If you are following along on my newest article series "Planning Nutritionally for Labor and Delivery Part 2" this is the recipe for my Miso Wonton Soup.
We love soup at our home. The kids get very excited about wonton soup too. Who doesn't like sesame ginger broth with doughy dumplings? Of course, nothing with me is simple. I always have to up it a little, nutritionally speaking.
So, I took the simple wonton soup and make it dense with fermented miso, and added veggies.
This would be a good soup, not only for those who are gearing up for Labor and Delivery, but for those who are postpartum, or just looking for a healthy, easy soup recipe the kids will love.
Miso Wonton Soup
**I used carrots and zucchini in this version, but you could use any that you have on hand; asparagus, broccoli, kale, etc...
*** Need a recipe for GOOD Kim Chi....CLICK HERE
Makes 4 servings
I love breakfast porridges…any grain…savory…sweet…It is just a very satisfying way to start my day. Many of the packages flavored varieties are ridiculously sweet, and full of all sorts of colors, preservatives, and more….yuck.
I've just recently discovered, and experimented with cooking with fruits and herbs as sweeteners. This one turned out perfect.
I really like the Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes. They are super easy, and simple ingredients (quinoa).
This recipe is a good one for anyone looking to increase the nutrient density of their meal, while lowering the amount of added sugar without skimping on taste.
Banana Nut Quinoa Breakfast
Makes 3 servings
This is the recipe from my newest article series "Planning Nutritionally for Labor and Delivery Part 1"
When I cook chicken, I prefer pasture raised, and pretty much always cook bone in and skin on. The meat, of course, if full of protein, but the connective tissue surround the bone and the skin itself are nutritional powerhouses full of minerals, b vitamins, and hyaluronic acid.
We obviously love brussels sprouts at our house. I realized after looking at my last recipe, and those in my previous posts, there are quite a few recipes with Brussels.
They not only provide high amounts of nutrition: Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folate, B6, Potassium, Omega 3's, Iron, Magnesium, Protein, Vitamin A, Calcium and Zinc...
But, also phytonutrients: More glucosinolate (antioxidant - anti-cancer) than any other cruciferous veggie
One Skillet Oregano chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
Makes 4 -6 servings
I have been on a kick of cooking all our dinners on the grill. It's the end of summer, and it's hot. The thought of turning on the oven or stove and adding more heat to my house seems like a bad idea. My solution; move the cooking outside.
I have this great little grill pan that I use for veggies on the grill quite a bit. You could also use a cast iron skillet, or other grill safe pan. I like this one because it has holes in it that let the juiced run out, leaving a bit more crisp on the edges of my veggies.
Brussels sprouts are in season here in Colorado. They are at their peak of nutrient, and taste perfection...(HINT: and on sale). They are also another one of those veggies that my kiddos can't seem to get enough of.
If you haven't tried Brussel Sprouts, my 5 and 8 year old highly recommend them!
To balance the bitter flavor of the brussels, I mixed them into a salad with cranberries, slivered almonds, feta, and a homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette. You could also add some crumbled bacon.
I served this with cast iron skillet cooked rosemary pork chops, and simple polenta with butter and salt. Not a complaint in the house, and no leftovers!!!
Grilled Brussels Sprout Salad
1. Heat grill and grill pan over medium heat
2. Slice Brussels lengthways
3. Coat brussels with 2 TBSP olive oil and minced garlic. Season with Salt and Pepper
4. When grill pan is hot, toss in Brussels. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until all brussels slices are soft and cooked through
5. Remove from grill and cool 10 minutes
6. In a bowl, mix together Brussels, Cranberries, Almonds
7. In a mason jar, add dressing ingredients and shake vigorously, until incorporated.
8. Drizzle dressing over salad, and top with Feta.
BEETS! You either love them or you hate them, and sometimes you hate them because you've never had GOOD beets. I find it really fun to change people's mentality when it comes to foods. I have had many friends and family tell me they do not like a particular food, and it becomes a game for me to make them like it. Like beets.
