Achy joints may need extra attention especially in the winter when you may not be moving as much! Do you know that stagnation is not good for achy joints? You need to keep moving if you want to help your joints. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but they need movement to keep them healthy. You just want to make sure you are doing the right exercises. For example if you suffer with bad knees or hip issues, jogging would not be good. You get the picture!

This drink is so comforting – perfect for winter! It’s soothing and immune boosting! Drinking it before bed actually helps you have a more restful sleep while boosting your immunity while you sleep.

The secret spice actually is the curcumin in the turmeric that has numerous health benefits. Curcumin has been extensively studied. It has shown benefits to support digestion as well as alleviate inflammation in your digestion system. Boosts immunity, reduces inflammation due to osteoarthritis to name a few and has numerous studies in reduction in many types of cancer.

Too many benefits not to include this in your diet several times a week! If you aren’t allergic to tree nuts, I find it’s most delicious using cashew milk (regular dairy is inflammatory so I wouldn’t use that). I used cashew milk but it’s commonly made with other non-dairy milk such as almond or coconut or any combo of them both.  

If you can find fresh turmeric it really comes out so delicious vs. dried turmeric in your spice aisle – although that is good too but fresh just has a different flavor.  You can find fresh turmeric at your local supermarket (my stop & shop carries it), Whole Foods, or health food store should also have it if they sell produce.   Here’s a picture so you know what you are looking for:

Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk

Servings 1
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashew milk my favorite is Elmhurst Brand (so creamy)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh turmeric or 1 tsp dried turmeric (fresh is best)
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1” sliced
  • Pinch black pepper freshly cracked
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp organic raw coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp raw honey optional

Instructions

  1. Heat in a saucepan, over medium heat until hot but not boiling.

  2. Stir and let steep for about 5 minutes. 

  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve over a mug. 

  4. Serve with an additional sprinkling of black pepper (helps with absorption) and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

Recipe Notes

You can find fresh turmeric at your local supermarket (my stop & shop carries it), Whole Foods, or health food store should also have it if they sell produce.  

 

Lets just say I’m not big on waffles.  But, I am loving these pumpkin paleo waffles especially since they are gluten free and you’d never know it.

Yup that’s me! Not even the kind that you would get wrapped around an ice cream cone. I really never got into what was so special about waffles even before I was gluten free.  I guess it’s because I rarely ate that kind of stuff when I was a kid probably because my mom didn’t buy or make them.  This waffle maker was given to me at my bridal shower 26 years ago – hence the hearts ;).  The recipe would be even better if I had a belgium waffle maker but this did the trick for now.

A few weeks ago one of my personal chef clients requested chicken and waffles for the kids!  Ever since then I’ve been kind of craving waffles plus my kids prefer waffles over pancakes. Happens a lot when I cook for my clients.  When Sunday rolled around, this was exactly what we had two weeks in a row!  

Enjoy!  Let me know if you try them and what you think!

Pumpkin Paleo Waffles

Delicious light and fluffy paleo pumpkin waffles.

Servings 6
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 4 ea eggs
  • 2 tbs avocado oil
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk (can use vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 tbs organic maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour + 1 tbs
  • 1/2 cup arrow root flour + 1 tbs
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour + 1 tbs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Heat your waffle maker as you are putting together the recipe.

  2. Blend all the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, almond milk, eggs, vanilla, avocado oil). 

  3. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients. 

  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients while whisking either by hand or with a powered hand blender until it is completely combined.  It will thicken a bit as it sits.

  5. Spray your waffle iron with oil so it doesn't stick.  Pour the waffle mixture in the middle of your iron.  I can't tell you exactly how much because every iron is different.  Mine makes 4 waffles at a time.  Mine also beeps when it's ready although I prefer to check it a little before I know it might beep otherwise mine gets a bit too dark.  You want to cook them until they are golden and crisp.

