Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Garden Pesto Quiche

Not just any old quiche!

Want a flavorful, vegetarian (meat lovers can mix in chorizo, bacon or prosciutto if they would like), gluten free, nutritious breakfast, lunch or dinner that packs a flavorful punch? Here you go.
I imagined this one day while driving home and once I got into my kitchen, this is what I came up with.
I really love all the fresh flavors. In Ayurveda it is said that if you have the 6 tastes in each meal: Sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent, than you will be the most satisfied and less likely to crave between meals. You will also have a more nutritious and healthy meal.  This recipe has all but sour, although you could make up a cilantro-lime and mint chutney and you would be all set!


1 1/4 cup mixed amaranth flour, coconut flour and almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
A few dashes of red pepper flakes, dried oregano, fennel seeds, salt & pepper
1 egg
Warm water

For the crust: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients into a bowl. Add egg and stir. Add just enough warm water to make dough sticky enough to pat out. Pour dough in pan and press into the bottom and up sides. Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes just to give it a head start. Pull crust from oven. OPTION: smear a layer of pesto on the crust before you pour in beet mix.

3-4 beets shredded
3-5 carrots shredded
1-2 leeks sliced thinly
3-4 tablespoons of coconut flour
1 egg
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup shredded parmesan or white cheddar or Romano or make a blend of whatever you already have in your fridge.

For the filling: Mix all the ingredients BUT the cheese. This mix should not be soupy, but somewhat sticky, like you could make a pancake out of it.

Assemble: Pour the shredded mixture into the crust. Top with shredded cheese. Then in a separate bowl mix 4 tablespoons of milk and 4 eggs together and pour over the vegetable mix. NOTE: Ayurveda says that dairy and eggs create toxins in the body when mixed together in the same meal. But I know it is a hard taste combination to break. So be a wear and maybe skip the cheese on your eggs occasionally. As a replacement for the cheese in this quiche try sprinkling some nutritional yeast flakes over the vegetables instead. Or go without. It will still taste fantastic.  

Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes or until the eggs get puffy and are cooked all the way through. Pull from the oven, top with shredded swiss chard or kale and bake for about 3-5 more minutes until chard/kale is wilted. Eat warm and enjoy!

This takes about 30 -45 minutes of prep time.

Spring Cleaning - The Many Ways

I am sure you have heard about all the cleanses that you can do around spring time. But are you ready? Does the cleanse sound right for you? Do you have a week to dedicate to your cleanse?
In America we tend to think that we should be on a constant cleanse. That juicing is the only way to clean the body and that if you feel lightheaded and grouchy, the cleanse is working. But that is the way we as Americans think, the more the better. Not so much in Ayurveda. Cleansing is a big deal and can help release toxic buildup from the body, but it also strips the body and provides little to no nourishment, so cleanses are done only a few times a year at the change of the season, not every other month. 

Kichari: A safe way to cleanse is going on a mono diet of kichari (recipe below), a very safe, healing and nourishing recipe that can be eaten for all three meals of the day for 3-5 days. This will allow your body to take a break from heavy, sugary, protein heavy, processed foods and will allow it to clean as well as nourish. This is a recipe that can be used if you have splurged on vacation or over the weekend and need to kick your week off right. Make kitchery and eat it for your three meals for one day, giving your system a gentle cleaning and re-boot. 

Vegetables: You can also opt for a vegetable only day ....or 3. Allowing your body to just eat fresh vegetables good fat like olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or avocado. No nuts, dairy, starches, sugars, meat or protein other than oils. This type of eating can give your body the fiber and vitamins and minerals it needs for a few days, while scraping out the sludge that may have accumulated in the intestines. It also gives your liver a break by giving your body simpler foods that are easily digestible and that can be easily assimilated. Note: if you absolutely have to be more active, add a hard boiled or poached egg to either your lunch or dinner. 

Juice: For those of you who want to do a juice cleanse, it's ok but while doing it notice how you feel and don't  kid yourself. If you feel awful, then maybe juicing is not the right cleanse for you, try something else. If you want to go ahead, don't juice for more than 3 days and try to stay clear of most fruit juices. They pack in the sugars and defeat the purpose. If you make the juice at home, add back some of the pulp for fiber so that you can make sure to keep your bowels moving. 

In any cleanse, making sure that you are having regular bowl movements, once to twice per day, is very important. Stool carries away the the toxins from the body. I also recommend taking a hot bath or sauna to open the pours and allow your body to sweat, which also releases toxins. Drink lots of water, room temperature or hot. Lemon or lime added will give an extra boost to the cleaning properties of the water and hot water in the morning with lemon will get the 'system' moving. 

