Let’s face it, 2020 has been a challenging year. Joining together with friends and family has never been so complicated. But should that stop us from connecting? Absolutely Not!
And Shelley Wizen totally agrees. She is the author of What Do You Bring to the Table? A Savory, Sensory and Inspirational Guide to Living a Yummy Delicious Life. She also happens to be certified in various techniques; life coaching, end of life trainer, as well as co-founder of many non-profits and founder of Soul Diving Institute, just to name a few.
Turning her attention to food and cooking is a logical step on her path to helping people have a better life.
Her solution to the challenge of connecting is to take a creative approach with food, friends & family, and life. This includes being mindful of our thoughts, and nurturing others and ourselves with food and, of course love.
In her latest book Shelley’s dishes up her bouquet of ideas which will help you discover your inner power to positively affect others and live a delicious life, simply and effectively. Her food is bright and sprightly; her ideas the same, with a huge scoop of inspiration thrown in.
I was introduced to Shelley via an online cooking demonstration sponsored by Melissa’s Produce.
The first thing I noticed about Shelley was her vibrant spirit, and her passion, which jumps from the screen. Click here to watch her make Mike’s Mediterranean Chopped Salad and her Butternut Squash Ginger Carrot Instinct Soup.
A Deeper Look Inside the Book
What Do You Bring to the Table? is a book to nourish your soul, fuel your mind, and feed your body. Each chapter offers Bite-Size Reminders to ponder, Happy Mindful Meditations to shift your thoughts, and delicious recipes to create, and more.
The Happy Mindful Meditations
Take a look at these: If you are stressed out before making a meal, use one of Shelly’s meditations. These short breaks before you cook will help you to stay aware of your thoughts so you can shift your thinking, allow yourself to be fully present and then have a great experience while you are cooking. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Sitting with stillness by allowing yourself a moment to pause, breathe and relax
- Listening to music that soothes the soul and quiets the mind
- Looking at a photo that inspires wonderful memories
- Create a sanctuary by surrounding yourself with things you love
- Smile for no good reason and hold it for a couple minutes
Bite Size Re-Minders
- to transform my thoughts, by changing my perspective
- to let go of negative thoughts before I cook
- to nourish my relationships, starting with the one I have with myself
- my home is a reflection of my heart and I will only bring in objects I love
- to bring gratitude, love, joy and fun to whatever I do with an open heart
Throughout this book you will read about the importance of focusing on healthy thoughts to better navigate your human experiences with a sense of ease and grace. All I thought when I read it was: “Count me in.”
Today’s Recipe: Avocado Toast Tapenade
I jumped in with this yummy Avocado Toast Tapenade recipe. I appreciate the unique blend of flavors in this fun twist on tapenade. This is Shelley’s granddaughter’s favorite recipe. I hope it becomes yours too.
Shelley encourages people to use their instinct when cooking. “Instinct Cooking” is a term Shelley has coined to encourage everyone to use their own intuition in adding to the recipes, finding their own particular tastes and making them their own.
So I used a black rye for the base instead of whole wheat, spicy pickles in place of cucumbers and topped it all off with radish chips. Use what you have and make it your own.
If you are avoiding carbs, try putting the toppings on a radish chip for a unique appetizer.
TIP: You can make radish chips paper-thin with a mandolin. Put slices in a bowl and cover with ice and cold water. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Avocado Toast Tapenade
Avocado Toast Tapenade is a yummy, easy, pretty and nourishing recipe with a unique blend of flavors in this fun twist on tapenade.
- 3 ripe avocados pitted & scooped out of their shell
- 24 pitted black olives chopped and drained
- 2 tsps. fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 3 tsps. fresh lemon juice
- 4 Persian cucumbers peeled & finely chopped
- 10 cherry tomatoes chopped into small pieces
- 1 Pinch Everything but the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe's
- 1 Handful of greens of your choice finely chopped
- 4 pieces whole grain bread toasted
- 3 radishes thinly sliced
In a food processor, combine the avocado, olives, cilantro and lemon, and pulse until smooth. Spread the tapenade on the toast, top with the cucumber, chopped tomatoes, chopped greens, radishes and serve.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Shelly teaches when you bring unconditional love to the table of life and in your kitchen when you are cooking, love seeps into the food and you can feel it when you eat. Love is palpable. Sprinkle it, lavishly pour it, or use extravagant amounts of it in everything you cook.
“It’s your life. Enjoy the journey. And remember to bring love into everything you do.” – Shelley Whizin
…and then, she paused for thought.
You are one amazing woman and I am so glad you are on this planet at this time, bringing cheer and love and light to all that you meet/touch/talk to. What a gift! xoxo
Thank you Shelley for your kind words of love. You are the gift. Thank you for such an inspirational book for such a time as this.
Nanette La Salle
Wonderful! You’ve done it again. Love this quote! “It’s your life. Enjoy the journey. And remember to bring love into everything you do.” – Shelley Whizin PS. The only way to go.
Thanks Nan! It is an amazing quote to live by. Shelley has lots of great wisdom nuggets in this book.
YUM! This looks fabulous
Thank you Shannon, it really was delicious.
Such a lovely post, Cathy. You’ve honored Shelley so beautifully! And what a “yummy delicious” recipe this is! 🙂 ~Valentina
Thank you Valentina! Shelley is worthy of honoring and her recipe is scrumptious.
The dip looks absolutely mouthwatering and healthful as well!
Thanks Angie! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Cathy – what a great post, and what a lovely sounding person! A must have book for everyone. Thanks for sharing this with all of us!
Thanks Susan, you would love Shelley. I do hope you can meet her next time you are in LA.
Ann Booth Luly
This looks like when have consumed every tiny morsel you want another one..!
Thanks Ann, you could eat several of these for sure.
David Scott Allen
This looks wonderful, Cathy! And I just made a loaf of Artisanal bread… Tomorrow I can pick up the avocados and radishes.
Thanks David, there is nothing better than homemade bread, unless of course you have avocado on top of it.
The book really sounds wonderful, motivating and inspirational. I do have a problem with the title of the recipe. I’m really picky about such things, though, so you’ll have to forgive me… but shouldn’t it be avocado and olive tapenade on toast? Oh well, it doesn’t matter, it all looks good!
The book is a fabulous read and great reminder to live our best life.
I can only assume the author took creative license in naming her recipe. What ever the name is, I do know it is delicious. 🙂
How did I miss this? I’m loving everything here (minus the cilantro, of course, haha), and love radish so even though I can have toast, the radish option is so appealing to me, also! Sounds like the kind of cookbook we need for 2021! Full of positivity and healthy recipes! Fabulous!! Thanks, Cathy!
Cilantro LOL. It really is perfect timing for this cookbook as we all can use a little more love in our cooking and recipes.
Fresh Food in a Flash
Perfect for outdoor dining. I’ve been making an Avocado Toast from the Camp & Cabin Cookbook. Will have to try this one!