Tag Archives: Val Wilson

Healthy Cooking: Quinoa, Queen of the Grains for an Active Summer, By Val Wilson

Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wa’) was the mother grain of the Incas. They considered it sacred and held ceremonies honoring quinoa.  In South America, in the high altitudes of the Andes mountains, quinoa has been grown, harvested, and eaten since at least 3,000 B.C. Because of its hardiness, being able to survive at such high altitudes, quinoa is considered a strengthening food.

Although botanically quinoa is a fruit, we classify it as a whole grain. In fact, quinoa is the signature whole grain for summer time. As one of the easiest whole grains to digest, it gives us a tremendous amount of energy so we can be very active in the summertime. Quinoa is high in calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese, and is a complete protein. Quinoa is high in quercetin and kaempferol, two flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory, anti- viral, anti-cancer, and anti-depressant properties.

Quinoa cooks up quickly and has a nutty flavor, making it ideal for creating cold salads for summer.

Quinoa, Black Bean and Fresh Basil Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
4 cups broccoli (cut up)
2 scallions (thin, round slices)
1 carrot (grated)
3 radishes (grated)
1 cup corn
1/4 cup minced parsley
1- 15 oz. can black beans (drained)
Dressing:
3 T. tamari
3 T. brown rice vinegar
2 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves (minced)
3 T. fresh basil (minced)

Put the quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to the lowest possible temperature, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. Put hot quinoa and corn in a bowl and stir together. The heat from the quinoa will lightly cook the corn to bring out its flavor. Steam the broccoli until fork tender, approximately 7 minutes. Add broccoli to the bowl along with the scallions, carrot, radishes, parsley, and black beans. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Mix all together and serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold. 

Chef Valerie Wilson, a.k.a, Macro Val, has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit her website to purchase her cookbook, Perceptions in Healthy Cooking Revised Edition, set up a phone consultation, or listen to her radio show, http://www.macrval.com. Facebook, Macro Val Food.

Excerpted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Summer 2018 Issue, copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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Healthy Cooking: Brawny Barley, Spring Cleanser, by Val Wilson

Spring is the time of year when we become more active, go outside, and reawaken after the more sedentary winter energy phase. Our bodies go through a natural cleansing at this time of year. It is easy to see how the organs associated with this phase are the liver, gallbladder, and nervous system, the organs associated with detoxing the body. The liver and gallbladder are primarily responsible for purifying the blood. When these organs are working properly, they neutralize poisons and toxins and remove them from the blood. The liver also regulates the release of sugars into the body for fuel. If the liver is overtaxed from the over-consumption of dense fatty foods such as dairy foods, it cannot properly give the body energy. To make sure these important organs are working properly, we can incorporate the signature whole grain for spring, barley.

 
Barley is the whole grain known for cleansing the body. It is one of the oldest grains, originating in Southwest Asia around 8500 B.C. Roasted barley was one of the main foods of the gladiators because of its strength-building properties. Known for strengthening the blood and intestines, barley contains potassium, iron, calcium, protein, and fiber. When buying barley, look for whole barley. Pearl barley has the bran polished off, losing the fiber and other nutrients. Barley is excellent in soups, stews, salads, and vegetable dishes. It has a chewy, creamy texture, and a nice sweet taste. If you have gluten sensitivities, substitute brown rice for any recipe using barley.

Barley Vegetable Stew

9 cups water
1 cup barley
4 inch piece kombu
1 onion (diced)
5 garlic cloves (minced)
3 carrots (diced)
2 yellow summer squash (cut in small cubes)
2 celery stalks (diced)
2 cups mushrooms (cut up)
1 (15 oz.) can white beans (drained)
1/3 cup dark miso
1 tsp. sea salt

Bring the water to a boil in a soup pot. Add the kombu and cook for a couple minutes until kombu is soft. Remove from water, cut into small pieces, and add back to pot. Add the barley and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, yellow summer squash, celery, and mushrooms. Continue simmering with cover on for 20 minutes more. Add the beans and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Take some of the hot broth and dissolve the miso and sea salt in it. Add back to the pot, turn off heat, and mix all together.

