Greens, Greens, Greens: Wintery Kale Beet Salad and Green Toddler Muffins!

SPONSORED POST: I’ve partnered with Milk & Eggs, an amazing farm direct grocery delivery service, to bring you guys some delicious, super seasonal, and always healthy recipes a few times a month.  I’m so excited to share some of my favorite dishes with you!

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In this installment of our collaboration seasonal cooking with Milk & Eggs farm direct grocery delivery, I am really excited to talk about more wintery seasonal eating, particularly of greens.  Dark leafy greens are one of the most nutrient-rich and delicious foods that come out of winter, and this is the perfect time of year to increase our intake of these blood-purifying, immunity-boosting foods.

To get the most out of the season’s local produce, specifically greens, nothing beats the Milk & Eggs Organic Farm Sampler Bag (pictured below), which is the most budget friendly way I’ve found to get a load of delicious, local, seasonal cooking going on in my kitchen and onto my family’s plates.  At the insanely reasonable price of $29.99, you get SO MUCH ORGANIC PRODUCE, it’s kind of crazy.  This week, I received a big bunch of kale, a bag of spinach, two heads of green leaf lettuce, celery, beets, a bell pepper, 3 heads of broccoli, a few bananas, an assortment of citrus fruits and a carton of strawberries.  WHAT?!  This usually costs me $50 or more at Whole Foods or my neighborhood natural foods store.

Seasonal Cooking with Milk & Eggs | The Organic Beauty Blog

In addition to being super budget friendly, the organic farm sampler is a great way to get all the fruits and veggies you need for the week!  This one bag has yielded countless salads, smoothies, soups, and toddler meals this week, and with the addition with a few other items in our standing order (organic greek yogurt, sprouted whole grain bread, wild-caught salmon), I’m able to feed our family of three delicious, healthy meals that come straight from our local California farms.  Boom!

My two favorite seasonal cooking recipes this week are lovely little showcases of winter’s bounty that made perfect use of my Organic Farm Sampler Bag!

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Dinner Tonight: Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Vegan Potato Leek Soup | The Organic Beauty Blog

Even though winter in Santa Monica comes in a very mild 50-60 degree variety, the evenings do get chilly enough to light the fireplace and incite a desire for soup.  Delicious warming soups are literally the only thing that used to get me through the gross New York winters I was subjected to for years, so I’m happy that the tradition can continue here on the West Coast, if under slightly (ok majorly) less depressing circumstances.

I’ve been posting some of our soup creations on my Instagram and received a request for recipes, so I’ll do my best to post our favorites here throughout the season, to inspire you all (especially those of you who are freezing your little butts off in the rest of the country ; )

Our weekly soup is influenced in no small part by what that week’s CSA bounty was, which keeps us on our toes and keeps things interesting.

This week, we got a ton of leeks, potatoes and herbs, so this soup was pretty much a no-brainer.  I added a can of organic coconut milk at the end to make it creamier, healthy-fattier, and a touch more decadent — and I highly recommend you do the same!  Almond milk will do in a pinch, but I really like the particular flavor that the coconut milk lends.  Enjoy!

Vegan Potato Leep Soup

Serves 4

V / GF

2 tbsp olive oil
6-8 medium potatoes, cubed (any kind will do, I used a mix)
2 leeks, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
6 cups vegetable broth (I use water and Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth Powder)
1 can organic coconut milk
1 green onion, chopped (for garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the potatoes, garlic and leeks and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until leeks begin to soften.  Add the pepper, thyme and bay leaves and give it a stir.  Add the broth, and bring to a boil.  Cover, lower heat, and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, and remove bay leaves.  Puree with an immersion blender.  Add coconut milk and salt to taste. Puree until creamy.  Garnish with chopped green onion.

Delicious Fresh Pumpkin Bread

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Fresh Pumpkin Bread | The Organic Beauty

Ok yes. I may have gone a little bit gourd-crazy.  I had like 5 of those festive puppies sitting around in my kitchen, and decided that Sunday night was the perfect time to put them all to good use!  I roasted up a sugar pumpkin (used in this recipe), a delicata squash, an acorn squash, and another squash of unknown origin (thanks CSA!) for a whole week’s worth of yummy soup and healthy lunches.

But this bread takes the cake (so to speak!).  Made with fresh organic pumpkin (none of that canned crap!), it makes for a delicious breakfast and has the consistency of a perfect pumpkin pie.  Plus it’s gluten-free and has no white sugar!

To make the pumpkin puree:

Cut a sugar pumpkin in half, remove the seeds (wash and save them for roasting!), and roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Let cool, then puree in food processor until smooth (it should have the consistency of apple sauce).  If puree is a little dry, add water to reach desired consistency.

Gluten-Free Fresh Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

1.5 cups fresh pumpkin puree
2 cups coconut flour
1.5 cups gluten-free flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk (or more, to reach batter-like consistency)
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/2 cup organic raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, palm sugar, baking soda, salt and spices.  Add eggs, water, almond milk, oil, and pumpkin.  Stir until smooth. Add walnuts and raisins (if using). Pour into two oiled loaf pans. (I actually had a little extra, which I poured into a muffin tin.)  Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Dinner Tonight: Detoxifying Spring Salad

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

This delicious salad incorporates a whole bunch of spring’s detoxifying bounty — from mucous eradicating root veggies, to gut flora restoring probiotic greens, to lymph destagnating berries.  Quite literally, the perfect springtime supper for detoxifying, slimming, and energizing the body.