If you tell me you don't like them, then be prepared to have to try them the next time you come over for dinner. I can almost guarantee I can change your mind about them.
The key to beets, in my opinion, is to cook them low and slow, let their natural juices caramelize. I am also a lazy beet cooker, I do not peel my beets.
Beets are a staple at our house. This year was the first year I have grown a successful beet crop. In the process I found a favorite, and often under utilized, portion of the beets...their greens. How many of you buy beets, cut off the green and discard them...I use to be guilty. Mainly because I didn't know what to do with the greens.
Beet greens are amazing! Enough Said! If you like Swiss Chard, Kale, Spinach, you'll love beet greens.
This dish uses the entire beet in one recipe. Bringing out all that the beet has to offer. Cooking them on the grill in a cast iron skillet is a great use of summer cooking. You could also use this recipe for camping!
A cast iron skillet is essential in any kitchen. If you don't have one, get one. The best ones are found in thrift stores...no lie. Find an old, beat up skillet, and season it. Don't get one of those new coated ones (I have one, it's not the same). This skillet is probably 100 years old. My husband found it in his grandfather's old barn, rusted. He cleaned it, seasoned it, and gave it to me as a gift...He knows how to win my heart. I use this skillet pretty much every day. The key to keeping it seasoned...don't clean it. Seriously, you can ruin a skillet by cleaning it with soap and water. Just take a paper towel and wipe it out. The little browned bits add flavor to the next dish.
This dish has quickly become a favorite of my kids. My oldest adores all things beets. She will easily order a beet salad for dinner at restaurants. (I have to catch her when she is outside. She ate half of the beet crop straight from the garden! That sneaky devil.)
Skillet Grilled Beets and Greens
1. Heat grill, and cast iron skillet, over medium high heat
2. Add bacon drippings, and melt.
3. Add in diced beets, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to coat.
4. Cook beets until they are soft, stirring occasionally to keep from burning. ~ 45min
5. When soft, add in greens. Cooked until wilted.
6. Taste, and season with salt and pepper to desire.
Yesterday afternoon I found myself with a couple of hours of free time....yes this did happen, and it is rare. My kiddos were out playing, and I was really unmotivated to do any actually housework (although it does need it). So to avoid any REAL work, I decided to get creative in the kitchen. I was also craving something sweet!
My original idea was brownies, but seeing as I did have enough unsweetened cocoa powder to do any good, Blondies seemed like the next best idea. (I have a love affair with brownies, and was really hoping to master a good black bean PCOS brownie yesterday...next time).
Of course all good PCOS baking begins with nuts and nut flours. Nut flours are a wonderful source of fats, fat-soluble vitamins, and fiber. All nutrients that are good for PCOS symptoms...read more in my previous blog posts....
Increasing Dietary Fats to Decrease PCOS Symptoms
Fat soluble Vitamins and the Epidemic of Deficiency in PCOS
Preheat oven to 350
In a bowl mix Almond Flour and Baking Powder, set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix Almond Butter, Eggs, Coconut Oil, Honey and Vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add in Flour mixture and blend till smooth.
Grease an 8x8 pan with coconut oil. Pour in mixture and spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Finding recipes that incorporate natural, wild, and healthy whole grains is difficult. Wild rice is one of those grains for me. I love it's nutty, aromatic flavor, but have a difficult time finding unique ways to serve it.
This recipe has become a staple for us. It is easy to make, delicious, and even the kiddos enjoy it.
There are some steps to this, but nothing elaborate. It is best if left to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours/overnight before serving. It also makes a an easy make ahead lunch idea for adults and kids alike.
Wild Rice is not technically a rice, although it is a distant cousin. It is the seed of a marsh grass found in the northern regions of the world. The most commonly eaten species come from North America and China. Wild Rice is an ancient grain that has been eaten since the primitive times. Native American culture of North America used the grain for trade, and as a staple in cooking. They used it in soups and doughs. One Traditional recipe stewed Wild Rice grains in Venison broth and Maple Syrup…actually sounds pretty tasty.
