We’re loving every page of this sweet and floral-printed guide on what to eat to get gorg. In Eat Pretty, beauty editor turned health coach Jolene Hart debunks beauty and nutrition myths, walks us through the basics of seasonal eating, and has us bookmarking a myriad of incredible recipes. The book could be information-overload, but with it’s pink-tinged pages and sweet-as-can-be layout, Eat Pretty feels more like something fun we would’ve leafed through in our tween days!
We asked Jolene to let us in on the down-low of a beautifying diet and to advise us on building a beauty-boosting pantry: what should keep on hand and how should do we use it. Here she is with a few pointers and a gorgeous recipe for a glow-inducing salad. Get to reading, restock that panty and get glowing!
So you want to make your diet more beauty friendly? You’re in for a delicious journey. As I stress in my new book, Eat Pretty, every little nutritional boost you incorporate is a step toward looking and feeling your best. But making a lasting change in your beauty requires more than just grabbing the occasional green juice or kale salad.
For many of us, the motivation to eat pretty fizzles out when we enter our kitchen with an appetite – and no idea what to cook. Selecting fresh produce may be a starting point, but a fistful of dandelion greens and a bag of peas does not make a meal. So how do you transform individual ingredients into a dish you’ll crave? Start by building a beauty pantry that plays a supporting role to whatever you bring home from the farmer’s market. With smartly stocked cabinets, you’ll always be ready to whip up a beautifying meal with only the addition of seasonal produce. Here are five steps to prep your kitchen for success…
5 steps to build your beauty pantry
Before you bring a single new ingredient into your kitchen, clean out your space. Sort through your cabinets and look closely at each edible item – does it support and enhance your beauty and health, or will it be a sneaky detractor from the beautifying lifestyle that you’re building? (Check out the list of Beauty Betrayers in Eat Pretty for more specific guidelines.) Tossing foods that don’t support your health or make you feel you best reinforces the commitment to your lifestyle of beauty.
Lay the Foundation
Fill your pantry with beautifying staples – like grains, beans, fats and oils – that pair well with fresh produce. I recommend stocking up on nutrient-dense, gluten-free grains like buckwheat, millet, quinoa, wild rice and amaranth. While you’re at it, make them pretty: fill large glass jars with your grains so you’ll easily see when it’s time to buy more. Stock plenty of dried beans, or BPA-free cans and tetra paks of ready-to-eat beans, for soups, stews and salads. Keep healthy fats like olive, sesame, grapeseed and coconut oils and organic butter on hand for cooking and flavoring. Those healthy fats will help you absorb the beauty-building nutrition in your veggies.
Add Spices and Seasonings
Not only do herbs, spices and seasonings enhance flavor, they dramatically boost the nutritional (read: beautifying) power of your meals. Keep a cool, dry cabinet stocked with dry spices (use them daily), and build a library of other flavor-boosters with benefits, like wheat-free tamari, umeboshi plum vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, nutritional yeast, kimchi, apple cider vinegar, tahini and raw honey. Grow or purchase herbs and keep a supply of lemons and allium vegetables like onions, shallots and garlic, since they add depth of flavor and major beauty nutrition to a meal.
Fill in with Superfoods
Make your meal even more interesting with assorted superfoods that are prized for their beauty and health benefits. Go for raw nuts and nut butters, seeds (chia, flax, sesame and hemp are favorites), mineral-rich sea vegetables, and dried fruits like goji berries and unsweetened dried cranberries.
Just Add Veggies
With a pantry brimming with beauty foods, you’re ready for some kitchen experimentation. Shop a farmer’s market or grocery store for seasonal veggies, and pair them with different combinations of your pantry ingredients to create endless variations on dishes that are deeply nourishing to your looks. For a quick beautifying meal, combine grains plus seasonal veggies plus the sauce or seasonings of your choice, as demonstrated in the grain salad recipe below. For a springtime take on this recipe, I used dandelion greens, peas and onions, paired with fluffy millet and a light, nutty lemon-sesame dressing.
Toasted Sesame Lemon Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 cup uncooked gluten-free grains: quinoa, millet, buckwheat, wild rice or brown rice
1 tsp coconut oil
5 cups chopped seasonal vegetables. Mix textures: leafy greens, crunchy onions, hard root vegetables, juicy tomatoes – whatever is in season!
3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
ground black pepper
Cook the grains according to directions and set aside to cool.
In a large skillet, melt coconut oil and sauté chopped vegetables until soft. Start with dense vegetables that require a longer cooking time, like carrots, beets, and butternut squash, then add in quick-cooking types like peas, peppers and zucchini, and finish with delicate greens.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice and garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss together grains, cooked vegetables and dressing and top with sesame seeds.
Text, images and recipes ©2014 Jolene Hart. All rights reserved.