Author Archives: jen meister

Upon Request


I could not help myself, one last Thanksgiving recipe upon request……

I was chatting with a friend on Friday night who asked me for a recipe using an ingredient that we typically do not use.

She suggested a dish made with Rutabagas….

So, I went on my search, tested the dish on my lucky family (guinea pigs)….


My husband and I loved all three veggies, my daughter and son absolutely loved the parsnips.  The parsnips tasted like french fries.

My suggestion, if you have little ones, load up on the parsnips.

Just a little background on these three root vegetables, which will be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving table…..

Rutabaga:  similar to a turnip but larger.  Color is of flesh and golden.  Flavor is sweet and a bit tangy (middle)

Turnips:  white flesh, purple at base, earthy spicy flavor…great roasted or mashed (right)

Parsnips:  long thin, white root veggie. looks like a carrot except for its larger at base.  Flavor is sweet, with a tinge of spiciness.  Roasting intensifies the sweetness (left)

Roasted Parsnips, Turnips, and Rutabagas with Honey Glaze


2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

2 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne pepper

12 ounces parsnips, peeled, thin ends halved lengthwise, thick ends quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces

12 ounces turnips, peeled, cut into 1 inch wedges

12 ounces rutabaga, trimmed, peeled, cut into 3/4 to 1 inch wedges

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse kosher salt


Stir 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, honey, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, cumin, cinnamon, and pinch of cayenne pepper in a small bowl to blend

Season to taste with salt

Let glaze stand at least 45 minutes to allow flavors to blend

Preheat oven to 400

Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread parsnips, turnips, and rutabagas evenly on baking sheet

Drizzle remaining 1  1/2 tablespoons melted butter and olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat well

Roast veggies until soft and browned in spots, toss occasionally, about 50 minutes

Take pan out of the oven; pour glaze over veggies; toss to coat evenly.  Roast until glaze is absorbed and veggies are browned, about 15 minutes longer

The picture does not do the taste any justice…….it is YUMMY!

Many clients have asked me my suggestions on eating mindfully on Thanksgiving….


Remember….leave any emotional baggage at the front door, that is your drop off station..

Walk into your dinner feeling lots of GRATITUDE, INNER LIGHT AND LOVE….

Much peace and gratitude,

xo jen


The Practice Of Gratitude


Happy Thanksgiving to you all….

I am grateful for all the wonderful responses I get in return from all my posts….. Thank You!!!!

I have to say that I have realized since blogging, that I love to write.  I find that I am most inclined to write after I have created something delicious in my kitchen.

I just finished baking a Simple Buttermilk Cake.  My husband actually thought it came from a bakery!

It is not too sweet and is made with a fraction of the butter and sugar you’ll find in most cakes.


2  1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

2 large eggs

1  1/2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled a little

Grated zest of 3 lemons

12 pitted and quartered Medjool dates

1 cup lightly toasted walnuts

1 tablespoon of  large grain raw sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Spray tart pan:  you may also use a 9 by 13 inch rectangular baking dish

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, fine grain sugar, salt and dates in a large bowl

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk

Whisk in melted butter and lemon zest

Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined

Spoon the batter in the prepared pan, pushing it out towards the edges.

Scatter the toasted walnuts on top, and sprinkle with the large-grain sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  To check if the cake is finished insert a toothpick to the center, it should come out clean

Cakes keep baking even after they come out of the oven, if you over bake this cake your end result will be a scone…


Each year before Thanksgiving I do a lot of  thinking about Gratitude.   Although I am so grateful for a delicious meal, Thanksgiving brings me so much more than food.  The smell of a delicious meal cooking, spending downtime with family, sitting around a table with friends and family is what I am most grateful for.  A few years ago we started a tradition of taking turns around the table (even the little ones)  stating what we are thankful for.

Its amazing to watch the smiles as each person gets a moment in the “Gratitude Spotlight.”

This practice of speaking your gratitude actually sets the tone for a beautiful, warm, and yummy evening.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to drop all your emotional baggage and leave it outside the front door.  

Give thanks for Just Being!!!!!

I would love to hear what your families practice of gratitude is….and if you don’t have one… worries…..

Mark this year as the first….

Wishing you much gratitude, love and laughter,

xo jen

Jen Meister

Certified Holistic Health Counselor



I hope this blog post finds everyone warm and toasty after the last week without power.

When the power first went out on Saturday night, my only thought was SHIT!!!!  This is a total inconvenience…..

The inconvenience lead to lessons learned.


As each day passed I fell into a routine of NOT HAVING……Day 3 I realized that not having turned into HAVING……

More time to think, read, converse, reach out to others in need, quality time with family and most important, to reflect on what really is important each and everyday…..

Not having electricity, actually gave me the POWER TO RESET.  Reset what really is important for my family and I.

