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Fertility Foods: Join the Fertile Heart Virtual Pot Luck; Give a Shout Out to Your Favorite Organic Restaurant

By on August 9, 2013

At this point it’s pretty clear that pesticides are endocrine disruptors. They don’t belong in our fertility boosting foods or any other foods for that matter.  I could cite a list of studies to validate that statement, such as the Danish research in the 1990’s which showed that sperm counts were declining at such a high rate, there would be little sperm left in 50 years. Or a follow up study that showed young, college aged men with sperm counts that should call for an urgent visit to a fertility specialist. Or a study on the way  toxic chemicals interfere with transport, metabolism and elimination of hormones in our bodies.

But rather than a list of studies, I thought it would be a lot more fun to share a list of our favorite eateries that serve clean, pesticide free food. With all the evidence of the health and fertility damaging effects of pesticide-laden food the number of restaurants serving reliably clean food is still pitifully small.

Sadly even juice bars and restaurants promoting their “healthy,natural menu ” are using ingredients that are not nearly as healthy as we are led to believe.

If you have a favorite spot in your town or neighborhood why not give them a shout out and I bet many of the proprietors might even let you share a recipe. And we could have an end of summer Fertile Heart Viirtual Pot Luck!

We are immensely blessed here in Woodstock and the environs to be graced with a number of reliably clean-food eateries and I hope to share recipes from several of them.

In preparation for this post I approached Pam Brown the owner chef of the fabulous Garden Café on the Green here in Woodstock  and she graciously handed me a booklet with a long list of mouthwatering recipes. 

I chose Pam’s Tempeh Salad with Walnut Dressing since just about every single ingredients in it (except one, see my note in the recipe) is a perfect fertility food.

Let me know what you think about the Tempeh Salad and I can’t wait for my virtual visit to your kitchen and a taste of your special flavorfully fertile stork tempting dish. And would you post a picture of your creation?

For those of you who will be joining or re-joining one of our fertility support teleconferences in September this can also be a fun way for us to get to know each other and to keep in touch in the next few weeks.

So let’s get out our spatulas, hum a tune that makes our bodies move, ovaries come alive and mouths water!

 

Tempeh Salad with Walnut Dressing

This wonderful Pam Brown recipe is chockfull of fertility friendly ingredients. Tempeh, a fermented soy product is a great source of protein, it helps boost estrogen and as such is perfect for anyone with high FSH issues or any other estrogen deficiency related challenge. Walnuts of course are great sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids , which are one of the key fertility boosting and hormone balancing nutrients for both women and men.  Garlic is a terrific antifungal food, olive oil adds healthy fat, another important fertility food to this delicious dish. And it’s gluten free for those of you who are letting go of gluten. So eat up and know that you’re moving closer to the baby with each bite.

Ingredients for the Tempeh marinade

– 2 eight ounce packages of Tempeh
– ¼ cup of Tamari soy sauce (gluten free)
– ¼ cup of Olive Oil
– 2 tsp Agave, Honey, or Sweetener of your choice

Ingredients for the walnut dressing:

– ½ cup of Walnuts
– 2 cloves Garlic
– ½ cup Olive Oil
– Juice of one Lemon
– Salt and Pepper to taste

Pam’s dressing recipe calls for 2 cups of basil leaves but basil leaves in herbal literature are linked to fertility difficulties so I made the walnut dressing without it ad it was delicious. You could also experiment with adding a cup of cilantro to the dressing.

Ingredients for  the salad:

– 1 small red onion, sliced thin
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
– 2 cups of chopped lettuce

Preparing the Tempeh:

Preheat oven to 350 °F.

In a medium bowl whisk the above ingredients together. Add the tempeh cubes and toss well to coat. Spray or simply lightly coat a small baking pan or dish with the oil and spread the tempeh in an even layer. Roast about 20 minutes or until the tempeh is brown and crispy, stirring frequently.

