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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bliss and Vicoden

Last Friday I left for a mini-vacation to the Placer/Nevada County area of California.  I packed my laptop with the intention of finding a little cafe or coffee house that offered wifi so as to get my newsletter out on time.  I did not have the intention of getting in a car accident, but the winding slick roads of highway 49 and the pouring rain had other intentions for me.  So instead of sitting in that cafe connected to local internet writing to you about pomegranates, I spent that time lying in bed, eating Dark Chocolate Coconut Bliss and popping Ibuprofen.

What?  You say you've never heard of Coconut Bliss?  Oh my, let me tell you about this delectable treat.  Several years ago, I managed an organic food coop here in my little town.  And one fine day I ran across this  frozen dessert while perusing the latest catalog for my coop.  I absolutely had to order a case and lo and behold the answer to my search for a delicious non-dairy ice cream was soon sitting on a pallet in my garage.  I was absolutely tickled pink to find an ice cream that was so simple in its ingredients:  organic coconut milk, organic agave syrup, organic fair trade cocoa, and organic vanilla extract.  I'm quite sure the angels were singing Hallelujah, because I certainly was!

After the organic coop shut down, I was left bereft without my Coconut Bliss.  I had to search far and wide, drive mile after mile and walk uphill both ways in the snow to find a store that sold my favorite treat.  It didn't take long for Luna & Larry, the founders of Coconut Bliss to penetrate the market and soon my local Raley's was stocking the freezer aisle with pint after pint of coconut love.

To this day my Coconut Bliss is always there to get me through the most harrowing of life's circumstances.  The abrasion across my chest from the seatbelt is still raw and a little sore, but healing nicely.  I can now take a deep breath without feeling pain in my chest, but laughing still hurts and sneezing is excruciating!  The truck unfortunately was not as lucky as I and I don't think Coconut Bliss will fix the radiator and the fender and the hood and the grill and the passenger door that are pretty well smashed from slamming into the moutain, but I am pretty sure the ER doctor wrote me a prescription for Coconut Bliss, or maybe that was Vicoden.






Wishing You Dark Chocolate Love,

Kristi

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Teleclass:  When Sugar Doesn't LOVE You Back 
~ 4 Steps for Breaking the Addiction

I know you love sugar and I know it's not loving you back.  You think it's loving you back.  Each time you eat it (whether in the form of cakes, cookies, donuts, bread, pasta, pastries, frappucinos) it gives you a high that lifts your mood, enlivens your spirit and in that moment all is right with the world. 
But loving sugar comes at a high price.
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • mood swings
  • weight gain
  • bloating
  • sallow skin
  • brittle hair and nails
  • poor eyesight
  •  and the ultimate betrayal ~ diabetes
Join me Tuesday October 18, 2011  6:00-7:00 PST for a teleclass that will forever change the way you view sugar.
During this call you will:
  • Learn the 20 reasons why sugar damages your health
  • Why sugar is just as addicting as street drugs
  •  4 tips to begin getting control over sugar in your diet
 Click HERE to learn more about this teleclass and to register!
$27

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Birthday Offer Still Available! 
I'm still offering my special birthday offer of saving you $100 on my private program
Do You:
  • Want to get off the processed foods that are making you tired, cranky and fat?
  • Want to learn how to cook easy yummy meals from scratch?
  • Want to know the delicious and nutritious foods  that will set you free from addictions, cravings and misery?
  • Want to feel confident in your own kitchen?
  • Want to lose weight and ditch the diets forever?
  • Want to have a wildly magical love affair with yourself and with food?
My 4 month private coaching program is normally $587, but for the month of October that price will only be $487!  There are only a few spots left, so email me right away at kristi@kitchenwithcoaching.com with the message Birthday Present in the subject line letting me know your READY to have a healthy love affair with yourself and with food!  I will send you a PayPal invoice and once you pay your invoice, your IN!  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Think Johnny Depp Likes Avocado Chocolate Pudding Too

Last Sunday I was feeling tired and lazy.  Luckily so were my girls and even more luckily (if that is even correct grammar) my oldest now has a drivers  license.  So off to the video rental store I sent her for Chocolat You know what movie I'm talking about:  Vianne the chocolate seductress and Roux the river rat who certainly does not look like a river rat.

Knowing full well I would not be able to watch this movie without a yearning for some chocolate myself, I set about to make Avocado Chocolate Pudding, the perfect treat for a Johnny Depp movie.  Oh, did I mention he is the river rat?  Now any river rat I know would enjoy this delectable treat and I might even be able to impress Vianne. 


 


Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • dash of Sea Salt

Directions
  1. In a food processor or blender, puree all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  2. Enjoy immediately or place in refrigerator to chill.
 
 

  
This delectable HEALTHY treat tastes great with some fresh raspberries and even better with your favorite river rat!

