Last week, I participated in a fundraiser for our local soup kitchen. My role was to  plan and cook a meal for 35 people. The catch here is that the recipes needed to simulate meals that the soup kitchen could then take and use to serve to their guests  –  over a hundred people, 365 days of the year. This is all part of the Soup Kitchen’s initiative to incorporate healthier choices for their  guests.

When they asked me to be a resource, I was incredibly excited to help out. Here’s why.

Not only do I love the challenge of figuring out meal ideas based on donations and food inventory, something I do in my own kitchen day in and day out, but also as you know, I am also passionate about the role of diet in our health and happiness.

At the Soup Kitchen, 85% of their guests have some form of chronic disease. Research has clearly shown the benefits of diet in alleviating chronic disease.

Another thing I loved about this opportunity was the integration component – meaning, the idea that we are all connected and all entitled to earth’s bountiful nourishment.

So here’s  few notes from this meal:

Incorporating some simple additions like fresh garlic or rosemary totally transforms the flavor of a plain sweet potato.

Tossing green beans with some extra virgin olive oil or Body Bio Balance oil makes a huge difference in flavor and nutrient value.

Timing is important – cooking the beans to the consistency you or your family likes helps a ton too. For example I like my green beans crunchy but Kelly likes hers softer.

Boneless chicken thighs offer a nourishing and delicious alternative to chicken breasts. But the recipe can also be made with boneless breasts.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary

Peel potatoes. Cut into 1 inch chunks and toss with coconut oil, garlic cloves and fresh rosemary.

Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

See recipe here.

Steamed Green Beans

Place trimmed green beans in a pot of boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes or until desired tenderness. Drain and toss with extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Organic Mixed Greens with Vinaigrette 

Fresh Berries and Sorbet