Jan 192014
 

We’re all hearing about the benefits of superfruits ~ in this post I’ll review the Mangosteen and share a delicious recipe for Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing!

It’s all over Dr Oz, the internet, health blogs – you name it – superfruits are hot. It is hard not to buy into the hype so I always do some research.  I rarely discuss supplements because I’m here to promote food first.  Human nature is to say shoot, I can eat whatever I want and then just take these supplements and I’ll be fine.

Baloney. First and foremost we need to eat a balanced and nutrient dense diet of mostly plants, and then add any supplementation on top of that. (And remember – always be sure to read the ingredients!) My daily regimen includes eating Mila every day, taking a liquid coral calcium & liquid daily vitamin, sub-lingual complex b-vitamin and I’m trying a few of these superfruits to see what I think.

Mangosteen

Mangosteen

Source

The Mangosteen is a tropical evergreen tree that primarily grows in Southeast Asia. The fruit is sweet, tangy and juicy ~ but it is the purple “pericarp”, or rind, that is high in tannins and contains an organic material called xanthones. The astringent rind of the fruit has been used in a variety of ways ~ to treat pain, inflammation, allergies, various infections, eczema and wounds, dysentery and urinary tract infections, and is also said to be an immune booster.

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

From doing my research please keep in mind that yes, the rind has a high nutrient content; however, it should not be used to cure any ailments, so please do not believe false claims.

Any food or nutrient can only help build your very own body’s defenses against various ailments. Our bodies are amazing symphonies of biochemistry ~ but it is up to us to treat it right. If we ingest fast food drive from the through every day and then drink mangosteen juice, we cannot expect our body to be able to defend itself against ailments.  It is much better to cleanse our bodies of toxins by eating healthfully, balance our bodies through exercise and eating a variety of colorful, organic foods and build our bodies’ defenses through nutrient dense foods ~ such as mangosteen.

Variety of organic and nutrient dense foods is one of main reasons to consider the mangosteen. This is the same reason you may want to consider joining an organic CSA/farm share ~ it enables you to obtain a variety of high quality vegetables you may not normally find at your grocer. Conventional soils are depleted in the US ~ to think that we can lay down some man made fertilizer and believe we are adding everything to the soil that it needs is ridiculous, nature is infinitely more complex, so by choosing organics you are also choosing healthy soil. This is not to say that all organics are without shortcuts and are perfect by any means; however, it is a step in the right direction.

If you ARE looking for a high quality mangosteen product ~ I have a great one in my wholesale membership club with Genesis Pure  and I do feel comfortable supporting and recommending it like I do Mila. I checked out a variety that are available out there and this one is really good. If I found anything in it I didn’t agree with, I wouldn’t talk about it ~ even though it is a product supplied by my own company. It is wild harvested and has no added preservatives or sugars.

I do suggest that you compare other products and do your own research first, any time you are looking to try something out.  Google “mangosteen juice products” and see what comes up.

Other than drinking it, making a light dressing is a great way to use it ~ especially over the organically grown veggies at KyV Farm or Native Sun. It is gently sweet and really pleasing ~ no need to add additional sweeteners!

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Fresh Salad with Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Serves 4
Printable Recipe
Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

4 cups fresh chopped lettuces and greens such as kale or bok choy
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced cucumber
Salt & pepper, to taste

Dressing
1/4 cup mangosteen juice
2 Tbsp roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil (plain will be fine too)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey

Directions

1. Divide lettuce, tomato and onion evenly over four plates.

2. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl; pour 2 Tbsp dressing over each salad; season with salt and pepper.

Here is Dr Duncan talking about what the mangosteen is good for.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 64.1
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 44.2 mg
Potassium 195.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
S
ugars 8.0 g
Protein 1.1 g 

Vitamin A 29.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.2 %
Vitamin C 24.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.8 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 1.7 %
Folate 19.7 %
Iron 4.0 %
Magnesium 1.5 %
Manganese 19.4 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.2 %
Phosphorus 3.0 %
Riboflavin 3.7 %
Selenium 0.3 %
Thiamin 4.2 %
Zinc 1.2 % 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 132014
 

Move over eggs ~ there’s a new perfect protein for breakfast. My Avocado and Sea Salt Toast has a healthy, balanced blend of fat, FIBER and protein with zero cholesterol.