And speaking of river rats, my
Love What You See in the Mirror program is open for registration!  You will definitely NOT feel like a river rat in my amazing transformational & empowering program!  You might just find your inner Vianne! 


 


Blessings of Chocolate,
Kristi

And P.S. If you want to spice things up ~ add a dash of cayenne!

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Love What You See in the Mirror Isn't it time to feel vibrant, energetic and alive, instead of depressed, lethargic and deprived?

This program is only available for 8 fabulous women who:

  • want MORE out of life
  • are dying to LOVE themselves and the food they eat
  • want to feel FANTASTIC
  • are sacrificing their DESIRES to others
  • want to look AMAZING
  • are stuck and wanting to break FREE
  • want deep and lasting CHANGE

"She's got it going on, but especially in the way of presence and solutions. She loves what she does and I can tell she cares SO much about me and my success. I've been contemplating how to access the world's largest, loudest megaphone so I can tell everyone HOW AMAZING working with her is! But since I haven't found it yet, this will have to do. Here's hoping you take advantage of the rare & privileged opportunity to work with such an outstanding mentor, coach and woman!" 
~ Terra Rose Ganem, Austin TX

 Now is the time to write your own recipe of your perfection and LOVE what you see in the mirror! 

Click HERE for all the info you need to know!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  
Kristi Hyllen, CNC CHHC AADP is a recovering sugar addict who loves to share her passion for eating good food without the pain of dieting.  As a health coach she has helped women get back into their skinny jeans, eat chocolate without guilt and love what they see in the mirror.  Learn more about scheduling a one-on-one private empowerment session HERE.  You can read more about Kristi and the work she does by visiting http://www.kitchenwitchcoaching.com/
 

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Think Johnny Depp Likes Gazpacho

Tomatoes ~ juicy red plump right-off-the-vine tomatoes are most definitely the emblem for end of summer harvest.  The smell and tantalizing taste of a fresh garden tomato is no where near to be found in the typical grocery store.  The garden tomato is Queen and has no rivals.  It is during this time of year I gloriously revel in the tomato abundance, but often find myself trying to quickly use them before their luscious ripeness turns to moldy mush.

One of my favorite ways to use up that harvest is to make a batch of gazpacho.  It's so easy and so yummy (yummy like Johnny Depp yummy, I'm serious!).  It tastes great for a refreshing lunch in the heat of the lingering day or a quick dinner when waiting for the chicken to defrost is just not going to happen (kinda like the waiting for Johnny Depp to leave his French girlfriend is just not going to happen.)


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Gazpacho

Prep Time:15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes plus chilling
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • Pepper
  • Manchego or parmesan cheese, shaved or grated (optional)

Directions
  1. In a food processor or blender, puree tomato until almost smooth.  Add cucumber, pepper, garlic, vinegar and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pulse until almost smooth, leave a little chunky for texture.
  2. Chill soup in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.  Adjust seasoning; thin with water if necessary.  Serve soup drizzled with more olive oil and topped with cheese.
 
 

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Enjoy the gazpacho and since this recipe is so quick you'll have plenty of time to watch a Johnny Depp movie, I recommend, well actually I recommend them all!

And speaking of Johnny Depp, my
Love What You See in the Mirror program is open for registration!  Just like you've had a crush on Johnny since 21 Jumpstreet, you'll develop a crush for this amazing transformational & empowering program!  
 

With Gazpacho in your bowl and Johnny in your heart,
Kristi

And P.S. If you want to spice things up ~ add a jalapeno!  A REAL jalapeno!  Get your mind out of the gutter!




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Love What You See in the Mirror Isn't it time to feel vibrant, energetic and alive, instead of depressed, lethargic and deprived?

This program is only available for 8 fabulous women who:

  • want MORE out of life
  • are dying to LOVE themselves and the food they eat
  • want to feel FANTASTIC
  • are sacrificing their DESIRES to others
  • want to look AMAZING
  • are stuck and wanting to break FREE
  • want deep and lasting CHANGE
"I've known Kristi for two months and she is a life-changing kind of woman. There aren't many things that I can stay committed to, simply because I "get bored" but every two weeks, I so look forward to my calls with Kristi. In fact, I'm usually early to them! She is creative, energetic and most of all...PRESENT! "
~ Terra Rose Ganem, Austin TX

 Now is the time to write your own recipe of your perfection and LOVE what you see in the mirror! 

