Posts

Vegetarian Lasagna

January2016_veg-lasagnaVegetarian dishes are a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. Meat-less (and cheese-free) meals use fewer natural resources from farm-to-table.

Ingredients
Tomato Sauce
24 oz. tomato sauce (fresh seeded tomatoes food processed; organic, roasted tomatoes, or your choice)
Approx 1-2 tsp. each: Fresh (or dry) Basil, Oregano, Parsley (adjust to your taste)
Dash of sea salt
Dash of fresh ground pepper

Bechamel Sauce
5 T. Earth Balance (soy free) or 5 T. Sunflower Oil
1/4 c. gluten-free flour mix
4 c. coconut milk beverage, unsweetened (So Delicious brand or make your own)
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Noodles: Gluten-Free Lasagna Noodles (Tinkyada noodles are awesome)

Tomato Sauce Preparation
Mix ingredients together and heat up but do not bring to a boil. The longer it sits, the more flavor the herbs release into the sauce.

Bechamel Sauce Preparation
1. Heat Earth Balance on low heat till melted (If using Sunflower Oil heat on medium for about 5 min).
2. Whisk in 1/4 cup gluten-free flour mix; Immediately add 4 cups coconut milk.
3. Whisk continuously over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes or until thick.
4. Add sea salt, ground nutmeg and garlic.

Noodle Preparation
Preheat Oven to 350° F. Cook noodles as box instructs, rinse and lay out flat on parchment paper right away, but do this right before you put the lasagna together so noodles do not dry out.

Put the Lasagna Together
9×11 baking dish
Place a layer of tomato sauce in baking dish, layer of noodles, spoon Bechamel sauce over noodles; Drizzle some tomato sauce, layer of noodles, Bechamel, Drizzle of tomato sauce;
Last layer of noodles, tomato sauce and Bechamel.
Cook at 350° F for 30 minutes, allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Healthy Add-ins:
Quartered or chopped artichoke hearts, zucchini or other squash, diced/shredded onion, spinach or just about anything you like can be added in between the layers. Can also use sheep’s milk Manchego cheese if that is a tolerated food. But you don’t have to use it as the Bechamel thickens up and acts like cheese.

Yoga for Your Plate: Mindful Eating

Family dinner-mindful eatingThe race is on: Cooking, cleaning, hosting, visiting, and tackling a holiday shopping list that is growing faster than last summer’s weeds. Before you know it, the table is set and you’re serving the holiday meal. This year, though, is going to be different–you’re going to sit down and savor the cornucopia of flavors and the good company at your table.

The art of Mindful Eating, with its roots in Zen teachings, aims to reconnect you more deeply with the experience of eating and drinking. It’s the process of deliberately paying attention to what is happening both within yourself and in your environment during mealtime. When you eat mindfully, you are in tune with the aroma, taste, and texture of food. You become much more aware of your appetite–just how hungry are you? And, you become more sensitive to the feeling of fullness, so you’ll be less likely to overeat. Mindful eating brings enjoyment back to mealtime.

5 Ways to Slow Down and Savor Your Holiday Meal

Mindful eating woman smelling orange.Pause & Connect. After you give thanks for your meal, but before you pick up your fork, take a moment to connect with your appetite. How hungry do you feel? Of all the glorious food on the table before you, what are you truly hungry for? What flavors will nourish you and replenish your energy? Try not to choose foods out of habit. Fill your plate first with the foods your body is saying it most needs. Then, embellish your plate with smaller amounts of those traditional holiday favorites.

Clear Digital Distractions. Although it’s less likely at holiday time when family and friends gather from near and far, it’s easy to forget to turn off the digital devices that are such a huge part of our lives. Sure, someone will complain about missing a “key play” in the big game, but what’s more important? Everyone at your table should be in the moment for the main part of the meal–free of distraction.

Take Bites, Not Gulps. Instead of shoveling food into your mouth, take smaller bites and focus on chewing and tasting it. Digestion begins with the act of chewing. Salivary enzymes break down food the moment it enters your mouth. Your taste buds awaken to flavors as you chew. Pause between bites to set your utensils down and breathe.

Engage All the Senses. The taste of food is just one way to appreciate it. Throughout your meal, notice how food smells and how it looks on the plate. Notice the colors and the textures. Consider the nutrients that the food will provide for you. Appreciate every aspect of eating (and celebrating) the holiday meal.

Be a Nonjudgmental Diner. Being a nonjudgmental diner is about paying attention to your needs for nourishment and not the person’s next to you. And if you feel yourself on the verge of overindulgence, make it a conscious choice. Choose your favorite holiday treat and bring a focused awareness to eating it. Almost certainly, you’ll so enjoy and be satisfied by that first piece of pie, you won’t feel the urge for seconds.