Healing Tuesday~ Good Food, Energy Work, lots of Laughs and some Wine.

Long title. Yes. I know, but I couldn’t put it any other way, because that is what Tuesdays are like with my good friend Loyale. She is this incredible Wellness and Lifestyle Coach. She has been on a journey of wellness for over two decades and she shares her healing with so many of us, I am grateful to be one of those souls. She keeps me open up in my body, mind and soul through reiki and massage therapy. I in turn, life coach her, feed her keto meals and reiki her as well. It’s a beautiful exchange of energy and love.

I am so grateful for our times together. Today, I think the energy was truly about clearing and allowing space for what truly suppose to be there within ourselves and our lives.

So let me allow you, into a Tuesday with Loyale and I. Are you ready? Well it begins with her unloading that huge massage table, she’s a small powerhouse with this amazing infectious smile, and let me tell you, she handles that massage table like no other. She comes in and set things up and my body instantly begins to relax. I am in the kitchen cooking up a keto friendly breakfast for her. Today I made a keto friendly eggs benedict, 86 the English muffin, add instead, avocado and sliced tomatoes, fresh herbs and it’s a magical morning and she’s a happy girl.

Keto friendly Egg Benedict with Tomatoes and Avocados
Egg Benedict with Tomatoes, Avocados and Potatoes

We sit and talk a bit about our lives and what we are moving through, over a delicious breakfast and her keto coffee and my chai latte. Life coaching begins, this time helps me with how to move in her reiki session. Healing is not just about what we put in our bodies, but also about what we put into our spaces and in our minds and hearts. We are always digesting life. The question is being conscious of what we are digesting and how we are digesting life. Does it all serve our highest good? Is it healing us or making is sick? These are important questions we need to ask ourselves, if were are to stay healthy spiritual beings.

After breakfast we get into more energetic healing. Our reiki and massage sessions are full of deep breath, aromatherapy, prayer and just allowing ourselves to let go and enjoy healing touch and positive intentions being sent from one soul to the other.

Once we are full of just pure bliss, we talk more about what was revealed in our individual therapies and how we can move more consciously in life. Now it’s time for lunch. Then I remembered, I have a roasted chicken in my fridge. Now, how can I make this special for her keto diet. I know, make a pan sauce with butter, white wine, fresh rosemary and garlic. Now we have a Pan Seared Roasted Chicken with a White Wine Rosemary and Garlic Butter Sauce. I also pulled out of my fridge some blackberries, homemade lavender infused fudge with sea salt, I made a few days ago for my grandkids and pluck some mint from my herb garden, now we have dessert.

Homemade Lavender Infused Fudge with Blackberries and Mint
Pan Seared Roasted Chicken with a White Wine Rosemary and Garlic Butter Sauce

Healing starts with the intention of what we are pouring into others and ourselves. In all that you do, pour love into it, pour compassion into it, pour your soul into it and you have all the ingredients of making people feel alive, awaken, loved, HEALED. This is what we do on Tuesday. I am grateful! Here’s an idea, start a healing day for you and your friends, by just exchanging your God giving gifts to bring a little happiness into their lives and yours. Thanks Loyale, until next Tuesday.

Mediterranean Kale, Chard and White Bean Salad with Artichokes and Gluten Free Toast with Olive Tapenade

There is nothing like a beautifully delicious salad, but sometimes it’s really hard to eat salad during the winter. So I opt out to making warm salads. Yes, salads can be warm, you still get your greens and veggies but sautéed a bit. Here is one of my favorite salads. I love mediterranean ingredients, like artichokes and kalamata olives. This salad includes them both, but with a little twist. The great thing about salad, you can throw in all your favorite ingredients. Instead of just putting the olives in this salad I made an olive tapenade and spreader it on gluten free toast is a great alternative. In a later post, I will show you how to pump up your olive tapenade with plant based protein. But, until then enjoy this recipe. Always remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Mediterranean Kale, Chard and White Bean Salad with Artichokes and Gluten Free Toast with Olive Tapenade