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Any Root Winter Vegetable Soup

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Any-Root-Vegetable-Soup-Organic-Beauty

There’s nothing like a warm, comforting bowl of soup on a chilly early winter evening, and throwing together an amazingsoup from what you have on hand is so much easier than you think!  Not only is this any-root vegetable soup deceptively simple, you can make it with literally whatever seasonal veggies you have on hand. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, celeriac, carrots, turnips… anything!  Perfect for those winter CSA deliveries you don’t know what to do with ; ) Make a big pot to last you all week long for a perfect, healthy dinner that will keep you slim, warm, and healthy all winter long.

Any Root Vegetable Winter Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving

1 large onion or 2 leeks (white and light green part only), diced

2 to 3 celery stalks, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 rosemary or thyme branches

2 bay leaves

3 1/2 pounds mixed root vegetables (whatever you have on hand–carrot, parsnip, celery root, turnip, rutabaga, sweet or regular potato), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 teaspoons sea salt, or more as needed

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or more as needed

Juice of 1/2 organic lemon, plus more for serving

Red pepper flakes, optional

 

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot.
  2. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, rosemary or thyme, and bay leaves, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add root vegetables, 8 cups water, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  6. Remove rosemary branches and bay leaves.
  7. Puree the soup in batches in your blender, or use an immersion blender.  Puree until smooth.
  8. Season with lemon juice, and add a little extra salt, if needed.
  9. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a few extra drops of lemon juice, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper (optional), and a sprig of thyme or rosemary.

Delicious, Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes!

A slow-cooker is an amazingly convenient kitchen tool that really makes life easier for busy people.  You can basically just throw a bunch of healthy, whole food ingredients into your slow cooker, go to bed, and have a delicious healthy lunch to take with you to work!  Or, have your slow-cooker running while you’re at work to come home to a hearty, healthy soup or stew for dinner!  Especially now, as the weather begins to cool, this is one time-saving tool that you’ll come to rely on for quick, healthy meals.  Check out some of my favorite slow-cooker recipes below… Note how short the preparation time and directions are!

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Stew

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Stew

Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 7hr 30m

Ingredients

  • 4  large organic carrots, diagonally sliced into 2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 2  medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1  large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  14-ounce can diced organic tomatoes
  • 1  cup organic vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1  zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1  16-ounce can chickpeas, drained

Directions

  1. Combine the carrots, turnips, onion, garlic, tomatoes (with their liquid), broth, salt, cumin, and pepper flakes in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours.
  2. Add the zucchini and chickpeas and cook 1 hour longer on low.

{From Real Simple}

Barley Risotto with Fennel

Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3-4 hoursIngredients

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, cored and finely diced, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fronds
  • 1 cup pearl barley, or short-grain brown rice
  • 1 small organic carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1-1 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups frozen French-cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional) — You can substitute nutritional yeast for the vegan option!
  • 1/3 cup pitted oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Crush fennel seeds with the bottom of a saucepan. Combine the fennel seeds, diced fennel, barley (or rice), carrot, shallot and garlic in the slow cooker. Add broth, 1 cup water and wine, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the barley (or rice) is tender, but pleasantly chewy, and the risotto is thick and creamy, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours on high or low.
  2. Shortly before serving, cook green beans according to package instructions and drain. Turn off the slow cooker. Stir the green beans, Parmesan, olives, lemon zest and pepper into the risotto. If it seems dry, heat the remaining 1/2 cup water and stir it into the risotto. Serve sprinkled with the chopped fennel fronds.

{From Eating Well}

Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

Serves 8
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours (including the 1-hour quick-soak for chickpeas)Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions

  1. Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain when ready to use.
  2. Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  3. Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6 1/2 hours.
  4. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.

{From Eating Well}

Slow-Cooker Seafood Gumbo

Slow-Cooker Seafood Gumbo

Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 25m
Total Time: 5hr 30m

Ingredients

  • 2  stalks celery, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1  medium onion, sliced (1 cup)
  • 1  organic green pepper, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  cups organic vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1  14-ounce can diced organic tomatoes
  • 2  tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2  teaspoons  kosher salt
  • 1  teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1  pound  large raw shrimp, cleaned
  • 1  pound  fresh or frozen crabmeat
  • 10-ounces fresh or frozen okra, thawed and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat olive oil.  Add the celery, onion, green pepper, and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Spoon the vegetables into slow-cooker and add the broth, tomatoes (with their liquid), Worcestershire, salt, and thyme.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours, or on high for 2 hours. Add the shrimp, crabmeat, and okra, and cook 1 hour longer on low heat or 1/2 hour longer on high.
  3. Delicious served over rice!

{Modified from Real Simple}

Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew


Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutesIngredients

  • 6 bone-in organic, free-range chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed of fat
  • 2 pounds organic sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into spears
  • 1/2 pound white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 large shallots, peeled and halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

Directions

  1. Place chicken, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, wine, rosemary, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine. Put the lid on and cook on low until the potatoes are tender, about 5 hours. Before serving, remove bones from the chicken, if desired, and stir in vinegar.
  2. Delicious served over quinoa!

{From Eating Well}