As we reflect on this last couple of weeks, it’s hard not to react – to tighten, to contract with fear and disappointment. Given the uncertainty there are many questions about how the future will unfold.
Although our fear tends to make us reactive and inflames a desire to control our environments, we must make this an opportunity to go deep within and find our strength, our power, our voices.
Out of the darkness comes the light.
Through this, let’s remember to breathe deeply. Meditate. Stay grounded. Turn the music up loud and dance with our loved ones. We must strengthen and deepen our roots. Stand strong in our beliefs. Be kind to others. Be willing to look at our own internalized ‘isms’ and ‘phobias’. Let’s make an effort meet our neighbors. Do something kind for another person today. Let’s all deepen our involvement in our communities. Let’s gather together and make a stronger commitment to take care of ourselves, our families and our communities.
Annabelle Snow and Lili Scott, co-owners
and the entire staff at North Portland Wellness Center
By: Lili Scott
As we transition into the season of shorter, colder days, it’s a wonderful time to consider our relationship with gratitude, and to be grateful for the gifts in our lives.
In Chinese Medicine, our Qi is said to follow our intention or mental energy. Different mental and emotional patterns do different things to our energy: overthinking and worry knot the qi; anger makes it rise up, fear sinks it, sadness dissolves it and so on.
It is my experience that gratitude provides a kind of gentle buoyancy and softening to life – I’ve used it to shift out of many less desirable mental/ emotional states. Of course the so called ‘negative emotions’ are part of life and it’s important that they be fully felt, digested and integrated. But when any mental/ emotional state becomes excessive, or limits our ability to experience anything else, it’s time for an intervention. And gratitude is a great one.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life, it turns what we have into enough and more. It turns problems into gifts, confusion to clarity, chaos into order, failures into successes and the unexpected into perfect timing. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
My practice, evergreens, the ocean, sunshine, rain, a strong, healthy body, a roof over my head, my amazing patients, sight, music to listen to…these are just some of the many things I am grateful for.
In the months to come may you find peace, balance and gratitude!
GREEN BEANS, CRISPY PANCETTA MUSHROOMS AND SHALLOTS
- Kosher salt
- 1-1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
- 2-1/2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta (five or six 1/16- to 1/8-inch-thick slices)
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 medium cremini mushrooms, trimmed, halved if large, and very thinly sliced
- 2 medium-large shallots, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup very thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
- 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes and water and set aside. Fill a 6- or 7-quart pot two-thirds full of well-salted water. Bring the water to a boil and boil the beans uncovered until tender to the bite, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain, transfer to the bowl of ice water, and let sit until cooled, about 2 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Put the pancetta in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and cook over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and coarsely crumble. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Add 2 Tbs. of the olive oil to the pan and return it to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring frequently, until both are nicely browned and shrunken, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar, mustard, and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Stir to combine.
Return the pan to medium heat, add the green beans and toss to combine and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to a warm serving platter and garnish with the pancetta.
Make Ahead Tips
The beans can be boiled and refrigerated up to 6 hours ahead. The remaining ingredients can also be prepped up to 6 hours ahead and held in the refrigerator. An hour before finishing, remove the beans from the refrigerator to come to room temperature.
WILD RICE AND CHANTERELLE SALAD WITH DRIED FRUIT, GOAT CHEESE AND WALNUTS
8 cups water
2 cups wild rice
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 bay leaf
12 sprigs thyme
4 teaspoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 pounds chanterelle or portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and cracked
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and cracked
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mixed dried fruits, such as cherries, cranberries, raisins, chopped figs, or chopped apricots
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 pound stemmed arugula or watercress
8 ounces fresh white goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
To prepare the rice: Wash the rice under cold water for 2 minutes. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and add the salt, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the washed rice to the boiling water and simmer for 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain the rice and remove the bay leaf and thyme; let cool. (This can be done 1 day ahead of time and refrigerated.) You should have 7 cups cooked rice.
In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed or canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from heat, drain well, and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, fennel, cumin, thyme, and pepper and season with salt. Add the dried fruits.
In a salad bowl, combine the cooled wild rice, cooked mushrooms, and walnuts. Toss with the vinaigrette and fruits.
Apple, Sausage, and Parsnip Stuffing with Fresh Sage
- 1 1 1/2-pound loaf sliced sourdough bread with crust, cubed
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 1/2 pounds hot Italian sausages, casings removed
- 6 cups chopped onions
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, divided
- 3 pounds Pippin or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cubed
- 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, cubed
- 3/4 cup packed fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake bread cubes on 2 large rimmed baking sheets until lightly toasted, about 20 minutes.
- Sauté sausages in very large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking into pieces with spoon, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl; add bread.
- Add onions and celery to same skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes; transfer to bowl with bread. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes; mix apples into stuffing. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add parsnips and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes; mix into stuffing. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet. Add sage and sauté until dark green, about 2 minutes. Mix sage and butter into stuffing. Season with salt and pepper.
- Butter 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Stuff turkey. Transfer remaining stuffing to prepared dish; drizzle with 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover with foil. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake stuffing covered until heated through, about 1 hour. Uncover and bake until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
PORCINI MUSHROOM TURKEY WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms*
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 14- to 16-pound turkey, rinsed, patted dry inside and out; neck, heart, and gizzard reserved for Turkey Stock
- 10 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
- 6 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups Turkey stock or water
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups turkey stock
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons water
- 5 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
For mushroom butter:
- Place porcini in small bowl; add 1 cup boiling water. Let stand until softened, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Chop mushrooms. Transfer half of chopped mushrooms (about 1/3 cup) to small bowl; reserve for gravy.
