Tag Archives: Recipe

Back to My Roots

So I am doing a cleanse this week with a really good friend of mine. I have gained weight, and am still trying to get my groove back. As part of my cleanse I wanted to make some raw kale crackers and was looking for inspiration through an older blog post from about 5 years ago. Wow, I was really enjoying life and living in a way that I felt was right for me. I need to get back to that, back to my roots! (Don’t you love it when the title is mentioned in the movie, TV show, blog post!)

This week I’ll begin the journey to what this blog was always intended to be about: health; wellness; gardening; veganism with an emphasis on whole foods plant based. I let myself get lost in the shuffle of relationship bumps that I am very happy to say have smoothed out. I have let school and work cloud my vision. I also had an interesting experience that made me realize what a wonderful life I have with amazing people and that I am truly lucky because I know that people who try to cause pain are usually in pain themselves. For me right now, life is good…

Oh and here’s an updated recipe for those kale crackers:

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Kale Crackers
1 cup ground flax seed + 3/4 cup whole seeds
2 cups water
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups kale
1 apple
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 small pepper
1 red onion (optional if you don’t want it too strong)
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt

Directions

Soak the whole flax seeds and pumpkin seeds in 1 1/3 cup water for at least 3 hours

Day of: In large bowl mix ground flax, flax, salt, garlic, onion, remaining water, and ingredients, mix well. Let stand for 30 minutes

Spread thickly on 1 teflex tray (or on parchment paper if you don’t have teflex trays) smooth out into an even square about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Dry at 104 degrees for 4 hours or 3hr at 115 degrees

Flip & score crackers into desired sizes

Dehydrate another hour, before serving. Serve warm.

The longer you dehydrate the crispier the cracker.

How I Survived the Summer BBQ Season

Summer’s almost over and another BBQ season has gone by. We had our own last week which was a great success. We had lots of people, lots of great food and lots of good talk.

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Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been pretty lucky this summer in terms of events and having food to enjoy. Most, if not all, of the hosts  had some sort of vegetarian/vegan option to eat. It’s also important to be a gracious guest and bring something, and for anyone with any kind of specific dietary requests it’s a bit of a no-brainer to bring a dish you like to eat. It’s also a great way to turn people on to new ways to see how yummy plant-based foods can be.

While I don’t have a photo of what I made for this summer’s BBQ I will share the recipe:

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Image Courtesy of Adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wheatberry Salad

3 Cups Sprouted Wheatberries
4 Cloves Garlic, Pressed
1 Tsp Salt
1 Red Onion, Chopped
1/2 Cup Walnuts, Chopped
3-4 Stalks Celery, Small Dice
2 Large Carrots, Shredded
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Chopped
3 Ripe Tomatoes, Chopped

Vinaigrette

1 1/2 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Oregano
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste

Soak wheatberries overnight. Rinse the wheatberries and cover in about 2 inches of water, add the garlic and the salt. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 30 min. (If you cook without soaking it will take longer so keep an eye on them.) Drain the water with a sieve to keep the garlic in, let the wheatberries cool and combine with the veggies.

In a blender or large jar (if you are using an immersion blender)  combine vinaigrette ingredients and blend until well homogenized. Pour over salad and let marinade overnight.

You can play around with spices for the dressing, add chickpeas or navy beans and include a diced apple for even more crunch.

What was your favorite recipe for summer BBQs?

A simple breakfast too yummy not to share

Here’s a yummy breakfast too quick, easy and yummy not to share.

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Ingredients

2 Kiwis
1/2 Cup Strawberries
1/2 Cup Blueberries
2 Tbsp Walnuts
2 Tbsp Dried Coconut Chips or Flakes

Chop the kiwis, strawberries and the walnuts and combine in a bowl, add coconut. Mix well and enjoy!

Variations: You can use any nuts or seeds and fruit, including frozen fruit.

How will you celebrate Earth Day this year?

On April 22nd we will be celebrating Earth Day. This is the day when everyone goes out and cleans up a park or plants a tree and thus proclaims they love the earth… yeah whatevs!

"Eco Concept - Earth In Hands " by jannoon028 | via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Eco Concept – Earth In Hands ” by jannoon028 | via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What about the other 364 days of the year? If you really love the earth then do a little more, lord knows it needs it. Some of the easy things to do include recycling, not idling your car, walking, biking. The not so easy things include reducing your consumption to reduce waste, reusing items before getting rid of them, not replacing items that aren’t broken… you get the idea.

So now that we’ve healed the earth, how are you doing? Spring is the time for renewal, shedding layers (YES IT WILL GET WARM AGAIN) and a time for new growth. It’s also a good time to review what you have been doing with yourself for the last four months and re-evaluating. Do you need to fix your eating habits? Do you need to add more activity into your life? Do you have enough love and friendship in your life – all those little things that add up to make you that wonderful you that you are.

So while you’re helping to clean up litter on Earth Day don’t forget that there are 364 other opportunities to clean up the earth and yourself.

PS if you haven’t seen it I have launched a YouTube easy cooking series. Tell me what you think and what you want to see more of! April’s episode should be coming soon.

It’s National Nutrition Month!

