The Lotus Manifesto

Nourish Yourself From the Inside Out

Category: Summer Recipes

Lavender Coconut Smoothie

This soothing and uplifting smoothie is a perfect way to start the day or fuel up as an afternoon snack.

This soothing and uplifting smoothie is a perfect way to start the day or fuel up as an afternoon snack.

Even though my Ayervedic friends would chide me for drinking cold beverages in the winter, I’ve been having a mad love affair with smoothies in the morning. They’re quick, easy, and versatile, and SO much fun to play around with. The most fun ingredients I’ve been experimenting with lately are essential oils.

Today’s smoothie called for lavender. Known as the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils, lavender has a myriad of benefits from easing tension and depression to soothing digestive issues. When ingested internally, lavender essential oil can boost your immune system while promoting healthy cell-generation. Did I mention it’s delicious? But don’t take my word for it. Try this:

Ingredients: (For 2 Servings)

2 cups coconut water

1 large handful shredded coconut

2 cups frozen blueberries

1 drop doTerra lavender essential oil

*Optional: 1 Scoop high-quality protein powder

Method:

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend to smithereens. Divide between two glasses. Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per 2-serving smoothie. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to purchase doTerra Essential Oils.

Advertisements

Limey Guacamole with Daikon Radish “Chips”

(Not Just for British Sailors)

 Apologies for the lack of photo. We had a dinner party and I was so busy cooking that I couldn’t take snapshots of everything. But trust me, this guac is wicked yummy and good for you too.  Avocados are bursting with mono-unsaturated fat (the good kind) along with vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K and minerals including phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, and manganese.

This version of guacamole is also special because it utilizes the magical powers of essential oil. Just a drop of lime essential oil per 3 avocados with kick up the flavor and add a major health boost. Lime essential oil is stimulating and refreshing oil and acts as both a topical and internal cleanser. It is antibacterial, antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-mucus. What’s better, it tastes yummy!

For those who are steering clear of grains, daikon radish rounds make a refreshing crudite. So hand me another “chip,” please. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 avocados

1 clove crushed garlic

Juice of ½ lemon

Salt to taste

1 drop lime essential oil

*optional: small pinch dried cumin powder

1 daikon radish, skinned and sliced into rounds

Method:

Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl and mush until the

preferred consistency.

Serve with radish rounds and/or non-GMO blue corn chips.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per batch. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

 

Revitalize and Cleanse with Peppermint Water

Image

Add a drop or two of peppermint essential oil to your water to feel refreshed and cleanse your cells from head to toe!

Happy New Year! I’ve been traveling a lot and eating a lot of delicious (but heavy) food, so the mind and digestion have been more sluggish than usual. To fend off the afternoon sleepies and give my body a well-deserved sweep of toxins, I’ve been adding a couple of drops of doTerra Peppermint essential oil to cool or warm water and noticing a HUGE difference in how my mind and body feel. Give it a try next time you’re feeling slow in mind and body and let me know how it works for you.

Peppermint Digestive and Mind Booster:

1 cup luke warm or hot (not boiling) water

1-2 drops doTerra peppermint essential oil

*Mix ingredients and enjoy!

Benefits:

Peppermint Essential Oil: Peppermint oil is a natural analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, and stimulant. It can be used for its calming effect to relieve stress and tension and is also effective for relieving the headaches associated with stress, indigestion, upset, and migraines. Click here to purchase.

To purchase doTerra Peppermint or any other Essential Oils check out my website!

Happy Belly Tangerine Blueberry Smoothie

Introducing the “Happy Belly Tangerine and Blueberry Smoothie.” And of course my dog, Luna, stretching in the background. She knew there was a photo shoot afoot, and decided to steal the spotlight. Ham…

This week we have a plethora of greens in our farm share, so I decided to use them up via smoothie. In an effort to soothe my digestion (I’ve been misbehaving on the diet home front), I used some kefir (massive dose of probiotics!) as the base to promote healthy gut flora, with a splash of coconut water to calm any internal digestive inflammation. Top it off with an optional sprinkle of probiotic powder and two drops of tangerine essential oil, and voilá! You have a lightly sweet, tangy smoothie to soothe your digestion and keep you sated for hours to come.