Before you start a cleanse, make sure you check with your health provider first. And limit the amount of activity you do for the days that you are on the cleanse. Be gentle to yourself. Your body will be working hard to clean itself so it is important to support it by reserving your energy and resting.

Kichari Recipe (my favorite coming from www.lifespa.com)
This recipe makes enough to last you for 3 or 4 meals. You can play with the mixture of spices. Many people prefer this recipe when the spices are doubled (or even tripled).

  • 1 cup Split Yellow Moong Beans* (see for ‘weak digestion’ below)
  • ¼ – ½ cup White Basmati Rice
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Ginger Root
  • 1 tsp each Black Mustard Seeds, and Cumin and Turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp each Coriander powder, and fennel and fenugreek seeds
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 7-10 cup Water
  • ½ tsp Salt (rock salt is best) or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.
  • 1 small handful Fresh Chopped Cilantro Leaves
  • You can add any fresh vegetables to this recipe to switch it up. Stay away from starchy ones like sweet and regular potatoes.
It’s important to get SPLIT MOONG DAL beans because they are easy to digest and due to their cleansing qualities, they pull toxins from the body. They are available at Asian or Indian grocery stores or through LifeSpa. Different spellings include “mung” and/or “dahl.” Please note that you do not want the whole moong dal beans, which are green, or yellow split peas.
  1. Wash split yellow mung beans (dal) and rice together until water runs clear.
  2. Heat a large pot on medium heat and then add all the spices (except the bay leaves) and dry roast for a few minutes. This dry-roasting will enhance the flavor.
  3. Add dal and rice and stir again.
  4. Add water and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
  5. Boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn heat to low, cover pot and continue to cook until dal and rice become soft (about 30-40 minutes).
  7. The cilantro leaves can be added just before serving.
  8. Add salt or Bragg’s to taste.
* For weak digestion, gas or bloating: Before starting to prepare the kicharee, first par boil the split moong dal (cover with water and bring to boil), drain, and rinse. Repeat 2-3 times. OR, soak beans overnight and then drain. Cook as directed.

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinion of Staraya McKinstry. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring Zucchini Noodle Recipe

Spicy Pesto with Zucchini & Carrot "Noodles"

4-5 zucchini/summer squashes (shaved length wise on mandolin)
2-3 carrots (shaved length wise on mandolin)
1/2 onion
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup sweat peas
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons spicy pesto (any pesto will do, just use a food processor to add in a jalepeno to kick up the spice, or leave it out for a milder taste)
1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan (or any other favorite cheese)

Cut up mushrooms and onion and toss in a pan with peas, drizzle of olive oil and saute until tender, 5-8 minutes. Shave zucchini/summer squash and carrots and lightly sauté them in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for 3-5 minutes, until slightly wilted. Place both vegetable mixtures into a large bowl, mix in 3 tablespoons of spicy pesto.  Cover and set aside. Roast pine nuts in a pan until slightly brown. Toss into noodle mixture. Top with shredded cheese and gently mix. Serve while hot. 
Nourish yourself and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why Your Rhythm is so Important

Me on the beach in Homer, Alaska, the place of my roots

Mother Nature can have a great impact on our bodies. Most of us have lost touch with our surroundings and the rhythms of nature. But once we notice this separation, we can start to plug back into our intuition and sync up once again.
If you think about it, the earth consistently rotates and wherever we are we experience the sure thing that the seasons will come around the same time each year, the sun will rise and set and the earth will rest and wake. It does this on a day to day basis because it keeps with its rhythm (notice that it seems to be getting off its rhythm more and more because us humans have altered its surroundings? ) This is a bigger argument but there is a point. The point being that the earth can keep its pattern year after year because it sticks to the rhythm of nature. Humans on the other hand can't seem to stick to a rhythm these days because of many excuses like; things are too crazy, life is too busy, work is too important or we have better things to do. With this crazy, inconsistent schedule we start to become, tiered, angry, irritated, sick, depleted, emotional.......the list goes on! So, if we can get back to a more regular schedule, meaning going to bed between the hours of 10 - 11pm, sleeping at least 7-8 hours a night, Starting the day with a breakfast that fits our needs and kick-starts our metabolism, eating healthy foods and eating at the same time every day, drinking healthy liquids like water and un-caffeinated herbal teas (please stop with the iced beverages and soda drinks, they do so many bad things to your digestive system) and surrounding ourselves with supporting people and activities, then we can become more consistently health, happy and whole! And that is what we should strive for on a daily basis.

For more details on how to create a relaxing evening routine so that your night time rhythm can return/start, click here.

Enjoy the day!