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Posts Tagged ‘Summer Flavors’

Beet Pesto

Summer produce brings to mind juicy heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet fruits & an over supply of summer squash (aka zucchini). It’s easy to forget that early summer in the North East (and everywhere else with 4 seasons) offers an abundance of roots and greens rather than quintessential summer crops. Roots and greens are ideal foods for detoxing from the sluggishness and stagnation that can build up during winter and spring.

While roasted veggies may feel like a dish designed for the colder months, this roasted beet pesto is the perfect summer delicacy — it is both light and soothing on a hot summer day. Plus it aids digestion and adds a beautiful color to any party spread.


What makes beet pesto a superfood?


Quartered Chioggia Beets

Lowers your blood pressure

Prevents cancer & fights inflammation

Chalk full of fiber aiding digestive health

Boosts immune system with natural antibiotic properties

Essential fats for brain power

A naturally sweet and delicious seasonal delicacy


Ready to get started?


Ingredients:

  • – 2 cups roasted beets or approximately 3-4 medium-sized raw beets for roasting
  • – 1 tbs. walnut oil for roasting the beets (or any other high heat oil)
  • – 1/4 cup olive oil
  • – 1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts
  • – 1 tsp. salt
  • – 3/4 cup parmasan
  • – 2-4 cloves garlic (for your taste preference)
  • – 1 tbs. nutritional yeast
  • – 2 tbs. lemon juice or 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  • Option 1: Wash and peel the beets; cube them; & lightly coat them in walnut oil. Roast the beets at 375° for 40-50 minutes on a baking sheet uncovered. Allow beets to cool.
  • Option 2: Scrub the beets and roast them whole in a pyrex glass pan covered in aluminum foil at 375° for 60-80 minutes. Allow beets to cool. Then, peel the skin away from the beet meat.
  • Add roasted beets, roasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, olive oil, nutritional yeast & lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until you reach your desired texture (feel free to keep the pesto a little bit coarse or mix thoroughly for a smooth texture).
  • Enjoy on homemade pizza, tartines, sandwiches or wraps, or use as a delicious veggie dip!

Top 5 Summer Superfoods

So what is a superfood? Superfoods are whole, unprocessed foods that contain a concentrated amount of nutrients. They are nutrition powerhouses. These incredible, natural packages have superpowers such as warding off cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and more! When you consume seasonal superfoods regularly, your skin will glow, your digestion will be incredible, and your inner superpowers will be unleashed as your mind clears and your body thanks you.



Here our our top 5 summer superfoods, plus quick tips for incorporating them into your daily diet. 


  1. Spinach (and other dark, leafy greens)



    Ahhh, the queens of alkalization! Dark leafy greens have been #1 on any reputable list of healthy foods for quite some time now and they are still at the top today. Spinach is often recommended, because it is mild in flavor and can be added to smoothies. That said, kale, arugula, beet greens, Swiss chard, lettuce, and dark green herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro) are also incredible sources of nutrition! Brimming with key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, low in calories, and full of fiber, dark leafy greens keep the whole body system in tip top shape.


    Add greens to your smoothies, make delicious salads, sauté greens with garlic and olive oil, or make trendy kale chips in your oven! For inspiration, check out our fav Green Smoothie recipe. Consider making this delicious Summer Greens Power Pesto for extra nutritious flavor!


  2. Blueberries



    These sweet blue treats contain a concentrated amount of fiber, potassium, magnese, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Blueberries contain the most antioxidants among commonly consumed fruits or vegetables! So what does this all mean? They help protect our bodies from cancer-causing free radicals and are chalk full of nutrients that support the immune system, nervous system, circulatory system, and digestive tract. They help our brains and our hearts. Need I say more?


    Add blueberries to your morning smoothies, cereals, or yoghurt. Eat blueberries as healthy snacks throughout the day. Check out this Summer Smoothie Bowls recipe and enjoy!


  3. Tomatoes



    Juicy red tomatoes are a sign of summer. Entirely different from out-of-season tomatoes harvested across the globe, in-season tomatoes are sweet, flavorful, and contain an abundance of nutrients and antioxidants that fight disease and keep us healthy. They are also a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect us against breast and prostate cancers.