What’s not to love?

If you are an avocado lover, like me, you may not have thought of using it in place of butter for a simple, creamy and satisfying breakfast for your busy mornings.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Every day you get up with purpose. You get out of bed, shower, hurriedly get dressed in the dark ~ and manage to get out the door with a black shoe on your left and a brown shoe on your right. True story from my past life.  I remember it only too well.  For all of my hard working friends in Corporate America – I dedicate this post to you.

Who has time for breakfast?

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

You do! Just before grabbing your keys and leaving, toast some sesame Ezekiel bread and grab an avocado, an onion and your knife.

I’ll tell you the reason for the onion in a second.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Take your knife and cut around the avocado, the long way; twist. For now, leave the pit in the one side because it will cut down on the oxidation (browning).


Source
 ~ The Amazing Avocado

Next, cut your slices while the avocado is still in the skin. (Technically, you don’t have to do this step ~ it just looks prettier.)

Slice Avocado
Source
 ~ Thank you to the Practical Cook

Scoop out half of the slices on one side for your toast and place the remaining avocado in a reusable airtight container. Cut an onion and half and place it in there right along with the avocado. The vapors from the onion will reduce further oxidation.

If the avocado is ripe enough you should easily be able to spread it like butter. In fact, I will be so bold as to say wherever there is butter, avocado should replace it.

Let’s look at butter and avocado nutrition facts in a head to head comparison for a two tablespoon serving.

Avocado vs. Butter

Avocado vs. Butter

Shhh….don’t tell the dairy farmers.

Avocado can even be subbed in baking! According to 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet:

“Avocado is almost like a butter, and just like butter it has a soft and creamy texture. You may have to do some experimenting, but in general you can simply substitute 1 cup of avocado for 1 cup of butter. You may have to increase other liquids as the avocado does not melt like butter.

When substituting avocado for eggs in your baking, start by substituting 2 tbsp. to 1/4 cup mashed avocado for each egg.

Avocado will make your cakes rise up higher in the center, and in some occasions may even cave. It also browns quicker, and therefore your cake may look well done on the outside, but the inside may still be doughy. To avoid these things from happening, reduce your oven temperature by about 25 percent and increase your baking time.”

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

One bite and you will be subbing avocado left and right for everything – ESPECIALLY when there is coarse sea salt involved. There is something about that tiny, salty crunch on top of creamy, satisfying avocado and nutty sesame.

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Inspired my a request from my 5 year old daughter ~ she loves it!
Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free Option*
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 slice sesame Ezekiel Bread (or gluten free bread)
1/4 ripe avocado, sliced
Sprinkle of coarse sea salt

Directions

1. Toast the Ezekiel Bread; spread avocado over bread evenly; sprinkle sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 152.2
Total Fat 7.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 83.4 mg
Potassium 299.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.9 g
Sugars 1.1 g
Protein 4.8 g

Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.2 %
Vitamin C 6.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 0.6 %
Copper 3.7 %
Folate 9.6 %
Iron 5.5 %
Magnesium 9.1 %
Manganese 3.2 %
Niacin 10.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.3 %
Phosphorus 10.3 %
Riboflavin 3.6 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 10.2 %
Zinc 6.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 072014
 

This cheesy chia seed soup is simple, filling and comforting, and will help you lose weight naturally with the perfect blend of fiber, good fats and protein.

Conquer your New Years Resolution!

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

I have completely fallen in love with this soup. Warm, flavorful organic broth, hearty chia seeds with their good fats, fiber and micronutrients, and nutritional yeast with it’s signature cheesy flavor, packed with b-vitamins is a satisfying breakfast, quick lunch or warm, light dinner. This is an AWESOME recipe to take on the go. Pack some warm broth in a Thermos and bring a snack size cup with the chia seed and nutritional yeast – just stir in when you are ready to eat!

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

The chia I use is called Mila – and this blend happened to be blonde.  Any varietal/color can be used and it will be delicious.  Mila is microsliced so that the seeds are opened and have more surface area without damaging the cotents. It is a blend of chia seed grown at various farms along the equator in volcanic soil. For four more reasons I choose this blend visit this Mila bar recipe.

