Noor’s Pumpkin Kale Dill Quinoa

After garnish

After garnish

I’ve talked about quinoa numerous times, and always recommend it to clients who are looking for tasty ways to incorporate whole grains into their diet. Quinoa is a wonderful high protein grain and it tastes great with almost anything.

This recipe is so easy to put together once the initial step of baking the pumpkin and cubing it is over. I made this after my little sister came home from a field trip at the apple orchid.  Pumpkin is very high in Vitamin A, and is a nutrient dense food. It carries anti-cancerous properties, potassium, and yes, Vitamin C too. Don’t hesitate; get pumpkin on your plate.

I usually like this dish with parsley, but I was making the pesto full zucchini noodles that day and had a bunch of fresh dill on hand. It gave it an interesting flavorful kick.

Ingredients:

2 cups organic quinoa*

1 tablespoon organic Virgin Coconut Oil

1 cup fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced

3 cups organic frozen kale (or spinach)

1 small fresh pumpkin (pre baked and cubed)

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Unrefined Real Salt

1 teaspoon ground rosemary

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

½ cup fresh dill, washed, dried, and chopped

1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lemon slices, fresh dill, fresh red peppers

 

Directions:

  1. Sautee the coconut oil, mushrooms, and kale in a deep pot for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add about 5 cups water and the quinoa. Add all the spices and stir with a spoon to mix everything in evenly.
  3. Cover and allow it to cook for about 18 minutes; until the quinoa is tender.
  4. Fold in the fresh dill and mix slightly.
  5. Pour into a serving platter.
  6. Garnish with lemon slices, extra virgin olive oil, and red peppers.
Make sure to cut the pumpkin in big cubes so they don't become mush.

Make sure to cut the pumpkin in big cubes so they don’t become mush.

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Vibrant Spinach Hummus

Noor's Vibrant Green Hummus.

Noor’s Vibrant Green Hummus.

Say that again? That’s right, spinach hummus. For those who already tried my kale hummus recipe, this is just slightly different in taste. 

In my group coaching class a few weeks ago, I made this as the food demo. Usually “green” looking food isn’t everyone-friendly, but every single client gave this recipe a thumbs up.

Since one person could not have garlic, I replaced that with raw white onions from my original recipe. The onion gives a boost of health benefits, and natural antibiotic properties.

The chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan Pink Salt, and spinach put together make a health boosting dip!

Ingredients:    

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best)

1/3 cup water

1 ½ cups raw organic spinach

1-2 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt 

½ teaspoon organic dried ground rosemary

½ teaspoon organic dried ground cumin

 1 teaspoon dried dill

1 medium onion (or 2-3 garlic cloves)

2 cans chickpeas (rinse, soak overnight, and wash again)

1/3 cup tahini paste (ground sesame paste)

          Extra Virgin Olive Oil & fresh chopped parsley (for garnish)

 

Directions:

  1. Wash and soak the chickpeas over night. Rinse again.
  2. Place onion, oil, lemon, spices, spinach, and water in the food processor. Pulse until liquefied.
  3. Add chickpeas and tahini sauce. Blend until very smooth.
  4. Place in a serving dish. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and freshly chopped cilantro.
Tri-Hummus Brunch. This is the version with garlic, not onions. Same great taste, same great benefit. :)

Made a tri-hummus brunch. This is my old version with garlic, not onions. Same great taste, same great benefit. 🙂

My version with spinach and kale mixed.

My version with spinach, mint leaves, and kale mixed.

Noor’s Lemon-Dill Pesto Drenched Noodles

Noor’s Lemon-Dill Pesto Drenched Noodles

Gluten-Free. Dairy-Free. Soy-Free. 

Garnished w/ raw pine nuts.

Garnished w/ raw pine nuts.

Pasta is a traditional food for many, but with modern allergies, it’s not friendly for everyone. I’ve come upon Jovial Foods long ago, and until now, it’s one of the top brands of pasta in my opinion. I recommend my clients choose this pasta over others not only because it’s organic, or allergy friendly, but because of the numerous benefits that come with Einkorn wheat.

Their Wheat Pastas are 100% Einkorn, which is the traditional wheat not hybridized like modern wheat. It contains lots of protein, dietary fiber, B Vitamins, minerals, and must say, is wonderful for those with gluten sensitivity.

They also have a line of gluten-free products, one of the few companies to make pasta gluten-free without adding unnecessary preservatives and fillers. 