    Add fresh tomatoes to salads, sauce, salsa, and soup! Enjoy fresh with a pinch of salt, or top with mozzarella and basil for a delectable treat!


  4. Watermelon



    Sweet and juicy watermelon is a blissful delicacy on a hot summer’s day. Watermelon’s superpowers include nutrients and antioxidants that promote heart health and bone health, and aid in the prevention of prostate cancer. Watermelon has an alkalizing effect on the body and can act as an aphrodisiac! Each bite provides incredible hydration. True to its name watermelon is 92% water. Providing vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium, watermelon is a fun and delicious guilt-free summer treat. Feel free to enjoy watermelon all summer long!


    Check out this Watermelon Smoothie recipe for inspiration or try watermelon salad with our fav Sexy Summer Watermelon Salad recipe.


  5. Avocados



    Hass and Anaheim avocados are the commercially grown varieties that are in season during the summer months. Not only delicious, they contain one of the healthiest fats there is: monounsaturated fatty acids.  Plus avos are chalk full of vitamin K, C, E, B5, and B6. They also provide a significant amount of folate and more potassium than a banana. Since our brains are made of fat and we need healthy fats to protect our heart, a daily avocado may be the easiest and most delicious choice we could make for our health. And don’t be fooled by the word “fat.” Avocados can help with weight loss!


    Add avocados to smoothies, salads, guacamole, salsas, and more! Check out this Simple Summer Salad recipe for inspiration.


 

*Photos from Dr. Axe, California Avocados, and Authority Nutrition

 

Feeling Hot?

Summer is Pitta season. This, according to Ayurveda, means it’s the time of year when hot temperatures and lack of water in the external world can impact our internal worlds. More specifically, the fiery and watery elements in our makeup are more likely to fall out of balance, leading to digestive discord and skin flare-ups.

Ayurveda what? If you’re new to yoga’s sister science, this post breaks it all down. Much of Five Pillars’ philosophy draws from Ayurvedic principles of balance and integration, so it’s a good read if you’re curious or need a refresher.

Back to Pitta season: Pitta is the dosha, or constitution, associated with transformation and fast action; its predominant elements are fire and water, and its balances and imbalances affect the stomach (digestion), liver (toxin removal) and skin. Each of us has Pitta elements, but they are more predominant in some; the hot and fast season of summer can aggravate or intensify our Pitta qualities, especially for those of us with more Pitta to begin with.

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If you’ve ever felt “burned out” or like you’ve been “burning the candle at both ends,” that’s likely a sign you’re using up your internal fire more quickly than you can stoke it. The summer sun can be intoxicating and uplifting, but it can also cause active and fiery personalities to over-schedule, overcommit, overreact or overindulge.

Here’s what a Pitta imbalance can look like: 

  • Acne
  • Skin Rashes
  • High Body Heat
  • Ulcers
  • Heartburn
  • Hyperacidity
  • Increased irritability and impatience
  • Diarrhea (or other GI complaints)
  • Hair loss

I know, sounds awful! But don’t panic. Ayurveda is all about regaining internal balance. In this case, Pitta’s fire just needs to be cooled, grounded and stabilized.

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Find balance: 

  • The food you choose is key. Avoid hot and spicy foods and gravitate toward hydrating fruit and vegetables and flavors in the sweet, bitter and astringent families. Cucumbers, avocados, this watermelon smoothie, cilantro, rose water and mangoes are all good.
  • Meditate. A few minutes of seated meditation every morning, in the middle of the day or before bed will help reign in a mind gripped by a “do more” mentality.
  • Take sleep seriously. Rise early (before it gets too hot) without rushing and give yourself a generous thirty minute window to wind down before bed, screen free.
  • As much as possible, spend time by the water. If you can’t escape to the beach, a fountain or a sprinkler will do. Try finishing your shower with a minute-long blast of cold water. When Pitta gets hot, it needs to know it can cool down.
  • Since we’re talking to Pitta types here, you probably still want to get your morning run in (before your yoga class). Get your cardio in as early as you can, and consider switching up your vinyasa classes for Yin.