- Chop garlic finely in processor. Add butter and next 6 ingredients, then remaining porcini. Blend to coarse paste. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Transfer to bowl. Cover and chill mushroom butter, reserved chopped porcini, and mushroom liquid separately. TRUE GRIT: When using the porcini soaking liquid, pour it off slowly so that any grit or sediment at the bottom remains in the bowl.
Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 325°F. Sprinkle main turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Spread with 2 tablespoons mushroom butter. Starting at neck end of turkey, carefully slide hand between skin and meat of breast, thighs, and upper drumsticks to loosen skin. Spread mushroom butter over thighs and drumsticks, then over breast meat under skin. Fill main cavity with herb sprigs. Tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Tuck wing tips under.
Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Rub outside of turkey all over with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour 2 cups stock into pan. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, about 3 hours. Tilt turkey so juices from main cavity run into pan. Transfer turkey to platter. Tent very loosely with foil; let rest at least 30 minutes (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees). Reserve pan.
Scrape juices and browned bits from reserved roasting pan into large glass measuring cup. Spoon off fat, reserving 3 tablespoons.
Heat reserved 3 tablespoons fat in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crimini mushrooms, garlic, and shallot. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl and set aside. Add wine to skillet. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 3 minutes. Add reserved 1/3 cup chopped porcini mushrooms, reserved mushroom soaking liquid (leaving any sediment behind), 2 cups stock, and degreased pan juices. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to reduce slightly, about 10 minutes.
Add cream and crimini mushrooms to skillet. Mix 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch in small bowl until smooth. Whisk into gravy. Continue to simmer until reduced to desired consistency, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Mix in parsley and mint. Season gravy to taste with salt and pepper.
Oatmeal Protein Pancakes
These oatmeal pancakes are packed with protein and fiber. The cinnamon gives this recipe a warming element and the local honey is a good way to boost your immune system during the changing of the seasons.
Makes 2- 3 servings
- 1 c. old fashioned oats
- 1/2 c. fat-free cottage cheese
- 8 egg whites
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Heat griddle to medium high heat and coat with coconut oil. Combine all ingredients and blend with an immersion blender until a smooth batter forms. Pour or scoop batter onto griddle in round pancake-like circles. Let cook until tops of the pancakes begin to bubble and then flip and let cook until they’re no longer doughy in the middle and slightly brown on both sides. Top with local honey, nutmeg, or fresh fruit.
By: Colleen Bunker, LAc
I treat a lot of chronic back pain in my practice and more likely than not, the pain didn’t start with a specific injury. In many cases, the pain started with a tight achiness that just gradually got worse over the years until that fateful morning when they simply bent over to tie their shoes or sneeze and Bang! their “back goes out”. They limp into the clinic and hopefully, with the help of acupuncture, massage and chiropractic treatment, the acute pain is relieved. Unfortunately, it often only temporary relief until the next time they sneeze wrong or lift something “they shouldn’t have”.
That’s why I was so glad to have discovered Esther Gokhale’s book, 8 Steps to a Pain Free Back. Esther’s premise is that most chronic back pain simply stems from poor posture and that by following her protocol, you can correct your posture and therefore end chronic back pain. Esther traveled the world and closely studied cultures that don’t suffer from back pain and found that it was correct posture that allowed them to use their backs, often for many hours of manual labor, without pain. This isn’t a book about exercises that you do for the rest of your life to manage symptoms, it’s about learning how to sit, stand, walk, sleep and lift in way that corrects and then maintains proper spinal alignment. And then you just live it. This is a very inspirational book, and if followed, can be curative of most chronic back pain. This book is very easy to follow, with lots of good illustrations and beautiful pictures of people around the world with excellent posture. Esther has a great website with lots of resources and lists locations for free monthly demonstrations here in Portland. I highly recommend this book!
Buckwheat Crepes with Pears, Arugula, Hazelnuts and Balsamic Caramel Sauce
By: Christine Stecker
Crepes are one of my favorite meals to have with a gathering, as all the fillings are really the best part and they accommodate the savory and sweet eaters alike. Buckwheat is an excellent flour to use for added protein, fiber, magnesium and B vitamins. In fact it’s a seed rather than a grain making it gluten free and low-glycemic. Buckwheat has a nutty and hearty quality that I like in baking but it can be quite dense, which is why I love it in this crepe recipe, as it gives the crepes a sturdiness that allows robust flavors in the filling without losing the container. I highly recommend these with lox and cream cheese or prosciutto and blue cheese, or for a savory meets sweet as in this a pear, arugula, toasted hazelnut and a balsamic caramel syrup filling.
Yield: 6 large crepes
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3/4 cup milk or milk substitute
- 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup white flour or gluten free substitute
- 1/2-1 cup water
Whisk wet ingredients together, add dry ingredients in thirds. Mix thoroughly, batter should be thick and sticky. Then add small amounts of water until the batter reaches a thinner pourable consistency. Refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 48 hours before cooking.
Balsamic caramel sauce:
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
Add lemon zest and balsamic in a small pot on medium low heat for 5 minutes, add sugar and keep slightly above simmering for 10 minutes stirring continuously. Add butter and stir until fully incorporated. Finally, add a bit of water if necessary to pour like syrup.
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- 2 pears, sliced thinly
- 2 cups arugula or spinach