Tic, Toc, Tic, Toc…

IMG_8690I can not believe we are already in February of 2016.  It has been such a great start to the new year!  Things are really busy and hopping here at the G&H headquarters.

As for personally, I began school at the Savannah College of Art and Design this past January.  I love it.  But, it has not come with its challenges.  As a mom, I have felt guilt because I can not always be available for the girls.  However, the lesson has been for them and for me, to let go.  It is time to let go of being everything they want me to be and be ME!  Now, of course they would prefer that I be available when they need something immediatley.  Who wouldn’t want that?  So, I can not blame them for having some push back.  I will say time management is the biggest, best skill we are learning.  We are all learning to manage our own schedules, plan accordingly and not take advantage of one another.  Again, this is not an easy skill that comes naturally.  I catch myself being so busy that the first thing to go is the gratitude.

I picked up Emma from Lacrosse the other evening.  She hopped in the car with tears streaming down her eyes.  I said “what is wrong?”  She quickly began explaining her fear of being kicked off the varsity team because she didn’t practice well.  Emma was doing what I do all the time.  She wasn’t enjoying the moment for fear that tomorrow it will be taken away.  Light bulb!

I have been so scared that I won’t be able to juggle the kids, the school and the business that I am not enjoying the moment of all of it.  And, I do love all of it.  Each thing brings me such joy and nothing is perfect about it.  Imperfect…I feel I am right were I am suppose to be.

So, as time is ticking away, I blink and we are at another birthday.  My baby, Gabrielle is 9 years old today.   We are going to make cupcakes from a box.  Imperfect but yet, so perfect.  I’ll save the cake from scratch for my clients.

As for Grits and Honey, it has really taken off on the weekly meals program.  I just love this aspect of the business because it helps those who feel, like me, a little overwhelmed at moments.  And, if I can help you out with your time management, that puts a smile on my face.  But, it isn’t just about saving time or we would be going to eat fast food everynight.  It is about eating healthy, eating well, and eating together at home.

Here is to enjoying all those imperfect and sometimes rushed moments!  I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

PS- Get those dates in for Spring catered events (graduations, baby showers, birthdays and weddings)… the calendar is filliing up quickly!

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Long Rough Roads That Do Lead to Somewhere

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Lighthouse Beach, Eluethra


I went on a fabulous trip with my wonderful, amazingly patient partner in crime.  We did some traveling along the roads of a small island in the Bahamas called Eleuthra.  There is one main road that travels the distance of the island that is paved.  Then there are tiny dirt roads that branch off if you want to explore towards any one of the many beaches.

One of our road trips was to a beach we had read was the most beautiful.  It was on the very southern tip and about an hour away.  After traveling the main road (about 45 minutes) we turned onto the this jarring and rugged road with tree limbs that reached out scratching the sides of the car and reaching inside the car to smack our faces.  We began our journey towards the Lighthouse Beach on this uninhabited dirt road.

Now, the tires on the convertible Chevy Tracker we rented were also so timeworn that they looked white.  I couldn’t tell if it was that color because of the sand or because the threads that were so exposed.  I was a little concerned our vehicle wasn’t up for the excursion.  It didn’t matter, we were on our journey.

This car ride to reach this amazing beach is like my own personal journey I’ve been on the last few years.  I feel like I have been on a road of rough terrain but believing this road will come to my own understanding, happiness and peacefulness.  I know people who have gone before me on this journey, which gives me some relief that I am not alone and a lot of gratitude for their stories.

My personal road seems to keep going on and on and on just like the road to the Lighthouse Beach with Stephen.  Is it ever going to end?  I feel car sick.  Will I get there?  Then, just when we level a hill and look out on the horizon, I think maybe this is it and then I see it goes on further.  This road seems to go on longer than I had anticipated.  Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten on this road had I known how difficult this journey was going to be.  Then I surprise myself with how determined I am.  Believing is what keeps me looking at the next hill towards the horizon.  Is it here?  No.  I keep going.  We keep going.  Another 45 minutes had to have passed.  I know that this road ends and a beautiful place exists.  It has to.

Just when I think I will crumble and I want to quit, I see it, a beautiful beach.  I immediately get out of the car and walk towards and into the water to cool off.   I touch the earth to keep my stomach from turning because of being car sick.  I am so glad to be out of the Tracker that any where would be better than the car.