In general, give yourself space and time to breathe, unwind and cool down this summer, especially if you identify with Pitta’s high-energy qualities. The goal is not to quell your internal fire, but to make sure it stays lit.


Photos: Featured image from deadelmare; dosha charts by Danielle Bertoia; popsicles from Food52;

Watermelon In A Glass

Watermelon is a powerhouse beauty food. Nutrient dense, it packs a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in a low amount of calories; plus, it’s collagen-boosting, libido-lifting and inflammation-reducing.

Loaded with lycopene, the phytochemical responsible for the fruit’s rich red flesh (the same one that’s in tomatoes), watermelon has been linked to lower rates of cancer and heart disease. It’s also got a crazy high water content (92%), so it’s an ideal summer snack when hydration is unequivocally important.

All that water plus a generous amount of fiber means watermelon is great for regularity and a healthy digestive tract. A clean inside makes for a glowing outside, and watermelon is doubly effective in promoting healthy skin: High in vitamin C it supports collagen growth, the protein that keeps skin vibrant and elastic. The fruit’s high vitamin A content also aids in the body’s production of sebum, which keeps hair shiny and moisturized.

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Blended Watermelon Summer Smoothie

Make it:  

  • ~ Find a ripe, juicy watermelon, and take note, watermelon rind is edible and just as good for you as the flesh. You can also keep the watermelon in the fridge for about 12 hours to chill it.
  • ~ If your blender is powerful enough, put in some of the rind and all of the flesh and turn it on high.
  • ~ Voila! Watermelon in a glass!
  • ~ Drink this light frothy refreshment right away, refrigerate or freeze and save for later.

This simple summer recipe is perfect on its own. It also lends itself to variations — you can add lemon, lime, cucumber or fresh herbs like basil, mint or rosemary.

But, for best digestion, do keep it simple. Ayurveda counsels against eating raw fruit with other foods; it’s best digested on its own, so eat it at least 30 minutes before other foods or two hours after.

Melon falls into its own category. It moves through the stomach more quickly than other fruits so eat or drink it on its own to avoid bloating or gas.

 

watermelon
Oh right, what was that about libido boosting? Watermelon has also been shown to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow to erectile tissue, so please, drink responsibly.

Photos from @livhungry and @alisontheodora

Simple Summer Salad

Early summer meals are the best. The farmer’s markets are stocked with late-spring finds like ramps, garlic scapes and asparagus alongside summer sweets like the season’s first tomatoes, fresh basil and tiny, tart strawberries. Summer cooking can be as simple as assembling — picking up a few fresh items you like and arranging them on a plate or tossing them together in a bowl with a sprinkle of salt and a nice glug of olive oil.

The recipe for this shaved asparagus salad is in the same vein. The flavors are bright and refreshing. The avocado and chickpeas are full of protein, while the lemon in the dressing is a natural detoxifier.

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As for asparagus, here’s the 101:

  • Great source of fiber and folate
  • Full of vitamins A, C, E and K
  • Rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and free radicals
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helps regulate blood sugar

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Golden Roasted Chickpeas, Avocado and a Lemon-Miso Dressing 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 cup or 1 can of chickpeas (if using dried, be sure to soak overnight)
  • 1 avocado
  • fresh lemon juice
  • turmeric
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • olive oil
  • miso paste (Miso Master makes a great chickpea-based variety if you are avoiding soy)
  • maple syrup or honey

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Toss with olive oil, salt and turmeric. Roast at 400° for 30-40 minutes until the chickpeas are firm but still fork-friendly.

Use a mandolin or a vegetable peeler to thinly slice or shave the asparagus. If this is too finicky, simply slice the asparagus very thinly with a knife.

For the dressing, combine lemon juice, olive oil, a dash of miso and a little bit of maple syrup or honey to taste. Use water to thin the dressing out if necessary.

Toss the asparagus in the dressing. Top with the roasted chickpeas and sliced avocado. Season as needed with salt and pepper.