Click HERE for all the info you need to know!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  
Kristi Hyllen, CNC CHHC AADP is a recovering sugar addict who loves to share her passion for eating good food without the pain of dieting.  As a health coach she has helped women get back into their skinny jeans, eat chocolate without guilt and love what they see in the mirror.  Learn more about scheduling a one-on-one private empowerment session HERE.  You can read more about Kristi and the work she does by visiting http://www.kitchenwitchcoaching.com/
 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shopping the Farmers Market Like a Diva

I recently took a trip to Lodi to visit the thriving Farmers Market that has spread itself down School Street and become quite the Thursday night event for the locals.  Block after block of pop-up tents covering tables overflowing with tomates, zucchini, basil, flowers, bell peppers, peaches, onions.  The smells of smoked sausage wafting through the air from local food vendors tempting my belly and making my mouth water.  Local crafters catching my eye with twinkling homemade jewels and trinkets.  The sound of guitars strumming and drumsticks drumming over clinking glasses and happy laughter emanating from the  beer garden.

Navigating the Lodi Farmers Market takes skill and finesse.  Come with rolling cart and re-usable bags.  Come with cold hard cash and a grocery list.  Come with time on your hand and inpiration in your mind.  This is no evening to rush.  It is an evening to savor, enjoy the throngs of people, walk slowly, feel the energy in the air, and get your shop on.  It is an experience ~ one that will bring you back again and again.  Especially when you arrive home and pour out your treasures onto the kitchen table and feel amazed by how much food you recieved for a mere $40!
  


And speaking of feeling amazed, my Love What You See in the Mirror program is open for registration!  And just like the farmers market, you'll be amazed at the treasures you will recieve in this life-changing, self-loving program! 
 
So I'll be at the Lodi Farmers Market again this coming Thursday night, won't you join me?

With Love and Lots of Veggies,

Kristi



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 Love What You See in the Mirror Isn't it time you enjoyed every morsel you eat instead of feeling guilty? 

This program is only available for 8 fabulous women who:

  • want MORE out of life
  • are dying to LOVE themselves and the food they eat
  • want to feel FANTASTIC
  • are sacrificing their DESIRES to others
  • want to look AMAZING
  • are stuck and wanting to break FREE
  • want deep and lasting CHANGE
"Kristi is a wise and witty, down-to-earth, warm and compassionate, "real" person!  She stuck with me through some really rough times, always gently encouraging, but holding me accountable as well, and always leaving me feeling good about myself and my capabilities."

~ Jennifer Schildknecht, Danielsville GA


 Now is the time to write your own recipe of your perfection and LOVE what you see in the mirror! 

Click HERE for all the info you need to know!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Kristi Hyllen, CNC CHHC AADP is a recovering sugar addict who loves to share her passion for eating good food without the pain of dieting.  As a health coach she has helped women get back into their skinny jeans, eat chocolate without guilt and love what they see in the mirror.  Learn more about scheduling a one-on-one private empowerment session HERE.  You can read more about Kristi and the work she does by visiting http://www.kitchenwitchcoaching.com/
 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Conquering Cravings AKA no more Fight Club AKA Brad Pitt Won't Save You

Whose in control?  You or the food?  Do you feel like every meal is a date with Fight Club and your destructive cravings are the contending heavyweights? Do loaves of french bread challenge you to a duel?  Do cookies taunt you while donuts keep the stats?  Do mocha frapps leave you powerless and bowls of pasta make your knees buckle?

Are you losing the battle?  Are you tired of feeling like the forever failure?  Are you embarassed by your lack of willpower and stamina?  When will you finally wear the champion belt . . . err stilettos?

How about this coming September?  I challenge you to look your contender in the eyes and join me along with 7 other women for an adventure that will conquer the addictions and leave you the Heroine of your own life.   I can't promise a visit from Brad Pitt, but I can promise a chance at VICTORY over cravings and addictions.

It's time to put your crown on girlfriend,

Kristi


  
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Love What You See in the Mirror 
It's time to feel in control!

This program is only available for 8 fabulous women who:

  • want MORE out of life
  • are dying to LOVE themselves and the food they eat
  • want to feel FANTASTIC
  • are sacrificing their DESIRES to others
  • want to look AMAZING
  • are stuck and wanting to break FREE
  • want deep and lasting CHANGE
"I'm happy to say that during those six months with Kristi, I lost 30 pounds, stayed off blood pressure meds, and cut my diabetes meds in half! I'm also finding, thanks to her, that I do have more choices (in food AND in life!) than I'd imagined. I can't recommend Kristi and her services enough!"
~ Jennifer Schildknecht, Danielsville GA


 Now is the time to write your own recipe of your perfection and LOVE what you see in the mirror! 

Click HERE for all the info you need to know
!



okay so I had to post a little eye candy ~ I don't hear you complaining!
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Kristi Hyllen, CNC CHHC AADP is a recovering sugar addict who loves to share her passion for eating good food without the pain of dieting.  As a health coach she has helped women get back into their skinny jeans, eat chocolate without guilt and love what they see in the mirror.  Learn more about scheduling a one-on-one private empowerment session HERE.  You can read more about Kristi and the work she does by visiting http://www.kitchenwitchcoaching.com/
 

Swooning Over Gerard Butler . . . umm, I mean Basil, yeah Basil

Basil ~ the one garden herb that leaves visions of steamy italian pasta and dark red wine dancing in my head.  The aromatic smell of basil is enough to make me swoon like Holly with Gerry's first kiss in that tear-jerker of a movie P.S. I Love You.  (Okay, she didn't really swoon, she was more dumbstruck and lost for words, but I certainly swooned!) 

