Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Menu Monday: Apples, Nettles, Soups and Pumpkin Latte

We're trying out a new feature here at Birch Center: Menu Monday, in which we post some menu ideas for the upcoming week. Based on fresh, seasonal (and sometimes wild) ingredients, there will also be some energetic explanation on the food choices based on Chinese medicine. Though it is hard to go wrong (energetically) when you are eating fresh, local foods!

This week we are incorporating foods from our garden:
  • kale
  • beets
  • arugula
from farmer's markets:
  • apples
  • squash/pumpkins (my favorite is delicata squash)
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • onions
  • potatoes
from the grocery store:
  • cucumbers
  • celery
chicken mushroom
from the wild:
  • nettles
  • chicken mushroom
  • burdock root
  • dandelion root
and from my pantry:
  • brown rice
  • beans, canned: black and kidney
  • red lentils
  • raw cashews
  • jar of Indian Curry (vegan)
  • tofu (refrigerated)

I like to start the day with fresh juice. Even though the season is getting colder and juice has a cold energy, it is detoxifying to the body and helps rid the body of excess (such excess weight, which can lead to excess heat which may show up as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, headaches, etc.)

juice ingredients with burdock root
This week's juices:
I may add ginger root to warm up the energy a bit, and I will water the juice down to cut the concentrated sugars.

red lentil, potato, nettle soup
Fall is a perfect season for soups! The soups I'll be making this week are:
A couple rice dishes include:
  • Tofu, Brown Rice, kale, broccoli and onions, tossed with a jar of vegan Indian Curry (I picked this up at the supermarket)
  • Stuffed Delicata Squash - baked squash (don't forget to save and roast the seeds!) stuffed with rice, celery, onions, mushrooms
Simple salads to complement the meals:
  • Romaine lettuce
  • "Garden salad" - using kale and arugula from my garden!
  • Coleslaw (cabbage and carrots)
  • Cucumber and onions
 Finally, as a yummy treat, this Pumpkin Latte, which is vegan and caffeine free!

 Dandelion Coffee:
  • Dig dandelion roots
  • Clean well, chop into small pieces and roast in oven at 350 degrees until dry and brown, about an hour
  • Add a couple Tablespoons of the roasted roots to 4 cups water, simmer 20 minutes.
Cashew Milk:
  •  1/2 cup raw cashews (dry or soaked)
  • 2 dates, pitted (you can omit dates entirely, or substitute with a couple tablespoons honey, agave or maple syrup)
  • 4 cups water
Blend well in a high speed blender such as a vitamix. If you don't have a strong blender, soak the cashews first for at least 1/2 hour to soften. Then blend well. You shouldn't need to strain this milk because cashews are so soft and will blend entirely. 

To make latte, to blender:
  • Add equal amounts of dandelion coffee (hot) and cashew milk to blender. 
  • Add a tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • Add a couple scoops of baked squash or baked pumpkin
  • Optional: agave nectar, honey, maple syrup or dates to sweeten (it may be sweet enough if your cashew milk is sweet)
Blend well and enjoy.

I hope this menu gives you some great ideas for healthy seasonal foods this week.

~ Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac.

To schedule an acupuncture appointment, please call (412) 381-0116 or email BirchCenter@gmail.com.

Questions about acupuncture? Call (412) 381-0116 or email BirchCenter@gmail.com

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