Dec 032013
 

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

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

They are cute, yes?

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

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

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

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

What is your favorite holiday cookie or indulgence?

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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

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

Nutrition Facts
18 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

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

Dec 012013
 

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

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

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

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

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Here were some of her suggestions:

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

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

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

Greens Salad with Avocado and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving 

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

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

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

Nov 252013
 

 Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary. Need I say more?

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Sometimes an unexpectedly happy email pops into your inbox ~ maybe it is from an old friend, maybe it is a response to a job opportunity or maybe it is from Mommypage for an interview!

This is an AWESOME resource for moms out there!

Mommypage  is an online community of like minded women to share stories, advice, recipes, craft ideas, coupons and more. You can be caught for hours browsing around the useful information and connecting with people.

_mp-Newsletter-Swap-Banner250x250

When I got the email asking if I would be open to sharing some recipes and writing up an interview I said of course!

I was so excited to be able to share a little snapshot of information about plant based diets and how it can benefit people and especially their children. Here is one of the questions I was asked….I loved this question because it enabled me to expand on the difference between vegan and plant based. Yes there are lots of reasons to go vegan, but when it comes to health for our bodies and the environment, plant based is a great way to go. It essentially is vegan but is based around as many whole foods as possible.

Are you raising your daughter to be vegan? Do you think parents should consider this food lifestyle for their kids?

No, I’m simply teaching her the principals of plant-based nutrition – why it is healing, what happens in the body, the effects of animal foods and where food comes from – especially the conditions of the animals in factory farms.  Every man, woman and child should learn about the centralized feeding operations that supply our meats and dairy and the ties between the USDA and these industries.  Many times the bottom line is not our health, it is money.  She has a dairy allergy and I don’t buy or cook with meats but she will occasionally have local honey. Also important to note is that even if someone calls themselves vegan they can still eat junk food all day!

No, I don’t think people should consider a “vegan” lifestyle for their kids, instead consider a whole foods plant-based lifestyle where they eat plants as close to the source as possible.

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

 While you are reading Mommypage I have a fabulous recipe for you to nosh – guilt free! There is something about fresh citrus in a dressing. It is so zingy, invigorating and sunny! This time I threw the whole orange in – yup the pulp and all – and I loved the texture. Feel free to juice the orange first instead, but you will miss out on all that glorious pulp!

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Serves 4-6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Nov 7 thru Dec 6

Ingredients

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 small pears**
3 small apples**
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1/8 tsp sea salt & dash fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped natural almonds

Dressing
1 fresh orange, peeled
1 (to 2) Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp local honey or agave
2 Tbsp water

Directions

1. Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl; mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl; toss dressing over salad mixture.

2. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 213.4
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 77.6 mg
Potassium 498.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 24.1 g
Protein 3.2 g

Vitamin A 31.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.3 %
Vitamin C 66.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.9 %
Calcium 7.1 %
Copper 8.9 %
Folate 24.0 %
Iron 7.7 %
Magnesium 8.8 %
Manganese 24.8 %
Niacin 2.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 4.3 %
Riboflavin 6.6 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 2.1 %

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

Nov 062013
 

This “Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch” is tangy, creamy and super easy to throw together. Your kids will love you (and their veggies) for it!

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

I’m “the Garden Mom”.

This means that when volunteer requests came around at school I put my hand up to help fill the garden beds at my daughter’s school that were established by her teacher Sarah. Sarah’s passion for teaching kids about veggies and where they come from is inspirational and I hope that more teachers follow her lead in growing healthy minds AND bodies!

To fill the garden I called my friends at KyV farm and guess what they did…..

They donated TONS of organic seedlings and one of the owners, Vivian, came over to help me and the kids plant them. Vivian is just as passionate about teaching kids about farming and where veggies are grown. She patiently helped each child dig a small hole in the soil and gently place their delicate seedling. Each child left with a deeper connection to the earth and where food comes from. I can only hope that this experience will ignite a passion for conservation, local and sustainable farming and the importance of consuming lots of plants.

Many thanks to KyV Farm!

School Garden

School Garden

Here is a recent photo of the fruits of our labor. Gorgeous!

School Garden

School Garden

So far we have created “Monster Smoothies” at Halloween and the kids enjoyed delicious veggie and fruit smoothies made with several kale varieties and Swiss chard.