Don’t let this experience pass without giving yourself the POWER TO RESET.  

Could it be a routine you have gotten stuck in that you know may not be working for you , or maybe a discipline you have let go of…..

Think about it.…..

This was a week full of grounding down, planting our feet into the earth, holding upright, literally getting through the storm.

I noticed the support not only by friends and family but by local businesses offering their electrical outlets, bathrooms, showers etc….

Its’s all about Giving Back….being a COMMUNITY!!!!!

I must shout out to the Olcotts for being the BEST SOUP KITCHEN for those in need!!!  xooxo

Lets make it a practice to continue being authentic to ourselves and others….

We never know what “Life has to offer”, what we do know is “WHAT WE CAN OFFER LIFE.”

With that being said, we are entering a new cycle of the year, Winter.  Since we turned our clocks back , notice how it instantly got darker earlier as we begin to wake to light.

My husband calls me a BEAR as winter approaches…..I begin to hibernate.  I sleep and eat with the seasons.

As we eat with the seasons we begin offering our bodies to be one with the natural cycle of life.

This brings me to the start of my recipe journey that I want to share with you.  Experience grounding winter foods that will surely warm and nourish your total being…..

Roasted Brussel Sprout, Sweet Potato, Leek and Garlic


1 bunch Brussel Sprouts or 1lb

4 Orange or Yellow Sweet Potatoes cut into large cubes

3 leeks (light green and white part) cut into 2 inch pieces

1 bulb of garlic cut in half (leave on paper)

2 tablespoon Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425 degrees on Roast

Place all veggies into a large pyrex dish

Pour olive oil onto veggies

Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper

Mix with your hands until the oil coats the veggies

Roast for 40 to 45 minutes

*I love that all you have to do is add your favorite Protein and voila…instant lunch or dinner…..

I look forward to sharing more warming recipes with you….stay tuned….


Jen Meister, MA

Certified Holistic Health Counselor

ps:  If you would like to dig further into your Health and Well Being, contact me at

Not so perfect typo


Hey there:

Okay, so after I sent out the latest NOT SO PERFECT BUT DELICIOUS CHALLAH BREAD, my closest friend, not closet friend pointed out this very error….Can you find it?????

Thats what life is all about, not being PERFECT!!!!  

Enjoy your flaws, and have a great evening…





As promised my version of the NOT SO PERFECT DELICIOUS CHALLAH BREAD

I baked this bread in honor of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Challah bread plays an important role in celebrating this holiday.  Believe me, you do not have to be Jewish to enjoy this bread.  Actually, on most Jewish holidays, my daughter has some of her closet friends who do not celebrate the holidays join our table.  It is a great joy to open our traditions to friends and family .  It is also an understatement to say tthat Challah dipped in honey which symbolizes a “Sweet Year” is devoured before our meal even begins.  You will see that the bread is glazed with egg and honey!!!!

This is the first year that I attempted to make Challah bread.  As you will see it is not so perfect, but delicious.   I did use my stand up mixer which made it a whole lot easier.  Don’t fret if you do not have a stand up mixer, it just means you will be getting an awesome arm and upper back workout  kneading the dough.  You are home free once the dough is kneaded, as most of the time is inactive, as the dough is rising.  It is our tradition to first braid the challah, then connect the edges forming a circle, thus representing “The Circle of Life.”

Now, get your apron on, and start baking!  I assure you this will become a family favorite.  Rest assured, you will be making French Toast with this Challah!

The smell of love with be permeating throughout your home….

Ingredients: For the challah dough:

2 tablespoons of active, dry yeast

2 tablespoons honey

2 cups of warm water ( test the water, it should be a comfortable warm temp)

1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk

1/3 cup olive or grapeseed oil

7 cups of all purpose flour

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

For the glaze: 2 egg yolks 2 teaspoons honey


1.  In the bowl of the electric stand mixer, dissolve yeast and honey in 2 cups of warm water.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes

2.  Add the egg, the egg yolk and oil, mix well

3.  Add the salt and flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition with the dough hook.  When the dough starts to come together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands.  Knead until smooth and until no longer sticky.  You want the dough to be moist

4.  Rinse out bowl and grease with additional oil.  Put the dough in the bowl, and cover with a clean, damp cloth.  Set in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes, or until dough has doubled in bulk

5.  Punch down the dough and turn onto floured board.  Divide into three balls, knead each one briefly, then roll each into long strands.  Pinch the ends of the three strands together firmly, then braid.  Form into a round braided loaf by bringing the ends together, curving braid into a circle, and pinch together

6.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the challah to the sheet.  Beat the egg yolks and honey together in a small bowl and brush the challah with it, then place the dough in a cool oven and allow it to rise for 45 minutes

7.  Take the dough out of oven and brush it with more of the egg yolk and honey glaze.

8.  Place challah back in the oven and turn the temp to 350 degrees F.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the bread has a nice hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.  Cool on a rack before slicing.

