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.

 

Nov 202013
 

 Utilize all your farmers market produce in this Sensational Seasonal Lentil Soup with a Surprising Ingredient – Radishes! 

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Acorn Squash

Step into my day dream of a Utopian world with an organic farm at the center prompted by my first installment of veggies last Wednesday. What a variety it was!

1) KALE
2) SPAGHETTI SQUASH or EGGPLANT(not in picture) or Yellow Squash/Zucchini
3) ACORN SQUASH & CALABAZA
4) DAIKON RADISH * or RED RADISHES
5) YUM YUM SWEET PEPPERS
6) BOK CHOY
7) KOMATSUNA SPINACH
Plus delicious fresh bread!

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Daikon and Red Globe Radish

There is nothing like walking up to a farm stand, jute bag in hand, with vegetables just pulled from the ground and saying hello to the farmer that grew them. I can’t help but dream about a concept where an organic farm is the center of a supportive community that surrounds it. On the outskirts of the farm are schools that get their food – fresh produce, not off a truck from a far away place, or from food like substances produced in a lab, but from their own back yard.  Ecology, recycling and sustainability would be a main focus.  Kids would be taught real skills along with the standard reading, writing and arithmetic such as sewing, cooking and farming.  We wouldn’t send jobs overseas – but we would produce real products and support families right here in our own communities.

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Fresh Bread, Eggplant & Yum-Yum

Also located there are holistic doctors – trained in both conventional medicine and the healing properties of holistic nutrition with a focus on healing through food and traditional herbal remedies.  There would be less instances of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. People would live long and productive lives with a high quality of life.  We would respect and support our elders as a vital part of our community.

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Bok Choy

There would be a huge focus on staying active with lots of natural trails, camping and hiking in the surrounding woods.  Homes would be built small and with sustainable materials and solar power.  We would collect and purify rain water and we would welcome people that are skilled as seamstresses, gardeners, chefs, mechanics. There would be less of a reliance on technology and more on face to face interactions with real people.  We would have a large library attached to the school with tons of programs for kids and adults alike. Book clubs, children’s story time, craft fairs.  Life is slower, calmer, less stressful.

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Cucumber, Lettuce & Kale

Am I crazy to want such things? I know the argument is the fact that this method can not support the current population – a fact that gets scarier and scarier. How ARE we going to be able to support the population of the future?  Natural resources are being depleted, rivers, oceans and lands are being polluted and consumerism is off the charts. At this point all we can do is take one step at a time, lead by example and constantly be learning about what is going on in the environment and the world…..

And eat soup.

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

Seasonally inspired, calming, comforting and rejuvenating soup.  Deliciously filled with fiber, vitamins and nutrients and just the right amount of protein.

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

For anyone in your family that isn’t a spicy radish lover – let them try this soup. My daughter thinks they are potatoes!

What is your idea of a Utopian society? What are your thoughts on feeding the populations of tomorrow? 

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

 Sensational Seasonal Lentil Soup

Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients from KyV Farm

Ingredients

1 Tbsp oil or broth
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 Daikon radish, chopped**
6 Red Globe radish, quartered**
1 cup Yum-Yum peppers, chopped**
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped collard greens or kale**
1 cup lentils, rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (about 1 can Great Northern, Cannelini or Butter beans)
1 carton broth
2 tsp prepared mustard

Directions

1. Heat oil or broth in a Dutch oven over medium high heat; add onion and cook 5 minutes or until softened; add garlic, carrot and celery; cook an additional 3 minutes; add radish, peppers, poultry seasoning and salt; cook 5 more minutes or so; add collards or kale, lentils, beans and broth; reduce heat, cover and cook about 30 minutes or until lentils and radishes are soft. Stir in mustard, taste and re-season if necessary and enjoy!

