SKIN NOURISHMENT: Showcasing Winter Squash and Pomegranate Seeds

The saying goes "we are what we eat"; and we are.  This is so true when it comes to our skin.  Since the skin is our largest organ it stands to reason what we eat will affect our skin.  We now know that an array of colorful vegetables and fruits are good for usMany are rich in antioxidants which help fight free radical damage (I will get into this in an upcoming blog post).  So with fall upon us, bringing an array of beautiful vegetablesI thought sharing a recipe for one of my favorite side dishes would be fun.

I found this recipe on Epicurious.com a few years ago and changed it up a bit to fit my likes. I replaced the Dandelion greens, which are a spring green, with the arugula; swapped out the delicata squash for the acorn and lastly switched the pine nuts for pumpkin seeds.  The change of the pumpkin seeds for pine nuts was done because I have found finding pine nuts that are not exported from China very difficult and costly.  The pine nuts from China seem to leave a metallic taste in my mouth.  Also pumpkin seeds seem to fit with the fall and are very rich in vitamin, antioxidants and protein.

ARUGULA SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE SEEDS, PUMPKIN SEEDS AND ACORN SQUASH

Ingredients

3 tablespoons pomegranate juice

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoons butter, divided

 1 medium acorn squash, halved, seeded, cut intowedge

1 pound arugula greens, thick stems trimmed, leaves cut into 2-inch lengths (about 12 cups)

3/4 cups pomegranate seeds

1/4 pumpkin seeds, toasted

Preparation

  1. Whisk pomegranate juice and vinegars in bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Rewhisk before using.
  2. Melt 1 teaspoons butter in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of squash wedges. Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer squash wedges to rimmed baking sheet. Repeat 2 more times with remaining butter and squash wedges. Sprinkle squash with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Transfer squash to oven; bake 20 minutes.
  4. Mix greens, pomegranate seeds, and pine nuts in large bowl. Toss with half of dressing. Divide among plates; top with squash. Drizzle with dressing.

If you are not Vegan adding some goat cheese or feta makes a nice accompaniment. 

How The Right Foods Can Keep You Cool Pt 2. - Some recipes

To follow up last weeks post I thought I would share with you some of my favorite Pitta summer recipes.

VICHYSSOISE  (cold potato leek soup) makes 4 servings

While this is not generally found in classic Ayurvedic recipes, all the ingredients are and it is one of my personal favorites for a hot summer evening coupled with a salad.

  • 1 tbs butter or ghee
  • 2-3 leeks
  • 5 potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 5 cups water or chicken broth
  • pinch of thyme
  • chives for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup organic grass fed half and half or whipping cream

In a large stock pot melt butter over low heat. Add leeks and cook for 10 minutes or until translucent . Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add thyme and stir well and continue to cook for 12 minutes.

Add  water or chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes.

Puree soup in blender or food processor and cool.  When cooled add cream and sprinkle with chives.

COCONUT RICE  makes 4 servings

I like to make extra and eat it for breakfast. I then add some blueberries and almonds.

  •  2 cups  jasmine or basmati white rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup good-quality coconut milk (not "lite")
  •  2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp. dry shredded coconut, unsweetened or sweetened

Place rice in rice cooker. Add the water, coconut milk, salt, and shredded coconut. Stir well (use a plastic or wooden utensil to avoid scraping off the non-stick surface). Cover and set to cook.

Once your rice cooker switches to "warm" mode, allow another 8-10 minutes for rice to finish "steaming". This will ensure your coconut rice is fully cooked and pleasantly sticky.  Gently fluff.

For breakfast heat with additional coconut milk or water and add blueberries and nuts  and pinch of cinammon and cardamom  may be served cold.

Hope you enjoy!  Please share your favorite recipes.