I look over to Stephen and something is troubling him.  I have a feeling I know what is wrong but I don’t want to say anything.  Please just ignore it, I think.  It is a beautiful beach and I am happy to be here with him.  He says it.  “I don’t think this is it.”  Shit.  I really don’t want to get back in the Tracker.  I really don’t want to continue this journey.  But, the water is really rough.  There isn’t a lot of places to swim and snorkel.  It doesn’t look like what we had been told.  It isn’t what we believed it to be.  I saw myself starting to settle.  I was nauseous and satisfied to be “almost there”.

My sweet friend and lover says, ” we need to go a little further.”  I am so glad I listened and believed.  I’ve learned there are no short cuts and believe me, I have tried them.  I’d like to think my journey will become my story and those who travel it after me will know they too will get there.  And once we have arrived, we will know it.  It is breathtaking.  It is paradise.  It is heaven.  It is a state of mind.

We did get back in the car that day.  It was the shortest leg of the journey.  I thought our little Tracker would tip right over going through some of the holes in the road or those tires would just pop.  But we made it.  When we did arrive, we both knew we were in the right place.  We made it together.  We made it to our paradise.  The water was the clearest I have ever seen.  It was clearer than pool water.  We saw hundreds of fish, a sea turtle, and miles of coral and white sand.  It was really stunning.  And to think, I was almost ready to quit and settle for rough waters.

Now, after traveling so far, you will of course need some nourishment.  What better than a picnic lunch?  If nothing else, we all need a little food to keep us going.  Stephen and I loved this Beet Sandwich that we discovered at a cafe called Da Perk in Governor’s Harbour.  Here is my recreation of this healthy sandwich.

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Beet Sandwich from Da Perk

Ingredients

Multi Whole Grain Bread (cut into 4 thick slices)

2 Red Beets

Hummus

1 Onion sliced

1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Lettuce

Tomato

Goat Cheese

Directions

Preheat your oven to 4oo degrees Ferinheight.  Place your washed beets in foil paper with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of kosher salt.  Bake for around 20-30 minutes or until you can easily poke with a toothpick in it.  While your beets are roasting, saute your onions until they are wilted and carmelized.  Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to your onions and a pinch of salt.  Spread a bit of hummus on one slice of bread.  Stack your sandwich high with the slices of roasted beets, balsamic onions, lettuce and tomato.  Spread the soft goat cheese on the other slice of multigrain bread and place on top.  Viola!  Now you have a delicious, healthy, meatless sandwich!  This is perfect for a picnic to the park if a beach isn’t your destination.

Here is to going the distance!  For all of us who think on occasion we can not walk another step in our journey or that this is not the place we belong, I tell you, keep going, you are almost there.  Just pack a healthy lunch, it can be a long jaunt.  Cheers!

 

 

 

A Lighter Side

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Asian Slaw

Someone told me before I moved here that Atlanta is really just a big forest.  I thought he was exaggerating, but this past week,  I’ve witnessed the forest bloom into existence. I wake up to bird babbles and pollen soaked everything. Spring has taken over the city.  I’ve even spotted some forest dwellers on their back patios sharing food and drinks, a sure indicator of warmer weather, longer days, and lighter fare.  Last week, I made an Asian inspired slaw–a delightful companion to any barbecue or sandwich.

You can use bags of pre-chopped slaw, or you can buy a head each of red and green cabbage. I prefer the latter for a few reasons. 1. It just tastes better. 2. The road to freshly chopped cabbage is much more exciting. If you take this route, PLEASE remember to stop and marvel that a red cabbage cut in half looks like a Van Gogh painting, even more than his own cabbage still lifes.  Here is the recipe!

Asian Inspired Slaw

1 head Red cabbage

1 head Green cabbage

OR a bag of pre-chopped slaw (the boring shortcut)

2 carrots, chopped or shaved

3 large scallions, sliced

2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped as  garnish)

Dressing

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2  tablespoons brown sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional ingredients:

1/2 red onion, chopped

1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1-2 teaspoons chopped Jalapeño, if you’re feeling hot

Directions:

Chop the vegetables and whisk the dressing separately, then unite in a big bowl. Garnish with cilantro.

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The Doctor Is In!

