May 8, 2013

Foods To Tame Spring Fever

Try these recipes to bring circulation to the lymphatic system, cleanse your liver, and embrace the sour flavor and the wood element of spring!

Lentil Soup with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

For the soup:
1 cup cooked green lentils

1 yellow onion, diced

4 Tbsp. olive oil

2 teaspoons each: cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, salt

1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

12 firmly packed cups of chard, spinach, and/or beet greens

For the sauce:
1 cup whole plain yogurt
½ teaspoon each: salt and nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Rinse the lentils, cover them with water in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté for 15 minutes. Add the spices and sauté another 5 minutes. Add the greens, stir, and add 8 cups water or stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Rinse and drain the lentils, return them to the stock pot, cover again with water and bring them to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high and cook, uncovered, until tender – about 20 minutes.

Add lentils to the soup, taste for salt, and turn off the heat. You can purée the soup with an immersion blender or in an upright blender if you like.

In a serving bowl, mix the yogurt sauce.
Serve soup with a dollop of yogurt sauce and enjoy!

Nut and Grain Crackers

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
In a spice grinder, grind:
            1 cup sweet nuts (almonds or pecans)
            1 cup savory nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts)
            1 cup seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)

Mix together in a bowl with 1 cup leftover rice. Make sure you have cooked the grains down into a porridge-like consistency before mixing them in with the nuts and seeds.

Add ½ teaspoon salt and any spices you like.
Try one of these combinations: cumin, coriander, turmeric OR thyme, coriander, oregano.

If mixture is a bit dry, add a few splashes of olive oil. Mix well before adding any additional oil – the nuts already contain oil.

Grease a cookie sheet with oil and spread mixture in a thin layer.
Bake at 200 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Allow to cool completely before breaking into cracker pieces and storing in plastic bags.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Place ¼ cup water in a small pot. Add ¼ pound spinach and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
Open one glass jar artichoke hearts and drain water out.
Place artichoke hearts in blender and add:
            ¼ cup olive oil
            2 heaping spoonfuls almond butter
            ½ Tablespoon lemon juice concentrate
            ½ teaspoon salt
            ½ Tablespoon dry thyme leaf
            Braised spinach
Blend at highest speed for 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy with grains or breads.
Keeps in fridge for 1 week.

Pesto of Wild Leek Leaves and Greenhouse Greens

Rinse 2 cups fresh, tender greenhouse greens (claytonia, buckwheat greens, arugula, dandelion, or a combination thereof).
Rinse ½ cup wild leek leaves.

Place both in a blender with:
            ¼ cup olive oil
            ½ teaspoon lemon juice concentrate
            ½ teaspoon salt
Blend at highest speed for 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy with grains or breads.
Keeps in fridge for 1 week.

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