Category: Guest Post

Sweet Pea & Pearl Onion Pesto Smothered Zucchini Noodles

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I have such a special treat for you today. Since I am in the final stretch of writing my manuscript (!!!), I’ve asked Julie from the Alkaline Sisters to take over this week. She’s created a gorgeous spring recipe for all of you who really need a bite of brightness (I figure that is anyone who has survived the polar vortex, am I right?). I’ve been a fan of Julie’s site for a long time now, but we met in person for the first time last summer and the serendipitous sparks flew! We’ve been online pals ever since. She is an expert on achieving alkalinity, and I’ve asked her to give us the low-down on this very topic. After curing her own health issues with an alkaline diet, she is sharing her inspiring journey and culinary creations on her beautiful blog. She also has a book in the works and I know it is going to be absolutely amazing! Can’t wait.

I will be back very soon, but in the meantime let’s all sit back and learn something from this very wise woman. Thank you Julie, for sharing your knowledge with us! What a blessing.

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I’m so pleased that I could support Sarah by sharing a recipe with you today as she nears completion of her book.  I can only imagine the juggling that is happening as she cares for her wee babe in between wielding her heavy camera and cooking up some tasty business to style and photograph, not to mention the writing required to explain the recipe.  Lord knows I understand the process since I just recently handed my cook book manuscript in to my publisher, phew!

When we had lunch last summer we realized that we were both working with the same publisher, what are the chances of that?  We’ve both been feverishly working away on our cook books but I certainly didn’t give birth to a newborn baby as I worked thru the chapters of my book!  I swear Sarah has somehow acquired super powers as she’s hardly missed a beat here on the blog!  She’s managed to continually inspire you and I with a fabulous new recipe pretty much every week since she started the book, save for popping out a beautiful baby boy!  That’s more than I can attribute to since I took a bit of a hiatus from my blog to work on my book while caring for my family of 4, trying to stay sane and enjoy the journey.

So here I am, happily giving her a bit of relief so she can wrap up the final details of her book. Now she can focus, take good care of her precious family, knowing that you are inspired for yet another week. So lets do this:)

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With Spring making it’s way here I can’t wait to begin tasting the seasonal flavours that I have missed since last year.  Sweet green peas always make me think of brighter sunnier days and the bursting greens of budding trees.  I may be jumping the gun on the spring pea season here, just a little, hehe but you’ll be glad I did if you are a fan of sweet peas!  I’m cheating with frozen peas so please forgive me for my enthusiasm with the lead up to my favourite time of year.  Because my horoscope is Aries, I come by it honestly:)

This tasty dish is a little bit raw and a little bit cooked, keeping as many nutrients in tact as possible. It’s kind of a nice combo for this in between time of year. And guess what? It’s alkalizing too….well of course!   This Alkaline Sister here is happy to inspire you with a recipe that will help you balance your alkalinity.  (If you are keen for a wee bit more information about the alkaline lifestyle read on below the recipe.) This is a quick and easy recipe to pull together, even for lunch.

The pea pesto is made with a generous portion of peas that are action packed with phytonutrients that provide us with key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Peas also contain an impressive amount of health promoting omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA as well as omega-6 fats called linolenic acids.  One cup has about 30 milligrams of omega-3 and 130 milligrams of omega-6.  As for protein and fibre, green peas pack about 8-10 grams per cup.  These two macronutrients keep your blood sugar levels well regulated since they support the break down of the natural sugars and carbohydrates as they pass through your digestive track.

Once thought of as being a starchy vegetable peas are proving to be much more than that. They are effective in lowering our risk of chronic health issues related to inflammation.  And studies show that inflammation is at the root of most health issues, so eat your peas!  While you’re at it, eat your zucchini and some onions too!  All of these alkalizing vegetables in this recipe provide the body with beneficial cancer-preventive nutrients.  You can’t go wrong here so give this recipe a whirl and see how you like it.

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Thank you kindly Sarah, for trusting me to share a nourishing alkaline recipe with your treasured readers that you take such good care of.  It’s been an honour and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my alkaline message with your loyal followers.

Here’s an extra special mini lesson on alkalinity and how it can be of benefit to your healthy lifestyle:

The most alkaline foods are green and of high water content as in cucumber, celery, broccoli, and greens like kale, chard, romaine etc. Lemons & limes are also highly alkaline once metabolized even though they are acidic outside the body before you ingest them.  This chart shows the degree of alkalinity of many foods to give you a better idea.  On this chart you’ll also notice the list of foods that are acidic and their scores that you can pay attention to with regard to the ratio that you include in your daily meals. Pretty much any food that is a concentrated food with low water content, is highly processed or contains sugar–including fruit, is acidic to the body and should be consumed in approximately a 20-30% daily proportion.  If you are seriously ill this ratio will be more like 0-5%.  Please remember to always consult a medical professional when considering a drastic lifestyle change.

