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Orange soup

Orange Soup - a mix of the orange veggies

I’m pretty lucky enough to live really close to where I work and have no problem going home for lunch. Today on my lunch break, besides making myself a sandwich I made something else… Orange soup and no it wasn’t the citrus orange that you’re thinking of, but a mélange of the orange veggies. I threw in butternut squash, sweet potato, and carrots and oh man is it delicious!

I made quite a bit so that we can have two bowls for dinner and then save the rest for the week.

I will list the recipe below and fyi it doesn’t take long to chop everything up and throw it into the pot – I had plenty of time to make my sandwich and eat my lunch all in one hour!

1 butternut squash

1 sweet potato

3 carrots (depending on their size – you don’t want them too large)

1 yellow onion

4 cups vegetable broth

4 cups water

1 teaspoon nutmeg to taste

1 teaspoon salt to taste

Start by chopping up the onion and letting it sauté in the bottom of the pot with some olive oil until it becomes clear. While that is sautéing peel the squash, sweet potato and carrots. Then chop up each vegetable into chunks. When the onions are clear and are beginning to brown pour the vegetable broth and water into the pot. Add the veggies and cover on high heat until it boils. Once boiling turn the flame to low and simmer. It should take about 20 minutes for the veggies to soften completely. Use your hand blender to puree the soup – If you don’t have one then you can use a blender but be careful since your dealing with hot liquid. Once pureed add the nutmeg and taste to make sure you love it!

Thankgiving!

It’s that time of year when lots of people are scrambling to find recipes for their thanksgiving and holiday dinners. This has now become my favorite time of year! I’m having so much fun searching through all of my cookbooks trying to find recipes that fit the needs of my special gluten free, no dairy and no refined sugar diet. I will definitely have to alter some of the recipes to my needs, but hey, it’s all part of the fun!

You wouldn’t believe how many great recipes I’ve found and don’t worry I will be sure to post them up once I try them out. My friends and family are lucky since they will be trying everything and letting me know if it’s worthy for the thanksgiving table or not.

Try not to get stressed over the holidays – they’re supposed to be fun! And it’s a great time to catch up with family and friends.

Enjoy it – cooking is fun! No one will judge if you order in or buy food already prepared BUT I’m just throwing it out there that cooking is so satisfying – (at least for me!) – I love seeing the end result of enjoyment and pleasure, it makes my day.

I hope you can find some recipes to try out – even if it’s only one – then you will have the opportunity to feel the satisfaction at the end. Try something new! Be adventurous!

Don’t let the rain get you down today – throw on some rain boots and get out and smell the fresh air. Someone once told me that the air is the freshest right after it rains – I believe it. Soak it in, literally.

Delicious Squash Cookies!

Delicious Squash Cookies!

Last night I made Almond acorn squash teff cookies and boy were they good! I was recently assigned a health counselor by my school and I found this recipe on her blog. The cookies are different AND they taste delicious! Trust me! I had never heard of teff flour before this woman’s blog and I was surprised that it tasted so good – I didn’t even use eggs OR oil! The recipe is S I M P L E, just try it. I changed a couple of things in my recipe – I used a different type of squash other then acorn and then I steamed it instead of roasting it just to save some time.

For one batch of 6-8 cookies (depending on how big you make them) use these ingredients:

1 ½ cups teff flour (you can buy Bob’s Red Mill brand from your health food store or supermarket – it’s gluten free!)

½ cup steamed squash (I couldn’t find acorn squash at my market so I used a different kind of squash that looked similar to acorn – it still tasted great)

¼ cup maple syrup

1 cup almond butter

dash of salt

½ tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and blend well. Roll into a size that you like and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet (Non-stick is the easiest pan to use – if you don’t have one I suggest you invest in one). Flatten each ball with a fork and bake for 13 minutes.

Hopefully you enjoy this recipe – I know my fiancé and my work friends loved them! It’s so satisfying when I make a dish or dessert that is gobbled up!

All the recipes that I make are meant to be shared, so please try them. I search for simple, tasty and nutritious meals so please take advantage of the great recipes that I bring to the blog community – you will feel great on the inside.

Whether or not you get a flu shot or the H1N1 vaccination is up to you, but I found this article by Dr. Frank Lipman quite fascinating. Dr. Lipman gives great advice on staying healthy during the fall/winter seasons and actually all year round.