Nutrition Fact
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 141.5
Total Fat 2.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 570.5 mg
Potassium 519.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.0 g
Dietary Fiber 6.4 g

Sugars 2.7 g
Protein 6.8 g
Vitamin A 49.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.6 %
Vitamin C 36.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.5 %
Calcium 7.7 %
Copper 10.8 %
Folate 22.6 %
Iron 16.9 %
Magnesium 10.5 %
Manganese 25.2 %
Niacin 3.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.6 %
Phosphorus 10.9 %
Riboflavin 3.7 %
Selenium 2.8 %
Thiamin 8.4 %
Zinc 6.7 %

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

Nov 132013
 

 A seasonal take on classic flavors - Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake made with bonus recipe ~ Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce.  This bake has a perfect balance of spice and a hint of seasonal pumpkin – without the heat!

Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Before I get to this delicious recipe I’ll share a few snapshots from VegFest last weekend! What an amazing event to bring together like-minded people from the community who are concerned about animals, the earth and people.

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

I loved this photo when I walked by.  It was so captivating that I had to stop and snap a few photos of it.  I think that when it comes to birds we think of as food, we forget that they are living beings.  The interesting thing is that if someone sees and injured bird on the road or baby duckling there tends to be so much concern and care – but when it comes to chickens or turkeys that we consider food that same sentiment isn’t there. Many chickens and turkeys in the commercial farming industry are de-beaked without anesthetic to prevent them from pecking other birds, their own feathers or vents out of stress and boredom.  That would be like taking that baby duckling and cutting half her beak off. I can’t imagine!

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

There were fabulous crafts for kids.  Here they are using sticks and native oyster shells along with string to make beautiful and creative mobiles.

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

A few of the vendors present were Corner Taco

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

Sally Ann Designs – handmade local fashion

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

dig foods…

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

…very cute animals roaming about…

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

…and where I parked myself all afternoon…Native Sun!
Here you see one of the crew having a serious conversation with a seahorse.

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

I was there representing Native Sun  as both a customer and partner to help where needed, give out coupons and recipe cards, meet people and chat!

We had two kinds of vegan tacos for people to try – a mushroom based Carnitas style with BBQ sauce and a spice Sriracha style with an artichoke base. People voted on their favorite and the winner is going to be on the menu at Native Sun.

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

 Now before I move ahead with the recipe I’ll share my favorite experience of the day – getting to meet this cute little piglet! With her soft fuzzy head and velvety nose she brought a smile to everyone’s face and melted every heart around her!

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

And the winning taco was the Carnitas style taco!

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

On to the recipe…..now don’t let the ingredient list scare you. You most likely have the majority of these ingredients at home if you are someone that enjoys flavors like garlic, cumin and chili – and of course, my secret weapon is mustard! I love a nice course-ground, prepared mustard to add a bit of acid to finish my dish.

Tip: Keep in mind that when tasting a dish and wondering what it is missing – it is usually acid.  Some examples are a squeeze of fresh lemon, vinegar of all kinds, lime juice and mustard. Mustard is prepared with vinegar so not only does it add flavor, it adds that tiny bit of sour to balance out the flavor.

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

My suggestion is to make the enchilada sauce ahead of time and double the recipe if you want freeze some to have on hand for next time or to make another dish.

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Serves 9
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Grocery List

Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake Ingredients

1 recipe Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce or two cups prepared enchilada sauce**
1 Tbsp oil (or broth for fat free)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped sweet potato
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (to taste) & fresh ground pepper
1 cup corn kernels
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup water
3/4 cup canned pureed pumpkin
1 tsp prepared mustard
5 tortillas (I used Food for Life Gluten Free), cut into strips
1 cup non dairy cheese, I used Daiya Pepper Jack

Directions for Black Bean Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil or broth in a large pot over medium high heat; add onion and saute until translucent, about five minutes; add garlic and saute an additional minute; add sweet potato, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are beginning to soften; stir in corn, black beans, water, pureed pumpkin and mustard; cover, reduce heat and simmer about 2o minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375F. Layer 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on bottom of baking dish; top with 1 layer of tortilla and 1/2 black beans and pumpkin mixture; repeat; end with 1 layer of tortilla, remaining 1 cup sauce and 1 cup cheese; cover and bake 15 minutes or until heated through.

Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce

Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce

Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce

Makes 1 recipe
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce Ingredients

3 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp gluten free flour (I used chickpea flour)
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder or baking cocoa
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

Directions for Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce

1. Heat a straight sided skillet over medium – high heat; add all ingredients; cook for 20 minutes or until well combined.