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Arugula with Walnuts, Grapefruit, Goat’s Milk Blue Cheese and Lime Dressing


Today we received some wonderful news!  My dear client, Becky,  that I have been working with for a year in January has gotten her lab results back from her cardiologist.  Our goal was to lower her cholesterol without having to take medication.  Her LDL Cholesterol was a high 156 and is now a low 126!  When people have high LDL thier arteries build up with plaque causing higher risk of a heart attack.  So on top of this great news, Becky also learned that she had no plaque build up in her arteries!  She took control before the build up.  Way to go Becky!

One way Becky wanted to tackle her high cholesterol was to eat healthier, which is why she called me.  We worked together to find the right things that she enjoyed eating but with a healthy twist.  I began making her breakfast, lunch, dinners and snacks.  I had her eat a breakfast of healthy granola, greek yogurt and fresh berries or smoothies.   I made salads with sockeye salmon or lean meats for lunches that she could bring into work.  Dinners ranged from Mediterranean Grilled Chicken with olives and capers to Asian Stir Fry’s with as many fresh vegetables as possible.

This is such great news for all of us looking to take control of our lives with out the quick fix of a pill.  Now, I won’t go ranting about my personal opinion of drugs, because I have taken my fair share.  However, I will say, the magic pill isn’t always the answer and, we as individuals have to decide what is best for ourselves.  In my humble opinion, it does take time and giving yourself that is most important.  This is not the easy way out.  This takes dedication and patients to see great results.  Good news though!  There are no strange side effects of eating healthy other than looking at yourself in the mirror wondering who the stud is staring back!

Becky and I continue to work together to keep her happy, healthy and out of the Doctors office.  I have added new clients this year that would like help with their diets, too.  We all want to feel good and that starts with eating and sleeping well.  If we are on a mental journey of wellness, it is super hard to focus when our belly hurts!   I encourage all of you to start your journey to wellness and reach out to someone who can help you on the path.   G&H would be thrilled to help you with your meals!  It is super easy.  Many of us don’t have time to plan, shop and cook.  Some of us just don’t want to do the planning, shopping or cooking!  Either way is ok!  That is what I am here for.  And, you get to continue on with your life but in a healthier way.  And, selfishly, I get to fulfill my desire to help others with something I know a little bit about!

Today I am sharing one of the most simplest of salads but so beautiful and delightful.  I like it because it is simple to make and beautiful to see but mostly because it is mouthwateringly fresh in the mouth.

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Grapefruit Segments

 

Arugula with Walnuts, Grapefruit, Blue Cheese and Lime Dressing

Ingredients

1 large bunch Arugula

1-2 Pink or Yellow Grapefruits (or both) cut into segments with out skin or peel

Handful of Walnuts

3 ounces Maytag’s Goat’s Milk Blue Cheese

1 Lime Juiced

1/4 cup Good Olive Oil

pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Mix Lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Set the dressing aside.  Assemble a nice pile of your arugula on a plate.  Then sprinkle some walnuts, blue cheese and segments of grapefruiton top.  Drizzle your dressing over the salad when you are ready to serve.  Now, that is simple, fresh and delicious!  Just the way G&H likes it.

We are all on different journeys in our lifetime.  Life can be terribly difficult and wonderfully satisfying all in the same week.  One thing we all need though is food.  Here’s to taking control and living and eating wholeheartedly!  la vie est belle!

 

This Too Will Pass…Thank Goodness!

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jardin congelés

 

 

 

All those hard things that I’ve put off, like taxes and the empending move, are fast approaching. Excitement had turned into paralizing fear.   The creative work in the kitchen, which is the work I am passionate about, is now needing to be on the back-burner for a bit, while we look at the books.  The fear is there and I am swimming in tears.    I so dislike this part of the job.  When I talked to the book keeper, AKA, Guardian Angel, she says, “I am part accountant, part psychologist”.  It is true, she needed to talk me off the edge.  My head races, will she tell me I need to get a day job, and quit this silly quest of owning my own business?  Will she tell me I am working so hard for absolutely nothing?  Who will take care of the girls if I have to get a 9-5 job?  Will she say I am the dumbest client EVER to make all these bookkeeping mistakes?  The self-doubt in my head is amazingly ridiculous.  If you could hear the chatter going on in my head, you wouldn’t believe that we had accomplished what we had in the last year.  In fact, I HAD forgotten.  I had forgotten all the people we have helped to make their lives simpler, healthier, and more joyful with each event or dinner we had prepared.   I HAD forgotten what this quest was all for, helping those that need it.  We all face different challenges that can seem overwhelming.   Some worse than others but it is all relative to our own lives.  I know I felt hopeless and stopped believing in myself.  Heck, I was having trouble recognizing the woman staring back in the mirror.