You can purchase Jovial Pasta Products here or find a local health shop that carries it.

 

I absolutely love pesto, and I make my pesto dressing without the nuts and cheese for a twist. I add other greens and herbs for a tasty spike in taste and health. This pesto is full of super-foods, anti-inflammatory benefits, Vitamin K, A, C, and traces of beneficial minerals from the unrefined pink salt.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 box Jovial Organic Egg Noodles

1/3 cup raw pine nuts

Noor’s Super-Food Pesto:

1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt or Unrefined Real Salt

½ teaspoon organic cumin

½ teaspoon ground onion

½ teaspoon organic ground turmeric

¼ cup fresh dill

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup organic baby kale

½ cup organic fresh parsley

¼ cup organic fresh cilantro

Juice of 2 fresh lemons

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Noor's pesto in the making.

Noor’s pesto in the making.

 

Directions:

  1. Cook the noodles as directed on the package. Don’t overcook them for they will become mushy.
  2. Place the noodles in a serving platter and drizzle with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This helps them not stick together as they cool off; learned this from my mother.
  3. In a personal blender add all the pesto ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the pesto over the noodles. Toss to mix it lightly. Garnish with raw pine nuts.
  5. I enjoy serving this with wild-salmon. 🙂 
Served with wild- salmon and veggies.

I served it with wild- salmon and veggies.

 

 

Noor’s Pure Zucchini Noodles w/ Super-Food Pesto Sauce

After a long break away, I’m back. I was in an intense program getting certified as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.

A few people asked how I made the noodles on my website’s homepage (www.holisticnoortrition.com). It’s extremely delicious, and worth every bite. You don’t have to garnish it and fancy it up- just eat the noodles.

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

No, this is not squash spaghetti, although that is good too. These noodles are made of zucchini, yes, I know it’s a surprise to some. I used a Spiralizer tool, which is real cheap, easy to use, and has amazing results.  

The recipe happens to be gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free, chemicals and preservative free. I toss in a bunch of super foods into my ninja single, and get an amazing, creamy pesto sauce (without cheese).  

This pesto is full of super-foods, anti-inflammatory benefits, Vitamin K, A, C, and traces of beneficial minerals from the unrefined salt.

The only salt I use in my kitchen is Himalayan Pink Salt or unrefined real salt. Why? Well, not only are they pure forms of salt, but that pink hue is the indication of the minerals and iron content! So when I include salt in food, I’m not talking about sodium you’d find on the back of your chips package, or the white shiny salt you buy for less than a dollar, which happen to be stripped of all the nutrients and minerals. Did you know that unrefined salt, pink or grayish in color, contain over 60 traces of essential mineral? Well, now you know. While the Himalayan Pink Salt has over 80 trace minerals, and is the purest form of salt, the unrefined celtic salt (like RealSalt) is just as great and gives your meals the same taste, but with added benefits.  

Extra Virgin Olive Oil tops it off with good for your fats, anti-cancer benefits, and key polyphenols for optimum health. Just make sure your Extra Virgin Olive Oil is actually cold pressed, for this stage is very essential in preserving all the wonderful benefits.

You can even make the zucchini noodles without my pesto sauce. Try a tomato base sauce or simply drizzle it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lemon, and seasoning.

Ingredients:
Noodles:

8-10 small zucchinis

1/3 cup water

Spiralizer

Noor’s Super-Food Pesto:

1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt or Unrefined Real Salt

½ teaspoon organic cumin

½ teaspoon ground onion

½ teaspoon organic ground turmeric

¼ cup fresh dill

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup organic baby kale

½ cup organic fresh parsley

Juice of 2 fresh lemons

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Directions:

  • Wash and dry your zucchini. Cut off the ends. Use the Spiralizer to make your noodles, and follow the instructions.
All spiralized and ready

All spiralized and ready

  • Cook the zucchini noodles a stainless steel pot with 1/3 cup water on medium-low heat, covered so the steam can help them cook well.
  • In your ninja single blender, or any single blender, place all the pesto ingredients and pulse until smooth.
Pesto

Pesto

  • Place cooked noodles in a serving dish. Pour the pesto over it and toss lightly.
  • Garnish with lemon, fresh dill, and mint.
Pre-Pesto Pour down.

Pre-Pesto Pour down.

 

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

Mother’s Mouth-Watering Gluten-Free Oregano Buns (Stuffed)

I walked down to the kitchen yesterday and was a bit too late- my mom prepared a gluten-free loaf of oregano bread.  It was sitting in the plate for 30 minutes to rise, so I had time to get her exact recipe and write it down.

