Meatless Half-Hour Chili

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This is a family favorite—updated a bit.  You will not miss the meat in this chili as Bulgur adds texture to the (mildly spicy) mixture of vegetables and beans.

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3-4 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced jalapẽno pepper or

for less heat and more flavor substitute poblano pepper, to taste

1 carrot, graded

1 28-oz can and 1 14-oz. can organic tomatoes, chopped with their juices (I use the roasted tomatoes which are delicious, if you can find them.)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 piece Seaweed, such as Wakame*

2 15oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/3-1/2 cup fine or medium grain bulgur

½ cup low yogurt

1/3 cup chopped scallions

¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley

 In a Dutch oven or a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, add spice and sauté for 1-2 minutes—(this intensives the spices) until they are fragrant.  Add onions, garlic, carrots and pepper.  Sauté for 5-7 minutes—until the onions and carrots are soft. Add tomatoes with their juice and the teaspoon of brown sugar. Toss in your Wakame. Cook for 5 minutes over high heat.  Stir in beans and bulgur, and reduce heat to low. Simmer the chili uncovered for 15 minutes, or until thickened. Serve with a dollop of yogurt, scallions and cilantro or parsley on the side.

*In traditional Chinese healing, sea vegetables correspond to the winter season and to the kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder and reproductive organs. The strengthening, balancing and cleansing properties of sea vegetables are known to help these organs as well as the hair, skin and nails. Sea vegetables (or seaweeds) provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron and iodine, and can help balance hormone and thyroid levels in the body. Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your diet can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.

Adapted from Eating Well, 1992

6 Steps to Avoid GMO’s

Let us know what we are eating!

Let us know what we are eating!

I read this today, and I feel it extremely important to share!  Thank you Natural News!  This is valuable information for us all. GMO’s always begs the question: Is this the reason there are so many auto-immune diseases?  Cancer? Is our body seeing this modified food as foreign?  Is this part of the reason our sickness continues to grow?  You decide.  In the meantime, here are steps to avoid foods with GMO’s.  They are pretty much in everything, but this is a great way to limit them in what you eat! 

(NaturalNews) Awareness about the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the food supply is at an all-time high throughout America, thanks in large part to the Proposition 37 ballot initiative in California. But many people are now asking the question, “If GMOs aren’t labeled, how can I know whether or not the foods I buy contain them?” To help you make the best effort at avoiding GMOs while shopping at the grocery store, here are six recommendations on what to look for and what to avoid.

1) Avoid purchasing foods that contain non-organic soy, corn, cottonseed or canola ingredients. Practically every processed food found in the “middle aisle” section of the grocery store contains some form of soy, corn, cottonseed, or canola, all crops of which are typically GMO if not certified organic. Everything from cookies and crackers to cereals and snack food items contain them, which means you will want to avoid them like the plague. Common ingredients to specifically watch out for include some of the more obvious ones like high-fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, and canola oil. But several others you will want to be aware of include soy lecithin, an emulsifier added to all sorts of foods, including “health” foods, as well as soy protein, textured vegetable protein, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), and food starch. Unless certified organic, all of these ingredients are likely GMO.

2) If PLU code on fruits, vegetables starts with an “8,” avoid such produce. When shopping for fruits and vegetables, your first choice will want to be those labeled with a five-digit PLU that begins with a “9,” which indicates that it is certified organic. Produce items containing a four-digit PLU are considered “conventional,” which means they are not technically GMO, but may still contain pesticides and other toxic residues. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a helpful shopping guide for picking out safe produce. Produce items you will want to specifically and always avoid are those bearing a five-digit PLU beginning with the number “8,” as these are GMOs. The vast majority of non-organic papaya, as well as several varieties of non-organic zucchini and squash are also of GM origin, so you will want to specifically purchase organic varieties of these foods as well. Genetic manipulators are also now working on a GM apple that does not turn brown, so watch out for any apple that stays unnaturally white when sliced or bruised.