The end of summer finds me in the kitchen making more pesto than one human can eat and then trying to come up with as many ways as possible to use that pesto!  Pesto deviled eggs, pesto tuna salad, pesto salami sandwiches, pesto scrambled eggs, pesto hummus, pesto mashed potates.  My kiddos can be sure that whatever they are eating, I'll find a way to add some pesto! 

Classic Basil Pesto
Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  Directions:    
 1. Preheat oven to 350*. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden and fragrant, tossing once, 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Remove from baking sheet to prevent further browning. Let cool completely.
3. In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, cheese and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Process until finely chopped.
4. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until smooth


Options: Replace basil with parsley or cilantro, replace pine nuts with walnuts
    
 


Enjoy the basil, the pesto and the end of summer because fall is quickly approaching!

And speaking of fall, my
Love What You See in the Mirror program is open for registration!  Just like Holly, you'll fall in love at the offerings in this transformational & empowering program!  
 

With Pesto in Your Heart,
Kristi

And P.S. I recommend eating your pesto while watching P.S. I Love You.  :-)




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Love What You See in the Mirror Isn't it time to eat whatever the hell you want, instead of continuing the cycle of dieting failure?

This program is only available for 8 fabulous women who:

  • want MORE out of life
  • are dying to LOVE themselves and the food they eat
  • want to feel FANTASTIC
  • are sacrificing their DESIRES to others
  • want to look AMAZING
  • are stuck and wanting to break FREE
  • want deep and lasting CHANGE
"I'm happy to say that during those six months with Kristi, I lost 30 pounds, stayed off blood pressure meds, and cut my diabetes meds in half! I'm also finding, thanks to her, that I do have more choices (in food AND in life!) than I'd imagined. I can't recommend Kristi and her services enough!"
~ Jennifer Schildknecht, Danielsville GA


 Now is the time to write your own recipe of your perfection and LOVE what you see in the mirror! 

Click HERE for all the info you need to know!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  
Kristi Hyllen, CNC CHHC AADP is a recovering sugar addict who loves to share her passion for eating good food without the pain of dieting.  As a health coach she has helped women get back into their skinny jeans, eat chocolate without guilt and love what they see in the mirror.  Learn more about scheduling a one-on-one private empowerment session HERE.  You can read more about Kristi and the work she does by visiting http://www.kitchenwitchcoaching.com/
 

 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pizza Pasta

Do you love pizza?  I used to love pizza.  As I've gotten further away from proccessed foods and continually add more and more whole foods into my diet, I've found that my cravings for junk food have slowly been diminishing.  I realized the other night when I came across a recipe for pizza pasta, that I couldn't remember the last time I ate pizza.  And then I was pleasantly surprised to notice that I didn't even have a craving for it. 

But pizza pasta was intriguing.  Of course the recipe called for all kinds of pre-made junk, so I thought to myself.  I could easily create my own version of pizza pasta.  And that is exactly what I did, and let me tell you it turned out to be really good!  So good in fact, I just had to share it with all of you.

Kristi's Pizza Pasta
  • 1 package spaghetti noodles (I use brown rice since it is gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 28oz diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can large black olives, sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 8 cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
  • 24 slices organic pepperoni, quartered
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • small bunch of basil leaves, torn
  • 2 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small chunks
  • Parmesan for grating
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well and return to pan, adding a swish of olive oil if desired.
  2. In a medium pan over medium heat, sautee onion and mushroom until onion is translucent.  Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic and cook tomatoes down until saucy about 10 minutes.
  3. Add bell pepper and cook for about 3-5 minutes to keep peppers crunchy.  Don't overcook or peppers will be soft.
  4. Add pepperoni and olives, cook for a few minutes to heat them up.  They don't need to be "cooked".
  5. Add fresh basil and stir.  Once again cook for just a minute or two as basil doesn't need to be cooked, just warmed up.
  6. Serve pizza topping over pasta, sprinkle with mozzarella chunks and grate with parmesan cheese.


Pizza Pasta
(C) Kristi Hyllen 2011

So what other toppings do you like on your pizza?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Salad Greens

During the cold months of winter the thought of salad makes my face cringe.  Its freezing cold and the last thing my body wants is anything that will only add to my coldness.  Instead I crave soups and stews, hot teas and lots of meat!  Foods that warm my Vatta body.