 Enchilada Bake Nutrition Facts (Including Enchilada Sauce)
9 Servings

Amount Per Serving 

Calories 247.2 (including olive oil – without 233 cals)
Total Fat 6.9 g (including olive oil – without 5.4 grams fat)
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 585.9 mg
Potassium 503.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.9 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Sugars 3.5 g
Protein 7.2 g

Vitamin A 74.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 19.6 %
Vitamin C 18.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.1 %
Calcium 4.9 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 16.0 %
Iron 14.3 %
Magnesium 17.0 %
Manganese 18.2 %
Niacin 10.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.3 %
Phosphorus 15.4 %
Riboflavin 4.3 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 15.4 %
Zinc 6.9 %

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

Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce (whole recipe)
Nutrition Facts  
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 284.9
Total Fat 5.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 2,447.4 mg
Potassium 1,290.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 53.3 g
Dietary Fiber 16.1 g
Sugars 16.9 g
Protein 9.5 g

Vitamin A 165.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 56.8 %
Vitamin C 88.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.4 %
Calcium 21.2 %
Copper 29.1 %
Folate 8.4 %
Iron 37.8 %
Magnesium 19.9 %
Manganese 41.2 %
Niacin 10.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.1 %
Phosphorus 16.4 %
Riboflavin 12.4 %
Selenium 7.8 %
Thiamin 9.3 %
Zinc 9.3 %

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

 

 Posted by at 3:24 pm
Oct 222013
 

One taste of this Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries and you will have a new Thanksgiving tradition.

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

 I typically try to stick with whole foods as much as possible but this Tofurkey roast was one of those splurge items that really neat to try.

When I was asked to create this recipe and take photos I realized that knew of the Tofurkey name but knew little about the background of the company so I surfed around and found out a bit more.  Wow! I love a passionate, family run company.

 Turtle Island Foods is the company that creates this roast and this is their very interesting story!

Turtle Island foods was created in 1980 by Seth Tibbot – a teacher and naturalist that lived in a tree house in Oregon that he rented for $25 per month.  His first product was tempeh and he focused solely on that for 15 years!

“At Turtle Island Foods, our Tofurky® and tempeh products are created to promote the health and vitality of both the people and the ecosystems of our “island” home. For almost 30 years we have worked to create delicious, nutritious, convenient and affordable vegetarian food that make a difference in people’s lives and have a minimal impact on our environment. We are located in Hood River, Oregon, one hour east of Portland. We make our vegetarian products in small batches using only the finest organic and natural ingredients. No preservatives, MSG or other artificial ingredients are added to our products. All of our products are kosher, vegan, and made with organic soybeans and/or organic tofu. We are a family owned and operated company.”

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

 All of the Turtle Island products are vegan and non-GMO.  For ingredients they prefer to use organic tofu and soy instead of soy powders and isolates.  They actually smoke their foods in real smoke houses instead of using liquid smoke.

Seth’s family supported him in growing his business so he was finally able to move into a larger facility a few years prior to 1995 – the year that Seth’s company hit it big with the sale of 500 Tofurkey roasts just like the one pictured here and was even featured on the Today Show!  His products helped vegetarians that felt left out on Thanksgiving Day.

In 1999 Ellen DeGeneres started promoting the brand and the name “Tofurkey” because of it’s humor factor. Turtle Island believes that year they enjoyed over 1.5 million in free publicity!

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Turtle Island Foods is the last independently run, family owned and operated soy food brand in the US.  Sadly (but not surprisingly) the other small soy food companies have been picked off by the giants such as Dean Foods, ConAgra, Kraft and others.

WHY are they hanging in there and doing all this?  Because they care about your health and the health of animals and the environment. Check out the facts they have listed such as:

If 1/3 of Americans switched from eating one 3 ½-ounce serving of beef, one egg, and a one-ounce serving of cheese each day to a mix of vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains:
(United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006.)

