Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kitchen Necessities for Healthy Cooking and Eating

Kitchen Necessities for Healthy Cooking and Eating

In the Cabinets or Pantry
canned beans: chickpeas, black, kidney, pinto
dried beans: split-peas, lentils, chickpeas, black, kidney, pinto, great northern, limas, etc.
canned diced tomatoes (including fire-roasted)
spaghetti sauce
apple sauce
natural peanut butter
natural almond butter
vegetable broth
balsamic, white wine, red wine vinegar
olive oil
grapeseed oil
flaxseed oil
sesame oil
canola oil
Asian-style peanut sauce
coconut milk
brown rice and wild rice
steel-cut oats
polenta and corn grits
whole wheat pasta
rice pasta
whole wheat couscous
nutritional yeast
flour: white, whole wheat flour, chickpea flour, cornmeal, brown rice flour, wheat gluten, etc.
raw nuts: cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, mixed nuts
raw seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, sesame
chia seeds
flax seeds
hemp seeds
green tea
herbal tea
popcorn kernels
taco shells

In the Freezer
vegetables: green beans, peas, chopped spinach, corn
fruit: when available - blueberries, cherries, berry blend, strawberries, pineapple, mango, bananas (frozen at home)
bread: pita bread, corn tortillas, sliced bread
veggie burgers

In the Fridge
soy sauce
almond milk 
rice milk
Earth Balance alternative butter
lettuce mix
peppers - red, yellow and green
mushrooms - baby portobello or white
eggs - humanly raised
ginger root
onions, red and yellow
pizza dough
maple syrup
Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base

On the Counter
seasonal fruit - bananas, grapefruit, pears, oranges, apples, peaches
red wine

In the Spice Cabinet
bay leaf
black pepper
chili powder
crushed red pepper
curry powder (various kinds)
dry Mustard
garlic powder
ginger powder
ground cumin
hot sauce

Friday, December 7, 2012

Vegetarian Chili, vegan really

 Vegetarian Chili (vegan really)


  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup minced garlic (~2 cloves)
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 large container (48-ounces) of vegetable broth
  • 1 (28-ounces) can of diced plum tomatoes in puree liquid
  • 1 cup of frozen or fresh corn
  • 1 cup of black beans, cooked or canned, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of kidney beans, cooked or canned, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups of zucchini and or yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper


In a large soup pot, saute the onions in oil over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, corn, black beans, kidney beans, zucchini, squash, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa for extra protein!

Serve with tortilla chips, corn bread or brown rice or top with chopped avocado.


Monday, November 26, 2012

how to cook a whole squash

I dislike peeling and cutting squash (the big squash, like butternut, acorn, pumpkin and spaghetti) and for this reason I either ask my husband to do it or just avoid squash altogether. But last week I learned that I can put the whole squash in the oven and bake it. No peeling or chopping.

So I baked a whole spaghetti squash, just popped the entire thing in the over....and then went to check if it was ready by sticking a fork in it and it exploded! I honestly could've been seriously hurt but was thankfully a little nervous and was holding my face as far away as possible. Anyway, a few small burns and I'm back to perfecting this today.

Before baking

Today I baked 2 butternut squash, an acorn squash and a minighetti, I assume when I cut it open it will be a mini spaghetti squash. I layed them on top of aluminum foil and in pans that fit in my smaller oven. And then I poked them each with a knife at least 10 times. Baked at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes until a knife easily sliced through the skin and insides.

 So no burns, no chopping or peeling...and now I can make some soup along with a pasta sauce.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dry Skin Salt Scrub

Now that the heat is turned back on in our house, my hands have become so dry (and it's Colorado). For the next 5 months, I'll be using this homemade salt scrub which turns my hands into soft and smooth so easily:

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of course salt
1 tablespoon of fine salt (table salt)

Mix together to form a paste and rub onto hands for 1 min. Rinse hands in warm water. Smooth!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Can I make a case for eating eggs?

As you may already know I'm vegetarian and lean toward vegan most days. I'm frequently asked if I'll "make a client go vegan" and the answer is NO WAY. I believe everyone has their own path to wellness and their own history...it's an honor to work with each client in an individualized way that is best for their body and mind.

My choice to be a vegetarian has a lot to do with health (I eat a lot of veggies) and also with animal compassion. I share my animal rights inspired thoughts, recipes and news on the website, This Dish is Veg.

