Posts in Lunch
Skin Glow Salad
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Hi everyone! 

Today's post complements the Skin Glow Foods video on YouTube. I've been having a few conversations on the channel lately about the importance of tending to our physical bodies so that we can feel good, both physically and mentally, when we're tending to our creative work. Our bodies are our creative vessels. And if we take care of them, they'll show up and take care of us when we want to get to the juicy stuff, the creative stuff. This has nothing to do with being superficial. Our bodies give us the opportunity to express ourselves creatively in this physical world, so taking care of them is taking care of our creativity. 

With that said, I talked about my three favorites skin glow foods: papaya, avocado and dark leafy greens. If you want to learn a little more about them, check out the vid =) But really, these foods give me so much more than just glowy skin. They're three of my daily staples for my overall health and wellbeing. They're filled with enzymes, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that keep my body strong, healthy, and yes GLOWING on the inside and out.

I love incorporating these foods into my daily meals. They work especially well in smoothies and salads. Avocado with extra-virgin olive oil complements pretty much anything, but I especially love adding this combo to soups or stews.  

To make it really easy for you to incorporate them into your daily regimen, I thought it'd be fun (and useful) to create a recipe that includes all three of these little health warriors. This salad works great as a yummy and energizing light lunch, and it's also a delicious side dish. 

 

Skin Glow Salad (1 serving) 

Ingredients 

For the Salad
1/2 cup papaya chunks
1/2 avocado
2 handfuls of your favorite organic dark leafy greens
(spinach, kale, Swiss chard etc. all work great) 
Goat/sheep milk feta cheese (to crumble on top, optional)
1 tbsp hemp seeds (to sprinkle on top, optional) 

For the Dressing
2 tbsps organic extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsps coconut aminos/ or a dash of Real Salt
(I highly recommend investing in a bottle of coconut aminos, they're a delicious and healthful alternative to soy sauce, my favorite brand is Coconut Secret: http://amzn.to/2pw5KTT

Mix all dressing ingredients in measuring cup/mug. Add 2 tbsps of dressing to bottom of your favorite salad bowl. Add greens and papaya chunks. Toss well making sure that all leaves are covered with dressing. Garnish with avocado slices, crumble feta (if using) and hemp seeds. If you like, drizzle remaining dressing on top; the dressing also stores well in the fridge for a few days if you have any left over =) 

Enjoy and may you all glow from the inside out! 

With love and creativity,

Leah <3

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words & photos by Leah Salinas
 

Summer Stone Fruit Salad

The past few weeks have felt a little challenging. I've felt sad about some of the events happening around the world. And on a more personal, immediate level, I've been going through a period of time where I seem to have an exorbitant amount of paperwork to tend to. I can't think of anyone I know who relishes the act of diving into administrative tasks (although I know you're out there, you lucky souls, you!!), but that doesn't mean that organization and getting all of your ducks in a row isn't absolutely essential. As human beings we tend to seek the path of greatest comfort, so I resisted my pile of paperwork at first. But as you can probably guess, this only made me feel worse. I came to the point where I realized that I was spending all of this time THINKING about doing these tasks, so I might as well just get up off of my booty and actually DO them. And when I finally took that leap (I feel silly referring to this as a leap, but hey, in my case it takes a leap to get into all of that paperwork goodness), something wonderful happened. And yes, it's creativity related (or else I wouldn't bore you with my relationship to administration). Even after only checking some of these items off of my to-do list, I felt like I had created this new space in my mind and in my life. Space that I could now fill up with fresh creative inspiration. This whole experience was a gentle reminder of how important it is to sometimes focus on the boring, organizational stuff. If nothing else, so that you can feel fully supported in knowing that everything is in order when you're turning your attention to the fun & creative work.

What does all of this have to do with summer stone fruits? Well, not much really. Apart from the fact that while I was taking care of administration, and feeling a tad stressed, I reminded myself to turn to things that bring me joy. And right now, one of those things are summer stone fruits. The fresh farmers-market kind, all ripe and juicy and sweet and yummy. I just can't get enough of them. When I bite into them I feel like I'm biting into summer, and all that's wonderful about it; the sunshine, the warmth, the colors and the joy. When I'm at the market, I get so excited about all of those beautiful plums and nectarines and peaches that I sometimes go a little overboard and buy a few too many. Which is totally okay. Because it inspires me to create awesome new recipes to share with you. Like this one. I love dishes that are savory-sweet, and this is definitely one of them. Also, the high-enzyme content in the stone fruits makes this salad really easy to digest, so that your body can access all of those immune-boosting, creativity-building nutrients. Bon appétit =) 