Its just the beginning of March, but here in the foothills of California, spring is slowly waking up and showing her face.  Daffodils are proudly displaying their yellow beauty while the wild chickweed is creeping throughout the garden.

Which means my body is warming up and beginning to crave those delicious spring greens that I love to take into my kitchen and turn into tasty salads.  Of course it isn't quite that warm yet, so I eat my spring salads next to the wood stove!

As I was working on my upcoming cooking class on salads, I was inspired to blog about the lovely offerings of spring.  Here are just a few of my favorite salad greens.


Arugula ~
Bitter and peppery, throw into any salad for some zing.  I especially love arugula mixed with cooked quinoa, dried fruit and nuts.



Bibb, Boston, Butterhead ~
Soft and tender, goes great in any salad and especially in sandwiches.  Butterhead is one of my favorites even though it is expensive.



Chickweed ~
A wild weed that grows crazy in my garden.  Only eat chickweed you know hasn't been sprayed or is not alongside roadways where it sucks up car fumes.  Add a handful to any salad, just be sure to get rid of the stems.



Curly Endive, Chicory, Frisee ~
Crisp and bitter, use a little to add variety to your salad.  I personally find the shape hard to get in my mouth, so I give it a good chop!



Dandelion ~
Use small tender leaves for salad, larger leaves can be cooked.  And yes you can eat them out of your backyard as long as you haven't sprayed chemicals!



Endive ~
Bitter and mild.  Use it like a scoop for tuna, chicken, and crab salads.



Escarole ~
Small leaves can be used in salad, otherwise I chop it up and throw it in soup.


Mesclun ~
A mixture of tender young greens usually arugula, frisee, radicchio, chard and herbs that can be used as a salad base.



Miner's Lettuce ~
Another wild weed that grows crazy in the spring.  Again make sure your harvesting weeds you know haven't been sprayed.



Radicchio ~
Bitter and peppery, a little goes a long way and makes a salad visually appealing.


Romaine ~
Crunchy and a good base for most salads, used in the classic Caesar salad.


And that is just a short list of greens one can use to make salad.  I encourage you to go to your favorite produce section and see what else they have in stock.  Or if you are lucky enough to have a farmers market happening in your neck of the woods, go talk to your farmer about any salad greens they may be growing! 

So I'm off to make some dinner and on the side I think I'll toss together a classic Caesar!


What are your favorite salad greens?

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Want to learn to make some yummy salads with these delectable greens?

Salads & Dressings Cooking Class:
Wednesday March 16th
6:00 to 8:00
Private kitchen in Ione, CA  (address supplied when payment is made)

The Salads:
  • Quinoa Apple Cranberry
  • Caesar
  • Strawberry Spinach
  • Chicken
  • Wild Weeds

The Dressings:
  • Rosemary Balsamic Garlic
  • Caesar
  • Strawberry Poppy Seed Yogurt
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Green Goddess

Class is $25
RSVP by Monday March 14th to Kristi at 209-712-2424 or email me at kristi@kitchenwitchcoaching.com

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chickweed Pesto

I just returned from a fantastic four day womens retreat along the gorgeous coast of Mendocino.  I have yet to unpack my suitcase, though my pictures have been downloaded to facebook and I've spent most of the morning in the kitchen.  Priorities! 

And naturally being away from home for some time means a bare bones supply of food in the fridge.  But not to worry, I have learned that I do my best creative cooking when I have little to choose from.  It is when the magick is at its best.

So as I contemplated what to create for dinner, I could feel those wonderful stirrings of ideas coming forth.  Marinated grilled steaks topped with chickweed pesto!  With scissors in hand, I headed out to the front garden to gather that most abundant chickweed to make the pesto.


Ingredients for chickweed pesto

Chickweed Pesto
  • 2 to 3 cups chickweed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Wash chickweed in a bowl of cold water, letting any sand or dirt settle to the botto.  Lift greens out of water into a colander.  Pat dry with a towel or dry in a salad spinner.
  2. Place peeled garlic in the bowl of a food processor.  Process to chop.  Add the chickweed and process to chop.
  3. Add the nuts, grated cheese, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Process until gound into a fairly smooth paste.  If the mixture is too dry, add a little more olive oil.

Chickweed Pesto


But of course I still needed to figure out what to eat for lunch.  Rummaging around in the fridge and the pantry, I pulled out a variety of items and mixed them up into a salad.  Romaine lettuce, leftover quinoa, avocado, walnuts, dried cranberries, pastrami, feta cheese and to my delight I topped it off with some chickweed pesto!  I had never thought of using pesto as a salad dressing before!


"Leftovers in the Fridge" salad with some chickweed pesto as dressing


So I'm anticipating a delicious dinner tonight.  I can just imagine the chickweed pesto melting over my tender steaks.  mmmmmmm

How else can you use chickweed pesto?  On top of grilled chicken and seafood, tossed with rice or pasta, dolloped in a soup, drizzled over baked root vegetables, as a dip for crudites and crackers.  The possiblities are endless!


