Cooking is not a mindless mundane chore; rather a therapeutic, meditative activity where we can consciously connect with our creative side, ideally in thoughtful preparation of a nourishing and delicious meal to share with family and friends. The healing benefits far outweigh the time investment.
Last week I attended a Pop Up tasting event hosted by Allen Campbell at the Divine Design Center in the North End with a friend. Allen Campbell, formerly Tom Brady’s chef, offered this as an opportunity to join him along with his team and a dozen or so other guests to sample a tasting menu as well as observe as he prepared some delicious plant based fare. Having heard Allen speak at the Harvard Vegan Food Conference last year, and also after reading the TB 12 Manual he co-authored with Tom Brady, I was more than willing to buy tickets to his pop up event to not just taste his amazing recipes, but also learn more from him on food presentation, preparation and cooking techniques.
Allen was friendly, creative, funny and inspirational. He shared so many helpful tips with us…all while skillfully preparing a 7 course meal without missing a beat. A few takeaways that I brought to my kitchen the next day – how to minimize food prep time by keeping knives sharp via frequent honing, when to use a vitamix vs food processor, how to make date paste, roasting parsnips with coconut oil and cinnamon as a kid-friendly sub for unhealthy french fries, how to make an amazing spinach artichoke dip w/o dairy! The meal was nothing short of amazing. Bel Giardino, a “beautiful garden” of veggies was a favorite, with the unique combination of cabbage alongside purple potato, a sprig of dill and finished with a home made balsamic reduction drizzle and basil infused olive oil. I also very much enjoyed the cinnamon date roll dessert, but vowed its not something I could ever dare replicate after hearing Allen describe the hours he spent turning dates into paste and then a “dough” he rolled out manually – a labor of love he spent hours on! In addition to sharing a healthy and delicious meal, we found the company was great – we mingled and met some wonderful people from the surrounding neighborhoods of all ages who just generally enjoy cooking and are interested in healthy eating – not die hard vegans – could this be a sign that the movement towards plant based is continuing to take shape? In the mean time, looking forward to the next event!
Giving talks at corporate events is such a powerful way to spread the word on how good nutrition can contribute positively to an employee’s health and well being and minimize sick days which ultimately leads to better productivity as well as boosting a company’s bottom line. Last week’s talk at the new Shoe.com headquarters in Charlestown event hosted by the Two Ten Foundation was a great turn out and an example of how much employees crave this type of info! The crowd was enthusiastic and receptive to the message – we dished on everything from secrets to optimal health and wellness, top nutrition myths revealed, quick easy healthy snacks on the go, and even had time to make one of my favorite dishes…sesame almond butter zucchini noodles…YUM..recipe here. I look forward to staying in touch with the audience to hear how they are moving forward on their wellness journeys. If you would like to arrange a seminar at your office reach out to HR, have them contact me!
Back to school means back to healthy snack/lunch planning, packing for parents. Keeping healthy food fun and interesting enough to eat can sometimes be a challenge, but a little creativity can go along way. We demo’d these whole grain owl cakes with sunbutter, apple, blueberries, banana and a wedge of cheese and watched the kids gobble them up, and even asked for seconds.
A great snack or breakfast option, these snacks have all of our macro and micro nutritional bases covered.
- Fiber filled whole grain carbohydrates
- Protein rich sunbutter and cheese
- Vitamin and nutrient dense fruit
Add it to your snack repertoire at home and let us know what you think!
Oatmeal is a wonderful choice for a whole grain breakfast, and can be served just as good cold as hot. We need anywhere from 45-64% of our calories to come from carbohydrates to power us through the day with energy for our bodies and minds…including oats in the morning is a key way to get off to the right start. Soak overnight in your milk of choice (I prefer coconut milk since its less prone to cause allergic reactions and its also makes for a creamy variation) and toss in some fresh berries, vanilla and a little sweeter and you have a delicious, gluten dairy free breakfast your whole family will love.
- A great source of fiber, vitamins and immune boosting antioxidants - a healthy kid friendly breakfast your child will love...
- • 3 cups rolled oats
- • 3 ½ cups coconut milk
- • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- • Assorted fresh berries
- Optional – add flax, chia or hemp seeds for added nutrients and omega 3s!
- Combine oats with milk and vanilla and maple syrup, stir well and place in fridge overnight. Top with assorted fresh berries and serve. Makes 6 servings, keeps up to 5 days covered in the fridge.
How do you take a plain boring waffle and transforms it into a rich, flavorful nutrient dense version of itself that the whole family will love? Simple! Just add seeds…and raw chocolate powder!! The texture, body, and additional omega 3 rich nutrients that superfood seeds such as chia and flax add to the batter will make you want to triple this recipe and freeze them up for future servings- they won’t last long I can guarantee. And adding raw chocolate was a no brainer. High in anti oxidants and flavor- winning combo!
I tested this recipe with 1st and 2nd graders at the Eliot School in the North End and we did not have a drop of batter left in our mixing bowl! Since we made them around the holidays, we made them extra festive by adding crushed candy canes as a topping, on a dollop of fresh whipped cream. YUM!!
- 1 cup arrowhead mills sprouted grain pancake mix
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon raw chocolate powder
- 1 tablespoon white chia seed
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 cup milk (coconut, almond or whole milk all work) or you may substitute water
- Ensure waffle maker is preheated and greased (coconut oil works well).
- Measure and mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, add melted coconut oil to other wet ingredients.
- Mix well with a whisk, ensuring egg is well beaten. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
- Pour batter into waffle iron by 1/2 cupfuls and use according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Serve with fresh fruit, maple syrup and whipped cream
- The addition of chia seeds can sometimes make a batter thick (depending on how long the seeds are left to soak in it. ) If the batter is too thick to pour into the waffle maker just add a tablespoon or so of milk or water.
Harvest day at the Kennedy Center in Charlestown was made complete with a visit from Fresh Truck, the mobile food market that makes shopping for fresh produce easier than ever with their convenient stops throughout the city of Boston. Think Market Basket Prices meet Amazon level convenience!! Families brought their kids and enjoyed making and sampling fresh smoothies, trail mixes as well as spiralizing zucchini aka “zoodles”. Each family received a free tote bag filled with recipes, a “zoodle” meal kit as well as a $10 voucher to shop the bus. Now that the truck is due to visit Charlestown weekly on Tuesday and Saturday we will most certainly be on the lookout to take advantage of this convenient way to bring healthy, nutrient dense foods to the neighborhood.
The 30 kids of Metro LAX lacrosse program at Chelsea High had a blast making smoothies, salads, dressing and eggs in a basket with Kids Cooking Green and Art of Healthy Eating today. Each teen had a chance to stop by various cooking stations and learn about the wholesome ingredients for the recipes and also help make it. I loved watching them concoct their own smoothie recipes from assorted frozen fruit yogurt and juice- they got really creative and seemed much more likely to try the drinks since they were in charge of making them!!
Made from Zucchini, these low carb, vegan gluten free noodles have a place at the table for any discerning diner. Nutrient dense, high in fiber, and delicious – toss em up with an herb pesto, light tomato sauce, use in a stir-fry, or even just sauté with garlic and oil. Today we brought the Paderno spiralizer to the Charlestown Farmer’s Market and with generous produce donated from the new mobile market in town Fresh Truck, offered a demo and samples to all of our shoppers.