Preparing the Walnut Dressing

In a food processor or Vitamix pulse the walnuts until coarsely ground. Add the garlic  and olive oil and pulse again. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add the lemon juice, slat and pepper. Pulse again to mix.

Mix the red onion, cherry tomartoes and tempeh together. Top off with the walnut dressing and stir well. I served it over quinoa. Pam also suggests stuffing it into a pita pocket, or simply eating it as a salad by itself.
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17 Responses to “Fertility Foods: Join the Fertile Heart Virtual Pot Luck; Give a Shout Out to Your Favorite Organic Restaurant”

  1. JenniferC says:

    Here is a great recipe when you have a sweet craving but want to stay balanced. wheat free, gluten free, low in sugar full of minerals and healthy oils.

    ground almonds 1 to 1.5 cup
    ground pumpkin seeds 2 tbsps
    1/4 cup of maple syrup
    3 tbsp coconut oil
    2 tsp vanilla,
    1-2 eggs
    dash salt
    cinnamon

    Mix wet ingredients together and thoroughly combine. mix dry ingredients together and combine. mix both together and form into balls.

    bake for 15 minutes.
    yum.

  2. Emma says:

    Oh I wish I lived near an organic restaurant, but I don’t.

    A recipe I love to make is this one http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3228/chilli-con-carne
    I usually substitute the meat for finely chopped mushrooms. I also double the quantities of beans and pepper. My husband, who is a meat lover, actually prefers the veggie version! Looking forward to trying some of the other recipes!

  3. Ktrags says:

    Hello Lovely Ladies,

    Sorry i am late to the virtual picnic! I have been trying to abstain from sweets and i found this healthy recipe helped satisfy my sweet tooth. So since it is a picnic….here is a healthy dessert.

    Good For You Chocolate Chip Oatmeal “Cookies”
    makes 20-24 “cookies”

    Ingredients
    1/2 cup coconut oil
    1 cup peanut butter
    1/2 cup raw honey (this makes them very lightly sweetened–add more honey if you want more of a sweet “cookie”)
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    3 cups rolled oats
    1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    1/4 cup ground flax
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 cup chopped almonds
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

    preheat oven to 350°

    In an electric mixer, combine coconut oil, peanut butter, and honey. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat on high speed for a few minutes.
    In a separate bowl combine, oats, coconut, flax, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix.
    Slowly add in dry mixture to peanut butter mixture, mixing slowly. Stir in chocolate chips and almonds.

    Drop by the spoonful onto parchment, and then smash down with a spoon
    (these don’t spread while baking)

    Bake for 8 minutes.

    Now as tempted as you will to eat these straight out of the oven……don’t do it! They LOOK like a cookie. They SMELL like a cookie. But they aren’t a cookie, and need to cool first, I promise.
    ENJOY!
    xoxox Kristen

  4. zephyr says:

    There is a new restaurant in Lansing, MI called the Fork in the Road. The menu is designed around local, farm-fresh ingredients and it’s really good! Many of our local farmers may not be”certified-organic” but they are focused on growing healthy, pesticide-free foods. Plus, locally-grown supports the local economy and means a huge savings in fossil fuels from shipping.

    http://forkintheroaddiner.com/

    I love Lara bars, and I’ve been experimenting with making fruit-nut balls. This is one of my favorites:

    Chocolate Date-Nut Balls
    1 1/3 cup dates
    1 cup raw cashews or almonds (or 1/2 cup of each)
    1 T cocoa
    2 t vanilla
    1 t cinnamon

    Process dates in food processor until they are finely chopped and place in a bowl. Finely chop the nuts in the food processor and add them to the bowl with the dates. Add cocoa, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix well with your hands. Form mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Makes about 10 balls.

