Please Set the Table

By: Lisa Wright Burbach

We are empty nesters and we sit at the table to eat dinner! Crazy right? -No, it’s connection. I love setting the table and sitting down to a yummy meal and to discuss the day, the future, and just life in general. We take a tip from other countries who celebrate meal time, family and who savor the meal, drink in the aromas, and visit with each other. It’s a relationship table.

I’m from the South and being able to set a proper table is an exam you have to pass to be able to own a string of pearls. It’s serious business!! And I’m grateful for it. I’ve been known to set the table with water glasses, wine glasses, dessert forks, the whole thing for nothing more elegant than sloppy joes.

In addition to setting the table for my family I find that setting a full and proper table when we have company makes them feel pampered and cherished even if they are simultaneously intimidated by it. It’s ok, you really can use the cloth napkin; they wash. Oh and start from the outside and work your way in with the silverware, but don’t worry; there is no test and I promise not to talk about you after you leave. “Van!! Did you see them eat that salad with their dessert fork!! Why I declare! I believe I will just have to set a spell and recover“. No, it will be fine, just eat and enjoy. (To you Northerners, the pearl thing was a joke).

I understand this next statement may be “outdated thinking”, but I believe it is true. When I was 20 and elderly woman told me “Use the China and crystal when you don’t have company-there are no more important people to be seated at your table than your husband and your family.”. It was great advice and I took it to heart. When my kids were small we used china for snacks; my 25 year old son eats snacks on china to this day. A conversation I will need to have with my future daughter-in-law I’m sure.

Try setting the table before you start cooking dinner it will help you feel organized and ready to go; better yet, get the fam involved and have them set the table! Not sure what to do? Here is a How-To from Martha Stewart and one from Real Simple.


RECIPE REVIEWS:

1.  Sweet Potato Soup w/ Blue Corn Tortillas by Bobby Flay/foodnetwork:  Note, the chipotles in adobo sauce can be very warm and you may need to make adjustments up or down based on your family/guests.

Time: 1 1/2 hour

Ease: Simple to moderate

Result: Most everyone loved this, not everyone.  It has combination of spicy, sweet, and smokey.  I will make this again. Serve with cornbread and a nice green vegetable.

2.  Skillet Lasagna:  Use the link as a guide, but feel creative with this one.  I used Newman’s own spaghetti sauce because I had it on hand, I also used spinach pasta in place of lasagna noodles for the same reason.  No reason for things just to sit in the pantry.

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: simple

Result: Turned out nicely, tasted about like you would expect.  We enjoyed it. Serve with steamed green beans or a salad.

3. Quiche: NOTE:MAKE DAY AHEAD FOR BEST TEXTURE. (we didn’t, but I recommend it.)This was a base for me and it takes a lot of work and hopefully Thomas Keller will never read this blog, because I am sure he will cringe repeatedly.  Apologies to great chefs for all that I am about to say for the sake of the basic home cook. First I used a store bought pastry; not the one in the tin, but the Pillsbury one you roll out. Next instead of mushrooms I used broccoli and caramelized onions. Don’t be afraid of caramelized onions, if you start it before anything else you will have sweet, browned, delicious onions by the time you are ready to use them. Lastly, for some reason I do not own a blender and had to make do with the magic bullet, soooo It could have gone a little better. But, even unskilled, ill-prepared this was so yummy!

Time:  2 hours prep & cooking and overnight resting

Ease: complicated

Result: Worth every minute of time.  This quiche is taller than most and great flavor and texture.

5.  One-Pot Sticky Chicken Wings I already had chicken breasts that I had frozen when they were on sale, so instead of wings I used chicken cut into nugget sizes.  I also had run out of star anise and used some anise seeds and it worked fine.  Mirin, oyster sauce, Thai pepper paste and Sake can be found in the ethnic section of many grocery stores. Udon noodles may be found a Whole Foods or ethnic groceries-spaghetti can be substituted. 

Time: 40 minutes

Ease: simple-moderate

Result:  My husband and I loved this meal and will eat it again.  I think this will become a family favorite.  To make it fun I served it with chopsticks on china of course.

