First off, I’m sorry you had to wait so long for this next post, gosh, it’s tricky to manage a post some weeks with my school work load especially as a term ends with finals to study for and assignments due. I know you completely understand but I hate to disappoint and make you wait. So…. today’s post is a nice juicy one with lots of pretty visuals to satisfy your blog reading.
As you already know I’m nuts about veggies- can not get enough of them, all of them! And when the season changes, I love to find new satiating ways to enjoy more veggies. I have to say, this one takes the cake! The versatility of this simple dish makes it a ‘go to recipe’ for me that is a real crowd pleaser, versus a big bowl of veggie pasta for a change. When I roast veggies it fills the house with the yummiest aromas. I love popping the veggies in the oven and going for a short brisk autumn walk and returning to a cozy warm home wafting with yumminess from the oven. These veggies are delish the day you roast them but equally tasty the next day on top of a nice bed of greens and even whipped up into a creamy soup like I did with these left overs. I couldn’t get enough of these tasty morsels! So be sure to roast a nice big batch so you have left overs to enjoy an easy dinner or take them for lunch the following day. I even loved snacking on these, cold, with the dip, yum!
What I also love about veggies besides their nourishing qualities is how beautiful they are. They are my favourite subject to photograph, besides my kids of course! I enjoy doing these kinds of mood boards to gather my inspirations for my veggie choices and shooting the final dish- thinking about the fabrics, the dishes I’ll use and just appreciating the beauty of the veggies. Life can be so fast sometimes that we truly forget to stop and smell the roses, or observe AND be conscious of what it took to acquire these lovely veggies. Lets think about the entire growth process for a minute, from the millions of organisms in the soil that digest compost, to the production of the nutrients by these organisms that the plant assimilates, and then the yield of nutrient dense veggies that will deliver these vital vitamins and minerals to our body. And just think of the work involved in assuring that these plants are well taken care of with adequate water, weeding and healthy pest control over the many months from seed to harvest. Then, imagine the harvest of, say, the carrots. I often see a wonderful elderly women doing just this, out in the field, pulling carrots, bundling and thoroughly washing her beautiful bright orange roots with great pride. Man, if I had grown such gorgeous specimens I’d be beaming–but no such luck, the birds ate our carrot seeds a few times this year!
Lucky for me though, to be able to gather most of these veggies from our local farm market where they are picked almost daily and brought to the coolers, direct, minimizing their travel time while maintaining maximum freshness. The bright peppers are an exception as are the Jeruselum artichokes that endured a long truck ride to get to the market and then a short ride to my home–but I just couldn’t resist either of them!
This is the garlic, showing the extreme size of the elephant garlic which is just delish!
These are the veggies all ready for the oven, laced with fresh rosemary, sage, celtic sea salt and a drizzle of melted coconut oil.
The same approach applies for appreciating the prettiness of nature. This fall, in our part of the world, has been exceptionally gorgeous since our rainfall has been minimal. It’s allowed the chlorophyll to slowly leave the foliage, showcasing it’s break down process as in this pretty shot below. I’ve been so busy this fall, and I am often quite a busy person so it’s even more important to take time and find the joy in everyday simplicities that bring down my stress level and provide some needed balance in my life. How about you, do you often find a place in your everyday life to take in the beauty and appreciate all that we often take for granted? It’s sooo important for healthy living to strike the best balance you can. Last week just before the wind came along creating a flurry of leaves that is quickly baring the trees, I took a stroll with my camera to drink in the beauty that is all around my humble abode in Vancouver, my new part time neighborhood. Here’s a few of the images I captured. I didn’t have time to collage them for you, so it’s a lot of scrolling, but pretty scrolling:)
I collected a bunch of leaves to press so I could preserve the pretty colours. What do you do to savour the Autumn season?
Roasted Seasonal Veggies w/ Elephant Garlic Cream
Yield: Plenty for a crowd of 6-8 or lots of left overs for lunch or soup making
Vegetable Suggestions-pls choose organic
2 bunches radishes, halved
1 dozen brussel sprouts, halved
8-12 sunchokes, cut in 1″pcs (these were just delish)
golden beets, quartered or in 6ths
carrots, sliced length wise in half or quarters depending on size
sweet peppers, halved and seeded
1/2 acorn squash, seeded and diced into 1″ pcs
….and anything else you’d like to add!