Ingredients:

1 can white beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup red onions, diced and extra tablespoon for garnish

1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons olive oil, in a sauce pan, to sauté veggies

1 tablespoons garlic herb seasonings

1 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 bunches of kale, rinsed, dried with a paper towel, leaves roughly chopped

1 bunch of chard, rinsed, dried with a paper towel, leaves roughly chopped

1/2 cup artichoke hearts, marinated

Directions:

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a sauté pan, on medium heat and then add the diced onions and peppers. Sauté until soft. Add diced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add beans and stir. Add the spices and stir gently, to keep the beans in tack. Cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside once cooked. Add the remaining oil into the pan on medium heat. Add the kale and chard, sauté for 2 minutes, you are just welting the leaves. Remove for heat and set aside

Olive Tapenade Ingredients:

1 cup pitted black olives

6 small capers

1 garlic clove

3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Mince the garlic clove. Place olives, minced garlic, capers and olive oil in blender. Blend until you reach a smooth spread. Add to the gluten free toast. To Assemble: Add the kale, chard, in a salad bowl, top with beans and gently toss, place artichoke hearts sparingly throughout the salad. Garnish with diced red peppers, season with sea salt, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.

Two sides of the coin ~ Toasted Pearl Barley Salad

When I competed on Food Network’s All Star Academy season 2, I was blessed to be mentored by Iron Chef and Food Network guru, Alex Guarnaschelli.  She looked at me and my teammate Lee Abbot and said, “You will never look at cooking the same,ever again.” She was right. Competing on Food Network’s All Star Academy, was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.  It’s not just television folks, it’s an experience you will never forget. It challenged me to my very soul, not only in front of the cameras, but also behind the scenes. In such competitions, 12 hours of filming, elimination challenges, television politics and illness, you discover a part of you, you never knew. I have to say, I am so grateful for my time on the show. The experience is still revealing more of who I am and what I am capable of. You may say, Lisa, it was just a game show, maybe, but life is how you digest it, how you take it in and savior all of it’s flavors, like a wonderful dish executed with skill, patience and lots of care. This is experience was one of the best I have ever consumed.

The dish I would like to share with you today reminded me of my time on the show. I got a chance to cook also with Chef Curtis Stone, he is incredibly brilliant chef, that takes his craft very seriously.  Chef Stone inspired me with his precision and attention to every single detail. Chef’s food reminded me of art, fashion, symphony, culture expressed on a plate. Chef Guarnaschelli mentoring and food is full of soul, spirit, it’s holistic, she hits you with texture, flavor, aromas, emotions, she brings you HOME.

I made today two salads, from produce I got from the Farm and from my local grocery store. The salad is made with all the same ingredients, not one is missing no matter how different they may look. When I made these dishes, I wasn’t thinking of my experience on Food Network, I was just creating, but as Chef Guarnaschelli said,  You will never look at cooking the same, ever again. She was right. Thanks Chefs for the inspiration that  sometimes comes out unconsciously. It’s in me now. 🙂

 

Toasted Pearl Barley Salad ( two ways) 

This salad is necessarily not a recipe. It using your favorite vegetables and displaying them from your cooking perspective. Here is what I used.

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Toasted Pearl Barley with veggies Basil and Garlic oil

 

For the Rustic Salad and Salad of Art

Using a mandolin, slice up squash, radish, red cabbages, set a side

Cut up campari tomatoes in quarter for the rustic salad, for the artistic one, thinly slice of the bottoms, not exposing the inside, scoop out the top and some of the inside of the tomato, set a side.

Cut up 1 shallot, peel and slice horizontally, keep two of the ends where the circles are intact, the remainder will be used to toast in the rustic salad.

This is all about creativity, so follow my instruction or go wild with your imagination.

