Pila Xian, owner of Heaven and Earth day spa
We all know eating a balanced, nutritious diet supports your overall wellness and health. Lesser known are which foods can specifically target the health of your skin. Pila Xian, founder of Aspen’s Heaven on Earth Day Spa, and a licensed esthetician and cooking enthusiast, divulges a healthy recipe for vibrant skin.
If ski season is the time of year to nosh on comfort foods, then mud season is the time to detox for spring beach vacations. But detoxing doesn’t have to call for a strict liquid diet or juicing. I prefer a diet of whole (i.e. non-processed) foods and eating soup or a smoothie for the last meal of the day. Following is great tasting and good-for-you spring recipe that to leave you healthier in body, mind, and spirit.
Nori Veggie Wraps
This recipe uses Nori as a taco wrapper. Best known for its use in sushi rolls, Nori is unbelievably good for your skin’s health. One sheet of Nori has the same amount of Omega-3s as two avocados. You can replace the Nori with Napa cabbage or kale (if using kale, massage the leaves to make the kale tender and pliable). Quinoa is an excellent grain choice because of its high protein content (tip: Decrease the amount of suggested water when cooking quinoa and mushy, water-logged quinoa is a thing of the past).
I serve dinners family style, plating all the veggies and quinoa on one big platter. It makes for a beautiful presentation with colorful vegetables.
2 cups quinoa
5 tablespoons walnut oil, divided
1 lb. wild mushroom mix, sliced
1 butternut squash, diced
2 bunches spinach
3 carrots, julienned
2 tablespoons water
2 red peppers, julienned
1 package of Nori, sheets cut in half
Rinse quinoa. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and quinoa to a boil. Cover, and reduce temperature to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake butternut squash drizzled with 2 tablespoons of the walnut oil on a lined baking dish for 30-45 minutes, turning to ensure carmelization on all sides. Set aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of walnut oil over medium heat, sauté mushrooms until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, using the same pan, adding additional walnut oil if necessary, add kale and water, cover. Stirring occasionally until done, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, sauté red peppers over medium heat with walnut oil until desired doneness, about 7-10 minutes.
Thai Cashew Sauce
Cashews are used to replace dairy in sauces and dips with this recipe. Soaking the cashews overnight makes for the creamiest sauce. If you’re limited in time, chop the cashews into smaller pieces when soaking. To make a dip for crudités, simply add less coconut milk. Cashews are mild in taste, so play around with different herbs and spices to make a variety of dips.
1 1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 green onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 jalapeno (deseeded, unless you like it hot)
1 handful cilantro
1 cup coconut milk
Cover the cashews with hot water by at least 2 inches because the cashews expand. Soak raw, unsalted cashew in hot water for at least 2 hours. Drain and rinse cashews.
In a food processor pulse together the ginger, green onion, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro until finely chopped. Add cashews and pulse again until smooth. *You can also serve this as a dip with crudités platter.
For additional beauty tips from Pila, including her recent blog on how to wash your face correctly, the essential first step to proper skincare, visit heavenonearthaspen.com/blog