Foraged Summer Feast

mushroom harvestWe’re into August already, but this weekend was the first one that really felt like summer. Our good friends Jill and Joe came up for a visit, and reminded us of the pure joy that can only be found in a full day with absolutely nothing to do.

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We took a long nature walk, talked about our dreams for the future, and ate really, really good food.
breakfast

During our walk in the woods, they showed us how to look for coral and oyster mushrooms. We harvested them and added them to our CSA chanterelles and black trumpets. We then paired them with our new favorite pasta recipe, good Pecorino Romano, fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil.

Pasta dinner

Oh, and big goblets of Wild Sumac Margaritas!

sumac margarita

This dinner was the perfect nod to summer’s bounty. I insist you find some good mushrooms, good friends, good tequila, and make this immediately before summer starts to disappear.

 

Foraged Summer Feast

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Snack Attack: “Bacon” Coconut Chips

I’ve  been making this recipe for about 3 years now. It’s an easy snack I can throw in my lunch bag that cures my 3:00 craving for something sweet and salty. It tastes like candied bacon (but with more crunch), and it’s pretty healthy to boot! Let’s get to it.

trevor, bacon

“Bacon” Coconut Chips

(Recipe from Fettle Vegan)

ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (bigger chunks work best.)
  • 2 TB liquid smoke*
  • 1 TB Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 TB maple syrup
  • 1 TB water
  • Heavy dash of chili powder (optional- but packs a punch!)

*Liquid smoke may not be an ingredient you’ve used or even heard of before, but it’s 100% natural. It’s basically smoke passed through a tube from a chamber filled with chicory wood chips to a condenser. Baking meets science!

Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl.

chips mixed

Transfer to baking sheets (try not to overcrowd them.) Pop ’em in the oven and give them a stir every 5 minutes or so.

KEY NOTE: do not leave the kitchen during this process! You will forget about them and they will burn. Be patient- these chips are worth it. 

Once they’re golden brown and crispy, take them out and let cool 5-10 minutes. Store in a ziplock or air-tight container, and get snacking!

trevor

Yes I’m still snacking, and no, you can’t have any. 

Let’s Learn: Primary Foods

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Primary foods. What are they? The food you eat first in the day? Nope. They’re not really foods at all, but they fuel you just as much as “real” food does.

Here’s the definition of primary foods from IIN:

Food is more than what you find on your plate.  Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary.

Secondary foods are what you’re used to eating- chicken, veggies, rice, chips, pizza fruit, dairy, chocolate, tea, etc. They provide us with the nutritional value that allows us to run, jump, play, work, and get about our days. But primary foods are what really help you live the life of your dreams.

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Often times, we reach for secondary foods- usually unhealthy choices like a big bowl of cheesy pasta or chips, a candy bar, ice cream, a Slurpee- to help us cope with a lack of primary foods in our lives. If one of your primary food needs is not being met, you’ll likely seek something else to try to balance your body, and alleviate the stress/pain/anxiety/boredom/etc. that you’re feeling. For example, if your relationship with your partner is on the rocks, you might look to alcohol to cope. Or maybe you feel stuck in a career rut, and find yourself driving into the fast food lane after work almost subconsciously.

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Life today is fast paced and really hectic, and our inner voice often gets drowned out by all the noise. But ignoring your primary food needs almost always results in an unhealthy habit in another area of your life, and prevents you from becoming your most authentic, energized, and happy self.

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Print out the Circle of Life chart at home to see where any imbalances may be hiding in your life. Simply put a dot in each primary food triangle depending on how balanced you feel in that part of your life. A dot near the outer ring (closer to the red ring) means you feel 100% satisfied with that part of your life. A dot near the point of the triangle/center of the circle means you feel very unsatisfied with that part of your life. Put a dot where it feels true for you.circle-of-life

Once you have put 12 dots on the circle, connect them to see the shape of your primary foods, and notice where there are dips. Those are the areas you want to devote more time to. Right now, I am trying to focus on more physical activity, education, and career.

Interested in learning more? Visit IIN’s page on primary foods, and reach out to me for a 100% free (seriously) health history. I can help you examine your Circle of Life, identify the imbalances, and help create an action plan for us to bring both your primary and secondary foods into balance. When your circle is whole, you’re able to be your best self.