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

1 Serving
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp chia, ground (any varietal)

Directions

1. Heat vegetable broth in a small stock pot over medium high heat; stir in nutritional yeast and chia. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 195.0
Total Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 575.1 mg
Potassium 440.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber 13.9 g
Sugars 3.0 g
Protein 14.3 g

Vitamin A 2.0 %
Vitamin B-12 133.0 %
Vitamin B-6 480.0 %
Vitamin C 0.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.0 %
Calcium 17.0 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 60.0 %
Iron 18.0 %
Magnesium 25.0 %
Manganese 5.0 %
Niacin 280.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.0 %
Phosphorus 17.0 %
Riboflavin 565.0 %
Selenium 32.0 %
Thiamin 640.0 %
Zinc 21.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 012014
 

This Eggless Breakfast Taco is a simple and flavorful twist on a traditional breakfast burrito.

Get your new year started off on the right foot – with an easy, healthy, delicious and light breakfast. If you are tired of the same old oatmeal, this recipe will knock your socks off!

Plus I’ll share my food trend predictions for 2014!

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

I’m officially declaring this year to be the year of the chickpea ~ more specifically, chickpea/garbanzo flour. In the past few weeks alone I came across several delicious recipe ideas using this versatile ingredient. The first was when my friend Vivian mentioned making tortillas from chickpea flour and then, when challenged with creating an eggless vegan breakfast taco without tofu, I came across a recipe using the chickpea flour as a replacement for eggs. Of course I had to take it a step further and add a bit of delicious nutritional yeast and smoky coconut bacon.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

While we’re at it, I’ll call the second hot ingredient for this year…..nutritional yeast!  Ok, so maybe this won’t be one that the experts predict, but I’ll go ahead and say it should be on the hot trends for this year.  If you haven’t tried it yet you simply must go out and grab some from the bulk bin. It is high in protein and b-vitamins and has a wonderfully cheese-like flavor.  What I love about mixing the bean flour with nutritional yeast (aside from the fabulous taste and texture) is that this mixture is both high in protein and high in fiber.  This combination is something you cannot get from animal foods since they do not contain fiber.  What you won’t see in this recipe is cholesterol, so for anyone battling heart disease this is a great alternative to eggs.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Coconut Bacon

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Coconut Bacon

Miss the bacon you say?   I have a product you will fall head over heels for.  Coconut bacon!  Top your taco with this and say bye to pig forever.  You can even make a BLT with this product! Yes it is a bit on the pricier side, but a little goes a long way.  So while you are at Native Sun grabbing the nutritional yeast and chickpea flour, add coconut bacon to your list.  Plant based “bacon” is my third prediction as a hot item for 2014.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Perfect with Fresh Coffee

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Perfect with Fresh Coffee

My hope for this year is that awareness for locally sourced foods will finally take hold with the mainstream population ~ that people learn what a CSA is and become wary of genetically modified foods.  As gas prices increase and access to fossil fuels decreases, prices for food that must travel long distances will go up.  This one factor may help people start to question why this is happening. My second hope we begin to realize that we need to consume a greater variety of vegetables than the standard lettuce, onion and tomato.  Cauliflower is supposedly this year’s “it” vegetable, so how about kicking it up a notch and looking out for Romanesco cauliflower? Time to diversify our intake of produce, just like we should diversify our portfolio!

What are your food trend predictions for 2014?

[If you like the sound of this recipe - please share it with your friends! Many thanks and may your 2014 be your best year yet!]

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco

Inspired by Oatmeal with a Fork
Serves 4 small tacos. For larger meal, double taco mixture.
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

 

Ingredients

2 tsp coconut oil
3/4 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1-2 green onion(s), chopped
1/4 cup coconut bacon (optional, omit if soy-free is desired)
4 small gluten free (or regular) tortillas

Optional Mustard Sauce (makes extra)

6 Tbsp mustard (coarse ground, prepared)
6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup reduced fat or regular Vegenaise
1/4 cup unsweet original non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp agave (or local honey)

Instructions

1. Mix chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, water, salt and onion powder in a medium bowl; stir in the green onions. Mix mustard sauce in small bowl (if using.)