Choosing alkaline foods in a 70 to 80% ratio with the balance of acidic foods allows you to still enjoy some of the wholesome foods you are accustomed to. A visual measurement for each meal or over the period of the day is all that is necessary to maintain a balanced intake of alkaline foods.  No weighing or counting of calories is necessary. And guess what?  By following a highly alkaline lifestyle you’ll discover that a bonus side effect is weight loss or a return to your natural body weight.

You may already be very conscientious with your healthy lifestyle but with a bit of tweaking in the alkaline department you might find you have even more energy, fewer colds and any nagging symptoms slowly dissipate.

To increase your alkaline foods intake it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…a,b,c…
1. add a green smoothie to your morning or a green juice

2. add a big salad to your lunch or make it your lunch

3. add a salad and steamed veggies to your dinner

And we all know that we need to….
a. drink more water— 3-4 litres of filtered, hopefully alkaline water each day- to flush acids and hydrate the body

b. exercise to flush your lymph, blood and tissues of acidic matter

c. stay on top of your stress levels and find ways to deal with negative thoughts- meditation, yoga etc. (stress causes acids to form within the body)

By slowly adapting your lifestyle and following these basics along with doing a seasonal detox you will keep disease at bay and the cold and flu bugs will leave you for good!

Six years ago, with a dramatic shift to this alkaline lifestyle, I resolved the excruciating pain that I was experiencing from a seriously herniated disc that stopped me in my tracks from living my life. This lifestyle shift resulted in a welcome side effect of easily and quickly dropping 40lbs of post baby excess weight that I was struggling with.

Our modern diet is often overly acidic even if we consider it to be healthy thus many of us suffer from a myriad of illnesses that are directly related to an overly acidic body.  But the good news is….. that you can turn your health around by flooding the body with alkalinity.

A green smoothie cheers to your good, alkaline health :)
Julie the Alkaline Sister

Daikon Roll-Ups at Design*Sponge!

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When I first began blogging, there were a few sites that I really looked up to. Of course we had the obvious ones like 101cookbooks, and anything written by good ol’ Martha, but I was also rather obsessed with Design*Sponge. No, it didn’t really have anything to do with food specifically, but there was something so alluring about Grace’s site. I think the domestic goddess inside me just loved (and still loves) pouring over images of others peoples’ lovely homes, clever DIYs and the tasty recipes. It’s kind of a one-stop shop for all the lifestyle inspiration you’ll ever need.

Seeing as I was such a fan, after a few years of blogging I decided to take the plunge and email Design*Sponge in hopes of contributing something to their “In the Kitchen with” column. To date, I have written to them on three separate occasions, and receiving nothing but their auto-reply each time. No big deal. They are busy ladies over there. And I figured I was nowhere near cool enough to be included. BUT! What should appear in my inbox last month but an email from them. Fist. Pump. I finally made it into the club.

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I really love entertaining, and making beautiful food for friends seems to be on the top of my list most days. This time of year I find myself having many casual get-togethers because people are actually up for leaving their houses to socialize and spend time outside. Hooray! I made these Daikon-Roll Ups with Miso Mint Pea Filling especially for guests because they are so beautiful and fresh for summer, but you could easily make them as a little meal for yourself.

The roll-ups use daikon here, but you could also use thick carrots sliced in ribbons, or even cabbage or Swiss chard leaf cups. The miso mint pea filling is delicious as a dip and can be served on its own with crudités or toasts. Whatever you choose to do with it, I would still sprinkle the sesame on top – it’s a wonderful addition and a tasty compliment to the miso.

Thank you to Design*Sponge for asking me to contribute a recipe to your site – it is a true honor! Head on over to see the full recipe here

xo, Sarah B

Guest Post from Green Kitchen Stories: Raw Sprouted Granola with Yoghurt, Blueberry Sauce and Fresh Fruit

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Hello friends! I am back from Turkey – what a fantastic trip. I have lots of stories, photos, and inspiration to share, but I was lucky enough to have my friends over at Green Kitchen Stories write the post this week while I get back into the groove. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Green Kitchen Stories, you are in for a real treat. Created by the über-talented couple David and Luise, GKS is a veritable gold mine of recipes, cooking techniques, and healthy advice for anyone in of need of culinary inspiration. The enormous success and popularity of their blog has allowed them to branch off into other avenues, such as their fantastic Green Kitchen app, and most recently, a cookbook deal! I can’t tell you how excited I am to hold a copy in my hungry little hands, along with the many other GKS groupies. 