  6.   Serve with maple syrup and grass-fed butter if you choose.

 

This is the perfect warm and comforting dairy-free vegetarian/vegan dish for a cold NY night!  

I don’t eat rice very often because I have a very slow metabolism and well rice just doesn’t do well when you have a slow metabolism!  Lots of my clients have either a love or a hate relationship with curry but I encourage you to try it.  I didn’t love them years ago but I do now!  They are very comforting and grounding especially in the winter months they are perfect because we need to incorporate more warming foods! Both the inflammatory spices of ginger and turmeric in this dish help with inflammation and are good for your gut as well!

Let me know in the comments if you try the recipe what you think!!  I would love to hear your results!  The recipe is super easy and comes together so quickly – my kind of recipe!  It’s easily a mid-week meal!

Chick Pea Curry with Kale

Dairy-free Chick Pea Curry with Kale & Basmati Rice

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 3 cans organic chick peas drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cans coconut milk organic native forest brand
  • 2 cups vegetable stock I like natures promise (1/2 box)
  • 2 tbsp madras curry
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger heaping
  • 1 dash garam masala optional (it's not completely necessary)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 3 ea plum tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste heaping
  • 1 bunch kale large bunch - stemmed and chopped
  • 4-5 ea carrots sliced
  • 1 med onion small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt or to taste
  • evoo for cooking
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (dry to cook)
  • crushed hot pepper upon serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare basmati rice according to package directions and cook for approximately 18 minutes on low.  Set aside when done.  

  2. Meanwhile, saute onion in extra virgin olive oil in a wide braising type pan or dutch oven.  Add carrots, ginger and garlic and continue heating for just a few minutes more.

  3. Add coconut milk and vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, stir in tomato paste.  Add curry and rest of spices.

  4. Add rinsed chick peas. Add the chopped kale and bring to simmer. Reduce and adjust spices according to taste.  Sprinkle with crushed hot pepper for extra spice when serving.

While we sometimes do need a prescription for certain ailments or life threatening situations true health arises when we balance our mind, body and spirit.  We need to look to ourselves for the answers.

What Does a Balanced Healthy Life Really Look Like?

Getting there doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not really a destination!  Good health nourishes you from inside out.  Starting with the how we talk to ourselves – self love. Our bodies are meant to work like a well-oiled machine and in perfect harmony.  It’s truly miraculous!  When given the right ingredients your body can heal itself but you need to be aware of what’s going on and do not ignore the symptoms it gives you.  A healthy balanced life doesn’t have debilitating side effects like some prescriptions do especially if taken long term for a chronic issue.  Especially most of them weren’t even designed to be taken that long (ie. acid reflux medicine!!).  

It probably doesn’t look like the super-model on the cover of Vogue either!  Get comfortable in your own skin!  

Balance isn’t Perfect Everyday!

Balance isn’t perfect everyday but a practice over time to what feels good for you. Listen to your body and look to your higher self for the answers, it knows intuitively what it needs as well as has all the answers it needs. Symptoms pop up to tell us “hey, something is off, come look a bit deeper to finding the root cause”.  Try to get out of the habit for looking for the quick fix or pop a pill to put a band-aid approach to a bigger issue.  Question your health care professional, seek a second opinion, don’t believe everything you read, what is good for one might be poison to another.  

Stress can Wreak Havoc on Our Bodies

Stress is also a huge factor in our lives today especially with all the technology that is literally coming at us every minute of the day.  

Stress comes in many levels. For example, your body can be stressed internally from a simple sugar overload which is difficult for you organs and blood to process.  Or you may be eating a food that you don’t even realize you are sensitive too which is causing digestive distress.  Top that with stress from business or job, financial pressures, family, relationships, etc.  You could be eating all the super-foods in the world and if you have a lot of stress in your life you can kiss your health good-bye.  On the flip-side, some small level of stress, helps keep us motivated and strive for something better so that’s where balance is key.  Do what feels good and practice what keeps you peaceful!