2 stems fresh rosemary
10 leaves of fresh sage
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp coarse sea salt, Himilayan or celtic sea salt
For the Elephant Garlic Dip
2 cloves elephant garlic, halved, roasted for 30-40 mins
1/2c cashews or almonds, soaked 30-60 mins, rinsed
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp cold pressed organic olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
24 rosemary needles
2 sage leaves
1 small clove garlic
Preheat the oven to 350F and pop the elephant garlic in to roast after rubbing it with a wee bit of coconut oil. Next begin washing and chopping your veggies. Toss all chopped veggies with salt, rosemary, sage and the melted coconut oil (I just popped it in the warm oven for a couple mins). Drizzle the oil slowly while stirring quickly as the oil will solidify as the veggies may be cooler than room temperature. Your roasting garlic should be nice and soft now, so remove from oven and allow to cool. Place the veggie mixture on two shallow roasting pans to avoid crowding and roast for 40-60 mins until just fork tender.
While the veggies are roasting lets make the sauce. Place all ingredients except the fresh garlic clove into a blender and combine until nice and creamy, scraping down the sides a few times. Taste this mixture, checking for a nice noticeable garlic flavour. If it is too mild, like I thought, then hand crush a clove of fresh garlic and stir into the mixture. Blending it in with the blender will make it very spicy. Serve this yummy garlicky dip on the side with the veggies as a dipping sauce.
It is important to slow roast the veggies at a lower temperature and avoid over heating the oil as you want to avoid creating toxic molecules if the oil over heats. Coconut oil is stable up to 350F. If I could get a similar effect with out the oil I would not use any but a little oil just makes these taste different from steamed veggies for a change.
Now because this makes such a nice amount of veggies you can do a few things with the excess if you don’t have a crowd to feed. I enjoyed them for lunch the next day, cold with the dip along side a salad or on top of the salad tossed with the dip. I also decided to make a soup and blend 2 cups of veggies, 2 spoonfuls of the garlic cream with enough water to make a thick creamy soup. If you have a Vitamix it will gently warm the soup for you, if not pop the mixture in a sauce pan and warm it up a little. I like to sprinkle the soup with a mixture of ground nuts (I used almonds this time) , sea salt and a clove of garlic as in this recipe here. You can drizzle more sauce over top if you like and garnish with pea sprouts or parsley.
This is a really hasty snap shot of the soup before I gobbled it up-it’s a grainy image since it was near darkness when I was shooting! The soup was even yummier than I expected it to be.
I know I’ll be roasting lots of these tasty morsels in the next few weeks to enjoy with green salads since I’m participating in a group Candida Cleanse with some fellow student in my nutrition school. I’m determined to zap any build up of candida to bring my body back into balance. Do you think you might have candida? Check out these symptoms if you are unsure. I was pretty yeast clean about 18-24 months ago but it seems to creep back up on you when you are not looking. As clean as my diet is, I still indulge in a little dark chocolate and special raw desserts now and then that are quite high in sugar with dates. I was also semi-working on reducing candida over the summer but only to find out that you can mess things up when you are not serious about it. I was using grape seed extract inconsistently and it seems to have worsened the situation. Lesson learned. So….I invite you to join in the fight against candida if you are at all interested. I am plan on using the CandiGone along with some fiber, probiotics and a strict diet for 2-4 weeks. This site offers a simple outline.
Let me know if you are keen and I can share more with you via email along with our group. We plan on supporting each other thru the process as it can be a bit of a roller coaster with cravings, symptoms of die off and emotional ups and downs. I plan on trying to take time to rest and meditate daily as well as prepare some tasty food to satiate my taste buds so they won’t miss any thing sweet. Being prepared with a fridge full of yummy veggies and no tempting foods is crucial for success. You don’t want to become hungry and not have some yummy candida fighting foods handy or temptation will win or frustration will set in. Keeping as positive as possible and maintaining a strong desire to reap the benefits of a yeast free body will bring you closer to success. Focus, focus, focus! I know for me the one thing I desire the most is a clearer brain. The brain fog that these little yeasty critters have created is driving me crazy!!
