Sunday, January 17, 2010

Life is Sweet

Welcome to step 2. We are midway through January and the gluttony of the holidays probably feels like a distant memory. Hopefully the green vegetables helped to make that happen, and hopefully you are all feeling better for them.

The past few weeks, right after January 2nd (Chop's 32nd birthday and Wes' 3rd month birthday), I started to get back to work. Fortunately I am able to work for myself, and so when I go back, I say who- I say when- I say who(!) (just a quick line from Pretty Woman-the only movie we owned when I was growing up-just pops up from time to time.) So who and when? This week a group of brave (some really brave-this is their second time round) are starting a new cleanse group. I am really excited for this one. It is a smaller group which is always a little more fun for me, I am able to get a bit more personal with each individual. So the cleanse group should be fun and I will be making some great new recipes throughout the 10 days which I hope to share here.

Last Thursday I attended another great event for RI Health Counseling. I wanted to post about it here, before it actually took place- a little shameless promotion, but I never found the time. The event was called Beauty From the Inside Out (yes! an absolute favorite truth). I was the resident HC. There was a stylist, Lulu Locks, of Providence Pinup-they have an awesome website and service-haven't we all wanted to be a pinup at some point in our lives, someday I will post my pinup pictures here (when I actually do it). And the author of the book You'd Be So Pretty If... (teaching our daughters to love their bodies), Dara Chadwick. The event took place at Into The Wardrobe, a fabulous upscale resale clothing shop in Providence. Women had fun, shopping, eating, mingling, getting tips from the stylist and talking health and body image. I had alot of fun being back in the health counselor role and balancing it with my mommy role. My mother had Wes in the less congested area of the shop, so I was able to feed and hold him when he needed, and when I needed.

I had made a good amount of food for the BFTIO event, which ended up being a great way to talk about what I do. It also gave me the opportunity to share some recipes, I especially love sharing recipes when they are really simple-they showcase just how easy eating whole foods can be. I made the Raw Chocolate Truffles which I've shared here before as well as the Red Pepper Spread (also known as mock "salmon"), and an avocado dip-which was not guacamole!

Avocado Dip

1 avocado
2 Tbl raw tahini
1/3 cup raw cashews
3 Tbl Lemon juice
1 Tbl maple syrup (grade b if you can)
salt and pepper to taste

In the food processor-grind cashews till fine. Add avocado and tahini-process. Add remaining ingredients.
Its creamy, its nutty, its dreamy.

Ok so about this feeling good after the holidays plan. The next step is to make your life sweet in some non-refined sweetener kind of ways. Taking walks, getting fresh air even if it means stepping away and just taking a few breaths outside, stretching while Wes is on his playmat, letting the dishes sit for just another hour till Chop comes home, and eating sweet vegetables. Yes yes yes...this was a trick I never would believe, until I saw it work for me time and time again. Fortunately too, we are in the middle of sweet vegetable season. By increasing the amount of sweet vegetables in your diet, you are getting the sweet flavor, without the sugar. Fruit has sugar, dried fruit has more sugar, a sweet potato has less. And usually when you cook a root vegetable there is always enough for more than one meal. Cook once- eat twice, gotta love it.

So with that I made, mashed sweet potatoes (cook a bunch at once, you'll find uses for the rest throughout the week). I put half of the plain mashed potatoes aside and to the other half I added a little bit of soy milk, a small amount of butter (the dark yellow, real butter kind) and salt and pepper. With some Mushroom miso gravy, wow.

Later in the week I had some wild shrimp I was looking to cook up, but for some reason sweet potatoes and shrimp just didn't flow for me. I needed to come up with a way for the sweet potatoes to kick it with the shrimp. When I was in SE Asia, I met a girl in Laos who made pumpkin burgers. I don't think she used pumpkin like we know them, but another type of root vegetable that was very similar. This was a food I did not expect to see in Laos and it opened my eyes to what grows there and how they may use the different foods-not neccasarily the standard snap pea, bamboo shoot, soy sauce asian dishes we are more familiar with here. Anyway, I thought asian and experimented a little, with sweet potato/cabbage pancakes. Delicious.

Sweet Potato/Cabbage Pancakes

3-4 mashed sweet potatoes (or grated would be good-if you hadn't cooked them yet)
1/4 head of green cabbage (another sweet vegetable), chopped
2 handfuls arugula (adds green and spice)
1 egg
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 inch piece ginger (grated)
1 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl rice vinegar
1 Tbl maple syrup
1 Tbl toasted sesame oil

Saute onions and garlic in sesame oil till translucent.
Add ginger-cook another minute or 2 (allowing the ginger's flavor to release)
Add cabbage, cook till softened (if using grated uncooked sweet potato-add now as well).
Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup and arugula. Mix till arugula starts to wilt.
Mix all ingredients into sweet potato. Add egg and mix.

Use either coconut oil or sesame oil to pan fry the pancakes.

Love the sweet taste of green cabbage raw or sauteed.

The pancakes with the splash of green from the arugula- i bet scallions would be great in this recipe as well.

Sweet potato pancakes and shrimp kickin it together. Delicious!

So I'm hoping the sweet vegetable, green vegetable formula will be working for you all as well. I am hoping to share some more sweet vegetable/ seasonal recipes soon!


DaraChadwick said...

Hi, Persephone:

It was a blast to meet you at Into the Wardrobe. Thanks for introducing me to the chocolate truffles :-)

Stacie said...

I love the recipes! I just made the avocado dip, and I've already made the pepper spread twice!!Yummy, thanks for sharing.

persephone said...

Hi Dara and Stacie-
So exciting to meet 2 new interesting super women! Glad you like the recipes.

Dara-great meeting you too! you'll have to make it to BI