Cooking With Intention

Cooking With Intention

I love to cook.  It’s a form of meditation and creativity for me.  My mom often asks what I am going to make and I’m often not 100% sure until I finish what I’m creating. I have learned to cook with intention and enjoy the process.  Here are some dope ingredients that promote wellness and feed more than just your stomach.  Check out each of these powerful ingredients, their benefits and a recipe to try that makes that ingredient shine. 

Rosemary: anti inflammatory, antioxidant, boosts immune system and blood circulation, helps with cognitive functions: alertness, focus and memory.

Lemon & Rosemary Mushroom & Kale Pasta
Author: Eat Drink Shrink
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes  
Total Time: 25 minutes  
Yield: 2 servings

1 small package of white or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/4 cup white wine (optional)  
2 cups shredded kale 
Salt/Pepper to taste 

Pasta sauce: 
1 cup soaked cashews
1 cup almond milk
1/2 squeeze lemon 
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/3 cup shallot 
2 cloves garlic 
1 tbsp dijon mustard 
Salt/Pepper to taste 

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts 
1 tsp lemon zest 
Fresh Rosemary


  • Mushrooms: Add the mushrooms and olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes un-disturbed. This will give them a good sear. Flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. Now add the garlic, rosemary and lemon, salt/pepper, cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the optional white wine and cook for an additional 2 minutes to reduce.
  • Toss in the shredded kale and cook for a few minutes until a little softened. Set aside.
  • Sauce: Throw all the ingredients in a high power blender, blend until smooth.
  • Assemble the pasta:  Combine the cooked pasta, pasta sauce, and fold in the kale mushroom mixture. Garnish with lemon zest and toasted pine nuts. 


Basil:  Alleviate anxiety and depression, increase your ability to think clearly, and lower the risk for age-related memory loss. Antimicrobial and improves digestion.

Fennel and basil beans on ricotta toasts
Author: Taste AU
Prep Time: 10 minutes  
Cook Time: 10 minutes  
Total Time: 20 minutes  
Yield: 4 servings

1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
2 tbsp finely shredded fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup smooth ricotta
8 slices white crusty bread, toasted
2 tomatoes, sliced
Extra 2 tbsp small fresh basil leaves, to serve


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Add fennel seeds. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add beans. Cook, tossing occasionally, for 5 minutes or until warmed through. Stir in basil.
  • Spread ricotta over toast. Top with tomato, bean mixture and extra basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining oil. Serve.


Ginger: Anti Nausea, anti-inflammatory, lower blood sugars improving heart health, can help with osteoarthritis, help with chronic indigestion, help with menstrual pain, lower bad cholesterol levels.

Chicken Soup with Caramelized Ginger
Author: Andy Baraghani
Yield: 4 servings

½ bunch cilantro, divided
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 6" piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 scallions, pale-green and white parts left whole, dark-green parts thinly sliced lengthwise
1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 Fresno chile, halved, seeded
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper


  • Gather half of cilantro into a bundle and tie together with kitchen twine. Coarsely chop remaining cilantro (stems and all); set aside for serving.
  • Heat sugar and 3 Tbsp. water in a large saucepan over medium. Cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan occasionally, until the syrup is golden amber, 4–6 minutes.
  • Add ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until ginger is softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and pale-green and white scallion parts and cook, stirring often, until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro bundle, chicken, chile, and a big pinch of salt. Pour in 8 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, bring to a bare simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 10–12 minutes. Discard chile and scallions. Keep soup warm over medium-low heat.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool slightly. Shred chicken and stir back into soup. Add soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove pot from heat; taste and season with salt, if needed.
  • Serve soup topped with dark-green scallion parts, reserved chopped cilantro, and a few turns of pepper.
  • Do Ahead: Soup (without scallion greens or cilantro) can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool, then cover and chill.

Lavender : can help digestive issues such as vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas, upset stomach, and abdominal swelling.  is used to help relieve pain from headaches, sprains, toothaches, and sores. Aromatherapy can decrease anxiety, stress and mild pain. 

Lavender Honey
Author: Martha Stewart
Yield: Makes about 3/4 cup

3/4 cup mild honey such as clover honey
10 to 15 fresh or dried lavender blossoms


  • Heat honey in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Stir in lavender. Let cool. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  • Heat lavender honey over medium heat until heated through. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard lavender.

