2016

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

HeartMatters and In the Kitchen: Delight in Summer Cooking and Eating

Our seasonal cooking and eating classes continue with this upcoming spotlight on the delights of summer. Join the fun while learning about light and nutritious salads, spreads, and main dishes...

Pesto! The Flavor of SO Many Possibilities.

Pesto is easy to make, richly flavorful and so versatile! Ingredients: • 2 bunches of fresh basil (you can even leave the stems on!) • 5 robust garlic cloves • ½ - 1 cup of olive oil • ½ cup of pine nuts • ¾ cup of fresh parmesan cheese To Prepare: • Blend all of these ingredients together, mindful of the amount of oil poured, as well as time spent blending to adjust--to your taste and texture pleasure! This evening, I made a fab and easy meal: 1. Simmering on the stove, while I was creating the pesto, was a pot of bow tie-shaped pasta. When the pasta was al-dente, I mixed it with the pesto then added fresh mozzarella chunks and sliced cherry tomatoes. It’s cooling in the fridge to be savored later! This pesto dish is SIMPLE, REFRESHING, and HEALTHFUL! Walnuts can be subbed in for the pine nuts, and I do sometimes throw in some spinach into the blend. Your other options for the spectacular left-over pesto: 1. You can spread pesto: • On firm tomato slices to be enjoyed right then and there— Or, after a layer of fresh mozzarella has been added. This stack of happiness then gets drizzled with a good-quality fig vinaigrette. Magnifique! • On a crusty baguette that is then covered in a thin layer of either mozzarella or parmesan cheese and placed under the broiler for a moment. Yum! 2. Cut up a bunch ‘o veggies and layer on a baking tray. Drop dollops of pesto around the veggies, and bake for 10 minutes on one side, in a 350-degree oven. Gently turn the veggies, mixing in the pesto a bit, and bake on the other side for 5 – 10 minutes, depending on the amount of crunch you’d like. The more crunch the better, I say! Think: carrots, cauliflower, garlic cloves, purple onion chunks, broccoli, mushrooms, zuchinni, sweet peppers…pretty much whatever veggies are in the fridge can end up in this divine and SIMPLE roasted veggie side dish. 3. Or use an olive oil, salt and pepper marinade on those same veggies, saving the zippy flavor of the pesto for dipping roasted vegetables into! 4. Any additional left-over pesto can be mixed into scrambled eggs, spread along side cream cheese in a sandwich, or for a real delight, spread the pesto inside of a Medjool date...need I say more...? Bon Appétit!

Spinach Barley Saute

Spinach Barley Sauté This is one of my favorite dishes! It can be eaten warm in the winter, yet it is also delicious, cool and refreshing in the summer. Ingredients: • 1 cup barley, rinsed • 3 cups fresh spinach, washed and torn • ½ cup raisins • olive oil • garlic, chopped • salt and pepper, to taste • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted Preparation: 1. Place barley in a pot with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside. 2. While the barley is cooking, sauté the garlic and raisins in the olive oil, for just 90 seconds! 3. Add the spinach, sauté until it is wilted and not overcooked. 4. Mix spinach sauté to cooked barley and season. 5. Just before you are ready to enjoy this dish, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.