  5. Ingrid. says:

    I am not much of a cook (I’m working on it!) so I will share something quite simple that really works for me:

    Banana Date Shake

    6-8 oz Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk
    1-2 dates, pitted and cut into small pieces (organic if possible)
    1/2 cup organic Chia seeds
    1/2 cup organic blueberries
    1 ripe organic banana (I like it quite ripe, you can decide how you want it)
    1/2 cup Organic shredded coconut
    ——
    Take all ingredients and put into a blender. Pour into a cup and drink with an extra large straw so you can really enjoy the chunks of dates! I love this for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. If you want it thicker, put a little less milk.

    Clean up is easy for me because I use a small, one serving blender so it’s not a big ordeal.

  6. Madhu says:

    Well not sure if this is considered healthy,but here’s what I do:
    I get avocado, mash it along with few streaks of garlic and a pinch of salt. I make bread (Indian bread known as roti/chapathi) made of whole wheat and usually eat the about mix with 2 rotis. I simply love this. Its simple and I feel so good and healthy eating this.
    Other things that I do are making bean salad using
    1 cup black bean
    1 cup red beans
    1/2 onion
    1 tomato
    1/2 corn
    In vinegar, I add mashed garlic and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add little salt and and all above and leave it for 1hr or so and eat it directly or with again roti.

  7. RR says:

    I have so many favorite recipes I don’t know which one to choose! The easiest one is a refreshing quinoa salad:
    1 cup of quinoa cooked in 2 cups of water
    2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
    2 cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
    1/2 cup freshly juiced lemon
    1 tbsp olive oil
    salt and pepper to taste

    • RR says:

      One of my favorite juices:
      1 clove garlic
      1/2 lemon
      2 stalks celery
      2 cucumbers
      3 carrots
      1 apple

      Yields about 2 cups.

      • Charlotte says:

        Cod with rice and Asian greens

        This is a recipe that I have found is quick and easy to make and very healthy. It avoids dairy and gluten and also abides by the FODMAP principles which help people with IBS (of which I am one). And it doesn’t create too much washing up!

        Ingredients (meal for 2)

        Best quality cod loins you can find/afford (one per person)
        Brown rice
        1 lime
        1 bunch fresh coriander
        (or if you are in the UK you can buy microwave rice with same flavours that takes 2 minutes to heat in microwave if pushed for time)
        Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
        Broccoli
        French green beans
        Spinach
        Pak Choi
        2 cloves of garlic/garlic flavoured oil
        Sesame flavoured oil
        Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

        1. put the rice on to cook with usual water but add juice of half/whole lime (depending on your preference). Chop large handful of coriander and put to one side.

        2. baste the cod with olive oil and put the cod under the grill to cook. There is no need to turn the cod and it will usually fall apart if you do. Medium grill for about 6-8 minutes.

        3. put approx. 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan and slowly heat up. Or if using the garlic flavoured oil substitute 1 tablespoon of sesame oil for the garlic oil.

        4. finely chop the ginger and garlic (if using) and add to the oil. Slowly cook for 1-2 minutes. Then turn up the heat so oil is ready to stir fry the veg.

        5. Chop the broccoli and French beans and add to the oil. Keep stirring so veggies don’t stick to the pan/burn. Add Tamari to taste (about a tablespoon usually).

        6. Add the spinach and pak choi and keep stirring until wilted. Take wok/frying pan off the heat.

        7. Check cod and turn off grill if cooked.

        8. Check rice and if cooked turn off, strain water and add chopped coriander whilst warm and stir through.

        9. Plate up and enjoy.

  8. Summer says:

    What a wonderfully delish, inspiring, and uplifting blog Julia! Thank-you for your tireless Fertile nurturance ;)
    As for a shout-out to a wholesome Fertile Eatery, my Mom and I recently discovered Kate’s Vegan Cafe and Juice Bar while exploring Mystic, CT Annual Art Festival last weekend. It was a blessedly beautiful day!
    We enjoyed our lunches very much here: http://www.katescafe.net

    I am excited to try two posted recipes this weekend! Michelle your zucchini recipe sounds excellent and one I can get my fiance on board with ;) Thank-you for sharing!

    I have a dream to open a Raw Juice Bar as part of a yoga studio or within a block of a studio!
    I searched my community and none exists, so disappointing!