On an interesting side note, there has been a recent uprising amongst the “green juice” and “green smoothie” community, wherein some folks claim that drinking such greens-laden beverages can be hazardous to your health. Their reasoning is that most greens are high in oxolates, which wouldn’t be a big deal except that in mass quantities (like every day forever) they can manifest into oxolate stones (think kidney stone…ow.). But when consumed in moderation (they are found in lots of foods including spinach, peanuts, peppercorns, etc.) are probably just fine…Not to mention that you are benefiting from the other nutrients found in said foods. So, jury is still out.

As always, do your own research. Don’t embrace a food fad until you know the basics. Probably anything (with the exception of crystal meth and elevator music) in moderation is just fine for your mind, body, and soul. Just don’t overdo it.

Happy smoothie-ing!

Ingredients:

1 Cup organic berry-flavored Kefir (or you can make your own, which I haven’t YET tried)

1 Splash coconut water

1 Large handful organic spinach

1/2 Cup organic blueberries

1-2 Drops doTerra Tangerine Essential Oil

*Optional: Can add a little sprinkle of additional probiotic powder, but ONLY if you have a good one. I like Jarrow-Dophilus.

*Note-if you don’t have kefir, add 1/2 cup yogurt, 1-2 pitted dates, and use 1 cup of coconut water instead.

Method:

Put all ingredients into the blender and blend to smithereens (1-2 minutes)

Benefits:

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They’re rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there’s so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Kefir: This fermented dairy beverage abounds with healthy probiotics to promote healthy gut flora, and is packed with protein, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, and D, as well as folic acid. It’s also a good source of calcium, iron, and iodine. Some say that it is also easier for many to digest than regular cow’s milk. It’s tasty too! But be forewarned, the flavor is not for all palates. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Tangerine Essential Oil: DoTerra’s Tangerine Essential oil is an extremely powerful blood purifying agent, digestive aid, anti-septic, and relaxant. It can help improve blood circulation, and reduces internal inflammation. The neurological benefits abound as well. See here for a full description and uses for this amazing oil, and click here if you’re interested in purchasing any doTerra essential oils.

 

Life’s a Peach

Peaches

Ah, the peach…The essence of summertime. Happy to have learned a way to preserve some for those freezing cold January nights!

Learning How to Savor and Preserve Life’s Sweet Moments

Autumn steadily approaches and summer’s delights are making room for the fall flavors. But who says we can’t preserve a few sweet treats for those long, cold nights? Matt, our local fruit stand guy, told me how to freeze whole peaches so we can taste their sweetness long after the frosts come. I froze a few bags full, and look forward to trying them come winter. But get them while you can! Once they’re gone, we won’t get another chance to enjoy the freshies ’til next summer. Enjoy!

Method:

1. Let whole, unblemished peaches ripen.

2. Rinse off fuzz and towel dry.

3. Place peaches in a plastic bag. (I used the vacuum seal variety, but you can use a regular zip-lock.)

4. When ready to use, remove the desired number of peaches from the bag, run cold water over frozen peach and slip off the skin.

5. Microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. (I don’t like microwaves much, so will see how allowing them to thaw naturally works…will keep you posted.)

6. Use peaches as desired: for cereal or yogurt toppings, pie or cobbler, or just as is.

7. Let me know how it goes!

Lots of little peaches, all snuggly in their airtight ziplock freezer bags.

 

One Swedish-made pe…ahem…peach pump. This handy gadget sucks the air out of the ziplock bag to ensure the peaches don’t get freezer burn…but it TOTALLY looks like something out of Austin Powers. 🙂

Best Chicken Salad I Ever Ate…

This batch fed a roundup of hungry ladies at a baby shower brunch, served with buttery croissants. Yum.

…Meanwhile the meat/no meat debate continues…

Ah, the endless debate: If you are a true yogi, can you eat meat? That is for you to decide. But I will say this: the concept of “ahimsa,” or unconditional love for all beings (as defined by Nischala Joy Devi in her heart-centered translation of the Yoga Sutras) must be applied to oneself too. Yes, it makes my being writhe to think of animals being abused and “dispatched” for human consumption. But if your body is in need of certain sustenance that only animal flesh can provide, and you prepare and eat it with love and gratitude in your heart, then I personally think it is ok in moderation. Granted, there are likely yogis, vegetarians, and vegans who would vehemently disagree. And that’s ok.