A few more things: I buys spices from places like Whole Foods and Savory Spice Shop and find that I can have fun with exotic spices without spending a fortune.  I usually spend less than $2.00.  If this week sound intimidating keep checking back.  Some weeks I go crazy on the experimental side and other weeks its just the basics.  After a month or so you should see a variety of recipes ranging in difficulty, price, and time.  There will be something just your speed.

Have fun, try something new and please set the table.

Review: Mango Salsa – Ellie Kriegerl


Mango Salsa – Ellie Krieger, The Food Network

Do you want to add more fruits to your diet, but aren’t sure what to do?  It is easy to grab a banana, orange, or apple and I highly recommend it.  They are loaded with fiber, low in calories, and packed with nutrients, an excellent snacking choice.  However, there is so much more out there for the life of the fruit.  Fruits can be used in savory and sweet dishes, but try to keep it as close to the original as possible.  The more we process it the less healthy it is.  A good example is an apple, applesauce, or apple pie.  The apple is the best choice, but by the time you get to apple pie it is just a treat; an occasional food.   Try using fruits as toppings for pork, chicken or fish, or use in salads.

Here is a mango and cucumber salsa, that is light and summery feeling.  Enjoy!


Mango Salsa(click for recipe)

Time:
 5 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Serve:  4-6 people

Review:   I was a little doubtful, to be honest, but this is a delicious salsa.  It is very light and summery.  You could jazz it up by adding more lime juice or more jalepeño, but it is completely up to you.  It is good as written.

Tip: I recommend using frozen mango.  Mango can be hard to find and they aren’t the easiest to peel and cut.  When shopping look for mango’s with a little “give” to the touch.  Peel them and slice on the widest side, watch out for the pit, then slide your knife along the skinnier sides in a curve around the edge of the pit.

Extra Recipe: Another great fruit recipe that is super easy is Banana, Strawberry “Ice Cream”.  No dairy and nothing but bananas and strawberries.  It seems crazy, but it is smooth and creamy and a great substitute for ice cream.


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


My husband and I are also Independent Shaklee Distributors to learn more visit http://lisaburbach.myshaklee.com – one of the leading providers of premium-quality, natural, nutrition, personal care, and household products.

Don’t forget to take you Healthprint when you visit.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

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Review: Orange Soup with Black Salsa – Mark Bittman VB6 Cookbook

Orange Soup with Black Salsa – VB6 cookbook, Mark Bittman

We are making an effort to eat more whole food, plant based foods i.e., nuts, legumes, grains, fruits, and veggies, and I have to say we are loving it.  After all we’ve been told “Eat food that rots, just eat it before it does” – Dr. Forrest Shaklee.  I have also been reading the Blue Zone book by Dan Buettner and learning about the longest lived people in the world, who eat meat more like a garnish or accompaniment to the main meal.  A pretty crazy concept for most Americans.  The more we learn the harder it is to deny the benefits of good, real, unprocessed, fresh food.

There are so many ways to cook foods, especially vegetables, that no one should be able to say “I don’t like veggies”.   Even if you don’t you should keep trying them,  over time your taste buds adapt and your body knows you’re giving it good stuff and starts letting you know it needs more – you crave good food!   You will also find that sometimes you don’t feel so great after a greasy, processed meal.  This is again, your body letting you know it really likes the healthy stuff.   Some simple ways to add veggies to your day: smoothies, add them into sauces, puree them, roast, bake, grilled…. MMMmmMMM.  To learn more about Whole Food, Plant Based eating visit Eating you Alive or Forks over Knives.

Another way to learn about Whole Food, Plant Based eating is through the book VB6 and the VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman He discusses being Vegan, kind of,  Mark Bittman is Vegan before 6pm and then eats whatever he would like, within reason after 6pm.  The change has still made a huge impact in his health and has become a lifestyle.  I like the concept.  During the day you get your full share of fruits, vegetables, grains etc. without all of the saturated fats, processed food and bad stuff.  If you choose wisely that is.  If you want to make a change, but don’t think you can go whole hog, eh hem…whole cauliflower,  then VB6 might be a good fit for you.

This review is of his butternut (or pumpkin) soup, a great Meatless Monday meal.