Garlic: antinausea, anti inflammatory, antimicrobial helps fight off unwanted germs that may be in food, antibacterial, eases muscle pains and arthritis symptoms, slow down the growth of cancer cells, lowers blood sugar. 

The Garlickiest Fried Rice
Author: Andy Baraghani
Yield: 4 Servings

8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
⅓ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1 2" piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3 cups chilled cooked short-grain rice
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
¾ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds


  • Toss garlic and grapeseed oil in a large nonstick skillet. Arrange garlic in a single layer and set over medium heat. Cook, tossing in the pan often, until garlic is barely golden and crisp (oil should stop bubbling at this point), about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic chips to paper towels to drain; season with salt.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and cook ginger in oil in the same skillet, stirring occasionally, until just softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add egg and stir to break up; cook until just set (this will take a matter of seconds). Add rice and sesame oil and toss to combine. Cook, undisturbed, pressing down on rice with a spatula so it makes good contact with the pan, until rice begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Give rice a toss, then press down on it again, cooking until you get more crispy bits, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and toss in scallions and half of garlic chips; season with salt.
  • Transfer fried rice to a platter and scatter cilantro, sesame seeds, and remaining garlic chips on top.
  • Do Ahead: Garlic chips can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Cayenne: May Boost Your Metabolism. The capsaicin in cayenne peppers has metabolism-boosting properties. Can Help Reduce Hunger May Lower Blood Pressure May Aid Digestive Health May Help Relieve Pain May Improve Psoriasis. May Reduce Cancer Risk.

Homemade Cayenne Pepper Sauce
Author: Rants from my Crazy Kitchen
Prep Time: 7 minutes  
Cook Time: 22 minutes  
Total Time: 29 minutes  
Yield: 2 servings

1/4 pound fresh cayenne peppers, stems removed
2-3 jalapenos, stems removed
2 hot cherry peppers (or pepper of your choice, keep in mind the heat level)
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and hard tips cut off
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white vinegar (or just enough to cover the peppers)


  • Place the peppers, garlic, and salt in a medium pot with a lid. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Carefully pour the contents into a blender, place the pot on the side, and puree until smooth (about 2 minutes). Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Pour back into the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat off and allow to cool before pouring into containers to refrigerate.
  • Keep refrigerated. Lasts for at least 6 months. Shake or stir well before using.

Dandelion: antioxidant, help with liver health, reducing cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, reducing inflammation, lower blood pressure, reducing cancer risk, boost immune system. 

Dandelion Greens With Garlic
Author: Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 37 mins
Servings: 4 servings

1 pound dandelion greens
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

1 small dried hot chile pepper, seeds removed and crushed

Black pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese, to taste


  • Discard the dandelion greens' roots. Rinse the leaves well under running water.
  • Fill a bowl with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Submerge the leaves in the salted water for 10 minutes. Rinse well.
  • Cut leaves into 2-inch pieces.
  • Bring a small amount to a boil in a saucepan, around 1 1/2 cups, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook the greens uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  • While the greens cook, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, onions, and chile pepper until the onion is translucent.
  • Drain greens thoroughly and add them into the onion-garlic mixture.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Plate the greens and add shaved or grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Turmeric: added with curcumin or black pepper,  improves heart health and prevents Alzheimer's and cancer. It's a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

Turmeric-Ginger Chicken Soup
Author: Claire Saffitz
Yield: 4 servings

1 3½–4-pound chicken
2 medium onions, unpeeled, quartered
2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
1 4-inch piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
3 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
Kosher salt
12 ounces carrots (about 4 medium), peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces on a diagonal
8 ounces dried udon noodles
Scallions, very thinly sliced
Chili oil (for serving)


  • Place chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, turmeric, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and several pinches of salt in a large pot. Pour in cold water to cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and gently simmer until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 155°, 30–35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool slightly; keep stock simmering. Remove skin from chicken; discard. Pull meat from bones and shred into bite-size pieces; set aside. Return bones and carcass to stock. Increase heat and bring stock to a boil; cook until reduced by about one-third, 15–20 minutes. Season with more salt if needed.
  • Strain stock into a large saucepan; discard solids. Add carrots, bring to a simmer, and cook until carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.
  • Divide noodles among bowls. Add shredded chicken meat to stock and cook just until heated through; season stock with more salt if needed. Ladle over noodles. Top soup with scallions and drizzle with chili oil.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.