90-Minutes of Kitchen Zen™

90-minutes of Kitchen Zen!™ You’ll enjoy these benefits • Engage in healthful commitment • Delight in creating and sustaining your own vibrant health. • Shop for and eat local foods when possible. • Support small farms using sustainable agricultural methods. • Know that you are contributing to the health of the planet. • Cultivate a time for mindfulness • Express gratitude, for giving yourself the time to prepare and enjoy good quality food • Experience the “zen” of cooking. • Experiment during one or two dinners per week... • Family time • Age-appropriate kitchen and food preparation jobs. • Quality time with children and sweetheart: share the workload! • Role model your commitment to the planet and your health. • Create the opportunity to discuss the environment and the impact of your decisions. • Create a comfort level in the kitchen for the next generation. • Explore the benefits of eating “real food” versus drive-through food. How To’sVeggies: 6 colors on your plate! • Cut ahead of time, store in glass, Tupperware or zip lock bag. • Use in salads, casseroles, stir-fry • Grilled peppers, eggplant, zucchini, onion, you-name-it: brush with (garlic infused) olive oil; place under broiler on low or onto grill for 10-ish minutes each side. These will keep in the fridge for a at least a week! • Roast garlic, peel, and store in fridge for added zip to any meal! • Wash greens and dry well. Tear into small pieces for salad mix. • make up salads ahead and store in fridge • add “wet” veggies at meal time to avoid a soggy salad • cukes, cut tomatoes, olives, onions… • Pre-cut veggies are available in the produce section of some grocery stores; they are more expensive, but very convenient! • Fruits • Cut ahead of time, squeeze a drop of fresh lemon juice on top, and seal well in glass or Tupperware. • Perfect for smoothies, salad with yogurt or cottage cheese, just as a snack, or in a cobbler. • Grains • 2 parts water to 1 part grain. • Bring to a boil, simmer for ½ hour. • brown rice, millet, couscous, barley, bulgur • Exceptions • polenta requires more water, longer cook time and constant stirring! • quinoa cooks in 12 minutes. • Cook up a pot of grains each week to be used in salads, casseroles, and soups. • Meat, tempeh, and eggs • Marinade ahead of time (2 – 3 days), then cook; or • Bake tempeh or chicken breast early in the week for a yummy addition to a dinner casserole, a lunch sandwich, or on top of a salad. • Hard-boil a half-dozen eggs for a salad topper or snack. • Beans • Soak overnight. • Rinse with fresh water. Add fresh water to pot and bring to a boil, simmer 1 – 6 hours, depending on the bean. • Cook up a pot of beans each week to be used in salads, casseroles, and soups. • NEWS FLASH! Beans are available in cans with low or no salt and organically cultivated. • Nuts • Roasted: no oil needed; put in a pan on medium heat, stirring often, until they pop—about 5 minutes. Store in fridge. • Not only are roasted nuts very high in nutritional value, but also add a lovely flavor to a salad or on top of a cooked casserole. Miscellaneous • Add raisins or any dried fruit for flavor and interesting texture, especially with sun-dried tomatoes. • Taking the time, once a week, to prepare the basics for healthy lunch and dinner is an investment in YOU that will provide more pay-back than you can imagine! Once you cultivate the habit of 90-minutes of Kitchen Zen, you will eat more healthfully while spending less time in the kitchen overall. Have fun with this!

Tuna and White Bean Salad

Tuna and White Bean Salad A simple meal, refreshing and cool: perfect for summer! Ingredients: • 2 6-oz cans of tuna, drained • 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
 • 2 roasted red peppers, packed in a jar also works • 2 Tablespoons capers
 • Zest of 1 lemon • 1 tomato, roughly chopped (optional)
 • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
 • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
 • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
 • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
 • Toasted bread, for serving To Prepare: In a large bowl, combine the tuna, beans, red peppers, capers, lemon zest, and tomato (if using). In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt, and black pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the tuna mixture and toss. Serve with the bread. **For a variation, try adding olives, red onion, or jarred artichokes. **

Roasted Veggies

Roasted Veggies Delicious as a side dish or as an addition to a green or grain salad. Ingredients: • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil • 4 large garlic cloves – crushed and minced
 • 3 medium eggplants – sliced lengthwise into 8 wedges, each wedge cut into 3 pieces
 • 3 large red bell peppers – cut into bite size pieces
 • 2 medium red onions – cut into 8 wedges, layers separated

 • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
 • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste To Prepare: 1. Preheat oven to 400F. 2. Put all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the thyme leaves in, and drizzle the olive oil over the mixture. 3. Use your clean hands to mix the vegetables with the oil and herbs. 4. Arrange the mixture on a large baking sheet, spreading them in an even layer. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the vegetables and place in the oven. 5. Roast vegetables for 15 – 20 minutes, turning over once during this time, until the eggplant is tender when pricked with a knife. Remove from the oven and either serve immediately, or let them cool for later use in a green or grain salad.

Lemon-Scented Quinoa

Lemon-Scented Quinoa Salad A cool summer salad Ingredients: • 1 cup quinoa
 • 2 cups water
 • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
 • 1 can garbanzo beans • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
 • 1/2 red onion, chopped Dressing: 
 • 1 garlic clove, chopped
 • 1/4 cup sesame tahini
 • Zest of one lemon
 • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
 • 2 tablespoons olive oil
 • 2 tablespoons hot water
 • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt *an easy alternative to this dressing would be using yogurt, dill and lemon juice. To Prepare: 1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium saucepan heat the quinoa and water until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when you can see the curlique in each grain, and it is tender with a bit of pop to each bite. Drain any extra water and set aside. 2. While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Add the hot water to thin a bit and then the salt. 3. Toss the cooked quinoa, beans, cilantro, red onion, and half of the dressing. Add more dressing if you like and season with more salt to taste. Serve garnished with a bit of cilantro.

“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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