I walked down and found this loaf waiting to rise.

I walked down and found this loaf waiting to rise.

Oregano, known as za’tar, is a very healthy herb. It’s full of Vitamin K, iron, fiber, and even calcium. It’s usually eaten dipped with Olive Oil and bread, and this bun recipe put a twist on the traditional. Thanks mom.  :))

This week for my health advice column in the newspaper, someone asked whether 35 calorie toast was a good idea. I emphasized on the misconception of calories in this country, and how people are so desperately trying to eat “low-fat,” sugar-free,” and “low-calorie” foods- parallel to the obesity epidemic we see.

Food is meant to give us energy, and calories are energy. If we are trying to replace these calories with scientific lab made chemicals in order to make them low-calorie, fat-free, and sugar-free, while retaining their flavor, texture, and not to mention shelf-life, then we have a problem. Not only are these chemicals and preservatives unnatural, some are very hazardous to our health. Bread is meant to be made of a few ingredients, water, flour, yeast, salt, and sometimes milk. The addition of 30 preservatives and unpronounceable chemicals is unnecessary. Obviously, corporations are not looking to feed us well, not if it means a tighter wallet for them. Don’t be fooled by a bag of bread advertising itself to you.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread in the house. So these buns could be made with gluten-free all purpose flour, or organic unbleached flour. If you plan to use whole wheat flour instead, be wary that it may change the texture of the dough.

The seed toppings, chia, flax, sesame, and black seed all have numerous health benefits I can write a book about. I believe every kitchen should have those on hand- including yours. If you don’t already use these superfoods, I included links below. 

 

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 cup warm water

3 teaspoons dry active yeast

1 pinch organic coconut palm sugar 

4 cups organic unbleached flour or gluten-free all purpose flour

1 egg (organic/pasture-raised preferred) 

 1 egg yolk (organic/pasture-raised preferred) 

1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt (feel free to use any salt you’re used to)

1 cup whole Oregano leaves (za’tar) soaked and drained

 

Filling:

1 cup organic goat cheese

1 cup organic feta cheese

1/3 cup fresh or dried parsley

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Toppings:

2 organic/pasture-raised eggs, beaten

¼ cup Organic whole Sesame Seeds

1/8 cup organic whole black seeds (habit al barakah- Sunnah Food!)

1/8 cup Organic whole Flax Seeds

 1 tablespoon organic raw chia seeds

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare two flat cookie sheets.
  2. Place the warm water in a cup with yeast and sugar. Allow to sit for several minutes.
  3. Place all dough ingredients (including the water/yeast mixture) in your food processor and pulse until dough-like texture forms. It shouldn’t take too long.
  4. Place tough in a glass Pyrex and cover with wax paper for about 20-30 minutes, or until it rises well.
  5. Meanwhile, beat the eggs (toppings) in a separate bowl.
  6. In another bowl, mix all the seeds (toppings) and set aside.   

    Beat eggs in one bowl. Mix all the topping seeds in another.

    Beat eggs in one bowl. Mix all the topping seeds in another.

  7. In a large bowl, mix all the cheese filling ingredients well.  

    Organic Cheese Filling.

    Organic Cheese Filling.

  8. When the dough rises, take a small round in your palm and flatten just a bit. Fill with a scoop of the cheese filling and close with your fingers pressing together the edges well.  
  9. Dip the top of the bun with the egg topping, followed immediately by the seeds topping. Place on the baking dish. 

    Stuff with cheese filling, dip in egg, dip in seeds.

    Stuff with cheese filling, dip in egg, dip in seeds.

  10. Follow step 8 and 9 for all the buns until you run out of dough.
  11. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t mind if the cheese pops out from one side or the other- it’s what makes them look great. ;)     

    Close up after baked.

    Bake for  10-12 mins or until golden brown. Close up after baked.

  12. Serve warm with a cup of hot tea. 
    Seed Full Buns

    Seed Full Buns

    Serve with tea.

    Serve with tea.

A Super Delicious Super Food: Quinoa

For my health advice column in the newspaper this week, the question was referring to Quinoa as a gluten free food. Along with the request from a friend for my quinoa recipe, I thought I’d put up the recipe (I know I put this before but I altered it a bit, and added the advice). So I’ll share the advice response here too, followed by the recipe, which is dedicated to a special friend.  😉 

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free (don’t top with Organic Greek Yogurt/ Organic sour cream), and vegetarian, yet high in protein.