The Salsa

The Review

Time: 60 Minutes

Ease: Simple

I wasn’t sure how well this would turn out at first, just being honest.  Every butternut squash soup I’ve ever made had coconut milk or milk in it.  I was afraid it would be to thin and watery, but I was wrong!  My other hesitation was how was my husband going to handle this vegan dinner?  Before I had a chance to ask him what he thought I heard those lovely yummy noises we all love to hear when we cook for someone!  Success.

The soup was easy to make and very good.  I have a submersion blender, which I highly recommend, but you can use a blender to puree it too.  It is creamy from being blended, but is not going to have the exact same consistency as a milk based soup, but I don’t think you’ll miss it.

The salsa is tasty and went very well with the soup.  We ate it in our soup as well as with flax chips and I was tempted to top it with sour cream, but didn’t.

This recipe took about an hour, but if you used canned pumpkin or pre-cooked butternut squash you could do it in 30.

Enjoy!


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


My husband and I are also Independent Shaklee Distributors to learn more visit http://lisaburbach.myshaklee.com – one of the leading providers of premium-quality, natural, nutrition, personal care, and household products.

Don’t forget to take you Healthprint when you visit.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Review: Hello Fresh: Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Fig Sauce

Hello Fresh from the Fresh Market

I love to cook and I enjoy planning meals, but sometimes I just run out of time.  As a result I have considered doing one of the meal delivery services out there, but have never made the commitment to try it.  That is where Fresh Market in Greensboro, NC comes in!  They have partnered with Hello Fresh and have 4 featured meal kits for $19.99 each.  I’m sure this is a temporary  special, but I’m glad I stumbled on it.

Hello Fresh is a Meal Delivery service that provides all of the ingredients needed to prepare a meal for 2-4 people, depending on the plan you choose.  Each meal comes to $9.99 per meal or $8.74 per meal for the family plan.  The ingredients are pre-portioned to make it easy, per the website “Stock your pantry with salt, pepper, sugar, oil, and butter. We’ll take care of the rest!”.   The website also states that you are not locked into a contract.

 


My finished product!
The Review

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Fig Sauce

Time: 30 Minutes

Ease: Simple

We loved it!  The meal was easy to prepare, the directions were simple and had pictures to follow, and it was really good!  The meal kit said it served 2 and It did that exactly.  My husband said he felt satisfied and so did I; there were no leftovers.  The Fresh Market price was $19.99 and It would have been hard for me to spend much less than that if I had bought the ingredients.  That said, I’m certain that I would spend much less on some of the other meal options.  It really comes down to, are you willing to pay for the covenience?  For 3 meals a week serving 2 people per meal is $60, this would require good budgeting over the rest of the week for many people.

One thing Hello Fresh did not provide was organic and non-gmo.  I tend to make the effort in both of these categories, especially organic and would like to have this as an option if I’m going to choose a meal service.  They do have a vegetarian option.

I can see where adding Hello Fresh to your weekly meal planning could be beneficial, depending on your lifestyle and budget.  The meal was quick, easy, good, and had fresh ingredients.  It would be a great way to learn to step away from pre-packaged foods and learn to use fresh foods.  Also a great tool for a beginner cook, who just needs to learn to have a few good recipes under their belt or the busy family who just needs dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

If you live in Greensboro, NC stop by Fresh Market to see if they still have the Hello Fresh Meal Kits available and give it a try before deciding to join, plus you get a handy coupon!

Enjoy


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Smoothies!

 I love my morning smoothie!  It gives me energy, fills me up (especially if I add protein) and helps me get in more fruits and veggies.

Benefits:

  • Heartburn can be an issue as we age and many find that sipping a smoothie helps the digestion process and elimination process.  There is also less tendency for reflux
  • Smoothies are natural laxatives
  • Some studies show that incorporating smoothies into the diet may aid in weight loss
  • The more amazing goodness you put in your smoothie from fruits and veggies the more you get the benefit! Smoothies are packed wit phytonutrients and help boost the immune system.
  • Fiber, fiber, fiber!  Americans need more fiber and smoothies keep all that great fiber vs juicing which extracts the fiber.  The fiber also slows the impact on the blood stream stabilizing the blood sugar.  Sipping a smoothie slowly over time also helps keep the insulin levels in check.   The best smoothie to slow down the spike in blood sugar is one that remembers to pair fruits with proteins and some fat.
  • A great way to learn to like new foods.  I discovered that raw beets in a smoothie are amazing!

