Summer Purslane & Asparagus Quiche

La Cuisine d'Eli

This might just be the creamiest, tastiest quiche I’ve ever made or eaten. More about that soon, but first a little ramble about plants.

For my  birthday, last month, Pim gave me a whole family of succulents, in different colours, shapes and sizes. Having plants around purportedly makes people happier, healthier and less stressed. I haven’t taken the time to monitor my blood pressure or cholesterol levels before and after getting them, so I can’t officially confirm any physical health claims, but I definitely do feel a little jolt of happiness every time I glance over at my window sill. I sometimes dream of having a slightly bigger apartment, which I could then fill entirely with plants. Would that make me a crazy plant lady? Considering I have named all my current plants, it probably would. At the same time, I also dream of having several cats, so it could…

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Is your Sunscreen bad for you? Scientists discuss Cancer & Sunscreen

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According to a June 2014 article featured in The Independent (UK), a major study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.

The epidemiological study followed 30,000 women for over 20 years and “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group.”

Researchers concluded that the conventional dogma, which advises avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good.

That’s because overall sun avoidance combined with wearing sunscreen effectively blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3 from the sun’s UVB rays, which is by far the best form of vitamin D.

In the USA, vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels. Ironically, vitamin D deficiency can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer. A ground-breaking 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that optimal blood levels of vitamin D offers protection against sunburn and skin cancer. 

Additionally, vitamin D protects the body from diseases like multiple sclerosis, rickets (in the young), tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome. 

According to the Vitamin D Council, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently reported that “lack of sun exposure may lead to cognitive decline over time.

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A DISSIDENT DERMATOLOGIST

Bernard Ackerman, MD, (deceased 2008) was one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of skin cancer and the sun, sunscreens and melanoma skin cancer risks.

Below are Ackerman’s views excerpted from an article in The New York Times (July 20, 2004), titled “I BEG TO DIFFER; A Dermatologist Who’s Not Afraid to Sit on the Beach”:

The link between melanoma and sun exposure (dermatology’s dogma) is unproven.There’s no conclusive evidence that sunburns lead to cancer.There is no real proof that sunscreens protect against melanoma.There’s no proof that increased exposure to the sun increases the risk of melanoma. 

2000 Swedish study concluded that higher rates of melanoma occurred in those who used sunscreen versus those who did not.

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SUNSCREENS: CANCER-CAUSING BIOHAZARDS

Elizabeth Plourde, PhD, is a California-based scientist who authored the book Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste, which extensively documents the serious life-threatening dangers of sunscreens not only to people but to the environment as well.

Dr. Plourde provides proof that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with ubiquitous sunscreen use over a 30-year period. She emphasizes that many sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC).

Environmentally, she notes: “In areas where there has been much exposure to ED [endocrine disrupting] chemicals, coral and other sea populations have died off and the prevalence of dual-sexed fish has risen.”

Dr. Plourde’s research on mice and sunscreen exposure also showed increases in both pup and maternal mortality as well as reproductive issues in subsequent generations.

Additionally, the book documents how sunscreen chemicals have polluted our water sources including oceans, rivers and municipal drinking water. Worse yet, testing revealed that 97% of Americans have sunscreen chemicals in their blood!

Dr. Plourde’s book also has a chapter on the importance of vitamin D3 to health, and she posits that the widespread vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to overuse of sunscreen combined with sun avoidance in general.

Credit: Real Farmacy

Avocado & Cashew Pesto Pasta

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beets & booze

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This pasta makes a quick and delicious midweek dinner. The pesto is very easy to make and goes really well with mushrooms and courgette but you can add any other veg you fancy.

For non-vegans, this pasta would also go really well with prawns.

The best thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to cook the sauce, which normally is the longest process.

It really is very easy and so delicious!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 100g cashews + 1 handful cashews to sprinkle on top
  • 1 clove garlic
  • handful fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 big mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 asparagus,
  • ½ courgette, shaved
  • 150g linguine
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. To make the pesto, put avocado, cashews, garlic, basil, olive oil and water into a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Boil the pasta al…

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Proper Nutrition in a Nutshell

Conquer Fear. Master Life.

Well, today I’ve decided that what I want to spend a little time writing about is food and nutrition in general. I’ve had many conversations with people that are looking to lose some weight, look healthier and feel healthier, but they just don’t seem to properly understand what a good healthy diet looks like. With the modern society that we live in, especially in North America, good information about proper eating can be hard to come by because so much is influenced by the profit of big corporations. So big corporations will always try to sell you on some miracle ingredient, fad diet or expensive supplement, and in the grocery stores, even the foods that are marketed as diet foods are not always the best choices for improving the health of your body.

So where do we begin?

Well, let’s start with the basics and cover the 3 macronutrients which we…

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Creamy mushroom and asparagus vegan pasta

Maria's Vegan Kitchen

A new world is upon me! I discovered cashew based sauces and nothing will ever be the same.

