Bins full of corn on the cob standing front and center at the farmers market is a true sign summer is in full swing. Straight off the cob, grilled or boiled, it is hard to resist summer’s earthy sweet treat. There is something about the crisp kernels that make my taste buds go into overdrive. One of my favorite ways to enjoy corn is my creamy Corn and Basil Soup. It is one of the few hot soups I can eat on a hot summer day. The bright flavors make it refreshing and comforting at the same time. If hot soups in the summer aren’t your thing, you may also serve it chilled. But do yourself a favor and try it hot. You may be surprised. Oh and by the way, floss isn’t required after
slurping savoring it. A rarity when it comes to eating summer corn.
Are you ready for the most chocolaty, rich and nutrient dense dessert you will ever have? If your answer is yes (there is no reason is shouldn’t be) then I have the perfect recipe for you, decadent raw food brownies. They have been tested on my best friend, who is a self acclaimed chocolate connoisseur, and passed with flying colors. Instead of rambling on and on about how delicious these bad boys are, I am going to suggest you get up from whatever you are doing and go make them. Oh, and no need to turn on the oven. All it takes is a few go-arounds in the food processor for the brownies to come together.
At The Honest Plate cooking class I served the brownies with a Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (recipe to follow) and paired them with Matthews Chalkboard Red Wine (www.matthewswinery.com). It was a match made in wine and dessert heaven, which is the heaven I would like to go to.
The Seattle weather Gods have gone above and beyond this summer. They have blessed us with 18 straight days of sunshine. If you are not from the Northwest 18 days of sun may seem like no biggie. Around this neck of the woods it’s a big deal. We are 33 days away from breaking Seattle’s record of 51 days with no rain. I am loving this weather and the extra dose of natural vitamin D that comes along with it. What I am not loving, hanging out and sweating by the stove all day. Which is why I give my Chickpea Tomato Salad the award for best summer salad. It requires no cooking. Zero, nada, none. Not only does it require no cooking, it’s also uber satisfying and substantial enough for a main course. Chickpeas, tomatoes and scallions are tossed with a creamy raw foods miso dressing to deliver a fiber and protein rich salad. Enjoy it on a bed of greens or marry it between two pieces of bread to make a sandwich. Either way it is the perfect accessory to a summer picnic.
The 411 on the raw miso mayo…Say adios to jarred mayo, a new and improved spread/dressing just moved into town. The new kid on the block is made of raw cashews, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, miso and garlic. It can be used in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches or as a dressing. It may taste like mayonnaise, but that is where the similarities stop. There are several health benefits that come along with miso mayo, which cannot be said about traditional jarred mayonnaise.
INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT Chickpea/Garbanzo Beans
These nutty beans are full of protein and fiber. Dietary fiber lowers cholesterol, promotes healthy digestion and helps stabilize your blood sugar. The body metabolizes garbanzo beans at a slow rate providing energy to your body for a longer amount of time. These little beans are also high in folate, a vital nutrient to all the preggo ladies. Even if you aren’t preggo, folate is an important nutrient. In the school of nutrition garbanzo beans receive an A+.
We have all heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. This is as true as saying Justin Timberlake is the most beautiful man on earth (except my husband). Breakfast kick starts our metabolism and gives us the brain fuel we need to take on the day. Although I know this to be true, the simple task of making time to sit down for breakfast seems close to impossible. It is a scramble to get out of bed, showered, dressed and out the door on time. Which is why smoothies are my saving grace. They are the perfect on-the-go breakfast. Quick, nutritious and delicious. To cut down on prep time in the morning, chop all ingredients the night before and put them in a mason jar. Come morning all you have to do is toss the mason jar contents into your blender, blend and go!
A few more reasons a Cherry Almond Kale smoothie is the right way to start your day…
-It will give you more energy than hitting snooze.
-Eating a nutritious breakfast ensures you won’t get hangry (hungry + angry) before lunch.
-Sitting in traffic is much easier when sipping on a delicious smoothie.
-You will be more focused and productive at work, which will lead to a promotion
which means more money to spend at the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale
break the fast
Summer and watermelon are BFFs. You can’t have one without the other. I decided it was time for watermelon and summer to add a few more friends to the mix…feta, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and spinach. If watermelon and summer could talk, they would be thanking me for broadening their social circle, because this salad is amazing. The sweetness of the watermelon combined with the saltiness of the feta and the tang of balsamic vinegar is heaven. Although the recipe is simple, the flavors are complex. There is something in it for everyone.