 
Chef Valerie Wilson, a.k.a, Macro Val, has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit her website to purchase her new cookbook, Perceptions in Healthy Cooking Revised Edition, set up a phone consultation, or listen to her radio show, http://www.macrval.com. Facebook, Macro Val Food.

Reprinted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Spring 2018 Issue, copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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Healthy Cooking for Fall, by Val Wilson

When cooking tasty fall dishes it is important to use rich, aromatic seasoning to satisfy our taste buds. We have been enjoying the light fare of summertime foods and now it is time to add more seasonings and richness to our food. In the fall we turn our ovens back on and enjoy casseroles and start to crave warming soups.

Two important seasonings we can enjoy in the fall are toasted sesame oil and tamari. Toasted sesame oil has a nutty, earthy flavor that works very well when sautéing. A unique natural by-product of sesame seeds, sesamol, protects sesame oil from oxidation. This means the oil is less subject to rancidity and loss of flavor over a period of time. Toasted sesame oil is also high in linoleic acid, one of the three essential fatty acids our body cannot produce. Tamari is a wonderful, salty condiment used to flavor all kinds of dishes. It is simply the salty liquid that comes from the fermenting of soybeans. Good quality tamari contains enzymes and amino acids that aid in digestion. Tamari also has the unique ability to neutralize the extremes of being over acidic or over alkaline. The lactic and phosphoric acids in tamari absorb excess of being over alkaline. And the saline nature of tamari acts upon acid foods to neutralize them. When shopping for tamari it should be wheat free and naturally fermented.

Brown Rice, Tempeh and Squash Casserole

3/4 cup brown rice
1/4 cup wild rice
2 cups water
1 package tempeh
1 onion (diced)
4 cups butternut squash (cut in cubes)
3 cups chopped portabello mushrooms
5 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. Paprika
Sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup tahini
2 T. tamari

Pot boil the two rices in the 2 cups water for one hour. Steam squash until fork tender. Sauté the onions in toasted sesame oil and a dash of tamari until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for just one more minute. When done, put in a large bowl. Using the same pan sauté the mushrooms, when done add to the bowl. Still using the same pan, brown the tempeh in toasted sesame oil and tamari, and add to the bowl. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and add along with the rice and steamed squash to the bowl. Add spices and mix all together. Pour into an oiled casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, uncovered.

French Onion and Black Bean Soup

2 onions (thin half moons)
toasted sesame oil
tamari
8 cups water
3 (15 oz.) cans of black beans (drained)
6 T. tamari
1 tsp. basil

Chef Valerie Wilson, a.k.a, Macro Val, has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit her website; to purchase her new cookbook, Perceptions In Healthy Cooking Revised Edition, set up a phone consultation, or listen to her radio show, www.macroval.com. Facebook, Macro Val Food. 

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2007 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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Celebrating Our Fifth Anniversary!

by Roslyn McGrath

Anniversaries can be a great opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate what got you there, as well as what is and what can be, and refine and recommit to your vision of what you’re celebrating as you move forward.

Five years ago, I recognized the need for a truly local wellness publication, one where community members share their expertise and insight with us, increasing our understanding of the many ways we can increase our health and happiness and the many wellness resources available locally to support us in this

A big thank you to each of our writers –regular column writers Barb Dupras, Victoria Jungwirth, Jenny Magli, Miriam Moeller, Jessica Nagelkirk, Heidi Stevenson, Steve Waller and Val Wilson, as well as all those who’ve contributed articles and photographs along the way, (see full list on p.3), who so impress me with the quality and care they bring to each article. I and our many readers get to learn so much every time!

A big thank you to all our advertisers, whose passion and purpose are a big part of what makes our community tick, and who help make presenting this wealth of wellness information possible. I think you’ll enjoy discovering more about what their big hearts and expertise gift our community on pages 10 and 11 of this issue! And please consider letting them know how much you appreciate all they do.

