As the sun starts to shine and the air gets a little warmer, we all feel that familiar excitement at the changing of seasons. The grass gets a little greener (well, sort of…), and the plants start to come back to life. This is our time to come back to life, too! The focus this month is on feeding and watering our bodies and getting the most nutritionally dense foods into them and more water. The challenge will be to try one new recipe per week. It can be one posted here or elsewhere. Also, remember to drink half your body weight in ounces of water! With each sip you hydrate your cells and allow them to rid waste and toxins from your body. During this time of new growth, I want to encourage everyone to grow in your knowledge of what is healthy. It is our responsibility to know what we put in our body, so take the time to educate yourselves about different nutritional life styles and how what you are currently putting in your body might be effecting you. As we get our gardens and yards ready for spring, let’s get ourselves ready too! Let’s feed ourselves at the cellular level and see what blooms on the outside!
Minestrone Soup (www.cleaneatingonline.com)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup fennel, diced
1 cup red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, chopped and seeded
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. finely chopped basil
2 oz. Parmesan, grated
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, fennel, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
Add 6 cups water, beans, tomatoes, and quinoa. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves and add salt and pepper. Stir spinach and basil into soup just before serving. Garnish each with 1 Tbsp. cheese. Makes 8 servings.
Chicken Stuffed Peppers and Avocado
4 bell peppers (any color)
3 chicken breasts
1 box pacific foods organic cream of celery
1 can diced green chilis
1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4tsp onion powder
Preheat oven to 350 Boil chicken breast in large pot of water. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, cut top off peppers 1 inch from the stem end, and remove seeds. Add several generous pinches of salt to boiling water, then add peppers and boil, using a spoon to keep peppers completely submerged, until brilliant green (or red if red peppers) and their flesh slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Drain, set aside to cool.While peppers cook, put chicken, cream of celery, green chilis and seasoning in food processor and blend till smooth. You can also just shred the chicken and mix all in a bowl.Put mixture inside peppers and bake in oven for 40-50 min. Top with salsa and sliced avocado.