carrot salad

 

Shred carrots and beets in food processor or grate over box grater. Pour on olive oil and lemon juice and toss with spices and cranberries.

 

 

 

 

Sam is a Holistic Health Coach with a passion for feeding the masses with nourishing, delicious meals using REAL FOOD. She enjoys spending time in her laboratory/kitchen and delighting people with her inventive fare and witty commentary. She believes in inspiring others to find their own personal path to health and wellness. You can find her on instagram @NourishingNomsWithSam

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JUICE RECIPES

A couple juicing recipes for you on this fine Tuesday!  I LOVE juicing, but can sometimes get a little bored with my regulars.  Here are a couple for your juicing enjoyment!  Have fun with this!

 

V-8ish Juice

¼  water

2 Tomatoes

1-2 Cloves of garlic

1 handful of Spinach

2 Carrots

¼ Sweet Onion

2 Celery Stalks

2 tsp. Lemon Juice

1-2 shots of an organic hot sauce (optional)

 

 

Later Heartburn

1 cup Spinach

6 Carrots

 

 

Sweet Green Juice

Mother Nature’s Energy Drink!  Add kale and parsley first.  Then add Romaine, Cuke, Celery and Apple (for sweetening)

2 cups Kale

2 cups Parsley

3 cups Romaine

1 Cucumber

3 Celery stalks

1 Apple

 

 

A quick note about Parsley:

Parsley is LOADED with antioxidants and is a natural diuretic! Parsley aides in kidney function will help rid your kidney of stones, can even help with urinary tract infections, and inflammation in the body! Do you have stiff fingers or joints?  Inflammation too? Try a Parsley Tea for relief from these conditions! Parsley also calms the nerves!  

 

Parsley Tea

Large handful of Parsley to one pint of boiling water

Allow tea to steep in a glass container (I like mason jars) for at least a 1/2 hour and then drink throughout the day!

 

Tropical Fruit Juice

Need a little sunshiny umbrella drink in your life?  Try this for a power punch of beta-carotene which your body will convert to vitamin A.  This means healthy hair, clear eyes, and healthy skin! A spa treatment in a glass!

1 Orange

½ Mango

1 Slice Fresh Pineapple

1 Slice Watermelon

5 Strawberries

*Make sure you remove all peels and seeds before you juice these goodies.  You don’t want anything messing up your tropical fantasy!

 

 

Calcium Juice

½ Broccoli

3 Carrots

1 Apple

Small Handful of fresh Parsley (there’s that wonder herb again)

½ Lemon, peeled and seeds removed

 

 

Potassium Juice

4 Carrots

1 Celery stalk

1 Apple

Handful of fresh Parsley J

Handful of Spinach

½ Lemon peeled and seeds removed

 

 

MEDICINE IN YOUR ON BACK YARD!

WILD Mushrooms!  Who knew?

They are poisonous!

Don’t touch!

Run Away!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  MUSHROOMS!

Okay, okay everyone just relax.  Mushrooms have their place in this world, let me assure you and we will be talking about a few of the most medicinally powerful types that live and thrive in YOUR back woods!

Typically, tree mushroom are safe for eating. This is not always the case.  Typically ground mushrooms are not to be reckoned with, but not all are dangerous.  It is never a good idea to eat ANY mushroom unless you are 100% certain as to what it is.  The best way to be certain is to take a class.  Many adult education programs offer a foraging class or your local nursery might know of a forager in the area who might be able to show you the ropes.  NEVER ATTEMPT TO EAT ANY MUSHROOMS UNLESS YOU ARE 100% POSITIVE YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE! Read that sentence again and then feel free to move on to the medicinal and exciting world of wild mushrooms!

 

First up, Miatake or Hen of the Woods:

Hen of the woods

You can find this gorgeous plume around this time of year, some people have reported finding as early as late August and as late as the end of November!   The weather needs to be cool and a little dampness never hurt anyone. You will find these clusters growing at the base of living trees, and I have also seen some growing on stumps.  Everybody is different right?