My best advice is to listen to your own body and soul’s inherent wisdom. But if you decide to go for it, try this recipe. The extra time it takes to shred the chicken meat is totally worth the effort. It’s nutritious and delicious, and can be made in large enough batches to feed the masses…as long as they’re not vegetarian. (In which case make any of the other recipes on this site.)

Ingredients:

4 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken (about 1 3/4 pound)

*Note: 1) If you use breasts and thighs it tastes even better! 2) If you shred the chicken rather than cut it, it tastes even better-er! 3) Make sure chicken is completely cooled before mixing with other ingredients to make it taste the better-iest!

*Note: This is a GREAT way to use up leftover chicken and/or turkey meat.

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled

1 cup chopped fennel (can sub celery if you don’t have/like fennel)

3 sprigs finely chopped green onion

2 cups halved seedless purple grapes

1/4 cup mayonnaise (can use homemade Paleo-nnaise if that’s your bag, baby)

½ cup Greek yogurt (can use all Greek yogurt if you don’t like mayo)

2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint or 3-4 Tbs. dried

Hefty dash tabasco sauce

Hefty drizzle honey (1 Tsp.-ish)

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined well. Can be served immediately, but is even yummier if allowed to sit for a few hours or even overnight.

Can be served solo, in sandwich or wrap form. This chicken salad is heavenly on a fresh croissant, but is also tasty when served in lettuce wraps or radicchio leaves if you’re doing the grain-free thing.

Health Benefits:

Chicken: If you’re looking for a good source of protein that’s also low in fat try an organic chicken breast. The thighs have a richer (read: fattier) flavor, but both are great sources of tryptophan, selenium, and vitamins B3 and B6. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Fennel: In addition to its abounding phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium. It also has a unique licorice-like flavor and a ton of crisp crunch. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Grapes: Grapes are packed with vitamin C and manganese and contain a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients such as beta-carotene and resveratrol (think red wine!). These tasty little jewels are thought to help support the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, and nervous systems. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamier version of “regular” yogurt that boasts high protein, healthy bacteria which support healthy gut flora, and is a good source of calcium. It’s a versatile addition to your diet and can replace higher fat dairy products. See here for more about the nutritional info and health benefits of yogurt.

Pecans: Pecans protect your brain, heart, and body. They’re high in vitamin E, oleic acid, vitamin B1, thiamin, magnesium, protein, and an array of other vitamins and minerals. They are also great sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (read: good fats), and are very low in saturated fat. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

You Say Tomato, I Say Caprese

Tomatoes, fresh mozza and basil, with a hint of truffle salt and olive oil. I could live on this combination in the summertime.

Hi. My name is Celestia, and I’m a caprese-aholic. I love tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in just about any form….From slabs of heirloom tomato with hunks-o fresh mozzarella and chopped basil, to an open-faced caprese sammy, I’m a sucker for any dish that resembles that magical combination of ingredients. It’s an ultimate summertime favorite, so I had to throw this recipe in here before the chilly air takes the tomatoes away until next season. Enjoy…

Ingredients:

Heirloom tomatoes, sliced into thick slices

Fresh mozzarella cheese, torn or cut into pieces (to match the size of your tomato slices)

Fresh basil, julienned (Or homemade pesto)

High quality olive oil for drizzling

Pinches of salt (to taste)

*Optional: truffle salt OR truffle oil (but not both), balsamic vinegar or reduction, other types of cheese to replace the mozzarella such as goat or brie.

Method:

Arrange tomato slices on a serving plate or platter.

Carefully administer pinches of sea or truffle salt.

Arrange cheese on tomato slices.

Add julienned basil.

Drizzle with olive oil (and optional balsamic).

Keep your hands and arms away from the platter as each bite disappears.