Wild Rice use to be a popular wild grain. It has lost a little favor over the years to some other exotic grains (Quinoa). Unlike Quinoa, Wild Rice is cultivated here in the US and does not need to imported. Like Quinoa, Wild Rice is a rich, whole grain source of protein, fat, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients. Wild Rice has double the protein of brown rice, the same amount as Quinoa, specifically high in Lysine. Here are some more Wild Rice Nutrition Highlights:
Wild Rice is a super nutritious, whole grain option. For those of you who want the nutritional benefits of Quinoa, but are concerned about the political complications and the importation, should try homegrown Wild Rice.
Sweet Potato and Wild Rice Salad
This filling is so versatile. I make these a lot during the fall, when my chard is exceptionally prolific. It can be used with any green. I have made it with Spinach, Chard, Kale, and Beet Greens.
Many of us know that we need to eat our greens, but we often find it hard to find ways to incorporate it into our daily diet. Especially with kids. They can be pretty picky. My 7 year old loves this recipe, and even asked me make it for her birthday.
With all of the herbs and the Spinach, these filling is a nutritional powerhouse.
Spinach is your richest source of plant based minerals. It is also one of the highest in Oxalic Acid. Please see my blog post on Oxalic Acid. Cooking spinach unlocks it mineral profile, making it much more absorbable. Buying Organic Spinach is important, as it is highly fertilized and sprayed with pesticides, which destroy its enzyme profile.
I cup of Spinach gives you all your Vitamin K for the day. Vitamin K is an important vitamin for blood clotting and healing. It is becoming an increased problem for women who are pregnant. (hence the standard of care protocol for Vitamin K shots for babies at birth).
I think many people forget, or don't realize that the plants we use to season our food also have nutritional value.
Many of us just look at the vitamins and minerals in foods, and miss out on all the other important compounds that affect our health.
sPANAKOPITA - sPINACH & fETA pIE
Option 1 - Pie Crusts
Option 2 - Phyllo Dough Appetizer Sized
Do you save your extra ripe bananas? I do. We can never seem to make it through our banana bunches fast enough. I don't like bananas, honestly, but LOVE banana bread. So, maybe part of me actually wants them get over ripe so I can save them up for a big batch of this amazing bread. Freezing them makes them extra juicy and the bread extra moist as well.
I recently had enough bananas saved up to make 3x this recipe. The girls and I had a great afternoon whipping up batch after batch. Two of the loaves went back into the freezer for future deliciousness.
Of course, I have to mess with recipes. I cannot just love a recipe and make it the same every time. I am always experimenting. This one came out great, and the kiddos loved it. My original recipe called for equal parts sugar and flour. To me that is just crazy sweet, and it drowns out the flavor of the bananas, no need for that much sugar. So, not only did I cut it down, but I replaced 50% with coconut sugar. I also used sprouted, whole grain flour, and I added Chia Seeds, and Cinnamon.
Chia seeds are these super tiny, super cute seeds. YES, they are the same seeds that we used as kids to make those awesome Chia Pets grow. Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia! I sing it every time I pull out the bag.
In Oriental Nutrition, Chia Seeds are a Qi Tonic that treats dryness in the body. They moisten and lubricate not only the intestines, but the skin and hair as well. They give the body a burst of sustained and usable energy. In Native American cultures Chia Seeds were consumed before contests and battles to give those who consumed them long lasting energy.
Chia Seeds are second only to Flax in the amount of Omega 3 Fatty Acids they contain, and unlike Flax, they do not need to be ground in order to access these EFA's.
The Nutritional Profile of Chia Seeds help make it a good food for reducing inflammation and treating insulin resistance (a growing problem in all age groups.). The Magnesium in Chia Seeds regulates the secretion of insulin and its uptake into the cells. The high fiber content is slow to break down and reduces insulin spikes. Overall, Chia Seeds have been shown to slow the secretion of glucose into the blood.
