Apr 022014
 

  This Easy & Delicious Vegan Spanakopita Recipe has a healthy little secret – within that oh-so light and flakey crust it is stuffed with savory, seasoned greens and tangy sun dried tomatoes nestled inside. My whole family enjoyed each bite!

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Getting kids involved in cooking is fun.

Especially with plant based cooking. No worries of contamination or icky pathogens – just good clean fun.  The best part is that it is time well spent together (electronics-free), AND gives kids a skill that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

When I graduated college I do believe my best dish was spaghetti with jarred sauce that I typically managed to still mess up. I remember all the waaaaaay back to my dorm at FSU – there was a shared kitchen with one of those old stoves with the coil.

Visions of a Dorm Room

Visions of a Dorm Room

The “kitchen” was more of a closet with other students occasionally also cooking spaghetti or a processed cheese product that could last a nuclear ice age – you know the one I’m talking about.

Cooking in the Dorm

Cooking in the Dorm

Very funny photo source. If you want to be entertained - click the link. 

A well trained cook, my mother was not. Fish sticks, chicken pot pie and tuna noodle casserole all the way baby.
Love you mom! Please don’t be mad I’m telling everyone about the frozen fish sticks!

My Nana, on the other hand, was an excellent macrobiotic cook. But, unfortunately I didn’t think macrobiotics were cool when I was growing up, so I didn’t learn how brilliant my Nana was until later in life.

Now that I have learned so much about food, our food system in the US, and cooking, I have vowed to bless my daughter with knowledge and skill. She will know what kohlrabi is, how to make her own bean burgers (and be able to eat the raw mix if she wants), the importance of fiber, why staying away from dairy is key, and the state of the commercial farming industry. She is one of the people that will help shape our future – and the future looks better than today.

Part of our future is electronics. I’ve learned to embrace it, but respect it’s power. One of the ways I have planned to embrace it is by doing more videos on how to cook. My problem is timing. By the time I get home from a long day of business meetings, appointments etc. my daughter needs to start her homework  and I have to get dinner on the table before she tries to eat me out of house and home. The last thing I seem to be able to do is put makeup on and film a video.

But I have good news. I’ve discovered a great medium for the busy cook who wants to get into the video segment.

The Vine Video. In 7 seconds I can give a quick overview of how a dish was made. No one really wants to sit down to a 20 minute tutorial before they eat anyway, right? Right? (At least that’s what I’m telling myself.)

Well here it is. You can pause it at each frame but just don’t pause it on my oh-so-fresh and un-made up face. Lord knows I’m not in my college days any more.

Did you grow up cooking? If you have children, how do you get them involved?

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Greens Spanakopita

Serves 4
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

8 sheets fillo dough
Olive oil spray
1 onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 bunches kale, bok choy, spinach or mixture of any greens (about 5 cups), chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup julienned sundried tomatoes
2/3 cup non-dairy cheese (such as cashew cheese, Daiya or tofu cheese)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat; spray with olive oil; sauté onions, about 5 minutes; reduce heat to medium-low; add garlic and greens, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until greens are wilted.

2. Place one sheet fillo on pan prepared with parchment; spray with olive oil; top with next sheet; repeat. Top with greens mixture, cheese and sundried tomato; fold edges over so top is completely covered; flip and spray top with additional olive oil; bake for 25-30 minutes or until fillo is browned. ** Cut into four triangles.

**Watch the fillo closely because it can go from undercooked to overcooked in minutes!

Nutrition Facts (with 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 204.8
Total Fat 9.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 508.0 mg
Potassium 599.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Sugars 4.5 g
Protein 5.8 g

Vitamin A 296.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.6 %
Vitamin C 86.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.5 %
Calcium 9.5 %
Copper 14.1 %
Folate 9.3 %
Iron 12.7 %
Magnesium 10.1 %
Manganese 33.8 %
Niacin 6.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 7.0 %
Riboflavin 7.3 %
Selenium 3.0 %
Thiamin 7.5 %
Zinc 3.4 %

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

Mar 242014
 

Flavorful marinated mushrooms stuffed with a soft vegan cheese are topped off with tart, tangy and sweet sundried tomatoes in my Vegan Marinated & Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms.

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

In the middle of the night last night, thoughts started coming to me – rolling in like thunderclouds. Dark, worrisome, brooding.

 It started with losing my dad and ran the gamut through all of the things I need to get done. I started wondering why we as humans occasionally wake in the middle of the night and start worrying. For one, we can’t do anything about it at that time and secondly, worrying typically doesn’t accomplish anything other than making us feel terrible.