I have to say, although this is yummy, this is not my favorite recipe for quinoa. My favorite is cooked without tomato paste or corn, and topped with a bunch of avocados.  I’ll have that step by step recipe soon .:)

My response to the question in my weekly health advice column:

Today almost everyone is struggling with a food allergy or intolerance. While one person is lactose intolerant, another is allergic to nuts, and a third is struggling with celiac disease. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid could really help one cure their body.

Quinoa is growing in popularity, and when you take a deep look at its health benefits you’ll know exactly why. For those unfamiliar with this seed, quinoa is a grain like crop. Quinoa sure is gluten free, so those with celiac disease or wheat intolerance should feel comfortable enjoying this grain.

Quinoa contains many essential protein amino acids, and is high in many essential vitamins and minerals including manganese, iron, and calcium. For those with arthritis, do add quinoa in your diet for it helps lower inflammation in the body. Plus, while quinoa is high in protein and fiber, it’s very low in fat and is quite filling. So what’s not to like about this super-seed?

Quinoa is prepared very similar to rice. Usually one cup of the grain takes two cups of water for it to be tender.

I love using quinoa in desserts as well as main dishes. I even occasionally replace burghul (cracked wheat) in my homemade taboulli salad with quinoa. You can replace your usual bowl of oatmeal with cooked quinoa topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, raw walnuts, raisins, and Organic Raw honey.

As a main dish I cook Quinoa and allow it to cool. I add a variety of vegetables, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Flaxseed Oil, and of course top it with lots of fresh ripe avocadoes. Or as a variation I do a “Mexican quinoa” salad with black beans, tomato paste, and delicious spices. It’s easy to play around with this seed, and I assure you once you add it to your diet you wouldn’t be able to go on without it. 

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

 

Noory’s Gone Mexican Quinoa

Ingredients:

1 cup Organic Quinoa rinsed

2 cans black beans, rinsed and soaked

1 bag frozen Organic, non-GMO corn

1 bag Organic Chopped Spinach

1 can Organic tomato paste

1 can Organic diced tomatoes (spicy if desired!)

Himalayan Pink Salt or Real Salt, mustard, black pepper, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and cajun

Water for cooking (approximately 4-5 cups)

Organic Sour Cream or Organic Grass-Fed Greek Yogurt (optional)

Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet (with lid) place corn, spinach, and washed black beans with 2 cups water. Simmer on medium heat.
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, spices as desired, and rinsed Quinoa. Mix well. Add enough water (2 inches above) Cover and allow to cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally if necessary. Once Quinoa is tenderly cooked it will be transparent in color.
  3. Fluff with a fork and serve warm. My suggested serving, a dollop of certified Organic sour cream/Greek Yogurt and the fresh chopped cilantro!
  4. Enjoy!

P.S: This tastes delicious alone or as a dip with clean ingredient tortilla chips! (Pick Organic when possible ;))

Easiest Luscious Garlic

The benefits of garlic are vast, and the more I research and learn about them, the more I eat them! I now put fresh garlic in almost every dish I make, soups, salads, dressings, and main dishes. The best way to eat garlic is fresh of course, much better than ground or granulated. So this recipe is from my mom, and we enjoy altering it every now and then. The spices you can throw on these are unlimited! You want them spicy then throw on some red pepper, and if you prefer simplicity then salt and pepper do the job. I enjoy adding cayenne pepper, Layan doesn’t eat from it anyway. 😉

*A special fresh garlic salad and dressing coming soon! 😉

Ingredients:

8-10 fresh garlic heads

Extra virgin olive oil (amount as desired, usually a teaspoon per garlic head is sufficient)

Himalayan Pink Salt/Celtic Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Rosemary ground (I grind this fresh)

Red Pepper, ground mustard seed, crushed pepper* optional

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the top of the garlic straight with a knife allowing the cloves to peek through. Top with extra virgin olive oil followed by the seasonings (Putting the spices first will cause them to not stick).

Place a wax paper on top of a piece of foil and wrap well, making sure the wax paper won’t stick out. Close it tightly at the top. Do each garlic individually wrapped using the same method. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Props to my bro again for letting me use his amazing DSLR mashaAllah :-)

Props to my bro again for letting me use his amazing DSLR mashaAllah 🙂

Examine the wax topped with foil, wrapped tightly at the top.

Examine the wax topped with foil, wrapped tightly at the top.

