Friday, January 23, 2015

Oil Pulling (Detox Series 1)


January is the start of the New Year. It's a great time to start fresh and commit to healthier habits. Many of you may be wanting a way to recharge your system and rid it of accumulated garbage throughout the year. This article is part one in a series on detox. Here I will present safe practices that can be used throughout the year by most people. I would urge anyone who wants to emply these methods to already be on a daily, healthy eating regimen. That is the first step to physical wellness. If not, start there, and come back to this series.

Oil pulling is a several thousand year old Ayurvedic form of natural, safe detox for the body. This method is able to pull impurities through the mouth. Depending on how long you perform the method will determine your results. 

There are many reasons to detox in this way. People suffering from anything such as acne to dental problems have experienced positive results. This is a long time used safe practice. It is gentle and noninvasive.

So what you do is in the morning, first thing before eating and brushing your teeth, you take 1 tbsp of a good oil, and you swish in your mouth for 20 minutes. Then spit it into a trash can so the oil doesn't accumulate in your pipes. 

Brush your teeth immediately after and rinse well to remove any released impurities. Rinsing with a therapeutic grade essential oil blend like Young Living Clove Oil and water would be a great way to kill any released toxins. To create the oral rinse  use 8 ounces of water and 1-2 drops of clove oil.


As for length of time, it really varies. If you have a deeper condition then oil pull longer. The minimum time would be 2 weeks. The maximum time is up to you. I would personally recommend a month of oil pulling.


Traditionally unrefined untoasted sesame oil was used. As of late a popular choice is organic unrefined coconut oil due to its already natural detoxing and antibacterial properties. That is the oil of my choice. If you use coconut oil and it is solid, don't worry. It will easily liquify in your mouth. If this grosses you out, you can melt it by put a tablespoon into a glass jar. Then put it into a small pot with some water. Bring the water to a boil on the stove. Once the oil is melted you can take it out. Test it on your clean finger to make sure it's not too hot for your mouth. Never use a microwave to liquify the oil. The microwave will damage the properties of the oil. To learn more about oil pulling from Dr. Joseph Mercola, Osteopath and expert on natural health, read here.

Do you oil pull? How long have you done so or how often? Share with me below!

Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Creamy Potato & Mushroom Soup


Do you know what freezing rain outside means? It means I'm making soup! I love making soup so much! It's a great way to use up just about everything still hanging out in the fridge, it's super nutritious, and tastes outstanding!

Kinda cute how your kids think like you sometimes. My 14 year old requested potato and mushroom soup. Those were exactly the ingredients that I had put on the counter. I wanted something warm and comforting. Nothing like a hug from potato soup. 

I utilized some really healthy ingredients to give a nutritional punch with every bite.  Most ingredients were organic to eliminate genetic modification, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. Did you know that these pesticides build up in our bodies, and certain one mutate in our guts, and grow inside our gut, then damaging healthy flora that destroys our natural immunity? It really does make a difference whether not we eat organically and sustainably grown foods.

Ingredients & Nutrition Facts:

2 LBs Organic Red Potatoes, diced with the skin on: Always buy potatoes organic, they are heavily treated with pesticides. Eat them with them skin on for fiber and a slower release of sugars in the body. Red potatoes actually have less sugar in them than other potatoes. They are rich in vitamin C, B6, and potassium.

1-2 Organic Leeks, washed well, sliced: Rich in vitamin K and maganese leeks are a member of the same family as garlic and onions. They also provide soluble and insoluble fiber, and great flavor!

2 Organic Celery Ribs, diced: This gut friendly, anti-inflammatory food is rich in vitamin K and many antioxidants.

1 Medium Onion, diced: For cell renewal and flavor

3 Large Garlic cloves, minced: for wonderful flavor (unfortunately the antibacterial properties are killed with heat)

 3 Cups Organic Greens, roughly chopped (could be whatever is in the fridge or freezer, kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard): These are Superfoods all on their own! To get loads of fiber, vitamin C, and chlorophyll to keep the blood clean.

2 Cups Shiitake Mushrooms: They taste awesome, give a meaty like texture, and are super awesome for the immune system!

2-3 Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil: for healthy fat and to saute veggies

7 Cups Homemade Bone Broth: So very good for you and healing for the gut as well. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy gelatin. Read here for more information as well as how to make it.

