{Recipe} Swiss Chard, Mushroom & Butternut Squash Sauté

Hello everyone! It’s been a while again. I’m still alive and well. In fact, I’m having a grand time finishing up my last semester at my current school’s Pre-Nutrition Science Associate degree program before I transfer to University of Cincinnati in the Bachelor degree Dietetics program this summer. I’m SO EXCITED!!

I truly apologize for my lack of consistent updates on my blog, but lots of good things are happening here that I feel it’s important to focus on a few things in my life offline and do them well. But please believe me, this space has always been on my mind… I think about my blog constantly. I want to be bringing good and original information to my readers, but first I need to understand who I am and what I stand for. Thoughts like “what do I want to say and how do I want to share valuable and useful information and staying true to myself?” have been on my mind a lot. Nonetheless, please be assured that my passions for nutrition, health and yoga related subjects have only become stronger than ever before. And now I’m just focusing more on school work, portfolio work, and project due, while preparing to raise a family at the same time. Yup, I’m 18 weeks pregnant right now!

If you’re following me on Instagram, you know that I’m definitely around! You get more updates on my life’s musings and of course lots of good eating! Like this one, I want to share the simple delicious vegetable dish recipe with you! It’s really not a recipe but I like it so much that I want to document it and file it away in my recipe box for future reference!

Because these are some of my favorite vegetables in one dish—swiss chard, portebella mushroom and butternut squash. But wait, it’s not just these vegetables that I love. The flavor of apple cider vinegar and red pepper flakes really give this dish a zip and heat that brings these vegetables alive!

Swiss chard is slightly bitter, portbella mushroom gives the deep savory meatiness, and sweet and nutty butternut squash is just perfect with them. This delicious and simple vegetable side dish is sweet, savory, spicy and sour. I think this dish covers it all!

I’ve been using apple cider vinegar a lot in my cooking (and “uncooking” too—in my daily morning greens-and-berries smoothie too! What?!?  You said? It really works and is good for you too. Just a teaspoon is all you need). It’s really a wonderful ingredient to keep in your pantry.

Without further ado, here is the recipe!

Swiss Chard, Mushroom & Butternut Squash Sauté
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch of swiss chard, roughly chopped, including stems
  • 1 8-oz. pack of portabella mushroom, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, roasted (see instruction below) and diced in ½-in cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water (vegetables or chicken broth if desired)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Heat the pan to medium-high heat.
  2. Add the olive oil to the pan, then add the chopped garlic. Let the pan become fragrant with garlic just slightly for about a minute.
  3. Add the mushroom, stir slightly and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped stems of the swiss chard first to let them cook first and longer before the leaves go in. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add in apple cider vinegar, let it evaporate for about 15 seconds then add the water/broth when the mixture looks dry.
  6. Add in the swiss chard leaves.
  7. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, and sauté for another minute.
  8. Add the roasted butternut squash. Let it warm through for another minute.
  9. Remove from the pan and onto a dish.
  10. Ready to eat!

*Here is the link instruction on how to peel, cut and roast butternut squash.

Putting the Puzzle Together

I had an epiphany from yoga yesterday: I am thankful for having this body of mine as a vessel. But there is more.

Yoga is not about the body. Yoga practice is like putting together a puzzle. The breath is the clue. The puzzle is a glimpse of my whole being for the moment. Take asanas as the little pieces of the puzzle; they are just a tool, but keeping the intention on the wholeness of the picture. Sometimes as you put them together, they don’t fit, and have the courage to back off, assess, try again in an intelligent way. Pay attention to the clue… yes, the BREATH. Oh it’s so important!

What else do you need besides the breath? You will need patience (lots of it!) for trials and errors (it’s part of the journey); compassion for not taking it or yourself too seriously (and respecting your body as a vessel); focus on the pieces as well as the big picture (not to lose sight or get distracted), and passion to keep on (because you love yourself). But the breath…. oh the breath, it’s your biggest ally and supporter. When you feel lost or frustrated, dig deep with it. Listen to it. Notice that once you finish this puzzle (whenever or whatever that may be — the end picture is different for everyone), be humbled, be curious about the purpose of why you started this journey to begin with, be marveled by the limitless potential we each have in us. Then shake the puzzle pieces up and do it over again. Remember, the completed puzzle was just a glimpse of your intention visualized for the moment. And next time, the puzzle will be different.

That’s why yoga never gets dull or boring. There is always a new puzzle to work on.