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and coat bottom of skillet evenly; pour the chickpea mixture into skillet and let sit 3-5 minutes, or until the edges begin to set and center bubbles; gently turn with a large, flat spatula and break apart mixture to create bite sized pieces with an egg-like consistency and the mixture is fully cooked; about 1-2 minutes.

3. Divide mixture evenly between 4 tortilla shells; top each with 1 Tbsp coconut bacon and 1 Tbsp mustard sauce (if using).

**Note: Non-dairy cheddar style cheese would be delicious as a substitute for the mustard sauce in this recipe.

Estimated Nutrition Info
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 192.8
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 628.1 mg
Potassium 188.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.0 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Sugars 2.4 g
Protein 13.4 g

Vitamin A 0.2 %
Vitamin B-12 66.5 %
Vitamin B-6 240.4 %
Vitamin C 0.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.1 %
Calcium 9.4 %
Copper 3.2 %
Folate 30.3 %
Iron 10.8 %
Magnesium 2.7 %
Manganese 3.0 %
Niacin 140.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.1 %
Phosphorus 8.7 %
Riboflavin 282.6 %
Selenium 16.1 %
Thiamin 320.2 %
Zinc 10.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mustard Sauce: Per Tbsp
Nutrition Facts
21 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 24.8
Total Fat 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 122.9 mg
Potassium 48.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 1.2 g

Vitamin A 0.1 %
Vitamin B-12 19.0 %
Vitamin B-6 68.6 %
Vitamin C 0.0 %
Vitamin D 0.3 %
Vitamin E 0.6 %
Calcium 0.4 %
Copper 0.9 %
Folate 8.6 %
Iron 0.6 %
Magnesium 0.8 %
Manganese 0.7 %
Niacin 40.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.4 %
Phosphorus 2.5 %
Riboflavin 80.7 %
Selenium 4.6 %
Thiamin 91.4 %
Zinc 3.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dec 232013
 
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

This Golden Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole is a deliciously wintery use for this summertime fruit ~ reminiscent of the caramelized pineapple flavor of an upside down cake but with a hint of savory onion.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Wait. Onions in pineapple upside down cake? Yes! They cook down and caramelize to a lovely sweetness that adds that hmm factor.  If you don’t like the pink hue, choose a sweet vidalia onion.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Why is this such a great dish to bring for a winter pot luck? Because pineapple is PACKED with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C protects the body against free radicals that can damage healthy cells and can give the immune system a nice boost.

So let’s think, do we know anyone with a cold this time of year?  Ha! Even people that don’t normally get sick are coming down with this or that. Forget the chicken soup – bring this casserole!

Golden Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Golden Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Golden Pineapple Upside Down Casserole

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free Version
Printable Recipe 

Ingredients

1 fresh pineapple, peeled and chopped finely
2 Tbsp flour or gluten free flour
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp organic agave (or local honey)
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
8 organic golden round crackers, crushed (for gluten free use GF breadcrumb or GF crackers)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix pineapple, flour, onion, salt and agave or honey in a medium mixing bowl; spoon into a casserole dish prepared with coconut oil; bake 30 minutes; broil 5 minutes or until just browned to caramelize pineapple and onion.

2. Meanwhile mix crackers and coconut oil; spoon evenly over pineapple mixture; bake an additional 10 minutes or until crackers begin to brown.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 73.7
Total Fat 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 122.9 mg
Potassium 95.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Sugars 11.2 g
Protein 0.8 g

Vitamin A 0.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 3.6 %
Vitamin C 20.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.4 %
Calcium 1.0 %
Copper 4.5 %
Folate 2.3 %
Iron 2.4 %
Magnesium 2.8 %
Manganese 65.2 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %
Phosphorus 0.7 %
Riboflavin 1.8 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 4.9 %
Zinc 0.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dec 192013
 

Serve these Ultra Gooey Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes straight from the oven and delight the guests at your next dinner party.

(Shh don’t tell them these are from a box and are vegan!)

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

It has been said that the fastest way to win a girl’s heart is through peppermint and chocolate.

(Or maybe it was I that said that.)

Think molten lava cake.

Gooey. Oozing with warm chocolate-y goodness and a hint of peppermint for Christmas cheer.

Be warned however; these should be eaten while warm. Once they cool overnight the magic “molteniness” will be gone.