 

Here’s the instructions you need to follow:

Toasted Pearl Barley with Ras El Hanout season walnuts and vegetables with a fried egg

( a mouth full) 🙂

Toasted Pearl Barley

Ingredients:

1 cup pearl barley

1 tsp olive oil

2 cups organic vegetable broth, low sodium

sea salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup green cauliflower florets, small pieces

1/2 cup green sweet peas

1/2 cup sliced red bell peppers

1/2 cup sliced onions

1/2 cup walnuts

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp ras el hanout

sea salt to taste

Directions:

Cook pearl barley as instructed. Once cook set a side. In a sauté pan add the oil, the peppers, onions, and pinch of the salt, cook until tender remove. Add the cauliflower, pinch of salt, cook for 1-2 minutes, you want it to stay crunchy. Remove and add to the peppers and onions. Add the walnuts and the ras el hanout and a pinch of salt. Cook the walnuts and seasonings for about a minute, you are just warming up the walnuts and bringing out the flavors of the ras el hanout. Add all the ingredients into the toasted pearl barley, season with more ras el hanout and sea salt, to taste.

For the Rustic Salad:

Add the toasted pearl barley to a plate and toast in your favorite veggies, remember to leave some of the vegetables on the side to create your Salad of Art. You will need 3 medium squash slices, 6 small pieces of the squash slices, 6 small radish slices, 3 pieces of the red cabbage,  Drizzle with the Basil and Garlic oil, recipe below:

Basil and Garlic Oil:

Ingredients:

2 cups of packed basil leaves
½ cup – 1 cup of olive oil, adjust based on the thickness level you prefer
1 garlic clove
Salt to taste

Instructions:

Place the basil, olive oil, garlic, mini-food processor, mix until you have smooth sauce. Taste and add additional salt if needed.

Salad of Art:

On a beautiful white plate, add 3 pearls of basil oil on the plate, take 3 of your mandolin cut squash and add it on top of the basil oil pearls. Stuff your campari tomatoes with some of the toasted pearl barley mixture, add one pea on top of the each stuffed tomato. Add a piece of the red cabbage inside of the stuffed tomato, allowing it to stand up like a flag. Add the radishes on the outside of the tomatoes with a dollop of the basil and garlic oil and add the small squash slices onto that. Add the pieces of the green cauliflower artistically onto the plate with the slices of shallots.

Be creative, squash all that I have written and honey do your on thing. LOL.

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Toasted Pearl Barley with veggies Basil and Garlic oil

Enjoy and Remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies

WOW!! So my amazing friend Paula gave me a challenge to make a brownie for her son that hid cauliflower inside and it taste good. Well here is what I came up with.  This was an experiment and may need a little adjusting, so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in my comment box. But I am not bragging, these bad boys were pretty tasty.

Ingredients:

First things first, the cauliflower puree.  You can serve the rest as a side dish or convert it into a soup. But that’s another blog. You will only need one cup for the brownie recipe.

1 head cauliflower, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

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Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies

Instructions:

Pull the leaves off the cauliflower and cut out the core in a kind of cone-shaped section. Then pull the florets off the head with your fingers, using a knife when you need to. Break or cut the florets into smaller, regular pieces (about 1 1/2 inch) and put them in a steamer insert. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in the steamer pot, add the insert, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until you can poke a paring knife into the stems and you can feel that there’s still a little texture there. Save 1 cup of steaming water.
In batches, put cauliflower in a food processor to puree. If you are having problems getting the cauliflower to puree add a little of the cooking water but as little as possible. With the motor running, add oil and salt.

Set a side.

Brownie Ingredients:

Dry
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup ground organic raw cane sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips ( cacao chips)

Wet:

1 cup cauliflower puree
1 Tablespoons flaxmeal
3 Tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil, canola oil

Directions:

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Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies

Brownies:

Over a double boiler, on low heat, add the dark chocolate chips into the bowl and stir,until melted. Once melted set aside.  In another bowl add cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sugar, oil and mix together.