No one in my house has issues with insulin resistance, but that doesn't mean I don't want to prevent it. So, I take steps in my cooking, especially when baking or making sweet treats, to keep the sugar levels down, and add ingredients that lessen the effects of sugar in the body. Cinnamon is a great addition to sweet breads like this one.
In Oriental Medicine Cinnamon is not only for culinary use, but is a medical herb found in the Materia Medica. It's uses are vast. Considered a Warming/Sweet/Acrid herb, it is used to treat conditions of; common colds, joint pain, menstrual irregularity, asthma, increases circulation, night sweats and wasting and thirsting disease (diabetes).
Cinnamon and Sugar....it just sounds right doesn't it. There is conflicting research on Cinnamon for lowering blood sugar. Most of these focus on long term supplemental use of high doses of cinnamon not associated with a meal. One study I found researched what happened when Cinnamon was added to sugar. In this study, there was a slowing of the absorption of the sugar in the group that consumed equal amounts of cinnamon with the sugar. The theory, based on this study, is that cinnamon binds to the sugar molecules and slows their digestion and absorption into the blood stream.
Coconut Sugar is still a sugar. It is a lower glycemic sweetener, YES, but it is fructose and fructose is not measured by the glycemic index. The glycemic index does measure how quickly a foods raises your blood sugar. So in that regard, coconut sugar is better than regular sugar. Some other benefits of coconut sugar are that, unlike granulated sugar, it is full of minerals like zinc and iron, and an array of antioxidants. It also has a high Inulin content. A fiber that isn't digested but works as a prebiotic feeding the good bacteria in your digestive system. So, overall, there are more benefits to using it over granulated white sugar.
Fructose does not affect your blood sugar, it does however affect your Liver. Unlike glucose, which can be metabolized in every cell in your body, fructose can only be metabolized in the liver. It's metabolism mimics that of alcohol. Too much fructose, like too much alcohol, can cause the same myriad of health issues. The key is moderation. Coconut Sugar is 39% Fructose.
Caution: Just because it has a better profile that granulated sugar, does not mean you can eat it until your hearts content. All sweets and sugars should be monitored and not overeaten. Naturally occurring sweets, occasionally, is not bad, and if you are making good choices that give you added nutrition long with it, you should be just fine. Those who have inflammatory, or auto-immune issues should be wary and monitor their sugar (of any kind) intake.
Banana Walnut Chia Seed Bread
***NOTE: AS MUCH AS I HAVE TRIED TO KEEP THE GLYCEMIC VALUES DOWN, IT IS STILL NOT THE BEST. BANANAS IN GENERAL ARE A NO-NO FOOD FOR THOSE NEEDING TO CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS, AND COOKING THEM INCREASES THEIR BLOOD SUGAR RAISING QUALITIES. THAT BEING SAID, HERE ARE THE LEVELS I WAS ABLE TO REACH, AND THESE ARE ROUGH, SO IT COULD VARY BASED ON THE INGREDIENTS YOU USE AND HOW BIG YOUR SERVING SIZE IS.
My 6 year old loves this recipe. It is one of her favorite things to take in her lunch box (just the salad, no bread is how she prefers it). It's very simple to make and it great for potlucks, or large get-together's.
Wednesday's, the Whole Foods in Fort Collins has their rotisserie chicken sale. This is typically when I pick one up, if I don't make a roasted chicken at home. Its easy and flavorful. You can easily roast a whole chicken in the crockpot, come home, shred it, make your salad and have a quick dinner. (I love my crockpot, what a time saver) Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken
The key to this dish is a good quality mayo. If you are on top of things, you can make your own fairly easily. If you are more like me, you prefer to buy a good quality mayo. Homemade Mayo
Let chicken cool slightly. Pull apart and shred meat. Place in a large bowl.
Cut leek in half. Using only the white portion, slice. Add to bowl
Cut grapes into quarters. Add to bowl
Dice water chestnuts. Add to bowl
Poor in 1/4 cup of chicken drippings, add mayo and mix thoroughly. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Let sit at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
GI: 43 GL: 3