12 Steps to balance your life for better health:

  1. Take 6-8 deep belly breaths, breathe in through your nose while your belly expands (not your chest) and hold for 5 then out through your mouth slowly for 6-8 when you first wake up or anytime you want to recenter yourself.  This helps trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and awaken more happiness, peace as well as productiveness in your life!
  2. Get a morning daily ritual that includes some self-care.  Meditation, reading, journaling are all great to include.  Time to reflect and appreciate the day that is coming.  Also a gratitude journal is also a great way to start your day.  Gratitude truly can be a game changer!  
  3. Just eat whole foods (forget food with labels and boxes, fast food and it would be a good idea to try to eat home as much as you can).  Restaurants are known for using bad oils and unhealthy ingredients.  However if the restaurant you frequent is using healthy ingredients and preparation  than go for it!  And, please share in the comments who they are!  Even Whole Foods is using canola oil in preparation of their already prepared food station — canola oil is not a healthy oil!
  4. Drink more water!  When you urinate your urine should be light not yellow and dark (although if you are taking supplements they do cause yellow urine).
  5. Exercise!  Find what works for you but get moving to create oxygen and move stagnant energy that might be stuck in your body!! It doesn’t have to be hard core as a matter of fact over exercising is not good either!  Walking or stretching is great way to start!
  6. Body Tapping! Your body is energy! If you’ve been sitting for a long time or when you first wake up you want to wake up your organs and get the blood and energy moving and release stagnant energy in your body.  This helps to release toxins as well.  First rub your hands together in quick motion creating energy or even clapping is great.  Start with your ankles and move all the way up the back of your legs, arms (each one), neck/sternum, chest, back and kidney area.  The whole idea is to move the energy in your meridian lines in your body and helps balance your chakras (your energetic/emotional body).
  7. Eat more vegetables! I don’t subscribe to one style of eating but everyone, everyone could benefit from eating more vegetables!  They are nutrient dense and help with so many ailments.  Please note eating cold salads everyday doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good for you if they cause bloat and gas.  This typically means that you may not be digesting them and cooking them would be ideal for you.
  8. Sleep! You should shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep a night.  For some that might seem like a dream but if you are not sleeping, your health will deteriorate in some form or another.  You need to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.  It all happens when we sleep.
  9. Dump the chemicals you are using in your home, on your skin and in your food!  Nowadays it is easy to find natural products in regular stores as well as online.  Chemicals disrupt hormones, cause cancer, breathing/lung issues, asthma, brain fog, ADD, ADHD, contributing to you not losing the weight you want to lose, inflammation, organs not working optimally…just to name a few!
  10. Prepare and plan!  Food, schedules, life needs to organized not wake up and figure it out in a scattered mindless way. You set your day up for failure that way.  Focus and allow yourself enough time to plan your week and day.  Everyone has a different system but find one that works for you.  If you are running late all the time for appointments, going through the drive through or just plain exhausted you need a better plan!  We all get 24 hours in a day – it is a choice on how we choose to use it ~ no excuses!
  11. Eat mindfully.  Sit down and really enjoy your food and praise it.  Take time to really appreciate it.  You might think this is something you can skip but digestion starts the minute you look at your food.  Digestive enzymes are start to churn in your mouth the minute you look at your plate!  Take time to chew your food that is half the battle of helping it to digest!
  12. Feed your mind with good thoughts!  Your beliefs DO rule your life.  It’s good practice to continue to feed your mind with positive thoughts several times a day if you tend to have negative self talk.  Just be aware of the thought and then send it on it’s way then replace it with something positive even if it’s not really true.  Believe first, then see!!! Not see and believe!

