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...I feel thinner in the middle...dare I say?

The caffeine withdrawal is over and not taking afternoon naps anymore and feeling loaded with energy and a sense of contentment. Just a slight smile on my face all day. I am much nicer to people, things get done easily, and the day just seems to go by nicely.

I am loving this program and working with you. So great!!!

Super Bowl Turkey Chili

I made this last night and everyone, including kids ages 10 and 12, gobbled it up. Humanely raised, organic animal protein in moderation is where I find myself these days and it’s working for us as a family. This spicy chili has great depth of flavor. I’ve never cooked with chocolate, but I’ve always liked molé sauce and all dark chocolate in general, so I wanted to test this out. The recipe makes a large pot of chili which could serve 12-14. I would eliminate one of the jalapeno peppers and the red pepper flakes if you’d like a less spicy version.

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (added in stages)
1 chopped organic yellow onion
1 organic red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 organic yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound organic ground turkey (white meat)
¼ cup finely chopped organic cilantro stems
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon unsweetened cacao powder (Navitas Naturals)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon 100% pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 carton Pomi chopped tomatoes (26 ounces)
1 jar Eden organic crushed tomatoes in an amber glass jar (25 ounces)
***see tomato notes below
5 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
4 cups **cooked** assorted organic beans (Whatever you like! I used my own mix of dried barlotti, garbanzo, adzuki, cannellini, kidney, black and fava beans. See the directions for cooking the dried beans below.)
¼ cup chopped organic cilantro leaves

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a 4 quart large, heavy saucepan and, when hot, add the onions and both the red and yellow bell peppers and cook until vegetables are soft and lightly caramelized, about 6 minutes. Add the jalapenos and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the turkey, cilantro stems, chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin, salt, oregano, maple syrup, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, until the turkey is cooked through and the spices are very fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. To finish, add the cooked beans and chopped cilantro and cook another 15 minutes.

**To cook the beans:**
Boil 3 cups of dried assorted beans in a large pot of water with 1 teaspoon of salt and two 2-inch pieces of dried Kombu seaweed to reduce the potential gas producing effects of beans. I don’t know how this works but really it does work. After 1 hour drain the beans and remove the 2 pieces of Kombu. The beans will be tender and ready to add to the chili.

Canned Tomato Alert…
Don’t use canned tomatoes! They contain very high levels of the chemical Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, due to the high acidity of the tomatoes. Organic tomato products sold in glass are best. Eden is the brand I like because they have just come out with a line of organic tomato products sold in amber glass. I used this type in the chili recipe, along with Pomi chopped tomatoes in a carton, however the Pomi are not organic.

Check out Green Mom in the Burbs take on it.

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Baby Bella and Bok Choy Pasta

I could barely keep from eating this long enough to photograph it! It was seriously good. Leeks and mushrooms sautéed together are fantastic. This dish is rich and satisfying. I happened to have a little leftover grilled organic chicken which I added at the very end. Totally optional. I also used my favorite gluten free brown rice pasta by Jovial.

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 cups Baby Bella (portobella) mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 leek, white and light green parts only, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 heads baby bok choy, tough stem-ends discarded, dark green and white parts sliced in 1 inch pieces
4 large handfuls organic baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound box of Jovial gluten free pasta, I like the “caserecce” shape

Sauté the garlic, olive oil and leeks over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté, stirring continuously for another 5 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, you can add a little filtered water. Once the mushrooms release their juices a sauce will develop. Add the baby bok choy and cook until the white stems of the bok choy are soft, 2-3 minutes. To finish, add the spinach and 4 cups of the cooked pasta and stir until the spinach is wilted and the pasta is thoroughly combined. Taste and add additional kosher salt and pepper if needed.
Serves 4.

Optional: I threw in 1 cup cooked organic chicken when I added the pasta, chopped into 2 inch pieces

Bok Choy: Super Green

“This leafy green cabbage is the number one veggie in China and boasts 10 times the recommended amount of vitamin A in just one cup. Packed with antioxidants, it’s no surprise that several studies show that high intake of Brassica vegetables (a family of vegetables including kale, broccoli, and bok choy) may reduce the risk of certain cancers, including prostate cancer.”
An excerpt from 5 Healthy Fruits and Vegetables You Aren’t Eating.

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Curried Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is a wonderful source of protein and this version contains curry powder, a spice combination from India, which includes tumeric, well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve found that French green lentils hold their shape nicely and don’t turn to mush during cooking. This recipe makes a nice big pot of soup, so use a large pot and eat the leftovers all week!

