Friday , August 7 2020

Hearth & Home – The Nicest Valentine

By Janae Jean –

Cooking With Himalayan Sea Salt and Lemon Zest

Cooking together is a fun and affordable way to build intimacy. When we cook together, we explore each other’s tastes, we reveal quirks in our personality, and we spend quality time mindfully being together. Julia Child said, “I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.”

For Valentine’s Day, I innovated two simple, but flavorful recipes that anyone can cook with someone they love. These recipes are both plant-based and gluten-free. Though not much is in season in winter, we can still include a variety of fruits and vegetables in our meals.

Maintaining good nutrition year-round includes being mindful of the tiniest ingredients in our recipes. Himalayan sea salt and lemon zest may seem to make minuscule contributions to these recipes, but small ingredients make big nutritional impact. Himalayan sea salt contains 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and copper. Lemon zest contains five to ten times more vitamins than its juice. Both of these ingredients balance the body’s pH, a healthy acid-to-alkaline ratio is important for your body’s overall health.

Pasta Primavera
8 ounces brown rice spaghetti, prepared
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Light green and white parts of one or two green onions, finely chopped
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
1¼ cup frozen broccoli florets
1 cup mini sweet peppers, thinly sliced
1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
10 mini heirloom tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup Greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt)
½ cup Parmesan (or ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted)
Freshly ground pink Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste
½ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 red pear tomato, sliced for garnish

Prepare pasta as directed on package.

Chop all vegetables and toss them in two tablespoons of olive oil. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in fry pan on medium high and toss in garlic and onion. Then add frozen broccoli, zucchini, mini sweet peppers, and baby portabella mushrooms. Once all vegetables are soft, turn heat to low and toss vegetables with yogurt, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in cheese (or toasted slivered almonds) and pasta. Sprinkle with basil. Place in serving bowl. Garnish with tomato wedges.


Arugula Salad with Lemon Zest Dressing
1 cup baby arugula
1 cup baby spinach
6 mini heirloom tomatoes, quartered into small wedges
1 small cucumber thinly sliced
1 mini sweet pepper, sliced for garnish
4 garlic marinated artichoke hearts for garnish

Lemon Zest Dressing
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Finely chopped green onion (dark green part only)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 or 3 finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pink Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste

Toss arugula, spinach, quartered tomatoes and cucumber. In a separate bowl mix together dressing ingredients in order. Toss dressing with vegetables. Garnish with mini pepper slices and marinated artichoke hearts.


As always, I invite and encourage you to share your variations, pictures and tips with all of us through our Facebook group “Conscious Community™” or our Facebook page. Tweet us @Tweetccmagazine or tag us on Instagram @ConsciousCommunityMagazine. From my HEARTh & HOME to yours, keep making kitchen magic!


Food Facts:


Janae Jean serves as editor, social media manager and podcast co-host for Conscious Community Magazine. She enjoys improvising in the kitchen and creating recipes with her loved ones and is very grateful for their input and assistance. To learn more about health, music, art and more and


Photos: Janae J. Almen






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  1. That’s a nice pasta recipe. I am excited to try this. Thanks for sharing!

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