Massaged Kale with Chickpeas and Avo in Tahini Dressing

Connect with your food! Massage your kale to soften it, rather than dumping it in a frying pan.

This recipe was inspired MyNewRoots.org

So, I'm a pacifist at heart. But when I read about massaged kale I was a little skeptical. First fruitarians, now this? But I gave it a try and it actually turned out to be a delicious way to soften the hearty green while making its nutrients more accessible to the average stomach. You can add anything to your massaged kale, but I just happened to have some leftover chickpeas and 1/2 an avocado that was calling my name. And thus this hearty, heart-shaped salad was spawned. What kinds of yummies would you add? Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the massaged kale:

1 bunch kale, stemmed and sliced into ribbons Juice of 1/2 a lemon 1 drop doTerra lemon essential oil 1-2 tbs. cold-pressed olive oil Sea salt to taste

Other Yummies to Add:

1/2 can chickpeas 1/2 avocado (cut into chunks) *You can add anything else you like: fruits, veggies, cooked or sprouted grains and legumes, nuts and seeds.

Optional Tahini Dressing:

1 tbs. fresh tahini or almond butter 1 tbs. nutritional yeast 1 tbs. lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

In a large bowl, dress kale with lemon juice and olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt.

Roll up your sleeves and massage the kale until it softens and its hue deepens to a deeper green (2 to 3 minutes).

Add the rest of your goodies. Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: Once you’ve massaged your kale, you can store the unused portions in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Kale: Kale is a powerful green which has been proven to help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of various types of cancer including bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. It has powerful detoxifying properties and is an excellent source of vitamins C, K, and A. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon and Lime: Lemons and limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system, and promote a sense of well-being. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Oregano Grass-fed Beef Stuffed Calamari

Don't be afraid to taste new things! This dish was a major hit at our last dinner party. Even the squeamish came back for seconds! My husband and I discovered chorizo-stuffed squid in NYC recently and realized that pasture-fed beef would be a delicious replacement for the chorizo. They're slippery little devils, so beware you don't fling a squid across the kitchen.

In any case, if you can find tube squid (the kind sans tentacles, which you can stuff), you can fill them with anything. A great replacement for cannelloni noodles if you're on the gluten/grain-free bandwagon. Please let me know what kinds of goodies you stuff them with. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

One package “tube” squid

1-2 lbs. local organic grass fed beef

½ 1b. tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

1-2 cloves chopped or pressed garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

1 drop oregano essential oil

Method:

Rinse squid and allow them to marinate in juice of ½ lemon and 1 drop lemon essential oil. Set aside.

Sauté onions and garlic until brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and beef. Sauté until medium cooked. Salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool.

Add 1 drop oregano essential oil and mix thoroughly.

Stuff the squid until they are almost full (the meat will expand when it cooks).

Heat pan with olive oil on medium heat. Sear the stuffed squid until brown on one side. (About 1-2 minutes)

Flip and do the same on the other.

Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Garlic: Garlic has long been touted as a health promoting food. It is high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. Garlic is also rich with manganese and is a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as selenium. This "stinky rose" also protects our blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress, but its other health benefits abound. See here for nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Grass Fed Beef: Research has shown that meat, eggs, and dairy products from pastured animals are much better for your health than their mega-farmed counterparts. They offer more "good" fats, and fewer "bad" fats, are richer in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Plus they don't contain the added hormones and antibiotics generally found in the factory farmed variety. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Onion:  Like garlic, onions are high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. They are a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and manganese. They help protect our blood, bone, and connective tissue. See here for other health benefits and nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Dried Oregano/Oregano Essential Oil: In essential oil form, oregano is a powerful antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, anti-viral and disinfectant. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Uplifting Crangerine Smoothie

Cranberries and tangerine essential oil make this smoothie a winter-time favorite. Even when there are negative temps outside, this smoothie will make you warm and happy on the inside! It's been f-f-f-frreeeezing here lately. For mornings when I feel the need to perk up and be warm, I add tangerine essential oil to my smoothie. Tangerine essential oil is a natural digestive aid, blood purifier, and circulation enhancer. So if you're feeling sluggish, add a drop to your breakfast. You'll be amazed...and inspired to be amazing.

Ingredients: (For 2 Servings)

2 cups coconut water

1 cup frozen cranberries

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 drop doTerra tangerine essential oil

*Optional: 1 Scoop high-quality protein powder

Method:

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend to smithereens. Divide between two glasses. Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per 2-serving smoothie. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They're rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there's so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cranberries: These berries are a pharmocopia of phytonutrients with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Including cranberry to one's diet has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation in the stomach, large intestine, mouth (gums), and cardiovascular system, and is thought to help prevent and reduce urinary tract infections. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Tangerine Essential Oil: DoTerra’s Tangerine Essential oil is an extremely powerful blood purifying agent, digestive aid, anti-septic, and relaxant. It can help improve blood circulation, and reduces internal inflammation. The neurological benefits abound as well. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Recover, Baby...All the Cool Kids Are Doing It.

Me in my sports bra "recovering." (But really, recovery drinks aren't supposed to taste this delish.) So, everyone I know is "training" for something. My little town of Durango, CO, is notorious for breeding super athletes. And then, there's everyone else who is just trying to catch up. Whatever category you happen to be in, recovery is crucial. And nutrition is one of the main pathways to post-workout recovery.

