I loooove some Dosa, which is not only a wheat/gluten-free South Indian delicacy, but one of my fav resto's in SF
. I already love curried Lentils
and dine on them quite frequently- but lentils wrapped in a light crepe/pancake/tortilla-like thingy topped with yogurt dill sauce and cilantro pesto makes it one of the best dinners I've made in a while...
Spinach Dal Filling:
1 cup rinsed Lentils
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Ginger, minced
4 cups washed Organic Spinach
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Goat Cheese (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook Lentils in 2 cups Water until done- 25-30 minutes. In a skillet, saute the onions in oil till tender, then add garlic, ginger and spinach until wilted. When lentils are done cooking, add to skillet mixture along with spices and lemon (and goat cheese, if using.) Mix it up...
I'll give it to you straight-- making the pancake thingy ain't easy. At the least, it took me 2-3 flops before I yielded one without breaking it... But then again- I'm no good at making breakfast pancakes on the pan (never was), which is why I can't do pancakey type breakfasts without my handy waffle maker (which has a beeper and everything). Really- it takes a combo of just the right amount of oil and good amounts of patience (can't flip it before it's ready).
Dosa (The Skin):
2 cups Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Quinoa Flour
3 cups Water
1/2 tsp Salt
Grapeseed Oil for frying
Mix together flours, water and salt and beat/whisk until well mixed. On a heated skillet, pour a drop of oil- then add a ladleful of batter, letting it cover the diameter of the pan. Cook each side for 3-4 minutes, until dosa begins to become dry around the edges. Make sure the dosa is cooked through before you flip it-- much like cooking pancakes.
Then fill an unbroken dosa with the Spinach Dal, and serve with Cilantro Pesto and/or the following:
Yogurt Dill Sauce:
3 Tbsp Goat Yogurt
2 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Fresh Dill
Mix all ingredients with a fork till well blended... Pour over Dosa.
There you have it. A mean, lean South Indian delicacy served up right in your kitchen. Enjoy!
Alas, it's arrived. Long overdue, but I finally ordered the Babycakes
Cookbook- for the frosting primarily, which I was craving especially on my special day. Long story short, I've never had better frosting in my entire life: rich, satisfying, perfectly textured and sweet, and dairy free. Bonus. I've always been scared to bake. Baking is a science, and can't be messed with. There's none of this 'eyeballing' of ingredients allowed, which is the way I cook: approximating, eyeballing, non-measuring and plain intuition. Erin McKenna, aka pure genius, advises against that very move and calls me out, which made me chuckle. She clearly states to follow her instructions to the letter- that using any old spoon in your drawer to approximate 1/2 a teaspoon won't cut it and would lead to severely disappointing flops. (All the disgruntled reviews on Amazon are by people who don't read or follow instructions, so please glaze over the bashing.)
Per Erin's rules, I went out and bought measuring spoons- metal not plastic, and used measuring cups and all the ingredients called for- no substitutions. Btdubs, they're not hard to find at Whole Foods. I never thought it'd work.
BUT IT DID:
A batch of delicious, soft, no dairy or gluten, chocolate chips cookies. Made by me. WHO ME? YES ME! It gets better. I made frosting. Yes, THE frosting. The most coveted, sought after cupcake-frosting in all of NYC and beyond. And it worked. No fuss, no flop, no lie! Put one and one together and I got this:
Chocolate chip cookie SANDWICHES. Who knew? I certainly didn't know how fun and not-so-hard it'd be to yield guilt-free dessert. All it takes is following some instruction. How rewarding.. Speaking of reward, I'll be sharing these gluten/dairy/eggs/refined sugar-free treats tonight with my awesome group of Detoxers who have been working hard to do some serious mind/body Spring cleaning these past 3 weeks!
Babycakes' Chocolate Chip Cookies:
1 cup Coconut Oil
6 Tbsp Applesauce
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cup Evaporated Cane Juice
2 cup Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1/4 cup Flaxmeal
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 Tsp Xanthan Gum
1 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 325. In a bowl, mix oil, applesauce, salt, vanilla, and cane juice. In a separate bowl, mix flour, flax, baking soda and xanthan gum. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, stirring to create a grainy dough. Fold in the choc. chips.. Use a melon baller and scoop dough onto baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes- then rotate the sheet 180 degrees, and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool...