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Did I mention how simple this recipe is? The reason is that there is no mixing of flour and sugar etc. is because it is all in the box!
But wait! Before I lose you, this isn’t your average box o’ brownie mix with genetically modified ingredients, hydrogenated oils and cocoa processed with alkali….
See the difference for yourself!

Pillsbury brand:
SUGAR, ENRICHED FLOUR BLEACHED (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI AND COCOA, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: CORN STARCH, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BAKING SODA

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Madhava Blend:
Madhava Sweetener Blend (organic cane sugar, organic coconut sugar), organic wheat flour, organic cocoa powder, Ancient Grains Flour (organic spelt, organic KAMUT®, organic farro), organic vanilla, salt

Which one would we rather put into our kid’s bodies?

__________________________________________________________

Tell us, what is your favorite dessert to make for the holidays?

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Ultra Gooey Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Serves 12
Vegan
Printable Recipe
*On sale at Native Sun Natural Food Market Dec 7, 2013-Jan 6, 2014

Ingredients

1 box Madhava Ooey Gooey Brownie Mix*
1 Tbsp ground chia + 4 Tbsp water
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup water
2 peppermint candy canes, crushed*
2 drops peppermint extract

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Mix the chia and water and set aside. Mix the brownie mix and melted coconut oil until blended; add the water and mix again; stir in crushed candy canes and peppermint extract; spoon into 12 muffin tins lined with baking cups.

2. Bake 35-40 minutes or until edges begin to firm.

Estimated Nutrition Info – (Madhava brand was not available)
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 225.6
Total Fat 13.2 g
Saturated Fat 8.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 87.6 mg
Potassium 5.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Sugars 16.9 g
Protein 1.8 g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dec 102013
 

Roasted Eggplant Stacks with Creamy Mustard Sauce features warm, caramelized vegetables and cool, tangy-creamy mustard sauce. It is sinfully delicious, yet light enough to be added to your weekly rotation ~ go ahead and indulge, guilt free!

Roasted Eggplant Stacks with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Roasted Eggplant Stacks with Creamy Mustard Sauce

We are all involved in social media nowadays, in one form or another; facebook, pinterest, instagram and twitter, just to name a few. When something reaches your brain through the slews of photos and messages, you know it must be something that is important to you.

Two such messages recently came across my stream of consciousness; the first was an article, “The Truth About Pork and How America Feeds Itself” , By Ted Genoways, December 05, 2013. This caught my attention because I’m always open to learning more about the truth of commercial farming.

The article begins with the following information; “The Hormel Foods plant in Fremont, Neb., is a sprawling complex, just across the Union Pacific tracks on the southern edge of town. Every day of the week, some 1,400 workers arrive before dawn and emerge in the midafternoon, chatting briefly in the parking lot before fanning out onto the highway. It’s a routine with few surprises, but inside the plant, a grand, if largely ignored, experiment is under way, one that is testing the limits of industrial production—and worker and food safety.”

“Each working day, more than 10,500 hogs are slaughtered here—that’s 1,300 hogs per hour.” 

Right there that floored me. 1,300 hogs are slaughtered per hour in this one plant. Whoa. What sort of conditions could these animals be living in? How is it possible to control food safety with that sort of volume? I can apply this to the commercial leasing industry I used to work in. It was a high volume, small dollar shop. Mistakes happen when things move fast. A LOT of mistakes. I knew this because I was in an auditing role. A role that is severely lacking in the commercial food industry. They are supposed to do more “self-auditing”. Right. Brilliant idea.

Upon finishing this article I thought back to a conversation I had at my daughter’s school last Friday with another school volunteer. She is the grandmother of a student in my daughter’s class and was telling me how she saved hundreds of pot bellied pigs from the humane society and found them all homes. In the same breath she said, but when it comes to the pigs she eats those are just there for food, they are different, they are meant to be eaten. She doesn’t want to know what happens to those pigs.

How can we rationalize this thinking? As humans we tend to be empathetic which causes us to want to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to the treatment of the animals humans choose to eat. The quandary comes for those people that do know what happens and know that if the person they were speaking with had the same knowledge, their choices going forward would almost certainly be different.

