Category Archives: General

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Spring Delight: Asparagus Pilaf

It’s still spring so I’m not quite done with asaparagus! I present to you asparagus pilaf cooked two ways, both gluten-free. I’ve tried this recipe with quinoa and millet. Each dish is satisfying enough for a light meal, while they both work well as appetizing side dishes.

This pilaf is a colorful addition to the Passover table or Easter celebration. And a happy invitation to my observant Jewish readers—no guilt necessary! The rabbis have given their blessings to quinoa during Passover, and millet may not be far behind.

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Seven-Minute Sides: Smoky Greens

A pot of fresh greens is so quick and easy to make! It’s the perfect side dish to a cool summer soup, a quinoa salad, or some Southern black-eyed peas. Greens are always ideal when your priority is easy cooking with a dash of healthy and delicious.

I was inspired to make this dish when one of my husband’s patients brought us a large bag of beet greens right out of her garden, but you can also use a bunch of kale or chard, though kale will take an extra 10 minutes to cook. I suggest  6 to 10 large leaves per person, at least, since they will reduce to a small serving after cooking.

You can use any type of seasoning, but a good artisan salt like Salish Alderwood Smoked Salt transforms an ordinary dish into gourmet food. If you crave a little heat, add some fresh ginger. If

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Healthy Comfort Food

If  you love sweet potatoes, I have good news for you, along with an easy and oh-so-delicious Southern-style recipe!

In case you’ve been following my blog and wonder why I cook with so many sweet potatoes, here’s one reason why: according to Ayurveda, sweet potatoes are one of the best foods for grounding vata — that light, airy, buzzing energy that you feel when life is moving just a little too fast.

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Share a Link in the Fight Against Hunger


Happy
2017, dear readers!

As we step into another Sacred & Delicious year together, I invite you to join me in a resolution to help those who aren’t sure where they will find  their next meal.

Today I’m sharing links to several charities that focus on fighting hunger. I encourage you to post links here to your favorite charities as well. I’m interested in organizations that have a good reputation for feeding others or teaching skills that help people to feed themselves. If you’re already a leader in giving, please lead us to other charities that you know are making a difference.

I think it’s a pretty safe bet that anyone reading food blogs has plenty to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every day. We have so much to eat, it can be easy to forget that in 2015 more than 42 million Americans lived in food insecure households, according to Feeding America. This number includes 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children. And that’s just the hunger picture in the USA.

You may be surprised, as I was, to find North Carolina listed among twelve states that exhibited statistically significantly higher household food-insecurity rates than the U.S. national average 2013-2015 (13.7%). The USDA defines food insecurity as a state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” There is poverty in every state, but in these twelve, more people are going to bed hungry at night.

  1. Mississippi 20.8 %
  2. Arkansas 19.2 %
  3. Louisiana 18.4 %
  4. Alabama 17.6 %
  5. Kentucky 17.6 %
  6. Ohio 16.1 %
  7. Oregon 16.1 %
  8. North Carolina 15.9 %
  9. Maine 15.8 %
  10. Oklahoma 15.5 %
  11. Texas 15.4 %
  12. Tennessee 15.1

So here are a few links:

FEEDING AMERICA

ACTION AGAINST HUNGER

FOOD FOR THE POOR

FOOD BANK OF CENTRAL & EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA

THE HUNGER PROJECT

MEALS ON WHEELS

UNICEF

As you make your resolutions for the New Year, I hope you’ll consider joining in the fight against hunger in 2017. Each of us can offer our blessings in many ways: we can volunteer at a local food bank or food kitchen. We can donate food and funds. And we can offer our blessings to those who are struggling: May everyone, everywhere have enough food to eat.  This is my prayer. And the world’s leading organizations that fight hunger say this is a goal within reach. With our help.

Make it so!

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A Gluten-Free Vegetarian Guide to Thanksgiving

If you want to plan an intensely flavorful vegetarian menu for Thanksgiving, look no further! Today I’m sharing a recipe for Gluten-Free Millet Dressing. I’ll also point you to my sumptuous versions of traditional American holiday side dishes, which will fill your family with joy and gratitude!

Why millet?  Millet is a good source of vegetarian protein. One cup of cooked millet offers 6 grams of vegetarian, gluten-free protein, which equals the protein in one egg. It’s also filling, grounding and easy to make.

Now for the rest of the menu. My famous Holiday Sweet Potatoes, topped with a pound and a half of pecans, are the eagerly awaited crown jewel of our holiday table. For a dash of freshness and color I offer this cranberry salad, a squeaky clean, upscale version of the canned stuff that used to be served when we were growing up!

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Savory Chickpea Pancakes with Curry Leaf Chutney

Photo by Roger Winstead

When my husband and I recently hosted Vaidya Smita Naram in our home, she taught me to make a classic yet simple and intensely delicious Ayurvedic dish: chickpea pancakes with curry leaf chutney.

Dr. Naram is a world-renowned pulse master and Ayurvedic physician, a pharmaceutical herbalist and nutritionist — and she also happens to be a marvelous cook. She has a successful restaurant in her panchakarma clinic in Malad, India (outside Mumbai), so I couldn’t have been more excited about spending some time in the kitchen with her. And we did have fun! Not a meal went by that one or the other of us wasn’t saying “wow!” I was thrilled that she loved my American approach to Ayurvedic cooking, and I loved learning to make this traditional dish that I’m sharing with you today.

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Warm Up with Winter Soups and Diverse Spices

Baby, it’s cold outside for Southerners — and it’s the perfect time for cooking something hot and hearty like a flavorful Italian bean soup with greens and sun-dried tomatoes. Twenty-eight degrees and freezing rain pelted the Raleigh/Durham area and much of the East Coast Friday, and it’s snowing again today as I write. No complaints here, though. Grateful for our good fortune to still have power, I have taken pleasure in creating an updated version of a familiar bean soup.

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Welcome to Sacred & Delicious!

First things first:  Welcome! Welcome to you and welcome to Sacred & Delicious: Food • Health • Spirituality.

Food. Health. Spirituality. These are my passions, and they come together in my life like ingredients being mixed in any good recipe—interdependent and interconnected. I find that life loses its luster without delicious food, good health and time every day—even just a few minutes—for the body and spirit to rest and rejuvenate. 

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Refreshing Summer Soups: Roasted Beet and Fennel

The beet soupIt’s summer—at least it feels like it after a week of 88 to 90 degree weather here in Raleigh, North Carolina—so bring on the cool specialties like this Roasted Beet and Fennel Soup. Cool soups are a perfect way to refresh yourself when you’re over-heated.

Did you notice that I said “cool” rather than “chilled”? Let’s zoom in on that thought.

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