1 Can Native Forest Coconut Milk: (I only use this brand because it is organic and the cans are NOT lined with BPA.) This adds healthy fat, minerals, and creamy yumminess

1 Can Native Forest Coconut Cream:  For extra lovely creaminess. (I only use this brand because it is organic and the cans are NOT lined with BPA.)

 2 Tbsp Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos: For flavor and added minerals

2 Tbsp Braggs Nutritional Yeast: This is an inactive yeast rich in B vitamins that gives a really nice almost cheesy flavor

1 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt: Himalayan is fine as well, use real salt for minerals

1/4 Tsp Organic Black Pepper: Just for flavor and antioxidants

Fresh Organic Parsley: for a garnish and extra fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins

Instructions:

 *You'll need a good cutting board, a blender, a large pot, and a good knife

Prepare veggies

Saute in a large pot the onion, leeks, garlic first in oil, soften them,  then add potatoes and greens, saute 3-4 minutes low to medium heat

Saute the mushrooms and some oil in a separate pan, brown a bit

Put half of the sauteed veggies from the pot into a bowl (you're going to blend these; not the mushrooms)

Add a little bit of the sauteed veggies in the bowl and a little broth to the blender (if you have an immersion blender then everything can just stay in the pot), blend a bit of broth and veggies at a time, and pour back into the pot; I found doing a little at a time makes less of a mess (You can potentially blend all of the veggies from the pot, but I opted to leave some whole, totally up to you, do blend some though)

Pour the remainder of the broth into the pot along with the mushrooms

Now the coconut milk, coconut cream, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and aminos can go into the pot, stir, simmer for 25 minutes on low heat

*Meat Eater Tip: I don't do meat, but my guys do, so I warmed up some shredded chicken that I already had and threw it in their bowls!

Serve with a salad and a slice of this quiche for a fantastic meal!

Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC





Saturday, January 3, 2015

Easy Homemade Green Salsa


On New Years Eve afternoon I was out grocery shopping preparing for a small get together at my home the next day. While on the phone with a friend talking about menu, I was undecided about salsa choices due to tomatoes being out of season locally. I was very dissatisfied with my store bought options. Due to my frustration making my own was the only route that made sense. After all you cannot throw a Mexican themed event without good salsa!

I'd watched my sons' grandma make it a gazillion times, so I knew it was simple enough. I opted for green salsa because of its ease and that good tomatillos were in abundance at the market. I'd put my own twist on it. Normally she makes spicy salsa, and I'm not a spicy food kind of girl. To the recommendation of my friend, I broiled the tomatillos. I cannot believe I never made green salsa myself before! I'd made red tons of times. Green over the years has actually become my preference due to flavor, so enjoy!

Ingredients: 

1 LB Tomatillos
1/2 Small to Medium Red Onion
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Organic Green Bell Peppers
2 Large Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Whole Green Onion 
2 Tbsp Fresh Organic Lime Juice
1 1/2 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt
Pinch Of Organic Dried Cayenne (add more if you like heat)
1/2 Cup Filtered Water

Directions:

Broil the tomatillos on a baking sheet, each side 4 minutes, a little black is good for flavor

Sauté the onion, bell peppers, and garlic for 2-4 minutes in the coconut oil

Add everything to a blender, don't over blend, a little chunky is good

Be creative and top different foods with the salsa. Below is my favorite dish with it.


Tomatillos are so good for you! They have a ton of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium...so super mineral rich.  They are a good source of folate as well.

Do you have a favorite salsa recipe or another way to use tomatillos? Share it below! 

Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC



Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash


Recently, I posted a blog article on how to use spaghetti squash as a crust for a gluten free quiche. It occurred to me that you may not have cooked spaghetti squash just hanging around. In fact, you may never have prepared one. I'd like to walk you through the easy steps to cooking one. This is my favorite method.

You can opt to wash it if you like, especially if it's not organic. You won't be eating the skin though, so it's up to you. 

Put the spaghetti squash onto a cutting board. Cut off the the end with the stem or where the stem was anyway. Then go ahead and slice it in half long ways. Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, kind of like a pumpkin. You can keep the seeds or discard them. Leave the rest of the flesh there, that's what turns into the "spaghetti."