Today some of the kohlrabi and a few more of the greens were harvested to be eaten raw. What better way to eat raw veggies than with ranch dressing right? Except….my daughter is allergic to dairy and frankly, I’m not that excited about the idea of her having dairy anyway. So just this morning I created this recipe.

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

I was SO happy with the results that I simply had to share.  Three ingredients almost doesn’t seem like a recipe at all, but it is a great way to get skeptical kids to eat a whole variety of veggies. I can’t wait to use this for all the veggies we will get next week from our first KyV Farm Share installment!

**Please keep in mind that this is meant to be used sparingly. You’ll definitely want to stick to 1-2 tablespoons because it is fairly calorie dense.  Use this as a treat to help kids dip their toe into trying new veggies or as a fun party dip.

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Serves 4 Generous 1-Tbsp
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1/4 cups Pesto Vegenaise
1 Tbsp plain non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
1 tsp coarse ground prepared mustard

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or dish. Use as dip, dressing or spread!

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 93.1
Total Fat 9.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 116.4 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 0.0 g
Vitamin E 0.1 %

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

Proof that kids will eat raw vegetables….

 

 Posted by at 11:28 am
Oct 152013
 

Gently sweet, soft, moist and comforting – these kale and flax cornbread muffins are supremely satisfying.

They are perfect for breakfast or as a great accompaniment for dinner (and your kids will love eating kale and flax). Imagine that!

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

There is something comforting about cornbread – it’s a little sweet and a unique texture that can only be a cornbread. For anyone thinking about adding more plant based foods into their diet this is a great start!

If you have been following my blog, you know that I’m taking plant based nutrition courses with Cornell University to obtain my Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition.  I did a review of my first class and have finished with the second called diseases of affluence. We are learning more and more about the healing power of plants as a whole ~ plants are filled with the right amounts of protein, are high in fiber, low in fat, and packed with vitamins and nutrients. Inversely, animal foods (including dairy) have cholesterol, saturated fats and high amounts of animal protein that are fuel for the fire when it comes to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many more.

 Instead of doing a boring old review, I will share a moving story with you that one of my fellow students posted. He is a doctor that obviously cares very much about his patients. One in particular was a very sick lady…..

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Story courtesy of Doctor Anthony Stugan.  Dr Stugan ~ we all thank you so much for this moving story. You will change many lives through your caring and commitment to health.

“While I find all of Dr. Campbell’s Principles of Health important and compelling, I would like to take this opportunity to tell a brief story relating to Principle #6: The same nutrition that prevents disease in its early stages – that is, before diagnosis- can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages, after diagnosis.

In early August, about three weeks after I had changed to a WFPB [Whole Foods Plant Based] diet, I began to recommend this to my patients. One patient who I had been seeing for the past five years was a sixty-six year old female who was obese at five-feet two inches and just over 280lbs. She had undergone a left breast lumpectomy for cancer, was an uncontrolled Type II diabetic on three oral hypoglycemics, had previously undergone triple bypass for coronary artery disease, had hypertension, dyslipidemia, osteoarthritis, hyperuricemia, obstructive sleep apnea, renal insufficiency, and chronic venous stasis with intermittent ulcerations on lower extremities. She was taking more than a dozen prescribed medications from myself and other medical sub-specialists. At the time of her appointment I recall she was wearing UNA Boots (medicated wraps for venous stasis ulcerations) on both legs. We had previously adjusted her diuretics to try and diminish the weeping edema in her legs only to add further insult to her kidney function. Sodium restriction to her meant not adding salt to her food–which consisted of sausage, hot dogs, and a favorite in this area–biscuits and gravy.

We discussed her disappointing lab results, her weight gain, her chronic edema, and then I just told her that my approach to treating her was failing and I then asked her if she would be agreeable to exploring an entirely different path. I explained that since her last appointment, I had learned a considerable amount about the benefits of whole food plant based nutrition and that if she would consider this option, we could possibly reverse her diabetes, help her lose weight, improve her blood pressure and even reduce or eliminate the possibility of her breast cancer returning. I sat with her and we leafed through some pages of Dr. Fuhrman’s book: Eat to Live, and we talked about several of his patients whose stories are featured in the book and who were able to successfully lose weight and discontinue many or all of their medications and regain their health. I explained to her that after 20 years of medical practice, I was still learning new things. I shared with her that I had recently changed my diet and that this enabled me to discontinue my cholesterol and blood pressure medications which I had taken for 17 and 10 years respectively. She was shocked that I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. “But Dcotor, you’re so thin, you mean you have high cholesterol too?” Prior to changing my diet I was 5ft 10 and weighed 170 lbs. I explained that even though I was not overweight and my cholesterol and blood pressure were controlled with medication, I didn’t feel good and I was willing to change my diet to see what would happen. I told her that I now had much more energy throughout the day and that I felt ten years younger! Better still, I felt empowered by the fact that I was now in control of my own health instead of simply taking a handful of pills everyday. I explained to her that with respect to her diabetes, we were in a sense just chasing our tails by periodically trying new medications to lower her glucose and A1c levels. With the WFPB diet, she could potentially eliminate the need for all of the diabetic medications altogether. She embraced this idea, agreed to order a copy of the book and try to join me on this new healthy eating lifestyle. We kept all of her medications the same and scheduled a follow up appointment for six weeks later.