If you want to know my personal opinion about the H1N1 vaccine, well, I’ll share it. I don’t like being the first to try these vaccines. Just like the HPV vaccine, Gardasil for women, my doctor asked me every time I stepped into her office if I wanted the vaccine and I continuously told her no. Finally, out came the bad results about the vaccine and boy was I glad that I didn’t inject myself with unnecessary chemicals.

The same goes for the H1N1 for me. I’m not the first to jump up and get vaccinated just because everyone else is – I would rather load up on vitamins and wash my hands frequently – that’s just my opinion though.

Hopefully you make the right decision for yourself. Please read Dr. Lipman’s article, which will give you some great tips to hopefully stay swine free.

I’ve been spending some time in suburbia recently – only because that’s where my family lives. I’ve noticed a huge difference between city life and suburban life and it’s not just the large city buildings. It’s very rare that people will walk to their destination in suburbia and yes, I understand it’s because things are further away, but if something is 10 blocks away in the city you better believe I’m going to walk there and back – but 10 blocks in suburbia seems like a lifetime away! Why is this the case? I simply don’t understand.

I started thinking of reasons and I decided that suburbia is just not walker friendly. Most people ride in cars because it’s the easiest thing to do. Here’s the problem with this – if suburbanites drive their cars to work, sit all day and drive back home, then maybe they’ve walked a total of 100 steps around the office… NOT what I call a healthy lifestyle.

If you are one of these people I suggest you definitely make time in your day to get to the gym, exercise outside, or take a nice brisk walk during your day around the neighborhood.

You have control over your health so make sure you are making the right choices for YOU. If you have questions you can always contact me.

Recently I’ve been watching a substantial amount of the Food Network. I love seeing all the chefs’ techniques and the little tips that they throw in, but the one draw back is that I don’t like any of their food! I watch the Food Network and I don’t cook any of their recipes… it seems like there’s something wrong with that picture.

Well here’s why – they don’t cook ANYTHING healthy. Rachael Ray has a few recipes that may be a bit healthier then the rest of the other chefs, but for the most part they all cook with lots of butter, sugar, oil and eggs. Giada De Laurentiis is so meticulous and has such a specific way of talking to us viewers that watching her in the kitchen is mesmerizing but, again, her recipes are full of butter, sugar and are just plain unhealthy. The Food channel has lots of programs ranging from 30 minute meals, to recipes that use a very small amount of money, as well as using only a few ingredients – all of these programs help to quicken the cooking process but my question is: where’s the healthy food??

There’s not much more I can say except that I hope this changes – BUT if it doesn’t, well then maybe one day you’ll see me on the Food Network channel with my own healthy cooking show! If we don’t teach the deliciousness of healthy food then how will people know that it’s better then junk food AND nutritious at the same time!

I will be cooking some new recipes in the next few days and IF they go well I will blog about them!

Try watching the food network, their technique really is fantastic. Enjoy!

Last weekend I had the honor of cheering on my mother as she walked in the New York City Avon 2 day breast cancer walk – It was completely emotional seeing so many women and men come together to fight for one cause. Right after the closing ceremony, which was held on the pier right by the circle line cruises, we were all SO hungry and decided that it would be a good idea to make our way to 9th avenue to find a yummy restaurant.

Of course I was crossing my fingers that I would be able to eat something at the restaurant since I really don’t enjoy being the odd one out. We were headed to one restaurant in particular only to find that they weren’t serving food until 5:00 p.m… very strange! We stumbled upon a cute little restaurant called Hummus Kitchen instead. What a gem! If you are searching for good food in the hell’s kitchen area OR the upper east side you should definitely find yourself here.

A wonderful eatery

Quality food at Hummus Kitchen

I ordered the soup of the day, which was a mix of all the orange vegetables pureed together – it was phenomenal and I am definitely going to try to recreate it. We ordered a hummus sampler for the table, which was to die for! I also had the super healthy salad, which is a plate of quinoa with butternut squash, apricot, walnuts and yogurt sauce but I opted for tahini sauce instead. What an amazing meal. I felt full, clean and just downright great. I can’t recall the last time I felt this way from eating at a restaurant! I’m so thrilled and excited to have this new place to run to when I’m not in the mood to cook.

I definitely recommend trying this delicious restaurant! Please let me know your thoughts and if you have any restaurant recommendations that you think thehealthymix blog community would enjoy.

Have a splendid day.

This past weekend I did something completely out of character… I baked a pie! Yep, you heard it here – I baked a sweet potato pie out of scratch. I was so proud of this pie that I barely ate any myself because I was too busy giving everyone else a piece to see how they liked it. Let me tell you something, it isn’t even hard to do and I’ll explain all the steps below. First I want to tell you that the hardest part wasn’t even making the pie, it was figuring out which pan I needed to bake it in – there were non-stick options, ceramic and all sorts of different pans.

