Ginger Cumin Butternut Kale Stew aka. chili substitute

I know its a mouth full, but I just couldn’t leave any of these star ingredients out. This is one of the best stews I have made to date. It’s  funny because the whole time I was making it I was complaining about how I wanted to be making chili.

The reason for this is, four months ago my husband took a food sensitivity test because he was developing a painful rash on his face. It turns out, among other things, he has a sensitivity to night shade vegetables. This includes: eggplant, tomatoes, chili peppers, red peppers, potatoes and paprika. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much because at least I am still able to eat them. However, right now,  I try not to cook with nightshades at home. It has been challenging, but well worth it. Ecspecially when I come up with recipes like this stew.

This brings me back to the amazing stew I made. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Because we haven’t been using red peppers, cayenne, or other chili pepper, I have been spicing up my food with black pepper, cumin, and of course lots of garlic.

Not only is this stew delicious, but it is also nutritious. The ginger is anti-inflammatory and along with the garlic, it is a great immune booster. The fennel seeds can be beneficial for gas and bloating. Beans are a great source of protein and full of fiber to keep you satisfied. The butternut squash is full of antioxidants and a good source of carotene. And of course, the kale. Kale is a bitter leafy green that is great for the liver and great for alkalizing your blood. It is also a great source of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. I could go on and on about kale. It is one of my favorite foods, but I will save that for another post.  So, here is the recipe:

Ginger Cumin Butternut Kale Stew

3 cups pinto beans or another bean

1 1/2 pounds of butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 medium sized celeric, peeled and cubed

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3/4 inch of ginger, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. fennel seeds

sea salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbls. olive oil

1 bunch of kale

4 cups of vegetable broth

Saute the garlic, ginger and onions in oil for about 3-5 minutes until fragrant. Add the fennel seeds and cumin. Mix well. Add the chopped celeric and butternut squash, mix well with all the spices and add the broth. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the kale and cook until it is wilted. Season with sea salt and pepper if desired.  Enjoy!

I have entered this recipe in Ricki’s Wellness Weekend. Here is the link: . Please check out all the great recipes!

Eggs in a Nest

Most mornings I tend to make myself some baked apples or hot whole grains, such as quinoa, maybe with some coconut milk, and ground up flax seeds, but I will save that for another post.

Lately, I have been having a lot of sugar cravings and find that when I start my day with some protein and greens, my cravings aren’t as strong.

I love to eat eggs with bitter greens and hot sauce. Not only it is delicious but,  helps your body to digest and assimilate the protein. Remember, you aren’t what you eat, you are what you digest.

Eggs in a nest is also a great way for kids to eat greens. You can have them rearrange their own little nests. Make it fun! So here it is:

Eggs in a Nest

2 Eggs

1/2 bunch of kale or another green

1 clove of garlic

optional:  hot sauce

Cook 2 eggs over-easy in a little butter.  Meanwhile saute the kale in some olive oil with garlic. Once the kale is wilted arrange  like a wreath on a plate. Place the two eggs on the plate and top with hot sauce if you wish.

How is your favorite way to eat eggs?

I’m getting sleepy…

I have been doing a pretty good job of staying well this winter.  Knock on wood.  This past year I have been trying to live my life according to nature and her seasons.

This time of year I have been known to get a little down  unmotivated, but now I  have been looking at the shorter days differently. Winter is the time to look in and to reflect on all that the past year has taught and brought to you.  If we follow the natural patterns of the earth, longer nights and less day light, we find ourselves sleeping in and finding contentment in getting more rest.  I know I have been known to enjoy a nap or two a week lately. It feels so good and natural.

In order to have a good nights sleep, I have a couple of tips:

Turn off the computer, television, your phone, and any other electronics at least 1 hour before you hit the sack. Take this time to practice some  yoga,  share your day with your partner or friend, journal, or read a book. This will get you in a very relaxed and calm state, right where you want to before you fall asleep.

Enjoy a cup of herbal tea to unwind.  Chamomile and nettle teas are my favorite to calm the nervous system and prepare your body for a good night’s rest.

Make your last meal include some form of protein. This will help to keep your blood sugar levels even throughout the night.

Try not to eat anything after dinner.  Eating right before bedtime requires your digestive system to work instead of  recharging  for tomorrow’s duties.

Make your room a sleep haven, by dimming the lights while you are winding down and keeping it as dark as possible when its time to say good night. Your body naturally wants to shut down when it is dark, so this will encourage the process of relaxing.

I hope these tips inspire you to rest. Sleep is one of the best healers to staying well and happy this winter.

What do you do to unwind from the day and achieve a good night’s rest?

Crunchy Chicks

Having healthy food on hand in the pantry and fridge are a must in my house.  I love taking the time to cook a delicious and seasonal meal with fresh ingredients. But there are days when I am in and out of the house or simple do not have the time or energy.  So snacks are a must. My husband has a love affair with chips.  I try to keep other snacks on hand to prevent him from caving and going to the local co-op. The co-op is a block away, so this happens often.

Snacking on whole foods will leave you much more satisfied.  Having a handful of Crispy Chicks leaves my tummy full, while a handful of corn chips leaves me unsatisfied and wanting more.

Crunchy Chicks are a great snack or are a fabulous topping on a salad for an extra crunch. You can be creative with the seasonings. Try a savory crunch with garlic or rosemary or a sweeter treat  with maple syrup and cinnamon.  These little guys are great for kids too!

Crunchy Chicks

3 cups cooked chickpeas

2 Tbls. olive oil

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbls. fresh rosemary chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

This recipe is headed to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend at Check out all the great recipes she has to offer, you won’t be sorry!

Broccoli and Quinoa with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Today I was scrounging around the cupboards and fridge to find a quick and healthy lunch. This is what I came up with:

Quinoa with steamed broccoli and some leftover sun-dried tomato pesto.  Having multiply dressings, dips, and sauces is great if you are in a hurry and need to make a good lunch or snack.

For the sun-dried tomato pesto, I like to use pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts, because they are cheaper and super nutritious. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, manganese, and magnesium. Chewing on raw pumpkin seeds are also a remedy for parasites. Who would have thought?

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

1/2 cup basil

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup unrefined olive oil

black pepper and sea salt to taste

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and process until you have reached your desired consistency. It is that easy!

Be Well,


In the Beginning…

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new blog Enlightened Eating.

Today as I was researching for an upcoming lecture, I came across something from Christiane Northup’s book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Christiane said that we need to expand the concept of nourishment from food to all areas of our life. That is so true. True health and vitality is not found just by avoiding chocolate cake and drinking green juices all day. Health and life is so much more than that.

I want Enlightened Eating to be more than healthy recipes. It is about nourishing ourselves each day by being true to ourselves and living our life passionately.  That is what I want this blog to be about. I will certainly write  about food and nutrition,  I am a Holistic Nutritionist after all.

I want this to be a place where we can learn to get in touch with ourselves and find out what we really need and what we desire in life. So I invite you to join me on this journey to enlightenment.