Creatively Cooking for Wellness


By Chef Deborah Lieder

When it comes to the healing journey, acceptance is a large part. The importance of being honest with ourselves, assessing where we are at, is the framework we use to build upon, even if what we see is not what we had expected. Acceptance can be challenging, where the human ego so desires to judge, guilt and shame.

Yet the truth in being honest with ourselves is recognizing the places our body is calling out to us to heal. It gives us the direction we need to take whether through nutrition, lifestyle or habits. The areas that need attention will show up on our body in one form or another, through our skin, weight, digestion or emotional disposition. When we take steps on the nutritional front, it allows healing to be brought to all those areas.

Herbs are an easy and fun way to begin our healing process. They not only encourage our culinary creativity in the kitchen, but there are also tons of places they can contribute to our wellness around the home. We find them in every recipe we use and once upon a time, our ancestors relied upon them for their medicine.

One of the most commonly used in the kitchen is garlic. It fights cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, ear infection, fungus, and ulcers. Another favorite is basil, which we find in a lot of Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Basil is excellent for external scrapes and wounds while internally it eases tension and nerves, an upset stomach, and the pain associated with arthritis. We often see clove used in small quantities in apple pie or pumpkin spice bread. But did you know it prevents disease by protecting our nerves from toxins?

Rosemary, which is often found on roasted potatoes, improves memory and is great for headaches or migraines. It is soothing to the nervous system and releases tension. Parsley as a diuretic, aids in the release of toxins from our kidneys and liver. Ginger is an amazing anti-inflammatory, helping reduce pain especially related to arthritis. It helps with indigestion, high cholesterol, and cleansing the body.

It is amazing to see how some of the most common things we use on a day-to-day basis can positively impact our health without even knowing it. When we consume whole foods, by making a meal from scratch, incorporating herbs and spices to expand on flavors while healing, is something our body smiles upon. We have gotten so lost in the fast-paced humdrum of life we forget the one thing we can do to support that.

As we take a moment to reflect upon some of the areas we can practically change, maybe we will accept where we are at in our food journey and choose to better one more thing there as well.

Fluffy Garden Vegetable Herb Frittata w/ Pan Roasted Yukons and Cotija

2 T. butter or Olive oil, divided

2 T. Onion, chopped

1 Garlic clove, minced

1 T. Parsley, chopped fresh (or 1 t. dried)

1 T. Tarragon, chopped fresh (or 1 t. dried)

1 T. Basil, chopped fresh (or 1 t. dried)

6 ea. Eggs, Separated

Roasted/ Raw Vegetables – broccoli, carrot, tomato, spinach, asparagus, pepper

4 Baby Yukon Potatoes, small dice

2 T. Olive Oil

1/2 – 1 T. Garlic powder

1/4 Cotija cheese, crumbled

1 T. Cilantro, chopped

Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 350. Place baby Yukons in baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until soft. Top with Cojita. Place in the oven for 1 minute or until it melts. Remove from oven and top with cilantro. Ready to serve.

Meanwhile, in large sauté pan over medium-low heat, heat 1 T. butter or oil. Sauté onion and garlic for 5 minutes, make sure it doesn’t burn. Meanwhile, take egg whites and beat with mixer until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, mix 3 yolks only. Gently fold herbs and yolks into egg whites, making sure not to deflate the whites too much. Return to sauté pan and add remaining T (tablespoon) of butter/oil and swirl around the pan. Add egg mixture and spread out to the edge of the pan. Add in vegetables and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!


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