So my question is this, what should someone say when the other person is a genuinely caring person but doesn’t think they want to know? How do we help them open their hearts and minds to the suffering of these intelligent creatures and the conditions that the workers spend their days in?

Roasted Eggplant Stacks

Roasted Eggplant Stacks

The second was a video of the world famous Joel Salatin, the farmer featured in the 2008 film, Food Inc vs. Gene Baur, president and co-founder of the Farm Sanctuary and Dr Neal Bernard, the founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), debating the merits of the statement “Do not eat anything with a face.”  

For the Motion: Dr. Neal Bernard, Gene Baur. Against the Motion: Chris Masterjohn, Joel Salatin.

This intelligent debate is well worth the time to watch. Both sides present compelling arguments.  A few of the comments from Dr. Neal Barnard stood out – probably because of the death of my own father in May of this year.

Neal Barnard: “I got my first wake-up call at Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis, where I was the autopsy assistant”….

“And the pathologist came in the room, and he knew that I was headed for medical school. So he removed a section of ribs, and he sliced open one of the coronary arteries, and he said, “Look inside.”…..“And it looked like chewing gum in this coronary artery, but when I felt it, it was hard like a rock. And he said, “That’s atherosclerosis. That’s your morning sausage, Neal. That’s your bacon, Neal. That’s your roast beef in there.” And he said, “We see the beginnings of this in three quarters of people by age 23,”

“Now, fast forwarding a little bit, a little — a few years later Dr. Dean Ornish brought in to a research study people who had atherosclerosis, they had narrowed arteries, he took the meat out of their diets, and something happened that had never been shown before. The arteries actually started opening up again, so much that you could see a measurable difference in 82 percent of patients in the first year with no surgery and no medications.
Grass-fed beef does not do that, including the beef my family raised.”

“I asked Dr Richard Leakey, the famous paleoanthropologist, how did we get into meat eating? And he said humans are naturally primates. We’re great apes. We are not carnivores, and we ate things we could pick with our hands, until the Stone Age gave us stone tools, and meat-eating began, he believes, as scavenging. Lying with leafs and bones, we would scrape it up with these stone tools that we now had. Problem: we have pre-Stone Age bodies that get cancer and get heart disease when you eat meat. Of course, if your life expectancy is 35 or 40, it doesn’t matter, but if you live to a mid-age and beyond, then these things matter a lot. And what matters now is Alzheimer’s disease. We have now learned that a diet high in saturated fat — that’s the bad fat in meat, is linked to Alzheimer’s disease in studies in Chicago, in New York, in Finland.”

You can read the rest of the transcript here.

Roasted Eggplant Stacks with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Roasted Eggplant Stacks with Creamy Mustard Sauce

I’ll leave you with a quote from Gene Baur. “If we can live well without causing harm, why wouldn’t we do it? “

Especially when we can eat Roasted Eggplant Stacks with Creamy Mustard Sauce.  This recipe features 14 grams of protein, 14 grams of fiber, 100% of your daily b-12 and 20% iron. Never mind all that ~ it is the taste that will knock your socks off. All I can say is whoa. This is going down under the “favorites” category. The sauce is tangy, sweet and savory all at once and over these roasted veggies with their deliciously caramelized bits from the oven, you’ll think you have gone to heaven.

Roasted Eggplant Stacks with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Roasted Eggplant Stacks with Creamy Mustard Sauce

 Roasted Eggplant Stacks with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Dec 7, 2013 through Jan 6, 2014

Ingredients

1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick slices
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes**
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sliced in half
Olive oil cooking spray or mister**
Salt and garlic powder

Sauce
6 Tbsp mustard (coarse ground, prepared)
6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup reduced fat or regular Vegenaise
1/4 cup unsweet original non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp agave (or local honey)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 3 baking sheets evenly with olive oil spray; add eggplant, tomatoes, onion and Brussels sprouts; spray top of vegetables with olive oil, season with salt and garlic powder. Bake 15 minutes; remove from oven and turn vegetables; bake 10 minutes; remove Brussels sprouts and set aside in a covered dish, leaving eggplant, tomatoes and onions to roast an additional 10 minutes; to finish, turn on broiler to high and broil 2 minutes to caramelize tops.

2. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Place approx 2-3 eggplant on each of 4 plates; divide remaining vegetables on top of eggplant; pour generous 1/4 cup mustard sauce over each vegetable plate.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 295.4
Total Fat 10.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 838.7 mg
Potassium 1,388.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 40.5 g
Dietary Fiber 13.9 g
Sugars 8.1 g
Protein 14.3 g

Vitamin A 37.2 %
Vitamin B-12 99.8 %
Vitamin B-6 388.2 %
Vitamin C 258.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 11.5 %
Calcium 9.7 %
Copper 17.5 %
Folate 80.9 %
Iron 20.5 %
Magnesium 20.7 %
Manganese 46.4 %
Niacin 222.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 18.2 %
Phosphorus 29.8 %
Riboflavin 437.9 %
Selenium 29.1 %
Thiamin 503.8 %
Zinc 22.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 Posted by at 11:43 am
Dec 042013
 

 This sweet, spicy and savory Raw Thai Noodle Salad is easy to make and as an added bonus is also naturally gluten free and vegan.

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Walking through Native Sun last week I stopped and did a double take. Kelp noodles. Hmm. Interesting.
I’m embarrassed to say I have never worked with these noodles of the sea. I bought them and then visited the noodle website on line for more info.

“Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat!”

Love the healthy convenience of a ready to eat raw food! One of the main reasons raw is great is because the healthy enzymes stay in tact since they are not heated above 115 to 118F.

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Once I opened the bag and rinsed, I had to dress them up. I chose fresh carrots, sesame seeds, raw broccoli and aromatic cilantro to add to the noodle base and, in just a few minutes time, was able to whisk a spicy, sweet and salty sauce to massage into the mixture.  This mixture can be heated, but it was delicious cold! This salad has a wonderful crunch from the veggies that work so well with the thin, semi-chewy noodles that have the perfect amount of bite.

 Have you tried kelp noodles? What do you typically do with them?

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Serves 5 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market Nov 7 through Dec 6, 2013

Ingredients

Salad
1 pkg kelp noodles, rinsed and drained
1 small head broccoli (and stalk), chopped **
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped (Fresh from KyV Farm)

Sauce
1/4 cup raw nut butter of choice
2 Tbsp liquid aminos
1 Tbsp ume plum vinegar (or rice vinegar will be fine)
1 Tbsp raw organic agave or raw local honey (non-vegan)
2 tsp organic chili sauce (Sriracha)
1/2 Tbsp raw sesame oil (optional)

Directions 

1. Whisk sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Add salad ingredients to a large bowl; pour dressing over salad mixture; mix with hands to combine and coat the noodles and vegetables evenly.

Nutrition Facts
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 174.2
Total Fat 11.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 751.3 mg
Potassium 394.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 6.1 g

Vitamin A 99.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 11.8 %
Vitamin C 62.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 10.9 %
Calcium 11.4 %
Copper 17.6 %
Folate 14.1 %
Iron 10.4 %
Magnesium 15.4 %
Manganese 19.9 %
Niacin 13.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 13.2 %
Riboflavin 6.0 %
Selenium 3.6 %
Thiamin 8.2 %
Zinc 8.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

Dec 032013
 

You will love this light and buttery Sugar Cookie Recipe made without butter! They just so happen to be super simple to make, vegan & gluten free.

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

They are cute, yes?

 It is the holidays and we all want to spend time with family and want our comfort foods.  After talking with my mother in law about her yearly cookie ritual and the amount of butter involved I thought, self, you know how many people want to be healthier so why not start now by converting a few cookie recipes so we can still have our comfort foods and feel good about eating them too! Rich coconut oil replaces butter to add a light, flakiness.  This is a perfect recipe for kids that want to help but have food allergies to dairy and wheat.  My five year old daughter cut all these  snowmen out herself and then dressed them with little candies (not shown here).

Plus, coconut oil has been shown to fight viruses and bacteria that cause illness, so therefore we can assume that instead of taking cold medicine we can just eat these cookies.  I think that is a reasonable assumption – don’t you agree?

I can see it now. Food blogger comes up with the cure for the common cold. Sugar cookies.