Through these trials we get a little bit stronger.  We are all a little stronger after going through difficult times and we WILL get through them.  Whether it is the business books, a loved one who is sick, a child whose tantrums seem to be unruly, or just a rotten day at work, we push forward.  The clouds do move out, leaving the sun to shine.   The clouds come and go, but the sun is always there.  I saw this once on an airplane.  The sky was so crystal clear, beautifuland sunny above the clouds, then we dipped down to land and it was the most grey day below.  The visual will forever be with me as inspiration to be patient for the clouds to move out.  Mimi Thorrison, model, writer, mother and chef wrote in her last blog post on Manger this, and it speaks directly to my heart even though there is a huge ocean between us and she was writing of something much deeper.

In the past week I’ve come to realize that simple things like sharing a table at dinner with the whole family are never more important than in times of turmoil. The comfort of good food, the healing power of a shared moment is never more needed than on a cold January night when bad news reaches your door.
So we continue to lead our lives, cook, eat, laugh and cry together and hope that by raising our children to the best of our abilities will help create a better world.

Today, it is time to get back in the kitchen.  All the hard work isn’t over, but I want to give myself a little sunshine before trudging through the mud again later this week.  I am going to treat myself and my little ones with a little creative fun that I hope you will enjoy too.  This dish is a wonderful rainbow!  My Dad says, “you want every color on your plate”.   This one serves that purpose!

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Rainbow Thia Chicken Salad

 

Here’s Ali’s recipe for Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad-

INGREDIENTS

3 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1 avocado, diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1 (large) carrot, julienned or shredded
1 red pepper, cored and julienned (or diced)
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped cashews or peanuts
PEANUT DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2-3 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce (if you are gluten-free, use GF soy sauce or tamari)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
juice of 1-1 1/2 lime
DIRECTIONS:

Toss all your salad ingredients in a bowl leaving out the peanuts and some of the cilantro for garnishing the finished salad.  In another bowl, mix together all dressing ingredients.  You can set aside until ready to serve.  When you are ready to serve, mix together your salad and dressing.  Top with peanuts or cashiews and cilantro.

I found this recipe on Gimme Some Oven‘s website.  I thought her peanut dressing was a little too thick but she mentions that may happen and to add hot water.  I added more fresh lime juice and tamari (gluten free soy sauce) as well as hot water.   Again, the most important thing is getting all these wonderful colors on your plate.

The rainbow makes its way into your mouth and then to body and soul.  It will be sure to bring out the sun, if even for a moment at lunch!  Whatever clouds may be hovering around you, remember the sun is there, we just may not be able to see it.  Here’s to the sun during this cold February!  Cheers!

 

 

So Delicious that it Can’t be that Healthy!

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Shiitake Mushrooms and Dinosaur Kale

Shiitake Mushrooms and Dinosaur Kale

Ingredients

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms sliced

1 bunch dinosaur kale chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon miso paste

Directions

In a saute pan, add kale, shiitake, and oil and sauté on medium high heat until kale becomes slightly wilted.  Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Lastly add miso and 1/4 cup water and mix well.  When the water is mostly evaporated, you are done!

This is a great snack, a fabulous side dish, or a great addition to soups or an omelet.  And, as you see, so simple and easy.  But hold on, let me tell you about what I have learned about the health benefits of these ingredients.  I have been making this because I think it is delicious.  Then, I was given this list of healthy foods to cook and eat for 2015 and guess what?  Every one of these ingredients where on the list!  Phew, I feel so grateful not to add eating healthy to the long list of resolutions.  We were already on our way to healthy eating!

We know that kale is good for us and it is packed with fiber.  It is all over the place right now as the new health trend.  It’s a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and cancer-fighting phytonutrients says Men’s Fitness Magazine.  The Shiitake  Mushrooms are just as beneficial.  I have heard a number of times from people who thought mushrooms where just a fungi that added calories with no health benefits.  This is far from the truth.  The American Cancer Society mentions that there are more studies that need to be conducted but that they should be a part of our diets.