As for an update on what I learned in class this week I’d like to briefly share what I now know more thoroughly on Good Oils and Bad Oils. We wrapped up our bio-chem class with a final exam -eeek, not my best subject! and then we dove into oils and learned some important key facts. We also finished our other class, comparative diets which was jammed full of valuable information on most every diet out there, the merits and the dangers so that we are familiar with this should we encounter clients following any one of them or wish to advise on one. Of course the alkaline/acid diet was discussed but with such brevity that I was disappointed. One day maybe I’ll do a lecture for the school when I feel more qualified. We did have a lot to cover but some of the other diets that I feel are less effective garnered more discussion that the alkaline lifestyle. With cancer and disease raging among people, I really feel that we should be learning more about the ways to help clients with an alkaline balanced diet as we know that cancer cells can’t thrive in an alkaline environment but they proliferate in and acidic body. This alone should be enough reason to be well versed in the lifestyle for those that have cancer and for those that want to avoid it like you and I.
Back to the oil business.
Here’s some facts and guidelines to consider regarding cooking with, the consumption of oils and oil content foods;
Oils that are NOT good are ones that cause free radicals to run rampant in our bodies or they are hydrogenated and leave behind trans fats. These are oils that have experienced molecular damage making them unusable or unrecognizeable by our body. The danger for our health is that they are stored as toxins in our body that lead to disease. Only a good cleanse will minimize the effects of over consumption of bad oils along with vitamins listed below.
•BBQ’s are not such a great idea anymore since oils drip thru and quickly reach their smoke point where smoke flows to the food that absorbs these carcinogens, as well as the oils on the food over heat and smoke as BBQ’s run really hot. Food cooked in oils that reach the smoke point lose flavour and the nutrients are lost or compromised
•Don’t use aluminum foil to cook in as the food will absorb the aluminum–one of the contributors to Alzheimers.
•Always gradually heat up oils to avoid breaking the molecular structure that leads to free fatty acids-free radicals.
•Heated or roasted seeds, or nuts are a source for rancid oils and free radicals- this includes, flax & chia in muffins and breads, and those yummy tubs of roasted nuts at Costco! Raw nuts are the most nutritious, soaked/sprouted is ideal.
•Avoid all refined oils, only use cold pressed oils. Refined oils are a complete nightmare, from denaturation, to chemical additives, masking rancidity and more-it’s scary. They are deadly for our bodies. This includes Mazola, Crisco, corn oil, Canola (this is GMO), margarine etc.
•Even potato chips are not a good idea as the oils are heated to high. Baked may be the better choice or home made you can control the heat.
•Don’t fry food anymore- try steam frying with a couple table spoons of water with garlic and onions or ginger
•Don’t eat peanuts! They are full of pathogens, afflotoxins (one of the highest carcinogens–cancer causing) and are usually planted around crops that are highly sprayed as a decoy for pests thus they absorb huge amounts of the run off pesticides. Skippy peanut butter has added hydrogentated oils, so even worse!
•Supplement with good Omega Oils. Fish oils are good for Omega 3.
•Use borage, evening primrose, grape seed and nuts and seeds for Omega 6
•For Omega 9, use olive oil, avocados, almonds
•Take vitamin E (E8), A, C, selenium and Zinc to combat free radicals
•Aways refrigerate nuts and seeds and buy them from a refrigerated case if you can to ensure freshness- they can last 2-3 months in the fridge or freezer.
•buy oils in dark glass bottles to preserve molecules, not plastic that could leach chemicals
•Use up oils with in 2-3 weeks after opening, keep in the fridge, esp fish oils.
•Best ways to cook; Steam, bake, poach or steam fry and minimize cooking with oils.
•Add your yummy oils to the food after it is cooked and you will really enjoy their flavours more as it will be more pronounced.
•Buy the best oil you can afford, choosing organic cold pressed oils to be sure they are not refined
The only oils I really use are:
cold pressed organic olive oil for salad dressings, or low heat baking
avocado oil for salad dressings
coconut oil for cooking or baking up to 350F
hemp & flax oil for smoothies
Udo’s oil for smoothies
Canola 425F (only because it is so highly processed but it is not recommended)
Grape seed 425F
Coconut 350F Gradual heating only
Butter 350F Gradual heating only
Olive Oil 350F
So there you have it, we’re caught up for now. I hope you have a fantastic week and please say hello, leave a comment and share your thoughts on any thing I touched on today as I love hearing from you, it really motivates me to study harder and bring you more info!!