I have been blog buddies with David and Luise for some time now (as you may recall the 
White Velvet Soup guest post I wrote for them back in the day), but it wasn’t until just a couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting them in person. Over green juices in the sunshine we finally got to sit face-to-face, connect, and discuss all the things we are so passionate about (you can guess that it was a long talk). They are a totally down-to-earth, humble, and immensely inspiring pair that I feel honored to know. I want to extend a huge thanks to both of them (and their adorable taste-testing toddler), for creating this gorgeous breakfast that will take us all out the morning meal rut! 
Are you caught in The Bad Breakfast ritual? Are you sick of toast, coffee and orange juice? Are you always tired, stressed and grumpy in the morning? Fear not, pick up your phone and call the Green Kitchen Stories Breakfast Hotline – We Promise You a Better Morning! 
Ok, just a little bit of hubris there. But seriously, we know how it is. You want to get those few minutes of extra sleep and make a quick decision to have a to-go coffee instead of eating a proper breakfast at home. We were totally like that before we had our daughter. We are both late sleepers. So much, that David often even skipped breakfasts completely and Luise more than once has been seen running out the door with her morning smoothie spilled over half her t-shirt, just to get a few minutes extra sleep. Well, that was then. Now Elsa pulls us up from our bed early every morning. And all of a sudden we have at least a full hour to spend in the kitchen before heading to work. So nowadays our breakfast rituals are constantly evolving. Porridge, baked oatmeal, pancakes, fruit salad, omelet, frittata, yogurt, rye bread, granola, smoothie. Been there done that. When you got a lot of time you realize that there is a whole world of breakfasts to explore. So if you don’t have kids yet, make sure to set that alarm clock half an hour earlier (no snoozing!), and you will find that breakfasts actually can be pretty darn delicious.

Our latest breakfast love affair is this raw sprouted granola. It is less sweet and more crunchy than a normal granola, and if you serve it with a blueberry sauce, yogurt and some fresh fruit, you have yourself a perfect breakfast (and if you add some honey on the top it could also become the perfect dessert). We are not going to loose ourselves in nutritional values, or explain the advantages with sprouting, nobody does that like Sarah B! We can however tell you that both buckwheat and quinoa are gluten free seeds, so hooray for that!

How to sprout Buckwheat & Quinoa Seeds
You will need:
2 glass jars
2 screen lids (if you don’t have a screw on sprouting lid you can make your own with a cheesecloth, a hardware cloth OR a nylon stocking and a rubber band)
1 cup buckwheat seeds (hulled groats)
½ cup quinoa

Directions:
1. Start by rinsing your seeds in a strainer under running water, then pick out any dark seeds, stones or any imperfect seeds. Transfer your seeds into the sprouting jar. 
2. Add 2-3 times as much, fresh water. Soak for at least 30 minutes (buckwheat take up all the water they need quickly), then drain off the soak water. Rinse the seeds until the water runs clear and drain very thoroughly.
3. Set your sprouting jar in a bright place (out of direct sunlight) at room temperature. Rinse and drain well about every 4 hours (no, you don’t have to go up at night). The sprouts will be done in 36-48 hours or when the sprouting tail is as long as the seed. (Quinoa sprouts quicker than buckwheat).
Store in a sealed container and put them in your refrigerator. Use within 1-2 weeks.

Raw Sprouted Granola with Yoghurt, Blueberry Sauce and Fresh Fruit
Serves 4

Granola
½ cup golden linseeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup dried apricots & prunes
2 cups buckwheat sprouts (see above)
1 cup quinoa (see above)
1 tsp. vanilla extract OR ½ tsp ground vanilla powder
4 Tbsp. sweetener of your choice (liquid honey, agave, apple syrup etc)
Directions:
1. Put linseeds, pumpkin seeds, apricots and prunes in a large bowl and cover with water. Let them soak for at least 1 hour. Drain the excess water. 
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir around. Evenly spread the batter onto two baking sheets or dehydrator sheets. Place in the oven on the lowest temperature possible OR in a dehydrator for about 6-8 hours or until golden and crispy.
Blueberry & Apple Sauce
Ingredients:
1 cup blueberries (frozen are fine)
1 medium size apple, diced
2 TBSP unsweetened apple juice (or sweetener of your choice)
Directions:
Place all ingredients in a small pot on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil and lower the heat, let simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and puree with an emersion blender or fork if you like it chunky.
How to Assemble:
- Blueberry & Apple Sauce
- Buckwheat & Quinoa Granola
- A full-fat organic yoghurt (Greek/Turkish)
- Fruit salad

Place 2 spoonful of blueberry sauce in the bottom of the glass, then 2-3 spoonfuls of granola, 2-3 spoonfuls of yoghurt and finally some fruit salad on top. Good morning!


Copyright 2012 My New Roots at mynewroots.blogspot.com