In two weeks, she called the office because she experienced her first ever near-hypoglycemic episode, a finger stick glucose of 74. She told me that although she had “cheated” once or twice, she was enjoying the book and was committed to the lifestyle change. I recommended that she immediately discontinue all three of her diabetic medications.

On her follow up appointment, we rejoiced over her 21lb weight loss, normal blood pressure, complete resolution of her lower extremity edema, and glycohemoglobin A1c of 5.8% — now in normal range. I am so proud of her, I told her that in all of my years of practice, I had never seen such a dramatic improvement in such a short time. No medication will ever accomplish this.

She is now even more committed to continuing this lifestyle and she has gone on to support one of her friends adopt a WFPB diet.

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

For anyone that is looking to cut out oils – including extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil – you can try substituting some or all of the oil with unsweet apple sauce. I will definitely be trying this in future batches!

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Serves 12
Vegan, Gluten Free Option
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp plain non-dairy milk
1 cup whole wheat or gluten free flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup agave or local honey
1/2 cup pure coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup finely chopped raw kale
2 green onions, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F.   Mix 1 Tbsp flax with 3 Tbsp non dairy milk and place in refrigerator. Mix flour, cornmeal, sea salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add agave or honey, coconut oil, 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, flax mixture and stir to combine. Fold in kale and green onions. Spoon evenly into 12 muffin tins and bake 17 -20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 207.4
Total Fat 9.9 g
Saturated Fat 7.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 232.3 mg
Potassium 59.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g

Sugars 11.8 g
Protein 2.6 g
Vitamin A 22.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.3 %
Vitamin C 5.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 7.8 %
Copper 1.9 %
Folate 1.0 %
Iron 3.6 %
Magnesium 3.8 %
Manganese 4.9 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.6 %
Phosphorus 5.3 %
Riboflavin 1.9 %
Selenium 2.5 %
Thiamin 2.9 %
Zinc 1.6 %

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

Aug 282013
 
Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Since leaving my corporate job I have been so much busier than I thought I would be – but every minute has been filled with gratitude, peace and excitement about the future.  After 13 years in the structured day of corporate finance I expected to have anxiety with the change of moving into a self directed environment. In reality I have found that I am even more productive and get more done because I’m EXCITED to face the day.  Work doesn’t feel like work.  Being self directed though is not an excuse to let my eating habits fall by the wayside. Hence this big salad – I could eat it all week and easily incorporate variations each day.

I shared some with my mom as well – after one taste she declared that she could become vegan if I made this for her every day.
It is all in the dressing and the CRUNCH from the veggies.

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

This salad is perfect by itself or served over spinach and lettuces (as shown in these photos), topped with tofu cubes or avocado.

Why is RAW great? Because the disease fighting phytonutrients and digestion-friendly enzymes stay in tact.  Edamame packs a protein punch to keep you full and satisfied longer.

….But it is the drool-worthy dressing I get so excited about. It may seem simple, but this mixture of ingredients will make you beg for more. Fruity and flavorful olive oil, tart lemon, a hint of olive oil and dash of agave or honey to sweeten the deal. You’ll be putting this dressing on everything!