Coconut bacon seems to be very popular these days and my next post may be just that but I think more with a breakfast type food.  I actually bought the coconut I needed because that was my intention when I went to the store.  I’m so intrigued that you can turn coconut into bacon and I needed to taste it!  Now that I think of it I don’t know why I would think “why wouldn’t that be the norm” you can turn coconut into almost anything these days without it truly tasting like a coconut ~ aka coconut aminos, coconut vinegar (my favorite and actually has more benefits than apple cider vinegar).  Neither of these taste like coconut and are good for you!!

So lets get to the yummy shiitake bacon – that’s what I’ve created here.  It truly does taste like bacon and has a similar texture as well.  It was the perfect topping to my spaghetti squash with spinach & tomato – it made the recipe so much more flavorful.  The best part is it took no time to make.   You can make it in like 5-10 minutes which is less than what real bacon takes.

Here’s the recipe for this delicious meal!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sautéed Spinach & Shiitake Bacon

Delicious vegetarian dish adding the extra flavor of shiitake bacon!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 1 ea spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes cherubs
  • 1/4 ea large viladia onion sliced
  • 1-2 ea garlic cloves grated
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling or as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Shitake Mushroom Bacon

  • 1 5oz sliced shiitake mushroom package
  • 4 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika heaping
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt fine grated
  • 1/2 tsp Hickory liquid smoke (found in spice section)

Instructions

Roasting the Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 385. Slice you squash in half lengthwise. Scoop of the seeds/middle with an ice cream scooper for easy removal. Drizzle Extra Virgin Oil over the flesh. Roast squash flesh side down for approximately 30 minutes or until the skin is soft when pressed.  

Shitake Bacon

  1. While the spaghetti squash is roasting, Mix the avocado oil, smoked paprika, liquid smoke and salt together in a bowl. Large enough to toss the mushrooms in (I used a 1/2 aluminum tray).

    Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet that is lined with parchment or a non-stick foil. Roast on 385 degree preheated oven (convection if you have or bake is fine) - top rack. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until starting to crisp being careful not to burn. Cool on the baking sheet. 

Putting it all together:

  1. While the spaghetti squash and mushrooms are roasting. Sauté the onion and tomatoes in a little extra virgin olive oil on the stovetop in a non-stick pan over med-high heat. Add the garlic last and saute for just a little longer. 

  2. When the squash is cooled to touch, take a fork and scrape one half of the squash into the pan. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Add Himilayan pink salt to taste.

  3. Transfer the squash mixture to a bowl and top with the shiitake mushrooms and serve. 

 

Roasted Dandelion Root is the perfect restorative tonic to support your liver and help get it in optimal functioning shape. The liver is so taxed from our everyday environment, household cleaning chemicals, poor diet, etc. Not only does the liver detoxify it also helps convert T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone). If your thyroid is sluggish it’s something to consider cleaning up the function of your liver besides just looking at your thyroid for optimal functioning.  

Roasted Dandelion is bitter which is what the liver loves to help clean it up – bitter foods/herbs! Other plants/herbs that are bitter and helps support liver function are the dandelion greens itself, asparagus, arugula, kale, cilantro, parsley, milk thistle, to name a few.  Adding these foods to your diet will help support your liver.  

In this latte, I’ve used the dandelion root itself and turned it into a powder to make the latte.   Using roots keeps it fresher for long term storage vs. buying the powder.   You can also make dandelion tea by steeping the root.  It is actually a good replacement for coffee as well.  You can purchase dandelion root tea right at your local grocery store.  The roots and other herbs I buy from a reputable supplier such as Mountain Rose Herbs.

I hope you enjoy this healthy and detoxifying latte!!  

Let me know in the comments if you give it a try!

Roasted Dandelion Root Latte

Great detox tonic for your liver!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Powder
  • 1/2 cup full-fat organic coconut milk such as Native Forest Brand
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • dash of cinnamon sprinkle on top after blended

Instructions

  1. In your high speed blender (or regular blend) add ingredients and blend it all up until frothy.  Enjoy.  

Recipe Notes

I like to buy roasted dandelion root in its whole form and make powder in a high speed blender (you can use a spice grinder or nutribullet to do this as well) instead of purchasing it in powder form for optimal effectiveness as well as freshness.  Unless you plan on using the powder within a short time.  

