Living Life on the Ladder. How Planning for "Nothing" Can Bring "Everything."

The dream of Jacob’s Ladder provides a great metaphor for living. In this week’s torah reading, Genesis Chapter 28 Verse 10-19, Jacob dreamed of angels climbing the ladder. Angel in Hebrew means “messenger.” The angel-messengers start on the bottom of the ladder and carry a message up to heaven and then return with a message from heaven down to Jacob on earth. As a result, Jacob learned of his spiritual connection by the ascent of the message and also the message returning to him. It is the journey of a message and how it comes back to us with a fulfillment that we could never have dreamed of when we began the journey of ascent that is one of the very important messages of Jacob’s Dream. Jac

Lenox Gazpacho

Remember when all we had available to us were regular round red tomatoes? With the reintroduction of heirloom tomatoes into our farms and gardens, we now have a wide array of colors, shapes and sizes of tomatoes to choose from with varying flavors from sweet to tart. How lucky we are and what opportunities we now have for really creative gazpachos. Serves 8-10 small appetizer portions Ingredients: 8 cups fresh tomatoes, rough chopped 1 cup cucumber, peeled and rough chopped 1 fennel head, rough chopped (reserve the fronds for garnish) 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp fresh basil 1 chile pepper (habanero, jalapeno or Thai chile – keep seeds in if you want spicy) 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitte

Falafel Wraps with Coconut Yogurt Sauce

Falafel is such a delicious treat but the fact that it's deep fried takes it off the healthy dish. We've developed a nutrient-dense BAKED Falafel recipe that is guilt and gluten free and packed with nutrition thanks to a variety of healthy seeds. Chia is the secret of this recipe. It holds all the ingredients together without the use of any flour, eggs or other ingredients. It's magic! Serves 8-10 Ingredients: For Falafel: 3/4 cup chia seeds 2-1/4 cups water 1/2 cup raw pistachios 1/2 cup raw almonds 1/2 cup ground raw flax seeds 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 cup sesame seeds 2 carrots, roughly chopped 1/2 onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp parsle

Avocado Toast with Pomegranate Seeds

Avocado Toast has become a go-to healthy recipe for millions of Americans since the Australians brought it from down under onto menus across the U.S. It's such a versatile recipe because you can add a variety of toppings. We love the bright color and crunch of pomegranates and the mild licorice flavor of the tarragon so we have added those ingredients to our recipe. Feel free to experiment with your favorite flavors and textures. Serves 8 Ingredients: 8 slices gluten-free bread, lightly toasted 4 ripe avocados, peeled and pits removed juice of 2 limes 1 English cucumber, peeled and finely chopped salt and pepper to taste 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds 1 cup fresh tarragon or your favorite fr

Quinoa & Vegetable Stuffed Pumpkins

Bring Fall to the table with these beautiful Stuffed Pumpkins. When we created these, the little sugar pumpkins were not in season so we used acorn squash which was equally delicious but is definitely a heartier portion. Don't forget to tell your guests to scrape the inside of the pumpkin or squash in with the other ingredients to fully enjoy the dish. Serves 6-8 depending on size of pumpkin or squash Ingredients: 6-8 small sugar pumpkins (or small acorn squash) 2 tbsp coconut oil + extra for rubbing inside pumpkins or squash 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package instructions 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 cup fennel, finely chopped 2 cups shitake mushrooms, finely chopped 4 carrots, p

Blueberry Superfood Smoothie Bowl

What a way to start the day! A bright purple bowl of blended goodness full of antioxidants, omega 3s and gut-healthy benefits. Makes a terrific dessert too. Here's to your health! Serves 8 (1/2 cup servings) Ingredients: 2 cups frozen blueberries (Maine blueberries if possible - they are sweeter) 2 tbsp coconut milk (chill the can and scoop out the thick part) 1 cup hemp milk 1 tbsp almond butter 1 green plantain, peeled and chopped (freeze ahead already peeled and sliced if possible) 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted handful of fresh mint 1/4 tsp schisandra (may support endurance & stamina, combat stress, boost immune system and sexual health) 4-6 ice cubes fresh figs, almonds and hemp seeds f