Below is a recipe for my personal favorite recovery drink which consists of fresh, local, raw milk (yes, it's the nectar of the gods if you can get the good stuff from pasture-fed cows from a super clean and loving facility...thank you, James Ranch!), dates, nutmeg, and cinnamon. But you could skip the spices and add raw cacao instead for an extra muscle-recovering punch!

Due to its bioavailability, whey protein is thought by many fitness and nutrition experts to be one of (if not THE) best types of protein to build lean muscle and help your existing muscle to recover after a tough workout. If you can't stomach milk, then this can be made with homemade almond or other nut/seed milk.

Happy exercising and recovering!

P.S. All of these measurements are "ish." Play around with the ratios for your fave flave. (Or "favorite flavor" if you didn't catch my drift.)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups raw, local (or organic) milk, or homemade almond or nut milk

1-2 pitted and/or dates (only need to soak beforehand if your blender isn't psyched on blending hard items)

1 pinch cinnamon

1 pinch nutmeg

1-2 drops doTerra black pepper essential oil (THIS IS THE MAGICAL INGREDIENT!)

*Optional: 1 Tbs. raw cacao powder and/or 1 Tsp. organic vanilla extract

Method:

Put all ingredients into your blender and blend to smithereens (a minute or two). Should be frothy and delicious.

Try not to chug the whole thing in 2 gulps. (I dare you...)

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Health Benefits:

Black Pepper Essential Oil: Black Pepper essential oil is great for your digestive system. It stimulates salivary glands and secretion of digestive juices meanwhile neutralizing gas formation in the intestinal tract. Also a great cleansing agent! Black pepper oil also increases circulation, reducing inflammation, and provides relief for arthritis and other muscle and joint discomforts. Great for athletes! See here for more. Click here if you're interested in purchasing any doTerra essential oils.

Local Raw Milk: This is a VERY touchy subject. So I will leave it to the professionals. See here if you're interested in learning more about raw milk. Otherwise, good organic milk is a fine alternative.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they're high in sugar, so a dab'll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It's a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice's benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it's great, but don't overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Best Chicken Salad I Ever Ate...

This batch fed a roundup of hungry ladies at a baby shower brunch, served with buttery croissants. Yum.

...Meanwhile the meat/no meat debate continues...

Ah, the endless debate: If you are a true yogi, can you eat meat? That is for you to decide. But I will say this: the concept of "ahimsa," or unconditional love for all beings (as defined by Nischala Joy Devi in her heart-centered translation of the Yoga Sutras) must be applied to oneself too. Yes, it makes my being writhe to think of animals being abused and "dispatched" for human consumption. But if your body is in need of certain sustenance that only animal flesh can provide, and you prepare and eat it with love and gratitude in your heart, then I personally think it is ok in moderation. Granted, there are likely yogis, vegetarians, and vegans who would vehemently disagree. And that's ok.

My best advice is to listen to your own body and soul's inherent wisdom. But if you decide to go for it, try this recipe. The extra time it takes to shred the chicken meat is totally worth the effort. It's nutritious and delicious, and can be made in large enough batches to feed the masses...as long as they're not vegetarian. (In which case make any of the other recipes on this site.)

Ingredients:

4 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken (about 1 3/4 pound)

*Note: 1) If you use breasts and thighs it tastes even better! 2) If you shred the chicken rather than cut it, it tastes even better-er! 3) Make sure chicken is completely cooled before mixing with other ingredients to make it taste the better-iest!

*Note: This is a GREAT way to use up leftover chicken and/or turkey meat.

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled

1 cup chopped fennel (can sub celery if you don’t have/like fennel)

3 sprigs finely chopped green onion

2 cups halved seedless purple grapes

1/4 cup mayonnaise (can use homemade Paleo-nnaise if that’s your bag, baby)

½ cup Greek yogurt (can use all Greek yogurt if you don’t like mayo)

2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint or 3-4 Tbs. dried

Hefty dash tabasco sauce

Hefty drizzle honey (1 Tsp.-ish)

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined well. Can be served immediately, but is even yummier if allowed to sit for a few hours or even overnight.

Can be served solo, in sandwich or wrap form. This chicken salad is heavenly on a fresh croissant, but is also tasty when served in lettuce wraps or radicchio leaves if you’re doing the grain-free thing.

Health Benefits:

Chicken: If you're looking for a good source of protein that's also low in fat try an organic chicken breast. The thighs have a richer (read: fattier) flavor, but both are great sources of tryptophan, selenium, and vitamins B3 and B6. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Fennel: In addition to its abounding phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium. It also has a unique licorice-like flavor and a ton of crisp crunch. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Grapes: Grapes are packed with vitamin C and manganese and contain a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients such as beta-carotene and resveratrol (think red wine!). These tasty little jewels are thought to help support the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, and nervous systems. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamier version of "regular" yogurt that boasts high protein, healthy bacteria which support healthy gut flora, and is a good source of calcium. It's a versatile addition to your diet and can replace higher fat dairy products. See here for more about the nutritional info and health benefits of yogurt.

Pecans: Pecans protect your brain, heart, and body. They're high in vitamin E, oleic acid, vitamin B1, thiamin, magnesium, protein, and an array of other vitamins and minerals. They are also great sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (read: good fats), and are very low in saturated fat. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.