Another reason I love this salad is for how versatile it is. Swap spinach for arugula, micro greens or kale. Fancy up the dressing by making a vinaigrette, add red onion or shrimp… do whatever your little heart desires, and the outcome will still be mouth watering delicious.
INGREDIENT SPOT LIGHT
No matter how you slice it, watermelon’s health benefits are incredible. It goes well beyond being super hydrating. Watermelon is high in B vitamins, which helps with energy production, the vision protecting vitamin A, immune boosting vitamin C and a valuable source of lycopene, an antioxidant known to reduce the risk of breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer. Watermelon packs a lot of punch for being 92 % water.
Go ahead and beat the heat with a big piece of watermelon. Your body will thank you.
When I ask my husband what he wants for dinner, I secretly hope he requests a Mexican dish (or anything that requires guacamole). Lucky for me, he usually does. His favorite Mexican dish is taquitos. He prefers freshly made authentic taquitos, but has been known to throw down the frozen kind. Yes, you read that right, my husband eats frozen taquitos. Only when I am not looking. There was only one way to put a stop to this…make my own. In with the Kale, mushrooms and coconut oil, out with the preservatives, chemicals and whatever else is hidden in those little frozen taquitos.
Once you try this little gem of a recipe, I have a feeling sales of frozen taquitos may go down, and the sale of kale will go up.
INGREDIENT SPOT LIGHT
Mushrooms provide more than texture and taste to dishes. They have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years and score an A+ when it comes to nutritional benefits. Mushrooms have been shown to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer, help strengthen the immune system and treat the flu. They are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps reduce the risk of a stroke by reducing blood pressure and helps our body process sodium. Have you every been woken up in the middle of the night with an excruciating cramp in your calf? That may be due to a potassium deficiency. Next time that happens eat a mushroom, not a banana. Although bananas are high in potassium, portobello mushrooms provide more. You know what’s better than eating a plain mushroom to curb calf pains? Eating a mushroom and kale taquito. Say good bye to leg cramps and enjoy a tasty meal at the same time…win-win.
Thank you so much for visiting The Honest Plate! Let’s talk food selection for a quick second. Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy is simple and delicious. Just how easy? Seven simple steps easy. That is less steps than it takes me to get ready for bed . At the super fabulous culinary school I attended, The Natural Gourmet Institute, we studied seven criteria for food selection, which makes healthy eating a no-brainer. Follow these seven guidelines and you will nourish your body from the inside out, without having to think too hard. Please note this is a guideline, not a lifeline. You will drive yourself crazy if you don’t allow yourself flexibility. So go ahead and enjoy a French fry every once in awhile.
1. Whole: As nature intended us to eat them.
2. Fresh, Real, Organically Grown: Free of chemicals, not genetically engineered, no imitations. Time to put down the artificial sweetener. Your body will thank you.
4. Local: Food from your own neck of the woods tastes better and is higher in nutrients.
5. In Harmony with Tradition: Eat as our ancestors did. They may not have had smart phones, but they were definitely smarter than us in their food choices.
6. Balanced: Mix it up a bit. Eating a variety of food helps ensure we meet our nutritional needs.
7. Delicious: Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Enjoy it
If you would like to learn more about the seven criteria for food selection, pick up a copy of Food and Healing, a book written by the founder of The Natural Gourmet Institute, Annemarie Colbin.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to to the real reason you stopped by The Honest Plate…the recipes.
I am back! No longer as a student documenting my experience in NYC for culinary school, but as a natural foods chef and nutritionist. Here on The Honest Plate I will share recipes and nutrition tips that will benefit your physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. What you eat dictates your entire well-being, so my recipes use only the purest ingredients which will nourish you from the inside out and help you feel the best version of yourself…hello gorgeous hair and unstoppable energy! I want a healthier you so you can live a happier life.
I studied at The Natural Gourmet Institute, the leading health supportive culinary school in NYC, where I learned to create a framework for healthy food selection. Since graduating I have been working as a private chef and nutritionist. I deeply love what I do and am excited to share it with all of you (or just my mom and dad…because they are my two guaranteed blog readers).
The above picture is of me and my sous chef, Lily. Along with nutrition and cooking, Lily is my other obsession. She is half dog half human (ok, maybe not but don’t tell her that. She thinks she is 100% human). Don’t be surprised if I throw in a couple of recipes for dogs.
Welcome to my crazy kitchen.