Braised Daikon Radish

Daikon as radish is a cruciferous vegetable with numerous health benefits including cancer prevention, weight loss and relieving menstrual cramps.  It is commonly served raw, particularly in Japanese cuisine.  Today I wanted to share a tasty way to prepare this, in a method I adapted from Alicia Silverstone in her book, The Kind Diet. This method takes out the pungent, spicy flavor and leaves a sweeter taste, with a consistency similar to that of baked apples.

IMG_2928

You will need the following and should be able to find them all at your local health food store or international market:

1 daikon radish (I used a half to fit it in one pan)
1/4 cup Mirin Rice Cooking Wine
2 Tbsp Shoyu
Water (filtered)

Peel the daikon as you would a carrot and slice into 3/4 inch slices. Place in the pan with just enough water to almost cover them:

IMG_2929

Add the Mirin and Shoyu. I added a bay leaf to help with digestion, but this step is not necessary.

IMG_2930

Simmer over med-low, covered, for 45 minutes. Then remove the cover and simmer for another 30-45 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed:

IMG_2931IMG_2932


These can be served as a side dish, or you can eat them all by themselves as a mono meal. Aren’t they pretty???

IMG_2933

These are supposed to be eaten shortly after cooking, but sometimes I store them in the fridge and serve one or two with  meals that contain a higher fat content.  I find it helps my body break down the food better and keep me feeling light in my tummy. If you do this, it is best to use them within 3 days.

Happy eating!

Mercedi

Advertisements

Lemon-cashew rice 

  

  • 1 cup cooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours for easy digestion)
  • Handful of raisins (soaking optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter or ghee (or coconut oil for vegans)
  • 1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • Juice of one small lemon 
  • Agave nectar to taste

This is an Ayurvedic recipe which also happens to be gluten-free! Yay!  In a true Ayurvedic recipe, one would simmer the spices for a long time in ghee but I prefer speedy cooking. For this same reason, I keep cooked rice in the fridge so I can pull some out and make a quick one-pot meal on the fly. 

I toasted the mustard and cumin seeds in a pan over medium heat until they began to pop. (Remember to stir often to prevent burning.) In another pot I added all of the other ingredients except the lemon and agave and mixed them  together. Yes, my peas were still frozen! I had to add a little splash of water since my rice was refrigerated, but if you are making yours fresh, the water is not necessary. Add the seeds to the rice mixture when they are done and stir until heated through. Finally, drizzle with the lemon juice and agave to your liking. (I used the juice of a whole lemon and it was too sour, so I recommend starting with half and taste-testing to perfection!)

This recipe uses sweet and sour tastes, as well as cumin, which are all very beneficial for those with the vata dosha. Soaking nuts and dried fruit makes it possible for those with weak digestion to eat these items without bloating or digestive upset. 

Happy eating!

Mercedi


Raise your vibration with rose petal juice

IMG_2674
Did you know that, at a rate of 320Hz, roses vibrate at the highest frequency of all known plants? I believe this is why they are so nice to be around. They are commonly revered as the “alpha flower” much the same way that lions are regarded as the king of the jungle. When someone gives you roses, you know they are trying to convey a message of deep significance. I am one lucky gal because my boyfriend gives me roses all the time. I’ve seen rose petals in gourmet salads, but until this morning, had never eaten any myself.

Here is a good explanation of how Prana, or life force energy, is expressed as an electromagnetic vibrational frequency. The frequency of a healthy body ranges anywhere from 62 to 68Hz with a frequency lower than 50Hz increasing your risk for cancer. So, it makes sense that we would want to do all that we can to keep our vibration rate high. I do this primarily by meditation, keeping my my thoughts positive, and of course by consuming  Prana-rich foods.

After Valentine’s Day, many ladies or couples will probably have leftover roses and rose petals.  Why not consider including them in your green juice or smoothie? Remember to bless them and thank them for their life-giving energy!

IMG_2675-0

Smiles and good vibes,

Mercedi

Healing green soup

2015/01/img_2458.jpg
Whenever our bodies feel run down, it’s a good idea to eat foods that are not only nutrient-dense, but also very easy on the digestion since our bodies need to use all available resources to get back to an optimal state. Here is a beautiful Happy Belly Green Soup that you can make to keep you warm, help your body fight germs and heal your digestion at the same time.