2 cups French green lentils (pre-cooked, see below)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish or Vidalia onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium organic carrots, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons Madras Curry Powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 28-ounce can organic chopped tomatoes (check the sodium!)
6 cups filtered water
3 cups of leafy greens such as swiss chard, kale or spinach, rinsed well, ribs removed and leaves torn into bite sized pieces

**First pre-cook the lentils:** bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the lentils (rinsed well). Cook for about 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender, around 5 minutes. Add the carrots, cumin, curry powder and salt, continuing to stir for another 3 minutes, “toasting” the spices. Stir in the tomatoes, cooked lentils, fresh black pepper and water, let the soup come back up to a simmer and continue cooking for another 30 minutes. To finish, fold in the chopped greens and stir until just wilted.

Serves 8 to 10.


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Spicy Chicken Quinoa Soup

This South American infused recipe is inspired by native Ecuadorian, Layla and my friend Elizabeth from Columbia. It has the perfect amount of kick. Make sure to use organic, free range chicken and fresh spices. This method of baking the chicken is Ina Garten’s favorite. I learned this technique from her, and it yields the juiciest chicken ever. Enjoy the soup. It will warm your body and nourish your soul!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion ( I like Vidalia or sweet Spanish)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon of paprika
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 cups of white meat from 2 baked organic chicken breasts, skin removed and shredded (recipe see below)
2 cups of filtered water (or more if needed)
4 cups reduced sodium organic chicken broth
2 cups of fresh or frozen peas
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in large, heavy bottom soup pot. Add the diced onions, minced garlic and sautée until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add the diced tomatoes, carrots, paprika and cumin and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the chicken broth and water, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the peas, cooked quinoa, shredded chicken, chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Serve with diced avocado on top.

Baked Chicken Breasts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub 2 organic chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place skin side up on a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove and let cool completely before removing the skin and shredding the meat.


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Great Fall Side Dish

This recipe is from Joe Cross’s Join the Reboot website. The Reboot Express is a 5-day meal plan incorporating fresh juices and simple, easy to follow recipes. This one I taught in my cooking class on Monday. Everyone loved it. It’s super satisfying!

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Mushroom and Sage

3 medium acorn squash
1 teaspoon, plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 large portobello mushrooms caps, chopped
1 large onion (sweet Spanish or Vidalia), chopped
3 tsp. fresh sage, finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim off each end of the squash. Stand the squash upright and halve lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp and the seeds and discard. Brush each squash half with olive oil, and then sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. salt and the black pepper. Arrange cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the squash until the flesh is tender and the edges are golden brown, approximately 25-35 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the squash halves over and set aside.

While the squash roasts, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, or until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the mushrooms, sage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the red pepper flakes if using, and sauté until the mushrooms begin to soften and release their juices, about 5 minutes. Fill the acorn squash halves with the mushroom mixture. Bake again for another 5 minutes.

Serves 6-8

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Tuscan Kale

This variety of kale, also known as lacinato or dinosaur kale, is available year round at Whole Foods and in most grocery stores. Kale is extraordinarily nutritious: one cup provides more than 100 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamins K and A, and 88 percent of the DV for vitamin C. Kale is also a rich source of organosulfur compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention.

1 bunch lacinato or dinasaur kale, stems and ribs removed, washed and torn into 3” pieces
1 small onion, chopped (I like Vidalia or Spanish onions)
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a medium, heavy bottomed pot (a Le Creuset pot is perfect for this) sautée the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper and stir to combine. The mixture will be fragrant. Add the kale and cook, stirring frequently until wilted and cooked down. Continuing cooking over medium heat adding ½ cup filtered water twice, every 5 minutes The kale will absorb the water. Wonderful served over whole grain pasta, brown rice or quinoa.

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I’m a Certified Diet and Lifestyle Coach. I coach active men and women who are ready to feel better and take control of their health by embracing whole foods and finding balance in all areas of their lives. My specialties include healthy cooking classes utilizing local, organic, sustainable ingredients and meal plans which address food allergies, sensitivities and special diets.

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Healthy Cooking

Wednesdays from 11:00-1:00
Class Dates:
October 15, 29
November 19

Learn how to prepare delicious and nutritious meals the whole family will love. Every class will include a smoothie, salad, main course and dessert. Recipes and lunch included.

Raw Vegan 101

Wednesdays from 11:00-1:00
Class Dates:
October 22
November 5

In these classes we will cover a variety of raw vegan green juices, smoothies and salads designed for optimal health and cleansing. Recipes and lunch included.