Studies in animals have found antitumor, cholesterol-lowering, and virus-inhibiting effects in compounds in shiitake mushrooms….Shiitake mushrooms are promoted to fight the development and progression of cancer and AIDS by boosting the body’s immune system. These mushrooms are also said to help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and to help treat infections such as hepatitis…

Garlic has been around for 1000 of years as has Shiitake Mushrooms.  Reader’s Digest says that garlic is another antioxidant but may also keep mosquitos away if you want to rub it on your body.  I am going to go a step further and say that it may keep some people away if you want to go bathe in it!

Lastly is the health benefits of the miso.  Now, I don’t usually add miso but its fermented soy sister tamari (no wheat soy sauce).  But because my best bud took my tamari from the fridge and hasn’t returned it, I only had red miso paste.  I like the miso better but if you don’t have any handy, use a dash of tamari.  Miso has vitamins and minerals and studies show it is good for digestion.

Now if I haven’t convinced you to make this dish with all the health benefits, you must because it just tastes so dang good.  Go for it!  Be crazy in 2015 and feel great while doing it!  Enjoy and cheers!

 

I

 

 

 

Envisioning a Wonderful 2015

It’s New Year’s Eve!  I am thinking about this past year feeling extremely grateful for everyone and everything.  I am getting really excited about 2015 too.  There are so many new things coming up personally and professionally.  As I think about upcoming events, like moving from my home of 10 years, I am super excited about the next kitchen that I will move into.  I am envisioning a wonderful new workspace and living space for 2015.  It isn’t big or extravagant.  It is simple, warm and charming with lovely patinas.  I am envisioning happy healthy clients living their dreams with Grits and Honey’s help.  As the New Year approaches, I feel more excited about all the wonderful things that are on the horizon.

As I read through different cookbooks, like David Lebovitz’s  My Paris Kitchen, I feel so inspired to try new recipes and play with different spices.  I feel so heartened that I am on the right path of living and eating well.  I love these little inspirations and I want to sway those around me to go get inspired!  Let’s do it together.  I don’t want to make this another year gone by with dreams undone.  Let’s begin living those dreams even if it is just one simple one.  And let’s gently remind eachother when we find ourselves off track.

This past week, I decided to eat healthier before the 1st of the year so that I could get a head start on feeling good.  I also just felt like crap from all the sugar, booze and family drama I had been consuming to get through the holidays.  I find that I go through peaks and valleys of healthy eating.  The valleys are a little less and maybe that is why they affect me so greatly.  When I do eat crap, I can really feel it.  I don’t really believe in diets though.  I believe in lifestyle changes.  Life style changes won’t happen by feeling restricted or deprived.  At least, it doesn’t work for me.  Sometimes I want a little family drama and booze.

But back to being healthy…let’s take Guacamole.  An avocado is rich in so many vitamins, minerals and healthy fat.  I am hesitant to include the “fat” in the sentence because of the stigma that comes with it.  Do you know how important that fat is?  Most importantly, we need fat to live.  I am not talking about saturated fat.  I am talking about good fats from avocados, almonds, salmon, etc.  The kind of fat that makes your skin look good, lower cholesterol and improve your thinking.  Some of you already know this, but there are so many that are misinformed about food.  That topic is for another blog.

Back to the Guacamole. This snack is so easy to make, delicious, healthy, and simple.  4 ingredients plus your veggies to use for dipping.

Ingredients

2 Avocados

1/2 fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

salt to taste

Directions

You have two choices on direction. 1)add all ingredients into a food processor and blitz or 2) chop up your garlic finely then mix in other ingredients by mashing the avocado and lemon juice into the garlic.  The later direction will make your guacamole a little more chunky but both are delicious.

You could leave the dip as is or if you have other ingredients you want to use, throw in that cilantro, jalapeño, tomato, or cayenne pepper.  Go crazy, or not, depending on your mood.  There is a time and place for both.

Dont always use it as a dip for corn chips!  Use it for dipping carrots, celery, or raw zucchini.  This is a great healthy filling snack or appetizer for yourself and the family.

Envision making more of this in 2015 and it will happen.  Envision yourself as healthy, happy and living your dreams and it will come true, sometimes with a better outcome than you had imagined.  Happy New Year and here’s to making and living our dreams!  Cheers!

 

 

The Smallest Cell is Smiling, Let’s Start With That!