Health Benefits:

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Mozzarella Cheese: Dairy products are not for everyone…but for those of us who can eat a bit of dairy, Mozzarella is a great source of  vitamins (such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin and vitamin B6), minerals (such as calcium and phosphorus), and is high in protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Caprese with brie and balsamic reduction

Caprese with brie and balsamic reduction.

Caprese Sandwich

Local, multigrain bread with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, avocado, olive oil, and sea salt. Best summer lunch I can think of…

Zucchini Avocado Carpaccio

Zucchini Avocado Carpaccio

For this “simple man’s” zucchini carpaccio, I used a potato peeler to create paper-thin zucchini ribbons.

I’ve always been a glutton for delicious words like “kumquat” and “soliloquy.” Diving into the world of culinary arts has opened up a treasure trove of new words that make me tingly just to say them. One such word is “carpaccio.” I love the way it rolls off my tongue, especially when in the same phrase as multi-syllabic words like “zucchini” and “avocado.” Call me a word nerd, but I don’t care. I take almost as much pleasure speaking the names of these dishes as I do tasting them. So I present this beautiful dish, which was spawned from food icon, Patricia Wells’ cookbook Vegetable Harvest, but I found and adapted this version from http://www.food52.com. It takes a few minutes to assemble, can marinate anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours, and is absolutely divine. The tartness of the marinade is rounded out by the fat of the avocado and the salty creamy crunch of the pistachios. I didn’t include lemon thyme in this version, but that would surely elevate the tasting experience even more. Enjoy!

 Ingredients:

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1/2 Tsp. fine sea salt, plus additional as needed

1/4 cup high-quality pistachio oil, almond oil, or extra virgin olive oil

4 small or 2 medium zucchini

1 ripe avocado, peeled and very thinly sliced

1/4 cup salted pistachio nuts, chopped

4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, preferably with flowers.

Method:

Combine lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in small jar. Cover and shake to blend.

Slice zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible, using mandoline or very sharp knife…I used a potato peeler and had pretty good (albeit not perfectly even) ribbons.

Spread slices on platter and drizzle with lemon mixture. Tilt platter to evenly coat slices. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.

Alternate zucchini and avocado slices on your platter (or individual salad plates), slightly overlapping each slice.

Sprinkle with pistachios. Season with salt to taste, garnish with lemon thyme, and serve.

Health Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon: Lemons are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Pistachios: These nuts are rich with antioxidants, phytosterols, unsaturated fats, vitamin B-6, and thiamin. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Zucchini: Excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, and is a good source of vitamin A. Summer squash also retains its nutrients when eaten raw, lightly steamed, and/or frozen. And make sure to eat the seeds! Summer squash seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which are helpful in the prevention of inflammation. The seeds are also thought to contain anti-microbial properties and are still used in some parts of the world to treat intestinal parasites. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad

This 5-minute salad was one of my favorites of the summer…Sweet, tart, and tangy, I’m drooling a little just thinking about it.

Nectarines and tomatoes might not seem a likely pair, but oooh, they are. Sweet yet savory, tart but smooth, the ripe flesh of both of these fruits (yes, tomatoes are technically a fruit) are a sultry match, like a tango in my mouth. I had to make an instant salad to go with dinner, and ended up enjoying this way more than the main course. So I offer it humbly, and hope the results are equally as satisfying to you.

Ingredients:

2 large or 5 small/medium RIPE heirloom tomatoes (I like the smaller ones as their flavor is more concentrated)

2 RIPE nectarines

2 Tbs. julienned basil

High quality olive oil and sea salt for marinating

*NOTE: This recipe can be made with ripe peaches as well for a similar effect, but I recommend using nectarines. If using peaches, peel them for less “mouth fuzz.”

*OPTIONAL: If you’re craving dairy, try a few crumbles of goat cheese for a nice variation on taste and presentation.

Method:

Slice tomatoes and nectarines into a bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste. Toss.

Sprinkle with basil and allow to sit 5-10 minutes (if you can wait that long!)

Serve and enjoy.

Health Benefits:

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nectarines: Nectarines are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta carotene (read: high in cancer-fighting free radicals!), and are high in fiber. They are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain healthy blood pressure. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.