Baking as Healing: Sweet Potato Bread

Baking is one of those healing practices I love.

From start to finish, the process feels like a ritual dance:

walking to the book shelf and choosing a cookbook…

sitting on the couch with tea, and leafing through the pages…

choosing a recipe…

placing the ingredients on the counter…

mindfully following the recipe…

smelling the transformation happening in the oven…

remembering baking projects from times before…

My wonderful mom, Annabeth, passed away this last Sunday. She was 65. She taught me to garden, cook, sew, make friends anywhere, and how to turn every aspect of life into a living art project. 

Diagnosed with inoperable liver and gallbladder cancer, Mom moved back to my home town of Portland, Oregon in June where she could get the best alternative treatments and be surrounded by old friends and family.

I was lucky enough to spend most of the summer in Oregon with her, and we cooked a bit together.  

Her naturopath had recommended a sugar-free diet, high in protein, and plant-based. Not 100% plant based, but based mainly on plants. Mom and I talked a lot about what foods she could enjoy, and how to make green smoothies in her Vitamix my brother had purchased for her.

I went home again over Thanksgiving, and while Mom’s energy was low, she requested favorite foods: including sweet potatoes. A friend had created something using raw sweet potatoes blended with eggs and little else, and I recreated the recipe in my grandmother’s kitchen for the holiday feast.

Mom loved it, and ate a second helping, which made my heart glow. I mean, feeding the people I love when they’re sick and need nourishment is one of my most basic joys in life. 

Last night my son and I baked the favorite that his “Nanabeth” loved: Sweet Potato Bread.

A good source of magnesium, Vitamin D and C, iron and potassium, sweet potatoes, especially the darker Garnet or Jewel “yams” (we tend to call yams sweet potatoes in the US), sweet potatoes are are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer.

I also baked several muffins from the same batch, and tucked them into my son’s backpack for naturally sweet, high-protein snacks after school.

So this is a great kid recipe, too! 

The “bread” comes out as more of a bread pudding texture, but if you let it cool long enough, you can slice it, move it to a plate, and eat it with a fork. 

  • 4 cups raw, chopped sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  1. Combine all in a heavy duty blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add any additional water as needed to get a pourable mix, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Bake in coconut oiled bread pans or muffin tins at 400 F for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Serve to someone you love – include yourself in that. 
Please share this recipe with friends – just click the buttons at the top of the page!
xo, Alex

Winter Whites: Celery Root & Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Celery Soup 5Winter Whites:

Creamy Celery Root & Cauliflower Soup

You may have passed by the celery root, also known as celeriac, because it looked scary and you couldn’t image what you’d do with that giant root. 

Fear not! That big bulbous root is just the bottom of celery, and you may be able to find it with some celery stalks growing out of the top, which is great for soup garnish. 

Celery root is high in fiber, potassium and magnesium, and make a deliciously creamy (and easily dairy free) soup that hints of sweet celery – just trust me. Make this! 

To prep the celery root, just cut off all the brown outer “peal” with a sharp knife. I recommend you cut it in half first, so you have a flat surface to steady the round root on. Then cube it and cook it! 
Celery Root

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups cubed celery root
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup unsweetened plant-milk 
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper
Extra olive oil for drizzling and a few celery leaves for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil over medium in a big soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the celery root, cauliflower and onion. Stir to coat all the veggies with oil.
  2. Cook for about five minutes. Don’t allow to brown, just to soften up. 
  3. Add the garlic, broth and water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cover.
  4. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the celery root is tender. Stir in the plant milk.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat. If you have an immersion or “stick” blender, use it to puree the soup while it is still in the pot. 
  6. If you are using a regular blender, carefully ladle the soup in batches of 3 cups at a time into your blender, puree until smooth and return to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, starting with 1/2 teaspoon of each. Stir well, taste and add more to taste. 

Spiced Red Lentil Stew: Liver Supportive Recipe

Indian Kitchari for Fall Liver Support
Yield: 6 servings

Support your liver this fall with traditional Indian Kitchari stew – a pleasantly spiced, but not spicey-hot, stew. Easy to make ahead for a busy week, simply reheat portions with a little water and serve with a tossed green salad for a great, warming meal!

½ cup brown rice
1 cup red lentils
6 cups water or sodium-free vegetable broth
1 cup carrot, large dice
½ yellow onion, large dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ inch ginger root, freshly grated
1 tablespoon coconut oil or grass-fed butter or ghee (clarified butter)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon sea salt

handful fresh cilantro leaves

 
lentil soup

1. Rinse and drain the rice and lentils, being careful to remove any stones.
2. Add to the 6 cups of water in a large soup pot and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Add the carrot, onion, garlic, and ginger root. Cook for another 10 minutes.
4. While the vegetables are cooking, place the oil, cumin seeds and mustard seeds in a separate skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until they begin to pop. Add the remaining spices and salt and stir for 30 seconds.
5. Add the cooked spices to the kitchari mixture, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes more. Add another cup or two of water if you need more liquid.
6. Top bowls with a few fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot.

