Healthy, Hearty recipes
One of the greatest months when it comes to kitchen creativity, September is also conveniently Organic Harvest Month, the time when organic availability is at its prime. Take a stroll through a farmer’s market or the produce section of your local grocery store, and you see the incredible variety and abundance of the autumn harvest. As a chef, having all that fresh produce and sweet fruit right at my fingertips - heirloom tomatoes, pears, apples, grapes, late summer stone fruits, hearty greens, potatoes and other roots, wild mushrooms and so much more - inspires me to reap the rewards of the season.
I was raised in New England and that means the fall still brings a nostalgia and craving for heartier dishes. We all have a few of those dishes that we just emotionally connect with from childhood; now the challenge is to grab those memories and put a healthy twist on them, highlighting the best of the season.
Here are some recipe ideas and peak-season ingredient highlights that are a delicious way to welcome autumn.
Hearty salads – Take your traditional greens then toss in some marinated veggies or slow roasted roots, add some beans or grains and then a handful of fresh chopped herbs. Top with a light dressing to round it out.
Mash – We all love mashed potatoes; why not mix it up a bit and use a combination of other roots such as celeriac, parsnip, swedes, sweet potato, and squashes. Give whatever you’re mashing a healthy twist but using veggie stock instead of dairy and adding in roasted onion and garlic puree.
Soups – You know the summer is basically over when soup is on the stove. Broth based, tomato based and puréed are some of the basic categories to build from.
Slow cooked – Slow cooking melts flavors into your meal. Pull that crockpot back out for some slow-cooked bean and veggie stews. Add some of your favorite seasonal roots and beans, tomatoes, handfuls of herbs and spices, some veggie stock, set it and forget it. For something a little different, you can even slow cook rice and apples for a hearty fall-flavored pilaf. When you come home from work, your meal is ready.
Gratin – Combine thinly sliced root veggies with a savory cashew or non-dairy cream and layer in a casserole dish. Top with whole grain breadcrumbs mixed with your favorite spices and herbs or shredded coconut flakes. Bake for a comforting hearty side dish. I love the combo of celeriac, parsnip and potato; these flavors pair perfectly.
Rice bowls – These are always a great way to highlight raw and cooked veggies whatever the season! Choose your favorite rice or other grain, add chopped raw or roasted veggies, steamed greens, a whole food fat such as avocado, nuts, seeds or olives and then top with your favorite oil-free dressing or hot sauce. It’s my go-to quick meal.
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Diabetes and Heart - Healthy Cookbook
Book (American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association)
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Your heart rate should be between 70-80 beats per minute. This is while you are laying down and moderately breathing. Anything above 84 beats is quite close to dangerous.