Finished Juice

Fresh Juice

Do you ever just find yourself wanting to get to the finish line, only to start all over again?  It has many names – Rat Race, Daily Grind, Treadmill, Vicious Cycle…  Arianna Huffington quoted Alan Watts in her book Thrive stating this very dance.

No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along or that the whole object of playing is to reach the finale.  The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it.  It is the same, I feel with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget altogether to live them.

The majority of our lives are spent doing the mundane of driving to and from work, driving to and from school, cooking this meal, cleaning up after that meal, snuffing out that fire at work, vacuuming up the dog hairs, cleaning the ring around the toilette, drinking this cup of coffee to get up, and drinking this glass of wine to wind down.  Oh, it feels so tedious.  But this is life.  This is our story and how we play out our story is of most importance.  It isn’t the begining or the end.  It is what is in the middle.

As I make my fresh juice this morning I am reminded of how much I love this life I am living.  As I drink the juice, and feel it traveling down into my body, I can feel my cells singing with joy.  They are alive and happy.  What we put in our body is so important.  We are handed so many things in our lives that are either joyful or sorrowful.  It is constant, the yin and yang.

So many times I hear painful stories in life.  We can not avoid it, but how we live during it is key.  Let’s build our foundation on the sweetest simpliest taste of fruits and veggies getting soaked into our body.  We can all do this simple task.  This way when the going gets tough and the music is difficult to hear, our foundation of fresh goodness can kick in to support our bodies to dance on. It is more difficult to dance when we are sick and our bodies don’t want to function at all.

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Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Juicing

Ingredients

2 Fresh Peaches pitted and halved or apples cut with out seeds

1/2 cup carrots

2 celery stalks

1/2 jalapeno

1/2 cucumber

1 inch fresh ginger root

1 lime

Directions

Place all your ingredients one at a time into your juicer except the lime.  After all your fruits and veggies have been juiced, squeeze the lime on top and stir together to mix all the ingredients to get the perfect blend of sweetness from the fruit and spice from the jalapeno and ginger.  Feel free to mix it up a bit by adding spinach and kale,  or omit the jalapeño if it is too spicy for you.  During the summer months peaches are great but now that fall is approaching,  apples are in season and are perfect for juicing.  Sometimes I only have an apple, carrot, and ginger in the fridge so that may be all I add to my juice and it is still delightful.

Can you feel your cells smile?  Start your day off with this great foundation and let the music soar throughout the day.  Cheer’s to living!

 

 

Egg White, Spinach, Mushroom and Gruyère Quiche

Egg White Quiche with Spinach Mushrooms and Gruyere

Egg White Quiche with Spinach Mushrooms and Gruyère

This month is already beaming with surprises.  I love this time of year so much!  There are celebrations everywhere.  Graduations, outdoor festivals, weddings, and bridal showers are all on the calendar for this month and I will be sure to share them with you.   Spring is in full bloom!

As I sit outside typing away, I feel a breeze that is just lightly brushing my skin and the sun is warming my core.  A day like today calls for brunch outdoors with friends and family.  I have the best Quiche recipe for you and your loved ones to enjoy.  It will not disappoint. This is easy to throw together, healthy for our bodies and your guests will love it.  It is delicious to they eyes and mouth.  Feel free to mix in different vegetables.  Just use the same egg and milk ratio.

This filling can be used for 8 smaller Quiche or one large Quiche.   I am using a store-bought pie dough.  There is a time and place for making pie shells but not today!  It is too beautiful outside to be stuck in the kitchen cooking all day.

Ingredients

8 ounces chopped mushrooms

1 small shallot minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

6 large egg whites

1/2 cup milk

1 cup grated Gruyère cheese plus extra for sprinkling on the top

1 Pie shell

 

Directions

Warm your olive oil in a saute pan and add the mushrooms and shallots.  Saute until the mushrooms are soft and then add the garlic and spinach.  Remove from the heat after a minute and the spinach is wilted.  Let this completely cool.  In a separate large bowl, mix your egg whites, milk, cup of Gruyère cheese and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.   Add your cooled mushroom and spinach mixture to the eggs.  Pour your filling into the pie shell or shells and sprinkle the top with your remaining cheese.  Bake the smaller Quiche for 20-25 minutes and the larger Quiche for 35-40 minutes or until the egg is cooked through but don’t overcook the eggs.

