Ok, so I’ll be honest, I’ve never had banoffee pie before, but I’ve been craving it! Is it even possible to crave something you’ve never had? I would say it is! I had heard of this ‘banoffee pie’ before, but it wasn’t until I watched Chef April Bloomfield whip one up on The Mind of a Chef (which is a must see show on PBS for all you food lovers out there!) that I started dreaming up making one of my own. While watching the show, I began brainstorming a way to make this traditional English pastry a bit healthier and I think I succeeded. Tell me what you think! Continue reading
As the cold weather is upon us now here in Nashville, I’ve been thinking of ways to boost my immune system, as it tends to be compromised more during this season. So I created this refreshing immune boosting smoothie! However, you can drink this smoothie any time of the year, even while trying to strengthen your immune system during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It’s actually smoothie month at Williams-Sonoma and this week’s theme was “Not Your Average Smoothie” so I thought turning a smoothie into something that boosts your immune system and wards off colds would be a good place to start. It’s a nice tart smoothie with an optional kick that reminds me of the green lemonade juices I’ve been drinking, but instead it’s beautifully pink from the bright red raspberries.
Here’s what I threw into my blender + why it’s good for you:
- Greens: Greens like kale, collard, swiss chard, and spinach are nutritional powerhouses packed with vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, that strengthen your immune system and ward off colds.
- Orange/Tangerine: Oranges are full of vitamins A + C which help promote production of white blood cells to fight off any foreign invaders, and folate which you need for healthy cell growth. Those looking to get pregnant or are already pregnant will benefit from including folate into their diet as it essential for healthy development of the baby in the mother’s womb, particularly the formation of the neural tube.
- Lemons and berries: Both are rich in vitamin C and immune boosting antioxidants.
- Ginger: Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Turmeric + Cayenne (optional): Both turmeric and cayenne are very nutrient dense spices, which support your immune system through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Fall is now upon us and I thought it fitting to share a recipe for a hearty soup. Last night my husband said he was craving a savory soup called Zuppa Toscana he used to eat at a chain restaurant called Olive Garden. While I have never had the soup myself, I did some researching and was determined to come up with a healthy version of this nostalgic stew to nourish and fill our bellies. Watching my husband fill his bowl with seconds leads me to believe I did something right.
1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
1 lb ground beef or pork sausage (or see notes below and make your own, like I did)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp smoked sea salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
8 cups high quality beef or chicken stock (make your own)
4-6 gold potatoes, diced
4 cups kale, stemmed and torn into pieces
1 cup full fat coconut milk (see notes)
salt + pepper, to taste
In a large dutch oven or stockpot melt ghee over medium heat. Add in sausage and cook until browned. Next throw in your diced onions, paprika, smoked sea salt, and red pepper flakes and cook until onions soften. Add in crushed garlic and saute until fragrant. Pour in your stock and potatoes. Bring soup to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until potatoes are almost cooked through, about 15 minutes. Next add kale. Then slowly stir in the coconut milk. Continue to stir until kale is wilted and potatoes are cooked through. Season to taste with salt + pepper. Serve!
Make your own sausage by adding the following seasonings to 1 lb ground pork or beef: 1/2 tbsp oregano, 1/2 tbsp rosemary, 1/2 tbsp thyme.
A note on coconut milk: Try to get a coconut milk without any gums, stabilizers, or preservatives. I found mine in the frozen section of my local international market. When adding the milk to the soup, be sure the heat isn’t too high (medium low works fine) and that you are stirring frequently after adding. This ensures the fats and the proteins in the coconut milk will stay bonded, rather than curdling and separating.
Some of you know, but others may not realize that along with loving good food, I am also a birth doula and a holistic health counselor, focused on supporting women during the childbearing years. For a few years now, I have been passionate about helping mamas and mamas-to-be, ensuring they are getting the education and support they need while pregnant, breastfeeding, or prepping for pregnancy. I feel it an honor to work with women and their families during such an intimate and beautiful time of their lives. So if you see a little bit more of a focus towards pregnancy, and the like, that is why. Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting delicious recipes for everyone, but some may have a bit more of a focus towards nourishing nutrients for mama and baby. If you have any questions, or are interested in how I can support you, as a mama or mama-to-be, feel free to shoot me a message!