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

 6 servings – about 2 cups each
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, August 7 -Sept 6, 2013

Ingredients

3 tomatoes, chopped
3 bell peppers (varying colors), seeded and chopped
1 slice red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 celery ribs
3 small summer squashes, chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli**
12 oz shelled edamame

Dressing
1/2 olive oil
2 Tbsp coarse ground prepared mustard
1/2 Tbsp agave or local honey
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions

1. Mix veggies and edamame in large bowl; mix well.

2. Mix dressing in a medium bowl or Magic Bullet; mix well and pour over vegetables; toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 278.3
Total Fat 20.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 13.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 278.6 mg
Potassium 491.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Sugars 6.0 g
Protein 9.0 g

Vitamin A 22.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 17.4 %
Vitamin C 119.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.7 %
Calcium 9.3 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 13.1 %
Iron 10.9 %
Magnesium 7.0 %
Manganese 15.1 %
Niacin 5.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 6.3 %
Riboflavin 9.0 %
Selenium 2.0 %
Thiamin 7.5 %
Zinc 2.7 %

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

Aug 212013
 
Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla "Frosting"

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

 I thought I was SOOOO smart.

At my daughter’s daycare I had created tons of vegan and gluten free lunch and snack ideas that she loved and were easy to prepare.  With all her food allergies to wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts and dyes (like red 40) it was just easier to send our own food in.

But the catch was that most of them could be heated on site by the resident chef.

Upon talking with the food manager at her new school there is no heating of lunches for kids with food allergies.

Ug! Back to the drawing board for cold friendly items.

For those of you with kids – what do you pack for their school lunches? Or do they buy food at the school?

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla "Frosting"

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

I have found that the key with children is to keep things simple and fun.  Lately her favorite breakfast is toast with sunbutter, three raisins for the eyes and nose, unhulled sesame seeds for the hair.

These skewers fit the bill perfectly. She loves to dip so this is a fun way to help her get a serving of fruit.
Upon tasting the yogurt mixture she promptly announced that it tasted like frosting. Score! We loved the sweet jeweled look of the skewers and the lemony burst in the vanilla yogurt is sure to please kids and grownups of all ages.

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla "Frosting"

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

Serves 2-4 (1/2 cup fruit with generous 3 Tbsp frosting.)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup grapes
1 cup blueberries
1 60z vanilla yogurt (I used non-dairy almond yogurt)
1 Tbsp agave (or local honey)
1 pinch coarse sea salt
1 tsp lemon zest

Directions

1. Skewer two blueberries and one grape on toothpicks.

2. Mix yogurt, agave, sea salt and lemon zest in a small bowl.

3. Dip grape skewers into yogurt mixture and enjoy!

**Tip: the grape skewers are delicious frozen too! 

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 98.6
Total Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 43.8 mg
Potassium 80.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 17.1 g
Protein 1.0 g

Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.9 %
Vitamin C 15.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.2 %
Calcium 0.7 %
Copper 3.0 %
Folate 1.0 %
Iron 1.1 %
Magnesium 1.1 %
Manganese 6.5 %
Niacin 1.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.5 %
Phosphorus 0.9 %
Riboflavin 2.5 %
Selenium 0.5 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 0.5 %

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

Aug 082013
 

I confess.

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

I miss tuna fish sandwiches and chicken salad – but substituting chickpeas with the same flavors is just as satisfying on a plant based diet! I love that clean and fresh taste of dill – so distinctive – paired with nuts or seeds.

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

As soon as I saw this recipe from my friend Alissa I knew exactly how I was going to use the Nasoya vegan whipped spread called Nayonaise I was asked to review. A little goes a long way in this recipe. I enjoyed the tangy flavor with just a hint of lemon and the mild seasonings of turmeric, paprika and garlic. Thanks Nasoya!

This versatile salad is perfect as an appetizer, quick lunch or over greens for a complete and satisfying meal.

If you are on a plant based diet are there any recipes you miss?  Have you been able to recreate them in a satisfying way?

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Inspired by Connoisseurus Veg 
Serves 2 dinner portion or 4 appetizer portion
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Stores August 7 – September 6, 2013

Ingredients

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas** (or 1 14.5 oz can will work too)
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 Tbsp black and/or white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp whipped Nayonaise
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds**
1/8 tsp coarse grind sea salt

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; crush chickpeas a bit with a fork.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 195.4
Total Fat 7.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 404.2 mg
Potassium 254.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 0.2 g
Protein 7.4 g

Vitamin A 0.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 28.3 %
Vitamin C 7.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 18.0 %
Calcium 6.1 %
Copper 20.1 %
Folate 22.2 %
Iron 11.2 %
Magnesium 11.8 %
Manganese 41.7 %
Niacin 3.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.1 %
Phosphorus 19.0 %
Riboflavin 3.4 %
Selenium 12.4 %
Thiamin 3.8 %
Zinc 11.0 %

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

Jul 242013
 

3 Easy Ways to Make a Positive Change in Your Diet and a Recipe for Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry, Horseradish Mustard Sauce!