A big thank you to proofreader Tyler Tichelaaar for his expert eyes and mind, kind heart and helpfulness, Curtis Kyllonen for his years of cheerfully and faithfully getting over a quarter of our many copies to where they need to go, to Tom O’Connell for making our early covers beautiful, to the various photographers whose eyes for local scenes have also helped create beautiful covers, to all our print shop helpers who’ve assisted me in getting the job done right, the many businesses and organizations who’ve made a place for Health & Happiness to be easily picked up, and to my husband, Kevin McGrath, for always pitching in with whatever’s needed, whether it’s a warm hug and smile, sound advice, listening ears, great ideas, timely deliveries, inspiring, light-hearted articles or encouraging words.

And a big thank you to YOU, our readers, for all your support and appreciation. You make it all worthwhile!

It’s the support of all of you that has made it possible to cover topics ranging from cooking with rutabaga to traditional Chinese medicine, child rearing tips to overcoming writer’s block, mortgage and energy-saving advice to mindfulness practices, pet treat recipes to U.P. kayaking, long distance elder care to wild crafting and so much more; increase our distribution to 7,500 copies at over 250 locations, five times where we started five years ago, (and there are still places where we run out of copies!); and further invest in our community with donations to the Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center, Devos Art Museum, Great Lakes Recovery Centers, Hiawatha Music Festival, Huron Mountain Club Gallery, Lake Superior Hospice, Marquette Arts & Culture Center, Marquette County Health Department, Marquette Maritime Museum, Marquette Regional History Center, Medical Care Access Coalition, Northern Initiatives, Oasis Gallery, UPAWS, Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, and Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s Celebrate the U.P.

Below are a few excerpts of the congratulations I’ve received on our fifth anniversary. Thank you so much to all those who’ve made a point of expressing their appreciation, whether in person or in writing!

I look forward to continuing to serve our community’s wellness information needs with high quality and creativity, as well as launching our five year commitment to supporting a different area of community life each year through increased coverage and donations, starting this year with the increasingly important issue of elder care.

So fittingly, this issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine is dedicated to the topics of celebration, age and “fives” – enjoy!

Roslyn Elena McGrath, Publisher, Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine

 I want to congratulate you on your fifth anniversary of Health & Happiness. Every cover has been beautiful and the wide array of articles has provided a wealth of information and insight to readers. Your vision of a need and your willingness and excitement to fill that need has been remarkable. Here’s to many more issues! – Gareth Zellmer 

Congratulations on the 5th anniversary of Health and Happiness!  It’s some of the best reading to come out of our “far northern outpost” community.  May the coming year be the best yet; here’s to five more! – Sue Schenk Drobny 

Congratulations from Natural Connections!  We celebrate you for your commitment and passion in providing a wonderfully effective information connection between our holistic community and U.P. residents through your beautiful magazine, Health & Happiness!

Happy 5th Anniversary from Lake Superior Holistic Connection!   Your magazine is a bright light in our community!  It’s a beacon illuminating paths of possibility to those seeking natural ways to align their body, mind, spirit!  Congrats! – Diana Oman

It’s a joy, truly an inspiration to witness this evolution of Health & Happiness, how you have brought this brilliant idea, an idea that lit you up and lit us up as well, into manifestation.  I look forward to receiving this uplifting publication with its focus on our possibilities and potential, and the labor of love that you as creator, as bridge-maker, as editor, as publisher, as marketer have put into each and every issue.  It is a template for all of us, the way that you have taken a dream and made it reality, learning the next step and the next step as you’ve walked this creative path.  And look how we all benefit, what you have brought to all of us!  – Helen Haskell Remien

Health & Happiness’s Contributing Writers & Photographers, 2007 – 2012:

