Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Celebrating The Garden Week...Bodacius Beets, Beautiful Basil and Buddha Burgers!

Ah! Summer garden scrumptiousness! There is no better time of year to eat your veggies. Foods are at their peak nutrition the moment they pop out of the earth. You know it. You can taste the goodness dancing on your tongue. You can feel it singing through your bloodstream. Food is medicine, and summer veggies are beautifully healing. Much of the produce showing up right now at the farmers' markets and in our gardens can actually help lighten and brighten our energy by cleansing out the system, helping to get rid of toxins, and giving us a supercharged dose of immune-boosting phyto-nutrients. Eating with the seasons puts our bodies in sync with nature. Treat your beautiful belly to a bounty of healing veggies this season!

I'm Shanti's sister, Moira, and I'm honored to have been asked to share with you a few delicious summer recipes from my new e-book "Feel Good Fast ~ 21 Days the Feel Good Guru Way - your seasonal, plant-powered guide to a cleaner, greener, leaner lifestyle." I hope they inspire you to love yourself up with healing cuisine! From the heart~
Bodacious Beet Salad 
Just looking at a beet, we intuitively know it’s good for us, and because we eat with our eyes as much as our mouths, the glorious red beet is naturally attractive. In Chinese medicine, red is the colour associated with the heart. Beets are notoriously good for the blood ~ cleansing and nourishing. In Yogic tradition, red is the colour associated with the root chakra, where our deepest instincts of survival, grounding and stability are housed. Do your body a wonderful service and eat beets! This salad is simple and delicious. All you need in advance is some leftover millet on the stove (or brown rice, or quinoa, or bulgur).

2 large portions or 4 smaller:

2 small beets, grated
2 medium carrots, grated
one quarter English cucumber, diced
a small bundle of chives, finely chopped
a quarter red onion, finely diced
1 cup of cooked millet, brown rice, quinoa,
couscous or bulgur
small bunch of parsley, chopped
4 or 5 tablespoons of flax seed oil
juice of 1 lemon plus a teaspoon of grated
lemon rind
sea salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and top with toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Serve with garden greens.

It’s Pesto Season!

No - Oil Vegan Pesto
So many ways to make a pesto, so many ways to eat it! Traditionally you’d blend basil with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese and toss it with pasta - easy-shmeasy.

This one’s a fresh green version with arugula and spinach, ripe avocado instead of olive oil and a generous blob of mild miso for a “cheesy” flavor. The avocado gives it a great creaminess that sticks to the noodles.

An awesome parmesan cheese replacement for plant-powered peeps is a blend of walnuts, nutritional yeast, and sea salt sprinkled over the whole thing.

Here’s how for 3 cups of pesto you can toss with penne noodles or any pasta, use as a delicious spread on toast, stir into rice for a creamy risotto or dollup into carved zucchini or cucumber rounds for an elegant raw h’ors d’oeuvre.

2 ripe avocados
1/2 pound of organic arugula
1/2 pound of organic spinach
1 small bunch of basil
1 small bunch of parsley
5 cloves of garlic
3 Tbsp mild white miso
1 cup of hemp seeds

Blend all ingredients except hemp seeds until creamy. Add hemp seeds and pulse. If you like it a little thinner, add a drop of water. For a little “zing” add a squeeze of lemon. For vegan “parmesan," pulse together about a cup of organic walnuts with half a cup of nutritional yeast and a tsp of Celtic sea salt. mmm

Is there a more perfect food on the planet? I don’t think so! Garlic could very well be the most super Superfood alive! It’s cleansing, detoxifying, and alkaline, can lower your blood pressure, can help stabilize your weight, can cut your risk of catching a cold or flu in half, and studies have shown that eating a clove a day could help prevent cancer.

I use garlic in literally every savory sauce,soup, dressing, stew, hot pot, pesto, or pie. I can’t remember the last time I had a flu...and there are no vampires lurking around my house;)

Buddha Burgers 
There’s nothing better on a warm summer evening than burgers on the barbie! Try making some with leftover beans and grains you have in the fridge or on your stove. Short grain brown rice makes a perfect base for burgers because it’s sticky, and beans, blended or mashed, make a great "glue." Any veggies you toss in are bonus nutrition, and a handful of nuts or seeds gives it all a fabulous crunch.
from scratch, makes a dozen:

Make a small pot of organic brown rice (maybe 2 cups or so) with extra water so the rice is sticky. (Usually it's 2 to 1, so go 2 and a half water to one portion rice.)

Cook a small pot of organic lentils (again, no more than 2 cups) in a separate pot, again, with more than enough water. You want them soft and wet.

In a cuisinart or blender, blend one block of medium-firm tofu.

In a large bowl, mix all the above ingredients.

Stir in a handful of organic rolled oats, a handful of sunflower seeds, a handful of sesame seeds.

Chop or grate one carrot, one celery stick, one onion into small dice. Toss them in and stir. By now, the texture should be dense and sticky enough to form into patties. If it's too runny, add more oats.

Now for the spice: you'll want some sea salt and pepper to taste, a little bit of dried sage (careful with this, it's a strong flavour), a sprinkle of thyme (again, a little goes a long way), a teaspoon or so of dried oregano and dried basil, and the secret ingredient - nutritional yeast. Add up to a cup of this. It's delicious, loaded with protein and vitamins, specifically B vitamins, and imparts a lovely cheesy flavour to the burgers.

Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Then form into patties and place on an oiled cookie tin. Bake at 300 for about 20 minutes, then flip them and bake 20 minutes longer. You can make these in advance, and keep them wrapped in twos in saran wrap in the fridge. Then they're ready to just quickly grill on the bbq, for that delicious smoky summer flavour. 

Serve with all the regular fixin's, and drizzle with my favorite tahini-garlic sauce. Yes! More garlic!
Tahini Garlic Sauce:

3 Tbsp tahini
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
just enough water to create a creamy consistency

Blend all ingredients, adding water at the end to make a nice creamy consistency you can pour or drizzle. Taste and adjust flavours. I always like more garlic;) Keep in mind, though, it will get more garlicky in the fridge as it sits.

A BIG thank you to my very talented sister  Moira for sharing her delicious, fresh food creations. Moira is a fabulous, vegan chef and has been my inspiration in the kitchen many, many times over. I really enjoy the way her recipes are so perfectly balanced in flavor and always impress the taste buds. I have done one of her feel good fasts and she is bang on...I did feel good fast! I plan to dive into another of her  feel good fasts soon ~ one more way to take advantage of the garden's bounty while it is peaking out!

In the spirit of feeling good fast
~ Shanti ~ 


  1. Looks and sounds DELICIOUS! Thanks for the new recipes :-)

  2. What wonderful recipes Moira...thanks so much for contributing to our week!
    I'll definately be making these wonderfully, colourfully, beautiful recipes!
    xo maureen

  3. This is making my mouth water...and also makes me dread the winter blahs of stored veggies/store-bought produce...sigh. Gotta love it while we can! Wonderful photos, love the enthusiasm in Moira's "voice" when she writes about food!

  4. Those burgers look cool, we have been eating nourishing soups, as its Winter here in NZ, but their is a hint of Spring coming, looking forward to the green salads and more raw food, cheers Marie

  5. Garlic is definately the best food ever! I use ridiculous amounts of it too.

  6. Garlic is also supposed to be a blood thinner and is reputedly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat Cryptococcal Meningitis. The antibacterial qualities come from the sulfur in it.

    Man, about a year studying from CCNH and most of what I remember is garlic? Well, that's my memory for you...


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