Finally I chose a non-stick pan but have decided that I will buy a ceramic one as well so that I can have a choice as to how the pie will look in the end.

I also want to express how much I love sweet potato pie but haven’t been able to eat it with my new eating habits. Here is a much healthier version of the pie AND it still tastes SO delicious.

Sweet Potato Pie adapted from the Clean Food by Terry Walters cookbook.

Scrumptious sweet potato pie

Scrumptious sweet potato pie

CRUST:

1 ½ cup pecans

¼ cup chickpea flour

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

pinch of salt

FILLING:

3 medium sweet potatoes

¼ cup maple syrup (or a little bit less – depending on how sweet you like it)

¼ cup rice milk or almond milk

¼ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon arrowroot (found in the health food store near the gluten free flour)

1 teaspoon agar powder (found in the health food store)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Setup your steamer with water and cut up the sweet potatoes so they fit nicely in the pot. Steam potatoes until they are soft all the way through – may take about 15 to 20 minutes given the size of the potato. While they are steaming start preparing the crust.

Chop pecans in food processor until they resemble fine meal. Add chickpea flour and process briefly to combine ingredients. Add oil, syrup and salt and process until it forms dough. Lightly grease pie pan, add dough and press to form even crust – about ¼ in. thick. Pierce several times with a fork and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

When the sweet potatoes are soft and have cooled down begin to remove the skins. Place in cleaned food processor and add maple syrup, rice milk (or almond milk), vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, arrowroot and agar powder. Process until smooth.

Pour filling into the cooled pie crust for about 50 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven. The top should be lightly browned but be careful not to burn the crust! Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack and serve at room temperature.

If you follow these directions you will definitely have an amazing pie. I wish you luck and please write any comments if you have any.

“Be nourished by the fruits and beauty of nature and make every day a celebration of the rhythms of the seasons.” This is such a wonderful quote taken from Terry Walters book Clean Food. This book, which I have newly discovered by perusing the aisles of Barnes and Noble as well as remembering that a friend had mentioned the name a few weeks back, has become a new love of mine.

Clean Food
is a wonderful book filled with insight into the world of eating whole foods that nourish your body and soul. This is right up my alley! And, in fact, Ms. Walters attended the Integrative Institute of Nutrition, which is the school that I am now attending! I’m so excited that this information is becoming more and more available as people’s eyes become wider and they begin to realize that they’ve been exposed to chemically changed food that has been poured into their bodies for many years.

That’s why us health counselors are here to help! We want to help break your unhealthy habit and not just for a month but for your lifetime.

Look for Clean Food by Terry Walters at your nearest book store – you won’t be disappointed. There are some amazing recipes that I will definitely be blogging about in the near future – check back often!

Have a wonderful day

After a pretty crazy couple of weeks of preparing for me and my fiance’s engagement party – I’m finally ready to sit down and write a blog! All of our hard work in planning and preparing produced a wonderful, heartfelt party and I’m so glad that everything went as planned.

Moving right along… I’d like to talk about Omega-3 fish oil. It’s been known that fish oil helps our bodies in many ways but it especially aids with inflammation – especially for people with IBD (irritable bowel disease). I’ve taken many different forms of fish oil and have hated it for so long because it always comes back on me (meaning that I taste it throughout the day…gross!)

In passing, I was talking to a woman who was explaining the benefits of enteric-coated vitamins. This is the most amazing invention – let me explain. Enteric-coating resists attack by stomach acid, so the capsules pass into the intestines intact and release their contents there. This is truly wonderful! The fish taste doesn’t come back up anymore and I can finally benefit from this wonderful healing oil.

Fish oil definitely can’t harm you unless you have an allergy to it – so, personally, I think everyone can benefit from this and should at least try taking it. It aids in your cardiovascular health, (which is enough reason to take it right there) as well as your mental and physical health in general. Fish oil is easy to take, especially the enteric-coated form.

I just started taking Fisol from Nature’s Way and that is the brand that I’m recommending. I hope this works for you and please share your experience if you can.

I hope your stomach feels great today and if it doesn’t, pay attention to it and give it some love – in other words, give yourself some love. It’s a gorgeous day today and I hope you can take a few minutes to soak up the sun and it’s vitamin D.

Twitter: TheHealthyMix