Smoothies can be a powerhouse of goodness for your body, but can quickly pack in calories depending on what you add to it.  For me this isn’t a real problem, I tend to under eat and find the calorie boost in the morning helps me, but for others remember that moderation is always the key.

There are tons of smoothie recipes out there, and I encourage you to use wisdom.  If you add frozen yogurt, ice cream, sherbet, sugars and syrups, food coloring, etc. it is nothing more than a fancy milkshake and you undermine the healthfulness of the smoothie.  I do allow myself a square or two on of dark chocolate, on occasion.  Try to retrain your tastebuds to enjoy natural sugars, like fruits and learn to want to eat leafy greens etc.  Your body will thank you.


Recipes

Note:  I have milk listed in the recipes, but you can substitute any milk substitute or even water.  I also have protein powder in my smoothie recipes.  In full discloser I am not only a Health Coach, but also a Shaklee distributor and I love the protein powder options from Shaklee.  They are non-gmo and carefully researched.  If you don’t use protein powder you may substitute 2 ounces of firm tofu for the protein powder – you won’t taste it, I promise!

Substitutions:  2-3 ounces tofu and 1/2 tsp of vanilla in place of protein powder.   Almond milk, coconut milk, juice, etc. in place of milk.

I found that an immersion blender works amazingly well with smoothies and has less clean-up.  I just pack my smoothie ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar and stick in the immersion blender and blend. BOOM!

Chocolate Beet Smoothie

OK, I know it sounds weird and gross, but trust me it is so yummy!  Think Red Velvet Cake!

  • 1-2 scoops protein powder (chocolate rocks in this!)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 – 1 beet
  • 1/2 banana
  • a small block of dark chocolate, a spoon of chocolate powder or use chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup greens – I like spinach, but you could use baby kale or others

Blend well and enjoy

 

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

  • 1-2 scoops protein powder (I like vanilla for this one)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin from a can or fresh, cooked pumpkin
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 banana

Blend well and enjoy!

 

The Portly Primate

  • 1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 squares dark chocolate
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup milk

Blend well and enjoy!

 

Dreamy Orange

  • 1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Ice cubes

Blend until the consistency of a slushy and add orange juice if too thick.

 

Cherrie Smoothie

  • 1-2 scoops protein powder (I like strawberry in this)
  • 1/2 cup cherries (pitted)
  • 2 ounces cherry juice or pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 /2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (watch the sugar content and read the ingredients to choose the most natural yogurt available).
  • Umm, again you can add a square of dark chocolate to make this seem decadant

Blend well and enjoy!

 

Mocha Latte Smoothie

  • 1 scoop Cafe Latté protein powder
  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein powder
    • OR 2 scoops protein powder or 2 ounces tofu
  • 1/4 cup leftover coffee or one scoop/packet of instant coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • Ice
  • Opt -1 small square dark chocolate

Blend well and enjoy!

 

The Go-To

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1-2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup leafy greens
  • 5 large strawberries
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup milk

Blend and enjoy!


Once you get used to making the smoothies above try adding leafy greens to the recipes, most of the time they add very little flavor difference, but boost the nutrients.

Try adding flaxseed or chia seeds for a little extra Omega fatty acid and feel free to go crazy and add anything you’d like to try -healthy thing!  For extra creaminess add 1/2 of an avocado.

Share your creations with us here on the blog or on Instagram #yieldingaction or our the Yielding Action Health Coaching Facebook page.


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.


I offer individual coaching sessions and online health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.


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Review: Chickpea Shakshuka – The Minimalist Baker


Chickpea Shakshuka – The Minimalist Baker 

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Shakshuka or Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern dish typical cooked with pouched eggs.  The word simply means “mixture” and is typically cooked with tomatoes, spices like cumin and coriander, chilies, and onions, but ingredients vary from country to country.  It is often served for breakfast, but is popular any time of the day and especially in winter.


Chickpeas

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Cooked, dried chickpeas – Try cooking your own beans in place of canned beans.  It is cheaper and greatly reduces your sodium intake.  If you are riding the Instant Pot wave or you use a pressure cooker you can make these without soaking! WHAT, yes… NO SOAKING!!! Soaking is the part I always forget and used to keep me from using dried beans.  Don’t fear the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, it will quickly become your friend.