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Photos: Alison Baenen 

Simply Delicious Summer Recipes For A Gourmet Dinner Party

When crafting the menu for our Summer Wellness Retreat, co-founder Karen Mehiel and long-time collaborator chef Jaime Sydney wanted to not only come up with delicious dishes, but ones that upheld the pillar of Right Nutrition.

They began with quality, seasonal ingredients… then created some fun and balanced combinations… which allowed the preparations to remain super simple.

The results were palate-pleasing and packed with nutrition.

Below you’ll find recipes for a light and flavorful quinoa salad, perfect to pair with a nice piece of arctic char finished with a zesty lemon & herb green sauce.

The quinoa is a super-food, as we know, with a good bit of protein and twice as much fiber as other grains. The raw zucchini in the salad helps with cholesterol and weight management, plus delivers high doses of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants for healthy skin, hair, eyes and immune function. Heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil has a strong concentration of polyphenols, which have both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Finally, the lemon and herbs alkalize and cleanse the entire body.

These dishes are flavorful, healthy and as gourmet as it gets… And they are easy breezy to prepare!


Roasted Arctic Char with Meyer Lemon and a Green Herb Sauce

*Serves 12

 

Ingredients

For the Fish: 

  • 12 Arctic Char Filets
  • 3 Meyer Lemons, zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

For the Sauce:

  • 4 Cups of Parsley leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 Bunches of Chives
  • 1 Lemon, juice only
  • 1 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 2 Pinches of Sea Salt and Ground Pepper

Directions

1. Place the char on a parchment lined baking sheet. Season the fish with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until done.

2. To make the sauce, pulse the herbs in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add salt and pepper. With the blade running pour in the olive oil until it is blended. Cover the sauce until it is ready to be served. Serve on the fish or on the side.

 

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Green Quinoa with Arugula, Mint, Pistachios, and Raw Zucchini

*Serves 6

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of Quinoa
  • 5 Cups of boiling water
  • ¼ Cup of Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • ¾ Cup of Pistachios
  • 1/2 Bunch of Parsley, cleaned, chopped
  • 6 Mint Sprigs, leaves removed, cleaned, julienned
  • 1 Zucchini, diced into small squares
  • 1 ½ Cups of Baby Arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Boil the water in a medium large pot. Add a few pinches of salt to the water  and cook the quinoa for 20 minutes (or until the grains open up). Set the quinoa aside to cool.

2. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix. Easy breezy.

 

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The Best Green Smoothie

Sipping green juice and blending healthy smoothies is all the rage these days. Our bodies buzz with abundant energy as we soak up a rich blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although the effects of juicing can be felt immediately, the leafy greens can taste bitter making this morning practice less than appetizing. 

 

The trick to cutting out the bitter undertones of raw leafy greens is easy breezy. Simply add a healthy dose of cinnamon.

 

When you add cinnamon, the bitter flavor disappears, not to mention this incredible spice boosts your metabolism, decreases blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is chock full of antioxidants. But don’t take my word… the proof is in the smoothie.

 

And remember, there is no need to suffer through the process of nourishing your amazing bod! Healthy foods and drinks can (and should) taste delightful… especially your green morning smoothie. This Green Goddess Smoothie is a perfect treat before yoga class and can pick up your energy during an afternoon slump. So, before you reach for the coffee or sugar, consider blending your greens.

 

Green Goddess Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

  • 2  cups kale (or spinach)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cinnamon
  • 16 oz. coconut water (you can also use fresh apple juice to keep the smoothie local and seasonal)
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • Boost the nutritional value by adding blueberries or fresh peaches to the mix or turn this smoothie into a meal by adding coconut milk or an avocado.

Directions:

  • Place the ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour the smoothie into your favorite glassware and savor.

*makes 2 servings

 

sources:

*banner image taken from www.publichealthalert.org

*cinnamon image taken from npr.org

East End Eats

Historic and stately, Topping Rose House is a refuge of modern luxury in the heart of Bridgehampton. This boutique inn boasts a picturesque rural location, wellness center and swimming pool overlooking a mature orchard. But for locals and summer residents alike, the restaurant is the real draw.

 

Established by Tom Colicchio when the inn opened in 2013, the restaurant is known for letting the natural flavors of quality ingredients shine. The menu has a generous selection of starters and sides, plus pastas and hearty mains, so you can keep it light or go for full on-indulgence.