:)

🙂

Quick & Easy Steamed Beets

I was not planning to put the beets recipe up now but since I was asked to I will. Beets are a very healthy vegetable which unfortunately many people don’t eat. You may have tried them canned or fresh, either way they are packed with over a dozen nutrients (the canning process does kill a good amount of phytonutrients though).  The red betalain pigment scares many away, but hey, that’s where all the benefit is! So this recipe is fairly easy, the hardest part is peeling the beets without looking like you just walked out of an art classroom. Other than that, it’s a quick and trouble-free method.

Ingredients:
5-6 medium fresh beets

3 fresh lemons squeezed

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt (this is real salt you should use, full of numerous nutrients!)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Fresh mint leaves

Iceberg lettuce (for décor, and eating 😉 )

Directions:

STEP 1

Wash and peel the beets and dice them into cubes. Place them in your steamer and if you don’t have one then in a small pot filled with VERY little water (that  you shouldn’t toss out afterwards, since a good majority your vitamins will be in the water). Cover and allow steaming for about 15 minutes.

STEP 2

Mix the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and seasonings together in a small mixing bowl.

STEP 3

Lay out the lettuce on the serving platter. Top with the beets, and then drizzle the dressing. Garnish with fresh lemon and mint leaves.

Awesome top view. I absolutely love fresh mint leaves.

Awesome top view. I absolutely love fresh mint leaves.

Noor's quinoa, beets, and lemon-full barley.

Noor’s quinoa, beets, and lemon-full barley.

Learning to Improvise, When Green Vegetables Saved My Day

I woke up yesterday intending to make chick pea vegetable patties and grill them up in coconut oil with a side of hummus (chick pea, tahini and lemon juice dip). Things didn’t go as planned.

I planned to begin with the hummus dip (since the patties consist of hummus I won’t have to wash the food processor: D) so I dumped all the ingredients and, BAM, it doesn’t work! I tried to make sure it wasn’t the interlock safety mode but it wasn’t so…

I took out the blender. I made the hummus dip as usual and scooped it into the serving platter. I started at an extra cup and a half of chick peas and green vegetables and then, a light bulb lit. I tossed in the chick peas, greens, some spices, a drop of tahini to thicken it, and pulsed away! The results: amazing!

So I present  what I’d like to call “Green Hummus to the Max” since the maximum amount of  Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and a bunch of other nutrients are sky rocketing high (thanks to the kale and mustard greens) and no one can tell.

*Props to my brother for the awesome photography skills using his DSLR camera, thanks Sully! 😉

For the regular Old-School Hummus:

Ingredients:

1 can chick peas washed real well and drained (or pre-soaked dried chick peas)

About 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup organic tahini paste (ground sesame seed paste)

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt (Layan likes this salt b/c her name happens to be in it :P)

Pinch of ground cumin

½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder (if using my food processor I use fresh cloves)

*cold water if it’s too thick

*Cold-Pressed Extra virgin olive oil for garnish, fresh mint or spring mix veggies

Directions:

Toss all ingredients in the blender (use a food processor if you have one!) and pulse until smooth to the desired thickness you prefer. Place on serving platter and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh mint or spring mix leaves. Serve with pita bread or vegetables as a dip.

 

Hummus

Hummus

Now for the star of the show, the Green Hummus to the Max recipe:

Ingredients:

1 can chick peas washed real well and drained (or pre-soaked dried chick peas)

2 cups organic kale, mustard greens, or even spinach!

About 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons organic tahini paste (ground sesame seed paste)

Pinch of Himalayan Pink salt

Pinch of ground organic cumin

½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder (if using my food processor I use fresh cloves)

*cold water if it’s too thick

*Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil for garnish, fresh mint or spring mix veggies

 

Directions:

Toss all ingredients in the blender (use a food processor if you have one!) and pulse until smooth to the desired thickness you prefer. Place on serving platter and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh mint or spring mix leaves. Serve with pita bread or vegetables as a dip.

The Green stuff...the taste was family approved!

The Green stuff…the taste was family approved!

Tri-Hummus Brunch.

Tri-Hummus Brunch.

Brunch.

Brunch.

***I served fresh vegetables as well as these oregano baked breads as dippers:

Dippp Away

Dippp Away

Oregano, EVOO, and Organic Cheese

Oregano, EVOO, and Organic Cheese

Round  whole wheat buns, oregano and extra virgin olive oil as well.

Round whole wheat buns, oregano and extra virgin olive oil as well.

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