The first time you cook your beans without soaking you may feel like your can actually feel your momma staring you down, but it will be OK.  Don’t believe me? Ask the L.A. Times in this great article “Don’t soak your dried beans!  Now even the cook kids agree” by
Russ Parsons The California Cook!


Homemade yogurt

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I made my Shakshuka a liiitttlle hot and had to top it with yogurt because, well…basically I’m a wimp when it comes to hot foods!  If you too need to cool it down try making your own yogurt. It is very easy and only takes a little “active” time.  I follow Martha Stewarts guide.  You can make yogurt with some yogurt and milk or with yogurt starter and milk.  Personally I find a little individual size yogurt pot works well as a starter and my yogurt is more consistent, the only down side is the yogurt bacteria won’t hold up to use my homemade yogurt as the starter for a second batch.

A friend of mine laughed at my yogurt maker and thermometer and said “All you need is an oven and your finger.  When the milk boils pull it off, when you can put your finger in it for a few seconds comfortably add your yogurt- done!!”.  She is right, as you get more comfortable with making yogurt you will find your own way and be able to do it without thinking about it.


The Review: 

 

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Easy!  Even if you cook your own beans and make your own yogurt, this is an easy dish to make.

Review:  I can’t take credit for finding this amazing vegan dish, my daughter found it and is a major fan of Dana and John of The Minimalist Baker.  Thanks for this recipe!!

My husband and are neither vegans nor vegetarians, but I guess we are reducetarians, we are eating much less meat and far more whole food, plant based foods.  No matter what your food choices, this is a nice dish to add to your home cookbook and would make a great “Meatless Monday”.   It is protein packed and a good source of fiber with iron, B-6, magnesium, potassium, A and C thrown in!

This is easily a dish you can throw together after work or make ahead and take for lunch and you can customize the spices to your own taste.  I used tomatoes with jalapeños in mine which is great for my husband, but was a bit too hot for me, hence the yogurt.  Even too hot, I really enjoyed the flavors of this dish.  This will be a repeat dish!  Nice job Dana and John!

Tips:

  • Try making your own beans and yogurt, as mentioned above
  • Browning tomato paste – I like to brown my tomato paste before adding my wet ingredients, I find it adds a nice rich flavor and only takes a few minutes longer. Learn more at Today.
  • Try adding the eggs: Once your dish is complete carefully crack eggs into your oven safe pan on top of your tomatoes and chickpeas, season with a little salt and pepper and pop into the oven for about 7 minutes or until the eggs are just set, don’t overcook.

Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and online health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.


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Review: Chicken & Veg Stir Fry with Udon Noodles – Anne Burrell

stirfry

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry with udon noodles – Anne Burrell

Recently my husband was out of town for a couple of weeks and I might have binge watched America’s Worst Cooks on the Food Network, ya now…maybe.  OK, I did!  I had never seen the show and enjoyed it, the mentors do a great job teaching basics like knife skills, definitions, and styles of cooking.  I have been holding my knife wrong and now when I stick my finger out on the the blade I can visualize Anne Burrell running down to paint my finger with red marker and I pull it back in.    I am a pretty decent cook and comfortable in the kitchen, but I was reminded that most of the difficulty in the kitchen is in our minds.  So, i encourage you to hop in there and be adventurous.  It just seems scary, but once you step out and try you will be surprised and delighted.

One of the recipes Anne Burrell made was a simple stir-fry.  I gave it a try this week and think you will find it an easy and yummy meal to fix any night of the week.

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Easy

Review:  This dish was made to be a substitute for Carry-out and I think it did a nice job.  It was quick and easy to prepare, full of flavor, and had that Take-away/Carry-out feel.  I realized a little too late that I had forgotten to buy edamame, but it still had a nice blend of textures and flavor.  I think this is a dish you will be able to play with and make your own.  Some of you will want a spicier dish, try adding chopped Jalapeños  as a garnish to complement the one in the dish.

Tips:  Mise en Place – A French term meaning “putting in place”.  You know all those little bowls with the prepped ingredients that you see on the cooking shows? That is a Mise en Place.  This is a huge time saver and sometimes a dish saver!  When you are cooking and a lot of things are going on you will be glad you already have your items prepped and ready to go.