How will you use chickweed pesto?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Finding Sugar

Whenever I buy something at the store, I always look at the price per unit cost.  It saves money, makes my dollar go further, and I've found that store brands are really no different than name brands.  So last week on my usual shopping trip, I had to buy some clams for a clam chowder I was planning on cooking.

As usual, I compared the unit cost on all three brands of clams and chose the cheaper of the three.  I mean how different could they be, they're clams!  But to my utter horror and amazement they were not!

Sunday night I set about to make my clam chowder.  Half an onion, a lot of garlic, some bacon and six potatoes later I was ready to add the clams.  For the fun of it, I decided to read the ingredients expecting to see: clams.  But what I saw was that insidious word: SUGAR!  WHAT?!  Sugar!  Why on Goddesses' Green Earth do a can of clams need sugar!

What in the world does the sugar do for the clams?!  Does it somehow make us addicted to THAT brand of clams?  What were the CEO's and CFO's of this company thinking when they got the not so bright idea to add sugar!  Do I seriously need my clams to be sweetened? 

So after ranting and raving for a bit, I went ahead and made my clam chowder, apologized to my intestines and vowed to always read labels!

In my curiosity, I decided to scavenge through my cupboards and fridge to see where else sugar was lurking.  Some items were no surprise, but some made me go GRRRRRRR!

Here is my list:

Trader Joe's Champagne Vinaigrette
Trader Joe's Dijon Mustard
Trader Joe's Organic Ketchup
Trader Joe's Ranch Dressing
Trader Joe's Tortilla Chips
Trader Joe's Blackberry Preserves
Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce
Trader Joe's Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns
Trader Joe's Organic Bacon
Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Cereal
Nature's Path Organic Instant Oatmeal
Kettle BBQ Chips
Dynasty Hoisin Sauce
Stonewall Kitchen BBQ Sauce
Pamela's Wheat and Gluten Free Pancake and Baking Mix
Pamela's Wheat and Gluten Free Bread and Flour Mix





So what's a girl to do when even items that are supposed to be "health" foods contain sugar?  Time for another overhaul!  I guess I'll be looking for new brands or making my own ketchup and baking mixes!


I challenge you.  What items do you have in your pantry and fridge that contain sugar?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sugar Cane Sticks

Thursday is my grocery shopping day.  Since Mike has the day off, together we meander down to Stockton and make our way to Trader Joe's, Artesian Natural Foods and Raley's, stocking up the ice chests, and loading up the trunk to feed our hungry teenage daughters.

The produce section at the Stockton Raley's is always a delight for me and I take great pride in knowing the names of all the various fruits and vegetables.  Mike enjoys asking me, "What's this?"  And I enjoy answering!


What's this?  Turnips
What's this?  Bitter melon. 
What's this?  Lemongrass. 
What's this?  Rutabaga. 
What's this?  Sugar cane.  Sugar Cane??!!


Sugar Cane Sticks from Raley's

Yep there it was, little packages of sugar cane tucked away on a shelf not far from the peppers.  I HAD to buy them, I mean seriously!  What a novelty!  But why buy sugar when I've made it publicly known that I am now living in a sugar-free zone?



Well, it goes back to a book I read several years ago.  Sweetness and Power:  The Place of Sugar in Modern History by Sidney W. Mintz.  Such a fascinating book which discusses the origins of sugar and how it changed the history of captialism, altered work patterns, eating habits and influenced our modern diet.



The one thing I clearly remember is the discussion of how slaves on the sugar plantations would chew sticks of unprocessed sugar cane yet never developed the diseases or dental caries that Americans and Europeans so easily developed and still do to this day. 

Why?  Well according to Mintz, sticks of unprocessed sugar cane would be likened to a whole food.  Just like processing an apple into apple juice and only drinking the juice but never eating the apple can lead to weight gain and contribute to poor health, so to processing a sugar cane and only eating the sugar, but not the cane, also leads to poor health.


Unprocessed Sugar Cane Sticks

So in my curiosity, I just had to buy the sticks!  And I know your curious, what do they taste like?  Well they are a little juicy, a little sweet and have a slight maple flavor.  I only chewed a quarter of a stick and have been watching for any reaction.  So far so good.

Now the last thing I want to do is get back into a sweet binge, but they were too synchronistic to pass up and the scientist in me loves a good experiment!

Have you tried sugar cane sticks?  What do you think of putting sugar cane sticks into the category of a whole food?  Do you think unprocessed cane could actually not be detrimental to one's health?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sugar Challenge


I was a sugar addict.  It started innocently enough as a small child.  A chocolate donut from the local bakery on Saturday morning, a swig of cherry Kool-Aid on a hot summer afternoon, a bowl of colorful Trix cereal washed down with cold milk before school.