Was I skeptical about this? Yes. Was I proven wrong by how good, deliciously creamy and cheese tasting the sauce turned out? 100%.

Without further ado, here’s how to turn your ‘cheesy’ dreams into a vegan reality.

IMG_3563Ingredients

  • Your favourite pasta (for 2-3 portions)
  • A bunch of asparagus
  • Mushrooms (as many as you like, there is no right or wrong here)
  • Olive oil
  • Lots of pepper
  • 1 shallot/onion

Cashew sauce

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked over night for best results)
  • 1 cup plant based milk
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 table spoons inactive yeast flakes
  • gulp of olive oil
  • 2 table spoons soy sauce
  • a sprinkle of fresh parsley
  • 1 lime/lemon (zest and juice)
  • half a shallot (optional)
  • Lots (and I mean LOTS) of ground pepper

Step 1: Cook the past as instructed

Step…

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Shrimp & Asparagus Pasta in a Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

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Pinch of Everything

I loosely followed three different recipes to make this dish and was very happy with how it turned out.

The first recipe was my inspiration: Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Asparagus (VIDEO Recipe)

Ingredients

½ lb spaghetti
1 lb (or 1 bundle) asparagus, rinsed
3 Tbsp butter, divided
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1½ Tbsp)
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 or 21-25 count)
Sea Salt and Pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large or 2 small lemons)
⅓ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
Grated Parmesan to serve

Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 Tbsp salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook pasta according to package instructions until aldente, or desired doneness (meanwhile, continue with recipe). Drain pasta, return to pot and cover to keep warm.

Trim asparagus to remove…

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The unhealthy stigma about healthy eating

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Berries and Stitches

Everybody who likes to eat healthily, or has specific dietary requirements knows the situation: you’re out with friends, they decide to get a takeaway, and you, with your ‘fussy’ eating, are left wondering what you’re going to do for your meal. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having the occasional takeaway, but if you’re anything like me, a processed, stodgy meal does not appeal (I’m more into chocolate than burgers).

Unfortunately, there’s a sort of stigma around eating healthily, that you wouldn’t expect to find today, but most people have probably experienced it. Eating healthily is different to being on a diet; it’s a lifestyle, and what I think most people misunderstand is that most of the time, you would rather have that delicious salad from your favourite coffee shop, than fried chicken or a burger from your local takeaway. Personally, I have no specific dietary requirements, I’m not vegan…

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Vegan Curry with Cilantro Basmati Rice

I love Curry! The balance of mildly sweet coconut and spicy curry flavors are so warming to my soul. We get fresh organic fruits and veggies delivered every other week, so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate lots of vegetables into one dish. Curry is the perfect dish for that.

This dish incorporates the use of local vegetables as well as essential oils. I used doTERRA black pepper, cilantro and lemongrass essential oils for this recipe. Certain doTERRA oils are safe for internal applications. You can use these oils in recipes for cooking or baking to replace fresh or dried herbs and spices. I was fascinated by the potency, fragrance and aroma in the oils. They transformed the dish, and I was immediately reminded that oils in such a pure and concentrated form is not only a practical option, but better for the environment.

I hope you enjoy this…

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Creamy Pesto Pasta Primavera With Shrimp (BLW Contributor)

winekindasseur

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On a recent Rachael Ray Show with guest Emeril Lagasse, they made a pasta primavera with saffron cream featuring one of my favorite vegetables, asparagus. Asparagus is in its seasonal prime right now and looking its glorious best; skinny smooth stalks and tight heads with no signs of flowering or wilting. And if the sight of gorgeous asparagus isn’t enough, Rachael gives it even more sex appeal by cutting it on a bias! The audience swoons…

When I attended public school back in the Jurassic Period, we had enough time in the day to take elective classes in art and music. During the ceramics chapter, my art teacher tasked us with making our favorite food out of clay. Amid an abundance of kiln-fired pizza, popcorn, hot dogs, and hamburgers on display at the end of the week was my realistically sculpted, painted green stalk of asparagus. It turns out I…

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Honey, Mustard and Marmalade Roast Ham Recipe

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spaulyseasonalservings

This was the first time I had made my own marmalade ham and it will be my go to recipe now. It was so delicious it was sticky and sweet with delicious mustard notes. The meat was so tender and the caramalisation on the outside is really addictive. The ham only lasted 2 days and I couldn’t help picking at the meat. If you are going to make a ham this easter please do try this recipe. It was a hairy biker recipe.

Ingredient’s

  • 1.5kg gammon joint (mine was smoked)
  • carton of orange juice
  • 16 cloves
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 3 bay leave’s

For the glaze

  • 120g soft brown sugar
  • 3 oranges, zest of 3, juice of 2
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 3 heaped tbsp marmalade
  • 3 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Directions

  1. For the gammon, place the gammon into a large, deep pan and cover with water. Bring to the…

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