Living the WELL Life

The Heart of the Matter - by Christina Pirello

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We're told that disease is heredity or just fate.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While lots of factors play a role, your destiny is not dictated.  You have the ultimate say in your health.  You just have to know what to eat.  That's where I come in.  Join me in making this recipe and empower your life.

Curried Red Lentil Soup
Millet with Cinnamon Onions
Daikon, Carrot and Winter Squash Stew
Garlicky Collard Greens
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Cilantro

1 teaspoon avocado oil

3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed

½ red onion, diced

Sea salt

1 teaspoon curry powder

Generous pinch saffron

1 stalk celery, diced

1 medium carrot, diced

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

1 cup red lentils, rinsed very well

1 bay leaf

4 cups spring or filtered water

2 to 3 sprigs cilantro, finely minced, for garnish*

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and grind the saffron between your fingers into the onion to release its essence and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in celery and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in carrot and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, lentils, bay leaf and water and bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until lentils are quite creamy, about 35 minutes. Season with about 1 teaspoon salt and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve garnished with cilantro.
  *You may use parsley if you do not like cilantro.  Makes 4-5 servings.

Millet with Cinnamon Onions
Cinnamon Onions

3 red onions, each cut into 8 wedges

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon brown rice syrup

1 cup millet

3 cups spring or filtered water

Pinch sea salt

Scant pinch nutmeg

2 to 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely minced, for garnish

Prepare onions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place onion wedges in a large bowl and mix with other ingredients until coated. Arrange in a shallow baking sheet with a rim, trying to avoid overlap. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and return onions to oven for about 10 minutes, until slightly browned.

Prepare millet when onions have been cooking for 25 minutes: Place millet and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add salt and nutmeg; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until millet is soft and the water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Stir in parsley. Transfer millet to a shallow serving bowl and spoon onions over top. Serve immediately.  Makes 4-5 servings.

Daikon, Carrot and Winter Squash Stew
1-inch piece of kombu or 1 bay leaf
1 dried shiitake mushroom, soaked until tender, stem removed, left whole
1 cup 1-inch irregular chunks
2 cups 1-inch cubes unpeeled winter squash (butternut, Hokkaido, buttercup or delicate)
Spring or filtered water

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3 to 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

Place kombu in a heavy pot. Layer vegetables over kombu in the order listed. Add enough water to just cover the bottom of the pot (do not exceed 1/8 inch in the pot) and a splash of soy sauce; cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook until vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with soy sauce; cook, uncovered, until any remaining liquid evaporates, 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove from heat and gently stir in lemon juice and parsley, taking care not to break the vegetables.  Makes 4-5 servings.

Garlicky Collard Green
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise, cut into thin half-moon slices
Sea salt
2 red bell peppers, roasted, sliced into ribbons

1 medium bunch collard greens, stem tips trimmed, left whole

Place oil, garlic and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in bell peppers and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Just before adding them to the skillet, slice collard greens into bite-size pieces. Stir into skillet, season with 2/3 teaspoon salt and sauté until wilted and a bright green color, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.  Makes 5-6 servings.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies

1 stick (8 tablespoons) vegan buttery spread (like Earth Balance)

1/3-1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1/3 cup crunchy, unsweetened peanut butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup semolina flour

Pinch sea salt

Scant pinch ground cinnamon (optional)

1 cup nondairy, grain-sweetened chocolate chips or 1, 3.5 ounce dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped

Unsweetened almond milk, if needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.

Combine buttery spread, syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, whisking, until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Mix together flours, salt and cinnamon (if using). Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients to form a spoonable batter. If too thick or dry, add ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk. Fold in chocolate until well-incorporated into batter.

With wet hands, roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place onto baking sheets. Press a wet fork into each cookie crosswise, creating a crosshatch pattern in the center. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow cookies to stand on the hot baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.  Makes 2 dozen cookies.


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