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Change your mindset .

Think about the foods you CAN have that you will enjoy instead of thinking about what you are cutting out.  Keep in mind the fact that you can now eat more foods such as avocados, nuts and beans – whereas before you may not have wanted to allocate the calories/fat/carbs to those foods. When I did that I got super excited!

Here is a great example in action. Just this past weekend my family ate at Lulu’s Waterfront Grill - a casual dining spot on the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Valley.  At first glance I saw lots of fried seafood – not anything that I was super excited about until I spied a Mediterranean salad with calamari and homemade vinaigrette. I told the waiter to please leave the fried calamari and feta off and add avocado. I was ecstatic when it came out with fresh field greens topped with a gorgeously creamy half avocado! It was one of the best salads I’ve had in a while. Even though I chose not to have the fried calamari and feta – I adore avocado which would not normally have been on the salad. Outcome – I was happier and more satisfied and didn’t have the weighted down feeling of fried food.

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Educate Yourself.

It will make change MUCH easier if you educate yourself on what you’re eating. DO read the ingredients. Don’t stop after you read the calories, carbs and fat.

When I decided to change to a plant based diet there were so many reasons why I wanted to make the change – namely the suffering of animals, the environmental aspects and all the hormones and antibiotics they pump into our food – but once I really learned about what was happening in my body from the animal foods after reading the China Study, it became a no-brainer. I made the change instantly and haven’t looked back.

Maybe there is just one processed food you would love to give up….try my tip and research the ingredients then use resources to figure out what those are. You will amaze your family and impress your friends! I love Vani’s website http://foodbabe.com/.  She researches ingredients in many of the popular “foods” from the commercial food industry and exposes the horrific ingredients.  If you find out there is raspberry flavoring derived from the anus of a muskrat in your favorite raspberry pop tart you are much less likely to even want to eat it.

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Take small steps that will compound into major change over time.

Read the Compound Effect. http://www.thecompoundeffect.com/

Say you want to switch to a plant based diet but are overwhelmed by how you would possibly find things to eat and meals to prepare.  Instead shutting down and saying you could never do such a thing – start small.  Find ONE recipe that sounds really delicious and is naturally vegan or gluten free – such as this Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry, Horseradish Mustard Sauce.  :) Don’t get too complicated.  Do repeat for two weeks. The third week make your one recipe but then go out to your favorite restaurant and look at the menu to see if there is a way you could sub something you love for meat and/or dairy. The fourth week do those two things and try a new ingredient…..you get the picture.

Here is another example for you. There is an entree salad I love at a Stonewood – a steak house. It normally comes with chicken or fish and has cheese on it. Instead I get extra pine nuts and sundried tomatoes – two ingredients I saw elsewhere on the menu. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. The more we ask the faster restaurants will get the picture.  Vote with your fork! Do ask the waiter what ingredients come on the salad that weren’t on the menu. Cheese? Bacon bits? Mayo or dairy based dressing?

Remember: Look at this positively. Have fun. Get creative.  If you start associating this process with feelings of enjoyment, gratitude and pride – you are much more likely to create a positive experience for yourself and stick with it until it becomes habit. When it comes down to a change – it all comes down to habit.  Enjoy the process and soon you won’t even have to think about it!

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Recipe:

This recipe knocked my socks off! Not only was it SUPER simple to prepare but it was super fast too! The sauce does double duty as the perfect dressing as well and though it’s pink it is not overly sweet. The flavors of horseradish and mustard hold their own with the fresh raspberry- blending really nicely when paired with the fresh cracked pepper and onion powder on the nutty tempeh.

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry Horseradish Mustard Sauce

 Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry, Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 4
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Store July 7-August 6, 2013

Ingredients

2 blocks tempeh, cut in half
Olive oil spray
Coarse sea salt, fresh black pepper, onion powder to taste

Raspberry Sauce (Makes 8-10 Tbsp)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries**
2 Tbsp horseradish mustard, such as Annie’s Organic
2 tsp agave (or honey if non-vegan)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped red onion
2 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat the grill to medium high; spray both sides of tempeh evenly with olive oil; season with salt, pepper & onion powder. Grill each side 5-7 minutes or until char marks appear.