  • Acres of cropland spared: 180 million (an area larger than the state of Texas)
  • Tons of pesticides eliminated: 9,375
  • Tons of fertilizer eliminated: 2 million
  • Tons of manure eliminated*: 570 million (* Livestock manure and flatulence generate 30-40% of total methane emissions from human-influenced activities.)
Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Ok so we all love knowing about the background of the company – but how does it taste?!

I can officially say I was deliciously surprised.  I have tried a few other products that are meant to replicate that texture of meat and have not been impressed; however, with this recipe I was VERY impressed. Not only with the mixture of the flavors with the caramelized onion and dried cherries, but with the texture of the Tofurkey and the taste of the moist wild rice stuffing inside.

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

I’ll definitely be using the caramelized onion mixture for other types of recipes. It would make a great sandwich topping or maybe over a grain and bean dish – the opportunities are endless!

What is your favorite Vegan holiday item?

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

For other delicious Thanksgiving recipes try these!
Thanksgiving Bean Burger

Apple Mushroom Stuffing Hash

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Coconut Pumpkin Pie

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Dried Cherries

Reprinted with permission from Turtle Island Foods
Serves 6
Vegan

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced very thin
1 cup dried sour cherries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons apple cider
1 Tofurky roast
** Be sure Tofurkey is thawed in refrigerator for 24 hours before beginning recipe!

Directons:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, cherries, brown sugar and vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Stir in mustard and apple cider, and simmer for two more minutes. Place Tofurky roast on sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and spread with the onion mixture. Wrap roast snugly with the foil. Place in roasting pan, and place on center rack of oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover roast for last 10 minutes of baking.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 307.3
Total Fat 6.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 529.0 mg
Potassium 178.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 35.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Sugars 17.1 g
Protein 26.8 g

Vitamin A 12.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.6 %
Vitamin C 2.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 16.9 %
Copper 1.3 %
Folate 1.2 %
Iron 11.9 %
Magnesium 0.9 %
Manganese 2.8 %
Niacin 0.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.3 %
Phosphorus 1.0 %
Riboflavin 0.4 %
Selenium 0.3 %
Thiamin 0.8 %
Zinc 0.3 %

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

 

Oct 102013
 

For anyone looking to cut gluten naturally this holiday season try this Apple & Mushroom Stuffing Hash! It has all the flavors of Thanksgiving but with all natural veggies and no bread.

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

There are so many of us that want to eat healthier but over the holidays it almost seems impossible – we love our traditional comfort foods and going without seems unimaginable.

I can tell you from personal experience that the first time you make a change from those once-a-year foods is a bit weird.  I made a walnut-tofu loaf and I remember eyeing the turkey thinking I really wasn’t sure I wanted to give it up so I took a little taste.  (Shh…don’t tell anyone.) Since I had already been eating a plant based diet for a while I was surprised that the taste of turkey was not as satisfying as I had remembered it in my head.  The only way I can explain it is that the thought that came to my head was…..muscle fibers.  I was biting into muscle and it is a firm texture that is unique and tough to duplicate in the plant world. Frankly it wasn’t as pleasant as I remembered.  Then I took a taste of my walnut loaf. It was moist and had a delicate crust on the outside with a nutty, semi-firm texture on the inside and had all the flavors of thanksgiving – sage, thyme, rosemary. When this was paired with some tart-sweet cranberry sauce and roasted veggies just like in this recipe I was in absolute heaven.  Even the leftovers made awesome sandwiches.  All it took was opening my mind that not only would a plant based food be an ok substitute, but that  I could like it even better and not have that stuffed, heavy feeling at the end of the meal!

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

This dish is the perfect cool-weather accompaniment for both every day dinners and Thanksgiving feasts.  Many stuffings traditionally have mushrooms, aromatic herbs and apples – so with this dish you will get all the flavors without any of the bread.  You can even throw some nuts in there to add an element of crunch – or, if you can’t go without any bread, make a panzanella out of this and throw a few toasted bread cubes in there so that the bulk of the recipe is veggie but you have the toasty bread you love.

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple & Mushroom “Stuffing” Hash

with Roasted Root Veggies

Serves 6 (about 1-cup each)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Oct 7-Nov 6, 2013

Ingredients

1 Tbsp avocado oil (or other high-heat stable oil)
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
2 apples, cored and chopped**
1 10oz pkg button mushrooms, sliced
6 fingerling potatoes, chopped**
1 Tbsp salt free poultry seasoning mix
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 beet, greens removed and chopped**

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix oil through fresh ground pepper in a large baking dish; top evenly with beets without stirring too much. (This will prevent the vegetables from turning pink.) Roast for 1 hour, gently turning half way through.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 129.0
Total Fat 2.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 217.4 mg
Potassium 514.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 9.0 g
Protein 3.3 g

Vitamin A 87.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.3 %
Vitamin B-6 9.8 %
Vitamin C 25.1 %
Vitamin D 9.0 %
Vitamin E 1.0 %
Calcium 1.9 %
Copper 11.8 %
Folate 11.2 %
Iron 4.8 %
Magnesium 4.9 %
Manganese 9.9 %
Niacin 12.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.9 %
Phosphorus 7.6 %
Riboflavin 14.7 %
Selenium 6.6 %
Thiamin 6.8 %
Zinc 3.3 %

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

Oct 092013
 

Today is my three year bloggiversary! To celebrate I am posting a creamy Autumn Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Lentil Soup with Aromatic Fresh Sage will put you in the mood for fall. Savory and comforting with all the traditional holiday flavors will have you giving thanks that Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Autumn Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Lentil Soup with Fresh Sage

Autumn Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Lentil Soup with Fresh Sage

The good news is that the amount of fiber will trim our waistline before the heavy meals make their way into our diets. This mouth-watering soup is only 100 calories, naturally (almost) fat free and has 6 grams of fiber so eat to your heart’s content!
As an added bonus, this recipe is great for both you and your kids. My daughter loved the rich but mild flavor and the sweetness of the potatoes and pumpkin.

Autumn Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Lentil Soup with Fresh Sage

Autumn Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Lentil Soup with Fresh Sage

 I’d also like to take this time to express my gratitude for each of you that comes to visit me here. When I started this blog I really wanted to simply catalog my recipes and practice my photography skills.  As this blog grew and I got feedback from people that it was actually helping them I knew that I had a responsibility to change and grow and provide useful content.  By doing this for you, it in turn makes me feel fulfilled. Blogging takes many hours and is a lot of work – you really have to love it, but isn’t everything worth doing a lot of work?  It is a creative and fun outlet where you can really connect with people.  Many thanks to each of you that has joined me on my journey as I learn about SEO, blogging do’s and don’t (I’m sure I’ve broken ALL the don’ts) and grown both in photography and writing.

Autumn Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Lentil Soup with Fresh Sage

Autumn Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Lentil Soup with Fresh Sage

Gratitude is such a beautiful thing. It puts things in perspective and gives us peace.  Once we are at peace we can share this calmness and love with others.  I can’t completely express how changes in my life have given me a bit of this peace. Even though my life is so crazy (still) – much more than I thought since leaving Corporate America – I’m moving in the direction of being able to do what I’m passionate about each and every day.  I can blog, spend time with my daughter, husband and family, help people through my business, coach others in need, work with amazing businesses in my community and even take some classes.  Continuing education is so important. I encourage you all to wonder about the world. Ask why something is.  If we all dove deep into why things are the way they are the world would change for the better very quickly.  Once the hard part of figuring out WHAT I was passionate about was done, I could then laser focus on WHY I wanted to make a course correction and move in that direction. The why is what gives me the power to continue getting up each day at 4:30 and get that worm!  Though I’m not exactly where I want to be I am now enjoying the journey.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret. Being at peace with the journey is what it is all about.

So on my third bloggiversary I leave you with these thoughts for the day.

Gratitude

Peace

Good Health

Education

Autumn Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Lentil Soup with Fresh Sage

Autumn Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Lentil Soup with Fresh Sage

Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Lentil Soup with Fresh Sage

Serves 8 generous 1 1/2 cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/3 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp salt free poultry seasoning blend
1 cup pink lentils
2 cartons (8 cups) low sodium veggie broth, divided
1 tsp fresh sage, minced
1 14oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin filling)

Directions

1. Heat 2 Tbsp of the veggie broth in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and celery; cook about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, sweet potatoes, bay leaf, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning; cook 3 minutes.

2. Add the lentils and veggie broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes; stir in sage and pumpkin; cook an additional 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

3. Remove bay leaf; puree ingredients with an immersion blender for a thick and creamy soup.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 105.4
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 249.1 mg
Potassium 337.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.3 g
Dietary Fiber 6.0 g
Sugars 3.7 g
Protein 3.7 g

Vitamin A 291.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.2 %
Vitamin C 20.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.7 %
Calcium 5.9 %
Copper 9.5 %
Folate 15.8 %
Iron 12.6 %
Magnesium 7.0 %
Manganese 19.0 %
Niacin 3.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.1 %
Phosphorus 8.2 %
Riboflavin 6.2 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 6.1 %
Zinc 3.7 %

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

Oct 022013
 
Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Sometimes I just want to be a little naughty.

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

I am not an individual that suffers from celiac disease or even a wheat sensitivity.  I just choose, the majority of the time, not to eat wheat. My daughter has a wheat allergy – so I rarely eat it around her.

The other night though, my husband and I were invited to a party.  A no-children-allowed party.

I giggled mischievously.

I would be making something with a glorious loaf of crusty bread.

(For anyone that is gluten free – try this gloriously crusty gluten free bread! and To replace the eggs click here.)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

I whipped up some of my favorite ingredients all in one bowl.  Crisp romaine, tender baby lettuces, juicy tomatoes, tart-sweet sun dried tomato, crunchy red cabbage, nutty pine nuts and flavor-punched red onion just to name a few.  Then I cut generous slices of bread and toasted them – but not too much – just so they had a nice crust but were still soft inside.  I sprayed them with a bit of olive oil, coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper and sliced them into hearty 1 inch cubes. Easy as pie.

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

To dress this salad simply I used a FCC version of my all time favorite plant based-oil free dressing. The 3-2-1 dressing from my beloved Forks Over Knives Handbook. The recipes is comprised of the 3-2-1 ratio of balsamic, mustard and maple syrup and then I added in some fresh garlic. I also made a version with oil and I was happy to say that the oil free version went first – in fact it looked like someone licked the bowl. This one turned out so well it has landed in the “favorites” department. Enjoy!

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Serves 10 – 12 (Serving size varies by size of veggies but it is a generous amount.)
Vegan, Gluten Free Option
Printable Recipe
Dressing inspired by 3-2-1 dressing from Forks Over Knives Handbook
**On Sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Sept 7 – Oct 6, 2013

Ingredients

1 crusty multigrain bread loaf cut into 1 inch slices
Olive oil spray (I use an olive oil mister.)
1/4 tsp Coarse sea salt, 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper or to taste, plus some to season bread
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
4  cups baby lettuce mix
1 English cucumber
1/2 sliced red onion
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup sliced red cabbage
1/3 cup julienned sundried tomato
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped finely
6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar**
4 Tbsp olive oil (optional)**
1 to3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp course ground prepared mustard
2 Tbsp REAL 100% pure maple syrup

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place bread slices on baking sheet; bake 5 minutes or until top is lightly browned, flip and bake an additional 3 minutes or until lightly browned and center is still soft. Remove from oven, spray olive oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper. (Save the larger amount for salad) Set aside to cool. Slice into 1 inch cubes when cool.

2. Mix lettuce through parsley in a large bowl; mix balsamic through maple syrup in a small bowl. Top lettuce mixture with bread cubes and just before serving pour dressing.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving
(Without optional olive oil.
When added, add an additional 40 cals per serving and 5 grams fat)

Calories 173.3
Total Fat 4.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 422.9 mg
Potassium 168.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 2.8 g
Protein 5.5 g

Vitamin A 28.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.9 %
Vitamin C 26.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.8 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 4.1 %
Folate 7.7 %
Iron 6.9 %
Magnesium 4.0 %
Manganese 29.2 %
Niacin 2.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.2 %
Phosphorus 3.9 %
Riboflavin 2.3 %
Selenium 0.4 %
Thiamin 3.0 %
Zinc 3.3 %

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