What mom doesn’t need a little more energy after having a baby? This smoothie is an easy and delicious way to boost your energy, as well as your breastmilk supply. Essential fatty acids, such as coconut oil and nuts, and foods high in omega 3, like flax seeds, increase your energy and milk supply. Spinach, high in phytoestrogens, promotes healthy breast tissue and lactation, and this smoothie is an easy way of incorporating those greens into your daily routine. Did you know healthy fats, like coconut oil, have some of the highest concentrations of energy out of all nutrients? Fat is also essential for hormone production, which will help your body produce a fattier, more nutritious breastmilk for baby. Drink up! It’s delicious way to start your day, whether you are lactating or not. Continue reading
Yesterday was the first day of Spring and I could not be more excited. It’s amazing what the sunshine and warm air does for your spirit. To me, spring signifies change-it symbolizes the change from brown to green, from cold to warm, from bare bushes to colorful blooms, and it is symbolizing much change in my life right now. This is a season of transition for me, and while it may not always be easy and it’s often times scary, it is exciting and full of so much life and beauty.
“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”
If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for frittatas. I was talking to a good friend on the phone as I was making this for the second time (in two days!) and she asked what I was making for dinner. When I told her I was making a frittata, she laughed and said, “Of course you are!” It’s too good not to. I brought this particular frittata over to a dear friend’s birthday brunch one day, and the next I found myself making it for dinner. It also makes great leftovers, which I love, and it’s easily adaptable to whatever vegetables and spices you have on hand. If you’ve never made a frittata, give it a try and let me know what you think.
Roasting kale is one of my favorite ways to enjoy this hearty winter green. The edges become nice and crispy, which is the perfect contrast to the melt in your mouth sweet potatoes. This dish is a great balance of sweet and spicy and has quickly become one of my favorite meals to serve when I have guests over. If you’re not into salmon, try topping the greens with a fried egg! It’s simple and delicious and makes for some great leftovers (if there is any)!
65% of all South African children live in poverty. And nearly 20% of all children in South Africa are orphans, with approximately 1.9 Million of those children orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS. (source)
This causes a great need for food provision, especially in schools. Providing lunch for these children encourages them to stay in school and continue with their education. Let’s learn about one hypothetical child’s story, we’ll call her Lilanie. Lilanie is a young, bright, school-aged child with a zest for life. She loves jumping rope, taking care of her little brother, and her laugh is absolutely contagious! Lilanie walks to school every day, tummy rumbling, as she looks forward to not only learning, but to actually eating a meal. This meal, provided by organizations like the Lunchbox fund, may be the only meal that young Lilanie receives for the day. Because Lilanie’s parents are affected by HIV/AIDS, they are unable to work and provide for their family, and then she, along with many other children, is often sent to find a source of food. When she isn’t able to get the food she needs to nourish her little body, her concentration and willpower diminishes and her potential is stripped away. Compound that with prevalence of HIV/AIDS or the trauma of losing parents and loved ones, without food, Lilanie’s attendance and performance at school is severely jeopardized.
My brother, Dylan, spent 2 1/2 years serving in the Peace Corps in Mozambique, which is an African country nestled along the border of South Africa. Although they are two separate countries, Mozambique and South Africa share a lot of the same beauty and a lot of the same hardships. Dylan served schools in the area where he lived, and said he frequently saw children, like Lilanie, who were forced to find food for themselves and their family because their parents were too sick from HIV/AIDS to find work or food. It saddens me deeply that children are left with this responsibility and if they don’t receive a meal at school, they may not eat at all.
This is where the Giving Table and the Lunchbox Fund comes in…this is where YOU come in! Through our support, the Lunchbox fund will be able to provide a daily meal to Lilanie and 100 other South African school children for at least an entire year! Think about all of the hungry bellies and brains being nourished. Think of all the potential that encourages for those 100 boys and girls! Please visit The Giving Table’s page and join me in donating to such a great cause. Just $10 can feed a child what may be their only meal for the day. Will you join me in nourishing a young child’s belly and mind?
Watch the video below to find out more about the Lunchbox Fund and how you can help!