In a glass, stoneware, or stainless steel baking dish put the squash face down. Pour one cup of water into the dish. 

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes.

Let it cool, then flip each side over and with a spoon or fork fluff up the spaghetti type squash noodles :)

You can eat it numerous ways. Try it with marinara, alfredo sauce, pesto, in a stir fry, in a quiche or casserole.

Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC


Sweet Potato Crust Quiche




I love the excitement of Christmas morning! Getting everything just right, preparing to read the story of the birth of the Lord out of the Bible with kids, singing Yeshua, Happy Birthday, and so on. 

I really enjoyed our small tree this year. The past few years I've not enjoyed the process of the tree at all or the lights outside, things of that nature due to convictions in my heart about paganism. I've allowed the kids to take out the tree though and decorate because well, He who is in me is greater than He who is the world. My God made the trees after all, and my sons know who the Christmas story is all about. We never did Santa or went overboard with gifts. So this year we actually gave away our artificial larger tree, and purchased a real tree to support the local farmers, as well as to keep it simple. Again, since the kids find this fun to do, I let them decorate it. 


My favorite part is celebrating the Lord in fellowship with friends and family. Below is picture of my dear sweet friend, Aly and I in the kitchen amidst food prep and chaos.


My joy after fellowship is feeding my loved ones well. I like to do new things in the kitchen since it is my happy place. While some people find cooking labor intensive, it is a source of creativity and stress release for me. So for a bit of inspiration I searched out some recipes. I decided upon an idea from Kelly at The Spunky Coconut. We love eggs in my house, and  quiche is always a hit here, but I desired a twist. That's exactly what Kelly gave me with her "Oven Omelette with Sweet Potato Crust." My filling is different. Here is my twist, I hope you like it!

I apologize for not taking better pictures of the process, but you're smart, you'll catch on I'm confident. 

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche

Ingredients:

1 Organic Small to Medium Sweet Potato, Peeled
1 Cup Organic Black Beans, Cooked
1 1/2-2 Collard Green Leaves, Chopped
3/4 Cup Quinoa, Cooked
1 Large Fresh Garlic Clove, Minced
8-10 Farm Fresh Free Range Eggs
1 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1/4 Organic Black Pepper
1 Tsp Organic Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Organic Turmeric Powder
3-4 Oz Soft Goat Cheese
1Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven for 350F.

Sauté the collards and minced garlic lightly in the coconut oil.

Whisk the eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and turmeric in a bowl.

In a large pie plate, grease it a bit with some extra coconut oil, and put thin slices of the sweet potato, not layering, on the plate. (If you have extra slices, fry them up in a sauté pan in some coconut oil, yum!)

Put the beans, quinoa, and collards in the pie plate on top of the sweet potatoes. Then pour the eggs on top. Next crumble the goat cheese on the eggs and veggies. 

Bake it for 40 minutes. Then slice and serve hot. 

It's really super yummy and good for you. The quinoa I used was just left over from the day before. The sky is the limit.

I actually made two different kinds that morning. The other filling I used instead of collards, black beans, and quinoa was 1 1/2 cups of shiitake mushrooms and 1 1/2 cups frozen organic mixed bell peppers, sautéed in coconut oil. The other ingredients were the same. I wanted variety, plus I knew my mom would like one and my dad the other. I had all on hand, so it was easy. 

Let me know below if you try this recipe. Hope you and your family enjoy it! Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria



Spaghetti Squash Crust Quiche


Over the Christmas break a good friend of mine asked me if I would make a recipe that she had found to see if I liked it. I leaped at the opportunity because it just so happened that I was looking for a creative way to use the spaghetti squash I'd just cooked.

As previously mentioned in a recent article, we love to eat quiche at this house, and I love to make them. They are easy to make, nutritious, fairly quick to bake, and an awesome way to use up leftovers. 

The original recipe was from: kitchenaid.com

I will start off saying kudos to the creator of the idea to use the spaghetti squash in this way. I'd recently been playing with it in the kitchen, so this was perfect timing! I would make it again. It stays together really well. It's nice and crispy where the egg doesn't touch, but does stay soft where everything comes together. I really enjoyed the flavor. It's an awesome way to get more fiber in those kiddos.