Miatakes contain polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system and also aide in stabilizing blood sugar and blood pressure. (*CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE STARTING A MUSHROOM REGIMENT IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE CONDITIONS)

There are specific polysaccharides that are known as beta-D-glucans, that are suspected to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. “The exact cancer fighting action is still not clear and is under study.  Rather than attacking tumors themselves, some researchers believe they stimulate the production of T cells to fight afflicted cells.” (mushroomapprecaition.com)

Preparing these mushrooms is just a matter of personal preference. They can be fried, sautéed, baked, stuffed, or made into a tea by drying them and then grinding to put in a tea bag.

If you are not a fan of mushrooms, I get it. They are funky and they are technically a fungus.  If you have issues eating mushrooms, maybe a tincture might be a better option.  Most are available in a dried extract form such as capsule or as a tea!

 

NEXT is the Reishi Mushroom.  This mushroom is by far one of the prettiest mushrooms I have ever seen.  This mushroom grows on live trees and again, I have also seen it on tree stumps.  The bands of red, gold, and orange create a stunning jewel growing on a hardwood!  Beautiful!

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Reishi mushrooms have been found to be effective in treating a number of conditions such as; allergies, asthma, a preventative right before and during flu season, inflammatory conditions, Candida (yeast) infection, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, etc.  And the list goes on.

The best way to consume this mushroom is by drying it to make tea, pills or capsules, or tincture.  This is touch one to eat as the fiber is very tough.  You can also grind this mushroom into a powder and use it in your soups and other recipes.     images (1)

A heads up on this, if you use a food dehydrator to dry these, I hope you enjoy the smell of sweaty gym socks wafting throughout your home! Stinky, but worth it!

 

 

And finally we have my absolute favorite medicinal mushroom  around, all hail the almighty Chaga!

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There is nothing more powerful on this earth than this fungus that lives and SEEKS OUT wounded and dying birch trees.  This particular mushroom is partial to birch trees and mainly in New England, and more specifically, MAINE! The powerhouse, cancer fighting, inflammatory discouraging, antioxidant packed beyond anything else, Chaga  mushroom is hard and bark like and resembles that of burned fire wood on the outside.  The inside is a golden color that resembles yellow curry or turmeric if you will. This mushroom is not edible and I don’t think anyone would WANT to eat this one.  The Chaga mushroom is best in tea or tincture forms.

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As you can see, this chart shows Chaga blowing blueberries and Acai berry out of the water! Free radicals, LOOK OUT!  Chaga is here to save the day!  Right along with anitoxidant power, we have anti-cancer power!  There is so much information and research out there to back this up that if I attempted to put it all down in this blog, we might be here a while. But the basics are that this mushroom is loaded with  beta glucans, which  we learned from Miatake mushrooms that stimulate the immune system to fight back, Chaga just has way more!

My experience with Chaga. I have foraged and processed my own for years.  I was initially intrigued by this mushroom because I suffer from chronic hip pain that isn’t diagnosed as anything and I had heard of this mushrooms from friends who did forage. So in a desperate attempt to get relief, I tried this.  I drank Chaga tea for 5 months, 4 to 5 cups per day faithfully and also used the tincture that I made with 100 proof alcohol (very spicy). I am being honest when I say, the pain that I had been dealing with for over 2 years, disappeared after 2 months! Gone, vanished, SEE YA! I was beyond impressed and started recommending to everyone I knew who had pain issues associate with inflammation. Drinking this as a maintenance supplement helps to keep all of my aches and pains at bay.  All hail the almighty chaga mushroom!

Any of these mushrooms can be taken for good health and you do not need to have any of the conditions in order to benefit from the mushroom. I hope that I have been able to open your eyes to a world that maybe you didn’t know anything about.  I highly recommend that if you are into organic living, healthy eating, and healing yourself through Mother Nature, that you look into taking a class and discover for yourselves the wild and wonderful world of wild mushrooms. Medicine in your own back yard!

Peace