All joking aside, if I know many of my friends/blog followers, you will question as to whether we can leave the sugar out on this one and use agave or another sweetener. You are smart cookies. (No pun intended.) We may be able to try substituting with raw coconut sugar and I will try that myself next time.  It would be slightly lower on the glycemic index, but not by much, and the texture and sweetness could be a tad off but it would be an interesting experiment.  My goal with this recipe was to give a simple and delicious animal free alternative to those that want a holiday splurge cookie. Done and done.

What is your favorite holiday cookie or indulgence?

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Makes about 18 cookies
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
* On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market, Nov 7 through Dec 6, 2013

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup organic cane sugar (plus more for dusting, optional)*
2 Tbsp nut milk or water
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup gluten free baking flour such as Bob’s Red Mill
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F; prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix coconut oil in a stand mixer until smooth; add cane sugar and mix until evenly distributed through coconut oil; add nut milk or water and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl mix baking flour, baking soda and salt; spoon dry mixture into wet in 1/2 cup portions, mixing in between until dry is completely mixed into wet ingredients.  Remove mixture from stand mixer and knead into a ball.

3. Place dough on sheet of parchment paper. Press into 1/4 inch thickness with hands or rolling pin. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter and place on prepared baking sheets. Roll remaining dough in same fashion and repeat step three until all dough is used. Refrigerate cookies for about 5 minutes; bake 10- 12 minutes or until just browned on the bottom; let cool at least 5 minutes.

**This is the perfect place for Ziggy Marley’s Orange Almond Organic Coconut oil to make an delicious variation of this cookie! 

Nutrition Facts
18 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 112.3
Total Fat 6.4 g
Saturated Fat 5.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 26.1 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Sugars 5.9 g
Protein 1.2 g

Dec 012013
 

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing is a hearty, yet easy to make salad that is sure to satisfy even the biggest appetite! 

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

“Call me, I need to share some recipes that I have been doing ….”

Last week I got a text from Vivian at KyV Farm that she came up with a few easy and delicious recipes to utilize the staples we have on hand – such as greens and beans.  Of course I called her right away so I could hear all about them because I’m always looking for new ideas aside from my go-to staple of “if in doubt, make soup”. They sounded so tasty that I had to go home and whip this one up immediately with some of the beans, quinoa and hummus I already had on hand.

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Here were some of her suggestions:

  • Utilize any greens you have – a whole mixture of bok choy, lettuce, collards, kale – whatever! Wash and dry them and use them as a base for your salads. Top with cooked beans, cooked quinoa and avocado. Now here is the kicker. Instead of using salad dressing try hummus!
  • Chickpea tacos – mix equal parts chickpea flour and water, salt and pepper. Cook them in a lightly oiled pan like a crepe. Stuff with beans and vegggies.
  • Mix greens into fresh salsa right along with any herbs.  Use this in a base for pasta sauce and no one will even notice the extra veggies.
  • Soak some beans overnight and throw them in the pressure cooker with salt-free broth, onions, garlic and sofrito. Bring the pressure up to a simmer and cook 30 minutes then remove from heat.
  • Mix some poblano peppers in with the cooked chickpeas to make a spicy hummus. (I like to throw some greens in there too.)

Upon one taste of this salad I knew Vivian had hit the jackpot! What a way to get your greens in! I love the hummus as a creamy dressing and with 12 grams of fiber and almost 12 grams of protein this is a sure-to-fill-you-up meal.

Do you have any easy and favorite ways to use what you usually have on hand?

Greens Salad with Avocado and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 1
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient from KyV Farm

Ingredients

2 cups mixed greens, chopped**
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup raw broccoli florets, chopped**
1/4 Florida avocado, chopped
2 Tbsp hummus
Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Top greens with quinoa, chickpeas, broccoli, avocado and hummus; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 313.6
Total Fat 12.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 304.0 mg
Potassium 505.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 41.7 g
Dietary Fiber 12.1 g
Sugars 2.5 g
Protein 11.7 g

Vitamin A 69.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 21.7 %
Vitamin C 73.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.8 %
Calcium 7.1 %
Copper 24.9 %
Folate 26.4 %
Iron 17.8 %
Magnesium 15.3 %
Manganese 35.1 %
Niacin 4.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.4 %
Phosphorus 14.8 %
Riboflavin 6.1 %
Selenium 4.4 %
Thiamin 6.5 %
Zinc 10.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.