Sugar was just as common as salt and pepper.  It sweetened up those apple pies my mom baked in the fall.  It decorated the tops of snickerdoodle cookies.  It had its own rightful place in the sugar bowl, where adding an extra spoonful of sugar certainly did help the medicine go down!

Little did I know sugar was like a slow drip of arsenic, poisoning my body and creating an addiction that could rival anyone at the Betty Ford Center.  (Want to know about the damage sugar does to your body?  Read my notes on Facebook.)

I have vivid memories of my first job at Safeway.  I was completely unaware that I had a sugar problem, though each day on my break a jelly donut and a 3 Musketeers Bar found its way into my stomach.

More vivid memories of being a 6th grade school teacher.  Still unaware of my sugar addiction, I spent each night lying in bed reading a book while scarfing down half a bag of cookies and sipping nighty night tea wondering why I had insomnia.

And still more memories of homeschooling my children.  Heaping spoonful after spoonful of sugar into cups of coffee, then frantically drinking the elixir down as a heroin addict frantically finds a fix.

Making the decision to eliminate sugar from my diet was one of the most difficult challenges I've ever faced in my life.  Sugar, once it knows you are ready to sever ties, goes into overdrive and creates uncontrollable cravings that even Super Woman couldn't conquer.  I battled with sugar for years!  At times having conquered the invader and at other times caving in like Whole Foods acquiescing to Monsanto.

It wasn't until I started school at Institute for Integrative Nutrition that I finally got a handle on the sugar.  Through patience, determination, better food choices, deconstructing the cravings and lots of support from my fellow students, I found the sugar cravings slowly diminishing while my mood and energy improved and my belly didn't hurt anymore!

But now even with my arsenal of natural and alternative sweeteners, I am dismayed and disgruntled by the sugar content found in the most basic of foods.  Ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings, BBQ sauce.  You name it, it probably has sugar in it.  Even the organic products at the health food store are loaded with sugar!  Though I may not want sugar in my life, the food industry seems to think it should be!

So my Sugar Challenge has begun.  I am on a mission to continue eliminating sugar from my life and my pantry.  By finding products made without sugar or just learning to make them on my own, my goal is to be truly sugar free. 

Will you to join me?


How has sugar affected your life?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My New Services



Breakthrough Session:
A breakthrough session is a FREE 50 minute consultation for you to share your goals for your health and happiness.  In our session you will clarify your goals, find the obstacles getting in the way of reaching those goals, find some simple action steps that you can take, and learn more about me and how I can help you reach those goals.


Group Programs:
  • 6 Weeks to a Healthier You 
  • 12 Weeks to an Even Healthier You 
Why should you do a group program?  If you enjoy connecting with other individuals who share your passion and goals for a healthier life and you like the price of group compared to the cost of a private program, then a group program would work best for you.



 Private Consultations :

  • 3 month program
  • 6 month program
Why should you do a private program?  If you prefer the privacy of one-on-one then a private program would be best for you.



So what's involved in a program?
The topics covered in private and group programs is the same, so you won't miss out on a thing no matter which program you choose. 

As a Holistic Health Practitioner, I believe in bio-individuality. Together, we will explore concerns specific to you and your body and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance.  Through working with me you will radically improve your health and happiness.

You Will…
  • Set and accomplish goals
  • Explore new foods
  • Understand and reduce cravings
  • Increase energy
  • Feel better in your body
  • Improve personal relationships

Group Programs include...
  • Weekly sessions
  • Group seminars and classes covering a variety of health-related topics
  • E-mail support between sessions
  • Books, CDs, handouts and other materials
  • Food samples and self-care products
  • A monthly newsletter
  • Access to a lending library of health and wellness books
  • Recipes

Private Programs include...
  • Two, one-hour sessions per month
  • Group seminars and classes covering a variety of health-related topics
  • E-mail support between sessions
  • Books, CDs, handouts and other materials
  • Food samples and self-care products
  • A monthly newsletter
  • Access to a lending library of health and wellness books
  • Recipes


Cooking Classes:
Better Beverages
Learn to make healthy and tasty beverages to please your palatte and tempt your tummy.  In this class we learn to make plain kombucha, fruit kombucha, milk kefir and water kefir.  $35
Time and Date TBA



Seasonal Seminars:
Kitchen Witch Coaching is teaming up with Sharon Tanner of Wellness with Sharon to create seasonal retreats that bring you back to a state of health and balance!
Time and Date TBA


To schedule a free breakthrough session, sign-up for an event, workshop or program, please contact me at 209-712-2424 or kristi@kitchenwitchcoaching.com

Monday, January 24, 2011

Homemade Granola

Every once in a while I'll get a craving for some granola.  Crunchy, a little sweet and full of my favorite nuts and dried fruits.  But unfortunately most granolas in the store are full of sugar.  Drat that sugar!  So I decided to just make my own.  I mean how hard could it be?  Here's the recipe:

Homemade Granola
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats, organic please!
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, go ahead throw in some other favorite nuts too, like chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or your favorite dried fruit or even a combo!
  1. Preheat oven to 350*  On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss oats, coconut and almonds.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil.  Remove from heat and stir in honey.
  3. Pour over oat mixture and toss.
  4. Bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 20-30 minutes
  5. Place mixture in a large storage bowl and stir in cranberries.  Make sure to let the granola cool completely before storing. 