It’s National Nutrition Month! Now what?

"Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

“Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

I bet a lot of you had no idea that there is a  National Nutrition Month and that it’s in March. I know I didn’t until I started  my dietetics program. Isn’t that a shame. We get an entire month to celebrate beautiful dishes and healthy eating and hardly anyone knows about it.

How am I celebrating NNM? Well I like to think that I celebrate nutrition and healthy living all year round so I will keep doing what I am doing plus a few other things including trying new foods and new recipes. I have a NNM challenge for all of you. Try four new recipes and four new foods. So far I have made vegan tofu cream cheese and vegan chocolate chip cookies, I have also made mung beans which, believe it or not, I have never prepared.

mung beans

You may be wondering what to try, I think a trip to an ethnic grocery store could be a lot of fun. We have tons of Asian grocery stores and there’s always something interesting to try. I’ve been hooked on cassava, also known as yuca. I’m used to seeing it frozen in the bag but lately I have been buying the root and preparing it in the steamer. Something as simple as that will count for the challenge.

I saw and tasted a ton of great products at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, I don’t have any photos because I was too busy eating everything! Yay me! I have two more recipes to try and thanks to vegfest two new foods to taste.  Yikes and we only have a few weeks left, I have to think of what else I want to make and try, so do you! I would love to hear what you tried and made for my  NNM challenge. Please feel free to share in the comments section. And yes, the recipe and the new food can be part of the same dish.

PS I’ve launched my cooking show on YouTube here’s the latest episode!

A Nice Fall Recipe

With fall here in full force, maybe a little too full force, I realize I haven’t given you guys a recipe in a while and thought that a nice recipe would make the season a little brighter.

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Autumn Japanese Maple by porbital

I love squashes, now I have to admit that I have not had the opportunity to try a lot of the vast variety out there, the old standbys have worked well for me.

So using an old standby, I wanted to make something easy with only a few ingredients, and came up with this amazing dish.

White Bean and Escarole with Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Garlic

Ingredients
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 Bulb of Garlic
1 Head of Escarole
4 Cups Cannellini Beans
Olive Oil as Needed
Salt To Taste
Fresh Ground Pepper To Taste

Preheat oven to 425. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds with a spoon. Cut the edge off the garlic bulb – the one that doesn’t have root. Drizzle oil all over the squash and the garlic (keep bulb intact with peel). Bake for 30 minutes or until soft.

In a large saucepan sauté escarole, use the whole head since it will cook down a lot. Squeeze the garlic out of peels and add to the escarole. Add beans and more oil, white wine or homemade vegetable broth to sauce it up. In a separate dish take the squash and run a fork through it to get the spaghetti like strands.

Serve the beans over the squash and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

Have you seen any UFOs lately?

I don’t know about you but I have seen a lot of UFOs out there. Unidentified Food Objects. OK so I can’t take credit for that one, I saw Mark Bittman speak back in September and he gave a great talk on food and what our food system has become.

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Here we have cheese doodles, a food-like object, and carrot sticks. I think it’s a pretty impressive image. I mean really what ARE cheese doodles?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of foods like this. Sometimes we don’t event think twice about them because they are so ubiquitous in our food system, soda comes to mind. And for the record, yes I have had cheese doodles in my lifetime. Can’t say when the last time I had them was, probably once my palate matured since in my opinion they don’t really taste like food.

Kidding aside, you all know how much I push for you to eat real food*. Eating real food can heal the system or at least begin the process. As a culture our industrial food is so full of sugar, salt and fat that many people have no idea what real food tastes like. I was one of them, I used to eat a lot of processed food, it was easy and fast. Now I cringe when I think of the things I ate, and sometimes when I revisit them I am shocked by how sweet, salty and artificial tasting they are. It takes about a month for your taste buds to change when you reduce your intake of salt and sugar, that’s pretty amazing if you ask me and a testament to what the human body is capable of.

So the next time you are tempted by whatever it is in the crap aisle remember that your body and you deserve better.

And to prove that eating real food doesn’t have to be boring…

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Apples ‘n PB
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp Flax seeds, ground
1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
Nut Milk or Water as needed

Core and wedge the apple into about 8 pieces. In a small bowl combine the peanut butter with the seeds and nibs, add liquid (as much as needed) and whip it with a fork to get a desired consistency. I like it a bit creamy.

Dip the apples in the mixture and enjoy!

Variations: You can use any nut or seed butters that you like. I also add maca powder to the mix. You can also spread on toasted Ezekiel bread and top with a banana.

*real food: foods closest to their natural state such as grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit. If it is processed foods then choose those with minimal ingredients, <5.

Happy New Year!

Wow! Has it really been almost 2 months since my last post? Time flies when you are having fun and sometime even when you are not.

It’s tempting to post that this is the perfect time to renew goals and resolutions but come on, you’re probably getting that up the whazoo right now and you don’t need me telling you that you need to eat less sugar*, exercise more and breathe a little deeper. You know that already!

So what have I been up to for the last couple of weeks? I finished my first semester of school with straight As, YES!!!! It was tough and totally worth it. In a couple of weeks I start my first field rotation and I can’t wait. We’ll find out next Thursday where we will end up.