Rosemary White Bean Dip

Roasting garlic is a wonderful way to add a more mild creamy garlic flavor to your dishes which is especially useful in raw dishes where the garlic will not be cooked. Rosemary pairs beautifully with roasted garlic and white beans in this addictive dip. Serve with vegetables and/or our gluten and grain-free Chia Crackers. Serves 8-10 Ingredients: 2 (16-oz) cans organic white cannellini beans juice of 2 lemons 4 cloves of roasted garlic (roast a whole head of garlic beforehand per recipe below) 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, stems removed (keep a little aside for garnish) 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil water as needed for desired texture (2 tbsp - 1/4 cup) salt and pepper to taste Instructions: Prehea

Butternut Squash Soup

In New England, the harvest of butternut squash is synonymous with the welcoming of the beautiful Fall weather and vibrant foliage. Butternut squash is a vegetable that takes us straight through winter so we're always able to have a colorful, nutritious bowl of soup on the table. Serves 8-10 Ingredients: 2 tbsp coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 large butternut squash, roasted whole for 1 hour at 375 degrees 1 head of fennel, roughly chopped 3 cups kale, tough stalks removed and roughly chopped 2 green apples, peeled and roughly chopped 2” piece of ginger, peeled and chopped ½ large Vidalia onion, peeled and roughly chopped 4-5 cups vegetable stock (depends how much water content is in

Roasted Vegetable Napolean with Heirloom Tomatoes and Romesco

Here is a Vegan dish that is a feast for the senses and incredibly satisfying. You can also vary the layers on the plate based on what's in season which will be the most flavorful as well as nutrient-dense. The slow roasted Romesco sauce adds heartiness and texture to the dish with the addition of crunchy almonds. Serves 8 Ingredients: For Plating 3 large heirloom tomatoes or 5 medium-sized tomatoes (a mix of red and yellow is attractive on the plate) 2 zucchini, sliced into 1/4" rounds 2 yellow squash, sliced into 1/4" rounds 2 Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced into 1/4" rounds 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil 1 tsp sea salt 1/4 tsp pepper For Romesco Sauce 8 medium size tomatoe

Caramelized Grapefruit Halves

Start the day with bright, juicy Ruby Red Grapefruits like you've never had before. Heat them under the broiler. The flame from the broiler caramelizes the coconut sugar and the natural sugars of the grapefruit for a very special treat you could eat for breakfast or a light dessert. Serves 8 Ingredients: 4 Ruby Red grapefruits coconut sugar for sprinkling on top coconut yogurt for garnish cinnamon for garnish Instructions: Slice grapefruits in half horizontally (so you can section out all the little triangles for your guests to spoon out) Sprinkle coconut sugar over the top of the halves Broil for 2 minutes Remove from broiler and carve out the grapefruit sections with a knife Top with a dol

Chilled Cucumber-Avocado Soup

On a hot summer day, a nice refreshing cold soup can really do wonders. For this recipe, we put the juicer to work on our fresh, local cucumbers creating a cucumber juice which is the perfect base for this vegan starter. Serves 8 small starter portions (about 4 oz each) Ingredients: 1/2 cup scallions, minced 1-1/2 cups fresh cucumber juice (about 2 English cucumbers) 1/2 cup freshly juiced Ruby Red grapefruit (about 1/2 grapefruit) 1 cup vegetable stock 1-1/2 cups heirloom tomatoes (red and yellow add nice color), diced 3 ripe avocados (peel and cube 2 avocados, peel and rough chop 3rd avocado to purée with liquid) 1/4 tsp smoked paprika salt and pepper to taste thinly sliced radishes for ga

Green Plantain Chips

Sometimes you just need a chip to dip — in Guacamole, Salsa, White Bean Dip. Or just to eat as is - a nice crunchy snack. Green plantains offer many health benefits. Good for gut health, regulates blood pressure and can improve and regulate your heart rate. They also offer fiber, beta-carotene, calcium and Vitamin C. So crunch away! Ingredients: 6-8 unripe green plantains coconut oil sea salt Instructions: Peel plantains and slice very thin lengthwise with a mandolin slicer (you can also slice into thin coin shapes if you prefer) In a deep fryer or Dutch oven, heat about 3-4" of coconut oil (oil should not go further than halfway up your pot) Heat the oil to 350 degrees or until the oil sizz

How One Small Bite is More Than Enough to Fill Your Stomach and Feed Your Soul

When was the last time that you truly savored food? In our hectic lives, I often find myself speedily eating large, quick bites, and not fully connecting with my dining companions. I recently had an experience of truly pausing to enjoy and savor my food with the company of my daughter, Lucy. I hope that this short blog inspires others to really slow down and truly enjoy precious food and life moments. Some refer to this as mindfulness – a chance to be fully present in time without judgment or expectation. Lucy and I visited California over spring break. On our last evening, we had dinner at Plant Food + Wine restaurant, which has an entirely vegan menu. We really talked and connected during

