Sweet Corn and Polenta Fritters

Sweet Corn and Polenta Fritters Summer sweet corn, polenta, peppers and scallions combine to make a sweet and savory dinner treat

Sweet corn in the summer is the best.  Most of the time I simply steam it and slather on a little butter and sea salt and I am one happy camper.  When I want to make sweet corn the centerpiece of a delicious but simple dinner, I’ll make some form of a corn fritter.  I’ve made corn and zucchini fritters, corn and pepper fritters, and straight up corn fritters.  Usually I use some form of flour or breadcrumb to bind them (gluten free in my case), but this time I thought, why not use polenta?  I gave it a try and voila, my favorite corn fritter yet: Sweet Corn and Polenta Fritters.

It makes perfect sense, I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before!  Really the only tricky thing about fritters is getting them to stick together through the first flip, and making them gluten free adds just a hint more of a challenge, especially since I don’t like to use a lot of gf flour.  Polenta is very stable – it even makes a great pizza crust (Polenta Pizza is a staple in my house).  And what could go better with corn, than more corn?  It’s a match made in heaven.

These corn fritters are sweet, savory, and the texture is fantastic.  The polenta gives them heft so they’re filling enough for a main course, and makes the fritter flipping easy peasy.  They’re naturally gluten free, and substituting dairy-free milk or yogurt can make [...]

By |August 13th, 2015|Uncategorized|

Purslane Salad with Strawberry and Avocado

Harvested purslane, roots snapped off picked and plopped in a bowl Harvested purslane, roots snapped off, picked and plopped in a bowl

This year we have our largest vegetable garden by far.  Thanks to my husband, our family gardener, we have four separate beds that have been planted with nearly a hundred plants including tomatoes, peas, beans, peppers, kale, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, garlic and herbs.  Sounds impressive, and it is (an heroic effort!), but it’s also a comedy of errors.  As organic gardeners we’ve endured pests a plenty, including cabbage worms, tomato blight, slugs, aphids, and most recently…rabbits.  We’ve sprayed our weight in neem oil, sent our toddlers out to chase the rabbits, and even dumped beneficial ladybugs into the garden.

Some of our efforts have been rewarded nicely; our kale looks awesome, we have green tomatoes on several vines, healthy garlic scapes made delicious pesto, and the kids are happily picking snap peas every day.  Other areas of the garden are a little depressing…the rabbits continue to eat down the carrot tops and swiss chard into little stumps, our strawberry plants failed to actually fruit, and the beans have had to be replanted.  Ah well, you win some you lose some, I guess.  We are still learning, after all.  Still, it is hard to put so much effort into some of these plants, only to have them fail to make something edible.

On the other hand, there is one edible plant in our garden that took no effort at all.  Absolutely none, because it’s a weed – purslane.  We didn’t plant it, didn’t plan for it, and yet it’s thriving in its own [...]

Eat Happy the Book: Pre-Orders are Available, with Bonuses!

Eat Happy: Transform Your Health with Foods You Love is available now for pre-order Eat Happy: Transform Your Health with Foods You Love is available now for pre-order

My first book, Eat Happy: Transform Your Health with Foods You Love is now officially available for pre-order here.  And, if you order before 12/1/14 you’ll get some awesome bonuses, including a signed copy, free shipping, and a free month of Eat Happy Meal Plans.  All in plenty of time for the holidays!

If you’re wondering what this book is all about, I’ll try to explain a little more about it.  Basically, after years and years of working with clients to help them find their happiest ways of eating, I’ve come to one big, universal, most-important conclusion.  Yes, each client is unique, and I’ve seen my fair share of food intolerances and/or specific food triggers which make a world of difference to many people.  But that even those individuals still need to learn this most important rule: eat whole foods.

I have seen so many ailments, aches, pains, and discomforts alleviated with a switch to unprocessed foods.  Migraines, joint pain, fatigue, chronic hunger, sugar cravings, heartburn, constipation, IBS, etc etc.

It’s so simple, but in our current food culture – so complicated at the same time.  Truly whole and unprocessed foods are borderline difficult to recognize these days.   What do you buy?  How do you prepare it?  How do you make it taste good and be convenient?  Why is it even important?  This is what Eat Happy is all about!

Real food is so tasty, so simple to prepare, and will make your body feel [...]

The Organic Debate: Ask These Fruit Flies

I love this take on the organic debate – as much as a story about an awesome 8th grader as a story about the importance of organic food.  After listening to a debate her parents were having about the importance of organic foods, a middle school student in Dallas, TX decided to design an experiment for her upcoming science fair devoted to the topic.

Go to the full story for details, but in a nutshell, flies that ate organic bananas and potatoes vs. conventional had better outcomes in fertility, stress resistance, and longevity – nearly every outcome measured.  And, organic produce was found to have higher levels of vitamin C.

The study was so well-designed and compelling that it was published in a prestigious scientific journal – pretty cool beans for a middle schooler!

The research didn’t determine exactly what variable led to the different health outcomes – the variance in nutrient levels, pesticide/fungicide residues, and/or natural chemical compounds present on the produce.

In the press the organic debate appears to go back and forth, but when paying attention to the details I find the reasons to go organic very persuasive.  All of the above theories are compelling reasons to seek out organic when possible.

Does Sugar Make You Sick?

Sugar in various forms

Sugar in various forms

Will your intake of sugar make you sick?  A new book, “Year of No Sugar: A Memoir”, was written after the author watched a popular video discussing how devastating sugar is to the body.  As a result the author devoted an entire year to abstaining from eating processed sugar in nearly any form – not just for herself, but also her husband and two young children.