3) Unless added sugar is specifically identified as “cane,” it likely comes from GM sugar beets. At least 90 percent of the sugar beet crop grown in the U.S. is of GM origin, which means if any food product contains “sugar” or some other sugar derivative like glucose or sucrose, it is more than likely a GMO. Always look for “cane sugar,” or preferably “evaporated cane juice,” in order to avoid GM sugar. Raw agave nectar, pure stevia extract, and xylitol are also safe, non-GMO sugar and sugar substitutes.

4) If it contains artificial sweetener, it likely contains GMOs. The popular artificial sugar substitute aspartame, which goes by the trade names Equal, NutraSweet and AminoSweet, is produced using GM bacterial strains of E. coli, which means it, too, is a GMO. Anything containing aspartame is a no-no when it comes to food, and this useful Natural News infographic will help you discern many of the common food products that contain aspartame.

5) Watch out for ambiguous additives like xanthan gum, citric acid, maltodextrin, and other common GMO offenders. Many common food texturizing agents, flavor enhancers, thickeners, sweeteners, and fortifiers are also derived from GMOs. Some of the more common offenders include ingredients like xanthan gum, citric acid, maltodextrin, lactic acid, dextrose, caramel color, baking powder, malt syrup, modified food starch, mono and diglycerides, sorbitol, stearic acid, and triglycerides. The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) has created a helpful list of “invisible GM ingredients” that you can reference while shopping.

6) Avoid any dairy products that are non-organic, or that do not contain a “No rBGH” label. Unless a dairy product is specifically labeled as being certified organic, or as not containing the artificial growth hormone rBGH, which is sometimes labeled as rBST, it likely contains GMOs. Short for recombinant bovine growth hormone, rBGH is created using GMO E. coli just like aspartame, and is used in conventional cattle unless otherwise labeled. This means that all non-organic yogurt, cheese, butter, milk, and ice cream that does not specifically bear a “No rBGH” label of some sort is likely made with GMOs. Non-organic dairy cows are also likely fed GM feed, which means your best bet is to stick only with certified organic or non-GMO dairy products at all times. The Non-GMO Project has also developed a certification program by which food manufacturers can uniformly label food products not made with GMOs. Many food products now bear the Non-GMO Project “Verified” label, which will help give you peace of mind that the food you are buying is clean, safe, and free of GMOs. You can learn more about the Non-GMO project by visiting: http://www.nongmoproject.org/

Organic Grapefruit
Organic Grapefruit

Blueberries . . . so much more than the color blue!

Blueberry-watermelon SmoothieOne of my favorite things growing up was fresh homegrown blueberries. I especially loved finding the large, plump, juicy blueberries, and eating them one by one right off the bush in the backyard; there is nothing better and somehow they always signaled the ending of summer and the return to school.  —Somewhere around the first part of August the blueberry bushes gave way to bountiful luscious berries. That was many years ago and I do not live in the Northwest anymore but blueberries from the Northwest have flooded the stores and not only brought back those memories, but still remain one of my favorite berries!

What I didn’t know then, but share with you now, are blueberries also support the lung, spleen and stomach meridians. They are a cooling food and one that helps clear out toxins. Blueberries are the best source for anthocyanidin (compounds which protect blood vessels against cholesterol buildup)  and antioxidants that help slow and prevent cell deterioration.  They also support eye function and help protect against age-related macular degeneration. They help with both constipation and diarrhea and are therapeutic for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and peptic ulcers. They have both antiviral and bacteria-fighting capabilities and are useful in countering urinary tract infections. Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
Truly American, blueberries are a native American plant related to azaleas, rhododendrons, huckleberries (another favorite) and cranberries. I still love to eat them plain– right out of the plastic container now—for dessert or make fresh muffins for a Sunday morning treat.  They are also a great addition to smoothies.
For a delicious Summer Smoothie try this Blueberry-watermelon twist:
1 cup watermelon chunks
1 cup blueberries
1/3-1/2 cup yogurt (I use the non-dairy So Delicious made with coconut brand)
2 Tsp. raw organic pumpkin seeds
Place in your vitamin to combine ~ Enjoy!