In order to have access to fresh greens I have  started an indoor garden. This has been something I have wanted to do for a while and we were fortunate enough to have been gifted this light shelf. I don’t usually do well with indoor plants but having them so close by helps me keep tabs on them. I do need to pick up more herb seeds.

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Here are some collards

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Some arugula

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And some basil

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Some peppers

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Some ends that I stuck in a pot and are doing well

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Like celery

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I also have tomatoes that I don’t remember planting…

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Yep, must have been pulling an all-nighter during that one. I also baked my first bread – here’s a photo of what was left of it.

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I have some dough rising right now as we speak. I really wish I hadn’t found making it so easy! Here’s the recipe:

French Bread
2 Tbs Active Dry Yeast
14oz Water, 110 degrees
1/2 Tsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Molasses
1 1/2 cup Bread Flour
1 1/2 cup Wheat Flour (or another flour you like)
2 tsp Salt
Corn Meal for dusting
All Purpose flour as needed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl mix together yeast, water, sugar and molasses in that order, let sit for 15 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix with a spatula until well combined and pasty, if it’s too sticky add some AP flour. Let sit for 3 minutes covered with a towel. Then mix again for another 5 minutes. Add more flour if it’s still really sticky, and then cover it with a towel and let it sit until it doubles in size. This could take anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours. I preheat the oven  and put some water to boil to get it to rise in 90 minutes. After it’s risen you are going to beat it down again to get the air out. Dust with flour if it’s too sticky to work with. Flatten it out with the heel of your hand and shape it to look like a cigar with the seam on the bottom pinched together. Make sure you do this on the surface that you are going to bake it on (i.e., I use a pizza stone) and that the bottom is  well floured with corn meal or some other flour. Let it rise covered with a towel for another 30 minutes and once it has risen again – and sometimes they don’t so don’t worry too much if it didn’t rise – cut 3 slits across the top, place it in the preheated oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you knock on it. Let it cool on a rack and enjoy. That’s it, easy peasy! One of my favorite snacks is to spread a slice with avocado and top it with basil and a little salt – YUM!

* I’m doing a Sugar Blues workshop on January 19th at Jack’s Health Food Country at 1pm so yeah – I am gonna tell you to eat less sugar!

Garden Update

I’m very happy with how the garden is going, we are at the end of June and have been harvesting asparagus, peas, herbs and tons of greens. The Florida like weather has been helping – sun all day a bit of rain in the afternoon. A lot of our flowers are also blooming. And the first of the tomatoes, squashes and cucumbers are coming out.


Let’s see what we have…

I love having the echinacea, I’m not sure what to do with it if anything, it’s buzzing with tons of bees.

The calendula patch is also buzzing with activity 

I also enjoy having lots of zinnias, I planted them in two beds this summer. I also have cosmos, those haven’t bloomed yet.

This year our nasturtium came in, last year they didn’t do so well. I think the mild spring had something to do with it.

And the sunflowers are oh so close to blooming! I don’t know if my mammoth ones will get to bloom this year, lesson learned: those seeds need to be protected from the birds if you’re direct sowing outdoors.


Now to the veggies…

Our tomatoes have really taken off

We see a few fruits coming.

We also have our first cucumber

And the beginnings of a summer squash.

Our beans are also looking lovely.

Unfortunately, our peas have run their course – so I will plant something else in that spot – not sure what yet.


Over the weekend I made a new dish that I thought I would share with you, the photo is not so great and I ate it up before checking and retaking the photo…


Potato Scramble

This is a take on the traditional Tofu Scramble except I didn’t have any tofu so I used up some potatoes we had.
 
4 – 5 Medium Potatoes Diced
1/2 Onion Chopped
2-3 Cloves garlic Chopped
3 -4 Tbsp Tofu Scramble Spice Mix  – I use the one in Dr Barnard’s Reversing Diabetes book there are tons online.
Leafy Greens and fresh herbs of your choice – amount up to you, 4 cups is good
Tofu Pups or Vegan Sausage Chopped (optional)
1 Cup Water or Veggie Broth
 
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan fill with enough water to cover. boil for about 15 min until just soft. drain the water and put back in the pan to pan cook them with garlic and onions (saute everything if using oil) put the spice mix on them and cook for a few more minutes. If you’re not using oil add more water or broth if the pan as the pan gets dry. When the potatoes are nice and coated add your greens, herbs and any pups if using plus add some more broth or water cover and let cook for 5 minuets or until your veggies are a bright green and your pups are warmed through. 

 

Oh this wilting heat…

Oh boy the last two weeks have been rough. Everything is very thirsty. We have had many 90+ degree days over the last two weeks. We even hit over 100 degrees the other day!!



So this meant a trip to the local big box hardware store for a garden hose. I have been having a great time watering the veggies and cooling off my feets and the kitties.

I try to water when I get home. I know, best to water first thing but there’s no way I am getting up early. There you have it. Never water during the peak heat as the water evaporates and I was also told that it burns the plants. I haven’t checked on that one yet so if it’s not true let us know.

Stay cool y’all

OH! And here’s a photo of our first tomato