Massaged Kale Salad with Berkshire Cherry Tomatoes and White Beans

Kale is king in terms of nutrition as we all know by now but what you may not know is that you can "massage" kale so that it breaks down a little and is easier to eat raw. The Ashram Dressing recipe will make much more than you need for the salad but we make a large batch because it also serves as a delicious dip which you can either offer on the side if people want extra or with crudité for an afternoon snack. Serves 8 plus extra dressing for dip Ingredients: 4 large bunches of kale 1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil juice of 1 lemon 1/2 tsp sea salt 4 cups local heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered 1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed Ashram Dressing (makes about 2 cups): ¼ cu

Avocado & Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole

We can't get enough of classic guacamole but sometimes we like to give it a little twist by adding sun-dried tomatoes. They add a burst of color, texture and a layer of intense tomato flavor. Serves 6-8 Ingredients: 4 avocados, peeled, pit removed and roughly chopped 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped 2 tbsp shallots, diced juice of 2 limes salt and pepper to taste Instructions: Soak sun-dried tomatoes in the lime juice for 10 minutes Mash avocados with a mortar and pestle or fork and add salt and pepper to taste Mix in the sun-dried tomatoes with the avocado Serve immediately with veggie wheels, plantain chips or on toast

What Is A Crisis?

What is a crisis? How can you stay calm in the face of uncertainty? A crisis is a state of mind, it is not a state of being. A crisis is imagining a set of potential circumstances and potential outcomes. In many cases, the outcomes don’t even happen. The worry, anxiety, and fear are real. These are destructive and debilitating feelings in the present about possible future scenarios. I have learned the value of slowing down, and stopping to breathe. In Jonah 1, the sailors on the ship Jonah boarded panicked in the face of a turbulent ocean storm. After stopping and asking some questions, they then prayed to God and maintained their faith. They calmed themselves down in the midst of the storm

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate pudding with all the health benefits and none of the guilt? Yes please. Almost everyone likes a little something sweet now and then and this recipe is perfect for those times. You also get the added benefit of antioxidants, healthy fats and gut-healthy green plantains. So dig into this dessert and enjoy! Serves about 8-10 half-cup servings Ingredients: 3 tbsp raw cacao powder 1 cup coconut milk, refrigerated (spoon as much of the thick part into the blender as possible) 1 cup almond or hemp milk 2 green plantains, peeled, sliced into 1/2" coins and frozen 1 avocado, peeled and pit removed handful of fresh mint leaves + extra for garnish pinch of monk fruit sweetener (raw honey or y

Heirloom Tomato Salsa

When tomatoes are at the peak of ripeness, you want to keep things simple and make sure you enhance the flavor of the fruit rather than mask it. Our seasonal salsa ensures the tomato is the hero. Enjoy. Serves 8-10 Ingredients: 4 cups heirloom tomatoes, finely chopped 1/2 red onion, peeled and finely chopped juice of 2 limes 2 tbsp cilantro roughly chopped + extra for garnish 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (remove veins and some seeds if you don't want spicy) salt and pepper to taste green plantain chips for dipping Instructions: Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and serve with green plantain chips

Shakshuka

This Tunisian dish is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Typically served family style, you can also make individual portions which look beautiful on the table. The spicy tomato sauce can be made well in advance so you can simply heat, drop in your eggs, toast some bread and you’re ready to serve. For those who are vegan or vegetarian, you can skip the egg and add some delicious roasted vegetables. Serves 4 Ingredients: 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 5-6 eggs 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped 5 lbs of your favorite tomatoes (we used a mix of heirloom and cherry tomatoes), roughly chopped (you can leave cherry tomatoes whole) 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1 hot pepper - jalap

Fattoush Salad

Although traditionally Lebanese in origin, Fattoush Salad is very common throughout the Middle East. It’s a family style salad you can really dig into. Chock full of delicious ingredients and textures. We serve this at pretty much any occasion where we have a large crowd to feed. This version is vegan and eliminates the feta cheese. Serves 8-10 Ingredients: For the Salad: 4 bundles romaine lettuce, washed, dried and chopped 2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped 4 large tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup red onion, peeled and finely chopped 1/4 cup dill pickles, chopped 1/2 cup pepperoncini, chopped 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (fresh not frozen if possible) 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted 1/2 cup waln

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