 

Good-bye summer!  Good bye beach, bbq’s, cookouts, parties and all the other fun and indulgences that go along with summer! Let’s embrace a new season and start with a fresh clean slate.  

I like to do that with letting my digestion rest so it can work at optimal levels and detox naturally – with food.  

It’s a good idea to cleanse your body at least two times per year. Even with eating a very clean diet our environment is filled with toxins all around us. In spring, our bodies naturally detox on its own more than any other season. I guess that’s why, as human beings, we also like to do spring cleaning in our homes to detoxify our environment! But after just a few extra indulgences during summer it can certainly send our bodies into a downward spiral. 

So, it’s the perfect time to get your bodies back into eating a bit more clean and healthy.  Just as we like to start things on Mondays, we also like to start new things when seasons change. We tend to get more organized, structured and in a routine as September rolls around.  Especially with the kids back in school. It also gets your mind, body and spirit in line with a healthier you before the holidays are upon us. This way you won’t want to over eat, drink or indulge in desserts that are loaded with refined sugar.  Imagine getting a head start on a healthier you finishing the year strong and going into 2018 with a healthier you!  

Start with this yummy detox salad!

Incorporating these types of food in your daily regimen helps your body naturally cleanse, rebuild, detoxify and thrive.  This specific salad is alkalizing and has ingredients that help your body naturally detox.  Here’s the low down on each ingredient:

Cabbage – It is an excellent source of vitamin K and C, along with being a good source of fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6 and potassium.  It is particularly noted for being a powerful cleanser of the GI tract and is anti-inflammatory.

Kale – is high in vitamin K,  A and vitamin c and also high in chlorophyll which is great for the cleansing the blood.  It’s also a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory as well.

Carrots – high in vitamin A (from beta-cartotene), C, B6, K and potassium.  Carrots also are rich in glutathione which helps detoxify the liver.  It’s an all around good cleanser and best to eat them raw in their natural state. 

Cilantro – is rich in flavonoids and and phytonutrients.  It also is loaded with vitamins A, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.  It’s a natural detoxifier of heavy metals in your body. 

Lime – has so many cleansing and nutritional benefits!   It is loaded with vitamin C.  It also has calcium, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium and phosphorous.  Also the zest or peel is rich in phytochemicals. Limes help detoxify the liver.  Helps with weight loss, improves digestion, treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gums, urinary disorders.

Ginger – is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-carcinogenic.  Ginger helps calm the  digestive tract and intestines.

Garlic – has manganese and sulfur compounds and helps boost your immunity and support your liver.

Maple Syrup – has far more health benefits that you can imagine. Helps prevent anemia, aids in digestion, good for immunity, rich in antioxidants, helps balance blood sugar. 

This salad is loaded with healthy nutritional benefits that not only cleanse your body but nourish it as well.  

Add it to your meals this week and let me know how you like it in the comments below.

 

Simple Detox Salad

This simple detox salad is so crunchy and tasty you will be coming back for more.

Course Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 cup shredded organic green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded organic red cabbage
  • 2 ea shredded organic carrots
  • 1 cup chopped organic kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Vinaigrette

  • 1 ea zest of 1 lime
  • 2 ea juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tsp real organic maple syrup
  • 1 clove grated garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbs organic extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix all the shredded salad ingredients together.  Add the vinaigrette and toss together, adjust seasonings to your liking.

Vinaigrette

  1. In a small bowl, zest one lime using a microplane.  Add juice of two limes.  Add garlic, ginger, maple syrup and evoo.  Whisk together and season with Himilayan pink salt to taste.

Recipe Notes

You can use a knife to thinly slice the cabbage or a mandolin.  Use a box grater to shred the carrots or use a knife to julienne cut them.  