Here is my original article that was published on This Dish is Veg:

As I teeter between eating vegetarian and vegan, I’ve easily given up eggs. I cook a lot so if I don’t buy eggs, I just don’t eat them. And over the years, I’ve found substitutions, like rather than an egg wash for breaded eggplant, use 2:1 ratio of rice milk to whole-wheat flour.

In order to increase my mix of vegetables and the amount of local products I consume, I purchased a CSA share. Within the literature there was a flyer about their chickens. These chickens are rescued from other organic farms when they start to slow down the number of eggs they are laying. They are kept at the farm for a few years until they really stop laying eggs and then are killed or adopted by urban farmers or homeowners. While the chickens are at the farm, they roam freely eating bugs and plants and are only given organic feed during the winter months when there isn’t much to forage.

So I’ve been thinking it’s OK to eat the eggs from these happy adopted chickens. My reasons for being a vegetarian are health related but also stem from my compassion for animals. I agree with PETA when they say animals should be slaughtered humanely, and I don’t have an answer for this particular farm, but assuming the farm does continue its humane treatment of these chickens, is it OK to eat their eggs? I’ve ordered 6 per week, for a family of 7, so I’m just using them sparingly and feel the health implications are close to null.

This is my latest diet related dilemma and I’d love to hear your
thoughts and comments.

And here are the comments (firestorm on Facebook):

Roasted Veggies - recipes and dinner ideas

The roasting process brings out a sweetness to most veggies, especially onions. Here are the basics of the recipe but it's easily adaptable as you can see from the list of optional veggies that you can add.

2 tbsp  olive oil
4 handfuls of carrots - cut into 1 inch rounds and then quartered
2 sweet potatoes - peeled, cut into 1 inch rounds and then quartered
1 onion (white or red)- chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1-2 peppers (red, orange, yellow or green) - chopped
1 butternut squash - peeled, cut into 1 inch rounds and then chopped
2-3 white potatoes - peeled, cut into 1 inch rounds and then chopped
1 hot pepper - chopped
garlic - whole segments

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 30-45 mins until all veggies are soft.

Veggies Burritos
Use the roasted veggies as the basis of your burrito and top with salsa and guacamole

Roasted Veggie Soup
In batches, add the roasted veggies and slowly add 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetable stock into a blender or food processor until you've reached your desired consistency. Blend until smooth.

Roasted Veggies with Rice
Mix roasted veggies with 1 12-16 oz can of chopped tomatoes (with juices) and serve over brown rice

Shana Kurz

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dr Furhman's G-BOMBS soup

I went to a lecture this weekend given by Dr. Furhman, who has great recommendations for reversing heart disease, diabetes and cancer through diet and lifestyle changes. This is a different view then many doctors who will prescribe medicine to mask symptoms of a disease, instead this is changing your diet and lifestyle to eliminate the disease.

His suggestions are in line with the process I take my own clients through when we discuss how to boost their fertility. The simple idea is that what you put into your body is going to either be toxic or beneficial, and it's our choice at every meal.

One of my greatest takeaways from Dr. Furhman's lecture was about G-BOMBS. "G-BOMBS is an acronym you can use to remember the most nutrient-dense, health-promoting foods on the planet. These are the foods you should eat every day, and they should make up a significant proportion of your diet — these foods are extremely effective at preventing chronic disease and promoting health and longevity." To learn more follow this link.

G - greens
B - beans
O - onions
M - mushrooms
B - berries
S - seeds and nuts

Last night I pulled together this soup at 5:00pm, with dinner finished by 6:00pm. It included G-BOM and if you had a seed and nut heavy bread to dip and some berries for dessert, you could get a whole G-BOMB meal!!

6-8 servings (perfect for leftovers)

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
handful of green onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
10 white mushrooms, chopped
1/2 zucchini, chopped
1/2 yellow squash, chopped
handful of peas (optional)
12 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
12 ounce can of kidney beans
1 cup of cooked rice
6 large kale leaves, chopped
3 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon of sage
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium and saute the red onion, green onions and carrots until they are soft. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, squash and peas and cook until the mushrooms have released their juices. Add the tomatoes, kidney beans, rice and vegetable broth and cook until heated through. Add the kale leaves and spices and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

To learn more about my fertility focused private health coaching or detox programs please visit my website. www.constructivehealth.com