There really is no need to have a pie shell if you are looking to leave out a few extra calories.  You can cook the filling in a glass pie dish but it will not take as long!

Serve this with your favorite fruits and a mimosa.  Here is to more beautiful days to come and healthy eating.  Cheers!

 

Worthy of a Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

My dear friend came over for dinner last night.  We sat outside, had a bottle of white wine and a wonderful dinner of Healthy Chicken Pot Pie that I had frozen earlier in the week.  She is in a hard place and I understand it because I have been there too.  She feels unworthy of happiness.

What could be better than some wonderful soul food to heal us on a soul level?

Ingredients

2 tablespoons real unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

cup chopped carrots

cup chopped celery

8 ounces chopped mushrooms

3 tablespoons flour

1.5 cups home-made chicken broth

1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast or tenders

salt and pepper to taste

1 disc Martha’s Perfect Pate Brisee

Directions

Saute your onion, celery, and carrot in your butter and oil.  The oil will help the butter from burning but also keep the delicious buttery taste without adding another tablespoon of it.  When the vegetables are soft, add the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two until cooked through.   Then add the garlic.  Don’t burn the garlic!  Simmer for a minute and then add the flour.  Cook this mixture for another minute before adding the broth and whisking at the same time to incorporate.  If your mixture seems to thick or thin, add broth or subtract broth according to your own desire.  Lastly, mix in cooked chicken and salt and pepper to taste.  After everything is incorporated, pour your mixture into a pie pan and top with your Pate Brisee.  By only adding a pie topping, you are cutting out half those calories but you will never notice.  Promise!  Bake your Chicken Pot Pie for 30-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  This also freezes well.  So, double the recipe and make two.  One for a night with a friend and another for a week night when there is no time for cooking.  Don’t thaw the Chicken Pot Pie when taking it out of the freezer and cook it for about 30 minutes longer or until your crust is golden.

This post is on a little more personal basis of health.  I had been struggling with feeling worthy for a long time.  I am not even sure when this misconception began for me.  I was talking to my dear friend and healer, R. Brian Keith, and he said something that has been on my mind and so poignant that I wanted to share it with you because it is so true.

As I sat in Brian’s office, I told him how I could see this “destination” of worthiness.   I said, “I feel so close.  I feel like I can see it, touch it, smell it.  I want to grab hold of it.  But I can’t quite grasp it.”  And that is when Brian said to me, “Mandy, worthiness is a state of being.”  It isn’t a destination, it is a “state of being”.

Worthiness could mean so many things to so many people.  Am I worthy of a loving partner? Worthy of a job I enjoy?  Worthy of being paid well?  Worthy of food on the table?  Worthy of health?  Worthy of money?  Worthy of dreaming?  The list goes on.

My joy has always come from my daughters.  My joy also comes from cooking and entertaining.  When I can bring that to someone’s home, it gives me great satisfaction.  I can do things physically that heal me, like running, yoga, and cooking with healthy ingredients.  But all of this isn’t enough if I don’t feel worthy of it.  

I also thought that I could reach this “destination” at a certain timeline.  I felt like, if I do this, I will feel this.  If I don’t do this, I won’t feel that.  If I do too much of this, I will feel terrible!  Well, I don’t think there is a timeline anymore.  Because, if so, I have totally missed the boat.  I think that is what is meant by the saying “the journey of life”.   It’s not the destination.

I am not sure why I didn’t feel worthy.  I don’t think any one person has made me feel unworthy.  I think I had been in a “state of being” and that had brought people into my life to confirm my own negative thoughts.  Even those that have come into my life and thought of me as an admirable person had been ignored because I didn’t believe it.  I don’t believe myself unworthy anymore, because it just isn’t true.

I wanted to share this with you because I talk about getting healthy with the foods that we ingest.  However, as we all know, this is only a small part of our journey to living a healthy lifestyle.  And we want to do this because it helps us to feel really good on this journey of life.  But, no matter how may healthy grains, or healthy fruits and vegetables we eat, if we don’t believe in ourselves as worthy, admirable, and loved individuals, we will never be healthy.

I say today, remind yourself how worthwhile you are and remind those that are dear to you, too.  A simple way of doing this is by sharing Chicken Pot Pie with those you love.  You are a beautiful being.  You have to believe it before anyone else can tell you how lovely you are to them.  Believe it.  That is the “state of being”.  It feels really, really good when you do.   Cheers!