In a small bowl mix flaxmeal in the warm water and vinegar and let sit for few minutes about 3-4 minutes, this will be part of your egg, substitute. Add the flax meal mixture to the cocoa powder mixture.
In another bowl, combine all the remaining dry ingredients, stir and add to the cocoa powder mixture. Mix to combine well. Gently fold half of the melted chocolate into the mixture, you will use the other half as a glaze on top of the brownies.  If the mixture is too wet, add a little more cocoa powder. If too dry fold in more melted chocolate.
Spread the mixture into a parchment lined or greased pan. Press and even it out, using a spatula.
Bake 30-32 minutes at 375 degrees F. Bake till the toothpick an inch from the edge comes out with a few crumbs. Do not over bake as the brownie, it will dry them out and make them hard.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled remove from the parchment lined pan and cut brownies in squares.  Add the remaining melted chocolate on top of each as a glaze. You can also add more chocolate chips if you like.

Creamy Vegan Corn Soup

The weather has finally gotten cold in Georgia. I thought I was living in Santa Barbara, for a minute. The truth is, Georgia’s weather could be a little tricky. Cold one day and 78 degrees the next. But, as soon as it got cold. I was in my kitchen making this soup. Now this is a vegan version of the soup. I wanted something much cleaner, than all the heavy cream and butter I consumed over the holidays. The food was amazing and I love to eat good food and boy did I have my share. Okay, enough of my time of confession. Let’s get to the soup.

I used a roux, which is a cooked mixture of butter or other fat and flour to help thicken sauces, soups, etc.  I used olive oil and flour for this soup. Cooking the flour, gives it a nice buttery and nutty flavor, so no need for the butter, and the flour thickens it as well.

I hope my vegan version, gets you to start thinking, especially in the New Year, you can set the butter and heavy cream a side, ever now and then.

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Creamy Vegan Corn Soup

 

Ingredients:

Roux 

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 1/2 tablespoons of flour, coconut flour

Corn Soup

2-3 tablespoon Olive oil

1/2 large white onion, chopped (~1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 cups organic frozen corn

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon  garlic powder

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 cups low sodium vegetable broth , low sodium

Garnish

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup frozen organic corn

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

Cilantro

Sea salt and black pepper , to taste

Directions:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the olive oil for the roux. Add a pinch of flour sprinkled into the oil, when it just begin to bubble. Then, whisk in 2-1/2 tablespoons of flour to form a thick paste.  Continue whisking as the roux gently bubbles and cooks, for 2 minutes. Do not let the roux bubbles vigorously or it will burn. Stir constantly. Add the onions and garlic, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Lower the heat just a bit. Add the red pepper flakes, stir. Next, Add the corn and all the spices, salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and allow to cook for another 10 minutes on a medium heat, continue to stir as needed. Add more vegetable broth if needed. Do not allow it to dry out.

While the corn is cooking, add your oil for your garnish, in another sauce pan on medium heat, once the pan is heated, add the peppers and the corn. Allow the corn and peppers to cook, until they have caramelized on some of the pieces. Remove from the heat and set a side.

Once the corn is cooked for the soup, remove it from the heat and add the mixture in a blender, Ninja or Vitamix. A very strong blender will give you a very creamy soup. Add the mixture to the blender and process, until the soup is creamy and smooth. If the mixture is too thick , add more vegetable broth. The soup should be smooth,creamy, but not thick.  If it is too thin, add more corn and blend.

Once the corn mixture is smooth, give it a taste and adjust the seasonings, add sea salt and black pepper at this time, if needed.

Remove the soup from the blender. Add it to a mesh stainer over a clean sauce pan. Strain the soup into the saucepan, use a spoon to press out all the liquid from the soup.  Once all the soup is strained away from any remaining kernel. Place the sauce pan over medium heat. Stir and heat the soup up to your preference. Add the heated soup to a bowl. Add the garnish on top and Enjoy.

You can always skip the straining process, if you like a more rustic soup.