2016

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Cooking for Lovers! A Heartfelt Dinner for Lovers of the Heart and Real Food

Dates for a Date!

Ingredients:

  • Medjool dates
  • Goat cheese
  • Pistachio nuts, chopped

Preparation:

1.   Slice open the date, leaving it intact at the bottom.

2.   Remove the pit.

3.   Smear in some goat cheese.

4.   Sprinkle the crushed pistachios on top, allowing them to stick to the cheese.


Roasted Beets

Ingredients:

  • 6 – 8 medium sized red and/or golden beets
  • ¼ cup Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • 10 – 14 Turkish apricots, snipped into small pieces
  • ¼ cup candied pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. Wash and wrap beets in foil, bake at 400 for 60 minutes. Let cool completely (several hours).
  2. Wearing kitchen gloves, rub the beets gently and the skin will fall right off.
  3. Clean up the beet tips.
  4. Chop into bite sized chunks.
  5. Add crumbled blue cheese, chopped turkish apricots and (optional) the chopped, candied pecans.
  6. Drizzle with good quality balsamic vinaigrette (I use fig) and sprinkle a tad of salt and pepper.

Prep time: 20 minutes of before and after baking time; 60 minutes to bake

Serves: 4


Phyllo Spinach Fish Pie

Ingredients:

  • 12 -14 ounces tilapia fillets
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 bag prewashed baby leaf spinach
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaf, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 5 sheets phyllo pastry
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 4 tablespoons panko
  • 4 -6 ounces mild brie cheese
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced or 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cube the fish, sprinkle with limejuice and set aside.
  3. Mix together the spinach, eggs, sour cream, basil, green onions, garlic and cashews, and the zest of the lime.
  4. Add seasonings to taste.
  5. Brush a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with olive oil.
  6. Brush a sheet of phyllo with olive oil, layer in the baking dish, sprinkle with some breadcrumbs, repeat with all the sheets overlapping each time and using the breadcrumbs; you will have lots of pastry hanging over the side of the dish.
  7. Drain the fish, mix gently with the spinach mixture and pour in the pastry-lined dish.
  8. Top with the cheese and then the tomatoes.
  9. Roll the overhanging pastry up and over the edge of the dish, ending up with a tight roll all the way around the pie, then brush the pastry roll with olive oil.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes, before cutting into squares.

Prep time: 35 minutes, Bake time: 30 – 35 minutes

Serves: 4


Roasted Artichokes

Ingredients:

  • 6 Artichokes
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Dried thyme
  • 12 Garlic clove
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced

Preparation:

1.    Choose artichokes that are 3 to 4 1/2 inches wide. Break off and discard small outer leaves. With a knife, slice off artichoke tips. With scissors, snip thorn tips from remaining leaves. Trim dark base from stem ends and, with a knife, peel coarse fibers from stems and artichoke bottoms.

2.   Place trimmed artichokes into boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and let cool for comfortable handling. Cut artichokes in half lengthwise.

3.   Choose a pan in which the artichokes fit close together in a single layer (6 halves fit in a 9- by 13-in. pan); if there are large spaces, the juices will scorch.

4.   For each artichoke, pour 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil into pan and add 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme. Roll artichokes in oil to coat, and turn cut sides down. Slide 1 thin lemon slice and 1 peeled garlic clove under each artichoke half. Seal pan with foil.

5.    Bake in a 375º oven until artichoke bottoms are tender when pierced, 40 to 50 minutes.

6.   Turn artichokes over for 5 more minutes of roasting, center-side up.

Prep time: 20 minutes, cook time 60 minutes

Serves: 6


Artichoke Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup(s) mayonnaise, light
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel, grated
  • 1/4 cup(s) lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon mustard, dijon-style
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, black ground, freshly ground

Preparation:

1.    Blend all the ingredients together, season to taste preference.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serves 4


Roasted asparagus

Ingredients:

  • Fresh asparagus
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

1.    Wash asparagus spears and allow the stems to dry. Trim woody bottoms of stems.

2.   Place stems on baking tray. Sprinkle chopped garlic over stems.

3.   Drizzle with olive oil. Using your fingers, spread olive oil and garlic pieces throughout stems.

4.   Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

5.   Bake in 350 oven for 2 minutes, turn stems over, and bake for 2 more minutes.

Prep time: 10 minutes, roast time: 5 minutes

Serves: 3


Red Pepper Cashew Sauce, for Asparagus dipping

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dry roasted cashews
  • 1 medium red pepper chopped into 2 inch pieces (seeds and stem removed)
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chopped shallot

Preparation:

1.    Blend all ingredients together.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serving size: about 2 cups


Dessert: Pears with crème fraiche and bananas with chocolate sauce

Ingredients:

  • Ripe pears, sliced and peeled
  • Crème fraiche, seeasned with fresh nutmeg, a drop of vanilla, or cinnamon

Preparation:

1.    Get cozy with your sweetie.

2.   Slowly run sliced pear through crème fraiche dipping sauce.

3.   Feed to your sweetie.

4.   Lick your fingers.

5.    Repeat.


Ingredients:

  • Firm bananas, peeled and slice into strips
  • Dark chocolate
  • ½ cup cream

Preparation:

1.    Melt chocolate in a double boiler and allow it to cool, until tepid.

2.    Blend in the whipping cream, mixing well and serve.

3.   Eat and enjoy following pear recipe!


This is the meal that we will be cooking up later this week at In the Kitchen at the Cooking for Heart Lovers Class. Yum!