Feel free to add some cumin to the dressing and top it with a sliced avocado & sprinkle with sesame or hemp seeds which I thought of after taking the picture!

This is soup is just so so so good!  I love thai food, it’s one of my favorite cuisines!  I’ve made this delicious soup for dinner this week, ate it for breakfast the next day.   I’m eating it right now for lunch as I write this.

Of course, this is my own spin on making this soup so I suppose if you are an authentic thai food cook perhaps the sweet potatoes, peppers and kale in this particular soup may make your eyes roll.  They happen to be good for you so that’s why they are in it!  You can literally put any of your favorite vegetables in here or whatever you have on hand.  Make it your own!  Chicken or shrimp would be awesome as well.  I like to eat vegetarian at least a few times a week if I can and this comes together as an easy weeknight meal.

It actually took me a long time before I realized that I actually love curry.  I never had curry growing up and it wasn’t until I became a personal chef that I started exploring.  Now if you are not a curry lover don’t automatically dismiss making this delicious soup.  Often I have clients that tell me that they hate curry but when I make them certain soups they didn’t even realize that was what they loved about it.   I don’t often make things that my clients don’t like on purpose (lol).  But, as I cook for certain clients I can see how they like to eat ~ that’s when I know they might like it and don’t even know it. 

Please try this delicious soup and feel free to make it your own! Let me know in the comments what you think!

 

Thai Vegetable Curry Soup

Delicious Thai Vegetable Curry Soup

Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 large onion small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic large and grated
  • 2+ tbsp fresh ginger grated (about 1" piece)
  • 1/4 cup thai red curry paste see notes
  • 1+ tsp madras hot curry powder
  • 1 large sweet potato large dice
  • 1 bunch kale large bunch, torn in pieces, discard stems
  • 1 ea yellow pepper med dice
  • 1 ea red pepper med dice
  • 5 ea carrots sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped (and more for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 cans Native Forest organic coconut milk full fat (save the rest in freezer for later or use the entire 2 cans if you wish)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 ea limes juiced
  • 1 pckg vermicelli rice noodles soaked in hot water separately
  • 2 tsp lemon grass paste see notes
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Himilayan Pink Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Saute onion in avocado or olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  When translucent add grated garlic, ginger, lemon grass paste (or grated fresh lemon grass -- see notes).  Lower heat to medium and cook for a few minutes.  

  2. Add rest of vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow & red pepper) excluding the kale.

  3. Add vegetable stock and coconut milk, stir until blended. Add thai curry paste, curry powder, lemon grass, fish sauce, chopped cilantro. Add brown sugar and Himalayan Pink Salt to taste. Bring to up to a boil then reduce heat simmer for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and flavors have come together. Add the torn kale pieces and juice of 2 limes cook for another 10 minutes.  

  4. Stir, taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking.

  5. While the soup is simmering, bring a small pot of water to a boil for the vermicelli. Pour the hot water over the vermicelli in a bowl and soak until tender. Drain in a colander and set aside.

  6. To serve, divide the rice vermicelli among bowls. Ladle the soup and vegetables over the vermicelli and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Recipe Notes

thai curry paste:  

You can find Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste right in your local supermarket in the asian aisle or on amazon.  If you don't like a lot of heat you may like this brand.  It's very mild and has lemon grass flavor so you can leave out the lemon grass if you wish.  Also, you may need more than 1/4 of a cup.  Just follow your taste buds and add a little at a time.

If you like heat and are looking for an authentic paste - I love Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste which can be purchased online or in an asian supermarket.  It's stored in the fridge and lasts a long, long time.  It is a bit hotter so you may need less so again follow your tastes buds and add a little at a time.  However, with this particular curry, I'd add the lemon grass to the soup.  When I made it at home, I actually used a 2 drops of doTERRA lemongrass essential oil and was perfect!  When I made it for my client I used the above Thai Kitchen curry in the supermarket because thats what they prefer.