  • Read your recipe
  • Prepare each recipe item and place in a small bowl or dish
  • Before you begin cooking, double check and make sure you have every ingredient that was listed prepared and ready to go in your dish
  • Keep the prepared items close by; at your stove, a nearby counter etc.  This way you save time by having it at hand.
  • Now start cooking.  As you get to each step just grab the right bowl and add it in.

Enjoy!


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Review: Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Salsa Verde – Forks Over Knives

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Portobello Mushroom tacos with Salsa Verde – Forks over Knives

My husband and I are on the journey of eating a more whole food, plant based diet and I have to say we are enjoying it!  There were doubts in the beginning, but we made gradual changes, which I highly recommend.  Most people are not ready to jump in all at once into a big change, but gradual changes can often help us stay the course. Try starting with Meatless Mondays!

I am finding that it is easier to eat healthy foods than to find healthy foods.  The stores are filled with items with suspect ingredients, restaurants have sparse healthy choices at best and it can even be hard to find recipes that are easy and “normal”.  Many of the recipes I have found are pretty exotic, but with a shift in our culture towards eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes I expect the options to improve.  Today’s recipe review is a winner and even my meat loving man really enjoyed it!


Respecting Copyright laws, I don’t publish full exact recipes unless I can find an online link or have permission from the source, so I have provided the pieces of information for you to pull the recipe together.

  • Grilled Portobello mushrooms
  • Corn tortillas
  • Salsa Verde – The recipe can be fond in the Forks Over Knives Cookbook.  I have provided a link to a similar salsa below.
  • Top with lettuce, red onion or anything you see fit to use.  We also used radishes and mix of shredded cabbage with red onion, cilantro and lime juice. It provided a nice zing and texture.

Tomatillo Salsa – Food and Wine.  This recipe is similar to the one by Forks Over Knives.  Try adding lime zest and using green onions in place of onion.  Have fun with this recipes and play with the ingredients.

Time: 1 Hour marinade/ 10-15 minutes

Ease: Easy-moderate – This is really an easy recipe, but if you are unfamiliar with portobello mushrooms or tomatillos it could feel challenging.  Just relax, follow the directions, and enjoy.

Review:  As much as we are trying to reduce our meat consumption, my men folk aren’t quite on board for extreme reductions.  This week my husband and son were going to be away from home and I planned this awesome dish for myself, but then the hubs came home.  I gently informed him that I wasn’t changing the plan and he would like it.  He loved it!  The mushrooms made this feel like a more hearty dish and once we added all the other yummy stuff – don’t forget the salsa!!, the tacos felt like we had stepped into a restaurant for dinner.  Did I mention the salsa?  It is a must, it really rounds out the dish.  The recipe calls for the salsa, lettuce and red onion to top the tacos, but we found adding the cabbage and radishes gave this dish more texture and flavor.  I highly recommend this dish, it is delicious, easy, healthy, and WHPB (whole food, plant based). Be adventurous and let your meat eaters try it.

Tips: It is important to have good tools in your kitchen and two handy tools are a zester and good juicer.  My juicer (known as a fruiter in our home) was my grandmothers and the difference is significant.  Older tools like graters and juicers used thicker metal and real metal.  I find my older tools at estate sales.

Forks Over Knives offers a cooking class that I would love to take and you may want to consider.  I’d like to take it to be able to help others be more confident using grains, legumes, veggies, etc. and empower people to make health their habit, even in the kitchen.  (I am not being paid or endorsed by Forks Over Knives, I just liked the recipe)

Enjoy


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Review: Curried Butternut Squash Soup – The Minimalist Baker

curried-butternut-squash-soup

 

Curried Butternut Squash – The Minimalist Baker

Fall is in the air and in our house this begins the tradition of “Soup a Week”.  Each week I make a yummy soup starting in fall all the way through until spring.  I have many “tried and trues” and also love trying new soups.  This soup is quickly becoming a “tried and true” !  It is easy to make, tastes great and is good for you!  Plus it satisfies that fall feeling.  MMMmmmMMM.