I made this with cauliflower instead of zucchini, and I used equal parts coriander and cumin in place of the curry since these are more suited to my Vata dosha.

The author of the article above, Nadya Andreeva, wrote a book called Happy Belly that has been tremendously helpful for me in healing my digestion. I feel I would be remiss in my spreading the love of health if I did not take a moment to encourage anyone with bloating or other issues to check it out!

Wishing you optimal wellness,

Mercedi

Super easy vegetable soup

IMG_2231.JPG

I never used to like soup until it dawned on me how freaking quick and easy it is to make and how much of a nutritional powerhouse it is with very little calories or fat. I still don’t eat it much in the summer, but nothing beats a hot bowl of soup to beat the chill of winter. Plus, our bodies naturally slow down a bit in the colder months leaving less energy for digestion. Large, greasy or protein-heavy meals can make us even more tired or sluggish on gray days. A nourishing vegetarian soup is ideal to give our body a break and help keep us feeling light and vibrant.

Recipe:

28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups of water
1/2 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
1/2 pkg (6oz) frozen mixed veggies (I used a blend of carrots, peas, corn and green beans)

Optional:
This tastes great alone, but sometimes I add a clove or two of garlic and a pinch of basil, and/or oregano.

Cover and simmer until hot.

Lunch or dinner for the whole week? Done and done! *brushes hands together* 😎

Today’s winter juice recipe

IMG_2227.JPG
The weather is turning colder and my body is calling for the deeper colors of nutrient-dense purples and greens instead of the bright oranges and yellows of summer fruits.

IMG_2228.JPG

I juiced the kale leaves and pear then poured that into my blender with the grapes, kiwi and coconut water.

Winter juice:
1 bunch kale
Handful of red grapes
1 red pear
1 kiwi
8oz or so of coconut water

Voilà!

IMG_2229.JPG

My favorite green smoothie

IMG_2062.JPG
This is so unbelievably delicious. It’s pure food alchemy too, because although it’s vegan, it’s creamy almost like Greek yogurt or a milkshake. Mmm. Without further ado, here’s the skinny. (Hehe…see what I did there?)

Gather the following:

Handful of spring greens
Handful of cilantro
1/2 peeled cucumber
1/2 peeled green apple
1/2 avocado
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp raw almond butter
8oz unsweetened almond or hemp milk

1. Toss all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pat yourself on the back for making a meal that’s both delicious AND jam-packed with nutrients then go about your day making equally awesometastic decisions!

Xoxo,
Mercedi

Golden Milk – to fight inflammation, illness, depression and more

IMG_2240.JPG
Golden milk is a favorite yogic beverage. It’s made with turmeric, which has numerous health benefits, particularly as an anti-inflammatory.
Its’s great for your joints, your liver and immune system, and even helps with depression.

Recipe:

1/8 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of black pepper
1/4 filtered water

Simmer 5 min then add:
1 cup of almond or hemp milk
2 tbsp almond or coconut oil
Bring to just under boiling (do not boil!)
Serve warm and if, desired add honey for sweetness.

Black pepper increases the bioavailability of turmeric, so our body can absorb all of it’s wonderful properties so don’t leave this out! This drink is very calming and is especially good at bedtime. 💤

Photo by Clementyne Howard.

Blueberry paleo muffins

 image(4)
1 cup almond flour
1 cup blueberries
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 cup coconut oil (melted)
dash salt
1 egg
1 tbsp almond butter
juice of one lemon
tsp of stevia

Mix altogether and bake at 375 for about 25 min

 
These are extra yummy with a little honey butter and provide crazy energy when you eat one for breakfast. 🙂

Coconut date balls

This middle-eastern inspired treat is gluten-free, paleo and vegan and is the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

You will need:
12-15 pitted dates, halved
One package of unsweetened shredded coconut

Optional:
Splash of rose water
Pinch of nutmeg and/or cloveIMG_2181.JPG
Start out by boiling your dates in about 1/2 cup of water just until soft. Drain the water and then either pulse in a food processor or mash by hand (like I did with a potato masher). If using spices or rose water, add them to the mashed dates.

IMG_2185-0

Scoop dates by tablespoon onto a surface covered in shredded coconut. Work the coconut flakes into the mashed dates and then roll into a ball shape and you’re done!

Sprinkle the finished product with some extra coconut. Makes 12-15 treats.

 

IMG_2186

Enjoy!