These fresh shrimp spring rolls are bursting with fresh flavor!  My clients eat these lovely spring rolls any time of year. I especially love them during spring which is why it was on their menu today. They are light but surprisingly filling! It’s packed with colorful nutrient dense veggies! It’s gluten free and did I mention delicious!

Using a mandolin helps keep the julienne vegetables in uniform size but not necessary.  Feel free to use any veggies you like. One of my clients that often wants this happens to like this combination but the possibilities are endless.  Sometimes I will add a layer of jasmine rice which is how my kids like it, or vermicelli rice noodles.  Avocado and red cabbage add even more nutrients.  Fresh herbs like cilantro or mint are great additions too!  However, when it comes to lettuce in these fresh spring rolls; the “living lettuce” that comes in a shell with the roots is the way to go.  Otherwise, it’s cumbersome to roll and tends to make holes using a harder lettuce like romaine.   If that is all that is available then just remove the spine of the lettuce and use the pliable leaves.  

This is a great friday night appetizer or light dinner after a long week with a glass of Prosecco or I suppose a Saki might go too!  Hmmm, know what else would be delicious with these fresh shrimp spring rolls? A   delicious sparkling fresh green juice with a little bit of fruit topped served in a wine glass to give it extra pizazz! The best part of the green juice is it won’t make you tired like a glass of Prosecco will.  It will energize you!  And, you can feel awesome drinking it!  These spring rolls can be prepared ahead of time. It keeps in the fridge for up to 2 days pretty well. Keep it in a sealed glass container that is lined with non-stick aluminum foil so it does not stick – parchment paper tends to stick for some reason.  Once it’s cold it actually doesn’t stick too much.  

You can find rice paper wrappers at your local Whole Foods stores or asian market.  I usually buy them online at amazon so I have them on hand any time I want a fresh snack or light meal.  Look in the natural food aisle of your local supermarket for coconut aminos and asian section for the chile garlic sauce.

Most of all don’t fret on the process of making them.  It really comes together quickly and is a lot easier than it looks!

If you try these delicious spring rolls please post a comment and let me know how you liked them.  

 

Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls


Course Appetizer, Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 rolls
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

Shrimp Rolls:

  • 2 yellow peppers (julienned)
  • 2 orange peppers (or red) (julienned)
  • 1 large english cucumber (seedless, middle removed) (julienned)
  • 5 large carrots (thick) (julienned)
  • 1 container living leaf lettuce
  • 10 poached shrimp (11-15 count - jumbo) sliced in half lengthwise
  • 10 sheets of rice paper wrappers (three ladies brand)

Asian Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 8 oz bottle coconut aminos
  • 1 lemon (squeezed)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (finely grated)
  • 3 scallions (thinly sliced on an angle)
  • 1 + tbs asian chile garlic sauce
  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tbs rice vinegar (natural)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Shrimp: bring a 3 qt pot of water to a boil. Add cleaned shrimp to the boiling water, and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool slice in half lengthwise, set aside until ready to assemble. 

  2. Vegetables: julienne all the vegetables into matchstick size pieces. See recipe notes if you'd like to watch a video. Otherwise, a mandolin also helps if you have one.  Keep each julienned vegetable separated and on paper towels to absorb extra water before assembling.

  3. Rice Paper Prep:  once you have the filling ready and you are ready to assemble.  Keep a pan large enough to hold the wrapper such as a cake or pie pan with hot water from tap.   Place one rice paper in the hot water at a time prior to wrapping.  It softens in about 20-30 seconds.  Once it is softened, place one wrapper on the non-stick foil, blot with a paper towel.  Sometimes I lift it with two hands to dry it a bit as well.  I usually blot it with a paper towel, wipe the foil and than flip it to the other side before proceeding to wrap.  