Leslie Allen, Linda Andriacchi, Stuart Baker, Leslie Bek, Gina Brown, Audra Campbell, Lisa Cerasoli, Joan Chadde, Pam Christenson, Amy Clickner, Stuart Cooper, Patty Cornish, Martha Crenshaw, Kim Danielson, Sarah Dean, Chuck Delpier, Sara DeFrancesco, Melinda Dollhopf, Barb Dupras, Cindy Engle, Sydney Giovenco, Lee Goodwin, Genean Granger, Kathy Harsch, Victoria Jungwirth, Kristen Karls, Kim Kee, Mick Kiaros, Virginia Kleaver, Amanda Klein, Tammy Krassick, Lucy LaFaive, Jamie LaFreniere, Betsy Little, Jeaneen Luokkala, Alanna Luttenton, Dawn Lundin, Jenny Magli, Karen Mallinger, Amy Mattson, Kevin McGrath, Roslyn McGrath, Lisa McKenzie, Brian McMillan, Kristine McPeak, Miriam Moeller, Neil Moran, Mohey Mowafy, Jessica Nagelkirk, Kim Nixon, Colleen O’Hara, Valerie Olson, Diana Oman, Marissa Palomaki, Kris Harris Pfaffle, Phil Poutinen, Gretchen Preston, Diane Raven, Robert Regis, Helen Haskell Remien, Carol Rose, Sherri Rule, Christine Saari, Jon Saari, Diane Sautter, Deb Sergey, Dar Shepherd, Mary Soper, Jennifer Stelly, Heidi Stevenson, Tyler Tichelaar, Lynn Vanwelsenaers, Cassandra Vore, Steve Waller, Nicole Walton, Fran Walters, Cynthia Whitehouse, Val Wilson, Gareth Zellmer, & Joseph Zyble.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2012 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2012.

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Healthy Cooking: Anniversary Cake!

by Valerie Wilson

Everyone who knows me knows that my favorite sweetener is brown rice syrup. But recently I made a cake for my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary, which would serve many people who eat the average American diet. I was very concerned that everyone like the cake, so I made three attempts in order to perfect the recipe. I wanted it to be moist, light, sweet enough for the crowd, and delicious. I believe I achieved all those things – my family said it was the best cake I had ever made and I received compliments from the rest of the guests as well!

To make the cake sweet enough for everyone without using refined processed sweeteners that my health-conscious guests would not eat, I used Sucanat. It’s a dehydrated, granular, brown, all-natural sweetener found in most health food stores. It’s made by pressing the juice from natural cane sugar and cooking it down to a thick syrup. The syrup is then dehydrated and ground into sweet small pits. All the nutrition from sugarcane remains in Sucanat.

I originally wanted to create a vanilla cake, but using Sucanat turns the cake a light brown color with a rich maple, almost molasses-like taste to it. To create additional moisture, I used apple sauce. I made my own by simply cooking down some chopped up organic apples. You can also use store-bought apple sauce.  I chose spelt flour because it does not have the distinct taste whole wheat flour has. Spelt is also light and does not create a dry cake.  For the frosting, I used maple syrup and amazake for sweeteners. Amazake is made from brown rice. You can find it n the freezer section of health food stores.

For your next special event, here is one of my best recipes!

Anniversary Cake (thick 9” round cake)

Wet:

1 T. flax seed meal

1 cup rice milk

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup applesauce

1/2 cup Sucanat

1 T. vanilla

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Dry:

1 T. baking powder

1  3/4 cup whole grain spelt four

Blend the flax seed meal and rice milk in a blender or food processor for about a minute until it looks frothy. Add the remaining wet ingredients. Blend until smooth. Sift the baking powder and flour into a bowl. (Sifting creates a lighter cake.) Now mix together the wet ingredients with the dry. Pour into oiled 9” cake pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

Anniversary Frosting

3/4 cup rice milk

1/2 cup amazake

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 T. agar flakes

pinch sea salt

2 T. kudzu (dissolved in 1/4 cup water)

1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan natural buttery spread (has to be cold)

1 to 2 tsp. rice milk

In a sauce pan, heat the rice milk, amazake, agar flakes, and sea salt. Let simmer 10 minutes. Whisk in the kudzu mixture. It will thicken as it cooks. Once thickened, remove from heat and place in refrigerator a couple of hours until completely cold. Put in food processor along with cold Earth Balance. Blend until smooth. Add the rice milk slowly while it blends to create the desired consistency. Be very careful not to add too much or the frosting will become runny. Frost cake.

Valerie Wilson is the author of Perceptions in Healthy Cooking. She teaches cooking classes and offers counseling in Westland, Michigan. She can be reached at (734) 722-4553 or http://www.macroval.com.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2012 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2012.

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