OR . . .for a special treat fresh hot muffins!Blueberry Muffins - fresh and hot from the oven
Blueberry Muffins out of Grandma Rose’s Book of Sinfully Delicious snacks, nibbles, noshes and other delights, Portland Oregon
5 cups flour (2 ½)

1 cup sweet butter (1/2), room temperature,

4 cups fresh blueberries (2)

1 ½ cups sugar (3/4)

1 tsp. salt (1/2)

5 extra-large eggs (2)

1 T. baking powder (1 ½ tsp.)

2 cups sour cream (1)

2 tsp. baking soda (1)
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Grease standard-size muffin tins. Sift the flour and put 1 cup of it over the blueberries. To the balance of the flour, add salt and baking powder.In a large bowl, cream the butter and add the sugar and eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg. Gradually stir in the remaining flour and the sour cream, to which you have added the baking soda. Don’t beat the muffin batter at this point, simply stir. Fold in the blueberries. Put a heaping tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Bake at 425˚F. for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375˚F.f and bake until the muffins feel solid and are golden brown, for about 20 minutes more.

Cathy’s notes: I usually make half of this recipe. It has been one of my favorites over the years.  Amounts are shown in (parentheses) to the right. Half recipe makes approx. 18 muffins. Also, I bake these muffins at 350˚F. for about 20 minutes. They are delicious—especially now that the blueberries are in season. The muffins shown in the picture, I substituted spelt flour instead of all-purpose to make them gluten free, and used a Turbinado sugar which gives them a darker heartier muffin, but one that is nevertheless very tasty!

Turkish Tacos

Falafel with salad--dinner!

Falafel with salad–dinner!

Travel around the world without leaving home tonight for dinner. I prepare this at least once a month and am surprised when it is a new experience for my guests. It is satisfying for meat eaters and pleases the vegetarians alike.
It’s sort of like eating a taco from Turkey, only instead of ground beef or shredded chicken as the major ingredient, it is chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans. (I know falafel is certainly something odd sounding and foreign, probably where guacamole was 30+ years ago.) Isn’t it nice to grow and discover new cuisines and dishes!

For those who enjoy history, these ancient legumes date back from Turkey to somewhere around 7,000 B.C. They are a nutrient-dense food and are high in protein, fiber and other nutrients without offering a lot of calories.

This dinner makes a great alternative to the regular fare, and I find it also fun. We’re allowed fun for dinner–right? You can serve this in pita or flat bread and garnish with diced cucumber, tomatoes, chopped parsley or cilantro, hummus and/or tahini. A green salad or quinoa salad makes a fine accompaniment. Or as in the photo, make a great dinner salad and include the falalfel in any capacity you choose. Be creative –drizzle tahini and fresh lemon for dressing. (Or dip them in the tahine, the traditional sesame-seed topping.) The most important ingredient is love. I buy the falafel mix–easy, quick and fresh tasting. Please do remember to fry them in grape seed oil as it is able to withstand the heat without damaging your health. Another time saver is to use a small cookie size scoop with the squeeze-action handles!!

falafel

Be well,

Cathy

http://www.cathysilverhealth.com

Spring cleaning; How does that look for you?

Beginning signs of springtime--

On March 20th the sun shines directly on the equator and the night and day are nearly exactly the same in length–12 hours–all over the world; the spring equinox. For us another season.  Spring or springtime is known as a time of renewal, rejuvenation and rebirth.

For some it may mean melting snow and softer breezes or noticing the beauty of the first spring flowers;  crocuses, daffodils or tulips as they merge from their hibernation. Each culture and region have their own customs and their own reminders.

For me it is the inspiration of opening up my home and shaking out the dust–maybe a bit metaphorically now since South Florida is where I live, but a shift is definitely in the air and certainly can be felt on many levels.

Today, I am starting to think about new recipes and new tastes reflected in my choices to eat–about my yearning and desire for new seasonal foods.  I have begun juicing and detoxing rituals. As the cooler weather waves good-bye, I find myself anxious to fire up my Vitamix and begin to make my trade-mark green shakes which I graciously offer to share with all who walk through my kitchen door. Somehow, my body’s innate intelligence seems to know this as I begin to think about foods that I have not really had a desire for in months.

