Archive for September, 2010

September 30, 2010

Fresh Figs two ways: Sweet and Savory


contributed by Rylen Feeney

Figs are finally resuming their rightful place on the food deliciousness scale!   For several years running Bon Appetit readers voted figs their least favorite fruit – but no longer.  Figs have made a big comeback.   They are rich, complex and glorious.  Higher in fiber and overall mineral content of any other fruit.  Grab them while you can they are  only available from May – October depending on the variety and once bought only last a few days.  You want to select figs that are plump and yield slightly when gently squeezed.

They are a nutrient dense burst of fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium and beta carotenes, lutein, zeaxantin, vitamin C and K, and phytosterols.

Figs are said to be a premium food to consider adding to your diet for constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, fertility and libido.

To see complete nutritional informational data see: http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=106 or http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1884/2

Savory:

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Figs
adapted from Berryhill & Co

This will make extra fig and onion spread and can be put in omelets, or served with pasta and goat cheese or stuffed in chicken breast or legs or just eaten straight!

Serves 2
Preparation time:  50 – 60 minutes (onion fig spread can be made ahead)
Cooking time 10 minutes

Ingredients:
4 Slices Sourdough Bread or Unleavened Sprouted Grain Bread
1/3 cup shredded raw sharp cheddar
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) of crumbled good sheep or goat feta cheese
2 large yellow onions, sliced
2 cups or more of fresh figs, cleaned and chopped.
1 tbs of olive oil
sea or kosher salt
small amount of butter (room temperature)

Preparation:
1. Heat the oil over medium high until it shimmers. Saute onions, coating them with oil, and sprinkle a big pinch of salt over them. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook the onions slowly, stirring every few minutes until they soften and turn an even, deep brown gooey and are sweet. (about 25 – 40 minutes).
While the onions are cooking, wash the figs, slice off their stem ends, and cut them into ¼ inch chunks.  When the onions are completely caramelized, turn the heat back up to medium and stir in the figs. When the figs just begin to break apart, after about 2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and transfer into a bowl.
To make the sandwiches, heat a dry skillet on medium high heat and once hot turn down to medium or medium low.  Spread a thin layer of butter on each slice of bread, put 2 slices of bread butter side down in a hot skillet and spread both evenly with the cheddar cheese.  Let it begin to melt.  Add large scoop of onion fig spread and feta and top with the remaining two slices of bread, butter side up.  Press down and cover to help cheese melt.   When bread is evenly browned – carefully turn over and press and brown the second side.
Enjoy warm!

Sweet:
Baked Figs with Honey & Toasted Nuts

from my brother

Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time less than 15 mins
Cooking time 15 to 30 mins

Ingredients:
24 – 36 ripe fresh figs
Honey or Amber Agave Nectar
6 – 8 oz  Greek natural yoghurt*
1 cup chopped pecans**

Preparation:
Trim the end of the stalks off each fig and then cut a cross into the top of each one    and open it up like a flower.
2. Place the figs into a 9X13 baking pan.
Drizzle the honey equally over each fig. Sprinkle with the nuts.  Place them into a 375° oven and cook for 15 – 30 minutes, or until tender & figs have started to collapse a little and juice is running.
4. Add a good spoonful of Greek yoghurt to each one and eat while they’re still warm.
* cream fraise, marscapone, or fresh ricotta are all scrumptious substitutes
** Any nut would be acceptable: e.g. pecans, hazelnuts or combinations

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September 24, 2010

What’s Happening in Boise? The Next Wholistic Nutrition Program!

Wholistic Nutrition Program – Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine
The Wellspring School for Healing Arts – Boise
(Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 25th & 25th)

  • Are you on the fence about whether a career as a wholistic nutritionist is for you?
  • Do you want to learn more about embracing whole foods nutrition as a lifestyle for you and your family?
  • Does the idea of blending the tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine and whole foods wisdom sound intriquing?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then head down to The Wellspring School in Boise this weekend, where the next Wholistic Nutrition Program begins with the first class, Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Register for the program or sign up for classes based on your individual areas of interest. Whether you are looking for a new career path, a means to enhance an existing practice or just a healthier way of living, this 280-hour program is for you. Meeting only once a month for 22 months, it fits well with any busy lifestyle. Call or come down to the school today for more info! 208-388-0206


September 15, 2010

Agave Nectar – A Sticky Issue or a Sweet Deal?

Recently there has been a lot of hype and debate out there about the properties of and corresponding uses of agave nectar as a sweetener. We recently found an excellent blog article posted by the owner of a small cookie business that uses organic, whole-foods ingredients. We feel the article is one of the best ones we’ve seen to date. It’s definitely served as the foundation for some lively debate as you’ll see from the posted comments. Read on and decide for yourself.

Post: Why I Use Agave Nectar: An Examination of Agave Facts and Fiction
Link: http://betterworldcookies.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-i-use-agave-nectar-examination-of.html

September 7, 2010

The value of Tai Chi and Qigong – Why do a daily practice?

Submitted by Rylen Feeney Dipl. ABT, CH (NCCAOM) LMT (Or 14733 & NY)

Tai Chi and Qigong –  In a world filled with hustle and bustle; a world of “too much” to do in not enough time.  We may find ourselves multitasking in nearly every level of our lives – losing sight of the importance of one.  Losing sight of how powerful single minded intent can be.

I find reprieve in a daily practice of meditation, or tai chi/qigong.  Sometimes it is enough to just sit.  But sometimes to just sit, first I need to move gently and intentionally.   Tai Chi and Qigong are classic intentional movement arts that serve to harmonize the mind and body.   Both are designed to cultivate one’s consciousness and spirit.  To fill the body with life force (Qi) and to circulate it freely and harmoniously – so that we may have greater vitality, health, and so that we my feel congruency within ourselves.

Tai Chi and Qigong are the diligent practice of developing and directing one’s Qi.  They deeply and positively synchronize the the body and the mind.  In Chinese Medicine we say “where the mind goes, Qi flows and and where Q flows, Blood goes.”   When we practice Tai Chi or Qigong we learn to hone our focus and to direct the movement of Qi and blood in our bodies.   This leads to increased alpha brain wave states (the calm alert state experienced in deep meditation), it strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure, increases endurance and stamina, tones and strengthens the body, reduces chronic pain, improves proprioceptive awareness and balance.

The beauty of Tai Chi or Qigong is that they can be practiced by anyone of any age and like all of Chinese Medicine, they’re effects are immediate and profound – and yet continue to unfold and multiply as we deepen and continue our practice.

Discover the benefits first-hand and consider taking a little time-out of the frenetic pace of life and cultivate wholeness through a daily practice of Tai Chi or Qigong.

Boise:
Ongoing Chen Tai Chi – Saturday mornings 8:30 – 9:30 with Troy Lentell.
1000 Hands Buddha Qigong workshop, Sunday, October 10, 10 – 6pm with Nedda Jamstremsky

Portland:
1000 Hands Buddha Qigong, Friday afternoons 3 -4pm 9/10 – 11/5 with Polly Maliongas

Call 208-388-0206 or email us to register or for more details.

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