2. Mix raspberry sauce in blender or Magic Bullet.

3. Pour 2 Tbsp raspberry sauce over each serving tempeh; top with a few fresh raspberries and red onion to garnish.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 225.8
Total Fat 16.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 178.9 mg
Potassium 260.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Sugars 0.1 g

Protein 10.6 g
Vitamin A 0.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.8 %
Vitamin B-6 6.6 %
Vitamin C 6.6 %
Vitamin E 6.6 %
Calcium 6.7 %
Copper 16.5 %
Folate 4.5 %
Iron 9.2 %
Magnesium 12.3 %
Manganese 44.8 %
Niacin 8.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.0 %
Phosphorus 15.3 %
Riboflavin 12.7 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 3.3 %
Zinc 4.8 %

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

Enjoy my Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry, Horseradish Mustard Sauce!

Enjoy my Grilled Tempeh with Raspberry, Horseradish Mustard Sauce!

Jul 182013
 

 True or False – you will save money if you make it from scratch.

True. Sort of.

Kale Spa Salad

Kale Spa Salad

I think back to my days before children, when I could gallivant about the city going to weekly wine tastings and dinners.  I was young, professional and thought I was hot stuff.  Several co-workers and I would leave work on each fine Thursday, drive to the Grotto Wine Bar in San Marco to nosh on appetizers and drink wine; afterwards we would head to Pom’s Bistro (which sadly is no longer there) and I would order the Pad Thai- damn good Pad Thai at that. I can’t say I’ve had better since. But…it was expensive at $18 dollars.  I was sure I could make it at home cheaper.

So I went and bought all the ingredients, many I would most likely not use very often……to the tune of $40!  I spent about two hours getting all the ingredients measured out, cooking it and plating….and for the grand finale….the taste testing.

It was ok at best. Ug!

I learned an important lesson though.  Sometimes it is cheaper and less work to simply buy a smaller portion of a pre-made item and can be just as healthy as from scratch with just a few tweaks.

The key is to read the INGREDIENTS on the pre-made item. If there are 300 ingredients, or you have no idea what the ingredient is, run for the hills.

Kale Spa Salad

Kale Spa Salad

The pad thai experience all came back to me when I returned home armed with groceries from Native Sun including kale, some green onions, red onion and a cup or so of their premade Kombucha Spa Salad.
[edamame, orzo, peaches, strawberries, carrots, yellow peppers, kombucha, olive oil, OJ, scallions, ginger, agave, cider vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic]

Now how much would it have cost me to gather and prep the Kombucha Spa Salad?  Probably a lot for what my needs were. So I simply grabbed the fresh ingredients I had on hand and put those together, added some avocado for additional protein and threw the spa salad right on top – thereby making it a WOW salad that was both cheaper AND much faster!

Though you may not have the Kombucha spa salad available to you – is there a local restaurant in your area that carries anything pre-made like this?  You can purchase that and use it the same way I did here! Native Sun has LOTS of options and coming soon KyV Farm should be adding some pre-made options at next year’s CSA!

Kale Spa Salad

Kale Spa Salad

Kale Spa Salad

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten free (If pre-made salad contains no gluten. This particular one does because of the orzo.)
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market, July 7 through August 6, 2013

 Ingredients

1 bunch kale, detemmed, washed and torn into bite size pieces
1/4 red onion, sliced very thinly
1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette (such as Annies**)
1 green onion, sliced**
Coarse sea salt & Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 avocado, pit and skin removed and chopped
1 cup Kombucha Spa Salad (or premade salad of choice)

Directions

1. Mix the kale and onion in a large bowl, top with dressing; massage dressing into kale to break down the fibers, about 2 minutes. Top with green onion, avocado and pre-made salad. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (Before adding the pre-made spa salad)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 215.9
Total Fat 15.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 144.4 mg
Potassium 722.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.5 g
Sugars 4.8 g
Protein 5.0 g

Vitamin A 532.5 %
Vitamin B-6 21.8 %
Vitamin C 143.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 11.4 %
Calcium 15.3 %
Copper 20.0 %
Folate 17.7 %
Iron 11.7 %
Magnesium 12.8 %
Manganese 46.3 %
Niacin 9.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 7.7 %
Phosphorus 9.0 %
Riboflavin 12.1 %
Selenium 3.1 %
Thiamin 10.1 %
Zinc 5.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
I hope you enjoy this spa salad made quick, easy and cheap!

 Posted by at 9:45 am  Tagged with: