Feb 182014
 

Simple, devilishly delicious and 100% vegan, my Vegan Chorizo Nachos with Pickled Jalapeno Relish will tame your inner junk food junkie.

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

 Layers of flavor with fresh lime, zippy jalapenos, spicy chorizo and a variety of textures from crunchy tortilla chips to creamy avocado come together in this recipe to satisfy even the biggest craving.  Bring this to your next pot luck and amaze your friends that it is vegan, or halve the recipe for a fun family night.  Either way you can’t go wrong!

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Better yet have an impromptu fiesta!

Here are some great dishes you could include:

7 Layer Dip

7 Layer Dip

Chipotle Walnut Lettuce Wraps

Chipotle Walnut Lettuce Wraps

Grilled Corn, Onion and Black Bean Salsa

Grilled Corn, Onion and Black Bean Salsa

Mexican Tortilla Bake

Mexican Tortilla Bake

Black Bean Soup with Forbidden Rice

Black Bean Soup with Forbidden Rice

For anyone that doesn’t want to use the soy chorizo, sub black beans. I was unsure if I would enjoy the Tofurky chorizo; however, it was nicely flavored and had great texture. It will be an interesting experiment to bring this to an omnivore pot luck and see if anyone can tell the difference.  The pickled jalapeno relish is what really makes this dish unique. It is spicy but not too spicy, and has a nice acidity from the vinegar to add that finished layer.

Tell me – do you eat plant based meat products every now and then or do you try and go the whole food route? I typically stick with as many whole foods as much as possible but I also realize that people switching to a meatless diet can go through an adjustment period where it is nice to have some easy options to splurge on but still stick with the program. Hopefully this gives people options!

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Vegan Chorizo Nachos

Vegan Chorizo Nachos with Pickled Jalapeno Relish

Serves 10 (This is great for a big group!)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 bag organic corn tortilla chip rounds
1 pkg chorizo style meatless crumbles, such as Tofurkey
1 cup low fat, organic refried beans
3/4 tube vegan style nacho cheese such as Teese

Pickled Jalapeno Relish
2 green onions, chopped
1 avocado, seeded and chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 – 1/2 cup pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
1 fresh lime, juiced

Directions

1. Preheat the broiler to high.

2. Lay a bag of tortilla chip rounds on a baking sheet ; top with 1 pkg chorizo style meatless crumbles; spoon refried beans over evenly; spoon Tees nacho style cheese over evenly; broil for five minutes, or until cheese is melted.

3. Mix relish ingredients in a bowl; top broiled nachos with relish.

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 319.9
Total Fat 16.2 g
Saturated Fat 3.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 884.1 mg
Potassium 392.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 28.4 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Sugars 1.2 g
Protein 9.1 g

Vitamin A 9.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 3.4 %
Vitamin C 9.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.4 %
Calcium 5.3 %
Copper 2.1 %
Folate 4.7 %
Iron 10.8 %
Magnesium 1.8 %
Manganese 2.4 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.9 %
Phosphorus 1.5 %
Riboflavin 1.9 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 1.6 %
Zinc 0.9 %

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

Feb 142014
 

This semi-homemade Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe with Four Ingredient Creamy Cocoa Frosting is simple enough for even non-bakers (like myself) to make and absolutely scrumptious!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

This post is for any of my last-minute types out there. If you want to make a dessert but they all sound too complicated, run out to your natural food store and grab the simple ingredients for these cupcakes and get mixin!

I loved the combo of chocolate with a touch of peanut butter peeking out from under a decadent and naturally sugar free frosting.  These Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Four-Ingredient Creamy Cocoa Frosting is great for vegans and non-vegans, adults and kids alike!

Happy Valentines Day to you and your loved ones.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe with Four Ingredient Frosting

Serves 18
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 box Madhava MMM….Super Yummy Chocolate Cake Mix
Egg Replacer equal to 3 eggs (or three organic foraged eggs)
1 cup non-dairy milk or water
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
4 1/2 dark chocolate peanut butter cups, cut into 4s (Justin’s brand is vegan)

Frosting
6 Tbsp non-dairy creamer
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
3/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1 1/2 cups dates, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix cake batter to package directions using egg replacer, water or milk and melted coconut oil; pour batter into muffin tin lined with cupcake liners (18 cupcakes); push 1/4 peanut butter cup into each cupcake and cover with batter; bake 23-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

2. Blend frosting ingredients using a high speed blender or processor until smooth – this will take several minutes, stop and scrape the sides of the blender regularly to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Cool cupcakes completely and frost with frosting.