1 1/2 cups Unsweetened Soy Milk
3/4 cup Dry Soy Milk Powder
1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1/4 cup Raw Agave Nectar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor except the lemon and oil. Blend for 2 minutes, then slowly add in lemon and oil, alternating between the two. Blend and blend. Pour mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate for 6 hours or for up to 1 month... Scoop onto cookie. Add another cookie on top. Eat your heart out!
Troubling NYT image showing how much sugar is consumed by an average American...
It's in everything: meat, bread, snacks, beverages, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, etc. Clever marketers and evil industry folk have coined a hundred different names for sugar, making it harder to avoid. We're addicted and abuse it- meanwhile it's killing us softly. Read about this deadly white stuff
and everything you intuited about the substance but didn't want to believe, or maybe you believed it but didn't feel it applied to you. It's sometimes tempting to feel exempt from warnings about taxing substances and 'foods'- especially if one consumes such in moderation. But we all have been warned...
Protein-loaded nut butter on rice bread topped with nana's never fails to satisfy... Stay tuned for a post on nut butter-making at home!
Tired of me talking Detox yet?
Detox or not, this super cleansing Yoga pose will make you feel amazing: Headstand (Sirsasana)!
One of my fav's, Headstands (or any inversions) are a complete yoga practice in and of themselves. Hailed the "King of Asanas" due to its tremendous benefits, Headstands stimulate the brain and spine, re-oxygenate your entire blood system- sending a fresh supply to the head and brain, tone all your vital organs, strengthen the midsection, stimulate the endocrine glands, tone the arms and legs and overall promote balance- not just physically but mentally and emotionally. In a word, a total body work-out!
How to get into a headstand (For beginners, please do this against a wall!):
-Start in Dolphin (which is a downward dog on your forearms. Arms separate shoulder width apart).
-Interlace fingers, release thumbs.
-Place head down in between hands on the floor, cup the back of the head with hands and place thumbs at the base of head.
-Walk the feet closer into the body- as close as you can, until the hips almost align with the body.
-Press into forearms and start kicking up one leg at a time until both legs are up.
-Squeeze legs together, engage abdomen, straighten the back and breathe deeply in/out thru the nose.
-Keep pressing into forearms.
-Finally, reach out thru the heels. I know, it's not as attractive as pointed feet, but flexing your feet as if the ceiling was pressing against them gives you an extra stretch behind the legs and also activates the front leg muscles- giving you added benefits while you invert.
Try this super detoxifying, energizing and fun pose everyday- in between commercials, in between study breaks, at the park, etc. Each time you end up here, try taking a few more breaths than the last time.
See things from a different perspective. In a constant battle between the head and the heart, let the head lose. No thoughts allowed! The heart triumphs over the head in this wonderful pose...
It's all in the title... Lately I've been staring at the sad veggies in the fridge waiting to be eaten, but have been unexcited about using them in a salad- that is, until I took to the bounty of nuts in my pantry and whipped up this amazing cheesy dressing made of cashews. Boom. All you need is a tasty and nutritious dressing to pour over your motley (sometimes unexciting) salad mix. Make a bunch of this yummy goodness and store in your fridge for the next time your blah salad needs some pep!
Cashew 'Cheese' Dressing:
1 cup raw Cashews, soaked for 3-4 hours and rinsed
1/2 Red Bell Pepper (really nice touch; adds to the kicky flavor)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Pinches of Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1 heaping tablespoon Miso paste (for richness in flavor)
2-3 pitted Dates for sweetness (optional)
In a food processor, take all ingredients and blend till creamy. Use as is for dipping veggies and pita or add in drops of water while blending to achieve a runnier consistency suitable for salad dressing.
(Depending on your FP, the consistency can vary. Mine is a bit old so it needs to run longer than normal to make these type of things 'smooth'... So I keep it running for at least 5 minutes to get the cashews all nice and fine, and really creamy...) YUM!