Journey Inward

Journey Inward

{Recipe} Confetti Coleslaw

I took a Healthy Cooking class earlier this year as part of my Dietetics program, and this is one of my modified recipes from the class that I’ve been re-making at home. It’s easy to see why. As we eat with our senses, sight, smell, taste, audio… This confetti coleslaw covers them all.

Confetti Coleslaw

Visually, I love colors (and I happily use my favorite hashtag in my Instagram #eattherainbow for this). Because it’s so bright, colorful and just makes me happy looking at it! Then the smell of the crisp apple cider, celery seeds and dry mustard give me cues about how refreshing this is going to taste. OK – I’m ready to dive into this! The taste, yes, it’s light yet slightly sweet, tang and just a tad of spicy (I added some red pepper flakes at the end). Just as good as I imagined. Then my tastebuds are like “whoa… yeah let’s party!!” Then the crunchy cabbage just keeps on lending that flavor on and on…

We all probably have heard how eating vegetables are good for our health, but eating them is not just for nutrition (face) value. We should eat them what makes us filled with joy and love.

Because it is nourishment for our entire body and well-being. Going beyond making something we know mentally is good for us physically enable us to continue giving ourselves nourishment that pays forward. It’s something deeper that gives you true satisfaction that only you can re-create and repeat. It’s following your own blissful path to better health.

If you don’t like cabbage, mix with another crunchy vegetables that you like! The idea is to eat variety of colors from natural whole vegetables. Add fresh fruits slices if you’d like to make it a little sweeter. Apples would go wonderfully well with this.

Can you see why this is a confetti party? I totally think this deserves a #happydance while you’re eating it. Crunch crunch… party on! :)

{Recipe} Confetti Coleslaw
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
For the Coleslaw:
  • 5 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot
  • ⅓ cup red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup green onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • a few springs of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
For the Cider Vinaigrette:
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup avocado oil (or any unflavored oil)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the shredded purple cabbage in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, stir all the ingredients of the vinaigrette together.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the cabbage and let stand 1 hour to flavor.
  4. Drain cabbage, then add carrot, red onion, green onion, bell pepper and parsley.
  5. Toss to mix. Enjoy!

 

{Recipe} Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Paleo-Friendly)

It’s May already? Where has time gone?! I’m checking in with my blog *dusting it off* today to share a recipe. Before sharing the recipe, please allow me to divulge a bit about what’s happening behind the blog land here. As I’ve conferred several times in my last few blog posts, I’ve been away from my blog writing because I wanted to focus on living in the present moment, moving with the ebbs and flow in my-day-to-day life, meeting the challenges yet experiencing life as it comes. I dedicate my time to focus on healing myself from the core and improving my quality of life. I’ve been “disconnected” in some ways: mentally with showing my creativity and passions. Physically,  I also became aware that my subtle body being out alignment and exhausted. The great news is, I’m feeling a lot better, embracing my life and simply experiencing it so much more with joy and peace. As evidenced by my decision of going back to school to become a RDN last year, teaching and practicing yoga consistently, feeling healthier and sleeping better over the last several months, I am now able to identify with that sense of clarify, confidence, and care, the “Three-C’s” I referred to earlier this year. These three words are my mantra for this year. They are the words that I seek to resonate with my whole being as part of who I am. Now by just being able to say that I can understand those three words is so powerful.

Ok, here is the recipe ;)

I was so excited that I had been waiting to say these words since last summer. So lately when I found those two gems in my local grocery store, I said loudly (in my head), “I’M GOING TO MAKE STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRISP! YAY!!!” Yes, it deserves all cap. That’s how excited I was.

StrawberryRhubarbCrisp2

As spring season is in full swing, many delicious fruits and vegetables are in full season. Now it’s the time to savor the fresh and ripened goodness of those nature’s gifts, like strawberry and rhubarb. They are best friends in this healthy yet down-home, sweet and tart, fruity dessert. Underneath the slightly gooey fruit filling, the best part is the crisp topping. It is not heavy at all as typical crisp topping which uses a lot of butter, flour or sugar. Keeping up with the natural, gluten-free, good-for-your-body and soul healthy dessert theme, this crisp is made with almond meal, honey roasted almond slices, coconut oil, maple syrup with coconut cane sugar as the crunchy factors.

I love the already mouth-puckering tang and fruity sweetness interplay between strawberry and rhubarb, but to make it even more pronounced, I’m generous with the addition of fresh lemon juice. I want the crunchy yet deeply nutty, caramel-y flavor of the warm crisp on top without the doughy, sugar-laden, greasy heaviness. I got the perfectly light yet satisfying paleo crispy topping. This recipe is paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and packed with wholesome flavor of strawberry and rhubarb. If you feel fancy, top the crisp topping (can’t get enough toppings!) with some whipped coconut-cream. Mmm… now that is a restaurant-order worthy dessert.