Heart – Mind Connection: A Mindfulness Symposium

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation Center is hosting a free community heart-health symposium, the theme of which is Mindfulness. I have the honor and pleasure of joining Dr. Marty Cottler as a speaker at this event to share the benefits and how-to's of integrating mindfulness into daily practice.

Dr. Cottler will speak about Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and I will discuss Mindful Meals -- two relevant and healthful topics! Local health related businesses will have demo and display booths there as well.

Seating will be limited, please RSVP to 274-6124 to reserve your spot.

Celebrate Your Heart–February is Heart Month!

We know this: eating well, exercise, and relaxation are integral aspects of optimal heart health. What does that look like for you? How do you bring balance into your daily life to include a satisfying effectiveness in your personal and/or professional environment--as well as the essentials: shopping for and cooking healthful meals, moving your body on a regular basis, and cultivating a routine quieting/self-soothing practice?

Each of us will take care of our physical and emotional hearts in our own way, using our unique perspectives, priorities, and resources to cultivate the balance that will support our heart health. This individuality fits in to the framework of the essentials. Eating well, shopping locally, and avoiding processed foods are topics that are adequately covered in other areas of my website as well as many other external sources; I am inviting you, in this article, to contemplate the opportunities around fitness, quieting, and positivity.

Routine fitness is important. It need not be Olympic effort, it's the duration of each session and the frequency with which you exercise that is relevant. Choose an activity that is pleasurable, comfortable, and convenient, and one that can be done for (ultimately) 30-minutes non-stop, and 4 - 6 times per week. Individualized exercise programs are determined by current level of fitness and general health considerations.

Your physical heart health is benefitted by eating well and exercising regularly, yet there is a greater value to nurturing your emotional heart health. Studies validate that feelings of joy, contentment, and gratitude are associated with a commitment to being well, which leads to healthful daily life choices. The same studies demonstrate that feelings of anger, sadness, loneliness, and resentment are closely linked with unhealthy daily life choices and ultimately, with disease.

That's powerful medicine—within your thoughts and emotions lays the ability to change your physiology. Experiencing daily joy and gratitude is a practice...and the more often it is invited and its presence acknowledged, the more familiar of a perspective that will become. Within this experience, the physical body responds by decreasing catecholamines (stress hormones), lowering systemic inflammation, softening blood vessel to lower blood pressure, slowing down the heartbeat, and changing brain activity from busy/hectic to quiet/relaxed. That shift in our physiology, related to the positivity of joy and gratitude, creates the pleasant-to-navigate path to optimal health and well-being.

Celebrate your heart: move through the day with mindfulness, sit quietly, express gratitude, share blessings, and honor your physical self with nourishing foods and activities. Because your heart matters!

Small Steps Towards Movement

Mindful Fitness on Your HeartMatters Journey...

Mindful Eating on Your HeartMatters Journey

Slowing down to savor the flavor is a practice of mindfulness--a practice that leads to an enhanced connection with your level of satiation. When your brain is engaged in the pleasure of eating, you will create a connection between feeling satisfied and eating just the right amount of food. (read: you will eat less, with all the pleasure of eating more!)

A Cooking Class for Lovers!

Join me and Wendy Van Wagner at In the Kitchen for an evening of culinary decadence. We'll meet around the chop block on Thursday, February 3 at 6 PM, to share the labors of love, as we create healthful dishes that will tantalize your romantic taste-buds!

This class is $35 per person and includes a full meal, recipes for each dish, lots of lively discussion about pleasurable ways to keep active and healthy, and a whole lot o' fun.

Pre-registration is requested at Wendy's In the Kitchen website or by calling 478-0669.

A guided relaxation…After the Rain

An inspired guided imagery relaxation, created in real time, after my morning walk. Enjoy!


after the rain


I had/have a busy day ahead with some scheduled appointments and a To Do list. As soon as I was outdoors, that all went by the wayside...I was captivated by the crisp, clear morning after the cold winter rains, and I was blessed by giving myself permission to be mindful of the natural beauty around me. Upon my return to home, I could have blasted into my day, but chose instead to create the guided imagery--to share with others--and immediately dropped into my own place of deep quiet and calm in the sitting, creating, and visualization while recording the audio.

Perhaps I will end up working harder, smarter, and with more focus--later today or over the weekend--as my To Do list beckons, but for now, I am in a delicious state of peaceful, calm, and intentional quiet.

May you be blessed with the same...

And P.S. This audio is not "perfect"! There is my breathing, my long ssss sounds, my clicking tongue; not that you will notice! xoxo

“Robin brings dedication, focus, passion, and intellect to whatever endeavor she is pursuing. She does not just talk about good health, she practices it thoroughly every day of her life. When she talks to clients about healthy lifestyle choices, they are able to see the effects of healthy choices by observing the woman in front of them!”
Arthur S., Client

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