How to make Green Smoothies for Fall & Winter

A reader asked how she can continue drinking green smoothies for breakfast in the colder seasons.
Here’s my quick video answer!

I know adding healthy fats and good protein, as well as the right produce are important for a breakfast that keeps me going.

My favorite Green & Protein Chai recipe

1 scoop vegan gluten-free Chai protein powder 
1 large or 2 small seeded pears
½ cup blueberries (thawed overnight if frozen)
2 cups unsweetened coconut/almond milk
1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
2 large leaves of kale
Blend and enjoy!
Hope this helps you stay on track!

Use it at room temp, or if it’s cold, warm it up on the stove top.
If you use unfrozen berries (room temp fruit) it shouldn’t seize up.

Please share this video with your friends! Just click below to Tweet it!

How to make #green smoothies for fall & winter – @deliciousalex made a quick video! http://bit.ly/18RHmuP

 

 

 

Cucamelon Salad – What’s a Cucamelon!?

They’re tiny, they’re adorable, and they’re downright delicious.

Cucamelon recipe

These itty bitty cucumbers are a little bit lemony tasting, and pair perfectly with ripe cherry tomatoes and grapes.

Also known as Sanditas or Mexican Sour Gerkins, these little babies are being grown around the US now, and I’ve seen them in well-stocked grocery stores and farmer’s markets on both coasts. Check your local store now, or order seeds for next year here and grow your own!

Cucamelon Salad

 

Cucamelon Salad Recipe Alexandra Jamieson

Serves 6-8 as a side

2 cups cucamelons (aka sanditas), washed, dried & halved (or chopped Persian cucumbers)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed, dried & halved
2 cups red grapes, washed, dried & halved
8 leaves fresh basil, washed, dried & torn
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch sea salt

Combine the cucamelons, tomatoes and grapes in a bowl.
Tear the basil and add to the bowl.
Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a small bowl. Whisk well.
Pour olive oil mixture over the cucamelons and toss gently. Serve immediately and enjoy the happy sounds of delighted guests.

 

Inspired by Elise Kornack’s Tomato & Sandita Salad in New York Magazine October, 2013

Hemp Hummus for Hemp History Week

Celebrate Hemp History Week with this delicious, protein rich hummus!

Filled with satisfying protein, anti-inflammatory Omega-3′s and some wonderful seasonings, this hummus is more super-food than your average chickpea paste!

Hemp Hummus

Yield: 4 cups

3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1⁄2 cup shelled hemp seeds (AKA hemp hearts)
1⁄4 cup hemp seed oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
2 Tablespoons cumin powder
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2-3 teaspoons sea salt
Optional garnish: drizzle with a little olive oil and a dusting of paprika

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Process until smooth. You may need to stop and scrape the sides down a few times to completely combine the hummus ingredients.

• Serve with crackers, raw veggies, and the optional garnishes. Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight, class container for up to 4 days.

Trim Your Tummy With Detox Salads: Top 3 Tips For Stomach Slimming Salads

Cool Salads, Hot Body:
Sexy Detox Salads For Tightening Your Tummy This Summer

No matter how you slice them, salads are one of the best ways to slim down your tummy in time for bikini season.

Filled with fiber to move out any bloating and gunk from your intestines, salads are also cooling for your body in the heat, and provide the light, uplifting raw energy that we need to stay active in summer.

Some of the ingredients in my detox salads were chosen specifically because they add extra detox-help for your body, which means you’ll dump the toxins and fat faster:

  • radishes: support energy circulation (AKA “chi”) throughout the body, help remove toxins, and an excellent for helping to digest fat
  • cilantro: great for helping perspiration (sweating helps you detox through your skin), aids digestion, relieves gas and bloating, used to safely remove toxins
  • lemon: dried dampness in the body, aids digestion and supports the liver, your 2nd largest detox organ, and supports bile formation, which improves absorption of minerals

But be careful – those leafy greens can hide a multitude of sins, so be sure you make your summer salads smart.

AND if you’ve been having tummy trouble for a while, it may be time to heal your gut! Bloating, excess fat, constipation and diarrhea are signs that you need to heal.

These are my top recommended supplements for healing your gut: 

My top 3 tips for making tummy-trimming salads:

1. Skip the creamy, high calorie dressings and opt for healthy fats like olive oil or toasted sesame oil with some nice vinegar.
2. Avoid the gluten-filled croutons, and opt for crunchy sunflower or sesame seeds, or chopped bell peppers.
3. If you crave sugar every afternoon, give your body the sweet it craves and add shredded carrots, shredded raw beets, and other sweet root veggies to your salad.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad

8 ounces 100% soba (gluten-free buckwheat) noodles
2 cups chopped watercress or sunflower seed sprouts
½ cup sliced radishes
½ cup sliced celery
½ cup sliced cucumber

Dressing:

½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari (soy sauce) or coconut aminos
1 to 2 inches fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1. Boil 8 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Add soba noodles and cook until tender, about 7-8 minutes.
2. Rinse with cold water in a colander and mix with sliced veggies.
3. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over cooked soba noodles and veggies.