P.S.- I apologize for the quality of photo below because it doesn’t do its justice. The angle view from top-down doesn’t allow you to see the filling at the bottom of the dish, which is a thick layer of gooey fruity strawberry rhubarb goodness.

StrawberryRhubarbCrisp

 

{Recipe} Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Paleo-Friendly)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
For the Filling:
  • 1½ cup fresh strawberries halved
  • 2 cup rhubarb, chopped in 1-inch chuncks
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or juice of 1 whole lemon)
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated lemon zest
  • 1-2 tbsp arrowroot powder, depending on how much lemon juice you use
  • pinch of salt
For the Crisp Topping:
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup honey roasted almond slices
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Layer the strawberries and rhubarb in a lightly oiled loaf baking dish
  3. Squeeze the lemon over the fruit mixture and add the grated lemon zest
  4. Add arrowroot powder, pinch of salt and mix well with a spoon
  5. In a medium bowl mix together the almond meal, almond slices, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir to combine making sure to break up any chunks
  6. Melt the coconut oil with the maple syrup and add to the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly
  7. Crumble the topping evenly over the filling mixture
  8. Sprinkle the coconut sugar on top
  9. Bake for 40 minutes, let cool for at least 10 before serving
  10. Serve alone, or with ice cream!

{Recipe} Grain-Free Banana Protein Muffins —Two Ways

I created this recipe back in December last year, and have been making this at least twice a month since then. M’beau loves this as it satisfies his sweet muffin cravings, boosts nutrient contents with banana goodness, almond flour, coconut flour and protein powder, and it’s grain-free.

Also, I love banana. I always have at least a dozen of banana on my kitchen counter on stand-by. I eat them as is, but in part I ripe half of them for baked banana recipes or for freezing later to create sweet frozen treats (i.e., in my morning smoothie, frozen banana pop or vegan ice cream recipes). Banana is a wonder food. It’s great for replenishing potassium for this bikram yogi, part of my breakfast in smoothie or just slathered with almond butter as on-the-go snack. What’s better is when they are made into delicious banana muffins that are good for you and delicious as snack or breakfast on-the-go if I’m in a hurry to get out the door.

Bananas

I knew I wanted to make the muffin delicious, but wasn’t sure how to mix grain-free or gluten-free flour mixture together to create fluffy yet moist texture, the same way that gluten flour would make in typical bread and muffin recipes. After a few trials and errors, reading lots of different gluten-free bread/muffin recipes, I got this down. The secret is tapioca starch. It gives the airy-ness that counterbalance the heavy denseness of almond flour and coconut flour. As with any baking recipe, the ratio between wet and dry ingredients are important. I’m so happy that this turns out so well.

BananaProteinMuffins2Ways_jsh

Grain-Free Banana Protein Muffins — Two Ways

Email, text or print this recipe

(makes approx 11 muffins)

Ingredients 

For the Base Banana Protein Muffin

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 scoops (35 g each scoop) of vanilla protein powder of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup ripped banana, mashed (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk

Additional Ingredients for Banana Chocolate Muffin (for 6 muffins total)

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Additional Ingredients for Banana Blueberry Muffin (for 5 muffins total)

  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup dried wild blueberries, separated

 

Instructions

For the Base Banana Muffin

  • Preheat the oven at 350 F degrees.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients (the first 7 on the list above) in a bowl.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk one egg. Then add all the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients in small batches. Combine the mixture well between batches.
  • Place muffin liners (paper or silicon) in the muffin tin. Ready to make two different muffins or choose one of your preference from below.

For the Banana Chocolate Muffin

  • Using a 1/4-cup measurement cup for each muffin, pour the batter into the lined muffin tin for a total of 6 muffins.
  • Top a few chocolate chips to each of the six muffins that you want to make for this recipe. Slightly press them down into the muffin mixture, so some of them are inside the batter rather than on top.
  • Save the rest of the batter for the Banana Blueberry Muffin recipe below.

For the Banana Blueberry Muffin

  • Put the fresh lemon zest, ground cinnamon and 1/4 cup of the dried blueberries into the rest of the batter mixture. Mix well.
  • Using a 1/4-cup measurement cup for each muffin, pour the batter into the lined muffin tin for a total of approximately 5 muffins.
  • Top the rest of the 1/4 cup dried blueberries on to each muffin.
  • Bake all the muffins in the oven at 350 F degrees for 25 minutes. The top of the muffins should be slightly brown and smell fantastic!