Ingredients (for one large bowl) 
(use organic whenever possible)

1 6oz bag  baby spinach (heirloom spinach is delightful as well, if you can get your hands on it)
1-2 cups of your favorite summer stone fruit, chopped into pieces
1 medium avocado
1/2 cup crumbled goat or sheeps milk feta
1/3 cup pine nuts/ slivered almonds/ sunflower seeds for extra crunch

Salad Dressing

3 tbsps. mustard
2 tbsps. coconut aminos
2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1tbsp. raw honey

Guidelines

Combine all dressing ingredients in a cup or a small bowl, whisk together and set aside. Combine all salad ingredients, except feta & nuts/seeds, in your favorite large bowl. Mix dressing with salad. Garnish salad with feta & nuts. Depending on how much dressing you like, you may have some left over, it'll store wonderfully in your fridge for your next salad adventure. 

Creativity Boosters

All summer stone fruits have amazing creativity boosters. So regardless of which ones you choose, you'll be nurturing your creative vessel (aka, your bod =)). Here are the properties of some of them:

Peaches ~ Peaches are rich in beta-carotene, which protects your cells from free radical damage. In order for your body to be able to absorb beta-carotene, it requires fat (1); the olive oil, avocado & feta in this salad takes care of this =). Peaches are also high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium & iron. (2)

Nectarines ~ Nectarines have a similar nutritional profile to peaches (they belong to the same species), and they actually have slightly higher concentrations of Vitamin A and C. (3)

Plums ~ The fiber in plums helps to regulate the digestive system. As someone who has experienced a sensitive tummy in the past, I love any type of food that is easy on the stomach and promotes digestion. I feel like I can function so much better creatively when everything down there is working smoothly ;-) Plums are also awesome for your nervous system, thanks to the high concentration of vitamin B-6. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates serotonin production, which supports sleep, appetite and concentration. (4)
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Enjoy your beautiful bowl of summery stone fruit sunshine and may it bring some brightness into your life if you're experiencing any dark moments!

with love & creativity,

Leah

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author: Leah Salinas// photos by: Leah Salinas

Sources

(1) Britton, Sarah. My New Roots: Inspired Plant-based Recipes for Every Season. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2015. Print. p. 150
(2) ttp://foodfacts.mercola.com/peach.html
(3) ttp://superhumancoach.com/benefits-of-nectarines/
(4) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-plums.html

Creamy Goat Cheese Guacamole

As a lover of all things creamy & goat cheesy, I'm surprised that I didn't come up with this combination sooner, but my beau gets credit for this one. As you may have read in some of my previous posts, we recently moved in together, which means that I've now got a co-chef in the kitchen! Bringing someone else into the mix has infused my culinary adventures with fresh inspiration. I can be a little bit of a know-it-all when I put on my chef's hat (#human), but I've noticed that when I put my bossy-pants aside, I can actually get some valuable input from my man. Which yields amazingly delicious recipes. Like this one!

On my quest for discovering foods that nourish creativity, I'm always on the look out for brain- and immune-boosting ingredients. When our brain receives the nourishment that it needs, those synapses can start firing up to generate creative thoughts. And when our immune systems are working optimally, our bodies have more energy to devote to creative endeavors. This recipe features two superstars that support both of these functions:

Avocados ~ The fats in avos keep our brain cells flexible. They are also high in monounsaturated fatty acids which help protect the nerve cells in our brains that support our information-carrying nerves.*

Habañero Peppers ~ These cute but spicy little peppers contain a high concentration of vitamin C; a powerful antioxidant and a potent immunity booster. I've also noticed that the spice in habañeros has an immediate mind-clearing effect. Even a small sliver whooshes straight to my brain and wakes me up. This is awesome for clearing up any brain fog your might be experiencing. 

Ingredients

2 large, ripe avocados
1/4 cup plain creamy goat cheese
Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, a drizzle
2 tbsps lemon juice, freshly squeezed from organic lemons
1 habeñero pepper, thinly slivered
Cilantro, to garnish
Real Salt, to taste
Cayenne, to taste

Guidelines

Combine avocados, goat cheese, lemon juice and salt in a bowl of your choice. Mash until you reach your desired consistency (I'm more of a creamy guac gal, but keeping it chunky is just as yummy). Blend in your small habañero slivers. Drizzle olive oil on top (for an extra brain boost), and garnish with cilantro & cayenne.