Quick & Easy Quinoa Salad

1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed & drained three times (or 2 cups of leftover quinoa)
½ cup chopped radishes
½ cup chopped cucumbers
½ cup chopped celery
½ chopped red onion
½ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
½ cup chopped organic red bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar
pinch Himalayan pink salt or fleur de sel

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add rinsed quinoa to the water. Stir well, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to steam for 3 minutes more.
2. Allow cooked quinoa to cool in a big bowl while you cut the veggies.
3. Combine all ingredients together in the big bowl and stir well to mix.
4. Eat right away or cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to marry.

Chickpea Avocado Lemon Spinach Salad

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 ripe avocado, cubed
1 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley or baby spinach leaves

1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
2. Whisk well and add the chickpeas, avocado and parsley. Stir well to combine and cover bowl with plastic. All the flavors to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
3. Remove from the refrigerator and stir well before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

Did you like these recipes? Be sure to share them with friends!

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My 1-Minute Lunch!

I’m busy, so I eat simple food most of the time.

This week, between phone calls, I cut open an avocado, filled it with leftover gigante beans (aren’t they gigantic!?), and  a light olive oil vinaigrette.

Boom. Done.

Delicious.

(And YES, I ate both halves of the avocado filled with beans – I was HUNGRY!)

This is the kind of simple, delicious food I share with my Cravings Cure members – want to check it out?

Click here to learn about the Cravings Cure Group Detox Program!

 

Hungry Hottie: Tasty Treats For Food Lovers & Pound Droppers Alike

I’m always on the lookout for healthy meals to please a crowd – remember, brunch is my favorite meal to prepare and serve, so we’re often entertaining friends with different dietary desires.

One person craves tofu, another bacon.

Since I’m all about welcoming the whole bunch to my table, cookbooks and recipes that make my cooking style easy are my favorites. Enter: The Hungry Hottie.

I asked Cynthia Pasquella, my new buddy and celebrity nutritionist (you’ve probably seen her on TV), to recommend the best brunch recipe for my next shin-dig. Here’s a recipe she gave from her new cookbook, Hungry Hottie! 

But before you get to the recipe, and in case you don’t already know Cynthia, here’s a quick breakdown.  Cynthia’s worked with numerous celebrity clients like Blake Lively, Sandra Bullock and Charlize Theron.  She’s also a best-selling author and nutrition expert for The Dr. Phil ShowThe Doctors and The Today Show as well as many others.  She’s been called a thought-leader for the new generation by Gabrielle Bernstein and Dr. Phil.  She’s the real deal!

AND if you sign up to get her Hungry Hottie book today she’s offering a whopping 53 PAGES of The Hungry Hottie Cookbook for FREE!

 

But wait – there’s more!

When you buy Hungry Hottie from Cynthia by Saturday 4/13/13, I’ll gift you a free edition of my Week In A Weekend!

That’s a week’s worth of plant-based menu’s, recipes, shopping lists, and a cooking video, you’ll have everything you need to get started on a healthy path. (there is a gluten-free week too – your choice!)

That’s a $47.89 program for FREE when you buy Hungry Hottie!

Click here to get the recipes, book and more by 4/13! 

(just email me the e-receipt at info@alexandrajamieson.com, SUBJECT: Hungry! Hungry!)

Here’s just a sample of what you’ll get with Hungry Hottie:

Tasty Veggie Tacos!

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 c raw walnuts
½ clove garlic, minced
½ green onion, diced
juice of ½ lemon
2 tsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tsp cumin
1 medium tomato, diced
4 large romaine lettuce leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1.    Place walnuts into a food processor until finely chopped.
2.    Place chopped walnuts into a bowl with garlic, green onion, lemon juice, liquid aminos, and cumin.  Mix together well.
3.    Add salt and pepper to taste.
4.    Place a scoop of the taco filling on a lettuce leaf and top with tomatoes.
5.    Roll up and enjoy!

HOTNESS FACTOR
Walnuts are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids which will help boost weight loss. Plus the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat content reduces cholesterol.

Get your Week In A Weekend &  recipes here and the special offer by 4/13: 

Remember - just email me the e-receipt at info@alexandrajamieson.com, SUBJECT: Hungry! Hungry!

My Good Mood Food Recipes with Joe Cross!

Ever see the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead?

I joined Joe Cross, the subject and filmmaker from the inspiring documentary,

on the third episode of The Joe Show to share two of my favorite mood-boosting recipes.

Watch as we make the recipes on Good Mood Foods!