Roasted Chimichurri Bowl

This is a nice collection of roasted vegetables with a grain that is topped with creamy chimichurri herb sauce and avocado. You can make it your own by varying the roasted vegetables and grain.

I used brown Jasmine rice, Portabella mushrooms, bell peppers, red onion, garlic, rainbow carrots, and kale.

Cook rice by combining 1 cup of rice per 2 cups of water, bring to a boil and then cover and lower temperature to low and simmer for 35 minutes. Strain off extra liquid.  To roast the vegetables, cut vegetables into 1 inch thick slices, and lay on a roasting pan lined with parchment. Brush olive oil over each vegetable and sprinkle with salt.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.  To roast the kale, wash and remove stem, tearing leaves into large pieces. drizzle with olive oil and massage to coat the leaves. Spread onto a parchment lined pan and roast for 10 minutes until softened and slightly crisp.

To make the chimichurri sauce, blend together one bunch each of chopped parsley and cilantro, a couple stems of mint, a teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/2 cup olive oil, and the juice of one lime, 1 teaspoon each of coconut aminos and cider vinegar and one clove of garlic. Blend this until smooth.  Spoon this over the rice and vegetables.  This sauce can also be used as a dip or sandwich spread, or added to soups and dressings to ramp up the flavor.

Varying the vegetables and substituting millet, quinoa, buckwheat groats, and even oats cooked in a broth will allow you to make this dish with what you might have on hand, while keeping the flavors fresh and the nutrients dense and filling.

I hope you enjoy this warming dish, which is full of antioxidant and immune boosting nutrients.

Gear Up for Healthy Holidays!

It’s officially the time of year when we are surrounded with cookies, baked treats, candies and rich foods at celebrations and family gatherings.  Can we partake, enjoy and still stay healthy? My first answer is yes, in moderation, because stressing over food is often more harmful than a few “treats” you choose to eat. But in saying that, for me, I have to decide that I will only partake of so many and no more, just so I can enjoy the tradition and childhood memories that come along with having these special holiday goodies. On the other hand, if I know I have a problem controlling how many I will eat or I get unhealthy reactions, then abstaining or finding a healthy alternative may be the best choice.  The other factor to consider is knowing how these goodies will affect how you feel after eating them. If you are sensitive to the cream and gluten in the cookies and pudding, and you know that your stomach will be cramped and you get migraines after eating sugar, you need to decide if you want to feel that way in order to taste and partake of the goodies.  Ultimately the risk is up to you. There are also more serious risks that need to be considered if there are blood sugar issues, insulin resistance, and inflammation. These risks need to be evaluated in order for us to become more aware of our state of health and take personal responsibility for our health.

So, the first thing I want to propose is a change in the way you think about these special celebration foods. Knowing that they do not bring greater health when eaten, we should not call them “treats” or “goodies” because we do not want to treat ourselves to poor health. It would be a bit harsh to think of them as poison, but in effect they are to some extent, depending on how your body tolerates them. When you choose to partake, take a small amount, savor the flavor, and enjoy. Then find something healthy to enjoy so you don’t continue to eat foods that will bring unhealthy results. In many instances, this may require you to bring along something that is more appropriate for your food choice and for your health.

The other thought pattern I want to address is how we can stress out over food, worrying about every ingredient or how it was prepared or cooked. If we are eating whole foods most of the time, 80% of the time, and we decide to have a piece of traditional pie or a few cookies made with ingredients we no longer include in our diet, I think our bodies will be able to handle it without much trouble. ( If there is an allergy or other serious health consideration, then I do not recommend even a small amount) But if we are worried and stressed about eating those things, I believe stress can do more harm than the actual “bad” ingredients, because our bodies are miraculous in the way they were created to deal with eliminating toxins from our system. (That is dependent upon how well your body can detoxify itself and how much toxic load you are exposed to. Which includes all toxic exposure from food, water, air, drugs, amalgam, product off gassing, radiation, etc. – this is another topic all together)

Now, I propose that you have on hand some remedies and tips to help you stay healthy through the holiday season. First, sugar intake decreases proper immune function and increases inflammation in the body. Some tips to keep in mind when eating sugar include: eat some fibrous veggies and good fats at the same meal, which will slow down the sugar absorption and will cut down on sugar spikes; eating raw fermented foods will increase probiotics in gut and increase immune response – these foods, kefir, krauts and kombucha, also cut sugar cravings; and finally, including garlic, turmeric and cider vinegar in teas and recipes will have anti-inflammatory actions in the body.

Having a couple of recipes that are healthy alternatives to conventional foods that you can bring to a party are important to have on hand and have practiced so they become easy for you to whip up.  I hope I can help you find some recipes you enjoy, that are easy to put together and you will want to share. See Recipes section.