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Easy – the only tricky part is blending at the end.  I have a stick blender and if you don’t have one I suggest getting one. I think it is a must in the kitchen.  It makes life easier and fewer burns and messes.

Review:  This recipe, as with any I have tried by The Minimalist Baker, is easy and delicious.      Once you have the squash prepared the rest of the dish is a piece of cake.  You may worry that the maple syrup will make the soup to sweet, but with the curry it is a nice blend without being too sweet.  Experiment with the amount you like for your tastes.  Over all this is a great soup; filling, delicious, and easy to make.

Tips: Try different types of curries.  I like a sweet curry from Penzey’s Spices, but also use one called Curry Now, which has a punch!  It is fun playing with the flavors and heat levels until you find the perfect one for you.

If you are someone with sensitive skin i recommend baking the butternut squash with skins on and scooping out the contents before making the soup. follow the directions as written, but use your cooked squash.  Sometimes butternut squash makes my skin peel.  You could also wear gloves to prepare it.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach – a Burbachulous Photo.  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Roasted Green Pozole with Chicken & Grilled Mexican Corn – Date Night In

date night in

I just got a new cook book!  Date Night In by Ashley Rodriguez, creator of http://notwithoutsalt.com/ .  It is a lovely book about nourishing your relationship through making a special date night in.  I have only tried 2 recipes, and 1 drink recipe, so far and will let you know how the others go, but these two were great.

The book is broken down into Spring, Fall, Summer, and Winter and each section contains subcatagories of menus with a variety of cocktails, salads, soups, main dishes, and desserts as well as introductions and stories.  This would make a great cover to cover read as well as a pick and choose book.

This book doesn’t have to be just for dates, though that is the purpose of the book.  It can be about making dinner a time of connection.  When my 23 year old saw the book she asked “Is this just for dates, or are you going to spread the love?”.  Yes, I’m going to spread the love!

Below are the three recipes we have tried so far:

Roasted Green Pozole with Chicken

pozole

 

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ease: Simple – Moderate – the moderate side is simply because of some ingredients which may seem unfamiliar to some, but don’t be intimidated, just jump in and enjoy!

Review:  We all thought this was a good dish.  It is listed in the summer section, but would make meal a nice chilly fall night as well.  We used a jalapeno from our garden and this year they were a little hot, but you can adjust the heat by choosing your peppers based on heat.  This dish does take a little while to prepare and does not fall into a quick meal catagory, but it can be made ahead and reheated and the author said the flavor improves after a rest in the fridge.  Ours, didn’t make it for us to know- Gone!

Notes:  If you are not familiar with tomatillos ask your grocer for help.  They can be mildewed and too soft if you are not careful.

Pepitas are pumpkin seeds which are edible and yummy!  You can find them in the Hispanic section of your grocery and in the nuts section at places like Fresh Market.  They are good as a snack and in salads too!

Personally, I got lost in the directions of the recipe a few times, though it was well written and I’m not really sure.  I finally stopped and numbered my steps to help me.

 

 

Grilled Mexican Corn with Cotija and Lime

corn

 

Time: 15-20 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: This corn is fantastic! I have to admit I was skeptical, but the lime zest really jazzes it up!  I think you will find it to be a fun way to serve corn and wow your guests at the same time!  One response I got was DAAaaaAAA%%$%!  This is a good thing!

 

Cherry Lime Soda

cherry limeade

Time: 10 Minutes plus chilling time

Ease: Simple

Review:  The Cherry Lime Soda was given as a non-alcoholic drink with the suggestion of vodka, gin, or tequila to make it “adult”.   My husband made this while I prepared dinner and we just had a lot of fun in the kitchen!  It was easy and no Beetle Bailey swearing (#^@^&#).  My husband is prone to made up swear words with no real word in it, they sound like the top line of your key board-a.k.a Beetle Bailey!

Notes: Watch the level of lime juice it can overpower the drink, a little taste testing is recommended.

We used tequila, but meh,  we will make it again, but use vodka.

 

All in all I really like this book so far and I love the concept, as my readers know I’m all about bringing people together at the dinner table and this book does that.  It’s goal is for dates and connection, but it easily translates to larger groups.  I’m sure you will see more reviews of these recipes in the future!
Enjoy!

All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach – a Burbachulous Photo.  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.