  9. Michelle H says:

    I don’t eat out very much, but I do love to cook! I also have a small garden and fruit and citrus trees, so I experiment a lot lately. Some turn out very yummy, and some so so.

    My newest favorite with the bountiful zucchini this year is very tasty.
    1 extra large zucchini cut in half lengthwise core out center ( mostly to remove the seeds) brush with olive oil and season to taste.
    I first bake @ 375° zucchini skin side up, and then flip to stuff, and finish cooking 20 minutes or til tender. ( filling is already cooked )
    Filling;
    1 large onion chopped fine
    3 stalks celery chopped fine
    3 large carrots chopped fine
    1 bag of organic baby spinach ( I cook first then chop it blends better in the filling) keep juices from spinach and add to filling helps keep it moist
    1 12 – 16 oz can of organic roasted diced tomatoes
    1 1.25 lb of lean ground turkey
    I saute onions, celery, carrots in olive oil when soft add turkey, when turkey fully cooked add tomatoes stir, then add chopped spinach mix well, then stuff zucchini and bake covered until tender ( covered so won’t dry out)
    Depending on my mood I will add trio of Italian seasoning into mix, and finish with freshly chopped parsley. I’ve even mixed in a small amount of grain like rice ( pre cooked)

  10. Alienor says:

    The only all-organic restaurant I know in DC is Nora (http://www.noras.com/). They claim to be America’s first certified organic restaurant. The food is just incredible, and you can find on their website the list of farmers they work with. The restaurant has a very refined, grown-up feel to it.

    I don’t have any recipes from them, but I can share one of my own. Julia recommends to have healthy snacks with us all the time. So I came up with a recipe to roast raw organic cashew nuts:

    Ingredients:
    – raw organic cashews
    – red Cayenne pepper
    – sea salt
    – olive oil (depending on how much cashews you are preparing)

    Preparation:
    – preheat the oven at 350
    – put the cashews in an oven pan, evenly distributed
    – sprinkle a little bit of olive oil over the cashews
    – sprinkle salt and red Cayenne pepper over the cashews
    – mix everything together until all the cashews have the same red color
    – put in oven for 15-18 minutes until the cashews have a nice golden color

    I usually mix them with raw organic almonds to soften the taste of the pepper. It is delicious!

  11. Erica Garcia says:

    This is one of my favorite Denver, local, organic eateries! I don’t have a recipe from this great place but it is every food all of us can make with fresh ingredients, herbs for taste and is inspired by love.

    SAME Café’s mission of serving good food for the greater good says it all. Committed to presenting culinary delights to all who walk through the door, it is all about food and community, and not so much about price.
    SAME is the 1st nonprofit restaurant in Denver. Its patrons set the price for their mostly local, organic cuisine. If you can give more, please do. If you have a little less, pay what you can. If your pockets are empty, exchange an hour of volunteer work at SAME for one of the café’s mouth-watering meals.

    SAME Cafe purchases 90% of ingredients from local, organic farmers. SAME supports the local economy and local food just tastes better! Come in and check the map of CO to locate where our food comes from. Some favorite farms include The Growhaus, Granata Farms, Grant Family Farms, Harvest Mountain Farms, Haystack Mountain, GCK Farms, Monroe Farms, Ela Farms, Ranch Direct Foods, and so many more!

  12. Openhearted says:

    I have to second that I am not familiar with tempeh. I am not sure if the health food store near me would have this item. I will have to try this receipe. I recently made an ethopian casserole type dish with cabbage, potatos,carrots, onions, turmeric, cumin, and salt/pepper was very good! I will say that being in a rural setting trying to find organic or natural food is hard. I would have to travel an hour and half just to get to a hold food store. I do enjoy gardening and getting my produce, which helps. Thanks for the receipe!

  13. Katy G says:

    I am a tempeh rookie! This sounds like a great recipe though to dive into tasting it. The dressing looks really delicious. Thanks for sharing!



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