Suddenly, I remembered an excerpt about time travel from a book I’m reading called Choose Yourself, by James Altucher. Not time travel as in “I want to go back in time to see the dinosaurs”, but as in be in the NOW. When you think about the past or the future you are time traveling.

Grilled Mushrooms

Grilled Mushrooms

So I began to have gratitude for what I had RIGHT THEN. A warm, comfy bed, my husband snoozing next to me, and my daughter nestled in her bed. A roof over our heads. Running water. An abundance of food, an abundance of knowledge, family and friends, residing in sunny Florida.

Next I remembered something in this month’s Oprah magazine called 4-7-8 breath. You breathe through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts and exhale from your mouth for 8 counts. Repeat.

Next thing I knew – I was off to dreamland.

Upon waking I knew I had my topic for this post! It flows perfectly with another realization I came to recently. While I’m cooking I never am really present. I’m rushing around trying to do twenty things at once and sometimes burning what I’m cooking in the process. Vivian from KyV Farm recently said she has been cooking all her food for the week on Sunday and she calls it her “me time”. I decided there was no reason I couldn’t do that, so while I was cooking these mushrooms I decided to be present. I grabbed a glass of wine and my magazine and sat on the porch as the mushrooms were grilling. My daughter set the table, we lit candles and sat as a family. We made a sort of mini-production out of it. What a difference this makes! It gives us time to chat about our day, or even just to be quiet together. And that is what life is really about, right?

I hope some of these experiences help you to be more present in your day, to not “time travel”, and to live your best life!

What are your favorite ways of staying in the moment?

Vegan Marinated Mushrooms

Vegan Marinated Mushrooms

Now for the recipe – I have a tofu tip for you.

To press the tofu of water, I love using a TofuXPress (see how it is used in this post.). I finally broke down and bought one a while back and it is probably one of my most favorite tools. It both presses blocks of tofu with no mess, and has a cover so you can marinate right in the press. It is worth the splurge on it. If you want to check it out I have a link to one…look just to the right under “I recommend”. I promise you will NOT be disappointed.

Vegan Grilled Mushrooms

Vegan Grilled Mushrooms

Vegan Marinated & Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms
with Sundried Tomatoes

Serves 4 – 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Please note that tofu will need to be prepared a day or two prior to making this recipe. Feel free to make the marinade ahead too!

Ingredients

1 block organic, extra firm tofu
2-3 Tbsp miso
8 Portobello Mushroom Caps
6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 Tbsp prepared mustard (I like coarse ground)
2 Tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave (honey is not vegan)
1/2 cup non-dairy shredded mozzarella (such as Daiya)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup julienned sundried tomatoes

Directions

1. Press tofu of water – 1 hour to overnight; slice into three sections lengthwise. Spread each slice evenly with miso and let sit overnight.

2. Wipe down mushroom caps and remove stems. Mix balsamic, olive oil, garlic, mustard and maple syrup in a large bowl with a lid. Place mushroom caps inside and gently toss in marinade. Let sit 10 – 20 minutes.

3. Mix miso, tofu, cheese and garlic powder in a large bowl with hands until all ingredients are well incorporated.

4. Heat grill over medium heat, to around 350F; place mushrooms on grill racks, gill side
down; cook 7 to 10 minutes; turn and stuff each mushroom cap with 2 rounded Tbsp of tofu mixture; grill an additional 10 minutes or until “cheese” is heated through. Top each with a few slices of sundried tomato.

**Reserve any leftover marinade for another use.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 168.4
Total Fat 8.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 338.3 mg
Potassium 616.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Sugars 6.2 g
Protein 8.9 g

Vitamin A 0.8 %
Vitamin B-12 0.1 %
Vitamin B-6 3.4 %
Vitamin C 3.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.1 %
Calcium 7.0 %
Copper 8.9 %
Folate 4.5 %
Iron 8.3 %
Magnesium 12.5 %
Manganese 41.2 %
Niacin 2.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %
Phosphorus 11.4 %
Riboflavin 3.1 %
Selenium 10.3 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 7.0 %

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

Jan 212014
 

One bite of my Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce will have your taste buds dancing.

Layers of flavor create balance in this dish; aromatic, fresh ginger, cooling coconut milk, sweet mango, a little heat from the chili sauce, and salty, savory miso ~ all tied together in a neat bow by Ume Plum vinegar.

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Have you seen the show the Taste?

The Taste “features no-holds barred chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef and author Ludo Lefebvre and restaurateur Brian Malarkey. Each of the four culinary superstars and “Taste” mentors – Bourdain, Lawson, Lefebvre and Malarkey – will coach a team of four competing pro and amateur cooks chosen from a nationwide casting call as they vie to create the best tasting dish.”

My five year old daughter and I have been watching this season and rooting for our favorite Vegan, Cassandra Bodzak.

As you watch the judging of each dish, it is interesting how the judges lean towards two things: fat and balance. Many times the dishes that lose are too dry or lack one of the elements of taste, most often sour/acidity or heat.

As I created this dish, the subject of acid became very apparent at first taste. Many times, without acid a recipe falls flat, lacks depth and seems to be missing something.  Think about the dish ~ could you add tomatoes, vinegar or citrus….google to see what goes best in that type of cuisine. In this case I didn’t have lime on hand so I used Ume Plum vinegar. Ah ha! Perfection!

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Umeboshi are traditionally made by harvesting ume fruit when they ripen around June and packing them in barrels with salt. A weight is placed on top and the fruit gradually exude juices, which accumulate at the bottom of the barrel. This salty, sour liquid is marketed as umezu (梅酢; often translated as “ume vinegar”), although it is not a true vinegar.

I searched for quite a while to find this ingredient because it is often used in one of my favorite recipe books ~ Clean Food by Terry Walters. I finally found it locally at Native Sun; however, if you don’t live in the area, check on line or visit your local natural food store.

I can’t wait for you to try this dish! It is going down in my “favorites” and even my husband who is not a fan of Indian inspired dishes complimented this one. Enjoy!

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Serves 7-8 3/4 cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
1 cup mango (the fruit of about 2)
1 sweet potato, chopped (do not peel)
2 tsp miso
1 can full fat coconut milk
3 dashes organic chili sauce or Sriracha (Plus extra for garnish if you like it hot like I do!)
2 tsp Ume plum vinegar
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat; add onions, sauté about 5 minutes; add garlic and ginger sauté an additional minute; add lentils, toast for 1-2 minutes; add curry powder; add vegetable broth, mango and sweet potato; bring to a boil reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils and potato are soft, about 30 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk, miso, chili sauce and vinegar.

3. Garnish with cilantro and serve over cooked quinoa such as Pereg Quinoa with Vegetables.

Nutrition Facts
7 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 154.8
Total Fat 10.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 588.1 mg
Potassium 134.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 1.8 g

Vitamin A 50.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.7 %
Vitamin C 17.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.6 %
Calcium 1.3 %
Copper 4.6 %
Folate 8.1 %
Iron 4.3 %
Magnesium 2.6 %
Manganese 8.0 %
Niacin 2.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.1 %
Phosphorus 3.7 %
Riboflavin 2.6 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 3.4 %
Zinc 1.8 %

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

Bonus tip: 

For a WONDERFUL breakdown of the different types of lentils visit about.com.

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 062014
 

For those of us that need some new and fresh ideas, hopefully these 11 NEW ways to eat healthy on a budget will fit the bill.

1. Buy spices from the bulk bin.  This is a great way to add flavor inexpensively, without additional fat and salt and then pair with bulk bin beans and grains. My friend Janet from Taste Space has tips on storing her spices and Happy Herbivore shares ways to store grains, beans and flours as well as how to cook them.
For people local to North Florida, Native Sun has a great bulk selection.

Extra Tip! If you don’t want to purchase uniform jars, simply wash old pasta sauce jars or applesauce jars and fill with your bulk bin finds. Handy tools include a funnel, masking tape and permanent marker.

2. Use google.  Look for the veggies that are in season and on sale instead of reaching for the old standbys, then google for recipes to find drool worthy photos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I don’t know what to do with daikon radish, Romanesco cauliflower or kohlrabi.” You will be surprised and delighted by what you find on google, I promise. Eating Well has a great collection of inexpensive recipes to use various veggies and your bulk bin items from #1.
For those of you with a CSA like KyV Farm, this is a tip to remember!

3. Swap chicken for tofu in recipes. Two reasons:
The first, tofu wins out nutritionally over chicken.
  Prevention Magazine Chicken vs. Tofu Showdown

Prevention Magazine Chicken vs. Tofu Showdown

Prevention Magazine Chicken vs. Tofu Showdown

Secondly, it is cheaper pound for pound. Organic, non-GMO tofu will be between $2 and $3.50, whereas conventional chicken is $4.53 per pound and organic is $5.49 per pound. (Price on 1/5/2013 at Publix Supermarket.)
When prepared properly, tofu is delicious.  Press it, marinate and grill, roast, sauté, or replace for chicken in any recipe.

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies

Try Grilled Adobo Tofu over Fresh Salsa.

4. Buy fruit trees to go along with your backyard garden.  Fruit trees can produce pounds and pounds of fruit. I purchased a lemon tree for a few bucks and two years later I can’t even eat them all.  I preserve them by the Moroccan method of preserved lemons. David Lebovitz has a good recipe.

Fresh Citrus

Fresh Citrus

Extra tip! You can have a garden in your back yard even if you don’t have a green thumb. I came across Jonathan White’s product ~ a tutorial for growing an easy vegetable garden in under 8 hours per year.  Click Here to try it for yourself. The price is $39.97. I checked in on reviews about it and found this one with good points ~ lots of hand holding, completely different system, anyone can do this, and bad points ~you need to have around $100 to start the actual garden. I can’t wait to try this product out myself!

Grow your own organic garden - FCC Affiliate

Grow your own organic garden – FCC Affiliate

5. Be flexible.
Sup-yoga

Along the lines of #2, sometimes organic produce is less expensive than the conventional version – it just may not be the one you were there looking for. Keep an eye out and read about the “dirty dozen”.

6. Read the ingredients. If you don’t know what the ingredients are or there is a long paragraph, don’t buy the product and allocate your hard earned dollars to these unhealthy, junky foods. Choose whole foods as much as possible that don’t even have a label or expiration date! When you do want junk food, channel your inner Michael Pollan. “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”

7. Give up gum. Yes. Gum. Food Babe tells us why chewing gum destroys our health.

She says “One of the reasons people chew gum is for weight loss. Chewing gum keeps your mouth occupied so you don’t reach for food, right? The main ingredient in all these gums is artificial sweeteners and consuming them will not work as long term strategy for weight loss. Artificial Sweeteners are proven to stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and promote fat storage and weight gain.”

Food Babe: Trident Gum Ingredients – Artificial Colors, Artificial Flavorings, GMOs, Carcinogenic Sugars, Toxic Preservatives (Note: This gum has Xylitol + 3 other sugars including Aspartame)

Food Babe: Trident Gum Ingredients – Artificial Colors, Artificial Flavorings, GMOs, Carcinogenic Sugars, Toxic Preservatives (Note: This gum has Xylitol + 3 other sugars including Aspartame)

It is also expensive. One 3-pack of gum per week can add up to over $152 per year. What could you buy with $152?

8. Find a friend that has a similar healthy eating style and organize a “swip-swap”. My friend Justine and I did this for a while. We would make our family a meal, double it and bring it to our friend with directions for cooking or freezing. We switched off every other week and it was lovely to save money by making dishes in bulk and to not have to cook a meal twice a  month.

9. Make soup. Inexpensive, low in calories and fat, high in fiber. Get some veggie broth (you can make it for free from veggie scraps), veggies, pre-cooked beans and grains. Sauté the veggies (using the seasonings we talked about above), pour in the broth and simmer until the veggies are soft; stir in the cooked beans and grains.

10. Dining Out
a. Eat off the sides. I recently visited Bonefish Grill and ate entirely off sides. I got their pumpkin ravioli with crispy sage (hold the brown butter), green beans with balsamic and a lovely salad with a citrus vinaigrette for around $10 bucks and was really stuffed. In fact, I was still trying to make my way through the meal when everyone had already finished theirs.

b. Ask to sub balsamic instead of butter or oil. This won’t save you money but will save a TON of calories. I find that restaurants tend to drown our dishes in butter and oil and it is actually tastier without it.

11. Swap chips and dip for organic frozen edamame ~

images (8)

Whole pods steamed right from the bag with a bit of coarse sea salt. According to Web MD “Price per serving: 56 cents. You can buy a 16-ounce bag of organic edamame in pods at a supermarket for $2.79 or edamame in pods at Trader Joe’s for $1.79. Nutrition info per serving: 90 calories, 10 grams protein, 8 grams fiber, 10% of the Daily Value for iron, and 6% of the Daily Value for calcium.

 Bonus Tip! I like this quote from http://stronglifts.com (no affiliation) because of the number of people who feel that eating healthy is too expensive. Let’s admit it, it can sometimes be more expensive if time and planning isn’t an option, but eating healthy is so worth it. “Healthy & budget don’t mix well. If you really want to eat healthy you’ll have to put money down. Get a job if you don’t have one. Work on a salary increase or additional stream of income if you do.” Have you recently recommended a restaurant, movie or product you love recently? Then you are already doing Network Marketing. Consider this viable profession and get paid for your recommendations instead of third party marketing companies. According to the DSA, 16 million people in 2012 joined this profession and estimated retail sales was 31.63 billion dollars.

Cheers to your health!
Click here for a quick guide to these 11 tips.

What do you think of these tips? Do you have any “eating healthy on a budget” tips of your own? 

 Posted by at 12:02 pm
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 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.