I love savoring this recipe with organic sprouted corn chips or thinly sliced raw yams.

Enjoy the brain-boosting and taste-bud tickling effects of this yummy guacamole!

In other news, C&C is now on Bloglovin'! You can start following us by clicking on the icon on the top left-hand corner of the blog or by clicking here: http://bit.ly/cardamombloglovin

As always, wishing you all love & creativity,

Leah

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author: Leah Steiner // photos by: Leah Steiner

Sources:

*http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/avocado-brain-function-6231.html

Crimini Mushroom Omelette

Most of my post ideas for C&C come to me. What I mean by that is that I don't spend very much time thinking about what I'm going to write. I just go about my day-to-day and my posts, or any creative ideas for that matter, usually greet me with a burst of inspiration. I was taking a Saturday morning barre* class a couple of weeks ago, and throughout the class the ingredients of this delicious omelette started coming together in my mind (go figure, I'm working out and dreaming up culinary adventures- ah, the day-to-day of a foodie.). By the end of the class I was so excited about creating this creation that I even went out of my way to pick up some cilantro & crimini mushrooms, which I felt were essential ingredients to making this omelette magic happen. And it was well worth it. This omelette ended up being easy to make, delicious and protein-y- which made it a perfect post-workout meal.

Before I delve into the recipe, I'll go into a little more depth about why duck eggs are my eggs of choice. They're full of healthy fats and proteins, making them yummy for the brain, the body and the palate. And they're much easier to digest than chicken eggs, which contain proteins that are indigestible for the human body. They also haven't been exposed to any form of genetic modification**. Although locating duck eggs can be a little challenging, they've become a lot more readily available over the years. If you're having trouble finding them, check out the egg stand at your farmer's market. You can also connect with local farmers to see if they have duck eggs that they're willing to sell. My parents live in Switzerland and they happened to come across a cop who breeds ducks as a hobby. He personally delivers their duck eggs on a motorbike 8-). 

So, after you've procured your duck eggs from the grocery store, the farmers market or a cop on a motorbike, you can proceed to create this recipe. 

Ingredients (for one omelette)

1 medium sized stainless steel pan
2 duck eggs
1/2 medium sized red onion
5-8 organic crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 an avocado
Approx. 1 teaspoon organic raw extra-virgin coconut oil
Some feta cheese (optional) 
Dash of goat milk (optional)
Some cilantro (to garnish your creation)

Guidelines

Finely chop red onion. Slice crimini mushrooms (not too thin, not too thick). Heat up your stainless steel pan on a medium flame. Once it has warmed up, add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Allow oil to warm for one minute and move pan around so the oil spreads evenly and covers the entire surface area. Add onion and mushroom. While mushroom and onion are cooking, crack two duck eggs into a bowl. If desired, add goat milk for a fluffier consistency. Whisk. Pour the egg mixture over the red onion and mushrooms in the pan, allow to spread out evenly. Sprinkle feta on top (if you're choosing to incorporate it). Put lid on pan and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until bottom of omelette is firm (you can use a spatula to check). At this point, I like putting my avocado slices inside my omelette, flipping it closed and letting it cook for another minute or so. If you prefer, you can also flip it closed and use the avo slices as a garnish. Once your omelette is ready, gently pick it up with your spatula and place it on your favorite breakfast plate. Decorate with cilantro. 

I love having this omelette with some fresh papaya on the side for a nice & refreshing enzymatic burst. Plus the bright orange, yellow & green color scheme of this dish just looks really pretty and bright on a breakfast plate.

Also, play around with different spices! Sometimes I like blending paprika or a bit of turmeric into my egg mixture. And I love adding a dash of cayenne to the final dish. Have fun and enjoy =)  

In other news, my Love and I have found a new LA home to call our own! And I could not be more excited. In many ways it's the ideal creative space. Lots of windows. A labyrinth. And a magical garden filled with flowers, trees and birds. We already have lots of ideas about how we're going to use the space to create more creativity-inspiring content for you. Stay tuned =)

Happy spring everyone! And remember to embrace the beauty of change. 

With love & creativity,

Leah
 

author: Leah Steiner // photos by: Juliana Mariia Rose


*Barre is one of my favorite types of exercise. It uses low impact isometric movements that work all of your major and minor muscle groups. I'll share more about this transformative workout in a future post. But just wanted to give you a snippet =)
** Source: Avaness, Christina. Living Beyond Organic: Nutritional Knowledge Redefined!. Las Vegas: Tiara Publishing, 2009. Print.