Ingredients:

I used a variety of leftovers in mine that were in the fridge. That's the beauty of quiche, almost anything goes! I used left overs for this so my measurements are not exact. I threw in:

black beans, cooked
spinach
onions
peas
butternut squash
shiitake mushrooms
quinoa, cooked
goat cheddar cheese
garlic powder
ground turmeric
Celtic sea salt
ground black pepper

Oh did I need to say spaghetti squash and eggs? Hopefully not, but just so you know, eggs and spaghetti squash. I used 8 eggs. You may need 10 depending on size of pie plate/dish, and other ingredients. I used most of a cooked small-medium sized spaghetti squash. Don't know how to cook it? Read here.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Push the spaghetti squash against the bottom and sides of the pie plate. I greased it a little with organic unrefined coconut oil.



My suggestion is to lightly sauté any veggies you throw in there first before adding them. Then put them on the squash.



Whisk the eggs with any herbs and spices in a big bowl. Add them on top of the veggies.

Last, if you eat cheese, add it now, and be generous. If you don't, then don't worry about it. You could add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast to whisk with the eggs for a cheesy flavor if desired.

Bake it for 40-45 minutes. Give it 5 minutes to cool a bit, then serve. Along side soup and salad it's a perfect cold weather meal for any time of day! If you have a larger family just use more ingredients. This would make a great New Years breakfast or brunch!

Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria


Friday, December 26, 2014

Gluten Free Gnocchi


A labor of love occurred yesterday for my birthday/Christmas dinner. I prepared my favorite salad, pan fried wild sockeye salmon in a little coconut oil and coconut aminos, roasted leg of lamb with organic potatoes and carrots, steamed broccoli, plus one of my favorite dishes of all time, gnocchi.

I have not had gnocchi since going gluten free about 5 years ago. So for those of you unfamiliar to gnocchi (No-kee), it is like a pasta potato pillow. Typically gnocchi is a blend of potatoes and wheat flour. Sometimes you can find them made with ricotta cheese. 

I remember first having them at an Italian restaurant back in my hometown of Langhorne, PA. Gnocchi, no matter what they are paired with make such a unique and pleasant dish. 

After doing a little recon on ingredients ideas and the actual "how to" of making them, I thought that Christmas Day would be a good special occasion to try them. I made this mine by using what was in house. *This is not a Paleo, vegan, or nightshade free recipe. I'm working on a Paleo version so friends can experience gnocchi too.

Homemade Gluten Free Gnocchi
1 Cup Organic White Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Quinoa Flour
1 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt
2 Organic, Free Range Eggs
2 Lbs Organic Yukon or Golden Potatoes

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 400F. Bake the potatoes with the skin on for about an hour. You are trying to achieve a nice softness. 

In a small bowl whisk the eggs and salt.

In another small bowl mix up the flours. Then dump on top of a very large cutting board. 

So here come the laborious part. You will need a potato ricer (looks like the one below).


Once the potatoes cool, peel them, and you will put the potatoes one at a time in it. (Now important AGAIN you will need to PEEL the potatoes before putting them in the ricer.* The potato in the picture is not peeled.)


Press the potatoes through the ricer on top of the flour on the very large cutting board. Pour the whisked eggs and salt on top. Using clean hands mix everything together into a nice bread like dough, not really sticky. It might take some work to get it to that point. Add more flour if need be. 

Once your dough is a nice texture roll into a ball, or several balls, then into a snake. Slice into bite sized pieces.



Now if you want, and only if you want, you can press the indentation of a fork for a design into the top. 

Cooking them is super duper easy and fast! Just get a large stainless steel pot and fill it with water. Just like pasta, wait until the water boils. Put the gnocchi into the boiling water. They will sink for about 2-3 minutes. Once they pop back up give them 1-2 more minutes, and that's it! 

Gnocchi are great with red or white sauces. Below is the sauce I made on the fly.

Creamy Tomato Sauce

2 Cups Shiitake Mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Organic Peas
2 Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Jar Of Bionaturae Organic Strained Tomatoes
1 Can Organic Native Forest Whole Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp Organic Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp Braggs Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
1 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

In a skillet sauté the mushrooms in the oil on medium for 2-3 minutes. Next in a large stainless steel pot add the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low to medium for 8-10 minutes. 

Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and enjoy! Add a little Pecorino Romano for extra yumminess if you eat cheese.

Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health! ~Marie A. Ligorria