You will be creating a fresh bread with absolutely no preservatives…….No pressure!!  Just pure fun!!!!

xoxoxo jen

Feeling the Love


I just can believe it has been 4 years since I have had a love affair with Cooking and my Kitchen….

I will never forget the day when I actually stopped in the food market, read a label on a 100 calorie snack pack, and realized that I was feeding myself and my family poison.

Why is it that we can not even pronounce some of the ingredients that we are actually ingesting?

Did you know that margarine can sit out in your garage for years and not mold?

Margarine along with many other foods are made with processed chemicals such as hydrogenated oils which is one of the leading causes of  disease.

Food that is grown fresh affects us differently than food thats been sitting out for days or even weeks.

Think about a fresh loaf of bread compared to commercial processed loaf of  bread.

Which molds quicker?

The fresh loaf, as it is prepared with fresh ingredients.  Processed foods allows food for longer shelf life.

My motto is,


With that said, I made a commitment to feeding myself and family SIMPLE CLEAN AND WHOLE FOODS.

Yes, it may take a bit longer to prepare, but the taste and the love  you will be feeding your body is far greater than the price your health will pay in the long run.

Why am I feeling the love?

I believe that food prepared at home by a loving person has a different nutritional effect than the exact same food prepared in a restaurant.

When we feed our family, there’s love in the food and care in its preparation, which creates a higher quality of LOVE and ENERGY.

Believe me when I tell you that Fresh Foods paired with Cooking intimidated me!

These are a few steps to get yourself started…..

1.  Give yourself permission to create Simple dishes without having the expectation of them coming out perfect.

2.  Don’t take yourself so seriously!!!!

3.  HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

Use your kitchen as a place to empower, gain confidence and re invent yourself!!!!!!

The gift that you will give yourself and your loved ones when they walk into their home, and smell your home cooking will be PRICELESS!

Next blog:  Stay tuned for my not so perfect KOOKY Homemade Challah Bread Recipe…..

If you would like to learn more about incorporating a SIMPLE CLEAN AND WHOLE LIFESTLYE for you and your family

Contact me at


Jen Meister, MA

Certified Holistic Health Counselor

A Different Kind of Nourishment


Last week I attended a Steely Dan concert with my husband and my two teenagers.

Yes, really, Steely Dan!!!!!

My kids have no other choice but to love them as much as my husband and I, as they are subject to either Steely Dan or the Grateful Dead in our house.

This was a situation where we purchased the tickets months ago.  It was also one of those nights that I just wanted to stay home.

Little did I know, that I was going to receive  such a profound message from Walter Becker, one of the lead singers and guitarist.

He asked the audience, “What do you do to Nourish Your Soul?”

This was an Oprah “AH HA” moment!!!!!

As I watched Walter play his guitar, sing, laugh, smile, touch other people’s souls with his creativity, I GOT IT!!!!

This is what he does to Nourish his Soul!

His incredible energy reflected like a mirror image to his audience which in turn had the audience up on their feet, singing, dancing, swaying, holding hands, laughing etc…

This is the kind of nourishment that does not come on a plate.  You can’t eat it.

This is the kind of food that creates a Healthy, Happy, Balanced, Disease free lifestyle.

So, I ask you……What Nourishes Your Soul?

Think back to when you were a child swinging on a swing…the feeling you got in your belly when you went really high, the smile, the glee, the laughter, the pure enjoyment you were experiencing.  We all need to tap back into that playful, creative energy.

As our schedules become busier and busier, it seems there is less time to focus on what makes us internally happy.  It is easier to look outside of yourrself than have the courage to dig deep .   Remember, it does not matter how much KALE you eat to be healthy……it is the balance of  your foods you chose to eat and the foods you choose to fill your Soul.

Without  balance we become Malnourished….

Try this empowering “Soul Nourishing Recipe”

1. Be “KOOKY”, I tell my kids fit out, not in…..

2.  Dance around in private like you are a contestant on Dancing with the Stars

3.  Smile at yourself when looking in the mirror  (hey, you do have to be with yourself 24/7)

4.  Sing as loud as you can to your favorite music.  Make believe you are the rock star that you really are

5.  Always compliment someone in need

6.  Buy yourself a journal, writing is the best Soul Filler

7.  Give yourself permission to do nothing…no one has to know if you sneak a nap in during the day!

8.  Let your “Freak Flag Fly”……I do, and it is empowering and invigorating…..

Practice these Soul Nourishing steps.  I promise you will experience a shift in your moods, immune system, stress levels and overall sense of Health and Well being.

Lighten up, Feel Free, Enjoy the Ride!!!!!!

xo jen

If you would like to learn more about my Holistic Nutritional Counseling practice,  please contact me at

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Stay tuned for more to come……...