Our ancestors ate seasonally because they had no other options. Newly sprouted greens came up in the spring, fruit ripened in summer, root vegetables sustained them in the fall and animal sources got them through the winter. Alkaline food makes the body detox. How wonderful that nature provides this naturally–leafy greens, berries, cherries, grapefruits, asparagus, spinach, and dandelion greens or wheatgrass come to mind, to cleanse the body from the heavier foods we have enjoyed throughout the colder winter months and that were needed for our survival.

What is your ritual? Are you craving something new? Is it time to begin to detox our systems–flooding our cells with fresh green juices? How can we begin to live in harmony with the natural cycles? Is it a great excuse to try a new way of doing something–perhaps buying local produce from a farmers market once a week?  Maybe it is a “Food upgrade”? Choosing less chemicalized, processed, packaged or drive-through meals?  Whatever you chose, think of the rebirth and renewal of yourself–your cells.  Honor yourself and live in harmony with your body and Mother Earth–treat yourself to the best food you can afford because in the end as Jim Rohn says, “It’s the only place you have to live.”

Maybe a Kitchen Herb Garden would fit you?

Be Well,

In Love and Light,

Cathy

http://www.cathysilverjuiceplus.com

http://www.energiesofhealing.com

SUPERFOODS . . . WHAT ARE THEY?

How could you incorporate some of these and enjoy their benefits?

How could you incorporate some of these and enjoy their benefits?

Super foods are a class of the most potent, super-concentrated, and nutrient rich foods on the planet. As I began to sprinkle them on my super healthy steel cut oats—I thought my followers may want to do the same. Breaking the fast should after all begin with some goodness. So rather than some highly processed—highly refined carbohydrate laden with trans-fat and corn syrup—why not temp yourself with a breakfast the really does a body good!
To make it super-easy and super-fast, I make a big batch of the steel cut oatmeal when I am not rushed for time, and then transfer it into a glass container to store in the refrigerator. I can either take a serving size out and heat it with a bit of Kangen water on the stove—or heat it for a minute if you are still a microwave person—
I dress my wholesome oatmeal making it tasty and delicious adding chia seeds, Maca powder, Goji berries, golden berries and some cacao nibs. I also toss in a few almonds or walnuts. Sometimes I add a bit of rice milk. It is quite a delicious mixture, and it is never quite the same.
Let me share a little about some of the new Superfoods available on the market today. The first thing, is they have a tremendous ability to increase the vital force and energy of one’s body and are the optimum choice for improving over-all health, boosting the immune system, elevating serotonin production, enhancing sexuality, cleansing, lowering inflammation and alkalizing the body—wow! According to David Wolfe, raw foodist and Superfoods expert, “nourishing us at the deepest level possible, they are the true fuel of today’s superhero.”
So, let me talk about a couple . . .
1.) Cacao (Raw Chocolate) The seed/nut of a fruit of an Amazonian tree, cacao is the highest antioxidant food on the planet, the #1 source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, manganese, and chromium and is also extremely high in PEA, theobromine (cardiovascular support) and anandamide (“bliss chemical”). Raw chocolate improves cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, is a natural aphrodisiac, elevates your mood and energy and increases longevity.
2.) Goji Berries (Wolfberries)—used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years. Goji berries are regarded as a longevity, strength-building and potency food of the highest order. This superfood contains 18 kinds of amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids, up to 21 trace minerals, high amounts of antioxidants, iron, polysaccharides, B & E vitamins and many other nutrients.
3.) Maca—A staple in the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years, this adaptogenic superfood increases energy, endurance, strength, and libido. Dried maca powder contains more than 10% protein, nearly 20 amino acids, including 7 essential amino acids. As a root crop, maca contains five times more protein than a potato and four times more fiber.

The weekend is coming—you may be able to catch your breath. Break out of your routine. Try something new. Make a commitment to yourself. You are a spark of the divine—so treat yourself divinely!
“The only way to win, sometimes, is to surrender.”
–Richard Bach
Be Well—and with Love and Light,
Cathy
http://www.energiesofhealing.com
http://www.cathysilverhealth.com
http://www.cathysilverjuiceplus.com

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