Mindful Nutrition and Wellness

Jessica Miller, Holistic Health Coach

vegan ratatouille

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When I first started this blog, I was not really sure what I wanted it to become.  I’m still not.  This blog has gone through several iterations, evolutions, and now revolutions.  I was craving something vegetabley and hearty.  So I made something vegetabley and hearty (and spicy)- because I know this food is going to make me feel good and nourished.  But many people do not understand this or cannot access this.

When I go to the grocery store, I buy almost all of these items to last me throughout the week:

fruits:

  • apples
  • clementines
  • bananas
  • strawberries
  • lemons
  • blackberries or blueberries

vegetables:

  • tomatoes
  • zucchini
  • eggplant
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • brussels sprouts
  • spinach
  • kale
  • carrots
  • celery

other (as needed):

  • almond milk
  • a new spice I would like to try
  • replenishment of staples as needed: bulk bin whole (wheat alternative) grains, dried beans, lentils, olive oil, vinegars
  • an occasional nut butter, dark chocolate, or other small indulgence
  • coffee or tea

I generally avoid the inner aisles of the grocery store (PROCESSED!), shop at a small market, or in the summer only buy food from the Farmer’s Market.  In the neighborhood where I live, there is access to fresh produce, but it is limited and expensive.  Many people have to make life-saving or life-losing decisions about food because of money or access.  A quart of strawberries for $4.99 is not an option when a bag of sugary cereal is $2.00.

I watched many episodes of The Weight of the Nation recently, now free to download on iTunes, describing how this has created a health crisis.  Being from Wisconsin, I recognize the cultural influences on this epidemic.  I also posted on my “Read” page about this Ted Talk on school lunches.  Not only does poverty put kids at many disadvantages regarding access to good schools, but proper nutrition definitely impacts physical and mental development and the effects persist into adulthood. This needs to change.

Creating a healthy culture begins with consumer demand:  Eliminate buying foods with bar codes or more than one ingredient as much as possible. Take out the vegetable peeler, turn on the stove, and get creative- it’s delicious!

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vegan ratatouille

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup frsh basil
  • 1 T sea salt
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t dried parsley
  • 1 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 425. Dice eggplant mist with olive oil, and toss with half sea salt and black pepper. Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 22 minutes turning once.   Meanwhile, Boil water in medium saucepan. Slice an “x” on the bottom of each tomato.  Blanch tomatoes for one minute in boiling water- drain.  Remove tomato peel and chop- removing seeds and membranes. Dice tomato. Dice onions and finely chop garlic in olive oil in saucepan- simmer for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and dried spices and simmer about 10 minutes.  Dice zucchini and add to pot and cook 10 more minutes.  Add eggplant and stir and simmer for at least ten minutes more.  Top with chopped, fresh basil.

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Author: Mindful Nutrition and Wellness

Holistic Health Coach, mindfulnutritionandwellness.com

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