Nutrition Facts
18 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 288.6
Total Fat 17.3 g
Saturated Fat 14.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 153.6 mg
Potassium 111.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 21.1 g
Protein 2.3 g

Vitamin A 0.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.3 %
Vitamin C 0.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.2 %
Calcium 5.0 %
Copper 3.2 %
Folate 0.8 %
Iron 7.1 %
Magnesium 2.7 %
Manganese 3.7 %
Niacin 1.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.9 %
Phosphorus 1.6 %
Riboflavin 0.7 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 0.6 %
Zinc 0.7 %

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

Feb 052014
 

Stick-to-your-ribs filling, my all natural and sugar free oats with nut butter and coconut oil are full of healthy fats, fiber, zero cholesterol and only 3 grams sugar. A perfectly delicious way to start your day!

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oatmeal

My Nana always told me white sugar and white flour is the devil. Back over thirty years ago she already knew so much of the information that comes out nowadays as the latest and greatest health news.

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Along with the flour and sugar comments from her, I would hear….eat mostly plants, pills are not the answer, you are what you eat, fast food will kill us.

She knew about the benefits of cayenne pepper, turmeric, macrobiotics, legumes ~ you name it, she was well versed in it.

A lot of my passion about natural food comes from my Nana. I remember browsing the aisles of small natural food stores, with their distinct earthy smell and natural light streaming through the windows. Life was slower, calmer and a little more relaxed when I stepped through the doors.  I could browse around and choose a healthy snack like dates rolled in shredded coconut.

She recently passed away right before Christmas ~ just shy of her 100th birthday. We miss her dearly but her long life was a testament to her health.

These oats are an ode to my Nana. She served me a similar breakfast every morning when I would stay with her.

Nana ~ we love you. Cheers to your long life!

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oats with Nut Butter and Coconut Oil

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

 Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats**
1 3/4 cup unsweet vanilla non dairy milk or water
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 ripe banana
4 tsp nut butter
4 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup nut/seed mix (raisins, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds etc.)

**Be sure to use gluten free oatmeal for a gluten free meal

Directions

1. Heat oatmeal, milk, salt, coconut and banana over medium high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until oats are soft, about 7-10 minutes.

2. Divide oatmeal mixture into four mugs; top each with 1 tsp nut butter, 1 tsp coconut oil and 1 Tbsp nut/seed mixture.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 252.6
Total Fat 16.2 g
Saturated Fat 4.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 161.3 mg
Potassium 208.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 3.2 g
Protein 6.1 g

Vitamin A 4.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.4 %
Vitamin C 1.8 %
Vitamin D 10.2 %
Vitamin E 20.5 %
Calcium 19.3 %
Copper 7.5 %
Folate 3.3 %
Iron 10.0 %
Magnesium 8.2 %
Manganese 12.7 %
Niacin 6.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 5.9 %
Riboflavin 2.8 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 3.1 %

*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 292014
 

My warm Caramelized Banana Cookie Cake is vegan, gluten free, refined sugar and refined oil free ~ perfect for breakfast, snack or dessert when paired with a delicious scoop cashew ice cream.

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

Way back when, in my past life, I made a career choice that may surprise you.

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

After graduating from FSU I attended a career fair and saw a friend I knew. He was working as a manager and encouraged me to join the manager training program.

For the following year, I was a manager at Abercrombie & Fitch.

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

I have to give people that work in retail a shout out here. Not only do you work long hours, nights, weekends and holidays ~ you refold, restock and greet customers with a smile, even when you’re ready to call it a day. I’ll admit, it was the hours that prompted me to start looking for another source of income. The day I made the announcement that I was leaving was bittersweet. I was excited about the future, but I had made lots of wonderful friends that I would miss. My dear friend and co-worker Karey B. was even in my wedding party!