What is the value in such an extreme experiment?  From the author’s perspective, she appeared to be equally curious about the health effects of sugar as she was excited about an extreme challenge.  I know how pervasive sugar is, and a year without any added sugars is a lot to take on.

But it’s not without value.  From my perspective as a health coach, giving up all sugars for a period of time is extremely effective at accomplishing two goals.  First, it forces people to become hyper-vigilant, read all labels, and ask questions about the foods they’re eating in restaurants.  This provides a lot of information and great perspective about what’s really in purchased food.  My clients and participants in cleanses are nearly always amazed at how much sugar is hidden in their foods – especially foods that we don’t think of as sweet.

Secondly, as long as the experiment is done for at least 2 weeks, people get to experience the physical benefits of eliminating sugar.  Sugar affects people differently, but cutting down or eliminating it virtually always improves overall energy and mood, and can also improve your hormonal balance, reduce headaches, improve skin quality, improve digestion and immunity, and even alleviate allergies, [...]

Whole Foods Cleanse Details: February 2nd-13th, 2014

cleanseI have led hundreds of individuals through various types of cleanses, and have always enjoyed hearing how wonderful they make people feel.  Results vary from predictable (“I feel so much better”) to sometimes astonishing (“I had no idea I could feel this way!”).

So now I’m especially excited to offer my own customized cleanse program: not based on someone else’s book or philosophy, but what I, as a trained health coach experienced in leading others through cleanses, believe to be a gentle but extremely effective program.

So here is what’s involved:

  • 12 days
  • Feast on an abundance of whole, unprocessed foods – no food quantity or calorie restrictions
  • Eliminate the most common allergens and trouble-makers: sugar, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, gluten, and any and all processed foods
  • Highly recommended herbal detox option: Boost your cleanse with the Gaia Supreme Cleanse Kit –supports the natural role of the liver, a healthy lymphatic system, digestion, and elimination

Here is the support you’ll receive to not only survive, but thrive on this cleanse:

  • Two weeks of dinner plans from Eat Happy Meal Plan: cleanse-friendly comprehensive dinner plans, including four dinner recipes per week along with a shopping list and preparation calendar that will help you execute dinner flawlessly
  • Weekly support calls, recorded for your convenience.  All calls will take place from 12pm-1pm.  You will be able to phone in for 24 hours after the live call to listen to the recording, at your convenience
    • Jan 28th – Learn the necessary steps for preparing for the cleanse.
    • Feb 6th – First week check-in: Discuss any questions you have, check in with [...]
  • Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut
    Permalink Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and SauerkrautGallery

    Buckwheat Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut

Buckwheat Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut

Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Lemon Sour Cream and Sauerkraut

A special sneak-peak from next week’s meal plan menu!

I loved smoked salmon well before I knew much about the nutritional benefits of this awesome fish.  It’s smoky, salty, buttery, and wonderfully satisfying.  And, it doesn’t require any preparation on my part!  I just buy the good wild stuff from the grocery store (which, btw, is so much better than farm-raised, I can’t even emphasize it enough).

For a lightning-fast meal you can put smoked salmon on whole grain tortillas or pita pockets, but if you have just a few minutes to whip up a homemade batter, it’s especially delicious on these warm buckwheat pancakes.  The nuttiness of the buckwheat pairs beautifully with the smoky salmon and sweet, refreshing lemon sour cream.  I also love the addition of tangy sauerkraut, which boosts the nutritional value of the meal, but if you’re not a fan you can always leaves this out, or eat it on the side.

As with most pancakes, the real time investment is in the actual cooking – pouring, flipping, repeat, etc.  But here it all works out, because while you’re flipping your pancakes you can mix up the quick lemon sauce, throw together a salad, pour yourself some white wine, or do whatever else you need to do.

If you think smoked salmon on pancakes will make your kids (or husband, or roommate?) look at you like you have lobsters coming out of your ears, never fear: these pancakes are perfect with any number of alternative toppings.  Peanut/almond/sunflower [...]

Improve Your Immunity Naturally

Need natural ways to improve your immunity?  Me too.

Since having kids I’ve become a little obsessed with fending off bugs around this time of year.  About a year ago I wrote a post about 6 steps to boost your immune system.   Well, it’s on my mind again this year, and actually even more relevant, since my oldest started pre-school this September.  She is having a blast and loving school, but there’s been a steady stream of bugs into the house ever since.   And while she’s been remarkably resistant, the rest of us (myself, my 1-year old, and my husband), have been a bit more affected.

When it comes to boosting immunity there are, of course, the pillars of good health: exercise,  a clean and nutritious diet, and enough sleep.  But we all know about those, right?  So what else can you do?  Perhaps, like me, you’re exposure to bugs has increased, or perhaps you’ve been in a rut of feeling unwell for a while, and need to turbo-charge your a efforts.  If you’re already doing the basic stuff and would like a little extra, read on.

Here are 4 cool and effective ways to boost your immune system:

  1. Take a cold shower – This is probably the easiest one on the list.  Takes barely any time at all, is essentially free, and requires no time outside of your current daily schedule.  How does it work?  Research shows that “taking daily cold showers increased the numbers of disease-fighting white blood cells (compared to people who took hot showers)”.  Bonus: they can boost your metabolic rate, help prevent injury, and improve male fertility.  Read more here.  Duration doesn’t need to be long (think a cold rinse – [...]