'Kitchen Sink' Dinner, by Gautham Hegde
Detoxing isn't just about stripping away stuff that no longer serve you- nor is it about just eating raw broccoli or leaves of lettuce. Rather, it's about filling up on a ton of delicious and nutriient-dense food.
The photo above was taken by a MALE Spring Detox participant! Yes, you men. You too can take charge of your health without compromising good food. Gautham calls this the "Kitchen Sink" Quinoa Dish. He sauteed garlic, shallots, and a bunch of veggies he received from his CSA like broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, chard, asparagus and celery with some oil, threw in some energy-packed quinoa- and bam: a beautiful and delish medley full of good stuff he can subsist on.
Try your own saute tonight, using fresh and seasonal produce. Only eating what's available keeps you in sync with nature.. Here's a list of good Spring bounty available now (in California):
Get some Spring in your step!
It's Asparagus season aplenty--- they're a major key player on bbq grills, restaurant menus and stir frys at my house lately... While I'm on the subject of Detoxing, Asparagus is a great Detox veggie due to its high levels of potassium (known to reduce belly fat) and fiber (which cleans out the digestive system).This perennial also has wonderful anti-aging properties, and due to its levels of folate, Asparagus reduces inflammation and pain, prevents osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and birth defects. Not to mention, its also an aphrodisiac!
Here's a refreshing, cool Spring-night soup to dine on:
Asparagus Cream Soup
1 big bunch Asparagus (about 10-12 stalks) cut in half
2 small Organic Potatoes
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1/3 cup Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Thyme
2 teaspoons Black Pepper
1/2 inch Ginger
1-2 cloves Garlic
1 small Shallot or 1/3 Onion
1 tablespoon Organic Miso (optional-- I like this as a salt sub; also it adds richness and tastiness)
Firstly, boil potatoes, garlic, ginger and onions in water until potatoes get soft- about 8-10 minutes. Add in Thyme and Pepper, and Salt to taste. Throw in Asparagus, cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer boiled goods in a food processor, adding in Coconut milk and lemon- and puree until creamy. Add in broth from mixture to thin out and achieve desired consistency. Garnish with parsley. The soup keeps well, so feel free to make more for lunch tomorrow!
It's Spring- which means there's no better time than now to detox! I am leading a delightful group of new (and a few repeats!) detoxers through the Gentle and Natural 21-Day Detox, which got kicked off this past weekend. Cleaning out the body is healthy, especially because we accumulate more toxins than we know what to do with! Toxins abound- from food, stress, anxiety, career changes, environment and relationships- they're everywhere, so it's important to treat oneself well and eat as much nutrient-dense, cleansing and healing food. Like BEETS!
What a great treat to have had a bundle of these in my CSA
delivery this week. I love any sweet root veggie that I can add to a salad or grain dish, like sweet potatoes, squashes, turnips and carrots. Beets are especially sweet, and in fact have the highest sugar content of all vegetables. Nothing better than naturally occurring sugar! When added to meals, this ingredient satisfies your sweet tooth and lessens that urge for indulgent dessert after... Try it!
Rich in so many nutrients, beets prevent cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems, birth defects, strokes, cancer, capillary fragility, cataracts and liver problems among other things- all due to the phytonutrient called Betalain- which provides anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxifying support. Betalain is the rich red pigment of the miracle root- also evident in rhubarb and stems of swiss chard.
Try this easy side dish!Beet and Squash your Toxic Load Salad:
2-3 beets (leave skin on; cut stem off)
1/2 butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash OR 1 whole sweet potato
Mix of greens: try Kale, Spinach, Arugula- or any others of choice
3-4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Avocado (optional)
1/2 Blood Orange (optional)
On a baking sheet, lay down beets and squash/potatoes, and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until soft enough to poke with a fork. Let cool, then peel off skin of all veggies, which should come right off. Chop up beets and squash/potatoes, and layer them on a bed of greens. If using avocados and orange, chop up and layer on. Drizzle over oil and lemon, and finish with black pepper. Enjoy this heart-healthy dish!