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

Before I left they had a little party for me. When I opened the box that held the cake, I was greeted with an unexpected, tongue-in-cheek saying and I started laughing hysterically.

The cake said “Peace Out Beotch!”

When I took my Caramelized Banana Cookie Cake out of the oven, all the memories of those friends flooded back ~ to this day,  I still can’t help but chuckle at their cookie cake.

____________________________

In this recipe, warm, caramelized bananas, a touch of salt and the tang of lemon are deliciously nestled under a scoop of cool, vanilla cashew-cream ice cream. I hope you enjoy every bite!

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

Caramelized Banana Cookie Cake Recipe

Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable  Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups gluten free quick oats (or rolled oats pulsed in a food processor a few times)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt, plus extra for sprinkling
4 ripe bananas, divided
1/3 cup agave or local honey, divided
1/4 cup peanut butter, Nutzo or Sunbutter
2 Tbsp unrefined organic coconut oil, melted, divided
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix oatmeal, almond flour and salt in a medium bowl. In a second bowl add 1 banana, mashed, 4 Tbsp agave or local honey, nut butter and 1 Tbsp coconut oil; blend until smooth. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients; mix well and press into a baking pan greased with some additional coconut oil; bake 15 minutes.

2. Slice remaining 3 bananas and place evenly over baked crust mixture. Mix remaining agave or local honey, coconut oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; brush over bananas; bake 5 minutes; set to broil on high and broil 5 minutes or until bananas begin to brown and caramelize. Sprinkle a bit more salt, if desired. Let cool, slice and top with cashew or banana ice cream.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 271.6
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 4.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 57.7 mg
Potassium 303.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 41.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g

Sugars 20.1 g
Protein 6.0 g
Vitamin A 1.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 21.7 %
Vitamin C 10.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 9.3 %
Calcium 1.5 %
Copper 4.3 %
Folate 4.7 %
Iron 8.1 %
Magnesium 10.7 %
Manganese 7.5 %
Niacin 7.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.5 %
Phosphorus 4.4 %
Riboflavin 4.8 %
Selenium 2.0 %
Thiamin 2.5 %
Zinc 2.5 %

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

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 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 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 162013
 
Cranberry Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

This Sweet and Tangy Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash recipe is full of holiday cheer and is the perfect side dish! 

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash – Source

This recipe was born from the boat load of fabulous, organic acorn squash I got with my CSA at KyV Farm. Though they do make a superb Christmas-y centerpiece, I decided to use a few of them to create an easy and delicious holiday meal side dish.

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Upon the first taste and I knew what my contribution to the Christmas dinner will be this year! The walnuts become caramelized under the sweet maple syrup and rich coconut oil to give this dish almost a dessert-like flair. For anyone with a nut allergy, like my daughter, simply leave the nuts out, spoon the cranberry mixture into the reserved squash halves and mix the nuts in afterwards.

Note: This recipe was taste tested by both me and my mom so there you have it. The EXPERT opinion that yes, indeed this recipe is holiday table ready!

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Inspired by the baking blog
Serves 6 (1/2 squash each)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

3 small acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed (from KyV Farm)
1 can whole bean cranberry sauce
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped nuts (I used mostly walnuts and some pecans)
6 tsp coconut oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F; mix cranberry sauce, syrup, salt and nuts in a small bowl. Spoon evenly between six acorn squash halves; top with 1 tsp each of coconut oil. Bake 1 hour or until squash is fork tender.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 285.8
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 4.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 114.3 mg
Potassium 784.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 56.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Sugars 28.0 g
Protein 2.3 g

Vitamin A 14.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 17.6 %
Vitamin C 39.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.5 %
Calcium 8.1 %
Copper 10.2 %
Folate 10.0 %
Iron 9.6 %
Magnesium 19.0 %
Manganese 40.6 %
Niacin 7.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.9 %
Phosphorus 9.0 %
Riboflavin 1.6 %
Selenium 1.9 %
Thiamin 21.0 %
Zinc 5.4 %

*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