No Meat Required

What is it about the color orange?  It is so visually stimulating, and when we start making orange-colored foods, it feels quintessentially fall-like.

It’s a rainy day here in New England, so the contrast of the vibrant orange soup I just whipped up against the drab day is pretty dramatic.  It’s a sweet potato and lime soup, an adaptation of a Silver Palate recipe that I used to make quite a bit.

Many falls ago, shortly after we had moved into our first house, my husband and I hosted a dinner party for his family.  His 95 year old grandfather, George, graced our table back then, a table that was comprised of a picnic table with a 4 x 8 foot board screwed on top of it, acting as the tabletop, all dressed up with a tablecloth.  We decided to make this soup and serve it with another family favorite, popovers, and a salad.  As the soup bowls were being cleared, we noticed George had been waiting to dive into his popovers.  Turns out, after some questioning, we learned he had been waiting for the meat to be served…

I (still) think soup is delicious enough to stand on its own, no meat required 😉

Enjoy!!

Sweet Potato Lime Soup
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In a stockpot combine and saute until translucent:
3/4 of a stick of butter (yes, really!!)
2 chopped sweet onions

Then add, bring to a boil, lower to simmer until cooked through:
3 peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (medium-large size works)
2 cups of white wine
1 box of organic chicken stock (that is 4 cups for those of you who are counting, you know who you are!)

Then add:The zest and juice of one lime
1 can of full fat coconut milk (I like the Native Forest brand)

Using an immersion blender, buzz it up and enjoy with a giant popover or two!

Happy Fall!

Satya

I love it when my health coaching and yoga worlds intersect.  This morning I taught a class on “satya” or “truth” which comes from yogic teachings.  I spoke about finding your own truth and being a bit more accepting of where you are on your journey.  This weekend I was painting (walls, not landscapes) and was musing that emotionally we are all very much like coats of paint–we might think that we are a finished product, but maybe we are all simply that first coat of paint, with “holidays” or spots shining through, that need tending to, needing another coat of paint.  Accepting ourselves as imperfect is part of our personal journey.

Physically we experience things in a similar way.  Most of us are seeking to improve our physical selves.  With each step we take, each improvement, it is like another coat of paint.  And as in teaching about accepting our truth, we also need to accept where we are on the physical journey, realizing how fortunate we are to have the chance to roll on a second coat of paint.

We may decide that our truth is to live to our fullest potential, to make choices that support ourselves.  Sometimes making good choices are harder than others.  The recipe in today’s post makes it pretty easy to do!

So with that build up, I would like to introduce a favorite recipe of mine, for “zoodles” as I call them, a made up word for “zucchini noodles” made from a spiralizer (see photo of it below).  I like to serve them with a pasta sauce (recipe also below) with either ground turkey or lamb in it.  It is gluten and dairy free, and also paleo.

Zoodles with Pasta Sauce

(serves 2 with enough sauce left over for another (fresh) round, or homemade/paleo pizza)

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For the zoodles:
5 medium zucchini, spiralized
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Add 1-2 tablespoons into a skillet and saute until very done, slightly carmelized.  Add your zucchini, which will look like this once you are done spiralizing (I left my little spiralizer in the photo to show you what it looks like).  Saute until zucchini is wilted a bit, about 5 minutes.  Please note, the zoodles take a lot less time than the sauce, so start by first making your sauce (recipe below).
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Zoodles in process: I’ve seen these types of spiralizers in drug stores!  I bought mine in Montreal, but they seem to be everywhere now.

Sauce Recipe for Zoodles
Saute in a skillet:
4-5 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
Once the veggies are wilted, add 1T each of basil and oregano, and let the spices cook with the veggies for about 3 minutes.  Then add two large (28 oz) cans of organic crushed tomatoes.  Let the flavors cook together about 15 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, buzz it all up (this hides the chunky vegetables in case you have picky eaters!).

In another pan saute your meat of choice.  My favorite is ground lamb (you can buy it by the pound at Whole Foods), but I also make it with ground turkey.  Use 1.5 – 2 pounds.  Let it cook through and keep working it into the smallest pieces possible.  Once it’s done, add it to your tomato sauce and let it cook together on low until you are ready to add to your zoodles.

Enjoy!!

Happy Anniversary!

To me!  It was a year ago that I discovered how to nourish myself so that my inflammation, which was rampant throughout my body, manifesting as bursitis, sinusitis, allergies, rashes and more, finally subsided.  It’s been a GREAT year, and I feel relieved to know how to finally care for myself so that I am being supported, not damaged, by what I eat!

One of my inflammatory issues was my loss of smell.  Yep, for five or more years I did not have a working sense of smell.   It was freakish and as someone who likes to cook a lot, really saddening.  I was really down about it. I went to see an ear, nose & throat doctor who wanted to do surgery on my nasal passages to open them up (too scary, I couldn’t do it!).  No other treatment was offered by the conventional medical community.

And so, within one week of my dietary changes a year ago this week, my smelling was restored.  It’s been a year with my sense of smell and it still makes me pinch myself to smell the coffee on my way downstairs in the morning.  I am so delighted it’s back–even if I had to endure all kinds of teenage boy smells for two weeks in an RV this summer (can you begin to imagine?!).

In this morning’s Boston Globe there is a disturbing report linking loss of smell to early death (seriously?!).  It interests me that there is no mention of what the loss of smell truly is: chronic inflammation.  So while there is data about people dying, there is also mention of a higher correlation of death among people with “underlying conditions such as heart or lung diseases.”  I believe that is because those people already had a conventional diagnosis of an inflammatory condition.  Many others suffer with chronic inflammation, internal inflammation that might not be on the industry’s radar, with things like arthritis, autoimmune conditions, bursitis, and more, like I did.  So is it fair to say that loss of smell may predict early death?  Well, not really.  Better to say, “chronic inflammation may predict early death.”  Call a spade, a spade!

In this line of work I’ve had the pleasure of meeting others who have lost their sense of smell and who are on a path toward working toward recovering it.  To know we have the potential to minimize inflammation with our food choices is a radical thought.

Consider joining me at Elliott Physical Therapy on Tuesday evening, October 14th at 7 p.m. and/or Wednesday afternoon, October 15th at noon, for a talk entitled, “Ousting Inflammation with Your Fork” where I’ll delve into some of the how-tos of my personal journey to wellness, to help you on your path to quieting the inflammation in your body.  Registration is through http://elliottphysicaltherapy.com or 617-506-7210.  Hope to see you there!

And maybe next year at this time it will be YOUR anniversary!!

Problem Solved

As someone who has trouble with gluten and doesn’t eat dairy (or much of it), let’s just say being invited to a dinner party is kind of tricky.  I often bring an appetizer simply because that way I can be assured that while everyone is noshing on their chips & dip and cheese & crackers that I will have something to nibble on.  And it takes some planning to do that, and time, and sometimes I don’t have either of them.

Oh my goodness, the appetizer problem is finally solved!  I am so excited to share that today I met with my friend, Dan LiBoissonnault, who recently launched Dan’s Power Plant.  He is making artisan raw crackers that are completely delicious!  And to boot, he let me sample his latest “fauxmaggio” made of macadamia nuts and cashews with delicious flavorings.  I can just grab these tasty treats and head out to a party (or enjoy them at home!).  And rather than worry that I am eating something that doesn’t support my body, I know I am eating nutrient dense food, filled with sustaining protein and, most importantly, they are completely yummy.

Problem solved!!  Thank you, Dan!

Check out his products at www.danspowerplant.com.  The Sriracha exSEEDingly RAW crackers are my fave 🙂

photo(4) Dan's Crackers