  4. To wrap:  Place one split shrimp on the softened rice paper about 1/3 in (closest to you).  The pink side of the shrimp should be face down.  Next, add about 1-2 leaves of lettuce folded, and proceed to add a handful at a time of each vegetable, keeping it neat.  When you are assembling one, add a new fresh wrapper to the water so it's ready when you are ready to roll the next.

  5. To roll:  hold the filling and bring the side closest to you over and around.  Start to roll then fold in the sides and continue rolling tightly.  It should automatically stick.  Try to keep it as tight as possible.  

  6. Slice the fresh shrimp spring roll in half and serve with the asian dipping sauce.

Asian Dipping Sauce Instructions:

  1. Mix first 7 ingredients together then swirl in sesame oil at the end.   Adjust seasons to your taste.

Recipe Notes

It is actually easier if you are not familiar with how to julienne vegetables to just hop on over to u-tube than me trying to explain it in the instructions.

Coconut aminos is a gluten free "soy sauce" that is made from coconuts but does not taste like coconuts and is healthier than tamari or regular soy sauce.  It is a bit sweeter and not as salty or strong as tamari.  It's perfect for this dipping sauce.    Should you choose to use tamari sauce over coconut aminos you will need to cut it with a bit of water as well as add some honey to sweeten it up. 

As noted on the blog, other variations of fillings are great as well, jasmine rice, vermicelli rice noodles, avocado, red cabbage, etc.

 

This has been a long time favorite soup of mine for years despite that it may not look that appetizing in color.  The best part is it’s so simple to make.  I often leave out the asparagus tips and just puree the entire soup.  Mainly because I love to sip this in a mug as a mid-day snack or with my lunch.    

I’ve been cleansing for a few weeks and this is the perfect soup for it! Did you know that asparagus is a vegetable that is a great cleanser for your body naturally? Yes it is! It is a great diuretic, helping in the cleansing process and lifting the detox load of the liver and kidneys.

Here’s some great health benefits from this beautiful spring vegetable:

  • It’s a rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
  • Helps slow down the aging process due to it’s high antioxidant properties and neutralizing cell-damaging radicals.
  • It contains the amino acid asparagine which is a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts.  Good for edema and high blood pressure!
  • It contains vitamins A, C, E and K as well as has lots of fiber, folate and chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. 

Asparagus contains asparagusic acid, among other compounds, that gives urine that unique odor.  Have you ever noticed it?  It literally can happen within 15 minutes of eating it. Its compounds are volatile and released as a vapor through the urine. However, apparently not everyone can smell it and that is because everyones sense of smell is unique to themselves as well as the ability to produce the odor. Interesting!!  

Okay, enough about asparagus pee ~ eat asparagus because it so good for you!

Creamy Asparagus Soup
Serves 4
Dairy-free delicious asparagus soup
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs of asparagus (trim tough ends, cut in 2” pieces) (extra if you want to add some asparagus tips at the end)
  2. 4 cups organic vegetable stock (32 oz con’t - such as Saffron Road or Nature’s Promise)
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 1 garlic clove, minced.
  5. 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  6. Himalayan pink salt
  7. fresh cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Sauté onion in extra virgin olive oil, add garlic & asparagus and add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft.
  2. Take asparagus out with a slotted spoon and add stock (a little at a time) to blend in high speed blender or regular blender until smooth and creamy (you may not need all the stock depending on the consistency you prefer (reserve juice and drink it up in a mug if you want). Add Himilayan pink salt (about 1+ tsp) and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Enjoy!
  3. If you are adding asparagus tips to your soup, blanch them for just about 30 seconds (add to already boiling water, than in ice cold water to retain color, remove with slotted spoon). Add them to your soup before eating.
Notes
  1. for future and if you tolerate dairy, you may add a dollup of organic plain yogurt to the mix while blending for added flavor but it is perfect the way it is.
Stacey DiVerde https://staceydiverde.com/
source:  
Eating Well 3/2016
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19895471