Fresh from the oven granola


My favorite way to eat this granola is just like a bowl of cereal with some fresh raw milk.  It also tastes divine sprinkled in yogurt or cottage cheese.  For a snack, cut an apple or banana in half and spread with peanut butter, then add granola on top for a fun treat.  Granola can also go with ice cream or frozen yogurt and is really good stirred into a fruit salad.



Storing the granola


It looks so pretty, I couldn't stop taking pics!


How do you eat granola?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kombucha

Back in oh about the year 2006, a friend handed me a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  Upon reading that book, my entire view of food was radically altered and a new direction in my kitchen was laid open before me.

My passion for food and science were fueled by new concepts I had never heard of before:  sprouting?  fermenting?  What is that all about?  I embodied the mad scientist as jars of kefir and kombucha, beet kvass and sauerkraut, sprouting seeds and soaking legumes filled my counter tops.  My friends and family eyed me suspiciously as they lovingly yet apprehensively drank or ate my many concoctions.

Once such concoction which made many squint with disgust and curiosity was my kombucha.  What on Goddess's Green Earth is growing in that jar!  Oh yes, the SCOBY, the mother of the kombucha.  Yes, my friends it looks like a wicked jelly fish or something from a late night horror movie, but that scoby makes the most delicious and nutritious beverage. 


Kombucha Scoby


SCOBY stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.  It is also called a mushroom.  The bacteria and yeast feed on the sugar and tea to create acetic, lactic and glucuronic acid and a host of antioxidants, vitamins, and probiotics.  All of which boost the immune system, aid the body's natural cleansing processes, and have said to help in cancer prevention. 



Kombucha
Makes about 2 quarts

  • 3 quarts filtered water
  • 1 cup organic white sugar
  • 4 tea bags of organic black tea
  • 1/2 cup kombucha from a previous culture
  • 1 kombucha SCOBY
  • a large glass jar
  1. Bring 3 quarts filtered water to a boil.  Add sugar and simmer until dissolved. 
  2. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags and allow tea to steep until water has completely cooled. 
  3. Remove tea bags.  Pour cooled kombucha into a large glass jar.  Add previous kombucha culture.  Place scoby on top of the liquid.  Cover loosely with a cloth towel or cheesecloth. 
  4. Transfer kombucha to a warm place, usually the kitchen counter is just fine.  In about 7 to 10 days the kombucha will be ready, depending upon the temperature of the room.  The warmer the temperature the quicker the kombucha will ferment.  The kombucha should be sour and somewhat fizzy, with no taste of tea remaining.  In the winter my kombucha takes closer to 14 or 16 days.
  5. Transfer your kombucha to storage jars/bottles and refrigerate.

Your kombucha will grow a second scoby.  This can be used to make more batches of kombucha or given away to friends.  Store extra scobys in the refrigerator in glass jars when not using.  A kombucha scoby can be used dozens of times.  If your scoby becomes black or your kombucha doesn't sour properly, it is contaminated.  Throw it out and get a new scoby.


2  jars of Kombucha fermenting


So where in the world do you get a scoby?  It's not like your local grocery store has then hanging out with the lettuce in the produce section!  You have to find someone living near you that is making kombucha and can give you one.  There are online businesses that sell scobys.  Or you can go to the Weston A. Price Foundation.  Click on "Find a Local Chapter."  Find your state and look for a group in your area.  Call that person up and they can tell you where to get a scoby.  For me, part of the fun of kombucha is passing the baby scobys along to a new home.  So if you live near me, you can bet I'll have a scoby for ya.  Free of charge!


Bottling the Kombucha

And kombucha is very versatile.  In fact it is quite fun to experiment with different teas.  Though black tea creates the highest amount of glucuronic acid, other teas will create their own unique flavors.  Though I caution to always use organic tea.  Non-organic tea is high in flouride, something we don't want in our kombucha.

Adding fruits and whole spices mixes up the fun too.  After you've bottled your ready to drink kombucha, add some fruit for some variety.  My current favorite is lemon and mixed berry.


Bottled Lemon and Mixed Berry Kombucha


Our love of kombucha continues to grow and so do the jars on my counter!

So cheers to kombucha, your good health and inspiration in the kitchen!