 

Vegetarians might opt for the First Harvest Cauliflower, served with summer truffle and soft boiled quail’s egg, and anchovies and a lemon vinaigrette to brighten it up, followed by the creamy garden pea Risotto, finished with golden chanterelles and pecorino.

 

Pork_LOmnivores can go for a gourmet surf-and-turf: starting with the Local Hand Dived Sea Scallops with royal Siberian caviar, summer truffles, chicken wing, and romanesco, and then the Suffolk County Porcelet, served with a salt-baked watermelon radish, pommes puree and pork jus.

 

And if choosing from all the creative options is too overwhelming, Topping Rose has created a three-course prix-fix that is no-less decadent. If you don’t stay to savor the Basil Panna Cotta with sweet corn ice cream, peaches and blackberries, you can always take home a bag of the restaurant’s sugared doughnuts.

 

It’s relationships with local farms, fishmongers and ranches that ensure the ingredients are fresh and of superior quality. Organic produce from Dale & Bette’s, local fungi from East End Mushroom Company, poultry and eggs from Browders Birds and cheeses-glorious-cheeses from The Milk Pail, Lioni Cheeses and Cavaniolas are some of the goodies that make their way onto the seasonal menus.

 

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Contemporary photography is the aesthetic focal point throughout the rooms, with a backdrop that is farmy and modern all at once. Crisp, white tablecloths dangle over wide-planked floors, and two original fireplaces offset the sleek lacquer bar.

 

 

 

Try to dine on the wrap-around porch one of these late-summer evenings. It’s a gracious space to enjoy some Right Nutrition, and that isn’t always so easy to find in the Hamptons.

 

 

And! This Sunday (August 30th) TRH is hosting a Clambake in their storybook orchard, complete with Hush Puppies, Fried Oysters, Nova Scotia Lobster, and more, all accompanied by wine from Wölffer Estate Vineyard.  Space is limited, they warn, so call .631.537.0870 or email to reserve.

 

 

Sexy Summer Watermelon Salad

What’s better on a sultry summer night than a cool summer salad? Especially one that might also set the mood for a bit of romance! This watermelon salad offers a fun twist on a classic, by subbing basil for mint, and regular goat cheese for feta. The result is a delectable combination of flavors: sweet melon, savory cheese and bright basil, perfect for a date night al fresco.

Besides being delicious, this salad has a plethora of health benefits that will literally make you glow! True to its name, watermelon is 92% water and each bite is packed with potassium, vitamin A, B6, C, and more lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) than any other fruit or vegetable. This incredible superfruit has an alkalizing effect on your body, reducing inflammation and fighting disease. But that’s not all: watermelon is a natural aphrodisiac and may have viagra-like effects on the body. Watermelon relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow, so the sexy health benefits show up in the bedroom. But equally appealing, it improves circulation and overall sense of well-being.

Basil has incredible health properties that turn this meal into medicine. Basil improves digestion, is disease fighting, supports cognitive function and reduces inflammation. Oh… and it also happens to be a natural aphrodisiac, which may be why this summer herb became the “symbol of love” in Italy.

No ingredient in this recipe goes without perks. The olive oil provides the healthy fats that are necessary to absorb the abundance of vitamins and nutrients. The crumbled goat cheese provides some lovely protein. And the vinegar or lime juice also alkalizes the body.

Sexy Summer Salad

Ingredients:
  • 1 watermelon (approx. 5-7 lbs)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (for a variation, try lemon/lime juice)
  • ½ cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbs. basil (ribboned, chopped or full leaves)
  • 4 basil sprigs (for garnish)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
Easy Breezy Instructions:
  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing to the side.
  2. Cut watermelon into cubes. Place in a large salad bowl. Add the chopped basil and crumbled cheese. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Toss the salad, so the basil, cheese, and dressing are distributed evenly.
  3. Portion the salad into four bowls and top with basil leaves

* Makes 4 large servings

* This salad should be served immediately. If you bring this recipe to a gathering, hold off on adding the dressing until mealtime.